Baked Oatmeal

I was looking for something new, easy, and healthy for breakfast.  This is it.  I make it all the time because Catie is a huge fan as well.  Except she doesn’t like the cranberries so I have to pick them out for her (“I don’t like cranberries because they make me red”).  Oh well, more for me!

Baked Oatmeal

Baked Oatmeal Recipe

(8 servings)

Dry ingredients:
2 cups old fashion oats
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Wet ingredients:
2 1/2 cups sliced fruit (I use 1/2 c cranberries and 2c sliced apples)
1 cup milk
1 cup plain yogurt
2 eggs
1/4 cup maple syrup, honey, brown sugar, or sugar (I use brown sugar, and I’ve been using less and less each time just to see how much of a difference it makes)

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray nonstick spray on a 8×8 baking dish (or equivalent). Mix dry ingredients and then mix in wet ingredients. Spoon into pan and cover with foil. Bake for 20 minutes, remove foil, and bake for another 25 minutes until golden brown.

Enjoy hot, cold, or room temperature. If well covered, this will keep in the fridge for one week.

For one serving using low fat milk and yogurt = 170 calories, 3.6 g fat, 27.6 g carbohydrates, 7.1 g protein, 3.1 g fiber, 163 mg sodium, 4 PointsPlus

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Published in: on April 27, 2012 at 11:08 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Spaghetti and Meatballs

While making the weekly menu I asked Catie for her input.  She responded with “Spaghetti and Meatballs!”  And she was just that enthusiastic.  Okay.  John and I aren’t meatball lovers (unless they come from Ikea), and I’ve never even tried to make them before, so I turned to Tastespotting.com for inspiration.  Pinned maybe 4-5 recipes to Pinterest to try, and as luck would have it, the first one I tried was the best one ever and I’ll never need to try another recipe.  It’s that good.  

Oven-Roasted Spaghetti and Meatballs

For the Sauce

1  28-oz can whole tomatoes (I didn’t have that on hand, so I used a can of organic tomato sauce and 14oz of chunky tomato and basil spaghetti sauce from a jar I’d already opened)
1  14-oz diced tomatoes
1 medium onion, chopped
3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp crushed red pepper
a good handful of chopped fresh basil

Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
1 lb. spaghetti
Parmesan cheese for mixing and serving

For the Meatballs
1 ½ lbs ground meat (I used a pound of ground beef and a 12oz package of mild Italian bulk sausage)
½ cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
½ cup finely chopped onion
1 egg, slightly beaten
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
1 ½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp fresh ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 425.

Place the sauce ingredients in an 11 x 13 roasting or baking pan, breaking up the tomatoes with your hands.  Mix to combine all the ingredients.

Combine the meatballs ingredients and form into ball about the size of a golf ball and place on top of the sauce ingredients.  Drizzle with a few tablespoons of the olive oil and a sprinkling or grated parmesan or pecorino romano cheese.

Place in a preheated oven and bake for about 40-45 minutes, turning the meatballs about halfway through.

While the sauce and meatballs are cooking, cook the spaghetti in lots of boiling, salted water until al dente (about a minute less than indicated on the package).  Drain, but do not rinse.

Remove the roasting pan from the oven and remove the meatballs from the pan, but keep warm.  Puree the sauce ingredients using an immersion blender or a regular blender or food processor.  If using a regular blender, you will want to do this in 2 batches.  Return the pureed sauce to the roasting pan and add the spaghetti.  Stir to combine, mixing in additional parmesan cheese.

Serve with the meatballs and more grated parmesan as desired.

Published in: on April 27, 2012 at 11:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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*blows off dust*

Okay, it’s been a while.  My kid is 2.5 years older.  I’m 10lbs fatter.  We have a new house in a somewhat new community.  I like cooking less than I used to, mainly because it takes longer with a 4-year-old underfoot and “helping” and I don’t like cleaning up.  Cooking with a 4-year-old does have its moments though.  She’s hilarious and she loves trying ingredients and it’s fun to watch her mix up ingredients.  Makes it significantly more challenging to do complex recipes like coq au vin though, so I tend to go with easier recipes now.  Anyway, I’m back with new recipes.  Yay.

