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Roasted Mushroom Sandwich

An open-faced mushroom sandwich on good bread slathered along with a bit of garlic, salted ricotta, and some herbs or crushed kale chips.

Continue reading Roasted Mushroom Sandwich on 101 Cookbooks

A number of you were curious about the picture of this mushroom sandwich when I included it in my newsletter last week. Here are the details along with the recipe down below! It was the centerpiece of a quick, 10-minute lunch. The next time you have mushrooms on hand, I encourage you take this idea for a spin. You end up with a super tasty, satisfying sandwich.

open-faced mushroom sandwich on sourdough bread

Roasted Mushroom Sandwich: The Details

Here’s how this comes together. Take a good piece of sourdough bread, toast it, rub it with a garlic clove. Slather the toast with some ricotta that you’ve salted a bit. Take some leftover stuffed mushrooms, slice them thinly and arrange on top of the ricotta. Place the open-faced sandwich until the broiler for a few minutes. Finish with a crush of kale chips. If you don’t want to bother with using stuffed mushrooms, you can use simple roasted mushrooms! ingredients for mushroom sandwich on baking sheet ready to broil

A Variation

These baked mushrooms with miso butter (pictured below) can be swapped in for the stuffed mushrooms as another alternative. Keep all the other components the same. The bread, ricotta, etc. Just drop a tangle of these on top of the ricotta and give a quick broil.baked mushrooms in a baking dish

More Sandwich Recipes

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Penne alla Vodka

This penne alla vodka uses both whole tomatoes and tomato paste along with a splash of cream to make a vodka sauce with plenty of depth. The defining detail in this recipe is adding the zest of a lemon to the vodka. It lends a fragrant brightness to the whole preparation, making this family favorite extra special.

Continue reading Penne alla Vodka on 101 Cookbooks

Hear me out. To make the best version of penne alla vodka the first step is to peel the skin from a lemon. Hand cut the peel into the thinnest strips (no pith!) and then place the zest into your vodka while you prep the rest of your ingredients. Using lemon-scented vodka flecked with zest in your creamy tomato vodka sauce is a game changer. There are a number of other considerations that I’ll outline below that help when you want to throw together this one-pot crowd-pleaser!

penne alla vodka in a large bowl

What Makes Great Penne all Vodka?

If you want to make great penne alla vodka, focus on the sauce. There are a number of ways to approach this Italian (and Italian-American) classic, popular in the 1980s. You’ll see versions made with canned tomatoes, while others exclusively use tomato paste. Some recipes call for a lot of tomatoes, others barely any. Some really go for it with heavy cream, I like to use just enough cream to create a rich, silky sauce without diluting the tomato flavor excessively. This recipe delivers a bright, rich tomato vodka sauce that clings beautifully to the pasta. The flavor has dimension from the two types of tomatoes used, and the scent (and bursts) of lemon zest.

Penne alla Vodka: The Ingredients

  • Dried penne pasta: Use a good-quality dried pasta here. Penne is the classic pasta shape to use, but rigatoni is another favorite. Something bite sized with lots of surface area for the vodka sauce to cling to is the key. For a bit of added nutrition, explore whole wheat pastas, or pasta made with lentils or chickpeas. A forever favorite of mine is the Monograno Felicetti Farro Penne Rigate.
    ingredients for cooking penne alla vodka including tomato paste, dried pasta, basil, and garlic
  • Tomato Paste: I tend to use the tiny cans of tomato paste here, because I use about ~1/3 cup. But if you have enough in a tube, that’s fine.
  • Canned Tomatoes: Look for good-quality whole canned tomatoes. I call for a 14-ounce can, but sometimes all you can find are 28-ounce cans of whole tomatoes. In this case, use
  • Heavy Cream: A pro-tip here is, avoid going overboard with the heavy cream. I see some recipes calling for upwards of a cup. You can use less, and maintain the creaminess you’re after. A bonus is your sauce will maintain beautiful color. Add too much cream and the sauce quickly changes to a soft pink, while the tomato flavor weakens.
  • Olive Oil or Butter: I tend to use olive oil when I make penne alla vodka, but butter is also wonderful. Use either.
  • Vodka: The vodka in penne alla vodka plays a few important roles. It heightens flavors when certain alcohol soluble compounds in the sauce ingredients are released by the vodka. It also helps to keep the sauce beautifully silky and emulsified. And yes, much of the vodka cooks off with a bit of time simmering.
  • Garlic, Onion, Chile Flakes, etc: I dial up the garlic for this recipe. It has time to soften and mellow, so don’t be alarmed. And the onions are diced, I like a really small dice here. So you’re getting onion bits throughout the sauce and not larger chunks.
penne alla vodka being served on a marble table set with plates and a cloth napkin

Variations

Here are some favorite variations on penne alla vodka that I’ve cooked over the years.

