Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
pork canton noodles, salad
crockpot spaghetti and meatballs, romaine with creamy Italian dressing
tomatillo chicken, rice, black beans
brisket, pinto beans, Texas toast
roasted apricot chicken, roast potatoes and carrots
pork tenderloin fajitas, chips and guacamole
crockpot loaded baked potato soup, spinach and apple salad

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Buttermilk Biscuits

I adapted this recipe from the amazing Confections of a Foodie Bride. I didn't have any cake flour, so I used all-purpose and it worked out just fine. I always remember going to the Perry's house and having biscuits that were cut by hand and made by the "feel" of it. The only biscuits I have ever made before this were the ones from a box of Bisquick.  This recipe ingeniously utilizes the food processor to cut in the butter, which really makes this recipe a snap.  I ate mine plain with butter, C ate his with butter and jelly and Miss F had hers with sausage and eggs. 
Buttermilk Biscuits
makes 8 biscuits

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 stick butter
3/4 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 500. Stick the butter in the freezer while gathering other ingredients.

Place the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Cut the semi-frozen butter into small cubes. Add the butter to the food processor and pulse 7-10 times, until the mixture is crumbly. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl and stir in buttermilk until the dough has just combined.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface and lightly pat to 1 inch thick. Use a cutter (mine was 2.25 inches) dipped in flour to cut biscuits and then transfer them to a lined baking sheet with the sides touching. Lightly push together the scraps and cut biscuits from the remaining dough.

Bake for 6-8 minutes, until the biscuits are golden brown. Let cool a few minutes before serving.
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Monday, June 28, 2010

Orange Glazed Pork Tenderloin

This pork tenderloin recipe is flavorful and simple to put together. I served it with corn on the cob and maduros, which makes for a meal that comes together quite quickly.  Miss F still loves her maduros and I really enjoyed them with this pork.  A forkfull of maduro and a piece of pork provided a really nice combination of flavors.
Orange Glazed Pork Tenderloin
serves 2 to 3

½ cup orange marmalade
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon molasses
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pork tenderloin

Combine all ingredients except oil and pork in a small bowl, bring to room temperature and divide in half.

Heat the grill to high. Coat the pork tenderloin with the oil and salt & pepper to taste. Grill the pork tenderloin 4 to 5 minutes per side, basting with the glaze every few minutes.

Serve, passing reserved glaze on the side.
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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Weekly Menu

I have been toying with the idea of posting our weekly menu on the blog, but I am unsure if I will actually keep up with it or not.  I often end up improvising off the menu I set for the week, since events come up and there are leftovers that have to be eaten.  I still attempt a meal plan for the week, I have an entire folder full of weekly plans on my computer.  I often plan by what I am in the mood for, by what is on sale and by the schedule constraints for the week.  Example, I am not going to have a labor intensive dinner when I get home from playgroup at 5 pm.

Weekly Menu

Sunday ~ Pulled pork sandwiches, homemade potato chips
Monday ~ Chicken Marengo with pasta
Tuesday ~ Summer Stew or leftovers (if we have any)
Wednesday ~ Out to Fish City Grill for AYCE crablegs
Thursday ~ C is out for the evening, chicken tenders and sweet potato fries for Miss F and I
Friday ~ out for TexMex
Saturday ~ pool party for the 4th of July
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Friday, June 25, 2010

Breakfast Braid

I originally wanted to make this recipe for my playgroup, but I chickened out at the last moment and made Sausage Swirls instead. I should have gone for it, it was amazingly easy to make and turned out beautifully. I adapted it from a Cooking Light recipe, making it un-light.  C said that it needed more cheese, I wonder how he would have felt about the Cooking Light version?
Breakfast Braid
6 servings

1 (13.8-ounce) can thin crust refrigerated pizza crust dough
Cooking spray
2 tablespoons frozen chopped onion and bell pepper mix
8 ounces breakfast sausage
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Preheat oven to 425°. Unroll dough onto a baking sheet coated with cooking spray; pat into a 17 x 12–inch rectangle (size of the baking sheet).

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sausage; cook 9 minutes or until lightly browned. Stir in eggs; cook 1 1/2 minutes or until set. Remove from heat.

Sprinkle ½ cup Monterey Jack lengthwise down center of dough, leaving about a 2 1/2-inch border on each side. Spoon egg mixture evenly over cheese. Sprinkle remaining cheese over egg mixture.

