Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Happy Feast Day!

I haven't a recipe to share (we followed the ATK faithfully) but I did want to share the celebration of today's Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Also, I am contemplating what will be our family tradition for such holidays. Any ideas? Recipes? (e.g. Turkey for Thanksgiving, Ham for Christmas, Corned Beef for St. Pat's, Lamb for Easter. What does one serve for Dec. 8th? Perhaps something from the Lourdes region?)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

This Week's Challenge: Inspiration

Necessity pressed hard upon us recently so I have had some fun inventing a dish or two. To the right is my turkey-basil pizza of last night. As we wanted to get our 10 month old some protein we cooked some ground turkey without anything (fearing even black pepper would be too spicy). However, he could not eat that pound of ground meat in a few days (frankly, I'd be scared if he did) so I created this:

1 Boboli Crust
Tomato Sauce (enough to cover)
Mozzarella Cheese (enough to cover)
Ground Turkey
Two or three leaves basil (torn)

Heat oven to 450º. Add all but the basil to the crust. Cook in middle for 8-10 mins. Add Basil and serve.

Yes, I know, this is not how we make pizza; but like a few pierogi in the fridge, a pizza crust, a can of tomato sauce, and cheese are a simple way to eliminate leftovers. Speaking of leftovers:

I took the leftovers of this Greek vegetable soup (from The Olive and the Caper) and used them as a sauce to some handmade papardelle and it was awesome:

1 c. olive oil
2 med. eggplants, cut in 1" cubes
12 med. shallots, peeled and left whole
8 cloves garlic, slivered
4 med. tomatoes, chopped or can of chopped tomatoes in winter
3/4 c. dry red wine
1 bay leaf
1/4 c. basil, shredded and whole to garnish

1. Heat oil in skillet. Add eggplant, shallot, garlic, 10-12 mins. Stir frequently
2. Stir in tomatoes, wine, bay leaf, salt, pepper. DO NOT TOUCH. Let simmer 45-50 mins. (Oil will rise to top)
3. Remove bay leaf and remove from heat. Let cool 10 mins. Add shredded basil to whole. Garnish individual bowls with some whole basil.

p.s. if you skimp on the oil, your eggplant will taste too sharp.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Chicken Carbonara

Mary made this a few weeks ago and I've craved it ever since.  I'll admit I've been afraid of this dish because of the possible end result of "scrambled eggs and pasta" that I know people have had to eat (if you're reading this, you know who you are).  But that wasn't a problem at all, and if you want some good comfort food pasta, this is definitely for you.  The recipe is based off of Giada's, but I changed a few things and that is what you see before you... (I will warn you it's a bit labor intensive.  Giada's recipe says the total cook time is 22 minutes, but that would be in the lovely world of having a sous chef.  The prep work probably takes that amount of time, and then you have to cook it.  And if you're like me, just add another 15 minutes to that because I'm just slow.)  Serves 6.

2 teaspoons olive oil
4 slices bacon (I think I'll add more next time) or 4 oz pancetta chopped
4 cloves minced garlic (Or more-- you know you want to)
2 1/2 cups whipping cream (admittedly, this much cream kind of freaked me out, so I just did 2 cups cream and 1/2 c milk)
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
6 large egg yolks
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves (didn't have this so I did 2 tbsp of dried)
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
1 pound spaghetti
3 chicken breasts, browned and cooked through, and coarsely chopped  or 1 roasted chicken coarsely shredded
1 cup cooked peas
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (I used pecans, and this was such a nice touch)
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel

Heat the oil in a heavy large frying pan (the pan needs to be large enough to fit all of your pasta, so make sure it's BIG) over medium heat. Add the bacon and garlic and saute until it is brown and crisp about 8 minutes. Cool slightly.

In a large bowl, whisk together the cream, cheese, yolks, and herbs.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the spaghetti and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Add the chicken and peas to the pan with the bacon and stir to combine. Next, add the spaghetti and the cream mixture and toss over medium-low heat until the chicken is heated through and the sauce coats the spaghetti thickly.  Giada says this takes 4 minutes, but it took me about 10, though I was very afraid of cooking it too quickly.  Just watch it and make sure you do not boil the sauce because that will scramble the eggs-- yuck. Season the pasta, to taste, with pepper and salt if needed (the bacon will likely add all the salt you need).

Sprinkle with the nuts and lemon, and serve.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Not Your Grandma's Chicken (Noodle) Soup

This recipe is really good for a cold - there's no noodles, but it doesn't matter: it's just a little spicy and feels really nourishing. Make after you've roasted a chicken and want to do something with the leftovers. The recipe is from Tyler Florence's Eat This Book (which, incidentally, Goo tried to do quite literally).
Spicy Chicken Broth with Avocado and Lime

E.V. olive oil
2 medium onions diced
3 garlic cloves minced
3 medium sized ripe tomatoes chopped (adaptation for non-tomato season: use canned diced tomatoes, 1 can is probably fine - this time I had one last lovely tomato, which I chopped and added to the pot along with one can of diced tomatoes)
2 jalapenos minced (if you don't like it spicy, make sure you don't include the seeds)1 quart chicken stock - homemade is best (this time I had a quart of homemade but also added maybe a 1/2 cup of store bought sitting in my fridge, worked great)
salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken (this is for 4 people - see instructions below)
avocados (1 works for two people, depending on how much avocado you want)
lime cut into wedges
[optional: 1/2 cup chopped cilantro - I never do this, as I hate cilantro]
Heat olive oil over medium heat in a stockpot. Add onions, garlic, tomato, and jalapeno; cook for 15 minutes until vegetables are soft and pulpy. Pour in stock, season with salt and pepper and simmer for 20-25 minutes.
[Note: at this point in the recipe T.F. encourages you to make your own tortilla chips by frying corn tortilla strips. I am too lazy for this. You can just buy some Tostitos and they work just fine for a garnish.]
Divide shredded chicken among soup bowls - while the recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups, in reality each person can just pick off as much chicken as they want and put it in their own bowl, especially if you are working with leftover roast chicken. Ladle soup over the meat. Top with diced avocado (and cilantro, if you want). Each person can squeeze in as much lime as they want, as well as grab as many corn chips as they want.

