Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Banana, Peach, and Black Bean Empanadas

Wow, it's amazing how a little ridicule can motivate. She is kind of annoying. Like how we work out our issues in the blog-sphere? Mostly, I don't like the idea of this blog being named after only one of us. I'm doing this for the family. Holding it together.

So how about some peace making empanadas? The first time I made them it was far from peaceful. The dough was sticky and took forever to roll out, and after all that work they were tough. I think I chucked one at the dog. I finally gave up and bought some Goya wraps (found in your freezer section). Now I actually want to keep making them again since I only have to make the filling! And this recipe from a friend makes a great filling, I just added the peaches but you can use any fruit really. Zesty and sweet.

So Lora, stuff one of these in your mouth. And enjoy!

Banana, Peach, and Black Bean Empanadas

Vegetable oil
1 firm medium sized banana diced
1 small peach diced
3/4 cup diced onion
1 can black beans, drained
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 thawed package Goya discos
1 cup monterey jack cheese

Heat about 2 T oil in skillet. Add banana and peaches, saute for about a minute. Transfer banana to paper towel to drain. Add onion to skillet, saute for 3 min. Add beans, cilantro, and seasonings. Cook until hot and mash mixture with potato masher until course paste. Season with salt and a couple of splashes of water or broth to loosen mixture and add moisture.

Preheat oven to 425. Place 1 heaping T of mixture in middle of each disco and top with cooked fruit and cheese. Pastry will stretch to cover when folding over. Seal edges with a little water and a fork. Bake until golden about 15 minutes. Or, if you want to live on the edge you can fry them!

I serve with plain yogurt blended with cilantro and hot sauce.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Perfect Pancakes

I'm on the verge of making an executive decision.

I think I'm going to change the name of this blog to: Lora's Eats.

I've been abandoned by my co-pilot. My co-anchor. My sister with whom I shared the womb.

The womb, people!

OK, I'm over it. I've just covered my emotions with a pancake.

They make everything better, don't they?

So, about a year ago I went on the hunt for the perfect pancake recipe (yes, sorry I've been holding out on you for that long!). I was tired of the mixes I had tried and all the recipes I had come across.

Then, it happened. Jessica posted her favorite recipe on Facebook and it was everything I wanted; full of flavor (without needing a ton of toppings or syrup), light, fluffy and tender.

This is the basic recipe, and then below it I've shared a spin I put on it this past weekend (pictured above). We've been trying to eat more healthy around here. I think these pancakes hit the mark. Even though, pancakes could never be considered "health food", I felt better that I at least attempted to make them healthier. If you come up with any good variations, please share! I think I'm going to use pumpkin puree instead of the cider next time (and add a bit more almond milk).


Good Old Fashioned Pancakes (their words, not mine)

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

Melt the butter in a microwave safe bowl and set aside to cool.

Whisk together dry ingredients and wet ingredients in separate bowls, then fold the wet into the dry - just enough to incorporate the two. Do not over mix or the pancakes will not be tender.

Cook pancakes (duh) using your preferred method and serve with pure maple syrup.

Apple Cider Pancakes

1 1/2 cups white wheat flour (I use King Arthur's)
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon white sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup apple cider
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (for added protein, to offset all the sugar in the cider - and add a zingy flavor)
1/4 almond milk (if you don't usually buy it, it's great for baking. Or anything but skim can be used)
1 egg
3 tablespoons butter, melted & cooled

Same instructions as above.

Serve with roasted pecans, walnuts or almonds & pure maple syrup.

Original recipe found at All Recipes.com.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

3 Minute Pasta

I'm posting this because Tracey is lame. Even though she has three recipes lined up to post, she keeps going to bed at 8pm and leaves no time for this place. Well, I say there is no excuse great enough...except for an adorable 6 month old who like to wake up and just giggle at 5:45 am.

I know this because Tracey and I took the kids on an adventure in the woods this week and witnessed the cuteness and giggling wake-up call first hand. I don't know how she does it.

Vi and I returned home from our time away happy, tired and hungry. I had a box of penne and a can of garbonzo beans in the cupboard and decided that had to make a meal since I certainly wasn't shuffling out to Wegmans on this cold, dreary night.

I call this 3 minute pasta because that's how long it takes to prepare after the pasta is cooked. Hey, most of Rachel Ray's meals aren't actually achievable in 30 mins unless you have a production crew and three arms. :p

This turned out really yummy so I wanted to share. Great dish to throw together when you need something fast and comforting.


Lemon Chickpea Pasta

1/2 lb penne - cooked until al dente
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic minced
1 can chickpeas - rinsed
Zest of one lemon
2 dashes dried oregano
2 handfuls baby spinach leaves, washed
1/2 cup grated parm
Dash hot pepper flakes
Salt & pepper

Cook pasta. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water. Drain pasta and add evoo to hot pasta pan. Add garlic and stir until fragrant. Add chickpeas, sauté 1 min. Add remaining ingredients and add pasta back to pan. Stir well until heated through (add another splash of evoo if it's too dry). Taste and adjust seasoning.

Serve with more cheese.