Monday, May 22, 2017

Rhubarb Roll Up Cobbler

Once again I am terrible at coming up with a name for a recipe. This dish is what would result if rhubarb crisp and scones had a baby. Crazy good! But what to call it?
I went between rhubarb cranberry roll ups, rhubarb crisp with biscuits, and a bunch of other terrible names that you don't even want to know about. 
Rhubarb Roll Up Cobbler seemed to be the most favorable name.
It is the perfect combination of tart and sweet and, with ice cream, will make your brain explode. Not even lying. Serve it hot, warm, or chilled. Whatever you prefer. All three ways are amazing (if I do say so myself). 
I first created this dish back in 2008, before we started the blog, and had forgotten about it in my old recipe book. When I came across it the other day I thought it would be a brilliant way to use up some of the massive amount of rhubarb in Sue's garden. #BrilliantIndeed

Rhubarb Roll Up Cobbler

1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup cranberry juice
1/4 cup water

Rhubarb Base
4 cups rhubarb, cut into about 1/2 inch pieces
2 tsp cornstarch

Scone Topping
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 Tbsp baking powder
pinch salt
1/2 cup butter, cold
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp oil
1/2 cup milk

Scone filling
1/4 cup butter, softened
4 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp white sugar
2 cups rhubarb, finely diced

Preheat oven to 425. Spray a 9 X 9 pan with cooking spray, set aside.
Prepare syrup - stir together sugar, cranberry juice, and water in a medium saucepan.

Place over high heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring the whole time. Remove from heat and set aside while you continue the cobbler. 

Prepare rhubarb base - Toss the 4 cups of rhubarb with the cornstarch and spread in prepared 9 X 9 pan. (You should also prepare the 2 cups of finely diced rhubarb so it is ready when you make the scone topping.) 

Prepare scone topping and filling - In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the cold butter until mixture resembles course crumbs. Stir in the brown sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Lastly, stir in the oil and milk until a soft dough forms. (If it is too dry, add in a few spoonfuls of milk. If it is too wet, add in a few spoonfuls of flour.)
On a floured work surface, roll out dough to a 10 inch square. 
Spread the softened butter over the dough, sprinkle with the brown and white sugars. Lastly, sprinkle with the finely diced rhubarb.

Roll up, jelly roll style and press gently to seal.
Cut into 9 equal rolls. Place on top of the rhubarb in the pan. Drizzle the rolls evenly with the cranberry syrup.

Bake at 425 for approx 25 - 30 minutes, until scones are golden brown. (If tops appear to be browning to quickly then place tinfoil on top and continue to cook until the scones are done.) 

Let sit for at least 15 - 20 minutes. Serve hot, warm, or chilled. (Personally I like warm so when you top it with ice cream or whipping cream it starts to melt!) 

Of course, whipping cream or ice cream is a necessity. 

That color tho. 

Tart and sweet, flaky and squishy, there are all sorts of things going on in there. 
This is best eaten the day it is made but will survive until the following day without getting too soggy. 
A great recipe to use up rhubarb if you have it filling up your fridge. I put 4 cups for the base but I may have added closer to 5. I measured 4 cups in the pan but it seemed a little low so I cut up 2 more stalks (just an FYI). 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Chunky Monkey Popcorn

Healthy snack idea time. 
More specifically, DELICIOUS, healthy snack idea time. 
SkinnyPop popcorn asked several bloggers to come up with a unique and personalized snack idea by adding 3 ingredients to SkinnyPop Popcorn (check out their website HERE)
What's that? Create even more ways to enjoy SkinnyPop? Count me in. 
By the way, we were not compensated for this post. We just really enjoy SkinnyPop and creating fun and healthy snack ideas. 
I decided to go with peanut butter as my first ingredient because.... well.... it's peanut butter. There's pretty much nothing it can't do. And then I added chocolate and banana because I think we all know what a magical combination that is. My recipe is for a very generous single serving but can easily be halved or doubled for less or more!

Chunky Monkey Popcorn

3 3/4 cup SkinnyPop Popcorn (1 serving)
1 Tbsp peanut butter
1 Tbsp no sugar, dark chocolate chips, divided
15 dried banana chips

Spread the SkinnyPop popcorn on a cookie tray. Prepare your other ingredients. Divide the no sugar chocolate chips in half. Microwave half in a small bowl for about 20 - 30 seconds, until melted. 
Microwave peanut butter for 20 - 30 seconds, until melted.
Slightly crush the dried banana chips so they are broken up well. 

