Experimental Brownies

I have a good recipe for moist, fudgy brownies.  But I have been trying to find a more healthy recipe for brownies using whole wheat flour.  Every time I have tried one they come out crumbly and dry.  So I doubled my recipe minus one egg and used half white/half wheat flour this time.  They still came out crumbly but more fudgy than other attempts.  I have a few other tricks I'm going to try, but it is getting better.

1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup oil
1 1/2 cups sucanat, powdered
3 eggs
2 tbsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 deg.  Grease bottom of 9"x13" baking pan.

Mix butter, oil and sucanat in a mixing bowl.  Add eggs and vanilla and mix throughly.  Add remaining ingredients and mix for two minutes on high.

Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Whipped Ice Cream

I was in an experimental mood today.  I wanted to make ice cream but didn't want to use eggs.  I haven't had the best of luck with a cooked custard ice cream.  It always tasted eggy to me.  So I wondered what would happen if I whipped the cream beforehand?  It has a nice creamy texture without the eggs.  I love it! I'm going to try this again with half the cream and twice the milk.  I'll let you know how it goes!  :)

Makes 2 quarts

1 pint heavy cream
1 small package vanilla pudding
1/2 cup superfine sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
pinch salt
1 cup whole milk

Whip cream in a large bowl until stiff peaks form.  Pour whipped cream into ice cream maker.  Add remaining ingredients.  Mix ice cream according to directions.


Best Chicken Dinner Ever!!

I got the marinade recipe off the Old Bay seasoning tin.  It was fabulous!  I used frozen chicken and it cooked perfectly.

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp Old Bay seasoning
1 tsp parsley
1/4 tsp black pepper

Combine everything but chicken in a ziptop bag.  Mix throughly and add chicken.  Refrigerate 20-30 minutes turning over half way through.

Preheat grill to medium-high.  Place chicken on grill for 5 minutes.  Rotate chicken 1/4 turn and grill additional 5 minutes.  Turn chicken over and repeat grill times.  Baste chicken with marinade every time you rotate it.  Test  temperature in thickest part of breast.  It should read about 175 deg.

Serve with cooked rice mixed with sauteed onions and a green salad.


Whole Wheat Flour Tortillas

Yes, there is a reason that my tortillas are rectangle.  I used my pasta maker attachment to roll out the dough.  It's only about 6 inches wide so I was a bit limited in my circular shape.  I rolled them out thinner as well.  That will effect your cooking time, so be aware of that!!  It only took about 10 seconds per side.

adapted from CookingMexicanRecipes

5 cups of soft wheat flour
1 tbsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
1/2 cup powdered milk
4 tbsp oil
1 1/2 cup warm water

Combine 4 cups of flour, baking powder, salt and milk in a mixing bowl.  In another bowl combine the warm water and oil.

With mixer on medium, slowly add the water and oil mixture to the flour mixture until everything is all mixed together.  Add remaining flour a couple tablespoons at a time.  Dough will begin to pull away from the sides of the bowl.  Add enough flour until dough is soft and not sticky.

Divide dough into small balls, about 2 tablespoons.  Place the balls on a baking pan or counter, making sure they don't touch each other and cover with a damp cloth.  Let them rest for 20-30 minutes.

Preheat an ungreased skillet or cast iron pan on medium high heat.

Lightly dust surface with flour.  Take a ball of dough and flatten it out to a 4-inch circle.  Rub flour on your rolling pin and roll the dough from the center out.  Roll the tortilla until it is 6- or 7-inches in diameter and about 1/8 inch thick.

Place tortilla on preheated skillet.  Cook tortilla for about 15-30 seconds, just until it starts to look dry. Flip it over and cook an additional 10-20 seconds.

Don't over cook it!  You want the tortilla to be nice and soft.

Keep your tortillas warm by covering them in a towel on a plate or in a tortilla warmer.

Tortillas are best eaten hot right off the griddle, but you can refrigerate and freeze them too.

If you freeze the tortillas, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and put them in a ziplock bag. When you are ready to use them, first thaw at room temperature and then wrap them in foil and place them in a 250 degree oven for a 10-15 minutes.


Healthy Cheese Crackers

4 oz finely shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup oil
2 cups soft whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
6 tbsp cold water

Preheat oven to 350 deg.  Beat cheese and oil together.  Add flour, salt and baking powder.  Mix in water 1 tablespoon at a time until dough cleans the sides of the bowl.  It will be slightly sticky.

