Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
crockpot country chicken stew
citrus chicken fajitas, black beans
pan roasted lemon-thyme chicken, mashed potatoes, broccoli
easiest ever carbonara, green beans
minestrone soup, mozzarella basil bread
pepperoni pizza with perfect pizza dough, salad
out for a holiday party

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Steak and Spaetzle

I made Spaetzle for the first time since my cooking class at Sur la Table years ago. I had been watching Secrets of a Restaurant Chef, which I love, and she inspired me to give it a try at home. The result is a very warm, earthy side dish. That being said, the clean up was not so fun at all. The dough is quite sticky and hardens because the pan gets so hot. I am not sure I will make it again, mainly because C said it was “too doughy” and “too mushroomy”. I used flat leaf parsley and thyme.

I served it with a pan seared NY Strip, just brushed it with some olive oil and sprinkled with some salt and pepper, seared both sides, finishing in the oven.


Fresh Herb Spaetzle

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 large eggs
3/4 cup whole milk
8 teaspoons minced assorted fresh herbs (such as parsley, thyme, rosemary, and chives), divided

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, divided
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
8 ounces mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 medium shallot, chopped

Blend flour, salt, pepper, and nutmeg in large bowl. Whisk in eggs and milk, forming soft batter. Mix in half of herbs.

Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Butter large bowl. Working with 1/3 cup batter at a time and using rubber spatula, press batter directly into boiling water through 1/4-inch holes on coarse grater, strainer, or wide ladle. Stir spaetzle to separate and boil 2 minutes. Using fine sieve, scoop spaetzle from pot, drain well, and transfer to buttered bowl. (Can be prepared 3 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.)

Melt 2 tablespoons butter with 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms; sauté until beginning to soften, about 4 minutes. Add shallot; sauté until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon oil, and spaetzle. Sauté until spaetzle begin to brown, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Mix in remaining herbs; season with salt and pepper.
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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Salmon with Champagne Cream Sauce, Mom's Roasted Dill Potatoes

I had opened a bottle of champagne and only drank about one glass worth, so I decided to look for a recipe using champagne. Champagne, butter and cream = heaven. I adapted this recipe from one of Emeril's and it doesn't disappoint one bit. I will make it again for sure, but if I use salmon, I will roast it or pan sear it, rather than poaching it. Poaching makes the salmon rather flavorless in my opinion, no matter how flavorful the poaching liquid is. I didn't bother straining the sauce. I will make it again for sure. It would be great with shrimp and pasta or maybe even a lobster ravioli. In order for C to eat it, maybe I will try a chicken and spinach ravioli with it. No matter what, I will make it again for sure!

My mom has been making these potatoes for years. They are really easy and always turn out great. You can mix up the herbs, seasonings and even add cheese.

Champagne Poached Salmon

1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 cups Brut Champagne
1/8 cup shallots
3 sprigs fresh dill
1 tablespoons minced fresh dill
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 (6-ounce) salmon fillets, skin removed
Champagne Cream Sauce, recipe follows

Grease a 2-quart straight-sided saute pan with the butter. Add the Champagne, shallots, dill sprigs, chopped dill, and salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Gently simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the fish to the pan and spoon the poaching liquid over them. Cook uncovered until the salmon is firm and cooked through, about 10 minutes. (If the poaching liquid does not cover the fish, spoon the liquid over the fillets as they cook.)

Using a slotted spatula, remove the fillets from the pan and blot excess liquid with a paper towel. Serve with the Champagne Cream Sauce.

Champagne Cream Sauce

1/4 cup chopped shallots
1/2 cup Champagne
3/4 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Champagne vinegar

In a saucepan, combine the shallots and Champagne. Bring to a boil and cook until almost all liquid evaporates, about 6 minutes.

Add the heavy cream, bring to a boil and simmer until cream thickens and coats the back of a spoon, and is reduced by nearly 50 percent in volume, about 3 minutes.

