Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Chicken Cordon Bleu

We had a surprise 80th birthday party for one of our hiking buddies.  We made all gluten-free dishes. I made this from Kalyn's kitchen. She mentioned that all South Beach Diet phase 1 is gluten-free.  We had such a good time planning and pulling-off this surprise for Shirley. She is totally responsible for all of us hiking all these years. She is a great role-model for us all.

Printable Recipe

6 chicken breast halves
12 pieces Canadian Bacon (II only needed 1 1/2 for each chicken breast)
6 oz. Gruyere cheese sliced into 8 thin slices (I had the cheese deli cut 12-14 slices for me)
(Don't substitute, the nutty taste of the Gruyere makes this dish.)
1/4 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup half and half
1 Tablespoon olive oil, for browning chicken
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Pound chicken breasts until fairly thin, then rub each one with poultry seasoning. Saute' chicken in olive oil until nicely browned on both sides. Spray glass or crockery baking dish with nonstick spray or olive oil. Place chicken breasts in baking dish in a single layer. Top each with two pieces of Canadian bacon and then a piece of Gruyere.

Deglaze pan that chicken breasts were browned in with chicken stock, scraping off any browned bits, and let stock cook until slightly reduced. Add half and half and warm over low heat about 2 minutes. While it warms, cut the rest of the cheese into tiny pieces. Add cheese and stir until melted and smooth. Pour a little sauce over each chicken breast. (There will not be a lot of sauce.)

Bake 20-25 minutes, until cheese is melted and mixture is hot and bubbly. Serve hot.

Friday, December 24, 2010

White Chocolate Filled Chocolate Cupcakes

I made these for dessert for Christmas dinner with the family.  I wanted you to see a picture without icing so you could see the filling and the plug.  I had some Harry and David Chocolate Cherries and cut them in 1/2 instead of using the maraschino cherries.  I also didn't have enough filling to cover the plug so made some buttercream icing.  I would suggest you just double the filling recipe and after you fill the cupcakes and replace the plug, put the icing back in the refrigerator and then ice the top, not the whole cupcake. This recipe is adapted from Emeril's Kitchen.
Printable Recipe:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup sifted cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee (optional- but Ina Garten would say to use it, Emeril doesn't)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, cracked into a small cup or saucer
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup hot water
White Chocolate Filling, recipe follows
16 maraschino cherries, garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter 1 (12-cup muffin tin. The recipe actually made about 18 cupcakes when I made them. I used paper liners, so I didn't need to butter the tins.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and coffe if using.  Add remaining ingredients, adding the hot water last. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Divide the batter evenly among the greased muffin tin wells.Bake until the cupcakes are puffed and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes.

Cool to room temperature in the tins. Run a thin, sharp knife around the sides of the muffin cups to loosen the cupcakes, and carefully lift out. Place the cupcakes on a work surface.

Transfer the white chocolate filling to a pastry bag fitted with a small tip. With a small paring knife, cut a small plug from the top of each cupcake, reserving the plug, and scoop out a hole in the center of each cupcake to hold the filling. Place the tip in the cupcake and pipe in the filling to fill the hole. Replace the plug and place the cupcakes upright. Pipe a small amount of filling on top to hide the plug and top with a cherry.

Arrange the cupcakes on a platter and serve.

White Chocolate Filling:
4 ounces white chocolate, chopped (1/2 cup)
1/4 cup milk
4 ounces cream cheese
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In the top of a double boiler, combine the white chocolate and milk. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, until the chocolate is melted. Let cool to room temperature.

In a bowl, beat the softened cream cheese, and vanilla. Gradually add the cooled chocolate and beat until smooth. Chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours before filling cupcakes. Use to fill the chocolate cupcakes as directed.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Salmon Croquettes

We love salmon croquettes at our house and I usually have a small can of salmon in my pantry.  I use the 7.5 oz can. I have used some of my favorite recipes and combined it to make it my own.  Hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Printable Recipe:

1 small can (7.5 oz) of salmon ( open the can and remove the bones that are down the middle)
1 Tablespoon diced onion
zest of 1/2 lemon
1 egg
1/4 cup  wheat germ + extra for coating the cakes.
Open the can of salmon and remove the bones that are in the salmon.  Add zest of 1/2 lemon, egg, onion, and wheat germ.
Add about 2/3 cup of wheat germ to a pan and coat each side of the cake with wheat germ.  This is a weight-watchers recipe and I really like it just as well as using the panco bread crumbs.  I cook the cakes in a 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes and then turn them over and cook another 5 min.

Roasted Asparagus
Cut the hard end off the asparagus and coat with extra virgin olive oil.  Use your hands to make sure each asparagus is coated.  Salt and pepper each asparagus. Put in a broiler pan and bake 15 minutes at 400 degrees.  Sometimes, I like to bundle about 5 asparagus together and wrap 1/2 slice of bacon around them.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Chicken with Pesto Cream

I happened to be watching Robin Miller while I was getting dressed today and saw the end of this dish. It looked so good, I just had to go get the recipe. She makes hers with Sole, but I had chicken and decided that it would be great with chicken. I was right. This is a winner. I will definitely make this again.

Printable Recipe:

4 boneless chicken breasts w/o skin
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup prepared basil pesto]1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 cup rice, regular or instant, cooked according to package directions
ground paprika
Using a heavy-duty freezer bag, pound the chicken breasts until they are flat and even thickness all over.
Season both sides of chicken with salt and black pepper. I also put the paprika on at this point. I like the color that it gives. In a large skillet, heat oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook 3 minutes per side, until golden brown. In a medium bowl, whisk together heavy cream, pesto, and lemon zest. Add mixture to pan and bring to a simmer. Simmer 2 minutes, until sauce thickens. Transfer rice to a serving platter. Top the rice with fish and spoon sauce over the top. Sprinkle paprika over top just before serving.

I did not make the rice today, but I'm sure it would be delicious.  I had some other sides that I needed to use.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Penne with Turkey Meatballs

This is a recipe that I have made before, but it is the first time I have posted it.  Bodie is with us for 2 days and he loved the Pasta.  Mia and Grandad liked it too.  The recipe for the Simple Tomato Sauce will follow and it makes enough for two meals. I used 1/2 of it in this recipe and froze the other 1/2 for a later use.
Giada De Laurentiis - Foodnetwork

Printable Recipe:

1/4 cup plain dried bread crumbs
2 tablespoons whole milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten  I only used 1
3/4 cup grated Romano
1 pound ground turkey, preferably dark meat
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil for frying meat
5 cups tomato sauce, recipe follows
1 pound dried penne pasta
In a large bowl add bread crumbs and milk. Mix well until combined. Mix in egg and 1/2 cup Romano cheese and mix well. Add turkey and gently combine, being careful not to overwork the meat. Season with salt and pepper. Shape into golf-size balls. 

