Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Pancakes from scratch

Everyone eats big breakfasts on the weekends, right?
Well, we surely do because:
1) I have more time
2) my DH is home
3) DH goes to the gym early and comes back very hungry

What's a big breakfast without pancakes?! Gotta have 'em.

...and no not the "just add water" kind from a box.  
Homemade pancakes just can't be beat. 

I've tried several pancake recipes from the web before but was disappointed with most of them.  I recently found one on allrecipes.com and it turned out ok but, I always have to make it my own.  

So, here is my version...they are light and fluffy and if you're not careful you could 5+ in one sitting!

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter


1.  Cut at the 3 tablespoons mark on a stick of butter and pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds to melt.
2.  In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.
3.  In a cup, whisk the egg into the milk.
4.  Make a hole in the center of dry ingredients and add melted butter and milk/egg mixture. Stir with spoon until evenly incorporated and as smooth as you ca get it.  Do not over mix! You'll end up with tough, dense pancakes. 
5.  Heat a lightly oiled frying pan or use a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. 
6.  Using a 1/4 cup or 1/3 cup measuring scoop, pour the batter onto the pan. 
7.  When bubbles begin to form on the top and the edges are cooked through flip pancake over and finish browning on other side.  
8.  Serve hot with a little butter and top with syrup or honey.

Try them out and tell me how you like them!  

Buen provecho!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Spicy Lemon Shrimp

Burp! Excuse me......
We just finished eating a yummy little meal.  My Spicy Lemon Shrimp with whole wheat pasta and sauteed green beans. 

Super quick & easy to make!  I had it on the table in less than 15 minutes!

-1 lb of shrimp (I devein and peel mine)
-1 13.25 oz box of whole wheat thin spaghetti pasta (or whatever you have on hand)
-1 lemon
-frozen green beans
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
-garlic powder
-olive oil
-red pepper flakes
-dried italian herbs seasoning

- fill up a big pot with water, drizzle some olive oil in it and put a healthy pinch of salt in, too. Cover with lid and bring to a boil.  Add pasta.  Cook for 6-8 minutes.
- On medium heat, drizzle about 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan for the shrimp.  When oil is warmed through throw in the 2 cloves of garlic you minced.  Stir for 2-3 minutes. Add shrimp.  Season with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, the zest of 1 lemon and the juice of 1/2 the lemon.  Cook shrimp until they are translucent (3-5 minutes depending on pan and how many shrimp you put in.) but before the curly up into a letter "O" shape.  They should curl only to form a letter "C" shape.  Otherwise, you have over cooked them.
- Drain the cooked pasta and add to the shrimp mixture.  At this point I add a little more olive oil and some dried italian herbs seasoning.  Toss until everything is well coated.
-Green Beans: I always have frozen broccoli and green beans in my freezer and we try to eat one or the other every night with dinner.  You could steam the green beans in the microwave but I prefer to do it in a small pan.  I add about 1/4 cup of water to a pan, put in the frozen green beans, put a lid on it and steam them on high.  Once I see the green beans are just about done I take off the lid so the remaining water can cook out and then I drizzle some olive oil, add salt, pepper, and a little garlic powder.  

That's it! Try it.
So easy, so healthy, and oh-so yummy!
Buen provecho!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Quick snacks

When you need a quick snack what do you eat?  If you're like me... you may skip "snacking" all together and fix yourself a full-blown meal. If the baby is napping and I have a chance to make myself an actual lunch I'll go for it.  But otherwise (which is most of the time) I have to figure out a way to eat something quick so..... I have some energy to run after him the rest of the day.

I've been experimenting with this idea of keeping a stash of pre-made snacks that pack a lot of protein and are healthier than say... heating up a slice of pepperoni pizza.

