Meg’s Cooking Corner

Monday, December 21, 2009

Soft Ginger Cookies

Each year my boys and husband wait anxiously for the Christmas cookies to be made. Sugar cookies, almond roca toffee, chocolate peppermint cookies, fudge, spritz cookies, chocolate peanut butter balls, snowball cookies, truffles, my oh my! I love to try out new cookie recipes each Christmas season, but I always make my favorite, spicy ginger cookies. I love these ginger cookies because they are soft and chewy and have a delicious flavor. This recipe comes from my mom and Christmas wouldn't be complete without them! We hope you enjoy this Christmas season of remembering Christ's birth. Find more great Christmas recipes at Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Tuesdays at the Table, and Tasty Tuesday.

Soft Ginger Cookies

2 1/4 cup flour
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup white shortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 Tbsp sugar

Combine flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt; set aside. In large bowl, beat shortening with electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds to soften. Gradually add the 1 cup sugar and beat until fluffy. Add egg and molasses, beating well. Stir dry ingredients into beaten mixture. Shape 1 Tbsp dough into balls. Roll in the 2 Tbsp sugar and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes until light brown and puffy. Let cool for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Cool and enjoy!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Luscious Pumpkin Torte

Okay, so finding and moving into our new home took longer than we expected, but we are finally getting settled. I wanted to take a quick break from unpacking boxes to share with you my favorite Autumn dessert. This layered pumpkin cake is beautiful, quick to make and would be a star at the Thanksgiving table. This recipe is from Taste of Home magazine. I apologize for the blurry picture, it doesn't do this dessert justice! I hope everyone enjoys their Thanksgiving and finds time to ponder on your many blessings. Find this recipe and more at Tasty Tuesday and Tuesdays at the Table.

Luscious Pumpkin Torte

1 package yellow cake mix
1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin, divided
1/2 cup milk
4 eggs
1/3 cup canola oil
1-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, divided
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 carton (16 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
1/3 cup chopped pecans (can be toasted if prefer)

In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, 1 cup pumpkin, milk, eggs, oil and 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice; beat with electric mixer until blended well. Pour evenly into two greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add the confectioners' sugar, and remaining pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice; beat until smooth. Fold in whipped topping.
Cut each cake horizontally into two layers. Place bottom layer on a serving plate; spread with a fourth of the cream cheese filling. Repeat layers three times. Frost the top layer and drizzle with caramel topping. Sprinkle pecans over top. Store in the refrigerator.
Yield: 12-16 servings.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I'll be back...

Sorry no new recipes lately, we are in the middle of moving! I'll try to post soon...

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Sour Cream Rhubarb Pie

I had to post another favorite rhubarb recipe that we make every year. I had a great crop of rhubarb this season so we enjoyed this pie for Father's Day weekend. I love pies with crumb toppings and this recipe is great because it is quick to make. I added 1/2 cup diced strawberries to it this time and we enjoyed the addition, but it's great without too. Use your favorite recipe for a single pie crust or if you are in a hurry buy a frozen crust. This recipe is from a Taste of Home magazine a few years back. Still have more rhubarb? Click here for the recipe for Lemon Bars with Rhubarb topping.

Sour Cream Rhubarb Pie

1 cup sugar
3 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cup (8 oz) sour cream
1 egg
3 cups chopped fresh rhubarb
1 unbaked deep dish pastry shell (or use your favorite crust recipe)


1/2 cup quick-cooking oats (I usually use old-fashioned oats)
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp orange peel
1/3 cup cold butter

In a mixing bowl, combine sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg. Beat in the sour cream and egg. Gently fold in the rhubarb. Pour into pastry shell.

