Recap: Goodfood #21

goodfood

Welcome to the next Goodfood recap. Its a rare occurrance that we don’t spread out our orders more but this menu, despite some repeats had some of our fave things and other recipes that I was interested in learning as well.

Lets check it out!

Fennel Crusted Salmon Bucatini with Baby Spinach

salmon bucatini

I can’t say that I’m a pasta expert so I don’t really know the difference other than the fact that it looks like thicker spaghetti. However, we don’t eat fish a lot so we chose this one. This meal was both easy to do and pretty delicious. Fennel powder is less overpowering than actual fennel so the crust around the salmon worked well with the bucatini.

Vietnamese “Com-Bo” with Cucumber, Carrots & Thai Basil

vietnamese com-bo

I can’t say I’m a particular expert at Vietnamese food either so I never knew about what Com-Bo was before this. I’ve had the Banh Mi and the Rice Vermicelli and the Pho but no idea what this is but I can tell you that its super tasty if this is any true reflection of it. However, you will notice that cucumbers are non-existent here. They were forgotten from my meal kit. However, when I contacted customer service about it, they were very quick to resolve the problem and reimbursed the price of a meal. I was very pleased with the service. Back to the meal itself, it was a really nice simple one. It was quick to make, except the chopping the carrots part. If I had to prepare the cucumbers too, then it would definitely have gone over the time they had asked for. However, the rice worked with the sauce and crisp-tender carrots added a nice contrast to the beef strips. It just came together really nicely.  This is so simple that I actually would cook this on a regular basis.

Pork Burgers with Sauteed Mushrooms, Swiss Cheese and Chive Mayo

pork burgers

As usual, burgers are my husband’s tasks. Its nice since I got to keep going with some of the garden work while he put this together. We weren’t quite sure whether we had it before but I’m fairly positive that we’ve talked about it before. Still, chive mayo is yummy. The pork burger spices are delicious. Its an awesome summer meal. I’d absolutely use pork patties more.

Peanut Butter Dumplings with Sesame Green Beans

peanut butter dumplings

Our vegetarian meal of the box and also one of my fave meals that we’ve had before are these peanut butter dumplings. They are absolutely fantastic. Its not too hard to make and the sauce is so delicious. Last time, I talked about us ending up just pan frying it on all sides or asking my husband to at least. However, this time, I followed the instructions and cooked it the way it was supposed to be cooked to see the difference and honestly, I have to say that we’re a little split. My husband liked it both ways but enjoyed the pan fried on all sides and I also liked both but thought this version  was a little better. I’ve been having a massive dumplings craving so I’m just happy these were part of this box. 🙂

Overall, a very awesome box! All the recipes delivered in my opinion.
The peanut butter dumplings are repeats before they are my fave, as well as the pork burgers.
For the new ones, I do prefer the Com-bo more than pasta, but I’ve also liked Asian food over Italian food.

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Goodfood Recap#16

Goodfood

Last week’s Goodfood box was quite a few cool menus and the first time we went with a repeat. We actually love the menu so much that we forgot to take the picture again before chomping it all down. Either way, we took the picture from the last time we cooked  the meal. We will talk more about it.

Let’s check out last week’s meals!

Marinated Salmon & Noodle Stir-fry
with Yuzu Sauce, Baby Bok Choy & Snow Peas

Marinated Salmon

We always opt for fish dishes when we can since fish in general is so expensive to buy. This one turned it pretty well. Its a stir-fry so already guaranteed to be pretty simple to put together. The preparation wasn’t too long either and it was just a bit stir together in the pan when all the elements were done. We always love the added sesame seeds to a dish. It adds a nice little bit texture to the dish. I can’t say I love this recipe but it definitely wins on being easy to put together. Its always great to learn what ingredients to put together a nice little stir-fry and this one is a solid choice (especially since there was recently a sale on salmon and we have some frozen and to be eaten soon).

Ancho Chicken Taco
with Beet-Cabbage Slaw & Toasted Pepitas

ancho chicken tacos

My husband apparently doesn’t know how to put together a taco and assembled a quesadilla resemblance thing here and ate it like a sandwich. I only took a bite from this meal since I had some other food that I needed to eat but from the bite, its a pretty decent meal even if its not wrapped into a taco style. Its fairly simple to put in and didn’t take too much time. I’m not sure about the ancho part of the thing though but thats just my personal preference. My husband absolutely loved it.

Grilled Ratatouille Sandwich
with Sundried Tomato Hummus

ratatouille sandwich

The repeat meal of our box goes to this fantastically delicious vegetarian sandwich called the Grilled Ratatouille Sandwich. Its packed with flavors from the sweet peppers to the tangy cherry tomatoes and then rounded off with a sundried tomato hummus. Its really a lovely sandwich. The last time was actually my husband who put together a lot of it and this time, I took my shot at it until I went to toast the buns and then burnt them a little. Still, its one that I’d definitely make again. Its truly fantastically delicious!