I have created a recipe for homemade granola bars...or our favorite- granola balls.  My husband and I both agreed that we like the granola balls better.  They tend to fall apart less, are quicker to eat, and they hold up nicely in the fridge without getting too hard to bite.
My homemade granola bars/balls are super easy to whip up and you can mix and match it up with whatever nuts, or dried fruit you want or have on hand.
Here is what I do:
In one bowl:
- Take 1 cup each of cashews, peanuts, and almonds, sunflower seeds (or any other nuts you want)- chop them up in a food processor or rough chop with a knife
- I didn't add dried fruit but you could throw in raisins, or any dried fruit you want
- mix with 1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips
- mix in 1 cup of rolled oats (the quick cooking kind)
- 1 tsp of cinnamon
- a pinch of salt

In another bowl mix the wet ingredients:
- 1/4 cup of canola oil
- 1/2 cup of molasses
- 1 tsp of vanilla
- 1/4 cup of honey

-Mix wet ingredients well and then add the to the dry ingredients. Stirring everything until it is well blended.  If the mixture is not coming together and is falling apart too much you can add more honey or molasses to help it bind a little more. The texture will vary based on what all you put in it. 
- Line a 13" x 9" baking pan (or whatever other baking pan you have) with parchment paper, not wax paper.  They are two different things.   I use parchment paper for easy release of any candy or other sticky recipes because I don't use those spray things and I don't want to add extra butter or oil to my recipe. 
-Pour your mixture in and spread it nice and flat.  At this point I will usually take a piece of parchment paper and place it on top and then press and pack down everything really tightly into the pan. 
-Place the pan in a 375 degree Fahrenheit oven for 20-25 minutes. 
-When you remove the pan from the oven place it on a cooling rack until it is COMPLETELY COOLED.  This may take an hour or two.  You could put it in the fridge to speed up the process.  However, do NOT take a hot glass pan and place it in the fridge or freezer because it may crack and explode on you.  Let it sit out for 15 minutes and then put it in the fridge.  If you remove it before it is cooled I can almost guarantee you it will crumble in your hands.  If you want granola bits then that's fine, otherwise let it cool!  Once it has cooled, place it on a cutting surface and cut bars out of it.  If you want to make some granola balls simply scoop out the cooled mixture with an ice cream scoop or spoon and roll it in your hands into a ball.

That's it!  They are so yummy....packed with goodness....and make great snacks for kids, adults, for picnics, etc.

Buen provecho!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Official Launch of Crafty Cocina!

Here it is, people!! Just for you! My very own cooking & baking blog!  

Due to the overwhelming response I received from friends and family about my latest meals and recipes I decided to start a different blog from Crafty Gemini to keep my sewing/quilting projects separate from my cooking/baking stuff.  

This blog will feature random recipes that I invent, tweak, and otherwise play with in my kitchen.  I rarely follow recipes to the T.  I'm all about quick and spicy delicious....and yea, spicy meals.  I want to inspire you to cook!  Home-cooked meals do not have to be as complex and time consuming as people think.  I chase a baby around all day, teach four law classes per semester, run a business, one now two blogs, and have a house and a wonderful husband to take care of and I still find time to cook dinner just about every night.  I cook and bake virtually everything from scratch and have never had a tv dinner in my life! ewwww....gross.  

I challenge you to follow this blog and try some of my recipes and I promise it will be an eye-opener.  Cooking is easy and fun!

Following along is easy!  Simply subscribe to the blog on the right hand side of this screen. Just enter your email address and then check your email to verify your subscription via the confirmation email.  Be sure to check your spam folder because it can get lost in there sometimes.  If you do not confirm your subscription you will not receive email notifications about my new posts.

I have started off by including links under the tabs you see above for some recipes and cooking video tutorials I previously had on the Crafty Gemini blog.  

I will try to blog multiple times a week which I'm thinking shouldn't be too difficult for me because it's not like I won't have material.... I cook every day here! 

There is no recipe tonight because we are eating leftovers from last nights dinner....sorry.  But hey, be happy I spent all the little bit of free time I had today creating this blog, the banner, the design and fixing it up just for you!

I'll start again with a recipe tomorrow..... what am I going to cook for dinner tomorrow, you ask? HA.  I don't even know that yet.  I'll figure it out sometime tomorrow.