September 30, 2008

I've been a baaaaaaaaaaad Blogger!

Despite my absence here, I have been doing some cooking/baking. I'm taking a cautious approach to TWD - while I love that I'm baking again, I've got to nip this weight gain in the bud. I've thought a lot about this. Since my husband finally finished the Chocolate Chunkers, he needed something for breakfast. I really wanted to make the Dimply Plum Cake that was chosen last week by Michelle of Bake-En. Unfortunately, my farmer's market didn't have any Italian Plums by the time we showed up last weekend. However, this week they did have them. Yeah!! I decided that serious calorie reduction is going to be required in Dorie's recipes if I'm going to continue. Fortunately, my revisions were successful. My husband really likes it and I'm able to indulge in a small piece once in a while.

J's Adapted Dimply Plum Cake
makes 8 servings

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 t. baking powder
1 T Butter Buds
1/4 t salt
1/2 t cinnamon
1/3c agave nectar
1 large egg
1/4 c. egg substitute
1/3c. vegetable oil (I used a light olive oil
Not EVOO!)
1 1/2 t. vanilla
8 Italian plums,, cut in half and pit discarded

Preheat oven to 350 and grease an 8" square pan.

Whisk toether dry ingredients. In another bowl, with either a stand or hand mixer, mix the wet ingredients. With a spatula gently mix in the dry ingredients just until combined. Pour into prepared pan. Place plum halves, cut side up in a 4 x 4 pattern and push down into the batter.

Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle.

I've also been making Ratatouille for several weeks with our Market bounty. I searched the web for recipes and decided to make up my own. What sets mine apart is that I roast the veggies, use red wine and slow cook it in the crockpot for several hours.

Roasted Veggies just our of the oven.

J's Ratatouille

1 large eggplant - cubed
1 large onion - roughly chopped
3 cloves of garlic - finely chopped
3 carrots - sliced
1 cup mixed bell peppers (I use Trader Joe's frozen)
1 large zucchini - sliced on the diagonal
2 T extra virgin olive oil
2T Italian seasoning
1/2 t freshly ground pepper
1/2 t. salt
1/2 cup red wine
1 can (23 0z) crushed tomatoes

Preheat oven to 375.
Put all of the veggies on a large baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 30 minutes or until golden and soft. Meanwhile mix the seasonings, wine and tomatoes in the crock pot and put on low. When veggies are done, add them to the crockpot and stir to blend. Cook on low for at least 2 hours.

Makes about 6 one cup servings.

September 16, 2008

TWD - Chocolate Chunkers

This week's recipe was chosen by Claudia of Fool for Food. After sitting out a few weeks (due to increased poundage!) I made these last week. I must have made them smaller than called for because I yielded almost 4 dozen - which is fine. I tasted two and thought they were quite delicious. My husband has "hidden" them to avoid temptation. He prefers your old fashioned chocolate chip cookie, but thought these were good. In fact, the first day he ate too many (they are small after all) and ended up with a tummy ache!

These cookies are actually more add-ins than batter. Thus, their name, Chocolate Chunkers, is quite accurate.

They didn't look much different before they went in the oven

than when they came out

I didn't have the amount of bittersweet chocolate so I just made up the difference with semi-sweet. I didn't have any white chips, so I just subb'd semi-sweet chips. I had exactly one cup of walnuts, so I threw these in. DH does not like raisins in cookies, so left those out. So basically this is are Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chunkers!

September 12, 2008

I'd like to thank................

Peggy from Pantry Revisited has gifted me with an award! I feel honored and appreciative - especially since I've been a little down lately. Thanks, Peggy!

Isn't it beautiful!!
Here are the Award Rules:

1. When you receive a diamond, make a post about it on your blog.
2. Name the blogger from whom you received it.
3. Award the diamonds to seven other bloggers.
4. Link them.
5. Tell them they received an award.

There are so many wonderful bloggers out there and I love reading their new entries everyday. Here are the people that I am giving this award to:

1. Judy over at Culinary Escapade has adopted me as a new blogger. I'm looking forward to learning more about blogging from her.

2. Andrea of Andrea's Recipes lives in the same general area that I do and I like reading about the places she visits and the recipes she posts.

3. The Houndstooth Gourmet aka Ramona is another DC Blogger. And I just noticed she has me on her list of favorite DC Bloggers List. Wow!

4. Julie from Noshtalgia, because we have a similar heritage and her food looks yummy!

5. Kat, author 8 ounces, I cannot believe she is 17! Her blog is gorgeous. She's been posting a lot of delicious cupcakes lately.

6. A Lovely Baker, Jen, is new to TWD and I'm looking forward to visiting her blog.

7. Andrea in the Kitchen, another TWD sister with a wonderful blog.

Whew - coming up with 7 was harder than I thought! These are a little like chain letters, so it's easy to get inundated and overwhelmed with them - but I REALLY DO appreciate the thought.

Yes - I'm still here :)

This seems to be difficult time of year for many bloggers, according to several I've been reading lately. Don't get me wrong - I love Fall. I've always been confused about the conflicting emotions I have as we head into this gorgeous season.


While I haven't been blogging I have been cooking and baking. I've sat out on the last TWDs because I knew my husband wouldn't like them and I've gained five pounds between TWD and Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. Last night I did make next week's selection and will report on it next Tuesday.

One of the great things about having bread dough in the fridge is the opportunity to try new breads on a whim. I've been wanting to try pita for ages. I found it so cool to look through my grundgy (sp?) oven window and watch the magic happen.

and when it didn''t

The key is to roll the dough thin and even. When there are thick and thin places it doesn't get one big whole.

Here's a finished pita with a side of hummus. Yum!

Last week I had made up a batch of the Challah dough. Though I didn't get pictures, I made two loaves. One I gave to friends who invited us for dinner and the other I used to make french toast. To finish up the batch, which needs to be used within five days as opposed to two weeks due to the eggs and butter, I attempted Monkey Bread. It tasted wonderful and fed my husband for breakfast for a little over a week!

A few weeks ago my DH was out of town and I was feeling sorry for myself, so I treated myself to some organic figs I found at the Kingstowne Farmers' Market for an outrageous amount of money .

I topped each half with goat cheese and toasted some walnuts on the side then put the whole thing under the broiler for a few minutes. I felt much better after having these (all of myself....................because I'm worth it!!)

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