Category Archives: Recipe

Crumbly Pepperjack Garlic Bread


Yes, this is another cheese bread. This one is my boyfriend’s recipe, and it’s also everyone’s favorite.  I don’t know how he got so lucky.  He makes one thing and it’s a hit, while I have to fail a few times before I get a success.  This bread is soft and cheesy and will be gone before you know it.  If you’re bringing it to share, you should make two loaves so you have one when you get home because you’re going to want it

This bread is really easy and quick to make.  No kneading required and no rise time.  This would be a great loaf for people who want to start baking.

Recipe:

Ingredients:

2-1/2 tbsp baking powder

1-1/2 tsp salt

3 cups flour

1 cup shredded cheese (I used pepperjack, but cheddar has also been successful)

1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp garlic powder

1-1/2 cups milk

1/4 cup canola oil

1 egg

Prep time: 15 minutes

Bake time: 55 minutes

Servings: Makes 1 9″x5″ loaf (serving size in nutrition facts is 1/8 of the loaf)

Cooking Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Combine all the wet ingredients (milk, oil, egg) in a small mixing bowl. Combine all the dry ingredients (baking powder, salt, flour, cheese, sugar, and garlic powder) in a larger mixing bowl. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just moistened (until there are no more dry spots of just flour, but no more). Pour into a 9″x3″ bread pan and spread out until even.  Bake for 55-60 minutes or until the knife comes out clean.  Let cool on a wire rack  for 5 minutes.   Eat and don’t forget to go for second helpings!

 

Pineapple Shrimp Southwest Salad


On black Friday, I raided all kitchen supply stores.  I also got some presents from my mom of things she rarely used (thanks, Mom!).  One of the things I got was a pineapple corer.  It’s a weird device that allows you to easily remove all the best parts of the pineapple and leave the rest behind.  The next week, I saw pineapples on sale.  It was a sign.  The new pineapple corer needed to be used.

I got home, excited to eat the pineapple when my boyfriend asked, “What are we going to eat the pineapple with?”  I really only ever ate pineapple raw and plain as a kid.  Sometimes, as a treat, we would have it with coconut and chocolate sauce, but other than that it was always plain.  I went in search of what else pineapple was used in. One person suggested eating it in a salad with shrimp.  I’ve also seen it in salsa.  I decided to combine these two ideas and make a Pineapple Shrimp Southwest Salad.  Since I’m a vegetarian, I made mine without shrimp and it was still delicious.  I let the salsa act like the dressing.  Since my recipe for salsa has tomatoes and onions in it, it also made it so I had to add fewer ingredients but still got a great variety of flavors.  I also decided to let corn chips act like the croutons.  The combination sounds odd, but it was quite delicious.

For this recipe I won’t add exact amounts since it’s all about what you like and what you don’t like. Salad is very customizable like that.  I’ll give you the ingredient list and you can find the proportions that make this your favorite salad.

Recipe:

Ingredients:

Fresh sliced pineapple

Canned black beans

Romaine lettuce

Blue corn tortilla chips

Fresh chunky salsa

Shrimp (optional)

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking instructions:

Chop the romaine lettuce with a lettuce knife (not metal) or tear it using your hands and place it in a salad bowl.  Heat the beans according to instructions and add on top of the lettuce. Scoop some chunky salsa on top.  Crush up the tortilla chips and sprinkle over the salad.  Top with prepared shrimp.  Serve immediately or refrigerate and serve the same day.  Enjoy and don’t be afraid to go for second helpings!

My First Time Making Sushi


Have you ever wanted to make sushi, but didn’t because it seemed too intimidating?  That was me for a while.  As it turns out, it’s not scary.  Since I’ve been cooking more, I feel like I’ve been getting better at it and I’m more confident.  Last week when my boyfriend requested I make sushi, I didn’t shy away from the idea like I normally do.  Instead, I looked up everything I could possibly want to know on the internet and tried it out. If it didn’t work, no big loss.  If it did work, I’d get delicious sushi.