Friday, October 15, 2010

German Oven Pancakes

These are a delicious alternative to regular pancakes and so much easier and less time consuming.  Some people call them Dutch Babies or other various names.

1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup flour
3 large eggs
dash of salt
1 to 2 tablespoons of butter or margarine
Preheat your oven to 425° F. I usually use two smaller pans and do one recipe in each or you can double the recipe and use a 9x13 pan.

Place the butter in the bottom of the pan and place it in the oven while it's preheating to melt it (Don't let it start to burn though).  Mix your milk, flour, eggs and salt in a bowl. Use a wire whisk to blend, but make sure all the lumps have disappeared before moving on. (Some people blend this in a food processor but I don't) When you've got your mix ready, pour it over the melted butter in your pan, and place it back in the oven. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Edges will be puffed up. I like to server with powdered sugar or Nutella or both (that's why I like to make two).

Improvised Weeknight Pierogi

Another cast-iron man creation has come about. Our new grocery store has some good pierogi which I like to keep handy in the fridge (like a spare pizza crust). The point of such meals is that you would feel too guilty ordering food but you are exhausted from work. This takes less than fifteen minutes, prep and cook time (hint, prep zucchini and garlic while bacon renders).

Feel free to improvise on this:

12 pierogi
2 farm-fresh zucchini, washing, cut off ends, slice lengthwise and then into half coins (they take so much less time to cook than the water-bloated grocery store ones)
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
5 stripes bacon, cut into 1/2" bits
red pepper flakes

1. Set heat closer to medium than low. Cook bacon in cast-iron. Once fat has rendered and bacon is not too crisp, remove.
2. Add red-pepper flakes and swirl for a minute to let fat absorb its heat (if it looks like you don't have enough for the zucchini, add a little olive oil at this point).
3. Cook zucchini about 5 minutes, sprinkling liberally with salt and pepper. Stir occasionally.
4. When zucchini has some browing and is not yet too tender to the touch, add your pierogi. Cook about 2 minutes until pierogi begins to brown. Stir occasionally.
5. Add garlic. Cook until garlic is aromatic (@ 1 min.)

6. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

(Cast-) Iron Man

If I ever write my own cookbook, the above will also be its title. Until then, apologies for not contributing of late. Here are the remainders from the farm's summer selection. Eliese was frustrated at the thought of dinner so I came up with (and made) this:

1 1/2 zucchini, ends trimmed & 1/4" coins
2 frying peppers (ours were red), seeded and cut into strips (I prefer to halve each strip lengthwise as well)
4 HOT Italian Sausages, casing removed, pulled into 1" chunks
1/2 yellow onion, cut in strips
1/2 lb. ditalini or other pasta you have in your cuphoard
Olive Oil

1. On medium heat, cook sausage in cast-iron. Remove when browned, keep that delicious rendered fat for your veggies.
2. Salt a pot of water, bring to boil. Don't add ditalini until you are ready to cook veggies.
3. Add veggies to cast-iron on medium-low heat, salt and pepper generously. If onion carmelizes before peppers and zucchini soften, add olive oil.
4. Drain pasta, toss with veggies, add sausage. Drizzle some extra-virgin olive oil on top.

*I am putting an asterisk on this whole recipe because you should feel free to invent your own cupboard masterpiece. I can say that this one, having been tested, tastes delicious.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Ugliest and Most Awesome Sauce EVER

OK, I don't have a photo to go along with this post 1. because I forgot, and 2. because the sauce is pretty ugly in comparison to its more sexy tomato sauce cousins. But I promise you it is the most DELICIOUS sauce ever: Mark Bittman's version of Bolognese from How to Cook Everything. I had it first when my mom came out and cooked for us, etc. shortly after Goo was born. In the past month I've made it twice - once to go simply over pasta, second as part of a somewhat improvised but turned-out-pretty-great lasagna. In the past I have eaten it over leftover mashed potatoes because I had no pasta. I have eaten the last leftover spoonfuls of sauce by itself.

You need a good amount of time (3 hours +) to do this right, but the majority of the work is basic prep, the rest is cake (mmm, cake).

2 tbsp e.v. olive oil
1 chopped onion
1 chopped carrot
1 chopped celery stalk
1/4 c chopped bacon or pancetta
1 lb ground meat - beef, or a mixture of beef and pork
3/4 c dry white wine or juice from tomatoes (or... I added a splash of red wine in addition to the juice from the tomatoes; it worked)
One 28 or 35 oz can whole plum tomatoes
1 c stock (beef or chicken)
salt and pepper
1 c cream, half and half or milk
Freshly grated Parmesan (optional - honestly, you don't need it)

Olive oil over deep skillet or saucepan (or Dutch oven) over med-low; when hot, add onion, carrot, celery and bacon. Cook for 10 minutes or so until veggies are softened. Add meat, cook stir to break up clumps, about 5 minutes. Add wine/juice, raise heat a little and cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes for most of liquid to evaporate. Crush tomatoes (your hands work best) and add, then add stock. Turn heat to low and let simmer for about an hour - make sure to stir a couple times to break up any meat clumps or chunks of tomato. Then add some salt and pepper to taste and cook for at least another hour. When it's done, the sauce should be thick and most of the liquid should be gone. Add cream, cook 15-30 minutes, stir occasionally. Serve with/in desired medium! AMAZING.

Goodbye, Summer

While I must admit I'm enjoying this cool Northeast weather, I am rather sad at the fading of summer and likewise summer produce. And I didn't even can anything this year (although there's hope yet for apple season)! Recently we made two un-recipe meals from some of the last of summer's produce.

Meal One: Breakfast for Dinner - Eggs and Bacon with Hash of Local Red Potatoes, Leeks, and Yellow Squash. (Let's see if I can remember how I made it - but the point is to give you ideas, anyway, 'cause you can just make it up too with what you have.)
Chop and cook several pieces of bacon to brown and render fat; throw in some roughly chopped garlic until fragrant. I probably added a little vegetable oil too, before tossing in chopped squash and leeks and letting them soften and brown. Then, add the diced potatoes with some salt, pepper, and paprika... let it brown a little by leaving it alone for a while, stirring, leaving it alone...; pour in chicken stock mixed with some cream and a few dashes of Tabasco. Cover, and let potatoes soften and simmer off the liquid. I've never been able to get my hashes crisp but this was great even mushy. Eggs and bacon on side - done!

