Dutch Babies

For Christmas this last year my mom (or Santa?) gave me a set of red ramekins. I have a thing for red kitchen items, so this was the perfect present. However, 5 months have passed and my cute red ramekins were still sitting in their packaging untouched.  I decided this morning was the morning to put these guys to work.

I found this recipe for Dutch Babies and decided it would make the perfect breakfast this morning. I was no misled in the slightest. I literally burst out giggling when I pulled them out of the oven because they looked so comical, puffed up so high.

Dutch Babies
(source)

Ingredients
1 cup flour
1 cup milk
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
4 tsp vegetable oil

Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 475.

2. To make the batter, in a food processor combine the flour, milk, eggs, vanilla, sugar, and salt. Pulse until well combined.

3. In each ramekin spread 1 tsp of the vegetable oil with a pastry brush.

4. Divide the batter before the 4 ramekins. Place on a baking sheet.

5. Bake the dutch babies for about 15 minutes, or until they are golden brown and puff up.

6. You can top with lemon juice and powdered sugar.

* makes 4
* 243 calories per dutch baby
* shared with See Ya in the Gumbo

Liebster Award

Much to my surprise I checked my blog recently and saw that I was awarded the LIEBSTER AWARD! Kate, of Katie-Kate’s Kitchen awarded me with the Liebster for my 52-week challenge of traveling around the world in food. While I will fully admit, I have entirely slacked off with this you should be expecting to see me travel to Haiti in food this week. Thank you Kate for this honor!

Once you receive the Liebster there are several requirements for what you must do:

1.  You must thank the blogger who gave you the award, and link back to their post.
2.  You must post the Liebster icon on your Thank You post.
3.  You must present the Liebster to five other blogs, and they must have under 200 followers to be eligible.
4.  Let those awardees know you gave them an award by leaving them a comment on their blog!
I am awarding the Liebster to:
- Couscous & Consciousness gets the first of the awards I am to give out! Over at Couscous & Consciousness you can participate in Cookbook Sundays. Cookbook Sundays provide a great opportunity to use those cookbooks on your shelves!
- KB & White Snake Home gets my second award this evening! Every week these two post up Simply Delish, allowing other bloggers the opportunity to share things made in their own kitchens! They deserve an award for this great link up!
- Made Famous By… gets an award also! I love the food photos throughout this blog. More people need to go look at the lovely food photography!
- The Desperate Chefwife gets award number 4. I love how her blog is laid out, making different types of recipes easy to find!
- Last but definitely not least the last award goes to A Baker’s House. Her recipes are easy to follow and she even provides how-tos (like how to cut a mango!)

Brie and Brisket Tacos with Mango Barbecue Sauce

I saw this recipe sometime back and it initiated a drool fest. I can’t usually make mango dishes because Matt is allergic to many raw fruits – mangoes, avocados, pears, apples . . . basically, lots of stone fruits. However, if you take those raw fruits and cook them he’s not allergic to them anymore. We’ve done some research on it and basically it’s an enzyme in the fruit he’s allergic to that gets cooked out. Because of this I rarely get to eat avocado and I rarely get to eat mango. When I saw this recipe I was so happy because the mango was cooked!

If you read this, will you share recipes with me that you’ve enjoyed that have included cooked mango and avocado? I know of dishes for the pear and apple, but the mango and avocado are much desired in my diet but also avoided.

Anyway, this mango barbecue sauce did not cause an allergic reaction in him! The brisket was absolutely delicious. The brie on the taco was so fancy and tasty.

Brie and Brisket Tacos with Mango Barbecue Sauce
(source)

Ingredients

BRISKET
3 lb brisket
salt
ground black pepper
garlic powder
ground chili powder
20 oz Dr. Pepper

MANGO CHUTNEY (needed for sauce) 
1 tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup yellow onion, diced
1/4 jalapeno, minced
3 cl0ves garlic, minced
3 tbsp cider vinegar
juice from 1 lemon
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar
pinch of ginger
pinch of curry powder
1 mango, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup raisins
1 cup water

MANGO BARBECUE SAUCE
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 cup ketchup
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tsp mustard
1/4 cup of mango chutney

TACOS
8 taco shells
8 oz brie, thinly sliced

Directions

BRISKET

1. To make the brisket, rub the meat with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and chili powder. Place in the slow cooker and pour the Dr. Pepper over the top. Set on low and cook for 8 hours.

