I’ve never fallen in love with instant biscuits, but the biscuits usually served at restaurants tend to be inconsistent and unreliable. Where in the world do you have to go for a good biscuit?
Well, I think I’ve solved my dilemma. This biscuit recipe hit the spot, and honestly, there’s nothing better than making something with your very own hands and being able to enjoy it, warm and just out of the oven. Another benefit? These won’t leave you with greasy fingers or that “What did I just eat…?” feeling. The maple syrup and cinnamon add a wonderful and subtle sweetness, too, the perfect note for a dinner accompaniment or late night snack.
Maple Cinnamon Biscuits
- 1 cup flour
- 1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
- Combine all ingredients in your Magic Bullet and blend.
- Knead and massage mixture on a floured surface.
- Separate into three 3/4“ to 1” thick discs on a buttered baking sheet. Coat each biscuit with a light brush of butter.
- Bake for 10 – 15 minutes at 450 degrees, until golden brown. Watch to make sure they don’t burn.
I like my biscuits with jam, but these are tasty enough to eat on their own. Enjoy for breakfast or as a snack!
The other day, I came up with a new recipe that seriously surprised me. The title of this post already gives it away, but there you have it: avocados really do make delicious, creamy pasta sauce! After the first bite of my avocado pasta, I scarfed down the rest of the entire dish in a matter of seconds. It may sound strange to use avocados in pasta sauce, but I promise it is so good!
Don’t you just love it when healthy foods taste amazing?
- 2 avocados
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1/8 tsp. pepper
- Parsley for garnish
- 1 box linguine
- Cook the linguine al dente, according to the package directions.
- Add all other ingredients to a small Magic Bullet cup and blend until smooth and creamy.
- Toss the drained noodles with the avocado sauce.
- When ready to serve, sprinkle Parmesan cheese and parsley on top of individual plates.
Makes 2 servings
I love take-out Chinese food – who doesn’t, really? – but it’s hard to justify a greasy meal like that more than one or two times a month. That’s why lately, I’ve been experimenting with making take-out style food at home, with less grease, fresher ingredients and more vegetables than what would otherwise be delivered to your door.
This Taiwanese chicken dish – named “three cup” for its use of sesame oil, rice wine, and soy sauce — turned out perfectly. Served with brown rice and a boatload of roasted broccoli, the chicken was the spicy-salty-sweet of good take-out, but with none of the stickiness or heaviness.
And two big handfuls of fresh basil, added in during the final minutes of cooking, really took it over the top and gave the dish restaurant-quality depth and fragrance.
Taiwanese “Three Cup” Chicken
- 3 Tbsp sesame oil
- 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced into coins
- 12 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 4 scallions, sliced
- 3 dried red peppers
- 2 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- ½ cup mirin or other rice wine
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ½ Tbsp corn starch
- about 2 cups Thai or Italian basil leaves
- Heat large pan over high heat and add two tablespoons of the oil. Add ginger, garlic, scallions and hot pepper and cook for two minutes. Remove to bowl.
- Add chicken and the rest of the oil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken gets a nice sear, about five minutes.
- Blend sugar, mirin and soy sauce in Magic Bullet. Add to pan and bring to boil, then lower heat to medium-low. Cook until chicken is almost cooked through, about eight minutes. Add cornstarch and stir and cook for another two minutes. Add basil, stir until wilts and serve with rice and broccoli.
My friend and I love to order curried chicken sandwiches at our favorite tea spot in the city. You can easily make these popular lunch-time sandwiches at home and you can prepare the sandwich filling ahead of time and keep it in the refrigerator for up to a day.
I actually like it better the next day because the flavors have more time to sit and meld together. The apples and dried cranberries really add an interesting dimension of flavor!
Curried Chicken Sandwich
- 1 French baguette
- 2 cups chicken breast, cooked and cubed
- 1/2 cup chopped apple
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 2 tsp. lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp curry powder
- Add all ingredients to a large Magic Bullet cup or pitcher and pulse a few times until your desired texture is reached. Pulse the blender more for a creamier texture, and less for a chunky texture.
- Spread the mixture onto slices of French baguette.
Makes 4 cups
I was recently in Greece, home of my ancestors (not really) and, in addition to having no trouble getting money out of ATMs, I had Greek salad almost everyday. There’s nothing more Greek than Greek salad, except debt crises and ouzo, which is a nasty liquor that tastes like a mixture of fennel, vodka and squashed bugs.
Okay, I can’t really back that up. Anyway, when I got home, in addition to watching the Greeks and the Germans negotiate on television everyday, I realized that IT’S TOMATO SEASON and I should make Greek salad for myself because Greek salad is delicious and so should you.
In Greece, they use a variety of interesting cheeses for this salad, but back home we’re mostly stuck with feta, unless you happen to have a great Greek store in your ‘hood.
This salad uses one of my favorite new ingredients, white balsamic vinegar. White balsamic vinegar: you’d never guess it from the name, but it turns out that it’s white vinegar, not balsamic vinegar at all. What it really turns out to be is good, like balsamic vinegar in terms of depth and tang, but with a pleasant sweetness. Make this Greek salad with white vinegar and see if the Grexit happens.
Greek Salad with White Balsamic Vinegar Dressing
- 2 pounds tomatoes, cut into big pieces
- 5 pounds cucumbers, peeled
- 4 oz feta cheese, or to taste
- a few slices of red onion, roughly chopped
- 2 Tbsp Greek olives
- 1 Tbsp capers
- 4 Tbsp Greek olive oil
- 4 Tbsp white vinegar
- Blend olive oil and vinegar in the Magic Bullet and serve over all the other ingredients.
Chickpeas are an exciting food that can add substance to an already-established dish, or, given the opportunity, can rise to the challenge of leading a meal. Inspired by Indian curry flavors and Greek hummus textures, this recipe presents a delicious chickpea curry spread that you’ll find both new and comfortably familiar.