In a large skillet heat the oil over medium high heat. When almost smoking, add meatballs and without moving or turning the meat, allow it to brown for about 3 minutes. Turn meatballs and brown other side. Continue to cook until all sides are golden brown, about 8 minutes total. Add tomato sauce and bring to a boil. Lower heat and allow meatballs to simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and keep warm on stove. Be careful not to overhandle the meatballs since they are soft and fragile.

In a large pot, bring to boil 6 quarts of salted water. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain pasta in a colander. Do not rince pasta with water wince you want to retain the pasta natural starches so that the sauce will cling to the penne.

Remove meatballs from sauce and place in serving bowl. Pour some tomato sauce over meatballs, but leave about 1 cup of sauce in skillet. Place the cooked penne into the skillet with the remaining sauce and toss well. Pour sauced pasta into a large serving bowl. Serve alongside the meatballs with extra cheese.
Printable Recipe:

Simple Tomato Sauce:
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 (32 oz) cans crushed tomatoes
2 dried bay leaves

This is a picture of the sauce before you put it in the food processor

This is a picture of after the sauce has been blended and put in the pot to warm.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Cauliflower Gratin with Almond Crust

There was an article in the Taste Section of San Antonio Express about the best recipes in the 25 years of Taste. This was one of them. I loved it.  I ate it tonight as my dinner. I will definitely make this again.

Printable Recipe:

1/4 cup butter
1 head cauliflower separated into florets
1 small onion chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt (I think it could have used a little more)
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 cup (4 oz)  shredded Gruyere cheese
1/2 cup Japanese bread crumbs (panko)
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup grated Paremsan cheese
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add cauliflower, onion, and garlic. Sauge' 10 minutes or until golden and just tender. Sprinkle with flour, thyme, and salt. Stir well. Remove from heat. Spoon cauliflower mixture into a 11" X 7" baking dish and drizzle with cream.  Sprinkle with Gruyere cheese, bread crumbs, almonds, and Parmesan, in that order. Bake 18-20 minutes or until golden.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Lentil/Sausage Soup

This is a recipe from kalynskitchen that I have adapted. Since we are not on South Beach diet, I have used some different additions. I'll put those in itallics.  I also had some left-over pinto beans that I added.

Printable Recipe:

1/2 onion, diced very small
1 carrot, diced very small
2 large stalks celery, diced very small
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic (from a jar, use less if fresh garlic)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon Spike seasoning
3 links pre-cooked chicken or turkey sausage, diced in 1/4-1/2" pieces -I used some deer sausage my brother gave me.
6 cups chicken stock
1 can petite diced tomatoes with juice
1/4 cup brown lentils
1/4 cup red lentils - I just used 1/2 cup lentils from the grocery store. They seemed to be green and brown
I added about 1 1/2 cups of cooked pinto beans because I had them
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup long-grain brown rice (I like Uncle Ben's brown rice) I used long-grain white rice
4 cups chopped fresh spinach
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Crockpot method:
Dice onions, carrot and celery. Heat olive oil in heavy frying pan, add veggies and saute' until starting to soften, about 3-4 minutes. Add garlic, thyme, and Spike Seasoning and saute' about 2 min. more. Add veggies to crockpot.

Add diced chicken sausage, canned tomatoes, chicken stock, brown lentils, red lentils, and salt and pepper to crockpot and cook on high about 3 hours (or until brown lentils are soft and red lentils are starting to dissolve.)
Add brown rice and chopped spinach and cook about 1 hour more. Stir in balsamic vinegar and cook 15 minutes. Serve hot, with Parmesan cheese if desired.
Stove-Top Method
Use at least 1 cup more of stock or chicken broth for stove-top cooking.

Heat oil in a heavy soup pot, then saute' vegetables, garlic, and seasonings as above. Add diced chicken sausage, canned tomatoes, chicken stock, brown lentils, red lentils, and salt and pepper and simmer over low heat for about 45 minutes, or until lentils are soft.

Add brown rice and chopped spinach and simmer about 30 minutes more, or until rice is soft. (Check to see if you need to add a little more liquid when you add the rice and spinach.) Stir in balsamic vinegar and simmer about 5 minutes more. Serve hot, with Parmesan cheese if desired.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Green Bean Casserole

Stacy made this for our Thanksgiving feast and it was a huge hit.  She made it her own by adding carmelized onions and a seeded jalapena. It has just the right amount of kick, but not too much for the little ones.

Printable Recipe:

1- 16oz. package frozen french green beans
1 can mushroom soup
1/4 cup milk
1 onion carmalized
1 seeded jalapena
1 can french fried onions
Take one package of french green beans and add 1 can of mushroom soup, 1/4 cup milk. Stir until well combined.  In a skillet add about 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter over low heat.  When butter is melted add one onion cut into rings. Cook over very low heat until the onions are slightly browned and wilted. Add 1 seeded jalapena that has been diced.  Cook this about 5 minutes longer and add to the green bean mixture.  Top with a can of french fried onion rings and bake in a 350 degree oven about 30 minutes.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sweet Potato Souffle

This is another recipe from Thanksgivings at the Edwards'.  When I was first married and introduced to the Edwards' Thanksgiving, I used to ask for all the recipes after dinner and they would sit around the table and talk while giving me their Thanksgiving recipes. I am so thankful that even then I loved to cook enough that I wanted the recipes for good food.  It just wouldn't be Thanksgiving without this sweet potato souffle. I guess everyone has at least one recipe that you have to have at Thanksgiving. This is mine.
Printable Recipe:

3 cups of mashed sweet potatoes - I used fresh sweet potatoes, but you could certainly use canned
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup flour
1 cup chopped pecans
Take the fresh or canned potatoes that are still warm and add the 6 ingredients and mash the potatoes.  Since my potatoes were fresh and very hot, I added a little of the hot mixture to my eggs to temper before adding the eggs to the other ingredients.
Mix the topping ingredients and sprinkle over the potato mixture. Bake 350 degrees 30-35 minutes until topping is a little crispy.  I made these potatoes ahead and put them in the refrigerator. I mixed my topping ahead and kept is separate in a baggie. Then Thanksgiving day, I added the topping and baked @ 350 degrees for 1 hour. 