For topping: combine the oats, flour, brown sugar and orange peel. Cut in butter with pastry blender (or two knives) until crumbly. Sprinkle over the filling. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350; bake 35-40 minutes longer or until topping is golden brown. Cool and refrigerate leftovers. Serves 8.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Marlboro Man Sandwich

This is a terrific recipe for those hot days when you don't want to crank on the oven. This comes from the Pioneer Woman, and she says it is her husband's (Marlboro Man) favorite sandwich. We don't live on a ranch, but I can testify that it is a man pleaser. All my boys love it when we have this for dinner. I have to admit, I get pretty excited too when I smell it cooking! It is an easy recipe to adapt, I use a little less butter than it calls for and add melted mozzarella on top. It would also be fun to add sauteed mushrooms and some fresh herbs. Have fun, stay cool, and try some this week! Recipe posted at Tempt my Tummy Tuesday and Tasty Tuesday today!

Marlboro Man's Favorite Sandwich by Pioneer Woman website

2-3 pounds cube steak (tenderized round steak)
1 large onion or 2 small/medium onions
4-6 French/Deli Rolls
Seasoned Salt
Worcestershire Sauce
Tabasco (we use Tapatio hot sauce instead)
Mozzarella Cheese, optional

Slice onions and cook in 1/4 stick butter (or less) until soft and light brown. Remove and set aside. Slice cube steak against the grain into strips. Season with seasoning salt. Heat 2 Tbsp butter over high heat (in same skillet) until melted and beginning to brown. Add meat in single layer. Cook one side until brown, then flip and cook until brown, about a minute on both sides. Add 1/2 cup (at least) of Worcestershire sauce, 5-6 shakes of Tabasco (or hot sauce) and 2 Tbsp butter. Add cooked onions and stir to combine. Butter the halved French rolls and brown both sides on skillet.

To assemble: lay bottom half of French roll on plate. Place meat mixture, followed by a spoonful of juice from the pan. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on if desired. Top with other half of roll, cut in half, and devour!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Time to Barbecue!

Summer weather doesn't usually arrive till June where I live, so we are so happy this week to finally have perfect weather. Of course that means it's time to dust off the barbecue and put my husband to work! Here are a couple of our favorite marinades. Find more recipes at the Grocery Cart Challenge, and at Tasty Tuesday and Tempt my Tummy Tuesday.

I got this great steak marinade from my friend Stephanie a few years back. It's so easy to throw together and makes a great freezer meal. For freezer meal: just pour the marinade over your steaks in a freezer ziplock bag and freeze. Then pull it out 24 hours before you want to serve it and let it marinate while it defrosts in your fridge. Unfortunately, my boys were so hungry last time we had this that I forgot to take a picture!

Steak Marinade

1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp minced ginger (use less if using fresh ginger)
1 tsp monterey steak salt (or other grilling salt)

Combine all marinade ingredients. Remove fat from steaks. Flank the steaks (diagonal cuts 1 inch deep) and put into a ziploc bag and pour marinade over top. Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight. Grill until done to your liking.

This great chicken marinade is from The Sisters Cafe. This chicken is great in many dishes or by itself. I usually double the recipe and freeze the extras to use in other dishes later. (I'll post their fantastic pesto pizza soon that uses this chicken in it).

Lemon and Garlic Grilled Chicken
Juice of 1 lemon (approx 3 Tbsp)
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic (about 2 medium cloves)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 pound chicken breasts (I use tenderloins if I'm not grilling it, otherwise I cut thick chicken breasts into smaller pieces)

Combine all marinade ingredients. Place chicken in a ziplock bag and pour marinade over chicken. Seal bag and place in fridge overnight. Grill (or cook in frying pan). Serve with sides of your choice or cut into bite-sized pieces and add to desired recipe.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Focaccia Bread and Buttermilk Cornbread

I'm sure I've mentioned before how much I love fresh, homemade bread. I don't always have time to make my favorite yeast rolls and breads in time for dinner, so I often rely on quicker breads. (BTW, I realize I haven't posted any of my roll recipes yet. It's hard to share those special roll recipes, but I'll work on it!!)

This Focaccia Bread recipe is a great one from the blog Finding Joy in my Kitchen. Check it out for step by step pictures. It takes an hour for the two rising steps, and 30 minutes to cook, so make sure you plan ahead. Don't have that much time? Try the cornbread or my already posted quick Amish Biscuits.

