Sunday, September 16, 2012

For my sweet daughter-in-law and whoever else wants to use this:  A weeknight's worth of recipes.

This first one is cooking in my slow cooker right now and smells fantastic.

                         Chilly Night Beef Stew

6 Tbsp. flour
1-1/2 tsp. salt, divided
1 tsp. pepper, divided
2 lbs. beef stew meat
1/4 cup olive oil
[I have a blue diamond non-stick pan so, I seared the meat in that and didn't use any flour or oil.]
4 medium potatoes, cubed
6 medium carrots, sliced
2 medium onions, halved and sliced
4 celery ribs, sliced
2 cans (14-1/2 oz.) beef broth
2 cans (11-1/2 oz.) V8 juice
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. dried thyme (I used a few sprigs of my fresh)
1/4 tsp. dried basil ( I used about 2 Tbsp. fresh, chopped and added when the cornstarch was added.)
1/2 tsp. paprika
6 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 cup cold water

Combine flour, 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp, pepper in a large resealable plastic bag.  Add beef, a few pieces at a time, and shake to coat.  Brown beef in oil in batches in a skillet.  Transfer meat and drippings to a 6-qt, slow cooker.  Add potatoes, carrots, onions, and celery.  Combine remaining ingredients, except for the cornstarch and water. Pour over top. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.

Combine cornstarch and water until smooth, stir into stew.  Cover and cook 30 minutes longer until thickened.  Discard bay leaves.

Serve with a simple salad and some crusty bread.  Don't eat it all.  Save 4 cups to be used in the next meal.:)

            Layered Potato Beef Casserole

3 Tbsp. butter, divided
2 Tbsp. flour
3/4 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. salt
2 cups 2% milk
2 cups (8 oz.) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
4 cups leftover stew
4 medium Yukon potatoes, thinly sliced
1/3 cup crushed butter-flavored crackers (about 8)
1 Tbsp. dried parsley flakes (I will be using 3 Tbsp. fresh Italian parsley, chopped)
!/4 tsp. garlic powder

Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a large saucepan. Stir in flour, rosemary, pepper and salt until  blended; gradually add milk.  Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.  Remove from heat; stir in cheese until melted.

Spoon 2 cups of beef stew into a greased 2-1/2 qt. baking dish. Layer with half the potatoes and sauce mixture.  Layer with remaining stew, potatoes, and sauce.

Cover and bake at 400 for 40-50 minutes or until potatoes are tender.  Time to spend with Kids:)
Melt remaining butter.  Stir in crackers, parsley, and garlic powder.  Sprinkle over casserole. Bake uncovered, 5-10 minutes longer until topping is golden brown.  Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. That time could be used to set the table and make a simple salad.

              Roast Chicken and Sweet Potatoes

2 Tbsp. whole-grain or Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme of 2 tsp. dried
2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1/2 tsp. salt, divided
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper, divided
1-1/2 - 2 lbs. bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large red onion, cut into 1-inch wedges

Position rack in lower third of oven; preheat oven to 450.  Place large rimmed baking sheet in oven to preheat.

Combine mustard, thyme, 1 Tbsp. oil, 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper in a small bowl; spread the mixture evenly on the chicken.

Toss sweet potatoes and onion in a bowl with the remaining oil, salt, and pepper. Carefully remove the baking sheet from oven and spread the vegetables  on it. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables.

Return the pan to the oven and roast, stirring the vegetables once halfway through, until the vegetables are tender and beginning to brown and an instant-read thermometer reads 165 degrees, about 30-35 minutes.

Serve with a fall salad of greens, sliced apples, and blue cheese.

               Caramel-Apple Pork Chops

4 bacon strips (I buy the Hormel's naturally cured bacon.)
4 boneless pork loin chops (6 oz. each)
3 small tart apples (like Granny Smiths), peeled and thinly sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
4 tsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. butter
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 pkg. (6 oz. each) fresh spinach
3 Tbsp. chopped walnuts, toasted

Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp.  Remove to paper towels; drain, reserving 3 tsp. drippings.  Cook pork chops in 2 tsp. reserved drippings in the same skillet over medium heat for 2 - 3 minutes on each side or until lightly browned.  Remove and keep warm.

