Tag: anne

Trying to Make Thursday Supper a Thing

Recently I swapped my hours at work on Thursdays to the morning, so I found myself with more time to actually plan and execute a meal, instead of the usual leftovers we tend to have when both my husband and I get home between 5:30 and 6 pm and both feel not especially like cooking.

This week I made pan-seared salmon and broccoli gratin, and I felt weirdly empowered by cooking the salmon myself.  Generally I make the husband grill it.

Anyway!  Recipe links follow with pictures.

I don’t know if you could call it a recipe so much, but this lovely tidbit from Food & Wine made cooking the salmon super easy.

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I put a little bit of the marinade the salmon had been sitting in (just an equal mix of olive oil and lemon juice) in the pan as the oil.  I love my cast iron.  😀

The urge to try broccoli gratin came as I was flipping through my copy of Michael Symon’s 5 in 5 for All Seasons.  There is a recipe for broccoli gratin that sounded good, but I didn’t have some of the ingredients.  The description of the recipe, though, said it was a more gourmet version of regular broccoli gratin, which I proceeded to look up and find an awesome recipe on Food Network’s website that I had everything for and turned out deliciously.

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The breadcrumbs maybe got a little too toasty in the pan before I put them on top, but still great.

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The hubby’s finished plate.  A healthy meal that feels like cheating because, well, cheese.  No need for a starch!  🙂

You can combine with a salad if you’d like…I had a veggie blend after dinner because I forgot, or if you’d like the salmon would be great on top of some couscous or rice.

Happy eating!

 

Deviled Eggs

So, my mom called me yesterday to ask if I would make deviled eggs for my dad’s birthday.  Since this always seems to be the dish I’m most called on to make at or bring to family gatherings, I thought it was a shame I hadn’t shared it on here yet.

As always with anything I post, feel free to make substitutions if you aren’t fond of a particular ingredient.  I’ve never seen our particular family recipe written down anywhere, and I generally do the quantities to taste, but I’ll try to give specifics.  And my mom has Tupperware trays for deviled eggs that hold sixteen halves, so I’m going to give said specifics to make that number.

Ingredients

8 eggs
2-3 heaping tablespoons Miracle Whip (can sub mayonnaise…I’m just not fond of regular mayo myself)
1-2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
paprika
dried parsley

Directions

1.  Hardboil the eggs.  This should take approximately 25-30 minutes.  If you’ve never hardboiled eggs before, use the following link to get this task done: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/how_to_make_perfect_hard_boiled_eggs/

2.  Generally I let the eggs cool in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight, but if you don’t have that time, simply run them under cold water, or stick them in an ice bath.

3.  Peel the eggs.  Discard or compost shells.

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4.  Cut each egg in half, lengthwise.  Pop out the hardboiled yolk into a medium bowl, and reserve the white on your egg plate or tray.

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5.  Once you have all the yolks in the bowl, mash with a fork until the yolks are in small pieces.

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6.  Add the Miracle Whip, and stir until well combined.

7.  Add the pickle relish, and stir until well combined.

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8.  Using a fork or spoon (or if you want to be fancy, a piping bag) divide the filling evenly into the empty whites.

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9.  Top each egg with a dash of paprika, then a couple of pinches of dried parsley.  I usually crush the parsley a bit finer with my fingers, and then put it on the eggs.

10.  Serve!

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Voila!  I would say the whole process, if you have already boiled eggs, usually takes about a half hour from beginning to end.  A bit labor-intensive, but delicious.  My mom passed this version on to me, but you can always make deviled eggs your own with different ingredients and different toppings.

But these are my favorite.  🙂

St. Patrick’s Day food

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but we made a couple of recipes tonight for St. Patrick’s Day that I think are delicious, and will probably be repeated in future.  Enjoy!

