Monday, September 30, 2013

Spicy Miso Chicken Noodle Soup

If you've never tried miso you are missing out. 
Miso is made from fermented soy beans, has a thick, paste-like texture, and adds a salty, tangy flavor to foods. We shared our Miso Veggies With Bacon a little while back and thought we would share our new favorite chicken noodle soup recipe. 
I am just starting out cooking with Miso so I don't know all the tricks - or if there is even any tricks - but so far I have had lots of tasty success using it. 

Spicy Miso Chicken Noodle Soup

1 tsp sesame oil
1 small jalapeno, finely diced
1 green onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small carrot, shredded
3 Tbsp miso paste
1 cup chicken, cooked & shredded
1/2 cup egg noodles
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1/2 cup spinach, chopped

In a large saucepan over medium heat, drizzle oil in pan. Add jalapeno, onion, garlic, and carrot. (I keep the seeds in the jalapeno to spice it up even more but feel free to remove seeds prior to dicing.)

Cook and stir until vegetables soften, 2 - 3 minutes.
Add in miso paste and 1 cup of the chicken broth. Stir until miso paste is dissolved.
Add in shredded chicken and the remaining chicken broth and water. 
Bring to a boil.
Add in noodles and boil until noodles are done - about 5 - 8 minutes. 
Lastly, add in the chopped spinach and cook until spinach wilts, about 2 minutes.
Serve hot. 

That will cure what ails you.
FYI - I'm not a huge fan of super spicy so this is not super spicy. It's pretty tame. Just enough heat to let you know it's not your ordinary chicken noodle soup.

Looking for lots of fun and tasty links? Check out these blogs - Chef In Training, Table For Seven, My Sweet Mission, Love Bakes Good Cakes, and The Mandatory Mooch.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Pumpkin Pie White Chocolate Macaroons

Macaroons are one of the easiest cookies to make, in my opinion. 
 I love the chewy texture too. 
I discovered a way to take a simple macaroon and make it a perfect cookie for fall.  (Okay, perfect for everyday, BUT especially for fall...)
I am not usually a big fan of white chocolate but, I have to admit, white chocolate goes wonderfully with pumpkin pie spices. 

Pumpkin Pie White Chocolate Macaroons

3 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
pinch salt
sprinkle of cinnamon
1 (14 oz) pkg of sweetened, shredded coconut (about 4 or 5 cups)

Chocolate & Toppings
1/4 cup pecans, finely chopped
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 bag white chocolate chips (about 1 1/2 cups)
pecan halves

Preheat oven to 325. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
Whisk together egg whites, sugar, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon until glossy and the sugar is almost dissolved. 
Stir in coconut until evenly combined. Using a small cookie scoop or spoon, drop batter in mounds about 1 inch apart on cookie sheet.

Bake for 12 minutes, remove from heat and flatten center of each slightly with the back of a spoon. Rotate the baking sheet and return to oven for another 12 minutes, or until golden brown.
Let cool for 5 minutes and then remove from paper to wire rack to cool completely. (Don't let them cool on the parchment paper or they will stick!)
To finish cookies - In a shallow bowl, mix together the finely chopped pecans and the ground cookie crumbs, set aside.
Melt white chocolate over low heat, stirring constantly. Stir in the pumpkin pie spice.
Dip the cooled macaroons halfway into the melted chocolate. Gently shake off extra chocolate and then dip into the pecan/crumb mixture. 

Using the end of a butter knife, place a dollop of melted chocolate on the bottom of a pecan half and press onto the top of a cookie. Repeat with all cookies. 
Let sit until chocolate is set. You can place in fridge to speed process if you want to.

