Monday, December 29, 2008
Now for the broccoli soup and sourdough. We LOVED the soup! I added more veggies than the recipe calls for, this is because I don't use measuring cups and because I always add more veggies anyway. For the soup, I had made the starter ahead of time. The first batch of bread wasn't that good. It didn't SEEM like sourdough. The second batch I left the sponge out even longer and it was a bit more sour but still nothing special. I don't feel as committed to it as Staci, wow that was impressive (five batches in a row). I did make the soup and put it in bowls on the second batch. I divided the dough this time and made four small bowls. Andy & I had our soup in two of the bowls and then served crab dip in one of the other small loaves for a Christmas party. When we had the soup leftovers I blended a little more than half of it to make it more smooth. I liked that best. All-in-all, I liked the bread but next time I want sourdough I will go buy it at a bakery from someone who has the recipe down. We loved the soup and will certainly be making that again! Four thumbs up!
Now I am caught up, YEAH!!! Bring it on Tisha!
Thursday, December 18, 2008
The soup: Wonderful!
It was a great soup, I will be happy to make it again. As Alyssa said, I would most definitely half the cayenne because it was overpowering to me. I used sharp cheddar but I love the idea of using gruyere, so next time I will try it. I did not make the bowls because of the particular night I made it, I kind of decided to do it last minute. I do want to try the bread bowls though so next time its Gruyere and bread bowls!!
I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas! Stay safe and have fun!
PS: I made some Songe Candy from www.epicurious.com (otherwise known as seafoam) and it was SOOO easy to make and a really great recipe. It is a nice change from normal holiday candy and it does not take too long. If you have never had seafoam you really should try it, it is very unique and absolutely delightful. Just put in "sponge candy" and it comes right up. I dipped mine in melted chocolate and we had friends over who LOVED it. Let me know if anyone trys it I am curious to know what you think.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
It was time to make the lamb meatball soup and I was having a dilemma as to whether I should use lamb or maybe ground sirloin because I don't really like lamb. I was encouraged by a couple people to just try it and against my better judgement I did. I really liked the soup base but couldn't get past the strong lamb flavor that influence the entire bowl of soup. Andy agreed with my opinion, Abigail wouldn't touch it after the first bite and AJ ate the entire bowl (no surprise). So that is how it went over. I decided that I would make the soup again when I had some ground sirloin on hand and try that because I really did like the idea of the soup.
(Two days later)
I was pulling out left-overs for lunch. Abigail wasn't really eating because she had been up the whole last night throwing up. So I ate something (?) and AJ ate lamb soup. Right after I put him down for his nap, a couple hours later, he started crying. Andy & I ran in there to find he had thrown up the soup all over himself, the crib and the floor. So that brings me to the bottom line. I do not like the lamb soup and unfortunately will not be making it anytime soon, even with ground sirloin. Sad.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
I haven't made the peanut butter bread but it is on the To Do list for the week!
(Slowly trying to catch up!) :)
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Saturday, December 6, 2008
So, for loaf 3 I made a "sponge" from my starter. Which basically means I took the starter out of the fridge the night before I intended to bake the bread and let it sit on the counter overnight to ferment a bit more. This loaf was much better. It had a slightly more sour taste and the bread was a little lighter and delicious. For the 4th loaf I again made a sponge, I also added about 3 teaspoons of sugar and a little more salt to the dough. This was my favorite yet. It had a better flavor and was so good it disappeared before I made dinner (000ppps!).
So, I gues my reccomendation would be to make the sponge overnight, add a bit of sugar and go by feel of the dough rather than specific amount of flour to use. I love how easy this bread is to make and the fact that ow that I have my starter I can make fresh bread any day as long as I have salt and flour in the house! I will continue to try new things and hope the starter gets a more complex flavor as it ages! I have done lots of reading on sourdough bread this week and would be happy to offer any suggestions or answer any questions you may have! I can't wait to see what everyone else thinks! Oh, well, I am off to start loaf 5! I am forseeing bread, starter?, and a soup in the jar mix as a great Christmas gift for my neighbors or friends!
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
2 Tb oil
1/2 c. each onion, bell pepper ( i like red in this) finely chopped
1/3 c. each carrot and celery, finely chopped
1 medium russet potato peeled, and diced into small cubes
2 Tb flour
1 1/2 cup good stock (veggie , chicken, turkey, NOT AS IN GOOD MEN!?!)
1/2 c dry white wine (more to sip as you cook always helps this recipe out)
a few good shakes of Wocestershire sauce- not quite a teaspoon but close I would guess
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (or 1/4 tsp cayenne and 1/4 tsp white pepper)
1 1/2 cups. small broccoli florets ( I usually peel the stalk and dice it small to throw in as well)
1/2 lb extra sharp Cheddar cheese ( I have also used Gruyere or a combo of both and it is fabulous!!!)