Published in: on April 27, 2012 at 10:52 pm  Leave a Comment  

Spaghetti “Bolognese”

I’ve been making an effort to cut back on our meat consumption but sometimes I really really want a meat-based dish. It was rainy today and looked cool (even though it was still around 85), but it got me in the mood for Spag Bol. One problem: no meat in the house. No meat? No problem…. maybe. So here’s my improvised vegetarian Spaghetti “Bolognese”.

1 package extra firm tofu
1/2 an onion chopped fine
2 cloves of garlic chopped fine
mushrooms (I probably used 1/4 of a pound? I’ve no idea) chopped fine
jar of sauce (I always have Barilla Marinara on hand)
spaghetti

Slice the tofu in half horizontally and place between paper towels to drain the excess moisture. I put my cast iron Dutch Oven on top to really squeeze out the water. Takes about 30 min or so.

Sprinkle tofu with salt and pepper. Put about a tsp of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and put in the tofu. Fry on both sides till it’s a nice tannish brown, about 3min/side. Remove from pan.

Heat about a Tbsp of butter in the pan and saute the onions, garlic, and mushrooms till softened, about 5min or so. Chop up the tofu and then add it back in to absorb some of the flavor for another 5min or so. Add in the spaghetti sauce.

Let the sauce simmer while the pasta cooks. When the pasta’s done, just spoon the sauce on top.

Things I would do differently next time: Marinate the tofu for a few minutes in olive oil and garlic for a flavor boost, and chop it more finely than I did today.

Published in: on September 8, 2010 at 12:51 am  Leave a Comment  
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Kimchi burritos

Here it is… my round-eye bastardized version of my friend Jamie’s kimchi burritos.  Hers still put mine to absolute shame, though.  Mainly because it’s hard to find good quality asian ingredients here.  She lives in Irvine and has an insane amount of asian markets to choose from; korean markets, japanese markets, etc.  Here?  We have an asian market.  In Plano.  I used to go weekly but now it’s a 40 minute drive, so I only go once a month or so to stock up on a gallon of soy sauce, 10lb bag of botan rice, and kimchi (of which they only have one kind.  Jamie’s korean market has like 20.  bitch.)

ANYWAY.

Marinade (adapted from Jamiesan’s Spam Musubi marinade)

  • 1 cup low-sodium soy sauce)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 bunch of scallions diced
  • 2 tablespoons ginger shredded
  • 2 teaspoon sesame seed oil
  • 1 serrano pepper minced (if you don’t like spicy don’t use this)
  • a pound or so meat cut into 1″ (bite sized) pieces.  I’ve been using boneless, skinless chicken thighs lately, but that’s because I’ve been avoiding red meat.  I do love short rib though.  Short rib is freaking good.
  1. In a medium sized bowl mix soy sauce, sugar and stir until sugar is dissolved.
  2. add garlic, scallions, ginger, pepper, and sesame seed oil to the marinade and stir to mix together.
  3. either add the meat in the bowl and let marinate, or pour it all in a large ziploc bag to marinate.
  4. let marinate for a few hours.  I’ll let it go anywhere from 2-3 hours to overnight.
  5. stir fry until done (alternatively you could leave the meat whole and grill it; that’s pretty tasty too)

Burritos

Make some rice (I have a rice cooker so all I do is add water, rice, and push a button).

I have two ways of doing the burritos themselves: the full-on version and the quick and easy version.  The full-on version involves chopping up some kimchi, scallions, ginger, and garlic and then adding it to rice in a hot pan with some soy sauce and sesame oil and making a quick version of kimchi fried rice.  The easy version (when I’m lazy) is just to use the rice as is.  Slap some rice, meat, and kimchi on a tortilla.  Roll it up.  Eat it.  Then repeat because one is NEVER enough.

Published in: on March 24, 2010 at 3:05 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Cream Cheese Pound Cake

I had a bunch of awesome girls over for brunch today so I thought I’d try out something new. Enter: Cream Cheese Pound Cake.  Sooooo good!  I think I’m going to have to do brunch again next month, mainly because I want to make this again and if  I don’t have people to help me with it I’ll eat it all by myself.  No lie.  Because all I’ve had for dinner tonight is leftover cake.  

