Running with kitchen shears.

breakfast, lunch, dinner, cupcakes, tastiness.

When I was growing up, my parents had a friend named Reuben who shot himself in the foot. June 29, 2008

Filed under: food,recipes — Mox. @ 12:32 pm
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As a youngster I didn’t understand how someone could shoot themselves in the foot. After reading a recent story about a fellow who accidentally shot himself in the stomach while removing his gun from his waistband during a robbery of a residence(he died) and people who shoot themselves in the junk in a similar manner, I’m not surprised at all.

When I was growing up, I had a friend named the Reuben sandwich. My mother makes it a whole different way, a giant sandwich on a loaf of crusty French bread with Provolone but that’s not what we’re getting into here-we haven’t the time…but I’m salivating already.

Reuben Bake

-1 pkg (12 oz) egg noodles
-4 Tbs unsalted butter
-1 (16 oz) can sauerkraut, drained (feel free to drink the juice you sick freak)
-1/2 lb sliced deli corned beef, coarsely chopped
-1/2 c mayonnaise
-1 Tbs ketchup
-2 Tbs diced pickles
-1 Tbs minced onion (or 1 tsp dried minced onion)
-1 large tomato, sliced very thin
-2 c shredded Swiss cheese
-1 c milk
-2 c crushed rye crackers (I used RyKrisp brand, the natural ones)
-1 tsp caraway seeds

1. Heat oven to 350 F. Coat 13x9x2″ baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Cook noodles following package directions. Drain and toss with 2 Tbs of the butter. Place in prepared dish; top with sauerkraut, then corned beef. In a bowl, mix mayonnaise, ketchup, pickle and onion. Spread over corned beef. Top with tomato and cheese.

3. Pour milk evenly over the top. Melt remaining 2 Tbs butter and toss with rye cracker crumbs and caraway seeds; sprinkle over the top. Bake at 350 F. for 45 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes, then serve.

This recipe is adapted from Family Circle.

Next time I make this, I’m going to use Russian dressing instead of ketchup and mayo mixed together, Provolone cheese instead of Swiss (both elements are closer to the way my mom makes her Reuben sammich) and will mix everything together before topping with the rye cracker crumbs. The way this recipe is written you kind of end up with big bland noodle-y parts. I think it would be far better with all the stuff mixed together.

All-in-all, aside from the big bland noodle-y parts, this was a big hit in our 2 person household. Both J and I really liked it and think it has big potential as far as easy, quick prep meals go.

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So I got a new blackberry… June 25, 2008

Filed under: food,recipes — Mox. @ 5:08 am
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A couple new ones, actually. From the fence on the border of my parents’ property a while back-I froze them when we got home because I wasn’t going to have a chance to use them just yet. If you’ve given any thought to picking wild food, being able to base a dish on something you picked yourself is pretty damned cool, even though this (originally for cranberry muffins) wasn’t the best recipe to change for it.

Blackberry Muffins

-2 c flour
-1/2 c sugar
-1 T baking powder
-1/2 tsp salt
-2/3 c orange juice
-2 eggs, slightly beaten
-3 Tbs butter, melted
-1 1/4 c fresh or frozen blackberries (or cranberries for cranberry muffins)-if frozen don’t thaw
-2 tsp grated orange rind *optional*

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Place paper liners in muffin tins; set aside. Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together into a mixing bowl. Make a well in the center of the dry mixture.
2. In a separate bowl, combine orange juice, eggs and melted butter. Pour into the well of the dry mixture. Stir until dry ingredients are just moistened. Batter may be a little lumpy. DO NOT over-mix or texture will be tough. Fold in remaining ingredients.
3.Fill each liner 2/3 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Place pan on a rack to cool. for 5 minutes. Remove muffins from tin and continue cooling on rack. May be served warm or room temperature.

This recipe SAYS it makes 16 muffins, but I got closer to 14.

I probably should have replaced the orange juice with something else (I did skip the orange zest though-no oranges in the house!) All in all, these weren’t bad, even though I did almost cross the border from soft to tough. I’m definately going to retry this recipe in the fall with cranberries!
I love the eggs I’ve had lately-a lady I work with raises chickens and I can purchase them from her at a significantly lower price than at the store and I don’t have to worry about what sort of hormones anything is treated with. The shells have the most beautiful hues, from teal to blue to greenish to brown. They’re great.

