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29.7.10

seared halibut on native corn and lobster risotto















This meal was "simply light and delicious," according to my Mom. Dave tried white fish for the first time and said "for someone who doesn't eat fish, it was devoured and yummy." Make sure to be prepared and have your ingredients prepped because the risotto is consuming and the fish is timely. Overall though, it's a recipe that is straight forward and makes for a perfect dinner! If you're interested the recipe is below. I bought a pound of fresh halibut (perfect for 3).

20.7.10

homemade blueberry muffins

These muffins turned out great! I used a Martha Stewart recipe with fresh berries. The night before I attempted Bluberry scones... and Mom can tell you, with out using fresh blueberries, coated in flour before mixed, your dough may turn blue...
Personally, I like muffins better anyway. That also goes for the many people I asked.

What do you think? If you like scones more, maybe I'll give them a second try.

lobster newburg over an english muffin

I will post the recipe to this shortly.

19.7.10

moonlit blueberry pie with almond creme chantilly

Ingredients:

4 cups fresh blueberries, washed

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup water

2 tablespoons cornstarch, dissolved in 2 tablespoons water

1 (9-inch) deep dish pie shell, baked

1 tablespoon butter

4 tablespoons Cointreau liqueur

1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted

Combine 1 cup of the blueberries, sugar and water in blender and puree until smooth. Pour mixture into medium saucepan and add dissolved cornstarch. Heat until thickened, stirring frequently. Stir in butter and Cointreau. Add almonds and remaining blueberries, stirring gently to combine. Pour into baked pie shell and chill.

Ingredients & Directions for pie crust: http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/basic-pie-dough

I altered the recipe, making double the pie dough in order to make a lattice top pie crust. After pouring the filling into a prepped (9-inch) deep dish with uncooked dough, I rolled out the second batch of dough and cut 3/4 of an inch all the way across. After making the lattice top, plop it in the oven and bake until the top is golden brown (345 degrees). Plop the pie in the fridge over night and it is perfectly set in the morning!

Almond Creme Chantilly:

1 cup heavy cream, whipped
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Combine cream, sugar and almond extract in chilled small bowl and whip until stiff peaks form. Just before serving, spread on top of chilled pie.



12.7.10

soon to be posted:

Spare ribs and sauerkraut with dumplings (Father's Day dinner), blueberry pie with almond creme chantilly, homemade blueberry muffins, and lobster newburg over an english muffin.

Sorry for the lack of posts! Keep the look out.

13.6.10

manicotti: for mama

I was open to making something time consuming today so I figured why not take advantage of the slow Sunday and make Mom and Dad Manicotti. It was accompanied by a classic and simple romaine salad with a homemade/made up gorgonzola salad dressing! I'll add the ingredients for the dressing when I figure out the exact measurements! (There are plenty of left overs so if you can get to them before Dan or Dad do, come on down).




Tomato Sauce:
2 (28-ounces) can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/2 teaspoon re pepper flakes (optional)
table salt
2 table spoons chopped fresh basil leaves]

Cheese filling and pasta:
3 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
4 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
8 ounces whole-milk mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
3/4 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
16 no-boil lasagna noodles

1. For the sauce: Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Pulse 1 can of the tomatoe with their juice in a food processor until coarsely chopped, 3 or 4 pulses. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with the remaining tomatoes.

2. Heat the oil and garlic in a large saucepan over medium heat until fragrant but not brown (1-2 minutes). Stir in the tomatoes and 1/2 teaspoon salt and simmer until thickened slightly, about 15 minutes. Stir in the basil; season with the salt to taste.

3. For the filling: Combine the ricotta, 1 cup of the Parmesan, the mozzarella, eggs, parsley, basil, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl; set aside.

4. Boil the noo-noo's for about five minutes. Remove noodles from the water and place in a single layer on clean kitchen towels.

5. Spread 1 1/2 cups of the sauce evenly in the bottom of the baking dish. Using a spoon, spread 1/4 cup of the cheese mixture evenly on the bottom three-quarters of each noodle, leaving the top quarter of the noodle exposed. Roll into a tube shape and arrange in the baking dish, seam side down. Top evenly with the remaining sauce, making certain that the pasta is completely covered.

6.Cover the baking dish tightly with foil and bake until bubbling, about 40 minutes. Remove the baking dish from the oven and remove the foil. Sprinkle the manicotti evenly with the remaining cup Parmesan. Broil until the cheese is spotty brown, 4-6 minutes Cool 15 minutes; cut and serve.

banana & oat pancake








Ingredients:

1/3 cup Quaker quick oats

1/3 cup egg whites

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Cinnamon to taste

Optional: 1/2 a mashed banana

Directions:

Mix together oats and egg whites with baking powder, vanilla extract and cinnamon in a bowl. Optional: add half a mashed banana to the batter.

Preheat a skillet, spray with non-stick spray, and pour your batter in while shaping it into a pancake.

When you can shake it around in the pan, it’s time to flip.

Once cooked through, top with syrup, peanut butter, fresh fruit, mashed banana and maple syrup!

