Monday, August 22, 2011

Basil Hummus

 I have been on a hummus kick lately but never actually made my own. (I'm pretty fond of Sabra's Roasted Red Pepper). When I came across this creamy basil hummus on Daily Garnish, I knew it was the first kind to try on my own!  I made it to go with one of my favorite summer meals: hummus and vegetable pizzas! It was delicious, and the basil flavor was really strong- in a good way. It reminded me of a healthier version of pesto. It was so easy to make, and I can't wait to start experimenting with other flavors!

Creamy Basil Hummus (from the Daily Garnish)
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tbsp water (I used 2, but would maybe use 3-4 next time for a less thick consistency)
  • pinch of salt
  1. Put basil and chickpeas in food processor. Pulse to chop combine.
  2. Add lemon juice, water, olive oil, tahini, and salt.
  3. Continue to run the food processor (you may need to stop and scrape down the sides a couple of times) until the hummus is smooth and creamy.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Super Fudgy Brownies

 Last weekend I made these brownies to serve at my cousins bridal shower. Since I have become a lazy blogger, I didn't really have any intentions of posting the recipe. But after several requests for the recipe and one woman even declaring it "the best brownie she had ever eaten," I knew this one was a keeper! They were really moist and fudgy without being gooey. I am posting the original recipe below with a few notes in parentheses. One other thing to note is that I ran out of granulated sugar while making these and replaced it with coarse sugar. I am not sure how much of an impact this made on the brownies so I will have to experiment with that in the future, but I am sure the results would be similar either way! I was just happy to know that you could use coarse sugar without it resulting in a grainy texture.

The Baked Brownie (from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking and seen on Divine Baking)
  • 1 1/4 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 T dark unsweetened cocoa powder (I used dutch process cocoa)
  • 11 oz dark chocolate, chopped (I used Ghiradelli 60% cacao)
  • 1 c unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 tsp instant espresso powder (I omitted b/c I didn't have)
  • 1 1/2 c granulated sugar
  • 1/2 c packed light brown sugar
  • 5 large room temperature eggs
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2.  Spray a 9x13 pan with nonstick baking spray (or butter and flour pan).
3.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, the salt, and cocoa powder.
4. Set up a large sized double boiler. Place the chocolate, the butter, and the instant espresso powder (if using) in the bowl of the double boiler and stir occasionally until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and combined. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water of the double boiler and add both sugars. Whisk the sugars until completely combined and remove the bowl from the pan. Mixture should be room temperature.
5. Add three eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until just combined. Add remaining eggs and vanilla, whisking to combine. Do not over beat the batter or else the brownies will become cakey. 
6. Gently mix the flour/cocoa/salt into the chocolate with a spatula (not a whisk) just until incorporated.
7. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.
8. Bake the brownies for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Mine took 31 minutes, but you may want to check them early because everyone's oven is different, and you definitely don't want to over bake them!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Salmon Salad with Roasted Red Peppers, Corn, and Goat Cheese

In my opinion, you can't really beat a delicious salad topped with salmon in both nutrition and taste! Salads are so flexible in that you can use whatever have on hand or happen to want that day, but I wanted to share this salad because I absolutely loved the combination of ingredients. It has tangy goat cheese, sweet roasted corn and red peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, and is topped with a simple, yet delicious balsamic vinaigrette. As I write this and remember how good it was, I am thinking that I will have to make this again next week!
Salmon Salad with Roasted Red Peppers, Corn, and Goat Cheese
(Serves 4) 
  • salad mix (I used half arugula and half mixed greens)
  • 4  4-5oz salmon fillets (I prefer wild caught)
  • Williams-Sonoma Potlatch Seasoning  (optional)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 red pepper (or you can use jarred roasted peppers and skip steps 1-2)
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1 small cucumber, sliced
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • balsamic vinaigrette 
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Place pepper on a cookie sheet and roast for about 20 minutes, turning half way. It may take longer, but you are looking for your pepper to turn mostly black. Remove from oven and place in a plastic bag (such as a ziploc). Once pepper has cooled, remove from bag, and peel skin. It should come off easily. Slice pepper into strips and remove seeds.
  3. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add frozen corn and cook for 2-5 minutes, stirring occasionally until some kernels start to blacken. Turn off heat. Put corn in a dish and return skillet to cooktop.
  4. Season salmon with Potlatch Seasoning, if using, or with salt and pepper.
  5. Add 2 tsp of olive oil to skillet and turn heat to medium. Once pan is heated, place salmon in pan seasoned side down.
  6. Cook salmon until done, turning half way. Cooking time will vary depending on thickness of salmon, but it should flake easily when done. I would guess 8-10 min total, but watch it so you don't overcook it!
  7. While salmon is cooking, assemble salads. Place greens on bottom and top with red peppers, goat cheese, corn, tomatoes, and cucumber. Top with salmon and serve with balsamic vinaigrette.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


