Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
beer braised chicken thighs, lemony potato rounds, green beans
Cajun shrimp fettucine alfredo, broccoli
General Tso's Chicken, white rice, broccoli
corn chowder with avocado and lime, short rib empanadas
salsa verde chicken salad
Hawaiian chicken sandwiches, sweet potato fries
veal scallopine with mushrooms and madeira, mashed potatoes, asparagus

Monday, January 31, 2011

Sausage and Vegetable Spaghetti

IMG_6511xThis was SO good. The house still smells so wonderful, so much so that I really want to dive into another bowl full. Thankfully, for my waistline, the leftovers are in the freezer and away from my stomach. I actually cooked this covered for an extra hour because C was home late from work. The flavors really melded well together and it makes it an easy dish to have on standby. This would be just as delicious with no meat in it, but I am pretty sure C would disagree.
Sausage and Vegetable Spaghetti Sauce

½ pound ground Italian sausage
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
½ onion, chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1 yellow squash, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
½ cup red wine
1 can (6 ounce) tomato paste
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes

In a large sauté pan, sauté the sausage until cooked through. Remove and drain all but 1 tablespoon of grease, adding olive oil if necessary. Add the onion, carrots, zucchini, squash and bell pepper mixture, sauté until soft, approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds more. Deglaze the pan with the wine and cook until reduced by half. Add the tomato paste, basil, oregano and crushed red pepper, stir it in to incorporate and cook for 3 minutes more. Return the sausage to the pan. Add the tomatoes, bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve over spaghetti or your favored pasta.
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Friday, January 28, 2011

Buttermilk Biscuits

IMG_6487xI love biscuits. I love love love biscuits. If there is a biscuit recipe I spy in any one of the blogs I read, I make it. You never know, it could be "the one." My last attempt was good, but this recipe was much better.  They aren't to Perry standards yet, but we are getting closer. Miss F had hers with jelly this morning and gobbled it straight up, well, she licked the jelly off first and asked for more "cranberry sauce" for her biscuit. This recipe is adapted from Pink Parsley, which is a fantastic blog, so I recommend you check it out.
Buttermilk Biscuits
makes 6 biscuits

2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into several pieces
¾ cup cold buttermilk
1 tablespoon melted butter, for brushing

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Pulse several times to combine well. Add the butter and continue to pulse in 2-second increments, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs with a few pea-sized pieces (about 5 pulses). Pour the buttermilk into the food processor and process just until a dough forms.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, knead with floured hands, and pat into a rectangle about 6x10 inches and 1-inch thick.

Fold the dough like a business letter (the righmost third over the center third, then the left third on top). Turn the dough a quarter of a turn, pat it into another 6x10 inch rectangle, and fold it upon itself in thirds again. Repeat one more time, then pat the dough into a 6x10 inch rectangle a final time.

Using a floured 2-3 inch biscuit cutter, cut the biscuits from the dough and place them about 1 ½ inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Pat the scraps into a 1-inch thick rectangle and cut more biscuits.

Brush the tops with half the melted butter, and bake 15-20 minutes, or until the tops are just beginning to brown. Brush the tops again with the remaining butter and serve warm.

Adapted from Pink Parsley
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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup with Homemade Noodles

Creamy Chicken Noodle SoupThe best chicken noodle soup I ever ate was at Falling Water in Pennsylvania. I grew up in Maryland and my family had taken a day trip up to visit the house. My father is notorious for not feeding us while we are on vacation. It is a running joke in our family. Of course, we hadn't eaten and had been touring around all day and I was a starving kid. I begged to get something at the cafe and I selected chicken noodle soup. It was the nest chicken noodle soup I have ever had, even 20+ years later. The noodles were what made it. They were obviously made fresh. I decided to try my hand at it and I did it all by hand, not even using the pasta attachment to my KitchenAid and they turned out great. This dish was even better the next day as the noodles absorbed even more of the delicious liquid. I used leftover chicken from a chicken I had roasted and just added it in at the end to warm it through.
Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

3 tablespoons butter
1 pound chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
½ onion, diced
3 large carrots, peeled and diced
½ teaspoon parsley
½ teaspoon thyme
¼ cup flour
7 cups chicken broth, preferably homemade
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
2 cups egg noodles, recipe follows
1 cup milk

Melt butter in soup pot over medium heat. Sauté onions and chicken, until the onions are translucent. Add carrots, parsley and thyme, sauté for a few minutes until the carrots begin to soften. Stir in the flour until it is incorporated, about 2 minutes.

Add broth, salt and pepper, stir and bring to a boil. Add noodles and boil for 10 to 15 minutes more, stir in milk during the last 5 minutes of cooking.

