Saturday, June 30, 2012

Enchiladas for All

I've been wanting to make enchiladas for a while but D kept saying that he didn't like the sauce.  I've been looking for recipes despite this! 

Well, I came across a recipe for beef enichiladas with zucchini in the filling - compromise is key here!  D likes ground beef, I don't really...I like zucchini, D doesn't really. 
We'll just have both!  Along with this recipe was a recipe for homemade enchilada sauce that "doesn't taste like the metallic store-bought sauce."  Hmmmm....ingredients were all things that D likes.  I decided to give it a whirl. 
Now, the recipe calls for you to mix the beef and zucchini together; but, because of our differing tastes, I just decided to put the components together individually.  This gives you the ability to make each enchilada with more or less of a certain ingredient.  I made D's with more beef and less zucchini and mine just the opposite.
 Miss K ended up picking out the filling and eating it without the tortilla (and then later wouldn't eat the filling of quesadillas but only at the tortilla...go figure!).  I'd say it was a successful try at enchiladas that could be repeated.

Beef and Zucchini Enchiladas from Recipe Girl
1 pound lean ground beef
1 1/2 cups diced onion
1 1/2 cups (about 2 medium) finely diced zucchini
12 corn tortillas, slightly heated to soften
2 1/2 cups enchilada sauce (see below for recipe!)
About 1 cup cheese
Serve as desired.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9x13-inch pan with nonstick spray.

Heat a large skillet. Add ground beef; break apart with a spoon or spatula to crumble the meat. Saute the meat on medium heat until browned (about 5 minutes). Tilt the pan and spoon the fat out of the pan; discard. Remove cooked meat to a bowl.

Return pan to medium heat and add onion and zucchini. Saute until just soft.  Now you're ready to prepare the enchiladas.

Add 1/2 cup of sauce to the prepared 13X9 pan. Spread it around so it coats the entire bottom of the pan.
Place tortilla on a work surface. Spoon the desired amounts of meat and zucchini on top of the tortilla. Sprinkle a small amount of cheese the meat and zucchini. Drizzle 1 Tablespoon of sauce on top. Wrap the tortilla around the filling tightly and place it seam-side-down in the pan. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling until you have finished filling 12 tortillas. Place the tortillas side-by-side in the pan- it's okay if they are all snuggled in there tightly. Pour remaining enchilada sauce over the top of the stuffed enchiladas. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes.

Remove pan from the oven and take off the foil. Sprinkle1/2 cup cheese on top; return to the oven and let the cheese melt (about 5 minutes).  Serve immediately with desired condiments.  Enjoy!

Enchilada Sauce
1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion salt
1/4 teaspoon salt
Heat oil in a large skillet to medium heat. Whisk in flour and chili powder. Reduce heat to medium and continue to whisk until lightly browned. Gradually whisk in tomato sauce, chicken broth, cumin, garlic powder, onion salt and salt. Stir until smooth, and continue simmering over medium heat about 10 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Serve immediately, or keep in a covered bowl in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Celebration Cake

Ever see those checkerboard cakes and wonder how they were made?  Well, this month for Daring Bakers we made a Battenburg cake, which has a checkerboard-like pattern.

 Mandy of What The Fruitcake?! came to our rescue last minute to present us with the Battenberg Cake challenge! She highlighted Mary Berry’s techniques and recipes to allow us to create this unique little cake with ease.  She chose this cake in honor of the Jubilee celebration in England.  I had a different celebration in mind.  My friend Christina, and fellow resident, was pregnant (she had a beautiful baby girl just two days ago!) and we had a shower for her at work in early June.  PERFECT for this neat cake.  She loves coffee, so I decided to make a coffee/vanilla cake.

  I thought I had some marzipan at home, so I didn't get the needed ingredients for the chocolate plastique...yeah, no!  No marzipan.  So, I sort of had to cheat on the covering...but we'll forget about that.  I used an 8X8 dish and split it with waxed paper.  Somehow, the coffee batter decided it would overtake the vanilla side and, when I checked on the cake, it was quite lopsided.  I was able to straighten it out enough to not matter (notice that the coffee part had three sections and the vanilla two!).
  In the end, I think it turned out well.  Christina was happy with it and D enjoyed it as well.  When I showed my parents, then were quite impressed and thought the cake tasted great!  All in all, it was a good challenge and I might would make the cake again. 