Saute apples and onions in 1 tsp. reserved drippings in the same skillet until apples are crisp tender.  Stir in the brown sugar, butter, salt and cinnamon, and pepper.  Add broth, bring to a boil.  Add pork chops. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 4 - 5 minutes or until a thermometer reads 145.

Remove chops to serving platter; let stand for 5 minutes.  Add spinach to skillet and cook until wilted.  Serve with chops.  Sprinkle with bacon and walnuts.

        Ale-Soaked Steak with Beer Butter

The recipe calls for porterhouse steak, but I used small sirloins which are usually on sale at our grocery store. And the recipe calls for stout which we did not have on hand, so an ale worked just fine.
You need to get the steaks in the marinade before leaving for work.

1 12-oz. bottle stout beer (Remove 2 Tbsp. for the butter)
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp.Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. dried tarragon, crushed
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

Pour marinade over steak in a plastic bag.  Make sure it is sealed well before placing in refrigerator!

In a small skillet over medium heat, cook 1 shallot, finely chopped in 2 tsp. olive oil. 5 minutes or until shallot is tender.  Stir in reserved beer. Cool 10 minutes, before adding to the softened 1/2 cup butter; add 1 tsp. crushed tarragon.Transfer to waxed paper; roll into a log.  Wrap and place into freezer.

When you get home, preheat broiler; remove steak from marinade; season with additional salt and pepper.
Place on broiler pan and broil, turning once, 12 - 15 minutes for medium rare or 15 -20 minutes for medium.

Serve with sliced frozen butter.

To accompany this meat:   Spaghetti Genovese 
(you need to be working on preparing this before broiling the steak.)

2 cups packed baby spinach
8 oz. whole wheat spaghetti
1 cup thinly sliced new or baby potatoes, (about 4 ounces)
1 pound green beans, I used the frozen whole green beans and let them thaw.
1/2 cup prepared pesto
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp. salt

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat.  Add spinach and cook just until wilted, about 45 seconds(!).   Use a slotted spoon to transfer the spinach to a blender.  Return the water to a boil and add spaghetti and potatoes.  Cook, stirring once or twice, for about 6-7 minutes before adding the green beans.  Cook an additional 3-4 minutes.  Just before they are done, remove 1 cup of the cooking liquid and add half of it to the spinach in the blender.  Add the pesto, pepper, and salt.  Blend until smooth.

Drain the spaghetti and vegetables and return to the pot; stir in the pesto mixture.  Cook over medium heat until sauce is thickened, about 2 minutes.  Add more of the reserved cooking liquid, as desired, for a thinner sauce.

Bon Appetit!!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Now comes the healthier food!

The colorful corn and blueberry salad from is so tasty; quickly became one of my favorites. Others at the party agreed! I will definitely be making this one again. I would love to be able to serve this in our backyard with a barbecue party. That had been my original plan for his party, but we would have had to wear winter coats and hold umbrellas. lol Not my idea of a fun backyard party, but that is May in Wyoming:) The grocery store here did have fresh corn though and fresh blueberries too!

Corn and Blueberry Salad

6 ears fresh corn, husked
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 English cucumber, sliced
1/4 cup red onion, chopped ( I used sweet onion)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

In Dutch oven, bring salted water to boiling. Add corn. Cook covered for 5 minutes or until tender. Remove from water and cool until comfortable to handle. Cut corn from cobs.
In serving bowl, combine corn, blueberries, cucumber, onion, cilantro, and jalapeno. For dressing, in screw-top jar, combine lime juice, oil, honey, and cumin and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Shake well to combine. Add to salad; toss. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Makes 6-8 servings.

