quick

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Baked Rosemary Beet Chips

Published October 3, 2016 by jenmatteson

There are a lot of closeted beet lovers out there, and this might be just what they are looking for. And if you aren’t a beet lover, you should still try these, because they do not have that “earthy” flavor, AKA dirt. Personally, I love beets in pretty much any form. However, I struggle to make them at home outside of roasted, so this was a fun new idea to get my beet fix, along with my chip fix!

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These are super quick and easy, with four ingredients. The hardest part is slicing them. I have a new fangled mandolin with one of those lame safety features, as if I’m going to cut myself. Okay, complete side story: The majority of my family would be sure I would cut myself. I’ve had two incidents using a box cutter which required stitches. One involved making a cat house out of cardboard boxes with my older brother when I was 6. I sliced the inside of my wrist right open – to the bone. He grabbed a wet washcloth and tried to quiet me so we wouldn’t wake up my parents that Saturday morning. Needless to say, they did hear me crying and took me to the emergency room. Not before my mom could get the camera to take a picture, though. She loves owie pictures!

Anyway, back to the beets. My mandolin doesn’t always slice to my liking, especially round objects, so I opted to do it by hand with a very sharp knife. Don’t worry, no digits were lost or even injured in the making of these chips.

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The beets have a surprising bright flavor, while the rosemary does give an earthy (and I really mean earthy and not dirt this time) aroma. A pinch of salt and you’ve got yourself an irresistible crunchy snack. Pairs well with wine, so perfect for a girls night!

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 Baked Rosemary Beet Chips

Source: Adapted from Minimalist Baker
Servings: One (if you’re me) or 2-4

Ingredients:

3 medium-large beets, rinsed and scrubbed
Olive oil
Kosher salt
2 sprigs rosemary, roughly chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Thinly slice beets with mandolin or sharp knife and place in large bowl.
  3. Drizzle beets with olive oil. Add salt and rosemary and toss to evenly cote.
  4. Arrange chips in a single layer on a baking sheet (or two if necessary), and bake for 15-20 minutes. Keep a close eye as they can burn quickly.
  5. Remove from oven, cool (if you can wait) and serve.

Drop Biscuits

Published March 21, 2016 by jenmatteson

These are by far the quickest and easiest biscuits to make, and wonderful for entertaining. The best part is that the dough can basically be assembled far in advance. A few quick steps, and they can be in the oven in less than 5 minutes.

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You can prepare the dough up through step one (all the dry ingredients and butter), and have buttermilk measured and ready to go at a moment’s notice. Just pour, mix and drop. These biscuits come out nice and flaky, buttery and rich. They melt in your mouth – no joke! I often make these for Thanksgiving, and are the last thing I put in the oven while everything else is getting to the table. Works like a charm!

Want to make these at a moment’s notice, but don’t have buttermilk? Don’t worry – you can make your own buttermilk substitute with these two ingredients you probably do have: milk and vinegar. Simply measure out 1 tbsp. of vinegar and pour into a liquid measuring cup. Pour milk into the measuring cup with the vinegar, filling up to the 1 cup line. Let sit for 10-15 minutes. Viola! Buttermilk substitution.

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Drop Biscuits

Drop Biscuits

Source: Adapted from Fresh Direct
Servings: 8-12 biscuits

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
5 tbsp. unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1 cup buttermilk

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal.

2. Dump into large bowl, and stir in buttermilk with wooden spoon until just combined. The dough will be very sticky. Using the spoon, drop heaping tablespoons of the dough onto the prepared baking sheet. Lightly spray with olive oil.

3. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 12-15 minutes.

Meatless Monday: Keep warm with this White Bean-and-Leek Soup

Published February 10, 2014 by jenmatteson

I accidentally bought a few leeks at the supermarket the other day.  Not like they jumped in my basket, onto the conveyor belt and into my bag unnoticed.  I was picking up ingredients for a new scallop recipe, and thought it called for leeks, when truly, it was fennel.  Oops!  So, seeing as though I had these perfectly good leeks in my fridge, begging to be used, I decided to help them meet their destiny with a soup.

Whit Bean-and-Leek Soup

While I was making this soup, I was thinking, this is very simple.  As in, there isn’t much to it, I sure hope it tastes good.  But don’t worry, it does.  The practically melted leeks with a hint of thyme have a perfect savory-sweet pairing.  The beans give it a needed heft, and the croutons add a nice crisp.

