Loaves & Dishes
By Jennie Geisler Erie Times-News staff blogger
Follow Jennie Geisler's kitchen adventures on her Loaves & Dishes blog.   Read more about this blog.
 Phone: 814-870-1885
Archive for January, 2013
Posted: January 31st, 2013

This killer-looking shrimp from www.self.com will keep you from fumbling on your dietary goal line.

This killer-looking recipe from www.self.com will keep you from fumbling on your dietary goal line.

Many dieters will fight a championship-caliber battle this Sunday, with wings and brownies pitted against healthier fare.
Here’s a secret: Super-Bowl party food doesn’t have to show up on the scale.
One great play: Grilled Shrimp With Spicy Tamarind Dipping Sauce.
It makes 8 servings for 156 calories per serving, 3.8 g fat (0.6 g saturated), 5.9 g carbs, 0.2 g fiber, 23.5 g protein.
And it’s grilled shrimp.
With delectable sauce.
Talk about a touchdown.
Two point conversion: Make your own tortilla chips: Cut a stack of flour tortillas into 8 wedges and arrange triangles on a cookie sheet. Spray the pieces with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt and herbs. Bake about 5 minutes in a 350-degree oven. Those should help calm down any flaming heat you might be feeling after that tamarind sauce.
You can dip those, and vegetables into Feta and Herb Dip With Crudites
Let’s call that one an extra point.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: January 30th, 2013

paleo First, I need to invite you to upload your recipes for healthy food to GoErie for a chance to win gift cards to Frankie & May Fresh Grocer at West 12th and Peninsula. The prizes are $250 for the winner, and $50 each for runners up.
To enter, visit the GoErie website. The popular vote will determine the three winners and judges will try the dishes to determine the ranking of the top three. You have until Feb. 6 to enter.

Also, check out our new bi-weekly video, “Healthy At Home” video with Melissa Wilson, which launched today. Find it at

Meanwhile, thanks to everyone who entered to win “100 Recipes for Microwave Mug Cakes,” by Stacey J. Miller. The winner is Lynne Pontzer. I’ll pop it in the mail today.

If you are not Lynne Pontzer, you are eligible to enter the drawing for “500 Paleo Recipes: Hundreds of Delicious Recipes for Weight Loss and Super Health,” by Dana Carpender. The author also penned “1,001 Low-Carb Recipes,” if you’re familiar with that. And even if you aren’t.
The paleo diet (aka the caveman diet) is based on what some think humans evolved to eat, meaning no processed food or artificial sweeteners. It’s based on meats and fish, nuts and seeds and naturally grown fruits and vegetables.
The book isn’t so exotic that noncavemen and noncavewomen can’t use it for healthier takes on favorites, including Super Bowl-worthy Guacamole:

GUACAMOLE, Paleo-style
2 tablespoons minced red onion
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 ripe avocados
1/2 lime
4 dashes hot sauce
2 pinches salt
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro, optional

1. Have your onion minced and garlic crushed and in a bowl first.
2. Halve your avocados and use a spoon to scoop the flesh out into the bowl.
3. Use a fork to mash up the avocado. Don’t go for super-smooth texture; leave some little lumps of avocado.
4. Now squeeze in the juice of the half lime and add the hot sauce and salt and cilantro if using.
5. Stir and serve immediately. Guacamole doesn’t hold up very well.
Serves 4
PER SERVING: 167 calories, 15 grams fat, 2 grams protein, 9 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams fiber, 6 grams net carbs.
– “500 Paleo Recipes,” by Dana Carpender

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: January 24th, 2013

mugcakeThanks to everyone who wrote in to enter the drawing for “Complete Cake Mix Magic: 300 Easy Desserts Good as Homemade,” by Jill Snider. The winner is Erin Pomorski. I’ll pop it in the mail today.

If you are not Erin Pomorski, you are welcome to enter this week’s drawing. Here’s the situation: You’re home. You’re craving something sweet. You don’t want a whole batch of cookies or a pan of brownies sitting around after you get your fix. You’re looking for something with built-in portion control and you want to eat it within the next 10 minutes.
You want (need) “101 Recipes for Microwave Mug Cakes: Single-Serving Snacks in Less Than 10 Minutes,” by Stacey J. Miller, with 101 solutions to all of the above.
Keep the ingredients to your favorites on hand and you’re always ready to quench your crave.