With the pecans in there you get this lovely chewy AND crunchy texture combination going on that is hard to beat. The pumpkin pie spice and the white chocolate, as I mentioned above, are also a wonderful combination. You can see our other pumpkin+white chocolate combo by visiting HERE (Our Pumpkin Pie White Chocolate S'Mores)
If you can't find the Simple Pleasures Spice Snaps then you can substitute another gingersnap-type cookie for the crumbs. 
Feeding Big, Love Bakes Good Cakes, Memories By The Mile, and Anyonita Nibbles have tons of great links. Be sure to pay them a visit!!!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Spicy Southwest Pasta & Corn Salad With Chili Lime Dressing

I love pasta salad. 
If I could live on nothing but pasta salad then I would. Apparently that's frowned upon. 
*eye roll*
This is my new favorite pasta salad. The chili lime dressing is soooo yummy. I threw in some corn and black beans and other good stuff to make it even heartier. You know, because pasta salad is so light to begin with....
Anyway, pasta salad is awesome especially when you make it all southwesty and spicy.

Spicy Southwest Pasta & Corn Salad With Chili Lime Dressing

1/3 cup no fat Greek yogurt
1/3 cup light mayo
1 tsp chili powder
zest and juice of 1 lime
salt & pepper

2 cups mini shells pasta
1 can corn (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup green onions, diced
1/4 cup black beans
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 to 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

Prepare dressing - whisk all dressing ingredients together until smooth. Chill, covered, until ready to use.

Prepare salad - Bring a pot of water to a boil, dump in dry pasta and cook until pasta is done - about 8 -10 minutes. Strain off water and rinse with cool water. Drain water off completely.
Mix a few tablespoons of the dressing into the pasta and place in fridge to cool completely. 
When pasta is cool; stir in the corn, green onions, and black beans, cheese, jalapeno, and parsley. 

Stir in as much more of the dressing as you like - you may want to save a little to stir in just before serving. You can even sprinkle a little more chili powder on top when you serve it. 

Try not to eat it all yourself.
Once you start it's hard to stop.

Don't forget to pop over to Hun... What's For Dinner? and Carole's Chatter for tons of fantastic links!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Brussels Sprouts Bacon Slaw

It would have never occurred to me to take Brussels sprouts and turn them into slaw. 
I came across this recipe in a flyer that came in the mail - I didn't keep it so I have no idea where it came from, sorry about that. 
It was just dressing with Brussels sprouts which I kinda thought was a little boring. I added some bacon and veggies to add some color. 
Turns out I like this version even better than cabbage slaw. It is super creamy because of the dressing BUT never seems to get soggy, which is a huge plus. No one likes soggy salad.

Brussels Sprouts Bacon Slaw

1/2 cup light mayo
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp wasabi paste
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp honey
salt & pepper

4 cups Brussels sprouts, trimmed
1/2 small carrot
1/2 small onion
2 strips bacon, cooked & crumbled

In a small bowl, whisk together mayo, milk, wasabi, lemon juice, honey, and salt & pepper until smooth. Store, covered, in fridge until ready to use.

In a food processor using the shredding blade, process Brussels sprouts. Then shred carrot and onion into the sprouts. Scrape into a bowl and sprinkle in the crumbled bacon. 

Stir to combine.
Mix in the dressing - I used all of it - and then let sit in fridge to chill for at least an hour before serving. 

Note - If you don't have wasabi paste you can substitute horseradish. (I used the wasabi packets I got with my sushi the day before!)
Try this recipe the next time you are asked to bring a salad to a gathering. It will be a good conversation starter. You can ask everyone to guess what it is made of!
Oh, also, you do NOT have to cook the Brussels sprouts. They are shredded raw. 

Be sure to visit Carole's Chatter for some great links!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Pumpkin Apple Pie Brownies With Apple Pie Fudge Frosting

I discovered something about myself while making this recipe. I discovered I can't make fudge.
Oh...I try.
Don't get me wrong.
I WANT to be able to make fudge. 
It just seems that it is not meant to be for me. Of course, the "cheat" fudge using frosting and chocolate chips - that I can do. But, if it involves any kind of boiling then...forget it.... don't even let me near the stove.
See...originally I started out to make Apple Pie Fudge
No Brownie, no frosting, none of that.
Simple, right?
Apparently not for me.
Anyway, to make a long story short, the fudge did NOT set up (despite the tantrum I threw) and thus became frosting for a brownie. 
Did it all work out in the end?
Yes. This is a pretty tasty creation. Very Autumn-ish.
Is fudge making going to be the death of me?
Most probably.

