Thursday, June 28, 2012

Broccoli and Cauliflower Casserole

To watch this Video-Recipe please click HERE!
Hi everyone!
Today I'm bringing you another vegetarian Dish! This one is my Favorite vegetarian dish of all times! It is super easy to make and the flavors are just amazing! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Serves 3 (as a main dish, and 6+ as a side dish)
Ingredients:
  • 1 head of cauliflower (2 or 2½ lbs)
  • 2 lbs. Broccoli
  • 2/3 cup chopped onions
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups of Parmesan cheese
  • ½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 cups Italian bread crumbs

(I will be using my fresh Italian Breadcrumbs, recipe follows:)
  • 3-4 slices of whole wheat bread (sandwich bread)(use white bread if desired)
  • ½ cup fresh parsley
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 ½ tablespoons Italian seasoning

Preheat the oven to 450ºF

Cut the broccoli and cauliflower into bite size pieces. Cook them in boiling, salted water for 5-8 minutes or until Al Dente.  Drain and set aside.

To make the bread crumbs:
In a mixer or food processor, blend the bread, parsley, garlic and Italian seasoning. Blend on high, until you get a coarse crumbs texture.

In a small pan, or skillet, melt the butter,  and brown the the bread crumbs, cook them for about 2-3 minutes or until they get a nice brown color. (This will also cook the garlic, and the heat will allow the bread crumbs to absorb all the awesome flavor  and oil from the garlic!) Set them aside for a minute.

In another skillet, heat up about ½ tablespoon of olive oil and cook the onion for about 3 minutes or until it becomes transparent.  Add in the cooked broccoli and cauliflower, toss together and season with half the bread crumbs, and ½ cup of Parmesan cheese, give it a stir, taste the flavor and add any salt or black pepper if needed. (do not add too much salt, remember we will still top it with the rest of the cheese)

Give it one last toss and add the rest of the breadcrumbs over the vegetables and cover with the rest of Parmesan cheese and bake  at 450ºF for 5-6 minutes or until the cheese has melted and has a nice golden brown color!

And that's it. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Old Fashion Apple Pie

To watch this Video-Recipe please click HERE!!

Hi everyone! Today's recipe is an "Old Fashion Apple Pie", very easy to make, no fancy flavors or ingredients, just apples, sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice and few other ingredients. It is really simple to make but it does require a lot of time. Preparation time is about 20-30 minutes, plus 30 minutes to 1 hour of waiting for the dough to chill and 1 hour of baking. So that's about 2:30 hours total. But every minute is worth it!

Makes 1 9in Pie.
Ingredients for the Crust.
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup COLD unsalted butter,
  • 3 tablespoons cold vegetable shortening
  • 5-6 tablespoons cold water (start with 5, add 1 more if necessary)

Ingredients for the Apple Filling:
  • 6 green apples (about 2½ lbs.) ( I used Granny Smith apples)
  • 1½ tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon  ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon  unsalted butter
  • 1 egg + ½ tablespoon sugar

To make the crust:
In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients:  (2 cups all purpose flour, 1 teaspoon sugar, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon, mix well.)

Cut the butter into small pieces and add it to the dry ingredients.  Also add in the Vegetable shortening, mix everything with a fork, your hands or in a electric mixer; mix until you get the texture of coarse crumbs.  Then add in the water, one tablespoon at a time. Mix until you get a nice soft dough. But do not over mix.

**Remember, it is very important that the butter, vegetable shortening and water are cold. Cold ingredients will give your crust a nice flaky texture.

Make a ball with the dough, and refrigerate  it for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour before using it.

30 minutes before you start baking the pie, Preheat the oven to 450ºF.
 
To make the Apple filling:

Wash, peel, core and slice the apples. My slices are about ½ - ¼in thick.  Sprinkle  the apple slices with 1½ tablespoons of flour, 1 cup of sugar, 1 tablespoon of cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon of salt, the zest of 1 lemon, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, mix everything together until well combined. Set aside until ready to use.

After 30 minutes -1 hour.
Get the dough from the refrigerator and cut it in two section. Make one section slightly bigger than the other one.
Roll out the larger section of dough, on a floured surface. roll it out enough to cover a 9in pie pan.
Line the pan with the pastry and using a small knife cut any excess dough.

Fill the pie with the apple filling, try to arrange the apples in an even layer.  Dot 1 tablespoon of butter over the apple filling and set a side for a minute.

Roll out the rest of the dough, roll it out enough to cover the pie.

Make an egg wash, beat 1 egg and ½ tablespoon of sugar together, whisk together until well combined.

Brush the edges of the pie pastry with the egg wash. Then place the remaining pastry over  the apple filling and with a small knife remove any extra dough and press around the edges with your thumbs to seal both pastries together.

( To make sure my pie is completely sealed, I usually press down both pastries with my thumbs,  then fold them inwards then press down all around the edges with my thumbs again.)

