Monday, August 3, 2009

Weekly Recipe Roundup

Thanks again to all of you that left such encouraging words on last week's roundup. Now that I know my efforts are not in vain, here are a few more to add to your collection.

It's still birthday month at work so the first are 2 pies that I made for a coworker. He requested Derby Pie but since there are a few of us not so fond of chocolate, I opted to make one pecan and one derby. I try to avoid high-fructose corn syrup at all costs but I knew most pecan pie recipes called for Karo syrup, which is loaded with hfcs. So the search ensued for an alternative. I should have known it'd be quite the search, considering the largest chunk of recipes in my "pie" category of my recipe notebook is full of pecan and derby pie variations. Nonetheless, I found this one that used Lyle's Golden Syrup. Having never heard, let alone tried, this type of syrup, I was even more intrigued and ready to try this recipe. The syrup is from the UK and I feared I wouldn't be able to find it in little ol' KY, but I did, at the Liquor Barn. The syrup itself is great - sort of a caramel-like taste, with traditional pancake syrup consistency. I was hooked. I'm saddened to say the taste didn't really transfer into the pie, but the pie was tasty even still. The pie originated from a tried and true recipe from here.

The second, and actually requested pie, was Derby Pie. Although there are tons of recipes, I didn't detect a noticeable difference amongst them. I chose the one from the Washington Post, as I thought they probably had done their research, thus saving me the time and effort. I'm pretty sure the term "Derby Pie" has been trademarked by some KY Nazi but I doubt they'll find me in my little blog world.

All these birthday treats really got be in the baking mood. Wes usually takes his breakfast with him and therefore needs something portable and easy. Since I try to refrain from purchasing anything processed, I either keep some homemade frozen treats for him or in pinch, we rely on good old Clif bars. He was about out of his frozen treats so I whipped up some muffins to freeze that would be an easy grab and go option. Although he said he wanted no part of Sweet Potato Muffins, I was craving them and ended up making a batch of those for me (and my mom) and a batch of Carrot Spice Muffins for him.

I did make minimal changes to both to try to "healthify" them a bit. For the carrot, I subbed in 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour for 1/2 of the white, I added about 2 T. wheat bran, I subbed in 1/3 cup applesauce for half of the oil, and because Wes doesn't like coconut, I omitted that and the raisins.

For the sweet potato muffins, I also made several alterations. I added a couple tablespoons of wheat bran, subbed in 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, I used dark brown sugar for 1/2 of the sugar, toasted the pecans, and subbed in some applesauce for half the oil. Oh and I also omitted the cranberries!

And in case those aren't enough baked goods, I also wanted some chocolate chip cookies and knew I'd have a willing audience with Wes. Turns out Colin was also very willing and thoroughly enjoyed his first chocolate chip cookie (we later found evidence of the chocolate on both of his ears?!). These were just as the recipe indicates, "puffed up" but I'm not sure there was anything spectacular enough to make them again. I did appreciate the lightened recipe but let's not fool ourselves, there's really not too much healthy about cookies! I wanted to post the link and the picture anyways in case you happened to be debating this particular recipe. I'm forever looking for the perfect combination of chewy, cakey, crispy goodness in a cc cookie.

Believe it or not, we don't just eat sugar at our house! This Shrimp and Pasta with Creamy Pesto is a perfect example of that. This was my favorite kind of meal, quick, easy, and delicious. I probably added twice as many sun-dried tomatoes but those little boogers are expensive and I didn't want them to go to waste! I also accidentally bought raw shrimp so I sauteed those in some butter and garlic prior to adding them to the pasta. Some of the reviewers on CL said they added more broth and cream but I did not and found it plenty saucy for our tastes. I used prepared pesto this time but a homemade one would be even better and super easy.

Ok all you Brussels sprouts haters, listen up. You might just like this Warm Brussels Sprouts Salad. This recipe is unique in that you separate the leaves of each sprout prior to cooking. Let me tell you, that might seem like an easy task, and it is, but it is also super time consuming! I only used one bag of fresh sprouts and therefore halved the bacon and croutons, and omitted the eggs completely. This was just as good reheated the next day for lunch. With my one bag of sprouts, I got about 4 servings.

That's all for now but there are already more in the pipes for next week!

1 comment:

  1. Everything on here looks so good!! The pasta dish especially!

    Mike's Mom has a fantastic recipe for chocolate chip cookies that I'll have to get for you. They are "fluffier" than most and just wonderful! I think the recipe calls for instant pudding to help give it the "oomph." I've never asked for many details as I like when someone else can make a treat for me : )