Make 2-inch-long diagonal cuts about 1 inch apart on both sides of dough to within 1/2 inch of filling using a sharp knife or kitchen shears. Arrange strips over filling, alternating strips diagonally over filling. Press ends under to seal. Brush with egg white. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes. Cut crosswise into slices.
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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Mini Strawberry Cheesecakes

I first had these at my friend Sarah's holiday ornament exchange a couple of years ago. I had brought some home for C to have because she had so many wonderful treats leftover. He went crazy for these, so I had to get the recipe from her. The original calls for vanilla wafers and canned pie filling, so I have changed it up with the graham crackers since they feel more cheesecake-y to me and I used fresh strawberries since they are so gorgeous this time of year. These were a hit for Father's Day.
Mini Cheesecakes
makes 48

½ cup graham cracker crumbs (about 8 squares)
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
¾ cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
12 fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line miniature muffin tins with miniature paper liners.

Place ½ teaspoon of the graham cracker crumbs into each paper cup.

In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, eggs and vanilla until light and fluffy. Fill each miniature muffin liner with this mixture, almost to the top.

Bake for 15 minutes. Cool. Top each with a fresh strawberry quarter.
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Monday, June 21, 2010

Seared Asian Tuna

C hates anything that comes from the sea. Seafood is one of my most favorite foods. This has always been a struggle. Growing up, our neighbor across the street often brought us fresh caught tuna, it was always a favorite of mine and a very special treat. I remember being at my friend Laura's house when I was a little kid (around 5 years old) and being offered a tuna fish sandwich. I thought "how lucky are these kids to get tuna for lunch!" Then, they served me the sandwich. I nearly vomitted right then and there. Still to this day, I will not eat tuna fish salad or any other mayonnaise based meat salad. Shudder. So, I guess I can see how C hates seafood...marriage is all about compromise. But I have lured Miss F over to my side, she loved this!
Seared Asian Tuna
serves 1

1/4 pound tuna steak
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon spicy sesame oil
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

In a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce and sesame oil. Divide into two equal parts. Stir the rice vinegar and ginger into one part and set aside as a dipping sauce.


Spread the sesame seeds out on a plate. Coat the tuna with the remaining soy sauce mixture, then press into the sesame seeds to coat.

Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet over high heat until very hot. Place the tuna in the pan, and sear for about 30 seconds on each side. Serve with the dipping sauce over white rice.
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Friday, June 18, 2010

Sausage Swirls

The first time I ever had these, I had been at my friend Shannon's house for a pool party. We had been swimming all day and her friend Shelley arrived with these amazing bites. I couldn't get enough of them. They are always a huge hit at parties and are ridiculously easy. I made these for a morning playgroup and they were gobbled up in no time.  I was amazed how easy they were when Shelley shared with me how she made them.
Sausage Swirls
makes three dozen

1 pound of spicy breakfast sausage
1 package of refrigerated crescent rolls

Roll out the crescent roll dough and press together to form one large rectangle.  Spread the uncooked sausage all over the dough, leaving a 1/4" border at the top.  Roll up the dough, starting at the long side of the rectangle, working up to the 1/4" border at the top.  Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Cut the refrigerated log into 36 equal slices.  Arrange on a baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until sausage is cooked through and the dough is golden brown.  Serve.
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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Parmesan Pepper Steak Fries

I needed a quick dinner tonight because my happy hour plans at t'afia ended up being cancelled.  I usually always have the ingredients for Chicken Cheesesteaks on hand (thanks to a freezer supply of chicken, grated cheese, tri-color bell pepper mix and sub rolls).  I wanted a new side, we had garlic parmesan fries in Las Vegas this past weekend, so that was the inspiration.  I decided to try out two methods, cooking spray or vegetable oil.  I couldn't tell the difference between the two, which really shocked me.
Parmesan Pepper Steak Fries
serves 2

2 russet potatoes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan
Fresh cracked pepper

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Cut the potatoes into eight equal wedges, lengthwise. Brush the potatoes with the oil and lay flat on a baking sheet, sprinkle with freshed cracked pepper. Bake for 25 minutes. Flip them over and sprinkle the parmesan cheese over top. Return to the oven and bake for 15 minutes more. Serve.
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Monday, June 14, 2010

Honey Lemon Chicken

C: These potatoes taste lemony
K: That is because it is honey lemon chicken
C: The chicken tastes lemony, too
K: That is the point
C: I don't like the point
K: Then don't eat it
And he didn't.
Le Sigh.
I did and I enjoyed it, too bad I will never get to make it again. C's lemon aversion comes and goes, he loves the ultra-lemony chicken piccata.
Honey-Lemon Chicken
serves 2

