Chocolate Chip Craisin Breakfast Cookies

A cheery way to star the day, these are very soft (flourless) cookies that work in a variety of good flavors to give you the energy to get through the day. I brought these to my weekly 7:30 Monday meeting, and Tuesday was given salt water taffy in return, so…they paid off, as well as making people at the meeting happy at the time? Nice.

packed for work

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 1/4 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup craisins (I used cherry juice flavored ones, but do whatever you like)
  • 2/3 cup chocolate chips (been so long since I swapped chocolate in for nuts in something!)

Preheat your oven to 325. Line two baking sheets with parchment.

In a large bowl, combine the peanut butter, honey, vanilla, bananas, salt, and cinnamon, beating until well mixed.

Add the oats, craisins, and chocolate chips and mix again until evenly combined.

Scoop 1/4 cup mounds of dough onto the prepared sheets, flattening slightly. The cookies don’t expand much while baking, so you don’t need to space them widely.

yeah clearly this isn’t parchment…

Bake 14-16 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool on the pans for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Chocolate Chip Craisin Breakfast Cookies

Slightly adapted from Just a Taste.

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 1/4 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup craisins
  • 2/3 cup chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 325. Line two baking sheets with parchment.

In a large bowl, combine the peanut butter, honey, vanilla, bananas, salt, and cinnamon, beating until well mixed. Add the oats, craisins, and chocolate chips and mix again until evenly combined. Scoop 1/4 cup mounds of dough onto the prepared sheets, flattening slightly. The cookies don’t expand much while baking, so you don’t need to space them widely.

Bake 14-16 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool on the pans for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Black Bean Burgers

I am really super pleased with how these came out, and am quite pleased to have almost a week’s worth of them to eat. Gochujang is really just my go-to for everything now, I think! I didn’t even put ketchup on them, because I wanted to taste the burger more, and I LOVE ketchup!

Ingredients:

  • 2 14 ounce cans black beans, divided, drained and rinsed
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon gochujang
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-2 cups breadcrumbs, divided (gf if needed)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a sheetpan with parchment, or foil and grease.

Combine 1 can of the black beans, the onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, gochujang, and salt in a food processor, and process until smooth.

Transfer to a large bowl, then stir in the remaining can of beans, the eggs, and 1 cup of the breadcrumb, until combined.

Add the remaining bread crumbs, 1/4 cup at a time, until the mixture holds together and forms patties.

This is actually just over a cup, to finish off an open container I had.

Form the mixture into large 6 patties and place on the prepared pan.

These are large burgers!

Bake 20-25 minutes, until the surface looks browned and dry, and the patties are firm.

Serve right away, or let cool to room temperature and then freeze. Thawed patties can be reheated in a skillet, on a grill, or in the oven.

Black Bean Burgers

Adapted from Half Cup Habit.

  • 2 14 ounce cans black beans, divided, drained and rinsed
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon gochujang
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-2 cups breadcrumbs, divided (gf if needed)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a sheetpan with parchment, or foil and grease.

Combine 1 can of the black beans, the onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, gochujang, and salt in a food processor, and process until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl, then stir in the remaining can of beans, the eggs, and 1 cup of the breadcrumb, until combined. Add the remaining bread crumbs, 1/4 cup at a time, until the mixture holds together and forms patties.

Form the mixture into large 6 patties and place on the prepared pan. Bake 20-25 minutes, until the surface looks browned and dry, and the patties are firm. Serve right away, or let cool to room temperature and then freeze. Thawed patties can be reheated in a skillet, on a grill, or in the oven.

Posted in Dinner, Lunch | Tagged , | 3 Comments

S’mores Pull-Apart Bread

A random fun loaf that’s a bit messy to make, but easy enough, and delicious! The bread is pretty light and fluffy, and works well with the classic s’mores flavors.

Ingredients:

Dough:

  • 2 3/4 – 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 envelope/2 1/4 teaspoons RapidRise yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 egg

S’mores Filling

  • 3 Hershey’s bars, divided
  • 3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs (approximately 3 full sheets, crushed)
  • 1 cup miniature marshmallows

In a large bowl, combine one cup of the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. In a small bowl or measuring cup, heat the milk and butter until very warm (120-130 degrees). If you’re not sure but don’t want to measure, it should feel like hot hot shower hot, but not enough to actually burn you.

Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture, and add the egg. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, or whisk quickly for a similar period of time.

Add an additional 1 3/4 cups of flour and stir together, adding as much of the remaining 1/2 cup as needed to make a soft dough.

