Kitchen Concoctions: September 2012

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Website Review: Delish

September is over so bring on October!

But before we move onto a new month, let’s review September’s website of the month, Delish.

Pictures: Yes! Lots!
I would say most of the recipes have photos and good quality photos at that!

Prep Time, Cooking Time, and Number of Servings listed: Most
Total time, prep time and number of servings are listed on most recipes. However, this information varies from recipe to recipe and is not consistent. Some include prep time while others just state total time.

Nutritional Information provided: Some
This is only included on some not all recipes; a feature that I wish was consistent.

Clear, easy to follow directions and ease of preparation: Yes
The recipes on Delish are comprised of both user recipes and recipes from popular sources such as Good Housing, Eating Well, and Food and Wine. Because most recipes come from other reputable sources they are easy to make with clear directions.

Easily available ingredients and budget friendly: Yes and No
The recipes on Delish range from all abilities and capabilities, so do the ingredients.

Variety of recipes: All types of recipes!
This site is huge and has tons of recipes. Like tons! Great resource if you are looking for any type of recipe!

Meal Planning Feature: No

Source of recipes: The recipes on Delish are comprised of both user recipes and recipes from popular sources such as Good Housing, Eating Well, and Food and Wine.

Cost: Free

Special feature: Not only is Delish all about preparing great meals from breakfast to dinner, with tons of great recipes; it has great tips and prepared menu ideas for holidays, baby showers, etc. Like since October starts tomorrow and that means we are close to Halloween, so check out their Halloween section. Or want a jump start on Thanksgiving check out some tips here!

In case you missed is, this is what I made:
Disclosure: Again I am not being paid to do these reviews, I just frequent these sites a lot and wanted to feature some recipes I get from these sites and sort of compare the different features these websites have to offer.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Kids in the Kitchen: Sour Apple Popsicles

Fall here in Texas is hit or miss.

Sure we defiantly have (extremely) cooler nights and days compared to the summer, but some years you can wear shorts straight up till Christmas.

Like when the rest of the fall loving world is raking leaves and wearing boots and sweaters.

And even though I will force fall until my cheeks are rosy, the reality is that we will have 70-80 degree temps for weeks, possibly months.

So what do you do when you want to eat the flavors of fall but really need something cold and refreshing to cool off with?

You combine the two and make apple popsicles!

I loved how refreshing these are! Slightly tart from the lemonade, but totally applelicious! These are perfect if you live in a state where the fall includes a possible afternoon sweat!

PS: They are healthy too! Betcha you and/or your kids would never know though!

One Year Ago: Kids Week: Back to SchoolBreakfast Tips and Ideas and Waffle Tacos
Two Years Ago: Week of: Summer Recipes
Three Years Ago: Emeril's Slow Cooked Bam-B-Q Baked Beans

Sour Apple Popsicles
Printable Version
Prep Time: 10 minutes Wait Time: 3 hours Makes: approximately 12 popsicles

2 cups 100% Apple Juice
½ (12 ounce) can frozen lemonade concentrate
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 cups water
1 apple, chopped into small pieces
12 (3 ounce) paper bath cups
Aluminum foil, as needed
12 wooden craft sticks

In large pitcher, stir together apple juice, lemonade and water. Stir in applesauce.

Divide apples evenly among paper cups or ice pop molds. Add juice mixture (about 1/4 – 1/3 cup), cover each paper cup with a piece of aluminum foil. Use knife and cut a small slit into center of foil and insert craft stick.

Freeze at least 3 hours or until firm.

Adapted from H-E-B Showtime Magazine, August 2012

Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Guide to Apple Varieties

A reoccurring question that pops up with some freelance work I do, as well from 'real life' friends and family (since I am their 'go-to' when it comes to cooking), is what type of ‘blank’ (onion, potato, apple, etc.) to use if the recipe doesn’t verify a specific variety.

I thought it would be useful to compile a reference guide to some of these fruits and veggies that have different varieties and offer not only visual references but as well as what the different varieties taste like, the best cooking technique for each one, and a fun fact or two.

