Tuesday, April 28, 2009

TWD: Chocolate Cream Tart

I've finally mustered up some strength to participate again in a Tuesdays with Dorie selection. I've missed the last two weeks due to first trimester pregnancy "funk", which includes but is definitely not limited to: fatigue, nausea, headaches, heartburn, aversions to lots of smells and lots of foods, and just plain old laziness.

So I decided I needed to get my rear off the couch and bake something. And since Kim of Scrumptious Photography chose the Chocolate Cream Tart, which sounded fabulous, I decided to go for it! I didn't have a tart pan, however, so I opted to instead make a chocolate cream pie.

The pie came together fairly easily and my hubby and I both gave it a thumbs up. I handed the whisk that was covered in chocolate cream to my son and he really enjoyed it. Success!

Thanks to Kim for a great selection! Check out her site for the recipe and absolutely gorgeous photos that will make your mouth water!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Mac and Cheese and the Bun In the Oven!

There's big news in our house! I'm expecting baby number two! The little one is due in November. Actually, Thanksgiving day, to be exact. I think that should make for a very interesting Thanksgiving! My hubby and I are very excited and our 18-month old, well, doesn't really understand yet. All in good time!

I'm going through that first trimester funk right now. I don't have much of an appetite for the things I normally like. And the smells of certain foods are real turn-offs. My poor husband has been cooking dinner practically every night. The energy to cook just doesn't really exist right now. Gosh, I can't wait for this to end!

I did make something recently that I really enjoyed, though. A low calorie Mac and Cheese that was surprisingly tasty! So tasty that I had to pull myself off the couch to tell you about it. I really can't believe it's light because it's so good and so easy.

Macaroni and Cheese
(from Southern Living)

4 cups hot cooked elbow macaroni (about 8 ozs. uncooked), cooked without salt or fat
2 cups (8 ozs.) shredded reduced-fat sharp Cheddar cheese
1 cup 1% low-fat cottage cheese
3/4 cup fat-free sour cream
1/2 cup fat-free milk
2 Tbsp. grated fresh onion
1 and 1/2 tsps. reduced-calorie margarine, melted
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup fresh or dry breadcrumbs
1 Tbsp. reduced-calorie margarine, melted
1/4 tsp. paprika

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Combine first 10 ingredients; stir well. Spoon into a shallow 2-quart casserole coated with cooking spray.

3. Combine breadcrumbs, 1 Tbsp. margarine, and paprika; stir well. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture over casserole. Cover and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover casserole, bake an additional 5 minutes or until breadcrumbs are lightly browned.

Makes 6 servings.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

TWD: Banana Cream Pie

This week's Tuesdays with Dorie selection is Banana Cream Pie. I love banana cream pie, but I've never made it myself. What a great opportunity to try! Dorie's recipe is a little different from the ordinary. Hers includes a custard with brown sugar which was absolutely tasty. And it's topped off with a sweet whipped cream that includes a touch of sour cream. The recipe made so much whipped cream, I could barely fit it all on the pie. After taking a few slices, all of the excess started to slide off into the pan. It was delicious though!

It was quite easy to make too, though I am confessing that I didn't make the pie crust from scratch. I didn't have the energy to put in that much work (nor the energy to take any decent photos - like you couldn't tell), so I settled for store-bought crust, which actually tasted quite good.

My hubby loved the pie too. The next morning he had a slice for breakfast before I woke up. He didn't confess to it until later in the day, and I thought it was quite funny!

If you'd like to make this delicious pie yourself, you can check out Amy's blog, Sing For Your Supper. Thanks for the great choice, Amy!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Parmesan-Herb Biscuits

Don't these biscuits look heavenly? I mentioned recently how I need to add more variety to my cooking and baking. My labels on the right hand side say 37 Main Dishes and 39 Desserts. Wow, you can really see what I like to make.

So when I came across these super simple parmesan-herb biscuits in Bon Appétit magazine, I figured I'd try them. The recipe originated from Taku Glacier Lodge in Juneau, Alaska. I loved the combination of herbs and cheese and thought they sounded delicious. And they are.

The dough comes together so easily. Dry ingredients are whisked together and then the butter and ice water are added. Flour up your hands really well and shape the dough into a big square.

Then pull out a knife or a pizza cutter (which worked perfectly), and cut the dough into nine squares.

Move the biscuits to a baking sheet with sides touching, and bake at 400° F for about 30 minutes.

They're super simple and beautiful. I love their golden brown appearance and their wonderful smell.

Let them cool for about 15 minutes and then go to town! They're wonderful. They pair perfectly with breakfast - try making an egg and bacon sandwich. Or add a little country ham for a nice southern ham biscuit. Or just eat them alone. It doesn't matter, they're good either way!

Parmesan-Herb Biscuits
(from Bon Appétit magazine)

2 cups all-purpose flour
6 Tbsp. nonfat dry milk powder
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. dried tarragon
1 tsp. dried basil
½ cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
¾ cup (or more) ice water

1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Whisk first 9 ingredients in large bowl to blend. Add butter and cut in with fingertips until very coarse meal forms. Gradually add ¾ cup ice water, tossing until moist clumps form and adding 1 or 2 tablespoons more water if needed to form a slightly sticky dough.

2. Gather dough into ball. Sprinkle work surface with flour. Using floured hands, press dough into 6-inch square. Cut dough into nine 2-inch square biscuits. Arrange biscuits with sides touching on ungreased baking sheets.

3. Bake biscuits until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Separate biscuits slightly and cool 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 9 biscuits.