I had to update my profile since I have another grandchild -
Aidric James Horner born on May 20, 2011!

But I do have some new recipes to share from my baby's 16th birthday party!

We will start with his cake first since I can include a picture of him. He chose a Cherry Chocolate Cake from the Gold Medal State Fair Cakes booklet. Let me warn you - it is super delicious and super rich and super calorie-laden!

Cherry Chocolate Cake

4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
3/4 cup coffee
2-1/4 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour 3 round pans. (I only have two of the same size, so I have to bake the first two and wait until one is cooled to reuse it. It makes it more challenging though to eyeball dividing the batter evenly into thirds) Heat chocolate and coffee until chocolate is melted; cool. In a large mixing bowl, beat brown sugar and butter on high until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.
Mix the dry ingredients together, and beat in the mixture alternately with the chocolate mix and buttermilk, beating after each addition until smooth. Pour into pans.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes on rack before removing from pans. Cool completely.

Prepare chocolate frosting: 1 cup butter, softened (The recipe recommends that 2/3's of that should be shortening, but since I have never had a can of shortening in my home, I used all butter.)
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, melted and cooled
6 cups powdered sugar
3 - 4 tablespoons milk

Beat butter on high speed with electric mixer until creamy; beat in evaporated milk, salt and chocolate. Gradually beat in powdered sugar and milk, beating until spreadable.
Remove 1-1/2 cups and to that add 3 tablespoons finely chopped maraschino cherries and 1 tablespoon maraschino cherry juice. Beat until blended. This goes between the layers.
The sides and top are frosted with the remaining frosting which is quite alot:)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I served this cake after church a couple of weeks ago and it was a big hit, so I thought I would share the recipe for all those who asked for it and others that maybe reading this. :)

Lemon Delight Cake
(original recipe was from the 2010 Taste of Home cookbook,
but I modified it.)

They called for a lemon cake mix and poppy seeds,
neither of which I used.
Here is the lemon cake recipe I used:

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
1-1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 cup milk

Cream butter and sugar until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each one. Add lemon extract. Mix the baking powder and salt with the flour. Add with the milk. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium for 2 minutes.
Spray a 9 x 13" with cooking spray. Spread 1/2 of the batter into the pan.

Now for the filling which should have been prepared beforehand.

It called for a can of lemon pie filling, but I made my own using this recipe:
1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon peel
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup water
1/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter
4 egg yolks, beaten
First dissolve the cornstarch in the water. Place all ingredients, except egg yolks, into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil for one minute, stirring constantly. Whisk a small amount of the lemon mixture into the beaten egg yolks. Pour it back slowly into the saucepan, stirring
constantly. Cook 5 minutes longer or until thickened; do not boil. Remove from the heat and cool. Beat in 1 package (8 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese and 1/2 powdered sugar.
Drop by teaspoonfuls and gently spread over the batter. Top with the remaining batter. Combine topping ingredients: 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1/3 cup chopped pecans, 3 tablespoons flour, 4-1/2 teaspoons melted butter, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract. Sprinkle over batter.
Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Combine glaze ingredients: 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 4 teaspoons lemon juice; drizzle over cake.

I will be serving this as dessert on Easter Sunday!

I am going to share the words of one of my favorite Easter hymns that I know we will be singing then:

"Low in the grave He lay -- Jesus, my Savior,
Waiting the coming day -- Jesus, my Lord,
Up from the grave He arose
With a mighty triumph o'er His foes.
He arose a victor from the dark domain,
And He lives forever with His saints to reign.
He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!

"Vainly they watch his bed -- Jesus, my Savior;
Vainly they seal the dead -- Jesus, my Lord.
Up from the grave He arose
With a mighty triumph o'er His foes.
He arose a victor from the dark domain,
And He lives forever with His saints to reign.
He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!