Chicken with Bacon, Cabbage, and Cider

This recipe is from the cookbook The Irish Spirit: Recipes Inspired by the Legendary Drinks of Ireland by Margaret M. Johnson.  Recipes based on booze?  This is why I still own this cookbook.  🙂

Ingredients

4 boneless, skinless chicken breastsSalt and pepper
6 slices of bacon, cut into 1/4 inch strips
1/4 cup canola oil
2 small onions, sliced
2 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 cup chicken stock or chicken broth
1/4 cup Irish hard cider
2 cups of shredded cabbage

Directions

Place chicken breasts between two sheets of wax paper and, with a mallet or rolling pin, pound or roll to 1/2 inch thickness.  Season with salt and pepper.

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon for 5 to 7 minutes, or until crisp.  Remove to paper towels to drain.  (Here, we found it helpful to drain some bacon grease.)  Return the skillet to the stove and heat 2 tablespoons of the oil.  Add the chicken and cook 4 to 5 minutes on each side, or until no longer pink in the center.  Remove the chicken from the pan and cover with aluminum foil (the chicken will continue to cook).

In the same skillet over medium heat, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil.  Stir in the onions and garlic and cook, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft but not browned.  Stir in the stock or broth and the cider.  Bring to a boil, then add the cabbage.  Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until cabbage is tender.

With a slotted spoon, transfer the cabbage to a platter and cover with aluminum foil.  Boil the cooking liquid for 4 to 5 minutes, or until reduced by half.

To serve, divide the cabbage among 4 serving plates.  Slice chicken and place on top of the cabbage.  Spoon sauce over the top, sprinkle with reserved bacon.

(We burnt the sauce, and forgot to slice the chicken, but our finished product!)
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Next, dessert!

Guinness Cake with Bailey’s Frosting

So, for the frosting, I just took a regular container of vanilla frosting and mixed in Bailey’s Irish Liquer to taste.  We like things a little boozy, but it’s up to your palate.  The cake recipe which follows is from Betty Crocker.  Theirs is a layer cake with homemade frosting, but I made mine in a bundt cake pan with the frosting method mentioned above, as a way to meld the holiday with my German heritage.  🙂  If you want to homemake the frosting, I’ve included the whole recipe below.

Prep Time 35 min
Total Time 1 hr 50 min
Servings 12

Ingredients

Cake
1 box Betty Crocker™ SuperMoist™ dark chocolate cake mix
1 bottle (12 oz) stout beer
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs

Frosting
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
5 cups powdered sugar

Directions
  • Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottoms and sides of 2 (8-inch) round cake pans with shortening or cooking spray. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the beer for frosting; cover and set aside.
  • In large bowl, beat cake mix, oil, eggs and remaining beer with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, then on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally until smooth. Pour into pans.
  • Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.  (Follow the box directions for what kind of cake pan you’re using, my bundt cake took 45 minutes instead of 35.)

I didn’t do these following steps, aside from frosting and chilling in the fridge.  Do both of these if you want the homemade frosting on a layer cake.

  • In large bowl, beat cream cheese, butter, vanilla and reserved 2 tablespoons beer with electric mixer on low speed until smooth. Gradually beat in powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, until frosting is smooth and spreadable.
  • Cut each cake horizontally in half to make 2 layers. Place 1 layer, cut side up, on serving plate; spread with 1/2 cup frosting. Repeat twice. Place last cake layer, cut side down, on top; spread with 1/2 cup frosting. Frost side of cake with remaining frosting. Store in refrigerator.

I think it turned out well!

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And it’s delicious, even though I don’t have a cake plate.  😀
Sláinte mhaith!  Enjoy the Irish spirit on this St. Patrick’s Day!

Crock Pot Sunday

Being that there was still football this weekend, we decided to stay in and make dinner and dessert in the crock pot.And it was glorious.

Here’s what we made!

