Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Peppermint Patties!!

I bought a bag of off brand peppermint patties and they were not very good. Wishing I had better ones, I decided to make my own using this easy recipe! They came out unbelievable! And so easy! Keep them in the fridge for best results!

First you freeze the peppermint dough in little circles

Then you dip them in melted chocolate! I added peppermint to the chocolate too.

Voila! Better than the store bought ones!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

I have had a can of garbanzo beans in my cupboard for a while so I made a recipe I have been eyeing on Tasty Kitchen for a while!

I mixed garlic, cumin, allspice, cayenne pepper, ground ginger, cloves, cinnamon, salt, and curry powder together with some olive oil and mixed in the beans and put them on a cookie sheet. I baked them for a half hour until they were nice and crunchy! They did not last long!

Mexican Veggie Soup!

I have a bunch of veggies that I have needed to use up so I put a combo of chicken and beef stock in a pot and threw in a million different things!

They included: black beans, jalapeños, onions, roasted corn, celery, carrots, chili peppers in adobo sauce, butternut squash, zucchini, cilantro, garlic, and a bunch of seasonings!

Butternut Squash and Capers and Quinoa

I bought a huge jar of capers from Costco and have been trying to figure out how to use them all! This was a delicious solution!

In one pan I sautéed the butternut squash with a little bit of chicken bouillon and in another I sautéed the capers and some lemon. When the squash was almost done I added some zucchini and then added everything together and placed it over some golden quinoa! I was nervous it was going to be weird but it was actually really good!

Home Made Tortillas

I sautéed a bunch of chili peppers in adobo sauce, chicken, black beans, onions, jalapeños, roasted corn and tomatoes, zucchini, and cilantro!

I realized this would be way better with tortillas but I didn't have any do I made some! Not exactly like the ones you get in Old Town, San Diego from the little old ladies on the street but still pretty tasty!

I used whole wheat flour and only slightly overlooked them so go me!

White Chocolate Covered Ginger Cookies

Red cups at Starbucks arrived a few weeks ago and started (for me at least) the start of the Christmas season!! I like to kick the season off by watching Elf so I needed to make cookies to add to the celebration! This was also a part of the ginger themed night!

I made little poofy ginger cookies and replaced the oil with applesauce and reduced the amount of sugar it called for.

I immediately negated all the things I had done to make them "healthier" by dipping half of the cookie in white chocolate and covering it with my new Christmas sprinkles!!

So pretty!!

Sautéed Butternut Squash and Ginger

I bought a huuuuge butternut squash from the farmers market and have been making all kinds of delicious things! This was also a part of my ginger night.

I sautéed chunks of butternut squash in a little bit of butter until softened and then added in fresh ginger, garlic, cumin, pepper, cinnamon, a tiny bit of cloves, and allspice.

I topped it with fresh cilantro and it was sooooo amazing I highly recommend it!

Candied Ginger

I bought a giant hunk of ginger and had a whole ginger themed night! I asked Chris if he was ok with a night with a lot of ginger and he replied "you mean I get to hang out with you all night??" -__- har har.

Ehhhhhnyway I sliced it really thin and and boiled it within an inch of its life with sugar and lemon!

Then I drained it and sprinkled it with sugar! Yum!

I took the ginger infused lemon sugar water and added it to club soda and presto! Home made ginger ale!!

Pumpkin Butter

This is a recipe from Pioneer Woman! It was super easy! I made it with butternut squash instead of pumpkin so its really butternut..butter... But pumpkin sounds better. Make some toast and spread some cream cheese or butter on there and layer on a tablespoon or so of this stuff! Uh-mazing.

My Mom's Spaghetti

When I was feeling the most homesick last October I got this recipe from my mom because it has been my favorite home cooked meal since I can remember (that and beef stroganoff!). When I made it for the first time I burst into tears after the first bite because it tasted just like my moms! What a sap!

Anyway here are the ingredients (I added the mushrooms)! We use turkey bc I think beef is too intense. This is one of the reasons my mom calls this gringo spaghetti. While totally delicious its not exactly authentic . Or Mexican. But whatevs.

I wanted to make it healthier so I broke out my mandolin slicer and sliced down a zucchini into thin strips and boiled it for a minute or two to soften them.

And the finished product! After cooking the sauce for a few hours I put in on the "noodles" and added some Parmesan!Looks ugly but it was amazing!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Pumpkin Muffins!

