Just a little ole working gal, who loves food

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Quinoa Mac & Cheese

So obviously I have had a recent obsession with Quinoa...but its just so darn good and quick to make on a weeknight. I love it!!
This recipe however..puts a little bit of an unhealthy twist to it...but equally as delicious! You pretty much just make your normal mac & cheese but substituting the macaroni with cooked Quinoa! Brilliant!

 I like bacon in pretty much everything...so why not in this. Take 6 Strips of Thick Cut bacon and dice. Fry up in a saucepan.
 Drain most of the bacon grease out and add 1 small chopped onion. Cook until onion is translucent and set this aside for now.
 In a large pot melt 3 Tbsp of butter over medium high heat. Add 2 Tbsp of flour and combine until it starts to brown in colour and produce a nutty smell.
 Reduce the heat slightly and add 2 Cups 2% Milk. You can use cream here but I felt this was rich enough without it. Whisk until the milk comes up to a low simmer.
 now add 2 Cups shredded cheddar, 1 Cup Shredded Monterrey Jack and 1/2 Cup freshly grated Parmesan.
 Whisk until the cheese sauce is nice and creamy and thick.
 Add your cooked Quinoa and combine. I used about 4 Cups of cooked Quinoa for this recipe.
 Lastly add your bacon/Onion mixture and 3 chopped Scallions. Test for seasoning (Salt and Pepper)
Voila! My husband thought the texture was strange since it has a distinct Mac and Cheese flavour but with a grain instead of pasta...but it was definitely yummy and hit the spot!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Banana Bread

We usually don't let Banana's go bad in our household since they are a staple in our breakfast smoothies (That recipe to come next week!)...but once in a while...we will head up to the cottage for the weekend and forget about the fresh bunch of banana's at home. Then we get back and they are brown and overripe. That's when I chuck the bunch in the freezer and wait for a time when we crave some banana bread!! Here is my go to recipe!

In your mixer add 1 Cup Packed Brown Sugar, 2 Eggs and 1/2 Cup Melted Butter

Add 1 Tsp of Vanilla and a 1/4 cup of 2% Milk...start to Mix on medium speed.
In the meantime combine your dry ingredients in a bowl. 1 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flower, 1/2 Tsp Salt, 1 Tsp Baking Powder, 1 Tsp Baking Soda, 1 Tsp Cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg.

Your wet ingredients should be combined by now and creamy

Stop the mixer and add about 2 Cups of Mashed up bananas...these were from the freezer...I let them defrost then mashed them up in a bowl. Combine the banana's into the wet ingredients by hand.

Now fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until combined.
Pour mixture into a greased bread pan (grease with butter...its better!)
Top with a mixture of Brown sugar, chopped pecans and chopped walnuts.
Bake at 350F for about 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow bread to rest for about 15-20 minutes in the oven with the door wide open. Letting it cool down slowly.
Slice and serve..preferably with more butter.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Crispy Quinoa Pancakes with Roasted Garlic Aioli

My name is Jenn.
And I cannot cook proper portion sizes when it comes to grains.
Yep. That's me...cooking an entire bag of rice for two people...then we are stuck eating rice for 4 days as a side.
this fault of mine has been proven useful!! There are so many different ways you can incorporate grains into salads, soups and sides. Having them already cooked in the fridge is super useful!!

And it became very useful this weekend when I made these delicious pancakes!!
First, you need to roast your garlic. Chop off the top of a whole head of garlic. Drizzle with olive oil, wrap in tin foil and place in a 400F oven for about 45 minutes-1hour. Set aside and cool.

  If you don't have pre-made quinoa in the fridge, boil 1 cup of quinoa according to package directions. 1 Cup dry quinoa makes about 2 cups cooked...which is how much you will need for this (about 8 pancakes). Make sure quinoa is cool to the touch before proceeding.
 In a bowl combine 2 chopped green onion (or 1 handful of chives), 3/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese, 2 tbsp Flour, 1 Egg, and 1 Tbsp freshly ground pepper.
 Add your cooled quinoa and combine. The mixture will be sticky.  Set this aside for a couple of minutes while you heat up your pan.
 Add 2 Tbsp Olive Oil into a medium heat frying pan. Form the quinoa mixture into patties and place in the pan. Allow to cook for about 3-5 minutes per side or until golden brown and crispy.
 Flip!! Once done set aside on a paper towel lined place while you prepare the Aoili.
 For the Aoili, squeeze the roasted garlic out of the head on to a cutting board and mash with the side of your knife. Add the garlic to 1/2 Cup Mayonnaise, 1 Lemon Juice plus zest, 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper and salt and pepper to your taste.
Drizzle over your quinoa pancakes and enjoy!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Homemade Ice Cream - Super EASY!

Did you know that you can make ice cream at home?
Without an ice cream maker?
And its realllllly good?
And it only takes a couple ingredients??????????
Well now you do!!
I heard about this through the eagle brand condensed milk website and thought that maybe its wouldn't be THAT good...but hey...I like to try new things!!
 Take 2 Cups of heavy whipping cream and whip it up in your mixer
 You want it to be pretty whipped...but DON"T OVER WHIP! you will turn the cream to butter if you over whip...that will be another post!
 In a large bowl pour 1 can of condensed Milk and any other flavours you want to add. I was in a chocolate mood so I added Cocoa Powder (1 Tbsp), 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract, a Huge Handful of chocolate covered almonds and a handful of pecans and walnuts.
 I also had a jar of Chocolate/Caramel Sauce and poured that in too. Mix this all together to combine.
 Now slowly fold in your whipped cream. You want it JUST combined.
 Pour your ice cream mixture into a loaf pan...cover in plastic wrap and freeze! DONE! and so easy!
 I also made a key lime flavour! Juiced about 8 key limes and the zest of 1 into the condensed milk
 Then when I poured it into the loaf pan I stopped half way and sprinkled graham cracker crumbs over...
 Then topped it up with the rest of the ice cream and more crumbs! It tasted EXACTLY like key lime pie! You need about 4 hours of freezing time before you can indulge!
Super creamy and easy to make!! I suggest you make some tonight!