Monday, March 25, 2013

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

When I paid a visit to my lovely friend Lauren out in Portlandia she made this dinner and it was to die for. Tonight I re-enacted this meal of Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms with Sautéed Kale. It was just as good as I remembered it and super easy to make.

This was actually my first time buying and preparing a Portobello. I am just now opening up to mushrooms more. Not that I disliked them before. I just feel like they have a pretty plain taste. You really have to doctor them up, but doctored up like this, can’t go wrong.

Here’s the recipe:

Lauren’s Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms


1 Portobello Mushroom
1/2 cup onion chopped
2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
Balsamic Vinegar
Olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Cut the stem off the mushroom and chop it up.
3. Put the head of the mushroom on a baking dish and drizzle with vinegar and oil.
4. Sauté the onion in oil and season with salt and pepper.
5. Mid-way through add in the chopped stem.
6. Once cooked, add breadcrumbs and stir together.
7. Pour mixture on top of mushroom head.
8. Bake for 20 minutes.

(This is for one serving. If you have company double it up!)

It comes out nice and tender and marinated! I paired this with sautéed kale and a big chunk of skillet cornbread.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Crispy Clustered Granola.....Good for snacking!

I really like some of the batches of granola I've made over the years, but I have never made a recipe that resulted in big clusters in the mix. When I'm snacking on granola, I love a good cluster. It is just easier to grab and munch. And aside from eating it for breakfast, I have been snacking on granola, a lot. Carbo loading I guess.

Today I decided to try making a batch with Rice Crispie Cereal in the mix as well. I also read about a method of adding in an egg white for the last ten minutes of baking to help clump the mixture together. This did help some cluster to form woohoo! But I think the one egg white was not enough to mix in with the amount of granola I had so it wasn't all clustery.

Here is today's recipe:

Crispy Clustered Granola

- 4 cups of Rice Crispie Cereal
- 3 cups of Rolled Oats
- 1 cup chopped Almonds
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 egg white

1. Preheat the over to 275 degrees
2. Combine cereal, oats, nuts, seeds, and baking powder and set aside.
2. Combine oil, honey and sugar in a small sauce pan and heat on medium to low heat until sugar dissolves.
3. Add salt to liquid mixture and then pour over dry mixture and combine.
4. Spread sticky mixture on a sheet pan and bake for an hour.
5. Make sure to stir occasionally. I give the mixture a little stir every 15 minutes.
6. When only ten minutes are left, pour an egg white over the granola and mix to spread it over as much of the granola as possible, then put the pan back in for the last ten minutes to cook.


7. After it has cooled add any fruit mixtures you would like to throw in. Today I went with raisins!

Snack on!

Friday, March 22, 2013

You can make Homemade Cheese?!?

My sister is the best present giver. This year she turned into a mind reader. Awhile back my friend Amanda had made homemade cheese and posted about it and I was obsessed with this concept and really wanted to try myself. I never told my sis, but for Christmas this is what I had waiting under the tree.

YES! And while making cheese, I had great tunes to listen to. For my birthday she got me the greatest speaker on the planet, which I just so happened to have pinned on pinterest and she didn't even know. She just saw a weird ceramic bear and thought of me!

 So on to the cheese making.

Here is the recipe courtesy of the DIY Cheese Kit:

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

1/2 cup cool water
1 tsp citric acid
1 gallon milk
1 tsp cheese salt

Other tools:
Large pot (5 quarts or larger)
Cooking thermometer
Fine Cheesecloth

1. Pour water into a small bowl and stir in citric acid
2. Pour milk into large pot and add citric acid solution and cheese salt and stir well.

3. Set the pot over medium heat and gently check the bottom of the pot with a spoon every 2 minutes or so, so there is no scorching. Avoid stirring as much as possible to allow curds to form. If the milk seems to be sticking, reduce the heat. Heat the milk to 180-185 degrees.
4. As soon as the curds and why separate clearly (you will see white curds floating in yellow whey when you move the curds), turn of the heat. Let stand, undisturbed, for 10 minutes.

5. Line a colander with cheesecloth then carefully pour the curds and whey into the colander. Drain until the cheese reaches the desired consistency, 15 to 30 minutes. To expedite the process, gently lift the cheese cloth by the corners and rock the curds around.
Here are my tidbits on the whole process. This is a lot of work and you need a helper. I was impatient waiting for the curds to form. I may have stirred too much, but it did come out just fine. The draining took a long time to not have a really watery cheese. I feel like the cheese cloth got all clogged with cheese at a point and nothing more was draining. We finally got it to the right consistency, but ended up using a fine mesh colander we have.

The cheese was delightful and I was pleased with the result after all that work! This is what I did with my cheese.

Roasted Vegetable and Ricotta Pizza

1 pizza dough (I bought a TJ's Whole Wheat)
3/4 cup of homemade ricotta cheese
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
Half a package of fresh baby spinach
1 cup sliced red pepper
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 cup chopped onions
balsamic vinegar
olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 375. (Usually you put the oven at 450 for the pizza stone, but that would be too hot for the veggies)
2. Sprinkle oil, salt and pepper over pepper and mushrooms on a baking sheet and cook in the oven at 375 for about 20 minutes.
3. Saute onions in olive oil until cooked. Add in balsamic vinegar and removed from heat.
4. Saute spinach in olive oil quickly. It doesn't need much since it will also get to cook in the oven.
5. Raise the temperature up to 450.
6. Stretch the dough out.
7. First sprinkle down the mozzarella.
8. Then add spinach, peppers, mushrooms, and balsamic glazed onions.
9. Finally dollop ricotta cheese on top and spread around.
10. Cook for roughly 18 minutes.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Iron Skillet to add to my Cornbread tools

So my family really likes to feed my cornbread obsession. For my birthday my mom got me an Iron Skillet. I finally cooked my first batch in it. It came out amazing! And I didn't use creamed corn. I actually used the first recipe I ever tried....back in college with Devin. This was the attempt that came out horrible and was thrown out. It still perplexes me what went wrong. I really feel like the baking powder had gone bad maybe.

Well my mom used this recipe and said it came out great, so I nervously gave it a whirl myself. It is a simple recipe. It is made with only a small amount of sugar. I added a little extra, but didn't go crazy and I still like it. 

Here's the recipe:

Skillet Cornbread

1 cup flour

¾ cup cornmeal

3 heaping tablespoons sugar

2 ½ teaspoons baking powder

¾ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon butter

2 eggs beaten

1 cup milk

¼ vegetable oil


1. Preheat oven to 400F. I
2. In a medium bowl stir together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

3. Add the 1 tablespoon butter to a 10-inch cast-iron skillet. Place in the preheated oven about 3 minutes or until butter melts.

4. Remove pan from oven; swirl butter in pan to coat bottom and sides of pan.

5. Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine eggs, milk, and oil.

6. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened.

7. Pour batter into hot skillet or pan.

8. Bake for about 15 minutes.

(Recipe Courtesy of Better Homes and Garden Cookbook)

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Laying Low

I haven't posted in ages. It is not that I haven't been cooking, but I haven't made anything new and fabulous. Just a lot of my staples. My life has been consumed by running. Marathon training has really taken a lot out of me. It has been going really great though and I'm really pumped for Boston.

I have been making what I know just because it takes less thought and prep. Lots of granola. I've made Irish Brown Bread, 2 more times since I posted about it. Made homemade Chili, Veggie Burgers. I did take a pic of my black bean burger which came out just as amazing as the last time I made them!

Anyways, I am alive. 4 more weeks!