Sunday, November 6, 2011

Salmon with Lime and Garlic.

I really enjoy salmon.  I tried a new way of preparing it today.  I really like this way and it is sugarless, which is also nice.  The recipe comes from the box. :)

1/2 c lime juice
1 t olive oil
1 t butter
2 cloves garlic, pressed
3 T flour
2 T cilantro leaves (fresh)
sale & pepper to taste

Marinate salmon in the lime juice.  In a saute pan, heat oil, butter and garlic.  Sprinkle one side of salmon with flour and place face down in pan.  Cook 3 minutes.  Sprinkle with flour, salt and pepper before flipping.  Cook 3 minutes on the other side.  Remove salmon.  Place lime juice and cilantro in pan to deglaze.  As soon as cilantro is wilted and pan is deglazed (approx 1 minute), pour (spoon) mixture over salmon.  Serve immediately. 

Apple Pie

So, my friend H makes amazing apple pie.  I finally got around to making it using some Arkansas Black apples.  It was fantastic.  I would definitely recommend less sugar if you are using anything other than a really tart apple.  I used the crust recipe in my Joy of Cooking.  mmmmm

Recipe is here.

Friday, October 21, 2011

A.P.'s Chili

This recipe is courtesy of Brian Coatney.  He made it and brought it to work and I *had* to have the recipe.  My better half thinks it is too meaty.  Personally, I like that part!  Also, it is more brothy than most traditional chilis.  I really like that it is not one big pot of tomato sauce.

1.5 lbs ground beef (I'm sure you could use turkey)
2 medium onions, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 stalk of celery, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 T chili Powder
1.5 t oregano
1.5 t cumin
1 t salt
1 t seasoning salt (I added a little extra regular salt and used Mrs. Dash - Extra Spicy)
1/4 t black pepper
1/4 t red pepper flakes
1 T worchestershire sauce
3 cans (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
1 can kidney beans (original recipe called for chili beans... I deviated and the result was still delicious.)
~5 c broth *

Bring to a boil and then simmer for 40 mins.  EAT!

*The recipe as written by Mr. C did not list any liquids (besides the liquid in the tomatoes).  I am sure that is an oversight, so I used a bunch of broth.  I don't really know how much broth I used because I had a ton in the house because I recently made a large pot.  I would estimate that it was 5 cups. 

Friday, September 9, 2011

Cinnamon Rolls

I'm making some more Cinnamon Rolls this weekend.  :)

Here is my go-to recipe:

By the way, I've been using some super double yummy cinnamon I got from the Spice House.  I love it when I can get my hands on a quality spice.  I am definitely willing to pay extra for that!  However, Spice House has great prices.  I can't complain!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sweet & Sour Chicken

So, my husband never asks me to make anything.  I can ask him "would you like anything special for dinner?" until I'm blue in the face, but I never get an answer.  This is generally a good thing because I can take certain liberties (dark leafy greens, for instance).

The first time he ever asked me to make something it was Angel Food Cake.  I promptly when into culinary cardia arrest.  He wants me to make what!?!?!  That involves egg whites and is hard!  Well, I survived that incident and went on to make a "better than mom's" angel food cake.  Turns out, she actually always made hers from a box.  I win. 

Today I experienced symptoms of a culinary cardiac arrest, but was able to avoid a full blown MI.  I asked Aaron how he would like his chicken cooked tonight.  He asked me to make sesame chicken.  "Like the kind at the Chinese place?"  Oh brother.  I ran over to and discovered I didn't really have the right spices to do it right.  I asked him if he wanted anything else.  "Sweet and Sour Chicken."  Oh great.  That requires some special sauce I don't have.  Well, I am courageous.  Thank goodness for All Recipes.  Here is one of their recipes for Sweet & Sour Chicken.  I modified it a tiny bit, and it was TASTY TASTY.  Here is my version.  The numbers are a little weird because the original recipe is for 8 chicken breasts (Seriously!??!!).

Combine in zip top bag:
1/2 c AP flour
1/2 T vegetable oil
1/2 T cornstarch
3/8 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1/4 t baking powder
1/4 t garlic powder
1/4 t onion powder
1/2 T egg, beaten
1/4 c  + 2 T water
2 chicken breasts in 1" cubes

Heat oil in a skillet/wok/fryer to 360*.  Use about 1.5-2" (enough to submerge chicken).
Cook chicken in batches (1 layer deep with a little wiggle room) for 10 minutes.  Drain on paper towels. 

