Sunday, March 20, 2011

Week of March 20 Menu

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Glorious Spring Morels




This month my food tribe is focusing on their favorite spring food or ingredient. I love so many foods associated with spring but my favorite is Morel mushrooms. I don't just love them for their flavor but for the whole experience associated with morels for me. Ever since I was a child my family would venture out into the spring forest and hunt for them, we would spend the day meandering through the forest in search of those beauties pocking up from the earth while the frogs sang their wonderful spring songs.

To this day I always take a few days around my birthday (April 22) to wonder through forests breathing in that wonderful spring air, soaking up the warm spring sun, losing myself in the sound of the spring peepers in search for morels. For me the whole experience with this little mushroom is pure peace and joy.


This is the dish I am going to make this year with my morels, I just love them with cream.


~Pork Loin Chops with Morels in a Thyme Cream Sauce~

4 6oz 1 inch thick boneless pork loin chops
salt
pepper
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 pound fresh Morels, brushed clean of any dirt
2/3 cup white wine
1/2 cup cream
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped

Season the chops with salt and pepper. Heat a good size fry pan, add oil, 1/2 the butter and chops. Cook chops for about 5 minutes. Turn chops and cook over medium low heat for about 8 minutes or until just done through (we like to eat our pork a little closer to medium so I cook them a little less then this) Remove chops and set aside, covered with foil to keep them warm.

Turn the heat under the pan up to medium high heat and add the wine the pan add the wine and cook it down a little. Add the rest of the butter and mushrooms, stir them around a little (about 3 mintes), reduce heat to medium low and then add the thyme and cream, stir a little more then place the chops back into the pan to cook with the sauce for another 2 or 3 munites and serve.

Friday, March 18, 2011

March Spice Rack Challenge - Cardamom

This month Mother from Mother's Kitchen chose cardamom for the spice rack challenge. I love cardamom and thought of several things to make such as granola like this one from 64sqftkitchen that we all love. However, DD and I chose to make gingersnaps which is one of my all time favorite cookies.
Cardamom Gingersnaps
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1/2 cup molasses
1 1/2 cup flour
sugar for topping cookies

Combine sugar, butter ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cayenne, baking soda, sale and vanilla in a large mixing bowl and cream until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat again until fluffy. Blend in molasses then add the flour a little at a time until well blended.

drop a teaspoon full of dough 2" apart onto lightly greased baking sheet and sprinkle sugar on top of each.

Bake in a 350 oven for 15 to 18 minutes until lightly browned on the edges, cool on wire rack.Here is DD making the cookies

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Lunch Pack


On this day I packed DS pita chips, hommus, cucumber,s blackberries and juice while DD got Cheese, salami, crackers, cucumbers, blackberries, blueberries and juice.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Fondant

I love this idea and I think that I will try it out on my Birthday cake next month

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Week of March 13 Menu




  • Ground Turkey Tacos
  • Braised Short ribs with mashed potatoes, cabbage salad, and roasted asparagus
  • Baked Cod with squash and rice.
  • Grilled Shrimp, Brussels sprouts, and pasta**
  • Hot Dogs, salad, and Perigees
  • Chiliquiles

**Note: I made Shrimp pasta with garlic and spinach with a touch of olive oil and pepper flacks

Friday, March 11, 2011

Mac & Cheese In the Oven



My kids love homemade macaroni and Cheese and I love that I can make it a little better for them then the stuff out of the box. The secret to healthying (is that even a word) up this dish is tomato juice, but it does not just add a touch of healthy goodness but it adds a level of rich goodness and well it adds that orange color that, for some reason, kids want.

1 box pasta - I like Barilla plus penne
large post of boiling salted water
2 eggs
1 5.5 oz can V8
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1.5 cups milk
1.5 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
dash of nutmeg
1/4 cup cracker crumbs


Cook the pasta 2 minutes shy of being done. Mean while in a good sized sauce pan over medium heat melt the butter and then add the flour. Cook for 30 seconds to cook the flour taste out of the roux. add in the V8 and the milk, continue to stir the sauce to keep it from burning and getting lumps until it starts to boil. Remove the sauce from the heat and add in 2/3rds of the cheese, sour cream and nutmeg. Mix until all the cheese is melted.

Strain the pasta and stir in 2 beaten eggs then add the sauce and stir until all is well mixed together. Pour the pasta into a baking dish and cover with the remaining cheese and cracker crumbs.

place the mac & cheese in a preheated 400 degree oven and bake until the top is nice a golden anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes.


If you are making this for adults I found that a little hot pepper sauted in the butter before adding the flour adds a wonderful new level to this dish.





Sunday, March 6, 2011

Menu Week of March 6 2011

Part of the reason I started posting a menu was I need it to keep track. I can plan all I want, get all the ingredients for the week but if I do not have a list of what to make I will draw a blank at least one day of that week (anyone that has been pregnant, given birth, stayed at home all day with little kids will know how this could happen). I realized that I have to write a menu down where I will not lose it and where I can find a reference recipe if need be. This is by far the best way to do all of that.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Molassas Glazed Carrots


4 medium to large carrots
1/3 cup broth or water
1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons molassas
salt
pepper
Peel the carrots. cut the carrots about 1/4 inch this on a bias (at an angle). Add the carrots to a pan over medium high heat with the broth (I used chicken with this batch), cover and cook for about 5 minutes or until the carrots are just short of being cooked. Remove lid and let any liquid cook out. Add in the butter, sugar, molassas and seasoning. Stir to coat the carrots as the butter and sugar melts and remove from pan and enjoy with your meal.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Lunch Pack

Today I packed the kids crackers, pepperoni, cheddar cheese, cucumbers, blueberries and chocolate milk.