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Guava Puff Pastry Pockets

July 17, 2018

I first had pastelitos de guayaba (guava puff pastries) at a little market in San Antonio. Pastelitos are a popular Cuban dessert, and you often find them filled with sticky guava paste and sweet cream cheese. I made a variation without the cream cheese for a summer picnic this month. I loved how portable they were and how well they handled the summer heat. Another bonus: there are only two ingredients!

20180703 Guava Puffs 05

You will need:

  • 1 package frozen puff pastry sheets, defrosted
  • 1 package guava paste (you’ll need about 12 oz)

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment.
  2. Roll out each piece of puff pastry into a 12 inch by 12 inch square.
  3. Slice your guava paste and place on one sheet of the puff pastry. You want to space them to create twelve pockets of guava.
  4. Top with the remaining sheet of puff pastry. Cut into the twelve pieces.
  5. Use a fork to press the edges together.
  6. Make three small slices in the top of each piece to vent.
  7. Transfer to the prepared baking sheets.
  8. Bake until golden, about 20 minutes.
  9. Allow to cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes before eating.

20180703 Guava Puffs 01

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Indian Spiced Meatballs

July 11, 2018

20180703 Indian Meatballs 06

We love Indian food and are lucky to live in an area with multiple great Indian restaurants. We want our kids to love Indian dishes as much as we do, so we’ve been playing around with a few recipes that bring our favorite flavors home. These meatballs were kid-approved. Add your favorite store-bought Indian simmering sauce mixed with some plain Greek yogurt to round out the dish.

20180703 Indian Meatballs 03

We made these with ground lamb, although you could substitute whatever ground protein you want. We also thought the flavor was even better the next day; try making them in advance for a quick meal during the week!

You will need:

  • 3/4 c panko breadcrumbs
  • 3 T milk
  • 1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 inches fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 3 T garlic powder
  • 4 t garam masala
  • 2 t cumin
  • 1/2 t ground pepper
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 5 oz fresh baby spinach
  • 1 1/2 lb ground lamb
  • 2 T olive oil

20180703 Indian Meatballs 04

Then you will…

  1. In a small bowl, stir together the panko and milk.
  2. In a food processor, blend together the onion with the ginger, garlic powder, garam masala, cumin, salt, pepper, and baby spinach until just mixed.
  3. Add in the panko-milk mixture, and blend until smooth.
  4. In a large bowl, mix together the spinach-spice mixture with the ground lamb.
  5. Form into three dozen meatballs.
  6. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Line an edged baking sheet with nonstick foil
  7. In a large skillet, warm the olive oil over medium high heat.
  8. Brown the meatballs, about 2 minutes on each side.
  9. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet.
  10. Bake 15-20 minutes until cooked through and not pink in the center.

20180703 Indian Meatballs 05

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Salty Oat (Chip) Cookies

July 5, 2018

There is a tea house and cafe near my office that has “salty oat” cookies. I think they are the perfect treat: comforting and not too sweet. They are delicious with tea, coffee or cocoa. I set out recreate them, and this dough is awesome both with semisweet chocolate chip and without them. The last time I made them, I made half into cookie bars and used the other half of the dough to make frozen dough balls. Then I could pop a few cookies in the oven whenever we needed a quick treat!

20180608 Salty Oat Cookies 01

You will need:

  • 2 sticks salted butter, room temperature
  • 2 c brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 2 c flour
  • 2 c old-fashioned oats
  • Optional: 1/2 c bittersweet chocolate chips

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper if making cookies. Line a 9×9 baking pan with foil and lightly grease with nonstick spray if making cookie bars.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar until well mixed and smooth.
  3. Mix in the eggs until light and fluffy.
  4. Mix in the baking powder, baking soda, and vanilla extract.
  5. Mix in the flour.
  6. Mix in the oats (and chips if using) until just combined.
  7. Drop spoonfuls of the dough for cookies or spread half of the batter in the baking pan for bars.
  8. Bake for 10-14 minutes for cookies, until turning golden and set around the edges.
  9. Bake for 30-40 minutes for bars, until golden and set in the middle.

