jillpickle: Well, after looking through the William Sonoma catalogue, I was hungry for some savory food! Love the food pictures in there! I happened to see a recipe from The Best of Cooking Light which turned out to be very fast and easy. Chopping and cooking a few slices of bacon probably took the longest. I’m not sure I would add the bacon next time although it smells so good while it’s cooking! I really didn’t taste it in the recipe. Some changes I made to the recipe were: I added more beans than the recipe called for because of the lack of small sizes of canned black beans in the store. I also added 2-3 times the amount of celery, garlic and onions and an extra can of chicken broth plus a dash of smoked paprika. Let’s face it-I can hardly ever follow a recipe exactly!! Bill made the lime cilantro cream which was a contrast in flavors with the soup. Definitely, this is one of my favorites!
For the paninis, I used roasted garlic artisan bread, fresh mozzarella cheese, and salami. I brushed the outsides of the bread with olive oil. I then placed the sandwiches in a grill pan and place a pot on top pressing the sandwiches – my make-shift panini press! Everything was very tasty!
Matthew: I had some leftover buttermilk from making Irish Soda Bread, so I decided to use it in the Basic Reduced-Fat Muffin recipe from The Joy of Cooking. To make them more interesting, I used brown sugar and added chopped dates, slivered almonds, and flax seeds. They turned out really well and didn’t take long to make (~20 minutes). You could pretty much substitute any nuts or dried fruit and maybe add some grains. Also, if you didn’t have buttermilk, yogurt would work well too. Here’s the recipe:
Whisk together 2 cups flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 4 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda. In another bowl, whisk together 1 egg, 3 tablespoons oil or melted butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1 cup buttermilk or yogurt. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and add fruits and nuts (I used a handful of each). Stir until just combined. Put in muffin pan and bake at 400 degrees F for ~12 minutes. Cool on a rack.
Katie: Continuing on my quest to try new vegetables, I noticed parsnips in the produce section at our grocery store. I don’t know if I had ever eaten them before, but I definitely had never cooked them.
After seeing the photos for Roasted Parmesan Parsnips on Sprouted Kitchen, I knew I had to try them. They turned out pretty good! I improvised on a marinara sauce using garlic, a can of diced tomatoes, and balsamic vinegar to serve with the parsnips. It was definitely something different and might even make a good appetizer or side dish for guests.
Jill: I was looking for a healthy recipe for supper and decided to make Oven-Baked “Fried” Chicken. It had an unusual topping (oats) to give it a nice crunchy texture. The chicken tasted great! To go along with the chicken Bill made Garlic Mashed Potatoes with Fresh Chives. This is also a healthy recipe which was very tasty! Both recipes were from Robin Miller of the Food Network.
Katie: Ever since hearing about the White House beet controversy, I wondered whether I liked beets. Never having cooked them before, I decided to give it a try. I found this recipe which looked good. I followed the recipe exactly, except for only using rosemary since I didn’t have any fresh thyme sprigs.
It turned out to be an interesting side dish! Flori tried the beets (or at least half a beet), but didn’t like them. I thought they were good. The carrots alone would also make a good side dish. If I make this again I’ll have to leave out the beets or serve the vegetables seperately.
Matthew: I’ve been making this bread almost every week so far this year. It slices great for sandwiches and is really delicious toasted. I started with a basic white bread recipe in The Joy of Cooking, and added whole wheat flour, millet, and flax seeds to make it healthier. It’s a great recipe because it only takes ~2 hours from start to finish. Here’s the recipe with the adjustments I’ve made:
Fast White Bread from The Joy of Cooking
Combine with a mixer or by hand in a large bowl:
2 cups flour (I use 1c regular and 1c whole wheat)
1 T sugar
1 package quick rising active dry yeast (2 1/4 t, I add a little bit more to help it rise better)
1 1/4 t salt
handfull of millet and flax seeds (or whatever grain or seed you want)
1 cup very warm (115-125 degrees F) water
2 T melted butter
Mix for one minute on low or by hand. Gradually add more flour (~1/2 to 1 c) until the dough is moist but not sticky.
Knead for 10 minutes. Transfer to an oiled bowl and cover loosely. Let rise for 45 minutes or so.
Punch down, form into a loaf. Put into an oiled bread pan and let rise for 45 minutes or so.
Bake at 450 for 10 minutes, then turn oven down to 350. It is supposed to bake for 30 more minutes, but mine is usually done in less than 10 more minutes.