Meal Two: Breaded Fried Local Eggplant with NJ Heirloom Tomatoes and Mozzarella (
Slice eggplant; bread by dipping in flour, then beaten egg, then bread crumbs. Let the eggplant chill in the fridge for about 10 minutes; then fry in maybe 1/2 inch hot vegetable oil for a few minutes each side until golden brown. We put these on top of salad while still hot. I also made a little drizzle sauce with sesame oil, soy sauce, mirin, garlic, and sugar to go over the eggplant and salad. Then we had the tomatoes and mozzarella on the side. Awesome.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


*This recipe comes from Rebecca L.

I had recently roasted a chicken à la Anthony Bourdain, and at his strong suggestion in his, “Les Halles Cookbook”, used the bones to make a homemade dark chicken stock. After roasting the bones along with the trinity of vegetables (onions, carrots, and celery), and simmering (never boiling! That’s a nono, apparently) the lot away for over 8 hours on the stove with fresh herbs, I was a bit attached to this stock. I wanted to use it in a dish that would highlight the deep flavors that I had labored to bring about. And once the weather here in Wyoming started getting downright chilly in the mornings and evenings, it hit me: poutine. A staple of Canadian cuisine, I had first encountered this dish in Montreal. It is a surprisingly simple dish at first sight: fries, gravy, and cheese curds. Now you can go and buy Ore-Ida frozen fries, a can of gravy, and some cheap Kraft shredded cheese, and it would probably taste alright. Hell, how can those three ingredients go wrong together, even if they’re the instant variety? But if you take a little time and effort, you can elevate this recipe from bar food to a downright glorious one-dish meal, worthy of pairing with a great glass of wine. The time and care is really spent on the poutine sauce, which stems from velouté, which should be based on a dark, rich homemade chicken or veal stock.

For the velouté:
1 quart of chicken or veal stock
2 Tb butter
2 Tb flour

-Bring the stock to a boil in a pot.
-Meanwhile, heat the butter over medium-high heat until melted. Add the flour gradually and stir constantly for 2-3 minutes, making a roux.
-The roux shouldn’t get too dark, so slowly pour some of the boiling stock into it, stirring constantly, until you get a consistency you wouldn’t mind pouring back in with the remaining stock. Add back to the remaining stock.
-Simmer for at least 40 minutes, skimming every 10 or so. Then strain well through a mesh lined with cheesecloth (if you’ve got this; I just strained through a fine mesh a few times, and it turned out fine). Add salt and pepper to taste.

You now have your velouté sauce, which only needs to be reduced to at least a half (up to a quarter) of its volume to become poutine sauce. Do this by simmering, not boiling, and stirring every so often. The resulting texture should be velvety.
Get out a bowl and throw a few fresh cheese curds into it. Then layer some home-made French fries on top, followed by more cheese curds, and topped with a generous ladling of poutine sauce.

This dish is fun to get creative with. To the poutine, I added a few shots of a white wine pan reduction I had made for the roast chicken that started this whole thing. This really added another dimension to the already incredible sauce. In Canada, they have menus full of varying types of poutine, some even with foie gras. If there are no fresh cheese curds available, use freshly shredded mozzarella or sharp cheddar. Top with bacon or crumbled sausage. Just have fun. And even though you can’t really go wrong with the basic ratio of parts for this dish, remember, the quality of your ingredients will greatly affect the quality of the finished meal.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Pork and Peaches (Moving Day, the Mother of Invention)

My family has been living in two places simultaneously for the past month. We've been painting and moving small things (read: books) since late July. Between moving the majority of our furniture last weekend during a tropical New Jersey monsoon and moving the remaining furniture (read: bookshelves) this weekend - as well as a three full day orientation at the Archdiocese for my new job- , there hasn't been much time to do any thoughtful cooking. Or anything else. However, yesterday after finishing the move, we decided to go with husband's parents to the orchard and do some light apple- and peach/nectarine-picking.

I returned to the old apartment in the evening to clean the bathroom and try to move some straggling items (read: mainly books) over to the new place. After such an evening, one wants to cook with as much on hand as possible and spend minimum time in the grocery store and kitchen. So one brief run to the store later, I improvised the following meal using our fresh peaches and nectarines, with inspiration from Angela's pairing of the pork chops and sauteed peaches:

1. Sauteed chopped shallots in olive oil for a couple minutes. Added some fresh thyme and salt. Then added about 2 cups chicken stock, brought to boil; added 1.5 cups couscous, stir. Covered and took off heat, let sit undisturbed about 15 minutes.
2. In cast iron: in a little olive oil, cooked four Italian sausages, cut into pieces. Once browned, added one peeled sliced peach and one peeled sliced nectarine (I maybe would have used two peaches instead of a nectarine, but I used the fruits which had been bruised during picking). I let these soften and get a little caramelized, then I added some roughly chopped spinach only long enough to wilt.
3. Fluffed the couscous and served as a bed for sausage-fruit-spinach mixture. Great with a few generous squeezes of lemon.

As we ate dinner, we watched Iron Chef, Battle: Suckling Pig (I have cable now, for the first time in my life). I felt pretty proud of myself when one of the chefs did a speck and peach pairing: hey, pork and peaches! I did not, however, make a scrambled egg/pig brain snack, or anything with trotters; although husband and I have devised the most brilliant (seriously) idea for a restaurant that involves offal and would be a huge hit in Manhattan. I decline to elaborate here, suffice to say it would be titled Simply Offal.

Did I mention I love my new kitchen? 'Cause I do. Counter space and cabinet space are a novelty.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Life by Chocolate

I am pretty sure I'm addicted to ice cream.  However, maybe it is chocolate I can't live without, because whenever I'm shoveling my daily dose of Blue Bell into my mouth, it's usually smothered in nutella.

So of course I want to make these.
 And maybe cover them with ice cream.

