The first time I had cowboy caviar was about 4 years ago and I couldn’t believe I hadn’t had anything like it before. It is so fresh and flavorful yet dead simple. You can throw it together with whatever beans you have in the cupboard, some chopped up tomatoes, frozen or fresh corn, onion, avocado, and cilantro (unless you are one of the legion cilantro haters in the world – just leave it out. It’ll still be great.).
It’s good with chips, but I honestly think it would be fantastic wrapped into a burrito with some cheese thrown in (now I want that…..) Make it the night before a party or get-together and people will love it (especially any vegan/vegetarians).
adapted from Krysta Steen
Serves 8-10 as a side dish/dip
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
3 cans beans of your choice (I used 2 cans black beans and 1 can black eyed peas)
1 red pepper, chopped (optional – I did not use)
½ medium red onion, chopped
cilantro, chopped, to taste
salt and pepper to taste
I had a bit of buttermilk left over from a different recipe and decided to try making a buttermilk quick bread. I was going to aim for something sweet and delicious, but as I listed the 10 options on this Kitchn article, my boyfriend got super excited when I mentioned the savory sundried tomato option.
I honestly have to say that yeast-based breads are still my preference, but when fresh out of the oven, this bread was good, and very crumbly and soft.
It dries out pretty quickly if left unwrapped, so wrap it up in plastic or tupperware to keep it soft and fresh. I was cavalier as usual and just left it out unwrapped overnight, which made it a little dry – totally my fault. But warmed up and with a little butter it could be saved!
Sundried Tomato and Herb Buttermilk Bread
from The Kitchn
Makes one loaf
2 cups (10 oz) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon white sugar
1/2 cup grated cheese (I used cheddar and parmesan)
2 tablespoons minced sundried tomatoes
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 cup (8 oz) buttermilk
1 large egg
1/4 cup (2 oz) unsalted butter, olive oil, or vegetable oil
Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease or spray with nonstick cooking spray a standard 9×5 loaf pan.
Whisk together the flour, sugar, cheese, sundried tomatoes, baking powder, baking soda, oregano, thyme, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Melt the butter, if using. Whisk it in a separate bowl with the buttermilk and the egg.
Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients. Gently stir and fold the ingredients until all the flour has been incorporated and a shaggy, wet batter is formed. Be careful not to over-mix.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and pat it into the corners. Bake for 45-50 minutes. When finished, the loaf should be domed and golden, and a toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean. Let the loaf cool in the pan for 15 minutes before removing and slicing.
Wrap baked loaves tightly in plastic wrap and store at room temperature. Baked loaves can also be wrapped in plastic and aluminum foil and frozen for up to three months.
I really love baking, but the problem with that hobby is that I have zero self-control around sweets. In my apartment it is rare that any baked goods will last longer than 48 hours. A lot of “healthy” baked goods aren’t as tasty, so I was excited when I found this recipe for delicious but healthy blueberry muffins.
There is no butter here, and only 1/4 cup each of sugar and honey. Instead of regular flour, it calls for whole wheat pastry flour. I didn’t have *pastry* flour, but I had whole wheat regular flour. I looked online and found out that to mimic pastry flour, just add 2 tablespoons corn starch to each scant cup of flour. That’s what I did here.
It worked really well. The muffins aren’t super sweet, so don’t expect the same flavor as your standard muffin from Starbucks or similar places (which are fantastic but basically dessert items). They are mildly sweet and don’t make you feel guilty.
Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins
from Pastry Affair
Yields 12 muffins
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup milk or almond milk
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup honey
1 cup wild blueberries (fresh or frozen)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and sugar. In a separate bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Whisk in the milk, applesauce, and honey. Next, pour the wet ingredients over the dry and stir until the flour is completely incorporated. Gently fold in the blueberries. Divide the batter into 12 greased muffin tins. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until tops turn golden brown. Let muffins cool before removing from pan.
I’ve had this recipe bookmarked from Smitten Kitchen for many months now and finally made it tonight. I actually really like brussels sprouts, and I certainly love anything cooked with white wine, chicken broth, onions & dijon.
First, the brussels are seared in equal parts butter and olive oil, until browned on one side.
Then they get combined with the broth, wine, and shallots (I used onions) to simmer for 20 minutes and get nice and soft.
The wine/broth is then mixed with a bit of cream and dijon to make a sauce, and the result is absolutely delicious. The mustard is not overly strong and it mixes perfectly with the dish. Make this now!!
Dijon Braised Brussels Sprouts
from Smitten Kitchen
Serves 4 as a side dish
1 pound brussels sprouts
1 tablespoon unsalted butter (I use salted all the time and its fine)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup broth (chicken or vegetable)
2 to 3 shallots or onions, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon smooth dijon mustard (or more to taste)
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley (optional)
Trim sprouts and halve lengthwise. In a large, heavy 12-inch skillet heat butter and oil over moderate heat. Arrange halved sprouts in skillet, cut sides down, in one layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook sprouts, without turning until undersides are golden brown, about 5 minutes. [Updated to note: If your sprouts don't fit in one layer, don't fret! Brown them in batches, then add them all back to the pan, spreading them as flat as possible, before continuing with the shallots, wine, etc.]
