Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Swedish Meatballs

Here's another favorite recipe of mine inspired by a recipe. Makes a quick and filling week-night meal. I love the warm spices and sauce from these meatballs poured over a pile of steaming hot egg noodles.

Makes about 20 meatballs.

1 tsp olive oil
1/2 a medium onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 celery stalk, minced
1 small carrot, shredded
1/4 cup minced parsley (or 1 tbsp dried italian herbs)
1 lb lean ground beef
1 egg
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
pinch of salt and pepper
1/2 tsp allspice
2 cups reduced sodium beef stock
2 oz cream cheese

In a large saute pan over medium heat, heat oil and sauté onions and garlic for about 5 minutes. Add celery and carrot, cooking until soft, and allow to cool.

In a large bowl combine ground beef, egg, sautéd veggies, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper and allspice. Mix well with hands or spoon and form small, bite-sized meatballs.

Pour beef stock into the pan and heat to a low boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and carefully add meatballs to the broth. Cover and cook about 20 minutes. Remove the meatballs with a slotted spoon. Next, strain the stock, add to blender with the cream cheese and blend until smooth. Return sauce to pan and simmer a few minutes to thicken, then add meatballs, warm and serve.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Basic Homemade Crepes

The thing I love about crepes is their adaptability. You can have sweet breakfast or dessert crepes, savory dinner crepes, and even eat them on the go. These are simple to make and are a real treat that is sure to impress your family or guests! Keep your crepes warm in a low temp oven while you cook the desired amount.

This recipe makes 3 crepes, feel free to double or triple it for bigger groups.

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. sugar
pinch of salt
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup water
1 tsp. softened butter

Place all the ingredients in a blender a mix on high until frothy. You may have to stop the blender and scape down any flour stuck around the sides and blend again. Refrigerate batter (up to 2 days) before cooking.

For savory crepes: add 1 tsp. of italian herbs (fresh or dry) and pepper to the batter.
Possible fillings: I like to fill with ham and swiss cheese, or even a cooked egg. Or you can fill with sautéed slivers of onions, peppers, and zucchini.

For sweet crepes: add a dash of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.
Possible fillings: I typically fill my crepes with my favorite fresh chopped fruit. Other fillings I recommend are Nutella, whipped cream, vanilla yogurt, or sweetened ricotta cheese. Finish with your choice of nuts, fresh lemon juice, honey or powdered sugar.

Grease a 10in. pan with non-stick cooking spray. Turn your stovetop to medium heat and let the pan come up to temperature. When the pan is hot, slowly pour a thin layer of batter into the pan and swirl to get an even layer all around the pan.

The edges should start to peel up and bubbles should appear in the center when the first side is cooked. Carefully raise edges with a spatula and flip over. When both sides are lightly browned, add your chosen filling to warm. You can fold the crepe into quarters, or slide onto a plate and simply roll into a tube. Eat while warm!

Combine your favorite flavors and try your own filling combinations. There are so many possibilites!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Sweet & Tangy Summer Coleslaw

I didn't like cabbage much (except sauerkraut) when I was growing up... until I combined a couple coleslaw recipes to make my favorite. The maple syrup and nutmeg make this a sweeter slaw, but the lemon juice balances it and makes a refreshing side dish.
Your kids might even eat their veggies now!

1 bag of shredded cabbage (with or without carrots)
1/3 cup of mayonaise
juice of half a lemon
1 tbsp. maple syrup
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. celery seed (optional)
pinch of salt & pepper

Note: Depending on how much dressing you like on your coleslaw, adjust the amount of mayonaise.

Mix together all the ingredients except a handful of the shredded cabbage. Refrigerate and taste to check the amount of salt. Mix in the last handful of cabbage right before you serve to make sure your coleslaw is crispy.

I recommend refrigerating for at least 30 minutes before serving, allowing time for the flavors to blend.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Moist Banana Nut Bread

My recipe was inspired by one I saw on I made some changes to my personal taste. I make this weekly - at my boyfriend's request. It makes a great snack any time of day.

3 ripe medium bananas, smashed
1/4 cup natural apple sauce
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. softened butter
1/4 cup molasses
2 tbsp. sugar (or the equivalent of your favorite sweetener)
1 large egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Add to your taste:
2 tbsp. walnut pieces
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon

Non-stick cooking spray

Preheat oven to 325°. Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan with non-stick spray.

In a large bowl, combine the two flours, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

Add butter, molasses, and mix with an electric mixer. Then add the egg, bananas, apple sauce, vanilla, spices, and beat until batter thickens. Be sure to incorporate all the dry ingredients.

Add walnuts and gently blend until combined. Do not over mix.

Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake on the center rack for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let the bread cool to room temperature before slicing.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Welcome to My New Food Blog!

Hello, My name is Ashley. I'm a home cook who likes to shake up the types of meals I cook each week. I try to scout out nutritious and tasty food options so you don't get stuck in Boring-land in the kitchen. Some recipes I create myself and others I adapt from other interesting recipes I find online or in cookbooks.

Come follow along in my kitchen, feel free to eat with your eyes, and be sure to try the recipes I share and add your own flare! Let me know how it goes in your own kitchen! I would also love to hear your suggestions of other styles or cuisines you would like to see.

I hope this blog will inspire you to try some new recipes and take comfort in tasty home cooking.