Sweet Cooking

Archive for the ‘Fruit’ Category

Pistachio Crusted Chicken with Pineapple Salsa

In Fruit, Just Good Food, Miscellaneous on September 14, 2011 at 7:58 am

I’ve been doing a lot of “crusted” dishes lately. I really like this one! The original recipe was actually for a peanut-crusted chicken, but I had pistachios and used them instead.

I suggest using a food processor or mini-prep to finely chop the pistachios. There is also one slice of whole wheat bread in there. This literally takes less than 30 seconds.

Once that is done, simply dredge the chicken in the pistachio mixture.

Make the pineapple salsa. I didn't use a red onion in my salsa because I forgot to buy one. I hate it when that happens.

Cook the chicken and you're done! Tasty, easy and not a lot of clean-up. The perfect weeknight meal. Enjoy!

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Faux Banana Ice Cream

In Fruit on September 6, 2011 at 7:32 pm

My mom is an article clipper. She always has been. Whenever I come home there is a stack of newspaper/magazine clippings awaiting me. The topics range  wildly: latest trends in sunscreen, recipes, cancer prevention, Auburn recruiting news, rare brain eating amoebas (not a joke folks). It used to annoy me, but now I actually think her article clipping is endearing. And sometimes I actually learn something.

I was really excited when I saw her stack of recipe clips on my recent visit home. The most enticing was “Faux Banana Ice Cream”. It was in the Birmingham News – written by an Alabama woman who has a cooking blog called Plain Chicken.

Here’s the deal with this “ice cream”. It’s not ice cream at all. If you go into thinking you are going to have a decadent treat you’ll be disappointed. Keep your expectations low and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Start by cutting up some bananas and putting them in the freezer.

After they are well frozen, puree them with the tool of your choice. We used an immersion blender, but I think a food processor would have worked a little better.

If you want soft serve, go ahead and eat the “ice cream” immediately. If you want a thicker texture, put the pureed bananas back in the freezer. The Plain Chicken lady recommends all sorts of things you can add to the bananas (cocoa, peanut butter, honey, nutella, etc.). We kept it simple and just did the bananas.

Then I crunched up two mini Reese's Cups and used them as a topping.

You can find the recipe here. Enjoy!

Whole Wheat Apple Zucchini Bread

In Bread, breakfast, Fruit on August 19, 2011 at 10:41 am

If you tasted this bread, you would not believe that it doesn’t contain any sugar, oil or butter. I had extremely low expectations for this very reason. How can bread be  good, edible even, without ANY sugar, butter or oil?

This bread really surprised me.

I followed this recipe from Clean Eating. I used almond flour instead of spelt flour so my bread had a slight almond flavor. I used a granny smith apple and 0% Fage yogurt.

When this bread came out of the oven it looked and smelled delicious.

I had a piece as soon as it was finished baking and a piece the next day. It’s definitely best warm or slightly toasted. I resisted the urge to spread a little butter on it (trying to save calories anywhere I can these days). I think if I were going to make this bread again, I would use vanilla yogurt. Just that slight addition of sweetness might make this bread really, really tasty. Or….wait for it….I might add some chocolate chips. Now we’re talking!!

This is the first recipe I’ve ever tried from Clean Eating. It was a solid first. I will let you know if I try anything else.

I hope you all (all dear 7 of you) have a great weekend. The babe is taking a long morning nap so I am off to fold burp cloths and swiffer the apartment. Good times!

Old Fashioned Apple Pie

In Fruit, Pie on December 16, 2010 at 10:34 am

First of all, I apologize for my recent absence. I wish I could tell you that I’ve been busy helping the homeless or finding a cure for cancer. In reality, I’ve been swept up in football season, family events and general holiday madness. Additionally, I have spent hours, maybe days, trying to find a warm maternity coat. It does not exist. I am going to be cold all winter. So, as a result, I honestly haven’t been cooking much at all. I did, however, find time to make Dan an apple pie for his birthday. He requested pie instead of cake. He doesn’t like icing. Whatever.