2. Once done, remove from the slow cooker and let sit for 10 minutes. Slice the brisket against the grain.

MANGO CHUTNEY

1. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan. Add the onions and saute until translucent. Add the jalapeno and garlic an cook for 1 more minute.

2. Whisk together the vinegar, lemon, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, ginger, and curry powder.

3. Add to the onions. Add mango, raisins, and water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to medium-low. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

4. Using a spoon smash the mangoes. Cook uncovered until the liquid has reduced.

MANGO BARBECUE SAUCE

1. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan. Saute the onions for 5 minutes.

2. Stir in the remaining ingredients and cook for 5 minutes.

3. Pour into a food processor and pulse until well combined.

TACOS

1. Put meat in each of the taco shells. Top with barbecue sauce and cheese.

* serves 8, but with extra meat left over
* Shared with F.O.T.M.C. at La Cocina de Leslie and Simply Delish at KB and Whitesnakes Home

Sloppy Lentil Sandwich

Sometimes my boyfriend gets these silly food ideas that end up being great. I call them “little boy food” or “little boy ideas.” These ideas usually come in the form of desserts, where he’ll go into the kitchen and make some sweet concoction that looks bizarre but tastes delicious. Tonight he actually semi-hijacked my meal and turned it into his little boy food.

I had made lentil soup for dinner and I probably let it cook a little too long. Because of that, a lot of the liquid had cooked off. And by “a lot,” I mean the majority of the liquid was gone and it was more just lentils with vegetables rather than lentil soup. Matt walked in, looked at what was cooking, and said, “Hey, we can make sloppy joes.” I kind of looked him confused, because clearly this is not sloppy joe filling, this is lentil soup! But the more I thought about it, the more I really loved the idea of making it into a sandwich. Since the consistency of the lentils definitely wasn’t soupy, it could easily go on a bun.

The sandwich was messy, much like a sloppy joe. The lentils weren’t entirely happy being between the bun as they slipped out occasionally. But for the most part, most of my lentils did stay on the sandwich.

Very simple and very yummy!

Sloppy Lentil Sandwich
(original lentil soup recipe)

 Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, cut into chunks
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp paprika
1 1/2 carrots, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 cup crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 cups lentils, soaked, rinsed, and drained
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 ground black pepper
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp white wine
2 bay leaves
3 1/2 cups chicken broth
4 hamburger buns

Directions

1. In a large pot heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until glossy. Add the garlic, paprika, carrots, and celery. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Add the tomatoes, lentil, salt, pepper, bay leaves, and chicken broth. Bring to a simmer. Pour in the wine and stir. Bring to a rolling boil.

3. Lower the heat slowly on the soup. Let simmer at medium-low heat for one hour.

4. See if enough of the liquid has cooked off. If not, keep cooking until the lentils aren’t soupy.

5. Divide the lentils between the buns.

* serves 4
* 362 calories per sandwich
* shared with Tasty Tuesday Party &  Tempt My Tummy Tuesday

Impossibly Easy Mini Pies

I found this recipe at Betty Crocker and have had so much fun with it. I’ve made two different variations of the mini pie in the last day and it’s definitely a dish that will be added to my repertoire. This little Bisquick muffin can be filled with any variation of tasties that you want to eat. For the first pie, I followed the recipe exactly for the Chicken and Broccoli pie.

Chicken and Broccoli Mini Pies

Ingredients
1/2 cup Bisquick
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 lb skinless boneless chicken breasts, cubed
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 cup broccoli pieces
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 cup shredded Cheddar

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 375. Spray a muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

2. In a bowl combine the Bisquick, milk, and eggs.

3. In a skillet heat the oil. Add the chicken and cook through. Add the onions and cook for 3 minutes. Add broccoli and heat through.