Whisk in the butter until smooth and strain the sauce through a fine mesh strainer, pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Season, to taste, with salt, pepper, and vinegar and serve immediately over fish or shellfish.

Note: If sauce is made in advance, keep warm in a bain marie over barely simmering water.

Roasted Dill Potatoes

2 tablespoons butter
8 to 10 red potatoes, cut into eighths
1 tablespoon fresh dill, minced

Preheat oven to 425. Add butter in a glass gratin pan. Melt butter in the oven. Toss the potatoes in the melted butter and dill. Salt and pepper to taste. Roast potatoes for 35 to 40 minutes.
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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Artichoke Chicken Pasta

This is one of my favorite recipes. I love artichokes. My favorite way to eat them is steamed and dipped in butter, but canned artichokes work for me as well. Not as tasty as the steamed fresh ones, I could eat those everyday. The is basically a spin on Chicken Piccata. It has the same lemony and capery flavors, just with tomatoes and artichokes, with the usual mushrooms. Fresh lemon is key. I have made it before with bottled lemon juice and the flavor pop was totally missing. If you have fresh flat leaf parsely around, that is nice sprinkled on top as well.





Artichoke Chicken Pasta

4 chicken breasts
1/4 cup flour

1 tbsp evoo
1 tbsp butter

1/2 package of button mushrooms, sliced
1 can small artichoke hearts, drained
2 tomatoes, cut into small chunks
1 can chicken broth
1 cup white wine
1 tbsp capers
2 small or 1 large lemon
1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp water
2 tbsp butter

1 lb of pasta (I used linguine) cooked and drained

Pound out chicken breasts between two pieces of wax paper. Dredge the breasts in flour seasoned with salt and pepper. Heat oil and 1 tbsp butter over med-high heat. Saute chicken until the flour browns. Remove chicken from pan, cover chicken (I put it in a 250 degree oven). Remove pan from heat and add the wine to deglaze the pan. Add the chicken broth, the juice of the lemon, salt and pepper to taste and bring it back up to a boil. Add the mushrooms and capers cook for about 5 minutes. Make a slurry with the cornstarch and water. Add the slurry to the pan and bring back to a boil, stirring until the mixture thickens. Add the artichokes and tomatoes and toss to coat. Add the remaining butter and stir until it melts. Toss the pasta with the sauce.

Plate the pasta and top each with a pounded out chicken breast.
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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Big, Fat, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

I discovered this recipe a couple years back on AllRecipes. I love chewy chocolate chip cookies, the kind you get from the stands in the mall are my absolute favorite. I remember the cookie shop at the mall I worked at had 1/2 price cookies around closing time. So yummy.

These cookies are big. And therefore the recipe doesn't make too many cookies. This is a good thing though, cookies (especially chocolate chip cookies) are best the fresher they are. I store them with a slice of bread, which does extend their staying power.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper. (I use a Silpat)

Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.

In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon. Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.

Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Barbecue Chicken, Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Broccoli

I had tons of leftover barbecue sauce from the ribs we made this past weekend. I decided to grill some chicken leg quarters in honor of it getting as hot as summer around here. I made some easy steamed broccoli and creamy garlic mashed potatoes. I am so glad the weather is getting warm, perfect for grilling. Even though the charcoal grill is a pain sometimes, the flavor is so superior to food cooked on a gas grill.







Grilled Chicken Leg Quarters

1 cup of barbecue sauce
4 chicken leg quarters

Heat coals in grill. Reserve 1/3 cup sauce to serve with the chicken. Add chicken, making sure not to place it directly over the coals in order to avoid flare ups. Baste the chicken with 1/4 cup of the barbecue sauce. Grill for 45 minutes, turning and basting every 15 minutes. Serve with reserved sauce.

Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes

7 to 10 red new potatoes, quartered
1/4 cup cream
2 tablespoons butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt
pepper

Place potatoes in large saucepan. Fill pan with enough water to cover potatoes, salt the water liberally. Boil potatoes, approximately 20-25 minutes, until fork tender. Combine cream, butter and garlic in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to low. Simmer on very low heat while potatoes cook. Drain potatoes and mash with a hand masher. Stir in cream mixture and season to taste with salt and pepper.
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Monday, April 20, 2009

Barbecue Beef Ribs and Grilled Corn

Beef ribs were on sale this week, so I decided to try them for the first time. They were tasty, but I much prefer pork ribs. C did all the hard work, tending to the fire on the Weber. I just made the sauce and soaked the corn. They were very flavorful, just not as tender as the pork variety I am used to. My barbecue sauce recipe is really never the same twice. It is always a combination of what I have in the pantry and what I am in the mood for.







Barebecue Beef Ribs

1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Combine all spices together. Pat the dry rub all over the ribs. Cook over a low fire (indirect heat on the grill) for 3.5 to 4 hours. Baste with barbecue sauce for the last 30 minutes of cooking

Barbecue Sauce

1 1/2 cups ketchup
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon Worcestire sauce
1 teaspoon dried mustard
1 tablespoon mustard
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
several dashes of hot sauce

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes, until sauce reaches desired consistency.

Grilled Corn

Remove all but one layer of the corn husk. Soak the corn in water for at least 30 minutes prior to grilling. Grill over hot coals for 20 to 30 minutes. Enjoy!
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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Strawberry Pancakes

Can you tell strawberries were on sale this week for 97 cents?!?! I think we have had them for breakfast three weeks in a row. Strawberry pancakes are my absolute favorite. I use the standard recipe in my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook and add either strawberries, blueberries or chocolate chips to them. I rarely make a plain pancake. That is just not as tasty.

The recipe says to sift all the ingredients and have wet and dry ingredients in separate bowls, I don't bother with that because in the morning, I am too lazy. Plus, it is only pancakes...




Strawberry Pancakes

1 egg, slightly beaten
2 tablespoons of oil
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch salt
1 pint strawberries, chopped

Heat griddle to 350. Lightly coat with shortening.

Mix all ingredients together except strawberries. Stir to combine, batter will be lumpy. Fold in strawberries. Scoop pancakes by the ladle full onto the griddle. Turn once they bubble all over. Serve warm with syrup.
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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Baked Ziti


Tonight I made baked ziti to take to a friend who recently had twins. I have been making this ever since college, it is comfort food to me.











Baked Ziti


1/2 lb ziti, cooked and drained
28 ounce can whole tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
1/4 cup onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lb spicy italian sausage
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons basil
1 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/3 cup red wine
1.5 cups shredded mozzerella cheese

Saute onion and sausage in olive oil over medium high heat until sausage is cooked through. Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds more. Add tomatoes, wine, brown sugar and tomato paste, stir to break up tomatoes. Add basil and oregano, salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup of the mozzerella cheese and pasta. Pour mixture into a greased 9x9 pan. Sprinkle remaining cheese over top. Cook covered at 350 for 30 minutes, uncover and cook 5 to 10 minutes more, until cheese is brown and bubbly.
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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter Dinner

I went very simple this Easter since it was a meal for only three people. I found an easy and great recipe from Epicurious for a ham shank. I went with the holiday standard Potatoes Dauphinois and steamed green beans. I didn't bother premaking the potatoes, I just served them straight from the gratin dish, not as fancy, but just as tasty.








Balsamic and Dijon Glazed Ham

1/2 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 8- to 10-pound half ham shank, fully cooked, fat trimmed to 1/2-inch thickness

Preheat oven to 325°F. Combine sugar, vinegar, and mustard in bowl for glaze.

Line large roasting pan with foil. Making 1/2-inch-deep slits, score ham with diamond pattern. Place ham in pan and roast ~ 2 hours.

Baste ham with some of glaze. Continue to roast ham until deep brown and glazed, brushing ham with glaze every 10 minutes, about 30 minutes longer. Transfer ham to large platter, slice and serve.