Heat oil in stock pot until hot but not smoking (I find that heating slowly on Med. is better and less likely to make the oil burn or the veggies burn when added) and add first 5 veggies. Saute until soft and tender stirring often so as not to brown them. Sprinkle flour on top and DO NOT STIR for 1 minute to allow the gluten in the flour to relax. Then, after a minute stir flour into veggies and cook additional 2 minutes. Add in the stock and wine 1/2 cup at a time and stir in between to prevent the flour from becoming lumpy. Once all the liquids are in at the broc, worcestershire, and pepper, simmer 10-15 minutes or until broccoli is tender or cooked to your liking. Remove from heat and slowly stir in the cheese a little at a time. Salt and Pepper to taste and serve in bread bowls or with good quality croutons on top.
Sourdough Bread recipe from Emeril
3 cups water (110 degrees)
1 1/2 Tb active dry yeast ( a packet is 2 1/4 tsp. )
1 tsp sugar
3 C. all purpose flour
In a large bowl combine water, yeast and sugar gently stir and let sit until very foamy (about 5 minutes) if not foamy then the yeast is bad and you must start over with new yeast.Add the flour and stir vigorously to work air into the mixture. Cover with a towel let rest in a warm, draft-free place (an oven with its pilot light or light bulb turned on works well) for 8 to12 hours. (The mixture should become very bubbly.) Use immediately or cover loosely with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.
Preserving the Starter: Each time you remove a portion of the starter for a recipe, reserve at least 1/4 cup and replace the amount you have taken out with equal amounts of flour and water.
For example, if you remove 1 cup of starter, you must replace it with 1 cup of flour and 1 cup of warm water. Whisk these ingredients into the starter until blended but not completely smooth, cover loosely, and return to the refrigerator.
Also, the starter must be maintained by feeding it every few days. Refresh by removing 1 cup of the starter (give to a friend or discard it) and adding 1 cup of flour and 1 cup of warm water. Whisk until blended but not smooth. Cover loosely and return to the refrigerator.
If you plan to be away longer than a week, freeze the starter in a sterilized, airtight freezer container. Thaw the starter 2 daysIngredientsbefore you plan to bake with it. Refresh as indicated above with 1 cup each of flour and warm water. Cover and leave at room temperature 12 hours or overnight before using.
CAUTION: Never keep your starter tightly closed! The gasses expelled by the yeast will build up pressure and may cause the container (such as a glass jar) to burst!
Yield: 5 to 6 cups Prep time: 10 minutes Inactive prep time: 12 hours
2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 cups sourdough starter, recipe follows
3/4 teaspoon salt
In an electric mixer with the dough hook, combine the flour, starter and salt, and knead until it no longer sticks to the sides or bottom of the mixing bowl.
Place a lightly oiled bowl, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let dough rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle lightly with flour and knead gently, removing any large air bubbles. Knead into a small circle, then shape into a tight ball, pinching the seams together underneath. Place on a well-floured board or baking peel, seam-side down. Cover with a kitchen towels and let rest until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Preheat a baking stone, if available, on the bottom rack of an oven at 400 degrees F. With a sharp, serrated knife, cut a large "X" or cross-hatch pattern into the top of the dough.
Spray lightly with a mister and transfer to the baking stone (or place on a heavy baking sheet lightly dusted with cornmeal) and bake until golden brown and the bread sounds hollow when thumped on the bottom, about 60 minutes. (Sourdough should have a darker crust than other breads, so leave in the oven 5 minutes after you think it is done.)
Remove the loaf from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Turkey Soup and PB Bread...
I must admit that I made this soup and thought it made my house smell like heaven! I was so eager to taste it and followed the recipe exactly (even adding beans that weren't listed) and couldn't wait to try it. Then, as it cooked Kat got sickand we went tot he Doc's. By the time we left and got done at the pharmacy i was starving to the point of feeling sick. When we got home the smell was amazing but my stomach was turning ( later that night I was sick as well) so i opted to save the soup for the next day. Well, after being sick and then smelling the soup again I ust couldn't bring myself to taste it and did the next best thing.... pass it on to my sister and her family. THEY LOVED THE SOUP!!!!!!! Apparently even the 4 1/2 yr old and 21 month old thought it was fabulous because it all disappeared! I can't wait to make it again when I am feeling great and taste it! I wasn't a fan of the PB bread. I thought it was ok but just had a hard time with my bread tasting of PB. Katrina loved it and I thought it was moist and a very good bread just not my style I guess. I think I will make this again when the whole family is in town cuz I know the kiddos will love it!
Meatball Soup and Herb Drop Biscuits
I love this soup! I have to admit I cheated on it and instead of using lamb I did a mixture of sausage and ground beef. I have a hang up with lamb and think I may have let the recipe down. I will have to try it again with the lamb soon! I am not much of a lamb fan and had never had the soup so didn't want to spend the money on it just for Kat and I to eat it when I wasn't sure. BOY WAS I WRONG!!! This is definitley a company soup and I will make it again with the lamb next time I have company!
I think that brings me up to date! Sorry for the delay and I will post new recipes tomorrow!!!!
