Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Food - Here We Come

For occasions like this, I spend several days (or weeks) mulling over, thinking about, researching, discussing with husband, sisters, friends, considering and planning. I make a few lists - rough drafts, if you will. And then finally, on an evening like tonight, I sit down and make the final draft. Listing the menu, then the recipes*, then the grocery list. I print it all out and then I have my supermassively important group of pages that will be placed in an important place in the kitchen. No searching for recipe cards or trying to keep pages pulled up online. It's all right there, in front of me. I thought I would share my lists with you. And a very Merry Christmas to you.

Christmas Eve (always an appetizer meal):

Mushrooms Stuffed with Brie*
Hot Crab Dip
Crackers / Cheese / Summer Sausage
Mini Beef Wellingtons
Veggies and Dip
Peppermint Ice Cream and Christmas Cookies
Non-Alcoholic Hot Buttered Rum
Meier's Sparkling

Christmas Breakfast:

Breakfast Casserole
Rolls (maybe)
Christmas Eggnog

Dinner on Christmas Day

Carrot and Squash Curry Soup*
Roasted Beef Tenderloin*
Twice-baked Potatoes*
Fresh green beans*
Dinner Rolls (Costco)
Caramel Pumpkin Gingersnap Cheesecake*


Mushrooms Stuffed with Brie

1 package White Button Mushrooms, Washed And Stems Removed
4 cloves Garlic, Minced
¼ cups Flat-leaf Parsley, Chopped
4 whole (to 5) Green Onions, Sliced (up To Middle Of Dark Green Part)
Splash Of White Wine (optional)
1 slice (wedge) Of Brie Cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees . Melt butter in large saucepan. Add mushroom caps and toss to coat in butter. Sprinkle lightly with salt and cook for 1 minute. Remove mushrooms from pan and place upside down in a baking dish. In the same saucepan (without cleaning it) throw in garlic, parsley, and green onions. Sprinkle very lightly with salt and splash in wine, if using. Stir around until wine evaporates, about 1 minute. Remove from heat. Cut rind off of brie wedge, then cut pieces of brie to fit each mushroom cap. Place inside, lightly pressing to anchor each piece of brie. Top mushrooms with parsley/garlic mixture. Place into the oven for 15 minutes, or until brie is melted. Note: mushrooms are best when they’ve been allowed to cool slightly. Delicious

Hot Crab Dip

1 c fat free cottage cheese
½ tsp lemon zest
2 T lemon Juice
1T Dijon mustard
1 ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp hot sauce
½ tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1 8 oz cream cheese, soft
2 T green onions, chopped
1 lb lump crab meat
2 T fresh parmesan cheese
¼ c bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 375. Combine first nine in a food processor, process until smooth. Combine cottage cheese mixture, cream cheese and onion in a large bowl – gently fold in crab meat. Place in a baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake 30 min. Top with bread crumbs and parm. Bake 15 min or until golden and bubbly.

Hot Buttered Rum Beverage Mix

6 cups packed brown sugar 1 cup butter, room temperature

2 Tbsp honey

1 Tbsp vanilla

2 Tbsp rum flavoring or extract

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp allspice

1/4 tsp nutmeg

In large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and beat with an electric mixer until well blended. To serve, stir about 1 teaspoon of mix into each 8 ounce mug of hot apple or orange juice, hot milk, or hot water. Mound the mix in a serving bowl and invite guests to serve themselves. Dollop with some fresh whipped cream and it's perfect!

If you want to go the extra mile, you can shape them when the mix is room temperature into little tiny cookie cutters.

To store, cover and chill up to 3 months.

Breakfast Casserole

1 lb sausage, cooked
6 eggs
2 slices bread, cubed
2 c whole milk (or 1½)
1 c sharp cheddar, shredded
1 tsp dry mustard

Combine all. Place in a greased casserole. Bake 350 for 40-45 min. Can be made the night before.

Carrot and Squash Curry Soup

3 T olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 lg onion, diced
3 carrots, sliced thin
4 yellow squash, sliced
salt to taste
1 T curry powder (more to taste)
½ c dry white wine
48 oz chicken broth
Heavy cream

Heat olive oil in a heavy pot over med heat. Add garlic and onions and stir to coat. Add carrots and cook for 3 minutes, or until they start to get soft. Sprinkle in a little salt. Add squash. Stir and cook for a few minutes, until squash is soft and tender. After a few minutes, add salt to taste and the curry powder. Pour in wine. Let evaporate for about 30 seconds, then pour in chicken broth. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover pot, and cook for 1 hour. After 1 hour, taste and adjust seasonings. Turn off heat. Puree soup in batches. Return to soup pot and bring to a simmer. Serve hot, drizzled with heavy cream.

