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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Recipe Review from 10/24/11

Bit of a baking and cooking spree this past week: two different work potlucks, on bookgroup meeting, and the usual for lunches and suppers.  I simply love this time of year - perfect for slow cooked hearty meals, soups, stews, and! I can cool off the leftovers out on the porch (as long as I remember to keep a lid on the dish AND out of reach of the dogs...).  Just sayin'....

Lots of good main dishes.  I haven't linked to them all since the post was getting mighty long.  If you are interested in something I didn't post, let me know!   Sorry, been uber poor about posting pics.  Will try and do better...once I remember to empty the full memory card on my camera! 

Wickedly Good Whoopie Pies (Woman's Day mag, 2004)
I'm fairly certain I've made these before, I just don't recall when.  I also strongly suspect I over beat the batter because my 'cookies' ended up rather flat rather than nice little cake-like blobs.  Still tasted good, just flat.  I also just used a butter frosting from the recipe below so I didn't have to make two frostings on an already rather long baking day.

Makes 25-30 whoopies

1 stick (1/2 c) butter, softened
1 c. granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. each baking powder & salt
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 c. 1% lowfat milk
2 c. all-purpose flour

FILLING - Used filling recipe from Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
3/4 stick (6 Tbs) butter, melted
1 c. plus 2 Tbs. confectioners' sugar
1 c. plus 2 Tbs. marshmallow cream/fluff
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1. Heat oven to 375. Coat baking sheet(s) w/nonstick spray.

2. Batter: Beat butter, sugar, baking soda, baking powder & salt in large bowl w/mixer on medium speed til fluffy. Beat in egg & vanilla, then cocoa til blended. With mixer on low speed, slowly eat in milk til blended. By hand, stir in flour. Drop level tablespoons 2" apart on prepared baking sheet(s).

3. Bake 8 minutes or til tops spring back when lightly pressed. Cool on sheet l minute before removing to wire rack to cool completely. Repeat w/remaining batter.

4. Filling: With a wooden spoon, vigorously mix all ingredients til blended and smooth.

5. Spread 2 tsp. onto flat side of half of the cakes; top each with another cake, pressing to adhere.
Planning tip--refrigerate airtight w/wax paper between layers up to 1 wk. or freeze up to 1 month.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies  (Culinary in the Country Blog)
I'm also not certain if I made these before, so I'm treating this one as a new recipe.  Good, dense, pumpkin-y;  makes the amount listed if you use a small cookie dough/meatball scoop for uniformity.  I would make these again - fun treats! 

For the batter:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups packed dark brown sugar
1 cup canola oil
3 cups chilled mashed or pureed pumpkin
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
For the filling
8 tablespoons (1/2 cup or 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups confectioners' sugar
To prepare the batter:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In another large bowl, whisk together brown sugar and oil until combined. Whisk in pumpkin. Whisk in eggs, one at a time, beating until combined before adding the next. Mix in vanilla. Add dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture and whisk just until the ingredients are combined.

Using a tablespoon cookie scoop, drop heaping scoops of the batter onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Place sheets into the oven and bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until the cookies spring back when lightly pressed in the center or a toothpick placed in the center comes out mostly clean with a few moist crumbs attached, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow cookies to cool on the sheets before transferring them to a wire rack.

To prepare the filling:
In a large mixing bowl, beat butter until smooth and creamy. Beat in cream cheese and vanilla until combined. Sift confectioners' sugar into the mixing bowl and beat just until smooth.

Scoop filling into a pastry bag and pipe a large dollop on the flat side of half of the cookies. Place an unfilled cookie, flat side down, on top of the filling to create a sandwich. Place assembled whoopie pies onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and cover lightly with saran wrap. Place into the refrigerator and chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Makes about 28 assembled whoopie pies.

Butternut Squash Risotto  (Ckng Lght Oct 2011)
This ended up getting made in two parts - I was cubing and boiling the squash the week previous and got hit with a bout of vertigo.  Supper was aborted while I slept it off for four hours, then went to bed.  The Husband completed the squash puree mixture, so when I was able to get back to this, it was just a matter of heating the puree, sauteing the rice and then combining.  This risotto was super easy - and incredibly bland.  Just no flavor to it at all.  Some caramelized onions would have made a world of difference in my opinion.

Quinoa and Black Bean Salad  ( 
It's a good thing this one was quick to assemble because I ended up making it the morning of the potluck.  Just ran out of time on Sunday and Monday I had yoga class and bookgroup so I don't get home till late.  It also would have helped on Tuesday morning if I had actually remembered  to have bought the black beans ahead of time...a quick swing through Cub on the way to work, remember to bring the strainer to rinse and drain the beans at the office.  Oy.  Anyway, this was outstanding!  Forget the chilli, I much preferred this!

Pork Chalupa's (Ckng Lght BB, source unknown)
This. Was. Outstanding!  So simple to throw together in the morning and all I had to do to "shred" was stick a fork in the meat and stir it around.  Definitely add the salt, chilies and picante sauce after shredding the meat, otherwise your beans may not soften.  I found that four cups of water was plenty, since the pork and onions also give off liquid.   

Serve on tortillas, over rice or with corn chips! You can make it spicier by using jalapenos instead of green chilies and use whichever level salsa you like. It is much better the next day or even a few days later. It makes a lot!!

1 lb. dry pinto beans/navy beans/or other preferred bean
3 lbs. boneless pork (we used country style boneless pork ribs - highly recommended!)
6 4 cups water
1/2 1 cup onion, sliced into rings or half rings
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 Tablespoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 Tablespoon salt
1- 4 oz. can of diced jalapenos (if you like a little heat) or 1- 6 oz. can of diced green chilies
1/2 – 1 cup Pace Picante sauce (I have used a Trader Joe's tortilla sauce-- well a different one each time)

Put all ingredients up to oregano in crock pot. Cover and cook on low about 8-9 hours or on high 5 or more hours, until roast is falling apart and the beans are soft. Remove the meat, shred and return to the pot. Add salt, jalapenos or green chili's and picante sauce. 
If possible, check after 5 hours to make sure the beans haven’t absorbed all the liquid. Add 1 cup water at a time if you need to. Enjoy this meat with corn or flour tortillas and with toppings of your choice.

Leek and Barley Soup (Victory Garden CkBk by Marion Morash)
Sorry, I completely forgot to type this one in this weekend.  I also admit, I had my doubts about this particular soup: 6 cups of sliced leeks?  Really? and only 2oz of barley?  Well, by default the leeks were only 4 cups (it was all we had left from the garden) and I have to say it was about perfect.  Next time I would definitely up the barley to 4oz.   With some carrots, onion, celery and stock, this turned out really good and would be outstanding with some rustic bread, cheese and fruit.

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