The Yourvarlakia Avgolemono was so delicious! I have had it before but this is the first time I made it myself and oh! it is so good. I would say one of my favorite soups EVER. It is so easy too, and really the only thing to complain about is making those pesky meatballs. For meatballs it's not like they are hard to make it's just time consuming. but oh so worth it. Mark loved it, too. It is a very satisfying meal.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
We head to my parents house for Thanksgiving where we first have all the yummy appetizers. Nothing fancy we like the good old basics, spinich dip, layered bean dip, veggies and chips with dip. (hmm lots of dip) cheese and crackers. You get the idea. Then when a sufficient amount of time has gone by and there is a little room again in our stomachs we do dinner.
Stuffing inside the Turkey
Stuffing outside of the Turkey
Green bean casserole
Green beans with almonds
some other veggie
Cranberry salad type thing
and of course Babas famous sauerkraut
I think that is our usual full meal deal...yum can't wait!!!
oh yeah and officially I don't cook anything for this meal, but sometimes get wrangled to help with something, my Mom and my husband Jonathan do most of the work with the exception of a few things which are brought by other families coming. I'm officially the clean up crew. :)
Monday, November 17, 2008
The peanut butter bread looked so beautiful when it came out of the oven, nice and golden. It was also very moist. If I make it again I would probably not use Adam's peanut butter I might use something like skippy. Thank You Nikki!
Sunday, November 16, 2008
-->3. Bake until biscuits are golden brown, rotating baking sheet halfway through, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Andy & I made the peanut butter bread last night; I was finishing up dinner prep he came in and we sort of tag-teamed getting the batter into the oven so it would be ready when we were done with dinner. My final confession is that I didn't care too much for the bread... now that said I'll add that while I am a peanut butter fan, I don't care for peanut butter cookies or anything like that. The kids really liked the bread and Andy did also, he wished it had more peanut butter. I thought the bread might be better this morning after sitting over night but I didn't notice much difference. I confirmed my suspicion that the bread was a lot better with a couple chocolate chips thrown in with each bit and chased with coffee! I think next time we make it I'll add more peanut butter for my man!
Monday, November 10, 2008
Sunday, November 9, 2008
As you can see Abigail and I made the bread together. This was her first bread making adventure. I was a bit surprised when she wasn't too excited about kneading the dough. I shouldn't have been, I realized immediately "Oh ya, this girl has never liked to get her hands dirty"! But we had fun anyway. The bread was delicious! I won't tell you fast it ALL disappeared. :) Four thumbs up on both recipes.
Friday, November 7, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
2 turkey thighs (1 lb each),
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can corn, drained
1 1/2 cups medium-hot tomatillo salsa
1 can (4.5 oz) chopped green chiles
2 tsp minced garlic
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
Serve with sour cream and Monterey Jack cheese
1. Put turkey thighs and onion in a 3 1/2-qt or larger slow cooker. Add beans and corn. Mix salsa, chiles, garlic cumin and salt in a medium bowl; poor all over
2. Cover and cook on Low for 8-10 hours or until meat is tender. Remove turkey to a cutting board and cut into bite-size pieces.
3. Return meat to cooker; stir in cilantro and serve!
Peanut Butter Bread
2 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
2/3 peanut butter
1 1/4 cups milk
Preheat oven to 350 grease loaf pan.
Combine dry ingredients. Add milk to peanut butter; combine well. Add peanut butter to flour; mix well. Pour into pan and bake 45-50 minutes.
I'm really looking forward to making these since they are new for me too! Got to love new cookbooks! Hope you all enjoy! I also thought that the soup will be perfect for all those leftovers we will all soon have.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
I think for the most part I stuck to the recipe. I did ass fresh carrots in with onions and celery rather than in the frozen veggies, and I did use regular tomatoe juice and kicked it up with tabasco and some other spices I like. Other than that I followed the rules and was quite pleased!
I also enjoyed the bread, I made 3 rounds with it that I allowed to rise for an hour and they were huge but still light and fluffy. I was surprised at how different this bread recipe was to most that I make but I loved it and will be doing this all again! YUMMY! Thanks, Carrie!
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
It was fun to make bread again. I haven't made bread in a long time. It was easy and nice to have with the soup.
Just want to say, I am having so much fun with Chic Chefs. I think this is really special and I hope to go many more rounds!!
Friday, October 24, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
As for the soup, I also took advice and read posts saying that the soup was good but needed a bit of a kick. So, for that I made a half recipe, but used the full amount of garlic and used chicken stock to cover and cook potatoes rather than water. I think the only other change I made was adding a turnip in with the potatoes and using a frozen veggie mix that also had green beans in it. I LOVED THIS SOUP!!! I thought the flavor was awesome and such a comfort food instantly. I can see why some may have wanted to spice it up a bit but I had no need for that. The only thing I can think of is that using the stock added more salt which brougtht out more flavor or I used fresh basil and can see that if you used dry you may not have the same outcome. This is not a spicy soup but I did think mine had lots of flavor and enjoyed having a soup that had a depth of flavors. I could actually taste the carrot, celery, onion, garlic, etc. and enjoyed it! I will certainly make this again! Thanks Rachel!