 

A pastor walks into a taco. Badum-ch! June 24, 2008

Filed under: food,recipes — Mox. @ 7:44 pm
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I really should look up what al pastor means.

Tacos al Pastor

-1 can (20 oz) pineapple chunks in juice
-2 dried guajillo or ancho chiles
-3 cloves garlic, peeled
-1 tsp dried oregano
-1/4 tsp ground cumin
-1/4 tsp salt
-2 Tbs cider vinegar
-1 lb boneless center-cut pork loin chops, trimmed of any fat
– 1 Tbs vegetable oil
-2 tsp cornstarch blended with 1 Tbs water
-1 package corn tortillas, heated
-1 small red onion, diced
1/4 c loosely packed cilantro leaves – I had parsley on hand-I HATE HATE HATE cilantro and refuse to cook with/eat it
-1/2 c reduced-fat sour cream, thinned with 2 Tbs milk

1. Drain pineapple, reserving juice. Place juice in a small saucepan with 1/2 c water. Bring t oa boil; add chiles. Let soak 30 minutes.

2. Remove stems from softened chiles, then pour chilens and liquid into a blender or food processor. Add 3/4 c of the pineapple chunks, the garlic, oregano, cumin, salt and vinegar. Puree until smooth.

3. Slice pork in half horizontally, then chop into small pieces. At this point I really hope you got what the recipe says-boneless-because this step is an extra pain in the ass if you didn’t (like me). Place in a shallow glass dish or resealable bag and add chile-pineapple mixture. Cover with plastic wrap or seal bag and marinate in refrigerator at least 1 hour or overnight. Meanwhile dice remaining pineapple pieces. Refrigerate for later.

4. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Schoop pork pieces from the marinade with a slotted spoon and add to pan. Discard marinade. Cook pork for 3 minutes. Add reserved pineapple pieces and cornstarch-water mixture. Cook 1 minute, until pork is cooked through and sauce is thick. Serve mixture in warm tortillas, topped with onion, cilantro, and sour cream.

This recipe is adapted from a Family Circle recipe.

I was so upset the night I prepared these. I was making good time to have it ready when J got home, until I saw the “marinate for 1 hour or overnight”. I had him pick up dinner and I let it marinate. I felt so dumb. I miss stuff like that a lot.  I did let it marinate for 2 days and it ended up delicious. I made it on Saturday night so J was home to keep asking “Is it done yet? How about now?” and saying “Oh my God I want to eat that right now- it smells sooooo good.” This was a HUGE hit with him. Although it says it makes 6 servings, there was only enough left for 1 taco after we ate dinner.

 

Smoke and a pancake? Bong and a blintz? Coffee Cake for your Faja.

Filed under: food,Holidays,recipes — Mox. @ 7:28 pm
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J and I were on…let’s say a tight…budget for Father’s Day but still wanted to do something special for my father-in-law since we’d be out of town on the actual day (visiting my father-I think we’re gonna switch next year as we did the same for Mother’s Day and it would really only be fair). I decided I would make something he could have for breakfast on the day so he wouldn’t have to do much work at all (HAH like that’ll stop him from working-really, he works too hard).

Cinnamon Coffee Cake

-2 1/4 c white flour
-1/2 tsp salt
-2 tsp cinnamon (divided use)
-1/4 tsp powdered ginger
-1 c firmly packed brown sugar
-3/4 c white sugar
-3/4 c canola oil
-1 c chopped pecans
-1 tsp baking soda
-1 tsp baking powder
-1 large egg, beaten
-1 c milk (can be buttermilk for added yumocity, we just used what we always have, vanilla soy milk)

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 9×13″ baking pan.

2. In a large bowl, mix the flour, salt, 1 tsp of the cinnamon, ginger, both sugars and canola oil. Remove 3/4 c of this mixture and to it add the nuts and the remaining tsp on cinnamon. Mix well, and set aside to use as a topping.

