Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Chocolate Brownie Cake

I'm making this for our church picnic this Sunday. I am having Bodie this weekend, so I will make it and freeze it until Sunday morning. I won't frost it until Sunday, but I am going to go ahead and make the frosting today and keep it in the refrigerator. FoodNetwork's Emeril Lagasse
1/2 pound btter, softened at room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 Tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 cup butermilk
/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Chocolate Buttermilk Frosting, recipe follows
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Grease and flour 2 (9inch) cake pans, then line with parchment paper.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and mix until thoroughly combined.
In a medium mixing bowl combine sifted flour, baking soda, and cocoa powder together.
In a small mixing bowl whisk the buttermilk, sour cream and vanilla together.
While the mixer with the butter mixture is on low speed, add the dry ingredients in 3 batches, alternating with the liquid ingredients.  Divide the cake batter evenly among the 2 prepared cake pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake, comes out clean and the edges of the cake just begin to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 30-35 min. Transfer the cakes to a cooling rack and allow the cakes to cool in the pans. Carefully remove the cakes from the pans and frost as usual for a layered cake with the Chocolate Buttermilk Frosting.
Chocolate Buttermilk Frosting
1 stick butter, softened
1/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted
8 ounces cream cheese
1 pound powdered sugar, sifted
2 Tablespoons buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
In the bowl of the electric mixer combine the butter, cocoa powder and cream cheese over low speed and mix until thoroughly combined. Increase speed to high and cream ingredients until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and slowly add the powdered sugar, buttermilk, and vanilla. Beat until mixture is smooth and thoroughly combined.

Mediterranean Chicken and Orzo Salad w/ Sun-dried Tomatoes and Pine Nuts

Jud is going to be eating out at lunch for the next couple of days so I plan to eat on this for the next two days. I'm looking forward to it.  Exceptional!  Found it in the Express News of San Antonio.

8 oz. (1 1/4 cups) orzo
1 cup diced cooked chicken
1/2 cup chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/3 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 garlic clove, finely chopped3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cups crisp greens, such as romaine or Boston lettuce, for serving.
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil
2. Cook orzo according to package directions
3. Drain well
4. Combine orzo with chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, olives, and pine nuts in a large bowl
Wisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
Pour the dressing over the saladand toss to combine.

Baked Cheese Crepes

We love this recipe and I have even served it for company. I could see using my recipe for german hotcakes for the crepes, but I will give you Giada's recipe as it is.  I have made this many times and people always want the recipe.  It comes from Giada De Laurentiis of Foodnetwork.  http://wwhttp://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/baked-cheese-crepes-recipe/index.html

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
6 large eggs
1/3 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
8 ounces fontina cheese, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
8 ounces fresh water-packed mozzarella, drained, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
1 cup marinara sauce,  Giada's Marinara Sauce
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Wisk the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Heat a 6-inch nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Brush the skillet with some butter. Working quickly, pour 3 tablespoons of the egg mixture into the pan, swirling to coat the bottom of the pan evenly. Cover and cook until the egg crepe is just set, about 1 min. Invert the skillet over a plate, and allow the egg crepe to drop onto the plate. Repeat to make 10 crepes total, brushing the skillet with melted butter as needed and stacking crepes on the plate.
Butter a 13 X 9 X 2-inch baking dish. Arrange 1 egg crepe on a work surface. Place some of the fontina and mozzarella cheese in the center of the egg crepe, then sprinkle with some basil. Roll up the crepe. Place the filled crepe in the prepared baking dish, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining egg crepes, cheese, and basil. Spoon the marinara sauce over the crepes. Sprinkle with the parmesan and dot with 2 Tablespoons of butter. Bake until the cheese melts and to top is golden, about 15 min.

German Hotcakes

I serve these for breakfast, but I could see using these for a crepe recipe.
3 whole eggs
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
In a blender add eggs, milk, and salt. Turn on the blender and then add the flour.  Pour into a non-stick pan. It will make 4 thin pancakes the size of the pan.  After you pour in about 1/2 cup of the batter, pick up the pan and tilt it from side to side to cover the entire pan. Replace on the burner and cook both sides of the pancake. Serve with butter and syrup.

