Friday, February 26, 2010

Butterscotch Brownies

In an aim to give a sweet to my sweet for V-day, I searched for great recipes. I found a delicious and very easy recipe for Blondies, something I first tried when I was young. I also had butterscotch schnapps in my apartment. I found this wonderful recipe in the King Arthur Whole Grain Baking cookbook, which I can't stop raving about. 

Adapted from King Arthur Whole Grain Baking

Yield: 2 dozen (2-inch) squares
Baking Temperature: 350°F
Baking Time: 26 to 28 minutes


• 1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter
• 36 packets of splenda (1.5 cups of splenda) or 2 cups (15 ounces) packed dark brown sugar
• 3 large eggs
• 1 tablespoon vinegar, preferably apple cider vinegar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/2 teaspoon butter-rum, butterscotch or butter-pecan flavor (optional, but delicious)
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) traditional whole wheat flour
• 1 1/2 cups (5 1/8 ounces) chopped walnuts (or pecans)
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9 x 13-inch pan.

2. Melt the butter in a microwave-safe bowl or in a saucepan set over low heat. Remove from the heat and add the splenda/sugar, mixing until well blended. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and let it cool to lukewarm.

3. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vinegar, vanilla, flavor (if using), baking powder and salt. Stir in the flour and nuts. Spread the batter in the prepared pan.

4. Bake the blondies until the top looks shiny, 26 to 28 minutes. Don't overbake; bake just until the edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan and a sharp knife tip poked into the very center reveals sticky crumbs but not wet batter. 

5. Remove from the oven and run a knife all around the edge of the pan (very important); this will help keep the blondies flat as they cool, by allowing the edges to settle in the pan along with the middle. Cool completely before cutting (optional - I couldn't wait. I just ate one). If you prefer squares with a very smooth texture, wait 24 hours before cutting; the waiting period gives the bran in the whole wheat time to soften up.
Here is what I sent to him... the love of my life.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Flavorful Jalapeno Meatloaf: Guest Blogger

Even across the country, I can smell the delicious aroma of this spicy meatloaf. My fiancé, who knows how to finesse meat into tender, juicy entreés, made this turkey meatloaf recently. I heart meatloaf because you can make enough for lunch or dinner for the week. Also, leftovers, if there are any, can be frozen. Since my fiancé and I are currently long-distance, I am excited to have his recipe in my hands.

cJ's Jalapeno Meatloaf
Adapted from

I wanted to create one of momma’s favorites, so I decided to cook up the award winning Quaker Oats Meatloaf (with a few adaptations, of course). The below recipe is quick, easy and “fool proof”.

1.5 pounds ground lean turkey (lightly sprinkled with garlic salt, seasoning salt, black pepper and sonaran seasoning)
1 cup of quaker oats, uncooked
1 cup of chopped red onions
1 cup of tomato sauce/ketchup (I used a combination of a homemade tomato sauce and a bit of ketchup to bring the total volume to 1 cup)
1 egg, beaten

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix, mix and mix until you have evenly coated mixture.
Form and pack into a tight “loaf” in a pyrex container (ungreased)
Place in a preheated stove (350°F)
Bake for 1 hr 15 minutes
Let stand for 5 minutes prior to serving

This recipe can be adapted to your liking by adding any of your favorite mixins (i.e. garlic, carrots, asparagus, bell pepper, etc). If you do not have access to ground turkey, you can substitute this with 93% ground beef. Next time, I plan to use a habanero; stay tuned…


Monday, February 15, 2010

Turkey and Salami Stromboli: Party!!!

Even though it has been a little while, I have to post pics from our Super Bowl party, the first one in Durham, NC!!! Wooo hooo. I have one foot in San Francisco and the other in Durham.

To keep up with tradition and to control our excitement for the Super Bowl, we hosted a party. I stumbled upon a simple recipe for Stromboli on the Food Network. 

To keep it a little lighter and wholesome, we adapted the recipe, using whole wheat pizza dough and substituting lean turkey meat in place of the mortadella and added some salami for a kick. Since my fiancé is not a huge olive fan, we used capers and it was sooooo delicious. This worked well as an appetizer but we also stashed some larger slices away for lunch the next day.

Turkey and Salami Stromboli
adapted from


  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely sliced colby cheese (6 ounces)
  • 2 cups tomato sauce (homemade from my mom)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced string cheese (4 ounces)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, spray for pan
  • 3 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 13.8-ounce package whole wheat pizza dough (e.g. Trader Joe's)
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup capers, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/4 pound sliced salami, reduced sodium


(1) Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. 
(2) Lightly brush a baking sheet with olive oil (we didn't do this and it made lifting the stromboli from the pan a little challenging). Unroll the dough, cut in half to make two 6-by-9-inch pieces and place on the prepared pan.
(3) Spread the tomato sauce in the middle of the dough, leaving an inch border between the sauce and the dough edge on all sides. 
(4) Stack the salami, the turkey deli meat, and cheese slices on top of the tomato sauce. Add a 1/2 cup of spinach to each stromboli. Top with a 1/8 cup of capers (washed and drained) for each stromboli. Fold the dough over the filling lengthwise, pressing the edges to seal. Make slits in the top of the dough to allow steam to escape during baking.
(5) Bake the stromboli until brown, about 15 minutes; remove from the oven. Mix the dijon mustard and the tomato sauce in a small bowl. Brush over the top of the stromboli. Return to the oven and bake until the crust is golden. Rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

Feel free to use ingredients you have on hand. I personally like a combination of salty and tangy (salami, mustard, and capers) but lots of combinations will work! Enjoy the Party.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Moroccan Stew

It's definitely winter. Doesn't matter if you are in California or New York. It is so cold and dreary outside. 

There is one recipe that I discovered last year that I had to repeat when the rain started in San Francisco. It is a yummy Moroccan Beef stew. I tried it for the first time because it was (a) written by another graduate student, (b) easy, and (c) contained lots of protein. I made it again because it tastes amazing. With the smooth blend of cinnamon and aromatic spices, it is so warming. I made it with ground turkey to reduce the fat and used a mix of dried fruit that I had in pantry. I also left out the carrots, as I am not a big fan. It was as good as I remembered, if not better.

Moroccan Stew
adapted from

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 pounds ground turkey, extra lean
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups beef broth (low-sodium)
  • 1/2 cup halved pitted Kalamata olives
  • 1/2 cup dried fruit
  • 1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon lemon peel

(1) Heat 1 tablespoons oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. 
(2) Add ground turkey to pan and brown on all sides, about 3 minutes per batch. Transfer to plate. 
(3) Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil, garlic, and onion to pan. Cook until vegetables are soft, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. 
(4) Add spices; stir 1 minute. 
(5) Add broth, olives, dried fruit, garbanzo beans, and cilantro; bring to boil. Simmer until juices thicken, about 5 minutes. 
(6) Add ground meat and any accumulated juices and lemon peel to pan. Stir to warm through and serve.

Use any meat you have on hand. No substitutions on the amount of garlic. Add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar if you like a tangy stew. Enjoy the warmth.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Thai meatballs and Cabbage wraps

The other day I read over one of my favorite cookbooks, South Beach 30-minute meals. I got inspiration from a beef recipe for a thai sauce. With ground turkey on hand, I decided to make meatballs!! 

A delicious snack to have on hand. Why not eat them as a wrap? If the Greek make gyros with falafel, I could certainly wrap my meatballs in Cabbage!!

Steamed Cabbage

Put a couple of cups of water in a large pot. Bring to a boil. Add a half cabbage to the pot, flat side down. Cover and steam for 8-10 min, until the leaves can separate and pull apart easily. The leaves should still be thick, not limp.

While the cabbage is steaming, prepare the sauce for the ground meat.

Thai Seasoning Sauce and Meatballs


1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
1/4 teaspoon chili paste
1 teaspoon granular sugar substitute
1/2 cup finely diced onions

1 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

1 tbsp canola or olive oil (or spray)
3/4 lb. lean ground turkey


1. Whisk all of the sauce ingredients together.
2. Add the sauce ingredients to ground turkey. Kneed together and form into small balls.
3. Heat oil in a small pan on medium heat.
4. Add meatballs once the pan is hot. Brown meatballs on all sides.
5. Reduce heat of pan. Cover pan and allow to simmer at low heat until meatballs are cooked throughout.
6. Wrap meatballs in cabbage leaf.

The meatballs were absolutely delicious and a great snack to have on hand. Enjoy as an entree with a side dish or as an appetizer/snack. Don't let your friends know you are making them because you probably won't want to share. ;)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Lemon Asparagus

The other day, I wanted a quick and easy food but wanting to use fresh ingredients. I decided to use some asparagus that I had around.

Lemon Asparagus

1/2 lb. asparagus (chopped)
1/2 medium red onion (chopped coarsely)
1/2 lemon
salt and pepper to taste

Saute the onion until lightly browned with 1 tsp olive oil (or spray). Add the chopped asparagus. Then, squeeze the lemons into the pan. Saute the lemons with the veggies. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

This was super yummy! Enjoy.