Monday, October 20, 2008
Approx 1 lb of beef stew, round steak, or really your choice of any type of beef I usually do what's on sale
Cut the meat into small pieces (bite sized is what I prefer)
1 large zesty V-8 juice (46oz or more container),
16oz diced tomatoes w/ chilies,
4 cups beef broth
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon cumin
any other spices that sound good to you :)
1/3 cup green split peas
1/3 cup yellow split peas
1/3 cup brown lentils
1/3 cup orange lentils
1/3 cup barley
I realize this is not quite 1 1/2 cups but that's fine
At this point if your broth is disappearing you can add either more beef broth or combo of beef broth and more V-8.
This makes a huge pot of soup (everything puffs up) so hope you have a hungry family, friends and like it enough for leftovers. Also you could omit the meat change from beef to veggie broth and make it vegetarian if desires
Serve and Enjoy!
This is the bread the girls and I "make" every week at our Parent-Tot class
3 Cups of Warm Water
2 Packets of Yeast
¼ Cup Honey
3 Cups Flour (1/2 white ½ wheat)
Mix together and let it rise for 45 minutes
Add 1 Tablespoon of Salt
¼ Cup of oil
3 Cups Flour (1/2 white ½ wheat)
Mix together and knead while singing. Must do this part or it will not turn out right :)
We then form it into small rounds approx. 12 -14 of them
Those of you with kiddos could give them each a clump and let them make shapes, it seems anything the kids do to this bread still turns out great.
Bake at 350 degrees for ½ hour.
The bakers are baking the bread In the morning they’re baking the bread They're kneading They’re rolling…
Ok, I promise this is actually I really easy recipe and a great one for any first time bread makers. Good luck! Happy kneading and singing :)
Sunday, October 19, 2008
The Soup was good the first time and great the next day. As with most soups the longer it sat the better it was. We had a discussion over the soup while eating it because not only was I sharing the meal with my husband and baby, but also fellow chic chef-er Alyssa!! Yay! Anyway... we decided it would taste really yummy with herring or smoked salmon. Almost like a chowder or something. It was a great base soup and you could throw many different spins on it if you wanted to. I used half and half instead of heavy cream and I used more garlic and more onion and I used dried basil. I think fresh basil would have been better of course but the dried was fine. I think it will be great for winter, when your sick, after birth, etc. Haven't made the pumpkin bread yet but don't worry I will because apparently it is
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
I made this soup Sunday afternoon and I suppose unfairly it had to go up against Jonathan's 3 hour intense work so flavorful beef stew we had just had on Saturday night. So my families review is that it was initially not very flavorful. I agree with Tisha's post though that I see where this is a perfect post birth soup. We did think after a good kick of Tony Chachere's seasoning it tasted a lot "fuller". I loved all the veggies in it and for the carrots I got to use fresh ones from my Moms garden. I think next time I will add some other seasoning as I'm cooking and maybe even use some vegetable broth in place of some of the water. But overall I did like the simplicity of the soup work wise.
I made the pumpkin bread at my Mom's and she didn't have a large loaf pan so I did mini loafs and large muffins they turned out very cute but a little cake like. I'm going to try again today with normal loaf size pans and see if there is a difference. It's been all ate up though in every form :) I think though I would like trying it with some applesauce to substitute some of the sugar.
I love the fall and this is good easy "cozy" fall food overall. :)
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
I tried the birth soup last night. Jeremy ate it without the cream as he wanted a clear broth, but I added the cream to mine and enjoyed it. It was full of good veggies, and I liked how simple it was; however, I would have liked it to have a little more flavor or kick. I understand as a nursing mother that spicy is not good, but of course I am not having to worry about that at the moment!
The pumpkin bread is absolutely delicious. I love how moist it is. It was so nice to use pumpkin for the first time this fall as I love the flavor of it. I agree - that second loaf has got to get out of my house - fast!
Thanks for starting us off right, Rachel!
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
I went to the store to get the ingredients for the soup and the bread. Not possible to get canned pumpkin in Malta. So, I decided to use fresh and bake it and put it in the blender. The only kind of "pumpkin" I could get was a green skinned type. Not sure what you call it. I had no idea how to estimate how much fresh squash/pumpkin thing I needed in order to make 16 ounces of puree. Furthermore, is that 16 ounces in weight or fluid ounces? How much is that in milliliters? Yikes. I nearly aborted the whole thing, especially since anything I read on the internet said you CANNOT substitute other kinds of squash for pumpkin. But I was determined . . .
So I just went for it. I already had bought all the other ingredients, and I knew it would be SO good on the off-chance that it did work. It was SO good. In fact so, so, so good that when I saw how much it made I immediately took half of it to my neighbor so that my husband and I wouldn't eat all of it! I made it last night at around 8:30 and the half we kept is almost finished by 3:30 today. We just can't resist it!