Spinach-Chicken Bake

I'm going to give the the rcipe as it was given to me.  Unless I made this for a big crowd, I would have to cut this down to only 2 chicken breast halves.  I will put out to the side what I plan to do in cutting the recipe.
3/4 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs (1/4 cup)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese       (1 T.)
12 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (2)
1/2 cup sliced green onions               (1 T.)
2 Tablespoons butter                        (1 T)
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour        (1T)
1 cup milk                                         (1/2 cup)
1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach (1/2 package)
1 4-ounce package boiled ham slices, chopped (1 slice)
1. In a shallow dish combine bread crumbs and parmesan cheese. Lightly coat chicken pieces with some of the crumb mixture. Arrange in a 3-quart retangular baking dish. Reserve te remaining crumb mixture.
2. In a large saucepan cook green onions in butter untl tender. Stir in flour. Add milk all at once. Cook and wisk until thickened and bubbly. Cook and wisk for 1 min. more. Stir in spinach and ham.
3. Spoon spinach mixture over chicken; sprinkle with the remaining crum mixture. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 40 to 45 min.( I will probably check mine after 35 min.) or until chicken is no longer pink (170 degrees)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Herb and Goat Cheese Omelet

I found a recipe for goat cheese omelet and bought the stuff to make it and then coudn't find the recipe.  I did a search for goat cheese omlet and found one that looks close. I plan to serve this for lunch with a piece of crusty bread and a salad.
4 large eggs
1 Tablespoon water
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, divided
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon
1/4 cup (1 oz) crumbled goat cheese
2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1/2 cup thinly sliced zucchini
1/2 cup julienne- cut red bell pepper ( I bought roasted red peppers for the other recipe so will use those)
dash of salt
1 teaspoon chopped fresh chives
Whisk eggs and 1 Tablespoon water in a bowl. Stir in 1/8 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Set aside. Combine parsley, tarragon, and goat cheese in a small bowl. Set aside. Heat 1 teaspoon olive in an 8 inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper, zucchini, bell pepper, and a dash of salt to pan. Cook for 4 min or until tender. Remove zucchini mixture from pan. Cover and keep warm.
Place 1/2 teaspoon oil in skillet. Pour half of the egg mixture into the pan, and let egg mixture set slightly (do not str). Carefully soosen set edges of omelet with a spatula, tipping the pan to pour uncooked egg to the sides. Continue this procedure for about 5 seconds or until almost no runny egg remains. Sprinkle half of the cheese mixture evenly over the cooked omelet.Cook omelet 1 min or until set. Slide omelet onto plate, folding into thirds. Repeat procedure with remaining 1/2 teaspoon oil, egg mixture, and goat cheese mixture. Sprinkle chives over omelets. Serve with zucchini mixture.

Moroccan Couscous

I love this recipe for couscous. It is the only one I use.  It comes from Barefoot Contessa, but I didn't not which cookbook.

4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
3/4 cup chopped shallots
3 cups chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon each of kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
1 1/2 cups couscous
1/2 cup pignoli nuts toasted
1/4 cup currants ( I use dried cherries)
Melt the butter in a large sauce pan, add the shallots and cook for 3 minutes over medium heat. Add the chicken stock, salt and pepper. Raise the heat to high and bring the stock to a boil. Cut off the heat and add the couscous. Cover the pan and let it sit for 10 minutes.
Add the pignoli nuts and cuttants to the couscous. Fluff with a fork and serve.

Chicken Parmesan

1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon each fresh thyme, rosemary and parsley
4 chicken cutets
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3/4 cup marinara sauce
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
8 teaspoons parmesan cheese
1 Tablespoon butter cut in pieces
Prehead oven to 500 degrees. Stir oli and herbs to blend. Brush cutlets with oil mixture. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat ovenproof skillet over high heat. Cook 1 min. on each side. Remove from heat and spoon marinara sauce over and around the cutlet. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons parmesan cheese and dot each cutlet with butter pieces. Bake until cheese melts and chicken cooks through. About 5 minutes.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Soft Taco Stacks

This is what I do sometimes with left-over baked chicken.

