Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Yes, another blended soup - Ginger-Pumpkin Bisque

After Saturday's cooking-thon, I really wasn't in the mood for cooking. In fact, I had almost totally lost my appetite. I didn't know what I was going to do! Luckily, I got my appetite back, and forced myself back into the kitchen.

The recipe I made is posted in this thread on the CLBB - http://community.cookinglight.com/showpost.php?p=326854&postcount=10. I had been doing some crazy shopping at Wegman's on Saturday (don't ask me how many bags of baking chips I picked up), and along the way I had bought 2 cans of pumpkin, with an eye towards baking. I decided to go with this bisque to use up some of the fresh ginger I had left in my fridge from buying it for Saturday's cocoa. Plus, it used up some of the cider I have, and the rest of my bottle of maple syrup. In fact, the only thing I had to buy for this recipe was the shallots - love having a well-stocked kitchen! I ended up using 15 ounces of pumpkin, and only 1/4 cup of maple syrup. I think that was a good thing with the syrup - I wouldn't want this soup any sweeter.

The recipe was fairly simple, and blended together to a nice thickness. The flavor wasn't overwhelming pumpkin or ginger, but a nice blend. Altogether a beautiful recipe in flavor and taste, and I could see serving it as a first course for a dinner party. As for me, I like it, but not for an everyday thing. Too rich for my everyday meal, even though I used milk & 1 tbsp of flour as a substitute for the half-and-half (I didn't even have that in the recipe I had!)

Sunday, December 10, 2006

A Crazy Busy Cooking Day...

Saturday is a lazy day for me. With no kids, I sleep in most of the time, and spend the rest of the day reading & watching TV. Really lazy day. But I do motivate myself to cook, most of the time. This weekend I really motivated myself, and made 4 recipes in one night.

First, I made Roasted Red Pepper Spread with Goat Cheese and Herbs. Red peppers, especially homemade ones, are one of my favorite veggies. And when I made the peppers this time they were especially fragrant - when I came home Sunday after shopping, the fragrance was still wafting. The spread was easy to put together, as most of them are - just stick in the food processor, and go. The positive side is that the recipe definitely makes a lot. Plus, it certainly is an attractive color - a pale pink. Unfortunately, it seems a little watery. I do like it well enough, but I want to see how it works with a turkey wrap. I think serving it with rye bread (which is the next recipe) overwhelmed it.

Bread is one of my favorite things. Our family definitely loves carbs, so I really am lucky I chose to lose my weight on Weight Watchers instead of Atkins! The beer I made is originally from Cooking Light, but I sourced the version I made from Culinary in the Desert (linked on the side bar). The recipe came out very nicely - rose beautifully, with a gorgeous flavor and fantastic crust. I really love how it came out, although the rising was not even. I think I did the recipe just right - because my results look just like the ones on CitD! (Saves me from showing my weak pictures again).

The end of the week - and I still had extra WW points left. I wasn't going to let that happen! Ginger Spiced Hot Cocoa, from Food Network, was a way to get in my milk. I've never watched Ellie Krieger's show, but after seeing her cookies on one of the recent holiday specials, I decided to find more of her recipes. This one was easy to put together, of course - who can mess up hot cocoa? I was intrigued by the idea of having a ginger note in the cocoa. Unfortunately, the ginger did not pop in the cocoa. It was plain hot cocoa. Not that there's anything wrong with that! And I can see using the base (without the ginger) as my default cocoa.

Finally, I decided to bake cookies. I didn't want to bake too many - my best friend always has cookies at work on Monday, so I don't like to make it look like I am competing with her. I dusted off my copy of Small Batch Baking, and found Big Blast Oatmeal Cookies. I have to say, out of all four recipes I cooked on Saturday, this was my favorite. Fairly easy to put together, makes two good sized (read - large!) cookies, and they are perfect - nice and chewy. I barely resisted eating both.

So, it was a lazy Saturday, and a quiet Saturday night. The kitchen was clean, the air was fragrant, and I ended the night in a hot bath, with a cup of cocoa, and a fantastic cookie. Life doesn't get any better.


* Exported from MasterCook *

Roasted Red Pepper Spread with Goat Cheese and Herbs

Recipe By :
Serving Size : 12 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories :

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
2 red bell peppers -- roasted, peeled, and seeded, juices reserved
3 ounces goat cheese
1 garlic clove -- peeled
6 basil leaves

Puree the peppers and their juices along with the cheese, garlic, and basil in a food processor until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

"Vegetables Every Day"
"1 cup"

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Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 38 Calories; 3g Fat (59.7% calories from fat); 2g Protein; 2g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 7mg Cholesterol; 25mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1/2 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 1/2 Fat.

Nutr. Assoc. : 0 0 0 0 0 0

* Exported from MasterCook *

Brown Beer Rye Bread

Recipe By :
Serving Size : 10 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories :

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup beer -- warm
1/2 cup Stonyfield Plain Yogurt
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 large egg -- lightly beaten
2 3/4 cups unbleached flour -- divided
1 cup rye flour
4 1/4 teaspoons yeast -- instant
1 large egg white -- lightly beaten
1 teaspoon water

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion and cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Remove and let cool.