As far as the soup . . . easy to make and easy to get all ingredients. I like it. I think it is a nice and good. Nothing too exciting, but its raining today and I don't want an exciting taste sensation, I want something comforting and yummy. Success. I used only 25oml of cream. A pint is about 475ml. So I used significantly less, but I think I had less water in the soup than one would normally have. Trust me, it would've been too much if I put in a whole pint.
Adam hated the soup. But lets be fair . . . he hates ALL soup, AND I forced it down his throat since I made it for the blog. So, he hates it on principle and it has NOTHING to do with the recipe. Twit.
Thanks, Rachel, I am going to go have another bowl of it now. A nice recipe with a nice story.
Sunday, October 5, 2008
The pumpkin bread is a recipe I squeezed out of the owner of a little cafe in Junction City, Oregon when Andy and I lived there. A word to the wise - only make one batch because you'll eat every crumb so it's better that you only have a small amount! :)
4-5 potatoes, peeled & cubed
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 onion, finely chopped
5-6 cloves garlic, minced
4 carrots, peeled & chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen corn
1 tablespoon basil
1 pint cream (heavy or lite), near room temp
salt & pepper
Put cubed potatoes in large pan and fill with water just enough to cover. Heat to boiling and then turn off heat. DO NOT drain.
In large frying pan, on medium heat, melt butter with garlic and onion. Toss garlic and onion a few times in heated butter and then add carrot, celery, peas and corn. Add basil. Salt and pepper to your liking. Saute vegetables, stirring often, until soft but still crisp. Remove from heat.
Add vegetables to potatoes and water. Simmer for at least an hour. Stir occasionally. Approximately 10 minutes before serving, turn off heat and add cream. Stir well.
3/4 cup soft butter
2 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs, one at a time mixing well in between
16 ounces pumpkin
2/3 cup water
In separate bowl, mix:
3 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
Add dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and fold in.
Grease and flour 2 large loaf pans or 3 small ones. Pour in batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 70 minutes or until done.
With leftovers, wrap in plastic wrap and leave on counter. Will taste even better the next day!
Saturday, October 4, 2008
So we have to admit we were a little disappointed with the rice. Some of you who reviewed this talked up the rice so much that I at least was expecting angels to sing when I took a bite. Our rice turned out like this, Brown and crunchy on bottom, I'm assuming that was supposed to stay in the pan but my Dad scraped it up and mixed it with the rest, the rest was not really done tasting and there was really only a hint of flavor. It seemed to us we could have got a more flavorful rice by just cooking it the normal way and throwing in some butter. We do however know it could be a problem with our cooking and thought we should give it a try in the future in an even smaller pan. Cause our overdone underdone finished product does not sound at all like the rest of the reviews.
The chicken though was great, lots of flavor and I'm not a huge onion fan but I liked them! Staci didn't give in to my whining of too many onions and she was right. :) We thought it absorbed a lot of flavor even though we forgot to marinade it in the morning so it only had about 2 hours in the marinade, and I didn't read the recipe through so it marinaded with the butter and paprika :) It was good though and I'd definitely make it again. My Mom thought it all would be good with a sauce and Staci suggested maybe a lemon pan sauce.
The tomatoes were delicious and freshly picked from the garden which makes them all the better. Katrina (Staci's little girl) wanted to eat them all herself.
We will both definitely do this recipe again and even give the rice a second try. :)
Friday, October 3, 2008
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
I have only decorated a couple cakes in my life time. It is not really something that interests me other than for the kids birthdays. Andrew J turned 1 this weekend and we had a little shin-dig for him. I made sort of a safari type cake and thought I'd share it with you. I was pleased with how it turned out!
Monday, September 29, 2008
So we as a family really like meatloaf. It's always on the menu through the fall and winter, like Eva said it's the ultimate comfort food. We typically do cheesy mashed potatoes with meatloaf and green beans but the girls have been partial to peas lately so that's what we did. This was the first Chic Chef meal that they ate every single thing! So their rating would be a full on 4 stars. I had never done oatmeal before as we usually do bread or bread crumbs. I liked the oatmeal but even though I did 2 fisfuls to the 1 suggested it still could have used a little more as I like it a little firmer. Also I really really really missed the glaze that we usually do and I must say Nikki next time you make your Moms you should do a ketchup based glaze and you'll know what I'm talking about :) That said I think what I've taken away from this recipe that we will add is the oatmeal aspect. Good job Nik!
Sunday, September 28, 2008
I was impressed with how fast I was able to put it together. I think I had it all together and in the oven in five minutes. That makes it a winner right there!
I can't get garlic salt here, so I used garlic and salt. Mine turned out crumbley but I liked it that way. I think I've always steered away from meatloaf because it seemed like a thick, dense loaf of mystery meat. But having put it together myself so that I knew what was in it, and given the texture of it, I enjoyed it.
