Saturday, May 31, 2014

Simple Summer Squash

This squash is heavenly! And it's so simple. It's packed full of flavor with only a few key ingredients. It highlights all of the elements of the dish and really brings out the flavor of each ingredient in each bite! Slightly adapted from GF in the City. Enjoy now while the summer squash is in season!

Makes 4 servings
4 summer squash
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 oz goat cheese
2 Tbsp olive oil
salt to taste

Grab your 4 summer squashes and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Slice it about 1/4 of an inch thick

Put them all in the bowl and pout olive oil over the squash. Make sure they just lightly coated. Should be more or less 2 Tbsp depending on the size of your squash.

Next add the 1 1/2 tsp dried Thyme and stir until all the squash are coated. Add a pinch or two of salt and stir again.

Spray a cook sheet with cooking spray and lay the squash on it in a single layer. Sprinkle a pinch or two of salt over the squash, if desired.

Pop them in the oven for about 8 minutes. Turn them over and bake for another 7 to 10 minutes. Put in a large bowl or in individual plates and sprinkle the goat cheese over the squash. Simple! 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

To Die For Blueberry Muffins

I know I always say I'm not a baker and then I bake! But I love these blueberry muffins. They were one of the first things I learned how to cook. They are so simple and so tasty you can't go wrong! I first made them for a bachelorette brunch 3 years ago and I got rave reviews. I just sent a batch with my husband to take to work and he said I needed to make more next time because they went so fast! 

Makes 8 Muffins:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
about 1/3 cup milk
1 cup fresh blueberries (about 1/2 pint)

Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees F. Put muffin liners in (or grease) 8 muffin cups. 

Put the 1 1/2 cups of flour, 3/4 cups sugar, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp baking powder in a bowl and combine well.

Next, take the 1/3 cup of vegetable oil and pour it into a 1 cup measuring cup.

Next, crack your egg and pour it into the measuring cup with the vegetable oil. 

Then take the milk and fill the measuring cup the rest of the way until it's full. It's about 1/3 a cup of milk if you don't want to measure this way, I just think it tastes better.

Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture

Stir until combine

Pour in your blueberries

Stir really well until combine

Pour the muffin mixture into the muffin tins

Bake about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

These are to die for!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Sweet and Savory Korean Chicken Legs

My husband was stationed in Korea our first year of marriage and I went over to visit him several times. I fell in love with Korean food (which I hadn't had before) and now I love to cook with Korean flavors. I adapted this recipe from CHow Devine, which has wonderful recipes for Korean cooking. If you haven't had Korean food, this is a good recipe to try because it tastes so delicious! Enjoy!

2 lbs bone-in chicken legs
6 garlic cloves
6 Tbsp tamari sauce (can use soy sauce)
4 Tbsp water
2 tsp fish sauce
6 Tbsp honey
3 Tbsp rice vinegar (or balsamic vinegar if you don't have any)
2 Tbsp sake or soju (if you don't have either, try mirin or dry sherry. I prefer to use sake)
1 -2 Tbsp red curry paste (for an extra spicy flavor use gochujang paste)
Sesame or olive oil for cooking 

First, add the 6 garlic cloves, 6 Tbsp tamari sauce, 4 Tbsp water, 2 tsp fish sauce, 6 Tbsp honey, 2 Tbsp sake and 3 Tbsp rice vinegar to a blender

 Blend until smooth

Pour 6 Tbsp of the mixture into a ziploc bag and place the chicken legs in the bag. Give the bag a good shake and make sure all the chicken is coated. Marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hour but up to 6 hours.

Pour the rest into a sauce pan. Add 1 to 2 Tbsp of red curry paste and 2 Tbsp honey to the sauce.

Simmer about 5 to 10 minutes or until the sauce gets thicker.

Once it's thick, remove from heat and allow the sauce to cool. This is your glaze you'll use once the chicken is done marinating. Reserve 1 cup for a dipping sauce if you'd like. It's delicious, I recommend it.

When you're ready to cook, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Take the chicken legs out of the ziplock bag and dry them off.

Than brush each leg with olive or sesame oil.

Brush on all sides and place them back on parchment lined baking sheet

Cover loosely with aluminum foil. Bake for about 25 minutes.

After 25 minutes, take the chicken out of the oven and discard foil. Holding with tongs, brush the glaze you made earlier over all sides of each chicken leg. 