They're from the Pioneer Woman's website, and she puts a Hershey's kiss in each one.  I'm something of a chocolate person, so Hershey's doesn't always cut it, but a little kiss in each bite size cake?  That's a concept I could go for.  I bet you could use Dove chocolates instead, if say, those are something you buy whenever you're at the grocery store, or little ritter sport squares.  Really, the possibilities are endless.  And look at how that ganache almost winks back at you.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Simple Pork Chop Follow Up

This is just to say Eliese's recipe for pork chops reminded me of everything great about cooking-- simple ingredients, little to no prep time, one pan for clean up, and something delicious in the end.  Here's a photo in honor of this delectable recipe.  Thank you for teaching me the secret to these chops.

Chicken Marbella

This is such an easy, earthy dish to toss together and then throw in the oven for an hour.  It looks much more complicated than it is, and the sauce--you'll want to have something to sop it up with.  I recommend polenta or cornbread, but rice or potatoes would pair well.  Serves 4-5

2 chickens, 2 1/2 pounds each, quartered (Or about 5 lb chicken parts. I've used thighs, and legs, but I'd imagine chicken breast would work great)
1/2 head of garlic, peeled and finely pureed 
2 tbsp dried oregano
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil 
1/2 cup pitted prunes
1/4 cup pitted Spanish green olives
1/4 cup capers with a bit of juice 
3 bay leaves
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white wine 
2 tbsp Italian parsley or fresh cilantro, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl or ziploc bag combine chicken quarters, garlic, oregano, pepper and coarse salt to taste, vinegar, olive oil, prunes, olives, capers and juice, and bay leaves. Cover and let marinate, refrigerated, overnight.

Arrange chicken in a single layer in one or two large, shallow baking pans and spoon marinade over it evenly. Sprinkle chicken pieces with brown sugar and pour white wine around them.

Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, basting frequently with pan juices. Chicken is done when thigh pieces, pricked with a fork at their thickest, yield clear yellow (rather than pink) juice.

With a slotted spoon transfer chicken, prunes, olives and capers to a serving platter. Moisten with a few spoonfuls of pan juices and sprinkle generously with parsley or cilantro. Pass remaining pan juices in a sauceboat.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

The Most Amazing Appetizer Ever

I've eaten some amazing food, but this--hands down--is the best appetizer I have ever had. I visited my friend, Tabaitha, in California last May, and we ate dinner at this quaint Italian restaurant on the coast near Santa Barbara. This was our appetizer, and since then, I have recreated it about 10 times. It's just that good. After living in Italy I thought I'd tasted the best mozzerella-not so until you have tasted Burrata mozzerella. It looks like a plain mozzerella on the outside (ball shaped) but when you cut into it, it's creamy, almost like a cheese curd. We can only find this at Central Market, but if you can find That's what makes this dish the most amazing appetizer ever.

The amount of ingredients would be based on the number of people to whom you are serving the appetizer.

Tomatoes (we've used big and small, all varieties)
Fresh Basil leaves
Good olive oil
Burrata mozzerella
Toasted pine nuts
salt and pepper

On a medium sized platter, artfully arrange prosciutto in slices. Then, stack tomato and basil, and scoop the mozzerella on top (like you would a caprese salad). Sprinkle with salt (Kosher salt adds a nice flavor), pepper, and pine nuts, and drizzle with olive oil. We usually eat this with a knife and fork, if that gives you an idea of how to stack the ingredients.

Without the amazing mozzerella, this really is like a caprese salad, but with that cheese...simply amazing.

Roasted Mustard and Rosemary Pork Tenderloin

I don't start teaching for another week, so I have some time to post good recipes before the daily grind starts again. What I love about this pork recipe is that it is super easy to prepare and I can let it sit for a few hours in the refrigerator and it just gets better. We used a lean pork tenderloin, but I'm sure you could do this with any cut of pork, or chicken for that matter. I stole the recipe from Epicurious and paired it with Angela's easy risotto.

6 T coarse ground dijon mustard
1 T fresh rosemary (I added more because our rosemary plant is huge)
2 T balsamic vinegar
2 T olive oil
6 cloves garlic
1/2 t crushed bay leaves
1 to 1 1/2 lb pork tenderloin

Preheat oven to 375. Mix first 6 ingredients in a small bowl. Pat pork tenderloin dry. Salt and pepper pork. Rub marinade on pork.

I let the pork sit in the refrigerator for two hours, but you can bake it right away. I baked the pork right in the baking dish as you can see above but you could also put it on a rack in the baking dish--that would probably give you a better crust.

Place pork in oven. We baked ours for 45 minutes and it was perfectly done, but depending on the size the time would need to be adjusted. The internal temp (we are food thermometer people) should be about 150.

As I mentioned before, this was wonderfully paired with Angela's easy parmesan risotto.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Grilled Peach and Prosciutto Salad

I recently visited my best friend from high school, Stephanie, in Ft. Worth. She, her husband, and their adorable 4 month old live 5 minutes from Central Market, and I am constantly inspired by her fresh, easy cooking. This is her recipe that I tried out as soon as I came home from vacation. I used Parker County peaches, peaches grown right outside of Ft. Worth and available only 2 months a year. Needless to say, they were the best peaches I've ever had! Sorry, no pictures this time.

3 peaches, sliced
2 slices Prosciutto
Goat cheese (as much or as little as you want on your salad)
Arugula, or whatever type of salad you would like to use--I used mixed spring greens
1/4 C balsamic vinegar
2 T honey
1 T olive oil
Salt and Pepper

Put balsamic vinegar in small sauce pan on medium high heat until boiling. Then, turn down and simmer balsamic until reduced to about 2 tablespoons. Once reduced, remove from heat and add 2 T honey and stir. Set aside and let cool.

In a large salad bowl, add olive oil and salt/pepper. Add salad greens and mix until coated.

Put sliced peaches on oiled grill surface. Grill until you hav grill marks but peaches are still firm. Remove from grill. Trevor likes the peaches diced after removing them from the grill, but the plate is prettier when the peaches are kept in large slices.

Arrange salad on plates and top with goat cheese, prosciutto, and peaches. Drizzle balsamic/honey mixture over the top.

Simple but Very Decadent Potatoes

I am so inspired every time I see this blog, and I will be making the easy risotto tonight! Trevor has been out of town on business for most of the summer, so when he comes home, I start to cook again. I just hate cooking for one person, and I guess I go overboard and want to cook everything when there are 2 people in my house again. Here is a recipe for gruyere potatoes; they are very rich but very easy to make. We have also substituted a good sharp cheddar for gruyere as gruyere can be pricey.

