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June 20, 2013

Pine State Biscuits - Portland, OR

Amazing biscuit sandwiches! The biscuits are oh so buttery and they don't skimp on the fillings (feeling the bacon love?). Their biscuits with gravy are mouth watering as well. It can take a while for me to order since there are so many delicious options. It is a "must visit" when in PDX. Pine State Biscuits has been added to my favorite list and I can't wait to go back...again and again!

Pine State Biscuits on Urbanspoon

June 17, 2013

La Magie Bakery - Bend, OR

Great selection of fancy, delectable dessert in a neat old building downtown. However, I was not impressed with their breakfast items. I had the marionberry french toast, which while the toast itself was very good, the filling was overly sweet and still a bit cold, and it was served swimming in a bowl of syrup (I think it was typical pancake syrup...not even real maple syrup). The dish was just overly sweet and not executed properly.  My husband's chicken and pumpkin waffle had a nice mild pumpkin flavor and the chicken had a slight spice to it which was a nice compliment to the waffle. However, at $12.50, we felt it was overpriced for what you got. I recommend sticking to their baked goods.

La Magie Bakery on Urbanspoon

February 5, 2013

Spiced Cranberry Muffins

These muffins smell and taste like fall - though don't wait that long to make them - they are too good for that. The ginger, cinnamon and cranberries compliment each other wonderfully and the canola oil lends to a super moist muffin. I hope you enjoy these as much as we did!

Ingredients
3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoons ground ginger
3/4 cup milk (or milk alternative - soy or almond)
1 large eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh cranberries (leave some whole)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted 
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup granulated sugar

Directions
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Line 10 muffin cups with paper liners. Stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the mixture and add the milk, eggs, and melted butter. Stir quickly just to combine. Add the cranberries, walnuts, and both sugars and stir just to distribute the fruits, nuts, and sugar evenly throughout the batter.

Spoon the batter into the paper liners, filling each one about 3/4 full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until browned on the top and a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffins comes out clean.

Adapted from: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/barefoot-contessa/cranberry-harvest-muffins-recipe/index.html

February 1, 2013

Espresso Kissed Brownies


These brownies are amazing! Great chocolate flavor with just the right amount of coffee to bring some intensity to the chocolate. One of my tasters called it a chocolate brownie dream and added that she was eating it slowly so that the taste wouldn't leave her mouth. Now that is a compliment if I have ever heard one. Hope you enjoy them as much as she did!

Ingredients
Nonstick cooking spray
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 
1 packet Starbucks VIA Instant Coffee
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat an 8-inch by 8-inch pan with cooking spray. 

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat (or double-broiler style). Add the sugar and stir until the mixture is hot, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in cocoa, instant coffee, vanilla, salt, and baking powder until well mixed. Stir in eggs until blended. Stir in flour and chocolate chips. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until the edges are set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs, 20 to 24 minutes.

Cool in the pan on a wire rack. Cut into squares and share the love!

Adapted from: http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/recipes/dark-chocolate-espresso-kissed-brownies-with-chocolate-mascarpone-frosting-recipe/index.html




January 28, 2013

Red Lentil and Squash Curry Soup


Most red lentil stews I have made don't incorporate many vegetables, but with both squash and greens in this one it is a keeper in our house. Not to mention the great flavors that I spices lend to the stew. If you are looking to make this dish a bit richer and creamier, try adding some coconut milk - I used 1-2 tablespoons per serving. Enjoy!

Ingredients
1/2 TBS Extra virgin olive oil
1/2 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 tbsp curry powder 
1 tsp garam masala (or more to taste)
1/2 tsp ground ginger
4 cups low-sodium broth
1 cup red lentils
3 cups cooked butternut squash or pumpkin, pureed
2 cup greens of choice (I used spinach)
salt & black pepper, to taste

Directions
In a large pot, heat the EVOO over medium heat; add the chopped onion and minced garlic. Saute for about 5 minutes. Stir in the curry powder, garam masala and ginger and cook another 1-2 minutes (this really livens up the spices so don't skip this step). Add the broth and lentils and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Stir in the squash puree and greens. Cook over medium heat for about 5-8 minutes or until heated through and the lentils are tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 3-4, depending on how hungry you are ;-)

Adapted from: http://ohsheglows.com/2011/10/05/red-lentil-and-squash-curry-stew/

January 24, 2013

Crock-Pot Balsamic Chicken

I love the fresh tomato flavor of this dish - no tomato paste taste here. However, I did find the "sauce" a bit thin to serve over pasta, so I recommend draining the diced tomatoes in an effort to make it a bit thicker. Otherwise, it was a delicious change from your standard tomato-based pasta dinner and super quick and easy to prepare. Enjoy!

Ingredients
2 lbs boneless, skinless, chicken breasts or thighs
28 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
1 medium onion thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp each: dried oregano, basil, and rosemary
1/2 tsp thyme
ground black pepper and salt to taste
Cooked angel hair pasta for serving

Directions
Pour the olive oil on bottom of slow cooker, add chicken then salt and pepper each breast. Place the sliced onion on top of chicken then put in all the dried herbs and garlic. Pour in the vinegar and top with tomatoes. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6-8 hours (until the chicken is tender and cooked through and the sauce has thickened a bit), serve over angel hair pasta.

Serves 4-6

Minimally adapted from: http://skinnyms.com/slow-cooker-balsamic-chicken/

January 21, 2013

Creamy Chicken Soup with Vegetables

Super quick, healthy and delicious, this soup is a great addition to my weekday recipe box. The curry flavor is fairly mild, but if you are not a fan of curry just leave it out. We enjoyed it with some rustic bread for a filling supper. Enjoy!

Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 large carrots, diced
1/2 large onion, diced
2 cup cooked chicken, shredded
1 tablespoon mild curry powder
3 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup coconut milk (full-fat) or half-and-half
2 teaspoons cornstrach
1 cup frozen baby peas
1/2 cup frozen corn
1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley (optional)

Directions
In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over moderate heat. Add the carrots and onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until slightly softened, about 4 minutes. Add the curry powder and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the stock and season with salt and pepper. Simmer over moderate heat until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.

Dissolve the  cornstarch in the coconut milk to make a slurry (a fork works best here). Stir the slurry into the soup along with the peas and corn and simmer over low heat until slightly thickened, about 8 minutes. Add the chicken and cook just until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the parsley and serve .



Adapted from: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/creamy-chicken-soup-with-baby-peas-and-carrots