Saturday, March 28, 2009

Spinach and Beer

Though my rotation this month is not incredibly demanding, I did not find a chance to make the Daring Baker's challenge this month. It was spinach lasagna...I must admit, I wasn't too excited about it. Too bad the challenge wasn't some delectable sweet treat...I have been baking up a storm for our bake sale for the children's hospital! So, in substitute for my spinach lasagna I bring you sauteed spinach and beer bread!

My mom got the recipe for these from one of the girls in her church when I went home last month. The spinach is really good...but be prepared to use LOTS of spinach. Hannah said that the first time she made the spinach (with company coming!) she used one bag...and ended up with a tiny bowl to serve. They joked and said that each guest had a teaspoon of spinach! She was not joking...once the whole bag wilted down, it really is enough to serve about two people...maybe even one if you're hungry! (Sorry for the poor picture quality!) The beer bread...OH SO GOOD! If you like the taste of a yeast bread but don't have time...this is your bread. It's not quite as tender as a sourdough but is delicious. The way we made it, I thought that it tasted like Maccaroni Grill bread. Mmmm...I need to make this again! Even if you don't like beer (I don't), you'll like this bread!


spinach (for a "small" amount use one bag, for a larger group you need two)

1 T olive oil (or butter)



(I think lemon would be good as well)

In a large skillet or pan (you need a lid) place the olive oil. Open your bag of spinach and just dump it in! Smoosh it down and put your lid on. This was it's sauteeing and steaming. After a couple of minutes, stir it. The spinach on the bottom will be wilty. Stir every few minutes to get the spinach equally wilted. Once it is all dark, place into a bowl and season with salt and pepper. This is best served right after making it, so make right before you eat/serve.

Beer Bread:

3 cups flour (it calls for sifted, but I can't be bothered!)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
12 oz can beer
1/2 cup melted butter

Mix dry ingredients, then pour beer over all. I don't think the type of beer matters - I always get the cheapest and even light beer and it's fine. It will foam up. Stir it well. The dough will be super sticky - more sticky than regular bread. This is fine. Pour into a loaf pan. Melt the butter and pour it over the top. We used 1/2 a stick and as you can see it was still a good bit! You might even be able to decrease it a little more. You could probably even half the butter to be healthier and I bet it would still turn out. Bake for one hour at 375 degrees. Cool at least 15 minutes before cutting.From Hannah: This bread is so easily adaptable. The original recipe calls for Italian seasoning instead of garlic powder. Just measure by can do it! You can also add up to a cup of grated cheese - cheddar, parmesan, swiss, whatever. I've had success adding a can of drained diced green chiles for Mexican! Lots of room for creativity here.

Friday, March 20, 2009

A Perfect Match!

Well, yesterday I had my match day ceremony...that means that I found out where I'll be doing my pediatric residency! In November/December, I went to several different locations and interviewed. Then in February, I submitted a rank order list, telling the powers that be where I wanted to do my residency (and the programs submitted lists telling which residents they wanted). Then, yesterday, all was announced across the entire nation. Before all that, though, my class had a party at a local pizzeria/bar. It was lots of fun to see my fellow classmates, as fourth year has us so spread out we don't ever see each other. Unfortunately, I spent the entire time waiting for a wonderful pizza to come out (this place has LOTS of unique pizzas); however, they never brought one out, so I had to settle for supreme. It was good but not quite what I wanted...oh, least I had fun! The next morning, the alumni association hosted a breakfast for us. My dad was able to attend with me. They had tons of food to choose from. You could make a breakfast burrito, though I chose to just get eggs. They also had grits, waffles, biscuits, hashbrowns, muffins, cinnamon buns, and fruit. I got eggs, which were SO GOOD, grits, which were not so good, an apple muffin, which I ate the top of (that's my signature move!), and fruit...excellent raspberries, cantaloupe, strawberries, and blueberries, all painstakingly grabbed with ice tongs! After breakfast we moved to the student union where the ceremony began. After lots of waiting we all found out where we would be going. About half the class is staying here. We had a couple going to Utah, a girl going to NYU (she was SO excited, jumping in the air!), a guy going to John's Hopkins, a girl going to Mayo Clinic, a guy going to Duke. I am going to be staying here at Blair E. Batson Children's hospital along with three other people from my class (and eight other people from elsewhere)...Sarah, me, Yakela, and Josh. After the ceremony my family went to Walker's Drive-In for lunch. They are known for their grilled redfish sandwich, which my dad got.It has the fish, red onion, cheddar, bacon, avacado, aioli, and is served with sweet potato fries. Philip and Kenna got the hamburger.Kenna had cheddar on hers. Philip got bacon and pepper jack cheese. Mama got the turkey sandwichIt had avacado, pepper jack cheese, tomato, and aioli. I got a grilled chicken salad (after pondering the redfish vs. veggie sandwich - both of which I've had before) that I've never had before. It had green apple, dried cherries, feta, roasted corn, avacado, and grilled chicken on top of field greens with a lemon vinegarette. Very good! I think that some red onion would have made it perfect...and maybe a piece of focaccia. We enjoyed good weather, good food, and good fellowship!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Not Exactly Irish...

