Friday, January 27, 2012
Monday, January 23, 2012
If you know me, then you'd know that I always eat my pancakes with -->peanut butter<--. Pancakes without peanut butter is pretty much unthinkable for me. For real, peanut butter makes everything better. But these pancakes? They didn't even need peanut butter; they were that good without it!! I'm sure peanut butter would have tasted great on them because I love different combinations of nutty flavors, but I didn't even want to put peanut butter on them! I do have one little confession: I used Bisquick. Usually, I never use Bisquick (cause recipes are almost always best from scratch, in my opinion). Well..I never use it for the original pancake recipe on the box where you just add milk and an egg. But I will use it for more complex recipes, like on their website and stuff. So if you have Bisquick and you look underneath that original recipe, you'll see they have a recipe for "Melt-In-Your-Mouth Supreme Pancakes". All you do differently than the original recipe is add sugar, lemon juice, and baking powder (the sugar makes them slightly sweeter and melt-in-your-mouth-like, and the lemon juice and baking powder make them fluffy and soft). So I decided to make them (who can resist when it says "melt-in-your-mouth supreme"??). The reason I didn't make the pancakes from scratch is because I wanted to make a syrup, and making homemade pancakes AND homemade syrup seemed a little too time consuming...and besides, I was hungry. The sooner to eat the better, right? I definitely don't regret saving time with the Bisquick, because they truly were melt-in-your-mouth amazing. And the vanilla almond syrup just took them over the top. The syrup is absolutely delicious; it has the perfect amount of almond and vanilla...I can't say I like it better than maple syrup, though, because they're two totally different flavors. A little bit of this syrup goes a long way on these pancakes, so I don't recommend drowning your pancakes if you usually do. Feel free to add whatever other toppings you'd like...I suggest butter and/or bananas. I was going to try adding chocolate chips, but all the pancakes were eaten by my mom and I before I had a chance. The next time I make these, I may try adding chocolate chips and coconut for a little almond joy experience.
For the pancakes:
2 cups Bisquick
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Vanilla Almond Syrup:
For the pancakes:
Combine all ingredients and let sit for at least 2 minutes. Preheat griddle to 350 degrees, or medium heat. Pour about 1/4 cupfuls onto the griddle and cook until browned on each side. Served hot with Vanilla Almond Syrup.
Vanilla Almond Syrup:
Place the white sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, and water in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to medium, cover pan, and simmer 8 minutes. Stir in almond extract and vanilla. Serve warm on top of pancakes. Syrup will be thin, but it will thicken up in the fridge as it cools. Store leftover syrup in glass jars, cover, and refrigerate.
Sunday, January 22, 2012
When I was at the state fair last year, I picked up some recipe cards from The Pampered Chef, and this was one of them (you can view the video here). These are the best meatballs I've ever had!! They're packed with so much flavor, yet much easier to whip up than you think. My mom and I made this together last night and served it over pasta. It was absolutely incredible. And get this: they're made in the microwave. Yeah. Because they're cooked in the microwave, they only cook for 7 minutes!! Usually meatballs are cooked in the oven for like 30-45 minutes; these are way less time consuming. I can't believe how tender and juicy the meat was, and it was lean turkey, too. I now like turkey meatballs better than beef ones. Way better. I don't think I'm gonna even like beef meat balls the next time I have them. And the Spinach & Olive Tapenade in this recipe - SO flavorful! I don't like olives, and I'm not a big fan of capers, so I didn't think I'd care for this recipe too much. But the olive and caper flavors blended really well with all the other ingredients, so it tasted amazing. I served the remaining tapenade on sliced french bread and melted some cheese on top. I also had it as a dip with red pepper slices - so delicious. Another thing my family did with some of the meatballs was make a meatball sandwich. Ohmygoodness everything was just so good!! My dad said we're never going out to eat again because everything I make is ten times better than anything he's ever had in a restaurant.
Yield: About 20 meatballs
Spinach & Olive Tapenade:
1 package (6 oz/175 g) fresh spinach leaves (about 8 cups/2 L)
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tablespoons drained capers
1/4 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1-in pieces
3/4 cup (175 mL) pitted green olives
1/4 cup (50 mL) loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1 oz Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 slice soft sandwich bread (whole wheat or white)
1 cup prepared Spinach & Olive Tapenade (see above), divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 lb (450 g) 93% lean ground turkey
1. For tapenade, place spinach into a large bowl. Microwave on high 2-3 minutes or until spinach is wilted. Carefully remove lid; press spinach to side of bowl (I just drained it in a colander). Blot excess moisture with paper towels. Place garlic, capers, bell pepper, and olives in food processor; cover and pump handle until coarsely chopped. Add spinach, basil, cheese, oil, lemon juice and salt; process to desired consistency, removing lid and scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Use 1 cup for meatballs. Set aside remaining tapenade for another use.
2. For meatballs, tear bread; place in food processor. Cover and pump handle until finely chopped. Combine bread crumbs, 1/2 cup of the remaining tapenade, egg, and salt in a medium bowl; mix well. Add turkey, mix well.
3. Using slightly mounded medium scoop (I used an ice cream scooper), scoop 20 meatballs directly into a pan in rows. Cover with parchment paper and microwave on high 7-9 minutes or until internal temperature of meatballs reaches 160 degrees F (71 degrees C)
4. Place remaining 1/2 cup tapenade in large bowl. Transfer meatballs to bowl using tongs and toss gently to coat. Serve with pasta if desired.
Woops...it was so good that I drank all of it before I had a chance to get a picture.
This was such a refreshing, tasty smoothie!! All the flavors [blend so well together], and each one really comes through; I couldn't believe how perfect it turned out. I've always loved the combination of cinnamon and pears; toss in a banana, some milk and a few other things and you've got a delightful breakfast drink.
Yield: 2 servings
Saturday, January 21, 2012
I recently posted bagel chips on my blog a few weeks ago (here), and it got me thinking of more creative ways to make them in other flavors. So...I created this recipe! They are buttery-cinnamony-sugary deliciousness! I could seriously have them for dessert. They definitely make the perfect midnight snack. I still can't believe how easy it is to make homemade bagel chips. There is an endless amount of flavors you can create depending on what bagels you use and what seasonings you add. They are so addicting, but much healthier for you than the store-bought kind...well..kind of. There is a lot of butter and sugar on these chips, but not as many preservatives as the store-bought ones. There will be big butter-sugar chunks clumped together on some chips, but they make them taste so good!
2 bagels (I used whole wheat, but cinnamon raisin would be delicious too)
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons white sugar