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breakfast, lunch, dinner, cupcakes, tastiness.

OMG delicious…why didn’t I make more? January 31, 2008

Filed under: food,recipes — Mox. @ 11:56 pm
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Beef and Mushroom Stew
-1/5 tsp. olive oil (divided use)
-1 lb. beef top round, trimmed of all fat and cut into 3/4″ cubes
-1 onion, chopped
-1 leek, chopped (white part only)
-1 clove garlic, minced
-12 oz. mushrooms, sliced (button, small portobello, shiitake or a combination)
-2 stalks celery, chopped
-3 carrots, halved and sliced
-1/2 tsp. pepper
-1/2 tsp. dried thyme
-1/2 tsp. paprika
-1/4 tsp. salt
-1 bay leaf
-1 (14.5 ounce) can reduced sodium beef broth
-1/2 c. red wine
-1/2 c. frozen peas
-1 tablespoon cornstarch
-3/4 cup hot cooked brown rice
-chopped green onions

    Heat 1 tsp. oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add beef cubes and cook, stirring frequently, until browned. Drain and set beef aside.
    Add remaining oil to Dutch oven. Add onion, leek and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until onion is tender. Add mushrooms and saute, stirring frequently, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in celery, carrots, seasonings, broth, wine and browned beef. Heat to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer 1 hour or until beef is tender. Stir in peas. Increase heat to medium. Dissolve cornstarch in 1 tablespoon cold water; blend cornstarch mixture into stew and cook, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes or until slightly thickened and bubbly.
    To serve, ladle stew into individual serving bowls. Top each serving with 2 Tbs. hot cooked brown rice then garnish with chopped green onions. Makes 6 servings.*Notes on this recipe: Aha! So there’s where my beef broth went. I accidentally only bought 1 can. I wasn’t very successful on my shopping this week.

I made this in a stock pot. I don’t know what crazy asian midgets they’re serving these 6 servings to, but I barely got 4 out of it (although 3 of those servings WERE to growing boys). Don’t forget to remove the bay leaf when serving, unless you want to play culinary eww-lette.

 

1 of a billion

Filed under: food,recipes — Mox. @ 11:54 pm
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Winter Green Lasagna
Hands on time: 35 minutes; Total time: about 1.75 hours; Makes 8-10 servings

-2.5 pounds fresh kale, spinach, or another fresh green, or five 10-ounce boxes frozen chopped spinach, thawed
-4 Tbs. olive oil
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-1 tsp. kosher salt
-2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
-3 c. low-fat milk
-2 c. grated Parmesan or Romano, or a combination of the two
-2 15-ounce containers ricotta
-2 eggs, beaten
-Grated zest of 1 lemon
-1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
-1 16-ounce box no-boil lasagna noodles

    If using fresh greens, discard any tough stems and chop the leaves. Rinse and shake gently to remove most but not all of the water. Place 2 Tbs. of the oil in a large stockpot with the garlic and cook over medium-high heat. As soon as the garlic begins to brown, add the greens and toss. Add 1/2 tsp. of the salt. Cover immediately and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until very tender. (If using frozen spinach, press out the liquid, then saute the spinach in 2 Tbs. of the oil and the garlic for about 5 minutes.)Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the remaining olive oil, the flour, and the remaining salt. Cook, whisking constantly, for about 3 minutes. Add the milk and increase heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens and boils, about 10 minutes. Stir in all but 1/2 c. of the grated cheese.
     Heat oven to 350 F. Coat a 13-by-9-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Blend the ricotta, eggs, lemon zest, and nutmeg into the greens. Spread about 1/2 cup of the cheese sauce in the bottom of the baking pan. Place 3 sheets of pasta on top. Spread on 1/4 of the spinach/greens filling and 1/2 cup of sauce, then another 3 sheets of pasta. Make 3 more layers. End with the pasta and sauce, and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes. Remove the foil and cook 15 minutes more or until golden. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. (Can be made up to 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Reheat in a 325 F oven for 20 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out hot.)

*Notes on this recipe: Honestly, I don’t like this recipe. I had made it before, but somehow the recipe made its way back into the box as a new recipe. J loves this stuff, but, being a caveman, says it really needs some meat, perhaps Italian sausage. I used fresh kale. Frozen spinach would be WAY less work, but less satisfaction (although I don’t know why I even bother with this recipe-seriously-I don’t like it. Maybe it goes against my lasagna beliefs?). 

 

Spaghetti and….spaghetti and…spaghetti and…smokin’ tha reefer.

Filed under: food,recipes — Mox. @ 11:51 pm
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Spaghetti in Mushroom Sauce with Sausage
-1 lb. spaghetti
-1 (7oz) box frozen breakfast sausage links
-1 Tbs. butter
-1 lb. mushrooms, sliced
-1 (15 oz) can beef broth
-1/4 c. Dijon mustard
-2 Tbs. whipping cream
-1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
-1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley (optional)

    Cook spaghetti according to package directions; drain, reserve.
Meanwhile, brown sausage according to package directions in a large skillet over medium heat. Drain links on paper towels; reserve. Discard remaining fat from the skillet; cut sausage into slices.
    Melt butter in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms; cook, stirring, until mushrooms are browned, about 6 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to a plate. Add broth to skillet, scraping up any brown bits on bottom. Heat to a boil; reduce until slightly syrupy, about 5 minutes. Stir in mustard, cream and pepper. Reduce heat to low; return sausage and mushrooms to pan. Simmer to combine flavors, about 2 minutes. Place cooked spaghetti back in a large bowl. Add sauce, toss to mix. Sprinkle with parsley. Makes 4 servings.

*Notes on this recipe: I also forgot to purchase the frozen breakfast sausage links, so I substituted in hot italian sausage (there is always a place for Italian sausage), crumbled. I DID purchase beef broth but some time between me purchasing it at the store and starting to cook this meal, it disappeared. I did not use parsley. Instead of placing the cooked spaghetti into “a large bowl”, I put it back in the stock pot I had boiled it in (emptied of water, of course).

 

Spicy and yum.

Filed under: food,recipes — Mox. @ 11:47 pm
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 Sweet-Spicy Cucumbers over Tomatoes
-2 c. thinly sliced picking cucumbers (about 2 cucumbers)
-1 c. thinly sliced Vidalia or other sweet onion
-1/2 c. cider vinegar
-1/4 c. sugar
-1/2 tsp. salt
-1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
-4 garlic cloves, minced
-2 whole dried red chiles
-16 (1/4″ thick) slices tomato
-1/8 tsp. salt
-1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

    Arrange half of cucumber in a 9″ pie plate. Top with half of the onion. Repeat procedure with remaining cucumber and onion.
   Combine vinegar and next 5 ingredients (vinegar through chiles) in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, cook 1 minute or until sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally. Pour hot vinegar mixture over cucumber mixture. Cover and marinate in refrigerator 1 to 4 days.
    Arrange tomato slices on a platter; sprinkle evenly with 1/8 tsp. salt and black pepper. Remove cucumber mixture from marinade with a slotted spoon; arrange over tomato slices. Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 2 tomato slices and about 1/3 c. cucumber mixture)

*Notes on this recipe: I did not use pickling cucumbers. I also forgot to get chiles when I went to the store, so I substituted a couple of shakes of crushed red pepper. I would recommend using smaller tomatoes, like Roma or something around that size unless you really really like tomatoes (I felt the larger ones I used were on the border of too-muchery). I let it marinate for 2 days in an 8″ cake pan covered with foil because my pie pan was occupied. The onions would do nicely sliced into thin rings.

This was spicy and crisp and totally delicious!

 

Cheese!

