Saturday, November 29, 2008
(From "Cooking with Mickey Volume II")
3 lightly beaten egg
1 Cup light corn syrup
1 Tablespoon melted butter
1/2 Cup sugar
1 Pinch salt
1/2 Cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 Cup (heaping) pecans
1 unbaked pastry shell
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In mixing bowl, combine ingredients in order given. Mix well and pour into unbaked pie shell.
Bake for 5 minutes. Reduce heat after 5 minutes to 300 degrees and continue to bake for 1 hour or until fill is thick.
Cool on wire rack and serve at room temperature.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup fat free sour cream
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon maple extract or vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 (12 ounce) bag chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350F, line 1 or two cookie sheets with none stick foil, or lightly greaced foil.
In a medium bowl, vigorously stir together the butter, sugar, and sour cream. Add the maple syrup and extract.
Gently fold in the flour, salt, baking powder, and chips (do not over mix!). Spoon 1 tablespoon of the dough onto the cookie sheet (s) and press them down to about 1/4 inch thinkness.
Bake for 8-10 minutes of until golden
Yes, indeed, 200 posts later I am still a faithful blogger. When I started doing this I had some trouble keeping up, and remembering to take pictures, and just lacked patience for itl. Since then this blog has served probably as more motivation than anything else to always try out some new things in the kitchen, to not get stuck in a rut, and hopefully along the way discover some totally yummy recipes!
This recipe was in my most recent issue of Martha Stewart's Everyday Living. Since I was planning my next week's dinner menu caught my attention for 2 reasons: 1) I had been looking for something to do with the leftover sauce from pizza I made the week before last and, 2) I also had ground beef in the freezer. So all of the conveniences were there!
At first glance this recipe seems like it is a lot of steps but really is quite easily put together. My husband loved the crust part, as did I, but overall said these weren't his "thing."
Have I ever mentioned the tragedy that my husband really is not a fan of red sauce/marinara at all??? If we have pasta for a meal he typically has to decimate it beyond belief with large amounts of parmesan cheese. He will tolerate pizza because, well, it's loaded with cheese. This doesn't stop me from serving up a meal with some red sauce occassionally though, because I like red sauce! And of coures I have heard all about the health benefits of tomatoes. So he just has to deal sometimes. I, however, can see that while he ate it, and continually raved about the crust part of this meal that this was just not his "thing." But it was definitely my "thing!" And so that just means the leftovers will be all for MY enjoyment - yippee!
Italian Pot Pies
(from Martha Stewart Everyday Food)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 pound ground beef sirloin, thawed if frozen
2 cups homemade or best-quality store-bought tomato sauce 1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan (1 ounce)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed dried rosemary
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup whole milk
Preheat oven to 450 degrees, with rack in lowest position. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium. Add onion and carrots; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes.
Add beef, and cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, 3 to 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce; bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until meat mixture has thickened, 8 to 10 minutes; set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk flour, Parmesan, baking powder, rosemary, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; make a well in center, and add butter and milk. Stir just until dough comes together.
Spoon meat mixture into four 8-ounce ramekins; mound dough on top. Place on a large rimmed baking sheet; bake until topping is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in topping comes out clean, 10 to 12 minutes.
Monday, November 24, 2008
2/3 Cup vegetable oil
1/2 Cup lemon juice
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/8 Teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1 small grated onion
1 Teaspoon salt
1 Teaspoon black pepper
1 Teaspoon celery salt
6 chicken breast, boneless skinless
Process 1st 8 ingredients in a blender until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides. Reserve 1/4 cup lemon mixture, and chill.
Place chicken in a shallow dish or zip-top plastic bag; pour remaining lemon mixture over chicken. Cover or seal, and chill 2 hours, turning chicken occasionally.
Remove chicken from marinade, discarding marinade; place chicken on a lightly greased rack in a broiler pan.
Broil 7" from heat (with electric oven door partially open) 11-12 minutes on each side or until tender, basting chicken frequently with reserved 1/4 cup lemon mixture.
4 cups chicken broth
1 pound orzo pasta
3 tablespoons butter, plus more to grease the baking dish
1 onion, chopped
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 cup Marsala wine
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 ounces shredded fontina cheese (about 1 cup)
4 ounces diced fresh mozzarella cheese (about 1 cup)
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 13-inch baking dish.
Bring the chicken broth to a boil over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan. Add the orzo and cook until almost tender, about 7 minutes. Pour the orzo and the broth into a large bowl. Set aside.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Time for more frugality! Sorry for no post last week, I was out of steam!
With the holidays coming up, who couldn't use a few more ways to save money?
Another free sample site I like - Free Stuff Finder. I've gotten some neat stuff on here!