In a large bowl, mix together warm beer, yogurt, vinegar, caraway seeds, salt and sugar. Stir in egg until combined.

In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 1/2 cups flour, rye flour and instant yeast. Add to the beer mixture and stir until a soft dough forms. Mix in the cooled onion mixture. Scoop out dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic - add enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking. You want the dough to still feel a bit tacky.

Set dough in a large bowl coated with nonstick spray, turning to coat. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size. The dough is ready when you press two fingers into the dough and the indentation remains. Punch dough down, cover with a towel and let rest for 5 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400

Shape dough into a 12" oval loaf on a lightly floured surface. Place loaf on a piece of parchment (if using a baking stone) or set on a parchment lined baking sheet. Lightly coat surface of loaf with nonstick spray and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled.

In a small bowl, whisk together egg white and water. Use a pastry brush to gently spread the mixture all over the loaf. Bake until golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom - about 25-30 minutes. Remove and let cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.


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Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 192 Calories; 2g Fat (10.5% calories from fat); 7g Protein; 36g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 22mg Cholesterol; 342mg Sodium. Exchanges: 2 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

Nutr. Assoc. : 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

* Exported from MasterCook *

Ginger Spiced Hot Cocoa

Recipe By :
Serving Size : 1 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories :

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
8 ounces 1% low-fat milk
1 piece fresh ginger -- 1/4-inch thick, sliced into 2 rounds
2 teaspoons cocoa powder
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons water
1/8 ounce dark chocolate -- shavings

In a small saucepan heat the milk and ginger over a medium-low heat until scalding, about 4 minutes. While the milk is warming, put cocoa powder and sugar into a mug. Add the water to the mug and stir until the mixture has the consistency of a paste. Remove the ginger from the warmed milk. Add the chocolate mixture to the milk and whisk until slightly frothy. Pour the hot chocolate into the mug and top with chocolate shavings.


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Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 169 Calories; 4g Fat (20.7% calories from fat); 9g Protein; 27g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 9mg Cholesterol; 119mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 1 Non-Fat Milk; 1 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.

Nutr. Assoc. : 0 0 0 0 0 0

* Exported from MasterCook *

Big Blast Oatmeal Cookies

Recipe By :
Serving Size : 2 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories :

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
3 tablespoons unbleached flour
3 tablespoons rolled oats
3 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
pinch ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter -- at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/3 tablespoons egg -- well-beaten, or egg substitute
3 tablespoons raisins

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.

Place the flour, oats, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a medium-size mixing bowl and stir with a fork to blend. Add the butter and vanilla, and blend with the fork until moist crumbs form. Add the beaten egg and blend it in with the fork, or with your fingers, until a stiff dough forms. Use your hands to mix in the raisins.

Divide the dough in half and place the halves 4 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet (the cookies will spread during baking). Bake the cookies until they are lightly browned, about 20 minutes.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and transfer the parchment to a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes. Then gently peel the cookies off the parchment, place them on the rack, and let them cool completely.

"Small Batch Baking"

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Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 275 Calories; 10g Fat (32.9% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 43g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 72mg Cholesterol; 231mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 1/2 Fruit; 2 Fat; 1 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.

Nutr. Assoc. : 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Monday, December 04, 2006

Enh - Black Soybean and Butternut Squash Stew

Trying something new! The wonders of having a Wegman's next to work - a wide array of organic foods! I was thrilled to find canned black soybeans. I'd seen two recipes with these as an ingredient, and since I love black beans, I thought I'd see if I could love black soybeans, to get that extra nutrition.

It's filling! I was able to eat it for lunch and dinner and not have any hunger issues.

The color. As you can see from the picture, the butternut squash, the red peppers, and the black beans mix very nicely. Although the beans didn't hold the dramatic color of true black beans.

A good amount of veggies, which is always a positive. Always happy to make recipes with bell peppers.

Just not that exciting flavor. Even as leftovers, left to "meld" as it were, it didn't excite. Not repulsive - just not fantastic. But then again, the fact that I'm used to regular black beans probably spoiled me. The soybeans just didn't have the same depth of flavor and meaty texture.

Maybe I need to start adding more salt to my recipes. My blood pressure is so low, it could use the additional sodium. Not many people can say that! I'm just not a big salt person - I prefer pepper.

So, the 3 leftover servings go in the freezer, will be lunches in the future, but will not be repeated. But maybe someone else's experience will be different.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Black Soybean and Butternut Squash Stew

Recipe By :
Serving Size : 6 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories :

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 large red onion -- diced
1 red bell pepper -- seeded and diced
1 garlic clove -- minced
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/4 pounds butternut squash -- cut in 1 1/2" cubes
30 ounces canned black soybeans
16 ounces low-sodium vegetable stock

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Saute the onion and pepper until the onion is translucent, 4 minutes. Mix in the garlic, cumin, and paprika, cooking until they are fragrant, 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato paste.

Add the squash, beans, and vegetable broth. When the liquid boils, reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the squash is tender, 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

"12 Best Foods Cookbook"

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Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 230 Calories; 10g Fat (36.0% calories from fat); 16g Protein; 24g Carbohydrate; 11g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 101mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 1/2 Fat.

Nutr. Assoc. : 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0