  • Penne alla Tequila: Quite honestly, I don’t tend to keep vodka in my pantry. So I have to plan ahead when I want to make this. In a pinch, if you have tequila and not vodka, go ahead and make the swap. Super good.
  • Make it Spicy: My favorite way to make penne alla vodka spice is to add a bit of spicy Calabrian pepper paste (the one I buy most is called Bomba di Calabria)) to the sauce at the same time the tomato paste is added. Go easy, some of these pastes are wildly spicy. A finishing drizzle of a spicy chile olive oil can add dimension and another layer of heat. I like Brightland’s chili olive oil for this (not sponsored, just a fan), or drizzle a few drops of oil from the jar of Calabrian pepper paste.
  • Make it Vegan: You can make this recipe vegan by skipping the Parmesan, using olive oil to simmer the onions, and using a cashew cream in place of heavy cream. To make cashew cream, soak 1 cup of cashews in 1 cup of water for thirty minutes or so. Puree in high-speed blends until silky smooth.
penne alla vodka in a bowl with creamy sauce finished with lots of Parmesan cheese

More Pasta Recipes

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Lemony Chickpea Soup

This Lemony Chickpea Soup recipe is simple, budget-friendly, and delicious. It’s the perfect comforting low-effort meal for busy nights.

The post Lemony Chickpea Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Quick and easy soups made with canned beans have become my favorite go-to easy meal when I’m too tired to cook and too broke to eat out. I’ve made several variations of this soup over the years, including the viral Rosemary Garlic White Bean Soup, but this week I made a Mediterranean-inspired Lemony Chickpea Soup. It’s fast, easy, has bright flavors, and pairs perfectly with some crusty bread for a simple no-fuss meal.

Overhead view of three bowls of lemony chickpea soup garnished with a lemon slice.

This incredibly simple Lemony Chickpea soup combines puréed chickpeas, broth, and some seasoning to create a perfectly comforting and flavorful bowl of soup. And since most of these ingredients are shelf-stable, this is a pantry meal you can make any time with no planning head.

Ingredients for Lemony Chickpea Soup

Here’s all you’ll need to make this deliciously easy chickpea soup:

  • Garlic: A hefty dose of garlic gives this soup a deep savory flavor and perfectly balances the bright lemon.
  • Olive Oil: Olive oil is used to sauté the garlic and give the soup a little bit of richness in the mouthfeel.
  • Chickpeas: This recipe uses canned chickpeas to make the entire preparation fast and easy. If you prefer to use chickpeas cooked from dry, you’ll need about 4-5 cups of cooked chickpeas.
  • Chicken Broth: Broth adds a lot of savory depth to the soup as well as the salt needed to make each flavor pop.
  • Lemon: A splash of lemon juice brightens up the flavors in the soup, provides a nice contrast to the savory garlic flavor, and gives the soup a fresh Mediterranean flavor.
  • Seasoning: The seasoning profile for the soup is fairly simple with just a little bit of thyme, oregano, red pepper, and black pepper. Keeping the seasoning light gives the soup a bright and fresh flavor.

What to Serve with Lemony Chickpea Soup

This chickpea soup is just begging for some crusty bread for dipping, so I highly suggest making a loaf of our easy no-knead bread or focaccia rolls. Or, if you need something a little faster, homemade garlic bread would also be amazing with this soup. And, if you want some veggies on the side, a simple side salad would be awesome, or you could go with something a little heftier, like tortellini salad.

Tips for Smooth Chickpea Soup

Canned chickpeas can often be a bit on the firm side, so to make sure your chickpea soup is extra smooth you may need to pre-boil the chickpeas, but it depends largely on the brand of chickpeas. Some canned chickpeas are quite soft, while others are very firm or borderline undercooked.

If your chickpeas are very firm, simply empty the can and liquid into a small saucepot and simmer them for about 10 minutes. Let the chickpeas cool before transferring to the blender to purée.

Overhead view of a pot full of lemony chickpea soup with garlic bread on the side.
Overhead view of a bowl of lemony chickpea soup with a spoon in the middle.
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Lemony Chickpea Soup

This Lemony Chickpea Soup recipe is simple, budget-friendly, and delicious. It's the perfect comforting low-effort meal for busy nights.
Course Dinner, Lunch, Soup
Cuisine American, Mediterranean
Total Cost $4.52 recipe $1.13 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 23 minutes
Servings 4 (1.25 cups each)
Calories 375kcal

Ingredients

  • 3 15oz. cans chickpeas, divided $2.67
  • 4 cloves garlic $0.32
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32
  • 2 cups chicken broth $0.26
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano $0.05
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper $0.02
  • 1 lemon $0.79
  • 1/4 tsp salt (or to taste) $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp Freshly cracked black pepper $0.02

Instructions

  • Add 2 of the cans of chickpeas to a blender with the liquid in the can and purée until smooth.* Drain the third can of chickpeas and set aside.
  • Mince the garlic and add it to a saucepot with the olive oil. Sauté the garlic over medium heat for about one minute, or just until the garlic becomes very fragrant.
  • Add the puréed chickpeas, drained chickpeas, chicken broth, thyme, oregano, red pepper, salt, and pepper to the soup pot with the garlic. Stir to combine.
  • Allow the soup to come up to a simmer, then simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • While the soup simmers, zest and juice half of the lemon (you'll need about 2 Tbsp juice and ½ tsp zest). Slice the remaining lemon for garnish.
  • After the soup has simmered, add 2 Tbsp juice and a pinch of lemon zest, then stir to combine.
  • Taste the soup and adjust the salt, lemon juice, pepper, or other herbs to your liking. The amount of salt needed to properly flavor the soup will depend on the salt content of your broth, so make sure to salt to taste at the end.
  • Garnish the soup with the remaining lemon slices and zest, a drizzle of olive oil, and more pepper if desired, then serve with crusty bread and enjoy!