24 Hour Fruit Salad

This is a combination of a 24 hour fruit salad that my mom used to make and one I found on My mom's recipe had pears, peaches, pineapple, and grapes for the fruit.  Food network only had grapes.  I like this better, but I like foodnetwork's dressing. I love making something my own by adding or subtracting ingredients that I don't think we will like.  Creativity in cooking.

Printable Recipe:
4 egg yolks
2 lemons
1 pint whipping cream
1 pound seedless red grapes
1/2 can peaches
1/2 can pears
1 small can pineapple tidbits, drained
1/2-3/4 package miniature marshmallows
Cook egg yolks and lemon juice over a double boiler, while whisking constantly until slightly thickened. Cool.  Whip the cream and mix with egg yolk and juice mixture. Combine grapes, marshmellows, pineapple, peaches, and pears. Fold in whipped cream mixture. Place in a serving bowl and refrigerate for 24 hours. I didn't need all of the whipping cream that the recipe called for so I used the rest on the pumpkin pie we had for dessert.  I would suggest adding a little whipping cream at a time until you have the consistency you want.  It will get thicker in the refrigerator.

Maccaroni and Cheese

Anthony and Bodie are connoisseurs of mac and cheese. I have tried several recipes and this one was a hit by both.  They each had several helpings. It will be my go-to dish when they are here. I had left-overs of everything except the mac and cheese.  I forgot to take pictures until it was pretty-well gone. You get the idea.  I made it again for Easter. We have added 2 more grandsons now and it is still liked by all. As you can see by the second picture, I made more than enough this year.

Printable Recipe:
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cups grated american cheese -I used velveeta
2 cups elbow maccaroni - cooked to al dente'
Melt butter in a large pot and stir in flour.  Add milk stirring constantly until thickened. Remove from heat and add other ingredients.  Pour into a 12" X 13" pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray and bake 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Chicken Stuffed with Green Chiles and Cheese

This is an amazing dish that Kalyn posted on her blog.  I will definitely be making this again.  It would be so good to substitute cheeses and even instead of chiles you could put in some herbs. I only made 2 chicken breasts so I cut the stuffing ingredients in 1/2. I also suggest you put a piece of aluminum foil or parchment paper down to catch any cheese that falls out.  Yum!  You must try this.

Printable Recipe:
4 large boneless-skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar/jack cheese (I use Kirkland 4 cheese blend from Costco.) I just used regular cheddar cheese
1/2 of a 4 oz can diced green Anaheim chiles with juice
1/4 cup light sour cream (not fat free)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/8 cup 100% whole wheat bread crumbs, finely crushed (I just used bread crumbs from a box)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a medium sized flat baking dish with nonstick spray. As I told you earlier, I used aluminum foil instead. I really stuffed my chicken breasts to the top and overflowing.)

Pound chicken breasts until they are very thin, about 1/4 inch. (
To pound chicken breasts. Trim fat and tendons from chicken and place one breast at a time inside a small heavy-duty ziplock bag. Hit with meat mallet or any heavy object you have on hand until chicken is about 1/4 inch in thickness. Don't worry if some pieces of chicken kind of break apart; you can tuck them in when you cook the chicken and it will be fine.

In a bowl, mash toghether cheese, chiles with juice, and sour cream until barely combined.

Spread 1/4 of the cheese mixture over each chicken breast, avoiding the very edges. Roll up the chicken, starting with the smallest end, and secure each chicken breast with toothpicks. Combine parmesan cheese and whole wheat bread crumbs on a plate. Roll each chicken breast in cheese/crumbs combination.

Place chicken in prepared baking dish and bake about 30 minutes, or until chicken is firm, but not hard, to the touch.

If you like this recipe, you might also like Baked Chicken with Sun-dried tomato pasto, basil, and goat cheese.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Kalyn's Best Meatloaf

This has become my favorite meatloaf recipe.  I added another egg to help it bind a little better. The cream of mushroom soup adds some moisture to it.  Of course, Jud and I had to add some catsup on top when we ate it.  We like that tomato taste with meatloaf, but Kalyn suggests brown gravy.

Printable Recipe
2 pounds lean ground beef ( I like ground chuck best)
12 oz. package reduced fat pork sausage (I use Jimmy Dean 50
% less fat sausage)
1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs (I make my own from low carb. bread. If you want to reduce the carbs even more, you could use less bread crumbs.) I just used the bread crumbs from the box, but if you want South Beach, stay with Kalyn's suggestions.
1 pkg. lipton onion soup mix (dried mix)
1 egg-I used 2 eggs
1 tablespoon garlic powder (I added 1/2 T. onion powder)
salt and pepper
Take ground beef and sausage out of the refrigerator and put in a bowl and allow to come to room temperature. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. I didn't take it out of the refrigerator in advance.

In food processor, blend onion soup to grind up onions pieces, then add bread crumbs and buzz a few times so bread is in small particles. I didn't do this process.

Add bread crumb/onion soup mixture, mushroom soup, egg, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to bowl containing the meat and mix together by squeezing with your hands so all ingredients are well combined. Shape into two loaves and bake about 1 hour, or until instant read meat thermometer reaches at least 170 degrees

This freezes very well. If you have any left-over brown gravy in your freezer, it is great over the meatloaf.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Pumpkin Biscotti Recipe

Pumpkin Biscotti

Printable Recipe:
2 1/2 cups of flour
1 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
Pinch of ginger
Pinch of cloves
Pinch of salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup of pumpkin purée
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Sift together the flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, and spices into a large bowl.
2 In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin purée, and vanilla extract. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture. Give it a rough stir to generally incorporate the ingredients, the dough will be crumbly.
3 Flour your hands and a clean kitchen surface and lightly knead the dough. Lightly grease a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper. Form the dough into a large log, roughly about 15-20 inches by 6-7 inches. The loaves should be relatively flat, only about 1/2 inch high. Bake for 22-30 minutes at 350 F, until the center is firm to the touch. (Feel free to also form two smaller logs for cute two-bite biscotti; just cut the baking time to 18-24 minutes.)
4 Let biscotti cool for 15 minutes and then using a serrated knife cut into 1 inch wide pieces. Turn the oven to 300 F and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes. Cool completely.
Biscotti may be still a tad moist and chewy, so if you prefer it crisp let it sit uncovered overnight in a dry space. Serve and enjoy.