Pumpkin Apple Pie Brownies With Apple Pie Fudge Frosting

Fudge Frosting
1/2 cup apple pie filling, chopped smaller
2 cups white chocolate
3 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter
1 cup whipping cream
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger

2 1/2 cups flour
3 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
pinch salt
1 cup butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup apple pie filling
3/4 cup pecans, chopped

Prepare fudge frosting - Line an 8 X 8 dish with parchment paper, spray lightly with cooking spray, set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, place the 1/2 cup apple pie filling and 2 cups of white chocolate chips. Attach whisk to stand mixer. 
In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat sugar, butter, cream, and spices. 

Bring to a rolling boil and stir continuously for 4 minutes.
Remove from heat and pour mixture over the white chocolate and pie filling. Beat on medium speed until white chocolate is smooth. Pour into prepared baking dish. 
Chill until set up - 4 hours or overnight. 
(If you want to see the original, unaltered recipe for this fudge then visit Shugary Sweets)
**Now, here is where things went from being fudge to frosting. Mine did not set up. It was firm enough to cut but was way too soft to pick up with your fingers. If yours sets up - congratulations. You made fudge. If it doesn't set up...then continue on with the instructions to make frosting!! **
Prepare brownie - Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9 X 13 pan with parchment paper, spray lightly with cooking spray. Set aside.
In a medium bowl whisk together flour and spices; set aside.
In a large bowl, beat together the butter and both sugars until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Beat in the pumpkin and apple pie filling. 

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir to combine well. Stir in pecans. 
Spread evenly into prepared 9 X 13 pan.

Bake at 350 until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean and top appears dry, about 40 - 45 minutes.
Remove from oven and let completely cool on a wire rack.

Once brownie has cooled you can frost it.
In order to prepare your fudge frosting (or, as I like to call it, "stupid fudge that didn't set"). Simply scrape the fudge into the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until smooth. 
Spread as much on the brownie top as you like. (I used about half of the fudge to frost my 9 X 13.)

Cut and serve and revel in the fact that you are a complete fudge making failure BUT you do make a mean brownie.

A very dense, moist, delicious, brownie perfect for fall!
Don't forget to check out these great links for more food and craft ideas! Easy Life, Blissful and Domestic,  Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons, and My Turn (for us) and Six Sisters Stuff.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Sweet Potato Green Salad With Tomato Curry Dressing

When I first envisioned this salad I imagined the sweet potatoes being orange. I was a little disappointed that I bought white sweet potatoes. How on earth do you tell an orange sweet potato from a white one?
Anyway.... I decided to make the dressing colorful and add a few little carrot hearts so I could still get my orange color in there. 
Yes...I actually cut the carrots into little heart shapes. 
I was bored while waiting for the sweet potatoes to bake. 
Heart-carrots are totally optional but, FYI, they do look really cute. 
The dressing is super yummy. I started out just wanting to make a dressing that was orange or red to add some color to the greens and ended up with my new favorite flavor. 
Let me know what you think!

Sweet Potato Green Salad With Tomato Curry Dressing

1 large tomato, quartered
2 Tbsp vinegar
1 clove garlic
salt & pepper
1 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 cup olive oil

1 medium sweet potato, diced into small cubes
sprinkle seasoning salt
1/2 head lettuce, chopped
4 cups spinach, torn
1/4 cup onion, diced
2 radishes, sliced
1 small purple bell pepper, diced (or red if you can't find purple)
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
4 Tbsp Parmesan cheese

Prepare dressing - In a blender or food processor, blend tomato, vinegar, garlic, salt & pepper, curry, cumin, and paprika until smooth. With blender (or food processor) running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until incorporated. 
Refrigerate dressing until ready to use. 
Prepare salad - Preheat oven to 400. Spray an oven safe dish with cooking spray. Spread out the diced sweet potato in the prepared pan. Lightly spray the cubes with cooking spray and sprinkle with the seasoning salt. 

