Saturday, June 30, 2012

Tuna Casserole

Sauce for the casserole
1 zucchini, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
6 Tbsp. butter
1/3 c. flour
3 c. water
1 Tbsp. chicken bouillon
1 Tbsp. vegetable bouillon
1/2 c. milk
black pepper
2 cans tuna, drained
1/2 c. cheddar cheese, shredded, plus more for the top
1 lb. cooked pasta
parmesan, shredded

In a medium pan, saute the bell pepper and zucchini together with a bit of oil until tender, about 4-5 minutes (the second time I made this, I added a dash of garlic powder, dill, and coriander to the cooking vegetables). Set aside.

In a saucepan, combine the flour and the butter together over medium heat for about a minute. Then add the water to the butter and flour slowly, a cup at a time, stirring in between each addition. Then add the bouillons (I use Better Than Bouillon; a little more expensive, but the taste is, well, better than bouillon). Bring to a boil, then remove from heat. Add the milk, black pepper, tuna, zucchini, bell pepper, and cheddar to the bouillon mixture. Stir together.
Dinner is served!

In a baking dish, add the cooked pasta, then pour the bouillon mixture over the pasta. Sprinkle the parmesan and cheddar on top. Bake at 400 F for about 20 minutes. The casserole will be bubbly and golden on top.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Chicken with Artichoke Sauce

4 chicken breasts
salt and pepper, dried basil, coriander, garlic powder, to taste
2 Tbsp. lemon juice

3 1/2 tsp. cornstarch
1 1/2 c. milk 
12-14 oz. jar of artichoke hearts, drained and rinsed (I used marinated ones, but it might be better if they weren't marinated)
3 Tbsp. Parmesan 
1/2 tsp. dried basil
2 Tbsp. chicken broth 
2 tsp. lemon juice
salt and pepper, to taste

Pour some oil in a large skillet, and place the chicken in it. Turn to medium high heat to brown the chicken. Add all the seasonings to one side of the chicken, then turn over and add to the other side. Continue to cook in the pan until both sides are browned. Then remove to a lightly greased baking dish. Drizzle with lemon juice. Bake at 375 F for 20-25 minutes.

To make the sauce: While the chicken is baking, whisk the cornstarch and milk in a heavy saucepan, until smooth. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Stir in the remaining ingredients; heat through. Serve the sauce over the chicken.

Here is a link to the recipe I adapted:

Apple Bread

1 1/2 c. peeled, grated, and packed tart apple
All the ingredients together
3 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. lemon rind, grated
1/2 c. brown sugar
4 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 egg
2 c. flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. cashews, minced

Apple batter
Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a loaf pan.

Combine the grated apple, lemon juice, and rind in a medium sized bowl. Beat in the sugar, butter, and egg.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon into another medium sized bowl. Make a well in the center, and add the apple mixture, along with the vanilla and the nuts. Stir with a wooden spoon until just combined.

Spread into the prepared pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool in the pan about 10 minutes, then remove to a rack to finish cooling.

Next time I may try adding raisins.

From The Enchanted Broccoli Forest

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Finnish Poppy Seed Rolls (Vehnäsämpylät)

1 envelope dry yeast
1/4 c. warm water
1/2 c. milk
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 - 2 1/2 c. flour
6 Tbsp. butter, softened

Filling and Glaze:
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. heavy cream
2 tsp. poppy seeds

In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Heat the milk to lukewarm, and add to the bowl with the yeast. Mix in the sugar, salt, and the beaten egg. Stir in the flour and knead the dough until it forms a ball. Add the softened butter in bits, and knead until the butter had been absorbed and the dough is smooth and elastic. Cover and let stand for 20 minutes.

On a floured surface, roll the dough into a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick and 10x20 inch in size. Melt 2 Tbsp. of butter with the heavy cream and brush all over the dough. Fold the dough twice lengthwise and leave the seam underneath. Cut the dough into 2 inch pieces and place them on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper or lightly greased. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375 F. Brush the rolls with the remainder of the filling mixture and sprinkle on the poppy seeds. Bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until nicely browned. Cool on a rack. Serve warm.