Send e-mail to jennie.geisler@timesnews.com including your NAME, MAILING ADDRESS and NAME OF THE BOOK you want. (I often have more than one drawing going on at one time.) I do not save or share this information.

For those here for the food, check out this recipe:
BLACK FOREST MICROWAVE MUG CAKE
1 egg
1 tablespoon cherry pie filling
1 tablespoon oil
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1. Coat the inside of a 12-ounce mug lightly with cooking spray.
2. Mix the ingredients in a small bowl. Beat the egg first with a spoon and mix in the other liquid ingredients. Then add dry ingredients and mix until you’ve removed all the lumps.
3. Pour the batter into the mug (Do not fill more than halfway.) and smooth the top with a spoon. Thump mug firmly on the tabletop six times to remove excess air bubbles. Place mug on top of a microwaveable small plate or saucer.
4. “Bake” in microwave 3 to 4 minutes on high. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the middle of the microwave mug cake and removing the toothpick. If the toothpick is dry, the cake is done.
5. Wait 2 minutes. You can eat it out of the mug, or run a butter knife along the inside of the mug, and tip the cake onto a plate. Position the mug cake so that the slightly rounded top is on top. You’re mug cake will now look like a slightly overgrown muffin. Cover it in cherry pie filling if you wish.
– “100 Recipes for Microwave Mug Cakes,” by Stacey J. Miller

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: January 22nd, 2013

Chicken with Chipotle from www.allrecipes.com is destined for my family's list of favorites.

Chicken with Chipotle from www.allrecipes.com is destined for my family’s list of favorites.

It’s not every day that I find a recipe that looks both exciting and comforting and delicious. For some reason, those three don’t come together all that often.
Then I come to find out it has exactly 7 ingredients, and one of those is salt. The rest is easily obtained.
If you don’t believe me, check it out: Chicken with Chipotle.
You could use it with any cut of chicken, though I like the idea of leg quarters. I do think I’d remove the skin for health reasons, cover it with foil and bake it for a shorter time, maybe half an hour. If it doesn’t brown per se, don’t worry. It’ll be covered with sauce when you serve it anyway.
I don’t think it will hurt too much to use reduced-fat sour cream and/or 1 percent milk.
Chipotle peppers are smoked jalapenos, packed in a spicy deeply red adobo sauce. I find them in the Latin American foods section at Wegmans. They should be available at any supermarket. You won’t need them all, but you can freeze them for the next time you want to make this. Which might be pretty soon.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: January 17th, 2013

Thanks to everyone who entered the drawing for
“How To Be A Breadhead: A Beginner’s Guide to Baking,” by the Rev. Dominic Garramone.
“Beach Foodie: Blissful Eating to Maximize Life Force Energy,” by Cfayla Johnson,
“Sweet Macarons: Delectable French Confections for Every Day” by Mercotte
The winners are
Carla Gutting, Beach Foodie
Angela Weber, BreadHead
Teresa Chatman, Macarons
I’ll pop them in the mail today.

If you are not Carla, Angela or Teresa, you are eligible for the drawing for Complete Cake Mix Magic: 300 Easy Desserts Good as HomemadeCakeMixMagicCover2,” by Jill Snider.
I really want to keep this one, but I probably shouldn’t, because I’d probably use it. I found a ton of recipes I wanted to try, but it needs a good home somewhere not in my peripheral vision.
Also, some of my friends are aware of what happened the last time I attempted a chocolate cake. It was the worst cake ever constructed by someone who claims to write about food for a living. Police are investigating.

If you want to enter the drawing, send an e-mail to mailto:jennie.geisler@timesnews.com including your NAME, MAILING ADDRESS and NAME OF THE BOOK you want.

