Sunday, June 30, 2013

Potato and Egg Bake


This is a super idea for Sunday brunch or what we have always called brupper (when you eat breakfast food for super).  It is also a great way to use left over baked potatoes and super simple which I'm all about if I can be.  Even clean up is easy if you use aluminum foil in your baking dish.

4 pre-cooked baked potatoes
4 tablespoons of butter
4 eggs
4 slices of chopped bacon
Your favorite grated cheese (I use mild cheddar)
2 tsp. chives
Salt and pepper

Hallow out 4 baked potatoes.  Put 1 tablespoon of butter in each potato.

Crack an egg into each potato and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes (a little longer if you do not like runny yolks). Top with cheese and put back in the oven for a few minutes to melt the cheese.  Chop bacon, parsley, and/or chives and put on top.  Serve with salt and pepper.  My family differs in how much salt and pepper they put on eggs.  This allows them to have just the right amount.

Variation – Fry up some breakfast sausage and substitute that for bacon or maybe ham or Canadian bacon.


 If you like your eggs yolks runny, serve them with some toast for dipping in the yoke. 

Hope you have a wonderful Sunday.  Be happy and may God bless you and yours.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Mango Sweet and Sour Chicken


Finishing up on my mango recipes today.  Thought I'd share this one last one I found and tested.  It is delicious.   It sure beats McNuggets. 

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup corn starch
2 eggs
Salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 ripe mango cut into chunks (you may substitute pineapple)
Pepper flakes if you like heat

Sauce
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup ketchup
1 cup vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Pre-heat your oven to 325 degrees.

Cut chicken into 1 inch chunks, and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

Dip each piece of chicken in corn starch, then in egg.

In a skillet, heat vegetable oil to medium heat and brown each piece of chicken on both sides.

Place browned chicken in a large rimmed baking sheet. Add mango chunks.

In a large bowl whisk together all sauce ingredients and pour over the chicken.
Bake in the oven for about an hour, turning the chicken every 15 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan, and pour remaining sauce into a bowl and serve alongside the chicken if you’d like extra sauce.


Serve with white rice!

Have a great Saturday.  Be happy and may God bless you and yours.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Curried Mango Chicken

I got groceries a day early yesterday and they had a pile of mangos so I restocked since I'm on a mango kick.  I'm trying a new recipe today.  This is from India.



2 ½ teaspoons olive oil
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast meat
3 tablespoons curry paste
1/2 cup mango chutney
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes

Drain your tomatoes.

Chop your onion and garlic.

Cut your chicken into 1 inch pieces.

Pour the olive oil into a skillet over medium heat; cook the onion and garlic in the oil until the onions are translucent (2 to 3 minutes)  Add the chicken and cook about 30 seconds while stirring. Stir in the curry paste until the chicken is evenly coated. Pour the chutney and tomatoes into the pan.  Continue to cook until the chicken is no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear, about 10 minutes.

Serve the chicken with white rice. 

Mango Chutney

2 large mangos
1 can of drained diced pineapple (Save juice)
3 tablespoons of pineapple juice
½ tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. cinnamon
1 cup grated coconut
½ cup chopped roasted peanuts
1/2 cup white raisins 
1 pinch of red pepper flakes (add more if you like heat)
1 teaspoon salt

In a small pan simmer the mango and pineapple.  Add drained juice from the pineapple.   Mix the cumin, cinnamon, coconut, peanuts, raisins, red pepper flakes and salt. The coconut, peanuts and raisins are all optional if you want to leave them out, but it makes it a more traditional Indian recipe.  Bring to a boil, adding a little water when necessary, cooking until thickened about 30 minutes. Taste and if not sweet enough for you add more pineapple juice instead of water. Put in a mason jar and chill.  It should store well in the refrigerator for several days.  In addition to chicken, you can also serve it as a side dish with pork.

Have a sweet day, be happy and may God bless you and yours.    

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Mango Glazed Crab Balls


I have left over lump crab and 1 mango and found this recipe to use both.  Most crab cakes or recipes call for peppers and I want to taste the crab.  It has a delicate taste that can be lost, so think this recipe is awesome. I cut the recipe in half for myself but am giving you the full recipe.



Balls

5 slices bread made into crumbs
½ cup finely chopped onion
½ cup mustard
1 ½ cup mayonnaise
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 eggs
2 pounds lump crab meat

Glaze

1 ½ cup peach preserves
2 fresh mashed mangos
Chopped fresh mint leaves

Mix the first 6 ingredients together and then gently fold in the lump crab.  Chill until cold.

Using your hands, mold into balls.  In a large frying pan heat 2 cups of vegetable oil (enough to cover ½ the crab ball.

Fry a few at a time.  You want the inside to cook thoroughly before they start getting really brown.  Cook until they are golden brown.  Remove with a slotted spoon and place on paper towel.

Make your glaze in a sauce pan until it comes to a light simmer.  Cook for 15 minutes until the mint is infused.

Arrange your crab balls on a platter and pour your sauce over them.  Stick toothpicks in each one of them to serve as an appetizer. 

How to cut a mango


A picture is worth a thousand words. First test to make sure the mango is ripe.  It should be soft like a peach or plum and give if you press on it.  Cut around the pit getting 2 large slices and 2 small.  Slice the fruit into bite sized pieces while still attached to the skin. Do not cut all the way through the skin.  Pop the mango out and cut the meat of the mango away from the skin.   They are also so good just plain. 

