Breakfast Popsicles

An exciting concept, right? These are basically a frozen yogurt parfait, but you cook the fruit a bit so that it’s not rock hard like uncooked frozen fruit straight from the freezer is. These are a fun, quick way to get rolling in the morning. My only complaint is that I was hungry again about 2 hours later, but I’m always hungry so maybe these will carry you through until lunch?

IMG_5992Ingredients:

  • 3 cups berries, roughly chopped (I actually used nectarines, as you’ll see, and I think you could probably also do plums or peaches as well)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup vanilla yogurt (you can use plain plus 2-3 tablespoons honey, but I vastly prefer the flavor of vanilla)
  • 3/4 cup granola

This makes roughly enough for six 1/2 cup popsicle molds.

Combine the fruit and sugar in a medium saucepan and let sit for at least 10 minutes. Some liquid should have collected in the bottom of the pot. In the meantime, you can go dig through drawers to find all the pieces of your popsicle mold set.

IMG_5986Put the saucepan over medium-high heat. Once the fruit has reached a simmer, cook 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently until the mixture resembles jam. Remove from heat and set aside until cooled to room temperature. I think the nectarines I used didn’t shrink/reduce as much as berries would have, so I had leftovers, but they keep in the fridge for a week and are just tasty fruit you can use however you want!

IMG_5987Once the fruit has cooled, combine the granola and 1/4 cup of the yogurt and stir together in a small bowl.

IMG_5989Pour a spoonful of yogurt into each of your popsicle molds. Follow with a spoonful of granola, and a spoonful of fruit. Tap the molds lightly on the counter to settle, then repeat with another spoonful of each of the yogurt, granola, and fruit, filling very close to the top of the molds. Tap again to work out any air bubbles. Insert the popsicle sticks and freeze at least 6 hours.

IMG_5990 IMG_5991To work the popsicles loose, hold under hot water briefly, until just loosened.

Shoulda tapped a bit more, still got air bubbles!

Should have tapped a bit more, still got air bubbles!

These taste like breakfast, but with some of the excitement of dessert, and are a good way to cool down if the temperature is already unbearable in the morning. I’ll definitely be experimenting with different fruits, when I’m not using the molds for dessert popsicles…

IMG_5996

Breakfast Popsicles

Adapted from The Kitchn.

  • 3 cups berries, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup vanilla yogurt (or plain yogurt plus 2-3 tablespoons honey, to taste)
  • 3/4 cup granola

Combine the fruit and sugar in a medium saucepan and let sit for at least 10 minutes. Some liquid should have collected in the bottom of the pot. In the meantime, you can go dig through drawers to find all the pieces of your popsicle mold set.

Put the saucepan over medium-high heat. Once the fruit has reached a simmer, cook 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently until the mixture resembles jam. Remove from heat and set aside until cooled to room temperature. I think the nectarines I used didn’t shrink/reduce as much as berries would have, so I had leftovers, but they keep in the fridge for a week and are just tasty fruit you can use however you want!

Once the fruit has cooled, combine the granola and 1/4 cup of the yogurt and stir together in a small bowl.

Pour a spoonful of yogurt into each of your popsicle molds. Follow with a spoonful of granola, and a spoonful of fruit. Tap the molds lightly on the counter to settle, then repeat with another spoonful of each of the yogurt, granola, and fruit, filling very close to the top of the molds. Tap again to work out any air bubbles. Insert the popsicle sticks and freeze at least 6 hours.

To work the popsicles loose, hold under hot water briefly, until just loosened.

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Shepherd’s Pie Potatoes

A tasty, filling take on a baked stuffed potato.

IMG_5737Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 10 ounces lean ground beef
  • 17 ounces beef stock
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • a few shakes each of dried parsley and oregano
  • 2 large russet potatoes, baked
  • salt
  • handful grated cheddar cheese

Since potatoes take forever to bake (around 90 minutes at 350 degrees), I actually baked mine the day before, threw it in the fridge wrapped in foil, and then just took them out when I got to the steps where I needed them.

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook several minutes, until softened.

IMG_5726Increase to medium-high heat and add the ground beef, cooking until browned.

IMG_5728Stir in the beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, parsley, and oregano, and cook 15-20 minutes until the sauce is thickened, stirring frequently.

IMG_5729 IMG_5730During that 15 – 20 minutes, preheat the oven to 390. Cut your potatoes in half length-wise and scrape out the inside, leaving a bit of a shell to ensure you don’t tear the skin. Mash the removed potato, then add the butter and salt to taste, warming if necessary to allow the butter to melt in.

IMG_5727Line a baking dish with foil, then put the empty potato skins cut-side-up. When the beef mixture has thickened, spoon it into the potato skins.