2 C grated Gruyere cheese

1 lb baby new potatoes (I have used Yukon gold and baby red potatoes)

1 C heavy cream

1/8 t pepper

Salt to taste

Heat oven to 375.

Put whole potatoes into cold ice water. Bring to a boil and cook until a knife can be inserted and potatoes are firm, not falling apart. Drain potatoes. Mash potatoes with a fork like you are making smashed potatoes but not mashed potatoes--leave chunks to give substance to the potatoes. Add cheese, heavy cream, and pepper and mix well. I usually divide the mixture into ramikins but I have also made one big casserole dish. Put into oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown. When you take them out, it's best to let them sit for about 10 minutes to solidify and cool.

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Pleasures of a Simple Dinner

You would think I have nothing to do judging by recent frequency of posting. Let me assure you, I do (have many things to do, that is); but I would rather not. I simply wanted to share our favorite way of doing pork chops (a cheap, delicious staple), along with an easy appetizer recipe. The appetizer recipe is one my husband likes making, and even though in most cases I am not a fan of radishes, it is delicious.

Radish Toasts: Thinly slice radish using a vegetable peeler, layer on baguette spread with butter, finish with coarse salt. These make a great easy party dish, too.

Simple steps to delicious pork chops: Heat oil - better, leftover bacon fat - in skillet (use cast iron if you have it) over medium high. Season pork chops with salt and pepper. When oil/fat is hot, cook chops for 3 minutes. Flip and turn heat to medium, cook 5-10 minutes depending on the thickness of the chop. Remove and place on plate, tent with foil and let sit for another 5 minutes or so. Done! (Enjoyed here with homemade applesauce and a Manhattan.)

On the side, a green salad with heirloom tomato - lettuce and tomato courtesy of farmer's market - over which husband later decided to shave a few more radishes (delicious).

There you have it: simple dinner. Enjoy with a glass of wine, or a cocktail if desired.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Banana Bread Two Ways

No beer in this post. Just bananas. I didn't get a picture of the loaf, because you know what banana bread looks like. Not that bananas are anything new either (to most of us), but:

<---- Mmm, bananas.

This is the only banana bread recipe I've used since college. Call me boring - maybe there are better recipes out there - but this one always turns out well. It's slightly adapted from Cooking Light magazine (I know! Light! - but I promise it's good) from probably at least six years ago. Here's the basic recipe:

2 c flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 c sugar
1/4 c butter, softened (hence, light)
2 eggs
1 and 1/2 c mashed ripe banana (about 3 - I usually have this many or more old nasty brown bananas lying about in my freezer, which is where they go when I buy bananas, don't eat them, and don't have time right then to make banana bread)
1/3 c plain yogurt - you can use low-fat if you're really into the light thing...
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350. Cream softened butter and sugar with mixer; add eggs one at a time and beat well. Add banana, yogurt, and vanilla; beat until well blended. Add flour, baking soda and salt and beat on low until moist and incorporated. Spoon batter into buttered (or cooking-sprayed) loaf pan. Bake for about 1 hour, until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes or so in pan on wire rack, then remove from pan and cool on rack.

Same measurements for: flour, baking soda, salt, sugar, butter, banana, eggs, yogurt. Recipe doesn't call for vanilla but I don't see why not, if you really wanted to.
ADDITIONAL INGREDIENT: 1/2 c semisweet chocolate chips

Follow same procedure (up until putting the batter into the loaf pan). Melt chocolate chips in a medium bowl for about a minute in a microwave and stir until smooth; cool slightly. Add 1 c batter to chocolate and stir to combine well. Spoon chocolate batter into buttered (/cooking-sprayed) loaf pan alternately with plain batter (keep in mind there is much less chocolate batter as you portion it out). Swirl batters together using a knife - a figure eight type patter usually works. Then follow same directions as above for plain loaf.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Beer Battered Squash Blossoms

This recipe is from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian - we used squash blossoms (somewhat hard to find; try them if you can find them at your local farmstand or market) but essentially you can batter and fry almost any vegetable, although the cooking time varies. Once we finished with the squash blossoms, we had leftover batter and subsequently battered and fried zucchini. [But note: this was simultaneously a brilliant and a horrible idea - brilliant because it was very good, horrible because I ate too much and had a stomachache the rest of the night.]

oil for frying (neutral eg. vegetable, corn...)
1 c flour + more for dredging
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 egg
3/4 cup beer (or sparkling water)
kosher/coarse salt for finishing

Put enough oil in deep pan on stove over medium high; prepare veggies as you allow the oil to heat - bring oil to 350 degrees. Mix batter ingredients but be careful not to overmix. Dredge veggies in flour, then dip in batter. Add veggies to oil - don't overcrowd to allow for proper browning. Cook and turn once if needed, until golden (a couple minutes). Drain and serve, sprinkled with coarse salt.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Spice-Rubbed Beer Can Chicken

If it didn't taste so good, I would still post this for the photo of the chicken.

3lb. chicken
1 can beer
KC's All-Purpose Barbeque Seasoning (or BBQ rub of choice)

1. set oven to 350º.
2. rub chicken with rub all over, inside & out. drink 2 swigs from can 'o beer. sit chicken on can in shallow baking dish (cf. illustration).
3. put in oven, 1 hr. done.

It is that simple to have really, really moist chicken. Nor does the beer flavor it so much that you can't make an awesome spiced-up chicken sandwich for lunch the next day.

Monday, June 28, 2010

"Stout" Sausages

A quick one, improvised by some leftover stout and the acquisition of a hefty farmer's market onion (I wanted to play with its taste rather than lose it in a larger meal):

1 lb. Italian Sausage
2 peppers [sliced] (either green, red, or yellow--I like at least one green to balance the meal's color)
1 onion [sliced]
6 garlic cloves [roughly chopped]
3/4 c. stout (or experiment with another beer--Yuengling has worked well in other manifestations)
3 dashes of red pepper flakes

1. Heat oven to 400º.
1. In cast-iron heat sausages on medium-high heat, 10 mins. Remove.
2. Add garlic. When flavor released, add peppers & onion, sprinkle with salt to taste and red pep. flakes, 8 mins.
3. Add sausages & beer. When boils, put in oven, 25 mins.
4. Serve on rolls, plain or with Dijon mustard.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Easy Risotto, Take Two!

