Fruit Roll-Ups

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I finally tackled homemade fruit roll-ups!  I searched several different recipes but wasn't satisfied because many of them used a ton of sugar.  So I decided to stick with the basics and alter the recipe depending on how the first batch tasted.  

I used about 2 cups of fresh strawberries and 2 cups of a hodgepodge of berries and mango I had in the freezer.  I defrosted the frozen fruit and tossed everything into a blender.  After I completely pureed the mixture, I added 2 pinches of sugar and blended again.  Then I poured the mixture into the dehydrator tray that is designed for fruit leather.  I dehydrated it for 9 hours but it was still gooey on the bottom.  (Next time I won't add quite as much fruit so it dehydrates faster.)  Regardless, it was pretty tasty.  It had a bite of tartness and tasted so fresh.  Unfortunately, it took 9 hours to make, but we ate it in less than one.  

Recipe: Pineapple Salsa

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I know I have been posting a lot of recipes lately, but I have been cooking like crazy! 

In our house, we love chips and salsa.  One of my favorites is at a local restaurant, Carburritos.  I found myself wanting to go frequently just to get my pineapple salsa fix, so last summer I decided to make my own (bad for Carburritos, good for my wallet).  With all this sunshine, I had to make a batch.  This recipe makes a nice hefty bowl, but it only lasts us a few days. 

Ingredients:

Two cans of Dole Crushed Pineapple

1 large tomato

1 medium red onion

2 jalapenos

2 handfuls of fresh cilantro

A dash of salt

Recipe: Spicy Buffalo Chickpea Salad

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I've been a vegetarian for about 3 1/2 years now (well technically a pescetarian), but there are still things I miss from my meat eating days.  One of those things is hot wing sauce.  In no way do I miss the meat it was smothering, but I love the spicy deliciousness of the sauce.  Needless to say, I was really excited when I found this Spicy Buffalo Chickpea Salad recipe over at Perry's Plate.  I cut the recipe in half which was enough for Joel and me.  I followed the recipe pretty closely, however I used Wing Time buffalo wing sauce and added generous amounts of Habanero powder.  I also used goat cheese because we had some in the fridge, but I think blue cheese would have worked much better.  Lastly, there was too much dressing.  Joel was standing behind me encouraging me to add more and I foolishly listened.  On the other hand though, he loved it and added even more to his own salad once I dished it out.  

One of these days I'll get crafty and come up with my own recipes.  I fear you won't see many successes though and I'll have to add a category titled "Katie's Cooking Failures." 

Recipe: Eggplant Parmesan

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This past week we've been in Nebraska with my family and eating mostly fried Midwestern goodness and heart stopping desserts.  Aside from my older sister and myself, my family are all meat eaters.  Wait, that's putting it lightly.  They've been known to eat meals that only consist of steaks the size of their heads.  I'm just as guilty as the rest, but it's been several years.  So when I'm home, we have to think of vegetarian meals that also suit the cow fanatics.  Enter Eggplant Parmesan!  We used this incredibly easy recipe and had so much fun cooking together.  My Dad is one of the funniest people I know but not the greatest cook.  That combination makes for cheap entertainment.

Steel Cut Oats

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For some reason, I'm going through a steel cut oats phase even though I've only had them once in my life.  They have more texture than oatmeal which  is a nice change.  Yesterday I made this baked steel cut oats recipe.  It was delicious, but todays breakfast stole the spotlight.  I drizzled melted butter, brown sugar and cinnamon over an apple I split into halves and baked them at 300 degrees for 15 minutes.  I didn't want them mushy, so this allowed them to warm up and the brown sugar to begin caramelizing and still maintain their crunch and tartness.  (The picture was taken before I popped them in the oven.)

While these baked, I made the steel cut oats on the stove top with water.  To serve, I chopped up one half of the apple (saving the other half for tomorrow morning) and then dumped the steel cut oats on top.  I'm not going to lie, I sprinkled a tad more brown sugar and cinnamon on top.  

Recipe: Arugula Goat Cheese Salad

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My lunch today is so delicious I had to share.  Since tracking down the camera would have required me to pause and not immediately devour lunch, I used my iPhone instead.  The quality definitely shows, so you'll have to use your imagination with the image and trust me!

I tend to go heavy on the toppings and light on the dressing.  This is so easy I feel wrong calling it a recipe. 

Ingredients:

Arugula
Crumbled goat cheese
Thingly sliced Honeycrisp apple
Toasted pecans 
Light champagne salad dressing (I always use Girard's)

Recipe: Vegetarian Runza

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If you aren’t from the Nebraska, or nearby, there is only a small chance you even know the word Runza.  A Runza is a tube of dough stuffed with meat, onions and cabbage.  Appetizing right?  Believe it or not, they are delicious and used to be my first stop when I’d fly home for the holidays.  Since I don’t eat meat anymore, I have given up the meat filled pocket of deliciousness.  So last night, I decided, “to heck with the meat, I want a Runza!”

Ingredients:

2 medium white onions

4 cups of shredded cabbage

3 cloves of garlic

Canola Oil (or any cooking oil)

1 Packet of Morningstar Meal Starters

2 Packets of Pizza Dough Mix (I used Martha White Pizza Crust Mix)

Start out by chopping the cabbage, onions, and garlic. 

Next I sautéed the onion in a generous amount of oil.   

Then I threw in the garlic and the Morningstar crumbles.  Since the crumbles are frozen, I waited a few minutes to bring the heat back up before I added the cabbage.  I seasoned with salt and fresh cracked pepper and threw in a little cajun seasoning for a kick.  Keep on medium heat and stir occasionally until the cabbage begins to wilt.  I took it off the heat when the cabbage still had a little crunch to it for texture.

 

I admit I cheated and used store bought dough (didn’t my mom teach me anything?!).  Nothing is better than homemade dough, but that just wasn’t in my time frame last night.  I divided the dough into 4 pieces while the filling cooled for a few minutes.  Then I stuffed them with a heaping spoonful of filling and folded them into calzone shaped pockets.  

Bake at 475° for 14-16 minutes or until golden brown and enjoy!

 

Recipe: Spicy Black Bean Soup

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I found this recipe on Epicurious and then added my own spin to create this delicious black bean soup.  It may not look like much, but the flavors were spot on.  I doubled the recipe so I could continue to enjoy it for lunch the next day, and then coupled it with cheddar cornbread muffins.

In addition to the original recipe, I added:

1 15 ounce can of diced tomatoes

1 large white onion

6 cloves of garlic (we love garlic)

1 cup of chopped fresh cilantro

A few dashes of Habanero pepper powder

I sautéed the onion and garlic for a few minutes in Extra Virgin Olive Oil before throwing them into the soup.  

 

Cheese Cake

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Whether it’s cheddar or goat, blue or swiss, I love cheese and could eat endless amounts.  The passion hasn’t led to much besides after dinner regret and a tweet published in the Milwaukee Magazine.  I have dreamed of bigger and better things to have my name associated with, but I was thrilled nonetheless when my brother-in-law discovered the printed tweet.  

 @KatieRiibe: First stop off the plane in Milwaukee – cheese curds. It’s going to be a good weekend.

Knowing that, you can imagine my excitement when I stumbled upon thecake on the right.  I couldn’t help but wonder if I made a huge mistake choosing my traditional wedding cake.  It isn’t because it’s extravagant, but because it’s made entirely out of cheese.  I had so much fun working with the Norwoods who made my delicious cake on the left, but I must admit I would choose cheese over chocolate any day of the week.