IMG_5731Cover the beef with the mashed potatoes, and top with a small handful of cheese.

IMG_5732Bake 15-20 minutes, until lightly golden brown.

IMG_5735One half ended up being enough for dinner for me, although that may have been because of all the cookies I hate while the onions cooked??

Shepherd’s Pie Potatoes

Adapted from goodfood.

  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 10 ounces lean ground beef
  • 17 ounces beef stock
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • a few shakes each of dried parsley and oregano
  • 2 large russet potatoes, baked
  • salt
  • handful grated cheddar cheese

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook several minutes, until softened. Increase to medium-high heat and add the ground beef, cooking until browned. Stir in the beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, parsley, and oregano, and cook 15-20 minutes until the sauce is thickened, stirring frequently.

During that 15 – 20 minutes, preheat the oven to 390. Cut your potatoes in half length-wise and scrape out the inside, leaving a bit of a shell to ensure you don’t tear the skin. Mash the removed potato, then add the butter and salt to taste, warming if necessary to allow the butter to melt in.

Line a baking dish with foil, then put the empty potato skins cut-side-up. When the beef mixture has thickened, spoon it into the potato skins. Cover the beef with the mashed potatoes, and top with a small handful of cheese. Bake 15-20 minutes, until lightly golden brown.

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White Chocolate Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Bars

A couple weeks ago, I realized I couldn’t remember the last time I had oatmeal raisin cookies, but I also quickly decided I wanted to add something. White chocolate seemed like a good call, and these did turn out super delicious. They are quite sweet – the brown sugar really stands out, and every mouthful is just a lovely mess of all the mix-ins. They are soft, sweet, and were quite popular at work.

IMG_5723Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips

Line 2 jelly roll pans with parchment and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together the butter, sugars, eggs, and vanilla until light and fluffy.

IMG_5537Beat in the flour mixture until just combined. Stir in the oats, raisins, and white chocolate chips by hand.

IMG_5538Divide the mixture in half, and spread half in each of the two prepared pans, pressing until thinly spread.

IMG_5556Bake 15-20 minutes, until puffy but cooked looking.

IMG_5557Let cool in the pan 5 minutes, then cut into bars. Let cool completely before removing from the pan.

IMG_5558This makes quite a lot, but you can freeze half the dough, wrapped tightly in plastic, for another time. Let it thaw in the refrigerator, then come up to room temperature until it’s spreadable, then bake as normal.

I'm in looove!

I’m in looove!

White Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Bars

Adapted from food.com.

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips

Line 2 jelly roll pans with parchment and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together the butter, sugars, eggs, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Beat in the flour mixture until just combined. Stir in the oats, raisins, and white chocolate chips by hand.

Divide the mixture in half, and spread half in each of the two prepared pans, pressing until thinly spread. Bake 15-20 minutes, until puffy but cooked looking. Let cool in the pan 5 minutes, then cut into bars. Let cool completely before removing from the pan.

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Crock Pot Chicken Taco Bowls

Two crock pot recipes this week! They’re just so convenient! I opened a brand new container of cayenne when I was getting this ready and it sort of exploded all over my face and shirt, which left me sneezing afraid that this was going to be real spicy, but it’s just sort of lightly warm (you could probably up the pepper if you’d prefer the heat).

IMG_5564Ingredients:

  • 1 16 ounce jar salsa
  • 1 15 ounce can black beans, drained
  • 8 ounces frozen corn
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts
  • 1 1/2 cups dried rice, cooked according to package instructions
  • 8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro (optional)

Combine the salsa, beans, corn, chili powder, cumin, garlic, oregano, peppers, salt, and water in a crock pot and stir together.

IMG_5559Place the chicken in the mixture and turn to coat. Cover, and cook on low for 8 hours. Towards the end of that time, prepare the rice.

IMG_5560After 8 hours, stir the chicken to shred. I assumed I’d have to take the chicken out and shred it on a cutting board with two forks, but I really was able to just poke it into shreds using the serving spoon, no problems. Stir the shredded chicken into the salsa mixture.

IMG_5561Serve by layering rice, then chicken mixture, then topping with cheese (and cilantro, if desired).

IMG_5563Thanks to the rice, this is a lot more filling than regular tacos, and less likely to break apart over your lap!

Crock Pot Chicken Taco Bowls

From aiflav.com.

  • 1 16 ounce jar salsa
  • 1 15 ounce can black beans, drained
  • 8 ounces frozen corn
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts
  • 1 1/2 cups dried rice, cooked according to package instructions
  • 8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro (optional)

Combine the salsa, beans, corn, chili powder, cumin, garlic, oregano, peppers, salt, and water in a crock pot and stir together. Place the chicken in the mixture and turn to coat. Cover, and cook on low for 8 hours. Towards the end of that time, prepare the rice.

