Friday, December 13, 2013

Red Velvet Shortbread Cookies


As I was browsing cookie recipes on the Better Homes and Garden's website (how I got there, I have no idea!) I saw this recipe and knew it would be perfect for my dad. His favorite cookies tend to be shortbread or my un-iced gingerbread men/sugar cookies. His favorite nut is the pistachio, and these suggest dipping the cookie in either sprinkles or pistachios. I did make two versions, one with sprinkles and one with pistachios. 

The red velvet aspect makes it more festive and the subtle hint of cocoa powder makes them taste just like red velvet cake. If you don't have time to make them for Christmas, they'd also be perfect for Valentine's Day! (I doubled this recipe the first time, then tripled it the second, you will get about 15-18 cookies per single recipe below)

Red Velvet Shortbread Cookies
directions rewritten, recipe from Better Homes and Gardens

1 1/4 c. all purpose flour
1/3 c. sugar
2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. butter
1 tbsp. red food coloring
3 oz. white chocolate, chips or chopped
Finely chopped pistachios (about 1/2 c.) or nonpareils (about 2 tbsp.)

Cream butter and sugar, add salt cocoa powder and red food coloring, mix well.
Gently fold in flour until it is absorbed. 
Lay a piece of plastic wrap out and form dough into a log, tightly wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 325*
Line a cookie sheet with parchment.
Slice cookies 1/4" wide and place 2" apart on cookie sheet.
Bake for 18-20 minutes, until puffed and set, cool on a wire rack to room temperature. 
Melt white chocolate in a small dish, dip cookies in chocolate and then sprinkle with nuts or nonpaerils, lay on plastic wrap to dry, about an hour. 
Place in an airtight container for up to a week.

Black and White Cookies



For a few years I've been wanting to make black and white cookies but they seemed intimidating. They're the kind of thing that if you screw it up, people will notice. They have such a distinct flavor and look and when they're good, they're GOOD. They're more of a cake-cookie than a hard, sturdy cookie and the secret getting the perfectly flat top is flipping them over and icing the bottom!

My older sister is a big black and white cookie fan so I decided to bite the bullet and try out black and whites for her Christmas cookie package. I used Smitten Kitchen's recipe and steps exactly so I would not mess up a single step. I'm not going to rewrite them because they're long and involved, I'll just give you a link to the recipe. Make these! Make them now! Smitten Kitchen's Black and White Cookies

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Fruitcake Cookies



Starting in late October, I create a document where I copy and paste Christmas cookie ideas for the year. I generally try to make about 6-8 of the old favorites and 6-8 new cookies. Since my Kitchenaid mixer didn't make it to Boise, along with my rolling pin, silpat, cookie cutters and a few other baking essentials, I had to rethink the list. While I normally make Gingerbread men cut outs, sugar cookie Christmas trees, chocolate sugar cookie snowflakes and spritz cookies, they weren't an option this year.

As I was noting recipes I thought to myself how it would be fun to make a certain cookie that each member of my family would really like. So over the next few days you'll see different cookies that I made hoping to make each family member feel extra special!

First up is my husband! He is one of the only people I know who love fruitcake. Seriously... So when I saw these Ina cookies I knew they'd be a hit with him. I made a few small changes to the original recipe. First, I couldn't get dried figs at the store and I didn't feel like trying another so I used dates. Turns out my husband prefers dates! Next, I soaked the fruit/nuts in Bourbon rather than sherry. Lastly I left out the candied cherries and used dried cherries instead. Do not be afraid of these cookies, yes Fruitcake is a polarizing thing, but they're so good! They plethora of dried fruit and nuts is just lightly held together with a brown sugary dough, totally delicious!

Fruitcake Cookies
loosely based on Ina Garten's recipe 

1 c. diced dried dates
1 c. diced dried apricots
1/2 c. golden raisins
1/2 c. dried cherries, chopped
1/2 c. dried cranberries
3 tbsp. Bourbon
1 tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp. lemon zest
3/4 c. chopped pecans
1 c. butter, softened
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
2/3 c. light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
2 2/3 c. all purpose flour

Toss dried fruit and pecans in a bowl, drizzle with bourbon, lemon juice and zest, add a pinch of kosher salt.
Cover and let fruit sit overnight at room temperature.
Cream butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
Add egg and cloves, mix well.
Add flour and mix until it is just combined, do not overmix.
Add fruit mixture and gently fold to distribute evenly.
Chill dough for at least one hour.
Preheat oven to 350*
Scoop dough by heaping tablespoons full into palms, roll into a ball then gently flatten into a disc, place 2" apart on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
Bake for 15-17 minutes until golden brown.
Cool on a metal rack and store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

White Cheddar Beer Mac and Cheese

(from my Instagram: ashmelzorn)

Back in October when my family took a trip to Oregon we visited Deschutes Brewery in Bend, Oregon. We began our meal with their Beer Cheese and pretzel dip which was insanely memorable. The cheese was a melted white cheddar laced with beer and there was coarse stone ground mustard rimming the bowl. When you swiped the pretzel through the mustard and into the cheese it was phenomenal. When it came time to make our Thanksgiving menu, I mentioned turning the beer cheese dip into a mac and cheese. I've had mac and cheese with mustard powder as an ingredient in the past, so I knew if I kept it subtle we'd have a winning dish.  

(Thanksgiving plate, mac and cheese is at twelve o'clock)

I used somewhat local Tillamook White Cheddar, which is delicious. We chose the Fat Tire Amber Ale because I'm not a fan of IPAs, which the dip used (we bought a 6-pack so I didn't want to get shorted out of the leftover beer!) This mac and cheese got better with each plate of leftovers! The beer taste was a little stronger and we declared it the best mac and cheese I've ever made!