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Crock Pot Pork and Beans
(from http://busycooks.about.com/od/porkentreerecipes/r/cpporkbeans.htm)

Prep time: 10 minutesCook time: 8 hours
Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients
6 boneless pork loin chops, trimmed of excess fat
1 onion, chopped
2 large cans of pork and beans
1/3 cup ketchup
3 tbsp of mustard (or more to taste)

Preparation
In a 4 quart crockpot, combine onion, pork and beans, ketchup and mustard and stir to blend.
Add pork chops to crockpot, pushing some down into the bean mixture.
Cover crockpot and cook on low for 8 hours, stirring occasionally, until pork is tender.

We ended up shredding the pork, which made it kind of a stew-like consistency, but it was still delicious.
And I’d recommend putting salt and pepper on each side on the pork chops before they go in the crock pot, to give them a little more flavor.

 

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Old Fashioned Slow Cooker Baked Apples
(from http://www.southernplate.com/2011/09/old-fashioned-slow-cooker-baked-apples.html)

Ingredients
4-5 Apples (whatever will fit in your slow cooker)
1/2 Cup water

For Each Apple you’ll need:
2 Tablespoons Dark Brown sugar
1 Tablespoon dried cranberries or raisins
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon and 1/8 teaspoon allspice (just a smudge of allspice)
1 Tablespoon (or pat) of butter

Instructions

    1. Core each apple and peel a small strip from around the top of each one (about 1 inch). Place in bottom of slow cooker.
    2. Combine brown sugar, spices, and dried cranberries in a small bowl and stir until well combined.
    3. Stuff each apple with filling, all the way to the top, pressing down with your finger to make room for more filling. Top each one with a pat of butter.
    4. Pour water into bottom of slow cooker.
    5. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours or high 3-4 hours, or until tender. Serve on their own or with ice cream. Also great over oatmeal.
We didn’t have cranberries or raisins, but it turned out really well still without them.
And now we’re all super full of delicious, warm football food.  🙂
Try it yourself!

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup Mac n Cheese

I can’t believe I hadn’t posted this recipe yet, because it’s one of the best things I’ve ever made, in my opinion.  Warm and comforting, delicious even on hot days.

I modified the recipe found for Grandpa John’s Mac n Cheese found here.

And a note, this is a double recipe, but it feeds Jeff and I for about 3 days, if that gives you any indication of how quickly the leftovers disappear.

Ingredients

1 lb elbow macaroni
1 package (abt 15 oz) ricotta cheese
10 oz (a bag and a half ) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 (10 oz) cans condensed tomato soup
15 oz (roughly a tomato soup can and a half) milk

Directions

– Preheat oven to 350 degrees- Place ricotta in a large (and I do mean LARGE) mixing bowl
– Cook pasta in boiling salted water for half of the cook time listed on the box (generally around 5 or 6 minutes)
– Drain pasta and pour over ricotta
– Mix together
– Stir in one bag of shredded cheese, followed by the tomato soup and the milk
– Mix until fully incorporated

Now pour the mixture into a 9 x 13 baking dish, and bake for 25 – 30 minutes.  When this time is up, switch the oven to broil, layer some more cheddar cheese on top, and broil for 2-3 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and a little crispy.

Depending on the amount of milk put in, the inside will still be a little liquidy, but it sets up as it cools.
Below is the finished product.
And I’m stuffed.  🙂

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Improvised Turkey Tetrazzini

With the leftover Thanksgiving turkey last week, I wanted to make something quick and easy, since it was on a night Jeff had to eat and run.  I didn’t have everything for a traditional turkey tetrazzini, so I made up a recipe with what I had, and I think it turned out pretty good.  Enjoy!

Ingredients

1/2 box of pasta, any kind (I used penne)

1 cup cooked turkey, cut up or shredded  (you may want to reheat in the microwave to make sure turkey is cooked well)

1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup

about 2/3 cup of milk (enough to make the mushroom soup into a sauce)

1 can peas

about 2 tbsp of grated Parmesan cheese

salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Boil water and cook pasta, taking out one minute before the box directions say to.  The pasta will get finished in the sauce.

In a high sided skillet, combine mushroom soup, milk, and Parmesan cheese.  Stir until the mixture is well combined.  Add turkey, peas, salt, and pepper.  Stir until combined again, keep over low heat.

When the pasta is done, add to sauce.  Combine and cook for approximately 2-3 more minutes.  Serve.

It is a simple recipe, but it’s tasty and filling, and perfect for leftover turkey.

Fried Brussel Sprouts, Chicken Tater Bake, and Baked Mac and Cheese

Three completely unrelated, though delicious, recipes I made on three different nights this past week.

The first one I made as a companion to some chicken and mashed potatoes, liberally stolen again from Michael Symon and The Chew.  I left out the capers, because neither Jeff nor I are fond of them, but you can include them if you’d like.
Michael Symon’s Fried Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts and Capers

Ingredients

canola oil for deep frying
1/4 cup walnut pieces
1/2 Serrano chile, seeded and minced
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 lb Brussel sprouts (trimmed and quartered lengthwise)
1 1/2 tsp honey
1 tbsp capers
1 tbsp olive oil

Directions

1.  Pour enough oil into a medium pot so that the oil comes 3 in. deep up the sides.  Heat the oil to 350 degrees, or until you see the snakey lines.

2.  While the oil is heating, whisk together serrano, honey, red wine vinegar and olive oil in a bowl large enough to toss all the Brussel sprouts.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Keep the bowl near the stove top.

3.  Working in batches, deep-fry the Brussel sprouts until the edges begin to curl and brown, about 3 mins.  Add the walnuts and capers to the last batch.  If using capers, stand back because the capers will pop and sputter.  Give the contents of the pot a stir, remove with a skimmer and place directly into the bowl of dressing.  Toss to coat.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

These are delicious and crunchy!
This picture is what was posted on The Chew’s site… mine didn’t look quite so elegant, but were just as tasty.

Chicken Tater Bake

This is a recipe from Jeff’s Aunt Carol.  It’s extremely easy, but extremely awesome.

Ingredients

1 3-4 lb chicken or 3 boneless chicken breasts
1 32-oz package of tater tots
2 cups Cheddar cheese, shredded
6 tbsp margarine
6 tbsp flour
3 cups milk
1/2 to 1 onion, chopped
1 can cream of chicken soup
Topping
2 cups corn flake crumbs
1/2 cup margarine (or enough to coat crumbs)

Directions

Cook chicken until done.  Remove from bones if using a whole chicken, and cut into bite size pieces.  Grease a 9 x13 pan and place tater tots in bottom of pan.  Cover with chopped chicken.  Sprinkle with cheddar cheese.

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt margarine.  Stir in flour and make a paste.  Add milk, onion and soup.  Stir until thick and pour over cheese layer.  Melt 1/2 cup of margarine, add corn flakes and stir to coat.  Pour over casserole and bake at 350 degrees for one hour or until bubbly.

This last recipe was a variation of baked mac and cheese that I took from Alton Brown, because I needed a quick Sunday lunch before some work.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Ingredients

1/2 lb elbow macaroni
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
1 tbsp powdered mustard
3 cups milk
1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp paprika
1 large egg
12 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
1 tsp salt
pepper
Topping
3 tbsp butter
1 cup panko bread crumbs

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta to al dente.

While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter.  Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for about five mins.  Make sure it’s free of lumps.  Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf, and paprika.  Simmer for ten mins and remove the bay leaf.

Temper in the egg.  Stir in 3/4 of the cheese.  Season with salt and pepper.  Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a 2 quart casserole dish.  Top with remaining cheese.

Melt butter in a saute pan and toss the bread crumbs to coat.  Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs.  Bake for 30 mins.  Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.

Please enjoy these recipes!   …Though not necessarily all together.  🙂