The rain has finally stopped.  It is going to be a great day.  Be happy and may God bless you and yours.  


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Mango Avocado Guacamole

My grandson Sal loves Mangos and so do I.  When we went shopping this weekend they had some beautiful Mangos and we had to buy some.  I'm going to be sharing some mango recipes the next couple of days because I have these beautiful fresh mangos to eat.

Want to improve you mood today, eat an avocado.  Avocados have many benefits that go along with elevating your spirit.  The taste alone elevates mine.  I love these beauties too and to put a mango and an avocado together is a wonderful thing. 


1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground oregano
2 sprigs of cilantro or parsley
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 Roma tomato
½ chopped mango
1 chopped avocado

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and serve with tortilla chips.

Serve with tortilla assorted chips.

You can make it with heat if you like.  Deseed and chop up a jalapeño.  Personally, I like the heat and sweet myself but the original recipe did not call for it.  Or you may cut out the tomato and replace it with a little of your favorite salsa for the tomato and heat.

Have a great day, be happy and may God bless you and yours. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Chicken and Avocado Enchiladas


A fellow foody loves avocados like me and this is going out to her.  Hope you like this one Chris along with everyone else.

1 cup chicken broth
1 cup salsa verde
1/2 cup sour cream (or Greek yogurt)
2 avocados
1 deseeded finely chopped jalapeno
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
1 handful chopped cilantro
Juice of1/2 lime
4 cups cooked shredded chicken
2 avocados
2 green onions
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups shredded Monterey jack cheese
8 (7 inch) tortillas

Puree the chicken broth, salsa verde, sour cream, avocados, jalapeno, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper, cilantro and lime juice in a blender or food processor.

Mix the half of the sauce with the chicken, avocado, green onions and half of the cheese.

Coat the bottom of a large baking dish with some of the sauce, wrap the chicken and avocado mixture in the tortillas and place them in the dish.


Top the enchiladas with the remaining sauce and cheese and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes until the cheese has melted and the sides are bubbling.

The thunder is getting bad, so time to get off the computer and shut it down.  Have a great day, be happy and may God keep you safe and bless you and yours.   

Monday, June 24, 2013

Burgers on-a-Stick


I always get a kick out of food on a stick.  It becomes fun food immediately and you can eat with your fingers.  Try these.

1 lb of ground beef (not too lean)
1 small onion
3 tbs. finely chopped parsley
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. garlic powder
Vegetable oil
Salt and pepper
Pepper flakes (Optional)
1 tbs. brown sugar (Optional)

Finely chop your onion and parsley.

With your hands, mix the beef, onion, parsley, chili and garlic powder, cumin, salt and pepper and pepper flakes.  Make a small patty and fry it in a small fry pan with a bit of oil.  This is for taste testing.  Taste the sample and adjust seasonings, salt, pepper, etc. if necessary to better suit your taste.

Soak your wooden skews for at least 30 minutes to prevent burning or use metal ones. 

Preheat your grill pan or grill. 

Divide up your meat into 12 portions.  Put your meat on your skews and shape them into sausage link shapes on the skew.  Brush your grill with a little oil. 

Your meat will shrink a little.   Brown on all 4 sides.  It should take about 10 to 12 minutes.  Serve with your favorite salsa or a jalapeno cheddar cheese dip.

Variation – How about pizza burger on a stick? 

1 lb of ground beef and/or pork (50/50)
1 onion
3 tbs. finely chopped parsley
1 tsp. fresh basil
1/2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. garlic powder
Vegetable oil
Salt and pepper
Pepper flakes (Optional)
12 Mozzarella cheese sticks


Mix meat and herbs with your hands.  Put the cheese stick on a skew and put your meat around it.   Brown on all 4 sides.  Serve with pizza sauce for dipping.

You can bake them if you like or put on the grill.  

It has been storming her for over 4 hours.  Think this a stay inside kind of day, but I'm going to make it a great one.  Have a great one also, be happy and may God bless you and yours. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Stuffed Avocados


I absolutely love avocados.  When I saw this I had to save it because my mind is coming up with all kinds of variations.  I'm putting my spin on it because I have some left over chunk crab from my paella yesterday and I'm stuffing an avocado with tomatoes, sweet corn and crab.  I know this is Sunday and I usually think brunch, but change is good.

2 avocados
1 tomato
1/2 cup corn kernels
1/4 chunk crab
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1 tablespoon lime juice
Salt and pepper

Chop your tomato in small pieces. Mix stuffing of chopped tomato, corn, crab, parsley, lime juice and salt and pepper to taste. 

Halve and pit 2 avocados. Spoon the corn and tomato mixture into the 4 avocado halves.


Serve as a cold salad.  

Variation - You could also use feta cheese or chicken instead of the crab. Oh, and the ever favorite bacon.  If you like a little heat, toss in a little salsa.  

Doesn't it sound like a perfect summer meal?  Have a perfect summer day.  Be happy and may God bless you and yours.  

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Paella

I’m hosting book club today and making Paella for the group.  Believe it or not, paella is traditionally a Spanish poor man’s dish where seafood is in abundance along the Mediterranean.  Not so much the case here in Iowa.  Oh to live by the sea and have cheap fresh seafood available.  The photos are pictures I took on Sawyer’s and my birthday last year when I fixed Paella for the family.  I only fix this on special occasions.  Wish I had their pans.  They made a perfect Paella.  A good Paella pan is a help if you make it a lot.


I like my recipe because you can do a lot of prep work in advance to save time. 


