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, July 28, 2010

Beef Bourguignon

In an effort to clear out the freezer, I had some stew beef I needed to use up. Stew in the summer time, especially the Houston summer time, is not a good fit. Crockpot meals work well in the summer because I don't have to heat up the whole oven. I got this recipe from the Year of Slow Cooking and I only made a few slight changes.  The biggest surprise with this recipe was that Miss F ate it right up. Vegetables and meat~ and she ate it all! 
Beef Bourguignon in the Crockpot
serves 4

1.5 pounds beef stew meat
3 slices bacon, cut in half
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ onion, sliced in rings
1 cup carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
1 ½ teaspoons herbs de provence
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cups red wine

In the bottom of your crockpot, smear the olive oil. Then lay down 3 slices of bacon. Add sliced onion and garlic. Put the meat into the pot on top of the onion and garlic, and sprinkle on the herbs, salt and pepper. Toss the meat to distribute the spices to all sides. Add tomato paste. Lay the other 3 slices of bacon on top of the meat, and throw in the carrots. Pour wine over the whole thing.

Cover and let cook on low for 8-9 hours, high for 4-5, or until meat has reached desired tenderness.

Serve with whipped mashed potatoes, and a ladle full of crock juices.
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Monday, July 26, 2010

Veal Piccata


Veal Piccata
I first had veal years ago, I knew it was so wrong to like it, but I did. There are two types of food my father won't eat: raw fish and veal. Like father, unlike daughter. I cannot get enough sushi and I really enjoy veal. C thought this dish was just "okay". I really liked it and I am excited to have the leftovers for lunch tomorrow. Maybe I should have sushi for dinner...
serves 2 to 3

¾ pound veal cutlets, pounded to about 1/8 of an inch thick
½ cup flour
salt and pepper
1 cup chicken stock
¾ cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter, divided
juice of a lemon
1 tablespoon capers
½ cup mushrooms, sliced
½ cup artichoke hearts
½ lemon, cut into thin round slices

Pound the cutlets by placing them between two sheets of plastic wrap and pounding them with a mallet or the back of a large spoon. Pound them until they are about 1/8" thick. In a wide bowl or pan, mix the flour with some salt and pepper. Dip the cutlets into the flour and coat them thoroughly. Pat off all the excess flour.

Heat oil and one tablespoon butter in a large frying or sauté pan. Place the cutlets into the pan (in batches if necessary, do not overcrowd the pan), and brown on both sides. Remove from the pan and keep warm. Sauté the mushrooms until soft.

Pour off the excess fat, leaving just a thin film, and the brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the wine, and stir with a wooden spoon until the browned bits come off the bottom and begin to dissolve. Add chicken broth, and continue cooking, stirring, until reduced by half.

Add the juice of a fresh lemon, capers, artichoke hearts, remaining butter and salt, pepper to taste. Cook until all the ingredients are heated through. Add the cutlets to coat with the sauce. Garnish each portion with a couple of lemon slices. Serve.
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Friday, July 23, 2010

Peach Cobbler

I flashed back to making all sorts of baby food when I started making this dish. I peeled so many fruits by blanching them for Miss F. This time, I had Miss F at my feet begging for any peach slices I was willing to give her. The recipe calls for six peaches, I used 8, I am guessing she and I ate at least two by snacking. When C got home from work, he asked what it was. I told him that I had made peach cobbler. He said that it wasn't cobbler, cobbler is in a square dish, not a round one. Who knew that the dish shape determined the whether it was in fact cobbler?
Peach Cobbler

6 large peaches
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¾ stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
¼ cup boiling water

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Bring a medium saucepan of water to boil. Blanche each peach for a minute or so. Peel the peaches once they have cooled. Cut the peaches into thin slices and toss with sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch in a 2-qt. nonreactive baking dish.

Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Blend in butter with your fingertips or a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in water until just combined.

