Monday, October 20, 2014

Cheesy Black Bean Burgers

The title of this post would be alliteration if it weren't for "cheesy".

Alliteration comes second to cheese in my book. It'll have to wait for another day/post.

I decided to tackle the basic food staple of vegetarians and make black bean burgers.

Ingredient list

-1 15 ounce can of black beans, drained but not rinsed
-Black pepper
-1 cup of bread crumbs
-Garlic powder
-Cheddar cheese
-Hamburger buns
-Red pepper flakes

1) Mash the drained black beans with 1/2 tsp of garlic powder, some black pepper, and 1/4 tsp of red pepper flakes.

2) Mix in the bread crumbs to bind the ingredients together.

3) Divide the mix into four sections and shape into patties.

4) Pour a little oil into a skillet. When it gets warm, fry the patties.

5) It takes a few minutes on each side. Fry until they are brown.

6) When they're done, top them with slices of cheese and turn the heat down to low to melt the cheese. You can use a pot lid on top to trap the heat and help the cheese melt faster.

Apple Pear Crisp

Autumn is still here, so I am taking advantage of the season to make as many apple treats as I possibly can.

I swear, I don't have an addiction to apple desserts. Okay.....maybe I do. But it's not like I can't stop whenever I want!

Taken from Baked by Rachel

Ingredient list:


-4 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
-4 pears, peeled, cored and sliced
-2 tblsp of flour
-1 tsp of vanilla extract
-1 tsp of cinnamon
-1/4 of nutmeg
-1/2 cup of brown sugar
-Juice from one lemon


-6 tblsp of cold butter
-1/4 cup of brown sugar
-1/4 cup of all purpose flour
-1/2 tsp of cinnamon
-1/2 cup of rolled oats

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Toss the sliced fruit with lemon juice to prevent browning.

2) In a separate bowl, use a fork or pastry cutter to cut the cold butter into the premixed dry ingredients. Cut into the mix until it's crumbly. Set aside.

3) Mix the flour, cinnamon, vanilla nutmeg and sugar with the fruit. Make sure it's all evenly coated in sugar and spices. When you've done that, grease an 8 inch pan with butter and pour it in. Cover the surface with the topping and bake for about 25-30 minutes.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pumpkin season is here! Of course, I have to shove pumpkin into everything, including classics like oatmeal chocolate chip.

Ingredient list:

-1/2 cup of butter
-1/2 cup of sugar
-1/4 cup of brown sugar
-1 tsp of vanilla extract
-1/2 can of pureed pumpkin (7 ounces)
-1/2 tsp of baking soda
-1 egg
-1/4 tsp of salt
-1 cup of all purpose flour
-1 cup of rolled oats
-1 cup of chocolate chips

1) Cream together the butter and sugars. Add the vanilla and pumpkin. Beat in the egg.

2) In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, oats, baking soda and salt. Gradually add this to the butter mix. Combine until all of the dry ingredients are completely mixed in.

3) Finally, stir in the chocolate chips.

4) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Drop teaspoonfuls of dough with 2 inches between them onto a cookie sheet. Press them down a little to flatten them. Bake for about 9-10 minutes.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Spinach Artichoke Hummus Wrap

I'm not big on artichokes (maybe they will grow on me eventually) but when I saw packages of Spinach Artichoke Hummus at Whole Foods, I realized that my hummus habits have been kinda prosaic.

Hummus wraps have also been on my mind, so I threw together a veggie version with red bell peppers, zucchini and red onion.

Ingredient list:

-Whole wheat wraps
-Spinach artichoke hummus
-1/4 of a zucchini, chopped
-1 small red bell pepper, cleaned and sliced
-1/4 of a red onion
-Olive oil
-Freshly crushed black pepper

1) Pour a little olive oil into a pot and toss in the red bell pepper and zucchini. Let it cook, mixing occasionally, for 7-8 minutes. Add a little crushed black pepper.

2) When the zucchini cooks through, turn the heat to low and add the sliced red onion. Let it cook for 4 minutes or until the red onion cooks a little. You want it to be a little crispy and not completely limp. When it's ready, turn off the heat and let it cool a little.

3) Spread hummus down the middle of a whole wheat wrap.

This is the brand I used:

4) Arrange the vegetables down the center of the wrap.

5) Starting at the ends of the veggie row, fold the wrap in. Keeping your fingers on the fold, pull the end of the wrap that is farthest from you toward the veggies. Roll gently and tightly (but don't break the delicate wrap). Roll it around the veggies and wrap it tightly under the fold. Keep the open end down on the cutting board.

I didn't add any salt or other seasonings because the hummus already had a great amount of flavor and zest. If you use a milder hummus, you may find that you will need to add seasonings. 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Peanut Butter Cookie Monster Bars

Peanut butter chips are my new favorite thing. I like the pleasant surprise of the peanut butter flavor when I bite into a cookie or a slice of cake. It's a nice change from chocolate chip (not that I've forsaken chocolate chips. Heavens no!).

I made a peanut butter cookie version of monster bars. Instead of M&Ms and chocolate sandwich cookies, I used peanut butter sandwich cookies and peanut butter chips.

Ingredient list:

-1/2 cup of butter
-1/2 cup of sugar
-1 egg
-1 cup of all purpose flour
-1 tsp of vanilla extract
-16 peanut butter sandwich cookies (I used Back to Nature)
-1 cup of peanut butter chips

1) Beat together the butter, sugar, egg, vanilla extract and flour in that order. Add the peanut butter chips.

2) Line an 8x8 pan with wax paper. Divide the dough in half and press it into the lined pan.

3) Arrange the cookies on top of this layer. You may have to break some of them in order to get them to fit.

4) Spread the remaining half of the batter over the cookies. Do your best to cover them as completely as you can.

5) Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Lemon Pear Filled Cake with Maple Cinnamon Whipped Cream

I had a bunch of pears that need to be used up, so I decided to cooked them with sugar and lemon juice.
Then I had a cooked pear filling that needed to be used up, so I decided to make a cake.

In short, I will create any excuse to bake a cake and then eat it.

For the cake: 

-1 cup of butter
-4 egg whites, beaten until stiff and foamy
-1.5 cup of sugar
-2 tsp of vanilla extract
-2 tsp of baking powder
-2.5 cups of all purpose flour
-1/2 cup of milk

For the filling:

-4 or 5 ripe pears
-Zest and juice of one lemon
-1/4 cup of sugar

For the frosting:

-2 cups of heavy cream
-1 tsp of cinnamon
-1/4 cup of maple syrup

1) Make the filling by slicing and peeling the pears. You can cut the slices in half to make them more manageable. Add the sugar, lemon zest and juice to a pot over medium heat, then add the sliced pears. Cook over medium heat until the pears are soft and a "sauce" forms. Let it cool, then spoon it into jars and store in the refrigerator until you're ready to use it.

2) Make the cake by creaming together the butter and sugar. Add the egg whites after you've beaten them stiff. Add in the vanilla extract. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

3) Mix together the flour and baking powder in a separate bowl. Gradually add this to the wet mixture. Mix in milk just until you have a smooth batter. Pour the batter evenly into two 9 inch pans that have been greased and floured. Bake for about 35-40 minutes or until a fork pushed into the center comes out clean.

4) While the cakes are cooling, make the frosting. Using an electric mixer, beat together the whipped cream, cinnamon and maple syrup.

5) Assemble the cake.

6) Spoon the pear filling over one layer.

7) Place the second layer on top.

8) Spread the whipped cream over the sides and the top. Coat it generously.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Red Pepper Jelly Baked Chicken

I'm not a big meat eater, but sometimes I cook meat for my family.

They wanted chicken. They wanted it cooked and dead, but it was up to me to decide how to cook it.

I opted for a red pepper jelly based sauce instead of regular barbecue. I picked up a jar of RPJ at Trader Joe's a while back but didn't think of a way to use it until I had a meat-craving family to feed.

Ingredient list:

-5 chicken pieces (I used legs)
-8 ounces of red pepper jelly
-4 cloves of minced garlic (or 1 tsp of minced garlic or garlic paste)
-2 tblsp of soy sauce
-Freshly ground black pepper
-Sea salt

1) Spoon out the entire jar of red pepper jelly in a heatproof bowl. Add the soy sauce, garlic, some pepper from a mill, and a sprinkle of sea salt.

2) Warm a pot of water on the stove. It should be a pot small enough to hold the bowl but not immerse it in water or let it sink.

3) When the water gets very warm, place the bowl of sauce over it and let the water heat the sauce.

4) Stir the sauce and let it liquify. It'll eventually warm up and melt.

5) Carefully transfer the bowl to a heatproof surface (I placed it onto a wooden cutting board). Dip each chicken piece in the sauce.

6) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet or pan with aluminum foil. Place the chicken pieces on the sheet.

7) Spoon more sauce over the pieces, coating every one.

8) Bake for 40-45 minutes. Halfway through the baking time, turn the pieces over and pour the remaining sauce on top of them.