I was so (hungry/) excited about Angela's post that I had to make that risotto tonight, with a few additions and alterations based on what was floating about in my kitchen. Then I watched Julie and Julia, despite the fact that I said I wouldn't. And I kind of enjoyed it. Oh man, my husband, who was elsewhere tonight, is going to be mad! At least there's some leftovers. [My computer refuses to post the photo the right way round, but you get the idea.]

Here are my additions/alterations: I only had about 1/2 to 3/4 cup rice and it worked just fine. I used 2 cups water and 1 cup chicken broth, since I had chicken broth in the fridge that needed using. My major divergence is the addition of some sauteed yellow summer squash, which also needed using - sauteed in the cast iron skillet (dirty - the good kind of dirty - with a few past dinners' accumulated bacon/pork chop/steak fat) with a little roughly chopped garlic and a dash of the broth (so that the garlic didn't burn) - over low while the rice was simmering. I added the squash in the last step with the cheese, as well as some julienned basil from the plant on the window sill.

Thanks, Angela/Horvathia! Totally delicious!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Easy Risotto

This one's from the wonderful chefs in the Horvath household.  I love it.  I keep trying new risotto recipes (butternut squash and prosciutto risotto! risotto with spring vegetables!) and always come back to this one.  I do admit it's ruined me for new risottos because of its simplicity.  There's none of that standing over a steaming pot stirring for 20-40 minutes (Ina Garten romanticizes this labor by pairing it with a glass of wine, but after trying this with a toddler, it's just not worth it to me).  It's simple and uses only ingredients you probably already have on hand.  I have made it with a varying combination of cheese: Peccorino Romano, Peccorino Romano and Parmesan, Parmesan, Romano, Romano and Parmesan, etc.  Any of those delicious hard Italian cheeses seem to work, adjusting the salt amount accordingly (if any-- I find Peccorino provides enough salt).

Serves 4

3 c water
1 c arborio rice
4 tbsp butter (1/2 stick)
1 chicken bouillon cube
1/2-2/3 c grated Romano
salt to taste

1. Bring water to boil in medium saucepan and add butter, bouillon and rice.  Cover and turn heat to low and simmer 20 minutes.

2. Uncover and turn heat to med, stirring until rice is goopy but not wet, about 5 minutes.  You must be stirring constantly.

3. Add Romano and salt to taste and stir until combined.  Serve warm and enjoy!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Farmers' Market Leftover Frittata

I suddenly realized that it was quite simple to make a frittata--especially if one wishes to clear their fridge of leftovers. Every Wednesday our local farmers' market is open, offering the bounty of the Garden State. I like, on principal, to try to confine myself to things that are in season (how I live up to that principal is another matter...). What do you do then, when the first fresh zucchini etc. are in season and you have exhausted your normal recipes (zucchini bread, hash, pasta w/ zucchini...)? Make frittata. It is a light dinner on a hot summer night with a simple salad of oil & vinegar on the side (or a rather indulgent--pun intended?--Friday in Lent).

6 eggs
2 tbs. EVOO (Extra-virgin olive oil)
1 c. freshly-grated Parmesan cheese (or Pecorino for an edge--so long as it is not some cheese product pre-grated and meant to outlast cockroaches in the event of nuclear war)
1 c. chopped farmers' market veggies or whatever sits at the back of your fridge (here zucchini--but you can use almost anything except beets)
1/4 c. fresh herbs (whatever is outside your window--for us it was basil)

1. Preheat oven 400º. Heat skillet with EVOO on med-high.
2. Beat eggs in large bowl. Add a 1/2 tsp. or so of salt/pepper. Stir in cheese, veggies, & fresh herbs.
3. Pour in skillet. Immediately reduce heat to low. Cook 10-15 mins. (until bottom firms up nicely).
4. Put skillet in oven for @ 10 mins. When top is done, take out and sprinkle with extra cheese if you wish.

Serve hot or room temp. for breakfast, lunch, dinner (depending on what you add to the mix). If you make it for supper, you can reheat the leftovers and add a slice of bacon or what-have-you for breakfast.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Nana's Chicken and Rice

If you just need some good comfort food try this recipe of Zach's Grandmother Weisse (aka Nana). She had 13 kids so she learned how to cook on a low budget and make easy dishes that would feed a lot of people. This is really simple, but you can do a few things to spice it up if you want.

Chicken (I use full Breasts)--use as much as you want
1 can Cream of Mushroom
2 can Cream of Celery
1 packet of dry Onion Soup Mix
1 can water (or 1 1/2 cans for larger meal)
1 cup rice (or 1 1/2 rice for larger meal)
Salt and Pepper to taste

1.) Mix all ingredients (except chicken)
2.) Place in a greased pan
3.) Place chicken on top and cover a little with the rest of the ingredients.
4.) Cover with Foil. Cook at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Notes: I didn't have the soup mix so I just put in about 3/4 a cup of chopped onions. I had a bunch of mushrooms that I needed to use up so I diced those and threw them in too. You can fuss with the recipe however you want and it will still turn out pretty good. I served this with asparagus, but green beans or another green veggie would be good too.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Rhubarb Crumb Coffee Cake

I hated rhubarb as a kid - HATED it. I could never understand why my mom adored strawberry rhubarb combinations so much. Perhaps rhubarb is an acquired taste, one which I have only recently started enjoying; but it is so much easier to enjoy when you can get beautiful farm-fresh, ruby-red stalks! I've been a little afraid to try baking with it on its own - why mess with a good thing, i.e. a strawberry rhubarb pie? But on our last visit to Wightman's Farm (1111 Mt. Kemble Ave, Morristown NJ), we were handed a free recipe with our rhubarb purchase, which I ventured to put together last night. Another virtue of this recipe besides being delicious is that it is relatively quick, an essential when you have a 5 month old Baby Hulk ("BABY SMASH!!"). So thank you, Wightman's Farm! Please accept my free advertising in exchange for letting me share your recipe here:

Cake ingredients:
1/2 c. softened butter
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 c. flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon (note: I was nearly out of cinnamon so did not have the full amount; it was still delicious)
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 c. buttermilk
4 c. chopped rhubarb (can use frozen if fresh is not available - they say to measure out while frozen, then thaw completely, drain but do not press liquid out)

Topping ingredients:
1 c. flour
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 c. cold butter (my note: cut into small pieces to speed process before getting out your pastry cutter)

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, beat well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine dry ingredients; add to wet mixture alternately with buttermilk. Stir in rhubarb. Pour into greased 13x9x2 inch baking dish. In a small bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle evenly over batter. Bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Memorial Day Continued: Ribs

These aren't your 1950's BBQ ribs. They aren't the spiciest thing I've ever eaten, but I advise you pack the spice-seekers first-aide kit with you for the ride (i.e. a non H2O beverage, a napkin to prevent lip burning, and some form of bread).

