Friday, August 22, 2014

Spicy Peanut Butter Noodles

My sister has been trying to get me to make this for ages. I haven't had much luck with Asian flavored noodles. I don't really like fish or oyster sauce, and I hadn't found any recipes I am partial to. I loved this one! I made it spicy with 1 1/2 tsps of Sriracha sauce, and it was pretty hot! My kids would have probably preferred a little less kick. If you don't want to buy a whole bottle of Sriracha sauce for this recipe, (the bottles are big) you could substitute some crushed red pepper flakes, but I really liked the flavor of the sauce. This would also be great with the addition of chicken or tofu.

Spicy Peanut Butter Noodles
adapted from
8 ounces linguine noodles
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 TBSPs minced fresh ginger root
3 TBSPs soy sauce
3 TBSPs peanut butter
1 1/2 TBSPs honey
1 - 2 tsps hot chili sauce, like Sriracha sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped peanuts

1.Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add noodles and cook until tender according to package directions. Drain.
2. Meanwhile, combine chicken broth, ginger, soy sauce, peanut butter, honey, chili sauce, and garlic in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until peanut butter melts and is heated through. Add noodles, and toss to coat. Garnish with green onions and peanuts.
Serves 4

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Blueberry Sauce

I used this sauce on my Blueberry Baked French Toast. It would also be great on ice cream. It's very easy to make!!

Blueberry Sauce
adapted from
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
2 TBSPs lemon juice
2 TBSPs cornstarch, mixed with 2 TBSPs cold water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the blueberries, 1/2 cup of water, sugar and lemon juice. Stir frequently, and bring to a low boil.
2. In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of cold water.
3. Slowly stir the corn starch into the blueberries, taking care not to crush the blueberries. Simmer until the homemade blueberry sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon, about 5 minutes.
4. Remove from heat and gently stir in vanilla.

Notes: You can adjust the sweetness of the sauce by decreasing or increasing the sugar. Also, if you want it to be more syrupy instead of thick, then add a little more water.

Blueberry Baked French Toast

That's right, more blueberries! Gotta use up all the berries we picked! This is a variation of my Brazos Baked French Toast. I've changed a couple of things from the original. Besides the addition of blueberries, I cut down on the butter because you just don't need it. This is a fabulous breakfast or brunch that will definitely impress! I used a Blueberry Sauce on the top in this picture that made it taste even more fruity! I'll be posting that too.

Blueberry Baked French Toast
1  loaf french bread (day old bakery bread works great)
8 oz cream cheese
1 - 1 1/2 cups blueberries (frozen works too)
4 TBSPs butter or margarine, melted
1 1/2 cups half and half
1/4 cup maple syrup
10 eggs
Powdered sugar
Blueberry Sauce

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 in baking dish with non stick spray.
2. Cube bread and layer half in prepared dish. Cut the cream cheese into small pieces and sprinkle evenly across the bread. Sprinkle on blueberries. Cover with remaining bread cubes.
2. Pour melted butter over the top of the bread cubes.
3. Mix half and half, syrup, and eggs pour over the top as evenly as possible. Try to cover all the bread. Press down with spatula so that all the liquid is absorbed by the bread.
4. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
5. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 min. If it starts to get too brown, lay a sheet of foil on top until it has finished baking. Remove from oven and sift powered sugar over top. Cut into 8-12 servings. Serve with blueberry sauce or maple syrup.

Here are some pics of the process. They aren't the best though because I took them with my phone and didn't have very good lighting, but you get the idea.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Blueberry Muffins with Crumb Topping

I thought I had posted this recipe! I searched my blog to make these and realized that I hadn't. Luckily I still had the recipe card! We went blueberry picking and brought home 10 lbs. of berries. My first thought of what to do with them was these muffins. I love their crumb topping. This recipe also works well for chocolate chip muffins, just substitute chocolate chips for the blueberries. 

