Jalapeno Cheddar Corn Muffins

By Coleen

Start your day off with a spicy kick, or serve these corn muffins as a side dish to a Tex Mex entree. 

Jalapeno Cheddar Corn Muffins | theredheadbaker.com

I recently made this amazing carnitas chili by braising a pork shoulder in beef stock flavored with cumin, paprika, salt, chili powder, cilantro and garlic. I served cornbread alongside the chili. Sweet, buttery cornbread. I’ll be honest — I had two pieces, and seriously considered having a third. That’s nearly 300 calories right there, before having a bite of the chili.

When I want to find lightened-up versions of my favorite foods, the first place I look is Cooking Light. Sure enough, they had several different options for lightened-up cornbread. Many of them were corn muffins, which I thought would be a great way to maintain portion control.

Jalapeno Cheddar Corn Muffins | theredheadbaker.com

These muffins use reduced fat buttermilk, reduced fat Greek yogurt (for additional protein and moisture), and heart-healthy canola oil instead of butter. These muffins come out to be about 140 calories apiece, with only 7 grams of fat, 15 grams of carbohydrates, and 5 grams of protein (nutrition calculated by MyFitnessPal Recipe Nutrition Calculator).

They also get a kick of flavor from cayenne pepper, jalapeno pepper and Cheddar cheese. Use full-fat Cheddar — it melts better than reduced fat, tastes better, and there’s such a small amount (only 1/2 a cup) in the muffin batter, that a few extra calories won’t hurt. You won’t even need to feel guilty for putting a dab of butter on these muffins!

Jalapeno Cheddar Corn Muffins | theredheadbaker.com

Jalapeno Cheddar Corn Muffins
 
Serves: 12 muffins
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup reduced-fat buttermilk
  • ½ cup reduced-fat plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 4.5 ounces (1 cup) all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup yellow stone-ground cornmeal
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ⅛ tsp ground red (cayenne) pepper
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 ounces (1/2 cup) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Directions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 12-well muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a 2-cup measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk, Greek yogurt, oil and egg.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pepper.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and whisk just until all the dry ingredients are moistened (batter will still be lumpy).
  5. Gently stir the cheese and jalapeno pepper into the batter.
  6. Portion the batter with a large scoop into the wells of the muffin pan.
  7. Bake for 12 to 13 minutes, until golden brown on the top.
  8. Immediately remove muffins from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

Adapted from Cooking Light

Tuxedo Cake #SundaySupper

By Coleen

Hosting a red carpet viewing party? Dress up your dessert table in this tuxedo cake: chocolate cake iced with buttercream and drizzled with chocolate ganache.

Tuxedo Cake #SundaySupper | theredheadbaker.com

There’s an awards show on tonight, and while I watch simply for the fashion (and this particular year, Neil Patrick Harris), many people make a party night out of the show, and host a viewing party, with all sorts of red-carpet-worthy food.

And those foods are what today’s Sunday Supper is all about. Thanks to Katie of Ruffles & Truffles for hosting today’s star-studded event!

Since I mainly watch awards shows for the fashion, when I thought about the phrase “red carpet,” my mind immediately went to the dresses and tuxedos — and tuxedo cake. “Tuxedo cake” describes the look of the cake more than the flavor. It’s a dark (almost always chocolate) cake, iced in white frosting and drizzled with dark chocolate ganache.

Tuxedo Cake #SundaySupper | theredheadbaker.com

You can use your favorite chocolate cake recipe in place of the one I used, and your favorite white frosting. If you’ve been reading The Redhead Baker long enough, you know that Swiss Meringue Buttercream is my all-time, forget-the-cake, just-get-me-a-spoon frosting. And since buttercream contains, well, BUTTER, it will never be purely white.

But when you have rich, chocolate cake and decadent, creamy buttercream, drizzled with fudgy ganache … does it really matter? I think not.

This Swiss meringue buttercream recipe below makes more than you will need to fill and frost this cake (unless you prefer to put about an inch of frosting between, on top and on the sides). This buttercream can be frozen for up to 6 months. When you want to use it again, melt two-thirds of the buttercream in the microwave. Place the remaining (still-frozen) third in the bowl of a stand mixer. Pour the melted buttercream over the frozen buttercream and beat on low speed with the paddle attachment.

