Monday, November 24, 2014

Recipe (Re)creation: Banana + Walnut + Chocolate Chip Muffins




 
I have been baking more and more lately and I think it's because I like having something that I can grab on the go with a baby in tow. I love to have homemade muffins on hand because they are the perfect treat for breakfast or as an anytime snack.  These muffins are a rough variation of a recipe from Gwyneth Paltrow's cookbook, It's All Good.  Rather than following her recipe as written, I decided to use a combination of whole wheat and white flour and added walnuts and chocolate chips instead of the dates and pumpkin seeds.  The combination of bananas, walnuts and chocolate chips is simply divine.  If you like banana bread, you are going to fall head over heels for these muffins.

Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • A pinch of kosher salt
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/8 cup mini dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, plus 3 tbsp. for the tops

Directions:

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line muffin tin with paper liners.
-Mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.
-In another bowl, whisk together the olive oil, maple syrup, milk, vanilla and bananas.
-Combine the wet and dry ingredients and toss in 1/4 cup of walnuts and the chocolate chips.
-Scoop the batter evenly into the muffin cups and sprinkle more walnuts on each.
-Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until the tops of the muffins are lightly golden.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Recipe (Re)creation: Pumpkin + Rainbow Chard Lasagne







This lasagne is easy, relatively healthy, and incredibly comforting.  I based the dish off this recipe from Food & Wine.  I added fresh herbs and used half and half instead of heavy cream to lighten the dish a bit.  I also used rainbow chard for little added color.  Though the dish is vegetarian, it's hearty and is sure to satisfy any meat lover.  It would also make a great side for Thanksgiving!

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 2 bunches rainbow chard, stems removed and chopped
  • 2 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp. fresh sage, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves, stems removed
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 8-oz. can pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1 1/4 grated parmesan
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 9 lasagne noodles
  • 1 tbsp. butter

Directions:
-Heat oil in a large saucepan over low heat and preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
-Add the onions, stirring occasionally, and cook for about 5 minutes.
-Increase heat and add chard, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper, sage, thyme and 1/2 tsp. nutmeg.
-Cook 5-10 minutes, or until the chard is wilted and the liquid has evaporated.
-Mix 2 cups of pumpkin, 3/4 cup half and half, 1/2 cup parmesan and the rest of the salt, nutmeg and pepper in a medium bowl.
-Pour the milk into an 8 x 12 baking dish and top with 3 lasagne noodles.
-Spread half of the pumpkin mixture on the noodles and layer half of the chard on top of that.
-Top with a second layer of 3 lasagne noodles and repeat with another layer of pumpkin, chard and noodles.
-Mix the remaining pumpkin puree with 3/4 cup half and half. 
-Spread the mixture on top of the noodles and sprinkle with the remaining 3/4 cup of parmesan.
-Dot with butter and cover with aluminum foil.
-Bake for 20 minutes, then uncover and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes.
-Let the lasagne set for about 10 minutes before cutting.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Restaurant (Re)creation: Cristina's Pumpkin Walnut Muffins





One of my absolute favorite places for lunch in Sun Valley is Cristina's Restaurant. Nearly everything is to die for, but especially their baked goods.  This recipe is courtesy of Cristina's of Sun Valley Con Gusto Cookbook.  I just omitted the dried cranberries from the original recipe because I wanted the focus to be on the pumpkin and nut combination.  These muffins are perfect for fall and they make a delicious breakfast on the go.  Enjoy!

Makes 9 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds, for topping

Directions:

-Preheat over to 350 degrees F.
-Mix together the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
-Whisk together the eggs, pumpkin, vanilla, buttermilk, oil and butter in a separate bowl. 
-Stir the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients until evenly blended. 
-Scoop the dough into buttered muffins tins and sprinkle with sunflower seeds.
-Bake 20-22 minutes, or until cooked through.


Cristina's 
520 Second Street East
Ketchum, Idaho 83340
(208) 726-4499
cristinasofsunvalley.com

Friday, October 17, 2014

Recipe (Re)creation: Quiche Lorraine






I've been meaning to do this post all week, but with a newborn it has been increasingly more difficult to steal away and cook, let alone write about it.  Luckily, this afternoon I got a nice little window during Declan's nap time to make this classic french dish.  I actually begged for the recipe after a French friend brought it over for dinner and it quickly disappeared.  I figured it would be the perfect thing to make ahead and have as leftovers during the week.  I made a few changes to his recipe because I didn't have the exact quantities of some of the ingredients, but it turned out just as tasty.  Bon Appétit!