Roasted Beef Tenderloin

1 whole (4-5 lb) Beef Tenderloin
4 T salted butter
1/3 c whole peppercorns
Lawry’s seasoning salt
Lemon Pepper seasoning
Olive Oil

Rinse meat well. Trim away some of the fat to remove the silvery cartilage underneath. Sprinkle meat generously with Lawry’s. You can much more liberally season a tenderloin, because you’re having to pack more of a punch in order for the seasoning to make an impact. Start with Lawry’s. Rub it in with your fingers. Sprinkle both sides generously with lemon pepper. Crush the peppercorns in a Ziploc bag. Set aside. Heat some olive oil in a heavy skillet. When the oil is to the smoking point, place the tenderloin in the very hot pan to sear it. Throw a couple of tables spoons of butter into the skillet. A minute or two later, when the side is starting to turn nice and brown, flip and repeat. Place the tenderloin on an oven pan with a rack. Sprinkle the pummeled peppercorns all over the meat. Press the pepper onto the surface of the meat. Put several tablespoons of butter all over the meat. Stick the long needle of the thermometer lengthwise into the meat. Place it in a 475 oven until the temp reaches just under 140, about 15-20 min. Stay near the oven and keep checking the meat thermometer. Do not allow to overcook. Let meat stand for ten minutes or so before slicing. To serve, you can spoon the olive oil/butter juices from the skillet onto the top of the meat for a little extra flavor.

Twice Baked Potatoes

8 baking potatoes
8 slices thick-cut bacon, fried
½ lb butter, cut into slices
1 c sour cream
½ c whole milk
¼ to ½ tsp lawry’s
½ tsp pepper
2 c grated sharp cheddar
2 green onions

Preheat the oven to 400. With a paper towel, rub the outside of the potatoes with oil. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and bake for 45 min or until potatoes are cooked inside and skins are slightly crisp. Turn the oven down to 300. Dice the fried bacon. Throw the butter, souc cream bacon milk seasoning salt and pepper into a large bowl. While the potatoes are still hot, cut in half, lengthwise. Spoon out the insides into the bowl with the other ingredients. Set shells on a large baking sheet. Mash the ingredients together. Stir in a cup of the cheese. Add green onions. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Fill each potato half. Top with remaining cheese. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the cheese is melted and the potatoes are hot.

Fresh Green Beans

1 lb green beans
1 c chopped onion
2 cloves garlic
½ c red pepper, chopped
2 T bacon grease
1 c chicken broth
½ to 1 tsp kosher salt
Black pepper

Snap the stem ends off the green beans, or cut them off. Melt bacon grease in a skillet over med low heat. Add garlic and onions and cook for a minute. Then add green beans and cook for a minute, until beans turn bright green. Add the chicken broth, chopped red pepper, salt and black pepper. Turn heat to low and cover with a lid, leaving a crack for the steam to escape. Cook for 20-30 minutes or until liquid evaporates and beans are fairly soft, yet still a bit crisp. You can add more broth during the cooking process, but don’t be afraid to let it all cook away so the onions and peppers can caramelize.

Caramel Pumpkin Gingersnap Cheesecake

12 oz gingersnaps
½ c chopped pecans
6 T butter, melted
2 T brown sugar
1 dash salt
4 pkg cream cheese
1 ½ c sugar
1 can pumpkin
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
½ tsp nutmeg
4 whole eggs
2 T heavy cream
1 jar (12 oz) caramel topping
Extra chopped pecans and gingersnaps

In a food processor, crush gingersnaps. Add chopped pecans, melted butter, brown sugar and salt; pulse until thoroughly combined. Press into bottom and sides of a 10 in springform pan. Chill for 20-30 min. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Add pumpkin and spices and mix. Add eggs one at a time, mixing for 20 seconds between each addition. Add cream and mix until just combined. Remove crust from fridge. Pour ½ jar caramel topping on crust. Sprinkle with chopped pecans. Gently pour cheesecake filling into pan. Even out the top. Bake 350 for 1 hour 15 min, or until no longer soupy. Cheesecake should still be somewhat jiggly. Cool on counter for 30 minutes. Pour the rest of the caramel topping over the top. Smooth out. Cover and chill for another four hours or overnight. When ready to serve, remove rim from pan and slice. Sprinkle each slice with extra crushed gingersnaps.