The “strawberry coulis” was okay, but it’s not really my style; the cake is better off without it in my opinion.  However, pour a little bit into a glass and add champagne and it’s FAB!

Cream Cheese Pound Cake with Strawberry Coulis

Ingredients:
For the cake
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 (8 oz.) package Philadelphia cream cheese, at room temperature
3 cups sugar
6 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt

For the strawberry coulis:
2 cups quartered, hulled strawberries (about 12 oz.)
1/4 cup water
3 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Directions: 
To make the cake, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Butter and flour a bundt pan or tube pan (line the bottom with parchment if using a tube pan).  Combine the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Beat on medium speed until smooth.  Add the sugar, increase the speed to high, and beat until light and airy, at least 5 minutes.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Mix in the vanilla and almond extracts.  Add in the flour and salt and mix until just incorporated.

Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.  Bake until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean, about 75 minutes.  Place the pan on a wire rack and allow to cool for about 20 minutes.  Remove the cake from the pan and allow to cool completely.  Serve at room temperature.

To make the strawberry coulis, combine the strawberries, water, sugar and lemon juice in a food processor or blender.  Puree until very smooth, then press through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds.  Cover and refrigerate until cold.  Serve with slices of pound cake. 

Published in: on May 14, 2009 at 1:42 am  Comments (1)  
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Risotto with Porcini Mushrooms and Mascarpone Cheese

I’m a sucker for a good risotto.  I love you, creamy, cheesy, savory goodness!  My favorite one is in the Jamie Oliver Italy cookbook, and it’s full of cheesy buttery fat; so bad for me, yet SO good!  I saw this one in an old Cooking Light and thought I’d give it a go, and while it’s not quite as good as my bad-for-you favorite, it’s definitely a close second.  And much better for me!

Risotto wiht Porcini Mushrooms and Mascarpone Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2  cups  boiling water
  • 1/2  cup  dried porcini mushrooms (about 1/2 ounce)
  • 1  (14-ounce) can less-sodium beef broth
  • Cooking spray
  • 1  cup  uncooked Arborio rice or other short-grain rice
  • 3/4  cup  chopped shallots
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2  cup  dry white wine
  • 1/4  cup  (2 ounces) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/4  cup  (1 ounce) mascarpone cheese
  • 1  tablespoon  chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

Combine boiling water and mushrooms; let stand 10 minutes or until soft. Drain through a colander over a bowl. Reserve 1 1/4 cups soaking liquid, and chop mushrooms.

Bring soaking liquid and broth to a simmer in a small saucepan (do not boil). Keep broth mixture warm over low heat.

Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add rice, shallots, and garlic; sauté 5 minutes. Add wine, and cook until liquid evaporates (about 2 minutes).

Add 1 cup broth mixture to rice mixture; cook over medium heat 5 minutes or until the liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring occasionally. Add remaining broth mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring occasionally until each portion of broth mixture is absorbed before adding the next (about 25 minutes total). Add mushrooms, cheeses, thyme, salt, and pepper; stir gently just until the cheese melts. Serve warm.

Nutritional Information

Calories:
198 (28% from fat)
Fat:
6.1g (sat 3.2g,mono 1g,poly 0.3g)
Protein:
8.9g
Carbohydrate:
27g
Fiber:
1.2g
Cholesterol:
15mg
Iron:
1.9mg
Sodium:
449mg
Calcium:
113mg
Published in: on April 1, 2009 at 2:12 am  Leave a Comment  
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Tom Kha Gai soup

My local Thai place makes a really fab Tom Kha Gai, but I hate having to pay $9 for it.  I found this recipe and thought I’d give it a go, and WOW!  Tasty!!  Grossman loooooved it, too.  Granted, it’s not the healthiest meal ever what with the coconut milk and all, but it’s not like I’m having it every day (although I’d really really like to).  I think that next time I’ll add a little more lime juice and maybe some chili garlic paste to give it a little kick.

