Jun
1
0

Lemon Bars

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This lemon bar recipe comes from my Mom’s best dessert recipe collection. I used to love baking these with her growing up, which we did often because they would never last more than one day in our house. Every bite is rich with that freshly squeezed lemon flavor. The filling is really easy to make in the Magic Bullet, and only takes a few minutes to prepare. After cooling, they are dusted with confectioners’ sugar to add a little more sweetness to the lemon flavor, and to make them look pretty! Make sure you wait until they have completely cooled, or the sugar will melt and become more like an icing.

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Lemon Bars
Ingredients

Crust

  • 6 Tbsp butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • Pinch of salt
Filling
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 3 Tbsp flour
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease an 8×8 baking dish.
  3. Add all crust ingredients to a stand mixer and mix with paddle attachment until crumbly.
  4. Press the crust into the baking dish and bake for 20 minutes.
  5. Remove the baking dish from the oven and decrease the heat to 300 degrees F.
  6. Add the filling ingredients to a Magic Bullet pitcher and blend together until smooth.
  7. Pour the filling over the crust and bake for 30 minutes.
  8. Let cool, then sprinkle confectioners’ sugar over the top.
  9. Keep refrigerated.

Makes 9 bars

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Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to quickly and easily make a sauce for fish or chicken that was tangy, tasty, and healthy? Oh wait…

An ongoing project of mine is crispy skinned salmon, having had a nearly perfect version at a wedding (of all places) a few years ago. That’s still in progress: I don’t know if I’m not using enough oil or heat or losing the crispy skin because I’m keeping the fish too juicy (ha) or what. As with many things, getting it pretty good is easy, but getting it really, really good is hard.

In any event, this yogurt sauce is a keeper whether or not I ever get the fish right. I used a Meyer lemon, which is a nice touch if you can find it, for an orangey lemon citrus punch, but you could use a regular lemon or orange juice for that matter. The combination of yogurt and citrus is extra-tangy, which I like, and the combinations of dill and salmon and dill and yogurt are classics.

The Magic Bullet does a great job of making this sauce taste great quickly and easily. It’s also especially good for cleanup. I usually just stick the whole thing (well, not the whole thing, but the parts that actually get dirty) in the dishwasher and presto change-o: it’s as good as new the next day.

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Lemon Yogurt Dill Sauce
Ingredients
  • 1 small package Greek yogurt, full or low-fat
  • 1 lemon, preferably Meyer
  • 1 small clove garlic, peeled
  • several sprigs dill
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil, or to taste
Directions
  1. Add all ingredients to Magic Bullet and blend.
May
28
0

Hot Cocoa Mix

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In these times of troubling cocoa shortages, it’s important to have your own hot cocoa recipe so that you can stockpile a healthy reserve. Who knows what sort of chemically-enhanced chocolate drinks we’ll be consuming in the near future??? Also, making your own hot cocoa is a blast.

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Hot Cocoa Mix
Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of cocoa powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 chocolate bar (I’m a milk chocolate fan and went for the classic Hershey’s bar. Feel free to use whatever your favorite chocolate is.)
  • 1/8 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Milk
  • Salt
Directions
  1. Break chocolate bar into chunks and combine with sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch, vanilla and a pinch of salt into your Magic Bullet cup. (Author’s note: Don’t underestimate the blast radius of an exploding bag of cornstarch like I did.)
  2. Blend until powdered.
  3. Boil milk in small pot, pour into your favorite mug. Add three tablespoons of hot cocoa mixture and stir.

Now make batch after batch so you can survive the chopocalypse. Marshmallows are strongly suggested.

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Did you know the artichokes are one of my favorite Spring vegetables? I am so excited to see them in abundance in the grocery stores right now. On my vacation last month, I had the most amazing artichoke soup at a restaurant one night. I loved it so much that I decided to make it again. This recipe uses frozen artichoke hearts instead of canned, because they are healthier and contain less sodium. Make sure you thaw them before trying to purée them in your Magic Bullet. If you need more liquid, you can add more chicken broth to each batch that you purée.

Don’t forget to have some fresh lemon slices handy to serve with the soup so you can squeeze them over the top. Artichokes and lemon juice go great together!

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Creamy Artichoke Heart Soup
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 lbs frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • Fresh parsley for garnish
  • 1 lemon
Directions
  1. Melt the butter over medium heat in a large pot and add the garlic.
  2. Add the thawed artichoke hearts to a Magic Bullet pitcher in 4 batches, using ¼ cup water with each (you can also use the chicken broth if it is not enough liquid). Purée each batch well, then transfer to the pot.
  3. Add the chicken broth, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
  4. Turn the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Serve warm in bowls and stir in 2 tbsp heavy cream.
  6. Garnish with fresh parsley and squeeze a lemon wedge over the top of the soup if desired.

Makes 6 servings

May
22
0

Ramp Pesto

It’s spring! Finally! Here in DC we have great farmers’ markets (and bike lanes – DC is surprisingly hipster) around the city and at the Dupont market on Sunday you can, for a limited time only, find ramps, a.k.a. wild leeks. Ramps are a beguiling mix of flavors: mildly oniony like a scallion, yet garlicky and earthy and wild, too.

It turns out when you blend ramps into a pesto you get something that is surprisingly different and even arguably better than basil pesto: the pesto gets unexpectedly creamy, making a pasta sauce that clings to the noodles without being greasy. I don’t know why that happens, exactly – just another aspect of ramps’ magical powers, I guess.

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Ramp Pesto
Ingredients
  • 1 or 2 bunches of ramps (try the farmers’ market)
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 hunk of parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • lemon juice, to taste
Directions
  1. Bring a pot of heavily salted water to boil. Wash the ramps and trim the ends. Add the ramps to the water for one minute to blanche. Remove ramps and boil pasta in water until al dente.
  2. Toast walnuts in dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about three minutes.
  3. Add the parmesan to the Magic Bullet and blend until pulverized.
  4. Add all the remaining ingredients except the lemon juice to the Magic Bullet and blend. Shake the Bullet as needed to mix everything up and continue to blend until you have a pesto. Taste for salt and add lemon juice as desired.
  5. Mix pesto with pasta and serve, with tomatoes or asparagus preferably.
May
21
2

Falafels Made Easy

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Having lived in New York City for almost ten years, I’ve turned into a bit of a falafel snob. I can’t get enough of it. Delicious and inexpensive, it’s a great and uncomplicated meal. It’s also a food I would have never considered making myself before the Magic Bullet. With the Bullet, making falafel at home is just as easy as running to a falafel stand, and, better yet, it’s consistently great.

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Falafels Made Easy
Ingredients
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas (about half a can)
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Canola, vegetable, or olive oil for frying
Directions
  1. Lightly chop onion and garlic and add to Magic Bullet. Blend briefly and set aside.
  2. Combine chickpeas, cilantro, parsley, cumin, red pepper, salt and pepper in Magic Bullet and blend roughly.
  3. In Magic Bullet, combine garlic and onion puree with current mixture, along with baking powder and half of the flour. Blend and keep adding flour to dry out mixture slightly.
  4. Place in refrigerator for one hour to cool (this will make it easier to ball up).
  5. After the hour, if mixture is still too wet to scoop, add more flour as needed. Scoop mixture and add to frying pan coated thoroughly in canola oil on medium heat. Cook each side for 3 minutes, until brown.

This yields about seven to nine falafel balls, depending on how large you’ve made them. I added some tahini sauce to my sandwich, however these are flavorful enough to be eaten by themselves or over a bed of greens.

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This banana bread recipe was my grandma’s. My mom still has a copy of the recipe that my grandma wrote on a card for her. It’s a small card, with cramped writing, spotted with years of batter droplets.

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It’s the best. And I love it. And it smells like home and family and bananas and bread and sweet and yummy.. and so I’m telling you about it. Turns out, you can make it in the Bullet with the blender attachment. Who knew?

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Grandma’s Banana Bread
Ingredients
  • 2-3 bananas (or 4 if you’re using apple bananas like me!)
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour a loaf pan. Blend up bananas, oil, and sugar. Add in eggs and blend for just a couple seconds, until beaten. Add in dry ingredients and pulse to mix, scraping the sides as necessary until just mixed together. (If you have the blender attachment, you can make the entire bread in it; if you don’t, just mix up all the wet ingredients and pour them into the dry ingredients in a bowl.)
  2. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 45 min-1 hour, until toothpick comes out clean. Cool before eating (but it’s delicious warm with butter!)

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This peanut butter banana trifle dessert is so fast and easy to make, and incredibly delicious! You can make it in one large trifle dish or in four miniature trifle dishes. All you need to make these tasty little trifles is a box of instant vanilla pudding, milk, peanut butter sandwich cookies, peanuts and bananas. The Magic Bullet will whip up the pudding in no time and then you just need to add everything to the trifle bowls. No need to worry about making them look pretty – they will do that all on their own, no matter how you add in the ingredients! I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love the peanut butter and banana combo!

You can cover these miniature trifles with plastic wrap and keep them for up to a day in the refrigerator. The cookies will soften and lose their crunch, but they’re delightful soft, too.

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Peanut Butter Banana Trifle
Ingredients
  •  1 package instant vanilla pudding
  • 3 cups cold milk
  • 8 peanut butter sandwich cookies
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts
  • 2 bananas, sliced
  • Whipped cream for topping
Directions
  1. Add the instant pudding mix and milk to a Magic Bullet cup or pitcher and blend for 30 seconds. The pudding should be thick after letting it stand for 1 minute.
  2. Transfer a few tablespoons of pudding to each trifle glass, and top with crushed peanut butter sandwich cookies, peanuts, and bananas.
  3. Repeat these two layers once more, then top with whipped cream, peanuts, bananas and half of a cookie.
  4. Serve chilled.

Makes 4 trifles

May
15
0

Tamarind Chicken

Tamarind is one of those mysterious ingredients that seems like a secret ready to be unlocked: it’s sour, yet it’s sweet, and might it also be savory? What is it? Where does it come from? Why, tamarind, why?!

Anyway, this dish is a great variation on an American barbeque sauce for baked or roast chicken. You get all the same coloring and some of the same flavor, but with great tangy (tamarind!) and fermented salty notes (from fish sauce). The Magic Bullet does a great job of blending up onion and garlic, to give a nice depth of flavor and heft to the sauce with minimal effort. Letting everything marinate for a few hours also lets the flavors permeate.

The original recipe over at Food52 uses lime zest and some exotic spices; I’ve skipped those here as I think they overly complicate what is really a straightforward recipe. (Tamarind paste and fish sauce are both available in the Asian section of a good grocery store.)

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Tamarind Chicken
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds bone-in chicken pieces (legs or thighs)
  • ¼ cup tamarind paste
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 ½ Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 onion, peeled
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp. cumin
Directions
  1. Blend garlic and onion in Magic Bullet, shaking as necessary. Add remaining non-chicken ingredients and blend until smooth.
  2. Add chicken pieces to a bag with the blended sauce. Shake everything up, and marinate at least one and up to eight hours.
  3. Roast chicken in the oven at 450 degrees, or to taste.

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One of my good friends has a “specialty dessert,” and I get so excited every time she makes them: mini cheesecakes! I have always wanted to try making them in a chocolate version and finally created a delicious mini chocolate cheesecake recipe using my Magic Bullet.

The ganache layer on top is optional, especially if chocolate cheesecake is already rich enough for you, but I love including it when I make these. I can’t get enough chocolate! Leave them plain, or top them with fresh raspberries before serving.

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Mini Chocolate Cheesecakes
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs
  • 4 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 8oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp half-and-half
  • Fresh raspberries for topping
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, butter and sugar in a bowl until evenly mixed, then divide evenly between 9 paper-lined muffin cups. Firmly press against the bottom and sides to form the crust. Set aside.
  3.  Add the remaining ingredients except the chocolate chips to a Magic Bullet pitcher and blend until you get a creamy texture.
  4. Melt 1 cup chocolate chips in a microwave or double boiler (30 seconds at a time in the microwave, or they will burn!), then add the smooth melted chocolate to the cream cheese mixture and blend until smooth.
  5. Evenly divide the cheesecake filling among the baking cups.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the tops become raised and firm. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  7. Melt the remaining chocolate chips and stir with the half-and-half to create the ganache.
  8. Once cooled to room temperature, add the ganache on top of the cheesecakes and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Makes 9 mini cheesecakes