Monday, July 30, 2012

Blueberry Corncakes

This Olympics has got me thinking.  Namely, about the queen.  Is Queen capitalized?  Is she like Mom or God?  I don't remember learning that rule in English class.

I also didn't learn that Peter Pan existed outside of the Disney realm.  Who knew it was a book first?  So, it's safe to say, I was a little lost during the opening ceremonies.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed them.  I just didn't understand them.
Anyway, back to the Queen.  Do you ever wonder what she eats for breakfast?  I bet it involves a soft boiled egg in one of those fancy egg holders.  She probably doesn't get up and pour herself a bowl of Cheerios.
If I had someone to cook for me whatever I wanted to eat every single morning, two things would happen.  First of all, I would weight 500 pounds and second of all, I would have pancakes.  All the time.  I would have pancakes filled with fresh fruit and cornmeal.  I would top them off with a "healthy" amount of butter and real maple syrup.

But, since I'm not the queen, I get up and make my own drip coffee and pour myself a bowl of Cheerios.  I only get to have these "Queen's Pancakes" on the weekend.
3/4 c. flour
3/4 c. cornmeal
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 c. buttermilk
2 eggs
splash of vanilla
1 c. fresh blueberries (+more for topping pancakes)

1.  Whisk together dry ingredients, set aside.

2.  Whisk together buttermilk, eggs and vanilla then add to dry ingredients, stirring until just combined.

3.  Stir in blueberries.

4.  Place a greased skillet over medium heat.  Once the pan is hot, add batter by 1/4 cupfuls to the skillet.  Once bubbles start breaking on the surface flip.  Cook second side until golden brown.

5.  Top with more butter, fresh blueberries and maple syrup.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Tomato & Tequila

This may come as a surprise to some of you (not the ones who know me in real life), but there are a lot of nights when the last thing I want to do is make dinner.  Like a lot, a lot.
So instead of turning on the oven or cranking up the stove, I pour salsa into a little bowl and eat tortilla chips until I'm full.  

Maybe it's not the most healthy thing to do, but it is tasty!
This drink is like salsa in sippable form!  Perfect for when...I don't run out of chips :)

Recipe from Martha Stewart
1/3 c. tomato juice
2 oz. white tequila
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
fresh cilantro, for garnish

1.  Mix together tomato juice, tequila and lime juice.

2.  Add ice and a few spashes of tobasco.  Garnish with fresh cilantro.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Zucchini Cupcakes with Caramel Frosting

It seems like I'm always ready for the next season to come.

A few months ago, when it was rainy and shifting quickly between winter clothes and summer clothes, I couldn't wait for summer.  I had big plans of how I was going to take advantage of all that the summer season offers up.
I was going to be outside more.  Eat fresh tomato sandwiches.  Stay up late drinking beer on the deck.  Get a tan.  
Now that summer is in full swing I can't stop daydreaming about snow!  I want to go snowshoeing and drink cocoa by a fire.  I want to bundle up and not sweat.  Not sweating is really the big motivator here!
Now I really only have one option.  I'm going to trick myself into enjoying the rest of the summer.  I'm going to eat these cupcakes made from fresh summer veggies out on the deck late into the evening and pair it with a light, summery beer.
Yes, I am going to sweat through this summer and I'm going to make myself as excited about it as I was a few months ago.

Recipe slightly adapted from Taste of Home
3 eggs
1 1/3 c. sugar
1/2 c. canola oil
1/2 c. orange juice
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 c. flour
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. zucchini, shredded

1.  Beat together eggs, sugar, oil, orange juice, and vanilla.  

2.  Combine dry ingredients and gradually add to egg mixture.  Stir in zucchini.

3.  Line muffin pan and fill 2/3 of the way to the top.  Bake at 350˚ for 20-25 minutes.  (Check for doneness with a toothpick.)

4.  Cool for 10 minutes in pan then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
1 c. brown sugar, packed
1/2 c. butter, cubed
1/4 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 - 2 c. powdered sugar
salt to taste

1.  Combine brown sugar, butter and milk in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium heat.  Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.  Remove from heat.

2.  Stir in vanilla.  Cool to lukewarm.
3.  Gradually beat in powdered sugar until frosting reaches spreadable consistency.  Stir in salt to taste.  Pipe onto cooled cupcakes.

*Makes 1 1/2 - 2 dozen.

Monday, July 23, 2012

How to: Cook Fresh Beets

I don't really have a green thumb.  That's not keeping me from trying.  I planted zucchini, tomatoes, jalapeños, strawberries and herbs.

