Archive for ‘Cooking’

October 8, 2011

Pinterest – My New Cookbook.

So far, every meal I’ve made from a Pinterest pin has been amazing. Not just “kind of good” or “pretty good” but amazing.  Blame this on the pregnancy hormones if you wish, but even hubs has admitted that the recipes I’ve made from Pinterest have been home runs. 

In the spirit of sharing my culinary discoveries with you, I could just direct you all to my Pinterest page and to the recipes that I’ve made that are “winners.”  But I know you’re busy people, and that’s not a very productive use of your time.  So, I’m going to re-post the recipes here (with a few tweaks made by yours truly) and urge you to make them tonight. 

Well, don’t make all three of them tonight…you might want to space them out a bit.  Enjoy!

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Ham & Cheese Sliders, originally posted by The Girl Who Ate Everything, who adapted it slightly from the Recipe Club.

Feeds 2 people

6 good white dinner rolls  (I used egg dinner rolls from my grocery store’s bakery)
1/2 pound deli honey ham
3 slices Swiss cheese, cut in half
equal parts mayonnaise & miracle whip (I’d be lying if I said I measured)Topping/Sauce (originally this called for poppyseed sauce, but I’m not a huge fan of poppyseeds)

1 1/2 T yellow mustard (again, I didn’t measure…I just eyeballed it)
1/4 stick butter, melted
1 T minced onion (I used Mrs. Dash’s Onion & herb blend)
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce (again, no measuring for me)In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise and miracle whip. Spread onto both sides of the center of each roll. Place a slice of ham and a slice of Swiss inside of each roll. Close rolls and place them into a large baking dish or heavy cookie sheet. Place very close together.  (I used an 8×8 square baking dish and it worked perfectly.)

In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the topping/sauce ingredients. Using a pastry brush, brush topping onto tops of buns. Let sit 10 minutes or until butter sets slightly. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Uncover and cook for 2 additional minutes. Serve warm.

 _  _  _  _ 
Feed 4-6 people, or 2 people with lots of leftovers.  (Also: it freezes/re-heats well!)3 cups chicken stock
2 skinless, chicken breasts
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
2-3 jalapeno peppers, minced – more if you want more spice
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups frozen corn
1/2 cup tomato paste
16 oz pepperjack/Mexican blend cheese

1 cup cilantro, chopped
Tortilla chipsIn a large Dutch oven or stockpot, add chicken stock and heat over medium heat. Add chicken breasts, cumin, chili powder, and cayenne pepper. Simmer about 20-25 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken and set aside. Add tomatoes, jalapenos, bell pepper, onion, and garlic to the pot. Simmer 20-30 minutes, covered until tomatoes have begun to break down. Add black beans, corn, and tomato paste and stir to incorporate. Add half of the pepperjack cheese and stir to melt. Return chicken to soup and cook 10- 20 more minutes until desired consistency. 

Add cilantro, reserving some to top individual bowls. Ladle into serving bowls and top with crushed tortilla chips, reserved cheese and cilantro if desired.
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Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches, originally posted by The Country Cook
Feeds 4 people, or 2 people with leftovers.
3 lb. Beef Round Steak (I used a 3 pound beef roast)
1 packet Onion Soup Mix
1 packet Au Jus Seasoning
1 (15 oz) can of Beef Broth or Stock (I used a carton of beef stock and had leftovers)
½ cup water
4 slices mozzarella cheese
4 Sub rolls (I used sub rolls from my grocery store’s bakery)

Put beef roast in slow cooker. In a medium bowl, combine Beef broth, Onion soup mix, Au Jus seasoning and water and stir until combined. Pour mixture over beef, put cover on slow cooker and cook on low for about 8 hours. An hour before serving, shred meat with two forks or take it out and slice thinly (mine was too well-done to slice thinly, so I shredded it).  Place shredded meat back in the slow cooker for another hour.

When ready to serve, butter both sides of your sub roll.  Using tongs, pile beef on one side of roll, adding sliced mozzarella cheese on top.  Leave the sub roll open so it can get nice & toasty on the other side.  Place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes until cheese is melted/bubbly.  Serve sandwich with a bit of Au Jus from the slow cooker (you may want to strain it first). If you need more Au Jus, add a bit more beef stock. 
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Have you seen any good recipes lately on Pinterest?  If so, what are your favorites?

March 11, 2011

Soup-er Easy Soup.

See what I did there?  Ha.

Okay, so I’m just going to put this out there right now — this isn’t a Julia Child recipe.  This isn’t an America’s Test Kitchen recipe.  This isn’t even a Betty Crocker cookbook recipe.  Actually I even hesitate to call it a recipe because I threw it together one night when the cupboards were almost empty and hubs was grumbling and talking about going to Taco Bell.    It’s not gourmet…and in fact, it’s the exact opposite of gourmet.  It’s simple, it’s cheap, and it’s easy (…and just typing those words made me think that I could also be talking about a “lady of the evening”  but rest assured!  I am not.)