I have several of these guides/articles already written or in the works but I thought I would first start with apples since it is apple week! Below are some of the most common varieties of apples and a little information about each one. If you are looking for additional general information about apples (like proper storage tips, nutritional information, etc.) check out this article that I wrote last year as part of apple week.

A Guide to Apple Varieties:

Granny Smith Apples: A crisp, tart apple with a slightly waxy green freckled skin; with flesh that is firm and white in color. Granny smith apples originated in Australia and are now grown in the US in California and Arizona. They are best eaten raw, as a snack or added to salads, or can be baked into pies and cooked in sauces.

Red Delicious Apples: Medium sized, bright red apple with an elongated shape with distinct knob like features on the bottom. These apples are most popular and are grown worldwide. Red delicious apples are juicy yet mildly sweet and can sometimes have a slight mealy texture. Due to their thick skin they are best eaten raw and are not recommended for cooking.

Jazz Apples: Is a variety of apple originating from New Zealand that is now grown in France, Washington and Chile. Jazz apples are a cross between Gala and Braeburn apples and are red in color with yellow hues. They have a crunchy texture with a sweet and tangy flavor. Jazz apples can be enjoyed raw, baked in muffins, or cooked into applesauce.

Tentation Apples: Originating in France, this apple is a cross between Golden Delicious apples and Grifer apples. Tentation apples have a golden yellow color with pink-orange hues. These apples have a distinct flavor being both sweet and tangy. It is juicy and firm in texture. Tentation apples are good for eating raw and hold their shape and flavor during cooking and baking.

Gala Apples: Originating from New Zealand, these apples have a bright red skin with hints of yellow coloring. Gala apples are medium in size and have a thin skin. Their mild sweet flavor and juicy, yet crisp flesh, makes them perfect for snacking or cooking in pies.

McIntosh Apples: A medium-sized, dark red apple with shades of green; McIntosh apples are sweet with a slight tang. Because of their tender flesh, McIntosh apples will cook down quickly and are ideal for making applesauce.

Fuji Apples: Originating from Japan, this medium-large apple is light-green to red in color and is sweet in flavor, making it ideal for applesauce and pie baking.

Pink Lady Apples: Reddish pink in color, this apple is a cross between Golden Delicious and Lady Williams apples. Pink Lady apples have a sweet-tart flavor and take a longer period of time to turn brown after slicing, making them ideal for garnishes or salads.

Envy Apples: Originating in New Zealand, this apple is a cross between Braeburn and Gala apples. Envy apples have deep red skin with bright white flesh. It is crisp in texture and sweet in flavor.

Honeycrisp Apples: Large apples that are bright green and red in color. They are crisp and juicy, and have a sweet, honey-like flavor. They are a flavorful, crunchy snack eaten raw, or can be cooked and baked.

Golden Delicious Apples: Yellowish-green in color, this apple is firm and crisp in texture but lacks on flavor. This mild apple does not hold well to cooking, as they lose even more flavor when cooked.

Braeburn Apples: Firm and juicy, with a crisper texture than other apple varieties; this apple has a sweet and tangy flavor. Braeburn apples are popular choices for snacking, cooking, and baking.

These are just a *few* popular apples available this fall at local grocery stores and markets, however there are hundreds of apple varieties found world-wide. What is your favorite?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Website Wednesday: Apple-Cheddar Waffle Panini

Last week I complained about the rising cost of groceries.

A fact that I am sure you are all aware of.

Besides trying to be a savvy shopper and clip coupons, shop sales and what’s in season; avoiding being wasteful is another thing I am trying to do to save a buck.

I hate wasting food and throwing things out (especially if I paid a pretty penny for them); so coming up with some tasty yet inventive ways to use up leftovers or aging produce has been quite a challenge!

This applies to not only produce and leftovers but condiments, sauces and baked goods.

Today’s recipe is a great way to take some leftover waffles (you saw them here first), apples (my fridge is full of them right now, and not just because it is apple week here on KC!), and a few condiments that I am sure are taking up space on your refrigerator door!

