"Food is our common ground, a universal experience." - James Beard

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Apple Streusel Muffins

These muffins so good - and perfect for Fall!

Apple Streusel Muffins
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/4 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups apple (chopped or grated)

1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp butter

(For the muffins...) Mix dry ingredients. Mix wet ingredients together. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Pour into a greased muffin pan.

(For the topping...) Mix all ingredients together until incorporated. Spoon an even amount on top of each muffin.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

BLT Stuffed Tomatoes

I made these for a shower a few years ago, and everyone loved them! They are a little time-consuming to make but make a wonderful presentation. These will be a great appetizer for any Holiday Party! If you do not want them to be too hot, just leave out the chile and use plain mayonnaise. Also, if you want to make them in the summer, it might be a nice change to use basil instead of lettuce.

BLT Stuffed Tomatoes
2 pints cherry tomatoes (about 32)
6 slices bacon
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, finely chopped
1 cup finely chopped romaine lettuce leaves from the heart

Cut off the stem ends of the tomatoes and discard. Using a paring knife, remove the seeds and discard; place the tomatoes cut side down on paper towels to drain.

Meanwhile, in a heavy skillet, over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp. Drain on a paper-towel-lined plate, then finely chop.

Stir together the mayonnaise and chipotle and spoon into a resealable bag. Cut off the tip of one corner. Place the tomatoes cut side up on a platter and press some romaine inside each tomato; sprinkle with salt. Pipe some chipotle mayo over the romaine and top with bacon.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Chicken-Eggplant Parmigiana

This recipe comes from The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook and is so good! Kent really likes it, but it's so rich that I feel like I can't eat it very often. This is an easy recipe to double or half. It is definitely enough to be a meal on its own, but you can add a side of pasta or bread.

Chicken-Eggplant Parmigiana
4 skinned, boned chicken breast halves
3/4 cup Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 small eggplant
1/4 cup vegetable or olive oil
1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
1 (14 oz) jar meatless spaghetti sauce
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup (4 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Place chicken between two sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; flatten to 1/4 inch thickness, using a meat mallet or rolling pin. Combine breadcrumbs, salt, and pepper. Dip chicken in egg, and coat with breadcrumbs. Place chicken on an ungreased baking sheet; cover and chill about 10 minutes. Peel eggplant, if desired; cut lengthwise into 4 slices. Brown chicken in 1/4 cup hot oil in a large skillet over medium heat, turning once. Remove chicken from skillet, and place in a 13x9 inch baking dish. Add 1 tablespoon oil to skillet, and cook eggplant over medium heat until browned on both sides; drain on paper towels. Place 1 slice eggplant on each chicken breast half. Spoon spaghetti sauce over eggplant; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 365 degrees for 15 minutes. Top each eggplant slice with mozzarella cheese, and bake 5 more minutes or until cheese melts and sauce is bubbly. Sprinkle with parsley. (Yield 4 servings - 565 calories per serving)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wine Wednesday - Barefoot

My friend, Katie, suggested that I discuss Barefoot Cabernet this week for Wine Wednesday. Several friends of ours have mentioned liking different Barefoot wines. I'm not sure if I've ever had their Cabernet. But, Kent and I actually had Barefoot Bubbly Brut Cuvee at our wedding reception. We loved it! We had a champagne bar with different fruits and juices so that people could have mimosas and make other drinks. I've read several of the reviews, and it seems to be pretty widely acknowledged that Barefoot wines are good buys for the money - they are usually between $8-10 but can be found for even less. They have been awarded as one of the "Top 100 Best Buys in the World" as well as winning other tasting awards. These wines are made in California and can be bought in grocery stores around the US. Visit their website for more information: http://www.barefootwine.com/

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Spicy Tomato Sauce

I love eating pasta! I usually use a jar sauce because there are some really good ones. But occasionally I like to try something different! This recipe comes from Giada De Laurentiis' Everyday Italian cookbook. It makes enough sauce for four people with dinner sized portions.

Spicy Tomato Sauce
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup pitted black olives, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons drained capers, rinsed
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
Generous pinch of dried crushed red pepper flakes
1 (28 ounce) can crushed Italian tomatoes

In a large skillet, heat the oil over a medium-high flame. When almost smoking, add the onion and garlic, and saute for 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and add the olives, capers, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and red pepper flakes; saute for one minute. Add the tomatoes and simmer until reduced slightly - about 20 minutes. Season the sauce with more salt to taste. (The sauce can be made one day ahead. Cool, then cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over medium heat before using.) Serve over pastas like penne or rigatoni.
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