Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Sweet Potato Burgers

These sweet potato burgers from How Sweet It Is, was one of those recipes that was met with a raised eyebrow from my husband.  I saw the recipe and knew it would be perfect as a meatless dinner for a Friday over Lent.

Although my husband was skeptical, he gave the burger an honest try.

And it turned out to be awesome!

It gets the carnivore's double thumbs up.

I made one tiny change to the recipe.  I decided against using the roasted garlic cream sauce/spread.  I thought the garlic flavor might be a bit overwhelming.  Instead, we tossed some onion hamburger rolls on the skillet.  They were a really tasty pairing with the sweet potato and avocado.

There was only one other thing I would change about this recipe when I make it again, I'd make more than 4 burgers!  Dividing the recipe into four burgers made some insanely large patties.  Perhaps my sweet potatoes were larger than the average potato?  I think this recipe should make 6 or 7 patties, particularly if you plan on serving any sides with your sandwich.

Sweet Potato Burgers adapted from How Sweet it Is
2 large sweet potatoes, cooked and coarsely mashed
1 c great northern beans (rinsed and drained if canned)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 c whole wheat panko bread crumbs
1/3 c whole wheat flour
1 lg egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 t smoked paprika
1 t onion powder
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1/4 t cumin
2-3 T olive oil
1 avocado, slightly mashed
onion hamburger rolls

Wash, stab, and roast potatoes at 400F for about 50-60 min until fork tender. Let potatoes cool to touch and peel off skins. In lg bowl, coarsely mash beans with a fork. Add in sweet potato and mash together, then add in spices, garlic, egg, panko and flour. Mix then chill for 15-20 min. (I let mine sit in the fridge for an hour.) The chilling helps the patties retain their shape. Heat lg skillet over med heat and add 2 T oil. Remove mixture from fridge and form into 6-7 equal patties, then place in the skillet once hot. (You may have to cook them in batches depending on the size of your skillet) Cook the patties for 5-6 min on one side. Do not move the patties until they are fully cooked and golden on one side or they will fall apart. Add more oil if needed, and flip burgers carefully.  Cook for another 5-6 minutes. Toast or grill buns if desired.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Crockpot Ravioli

I think this just might be the easiest recipe for dinner ever.  It only requires 3 ingredients! 

Frozen Ravioli, pasta sauce and mozzarella cheese.

Here's what you need to do:
Take a bag (about 25 oz) frozen ravioli.  Dump it in the crockpot.
Take a jar of pasta sauce. Repeat.


Cover and cook on high 2 1/2-3 hrs.  20 min before serving top with cheese.  Cover and let the cheese melt.


I doubled the recipe using 1 bag of cheese ravioli and one bag of cheese and mushroom ravioli. 

Super yum!
Recipe found over at Crystal and Co.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Drunken Stew and Soda Bread Biscuits

I very rarely make beef stew, but I thought I would make something special for St. Patrick's Day this year. The stew I chose to make was called Drunken Irish Stew from Bakeaholic Mama. The house smelled awesome 15 min into making this day long stew, and continued to do so two days after I made it!

Since I don't make a lot of beef stew I don't know if it's the norm to add bacon and beer.  All  I know is that it made the soup smell and taste heavenly. 

Don't be like me and leave your wooden spoon to rest on the iron pot all day while the stew simmers.  I cracked my spoon in two places from all the heat and moisture.

There were only a few minor changes that I made to the recipe.  I used 1 1/2 lb beef stew meat instead of 2 lbs.  The stew seemed plenty meaty to me.  I also increased the barley from 3'4 cup to 1 cup.  I didn't have any fresh herbs so i just added dried rosemary, thyme, parsley and dill.  I also tossed in a few handfuls of frozen peas at the end for color.

About an hour before dinner I thought this stew would taste even better if I had some tasty bread to sop up all the soupy juicy bits.  Because it was St. Patrick's Day, what could be better than Soda bread?!  Unfortunately most soda bread takes 50 min to bake.  I didn't have that kind of time.  So I did a bit more research and came across a recipe over at laa loosh for Soda Bread that you bake in a muffin tin.  The cook time was only 20 min with a cool time of 5 min. Perfect! 

I was surprised how much the little mini loaves rose!  Higher than your average muffin.  The next time I make these I will score them like a traditional loaf of Irish soda bread.

