Thursday, January 6, 2011

warm black bean & veggie wraps

I'm ready for summer.

Really, really, really ready for summer. Really.

Sad as it may sound, I have been spending my evenings planning fantasy getaways to exotic locations - basically anywhere with beach, bungalows and sugar laden foo foo drinks with umbrellas. Yes. This is what I dream of in the middle of a rainy Seattle January. Sigh.

Since I can't exactly hop the next flight to Bora Bora, I decided to at least take a vacation from soup and all other standard winter fare. These wraps are so simple, so yummy and so easy to make. I added kale to the recipe because I had some in the house and it made a great addition. Chop a bunch coarsely and add it to the veggie mixture for the last two minutes of saute time until it just begins to wilt. You won't be sorry! Oh. Don't forget avocado, sour cream and salsa for "garnish." Enjoy! -jz

warm black bean & veggie wraps
makes 4

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 cups diced red or yellow bell peppers
1 cup 1/2 inch cubes zucchini
1 cup 1/2 inch cubes peeled seeded butternut squash
1 cup chopped red onion
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 15 oz can black beans, drained
1 cup (packed) grated hot pepper Monterey Jack cheese
4 10 inch flour tortillas
4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute 30 seconds. Add all veggies and saute until crisp-tender (about 8 minutes). Mix in cumin and saute until vegetables are tender (about 2 minutes longer). Place beans in large bowl; mash coarsely with a fork. Mix in veggies, then cheese.

Spoon 1/4 filling down the center of each tortilla. Sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon cilantro. Roll up tortillas, enclosing filling. Arrange wraps, seam side down, on a baking sheet. Cover wraps with foil and bake until filling is just heated through (about 10 minutes). Devour immediately.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

eggnog-esque pancakes

HellO 2011!

OMG am I happy to see your face - metaphorically speaking of course! I'm jumping up and down as I type this out of sheer excitement for the New Year - metaphorically jumping I mean. (Who can jump and type at the same time??)  2010 was a little crazy for my tastes so I wasn't too sad to see it come to a close - especially since that meant celebrating.

And especially since I heart holidays. Turns out.

Christmas, Halloween, the 4th of birthday! (ha!)

This past New Year's will surely go down as a favorite. Friday night was filled with good food, even better company and excessive amounts of fabulous wine. There were even presents! Belated and oh so lovely Christmas presents. It was a great way to end 2010 and set the tone for 2011.

Even though the holiday season had officially ended, I decided one last decadent breakfast was necessary. I discovered this recipe while lazily perusing the internet in lieu of doing anything responsible Saturday afternoon. I was hungry (hence food blog stalking) when these pancakes became a Sunday morning must - and thank goodness they did. They were absolutely yummy and you don't even need eggnog to make them.

I followed the recipe to the letter using spiced rum, since I just so happened to have some on hand. One thing to note, don't be afraid of the thick fluffy batter. I was tempted to add extra milk once I had mixed everything together but I thankfully ignored my instincts. These pancakes are some of the lightest and fluffiest I've ever made - and I've made quite a few pancakes in my day. Trust me.

Enjoy! -jz

eggnog-esque pancakes
serves 2 

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
heaping 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of ground allspice
3 Tablespoons butter melted until browned
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
1 Tablespoon whiskey or spiced rum or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
butter or a lightly colored oil for cooking pancakes
maple syrup for serving

In a small sauce pan, melt butter until much of the water has evaporated and little brown bits appear in the bottom of the pan.  Remove from the flame and add the nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice.  Set aside to cool a bit.

In a small bowl, beat the egg with the buttermilk.  Add the melted butter, being to sure to scrape all the browned bits and spices into the buttermilk and egg.  If the butter seizes up a bit in the cold milk, that’s ok. Add the whiskey/rum or vanilla extract and just whisk it all together.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to incorporate.  Don’t overmix.  It’s ok if there are a few lumps.

Let the batter rest, untouched for 5 minutes while you heat a griddle or skillet.  Add a tablespoon of canola oil or butter to the hot skillet.  Dollop heaping tablespoonfuls onto heated and oiled skillet and cook until evenly browned, flipping once.  Place cooked pancakes on an oven-proof plate in a warm oven until ready to serve.

Recipe repeated from: Joy the Baker (If you've never checked this blog out, now is the time! She's awesome!)