Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Spiced Kettle Corn

I love this recipe!
2 tablespoons corn oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup unpopped popcorn
4 tablespoons sugar
fine salt, to taste
ground cinnamon, to taste
cayenne, to taste

Read the original recipe and directions here.

I always use unsalted butter, so I have control over the amount of sodium.
I like to use corn, canola or light olive oil.
More sugar. Hey, I have a sweet tooth, ok?!
Less salt. Really I don't measure the seasoning. I spread the popped corn onto a sheet of wax paper and shake on the salt, cinnamon and cayenne to taste. I don't always remember to put salt!

Update 2-18-15, FOR MYSELF. Please double check your points with your ingredients! 
WW Points: whole recipe 27 points!! Oh, ok, maybe I don't have to eat the whole thing! If I eat 1/8 of the recipe that's 3 points, 1/4 is 7 points. I guess I have to see what I can afford!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Taco Soup

I don't make this often, but it's easy to fix. I originally got the recipe from a Weight Watchers group member, but I'm sorry to tell you I don't remember the points value. If you want to be really bad (since we didn't count points) you can top a bowl of this with a dollop of sour cream, some shredded cheese and tortilla strips or tortilla chips.

There are a few versions out there, but this is the way I fix it. I don't eat hominy so those got nixed. so did the pinto beans. If I have to eat beans they need SOMETHING to help me not taste them. I've also seen versions with Rotel tomatoes in them. I've used ground buffalo or turkey in place of the beef. So as you can see, you could make this with what you have on hand. I told you, it's EASY! 

Taco Soup

1 lb. lean hamburger meat (90% or 94%)
1 small onion, chopped
1 can sweet onion Ranch-Style beans
1 can black beans 
2 cans stewed tomatoes
2 cans of whole kernel corn 
1 can chopped green chilies
1 packet (dry) taco seasoning
1 packet (dry) ranch dressing mix
1 can water

Brown hamburger meat with onion. If you used a meat with a higher fat content, drain the grease. Combine all ingredients together and simmer until well heated. I do not drain vegetables, but you can if you would like. 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Attempt at Chicken Curry Soup

I looked at several recipes online and I wasn't truly satisfied with any of them, so I kind of came up with my own. 

Yes, I know. I should follow directions, and maybe I would be more happy with my work. I call this an attempt because while I found it edible, it was not quite what I was after. 

I used:
1 tbsp or so of corn oil
3 scallions (white and green separated), sliced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon yellow curry
1 sweet potato, cubed
Lemon Grass Paste
Ginger Paste
1 chicken breast, cubed
1 carton chicken stock
1 tbsp lime juice
1 c. Jasmine Rice

I started by cooking the rice (1 c. rice + 2 c. water). 

While the rice was cooking, in a soup pot I sauteed the white part of the scallions and the garlic for about a minute in the oil. I used just enough oil to get it going. Next, I added the bell pepper. After another minute or two, the lemon grass paste and ginger paste joined the party. About a 3 inch squeeze of each. I didn't really measure. Then, add in the curry paste, to taste. Careful because it can get spicy FAST! Continue cooking and stir frequently until you can smell the curry goodness! 

Next, I slowly stirred in the chicken stock. I added the coconut milk at this point, too, but I later thought that I should have done that later. (It's not a good idea to boil that, ya know.) I tasted at this point and it was little flat, so I added some salt and pepper. 

Next time, I will add the chicken and cubed sweet potato in after the stock. After the chicken and sweet potato are cooked, I will stir in the coconut milk.

I actually ended up stirring in a corn starch slurry in an attempt to make this a thicker soup, but I don't think that really added anything to it. 

Serve this soup over rice. 

No I don't claim this to be authentic to anything, but it's an authentic Kae experiment.  