I was super excited to try this recipe because! Who doesn’t love a Panini especially if it involves apples, cheese and waffles! I was even excited about the sauce (similar to this sauce, my favorite for dipping everything from chicken tenders to French fries). And while this Maple Dijon Barbeque Sauce was a unique addition to this Panini, I think it is better left in small amounts as a spread, to complement the other flavors of the Panini, rather than a dip which kind of took over the whole Panini. So when I make this again, I will try and come up with a different dipper. Maybe this Apple Cider Syrup? What would you use as a dipping sauce? Because we all know all food is better if it can be dipped!

One Year Ago: Pepperoni Pita Pockets and Tips for Beating Back To School Lunch Time Blues
Two Years Ago: Week of: Summer Recipes
Three Years Ago: Eric's Yellow Rice Dinner

Apple-Cheddar Waffle Panini
Printable Version
Prep Time: 5-8 minutes Cook Time: 4 minutes Serves: 2-4

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons barbeque sauce
4 leftover Maple Waffles
4 slices sharp cheddar cheese
1 apple, thinly sliced

In a small bowl, mix mustard, maple syrup, and barbeque sauce.

Spread mixture on one side of four leftover waffles.

Place sliced cheese on top of each two waffles.

Divide apple between two waffles, layering atop cheese. Top apples with another slice of cheese. Top with remaining two waffles, spread-side down.

Place waffle sandwiches in Panini press. Cook until waffles are toasted and cheese melts, about 4 minutes. Slice Panini in half and serve.

Adapted from Country Living as seen on Delish

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Apple Spice Cupcakes w/ Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting

I think of all the time I spend in the kitchen, baking is my favorite task. I find it so therapeutic measuring flour, the smells of something sweet baking in the oven and the lack of stress that can sometimes come with cooking dinner because we are all starving and have the shakes.

And plus, we all just need to devour a cupcake or brownie every now and then to make life better! : )

But we all know that despite my most inner desires to eat cake (or some sweet treat) it is something that I only enjoy about once or twice a month (keeping a pan of brownies in my kitchen is a very. Very. Bad thing. (Bad for my thighs not my taste buds and mental well-being!).

So every time I have the opportunity to make a sweet treat for a get together or birthday party I am all over it! Giving me the opportunity to spend some therapeutic time in the kitchen and whip up all the desserts I dream about.

My good friend V’s birthday was yesterday and since her birthday conveniently falls right around the start of the perfect season called, Autumn, she always gets a pumpkin or apple treat for her birthday cake. Good thing she loves these classic fall flavors!

This year she got apple.

I had so much fun playing in the kitchen whipping up these cupcakes!

A perfectly spiced apple cupcake that is light and fluffy in texture and then topped with a rich and creamy, brown sugar cream cheese frosting that has a wonderful caramel-y taste. These divine cupcakes are hands down some of the most perfect cupcakes I have enjoyed in a while and there wasn’t a single one left at V’s surprise birthday party!

It was a total birthday success!

One Year Ago: Magazine Review: Taste of South
Two Years Ago: Week of: Summer Recipes
Three Years Ago: Eric's Yellow Rice Dinner

Apple Spice Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting
By Heather of Kitchen Concoctions:
Printable Version
Prep Time: 25-30 minutes Bake Time: 15-18 minutes Makes: 20-22 cupcakes

Apple Spice Cupcakes:

¼ cup butter, softened
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup white sugar
2 eggs
½ cup applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 ¼ cups flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon all spice
2 medium/large apples, cored, peeled and grated

Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup brown sugar
1 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar
Walnuts, chopped, optional for garnish

For cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and both sugars. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing until well blended. Mix in applesauce and vanilla.

Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup and level off. In a separate medium sized bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices; mix well.

Gradually add dry ingredients to wet ingredients; mixing at low speed until well blended. Beat at medium speed 1 minute. Stir in grated apples.

Spoon cupcake batter into prepared muffin tins. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool completely and frost with Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting. Top with chopped walnuts, if desired.

For frosting:

In a large bowl, cream together cream cheese, butter and vanilla. Mix in brown sugar mixing until well blended. Add confectioner’s sugar, mixing until blended.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Apple Pie Oatmeal

So, FYI it is now officially FALL, y’all!!!!