I had never had migas before, but had read about them on a couple of blogs. So, when I received Tostitos Artisan Recipes chips as a part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program, I knew just what I wanted to make! I used the Pioneer Woman's recipe as a guide. I figured she would be a trusty source, and I had never used one of her recipes before, which I can't believe knowing how popular her blog is! These were really good! In fact, I have already made them twice within a month! Of course, I did cheat by using the Tostitos chips rather than frying my own tortillas. That was one step too many for me, and the Tostitos chips were great! I think Nick accurately described them as "the adult version of Doritos." We received both the black bean and garlic flavor and the fire roasted chipotle flavor. I am not sure that Nick had a favorite between the two, but my vote was definitely for the black bean and garlic. Anyway, on to the delicious recipe...

 Migas (adapted from the Pioneer Woman)
 Serves 4-5 people
  • 1/3 cup corn tortilla chips, broken into pieces
  • 1 whole Jalapeno, Seeds And Membranes Removed, Finely Diced
  • 4 whole Plum Tomatoes, Roughly Chopped
  • 1 whole Green Pepper, Roughly Chopped
  • 1 whole Red Bell Pepper, Roughly Chopped
  • 1 whole Medium Onion, Chopped
  • 12 whole Large Eggs
  • ¼ cup reduced fat mexican blend cheese
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Butter
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • ¼ cup 2% milk
  • 1/2 avocado
  • salt and pepper
1. In a bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. Set aside.
2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt the olive oil with the butter. Add onions and bell peppers and cook until starting to turn brown/black, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add in diced jalapenos and stir to combine. Add tomatoes to the skillet and stir around, then add chips, stirring gently to combine.
3. Reduce heat to low.
4. When the heat has decreased, pour eggs into skillet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir gently to cook with the peppers, folding mixture very gently as it cooks.
5. Add in grated cheese.
6. Once eggs are cooked and cheese is melted, removed from skillet and serve topped with avocado. 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Samoas Bars

It has become the tradition here on Chicken on the Green to post the special treat made to honor Meggo's Birthday! For her 25th, there was the Strawberry Chantilly Cake. For her 26th, I made Monster Cookies. And today.... SAMOAS BARS! I chose to make these because Samoas (or Caramel deLites as they are known in some parts of the country such as Wichita) are Meggo's favorite Girl Scout cookies! She would buy them at work and then hide them in her desk. Meggo, please don't hide these. They do not quite have the same preservatives in them!
 I found the recipe for these on Baking Bites. These bars start with a shortbread cookie crust, then are covered with caramel and toasted coconut, dipped in dark chocolate, and topped with a dark chocolate drizzle. Yummy. They are fun to make although they do take some time. They are very reminiscent of the original, but if I am going to be completely honest, I don't quite think they match up to the perfected recipe those girl scouts have come up with. Man, they must work hard on those.
Samoas Bars (adapted from Baking Bites)
Cookie Base:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
  • 12-oz good-quality chewy caramels
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 10 oz. dark or semisweet chocolate (chocolate chips are ok)
To make the crust:
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with nonstick foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. (I really didn't want it to stick).
3.  In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter, until fluffy. Add vanilla extract.
4. Working at a low speed, gradually beat in flour and salt until mixture is crumbly, like wet sand. The dough does not need to come together.
5. Scoop crumbly dough into prepapred pan and press into an even layer.
6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until base is set and edges are lightly browned. Cool completely on a wire rack before topping.

