In recent weeks, I’ve been making this oven baked, puff pancake (aka a Dutch Baby) at least 3x a week for my boys and I. It’s really easy to whip up, doesn’t create a lot of mess, and fills up two toddlers and a mama just fine. Elias doesn’t get any because it’s got regular flour in it (sad face). Awhile ago I posted about David Eyre’s pancake which is very similar to this in preparation, but comes out more crepe-like and less substantial. This one comes out more custardy and seems to suit us a little better these days. It’s so easily customized. We’ve put lemon or orange zest in the batter or cinnamon. I’ve never tried chocolate chips, but someone totally should.
As for what to put on top, most days we eat it with a little powdered sugar and lemon juice, or just plain for the boys, or with some fruit on top. It doesn’t require syrup like regular pancakes do, but I’m sure syrup lovers won’t use that as a deterrent to throwing a little bit of syrup on top.
I also love to serve this to the boys with some sausage or bacon for a quick and easy supper!
Vanilla Dutch Baby, Adapted from Melissa D’Arabian
3/4 cup milk, warmed in the microwave for 20-30 seconds
3 TBS salted butter
t TBS granulated sugar
3/4 cup flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
Toppings: powdered sugar, lemon juice, fruit of your choice.
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Put the butter in an oven-safe frying pan (mine’s about 12 inches, I think) and put in the oven to melt while you prepare the batter
3. Whisk eggs and warm milk together for about 30 seconds – 1 minute until the eggs are no longer stringy
4. Whisk in vanilla and flour and whisk until there are no lumps
5. Remove melted butter from the oven and pour most of it (about 3/4s) into the batter, swirl the rest around to coat the pan
6. Pour batter into hot pan
7. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes until the pancake is puffed and golden
8. Top with powdered sugar, lemon juice and fruit of your choice.
When Elias and I were first married, I learned very quickly that he didn’t consider a meal a full meal unless there’s rice. We eat rice in our home every single day. While I learned the secrets of making rice and it’s not hard, I did wonder out loud (on Facebook) awhile ago if I should get a rice cooker. The response was pretty one sided “Yes! Get one! I love mine!” People seemed to be passionate about their rice cookers. One friend was the lone dissenter “I don’t really use mine. Wish I could trade it for one of your books.” It sounded like a great deal to me, and so we made the swap.
The verdict? I love the rice cooker. I really do! What’s easier than making rice? Nothing… except making it in a rice cooker. I think the thing I like about it is that it frees up mental space. I just throw it in there and turn it on and then I’m back to the business of making the “fun” food.
Because of my over zealousness with the new rice cooker, I had a big pot of white rice sitting in the fridge. After a few days it gets a little dried out and not so exciting, so I decided to make chicken fried rice. It seriously cooks up in 15 minutes, and it was so tasty. In addition to being absolutely no trouble to throw together and really tasty, it’s cheap and uses up whatever’s in the fridge (within reason).
Take Out Chicken Fried Rice
3 cups of leftover rice
1 and 1/2 cups cooked cubed (or shredded) chicken
1 cup frozen peas and carrots (total = 1 cup. 1/2 cup of each)
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 T neutral flavored oil (vegetable or sesame, if you have it)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tsp. ginger paste (optional)
- Heat oil in a large pan on medium-heat
- Add vegetables (onion, peas, carrots) and fry for 3-5 minutes, or until tender
- Crack eggs into pan, and scramble them in to the vegetables
- Add, chicken, rice, and ginger paste to the pan and stir to combine for two minutes
- Finish by adding in soy sauce
Source: Adapted from Rachel Schultz
Finally, finally, it’s cold enough in San Antonio for soup. (Not that being cold is a requirement in our house for soup, we eat soup in the summer, too, because we love soup.) Still, there’s nothing better than cozying up to a nice steamy bowl of soup on a cool day, and this soup is perfect snuggle up comfort food. I’m in the mood for a top five list, so here we go. Top five reasons to love this soup:
1. Comforting, filling and cheap! (three reasons in one)
2. The balsamic vinegar at the end gives it a little bit of a “hmm… yum… what’s in this soup?!” quality.
3. Super easy and quick to make
4. If you use extra lean ground beef, it’s pretty good for you.
5. (Should be #1) It’s lick-the-bowl delicious.
I adapted this soup to make it a few less steps than the original recipe calls for.
Ground Beef and Lentil Soup with Rice
1 lb. ground beef
2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1 T minced garlic
1 T dried parsley
1 tsp. dried thyme or 3 fresh sprigs of fresh time
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
4 c. low sodium beef stock
2 c. low sodium chicken stock
2 cups water
plus more as needed
2/3 cup brown lentils
1/2 cup rice
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
2 T balsamic vinegar
1. Heat 2tsp. olive oil in a frying pan and cook the ground beef until it’s well browned. Break up into small pieces and transfer to a large pot.
2. Add another tsp. of olive oil to the pan and add carrots, onions and celery. Saute until the veggies are starting to soften (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic, thyme, cumin, and parsley and saute for another 2 minutes.
3. Transfer the veggies to the pot. Add the 2 cups of water to the frying pan to swish out the bits of veggies and garlic stuck to the pan and add that water to the soup pot as well.
4. Add beef broth, chicken broth and lentils and rice to the soup pot and simmer on low for about an hour.
5. Taste the soup, if the flavor seems too salty or concentrated, add a bit of water, if it seems underseasoned, add salt.
My birthday was last Tuesday…. Happy Birthday to me! I offered to make my own birthday meal because I enjoy cooking and knew it would take some stress off of E to not have to do it. I knew I would make something lemon or lime flavored. While I certainly enjoy chocolate. (See here, here, and here) I love lemon and lime desserts even more. (case in point: here, here and here). I’m the one at the dessert buffet happily loading up my plate with lime tartlets and lemon bars while my friends are devouring the chocolate cake with chocolate ganache and a side of chocolate. In our house, birthday cakes are always gluten free so husband/dad can enjoy them too.