Whit Bean-and-Leek Soup

The recipe calls for fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, but I made mine without (except for garnishing in the picture).  I also used pretzel bread to make the croutons, which tasted absolutely amazing.  This soup comes together in less than 30 minutes, so it’s an easy weeknight meal, and is perfect warming agent during this polar vortex hulla-ballew.

White Bean-and-Leek Soup

White Bean-and-Leek Soup

Source: Adapted from Food and Wine
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

2 1-inch thick slices rustic bread, cut into 1-inch dice
1 tbsp. olive oil
kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 leeks, white and light green parts, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 sprigs thyme
1 8.5-oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth (vegetable broth would be fine if you want to keep it vegan)
1/4 cup fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  On a foil lined baking sheet, toss bread crumbs with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Bake until bread crumbs become golden brown and crisp.

2. In a large saucepan, melt butter.  Add leeks and thyme and cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until leeks are tender, about 10 minutes.  Add beans and chicken broth, cover and simmer until leeks are very tender, about 10 minutes more.  Season to taste.  Remove from heat, stir in Parmigiano-Reggiano if desired.  Serve and top with croutons.

Grilled Strawberry Shortcake Kabobs

Published June 20, 2013 by jenmatteson

You probably couldn’t have guessed it from the sweet treats I’ve posted recently, but Nate and I are really trying to eat better.  Even his cupcake hording has subsided; I didn’t even hear one fuss when giving away extra chocolate cupcakes with mint chocolate chip frosting to our parents.  However, I truly do not believe in diets.  I don’t think they work, and I don’t think it’s realistic to restrict your eating for your entire life.  What I do think is possible is being conscious of what you put in your body, everything in moderation, and taste everything, but eat nothing.

Grilled Strawberry Shortcake Kabobs

The purpose behind this dessert was two-fold.  We had both our parents over for Father’s Day, and we wanted to serve a light dessert since we’d be sitting outside, it was hot and we were grilling.  Secondly, because we were grilling dinner, I wanted to do a dessert on the grill, but quick and easy as I didn’t want to spend a lot of time putzing around.  Bobby Flay does it, why can’t I?  I thought of doing grilled strawberry shortcake, and as always, while I think I have a fantastic brainiac idea, alas, someone else has already thought of it.  But the upside to not being the first to think of it is that it’s usually already perfected, so there isn’t a lot of trial and error.

Grilled Strawberry Shortcake Kabobs

This was my dad helping me with the photos.

Grilled Strawberry Shortcake Kabobs

I found this recipe at Sugar Mama, a blog I’ve never visited before.  It was quick, simple and light, just what I was looking for.  The key to this dessert was the sweetened condensed milk.  That adds an extra sweetness to the angel food cake and the strawberries.  Sugar Mama suggests brushing just the angel food cake, but I did both.  And by brush, I mean drizzle, because that light and fluffy cake makes it hard to brush on anything, especially sticky, thick sweetened condensed milk.  Overall, everyone seemed quite impressed and liked the fun idea of the grilled shortcake kabobs.  This would be a great idea for your summer grilling parties, and especially for kids and little paws.  The cake gets a slight crisp on the outside, but stays soft and fluffy on the inside.  The strawberries soften up just a bit, but not so much to be mushy.  Add a dollop of Cool Whip, and you’re good to go!

Strawberry Shortcake Kabobs

Grilled Strawberry Shortcake Kabobs

Source: Adapted from Sugar Mama
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients:

1 pint strawberries, stems removed and washed
1/2 store-bought angel food cake (I made mine from a box for a little less and used half)
3 tbsp fat-free sweetened condensed milk
Cool Whip

Directions:

1. If you are using wooden skewers, soak in water for about 15 minutes.  Heat grill to medium.

2. Cut angel food cake into large pieces, about 1 1/2 inch cubes.  Thread skewers, alternating strawberries and angel food cake cubes.  Place on a large baking sheet.  Drizzle skewers with sweetened condensed milk, flip and drizzle again to get both sides.

3. Place skewers on hot grill, turning every minute or so.  This will depend on how hot your grill is, but once you see the angel food cake begin to brown or get grill marks, it’s time to turn.  Don’t walk away, it goes very quickly.

4. Serve with Cool Whip for dipping.

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