Who knew I could make meatloaf (and enjoy it, AND get my husband to not only eat it but enjoy it as well)?!
It disappeared before I even remembered to take a picture of it. Oh well.
Friday, September 26, 2008
Trying to find a place to dry pasta in a tiny kitchen was a bit challenging, but a little improv and we were in business! and yes, you are suppossed to ignore the dirty dish in the sink!
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
When I made the shrimp the first time I didn't bbq it. I also was at home alone with Anders and he was not having a good night. I really didn't like it at all and I was so disappointed because it sounded so good. A week or so later I went to Rachel's and we made it one night for dinner. It was SO good. I don't know if I did something wrong the first time or if the bbq made that big of a difference. (I think that also my stress level played a part in it. I actually relaxed the second time) I really do think that bbq makes a huge difference, though. I loved the mix of flavors and next time I might make it spicier.
The meatloaf was a good base recipe, I thought. To be honest I needed a little more pizazz! I added some Colby jack cheese and that was ok but next time I make it I think I am going to dress it up a bit with Gruyere, breadcrumbs and scallions or something like that. I really love meatloaf though so this was a great idea Nikki. Especially starting out the cooler season. It gets me in the mood for comfort food.
Jooieh Kabab- Very satisfying meal. Mark and I both really enjoyed it. What I liked most about it was that it had simple flavors. We tend to try to make things bigger and better all the time trying to create something fresh and new. This was classic food and there is a reason that classics are classic. Even though it was simple I did feel like it had an Iranian feel to it. (not that I really know that much about Iran and their food, but it did.) I really can't wait to make this again. Oh, by the way, I LOVE butter and this meal had A LOT of butter in it so that must be why I loved it so much. The rice was delicious! I wish that I could make rice like this every time but I better not!
Monday, September 22, 2008
I was expecting the rice to be flavored more buttery but in the end, I am glad it wasn't. What a great new twist on chicken and rice! Seriously, it is already on my menu for next week! Andy and the kids really liked it also. Abigail had seconds of chicken and thirds of rice, AJ had seconds of both! Also, it was really good all mixed up today for lunch! This is a certain repeat! Thanks for sharing, Alyssa!
Saturday, September 20, 2008
...YEAH, I AM CAUGHT UP!!!
Eva and I made this recipe, back when it was Greek week. I haven't posted because we took a picture and I have not gotten a chance to post the pic. So here I am weeks later and I still haven't posted my review. I figured I'd go ahead and post my review without the pic because I don't know if it'll happen with the pic! Sorry Eva! I will definitely make the Greek salad again - what a hit!
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
I love love loved! the greek meal! I am not a lamb fan and never seem to cook greek so this was a nice stretch for me! I actually followed this one to the "t" a very new thing for me! I think this would be good without the bun and use the pattys with some kind of yummy pan sauce to transition into a winter food..... hmmmm things to work on!
And who doesn't love meatloaf? This is very similar to the way I have made meatloaf so I was excited to see a comfort food at this point! I made this as one of my first meals in my own place and so enjoyed it that it was also my breakfast the next morning!
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Jooieh Kabab (Skewered Grilled Chicken)
1.5 to 2 lbs chicken (I use breasts)
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 large yellow onion, grated or finely chopped
2 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup melted butter
1 tsp paprika
1. Cut the chicken into equal size pieces (I do them in about 1.5 inch cubes).
2. Combine lemon juice, onion, salt and pepper in a glass or ceramic bowl.
3. Add chicken pieces, turning to coat. Allow to marinate for several hours (I do this the night before or in the morning).
4. Prepare grill or preheat broiler (I have only made this on the grill, but suspect it will be good under the oven grill as well).
5. Thread chicken onto skewers.
6. Combine butter and paprika and brush over chicken.
7. Place chicken on grill rack or under broiler, basting frequently until done
Blistered Cherry Tomatoes
Whatever amount you like
Cut an X on the bottom of each tomato and thread onto skewers if necessary. Brush with melted butter and cook on grill or under broiler until skin blisters and browns lightly.
Chelou (Steamed Rice)
8 cups water
2 cups basmati rice
2 Tbsp salt
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup water
Bring water to boil in large saucepan. Add rice and salt and bring to a boil stirring occasionally. Cook for 5 minutes, then pour immediately into a large sieve and drain.
In a small saucepan, heat butter with 1/4 cup water until bubbling. Pour half of the mixture into the saucepan which was used to boil rice and swirl the pan to coat the bottom and sides.
Spread half the rice in base of pan. Add remainder of rice on top in a mound and make a deep hole in the center with the handle of a wooden spoon. Pour remaining butter mixture over the top.
Cover rim of pan with a doubled kitchen towel or two paper towels and place lid on firmly. Cook rice over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to low and cook for 35 minutes longer.
Monday, September 8, 2008
Monday, September 1, 2008
What you will need ! (in my moms own word!)