Drop spoonfuls of topping over the peaches. Bake in middle of oven until topping is golden, about 30 to 35 minutes. Topping will spread as it bakes.
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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches

I have seen a crockpot recipe going around, similar to the Chicken Soft Tacos recipe. It has shredded chicken, Frank's Hot Sauce and a packet of ranch dressing mix. I just wasn't feeling the shredded chicken aspect of it, but I was feeling a Buffalo chicken sandwich. So I decided to do it my way. Of course it was about ten times messier, but so worth the effort. I ate two.
Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches
makes 2 sandwiches

½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup milk
1 boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into two pieces
2 hamburger buns
lettuce leaves
tomato slices
¼ cup Frank’s hot sauce
Ranch dressing

Heat just enough oil to cover chicken over medium high heat. Stir together flour & salt. Dip chicken in milk, then flour. Dip in milk again, then flour again. Refrigerate chicken for 10-15 minutes. Fry chicken in oil for 10 minutes until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Toast the buns. Put chicken in a large Ziploc bag. Pour hot sauce in the bag and shake gently to coat. Put chicken on bun and top with lettuce and tomato. Serve open face, with ranch dressing on the side.
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Monday, July 19, 2010

Breakfast Tacos

These make a great breakfast that can easily be made on a busy weekday morning. Rotel can easily be substituted for the tomato and jalapeno, if you have that on hand. Bacon can also be used instead of sausage. Honestly, any breakfast food you like can be wrapped up in a tortilla and served with cheese and salsa...well, maybe not pancakes...
Breakfast Tacos
makes six tacos

½ pound breakfast sausage
¼ onion, chopped
½ jalapeno, minced
1 tomato, chopped
6 eggs
6 tortillas
1/3 cup shredded Colby Jack cheese
salsa

In a large sauce pan, sauté the sausage, onion and jalapeno over medium heat, breaking the sausage up. Saute for 8 to 10 minutes, until the sausage is cooked through. Add the tomato and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes more.

In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs. Add the eggs to the sausage mixture and cook until eggs are set.

Warm the tortillas and fill each with the sausage and egg mixture. Top each taco with 1 tablespoon of cheese. Serve with your favorite salsa.
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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Strawberry Streusel Muffins

Does anyone remember Ragamuffins? They were a childhood favorite and I cannot find them in Texas. I miss the fake, crunchy strawberry "flavored nuggets".

These muffins worked well with the frozen stash of strawberries we had picked at Froberg Farms. Miss F has already eaten two, one for breakfast and one for lunch. I myself had to sneak one minutes after they came out of the oven.
Strawberry Streusel Muffins
makes 12

Muffins:
1/3 cup sugar
¼ cup butter, softened
1 egg
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup fresh strawberries or frozen strawberries, chopped

Streusel:
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl. Add the egg and mix well. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add to creamed mixture, together with milk. Stir in vanilla, followed by strawberries.

Fill 12 paper-lined muffin cups with batter.

Streusel: combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl. Cut in the butter, using a fork, until large, moist clumps form. Sprinkle a generous teaspoon over the muffin batter. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until browned.
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Monday, July 12, 2010

Cheesy Meatballs

I am not a fan of ground beef, when I was a kid I hated hamburgers, meat sauce or anything with any groud beef in it. I will now tolerate it, but it certainly isn't something I ever crave. I do like a good McDonald's hamburger, but that is because the bun to hamburger ratio is so high. C had made burgers for the 4th of July, so I decided to make spaghetti with meatballs with the rest of the ground beef. I make meat balls so I can just eat the sauce and the pasta. C and Miss F both loved the meatballs...go figure.
Cheesy Meatballs
makes eight

¾ pound ground beef
¼ pound pork sausage
1 egg, slightly beaten
¼ cup seasoned bread crumbs
3 tablespoons shredded five cheese Italian blend
1 cloves garlic, pressed
¼ cup minced sweet onion
½ teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a rimmed baking pan with foil sprayed with cooking spray.

To make meatballs, lightly mix ground beef, sausage, eggs, bread crumbs, cheese, garlic, sweet onion, oregano, salt, and pepper until combined. Do not overmix.

Place about ¼ cup of meatball mix in your hand. Form into a ball. Repeat until all meat is used.

Bake about 35 minutes or until meatball juices show no pink color.

