Archive for September, 2010

low fat corn bread

September 30, 2010

I created this recipe (it’s pretty awesome!), though I did look at a few basic cornbread recipes to get my barrings. I didn’t realize until afterward that most cornbread recipes use oil, so this version is low fat too!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup non-fat plain yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 can of corn (I use “no salt added”) — you could also use fresh or frozen!

Directions

>>Preheat oven to 400

>>Grease a 9×9 baking pan

1) In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking soda).

2) Add the milk, yogurt, and eggs. Use an electric mixture to combine.

3) Drain the corn (if using canned) and stir in with a spoon.

4) Pour batter into greased pan and cook for approximately 25 minutes. (You can stick a toothpick in–if it comes out clean, you’re all set!)

black bean & salsa soup

September 30, 2010

This recipe is so, so simple. I made this after David and I had just returned home from three days of camping. I was tired and dirty, but this took hardly any time or effort. It’s really good, too! (We liked it even more the next day.) I didn’t take any photos, but I promise to make this again soon and post a photo!

I can no longer find the recipe I based this off of, but there are a lot of similar recipes out there.

Ingredients

  • Four 15oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 2 cups of salsa
  • 1 15oz can of vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons of chili powder
  • Diced green onions (optional)
  • Plain non-fat yogurt or sour cream (optional)

Directions

>>Makes ~6 servings

1) In a food processor, mash/blend two of the cans of black beans with 1/4 cup of water

2) In a pot, combine the mashed black beans, the two cans of unmashed beans, the salsa, the vegetable broth, and the chili powder.

3) Bring the soup to a boil, stirring occasionally.

4) Serve the soup with green onion slices on top, along with a scoop or two of yogurt! (You could also serve with cornbread!)

Acadia National Park

September 30, 2010

David and I spent last weekend in Bar Harbor, ME at Acadia National Park. We camped in the park at Blackwoods Campground. The campground was so empty (and peaceful)! The ranger told us when we arrived that he had over 200 empty sites. There was no one at any of the sites near us.

The ocean in Maine isn’t like the ocean anywhere else.

raspberry white chocolate cheesecake, with a chocolate crust

September 30, 2010

This was my mom’s birthday cake this year. It may be the best dessert I’ve made yet! (I think that the second time I make it, it will look a little more pretty.)

I got this recipe from here, and only made a couple of changes.

Ingredients

  • Chocolate graham cracker crumbs (you need 1 cup, which is approximately 10 of the full length sheets of graham crackers)
  • 1/2 cup, plus 5 tablespoons sugar (will be split)
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 10oz package of frozen raspberries
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 2 cups of white chocolate chips (one 12oz bag)
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half cream
  • 3 8oz packages of low-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

1) In a food processor, blend the graham crackers until they are thin crumbs. Measure to make sure you have one cup.

2) Add 3 tablespoons of sugar and the butter to the mix. Blend until well combined.

3) Press this mixture (the crust) into the bottom of a 9″ springform pan.

4)  Defrost the raspberries until they are soft (you could just leave them out, but I put mine in the microwave).

5) Put the raspberries into the food processor until smooth.

6) In a pot, put the raspberries (now blended), the 2 teaspoons of cornstarch, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a boil and continue cooking for approximately 5 minutes. The sauce should thicken a little bit.

7) Push the raspberry sauce through a mesh strainer, to remove the seeds.

8) Preheat the oven to 325.

9) In a double boiler, or in the microwave, melt the white chocolate chips with the half and half. Stir occasionally, until the chips are completely melted.

10) In a large mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese and 1/2 cup of sugar using an electric mixer. Add the eggs, followed by the vanilla and melted chocolate/half and half.

11) Pour half of the cheesecake batter into the springform pan. Pour 3-4 tablespoons of raspberry sauce over the top. Pour the remaining cheesecake batter on top. Then pour 3-4 more tablespoons of raspberry sauce on top. Using a knife, swirl the raspberry sauce throughout the cake. This will give it a pretty marbled effect.

12) Bake for approximately an hour, or until the cake has set.

13) When you cake it out, allow the pan to cool. Cover the cake and refrigerate it for at least 8 hours before taking it out of the pan.

14) Serve with the remaining raspberry sauce! (I put it in a bowl and let people pour it on top of their individual pieces.)

Mom’s birthday — surprise!

September 30, 2010

To celebrate the arrival of my mom’s last year as a 50-something, we threw her a surprise party. It’s now been a couple of weeks, but I just uploaded the pictures from my camera. I think the look on her face is pretty outstanding.

I love surprises.

Oh, and you should check out the recipe for her cake.

apple crisp

September 17, 2010

I went apple picking with my mom last Friday at Brookdale Farm. Apples right off the tree taste nothing like what you buy at the grocery store. They are so crisp and fresh!

Over the weekend, I made apple crisp. I would pick apple crisp over apple pie any day! I’ve spent a couple of apple crisp seasons tweaking this recipe and making it better.
>>Preheat oven to 350

Ingredients

Filling

  • 8-10 medium apples
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 - 1 tablespoon cinnamon

Topping

  • 1 3/4 cups rolled oats
  • 1 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) melted butter

Directions

1) Peel and slice the apples. Spread the apples out evenly into a 9×13″ glass baking dish.

2) Toss the apples in the sugar and cinnamon. I used a full tablespoon of cinnamon, but it might be too much for some.

3) Mix the oats, brown sugar, flour, and melted butter together. The oats should be moistened.

4) Sprinkle the topping evenly over the apples. Press the topping down gently to keep the moisture of the apples in while it bakes.

5) Cook for 35-40 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly.

Serve with vanilla ice cream!

lemon cake with lemon cream cheese frosting

September 17, 2010

I made this cake for my grandfather’s birthday in July. (I know, I’m really behind in posting…)

I based it off of this cake, but made some changes and used a different frosting.

Ingredients

Cake

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup milk
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest

Frosting

  • 1 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2-4 tablespoons lemon juice (Be careful, if you add too much lemon juice the frosting will get very runny, like mine did. It’s hard to thicken back up! Add slowly.)
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 5-6 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 lemon for decoration

Directions

>>Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour two 8-inch round pans.

1) Cream together the butter and sugar until they are light and fluffy.

2) Beat in the eggs and vanilla.

3) Add the flour and baking powder.

4) Add the milk, lemon juice, and zest, but don’t beat long after they’ve been incorporated.

5) Pour the batter into the pans and bake for 30 minutes. A toothpick should come out clean. Move the cakes to a cooling rack.

6) To make the frosting, beat together the cream cheese, butter, lemon juice, zest, and vanilla.

7) Add the confectioners sugar, beating in 2 1/2 cups, then adding the other 2 1/2 cups. Add more lemon juice or sugar as needed.

8) Spread the frosting on the top of one of the cakes (this will be the middle layer). Place the other cake on top. Frost the top of that cake.

9) Add very thin lemon slices to decorate, if desired. You could also sprinkle extra lemon zest on top (I thought of this afterward.)