Perfect Popovers


I posted a popovers recipe in 2010… can’t believe it’s been a decade! This version is slightly modified with cooking temperature, ingredients and method, but yields much better results. You can make them in a traditional popover pan or muffin pan; you can even make mini popovers. I’ll provide some basic guidelines for all three, but as always, ovens vary, so I suggest keeping an eye on them. And remember, do NOT open the oven door at all while they’re cooking.

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Ingredients

  • 4 large eggs, warmed in a cup of hot water for 10 minutes before cracking
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (skim, low-fat, or whole), lukewarm
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp. melted butter, plus more for greasing the pan

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 F. Position an oven rack on the bottom shelf, with plenty of room for them to rise.
  2. Grease the pan you’re using thoroughly (I use butter), covering the area between the cups as well as the cups themselves. Make sure the oven is preheated before you begin to make the popover batter.
  3. Using a wire whisk, beat together the eggs, milk, and salt. Whisk the egg and milk until well combined, with no streaks of yolk showing.
  4. Add the flour all at once, and beat with a wire whisk until frothy; there shouldn’t be any large lumps in the batter, but smaller lumps are fine.
  5. Stir in the melted butter, combining quickly.
  6. Pour the batter into the muffin cups, filling them about 2/3 to 3/4 full.
  7. For standard muffin pans, bake the popovers for 20 minutes without opening the oven door. Reduce the heat to 350°F (again without opening the door), and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until they’re a deep, golden brown. If you’re using a popover pan, increase time by 5 minutes. For mini muffin pans, decrease cooking time by 10 minutes. Reminder: keep the door closed.
  8. If you plan on serving the popovers immediately, remove them from the oven, and stick the tip of a knife into the top of each, to release steam and help prevent sogginess. Slip them out of the pan, and serve.
  9. If you want the popovers to hold their shape longer without deflating and settling quite as much, bake them for an additional 5 minutes (for a total of 40 minutes) IF you can do so without them becoming too dark. This will make them a bit sturdier, and able to hold their “popped” shape a bit longer.

To reheat popovers, preheat your oven to 350-400F and bake them for 5-10 minutes on a cookie sheet.

You can also freeze popovers in an airtight bag or container for up to three months.

Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour
Nutritional Information
SERVING SIZE: 1 medium (64g)
SERVINGS PER BATCH: 12

Amount Per Serving:

CALORIES: 110
CALORIES FROM FAT: 45
TOTAL FAT: 5g
SATURATED FAT: 2.5g
TRANS FAT: 0g
CHOLESTEROL: 70mg
SODIUM: 135mg
TOTAL CARBOHYDRATE: 12g
DIETARY FIBER: og
SUGARS: 2g
PROTEIN: 5g

* The nutrition information provided for this recipe is determined by the ESHA Genesis R&D software program. Substituting any ingredients may change the posted nutrition information.

Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta Salad


Tri-color Rotini

I hope everyone had a happy and safe Fourth of July celebration with lots of delicious food. 🇺🇸 It’s been a while since I posted a new recipe (I’ve taken a little hiatus in the kitchen), and thought I’d share this one I made yesterday. It can be a nice main or side dish, and is yummy both warm or chilled. I kept this pretty simple which made it quick and easy, but you can add your favorite vegetables, and/or chicken or tofu… lots of possibilities. I used tricolor rotini, but feel to go with whatever pasta you’d like (bowtie, penne, small shells, etc.).

The sun-dried tomatoes are used to make a “pesto”, which I decided to do without the use of a food processor. It was a little more work, but I wanted chunkier bits incorporated into the salad and I think it was perfect.

This serves 3-4, so double the ingredients if needed.

Ingredients

  • 6 oz. (about half a box) of tri-color rotini
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 oz. goat cheese
  • 6-8 cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • Basil, for garnish

Directions

  1. Combine your finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes, cheese, garlic, olive oil and balsamic in a bowl and stir very well.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  3. Drain pasta and reserve some of the cooking liquid.
  4. Toss the pasta with the tomato pesto, and season with salt & pepper, to taste.
  5. Fold in 1 1/2 oz. goat cheese, until melted and well incorporated, and add the cherry tomatoes.
  6. Crumble the remaining goat cheese and sprinkle on top.
  7. Garnish with fresh basil.