Tuxedo Cake #SundaySupper | theredheadbaker.com

5.0 from 2 reviews
Tuxedo Cake #SundaySupper
 
Serves: 8 to 12 servings
Ingredients
For the cake:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 12 tbsp (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups plus 2 tbsp sugar
  • ¾ cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1¼ cups water
  • ¼ cup milk
For the buttercream
  • 12 egg whites
  • 1 lb 4 oz granulated sugar
  • 2 lb unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into tbsp-sized chunks
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the ganache:
  • 4 oz good-quality dark chocolate, chopped fine
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • Splash of vanilla
Directions
Make the cake:
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter at medium speed for about 2 mintues until smooth. Increase the speed to medium-high and add the sugar gradually. Continue beating until light and smooth, about 4 minutes. Turn the mixer off and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  4. Add the cocoa powder and vanilla and beat at medium speed for 1 minute more. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl again. With the mixer running at medium-low speed, add the eggs, one at a time, beating for 1 minute between each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  5. Combine the water and milk in a saucepan and bring to scalding (small bubbles form around the edge of the pan). Remove from the heat.
  6. With the mixer at low speed, add the flour mixture, about a ¼ cup at a time. Carefully pour the hot liquid into the batter. Remove the bowl from the mixer and, using a large rubber spatula, finish combining the batter until smooth. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Lightly tap each pan against the counter to settle the batter and remove air bubbles.
  7. Set the pans on the middle rack in the oven. Bake the cakes about 30 to 35 minutes, until they begin to pull away from the sides of the pans and the center springs back when touched lightly.
  8. Cool the cakes, in the pans, on a rack for 10 minutes. Turn the cake layers out of the pans and continue cooling on the rack.
Make the buttercream:
  1. Place the whites and the sugar in the clean, dry bowl of a stand mixer. Place the mixing bowl over a saucepan filled with about an inch of simmering water (the bottom of the bowl should not sit in the water). Continually whip the egg whites and sugar until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Remove bowl from the water and place on a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip until the meringue forms medium peaks (peaks form, but the tips fall over).
  3. Switch to the paddle attachment. Add the butter, 2 to 3 pieces at a time, whipping until fully incorporated before adding more. The time it takes to incorporate will get longer and longer as more butter is added.
  4. After all the butter is added, add vanilla and liqueur (if using) and continue beating until the buttercream comes together and looks smooth and creamy. If the mixture looks curdled, trasnfer about a quarter of the buttercream to a microwave-safe bowl and heat until the mixture melts. Pour it back into the mixing bowl and beat on medium speed until the frosting becomes smooth and creamy.
  5. Use immediately, or refrigerate until ready to use. If using later, allow buttercream to come to room temperature, then beat again before using.
Make the ganache:
  1. Place the chopped chocolate in a small mixing bowl. Place the heavy cream in a microwave safe measuring cup and heat in the microwave on high for about a minute -- watch it carefully, don't let it boil over.
  2. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate, let sit undisturbed for one minute, then whisk until smooth.
Assemble the cake:
  1. Choose a serving plate. Place a dollop of frosting in the center of the plate.
  2. Level the cakes (cut off the dome, if one formed while baking). Place one layer, cut-side-up, in the center of the serving plate. Place about a half-cup of buttercream on top of the layer, and spread with an offset spatula, adding more buttercream if needed.
  3. Place the second cut-side-down on top of the buttercream. Spread a very thin layer of buttercream all over the top and sides of the cake -- the cake below should still show through (this is called a "crumb coat"). Set the cake in the refrigerator for about half an hour.
  4. Remove the cake from the refrigerator and add another layer of buttercream frosting to the top and sides of the cake, so that no cake shows through. Set the cake in the refrigerator for about an hour to set the frosting.
  5. Warm the ganache, if necessary, at 10-second intervals in the microwave just until it reaches a pourable consistency. It should be warm, not hot. Pour over the center of the cake and use an offset spatula to push the ganache towards the edges of the cake, letting it drip down the sides.
  6. Place the cake in the refrigerator to set the ganache, until ready to serve.

Cake recipe by Food Network; Buttercream recipe by The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College

Don’t forget to check out the rest of these red carpet worthy recipes!

Nominees for Best Supporting Appetizers:

Nominees for Best Course in a Leading Role:

Nominees for Best Supporting Sips:

Nominees for Best Delectable Desserts:

Nominees for Best Dressed Table:

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

New features on The Redhead Baker

By Coleen

I’ve been slowly adding new features to make The Redhead Baker as user-friendly as possible.