*Don't lets be silly and not offer proper credit where credit is due. Any menu item marked with a * is taken from The Pioneer Woman, or as we affectionally like to call her - PW.

Thank you PW.

Any items listed in the menu that do not have a recipe included below are either self-explanatory, or things I didn't need a recipe for. If you have questions about any of those things, like the Mini Weeeeners, just let me know.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

'Tis the season for Pumpkin

I found this recipe in a Real Simple magazine and couldn't resist. Let me tell you, you shouldn't resist either. These cupcakes are super delish and super easy!

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

1 18.5 ounce box yellow cake mix (plus the ingredients called for in the package directions)
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
2 8-ounce bars cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups confectioners' sugar
24 pieces candy corn

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners. Prepare the cake mix as directed but with the following change: Add the pumpkin pie spice and substitute the can of pumpkin puree for the water called for in the package directions.
Divide the batter among the prepared muffin tins and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 18-22 minutes. Let cool.
Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar until creamy. Spread on the cupcakes and top each with a piece of candy corn.

Friday, October 9, 2009

I'm Cursed

This isn't the greatest picture. Sorry. Let me explain. On the right, is the first pan of cookies that came out of the oven. On the left is the second pan.

I thank Landee for introducing me to the world of making cookies with my kids. We opened the package. We broke the little squares of cookie dough apart. We put them on the pan. Several squares were eaten before they ever had a chance to get to the pan, let alone the oven.

But here is the curse, my friends. The last pan always cooks too long. Always. I get the first one out, put the last one in and - forget about it. Always. So, we get one pan of perfect and one pan of - well....crispy.

I do the same with pancakes. They all turn out great until the last three. I put those on and, as usual - forget about it.

Do you have any kitchen curses? I'd love to hear about them.

P.S. I'm also quite clumsy. I can't even count the numerous times I've cut myself, burned myself or spilled things.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Drum Roll Please.....

My dearest friends and Savory Sisters followers (which are one and the same), today I am sharing with you one of my prized and precious recipes.

Tomato Curry Soup.

Once upon a time, we were invited to a friend’s house for dinner. When we sat down to the table, the first thing brought out was this soup. Everyone was quiet while they ate it. I was very sad when it was gone. Sad, I tell you. I’ve had tomato soup before. But this was nothing like normal tomato soup. I’d never really had curry before, so I didn’t know what the spices were. Just that they were fabulous and I needed more. Thankfully, my friend was willing to share the recipe with me. It came from a cookbook that she’s had forever that isn’t available in stores anymore.

Do you have pre-conceived ideas about tomato soup? About curry? Set them aside and give this a try. If you’re too nervous to go to the trouble, come around my house in the fall and winter. I will gladly share some with you.

I’m taking pictures of the process, cause it’s a cold and rainy day. Good for that, I think.
The recipe is listed below, but the pictures are of a double batch. I’m going to take some to a friend who is sick.

Tomato Curry Soup
¼ c butter
1 lg onion, chopped
3 carrots, shredded
2 T chopped black olives
1-2 T curry powder
1 28 oz can whole tomatoes or 3 c fresh seeded tomatoes
2 13 oz cans chicken broth
¼ tsp ground allspice
¼ tsp ground cumin
1 c half & half
salt to taste

In a large pot, melt the butter at med. high heat. Cook onions, carrots and olives for 35 minutes, stirring occasionally.

It will cook down until it’s almost caramelized. Trust me. It’s supposed to do this.

Stir in the curry powder and cook for 5 minutes more. Add fresh parsley, all spice and cumin.
Freshly chopped parsley is pretty, no?

Stir this together and enjoy the fabulous smell of deliciousness.

Then add the chicken broth.

In a separate bowl, mash up those whole canned tomatoes. I heard on a cooking show once that the whole canned tomatoes are the best quality in can, as compared to diced or something else. You'll be blending anyway, so it's worth it for the quality, don't you think? Pour these into your soup and bring it to a simmer.

Reduce heat and continue simmering for 30 minutes.

It will then look like this.