Hamburger meat- a pound or so
1 onion (add to your liking)
Garlic salt (to your liking)
Pepper (thanks Mom)
Ketchup (about 1/2cup but maybe a little more)
Hand full of oatmeal
Add all together in a bowl and mix well. You might need to add more ketchup and oatmeal to make it stay together better. Make into a loaf and place it on a broiling pan and bake at 375 for about 45 minutes or so. We serve this with either a green or Cesar salad and a bake potato.
I hope you ladies enjoy this as much as i do! Happy meatloaf making!
I'm behind! I know a lot of you relate. Summer is unpredictable for us in a good way in that sometimes it's to nice to cook!
Anyway I loved the bread salad, it was a great change and I will absolutely make it again. The chicken was good as well though mine wasn't overly flavorful, I can't remember though if that was my fault......I didn't do the mushrooms because J and I are not big mushroom fans. We also added pasta with homemade pesto, but that was mainly for the girls since I wasn't sure they would like the salad. Unfortunately because we don't own a grill we decided not to attempt the grilled banana splits :( I'm very sad about that but thinking we may have to make them in VEGAS!!! Yum!
Great summer menu Staci!
Saturday, August 30, 2008
I loved the shrimp although I did not soak my wood skewers so they kinda burnt a bit wherever exposed but other than that no worries. I really enjoyed the bold flavors of the shrimp with the balance of sweet and savory rice. I used more cocomut milk then the recipe suggested and less water just because I didn't measure but, it was super yummy. I also really liked that this menu could be used as a great entertaining menu and still didn't take long in the kitchen! Thanks to all! Now I am off to dream of greek goodness for next week!
Friday, August 29, 2008
Thanks, Serena. I will try again - it was so easy and quick!
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
The Greek Salad was my very favorite- I will most definitely make that one again, in fact, I am planning it already because I have been craving it ever since. I loved the feta in the lamb and the potatoes were good. Although my one critique would be that I felt like the potatoes didn't really fit in with the rest of the meal. They tasted great but I wasn't feeling the greek vibe with them I was feeling the summer bbq vibe. Let me make one thing clear, though ... it didn't ruin the meal for me, that is for sure. I think I might have made myself sick from eating so much! We actually used store bought tzatziki sauce so no review on that from us.
Rachel chose a white wine to go with this and I can't remember what it was exactly so I will have to let her tell you about that. It was nice with the greek salad. I chose a Pinot Noir because I felt that with lamb we needed a lighter red and I really enjoyed that although the white was nice, too, I did like the Pinot Noir better.
I can't wait to make this again-it would be fun to have friends over for a Greek Night!
Thursday, August 21, 2008
We made everything for dinner last night. This menu is perfect for us. Quick, easy, delicious! I did everything according to the recipes. However, I knew it would be too much to do the burgers with buns, so we just ate them as plain patties. We didn't miss the buns at all. It gave us the opportunity to really just taste the yumminess of the patty. And with the potatoes we still got enough starch to feel full.
Next time I'll use a little less olives in the salad. It was just a bit too salty for us. But that is what it's like to make a salad . . . the proportions of the ingredients have to be tweaked according to the size of the other vegetables. Now that I know what it'll turn out like, I'll know how much to put.
I can't actually think of anything else to write because I have no suggestions or criticisms or anything. Thanks, Carrie. I'll be making this again soon . . . and often.
Monday, August 18, 2008
I love summer burgers especially with a Greek Twist!
Greek Style Lamb Burgers (serves 6 so just adjust accordingly, we usually half it for 2 adults and 2 kids)
2lbs ground lamb
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped and pitted Kalamata olives
Combine lamb, feta, and olives and make into six 1 inch patties. Season burgers lightly with salt and pepper to your own taste preference and then grill 7 min. each side for medium-rare or adjust time for your taste.
You can decide how you want to serve your burgers we've done it two ways. One is in pita pockets or the other is on Kaiser rolls both ways are yummy. Serve burgers with tzikki sauce (recipe follows) and they are good with red onion and tomatoe slices.
16 ounces plain yogurt (Greek yougurt is especially good)
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
Pinch kosher salt
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
Juice of 1/2 a lemon or 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
5 to 6 mint leaves, finely minced
Place the yogurt in a tea towel, gather up the edges, suspend over a bowl, and drain for 2 hours in the refrigerator.
Place the chopped cucumber in a tea towel and squeeze to remove the liquid; discard liquid. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the drained yogurt, cucumber, salt, garlic, olive oil, lemon, and mint. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week.
Yield: 1 1/2 cups
We have made thit many times without taking the time to drain the yogurt, turns out fine just not as thick also if you don't have mint (which we never seem to) that's something we've at times omitted as well.
Greek Potatoes with Lemon Vinaigrette (serves 4)
1 1/2 cups olive oil
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 large shallot, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano, or 1 tablespoon dried
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley, plus more for garnish
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 pounds large russet potatoes, cleaned, each cut lengthwise into 6 wedges
1/2 cup chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Whisk olive oil, lemon juice, shallots, garlic, oregano, and parsley in a medium bowl to blend; season with salt and pepper.