I will confess that I was hoping to make a more elaborate key lime dessert for my birthday, but (insert standard disclaimer about good intentions, being too busy, blah blah blah).
This dessert doesn’t take much time to whip up, and the results are very satisfying. Limey and creamy! The gingersnap crust gives it a little extra something, but it still has that graham cracker crust feel that we all associate with key lime pie.
This cheesecake can easily be made as one large cheesecake, just increase the baking time. Also, to further simplify, pour the filling into a pre-made pie crust.
Happy 35 to me!
Individual Key Lime Cheesecakes
1. 8 oz gluten-free gingersnap cookies
2. 1/2 stick butter
3. 16 oz. cream cheese, softened
4. 1/2 cup sugar
5. Two large eggs
6. 1/4 cup freshly squeezed key lime juice
7. 1 T. grated key lime zest
8. 1 T vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Prepare muffin tin with 12 paper liners
3. Make crust
i. pulse the gingersnaps in a food processor until they are the consistency of sand, and transfer to a bowl.
ii. add the melted butter and stir. The mixture will not be very wet but will hold together loosely.
iii. spoon the crust in to the muffin liners and press down to form the crust. (Note: I wanted a fairly thin crust on mine, so I used about 2 T of crust per cheesecake which resulted in some leftover crumbs. We’ve been sprinkling the leftover crumbs on pancakes and yogurt to use them up. Alternatively, you could make a thicker crust.)
4. Make the filling
i. with a stand mixer, mix the cream cheese, sugar, lime juice, zest, and vanilla until thoroughly combined
ii. add eggs one at a time and mix until just combined
5. Divide filling equally among the prepared muffin tins.
6. Bake at 350 for 18-22 minutes or until the filling is just set (it’s ok if it wobbles a tiny bit in the center)
7. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before enjoying.
Source: Filling adapted from Kraft Recipes
This weekend, in honor of our Colombian visitor, I wanted to make a few Colombian treats for him and Elias to share at one of the speaking opportunities. I made three different Colombian sweets, none of which I’ve made before.
Behind door number one was a dish called enyucado. My version was a disaster. Complete and utter fail. Sweet Elias hemmed and hawed before I got it out of him that “No, this tastes nothing like what it should.” Don’t know what went wrong, but I’ll be doing some research.
Behind door number two: edible, but not what I was hoping for. Dulce de leche cookies. They tasted fine, but looked sloppy. I’ve double and triple checked the recipe, but something was definitely not right there. More research…
Behind door number three: these mini coconut cakes. Win! They are sweet and full of coconut flavor and go really well with a cup of coffee. I made them in mini muffin tins which made them just the right size for a taste. Unlike the disastrous enyucado and the cookies, these also store really well in an airtight container. Another advantage to these? One bowl.
Torticas de coco – Makes 36 mini torticas
4 cups of shredded, sweetened coconut
1 cup all purpose flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
generous pinch of salt
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line molds with paper liners
2. Mix all ingredients together until well combined. The mixture will be rather stiff and firm. (not soupy)
3. Fill paper lined cups to heaping. (These rise, but not much)
4. Bake until set and golden brown, 12-18 minutes
Source: Adapted from My Colombian Recipes
This week Elias and I celebrated our fifth anniversary (yay!) and in that time, I’ve come to learn the code for his rating system for foods. Simply asking “what do you think of this?” will get you nowhere. He’s a polite man, a sweetheart. His answer is always “Delicious!” However, if the “delicious” is also accompanied by a “MMMMMMM hmmmmmm” well, that’s a four star plate right there. If there is an “MMMMMMM hmmmmmmm” AND a “What’s in this?!” the dish is four and a half stars. If there is the MMMMM hmmmmm, a “What’s in this?” and a suggestion that the dish be made for company sometime, then I know the dish is a five star, home run, must make again dish, which is the rating this lemongrass coconut chicken with vegetables received.
Not only that, but it’s easy and quick to prepare, and healthy. I will be making this again, and I will probably play around with some of the proportions adding more veggies and/or swapping out some of the chicken for extra firm tofu. When I do, I’ll try to remember to post it in the comments.
I found this dish after eating the Kashi frozen meal and loving it. The homemade version so much better because it has real lemongrass, and more sauce. I served this with my cilantro-lime rice and thought they complimented each other beautifully. Buen Provecho!
Lemongrass Coconut Chicken and Vegetables
- 2 T extra virgin olive oil
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs, cut into bite sized chunks
- 2 pieces of lemongrass (each about 6 inches long) – bruise the lemongrass first by crushing it under a knife to release its flavor
- 1 cup of lite canned coconut milk
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
- 1 heaping cup (about 4 medium) sliced carrots
- 2 heaping cups broccoli florets
- 1 heaping cup of snow peas
- zest of one lime
- shredded coconut
- lime wedges
- cooked rice or quinoa
- chopped cilantro
1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Pan fry the chicken pieces until they are no longer pink (about 6 minutes).
2. Add the lemongrass, coconut milk, broth, ginger, and lime zest, to the pan and bring to a boil.
3. Add the vegetables if they are fresh. If they are frozen, wait until the last 5 minutes of cooking time so they don’t become mushy.
4. Reduce to medium, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the veggies are tender, and the broth has absorbed the lemongrass flavor.
5. Serve over rice. Top with a sprinkle of shredded coconut, cilantro, and additional splash of lime juice, if desired.
Source: Adapted from Once a Month Meals