I have tested many cornbread recipes through the years, and this recipe is a winner. The secret: buttermilk! If you haven't used buttermilk before, see my tips on it here. I'm not sure where I originally saw the recipe, but since then I have seen it several places where the only variation is using either 1 or 2 eggs. I prefer it with one egg, but you can decide what you like!

No-Knead Focaccia Bread
(cut ingredients in half to make an 8x8 pan)

3 1/4 cup flour
1 envelope Rapid Rise yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp)
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 2/3 cup very warm water (120-130 degrees F)
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
2 Tbsp shredded parmesan cheese

Mix flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Add 2 Tbsp olive oil and water. Stir until well mixed. Spread the dough into a greased 13x9 pan. Cover and let dough rise until doubled (about 30 minutes). Drizzle 1-2 Tbsp olive oil over the top of the raised bread. Using the handle of a wooden spoon, poke multiple holes in the dough to create an uneven surface. Sprinkle parmesan cheese and herbs over the top. May sprinkle additional salt on top, if desired. Let bread rise, covered, for an additional 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake for 30-35 minutes until lightly browned.

Buttermilk Cornbread

1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup sugar
1-2 eggs (I use one)
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt

Melt butter. Stir in sugar and egg(s) and beat well. Combine buttermilk and baking soda then stir into butter mixture. Add cornmeal, flour and salt. Stir until well mixed. Bake in greased 8x8 pan at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes or until lightly browned on top.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Lemon Bars with Rhubarb Topping

One of my favorite parts of spring is when my rhubarb is ready to cut from the garden. I grew up loving rhubarb, so I am always suprised when people don't know what it is. It looks like red celery and many people think it is a fruit, but it is actually a vegetable that can be traced back to China in 2700 BC.

As rhubarb is very tart, is pairs wonderfully with strawberries. In fact, strawberries and rhubarb are all I have planted in my garden so far. Rhubarb pie, cobbler, jam and muffins are usually what we make with our rhubarb. So when I saw this recipe for lemon bars with a rhubarb topping, I got excited, espcially since I love lemon. This recipe comes from my King Arthur Flour cookbook. Make these bars this week and bring a little spring into your kitchen! Find this recipe and more at Foodie Friday, Made from Scratch and at the Grocery Cart Challenge recipe swap. Also find more rhubarb recipes at Tammy's In-Season Recipe Swap.

TIP: The rhubarb sauce would also be wonderful served warm over vanilla ice cream, or over pancakes, yogurt, pound cake and angel food cake.

Lemon Bars with Rhubarb Topping

8 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour or pastry flour
2 large eggs


8 Tbsp butter, melted
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 Tbsp cornmeal
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
4 large eggs
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (2-3 large lemons)

Rhubarb Sauce:

2 pints strawberries
2 cups diced rhubarb (4-5 medium stalks)
Pinch of salt
1 cup sugar
3 Tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup water
Few drops of red food coloring (0ptional)

Preheat the oven to 350. To make the crust: in a medium-sized mixing bowl, cream the butter until fluffy. Add the sugar, salt and vanilla and beat well. Stir in the flour and eggs, mixing until well blended. Lightly grease a 10 x 15 inch jelly roll pan. Press the dough into the pan. Prick the dough all over with a fork. Bake the crust for 8 minutes.

To make the lemon filling: In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the melted butter, sugar, cornmeal, cornstarch, salt, eggs, and lemon juice. Spread over the crust. Return it to the oven and bake for an additional 25-28 minutes, until the top is lightly browned on the top and edges.

