Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Baked Jalapeno Poppers

Part of our CSA share last week was picking hot peppers. Colin, who has made it quite clear that he doesn't like peppers, going so far as to fish them out of a salad, or his mouth,  would not listen to my suggestion to steer clear of the jalapenos.  Instead, he took a few bites out of one raw.  He has since told me several times that it was "picy."

With a whole bag of jalapenos on hand, I considered my options.  Chopping and freezing to add to chili and cornbread is always good, but I also wanted to try my hand at poppers.  It's a safe bet that any attempts by me to deep fry would likely end up in a kitchen fire, so the oven baking method seemed like a good approach.

Baked Jalapeno Poppers
modified from SkinnyTaste

8-12 jalapeno peppers
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
4 oz. monterey jack or cheddar cheese, shredded
2 scallions, sliced
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon chili powder
salt and pepper
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Slice jalapenos in half lengthwise and remove seeds and membranes.  I opted to wear gloves for this step because I have a particularly bad track record of touching my eyes after slicing hot peppers and causing near blindness.  Use caution.
In a bowl, mix together cream cheese, monterey jack and scallions.  Stir in spices.
In two separate bowls, beat eggs and season bread crumbs with salt and pepper.
Fill jalapeno halves with cheese mixture, dip in egg wash, coat with breadcrumbs and place on a baking sheet sprayed with oil.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until filling is melted and tops are golden brown. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Apple Pie Chia Jam

Remember the giant bags of apples we picked last weekend?  Despite our best efforts, we still have quite a few.  They've graced our table as part of nearly every meal and snacks in between.  Some are destined to be made into applesauce, because these waffles are amazing.  And yet we still have more.

Colin loved this Apple Pie Chia Jam.  I've been using it to top yogurt, and he also goes for it straight up.  It would be delicious on ice cream or oatmeal.  Just another way to eat apples at every meal.

Apple Pie Chia Jam
recipe from Oh She Glows

3 large apples, peeled and diced (~3 cups)
3/4 cup 100% pure apple juice
2 Tablespoons chia seeds
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of sea or kosher salt

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and stir.
Bring to a low boil, reduce to low and cook, covered, for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Store in the refrigerator.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

End of Summer Green Bean, Corn and Tomato Salad

Yesterday we had an unseasonably warm day, and I couldn't be happier about it.  Sure, during the summer I complain about the humidity during a heat wave, and turn on the air conditioning upstairs for sleeping (it's for the baby); but I'd take heat over cold any day. 

This salad is the perfect combination of all the wonderful late summer food; sweet corn, crisp green beans, juicy tomatoes and fragrant basil.  It makes an excellent side dish, we ate it last night alongside broccoli quiche and roasted potatoes, and it is also a perfect light lunch.  Especially if, like me, you're planning to use up some random marshmallows and make rice crispy treats later.  Or, just be healthy.  Whichever.

Green Bean, Corn and Tomato Salad
modified from Self

Salad Ingredients:
3-4 ears fresh corn, removed from cob
1 lb. green beans, blanched in boiling water and cut into bite size pieces
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
1/2 jalapeno, seeded and minced
10 basil leaves, chopped
1 avocado, cut into chunks
Goat cheese, for topping
Dressing Ingredients:
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil

In a large bowl, toss together all salad ingredients.
In a second bowl, whisk together vinegar, honey, kosher salt and pepper.  Add the olive oil in a slow stream while whisking until emulsified.
Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat.
Top with crumbled goat cheese to serve.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Applesauce Waffles

As if we didn't have enough apples and applesauce in our lives, we went apple picking this weekend.  It was Colin's first time out, and we went with my sister-in-law and some friends who also have a 20 month old.  The babies ate their weight in whole apples, and the parents wondered what they were going to do with pounds and pounds of fruit. I have plans for crisp and pancakes, and am planning to make several batches of these waffles to stick in the freezer.

Aside from being awesome for anyone, these waffles are excellent for kids.  They are portable and easy to eat, as well as being relatively healthy.  

Applesauce Waffles
modified from Chocolate Covered Katie

Yield: 4 waffles

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup applesauce
1/4 cup maple syrup
2-4 Tablespoons milk
1 Tablespoon coconut oil (or other or butter)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat waffle iron.  I have this All-Clad Classic Round Waffle Maker (thank you, engagement present), and turned it to 4 1/2.  Check your directions and set to medium. 
Whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon.
In a separate bowl, stir together applesauce, maple syrup, milk, coconut oil and vanilla.  If it's getting chilly in your house, you might need to warm your coconut oil so it turns to liquid. 
Pour wet ingredients into dry and stir to combine.
Prepare the waffle iron with oil or spray and pour 1/4 of the mixture onto the plates.  Cook until golden brown. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Apple Oatmeal Bread

This week we made applesauce with our friends Sarah and Brycen.  Sarah generously provided the apples from her parent's trees, and Brycen and Colin helped in the way only 1 1/2 year olds can.  We used our giant applesauce stash to do some baking together and made muffins, amazing waffles, and this bread.  Sarah said things like, "all these things will freeze really well, that's why it's ok we made so much."  Meanwhile, I was thinking, I hope these last until the weekend. 

Apple Oatmeal Bread
modified from Stonyfield Farm

1 cup plain or vanilla yogurt
1 cup oats
1 egg
1/2 cup applesauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup diced apples

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare a loaf pan with cooking spray.
In a small bowl, combine yogurt and oats.
In another bowl, mix together egg, applesauce and brown sugar.
In a third bowl, whisk together flours, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
Add all wet ingredients to dry and fold in apples.  Mix until just combined.
Pour into loaf pan and bake for 40 minutes until golden browned.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Corn and Feta Couscous with Basil Vinaigrette

There is more corn.  And more corn to come.  I'm building up my freezer stash to help remind myself of August when it's snowing.  In the meantime, fresh salads like this are versatile, adaptable and delicious. 

A couple weeks ago I was working on a different corn recipe; a summer squash and corn fritter.  My batter didn't hold together particularly well, and little pieces of corn were falling off into the pan.  As the oil in the pan got hotter, the corn kernels did as well, resulting in popping corn exploding all over the kitchen.  It ended with hurling the lid on the pan, running out of the room, and doing a full kitchen clean after dinner.   Needless to say, it didn't make it on the blog.  I'm happy to report that this recipe involved no corn-induced burns or late night swiffering.   

Corn and Feta Couscous with Basil Vinaigrette
based on Rachael Ray

1 cup couscous
3/4 cup basil leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup corn kernels (2-3 ears)
6 ounces feta cheese
Salt and Pepper
Optional: 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion, 1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced (I would have included both of these but I didn't have them on hand)

Prepare couscous according to package directions.
In a food processor or blender, mix basil with vinegar.
With the motor running, drizzle in olive oil until emulsified.  You might need to adjust your quantities.
In a large bowl, mix corn with couscous.
Drizzle with dressing and mix well.
Top with feta for serving.

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