To make the topping:
1. Unwrap the caramels and place in a large microwave-safe bowl with milk and salt. Cook on high for 3-4 minutes, stopping to stir a few times to help the caramel melt. When smooth, fold in toasted coconut with a spatula.
2. Put dollops of the topping all over the shortbread base. Using the spatula, spread topping into an even layer. Let topping set until cooled.
3. When cooled, cut into 30 bars with a large knife.
4. Once bars are cut, melt chocolate in a small bowl. Heat on high in the microwave in 45 second intervals, stirring thoroughly to prevent scorching. Dip the base of each bar into the chocolate and place on a clean piece of parchment or wax paper. Transfer all remaining chocolate (or melt a bit of additional chocolate, if necessary) into a piping bag or a ziploc bag with the corner snipped off and drizzle bars with chocolate to finish. (I had to melt more chocolate because I had bits of shortbread that fell in my chocolate.)
5. Let chocolate set completely before storing in an airtight container.


Monday, March 21, 2011

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

Beer in cake? Yes, please. St. Patrick's Day may have come and gone, but I won't be waiting until next year to make these again! I told Nick these may be my new favorite cupcakes, which is quite a bold statement for me! The chocolate cake has a great flavor with a VERY subtle taste of Guinness, and the Bailey's frosting was just as delicious. Drinkers and non-drinkers alike will love these so get in the kitchen and make them ASAP!
Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes (adapted from Annie's Eats)
Makes 24 cupcakes
For Cake:
  • 16 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 cup Guinness
  • ¾ cup dutch process cocoa powder
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup light sour cream
For Frosting:
  • 8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 5-6 tbsp. Bailey’s Irish cream
For Cupcakes:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line 2 pans with cupcake liners.
2. Bring Guinness and butter to simmer in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool a little.
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
4.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the eggs and sour cream to blend.  Add the chocolate-beer-butter mixture and beat just to combine.
5. Mix in the dry ingredients on low speed just until incorporated.
6. Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners, filling them about 2/3 to 3/4 full.
7. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 16-17 minutes.
8. Allow to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For Frosting:
1. Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
2. Gradually add the powdered sugar until it is all incorporated.
3. Mix in the Bailey’s until smooth.
4. Add any additional sugar or Bailey's to reach desired consistency.
5.  Frost the cupcakes once they have completely cooled.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

White Chicken Chili

It may seem odd to post a recipe for a warm bowl of chili just as the weather finally shows signs of long, long awaited spring, but this is a recipe I didn't want to forget! I found it on Jenna's blog, Eat Live Run, and it was really good- the best I have had to-date! It has a pretty mild spice to it so if you want really spicy, I would kick up the amount of cayenne. Also, just FYI it freezes well so it is a great make-ahead meal. I made a couple minor changes to lighten it up a little, and those changes are reflected below. (Click on the link for the original version). I can't wait to make this again next winter... or during the inevitable cold front that always comes as soon as I think we are safe into spring!
White Chicken Chili ( adapted from Eat, Live, Run)
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cubed
  • 1 medium onion, small diced
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 cans cannellini beans, drained
  • 14.5 ounces chicken broth
  • 2 4-ounce cans chopped green chilies
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk
  • 6 ounces light sour cream
Directions:  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add the chicken and onion and cook for about 5-6 minutes, or until the chicken is seared and the onion is translucent.
2. Add the garlic and cook for another 3 minutes.
3. Add the beans, spices, chicken broth and green chilies and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes.
4. Turn off the heat and add the sour cream and milk.
5. Enjoy