Add the shallots, wine and stock and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, reduce the heat to medium-low (for a gentle simmer), cover the pot with a lid (foil works too, if your skillet lacks a lid) and cook the sprouts until they are tender can be pierced easily with the tip of a paring knife, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Remove the lid, and scoop out brussels (leaving the sauce behind). Add cream and simmer for two to three minutes, until slightly thickened. Whisk in mustard. Taste for seasoning, and adjust as necessary with more salt, pepper or Dijon. Pour sauce over brussels, sprinkle with parsley, if using, and serve immediately.
I used to shy away from sundried tomatoes. My aversion to them began when I ordered a sundried tomato pizza at an Italian restaurant and got a pizza *covered* in the things, which were so strong and flavorful that they overpowered the entire pizza.
Since then I’ve come to love them, as long as they are in small quantities and used as a highlighted flavor rather than the main one. These stuffed mushrooms are the perfect place for them.
Technically, these are meant to be hors d’oeuvres, but we ate them just as dinner. I imagine they’d be really great as a side to steak or grilled chicken.
Sundried Tomato Stuffed Mushrooms
From Smitten Kitchen
1/2 ounce dried tomatoes (about 5, not packed in oil)
2 tablespoons olive oil
18 white mushrooms, stems pulled out and chopped fine and caps reserved
1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup fine dry bread crumbs
1 large egg yolk, beaten lightly
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, washed well, spun dry, and minced
1/2 teaspoon dried basil, crumbled
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
Preheat oven to 400°F.
In a small bowl soak tomatoes in hot water to cover 5 minutes. Reserving 1 tablespoon soaking liquid, drain tomatoes well and chop fine.
Lay mushroom caps, stems removed, face down on baking sheet either lightly sprayed with cooking spray or parchment paper. Bake them approximately 10 minutes, or until their liquid puddles underneath. Remove from the oven. Carefully pour off liquid that has gathered in the bottom of the pan, and then again, carefully, turn mushroom caps over so they are ready to be filled.
In a small skillet heat oil over moderate heat until hot but not smoking and cook chopped mushrooms stems, shallots and garlic, stirring until shallots are softened. In a bowl stir together mushrooms mixture, bread crumbs, tomatoes, reserved soaking liquid, yolk, parsley, basil, and salt and pepper to taste. Mound stuffing in reserved mushroom caps and arrange caps in a lightly greased shallow baking dish, or the same parchment-lined pan you’ve roasted your mushrooms in. Sprinkle mushrooms with Parmesan and bake in middle of oven 15 minutes.
Makes 18 hors d’oeuvres.
After buying sesame noodles from the grocery store on a weekly basis, I thought it was about time to make them at home. It seemed simple, and it absolutely is – cook the noodles, heat up the sauce, and combine. I used soba noodles instead of linguine due to soba’s magical nutritional content, and added carrots for crunch.
These should keep well for about 7 days and be great as a weekday lunch.
Adapted from Allrecipes
2 (9.5oz) packages soba noodles
6 cloves garlic, minced
5 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons olive or safflower oil
6 tablespoons rice vinegar
6 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons chili sauce
6 green onions, sliced
1 carrot, cut into matchsticks (optional)
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1. Boil soba noodles for 3-4 minutes or as long as package indicates. Drain, and transfer to a serving bowl.
2. Meanwhile, place a saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in garlic, sugar, oil, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and chili sauce. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves. Pour sauce over soba, and toss to coat. Garnish with green onions, carrots, and sesame seeds to serve.
After spending the past month laboring over studying for the GRE exam, and finally taking it yesterday, all I wanted to do today was relax. When free time abounds, I usually get the bug to start baking or cooking again.
I have a weakness for extremely simple recipes, standard things that have one special outstanding ingredient. This definitely qualifies – I’ve had chocolate cake a thousand times, but never one with red wine in it. I’ve had it in my “recipes” bookmarks for over a year now, and finally got around to slapping it together today. It comes together *really* fast and easily. The red wine gives it a delicious heady taste without tasting like alcohol at all.
This is awesome with some fresh raspberries on the side, and would likely work great as cupcakes as well, with a ganache frosting, fresh whipped cream, or confectioner’s sugar.
Red Wine Chocolate Cake
From 17 and Baking
Makes a 9×5″ loaf
1/2 cup (1 stick or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (6 7/8 ounces) firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup (4 ounces) granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
3/4 cup red wine
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (6 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (2 5/8 ounces) Dutch cocoa powder*
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
*If you can only find Natural-process cocoa, leave out the baking powder and use 1/2 tsp baking soda.
Preheat the oven to 325 F. Butter and flour a 9×5″ loaf pan.
Beat the butter on medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the sugars and cream until lightened and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the egg until well combined, then mix in the wine, yogurt, and vanilla. The batter might look curdled, but don’t worry. Sift in the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir with a spoon until there are no streaks of flour left, scraping down the sides of the bowl and being careful not to over mix.
Scrape the batter into the loaf pan and bake 60-70 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool the loaf in the pan on a rack for 10-15 minutes, then run a knife around the edges and turn it out.