Bake at 400 until cubes are fork tender, about 15 - 20 minutes, depending on size. Turn off oven and keep sweet potato warm.
Place 1/2 of the lettuce on a serving plate with 1/2 of the spinach. Top with 1/2 of the onion, 1/2 of the radishes, 1/2 of the purple pepper, and 1/2 of the bacon. 
Top with 1/2 of the warm sweet potato cubes and 1/2 of the Parmesan cheese. Place the remaining ingredients on another serving plate OR into a container to eat later.

Drizzle with the dressing and enjoy.
According to Myfitness pal:
Salad - 278 calories, 36 carbs, 10 fat, 15 protein
Dressing (2 Tbsp) - 47 calories, 1 carb, 5 fat, 0 protein.
Total for 1 serving (salad part of recipe makes 2, dressing recipe makes ~10 or 11 servings):
325 calories, 37 carbs, 15 fat, 15 protein.

I'm thinking I'm going to take some of the extra dressing and try it on pasta. The tomato-curry mix is addicting. 

For tone of fun foody links be sure to visit Carole's Chatter!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Peach Crumble

I have to say... I think peaches are one of my favorite fruits. I love the texture, the flavor, even the color. 
I don't like the fuzzy skin though. 
Remove that nastiness and what you have is pure gold. 
Especially when you throw some brown sugar, butter, and oat crumbs on top. 
*cue angels singing*
Best. Dessert. Ever.
Serve with warm with vanilla ice cream on top and your guests will wonder how you were able to capture the flavor of heaven in a plate of fruit crumble. 

Peach Crumble

Fruit layer
7 - 8 large peaches, peeled, pitted, and diced
2 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp sugar

1/2 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup oats
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch salt
1/2 cup pecans, chopped fine
1/2 cup butter, chilled

Preheat oven to 375. Spray a 9 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
Cut peaches up into a large bowl. Sprinkle with the 2Tbsp flour and 1 Tbsp sugar, toss to mix.
Place peaches into prepared pan. (You want enough peaches to fill the pan FULL - they will cook down.)

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, brown sugar, oats, cinnamon, salt, and pecans. Crumble in the butter using your fingers until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Sprinkle crumble topping over the peaches.

Bake at 375 until topping is browned and dish is bubbling, about 40 minutes. (You may want to place a cookie tray underneath to catch any drips!)
Remove from heat and let cool a bit on wire rack.

Serve warm. I recommend with ice cream or whipping cream.

Definitely one of my all time favorite desserts!
Running reallyreallyreally close would be our Spiked Apple Crisp. Oh my have to try that one too! Hate to sound really do HAVE to try it. 
Oh...and this one.
Looking for tons of foody links? Check out Carole's Chatter!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Almond Joy Chocolate Chip Cookies

You ever have an idea and think "Boy, I am such a genius" and then go on the internet and see that 10 million people have already had the same brilliant idea as you. 
Bummer, right?
Oh well, I'm still sharing my recipe for these tasty chocolate, coconut, almond cookies even though apparently they are not my idea. 
I love the addition of coconut into an otherwise unassuming chocolate chip cookie. 

Almond Joy Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter, room temp
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
4 eggs
1/2 tsp coconut extract
1 tsp vanilla
4 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups coconut, toasted
1 cup almonds, chopped & toasted

Preheat oven to 375. Line a cookie tray with parchment paper, set aside.
Beat together butter and sugars until creamy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the coconut extract and vanilla. 
In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and salt. 
Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until well mixed.
Stir in the chocolate chips, coconut, and almonds.

Scoop onto prepared cookie sheet using a cookie scoop or spoon, about 1 inch apart. 

Bake at 375 for 8 - 10 minutes, until bottoms are lightly browned and tops are just tinged with brown. 
Remove from heat and cool on cookie tray for 5 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely. 

I found these didn't spread very much at all so can be fairly close together on the cookie sheet. This recipe does make a large batch - I got 6 1/2 dozen using my medium cookie scoop (1 1/2 inches across).
To save time you don't have to toast your coconut or almonds but I love the flavor from toasting them.
Be sure to visit Table For Seven for some tasty and crafty links!