If you just want lemon bars, cool them completely and dust with confectioners sugar before cutting into squares.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Topping: To make the glaze, rinse the strawberries and rhubarb. Dice about 1 cup of the strawberries. Place the rhubarb, diced strawberries, salt and 1/2 cup of the sugar in a small saucepan. Over low heat, stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a boil. Add the remaining sugar and the cornstarch dissolved in the water, return the mixture to a boil, then remove it from the heat. Let the mixture cool slightly. Add a few drops of red food coloring, if desired. Dice the remaining berries and mix with the glaze, then spread over the filling.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Cinco de Mayo Flautas

Hola! Okay, so I'm a week early, but let's plan ahead for celebrating Cinco de Mayo! I love any excuse to throw a mexican fiesta. This recipe for Flautas (little flutes) comes from a mexican cookbook of my mom's. I try to stay away from fried foods but this is one I embrace with open arms. It is easy to dress up by serving on shredded lettuce and add your favorite guacamole, salsa, sour cream, and any other toppings you adore.

Other menu ideas: Fiesta Salad with Lime-Cilantro Dressing, Spanish Rice, Carnitas (use in chimichangas, soft tacos, or as a salad). For dessert serve vanilla ice cream drizzled with caramel and topped with a churro or cut a tortilla in quarters, spread with butter, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, fry in oil and serve with ice cream.

Find more fabulous mexican recipes today at Life As Mom. Find more at Tasty Tuesday and Tempt my Tummy Tuesday.

Chicken Flautas

2 chicken breasts

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1 cup shredded mexican cheese blend

1 (4 oz) can diced green chilies

16 (8 inch) flour tortillas

Place chicken breasts in a large saucepan. Add about 1 cup of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 20-25 minutes or until chicken is tender. Drain water and cool. Use two forks to pull chicken into long, thin shreds. In a bowl, mix chicken with cheese, green chilies, and cumin. Set mixture aside.

Stack tortillas tightly in foil. Heat in a 350 oven for 10 minutes to soften. Remove half the tortillas at a time, keeping others warm in oven. (Sometimes I skip this step if I am in a hurry or my tortillas are already very soft). For each flauta, overlap two softened tortillas by about half. Spoon about 1/3 cup of chicken mixture lengthwise down center of tortillas. Roll up tightly. Secure with toothpicks. (I also make a few smaller flautas for my boys by using 1 instead of 2 tortillas).

In a heavy skillet, heat about 1/2 inch of oil to 365. Fry rolled up tortillas, 2-3 at a time, for 3-4 minutes or until crisp and golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Keep warm in 300 oven. Remove toothpicks. Serve flautas on shredded lettuce and with sour cream, salsa and guacamole.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Pretty Much Perfect Peanut Butter Cookies

There's something about the smell of a warm plate of cookies that lifts your spirits. I have a weakness for warm cookies and always overeat when they are fresh from the oven. If I could just hide from them long enough until they cool, I would not be so tempted. But what's the fun in that? These peanut butter cookies are my go-to cookies when I need a treat in a hurry. This is a family recipe handed down from my grandma. I added peanut butter chips to the recipe.

Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup butter
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
peanut butter chips (I use Reese's brand)

Mix together butter, peanut butter, and sugars. Add eggs and mix. Then stir in flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Fold in 1-1 1/2 cups peanut butter chips. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheets. Press down gently with fork to make a crisscross pattern. Cook at 350 for 8 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Crepes are some of my favorites. They are easy to make and look beautiful. They are perfect for that special Easter, Mother's Day or ladies' brunch. Make them for breakfast, add savory fillings for a lunch/dinner, or serve as a simple but elegant dessert. My mother-in-law bought me a crepe maker a couple years ago and I love it, but you can also cook them in a regular frying pan. Crepes are a great way to be creative and make your own fillings. Find this recipe and more at Life as Mom (Mother's Day recipes), Tasty Tuesday, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday and Kitchen Tip Tuesday.

Basic Crepe Batter
(makes about 22 crepes)

4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt

Combine the eggs and milk in a blender. Add the flour and salt and mix on high speed until smooth. Strain the batter to remove any lumps. Let the batter rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

If using a crepe maker, see manufactuer's directions. To use a non-stick frying pan, heat over medium high heat. Spray pan with cooking spray. Pour about 1/4 cup of batter into center of pan. Tilt and turn the pan (circular motion) so the batter coats the surface evenly. Cook for approximately 2 minutes until the bottom starts to brown. Flip over and cook the other side.