Potatoes Dauphinois

1 ½ cups whipping cream
1 cup milk
½ teaspoon each: dried thyme, salt and pepper
5 russet potatoes, peeled
1 sweet potato, peeled (can sub russet potato)
3 cloves garlic minced

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Combine cream, milk, thyme, salt and pepper in a large pot. Cut russet potatoes and sweet potato into 1/8 inch slices, dropping them into the cream mixture as they are sliced. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are evenly coated and cream mixture thickens, about 10 minutes.

Sprinkle garlic over the bottom of an 8 inch square buttered baking pan. Transfer potatoes into pan in layers, placing sweet potatoes in center layers. Pour remaining cream mixture over. Bake until potatoes are golden brown and tender, about 30 minutes. Cool about 1 hour. Cover, refrigerate until firm, at least 8 hours.

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut potatoes into rounds with 3 inch ring molds (or cut into triangles). Bake on a parchment lined baking sheet until they begin to bubble, about 10 minutes.
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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Stir Fry

My go to end of the week meal is usually stir fry of some sort. You can chop up all the leftover veggies from the week, add some chicken or beef, and you are set. I took a great cooking class at Sur la Table taught by Dorothy Huang. She taught us two stir fry recipes that I use all the time.

This evening I used chicken instead of beef, so I marinated only about 15 minutes or so. I also added onions, green peppers and mushrooms.





Stir-Fried Beef with Broccoli
by Dorothy Huang

(Serves 4)

1/2 pound flank steak

Marinade for beef:
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon dry sherry
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon oil

1 pound fresh broccoli

Seasoning sauce:
1 teaspoon cornstarch
6 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons oyster sauce

4 tablespoons cooking oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 slices ginger, shredded
1 tablespoon chopped garlic

Cut flank steak lengthwise into strips 1 1/2 inches wide; then cut across the grain into 1/8 inch slices. Transfer steak to a mixing bowl. Add marinade ingredients and toss to coat thoroughly. Let stand for 30 minutes or longer.

Wash and drain broccoli. Peel tough skin from the bottom of the stems with a paring knife. Slice stem sections diagonally into 1/4 inch slices. Cut the florets into bite-sized pieces.

Mix ingredients for seasoning sauce in a small bowl.

In a wok heat 2 tablespoons oil over high heat, add broccoli and ¼ teaspoon salt. Stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove to a plate.

Wipe wok with paper towels. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in the wok. When hot, add ginger and garlic; after a few seconds, add beef mixture. Stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes.

Return broccoli to the wok. Pour in the seasoning sauce. Stir until thickened. Remove to a serving platter.
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A year of pies: Blueberry Pie

The traditional gift for the fourth anniversary is fruit or flowers. I decided fruit pies would be the best gift for Clifton, how can you go wrong with pie? I promised him one fruit pie every month for the next year. First up was a blueberry pie. He proclaimed it the best pie I ever made~ wow!

It was a really easy pie, the hardest part was finding blueberries that didn't cost a fortune. As much as I love him, I am not sure $20 worth of blueberries for one pie is quite worth it. For all future blueberry pies, I will head straight to Costco. I also realize upon retyping this recipe that I didn't add the butter...whoops...didn't seem to matter one bit.

The crust is from Martha Stewart and it is my most favorite pie crust recipe, I have tried so many. The best part if that it makes so much. The recipe says one pie crust, but I got one pie crust and the lattice top from it.

Blueberry Pie

2 pints (4 cups) blueberries; rinsed, drained and picked over
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Combine 1 cup of the blueberries with the sugar in a nonreactive saucepan. Bring to a simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is melted and the mixture is very liquid about 5 minutes.

Combine the cornstarch and water in a small bowl and whisk the blueberry and sugar mixture into it. Return everything to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, over low heat, until the mixture comes to a boil, thickens and becomes clear. If it does not become clear, continue to cook over low heat for a few more minutes, until it does.

Pour into a large bowl and stir in the remaining filling ingredients, except the blueberries, then add the remaining 3 cups blueberries. Cool.