3. To the remaining batter, add the baking soda, baking powder, egg and milk. Mox to combine all the ingredients. Small lumps in the batter are ok.

4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the topping mixture evenly over the surface and bake for 40-45 minutes.

Makes 12-16 servings

 This recipe was adapted from Real Simple.

We ended up meeting my father-in-law at Golden Path to Stomach Discomfort (also known as Golden Corral) for Father’s Day breakfast on the way to my parents’ house, so he didn’t get to eat this the day of. He did eat it for a snack later that day and breakfast the next, though. I made the mistake of substituting in the only nut-like items I had in the house-pine nuts. DO NOT DO THIS. I thought this made the topping icky, but J thought it was delicious. The cake itself was lovely and soft. Definately good. I’m going to make this again with buttermilk and pecans.

 

 

Three, three, three porks in one! June 19, 2008

Filed under: food,recipes — Mox. @ 5:50 pm
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I love the word pork. Pork pork pork.
During “Use what you’ve got”/”Crap we’re broke” week, I needed solutions. Easy, tasty solutions.
These 3 recipes use a large pork roast, divided up, that you cook all at one time to make it easier/maybe ever so slightly more economical.

MASTER RECIPE: Roast Pork & Pan-Roasted Potatoes

Pork and Potatoes:

-1 boneless pork roast, about 4.5 lbs
-2 Tbs olive oil-1/4 + 1/8 tsp salt
-1/4 + 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
-1-2 Tbs dried rosemary (about a cupped palm full if you have smallish hands, or you may use 5 sprigs fresh-I had dried)
-1.5 lbs red-skin potatoes, cut into 1″ pieces

Gravy:

-1.5 c chicken broth
-2 Tbs all-purpose flour
-1/2 c white wine (I used leftover Pinot Grigio because again, it’s what I had)

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Roast pork: Rub pork roast with 1 Tbs of the olive oil. Season with 1/4 tsp each of the salt and pepper. Sprinkle 3/4 of the rosemary (or place 3 sprigs) on top. Place in roasting pan and roast for 1 hour, 20 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 150 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. I don’t mess around with pork and temperatures-I’ll let it dry out and get not as delicious as it could be if it means food safety. Remove from oven, tent with foild and allow to rest at least 10 minutes before slicing. The temperature should continue to rise, reaching about 160 degrees F. Save drippings in pan for gravy.
3. Meanwhile, prepare potatoes: On a large baking sheet, toss potatoes with the remaining 1 Tbs of olive oil. Season with remaining 1/8 tsp each salt and pepper. Sprinkle remaining rosemary over potatoes.
4. After meat has been roasting for about 35 minutes, add potatoes to oven. Roast about 45 minutes or until fork-tender. Remove from oven; keep warm.
5. Make gravy: Whisk together broth and flour. Stir into roasting pan and scrape up any browned bits. Add wine and bring to a boil. Simmer for 3 minutes or until thickened. Gravy hates me so this took a few more minutes and the addition of a little cornstarch to get it to work for me. Strain and keep warm.
6. Reserve have of roast for use in Cuban Sandwiches and Pork Fried Rice (recipes below). Slice remaining half of roast and serve with gravy and potatoes.

 

Day 2: Cuban Sandwiches

-1 loaf crusty Italian bread
-4 dill pickles, thinly sliced
-1/2 lb roast pork, sliced (about 8 1/4″ slices from Master Recipe, above)
-4 slices Swiss cheese (about 1 oz each)
-8 tsp yellow mustard

1. Heat grill or grill pan (we used our George Foreman grill). cut bread in half lengthwise, then crosswise into four equal pieces. Layer each bottom piece with a sliced pickle, 2 slices of the pork and 1 slice of Swiss. Spread the cut side of each top piece with 2 tsp mustard.
2. Stack tops onto bottom pieces and flatted to 1/3 original thickness. Place sandwiches on heated grill and weight down with a heavy pot (I have no heavy pot so I used my hand on the top handle-not recommended on anything other than the George Foreman!). Grill for 2 to 3 minutes per side, until nicely grilled and cheese melts. Cut in half on the diagonal and serve.