After 8 hours, stir the chicken to shred. Stir the shredded chicken into the salsa mixture.

Serve by layering rice, then chicken mixture, then topping with cheese (and cilantro, if desired).

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Crock Pot Mole-Style Pulled Pork

Now, I haven’t actually had mole in a long long time, but I kind of don’t think this tastes much like it. It does taste good, though, so… sure? My one suggestion is to make this when you’re planning to have company – I’ve been eating this pork for two meals every day for 6 days and it’s not all gone. It’s A LOT of pork!

IMG_5546Ingredients:

  • 1 10.5 ounce can Campbell’s Condensed French Onion Soup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 pound boneless pork shoulder roast
  • 2 tablespoons semi-sweet chocolate pieces
  • 6 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 12 8 inch flour tortillas, warmed
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • brie (optional)

Combine the soup, water, chili powder, brown sugar, cumin, and cinnamon in a crock pot and stir together. Add the pork and turn it to coat completely.

IMG_5535 Cover and cook on low 8-9 hours, until the pork is fork-tender.

Giant forks!

Giant forks!

Transfer the pork to a cutting board and shred, using two forks.

IMG_5543Add the chocolate to the crock pot and stir until melted, then add the shredded pork back.

IMG_5545Put about 1/2 cup of the pork on each tortilla and top with tomatoes, cilantro, and (my addition) brie. Wrap up, and eat!

Not on your life, cilantro.

Not on your life, cilantro.

IMG_5548

Crock Pot Mole-Style Pulled Pork

From AllRecipes.

  • 1 10.5 ounce can Campbell’s Condensed French Onion Soup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 pound boneless pork shoulder roast
  • 2 tablespoons semi-sweet chocolate pieces
  • 6 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 12 8 inch flour tortillas, warmed
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • brie (optional)

Combine the soup, water, chili powder, brown sugar, cumin, and cinnamon in a crock pot and stir together. Add the pork and turn it to coat completely. Cover and cook on low 8-9 hours, until the pork is fork-tender.

Transfer the pork to a cutting board and shred, using two forks. Add the chocolate to the crock pot and stir until melted, then add the shredded pork back. Put about 1/2 cup of the pork on each tortilla and top with tomatoes, cilantro, and brie. Wrap up, and eat!

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Lemon Polenta Cake

Making gluten-free baked goods in Rawlins is pretty severely limited by the gluten-free flour-type-thing options pretty much being gf Bisquick, almond meal, and cornmeal. Luckily, 2 of those 3 are what you need for this cake!

IMG_5555Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup polenta/corn meal
  • 1 3/4 cups almond meal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 14 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • zest and juice of one large lemon
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a springform pan with parchment and grease the pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the polenta, almond meal, baking powder, and salt. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs together briefly. Melt the butter and cup of sugar in a saucepan over low heat.

I suppose tons of plastic bowls near a burner isn't great, but they're not THAT close!

I suppose tons of plastic bowls near a burner isn’t great, but they’re not THAT close!

In a large bowl, combine 1/3 of the dry ingredients, eggs, and butter mixture, and stir together. Repeat twice more, adding the remaining two thirds of each set of ingredients, stirring until just incorporated.

IMG_5550Fold in the lemon zest, then gently pour the batter into the greased pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until golden brown.

IMG_5551 IMG_5552Before the cake finishes baking, combine the lemon juice and remaining sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.

Using a toothpick, poke holes all over the cake, then spoon the lemon glaze evenly over the cake, letting it seep down into the holes. Let sit until the glaze has been absorbed, then run a knife around the inside of the pan’s edges, remove the sides, and serve.

IMG_5553 IMG_5554

Lemon Polenta Cake

From Sweetly Serendipity.

  • 2/3 cup polenta/corn meal
  • 1 3/4 cups almond meal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 14 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • zest and juice of one large lemon
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a springform pan with parchment and grease the pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the polenta, almond meal, baking powder, and salt. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs together briefly. Melt the butter and cup of sugar in a saucepan over low heat.

In a large bowl, combine 1/3 of the dry ingredients, eggs, and butter mixture, and stir together. Repeat twice more, adding the remaining two thirds of each set of ingredients, stirring until just incorporated. Fold in the lemon zest, then gently pour the batter into the greased pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until golden brown.

Before the cake finishes baking, combine the lemon juice and remaining sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.

Using a toothpick, poke holes all over the cake, then spoon the lemon glaze evenly over the cake, letting it seep down into the holes. Let sit until the glaze has been absorbed, then run a knife around the inside of the pan’s edges, remove the sides, and serve.

