Thursday, September 8, 2011

Cornbread Mix Take 2

I guess I must be on a cornbread kick...because the other day, around midnight, for no apparent reason, I had a sudden urge to make cornbread breakfast muffins! I decided to see what I could muster up from the cornbread mix I used for the biscuits that I made with my chilli the other day, and came up with these (based off the recipe on the mix):

Cornbread Muffins
2 c. cornbread muffin mix
½ c. white whole wheat flour
3 tbsp. egg whites
1 ½ c. skim milk
4 tbsp. honey

1.     Preheat oven to 375F.
2.     Mix all ingredients together until well-combined.
3.     Pour into lightly-greased muffin  tin and bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown on top.

The muffins turned out really well, but I knew that something was missing. The next morning I cut one in half, toasted it, and drizzled it with about 1 tbsp. of honey...and it was great, but I knew that it needed something else. Then I figured it out! What they were missing was berries! So the next day I went out and got a bunch of berries and some agave nectar and made me some summer berry jam!
Gluten-free Blueberry-Raspberry Jam
1 carton blueberries
2 small cartons raspberries
4 tbsp. agave nectar (adjust to suit your taste)

1.   Cook all together over low heat for about 30-45 minutes, or until the berries have stewed down to a smooth consistency and reduced slightly.
2.   Take off heat and let cool in pan for about 15 minutes, then pour into glass jar and refrigerate.
3.   Will keep in refrigerator for up to a month.

Needless to say, the next morning I toasted one of the muffins and spooned on some of the jam (warning: it's a bit runny), and it was perfect! Definitely love how the carb-y sweetness of the cornbread is balanced out by the freshness and slight tartness  of the jam! Anyway, this is a really great summer breakfast food, especially when some of those summer berries are starting to go over the hill!


Inspired recipe of the day: Beer Mac& Cheese 
Drool-worthy dessert: Peanut ButterPretzel Ice Cream 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Rainy Day Chilli

So it's been a while since my last post...over 2 years in fact. But I've decided that it's time I got back to this. I've been fairly lazy recently and have been eating out or picking up take-out a lot, so I figured that getting back to blogging will motivate me to start cooking and baking for myself more! I also figured that it was time to expand beyond just baking to cooking and savory dinner-like foods too! In that last obsession is soups. They're so easy to make, and as a vegetarian, constitute a complete one-pot meal! Since beans and vegetables comprise most of my diet, chilli is an obvious choice...and on a gross, rainy day like today, it's so warm and comforting! My chilli dinner today was actually left over from Saturday night when I made chilli and cornbread biscuits with my friend who was newly returned to NYC from a summer abroad. The chilli was something I had made a few times before, but the biscuits were a new, super easy, and quite successful endeavor! The great thing about this chilli: it's simple to make and re-heats beautifully!

Three-Bean Veggie Chilli

1 28 oz. can fire-roasted tomatoes, diced
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
14 oz. water (approximate - to thin out the tomato base a bit)
4 cloves garlic, minced (or grated on a microplane)
3 tbsp. hot sauce (or more!) - my favorite is the Bone Suckin' Habanero Sauce
2 tbsp. cumin (this is just an estimate...I love cumin so I put in a ton)
1/2 tbsp. onion powder
1 tsp. ground chipotle pepper
salt (and a lot of it)
1 can black beans
1 can pinto beans
1 can kidney beans
2 ears fresh corn (or 1 can corn)
1 small-medium red bell pepper, chopped
1 small-medium orange bell pepper, chopped
1 small-medium yellow bell pepper, chopped
1/2 medium green bell pepper, chopped

1. Combine tomatoes, water, and spices in a large soup pot. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until spices are well-incorporated.
2. Add beans and vegetables to tomato base. Cook for at least half an hour.
3. Serve!

Red Pepper Cornbread Biscuits

1 8 oz. can corn niblets, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 c. cornbread mix
1/2 tsp. salt 
1/2 c. skim milk
1/2 small red bell pepper, finely diced

1. Preheat oven to 450F.
2. In a food processor (or using a wand blender), puree corn niblets until smooth.
3. Combine cornbread mix and salt in a mixing bowl, and whisk to incorporate.
4. Mix in pureed corn, milk, and red bell pepper.
5. Scoop biscuits onto a baking sheet using 1/3 c. measuring cup, ensuring that they are well-spaced on the sheet.
6. Bake for 5-7 minutes, or until golden brown.
7. Cool on a baking rack, and enjoy with (or without) your chilli!

Together these made the perfect rainy day meal...and no-fuss leftovers! To reheat, just microwave a bowl of chilli for about 2 minutes, stir, then microwave for another 30 seconds, and chilli!

Bon appetit!

Inspired recipe of the day: Butternut Squash Noodles with Curry-Peanut Sauce
Drool-worthy dessert: Dulce de Leche Rice Pudding