Drunken Irish Stew adapted from Bakeaholic Mama
1.5  lbs beef stew meat
2 bottles of your favorite Irish Ale
6-8 c beef stock
4 large carrots peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery chopped
1.5 lb red skin potatoes large chunks (about 1.5-2" cubed)
1 large yellow onion diced
2 cloves minced garlic
1 herb bouquet (I just used spices to taste)
1/2 lb bacon chopped
1c Barley (I had quick cooking)
2 T tomato paste
1/2 cup of flour

In Dutch Oven fry bacon til crispy. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.  Pat stew meat dry with paper towels. Then dredge through flour.Toss into Dutch Oven with left over bacon grease. Fry on med til it browned and is lightly crisp on outside.Remove meat from pan. Cook veggies and saute in drippings til onions start to caramelize (about 15 min).  Add 1 bottle ale, stir with wooden spoon to deglaze pan.  Add meat and bacon back into dutch oven. Pour second bottle of ale and 4 c stock into pan. Add garlic, tomato paste, and herbs. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to med low and simmer 3-4 hrs. Stir every 30 min . Add additional stock thickens too much while cooking. About 20 min before serving add barley. 5 min before serving, add peas.

Individual Irish Soda Bread from Laa Loosh
1 c whole wheat flour
1 c flour
1 c reduced fat buttermilk (I used powdered buttermilk and skim milk)
4 T butter, melted
1 egg
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/3 c honey

Preheat oven to 375. Spray muffin pan with cooking spray. In med bowl, whisk floors, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another sm bowl (I just used a large liquid measuring cup), whisk buttermilk, melted butter, egg and honey.  Gently combine wet and dry ingred, stirring just til combined.  Scoop batter into tins with large cookie scoop to get 12 "loaves".  Bake 20 min until toothpick comes out clean.  Cool in pan 5 min before cooling on wire rack.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Enchilada Rice Skillet

I found this recipe over at Heat Oven to 350.  I was looking for a quick meal to use up some leftover turkey breast. This meal whipped up in less than an hour!  And it was delish to boot!  Double win!!!!

I made a few minor alterations to the recipe.  First I added a can of drained Rotel, used half of a red, yellow and orange pepper, and upped the spices.  Oh I also set the olives aside so  everyone could put as much or as little as they wanted in their individual dish.

As you can see, I REALLY like olives.

Blockette thought this was a little spicy from the Rotel, but not so much that she couldn't handle the heat.  I thought it was pleasantly spicy, leaving a slight tingle on your tongue.

This is a great go to meal for a busy weeknight!

Enchilada Rice Skillet from Heat Over 350
1 c uncooked rice
1 lb lean ground beef or turkey (I used 2 c chopped cooked turkey breast)
1 medium onion, chopped (I used 2 small onions)
1 can of mild rotel
1 red bell peppers, chopped (I used red, orange and yellow)
1 t chili powder
1 t cumin
1/4 c sour cream
2 c green enchilada sauce (about 1 1/2 cans)
1 c shredded cheddar cheese, divided (I used jalapeno cheddar)
1 c sliced black olives
1 1/2 c cooked black beans,
1 bunch sliced green onions

Cook rice according to package directions. While rice is cooking, in a large skillet saute onions and pepper. After 5 min add drained rotel. Cook 10 min until tomatoes start to turn dark around the edges as they caramelize. While veggies cook, stir sour cream, enchilada sauce, 1/2 c cheese, black olives and beans. When veggies cooked, add chili powder and cumin. stir and cook 1 min. Add rice, meat and sauce. Top with more cheese and green onions.  Place under broiler for 2 min or until cheese is melted.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Moist Mug Cake

I cannot get enough of mug cakes.  This one is just slightly different than all the others I've made previously.

What makes this one different is that it is quite moist.  Now the other mug cakes are moist, but that is because I under-bake them.  When they are baked so they are cooked completely they get the consistency of a rubber ball.  So to avoid that I bake them so they are like little lava cakes with a gooey uncooked chocolatey center/bottom.

This cake cooked fully for me at 50 min because my microwave is strong like bull.  I panicked at first when I saw how "done" it was, but to my surprise it did not have the texture of a synthetic dish-washing sponge!

My guess that this cake is so moist due to the milk AND oil in the recipe.  I also think the peanut butter helps as well.

I can't decide which type of mug cake I like better, this one or the lava-esque ones.  I think I'll have to do more research. SCIENCE!

