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July 27, 2009

Brunch Punch

I was honored when I was asked to be in charge of the food for a friend's baby shower brunch last weekend. I served croissant sandwiches and other pastries. I also made No Bake Oatmeal Cookie Balls.

After some searching I found a brunch appropriate punch on I loved this recipe. To make it a little more fun I served it in short cups with a strawberry on the edge.

Brunch Punch

1 (46 oz) can of unsweetened pineapple juice
4 cups apple juice
1 (10 oz) package of frozen strawberries, thawed
4 cups cold ginger ale
Lime slices for garnish

Combine fruit juices in punch bowl. Pour undrained thawed strawberries in blender or food processor and blend until smooth; stir into juice mixture. Pour in ginger ale. Float lime slices on top as a garnish. Makes 3 quarts.

No Bake Oatmeal Cookie Balls

I love sweets, but I'm no baker. When I saw the recipe on Taste and Tell for No Bake Oatmeal Cookie Balls, it was a no brainer. Oats, chocolate, peanut butter, and no oven involved?! Yes please!

No Bake Oatmeal Cookie Balls

2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup white sugar
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp water
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 tbsp peanut butter
1 cup confectioners' sugar

In a large bowl, combine oats, sugar, and cocoa. With clean hands, mix in the water, vanilla, butter, and peanut butter to form a dough.

Wash hands, then roll the dough into balls 1 to 2 inches in diameter. Roll balls in confectioners' sugar until thickly coated.

Chill 20 minutes before serving.

July 13, 2009

Fiery Tofu Marinade

Allow me to share with you my very favorite tofu marinade. I'm not going to try to down play the spiciness this time, this marinade is SPICY! It's very thick and stays on the tofu very well, and doesn't require any time to actually marinade. Once the tofu gets on the grill and starts cooking the marinade really seals onto it.

These skewers that I made paired perfectly with sauteed cabbage--it toned down the spiciness and added great crunch. Instead of skewers another option would be to cut the block of tofu into 4 tofu steaks (cut block in 1/2 in the width and again through the height).

(Also pictured above, Chipotle Mashed Sweet Potatoes)

I prefer these on the grill over low to medium heat for at least 5 minutes on each side, until a bit blackened. The picture here is a view of the skewers right when they were put onto the grill.

Fiery Tofu Marinade

1 lb extra firm tofu, cubed or cut into steaks
3 tbsp dijon mustard
4 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp molasses or sugar
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp sesame seeds
1-1/2 tsp cayenne

Want to serve it with cabbage like I did? You'll need 1/2 head of cabbage, shredded, and sauteed with a drizzle of olive oil and salt for about 5 minutes.

Chipotle Mashed Sweet Potatoes

So surely you've figured out that I like spicy food by now. In fact, I'm guessing I've lost any hope of having any readers that don't like spicy food. Hang in there though if you're still out there, I promise I will make a serious attempt at posting non-spicy recipes. Unfortunately, there's no hope in this post (or the next one for that matter).

So onto the Chipotle Mashed Sweet Potatoes... have you heard of this amazing side dish? I wasn't the one who first thought of mashing some chipotle peppers and sweet potatoes together, but I am a big fan! This is not at all a dish that I would classify as being extremely spicy, it's more of an underlying spiciness. The combination of chipotle peppers and lime juice give this dish a definite zip.

Chipotle Mashed Sweet Potatoes

2-1/2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup half-and-half
3 tbsp butter, softened
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
7 oz can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon, divided

Bring water to boil in a medium sauce pan. Add in potatoes and simmer for 15 minutes or until tender. Drain and return potatoes to pan. Add half-and-half, butter, and lime juice and mash to desired consistency. Turn heat on low and bring to temperature, stirring constantly.

Take 2 peppers from can and chop. Stir in peppers, brown sugar, salt, and 1/2 tsp cinnamon into potatoes. Sprinkle with remaining cinnamon and drizzle with a bit of adobo sauce from the chipotle pepper can. Reserve remaining peppers and sauce for another use.