So this was another Homesick Texan recipe that I tested out last week. I made one small adjustment (left out the butter) because I figured it would still taste good without it. And it did. I also am sure it would taste good with it. So - do what you will! But if you ever need a quick, delicious side dish, this is PERFECT. I used frozen corn to make it even easier. Not to mention it’s really easy to make as many or as few portions as you’d like. This recipe serves 4. Hope you enjoy!
- 2 cups corn kernels (I used frozen)
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter (if you desire…)
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup Cotija cheese, crumbled
- Salt and cayenne, to taste
- 4 lime wedges
- Cook frozen corn according to package instructions
- Separate corn into 4 different bowls
- Top each serving with a quarter of the mayo, Cotija cheese, salt, and cayenne
- Serve with fresh lime wedge
In celebration of Cinco de Mayo last weekend, I decided to make some Tex-Mex. I usually make Sour Cream Enchiladas, but was feeling the need to try something brand new. I naturally opened up my copy of “The Homesick Texan” and flipped through all the pages I had tagged of recipes I wanted to make. That’s when I came across Cheese Enchiladas in Chile con Carne. It was perfect - as are all the recipes I’ve used from that book. On the side, I served refried beans and Mexican rice along with Lisa Fain’s corn recipe. Everything was a big hit and I enjoyed the leftovers all week. You can find the enchilada recipe online here, and the recipe for the corn in my next post (also from the cookbook). If you don’t already own “The Homesick Texan,” try out these recipes then do yourself a favor and buy the book. You can’t really go wrong!
Ingredients for the chili
Prepping for the blender
Sauce ready to go!
We finally had a beautiful weekend in New York. It actually started to feel like Spring! Temperatures in the high 60s/low 70s, clear, blue skies, and a nice, crisp breeze. I could not have been happier. There were tons of things I needed to do at my apartment this weekend, but I decided to put those on hold and spend most my time wandering around outside. Wandering and eating. It’s actually pretty gross how much I ate this weekend. Friday night, went to Dell’anima with a friend where we split the bone marrow and each got our own pasta (obviously it was all delicious). Saturday went to Mighty Quinns BBQ where I of course had to have a chopped brisket sandwich with a side of cole slaw and baked beans (Texas girl at heart!). Dessert was had at the Doughnut Plant mainly because my friend had never been, and that’s inexcusable. Then today, Shake Shack! And I just went for it…burgers, fries, and shake. I took a spin class this morning and ran yesterday, so why not? That’s the point, right?
Anyway, that left me wanting something light for dinner tonight. So after Shake Shack I popped into Eataly to pick up some fresh ingredients for a Summer inspired pasta. It’s a great side dish or main dish, and can be served warm with pesto, or cold with an Italian dressing. The only thing I would say here is that because some of the ingredients are naturally salty to begin with, I would hold off on any additional salt while cooking. You really won’t need it. Hope you enjoy my recipe, and happy Spring!!
All the fresh ingredients from Eataly
Fresh garganelli pasta - pretty hard to beat!
Ain’t it pretty?
Freshly chopped tomatoes
Squash ready for a quick roasting
The final touch. Mmmmmm
- 1 small, yellow tomato
- 1 small, red tomato
- 1/2 pound homemade pasta (I used garganelli)
- 1 small, yellow squash
- 5 pieces of prosciutto
- 1 ball of mozzarella
- Fresh basil
- 1 jar of pesto (or homemade if you have the time!)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Finely chop tomatoes and squash
- Lightly toss squash in olive oil and pepper
- Roast in oven for 10 minutes
- Boil water. Add olive oil to prevent sticking, and cook pasta for 2-3 minutes (assuming it’s homemade)
- Toss pasta with tomatoes, squash, chopped mozzarella, and pesto
- Serve with chopped prosciutto and fresh basil
Let me start off by saying that today’s recipe is great for when you are feeling lazy. Despite what it is, it’s actually quite simple to make. How? Well, you use wonton wrappers instead of making your own pasta dough. I took a cooking class about a year ago and we made Manti using wonton wrappers. It was so genius, I decided to experiment with different fillings. Today, I filled them with a quick and easy butternut squash mixture and topped with olive oil and Parmesan cheese. Hard to go wrong with that combo! (Of course you can get creative here…)
You know what’s also great about this recipe? You can make as many or as few raviolis as you’d like! I made 8 which actually was a little much, but I still managed to eat them all. And even though you’ll likely have leftover butternut squash filling, there are so many uses for it. You can serve it as a side dish, as a spread on a vegetarian sandwich, or mixed in with farro and kale. Maybe I’ll try out some of those recipes this week and let you know how they turn out.