For some reason, I tend to have a hard time finding things to do on the weekend. Whenever I try to plan parties or get-togethers, no one is available; so, when my friend Katie said she was available to stay for dinner after we got another friend's baby shower give, I was quite excited. We planned it on Wednesday...but first, the gift. So, Jennifer doesn't know what she's having (which really drives me crazy (for ME) but I'm excited that she's going to have a surprise). We had planned on getting her one of those little bouncers, but the one she registered for was out. Hmmm...I saw a cute one but it was very clearly for a, brown, and decorated with birds and flowers! Somehow, I don't think a little boy would appreciate that. HOWEVER, Katie got into her head that we should get that we did! Ahhh...Jennifer just laughed. She thought it was funny. Anyway, after making that purchase, we came home and made a yummy pork chop dish. It has only THREE ingredients...pork chops, potatoes, and saurkraut! Yummy! Total time is probably about 35 minutes. I served it with, instead of corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick's day, I give you pork and saurkraut with a little broccoli for the green! Stay tuned for Chocolate Gooey Buttercakes for dessert! Katie's Pork Chops
pork chops (I had four)
2 large potatoes
1 can saurkraut

Season pork chops on one side with Season All. Place the pork chops in a large skillet, seasoned side down and season the other side. While searing the chops, thinly slice the peeled potatoes. Flip pork NOT cook all the way through. When seared, remove from pan...spray pan with cooking spray. Place potatoes in the bottom of the pan. Cover with saurkraut. Top saurkraut with pork chops. Cover with a lid OR if you don't have one large enough, use aluminum foil and weigh down with a lid. Cook for 30 minutes on medium head. At the end of the time, test the potatoes with a fork or knife. If tender, remove from heat. Place pork chops and potatoes on plate. Serve with your favorite veggie! Enjoy!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

First Omlete

One of my favorite easy meals to make is omelets! You can just pull together some veggies heat them up, put some eggs in, add cheese and top with whatever sauce you want...viola, a healthy, delicious, and comforting dinner. One time when I went home, I pulled out my dad's new pan and made one...oh my, this pan was awesome! So, when Christmas came, it was the only thing on my list. Let's just say that I have thoroughly enjoyed it. Here's a picture of my first omelet from my new pan!
Spinach and mushroom Omlete
handful of spinach
handful of mushrooms
1 egg
egg whites (I use the store brand), just eye-balled
goat cheese/feta

In pan, saute spinach and mushrooms until wilted and soft. While doing this, whisk the egg and egg whites together with the seasoning. When ready, pour over the cooked vegetables. Sprinkle cheese on top. Cook on medium heat. As the eggs cook, slide a spatula under the side of the eggs and allow uncooked eggs to flow to the bottom of the pan. Continue cooking until the visible portion of the eggs is no longer runny but still soft. Flip one half over the other. Allow to cook for one more minute. Remove to plate and place salsa along side for dipping.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Chocolate on Call

So, I know you are all chomping at the bit to know what my resident requested for our last on call snack. Actually, I gave her some choices but when I said brownies, she immediately perked up and said, "Oooooo...brownies!" So, I brought brownies, nutless brownies...I let her choose that, too! So, I went in search of a recipe. Now, I am particular about my brownies. I don't like them cakey and, for some reason, I don't like recipes that use an 8-inch pan. After going through several different recipes I settled on one that I KNEW would be of Emily's! Now, if you have been watching the Food Network recently, you know who Emily is. She is a very talented young lady whose ambition is to go to culinary school. She was a finalist on Ultimate Recipe Showdown and, right now, if vying for a spot as a finalist in Quaker's Oatmeal Showdown (go vote for her and send her to NYC!). This recipe is your basic, fudgy brownie and is pretty simple to make. You probably wouldn't even have to go get anything at the store as it uses items most bakers (and many moms) keep on cocoa needed...just the basics: eggs, chocolate chips, butter, sugar, flour. Mmmm! Everyone in the lounge enjoyed them...thanks, Emily! Emily's Chewy Fudge Brownies Ingredients:
3/4 cup unsalted butter
14 oz. chocolate chips
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line an 11x8-inch baking dish/pan with foil. Coat foil with shortening/non-stick spray/butter etc. (I LOVE putting foil in my pan, makes clean up and serving SO easy!)