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Chili Pot Pie with Cheddar-Biscuit Crust

This may be a bit late in the season for warm comfort food type dishes, but…they’re never entirely out of style, right? I’m going with that! This dish has the perfect proportions between crust and chili mixture, and has just a hint of spiciness to warm you up.

IMG_5532Ingredients:

Filling:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound boneless beef chuck, cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 16 ounce can whole tomatoes in juice
  • 1 4 ounce can chopped mild green chilies
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 15 ounce can pink beans

Crust:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons cold butter
  • 1/2 cup + 2 teaspoons milk, divided

Heat one tablespoon of the olive oil n a large dutch oven or sauce-pot over medium-high heat. Add half the beef and cook until it’s browned all over, then remove to a small bowl. Add 2 teaspoons of the remaining oil and cook the remaining half of the beef, then remove to the same bowl.

IMG_5519Heat the remaining teaspoon of olive oil over medium heat, then add the onion and cook about 10 minutes, until softened and golden brown. Add the garlic and cook an additional 2 minutes, stirring constantly, then add the chili powder, coriander, salt, and cumin, and cook and additional minute, continuing to stir.

That's dark colored spices, not burn.

That’s dark colored spices, not burn.

Add the tomatoes, including the juice, and break up the whole tomatoes with the side of a spoon, then add the can of chiles, including the juice, the brown sugar, the tomato paste, the meat, including any liquid that’s pooled in the bowl, and the water. Raise the temperature to high and cook until boiling, then reduce the heat to low and cover. Simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

IMG_5522Rinse and drain the pink beans, then add them. Return the temperature to high and bring back to a boil, then return to low, cover, and simmer another 30-45 minutes, until the beef is very tender.

IMG_5523IMG_5527In that 30-45 minutes, preheat the oven to 425 degrees, line a baking sheet with foil, find a 2 quart casserole dish, and make the crust. First combine the flour, cheddar, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Cut in the butter with knives or a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in 1/2 cup of the milk, and mix just briefly until the mixture mostly holds together.

IMG_5525Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead about 5 times, then, using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough until it’s an inch bigger than the top of your casserole dish.

IMG_5526Spoon the cooked beef mixture into the casserole, then gently lay the crust on top, tucking the edge in to fit.

IMG_5528Cut 5 oval openings in the crust – not just slits, as those will close up during baking.

IMG_5529Brush the crust with the remaining 2 teaspoons of milk. Place the casserole on the foil-lined baking sheet, and bake 20 minutes, or until the crust is browned.

Lovely!

Lovely!

IMG_5531

Chili Pot Pie with Cheddar-Biscuit Crust

Lightly adapted from Good Housekeeping’s One-Dish Meals.

Filling:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound boneless beef chuck, cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 16 ounce can whole tomatoes in juice
  • 1 4 ounce can chopped mild green chilies
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 15 ounce can pink beans

Crust:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons cold butter
  • 1/2 cup + 2 teaspoons milk, divided

Heat one tablespoon of the olive oil n a large dutch oven or sauce-pot over medium-high heat. Add half the beef and cook until it’s browned all over, then remove to a small bowl. Add 2 teaspoons of the remaining oil and cook the remaining half of the beef, then remove to the same bowl.

Heat the remaining teaspoon of olive oil over medium heat, then add the onion and cook about 10 minutes, until softened and golden brown. Add the garlic and cook an additional 2 minutes, stirring constantly, then add the chili powder, coriander, salt, and cumin, and cook and additional minute, continuing to stir.

Add the tomatoes, including the juice, and break up the whole tomatoes with the side of a spoon, then add the can of chiles, including the juice, the brown sugar, the tomato paste, the meat, including any liquid that’s pooled in the bowl, and the water. Raise the temperature to high and cook until boiling, then reduce the heat to low and cover. Simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Rinse and drain the pink beans, then add them. Return the temperature to high and bring back to a boil, then return to low, cover, and simmer another 30-45 minutes, until the beef is very tender.

In that 30-45 minutes, preheat the oven to 425 degrees, line a baking sheet with foil, find a 2 quart casserole dish, and make the crust. First combine the flour, cheddar, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Cut in the butter with knives or a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in 1/2 cup of the milk, and mix just briefly until the mixture mostly holds together, then turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead about 5 times. Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough until it’s an inch bigger than the top of your casserole dish.

Spoon the cooked beef mixture into the casserole, then gently lay the crust on top, tucking the edge in to fit. Cut 5 oval openings in the crust – not just slits, as those will close up during baking. Brush the crust with the remaining 2 teaspoons of milk. Place the casserole on the foil-lined baking sheet, and bake 20 minutes, or until the crust is browned.

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