New features on The Redhead Baker

I’ve added a new social sharing plug-in, Shareaholic, so you can quickly and easily share posts to your social media accounts. Through the share bar at the bottom of each post, you can easily share posts to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon and Yummly. You can also email posts to yourself or your friends.

Have you checked out Yummly? It’s similar to Pinterest, but it’s dedicated to just food. It also allows you to set taste while searching for recipes. You can set it to omit recipes that contain ingredients you don’t like; to only find recipes that fit your dietary preferences (vegan, Paleo, lacto-ovo vegetarian); or only find recipes that fit your allergies (dairy-free, gluten-free, etc.).

The Redhead Baker on Yummly

You can find The Redhead Baker’s recipes on Yummly here.

If you click the green button after the email icon, you can choose from many more social media platforms like Flipboard, Tumblr, Reddit and more.

If you have any feedback on the new features, or have suggestions for features you’d like to see on the blog, please leave a comment or send an email!

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls {whats baking}

By Coleen

Kick up traditional cinnamon rolls by replacing the cinnamon filling with cinnamon caramel apple chunks. You’ll never buy the canned rolls again. 

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls | theredheadbaker.com

I’ve been away from the What’s Baking group for several months now, thanks to unemployment and moving. But when I saw that the group voted on “baking bread” as this round’s theme, I got my butt in gear and got baking.

Thanks to my dad, my son loves baking bread. Every time Liam sleeps over with my parents, he and my dad bake a loaf (sometimes two) of bread. Sometimes plain white sandwich bread, sometimes cinnamon raisin. So, I asked Liam what kind of bread we should make for What’s Baking. He said “apple bread!” Might have had something to do with the apple slices he was eating when he answered.

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls | theredheadbaker.com

But I was curious to see what kinds of apple bread existed, and as soon as I stumbled upon The Pioneer Woman’s Caramel Apple Sweet Rolls, I knew exactly what I’d be making.

Cinnamon rolls always remind me of holidays growing up as a child. On Christmas morning, we’d come downstairs. My mom would have coffee going, and cinnamon rolls (the kind in the tube in the refrigerated section) in the oven. As we opened our presents, the scent of cinnamon filled the air.

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls | theredheadbaker.com

I’ve since learned how to make cinnamon rolls at home, and while there is some labor and a lot of dirty dishes involved, homemade cinnamon rolls are so very worth it. Especially when you can experiment with fillings and flavors that you just can’t buy in the grocery store.

Don’t be afraid of working with yeast. If you own and can operate a meat thermometer, you can make yeast bread. The hardest part is getting the liquid warm enough to activate the yeast, but not so hot as to kill it off before the bread bakes. The thermometer takes the guess work out of the equation, leaving you with knock-your-socks-off caramel apple cinnamon rolls.