Drizzle the melted chocolate and peanut butter over the popcorn using a spoon. Sprinkle with the remaining chocolate chips and the crushed banana chips.

Pop into the freezer for 1 minute to firm up the chocolate and peanut butter.
Place into a bowl and enjoy!

So pretty...... and delicious.... and easy peasy. 

It might not seem like a lot of peanut butter or chocolate or banana but, trust me, it is the right amount. You get a different combination of flavors in each mouthful. 
Of course, you can add more if you really want to (but seriously, try this amount first!)

What 3 ingredients would you add to SkinnyPop to personalize it? The options are endless! 

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Cinnamon Pecan Babka

Homemade bread is one of my favorite things to make. There is just something about the feel of the dough when you knead it and the smell of the bread while it bakes that makes you feel like a super genius in the kitchen. 
There is so many things you can create with homemade dough, so many shapes and flavors. 
I found this wonderful brown sugar pecan babka over at the Spiced Blog (Link HERE) and decided to give it a go. I got 2 beautiful braids out of the recipe but you can easily make them loaves like David did on his blog or make them into rolls, etc. 
Bread tends to take a long time to make but the end result is certainly worth it!

Cinnamon Pecan Babka
(Slightly adapted from Spiced)

5 Tbsp melted butter
1/2 cup milk, warmed
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp active dry yeast 
2 cups flour (plus some extra for kneading)
1 egg
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp oil

3/4 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

Egg wash
1 egg
1 Tbsp milk

In a small bowl, combine the melted butter, warm milk, and sugar. (This should be warm to touch, not too hot). Add the yeast to the warm mixture and whisk together. Set aside to proof for 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, stir together flour, the egg, egg yolks, vanilla, salt, and oil. Add the melted butter/yeast mixture and stir until well combined. 
Scrape dough out of bowl onto a well floured work surface. Knead for one minute, adding more flour as necessary if too sticky. 
Place dough into an oiled bowl, cover, and place somewhere warm to rise for about an hour and a half. (NOTE - You can also cover and place in fridge overnight at this point. Then continue on in the morning.)

Until dough has doubled in size. 

When risen, mix the filling ingredients (pecans, butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon) together and set aside. 

Cut dough in half. Cover half and set aside.
Roll one half of the dough into a large rectangle (about 10 X 15). 

Spread the filling over the dough to within an inch of the borders.

Roll up, jelly roll style and pinch to seal.

Cut down the center of the roll.

Pinch one end together then carefully twist the 2 halves together. 

Form into a circle and pinch to seal together. Place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. 

Repeat with the other half of the dough. Cover both rings and set aside in a warm place to rise for an hour. 

Preheat oven to 350. 
Whisk together the egg and milk. Using a pastry or basting brush, brush the egg wash over the top of the babka. 
Bake in 350 oven for 30 minutes, turn down the heat to 325 and continue baking until golden brown, about another 15 minutes. If bread appears to be getting too dark on top but doesn't seem done, cover loosely with a piece of tinfoil and continue baking until done. 

Let cool on tray for about 10 minutes before moving to wire rack to cool completely. 

Or serve it warm. It's pretty darn addictive warm. 

Babka at its finest. 

How pretty is that cinnamon twisty-ness? 

Make one for yourself and one to share with someone special OR, you know, freeze the other for later. I'm not judging. 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Tandoori Prawns and Indian Style Rice

Healthy eating doesn't have to be boring. It took me a long to learn that. I always equated healthy with boring green salads and cut up vegetables. *Eeeew* But a lot of dishes, like this flavorful Indian inspired one, are simple, packed with flavor, and still pretty darned healthy. What's not to love? Also - soooooooo easy peasy. From start to finish in about 30 minutes. *Jazz hands*
This dish also works well if you are doing meal prep.

Just pop in the microwave to reheat and you are good to go! According to MyFitnessPal a serving is (recipe makes 4 generous servings) - 305 calories, 20 protein, 38 carbs, 3 fiber, and 10 fat. 

Tandoori Prawns and Indian Style Rice

1 lb prawns, shelled and deveined
1/3 cup Greek yogurt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp chili powder
2 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp oil
salt & pepper
1/4 tsp tumeric

4 cups cooked Basmati Rice
2 Tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 medium onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp tumeric
1/2 cup shredded carrots

Mix the marinade ingredients together in a bowl, stirring well to combine. 

Add the shrimp to the marinade and refrigerate at least 30 minutes, up to 2 hours. 

Prepare the rice - In a large frying pan or wok, heat 2 Tbsp oil over medium high heat. Add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds. 