White Cheddar Beer Mac and Cheese
Veggie by Season original

12 oz. short cut pasta (we used shells)
Kosher salt
2 tbsp. butter
1/2 large or 1 small yellow onion, minced
Black pepper
3 tbsp. flour
1 c. beer of choice
1 c. 2% milk
2 tbsp. coarse ground mustard (I like inglehoffer from World Market)
12 oz. fresh grated sharp white cheddar

Preheat oven to 400*
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt and add pasta, cook to al dente, about 8-10 minutes.
Heat a shallow skillet over medium-low heat, melt butter and add onions
Saute' onions for 2-3 minutes, until translucent, season with salt and black pepper.
Add flour, whisk to cook for a minute then turn heat up to medium-high.
Add beer, whisk flour clumps into beer and reduce liquid by half.
Add milk and bring mixture to a simmer, turn heat off.
Add mustard and cheese, use a spatula and stir using a figure-eight motion.
Taste cheese sauce and add more salt and pepper if necessary.
Drain pasta and pour into a baking dish, add cheese sauce and stir well to combine.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until desired brownness and crunch.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Whiskey Apple Soda


'Twas the week of Thanksgiving and I'm not with my family...so I'm drinking to dull the pain. Just kidding! I was browsing the Williams-Sonoma website for Thanksgiving recipe ideas and came across the Whiskey Apple Cider recipe. It included Bourbon (JJ's favorite) and Ginger Beer (my favorite) so I declared it the Official Cocktail of Thanksgiving 2013. Of course I had to test it out first just to be sure, and it's a winner! The bourbon is a bit strong but I always find bourbon to be strong. I diluted mine a bit with the ginger beer and loved it. I think this would also be a nice punch option if diluted a bit as well for a Fall party.

I hope everyone has a happy and safe Thanksgiving. If you want to follow my cooking you can get updates on twitter (@veggieash) and instagram (@ashmelzorn) where I've been posting some recipe trials as well as my NaNoWriMo updates - I won!

Whisky Apple Soda

 Ice as needed
2 oz. bourbon
3/4 oz apple juice/cider
1/2 oz. ginger beer
1 oz. soda water

Fill a shaker with ice, add bourbon, apple juice and ginger beer.
Shake well for 5 seconds, strain into a glass.
Top with soda water and serve immediately. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Rosti Casserole with Baked Eggs


When I looked in the Thanksgiving grocery store circular there was an ad on the front page - 10lb. bags of Idaho Potatoes for $.99! It took everything in me to not buy ten bags, I can't pass up a good deal! I'm usually one to spend a bit more on Yukon Golds (my favorite) or small red potatoes but I've been trying to give the Russet some love. I've been reading more and more about the benefits of potatoes, even white potatoes. While we still love and eat sweet potatoes/yams often, I'm trying to incorporate more regular potatoes into our diet.

I stumbled across this recipe on the Cooking Light website and thought it would be a nice lighter meal as we gear up for Thanksgiving. The recipe calls for frozen shredded potatoes but that's not happening! I also skipped on the turnip just because I had so many potatoes to use. I cooked the eggs almost entirely through as we're not drippy yolk fans but other than that made the recipe as written. The only change I would make is to use a larger, more shallow pan to maximize crisp crust.

Rosti Casserole with Baked Eggs

10 oz. low-fat Greek yogurt (I use Fage 2% plain)
2 tbsp. unbleached all purpose flour
5 oz. grated Gruyere cheese
1 tbsp melted butter
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg
2.5 lbs. fresh shredded potatoes (I shredded them directly into a colander, added a pinch of salt, tossed and squeezed out the moisture) or 1 30 oz. package of frozen shredded hash brown potatoes
8 large eggs
1-2 tsp Fresh or dried chives

Preheat oven to 400*
Combine yogurt and flour in a large mixing bowl, whisk well. 
Add Gruyere, butter, chives, salt, black pepper and nutmeg, whisk well. 
Add potatoes and fold until they are well coated in the yogurt mixture.
Spread evenly into a 13x9 baking dish (or larger if you want more crisp edges).
Bake for 30 minutes, or until bubble.
Remove from oven, use a spoon to create 8 divots and crack an egg into each divot.
Return to oven and bake for another 10-20 minutes, until eggs are cooked to desired doneness.
Sprinkle with fresh pepper and more chives.
Serve immediately. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Baked Samosas



I love Indian food but hate paying for take out. I've been trying more and more to make it at home but it never tastes quite as authentic. Sometimes I think my 'make your own take-out' meals aren't *as* good because I don't use butter/oil/sugar with reckless abandon the way restaurants do. My absolute favorite Indian appetizer is the Samosa. Generally they're fried dough pockets full of curried potatoes, peas and onion and they're served with a chutney of some sort. These are of course healthified by using wonton wrappers and baking rather than frying the samosas. However they still have the same delicious flavor and crunch of their less-healthy original version. 
I
 made a simple pear-raisin chutney and would have preferred something not so chunky. A sweet chutney condiment definitely lessens the heat and saltiness of these and adds a nice balance. I used large wonton wrappers but you could also make these bite-sized for appetizers and go with the small squares.  

Baked Samosas
adapted from Foodtv

2 large Idaho Russet potatoes
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 yellow onion, medium dice 
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 c. frozen peas
1" square nub of fresh grated ginger root
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. spicy curry powder
1/4 c. cilantro leaves, minced
1 package wonton wrappers

Mango, Date, Pear or Tamarind Chutney, if desired

Preheat oven to 400*
Wash and dry potatoes, pierce with a fork and wrap in aluminum foil.
Bake until cooked through, about 60 minutes.
Cool, peel and discard skins, then dice potatoes (they'll crumble some, it's ok), add to a large mixing bowl
Heat a skillet over medium, add oil, onions and garlic. 
Saute for 5 minutes, until softened, add cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, curry powder and peas.
Pour into mixing bowl with potatoes and gently toss to combine. 
Lay wonton wrappers out on a dry surface, keep a small bowl of water closeby
Add 1/4 c. spoonfuls to the wonton, then use finger to paint water around the edges, fold over and close.
Place on parchment lined cookie sheet.
When you're finished with all samosas, place in the oven and bake for 10-20 minutes, until golden brown and crisp. 
Serve immediately. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Pimento Cheese Layered Cornbread



After recently making the Mexican Layered Cornbread I've been playing around with the method to make a few varieties. One of my favorite easy weeknight dinners is black-eyed peas in the crock pot with cornbread and a vegetable. To give this cornbread recipe a southern flair, I came up with a pimento cheese type filling. This cornbread was so delicious, we devoured it. I can't wait to come up with many more!

