Chiles en Nogada

WIN_20150924_182712 Chiles en Nogada is an amazing dish from Puebla, Mexico. The green poblano peppers, white creamy sauce, and red pomegranate seeds bring the colors of the Mexican flag together in one bright burst of flavor. Here at Crowded Earth Kitchen, we love Mexican cuisine… and of all of the Mexican dishes we’ve sampled, we love Chiles en Nogada the very most! It’s a beautiful, memorable dish to serve at a dinner party, and the completed dish freezes very well.

Many versions of Chiles en Nogada include Continue reading

Lazy Cheesy Eggplant

WIN_20160328_085536I love cooking with eggplant – it’s very low in calories and versatile – but I don’t always think of eggplant when I’m looking for something fast. Lazy Cheesy Eggplant requires only a few minutes to prepare, and a half hour in the oven… the results are addictively delicious! Each high fiber serving of Lazy Cheesy Eggplant contains approximately 125 calories.

Side note: We’re using frozen eggplant here, because the texture Continue reading

Good For You Garlic Dip

WIN_20160201_190240Garlicky, tangy, creamy, delicious – what are you waiting for? Good For You Garlic Dip is fabulous with carrot sticks or tortilla chips. A generous 1/2 cup serving contains over 10 grams of protein, 5 grams of dietary fiber, and a big punch of calcium, iron, and potassium – all for around 100 calories!

WIN_20160201_131225Ingredients (Makes 2 cups) Continue reading

Kids in the Kitchen: Pueblo Corn Cakes

WIN_20160314_190113Recently, my neighborhood public library held a 10 cent book sale. 10 cents per book! I picked out as many children’s books as I could carry, to keep the kiddos busy at home. Among the books I selected was this Pueblo Indian Cookbook: Pueblo Indian Cookbook: Recipes from the Pueblos of the American Southwest.

When one of the kiddos came to me, cookbook in hand, and asked what we could make today, I searched for something simple that we could create with ingredients already in the house. We made a variation of Corn Griddle Cakes, adjusting the liquids slightly to account for the fact that we used frozen corn kernels. The kitchen apprentices here at Crowded Earth Kitchen were quite pleased with the fruits of their labor, and enjoyed these Pueblo Corn Cakes with maple syrup. They think you’ll enjoy them, as well!

WIN_20160314_184940Ingredients (Makes about 16 Pueblo Corn Cakes, about 3″ in diameter) Continue reading

Carrot Cake Pancakes

WIN_20160116_102115Carrot Cake Pancakes make a lovely weekend breakfast, and are a great way to add extra fruits and vegetables to an otherwise carbohydrate-based meal. The flavor of these pancakes is subtle, which children seem to prefer. If you’d like to ramp up the flavor a bit, double the quantity of cinnamon and cloves.

This recipe makes a rather large batch of pancakes, perfect for freezing. I freeze a few small pancakes along with additional pineapple in single serving containers for quick weekday breakfasts. Carrot Cake Pancakes reheat easily on a baking pan in the oven (approximately 5 minutes at 350 degrees), and can also be microwaved.

WIN_20160116_095823Ingredients (Makes about 24 pancakes – they freeze well!)

1 cup finely grated carrot

2 eggs

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 1/4 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 cup oil

1/2 cup small pineapple chunks

WIN_20160116_101509Directions

Step 1) Combine all ingredients except for pineapple. Blend well.

Step 2) Ladle 1/4 cup portions of batter onto a well greased skillet or griddle. Place a few small pineapple chunks onto each pancake, and cook over medium heat for approximately 2 minutes per side.

Step 3) Be sure to grease the skillet or griddle in between each batch of pancakes, because the pineapple has a tendency to stick.

Step 4) Serve with butter and additional pineapple. For an added layer of flavor, serve with Carrot Cake Jam. Enjoy your Carrot Cake Pancakes!

Peach Dumplings

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These peach dumplings taste like a fresh peach pie, but are easier to serve. There’s no slicing – just spoon the desired number of little peach dumplings onto each plate. For added flair, garnish with whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

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WIN_20160109_173944Ingredients (Serves 5 – 6)

4 large peaches, quartered (frozen peach slices will work)

1 roll-out refrigerator crust (or homemade pie crust dough)

1/4 cup chopped pecans

1/3 cup butter

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

WIN_20160109_172816Directions

Step 1) Roll out the pie crust on a cutting board. Use a pizza cutter to divide the crust into 16 pieces. Smaller pieces can be combined and rolled out to make larger pieces; I used rectangle (mostly) shaped pieces.

WIN_20160109_174501Step 2) Wrap one piece of pie crust around each peach slice. The crust doesn’t need to go all the way around, but it’s helpful if the crust is long enough to tuck underneath each peach slice.

Step 3) Arrange crust-covered peach slices close together in a lightly greased glass pie dish or tart pan as shown. Sprinkle with WIN_20160109_184551chopped pecans.

Step 4) In a small saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar, and spices. Stir over low heat until butter is melted and all ingredients are combined. Pour sauce evenly over peaches.

Step 5) Bake Peach Dumplings in a preheated 375 degree oven for 45 minutes, or until crust is golden brown. Serve warm.

 

Frozen Chocolate Banana Tart

WIN_20160105_180446This dessert falls into my favorite category… the “looks complicated, but is really easy to make” category. In just a few minutes time, you can prepare a decadent tart that looks elegant enough to serve at the end of a fancy dinner. Frozen Chocolate Banana Tart is quite rich, and will serve a few more people than a similarly sized fruit pie. A modest wedge of this tart, perhaps garnished with fresh whipped cream and served with coffee, will make a perfect finish for an evening with company. If you prefer to enjoy this Frozen Chocolate Banana Tart in your PJs on a Tuesday night, I won’t judge!

Ingredients (Serves 12)

1 roll-out pie crust (or made from scratch if you prefer)

1/2 pound dark chocolate

1/3 cup half-and-half

2 tablespoons rum cream

2 ripe bananas (the yellow peels should have dark spots!)

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WIN_20160105_142824Directions

Step 1) Roll out your pie crust and use it to line a tart pan. Trim crust even with the rim of the tart pan, and poke a few holes in the pie crust with a fork (this helps to prevent air bubbles). Bake the pie crust according to the package directions, until the pie crust is light golden brown. I baked my pie crust in a 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes. Allow your baked pie crust to cool completely.

Step 2) Combine chocolate, half-and-half, and rum cream in a saucepan. Melt together over LOW heat, stirring constantly. This will only take a few minutes… be patient, and keep the heat LOW! Burned chocolate is gross.

Step 3) When chocolate is completely melted, remove saucepan from heat. Allow to cool until close to room temperature. Mixture will thicken a little, but shouldn’t solidify.

WIN_20160105_145524Step 4) Spread a very thin layer of cooled chocolate on the bottom of the baked tart shell. Use just enough chocolate to coat the crust.

Step 5) Slice bananas into 1/4 inch slices. Cover the chocolate on the bottom of the baked tart shell evenly with 1-2 layers of banana slices.

Step 6) Carefully pour the chocolate mixture over the banana slices. Spread chocolate so that the banana slices are completely covered; the back of a large spoon works well for this.

Step 7) Freeze the chocolate banana tart for at least two hours or overnight. Slice and serve!

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Delicious!