When the seeds start popping, add in the onion, garlic, tumeric, and carrots. Cook and stir until onions start to soften - about 5 minutes. Stir in the cooked basmati and continue to cook and stir until everything is heated through. 

While rice is heating - cook your prawns. 
Cook prawns - Heat a medium frying pan over medium high heat. Add in the prawns, discarding the marinade. Cook until prawns are done and a nice pink color - about 5 - 6 minutes. 
Serve rice and prawns hot. (Makes 4 servings)

Perfect dinner for those busy weeknights. Also makes for a lovely lunch the next day! 
Healthy and tasty and NOT a boring old green salad. 
*cue angels singing*

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Pineapple Cauliflower Fried Rice with Honey Garlic Pulled Chicken

Want to know the secret of making your meals taste even better?
Serve them out of a fruit. 
No... seriously. 
Take this rice and chicken dish for example. On a plate it's good. Pretty tasty. BUT, serve it out of a pineapple and *boom* suddenly it's spectacular. Suddenly everyone is asking, "Oooooh, what is that?" Suddenly people are lining up around the block to eat at your dinner table. 
The best part, it's soooooo easy. 
You might want to whip this up for Mother's Day and treat your mom to a delicious, healthy, filling, fancy schmancy dinner that will surely make you her favorite child. You know, if moms actually picked favorites. (P.S. - I'm the favorite.) 

Honey Garlic Pulled Chicken

4 or 5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts 
2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
2/3 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup lemon-lime soda (like 7up)
3 Tbsp minced garlic
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 Tbsp corn starch

Place chicken breasts in a slow cooker. In a small bowl, whisk together brown sugar, honey, vinegar, soda, garlic, soy sauce, and black pepper. Pour over chicken. 
Cook until chicken is done - about 6 to 8 hours on low or 4 - 5 hours on high (it helps to know how your slow cooker cooks to narrow down the times.)
When done, remove chicken from slow cooker and place in a bowl or on a cutting board. Whisk the corn starch into the liquid in the crock pot until smooth. Turn temp to high. 
Shred the chicken with 2 forks.

Place chicken back in crock pot.

Let simmer while you make the pineapple rice. 

Pineapple Cauliflower Fried Rice

1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 small onion, diced
1/2 cup red pepper, diced
1/2 cup carrots, shredded
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup peas
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 small head cauliflower, grated (about 4 cups)
1 egg
1 1/2 cups pineapple, diced (amount from 1 small pineapple) 

2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp Thai sweet chili sauce

Green onions
toasted sesame seeds

First step - Prep your pineapple. Cut a pineapple in half vertically (a serrated knife works well).

Using a paring knife, cut out the inside meat of the pineapple. and dice to be used in the rice. You will need about 1 1/2 cups or so. (You can use less or more depending on your preference. Just remember it will be sweeter the more you add.) 

Set aside until ready to serve your dinner. 
Prepare rice - Heat 1 Tbsp of sesame oil over medium high heat in a large wok or frying pan. Add in the onion and pepper and stir fry for 3 minutes. Add in the carrots, garlic, peas, and ginger and stir fry another 3 minutes.

Add in the shredded cauliflower, stir everything together, and stir fry for 2 minutes. 
Make a well in the middle off the pan and add in the egg. Stir them about in the center to scramble it for about 1 minute.

Now stir the cooked egg into the rice mixture to combine everything together well. 
Add in the diced pineapple. Stir well. 

In a small bowl, whisk together the sauce ingredients. Pour over the rice and stir to mix well. Cook for 1 minute to make sure everything is heated through. 
Scoop some of the rice into the hollowed out pineapple halves. Remember to leave a little room for the chicken to be placed on top. 

Top with a generous scoop of the honey garlic chicken. Top with some diced green onion and a sprinkle of sesame seeds, if desired. 

Serve immediately. 
Note - I used a fairly small pineapple. Each half had about a 1 1/2 cup to 2 cup capacity. This is a great size for individual serving dishes for people to eat out of, if you use a really big pineapple then it could be used as a serving dish to scoop the meal onto plates for people. Either way it makes for a pretty impressive meal. 
Note - I figured out the nutritional counts for the Pineapple Cauliflower Fried Rice using MyFitnessPal. Per serving (recipe makes 4) it is: 172 calories, 25 carbs, 6 fat, 8 protein, 6 fiber. I didn't calculate the honey garlic chicken counts. 
Serve the rice on it's own or top it with the chicken. Either way, it's delicious.