Recently I also discovered Ebates - a site that gives you rebates on your online purchases. I simply shop through their site and you get a percentage back on your purchases. I've already earned a decent amount of money back on some of my purchases for Christmas. They also have a ton of coupon codes for online shopping.
And speaking of coupon codes, Coupon Cabin is my #1 destination to find a coupon code whenever I am buying something online. Check it out!
Monday, November 17, 2008
The title of this post pretty much explains how my husband and I feel about this recipe.
2 cups crushed sour-cream-and-onion-flavored potato chips
2 tablespoons milk
6 chicken breast fillets, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
1/3 cup butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Spread the crushed potato chips in a shallow dish. Beat together the egg and milk in a shallow bowl. Dip the chicken cubes into the egg mixture and then dredge them in the chips. Place the chicken nuggets on a baking sheet and drizzle with melted butter. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown. The chicken nuggets can be frozen after baking. Serve with your favorite sauce, such as honey mustard or ranch dressing.
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup finely chopped pecans
In a medium bowl, beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Mix in confectioners' sugar, brown sugar and vanilla. Stir in chocolate chips. Cover, and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
Shape chilled cream cheese mixture into a ball. Wrap with plastic, and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Roll the cheese ball in finely chopped pecans before serving.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
The other night I just felt like baking. but I had nothing particular in mind to bake. So, I started going through my cabinet for inspiration and when I saw my bag of cornmeal I decided to make muffins. And what better recipe to use than the one on the back of the bag?
I made these in jumbo muffin tins and extended the baking time to 25 minutes. I'm not sure if that was for too long because these came out a bit dry. Although, I tend to find corn muffins to be on the drier side as far as muffins go typically. They tasted alright though and I think that next time I'd just watch the baking time more closely.
Golden Yellow Corn Muffins
(from Indian Head cornmeal)
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup sifted flour
1/4 cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup soft shortening
1 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, ans alt in a bowl. Cut in shortening. Mix egg and milk together and add to dry ingredients with a few swift strokes.
Fill greated muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake for 20 minutes, makes 12 muffins.*
(*for jumbo muffins I baked for 25 minutes which I would reduce next time; made 5 muffins)
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
My sister-in-law, Heather, has been asking me to teach her cook for a little while now. She's gained an interest in learning but it was just a matter of us setting aside the time to do it. I see my sister-in-law all of the time, but extra time can be hard to come by somedays!
For her birthday I got her a Better Homes and Gardens cookbook - Anyone Can Cook and since then she's wanted to get together even more. I asked her and her boyfriend Rob over Sunday and told her we should cook something from the book. So 2 nights prior we looked through the book, she'd picked out a Cheese-Stuffed Chicken recipe. (By the way, this book is fabulous, great pictures, great recipes, and lots of instructional information - like the differences in taste between yellow, white, and red onions, to what knives to use for what, and what different cuts of meat are, etc.).
We flipped through the book looking for side dishes when I asked her if she'd ever made mashed potatoes, the answer was no....that's something I wanted her to learn, pronto, so that settled one side. I was going to suggest a veggie of some sort when she asked if I'd teach her how to make a garlic bread I'd made once when we had her and Rob over for dinner. I said ok and decided not to push the veggie. I for one could live off of starches all my life - bread and potatoes ROCK - and secondly, I didn't want to overwhelm her with too much to learn in one day.
Sunday arrived and I decided we should get the apple crisp we agreed to make for dessert made and in the oven. So that was first. Then we went to the store to pick up what I didn't have in the house for dinner while we left my husband and Rob watched the Patriots came. When we got back to my house we immediately got to work on the chicken. Heather asked lots of questions all along which I thought was great - it showed how much she really wanted to learn. And of course we had a really fun time through it all. While we "slaved" in the kitchen, Greg & Rob smoked cigars on our deck....ahh...the life!
I would say our dinner was a raging success. The chicken came out fabulous. We made a few minor changes which is how the recipe will appear below. I also taught Heather the "fine art" of "winging it" (as I like to call it!) with the mashed potatoes (so no recipe below) and the garlic bread was absolutely awesome. The recipe that appears the below is my adjustment for cooking it in the oven rather than on the grill (which I did the first few times I made it), and also a few other changes to reflect our preferences.
I can't wait until we do this again. Heather was even so excited about how easy the apple crisp recipe is that she is going ot make it for Thanksgiving dessert! We had a blast overall on Sunday - as an only child I've been lucky to be blessed with such a great sister-in-law and, really, is there any better combination than cooking and/or baking with one of your favorite people in the world? I think not.
(from BHG "Anyone Can Cook")
4 chicken breast halves (2 to 2 1/2 pounds total)
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
4 slices of bacon, crisp cooked and crumbled
Salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 350F. Using a sharp knife, make a pocket in each breast half by cutting horizontally from side to side, cutting to but not through the opposite side and leaving the edges in tact.