Brush the surface of your pie with the egg wash. And with a small knife make a small cut on the top of the pastry to let the steam out.

Bake at 450ºF for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350ºF and continue to bake for 40-45 minutes or until the apples are nice and soft and the crust is golden brown.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Sweet and Sour Chicken Stir Fry


To watch this Video-Recipe click HERE!!

Hi Everyone!
Today's recipe is another Asian Inspired dish! "Sweet and Sour Chicken Stir Fry", it's really good, and very easy to make, it does take some time, but every minute is worth it! I hope you give it a try!

Serves: 4-5
Ingredients for the  Sweet and Sour Sauce.

1/2 cup of rice vinegar
5 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons soy sauce
6 tablespoons ketchup
1 cup water
pinch Crushed red pepper
1 tablespoons cornstarch

Ingredients for the Stir Fry:
2 large chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces
1 onion cut in large chunks
2 cups Bell peppers, cut about the same size as the onions chunks
1 carrot also cut in chunks
1 tablespoon minced ginger
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
1 ½ tablespoons of vegetable oil
1-2 tablespoons of Asian Seasoning (if you don't have this, you can use Ginger and Garlic powder)
Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Ingredients to marinate the chicken: (Optional)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon Mirin (Japanese Rice Wine)
salt and black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon Asian seasoning

**Marinate the chicken pieces with: 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon Mirin, 1 tablespoons of Asian seasoning, a pinch of salt and ground black pepper. Mix well and marinate for at least 10 minutes.  (If you don't want to marinate the chicken, just season it with Asian seasoning, salt and ground black pepper. Set aside for a minute.)

To make the Sweet and Sour Sauce:
In a sauce pan on medium-low heat, add in 1/2 cup  of rice vinegar, 1 cup of water, 2 teaspoons of soy sauce, 5 tablespoons of sugar, 6 tablespoons of ketchup, and a pinch of crushed red pepper, mix well and bring to a boil. (it will take about 8-10 minutes to boil.) Set aside until ready to use.

To make the stir fry:
In a skillet or wok, add 1 tablespoon of  vegetable oil, minced ginger and garlic, cook on medium heat for about 2-3 minutes or until the garlic becomes transparent  and the ginger becomes aromatic.

After 2 minutes or so, add in the chicken, and stir fry for 5 minutes. Remove the chicken, ginger and garlic from the skillet, and set it aside for a moment. (Don't worry if the chicken isn't cooked completely. It will finish cooking in the sauce later.)

Reheat the same skillet and and 1/2 tablespoon of vegetable oil, add in the onion, carrots and bell peppers,  season with ½ tablespoon of Asian seasoning and stir fry for 3-5 minutes. (I like my veggies to have a little crunch, so I only stir fried them for about 3 minutes. If you want them softer
stir fry for 5-6 minutes.
) Remove the vegetables from the skillet and set them aside with the chicken.

In the same skillet on medium heat, add in the sweet and sour sauce,  and also add in 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, whisk together, until the cornstarch is dissolved and cook for about 2-3 minutes or until the sauce has reduced to half.

Add the chicken and vegetables back into the sauce, stir  together, make sure all the ingredients are well coated with the sauce and continue to cook for about 3-5 more minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked. Serve at once.

Serve with white/brown rice or over rice noodles, garnish with green onions.
Enjoy!

Friday, June 01, 2012

Banana Oatmeal Muffins


To watch this Video-Recipe click HERE!!
Hi Everyone! Today I will be showing you how to make Banana Oatmeal Muffins! They are Amazing, they have a really delicious nutty-banana flavor, I loved them and so did my husband! I hope you like them as well!

Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients:
1½ cups flour ( I used cake flour, but feel free to use all purpose flour)
½ cup old fashion oats
½ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
½ cup chopped nuts (optional, I'm not using any because of allergies)
3 ripe bananas
½ cup milk
5 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 375ºF.

Melt the butter in the microwave, it takes about 30 seconds to melt, set aside for a minute.

In a large bowl, sift the flour, and also sift in the baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add in the brown sugar and the old fashion oats. (Also add in the nuts if you are using any) Mix together and set aside.

In another bowl, mash the bananas until you get a puree consistency. Add in the vanilla extract, stir together and also add in the melted butter, mix well and set aside for a minute.

Beat the egg and the milk together, until the egg is well combined with the milk. Pour the egg mixture over the banana puree and mix well until thoroughly incorporated.

Pour the banana mixture over the dry ingredients. Using a fork or a spoon, mix all the ingredients until well combined, but do not overmix.

I'm using cup cake wraps but you don't have to, spray a cup cake pan with cooking spray, and pour the batter into the pan. Bake at 375ºF for 22-25 minutes or until the muffins are cooked.

And that's it!  Enjoy!

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