Knead until soft and elastic, 6-8 minutes. Cover and let rest 10 minutes.

Roughly chop 2 of the 3 chocolate bars and set aside. Grease a 9×5″ bread pan and set aside.

Roll the dough out into a 12×6″ rectangle and spread the softened butter over the whole surface.

Sprinkle the graham cracker crumbs and chopped chocolate evenly over the surface, pressing them gently to stick into the dough.

Cut the dough in half lengthwise, and stack one on top of the other.

Cut the stack into 6 even pieces.

Place the stacks upright in the bread pan, long-side down. Sprinkle any crumbs/chocolate that fall off over the pieces in the pan.

Cover and let rise 30-35 minutes, until just risen to the top of the pan. While the dough rises, preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bake the risen loaf 30 minutes.

Sprinkle the cup of mini marshmallows over the top, and return to the oven 3-5 minutes until lightly browned.

Cool in the pan 10 minutes, then remove from the pan to cool on a wire rack.

Melt the remaining chocolate bar and drizzle over the loaf, then serve.

S’mores Pull-Apart Bread

From Breadworld.

Dough:

  • 2 3/4 – 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 envelope/2 1/4 teaspoons RapidRise yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 egg

S’mores Filling

  • 3 Hershey’s bars, divided
  • 3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs (approximately 3 full sheets, crushed)
  • 1 cup miniature marshmallows

In a large bowl, combine one cup of the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. In a small bowl or measuring cup, heat the milk and butter until very warm (120-130 degrees). Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture, and add the egg. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, or whisk quickly for a similar period of time. Add an additional 1 3/4 cups of flour and stir together, adding as much of the remaining 1/2 cup as needed to make a soft dough. Knead until soft and elastic, 6-8 minutes. Cover and let rest 10 minutes.

Roughly chop 2 of the 3 chocolate bars and set aside. Grease a 9×5″ bread pan and set aside.

Roll the dough out into a 12×6″ rectangle and spread the softened butter over the whole surface. Sprinkle the graham cracker crumbs and chopped chocolate evenly over the surface, pressing them gently to stick into the dough. Cut the dough in half lengthwise, and stack one on top of the other. Cut the stack into 6 even pieces. Place the stacks upright in the bread pan, long-side down. Sprinkle any crumbs/chocolate that fall off over the pieces in the pan. Cover and let rise 30-35 minutes, until just risen to the top of the pan. While the dough rises, preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bake the risen loaf 30 minutes. Sprinkle the cup of mini marshmallows over the top, and return to the oven 3-5 minutes until lightly browned. Cool in the pan 10 minutes, then remove from the pan to cool on a wire rack. Melt the remaining chocolate bar and drizzle over the loaf, then serve.

 

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Strawberry Curd (and Neapolitan-ish Cake!)

I’d been curious about making a non-citrus curd for years, and luckily with just one extra step, it turns out to be super simple! What you do with it then is wiiiide open!

Ingredients:

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup caster sugar
  • 5 tablespoons butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup strawberry puree

If you can’t find caster sugar, wizz some regular sugar around in your food processor to create it. To create the strawberry puree, wash and de-stem strawberries, process in a food processor until smooth. Continue until you have 1/2 cup.

Combine the egg yolks and caster sugar in a medium saucepan and whisk until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is creamy.

Add the butter and strawberry puree and place over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture nearly comes to a boil (you may need to raise the heat to medium, once the butter has melted). Once the mixture coats the back of a spoon, so that a finger drawn through leaves a solid line that isn’t filled back in with drips, remove from the heat.

Close, not quite there yet.

If storing long-term, place in hot, sterilized jars. If you’re going to use it promptly, just put it in something clean!

I turned mine into the center of a Neapolitan cake. I baked a plain pound cake (but it wasn’t the most exciting pound cake, so I’m not going to waste your time with that recipe), let the cake cool completely, then sliced it in half, spread about half the strawberry curd in the center, put the top of the cake back on, and topped with most of a jar of fudge sauce. Yum.

Strawberry Curd

From Cook (almost) Anything at Least Once.

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup caster sugar
  • 5 tablespoons butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup strawberry puree

If you can’t find caster sugar, wizz some regular sugar around in your food processor to create it. To create the strawberry puree, wash and de-stem strawberries, process in a food processor until smooth. Continue until you have 1/2 cup.

Combine the egg yolks and caster sugar in a medium saucepan and whisk until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is creamy. Add the butter and strawberry puree and place over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture nearly comes to a boil. Once the mixture coats the back of a spoon, remove from the heat.