Sun-dried Tomato Rotini

 

 

Buffalo Cheese Dip


I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season, and Happy 2015!! As I’ve mentioned in some previous posts, I receive a ton of recipes emailed to me on a regular basis from various online sources, and saw one I wanted to try, especially since the big “Game Day” is approaching and I know people are always looking for new dishes to serve up at Super Bowl parties. The great thing about this recipe (by Pillsbury) is there are only five ingredients; well, really four… one is an optional garnish. The one thing I did differently from the original is heating up the dip. I tried it both cold and hot, and in my personal opinion, it’s much better when warmed. You can also add some shredded chicken, if desired.

Ingredients

  • 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 4-5 oz. crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 cup Yoplait® Greek 100 plain yogurt
  • 3/4 cup Buffalo wing sauce
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions (optional)

Directions

  1. In large bowl, beat cream cheese and all but 2 tablespoons of the blue cheese with electric mixer on medium speed about 30 seconds or until combined.
  2. Add yogurt and wing sauce; beat 30 seconds longer.
  3. Transfer to serving bowl. Top with 2 tablespoons reserved blue cheese and green onions. Drizzle with additional wing sauce, if desired.
  4. For the heated version, follow steps 1 & 2, transfer to a greased casserole dish, and cook in a preheated 350° oven for approximately 35 minutes or until hot. Stir, then top with the reserved blue cheese and green onions.
  5. Serve with celery sticks, carrot sticks, cauliflower, broccoli, tortilla chips, or chicken strips.

Yields 16 servings

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Pennette Lasagna


Pennette Lasagna

A couple of weeks ago, a coworker friend of mine brought me in some of his homemade lasagna and it was incredibly delicious. It took me a few meals to finish it as I like to eat pasta sparingly; however, when it was gone, it left me yearning for more, so I decided to make some and improvise with the ingredients I had on hand, which included pennette pasta. If you’re not familiar with pennette, they’re simply a shorter and thinner version of penne pasta, and have ends that are cut at an angle. I threw this together without doing a lot of measuring (and made a small serving), but am providing my best guesstimate on the amounts I used. To be honest, I was a little nervous how it would turn out, but much to my delight, it was truly scrumptious. 

Ingredients

  • 3/4 container (around 11 oz.) of ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup 2% mozzarella, shredded
  • 1 tsp. fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/8 tsp. garlic 
  • 1/8 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups pennette pasta
  • 2-3 cups prepared marinara or pasta sauce
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan
  • 1/4 cup Mexican Style Four Cheese Blend

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add pasta, cook for 8 minutes (they won’t be completely done but they finish cooking in the oven).
  3. Drain and set aside.
  4. Mix together ricotta and egg, then add mozzarella, parmesan, basil, oregano, garlic and salt.
  5. Spray a small baking dish with Pam (I used a small 5″ x 7″).
  6. Put a layer of marinara in the bottom of your pan, sprinkle some red pepper flakes and then 1/3 of the noodles (lay them flat), spread the ricotta cheese mixture on top of the noodles, put a layer of sauce on top of the cheese, add pepper flakes, top with 1/2 of noodles, repeat process again, and finish with remaining sauce and the Mexican 4 Cheese (there should be 3 layers).
  7. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover for the last 5 minutes of cooking.
  8. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Classic Southern Deviled Eggs


Happy Spring! For some reason, I was having a craving for some deviled eggs over the past week, so decided to whip some up yesterday. I know there are many different ingredients you can add to the yolk mixture… horseradish, dill, onion, hot sauce, etc., but decided to go with a more traditional recipe. For this one, I used regular yellow mustard, but feel free to use spicy brown or Dijon, but either way, I think you’ll find these little gems are really delicious.