Makes approximately 15 cookies.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Poolside Tuna Salad

I was looking for some kind of healthy salad that I could make for lunch.  I didn't really think Jud would like it so he had a sandwich, but I had this salad and it was enough for 2 days.   I love salads, so I am always looking for a good one that is healthy, but filling. This fit my criteria.  Since I was making it just for me, I only used about 1/3 rd- 1/4th of the ingredients
on the list.  The recipe comes from Best of America Cookbook

Printable Recipe:
6 oz. radishes
1 hothouse cucumber
3 celery stalks
1 yeallow bell pepper
6 oz cherry tomatoes, halved
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
black pepper
1 7-ounce cans or packages tuna, drained
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
lettuce leaves, for serving
Cut the radishes, cucumber, celery, and bell pepper into a pea-size dice. Place in a large, shallow dish. Add the tomatoes and scallions.  In a small bowl, stir together the salt and lemon juice with a fork until dissolved. Pour this over the vegetable mixture. Add the oil and pepper to taste. Stir to blend. Cover and let stand `1 hour.  Add the tuna and parsley and toss gently until combined. Arrange lettuce leaves on a platter and mound the salad in the center. I just put the lettuce leaves on my plate and gave myself a nice serving of the tuna salad.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Oreo Turkey Cookies

I made these for the grandchildren and my niece's daughter for Thanksgiving.  Edith Geurin made them one Wednesday night for our church dinner. The kids and adults grabbed them up so fast, I didn't even get to see them, but I heard about them.  There are some different ways to make them, but this is really easy.  If you go online and type-in oreo cookie turkeys, you will be able to see some better pictures.

Ingredients for each turkey:
6-7 candy corn
2 double stuffed oreo cookies
1 whopper
1 mini-reese's peanut butter cup
chocolate frosting for attaching cookies and reese's peanut butter cup
orange frosting (I just bought vanilla and colored some chocolate and some orange)
1 plastic ziplock bag to use for piping icing
1 sharp knife for seperating the cookies to get the candy corn inside

Put your peanut butter cups in the refrigerator to cool. If you have cold hard chocolate to work with it makes it easier.

Squeeze some of the white icing into a bowl. Mix red and yellow food coloring with the icing to creat desired orange. Then put into a plastic bag and set aside.

Place oreo cookie as base and place a dab of chocolate frosting on top to attach mini peanut butter cup.
Place a dab of chocolate frosting on top of the peanut butter cup to attach the malted milk ball for the head.

Place candy corn in the edge of the scond oreo cookie ( this is the tail)
Break off the white tip of a candy corn, and dip in chocolate frosting and place on malted milk ball for the beak.
Pipe on orange icing for the feet. I didn't do this on my practice one, but I will do it for Thanksgiving.

I used mini-marshmellows cut in 1/4's for the eyes.

Crockpot Recipe for Sausage, Beans, and Greens

This recipe doesn't look all that appetizing in the picture, but Jud and I both loved it.  If I was making it for myself, I would have used much less meat.  I am not the meat-eater that Jud is. That said, I really enjoyed the dish. I just ate less of it and tried to go heavy on the greens and beans in my serving.

Printable Recipe:

1 cup uncooked dried beans of any type, soaked overnight (You could substitute 1 can of beans)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
4-5 links hot turkey or pork Italian Sausage (use turkey sausage for South Beach diet)
1-2 teaspoons oil, for browning sausage
1 bunch collard greens, cut into ribbons and washed ( I used Kale because I had use that for another dish.)
1/2 cup bean cooking liquid (or water plus liquid from canned beans if using canned)
1 teaspoon finely minced fresh garlic
(possibly more water if your crock pot is large) mine is so I used about 1 1/2 cups of water
Parmesan cheese for serving, if desired

Put beans in small saucepan with garlic powder, onion powder, and enough water to cover. Cook for about 30 minutes, or until beans are nearly done but still have a little bite. Drain, saving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. (Fresh cooked beans are by far better, but if you forget to soak some, use a can of kidney beans, white beans, or pinto beans and save 1/2 cup of water when you rinse them.)

While beans cook, brown sausage well in frying pan, adding a little olive oil for turkey sausage. The crock pot kind of removes the color from browned foods, so let them get very, very brown. When sausages are nicely browned, remove from pan, cool enough to handle, and cut into slices.

Cut stems off collard green, cut into ribbons crosswise, then cut the long ribbons into 2-3 pieces and rinse. Place collard greens in bottom of crock pot. Pour 1/2 cup bean cooking liquid into pan when you cooked the sausage,, add fresh garlic, and cook 2-3 minutes to deglaze the pan.  Put beans in crock pot, top with sausage, and pour deglazing liquid from pan over.

Cook on low 4-6 hours or on high 2-3 hours, or until collard greens are quite soft and flavors are well-combined. Serve hot, with Parmesan cheese if desired.  Since I am not on the South Beach Diet, I had a big piece of crusty bread. It was well worth the calories.

Baked white fish with onions, peppers, olives, and feta

Jud and I enjoy trying talapia many different ways. This is a new way that I will definitely try again.  I think this would also be good with thin chicken breasts. Great sauce.

Printable Recipe:
2-3 medium-sized tilapia filets
(for best results, use fish that is uniformly thick)
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup very finely diced red pepper
1/4 cup very finely diced red onion
1/4 cup very finely diced green olives
1/3 cup crumbled feta
1-2 tablespoons mayonnaise or light mayonnaise (she does not use fat-free)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spray a small glass or ceramic casserole dish with nonstick spray.

Heat olive oil in a nonstick frying pan and saute red pepper and onion about 3 minutes. Add olives and saute about 2 minutes more. Turn off heat.

Put fish in casserole dish and season with salt and pepper. Spread a small amount of mayonnaise evenly over the surface of each piece of fish. Stir feta into red pepper/onion/olive mixture and spread that over the top of the fish. (Pile it on so all the mixture is used. It dosn't matter if some falls off while it's cooking.)

Bake until fish is opaque and white throughout and topping is barely starting to brown, 10-15 minutes. The mayonnaise and the topping will keep the fish moist. Serve hot.

Pan-Fried and Roasted Pork Chops with Apricot-Dijon Sauce

I made a mistake when I bought pork-chops for this dish.  It specifically says not to buy thick pork chops, but I did it anyway.  It was a mistake. They would have been awesome, if they had been thinner.  Live and learn.  Sometimes I make mistakes, but hopefully next time, I will remember to buy the thin chops.

2 large pork loin sirloin or 4 small bone-in pork chops, fat well trimmed
( don't use ultra-thick chops for this recipe) See, she says it right there.
salt and fresh ground black pepper for seasoning pork chops
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup apricot preserves ( use sugar-free for South Beach Diet)
2 Tablespoons dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray baking dish with olive oil or nonstick spray. Trim fat from pork chops (for the South Beach Diet there should not be more than 10 percent fat.) Season pork chops on both sides with salt and fresh ground black pepper.