'Tis the Season for everything pumpkin! I got this recipe from Tasty Kitchen but had to change it because ground cloves are too expensive and they ran out of pumpkin spice so I used Apple Pie Spice and added more cinnamon to it.

First you mix all the delicious ingredients together

Fill muffin tins about 3/4 of the way full

And ta-da! The most delicious and moist pumpkin muffins I have ever tasted! I sprinkled some sugar on top before they baked and it gave them a subtle but sweet little crunch.

Hope everyone had a Happy Halloween!!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Jalapeño Cheese Bread

I bought a massive jar of jalapeños from Costco for three dollars and have been putting them in absolutely everything.
This bread is basically like the biscuits I made earlier in the week but at the same time sooo different.
I love making yeast bread because I feel like I'm doing a science project when it rises, except I get to eat it at the end!
This was a very simple recipe from Tasty Kitchen and it came out as a really flavorful bread that was super crusty on the outside but very soft and fluffy on the inside, made better by the fact that it was full of cheese and double the jalapeños the recipe called for! It didn't even make it 24 hours.

Roasted Veggies!

I went to the farmers market in the Strip District of downtown Pittsburgh early this morning with my friend Michelle. Before 8:30am we were already shopping away at all the cute little vendors and shops they have down there. God bless her for allowing me to drag her out of bed that early on a Saturday!
We came across this produce market that had all kinds of awesome mostly local fruit and vegetables for insanely cheap. I got all the stuff here for just over ten dollars!!
I came home and threw it on a cookie sheet with some salt pepper and olive oil and roasted it at 400 degrees for almost an hour.
Included here are baby bell peppers, sweet peppers, whole cloves of garlic and onions. They came out so good and made my apartment reek with the most wonderful roasted garlic smell.
I made some multigrain brown rice and some chicken and served it all together. Needless to say it was a hit with my lunch guests, Michelle, my other friend Michelle and her bf Andres!

Kielbasa and Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash

I don't think I had ever had acorn squash before this dinner, but I saw them at the store and thought they were cute, so i figured they must also be delicious... Right?
I cut the squash in half and took out the seeds and roasted them in the oven for five years (or maybe more like 45 minutes but I am very impatient). Meanwhile I sautéed some sweet onion and some turkey kielbasa sausage. I used turkey because the beef kind is a little intense and really fatty so I like to use anything that comes in a turkey version... Plus cooking beef scares me for some reason.
After the onions were translucent, I added wild rice with water and my favorite ingredient ever, Better Than Bouillon. It's like chicken stock paste so that you don't need to keep giant cartons of stock or bouillon cubes around. They are better than those... Obviously..
Everything cooked until the water was absorbed in the rice and then I scooped it into my ever so slightly too crispy acorn squash. It was fantastic and I felt very fancy eating them! I also discovered acorn squash are in fact delicious ;)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Maple Apple Granola

I love Groupon. It lets me do exciting this for cheap that I would normally never want to pay that much to do! For example tomorrow Chris and I are going on a canoeing trip for the morning. What a fun thing to do in the middle of the week!

Obviously I had to make a snack to bring along so I decided to make granola! It was really simple, just oats, rice crispy cereal, an apple, maple syrup, some cinnamon and a tablespoon of oil! Baked for two hours at 225 degrees and presto! A snack fit for canoeing down the river!

<3 Hannah

Roasted Veggie Egg Bake

Like I had said before, visiting my friend Kelli's grandparent's dairy farm in western New York was a total blast. I came home with so many goodies! One of which was two dozen eggs hatched by their Amish neighbor's chickens!

Obviously since I had the cheddar cheese too I had to make an exciting egg dish. I roasted a bunch of veggies, chilis and jalapeños in the oven until all beautiful and delicious looking. I added the eggs and some milk and baked it. The last minute or two I threw some cheese on and turned the broiler on to toasted it all up. Helloooo breakfast for three days!!

<3 Hannah

Veggie Pasta

I made this pasta for the orientation event for the new grads in my program. Seeing as the first semester is over half way over I guess it's time to post this pasta!

I was so excited to make it because of these adorable little baby peppers I found and thought were so cute. They kind of got lost in the 10+ other veggies I put in there which included things like zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, tomatoes, edamame, corn, onion, broccoli, and a bunch of other yummy things. I mixed them in with a bunch of spicy seasonings, whole wheat pasta and Parmesan cheese!