For those here for the food, try this:

MISSISSIPPI MUD CAKE
1 package (18.25 oz) devil’s food cake mix
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup cold strong black coffee
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 cups miniature marshmallows
1 cup chopped pecans
3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
3 tablespoons butter

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.
2. In a large mixer bowl, combine cake mix, eggs, sour cream, coffee and oil. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes or until smooth. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until a tester inserted in center comes out clean.
3. Sprinkle marshmallows and nuts over low heat, melt chocolate and butter or microwave on medium for 2 minutes. Stir until smooth. Drizzle over marshmallow-nut layer. Serve warm or cool to room temperature before cutting.
Variation: Instead of pecans, try slivered almonds or chopped walnuts or hazelnuts.
– Cake Mix Magic, by Jill Snider

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: January 15th, 2013
Bon Appetit got this recipe right -- and light.

Bon Appetit got this recipe right — and light.

Asian food runs the gamut between dripping with fat and sugar, or lean meat and vegetable stars in a dieter’s recipe rotation, Indian and Thai food included.
And it’s not hard to find delicious, well-spiced dishes that require no reason for despair.
Thai Chicken Curry, from the January issue of Bon Appeetit magazine, has me salivating.
It does call for yellow curry paste, which might be hard to get, but I found it in 4-ounce cans on Wegmans website, which I hope means it’s in the store. You can use green or red, which are more readily available, but the flavors will be different.
In general, green is the spiciest. Red is in the middle, and yellow is the mildest. But that can vary, too.
For more information about the differences between curries and pastes, check out this easy-to-understand explanation. from grocery-shopping.casaveneracion.com.
The author of that post, Connie Veneracion, said yellow curry is often availalbe in powdered form, is more for Indian cooking, but that for Thai cooking you really want the paste, which often includes ginger, coriander and lemongrass.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: January 11th, 2013

Slow Cooker, pork shoulder, Asian sweet and spicy ... what could possibly go wrong?

Slow Cooker, pork shoulder, Asian sweet and spicy … what could possibly go wrong?

My weekend starts in T – 2 hours, 2 minutes.
I love weekends. Maybe this goes without saying, but I don’t just love them for their worklessness. I really work as much on Saturdays and Sundays as I do during the week, just on different stuff.
The real reason I love weekends is that I have time to make yummy food. I can choose recipes and go to the grocery store in the morning, do a little laundry, a household repair or two, and then get out in the kitchen at last where I can take my time, when no one is whining about being starved, and we’re not bumping up against anyone’s bedtime.
It doesn’t have to be a complicated recipe. Just something that has some depth to it. Something worth looking forward to. Something new.
I usually collect recipes I like throughout the week online, in magazines, cookbooks, etc. I make a pile and decide whether to use them in the paper, in the blog, or just for home.
Slow-Cooker Sweet and Spicy Asian Pork Shoulder from www.RealSimple.com is coming home with me tonight, to make its appearance (she said hopefully) Sunday night.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: January 9th, 2013

macarons

beach

breadThanks to everyone who wrote in for “I Love Trader Joe’s Vegetarian Cookbook,” by Kris Holechek Peters. The winner is Jessica Dearborn. I’ll pop it in the mail today.

If you are not Jessica Dearborn, you are eligible for the drawing of THREE books this week. They’re all a little different from my normal fare, and they’ve been on the corner of my desk for a while. It’s time they found loving homes.

“How To Be A Breadhead: A Beginner’s Guide to Baking,” by the Rev. Dominic Garramone. This one offers simple, digestible explanations of the breadmaking process. While bread books can often be dense as a fruitcake, with all sorts of technical and intimidating rules, this one is probably all you’ll really knead … Sorry.

“Beach Foodie: Blissful Eating to Maximize Life Force Energy,” by Cfayla Johnson, is a slim, peaceful collection of raw-food recipes for anyone who wants to try that lifestyle. Get used to ordering ingredients online.

“Sweet Macarons: Delectable French Confections for Every Day” by Mercotte, details, and I do mean details, the art of the oh-so-trendy French confections that look like Oreos in a rainbow of colors. They are not Oreos, though. They’re two small meringue cookies sandwiched with filling and dyed to any color in the rainbow. If you can find a color with a prism, it’s fair game for macarons.

To enter the drawings, please send e-mail to jennie.geisler@timesnews.com including your NAME, MAILING ADDRESS and NAME OF THE BOOK YOU WANT.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: January 8th, 2013

Three trends, one stone: Spiced Coconut Coffee at Allrecipes.com.

