Wednesday, September 26, 2012

PB&J Blondies

A year ago I have bought my first jar of peanut butter. Ever. No joke. Peanut butter is not the common, everyday spread in Slovenia. We eat a lot of butter and jam, Nutella and Liverwurst, but no peanut butter. I have to admit I wasn't hooked when I first tried a Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich, but I can't get enough of it nowadays. I like to use PB in cookies and desserts and these Blondies are like a PB&J sandwich in Blondie form. The recipe is from Averie's blog.

1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter, melted
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 to 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 to 1/3 cup jelly (strawberry, grape, raspberry, cherry)

Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-by-8-inch pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
In a medium microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter, about 60 seconds. To the melted butter, add 1/4 cup peanut butter and heat for 30 to 45 seconds to soften the peanut butter. Stir until  the melted butter-peanut butter mixture is smooth and combined. Add the brown sugar and stir to combine. Add the egg, vanilla, and stir to combine. Add the flour, salt, and stir until just combined, taking care not to over-mix. Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing it lightly with a spatula or offset knife if necessary.
To the top of the batter, add 1/4 to 1/3 cup peanut butter, dolloped out in 4 or 5 tablespoon-sized mounds. Add 1/4 to 1/3 cup jelly, dolloped out in 4 or 5 tablespoon-sized mounds. Using a knife, marble the peanut butter and jelly in a zig-zag pattern until peanut butter and jelly is dispersed and marbled. Bake for 22 to 27 minutes, or until edges begin to slightly pull away from sides of pan, center is set and golden, and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool for at least 45 minutes before slicing and serving. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Mushroom Pasta

It's time for another pasta dish! Pasta is the ultimate main course because you can prepare it within minutes, it is delicious, you can put everything you want on top, it is delicious, it is not pricey and it is delicious. As you can tell, I really like pasta. 
This version is for mushroom lovers and is so so easy to make. All you need is 15 minutes. Counting?

500g mushrooms
5 garlic cloves
Olive oil
A generous handful of parsley, minced
Pasta of choice (I used whole wheat Barilla Pipe Rigate)
Salt and pepper

First clean the mushrooms and slice them thin, now chop the garlic in thin strips. Meanwhile cook the pasta all-dente. 
Whole wheat Barilla Pipe Rigate

In a bigger saucepan heat the olive oil and saute the garlic strips for a few seconds, be careful not to burn them. Add mushrooms and stir occasionally. Cook over medium heat untill the water evaporates. This should take about ten minutes. Last, when the mushrooms are tender and there's no water in the saucepan, add the minced parsley and season with salt and pepper. Now mix the cooked pasta into it (the pasta should be drained and sprinkled with a splash of olive oil).

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Skinny Snickerdoodles

Sunday was a special day in our house. It was snickerdoodle sunday! I was looking forward to baking these bad boys all day long. Cinnamon is the one spice I really really like. A lot. That's why I love these cookies so much. Another fact: cinnamon is perfect for fall and winter days. Since fall weather allready hit us, I decided to bake snickerdoodles.
I've tried many different recipes, but this one is one of the best. The dough is easy to handle and not too sweet. Recipe from here.

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tea spoon baking soda
1/2 tea spoon cream of tartar
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 table spoon corn syrup
1 tea spoon vanilla
1 large egg
3 table spoons sugar
2 tea spoons ground cinnamon
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 190°C.  Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup.  Combine flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar, stirring with a whisk.

Combine 1 cup of sugar and butter in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended.  Add the corn syrup, vanilla and egg; beat well.  Gradually add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture, beating just until combined.  Cover and chill for 10 minutes.

Combine 3 Tbsp sugar and cinnamon, stirring with a whisk.  With moist hands, shape dough into balls.  Roll balls in sugar mixture.  Place balls 2 inches apart onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray.  Flatten balls with the bottom of a glass.  Bake for 5 minutes (cookies will be slightly soft).  Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes.  Remove from pans; cool completely on wire racks.

Monday, September 10, 2012

White Chocolate Pineapple Muffins

Sundays are perfect for baking muffins. The smell of freshly baked, still hot muffins makes me want to sit on the couch and watch movies all day long. Of course this didn't happen, but these little friends did come straight from the oven into four hungry mouths.
The thing is I really really like pineapple. Fresh pineapple is so sweet and melts in your mouth like no other fruit. So I found this old muffin recipe because my sis was craving some white chocolate muffins. Really hard. And in case you didn't know, pineapple and white chocolate are best friends.

For 24 muffis:
 300g flour
150g sugar
½ tea spoon bicarbonate of soda
1 tea spoon baking powder
410g creme fraiche
2 eggs
1dl oil
1 pineapple, cut in chunks
2 handfulls white chocolate, cut small or use morsels

Mix the flour with baking powder and bicarbonate of soda and set aside. Whisk together the eggs and sugar and add oil and creme fraiche. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet and mix well, but make sure you don't overmix the batter!  Now carefully blend the pineapple and white chocolate chunks to the mixture. Pour into a greased muffin pan and bake for 25 minutes on 180°C.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Tuna Spread

As I was going through the pantry today I discovered a few cans of tuna that I completely forgot about. Usually I like to put tuna in salads and mostly pair it with pasta. My sister was in charge for dinner tonight and she made this wonderful tuna spread. It is really easy to make and you can spread it on bread or dip crackers in it.

2 cans tuna
1 hard boiled egg
2 table spoons butter, softened
2 table spoons dijon mustard
1 small onion
1 tea spoon capers
1 table spoon olives

Gather your ingredients and put everything in your Magic Bullet or, if you don't have one, just chop everything small and mix together.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Plum Pie

Our plum tree in the garden is bursting with delicious purple plums every august and my mom and I usually make plum dumplings or plum jam every weekend. This summer however, was one of the worst we could think of. Drought hit us hard in Slovenia and the ground is really dry and non of our neighbours has good looking tomatoes or any kind of fruit growing in the garden. Our plum tree gave us just a few plums this year and I decided to make a delicious pie.
Here's one more thing you need to know about plums. Most of the desserts including plums don't look very appealing. That's my opinion and my experience with plums, but don't judge this super tasty pie by the picture please.

The little helper wants some pie.

For the dough:
300g flour
150g butter
1 egg
1tea spoon vanilla
A pinch of salt

For the filling:

500g plums, stoned
100g brown sugar
3 table spoons rum

Cut the plums in half, remove the pits and put in a bowl. Sprinkle them with sugar and rum. Mix well and set aside.
Make the dough by mixing al of the ingredients together with a mixer or you can do it with your hands. Put in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Roll the dough to the size of your pie dish and transfer to the dish. Make sure the dough is hanging a bit around the edges of the pie dish. Now use a fork to spike the dough a few times and bake on 190°C for ten minutes. Remove from the oven and put the plum mixture on the dough. Bake for another 35 minutes.