Heat olive oil in a heavy frying pan, then brown pork chops 3 minutes on each side. Put pork chops in baking dish and put in preheated oven to roast 8-10 minutes, or until internal temperature of the meat reaches 155-160 F when measured with an instant-read meat thermometer. (You'll be cooking the pork chops a bit more in the sauce, so take them out at the lower end of the temperature range.)

While pork chops cook, deglaze the pan with the chicken stock, scraping off any browned bits and cooking until the stock has reduced by about 1/2. Then whisk in the apricot jam and cook 2-3 minutes (the sauce doesn't need to be completely smooth.) Whisk in the dijon mustard.

Put the pork chops into the pan with the sauce and turn them serveral times to coat with sauce, then cook about 2 minutes more. Serve pork chops hot, with the flavorful sauce spooned over.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Breakfast muffins.

This recipe calls for making the muffins in large muffin tins, but I made them in normal-size.  We enjoyed them for breakfast, but you could certainly leave out the meat and make them for dinner. They seem to be pretty healthy to me. I haven't tried them with egg beaters, but I don't know why that wouldn't work.

Printable Recipe:
2/3 cup cottage cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
2/3 cup almond meal (found Bob's Red Mill in the regular grocery store)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 eggs, beaten
3 tablespoons water
1/4 cup finely diced ham
1/2 cup sharp cheddar
2 tablespoons sliced green onions.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

In a mixing bowl, combine cottage cheese, parmesan, white whole wheat flour, almond meal, baking powder, salt, eggs, and water. Mix until well combined, then gently stir in ham, sharp cheddar, and green onions.
Spray muffin cups with non-stick spray or olive oil, or use foil muffin cups. (She would spray those too.) Divide batter between muffin cups. Bake 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned on top and set. (If you are going to be microwaving, I would make about 25 minutes, but be careful or they will get tough) Since I used the smaller muffin tins, 25 min. was plenty.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Vegetable Beef Soup

Vegetable Beef Soup is one of the few recipes that I can make w/o looking at a recipe. I have made it so many times, I have it memorized. You would think I could make waffles w/o a recipe, but I can't. Make some cornbread, and you have a wonderful lunch.  I made Kalyn's southwest pot roast. The next day we had sandwiches, and then tonight I may soup with the left-over meat. I had to guard it from Jud so I would have some left-over.

Printable Recipe:
2 tablespoons olive oil or canola oil
1 whole onion, diced
2 ribs of celery, diced
1/2 head of cabbage
2 cups left-over roast
2 cans beef stock
2 cans tomatos (I used one can of crushed tomatoes and one can of diced tomatoes)
1 6-oz. can tomato sauce
2 potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks (I didn't even peel them today)
1 package frozen vegetables

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil to a dutch oven.  Add one onion and two ribs of celery.  Stir for about 2 minutes and then add chunked potatoes, carrots and cabbage.  Let hang-out for about 15 minutes. Add beef stock, tomatoes, and tomato sauce. Let cook on medium-low heat until potatoes are tender. Then add 1 package of frozen vegetables.  Simmer for about 30 minutes on low heat.

Spicy Sweet potato Fries and Cheesy Zucchini with Garlic and Parsley

I'm still making Kalyn's meals this week. It is fun to try new dishes. It is very easy for me to get in a rut and make the same thing. That is one of the best things about writing a blog, it forces me to try new things. I bought an extra-large sweet potato and cut it into strips.  It made enough for two meals, and the spice recipe makes enough for two times.  I didn't have ground fennel, so I used my extra coffee grinder and ground up fennel seeds and fresh oregano from my garden.

Printable Recipe:
Ingredients for Spicy Sweet Potato Fries:
Seasoning Mix:
2 Tablespoons ground coriander
1 Tablespoon ground fennel
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
1 Tablespoon aleppo Pepper (or use a smaller amount of cayenne pepper)
2 Tablespoons kosher salt
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Peel sweet potatoes and cut into strips about 3 inches long and 3/4 inches thick.

In a mortar and pestle or spice grinder, grind together coriander, fennel, oregano, and pepper. Mix in salt. (This makes enough for several batches of sweet potatoes, so you'll need a small jar to store the extra.)

In plastic bowl, toss together cut sweet potatoes, olive oil, and spice mixture. You will need about 1 Tablespoon olive oil and 2 teaspoons of the spice mixture for every two sweet potatoes, depending on how spicy you like it.

Spray flat roasting pan with non-stick spray. (I would use a non-stick cookie sheet if I had one small enough to fit into my toaster oven!) Spread out sweet potatoes in single layer. Roast 30-40 minutes, turning about every ten minutes. Sweet potatoes should be softened through and lightly browned when they're done. (They will only be slightly crisp. If you wanted them crisper, I might increase the temperature to 450 degrees F or use convection if you have it, but sweet potatoes never get as crisp as fried potatoes.) Serve hot.

Printable Recipe:

Ingredients for Cheesy Zucchini with Garlic and Parsley:
2-3 small zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch-thick slices
1 Tablespoon olive oil
4-6 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
pinch sea salt
2 tablespoons chopped flat -leaf parsley
2 tablespoons grated parmesan
1/2 cup grated mozzarella
With stove set to medium, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan with a lid. Add sliced garlic and saute' about 1 minute, until you start to small garlic. Add squash and stir to coat with oil, then cover and cook 4 minutes, stirring once or twice. After 4 minutes, check to see if there is a lot of liquid and whether squash is tender. Cook 1-2 minutes more, uncovered until zucchini is tender-crisp and liquid is evaporated.

Sprinkle squash with salt and chopped parsley and stir to wilt parsley. Add parmesan and stir until it melts, about 1 minutes. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the squash, cover pan again and turn off the heat. Let sit 1-2 minutes until cheese is melted. Serve hot.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Southwestern Pot Roast Cooked in the Crockpot

This is a great way to cook roast. I have a coke roast recipe, but this is more healthy, and I really like it as well as the other one. Thanks to Kalyn's blog, I am eating more healthy and seeing some small results.  I know, I know, give it time.  You have gained the weight over the last 30 years and you want to take it off in 1 week.  Good things sometimes happen slow. Like this slow-cooked roast.

Printable Recipe:
3-pound chuck roast, trimmed of visible fat
1 can reduced sodium beef broth
1 cup + 1/4 cup of your favorite salsa
steak rub or your favorite seasoning for steak to rub on the meat before browning
1-2 teaspoons olive oil for browning the meat

Put beef broth in a small saucepan, removing any fat that has collected on top in the can. Boil until the broth is reduced to 1/2 cup.