Tips: Crepe batter can be stored covered in the fridge for a couple of days. Cooked crepes can be frozen or stored for a week in the refrigerator. Simply stack a batch on a sheet of foil or waxed paper and seal in a large plastic food storage bag. To use, allow crepes to warm up to room temperature. They will peel apart with a gentle pull. Or the stack can be warmed and covered with foil in an oven on low.

Brunch Toppings for Crepes:

Basic - brush with sweet butter and jam

Apple Crepes - I like to buy chunky applesauce, heat it on the stove and add a little lemon juice and cinnamon. Done! Or: peel and dice 5-6 apples. Add 1 tsp of lemon juice and boil in water. (Water should almost cover apples). Add 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 tsp nutmeg. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer for 10-12 minutes. Apples should be soft, but not mushy. Dissolve 2 Tbsp cornstarch in 1/4 cup cold water. Add cornstarch mixture 1 tsp at a time till desired thickness. Fills about 25 crepes. Serve with whipped cream (or add ice cream for a dessert).

Strawberry Crepes - wash and hull 3 cups fresh strawberries. Crush 1 cup, slice remainder and set aside. Combine crushed berries with 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup water, 1 Tbsp cornstarch and a dash of salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir for 1 minute. Add 1 tsp butter and fold in sliced berries. Serve crepes with whipped cream, cream cheese or yogurt.

Dessert Sundae Crepes:

Roll a scoop of your favorite ice cream in a crepe and top with chocolate fudge sauce and whipped cream. Or for ice cream cups: brush one side of each crepe with melted butter, place snugly over bottom of muffin or custard cups (buttered side up) and bake in 375 oven until crisp, about 8-10 minutes. Cool and fill with ice cream, mousse, or fresh fruit. Have fun!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Lime Cilantro Salad & Dressing

Ah, Creamy Lime-Cilantro Dressing. Where have you been all my life? With Easter fast approaching and my house finally on the market, I am ready to enjoy some lighter spring dishes. The sun even broke through the cloudy sky today, making everything right in my world. This salad dressing makes any green salad right, it would also be great to dip veggies in. I created the salad by combining a couple my friend Christine sent me. If you add chicken it would make a great meal paired with rolls. My Kitchen Cafe gets credit for the fantastic salad dressing. Now if you'll excuse me, I think there is leftover salad in the fridge calling me... Head over to the Grocery Cart Challenge to find more recipes today.

Lime Cilantro Dressing

3 fresh tomatillos, quartered
1 pkg dry Ranch buttermilk dressing
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 cup fresh cilantro
2 cloves garlic, crushed
juice of 1 lime (about 3 Tbsp)

Peel the papery husks off the tomatillos and wash off the sticky residue. Combine with the other ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

Fiesta Salad (I cut recipe in 1/2 for my family)

1 head green leaf lettuce, rinsed and torn
1 head red leaf lettuce, rinsed and torn
1 fresh tomato, chopped
1/2 red onion, sliced
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained
1 (15 oz) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 avocado, chopped
couple handfuls of cilantro
1 cup of shredded cheddar or white mexican cheese
2 boneless chicken breast halves, cooked and chopped (optional)
Crumbled tortilla chips

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Add the cheese and tortilla chips last. Serve with Lime Cilantro dressing.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Pork Soft Tacos

Happy St. Patrick's Day! I don't have a fun green recipe for you, although there are green avocados in this dish! We are preparing to put our house on the market so I have not had as much time for cooking lately as I would like. After a hard day of remodeling bathrooms, organizing closets, and worst of all, going through the dreaded paper piles, I'm tired! This recipe makes a great weeknight dinner that's interesting and quick to make. I adapted it from a Rachael Ray recipe. My previously posted Mexican Rice and a green salad would be great side dishes to serve with this. Find more recipes at Tasty Tuesday and Tempt my Tummy Tuesday.