Sushi is really fun to make.  I want you to be able to have fun making sushi too so I’ve compiled all the resources I used and divided them up by step in the sushi making process.  Good luck.  I would love to help anyone having trouble and I can try to answer questions.  I’m no pro, but I have done it myself so I can try to help.

What You’ll Need:

Sushi rice

Bamboo mat

Rice Vinegar

Very sharp knife

Nori or seaweed wrap

Sugar

Salt

Vegetables (whatever you want.  I used carrots, cucumber, and avocado)

Fish (optional)

Other stuffing ingredients (cream cheese, sauces, spicy mayonnaise, etc.)

*All ingredients can be found at local Asian markets and are becoming increasingly common in regular chain supermarkets.

Making Sushi Rice:

http://makemysushi.com/index.php/Sushi-Preparations/sushi-rice.html

To pick oout the sushi rice, I went to my local Asian marketplace and asked someone where to find the sushi rice.  They pointed out a bag that was clearly marked “sushi rice,” but also told me that sushi rice is just a grain of rice and there is nothing else special about it. Feel rather silly for not seeing the sushi rice, I bought it.

This is the brand I bought.  I can’t vouch for this amazon seller I linked to, but the rice worked well.  It was only about $5 in store.

After that, instead of cooking the rice in a pot, I cooked the rice in my rice cooker.  I have an old, but really high quality, rice cooker and it cooked the rice very nicely.  If you do not have a rice cooker, I would follow the instructions from the link above.  I cooked 1 cup of dry rice and got about 3 cups of cooked rice.  Once the rice was cooked, I removed it from the heat and put it in a bowl.  I then heated 1/3 cup of rice vinegar on the stove and added 2 tbsp sugar and 2 tsp salt.  I heated the combination until the sugar and salt had completely dissolved.  The above link recommends 1/2 cup rice vinegar for 3 cups of cooked rice, but I found that to be a little too vinegar-y so I reduced it to 1/3 cup for 3 cups of cooked rice.  Pour the vinegar mixture over the cooked rice and mix well.  Allow to the rice to cool and the vinegar to soak in.

The Vegetables:

http://makemysushi.com/index.php/Sushi-Preparations/carrot-cutting.html

http://makemysushi.com/index.php/Sushi-Preparations/cucumber-cutting.html

This is what I struggled with the most.  I did not end up with pretty even little sticks of vegetables like I wanted.  Turns out, it didn’t really matter.  I followed the above instructions as best I could, but it didn’t end up having a big bearing on the taste or the outcome of the sushi.  I think that practice makes better so I will eventually get better, but I didn’t find it to be very important.  The best advice I can give is find very even vegetables.  If you find ones that are perfect cylinders, then that would be ideal.

Fish:

I did not buy raw fish or cut fish for this sushi.  I found canned crab and used that for the sushi.  Maybe I’ll get adventerous and try to use raw fish, but I was focusing more on the roll first.

Preparing the Sushi:

http://www.youtube.com/foodwishes?feature=etp-gd-SUR-13#p/search/1/dC9gJsXAXGU

http://makemysushi.com/index.php/How-to-make-sushi/classic-roll.html

The first step is to wrap the sushi mat (usually bamboo with one side flat and one side round) with plastic wrap to prevent sticking.  Prepare a small bowl with water and add a little rice vinegar.  This is to prevent the rice from sticking to your hands.  Also have a hand towel ready.  You want to handle the rice only with wet hands and you want to handle the nori or seaweed wrapper only with dry hands. Place the nori on the mat with the shiny side facing down and rough side facing up.  Wet your hands and grab a handful of rice about 3″ in diameter.  Spread the rice over the nori leaving about an inch of  room at both the top and bottom of the nori (where you will start rolling and where you will stop rolling).  Add the vegetables, fish, and whatever else you want (spicy mayo, cream cheese, etc) to the starting end of the roll on the rice.

