Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Chunky Spiced Pear Syrup

I rarely make a real breakfast in the morning.  In fact, the last time I made an actual breakfast for everyone on a weekday resulted in me becoming a cranky grouch of a mother, which negates the whole "showing my love through food" thing.  So any real breakfast cooking usually happens on the weekend or at dinnertime.  However, if I'm going to make breakfast for dinner, I try to add a little bit of creativity.  This recipe was me trying to make pancakes for dinner seem a little healthier (because of the fruit--duh!) and interesting.  We loved pouring this syrup on our pancakes--just the right amount of fruit and sweetness, without being overpowering.  I can't wait to make this one again the next time we have pancakes for dinner!


Chunky Spiced Pear Syrup
(adapted from Cuisinart)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients
2 tablespoons butter
2 pears, cored and cut into chunks
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
dash allspice
1/4 cup pure maple syrup

Directions
1)  Melt butter in a wide nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat, then add the pears. Stir until pears are well coated with butter.  
2)  Sprinkle sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice; continue to cook about 3 minutes until pears begin to soften. Pour in maple syrup; cook until bubbly.  Allow to boil 1 minutes then remove from heat.  Serve immediately and enjoy!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Raspberry Crisp

My grocery store was having a ridiculous sale on raspberries, so I kind of just kept buying more and more.  My kids love raspberries and will eat an entire container in one sitting.  But after a while, I needed a little diversity.  Of the dessert variety.  Raspberry crisp to the rescue!  I love a good crisp and this one is really great--the tartness of the raspberries is complemented by the added sugar and the crispy topping.  It's quick and easy and really good!

One more thing--my kids had the brilliant idea of putting a dollop of nutella on their serving of raspberry crisp while it was still hot.  Oh my!  Heaven!  Hot raspberry crisp with a dollop of melting and vanilla ice cream?  Pretty much perfect!


Raspberry Crisp
(adapted from The Pioneer Woman)
Printable Recipe
Serves 8

Ingredients
FILLING:
2 clam shells of raspberries, rinsed
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 heaping tablespoon cornstarch
2/3 cup sugar

TOPPING:
1 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup oats
dash salt
1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces

nutella, whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream for serving

Directions
1) In a medium-sized bowl, combine all filling ingredients.  Stir and set aside.
2) In a large bowl, combine all topping ingredients.  Use a pastry cutter to cut butter into dry ingredients until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
3) Add berry mixture to a 9 1/2- or 10-inch pie pan.  Sprinkle topping mixture all over the berries until covered.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes, or until topping is golden brown.
4) Allow crisp to rest for 10 minutes before serving.  Serve warm, with a dollop of nutella, whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream, if desired.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Brussels Sprouts with Browned Butter and Breadcrumbs

I went to the store several weeks ago and noticed a bag of pre-shredded Brussels sprouts.  Hellooooo Brussels sprouts!  I picked up the bag, mulled over what I could do with them, but eventually decided not to stray from my grocery list.  The following week, I was again drawn to the shredded Brussels sprouts, and decided that two weeks of wanting Brussels sprouts must mean that I needed to just make some already!

So glad I did.  Because that meant I had the opportunity to make try out this recipe.  The pre-shreddded bag definitely saves on time (although you could shred them yourself, or use whole Brussels sprouts and just boil them until tender), and the browned butter and bread crumbs give them a wonderful taste and texture.  I think I made this recipe three times before my bag of sprouts was used up.  And I enjoyed it every time.


Brussels Sprouts with Browned Butter and Breadcrumbs
(adapted from Leelalicious)
Printable Recipe
Serves 4-6 as a side dish

Ingredients
1/2 teaspoon salt, more to taste
2 cups Brussels sprouts, shredded
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon bread crumbs

Directions
1) Add about a 1/4 inch water to a skillet and bring to a boil.  Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and the shredded Brussels sprouts; return to a boil and allow sprouts to cook until tender, draining any excess water.
2) Remove sprouts from skillet and set aside.  Add butter to skillet and cook on medium heat until butter has browned.  Add bread crumbs and cook until crumbs are lightly browned.
3) Stir the Brussels sprouts into the butter and breadcrumb until well coated.  Season to taste and serve warm.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

One-Pot Spaghetti in Meat Sauce

I've used this recipe for one-pot spaghetti with meat sauce for years (you know, for those times when I'm eating meat with my spaghetti).  It has been delicious every time.  Lately I've seen a whole host of all kinds of one-pot pasta recipes floating around.  And I've tried a couple.  But they have been uniformly disappointing.  Although the flavor may be there, the sticky starchiness was so off-putting to me.  But this recipe is perfect--a good ratio of homemade sauce and meat to perfectly done noodles, without any of that starchy goopiness.  We really should be making this one more often!


One-Pot Spaghetti in Meat Sauce
(adapted from Recipe Shoebox)
Printable Recipe
Serves 6

Ingredients
1/2 pound ground beef, turkey, or sausage
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 cans (6 ounces) tomato paste
4 cups (32 ounces) chicken broth
3 cups water
1 box (12 ounces) spaghetti, broken
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions
1) In a large pot, cook the ground beef until meat is cooked through; drain excess grease.  Add onion and garlic and cook until onion is tender.
2) Stir in the oregano, basil, pepper, tomato paste, broth, and water.  Bring to a boil.
3) Add the broken spaghetti a little at a time, stirring constantly, and return to boiling.  Stirring frequently, boil gently, uncovered, for 17-20 minutes of until spaghetti is tender and sauce is desired consistency.  The longer it cooks, the thicker the sauce.  Garnish with Parmesan cheese and enjoy!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

German Pancakes

It's remarkable to me that this is my son's most requested dish.  If we're having a slow weekend morning, he'll ask for German pancakes.  If I ask him what we should have for dinner, most of the time he'll say German pancakes.  In fact, the last time I made German pancakes for him, he stated that it was his favorite food--even better than pizza, which is saying something.  I could maybe understand his love for them if he was drenching them in syrup, but he almost always asks for powdered sugar and lemon juice.  He's such the sophisticate.

Not that there's anything complicated or really unusual about German pancakes.  I think my surprise might stem from the fact that I never ate them myself until I was an adult, and I never made them for my son until a little over a year ago.  But apparently it was love at first bite for him, which I will not complain about.  The more foods my kids are willing to try and then (hopefully) learn to love, the better.  In general, I feel like my kids are good and varied eaters, but if German pancakes become my son's gateway food to, say, an omelet... well, that would make me one happy mom.


German Pancakes
(from Smitten Kitchen)
Printable Recipe
Makes 2 9-inch pancakes

Ingredients
4 eggs
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup flour
2/3 cup milk

Directions
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease two 9-inch cake pans well.  Put eggs in a blender, cover, and press the "stir" button until light yellow in color.  Push "mix" button, remove cover, and add remaining ingredients; process until smooth.
2) Pour batter equally into pans and bake for 20 minutes.  Reduce heat to 350 degrees and then bake 10 minutes, or until edges are golden brown and pancake is fluffy.  Serve with maple syrup or powdered sugar and lemon juice.  Enjoy!

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