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Chai

Hey, all. I just joined this community.

I'm looking for alterations to a chai latte. HERE is my recipe, posted with this 30 day meme I've been doing.

This recipe always hits the spot if a Starbucks chai latte is not available. However, if you have a favorite/better way to make one, I'd be glad to receive any comments/corrections on my journal post. =)

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Homemade Alfredo Sauce

Ingredients
1 pint Heavy Whippinng Cream
1 stick Butter
2 tbsp Cream Cheese
½ cup grated Parmesan Cheese
2 tbsp Garlic Powder

Prep
In a pan, add the butter, cream cheese and cream together and simmer until all is melted. Then add the parmesan and garlic powder (you can add just one tbsp, I just love my food to be super garlic-y) and continue simmering on the lowest setting on your stovetop for around 20 minutes! Pour over noodles of choice and top with veggies/meat/etc. I promise that it will be delicious!

Also try substituting cream cheese for fontina and romano if you'd like. I had a hard time locating those cheeses in a small quantity, so I went with the easier of the two thickening agents!

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Maple Fried Apples

Ingredients
6-8 apples*
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp maple syrup

* I use Honey Crisp or Cripps Pink because I like sweet-tart hard apples. Pick what you prefer, but crispy apples will retain their crunch in this recipe.

Prep
Get a large and deep pan to do the work. Apples take up a lot of room! Melt the butter and brown sugar together into a syrupy mix on medium-low heat. Add apples at you cut them, I usually double quarter them. Pour in the maple syrup, to which I usually mix in what I think it needed. I say a tablespoon but add what you want, really. Saute for 15 to 20 minutes, or until apples are tender. Crisper apples will be tender on the outside but will still have a crunch inside.

Great for a breakfast side to something like a veggie or meat fritata! :)

Jan. 27th, 2009

Home-made Egg Drop Soup:

2 1/2 cups of water.
1 beef bullion cube.
1 tsp chicken bullion
1 tsp ground ginger
1-2 tblspns corn starch mixed in 1/2 to 1 cups cold water in a separate dish.
2 eggs + 1 yolk, beaten lightly.

Boil the water with the ginger and bullion to make a broth, and throw in the corn starch. Allow it to return to a rolling boil (and I do mean rolling!) before turning the heat completely off and pouring the eggs into the water through the tongs of a fork. You want the eggs to go in un-evenly: don't worry about going so slowly that nothing "slips over" the edge of the fork, slippage is good, it leads to occasionally chewy clumps along with the silky strands that result from the sifting. Stir to break things up a bit, and enjoy with crackers or peanut butter bread or whatever suits your fancy. MMMM.

Inauguration Luncheon

Get them while you can - recipes for the luncheon (and it looks dead simple and REALLY good) -
http://inaugural.senate.gov/documents/doc-2009-recipes.pdf
Here's a cake that my girlfriend has made several times since last Thanksgiving. We've traditionally had it with homemade butter cream frosting, but my aunt suggested this recipe for cream cheese frosting she loves. Now, I share with all of you; enjoy!

Moist Pumpkin Cake

Serves 12
Prep Time: 5min
Cook Time: 28min

1. box (18 oz.) yellow cake mix
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin
1/2 cup mayonnaise (TRUST ME!)
4 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin-pie spice

You can substitute the boxed cake mix with homemade if you're feeling determined, and you can also mix in your own spices and flavors, like vanilla extract, etc, just try to keep it to like 1/2 a tsp. or a few pinches.

Additionally, it sounds gross to put mayo in your cake mix, but honestly if you want a moist cake that's what you gotta do. You can't taste it at all, so don't be frightened!

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and lightly flour two 9-in. round cake pans; set aside.

2.) In large bowl, with electric mixer on light speed, beat all ingredients for 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes, scraping sides occasionally. Pour batter into prepared pans.

3.) Bake for 28 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. On wire rack, cool for 10 minutes; remove from pans and cool completely. You can sprinkle confectioners sugar on the cakes or you can fill and frost with vanilla, butter cream or...

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 pound cream cheese, softened (about a box)
2 sticks butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
Garnish with whatever, chopped nuts, fresh berries, etc. just finely chop it!

Directions:

1.) In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth.

2.) Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorperated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy.

3.) Garnish as desired!

Vegetable Omelette

This is probably the dish I get asked to make the most by my family. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day and I personally prefer light food anyway. Omelettes are flexible depending on what you have on hand and are obviously able to be tweaked to taste. I figured that I'd post my personal technique, just for those interested.