Set a rack at the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees. Roll out the bottom crust and arrange in one, 9-inch Pyrex pie pan. Pour the cooled filling into the bottom crust. Prepare a lattice top crust. Flute the edge of the pie and carefully brush it with egg wash. If you wish, sprinkle the top of the pie with sugar.

Place the pie in the oven on the lower rack and reduce the temperature to 375 degrees F (190 C). Bake for about 40 minutes, until the crust is baked through and a deep golden brown and the filling is gently bubbling. If the top crust has not colored sufficiently after 30 minutes of baking, move the pie to the upper rack of the oven for the last 10 minutes. Cool the pie on a rack.

Makes 1 (9-inch) pie, 6-8 servings.

Pie Crust
(one crust)
2 ½ cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into 1//2 inch cubes
3 to 4 tablespoons ice water

Pulse flour, sugar and salt in a food processor until combined. Add butter and process until mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 seconds. With the machine running, add ice water in a slow steady stream until mixture just begins to hold together.

Shape dough into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate 1 hour or up to 3 days, before using.
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French Toast with Strawberry Sauce

French toast has been so nice to make on our range, the two burner griddle is amazing. It is perfect for making any kind of breakfast imaginable. I used Triple Sec, but any liquor that would complement the straberry flavor would work. I have made it with vodka before, even that is tasty!









French Toast
(makes 8 slices)

1/2 loaf French bread, cut into 1/2 inch slices
2 eggs
2 tablespoons cream
2 tablespoons milk
cinnamon
nutmeg

Preheat griddle. In a shallow bowl, beat the eggs and stir in the milk and cream. Sprinkle nutmeg and cinnamon over top. Dip each piece of bread in the egg mixture, adding cinnamon and nutmeg as you go. Place bread on the buttered griddle and cook until golden brown on each side. Serve with strawberry sauce.

Strawberry Sauce

1 pint strawberries, chopped
1.5 tablespoons butter
1 - 2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon Triple Sec

In a small skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add the strawberries and toss to coat. Add the sugar, continuing to stir. As the strawberries release their liquid, add the Triple Sec and stir. Taste to see the sweetness level, you can add more sugar at this point (sometimes some strawberries aren't as sweet as others). Melt the remaingin butter into the sauce. Serve over French toast or pancakes.
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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Calzones

So last night I decided to put the free Pillsbury pizza crust in a can to good use. I made calzones. They were super easy and I could cater them to each of our tastes. C’s had pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms and green pepper in it, while mine had green pepper, artichokes, mushrooms and garlic.

Calzones

1 can of refrigerated Pillsbury pizza dough, cut into two squares
1 can of crushed tomatoes
½ teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon basil
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese

Fillings:
Sausage, pepperoni, ham, artichokes, onions, mushrooms, green peppers, garlic, spinach, tomatoes, broccoli, sun dried tomatoes, jalapeno, olives, or anything else you would like on a pizza

Preheat oven to 400. In a small pan, simmer crushed tomatoes, oregano, basil and crushed red pepper for 5 to 10 minutes to thicken the sauce. Lay out the pizza crust on a large baking sheet. Mince up whatever fillings you want and mound them in one corner of the square crust. Pour two tablespoons of sauce over each pile of fillings, then top each with half of the shredded cheese. Fold over the pizza crust and roll to seal. Sprinkle half of the parmesan cheese over each calzone. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, top with remaining sauce.
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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Crabcakes

We had steamed crabs this past weekend~ there is nothing better than fresh backfin meat dipped into vinegar and Old Bay. We had some leftovers, so my dad and I picked about 3 cups worth. This was my on the fly (i.e. what I had in the house) recipe. My usual recipe calls for horseradish, but I am sort of getting bored with it.

My current favorite crab cake is at Reef, it has no filler that I can tell and the quality of the lump crab is so good. They are served with pickled vegetables, which is absolutely amazing. Surprisingly, the crabcakes at Costco are tasty, but I have never purchased them, only tried the free samples. I would rather buy a pound of lump crabmeat and make my own. All crabcakes come with the usual complaining from C about how much the house stinks.