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

*Some brands of canned chickpeas are quite firm. To make the soup really smooth you may need to pre-simmer the beans for about 10 minutes to make them softer before blending. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1.25cup | Calories: 375kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 14g | Sodium: 1527mg | Fiber: 15g
Overhead view of three bowls of lemony chickpea soup garnished with slices of lemon.

How to Make Lemony Chickpea Soup – Step by Step Photos

Blended chickpeas in a blender with a spoon.

Add two 15oz. cans of chickpeas to a blender, with the liquid in the can, and purée until smooth. If the brand of chickpeas you’re using are extra firm, you may want to simmer the chickpeas in the liquid for about 10 minutes before blending to soften them more. Let the simmered chickpeas cool slightly before blending, as blending hot liquids can be dangerous.

Minced garlic in a soup pot with olive oil.

Mince four cloves of garlic (or more, if you’d like!) and add them to a saucepot with 2 Tbsp olive oil. Sauté the minced garlic over medium heat for about one minute, or just until the garlic becomes very fragrant.

Beans, broth, and herbs in the soup pot.

Add the puréed beans, one can of drained chickpeas, 2 cups of chicken broth, ½ tsp dried thyme, ½ tsp dried oregano, 1 pinch of crushed red pepper, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper to the pot. Stir to combine and bring the soup up to a simmer over medium heat.

Zested and juiced lemon.

Let the soup simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, zest and juice half of a lemon (you’ll need 2 Tbsp juice and about ½ tsp zest). Slice the other half of the lemon to use as a garnish.

Lemon juice being added to the soup.

After the soup has simmered for about 10 minutes, add 2 Tbsp lemon juice to the soup along with a pinch of lemon zest.

Finished soup being stirred in the pot.

Taste the soup and adjust the salt, lemon juice, zest, or other herbs to your liking. The amount of salt needed will depend on the salt content of the broth used and it can really help the flavors pop, so make sure to salt to taste at the end.

A ladle full of lemony chickpea soup held close to the camera over the pot of soup.

Garnish the soup with the remaining slices of lemon and lemon zest, extra pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil. We also had some parsley in the fridge, so we added some of that for color.

Overhead view of a bowl of lemony chickpea soup with a spoon in the middle.

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Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffed mushrooms made with creamy goat cheese, chives, garlic, and bread crumbs. The perfect bite!

Continue reading Stuffed Mushrooms on 101 Cookbooks

I made these stuffed mushrooms on a whim yesterday with ingredients ready to be used up in the refrigerator. They were so good (and easy!) I feel like I have to share. Stuffed mushrooms make the perfect bite-sized party appetizer or, in this case, a fantastic weeknight side. The filling is creamy chive and garlic-flecked goat cheese offset with plenty of crunchy breadcrumbs.stuffed mushrooms in a white serving dish

How to Make Stuffed Mushrooms

The process for making stuffed mushrooms is straight forward.

  1. Carefully break the stem off each mushroom.
  2. Brush any dirt or debris from mushrooms with a damp cloth.
  3. Make the filling and place a couple teaspoons in each mushroom cavity.
  4. Arrange on an olive oil coating baking sheet and bake until tender and golden.

ingredients for making stuffed mushrooms on a kitchen counter

Choose Your Mushrooms Well

I happened to have the perfect mushrooms to make these at the ready last night, but I’m actually a bit choosy if I know I’m buying them to make stuffed mushrooms. I like to use brown mushrooms that are in good condition – not too scratched, misshapen or damaged. They will shrink a bit in the oven, but I aim for mushrooms that aren’t too big, and aren’t too small. Ideally, you’ll be able to pop one on your mouth in one bite, but you also want the mushrooms to be big enough that they’ll hold a good amount of the flavorful filling.

stuffed mushrooms arranged on a baking sheet prior to being place in an oven

What to do With Leftovers!

