Saturday, November 17, 2007

Low-Fat Fudgy Brownies

And finally the recipe! These were really tasty, chocolaty brownies--and low fat! Of course ice cream tops them off wonderfully. :)

Fudgy Low-Fat Brownies
America's Test Kitchen

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
2 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 T unsalted butter
2 T low-fat sour cream
1 T chocolate syrup
2 t vanilla
1 egg
1 egg white
1 cup sugar

Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat to 350.
Fold 2, 12-inch pieces foil lengthwise so each measures 7 inches wide. Fit sheets into 8-inch square pan, pushing foil into corners and up sides of pan (to help remove brownies--optional).
Spray foil or pan with cooking spray.
Whisk dry ingredients together.
Melt bittersweet chocolate and butter in large bowl until smooth. Cool several minutes, then whisk in sour cream, syrup, vanilla, eggs, and sugar.
fold in dry ingredients until combined.
Pour batter into pan. Bake until slightly puffed and toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few sticky crumbs attached, 20-25 min.
Cool completely on wire rack.


Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti

Coming soon!

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Compound Butters

Cranberry Honey Butter

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Friday, November 16, 2007

Alsatian Apple Tart

Coming soon!

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Quinoa with Moroccan Winter Squash and Carrot Stew

This is one of my favorite vegetable stews. It is perfect for a fall day and has wonderful flavors. I love butternut squash and it's sweetness is nicely balanced by the combination of spices in the stew. Today I added parsnips along with the carrots and squash--yum! The spiced quinoa really goes well with it. It's nice to use an alternative grain, like quinoa, for a change from the normal rice, bulgur, or couscous. It has great texture and is beautiful too! This is definitely one of my favorite recipes. And my husband will eat it too!! Continue for recipe.

Quinoa with Moroccan Winter Squash and Carrot Stew
Bon Appetit


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 teaspoons Hungarian sweet paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup water
1 can diced tomatoes (14 1/2 ounce)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 cups cubed, peeled butternut squash (from 1 1/2-pound squash)
2 cups 3/4 inch cubed, peeled carrots (I used use a little more squash and a little less carrots)


1 cup quinoa
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped peeled carrot
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 cups water

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided

1. For stew: Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; sauté until soft, stirring often, about 5 minutes.

2. Add garlic; stir 1 minute. Mix in paprika and next 8 ingredients.

3. Add 1 cup water, tomatoes, and lemon juice. Bring to boil. Add squash and carrots.

4. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally, about 40 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)

5. For quinoa: Rinse quinoa; drain. Melt butter with oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and carrot. Cover; cook until vegetables begin to brown, stirring often, about 10 minutes.

6. Add garlic, salt, and turmeric; sauté 1 minute. Add quinoa; stir 1 minute. Add 2 cups water. Bring to boil; reduce heat to medium-low. Cover; simmer until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes.

7. Rewarm stew. Stir in half of cilantro. Spoon quinoa onto platter, forming well in center. Spoon stew into well. Sprinkle remaining herbs over.


Herbed Turkey Stock

Getting ready for Thanksgiving!! Yeah! This is the first year that it will be at my home and I can't wait! Both of my sisters and their husbands are flying in for the celebration. I just love Thanksgiving. It's such a warm, comforting time full of food, family, and heavenly smells. Only one more week!

I decided to start my preparations in advance so that I'm able to relax when my sisters are here. So I made my turkey stock from a recipe from Fine Cooking. I'll use it for my gravy on Thanksgiving. I roasted turkey parts with aromatic vegetables, then simmered them with fresh herbs: thyme, sage, and parsely. After straining, I popped it in the freezer. The aroma was great! Recipe coming soon!

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Grandma's Cranberry Bread

My grandmother always had a loaf of cranberry bread in her freezer to have ready when we requested it. We loved it. "I want cranberry bread, Grandma!" It reminds me of her home in Missouri and her kitchen, in which she was always preparing good meals for us. Comforting food. Old-fashioned home-cooking. She served this bread for both Thanksgiving and Christmas and usually included small tins with her holiday baskets filled with goodies that she made for family and neighbors. Sometimes, she baked in tin cans, giving the bread a nice round shape. Sadly, my grandma doesn't remember how to bake anymore--having succumbed to the slow progression of Alzheimer's--but she does remark, "I think I used to make something like this!"

It's recipes like this bread that provide a special connection through the generations and a sense of continuity with those that have come before us. It's important for me to preserve these family culinary traditions, passing them along and keeping the memories alive. My grandma's memories may be gone, but a portion are still alive with me and my family to enjoy and cherish and share with our children.

So, with a theme of Traditional Feasts, I am going to contribute this post to the Monthly Mingle blog event, and pass on this traditional recipe to others as well. Enjoy! Continue for bread recipe.

Grandma's Cranberry Bread

Yield: 2 loaves

2 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 1/4 cups cranberries, sliced round or coarsely chopped (or closer to 1 1/2 cups)
3 tablespoons shortening
1 cup nuts (I like walnuts)
1 tablespoon orange rind, or a bit more
juice of one orange plus enough boiling water to make one cup liquid (or 1 cup orange)

1. Sift first five ingredients together twice. (Alternatively, pulse in food processor.)

2. Add shortening to cup of hot juice (it should melt some); add eggs and rind.

3. Add juice mixture to dry ingredients; fold together.

4. Add chopped nuts and cranberries.

5. Bake at 350 degrees until edges start to color and toothpick inserted comes out clean. (This is roughly 30 minutes, more or less, for 2 loaf pans).


Monday, November 5, 2007

Blueberry Muffins

My husband, being such a thoughtful guy, wanted to bring breakfast to the office today for one of his less fortunate co-workers, " The Giant." Apparently, they make friendly wagers over sporting events, and "The Giant" continually loses, forcing him to pay for lunch. My husband just thought he'd do something kind for the loser, in anticipation of "The Giant's" eminent downfall next week. Someday he will learn--my husband is the WINNER!! :) So, these cinnamon-topped blueberry muffins are en-route to the office--enjoy!

Recipe coming soon!

Blueberry Muffins
from The Best Recipe