This is the fun part. Messy – but fun. The soup needs to be blended until smooth. Because it’s hot, you need to blend only about 1-2 cups at a time. Again, trust me on this. Start with a cup and test your blender. You’ll be able to tell whether you can blend more or not. I tried my little hand blender thingy once, but it did not make the soup smooth enough. I guess it’s up to you though.
As you’re blending, pour the blended portions into a separate bowl. When it’s all done, return it to your original pot.

Isn't it B.E.A.Utiful?

Add the remaining chicken broth.

And the half and half.

Mmmmmm. Creamy!

Bring back up to temp and serve.

Or take liberties as the cook and give yourself a little cup full to taste.

Afterwards, you might find yourself cleaning out the bottom of the cup with your finger.


See how much I love you? This is truly in my top three for precious recipes.

And, btw, I did not end up using any salt in this batch. It was perfect. Make sure you taste the finished product first.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

I Want These

I found this picture on listed under the Shortcake Cookies recipe in her cooking section. I had to share it. I LOVE things like this. LOVE them.

This is evidenced in a couple of posts I put on my personal blog several months ago. You can see them here and here.

Happy cooking!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Beef and Sugar Snap Stir-Fry

This is what we had for dinner tonight. It was quite good. Smelled very good while cooking. There wasn't much left in the pan when dinner was over - a very good sign.

This recipe has a pretty good list of ingredients. You could easily do some of the prep work a day ahead to save yourself some time. (P.S. way obvious, but serve it with steamed rice...)

Beef and Sugar Snap Stir-Fry
Cooking Light Magazine, July 2009

3 T rice vinegar
2 T low-sodium soy sauce
1 (1 lb) flank steak, trimmed and thinly sliced against the grain
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp hoisin sauce
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 tsp bottled minced ginger
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 c carrots, cut in matchsticks
1 (8 oz) pkg fresh sugar snap peas
1/3 c chopped green onions

Combine 1 T of the rice vinegar, 1 T of the soy sauce and the pre-cut flank steak in a large bowl. Set aside. Combine remaining rice vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, hoisin, salt and crushed red pepper in a small bowl; stir with a whisk. Set aside. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tsp of the sesame oil. Add beef mixture to pan; stir-fry 2 minutes or until done. Place beef in a bowl. Heat remaining 1 tsp oil in pan, still on med-high heat, and add the chopped onion. Saute 1 minute. Add giner and garlic; saute 15 seconds. Stir in bell pepper, carrot and peas. Saute about 3 minutes. Add vinegar mixture and beef to the pan and stir into the veggies. Cook approximately 2 minutes, or until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat and stir in the green onions.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Lasagna in a Bun

Oh, the joy that comes from a meal my children love to eat.

Lasagna in a Bun
thanks to Taste of Home

8 sub or hoagie buns (8 inches)
1 pound ground beef
1 cup spaghetti sauce
1 T garlic powder
1 T Italian seasoning
1 c ricotta cheese
1/4 c grated parmesan cheese
1 cup (4 oz) shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 cup (4 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 350. Cut a 'V' out of the center of your rolls. Depending on the kind of rolls you get, you can either hollow it out a little or press down the inside of the roll. Save the pieces for something else. Or not.

In a large skillet, cook the beef and drain. Add the spaghetti sauce, garlic powder and Italian seasoning. Cook 4-5 minutes or until heated through.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the ricotta, parmesan and a half cup each of the cheddar and mozzarella.

To assemble, spoon the meat mixture into the buns. I pressed mine in with the back of a spoon to create a well for the cheese. Spoon the ricotta mixture onto the meat. Place rolls on a baking sheet, cover loosely with foil. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining cheddar and mozzarella. Return to the oven for 2-3 minutes.

These are SO good! My children loved them. My husband loved them. I loved them. Totally a keeper. Let me know what you think!!!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Brian's Slow-Grilled Pork Tenderloin

This is one of the things we had for dinner this week. We got the pork tenderloin at Costco. One of our favorite seasonings for meat (beef, chicken and pork) is Cavender's Greek Seasoning. An old friend introduced it to us. I was skeptical at first. Greek seasoning? Let me tell you - it's SO good. Very much worth a try. I recently got some at Walmart. Here's a photo so you know what you're looking for.

Anyway - we were interested in seeing what new idea we could come up with for the meat tonight. This is what Brian concocted and I wanted to share it with you. It's very juicy and I'll be keeping it so we can do it again soon.

Brian's Slow-Grilled Pork Tenderloin

2-3 lbs. Pork Tenderloin
Cavender's Greek Seasoning
1/3 - 1/2 c olive oil
6 T Worcestershire sauce

Generously season the pork with the greek seasoning. Place in ziploc with the olive oil and worcestershire sauce. Allow to marinade in the fridge for about 2-3 hours.

Turn your grill on low (approx 300 degrees).
Spray a double layer of foil with cooking spray. Wrap the tenderloin and the marinade loosely inside the foil so the marinade can simmer around the meat. Place on the grill and cook until 130-140 internal temp. Remove the meat from the foil and place it directly on the grill. Continue cooking until greater than an internal temp of 160. The farther you go past 160, the more dry the pork will be careful!

We sliced the pork and served it with whole grain rolls, fresh broccoli and a fruit salad made with fresh strawberries and nectarines. The meat was so juicy and totally wonderful just on it's own. It was also fabulous inside the rolls with a little fresh butter. My kids scarfed it down. :)

You have to try this...Yummy!!!

As I was looking through my recipe pictures I came across pictures of PW's Baked Lemon Pasta that my mom and I tried at the cabin a few weeks ago. It was sooooooo delicious! We had it as a side dish with our steak, but you could easily serve it as a main dish too. Like the last recipes, I will post a link to the recipe, but I also have my own pictures. Please try this, you will not be disappointed!

Sister's Weekend in Red Lodge

We decided to cook while we were in Red Lodge, and because there were six of us it worked out perfectly to break into two teams and take two meals each. My team, consisting of Ann, Gretchen, and I, made PW's Chicken Scallopine and Fresh Green Beans One Way. They were both very delicious recipes and I highly recommend them!
Because I, in no way, can blog like PW can (and she deserves all the credit anyway), I'm going to post the links and you can look up her recipes. Enjoy!
Chicken Scallopine And Fresh Green Beans One Way!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Is There Anybody Out There? AND - Let Me Tell You About.....

What is the deal? Isn't anyone cooking or baking anything these days??

Well, in small limited amounts. This time of year, we spend a lot of time just grilling steaks, hamburgers, chicken, etc. It's quick and easy. We are quite lucky here, actually. Our grill is hooked up to the house gas line and right outside the back door - so really, we grill all year long. Here in Colorado, we have so much sunshine and great weather that it's very easy to work that out.

We tried out some great recipes at our Girls' Weekend in Montana and I think we'd love to share some of those with you. For example - Chicken Scallopine. Thin, lightly breaded chicken on linguine with a creamy, lemony sauce - mushro
oms, capers. It's fabulous. Or how about steak bites? Take that steak, cut it into bite size pieces, sear it quickly to medium doneness (is this a word?) in browned butter and serve. It's hard to stop popping those little nuggets of savory goodness in your mouth.

Perhaps you'd like to try something a little swee
ter? Two words: CAKE BALLS. I'm having a lot of fun with these sweet little treats. This is a terrible picture, snapped quickly with my phone. I'd been working on these for a while and I was tired. It's hard to see, but each of these little balls are stuck on a lollipop stick.

Where are we getting all of these fabulous recipes? The Pioneer Woman. Have you heard of her? I want to give her proper credit. One of my blogging BFF's got into a little hot water after copying and pasting someone else's article on her blog (even though she very plainly listed who had written it, etc.). So, in honor of PW and all that I love about her, I will give her the 'props' and provide adequate link-age to her site. She is everything I will never be. Gorgeous, living out on some ranch loving her life, cooking and taking pictures like a pro., homeschooling her kids... Please don't take this the wrong way. I salute her. I envy most of it. Not the homeschooling thing, tho.

My Savory Sis introduced me to PW and it took me several weeks to finally go to her website. After I looked around a little while, I was kicking myself for not going sooner.

I love that she cooks manly food. My husband loves manly food. I love that she makes awesome impressive desserts. I LOVE making things like that - and they are surprisingly easy and totally do-able. Like the Cake Balls. The first batch I made was a larger ball. I used my large scoop. White cake, dipped in white candy coating, gently dusted with edible 'pearls' and sparklies. They looked like mini little wedding cakes. Oh, the joy. For the 4th of July, I made them with my little scoop and put them on sticks so they looked like lollipops. So much festivity and edible red, white and blue. Giddiness, I tell you. Just plain giddy! I see lovely things in my cake ball future. Eyeballs for Halloween. Snowmen for Christmas, or red and green edible cake ball ornaments (, not for the tree. You have to eat them). Pink and blue 'rattles' for baby showers. Cake balls for the kids birthday treats at school. I know you're excited now too.

P.S. -- you can also make the best little balls out of a bag of oreos.
Toss the whole thing in your food processor and grind it up. Add a block of room temp cream cheese.
Really. Form balls, refridge until solid and dip to your hearts content.
Mmmmmmmmmmmm! Can you imagine and oreo/peanut butter ball? Srsly!!!

Anyway, sorry about the lack of attention to this lovely yummy food-site. Stop by in a week or so. We'll have some great stuff up for you to try. I've got the best chicken and pasta salad. So good for summer and potlucks. So healthy. And so very colorful. I promise.

Keep on cooking!! I'll be blogging at you soon!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Breakfast Food - YUM!!!

This was our spread for Easter breakfast. All of these items are fantastic! I highly recommend them on their own or in any combination. I quote Grandma Jean,

"This should go down in history as the Easter Brunch we have every year from now on."

Wonderful. As a side note, we also served baked bacon and an Orange Pomegranate drink (see below).

Recipe by Paula Deen
Baked by Martha McLaughlin and Grandma Jean

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 2 (12-ounce) cans refrigerated buttermilk biscuits (10 count)
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter
  • 1 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small bowl, combine the granulated sugar, pecans, and zest; set aside. Separate the biscuits. Place about 3/4 teaspoon cream cheese in the center of each biscuit. Fold each biscuit in half over the cheese, pressing the edges to seal. Dip the biscuits in melted butter, then dredge in the granulated sugar mixture. Place the biscuits, curved-side down, in a single layer in the hollows of a lightly greased 12-cup bundt pan, spacing them evenly (do not stack). Place any remaining biscuits around the tube, filling any gaps. Drizzle any remaining butter over the biscuits, and sprinkle with any remaining sugar mixture. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until golden brown. Immediately invert the cake onto a serving platter. Combine the confectioners' sugar and orange juice, stirring well; drizzle the glaze over the warm cake. Serve warm.

Recipe by ???
Made by Sara Cady

  • 1 lb sausage cooked, crumbled, and well drained (I lay mine in paper towel to make sure I get all the grease off. This is important.)
  • 10 eggs lightly beaten
  • 3 cups light cream or 1/2 and 1/2
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 or 2 green onions thinly slices (more or less, to taste)
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 loaf french bread cubed (I love Walmart french bread)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar
  • 1 cup shredded swiss
Grease a 9x13 pan and lay the bread out evenly in the pan. Combine eggs, cream, salt, dry mustard, onions and mix together. Sprinkle sausage and cheese over the bread and pour the egg mixture evenly over the top. Cover with foil or wrap and refrigerate over night. (I have left his in the refrigerater a day or two.) Take out of fridge and let warm up on counter for an hour or so before baking. Bake at 350 with the cover OFF for an hour or until golden brown. I can tell when this is done because it will get all puffed up and bubbly. I have to cover the top towards the end of baking so it won't get too brown. This will usually bake longer than an hour, especially if it is cold out of the fridge.

Recipe by The Pioneer Woman
Made by Martha McLaughlin

  • 1 family size bag Stacy's Pita Chips - Simply Naked
  • 7 large eggs
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 T vanilla
  • 6 oz fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar, plus a little more
  • 1 T ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
Generously butter a 9x13 pan. Pour the entire bag of pita chips into the pan. Combine eggs, milk, cream, vanilla and sugar in a large bowl. Stir until well blended. Pour over the pita chips. Cover tightly with foil and stick it in the fridge for 8-9 hours or overnight.

The next morning, take the pita chips out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you're ready to bake. Preheat your oven to 350. Sprinkle your washed blueberries over the top of the chips. In a separate bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and butter. Cut the butter in with a pastry cutter until crumbly and sprinkle over the top of the blueberries. Bake uncovered for 35-45 minutes, until golden brown on top. You can serve it with softened butter, and/or maple or blueberry syrup. I thoroughly enjoyed it fresh out of the pan and on its own. It is also completely scrumptious cold the next day. You'll never regret making this. In fact, I'm considering having a modified version of this entire meal for my Mother's Day dinner. Yes, dinner.

