Archive for October, 2011

October 5, 2011

Mini pumpkin muffins with maple cream cheese frosting

Coastal Living

Makes: 5 dozen mini muffins

  • Paper baking cups
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350°. Place paper baking cups into miniature muffin pans.

Combine flour and next 7 ingredients in a medium bowl. Combine pumpkin and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture, stirring just until moistened. Spoon batter into cups, filling two-thirds full.

Bake, in batches, 15 to 17 minutes. Let cool in pans on wire racks 5 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely. Spread Maple-Cream Cheese Frosting over tops of muffins (ingredients and recipe below).

  • 16 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 4 cups powdered sugar

Beat first 3 ingredients in a large bowl at medium speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed after each addition until well blended.

*Chef’s note: Very tasty. I left out the allspice. The frosting was nice because the maple flavor was very subtle; I may even add just a splash more syrup than it calls for. My only issue was this made wayyy too much icing for these mini muffins. I felt so wasteful; I needed only half of what it made, and I wasn’t even stingy with the icing (as I often prefer to be). You could halve the icing ingredients and be just fine.




October 5, 2011

Chicken cutlets with apple and celery slaw

Woman’s Day 

Serves: 4

  • 4 6-oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lowfat sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced on a diagonal
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives

Slice the chicken breasts in half horizontally to create 8 small chicken cutlets. Season the chicken with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper and coat in the bread crumbs, pressing gently to help them adhere.

Heat 2 Tbsp of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. In two batches, cook the chicken until golden brown and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side, adding more oil to the skillet if necessary. Transfer the chicken to plates.

In a large bowl, whisk together the sour cream, mustard, lemon juice, remaining Tbsp oil, and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper. Add the celery and apple and toss to combine; fold in the chives. Serve with the chicken.

*Chef’s note: Yum yum yum. Nice change, and super simple and quick. Refreshing! This probably also would be nice with plain yogurt in place of the sour cream.

October 5, 2011

Mashed potatoes with sauteed mushrooms

Paula Deen

Serves: 6-8

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
  • 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 6 cups (about 2 pounds) diced new potatoes
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Small amount whole milk

In a saucepan, melt butter and saute mushrooms, onion, chives and garlic. Add wine and simmer for about 15 minutes. In a pot, boil potatoes until done; drain. Combine all ingredients and mix. Whip until thick and creamy. Add milk for desired consistency.

*Chef’s note: These just might be the best mashed potatoes I’ve ever had. Certainly the best I’ve made. I substituted Yukon gold potatoes (cut in chunks), added some pepper and used a little less sour cream.

October 5, 2011

Loaded oatmeal cookies

Better Homes and Gardens

Makes: 30

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup flax seed meal
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ
  • 2 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Beat in flour. Stir in rolled oats, flax seed meal, wheat germ, chocolate, cranberries, and walnuts (dough will be a little crumbly).

Drop dough by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until tops are lightly browned. Let cookies cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute. Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool. Makes about 30 cookies.

*Chef’s note: This cookie will please even an oatmeal-cookie hater. Addictive and dangerously snack-sized. I left out the flax and added a shake more oats, and I used pomegranate craisins I had on hand.

October 5, 2011

Ginger-garlic fish in parchment

Rachael Ray

Serves: 4

  • Parchment paper
  • 4 (6 to 7-ounce) portions sea bass
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch scallions, cut into 3-inch pieces on an angle
  • 1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
  • 3 to 4-inch knob ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 4 large cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons tamari sauce

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Rip off 4 pieces of parchment to form packets each about 12-inches long. Season fish with salt and pepper. Place a piece of parchment in a shallow dish then in the center of the paper stack 1/4 of the scallions and shiitakes, layer with slices of ginger and garlic and top with fish. Combine the honey, vinegar and tamari and pour 1/4 of the sauce over fish. Fold over the top of the parchment then roll the sides in to form a sealed pouch. Repeat with remaining parchment and ingredients. Arrange the pouches on a baking sheet and roast in hot oven 12 to 14 minutes.

*Chef’s note: YUM! So much flavor. Very simple. This dish may look ugly and plain, but it is delicious. I used tilapia (it’s often the cheapest), and it still stood up well to the flavor. I also used white mushrooms instead of shiitakes and soy sauce in place of the tamari. Just be careful not to eat the slices of ginger….

October 5, 2011

Parmesan pork chops

Taste of Home (“Almost Homemade”)

Serves: 4

  • 1/4 cup biscuit/baking mix
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
  • 4 boneless pork loin chops (1/2 inch thick and 6 ounces each)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

Place biscuit mix and egg in separate shallow bowls. In another shallow bowl, combine the cheese, bread crumbs and rosemary. Coat pork chops with biscuit mix, dip in egg, then coat with cheese mixture.

In a large skillet, brown pork chops on both sides in oil. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until juices run clear, turning once.

*Chef’s note: Very easy. A nice flavor change from simply seasoned pork chops, and a nice crisp coating.