Seafood and Chicken Paella with Chorizo

Spanish dried chorizo (I ordered on the internet)
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1 cup canned diced tomatoes (Using my golden canned tomatoes for the color)
2 cup Arborio rice
Good pinch of saffron dissolved in 2 tablespoons of water
3 cups water
Salt and pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
1 pound large shrimp (I use frozen that is already cleaned)
½  cup chicken broth
2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
6 bone in chicken thighs
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 scallion, thinly sliced
What ever sea food you would like to add to the dish (Mussels, crab, lobster, etc.  Make it your own)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Salt and pepper 6 chicken thighs with bones and roast in the oven until they are completely cooked.  Set aside.  You can do this well ahead of time and refrigerate or used left over roast chicken.

In a 12 inch large skillet (make sure you have a lid for it), Cut your chorizo into bite sized pieces.  Add a bit of olive oil to the pan and add the onion and garlic and cook over low heat, stirring, until softened and just beginning to brown, 5 minutes. Toss in your chorizo and cook for a minute or so.  Stir in the tomatoes, rice, saffron with its liquid, and the water. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat, without stirring, until the rice is al dente and the liquid is absorbed, 20 minutes.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper, add them to the skillet and cook over high heat, turning once, until pink and cooked through, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the shrimp to the rice.

Wipe out the shrimp skillet. Pour in the broth and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Add the mussels if you are using them, cover and cook, shaking the skillet, until the mussels open, about 3 minutes. Pour the mussels and their cooking liquid over the rice.  If a mussel does not open toss it out. 

I take my mussels out and add them without the shell.  You may wish to leave them in the shell for presentation.


Add the cooked chicken into the rice. Cover and cook in the oven for about 15 minutes (longer if the chicken is cold), until the paella is just heated through. Garnish with the parsley and scallion, drizzle with the 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and serve.  Serve with crusty bread family style.

As always, I'm looking forward to today.  Be happy and may God bless you and yours.  

Friday, June 21, 2013

Grilled Cinnamon Strawberry Bruschetta with Mascarpone


1 baguette, thinly sliced on an angle
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
1 pint sliced strawberries

Butter one side of each slice of bread. Mix together cinnamon and sugar, and sprinkle on top of the butter. Place the bread, cinnamon and sugar side down, in a nonstick skillet set over medium heat. Watch them carefully to ensure the sugar doesn’t burn. Remove from pan when the cinnamon and sugar caramelizes. Allow to cool slightly on a cooling rack.

Spread each cinnamon toast with 2 teaspoons of mascarpone cheese. Garnish with 3 slices of strawberries.

This is great for a brunch or special breakfast.


Have a great Friday.  Be happy and may God bless you and yours.  

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Strawberry Butter


A very simple but oh so good strawberry recipe today.

Strawberry Honey Butter

1 pint strawberries
3 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) butter
¼ cup powdered sugar

In a food processor purée the strawberries and force the purée through a fine sieve into a saucepan. Add the honey and the lemon juice and boil the mixture, stirring, for 3 minutes, or until it is thickened. Let the strawberry mixture cool to room temperature.

Cream together the butter and the strawberry mixture. Let the butter stand, covered, in a cool place for 1 hour to allow the flavors to develop.


This butter is delicious, especially on bagels or warm biscuits just out of the oven!

Variation - As always, you can do this with your favorite fruit.  Doesn't raspberry or blueberry sound good also?  

Have a great day, be happy and may God bless you and yours.  

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Chocolate Covered Stuffed Strawberries

Staci's book signing party is tomorrow so I'm making something special.  I think this is one of my best 10 top recipes.  I don't make them often and when I do it is for a special occasion and tomorrow surely is that.  Got to make a quick trip to the store for beautiful large fresh strawberries and some whipped cream cheese.

I have shared this before, but think it has been almost 2 years ago.  Had to share again with this week being dedicated to strawberries.  I've been told these are good enough to give as gifts.


8 oz. whipped creamed cheese
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tbs. strawberry jelly
Pecans (optional)
Fresh Strawberries
12 oz. simi-sweet chocolate chips (you may use milk or white chocolate if you like)

Clean strawberries and let dry well.  Slice strawberries (keeping stem on to hold) into quarters but do not cut all the way through.  You will want to open it up just enough to stuff them.  Just pinch them a little and they will open.

Mix the creamed cheese, powdered sugar, strawberry jelly and vanilla well with hand mixer.  Pour into a small baggy and seal.  Cut a small hole in the corner of your baggie so you can pipe the cheese mixture into the strawberries.  Pipe the mixture into the center of the cut strawberries.  Do not over fill.  Pinch shut a little


I prefer to melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler but you can also microwave them for 30 seconds and stir and then another 30 seconds.  Put the melted chocolate in a cup for deep dipping.  While the chocolate is still creamy, dip your stuffed strawberries into the chocolate and then roll in chopped pecans.  Lay them on a piece of parchment paper to harden.  Do not refrigerate them.  Fix them the same day you are serving them.

Variation - My grandson has to have dairy free so I make some unstuffed with dairy free chocolate.  He love them.  You can also dip them in white chocolate or use white chocolate to drizzle over the chocolate if you do not want to roll them in pecans.  Personally, I love the pecans, but many like it without the nuts, so make some of both.

Hope you have a sweet day, be happy and may God bless you and yours. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Strawberry Lemonade


This is a great lemonade recipe.  Lemons and strawberries go beautifully together, just like raspberries and lemon.  You can do this with almost any berry by swapping out one berry for another.  How about blueberries? 