Peanut Butter Dumplings
with Sesame Green Beans

peanut butter dumplings

The recipe says that I wasn’t supposed to fold the dumplings this way but this is the way I know how to fold them since I was little so I kept to my own methods. My husband did the cooking and didn’t read the instructions very well for the dumplings so ended up pan-frying all sides when it was supposed to fry at the bottom then steam in the pan to cook the dumpling wrapper. Either way, it still tasted really great. Other than the vegetarian filling taste really awesome, the peanut butter sauce was super delicious. We actually loved it so much that we kept the leftover and cooked some veggies with it the next day and it turned out really well since the peanut butter dissolves pretty much but the taste retains itself. I loved this one a lot.

Overall, this box turned out very good. Two vegetarian meals and both of them were my faves in this box.

Baking: Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes!

Mother’s Day just passed this weekend and now I officially of two moms to cater to so I had to make sure to get out of the slumps that I’ve been sitting in and do something I love.  After some thought and consideration on time and available ingredients, I decided to do Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes. For the record, my mom’s quick lunch fix when she heads out to hang out friends is peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and on a fruity and sweet level, that also works for my mother in law.  At least I think so. 😉

However, for time purpose, my version of Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes deviate a little from the recipe I used mostly because I didn’t have cream to make the frosting so I skipped that and buried the jam inside the cupcake, which I realize is the first time I’ve done something like this and took quite a bit of time. I did end up figuring out a way that sped up the process a little so it was a new experience.

The recipe is from Butter Baked Goods by Rosie Daykins!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes
Makes 18 cupcakes

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes

First batch

Ingredients

2 cups pastry flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 tsp pure vanilla
1/2 cup raspberry jam

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Onto a large piece of parchment paper, sift together both flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter, peanut butter and sugar on medium to high speed until light and fluffy.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl several times.
  5. In a liquid measuring cup, whisk together the milk and vanilla to combine.
  6. Turn the mixer to low and add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the liquid ingredients in two parts (begin and end with the dry). Scrape down the sides of the bowl several times to make sure everything is fully combined.
  7. Use the ice cream scoop to fill each paper liner about three-quarters full with batter.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted into the side comes out clean.
  9. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes

Second batch

As usual, there are a few modifications aside from the no frosting bit.  Here are some of the substitutes:

  • No pastry flour so I used all-purpose flour
  • A little less than 3/4 butter
  • Almond milk instead of whole milk
  • I’m not sure how much raspberry jam I used but that amount sounds about right
  • I rarely sift anything onto parchment paper mostly because I think bowls do equally the same job and less messy
  • Between steps 8 and 9 is when you  make the frosting and that involves smooth peanut butter, butter, icing sugar, heavy cream and chopped honey roasted peanuts.  If you want the portions, just ask and I’ll pass it to you.
  • If you choose to follow the recipe with the frosting, you cut out the center a little and fill with raspberry jam and pipe the cream over it.
  • Which brings me to talk about that I had made a little space to put the filling before covering it with a little more batter to make it seem like it would have a little surprise bite of jam in the center.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes

Peanut butter and jelly cupcakes worked out great.  My mother in law liked it quite a bit except she didn’t taste the peanut butter. My mom liked it because it wasn’t too sweet but she did taste the peanut butter.  So, I guess it depends on your sensitivity to taste because it is a rather subtle taste if without the frosting.  I have to say that it was pretty good for me also.  The cupcakes were fluffy and the jam created a sour, tart-like balance to counter the peanut butter sweetness.  I guess in reality, that’s the essence of what makes a good peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  I personally like peanut butter or jam equally and separately in my sandwiches but I enjoyed these ones, especially because they required such patience and they smelled delicious.

What type of cupcakes do you like?

Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookie

I’m slowly picking up the baking momentum again.  Its making me extremely happy 🙂

The original plans was to make Chocolate Eclairs but I realized that I had shifted all my pastry baking utensils to my new place so after shifting through my book in search for something to make with my awesome lactose-free heavy cream, I landed on The Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookie in my newest cookbooks, Butter Baked Goods by Rosie Daykin.

