Saturday, September 29, 2012

Potato-Leek Soup (Vichyssoise)

It's not  Fall in Texas yet, but we made our first soup of the season declaring Summer over.  We will still have some 90 degree days, but hopefully the 100 degree weather is in our past for the year. This went really nice with the corn dog poppers.

2 tablespoons butter or margarine
3 large leeks, white and light green parts only, sliced (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
3 medium russet potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and chopped
2 cup chicken stock or broth
1 - 11/4 cup half-and-half
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
Minced chives for topping
In a large soup pot over medium heat, melt butter. Add vegetables and saute' for 3 minutes. Add 1 cup of the stock. Reduce heat to medium low, and simmer, covered, until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Add more stock, if necessary. Transfer to a blender or food processor in batches and puree. Return to pot and add remaining stock, half-and-half, salt, and white pepper. Simmer 5-10 minutes longer. Blend again for extra creaminess, if desired. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with chives.

Mini Corn Dog Muffins

I found this recipe for the corn dog muffins on pinterest from Iowa girl eats. Mini corn dog muffins  I really like this recipe.  It was so easy, except that Jud had to run to the store for corn meal. He thought he could get it at Walgreens, but no luck.  He had to go to H.E.B. and it took much longer than he anticipated.  It was so worth the wait for me.  The Creamy Leek soup will follow on the next post.

Ingredients (makes 48 mini muffins)
  • 1/2 cup melted butter (or 1/4 cup butter + 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8-10 all-beef hot dogs, cut into 1″ bites
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine butter and sugar in a bowl, and whisk to combine. Add eggs and whisk to incorporate. Add buttermilk and whisk to incorporate.
  • In a separate bowl, combine baking soda, cornmeal, flour, and salt, and stir to combine. Whisk into wet ingredients in two batches.
  • Spray a mini muffin tin with non-stick spray, and spoon 1 Tablespoon of batter into each mini muffin cup. Place one hot dog bite into the middle of each cup.
  • Bake for 8-12 minutes (oven temperatures vary), or until cornbread is golden brown. Cool in mini muffin tin for 5 minutes before serving. Store leftovers in the refrigerator, and re-heat for 20-30 seconds before serving.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Pull-Apart Pumpkin Bread  I found this recipe on pinterest and can't wait to eat it tonight after dinner and tomorrow morning for breakfast.  I will probably take it with me to New Braunfels  for breakfast on Sunday morning.

Printable Version: Pull-Apart Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin Pull-Apart Bread

2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup milk
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 envelope) active dry yeast
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups bread flour

1 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
2 Tbsp unsalted butter

Buttered Rum Glaze
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/8 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp milk
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp rum *

Directions:  In a saucepan over medium-high heat, brown 2 tablespoons of butter, letting it bubble up and turn a dark golden brown but being careful not to allow it burn (turn black). Once browned, remove the pan from the heat and carefully add the milk, return to stove and heat through.**** Pour the milk and butter into the bowl of standing mixer (fitted with a dough hook) and allow to cool so it is no longer hot but also not cool (about 100-110 degrees F). Once it has reached a warm but not hot temperature add the yeast and 1/4 cup of sugar and allow to proof (this can take up to 8 minutes, the top will look foamy and the liquid cloudy). Then add the the pumpkin, salt, and 1 cup of flour. Stir until combined then add the rest of the flour 1/2 cup at a time and knead for 6 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic and just slightly sticky. If the dough is too moist, add extra flour 1 tablespoon at a time.Move dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a clean towel. Allow to rise in a warm place for 60-90 minutes or until doubled in size.While dough is rising, brown another 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg and mix well.** Making sure sugar evenly absorbs the butter. Set aside. Next, grease and flour a 9×5 loaf pan and set aside.When the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and flip out onto a clean floured surface and knead with hands for 1-2 minutes. Roll dough into a 20×12 inch rectangle.*** Evenly sprinkle the dough with the cinnamon sugar mixture and press into dough with palms of the hand. Cut the rectangle into 6 strips. Lay strips on top of each other and cut each strip into 6 even squares (cut in half then each half into thirds). Stack strips vertically into the loaf pan. Cover the pan with a clean towel and let rise for 30-45 minutes. After rolling the dough out, I cut it into small rectangles. I put one layer down and sprinkled the sugar and cinnamon mixture on top. I continued adding layers of dough and then layers of cinnamon mixture.