2 cups sugar
2 cups strawberries
2 cups fresh lemon juice (from about 10 large lemons)
1/4 teaspoon salt

Lemon syrup
Combine 1 ½ cups sugar, lemon juice and 1 ½ cups of water in saucepan.  Bring it to a boil and stir until the sugar completely dissolves.  Cool the syrup. 

Strawberry syrup
Toss the strawberries and the remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a bowl in a blender.  Strain through a sieve.

Lemonade
Combine the lemon juice, lemon syrup, strawberry syrup, salt and 2 cups cold water in a pitcher. 


Add some lemon slices to the pitcher.  Pour over ice and garnish if you like.  A mason jar is just perfect for a large cold glass of lemonade. 

Stay cool today.  Be happy and may God bless you and yours.   

Monday, June 17, 2013

Strawberry Banana Frosty

Don't think a strawberry recipe can get any easier than this.  Great for a hot summer's day.  



4 large frozen bananas
4 cups frozen strawberries
4 tablespoons sugar

Place strawberries in a bowl or measuring cup, sprinkle with sugar and toss to combine.  Place bowl in microwave at 30 second intervals until the strawberries soften slightly and the sugar dissolves in the juice.  Do not completely unfreeze the strawberries.  This is just to get some juices from the sugar and strawberries. 

Add bananas and strawberry mixture to the blender and blend until they reach the perfect consistency.


When your frosty stops moving in the blender, you will want to stop and scrape down the the blender and stir a few times.  About 3 minutes total blending time.


Serve or transfer to a freezer safe container and allow frosty to firm up in the freezer for 2 to 3 hours.  Makes 8 servings

There are no preservatives in this, so it will freeze solid.  Simply remove from freezer 10 minutes before serving to allow it to soften slightly.  If freezes and keeps beautifully.

Have a great Monday, be happy and may God bless you and yours. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Strawberry Roll


Happy Father's Day.  Make dad a strawberry treat for his big day.  Spoil him today and treasure the time you spend together.

1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking powder
4 eggs
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup cold heavy cream
2 tbs. sugar
1 cup fresh strawberries
Powdered sugar

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a 15 x 11 inch cookie sheet with parchment paper. Grease the top with cooking spray. 

In a mixing bowl, add the eggs and the sugar. Using your hand mixer, start on low speed and slowly increase to the highest speed and keep mixing for 4 minutes on high or until the eggs thicken and are pale in color.

With a spatula fold in the flour, cocoa, and baking powder.

Spread the batter evenly in the prepared baking pan and bake for 6 to 7 minutes.  Turn off the oven and let the pan cool for 1 minute.

Sprinkle powder sugar all over a clean tea towel.  Invert cake onto the clean towel and gently remove the parchment paper. Roll up the cake with towel starting from the short side.  Cool completely. 

Chop your strawberries into very small pieces and set aside. 

When the cake is cold, whip the heavy cream until soft peaks. Add the 2 tbs. of sugar and continue whipping until firm peaks.

Unroll the cake. Spread the cream evenly all over the cake. Sprinkle with small pieces of diced strawberries.

Roll the cake again, this time without the towel. Chill in the refrigerator for a couple of hours.


When ready to serve, sprinkle some powder sugar on top and cut in thin slices and serve with a few fresh strawberries on the side.

Hoping you have a great Father's Day and a great Sunday.  Be happy and may God bless you and yours.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Strawberry Cream Pie





1 cup chocolate chips (dark chocolate or milk chocolate)
3 tsp. butter
1 Oreo pie crust.
1 8 oz. whipped cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream (alternative can be plain yogurt)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tub of frozen whipped topping (8 oz.)
2 cups fresh strawberries

Combine a bag of chocolate chips and butter and melt in a double boiler.  Stir until well combined and pour about 3/4 of the mixture into the bottom of the crust and refrigerate until firm.

Beat the cream cheese, sugar, sour cream and vanilla until smooth.  Fold in the whipped topping.

Pour the mixture into the cooled crust.
Cut you strawberries in half.  Arrange the strawberries on top of the pie.  Drizzle the remaining melted chocolate chip mixture over the top by putting the melted chips in a baggie and cutting the tip of the baggie.   Put the pie in the refrigerator and completely chill before serving.  

Variation - You can also buy little individual pie crusts if you want to make little individual pies.  If you really love strawberries, you may add chopped strawberries or  strawberry jelly to the whipped cream mixture so the filling has strawberry flavor also. 


Have a great Saturday.  Be happy and may God bless you and yours. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Strawberry Mango Salsa

I’m finding good deals on strawberries right now and thought I’d share a couple of strawberry recipes with you the next couple of days.  Today it is a terrific salsa.  A friend of mine introduced me to this at our last book club and I feel in love with it.


3/4 cup diced strawberries
3/4 cup diced mango
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
2 tbs. diced red onion or chopped green onion
2 tbs. chopped fresh cilantro leaves or parsley leaves for those who do not like cilantro
2 tsp. honey or to taste
Juice of 1 lime
Salt to taste

Cut up your fresh strawberries and mango.  Deseed and clean out the jalapeno.  Chop it very finely.  Chop your onion finely.  I use parsley rather than cilantro, but you chop which ever you choose for the salsa.  Add the honey and the juice of a lime.  Taste to see if you are happy with the sweetness.  Add a pinch of salt and season with more salt and/or honey if you think it needs it.  

