Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Shrimp and Rice

I'm not sure where I got this recipe because it is in an old recipe book that I made out of a three-ring binder when I got   married. My sister-in-law, Laurie, gave me the book and I  filled it with my own recipes.                                                                                                              

Printable Recipe:

1 pound shrimp
1 teaspoon worcestershire
2 Tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup minced onion
1/3 cup chopped bell pepper
4 slices of cooked bacon - crumbled
2 cups of cooked rice ( I used 1 1/2 cups water to 3/4 cup uncooked rice and had a little extra)
Clean and devein shrimp. Sprinkle worcestershire sauce over the shrimp. Roll in mixture of flour and paprika. Melt butter and add celery, bell pepper, and onion. Saute' 5 minutes. Add shrimp. Increase the heat and cook 5 more min. Shrimp should be pink, but firm.  Add cooked rice, crumbled bacon, salt, and pepper.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Black Forest Cherry Cake

This week was Randel's 34th birthday and I made one of his favorite cakes. He had a little help from Anthony in blowing out the candles.  This is not a great cake to take somewhere because it needs to stay refrigerated.  I took it w/o the whipped topping, put it in the refrigerator at the restaurant and put it together when we were finished with the meal.  The middle layer didn't have whipped topping because I didn't want to put it on and be in the hot car for the trip to meet the kids in San Marcos.  It comes from Cooking Light 2010

Printable Recipe:

2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup cranberry juice coctail (you could probably use the juice from the canned cherries, but I used the cranberry juice because it was a special occasion and I didn't want to try something new.
1/4 cup water
3 Tablespoons cornstarch2 cans pitted tart cherries in water, drained

Combine the first 4 ingredients in a medium-size saucepan; stir until cornstarch dissolves, stirring constantly.
After this gets thick,(about 1 minute) take it off the heat and add the 2 cans cherries and cool completely.

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup nonfat buttermilk
1 cup fat-free milk
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
Cooking spray
2 cups frozen reduced-fat whipped topping, thawed
1 Tablespoon kirsch (cherry brandy)
1/2 ounce dark chocolate curls.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl; stir with a whisk. Combine buttermilk, milk, oil, vanilla, and eggs in a separate bowl; stir with a whisk. Add buttermilk mixture to sugar/flour mixture. Beat with an electric mixer at medium speed just until well blended (batter will be thin).  Pour batter into 2 (9") cake pans coated with cooking spray. Bake 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes; remove from pans. Cool completely on wire rack.  Place 1 cake layer on a plate, and spoon half of cherry mixture evenly over the top, leaving a 1/4 inch border around edges. Combine whipped topping and kirsch in a small bowl. Spoon 1 cup whipped topping mixture evenly over cherry mixture. Top with remaining cake layer. Spoon remainin 1 1/2 cups cherry mixture onto cake layer, leaving a 2 inch border from the edge of the cake layer. Garnish with chocolate curls. Cover loosely, and chill until ready to serve.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Grilled Chicken

Jud is the grill master in our family so he gets 100 % credit for this meal.  I will put his grilled chicken up-side of anyone and I can guarantee that his chicken will win.  He is great.  I know he is reading this because he always reads my blog when he cooks. He wants to make sure he gets credit for the meal.  It was awesome.
Jud says that it is all in the grill master-- you don't want to walk away from your fire or you might get more char than you want.  I think one of the big keys to chicken and pork tenderloin is marinading it in Italian dressing. We just buy a bottle of the cheapest Italian dressing we can find.  Pour it over the chicken and let it marinade overnight. Yesterday, I made stuffed chicken breasts so I just put these two pieces in the marinade yesterday afternoon.  Jud thinks keeping it on for 24 hours made the difference. He thought tonight's chicken was the best.  I agree that it was great.
How to cook chicken on a grill:
Marinade as many chicken breasts as you need for your group in Italian dressing. 24 hours is about as long as I would want to marinade it.  Longer is not always better.
Take it out of the marinade and let it set on the counter for 30 minutes. You don't want to put cold chicken on a hot grill.
Cook chicken on an outdoor grill 7-10 min. per side depending on how hot your grill is. You do not want to overcook or it will get dry. The marinade helps it to stay moist.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sherry's Raisin Bread

My aunt Sherry, no I was not named for her. She came in to our family after I was born. She married my uncle Butch.  Her raisin bread was one of my mother and grandmother's favorite things in the world. Now I know why. They used to ask for it for their birthday's and she always brought it to their birthday celebration. If they were feeling nice, they would share it with us at breakfast the next morning.  It is great hot out of the oven, but I like it even better spread with soft butter and toasted for breakfast.  Yum! Yum! Yum!  Did I say how good this is?