Dark Chocolate Mint Cookies

These cookies I made as a congrats to Chris for being awarded a grant for a conference he is presenting at in a few weeks (yay Chris!).

I melted a massive chunks of one of those one pound extra dark chocolate bars from trader joes with some mint extract and added it to the cookie batter. Then I rolled them in granulated sugar and then powdered sugar to give them a really good crunch! It went really good with the insides which were really dense almost fudge like.

Apple Spice Muffin Blobs

I went apple picking just outside New York City and before I ate all the apples I picked I thought I should make something with them! Besides I was totally in fall mode and got a couple lumpy squashes and mini pumpkins and wanted to show them off!

I made these "cookies" but they really tasted more like muffins but they were little lumps so I wasn't sure what to call them. They have apple, whole wheat flour, cranberries and oats in them and I substituted the oil for apple sauce so the only fat came from the one egg I used to bind it all together.

For being a healthy muffin they were still pretty excellent!

<3 Hannah

French Onion Soup

I made this soup because Pittsburgh was freezing cold and rainy for days straight and I wanted some soup! French onion is pretty much my favorite soup ever (besides my dads chicken noodle of course). I mean you can't go wrong with any soup that has onions and is topped with crusty bread and cheese!

After letting the onions and garlic sauté for seriously an hour, I plopped them in a pot with some low sodium beef broth and red wine and them them work magic for a really really long time (never start making soup for dinner when you are already hungry, you will end up drinking the wine that's supposed to go with the dinner and eating the bread that's supposed to go on top of the soup).

After the soup was FINALLY done, I put some french bread on it and some provolone cheese (I'm too poor for asiago or gruyere..) and popped it in the broiler and hoped that my bowls that said "not intended for oven use" didn't crack! All turned out well and the soup was bomb.

<3 Hannah

German Sand Cookies

These cookies were sooo good. Even though I messed them up a lot. They are essentially shortbread cookies but the very important delicious difference is that you CARAMELIZE the butter first!! Omg. What a difference.

I was too lazy to try and wrap them up in plastic and refrigerate them for an hour so I froze them for five minutes and used a glass as a cookie cutter. I'm sure that doing that is all kinds of wrong but I didn't care.

Since you can't move the cookies until they are completely cooled off, I had to leave them on the hot tray. This caused them to continue cooking and get reallllly hard (I have since purchased parchment paper to avoid this problem in the future). They were still delicious.

<3 Hannah

Molasses Spice Cookies

Yesterday I was in the Christmas, uh I mean thanksgiving, oops actually Halloween(?) spirit. I turned on my favorite Johnny Mathis album and got to baking!

I saw the molasses at the store and was unable to resist buying it after staring off into space at Walmart for a minute or so imagining all the wonderful possibilities. These are a recipe from the Pioneer Woman.

Any cookie that's final step is rolling it in sugar so they have a lovely cracked sugar crust is my favorite.

My plan was to bring a big plate of them to class so I wouldn't sit and eat them all (I honestly would have). When I told Chris this, he secretly stole back half the plate of cookies I was planning on taking to class!! Shame! :)

Cheesy Jalapeño Biscuits

This past weekend I went with my friend Kelli to her grandparents dairy farm in western New York. Besides being pretty much the best weekend ever, filled with cows, barn kittens, and delicious food you can only get in Belfast, I picked up a giant block of extra sharp New York cheddar cheese. I have spent the last few days making anything I can put cheese in.

These were biscuits with chunks of cheese and pieces of jalapeño in them. I made them to go with some vegetarian chili with some onions and obviously, more cheese. I didn't make the chili but it is Trader Joes vegetarian chili and anyone who has had it knows that it is so good it's ok!

Mocha Cupcakes with Espresso Buttercream Frosting

I made these little pieces of heaven for Chris' birthday in September. Words do not even describe how delicious they were. I have to say though that I think what really made them good was the dino sprinkles on top, but maybe I'm just biased! ;)

The recipe was pretty simple, make a basic chocolate cake from scratch and add a half cup super strong coffee. Then for the frosting, again a basic buttercream with a tablespoon on Starbucks via to make it seem like "espresso". Pipe onto cupcakes, cover with sprinkles, eat five without stopping, then send the rest of them in secret to your boyfriend to surprise him at work on his birthday. Easy cheesy!
<3 Hannah