Chickpea Curry Spread
- 1 cup chickpeas, cooked (about 8 oz.)
- Handful of cilantro
- Handful of raisins
- 1/4 tsp. cumin
- 1/4 tsp. curry powder
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- Pinch of salt
- Lightly chop cilantro, removing stems (most of the nutrients and flavor are in the leaves).
- Combine all ingredients in a Magic Bullet cup and blend.
Enjoy as a side dish, appetizer or snack. Best if served with small pieces of bread, crackers or carrot sticks. Or add this spread to a wrap, along with lettuce, tomato and other garnishes and enjoy it for lunch!
The other day my husband did a really nice thing: the grocery shopping! Usually, I’m the one who does it, but I’ve been working long hours lately, so he offered to buy some things at the grocery store for us that night. I came home to 2 huge bundles of asparagus. Now, we both love to eat asparagus, but this was just way too much to eat before it would go bad. I started thinking about what we could do with all of that asparagus and came up with this creamy asparagus soup.
The addition of bacon really adds great flavor to this soup. First, the vegetables are cooked in the bacon fat. Then, the bacon is used a second time as cooked bite-sized pieces to add texture and even more flavor to the soup.
Creamy Asparagus Soup
- 4 slices bacon
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 3 ribs celery, chopped
- 3 cups chopped asparagus spears (woody parts chopped or peeled beforehand)
- 1 large russet potato, peeled
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 2 Tbsp fresh parsley (plus more for garnish)
- Add the bacon to a large pot and cook over medium heat until crispy.
- Remove the bacon and set aside for garnish later (retain the bacon fat in the pot for flavor!)
- Add the butter, onions, celery and asparagus to the pot and cook over medium heat until onions are soft, about 7 minutes.
- Add the potatoes, parsley and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, until potatoes are soft.
- Allow to cool, then transfer in batches to a Magic Bullet pitcher and blend until smooth.
- Transfer the soup back to the pan and add the pepper. Reheat and serve warm and topped with crumbled bacon.
Makes 4 servings
There are some dishes that are so classic they don’t need to be improved upon. But everything can be improved upon, right? I present to you, courtesy of the clever little buggers over at Cooks Illustrated, fresh pasta puttanesca.
Pasta puttanesca is a famous classic Italian pantry dish. Its name translates to – well, you can google that yourself – but suffice it to say it’s a dish that’s known for being salty and satisfying. What I love about it is the way it combines the bold flavors of anchovies and capers with olives; it just smacks you in the face with flavor. This version is very clever because it combines those lip-smacking elements of the original with fresh tomato flavor.
If you’re dying for tomato season to come along but are getting impatient, this is the perfect pasta dish for you. Fresh cherry tomatoes get blended up in the Bullet to provide sweetness and, well, freshness that really pair well with the salty umami of the classic puttanesca ingredients.
Fresh Pasta Puttanesca
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 tin anchovies, or to taste
- 1 quart grape or cherry tomatoes
- 1 pound small pasta, such as fusilli or campanelle
- 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
- 3 Tbsp capers
- ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
- ¼ tsp. oregano
- Boil pasta in heavily salted water until just short of al dente.
- Blend anchovies, garlic and oil in the Magic Bullet and add to a pan over medium heat. Cook until garlic is fragrant, about two minutes.
- Blend tomatoes in the Magic Bullet and add to pan. Raise heat to high and cook three minutes.
- Add cooked pasta and tomato mixture to a pot and put heat on medium. Cook one or two minutes until pasta starts to absorb the tomatoes. Serve.
I have been obsessed with crostini lately. Crostino, or “little toast” in Italian, are fun appetizers and snacks and I can’t help but enjoy trying different toppings and flavor combinations.
This past week, I made these sun-dried tomato and basil crostini and they were so delicious, I just had to share the recipe with you. A french baguette works best for this recipe, but you can also spread it on crackers.
Sun-dried Tomato and Basil Crostini
- 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
- 1/4 cup freshly chopped basil
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp. lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Add all ingredients to a small Magic Bullet cup and pulse a few times until evenly blended.
Makes 1/2 cup
If you’re like me, you may not be vegetarian, let alone vegan, but you have more and more vegans in your life and sometimes you need to cook for them. Hey, I’m cool with that.
Basil pesto is a classic in more ways than one – a classic dish from my childhood, a classic dish from Italy and a classic recipe from the Magic Bullet. This is the perfect time of year for making pesto, too, with basil overflowing from every stall at the farmers’ market.
Classic basil pesto contains parmesan cheese and it turns out that making pesto without cheese is tricky. You can’t really just leave out the parmesan or you’ll really notice the difference and parmesan substitutes like nutritional yeast are, well, not my style. Instead, the idea here is to get nuttiness and umami from really well-toasted almonds and edamame. It’s not exactly the same as parmesan, but it’s just as good and hits all the same flavor notes.
I ended up using this pesto on a pizza with cherry tomatoes and shrimp. The pizza had mozzarella on it, which sort of defeated the purpose of keeping the pesto vegan, but you could use a vegan mozz substitute (much better than a parmesan substitute) or just use the pesto on pasta.
Vegan Basil Pesto
- 1 cup deshelled frozen edamame, microwaved for two minutes
- ½ cup almonds
- 1 clove garlic
- ½ tsp. salt
- leaves from a big bunch of basil
- olive oil to taste
- Add a dash of olive oil to the almonds and microwave for two minutes. Stir and microwave for another minute. Stir and repeat until almonds are nice and brown, but not burned.
- Add all ingredients to Magic Bullet with two big glugs of olive oil. Blend, stirring as necessary, and keep adding olive oil until mixture is a paste.