Monday, December 31, 2007

Hash and Eggs - My Last Post of 2007

A few weeks ago I make a really good Pot Roast. The next day I made Hash out of the left over Pot Roast and it was a pleasant surprise and the eggs and biscuits that I make with it turned out super too.

You will need

left over pot roast
*4 large baking potatoes
1 medium onion
1 clover of minced garlic
2 T olive oil, more if needed
Rosemary (it was setting next to the stove so I threw it in)

wash the potatoes and cube them into about 1/2 inch cube and place in a heated Cast iron skillet with the oil. Dice the onion and add that to the skillet and cook (stirring occasionally) until the onion starts to caramelize and the potatoes are browned on all sides. Dice the Pot roast and add to the pan with the garlic and seasonings, cook for about 3 more minutes until everything is heated through.

I served this with Fried eggs and biscuits. Very unhealthy meal but it tasted good and used up the leftovers.

*If using the potatoes from the roast add them with the meat after the onions have caramelized

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Teacakes, Not Just My Mothers Cookie Anymore

My mother loved these cookies and every Christmas she would make them for herself. She made them for herself because no one else really would eat them. My Brothers sister and I always wanted the sugar cookies covered in frosting, I mean what was better then frosting, definitely not powdered sugar. Something happened over the years and now I love teacakes. I have to have them for the holidays and have them we did, about 100 cookies later we finally had enough, and every one of the teacakes has been eaten.
~Guess what the kids liked these more then the sugar cookies~

This is a well known, general recipe that is in many cookbooks so I can not claim this one for my own, but it is still worth sharing.

1 Cup Room Temperature Butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cup flour (I wonder how these would be if I used Cake flour? Guess I will have to try it next year)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup toasted, chopped pecan
Powdered Sugar for dusting

In a large bowl, cream butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Sift in flour and salt; stir until well mixed. Mix in nuts. Refrigerate 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Place onto cookie sheets. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until set but not brown. Remove from oven and cool slightly on wire racks. While cookies are baking place the powdered sugar in a shallow dish. Roll the warm cookies in the powdered sugar, let them cool and roll in sugar again.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Why there are very few photos of me

My Daughter and I were going to go to the Nutcracker together a few weeks before Christmas and I asked my Hubby to take some photos of us. This Photo is one of the better ones. I do not understand how a person can take 32 photos of something and have this as one of the better pictures. This is why there are next to no pictures of me and the ones I do have my Daughter took of me when she was 3. I am not lying people my 3 year old daughter can take better pictures than my 30 year old husband.

I have to say I am really bummed that the photos of DD and I are so bad.

Menu for week 12/28/07

  • Breaded Venison Steak with mashed potatoes and spinach
  • Sesame Crusted Tuna with brown rice and sauteed Zucchini (with mushroom and garlic, maybe)
  • Homemade Pizza
  • Pork and cabbage stir-fry on brown Rice
  • Lasagna
  • Chicken Noodle Soup

Saturday, December 22, 2007

No Yule Logs in my Fire :(

I am sorry to say that I was unable to participate in the Daring Baker Challage this month. The kids and I may try to do it later this week because this is a fun one for kids; however, it is just too much to try to do before Christmas.

If you would like to see Yule Logs by Daring Baker who were better at manageing their time please choose for this list. They did a great job!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Sausage Lasagna

Ok so this one is not that healthy but sometimes one just has to splurge and this is a splurge.

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

2 pounds Italian sausage

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 small can tomato paste

1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes

2 Tablespoons butter

2 Tablespoons flour

1 cup milk

pinch nutmeg

1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated

1 cup smoked cheese, grated (almost any smoked cheese will work, I use a Colby jack)

Lasagna noodles (this one I made my own, it is worth it because homemade is richer)

In a Large sauce pan, over medium heat, add oil and chopped onion and saute for about 5 minutes. Add in the pork and brown, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook for a few more minutes, scoop in the past and stir it into the meat and let it darken just a little. Add in the tomatoes and simmer the sauce on low while making the B├ęchamel

In another pan met butter, add flour and cook until it smells nutty. Add milk and cook until it comes to a boil and think. Remove from heat and add nutmeg.

Preheat oven to 375F

Layer: place a small amount of sauce in bottom of a baking dish to keep pasta from sticking then layer uncooked noodles, meat sauce, B├ęchamel , cheese and keep this order until pan is full or all the elements are gone ending with cheese. Bake for about 1 hour. if lasagna gets dry add a little milk. If using wheat noodles precook the noodles.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Plan, Plan, Plan, and then Plan some more Plus my first food blog

Last year was my best holiday baking year ever. I went through numerous books, magazines, and websites. I decided to make stuffed dates, biscottis, fruitcake and many different kinds of cookies. Now that I knew what I wanted to make I looked at recipe after recipe and carefully made my grocery list. Spent days shopping at at least a dozen stores to gather all that I would need, the whole ordeal took at least a week but when I started baking I had the best ever tangerine cranberry biscotti, homemade sugared ginger, great nut filled dates, and fruitcake like my mom used to make. I mean everything that I tried was so much better then I imagined it would be. I was feeling really good about myself!

