Thursday, October 27, 2011

Yummy tilapia

recipe image

Reid and I are determined to eat healthier. We actually do quite well but we need to work even harder. We are getting kind of old and creaky :(

So I searched tilapia recipes on Allrecipes (my favorite food site). I picked this one and modified to match the ingredients I had on hand. It was delicious!

Here's the original link

Easy Tilapia

Submitted By: Elizabeth
Photo By: jocemalyn
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Ready In: 30 Minutes
Servings: 2

"This is a delicious fish dish made with capers, tomatoes, butter, and white wine. This recipe uses tilapia fillets, but goes great with any type of fish you like."
2 (3 ounce) fillets tilapia fillets
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 lemon, halved
1/2 cup white wine
2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
3 tablespoons capers
1 cup asparagus spears, trimmed and cut
in half
3 tablespoons butter (I left this out)
1.Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Drizzle fillets with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place fillets in skillet and sprinkle with half of the lemon over. Cook for 3 minutes per side, or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Transfer fillets to a plate, and keep warm.
2.Add wine, remaining 1/2 lemon, tomatoes, capers, and salt and pepper to the skillet. Increase heat to medium high and boil for 2 minutes to burn off alcohol. Reduce heat to low and return fillets to the pan along with the asparagus. Cover and simmer 2 minutes more, then transfer fish and asparagus to a serving dish and keep warm.
3.Again, increase heat to medium high and whisk in butter, and boil to desired consistency. Spoon sauce over fish, and serve.

My changes:


Also, I didn't have capers or asparagus so I left them out. I put in some chopped fresh basil for extra flavor and served the fish with a half of one of my garden's huge Hubbard squashes - cooked in the microwave with a little butter and brown sugar. Yum!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Halloween Cookies

I make these two cookie recipes every Halloween.

Kind of Scary - Finger Cookies
(original recipe from Canadian Living)

1 cup butter softened
1 cup icing sugar
1 egg
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla
2 ¾ cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt (I cut this to 1/4 tsp)
¾ cup whole blanched almonds (or ½ cup sliced almonds)
1 tube red decorator gel
  • In a bowl, beat together butter, sugar, egg, almond extract and vanilla. Beat in flour, baking powder and salt. Mix in food coloring if desired. (For a flesh color add about 2 drops red, 1 drop yellow and just a trace of green. It’s also fun to make the fingers green).
  • Cover dough and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Heat the oven to 325. Lightly grease baking sheets.
  • Working with 1 quarter of the dough at a time, roll a heaping teaspoon into a finger shape. Press almond firmly into 1 end for a nail. Press in center to create a knuckle shape. Make slashes to form knuckle (the tip of a peeler works well).
  • Bake 20-25 minutes or until they just start to brown. Let cool for 3 minutes.
  • Lift up almond, squeeze red decorator gel unto nail bed and press almond back into place, so gel oozes out from underneath. Let cool on racks.
  • Makes about 60 cookies.

Peppery Ginger Spiderwebs (be brave - these taste fabulous)
(original recipe from Martha Stewart)

6 cups flour
1 tsp soda
½ tsp baking soda
½ lb butter
4 tsp ginger
4 tsp cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar
1 ½ tsp cloves
1 tsp pepper
½ tsp salt
2 lg eggs
1 ½ cups molasses

Whisk together flour, soda, and baking soda. Mix butter and sugar until fluffy. Mix in ginger, cinnamon, cloves, pepper, and salt. Beat in eggs and molasses. Add flour and mix to combine. Chill 1 hour. Roll ¼ inch think. Bake 350 for 8-10 minutes.  Decorate as desired.

To make Halloween spiderwebs pipe white frosting in a spiral then pull a toothpick through the frosting from center out to edge 5 times like 5 spokes on a wheel. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Chocolate covered cherry cookies

recipe image

I made these Sunday and they were a huge hit.