This is my second ever apple pie from scratch. I used Martha Stewart’s recipe for Old Fashioned Apple Pie. I made the dough a day in advance, and I just used my hands to make the dough mixture. I wasn’t sure if I was doing it correctly or not, but it seemed to work out okay. I didn’t photograph the dough making because it was messy and I was concentrating on trying to get the texture right.

On to the pie, chopping the apples takes some time. Just turn on some music or a TV show and get to work. I used a combination of granny smith and gala apples.

Slice the apples thinly.

Divide the dough in half and roll out to pieces in equal size (one for the bottom crust and one for the top crust).

Once the dough is done and the apples are chopped, you just mix the apples with cinnamon, flour and sugar and assemble the pie. The recipe calls for cloves, but I omitted them.

Spread the apple mixture into the bottom pie crust and dot with butter (do not skimp).

Layer on the top crust and cut holes in it to allow air to escape. In hindsight, I wish I had made my holes smaller.

Bake at 350 degrees for one hour and fifteen minutes. This photo is a little dark...the top crust was not burned, but it sort of looks that way here.

I let this pie rest for several hours before serving it. I served it at room temperature, but I think it would have been best warm with vanilla ice cream. Dan does not like warm desserts (isn’t he just nuts?), and since it was HIS birthday I obliged.

I hope all of you are having a wonderful holiday season. I know it’s a busy time of year. Just remember that “stressed” spelled backwards is “desserts”! I hope you eat or make something delicious today!

Applesauce Cookies with Maple Syrup Glaze

In Cookies, Fruit on September 29, 2010 at 9:33 am

Applesauce and oatmeal cookies with maple syrup glaze. The perfect cookie for Autumn!

Remember that applesauce I made? I had an ulterior motive. I used a lot of it to make cookies. I have baked breads with applesauce before but never a cookie. You should try it. They are great!

Follow Martha’s recipe.

Make the batter as instructed. This batter is more wet than a typical cookie dough.

Bake the cookies for 13 minutes and then let them cool completely. Do not even consider icing them before they are totally cool to the touch.

While the cookies are cooking and cooling, make the icing. The icing is made of powdered sugar, maple syrup and water. I recommend adding the water 1 tablespoon at a time. I found that after one tablespoon of water, my icing was good. I think that it would have been too runny if I had used all 3 tablespoons of water.

Aren't they cute? I love the addition of the icing. They taste great too. Enjoy!

Homemade Applesauce

In breakfast, Fruit, Just Good Food on September 23, 2010 at 12:42 pm

It's apple season!

As promised, I made applesauce. It’s so easy! I followed this Cooking Light recipe. The ingredients are freshly chopped apples, sugar, lemon juice, a cinnamon stick, salt and a little almond extract. I used Macintosh apples because they were inexpensive. This recipe yields a moderate amount of applesauce. If you’re cooking for a family or want leftovers, I would double it.

I chopped my apples pretty small, but if you prefer a chunkier applesauce, by all means, go large.

Once you have everything in the pot, bring the mixture to a boil. Then cover and reduce the heat to medium low.

And there you go....homemade applesauce in 35 minutes.

I think I maybe stirred the pot once while it was cooking. This is one of those few recipes that you can really just forget about and come back to it 30 minutes later. The recipe says to mash it with a potato masher at the end. I didn’t need to since I diced my apples pretty small to begin with.

If you have kids, I’m sure they will love it. But applesauce isn’t just for kids. One of my favorite meals is a pork tenderloin with wild rice and applesauce. In general, apples go great with pork, so give it a shot.

I spooned a few tablespoons of applesauce over some yogurt and topped it with toasted walnuts and flax. Delicious!

Wild Blueberry Muffins

In breakfast, Fruit, Muffins on September 17, 2010 at 8:45 am

I purchased some wild blueberries at Whole Foods. They are a little smaller than conventional blueberries.

I ate blueberries and yogurt for breakfast every day this week. Delicious! I had another container of the berries, so I made wild blueberry muffins. Follow this recipe. The recipe calls for 2 1/3 cups flour. I used 2 cups all-purpose flour and 1/3 cup whole wheat flour. I did not include the streusel topping because I thought the muffins were just fine without the added sugar and butter (and calories).