If storing long-term, place in hot, sterilized jars. If you’re going to use it promptly, just put it in something clean!

 

 

120mls strawberry puree
4 egg yolks
120 grams caster sugar
70 grams butter, cut into small cubes

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Blackberry Ribs

I haven’t cooked ribs often, but apparently that should change, as these are Very Good, and not too tricky! They are sweet, fruity, just baaarely spicy, and a delicious mess to eat. The original recipe was for spare ribs, and I only saw pork back ribs, but the ones I got were BOGO, and I just might make this recipe a second time with the second rack!

The very definition of OH, RIGHT! VEGETABLES!

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds spare rib or 2 pounds pork back ribs
  • 2 cups fresh blackberries
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ginger powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha, or your favorite hot sauce (I used gochujang – it’s a good move)

Preheat oven to 400. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, garlic, and salt, and stir to mix.

Rub the mixture all over both sides of the ribs.

Place the ribs meat-side-up on the lined sheet, and bake 50 minutes for spare ribs, 70 for pork back ribs.

While the ribs cook, combine the berries, ketchup, syrup, ginger, vinegar, and hot sauce in a blender and blend until smooth. (An immersion blender is fine here too, as would be a food processor.)

color-check: black berries blend up red

Pour the mixture through a strainer into a saucepan, using a spatula to squeeze the juice through and leave behind the seeds.

Good riddance!

Cook the liquid over medium-high heat for 10 minutes, stirring constantly once it begins to bubble. Set the mixture aside to cool.

And bubble it does…

Once the ribs have cooked their 50 or 70 minutes, remove them from the oven. Pour about 1/3 of the berry mixture into a separate cup and brush both sides of the meat all over with the sauce. (You can use more than 1/3 now, you’re just trying to avoid sticking a brush that’s touched potentially-undercooked meat back into sauce that you’ll eat without additional cooking – food safety!)

Turn the sauced ribs meat side up again, and bake an additional 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and cut into pieces, brush with some more sauce, and serve with the remainder for dipping.

Very yum!

Blackberry Ribs

From Schooner Farms.

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds spare rib or 2 pounds pork back ribs
  • 2 cups fresh blackberries
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ginger powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha, gochujang, or other hot sauce

Preheat oven to 400. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, garlic, and salt, and stir to mix. Rub the mixture all over both sides of the ribs. Place the ribs meat-side-up on the lined sheet, and bake 50 minutes for spare ribs, 70 for pork back ribs.

While the ribs cook, combine the berries, ketchup, syrup, ginger, vinegar, and hot sauce in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour the mixture through a strainer into a saucepan, using a spatula to squeeze the juice through and leave behind the seeds. Cook the liquid over medium-high heat for 10 minutes, stirring constantly once it begins to bubble. Set the mixture aside to cool.

Once the ribs have cooked their 50 or 70 minutes, remove them from the oven. Pour about 1/3 of the berry mixture into a separate cup and brush both sides of the meat all over with the sauce. Turn the sauced ribs meat side up again, and bake an additional 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cut into pieces, brush with some more sauce, and serve with the remainder for dipping.

 

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Crock Pot Creamy Spaghetti Squash with Peas and Bacon

This is basically the spaghetti squash/crock pot version of spaghetti carbonara, and it’s totally good! It’s one of those semi-rare crock pot recipes that you can’t just plop in and come back to in 8-10 hours, but I’ll give some tips for adjusting the timing a bit at the end.

So many peas, my mom is hating this from afar!

Ingredients:

  • 1 spaghetti squash, about 5 pounds
  • 1 cup water
  • 5 slices of bacon, diced
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen peas
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup powdered Parmesan cheese, plus extra for topping

Stab the spaghetti squash all over with a fork. Place the squash and the cup of water in the crock pot. Cover, and cook on high for 3 hours.

While the squash cooks, cook the bacon. You don’t need to get it fully crispy – it will cook further in the crock pot.

When the 3 hours are up, remove the squash from the crock pot, leaving the water in the crock. Cut the squash in half. Working around the seeds, scoop out the spaghetti strands and put them back in the crock pot.

Add the bacon, peas, cream cheese, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook an additional 45-60 minutes.

Stir in the Parmesan, then cover and cook an additional 15 minutes, until the cheese has had a chance to melt. Serve with a bit more cheese, if desired, and enjoy.

