Tuesday, September 27, 2011

V is for Veggie

Since Rex has been off of baby food and solely on table food, I have been exploring creative ways to still get his vegetables in him. He loves carbs (can you blame him?) so I normally find myself mixing the vegetables that I have chopped into miniscule pieces in rice or pasta. After we spoon them both in, he is quite skilled at separating the starch from the vegetable and returning one back out of his mouth via his tongue. Can you guess which one he decides to keep?

Because of this little veggie rejection trick he has mastered I knew this recipe would be a fantastic way to get him to eat his vegetables. If I cooked the risotto in the squash there would be no way for him make the distinction. And I am happy to report it was a huge hit! He devoured two bowls and ate it for lunch the next day as well. No veggie objection here!

Butternut Squash Risotto
Adapted from Cooking Light
October 2011

  • 3 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash, divided
  • 3 1/2 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups uncooked Arborio rice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 5 ounces applewood-smoked bacon, cooked and crumbled

Combine 2 cups squash and 2 1/2 cups water in a saucepan; bring to a boil.

Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat; let stand 5 minutes. Place mixture in a food processor. Process until smooth.

Return mixture to pan. Stir in broth; bring to a simmer. Reserve 1/4 cup squash mixture. Keep pan warm over low heat. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add rice; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Stir in remaining 1 cup squash, 2 1/2 cups squash mixture, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Cook 2 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly.

Add remaining squash mixture, 1 cup at a time,

stirring until each cup is absorbed before adding the next (about 20 minutes). Remove from heat; stir in reserved 1/4 cup squash mixture. Top with parsley and bacon.

Click Here for My Adapted Printable Recipes

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Book Club Bounty - September

September's Book Club was hosted by my sister and since I only had to provide one dish for the meeting, I decided it would be an extra chocolatey dessert. This cake made a beautiful presentation and all of the ladies seemed to enjoy it. Next time I make this cake I will be sure to serve it with some vanilla ice cream or a dollop of fresh whip cream. It was very rich and crumbly and could have used a little something to balance the texture.

As for our book, we read "Heaven is for Real" by Todd Burpo. Meh. I wasn't in love with this book at all, our discussion wasn't nearly as compelling as the month before and I think we learned one very important book club lesson - no non-fiction.

Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake
Adapted from William Sonoma


For the cake:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 16 Tbs. (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
For the Glaze:
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 Tbs. chocolate liqueur

Have all the ingredients at room temperature.

Position a rack in the center of an oven and preheat to 325°F. Grease and flour a decorative 10-cup Bundt® pan.

To make the cake, over a sheet of waxed paper, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt; repeat until well blended. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, 30 to 45 seconds. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the granulated sugar, beating until blended. Increase the speed to medium-high and continue beating, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl, until the mixture is light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the eggs a little at a time, beating each addition until incorporated before adding more, until the mixture is thick and creamy, 1 to 2 minutes; stop mixer occasionally and scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Beat in the vanilla.

Reduce the speed to low and fold in the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the sour cream and beginning and ending with the flour,

until just blended and no lumps of flour remain. Then gently fold in the chocolate.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading the batter so the sides are about 1 inch higher than the center.
Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour. Transfer to a wire rack and cool the cake upright in the pan for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the glaze: In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the granulated sugar and water and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate liqueur.

Set the rack over a sheet of waxed paper, invert the pan onto the rack and lift off the pan. Generously brush the warm cake with the glaze.

Slice and Serve.

Click Here for My Adapted Printable Recipe

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Salami Skepticism

Forrest is a big fan of Salami and I have never been crazy about it, but always willing to eat it if it is buried in a a dish with other ingredients of my liking. I went into making this super easy calzone thinking I would be turned off by the fact that the salami was the sole meat. And boy was I ever wrong. This calzone was delicious. All of the ingredients worked wonderfully together and it even left me questioning my salami disdain...

Salami Mozzarella Calzone
Adapted from the Food Network

  • 1 large green bell pepper, diced and sauteed in cooking spray
  • 4 oz of white button mushrooms, sliced and sauteed in cooking spray
  • 1 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 pound shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
  • 1 13.8-ounce tube refrigerated pizza dough
  • 1/4 pound deli-sliced salami, cut into thin strips
  • 1/4 pound sliced provolone cheese

Place a baking sheet upside down in the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Beat the eggs and parsley in a small bowl.

Pour half of the egg mixture into a medium bowl and stir in the mozzarella.

Reserve the remaining egg mixture for brushing on the crust.

Turn another baking sheet upside down; line with parchment paper and brush with olive oil. Unroll the dough on the parchment paper and pat into a 9-by-12-inch rectangle. Spread the mozzarella mixture over one half of the dough, leaving a 1-inch border along the edge.

Top with the salami,

followed by vegetables

and provolone.

Fold the other half of the dough over to cover the filling. Crimp and roll the edges to seal,

then pierce the top of the dough in a few places with a knife.

Slide the calzone with the parchment paper onto the hot baking sheet; bake 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush with the remaining egg mixture,

then continue to bake until the crust is golden, 5 to 10 more minutes. Let rest 5 minutes, then cut into wedges.

Click Here for My Adapted Printable Recipe