So, like I said…I threw this together one night and crossed my fingers that it would turn out.  Luckily, it did…and afterward, hubs requested that I make it again the following week.   And who am I to deny him his culinary desires (that just so happen to be one of the easiest things ever to make)?  

I made it again on Sunday and paired it with a recipe I saw for beer bread in our paper.   We heart carbs, evidently.  The beer bread turned out a bit, well, ugly…but it tasted fantastic!  It was super easy (one bowl and no yeast!) and I used a light beer, but I think next time I’m going to use a stout and see how it looks/tastes. 

Tomato Soup with Sausage and Macaroni

2 cans Campbell’s condensed tomato soup (see?  I told you it wasn’t gourmet.)
4 soup cans full of water (such an exact measurement, I know.)
2-3 links of turkey sausage (or more if it makes you feel better)
1 cup elbow macaroni
olive oil
red pepper flakes
italian seasoning

Drizzle olive oil in the bottom of a stock pot.  When hot, add sausage and brown while breaking it up into bite-size pieces.  When sausage is cooked through, add in 2 cans of tomato soup,  4 soup cans of water, and elbow macaroni.  Add in red pepper flakes and italian seasoning to taste.  Boil for 10 minutes, or until macaroni noodles are cooked through and soup has reduced a bit.  Serve.

Beer Bread

3 1/2 cups flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespooon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
12 ounces beer
1 egg, beaten (for a wash)

Heat oven to 375 and adjust oven rack to a lower-middle position.  Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl with a fork.  Slowly add beer and stir with fork until just combined.  Turn out onto floured surface and knead lightly to form a ball.  Place bread on a baking sheet (I used my silpat to keep it from sticking!) and slit an x on top with a serrated knife.  Brush with egg wash and bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown.   Serve while still slightly warm from the oven.

Like I said, it’s a bit carb-heavy and definitely not gourmet…but it’s the perfect comfort food for what seems to be this neverending winter.  Enjoy!

December 29, 2010

Pain Perdu.

That’s what the French call “French toast.”  Technically, it means “lost bread” — the French call it that because traditionally it was made with stale bread that you would otherwise throw away. 

History lesson over. 

The French toast I posted about yesterday was super easy to make – you put it together the night before, refrigerate, and then bake it the next day!   I mean, honestly…who wants to be slaving away over the stove when there’s mimosas to be enjoyed?  Not me.  In case anyone wants to make one of these for New Year’s, I’m posting both of the recipes here.  Hubs and I liked both, but — surprise, surprise — Paula Deen’s recipe was favored by both of us.    

Overnight Stuffed French Toast (adapted from a Kraft recipe)

1 8 oz. package 1/3 less fat (Neufchatel) Cream Cheese
4 Tbsp.  sugar  (The original recipe calls for 3 Tbsp, which seemed a little skimpy to me.  If I’m being honest, I added about 5 Tbsp. because I have a problem with sugar.)
8 slices cinnamon-swirl bread
4   eggs
1/2 cup milk (I used skim….you know, to be “healthy” and offset all of the sugar.)

2 cups  sliced fresh strawberries
1 cup blueberries

Mix reduced-fat cream cheese and sugar until well blended; spread onto 4 bread slices. Place 4 bread slices, cream cheese-sides up, in 8-inch square baking dish generously sprayed with cooking spray. Spread another 4 bread slices with cream cheese mixture, cover original bread slices cream cheese-sides down in baking dish, making little “sandwiches”. 

Whisk eggs and milk until well blended; pour over bread. Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight.

The next morning, heat oven to 350 degrees. Bake, uncovered, 35 to 40 min. or until center is set and top is lightly browned. Serve topped with strawberries & blueberries or maple syrup.   ** Note:  his recipe says that it will feed 6-8.  Hubs and I ate 1 1/2 of the “sandwiches” each…leaving 1 “sandwich” untouched.  We’re probably big eaters…but you might want to double this if feeding a few more people. **


Baked French Toast Casserole with Maple Syrup (Be forewarned: it’s Paula Deen recipe, so you know it’s really good but not the most healthy.)

** Note: The original recipe posted below serves 6-8 adults.  I cut the whole recipe in half and baked it in an 8×8 baking dish for the same amount of time, and it was perfect. **

1 loaf French bread (13 to 16 ounces)
8 large eggs
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Dash salt

Praline Topping:
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans (I used walnuts and it was delish!)
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Slice French bread into 20 slices, 1-inch each. Arrange slices in a generously buttered 9 by 13-inch flat baking dish in 2 rows, overlapping the slices. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, half-and-half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and beat with a rotary beater or whisk until blended but not too bubbly. Pour mixture over the bread slices, making sure all are covered evenly with the milk-egg mixture. Spoon some of the mixture in between the slices. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

 The next day, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Make Praline Topping by combining all of the topping ingredients in a medium bowl and blendingwell. Spread Praline Topping evenly over the bread and bake for 40 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden. Serve with maple syrup.  ** Note: I put the maple syrup on the table, but the sugary praline topping was more than enough “sweetness” for even my sweet tooth.  We didn’t use it! **




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