Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Easy One Bowl Brownies

 I finally found an easy go to recipe for brownies that doesn't require baking chocolate (a rarity in these parts) and actually works in the UK.  (I've made so many bad batches of brownies here it's kind of a tradition.)  It really is easy and they turned out great.  They're gone now.  I wish I could eat one right now.

The recipe is here- The Sisters Cafe.

If I hadn't used a metal bowl, it really would have been one bowl.  (I used a ceramic bowl to melt the butter in the microwave.)

The recipe was great.  The only extra thing I did was line the pan with greased foil because it makes it so much easier to wash.  My photos are rubbish, but the brownies are great. 

Update: I've had some problems with the link so am pasting the recipe below:

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
4 eggs
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cup flour
1 cup chocolate chips (although I never measure--I just sprinkle them on top)

Preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl melt butter in microwave, then stir in oil, sugar and cocoa. With a wooden spoon stir in the remainder of the ingredients except for the chocolate chips. Spread into a 9x13 pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top. Bake in a preheated oven for 25-30 minutes. If your toothpick comes out clean you have cooked them too long! DO NOT OVERCOOK!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Chicken and Bean Enchilada Casserole

While this may not be a pretty dish, it's good.  It's like an enchilada lasagna.  But, let's face it.  This is a bowl of slop.  It looks disgusting.  Doesn't that sound appetizing?  It didn't stop us from eating almost the whole thing tonight. 


1 cup plain yogurt
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 vegetable bullion cube
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup green chilies
1 can black beans
3 Tablespoons Adobo sauce
2 cups cooked chicken (or 1 bag of Quorn pieces)
6 white corn tortillas
2 cups grated cheese (we used Red Leicster)

Make a sauce by pureeing the yogurt, soup, bullion, onion and garlic.  In a saucepan, bring the beans (undrained), Quorn (or chicken) and adobo sauce to a boil and allow it to simmer for about 15 minutes.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a greased casserole dish layer the meat, cheese, 3 tortillas and sauce then repeat.  Top with cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes or until the casserole is hot and bubbly.  Remove from the oven and allow to set for about 10 minutes, then serve.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Halfway Cookies

Jo sent me the recipe for these cookies.  They're a chocolate chip cookie base with a meringue filling, and they sounded interesting to make.  It was a nice way to change up chocolate chip cookies.  For the recipe and great directions, the link is here.  I followed the directions, but made a half batch and used a round pan instead of rectangular.  And used oil to grease the pan instead of cooking spray.

Make the cookie dough and press it into a pan with greased tinfoil.  

Sprinkle on the chocolate chips and press them into the dough.  (Sorry fuzzy picture.)

Whip the egg whites with sugar.  This step took forever.  I contemplated who had the patience to whip the first egg white?  It takes such a long time I wonder how it was ever discovered that egg whites really do get stiff.

Cover the cookie with the meringue.

Cover with baking paper and cook.  Remove the baking paper five minutes before the cookies are done.

Fresh out of the oven the cookies are fluffy.

After cooling the meringue sunk.  I don't know if that was by design, but they still tasted good.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Shrimp Tacos with Mojo de Ajo

Niall's gone and my parents left shrimp in the freezer. So I went for the non-vegetarian option for dinner tonight. I don't even know why I bother cooking when it's just me.  But I'm glad I did.

Once I happened upon a recipe for Mojo de Ajo from La Cocina De Nathan.  It's some good stuff and is delicious on vegetables, potatoes (in case you don't consider them vegetables), chicken, fish, etc.  It has become a favorite around these parts.


Mojo de Ajo
14 cloves garlic
1/2 small onion
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon oregano
Juice of 4 limes 

20 shrimp
1/2 onion
6 corn tortillas
olive oil

To make the Mojo de Ajo, puree all the ingredients in a blender.  I only used part of it for the tacos and saved the rest of the sauce in a jar to use later.

Marinate the shrimp in the Mojo de Ajo for about 20 minutes.

In a skillet,  heat the oil and saute the onions  Add the shrimp and marinade and cook for about five minutes until the shrimp are done.

Serve the tortillas with shrimp, onion, guacamole and salsa.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Asparagus and Onion Quiche

We had some of Niall's students over (all male) so I decided to make chick food.  Quiche is girl food, right?  They serve it at showers, so it must be. The quiche filling was pretty good.  I'd use the recipe again.  It's based on one from The Sisters Cafe.


1 pie crust (for 9 inch plate)
10 spears of asparagus, washed and cut on the bias into 1/4 inch pieces
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon basil
3/4 cup single cream (similar to half and half)
3/4 cup milk (I used 2%)
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups grated cheese (I used mature cheddar) 
2 Tablespoons butter
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place the crust in the pie plate and flute around edge of pie crust. Line with paper and bake with beans. 

Bake for 7 minutes.  Remove the crust from the oven and lower the temperature to 375 degrees.

While the crust is cooking, heat the butter in a skillet and saute the onion over medium heat. After the onion begins to soften (3-4 minutes) add the asparagus and the garlic and continue to cook until asparagus softens.  (About 3 minutes.)  Remove from heat.

Spread the asparagus mixture in the bottom of pie crust.

Layer the grated cheeses on top of the asparagus mixture.

In a medium bowl whisk the eggs together then add cream, milk, salt and pepper.  Stir well. Pour the eggs over the cheese. 

Bake for 30-40 minutes (it was more like an hour in our oven...have I mentioned I can't figure it out?)  The center should be set and the top and crust should be golden.  A knife inserted into the filling should come out clean. Let stand 10-15 minutes before cutting.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Sour Cream Butternut Squash Cupcakes with Lemon Frosting

We had a butternut squash that needed to be used.  I'm hopelessly out of canned pumpkin so it's butternut squash until I find more pumpkin.  I used the recipe from  Libby's Sour Cream Pumpkin Bundt Cake.  I halved the recipe, made cupcakes, and modified a few of the ingredients.

Adding the streusel to cupcakes mostly worked, though in some cakes the streusel dropped to the bottom.  The cake tasted fine but was a bit sticky as a result.


1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin spice1 teaspoon butter or margarine

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 large egg
1/2 cup cooked butternut squash, pureed
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup (4 oz.) cream cheese softened
4 Tablespoons butter
1 1/2 (or more) cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 Tablespoon lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  (I still can't figure out our range cooker.)  Line a muffin tin. To make the streusel, cut the butter into the brown sugar and pumpkin spice with a fork until crumbly.

For the cake you're supposed to combine the  flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. (I'm too lazy to do this step so I added the dry ingredients separately to the wet ingredients.)  Then beat the sugar and butter in large mixer bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the butternut squash, sour cream and vanilla extract; mix well. Gradually beat in flour mixture.

Fill each muffin cup about 1/3 full.  Sprinkle a bit of the streusel on top of the batter then add more batter until the muffin cup is about 2/3 full.

Bake for about 35 minutes, until the a fork poked into the cupcakes comes out clean.  You may want to check the cupcakes at 25 minutes because I still can't am not great at using my oven.

While the cupcakes cool make the frosting.  Mix the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and lemon juice until creamy.  Then mix in the powdered sugar, scraping down the sides of the bowl, until you have your desired consistency.  Frost and serve.  Makes 12 cupcakes.