Chocolate-Covered Cherry Cookies

Submitted By: Barbara Hart
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Ready In: 30 Minutes
Servings: 15

"My five brothers and I lost our mother when we were young, so we started cooking at an early age. Being successful in the kitchen is easy with tried-and-true recipes like this."
1/2 cup butter (no substitutes), softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup baking cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 (10 ounce) jar maraschino cherries
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1.In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla; mix well. Combine the flour, cocoa, 1/4 teaspoon salt, baking powder and baking soda; gradually add to the creamed mixture.
2.Drain cherries, reserving 1-1/2 teaspoons juice. Pat cherries dry. Shape 1 tablespoon of dough around each cherry. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees F for 8-10 minutes or until set. Cool on wire racks.
3.For frosting, in a saucepan, heat chocolate chips and milk until chips are melted; stir until smooth. Remove from the heat. Add reserved cherry juice and remaining salt. Frost cookies.

A few modifications: 

I didn't have any sweetened condensed milk so I used half and half. The frosting was a little runny - so when I do it again I'll cut back the amount a little. Also added some almond extract to the dough.
And I didn't put cherries on the top.

 Here's a picture of mine:

Friday, October 14, 2011

A hot cocoa find

Chewy the cat, is showing you our new find from Costco - Starbucks Hot Cocoa Classic.

I'm extremely picky about chocolate flavors and I love this one.

Most sweetened cocoa mixes are way too sweet for me. This one is just about perfect. However, I do cut back slightly on the recommended 2 tablespoons of cocoa mix and I add a small spoonful of my Sharffen Berger cocoa.

It's quite dark so if you like it more like milk chocolate, just add less cocoa mix.

Starbucks caramel apple cider

The perfect warm drink for fall days - and it's so simple!

Just warm up apple cider or juice. If desired, spice it up with cinnamon and cloves (or cinnamon syrup). Then squirt whipped cream on the top and drizzle with caramel syrup.

This is almost as good as my hot cocoa (but not quite).

Pumpkin Cake

I made this on the weekend - soooo good!

It's nice and moist and uses oil rather than butter - making it slightly healthier.

I sprinkled it with powdered sugar instead of frosting and served it with good quality vanilla ice cream (Tillamook Old Fashioned Vanilla) and caramel sauce.

2 cups white sugar
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups canned pumpkin
4 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 12x18 inch pan. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
2.In a large bowl combine sugar and oil. Blend in vanilla and pumpkin, then beat in eggs one at a time. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in nuts. Spread batter into prepared 12x18 inch pan.
3.Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool.

Simple squash soup

I made this recipe (from Lisa) yesterday and it is incredibly simple and absolutely delicious!

Butternut Squash Soup

Prep Time:
20 min
Inactive Prep Time:
Cook Time:
40 min
6 servings



Cut squash into 1-inch chunks. In large pot melt butter. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add squash and stock. Bring to a simmer and cook until squash is tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove squash chunks with slotted spoon and place in a blender and puree. Return blended squash to pot. Stir and season with nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Serve.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Apple cake squares

I'm loving the fresh fall  apples right now.

I just might have to try this recipe tonight:

It's from Dr Weil's newsletter

Apple Cake Squares
The bonus of this cake is that it's fast to make. It's a moist cake with a mellow cinnamon-apple taste. You can serve it for dessert or you can wrap slices up to take to school or to the office.Food as MedicineIn large studies conducted in the United Kingdom, Finland and the Netherlands, eating at least two apples per week was found to lower incidence of asthma and type 2 diabetes, and promote overall lung health. Apples' protective effects are likely due to their high concentration of anti-inflammatory flavonoids such as quercitin and catechin.
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons softened butter or Spectrum Spread
2 eggs
2 cups apples, peeled, cored, finely shredded
1/4 cup finely chopped dates
1/4cup confectioners' sugar
GARNISH (Optional)
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/4 cup maple syrup
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Mix the flour, salt, nutmeg, baking soda, and cinnamon together in a medium bowl and stir thoroughly.
  3. Cream the sugar and butter together in a large bowl. Beat in the eggs and whisk until smooth. Stir in the shredded apples and dates until they are completely distributed throughout.
  4. Slowly stir in the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly into the batter.
  5. Spray the bottom and sides of a 9-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray, or grease it with 1/4 teaspoon of butter and pour in the batter. Bake in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes.
  6. Put the confectioners' sugar in a sifter and dust it over the cooled cake a few times until all the sugar is gone. If you want to garnish, mix the walnuts with the maple syrup and drizzle over individual serving plates. Cut the Apple Cake into 9 squares and arrange each one on top of a decorated plate and serve.