2 lbs. baby-back ribs
KC-style BBQ seasoning (I used this)
Night of the Living Bar-B-Q Sauce

1. Preheat oven 325º
2. Cut ribs in half lenghtwise so that they fit in 11x13 baking dish. Rub with seasoning, cover with sauce. Cover dish with aluminum foil. Bake 1 1/2 hrs.
3. Grill for 5-10 minutes, brushing with more sauce to prevent drying out.

If you don't have an outside grill as we don't (darn you NJ apts.), you can put a cast iron grill on the range top. The only thing I don't advise improvising is the BBQ sauce. Night of the Living BBQ is from one of my favorite joints: Oklahoma Joe's (the only one I know in a gas station, pictured above).

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Memorial Day Sweet Tea in a Mason Jar

You can guess from my radio silence over the past few weeks (months) that an new-born can stifle culinary creativity. However, for Memorial Day I decided to live it up a little. Besides some excellent ribs (KC-rub and Night of the Living Bar-B-Q Sauce) and Dave's Guinness Cupcakes, I was missing Texas so I thought nothing is classier than some sweet tea in a mason jar.

1 pinch baking soda
2 c. boiling water
6 c. cool water
6 bags black tea
2 c. sugar

1. Pour the boiling water into a measuring cup which already contains baking soda and tea bags. Steep 15 mins.
2. Remove tea without straining bags. Pour into container (2 quarts) with sugar and stir. Add cool water.

[option 1: divide into 2 mason jars and live in style. option 2: make a simple syrup with crushed mint and some lemon. strain mint and lemon before adding in place of sugar in step 2]

Obviously we all know how to boil water, but I thought to share this because the pinch of baking soda is something I discovered which held me back from the authentic taste in the past.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Salmon with Pesto Sauce

Salmon is one of my favorite types of fish, but lately I've been having less than the best luck with it.  Maybe it's partly because I live in the desert so fresh fish is hard to come by, but frozen is usually a satisfying substitute.  Maybe it's that I need lessons in thawing fish, so that's why I opened my much loved Better Homes and Garden Cookbook.  This cookbook is so informative and has so many classic (they call them "favorite') American recipes.  I think it's a great resource for ideas and I feel like armed with it and the Joy of Cooking I can come back from the store with whatever cut of meat was reduced and find a deliciously simple way to prepare it.  And this recipe is that.  There's three ingredients.  Three.  Four if you want to be decadent and add Parmesan.  I'll assume if you're going for the prep with mayo then you'll probably want to just go ahead and go all out and add that Parmesan as well.  I'm going to include variations in the ingredients that I have tired and tested so you'll have a few options, but I think this is a dish that fares well with some playfulness, just don't overcook that salmon.  That's the worst.

Serves 4

4 5-6oz fresh or frozen skinless salmon fillets (I used fillets with one side of skin and had a hard time figuring out the cooking time, so watch out for that)
1/4 cup mayo, or sour cream, or yogurt*
3 tablespoons basil pesto (Trader Joe's pesto works great)
shaved parmesan cheese (optional)

1. Thaw fish, if frozen. Rinse and pat dry.

2. Place fillets on greased broiler pan, tucking under thin edges.  Broil 4 inches from the heat for 4-6 minutes per 1/2 in thickness or until fish flakes when tested with fork.  If fillets are 1 in or more, turn halfway through broiling.

2b.  I have also had this with the topping broiled the whole time with the fish and I'm not sure what the purpose for separating them is, unless you're going to need to flip them.  It's your call.

3. Meanwhile, combine mayo and pesto.  Spoon over fillets and broil about 1 min or until topping is bubbly. Garnish with Parmesan if you like.

So easy and so good.

*My sister has a variation of this recipe that calls for creme fraiche, though I have never tried it because sour cream is an easy substitute.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Sausage and Pepper Rigatoni

*This recipe is from Jenny M--many thanks!

I have to admit, this was a little scary at first.  My husband saw it in passing on the local tv show called the 'Valley Dish'.  He said "MMMM, I wish we were having that for supper!"  So I decided to be adventurous and look up the recipe a few days later.  To my ultimate delight, he loved it and it wasn't that hard!  A few side notes:  I didn't know what fennel was, looked for it at Fry's and couldn't find it, so I never used it.  We didn't know the difference :).  Second, I used all dried herbs (cut amounts in half).  I just didn't have the fresh ones on hand and it was still delicious!
12 oz ground Italian sausage (not spicy)
1 red bell pepper
1 small onion
3rd of a bulb of fennel
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon fresh oregano
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
1/2 cup olive oil
6 cloves fresh garlic
3/4 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup white wine
3/4 cup your favorite tomato sauce
1 Tbsp fresh Italian parsley
1 Tbsp fresh basil
1/2 grated Romano cheese
21 oz cooked rigatoni pasta
1.  Slice onions, fennel, and peppers.  Mince the garlic and chop all the herbs.
2.  In a large saute pan, heat the oil until it's at the smoking point (between 365-400 degrees Fahrenheit), add sausage meat.  Make sure it's spread out so meat covers the full surface of the pan.
3.  Add oregano, thyme, garlic, and vegetables.  Brown all slightly.  Add wine and chicken stock and reduce by half.
4.  Add tomato sauce and bring to a quick boil.
5.  Heat pasta and toss with the sauce mix.  Then mix in basil, parsley and Romano cheese. 