So far, I have gotten 5 teeny tiny strawberries.  I rinsed them off and ate them this morning.
I think they poisoned me.  I've been feeling sick ever since.

I guess that's what I get for trying to be self-sufficient.
This lack of green thumbs, is obviously genetic.  My parents don't have much luck either.  However, they do get some beets every year.

I was pretty hesitant to eat beets.  I thought they were going to taste like the miserable mushy things served in a  little dish every Christmas at my grandma's house.  Those were canned.  Those were nothing like these!
Be warned: they will dye your mouth and teeth red though!  Not good party food :)
Fresh Beets
1 tsp. Sugar
1 tsp. Salt
Salt & Pepper

1.  Trim back roots and leaves of beets to about 1 inch.

2.  Clean under cold water.  Be careful so you don't cut through the skin and leave the skin on while they cook - this will keep the bright red color.

3.  Add beets to a large saucepan and cover with cold water.  Add sugar and 1 tsp. salt to water.  Cover.

4.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.  Continue cooking for 45-60 minutes depending on the size.

5.  Remove from heat.  Drain and submerge them in cold water immediately.  Cut of the roots and stems then the skins will peel of easily when you rub them between your hands.

6.  Slice them and serve with butter, salt and pepper.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Banana Blueberry Smoothie

Here's the cure to my summer rut.

Fruit smoothies, my new bathing suit, and a camping trip this weekend are going to be the perfect antidote.
Smoothies are the perfect summertime treat, because I don't know about you, but I personally don't want to turn on the oven.  I'm sure in the winter it will be nice to bake something and have the entire house rise 10˚, but right now, I don't need that.  Right now I need fruit blended with ice.
1 banana
1 c. blueberries
2 tsp. honey
dash cinnamon
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. vanilla yogurt
1 c. ice

1.  Blend together until smooth.

*Makes 2 large smoothies.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I feel like my summer is slipping away from me.  It's already mid-July and I haven't even gone camping!  We roasted marshmallows over our grill the other day, but that's not really the same thing at all.  Plus our graham crackers were soggy.  It wasn't working.
We've ridden bikes, worn shorts, hiked and climbed, but it still doesn't feel like we're taking full advantage of the long days and warm nights.  

Maybe I'm not eating enough fruit.  Fruit makes it feel like summer.  You know what doesn't make it feel like summer?  Soup and Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.
And yet, that's all that I have wanted to cook.  I guess it's my own fault.  

1 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 c. shortening
1 c. brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 c. milk
3 c. oats
1 c. raisins
1.  Sift together dry ingredients.  

2.  Cut in shortening; add sugar, eggs, vanilla and about half of the milk.  Beat until smooth, about 2 minutes.

3.  Fold in remaining milk and the oats.  Stir in raisins.

4.  Drop spoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet.  Bake at 375˚ for 11-13 minutes.

Makes 4 dozen.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Jalapeño Cheddar Biscuits

Remember back to a few weeks ago when I excitedly shouted that I now had internet and TV?  Well, that exclamation may have been a little bit premature.  While the TV sitch has not posed a problem thus far, the same cannot be said for our experiences with Century Link.
We have called their "help" desk in India which has yet to offer any help at all.  Someone has come out to our house to check the lines.  And still the blinking DSL light on the modem persists!
All of this has forced me to take refuge in the local Starbucks and steal their internet.

I heard that certain coffee shops are now thinking about discontinuing their free wifi because they are tired of the loiterers that buy one tall drip coffee for $1.45 and fill those seats for hours on their computer.
I agree.  That's pretty bad and it takes up space for new customers to come in and enjoy their coffee.

That's why I bought a grande latte for $3.35 instead.

Those 3 dollars and 35 cents allow me to share this recipe for delicious biscuits.  So, thanks Starbucks!
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. shortening
1 1/4 c. buttermilk
1 c. cheddar
1 jalapeño, diced

1.  Whisk together dry ingredients.

2.  Cut shortening into flour, using a fork or wire pastry blender.

3.  Pour in buttermilk all at once and mix until just combined.

4.  Stir in cheese and jalapeño.

5.  Turn out onto a well-floured surface and knead in enough flour until dough is no longer sticky.

6.  Shape into a 1/2" thick square, and cut into 9 squares (or use a biscuit cutter).

7.  Bake at 450˚ for 20-25 minutes on an un-greased cookie sheet.

I recommend dipping them in this soup :)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Reminder

Just a friendly reminder to visit my facebook page and become a fan of Call Me Fudge and you can also like what I like (on Pinterest)!

Thanks for all of your support!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Potato Carrot Chowder

A week ago we had fires all over the state.  The ground was cracking from the dry heat and my poor little flowers were getting scorched.  

This week, the fires are contained (mostly), the ground is muddy and my flowers are drowning.  The rain has brought much needed relief not just to the firefighters but also to our hot, un-air conditioned house.  
I have even been able to use a blanket when I sleep, and wear a sweater in the evenings!

And even though soup is probably the last thing on your mind through these summer months, you could also throw this on some ice and serve it chilled.
So put on a sweater, curl up on the couch, watch a House Hunters marathon, and enjoy this chowder and a Jalapeño Cheddar Biscuit (recipe coming soon)!

1 onion, minced
1/4 c. butter
2 c. diced potatoes
3 c. boiling water
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp. flour
2 c. milk, scalded
3 carrots, diced and cooked

1.  Sauté onion in 2 Tbsp. butter.

2.  Add potatoes, salt, cayenne pepper, and water.  Boil 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

3.  Blend flour with remaining butter and milk.  Add to potatoes.  Stir in cooked carrots.

4.  Cook 5 minutes more.

5.  Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth.  (You could also blend in a tabletop blender, 2 cups at a time.)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Summer Pasta

Around this time, last year, my family and I were on the trip of lifetime!  We went on an African Safari through Kenya and saw amazing animals and landscapes, learned about a new culture, AND got to fly on a British airline!

People can keep trying to convince me that Brits are speaking the same language as I am all they want, but those flight attendants for Virgin Atlantic are doing nothing to help their case.
Since it was a really long flight from London to Nairobi, we were offered food (as if humans actually need more than just stale air and 20 cubic inches of space to survive)!  The choices weren't anything that spectacular (it was still a plane), and I don't remember exactly what I ended up picking, but I do remember what I did not have.  I was very tempted by the "Summer Pasta" dish that sounded refreshing and light.  Exactly what you would want on a hot, cramped airplane.  The type of meal that always sounds good in July.
I asked the very nice flight attendant what exactly came in the Summer Pasta.

She looked at me confused and said, "Summer."

My mom, who was laughing in the seat in front of me, turned around and said, "Salmon!  Salmon comes in the Salmon Pasta!"

I turned to the flight attendant and said, "I'll have the beef.  Thank you."

I really wish we had this pasta on that flight.  That would have been nice and refreshing :)

2 c. orzo pasta
2 cloves garlic, minced
juice of 1 lemon + zest
juice of 1 lime + zest
2 tomatoes, seeded & chopped (or cherry tomatoes, halved)
1/4 c. cilantro, chopped
4 scallions, chopped
yellow pepper, chopped
1/4 c. butter
1/2 c. cream
1/2 c. parmesan cheese, grated
salt & pepper, to taste

1. In a large skillet, sauté garlic in a little bit of extra virgin olive oil.

2. While garlic is cooking, boil water and cook pasta according to package directions.  Reserve 1/2 c. pasta water for sauce.

3.  To the garlic, add lemon and lime juices and zests.  Add all vegetables and sauté for 2 minutes.  Add pasta water, butter, cream, and parmesan and continue to simmer until thickened.

4.  Add orzo to the sauce and mix together.  Salt and pepper to taste.

*Serves 4

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Red, Wheat, and Blueberries

Normally, I think that the emphasis on 4th of July themed foods is a bit, well...unappetizing.  I don't want my cakes or puddings or pies to be bright red and blue and I don't need glittery fireworks sprinkled on my plate.
Normally, I would say, "leave the royal blue and fire engine red to the streamers."  Normally, I would say, "leave the glittery fireworks to the glittery fireworks."  But this year, there are (for VERY good reason) no fireworks for the West.
But this year, since there are no fireworks and we don't know everyone that's walking down Main St. in the parade, maybe we need a little bit of celebratory sugar.

I'm still going to go ahead and opt out of the food dye-inspired patriotism though :)

w/Strawberries and Blueberries
1 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. whole wheat flour
3 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
2 T. sugar
1/2 c. shortening
3/4 c. milk
1 1/2 c. fresh blueberries
1 1/2 c. fresh strawberries, sliced
1 c. heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 +/- sugar

1.  Sift together dry ingredients.

2.  Cut in shortening.  Using a fork, blend until the consistency of rice.

3.  Add milk and blend until just combined.

4.  Smooth into the bottom of a greased, 8-inch, round cake pan.  Bake at 450˚ for 20-25 minutes.
5.  While shortcake is cooking, beat cream on high until medium peaks form.  Add vanilla and sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form.

6.  Cut shortcakes into wedges, top with fresh berries and whipped cream.

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