Serve with blue corn tortilla chips.  There is a great one with flax seed that I highly recommend if you can find them.  Think you can get them at Target or K-Mart.  


 This salsa would be great with baked fish also. 

Try it on some bruschetta.  You can pair it with chicken or pork.  Let you imagination go.  I love the hot and sweet. 

Be happy and may God bless you and yours.  

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Matzo Ball Soup


I have a craving for matza ball soup.  I'm changing up on my matza ball recipe.  My son likes them heavy and I like them light.  Since it is just me, making it my way this time. This recipe calls for club soda to lighten the dumplings.  I'm making a big pan for the rest of the week.  

4 large eggs
2 tbs. vegetable oil
1 cup matzo meal (I use the Manischewitz meal)
½ cup club soda
Lots of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs well with a fork. Add the oil, matzo meal, and salt and pepper and stir together using a wooden spoon. Pour the seltzer over the mixture and stir in.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the mixture for several hours.

Bring a large pot of well-salted chicken broth to a boil. The bigger surface area on the top the better.

To form the matzo balls, first wet your hands in cold water to prevent the batter from sticking. Scoop up a small handful of batter and form it into a ball about the size of a walnut. The matzo balls will double in size when cooked. 

Gently place the matzo balls in the boiling chicken stock and turn the heat down so the water is boiling but not vigorously so. Cover and cook for 30 minutes or until the matzo balls are cooked through.

Feel free to add some carrots,  chicken or egg noodles to your broth if you want a more substantial soup. To serve, pour a little broth into a soup bowl and add one or two matzo balls.  


Leftover matzo balls keep well, but refrigerate them separate from the broth, or else they will start to disintegrate. You should, however, reheat the cold matzo balls in broth.

Have a great day, be happy and may God bless you and yours.  


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Sweet Meatloaf


1 1/2 to 2 pounds ground beef
1 cup quick-cooking oats, uncooked
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke (Optional)
Several drops hot sauce (you decide how hot you want it)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
½ cup tomato sauce
1 egg
1 tablespoon brown sugar.

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Chop your onions, garlic and celery.

Put all your ingredients into a bowl and with your hands mix all of them together.  Put it into a baking dish or pan and pat down.  Bake uncovered in preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Sauce

1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Whisk sauce ingredients together in a bowl.  Remove meatloaf after 30 minutes and pour sauce over the top.  Raise oven temperature to 375 degrees and return meatloaf to oven.  Cook 35 more minutes.

Variation -  Use 50% ground beef and 50% ground pork.  Replace the celery with grated carrot to slip in veggies.


We are in for storms today, so turning off the computer and going to play in the kitchen and read.  Have a safe day.  Be happy and may God bless you and yours.  

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Pizza Stuffed Chicken


Boneless and skinless chicken breasts
Fresh mozzarella cheese
Pepperoni
1 large egg
1/2 cup all flour
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
Vegetable oil
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
Pizza sauce

Slice each breast in half diagonally to create two diamond like shaped pieces. Cut a pocket into the side of each breast. Be sure not to cut all the way through the meat but rather just into one side so that the fillings will stay in.

Stuff each piece of chicken with cheese and about 4 slices of pepperoni. Lightly season each piece with salt and pepper. Set the stuffed chicken aside.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Heat a large skillet with vegetable oil over medium heat. Set up a breading station with flour, egg and the bread crumbs in bowls. Beat the egg until it is an even consistency (add a 1/2 tsp. of water to break it up).

One by one, coat each piece of chicken in the flour, then the egg and then the bread crumbs. Use your hands so that you can keep the open side of the pocket pinched closed and keep the fillings in.

Test the oil in the skillet to see if it is hot enough by dropping a small pinch of bread crumbs in. The bread crumbs should sizzle. It is very important that the oil is hot enough or else the breading will soak up a lot of oil and you’ll end up with some really greasy chicken. Place pieces of chicken in the skillet and cook until it is golden brown and crispy on each side. This should take no more than 2 to 3 minutes.

When you remove the chicken pieces from the skillet, transfer them to the baking sheet.  Bake them for 25 minutes or longer if you have really large breasts.  Serve with pizza sauce for dipping.

Variation – You can stuff your chicken breast with other flavor combinations that go well together like cheese and broccoli or Swiss cheese and ham.  I love meat lovers pizza.  Fry up a pan of several pizza meats and or ingredients like Canadian bacon, Italian sausage, mushrooms, peppers, onions, etc.  Oh and you can’t forget the bacon and cheese.  You can also use an Italian bread crumb for extra seasoning if you like.  Get creative in your stuffing. 

Serve it with a very simple salad.   

Have a great day, be happy and may God bless you and yours.  

Monday, June 10, 2013

Beef Arm Roast


As always, I scan the newspaper for what is on sale and make up a shopping list to save money.  Beef arm roasts were on sale at $2.99 so I had to pick one up.  Normally I do not use a recipe for this.  I just toss ingredients into a pot and play it by ear with what I have.  I’m sharing what I did today when I tossed the arm roast together.  This is not the best cut of meat so slow cooking is the way to go.  Make sure it is well marbled because the fat equals flavor.  I got out my crock pot for the occasion.  I opened the refrigerator and took a look at its contents.  I had small red potatoes, a yellow onion and carrots.  We are good to go plus a little more for extra flavor.