We had a few stuffed mushrooms leftover so I made these open-faced mushroom sandwiches for lunch today. The mushrooms were sliced thinly on homemade sourdough that had been toasted and rubbed with garlic. I slathered some salted ricotta across each piece of toast, arranged a few of the sliced mushrooms on top and finished everything under the broiler for a few minutes. Finished with a crush of kale chips.  Perfect 10 minute lunch!

stuffed mushrooms sliced and arranged on an open-faced mushroom sandwich with ricotta

Stuffed Mushrooms: Variations

You can take this general recipe in *so* many directions. A couple ideas:

  • Make them spicy!: Add a minced serrano to the filling. Or a couple teaspoons of a favorite harissa.
  • For the herb lovers: Add more chopped herbs like mint, basil, and/or thyme. Whatever in season. Load it up!
  • Curry Stuffed Mushrooms: Add a favorite curry paste or powder (to taste) to the filling. I’d start with a teaspoon at a time. You can experiment with Thai curry pastes, Indian curry powder, Japanese curry paste, etc.

stuffed mushrooms arranged on a baking sheet after baking

More Mushroom Recipes

 

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Kale Chips

There are just a couple details to get right for the perfect kale chips. This is how I make crispy pom-poms of kale everyone loves to snack on.

Continue reading Kale Chips on 101 Cookbooks

This is my love letter to kale chips, a constant in my kitchen throughout the year. We bake them 3 or 4 times a week, even if we’re out in the trailer with a tiny oven. Even when it’s too hot for a reasonable person to turn on the oven. This is because kale chips are simple to make, and also because they’re *SO* good. Everyone loves snacking on them – even raw kale haters. They’re also an easy way to add a fantastic nutritional boost to all sorts of soups, salads, pizzas, and stir-fries by throwing a handful on (or in) whatever you’re eating. I’ve tweaked my technique little by little over the years to get the best results, outlined below! First thing to know – there are some details to get right.

Crispy baked kale chips in a bowl

How To Make Great Kale Chips

To make the best kale chips, a specific type of kale (curly!) is massaged with a delicious slurry of olive oil, nutritional yeast, and a bit of salt. Don’t skimp on the nutritional yeast, you’ll want to load up to get the perfect crispy crust on your chips. Bake until crisp and enjoy. The recipe is fantastically straight-forward, but the details matter. Here are the key pointers.

  • The type of kale matters. Purchase curly kale, premier kale, or curly purple kale. These types of kale have much more volume than kale varietals with flat leaves (for example, lacinato kale). The increased volume will result in crisped pom-poms of kale – exactly the best kind of kale chips.
    bunch of curly kale on a marble kitchen counter
  • Use dry kale. Make sure your kale is as dry as possible before starting. This will promote crisping and minimize steaming as the chips bake. You only want olive oil, nutritional yeast and a bit of salt to coat the leaves (below), no water drops.
    ingredients for kale chips in a mixing bowl
  • Avoid over-baking. Kale chips go from crisp to brown and sad in a flash.They’re like pine nuts in that regard. The pro-tip here is: set a timer.

How Do You Keep Kale Chips Crispy?

Allow them to cool completely. Store in and airtight container or jar.

Variations

You can make variations on kale chips by adding dry seasonings and spice blends. I like to add most seasonings after they bake. This way your spices don’t burn. I use this approach for curry powder and za’atar – two favorites. You can also look on this page of spice blends for other homemade blends I like to make and keep on hand.

baked kale chips on a baking sheet after baking

What Can you Crumble Kale Chips Over?

I like to crush kale chips over a wide range of soups, pizzas, tacos, and the like. The joke around here is, if it’s savory, I’ll crumble kale chips on it. Here are a few links to ideas and inspiration.

More Recipes with Kale




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Air Fryer Bacon

Making crispy Air Fryer Bacon is quick & easy and less hassle than cooking it on the stovetop. Breakfast just got easier!

The post Air Fryer Bacon appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Bacon is my go-to protein of choice for breakfast on the weekends or during the week when I have a little extra time in the mornings. And I love how easy it is to cook Air Fryer Bacon. It’s a lot quicker than cooking bacon in the oven and everything is contained in the air fryer basket, so less splatter on the stovetop. It’s definitely a quick & easy cooking method for all you bacon lovers out there!

Overhead view of Air Fryer Bacon strips on a white serving plate.

Why Cook Bacon In An Air Fryer?

Cooking bacon in the air fryer is all about convenience and saving time. It’s a lot quicker than preheating and baking your bacon inside an oven. It’s also a lot less messier than cooking bacon on the stovetop and having grease splatter everywhere. Everything is contained inside the air fryer basket for easy cooking and simple clean up!

How Long To Cook Air Fryer Bacon?

The cook times for air frying bacon will depend on the thickness of the bacon and how crispy you want your bacon to be. We tried a couple different cook times and temperatures with a few different types of bacon. Our preferred temperature was 360°F. So for regular cut bacon, air fry at 360°F for 7-9 minutes or 12-14 minutes for thick cut bacon.

What To Serve With Air Fryer Bacon?

Enjoy your air fryer bacon with a side of Homemade Pancakes, Cheese Grits, or my favorite is a simple Fried Egg with a side of toast. Air fryer bacon is also perfect to crumble and add to several dishes like Breakfast Pizza, Egg Muffins, or these tasty Twice Baked Potatoes!

