Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A little teaser...

I got distracted with other priorities tonight, so I won't have time to post the recipe I intended for tonight.  So instead, I'll give you a teaser of what's coming.  Enjoy :)


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sweet 'n' Spicy Shrimp and Cantaloupe Salad

The temperature's dropping a little, starting to signal *gulp* the end of summer... so, I'm trying to squeeze in the last little bit of summer I can.  In search of summery recipes, I stumbled across this one... now shrimp and cantaloupe aren't normally a combination I'd expect to find, but it sounded worth a try.

I was not disappointed.  Enjoy!

Sweet 'n' Spicy Shrimp and Cantaloupe Salad

Makes: 4 servings

Salad Ingredients:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb large shrimp (26-30 count), peeled and deveined, tails on (I used salad shrimp because it was in my freezer)
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp cayenne
6 cups mixed greens (I used spinach)
3 cups Tuscan-style cantaloupe, cut into large bite-sized pieces
2 tbsp toasted pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)

Vinaigrette Ingredients:
2 tsp sherry vinegar
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp ground pepper

Directions:
1. Heat olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat.  Make sure shrimp are drained, pat dry if necessary with a paper towel.  Add shrimp to skillet and cook 2 minutes.  Turn over and add garlic, salt, pepper, and spices.  Cook an additional 2 minutes until done, then toss a few times to distribute the seasoning.  Remove from heat and set aside.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together vinaigrette ingredients and set aside.
3. Divide greens and cantaloupe evenly among four plates.  Divide shrimp among four plates, placing them on and around greens.  Drizzle vinaigrette over top of each salad, then top with toasted pepitas.  Serve immediately.



Source: The Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook 2, Tosca Reno.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies

It's only my third post, and I've already goofed -- I made a recipe tonight and forgot to take pictures!  Oops!  So instead, I'll give you another one.

Last weekend was a BBQ at a friend's place, so I made these for everyone, because I was curious and wanted to compare them to my stand-by oatmeal cookie.  I've got to say, these new ones are good, chewy, flavourful,  and easy to make.  But, at the end of the day, they're no Hershey's.  But maybe I'm a little prejudiced.  As much as I love butterscotch, toffee wins if there's a choice to be made!

Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies

Makes about 30 cookies (with small ice cream scoop)

Ingredients:
¾ cup white whole wheat flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp sea salt
8 tbsp softened unsalted butter
3/4 cup Sucanat
1 large egg
½ tsp vanilla extract
1½ cups old fashioned rolled oats
¾ cup unsweetened coconut
½ cup butterscotch chips
¼ cup toffee bits

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.
Line baking sheets with parchment paper. (Don't forget this part or your cookies will be ruined!)

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the whole wheat flour, baking soda, cinnamon and sea salt.  Stir to blend, and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the room-temperature butter and Sucanat and beat on medium-high speed until light and smooth, about 2-3 minutes. (Don't skip this step! It makes a difference in the end.)  Beat in the egg and the vanilla.  With the mixer on low speed, mix in the dry ingredients just until incorporated. On lowest speed, mix in the oats, coconut, butterscotch chips and toffee bits until evenly combined.

Drop scoops of dough (from small ice cream scoop) onto the parchment-lined baking sheets, a few inches apart.

Bake for 12 minutes, until just set and light golden, rotating the pans halfway through baking.  Be careful not to over-bake, or the cookies will be more crispy than chewy and will be less flavourful!

Let cool on the pans about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Last (and most important step) take a big bite and enjoy :)

Recipe adapted from Annie's Eats, originally from Taylor Takes a Taste.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Salted Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I had to really think about which recipe I'd like to be my first to share.  I knew it'd be one of Annie's, but to choose only one is difficult.  There are tons to drool over.  Finally, I decided on these Salted Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies because they're in demand -- my friends/taste testers, and I are in love with these!  I made a few small alterations based on the ingredients I had on hand, but it's still a very tasty cookie.  So, without further ado, here we go:

Salted Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Ideally Makes: 24 cookies (I got 18)

Ingredients:

8 oz. chopped semisweet chocolate
4 tbsp (1/2 a stick) unsalted butter
2/3 cup white whole-wheat flour
½ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp coarse sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
2 room-temperature eggs (about half an hour out of the fridge)
¾ cup Sucanat
1 tsp vanilla extract
12 oz. additional chopped semisweet chocolate (my substitution was chocolate chips because I ran out!)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper -- you'll really need this or else the cookies won't turn out.

Combine the 8 ounces chopped chocolate and butter in a double boiler and heat until the chocolate and butter are melted and smooth, stirring occasionally.

In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, combine the eggs, Sucanat and vanilla.  Beat on medium-high speed until the sugar has completely dissolved, about 4-5 minutes (this is when the stand mixer really pays off!).  Reduce the speed to low and add the melted chocolate mixture, slowly blending until incorporated.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  Add in the remaining chopped chocolate with a spatula.

Drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto the prepared baking sheets, 2 inches apart (this is when an ice cream dough scoop helps!  I used the medium one, but a smaller one would make more cookies).

Bake, rotating the baking sheets halfway through, until the cookies are just slightly soft in the center and crackly on top, about 10-12 minutes (mine were perfect at 11 minutes).

Sprinkle lightly with additional salt and let cool on the baking sheets 10 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container out of sight -- because really, if you see them, they'll be gone.  They're that good!

Source: Annie's Eats, originally from Martha Stewart Living.

You've got to start somewhere

Welcome to Crave It Make It!

Today I decided I'd like to start a food blog.  Part of this is because I'm practically addicted to what my friend calls "food porn" -- the several blogs I follow, such as Annie's Eats, and the Well-fed Newly Weds.  I'm calling these kitchen-fearless ladies who welcome us all into their kitchen my inspiration, and am following suit.  The other part is because I cook or bake all the time anyway, and am getting requests for recipes frequently because of it, so it's not a big step to go from that to sharing those recipes with you all in blog format.

I cook for myself as much as I can, tending to steer away from processed and refined foods as much as possible.  My sweet tooth will mean this thing is far from being a "healthy" blog, but still I try to make as much of my food as I can myself, so there's a little bit of healthy in there too.

You'll have to bear with me, my photography skills aren't the best, but I'll learn as I go, and hopefully improve!  Lastly, to my friends in the neighbourhood -- I'm always on the lookout for volunteers to help me make my baked goodies disappear.  Just drop me a line!

Here's a small peek at my kitchen!

Alex :)