Pimento Cheese Layered Cornbread
adapted from Food Network

1 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. cornmeal
2 tbsp. baking powder
2/3 c. milk
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 c. nonfat Greek yogurt
1 tbsp. honey
1 14 oz. can creamed corn
1/2 c. corn kernels (defrosted, if frozen)
1/2 c. grated cheddar cheese
1/2 c. grated Monterrey cheese
1 c. pimentos or minced roasted red peppers
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper


Preheat oven to 350*
Grease a 8"x8" square or 10" round pan, set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, salt, yogurt and honey.
Add flour, cornmeal and baking powder.
Fold in creamed corn and corn kernels.
Pour 2/3 of the mixture into the pan, spread in an even layer.
Toss pimentos with cayenne and lemon juice.
Top with the cheddar and pimento mixture, then add remaining batter, spread evenly over top.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until golden on top and a toothpick stuck into the center comes out clean.
Cool for 10 minutes, then slice and serve warmed.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Curried Pumpkin Soup


This November marks my third attempt at NaNoWriMo (aka National Novel Writing Month). The goal is to write 50,000 words of nonfiction during the month of November. That averages out to 1,666 words a day. I am up to 34,000 words right now with 20 days to go so I'm in great shape. This is why I am able to blog. It's been quiet since November started around here and that's my reason! I did "win" in 2010 and got to about 20,000 words last year before I fizzled out. 

It's an interesting concept to write a novel alongside 200,000 strangers. Many of them become virtual friends when it's over (or real friends if you go to a city write-in event). I just hope and pray that when November ends and my novel is ready for my first revision the nightly dreams about my characters end. I thought pregnancy dreams were vivid and non-stop - they were nothing compared to this! I'm happy to share my writing with anyone who'd like to constructively criticize, so shoot me an email if you're interested :) 

This soup powered me through a solid two hours of writing, it's so simple but full of flavor with some delicious spice and heat. It's also light and healthy so I didn't feel so guilty dunking my cheesy cornbread into it (recipe will be up next!). An option to make this a velvety smooth soup is to puree it, but I liked the little bits of texture and color. I added to this as I went along so I encourage you to do the same, start cautiously with the spices and add more as you please. 

Curried Pumpkin Soup
Veggie by Season original

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 small yellow onion, minced
2 medium carrots, peeled and minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 c. vegetable stock
1 28 oz. can pumpkin puree
1/4 c. split red lentils
Kosher salt 
Black pepper
1-3 tsp. curry powder (I use the spicy kind of World Market)
1/2-1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (I use Trader Joe's)
1/4 c. roasted pumpkin seeds toasted with a sprinkle of curry powder

Heat a dutch oven over medium heat. 
Add olive oil, onion, carrots and garlic. 
Season with kosher salt and black pepper, stir and cook for 5 minutes.
Add vegetable stock, pumpkin, lentils, 1 tsp. curry powder and 1/2 tsp. pie spice, stir and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, taste and add more curry, pie spice and salt/pepper as needed.
Ladle into a bowl and top with roasted pumpkin seeds.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Sweet Potatoes with Cranberries and Cilantro


As I said in my recent Brussels Sprouts post, I've been working my way through many of the delicious looking recipes in the November Everyday Magazine issue. There are many foods that Violet has loved one day and hated the next, but sweet potatoes have always been a trusty fall-back food for me. I was worried she might not like the cilantro mixed in with the potatoes, but she gobbled it right up. The lime zest and juice adds a great brightness and the cranberries are plump and sweet from the cooking method. I think next time I make this I might actually use fresh cranberries, but if they're out of season, dry are fine. We all loved this dish, and it might end up making it back to our Thanksgiving table! 

Thanks to all who entered the give-away, our winner is Carrie. Please email me at veggiebyseason@gmail.com. 

Sweet Potatoes with Cilantro and Cranberries

2/3 c. dried cranberries
3 tbsp. olive oil
3 tbsp. fresh lime juice
2 tbsp. sugar (omitted with dried cranberries, would use with fresh)
1 tsp. lime zest
3 1/2 lbs. sweet potatoes cut in 3/4" cubes
1 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1 1/2 tsp. ground  cumin
Salt and pepper
1/4 c. chopped cilantro

Preheat oven to 450*
In a small saucepan, bring cranberries, lime juice, sugar and 1/4 c. water to a boil, add zest and cover, remove from heat.
In a large bowl, combine sweet potatoes, coriander, cumin and 3 tbsp. olive oil, toss to coat potatoes. 
Spread on a large sheet pan and roast for 15 minutes.
Pour cranberry mixture on potatoes, toss to coat.
Roast for another 15 minutes, until potatoes are tender.
Remove from heat and toss with cilantro, serve. 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Quinoa Portabello Burgers


Last weekend, my family took a weekend trip out to Oregon. We've constructed a Top 10 Out-West Bucket List, and were able to check two off that list. We had only planned to attend an Oregon Ducks Football game, but when the game time was changed from 1pm to 7pm, we had a whole day to fill. We left Friday afternoon and drove to Bend, OR, a beautiful town in central Oregon, just to the east of the Cascade Mountain Range. Oregon is known for it's breweries, so I looked online for one that had both great beer and food, and I chose Deschutes Brew Pub.

We had a seriously delicious meal that began with a soft pretzel with mustard/beer cheese dip, a winning combination. I had a pint of the Jubeleale, the spicy amber Christmas beer, which was great. For my entree, I ordered off the specials menu, something I rarely do. There was a black bean burger on the regular menu, but the Quinoa Portabello Burger special caught my eye. The burger was full of mushroom flavor, and it held together surprisingly well considering quinoa can be crumbly. There was a melted Havarti cheese on top, with a smear of garlic aioli and baby arugula tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette, red onion and tomato perfectly topped the burger. Both JJ and I would absolutely go back and try everything else on the menu!




