Friday, September 30, 2011

New England Clam Chowder

If you like clam chowder here's a recipe I'm sure you'll enjoy. Mr. loves clam chowder but I haven't made it in many many years so I decided I would when I found clams on sale. I lost my Mom's recipe so I searched and searched for one and decided on this one. Of course I changed it up a little but not much. This doesn't take long to make, well under one hour from chopping to table top. It came out great, so great the kids loved dipping their bread into it and Mr. ate 3 bowls of it. So as the warm weather starts to cool, think about making this to warm your soul.

New England Clam Chowder
adapted from Cooking Light Jan. 2008

6 bacon slices
2 cups diced onion
1 1/4 cups diced celery
1/2 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 (6 1/2-ounce) cans chopped clams, undrained
5 cups diced peeled baking potato (about 1 pound)
4 (8-ounce) bottles clam juice
1 bay leaf
3 cups milk, warmed
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon chopped chives
Cook bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 1 teaspoon drippings in pan. Crumble bacon; set aside. Add onion, celery, salt, thyme, and garlic to drippings in pan; cook 4 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Drain clams, reserving liquid. Add clam liquid, potato, clam juice, and bay leaf to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until potato is tender. Discard bay leaf.

Combine milk and flour, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Add flour mixture to pan; bring to a boil. Cook 12 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Add clams; cook 2 minutes. Sprinkle with bacon and chives. Serve with fresh bread or oyster crackers.

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Monday, September 26, 2011

Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

I made these cupcakes for our 14 yr old's Birthday Party. I made this in cake form before. It's one of my most searched posts. She wanted teal frosting (to match her room & decorations). Sorry I don't have any other photos, I hurried and took these literally as guests were arriving. Every bite of these had an oreo cookie piece, yum. I frosted these with a big star tip #828 and added a gumball for decoration.

Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes
makes 28 cupcakes

2 c. sugar
1-3/4 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. Hershey's Cocoa
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1-1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 c. milk
1/2 c. vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 c. boiling water
24 oreo cookies, chopped

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare cupcake baking pans.
-Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl.
-Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes.
-Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin).
-Fold in chopped oreos.
-Pour batter very carefully into prepared cupcake lined pans.
-Bake 18 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
-Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans and place onto wire racks. Let cool before frosting (below).

with a black gumball on top

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 c. butter (softened)
16 oz. pkg cream cheese (softened)
8 c. (2 lb) confectioner's sugar
2 tsp Vanilla extract

Cream butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar and extract. Beat on high speed until smooth, light and fluffy. Add desired food coloring and mix well. Frost cooled cupcakes.

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Friday, September 23, 2011

Hoisin Glazed Turkey Meatballs

Once again another Asian style recipe, oh how I love thee. These are for simple flavorful meatballs to serve as is or over rice. I served them with a stir fry veggie mix also. Now these call for ground turkey, I used ground turkey (dark meat) which is a softer texture than the ground turkey breast. Mr. and I both agreed that either ground turkey breast or even ground beef (or chicken) would be better for these as they were really soft. But the flavor of these was really great. I made these up earlier in the morning so the flavors would really come through the turkey.

Hoisin-Glazed Turkey Meatballs
from healthy seasonal recipes

2 tablespoons reduced-sodium Soy Sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger root
1 teaspoon Sambal Oelek sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 scallions, minced plus sliced scallion greens for garnish, divided
1/2 cup finely drained, chopped water chestnuts
1 pound lean ground turkey (you could also use beef)
1/4 cup Hoisin Sauce (below)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
black and/or white sesame seeds, for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Whisk soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, sambal and sugar in a large bowl. Whisk in cornstarch until smooth. Stir in 2 minced scallions and water chestnuts. Stir in turkey until completely combined.
Drop turkey mixture by rounded tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheet, gently re-shaping into ball shapes if necessary. Lightly coat the balls with cooking spray and transfer to the oven. Bake until the meat is cooked through, 15 to 17 minutes.
Stir Hoisin sauce, cilantro and lime juice in a large bowl. Add the cooked meatballs and gently stir to coat. Sprinkle with the remaining sliced scallions and sesame seeds and serve hot.

Hoisin Sauce
adapted from

4 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon peanut butter
1/2 tablespoon black bean paste
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1/4 tsp Sambal Oelek
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Pulse all ingredients in a food processor until it emulsifies. Use as directed in recipe.

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Monday, September 12, 2011

Eggplant Parmesan

This was my first ever eggplant parm, even cooking w/eggplant. So I made a small 8x8 pan of this for myself because I know they won't even try it. I ate eggplant growing up but never liked it. Finally after thinking about it all these years I gave up and tried it with this recipe. Guess what. I liked it. I made this weeks ago and right now am wishing I had some for lunch. I used my spaghetti sauce recipe for this, just left out the meat.

Eggplant Parmesan
adapted from allrecipes -to scale down, serves 4

1 eggplant, peeled and thinly sliced into 8
Kosher salt
2 eggs, beaten
4 cups panko bread crumbs
6 cups homemade marinara sauce, divided
1 (16 ounce) package mozzarella cheese, shredded and divided
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
Italian seasoning, to taste
garlic powder, to taste
pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Sweat eggplant by salting each side, lay flat on paper towles for 30 minutes to drain moisture. Rinse well and pat dry.

Season eggs and panko (in seperate bowls) with a little Italian seasoning, garlic powder and pepper.
Dip eggplant slices in seasoned egg, then in seasoned panko crumbs. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes on each side.

In an 8x8 inch baking dish spread marinara sauce to cover the bottom. Place a layer of eggplant slices in the sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Repeat with remaining ingredients, ending with the cheeses. Sprinkle basil on top.

Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow to rest for 15 minutes.

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