While beef broth is reducing, trim all visible fat from chuck roast.  You may need to cut the roast into several pieces to remove big pockets of fat. Rub pot roast on all sides with steak rub. Heat olive oil in a heavy frying pan (pans that aren't nonstick will give the best browning.)  Brown roast well on all sides. Don't rush this step because browning provides flavor, and I think it's especially important in crockpot cooking.

When roast is browned on all sides, put pieces of meat in crockpot, arranging them in a single layer. Pour reduced beef broth into frying pan and use a metal turner to scrap off any carmelized bits from the browned meat. Add salsa and stir into broth, then pour salsa/beef broth mixture over pot roast.

Cook on high for 1 hour, then turn to low and cook 3-4 hours, or until meat is very tender when pierced with a fork. If you don't have a slow cooker, cook in a heavy dutch oven on stovetop at lowest setting for 2-3 hours. Remove meat from crockpot and pour sauce into small saucepan. If there is a lot of fat on top of the sauce, spoon it off or use a fat separator to remove the fat. You may not need to do this if you did a good job trimming. Put meat back into crockpot to kep warm, then add final 1/4 cup salsa to the sauce and simmer until reduced to about 1 cup.

To serve, slice meat across the grain and serve hot, with sauce spooned over the top. I also think this meat would be great served as a filling for tacos or burritos.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Stir-Fried Green Beans with Lemon, Parmesan, and Pine nuts

I probably cooked my green beans a little longer than Kalyn, but they were still crisp. Nice side dish. I especially liked the pine nuts. It was a great addition.  I can tell you from the voice of experience that you don't want to walk away from the pine nuts. Shake the pan occasionally to move the pine nuts around the pan or you will burn them.

1 pound fresh green beans, preferable thin French green beans
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves whole garlic
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted in hot pan 1-2 minutes
Trim ends from green beans and cut into pieces about 2 inches long.

Put beans into a microwave-safe bowl, cover with saran wrap and microwave on high 2-3 minutes. While beans microwave, zest the lemon and squeeze the juice. (Kalyn says you won't need all the juice, so freeze the extra)

In a dry pan, toast pine nuts over high heat 1-2 minutes, until they barely start to brown. Set aside.

Heat oil in large frying pan over high heat. Add garlic cloves and stir fry about 1 minute. (This is a Chinese cooking technique called seasoning the oil.) Be sure not to brown the garlic or it will taste bitter. Remove garlic and discard. Add beans and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes, or until beans are barely starting to brown but are still slightly crisp. (Taste them to see if they are how you like them--If not, cook a little longer)

Lower heat, then pour lemon juice over the beans, and stir a few times. Turn off heat, then sprinkle lemon zest and parmesan cheese over beans and stir again.

Remove beans to a serving plate, sprinkle with toasted pine nuts, and serve immediately.

Southwest Chicken Salad with Chipotle Ranch Dressing

Great salad for lunch. I used a baked chicken that you buy in the grocery store. I just used about 1/2 of a chicken breast and I added olives and goat cheese to Kalyn's recipe. Make it your own and add whatever you like. I had some radishes, but I forgot to add those. It would have given it another layer of flavor and color.

Printable Recipe:
3/4 - 1 cup diced cooked chicken
3-4 tablespoons Chipotle Ranch dressing ( recipe follows)
2-3 cups washed and torn romaine lettuce ( I use the lettuce in a bag)
1/2 cup diced red pepper
1/4 cup grated cheese ( She uses four cheese Mexican Blend, lowfat cheeses)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Chipotle Ranch Dressing:
2 cups ranch dressing (she uses a packet where you add buttermilk and mayonnaise)
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chile powder (She uses penzeys. If you don't have chipotle chile powder, substitute regular chile powder and a small amount of hot sauce)

Put salsa in food processor and puree about 1 minute with steel blade. (Could use a blender or immersion blender.) Add ranch dressing and ground chipotle and process 30 seconds more, or until well combined.  I did not blend any of it. I just poured the salsa into the ranch dressing along with the chile powder and hot sauce. Stirred it well and served it over the salad.

Grilled Lime and Chile Chicken with Mango and Red Bell Pepper Salsa

I know I have said it before, but Jud makes the best grilled chicken of anyone around. He usually marinades his in cheap Italian dressing for several hours before grilling. This recipe has a different marinade, and it is probably healthier.

Printable Recipe:                                                                    

2 chicken breasts
1/4 cup peanut oil
1/8 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon chile powder ( She uses Ancho Chile powder from Panzeys)
1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 Tablespoon worcestershire sauce
Trim all visible fat and tendons from chicken breasts. If desired, cut small slits crosswise down the length of each breast. Put chicken in single layer inside ziplock bag. Mix marinade ingredients and pour into bag. Let chicken marinate in refrigerator 4-8 hours, turning occasionally if possible.

Spray grill grate with non-stick spray or wipe with peper towel dipped in olive oil. Preheat gas or charcoal barbecue to medium high. (You can only hold your hand there for 2-3 seconds at that heat.) Put chicken on grill top side down. To get nice grill marks, cook about 4-5 minutes, then rotate 45 degrees and cook 4-5 minutes more on the same side. Turn chicken over and cook until it feels firm, but not hard to the touch when you press it with your finger, about 15-20 minutes total cooking time, depending on the exact temperature of your grill.

Mango Salsa with Red Bell Peppers
1 mango peeled and sliced in bite-size pieces
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2-1 lime squeezed over the top
1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Anything that Paula Deen makes for dessert is awesome. Just keep in mind that her recipes are meant to be served in small pieces unless you are not watching your calories, and if you aren't watching your calories, we can never be best friends. She says that if you ever taste this cheesecake, you will never make pumpkin pie again.  It is good, but I happen to love pumpkin pie.  I'm not a big graham cracker crust fan, so I used vanilla waffers.  

Printable Recipe:
1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 stick melted butter, salted  I don't use salted butter
3 (8oz) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 (15oz) can pureed pumpkin
3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

For crust:  In a medium bowl, combine crumbs, sugar, and cinnamon. Add melted butter. Press down flat into a 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.

For Filling: Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add pumpkin puree, eggs, egg yolk, sour cream, sugar, and the spices. Add flour and vanilla. Beat together until well combined.

Pour into crust. Spread out evenly and place in 350 degree oven for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let sit for 15 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours.  I feel that I would be safe in saying that Paula would add whipped cream and a little fresh mint to each slice.

Roasted Asparagus and Garlic

Asparagus is probably my favorite vegetable of all times.  When we were at Heritage Park Baptist Church, I thought about planting asparagus, but the average stay for ministers    at the time was about 2 1/2 years.  It takes two years to get asparagus to the point that you can harvest. I decided not to plant. We stayed at H.P.B.C. for 20 years.  Oh the thought of how much asparagus I could have had during those years.  

