Anyone Hungry?

Ideas, suggestions and thoughts on my favorite topic.

Lemon Poppy Seed Poundcake Muffins February 28, 2009

Filed under: Baking — lindsayrose @ 10:18 pm

Way back in the summertime, my Mom had a wonderful bridal shower for me in NY.  There were tons and tons of tasty treats at that shower, but one of my favorites was the poppy seed  muffins.  They were so dense and moist – and absolutely delicious.  I love muffins because they are pretty much a cupcake, but have a bit of a better reputation as far as the health stuff goes.  I am not sure that they always deserve it, but you can have a little less guilt for eating a muffin than you can for eating a cupcake!

 

I had my Mom send me the recipe for these muffins and in the busyness of the wedding season, the recipe got tossed to the side.  Just the other day when I was going through one of my piles of papers, I came across this recipe.  I decided to make it today and I’m so glad I did.  I am sending a care package to a friend, so I made a dozen mini muffins to include in that and then 6 regular sized muffins for us.  The house smells great, and while the muffins are still too hot to test, the smell (and ok, I’m guilty, the taste of the batter) lead me to believe that they are going to be just wonderful.

 

I did make a little change to the recipe.  They were originally just plain ol’ poppy seed muffins, but I decided to add a little zing and make them lemon poppyseed muffins.  Instead of a teaspoon of vanilla extract, I added about 3/4 teaspoon pure lemon extract and about 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract.  I also used vanilla yogurt instead of plain – just because I like it better.

 

Lemon Poppy Seed Poundcake Muffins

2 cups all purpose flour

3 teaspoons poppy seeds

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter

2 eggs

1 cup plain (or vanilla) yogurt

1 teaspoon pur vanilla extract (or a combination of lemon and vanilla)

 

In a small bowl, stir together flour, poppy seeds, salt and baking soda.  IN large bowl, cream together sugar and butter.  Beat in eggs, one at a time.  Beat in yogurt and vanilla until well blended.  Stir in flour mixture until mostened throughly.  Spoon batter into greased muffin tins and bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool muffins on wire rack 5 minutes before serving.

Yield:  12 muffins

 

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup February 20, 2009

Filed under: Comfort Foods,Entrees,Soups — lindsayrose @ 3:34 am

Oh my goodness, this was delicious.  I haven’t written in forever.  This is due to many reasons, one of which is that I just haven’t been all that inspired.  Life has been very hectic, so we haven’t been testing out as many new recipes.  The ones that we’ve had recently that seemed worth writing about were ones that I had already written about!  One of the great things about this blog is that I can easily go back and find recipes that we loved and make them again.

 

Tonight, I wanted to try something new, I was in the mood to cook!  I went to allrecipes.com and the recipe for Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup was the main recipe on the front page.  It had 5 stars with almost 500 reviews, so I figured it must be good.  The ingredients seemed simple enough and it sounded tasty.

 

Well, it wasn’t just tasty, it was super delicious.  I already can’t wait for lunch tomorrow so that I can fill up all over again on the leftovers.    Below is the recipe, in italics is what I did differently.  Many of these changes are ones that I read in the reviews for the recipe.

INGREDIENTS (Nutrition)

  • 4 cups chicken broth (I added 2 extra because I used a lot of chicken)
  • 2 cups water (I added an extra 3/4 cup to balance out the extra broth)
  • 2 cooked, boneless chicken breast halves, shredded (We had a huge pack, so we used 3 large breasts, which I simmered in chicken broth to cook before shredding)
  • 1 (4.5 ounce) package quick cooking long grain and wild rice with seasoning packet  (I used Uncle Bens 6 oz box)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 cups heavy cream (I used 1 cup heavy cream and 1 cup skim milk)
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 8 oz fresh mushrooms

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large pot over medium heat, combine broth, water and chicken. Bring just to boiling, then stir in rice, reserving seasoning packet. Cover and remove from heat.
  2. Saute garlic, onion, carrots and mushrooms until tender.  Add to broth mixture just before removing it from the heat.
  3. In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper and flour. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in contents of seasoning packet until mixture is bubbly. Reduce heat to low, then stir in flour mixture by tablespoons, to form a roux. Whisk in cream/milk mixture, a little at a time, until fully incorporated and smooth. Cook until thickened, 5 minutes.
  4. Stir cream mixture into broth and rice. Cook over medium heat until heated through, 10 to 15 minutes.

Even though I added more liquid, I didn’t add more flour because it was thickened due to the extra vegetables.  While it was finishing cooking, I wasn’t sure it would be thick enough, but once I removed it from the heat and let it cool a bit it thickend up just perfectly.