Quinoa Portabello Burgers
adapted from Deschutes Brew Pub

1 c. quinoa, rinsed
2 c. vegetable stock
1 tbsp. butter
2 portabello caps, wiped and gills removed. chopped
1 small yellow onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 egg
1/4 c. breadcrumbs (I used oat flour)

Four ciabatta rolls
4 oz. Havarti cheese
4 tomato slices
1 oz. baby arugula tossed with 2 tbsp. balsamic vinaigrette 
Garlic aioli (or mayo mixed with 1 grated garlic clove)

Bring the vegetable stock to a boil in a small pot, add quinoa, cover and turn to simmer.
Cook for 15-20 minutes, until water is absorbed and quinoa has sprouted its tail. 
Heat a skillet over medium, melt butter, add mushrooms, onion and garlic, saute' for 10 minutes, until vegetables begin to caramelize and moisture has cooked out.
Add balsamic vinegar, turn heat off and stir to deglaze pan.
Add quinoa, mushroom mixture, salt, pepper, thyme, egg and breadcrumbs to a bowl, mix well and place in the refrigerator for an hour.
Heat oven to 400*
Spray a cookie sheet with nonstick spray.
Form burgers into 4 equal sized patties (I used a 3/4 c. measuring cup) and place on baking sheet.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until outside is brown and crisp and inside is cooked through.
Place cheese over burger to melt. 
Place burger on a bun, top with tomato, arugula and garlic aioli

Some photos from our weekend, beautiful Crater Lake where Violet saw snow for the first time, and the Oregon Ducks game! 




Stop by tomorrow for a give-away, I picked up a few things to share on our trip at a very special place!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Manchego-Almond Brussels Sprouts


Get your tiny violin ready, because I'm about to get a pity party started. For the past 27 years, I've spent my absolute favorite holiday with my family, Thanksgiving! It's the one holiday that we all make it home for, it's filled with traditions and it's always such a good time. On Wednesday, I go with my Dad to pick up the race bibs, then bake all of the desserts for Thanksgiving, on Thursday, the whole family runs the Cincinnati T-day 10k race through downtown, then we have close family friends over for dinner, and watch football, Friday we go cut our Christmas tree, and I spend time with friends who are also in town for the holiday, Saturday we decorate the tree and watch the rivalry games - Ohio State vs. Michigan and FSU vs. Florida. It's probably my favorite week of the entire year. And this year, we won't be there. ::Tears::

Hopefully this will be our one and only immediate-family-only Thanksgiving ever. In order to make it a little less devastating, I am trying to focus on the positive, and recreate a Cincinnati T-day in Boise. For starters, we're going to run the Boise T-day 5k (but we might have to run an extra 5k to make it official), then we're going to Skype the family, watch football, and I'll be making my first ever total Thanksgiving dinner. One thing that has got me excited for that is the new Rachael Ray Everyday magazine issue. My awesome friend got a subscription for me, and this month's issue blew me away. I've been drooling over the Thanksgiving section, and plan to make a few of the sides in advance to help narrow down exactly what we'll be eating on November 28.

A few weeks ago, we took a fun trip that I'll post about soon, and I was able to get a stalk of Brussels sprouts on the stalk - I was ecstatic, no, seriously. I chose to make this dish out of the Nov. Everyday issue, checking to see if it would be a Thanksgiving Day contender. Sadly, it wasn't my favorite Brussels sprouts preparation ever, but they were interesting. I've never had lemon with Brussels sprouts, and I'm not totally sure I liked it, I'm more of a balsamic and blue cheese fan, something earthy rather than bright and acidic. But I did love the almonds and manchego, so it wasn't a total loss.

***Come back on Thursday, October 31 for a fun Halloween giveaway***

Manchego-Almond Brussels Sprouts
from November 2013 Everyday Magazine

 2 lbs. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
Salt and pepper
1/3 c. sliced almonds
1 lemon, zested and 1 tbsp. juice
1 oz. shaved manchego (I think I used closer to 2 oz.)

Preheat oven to 450*
Toss Brussels sprouts with oil, salt and pepper on a cookie sheet.
Roast for 10-15 minutes, then toss in almonds and roast for another 5-10 minutes, until sprouts begin to crisp and are tender.
Remove from oven and transfer to a bowl, toss with lemon juice and zest, shave in cheese and gently toss, serve immediately. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Hominy and White Bean Chili


'Tis the season for chicken and white bean chili recipes to float around, am I right? I was searching for a vegetarian version of the popular dish, and found this recipe on the Cooking Light website. There are a few differences though, namely it's not a while chili, there is a broth base, not a creamy one. This recipe also calls for hominy, an interesting, different addition to chili, and finally, it has a bright, lighter flavor profile from the cilantro and fresh lime.

The only change I made to this recipe was omitting the field roast faux sausage/soy-chorizo it called for. I felt like the beans provided enough protein, and I'm doing my best to avoid most processed meat substitutes. Not only is it cheaper, but I feel better about the least processed ingredients as possible in our diet. Lastly, I also added some chopped yellow bell peppers, just because I had two one hand that needed to be used up asap. I think the only change I might make in the future, would be to add some chunks of avocado to the top, and a nice dollop of light sour cream (and un-veganize it).

Hominy and White Bean Chili
adapted from Cooking Light

4 c. cooked cannelini beans (or 2 15 oz. cans)
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 poblanos, seeded and diced
2 yellow bell peppers, seeded and diced
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 1/2 c. vegetable stock
1 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. hot sauce (we love Cholula)
1 15 oz. can hominy, drained

Garnishes:
sliced green onion
chopped cilantro
lime wedges
avocado chunks
sour cream
shredded Monterrey Jack cheese

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat, add oil, bring to temperature.
Add onions, saute' for 3-4 minutes, until edges begin to brown, add garlic, poblanos and yellow bell peppers, saute' for another 5 minutes. 
Add chili powder and cumin, stir to toast spices, add vegetable stock, oregano, hot sauce and hominy. 
Add half of the beans to the pot, mash the remaining half with a fork, then add to the pot.
Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and cook for 20 minutes. 
If desired, add onion and cilantro to the pot, or reserve for topping.
Ladle chili into bowls, top with garnishes and serve immediately.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Pumpkin Soup with Brown Butter


I feel like I'm constantly on the hunt for Pumpkin soup that is flavorful and not full of cream. This soup was full of flavor, an assortment of vegetables, herbs, and just a dollop of creme fraiche and a swirl of brown butter, which added tremendous flavor. The only problem, once again, was the fact that I don't have my blender or food processor here in Boise, so I had to use canned pumpkin and leave my vegetables finely minced. In the future, I'd love to try it with a fresh baked pumpkin with sage.