I was almost tempted to make some crabbies with some of the meat, but I was missing the cheese for the recipe. I even had the English muffins!

Crabcakes

3 cups fresh crabmeat
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon parsley
1 teaspoon dry mustard
½ cup crushed Ritz Crackers

Combine all ingredients except crab. Gently fold in crab and form into 4 cakes. Broil crabcakes for 5 to 7 minutes.
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Saturday, April 4, 2009

Waffles with strawberries and cream

What could be yummier for breakfast?

Waffles

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt

2 teaspoons sugar
2 cups milk
2 eggs (separated)
1 tablespoon melted butter

Preheat waffle iron.

Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.

Mix milk, butter, egg yolks and sugar so that the sugar dissolves. Mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix until only some lumps remain in the batter. Do not overmix. Fold in the egg whites.

Pour in preheated waffle iron and cook for 4 minutes.

Strawberries

1 box if strawberries, quartered
2 tablespoons sugar

Sprinkle sugar over strawberries and let sit for 10 minutes to extract the natural juices.

Whipped Cream

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup powdered sugar

Beat cream until peaks form, stir in powdered sugar.
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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Southwest Egg Rolls and Jalapeno Ranch

I first had these at a baby shower and was waiting for the perfect event to make them. They are so yummy and pretty easy to make. The hardest part is locating the egg roll wrappers in the grocery store (they are in the bagged salad area, which makes no sense to me). I used two packages of egg roll wrappers, but one had 20 wrappers and the other 12. The recipe made 26 generously filled egg rolls. YUM!

Next time, I am going to add tomatoes to the mix. I am going to try and think of other yummy things to fill the egg roll wrappers with, the possibilities are endless~



Southwest Egg Rolls

4 chicken breast shredded
1 large can black beans, drained
1 large can corn, drained
1 small onion finely chopped
1 jalapeno seeded and finely chopped
½ bunch of cilantro finely chopped
2 cups Monterey Jack cheese
1 package Egg Roll wrappers

Chicken Prep:
Boil the chicken in water seasoned with chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, salt, pepper, and minced onion. Once the chicken is fully cooked, let it cool and shred it.

Egg Roll Assembly:
Mix the first 7 ingredients. It is easiest to roll the egg roll when the wrapper is turned so it looks like a diamond. Place a heaping teaspoon of the mixture close to the bottom corner of the wrapper. Fold the bottom flap up and then the 2 side flaps in. Brush cold water on the remaining edges of the wrapper to seal and roll to finish. Be careful not to over-fill and make sure to tightly roll the egg rolls.

Cooking:
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Place the egg rolls on a greased cooking rack (it is best not to cook directly on a cookie sheet). Spray the tops of the egg rolls w/ cooking spray. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until the egg rolls turn golden.

Jalapeno Ranch Dipping Sauce

½ bunch of cilantro, coarsely chopped
1-2 jalapenos, sliced
Bottle of your favorite Ranch Dressing (I used the Hidden Valley Ranch packet)

Blend all ingredients in a food processor or a blender. Chill and serve.
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Salsa

I am still looking for a tasty WARM salsa recipe. I tried this one out, it was so-so, a bit too much oil for my tastes. I really want to figure out what Pappasitos puts in their salsa. I could drink the stuff! This one was supposed to be a copy cat recipe for it, but it missed the boat.

Salsa

7 small tomatoes or 7 medium tomatoes
2 jalapenos, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
1/8-1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic
1/4 teaspoon comino
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Using a food processor, process the tomatoes to a chunky puree, do not liquify.
In a large skillet or frying pan, heat the oil and add the peppers and onions. Saute until the onion softens and is clear 5-10 minutes. Add the tomato puree and spices. Simmer for 20-30 minutes or until desired consistency. Serve warm with tortilla chips.
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