Hope you enjoy this recipe, and check back next week for some more!
Ready to be seasoned and mashed
Filling ready to go
Prepping the ravioli
Wait for them to pop to the top, then they’re ready!
- 1 package wonton wrappers
- 1 small bag frozen butternut squash
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp dried sage
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Microwave butternut squash as per package instructions
- Bring pot of water to boil. Add a dash of olive oil to prevent raviolis from sticking
- Season butternut squash with salt, pepper, and sage
- Mash up butternut squash until you have a smooth filling
- Using one wonton wrapper at a time, spoon filling into the middle of the wrapper
- Wet the sides of the wrapper with water, outlining a square around the edges of the wonton
- Place another wonton wrapper on top and push edges together until stuck in place
- Repeat until you have 6-8 raviolis (for one)
- Put raviolis in boiling water and cook until they pop to the top (about 2 minutes)
- Drain and serve with olive oil and freshly grated Parmesan cheese
If any of my followers are Greek, yes, I know today is not Greek Easter. It’s not until May. BUT, that doesn’t mean I can’t get a head start on making tsoureki. Especially since I really wanted to bake today. I also had recently seen this adorable bunny bread recipe off of Serious Eats and wanted to see if tsoureki could be made to look like a bunny. The recipe warned that your dough can’t be too wet or it won’t hold its shape well, but I figured I’d try anyway. In dough form, it looked great…
In baked form? Well…you decide…
I guess it could have been worse. At least it tastes good! Anyway, I adapted this recipe off of Food.com. You can make two giant loaves, or four regular sized ones (which is what I did). I have some Greek relatives coming in town soon, so figured I’d freeze the extras to give them. I had never made tsoureki before, and while I am happy with the result, I would make some changes next time around. I like my tsoureki nice and sweet, so would leave out the orange zest and anise extract. The aromatics are nice and traditional, but not my personal favorite. I would also probably add a bit more sugar and vanilla extract - maybe even try some agave nectar! If you like a classic recipe though, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
Dry ingredients ready for the yeast mixture
The proofed yeast/milk/sugar/flour mixture
Dough ready to sit and rise for 2 hours
Loaves ready to rise for another 2 hours…
Glazed and ready for the oven! Almost done!
- 2 cups milk
- 2 envelopes active dry yeast
- 8 cups bread flour
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- Zest of 1 orange (I used a tangelo)
- 1 tsp anise extract
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 5 eggs, beaten
- Warm two cups of milk and put in medium sized bowl. Add yeast, one cup of flour, and 1/4 cup of sugar. Cover and proof for one hour
- With about 15 minutes left of proofing, start working on combining dry ingredients. In large bowl, mix together seven cups of flour, salt, remaining sugar, orange zest, anise extract, and vanilla extract.
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the yeast mixture, melted butter, and eggs. Bring flour into the well, stirring the mixture to create a dough
- Lightly dust work surface with flour and knead dough until it is smooth and no longer sticks to your hands. Add more flour as needed
- Place in an oiled bowl, cover with cloth, and set aside in warm place to rise for about two hours (or until doubled in size)
- After two hours, punch down dough
- Divide into 12 small balls and roll each into strips about 12 inches long. Lay 3 strips next together, pinch the tops to connect, then braid. Pinch the bottoms together to hold loaf together
- Repeat for three more loaves
- Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper or baking mat. Cover and let rise for two hours or until doubled in size
- With about 30 minutes left for dough to rise, preheat oven to 360 degrees and make sure rack is on the lowest shelf in the oven
- Beat together the egg and milk
- Brush each loaf with glaze
- Bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown. Be sure to monitor loaves as they bake because they will brown quickly. You can cover with foil to prevent over-browning.
- Bread is ready when it sounds hollow when tapped
- Remove from oven and cool on baking rack
Happy Easter to all who celebrate! It’s been a beautiful weekend in New York (finally!). I started off Saturday with some early birthday celebrations at Red Rooster. I had been wanting to go for such a long time, and figured a small birthday brunch was the perfect excuse to drag my friends to Harlem. It was well worth the trek. Everything was fantastic. Can’t wait to try dinner there next! Post-brunch was spent outdoors as the weather was in the high 50’s, which felt like Summer since we’ve been freezing here for months. The whole day revolved around cocktails and food, so can’t really complain. I should have run 11 miles for my upcoming Half Marathon, but when presented with good weather and beer, the choice is obvious.