Overhead view of Air Fryer bacon cooked in an air fryer basket.
Overhead view of Air Fryer bacon strips on a white serving plate with toast on the side.
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Air Fryer Bacon

Making crispy Air Fryer Bacon is quick & easy and less hassle than cooking it on the stovetop. Breakfast just got easier!
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 13 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 slices
Calories 92kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 4 slices bacon $2.66

Instructions

  • Place the bacon slices evenly, in a single layer, inside the air fryer basket.
  • Air fry bacon at 360°F for 7-9 minutes for regular cut bacon or 12-14 minutes for thick cut bacon. We used thick cut bacon for this recipe and cooked it for 13 minutes until crispy.
  • Remove the cooked bacon from the air fryer and transfer to a paper towel lined plate. If you are cooking another batch, carefully pour out any excess grease, wipe out the bottom of the air fryer basket with a paper towel, then repeat air frying the next batch of bacon.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 92kcal | Carbohydrates: 0.3g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 9g | Sodium: 146mg
Overhead view of a white plate with Air Fryer Bacon and a fried egg on the plate.

How to Make Air Fryer Bacon – Step by Step Photos

Uncooked bacon in an Air Fryer Basket.

Place four bacon slices evenly, in a single layer, inside the air fryer basket.

Cooked bacon strips in an Air Fryer Basket

Air fry bacon at 360°F for 7-9 minutes for regular cut bacon or 12-14 minutes for thick cut bacon. We used thick cut bacon for this recipe and cooked it for 13 minutes until crispy. Remove the cooked bacon from the air fryer and transfer to a paper towel lined plate. If you are cooking another batch, carefully pour out any excess grease, wipe out the bottom of the air fryer basket with a paper towel, then repeat air frying the next batch of bacon.

Overhead view of Air Fryer bacon strips on a white serving plate with toast on the side.

Enjoy your crispy air fryer bacon with your favorite breakfast sides or crumbled and added to your favorite dish!

Overhead view of Air Fryer bacon and a fried egg on a white serving plate with toast on the side.

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Dutch Baby

This Dutch Baby recipe looks super fancy, but is so easy to make! Perfect anytime you want an extra special breakfast or weekend brunch.

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Friends, prepare to fall in love with this easy Dutch Baby recipe. I believe my first words after taking the first bite was “This is the only way I want to eat my pancakes from now on.” Ok, I may have been exaggerating a little bit, but seriously, where have these been all my life?! It’s a very smooth and light pancake that simply melts in your mouth. Not only is it fun to make, but it’s also very easy to make and only requires basic pantry ingredients. It’s definitely a showstopper and perfect to make anytime you want an extra special breakfast.😉

Overhead view of a dutch baby in a cast iron skillet with fresh berries in the center and maple syrup on the side.

What Is A Dutch Baby?

A Dutch Baby pancake is like a cross between a popover and a crepe. It’s essentially a giant skillet pancake made with a thin, eggy batter that puffs up around the edges as it bakes in the oven. A Dutch baby is light, more eggy, and less cake-like than traditional American pancakes. It looks super fancy, but trust me it’s actually very easy to make.

Ingredients for Making A Dutch Baby

Just a few simple ingredients is all it takes to make this Dutch baby recipe. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • All-Purpose Flour: Flour adds structure and is the foundation of the pancake.
  • Milk: Milk combines with the flour to add moisture and helps create the batter.
  • Egg: Eggs add more moisture and helps hold the pancake together.
  • Sugar: Just a little bit of sugar adds the perfect amount of sweetness to the pancake.
  • Vanilla Extract: A small amount of vanilla extract adds a wonderful flavor and depth to the pancake.
  • Salt: A little bit of salt helps enhance the flavor of the pancake.
  • Butter: Butter adds flavor and richness to the pancake and it also gives it that beautiful golden brown color around the edges.

DO I HAVE TO USE A CAST IRON SKILLET?

The key to a big fluffy Dutch Baby is that sudden burst of heat when the batter hits the hot skillet and that is definitely best achieved with cast iron. However any oven-safe skillet or baking dish will also work well when pre-heated. We tested this recipe using a cast iron skillet and a 9″ glass pie dish. Although the sides did not rise as much in the pie dish, the Dutch baby still baked quite nicely.

If you do decide to stray from using cast iron, just make sure to preheat the dish with your oven to get it as hot as possible, and use something round, about 9 to 10-inches in diameter.

Side view of a Dutch baby in a cast iron skillet with powdered sugar being dusted over the top.

Recipe Tips!

Although this is a very simple recipe, here are a few key tips to help you make the perfect Dutch Baby:

  1. Use a blender to mix the pancake batter. For this recipe you’ll want a very smooth and thin batter with no lumps. After it’s blended, let the batter rest so the ingredients can come to room temperature.
  2. Allow the skillet to heat in the oven while the oven is preheating. This helps ensure your skillet is piping hot when you add the pancake batter.
  3. Move quickly! You’ll want to move quickly (and carefully) when adding the butter and when adding the pancake batter. Try not to let the skillet cool down too much between each step.

How To Serve A Dutch Baby?

You can easily serve this dutch baby straight from the cast iron skillet or transfer it to a serving plate. We dusted ours with a little bit of powdered sugar and served it with fresh berries and pure maple syrup poured over the top. But feel free to play around with other toppings like whipped cream, hot buttered apples, pecans, yogurt, Nutella, lemon curd, or for a really fun twist try our Almond Dutch Baby with Ricotta and Jam!

