Thursday, December 13, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
Spray a 2-quart casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Salt water, add macaroni, and cook until al dente. Drain into a colander, run under cold water to stop the cooking, and then set aside.
While pasta is cooking, combine flour and milk in a large saucepan, whisking until blended. Cook over medium heat until thick, about 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Add cheeses and cook until melted and thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the macaroni and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Pour mixture into prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle bread crumbs over top. Bake until bubbly, about 30 to 40 minutes.
My family has been making this beef stew recipe for years. It's different from most beef stew recipes because it has a tomato base rather than a beef broth base. I prefer it over the broth base. Even better paired with a piece of buttery, crusty bread!
1 pound of lean stew beef
1 cup of flour
4 small yukon gold potatoes
4 carrots, peeled and cut into coins
1 can of corn, drained
1 can of green beans, drained
1 quart of tomato juice
1 cup of chicken broth
1 onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, diced
1 T olive oil
In a plastic bag, toss the beef cubes with the flour, salt, and pepper. Remove the beef cubes and shake off excess flour. In a large pot, brown the meat with the olive oil and diced onion and garlic.
Add the tomato juice and chicken broth and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the carrots and simmer for an addtional 15 minutes. Add the potatoes and simmer for 15 minutes more. Add corn and green beans to warm.
4 cups cooked elbow macaroni, drained
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Once you have the macaroni cooked and drained, place in a large bowl and while still hot and add the cheddar. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and add to the macaroni mixture. Pour macaroni mixture into a buttered or pam casserole dish and bake for 30 to 45 minutes. Top with additional cheese if desired.
I liked the texture right away. I do like my mac'n cheese a bit chunky, but not too dry. It had a bit of creaminess, but a little greasy from the butter and cheese.
I should have realized that with one type of cheese, this wouldn't have much flavor variety. Even though I used sharp cheddar, I felt the taste was a little bland. It needed another more sharp or pungent cheese to 'wake' this up. I should have been turned off by the addition of the eggs. I'm not a huge fan of eggs, so when I bit into a shell filled with scrambled egg, I was not a happy camper.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 pinch salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cut into bars and let cool in pan on wire rack.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (about 6 3/4 ounces)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom (I omitted because I didn't have it. I used chinese 5 spice instead)
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Dash of ground cloves
Dash of freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup powdered
10 tablespoon butter, softened
1 tablespoon ice water (I used strong-brewed chai tea)
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through pepper), stirring well with a whisk. Place sugar and butter in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating at low speed just until combined (mixture will appear crumbly). Sprinkle dough with 1 tablespoon ice tea; toss with a fork. Divide dough in half. Shape dough into 2 (6-inch-long) logs; wrap each log in plastic wrap. Chill 1 hour or until very firm.
Preheat oven to 375°.
Unwrap dough logs. Carefully cut each log into 18 slices using a serrated knife. Place dough circles 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake at 375° for 10 minutes. Cool on pans 5 minutes. Remove cookies from pans; cool completely on wire racks.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Stir in walnuts and apricots.
Bake at 325° for 30 minutes. Remove rolls from baking sheet (do not turn oven off); cool 10 minutes on a wire rack.
Cut each roll diagonally into 15 (1/2-inch-thick) slices using a serrated knife. Place slices, cut sides down, on baking sheet. Bake at 325° for 15 minutes. Turn cookies over, and bake an additional 10 minutes (cookies will be slightly soft in center but will harden as they cool). Remove from baking sheet; cool completely on wire racks.
I took a flank steak and used a dry rub all over it. My favorite is Saltgrass 7, which is a mixture of coarse salt, pepper, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika. Then the steak is grilled to 'medium'. Allow to rest for a few minutes and then slice it as thin as you can with a very sharp knife!
I top mine with my homemade guacamole, sour cream and cheese. Sometimes I'll add salsa, too.