Deviled Eggs

Ingredients

  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp. sweet pickle relish
  • 1 tsp. white vinegar
  • 1 tsp. yellow mustard
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Smoked Spanish paprika, for garnish

Directions

  1. Place eggs in a single layer in a saucepan and cover with enough water that there’s about 1 1/2 inches of water above the eggs. Heat on high until water begins to boil, then cover, remove from heat and leave covered for 15 minutes. Rinse under cold water continuously for 2 minutes.
  2. Crack egg shells and carefully peel under cool running water. Gently dry with paper towels. Slice the eggs in half lengthwise, removing yolks to a medium bowl, and placing the whites on a dish or serving platter.
  3. Mash the yolks into a fine crumble using a fork. Add mayonnaise, relish, vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper, and mix well.
  4. Fill eggs whites evenly with the yolk mixture using a fork, spoon or pastry bag.
  5. Sprinkle with paprika and serve, or store covered in refrigerator. 

Deviled Eggs

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Candied Sweet Potato Casserole


Candied Sweet Potato Casserole

With the holidays quickly approaching, visions of dinner menus have been dancing in my head. One of my staples is a sweet potato casserole which always receives rave reviews, and I just realized I haven’t posted it. I took the traditional marshmallow-topped dish, and took it to a new level (in my humble opinion). I also decided to use canned sweet potatoes instead of fresh strictly to save on time.

Ingredients

  • 2 (29 oz.) cans sweet potatoes
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 2 tbsp. orange juice (if you’re not an OJ fan, you can use skim milk)
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. kosher salt

Topping

  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 cup candied pecans, chopped

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix sweet potatoes, 1/4 cup butter, egg, white sugar, oj, marshmallows, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
  3. Transfer to a lightly greased 9″x13″ baking dish.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine topping ingredients and mix well (using your hands) to a consistency of course meal. Sprinkle over sweet potato mixture.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes, or until topping is crisp and lightly browned.

Gourmet Sweet Potato Casserole

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Spaghetti Squash Marinara


Spaghetti Squash Marinara

Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of recipes being shared on Facebook, most of which are healthy and look really delicious. I try to make a point of “liking” or sharing the post so I can go back to it, or I simply copy it down. Last week, one of my friends shared one for spaghetti squash, and sadly, I didn’t do either and don’t recall which friend it was. I figured I could wing it, but looked up a few recipes to find out about cooking times in both the oven and microwave. I ended up cooking mine in the oven, mostly because my microwave is small and cooking a whole spaghetti squash in there can lead to spaghetti squash wallpaper if it explodes. Needless to say, the end result was incredible, and honestly, tasted better than I expected. If you like healthy, and/or love pasta, but hate the carbs, look no further!  If you’re short on time or just want to simplify this recipe , you can use your favorite spaghetti or marinara sauce instead of making this one, but I recommend you trying mine out 🙂 I added lean ground Italian turkey to mine; however, if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, obviously you can omit it. Feel free to add some veggies, too, if you so desire.

*UPDATE* –  shortly after posting this, I stumbled across a spaghetti squash recipe that looked amazing, so I quickly took the remaining half squash from this recipe and added the two additional ingredients, which I’ll post at the bottom (with a photo, of course)!

Ingredients

  • 1 medium uncooked spaghetti squash, about 2 lbs.
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can stewed tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can whole Roma tomatoes, chopped (discard juice)
  • 1/2 lb. lean ground Italian turkey meat (I used Jennie O), optional
  • 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil plus extra for baking dish
  • 1 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1-2 tsp. garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. fennel seeds, ground in spice mill or using mortar & pestle
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 2 tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste and for sprinkling baking dish
  • Parmesan cheese, go big and just use a little for the top

Cooked Squash

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Cut squash in half lengthwise using a sharp knife. This can be somewhat difficult, so be careful. If need be, start at one end, cutting half way through then turn it around and cut through the other half. Once the squash is cut in half, scoop out the seeds.
  3. Drizzle a little olive oil in a large baking dish, then sprinkle with some salt & pepper. Place squash cut sides down in dish and prick skin with a fork all over.
  4. Cook for 45 minutes.
  5. While the squash is cooking,  heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and crushed fennel, and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.
  6. Add ground turkey, and continue to sauté until cooked through, breaking into small pieces, about 10 minutes.
  7. Stir in tomatoes (including juice from the can of stewed tomatoes), basil and Italian seasoning; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring often, 5 minutes or until desired consistency.
  8. Remove squash from oven and carefully turn over with an oven mit (they’ll be hot!). Rake the stringy squash pulp from the skin with a fork, separating it into strands that look like spaghetti. You can either serve the squash in its skin or move the strands to a plate.
  9. Spoon sauce over squash and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Yummy!