This was fairly simple and well worth the little effort it did take. This was such a good soup, definitely going into my favorites!  We served it with a Caesar salad.

 

The Best Pizza Ever February 3, 2009

Filed under: Entrees,Uncategorized — lindsayrose @ 5:33 am

Tonight, we used our leftover Broccoli Pesto and made pizza.  It was incredibly easy, and tasted better than most pizzas I’ve ordered anytime recently (nothing against NC, but it just isn’t easy to find really good pizza).  I cheated and bought the pizza dough, but I am surprised by how good the Pillsbury pizza dough is.  Not as good as homemade, but a pretty good alternative when you don’t have the time to roll out your own.

 

I spread the pizza dough on a cookie sheet and spread about a cup or so of the broccoli pesto on top of the crust.  I put 4-5 tablespoons of red sauce on top and spread that around.  That was topped with shredded mozzarella and a few chunks of provolone here and there.  We topped it with chopped roasted red peppers, some chunks of chicken tenders (Ross cooked up about 1/2 lb of them and seasoned them just a little bit, then we cut them up), and some sauteed baby bella mushrooms.  A little more cheese was sprinkled on top along with a dusting of Parmesan.  It baked for about 12 minutes and came out perfectly.  We decided we could eat this every night this week and be just fine with that.  The zesty garlic and fresh taste of the pesto along with the roasted red peppers and mushrooms made it taste extra good,and made it a little extra healthy, too!

I have a feeling this pesto is going to be a new addiction in our house.

**We wrung out the roasted red peppers and mushrooms in a cooking towel before topping them on the pizza so that the water from the veggies wouldn’t make the pizza soggy.

 

Broccoli Pesto February 1, 2009

Filed under: Appetizers,Vegetarian — lindsayrose @ 9:51 pm

During the holidays, I pulled out the Southern Living Christmas 2007 cookbook that my mother and father-in-law gave me for Christmas last year.  As soon as I pulled it out, I regretted that I had it stashed away during the year.  Yes, this cookbook (and I am assuming each year’s edition) has many holiday recipes in it suitable for entertaining a large crowd on a special day, but it also has tons of great recipes that could be used all year round.  As I looked through it for my cookie recipe that I needed that day, I flagged some pages that had recipes on them that I wanted to try.

Today, I pulled it out to look for a cookie bar recipe.  Although I didn’t end up choosing a cookie bar recipe from the book, I did run across one of my flagged recipes, the one for Broccoli Pesto.  I love  pesto.  I love it on bread, tossed with pasta, on my pizza, as a condiment, etc.  This variation, using broccoli instead of basil, really intrigued me.  I love basil, but thought the idea of using broccoli was interesting.  It has the same pretty color and is even healthier than regular pesto.  I made it to bring to a Superbowl party this afternoon, and I plan on stashing some aside to make pizza with this week.  The cookbook suggests either spreading it on a crusty baguette, tossing it with hot, cooked pasta or using in place of (or in addition to) red sauce on a pizza.

Although I am taking it with me this afternoon, I felt it was my responsibility to give it a taste test before I subjected everyone to it.  Oooooh, it is yummy.  This one will be served at my house often.  It was very quick and easy to make, too (as long as you have a food processor).

 

Broccoli Pesto

12 oz fresh broccoli florets, rinsed and drained

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1/8 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

1/3 cup finely grated fresh Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted (to toast, I just put them in the skillet after I emptied out the garlic mixture and cooked over medium heat for a few minutes, stirring now and then. As my food network junkie husband told me, they’ll let you know when they are done… when they become fragrant).

1/3 cup chicken broth (or veggie to make vegetarian)

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

Garnish:  toasted pine nuts

Toasted or grilled baguette slices

 

Place broccoli in a large bowl; cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high 8 minutes, or until tender.  (Be careful of the steam when you take it out!  Pierce the plastic wrap first to allow the steam to escape.  I have burnt myself on steam before and hurt worse than any other burn I’ve given myself).  Drain and transfer to a food processor. 

While broccoli cooks, heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat.  Add garlic and crushed red pepper; saute 2 minutes or until garlic is lightly browned.  Add garlic mixture, Parmesan cheese, and next 4 ingredients to food processor; process until smooth.  Cover and refrigerate up to 2 days.  Garnish, if desired.  Serve pesto with baguette slices.

Yield:  2 cups

1 tablespoon = 49 calories and 3.4 grams of fat