Thursday, April 29, 2010

Oven Roasted Kale Chips

Oven Roasted Baked Kale Chips by ButterYumHave you seen these delectable crunchy little bits making a splash in the blogosphere lately? After seeing them about a gazillion times, I decided to give them a try to see what all the hubbub was about. I'm here to tell you, they live up to their reputation!

Totally addictive - they're delicately crunchy, taste ever so slightly of broccoli, and nutritionally speaking, they're a good source of Protein, Vitamin E, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Folate, Iron, Magnesium, Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Potassium, Copper, and Manganese.

Inexpensive too - a bunch of kale only costs $1-2. Kale just so happens to be in season right now, so check your local farmer's market for the freshest selection.

Oven Roasted Kale by ButterYumStart by washing and drying your Kale. I like the curly leaf varieties. Remove the soft portions of the leaf from their stems and rip them into bite size pieces.

Oven Roasting Kale by ButterYumPlace on a large sheet pan and mist with olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with Kosher salt or sea salt. Roast in a 350F oven for 10-15 minutes until the edges start to brown. Cool and enjoy!

How to make Oven-Roasted Kale Chips by ButterYum

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Tootsie Roll Rose

Tootsie Roll Rose by ButterYumThis is what you get when you have a few extra Tootsie Rolls hanging around and you're looking for an excuse to avoid doing the laundry. Not perfect, but not bad - whatcha think?

How to make a Tootsie Roll Rose ButterYumThey're actually kind of fun and relatively easy to make using fresh (soft) tootsie rolls. Start by rolling a small ball, then smoosh it into a petal shape (the candy will soften from the heat of your hands). Roll the first petal tightly to form the center of the rose.

How to make a Tootsie Roll Rose by ButterYumKeep making petals and apply them, one-by-one in concentric circles, until your flower is done (pinch off any extra from the bottom). All together I used 2-3 small candies per rose.

Now tell your little one to close her eyes and prepare to delight in the huge smile she give you when she sees what you've made.

How to make a chocolate rose by ButterYumOh, and don't be upset when she gobbles it up.

Chocolate Rose by ButterYum

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Asian Baked Chicken

Asian Baked Chicken Thighs ButterYumI stumbled upon the most appetizing chicken recipe recently on a food blog called The Mess Pot by Jade. Jade describes herself as a Southern Cook living in Northern Illinois, married to the man of her dreams. So sweet - ahhh, to be a newlywed again!

Anyway, Jade's recipe is called Sunshine Chicken, but when my kids walked in the door and smelled what I was cooking, they immediately asked if we were having Chinese for dinner. So, considering the fact that I tweaked the original recipe a bit, I'm renaming it Asian Baked Chicken.

I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs - they're cheap and easy (not admirable qualities in most cases, but here it works). I hope you'll give this recipe a try!

Asian Baked Chicken
Makes 3 pounds
Printable Recipe

3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350F. In a medium bowl, make the glaze by combining the ketchup, honey, soy, and garlic powder. Mix and set aside.

Place boneless, skinless chicken thighs on a cooling rack suspended over rimmed sheet tray (you may want to cover your tray with foil for easy cleanup). Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Place chicken pieces onto the cooling rack, presentation side up, and brush with glaze; bake for a total of 45 minutes, basting with additional glaze every 15 minutes.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Light and Crispy Shredded Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Shredded wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies ButterYum

Shredded wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies ButterYum id=
Our family likes miniature frosted shredded wheat cereal - unfortunately, there's always a huge pile of crumbs at the bottom of the box that nobody wants to eat. So I started saving the crumbs in hopes of figuring out a way to somehow use them. Then, one day while walking through the grocery store, I noticed a "store brand" of these mini cereal bites had a chocolate chip cookie recipe written on the side of the box. I decided to give the recipe a try and they were a big hit, so now I don't mind that pile of uneaten crumbs at the bottom of each box.

Unlike traditional chocolate chip cookies, these cookies bake up very crispy and as light as air (they're actually kind of hollow inside). Great for dipping into a tall glass of ice cold milk!

For a slightly healthier version, I replace 1/4 of the cereal crumbs with an equal amount of ground flaxseed, wheat germ, or a combo of both.

Light and Crispy Shredded Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies
makes about 2-3 dozen cookies

1 cup finely processed frosted shredded wheat crumbs
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
8 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Heat oven to 375F. Process cereal crumbs in a food processor or blender until finely ground. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until well blended; add eggs and vanilla and mix well. In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder; add to flour mixture and stir to combine. Add chocolate chips. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool completely; store in an airtight container.