Pork Soft Tacos

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped (divided)
1 pound ground pork
1 Tbsp sweet smoky paprika
1/2 Tbsp chili powder
salt and pepper
eight 6-inch flour tortillas
one 10-ounce pkg frozen corn, thawed (or one 8-oz can corn, drained)
2 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro
juice of 1 lime (about 1 Tbsp)
shredded monterey jack or cheddar cheese
2 avocados, cut into wedges

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add half the onion and cook until softened. Add the pork, paprika and chili powder. Cook and break up the meat until browned and cooked through, 8-10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

If you want to warm your tortillas, place them in a 300 oven for about five minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the corn, remaining onions, cilantro and lime juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve, top each warm tortilla with cheese, meat, corn salsa and avocado wedges.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Classic Buttermilk Waffles

Last week our family had the stomach flu. While my kids bounced back quickly, I didn't feel well the whole week. Consequently, we ate a lot of simple food. One of our favorite comforts is having breakfast for dinner. In fact, we eat breakfast for dinner so often that my four year old son is a bit confused. He spent the night at my mom's and she made him waffles for breakfast. He looked down at the waffles and said, "grandma, we eat waffles for dinner, not breakfast!" Oops... Well, enjoy this recipe for buttermilk waffles from The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion. They are simple to make and delicious no matter if you decide to have them for breakfast OR dinner!

Why use buttermilk instead of milk? The acidity in buttermilk tenderizes the gluten (protein) in the flour and helps it to rise better. TIP: If you don't have buttermilk on hand, try these substitutes. For 1 cup buttermilk: Mix 1 Tbsp lemon juice or vinegar with 1 cup milk and let it sit for five minutes. Or mix 1/4 cup milk with 3/4 cup plain yogurt. They also sell powdered buttermilk that you mix with water. Find this recipe and more at Tasty Tuesday, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday and Kitchen Tip Tuesday.
Classic Buttermilk Waffles

2 large eggs
1 3/4 cup (14 oz) buttermilk
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled to room temp (*important to cool it first)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (or can use 2 cups {8 oz} pastry flour)
2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup pecan meal (optional, I haven't tried but would be good to add a nutty flavor)

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat together the eggs, buttermilk, melted butter, and vanilla. In another bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients; combine the wet and dry ingredients just until smooth.

Spray the waffle iron with a nonstick cooking spray and preheat it. For an 8-inch round waffle, pour about 1/3 cup batter onto iron. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until the iron stops steaming.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Thai Peanut Noodles

This pasta dish has been a family favorite for a few years now. This recipe comes from my friend Anjanette and it is great because a) I love cilantro, b) I love peanut sauce, c) I love Thai dishes, d) I love how simple it is to throw together, and e) well, you don't need any more reasons, do you? My stepmother Onn is Thai and makes incredible food, so we always think fondly of her when we eat this and wish we were in her kitchen, eating spring rolls and spicy Thai food. Find more family favorite recipes today at Friday Favorite Ingredient.

Thai Peanut Noodles

1 lb chicken, cut into small, thin strips
8 oz thin spaghetti (to make gluten-free, use GF pasta)
4 green onions, chopped
4-6 baby carrots, sliced thin
cilantro, chopped finely
peanuts and fresh lime (I like to serve with lime wedges and squirt on some lime juice)

Peanut Sauce

1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 cup oil
3/8 cup (1/2 of a 3/4 cup) rice vinegar
1/8 cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp peanut butter
1/4 - 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (adjust for how hot you want it)

Mix sauce together and set aside. Toss the chicken strips into the sauce to marinate. While cooking your noodles, chop the green onions, baby carrots, and cilantro.

Right before your noodles are done, take the chicken out and brown it. Bring the peanut sauce to a boil for a couple of minutes. (Be careful not to overboil or sauce will caramelize). Strain noodles and put into a large bowl. Place veggies and chicken on top of pasta and pour sauce over top. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve with peanuts and fresh lime. Enjoy!