Applesauce

February 26, 2009

This morning I woke up to snow. Snow! In late February. In Vancouver. Last week I was comfortably wearing just a long-sleeved shirt outdoors. Oh well! I decided to roll with it and make some warming foods. I had a big bowl of apples on the counter that needed to be used up, so I thought I would make some applesauce. There are few things cozier than the smell of warm apples and cinnamon. Mmm.

applesauce

Applesauce

Yield: 5-8 servings

10 apples (peeled, cored and chopped)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups water

Put all ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 3o minutes, stirring occassionaly.

Remove from heat. Mash the apples with a potato masher until the apples are all broken down but the mixture is still a bit chunky.

Serve, either warm or refrigerated.

(15P for whole recipe)

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Creamy Oats

February 26, 2009

These quick and easy oats are perfect on a cold morning like today (snow at the end of February in Vancouver!?).

Creamy Oats

Yield: 1 serving

1/3 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup water

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Stirring constantly, cook the oats for 5 to 7 minutes until they reach your desired consistency. Serve.

(2P)


Green Curry with Shrimp

February 26, 2009

Last Friday my parents and brother came over for dinner. My mum was in town and suggested we get some take-out, but since we are trying to eat healthier, I decided to make this vegetable-filled curry.

Green Curry with Shrimp

Adapted from Posie Gets Cozy
Yield: 6-8 servings

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely sliced
salt and pepper
3-4 tablespoons green curry paste
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 coloured peppers, chopped
1 crown broccoli, cut into florets
1 Japanese eggplant, sliced into medallions
2 cans light coconut milk
1 pound shrimp (I use the Costco pre-cooked, frozen kind)
1 cup frozen peas
1 can bamboo shoots, matchstick-style

Place the eggplant on a paper towel and sprinkle lightly with salt to remove some of the bitterness.

In a large saucepan, saute the onion in the olive oil until they begin to soften and turn clear. Add the garlic, salt and pepper and cook for a few more minutes. Add the curry paste and fish sauce and stir to coat.

Mix in the broccoli florets and peppers, saute until tender. Add eggplant and cook, stirring, for another 2 minutes.

Pour in the coconut milk and stir until it combines with the curry paste and begins to take on its colour. Add the shrimp. Once the mixture nears a boil reduce the heat to a simmer.

Add the peas and bamboo, stir until heated through. Serve over rice (preferably jasmine rice).

(3P)


Cinnamony Banana Bread

February 26, 2009

I had been planning on making this delicious banana bread for a couple of weeks. I had two ripe bananas in the freezer and just needed one more to meet the three ripe bananas quota. But whenever I got down to one ripe banana in the fruit bowl, C would eat it. This wasn’t his fault since I hadn’t told him my baking plans, yet I was still always one banana short. Finally, last Friday there was one ripe banana sitting in the fruit bowl. Banana bread!!

This recipe is from Orangette, whom I have mentioned on this blog before. I highly recommend following the link below to read her original post – her words and stories just can’t be beat. (On a side note: Her book is finally out – can’t wait to get a copy – so I hope she comes up to Vancouver for a signing).

banana_bread

Cinnamony Banana Bread

Adapted from Orangette
Yield: 15 slices

1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 mashed ripe bananas
2 large eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil (the original called for 1/2 cup, but I reduced it to lower the calories – still worked)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup water

Topping:
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a medium-sized loaf pan with parchment paper (this lets you remove the bread without losing any of the delicious topping).

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together the banana, eggs, oil, honey, and water. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and mix well.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.

In a small bowl, mix together the topping ingredients. Sprinkle them evenly over the batter.

Bake the bread until a tester inserted into its center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool the bread in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Then carefully remove the bread from the pan, taking care not to dislodge the topping. Cool completely before slicing.

(4P per slice)


Go-To Chocolate Chip Cookies

February 26, 2009

This is my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe. I made them for C for Valentine’s Day. I wanted them to be a surprise in his present, but I had to make them a day ahead. So after they were baked, I tried to hide all signs that cookies had been made: I did all the dishes, opened the windows to let in some very cold February air and lit some candles to disguise the baking scent. Later when I thought about it, I realized that all this was completely unnecessary as C is not the most observant person when it comes to those sorts of things. Anyway, he eventually got the cookies which were gobbled up quickly as usual as was the ball of unbaked dough I kept for him in the fridge (his favourite part).

choc_cookie1

Go-To Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: 36 – 48 cookies

1 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (or 1 package) of chocolate chips (semi-sweet or milk chocolate)
1 cup chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts)

Preheat the oven to 375F.

In the mixer bowl, beat the shortening, brown sugar and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until creamy.

In another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Slowly add this mixture into mixer bowl and blend until combined.

Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts.

Roll into small balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown. Let cool on a cooling rack.

(3-4P)


Roasted Broccoli

February 19, 2009

I made fish again for dinner tonight in my new effort to cook more fish. Nothing too exciting, just some pre-marinated snapper from Save-On. Definitely not as good as the salmon from last Wednesday! But the broccoli I made to accompany it was delish (both C and I gave it a thumbs up) and dead simple…

Roasted Broccoli

Adapted from The Amateur Gourmet
Yield: 2 large servings

2 heads broccoli, cut into florets
5-6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
teaspoon sea salt
teaspoon pepper
sprinkle of dried chiles
tablespoon olive oil

Preheat oven to 425F.

Put broccoli and garlic on a baking sheet (I covered it in foil first for easier cleanup). Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper and chiles.

Roast in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until tender yet crisp with some browned edges. Remove and serve.

Variation: The Amateur Gourmet recipe suggested adding the following once the broccoli comes out of the oven (which I omitted in attempt to keep the recipe healthier):
Lemon zest
Lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
2 tablespoon fresh basil

Toss all these ingredients with the roasted broccoli and serve.


Baked Salmon with Soy Wasabi Marinade

February 13, 2009

My friend April made a version of this recipe for a stagette party ages ago and it was so delicious. I don’t cook with fish very often. I’m not sure why, but it just never seems to be on my radar. But this month, I am trying to reduce the grocery bill and use up what’s in the freezer. And in the freezer was a big fillet of salmon caught by my friend Anita’s son; so I pulled it out to defrost and asked April for the recipe.

This was very easy to make and turned out fantastic. I made the marinade before leaving for my running clinic and set the timer for C to preheat the oven and plop the fish in the marinade. When I got home, all I had to do was put it in the oven, cook some rice and steam a bunch of asparagus. Presto! Tasty and healthy meal on the table!

baked_salmon

Baked Salmon with Soy Wasabi Marinade

Adapted from April
Yield: 2 servings

Marinade:
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1/2 to 1 teaspoon wasabi powder (depending on how much kick you want)

1 large salmon fillet (around 1 to 1 1/2 pounds)

Mix all the ingredients together in a shallow dish or plastic bag. Place the fillet in the dish and let it marinate for around 15 to 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400F.

Place the fillet on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the fish is opaque in the centre. Serve