Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Spicy tofu and pinto beans (Sofritas)


So we are not big tofu fans around here. I mean, I just have never really been able to get into it - it's mushy and bland and looks weird. But, this is tofu I can get behind and actually eat on purpose. This is my interpretation of the sofritas burrito filling that's now available at Chipotle. The sauce for this filling is where all the flavor comes from. It's a spicy and flavorful sauce, but once you mix it up with the tofu and beans (and then throw in some rice), it really mellows out. You'll want to adjust the sauce amount to suite your tastes.

We enjoy this filling wrapped up in a burrito shell with rice, avocado, sour cream, and other toppings like cheese, lettuce/cabbage, and quick pickled onions. We also like to use it in burrito bowls (same ingredients minus the shell) and I'm thinking it would be great on some nachos. 


Friday, April 3, 2015

Silky peanut butter pie


This pie is sure to please everyone at your next gathering or dinner party. Smooth, creamy peanut butter whipped together with cream cheese and whipped cream in a shell of chocolate cookies - I mean, who could resist?? Peanut butter + chocolate is a favorite combination of mine (as I bet many of you) so I knew when I finally got around to making a peanut butter pie during 25 Pies of 2015 that it would be in a chocolate crust. 

We had this pie when my in-laws were over for dinner and then had the leftovers the next night with my mom. It was a big hit with everyone; so much so that I never had the opportunity to get a photo of a slice. We were all too busy eating it! It's okay though - just trust me when I say you won't be disappointed by this rich, delicious pie.


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Rustic potato bread


I've always enjoyed potato bread, but wanted to try a loaf that was more hearty and rustic - not for sandwiches, but to eat along with dinner or soup slathered in some butter. I had found this recipe around St. Patrick's Day and decided to give something like that a try. We actually ate it along with our St. Patrick's Day dinner, which we ate a little late this year. That's okay though because this bread is one you can enjoy with all sorts of dishes. It's a perfect bread to make when you have leftover mashed potatoes. 

It snowed here again yesterday and it's frosty outside this morning, so we are still experiencing cold temperatures in our area. It has been a long and very cold winter and we are still eating wintery food for the most part. It's still fine by me though because I enjoy the cooler temps!



Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Chocolate cream pie


Making an old-fashioned chocolate cream pie from scratch has been on my "to-make" list for quite a while now. Since I'm slowly working my way through 25 Pies of 2015, this was one high on my list to do this year. I really love pie! It's hands-down my favorite dessert or sweet treat. This pie has a super creamy and thick homemade chocolate pudding layer topped with a light and fluffy whipped cream layer. Chocolate pudding + whipped cream + crust. Win-win-win!

This is not a complicated pie, but it has a couple steps and requires chilling time, so be sure to plan ahead. You need time for the filling to set and completely chill before serving plus you need to bake the crust ahead of filling because you don't bake the filling at all. I always find that a homemade pie is worth any and all effort in the end though - it's a swoon worthy dessert!


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Thick and chewy pan pizza


As a kid, we only had a few restaurants in the town where I grew up, one of which was a Pizza Hut. It was a big deal when we got a Chinese restaurant in town when I was in high school... so yeah, it's a small town. Pan pizza was always a favorite of mine when I was little, but I haven't eaten it in many years. I wanted to find a way to recreate that pan pizza crust at home. Well, I found it and it just so happens to be the easiest pizza crust ever - no kneading, no rolling! I adapted this recipe one over at Serious Eats. Mine is even quicker and thicker and it has that exact quality, texture, and flavor I remember from those pan pizzas of my childhood. I'm super excited about this discovery!

Of course, you can top your pizza with whatever you want. I think a thick and chewy pan pizza lends itself very well to tomato sauce and lots of cheese, and the rest is up to you. We went with a sausage supreme - bulk cooked Italian sausage, bell peppers, green olives, red onions, and some canned mushrooms. It was perfect! Just some pepperoni would also be terrific here. Red pepper flakes and grated Parmesan cheese for serving are also highly recommended. I put the toppings under the cheese for this one so that the cheese could get nice and browned.



Thursday, March 12, 2015

Maple walnut cookies


In New York we are finally warming up and people are starting to tap their maple trees! That means maple season is here. That's a big deal around here - we have festivals and a maple weekend to celebrate! My husband needed a sweet treat to take to a meeting recently, so I decided to keep it seasonal and make some cookies featuring maple as a star ingredient. I used this recipe as a guide, but decided to add walnuts as well. I really enjoy the maple-walnut combination and it worked in these cookies. They are soft and sweet, with a touch of crunch from the walnuts and a lovely maple scent. 

Just remember, whenever you are baking or cooking with maple syrup, you want to use the darkest one you can find because it will have the deepest and strongest maple flavor. No fake stuff either! This recipe will make about 3 dozen cookies and are a delicious way to celebrate maple harvest time.