3 to 4 pound beef arm roast
Kosher salt and pepper
Butter
Carrots*
1 yellow onion
7 or 8 small red potatoes (skins on for extra vitamins)
2 tbs. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. chopped garlic (I love the garlic in a jar to save work)
2 bay leaves
Sprig of thyme
2 cups beef broth

If I had mushrooms, I would have tossed them in, but didn't have any in the house.

*Never used those bagged little pre-cut carrots.  They are treated with chemicals that are harmful.  Take the time to clean and cut your own. 

Salt and pepper your roast on both sides.  Brown on all sides in a cast iron skillet or fry pan with a little butter.  Render as much of the fat out as possible.  Deglaze your pan with some of the broth to get all the flavor bits of your roast up and pour into the crock pot.


Clean you potatoes and carrots.  Chop up the carrots.  Slice your onion in half.  Trip to my herb garden to pick a couple sprigs of thyme (you could use dried if you like or skip).

Put all of the ingredients in the bottom of your crock pot and lay the browned roast of top.  Salt and pepper again.


Put on high and cook for 4 to 5 hours depending on how big your roast is or if you are headed to work and have all day put it on low and cook it 8 hours.  I stuck it in after lunch so want it done for supper so I’m putting it on high.  Before serving, taste your juices and see if they need any additional seasoning.  You may wish to add a little more salt and/or pepper. 

Take your roast out and let it rest for 10 minutes before cutting. 

To cut your roast, locate the grain of the meat. The meat grain is how the muscle grew on the cow, and has visible strings that indicate the placement of the grain. Cut across the grain for best results for the most tender cut.

I should be able to eat on this all week having enough left overs for meat and potatoes a couple of times and a couple of beef sandwiches.  Drain the juices through a sieve and save for future broth or use it for au jus for left over beef sandwiches.  It is full of flavor for sopping up with bread.  If your roast has a bone in (even better because you’ll have even more flavor), you would have a nice demi glace (jello like substance once cooled with huge beef flavor).  You can freeze it and use it in future beef recipes.  Never toss it out. 

One pot meal, lots of left overs, house perfumed, beef au jus sandwiches, heaven. 

Have a great Monday, be happy and may God bless you and yours.  

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Two Chocolate Muffins

I found these two recipes that calls for white and chocolate chips and thought they would be perfect for Father's Day brunch.  I'm giving them to you in advance to give you time to get the ingredients for next Sunday. They are so good, they are going in my recipe file and I’ll be making these again and again.


Strawberry and White Chocolate Muffins 


2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup yogurt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/3 cups strawberries
1/2  cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line your muffin pan with paper cups or use the Demarle Flexipan Muffin trays .

In a large mixing bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together and set aside.

Chop up your strawberries in small bite sized pieces and set aside.

In another bowl whisk the eggs together. Add the rest of the wet ingredients (yogurt, oil and vanilla) and mix together well.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix to make a thick batter.  Fold in the berries and the chocolate chips.

Divide evenly among the 12 muffin cups.  You can use a large ice cream scoop or a small measuring cup to make them even. Fill each cup nearly full.  Bake for about 18 to 20 minutes.  Test with a toothpick.

Variation – You can use chocolate chips if you like and try it with raspberries.  Use a mini muffin tin to make little bite sized muffins for your Sunday brunch.


Chocolate Zucchini Muffins


1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
24 walnut halves
1 cup flour
1 cup finely grated zucchini
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup chocolate chips
3 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 teaspoon  salt
1/2 teaspoon
Nonstick cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Stir together butter, sugar, salt, and egg until combined. Add vanilla, zucchini, and sour cream and stir until incorporated. Sift flour and cocoa powder into bowl and stir until combined. Stir in chocolate.

Spray two mini muffin pans with cooking spray. Fill each cup with 2 tablespoons batter and top with a walnut. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean (15 to 17 minutes).
  
Have a great Sunday.   Be happy and may God be with you and yours.  

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Apple, Pecan, Oatmeal Pancakes

I’m sharing my apple, pecan, oatmeal, Sunday pancakes recipe with you today.  I thought I better give it to you a day early so you have the ingredients for tomorrow.  I’m using up some more of my canned apples.  I I think they may be one of the best pancakes I have ever made except they are very filling.  I could not finish off two of them.  The recipe made 6 pancakes.


Apple, Pecan, Oatmeal Pancakes

3 eggs
1⁄3 cup of oatmeal
2/3 cup flour
1⁄4 cup chopped pecans (You may substitute walnuts)
½ cup chopped cooked apples (I chopped up some of my apple-pie-in-a-jar)
½ cup milk
1 tablespoon syrup
3 tablespoons brown sugar
½ tsp. cinnamon
1 pinch of Kosher salt
Butter for pan

Mix all ingredients.  Do not over mix. 


Heat pan or grill on medium heat.  Add a pat of butter and let it melt. Using a 1/2 cup measuring cup, pour your pancake batter into the pan.


When it begins to brown around the edges, it is time to flip.  Loosen the sides and flip. 
Serve with warm maple syrup and butter. 

Variations – You may replace the apples with apple sauce, sliced bananas, blueberries or your favorite cooked fruit. 

Have a terrific day.  Be happy and may God bless you and yours.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Onion Soup

This recipe will bring tears to your eyes, but they are so worth it.  Today, I’m cutting the recipe in half and only using 2 sweet yellow onions, etc. since it is just me. 




The secret to making French onion soup it slow cooking.  This is not a quick soup you can toss together, but it is worth the wait.  You can make a big batch and freeze what is left over.  The next time you want it, you will have a head start on it.

4 large yellow onions
4 tablespoons of butter
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 quart good quality beef stock
1 tablespoon of demi-glace (Or you can also use Swanson’s Flavor Packet for extra flavor)
1 bay leaf
Black pepper
Salt to taste
Fresh Mozzarella cheese
Baguette sliced thick and lightly toasted or your favorite store bought croutons
Chopped thyme, green onion, or chives (Optional )

Peel and slice your onions as thin as possible. 

Toast a baguette under the broiler.  Do not walk away.  I’ve been known to burn bread when I do that so I stand there and watch.  I’m toasting the whole baguette and will use left overs for croutons for a salad.  I’ll cut them up and put them in a baggie.  I like to take a whole piece of garlic and rub it on top of each piece of toast.


Heat a Dutch oven on medium heat.

Add the butter and let it melt. Add the thinly sliced onions, salt and sugar and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the onions are wilted and just starting to turn brown (about 20 to 30 minutes). Turn down the heat to medium low and continue caramelizing, stirring frequently to prevent burning (about 30 minutes).

Deglazing the pan

When the onions are sticky, glossy, and a medium brown, add a ½ cup of broth to deglaze the pan (The original recipe calls for ½ cup sherry but I never have it.  You may replace the 1/2 cup of broth with sherry if you like).  Scrape up all the browned bits from the bottom of the pot and reduce onions again, until the onions are sticky, glossy and dark brown (about 10 minutes). Add the rest of the beef stock, demi-glace, bay leaf, then salt and pepper to taste. When salting, keep in mind the soup will reduce a bit when you’re melting the cheese on top, so don’t make it too salty. Let this simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes for all the flavors to blend.

Pull out the bay leaf and ladle the onion soup into broiler safe ramekins (there should be enough soup for 4 to 6 individual servings depending on the size of your bowls). Don’t fill the containers all the way. Top with the soup with slices of toasted bread or croutons and push them into the soup. Top the soup with a slice of the fresh mozzarella cheese.

Place your ramekins on a baking sheet. Move the oven rack to the top position, and turn on the boiler. Put the baking sheet in the oven with the French Onion Soup directly below the heating element. Do not walk away.  Keep an eye on them to prevent burning and broil until the cheese is hot, bubbly, and lightly browned. 

Sprinkle with chopped green onion, chives or fresh thyme if you like.  Serve right away with some extra toasted French bread to sop up the soup.

Have a great day, be happy and may God bless you and yours.  

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Oven Baked Beef Jerky

Camping season is upon us so my mind is going to camping food.  This is my first attempt at making beef jerky.  I had Fareway meat department slice a beef rump roast in thin slices for me and then I cut the slices into strips and marinated it in a homemade teriyaki marinade.  It is very tasty.  I’m going to do it again with a hot marinade. It will be great for camping and my boys love jerky.



3 to 4 pound rump roast (not too fatty)

Teriyaki Marinade

1 cup soy sauce
1 cup water
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tbs. onion powder
1 tbs. garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ginger

You can use this teriyaki marinade for other meat dishes such as chicken or pork.

Beef Teriyaki Jerky

If you do not have a butcher to slice your roast, partially freeze your roast for easier slicing, and slice your steak into thin strips.  Ask your butchers advice on what he recommends for a good cut.  Mine said a rump roast would be best even though arm roasts were on sale. Cut off any fat when you are cutting your slices.  The trimmings will make great beef broth for French onion soup I am making today (I'll share it tomorrow).


Mix you marinade by putting all of the ingredients in a large baggie, seal and shake until well mixed. I put the baggie in a large bowl for leakage protection.  Put the meat strips in the baggy with your marinade.  Marinade it 6 hours or over night.   The longer you marinade it, the more flavor it will have.  You need to have enough marinade that it covers all the meat.  Seal the bag and turn upside down to coat everything.  Put it in the refrigerator.


Baking
Take a cooling rack that's safe for oven and put it on top of a aluminum foil covered baking sheet (I didn’t do this and regret it now) or use your broiling pan. I needed 3 pans and did use my broiler also. Put your strips of meat on the rack.  Bake as low as your oven will go or you can speed things up a little and put on 200 degrees. Bake it for 4 to 5 hours.  Rotate and turn them over half way through the baking.   Bake until they start to look like jerky. Be careful not to overcook. To be safe keep in the fridge.  They should store for weeks.  


This made over 3 dozen pieces of jerky.  It will depend on how you cut your slices.

Variation – You can use any marinade you like for seasoning.  You can use a store bought marinade if you like.  Add heat by adding pepper flakes, or smoke flavor by adding liquid smoke, or add sweetness by adding brown sugar.  Make your own marinate with all of your favorite flavors. Marinate and follow the same instructions for slow baking above.  You can also use a dehydrator rather than a stove.  Follow the directions of the dehydrator. I don't have one.  I have always done my dehydrating in the oven.

Now that I know it is doable and I'm pleased with the product, I'm making some for Saylor that is gluten free.  Soy sauce has gluten in it, so I'm making a Mexican marinade for his.  A little vinegar, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, chili powder, cumin, onion and garlic powder and a little lime juice with water.  Not too hot and not too sweet. Taste tested and I liked the flavor.  It's marinating over night now to soak up as much of the flavors as possible and will bake it tomorrow.  

Try something new today.  Be happy and may God bless you and yours.  

