Sunday, June 22, 2014

Poppyseed Lemon Pancake

The 2014 World Cup has been consuming my time these past two weeks, and I apologize for the silence, but what a game today!
USA vs Portugal! 
Germany better wake up here, right?  

Anyhow, I love Sundays because I get to really cook for breakfast without rushing out the door.  I'm talking:
  • Sit down. 
  • Savor the food. 
  • Sip my coffee. 
  • Read.
  • Do Whatever
And today, I did just that! 
I made Lemon-Poppyseed Pancakes with Blueberries
In part, because I wanted to try something new; but also, because Jon is headed home for a brief visit this coming weekend, and lemon-flavored dishes and breakfast are some of his favorite things--how perfect is that?  Put it all in a pancake. Why not?

These pancakes can stand alone;or, add a few eggs, bacon, sausage, and/or fruit.
I'd say...30 minutes tops to make a simple, but delicious, breakfast for any college student. Leftovers great for snacking later. See what you guys think!

Recipe from Baking With Blondie--check out her site for delicious, consistent recipes!

Griddle or large non-stick skillet
Large spatula
Mixing bowls
Grater or zester

2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt

2 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 Tbls butter, melted
1/3 cup poppy seeds
Lemon zest from 4 lemons

Fresh blueberries
Maple Syrup

1. Wash your hands.
2. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt in a large bowl.

3. Combine the buttermilk, eggs, melted butter, lemon zest, and poppy seeds in a separate bowl.

4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir with a whisk until combined.

5. Heat your skillet with a pat of butter on MED-HIGH.

6. Pour 1/4 to 1/3 cup of batter into the skillet. Remember these will enlarge and expand. Make  sure you have enough space.

7. When the edges begin to bubble and bottom is golden brown, flip carefully onto other side.

8. Cook until golden brown. Remove from skillet. Repeat until the batter is gone.
9. Serve with fresh blueberries, warm syrup, and a little dab of butter if you like.

10. Bacon, sausage, fruit, hashbrowns optional.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Pineapple Jalapeño Chicken

Life is good when you know what you are doing in the kitchen! Sometimes you just start making stuff up with whatever you have in your pantry and reserves,  because there is simply no time for the grocery store or going out.  That's exactly what happened the Monday after getting back from St Petersburg, Florida...we had chicken breasts, one jalapeño, some pineapple juice, lime juice, my fresh herbs, and of course, the usual spices: garlic and Tajin.  This just sort of made sense...and man, was it delish...totally hit the spot!

Before kids headed off to college, it was not uncommon that we'd get back from a late night flight and everyone would be starving after bad airplane food and long hours. Thinking on your feet and throwing something together for two teenage boys became a nightly challenge, but in that process of being creative you find great combinations of flavor--this recipe is one of those 'throw-together-recipes'--perfect for the grad student, college kid with an unpredictable schedule!

Try this the next time you have little time to prepare.
Add white, brown rice, roasted potatoes, a salad, carrots, a roll, make a sandwich--and don't look back!

Pineapple Jalapeño Chicken

Non-stick skillet with or without grill grates
(or use an actual grill if it's not 11:00 pm like the other night)
Pie Plate or Pyrex Dish for marinating
(if you have extra few hours, throw everything in this for a few hours)

5 chicken breasts, skinless (5-6 oz prepackaged are ideal for this recipe)

olive oil
1-2 tsp of Tajin
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 lime, juiced
1/2 cup pineapple juice (or try orange juice, but the pineapple rocks)
Fresh herbs--oregano, basil, thyme
Salt & Pepper
1 jalapeño, seeds and all for the heat

1. Wash your hands.
2. Wash the surface of anything your chicken comes into contact with.
3. Prep your marinating dish with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper.

4. Add Tajin, jalapeño slices, lime juice, and pineapple juice.

5. Add chicken.

6. Drizzle olive oil, garlic, jalapeño, salt & pepper, Tajin over chicken AGAIN.

7. Add your fresh (or dried) herbs

8. If time is not an issue, let these marinate for 1-2 hours if possible.
9. Pat chicken breasts dry.
10. Heat your skillet with 1-2 Tbls olive oil on MED-HIGH.

11. Sear the chicken breasts 4-5 minutes each until golden brown.

12. Add your sides, sit back and enjoy having one more option for your chicken!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Quick Potato Gratin

Summer (provided we see it in the Midwest--currently raining and 55F degrees) is bound to be filled with travel, family reunions, picnics, potlucks, road trips, camping, and impromptu grilling--at least I hope you have those kind of summer breaks.

Most of the time it's the end of the day when everyone is trying to figure out what everyone else is doing until finally someone says "just come over. I'm making: ____________ tonight. Stop by!" So, why not?  Just try not to be empty handed. Bring something other than a few raw baking potatoes wrapped in foil, hoping that your host has the rest--a grill or an oven along with some butter and sour cream.

A little prep time could make you look like a star with an awesome, satisfying side dish that will make everyone happy you came.  Of course, no one does comfort food like Ree Drummond, and thus, I used her base with a slight modification to the fat content and layering.  Couldn't believe how perfect these were for college cooking!

(Adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food From My Frontier)

Quick Potato Gratin

9" x 13" Pyrex Oven-proof Dish, buttered
Chopping Board

2 Tbls butter, softened
4 large Russet, Red, Yukon potatoes, scrubbed and cleaned

1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
2 Tbls all-purpose flour
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp salt + extra
Fresh black pepper
1 cup sharp cheddar, grated
5 green onions, thinly sliced to the greens

Fresh thyme

1. Wash your hands and scrub the potatoes.

2. Preheat your oven to 400F degrees.
3. Prep your buttered dish. Set aside
4. Slice your potatoes lengthwise and dice in equal parts. (up to you if you peel them)
5. Prep your garlic and green onions.

 6. Combine the milk, cream, garlic, flour, salt and pepper with a whisk until well-combined.

 7. Sprinkle the potatoes with salt & pepper.

 8. Add 1/2 cup of sharp cheddar in between.

 9. Pour the cream mixture over the top.

 10. Cover dish with PAM-sprayed foil (sprayed side facing against cheese) and bake x 30 minutes.

11. Remove from oven and sprinkle 1/2 - 1cup on top and bake another 20 minutes.

12. Broil x 3-5 minutes until golden brown and cheese is gooey and bubbling.

 12. Add your green onions just before serving. Crack some fresh ground pepper on top.