4. Scoop 1 tbsp of the batter into each of the muffin cups. Divide the filling equally between the 12 cups and scoop into the cups. Scoop 1 tbsp of batter over the top of each muffin cup.

5. Bake for 30 minutes.

Latin American Inspired Mini Pies

Ingredients
1/2 cup Bisquick
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
1 tomato, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 onion, diced
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp jalapeno, minced
1 tsp oregano
1/2 cup potato chips, crushed
1/2 cup Cheddar cheese, grated
1 avocado, sliced

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 375. Spray a muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

2. In a bowl combine the Bisquick, milk, and eggs.

3. In another bowl combine the tomato, garlic, onion, cumin, jalapeno, oregano, chips, and cheese.

4. Scoop 1 tbsp of the batter into each of the muffin cups. Divide the filling equally between the 12 cups and scoop into the cups. Scoop 1 tbsp of batter over the top of each muffin cup.

5. Bake for 30 minutes.

6. Garnish with avocado slices.

* Shared with Bake with Bizzy & Full Plate Thursday

Stir-Fry with Brown Sauce

I’m trying so hard to get back to cooking nearly every night! I never understood it before when my mom would tell me she was tired of cooking. I always have found cooking dinner to be so relaxing, so I couldn’t understand why someone wouldn’t want to do it. But over the last few months I totally started to understand it. But after standing on the scale and seeing what not cooking does to my gut is putting things into perspective and getting me back to cooking – so you should be seeing more stuff posted.

Stir-frys are easy. I love things I can cook quick but still taste delicious. My boyfriend said it would have been good with corn in it. This is definitely a dish I will remake and it will have corn next time.

Stir-Fry with Brown Sauce
(based on this recipe)

Ingredients
1/2 tbsp vegetable oil, or less
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp soy sauce
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 cup chopped broccolini
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1/4 onion, diced

Directions

1. In a small amount of oil brown the chicken on all sides. Don’t worry about cooking through. Remove and set aside.

2. Add the garlic, soy sauce, brown sugar, and 1/2 cup chicken broth. Stir together and bring to a simmer.

3. Add the chicken and vegetables. Cover with a lid and let simmer in the liquid for 20 minutes.

4. Stir the remaining chicken broth with the cornstarch.

5. Pour the broth and cornstarch into the stir-fry. Stir and simmer until the liquid thickens.

* serves 2
* 234 calories per serving (excluding the rice)
* Shared with What’s Cooking Wednesday

Mushroom Broccolini Risotto

This month at Food ‘n Flix we watched Sideways, hosted by Life in the Slow Lane at Squirrel Head Manor.

I first saw Sideways the year it had come out, back in 2005. My dad was sent to Blockbuster and told to get a comedy. He came back with Sideways. Being 18 years old and expecting something truly funny, I was not expecting the dark comedy he had brought home. We ended up turning it off.

Seeing it again these seven years later has made a mountain of a difference.

In Sideways two middle age men go on a trip through Southern California’s wine country. Honestly, until I saw this movie I had no idea that Southern California even had a wine country. I live in Sacramento, grew up in San Francisco, and went to college in Santa Cruz. I am very much a Northern California girl and always just thought of “wine country” as being Napa county. In fact, I have plans this summer to go wine tasting in Napa with several of my girl friends. I hope this happens because I’ve never gone wine tasting before. And I hope I’m not the driver.

For the recipe to share with Food ‘n Flix I decided to pick something and pair it with wine, since that was the overwhelming theme of the movie.

Here’s the problem. Well, there’s two. I don’t know much about wine and I’m cheap as hell. I originally googled what I should pair with a mushroom risotto and read that I should pair it with a Dolcetto. That sounds great and all, but the $20 bottle of wine from Bevmo really just wasn’t fitting this poor law student’s budget. Upon more searching I read that a chardonnay would be a good pair for this type of meal – and since the recipe called for dry white wine I decided I’d buy a wine, cook with it, and drink it.