Yup, it happened Saturday!

But I don’t think Mother Nature has quite gotten the memo. Considering we are still having highs around the 90 degree (plus) mark here in these parts.

But I can’t complain too much, since the mornings and evenings have been wonderful! I have thoroughly enjoyed spending the mornings, the past week or so, sitting on my patio listing to the quietness (read: kids are back in school and not running the neighborhood), enjoying the stillness, delightfully enjoying a hot beverage (depending on my mood hot chocolate, apple cider, coffee, or hot tea), working, reading, and even eating my breakfast.

Soaking in the moment the cool breeze brushes across my face and through my hair!

I am just giddy about fall; despite my rants and raves just a week or two ago about not wanting summer to end!

Bring it on baby!!!

To celebrate the official start of fall and my pure giddiness, I am bringing back my annual fall themed three week series. Just like I have done in the past, this week we will celebrate apples, then next week pumpkins and then my favorite of all, my “Ghoulish Grub” series with a week’s worth of freakin’ adorable yet scrumptious Halloweenie eats!

Uh, can we say fun (and more importantly tasty)!!

First up apple week and first up Apple Oatmeal.

This oatmeal may seem simple but I promise you (cross my heart) that one bite of this and you are instantly transformed to a mountain cabin somewhere in the Rockies (or Vermont) where the leaves are changing and the day time temps are like 60 degrees (not 90!).

Brown sugar, cinnamon and apples all cooked to beautiful perfection. To be enjoyed not at your kitchen table but on your patio on a beautiful, cool autumn morn’!

One Year Ago: Tips and Tricks to Eco-Friendly Party Planning
Two Years Ago: Week of: Summer Recipes
Three Years Ago: Eric's Yellow Rice Dinner

Apple Pie Oatmeal
By Heather of Kitchen Concoctions:
Printable Version
Prep Time: 5-8 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes Serves: 1

½ tablespoon butter
1 medium crisp apple, such as McIntosh, Granny Smith or Braeburn, cored and chopped
½ - 1 tablespoon brown sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1 ¼ cup apple juice
¾ cup old fashioned rolled oats
Milk, chopped walnuts and additional apple, optional, for topping

Melt butter in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Add apples, reserving several pieces for topping. Cook apples for 1-2 minutes. Stir in brown sugar and cinnamon and cook for an additional 1 minute.

Stir in apple juice and rolled oats. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 5-8 minutes, or until liquid is mostly absorbed.

Serve immediately topped with milk, chopped walnuts and apples, if desired.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Kids in the Kitchen: No Bake Peanut Butter and Jelly Tarts

One of my all-time favorite movie lines is: “Don't you love (New York in) the fall? It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.”

Says Joe Fox to Kathleen Kelly in You’ve Got Mail.

Ahhh. I love this classic ‘chick flick’ and I love that line.

It symbolizes everything I love about this time of year. Changing seasons, cooler mornings, fresh starts, kids returning back to school, and yes buying school supplies.

(Which, even though I am not in school, I love going this time of year to stock up on school office supplies. New packages of highlighters, post-it notes and notebooks make me giddy!)

I think receiving “a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils” in the month of September would be the cutest, simplest, cheesily (yup made that one up!) romantic, gift for this time of year. Even better than a bouquet of flowers!

September and the start of a new school year also makes me crave peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Seriously, I guess I just long for those ‘simpler’ days when doing homework, having a designated bed time, and playing until the sun goes down, were my only worries!

PB&J sandwiches go hand and hand with being a kid and going to school, but if you want to dress it up some and make it a dessert, try these No Bake Peanut Butter and Jelly Tarts.

These tarts are a perfect sweet treat that combines those classic kid flavors and are easy enough to make, that even the kiddos could whip them up themselves.

You know, so you can sit back and dream about “a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils.”

