Friday, January 25, 2013

Friday Food: Raisin Carrot Muffins

This recipe came from a Dole Raisin package in the 1990s. I used to make these muffins quite often. They were a favorite afternoon snack to get me through those after-lunch doldrums and an early evening workout before a later dinner. With fruit and nuts in them, I could make the case that they're good for me. My schedule has changed significantly since then so I don't think of these muffins often. I found myself craving them yesterday and, since I have run out of already-made Friday Food recipes, decided to make them this morning. The house smells yummy now!

Raisin Carrot Muffins

1/2 cup butter, melted,
1 cup sugar
1 can (8 oz) crushed pineapple
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Combine butter, sugar, undrained pineapple, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients stirring until just blended.
Spoon into greased muffin tins.
Bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. Turn out onto rack to cool.
Makes 12 muffins.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Friday Food: Ginger Cookies

I'm a little late with Friday Food due to a cable/internet outage that came with the Virginia mountain snowstorm we had last week. Fortunately, we didn't lose power and I had my smart phone, but I still felt rather cut off from the world without full internet service!

This is the last of the Christmas cookie recipes and one of my favorites. This is one of my mom's recipes and I can remember rolling the dough balls in sugar to help her make them when I was a kid. I like my cookies spicier, so I use the spice measurements as a guide and heap the spoons. I also like my cookies softer so I bake them a bit less than the 10 minutes. Often when I make these, I'll make the batter one evening and the cookies the next since the batter needs to chill (and usually I do too if I've been making lots of cookies that day!) Enjoy!

Ginger Cookies

3/4 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
4 Tbsp molasses
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cloves
2 1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda

Melt butter in microwave safe mixing bowl. Cream sugar and butter. Add egg and molasses and beat well. Add all dry ingredients and mix well.
Chill for at least an hour.
Roll balls the size of walnuts. Roll in sugar and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes (more for crunchier, less for softer cookies).

Friday, January 11, 2013

Friday Food: Melting Moment Cookies

Back to the Christmas cookies! I got this recipe from a friend many years ago. These are tasty, buttery cookies that don't need to be rolled and cut into shapes to make an impression. The original recipe says to roll the balls in crushed cornflakes, though I've never done that. It's a great recipe to use up the egg yolks left over when your recipe calls for egg whites only. I always make these with a double batch of Mint Brownie Bites. Enjoy!

Melting Moments Cookies

1 cup sugar
2 sticks butter
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
1 2/3 cups self rising flour*

Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in egg yolk and vanilla. Add flour and mix.
Form into balls. Roll in crushed cornflakes if desired. Place on greased cookie sheets.
Bake 15 - 20 minutes (less for softer cookies, more for crispy). Cool on pan then transfer to wire rack.
Makes about 4 dozen.

* If you don't have self rising flour (which I never do), use 2 1/2 tsp baking powder + 3/4 tsp salt + all purpose flour to equal 1 2/3 cups.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Friday Food: 4 Cheese Baked Rigatoni

I've been heavy on the cookie recipes lately and still have more coming, but I didn't want you to think that I've only baked cookies during the holiday season! I made this Four Cheese Baked Rigatoni recipe in December so I'd have lots of leftovers while I was busy with holiday preparations. I was so thrilled to get home after 2 weeks away and see the remainder of the leftovers in the freezer. Yay! Dinner tonight!

This is adapted from a recipe in Healthy Cooking magazine. Use the lower fat version of the cheeses and whole wheat pasta to make the recipe healthier. You could add hamburger or other meat if the idea of a meatless meal gives you the heeby jeebies. It's a warm, tasty, creamy, and hearty meal for a cold night. Add some crusty bread and a salad to fill it out. Enjoy!

Four Cheese Baked Rigatoni

1-16 oz box rigatoni
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (15 oz) crushed tomatoes
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
1 Tbsp dried parsley flakes
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/2 cups (12 oz) cottage cheese
1 1/4 cups (5 oz) mozzarella cheese
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cook rigatoni according to package directions.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute onion in oil until tender. Add garlic; cook one minute longer. Stire in the tomatoes, tomato sauce, parsley, oregano, rosemary, basil, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Remove from the heat.
Drain rigatoni. Return to pot. Add sauce. Stir in the cottage cheese, 1/2 cup mozzarella, and all of the ricotta. Transfer to a 13" x 9" x 2" greased baking dish. Top with Parmesan cheese and remaining mozzarella.
Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly.