Pineapple Jalapeño Salsa.

This recipe is so versatile.  It can be served with tortilla chip at your next soiree or atop fish or chicken for a healthy option.  You can control the spice level with the amount of jalapeño you use or if you remove the inner seeds which contain all the heat.

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Ingredients:
1 bell pepper (I used red), diced
1/2 pineapple, chopped into bite sized pieces
1 cup of cilantro leaves, washed and roughly chopped
1 jalapeño, finely chopped.  If you want  more heat – leave the seed in, if not, remove before chopping
Drizzle of good olive oil

Directions:

Combine all of the ingredients and place into a bowl.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to let the flavors enhance and combine to make their magic.

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Peanut Butter Banana Chobani Mini Muffins. I’m channeling Elvis!

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I’m all about peanut butter and bananas.  I think I channel Elvis on some weird level.  But hey, the combination in undeniably good.  Creamy or crunchy and the sweetness of the banana… I’m swooning.

Today, I wanted to make my family a protein-packed after-school snack with my favorite – CHOBANI!  Not junk food… just tasty food in compact form.  :)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of butter or buttery substitute
2 eggs
1 cup of All Purpose Flour (King Arthur’s)
1 cup of Whole Wheat Flour (King Arthur’s)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 ripe bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup of vanilla Chobani yogurt
1/4 cup of peanut butter

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 and spray baking spray into your mini muffin pans.

Cream together in your stand mixer the butter and sugar.  Beat for 3 minutes.  Then add the eggs.  Scrape down the side of the bowl.  Then add the flours, salt and soda.  Then blend in the bananas, vanilla and Chobani.  Mix until incorporated.  Then add the peanut butter.  Blend until incorporated.

Scoop about 3/4 of the batter into each well.  Bake for 18 minutes or until golden.  Remove and let cool.

 

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Pumpkin Maple Granola with Cranberries.

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I recently received several great cookbook for my birthday and Christmas and I started to tear into them last night.  I discovered this recipe and tweaked it and made it my own to suit my family.  They loved it and I loved making it.  Super easy and extremely flavorful.

*Adapted from The Sprouted Kitchen

Ingredients:

2.5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Sea Salt
1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
1/3 cup of maple syrup
1/3 cup of pumpkin puree
2 cups of old fashioned oats
1/2 cup of slivered, toasted almonds
1 tablespoon of flax seed meal
3 tablespoons of toasted sesame seeds
1/2 cup of dried cherries (raisins, cranberries etc. would work)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325 and place a Silpat on your baking sheet and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine olive oil, 1/2 tsp of salt, pumpkin pie spice, syrup and puree and whisk together.  Then add the oats, almonds, flax, & sesame seeds until evenly coated.

Spread the mixture evenly out on your baking sheet (try not to overlap as you want the granola to get nice and crispy).  Bake for 40-45 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool for 3-4 minutes then sprinkle two pinches of salt and mix in your dried fruit of choice.  Store in a tupperware container.  Makes 3 cups.

 

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Broiled lobster.

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My husband prepared broiled lobsters for dinner tonight and with several requests… I promised to post the recipe.

First, line with foil your broiler pan.  Set aside.  Take your thawed lobster tails and cut the shell (with sharp scissors) and pull the lobster meat gently out and rest it on the shell as seen above in the photo.  Then you are going to butterfly cut a well or pocket into the meat (not going through the entire tail) and sprinkle with garlic salt, paprika and pour some melted butter in.  Broil, 3-4 inches away from the broiler flame, 1 minute per ounce.

Serve with clarified butter and enjoy!

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Cherry & Pistachio (red & green) Christmas Biscotti.

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I make these red and green biscotti every Christmas.  I just love the red and green combination of the tart cherries and the green pistachios.  Biscotti are super easy to make, although take a bit of time because of the double baking.  But the end result is so worth it.

My grandmother always used cornmeal in her biscotti recipe and it just adds a different texture that makes these cookies undeniably a favorite.  I hope you get a chance to whip these up before Christmas next week.  The batch does make a fair amount, depending on how thick or thin you slice them.  And they keep for several days.  Perfect for dunking in tea, coffee or hot chocolate this season.

Ingredients:

2 cups of all purpose flour (I use King Arthur’s unbleached ap)
3/4 cup of stone ground corn meal
1.5 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
3 eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup of pistachios (shelled and roughly chopped) – you can use more or less
1/2 cup of dried tart cherries ( you can always use dried cranberries if you have them on hand)

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and line your baking pan with a Silpat or parchment paper.  Set aside.

In a dry mixture bowl combine, the flour, cornmeal, powder and salt together with a whisk.

In your stand mixer, blend your sugar and eggs together for 2-3 minutes or until fluffy.  Then add in the dry mixture.  Blend for 1 minute then add the nuts/cherries.  Blend until combined.  The dough will be sticky.  Wet your hands prior to removing the dough from the mixer, this will help you to work better with it.  Divide the dough in half.  Place both halves on your cookie sheet and shape into a 12 inch by 2.5 inch log.  Press the dough down to a thickness of about an inch or so.

Bake the dough for 32-34 minutes or until it starts getting a golden brown edge.  Remove and let cool for 10 minutes.  Then with a serrated knife, slice diagonal about 1/2-3/4 of an inch thick.  You don’t want it too thick or too thin so eyeball it.  Take each slice and lay it cut side down on your baking sheet.  They can be butted up against one another.  You can fit all of the slices on one cookie sheet using your space wisely.  Bake again for 20-24 minutes.  The cookies should be toasted and as they cool, will get a bit crunchier.  Store in a ziploc baggie or tupperware.  Great for sending in a care package or as a gift for friends and neighbors.