Overhead view of a slice of dutch baby on a plate with maple syrup being poured on top.
Overhead view of a dutch baby in a cast iron skillet with fresh berries in the center and maple syrup on the side.
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Dutch Baby

This Dutch Baby recipe looks super fancy, but is so easy to make! Perfect anytime you want an extra special breakfast or weekend brunch.
Course Breakfast
Total Cost $1.60 recipe / $0.40 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 229kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Prepare the batter first. In a large blender, add the eggs, milk, all-purpose flour, sugar, salt, and vanilla extract. Blend until completely smooth and no lumps remain. Let the batter sit at room temperature to warm.
  • Place a 10-inch cast iron skillet in the oven and begin preheating to 425ºF. Let the skillet heat in the oven for an additional 10 minutes once the oven reaches the set temperature.
  • Using an oven mitt, carefully remove the skillet from the oven and add the butter. Swirl the butter around in the skillet and place it back in the oven for 30-60 more seconds until the butter begins to brown (be careful not to let it burn).
  • Carefully remove the skillet from the oven again and swirl the butter evenly across the bottom and up the sides of the skillet. Quickly pour the prepared batter into the hot skillet.
  • Return the hot skillet to the hot oven and bake for 14-15 minutes, or until it is golden brown and has puffed along the edges and in the center.
  • Once the Dutch baby has finished baking, slice the pancake into four or six pieces and serve with maple syrup and fresh berries on top (optional).

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 229kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 11g | Sodium: 260mg | Fiber: 1g
Close up overhead view of a dutch baby in a cast iron skillet with fresh berries on top.

How to Make A Dutch Baby – Step by Step Photos

Dutch baby ingredients blended up in a blender.

Prepare the batter first. In a large blender, add 3 large eggs, 2/3 cup whole milk, 2/3 cup all-purpose flour, 2 Tbsp sugar, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract. Blend until completely smooth and no lumps remain. Let the batter sit at room temperature to warm.

Very hot cast iron skillet with melted butter in the center.

Place a 10-inch cast iron skillet in the oven and begin preheating to 425ºF. Let the skillet heat in the oven for an additional 10 minutes once the oven reaches the set temperature. Using an oven mitt carefully, remove the skillet from the oven and add 2 Tbsp of butter. Swirl the butter around in the skillet and place it back in the oven for 30-60 more seconds until the butter begins to brown (be careful not to let it burn).

Dutch baby batter poured into hot cast iron skillet.

Carefully remove the skillet from the oven again and swirl the butter evenly across the bottom and up the sides of the skillet. Quickly pour the prepared batter into the hot skillet.

Cooked dutch baby puffed up in a cast iron skillet.

Return the hot skillet to the hot oven and bake for 14-15 minutes, or until it is golden brown and has puffed along the edges and in the center.

Overhead view of a dutch baby in a cast iron skillet with fresh berries in the center and maple syrup on the side.

Once the Dutch baby has finished baking, slice the pancake into four or six pieces and serve with maple syrup and fresh berries on top (optional).

Overhead view of two slices of dutch baby on white serving plates with maple syrup and fresh berries on top.

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Homemade Vitamin C Tea Blend

Hibiscus and rose hips are both Vitamin C power houses. This is a much appreciated homemade tea blend for when an immunity boost is needed, or for the times when you’re feeling stressed, over-worked, or dragging just a bit. I add a good bit of saffron, and lemon peel for dimension and flavor.

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Many of you have seen my spice drawer, it’s always in some state of disarray. I also have another area filled with ingredients I use to make herbal tea blends. You’ll find dozens of little white bags filled with chamomile, hibiscus, dried nettles, citrus peels, ginger and the like. Inviting a spectrum of teas into your life is great way to supplement different vitamins and minerals, and hydrate at the same time. Along those lines, my philosophy is that every glass of tea is an opportunity to do something nice for your body. So, whenever inspired, I blend a couple of small containers full of different ingredients to brew – usually some sort of seasonal or supportive blend, and then keep the containers on hand at both the house and our work studio.

vitamin c tea in a glass teapot

Homemade Vitamin C Tea Blend

I thought I’d share an easy favorite with you today – a Vitamin C Tea Blend. This one is much appreciated when an immunity boost is needed, or for the times when we’re stressed, over-worked, or just dragging a bit. Hibiscus and rose hips are both Vitamin C power houses, and I like to add a good bit of saffron, and lemon peel for dimension and flavor. The pronounced tang and vibrancy of this tea is something I love straight, but feel free to sweeten if you prefer. 

ingredients to make vitamin c tea on a counter plus a glass teapot

More Homemade Tea Blends

Enjoy! Also, click here if you think you’d also like to make more of your own homemade spice blends. -h

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7 Layer Dip

This easy 7 Layer Dip is the perfect appetizer for parties, football games, and gatherings. No cooking needed and it feeds a large crowd!