Two trends, one stone: Spiced Coconut Coffee at Allrecipes.com.

As sure as January brings snow, it brings trend stories. “What to expect in 2013,” etc.
The stories are fun to write and to read. They make good snapshots of the present landscape, and they’re also easy, considering the pressure to be right pales in comparison to the excitement they create.
I love food trend stories because they give me an excuse to try new stuff. Not that I don’t do that all year long anyway, but trend lists breathe fresh air into my sails.
Eat Beat, the e-newsletter for www.restaurant-hospitality.com, put together a list of 10 food trends to track in 2013. This is an abbreviated version. For greater detail, click the link.
1. Strong coffee: Actually gets a clean bill of health this year.
2. Preservation: Cured, brined and/or fermented foods, such as kimchi and pickled carrots.
3. Health-care: Chefs are trying to reduce unhealthy stuff and replace it with good stuff. Believe it.
4. Wine in a box: Everybody’s doing it.
5. Food photo sharing: Personally I hate looking at bad pictures of other people’s food, but apparently, I’m alone.
6. Food labeling on steroids: Offering info on food origin and whether scientists fooled around with it in some biotech lab.
7. Portable protein: I won’t say “on the go,” because that phrase annoys me. Just grab a Cliff Bar and be done with it.
8. Bitter: Acquired taste, explains the coffee craze and cocktail bitters.
9. Casual dining: Even for expensive grub.
10. Coconut: Coconut oil found itself on the axis of evil a few years ago due to a movie popcorn expose. Health food nuts, of all people, are bringing it back.
Get on the bitters, coffees and coconuts bandwagon with Spiced Coconut Coffee, which I like to call Jumpin’ Joesaphat.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: January 3rd, 2013

First things first, I need to get your weekly book drawing in here, before you cookbook lovers start thinking I’m trapped under something heavy.
Thanks to everyone who entered the drawing for “Sweet Christmas.” The winner is Karen Fritts. It has lots of good ideas for year-round holidays. I’ll pop it in the mail today. In fact, I already did.

Second and more important, I hope you had a joyful holiday season. Ours was great but crazy (both at work and at home), and I limped out of it exhausted with a lingering cough and a house in complete disarray.
But here we are with a fresh start and, despite the wreckage I’ve left behind of past resolutions, I have a few again this year. One of them is to eat enough vegetables and fruits.
It’s not rocket science: If you put “good health” into your GPS, it will keep sending you back to the produce section.
So I’m going to start there.
Trader Joe’s, that grocery store everyone in the Northeast raves about, for its shelves full of healthful, sustainable deliciousness, has started publishing cookbooks and right now I have a copy of "The I Love Trader Joe's Vegetarian Cookbook", by Kris Holechek Peters.
All of the recipes call for Trader Joe’s brand something or other, but we can find most of them in national and store brands, at least in natural foods sections and health food stores.
To enter the drawing, please send an e-mail to jennie.geisler@timesnews.com including your NAME, THE NAME OF THE BOOK YOU WANT and your MAILING ADDRESS. I don’t share or store this information, by the way.

Just looking for a recipe? Here’s one of the best-looking ones that will get me some veggies IN MY BELLY. (Little Austin Powers joke for Mike Myers fans)

TUSCAN TOMATO SOUP (vegan and gluten-free)
2 medium yellow or red potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small yellow or white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups sliced celery
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 to 2 cups water (I would use vegetable broth)

1. In a small stockpot, cover the potatoes with just enough water to submerge, and simmer over medium heat until tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
2. Drain the water and transfer the potatoes to a blender or food processor and blend with the can of tomatoes. Set aside.
3. In the stockpot, heat the oil over medium heat and saute the onion until it starts to slightly soften, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 2 more minutes. Add the celery, beans, oregano, and salt, and mix to combine.
4. Add the potato mixture to the pot and simmer, with the lid on, until the celery is tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Add the water until the soup is the consistency you’d like. Cook until heated through, 5 minutes more.
Serves 4 to 6
“The I (Heart) Trader Joe’s Vegetarian Cookbook”

Posted in: Uncategorized