1-16 oz can refried beans
9- 10" flour tortillas
1 8oz. pkg. mexican 4 cheese blend  - grated
2 jalapena peppers- seeded and chopped
1 1/2 cups chopped chicken
6 green onions
1 1/2 cup shredded lettuce
1 - 8 oz. jar salsa
2 medium tomatoes - seeded and chopped
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1 avocado
Spread beans on 1 side of 3 tortillas, beans side up on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with cheese , jalapena pepper, chicken and green onions. Bake 350 degrees until cheese melts. Place a tortilla on top of cheese tortilla and add lettuce, 2 T. salsa, tomatoes, cilantro and avocado.  Top with last flour tortilla and cut into 1/4's. Serve with extra sala.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Coconut Rice

2 cups jasmine-scented white rice ( I just used regular rice)
2 cups coconut milk
1 3/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon canola oil ( for rubbing in pot)
Optional - 1 teaspoon white or brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon coconut flavoring
2 Tablespoons toasted coconut
1. Rub oil onbottom of deep-sided pot
2. Place rice, coconut milk, water, and salt in the pot on medium/high heat - Stirring well
3. Add sugar and flavorings if desired. Con tinue stirring until rice mixture begins to boil. Stirring keeps the rice from sticking and burning.
4. Once mixture is boilin stop stirring and turn heat to medium/low. Place lid askew on the pot to allow steam to escape.
5. Cook 15-20 minutes or until almost all liquid has been absorbed.
6. Turn off heat, but leave pot on burner. Cover pot with lid and let rest 5-10 minutes. It will have a sticky texture.
7. When ready to serve, fluff rice with a fork. Place toasted coconut on top of each serving if desired.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Angel Food Cake with Peach Cream and peaches

1 angel food cake
2 8-ounce cartons peach fat-free yogurt
1 4-serving-size package sugar-free instant vanilla pudding mix
1 8-ounce container light whipped dessert topping
For the peach cream, stir together yogurt and 1/4 of the pudding mix until smooth. Gradually add remaining pudding mix to yogurt, stirring until smooth after each additon. Fold in whipped topping. Serve the cake with peach cream and peaches.

You can also use lemon fat-free yogurt and serve with strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries.

Fish Tacos & Pinto salad

We love fish tacos and these are right up there with the best. The first time I even heard of fish tacos was about 10 years ago and we were eating dinner with Stacy and Randel in Austin. Stacy ordered them and I remember saying, "Yuk" She said you should try them. I took one bite of hers and I was hooked. We have them at least once a month. You can use about any rub that you have on hand. That makes it about a 15 min. meal if you already have the rub. Cooking Light 2010

Ingredients for Crema:
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 Tablespoons fat-free mayonnaise
3 Tablespoons reduced fat sour cream
1 teaspoon grated lime rind
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 garli clove, minced
Ingredients for Tacos:
1 teaspoon ground cummin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 pounds talapia
Cooking spray
8 corn tortillas
2 cups shredded cabbage
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. To prepare crema, combine the first 8 ingredients in a small bowl, and set aside. To prepare tacos, combine cummin and next 5 ingredients (through garlic powder) in a small bowl, sprinkle spice mixture evenly over both sides of fish. Place fish on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425 degrees for 9 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Place fish in a bowl, break into pieces with a fork. Heat tortillas according to package directions. Divide fish evenly among tortillas; top each 1/4 cup cabbage and 1 Tablespoon crema. Yield: 4 servings

Pinto Salad
Combine 1 cup diced plum tmatoes, 1/2 cup diced yellow bell pepper, 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro, 1/4 cup minced seeded jalapeno pepper, 2 Tablespoons lime juice, 2 teaspoons olive oil, 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, and 1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed, stir well.  I add an avocado in mine.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Marinara Sauce

This is the marinara Sauce that I make for anything from polenta to pasta.  Definitely a go-to marinara sauce recipe.  Comes from Giada De Laurentiis - FoodNetwork
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 small onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (32 oz.) cans crushed tomatoes
2 dried bay leaves
In a large casserole pot, heat the oil over a medium-high flame. Add the onions and garlic and saute' until the onions are translucent, about 10 min. Add the celery, carrots, and 1/2 teaspoon of each salt and pepper. Saute' until all the vegetables are soft, about 10 min. Add the tomatoes and bay leaves, and simmer uncovered over low heat until the sauce thickens, about 1 hour. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Season the sauce with more salt and pepper, to taste. ( The sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Cool, then cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over medium heat before using.) I makes more than we need for a meal so I divide it in 1/2 and freeze part of it. The night I want to use it, I take it out of the freezer to thaw. I sometimes put it in batches in the food processor to make the sauce smooth.

