Monday, September 24, 2007

My Typical Breakfast - Quick and Easy...Again!

There's just something perfect about the texture, flavor, and temperature of yogurt. It is my usual breakfast...especially during the week. I just grab a single serving of yogurt - I use my grocery store's light version. Vanilla and raspberry are my favorites. Then I add some sort of fresh (or frozen during the winter) fruit. My favorites are strawberries and blueberries. Frozen blueberries are somehow really good in this. They stay frozen for a bit and the texture becomes really creamy...I just love it. Then I top it off with some kind of cereal, usually Fiber One! Fiber One is really a good cereal. You would think it would be cardboard-like, but it's slightly sweet, high in fiber (go figure) and just plan good. You can even use them as a replacement for chow mein noodles in haystacks! Sometimes, I even top it off with cinnamon, especially if I'm using Apple Pie yogurt. Anyway, with all the fruit, the fiber, and calcium and protein, this is a great (and easy) entry for Sweetnick's ARF Tuesday. Check out the other great entries for fantastic ideas.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Quick and Easy

During my surgery rotation I wasn't able to cook much...and not much has changed with my family med rotation! However, I did enjoy a brief respite one week where I cooked almost everyday. This was the first thing I cooked. I had had my eye on it ever since I saw the recipe in the May 2007 Cooking Light...chicken, peppers, onions, and mushrooms...sounds good to me. Although it's not a wow dish, it was very good, as well as easy and quick. I'll probably do it again. I made it after church one Sunday and it did not take long. I did make one major change and one small one. Instead of using "exotic" mushrooms I used baby portabello mushrooms (one bag). The other change was to use sherry instead of wine...I mean, you use what you have!
Chicken, Peppers, Onions, and Mushrooms with Marsala Wine
adapted from Cooking Light May 2007
Cooking spray
1 1/2 pounds chicken breast tenders
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced onion
1 cup thinly vertically sliced red bell pepper (about 1 medium)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 (8-ounce) package presliced exotic mushroom blend (such as shiitake, cremini, and oyster)
3 tablespoons Marsala wine (sherry)
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken breast tenders to pan; sauté 7 minutes or until the chicken is done.
Remove chicken from pan and allow to cool. At this point I also opted to cut the chicken into bite sized pieces. Next time I might leave them as strips, we'll see. Add sliced onion and sliced bell pepper to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until onion starts to brown. Add olive oil, salt, black pepper, and presliced exotic mushrooms to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and onion starts to caramelize. Add Marsala wine and chicken to pan, and cook for 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Serve immediately.
4 servings (serving size: 1 3/4 cups)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Cookie Memories

My parents moved to TN a year ago after living in the same town in MS all of my life...23 years! My mom had grown up in the same town, so she had lived there all her life (minus 8 years) as well. Let's just say, it's been a big transition. The biggest adjustment has been making new friends. It's hard enough when you, let's say, go to college...but imagine moving when both of your children are in college or graduate school. Really different. Well, my parents have been super blessed and found a great church. At this church, a little girl named Lily attached herself to my dad! It's a really fun relationship that they have and I can't wait until I have a little girl so he can be a great grandad (and mama and wonderful grandmom)...ANYWAY! Lily loves Daddy (who apparently is "Miss Alice's (my mom) wife), she told her dad, after noticing a bow on her dress, "Dr. Bill wears bows, too!" You see, Daddy always wears bow ties! Since attaching to Daddy, Lily has also warmed up to Mama. So, when Lily's birthday came around last week, Mama wanted to do something fun with her. I suggested making cookies...snickerdoodles in fact. You see, I don't remember this, but we have a picture of me making snickerdoodles with Mama when I was about two or three (don't you love my styling shirt! Yep, that's me!). They are great cookies for little hands and SO much fun. I think Lily really enjoyed her birthday treat, which included making cookies, watching Charlotte's Web, and going for ice cream along with her brother, Eliott. So, if you have little kids, grandkids, or just a special friend that you want to have some fun with....make cookie memories with them! Snickerdoodles
1 cup butter, margarine, or shortening, softened (Yes, I've used all three and all three work great!)
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 t vanilla
¼ cup milk (If you think your dough is going to be too sticky, you can leave this out)
3 ¾ cups flour
½ t cream of tartar
½ t baking soda
½ t salt
3 T sugar
1 t cinnamon

