I must admit that I had my doubt about this recipe. Wouldn’t the falafel become mushy sitting in an oily crockpot all day? Nope, not at all. They became crisp on the outside, even on top, just like falafel you’d get at a restaurant.
The kid and I loved these. Husband, not so much. He had never had falafel before these and he just thought they were plain weird. That’s fine though. More for me. I always do meatless lunches when the husband is working so these are going into my regular rotation.
A little advice though: DON’T try to flip them. Like I said, I doubted they would brown so I attempted to flip one of them and it fell apart completely. Just trust me when I say that it will become brown.
Drain garbanzo beans. Dump them into a mixing bowl and smash them with a fork. Set aside.
Get out your blender or food processor. Blend together all of the spices, the onion, the garlic, the egg, and the lemon juice.
Pour on top of your smashed garbanzo beans. Use your fork to mix together, and add the breadcrumbs slowly until the mixture is wet and sticky but can be formed into balls nicely. I needed 3/4 of a cup of breadcrumbs.
Pour 2 T of olive oil into the bottom of your crockpot stoneware insert.
Form squished golf-ball sized patties of falafel. Dip each side into the olive oil and then nestle into your crockpot. It’s okay if they overlap or are on top of each other.
Cook on high for 2-5 hours. Ours cooked on high for 3.5 hours–you will know that the falafels are done when they turn brownish-golden. You can flip them halfway through the cooking time if you feel like it, but they will brown on top even without flipping.
Continuing in my quest to find good crockpot meals… we had beer braised beef recently. I threw this together with things I had in the fridge and it turned out really well. Although, I’m not sure you can call it braised since it was made in the crockpot. I’m doing it anyway. So there. ;)
Can I talk about my love of stew meat? I know it’s not the best cut of meat but it’s just so easy. Plus, if you cook it in the crockpot it becomes amazingly tender and pretty much falls apart. Mmm. That’s what I used in this recipe and I can almost guarantee I have some in the freezer at all times. It doesn’t get any simpler than the stew meat.
But like I said, this turned out much better than I expected. I served it over rice and the juice made the rice delicious. I’m so glad that I wrote this down as I was going because I definitely want to make it again sometime.
Beer Braised Beef
2 strips of bacon
1 pound stew meat
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bottle (12 ounces) beer
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire
1 teaspoon dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400. Place bacon on a cooling rack and then on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until crisp. Let cool slightly and crumble.
Place stew meat and crumbled bacon in crockpot. Put onion, garlic, beer, soy sauce, Worchestershire, and thyme on top of meat crockpot. Stir to combine. Cook on low for about 6 hours. Serve over rice or pasta.
Today my husband is having some of his buddies over for a “OMG-I-haven’t-see-you-in-so-long” get together. We used to host a lot of parties but we’ve been so busy lately that our friends have gotten neglected. In preparation for this party, I decided to make some cupcakes.
This recipe actually comes from Rachael Ray’s magazine. I buy her magazine almost every month because it’s fun to read. I hardly ever try her recipes though because they’re just… umm, weird. However, since Rachael constantly reminds us on her shows that she’s not a baker I figured someone else came up with this recipe. I must be right because these are fabulous cupcakes.
The recipe in the magazine calls for a buttercream but I went with cream cheese because buttercream is not my friend.
Caramel Banana Cupcakes.
from [Everyday with Rachael Ray]
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup mashed bananas
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
3 large egg whites
5.5 ounces bag soft caramels
1 cup powdered sugar
1 block cream cheese
Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites at medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually mix in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar at high speed until stiff and glossy. Fold the egg whites into the batter until no streaks remain.
Spoon the batter into the prepated muffin pans, filling each 3/4 of the way. Cut 9 caramels in half and submerge half a piece into each muffin cup of batter. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let cool.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, cook the remaining caramels, 1/4 cup milk, 1/4 cup banana, and 1/4 teaspoon salt over medium heat, stirring, until the caramels are melted.
Using an electric mixer, beat butter and cream cheese until combined. Add in caramel mixture. Add the powdered sugar slowly until comletely mixed in. Refrigerate until cool. Spread on cupcakes.
This week Dolores of Chronicles of Culinary Curiosity chose Dorie‘s blueberry sour cream ice cream. I got my ice cream maker back in June and ever since then I’ve been hoping that someone would choose this recipe. It sounded amazing.
It ended up being the prettiest ice cream I’ve ever seen. Just look at that color! You can’t buy ice cream that looks like that. The taste, however, was a little disappointing. The sour cream was too much. It overpowered the blueberries and that’s not cool. My husband described it as weird but he ate it anyway, so I guess it wasn’t all that bad.
I don’t think it’s any surprise when I say that Dorie’s book has become my go-to when it comes to baking. Whenever I get the urge to bake something, it’s the first book I flip through. Even though I probably shouldn’t since TWD will eventually bake all the recipes. Oh well, Dorie’s recipes are worth baking twice.
Recently I wanted cornbread, and you guessed it, I turned to Dorie for help. I made Dorie’s corn and pepper muffins not long ago and we loved them so I had hopes for these. Ehh. I guess they’re good for basic cornbread but nothing amazing. I had a problem with them being too dry just like my corn and pepper muffins so I’m not sure what’s going on there. Maybe it has to do with the crazy Alabama weather? Who knows.
These are good muffins, but I’ll add a few things next time. Maybe some cheese. Mmm. That would be heavenly.
Corniest Corn Muffins.
from Baking: From My Home to Yours
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
6 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
1 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 tablespoons corn oil
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 cup corn kernels (add up to 1/3 cup more if you'd like), fresh, frozen or canned (in which case they should be drained and patted dry)
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400Â°F. Butter or spray the 12 muffin molds in a regular-size muffin tin, or fit the molds with paper muffin cups.
Working in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. In a large glass measuring cup with a spout or in another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, melted butter, oil, egg and yolk. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and, with the whisk or a rubber spatula, gently but quickly stir to blend. Don't worry about being thorough â€“ the batter will be lumpy and that's just the way it should be. Stir in the corn kernels. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin molds.
Slide the pan into the oven and bake 15 to 18 minutes, or until the tops are golden and a knife inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. Pull the pan from the oven and carefully lift each muffin out of its mold and onto a rack to cool.