Serve with your favorite pasta and sauce.
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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookies

My very most favorite chocolate chip recipe has to be the Big, Fat, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie. I saw this recipe on the fantastic blog, Pencil Shavings. I am a big fan of Neiman Marcus, so I figured I might as well try their cookies. These cookies are very rich and have a little crispy edge as compared to the BFCCCC. They were a nice change from my old standby. Once again, Neiman Marcus didn't let me down. Now only if their new shipping policies were as good as these cookies...it is so irritating not to get things in a day or to from them, silly costcutting.
Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookies
makes 2 dozen cookies

½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-3/4 cups all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1-½ teaspoons instant espresso coffee powder
1-½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Cream the butter with the sugars using an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy (approximately 30 seconds).

Beat in the egg and the vanilla extract for another 30 seconds.

In a mixing bowl, sift together the dry ingredients and beat into the butter mixture at low speed for about 15 seconds. Stir in the espresso coffee powder and chocolate chips.

Using a 1 ounce scoop or a 2 tablespoon measure, drop cookie dough onto a greased cookie sheet about 3 inches apart. Gently press down on the dough with the back of a spoon to spread out into a 2 inch circle. Bake for about 20 minutes or until nicely browned around the edges. Bake a little longer for a crispier cookie.
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Monday, July 5, 2010

Chicken Marengo

I first saw this recipe on $10 Dinners with Melissa d'Arabian.  I had it bookmarked for awhile and when  yellow bell peppers went on sale for a buck at Kroger, I knew it was a sign.  I made a couple changes to her original recipe to better suit what I had on hand, I swapped red wine for white and chicken broth for beef.  The dish was very flavorful and came together very easily.  It reminded me a bit of my mom's spaghetti sauce, mainly because she includes green bell peppers in her homemade sauce.  This will go into regular rotation at our house.  It makes a ton, I served it with a 12 ounce package of angel hair pasta.
Chicken Marengo
serves 4 to 6

3 large chicken cutlets, sliced into thin paillards (slice while partially frozen)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
½ medium sweet onion, sliced
½ pound mushrooms, sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and julienned
3 tablespoons tomato paste
½ cup red wine
1 cup chicken broth
1 (14-ounce) can chopped tomatoes
½ tablespoon butter

Season the chicken with salt and pepper, to taste, and lightly dredge in flour. In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat and add the chicken. Brown on both sides, until nicely golden, about 3 minutes per side. Remove from the pan and set aside on a plate. In the same pan, add more oil, if needed, along with the onion, mushrooms and peppers and sauté until softened and fragrant, but not limp, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in the tomato paste and cook a few minutes to cook out the raw flavor. Turn up the heat, and add the wine to deglaze the pan and let it reduce for 2 or 3 minutes. Add the broth and tomatoes. Once the mixture begins to bubble, add the browned paillards and any juices from the chicken and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook until the chicken is warmed through, about 3 minutes. Turn the heat off and stir in the butter. Transfer to a serving platter and serve immediately over pasta.
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Sunday, July 4, 2010

Weekly Menu

Week two and I remembered to post...it is a light week for cooking this week, which is quite nice.

Sunday ~ Hot dogs, hamburgers, chips and queso/guacamole
Monday ~ Veal Piccata, roasted potatoes, green beans
Tuesday ~ Leftovers
Wednesday ~ out with friends, TBD
Thursday ~ Spaghetti with meatballs, green salad
Friday ~ out with the family
Saturday ~ food at the ballpark
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Friday, July 2, 2010

Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork

I cannot get enough pulled pork, especially in the summer time. The more vinegar, the better. I have seen this type of recipe floating around the internet for awhile and I have always been intrigued by it.  I am a big fan of my usual pulled pork recipe, but I liked this one even more.  It tasted nothing like Dr. Pepper, but the meat was so tender and flavorful.  It had a really nice kick from the cayenne pepper.  I will try it next time with more vinegar, but I was unsure how it would react with the Dr. Pepper for my first go round.
Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork
makes enough for 8 to 10 sandwiches

1.5 to 2 pound pork roast
¼ onion, minced
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 twelve ounce can Dr. Pepper

Place pork roast, fat side up and onion in a slow cooker. Add the pepper, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and vinegar. Pour the can of Dr. Pepper over top of the pork. Cook on low for 8 hours, flipping over once halfway through. Shred the pork with two forks, cook for an additional 30 minutes. Serve with barbecue sauce and pickles on fresh rolls.
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