2 ripe avocados
juice of 1 lime
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 cup of diced tomatoes
Remove the flesh of the avocados and mash with a fork. Add the lime juice and salt and mash into a paste. Stir in the garlic and tomatoes.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Shape dough into 1 inch balls. Place in lightly greased tassie pans, shaping each ball into a shell. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes, dough will rise during baking. Remove from oven and immediately press a peanut butter cup evenly into each hot crust. Cool completely before removing from pan. Makes 24 tassies. Can be frozen.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
No one made apple pie like my great aunt, Jennie. Most of the time she'd skip making small pies and make trays and trays of apple squares...which was basically apple pie but made on baking sheets and cut into squares. She made pies up until she got very sick and was well into her 80's.
Luckily, her recipe was written down, although, I don't think anyone can amke pies like she could! I used her recipe and was very pleased with the result. The crust was flaky and the apples were tender and sweet with a hint of tartness.
2 1/2 Cups of flour, sifted
3/4 cup of shortening
5 tablespoons of cold water
1 teaspoon of salt
Sift the flour and salt together into a large bowl. With 2 forks, cut in half of the shortening until the shortening is incorporated into the flour and the mixture is "mealy".
Cut in the remaining shortening until the shortening is incorporated and forms small "beans".
Sprinkle the water onto the mixture, one tablespoon at a time. Incorporating the water thouroughly before adding the next tablespoon.
Form the dough into a ball, making sure not to over-handle the dough.
Roll out onto a well-floured surface.
8-10 apples (I used a mixture of rome, jonagold, golden delicicous, mcintosh, and fuji)
*The apples must be peeled, cored, and sliced very thin.*
The juice of 1 lemon
2/3 cup of sugar
2 tablespoons of cinnamon
Toss all of the ingredients in a bowl.
Assembling the pie:
Line the bottom of a pie plate with the rolled-out dough.
Fill the crust-lined pie plate with the apple mixture.
Dot with 2-3 teaspoons of butter.
Top with remaining pie crust.
Bake approximately 45 minutes at 350 degrees or until golden brown and filling is bubbly.
4 tbsp unsalted butter
2 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
¼ cup sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
¼ cup all purpose flour
½ tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
¼ cup finely chopped walnuts (optional)
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 ½ lbs cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs, at room temp.
1 ½ tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups canned pumpkin puree (1 lb)
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
Make the crust: Preheat oven to 325. Lightly butter 9 inch springform pan. In a medium saucepan, melt butter with the chopped chocolate over low heat, stirring constantly. Remove the melted chocolate mixture from the heat and let it cool slightly, then stir in the sugar and the lightly beaten egg until blended.
In a small bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the melted chocolate mixture. Stir the chopped walnuts into the brownie batter. Spread the batter in the prepared springform pan and smooth the surface with a spatula. Bake for 10 minutes, or until risen and dry to the touch. Let it cool completely. Wrap the outside of the pan in a large sheet of foil. Leave the oven on.
Make the cheesecake: In a medium glass bowl, melt the chopped chocolate in a microwave oven on high for 1 minute, stirring halfway through. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well between additions. Beat in the cornstarch and vanilla. Add 1 cup of the cheesecake batter to the melted chocolate and stir until well blended. Beat the pumpkin puree and the cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves into the remaining cheesecake batter.
Set the springform pan in a medium roasting pan. Add enough hot water to the roasting pan to reach halfway up the side of the springform pan. Bake the pumpkin cheesecake in the hot water bath in the center of the oven for 1 ½ hours or until it is firm around the edges but slightly jiggly in the center. Turn the oven off, prop the door several inches open and let the cheesecake stand in the water bath in the warm oven for 1 hour or until it is completely set.
Remove the marbled pumpkin cheesecake from the water bath and refrigerate it until thoroughly chilled, at least 4 hours or over night.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Sunday, November 18, 2007
6 Yukon gold potatoes, sliced thin
1/2 cup of cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup of Velveeta Light, shredded
1/2 cup of fat free sour cream
1 cup of milk
1 small onion, diced
2 tablespoons of butter
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon of flour
Melt the butter in a skillet. Saute the onion until transparent. Whisk in the flour. Stir constantly until the roux is a light golden brown.