I loved how this soup was completely savory, no hint of sweetness or even spices that remind you of sweet pumpkin (cinnamon, ginger) just a hint of fresh nutmeg at the end. I also am so glad that I have gotten over my fear of butter consumption. Funny, it never bothers me when I eat cookies, but excess butter in my food makes me feel like I'm over-indulging. However, I did cut back the amount from the recipe.

Pumpkin Soup with Brown Butter and Creme Fraiche

1 28 oz. can pumpkin puree
1 sprig of fresh sage leaves
4 tbsp. butter
1 leek, white and green parts, finely minced
2 carrots, peeled and finely minced
2 shallots, finely minced
1 small yellow onion, finely minced
6 garlic cloves, finely minced
6 c. vegetable stock
1 bouquet garni (4 parsley sprigs, 4 thyme sprigs, 1 bay leaf, tied in cheesecloth)
1/2 c. creme fraiche
Freshly grated nutmeg, for serving
Kosher salt and black pepper

In a Dutch oven over medium heat, melt 2 tbsp. butter.
Add leek, carrots, shallots, onions, season with salt and pepper.
Cook, stirring often, until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
Add garlic, stir and cook for about a minute.
Add the pumpkin puree, stock, bouquet garni, stir and taste, adjust seasonings.
Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, remove the bouquet garni.
Blend soup in batches, if desired.
Heat a small saucepan over medium-low heat, add 2 tbsp. butter, cook and swirl until butter begins to brown and smells nutty, about 3-4 minutes.
Ladle soup into bowls, top with a dollop of creme fraiche, swirl in a bit of the butter, and grate fresh nutmeg on top, serve immediately.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Moroccan-Spiced Vegetarian Chili


This recipe caught my eye as I perused the Williams-Sonoma recipe bank last week. It had all of the things I was looking for, spicy, warm, comforting, squash-filled and healthy! I love when a dish that is fulfilling is also healthy. The leftovers made for a delicious lunch the next day.

I made a few small changes from the original recipes, beginning with the initial steps. I don't have a blender here in Boise, so I used chili powder instead of making the chili-garlic puree. I also used golden raisins rather than prunes, personal preference, dried beans instead of canned, and quinoa as a base to soak up the spicy, tomato broth. I also topped the  chili with a dollop of green yogurt.

While I would consider this more of a stew than a chili, it was so perfectly balanced flavor-wise. Though it calls for 10 garlic cloves, it doesn't seem overpowered in the last bit, the spices are complimentary, and the sweet squash and fruit keep it from being too savory. This will definitely be a new go-to for our Sunday stews.

Moroccan-Spiced Vegetarian Chili

1 tbsp. EVOO
1 small yellow onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tbsp. ancho chili powder
1 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 butternut squash, 1 1/2 lbs., peeled and cubed
2 c. cooked chickpeas
2 medium zucchini, cut in 1/2" dice
1/3 c. sliced apricots
1/3 c. golden raisins
2-3 c. vegetable stock

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat, add onions and sliced garlic.
Cook for 3-5 minutes, until they begin to caramelize on the edges.
Add chili powder, turmeric, cinnamon, cumin, coriader, stir well to toast seasonings. 
Add tomatoes and squash, turn heat to low, cover and cook squash for 15 minutes.
Add chickpeas, zucchini, apricots, raisins, stir well to combine, cover and cook for another 15 minutes. 
Taste, adjust seasonings, and add stock if stew is too thick. 
Serve over rice, quinoa, cous cous, or any other starch, top with a dollop of Greek yogurt. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Gruyere and Olive Tapenade Grilled Cheese


I've never been a huge grilled cheese fan, I find it to be too plain. I love sandwiches with a variety of flavors to balance each other out. A few years ago, it seemed like grilled cheese was becoming trendy, and I saw many varieties with tomato and bacon added. It sounded good, if you're a bacon eater, but I am not. I came across this recipe on the Cooking Light website, and it seemed like the perfect vegetarian take on the bacon and tomato version. The olive tapenade adds a delicious salty flavor, the gruyere is sharp and nutty, the fresh tomato adds acidity and texture, and the sun dried tomatoes add a sweetness that balances all of the other ingredients. We enjoyed this sandwich with soup for lunch, though it would also make a fantastic easy dinner.

Grilled Gruyere and Olive Tapenade Sandwiches
slightly adapted from Cooking Light, makes 2 sandwiches

4 slices of thick, multigrain bread
2 oz. shaved Gruyere cheese
1 beefsteak tomato, sliced
12 kalamata olives (I used 6 kalamata and 6 jumbo green olives)
6 sun dried tomato halves
1 garlic clove
1 tsp. butter or nonstick cooking spray

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat
Finely chop olives and sun dried tomatoes, add to a small dish, grate in garlic clove, toss to combine. 
Divide olive mixture in half between two pieces of bread, place in the skillet.
Top olive mixture with Gruyere cheese, then place 2 slices of tomato on each piece of bread.
Top each sandwich with a second slice of bread, then place a cover on the pan.
Cook for 2-3 minutes, until bread is toasted and slightly brown, gently flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes on the other side, until toasted.
Remove from the pan, slice in half and serve.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tomato and Mozzarella Risotto


This past week, I did something that I haven't done in a few months, probably since we were living in Jacksonville. I went through some of my favorite websites and blogs (cookbooks are in storage, I'm really missing the Moosewood ones!) and printed out dozens of recipes and put them in a folder. On Friday, I went through the recipes and picked out six to make for dinner each night this week (we leave for a weekend trip on Friday!) It has been so nice to have a new variety of things, especially this risotto.