Rolling the Sushi:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swGJ2dIu9XE (at 1:37)

Use the video above.  It was very helpful after 1:37.  The beginning part is just her spreading rice out and is very boring.  Start by using the mat to roll the nori over the stuffing (veggies and fish).  Use your fingers to keep the stuffing from spreading out.  Squeeze the mat tightly after this first roll.  Roll the sushi again squeezing tightly after each complete roll until you reach the end.

Cutting the Sushi:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swGJ2dIu9XE (at 2:13)

All I can say is use a sharp knife.  What I did was first sort of wiggle the knife in a sawing motion to get through the top layer of nori.  Then I cut straight through and I sawed again at the end.  The helped keep the nori on the sushi and prevented it from exploding everywhere.  I cut my sushi into 6 pieces, but you can decide where you want to cut it.

As I said at the beginning, good luck and I’d love to try to help anyone having trouble.  I had a really fun time making sushi and I want you all to have fun too.  Enjoy and don’t forget to go for second helpings!

Chunky Salsa (and how I met my boyfriend)


Salsa is part of the reason why my boyfriend and I are together. The story of this salsa goes back even further than that though.  My sister got this recipe from a chef in Mexico that prepared the food at the hotel where she was staying during a trip.  She loved the salsa so much that she went and asked him for the recipe.  When she got back to the US, she made it for our family, and I became obsessed.  It was the best salsa I ever had.

Fast forward to college, freshman year.  One of my friends got tomatoes from his professor’s garden (that’s the kind of school I went to) so we decided to make salsa.  As we were walking around campus to go buy the rest of the ingredients, I saw two huge bushes.  My name is Holly and I was wondering if there were holly bushes.  A friendly fellow who happened to be walking by replied that they were, in fact, holly bushes.  He introduced himself to me and ignored my friends.  After talking a little bit, we discovered that we were planning on making salsa in the building where he lived.  We promised to get him when the salsa was finished.   Me and my friends parted ways with the friendly person and continued with our plan to make salsa.  When the salsa was complete my friends urged me to go get the guy that was talking to us by the holly bush, insisting that he thought I was cute.  I did, and we’ve been dating ever since. ♥

This is the recipe for that salsa.  From a hotel in Mexico to bringing a couple together in Washington state, this recipe has gotten around.  Aside from the obvious sentimental value, it still is the best salsa I’ve ever had.  If you have a Chipotle in your area, it’s similar to the chunky mild salsa that they make.  So if you like chunky tomato-y salsa, this one’s for you.

Recipe:

Printable Version

Ingredients:

5 roma tomatoes

½ white onion

3 jalapeños

Juice from 2 lemons

½ cup cilantro

1 tsp garlic powder

Dash of salt

Dash of black pepper

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Servings: Makes about 4 cups (nutrition facts for 1 cup)

Cooking Instructions:

Remove the seeds and core from the jalapenos. Finely chop the cilantro, tomatoes, onion, and jalapeños and place in a large bowl.  Add the lemon juice, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.  Mix all the ingredients together.  Add a little bit of water if the tomatoes were not juicy enough to blend the flavors together.  Serve immediately with tortilla chips.  The salsa will save a few days, but the tomatoes may get a little wrinkly after some time.  Enjoy and don’t forget to go for second helpings!


Whole Wheat Breadsticks


First of all, I’d like to thank people that have been pinning my posts on Pinterest.  It’s a great way to spread the recipes around, and I want you to know that I appreciate it.  I will be pinning all of my recipes on my board here so if you want to re-pin those pins, that’s fine.  If you don’t know what Pinterest is, you should click here.  It’s a useful tool for finding new ideas and sharing yours.  Now on to the story and recipe!