In a medium bowl, combine mozzarella, feta, and bacon. Pack cheese mixture lightly into pockets. Place chicken in 3 quart rectangular baking dish. Light sprinkle chicken with salt, pepper, paprika, and Italian seasoning.
Bake, uncovered, in preheated oven for 50-55 minutes or until internal temperature of chicken registers at 170 degrees on an instant read thermometer. Makes 4 servings.
Unbelievable Grilled Garlic Bread
(adapated from AllRecipes.com)
1 cup mayonnaise
6 teapsoons minced garlic
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon half-and-half
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 (1 pound) loaf French bread, halved lengthwise
Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
In a medium bowl, mix all the ingredients except bread.
Place the French bread on baking pan, cut side up and put in preheated oven 5-7 minutes or until slightly toasted.
(The picture at the above right is garlic bread in process, see chicken picture for not-so-great picture of finished product)
NILLA Apple Crisp
4 large Granny Smith apples (2 lb.), peeled, thinly sliced (we used 5 apples)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar, divided
2 tsp. ground cinnamon, divided
1/3 cup old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) cold margarine
25 Reduced Fat NILLA Wafers, crushed (about 1 cup crumbs)
Heat oven to 350°F. Toss apples with 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon. Spoon into 8- or 9-inch sq. baking dish.
Combine oats, remaining brown sugar and cinnamon in medium bowl. Cut in margarine with pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in wafer crumbs; sprinkle over apples.
Bake 30 to 35 min. or until apples are tender. Serve topped with COOL WHIP. (Or Vanilla Ice Cream in our case!
The two of us with our finished dinner product. I swear we only broke out our ridiculously highly filled glasses of wine once dinner was already in the oven!
Sunday, November 9, 2008
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
2 tablespoons low fat mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Greek style yogurt or sour cream (I used sour cream)
2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
Juice and zest of one small lemon (about 2 tablespoons juice)
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 (6 to 8 ounce) farm-raised tilapia fillets
Combine 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese with remaining ingredients (except fish). Coat fillets with mixture and place in baking dish or shallow platter and let marinate for 15–20 minutes. Preheat broiler.
Place fillets on a foil-lined broiler pan. Spoon a few tablespoons marinade on top and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan. Broil 4–6 inches from heat for 5–8 minutes or until topping is lightly browned. The fish is ready when it flakes easily with a fork.
Friday, November 7, 2008
It's Friday already? Where has the time gone? That means it's time for part II - check out my first Friday's Frugal Fun post if you are lost!
Anyway, time for another round of money-saving goodness. First up is a site I just discovered this week called Your Coupon Buddy. It lays out some of the best deals based on sales & coupons out there. Since I just found it, I haven't gotten to use it to its potential yet but the concept is great. I love that all the homework is done for me!
Another website I use is InboxDollars. You get a $5 bonus for signing up. They are largely a click-to-earn website - in other words you are often sent emails from them and when you click, you earn a few cents per email. You also earn money back on online purchases (they have a large list on their site of vendors and you can also sign up for free offers that will pay you perhaps anywhere from 25 cents to $1. To check it out, visit the link below
Want more free samples? Another site I use is Free Samples Blog. I find it's not updated as often as it used to be, but when it is the free samples are usually good ones! Also, Walmart's website is another place where you can also find some great freebies!
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
So, my best friend, Michelle...she's afraid of soup. Yeah, you read that right. Soup.
Well, not to eat soup, but of making it. Because I am so not afraid of making soup and have been known to make up my own from time to time, I got her a big ole soup cookbook for her bridal shower, a ladle, and soup crocks (among other gifts) to help her along the way. After all, Michelle is an excellent cook and baker, soup should not be standing in her way to culinary greatness!
It came out delicious, and, we both agreed, even better reheated the next day! I think our first tryout was a success and at least has seemed to alleviate Michelle's soup fears for now. Next time, we'll try something a little more difficult perhaps! And in the meantime I not only did my friendly duty of helping her cook her first soup, I also introduced her to Smiles french Fries....because, what's better than soup and french fries? Especially "Smiles" fries!
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 (14.5-ounce) cans no-salt-added whole tomatoes, undrained and chopped
2 (16-ounce) cans cannellini or other white beans, drained
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can fat-free chicken broth
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Add tomatoes and next 5 ingredients (tomatoes through pepper), and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Ladle into bowls, and sprinkle with cheese.
As you may know, in September I participated in Operation Baking GALS (which stands for "Give A Little Support") for the first time. It is a small way to show our appreciation towards soldiers who are making many sacrifices to be serving our country - by giving them a taste of home. This time around, my friend Danielle, who got us all going on this great cause in September, hosted her own team - Dani's Delightful Darlings!