Whisk in the Dijon mustard, sour cream, and milk.
Add the cheeses and melt almost completely. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the potatoes and stir gently.
Transfer to a baking dish and bake for approximately 35-40 minutes at 325.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Monday, November 12, 2007
2/3 Cup of canned pumpkin
1 8oz. Package of Philadelphia Cream Cheese
Once the filling is spread onto the cake, roll the cake back up and wrap in the aluminum foil.
Can be frozen for several months.
Bowls of Cream Cheese Filling
Spreading the cake batter in the pan
Spreading the filling on the cake roll
Rolling up the pumpkin roll
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Thursday, November 8, 2007
1 can diced tomatoes (San Marzano)
1 can tomato paste
1 quart of tomato juice
1 small onion (peeled but left whole)
2 bay leaves
5-6 fresh basil leaves (chopped)
oregano (fresh is good, but if you have dried that’s fine – I put it in to taste, so no measurement here)
¼ cup sugar
olive oil ( about a tablespoon or 2)
Place all the ingredients into a crock pot and allow to simmer on low for 6-8 hours. I like to put mine on the lowest setting and let it cook while I’m at work. If you don’t have a crock pot, you can do this on the stovetop, but just simmer for about an hour, stirring frequently.
1 pound of lean ground beef
1/2 cup of Italian Seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
My husband claims he can't cook, but yet he's made a few amazing things. For my 30th, he made filet mingon, garlic mashed potatoes, and even baked me a cake. He's also the grill-master of the house and can grill a steak to perfection.
Here's the rundown of ingredients - no real measurements were made and it was done according to taste:
Frank's Hot Sauce (the base of the sauce) - approximately 1 cup
Butter - approximately 3-4 tablespoons
Garlic Salt - a few shakes
Old Bay Seasoning (the secret ingredient that changes everything you know about wings!) - approximately 1 tablespoon (give or take)
Parmesan Cheese - approximately 2 tablespoons in the sauce and extra for sprinkling.
In a saucepot, heat up the Frank's Hot Sauce.
Add the butter and let it melt.
Add the spices and cheese.
*The Lions Head bottle that you see in the background is a pilsner beer from a microbrewery in Wilkes Barre, PA. This stuff is really good and only about $11 a case! You have to have beer and wings!
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup Light Miracle Whip
1 (1 ounce) package dry Ranch-style dressing mix
1 cup fresh broccoli, chopped
1 cup chopped cauliflower
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Roll out the crescent roll dough onto a 9x13 inch baking sheet, and pinch together edges to form the pizza crust.
Bake crust for 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Once finished cooking, remove crust from oven and let cool 15 minutes without removing it from the baking sheet.
In a small mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, mayonnaise, and dry Ranch dressing. Spread the mixture over the cooled crust. Arrange broccoli, tomato, green bell pepper, cauliflower, shredded carrots, and Cheddar cheese over the cream cheese layer. Chill for one hour, slice and serve.
Monday, November 5, 2007
I served this rolled up inside a lightly fried tortilla with the cheese and topped with homemade guacamole and sour cream.
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Well, they weren't hot at all, more like, buttery. The wings were okay, but I still have yet to find wings better than Fat Head's in good old Pittsburgh!
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Josh and I both thought it a little bland. Maybe some ne or even a lager beer would have gave it the extra shot of flavor it needed.
This recipe comes from foodnetwork.com and instead of using penne, I used mini cheese and mini meat ravioli. I also made Giada's simple tomato sauce, which is the base of this recipe and had a bit leftover for a future use. The simple tomato sauce is pretty darn tasty and it'd work well on it's own.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Add the flour/broth mixture to the skillet and simmer lightly until thickened, stirring constantly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
1/2 Cup Soy Garden (butter replacement)
Combine flour and baking soda; add to banana mixture, beating until just combined. Stir in chopped walnuts.
Pour into lined muffin tins. I sprinkled mine with a little extra wheat bran.
Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes; remove from pan, and cool completely on wire rack.