We only had about half the regular yellow mustard required for this recipe (I really don’t know how in the world I ran out), so I added in a bit of dijon and spicy brown mustard. Everyone loved this recipe-even J’s little sister who doesn’t like anything!

 

Day 3: Pork Fried Rice

-2 eggs, lightly beaten
-1 pkg Asian-flavored rice mix (I used Rice-a-Roni Fried Rice I believe)
-1 lb pork roast, cut into 3/4″ cubes (last bit of pork from Master Recipe, above)
-1 bag (16 oz) frozen stir-fry vegetables, thawed
-1 can (8 oz) sliced water chestnuts, drained
-2 Tbs light soy sauce
-1 Tbs hoisin sauce or ketchup (I had no hoisin, but I had the alternative-again, use what you’ve got!)
-2 tsp sesame oil
-2 scallions, chopped

1. Add eggs to large nonstick skillet. Cook until set and remove to a plate (similar to the first steps of making tamagoyaki). Cut into strips. Wipe out skillet (and scrape out if your cheapo nonstick skillet totally blows like mine); prepare rice mix in skillet following package directions.
2. During last 7 minutes, add pork, vegetables, water chestnuts, soy and hoisin (ketchup). Stir in egg strips and cook, covered, for remaining 7 minutes.
3 Remove from heat and stir in sesame oil. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with scallions.

Don’t you just love easy, fake Asian food? This was the least appealing of the 3 but was also the easiest, while still being tasty.

All in all, I’d say this group of recipes is definately going to stay in my recipe box. It’s easy…and my stupid cat is pushing my keyboard off the desk to make himself comfortable for a nap, what a fattie…and most definately a time saver, which is great with the way the schedules of myself and dear husband fall. I am not a big fan of tons and tons of cooking late at night. I would love it if I still had his schedule though-I’m more of a night owl…or at least I used to be…than I am a morning person.

 

Hold the whole wheat, please. June 16, 2008

Filed under: food,Light,recipes — Mox. @ 8:01 pm
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I suppose you can classify whole wheat pasta along side with eggplant-one of those things that I pretty much hated upon encountering it, but may give it a chance again if it gives me a really really good reason to. However, J doesn’t like the stuff, so it may be a while. That being said, I made this dish without whole wheat pasta. Sorry-the last time I tried it it was grainy and weird and corrugated cardboard would have tasted better.

Whole Wheat Penne with Broccoli & Sausage
Total time 25 minutes 4 servings

-12 oz penne pasta (whole wheat if you so choose)
-1 lg bunch broccoli, cut into florets
-12 oz hot Italian turkey sausage
-1 pt grape tomatoes, each cut in half
-1/2 c loosely packed fresh basil, chopped
-1/4 c freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese (or Italian Blend containing Romano)

1. Heat stockpot of salted water to boiling on high. Add pasta and cook as label directs, adding broccoli when 3 minutes of cooking time remain. Reserve 1/2 c cooking water; drain pasta and broccoli (feel free to allow the remaining pasta water to cool and then pour on your lawn or plants).

2. Meanwhile, thinly slice sausage on the diagonal. In a large nonstick skillet, cook sausage on medium 7 to 8 minutes or until it begins to brown, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes and cook 5 minutes longer, stirring.

3. Stir pasta, broccoli, and 1/4 c pasta cooking water into sausage mixture in skillet; heat through, adding additional cooking water if needed. Remove from heat; stir in basil and cheese.
This recipe was adapted from a Family Circle magazine recipe.

This past week was “use what’s in the freezer/pantry because we’re broke” week, so there were various substitutions. That’s also another reason for not using whole wheat pasta-didn’t have it. In the place of the hot Italian turkey sausage, we had some turkey brats. I really liked this dish-even J liked it (which surprised me-sometimes he gets weird about pastas without outright sauces). I didn’t feel like a fatass after eating it, either.

As I’ve said before, my skillet is very small. At the point where it tells you to stir everything into the skillet, I stirred it into the stock pot I had used for cooking the pasta. Also, every time that I use just the florets of the broccoli, I trim the stalks/stems and slice them thinly for a marvelous and interesting looking addition to stir fry-the cross sections of the large part of the stem have the most interesting shape.

