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Yogurt Muffins so many ways.

Sep. 22nd, 2010 | 05:02 pm
posted by: shogunsquirrel in squirrelfood

I went looking for an easy yogurt muffin recipe on Cooks.com, and have fallen in love with this one. It adapts to variations beautifully, along the lines of: 1 cup fruit, complimentary jam, and either plain or vanilla yogurt. Obviously use plain for savory.
I think the possibilities are only limited by what jams I can find, or what cheeses.
And I bet I can get bacon into the savory ones.
Blueberry YogurtCollapse )Blueberry Yogurt MuffinsCollapse )

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Beer bread variation with blueberries

Jul. 12th, 2009 | 10:02 am
mood: accomplishedaccomplished
posted by: shogunsquirrel in squirrelfood

In general, I'm proud of the writing I've been doing as a Beer Pairing Examiner, and am having lots of fun cooking.  And tasting beer.  That's always fun.

I'm particularly proud of the way my first attempt at beer bread came out.  Raspberry Hefeweiss turned into a really nice mixed berry beer bread, very good for brunching.
But make sure you eat it right when it's hot.  A day later, it is merely tasty, not stupendous.

Already pondering other variations, as a way to get rid of beer I don't love, and as a way to play with flavors.

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Have concocted the world's perfect cookie

May. 17th, 2009 | 06:54 pm
mood: accomplishedaccomplished
posted by: shogunsquirrel in squirrelfood

Started with the basic recipe from MixingBowl.Com
Their 3-ingredient peanut butter cookies are delicious (I add less sugar, because they're too sweet!) and are so simple they don't seem like they would work.
Mixing Bowl's Original RecipeCollapse )

I took the basic recipe and swapped out half the peanut butter and half the sugar. Replaced with Nutella. The result? The best cookie EVER! Next time, I'm totally doubling the recipe, and omitting the sugar altogether.
If anyone can come up with a way to shoehorn oatmeal into this, I may die of happiness.

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Sausage-topped polenta. YUM

Mar. 2nd, 2009 | 06:16 pm
posted by: shogunsquirrel in squirrelfood

from Woman's Day magazine
Takes under 20 mins to make, start to finish. Makes 4 servings, leftovers well.

1 tube (16 or 17 oz) polenta, cut in twelve 1⁄2-in.-thick slices
Nonstick spray
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1 small onion, chopped
1 can (15 oz) cannellini beans, rinsed
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
2 Tbsp fresh basil leaves, cut in thin strips
12 small slices mozzarella, to put on top of polenta slices


1. Coat both sides of polenta slices with nonstick spray. Heat a ridged stovetop grill pan or large nonstick skillet. Cook polenta 2 minutes each side or until slightly browned and hot. topping with mozzarella cheese optional.

2. Meanwhile, heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage and onion. Cook 3 minutes, breaking up sausage with a spoon, until no longer pink. Stir in remaining ingredients; cook 2 minutes or until sausage is cooked and mixture is hot.

3. For each serving, top 3 slices polenta with a quarter of the sausage mixture (about 11⁄4 cups).

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white bean, fennel and orange stew

Feb. 16th, 2009 | 06:02 pm
posted by: shogunsquirrel in squirrelfood

trust me, the odd combo of flavors works:

Tuscan White Bean and Fennel Stew with Orange and Rosemary

2T olive oil
1 large sweet yellow onion, chopped,
2 med. carrots, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch-thick half-moons
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large fennel bulb, trimmed and diced
1/2 c. dry white wine
1-1/2 c. veg. stock
1 pound small red potatoes, unpeeled and quartered
One 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 small zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
1-1/2 c. cooked or one 15-oz. can cannellini or other white beans, drained and rinsed
1T minced orange zest
2 t. minced fresh rosemary leaves or 1 t. dried

1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and carrots, cover, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the fennel and wine and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered and stirring, until the wine is reduced by one-half, about 5 minutes. Add the stock, potatoes, tomatoes and juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes soften, about 20 minutes.

2. Add the zucchini, beans, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until the ingredients are tender and the desired consistency is achieved, about 15 minutes. If a thicker stew is desired, puree 1 cup of the stew in a blender or food processor and stir back into the pot.

3. A few minutes before serving, stir in the orange zest and rosemary. Serve hot. zest and rosemary. Serve hot.

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carrot loaf cake yum!