I made a few small changes from the original, a Cooking Light recipe, specifically adding some wine, using diced canned tomatoes, and a grate of Parmesan to finish the dish.  The flavors were delicious, basically a caprese salad, but warm and comforting, a nice way to taste the best flavors of summer in the cooling fall weather!

Tomato and Mozzarella Risotto


1 tsp. butter
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 small yellow onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 c. arborio rice
1/4 c. dry white wine
1 c. canned, diced tomatoes
3 c. vegetable stock, warmed
2 c. fresh baby spinach leaves
1 dozen basil leaves, roughly chopped
2 oz. fresh mozzarella, chopped
1 oz. fresh grated parmesan cheese
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

Heat a shallow skillet over medium heat.
Add butter and olive oil, melt together, then add onion and garlic, saute for 5 minutes.
Add rice, stir to gently toast for 2 minutes.
Add white wine, when liquid has reduced to half, add tomatoes and about 1/2 c. stock.
Once stock is absorbed, add another 1/2 c., continuing to stir rice every minute or two and adding more stock, as needed.
After about 20 minutes of adding stock and stirring risotto, turn heat off.
Fold in spinach and basil leaves, then add mozzarella and parmesan and gently fold.
Taste and add more salt, if necessary, it might be salty enough, season with black pepper.
Serve immediately.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Baked Quinoa with Zucchini, Corn and Basil


As I was perusing Williams-Sonoma's recipes last week for some dinner ideas, I came across this Baked Penne with Corn, Zucchini and Basil. It was the perfect way to marry the fleeting summer produce with a warm, wintery recipe. Because there was no real vegetarian protein, and already starch from corn, I substituted quinoa for the pasta. I also used canned, diced tomatoes rather than fresh, just because I had them on hand.

This is another great casserole meal to keep in mind for freezer stocking, baby/sick meals, or just something warm, hearty and healthy to cook for your own family! Now please excuse me while I go huddle in the corner with my space heater, we had our first frost last night.

Baked Quinoa with Zucchini, Corn and Basil

1 c. quinoa, rinsed well
3 c. vegetable stock
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 ears of corn, kernels cut off
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 medium zucchini, sliced into half moons
1/4 c. dry white wine
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
12 large basil leave, torn
2 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

Bring vegetable stock to a boil in a stock pot, add quinoa, turn heat to low and cover, cook for 15 minutes.
While quinoa cooks, heat a large skillet over medium heat, add olive oil and corn kernels, saute for 5 minutes, then add onion, garlic and zucchini.
Season with salt and pepper, and continue to saute for another 10 minutes, until vegetables are softened and beginning to brown a bit.
Add white wine, scrape bits off the bottom of the pan, when wine has evaporated for the most part, add diced tomatoes, and turn heat off.
Preheat oven to 400*
Fluff quinoa with a fork, then add to the skillet with vegetables, gently mix, then add torn basil leaves and gently mix once more.
Transfer to a casserole dish, sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
Top with parmesan and mozzarella in a layer on top.
Place in the oven, and bake for 15-25 minutes, until cheese are beginning to brown and crisp.
Serve immediately. 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Portabella and Mozzarella Panini




So far, I've been really happy with the restaurants Boise has to offer. But I can't lie, I miss Panera! I didn't go there that often, but there are a few things there I just absolutely love, like this sandwich. I haven't had it in a while, but was craving it this week. I completely got help with this entire sandwich, so it's more of a construction than cooking, but the flavor combination is so delicious! 

Panera presses the sandwich, but I don't have one here, so I just broiled it on each side to toast it and pressed it with my hands. I used a Rosemary Focaccia  from the Whole Foods Bakery, which makes it more authentic, but any bread choice would be find. I also used the grilled portabella caps from the hot bar, which make this sandwich cheaper and less work, since portabellas are about $2.50/each! Finally, fresh mozzarella isn't necessary, but it is so good! We enjoyed this sandwich with French Onion Soup.

Portabell and Mozzarella Panini
copycat Panera Bread recipe

1 loaf of Focaccia bread, preferably with Rosemary
3 portabella caps, grilled or roasted with salt and pepper
1/4 red onion, grilled or roasted with salt and pepper, sliced
4 oz. fresh mozzarella pearls or sliced from a large ball
10 fresh basil leaves, torn
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar

Slice Focaccia loaf in half, place on a baking sheet, broil for 2-4 minutes, until slightly toasted and golden brown.
Toss portabella caps in red wine vinegar, arrange in a layer on focaccia, top with onions and mozzarella.
Place bread with toppings back under broiler, broil for 3-5 minutes, until mozzarella has melted.
Sprinkle torn basil all over the mozzarella, place top of loaf on the sandwich, and broil for another 1-2 minutes, until toasted.
Slice and serve immediately, preferably with your favorite soup. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Bangin' Tempeh Quesadilla




So I had added Quesadillas to the "how in the world do I get a good photo?!" list... but then a certain good blogger friend posted a quesadilla recipe with a beautiful photo, so I guess it's just me. I think it's time I look into good photography classes, or you know, don't take them on the floor while my husband holds the dogs and kid back. PLEASE don't let the bad photo make you question the deliciousness of this 'dilla... it's amazing!

When Taco Lu first opened, I was pregnant. Tacos sounded amazing, and the fact that they had tempeh on their menu made me love the place before even stepping foot into the restaurant. We made the trek over to the beach one night, fought off everyone and their mom for a parking spot, and got a table after a 30 minute wait. As I excitedly ordered my tempeh tacos, the waiter told me they didn't have tempeh, they were out. Talk about a hormonal melt-down over something that wasn't THAT big of a deal (but come on, tempeh has a long shelf life and you can keep it on hand!) So I didn't even order dinner. I watched JJ eat, and then we left. And I swore off the place for 2 years.