 

The moment you’ve all been waiting for: I’m baring my buns on the internets. June 9, 2008

I know you’ve been waiting for it, and it’s the least I could do for all my faithful reader (thanks Mom). Really, it was my mother’s idea. She gave me the recipe, after all.

Classic Cinnamon Buns

Classic Cinnamon Buns

– 1 c milk (original recipe called for whole, I used Vanilla Soymilk)
-1 envelope (1/4 oz) active dry yeast
-1/4 c warm water (100-110 degrees F)
-3 Tbs granulated sugar
-2 eggs
-1/4 c (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
-4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
-1/2 tsp salt

Filling:
-1/2 c (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
-1/4 c granulated sugar
-1 c packed light brown sugar
-1 Tbs cinnamon
*optional*-1/2 c coarsely chopped pecans (I think slivered or sliced almonds would be spectacular)

Glaze:
-2 c confectioners’ sugar
-1 to 3 Tbs milk
-1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1. Heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until it just begins to boil. Remove from heat and let stand until cooled to room temperature.

2. While the milk cools, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water in a large bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of the sugar and let stand until foamy, around 5 minutes. Beat in the remaining 2 Tbs sugar, eggs and butter. Beat in cooled milk.

3. Gradually add the flour and salt, scraping down side of the bowl after each addition, until a soft dough forms. Turn the dough onto a well-floured work surface and knead the remaining flour into the dough, adding more flour if too sticky. Knead for about 10 minutes until smooth. The dough will be soft.

4. Grease a large bowl. Place the dough in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

5. Coat two 9″ round baking pans with nonstick cooking spray. Line bottoms with waxed paper; coat paper with spray. Prepare filling: Mix butter, both kids of sugar and cinnamon together in a medium-size bowl with a fork.

6. Punch down dough. Roll out dough onto a lightly floured surface to an 18 x 12″ rectangle. Spread the butter-sugar mixture over the dough. Sprinkle with nuts, if desired. Starting on one long side, roll up jelly roll-fashion and pinch seam to close.

7. Cut crosswise into 14 generous 1″ pieces (feel free to do so using unflavored dental floss, as doing this with a knife is a major pain in the ass). Arrange 7 pieces, cut-side down, in each prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm spot (like the top of the fridge) until buns double in size, about 30 to 45 minutes. Or cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the following morning.

8. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Uncover pans and bake buns until they are golden-brown and bubbly, 30 to 40 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool 10 minutes.

9. While the buns are cooling, prepare Glaze: Mix confectioners sugar, 1 Tbs of the milk, and vanilla extract, adding more milk as necessary, to make a smooth glaze. Invert buns to a serving platter. Drizzle glaze on top of buns (feel free to make off-color jokes while drizzling over your buns). Serve warm.
This recipe is adapted from a Family Circle recipe.

 

I can’t believe this is the first time I’ve made my own cinnamon rolls (sorry, I don’t call them buns and I feel silly saying buns so many times in one post. BUNS.) I am a member of the Church of Pillbury Orange Rolls. These were good, J looooved them, but I don’t like mine to taste as much like a yeast-y bread (yes, I know that’s what they are). I’m all about sweet sweet sweet when it comes to my cinnamon rolls. Next time I make these, I think I’m going to add orange zest and make an orange glaze instead of vanilla to see if I can outdo the squishy little chef-hatted one. 

Make sure to make time for this recipe (get up at the butt crack of dawn)if you’re making it all in one go, for breakfast for instance, as I originally intended to. Because of the waiting time, it ended up being more like lunch-next time I’ll refrigerate like the recipe gave the option to.

Barely into beating in the flour, my crappy $6 hand mixer (honestly, it’s held up pretty well for what it is) began to fail me, as the batter climbed up the beaters to within a hair of getting sucked into the motor. I put another bug in J’s ear about a stand mixer (poor guy, they must be running around like weevils in there by now). Instead of forcing it to commit seppoku for shaming its family, I set it aside and continued stirring in flour with my super-sturdy handy-dandy wooden-handled silicone birthday spatula (again, thanks Mom!).