After having spent all day relaxing yesterday, I woke up on a mission, and for whatever reason, my mission was to bake. So I’ve got two recipes for you all today. The first of which is a healthy take on banana muffins. I don’t usually choose to bake healthy things, but figured I’d take a stab at it. If I’m going to make a dozen muffins for one, I should probably make them as healthy as possible. I wandered through Whole Foods, picked up some whole wheat flour, agave (which was quite a task…I never knew there were so many different options!), then came home to start baking.
This recipe was adapted from Cookie and Kate. It was really very simple, and took under an hour from start to finish. The texture and flavor of these muffins are just as good as sugary, white flour options I’ve made in the past. I was very impressed. And the lingering scent of freshly baked muffins is still in my apartment. Not a bad thing to come home to.
And while this recipe makes a dozen muffins, they do freeze nicely if you want to save them for later. Or take them to work, as they are sure to disappear quickly!
Freshly mashed bananas and all the ingredients
Mmmm…banana muffin batter
Just 25 minutes left…
- 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
- 1/2 cup agave nectar
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups mashed bananas
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 cup hot water
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees
- In medium bowl, mix together coconut oil and agave nectar
- Beat in eggs
- Stir in bananas, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, and flour
- Add baking soda to hot water and mix together
- Pour baking soda and hot water mixture into batter, and mix in
- Evenly distribute batter into oiled cupcake pan. If you use cupcake holders, no need for the oil
- Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes (toothpick should come out clean)
So I’m a bit behind on challenges, but I am never short of recipes. It’s been a bit crazy the past few weeks and I apologize for the delay. I’m really going to try to post at least once a week - either a cooking challenge or a cooking for one recipe.
Today, I’m giving you my first cooking for one post! Being a New Yorker, it’s no surprise that on many occasions I find myself having to whip up a quick meal just for me. I hate wasting food, so cooking for one has become quite the challenge. However, I have mastered the use of leftovers and hopefully you can learn some tips from me.
Fish is my usual go to when it comes to cooking a meal for myself. I will quickly throw a piece in some aluminum foil with veggies and pop it in the oven for a few minutes. It’s fast, easy to clean, and always delicious. This was a fairly new recipe for me, and I’ve already had it twice this week. I hope you enjoy!
- 1 piece of salmon
- 8 cherry tomatoes, chopped in half
- 2 tsp olive oil
- Basil and Parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup cooked farro
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees
- Place pan filled half way with water at the bottom of the oven
- Put salmon in aluminum foil and fold up edges to create a container of sorts
- Pour olive oil on top of salmon
- Line salmon with chopped tomatoes
- Season with salt and pepper to your liking
- Layer with basil and parsley until covered. I use equal amounts of basil and parsley, but that’s what I like. Feel free to experiment!
- Place in middle of oven and bake for 25 minutes
- Serve with farro
Jackie! Congratulations! I had a feeling your mac and cheese recipe would be hard to beat. Who doesn’t love mac and cheese?
This week I will have another recipe up. Not sure if it will be a challenge or just a post. Either way, check in on Monday to see! And sorry about no post last week. I was visiting some friends in London for my annual eating/shopping adventure. Hope you didn’t miss me too much!
I’ve been wanting to make spanakopita for a really long time. I love it fresh out of the oven. I love it cold out of the refrigerator. I love it for dinner. And yes, I love it for breakfast. It’s a mainstay for all holiday meals whenever I go home, and it’s the one leftover I snack on until there is nothing left. So when I was looking at my list of requests for a cooking challenge and saw spinach was an option, spanakopita was the obvious choice. Check out my recipe below and please vote for me!
- 1 box phyllo dough
- 2 bags chopped spinach
- 8oz Feta cheese
- 4oz cottage cheese
- 4oz cream cheese
- 1 small white onion, chopped
- 2 eggs
- 1tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tbsp salt
- 2tbsp butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Cook spinach (I’ll admit I used the frozen stuff) according to package, and use paper towels to remove the moisture
- Sautee onion in olive oil until translucent, about 3 minutes
- In bowl, mix together cheeses, eggs, spinach, onion, and salt
- Set out baking pan and lightly spray the bottom with olive oil to prevent sticking
- Layer one piece of phyllo dough on pan and then brush with melted butter. Continue until you have 10 layers of phyllo on the bottom
- Cover with spinach mixture
- Finish with 5 more layers of phyllo dough, buttering each layer
- Cut into pieces before baking - whatever size you prefer. Mine made 8 pieces
- Bake in oven for 45 minutes
- Serve hot (or cold!) and enjoy!