Friday, September 4, 2009
Proposal: From here on out we take turns posting recipes each week. I'll take this week and you take the next week and so on. IF one of us should fail to post a recipe at the right time, then the slacker owes her sister...
hmmm, let the readers decide...
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
So it seems that everyone I know has an opinion about pie crust. Either you don't make it, because it appears to be out of your league, or you do make it and you have a recipe you swear by and usually it involves shortening and vinegar. Most people who use shortening say it makes the dough easier to handle. Sorry, but I'm gonna have to disspell the myths. There are exceptions, but usually, the simplest recipe is the best recipe and in this case, it's true. Give this a try and tell me if this crust doesn't taste better and take less sweat and tears than your average pie crust recipe. Incidentally, it's all natural too, because butter doesn't have all of those nasty hydrogenated oils. :)
This recipe is adapted from the New Betty Crocker Cookbook's two crust recipe. You can halve it if you need only one crust.
2/3 c. plus 1T. butter
2 c. flour (bread flour works best)
1/2 t. salt
4-6 T. cold water
extra flour for rolling
First, add flour and salt to a medium sized mixing bowl. Stir. Then, cut up the sticks of butter into little cubes with a butter knife. Add to the flour mix and use a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the flour. Keep at it until the mixture looks like small crumbs. (A pastry cutter is basically just a handle with metal hoops attached. If you don't have one, you can criss cross two knives to accomplish the same thing.)
Next, add the cold water one tablespoon at a time, mixing with a fork after each addition. When the mixture pulls cleanly away from the bowl, you've got enough water. Pick the dough up into your hands and press it into two round discs. If it's dry and crumbly still, add more water before separating.
Roll each disc out on a generously floured surface until it's about 1/8" thick, or about 2-3 inches wider than the pie pan you will put it in. Remember to flour your rolling pin and the top of the dough, so it doesn't get too sticky. This is really easy to work with, so you shouldn't have any trouble with it falling apart if you've floured well.
Next, gently fold the rolled dough into quarters and place it in the pie plate with the point at roughly the center of the plate. Unfold the dough into the plate and trim the dough to be hang over the edge by about 1/2-1" to make for easy sealing later.
Roll out the second crust the same way, still being careful to flour generously and let it rest while you prep the filling*.
*Blueberry Pie Recipe from Betty Crocker
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. flour
1/2 t. ground cinnamon, opt.
6 c. blueberries (fresh is best)
1 T. lemon juice
1 T. butter
Heat oven to 425 and mix first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Pour into prepared pie crust. Sprinkle with lemon juice and dot with butter.
Then, fold the second crust into quarters and place it on top of the filling and first crust. Trim edges so the crust is only a tad bit longer than the bottom crust. Fold the edge of the top crust under the edge of the bottom crust and press gently together to seal the edge. Do this around the edge of the pie until it's completely sealed. Cut some slits into the top crust to vent the pie. Then, if you really feel ambitious you can flute the edge, which will wow your friends and fam with little effort on your part. Check out the picture if you want to see and easy way to do it.
Put some foil or crust covers around the edge and pop it into the oven. It should be done in about 35-45 minutes. If you can wait, let it cool off before cutting into it. We usually settle for runny pie and eat it when it's hot, but if you wait, it should set and keep it's shape nicely when you cut it. Enjoy!!
Sunday, August 9, 2009
So admittedly, this dish is a little trashy, but in a good way. You know, it's one of those foods that you should be too sophisticated to like, but you just can't help yourself. Kind of like Velveeta and Rotel. Yum.
I recently got a subscription to Food & Wine magazine. Ok, so I subscribed some time in May, but my first issue came in the mail yesterday. I immediately started flipping through the pages and came across an intriguing recipe for summer rolls made with deli-sliced roast beef. I had nearly everything else on hand (including the rice paper wrappers), so I added the beef to my shopping list and planned on making these for a simple Sunday supper.
- Mix the garlic together with the chili paste and brown sugar. Add the lime juice, fish sauce and 3 tablespoons of water. Stir in half of the cilantro and mint. In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise with 1 tablespoon of the green curry dipping sauce.
- In a large bowl, toss the coleslaw mix with the roast beef and the remaining cilantro and mint.
- Fill a pie plate with warm water. Dip one wrapper into the warm water and let it soften. Lift it out onto a cutting board covered in plastic wrap. Let it sit a few second before filling and rolling. Spread a scant teaspoon of the curry mayonnaise on the bottom third of each wrapper and top with a scant 3 tablespoons of the roast beef filling. (amounts are totally approximate. Do what looks right. Roll the wrappers into tight cylinders, tucking in the sides as you go. Transfer the rolls to a plastic wrap–lined baking sheet and repeat with the remaining wrappers, curry mayonnaise and filling.
- Just before serving, cut each roll in half and serve with the dipping sauce.
Monday, July 27, 2009
This is a great and super easy side dish that I have entertained with several times. Best of all, it's cheap! It's awesome with my goat cheese and spinach stuffed chicken breasts, but that's a post for another day. The original source for the recipe is here, but I've made some minor variations.