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Herb-Marinated Loin of Pork

I love pork tenderloin.  It's just such a beautiful cut of meat.  It's lean, flavorful, and quick.  These are great marinated overnight, but I just managed an hour this past time and still enjoyed this pig.

These proportions serve 6, but calls for three 1 lb  pork tenderloins.  I have yet to find these mythical 1 lber's so I usually just adjust the amount to how much I am making.  Halving the recipe makes more than enough for one pork loin.

Grated zest of 1 lemon
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (4 to 6 lemons)
1/2 c olive oil, plus extra for brushing grill if grilling
2 tablespoons minced garlic (6 cloves)
1 1/2 tbsp minced fresh rosemary leaves
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme leaves (feel free to use dried, and just halve amount.  I used dried before and thought it was still delicious)
2 tsp Dijon mustard
Kosher salt
3 pork tenderloins (about 1 pound each)
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Combine lemon zest, juice, olive oil, garlic, rosemary, thyme, mustard, and 2 tsp salt in a 1-gallon Ziploc bag.  Add the pork and turn to coat with the marinade.  Marinate in the fridge at least 3 hours, but preferably overnight.

2. If you're grilling, grill for 15-25 minutes, depending on the heat of the grill and size of your pork, until meat registers 137 in the thickest part.  Transfer the tenderloins to a platter and cover tightly with aluminum.  Allow to rest 10 min and carve.  If you're cooking in the oven, I recommend searing it first in a pan then popping it in the oven.  Enjoy!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Lemon Orzo

Eliese made this several times in college and I was so smitten with the recipe that it was ingrained in my memory.  I don't know if it's completely accurate since I've been eyeballing it for years, but this is the closest I've come to the amazingness that this recipe is.  It's probably from Gourmet because it was one of those fabulous recipes her mom would always send her, so you know of course it's good.  And it's so easy.  And it's made with everything you can regularly keep on hand in your cupboard.  Honestly, as I eat this orzo my mouth waters for more, it has such a great citrus bite.  Hope you can enjoy it as an easy go to recipe. It makes a great side with poultry and fish, or just eat it on it's own like I am today with the leftovers.  Also, Eliese, feel free to note any differences you have in your original recipe.

Serves 4

2 tbsp butter
1/2 medium onion, diced
3-5 garlic cloves, diced
1 cup orzo
1 1/4- 1 1/2 cup of water (depending on how dry your climate is and how quickly your orzo cooks)
juice of 2 lemons (or 1/4 c lemon juice from the bottle, I've made it both ways and it's been great)
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 tbsp dried parsley

1. Melt butter in a large warmed skillet on medium heat.  Add onion and garlic and cook until softened, 3-5 min.

2.  Add orzo and cook, stirring occasionaly, until starting to turn golden, about 5 minutes.

3.  Add water, bouillon, and lemon and let simmer until most of the liquid is cooked off, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes.  You will need to taste the pasta to see if it is cooked and add more water if it needs a little longer.

4.  Add parsley and cook, stirring, until orzo is moist but not goopy (see picture).

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Grandma's "semi-homemade" Lentil Soup

Angela, Becca, Jenny, and I used to have Sunday dinners together in college. I made this soup quite a bit, and we always loved it. It starts with cans of soup which seems somewhat odd, but definitely a go-to easy recipe!

2 Cans (depending on how much soup you want) Progresso lentil soup. None of that low fat stuff either
1/2 a bullion cube or bullion bits
1 small-medium onion
3-4 cloves garlic
olive oil, about 1/3 C
fresh basil, very finely chopped

1. sautee onion and garlic
2. put soup on stove and add bullion, sauteed onion and garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper, and basil

I think that's it! Heat until nicely simmered
Rosemary and Lemon Cupcakes (Better Homes and Gardens)
I made these for Easter and they were a hit! I thought they'd be more like muffins, but when you add the glaze they truly are like cupcakes. I guess you could eliminate the glaze and it would become a muffin. As usual, I have no pictures.

1/2 C butter, softened (let sit out for 30 minutes before baking)
2 eggs (let sit out for 30 minutes before baking)
1 3/4 C cake flour. I couldn't find cake flour so I used normal, everyday flour
2 t finely snipped fresh rosemary--next time I make these I will double the rosemary
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 C granulated sugar
1 1/2 t lemon extract
1/2 t vanilla
2/3 C milk
2 t finely shredded lemon peel
2 T lemon juice
1 recipe lemon glaze (at the end of the cupcake recipe)
Heat oven to 350

1. Line muffin cups with bake cups, or if you are using mini muffin tins, spray with non-stick cooking spray
2. Combine flour, rosemary, baking powder, and salt; set aside
3. In large mixing bowl, beat butter on medium high 30 seconds. Add sugar, lemon extract, and vanilla. Beat 2 minutes (Med-hi) until light and fluffy
4. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition
5. Alternately add flour mixture and milke to butter mixture, beat on low after each just until blended. Stir in lemon peel and lemon juice. (Here I thought the batter looked too runny, but it was just fine)
6. Spoon into muffin tins and bake 22-25 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Mini muffins will bake about 15-18 minutes. cool in muffin tins on rack 5 minutes. Remove from pan and cool.

Lemon glaze:
Mix 1 C powdered sugar and enough lemon juice to attain spreading consistency. Add lemon peel to glaze if you want.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Potatoes Supreme

Made with lots of butter and I love to eat them so I thought I better post them here. Plus, I have been a slacker about contributing anyway. Since I remembered to take pictures this time and they don't look too disgusting, I thought I should share. Zach's mom gets mad at me when I make them because she says they are too fattening, but I say that I a sure sign that they are delicious! Basically, it is just mashed potatoes that you throw lots of good stuff into and then bake.

Here are the basic instructions:
  • Peel and Cube about 6 medium potatoes. Boil them until tender and then mash.
  • Then add some variation of the following: 2 cups sour cream, as much butter as you like, tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper, 2 cups cheese, 1/2 to 1 cup of green onions, and sprinkle with Paprika
  • Put in a casserole dish and then top with 2 cups crushed corn flakes and drizzle 1/4 cup melted butter over the top.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
My little masher.
Final product before the oven.

Monday, March 29, 2010

What are you faithful followers making for Easter?

I think I might have to make this after I saw it on the Catholic Cuisine website:

Strawberry Coconut Tres Leches Trifle