Sunday, August 2, 2015

Pineapple Sugar Cookies

I love pineapple and wanted a sugar cookie type cookie with a pineapple flavor.  All the pineapple cookie recipes I have found were more like a cake style cookie and that wasn't what I wanted.  They also tended not to have much of a pineapple flavor.  So I did some experimenting and came up with the perfect recipe.  It uses dried pineapple juice powder, but not sure if it really adds that much to it.  So feel free to leave it out if you can't find it.

1 cup softened butter
2 cups white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. pure pineapple extract
2 eggs
2 tbsp. milk
4 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup died pineapple juice powder (leave out if you can't find it)
1/2 cup or more finely diced dried pineapple

Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy.   Then beat in the egg, milk and flavorings.  Mix all the dry ingredients together and mix into the butter and egg mixture.    Blend well, then cover and chill for a couple of hours.    When well chilled, form into balls using about 2 tbsp. of dough.  Place a few inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet, bake at 375 degrees for about 10-12 minutes.   The bottoms of the cookies should just barely start to brown.   Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for a few minutes, then remove to a rack to continue cooling.   Makes about 3 1/2 to 4 dozen cookies.  

If you want a crunchy sugar coating, mix some white sugar with some of the pineapple juice powder and a couple drops of the pineapple extract and mix well, before baking roll each of the dough balls in the sugar mixture and bake as usual. 

Enjoy, I know I do!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Pineapple Sheet Cake

2 cups flour
1 1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 20-oz can crushed pineapple, with juice
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. pineapple extract

Mix dry ingredients together well, then beat in the remaining ingedients. Spoon into greased pan and bake 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean. Cool well before cutting, may frost with cream cheese frosting if desired.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Pineapple Cookies

I have a very good friend who loves anything with pineapple.  I have been trying to find a good recipe for a pineapple cookie that is more chewy than cakey, with a good pineapple flavor.  So far this one is the best I've some across.  There are many variations of it, but this is the basic recipe that hits the high points of all of them.  Not quite as chewy as I'd like and the pineapple flavor isn't quite as strong as I'd like, but for now it is a very good start.   And the cookie is a very good cookie.   I can recommend it even it isn't exactly what I was hoping for.  I will keep looking, but until then I will be using this one. 

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
20 oz can crushed pineapple, drained and juice reserved
1 tsp. vanilla
4 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
For the icing:(if using)
reserved pineapple juice
2 cups powdered sugar
I didn’t have any crushed pineapple, so I ran a can of pineapple chunks through the blender.  It worked, but crushed is better.
Iin a mixer bowl cream the butter with the sugars.  Add the eggs, pineapple and vanilla.  In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients.  Blend into the wet ingredients.  Drop by teaspoonful onto a greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes.
I like them without the icing, although it might give them a hit of pineapple flavor.   
For the icing: Gradually add pineapple juice to the powdered sugar by the tablespoon.  You want the consistency to be a bit thick, but still stream off the spoon.  While the cookies are still warm, spread the icing on the tops.
This recipe makes about 8 dozen soft, delicious cookies.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Healthy Gluten Free "bread"

This makes a delicious breakfast, sliced a bit thickly and spread with some peanut butter.  

Healthy Gluten Free Bread
Makes 1 loaf
1 cup sunflower seeds
½ cup flax seeds
½ cup hazelnuts or almonds
1 ½ cups rolled oats
2 Tbsp. chia seeds
4 Tbsp. psyllium seed husks (3 Tbsp. if using psyllium husk powder)
1 tsp. fine grain sea salt
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
or honey(for sugar-free diets, use a pinch of stevia)
3 Tbsp. coconut oil or
butter, melted
1 ½ cups water
In a loaf pan, combine all dry ingredients. Whisk maple syrup, oil and water together in a separate bowl. Add mixture to the dry ingredients and combine until everything is completely soaked and dough becomes very thick, adding 1-2 teaspoons water if dough is too thick to stir. Smooth top and let sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours or overnight. 
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Bake bread for 20 minutes, then remove bread from loaf pan, place it upside down, directly on a rack, and bake for another 30-40 minutes (it should sound hollow when tapped). Let cool completely before slicing.
Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days. 
If you wish, you can also add about ½-3/4 cups diced dried fruit to the bread and about ½ tsp of cinnamon as well. I also tend to double the amount of honey when I use that.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Mario's Mexican Breakfast AKA Migas con Huevos

I have a very good friend in Wichita, by the name of Mario.  He is originallMy from Monterey, NL Mexico.  When I visit him, he sometimes makes this very simple and utterly delicious breakfast dish. I have made it many times and anyone who is a fan of Mexican food loves it too.  It is easy to fix for a crowd and a good way to use up stale corn tortillas.  This recipe is for one serving, just double, triple, etc for more people.