Preheat to 375 F. Mix butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and milk. Blend in dry ingredients. Shape dough into balls. Mix remaining sugar and cinnamon together (you probably will need more than this). Roll balls in mixture. Place on a cooking sheet or stone and bake for 8 minutes or until set. Don't let them brown too much or they'll get hard. Immediately remove from baking sheet. If you don't feel like you have time for this, try using a cinnamon swirl cake mix. It has a separate cinnamon sugar mixture in it. All you have to do it add 1/3 cup oil and 2 eggs to the cake mix and stir. The roll balls of the dough in the provided cinnamon mixture and cook as directed above (except probably at 350.). Above all, HAVE FUN and be sure to take make make a memory for someone later! If you recognize this plate, it is a Gail Pitman plate. She is a local potter in Jackson, MS and Paul Dean uses these plates on her show!!!!!!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Malt in a Cookie

I was inspired by for journey into "Oz" yet cookies are really hard to make Oz-worthy. The only thing in these cookies that would work for that was whole wheat pastry flour. I didn't write down what I did exactly and it's been a while, so I hope this is right! I'll try to make these again soon and make sure that this works! I'll let you know...or, it you try them, you can let me know! :-) These are a peanut butter chip malt cookie. I think they're pretty good, so it's worth the risk. Peanut Butter Chip Malt Cookies
1 stick (1/2 cup) margarine
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup malt powder
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup peanut butter chips
1/2 cup toasted, chopped pecans Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cream margarine and sugars together. Add egg and vanilla and malt powder. Mix. Add dry ingredients and mix until just blended. Stir in chips. Place by teaspoonfuls on baking stone or cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Do not overbake. Allow to cool for a minute before removing to cooling rack.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Raisin Bran Bread

Well, I have started family medicine and really like it much better than surgery. I'm in clinic from 9 am until 7:30 or 8...long days but I like clinic and stay busy, so it's not so bad. THAT is why I haven't posted anything recently. Anyway, several weeks ago, I had a box of raisin bran that I was tired of, so I went in search of a raisin bran bread. I found a really good recipe. Enjoyed the bread. I thought it was a little dense but not overwhelmingly, it's made of bran, so what else do I expect!? Because of the raisins and the bran this is a great entry for Sweetnicks ARF Tuesday. Check by to see other great recipes.
Raisin Bran Bread
2 cups Raisin Bran Cereal, divided
1-1/4 cups fat-free milk
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) margarine, melted, divided (you could use oil)
1 egg
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 Tbsp. CALUMET Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp. sugar

PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Mix 1-1/2 cups of the cereal, the milk and 2 Tbsp. of the margarine in medium bowl. Let stand 1 minute. Add egg and 3/4 cup sugar; mix well. Stir in flour, baking powder and cinnamon until well blended. Spread into 9x5-inch loaf pan sprayed with cooking spray.
MIX remaining 1/2 cup cereal, remaining 2 Tbsp. margarine and 1 Tbsp. sugar until well blended; sprinkle over batter. Gently press cereal mixture into batter.
BAKE 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on wire rack; remove bread from pan. Cool completely. Cut into 16 slices to serve.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Tilapia Packets

My days have gotten messed up with having Labor day off. I just realized that today is Tuesday and that means ARF! I don't want to miss that. Head over to Sweetnicks and check out the other great entries. Last week, my grocery store finally put tilapia on sale, for a whole dollar cheaper. I had my eye on a recipe from the July issue of Eating Well. It's meant for the grill but you can do it in the oven. This is my slightly modified version. Tilapia and Summer Vegetable Packets
halved cherry or grape tomatoes (calls for 1 cup, use what you want)
1 cup diced summer squash
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
12 green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces (we had some leftover from earlier, so I just used those)
1/4 cup pitted olived coarsely chopped (I didn't do this)
2 T lemon juice
1 T chopped fresh oregano (I didn't use this, didn't have it)
1 T olive oil
1 teaspoon capers, rinsed (didn't use this)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 pound tilapia fliets
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. If using fresh green beans, microwave for 30 seconds. Drain and add to the other vegetables. Add lemon juice, oregano, salt, oil, capers, and some pepper in a large bowl. Lay some foil out in a double layer. Place fish on the foil and sprinkle with some salt and pepper. Top with some of the veggie mixture. Fold foil up to the middle, leaving enough room for the packet to steam. Place packets on oven rack and cook until fish is cooked through. It says about 20 minutes but mine was more like 25. As a note, you can really put the veggies you want. If you don't like tomatoes, like my roomie, leave them out!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Labor Day...and some lessons