Grease baking pan.  Roll dough out on pan to about 1/8 inch thick.  Cut dough into 1 1/2 inch squares with a pizza cutter.  Sprinkle with salt (I used my salt shaker).

Bake for 15 minutes.  Cool on cooking rack.  Break into squares and store in an air tight container.  If you let these sit in the oven for about 30-45 minutes, after baking with the oven off, they will crisp up after cooling.  I  wasn't patient enough.  :)  They are still really good though!


"Healthier" No Bake Cookies

2 cups sucanat
½ cup almond or rice milk
1/3 cup butter
¼ tsp salt
½ cup peanut butter
¼ cup cocoa
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups regular oats

Mix sucanat, milk, butter and salt in large saucepan over medium heat.  Boil for 1 minute.  Remove from heat and add peanut butter, cocoa and vanilla.  Mix well.  Stir in oats.

Drop by tablespoonfuls (I use my 2 tbsp scoop) onto wax paper and allow to cool until firm.


French Toast Sticks

I liked this recipe because I didn't need to use a dozen eggs.  They still came out soft in the middle and crispy on the outside.  Lovely!

Adapted from allrecipes

1/4 cup whole wheat flour (I used soft wheat pastry flour)
1 cup almond milk
1 pinch salt
3 eggs
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp sucanat
12 slices whole wheat bread

Measure flour into a large mixing bowl.  Slowly whisk in the milk.  Whisk in the salt, eggs, cinnamon, vanilla extract and sucanat until smooth.

Heat a lightly oiled or non-stick griddle or frying pan over medium heat.

Soak bread slices in mixture until saturated.  Cook bread on each side until golden brown.  Serve hot.


A Different Chocolate Chip Cookie

My husband found this website on StumbleUpon.  He found the Jacques Torres cookie recipe, but I didn't have bread or cake flour.  She said, "Now, I have a chocolate chip cookie recipe that I swear by. I love it, I think it is incredible, and I haven’t changed my mind about that. However, as much as it pains me to say it, these chocolate chip cookies by Jacques Torres are absolutely, without a doubt, the best chocolate chip cookies that I have ever made or tasted in my entire life."  Since I didn't have the needed ingredients, I thought I would try her "swear by" recipe.  They are fantastic!  The outside has a nice crunch but they are soft and gooey in the middle.  I'm guessing that if you made them smaller, they wouldn't turn out the same.  So make them big and enjoy the goodness!!
Compliments of Crepes of Wrath

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 cups semisweet chocolate chunks (I didn't have chunks so I used chips.  But Sydney says that the chunks is what makes these cookies so great.  After trying them, I can see why.)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Grease or line your cookie sheets.  (I did neither and they came off just fine.)

Sift the flour, salt and baking soda together and set aside.

Mix the sugars and melted butter until thoroughly mixed.  Then add egg, yolk and vanilla and mix until creamy.  Add the sifted ingredients and mix until just blended – don’t over beat!  Stir in chocolate chunks by hand.

Drop dough a bit less than 1/4 cup (I used my 3 tbsp scoop) at a time on cookie sheet, about 3 inches apart.

Bake for 12-15 minutes, depending on the size of your cookies.  Mine took 17 minutes.

Leave them on the cookie sheet to cool a bit.  This is important!  They will fall apart if you move them too soon.  Once they cool a few minutes, remove the cookies to a cooling rack to finish cooling.

Makes 10-12 cookies, depending on their size.  Mine made 21.


Easy Rice

I've always been intimidated by making rice on the stovetop.  I don't know why.  But it's really easy!!

Soak desired amount of rice in a bowl for up to 1 hour.  Drain.

Level rice in a pot and add warm-ish water.
Add enough water to reach the first knuckle of your finger, about 1 inch above rice.
The picture shows the amount for brown rice which will need a bit more.  About 1 1/4 inches.

Cook rice over medium-high heat until it just starts to boil.
Turn heat to low (a gentle simmer) and cover.
Cook for 15-18 minutes for white rice.  Brown rice takes about 30-40 minutes.

Leave lid on and let sit for at least 10 minutes.
This allows the moisture to distribute evenly throughout the rice and so you're not left with dry rice on top and mushy rice on the bottom.
Now go enjoy your beautiful rice!!

I like to make a big batch of rice and then freeze it in zip top bags.
Then I warm it in my microwave and I have quick and still beautiful rice!
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