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When you need a quick party appetizer that tastes good, is easy to make, and feeds a large crowd…this 7 Layer Dip is the one to make! It has all of my favorite Tex-Mex flavors in one dish and it’s perfect for serving at potlucks, football parties, and family gatherings. I’m always down for any type of chips and dip, but this 7 layer dip takes dips to a whole new level! I’m not sure which part I love the most, the fact that I don’t have to cook anything over a stove to make this recipe or that it comes in at just over $1 per serving. Either way, I highly recommend adding this 7 layer dip recipe to your Super Bowl menu this weekend.😉

Overhead view of 7 layer dip in a glass casserole dish with a napkin, chips, and lime wedges on the side.

What Is 7 Layer Dip?

7 layer dip is an easy party appetizer that’s made by building layers of creamy, flavorful, ingredients like refried beans and guacamole into a 9×13” dish. It’s fun to serve at football parties and family gatherings, there’s no need to heat up a stove, and it’s perfect for feeding a crowd!

Ingredients For 7 Layer Dip

Here’s everything you need to make this easy 7 Layer Dip:

  • Refried Beans: You can certainly make your own refried beans, but to make things easy we used canned refried beans and seasoned it with a few spices.
  • Guacamole: We made a quick batch of our homemade guacamole recipe, but to save time you can easily substitute with your favorite store-bought guacamole.
  • Sour Cream: No need to overthink this layer, just grab a tub of regular sour cream to spread on top of the guacamole. It adds the perfect creamy and tasty flavor to balance the beans and guacamole.
  • Cheddar Cheese: We used medium cheddar cheese but you can certainly use mild or a different flavor cheese if you prefer. And we highly recommend buying the cheese in block form and shredding it yourself for this recipe.
  • Tomatoes: Diced Roma tomatoes or vine-ripe tomatoes both work well and are added on top of the cheese layer.
  • Black Olives: Black olives add wonderful color, texture, and flavor to the dip. Because olives tend to be salty and tangy with bold flavors, you’ll only need a few of them for this 7 layer dip.
  • Green Onions: The final layer is a sprinkle of sliced green onions which add not only great flavor, but also a beautiful vibrant color to the dip!

Recipe Variations

  1. Use taco seasoning – If you happen to have a batch of taco seasoning in your panty, use 1 ½ tablespoons of it instead of the chili powder, cumin, and salt to season your refried beans. This will give the beans even more flavor! You can also mix a little bit in to your sour cream to give it an extra boost of flavor.
  2. Add seasoned ground meat – You can make this 7 layer dip even more filling by adding a layer of taco seasoned ground beef or ground turkey. I would add it right after the refried beans layer.
  3. Add salsa – Your favorite thick salsa also works really well with this dip recipe. If you want to add it as a layer, just make sure to drain any excess liquid from the salsa to keep the dip from getting too soggy.

Storing LEftovers

This dip is definitely best served and eaten the same day it’s made, but if you happen to have leftovers, just store any leftovers covered tightly in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. The guacamole may start to brown slightly and the dip may get a bit watery around the edges, but it will still taste delicious!

Side view of 7 layer dip with a hand holding a chip and scooping some out.
Overhead view of 7 layer dip in a glass casserole dish with a napkin, chips, and lime wedges on the side.
Print

7 Layer Dip

This easy 7 Layer Dip is the perfect appetizer for parties, football games, and gatherings. No cooking needed and it feeds a large crowd!
Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican, Southwest
Total Cost $16.72 recipe / $1.11 serving
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 15 (1/2 cup each)
Calories 170kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 tomatoes $1.46
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese $1.87
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives $2.19
  • 3 green onions $0.45
  • 2 16oz. cans refried beans $2.38
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder $0.30
  • 1/2 tsp cumin $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 2 Tbsp water $0.00
  • 2 1/2 cups guacamole $6.25
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream $1.75

Instructions

  • Dice the tomatoes, shred the cheddar cheese, drain the black olives, and slice the green onions. Set these ingredients to the side.
  • In a medium bowl add the refried beans along with the chili powder, cumin, salt, and water. Mix these ingredients together until well combined.
  • Spread the seasoned refried beans into the bottom of a 9×13” casserole dish.
  • Next spread the guacamole evenly on top of the refried beans. Then spread the sour cream evenly on top of the guacamole mixture.
  • Sprinkle the shredded cheese evenly on top of the sour cream.
  • Now add the diced tomatoes, black olives, and green onions on top. Make sure everything is spread as evenly as possible.
  • Serve immediately with tortilla chips or cover and place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 170kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 15g | Sodium: 204mg | Fiber: 3g
Side close up view of 7 layer dip in a glass casserole dish.

How to Make 7 Layer Dip – Step by Step Photos

7 layer dip ingredients on a cutting board.

Dice 2 tomatoes, shred 1 1/2 cups of cheddar cheese, drain 1/2 cup black olives, and slice 3 green onions. Set these ingredients to the side.

Refried beans in a white mixing bowl with seasoning on top.

In a medium bowl add 2-16oz. cans of refried beans along with 1 Tbsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp salt, and 2 Tbsp water. Mix these ingredients together until well combined.

