Monday, February 14, 2011

Cookie Pops! (Happy V-day #2)

I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before, but I am a preschool teacher...and for Valentine's Day we made these adorable treats with the kids to take home for their parents. They look like carnival lolli pops, but they're dyed sugar cookies and they are so cute! Basically, you make sugar cookie dough (recipe below) and once it's prepared you separate it into four equal quarters. Then you dye each quarter a different color. Red, yellow, green, blue...Then break off a piece of each color and roll together to give a tie-dye effect. Then roll the tie-dye dough into a "snake" and curl it up into a "snail"! Use baking sticks to put into bottom of cookie dough, and make sure it's about 3/4 of the way through the cookie. Once they're baked, let cool then wrap is plastic and tie with a ribbon!

Ingredients :
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions :
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients. Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden. Let stand on cookie sheet two minutes before removing to cool on wire racks.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Happy Valentines Day!

Nothing I love more than baking yummy cupcakes... these are red velvet cakes with cream cheese frosting! MMM! No recipe because it's a secret... ;) The decorations are made from pre-dyed fondant and are super easy to make! I didn't have a rolling pin or heart stencil, but I think they still came out pretty cute. Happy Valentines Day!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Veggie and Cheese Enchiladas

Another meal with no recipe! And another success! I decided to try some vegetarian, healthy enchiladas and they turned out so good. Actually, I'm pretty impressed with time I have people over I'll definitely make these! Cook time was about an hour, which is longer than I like, but if you have the extra time you won't be sorry! :)

Ingredients :

1 can black beans - rinsed and drained
1 red pepper - diced
1 yellow pepper - diced
1 cup yellow onion - diced
pickled jalepenos (about 10 pieces)
mexican peppers (6-10 small peppers) - seeds removed and cut in half
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 zucchini - diced
1 tablespoon crushed garlic
1 tsp paprika
salt and pepper
mexican shredded cheese
whole wheat tortillas

Enchilada Sauce
1 packet Lawry's Enchilada Sauce
3 cups water
1 can tomato paste (6 oz)

Directions :
Combine olive oil, garlic, and onion in frying pan. Cook on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes.
Add zucchini and cook until it begins to soften, about 6 minutes.
Add paprika and salt and pepper to season.
Add red and yellow bell peppers, mexican peppers, and jalepenos.
Cook together on low heat for about 10 minutes.

While vegetables are cooking, prepare Lawry's enchilada sauce. Directions of packet.

Spread enchilada sauce on both sides of tortilla. Add cheese and black beans in middle of tortilla. Lay vegetables on top of beans and fold. Lay filled tortilla in a baking dish, seam down. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Once all enchiladas are in dish, pour the remainder of the enchilada sauce on top. Top with about a cup of shredded cheese. Place dish in oven, preheated to 350 degrees. Bake for 12 minutes. Remove, let cool, and serve!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Grilled Vegetable, Herb, and Goat Cheese Sandwich

This meal was really easy to prepare and had sooo much good flavor! Next time, I'll probably use pita bread or a tortilla and make it a wrap instead...but regardless, it was tastey! Instead of going out for lunch with friends and spending 15 dollars on a sandwich...make this!

Ingredients :
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic minced
1 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon dried thyme
salt and peppet
2 zuchinni, ends trimmed and discarded, sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick pieces
1 Japanese eggplant, ends trimmed and discarded, sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick pieces
1 baguette sliced in 1/2 lengthwise
1 cup (6 1/2 ounces) goat cheese, at room temperature

Directions :
In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, thyme, salt, and pepper. Place 2 tablespoons of the mixture in a medium bowl. Add the zucchini and eggplant and toss until coated. Place the vegetables on the grill pan or grill and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side until tender. While the vegetables are cooking, spread the olive oil mixture on one half of the baguette, on other half spread goat cheese. Place the cooked vegetables on the bottom half of the baguette, put together and serve.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Ratatouille Wraps

So it turns out that "Ratatouille" isn't just the name of a super cute animated kids''s a real food! A real GOOD food! Before I started this journey to domestication, I ate vegetables...but I didn't realize how much I enjoyed them! This recipe just made me love them even more. These wraps are way better than any vegetarian sandwich I've ordered in a restaraunt. They are an absolute must both veggie eaters and meat eaters!

Ingredients :
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 japanese eggplants - cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 zucchini - halved lenthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
1 onion - halved and thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper - thinly sliced
1 orange bell pepper - thinly sliced
salt and pepper
3 tomatoes - chopped
1/2 tsp dried thyme
whole wheat tortillas
sliced pepper jack cheese
6 tbsp pesto
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

Directions :
In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add eggplant and cook, stirring, until golden (about 5 minutes).
Add 2 tbsp olive oil, the zucchini, onion, bell peppers, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until crisp-tender (about 5 minutes).
Stir in the tomatoes, crushed red pepper, and thyme and cook until tender (about 3 minutes). Season with salt and pepper.
Simmer for 2-5 minutes to cook off any liquid. Transfer to large bowl.

Lay tortillas flat. Spread 1 1/2 tbsp pesto on center of each tortilla. Lay 1-2 slices of pepper jack cheese on top of pesto. Top cheese with desired amount of ratatouille ( I used about 1 cup). Fold burrito style to enclose. Add wraps to skillet to toast, about a minute on each side.

Avocado Bruschetta

This recipe was an attempt at making semi-healthy Superbowl snacks. With the olive oil and ciabatta bread, I'm not sure how healthy it actually is...but it was worth the calories! This avocado and Argentinean sauce would also be delicious on top of mahi, tuna, or white fish for meat eaters, or on top of a Boca patty for us "veggies"!

Ingredients :
2 tbs lemon juice
2 tbs red wine vinegar
3 cloves minced garlic
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 avocados , cubed
6 1/2-inch-thick slices ciabatta bread, toasted

Directions :
Combine lemon juice, red wine vinegar, garlic, salt, red pepper flakes, oregano, and black pepper in small bowl. Whisk in olive oil, then stir in cilantro and parsley. Fold in avocados. Spoon avocado mixture onto toast slices and serve.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Tofu Buffalo Wraps

My fiance loves buffalo chicken wings, and unfortunately for me...I love the smell of it! Every time he eats them my mouth waters. A couple weeks ago he brought home some buffalo sauce and suggested I cook something vegetarian with it. So, I went to the market and picked out some things to cook up! I'm pleased to say that my first "made up" meal wasn't a fact, it was really good! The tofu soaks up the buffalo sauce and the beans and compliment the spicy-ness well. If you don't like spicy, you can substitute for bbq sauce. And if you're not a vegetarian, feel free to use chicken instead of tofu!

Ingredients :
Tofu - extra firm, diced
1 red onion - cut into quarters and then in half
1 tsp dried basil
2 garlic cloves
Romaine lettuce hearts
1/2 - 1 cup buffalo hot sauce
1 can black beans - rinsed and drained
Shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions :
Combine onion, garlic, salt, and pepper into frying pan. Cook for 5 minutes or until onions soften.
Add tofu and basil. Cook on medium-high heat for 7-10 minutes. Add buffalo sauce and continue cooking for another 5 minutes.
Separate romaine lettuce hearts. Place a spoonful of black beans at bottom, followed by buffalo tofu mix.
While still hot, sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top of tofu. Enjoy!