Note: For a slightly healthier version that doesn't affect the flavor or texture of these cookies at all, replace 1/4 cup of the cookie crumbs with an equal amount of wheat germ, ground flaxseed, or a combination of both.

Recipe can be doubled, but only if you plan to bake the cookie dough right away (dough get's dry as it sits).

Friday, April 9, 2010

ButterYum's Ham and Bean Soup

One of the most delicious ways I've found to use up leftover ham is to make a big pot of this fantastic soup - the beans are so creamy and the broth is so full of flavor that your guests will definitely want seconds! If you've never made ham stock, have no fear - it's extremely easy. I like to use dried beans, but if you must, you can use canned beans - just don't tell me about it.

(recipe can be found at the end of this post)

Step 1 - Make the Ham Stock:

We start by making the ham stock. Place the ham bone in a stockpot and cover with 10-12 cups of cold water. Add 1 medium onion, roughly chopped (skin and all), a couple of cloves of garlic which have been smashed, a tablespoon of dried parsley (or fresh parsley stems if you have them), and 2 bay leaves.

Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 60-90 minutes.  In the meantime, begin step 2.

Step 2 - Pre-soak the Beans:
Sort and rinse 1 pound of dried beans. Place them in a soup pot large enough to cover with 2 inches of water. I used a mixture of half pinto and half navy beans. Turn the heat on high and bring to a boil. Do not add any seasoning at this point.

The beans will begin to float shortly before the water boils.

When the water begins to boil, turn the heat off, cover, and let the beans soak for 1 hour.

This is what the beans look like after soaking for an hour. They've plumped up a bit and are beginning to soften, but they aren't soft enough to eat yet. Discard all the cooking liquid and reserve the beans for step 3.

Step 3 - Make the Soup:
Saute the onions and carrots in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until softened and beginning to caramelize.

Add 8 cups of ham stock, half of the remaining dried parsley, bay, ground black pepper, and thyme (no salt yet). Bring to a boil and reduce heat to to a gentle roll and cook for 1-2 hours, or until the beans are soft and creamy; stirring occasionally. Add the remaining parsley and diced ham; season with salt if needed. Continue to cook for a few minutes until the ham is heated through. Enjoy!

ButterYum's Ham and Bean Soup
serves 6-8

To make the Ham Stock:
Ham Bone
10-12 cups cold water
1 medium onion, roughly chopped (onion trimmings and skin too)
4 cloves of garlic, smashed (just give them a good whack to make them split open)
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon dried parsley

To make the Soup:
1 pound dried beans - pre-soaked overnight, or quick-soaked as directed below
1 large onion, diced
4 carrots, peeled and diced
8 cups ham stock
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons dried parsley, divided
3 cups leftover ham, diced into bite-size pieces (about 1 pound)
salt to taste (don't add until serving)

This entire soup can be ready in as little as 3 hours. Start by placing your ham bone in a stock pot and cover it with 10-12 cups of cold water. Add the onions, garlic, parsley, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until the quick soaking process for the beans (next step) is done (60-90 minutes).

Skip this step if you thought ahead and soaked your beans in cold water overnight. Otherwise, it's time to pre-cook your dried beans. Rinse in cold water and remove any icky looking beans, stems, small stones, etc. Place the beans in a pot large enough so they can be covered with 2 inches of cold water. Bring to a boil, turn off heat, cover, let beans soak for 1 hour, drain, reserve. The beans should have swelled quite a bit and should be softening, although they shouldn't be soft enough to eat yet.

To proceed with the recipe, in a 6-quart or larger soup pot, saute the onions and carrots in a tablespoon of olive oil until softened and edges start to caramelize. Add the reserved beans, 8 cups of ham stock, bay leaf, thyme, pepper, and 1 tablespoon of dried parsley. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a gentle roll and cook for 1-2 hours, or until the beans are soft and creamy; stirring occasionally.

Add leftover ham and remaining dried parsley (1 tablespoon); heat cook for a few minutes more until the ham is heated through. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with a big hunk of chewy bread. Heaven!!

Note - 1 pound of dried beans equals about 3-4 cans of rinsed and drained beans. Leftover ham stock can be frozen for future use, or you can use it to cook dried beans which can also be frozen for future use.