Printable Recipe:

   (2-4 servings, depending on how much you like asparagus)
1 pound asparagus, cut off woody ends of stalks, then cut into 2 inch pieces
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
8 large cloves fresh garlic, each sliced into 3-4 pieces
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Break off the woody end of one piece ofasparagus; use that as a guide to tell where to trim the other pieces. Cut off woody ends, then cut asparagus into 2 inch pieces. Cut each large garlic clove into 3-4 slices. Put asparagus, garlic, and olive oil into large ziploc bag and let garlic marinate 1-2 hours. (You can skip this step, but the asparagus will be more garlicy-tasting if you marinate it.)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place asparagus on a large cookie sheet and season with fresh ground black pepper and salt. Roast until asparagus is slightly softened and edges are starting to brown slightly, about 20 minutes. Serve hot.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sauteed Chicken Breasts with warm Tomato-Tarragon Salsa

I didn't take a very good picture of this dish. It looks more like chicken and dressing than chicken and salsa, but you must try it. It is the best salsa I have ever put in my mouth.  Stacy told me about Kalyns kitchen's website.  It is South Beach diet food. It is very user friendly. Go to and check it out.

Printable Recipe:

Ingredients for Chicken:
2 large boneless-skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning - I didn't have any so I used Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning. I can't imagine it being any better. Just go light on the seasoning.
2-3 garlic cloves to season the oil

Ingredients for Salsa:
1 small tomato cut in 1/2 and remove seeds by squeezing over sink
2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon capers
1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped tarragon (can substitute basil, orregano, or thyme) I used fresh basil and thyme from my garden to equal 1 tablespoon total
1/2-1 green onion, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
In a blender or food processor, combine fresh tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, capers, garlic, white wine vinegar, tarragon, and green onions. Pulse 10 times to coarsely chop ingredients.  Stir in olive oil.

Season chicken with poultry seasoning. Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat.  Add garlic cloves and saute 1 minute to flavor the oil. Remove garlic. Add chicken and saute 4-5 minutes on first side. Turn chicken and saute 3-4 minutes on other side. Chicken should be well -browned and firm when done.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Holiday Spice Cake

Jud's birthday is in October and spice cake has always been his favorite cake.  I have tried so many spice cake recipes and this is by far the best I have ever tried.  We took it to Austin to watch the grandkids trick-or-treat and it was a big hit.
You could always color the icing for an orange Halloween pumpkin and decorate it accordingly.  Fall just screams Spice Cake in our house.  Paula Deen from Foodnetwork

Printable Recipe:
Ingredients for the Cake:
3 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
2 stick butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
Quick Butter Cream, recipe follows
Finely chopped nuts, for garnish - my children don't like nuts on their cake
cocoa powder, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour 3 (8-inch) round cake pans.

In a small mixing bowl whisk together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground nutmeg, ground cinnamon, ground ginger and ground cloves.

Cream the butter, sugar and salt until light and fluffy with an electric mixer. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the dry ingredients and the buttermilk alternately beginning and ending with the dry.

When the batter is well mixed and smooth, divide it amongst the 3 prepared cake pans and bake about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes come out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes then turn out to cool completely. If the cake layers have domed a little during the baking process, slice off the tops with a long serrated knife so they are flat and even. Mine domed, but I just turned the two bottom layers with the dome down, and the top layer with the dome up.  I also put the cakes in the freezer for about 5 minutes to make icing crumb-free.
Place the first layer, cut side down, on a cake pedestal or serving plate. Spoon about 3/4 cup of butter cream onto the center of the cake. Spread it almost to the very edges with an offset spatula. Repeat with the remaining 2 layers. Garnish the top of the cake with finely chopped nuts and cocoa powder.

Quick Butter Cream Icing:
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup shortening
pinch of salt
6 cups confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy cream
Beat the butter, shortening and salt together until creamy with an electric mixer. Add half of the confectioners' sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Combine the vanilla extract and heavy cream. Gradually beat in the remaining confectioners' sugar alternating with the cream mixture until it is all incorporated and the frosting is very light and fluffy.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Swiss Steak

This is a dish that Jud asks for regularly. It was one that his mom  made for him on his birthday every year.  In his family, you got to pick your favorite meal and Irene would make it. Great tradition that we have tried to keep in our family. Aren't traditions great.

Printable Recipe:

2 tablespoons olive oil
round steak - Jud can easily eat two and I need one. So three is just right for us.
salt, pepper, flour
1 can crushed tomatoes, sliced thin
1 small onion
1 small bell pepper, cut in chunks
1/2 cup water
Heat a nonstick skillet with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
Salt and pepper your round stead on both sides. 
Dredge in flour and then place the steaks in the skillet on medium-high heat to brown on both sides.  It will not be done, just browned.  Remove the steaks to a paper towel and add onions and bell pepper. If you need more olive oil, feel free to add another tablespoon.  Cook onions and peppers over medium-low heat for 5 minutes or until the peppers and onions are soft.  Add 1 can of crushed or diced tomatoes and 1/2 cup of water.  Stir and then add the steaks to the skillet. 
Put a lid on the skillet and cook over low heat for 1 1/2 hours.  You might want to add water if the liquid cooks-off.
Mashed potatoes or parmesan polenta is a great side-dish to serve with this meat.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Spinach-Chicken Bake / Scalloped potatoes

This is a winner of a dish, and it is much easier than stuffed chicken breasts, but you have the taste of chicken with stuffed spinach.  I went ahead and made 3 large chicken breasts that I cut in 1/2. I will have plenty to have for dinner tomorrow night and even share with a friend.  I found this is my recipe box and thought it looked good. I wish I had written down where I got the recipe.

Printable Recipe:

3/4 cup seasoned fine dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
12 skinless boneless chicken breast halves - I only made 6 and didn't 1/2 the other ingredients
1/2 cup sliced green onions
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1  10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained (squeeze out the water)
1  4-ounce package boiled ham slices, chopped
In a shallow dish combine bread crumbs and parmesan cheese. Lightly coat chicken pieces with some of the crumb mixture. Arrange chicken in a single layer in a baking dish. Reserve the remaining crumb mixture.  In a large saucepan cook green onions in hot butter until tender. Stir in flour. Add milk all at once. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 1 minute more. Stir in spinach and ham.  Spoon spinach mixture over chicken; sprinkle with the remaining crumb mixture. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 40-45 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink (170 degrees F).