Tom Kha Gai

Ingredients

  • 1  can (14 oz.) coconut milk
  • 1  can (14 oz.) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 6  quarter-size slices fresh ginger
  • 1  stalk fresh lemongrass, cut in 1-in. pieces
  • 1  pound  boned, skinned chicken breast or thighs, cut into 1-in. chunks
  • 1  cup  sliced mushrooms
  • 1  tablespoon  fresh lime juice
  • 1  tablespoon  Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce (nuoc mam or nam pla)
  • 1  teaspoon  sugar
  • 1  teaspoon  Thai chili paste
  • 1/4  cup  fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4  cup  fresh cilantro

Preparation

In a medium saucepan, combine coconut milk, broth, ginger, and lemongrass and bring to boil over high heat. Add chicken, mushrooms, lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, and chili paste. Reduce heat and simmer until chicken is firm and opaque, 5 to 10 minutes. Discard lemongrass. Garnish servings with basil and cilantro.

Note: Nutritional analysis is per 1 1/2-cup serving.

Nutritional Information

Calories:
357 (63% from fat)
Protein:
29g
Fat:
25g (sat 19)
Carbohydrate:
7.2g
Fiber:
0.5g
Sodium:
484mg
Cholesterol:
79mg
Published in: on April 1, 2009 at 2:06 am  Comments (1)  
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Fennel and Rosemary Crusted Rack of Lamb

I thought I’d do something special for Valentine’s day, but since my parents were here VDay plans were postponed till now.  And wow, it was worth the wait!  This was my first foray into lamb, and it was so easy and so good it won’t be my last.

Fennel and Rosemary Crusted Rack of Lamb

Ingredients

  • 1  tablespoon  fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1  tablespoon  chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 6  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1  (12-ounce) French-cut rack of lamb, trimmed (6 ribs)
  • Cooking spray
  • Rosemary sprigs (optional)

Preparation

Preheat oven to 475°.

Combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl. Rub lamb evenly with garlic mixture; place on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 475° for 15 minutes or until a thermometer registers 145° (medium-rare) to 160° (medium). Garnish with rosemary sprigs, if desired.

Nutritional Information

Calories:
227 (49% from fat)
Fat:
12.3g (sat 5.5g,mono 5g,poly 0.5g)
Protein:
23.1g
Carbohydrate:
5.2g
Fiber:
1.6g
Cholesterol:
72mg
Iron:
2.8mg
Sodium:
354mg
Calcium:
68mg
Published in: on February 24, 2009 at 2:49 am  Comments (1)  
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Sautéed Chicken Breasts with Balsamic Vinegar Pan Sauce

Damn.  DAMN!  Next time I’m making a double batch because Grossman and I ate the whole thing.  All of it.  And then he licked the plate.  I served this with broccoli and orzo.

Sautéed Chicken Breasts with Balsamic Vinegar Pan Sauce

Yield

4 servings (serving size: 1 breast and 2 tablespoons sauce)

Ingredients

  • 1/2  cup  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2  cup  balsamic vinegar
  • 2  teaspoons  honey
  • 1  tablespoon  butter
  • 1  tablespoon  vegetable oil
  • 4  (5-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (I used a package of boneless, skinless thighs.  I think there were 7 in there)
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4  cup  all-purpose flour
  • 2  tablespoons  finely chopped shallots (didn’t have a shallot on hand so I used red onion)
  • Chopped parsley (optional)

Preparation

Combine broth, vinegar, and honey.

Melt butter and oil in a large nonstick skillet over low heat.

While butter melts, sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Place flour in a shallow dish. Dredge chicken in flour; shake off excess flour.

Increase heat to medium-high; heat 2 minutes or until the butter turns golden brown. Add chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm. Add shallots, and sauté 30 seconds. Add the broth mixture, scraping to loosen browned bits. Bring to a boil, and cook until reduced to 1/2 cup (about 3 minutes). Serve sauce over chicken. Garnish with chopped parsley, if desired.

Nutritional Information

Calories:
269 (27% from fat)
Fat:
8.1g (sat 2.7g,mono 2g,poly 2.5g)
Protein:
34g
Carbohydrate:
13.1g
Fiber:
0.2g
Cholesterol:
90mg
Iron:
1.7mg
Sodium:
331mg
Calcium:
29mg
Published in: on February 4, 2009 at 2:12 am  Comments (2)