Tuesday, August 31, 2010
ABC Melts (Simple and Delicious)
2 English muffins, split and toasted
2 teaspoons prepared mustard
4 slices Canadian bacon (I just used ham.)
1 medium apple, thinly sliced
4 slices Swiss cheese (I used mozzarella for lack of Swiss.)
Place muffin halves, cut side up, on an ungreased baking sheet. Spread with mustard; layer with Canadian bacon, apple slices and cheese. Bake at 350° for 5-6 minutes or until cheese is melted. Yield: 2 servings.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
THE FACTS ARE THESE... this pie is too good to miss! Have you seen "Pushing Daisies"? It is a cute, fanciful TV show that aired a while back. Don't plan on closure at the end of it all- total cliff hanger, but even still- I really enjoyed the ride! It is just clean and clever, out of the ordinary. The main character is Ned, the pie maker and owner of the "The Pie Hole." My husband and I watched the whole first season just dying for at least one bite of his bright, beautiful pies... but alas... I had to make my own, and I did some hunting for what I think turned out to be some GREAT recipes! (At least the best I have ever made- the crust turned out beautifully and I have never made a good crust.) My husband had a friend that said that his only requirement for his "wife-to-be" was that he could just say, "Woman! Bake Me A Pie... RIIIIGHT NOW!" and she would do so... immediately. :) Every once in a while, Doug will say it to me... and every once in a while, I indulge him.
I also wanted to but a plug in for this little beauty. My sister-in-law Amy also mentioned it- and I can't for the life of me remember who told us about it, so I am sending a "THANK YOU" into the abyss! It is SO HANDY! It works wonderfully well and you don't have to worry about keeping fresh buttermilk and always having it on hand. Great for pancakes or baking or anything. I am fully converted!
Buttermilk Pie Crust
By Joy the Baker (click on the link for her great step by step visual tutorial.)
makes a double crusted 9-inch pie crust
2 sticks (8 ounces) cold unsalted butter
2 1/2 (12 ounces) cups all purpose flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (5 to 6 ounces) buttermilk
1. Cut the butter into 1-inch pieces and place in the freezer to chill for 15 minutes. Measure out the buttermilk and store in the refrigerator to keep it cold (you could even put it in the freezer for a few minutes too).
2. Sift together the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Take the cold butter from the freezer and toss it with the flour mixture.
3. Dump the cold butter cubes and flour mixture onto a large work area for rolling. With a rolling pin, roll the mixture, flattening the butter cubes with the flour into long, thin, floured butter sheets. Work quickly to ensure that the butter stays cold. Below is what the rolled butter and flour look like after I’
ve gathered them together on the work surface a bit.
4. Place the flour and flattened butter back in the large bowl and chill for 10 minutes. When the butter is cold, remove the bowl from the refrigerator, make a small well in the center of the flour and butter mixture. Add the cold buttermilk to the bowl all at once. Begin to bring the dough together with one hand ( keep the other hand free to answer the phone). Moisten all of the flour with the milk, using your hand to break up large clumps of milk and flour. The dough will be rather shaggy, but you can add another tablespoon of buttermilk, if you see that all your flour isn’t moistened. Form the dough into two disks. The disks will be rough, and hard to shape together, but once they rest in the fridge for an hour, they’
ll be easier to roll out.
5. Chill the dough for at least an hour in the refrigerator. At this point, the dough will keep in the fridge for up to three days, or in the freezer for up to three weeks. For freezing, roll the dough out into sheets and wrap them in plastic film.
6. Roll out the top crust large enough to cut a 12-inch circle.
Transfer the pie filling mixture to the pie shell. Moisten the border of the bottom crust by brushing it lightly with water and place the top crust over the filling. Trim the overhang of the top crust so that there is only 1/2-inch of overhand. Tuck the overhand under the bottom crust boarder and press down all around to seal it. Crimp the border using a fork or your fingers and make about 5 evenly spaced 2-inch slashes starting about 1 inch from the center of the pie and radiating toward the edge. Cover the pie loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 1 hour before baking. This will chill and relax the pastry, preventing shrinking.
