Sunday, March 13, 2011

A Health Kick...kind of.

Hello everyone! So last week, Lent began. And although I gorged myself on ice cream, cookies and one Cadbury egg on Fat Tuesday, I decided to give up sweets. Before your heart stops, I don't want you to fret...this will not affect my blog, as it appears I enjoy torturing myself for the sake of good desserts. So, I've included a delicious, healthy soup recipe that had awesome flavor and lasted for at least five meals this past week, and also an amazing truffle recipe...I'm sorry the screen is blurry due to my tears.

Spinach Tomato Orzo Soup

What ya need:

1 large onion

2 cloves garlic

1 lb spinach, fresh or frozen, defrosted

1 – 15 oz can diced Italian tomatoes (with oregano and basil)

[[Got my haircut! And this is why I never cook in my own kitchen...]]

1 lb package orzo pasta
2 quarts chicken or vegetable stock
2 quarts water
olive oil (I kind of like to readjust the measurements sometimes as I go, so I only put one quart of water in because I like a thicker can feel free to change things if you like it a different way!)

What ya do:

*Put olive oil in sautee pot. Add onions and saute until tender. Add garlic and saute for 2 – 3 minutes. Add canned tomatoes, spinach, chicken or vegetable stock and water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium.

*Add orzo cook for 12 – 15 minutes, or until orzo is tender.

This made tons of soup, and it was cheap and easy. A good way to make something inexpensive, and not worry about dinners for the week after class. I just kept it in the fridge and threw it in the microwave! Now I also wanted to make something for my lovely friend Caroline :) I found this awesome truffle recipe, and despite the mind-blowing temptation, I made them without even licking my fingers! I made some changes to this as well, so what I did is noted in parentheses.

Nutella Oreo Truffles

What ya need:

3 sleeves of Oreo cookies (1/2 of the last sleeve can be used to snack on...or for your boyfriend and his brother to snack on while you cry in the corner).

2 T. cream cheese (I ended up using three after some trial and error)

2 T. Nutella (again, I added an extra tablespoon in after trying some different things)

1 1/2 cups milk or semi sweet chocolate chips

(I also added maybe 1 T of heavy cream in the second half of the batch, because I was unhappy with how crumbly it was to form into truffle balls!)

What ya do:

*Place 2 1/2 sleeves of Oreos in food processor and pulse until fine. Add the cream cheese and nutella and continue to pulse until thick and easy to handle (it was at this point that I added the extra tablespoon each of nutella and cream cheese, and put a dash of cream into the batter). Refrigerate for half an hour, and melt the chocolate to have ready while you are waiting. Also, prepare any toppings to roll the truffles in like: coconut flakes, powdered sugar, cocoa and cinnamon, cookies, crushed hazelnuts, or anything else.

*Once the batter is hard enough, roll into small balls and then dip in the melted chocolate, then letting set almost fully on a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Before the

chocolate sets completely, roll each ball in desired topping or toppings! For this batch, I chose some Ghiradelli hot chocolate mix my Mom sent was awesome. Another reason this recipe is truly awesome, is that often times you have a lot of what you need to make it. I usually have at least a little bit of nutella, and all I really needed to get were the oreos. Dipping the balls into chocolate was a little tricky, and prepare to get a little messy. But I hear the taste is worth it Easter yet?

Makes about 14-16 truffles

I'm also throwing in a stuffed blueberry french toast recipe that I made for Steve's birthday a couple weeks ago that I'd forgotten about. To be perfectly honest, I hated it..but I'm not really much for french toast. But, I wanted to make the birthday boy something for breakfast. I asked him, preparing for something like, oh I'll just have some scrambled eggs, or an omelette with toast. No. He casually suggests stuffed french toast. If he wasn't so cute...

Blueberry Stuffed French Toast

What ya need:

1 (14-ounce) loaf of egg challah bread (I ended up using an egg bread that a woman at the bakery suggested because they were all out of challah).

4 ounces cream cheese

2 cups, divided (1 cup each) blueberries, fresh or frozen

8 large eggs, beaten

1 1/2 cups milk

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1/4 cup butter, melted

What ya do:

*Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Remove crust from bread; cut into 1-inch cubes (makes about 10 cups). Cut cream cheese into small cubes (makes about 1 cup).

*Grease a 9 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish. Place half of the bread cubes in the dish.

*Sprinkle cream cheese cubes and 1 cup of the blueberries over the bread. Top with remaining bread cubes and blueberries.

*In a bowl, combine eggs, milk, maple syrup and butter. Carefully pour over bread mixture.

*Bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour, covering with aluminum foil if edges brown too much

*To serve, cut into squares. Accompany with additional maple syrup, if desired.

Makes 9 servings.

And now, I can't wait for St. Patrick's Day! I would attempt to make corned beef and cabbage, because I look forward to my Mom's every single year on our family's favorite holiday. However, I think my friends and I will be hitting the bars right after's not looking like I'll be heading back to the kitchen anytime that night.

Happy eating!

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