Ingredients
3 Eggs
1/2 an onion finely chopped, red or white
1/2-1 bell pepper (any color), cored and sliced lengthwise
1-2 cloves thinly-sliced garlic, fresh
1 big ol' handful of spinach
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1 tsp. milk
sea salt to taste
pepper to taste

Optional:
1 thin slice of butter (for the pan)
1/2 a cup of loosely packed, shredded cheese(s) of choice
herbs like rosemary, thyme, mint (I personally don't care for them in an omelette)

Preparation

Prepare your frying pan. Spray it with a non-stick, soy-based cooking spray (I highly recommend the spray!) OR melt a small amount of butter (optional) on the face of the pan. Spread out the butter and keep the pan on a steady but low heat (3 our of 6 if you have a gas range).

Set the spinach aside. Slice the other vegetables, combine them and put them on the pan to cook. Cover with sea salt and pepper to taste while on the pan. Occasionally flip and stir the vegetables so they're cooked equally on all sides.

In a bowl, combine eggs, milk, and about 3 pinches of pepper and seasalt. You can omit the milk completely and remove 1-2 of the egg-yolks without ruining the consistency or the taste. With a whisk or an egg beater, mix the eggs mixture until it's all combined and smooth with lots of bubbles on the surface. By that time, the vegetables should be done.

Combine the vegetables with the egg mixture. Mix in the spinach. mix everything up so all the vegetables are covered with the egg mixture, fold in the cheese if you're using it, respray your pan (don't put more butter on though!), and pour everything onto the pan.

Wait until you see the edges of the egg mixture start to harden, then with a spatula. Cut open some portions of omelette so it can vent and you can check to see if everything inside is cooked. Make sure to flip it over regularly to avoid browning or drying the egg out. I'm paranoid and triple check to make sure nothing is runny.

Serve with toast, fresh fruit, cottage cheese, a bagel or any combination thereof. Add any or change vegetables to taste ^^

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Green Tea Smoothie

I love tea, this is no secret. I love to learn new ways to make sweets, baked goods, or even meals with tea. This is a recipe my cousin gave me, but I haven't been able to try out yet due to a lack of a blender. It looks delicious, though. Apparently this is two servings, but I'm not sure about that.

Ingredients
1 cup green tea of your choice, steeped as you normally would
2 Kiwis, peeled and diced
2 cups diced Honeydew
1 ripe Banana
6 ice cubes
1 tablespoon of a sweetner of choice (very much optional)

Directions
#1 Break the banana down into three or four pieces.
#2 Combine all your ingredients in a blender/food processor and blend until smooth.

Serve while still chilled for a fruity treat.

Chili-Cheese Dip

This is a very simple recipe that my mom has been making since before I can remember. Or at least, she had the idea way before Velvetta did and was frustrated by its half-decent microwave recipe on the boxes. Oftentimes when I was young, when we'd sit down to a movie in the winter or there was a special of some sort on television, my mom would whip this up and we'd have it for dinner. Another great example of a comfort food, this is best for a cold winter day.

Ingredients
1 lb ground beef
1 can chili (no beans)
1 lb/box Velveeta cheese, cubed
1 bag tortilla chips

Directions
#1 Brown the hamburger and transfer it to a slow cooker/crockpot.
#2 Add chili and cheese.
#3 Cover and cook on low until cheese is fully melted, which usually takes about an hour to an hour and a half. Stir occasionally during this time to blend the ingredients.

Serve warm with the tortilla chips and you'll have a good winter comfort food.

One Dish Chicken & Rice Bake

Minnesotans are known for our bizarre hotdish (read: casserole) dishes. This is not your typical hotdish, but its also not one our more "out there" recipes, either. There is nothing like Tater Tot Hotdish here, so rest assured if you were worried, there's no reason to be. But it is your typical Minnesotan comfort food, made less for health and calorie count and more for filling and taste.

I discovered this recipe about about ten or so years back in an old Campbell's cookbook. My mom and I thought it looked interesting so we threw it together and made it one night on a whim. As you can imagine, like most of Campbell's recipes, it is brand-promoting, but surprisingly an extremely good recipe. This recipt was for a time period spanning the age bracket of 12 to 14, my favorite food. While it isn't so much must die for food these days, its still one of my absolute favorite baked dinners. Here's the recipe from out of that cookbook:

Ingredients
1 can Campbell's Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 cup water (Can use soup can)
3/4 cup uncooked regular long-grain white rice
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

Directions
#1 Preheat oven to 375°F.
#2 Mix soup, water, rice, paprika and black pepper in 2-qt. shallow baking dish. For creamier rice, increase water to 1 1/3 cups.
#3 Top with the four chicken breat halves. Season with additional paprika and pepper. Cover.
#4 Bake at aforementioned 375°F. 45 minutes or until done.
#5 For serving, the recipe says "Serve with your favorite steamed vegetable blend. For dessert serve pear wedges." This is up to you, its pretty filling by itself.

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