Moist Chocolate Mug Cake from Table For Two
¼ c flour
2 T cocoa powder
¼ t baking powder
2 T. sugar
⅛ t salt
¼ c + 1 T milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
2 T vegetable oil
1 T hazelnut chocolate spread (I used peanut butter)

In med bowl, mix dry ingred. Add milk and oil until  combined and lump free.  Pour batter into large microwave-safe mug. (Around 14 oz)  Drop 1T hazelnut spread/PB/biscoff/etc in the middle of the batter.You don't need to push it down.  It will sink in the batter as it cooks. Nuke 50-70 sec depending on the wattage of your microwave.

Friday, April 4, 2014

St. Louis Style Pizza

I've never been to St. Louis to know if they have a different style pizza, but I thought this recipe from Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice looked really tasty AND easy.

What makes a St Louis style different from your average run of the mill pizza is the thin crust and the types of cheeses.  This type of pizza uses provolone, cheddar and Swiss instead of the traditional mozzarella. 

While I'm not the biggest fan of thin crust pizza I did enjoy this pizza.  It was probably the best thin crust pizza I've ever had. 

The dough was incredibly easy to roll out.  I usually have to fight with pizza dough crust so this is really saying something.  The crust also crisped up nicely.  Sometimes thin crust pizzas get super soggy from the sauce.  The center pieces weren't cracker crisp, but they weren't like wet cardboard either.

I made this on a friday over Lent so we just had a basic cheese pizza.  I think this style of pizza really benefits from that.  Without the distraction of the salty and spicy meats, like sausage and pepperoni, the flavor from the various cheeses really gets a chance to shine.  

This pizza was a big hit with the whole family.  I will definitely make it again.

St Louis Style Pizza from Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice
2 c bread flour
1T baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 c water

2/3c pasta sauce (I just eyeballed the sauce for each pizza)
1c shredded white cheddar (I used a 3 cheddar blend)
1/2 c shredded provolone (I had 4 round slices that I snipped with cooking sheers)
1/2 c shredded swiss
pizza seasoning (I used Penzeys Frozen Pizza Seasoning)
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 425F.  Cover 2 large baking sheets with parchment or silpat.  Spray the parchment.

Mix the crust ingredients.  Separate into 2 round disks.  Cover them and let them rest 10 min.  This will make them much easier to work with.  Roll very thin (1/8") between 2 sheets of sprayed parchment paper. (I used the sheets I was going to bake the pizzas on.)  Top each pizza with sauce, seasoning and cheese.  Bake for 9-12 min until cheese is golden and melty.  Let sit 5 min before cutting.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Honey Pb Cookies

Blockette and I made these cookies one day when she was bored.  She was complaining she had nothing to do and could we please do something.  I asked her if she wanted to bake something tasty and she was psyched.

I chose this recipe because I had a peanut butter craving and was fortunate enough to have all the ingredients in the pantry!

Blockette did most of the work, except the tough parts where you have to get all the peanut butter out of the measuring cup!

I mixed things up a bit and pressed some of the cookies down with the pokey side of a meat tenderizer mallet.  We did a few the traditional way with the crisscross fork technique.

Blockette liked the fork better because the dough kept sticking to the meat mallet.  I like the look of the meat mallet mashed cookies better.

The cookies themselves were tasty.  I couldn't really taste the honey though.  I think the honey did produce a much smoother peanut butter cookie.  My family really enjoyed them, but I think I prefer the more grainy, crumbly, peanut butter cookies.  

Because these cookies hold together so well, they lend themselves to making cookie sandwiches.  I sandwiched a few with Biscoff and they were divine!  I imagine other flavored spreads like Nutella would be equally scrumptious!

Honey PB Cookies from Brown Eyed Baker
1½ c flour
½ c sugar
¾ t baking soda
½ t baking powder
¼ t salt
½ c creamy peanut butter
½ c honey
¼ c vegetable shortening
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 t vanilla extract
¼ c granulated sugar, in a small bowl, for rolling cookies

Preheat  350F. Line 2 sheets w parchment; set aside. In med bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside. In bowl of electric mixer, cream peanut butter, honey and shortening on medium til lt and fluffy, 3 min. Add egg and vanilla. Mix til combined. Reduce speed to low and grad add dry ingred, til just combined. Give final stir with rubber spatula to ensure all flour incorporated. Use med cookie scoop (about 2 T dough) to scoop out dough and roll in ball.   Roll in sugar and place on prepared sheets about 2"apart. Using fork tines, press a criss-cross pattern into tops of cookies, flattening into disks.(or be crazy like me and use a meat mallet.) Bake 10-12 min til lt gold br. Allow to cool on sheet 5 min, then move to wire rack to cool completely. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temp for up to 5 days.