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls | theredheadbaker.com

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls {whats baking}
 
Serves: 18 rolls
Ingredients
For the dough:
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
  • 3½ cups (plus more as needed) all purpose flour, divided
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2¼ teaspoons instant yeast (from 2 envelopes yeast)
  • 1 tsp salt
For the filling:
  • 2 medium or large Granny Smith apples, cut into small dice
  • 8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
For the icing:
  • 2 cups (plus more as needed) powdered sugar
Directions
Make the dough:
  1. Place the milk and butter chunks in a 2-cup glass measuring cup and microwave at 30-second intervals, stirring between each, until butter is melted and the mixture reaches 120 to 130 degrees.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, place 1 cup of the flour, the sugar, egg, yeast and salt. Mix on low speed for about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl occasionally.
  3. Add 2½ cups of flour, and mix on low speed until all of the flour is absorbed, and the dough begins to form a sticky ball. It should just start to clear the sides of the bowl.
  4. Lightly flour a clean work surface and scrape the dough onto the flour. Knead the dough by hand for about 8 minutes, until you form a smooth and elastic ball.
  5. Spray a large bowl with nonstick cooking spray and place the dough ball inside. Spray the top with nonstick spray, then cover the bowl in plastic wrap, then a kitchen towel, and place the bowl in a warm area of your house, and let the dough rise for two hours.
Make the filling
  1. Place the apples in a large skillet set over medium-high heat and saute for 3 to 4 minutes, until the apples just start to soften.
  2. Transfer the apples to a bowl, lower the heat under the skillet to medium, then add the butter and brown sugar to the same skillet. Stir until the butter has melted and the sugar dissolves. Add the cream to the skillet, and whisk until combined. Let the mixture bubble, stirring often, until it thickens.
  3. Add the apples back into the skillet, and let it cook on the heat another minute or two. Set aside to cool.
Assemble the rolls:
  1. Deflate the dough, and transfer it to a lightly floured work surface. Pat it into a rectangle, then use a rolling pin to roll it out to 11 inches by 15 inches.
  2. Spoon the caramel-apple mixture onto the dough (draining off any excess caramel), leaving a 1-inch border along one of the longer edges. Reserve the leftover caramel sauce. Working with the border edge, tightly roll the dough over on itself, pinching every so often to it stays rolled.
  3. Spray two 9x9-inch pans with nonstick cooking spray. Using a serrated knife, cut the rolled dough into 18 equal pieces. Divide the pieces between the two baking pans, placing them cut-side-up, in three rows of three pieces across. Place a piece of plastic wrap then a kitchen towel over each baking pan and let the rolls rise for about 45 minutes.
  4. While the rolls are rising, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Once the rolls have risen, remove the plastic wrap and towel, and bake the rolls for about 20 minutes, rotating 180 degrees once halfway through baking, until golden brown on the top.
Make the icing:
  1. While the rolls are baking, whisk the powdered sugar into the reserved caramel sauce. If you think the sauce is too thin, add more powdered sugar, ¼ cup at a time. If you think the sauce is too thick, add more cream, 1 tablespoonful at a time. Once you've achieved the desired consistency, spread it over the warm rolls as soon as they come out of the oven. Serve warm.

Dough recipe from Epicurious; filling and icing recipe slightly adapted from The Pioneer Woman

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cream Puffs #GalentinesDay

By Coleen

I’m celebrating Galentine’s Day with this take on chocolate-covered strawberries: cream puffs filled with strawberry pastry cream and drizzled in chocolate.

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cream Puffs #GalentinesDay | theredheadbaker.com

Happy Galentine’s Day! What is Galentine’s Day, you ask? It’s a fictional celebration from the television show “Parks and Recreation.” It’s the best day of the year. Celebrated on February 13th, women leave their husbands and their boyfriends at home and just celebrate each other over breakfast. “Ladies celebrating ladies,” as Leslie Knope said.

True, these cream puffs aren’t “breakfast food.” But I’m a firm believer that every meal needs dessert, especially when celebrating something special, like Galentine’s Day. These palm-sized cream puffs are filled with strawberry-flavored pastry cream, and drizzled with chocolate ganache. They’re like chocolate-covered strawberries, only better.

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cream Puffs #GalentinesDay | theredheadbaker.com

I made these in celebration of all the women in my life. There have been many women in my life that are inspirational to me.

My paternal grandmother graduated as valedictorian of her high school class, and later went on to raise four children on her own at a time when divorce was not as common as it is now. My maternal grandmother emigrated to this country with very little in the way of a support system.

Both of my grandmothers were fond of cream puffs, and I like to think they would be over the moon for these chocolate covered strawberry cream puffs.

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cream Puffs #GalentinesDay | theredheadbaker.com

5.0 from 2 reviews
Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cream Puffs #GalentinesDay
 