2 rolled-out rounds basic pie dough
4 cups blueberries
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
¾ cup sugar
3 tbsp. cornstarch
½ tsp. finely grated lemon zest
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 tbsp. water
Line the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan with one of the rolled-out dough rounds. Set pan aside in a cool place until ready to fill.
To make the filling, place the blueberries in a large bowl, sprinkle with the lemon juice and toss to coat evenly. In a small bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, salt and cinnamon. Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the berries and toss to distribute evenly. Immediately transfer to the dough-lined pan. Dot with butter pieces. Place the remaining dough round on top of the pie and trim the excess from the bottom and top rounds. Crimp the dough rounds together to seal the edges. Be sure to cut vents in the top crust to allow steam to escape during baking.
Refrigerate the pie until the dough is firm, 20-30 minutes. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 375°. In a small bowl beat the egg and water with a fork to make an egg wash. Brush onto the top crust just before baking.
Bake the pie until the crust is golden and the filling is thick and bubbling, 50-60 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely to set, 1 to 2 hours. Serve at room temperature or rewarm in a 350° oven for 10 to 15 minutes just before serving.
Note: If fresh blueberries are unavailable, use frozen blueberries (without thawing) and increase the baking time by 10-15 minutes.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
I am always hunting for crockpot recipes- I love how easy and delicious they are. I came across this one and I thought I would give it a try... HOWEVER I didn't have orange marmalade, so I had to use the blackberry jam I had on hand.... giving it a lack of "orange," but still a good flavor. If I were to try it out again though, I think I would use this recipe. It looks a bit more promising. This was still tasty though.
- 3 pounds chicken parts (leg quarters, bone-in breast halves, etc.), skin removed
- 1/2 cup orange marmalade
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar, firmly packed
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
Doug's Steak Marinade
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup lemon/lime juice
1-2 T soy sauce
1-2 T Worcestershire Sauce
1-2 T Vinegar
1 T minced garlic
1/2 an onion, chopped
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
Mix all ingredients well and pour into zip lock bag. Place 4 steaks in the bag and toss to coat. Let it marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour or over night. Grill or pan-fry and serve. (If you do it in a pan, pour in the marinade and cook them in the juices to add flavor.)
Basic Coleslaw (About.com)
6 cups shredded cabbage
1 carrot, shredded
2/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons vinegar (I just did 1 T and I would hesitate to add more then that.)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Toss cabbage in a large bowl with the carrots. In a bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients. Pour the mixture over the cabbage and carrots and toss to coat thoroughly. Refrigerate until serving time.Serves 6.
Sunday, August 22, 2010
A "Bean Burger" probably doesn't get you that excited (unless you are like me and you like beans altogether too much... so much so that your husband bans them from the dinner table- only can I serve/eat them on rare occasions-- I will not expound on why.) HOWEVER... once you take a bite of this little number, you will indeed get excited! I got this idea from Rachel Ray's Strech a Buck Turkey and Bean Burrito Burgers, I used most of the same ingredients, but I added a few things that I think made the burgers hold together a little better and taste amazing! They are similar to my "Better Burger", but it just kicks it up a notch... or two... or three. :) I didn't used rice, but I did used bread crumbs and an egg. I also grilled them up on a little George Foreman Grill- which, if you don't have, I would TOTALLY recommend investing in. I love little George! He and I have so much fun making burgers and grilling chicken together. (And I too was doubtful at first, but I am fully converted!) These burgers just made me happy to bite into- I hope it does the same for you!
I made about 6-8 burgers.