(Discovered on Kath Eats Real Food blog)


11.6.10

nectarine-blackberry crisp















Yesterday at work I decided I was going to make a summery dessert. I had never made a crisp or cobbler before so I thought I'd give it a whirl. I wanted to wait on a blueberry so I decided to try blackberry (thanks to Amy for the idea). I was searching around bon appetite and martha stewart sites and found this! I wasn't going to made the move till I had 4 ripe nectarines in my hand. My dad always told me to smell them to see if they are ready, as well as give them a nice squeeze.

Here is the link to the recipe: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Nectarine-Blackberry-Crisp-353429


10.6.10

macaroon winners: carly & will













Carly and Will were the original winners of the coconut trivia Q's. Unfortunately Will is out of town without an address to send the lovely treats to. Instead, I sent 1 to my Grammy 1 to my Gramp and 1 to my Great Uncle Rich. I hope you all enjoy them out there in Braidwood, Illinois. I love you all!

These have made an appearance on my blog before, thanks to Kaylie for requesting them. Hope everyone else that enjoyed one (or two) tries out the recipe. They are easy and fairly interactive. The recipe is in the archives.

supposedly high in iron: steak & asparagus













Ingredients: Cooking for one

1 filet mignon
1 garlic glove
Salt and pepper
2-3 teaspoons of olive oil
2 cups baby spinach
Cranberries (completely optional)

1 bunch of asparagus
Lemon (optional)

To donate blood you have to have an iron percentage of 38. For me, that is a struggle so I decided to up it on the iron. I cooked the steak, spinach, and asparagus. Failed at 37 percentile. Lame is all I have to say about that.

Anyways... Directions:
Place the stove top on medium to high heat, cooking the olive oil till barely smoking then add baby spinach. Salt and pepper the steaks as well as add minced garlic to each side. Cook it to your liking, I'm a fan of medium rare... I added cranberries just because of their colorful appearance. In the mean time start a pot of water. Once it has been brought to a boil steam the asparagus. It is a simple, hearty, HIGH in iron and filling meal.

Hope you enjoy!


3.6.10

double chocolate brownies

I made these over Memorial Day weekend for the family. I figured everyone likes brownies and they don't take much work! I used Baker's semi sweet chocolate. Because my Dad said we had too much butter and somewhat 'refused' to buy 4 sticks of unsalted butter I decided to use the butter we had and leave out the 1/4 teaspoon of salt! Worked out just fine! Hope everyone had a nice long weekend! Sorry there isn't a picture...... the family kind of indulged after our burgers & bratwurst.

Ingredients:

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for pan

6 ounces coarsely chopped good-quality semisweet chocolate

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a buttered 8-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper, allowing 2 inches to hang over sides. Butter lining (excluding overhang); set pan aside.

Put butter, chocolate, and cocoa in a heatproof medium bowl set over a pan of simmering water; stir until butter and chocolate are melted. Let cool slightly.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl; set aside.

Put sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat on medium speed until pale, about 4 minutes. Add chocolate mixture; beat until combined. Add flour mixture; beat, scraping down sides of bowl, until well incorporated.

Pour batter into prepared pan; smooth top with a rubber spatula. Bake until a cake tester inserted into brownies (avoid center and edges) comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, about 35 minutes. Let cool slightly in pan, about 15 minutes. Lift out brownies; let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.

28.5.10

answer correctly: win a fresh batch of coconut macaroons!

Coconut oil, in the 1960s was surpassed by what type of oil? It became the worlds leading vegetable oil from then on.

How many people are killed each year by falling coconuts?

GOOD LUCK & no amy you cannot answer!

27.5.10

trivia Q later this evening for coconut macaroons!

first to comment will receive a fresh batch of coconut macaroons. dipped in yummy chocolate or served plain: made to your preference!

26.5.10

snagged a left over bar to photograph!

First picture: The key ingredients, giving the key lime pie/bars the best flavor.
a. I squeezed nearly two bags of Key limes just to make 2/3 cup.
b. Lime zest -- called amount took about 1 1/2 limes, finely grated.


key lime bars: treats for work

Depending on how the day goes, I may or may not have a photo of my key lime bars! I brought them into work this morning... & of course I at one for breakfast (just to make it easier for others to serve themselves!) Wouldn't want it to be a struggle, right?

Christine, here is the recipe! No... It's not a family recipe -- good ole Martha Stewart.

Since I won't be able to photograph them, I'll have to make another batch. Happy Mom and Dad?

Ingredients:
1 cup finely ground graham cracker crumbs
2 1/2 tablespoons finely ground graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 large egg yolks
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest
2/3 cup fresh Key lime juice , (about 23 Key limes total)
1 cup sweetened condensed milk, (14 ounces)
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 Key limes, thinly sliced into half-moons

Directions:
1. Make crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter in a small bowl. Press evenly onto bottom of an 8-inch square glass baking dish. Bake until dry and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.(Leave oven on.)