Serves: 12 cream puffs
Ingredients
For the pastry cream:
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar, divided
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1½ tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp seedless strawberry puree (from 4 large strawberries)
  • 1 drop red or pink food color (optional)
For the pastry shells:
  • 1 cup water
  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
For the chocolate ganache:
  • 1 cup chopped semisweet chocolate
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
Directions
Make the pastry cream:
  1. Place the heavy whipping cream, 2 tbsp of the sugar and the salt in a medium saucepan. Place over medium-low heat.
  2. When you begin to see steam rising from the saucepan, begin vigorously whisking the egg yolks with the remaining 2 tbsp of sugar and the cornstarch until the mixture turns light yellow in color.
  3. When you see bubbles begin to form around the edges of the saucepan, temper the hot cream with the egg yolks: *very* slowly begin pouring the hot cream over the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Once you've poured about a third of the cream over the yolks, pour the yolk mixture back into the saucepan. Set over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly with a silicone whisk or wooden spoon until thickened (about a minute).
  4. Pour the pastry cream through a fine-mesh strainer into a storage container. Whisk in the butter, vanilla and strawberry puree (and the food color, if using). Whisk until fully combined. Place a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface and chill overnight.
Make the pastry shells:
  1. Place the water, butter and salt in a medium saucepan over high heat until the butter melts and the mixture comes to a full rolling boil.
  2. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the flour all at once. Stir with a spoon or spatula until all of the water is absorbed. Return the saucepan to the burner over medium heat, stirring for about a minute or two. When touched, the mixture should feel greasy but not wet. The mixture may leave a film on the bottom of the saucepan.
  3. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer and let cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  4. Begin adding the egg yolks, one at a time, beating until fully incorporated before adding the next. Scrape down the bowl between each addition. The mixture may look curdled, but by the time the last yolk is added, the mixture will come together.
  5. Use a muffin scoop to portion the dough, spacing each ball 3 inches apart. Bake for 10 minutes, or until fully puffed. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees, and bake another 20 minutes, until golden brown on the top. Remove from the oven and place on a wire cooling rack. Puffs may deflate somewhat but still keep their shape.
Assemble the cream puffs:
  1. Transfer the pastry cream to a pastry bag fitted with a medium plain or star tip. Poke the tip into the bottom of each puff, and fill with some of the pastry cream.
  2. Make the ganache: place the chopped chocolate in a clean, dry heatproof bowl. Scald the heavy cream over medium-low heat. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let sit one minute, then whisk until uniform in texture.
  3. You can dip the tops of each cream puff in the ganache, or transfer the ganache to a glass measuring cup and pour over the cream puffs.
  4. Refrigerate the cream puffs until ready to serve.

Pastry cream recipe slightly adapted from Lindsay Ann Bakes
Cream puff recipe by King Arthur Flour

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cream Puffs #GalentinesDay | theredheadbaker.com

Don’t forget to check out these fabulous Galentine’s Day recipes!

Ancho Chicken Tacos with Cilantro Slaw and Avocado Cream

By Coleen

Chicken tacos are spiced with ancho chile powder and topped with cilantro slaw and avocado cream. This delicious meal is ready in under 30 minutes!

Ancho Chicken Tacos with Cilantro Slaw and Avocado Cream | theredheadbaker.com

We’re finally getting settled into our new apartment, and getting into a routine. I have finally started meal-planning again. Even though I’m not working, I still rely on quick and easy weeknight meals to get dinner on the table Monday through Friday.

I try to get Liam involved in prepping dinner when possible. I’ve heard that letting kids help cook makes them more likely to eat the final meal. So far, we haven’t hold a whole lot of luck with that theory. But the adults in the house LOVED this meal.

Ancho Chicken Tacos with Cilantro Slaw and Avocado Cream | theredheadbaker.com

These are pretty simple, but they pack a whole lot of flavor. The chicken is smoky from the ancho chile, and tanginess from the slaw and the avocado cream.

The slaw and the cream can be made earlier in the day and refrigerated until ready to serve. And the chicken is done in under 10 minutes — this really is one of the quickest meals I’ve ever cooked. It will certainly be making many repeat appearances on our table.

Ancho Chicken Tacos with Cilantro Slaw and Avocado Cream | theredheadbaker.com

Ancho Chicken Tacos with Cilantro Slaw and Avocado Cream
 
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
For the chicken:
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into ¼-inch strips
  • ¾ teaspoon ancho chile powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • Cooking spray
For the avocado cream:
  • ⅛ teaspoon grated lime rind
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
  • ¼ cup light sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons 1% low-fat milk
  • ½ ripe peeled avocado, diced
For the cilantro slaw:
  • 2 cups packaged angel hair slaw
  • ½ cup thinly sliced green onions
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
For the tacos:
  • 8 (6-inch) flour tortillas
Directions
  1. Heat a large skillet over high heat. In a small bowl, mix the ancho chile powder, garlic salt, and cumin. Place the chicken in a plastic bag, and add the spice mix; shake to coat.
  2. Coat the skillet with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove chicken from pan and keep warm.
  3. Combine rind, 1 tablespoon of the lime juice, the sour cream, milk and avocado in a blender or food processor; process until smooth.
  4. Combine the remaining lime juice, slaw, onions, cilantro, oil, and salt, tossing to coat.
  5. Place two tortillas on each of four plates. Divide chicken mixture evenly among tortillas. Top each tortilla with about 1 tablespoon avocado mixture and ¼ cup slaw mixture.