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Waffle Sunday

I don't think I will ever get tired of waffles, or of trying new waffle recipes. Today, I made a recipe from the Pioneer Woman. I did use buttermilk instead of milk, and unsalted butter, because that's what I stock in my fridge.  
2 cups All-purpose Flour
3 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 + 1/8 teaspoon Salt
1/4 cup Sugar
1-1/2 cup Milk
2 whole Egg Yolks
4 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 stick (1/2 Cup) unsalted butter, Melted
4 whole Egg Whites, whipped to stiff peaks.

It took my waffles about 4 minutes to cook up nice and crisp. I know why she said serve immediately. After a few minutes. They lost that initial crispness. 

Now, slather on some toppings. How about some leftover ganache? 

See entire original recipe here:

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Crème Brûlée

Crème Brûlée

1 qt. heavy cream
8 large egg yolks
1 cup (~6.5 oz.) white sugar
1 vanilla bean*

Preheat oven to 325°F. 

Split and scrape vanilla bean. Place vanilla bean, vanilla bean seeds, 1/2 c. sugar, and heavy cream in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Stir to incorporate. Scald, but do not boil. 

Meanwhile, whisk together remaining sugar and egg yolks. When the heavy cream mixture is almost at a boil, remove from heat and temper the yolks (add and quickly stir in a little of the hot cream at a time. Otherwise, you get scrambled eggs!) Until all your mixture is whisked together. If it won't fit into your bowl, pour tempered yolks into the pan and whisk together. 
*If you do not have a vanilla bean, substitute with vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract, but add them now, after the mixture has been removed from the heat.

If you are cooking ahead, you can stop here, cool and refrigerate the mixture up to 3 days before baking. 

Now, you are ready to finish your crème brûlée off in the oven. Place a tea towel on the bottom of a roasting pan or a 9x13 cake pan. Place ramekins on top of the towel. Carefully fill the ramekins with the custard mixture. Place any remaining mixture into the refrigerator. You can keep it for about 3 days. 

Next, you need to fill the pan with HOT water about half way up the side of your ramekins. THIS IS IMPORTANT! DO NOT GET ANY WATER INTO YOUR RAMEKINS. If you do, your beautiful custard will NEVER SET and all your work was for naught. :( 

I usually place the pan in the oven, then carefully ever so slowly add hot water to the roasting pan. Then gently slide it into the oven. The more shallow ramekins make this harder. 

Bake until set, but still jiggly. This takes about 20 min, but can be more or less depending on the ramekin size.

Refrigerate a minimum of 2 hours. Nothing says nasty like a hot crème brûlée. Just before serving, dust the top with some sugar and "brûlée" with a torch. FOLLOW SAFETY PROCEDURES! If you don't know how to do this, Alton Brown has a video

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Mashed Rutabaga with Potato

2 pounds rutabaga, peeled and cubed (about 3 large)
2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 2 medium)
3 cloves of garlic, peeled
4 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup milk, half and half, or cream (pick your fat level...) 
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, or to taste
2 teaspoons chopped parsley (optional)

Cook rutabaga and potatoes in salted water in separate saucepans with garlic cloves. When both are tender, remove from heat. Rutabaga will take longer than the potatoes. Drain; mash rutabaga well, then mash the potatoes. Combine mashed root vegetables; add butter, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Slowly add in milk until you reach desired consistency. Beat well. Taste and add more salt if necessary. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Inspired by:

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Beautiful Brown Bread

1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) warm water
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) unsalted butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup (6 ounces) honey
1 tablespoon molasses
2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) Bread Flour
1 2/3 cups (6 3/4 ounces) Whole Wheat Flour
1 tablespoon cocoa
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons instant coffee (not espresso powder)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast

Pour all of the ingredients into the pan of the bread machine. Run the dough cycle. Check the dough about half way through the kneading cycle. If it is sticky add more bread flour until it looks like a smooth dough. *I added about 1 1/4 cup more white flour. When cycle is complete, divide dough in to pieces (4 loafs, 8 mini loaves, 12 rolls). Allow to rise about 1 hour or until puffy but not doubled. 

Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 20 to 25 minutes. The loaves will appear slightly darker on the top when they're done. 

All you need now is some nice spreadable butter!

Adapted from: