July 27, 2009
It’s just about impossible to get my husband to cook, as I’ve stated many times on this blog. It’s impossible that is unless it involves the grill. He always jumps at the chance to grill. That’s why for Christmas last year I got him a couple of grilling cookbooks hoping he would look through them and become inspired to pick out his own recipe to make. I’ve been pestering him to go through the cookbooks and pick something out and finally he did. How did I know it would be a burger? He loves to grill burgers. So I bought all the ingredients needed to make these yesterday and he grilled them for dinner last night. Somehow I still managed to put them together though. Not sure how that happened but anyway, they turned out pretty tasty. I think we’ll be experimenting with more burger flavor combinations this summer.
Backyard Beer Burgers
1 1/2 lbs lean (at least 80%) ground beef
1 small onion, finely chopped (1/4 cup)
1/4 cup regular or nonalcoholic beer
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
6 rye or whole wheat hamburger buns, split (use any kind of bun you like)
Ketchup, if desired
Pickle planks, if desired
1. Heat coals or gas grill for direct heat.
2. In medium bowl, mix all ingredients except buns, ketchup and pickeles. Shape mixture into 6 patties, about 3/4 inch thick.
3. Cover and grill patties over medium heat 13 to 15 minutes, turning once, until meat thermometer inserted in center reads 160 F and patties are no longer pink in center. Add buns, cut side down, for last 4 minutes of grilling or until toasted. Serve burgers in buns with ketchup and pickles.
Betty Crocker Grilling Made Easy, p. 46
*We also added cheddar cheese to the center of the burgers before grilling.
July 24, 2009
The little bun in my oven has arrived! Drew was born on July 1st at 12:51 am via emergency c-section. So finally a face to the reason I haven’t been cooking or baking much for the last 10 months! But he is so worth it. I’m on maternity leave now and between feedings and diaper changes hopefully I’ll have some time to cook. I’ve had plenty of time to catch up on my favorite Food Network shows and I’ve already got some ideas brewing! Hopefully this will be a new beginning for my blog now that I’m getting my energy back and getting into the swing of things with our new baby. I’m ready to get back in the kitchen!
February 6, 2009
See those ribs from my last dinner post? Well they were re-purposed for another dinner tonight. I pulled all the meat from the bones, diced it, and warmed it in a pot on the stove with a little more bbq sauce. So easy and perfect for bbq pork sandwiches. I love it when I get two meals from one thing!
No picture–just wanted to update on what I did with the leftover ribs. : )
October 7, 2008
Calzones are such a good way to use up things you have in the fridge. When I opened my fridge yesterday, I saw some broccoli I purchased last week and figured I’d better incorporate it into dinner somehow before it went bad. In the freezer, loads of chicken. I stocked up last time it was on sale BOGO. So from this came my dinner last night. I added a little garlic because everything is better with garlic and voila, I had a delicious calzone. Now if you’re wondering if Mr. Picky ate this, well no, he didn’t. He had a sausage calzone. How boring and uninteresting. He just didn’t know what he was missing!
Garlic Chicken and Broccoli Calzones
(makes 2 large calzones)
2 chicken breasts, pounded thin
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chicken broth
salt and pepper
1 cup, chopped broccoli florets
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
prepared pizza dough (I used this recipe)
Begin by pre-heating the oven to 375 F. Heat a pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken breasts. Sear on each side just until browned. Top with chopped garlic. Place the pan (if oven safe) into the oven (or place chicken breasts in an oven safe pan) and cook for 20-25 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and set chicken breasts aside to cool (about 10 min.) While the chicken breasts are cooling, add 1/2 cup chicken broth to the pan to deglaze it. Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces and add back to the pan, along with the chopped broccoli. Stir to coat the chicken and broccoli with the pan sauce.
Turn oven up to 450 F. Roll out the pizza dough into two even circles. Place chicken and broccoli mixture on one half of each circle. Top with 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese. Fold the other half of the pizza dough over the filling and press edges together. Cut a couple slits in the top of the dough. Brush the tops of the calzones with olive oil. Bake for 10-15 min until dough is golden brown. Serve with marinara sauce.
October 6, 2008
This post is just the beginning of what I’d like to call “take it easy in the kitchen week”. I have come down with a cold. It happens to me every year around this time. I guess it’s something in the air. I have had zero appetite for the past few days, but I’m actually starting to feel a little better. I had been planning to make these sandwiches this week anyway so I thought they would be a perfect easy dinner tonight.
But my cold isn’t the only thing that will be keeping me out of the kitchen. I’m having all four of my wisdom teeth removed this week. And let me tell you, I’m thrilled. Thrilled to have the surgery, thrilled to deal with the pain, and just thrilled that I get to eat applesauce and soup for a week. In fact, I may not even be reading any blogs this week because looking at all the great foods that I can’t eat will just be torturing myself. I plan on stocking the freezer and pantry with frozen pizzas and sandwich fixings for my husband. I doubt I’ll be cooking a whole meal for him each night especially when I can’t even eat it.
So back to these paninis. So simple and so good. Here’s how I made them.
Pesto Turkey Paninis
1 small loaf italian bread, sliced into 1/4″-1/2″ slices
sliced deli turkey
sliced provolone or mozzarella cheese (feta would also be great)
Place turkey, cheese, tomato and onion on one piece of bread. Spread the pesto on another slice and place on top of the other ingredients. Spray a pan with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Place sandwiches in the pan and place another skillet on top. Set a couple cans in the top skillet to weigh it down. Flip the sandwich after two minutes and again place the skillet with the cans on top. Cook another two minutes or until bread is toasted and cheese is melted.
*Alternately you can use a panini press or other sandwich maker, but I don’t have one so I improvised.
October 2, 2008
I came cross this recipe in my stash last week. You know the stash. That pile of recipes you’ve got clipped from magazines and online recipe sites or scribbled down on an envelope by Aunt Betty. Some people have their stash organized into a binder or even in a Word document or online recipe folder but me, I’ve got the aforementioned sort of stash. I often find recipes in my purse or a book I was reading and that usually reminds me that “hey, I intended to make this last year”.
Well the same thing happened with this recipe. I was organizing my cookbooks on my bakers rack the other day and found this recipe neatly folded up with a bunch of other recipes and stuffed between two cookbooks. A co-worker of mine made this last year and brought it into work. As I recall I had already eaten breakfast that morning but when she came in bearing baked goods, well I just couldn’t resist. It was so yummy that I asked her for the recipe. She brought a cookbook in a few days later and copied it for me. And somehow it ended up um, temporarily misplaced in my stack of cookbooks.
Well it turns out this really is the recipe that almost didn’t happen. I was so excited that I had all the ingredients to make this bread that I baked it soon after I found the recipe. Once it was cooled I went to make the frosting, which I think is essential, and realized I was out of powdered sugar. It was late so I decided I would pick some up the next day. And then I forgot. And then I forgot the next day. So I put the bread in the fridge so it wouldn’t go bad before I actually got around to making the darn frosting. Well I remembered today! I made the frosting tonight and the bread was finally complete. And it is so good! Such an easy quick bread and perfect for Fall.
prep 15 min total time 3 hrs 55 min
makes 1 loaf (16 slices)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup prepared tea or water (any black tea will work)
1/3 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
3 to 5 teaspoons milk
Additional ground cinnamon
1. Heat oven to 350 F. Grease bottom only of 8×4- or 9×5- inch loaf pan with shortening or cooking spray.
2. In large bowl, beat granulated sugar and butter with electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Beat in eggs, tea, 1/3 cup milk, and 2 teaspoons vanilla on low speed until all ingredients are well combined (will appear curdled). Stir in remaining bread ingredients just until moistened. Spread in pan.
3. Bake 50-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (do not under bake). Cool 10 minutes in pan on wire rack. Loosen sides of loaf from pan; remove from pan to wire rack. Cool 30 minutes.
4. In small bowl, stir powdered sugar, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, and 3 teaspoons of the milk, adding more milk by teaspoonfuls, until spreadable. Spread glaze over bread. Sprinkle with additional cinnamon. Cool completely, about 2 hours, before slicing. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature up to 4 days, or refrigerate up to 10 days.
Betty Crocker Christmas Cookbook, page 150
September 29, 2008
I am in love with Mexican food. I think it’s probably my favorite type of cuisine. It’s saucy, spicy, and most of the time cheesy. What could be better? Another thing is that it’s normally pretty quick and easy to make. This dish combines all the things I love about Mexican food. It’s spicy, saucy, cheesy and easy! The hubby loved it too so I’ll definitely be making this again. And another plus is that there is plenty leftover for lunches. I can’t wait to eat the leftovers tomorrow.
1 lb lean ground turkey
1/2 an onion, diced
1/2 cup corn kernels (canned or frozen)
1 bag Mintute rice (I used brown)
1 packet taco seasoning (or make your own-see recipe below)
10 oz can diced tomatoes with chilies
14 oz can enchilada sauce (small can)
shredded mexican cheese
6- 8″ tortillas (I used flour but corn would work also)
Preheat oven to 375. Begin by sauteing the onion in a little olive oil until it begins to soften, about 4-5 minutes. Add the ground turkey to the pan. While the turkey is browning, cook the rice according to the package directions and set aside. Once the turkey is browned, drain any fat or liquid from the pan. Add the corn kernels, taco seasoning and 3/4 cup water. Stir to combine. Add the rice and stir. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray. Add 1/2 the can of enchilada sauce to the bottom of the pan. Next, make a layer with two tortillas. They should overlap a little. Add a layer of the ground turkey mixture and then 1/2 the can of diced tomatoes with chilies. Add a thin layer of shredded cheese. Add two more tortillas and repeat the layers, ending with a layer of tortillas. Top with the additional enchilada sauce and cheese. Cover the pan with foil and bake for about 25 minutes. Remove the foil and allow to cook an additional 5-10 minutes. Let sit 5-10 minutes before serving.
Here’s how to make your own taco seasoning.
1 Tbsp chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 1/2 tsp cumin
salt and pepper (about 1/2 tsp each)
Combine all ingredients.
August 28, 2008
It’s that time again to highlight another kitchen utensil in the monthly Tasty Tools blog event hosted by Joelen. This month’s tool is the whisk. Everyone has these in their kitchen and I for one never think twice about pulling one out to beat some eggs or pancake batter. But it’s a handy little tool. I particularly love the one I used tonight to mix up the sauce for my asian pork stir fry. It’s the mini whisk from Pampered Chef. It’s the perfect little tool for beating just an egg or two and whisking together ingredients for a salad dressing or marinade.
I make my chicken stir fry pretty much the same way I made this. We had chicken last night so I thought using some pork chops in this stir fry would be great. It was a very easy and delicious dinner.
Asian Pork Stir Fry
3-4 1″ thick center cut, boneless pork chops (or pork loin), cut into 1″ pieces
3 large carrots, peeled and sliced diagonally into strips
1/2 a large onion, diced
1 cup broccoli florets, fresh or frozen
1/4 cup lite soy sauce
2 Tbsp honey
1-2 cloves minced or pressed garlic
2 Tbsp olive oil
Begin by combining the soy sauce, honey, and garlic in a small bowl. Whisk to incorporate the honey into the soy sauce. Set aside. Add 2 Tbsp olive oil to a skillet and heat over medium heat. Add the pork to the skillet and cook about 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the onion and carrots to the pan. Cook covered (to steam the vegetables) about 5 minutes. Add the pork back to the pan to finish cooking along with the soy sauce mixture. Add the broccoli the last 5-6 min and cook covered. Serve over rice.
August 21, 2008
Mmmmmmmmmmm! That was the sound I made this morning when I took my first bite of this blueberry bread. Ok, so it wasn’t my first bite. I taste tested it last night after I baked it to be sure it was good. But it was even better this morning than I remembered. I guess something about it sitting over night and soaking up that sweet lemony glaze. Normally I don’t eat stuff like this for breakfast. That’s normally the one meal of the day I reserve for being healthy (ha). But well I had some blueberries just sitting there, staring at me, waiting to have something done with them so I thought, what the heck. I had already done muffins and pie so when I saw this recipe, my heart skipped a beat and my mouth watered all day just thinking about it. The recipe went together very quickly and the results were amazing. It’s not an overly sweet bread and sort of has the taste and consistency of pound cake but with little bursts of blueberries mixed in. So I guess it’s not too bad for breakfast and it would be great as a treat with coffee for dessert. But DO make the glaze for it. I considered skipping that part but it only takes about 5 more minutes to do the glaze and it really adds something to the bread.
Lemon Blueberry Bread Recipe:
1 1/2 cups (210 grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (outer yellow skin of the lemon)
1/2 cup (120 ml) milk
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1/3 cup (66 grams) granulated white sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (use the real stuff, not the bottled kind–you will be able to taste it in this recipe)
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until softened (about 1 minute). Add the sugar and continue to beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the and lemon zest. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture (in three additions) and milk (in two additions) alternately, starting and ending with the flour. Mix only until combined. Gently fold in the blueberries.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 55 to 65 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
When the bread is done, remove from oven and place on a wire rack. Pierce the hot loaf all over with a wooden skewer or toothpick and then brush the top of the loaf with the hot lemon glaze. Cool the loaf in the pan for about 30 minutes then remove from pan and let cool completely on a wire rack.
Makes 1 loaf.
Source: Joy of Baking
August 19, 2008
I know I know! It’s only August and already I’m making soup. I do this every year. I start getting the itch for cooler weather around August/September and I always start making Fall-ish foods way too early. I do it every year so get used to it! I guess it’s my way of willing the Fall to come sooner. If only it really worked. Fall doesn’t show its face around here until well into October or November. hmph
I saw this recipe on Chelle’s blog a while back and pasta fagioli being one of my favorite soups, I put it on my list to try. Now I knew I’d be the only one eating this (remember my husband? the bean hater?) so I figured I’d make the whole recipe and freeze half for later. And it certainly didn’t disappoint. I just had a big bowl for lunch and it was great! In fact, I think I ate too much. I’m absolutely about to pop. I guess that’s a good sign though. If you like pasta fagioli, give this a shot. You won’t be sorry!
(Adapted from Tricia’s Kitchen)
2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 package sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
½ large (or 1 medium) onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 carrots, thinly sliced
4 stalks celery, thinly sliced
28 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can white cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
64 oz. beef broth
28 oz. can tomato sauce
2 teaspoons dried parsley (I used 1 Tbsp fresh parsley)
1/2 teaspoon dried basil (I used 1 tsp fresh basil)
1 teaspoon salt
4 oz. small dry pasta (I used elbow macaroni because that’s what I had)
1. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large stockpot over medium high heat, and brown the sausage, crumbling it as it cooks. Once brown, remove sausage from pot with a slotted spoon and discard any grease that remains in the pot.
2. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon of butter in the same pot, and add the onion, garlic, carrot, and celery, and saute over medium heat until vegetables are soft, about 8 minutes. Add sausage back to the pot, add the can of diced tomatoes (do not drain), stir briefly, and simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Stir in the beans, and add the beef broth and tomato sauce. Add in all of the seasonings, stir well, turn the heat to high and bring the soup to a boil. Once it boils, turn down to low heat, cover, and simmer for at least 30 minutes.
4. Add the dry pasta and continue to simmer on low for another 30 minutes. Serve with your favorite bread or crackers.