- 2 cups uncooked orzo pasta
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
- 1/3 cup chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 cloves of garlic
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
I have been trying to watch what I eat, and I am going to Curves 3 or 4 times a week. It's hard not to eat sweets, so these seemed like a great alternative. These brownies are high in protein, low in fat and have a reasonable amount of sugar. I didn't have black beans, so I subbed black-eyed peas. They were still fantastic!
Start by dumping all of the following ingredients into your blender:
1 (15.5 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon instant coffee (optional-- I used 1 tsp. brewed coffee)
Puree until smooth. You may have to scrape down the blender, but it should have a very smooth, velvety texture.
Pour the batter into a greased 8x8 pan and sprinkle with 1/2 cup chocolate chips and 1/2 cup toasted chopped walnuts. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until the top is dry and the edges have pulled away from the side of the pan.
Let cool slightly and cut into squares. The texture is velvety and smooth and any beaniness is overcome by the chocolate chips and cocoa powder. Enjoy! ( I know I will!)
Monday, July 6, 2009
This BBQ is amazingly good and it isn't fatty and gristly like other BBQs I've had. Also, I'm not a pork fan, so the fact that this is a beef recipe makes it even better for me. In Chattanooga, people eat their BBQ sandwiches with coleslaw on top of the meat. I've heard it's a Southern thing, but I'm no expert. This is a pretty generous recipe too. The first time I made it, Matt and I had BBQ sandwiches for lunch for a week and we didn't mind, because it's that good. :)
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
Saturday, May 23, 2009
this is my little helper:)
1 pkg. jasmine rice
1 lb. chicken breasts, or thighs
2 T. cooking oil, like canola or the equivalent
one large onion, quartered and sliced
2 T. fish sauce
1/2 can masaman curry paste
1 can coconut milk
salt to taste
avacado, pitted and chopped or sliced
Cook rice according to package directions.
Meanwhile, cut up chicken into 1-2 inch pieces and saute with onions in preheated oil and fish sauce, until chicken is cooked through.
Stir in curry paste and coconut milk and simmer just long enough to heat the sauce and season the chicken, approx. 5 minutes.
Serve chicken over rice with avacado and cashew nuts sprinkled over the top.
This is the idea.
Fill up a large salad bowl with a mix of your favorite salad greens, washed and dried. I use romaine and spinach.
Wash, chop, and prep your family's favorite salad toppers, ie: avacado, tomatoes, carrots, edamame, olives, or whatever you like.
Scour the fridge for whatever else would be nice as a topping, like lunch meat (chopped), leftover meat, hard boiled eggs, shredded cheddar cheese, feta, frozen peas, ...?
Scour the pantry for croutons, nuts, or dried fruit like craisins
Put each topping on a plate and set the salad, toppings, and any salad dressings you have on the table.
Make sure the kids wash their hands first.
Then, let them make their own salad on their plate and allow them to use their hands to create it. This is so much fun for little ones!
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
This is another one of those foods that comes in so many variations that I can't pick a favorite. Lasagna is more of a method than a recipe. It has lots of benefits. It's a casserole, which makes it great for sharing. It freezes beautifully, and it is really popular with kids and adults alike.
Monday, May 18, 2009
1 lb. chicken breasts (chicken thighs or leftover chicken will do)
2T olive oil (or more if you skillet stinks)
1 pkg. frozen broccoli florets
2 tomatoes, diced
1 sm. pkg. mushrooms, sliced
1 can crm. mush. soup
1 c. mayonaise
1-2c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 tube of ritz crackers, crushed
salt and pepper
white rice (I prefer jasmine)
First, season the chicken with salt and pepper and cook it in the skillet until the center is no longer pink. While chicken is cooking, prepare rice according to package directions and cut up the veggies. Dump broccoli, tomatoes, mushrooms, mayo, and soup into a large casserole dish. If you like your food salty, you may want to add a bit of salt and pepper to this, but not too much. When chicken is done, dice it and add it to the mix in the dish. Then mix it well and top it first with cheese and then crushed crackers. Bake in the oven at 350 for 20 minutes or more. Serve with hot rice.
Sorry, I don't have a picture of it after baking. My ravenous beasts needed dinner and I had no time to snap a photo. Hope you enjoy this one.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
I was sitting in church this morning and (keeping it real here) my mind wandered to lunch. Uh-oh. Nothing to eat in the house. I made a mental note to stop by the grocery store on the way home and resumed worship. :-)
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Karen, I promise my blogging spurt will end soon! This morning, while looking through my iphoto library, I found these pictures I had taken of a quiche that I made a few times. The recipe is one I saw on Martha Stewart. You can find it here. It's actually the recipe from the famous Tartine bakery in San Fransisco. The important thing is that it is delicious and super easy. Quiche is popular with adults and kiddos alike. You can vary the flavors and add-ins quite easily. The recipe calls for creme fraiche, but you can use sour cream if you can't find it. It also calls for thyme, and I have made it that way, but I think dried basil would also be great.