This week, my boyfriend’s mom had us over for a soup night.  I was in charge of bringing bread.  I, of course, brought made the favorite crumbly bread (recipe to come!).  As it was baking, I thought, “How are we going to dip a crumbly bread into soup?  This makes no sense.  It will fall apart into the soup!”  So I decided to make some breadsticks to go along with the other bread.  One to dip and one to eat on the side.  It turns out that these are PERFECT for a delicious hot soup.  They are strong enough to scoop chunky soups and soft enough to soak up creamy soups.

 

I actually didn’t use my bread machine to make these breadsticks.  I know you all are very surprised since I have a mild bread machine addiction.  I wanted to make sure I was doing it right so I found a useful video to help me with my kneading.  My dough was stiffer than in the video, but it was still a good reference tool.  I ended up adding a little more water to my dough so that I could knead it more easily.  I added about a ¼ cup more than what I have listed below.

 

Recipe:

Printable Version

Ingredients:

1 cup water (plus extra if needed)

1/2 cup milk

2 tbsp honey

1 tsp salt

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups wheat flour

2 tbsp butter

¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1 tsp garlic powder (optional)

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Bake Time: 20-25 minutes

Makes: 16 breadsticks

Cooking Instructions:

Stir the yeast in the milk and water until mostly dissolved in a large mixing bowl.  Add the honey and salt and continue to mix until the yeast and honey are completely dissolved.  Stir in both types of flour and mix until a ball of dough forms.  Add more water if the dough is extremely stiff (again, I added about ¼ cup).

Remove from the bowl and onto a lightly floured surface.  Knead the dough for about 10 minutes or until you can gently press on the dough with two fingers and have the indentations stay.

Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces.  Roll the pieces out until they are about an inch around.  Grease a cookie sheet lightly and place the breadsticks on the sheet.

Melt the butter and add the parmesan cheese and garlic powder to the butter.  Brush the butter mixture over the breadsticks.  Preheat the oven to 400ºF and let the breadsticks rest while the oven preheats.

Once the oven preheats, bake for 20-25 minutes.  Check after 15 minutes. Remove from the cookie sheet and let cook on a wire rack for a few minutes.  Enjoy immediately or reheat in the microwave and serve with soup. Don’t forget to go for second helpings!

Spicy Orange Rum Sauce


Remember the stray kitty I found? He’s doing well.  He’s got the sniffles, but it looks like my sister will be able to take him so he will have a good home.

In food related news, I made a yummy orange sauce that is perfect for dipping meats or as a sauce on vegetables!  I bought a pack of fried shrimp for the boyfriend a while back.  He ate half of it but used all the sauce that came with it so I tried to recreate the sauce when he ate the other half.  It came out really well, so I made it again to share with you all.

It’s spicy, but that can be changed by altering the amount of red pepper flakes and chili powder in it to make it a sweeter orange sauce.  A little bit of this sauce adds a lot of flavor so you don’t need to pile it on to taste it.  This is good because it keeps the calories lower and makes veggies taste better!  Isn’t that what everyone’s looking for?  Something yummy and healthy?

Recipe:

Ingredients:

1 tbsp apricot jam

1/4 cup orange juice

2 tsp sugar

1/4 cup spiced rum

1 tsp spicy brown mustard

1/2 tsp  chili flakes

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

Splash of tequila

Splash coconut rum

Prep time: 15 minutes

Servings: Makes 1/2 a cup of sauce (2 servings)

Cooking Instructions:

Combine the jam, orange juice, sugar, rum, mustard, and spices in a small sauce pan over medium heat.  While stirring, heat until the sauce begins to simmer.  Reduce heat to medium low and continue to stir until sauce thickens.  When the sauce is the desired thickness, add the tequila and coconut rum.  Continue to stir until the sauce reaches the desired thickness again.  Enjoy!

Holiday Spiked Coffee


Since I blog about food, I tend to check out other food blogs too.  Smart, right?  Check out the competition.  Just kidding.  It’s more like learn from people that are better at cooking, or photography, or both and get some good recipe ideas along the way.  As the holidays approach, I’ve noticed more and more posts about homemade Bailey’s Irish Cream.  While I do want to try one of the many variations I’ve seen (preferably one without raw eggs), I found myself wondering what people are going to do with the vast quantities of irish cream they made.  It doesn’t keep long and there’s no point in making a small batch if it takes some time.  I decided to help out.