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Maple Bacon Cupcakes

 Happy 27th Birthday to my old man husband! I love picking out what I am going to make for his birthday "treat" each year, and this year I thought that Maple Bacon Cupcakes would be perfect knowing what a bacon lover he is! I have seen bacon used in several dessert recipes, but I had never tried it for myself. These cupcakes are a great salty sweet dessert, but I have to say that he was not able to tell that they were bacon until I told him what the secret ingredient was. Knowing what it was, I could definitely taste it when I had a bacon bit in a bite but not so much when I got a bite with out it. Either way, he seemed to enjoy them! Their texture is more muffin-like that cake in my opinion as they are a bit crumbly, but the delicious maple frosting definitely removes any confusion that they are anything but a cupcake! I made the recipe exactly as written on the blog, Vanilla Garlic, so you can click here to get the recipe. However, I would recommend doubling the frosting because I ran out and had to make another batch. Also, I got 9 cupcakes from the recipe rather than the 6 that is stated. Let me know what you think if you try them!
Action shot.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Wheat Hamburger Buns

The idea of making your own hamburger buns seemed kind of ridiculous to me at first. Why in the world would you go through that trouble when you could buy some decent ones for just a couple of bucks? I had seen a couple recipes for buns on other blogs but I pretty much just looked over them because I knew I would NEVER make them- or so I thought. But it turns out that I was wrong. It all started when I decided I would buy some buffalo meat at the grocery. It was very hectic, and I just grabbed it without checking the price, which I rarely do. As I was checking out, I realized it cost $11! Holy cow. There is no way I am just going to use this buffalo to make chili like originally planned. So, I decided to make burgers, but of course I didn't have any buns. Well, I guess it was time to make them, and it actually was a pretty good way to spend my lazy Saturday!
I found the recipe on Annie's Eats. I love her blog because I have never been disappointed by one of her recipes! Mine didn't look nearly as pretty as hers, but I'm used to that! I also used half whole wheat flour to up the nutritional value. I loved the addition of the whole wheat taste, but Nick thought they were a little "too wheaty" for him although he still enjoyed them. So, you can make that call yourself as to how much white vs wheat flour you want to use. We loved them topped with a delicious bison burger- yum! Recipe below is Annie's and my changes are noted in the parentheses.

Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns (adapted from Annie's Eats)
Makes 8 buns

1 tbsp. sugar
2 ¼ tsp. instant yeast
¼ cup warm water (105°-115°)
1 cup warm milk (105°-115°) (I used 2%)
1 tbsp. vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
1 tsp. salt
3 to 3 ¾ cups all-purpose flour (I used half whole wheat)
1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp. cold water
sesame, poppy or caraway seeds, or coarse salt, for topping (I used sesame seeds)

1. In a bowl of an electric mixer, dissolve the sugar and then the yeast in the warm water.  Add the milk, oil, salt and 1 ½ cups of flour to the yeast mixture.  Beat vigorously for 2 minutes. (I wasn't sure which attachment I should use since I am a bread newbie, but I used the paddle attachment and that worked just fine).
2. Gradually add flour, 2 tablespoons at a time, until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl *.  (This will vary but mine was pulling away after I added 1.5 cups for a total of 3 cups).
3. Switch to the dough hook and knead until you have a smooth and elastic dough, about 7-9 minutes. 
4. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl. (I just sprayed my bowl with my olive oil mister). Turn once to coat the entire ball of dough in oil. 
5. Cover with a tightly-woven dampened towel and let rise in a warm area until doubled, about one hour. 
6. Turn the dough out onto a lightly oiled work surface.  Working with oiled hands, divide the dough into 8 equal pieces.  Shape each piece into a ball, and flatten into 3 ½ -inch disks.  For soft-sided buns, place them on a well-seasoned baking sheet a half-inch apart so they will grow together when they rise.  For crisper bun, place them three inches apart. ( I spaced mine out.)
7. Cover with a towel and let rise until almost doubled, about 45 minutes. 
8. About 15-20 minutes before you want to bake the buns, preheat the oven to 400°.  Just before baking, brush the tops of the buns lightly with the egg wash and sprinkle with any desired toppings. 
9. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the internal temperature of the bread reaches 190°. (I used my meat thermometer for this, which worked well and they were done in 15 minutes). When the buns are done, remove them from the baking sheet to cool on a wire rack.  This will prevent the crust from becoming soggy.

* Annie's Note: This particular dough should be quite slack, i.e. very relaxed in order to make soft and tender buns.  So you want to add only enough more flour, past the 3 cup point, to make the dough just kneadable, sprinkling in only enough more to keep it from sticking to you or the work surface.