When we found out we were moving, I felt like I should give the place one more chance because all of my friends and coworkers love it, and they even moved into a bigger restaurant location since their popularity soared. So we went, I got this quesadilla, it was amazing, and now I cry knowing it's 2k miles away. Our servers kind of seated us and forgot about it, so I was like oh geez, here we go again, but then they brought out a free bowl of queso (that Violet bathed herself in.) So while Taco Lu hasn't been the most dependable place service wise, the food is so good that I'd be willing to overlook it.

This quesadilla was spicy, fresh from the slaw, earthy from the tempeh, and bound together with tons of melty cheese. It wasn't exceptionally complex, but it was amazing. I tried re-creating it here, and it was almost as delicious as the Lu's!

Bangin' Tempeh Quesadilla
inspired by Taco Lu, makes 4 large quesadillas

4 large flour tortillas
1 8 oz, pack of tempeh, sliced into 16 thin strips
1/4 c. sweet thai chile sauce
2 tbsp. sriracha
4 oz. shredded monterey jack cheese
1/2 lb. green cabbage, shredded
1/4 red onion, finely sliced
1 lime
1/2 c. reduced fat sour cream
2 chipotles in adobo

In a shallow dish, whisk together chile sauce and sriracha, gently coat tempeh strips and set aside to marinate.
Toss green cabbage with onions and juiced lime in a small dish.
Blend sour cream and chipotles, or finely minced chipotles and mix with sour cream.
Heat skillet over medium-high, spray with nonstick spray, place tempeh slicess in pan, cook for 2-3 minutes, then flip, be careful they don't burn! 
Remove tempeh and place on a plate.
Clean out skillet, and heat over medium.
Preheat oven to 300*
One at a time, lay tortillas out, slather with chipotle sour cream, then place in pan, sprinkle cheese around the whole tortilla, then arrange 4 slices of tempeh in one half, and a sprinkle of the cabbage slaw on top of the tempeh. 
Cook for 2 minutes open, then fold the tortilla over and press.
Cook for another 2 minutes, then gently flip and cook another 2 minutes until golden brown.
If desired, place on a cookie sheet and into the oven to stay warm while you cook the remaining quesadillas.
Slice into fourths and serve.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Baked Chile Rellenos with Hatch Green Chile Enchilada Sauce


We are chile rellenos lovers in this house. What's not to like, spicy peppers filled with cheese, deep fried with a crisp shell and delicious sauce on top. In college, JJ and I would go to a Mexican restaurant almost every Sunday and get them. We also both gained the freshman 15 each year, it seemed! 

A few weeks ago we went to dinner at The Green Chile in Boise (which was delicious, and highly recommended) and JJ ordered a combo that included chile rellenos. As I read the description on the menu, I was intrigued. They filled their poblano with cheese, but then wrapped it in a tortilla and fried it. Genius! It takes out the messy step of breading the chile rellenos. 

I took that idea, and decided it would be a great way to make chile rellenos healthy! There's still the labor intensive task of roasting, peeling and de-seeding the chiles, but it's so worth it when you bite into these beauties! I topped the chile rellos with my Hatch Green Chile Enchilada Sauce, but you can use a red sauce, green sauce, sour cream based sauce, just about anything you'd like! 

I served these chile rellenos with slow cooked pinto beans and a small salad of romaine, tomatoes and avocado. 


Baked Chile Rellenos with Hatch Green Chile Sauce
inspired by The Green Chile

4 large poblanos, roasted, peeled, with seeds and stems removed
6 oz. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
10-12 corn tortillas - taco size
1.5 cups enchilada sauce of choice

Preheat oven to 425*
Spread 1/2 c. enchilada sauce on the bottom of a casserole dish.
Slice or tear peppers into thirds, place pepper in the center of a tortilla, top with a sprinkle of cheese, roll up and place in baking dish. 
Spread with remaining enchilada sauce, sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until bubbly and edges begin to brown and crisp.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Hatch Green Chile Pizza with Soyrizo and Goat Cheese


Over the past few years, I've read countless entries by Bridget and Shawnda about Hatch Green Chiles. Being from the Midwest and South, I didn't realize the seemily cult following they have. When I got to Boise a month ago and went to our amazing Whole Foods, I saw a man in the parking lot turning a giant drum, fresh fire roasting the chiles. I couldn't not buy some! I took home a few pounds, peeled them and then was stumped on what to do with them. 



So I decided to just make my first batch of chiles into an enchilada sauce and use it in a few dishes (another will be posted this week). Sunday has become our new pizza night, since I don't have my kitchen aid, I just buy Whole Foods' amazing prepared dough. I had half a package of soy-chorizo in the freezer, and decided to google pizza with chorizo, and came across this recipe from Rick Bayless. The pizza calls for a salsa verde sauce as the base, but I knew my Hatch Green Chile enchilada sauce would be perfect, and it was! 

As I said, I have no appliances out here, no blender, food processor, magic bullet, kitchen aid, you name it, I don't have it! So I have to utilize my knife skills and box grater as much as possible. To make the sauce, rather than puree most of it and leave some small bits of chile, I finely minced it all and cooked it down for a while to hopefully mash the chiles even more. 

The remainder of the pizza was topped with even more deliciousness: goat cheese, thinly sliced red onion and bell peppers, and soy-chorizo. This pizza was full of flavor and definitely will be a new regular for us. The Hatch Green Chiles definitely were spicy, smokey, and live up to the hype!

Hatch Green Chile Pizza with Soyrizo and Goat Cheese
adapted from Rick Bayless

1 lb. pizza dough, homemade or purchased
1 c. Hatch Green Chile enchilada sauce (recipe follows)
6 oz. crumbled chorizo or soy-chorizo, cooked, crumbled and drained on paper towels
1/4 red onion, sliced thinly
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced thinly
6 oz. goat cheese, crumbled

Hatch Green Chile Enchilada Sauce:
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 large red onion (half minced, half grated directly into pan)
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp. flour
2 c. vegetable stock
2 c. roasted, peeled and seeded Hatch Green Chiles
2 tbsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
kosher salt and black pepper

To make enchilada sauce:
Heat a large skillet over medium heat, add olive oil, bring to temperature.
Add onions and garlic, season with salt, and saute for 5 minutes, until softened.
Sprinkle flour over onions and garlic, whisk to coat, once flour is absorbed, add stock.
Whisk well, then add chiles, cumin and coriander.
Bring to a simmer, then turn to low, taste and adjust salt and pepper.
Cook for 20-30 minutes, then transfer some or all to a blender and puree, if desired.
Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in the freezer.