2 tbsp oil or lard
2-4 corn tortillas, torn into medium sized pieces
About ¼ cup chopped onion 
1-2 green chiles, seeded and chopped (optional for those who want some heat)
¼ cup cooked salsa, green or red
3-4 eggs, lightly beaten

In a medium sized skillet, nonstick if possible, heat the oil and then fry the tortilla pieces until the start to crisp a bit, stirring often.  Remove from pan and drain on a paper towel.  Add the onion and green chile if using and cook until tender, add the tortilla pieces, the eggs and salsa, cooking until eggs are done, stirring as needed.  Dish up and eat!

You may add some chorizo or diced ham when frying the onion and chiles.  You can top with grated cheese if you like, but I really think that isn't needed.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Huevos motuleƱos

I first had this breakfast dish at a lovely restaurant in Santa Fe, NM called Cafe Pascuals.  It is lovely little place and at breakfast time packed from wall to wall, but well worth the trouble to get into.   The friends I went with recommended that I try this and I was so very happy that I did.  It is an incredible dish and so very easy to make.  It is also very flexible and quick to make as well.

It is originally from the southern part of Mexico, as you can see from the ingredients and is named from the town where it originated, Motul.  Here is my take on it.  Enjoy!

For each serving:

1 ripe, but firm banana, peeled halved lengthways, then each half halved again crossways.
1/2 cup cooked, drained and reheated beans, black are traditional but pintos work well too
1 cup green sauce, heated or a heated cooked smooth red sauce
2-3 eggs cooked as desired, fried is traditional
1/2 cup diced ham or cooked pork (optional)
3 heated corn tortillas
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese or crumbled cotija cheese or some grated monterey jack cheese
1/2 cup cooked green peas (optional, I usually leave out but it is traditional)
1/2 cup pico de gallo
1 tbsp. butter

Heat the tortillas in a dry skillet until warm, but still flexible.  Place on serving plate and set aside in a warm place.   Heat the butter in the skillet and gently fry the banana slices until lightly browned on each side, a nonstick skillet is best for this as the sugar in the bananas can make them stick very easily in a regular skillet.   When the bananas are browned assemble your plate:  tortillas, then the heated salsa, scatter the cooked drained beans over the top, then the ham or pork if using, then the eggs, the peas, the pico de gallo, and finally the crumbled cheese, place the fried banana slices around the edges.   I usually don't use the peas, and in place of the pico de gallo, often just smother the whole thing with more green sauce, mainly because I love green sauce!   This is a delicious breakfast dish and easily made as you can have everything except the eggs and bananas prepared ahead of time, just heat, cook the eggs and bananas, assemble and eat.   I like it for lunch and a light supper too.  Pretty healthy as well!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Kimchi Stew

I have found myself madly in love with Korean food.   It started with a love for kimchi especially and has just grown.   But kimchi is still my all time favorite.   I recently ate at a Korean restaurant and had kimchi stew.  It was incredible!   The recipe searches I've made online are look to be very simple, so decided to try it.  I also spoke with a Korean woman I work with and asked her about it.   She basically said you put in it what you like, as long as there is lots of kimchi, garlic and red peppers.   So came home, through caution to the winds and just made it.    It is very tasty too!

1 lb. diced pork, with a little fat in it if possible.   many recipes call for pork belly
1 large onion, peeled and sliced
4-5 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 pints/4 cups kimchi
1 heaping tbsp.  garlic and red chile paste (optional but tasty)
dash of soy sauce and rice wine vinegar
1/2-1 tsp. crushed red pepper, unless using the red chile paste
2 tbsp. sesame oil
8 oz. cubed tofu
1 tsp. brown sugar
4 cups water

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven then brown the diced pork, when the pork is starting to brown, add the onion and brown both together.   Next add the garlic and stir around until fragrant.   Add the kimchi and any liquid in the jar, the garlic and red chile paste or crushed red pepper, the soy, vinegar and sesame oil, then the water.   Bring to a full boil, then reduce to a simmer and simmer about 30 minutes.   Ten minutes before the time is up, add the tofu, continue to simmer another 10 minutes, then remove from the heat, cover and allow to sit about 10-15 minutes.    Serve with cooked rice.

Options:  this can very easily be made vegan, just by omitting the meat.    You can add other vegetables like mushrooms, carrots, potatoes, radishes, turnips, you name it.   I have also been told you can top each serving with a fried egg.