- 1 1/2 pound ground turkey
- 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- Palmful chili powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons, half a palmful, cumin
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coriander, half a palmful
- 1 tablespoon grill seasoning, (recommended: Montreal Seasoning by McCormick)
- 1 can of black olives, drained and finely chopped
- 1/2 package taco seasoning
- 2 tablespoons seasoned bread crumbs
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- Hamburger Buns
- Avocado (if you have them)
I promised zucchini recipes and here they are! I tried this one out when we were first married almost 7 years ago, and we both loved it. It is just the perfect casserole! Then I lost it in the abyss... but I've recently resurrected it, and it is BETTER THEN EVER! I've tried several zucchini casseroles, but they just haven't topped this one. It's creamy, rich, healthy, and DELICIOUS all in one big casserole dish. Feeds a big crew, and it's an EXCELLENT way to sneak in the zucchini. (My mom gave me this one a while back- she got it from a Zucchini Relief Society activity.) It even makes great left-overs! :)
1 lb beef (or turkey burger)
1 large onion, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
2 cup (or more) finely chopped zucchini
1-2 cups shredded carrots (about 3 carrots)
1 can cream of chicken
1/2 sour cream1 box stove top stuffing mix
In a large pan, brown burger. (Drain if it has a lot of fat- that is why I prefer turkey burger though- a lot less fat.) Add onion, salt and pepper, zucchini, and carrots. Cook on medium-high heat stirring frequently. When veggies are tender, stir in sour cream and cream of chicken. Transfer mixture into a casserole dish. Meanwhile, prepare stove top dressing according to package directions (I usually do it in the microwave because it is faster.) Spread prepared stuffing over the top of casserole. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes or until bubbly.
The Zucchini is on! If you are wondering what to do with those big green beauties, try grating them up and throwing into your pancakes. I love sneaking zucchini into things; the kids (and the hubby) get their veggies and you can hardly taste it. Zucchini is great at blending in. Throw a handful of chocolate chips in there too for good measure! This is a great pancake recipe that is really easy- but you might want to double it just in case you are surprised by the goodness of zucchini and you need another. :)
(Dairy of a Locavore)
Serves 2 (I double this recipe and it worked out great for a family of five.)
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/2 tablespoons sugar
In a separate bowl, whisk together:
3/4 cup milk
1-2 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Add 1/2 to 1 cup shredded zucchini (depending on taste) and stir into dry ingredients until just barely mixed.
Fry in butter on hot griddle or cast iron pan until golden. Serve hot with butter and maple syrup. (The zucchini really moistens things up, so I had to cook they pancakes longer then I typically would to make sure they were cooked through.)
Friday, August 20, 2010
*This recipe made 4 mini loaves and 2 larger loaves.
Zucchini Bread (Paula Deen)
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup water
2 cups grated zucchini
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
(I also added dried cranberries because I love them!)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, nutmeg, baking soda, cinnamon and sugar. In a separate bowl, combine oil, eggs, water, zucchini and lemon juice. Mix wet ingredients into dry, add nuts and fold in. Bake in 2 standard loaf pans, sprayed with nonstick spray, for 1 hour, or until a tester comes out clean. Alternately, bake in 5 mini loaf pans for about 45 minutes.
Monday, August 16, 2010
My sister-in-law made these INCREDIBLE Chicken Fajitas after a long day, and they seriously tasted amazing. The recipe is quite basic, but the chicken was so tender and man- with a little cheese, sour cream or ranch on top... oh- it is making my mouth water!
1 lb chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
olive oil (for cooking in)
1-2 tsp garlic powder
sliced bell peppers
1/2 packet of fajita seasoning
1 can chicken broth
ranch or sour cream
Season chicken pieces in garlic powder and salt. In a frying pan, cook chicken in oil. Add about half a packet of fajita seasoning, stir into chicken, and then add all the veggies and a can of chicken broth and let it simmer until veggies are tender. Serve on a tortilla shell with desired toppings.
Slow-Roasted Grilled Sirloin Tips By Daddy Ben Romney
1 tri-tip, sirloin, or round roast
For the Rub: garlic, black pepper, and salt. (Or Tone's Canadian Steak Seasoning)
The cut of meat was a tri tip roast. I have also used top sirloin, and round. They will all work ok. the tri-tip has a lot of lovely marble in it--surely adds flavor, but there is that matter of animal fat, and the resultant shape of our hips, bellies, and bottoms...