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Turn heat off, and stir in chocolate, until melted. Set aside pan, to cool slightly.

In a medium sized mixing bowl, sift together flour and salt.
In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer on high speed, beat together eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla, for 4 minutes. This will be really light after this time period. Reduce mixer speed to low, and beat in melted chocolate, until combined. Stir in flour until just combined.

Scrape batter into prepared pan, evenly. Bake at 375 degrees F, for 23-25 minutes. Cool brownies (Emily suggests plunging the pan into ice water but I didn't and mine were STILL very fudgy. She also suggests placing in the freezer isn't that big!) Cut (if you can't wait until they're cool, use a plastic knife or lettuce knife to cut) and enjoy.

Yield: 15 brownies (per Emily...I probably got 30ish)

Friday, March 06, 2009

Want S'more?

Apparently, you guys like it better when I post my sweets, baked goods, for my previous post about Philip's nachos seems to have gone unnoticed! That's okay...I'll give you cookies! When I was on my internal medicine month in January, I tried to take a treat every time we were on call. I also tried to make new recipes often. One time I decided to try this recipe from Oatmeal Cookie Guy as I had some marshmallows sitting in my baking Rubbermaid, waiting to be used! These are SO good! Maybe freezing the marshmallows helps. I don't know. All I can say is that the next time we were on call I offered a choice to my resident as to what I'd bring. She didn't know but said, "Those cookies you brought last time were really good." Now, I admit, I didn't take those cookies again just because I wanted to make something different (that is coming to a post near you soon!); however, it shows just how good these cookies are that she would request them again! Thanks OCG!S'Mores Oatmeal Cookies from Oatmeal CookieBlog
2 sticks butter
2 cups brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon (T) vanilla
2 cups finely ground graham crackers
1 1/2 cups flour
1 T cinnamon (yes!!!)
1/2 teaspoon (t) salt
1/2 t baking soda
2 cups chocolate chips
2 cups frozen mini marshmallows

Cream together the butter and brown and white sugar. In a small bowl, combine the vanilla and eggs. Whisk together the wet ingredients and add to the creamables. Mix together until smooth. In another large mixing bowl, add the graham crackers, flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda. Using a spatula, fold together until evenly distributed. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Mix until evenly combined. Preheat oven to 350º. Shape dough into balls--about 2 tablespoons each. Place dough balls about 2 inches apart on baking stone or cookie sheet. Bake at 350º for 10 minutes. (Be very careful not to overbake them.) If the cookies feel too underdone when you remove them from the oven, let them set on the cookie sheets for two to three additional minutes. Then place cookies on wire racks to cool.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Nacho, Nacho Man!

This girl is really excited! In just a few minutes I will leave with my friend to go see the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical "Jesus Christ Superstar." SO excited. But before I leave, I want to tell you a story: One cold February day, after a very late breakfast, a boy walked up to his mom and moaned "What's for lunch." She and her daughter made several suggestions...grilled cheese, soup, leftover pizza...none of this pleased the boy. He was inconsolable..."What's for lunch" he moaned. As he and his mom stood at the pantry door, his eyes landed on some refried beans..."Nachos!" He pulled out the chips from the bag as his mom sliced some tomatoes. Next he spooned some refried beans into each chip...very meticulously! Following the beans went some taco meat (which him mom had very smartly frozen from a previous meal. Then some cheese, both the processed variety, melted, and the sliced variety. Then jalapenos and tomatoes...seems like this boy has done this before! Into the oven they went until the cheese was melted and warm! Now the boy doesn't like many extras, but his mom and dad added some sour cream to theirs...seems like the perfect Saturday snunch (that would be snack and lunch combined...what else can you call it when you eat at 3:30?!). He was proud of himself and all enjoyed his efforts! A few weeks later, he turned 23...Happy Birthday, Philip!

Philip's Nachos
1 bag tortilla chips (scoops work well)
1 can refried beans
1 cup (or more) left over taco meat
several cherry tomatoes, sliced
velveeta cheese, melted
jalapeno cheese, torn

Place chips on a baking sheet. Put beans in chips. Sprinkle taco meat over beans. Place jalapenos on meat. Place tomatoes on chips. Pour melted cheese over chips. Place torn jalapeno cheese over chips. Bake in 350 (guessing) degree oven until cheese is melted and nachos are warm. Enjoy!

Obviously, you can tailor this to your tastes by adding or removing or modifying ingredients.