Additional Recipe: Cheesy Spaghetti Squash with Marinara

Cheesy Spaghetti Squash

The additional items you’ll need are 1 cup of cottage cheese (I prefer low fat) and 1 cup of shredded cheese. I used a light Mexican four-blend, but the recipe I saw calls for Mozzarella. To make this, after cooking the squash and scraping the strings with a fork, add 1/2 cup cottage cheese to each half, top with marinara, and then add 1/2 cup cheese to each one. Put on a baking sheet and place under the broiler for approximately 3-5 minutes. I added some fresh chopped oregano and basil, and as you can see, some of it burned, so I ended up finishing it in the microwave until the cheese got melted and bubbly.

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Japanese Cucumber Salad


Japanese Cucumber Salad

I love the cucumber salads at sushi restaurants, and a while back, made a copycat version at home. After recently buying an English cucumber for another recipe (which I can’t even remember now), I thought about making this super simple and yummy side dish again tonight. And when I say simple, I mean one of the easiest dishes you can make. If you like cucumbers, and enjoy vinegar flavor, you will love this refreshing salad.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium cucumbers, or 1 large English cucumber
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. sesame seeds, toasted *

Directions

  1. Rinse cucumber(s) and pat dry. (I like to keep the skin on, but you can take it off, if you’d like.)
  2. Slice thinly using a food processor or sharp knife.
  3. Place in a double layer of paper towel and squeeze gently to remove any excess moisture.
  4. Combine vinegar, sugar and salt in a medium bowl, stirring to dissolve.
  5. Add the cucumbers and sesame seeds; toss well to combine.
  6. Serve immediately.

* To toast sesame seeds, heat a small dry skillet over low heat. Add sesame seeds and stir constantly until golden and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and let cool.

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Mexican Egg White Omelet With Goat Cheese


Mexican Egg White Omelet

I whipped up this little omelet this morning, and wasn’t going to post it, then thought, why not share the deliciousness?!! Obviously, you can add (or omit) whatever veggies and/or spices that suit your fancy, but I love the combination of what I put into mine today. If you’re not a fan of goat cheese, just substitute your favorite.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup egg whites, from 4 large eggs or liquid whites
  • 2 pearl onions, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. jalapeño peppers, sliced or diced
  • 1 tbsp. goat cheese
  • 3-4 cherry or plum tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/2 avocado, chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp. cilantro, more or less to taste
  • 1/8 tsp. Mexican chili powder
  • 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Omelet Ingredients

Omelet Cooking

Directions

  1. Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a small skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add chopped onions to pan and sauté for approximately 3 minutes, or until softened.
  3. Remove from skillet & set aside.
  4. Wipe down pan and add remaining oil back to skillet.
  5. Put egg whites and spices in a small bowl and whisk with a fork until slightly frothy.
  6. Pour mixture into heated pan, swirl around a little and let cook for about 5 minutes, until almost completely set and opaque.
  7. Add remaining ingredients, including the sautéed onions, to one side of the omelet, then sprinkle with goat cheese.
  8. Fold “empty” side of omelet over the other side and carefully slide out of pan onto a serving plate.
  9. Garnish with cilantro and serve with additional avocado slices and salsa, if desired.

Egg White Omelet

Egg White Omelet

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Fresh Corn OFF The Cob


Fresh Corn

Believe it or not, I’ve never stripped corn to get fresh kernels… until today. I came across a recipe for linguine with fresh vegetables, which included corn, and although it looked delicious, I’ve been veering away from pasta as of late. So, I thought I’d make the corn and either eat it solo or add it to a salad. This is a quick and easy recipe, which yields super yummy corn!

Ingredients

  • 1 ear of corn, kernels removed
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Remove the leaves and “silk” from the ear of corn, then chop off the pointed top and stalk. Use a sharp knife to shave off the kernels — either stand ear upright on its base and shave downward, or lay on its side on a cutting board to slice off the kernels.
  2. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add corn, garlic and salt and pepper to pan.
  4. Cook, stirring occasionally, for approximately 3-5 minutes until tender.
  5. Serve hot or cold.

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