I do not marinate this meat. I use a simple rub of garlic, black pepper, salt. You can purchase a mix that I like from Tone's that is called "canadian steak seasoning" that contains "salt, dehydrated garlic, black pepper, dehydrated onion, spices, and red pepper." The "spices" are not specific, so there are potential variants on this simple rub. I think that sometimes too much spice can take away from the flavor of the meat, so I prefer the simple salt, pepper, and then either garlic, onion, shallots, or a combination. They can be dehydrated, or fresh. I sprinkle the spices on, rather than rubbing it all over the meat. I sprinkle one side, flip the meat over, sprinkle the other side, then flip it back and forth to pick up all the seasoning.
The real trick to the supple nature of this meat treatment is how it is cooked. This I have learned by observing my colleagues in the Animal Science Department over several years. The simple rule for the temperature of the grill: hold your hand over the surface, count slowly to 4. If you can't make it to 4, it is too hot, and if you count past 4, it is not warm enough. Then make sure that the grill plates are cleaned and oiled--I use canola oil usually for this. In Bolivia, we used to grab a sour orange from the tree, split it in half, then wipe the juice and peel up and down the grates to clean and oil them--plus it adds a nice flavor to the grill. You can do the same with lemon, grapefruit. Lime peel becomes a bit bitter.
Anyway, on the oiled grill, the meat is placed, where it should sizzle for three minutes, then it is turned over, seared for another three minutes, then turned every three minutes after that. Keep track of the direction of the meat so that when turned over, it is also rotated. When we are cooking a large batch, we holler out "fat to the north, fat to the south, east, west, etc. so everyone is on the same rotation. We may have as many as twenty or thirty or so slabs of meat going at a time for a big group barbecue. Remember, three minutes and turn. This goes on until one of the thinner pieces is sacrificed a few slices at a time, and the cooks moan with delight at the burst of juicy flavor. I use a digital cooking thermometer, and want to be close to 150º F. Then it is good to let the meat rest for a few minutes to absorb the juice and complete cooking. Each grill is different, gas versus charcoal is different. I have cooked over a fire using a stick and follow the same principle.
The final, and very important requirement for serving is to slice the meat on an angle perpendicular to the grain of the meat. Cutting across the grain makes the texture more desirable for masticating the meat, prevents any stringiness that might arise, and makes a beautiful presentation on either a serving platter, or on the plate of the consumer.
Saturday, August 14, 2010
I've seen red velvet around for a while, and although it sounds divine, I wondered if it "might be just a passing fancy, and it time may go..." but let me tell you that Red Velvet Cupcakes are "here to stay." :) My sister-in-law whipped these up and I showed her how to do the icing. (So easy- just fill a ziplock bag, cut a 1/4 inch hole in the corner and pipe it out in a circle starting from the outside and working your way in.) I thought they were so pretty! Wouldn't that make a great Valentine treat with a strawberry slice on top?! (I'm sure we're re-inventing the wheel here- no doubt it as already been done, but that doesn't make a bad idea, right? :) They were fabulous and I loved her idea of making them into cupcakes! I was surprised by the ingredients! Who would have thought vinegar or buttermilk? But it sure works!
Red Velvet Cake
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 T cocoa
1-2 oz. red food coloring
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 T vinegar
1 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 375. Grease and flour muffin tins or use cupcake liners (If you're making a cake, grease two 8 or 9 inch baking dishes). Cream butter, sugar, and eggs together. Beat well. Add cocoa, food coloring, salt, flour, and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Put baking soda and vinegar into buttermilk. Stir and add to butter/sugar mixture. Beat until smooth. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 35-40 minutes. Remove from over and cool on wire racks. Frost top and sides of cake with cream cheese frosting. Garnish with pecans, if desired.
Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cups butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 lb. confectioner's sugar
milk to thin, if needed
Whip cream cheese, and butter. Add vanilla and mix well. Add confectioner's sugar, mixing well. Add milk, one tsp at a time, if needed to thin frosting.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Taco Potato Salad (By Lyd)
1 pound bacon
1 onion, diced
2 1/2 pounds potatoes, halved (if Yukon or Red and peeled if other)
1 tablespoon paprika
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon grill seasoning or coarse salt and pepper
2 tablespoons grainy mustard
1 tablespoons vinegar
1/2 packet Taco Seasoning (about 1 tablespoon)
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup sour cream
3 to 4 ribs celery with leafy greens, finely chopped
A generous handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
Fry up bacon until crispy. Remove from pan, and saute onion in drippings. Set aside.
Meanwhile, Place potatoes in pot, cover with water, bring to a boil then salt the water. Cook potatoes 12 to 15 minutes until tender.
While potatoes cook, combine spices and mustard with vinegar, whisk in olive oil, and sour cream, and add the cooled onions, celery and parsley to the bowl. Drain potatoes and toss them in dressing while they're still hot, they'll absorb more dressing and flavor. Toss in crispy bacon.
Monday, August 9, 2010
I was having a chocolate craving of late, and this is what I prescribed myself. :) The pudding was super rich and yummy, but it certainly didn't set up as the firm pie I was intending (even after refrigeration) and the graham cracker crust certainly did not hold it's pie crust shape. However, I did end up with a heavenly "BLOB" of chocolate goodness, so I am not complaining. Moral of the Story: don't force pudding to become a pie when it just doesn't feel like being a pie. Enjoy rich chocolate pudding for puddings sake. :)
1 1/2 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs (about 10-12 whole crackers)
4-6 TB melted butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare graham cracker crumbs by one of two methods:
• Coarsely break crackers and place in the food processor. Process with metal blade until finely pulverized.
• Place crackers in a plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin.
Add melted butter and combine. This will require a few pulses in the food processor or a few seconds mixing by hand in a bowl.
Press the crumbs into a 9 inch pie pan, spreading them evenly over the bottom and sides.
Bake for about 8-10 minutes.
Quick & Easy Homemade Chocolate Pudding (By Loren's Gem on HubPages)
- 2 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/3 teaspoon fine salt
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 whole egg
- whipping cream
- grated chocolate
- Whisk the 2 ½ cups of milk with the whole egg, white sugar, salt, cornstarch and unsweetened cocoa powder in a small mixing bowl.
- In a saucepan, bring all the blended ingredients to a simmer over medium-high heat.
- In another mixing bowl, whisk together the cornstarch, butter, and vanilla extract and add to the simmering milk mixture. Reduce the temperature to medium-low heat.
- Whisk constantly until the pudding comes to a full boil.
- As soon as the mixture starts to thicken, lower the heat (just enough to continue simmering) and continue whisking for about 2-3 minutes or until it becomes really thick.
- Make sure you’ll reach the bottom and sides of the saucepan when whisking so as to prevent the pudding from sticking. As you cook, it may look lumpy but as you whisk quickly and stir constantly, the lumps will just be smoothed out perfectly well.
- Remove saucepan from the heat.
- With the help of a rubber spatula, pour the warm chocolate pudding into small separate bowls.
- If you want to eat your chocolate pudding warm, you may serve it immediately. Though if you prefer to serve them chilled, then you will need to cover the small bowls of chocolate pudding individually with a plastic wrap. This will help prevent a skin layer on top of the puddings from forming.
- You may leave the puddings refrigerated for about 4-6 hours before serving. You may also leave them chilled on your refrigerator overnight until set and your puddings will taste even better.
- Ideally, chocolate puddings are best served chilled and with a dallop of softly-whipped cream on top.
Monday, August 2, 2010
Oven Roasted Red Potatoes (Momma Stew)
2-3 lbs. small red potatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
1 packet of onion soup mix
Quarter the red potatoes and toss with olive oil and then soup mix until well coated. Spread on a baking sheet and bake at 350-400 until tender- about 30 minutes.