Coffee and Walnut Battenberg:

Servings: +- 8
¾ cup (1½ sticks) Unsalted Butter, softened & cut in cubes
¾ cup Caster Sugar
1¼ cups Self-Raising Flour
 3 Large Eggs, room temp
½ cup Ground Almonds (I used my coffee grinder to grind the almonds!)
3/4 tsp Baking Powder
3 tsp or 1 Tbs (15 ml) Milk
 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1½ tsp Instant Coffee Powder or Granules

To Finish
½ cup (1 stick) 115gm /4 oz Unsalted Butter
2 cups / 225gm /8 oz Powdered (Icing/Confectioners') Sugar
½ tsp / 2 gm Instant Coffee
1½ tsp (7½ ml) Milk or Cream
1 cup / 225gm /8 oz Marzipan, natural or yellow

1. Preheat oven to moderate 350°F/180°C/160°C Fan Assisted/Gas Mark 4
2. Grease an 8”/20cm square baking tin with butter
3. Line the tin with parchment paper, creating a divide in the middle with the parchment (or foil)
- Tip: See photos or watch video above for detailed instructions
4. OR Prepare Battenberg tin by brushing the tin with melted butter and flouring
5. Whisk together dry ingredients (except walnuts and coffee) and combine with the wet ingredients in a large bowl (except vanilla and milk) and beat together just until the ingredients are combined and the batter is smooth
6. Spoon half the mixture into a separate bowl and stir in the vanilla, 1½ teaspoons milk and chopped walnuts
7. Spoon the walnut mixture into the one side of the prepared baking tin
8. Dissolve the coffee in the remaining 1½ teaspoon milk and add to the remaining batter, stir until just combined
9. Spoon the coffee batter into the other half of the prepared baking tin
10. Smooth the surface of the batter with a spatula, making sure batter is in each corner
11. Bake for 25-30mins until the cake is well risen, springs back when lightly touched and a
toothpick comes out clean (it should shrink away from the sides of the pan)
12. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes before turning out to cool thoroughly on a wire rack
13. Once completely cool, trim the edges of the cake with a long serrated knife
14. Cut each sponge in half lengthways so that you are left with four long strips of sponge
15. Neaten the strips and trim as necessary so that your checkered pattern is as neat and even as possible
16. Combine the buttercream ingredients together and mix until combined
17. Spread a thin layer of buttercream onto the strips of cake to stick the cake together in a checkered pattern (one yellow next to one pink. On top of that, one pink next to one yellow)
- Tip: See photos for detailed instructions
18. Dust a large flat surface with icing sugar then roll the marzipan in an oblong shape that is wide enough to cover the length of the cake and long enough to completely wrap the cake
19. Spread the top of the cake with a thin layer of buttercream
20. Place the cake on the marzipan, buttercream side down
21. Spread buttercream onto the remaining three sides
22. Press the marzipan around the cake, making sure the join is either neatly in the one corner, or will be underneath the cake once turned over
23. Carefully flip the cake over so that the seam is under the cake and score the top of the cake with a knife, you can also crimp the top corners with your fingers to decorate
24. Neaten the ends of the cake and remove excess marzipan by trimming off a small bit of cake on both ends to reveal the pattern

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcake...with Toddlers!

A few weeks ago I kept K while D was on call.  We had fun and went to the Farmer's Market, climbed some hills, found some flowers, then went and got Doc a Father's Day present.  But the big fun was Friday night when we made cupcakes!

 I asked K if she wanted to make cookies or cupcake (hoping for cookies) but she said "We're making CUPCAKES!!!!"

 Thankfully, I had a recipe that I wanted to try from recipe girl.  I mean, cupcakes and cookie dough?  What's not to like.  So, I made the dough before supper; then after, K helped me make the batter. 

She's gotten really good at pouring and breaking eggs. But beware...THIS is what a toddler thinks when they say "But I want to sti-ir!"
  I didn't have any cocoa, so I used unsweetened baking chocolate...4 oz, I believe.   I think the cupcakes turned out really good...and I'm not even a big chocolate fan.  That would fall to D!

 I tried to keep the dough as unbaked (no egg!) as possible and followed the instructions to push the dough down into the batter.

It still baked some and I wasn't sure if it really was like dough, but D said the texture was different enough. 

