Monday, July 30, 2018

Magazine Monday #31: Molten Spiced Chocolate Cabernet Cake

A couple of interesting things happened with this recipe.

First off, I didn't think it would turn out.  Like, at all.  I'm not sure why I had such little faith in myself, but I didn't think it would turn out.

But it did.  And it was delicious.

Secondly, this is one of those recipes that actually came from an ad from a magazine, and I'm always torn as to whether they count as magazine recipes.  (Obviously, I have decided on at least two occasions that they do, in fact, count.)

Lastly, this was a recipe that I decided to make (despite having already decided it would fail) almost solely because I already had one of the weird ingredients it called for.  Kind of.  This particular ad was for McCormick spices, and it called for something called Saigon Cinnamon.  I knew I had (delicious) Penzey's Vietnamese Cinnamon in my spice cabinet, and after a quick Google search to confirm that the former Saigon was, in fact, in Vietnam (it was), I decided that coincidence was too great, and that I had to make this, despite the fact that it would likely fail.  (But you already know how that particular story ends.)    

This recipe is actually surprisingly easy, so give it a try and impress your dinner guests.  Or a date.  Or your cat.

(Don't give your cat chocolate, please.)

Molten Spiced Chocolate Cabernet Cakes
Makes 4 cakes
Recipe from McCormick

4 oz. semi-sweet baking chocolate
1 stick butter
1 Tbsp. Cabernet Sauvignon
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
6 Tbsp. flour
1/4 tsp. Saigon (or Vietnamese) cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground ginger

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and butter 4 6-oz. ramekins.  

Microwave chocolate and butter in a large microwavable bowl for 1 minute.  Whisk the butter and chocolate together until smooth.

Whisk in the wine, vanilla, and sugar until well-blended.  Add eggs and egg yolk and mix.  Add flour and spices and whisk until combined.  Pour batter into ramekins and place ramekins on a baking sheet.

Bake 13 to 15 minutes until sides are firm, but centers are soft.  Remove from oven and let stand one minute.  Loosen the edges with a butter knife, then invert each ramekin onto a serving plate.  Sprinkle with additional powdered sugar and serve immediately.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Magazine Monday #30: Upside-Down Tomato Tart

I have been wanting to make this recipe since I pulled it out of a magazine almost 2 years ago.  Y'all know I love summer produce, and anything made with bacon grease is delicious, so this one was a no-brainer.

I really had no idea how good it would be, though.  So.  Good.  It's everything that's great about a (mostly) vegetarian dish.  The flavors are amazing, it's got a little heat to it...I highly recommend this for any kind of small summer gathering.

(I also found, randomly, that I have Lemon Pepper seasoning in my cabinet.  I have no idea where it came from or why I have it, but it worked out nicely that it was an ingredient in this dinner!

Admittedly, my tart was pretty ugly, at least compared to the picture and cover of the magazine, but man, was it delicious.  It's great the next day as lunch, too!

(Oh, and happy Magazine Monday!  We've made it 30 weeks in a row, you guys!  Whoo!!)  

Upside-Down Tomato Tart
Serves 4
From Food Network Magazine, September 2016

*I swear I took a picture of the puff pastry, but it's nowhere to be found.

2 Tbsp. bacon grease
4 cups heirloom cherry tomatoes
1/2 large sweet onion, sliced into half-moons
1/2 tsp. lemon pepper seasoning
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
Salt & pepper
Olive oil (to coat dish)
2 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 cup grated asiago cheese (or I used a Parmesan & Romano blend)
1 9-in. square frozen puff pastry (1/2 package), thawed

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine bacon grease, tomatoes, onion, lemon pepper, red pepper flakes, and salt & pepper to taste in a bowl.  Spread on the baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven to let cool and reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F.

Coast the bottom and sides of a 9-inch iron skillet (or pie pan, like I used) with olive oil.  (I actually used an 8-inch pie pan, but I don't think that was big enough.  Use an 8-inch pan if you want, but I recommend 9.)

Toss the tomato mixture with the lemon juice and cheese and spread evenly in the pan.  Place the pastry on top and trim any overhang with kitchen shears.  I also recommend putting the pan on a clean cookie sheet for baking.

Bake until the pastry is golden brown, about 50 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes.  It may look weird and disjointed.

That's fine.  It'll settle.

After it's cooled for 5 minutes, place a large plate on top and invert the tart.  Let cool for another 5 minutes.  Cut into wedges and serve.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Magazine Monday #29: Creamed Spinach Frittata with Warm Bacon Salad

Happy Magazine Monday! 

This recipe surprised me.  I'd glanced through the ingredients and looked at the picture, and I thought it looked good, but I didn't read the recipe itself, so it wasn't until I was making it that I saw that this entire thing is the microwave.

#1:  This was one of the best recipes I've ever made.  I ate half of it in one sitting.

#2:  WHY did none of y'all tell me that you can make bacon in the microwave??

#3.  Make this for dinner tonight.

It's hot, and using the oven when it's hot can be kind of torturous.  So why not making everything in the microwave?

Thanks again, Rachael Ray, with your crafty microwave usage and your surprisingly delicious flavor combinations!

