Sunday, December 19, 2010

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Pretzel Tart, Corn Chowder, Pumpkin chickpea and Red Lentil Stew

I haven't made this yet but I think this is my husband's ultimate dream so I am going to try to make it for Christmas.....Chocolate and Peanut Butter Pretzel Tart. I borrowed their picture which I hope is legal! Too bad I don't have a tart pan. Wonder if a springform pan will work?

I have been making soups recently. One is an old favorite: Scrumptious Corn Chowder to which I added too much red bell pepper so no one would eat it (except me, of course). I think some fake bacon bits would be a nice touch to this soup. I always add Chipotle in some shape or form and some smoked paprika. I also use half Roasted frozen corn from trader Joe's since it adds a smoky flavor to the soup.

I also discovered this recipe on Amazon while searching for a slow cooker cookbook for my sister: Pumpkin, Chickpea and Red Lentil Stew from the Ultimate Slow Cooker Book. I used Butternut Squash instead of Pumpkin. It was a good stew but I always add some hot sauce to my soups/stews, so that is what I did. I did not add the peanuts or cilantro at the end since I did not have any. They may have given it a little bit more flavor. Ooh..some curry powder may have been good too!

Have a wonderful holiday everyone!!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Cranberry Orange muffins/bread

Another potluck, another opportunity to bake something sweet and healthy. It's one of the easiest ways to make sure that I don't completely fill myself on all the other yummy food. But, of course, that did not really work. I did get a plateful of desserts and this cranberry orange bread was not on my plate. It was yummy, but I had already tasted it :)

I remember making this muffin a couple of years ago. A friend had come by and I had asked her if she wanted a muffin and she was interested in trying. When I gave her the muffin, she said she liked it, but it was a little denser than she had expected for a muffin - more like a bread. So, this time, I decided I would make bread and muffins. We still have some of the muffins and the bread went to the potluck :)

I made the following changes to the original recipe - First, I increased it by 1 and a half times, so instead of doubling it, I increased it by half a serving for the bread. Second, I reduced the sugar to 1/3 cup instead of 1/2 cup. That was sweet enough for me :) Third, and most importantly, I had to add another 1/3 to 1/2 cup of orange juice (I could not measure it exactly - I kept adding a little at a time till it was completely mixed in). The amount of juice/liquid called for in the recipe was not adequate to mix in all the flour. Fourth, I added a 1/2 tsp of Orange flavoring in the mix. Fifth, I added a crumb topping to the top of the bread by mixing brown sugar, flour and oil. Sixth, the bread took a little over double the time to bake - we just kept checking on the bread till it was done.

It was moist and both the bread and muffins were yummy!!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Banana Peanut butter cookies

When I opened the oven while making these cookies, it smelled like our breakfast. For breakfast, I usually make oatmeal or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with slices of banana sandwiched in the middle. Occasionally, jelly is changed to nutella. So, when I found this recipe for banana peanut butter (chocolate chip) cookies, it was exactly what I was craving!

Also, it is holiday season and that means potlucks and parties. V needed to take a dish that was vegan for his party (one attendee is allergic to milk) and I decided these would be a great treat.

The only change I made was that I added 1/4 cup oil to bind the mixture together. I was not able to get everything to mix well together without the oil (I did not use natural peanut butter and that may have been the reason too). Of course, mine had vegan chocolate chips too.

This cookie has a distinct taste of banana, so if you don't like that, this may not be the cookie for you. But, it was ideal for us :)