In the meantime preheat an oven to 350 degrees. After rising in the pan bake for 30-40 minutes (mine took 37 exactly) or until top is a very deep golden brown.

After the bread is done, pour the glaze over the top of the warm bread.
To make the glaze add the butter, brown sugar, and milk in a small pan on top of the stove.  Bring it to a boil.  Remove from heat and add powdered sugar and rum.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Sauteed Broccolini
I bought some broccolini this week at the grocery store and found this recipe on foodnetwork from Ina Garten.  It was a winner.


  • 1 bunch broccolini
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 lemon, zested
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Blanch the broccolini in a large pot of boiling salted water for 2 minutes. Drain immediately and immerse in a bowl of ice water.
Melt the butter in a large saute pan. Add the lemon zest and garlic and stir. Drain the broccolini and add it to the garlic mixture and heat for 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the pepper, and toss well before serving. 

Strawberry-Chicken Salad

What a great lunch we had!  Jud and I each had two big helpings of this salad. It is a winner.  I know I have made it before, but I'm not sure I ever put it on my blog.
I found this in Cooking Light magazine in March of 2004.

Printable Version:  Strawberry-Chicken Salad

4 skinned and boned chicken breast halves (I had one chicken breast that Jud grilled earlier this week. One was plenty for the two of us.
Raspberry Vinaigrette, divided
8 cups mixed salad greens
1 quart strawberries, sliced ( I had about 6 strawberries left-over and used that)
2 pears, sliced (I used one)
2 avocados, peeled and sliced (I used one)
1/2 small sweet onion, diced (I didn't use an onion)
1/2 cup pecan halves, toasted ( I had these, but I forgot to use them)
Combine chicken and 1/2 cup Raspberry Vinaigrette in a large zip-top freezer bag. Seal and chill 1 hour.
Remove chicken from marinade, discarding marinade.
Grill, covered with grill lid, over medium-high heat (350 degrees to 400 degrees) 4 minutes on each side or until done. Let chicken stand 10 minutes; slice. Since I already had my chicken grilled from earlier this week, I didn't do these steps.
Placesalad greens and next 5 ingredients in a large bowl, and gently toss. Divide mixtureevenly between 4 serving plates; top with grilled chicken slices. Serve with remaining Raspberry Vinaigrette.
Raspberry Vinaigrette:
3/4 cup pear nectar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup raspberry vinegar
3 tablespoons chopped, fresh basil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
Place all ingredients in a screw-top jar; cover tightly, and shake vigorously until blended. Store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, shaking before each serving. (I put all my ingredients in a blender and let it Frappe (my highest setting).

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Salsa Verde Enchiladas

I love green enchiladas and I put extra chicken in these and they were wonderful.  Great recipe.
I only used one rotisserie chicken 1/2 of the other ingredients as well.  I still had enough for two meals.

Printable Version: Salsa Verde Enchiladas

2 rotisserie chickens
2 jars (16-17.6 ounce)
6 green onions ( thinly sliced)
1/4 cups fresh lime juice
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
16 corn tortillas
1 container (8oz) reduced-fat sour cream
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 package (8oz) shredded Mexican cheese blend
1. Remove meat from chickens and coarsely shred; place in medium bowl (you will need 5 1/2 cups; reserve any extra for use another day). Discard skin and bones. Stir in 1/2 cup salsa verde into chicken to evenly coat.
2. Prehead oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 13" X9" glass or ceramic baking dishes; set aside. In 12" skillet, heat remaining salsa verde, green onions, and lime juice to boiling on medium-high heat. Boil 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in 2 tablespoons cilantro; keep warm over very low heat.
3. With tongs, place 1 tortilla in salsa verde mixture; heat 10 seconds. Place tortilla on waxed paper; top with about 1/3 cup shredded-chicken mixture. Roll up tortilla and place, seam side down, in prepared baking dish with foil and bake 15 minutes. Remove foil; skrimkle with 1 cup cheese and 1 tablespoon cilantro. Bake 5 minutes longer or until cheese melts. Meanwhile, sprinkle remaining cheese and cilantro over second casserole and prepare for freezing.

Warm Potato and Goat Cheese Salad

Jud really liked this potato salad.  I could not find the goats milk fromage blanc so I used mascarpone cheese instead. I thought it tasted fine, but I guess I don't really know what fromage blanc is.  I asked in the grocery store, but they couldn't tell me either.

Printable Version:
Warm Potato and Goat Cheese Salad

2 1/2 pounds yukon gold potatoes
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley
1 (3oz) package goat cheese
1/2 cup goats milk fromage blanc
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped tarragon
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
Place potatoes in saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and sinner 15 minutes until tender. Drain. Combine warm potatoes, wine, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Toss. Add onions, parsley, and goat cheese. Combine fromage blanc and remaining ingredients stirring with a whisk until smooth. Add fromage mix to potato mixture. Toss and serve.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Chicken Perigourdine

This is a really easy dish that only takes about 30 minutes from start to finish.  I cut this recipe in 1/2, but I used a whole carton of mushrooms.  We love mushrooms, and they wern't wasted. I will write the recipe how I got it, and then put my measurements in italics.  I just realized that I already have this recipe on my blog.  I have heard that when you hit 60 you start repeating yourself.  Get ready.

1/2 cup butter (3 T)
8 chicken breasts (3)
8 mushrooms, sliced (1 pound)
1/3 cup flour
1 can chicken broth
2 Tablespoons light cream (I used 1/2 and 1/2)
1/4 teaspoon salt
Melt butter in skillet. Add chicken breasts and cook over medium heat until browned on both sides. Remove chicken and set aside. Place remaining butter in skillet (I did not add extra butter) and saute' mushrooms. Remove mushrooms and stir in flour and salt. I left the mushrooms in the skillet and added the flour to the mushrooms. Stir until blended and add chicken broth and cream. Allow to thicken. Place chicken and mushrooms in sauce and simmer covered 20 minutes.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Lemon Pound Cake

Jud and I have gotten hooked on the lemon pound cake at Starbucks.  We go get a cup of coffee and 1/2 a piece of this wonderful cake.  I found a recipe courtesy of Gale Gand on Food Network, and it is just about as good.

Printable Version: Lemon Pound Cake
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened at room temperature
1 cup sugar, plus 1/3 cup for icing
4 eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup lemon juice, plus 1/3 cup for icing

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 6-cup loaf pan and line it with parchment or waxed paper. (I just sprayed the pan with cooking spray and it came out fine). In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.
2. In a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (or use a hand mixer), cream the butter. Add 1 cup of sugar and mix. With the mixer running at low speed, add the eggs one at a time.
Add the vanilla.
3. Working in alternating batches, and mixing after each addition, add the dry ingredients and 1/4 cup of the lemon juice to the butter mixture. Mix until just smooth.
4. Pour into the prepared pan and bake until raised in the center and a tester inserted into the center comes out dry and almost clean (a few crumbs are OK), 65-75 minutes.Mine was ready in 65 min.
5. Meanwhile, make the glaze; In a small bowl, stir together the remaining 1/3 cup sugar and the remaining 1/3 cup lemon juice until the sugar is dissolved. I used powdered sugar and lemon juice so you don't need 1/3 cup of the lemon juice.  Just add the powdered sugar and then add a little lemon juice at a time until it is the consistency you want.
6. When the cake is done, let cool in the pan 15 minutes (it will still be warm). Run a knife around the sides of the pan. Set a wire rack on a sheet pan with sides (to catch the glaze) and turn the cake out onto the rack. Peel off the waxed paper.
7. Using a turkey baster or pastry brush, spread glaze all over the top and sides of the cake and let soak in. Repeat until the entire glaze is used up, including any glaze that has dripped through onto the sheet pan. Let cool at room temperature, or wrapped in plastic wrap, in the refrigerator (Well wrapped, the cake will last up to a week). Serve at room temperature, in thin slices.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Slow Cooker Root Beer Pulled Pork

1 (3-3 1/2 pound) lean pork roast
1 teaspoon BBQ rub
1 (12oz) bottle root beer ( not diet)
1 (18oz) bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce
12 whole wheat hamburger buns, sliders, or (I bought Flatout Foldit Artisan Flatbread)
1. Rub pork with 1 teaspoon barbecue rub and place in a slow cooker; pour root beer over the meat.
2. Cover and cook on low until tender and pork shreds easily, about 8 hours.
3. Remove pork from slow cooker and shred. Pour drippings into container and set aside.
4. Place shredded pork back into slow cooker, add barbecue sauce and desired amount of drippings to get moist consistency; cook on low until heated through.
Jud said he would be ready to have this again next week.  