Then the icing was perfect...tasted JUST like cookie dough.  YUM!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

Yield: 1 dozen cupcakes
Prep Time: 45 min + freeze time
Cook Time: 25 min


3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (or 4 oz unsweetened baker's chocolate)
1 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup hot water
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) salted butter
1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
additional mini chocolate chips
12 mini Chips Ahoy cookies

Cookie Dough:
Directions:In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to stir together the butter, sugars, milk and vanilla. Stir in the dry ingredients and the chocolate chips. Refrigerate for 15 to 30 minutes, or until the cookie dough is firm - I just went straight to the scoop step. Scoop out dough in 2 tablespoon scoops and place it on a cookie sheet. Freeze until firm, at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with 12 liners.
 Place the flour, cocoa (if using chocolate add this with the wet ingredients), sugar, baking soda and salt in a blender. Blend to combine. Add the water, oil, egg and vanilla (and melted baker's chocolate if using instead of cocoa). Blend to combine, scraping down the sides as needed a couple of times until all is well mixed. Divide the batter between the 12 cupcake liners.

Drop a ball of frozen chocolate chip cookie dough into the center of each cupcake. If you would like the cookie dough to bake up slightly, keep the top visible as pictured in the post. If you'd like to keep the cookie dough somewhat raw, push it to the bottom of the cupcake wrapper, making sure that the batter comes up and over the dough.

Place the pan into the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cupcake portion of the cupcake (not tested through the center where the dough is), comes out fairly clean. Cool the cupcakes completely before adding the frosting.

In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the butter and sugars until smooth and creamy. Mix in the flour, milk and vanilla and continue to mix until all is well combined.

Frost cupcakes with a knife or scoop the frosting into a piping bag and pipe it on decoratively. Sprinkle mini chips on top and garnish with a small chocolate chip cookie. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

An Old Favorite Jazzed Up

Who doesn't love a good rice krispie treat?!  A couple of months ago, Kroger had Rice Krispies on sale and I decided to try the gluten free version.  They weren't bad but I didn't really care for them to eat as I decided to make some treats. 

The box instructions read as if there was some new, awesome recipe...but it really is just the classic recipe with the new cereal.  K started out helping me but it just wasn't as fun, apparently, as cookies or cupcakes!  I've always thought that rice krispie treats were hard to make because they are so sticky but these actually worked well. 

When I was done, I decided to top it off with some leftover white chocolate candy topping.  This was really a perfect use for the half-package that I had left.  I took some to work in the ER and sent the rest home with D.  The ER folks ate them quickly and D said that his family really liked them.  So, if you want a little twist on the traditional rice krispie treat use gluten free cereal...or top it with white chocolate...or both!  :-)

White Chocolate Topped Rice Krispie Treats
2 tablespoons butter
4 cups mini marshmallows
6 cups rice krispies
1/2 package white chocolate melting chocolate (the kind you use to cover cake balls, etc)

Melt marshmallows and butter in a sauce pan and stir until melted.  Once melted, stir in the cereal until well coated.  Pour mixture into greased OR wax paper coated 13 X 9 pan and press down with a cooking spray coated spatula.  Sprinkle some chocolate chips on top. Melt the chocolate per package instructions and spread over the krispie treats.  Place in refrigerator to allow chocolate to firm.  Cut into desired sized treats and enjoy!

Friday, June 08, 2012

Cookie and Cream Bars and New Things at Work

Sorry I've been gone for so long!  I was on nights at the end of last month and then I'm starting to learn about my new job for the next year...pediatric chief resident!  We had our graduation dinner Tuesday night; it was a nice time to just relax and enjoy a nice meal.  Can't believe it's already been three years! 
Anyway, I've been busy learning all the ins and outs, making schedules for everyone, learning a new computer program, doing grand rounds, etc....but, I have several good things to post about! 
A couple of weeks ago, we had yet another baby shower.  I decided to take a bar cookie...with cookies in it!  An oreo cookie bar.  I found it on Picky Palate.  It was really good. 
D was still in Alabama but I took a few to his house and left it there for when he got back.  Everyone liked them, I guess, as there was only one left at the end of the day.  I changed the recipe just a little by using the cookies and cream bite-sized candy instead of Kisses and doubled the recipe.  The change in texture when you bite into the cookies and cream candy is nice.  Try them out for your next cookout!

Double Cookies and Cream Cookie Bars

adapted from Picky Palate

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup mini chocolate chips
24 Oreo Cookies, broken up
1 bag mini Cookies and Cream candy

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and line a 13x9 inch baking pan with foil sprayed with cooking spray.   Place butter and sugars into a large bowl, stir to combine, at least 2 minutes. Add egg and vanilla, mixing to combine. Add dry ingredients, chocolate chips and oreo cookie pieces, stirring to combine. Press 1/3 of the dough into the bottom of prepared baking pan. Top with candy. Top with remaining dough and gently press. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool for 30 minutes, cut into squares and serve. Enjoy!