2. Make filling: Put egg yolks and lime zest in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Mix on high speed until very thick, about 5 minutes. Reduce speed to medium. Add condensed milk in a slow, steady stream, mixing constantly. Raise speed to high; mix until thick, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Add lime juice; mix until just combined.

3. Spread filling evenly over crust using a spatula. Bake, rotatingdish halfway through, until filling is just set, about 10minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Refrigerate atleast 4 hours (or overnight).

4. Cut into 2-by-2-inch bars. Put cream in the clean bowl ofan electric mixer fitted with the clean whisk attachment.Mix on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Garnishbars with whipped cream and a slice of lime. Ungarnishedbars can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 3 days.

22.5.10

stuffed bell peppers: american style


















I made this earlier this week because I wanted to try something different than the usual steak, pork chop, or chicken dish served with a vegetable, etc. It worked out pretty well but to give them more flavor i'd recommend adding italian seasoning to the tomato sauce and ground beef mixture. It needs a bit of spice! Also for some variety I added yellow and red peppers. I have pictured the yellow pepper but the green was my favorite!

Ingredients:
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 medium sweet onion
2 1/2 cups cooked Jasmine white rice
2 medium/large green bell peppers
2 15 oz. cans tomato sauce
8 heaping tablespoons honey

Directions
Prepare Jasmine white rice, fluff, cover and set aside. Dice sweet onion, add to large non-stick saute/frying pan with lean ground beef. Sauté beef and onion until beef is browned. Drain fat, add 2 1/2 cups of Jasmine white rice to browned beef and diced sweet onion; mix.Cut green bell peppers in half, remove caps and seeds; rinse. Pour 1 15 oz. can of tomato sauce into measuring cup and add 4 heaping tablespoons of honey and blend. Pour tomato sauce mixture over beef and rice; mix.Add second 15 oz. can of tomato sauce to measuring cup and add 4 heaping tablespoons honey; blend.Add beef and rice mixture to green bell pepper halves. Arrange in glass casserole dish.Pour tomato sauce mixture over and around stuffed bell peppers.Bake at 350°F for 1 hour. Serve with a crisp cool salad. Serves 4

lemon sour cream pound cake: parent's request




























Lemon Sour Cream Pound Cake:
Ingredients
1/2 pound (two sticks of butter)
3 cups sugar
1 cup sour cream
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
6 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
optional: 1 teaspoon lemon extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cream butter and sugar together; add sour cream. Sift flour and baking soda together. Add to creamed mixture, alternately with eggs, one at a time, beating after each. Add vanilla and lemon extracts. Pour into a greased and floured tube pan and bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Lemon Glaze:
Ingredients
2/3 sifted confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

Put sugar in a small bowl. Add lemon juice and rind. Whisk together until smooth and well blended. (I doubled this recipe!)

Raspberry Puree
I will be sure to add the ingredients and directions for this soon!



12.5.10

simple salad


















A good friend and neighbor, Betty, gave me a book called Lunch in Paris. Within the first few chapters it mentioned "using what you have in the pantry/fridge". Welp, this salad is just that. Although my mom had just gone to the Fresh Market... and has a good eye for salads, among other things.... I used what we had! It was simple and tasty!

Ingredients:
Arugula
1 cucumber
1 tomato
2-3 table spoons of green onion
As much gorgonzola as you like..
1 small package of pine nuts
Olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt & pepper

We enjoyed this salad with a family favorite bratwurst and sauerkraut. One of my favorites...

10.5.10

mother's day on a monday

















VEAL PICCATA
All-purpose flour
1 lb. veal scallops, pounded thin
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tbsp. olive oil1 clo
ve g
arlic, minced
1/2 c. dry white wine1/2 c. chicken broth
3 tbsp. capers
1 lemon, peeled, seeded, diced
2 tbsp. butter2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

Flour veal. Season with salt and pepper. In large skillet, saute veal in oil until lightly browned, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from pan and keep warm. Add garlic and saute briefly. Add wine and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce to 1/3 cup. Stir in capers and lemon. Return to a boil. Swirl in butter and parsley; continue cooking until sauce thickens and turns creamy. Dip veal slices in sauce to coat. Arrange on platter and spoon remaining sauce over veal. Garnish with lemon slices and parsley sprigs, if desired.
Serves 4.

OUR FAMOUS DINNER BREAD DIP
1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
1/8 tsp. onion powder and 1/8 tsp. garlic powder or 2/8 tsp. of either
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. chili powder*
1/4 tsp basil
1/8 tsp ground pepper or paprika
slices of bread (for dipping)

FRESH BERRIES WITH GRAND MARNIER CREAM
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 large egg yolks
1/2 sugar
1/4 Grand Marnier liqueur
Fresh berries
In top of double boiler, scald milk, cream and vanilla. In small bowl, beat egg yolks and sugar until light yellow in color. Add egg mixture to milk mixture very slowly, stirring constantly over low heat until sauce thickens. Stir in liqueur. Pour into a lidded jar and refrigerate. Can be made 1 week in advance. To serve, bring sauce to room temperature and mix with berries.