"Death cannot keep his prey -- Jesus, my Savior;
He tore the bars away -- Jesus, my Lord.
Up from the grave He arose
With a mighty triumph o'er His foes,
He arose a victor from the dark domain,
And He lives forever with His saints to reign.
He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!"

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Here is the recipe voted "Best" at our 2010 Open House:

Pictured on the far left.

Marinated Cheese
(from the 2010 Taste of Home Annual Recipes book)

2 blocks (8 ounces each) Vermont white cheddar cheese
2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened {I would recommend not using the reduced fat; it is too soft. And I used just a little over 1 package.}
3/4 cup chopped roasted sweet red peppers
1/2 olive oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar {I used a better brand - Colavita Aged White Wine Vinegar.}
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons chopped green onions
3 tablespoons minced fresh flat parsley
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
1 tablespoon sugar
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Slice each block of cheddar cheese into twenty 1/4-inch slices. Cut each block of cream cheese into 18 slices; sandwich between cheddar slices, using a knife to spread evenly. Place them in a glass 9 x 13 dish.

Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl. Pour over cheese. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, turning once. Remove the cheese blocks from marinate. Make sure they are covered with some of the good solid stuff from the marinate:) Serve with assorted crackers or toasted sliced French bread.

Should be accompanied with a good wine:)

(The leftover marinate makes a very good salad dressing.)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Remember your younger days when you ate peanut butter and banana sandwiches, or
maybe you preferred peanut butter toast sprinkled with chocolate chips. This is a bread for those who want all three!

Peanut-Chip Banana Bread

1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2 to 3 medium)
1 cup milk
3/4 cup chunky peanut butter
1 egg
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

3 tbsp. chunky peanut butter
2 tbsp. butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

In a mixing bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Combine bananas, milk, peanut butter, egg, oil, and vanilla; mix well. Stir into dry ingredients just until combined. Add chocolate chips. Spoon into two greased 8-in. x 2-in. loaf pans. Bake at 350° for 50-55 minutes or until bread tests done. Cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack. Completely cool. [At this point the recipe recommends refrigerating overnight before frosting. If you have baked it the day before you need it, go ahead!]
For frosting, melt peanut butter and butter in a small saucepan; Stir in powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla. Beat until smooth, except for the chunks of peanuts:). Frost loaves. Share!

Friday, November 5, 2010

November 5, 2010

I had some requests for recipes which is rather exciting and very much appreciated!

My German Hot Potato Salad

(Although not technically mine, it was from a Cooking Light magazine way back from May 1994.
I frequently made this recipe for all the German Russians that we lived amongst in Sutton, NE. They are liking it out here in Wyoming too!)

8 cups (1/4- inch) sliced unpeeled round red potatoes (about 2-1/2 pounds)
2 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley (flat, if you can find it and in a pinch, 2 tsp. dried)
1/2 celery seeds
Vegetable cooking spray
4 slices turkey bacon, minced (Remember this was from a Cooking Light:) I use regular.)
1 cup chopped onion
2-1/2 tbsp. flour
1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp. cider vinegar
1 tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 (10-1/2-oz.) can beef broth

Place potatoes in a Dutch oven; cover with water, and bring to a boil. Cook 8 minutes or until tender. Drain and place in a large bowl. Sprinkle with parsley and celery seeds; set aside.
Coat a medium skillet with cooking spray; place over medium-high heat until hot. Add bacon and saute 3 minutes or until crisp. Add onion, and saute until tender. Add to potato mixture.
Place flour in a small bowl. Gradually add vinegar, stirring with a wire whisk until blended; Set aside.
Combine sugar, pepper and broth in skillet. Bring to a boil, and cook 2 minutes. Add flour mixture to skillet and cook 3 minutes or until thickened (mixture will reduce to about a cup). Pour over potato mixture, and toss gently to coat. Serve warm. Yield: 7 servings.

This is easy to double using a 5-pound bag of potatoes. And to keep warm, place it into a crock pot on low. This works quite well for church functions.

More to follow later.