One Year Ago: Chicken-Salad Tea Sandwiches
Two Years Ago: Week of: Summer Foods
Three Years Ago: Spiced Buffalo Burgers

No Bake Peanut Butter and Jelly Tarts
By Heather of Kitchen Concoctions
Printable Version
Prep Time: 15 minutes Serves 15

3 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
½ teaspoon vanilla
4 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
1 - 1½ tablespoons milk
2 - 3 tablespoons blackberry jam or flavored jam or jelly of your choice
15 mini Phyllo tart shells

In a medium bowl, whisk together softened cream cheese and peanut butter until smooth. Stir in vanilla, sugar and milk, as needed, until desired consistency is reached.

Spoon approximately ½ tablespoon of the peanut butter mixture into each tart shell.

Top peanut butter with approximately 1 teaspoon desired jam or jelly.

Serve immediately.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Egg-cited for Eggplant Season

Truth: I don’t cook with eggplant that often.

Evidence: Only two eggplant recipes on Kitchen Concoctions (mind you, two recipes we eat very often, plus a third, veggie lasagna, which I can’t believe I haven’t posted yet!).

Fact: I would like to cook with eggplant more often (you know since it is so versatile and is like good for you and all) but I never think to buy it when I am cruising the produce department looking for veggies.

FYI: This article (written for meal planning/recipe site Food on the Table) is all about eggplant (it’s eggplant season!!). It’s informative, it’s gunna make you crave eggplant, and it includes several eggplant recipes (at the bottom) to get you inspired to get cookin’ with eggplant.

Eggplant, valued for its taste and sponge like texture, is a late summer vegetable with a deep rooted history. Originating as a wild plant in India, the Chinese were the first to cultivate eggplant for consumption. The plant later spread to Europe and was originally grown purely for decorative purposes, due to its bitter, sour taste. Later, in the 18th century, new varieties of eggplant were developed, causing this vegetable to gain culinary appeal. Today, eggplant is a popular vegetable grown worldwide. Although available year round, eggplant peaks from July thru October, for flavor and affordability.

A member of the nightshade family, which includes tomatoes, bell peppers and potatoes; eggplant grows on vines. While eggplant in the classic oval shape and dark purple color is the most popular variety; eggplant can be found in a variety of shapes and colors. Other varieties include white, black or green eggplant, found in spherical to long and narrow shapes.

Eggplant is a low fat, low calorie food. It is rich in vitamins and minerals and is a powerful source of flavonoids like chlorogenic acid and caffeic acid. Research has shown that these nutrients, along with a healthy well balanced diet, may help fight cancer and protect brain cells.

When choosing eggplant, look for those that are smooth, shiny, firm and heavy for their size. The stem should be deep green in color and the skin should spring back when lightly squeezed. Avoid eggplant that contains soft spots, wrinkled skin, or discoloration.

To store, fresh eggplant can be kept in a cool dry place for up to two days. For longer storage, place whole unwashed eggplant in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator for five to seven days. To freeze, blanch or steam sliced eggplant. Dry thoroughly and place in freezer safe packaging, then store in the freezer for six to nine months.

Eggplant is a meaty vegetable that sometimes tends to have a bitter flavor. Its sponge like texture absorbs marinades well and can be grilled, roasted, sautéed and even pickled. To prepare, wash and slice eggplant right before cooking, as the exposed flesh will begin to brown when exposed to the air. While the skin is edible, eggplant skin can sometimes be tough and may need peeling.

How do you like your eggplant? Need a few new ideas? Check out these recipes below:

Tastier Eggplant Burgers (Peas and Thank You)
Baked Eggplant Parmesan (Kitchen Concoctions)
Layered Eggplant and Zucchini Casserole (Oh She Glows)
Pasta Ratatouille (Kitchen Concoctions)
Eggplant Involtini (Bev Cooks)
Coconut Eggplant Bharta (Daily Garnish)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Website Wednesday: Curried Egg Salad

I am sure I have mentioned it a few times here and there, and I know my ‘real life’ friends are probably sick of hearing about it, but isn’t the price of groceries getting ridiculous?

For instance, just the other day I went to pick up a few things and cilantro had jumped in price from 24 cents to 50 cents. Granted I know this is only a few cents but when everything has gone up in price by ‘just a few cents’ then that really adds up to ‘a few dollars’ on my overall grocery bill!

Please tell me that you all have noticed the same thing and I am not just making these things up!

