Sunday, May 29, 2011

Barley Jambalaya

I got this recipe a few years ago from my friend Elysa and it is so yummy! It makes a HUGE pot and even tastes better the next day when the spices have had a chance to meld. The kids love it and it's super healthy.
2 cups barley
5 cups chicken broth or water
2 bay leaves (optional)
1 cup cooked, shredded chicken (can use canned) or shrimp
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 cup diced fresh peppers (I prefer red & yellow)
1 cup diced celery (4-5 stalks)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 15oz can diced tomato (or two large fresh tomatoes, diced)
2 8oz cans tomato sauce (or 1/2 jar spaghetti sauce)
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I never add this, I'm wimpy when it comes to heat and I don't have any)

1. In a large stock pot cook barley, chicken broth or water and bay leaves, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 1 hour.

2. In large pan heat olive oil and saute vegetables and garlic. Stir in meat, spices, tomates and tomato sauce and cook over medium heat until boiling. Reduce heat, cover and simmer on low until barley is done.

3. Remove bay leaves from barley. Stir vegetable/tomato mixture into barley. Serve warm. Tastes great reheated the next day- add a little water or spaghetti sauce to thin if desired.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Best Belgian Waffles

I love light airy belgian waffles. I like this recipe because it doesn't use yeast, so no waiting. Whenever I get a strawberry shortcake craving I just whip up a batch of these for breakfast, YUM.

Belgian Waffles
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 tablespoon oil
1 ½ cups milk
3 eggs, separated
2 teaspoons vanilla
pinch of salt

Beat egg whites until they form stiff peaks (I have never actually beaten them until peaks form- just until frothy and foamy and they turn out perfect). In a separate bow, mix all other ingredients, then gently fold in the egg whites. Cook on belgian waffle iron. Serve warm with fruit or syrup.

Makes 5-6 large waffles

*These tend to puff up really big then fall as they cool. However if you add 3 teaspoons of baking powder they won't fall and will be crispy- so if you prefer crisp firm waffles add the extra, otherwise enjoy soft fluffy waffles and eat fast!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

I think I may have found a runner up to Red Velvet... These are so delicious! And I'm not even much of a peanut butter fan... Start with a regular old chocolate cupcake recipe, I like these chocolate sour cream cupcakes then top with peanut butter buttercream frosting and chopped Reese's peanut butter cups.

Peanut Butter Frosting
1 cube butter, softened
2 tablespoons crisco
3/4 cup peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons milk

Cream butter, crisco, peanut butter and vanilla. Mix in powdered sugar and thin with milk to spreading consistency. Spread onto cooled chocolate cupcakes and top with chopped Reese's peanut butter cups (you can freeze the Reese's first for easier chopping).
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