Jan. 25th, 2009 | 10:42 pm
posted by: shogunsquirrel in squirrelfood

I think this actually wound up being vegan!  No eggs!
    • 9 large carrots, shredded
    • 1 1/2 cup flour, and 1/2 cup steel cut oats.  or 2 cups flour.
    • 2 cups of sugar
    • 1/2 cup raisins; chopped (either golden or dark raisins)
    • 2 large bananas; mashed
    • 1 cup apple sauce
    • 2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • Optional: 1 cup of chopped walnuts

    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    • Grease and flour two loaf pans OR line the pans with "release" aluminum foil
    • Mix all ingredients thoroughly until well combined.  (Cuisinart works, but if your raisins are on the stale side, soften 'em in water first, cause YOW they're loud)
    • Bake about 1 hour or until top browns.

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Crock pot lamb Deliciousness

Dec. 19th, 2008 | 06:28 pm
posted by: shogunsquirrel in squirrelfood

Lamb Shanks with Chick Peas, Cinnamon and Cumin

from Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Recipes for Two: For the Small Slow Cooker

Slow Cooker Size: 3 quart
Cook Time: High for 5 hours, low for 2-3 hours
Add chick peas and cherries after first 4 hours

1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 lamb shanks (2 lbs) tight membrane pierced with a knife
1/3 tsp cinnamon
1/3 tsp cumin
1/2 cup chicken broth
one 15.5 ounce of chick peas
2/3 cup dried sweet cherries
juice of 1 small lemon (or more)

1. Place the onion in the slow cooker.  Wash and dry the shanks and lay them side by side on top of the onion.  Then sprinkle with cinnamon and cumin.  Pour in the chicken broth.  Cover and cook on high for four hours.
2.  At 4 hours, add chick peas and cherries, then drizzle lemon juice over the beans and meat.  Cover and cook on high for another hour.
3.  Reduce the heat setting to low, and cook for 2 to 3 hours longer, until the lamb is tender when pierced with a fork, and starting to fall off the bone.  (note- it wasn't the full 2)
4.  Transfer lamb to dinner plates then serve the beans and cherries with a slotted spoon.  Pour the juice into a pitcher or bowl and serve on the side.
Serve with quinoa or cous cous and a nice glass of wine.

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Lamb and Brown Rice

Nov. 23rd, 2008 | 07:29 pm
posted by: shogunsquirrel in squirrelfood

vermilionsun  gave me the Casserole Crazy cookbook as an early Xmas present

Lamb and Brown Rice Casserole
Note- start thinking about dinner about 3 hours ahead of when you want to be eating, as you have to marinate the lamb.

Serves 4
2 lbs boneless lean lamb (or lamb stew meat, just slice it off the bones)
5 tbs olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp oregano
3 tablespoons brown sugar
salt and pepper
1 large onion finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups baby portobello mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 cup uncooked brown rice
2 cups (1 can) chicken broth

Cut the lamb into 1/2 inch cubes, give or take
In a mixing bowl, combine 2 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, brown sugar, salt, and pepper.  Add the lamb cubes, mix well, cover, and refrigerate for at least an hour
After an hour or more, in a large saucepan, over medium heat, sautee the onions and garlic in the remaining olive oil until the onions are translucent.  Add the lamb and mushrooms and sautee for about 8 minutes.  Remove lamb with slotted spoon and set aside.
Add the rice and chicken broth to the saucepan.  Mix well and when it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and let simmer 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the lamb and rice are tender, stirring occasionally.

Note- this makes a very brown meal, so serve with a salad or brightly colored vegetable.  I like sauteed broccoli.  With garlic.

Serves 4, or 2 with leftovers

Pairs well with any red.  I'm drinking a 3 buck chuck Cabernet Sauvignon quite happily. 

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Random Fridge Sandwich

Oct. 16th, 2008 | 08:35 pm
posted by: buckydt in squirrelfood

Mini Baguette
Caramelized onions
Dried Cherries

Put together in an appropriately sandwich like manner and you get a tasty treat. Would probably work if you tossed in some mixed greens or spinach too. But that's kinda healthy.

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figs + goat cheese = decadent

Oct. 15th, 2008 | 08:27 am
posted by: shogunsquirrel in squirrelfood

5 or 6 figs, sliced in half
veg oil, smeared on cut sides of figs
a tablespoon or so of goat cheese

slice figs, smear oil on cut sides
place on baking tray of toaster oven
set on broil for about 5 minutes, at 400 or so

remove from oven, set in dish, dab goat cheese onto fig halves.

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