The lesson: FOLLOW DIRECTIONS!!! That's what I learned last night when I made this cake from Dorie Greenspan's book Baking, From My Home to Yours. This is the cover recipe, which my roommate had requested for her birthday...apparently just because she wanted to look at it! First mistake...not putting parchment/wax paper on the bottom of the cake pan. I've seen this instructed before and have never done it, so I figured I'd be okay not doing it again. EEEEHHHH! Should have done it...when I took the cakes out, the center part stuck to the pan, making the cakes weaker and hard to cut in half. One of them even broke in half when I put it down to cool. I ended up putting that one in the middle as a patched layer! Second mistake...thinking I could do this without a candy thermometer. The frosting the Dorie uses is a marshmallow frosting and you need a candy thermometer to do the syrup. Well, I looked up the soft ball, hard ball, etc stages so that I could do it without. Well, I couldn't exactly tell when these stages had been reached. Overall, the cake turned out good, though a bit short; and my frosting went a little flat, not showing the beautiful layers as on the front of the book. If you like chocolate, which most people at my Labor Day get together do, this is a great cake. It's light and chocolatey. The frosting is light and delicious. On my first bite, I said "This is a lot of chocolate." I think a bit too much for me. My friend, who doesn't like chocolate much said that it was a good cake but if I ever made it for him again, I wouldn't have to make it chocolate! :-) He liked the frosting though. Anyway...this is the rest of our meal hamburgers with feta, sunflower seeds in them salad (to offset everything else!) portabello mushrooms in the middle and guacamole at the back and the WONDERFUL Dorie cake Devil's Food White Out Cake adapted from Baking from My Home to Yours

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs, at room temp (I only used 2)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup boiling water
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped - I used 2/3 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 2 8x2 inch round cake pans and put parchment or wax paper in the bottom. Sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Cream butter until soft. Add sugars and beat another 3 minutes. Add eggs one by one, beating for a minute after each. Add vanilla. Don't worry if mixture curdles. Reduce speed to low and add melted chocolate. Add dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk, adding dry ingredients in 3 additions and milk in 2. Scrape down sies of bowl as needed and mix only until ingredients disappear. This will be thick. Add boiling water at a low speed, which thins the batter. Scrape down bowl and stir in chopped chocolate (or chocolate chips). Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and smooth tops with rubber spatula. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Cakes will be springy to touch. Transfer the cake pans to a rack and cool for 5 minutes. Next, run a knife around the sides of the pan, invert pan, and remove paper from bottom. Cool to room temperature right side up. (These can be wrapped airtight and frozen for up to 2 months.) Slice each cake in half with a long serrated knife. Use 3 layers in the cake and crumble the fourth.

1/2 cup egg whites (4 large)
1 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup water
1 T vanilla extract

Put sugar, cream of tartar, water in small saucepan and stir to combine. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, cover and boil for 3 minutes. Then uncover and allow to boil until it reaches 242 degrees F. While syrup is cooking, start beating egg whites in a clean, dry mixer bowl using whisk attachment. If whites form shiny peaks before sugar mixture is ready, reduce speed to low. With mixer at medium speed, carefully pour hot syrup into bowl between the bowl and beater. Add vanilla extract and keep beating whites at medium speed until they reach room temp, about 5 minutes. This should be a smooth, shiny, marshmallow frosting.

To assemble cake put the bottom layer of cake on a cake plate protected by strips of wax paper. Using icing spatula, cover the layer generously with frosting. Top with second layer and frost it. Put third layer on top cut side down. Frost the sides and top of cake. Cover entire cake with chocolate cake crumbs, gently pressing into the filling using your fingers. Refrigerate cake for 1 hour before serving, or overnight.