Recipe by Cooking Light

Munchkin Meals at 3 years old

By Coleen

It’s been quite a while since I’ve shared a Munchkin Meals update. Liam isn’t really a “munchkin” anymore. He is 3 years and 2 months old now.

Munchkin Meals at 3 Years Old

As of his last well visit with his pediatrician, he is 3 feet 3 inches tall and weighs almost 36 pounds!

He’s been attending daycare since he was 16 months old. We recently moved, and he’s in a different location of the same local chain of centers. His most recent teacher at the old center was very sad to see him leave — she said he was her star student at circle time, and he loved being teacher’s helper.

He’s slowly adjusting to his new center and new friends. Since I’m not working at the moment, he only attends half-days, three days a week. I’m sure once he starts attending for longer days, he’ll get settled in.

Munchkin Meals at 3 Years Old

We celebrated his birthday with a Sesame Street-themed party with family and friends. His gift from Mommy and Daddy was tickets for Day Out with Thomas at the Strasburg Railroad in Strasburg, PA. He was in seventh heaven, and still talks about it.

Recent accomplishments include potty training — he wears underwear all day and diapers to bed. We’re still working on getting him to go #2 in the potty. He can also (mostly) dress himself — he puts on his underwear, socks and pants but asks me to put on his shirt. He brushes his own teeth (with supervision) and will soon have his first dental appointment. He can count to twenty, knows all of his colors (in English and Spanish!), and knows the days of the week and months of the year.

Munchkin Meals at 3 Years Old

For a looooooooooong time, Liam would eat: cheese, most fruits, cheese, baked chicken nuggets, cheese, baked fish sticks, cheese, Goldfish crackers, cheese, Animal Crackers, cheese, yogurt, cheese, and did I mention cheese? I was able to sneak some veggies into him with puree pouches. We’re s-l-o-w-l-y starting to turn a corner. Just the other day, he requested to eat a raw carrot stick that Dave was snacking on. He then ate about 8 more.

In a typical day when he attends daycare, here’s what he eats:

7:45 a.m.: wake up, get dressed

8:00 a.m.: eat breakfast — one toaster waffle or mini pancakes or a bowl of cereal/oatmeal, fruit (apple, strawberries, clementine, grapes), and a cup of milk

8:30 a.m.: leave for daycare

9:30 a.m.: snacktime (provided by daycare) — 1/2 a mini bagel with cream cheese and fruit, fruit and animal crackers, etc.

12:00 p.m.: lunchtime (provided by daycare) — chicken and cheese quesadillas on whole wheat tortillas with a side veggie; turkey, cheese and hummus sandwiches with a side veggie; vegetarian chili with beans, tomatoes, peppers and corn with cornbread on the side; etc.

12:45 p.m.: leave daycare

1:00 p.m.: get home, have a snack (Goldfish and fruit; half a peanut butter sandwich; etc.)

5:30 p.m.: dinner (chicken-broccoli mac and cheese; chicken tostadas; pasta with squash, mushrooms and spinach; etc.) — Liam doesn’t always eat what we eat, though we encourage it. We offer a reward if he takes a taste of a new food. Sometimes he will only eat part of what we’re eating (for example, he ate the pasta from the pasta with squash, mushrooms and spinach, but picked out the veggies). I know others will say that we should simply take away the option of him having something different for dinner, but at this point in time, it’s just a not a battle I’m willing to have.

Sometimes he has another snack before bedtime. If it’s a weeknight, it’s fruit; if it’s the weekend, he’s allowed a small treat (his favorite is Annie’s gummy bunnies snacks, but he also likes Oreos and “fun size” Kit Kat bars).

Philadelphia Tomato Pie #SundaySupper

By Coleen

Yes, Philadelphia is the home of the cheesesteak, but did you also know that Philadelphia is known for its tomato pie: foccacia bread topped with a thick tomato sauce and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.

Philadelphia Tomato Pie #SundaySupper | theredheadbaker.com

I was born, raised, and still live in Philadelphia. I’ve actually never lived anywhere else. Philadelphia is a city of distinct, diverse neighborhoods, and I’ve lived in quite a few of them, so I feel like I’ve lived all over.

My favorite neighborhood is the one in which I currently live, just east of the heart of the city. I’m surrounded by history, great places to eat, green outdoor space (in the spring and summer, anyway), fascinating independent businesses, theaters …

So, when a host was needed for a #SundaySupper theme on hometown foods, I jumped at the chance.