Printable Recipe:
2 1/2 cups milk  (at least 2%)
2 teaspoons salt
2 packages yeast (or 4 1/2 t.)
1 cup water
2 large eggs
7 cups flour
3 cups raisins
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
My aunt puts the raisins in with the dough and it comes out great, but I decided that this time I wanted to add some cinnamon and sugar to the recipe so after I made-up the dough, I flattened it out and spread it with soft butter and then sprinkled cinnamon and sugar mixture over the dough. Then I sprinkled in some raisins.
Heat milk to scalding: add butter, sugar and salt. Cool to lukewarm. Dissolve yeast in 1 cup of warm water.  Add the lukewarm milk mixture. Stir in the eggs. By hand, gradually add 5 cups of flour.  This is when my aunt adds the raisins.  Work in the remaining 2 cups of flour. Place in a deep, greased bowl.  Turn the dough to grease both sides. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in size--about 2 hours.  Punch down and turn on to floured surface. Knead and form into 3 loaves. Let rise in loaf pans about 1 hour. Bake 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Brush top with butter.
Now for my variation.  Add all of the 7 cups at once and let rise until double.  Today, I had something to do so I ended up punching it down and letting it rise again before I baked it into bread. Divide the dough into 3 equal parts.  Flatten each 1/3rd of dough and sprinkle with cinnamon, sugar, and raisins.   Brush the top of your bread with a little egg/milk mixture. This will make it pretty.  Roll into the size that fits your pan and let rise 2 hour. Bake 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Coconut pancakes

Tonight we are having breakfast for dinner. Jud is not a big fan of pancakes for breakfast so I thought I would try them for dinner. O.K. the real reason is that I was lazy and didn't want to cook and didn't really want to go out for dinner.
Dry Ingredients:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
14 teaspoon salt.
Whisk these ingredients together and then in a separate bowl, mix
Wet ingredients:
1 cup light coconut milk
1 1/2 Tablespoons canola oil
1 egg
Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients and cook as you would for pancakes.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Cheese Grits

I  1/2ed this recipe because I was making it just for Jud and me. Stacy made cheese grits for me the first time I tried them.  I found this recipe in the book, "Being Dead is no excuse" by Gayden Metcalf  and Charlotte Hays
1 quart milk
1/2 cup butter
1 cup grits ( not instant)
1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon white pepper
1/3 cup butter
5 oz Gruyere cheese, grated
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring milk to a boil and add 1/2 cup butter. Add grits. Stir constantly for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, add salt and pepper to taste, and beat well with a whisk. Add 1/3 cup butter and gruyere cheese. Pour into a 2 quart casserole and bake 30 minutes. Remove and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake another 30 minutes. Let sit before serving.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Spinach/Artichoke Casserole

I found this recipe in my card file yesterday and thought I would try it since I had all the stuff to make it.  I used fresh spinach and frozen artichokes that were already quartered. We really liked this dish. I made chopped steak with gravy to go with it. And with chopped steak we just thought we had to have mashed potatoes. I made them with buttermilk instead of whole milk. I like the tartness that the buttermilk gives.

2 packages frozen spinach
1/2 cup melted butter
1-8oz package cream cheese
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup quartered artichoke hearts, frozen or canned
1 sleeve Ritz cracker
extra butter to dot on top
Cook spinach according to directions on the package. Drain well, squeezing out the water if you use frozen spinach.  Add cream cheese, butter, and lemon juice. Mix well. Spread in a 9" X 13" pan sprayed with cooking spray.  Place artichokes on top of the spinach.Crush ritz crackers and put on top of the casserole. Dot with additional butter. Bake 30 minutes.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Pear Almond Chocolate Tart

This is a recipe that Jana Richard brought to a wedding shower a few months ago. I am just getting around to making it.  It was so much easier than I thought it might be.  Jana speaks fluent French and translated this recipe from a French cookbook.  Can't wait to try it tonight.  They did not have the almond meal in my bulk section, but they had in on the isle with the flour in my grocery store. Probably, if I had gone to Whole Foods, I could have found it in bulk. I have a feeling that I will be making this recipe often, so the package of almond meal will not be wasted.

Ingredients for the Tart:
 1 large can of pear halves (29 oz)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 pie crust
2 eggs
7 Tablespoons melted butter
3/4 cup almond meal - bulk section
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Mix the melted butter, almond meal, sugar, eggs, and almond extract in a large bowl.  Butter a tart pan (Jana says you can use a pie plate if you don't have a tart pan. The tart pan makes it special and looks great.) Put the pie crust in the pan. Melt chocolate. Pour chocolate over the pie crust and spread evenly. Pour almond meal mixture over the top of the chocolate. Spread evenly. Pour liquid off of the pears. Arrange pears on top of the almond meal. Bake 30 minutes. Last 5 minutes put foil over the tart to keep the crust from getting too done.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Cream-Braised Green Cabbage

Tonight for dinner Jud has made his version of Don Strange's brisket. I have already given you the recipe for that. You can type that in the search link at the top left of the page to find it.  This recipe was in Molly Wizenberg's book.  One thing you should know about me is that I tend to cook out of one book at a time.  Next week, I will move-on to another book. But for now it is recipes from "A Homemade Life."
1 small green cabbage (about 1 1/2 pounds)
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
First, prepare the cabbage. Pull away any bruised leaves, and trim its root end to remove any dirt. Cut the cabbage into quarters, and then cut each quarter in 1/2-lengthwise, taking care to keep a little bit of the core in each wedge. (The core will help to hold the wedge intact, so that it doesn't fall apart in the pan.) You should wind up with 8 wedges of equal size.
In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the cabbage wedges, arranging them in a single crowded layer with one of the cut sides down. Allow them to cook, undisturbed, until the downward facing side is nicely browned, 5-8 minutes. I like mine to get some good color here, so that they have a sweetly carmelized flavor. Then using a pair of tongs, gently turn the wedges onto their other cut side. When the second side has browned, sprinkle the salt over the wedges, and add the cream. Cover the pan with a lid and reduce the heat so that the liquid stays at a slow, gentle simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, then remove the lid and gently, using tongs, flip the wedges Cook for another 20 minutes, or until the cabbage is very tender and yields easily when pierced with a thin, sharp knife. Add the lemon juice, and shake the pan to distribute it evenly. Simmer, uncovered, for a few minutes more to thicken the cream to a glaze that loosely coats the cabbage. Serve immediately, with additional salt at the table.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Ed Fretwell Soup

While I was in Oregon, I bought  "A Homemade Life"  and have made several recipes from it. This makes enough soup for the week. We like to have soup in the refrigerator to eat on all week. Buy or make some bread and you are set.  We both love soups and make them often, especially in the winter. When the heat index reads 100+ it is hard to get in the mood for soup, but just turn up the air conditioner and enjoy!
Ingredients for the soup:
1 pound dried white beans, such as cannellini or marrow beans Molly recommends rancho gordo (http://www.ranchogordo.com/) but I just used white beans from the grocery store
2 large cloves garlic, peeled and smashed under the side of a knife
3 fresh sage leaves
4 Tablespoons olive oil
2 medium yellow onions, finely chopped
4 stalks celery, finely chopped
8 medium carrots, sliced into thin rounds
2 medium zucchini, trimmed, halved lengthwise, and sliced into 1/4- inch thick half-moons
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
3/4 pound Swiss chard (1 small bunch), stalks discarded and leaves coarsely chopped
3/4 pound green cabbage (about 1/2 of a medium head) trimmed and coarsely chopped
1-28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes, drained and chopped
1 Tablespoon salt
best-quality olive oil, for serving
finely grated Parmigiano-reggiano, for serving (optional)
   Put the beans in a medium bowl, and cover them with cool water by at least 1 inch. Set aside at room temperature, uncover, for 6 hours or overnight. Drain the beans, and put them in a dutch oven or other 5qt. pot. Add the garlic, sage, leaves, and 10 cups of cold water. The beans should be covered with water by at least 1 inch. Place the pot over high heat, and bring it to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes, then reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 1 hour. Skim away any brownish foam that rises to the surface.
   While beans cook, start the rest of the soup. In a large (8qt. or more) pot, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, and carrots. Cook, stirring frequently for 10-15 minutes. Add the zucchini and broth, increase the heat to medium-high, and bring to a simmer. Then add the swiss chard, cabbage, and tomatoes, cover the pot, and simmer gently, adjusting the heat as necessary, for 1 hour. At first, it will seem as though there is too little liquid for all the vegetables in the pot, but don't worry: the vegetables will give off a good amount of water as they cook, and it'll even out in the end.  After 1 hour, add the cooked beans and their cooking water, discarding the sage leaves. Add the salt and stir well. Simmer for another 30 minutes to 1 hour, stirring frequently, until the beans and vegetables are very tender and the broth has taken on a creamy pale orange hue. Taste, and add salt as needed.
Serve with a hearty glog of good olive oil over the top of each bowl and a dusting of Parmigiano-Reggiano, if you like.