This bottle of wine was about $10. I didn’t spit it out, so that’s a good sign.

It is a California wine, but not from the Santa Barbara area. This winery is actually in Sonoma County and is about an hour and a half away from where I live. This is definitely local wine. Though it was cheap, for this law student’s budget it was perfect. Websites indicate that “this Classic Sonoma County Chardonnay exhibits ripefruity flavors of pear, crisp green apple, vanilla and toasty caramel.” When it comes to wine I just taste fermented grapes, so what do I know.

I do like white wine more than red wine though – that is one thing I know. The reason though is because white wine doesn’t stain my lips and make me look drunk.

Risotto isn’t the easiest dish to make, but I think I pulled it off pretty well for this meal. Overall I was satisfied.

Find out about entering this month’s Food ‘n Flix here!

Mushroom Broccolini Rissoto
(serves 2)

Ingredients
1/2 lb arborio rice
4 oz sliced mushrooms
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup broccolini
1/2 onion, diced
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup white wine

Directions

1. In a pot combine the mushrooms and the chicken broth. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and boil for 20 minutes. When it has finished boiling strain the mushrooms. Reserve the broth.

2. Bring another pot of water to a boil. Add the broccolini and cook for 3 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.

3. Ina deep skillet melt the butter with olive oil. Cook the onions for about 3 minutes. Add the rice and toast for 3 more minutes.

4. Add wine and stir for 2 minutes.

5. As the liquid evaporates from the rice, add 1/2 cup of the reserved broth to the rice. Continue to cook, bringing to a low boil, stirring frequently. Continue to add more broth (or water if you run out of broth) as the liquid evaporates, stirring consistently. Cook for about 20 minutes, or until the rice is cooked.

6. Fold in the broccolini, Parmesan, and mushrooms.

* serves 2

Tomato and Sausage Pilaf

This last semester of law school had me effectively fall off the planet. As of last night though I am now 66% done with law school – only one year left!

If this blog were actually entitled Law Student Eats or something (as opposed to it being my Cookbook) these last few months of food would be filled the nastiest foods ever. I have eaten a lot of hot dogs and chili fries, hamburgers, pizza, and Chinese food. I am not saying any of those are actually nasty, because they taste really good . . . But I have hardly been healthy and unfortunately I’ve noticed a major increase in my weight in the last few months. This is very disappointing given how much I lost last year. I don’t want it all to be for nothing, so it’s time I pull myself together again and start making meals that matter and reexplore my kitchen and have fun.

My around the world challenge, like I’ve mentioned, was entirely set-back by my hectic life. But I will be making those missed out ‘trips’ up starting next meal plan hopefully. If not, I do still plan to make 52 dishes from other countries – we will just see how it pans out.

My school work has really gotten in the way of cooking. I was also disappointed that I wasn’t able to participate in Food ‘n Flix last month because I just had no time to watch the movie. I already have my dish picked out though for this month’s movie, Sideways. I plan to make it Friday this week. I just need to go to the store and get some wine first. To participate in this fun event check it out here.

Now with that being said and all my talking out of the way, this pilaf was delicious. I usually mess rice up if it’s not cooked traditionally (or in a rice cooker.) This recipe was surprisingly simple, left me with fluffy (not burnt) rice, and tasted delicious.

Tomato and Sausage Pilaf
(source)

Ingredients
1 1/2 tsp olive oil
9 oz smoked sausage, sliced
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 cup basmati rice
2 1/2 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 cup crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp chicken broth
1/2 cup frozen peas

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350.

2. Heat 1/2 tsp of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add sausages and cook, turning occasionally, for 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

3. Add 1/2 tsp of olive oil, onion, and garlic to the frying pan. Cook for 5 minutes, or until soft. Add the rice, and cook stirring for 1 minute. Transfer to an ovenproof dish. Place sausages on top of rice.

