Monday, March 29, 2010

Deluxe Rice Krispie Treats

As a child, I always loved Rice Krispie Treats... but as an adult, they just began to taste kind of meh... you know, nothing to get too excited about - other than the fact that they are fast and easy to make. Then I found this recipe over on smitten kitchen. Mmmm... this is what rice krispie treats are meant to be when they grow up. I don't think I'll ever be able to make them the old-fashioned way again!

For those of you who might balk at the amount of butter used... I have tried it with just 1/2 stick of butter instead of a whole stick and they are still really good, if not quite as rich. In fact, here are the amounts I usually use - this makes thick treats in a 9x13 pan.
1 stick butter
6 cups mini marshmallows
9 cups rice krispies
1/4 tsp sea salt

You can see that I didn't quite double the recipe, this way, there's just a little extra butter and since it seems like everyone sells mini marshmallows in a 16 oz. bag these days, it just makes more sense to time and a half the recipe.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Sunrise Muffins

This recipe is the result of me trying to find a way to use up some orange marmalade. I ended up combining a couple of different recipes and making a few additions to come up with these - a great power muffin to get you started in the morning!

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup toasted wheat germ
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 beaten egg
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup cooking oil
1 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried apricot, chopped
1/2 cup orange marmalade

Lightly coat 12 muffin cups with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 400 F.

In a medium bowl, combine the flours, wheat germ, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Make a well in the flour mixture.

In a small bowl, combine the egg, buttermilk, brown sugar, and oil. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture all at once. Stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy). Gently fold raisins, apricots, and carrots into batter.

Spoon one tablespoon batter into each muffin cup. Make a small well in the batter in each cup and place 1/2 teaspoon orange marmalade into each well. Cover marmalade with another tablespoon of batter (should fill muffin cups 3/4 full).

Bake muffins for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack.

I thought these were great, but next time I'll probably add a little ginger to give them some more zing - either 1 teaspoon fresh minced ginger or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Spicy Pinto Beans

We had company over for dinner the other night and since I didn't have a lot of time to stand slaving over a hot stove, I put my appliances to work for me. The menu was Cafe Rio Salad so I set my crock pot to work on the pork, my rice cooker bubbled away with the rice, and my newest kitchen prize....

...this lovely pressure cooker produced a lovely pot of pinto beans. I can never remember to soak beans overnight, so this has become one of my favorite appliances! Here is the recipe we love:

2 cups dried pinto beans
5 cups water
2 teaspoons boullion
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/4 cup pickled jalapenos or 1 Tablespoon chopped jalapeno
1 medium onion, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped

If you are using a pressure cooker, follow the directions for your cooker. Otherwise, soak your beans the night before. Then, combine all ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered until beans are tender (about 1 1/2 hours), adding more liquid if necessary.

Note: I like to add 1 tsp minced ginger to the pot while cooking as well. I find that it helps mitigate the gassiness of the beans and it doesn't affect the flavor at all.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Vegan Chocolate Mousse

My sister shared this wonderful recipe with me for my birthday. It sounds kind of weird, but tastes delicious! For those of you who have given up chocolate mousse because it has too much fat or contains raw eggs and dairy... you need suffer no more! This was super creamy and very rich! Even my kids thought it was great! You'll be amazed by the secret ingredient...