Because I feel like I am forking over my *entire life’s savings* every time I go to the grocery store, I am even more determined than ever to be a savvy shopper and beat those darn grocery store prices!

This means using coupons (like despite my desperate rants I was still able to get a recent $140 shopping bill down to $32 with coupons and sale prices), shopping the sale circulars and using my cooking smarts to come up with healthy, affordable meals.
Eggs have been a staple, because even though yes they have gone up in price they are still an affordable protein!

We enjoy eggs not only for breakfast, but lunch and dinner too!

Egg salad is a quick and budget friendly meal. This Curried Egg Salad is a flavorful way to spice up traditional egg salad with pantry staples.

At first glance the ingredient list, including curry powder and orange marmalade, sounds like an unusual combination for egg salad but somehow the creaminess of the mayo, paired with the complex flavor profiles of curry powder and a nice balance of sweetness from the orange marmalade, just works.

So what are your savvy grocery store shopping tips?

One Year Ago: Slow-Cooker Pulled-Pork Sandwiches with Classic Kansas City Style Barbecue Sauce
Two Years Ago: Week of: Summer Recipes
Three Years Ago: Restaurant Review: Carl's BBQ

Curried Egg Salad
Printable Version
Prep Time: 5 Cook Time: 5 minutes Wait time: 15 minutes Serves: 4

6 eggs
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons orange marmalade
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon each salt and black pepper, or to taste
Lettuce or bread, as desired, for serving

Set eggs in a single layer in a saucepan and cover with two inches of water.

Bring the water to a full, rolling boil, and cover the saucepan. Turn off the stove and let eggs stand, covered, for 12 minutes.

Rinse eggs in cold water, crack and peel away shells and chop cooked eggs.

In a medium bowl, combine eggs and remaining ingredients, stirring until well mixed.

Serve as desired on lettuce or bread.

Adapted from Good Housekeeping as seen on Delish

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Herbed Potato Salad

Picnics are usually synonymous with spring and summer, but how about a nice fall picnic?

Fall picnics, with cooler temperatures, brightly colored leaves, wearing chunky sweaters.

Ahh, we are nowhere near that here in Texas (yet) but hopefully will be at that picturesque scene sometime in the near future, but until then I will just day dream.

When is your favorite time to pack up, head to the park and have a picnic?

Whatever your favorite picnicking season, potato salad is a favorite side dish. Which brings me to a whole ‘nother discussion topic…

Do you prefer a mayonnaise, mustard, or oil based potato salad?

This is a particularly heated subject for many, with many deep rooted opinions.

One of my favorite potato salads is this mayo/stoneground mustard version, BUT if you are the type that prefers a mayo or mustard free potato salad I have got one for you. A potato salad with  herbs, just a smidgeon of Dijon mustard, and a drizzle of an olive oil based vinaigrette; this salad is a light and fresh, yet substantial side dish, making it the perfect accompaniment for any picnic or backyard barbeque.

One Year Ago: Slow-Cooker Pulled-Pork Sandwiches with Classic Kansas City Style Barbecue Sauce
Two Years Ago: Week of: Summer Recipes
Three Years Ago: Restaurant Review: Carl's BBQ

Herbed Potato Salad
Printable Version
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes Serves: 6

1 ½ pounds russet potatoes
2 tablespoons vegetable broth
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
¼ cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
½ teaspoon each salt and black pepper, more as needed

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Wash, peel and cut the potatoes in bit-size pieces. Boil them in water until fork tender, about 8 to 10 minutes, being careful not to over-cook them.

In a small bowl whisk together broth, white wine vinegar, mustard, olive oil, garlic, green onions, herbs, salt and black pepper to form dressing.

Drain the potatoes and let them steam-dry for 1-2 minutes in pan. Drizzle desired amount of dressing over potatoes while still hot.

Serve warm, room temperature, or cold.

Adapted from Food on the Table

Monday, September 17, 2012

Baked Eggplant Parmesan

I know I have asked this before.

But do you do ‘Meatless Mondays?’

Or maybe it is ‘Meat Free Thursday’ or ‘Vegetarian Friday.’

I try and do at least one meat free meal a week.