I created this coffee treat to use up some of the holiday liquors and alcohols that are common.   How many of us have a bottle of Kahlua or Amaretto and no idea what to do with it?  I have the solution!

 

Recipe:

Ingredients:

1 cup hot coffee

1 shot Kahlua for a mocha coffee OR

1 shot Amaretto for a hazelnut coffee

1 shot whiskey for a stronger drink

1 shot Bailey’s Irish Cream (or homemade Irish cream)

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking Instructions:

Combine all the ingredients into a heat safe mug.  Stir to combine. Drink and enjoy as a guilty pleasure!

Spicy Tuna Melt


I found a stray kitty this weekend.  I was sitting on my porch (in Arizona this is acceptable in December) and he came up to me and started petting himself on my legs.  I pet him back and noticed he was horribly skinny.  I got some food and he purred and…well…. I live with three kitties now.  His name is Ripley and he’s adorable.  I took him to the vet and they say he’s about 8 months old.

Having an extra kitten around means we go through cat food a lot faster (especially since I’m trying to get the new kitty to gain weight).  We ran out of wet cat food so I used a half of a can of tuna instead.  I don’t like to waste food, so I tried to figure out something to make with the left over half of tuna.  Since I’m not a huge fan of tuna, I made a tuna melt for my boyfriend and he said it was really good.  He likes things a little spicy so I tried to make add a little spice to it.  He said that it was good, but not that spicy so I have the recipe with changes to make it a real spicy tuna melt.

This sandwich is flavorful and makes a nice lunch.  At  less than 400 calories with lots of protein and a few veggies, this sandwich is also healthy for you.  Enjoy!

Recipe

Printable Version

Ingredients:

2 slices pumpernickel bread

1 tbsp olive oil or butter

1/2 can of tuna

1/2 tbsp chipotle mayo

1/2 tsp spicy brown mustard

dash of chili powder or hot sauce*

1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar

3 slices of roma tomatoes

2 slices pepperjack cheese

*I have not tried this, but I think that it would add a nice kick to this sandwich

Active time: 15 minutes

Inactive time: 0 minutes

Servings:  Makes 1 sandwich

Cooking instructions:

Combine the tuna, mayo, mustard, vinegar, and whatever spice(s) you want in a bowl and mix.  Lightly oil or butter one side of each slice of bread.  Place one piece in the a small frying pan. Put the cheese on the bread.  Top with the tomato slices, then the cheese, and finally the tuna mixture.  Turn the heat on medium and wait.  Flip once the cheese begins to get nice and gooey and the bread begins to darken.  The sandwich is done with the other side of the bread is also beginning to darken.  Slice in half and serve.  Don’t forget to go for second helpings!

My Favorite Whiskey Drink


I just graduated from college this spring.  Being a recent college grad, I have a lot of drink recipes that I made up using only the supplies on hand.  My boyfriend really likes whiskey so I have tried to make a couple of drinks using this alcohol instead of my usual favorites of vodka, tequila, and rum.  This recipe I just created last week and is my favorite by a landslide.  So if you are a whiskey drinker or have a boyfriend that is, and all you really want is a vodka cranberry then this drink is for you.  I’ve been calling it the Sour Whiskerberry Ale, but that might not catch on.

There are a few options you can do to make this drink lower in calories.  I used Slim Bob and Skinny Chick brand sweet and sour mix.  I think that it’s tastes better than other mixes and it has fewer calories.  I also used light cranberry juice.  I didn’t have it on hand, but diet ginger ale would also be a good substitute.  These three things combined should bring the calorie count down significantly.

Recipe:

Printable Version

Ingredients:

1 part whiskey

1/2 part sweet and sour (optional, but I like it better with it)

2 parts cranberry juice

ice

ginger ale

Time: 5 minutes

Instructions:

Use a rocks glass.  Add the whiskey, sweet and sour, and cranberry juice.   Stir together.  Add the ice.  Fill the glass the rest of the way with ginger ale.  Enjoy!

 

These nutrition facts assume that 1 part = 1 fl oz and that nothing used is diet or light.

Stuffed Pita


This the final post in three part series involving recipes for piquillo pepper hummushomemade pita (or pitta), and now stuffed pita.  The hummus is amazing and the pita is the best I’ve ever had.  Combine with a few more simple ingredients and you have a scrumptious snack.  This snack, or light meal, is also quite healthy even though it does not taste like it at all.  I feel like it’s a treat even though it’s good for me, and I’m not one of those people that enjoy eating tofu and call it “yummy.”  My skinny jeans wish I was though.

 

When I was going to make dinner, I was planning on making stuffed zucchinis.  I’ve made them before, and they were awesome.  I chopped up the onion, and I pulled out he zucchini and….the zucchinis had begun to rot.  I was VERY bummed.  But, I had just made pita and hummus and my mom sent me falafel mix I had been intending to try.  So I took the lemons that life handed me and made stuffed pita.  This turned out to be a very good decision.  I didn’t have feta cheese which is typical in stuffed pitas so I used a different kind of goat cheese crumbles.  The tangy flavor of the goat cheese really complimented the other flavors in this pita in an unexpected, yet harmonious, way.

Before the recipe, I would love input regarding what types of recipes you, my audience, would like to see more.  More bread?  Healthy options?  Vegan recipes?  I would also love input about my writing, photography, and recipes.  Do you like having the nutrition facts and printable versions?  Since this is a very new blog, I’m still trying to find out the best way to cater to my readers.  I think the best way to do this is to ask my readers.  Please comment or email at hollyshelpings@gmail.com if you have any suggestions, questions, or just want to say “Hi.”  Now, for the recipe.

Recipe for Stuffed Pita:

Printable Version

Ingredients:

1 pita pocket

1 tbsp piquillo pepper hummus

2 prepared falafels*

Torn off bit of Romaine lettuce

1 tsp chopped red onion

1 tbsp goat cheese crumbles**

*I used a falafel mix.  I tried to make my own and, as my sister put, they were fa-AWFUL.  I used Telema® brand.  They were slightly salty, but very easy and yummy in this stuffed pita. I got the mix from my mom and will update with where she bought it.

**I used Montechevré brand crumbled goat cheese “fresh & natural” from Fry’s (a Kroger owned supermarket).  This cheese has a very strong and tangy flavor so I did not use very much.

Active Time: 5 minutes

Inactive Time: 0 minutes

Makes: 1 stuffed pita

Cooking Instructions:

Using a serrated bread knife, cut the pita in half. Take one of the halves and spread the piquillo pepper hummus on the thicker side inside of the pita pocket.  Sprinkle the goat cheese in the pocket in an even manner.  Do the same with the onion.  Make sure the front of the pocket has as much goat cheese and onion as the back of the pocket.  Wrap the falafel ball in a tiny bit of romaine lettuce and stick it in the pocket.  Do the same for the other half of the pita.  Devour.

This snack is so amazing, healthy, and easy that you must go for second or third helpings.

Since there were  so many variants in this recipe, I have not posted nutrition facts.    The pita is 100 calories, the hummus would be about 25 calories, and the falafel brand I used would contribute approximately 50 calories.  However, I used a very specific brand of falafel mix and goat cheese and these factors could change the nutrition content significantly.  I would say that it is likely to be no more than 250 calories per whole stuffed pita (2 halves).  If you have questions about this, please leave a comment or email (address above) and I will do my best to answer.

Also, I love to talk to people about food and read food blogs.  Please comment so I can visit your blog too!

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