Combine the wet and dry ingredients and then gently stir in the blueberries.

Pour batter into a prepared muffin tin.

Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Perfect wild blueberry muffins!

Dan really liked the muffins. He said that the muffin to blueberry ratio was perfect. He evidently likes his muffins to be packed with berries. “Nothing is worse than when you get a blueberry muffin and you get screwed on the blueberries.” Have a great weekend everyone!!

Lime Meltaways

In Cookies, Fruit on September 9, 2010 at 9:41 am

This is kind of a fun and different cookie. It’s very appropriate for a summer dessert. The lime and powdered sugar flavors make a really great sweet and sour combo. This is one of Martha’s “cookie of the day” recipes. If you’re interested, you can find the recipe here.

Here are the ingredients!

If you follow the instructions, the dough comes together very easily. It’s really simple. Anyone can make this cookie! I did make a few alterations. The recipe yields 10 dozen cookies! My goodness, I surely don’t need 120 cookies around the house! I chose to half the recipe. Not a problem. Once the dough is done, the recipe says to chill it for an hour. I chilled mine overnight.

Slice the cookies into rounds and put them on a prepared baking sheet.

When the cookies are done, take them out of the oven and let them cool a bit. Then toss them in a bag of powdered sugar. I was in a hurry and didn't let the cookies cool quite long enough....some of the sugar got clumpy. Martha's photo is much better!

Overall, the lime meltaways were a success. The taste was great. I would take a little more care next time in my cookie shape. My logs of dough were not quite perfect, and therefore, my cookies were not a pretty circle shape. And, the whole powdered sugar thing didn’t go so well for me. The sugar started to melt and stick into clumps. That was also my fault. I just didn’t take the time to do it like Martha would!

Orange and Pine Nut Cookies

In Cookies, Fruit on September 7, 2010 at 1:07 pm

Sounds weird, right? A little. I must admit, the name of the recipe is just not that enticing. Honestly, the cookies aren’t that great either. I gave it a whirl….thought I might find a new, interesting cookie. Oh well…they are still pretty good. They just aren’t going to blow your socks off or anything.

As you might have guessed, there are two main flavors in this cookie. Orange and....

Toasted pine nuts.

I got this recipe from Fine Cooking. I added a little orange juice to the dough because it was too crumbly. Otherwise, I followed the instructions exactly.

After you make the dough, you roll the cookies into little balls and then coat them with sugar. Then you flatten the cookie before baking (like this).

Here they are freshly baked!

I think these might be good with coffee or tea. The citrus flavor is more pronounced than the pine nut flavor.

This is a good cookie to make if you’re dieting. Not necessarily because they are low cal…because you could probably just have a bite and be done.

Peach Ginger Chutney

In Fruit, Just Good Food on September 1, 2010 at 8:50 am

Can you believe that this is a NYC sunset? Wow!

I took this photo from our little balcony last week. The weather was fantastic. It actually felt like Autumn for a few days. I was briefly excited about fall sweaters, boots and jeans. I had to restrain myself at J. Crew! Now we’re just back to being hot, unfortunately.

Our fall tease made for great outdoor dining. On the evening photographed above, Dan and I had pork chops topped with a peach ginger chutney.We ate it with a side of wild rice and a mixed greens salad.

The chutney consists of peaches, sliced ginger, shallots,a little sugar and thyme.

You put all of the ingredients into a pot and let it cook on low heat for 2o minutes.

Everything sort of melts together and the peaches release their juices. It smells amazing and tastes even better.

Once the chutney is ready, take out the ginger slices and thyme sprigs. You don’t want the pieces of tough ginger to stay in there. The ginger flavor has already incorporated into everything (it’s present, but not overpowering – peach is the main flavor).

Our meal was delicious, but I didn’t photograph the pork. I didn’t think it was that pretty. You can find a nice photo and the full recipe here. I need to practice my photography skills when it comes to brown food. I just can’t get it right (other than chocolate, of course). Enjoy!