Recipe from The Best of Finnish Cooking

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Brownie Cheesecake 2

1 1/3 c. chocolate cookie crumbs
3 Tbsp. sugar
1/3 c. butter, melted
24 oz. cream cheese
1 c. sugar
3 eggs
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1 c. whipping cream

Mini Brownies:
6 Tbsp. flour
2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
Brownie batter
pinch of salt
1/4 c. butter
2 Tbsp. bittersweet chocolate chips
6 Tbsp. sugar
2 rounded Tbsp. brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla

1 oz. whipping cream
1/2 c. chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 300 F. This cheesecake will be baked in a bath, so wrap your 9 inch springform in 3 layers of aluminum foil to make sure none of the water seeps in while the cheesecake is baking. Then grease the bottom of the springform.

To make the cheesecake: In a small bowl, combine the cookie crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Press firmly into the bottom of the springform. Set aside.

Cream together the cream cheese and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, making sure to beat well after each addition. Add the vanilla. Beat in the whipping cream. Pour over the prepared crust. Bake for 55-65 minutes. It doesn't need to be brown on top. Just the center can be a little wobbly when it comes out.

Remove the cake from the bath. Run a knife around the edge of the pan. Allow the cheesecake to cool to room temperature on a wire rack. Do not refrigerate until it has completely cooled. Then chill overnight.

Cheesecake with brownies
To make the brownies: Sift together the flour, cocoa, and salt. Melt together the butter and bittersweet chocolate in a microwave safe bowl for about 30 seconds in the microwave. Stir. Let cool to lukewarm. Add egg, vanilla, and sugars. Stir until the sugars are almost dissolved. Gently fold in the dry ingredients.

Grease an 8-inch square baking dish. Then line the dish with parchment/wax paper. Pour batter into the prepared dish. Bake 15-18 minutes at 325 F or until the surface of the brownies appear firm and dry. Do not over bake these brownies. Cool completely. Cut into 1/2 inch squares.
Ready to eat

To make the ganache: In a double boiler, melt together the cream and chocolate.

Top the cheesecake with the mini brownies. Drizzle the ganache over the brownies and cheesecake before serving.

Here's a link to my favorite food blog where I found the recipe: Brownie Cheesecake

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Lemon Thyme Bread

1/2 c. butter, softened
3/4 c. sugar
1 egg
1/2 c. buttermilk
1/2 c. sour cream
1 3/4 c. flour
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 Tbsp. lemon peel, grated
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
confectioners sugar

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg.

Combine buttermilk and sour cream in a small bowl.

Combine the flour, thyme, lemon peel, baking soda, and salt in a medium sized bowl. Add to the creamed mixture alternately with the buttermilk mixture, beating well after each addition.

Transfer to a greased loaf pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Cool completely; sprinkle with confectioners sugar.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Thai Wraps

These wraps are excellent! Great for when having company over; everyone makes their own, and there are tons of ingredients to choose from! There are no precise measurements; it's to your liking.

flour tortillas
carrots, julienne
caramelized onion slices
hot white rice
cooked chicken, diced
sesame seeds
bean sprouts
cilantro, chopped
roasted bell peppers, sliced
peanut sauce (see recipe link below)

Take 1 flour tortilla, load it up with all the ingredients (or at least the ones you want). Wrap it up and enjoy. I recommend a LOT of peanut sauce. You can even use some for dipping your wrap in. Here is a link to the peanut sauce recipe: Peanut Sauce. Enjoy!

Thai Peanut Sauce

1 1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
3/4 c. coconut milk
3 Tbsp. water
3 Tbsp. lime juice
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. fish sauce
dash of red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp. ginger root, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c. cilantro, chopped

In a saucepan, over very low heat, mix all the ingredients except the cilantro. Keep over low heat for 45-60 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mix in the cilantro just before serving. Serve warm.

Here's a link to the recipe I adapted: