Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tasty Tuesdays: Banana Blueberry Pancakes

Welcome to Tasty Tuesdays!
Last weekend I made these delicious pancakes for breakfast.  I adapted the recipe from one found in the December 2011 issue of Self Magazine.  They are supposed to be a healthier version of pancakes.  They were delicious, but I have to say I sort of missed the sweetness you would have with more traditional pancakes.  next time I make these I might add just a touch of sugar.
- 1 cup whole-wheat flour
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds, crushed walnuts or crushed pecans
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 medium bananas
- 1 cup nonfat or almond milk
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract
- 1 cup blueberries
- Vegetable oil cooking spray
Preparation:  In a bowl, combine first 5 ingredients. Mash 1 banana; in another bowl, mix mashed banana with milk, egg and almond extract. Pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients; stir until smooth. Add berries to batter. Warm a skillet over medium heat; coat with cooking spray. Measure 1⁄3 cup batter; pour onto skillet. Cook until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Repeat until batter is gone.

What did you cook this week?

Party Rules:
1.  Add a link in the post you are linking up back to this post
2.  Add the Tasty Tuesdays button to the post you are linking up.  You will find the button and code on my sidebar.  Thanks!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tasty Tuesdays: Spaghetti with Caramelized Onions and Radicchio

Welcome to Tasty Tuesdays!

A few weeks ago I went through my recipe binder and found a whole bunch of recipes, pulled from magazines, that I have never gotten around to making.  This one is from the November 2009 issue of Cooking Light.  Click here for the original recipe.

- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 6 cups thinly sliced yellow onion
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 pound uncooked spaghetti
- 3-1/2 cups thinly sliced radicchio
- 4 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf italian parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 teaspoon ground black pepper
- crumbled goat cheese, to taste

1. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 15 minutes or until almost tender, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook until deep golden (about 20 minutes), stirring occasionally. Add red pepper and garlic. Cook 3 minutes; stir occasionally. Add wine; cook 4 minutes or until liquid evaporates.

2. Cook pasta. Drain pasta in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Add reserved cooking liquid, pasta, radicchio, parsley, and oregano to onion mixture. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper; toss to combine. After dishing out pasta, top with crumbled goat cheese to taste.  If you don't like goat cheese, just replace with Parmesan.

{ According to the recipe, this serves 8; I'd say closer to 6 }

This wasn't the most amazing pasta I've ever had, but the flavors were fresh and simple and I enjoyed it.  And with only one tablespoon of oil, I'd say it's pretty healthy too.
Party Rules:
1.  Add a link in the post you are linking up back to this post.
2.  Add the Tasty Tuesdyas button to the post you are linking up.  You will find the button and code on my sidebar.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Windy City Cowl

I knitted this cowl for my sister for Christmas.  It was very easy to knit and came together pretty quickly.

I found the pattern, designed by Jen Geigley, on Ravelry.  She calls is the GAP-Tastic Cowl, but I thought it more appropriate to call it the Windy City Cowl because my sister lives in Chicago.  If you're not familiar with Chicago winters, they can be brutal.  A thick, warm cowl like this really comes in handy!

I really like how the seed stitch turned out.  I've never knitted with seed stitch before and it took me a few rows to get into a rhythm.  After that though, it went really quickly. 

One note about the pattern - it calls for a US 13 (9mm) 24" circular needle.  I used a 13, but with a length of 34".  I'm not sure how it would work on a 24" - it seems like it would be really tight. 

The yarn I used is Wool Ease Thick & Quick from Lion Brand.  A bulky weight yarn, that is easy to knit with.

I didn't make the cowl as wide as the pattern calls for.  The pattern says 15", but I think I knitted until it was closer to 12".  I thought 15" might be just a little too wide.

I was in Chicago last weekend to visit my sister and celebrate my birthday.  I planned on taking a few pictures of the cowl for the blog, but completely forgot.  My sister did wear it one day, so here's a shot of it in action:

The picture above was taken on my birthday....my 35th.  Is is just me, or does 35 sound waaaaay older than 34?

We had a great time together.  Did some shopping, watched our MSU Spartans beat Ohio State, and enjoyed cocktails and a delicious dinner.

Here's my sister & I with our Mom, taken after my birthday dinner:

If you are looking for an easy knit, try this cowl - you'll like it!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tasty Tuesday: Roasted Garlic & Sun-Dried Tomato Cheese Spread

Welcome to Tasty Tuesdays!
A few weeks ago I made this dip from the October 2009 issue of Coastal Living.  I can't believe I held on to this recipe for so long before finally making it!
- 5 garlic Cloves
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
- 1/3 cup finely chopped green onions
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1.  Place garlic cloves on a piece of aluminum foil and drizzle with olive oil.  Fold foil to seal.  Bake at 425 degrees for 25 minutes.  Let cool for 15 minutes and then squeeze pulp from garlic cloves into small bowl. 
{ Tip:  There is no need to peel the garlic cloves before roasting. }
2.  Meanwhile, combine tomatoes and wine in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, and simmer 20 minutes or until wine evaporates and tomatoes are soft.  Place tomatoes and garlic in a blender of food processor and processes until smooth.  Add cream cheese and process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed.
3.  Spoon mixture into a small bowl.  Stir in green onions and Parmesan.  Serve warm with crackers, pita chips, or tortilla chips.

Makes 2-1/2 cups.

This dip was really flavorful and sweeter than I would have expected - I think from the sun-dried tomatoes.  i served it with tortilla chips but I think crackers probably would have been better.
What did you cook this week?
Party Rules:
1.  Add a link in the post you are linking up back to this post.
2.  Add the Tasty Tuesdays button to the post you are linking up.  You will find the button and code on my sidebar.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Tasty Tuesdays: Lemon, Parsley, and Parmesan Pasta

Welcome to Tasty Tuesdays!

This may be the easiest pasta recipe I have ever made.  And, chances are, you already have most of the ingredients needed to make it.  Basically, the recipe makes a pesto using flat leaf parsley instead of basil.

{ recipe from the January 2012 issue of Martha Sterwart Living. See it  here }

- 2 cups flat-leaf parsley leaves, packed
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, plus more for garnish
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound fusilli or other short, twisted pasta, such as gemelli
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1.  Make the pesto: In a food processor {or blender}, pulse parsley, garlic, red-pepper flakes, lemon zest, and 1 teaspoon salt until coarsely chopped. With machine running, add oil in a slow, steady stream, processing until blended.

2.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup pasta water.

3.  Toss pasta with pesto and Parmesan, then with reserved pasta water. Grate more lemon zest over each serving, and season with pepper.  Garnish with lemon slice and parsley leaves, if desired.

What did you cook this week?

Party Rules:
1.  Add a link in the post you are linking up back to this post.
2.  Add the Tasty Tuesdays button to your post.  You will find the button and code on my sidesbar.  Thanks!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Valentine's Day Ideas

Can you believe it's February?  I can't.  January just flew by.  I thought I would share a few Valentine's Day idea's.

I made this wreath last year.  It took me a looong time but it was a fun project and I really like the end result.

{ Click right here for the original post and how-to }

This paper heart project is easy and fun.

I also made cards using the same technique.

{ See the original post and instructions right here }

A neck pillow would be a great Valentine's day gift for your mom, sister, or friends.

They are really easy to sew and make the perfect beginner project!

{ click here to see the original post and instructions }

If all else fails, just make your Valentine a batch of these Reese's Chewy Chocolate Cookies.  Trust me - they will be happy you did!

{ For the recipe click right here }

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