Philadelphia Tomato Pie #SundaySupper | theredheadbaker.com

I’m sure the first food you think of when you hear “Philadelphia” is the cheesesteak. Yeah, we love our cheesesteaks. It’s a shame you can’t seem to get a decent outside of the Philly/South Jersey/Northern Delaware area. But anyway, seeing as Dave is trying to eat healthier, making cheesesteaks for Sunday Supper was out.

Maybe when you think Philly, you think “TastyKakes”? Mmmm, TastyKakes. Used to be you couldn’t get those outside Philly, either, and if you moved away, you’d beg your family to ship you cases of the little treats. And yes, they ARE better than Hostess cakes.

Then I remembered my friend Sarah asking other food bloggers (who were not from Philadelphia) if they knew what tomato pie was. And just about nobody knew (or they thought of the Southern version, an actual pie). I had no idea that tomato pie was not known outside of Philadelphia. Some places use thin crust pizza dough, but the best kind uses thick, foccacia-like or Sicilian pizza dough.

Philadelphia Tomato Pie #SundaySupper | theredheadbaker.com

The baked foccacia is covered in a very thick tomato sauce, almost like a paste. Some sprinkle Parmesan cheese over top; others leave it off. The finished tomato pie is served either cold or at room temperature. Some eat it as a main course, with a side salad; others serve it as a snack food at parties and tailgates.

I used Peter Reinhart’s foccacia for my tomato pie. The dough is so easy to make, and easy to work with. I love to eat mine with an herbed olive oil drizzled over top.

The tomato sauce portion of the recipe makes more than you will need. Halfway through reducing the sauce, I scooped half of it out and put it in a storage container for our next spaghetti-and-meatballs meal.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Philadelphia Tomato Pie #SundaySupper
 
Serves: 12 servings
Ingredients
For the bread
  • 5 cups (22.5 ounces) unbleached bread flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups water at room temperature (68 to 72 degrees)
  • ¼ cup olive oil, for greasing and drizzling
For the tomato sauce
  • 6 medium tomatoes on the vine (about 2.5 pounds)
  • 29 oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • ¼ tsp Italian seasoning blend
  • Salt and pepper to taste
For the tomato pie
  • ½ cup of grated Parmesan cheese
Directions
For the focaccia
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combined the flour, salt, and yeast with the paddle attachment. Combine the water and olive oil in a large measuring cup, and slowly pour into the flour mixture. Mix on low speed just until combined.
  2. Switch to the dough hook attachment. Knead on medium speed for 5 minutes, until the dough forms a ball that clears the sides of the mixing bowl, but is still somewhat sticky.
  3. Sprinkle bread flour in a 6-inch square on a clean, flat surface. Scrape the dough onto the floured surface, and pat into a rectangle. Let rest for 5 minutes.
  4. Stretch the dough from end to end into a long, thin rectangle. From one end, fold a third of the dough back toward the middle, then repeat on the other end, as if you were folding the dough like a letter. Mist the dough lightly with nonstick cooking spray, and sprinkle with flour. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
  5. Stretch and fold the dough again, then mist with nonstick spray, sprinkle with flour, cover with plastic wrap and let rest another 30 minutes. Repeat the stretching and folding one more time, then let the dough rest for one hour.
  6. Line a 12-inch by 17-inch sheet pan with parchment paper. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over the parchment paper and use your hands or a brush to spread it over the pan surface. Use a pastry scraper to carefully lift the dough into the pan, maintaining the rectangular shape as much as possible.
  7. Use your fingertips to dimple the dough, simultaneously pressing out air, and spreading the dough to fill out all corners of the pan. If the dough shrinks back, let it rest about 15 minutes, then continue spreading. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and let rise for one hour.
  8. While the dough rises, preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
  9. After the dough has risen for an hour, bake the bread for 10 minutes. Rotate the pan 180 degrees, then bake another 5 to 10 minutes, until the bread is golden brown.
  10. Remove the sheet pan from the oven and immediately transfer the bread to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
For the tomato sauce
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with tinfoil, lightly mist with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Cut each tomato into quarters and place on the sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, combined the remaining ingredients (crushed tomatoes through salt and pepper) in a large saucepan. Simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently. Once the tomatoes in the oven are done roasting, add them to the saucepan, and use an immersion blender to puree just until slightly chunky.
  4. Continue simmering over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the sauce is very thick and most of the water has evaporated. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the sauce to cool to room temperature. Transfer to a storage container and chill in the refrigerator.
  5. Once the tomato sauce has chilled, remove it from the refrigerator. Pour about 3 cups of the sauce over the foccacia, and use an offset spatula to spread it all over the bread, leaving about a ½-inch of border on all sides. Add more sauce as needed, or if you prefer a thicker layer of sauce.
  6. Sprinkle the grated Parmesan cheese all over the tomato sauce. Serve cold or room temperature.