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 pastry circle 
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 -3 oz. pancetta, diced
  • 5 oz. créme fraiche
  • 8 oz. whole or 2% milk 
  • 1 oz. gruyere cheese
  • Pepper

Directions:

- Preheat oven to 425º F and take pastry circle out of the freezer to thaw.
- Place the pastry in a pie dish and press the edges down so it molds to the dish.
- Cook the pancetta in a skillet until lightly browned (5-10 minutes).
- Mix the eggs, créme fraiche, milk and cheese in a bowl.
- Place the cooked pancetta on the pastry and pour in the other mixed ingredients.
- Top with ground pepper (no need to add salt).
- Place the dish in the oven and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until cooked through.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Recipe (Re)creation: Butternut Squash, Kale + Manchego Pizza







You can think of this one as the ultimate harvest pizza.  As fall is upon us and the leaves are starting to change, I begin to crave all my favorite fall and winter veggies. Roasting vegetables and throwing them in pastas, salads, and soups is always a delicious option, so why not throw them on pizza? I found this delectable recipe here and made a few changes to suit my tastes.  I love manchego cheese, so I used that instead of fontina, and omitted the salsa.  I also cheated and used store bought pizza dough from Whole Foods.  While I do love the idea of making the dough from scratch, it just isn't realistic for me on a weeknight.  Otherwise, I stuck to the original recipe and just love how this pizza turned out.  Happy eating!

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 7 oz. pizza dough
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 1/2 cups butternut squash, cubed
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 6 sage leaves
  • 1 tbsp. pine nuts
  • 2 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • 8 oz. shredded manchego cheese
  • 1 small bunch of kale, torn

Directions:

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and remove pizza dough from fridge.
-Cut 1/4 inch off the top of the garlic and place in tin foil.
-Drizzle with olive oil and roast in the oven for about 40 minutes.  
-Meanwhile, heat butter in a medium skillet and add the butternut squash.
-Sprinkle with brown sugar and cook, stirring often, for about 20 minutes. 
-Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper, and set aside.
-Once the garlic is tender, remove from the oven and let cool.
-Preheat oven to 450 degrees F for the pizza. 
-Place the sage, pine nuts, 4 cloves of garlic, 3 tbsp. olive oil and 1 tbsp. parmesan cheese in a food processor and blend until a thick pesto is formed. 
-Knead the dough and form it into a flat disk about 12 inches wide.  
-Place on a greased baking sheet lined with tin foil.
-Brush the dough with olive oil and spread evenly with pesto.
-Top with shredded manchego, then add the butternut squash, and top with more manchego.
-Place pizza in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes.
-Meanwhile, place kale in a bowl and toss with 1 tbsp. olive oil and 1 tbsp. parmesan.
-Remove pizza from oven, top with kale, and bake for another 5-6 minutes.
-Once the pizza is done and the kale is crispy, remove from oven.
-Allow to cool, cut into slices and serve immediately. 


Friday, September 12, 2014

Recipe Creation: Meyer Lemon + Strawberry Ice Pops






As Indian summer is upon us in San Francisco, the temperature is rising and there is truly nothing more refreshing than an ice cold popsicle.  I have been on a total lemonade kick recently and figured if I liked it cold, I would really like it frozen.  I had some strawberries I'd gotten from the farmer's market a week before and I couldn't let them go to waste, so I threw those in too.  Not only do the strawberries make the ice pops even more beautiful, but they also add some texture and are a nice sweet surprise.  This recipe is definitely on the more tart side, so feel free to add more agave if you like a sweeter treat.  Otherwise, keep the recipe as written and you can enjoy the fact that you are not consuming an ice pop loaded with a bunch of added sugar. Though they are super fast to whip together, you do have to be patient and keep them in the freezer for 4 hours before enjoying, so plan ahead!

Makes about 12 ice pops

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup meyer lemon juice (about 6 lemons)
  • 1/3 cup agave nectar
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup ripe strawberries, sliced

Directions:

-Pour the lemon juice, water, and agave nectar in a blender.
-Blend for about 30 seconds or until well-mixed.
-Add the strawberry slices to the lemonade and pour the mixture into popsicle molds.
-Make sure to leave about 1/2 inch at the top of each mold to make space for the popsicles to expand as they freeze.
-Put the tops on the molds and freeze for at least 4 hours.
-Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Restaurant (Re)creation: Kokkari's Watermelon Salad with Pine Nuts, Feta + Basil




This salad is amazingly simple and refreshing (not to mention, BEAUTIFUL). Watermelon is in season right now and this salad is the perfect way to showcase it. Kokkari nailed this recipe with the salty feta, touch of basil and crunchy pine nuts. You can also swap the basil for mint if you prefer. Either way, you can't go wrong!

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 lbs watermelon, chilled
  • 1/4 lb Greek feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • 3 fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Optional- freshly ground pepper

Directions:

-Cut the watermelon into 1-inch cubes and arrange on a serving platter.
-Crumble feta all over the watermelon.
-Sprinkle with pine nuts and torn basil.
-Drizzle with olive oil and top with a twist of freshly ground pepper.
-Serve immediately.

Kokkari
200 Jackson Street
San Francisco, CA
(415) 981-0983
www.kokkari.com