Through all of my holiday baking planning I came across my first food blog. What was this I asked, why would anyone what to do this, what was that draw. I read a few but moved on to my baking. As time past and my new experiments in baking turning out so WONDERFUL I started thinking that I should be logging this someplace.

I never did log any of my recipes last year and now I am kicking myself in the butt because I did not start food blogging until March and by then my Holiday baking success were long forgotten and lost forever.

This year I got a little cocky and did not plan well and so far my fruitcake is wet and heavy, several biscotti recipes later I am still not happy with the end result, I have cookie dough setting in the fridge just waiting for me to get my poop in a group and Dates are just not gonna happen this year, not to mention the Daring Bake Challenge that is still hanging over my head. AAAAAAHHHHHHHH! HELP I AM FRYING IN THE KITCHEN THIS MONTH. All this because I failed to set down and plan! I did not plan what I was going to make and I did not read hundreds of recipes to figure out just the right few that would be perfect. I decided to wing it and look I have nothing to show for it.

The moral of the story is: Never get too confident from past succeses, planning is still needed.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Going to Get the Tree

Every Year we get our Christmas tree from a Christmas Tree Farm just south of Grant Michigan on Thanksgiving weekend. However, this year I was not able to go to Newaygo for out family Thanksgiving; therefore, we did not get our tree.

Today the kids and I went to a Tree farm in Ann Arbor called Braun's to get our tree. We wanted to get a beautiful Serbian Spruce but they were just too big so the kids picked out a 6 foot blue Spruce that will fit in our home perfectly and deliver and wonderful pine scent throughout the house. I was going to take pictures but got about a quarter a mile out into the fields with the kids and realized I left the camera in the car, I did not go back for it.

Menu 12/14/01-12/20/07

Planning a menu this week was very hard. I am sick and nothing sounds good and when food is unappetising menu planning is impossible; therefore, I only have a few things and they are not ver imaginative.

Pork roast with mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes and cucumber salad
Zesty wheat berry chili from Deb's Blog, if I can find wheat berries
Navy bean soup with cornbread
chicken Parmesan on spaghetti squash from working woman food
Burgers with fries and steamed broccoli and cauliflower

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Pot Roast

I like meat. I don't need a 10oz steak or a 1 pound chicken breast but 3 or 4 ounces is just right and Beef Roast has to be one of my favorites and this weeks roast was my best roast ever. I seasoned it with salt and pepper, browned it in some oil. I then put it in the oven and covered it with my leftover onion soup, covered and cooked in a 350F oven for about an our and then added the potatoes, carrots, some worcestershire sauce and a few tablespoons of wine and continued to roast until the vegetables were tender. The onion soup made the whole dish just WONDERFUL, thank goodness because the soup itself was too sweet for my taste.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Mother in Law Curry Chicken

This dish comes from my Mother-in-law and it is one of our family favorites, as a matter of fact this is what we had for dinner the night I brought my daughter home from the hospital. The dish can be spicy, as it was that night, and for the next day every time my daughter nursed she would scream and cry, I am guessing the milk was a little spicy but to this day she likes curry, just as long as it is not too spicy.

1 whole chicken cut into 9 pieces (2 breasts halved, 2 legs, 2 thighs, and the back)

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cup flour

Salt, pepper, paprika, and curry

put flour and spices in a shallow bowl. Heat the oil in a deep pan. Dredge chicken in flour mixture and fry in oil until all sides are golden brown (add more oil if needed). Remove browned chicken and place on a platter and set aside.

1 onion, chopped

2 stalk celery, chopped

2 medium carrots, chopped

2 Tablespoons mild Curry

2 Tablespoons Paprika

cayenne pepper to taste.

salt and pepper

chicken stock or water

1 cup frozen Corn

in the oil that the chicken was fried in cook the spices to release the flavors. add in the onion, carrot and celery and cook for a few minutes. Add in the stock and the chicken that was set aside. cover and cook until the chicken is done and almost falling off the bone. Add in the corn and heat through. Serve on Rice.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Menu for week 12/7/07-12/13/07

Pot Roast with carrots potatoes and biscuits
Hash made from leftover pot roast
French onion soup
mixed vegetable cheese soup (DD's choice)
Salmon with pesto a veggie and a grain.

out one night and leftovers another.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Berry Birthday Cake with Beautiful Blossoms

DD had picked 2 lollipop cakes for her birthday. Cupcakes to share at school and a cake covered in lollipop flowers for on her birthday to have with family and friends. This is the Story of the lollipop flower cake.

It is so cool when you start to make a cake , get out the pans and my 4 year old daughter pops up on the chair and says "I will butter the pans", only a child that cooks can do that.

DD chose a berry cake for this cake, I am sure she was thinking that carrot cake did not sound all that good. The cake is one that is in my William-Sonoma Outdoors cookbook, and one of my favorites books, and it is called mixed berry bundt cake.

5 eggs
1 2/3 cups sugar
1 1/4 cuos unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 Tablespoons fruit Liqueur
2 1/2 cups all-pourpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups raspberries
1 1/2 cups blueberries

Preheat oven to 325F. Butter and flour a 9" bundt pan.
In a large bowl, blend the eggs and sugar using an electric mixer. Add the butter and liqueur and beat until fluffy. Add all but 2 Tablespoons of the flour, the baking powder and the salt, beat until well incorporated and no lumps remain.

In a another bowl, combine the berries and the reserved 2 tablespoons of four. Toss to coat the berries evenly with the flour. Gently fold the berries into the batter.

pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a wooden skewer inserted comes out clean, about 60 minutes. Remove for the oven and let cool in the pan for about 30 minutes. Unmold the cake to cool completely.

I baked the cake in 2 9" cake pans instead of a bundt pan to make a layer cake.

I then frosted the cake with cream cheese frosting tinted green with cooked spinach.

2.5 sticks butter at room temperature
24 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar
1 bunch cooked spinach that has been pureed in the.

In a large mixing bowl add the butter and cream sugar and blend until combined and light and fluffy. add the vanilla, sugar and enough spinach to give the green color you like. Mix well and set aside.

I put the cake together using Martha's directions Here using lollipops and suckers as flower blossoms.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Lollipops Melt

My Daughter turned 4 on Monday and to celebrate her coming of age at school last Friday we took cupcakes to share with the class. DD picked lollipop cupcakes that we found on the Martha Stewart website and she wanted them to be tangerine flavored.

I found this lemon cake recipe in the Martha Stewart site and replaced anything lemon with tangerine...

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
3 cups cake flour (not self-rising), sifted, plus more for pans
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Zest of 2 lemons
1 cup buttermilk

I thought that this would be a nice rich cake with buttermilk and 5 eggs but it was just a very eggy cake with a sticky texture and heavy. How disappointing.

For the Frosting I went with the 7 minute Jello Frosting and used orange Jello, the closest I could find to tangerine...

31/2 tbsp. Jello (any flavour)

1/2 cup hot water1

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 egg whites unbeaten

dash of salt

Dissolve Jello in water in top of double boiler. Add sugar, egg whites and salt. Beat mixture for about one minute with rotary or electric beater until well mixed. Place over rapidly boiling water. Beat constantly about 7 minutes or until frosting stands up in peaks. Transfer to another bowl and beat about one minutes or until thick enough to spread.

I the frosting was ok, I make this every march for my Mother's Lemon chiffon cake. but it did not set up as fast I needed for this application.

Finding lollipops like in the picture on Martha's website was impossible (you know how kids are, it has to look the same) so I got the lollipops that are in the picture. They worked ok but they were not as pretty.

Thursday DD and I went to work and made our eggy cake, and runny frosting and stuck the lollipops in the cakes and wrapped them up so that they were all ready to take to school on Friday. Did you know that lollipops melt when enclosed with moist cake, I didn't. So the ugly green in the lollipops melted all over the lollipops making the sugar sprinkles on the frosting to me a slimy green mass/mess what ever one would cal it.

DD's teacher was so nice and said that the cupcakes were wonderful, she is such a sweetheart.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Indian Relish for Dinner

This Dish is so easy, one of the few that is made with almost all canned items and I love it.

This is what you need...

2 T. olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 T. Mild Curry
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 Jar Indian Relish from Trader Joe's
2 cups to a whole head of cauliflower florets
1 can chickpeas, rinsed
salt and pepper

(in the photo I also had added browned chicken thighs; however, I found that this dish does not need meat)

slowly Caramelize the the onion, with the oil, in a nonreactive skillet, it will take about 20 minutes.
Add the garlic and curry and cook for a few more minutes.
Add in the tomatoes and Indian Relish and cauliflower and cook for about 5 minutes.
Add the remaining ingredients and continue cooking until the the cauliflower in tender, about another 10 minutes.
Serve with rice.