Sunday, June 17, 2018

Instant Pot Bean Tacos with Lime-Cilantro Slaw

These tacos are a little more work than just opening a can of pinto beans, but it's very worth it and makes for a great weekend afternoon recipe.  The beans are super flavorful and rich with no meat added.  And, the tangy slaw complements the beans perfectly!  Leftovers make amazing nachos (pictured at the bottom of this post).

Instant Pot Bean Tacos with Lime-Cilantro Slaw (adapted from the Bobby and Damaris Show)
Serves 6

2 cups dried pinto beans
2 T vegetable oil
1 small onion, finely diced
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 dried guajillo chile
Salt and pepper
2 T flour
2 T butter
1 cup grated sharp Cheddar
1 cup fire-roasted tomatoes (drain liquid before measuring)

For the slaw:
1-1/2 cups shredded green cabbage
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
Juice of 1 lime (about 1 1/2 tablespoons)
Salt and pepper

To serve:
Warm tortillas
Sour cream, guacamole, and/or any other toppings you like

1. Cover the beans with cold water and soak overnight or cover with boiling water and soak for about an hour.  Drain and set aside.
2. Set the Instant Pot to "Saute" and add the vegetable oil.  Add the onion, pepper, and garlic and saute for a few minutes, until just softened.  Add the cumin and paprika and saute for about 30 seconds.  Add the beans, guajillo chili, and enough water to cover the beans (about 2 cups).
3. Place the lid on the Instant Pot and select the "Bean/Chili" option.  Make sure the lid is sealed.
4. Once the Instant Pot beeps, combine the flour and butter in a small pot or skillet.  Stir to create a paste and cook over medium-low heat until the mixture browns, around 3 minutes.
5. Release any remaining pressure, and remove the guajillo chili from the beans.  Add the flour-butter mixture and stir to combine.  Select the "Saute" function and bring the beans to a simmer.  Add the cheese and tomatoes, and cook until the mixture thickens, stirring often (5-10 minutes).  Season with salt and pepper.
6. Make the slaw. Combine the cabbage, cilantro, and lime in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
7. Assemble the tacos -- on each tortilla, layer beans, slaw, and any toppings you like.  Yum!

Monday, June 11, 2018

Orange-Poppy Seed Loaf Cake

This loaf cake is sweet, tender, and -- let's be honest -- perfect for breakfast!  You could use all Greek yogurt/sour cream/ricotta cheese for the dairy; I just used what I had handy in the fridge.  The icing is definitely what makes this cake, so don't skip it!

Orange-Poppy Seed Loaf Cake (adapted from epicurious)
Makes 1 loaf cake

Oil spray
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp kosher salt
Finely grated zest of 1 large orange (about 1 T)
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tsp ground vanilla beans or 1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
5 T freshly squeezed orange juice
1 T poppy seeds

For the topping
4 T freshly squeezed orange juice, divided
1/2 cup powdered sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a loaf pan with oil.
2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the orange zest and sugar.  Rub together with your fingers until the sugar clumps and the mixture is very fragrant.  Add the eggs, oil, and vanilla, and beat on high speed until light and thick, 4 minutes or so.
4. Reduce speed to low and mix in half the dry ingredients.  Add the yogurt and ricotta and mix on low to combine, followed by the remaining dry ingredients. Beat in the orange juice and poppy seeds until everything is well combined.
5. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top, and bake 50-60 minutes.  A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean.
6. Transfer the pan to a wire rack.  Poke holes in the top of the cake, and brush with 3 T of the orange juice.  Let rest 15 minutes, then run a knife around the sides to loosen and turn cake out.  Transfer to rack and let cool completely.
7. Whisk together the powdered sugar and remaining 1 T orange juice.  Spread a thin layer over the cake and let set before serving.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Beef-and-Bean Skillet with Cornbread Topping

This is an excellent one-pot dinner. The filling is savory and delicious, and the cornbread topping is tender and just all-around yummy.  You can also save time by using a cornbread mix for the topping.  The filling could be easily switched up by doubling the beans or subbing ground turkey for the ground beef.  Leftovers are a little messy but re-heat well.

Beef-and-Bean Skillet with Cornbread Topping (adapted from Food Network's The Kitchen and Budget Bytes)

1 pound ground beef
1/2 medium onion, minced
1 small bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Roma tomato, seeded and chopped
15-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
15-ounce can tomato sauce
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese

For the cornbread topping:
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 T sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
1 egg yolk
2 T vegetable oil

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. In an oven-proof skillet, brown the ground beef over medium-high heat.  Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain, and then pour off the excess fat.
3. Reduce the heat to medium and add the minced onion. Cook until softened, 5 minutes or so.  Add the bell pepper and jalapeno, and cook for another 5 minutes or so, stirring often.  Add the garlic, and stir together for about 30 seconds or so.
4. Add the chopped tomato, pinto beans, and tomato sauce and stir to combine.  Add the beef back to the skillet.  Cook, stirring often, until everything is heated through.
5. Sprinkle the grated cheese over the beef-bean mixture.
6. Make the cornbread topping.  Whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, egg yolk, and oil.  Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and stir quickly with a fork until just combined (a few lumps are fine).
7. Spoon the cornmeal batter over the beef-bean mixture and spread into an even layer.  Bake until the cornbread topping is baked through and browned on top, 15-20 minutes.  Serve hot.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Warm German Potato Salad

This potato salad is awesome with bratwurst.  I cook my potatoes in the Instant Pot (instructions below), but of course you can make yours on the stove as well.  The sauce is sharp and tangy, and the bacon adds just the right amount of both richness and crispy texture. Great for a cookout!

Warm German Potato Salad (adapted from Budget Bytes)
Serves 3-4

1-1/2 pounds mini Yukon gold potatoes (or other small potatoes)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tsp whole grain mustard
2 tsp white sugar
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
4 oz. bacon. chopped into small pieces
4 scallions, white and green parts chopped and kept separate

1. Halve the potatoes, if needed, and cook until tender (4 minutes on high pressure in the Instant Pot, or just cook on the stove).
2. Whisk together the vinegar, mustard, sugar, pepper, and salt in a small bowl.
3. In a large non-stick skillet, cook the bacon until crispy over medium heat.  Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon from the fat, and add the white parts of the scallions.  Cook until just softened, then turn off the heat.
4. Stir the vinegar mixture into the bacon fat, until everything is well combined.  Combine the sauce, potatoes, bacon, and green parts of the scallions.  Taste and add more salt if needed.  Serve warm.

Monday, January 8, 2018


This is one of those recipes I've been wanting to make for a long time -- maybe because the name sounds so interesting!  I definitely should have made muhammara sooner, because it's very easy and also very delicious.  It's similar to hummus and could be used pretty much anywhere you would serve hummus, but with walnuts and roasted red peppers as the main ingredients.  We enjoyed it with guests at Thanksgiving, with lots of different fresh veggies for dipping.


Muhammara (adapted from The Moosewood Restaurant Table)
Makes about 2 cups

1 cup walnuts
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 large roasted red peppers, drained if using jarred
1 T fresh lemon juice
4 teaspoons pomegranate molasses or substitute an additional 1 T lemon juice + 1 tsp brown sugar
¼ cup olive oil
1 tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
¼ tsp salt
⅓ to ½ cup breadcrumbs

Toast the walnuts in an oven at 350 degrees or in a dry skillet for about 5 minutes, until fragrant and lightly browned. Set aside to cool for a few minutes before processing.

Place the walnuts in the bowl of a food processor and process until the nuts are well chopped. Add all the remaining ingredients (starting with the smaller amount of breadcrumbs).  Process until smooth.  Add more breadcrumbs for a thicker dip, and adjust salt, lemon juice, and red pepper flakes to taste.  Keeps 1 week in the fridge.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Pecan Coffee Cake

This coffee cake is a tradition in my husband's family.  His dad makes lots of them every year to give to neighbors and friends; I just made two but it definitely made our Christmas feel more festive! The yeast dough is tender and comes together easily, and it's filled with a cinnamon-sugar meringue filling and chopped pecans.  I love how food can make me feel close to family even when we're not together in person.  (I was 9 months pregnant this Christmas and so unable to travel.)  

Pecan Coffee Cake (recipe from Grandma June)
Makes 2 coffee cakes

Heaping 1 tsp instant dry yeast
1/2 cup slightly warm milk
2 c all purpose flour
1/2 T sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick cold butter, cut into small cubes
2 eggs

For the filling:
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped

To top:
Frosting: 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar, 2 T soft butter, a splash of vanilla, and 1-3 T milk
Whole pecans, toasted

1. Whisk the yeast into the milk and set aside.
2. Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt.  Cut in the butter (as for a pie crust).  
3. Separate the eggs.  Cover the egg whites and store in the refrigerator.  Beat together 1-1/2 egg yolks, and then mix into the flour mixture.  Reserve the extra egg yolk in the fridge.  
4. Add the milk to the flour mixture and combine well.  Place in a covered bowl and chill overnight.
5. The next day, separate the dough into two equal parts.  For each part of the dough, roll into a rectangular shape about 12 inches long and 1/4-inch thick.  
6. Beat together about 3/4 of the reserved egg whites. When the egg whites are very foamy, beat in the sugar and cinnamon.  Spread half over each piece of pastry, and sprinkle half the pecans over each.  Roll up like a jelly roll, pinching the ends and seams to seal.
7. Place seam-side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Let rest 1 hour.  
8. Whisk the reserved egg yolk with 1/2 T water and brush on the coffee cakes. Bake in a 325 degree oven for 40 minutes, until lightly golden.  Cool on a wire rack.
9. Whisk together the frosting ingredients and drizzle over the coffee cake.  For a neater presentation, you can place in a Ziplock bag and cut off the corner.  Arrange whole pecans on the frosting before it hardens.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Rhubarb-Apple Crisp

This dessert is super easy but so delicious.  I love the combination of sweet apples with tart rhubarb, and the crispy topping is the perfect finish.  You can add nuts to the topping for extra crunch if you like, although I think it's really tasty with just oats.  Leftovers reheat well if you have fact, this is pretty awesome for breakfast!

Rhubarb-Apple Crisp (adapted from Cooking Light)

For the filling:
Cooking spray/oil
12 ounces fresh rhubarb, diced
1-1/4 pounds apples, peeled, cored, and diced
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 T flour
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon

For the topping:
2/3 cup rolled oats
6 T flour
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
5 T unsalted butter, cold, cut into small cubes

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and spray a 6-cup baking dish with oil (you can also use other dish sizes if that's what you have).
2. Combine all of the filling ingredients in a bowl, and stir to combine.  Transfer to the baking dish.
3. Stir together the oats, flour, and brown sugar (you can use the same bowl).  Add the butter, and rub in with your hands until the mixture begins to hold together when compressed.  Sprinkle over the fruit mixture.
4. Bake 45-55 minutes, until bubbling and tender. Cover loosely with foil if the topping gets brown to quickly.  Cool 15 minutes before serving.