 

If you want something you can do within an hour and a half after you’re home from work, you can cook the squash the night before, and combine the squash, bacon, peas, cream cheese, salt and pepper in the fridge overnight. The next day, cook for a full hour, then add the cheese and cook the remaining 15 minutes. I recommend combining them in a separate bowl, rather than the crock pot crock. While you could keep the mixture in the fridge in the crock (I actually checked the crock pot website and they’re ok with crocks going straight from the fridge into the heater part) it will add a fair amount to your cook time if the crock needs to come from cold to hot as well.

Once it’s made, leftovers nuke back up just fine.

Crock Pot Creamy Spaghetti Squash with Peas and Bacon

From Cooktop Cove.

  • 1 spaghetti squash, about 5 pounds
  • 1 cup water
  • 5 slices of bacon, diced
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen peas
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup powdered Parmesan cheese, plus extra for topping

Stab the spaghetti squash all over with a fork. Place the squash and the cup of water in the crock pot. Cover, and cook on high for 3 hours. While the squash cooks, cook the bacon.

When the 3 hours are up, remove the squash from the crock pot, leaving the water in the crock. Cut the squash in half. Working around the seeds, scoop out the spaghetti strands and put them back in the crock pot.  Add the bacon, peas, cream cheese, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook an additional 45-60 minutes.

Stir in the Parmesan, then cover and cook an additional 15 minutes, until the cheese has had a chance to melt. Serve with a bit more cheese, if desired, and enjoy.

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BBQ Chicken Pot Pie

Combining everything good, with not-a-ton of hands-on time? Sign me up! This makes a lot of food for a single person to eat alone, but I have enjoyed the challenge.

Ingredients:

Chicken Layer:

  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 3/4 cup smoky flavored BBQ sauce
  • 1 (8.6 ounce) can BBQ beans (the recipe is adapted from one by Bush’s baked beans, and they do have those smaller sized cans)
  • 1 14.5 ounce can fire-roasted corn

Cornbread Layer:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 3/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 cups coarsely ground yellow cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided

Around 2 hours before you want to eat, preaheat your toaster oven (or real oven) to 400 degrees. Seal the chicken breasts in foil (one large packet is fine), and place on a pan. Cook for 50 minutes.

When the chicken is most of the way cooked, combine the butter, eggs, honey, and buttermilk from the cornbread in a medium bowl and whisk well to break up the eggs.

Add the cornmeal, salt, and baking soda and powder and whisk well to break up any chunks of cornmeal. Stir in 1 cup of the cheese. Set aside.

When the chicken is cooked through, transfer to a medium bowl and shred using 2 forks.

2 of the 3 already shredded.

While you shred the chicken, preheat your oven (if it’s not already warm) to 350 degrees. Stir in the BBQ sauce, beans, and corn.

Spread the chicken mixture evenly in a 9×13″ casserole dish.

Whisk the cornbread mixture up again quickly, then pour evenly on top of the chicken mixture.

Bake 30-40 minutes, until the cornbread is cooked through. Mine looked golden, but was still pretty jiggly at 30, and had set up and was done at 35.

Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup cheese over the hot cornbread, then serve.

BBQ Chicken Pot Pie

Adapted from Bush’s Beans and the Gluten Free on a Shoestring Cookbook.

Chicken Layer:

  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 3/4 cup smoky flavored BBQ sauce
  • 1 (8.6 ounce) can BBQ beans (the recipe is adapted from one by Bush’s baked beans, and they do have those smaller sized cans)
  • 1 14.5 ounce can fire-roasted corn

Cornbread Layer:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 3/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 cups coarsely ground yellow cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided

Around 2 hours before you want to eat, preaheat your toaster oven (or real oven) to 400 degrees. Seal the chicken breasts in foil, and place on a pan. Cook for 50 minutes.

When the chicken is most of the way cooked, combine the butter, eggs, honey, and buttermilk from the cornbread in a medium bowl and whisk well to break up the eggs. Add the cornmeal, salt, and baking soda and powder and whisk well to break up any chunks of cornmeal. Stir in 1 cup of the cheese. Set aside.

When the chicken is cooked through, transfer to a medium bowl and shred using 2 forks. While you shred the chicken, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Stir in the BBQ sauce, beans, and corn.

Spread the chicken mixture evenly in a 9×13″ casserole dish. Whisk the cornbread mixture up again quickly, then pour evenly on top of the chicken mixture. Bake 30-40 minutes, until the cornbread is cooked through.

Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup cheese over the hot cornbread, then serve.

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