Cook the chicken for an additional 20 minutes (or until the internal temperature is 165°F). Keep taking the chicken out and brushing it the glaze every 5 to 10 minutes. The more you brush it, the more delicious it becomes!
To print, right click below, save and print

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Patriotic Memorial Day Cake Pops

Let me start off by saying, I am not much of a baker but I love trying! I'll make something sweet every now and then. I had been wanting to try cake pops for a while and with Memorial Day coming up, I thought I would give it a try. They didn't look too good as I would have liked but not too bad for my first attempt. And they tasted delicious! My husband took them to work and they disappeared super quick and now they want more cake pops, might try candy coated cake balls since that would be easier. Either way, I'll get more practice soon! I was going for an American Flag with the cake pops. Probably would have looked better without the frosting ha ha All well, I had fun making them. With this being a Memorial Day post, I want to take a moment and remember those service members who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country and thank all their families, our current service members and veterans. Now, let's get to baking!

  •  1 box of cake mix plus ingredients for the cake (if you have a homemade cake recipe, you can use that if you wish).
  • 1/2 cup frosting (either canned or homemade)
  • 1 package of blue candy melts
  • 1 package of red candy melts
  • 1 package of lollipop sticks
  • Styrofoam block to set cake pops in (I had two, one for drying, one for my 'flag').
  • White frosting (I think white sprinkles would work for stars instead of frosting, I might try that next time)
I'm first going to say, these take a while to make but a lot of the time is wait time. So start by making your cake! I used a Betty Crocker Triple Chocolate Fudge cake mix. *Side note, the box said to use 1/2 cup vegetable oil and I used a tad less than that.

It smelled so good, I really wanted to eat it! So now, let it cool until you can handle it with your hands, about 30 to 45 minutes.

Now that it's cool, scoop out the middle of the cake and place in a bowl, leaving the bottom and the edges of the cake in the pan.

With your clean hands, crumble the cake until there are no more clumps.

Add 1/4 cup of frosting and mix with hands. It may stick a little bit to your fingers, just scrap it off and add it back to the cake mix.

Add the other 1/4 cup of frosting and mix until it's no longer dry. Then chill in the fridge for about 2 hours.

Next, roll your cake mixture into balls about 1" diameter and place on a wax paper lined baking sheet. These were way to big, I'll show you pictures of what happens when they are too big coming up. Next time, I'm going to use a melon baller, I think that would make them the perfect size. Once they are rolled, put them back in the fridge for about 20 minutes.

Now it's time to melt your Candy Melts. I looked all over for these and my husband found them at Michael's, who knew. 

They had lollipop sticks at Michael's too but I found these at Target for $1 cheaper.

Pour your candy melts into a coffee mug and melt them in the microwave

Ok, it's about to get messy in my kitchen! Dip a small piece of your lollipop stick into the candy melts. This helps adhere the cake balls to the stick, sometimes ha ha 

 Insert the lollipop stick about 1/2 way into the cake pop. Sorry for the blurry picture, I thought it came out better than that.

Then insert the cake ball into the candy melt. Don't swirl it around, just dip it in and take it out. Be sure to cover the whole cake ball and don't let it touch the bottom of the cup. If you swirl it, or try to coat it too much, it will become too heavy.

After dipping it, hold it at a 30 degree angle, turn it slowly until all the excess candy coating comes off. If you hold it upright, it will run down your stick. You can gently tap it to help the excess fall off. 

Once it's done dripping, you have yourself a cake pop! Stick it in a Styrofoam block to let it harden. If using sprinkles, put those on before it hardens, if using frosting, wait until it hardens. Arrange into the shape of a flag and enjoy!

My first few didn't turn out so well because they were too big/heavy. I cut the cake balls in half, re-rolled them, and then they started to stay on.

More mistakes. But notice the first red ball is missing. Mistakes still taste delicious! I started to make flag of candy coated cake ball mistakes but my husband ate those pretty quick ha ha

There is my flag! Not the best with frosting but I don't think it's too bad for my first try. I had way more candy coated cake ball mistakes than I had cake pops so my flag wasn't a big as I hoped but I liked it. And like I said, they still taste delicious and I'll keep trying to get better! I hope you have a wonderful Memorial day!
To print, right click below, save and print