Recipe By ???
Made by Sara Cady

  • 2 cups sliced strawberries
  • 2 cups red grapes
  • 2 cups green grapes
  • 2 red apples, peeled, cored and cubed
  • 2 green apples, peeled, cored and cubed
  • 1 large can pineapple chunks, well drained
  • 1/4 cup coconut
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 oz cream cheese
In a large bowl, combine all of the fruit and coconut. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and pour over the fruit. Stir to combine and serve.

Recipe by ???
Made by Martha McLaughlin

  • 64 oz POM juice
  • 32 oz Orange Juice
  • 1.5-2 2L bottles 7up

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Spinach Bacon Quiche

I decided to make this yummy little quiche for dinner tonight. It is one of Paula Deen's recipes and is delicious! It is definitely one of my favorites! I was going to do a before shot, but forgot until it had been in the oven for awhile. Oops!

Spinach Bacon Quiche

6 large eggs, beaten
1 ½ cups heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups chopped fresh baby spinach, packed
1 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 ½ cups shredded Swiss cheese
1 (9-inch) refrigerated pie crust, fitted to 9-inch glass pie plate

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine the eggs, cream, salt and pepper in a food processor or blender. Layer the spinach, bacon, and cheese in the bottom of the pie crust, then pour the egg mixture on top. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until the egg mixture is set. Cut into 8 wedges.

Cooks notes: I decided to throw in some sliced baby portabello mushrooms (delish!) I also used a 9 1/2 inch pie plate so I need to add another egg and 1/4-1/2 cup more cream.

I gave Ann a hard time for taking a picture on a pink plate, then I did it myself!


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Good Morning, Muffins!

Here is another delicious recipe from the wonderful Pioneer Woman. She calls them Good Morning Muffins, although, they are so good you could enjoy them at any time of the day! Here's what you'll need...(my little helper wanted to be in the picture too, but you don't need one of those.)

Good Morning Muffins
Makes 18 muffins

4 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 cup shortening (can use 1/4 cup shortening with 1/4 cup butter)
2 cups orange marmalade
1 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs, beaten

3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon melted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
wheat germ (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Sift together flour, sugar, and baking powder. Place in a mixing bowl.
Use a pastry cutter to mix in shortening (or butter/shortening if desired).
Mix marmalade, orange juice, and vanilla in a small bowl. Pour into dry ingredients.
Beat eggs and pour into the bowl.
Mix all ingredients together gently, using fewer than 10 large strokes.
In a small bowl, mix topping ingredients.
Fill muffin pans with batter. Sprinkle 1 heaping teaspoon of topping ingredients over each muffin.
Sprinkle wheat germ over the top for extra crunch.
Bake for 20 to 22 minutes until done. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack. Eat warm or at room temperature.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

At Last -- Lasagna and Garlic Bread

Got this one from Food Network. It is involved and time consuming. I remember as a kid, asking my mom to make lasagna. She told me it was too involved and time consuming. There are easy lasagna recipes out there. The kind that use cottage cheese instead of ricotta. Not all that bad, even. But occasionally - I think involved and time consuming is necessary. I can guarantee, however, that all of your time and energy is more than worth the effort! You will love it, and so will all of the people who are blessed enough to partake.

Basic Red Sauce:

  • 2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 11/2 cups chopped yellow onions (1 medium yellow onion)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (about 2 cloves garlic)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Place the tomatoes in a large bowl and squeeze to break into small pieces. Set aside.

In a heavy 5-quart pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, salt, basil, oregano and black pepper, and cook, stirring, until soft, 5 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, water, sugar and reserved crushed tomatoes, stir well, and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat to medium-low, and simmer uncovered for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from the heat, and use as needed.

Yield: 10 cups (2 1/2 quarts)

You can make this sauce well ahead of time if you like. You can also freeze it.

Moving on...

1-2-3 Lasagna

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 5 cups Basic Red Sauce, recipe follows
  • 1 (15-ounce) container ricotta
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 pound grated Mozzarella
  • 1/2 teaspoon Emeril's Essence
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 12 dried (uncooked) lasagna noodles

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large saucepan, add the ground beef and brown over medium heat. Season with salt, pepper, and Essence. Add the tomato sauce and simmer for 10 minutes.

In a large bowl fold together the ricotta cheese, eggs, 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, 1/2 cup grated mozzarella, the Essence, salt, parsley, basil, and black pepper.