Filed under: food,recipes — Mox. @ 11:45 pm
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Country Cheddar Soup
-2 Tbsp. butter
-1/2 c. chopped onion
-1/2 c. chopped celery
-1/2 c. chopped carrot
-1/2 c. chopped green bell pepper
-5 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
-4 c. chicken broth
-3 c. shredded sharp cheddar (12 oz)
-1-12oz. can evaporated milk

    In a large saucepan, melt butter. Add the vegetables. Cook and stir over medium-low heat until vegetables are tender.
    Sprinkle vegetables with flour, adding 1tablespoon at a time, stirring until flour is blended in. Add broth the pan. Cook & stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil.
    Reduce heat, add cheese and stir with a large whisk until well blended. Slowly add condensed milk, stirring until well blended and heated through. Season to taste.

*Notes on this recipe: This is from my recipe box, I’ve had it for a few years and still love it. It would go really well with a loaf of crusty garlic bread. If you love cheese (as my friend Mashley really really really does), this one’s awesome. I like cheese.

 

Yay steak.

Filed under: food,recipes — Mox. @ 11:40 pm
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Richard Chamberlain’s Sirloin Strip Steak with Caramelized Shallot-Wine Sauce 

-2.5 lbs sirloin strip (center cut), prime or certified Black Angus
-2 Tbs. olive oil
-Fresh ground sea salt and black pepper
-4 Tbs. butter (divided use)
-1/2 c. finely chopped shallots
-1 tsp. sugar
-1.25 c. good-quality Meritage (California Bordeaux blend wine)
-1 tsp. cracked peppercorns
-1 tsp. finely chopped fresh thyme
-Squeeze of fresh lemon juice

    Preheat oven to 400 F.
    Clean the steak of all silver skin and fat.
Portion by cutting first the full length of the strip, then across to make small, thick steaks.
    Heat a large, heavy-bottom pan over medium-high heat. When drops of water sizzle on the pan, add the olive oil. Season steaks generously with salt and pepper, and add to the hot pan.
    Allow steaks to brown on 1 side (about 4 minutes). When crusty and well-browned, turn and brown on the opposite side, about 2.5-3 minutes. Transfer steaks to a rimmed cookie sheet and place in the oven to finish cooking, about 5-6 minutes for medium-rare. Timing varies with the thickness of the steaks, so use a Thermo Fork, if you have one, to test for doneness.
Medium-rare will be 122 F.(Note: Steaks continue to cook after being removed from the oven.)
    Remove from oven to rest; keep covered.
Place dinner plates in the oven (turned off) to warm for 2 minutes while allowing the steaks to rest.
    In the browning pan, over medium heat, add 1 Tbs. butter, shallots and sugar, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are lightly caramelized. Add the wine, peppercorns, and thyme. Allow the wine to boil until reduced to about 3/4s of its original volume. Whisk in remaining butter, or more to taste, and a squeeze of lemon juice.
    Using hot pad, remove the plates from oven, placing a steak on each one. Spoon sauce over the top. Recommended side dishes:roasted potatoes, creamed spinach, and the rest of the wine, to drink.
Makes 4-6 servings.

*Notes on this recipe: I did not use prime or certified Black Angus beef. It turned out just fine. I also used coarse kosher salt in place of the fresh ground sea salt. I used Chardonnay instead of the Meritage (COMPLETELY different wine), but it was still tasty. With the fresh thyme, I removed the leaves from the stem by pinching the woody stem and running my fingers, pinched, down the stem in the opposite direction of the leaves’ growth, then chopped them. I also did not serve this with roasted potatoes, creamed spinach, or the rest of the wine.

I really liked the sauce for the steak. Usually, I like my steak naked, but I was not unhappy with the sauce.

