Archive for April, 2011

by Caitlin Saniga

Raspberry-lemon yogurt muffins

My co-worker Buddy called this muffin "a little slice of heaven." And maybe it was! Yogurt makes these muffins ultra-moist.

  • 1 cup lemon yogurt
  • 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon lemon extract (optional… I didn’t use any, and it was fine.)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 2 cups frozen raspberries
  • 1/4 cup white sugar for decoration

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease 2 12-cup muffin tins, or line with paper liners.

In a large bowl, mix together the yogurt, oil, lemon juice, egg whites, and if using, lemon extract. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, 3/4 cup sugar, baking powder, salt and lemon zest. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and mix until just blended. Gently stir in the frozen raspberries. Spoon batter evenly in the prepared muffin cups.

Bake for 9 minutes. Remove muffin tins from oven and sprinkle remaining sugar over the tops of the muffins for  decoration. Continue baking muffins for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the top springs back when lightly touched. Cool muffins in the tine or on a wire rack.

Makes 2 dozen.

Recipe adapted from: AllRecipes.com

Photo: Caitlin Saniga


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by Sarah Steimer

No more overcast days! I cant take bright, shining pictures of my food without sun. Thanks, April showers (and 50-something degree weather).

  •  2 navel oranges
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • salt
  • ground pepper
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • oil (or cooking spray)
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds

Zest and juice one orange. Peel the other orange and slice for garnishing (or just peel a clementine like I did).

Combine flour (I needed more than suggested), salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Dredge the chicken in the flour, shaking off any excess. Transfer the remaining flour to a small bowl, add broth and whisk.

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned. NOTE: Next time I make this I’m cutting the chicken up. I hate trying to cook thick, whole pieces of chicken breast because I get super anxious about how long it takes to cook all the way through. Save yourself some grief.

Transfer the cooked chicken to a plate. Let your pan cool a little (unless you want a plume of smoke) before you add the wine. Cook the wine for about one minute. Add the flour-broth mixture, the orange zest and juice, salt, raisins, honey and cinnamon. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and add the chicken back to the pan. Turn the chicken once or twice and cook for another 10 or so minutes until the chicken is fully cooked and the sauce has thickened.

Serve the chicken with the sauce, almonds and orange slices.

Makes about four servings.

Recipe adapted from: Eating Well on a Budget

Photo: Sarah Steimer

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by Caitlin Saniga

My burger fixins were Bibb lettuce, Roma tomatoes and red onion. No mustard or ketchup necessary — these burgers were juicy and flavorful enough. A dill pickle on the side never killed anyone, either.

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 cup beer (I used Yeungling.)
  • 4 burger buns
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • burger fixins (lettuce, tomatoes, onions, spinach, apple slices … whatever ya want)

I found this beautiful Bibb lettuce — roots and all — at Fresh Market (my favorite specialty foods store) in Roanoke.

Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat and lightly oil the grate. Or plug in an electric kitchen grill.

A. My friend Eddie puts mustard on errrrythang. B. He grew weary from watching me cook and take a million pictures of his burger. So he quickly annihilated it when I handed it over.

Mix the ground beef, onion, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and thyme in a bowl. Mix in the beer until absorbed by the meat mixture (It will seem like the beer won’t absorb at first. Keep mashing). Form into patties.

Cook on the preheated grill until the burgers are cooked to your desired degree of doneness, about 5 minutes per side for well done, or about 5 minutes total in an electric kitchen grill. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read 160 degrees.

Sprinkle about 1/4 cup of cheese on the insides of each burger bun. Place buns on grill (with the lid covering) or under a broiler for about 1 minute, or until cheese melts.

Assemble burgers with your desired fixins.

Makes 4.

Recipe adapted from: AllRecipes.com

Photo: Caitlin Saniga

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by Sarah Steimer

Bill bought a bunch of bananas... and they all went bad. This is maybe the one fruit that's still worth something when it over-ripens.