Spread 1 cup of the tomato sauce in the bottom of a 3-quart (13 by 9 by 2-inch) casserole. Lay 3 lasagna noodles lengthwise down the dish. The noodles should not touch one another. Spoon 3/4 cup of the ricotta mixture over the noodles, and spread evenly with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle 1 cup of the mozzarella evenly over the ricotta. Repeat with the remaining ingredients, for a total of 4 layers of noodles. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of mozzarella over the top layer of tomato sauce, and top with the remaining 1/2 cup of Parmesan.

Cover the casserole tightly with aluminum foil, and bake, covered, for 1 hour.

Remove the casserole from the oven, and remove the aluminum foil. Return to the oven and bake, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving

I do not know why I used a pink plate for this picture. Duh!

Garlic Bread

  • 1 loaf french bread, split in half lengthwise
  • 12 T butter, soft
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1/2 c shredded parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 tsp Emeril's Essence
  • 2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Mix together and spread onto the bread. Place on a baking sheet lined with foil. Bake at 350 for 15-18 minutes.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Nobody's Perfect


Btw, the lasagna is coming up this evening, I promise. It's been in the works most of the day. The house smells (ed) fantastic. However, I had to share this with you. I decided this morning that we needed to have strawberry shortcake after dinner. So, I made a special trip to the grocery store to get the cake mix, the fresh cream, the strawberries. For the record, I did not know that there is a difference between an angel food cake pan and a Bundt pan. Apparently a big difference.

The first thing I noticed was the faint aroma of toasted marshmallow. Not a bad odor. But then it got a little stronger and I decided to check on the cake. The lovely picture above is what I found. Of course I ran and got the camera. My learning experience can by yours too, right?

Exhibit A
The Bundt Pan

Exhibit B
The Angel Food Cake Pan

Lesson learned.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Coconut Rice & Beef Stir-Fry

My dear friends...this is one of my favorites. I found it in a Cooking Light magazine several years ago (Yay!!! Cooking Light!!!) (we don't cook full fat stuff all the time. Just 90% of the time...haha!) Let's begin.

For the rice:

1 cup water
1/4 tsp salt
Dash ground red pepper
14 oz can regular or light coconut milk
1 cup uncooked jasmine or sticky rice

For the Stir-fry:

1 tsp dark sesame oil
1 lb flank steak, sliced thin against the grain
1 c vertically sliced onion
1 c red bell pepper strips
3 c sliced bok choy
2 T chopped fresh cilantro
1 T chili garlic sauce (such as Lee Kum Kee)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Lime wedges

To cook the rice, combine the water, coconut milk, salt and red pepper. Bring to a boil. Add the rice, turn down the heat, cover and simmer about 20 minutes or until done.

This is not a difficult recipe. The hardest part is just the prep-work, and that's not all hard. Let's start with bok choy. I hadn't ever purchased, let alone used, bok choy before I found this recipe. I spent several minutes in the produce at the grocery store, trying to locate it, having no idea what I was looking for. I would love to make this easier for anyone else in the same boat. Here is a photo of bok choy. Don't you love how Brian got it to stand up for the picture?

After washing the leaves, I split them up the middle first.

Then I cut it into thin strips.

One of the things I immediately loved about bok choy is that it's like having two kinds of veggies in your dish. The leaves cook down, similar to fresh spinach. The stem remains crispy and fresh.

Flank steak is a relatively inexpensive cut of meat. There are a lot of different things you can do with it. The recipe calls for 1 lb, but I shoot for more like 1 1/2 lbs. Flank steak usually comes from the store rolled or folded into thirds. Just unfold it and lay it out on your cutting surface. I like to have somewhat smaller pieces of meat in the finished dish, so I split the flank steak up the middle and then slice it as thinly as possible against the grain. Don't get in a hurry and then cut it too thick.

Then you can cut your onion and pepper into strips and chop up the fresh cilantro to your desired size. I decided to use yellow and red pepper, just to zip up the color a little.

Heat your sesame oil in a large pot, on med-high to high heat. Add the flank steak and cook it until done. Remove the meat, cover with foil and keep it warm. In the hot pan, add the onion and pepper. Stir fry for about 5 minutes. Add the bok choy and cook for another 3 minutes.

Return the meat to the pan, along with the cilantro, the chili garlic sauce, salt and pepper. (You can use more of the chili garlic sauce, if you would like it to have a good kick.) Cook two minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Serve the stir-fry with the coconut rice and the lime wedges. We were very surprised and pleased with the lime. Squeeze it over the top. It adds just the right finishing touch. In fact, you might find yourself adding more. Tonight, we also had some potstickers on the side.