Toss potatoes with 1/2 cup vinaigrette on a heavy, large, rimmed baking sheet. Reserve the remaining vinaigrette. Pour chicken stock around potatoes and season potatoes with salt and pepper. Roast potatoes until tender and golden brown, turning occasionally, about 45 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette and more chopped parsley.
3 vine ripe tomatoes, cut into chunks
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 European seedless cucumber, cut into bite-size chunks
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chunked
1 small green bell pepper, seeded and chunked
1 cubanelle pepper, seeded and chunked
1 cup Kalamata black olives
Several sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley, about 1/2 cup
2 (1/4 pound) slices imported Greek feta
1/4 cup (a couple of glugs) extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons (3 splashes) red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed in palm of your hand
Coarse salt and black pepper
Combine vegetables, olives, and parsley in a large bowl. Rest sliced feta on the top of salad. Combine oil, vinegar, and oregano in a small plastic container with a lid. Shake vigorously to combine oil and vinegar and pour over salad and cheese. Season with salt and pepper and let the salad marinate until ready to serve. Serve salad with pita bread blistered and warmed on a hot griddle or grill pan.
So for this recipe I prefer crumbled feta and don't do the pita bread when serving it as a side.
What's better after summer burgers then Watermelon for dessert!!
Saturday, August 16, 2008
This is NOT one of our regularly scheduled recipes . . . just something I'd like to share. I don't know if any of you are into making whole fish, but last night I made some for my husband and I that was very nice. Would be nice to make (and so easy--no mess, hardly any chopping) for dinner guests. I adapted the recipe from Mediterranean Food of the Sun, by Clark and Farrow.
FOR 4 people use about 3 1/2 pounds sea bass, total weight (either one large or two smaller fish), cleaned and scaled with head and tail still on
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 powdered sugar
2 Tbsp melted butter + 1/4 more
1 onion finely sliced
generous pinch of saffron threads
Salt and black pepper
Lime wedges and sprigs of flat leaf parsley to garnish
Oven at 375. Grease shallow ovenproof dish with butter. Dish should be big enough to fit the whole fish.
Dissolve saffron threads in 1 Tbsp boiling water, set aside.
Make a paste of almonds, cinnamon, powdered sugar, 2 Tbsp melted butter, 4 Tbsp water.
You can use whole blanched almonds and throw all this in a food processor together. But alas, I have no food processor and opted to buy the almonds already ground and just mix it up.
Rinse the fish with cold water and pat dry.
Scatter onions on the bottom of the dish, add the saffron threads and water, season with salt and pepper.
Stuff fish with half the almond paste and spread the rest evenly on top of the fish. Melt remaining butter and pour over fish. Then bake, uncovered for 40 to 45 minutes, until the fish is done and the almond top is crusty.
Move fish to a serving platter. Arrange onion mixture around the edges and garnish with parsley sprigs and lime wedges.
I also made fried calamari rings at home for the first time (I am in a momentary seafood frenzy). Delicious! But the worst thing you can do is overcook them. Then they become rubbery, so beware! After we gobbled them up I realized I didn't even get a picture. Bummer.
Finally, I'd like to say . . . you all have children. I can see how I am out of touch, and this would not be "ideal" for a family dinner. Fish bones, protests about the head and tail, etc. . . . hahahaha. But, like I said . . . it could be good for a dinner party *sans* children. If nothing else, I hope you'll find the post interesting. Happy cooking, ladies!
Friday, August 15, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Yesterday we went to the fish market. I got mussels. I never get mussels. I was so proud of how they turned out. I had a great time cooking them and they were very fun to eat, too! I'll have to make them again soon. I boiled them for about 2 mins, meanwhile sauteing garlic green onions and parsley in butter and olive oil. Then I added the mussels with some white wine and a tiny bit of the "stock" from the boiled mussels. After just a few moments, I removed the mussels with a slotted spoon onto a plate. I reduced the sauce and poured it over the mussels. If anyone has any good tips for me on mussel preparation, please comment below! Thanks!
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
I have no experience with mango. I was a bit intimidated at first but dug right in anyway. What the heck is up with that weird pit thing in the middle?? Weird. The few times I have tasted fresh mango I am surprised by its spiciness; I like it. On with the review...
Everyone loved the yummy dinner, except Abigail. I can never tell if she doesn't like something for real or if she's just being 2. I think she was being 2 because she likes everything in there and she ate all the shrimp and loved them. I loved the spicy shrimp with the mango! What a great combo! I was a little surprised that the leftovers weren't as good for lunch today as I thought. You know how some things are better the next day? I thought this would be that way. I also made the dessert, it was very good! Refreshing... I love lime.
We made mojitos to drink with dinner, that added a nice touch. Something about the drink and the food made me feel like I should be in the Caribbean! Tisha, thank you! This meal is a redo, it will be great to make next week when my mom comes (she is allergic to gluten). Over all we give it four thumbs up!