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Monday, May 15, 2017

Recipe Review from 5/7/2017

I've been baking a bit more than I usually do.  Partly it's because I'm holding enough meetings/trainings that I have become thoroughly sick of purchasing store-bought donuts and cookies, and partly because I'm enjoying cooking tasty things for people.  I've made the Chocolate Oatmeal Cake twice with rave reviews, I did the Banana Chocolate Cake several weeks ago, and made a couple batches of Nestle's Toll House chocolate chip cookies.   The cookies are super fast (assuming I have everything on hand) with a stand mixer, and I can whip out a batch in an hour or so.

It was a chilly but sunny Sunday morning that had me making the Raspberry Scones.  I adore a decent scone and these hit my happy spot with a cuppa hot tea.  Best part - I didn't have to drive in to Starbucks to get one! 

The Meal Plan from the week of 5/7:
Sun (L) leftover soup and grilled cheese  (S) leftover brats
Mon (PM yoga)  Creamy Corn and Shrimp chowder
Tues (PM yoga)  leftover chowder
Wed (PM work)  leftover chowder
Thurs (PM yoga) freezer - leftover pulled pork
Fri (PM yoga) freezer - leftover pulled pork
Sat - leftover paella and pulled pork

Lunches - (Me) vegetarian paella   (D) Egg salad pitas

Raspberry Cream Scones  (Whole Foods Co-op flyer)
These assemble very quickly, and by the time you have the dishes washed or in the dishwasher, they are ready to come out of the oven.  Now, if you're able to plan ahead, some Devonshire cream would be the perfect accompaniment.  If not, grab a cuppa your favorite and kick back.

These are the perfect balance of sweetness countered by tangy berries.  This will make perfect sized wedges.  I think this recipe could also be tinked with a bit - add some almond extract and toasted slivered almonds on top for a bit of decadence.  Change up the berries.  Maybe roll in a bit of orange marmalade with some cranberries.

Bottom line - I liked these.  Recommended! 

2/3 cup AP flour
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp cold butter cut or grated into small pieces
6 tbsp heavy cream (I used 1/2 n 1/2)
1 egg, separated
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup fresh or frozen raspberries (I used some blueberries too)

1. Preheat oven to 400*.

2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  In a separate bowl, combine the heavy cream, egg yolk, and vanilla extract.

3. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, blend the cold butter with the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.  Gently toss the raspberries with the flour and butter mixture and slowly add the cream and egg yolk mixture.  Gently blend until the dough just holds together.

4. Prepare a jelly-roll pan with parchment paper.  Place dough on pan and form into a circle roughly 1/2 inch thick.  Cut into 8 equal triangles, separating slightly for baking.   Brush tops of scones with beaten egg white, and bake for 10-14 minutes or until just starting to brown.  (Mine took about 18 minutes, I was using frozen berries.)    

Vegetarian Paella (Whole Foods Co-op Flyer)  vegetarian, gluten free
Despite a fairly long ingredient list, this comes together fairly quickly.  It did help  to have everything chopped, opened and drained before I even turned on the burner - as things cooked I had time to do dishes, put stuff away, and tidy the counter.  Where the ingredients call for cups of tomatoes, artichoke hearts, or beans, I just used one 14.5 oz can for simplicity. 

I will admit, I waffled about putting the dish under the broiler, but decided I wanted that slightly crispy  baked "crust".   End result, I would make this again.  I liked the combination of veggies, chickpeas, and rice.  A splash of siracha on top added a little heat.  I also like how this made enough for several days of leftovers.   A definitely lifesaver on a busy week. 

This made about 6 servings. 

1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium zucchini, diced
2 cups (1- 14.5 oz can) diced tomatoes, un-drained
5-10 saffron strands
2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes  (I was out of pepper flakes)

1 1/2 cups rice, medium or short grained
(I used Uncle Ben's instant brown rice)
3 cups vegetable stock, room temp
1/2 cup canned artichoke hearts, drained and lightly chopped
2 cups (1-14.5 oz can) garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

In a large oven proof stock pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Add the onions and bell pepper and saute for 10 minutes or until softened.  Add the garlic, zucchini, diced tomatoes with juice saffron, paprika, and chili flakes and saute for 5-10 minutes.  Add the rice and stock; stir and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to slow and simmer for 10 minutes.

Preheat the broiler.

Add the rice, garbanzo beans, salt and pepper.  Cover the pot and simmer for 10-15 more minutes.  When the liquid is mostly absorbed and the rice is tender, uncover the pot and transfer to the broiler for 5 to 10 minutes until the edge of the rice begin to brown and get a bit crispy.  Remove and serve. 

Cajun Shrimp and Corn Chowder (modified from ATK Slow Cooker Revolution 2)  gluten free
I modified this for simplicity's sake.  My taste buds are not so refined as to be able to tell the difference if my potatoes, garlic and Cajun seasoning were "bloomed" before plopping in the slow cooker.   I processed the corn and broth as directed in Step 1, plopped all of Step 2 into the slow cooker, walked away for about 6 hours (I was cooking on LOW), came back and proceeded with Step 3. 

Now, that being said, I did notice it took a long time for my potatoes to cook, and they were diced fairly small.  So...there might be something to kick starting the potatoes be it on the stove or in the microwave.

When all was cooked and done, this was really good.  I'm glad I cut back on the Cajun seasoning - more and it would have been too much.  As it was, this had a nice zing! to it that complimented the sweetness of the corn.  This would be awesome made with fresh corn on the cob.  Recommended!  

6 cups frozen corn, thawed
3 cups chicken stock
12 oz red potatoes, cut into 1/2" pieces (I used yukon golds)
8 oz andouille sausage, cut into 1/4" pieces
2 tsp minced garlic
1 1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning (I used 1 tsp Penzey's Cajun Very Hot Seasoning)
1 red bell pepper, cored and chopped (I used 3 stalks celery)
1 1b small shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup heavy cream

1.  Process 4 cups corn and 2 cups broth in  a blender until smooth, about 1 minute.  Transfer to slow cooker.  Set 2 cups of corn aside until the end.

2. Place potatoes, andouille, garlic, Cajun seasoning and [celery] into slow cooker.  Add remaining cup of broth.  Stir.  Cover and cook until potatoes are soft, about 4-5 hours on low.

3.  Stir in remaining corn and shrimp.  Cover and cook until shrimp are opaque, about 20-30 minutes.  Add in cream and let heat about 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper and serve. 

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