 

Thanksgiving 2007 Menu and Recipes

This year’s menu consisted of:

-Seared Turkey Breast with Roasted Root Vegetables and Chardonnay Gravy

-Cornbread Stuffing-Green Bean Casserole*

-Sweet Potato Casserole+

-My Mom’s Fruit Salad +

-Fearing’s Sweet Corn and Queso Mashed Potatoes (recipe by Dean Fearing of…Fearing’s)* -Cranberry Sauce

-premade Sara Lee rolls

-Candy Bar Pie*

Marbled Pumpkin Cheesecake that ended up being Traditional Pumpkin Pie* due to a lack of graham cracker crumbs that I didn’t notice until it was too late
______________________________________________________________

*=Items that I tried for the first time that will stay in my recipe file for future usage
+=Items that are staples and have been made eleventy billion times before

 I did  just a turkey breast this year because it was going to be just the two of us and I didn’t want the hassle or cost of an entire turkey. I should have just gone with a small turkey. The breast was just as much, if not more, work than a small turkey.

I didn’t like the gravy-Chardonnay seems a bit too sweet to me for a gravy.The stuffing was alright, but I’ve made better.

^^^^^^

Recipes for the staples and new things this year that we liked:

Green Bean Casserole: (Campbell’s recipe)
– 1 can (10 3/4 oz) Cream of Mushroom soup (can be fat free or low sodium), doesn’t have to be Campbell’s brand
-1/2 cup milk ( I use whole milk solely for cooking)
-1 tsp. soy sauce (didn’t realize we were out until I started making it-I used an equal amount of oyster-flavored sauce)
-Dash of pepper
-4 cups cooked cut green beans (2 cans well drained)
-1 1/3 cups French’s French Fried Onions
________________

MIX: soup, milk, soy sauce (in our case oyster-flavored sauce), pepper, green beans and 2/3 cup onions in 1 1/2-qt. casserole (an 8″ pie pan will also work).
BAKE: at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes or until hot (I’m not sure how you’re supposed to determine if it’s hot or not…)
STIR: Sprinkle with remaining onions. Bake 5 minutes.

Sweet Potato Casserole:
– 3 medium sweet potatoes
– 1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
– 1/2 t. cinnamon
– 1/2 stick of butter, softened
– 1/3 c. granulated sugar
– Shake of nutmeg
– Large Marshmallows (Jet Puft of course!)
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1. Prick and boil sweet potatoes for around 40-50 minutes and check for doneness; usually a knife can be stuck through easily. Cool and peel. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Put potatoes in a 2 quart buttered casserole dish (again, an 8 or 9″ pie pan will work), and add all ingredients except marshmallows.
2. Mash potatoes and ingredients REALLY well (if you don’t mash the sweet potatoes well enough, they’re stringy and that’s gross) – you may use an electric mixer or mash by hand. Heat through (about 20 minutes). Raise the oven temperature to 400 degrees F and add marshmallows on top. Heat for 5-10 minutes.

My Mom’s Fruit Salad (as in my actual mom):
– 8 oz cream cheese, softened
– 1 pint heavy whipping cream
– 2-3 Tbs. powdered sugar (I use 3 because I like the whipped cream to be a little sweeter, but start with 2)
– I tsp. vanilla extract
– 2×15 oz cans of fruit cocktail (drained very well and patted dry with a paper towel)
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In a medium mixing bowl, whip softened cream cheese.
In another medium mixing bowl, whip heavy whipping cream with the powdered sugar and vanilla extract until fluffy.
Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese, then fold in the fruit cocktail until evenly distributed.
Chill for at least 30 minutes.