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Mocha Chip Ice Cream

June 25, 2018

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I heart ice cream. I could eat it every day. D loves mocha drinks. He could drink them every day. This dessert combines those two delicious items into a creamy frozen treat. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can still make this in your freezer. Just put the mixture in your freezer, and then stir every hour for four to five hours until desired consistency.

You will need:

  • 1 c 2% milk
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 3 T instant espresso powder
  • 3 T high quality, unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 c whipping cream
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c mini semisweet chocolate chips

Then you will…

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together everything but the mini chocolate chips.
  2. Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s directions. It will be a soft serve consistency at this point.
  3. Stir in the mini chocolate chips and transfer to a freezer-safe container.
  4. Freeze an additional hour or two until it reaches your desired consistency.

20180531 Mocha Ice 01

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Peanut Butter Oatmeal Granola Bars

June 19, 2018

While home with our sweet newborn, I’ve learned having snacks I can eat one-handed nearby is a must. I love these bars chilled, so I recommend keeping them in the fridge and grabbing a slice when you need a delicious break from your day.

You will need:

  • 1 c creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 c honey
  • 1/4 c maple syrup
  • 2 c old-fashioned oats
  • 1 c dried fruit, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 c dark chocolate chips, roughly chopped

Then you will…

  1. Line a 9×9 baking dish with foil and lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a saucepan, heat the peanut butter together with the honey and maple syrup over medium-low heat until smooth and well combined. Remove from heat.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the oats and dried fruit.
  4. Stir the peanut butter sauce into the oat mixture.
  5. Stir in the chocolate.
  6. Press the mixture into the prepared dish and refrigerate at least 3 hours or until firm before slicing.

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Instant Pot Creamy Sun-dried Tomato and Spinach Pasta

June 14, 2018

20180525 Sundried Tomato Pasta 02

We are still exploring the wonders of our Instant Pot. D and R seem to particularly enjoy the noodle dishes, including this one. It is full of sun-dried tomatoes and mushrooms, and then you stir in fresh spinach at the very end. It also has a bunch of cheese to make it creamy and amazing.

You will need:

  • 2 c unsalted chicken stock
  • 3 T Dijon mustard
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1 t dried basil
  • 1 lb dried noodles, preferably something spiraled like cavatappi or rotini
  • 3 T sun-dried tomato oil (from the jar of tomatoes)
  • 8 oz low fat cream cheese, cut into chunks
  • 8 oz sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped (oil saved per above)
  • 8 oz baby bella mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1.5 lb chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 3/4 c milk
  • 1 c grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 c fresh baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Then you will need…

  1. In your Instant Pot, mix together the stock, mustard, garlic powder, and dried basil.
  2. Stir in the noodles and sun-dried tomato oil.
  3. Top with the cream cheese, sun-dried tomato and mushrooms.
  4. Top with the chicken pieces.
  5. Close your Instant Pot and cook on manual (or pressure) for 10 minutes.
  6. Allow to rest for 10 minutes after done before doing a quick release.
  7. Stir the milk and cheese into the noodle mixture.
  8. Stir in the fresh spinach and allow to wilt.
  9. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
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Strawberries n’ Yogurt Popsicles

June 9, 2018

Our teething toddler recently discovered popsicles and all their cool yumminess. We found a mini popsicle mold online that makes small popsicles that are just the right size for his cute little hands and mouth. He loves strawberries and yogurt, so we let that inspire these popsicles.

20180601 Strawberry Popsicles

You will need:

  • 16 oz fresh strawberries, hulled
  • 1 c vanilla yogurt (I recommend a thicker yogurt like Greek or Icelandic skyr)
  • 4 T honey or maple syrup
  • 1/2 t lime juice
  • 1/2 t vanilla extract

Then you will…

  1. Puree all the ingredients in a blender until smooth.
  2. Pour into popsicle molds.
  3. Freeze overnight.
  4. Enjoy in the sunshine.
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