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Israeli Couscous Edamame Salad.

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I purchased some Israeli couscous about a month ago and today, finally, decided to finally do something with it.  Do you ever do that?  I was bound and determined to make something fun with it.  After all, it is pasta and how bad could it be?

Ingredients:

1 cup of Israeli couscous
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 cup of water
1 handful of fresh parsley
1 cup of cooked edamame (shelled)
Salt
Pepper
1 teaspoon or more if you like of ground cumin
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
Drizzled good quality balsamic vinegar (about 1/4 tsp or a little less)
Olive oil (about 1/4 tsp or less)

Directions:

In a skillet over medium heat add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 cup of the couscous.  Stir to coat and let it toast.  Keeping a watchful eye over it and stirring frequently.  Once it has a nice toasted brown color, add one cup of water, bring to a boil.  Then turn to low and cover.  Cook this for about 8 minutes or so, the liquid will be absorbed (similar to rice).  Add more time if you need it.  Then remove and add to a bowl.  Add the remaining ingredients and toss to coat.  Adjust the seasonings as you wish.  Refrigerate or serve at room temperature.

 

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i heart keenwah. I really do!

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A few weeks ago, I was contacted by this company to try their product.  This isn’t that uncommon being a food blogger.  So it arrived and I remember exactly when I tried it… Black Friday.  The day after Thanksgiving when I was trying to be “oh-so-good” with the eating after the food-fest just the day prior.  We had just completed all of our Christmas decorating and I needed a snack.  BAM!  These popped into my head and I tore into the first bag (they sent me two).  I tried the almond first, my fave, and immediately I was in love!  I love quinoa!!!  It is one of the most perfect foods. Quinoa is the only grain that is a complete source of protein and the same kind of protein found in meat & dairy.  

The little delights taste like a quinoa brittle.  Sweet but not overly sweet.  Crunchy.  Just perfection!  I’m a huge quinoa fan and these honestly have my name written all over them! Here is the dietary information (also gluten free):

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And here is a pick of what these little delights look like:

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Okay so now that I fell in love with these little treats… i heart keenwah wants to share a bag with one lucky U.S. fan of Knead to Cook.  So how do you enter?

1.  Like i heart keenwah on Facebook.
2.  Like Knead to Cook on Facebook.
3.  Leave a comment either on this blog entry or on my Facebook page announcing this contest.

U.S. residents only.  The winner will be selected Friday, December 14th at 8 pm EST.  The winner will have 48 hours to email me at [email protected] to provide shipping information.  If the winner fails to make contact within 48 hours, a new winner will be announced on Monday, December 17th at 8 pm EST.
cranberry-4oz

 

 

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Red & Green Christmas Chobani.

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Take one single serving of vanilla or plain Chobani.  Divide it in half placing each in a separate bowl.  Add either strawberries or raspberries (handful) into the one bowl.  Using a hand immersion blender, blend it until all of the berries are blended.  Then add kiwi (I used two) to the other bowl and repeat with the hand immersion blender.  Layer in a cute bowl and top with extra fruit of nuts (I used sliced kiwi and chopped pistachios).  Chill until serving.  Kids love it and it won’t blow all of your gym efforts!

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Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies topped with Sea Salt.

This could be the quintessential PMS cookie.  Salt, sugar… it’s perfection.  Even if you don’t suffer with that lovely disorder… anyone who loves bacon will be grabbing for one of these.  I don’t know why I thought it would be a great combo but it totally is and the smell is soooooo fabulous.  I ate one and stepped away.  I have to restrain myself or go back out to run again.  :)  Totally fun twist on a classic.

*Adaptation from Guittard.

Ingredients:

1 cup of all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup of butter, softened
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
6 tablespoons of light brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
10 ounces of Guittard Super Cookie Chips or regular dark chocolate chips
4-6 strips of cooked, cooled and crumbled pieces of smoked bacon
Sea Salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, soda and salt.  Set aside.

In your stand mixer, paddle attached, cream butter and sugars.  Then beat in the egg and vanilla until creamy.  Add the flour mixture, blend.  Blend well.  By hand, stir in the chocolate chips and bacon.  Drop rounded cookie dough onto your baking sheet.  Sprinkle a tiny bit of sea salt on top of each cookie dough ball.  Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly golden.  Let cool and then store in a container with a lid.

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Peppermint Patty Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars.

Who doesn’t love peppermint?!  My kids LOVE it!  And tomorrow starts our first winter swim meet and I’m always baking like a madwoman to prepare.  The kids swim and they eat… this is what winter swim (and summer) is all about! Some healthy snacks and some decedent ones for post race celebration.  These are a reason to celebrate!  I promise.

Ingredients:

1 cup + 2 tablespoons of King Arthur’s all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup of Smart Balance butter (or you can use regular butter)
6 tablespoons of packed brown sugar
6 tablespoons of granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon of peppermint extract
10 ounces of chocolate chips
1 bag of individually wrapped Peppermint Patties (unwrapped)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Spray your 9×9 glass pan with baking spray.

In a small bowl, mix flour, soda and salt.

In your stand mixer, beat butter and both sugars for 3 minutes.  Then add the egg and peppermint extract.  Add the flour mixture and beat on slow until incorporated.  Beat in the chocolate chips by hand.

Take half of the dough and place it in the prepared pan and smooth it out to cover the bottom.  Then lay the peppermint patties over top of the cookie dough.  You can spread them or butt them together.  Then take the remaining dough and place it on top.  It may not cover totally but it will melt and distribute.  Bake for 22-24 minutes.  Keep a watchful eye if they need to bake a few minutes longer depending on your oven.

*Chocolate chip cookie recipe is an adaptation from Guittard’s super cookie chip cookie recipe.

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