Foccacia recipe from Peter Reinhart; tomato sauce recipe slightly adapted from Kenji Alt-Lopez

Don’t forget to check out these other #SundaySupper Hometown Foods!

Breakfast

Drinks

Appetizers and Snacks

Main Dishes

Side Dishes

Desserts

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

#SundaySupper Hometown Foods Preview

By Coleen

sundaysupper_hometown_food_preview_image

What food represents or is from your hometown?

Just about every region has a dish that its known for, whether that dish was created there, or was born from a native ingredient. This Sunday, the #SundaySupper bloggers will be sharing the dishes that represent their hometowns. Here’s a preview of the recipes that you’ll see:

Breakfast

Drinks

Appetizers and Snacks

Main Dishes

Side Dishes

Desserts

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Spinach, Sausage and Polenta Breakfast Casserole #SundaySupper

By Coleen

When I think of a casserole, I think of an oven-baked comfort dish. This is a breakfast casserole, with polenta, spinach, sausage and lots of cheese!

Spinach, Sausage and Polenta Breakfast Casserole #SundaySupper by @TheRedheadBaker

Casserole. How do you define it? I think of a comfort dish baked in a deep oven-to-table dish. It usually has all of the components of a complete meal: protein, veggies (or fruit) and carbs.

Most casseroles that I think of can also be made ahead and frozen (or baked and reheated). They are great for make-ahead meals for yourself, or to bring to someone who is ill or just had a baby.

Spinach, Sausage and Polenta Breakfast Casserole #SundaySupper by @TheRedheadBaker

I love breakfast casseroles for holidays. For one thing, they’re different from your regular-day breakfast. The second reason is that by making them ahead, you can just pop them in the oven in the morning. Who wants to wake up early on a holiday and slave over breakfast?

This casserole is full of flavorful breakfast sausage, spinach, and polenta (cornmeal). Plus cheese. Lots of cheese. All the food groups are represented. I prepped this casserole and put it straight into the oven, but you could assemble it (up to pouring all of the ingredients into the casserole dish) and refrigerate it. Or bake it, cool it, refrigerate it and reheat it.

Spinach, Sausage and Polenta Breakfast Casserole #SundaySupper by @TheRedheadBaker

5.0 from 2 reviews
Spinach, Sausage and Polenta Breakfast Casserole #SundaySupper
 
Serves: 8 main-course servings
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 lb breakfast sausage, casing removed
  • ½ small onion, diced fine
  • 1 (10-oz) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 cups water
  • 1½ cups polenta
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp ground pepper
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese, divided
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Directions
  1. Use the 1 tbsp of butter to grease the bottom and sides of a 1.5- to 2-quart casserole dish. Set aside on a sheet pan. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees if baking right away.
  2. In a large skillet, cook the breakfast sausage over medium heat, breaking it up as it cooks, until no longer pink.
  3. Add the diced onion to the skillet, and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes, until onion is softened.
  4. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the spinach. Stir to break up the clumps of spinach. Set skillet aside.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, beat the 4 eggs until uniform. Whisk in the milk and the water. Stir in the polenta, 1 cup of the mozzarella, and the salt and pepper.
  6. Add the sausage mixture to the mixing bowl and stir to combine. Pour the contents of the mixing bowl into the casserole dish.
  7. Toss together the remaining cup of mozzarella and the Parmesan. Sprinkle over top of the casserole dish and place the casserole, on the sheet pan, in the oven. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes, until the polenta is firm and a knife inserted in the casserole comes out clean.

Adapted from The Kitchn

Spinach, Sausage and Polenta Breakfast Casserole #SundaySupper by @TheRedheadBaker

Don’t forget to check out the other #SundaySupper casseroles!

Captivating Breakfast Casseroles

Appetizing Casserole Sides

Main Event Casseroles

Decadent Dessert and Sweet Casseroles

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.
Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.