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Scott's Short Ribs

These are really delicious short ribs in Barefoot Contessa's Family Style cookbook.  I didn't take a picture with gravy, but it is amazing. It just didn't look good in the picture so I took this one instead.
I cut the vegetables quantities in 1/2 since I only made 4 ribs.

6 beef short ribs, trimmed of fat  There were 4 in the package and it was plenty for Jud and me because they were very meaty.  I didn't trim the fat.
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup good olive oil
1 1/2 cup chopped onion
4 cups large diced celery (6 large stalks)
2 carrots, peeled and large diced
1 small fennel, fronds, stems, and core removed, large-diced
1 leek, cleaned and large-diced, white part only
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 750- ml bottle burgundy or other dry red wine ( if you prefer, you can use all beef stock)
Fresh rosemary sprigs
Fresh thyme sprigs
6 cups beef stock
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the short ribs on a sheet pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temp to 300 degrees.  I cooked mine in the crock pot instead of the 300 degree oven.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven and add the onion, celery, carrots, fennel, and leek. Cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Pour the wine over the vegetables, bring to a boil, and cook over high heat until the liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Tie the rosemary and thyme together with kitchen twine and add to the pot.  This is when I added it to the crock pot.

Place the roasted ribs on top of the vegetables in the Dutch oven (or crock pot) and add the beef stock and brown sugar. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Cover the Dutch oven and bake for 2 hours or until the meat is very tender. After adding the beef stock and brown sugar, I put the lid on the crock pot and let it cook all day.  The meat was falling off the bones by 5:00 p.m. I cooked it about 8 hours on low.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Old-Fashioned Meatloaf

This comes from Healthy Meals for Hurried Families by Jan Tilley.  I really liked this meatloaf. This will probably become my go-to meatloaf recipe.  I cut this recipe in 1/2.

1 tablespoon butter
3 ribs celery, chopped
1/2 large onion, chopped
2 pounds lean ground beef
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, divided
1/2 cup Italian-seasoned bread crumbs (I used plain breadcrumbs and added 1 teaspoon Itallian seasoning
1/3 cup ketchup
1 (8oz) can tomato sauce; reserving 1/4 cup
2 teaspoons Creole seasoning
1 teaspoon Cavender's Greek seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon ketchup
1. Melt butter in medium skillet; add celery and onion and saute' until just tender.
2. In a large bowl, stir together celery mixture, ground beef, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, breadcrumbs, ketchup and tomato sauce (reserve 1/4 cup) and next 4 ingredients.
3. Shape into a 10" X 5" loaf pan. Bake 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Stir together remaining 1 tablespoon Wostershire sauce, remaining 1/4 cup tomato sauce, tomato paste, and 1 tablespoon ketchup until blended; pour evenly over meatloaf, and bake 10-15 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.  This helps it set so it is easier to get out of the pan w/o falling apart.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

This comes from Barefoot Contessa Family Style.  Jud grilled some chicken to have with this.  It was a real winner for a side-dish.  

Printable Version: Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

1/2 pound fusili (spirals) pasta.  I had bowtie pasta and just used that
Kosher salt
Olive oil
1 pound ripe tomatoes, medium-diced
3/4 cup good black olives, such as kalamata, pitted and diced
1 pound fresh mozzarella, medium-diced
6 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped
For the dressing:
5 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
6 tablespoons good olive oil
1 garlic clove, diced
1 teaspoon capers, drained
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 cup packed basil leaves, julienned
Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water with a splash of oil to keep it from sticking together. I did not do this. Boil for 12 minutes, or according to the directions on the package. Drain well and allow to cool. Place the pasta in a bowl and add the tomatoes, olives, mozzarella, and chopped sun-dried tomatoes.

For the dressing, combine the sun-dried tomatoes, vinegar, olive oil, garlic, capers, salt, and pepper in a food processor until almost smooth.

Pour the dressing over the pasta, sprinkle with the Parmesan and basil, and toss well.