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Coconut Macaroons

Made the simplest cookie there is yesterday for my visit with mom today.  She and I love coconut so I put a new spin on mine and made them in mini muffin pan.  


Coconut Macaroons

1 Can (14 oz.) Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/4 Cup Milk (I had 2% so used that)
1/4 Cup Flour
4 Cups (or 12 oz. bag) Sweetened Shredded Coconut

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray the muffin tin and fill each well with the macaroon mixture, making 24.  If you want to make them on a cookie sheet, line it with parchment paper or use a Silpat (love them).

Combine condensed milk and milk and blend.  Stir in the flour and coconut until thoroughly blended.

Fill the sprayed wells to the very top.  Bake it in the oven until they are golden around the edges (Approximately 20 minutes).


Let the macaroons cool fully to firm up and harden before trying to remove them.  I used a butter knife to pop them out.

Variation - Try adding chopped cashews, almonds or macadamia nuts to the macaroon mixture and/or drizzle with melted chocolate.  

Sweetened Condensed Milk

Don’t have sweetened condensed milk?  Make your own.  I hate to run to the store and if I can use ingredients I have in the house already I will.  Not everyone has powdered milk, but I keep it to make powdered condensed soups so I usually have it.  This recipe saves you the time of simmering it for a long time to condense it.  

½ cup boiling water
1 cup nonfat dry milk
2/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons butter
1 tsp. vanilla

Pour 1/2 cup of boiling water into a blender.  Add 1 cup of nonfat dry milk.  Add 2/3 cup sugar.  Add 3 tablespoons of melted butter.  Add a tsp. of vanilla.  Cover and blend on high speed for 30 seconds or until smooth.

Use in a recipe immediately or store in a covered container in the refrigerator.

Hoping you have a sweet day.  Be happy and may God bless you and yours.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Braunschweiger and Cream Cheese Spread

I was standing in front of the refrigerator and looking at what I had and was trying to decide what to fix for supper.  I had some Braunscheiger so decided on a spread.  I love braunschweiger and this spread is super simple.  I think my loving it comes from my German roots.

A café in LaMotte serves a small tray of appetizers and crudités with each dinner and part of that tray is a braunscheiger spread that I fell in love with. I had never had it before.  I played with it and I’ve made a spread that I think is real close to it.  I love to just serve it with celery or crackers like they do, but you can serve it with nice crusty roll.


Braunschweiger & Cream Cheese Spread


½ cup whipped cream cheese
1 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
½ tsp. onion powder
1 teaspoons lemon juice
½  cup Braunschweiger
½  cup mayo


Put all ingredients in a small food processor and mix until smooth.  Put it in the refrigerator to chill.  It tastes best when you let it set for a couple of hours in the refrigerator.  It will keep for several days. 

Since it is just me tonight, this is my supper.  I’m serving it with celery and my brother’s crusty rye bread roll sliced nice and thin. 


Have a great day.  Keep it simple, be happy and may God bless you and yours.  

Monday, June 3, 2013

Pan Fried Sirloin Steaks


Friday Fareways had Sirloin steak for sale at $3.49 a pound.  That was cheaper than hamburger so I bought 2 steaks.  I’m using one to cook on the stove and make into sandwiches.  For the second steak, I think I will make sirloin tips on rice with them. 

Make sure the steak that has fat in it and around it, because it helps to keep it juicy and tender during cooking.

About an hour before cooking, take the steaks out of the fridge and put them on a plate or on top of their butcher paper. Sprinkle them heavily with kosher salt on both sides. Two things are important here: the first is to use a lot of salt and the second is to use a salt that has big grains, not a fine grained table salt (I've said this before, but table salt has chemicals in it to make it free flowing so I use Kosher salt for everything).   This makes a cheaper steak even better.

When you’re ready to cook, heat a pan to very hot over high heat. I use my old cast iron skillet.

While the pan is getting hot, rinse the salt off of the steaks and dry them well with paper towels. Season on both sides  of the steak with a normal amount of salt.

Hold the steak with a pair of tongs above the hot pan. Find the edge of the steak that has a strip of fat on it. Hold the fat covered edge of the steak in the pan with the tongs until it releases some grease and browns.  Then, lay the steak on a flat side and cook it for a few minutes, until it browns. Flip it over and cook it on the second side.

Don’t cook the steak to the desired temperature–it will continue to cook as it rests, which it must do before serving. For example, if someone likes medium rare, cook it to rare. How do you know when it’s done? This is the trickiest part and ultimately takes a lot of practice, unless you are one of those folks who puts faith in their meat thermometer. If you’re using a thermometer, the rule of thumb is 140 degrees for rare, 160 for medium, and 170 for well done.


When the meat is almost done (not all the way, since it will keep cooking even after the heat is off), turn off the pan and leave it sitting on the stove top and add a couple teaspoons of butter to melt and add more flavor to the meat.  Spoon the melted butter over the top of the steak.   Pepper you meat now for additional flavor.


Rest the steaks for 10 minutes before serving.

I cut mine in 3 pieces and put one piece on a croissant for my Sunday supper.  I’m a plainest when it comes to steak.  I want to taste the steak.  I added a little mayo and leaf lettuce to finish off the sandwich. 


To top the meal off, I made Strawberry Jello Cake.  I made it simple with a yellow cake box mix, frozen whipped topping, strawberry Jello and some of my left of strawberries from my strawberry salad I made this week and Sal's cup cakes. What a meal to finish off a great day.  Life is good. 


Have a great day today, be happy and may God bless you and yours.