NOTE: Refrigerated, this soup will keep for up to a week, and it gets better with each passing day. It also freezes nicely.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Chet's Rum Cake

The last night we were in Oregon, Chet and Carolyn (our host and hostess) made dinner for us.  Carolyn made poor man's stroganoff, beet salad, and marrinated carrots. Chet made this cake.  The whole meal was amazing. It made leaving Oregon a little easier, but not much.  I will give you the beet and carrot  recipe later.

Printable Recipe:
Ingredients for the cake:
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1 package butter recipe golden cake mix (18.5 oz.)
1 small package vanilla instant pudding mix (3.4 oz.)
1/2 cup light run (it is white)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable cooking oil
4 eggs
Grease and flour a bundt pan. Crumble nuts in the bottom of the pan. Place cake and pudding mixes in a large mixing bowl. Add run, water, oil, and eggs. Mix for 2 minutes. Pour batter into pan and bake at 325 degrees F for 50-60 minutes. Remove cake from oven and immediately pour on the hot rum glaze (recipe follows). Glaze will cause cake to settle. Cool cake in pan for 30 minutes and remove to a serving plate.
Ingredients for Glaze:
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup light rum
1 stick butter
1/4 cup water
Place ingredients in a sauce pan and boil for 2-3 minutes.  Pour over warm cake.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Bon Voyage Chicken

I found this recipe years ago and Beth says she makes this when she is getting ready to go on a trip. She cleans out the refrigerator with this recipe. It is very easy to adapt to what you have in your refrigerator. I had some corn left-over from last night, so I threw that in the pot. Almost anything goes.  I didn't have parmesan cheese this time, so I left it out and just added salt. The recipe Comes from Talk About Good Cookbook - Beth Gallagher of Mableton, GA

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups red bell pepper strips (of course you can use green)
2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast (about 2 breasts) I had left-over rotisserie chicken
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
1 (14.5 oz ) can diced tomatoes
2 cups hot cooked ziti or penne (just use what you have)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground balck pepper
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1. Heat oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add bell pepper and saute' 4 minutes or until tender. Add chicken, garlic, and oregano, saute' 5 minujtes. Add tomatoes, reduce heat, simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Add pasta and black pepper, stirring well. Place about 1 1/2 cups pasta mixture into each of 4 bowls; top each serving with 1 Tablespoon basil and 1 Tablespoon parmesan.   I just added the pasta and basil to the skillet. If I had parmesan cheese, I would have added that to the bowl as I was plating the dish.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Bouchons Au Thon

Jud always wants to know what's for dinner. He saw the book open to this page and said," I think I'm underdressed for this meal."  It sounds impressive, but it is actually much like my tuna casserole w/o the noodles. The recipe comes from Molly Wizenberg's "A Homemade Life"
one - 6 oz can tuna packed in water, drained well
1 cup lightly packed finely shredded Gruyere
1/3 cup creme fraiche
3 Tablespoons tomato paste
3 large eggs
1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
2 Tablespoons finely chopped italian parsley
1/4 teaspoon salt
Set an oven rack to the middle position, and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F
Grease 8 cups of a standard-sized muffin tin, and set aside.  Put the tuna in a medium bowl, and use a fork, mashing to break it up into small pieces. There should be no chunks larger than a dime. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well with the fork, mashing a bit as you go, until the mixture is thoroughly combined. It will be a soft orange-pink color.  Divide the mixture evenly among the 8 prepared muffin cups. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the bouchons look set on top and around the edges. Transfer the tin to a rack, and let cool for 5 minutes. Carefully run a small, thin knife around the edge of each bouchon to make sure it isn't stuck, then carefully remove them from the tin. They will collapse a bit as they cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.  Jud liked this dish better than I did, but then again he likes tuna casserole better than I do.