1 lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon of lemon zest
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons grainy mustard
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
4 chicken thighs
¼ cup onion, chopped
1 potato, sliced

Combine the zest and juice with broth, honey, soy sauce, mustard and pepper. Spread onion over the bottom of the crockpot, layer chicken and potato slices. Pour broth mixture overtop. Simmer on low for 8 hours.
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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Short Rib Empanadas

My dear friend Neon turned me onto making empanadas with puff pastry, it is so tasty and so yummy. The first time she made them was at a wine pairing party she held. Too bad I was pregnant at the time (and hiding it from most friends), but I got to enjoy tons of amazing food, including her empanadas. She had made them with pot roast, so I figured it would be easy enough to do with short ribs. These are great and Miss F went mad for them, even as leftovers.
Short Rib Empanadas
makes 18

2 boneless short ribs
½ small white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, smashed
¼ cup water
½ cup merlot
½ jalapeno, minced

2 sheets of prepackaged puff pastry

Avocado~Cilantro Sauce for dipping, recipe follows

Cut each short rib in half and place in the crockpot. Add onion, garlic and jalapeno. Pour the water and merlot over. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, until meat is tender enough to shred with a fork. Shred the meat. Cool with the sauce.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Defrost the puff pastry. Roll out on a floured board. Cut circles with a 6” cutter. Place ¼ cup of the meat on the center of each circle. Brush the edge with water. Fold in half, crimping the edge with a fork to seal. Place the empanadas on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 22 to 25 minutes. Serve with Avocado-Cilantro Sauce.

Avocado~Cilantro Sauce

½ cup sour cream
1 small avocado, cut into chunks
juice from one lime
¼ cup of cilantro
¼ of a jalapeno, chopped

In a mini-chop, add the cilantro and jalapeno. Pulse to mince. Add sour cram, avocado and lime juice. Pulse to combine.
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Monday, June 7, 2010

Sweet Yeast Rolls

I have been in the mood to make a soft, sweet roll for awhile. C will no longer allow bread to be baked at night because "he hates the smell of fresh baked bread" (insert cuckoo noises here). The other day, while Miss F was napping, I trolled the internet for a recipe that would work in my bread machine and that I could bake them in my 8" cake pan, in order to retain their softness. These rolls turned out nothing like what I was looking for, they were soft, they were sweet, they were yeasty, but they were flat. And I loved them. I know I have eaten a roll similar before, but I don't have the foggiest idea as to where. I do know I will be making them again.
Sweet Yeast Rolls
makes 16 rolls

½ cup water
½ cup warm milk
1 egg
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 package dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
¼ cup butter

Place all ingredients except the 1/4 cup butter into bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select the dough cycle and start machine.

Shape dough into 16 balls and place into two buttered cake pans. Melt the ¼ cup butter and brush it over the tops of rolls, saving the excess for brushing on after baking. Cover and let rise in a warm place about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

Bake at 375 degrees F for 15 to 18 minutes. Brush baked rolls with remaining butter.
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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Southwestern Chicken Salad

This salad comes together in a snap and is reasonably healthy for you. After weekend dining on tasting menus at Graham Elliott and fettucine alfredo at Carmine's, it was certainly time for something on the lighter side. The chicken would also be great on the grill, but it worked fine in the oven. You could easily add black beans to make the salad even heartier and filling.  I will be making this again, especially in the summer time.  Reminds me of a salad version of tortilla soup.
Southwestern Chicken Salad
serves 4

¼ teaspoon oregano
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 teaspoon olive oil
1/3 cup frozen corn kernels

2 tortillas
1 cup canola oil

1 tomato, chopped
1 avocado, chopped
2 tablespoons shredded Colby jack cheese
1 head of romaine lettuce, chopped

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette, recipe follows

Preheat oven to 425. In a small dish combine oregano, cayenne, cumin and olive oil. In a shallow baking dish, coat the chicken breasts with the oil and spice mixture. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.

In a small baking pan, toss the corn kernels with one teaspoon of olive oil and salt & pepper to taste. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes (add after the chicken has been baking for 20 minutes).

In a small sauce pan, heat the canola oil over medium high heat. Cut the tortillas into half, then cut into ½” strips. Fry for one to two minutes until strips turn golden brown, drain on a paper towel.

Toss the lettuce, tomato, avocado, cheese and corn kernels with the vinaigrette. Cube the chicken and put on top of the salad with the tortilla strips.

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/8 of a red onion
3 tablespoons olive oil

Combine all ingredients except oil in a mini chop and pulse. Stream in the oil through the top to emulsify.
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