While chicken is cooking, make the sauce. 

First, stir together:
1 T cornstarch
1 T water

Bring to a boil:
Juice from 2 oz of crushed pineapple (reserve pineapple)
3 T white vinegar
1/4 c + 2 T sugar
1/4 c + 2 T water
1 drop each red and yellow food coloring

Remove from heat and stir in cornstarch mixture until thick. Stir in pineapple.

Stir together sauce and chicken, if desired.  We liked dipping our chicken.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Smoothie Secrets & Slushie Recipe

I make smoothies in the cheapest blender ever.  Want my secrets?

First, start with plain yogurt, a banana and add-ins (flax seed or protein powder or whatever).  Puree.  This should become pure liquid.  This is the secret.  The liquid will be the conveyer of the frozen fruit.

Next, add frozen fruit (preferably frozen in season so you don't need extra sweeteners).  Pulse this on ice crush mode for a little bit.  Then switch to puree.  It takes a little practice to get the right switchover point.  You should be able to eat this smoothie with a spoon.  Take that, Smoothie King!

So, I was reading a favorite blog and ran across a recipe that helped me use up some watermelon that I was tired of looking at.  I used the ingredient list and completely ignored their directions.  Check out their recipe here

Combine 1/3 c orange juice, 1/2 T lime juice, 1/2 T honey, and 1 1/2 c watermelon and puree.  Use the method above to work in about 1 c frozen strawberries.  Best slushie ever.  Take that, 7-eleven!!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Sloppy Joes, reinvented

I've never really made sloppy joes because we always had "Beef & Bean" growing up.  It's a similar recipe, but includes baked beans. 

Yesterday I make the recipe here.  It was delicious!  I'll copy it here for convenience or in case Beth ever takes down her site (which would be super sad!).  I would imagine it freezes well too.  If you don't have lentils, I would estimate you should halve the rest of the ingredients or double the meat.  Either would work. 

Suggestions:  Include the Dijon!  Throw in a dash or two of celery seed.  Go easy on the vinegar.  It tastes great, but you definitely don't want to overdo it.

Total Recipe cost: $10.97
Servings Per Recipe: 8
Cost per serving: $1.37
Prep time: 10 min. Cook time: 20 min. Total: 30 min.

3/4 cup dry brown lentils $0.23
1 Tbsp olive oil $0.11
1 medium vidalia (or sweet) onion $0.69
1 medium green bell pepper $0.78
1 tsp minced garlic $0.12
1 lb. extra lean ground beef (93/7) $4.98
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce $0.88
3 oz. tomato paste $0.26
3 Tbsp cider vinegar $0.18
3 Tbsp brown sugar $0.12
1/2 Tbsp dijon mustard (optional) $0.04
1/2 tsp salt $0.03
1/2 tsp chili powder $0.07
8 medium whole wheat buns $2.48

STEP 1 (the lentils): If you are using lentils, begin cooking them first. Sort through 3/4 cup of dry brown lentils to remove any stones or debris. Give them a rinse under cool water. Bring 1.5 cups of water up to a boil and then add the lentils. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and let simmer for 20 minutes. Test the lentils to make sure they are tender and then drain in a colander. Set the cooked lentils aside until you are ready to add them to the sloppy joe's. These can be simmering while you make the rest of the sloppy joe's.

STEP 2: Chop the onion into small pieces and add it to a large skillet along with the olive oil and minced garlic. Cook over medium heat.

STEP 3: While the onion and garlic are cooking, cut the bell pepper into small pieces and add it to the skillet as well. Cook until all of the vegetables are soft and transparent (about 5 minutes).

STEP 4: Add the ground beef and continue to cook until no red remains (about 7-10 minutes).

STEP 5: Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, cider vinegar, brown sugar, dijon, chili powder, and salt. Stir well and heat through (about 5 minutes).

STEP 6: Stir in the cooked lentils and heat through if needed (5 minutes). Serve warm on a whole wheat bun!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Ranch Dip/Dressing

I've started using this recipe for making ranch dip and ranch dressing.  It comes from here

5 Tablespoons dried minced onions
7 teaspoon parsley flakes
4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder

Dip: Mix 2T seasonings with 1 c mayo and 1 c sour cream (I prefer all sour cream).

Dressing:  Replace some of the sour cream with some buttermilk or milk to make it a little thinner.

You really have to let this sit for a while to get the full flavor.  Make it a couple hours ahead. Note that it will thicken a little bit as the onions and herbs hydrate.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Lemon Bars

Lemon bars are yummy.  Today I made them for the second time (from scratch).  I keep using this recipe from my Joy of Cooking cookbook.  The only two things I did differently was to use Whole Wheat Flour (all I had) and to make half a batch.  Sometimes I don't have unsalted butter, so I just use butter.  They are delicious. 

Baked Beans

I started with the recipe here.  It is yummy.

2 c. White Beans (I had previously cooked them up from dry beans)
1/4 c ketchup
1/4 c molasses
2 T brown sugar
1 t Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 t salt
1/8 t ground black pepper
1/4 t chili powder
1/4 t ground mustard
1/8 t (maybe closer to 1/16 t) celery seed
1 onion, chopped
Enough water to cover, but not drown

Place all in crock pot and simmer, stirring regularly, until thickened and onions are done - approx 3 hours.  This doesn't make a ton, which also makes keeping the temp regulated in the crock pot a little difficult.  You may want to double the recipe or choose a different cooking method (oven?).  You'll also want to taste it as things come along and adjust the spices as you see fit.  I think the mustard and celery seed are crucial.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Honey Oats Bread

This recipe courtesy of the instruction book that came with my Welbilt Bread Machine (is that sufficient citing?).

Use the amounts in parentheses for a 2lb loaf or the other ones for a 1.5lb loaf.  You'll have to determine which size your machine accepts.

Water 1 c (1 1/3 c)
Oil 2 T (3T)
Honey 3 T (1/4 c)
Salt 1t (1 1/2 t)
Oatmeal 1/2 c (2/3 c) - I use Old Fashioned
Oat Bran 1/4 c (1/3 c) - I actually use Wheat Bran
Whole Wheat Flour 1/2 c (2/3 c)
Bread Flour 2 c (2 2/3 c)

Active Dry Yeast 2 1/4 t (1 T)
QuickRise Yeast 1 1/2 t (2 t)
Bread Machine Yeast 1 1/2 t (2 t)

Layer in the order directed by your bread machine.  Use the regular baking cycle.  Alternatively, use the dough cycle and then bake in the oven.  For temps and times for oven baking, consult the internet or your favorite old-school cookbook.

Hamburger Buns

For hamburger buns, I use the recipe here.  I usually make the dough in my bread machine and make 18 of them instead of 12.  Today I'm going to try making hot dog buns with them... we'll see how that goes. 

Like most homemade breads, this recipe doesn't stay soft and delicious forever.  In this case, that is ok because these are the *perfect* toasted conveyor for butter + orange marmalade.  

I have also frozen them after cooking.  Remember, when you thaw bread, keep it CLOSED while the thawing occurs so that you don't let out the moisture!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Pizza Crust

1 c. water (room temp)
2 T Olive Oil
1 T sugar
3/4 t salt
3 c Flour*
2 1/2 t yeast (1 packet)

*I have used any number of flours here.  The recipe calls for 3c bread flour.  Sometimes I have used all purpose, but the dough isn't as stretchy (of course).  I have used half whole wheat as well.  The next time I make this, I am thinking of doing 1c. each of whole wheat, all purpose, and bread flour. 

Layer the ingredients in your bread machine as specified by the manufacturer.  Push START!

Roll out pizza crust.  I usually use 2/3 of the recipe to cover my pizza stone and the other 1/3 to make two personal size pizzas.  This gives crust thickness to my liking. 

Pierce crust with a fork.  Bake at 425* (make sure you preheat!) for 7 minutes.  "Decorate".  Bake 425 for 10 minutes. 

I have had good success with freezing prebaked crusts.  I have also stopped after the "Decorate" step and put the ready pizzas in the fridge to have a day or two later.  Freezing dough in a home freezer generally kills yeast, so I've done it, but only with limited success.