Refried beans spread evenly in a glass casserole dish.

Spread the seasoned refried beans into the bottom of a 9×13” casserole dish.

Guacamole spread evenly on top of refried beans in glass casserole dish.

Next spread 2 1/2 cups of guacamole evenly on top of the refried beans.

Sour cream being spread on top of guacamole with a black spatula.

Then spread 1 1/2 cups of sour cream evenly on top of the guacamole mixture.

Shredded cheese added evenly on top of sour cream layer.

Sprinkle the shredded cheese evenly on top of the sour cream.

Chopped tomatoes, black olives, and sliced green onions added and spread out evenly on top of shredded cheese layer.

Now add the diced tomatoes, black olives, and green onions on top. Make sure everything is spread as evenly as possible.

Overhead view of 7 layer dip in a glass casserole dish with a napkin, chips, and lime wedges on the side.

Enjoy this tasty appetizer dip immediately with tortilla chips or cover and place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

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Best Chocolate Cookies

This is the best chocolate cookie I bake. And I don’t say that lightly. It’s a crackle-edged puddle of chocolate with a texture like a collision between a soft meringue and a fudgy brownie. Part of my essential cookie repertoire!

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I came across the perfect chocolate cookie when I visited Portland years ago. The cookies were popular in the coffee shop I would visit, and I loved them. Each cookie was a crackle-edged puddle of chocolate with a texture that made me think of a collision between soft meringue and a fudgy brownie. I fell hard. In the years since, we’ve come to call them chocolate puddle cookies, and there are just six ingredients between you a baking sheet of them. No mixer necessary, just a big bowl and wooden spoon.
chocolate cookies on parchment paper after baking

Chocolate Cookie Inspiration

As far as the origins of this recipe? I came across a recipe shortly after my return from Portland that sounded very close to the cookie I tasted there. The Portland chocolate cookies seemed to be a version of François Payard’s Flourless Chocolate-Walnut Cookie. But, the recipe I was working from didn’t work all that well for me. The good news is, it did provide a good starting point. I adjusted a few ingredients, tweaked my technique, and now I’ve been able to make them reliably making little tweaks along the way. All my insights and ingredient notes are integrated into this page and recipe.

Chocolate Cookies: The Ingredients

The ingredient list here is short and direct. There’s a good chance you have all the ingredients on hand – cocoa, powdered sugar, egg whites, walnuts, vanilla, and a bit of salt. A few related notes:

  • Cocoa powder: I’ve used a wide range cocoa powder in these cookies over the years. The key here is to use unsweetened. For a long time I tended to use non-alkalized cocoa powder (Scharffen Berger or Dagoba) but also tested with Droste, which is a Dutch-process cocoa powder. And! I just made a fantastic batch using Guittard Cocoa Rough last week. Pictured here. So, use what you like, just be sure it’s not sweetened.
  • Walnuts: On the walnut front, be mindful of how you toast your walnuts, it’s the single factor that impacts the personality of these cookies most. Using deeply toasted walnuts makes for a much more intense, nutty cookie. Lightly toasted walnuts can sometimes be mistaken for chocolate chips, and make for a much more mild cookie. Both good!
  • Powdered sugar: I’ve used both 365 organic powdered sugar from Whole Foods, and Hain organic powdered sugar with success.
  • Eggs: Use large eggs, I suspect if you use extra-large, the batter will run, and you’ll have to compensate with more powdered sugar.

Technique and Pro-tips

Reading this far will pay off, I promise. Here are a couple things that really make a difference here.

  1. Sift. Really, don’t skip this step. Get all those lumps out.
    chocolate cookie ingredients sifted into a bowl
  2. Add ingredients in the correct order. This is what your mixture should look like after mixing in the walnuts. (below)
    chocolate cookie dry ingredients combines in a mixing bowl
  3. Consistency. This is roughly what your cookie batter should look like after mixing in the egg whites.
    chocolate cookie batter in a mixing bowl
  4. Bake & Cool Completely. Do your best to avoid under-baking, and after baking, allow the cookies to cool completely. A couple hours is best. They will set up beautifully. The goal is a clean break-away from the parchment paper. It’s sometimes hard to tell when these cookies are fully baked, the ones in the picture directly above are slightly underbaked for my tastes. So I adjusted with the remaining two cookie sheets.
    chocolate cookie cooling on racks in a kitchen

Chocolate Cookie Variations

I like to make these just as written in the recipe below. It’s one of those rare cooking endeavors where I don’t mess around much. But there have been many great comments over the years. A lot of people make these chocolate cookies with toasted pecans in place of the walnuts. Some add the zest of an orange. And another person recommended dried cherries. Espresso powder was something I’ve considered but never tried (although some of you have!).And numerous people like to freeze these cookies, and crumble them over ice cream for the win!

I hope you enjoy these as much as I have. They’ve become family favorites.

close up of chocolate cookie on a marble countertop

Best Cookie Recipes

chocolate cookie on parchment paper after baking

More Chocolate Recipes

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