  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 4 or 5 large very ripe bananas, peeled
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter , melted and cooled slightly
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup walnuts , toasted and coarsely chopped (optional)

Whisk flour, baking soda and salt together in large bowl. In a separate bowl cut and mash the bananas. Add butter, eggs, brown sugar and vanilla and whisk until well-combined.

Pour banana mixture into flour mixture and stir until just combined with some streaks of flour remaining. Gently fold in walnuts, if using. Scrape batter into a greased 9-inch bread pan (or three mini loaf pans – which I prefer but don’t have. I honestly think mini pans are better. The “regular” size seems to make my my bread too dark). Bake at 35o degree for 55-75 minutes. Let cool before cutting into it.

Makes one 9-inch loaf or three mini loaves.

Recipe adapted from: America’s Test Kitchen (They did some crazy microwave banana work in their recipe, which I’m sure would be good but I wasn’t in the mood.)

Photo: Sarah Steimer

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by Caitlin Saniga

These dumplings were pretty good when they were warm, but then again, they were good the next day when they were cold, too.


  • 1 cup frozen shelled edamame
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 20 square or round wonton wrappers
  • cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup water, divided

Dipping sauce:

  • 2 tablespoon chopped green onions
  • 2  low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon honey

Keep the edamame filling on one half of the wonton wrapper. There's better distribution that way.

Cook edamame according to package directions and drain. Rinse edamame with cold water; drain well. Combine edamame, juice, sesame oil, cumin, and salt in a food processor and process until smooth.

Working with 1 wonton wrapper at a time (cover remaining wrappers with a damp towel to prevent drying), spoon about 1 teaspoon edamame mixture onto one half of each wrapper. Moisten edges of dough with water; fold opposite corners to form a triangle, pinching points to seal. Place dumplings on a large baking sheet sprinkled with cornstarch.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Arrange half of dumplings in a single layer in the pan and reduce heat to medium. Cook 1 minute or until bottoms begin to brown; turn. Add 1/4 cup water to pan; cover. Cook 30 seconds and uncover. Cook 1 minute or until liquid evaporates. Repeat procedure with remaining dumplings and water. Serve immediately with sauce.

To prepare sauce:

Combine the first 3 ingredients in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.

Makes 20.

Recipe adapted from: RecipeGirl.com

Photo: Caitlin Saniga

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by Caitlin Saniga

This dish is a little pricey to prepare, but you can't beat the crispiness of prosciutto. Maybe you decide $5 for five slices of prosciutto is ridiculous. Crumbled bacon or bits of ham (Easter leftovers, anyone?) could work in its place.

  • 2 thin slices prosciutto (2 ounces)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, and place the prosciutto in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake until beginning to darken, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool (the prosciutto will crisp as it cools), then crumble.

Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the peas and cook until tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water to cool.

In a large bowl, toss the peas with the oil, Feta, scallions, prosciutto, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper.

Recipe adapted from: Real Simple

Photo: Holly Saniga

This recipe appeared in Seasonal Sundays (RealSustenance.com).

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by Sarah Steimer

Caitlin and I made this a lot when we lived together... one of the great recipes to come from her Crock Pot cookbook. I tweak it a little each time I make it.

I realize this is late a month late, as “Crock of…” ran in March. But I moved and didn’t have time to finish up the guide! Better late than never, right?

  •  1 pound ground chuck
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 or 2 jalapenos, diced thin
  • 1 red or green pepper, diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • chili powder, to taste
  • cumin, to taste
  • cinnamon, to taste

Cook the meat in a skillet until browned. Drain the grease and add onions. Cook until onions begin to appear translucent. Combine all ingredients in a slower cooker and cook on high for 5-7 hours.*

Makes as many servings as you can eat.

*Keep an eye on your slow cooker. Each one is unique and may not need to cook for as long or perhaps not on a high setting. Your chili should not get dry or pasty in consistency.

Recipe adapted from: Rival CrockPot — Slow Cooker Recipes cookbook

Photo: Sarah Steimer

*Throughout March, “Crock of…” will appear every Friday with our favorite chili recipes — all of which can be found here.

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