Scalloped potatoes was a staple at our house when Stacy and Randel were growing-up.  I would make the potatoes and top it with 4-6 porkchops, eckridge sausage, or ham.  While the potatoes cooked the juices from the meat would mingle with the potatoes and season them. Tonight I just made them plain. It was a great side-dish.

Printable Recipe:
2-3 potatoes or how ever many you need for your family.  I usually plan 1 for each person if they are medium-size.
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
grated cheddar cheese
1. In a medium-size saucepan heat butter until melted. Add flour and stir until smooth (You don't want it to brown) Add milk and stir until thickened.
2. Place the potatoes in a baking dish.  Pour white sauce over the top of the potatoes.  Cover with alluminum foil and bake 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and sprinkle grated cheese over the top. Bake another 15 minutes until potatoes are soft.

Shrimp and Wild Rice Soup

I forgot to take a picture of this soup and it is gone so it is too late to take a picture now.  Next time I make it, I will try to remember to take a picture.  Jud made this soup for his soup of the week. It was loved by all who had it.  It was so creamy with the rice and half and half. Well worth the calories.  Jud doubled this recipe and we bought a whole pound of shrimp. You can never have too many shrimp in a soup.

Printable Recipe:

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil- I always use Canola
1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
4 ounces (1/2 cup) wild rice
4 cups chicken stock or broth
1 cup half-and-half
1/4 cup dry white wine (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
6 ounces small bay shrimp
In a large soup pot over medium heat, melt butter with oil. Add vegetables and saute' until tender, 6-7 minutes. Stir in wild rice. Add stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until rice is tender, about 1 hour. Add half-and-half, wine, if desired, salt, pepper, and shrimp. Simmer, uncovered, until flavors are blended and soup is slightly thickenedes.  Cook an additional 10-15 minutes.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Swedish Brown Bread

Our first pastorate was at Andice, Texas. We would leave on Friday after school and go to Andice Baptist Church where Jud would preach and visit. Ann Howland used to make this bread.  I got the recipe from her and made it successfully one time, but the next time, I put the yeast in while it was too hot and killed the yeast. I ruined all this dough. At the time we were making $50 per week and our gas money had to come out of that.  I hadn't made it since.  Yesterday I decided that it was time to try it again.

Printable Recipe:
2 cups milk
2 cups water
2 teaspoons salt
1 heaping tablespoon shortening
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup molasses -I used dark Karo syrup
Mix these ingredients and let it come to a boil. Cool to lukewarm. (this is very important) Add 2 packages dry yeast dissolved in 1/2 cup lukewarm water. Add enough flour to work (5 pounds less 2 cups) the mixture. Allow this to stand until it rises to twice it's size. Work down, and let rise again to twice it's size. Work down, and cut into 4 equal pieces.  Knead a little and put into loaf pans that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Allow to rise to twice it's size. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Brush on all sides with butter.

Mom's Meatloaf

This is a recipe that my mom used to make. After making your favorite meatloaf recipe, she would pour this sauce over the top. I decided to try my version of it.
Printable Recipe:

Ingredients for meatloaf:
1 pound ground meat
3/4 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup carrots, diced (Jud was making a soup that we had some carrots left over, so I tossed them in- I don't usually add carrots to this recipe but I can't stand to waste as you know.)
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 of a small tomato sauce can (about a 5oz. can)
2 eggs
Mix together and put in a meatloaf pan or bread loaf pan
Cook at 350 degrees for 30 min. and then pour the following sauce over it and cook an additional 30 minutes.
Ingredients for sauce:
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
Make a rough out of these two ingredients and then add
other 1/2 of the tomato sauce
and 1 can of tomatoes and 1/2 cup milk. Let thicken and then pour over meatloaf

Chocolate Chess Pie

I found this recipe in some magazine and copied it on a recipe card. I didn't write where I got it, so I can't give credit to which magazine.

I just had a taste so I could tell you the verdict. It is awesome, and oh so easy. This will definately go into my keeper box.

Printable Recipe:

2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons flour
4 1/2 teaspoons cocoa
pinch of salt
Mix the dry ingredients together and then add the wet ingredients
1 1/2 sticks melted butter
5 oz evaporated milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 eggs
2 tablespoons whole milk
Mix all ingredients together and pour into an unbaked pie shell - bake 325 degrees for 45 minutes.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Crab Cakes with Herbed Aioli

We love crab cakes and these were really good.  I baked them in the oven instead of frying them like the recipe calls you to do.  It was a mistake. The second day, I fried one that I had left-over and it was much better.  I used wheat germ instead of the panko breadcrumbs and really liked it. I had a weight-watchers recipe that used them. Much healther option.

Printable Recipe:
Ingredients: Aioli Sauce
1/2 cup fat-free mayonnaise
2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives
2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, smashed with the back of your knife with a little salt
Crab Cakes:
1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1 tablespoon fresh chopped chives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1 pound lump crabmeat, shell pieces removed
1 teaspoon canola oil
Cooking spray
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Prepare aioli by combining first 5 ingredients in a small bowl; set aside
Prepare crab cakes by combining bell pepper and next 7 ingredients (through black pepper) in a large bowl; stir well with a whisk. Add panko and crabmeat; toss gently. Divide the crab mixture into equal portions into a 1" patty. Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-hjigh heat. Add patties; cook 2 minutes. Carefully turn patties over. Place the pan in the oven; bake at 350 degrees for 6 minutes. Top with aioli sauce and enjoy.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Chicken and Corn Chowder

Jud and I started making a soup every week several years ago.  During the Summer, we don't have soup as often, but I have started back to making our soup-of-the-week. We love trying new soups, and this is a winner.  After making a soup out of our Soup Book, we give it a grade.  I give this soup a 10.
Recipe comes from The Big Book of Soups and Stews by Maryana Vollstedt

Printable Recipe:

3 slices thick bacon, diced
1 cup chopped yellow onion
2 leeks, white and light green parts only, sliced (After slicing it put it in your sink with water. The grit will fall to the bottom. This is a good way to clean the leeks)
1 clove garlic, minced
4 cups chicken stock
2 large russet potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and chopped
2 boned skinned chicken breast halves (about 1 pound), cut in bite-size pieces
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 can (15 oz) creamed corn
In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp, about 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove bacon to a paper towel, leaving 2 tablespoons drippings in pan. Add onion, leeks, and garlic. Saute' until tender, about 5 minutes. Add stock and potatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, 10 minutes. Add chicken, reserved bacon, parsley, thyme, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until chicken turns white and potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes longer. Add creamed corn and simmer, uncovered, until flavors are blended, 5-10 minutes longer.