I made them a bit late on Sunday night so I ended up making the filling and putting it in the fridge to compile on Monday morning. Here’s how the final product looked like:

Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookie

Here is the recipe from the book:

Ingredients

Makes 12 sandwich cookies

Cookie:

2 1/4 all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup butter, room temperature

1 cup smooth peanut butter

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup dark brown sugar

1 large egg

1 tsp pure vanilla

Filling:

1 cup smooth peanut butter

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

2 cups icing sugar

1/2 cup heavy cream

Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookie

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
2. Onto a large piece of parchment paper, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
3. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and peanut butter on medium to high speed until well blended.  Add the granulated and dark brown sugars and continue to cream until light and fluffy.
4. Add the egg and beat briefly.  Scrap down the sides of the bowl.  Add the vanilla and beat again to combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again.
5. turn the mixer to low and ad the dry ingredients and mix until fully combined.
6. Use the ice cream scoop to drop 24 equally sized portions of dough onto the prepared cookie sheets, about 1 1/2 inches apart.  Hold your three middle fingers together and press down on the top of each to make slight indentations across the top.
7. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 17 minutes or until the cookies are lightly golden brown around the edges.
8. Remove from the oven and transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.
9. Meanwhile, prepare the filling: In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the peanut butter and butter on medium to high speed until light and fluffy.  Add the icing sugar and continue to cream until well combined.
10. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add the cream.  Gradually increase the speed of the mixer and continue to beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
11. When the cookies have cooked, turn 12 of them bottom side up.  Spoon 2 heaping tablespoons of filling onto each.  Place the remaining cookies on top and press down lightly until the butter cream has spread to the edges of the cookies.

Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookie

This cookie here took a long time to make.  Its a two step deal because of making the cookies first and then making the filling then compiling but I’d say that the end result is worth it because its quite rare but I ended up with something very similar to the picture in the book.  The only thing was that I think that my cookies should have been in there for even less than 15 minutes because mine are on the crunchy side.

Also very rare is that there are no modifications to this recipe.  My heavy cream was lactose-free so that I could eat it and the only modification was that for the filling I halved the sugar because I’m not one to like the over sweetness of these cookies.

To me, these tasted great but still on the sweet side where I wouldn’t eat a lot of them.  I barely could finish one because I made them so big.  However, level of sweetness varies. My boyfriend thought they were perfectly balanced and ate one and even the part I couldn’t finish.  If I were to do this again, I’d definitely lessen some sugar in the recipe or maybe change it to brown sugar completely.

Are you a fan of peanut butter? What do you think of these peanut butter sandwiches?

P.S. I have lots of rhubarb soon to be harvested in my yard so I’ll be baking immense amounts of that probably, drop in the comments some suggestions please 😉

Christmas Baking: Clean Eating Peanut Butter Cookies

Yums! I’ve shared my extreme love for peanut butter before, right? I’m sure you have heard all about it if you’ve read some of my other baking adventures. I figured if I could make baked goods healthy and delicious, why not, right? So, right away when I saw these Clean Eating Peanut Butter Cookies by The Gracious Pantry on Pinterest. I decided that I’ll do it for Christmas, although its not going to make it to Christmas…since there’s only 3 left.

Here’s how mine turned out!

Peanut Butter Cookies

Clean Eating Peanut Butter Cookies

I found this recipe right here: http://www.thegraciouspantry.com/clean-eating-peanut-butter-cookies/#ixzz2mWeJFnv0&i

There were a few modifications that I did.  I couldn’t find honey in my house so I had to replace that with Agave Nectar.  Also, I didn’t add extra peanuts as there were none in my house.

Peanut butter cookies

Right out of the oven

Still, this turned out pretty good.  The texture was moist.  The taste was very peanut-y rather than sweet is great.  My mom still said I could decrease the sugar but its not too bad.  I do admit that if I were to change that, I’d use less agave syrup than what it says because I realized that its actually sweeter than sugar so maybe thats why.  Then I thought, do any of you know if agave nectar is sweeter than honey? What do you think? I need to look that up.

Peanut Butter Cookies

After the first bite!

I’d say this marathon is rather varietized, I’ve had some jam HERE and then some bread HERE, now some peanut butter in the form of cookies.  I have two more recipes coming up so come back tomorrow,k? Psst…those look even better. 😉

Just one more bake day to go and I think I’m all set.

Do you like peanut butter? What do you think, agave nectar or honey is sweeter? What type of cookies do you like to eat on Christmas?

Peanut Butter Granola Clusters!

I got back into the kitchen and baked! I’m super proud of myself…not that proud since it took me two weeks but I had work to blame.  I worked for 12 days straight and today due to an extra early morning drive to the airport, I ended up having to get half a day off from work because I was just drained.  It was all dizzy and fuzzy and concentration was shot.  Anyways, that aside, I napped, ate, rested and even watched the 2nd NHL playoff game for Montreal Canadiens and then decided to bake! I gave my boyfriend the choice of these granola clusters or cinnamon rolls. Guess which one won 😉

P1210841This recipe is from my Looneyspoons book by Janet and Greta Podelski.  This is called GOODY TWO CHEWS!