Creamed Spinach Frittata with Warm Bacon Salad
Serves 4


1 cup diced onion
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp. prepared horseradish
1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
6 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
5 eggs, beaten
3 slices bacon
5 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. dijon mustard
5 oz. mixed greens
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
Salt & pepper

In a medium bowl, mix the onion, cream, horseradish, and rosemary for 5 minutes.  Stir in the spinach, eggs, and salt & pepper to taste.

Coat a 9-inch pie plate (or 8x8 casserole dish) with cooking spray or olive oil.  Add the spinach mixture and cover with a plate.  Microwave 5 minutes.  Uncover and microwave for about 4 minutes or until the center of the frittata is just set.  (Check after 2 minutes.)

Arrange the bacon slices in a single layer on a plate.  Microwave on high (you'll probably want to cover is) until the bacon is crisp, about 3 and a half minutes.

Transfer the bacon to a paper towel to drain.  Whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, and mustard with the bacon grease and season with salt & pepper.  

Add the beans to the greens, then toss with the dressing.  Add salt & pepper to taste.

Divide the frittata and salad amongst 4 plates and top the salad with crumbled bacon.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Magazine Monday #28: Mixed Berry Burrata Salad

It's hot, y'all.

Before you tell me that it's only like 86 here and it's 110 in other parts of the state/country, I'll tell you that I know that...but it's not usually this hot here.  And also, I don't have A/C.

This Magazine Monday recipe is a great barbeque side, or a hot weather snack, or a dinner when you just feel like you're melting and don't want to turn on a stove or an oven or even a microwave.  It's really easy and it's refreshing.

A note about the cheese.

Yes, I realize that burrata and mozzarella aren't the same thing.  (You can read about the differences here if you're interested.  I found it interesting.)  However, I had my mind set on this recipe, and I couldn't find burrata at the store, and I don't like asking for things I can't find at stores, and they LOOK similar, so I used mozzarella.  It was fine.

However truth be told, I suspect it would be better with burrata, so try to find that first, and if you can't, mozzarella will do in a pinch.

Also, as I have for a few recipes now, I recommend using a specific spice from Penzey's.  If you don't have it, that's fine, but there's not really a good substitute for it.

Mixed Berry Burrata Salad
Serves 6
From Clean Eating Magazine, May 2017


2 8-oz. rounds burrata cheese (or 16 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese)
1 cup strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/2 cup blackberries
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup raspberries
3 Tbsp. thinly sliced basil leaves
1/4 tsp. flaky sea salt
Black pepper to taste
1 tsp. Penzey's Pico Fruta (optional)
3 tsp. olive oil
4 tsp. balsamic vinegar

Pull cheese apart and arrange on plates or a platter.

Arrange berries on top of/around the cheese.  Sprinkle with basil, salt pepper, and Pico Fruta.  

Drizzle with balsamic vinegar & olive oil.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Magazine Monday #27: Kickin' Cauliflower Shrimp & "Grits"

This recipe was supposedly invented by a 10-year-old.

I always have trouble when magazines have these contests (happy Magazine Monday, by the way!) where they say that kids came up with these impressive recipes.  When I think of a 10-year-old coming up with a recipe, it's more like that weirdo PB&J sandwich with BBQ chips and crushed Nutty Bars.

What I'm saying is, if a 10-year-old actually came up with this recipe, I'm very impressed.  It's a much healthier take on the Southern classic, Shrimp & Grits.  The grits, in this case, are instead cauliflower rice.  (Well, OK, they should have been cauliflower rice.  Mine was riced broccoli because Trader Joe's was out of the cauliflower rice, and I didn't have the patience to make my own.)

Also, I substituted kale for the collard greens, because TJ's doesn't have collard greens.  I got creative, OK?

And it was delicious.  I ate the whole batch over the span of a couple of hours, but I didn't feel too badly about it, because it was 95% vegetables. 5% shrimp & olive oil.

You could eat all of this yourself like some kind of monster (like me) or make it for your family.  It's your call.  But make it, for sure!

Kickin' Cauliflower Shrimp & "Grits"
Serves 4 (or me)
From Rachael Ray Every Day, September 2016


4 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 bunches kale, chopped (or 1 bunch collard greens, chopped)
1/2 cup water
3 dashes balsamic vinegar
1 bag riced broccoli
1/2 cup canned light coconut milk
Zest and juice from 1 lemon
1/2 cup corn
10 oz. shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tails removed (I got medium-sized shrimp.)
2 tsp. chili powder
2 green onions, green parts chopped
Crushed red pepper to taste

In a large pot, add 1 Tbsp. oil and heat over medium-high.  Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, for about a minute.

Add the kale (or collard greens), water, and balsamic vinegar to the pot.  Season with salt and pepper.  Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 25 minutes or until the greens are tender.

Add 2 Tbsp. of oil to a large saucepan over medium, then add the broccoli and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes.  Add the coconut milk, lemon zest, lemon juice, and corn.  Reduce heat to low and simmer until the veggies are tender, about 5 minutes.

In a large non-stick skillet, heat the remaining oil over medium.  Add the shrimp, chili powder, green onions, crushed red pepper, and salt and pepper to taste.  Cook, turning occasionally, until the shrimp are opaque in the center, about 5 minutes.

Divide the cauliflower among 4 plates; top with the greens and shrimp.