Yeah, I’ll admit that from one particular person in our house (cough, cough, Eric) that it is not the most favorite meal of the week….

No matter how good the meal really is I always hear a common comment; ‘This is good and all but would be better with ______ (fill in the blank with any hunk of meat).

But I push through, and Eric learns to eat it. Even being shocked at times that there is no meat in his dinner!

This Baked Eggplant Parmesan is one of our favorites. It is so light (not heavy and greasy like many restaurant versions), and perfect with a simple side salad or some penne pasta or garlic bread.

And sometimes I totally skip the sides and totally eat stacks and stacks, guilt free.

One Year Ago: Let's Go Green! Tips and tricks for cooking and cleaning eco friendly.
Two Years Ago: Week of: Summer Recipes
Three Years Ago: Orange, Cumin, and Cilantro Grilled Pork Loin

Baked Eggplant Parmesan
By Heather of Kitchen Concoctions:
Printable Version
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes Serves: 6

2 medium eggplant, washed and sliced 1/4" thick
1 cup Italian flavored bread crumbs
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
¼ teaspoon each salt and black pepper
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup mozzarella cheese
2 (cup) marinara sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.

In a bowl combine bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, and seasonings. Dip sliced eggplant in beaten eggs, then in bread crumb mixture and coat thoroughly. Place prepared eggplant on prepared baking sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove eggplant from oven and top each piece with two tablespoons marinara sauce and one tablespoon mozzarella cheese. Return to oven and bake for an additional 8-10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Giveaway: Yoplait Yogurt Prize Pack

UPDATE 9/23/12: This giveaway is now closed. The winner, chosen by, is comment number 27, by Manda. Congrats Manda! Please email me at kitchenconcoctions at gmail dot com. Winner must contact Kitchen Concoctions within 72 hours at kitchenconcoctions at gmail dot com to claim prize. If winner has not claimed prize within 72 hours then a new winner will be notified.

It’s Friday! It’s Friday!

So I thought we should have a giveaway!

Keep reading to learn more about today’s giveaway and how to enter:

Yoplait Light and Yoplait Greek 100 now offer 20 Delicious Flavors for only 2 Weight Watchers® PointsPlus® value each. As the only yogurt endorsed by Weight Watchers®, Yoplait makes it easy to enjoy a delicious, creamy, and satisfying snack any time!

The giveaway:

The Yoplait Yogurt Prize Pack Contains:

•Yoplait Light VIP coupon*
•Yoplait Greek 100 VIP coupon*
•Yoga ball
•Water bottle
•Work-out towel

*The coupon offer for Yoplait yogurt is not valid in some states, including Louisiana, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota and Tennessee.

HOW TO ENTER GIVEAWAY: You have SEVEN separate ways to enter the Yoplait Prize Pack giveaway! (NOTE: Please leave a SEPARATE comment for each response below):


1. Visit the Yoplait website to view the 20 different flavors of Yoplait Yogurt. Leave a comment stating which variety and flavor you’re most excited to enjoy.


2. Become a follower of Kitchen Concoctions through Google Friend Connect.

3. Tell someone about this giveaway, whether it be on a blog, Facebook or Twitter and leave a new comment letting me know and sharing the link.

4. “Like” Kitchen Concoctions on Facebook.

5. Follow Kitchen Concoctions on Twitter.

6. Follow Kitchen Concoctions on Pinterest.

7. Follow Kitchen Concoctions on Instagram @kitchenconcoctions.

This give-away closes Friday, September 21, 2012 at 11:59 PM CST. Winner will be chosen at random (by and will be announced sometime shortly after the give-away ends. Winner must contact Kitchen Concoctions within 72 hours at kitchenconcoctions at gmail dot com to claim prize. If winner has not claimed prize within 72 hours then a new winner will be notified. Giveaway for US residents only.

NOTE: Please check back shortly after giveaway closing to see if you are a winner. As much as I would like to run all over the Internet world looking for you, I do not have the time. So you as the winner MUST contact me with your information.

“Disclosure: The product, gift pack, information, and additional sample have been provided by Yoplait through MyBlogSpark.”
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