Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Recipe: Blackberry Cobbler


One thing I love about summertime is all of the fresh berries at the grocery store! And now that they're in season, they're always on sale, which means I'm going home after each shopping trip with strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries. But then I worry I won't be able to eat them all before they start going bad! So I thought a cobbler would be a great way to use a lot of them.

I Googled "easy berry cobbler recipe," and I found this one from MyRecipes.com. It IS easy!
Ingredients
  • 4 cups fresh blackberries
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Whipped cream (optional)
Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
2. Place blackberries in a lightly greased 8-inch square baking dish; sprinkle with lemon juice.
3. Stir together egg, sugar, and flour in a medium bowl until mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle over fruit.
4. Drizzle melted butter over topping.

5. Bake for 35 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes. Serve warm with whipped cream and garnish with fresh mint sprig, if desired.

This recipe is so simple, and so delicious! I actually did half blackberry and half blueberry, and I definitely put whipped cream on mine (or ice cream. Or both...). This is certainly a recipe worth making again and again (like the quiche recipe I found the other week. I've now made three quiches already)!

YUM!

Friday, June 8, 2018

Recipe: Spinach Quiche


Even though I claim not to cook very often, lately I have been cooking recipes left and right! I decided to make a quiche for the first time since I had some leftover heavy cream. Google led me to this recipe from the Food Network, and it sounded easy enough to me!


Ingredients



Directions


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Combine the eggs, cream, salt, and pepper in a food processor or blender. Layer the spinach, bacon, and cheese in the bottom of the pie crust, then pour the egg mixture on top. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until the egg mixture is set. Cut into 8 wedges.
This recipe was so easy, and I was pleasantly surprised how well my quiche turned out! I only had five eggs and no bacon, but everything still worked out. I didn't bother to chop up the baby spinach; I just layered the little leaves in the bottom of the crust, alternating the spinach layers with layers of cheese (I used sharp cheddar). Delicious!

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Recipe: Butternut Squash & Mushroom Enchiladas with Tomatillo Sauce

Image found here
Last Friday I went to the grand opening of the new MOM's Organic Market near Gaithersburg, MD. As a special, the store was offering $15 off of any $30 purchase. I bought a lot of squash, so I figured over the weekend I could try to use some of it.

Okay, so they don't look exactly like the other picture, but they were still yummy!
I found this recipe from the blog "Pinch of Yum." I love Mexican food, and I thought this would be the perfect time to use half of the butternut squash I bought. But I should warn you: while the original recipe includes directions for both the enchiladas and the tomatillo sauce, I did NOT bother to make my own sauce. My roommate had a huge jug of Herdez Salsa Verde, so I used that instead. So much easier! So I did not list the ingredients or the directions related to the sauce here.

Ingredients

  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 large jalapeño, chopped, seeds and ribs removed
  • 1 cup chopped bell pepper (2 peppers)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2-3 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 16 ounces fresh chopped mushrooms
  • 12-15 corn tortillas
  • 2 cups shredded cheese
  • Mexican toppings: cilantro, avocado, queso fresco

Directions

  1. Squash Filling: In a large nonstick pan over high heat, roast the jalapeño and bell pepper. Do not stir too often; let the skins get browned and roasted. Add the onions and saute for a few minutes. Add the squash, 1 tablespoon butter, cumin, chili powder, and salt; saute until the squash is fork tender. Set aside.
  2. Mushroom Filling: Place 1 tablespoon butter back in the pan; add the mushrooms and saute until soft and browned. Season with salt and additional cumin and chili powder.
  3. Assembly: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wrap the tortillas in a moist paper towel and warm in the microwave. Stuff the softened tortillas with a little bit of squash and mushrooms. Roll and place seam-side-down in a baking dish. Repeat until finished; cover with sauce and top with cheese. Bake for 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve with your favorite toppings.
AND as usual I did not follow the recipe to a T. I don't like spicy food, so I completely disregarded the jalapeño. And I don't use a lot of spices when I cook (both because I'm lazy and the fact that food can taste perfectly good without them), so I didn't put those in, not even the salt. I also did not cook the mushrooms separately. Why dirty another pan? I just threw them in with the other ingredients. And rather than use the small corn tortillas, I used the big, flour ones, so I only made 6 enchiladas instead of 12-15 (that would be too many anyway!). Also, I clearly went overboard on the cheese on top, but I'm not complaining! It was the only topping I really used since I didn't have cilantro.

And here's a tip with the sauce: make sure you cover the ENTIRE tortilla with sauce. If you don't, there will be parts that get hard and dry when cooked, and no one wants to eat that. I even used a special brush to make sure each nook and cranny was covered in the sauce. It doesn't have to be thick, but enough to get the tortilla wet so it doesn't dry out in the oven.

This recipe is so good and so easy to make! I highly recommend it. I might try adding some cheese to the inside of the enchiladas next time for double-extra-plus cheese!

Monday, June 4, 2018

Banana Chocolate Bread Pudding


Over the Memorial Day weekend, my friend and I wanted to bake something. We had a few over-ripe bananas, but instead of making banana bread, we wanted to try something new. So we got this recipe from her How to Cook Everything Vegetarian cookbook.

Ingredients

3 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) of butter
8 thick slices of bread (crusts removed if very thick)
2 very ripe bananas
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks
1.5 teaspoons ground cardamom

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Put the milk, sugar, salt, and butter in a small saucepan over low heat and warm just until the butter melts. Meanwhile, butter a 1.5-quart or 8-inch square baking dish (glass preferable) and cut or tear the bread into bite-sized pieces (but not too small). 

2. Put the bread in the baking dish and pour the hot milk over it. Let it sit for a few minutes, occasionally submerging any pieces of bread that rise to the top.

3. Mash the bananas and then stir the bananas and chocolate into the bread. Sprinkle in the cardamom. Set the baking dish in a larger baking pan and pour enough hot water into the baking pan to come up about an inch from the top of the dish.

4. Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until a knife/toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or nearly clean; the center should be just a little wobbly.

So yummy! I would love to try this recipe with caramel instead of chocolate; then it would taste like Bananas Foster!