4. Add the remaining oil and mushrooms to the frying pan. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes, until the mushrooms begin to release liquid. Add the tomato and broth; bring to a boil. Pour over rice and stir to combine. Cover dish with tight-fitting lid.

5. Bake for 40 minutes. Add peas. Bake covered for 5 more minutes.

* serves 2

Beer Battered Grilled Cheese

I missed last month’s Crazy Cooking Challenge (blueberry muffins) because I just forgot to post the link. I made these delicious blueberry rum muffins, but oh well.

This month’s challenge was to make a grilled cheese sandwich. And with grilled cheese sandwiches comes a story from my youth. When I was little my mom loved grilled cheese sandwiches. And if I recall correctly, we had them quite often. But I didn’t realize they were called grilled cheese sandwiches. What I heard was girled cheese sandwiches. I would always get upset that my brother was getting a girled cheese for lunch because I thought they were part of the magical world of girl foods, or something.

In college I ate grilled cheese sandwiches a lot also, mostly because they were cheap and easy to make. A grilled cheese and tomato soup was hands down one of the best meals after a long day working for minimum wage.

This sandwich was a twist on the classic grilled cheese, having the beer batter. I probably should have cooked them a little longer to get a little crispier, but all in all, loved it!

Beer Battered Grilled Cheese
(inspiration)

Ingredients
4 slices bacon
4 slices bread
2 slices mozzarella cheese
2 slices cheddar cheese
1 egg
3/4 cup beer
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp chili powder
1 tbsp butter

Directions

1. Cook bacon until crisp. Set aside.

2. On 2 slices of bread place 1 slice of mozzarella, 2 pieces of bacon, and 1 piece of cheddar cheese. Top each with a piece of bread.

3. Heat a griddle over medium-high heat. In a shallow bowl combine the egg, beer, flour, and chili powder. Dip each side of the sandwich into the batter and let absorb.

4. Melt butter on a hot griddle. Place sandwiches on griddle. Cook 3-4 minutes on each side, until golden brown.

* makes 2 sandwiches

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Spaghetti Meatball Pie

Topic One: I need to get back on my 52 week around the world challenge. I obviously am not going to complete the challenge in 52 weeks (because like I said in the last post, school and work has gotten the best of me,) however I do still plan on cooking dishes from 52 countries, even if it means doubling up on weeks. But I’m not even going to pretend to try yet. I need to finish the semester out.

Topic Two: This Dish! I made this spaghetti meatball pie after participating in the Crazy Cooking Challenge‘s Spaghetti and Meatballs challenge. I was so in love with the idea of ButterYum’s Spaghetti and Meatball Pie that I added it to my recipe bookmarks. I consider this “little boy food.” “Little boy food” is food I make that I know Matt will go crazy over. It’s always pretty simple flavors, but it comprises those hearty meals from childhood. Granted, Matt nor I had ever actually had Spaghetti Meatball Pie in our childhoods – but this take on the classic spaghetti and meatballs was not only fun, it was yummy.

And easy, don’t forget that.

Spaghetti Meatball Pie

Ingredients
1/2 lb spaghetti noodles
1 1/2 cup pasta sauce
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup mushroom pieces
20 frozen meatballs, thawed and cut in half

Directions

1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Once cooked, drain. Preheat oven to 350. Spray a springform pan with Pam.

2. In a skillet with a minimal amount of oil, cook the mushrooms until soft.

3. In a large bowl combine the eggs, spaghetti noodles, pasta sauce, and cheese. In another bowl combine together the meatballs and mushrooms.

4. Pour half the noodles into the springform pan. Top with the meatballs and mushrooms. Pour the other half of the spaghetti noodles on top.

5. Top with any extra cheese.

6. Cover in aluminum foil. Place the springform pan on a baking sheet. Bake for 55 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 10 more minutes.

7. Remove and let sit for 20 minutes before serving.

* serves 8
* 318 calories per serving
* Shared with Presto Pasta