My Mama's Waffles

 Tonight we had breakfast for dinner.  Sometimes, that just sounds better than anything I can think to have. 

4 eggs, separated
1/4 cup oil
3/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Beat 4 egg whites until stiff. Set aside
Mix 4 egg yolks, 1/4 cup oil, milk, flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Fold in egg whites by hand. Pour in waffle grill and cook until desired browness. Serve with your favorite syrup or jam.

My mama used to make these often. I have always loved her waffles and have a hard time ordering them at a restaurant because they are too hard. I could easily have these 2-3 days a week. But then I would probably gain about 20 pounds I don't need.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Maggie's Beans

My daughter-in-law's mother makes some amazing beans. She makes one batch for our daughter, Stacy and the rest of her family and she makes one batch for the rest of our family that likes hot, but not as hot as she likes it. I will give you her recipe and then in parenthesis what I do.
1 1/2 pounds of pinto beans ( I use 1 pound)
Maggie buys loose beans not prepackaged so she can find the new beans. Lighter colors are fresh and clean the darker ones are older and not as fresh ( I buy packaged beans)
1 finely chopped medium size onion
4-5 finely chopped medium size tomatoes very ripe
3-4 chopped jalapenos - chopped small ( I use two)
3-4 chopped serrano peppers - chopped small ( I use none)
1 chopped habanero pepper just in case the others are not hot enough (I use none)
1 lb package of bacon ( I use 1/2 package)
1 bunch cilantro, everything even the stems she says that is the tastiest part
salt to taste
Clean and rinse beans. Put beans in a 5-6 quart pot and fill with water. If it's bigger it's o.k. because when you pour in all the ingredients you need room so it won't overflow. Plus you want plenty of water because that will end up being the tastiest part of the beans. Set it to high until they come to a boil and then set to medium-low. Beans will cook for an hour to and hour and a half until they are tender. Mae sure to look over them throughout to make sure they have plenty of water. Add water as needed to make sure they are covered. While beans are cooking prepare the other ingredients.
Chopbacon in small pieces and cook in aseparate pan. Once the bacon is crispy add chopped onion and chopped peppers. Leave the bacon greese in pan to saute' them. Then add chopped cilantro and continue cooking. Add in finely chopped tomatoes and cook for 5 min. If there isn't enough oil from th bacon, just add 1/4 cup of cooking oil so everything gets cooked well.
When bens are tender, pour everything rom the pan with bacon ingredients into the beans. After 5 minutes, taste to see how much salt is needed. The bacon will add salt so be sure to taste. The longer they cook, the tastier they get.

Thanks Maggie, we love your beans even though we tame them way too much for your taste.
Next, I want your salsa recipe. It is amazing.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Bread Pudding

I make this for Wed. night church dinners often. It makes more than Jud and I can eat, and it is always gone at the end of the dinner.  It doesn't need any kind of sauce, but my mother usually made a lemon sauce for it.   Sometimes instead of toasting the bread in the toaster, I just cube the bread and put it in a 350 degree oven for about 30 min. then I pour the butter over the top.  This was a recipe I got from my mother, Barbara Brown. Don't know where she got it.

10 slices of toasted bread
2 sticks of butter - melted
4 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 cups milk
nutmeg for top

Break toasted bread into bite-size pieces and put in a pan with melted mutter. Stir until butter is soaked into bread. Beat eggs, and add sugar, milk, and vanilla. Put bread mixture in a 9" X 13" pan and pour egg mixture over the bread mixture. Mash down so the egg mixture will soak into the bread. Sprinkle top with nutmeg. Bake 400 degrees - 45 min. Turn off oven and let it finish browning to the color you want.