Obviously I signed right back up to take part of this and this tiem of course as a member of Dani's team! I also recruited some friends to join in on the fun! I got some of my best friends in the world - Michelle, Amy, & Melanie to lend a hand in the baking action. While finding a mutually agreeable time to get together for baking festivities would have been fun, it was near impossible, so basically they all brought me their goodies and I packed them up and shipped them to our marine, Corporal Jason Manley yesterday. (Below is me attempting to figure out how to fit everything in there!)
As part of Dani's 18 person team, we really put together a great package of goodies! And a lot of them - had I not used the Flat-Rate postal box they told me it would have cost $29 to ship them! That's a lot of goodies packed into one package! Amy, Melanie, and Michelle each made a batch of chocolate chip cookies...and how can you ever really go wrong with chocolate chip cookies? That will be sure to please our Marine and his buddies! Melanie also made a batch of peanut butter cookies, yummy! And I made Potato Chip Cookies, Peanut Butter Blossoms, and Oatmeal Raisin Squares. The latter 2 recipes appear below.
Thanks again to Dani for putting the time and effort into hosting this team! And thank you to Michelle, Melanie, & Amy (who appear in the picture below at my '04 MBA graduation) for joining me in this cause!
Peanut Butter Blossoms
48 HERSHEY'S KISSES Brand Milk Chocolates
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Heat oven to 375°F. Remove wrappers from chocolates.
Beat shortening and peanut butter in large bowl until well blended. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat until fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately press a chocolate into center of each cookie; cookie will crack around edges. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. About 4 dozen cookies.
Quaker's Best Oatmeal Cookies
(from Quaker Oats & Prepared as noted in the "variations" section)
1-1/4 cups (2-1/2 sticks) margarine or butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 cups Quaker® Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, beat margarine and sugars until creamy. Add egg and vanilla; beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg; mix well. Add oats; mix well.
Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake 8 to 9 minutes for a chewy cookie or 10 to 11 minutes for a crisp cookie. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.
Servings – about 3 dozen.
Variation - Bar Cookies: Press dough onto bottom of ungreased 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars. Store tightly covered. 24 Bars.
Variation: Stir in 1 cup raisins or chopped nuts.
I got this recipe from my "Fix It & Forget It" cookbook and threw all in the crockpot on the fly one morning before I left for work. Of course I know this recipe is full of things many food bloggers shun...pre-prepared stuffing, cream of whatever soup, etc. Well, guess what? I don't care hehehe....sometimes easy is still good!
Anyway, I added a couple of things to the recipe, about a 1/4 apple juice to the bottom of the crockpot, used cream of celery soup instead of cream of mushroom, and some diced onion & celery.
All in all, this came out pretty good! I actually cut down the curry a tad from the original recipe (which called for 1 teaspoon of curry powder) which I think was good. While I like curry, there is only so much of it I can tolerate too.
Also I threw these chops in frozen since I completely spaced on taking any meat at all out of the freezer for dinner. It all worked out well though, 8 hours later the chops were fully cooked, moist, and tasty! The stuffing seemed a little crunchy on top of the chops, but I have to admit, I kind of liked that it ended up a little crunchy ;-)
Oh, and I will completely admit that this picture looks totally un-appetizing, please don't let it deter you!
Pork Chops with Stuffing & Curry
(from Fix It & Forget It)
1 box stufing mix (I used whole wheat stuffing)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup apple juice
3/4 teaspoon curry powder
2 finely diced stalks of celery
1/2 finely diced small yellow onion
3-4 pork chops
Combine stuffing mix and water. Pour apple juice in bottom of crockpot. Place pork chops in pot.
Combine soup, and curry powder and then combine with stuffing. Place on top of pork chops.
Cover, cook on low 6-7 hours (8 hours for my frozen pork chops).
Sunday, November 2, 2008
1/4 Cup chopped carrot
1/4 Cup chopped celery
2 Tablespoons chopped onion
5 frozen broccoli florets
1 Teaspoon butter
1/8 Teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/8 Teaspoon dried oregano
1 Pinch salt
2 Tablespoons flour
3 Tablespoons water
6 ounces softened, cubed lowfat cream cheese
1 Cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 Cup beer
In a 1 1/2 quart slow cooker combine first 10 ingredients, cover & cook on low for 5 hours.
Combine flour & water until smooth, stir into soup. Cover & cook on high for 30 minutes or until thickened. Stir in cream cheese & cheddar cheese until blended. Stir in beer.
Cover & cook on low for 10 minutes or until heated
1/3 cup strong, hot, brewed coffee
3 cups confectioners' sugar*
1/3 cup melted butter
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine coffee and cocoa in small bowl of electric mixer. Beat until blended. Add sugar, butter or margarine, salt, and vanilla. Beat until blended. Scrape bowl, and beat icing until it has a spreading consistency. Frost the cake. (*I added at least a 1/2 cup more confectioner's sugar to achieve a thicker consistency)