Blueberry Muffins with Crumb Topping

3/4 c flour
1/3 cup margarine
1/3 c brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 egg beaten
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup oil
1 cup blueberries

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and prepare a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners or non stick baking spray.
2. For topping: Combine topping ingredients in a medium sized bowl and mix using a pastry blender or fork, cutting up the margarine into no bigger than pea sized pieces. Set aside.
3. For muffins: In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients.
4. Add egg, buttermilk, and oil; stir until just blended.
5. Gently fold in blueberries
6. Divide muffin batter evenly among prepared cups. Sprinkle each cup of batter with 1 1/2 TBSPs of topping mixture.
7. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-17 minutes. Cool on wire rack.
Makes 12 muffins

10 lbs of berries!!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Apple Butter Grilled Cheese

Yep, I spread apple butter on my grilled cheese sandwich, and it was good. I was looking for a sandwich idea for dinner, and found a couple different GC with apple butter and we gave it a try. It's very sweet, but the arugula balances it out. I found that my children don't have quite a refined enough palate for arugula (defined as a spicy and bold green), so if you're not up for that, you could use baby spinach. :) I used deli turkey, cheddar, and sliced Granny Smith apples (the tartness is also good contrast). It's quite a different tasting sandwich, but I really loved it. 

Apple Butter Grilled Cheese
 ¼ cup arugula
Dash of apple cider vinegar
2 slices bread
Apple butter
Thinly sliced Granny Smith apple
Sliced deli turkey lunchmeat
Sliced cheddar cheese
1 TBSP butter or margarine for grilling

1. Preheat skillet or panini press to medium heat. (I used my George Forman Grill)
2. In a small bowl, toss arugula with a dash of apple cider vinegar.
3. Spread apple butter on one side of each piece of bread. Top an apple butter side of bread with arugula, apple slices, followed by cheese, then turkey. Place the other piece of bread on top, apple butter side down and press. Spread butter on outside of bread slices.
4. Cook in the pan for 2 minutes on each side, or until browned and cheese is melted.

Makes 1 sandwich

Monday, July 14, 2014

Chewy Granola Bars

These are THE best snack for summer! No baking required and you can make them so many different ways! They taste much better than store bought and are soft and chewy. I have made them 4 times in the last few weeks. The first batch I made didn't stick together very well. I figured out that you really have to press them FIRMLY into the pan to make them stick. Also, make sure to store them in the fridge. I tried chocolate chip, mini M&M and coconut, and raisin with 1/2 tsp of cinnamon added. I used flax meal in some and wheat germ in others, and both were great. The chocolate must be sprinkled on the top because if it is stirred in, it will melt. But if substituting the the chocolate and/or almonds for coconut, raisins, or other dried fruit, mix them in with the dry ingredients. If you throw in too many extras, the bars will be dry and not stick together, so don't add more than 1 cup total. The original recipe uses dark brown sugar, but I like light brown sugar instead. 

Chewy Granola Bars
adapted from
6 TBSPs butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 TBSPs honey
1 1/2 tsps vanilla
Heaping 1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups quick cooking oats
1 3/4 cups Rice Krispies cereal
1/4 cup flax meal or wheat germ
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

1. Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil. Spray the foil lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In a large pot, combine the butter, brown sugar and honey. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Lower the heat and simmer until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla and salt.
3. Add the oats, rice cereal, almonds and flax meal (or wheat germ) to the pan and fold with a rubber spatula until well combined.
4. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and press down lightly with a rubber spatula to even out. Let cool about 5 minutes (so chocolate doesn't melt) then sprinkle the miniature chocolate chips over top, and press down FIRMLY with the spatula so the chips stick. The mixture should be tightly compacted in the pan. Place the pan in the refrigerator for 1 1/2 - 2 hours to cool.
5. Use the foil overhang to transfer the uncut bars to a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut into rectangles. Store the bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If you have to stack them, use parchment paper or foil in between the layers, so they don't stick together.

Makes 20 bars


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Fudge Brownie Muffins

I've already posted the cheesecake version of these muffins here, but they deserve their own post! These are basically a brownie in a cupcake paper, but not as fudgy as my regular brownie recipe. The addition of cinnamon makes them extra special.

Fudge Brownie Muffins
1 cup butter
1/2 cup cocoa
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 24 muffin cups with liners and lightly spray them with non stick cooking spray.
2. Place butter and cocoa in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high 1 minute for until butter melts; set aside.
3. Combine 4 eggs, 2 cups sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl. Add the butter and chocolate mixture, flour, cinnamon, salt, and mini chocolate chips. Stir until blended.
4. Using a large scoop, fill muffin cups with brownie batter. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then remove to racks to cool completely.
Makes 24 muffins.