Jessie & Lynn's BBQ Spareribs
Pre-cook 2 lbs of spareribs in the microwave. Stop the microwave several times to rotate the ribs. Make sure all of the ribs have gone from pink to beige. Drain off fat.
Make Sauce by combining the following in a saucepan:
½ cup light molasses
½ cup ketchup
½ onion finely chopped
1 large clove garlic minced
4 narrow slices of orange (peel & flesh), diced, or 1 T. orange zest
Juice of one orange – about ½ cup if using regular orange juice
4 whole cloves
1 teaspoon mustard
1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon vinegar
salt & pepper to taste
1 tablespoon A-1 Sauce
1 teaspoon Worchestershire Sauce
¼+ teaspoon Tobasco Sauce
1 tablespoon butter
Bring to a boil, stirring occassionally. Boil for 5 minutes
Pour sauce over ribs and bake uncovered at 400 degrees [almost 200 C ] for 45 or more minutes basting 2-3 times, every 15-20 minutes. Sauce should thicken and begin to carmelize. I usually cook them an hour and baste every 20 minutes.
Enjoy the ribs. They are killer!
First, combine in a mixer bowl:
3c. whole wheat flour (King Arthur's is best)
1/2c. nonfat dry milk
2 pkg. dry yeast (about 2T.)
Then, heat in a saucepan until warm (at or close to 100 degrees):
3c. water or potato water
2T. oil (olive is the best)
Pour warm (not hot) liquid over flour mixture. Beat with electric mixer for 3 minutes. Don't skimp on this. Watch the clock.
1 additional c. whole wheat flour
*4-4 1/2c. white flour (unbleached bread flour is best)
Knead 5 minutes, using additional white flour if necessary. *I usually add a 3 1/2c. of white flour initially and save 1c. to knead in during the kneading phase. This makes kneading easier and keeps the dough from getting stiff.
Place in a greased bowl, turn, cover the bowl with a cloth, and let rise until double in bulk. Dough will rise best in a sunny window or in an oven that has been warmed. Turn the oven off, before placing dough inside to rise.
After dough has doubled, punch down center. Divide dough in half and shape into loaves. Place each loaf into 9x5" loaf pans. In my experience, it's best to gently pick up each half and place it carefully into the pan, disturbing it as little as possible. I've rolled it up to make it pretty and that's how I get air pockets in the middle of the loaf.
Cover and let rise 40-45 minutes. Bake at 375 for 40-45 minutes.
Immediately remove from the pan and let cool before slicing. We usually cut it warm, because we can't wait to eat it :).
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
This time of year avocados are plentiful and cheap, so I like to make guacamole for a quick snack. It's great to have containers of this stuff in the fridge. When I come home from a long day at work, I can pop open the tupperware, take off the chip clip and DIG IN.
Monday, May 11, 2009
This feeds a family of 6 with enough for Daddy to take to work for lunch the next day.
1 large onion, halved and sliced into wedges
1/2 5lb. bag of potatoes, peeled and cut into medium sized chunks
1 lb. kielbasa sausage (smoked sausage ring), sliced
3 T. olive oil (or more)
salt and pepper to taste
1 c. water (if needed)
1 can bavarian style sauerkraut (opt.)
Peel and cut all veggies. Heat oil in large skillet or comparably sized pot. Sautee the onions and potatoes until the potatoes are mostly tender. Season with salt and pepper. Don't overdo the salt as the sausage is salty. Add water (if dry and sticking to the pan) and add the sausage. Cover the pot and let simmer until potatoes are tender. Serve with warm sauerkraut and a tossed salad.
Okay, so here's A picture. Of course, it's me making dinner and there isn't a picture of the actual dinner... I think it's enough to say that I was able to make dinner while managing a 6 month old and three other children. Notice Jonathan's head? I strapped him on my back with my new Mei Tai Baby sling and he passed out while watching the light on the ceiling. He loves to crane his neck back. Poor thing. Anyway, here's to more posts and more fun with this blog! :)
Sunday, May 10, 2009
I made this mango sauce for a dinner Dad and I had the other night. We had the Anglican priest and his wife over, and so I needed to be conscious of the priest's dietary needs. He can't eat sugar or bread, so I knew I would need to be creative. What we came up with was this menu:
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Well, I am not sure how much of a fist post this will be, but I am looking forward to getting this blog up and running, so I might as well start somewhere! As you know, Karen, Dad is visiting me in the Netherlands. We were invited to a party last night for one of my graduation Seniors. It was supposed to be a vegetarian buffet, so I made some Samosas. last week, I went to dinner at my friend Kim's, and her husband Aaron made samosas that were to die for. I wanted to clone them (and make them a bit spicier), so Dad and I went shopping for phyllo dough and I got busy with experimenting! What follows is mostly approximate. I am hoping that this blog will make me measure things a bit more. I'm pretty bad about that.