Fearing’s Sweet Corn and Queso Mashed Potatoes:
-6 russet potatoes, peeled
-5 tablespoons butter (divided use)
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-1 shallot, minced
-2 ears yellow corn (kernels sliced from cob)
-3 oz queso fresco
-1 pint half-and-half (or less, to taste)
-Salt, to taste
_________________________________

   Place potatoes in large pot and cover with water. Bring water to boil. Reduce to simmer; cook potatoes for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork. Drain.
   Place potatoes in large bowl and mash by hand for homestyle (slightly lumpy) mashed potatoes, or with an electric mixer for smoothness.
   Bring medium saute pan to medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon butter. Add garlic and saute until very light brown, about one minute.
   Add shallot; saute for 1 minute. Add corn kernels and saute for 2 minutes.
   Remove pan from heat and add mixture to mashed potatoes. Fold in cheese. Stir to combine well; taste for seasoning.
   Melt remaining 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) butter. Add melted butter.
   Slowly add up to 1 pint half-and-half, stirring well so consistency is not too thin. Add salt to taste, and stir.
   Keep warm until served. Makes 4 servings.
*I used about 3/4 pint of half-and-half and it made the potatoes a little too thin for my liking. Also, I don’t know if I had gigantic potatoes or something, but when I made it, it made WAY more than 4 side-dish servings. This won’t be going into the holiday recipes, but I’m going to be keeping it with the regular recipes.

Cranberry Sauce :
-4 cups fresh cranberries
-2 cups apple juice
-3/4 cup sugar
-1/4 teaspoon orange zest

___________

Place all the ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and cook until the liquid has slightly thickened, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat, let cool, cover, and refrigerate in a serving dish. 
Yield: Makes 8 to 10 servings (2 cups)

Candy Bar Pie
-5 Snickers candy bars (2.07 ounces each), cut into 1/4″ pieces
-1 pastry shell (9 inches), baked*
-12 oz. cream cheese, softened
-1/2 cup sugar
– 2 eggs
-1/3 cup sour cream
-1/3 cup peanut butter
– 2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
– 2 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream
 

 _______________________

Place candy bar pieces in the pastry shell; set aside. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs, sour cream and peanut butter; beat on low speed just until combined. Pour into pastry shell. Bake at 325 degrees F for 35-40 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack.
  In a small heavy saucepan, melt chocolate chips with cream over low heat until smooth. Spread over filling. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. Cut with a warm knife.
Yield: 8-10 servings.
*Note: I used a Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust. This pie is great if you love cheesecake, which J does. I don’t love it so much, so I wasn’t as much of a fan.

Traditional Pumpkin Pie
-1 recipe Pastry for Single-Crust Pie (see below)
-1 15 oz. can pumpkin
-2/3 cup sugar
-1 tsp. ground cinnamon
-1/2 tsp. ground ginger
-1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
-3 slightly beaten eggs
-1 5 oz can (2/3 cup) evaporated milk
-1/2 cup of milk
.

________________

1. Prepare and roll out Pastry for Single-Crust Pie. Line a 9″ pie plate with the pastry. Trim to 1/2 inch beyond edge of pie plate. Fold under extra pastry; crimp edge as desired.
2. For filling, in a mixing b owl combine pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Add eggs. Beat lightly with a rotary beater or fork just until combined. Gradually stir in evaporated milk and milk; mix well.
3. Place the pastry-lined pie plate on the oven rack. Carefully pour filling into pastry shell.
4. To prevent overbrowning, cover edge of the pie with foil. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil. Bake about 25 minutes more or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Refrigerate within 2 hours; cover for longer storage.

 Makes 8 servings.

Pastry for Single-Crust Pie:
Stir together 1 & 1/4 cups all-purpose flour and 1/4 tsp. salt. Using a pastry blender cut in 1/3 cup shortening until pieces are pea-size. Using 4 to 5 tablespoons cold water, sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the water over part of the mixture; gently toss with a fork. Push moistened dough to the side of the bowl. Repeat moistening dough, using 1 tablespoon of the water at a time, until all the dough is moistened. Form dough into a ball. On a lightly floured surface, use your hands to slightly flatten dough. Roll dough from center to edge into a circle about 12 inches in diameter.

**I used a Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crust that I had left over and followed the directions on the box instead of making it from scratch, as it was about 3 in the morning and I was frustrated over having to make a pie instead of a cheesecake.