Makes 12 clusters

Ingredients

1/3 cup light peanut butter

1/3 cup pure maple syrup

2 egg whites

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

2 1/2 cup low-fat granola

3/4 cup chopped dried cranberries

How to make them:

1. Preheat oven to 250F.  Spray a 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, beat together peanut butter and maple syrup on medium speed of electric mixer.  Add egg whites and pumpkin pie spice and beat again until smooth.

3. Stir in granola and cranberries.  Divide mixture evenly among muffin cups.  Bake for 45 minutes.  Remove from oven to cool completely on wire rack before removing clusters from pan.  Store in an airtight container

P1210832

Fresh out of the oven! They look absolutely wonderful and filled the house with peanut butter smell.

Just for a few modifications:

– I misread the peanut butter quantity and put more around 1/2 cup…

– I have no idea where to buy pumpkin pie spice but the books gives you a little tip as to combining 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground ginger and 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg.  It was from earlier in the book, so now I’m wondering if the quantities were in proportion…

– I only used granola because I had bought one with fruits in it and the book recommends one with pumpkin flax. I obviously didn’t read it beforehand.  In turn, I eliminated the dried cranberries since the granola mix already had it.  This was the one I bought:

P1210847

After it cooled down and I had pried it out of the muffin tins, I gave it a whirl to see what it taste like.  Suffice to say, I’ve never eaten any clusters before.  This seemed like a healthier choice too. It works well with the whole staying fit 😉 This tasted AMAZING! I had this really interesting texture.  On the top is was crunchy a bit and near the bottom, it felt like the bottom of a muffin type of chewy.  Not dry just a bit fluffy and chewy.  I don’t really know how to describe it but it was so great 🙂

P1210844

The fruits gave a little sweet taste and then it mixed well with the peanut butter and maple syrup mix 🙂

If you like to make clusters or enjoy granola, you should give this shot! Its quite delicious and super easy to make.  The baking time is a bit longer than my usual but its well worth the wait 🙂 If anything, the aroma that circulates around the house while its in the oven just starts making your mouth water..I know it did that for me!  Its perfect as snacks and I’m sure if you have little ones, they’ll probably enjoy it a lot too 🙂

Peanut Butter Cookies!

I promised baking! And here it is! I only managed to start prep work at 11pm to make these but they were all done by midnight!

We all went to bed with a delicious baked goods smell in the air! Talk about some sweet dreams in candyland, right?

This time up, I was craving something with peanut butter.  My boyfriend and I had miscoordinated and we ended up with two jars of peanut butter sitting in the fridge so seeing as thats the case, I decided to make something with it.  I love cookies! And these ones were simple and quick.  Only deal was that I was reading some comments and they all had some criticism about the sweetness or the lack of it.  I never have problems with that though. The reason why I never liked peanut butter cookies were that they were overly sweet.  If these weren’t, it sounds like a done deal 😉

P1210822

I found this recipe on Martha Stewart and you can find it right here: http://www.marthastewart.com/339730/peanut-butter-cookies

Its nothing absolutely creative and I didn’t do much modification to it.  The bake time is actually not accurate in this one. They were in the oven for 15 mins and it was already good.  However, all ovens bake differently so just keep a close eye for when it turns golden brown.  The only thing was that I didn’t sprinkle any peanuts on it because I just don’t have any at home.

P1210809

The recipe yielded the exact amount (or almost) the same.  I ended up with 25 cookies and they estimated 2 dozens :).  Thats about the closest I’ve ever gotten what the recipe says.  The texture of the cookies when the first came out of the oven were quite soft. It smelled extremely awesome! Once they cooled down,  it turned to be more crunchy and crumbly.  Less moist and soft.  It wasn’t dry though.  The first bite had a good mix being still a bit moist in the center and the outer part was crunchy and it somewhat melted into my mouth.  It wasn’t too sweet either (for me)!

P1210800

I would never eat peanut butter cookies in abundance but these ones do taste quite good.  The key to this is to use a peanut butter which is less oily because it pulls out a lot of oil from both the peanut butter and the butter. My peanut butter was Just Peanuts so it had some peanut oil residue under the cookie.  However, I imagine some of the other brands with other sorts of oil would create a less healthy blend and feel more greasy.  I’m saying it could be a possibility.   Not sure if that would actually happen.  The taste of the peanut butter will also determine what your cookie will taste like.

Choose your peanut butter wisely 😉 Watch the baking time.  Only two suggestions I offer for this.

This recipe is a winner for some delicious crunchy peanut butter cookies! Now I have the peanut butter cookies all settled in for both soft and crunchy! Its made the end of my weekend quite happy 🙂