To make pizza:
Preheat oven to 425*
Stretch dough over a pan dusted with cornmeal or semolina flour.
Top with Hatch Green Chile enchilada sauce, goat cheese, crumbled coy-chorizo, sliced onion and peppers.
Bake for 18-24 minutes, until crust is crisp, golden and puffed.
Slice and serve immediately, garnish with fresh chopped cilantro, if desired.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Spring Leek Hash with Polenta and Goat Cheese


When we first moved here a few weeks ago, I tried to get a CSA membership, but unfortunately it was too late in the season. So on Saturdays, we go to the downtown market, but many of the vendors have the same exact produce, and I've been a little unimpressed with the selection. I did some google-ing and found an organic produce delivery service that is for the Pacific Northwest, and all produce comes from WA, OR and CA. While they're not in-my-backyard-local, they are all bordering states, so I gave it a try. I was a little unimpressed with the quantity, but liked the selection as it included a lot of fruit and a variety of vegetables.

I had ideas for all of the ingredients included in my first box except the leeks, so I did some searching for a recipe. Luckily, I already had polenta and goat cheese on hand, so making this hash was a piece of cake! I much prefer to make polenta than buy the tubes. If you're in a time crunch, you can always make it ahead of time. I whisked up a pot of polenta while making breakfast, then spread it onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and refrigerated it all day. Right before assembling, I used a biscuit cutter to cut out rounds.

It was great at dinner, but would also work for a brunch. We had faux chicken patties on the side (I can't quit the MorningStar Farm's Italian seasoned type no matter how hard I try! But I do limit them to 1-2x/month since it's overly processed soy) but fried eggs would be another great vegetarian protein option! Though this is titled Spring Leek Hash, I think it is very appropriate for both fall and winter

Spring Leek Hash with Polenta and Goat Cheese
slightly adapted from Vegetarian Times

polenta:
2 c. vegetable stock
1 c. 1% milk
1 c. polenta (we love Bob's Red Mill)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground white pepper
1/2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese

hash:
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 leeks, trimmed, halved and chopped**
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
4 thyme stalks or 1/2 tsp. dried
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 c. vegetable stock
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 oz. crumbled goat cheese

To make polenta:
Bring stock and milk to a simmer in a heavy bottomed pot, whisk in polenta, salt and pepper.
Turn heat to low, continue to whisk for 10 minutes, adding more stock if necessary.
Turn heat off, whisk in butter and parmesan.
Cool for 10 minutes, then spread onto a parchment lined jelly roll pan.
Refrigerate until chilled and solid.

Preheat oven to 400*
Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat, add leeks, bell pepper, thyme and red pepper flakes.
Saute for 10 minutes, add broth and garlic, stir well and reduce.
Turn heat off, arrange polenta rounds in an even layer, sprinkle with goat cheese.
Bake for 10 minutes, until goat cheese begins to brown and is soft.

**I let them soak in a large bowl of water once chopped so the sand can fall to the bottom, then scoop with a slotted spoon and dry on a towel before cooking

Friday, August 23, 2013

Layered Mexican Cornbread


This recipe should probably be called "The Cornbread that's Lucky to be Blogged"
It all started a year ago... I made a pot of chili for a friend who was ill, and wanted to include a dipper. Corncakes are our usual (layer it on the bottom, chili on top, so good!), but I didn't think they'd hold up as well. I searched and found this Layered Mexican Cornbread, and it sounded great! 

I baked a loaf of it, cooled it, then stored it in a plastic bag on the kitchen table. Well, this was around the time Violet earned her nickname "Hurricane Violet" because she loved (and sometimes still does) to run through the house, pulling things off of tables, counters, chairs, etc. The cornbread never stood a chance. However, in a way I'm glad she did it because JJ and I ate the crumbled cornbread mess, and it was amazing! 


Like so many dishes do, it fell off my radar and wasn't made again. Last week, I decided to try to make a new chili recipe (coming soon!) and remembered this cornbread. This time, what made me second guess blogging it was it's a Paula Deen recipe. I'm sure everyone knows the Paula scandal, and after reading some of the court documents myself, I'm grossed out by her, her family, and their "well, it's how we were raised" BS. So while I won't be supporting her at all in the future by purchasing anything of hers (if there's even anything left to purchase?), I don't think this recipe supports her in any way. I really hope like so many Food Network Star recipes it was really made by the test kitchens because WOW, is it good!

The first time I made it, I did exactly as written, but the second time, I subbed Greek yogurt for the butter and used green chiles rather than jalapenos because Violet would be eating it, too. The substitutions made it just as good as the original, though I did like the heavy spice from the jalapenos.  I am quite sure this recipe won't be forgotten, and will be our new chili pairing in the future!

Mexican Layered Cornbread
slightly adapted from Food Network

1 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. cornmeal
2 tbsp. baking powder
2/3 c. milk
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 c. nonfat greek yogurt
1 tbsp. honey
2 scallions, sliced thinly
1 14 oz. can creamed corn
1/2 c. corn kernels (defrosted, if frozen)
1 c. grated cheddar
1 4 oz. can diced green chiles or diced jalapenos

Preheat oven to 350*
Grease a 8"x8" square or 10" round pan, set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, salt, yogurt and honey.
Add flour, cornmeal and baking powder.
Fold in scallions, creamed corn and corn kernels.
Pour 2/3 of the mixture into the pan, spread in an even layer.
Top with the cheddar and chiles, then add remaining batter, spread evenly over top.
Bake for 35 minutes, or until golden on top and a toothpick stuck into the center comes out clean.
Cool for 10 minutes, then slice and serve wamred.