Egg Noodles

2 cups flour
3 egg yolks
1 egg
2 teaspoons salt
¼ - ½ cup water

Measure flour into bowl; make a well in the center and add egg yolks, whole egg and salt. With hands, thoroughly mix egg into flour. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition. (Add only enough water to form dough into a ball.). Turn dough onto well-floured board; knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. You can also knead it in your Kitchen Aid Mixer with the dough hook attachment. Cover; let rest 10 minutes. Divide dough into 4 equal parts. Roll dough, 1 part at a time, into paper-thin rectangle on a Silpat, keeping remaining dough covered. Roll rectangle around rolling pin; slip out rolling pin. Cut dough cross-wise with a pizza cutter into 1/8-inch strips for narrow noodles and ¼ -inch for wide noodles. Shake out strips and place on towel to dry, about 2 hours.

Noodles adapted from food.com
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Monday, January 24, 2011

Sour Cream Blueberry Pancakes

IMG_6496xPancakes for breakfast are a favorite around here, especially ones with fruit. I saw this recipe for sour cream pancakes on Kirbie's Cravings and decided to try it.  I made a couple of changes, but was pretty loyal to the recipe.  I had some sour cream on hand, which is rare in this household, I hardly ever use it.  These pancakes were excellent.  Maybe I will have to buy sour cream more often for our weekend breakfasts.  In our old house, our stove had a built in griddle.  I miss it so much at breakfast time.  I am getting used to my Lodge double burner griddle, but it is such a pain to clean.
Sour Cream Blueberry Pancakes

1 ½ cups flour
3 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup sour cream
¾ cup milk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup fresh blueberries
Shortening to grease the griddle

Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl. In another bowl combine sour cream, milk, eggs, vanilla extract. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and mix only until combined. Gently fold in the blueberries. Grease the skillet with shortening. Pour the pancake batter into the skillet and cook until bubbles appear on top and the bottom is nicely browned. Flip the pancakes over and cook for another minute or so until its browned. Serve warm with maple syrup.
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Friday, January 21, 2011

Garlic Cheddar Biscuits

Garlic Cheddar BiscuitsI went to Red Lobster because we had a $10 gift card from our Mastercard. I was totally squicked out by the greasy mess that they called a meal, but the biscuits weren't half bad. I adapted this recipe from Pennies on a Platter and they turned out well.
Garlic Cheddar Biscuits
makes 6 biscuits

1 cup Bisquick mix
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
½ cup shredded cheddar
1/3 cup milk
1 tablespoon butter
½ teaspoon dried parsley
½ teaspoon garlic salt

Preheat oven to 400˚ and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or use a baking stone.

Combine Bisquick, garlic powder and cheese in medium bowl. Stir in milk until just combined. Drop lumps of dough onto cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt the butter. Stir in parsley and garlic salt. When the timer goes off after 10 minutes, brush the butter mixture onto the biscuits. Bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until golden brown.

Adapted from Pennies on a Platter
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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Polenta

IMG_6209xI have always been wary of making polenta, I am not sure why. The best polenta I have ever had was at Block 7 Wine Company, which is a wine bar here in town. That is probably because it was heavily laced with white truffles. I will try this again, adding truffle oil to it and see if I like it as well. Miss F wouldn't eat a bite of the polenta, which was quite disappointing. I heavily adapted the recipe from Alton Brown, removing the unnecessary step of baking it in the oven for 40 minutes, it just didn't need it. It thickened up as soon as I whisked in the cornmeal.
Polenta
serves 2

1 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic, finely minced
2 cups chicken stock or broth
½ cup coarse ground cornmeal
1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 ounce Parmesan, grated

In a large, saucepan heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the red onion and salt and sweat until the onions begin to turn translucent, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add the garlic, and saute for 1 to 2 minutes, making sure the garlic does not burn.

Turn the heat up to high, add the chicken stock, bring to a boil. Gradually add the cornmeal while continually whisking. Once the mixture has thickened, add the butter, salt, and pepper. Once they are incorporated, gradually add the Parmesan. Serve.

Adapted from Alton Brown
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Monday, January 17, 2011

Short Ribs in the Crockpot

IMG_6451xThese aren't nearly as tasty as my go to Short Ribs recipe, but they are so much easier.  The truffle oil adds such a nice depth of flavor and earthiness to the dish.  It takes a typical weeknight Crockpot meal into something a little more special.  And who doesn't love truffle oil?
Short Ribs in the Crockpot

1 medium onion, chopped
3 to 5 yukon gold potatoes, quartered
3 to 5 carrots, peeled and cut into 2” pieces
2 pounds beef short ribs
1 cup beef broth
1 cup red wine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
¼ cup flour
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon truffle oil

Layer the onion, potatoes, carrots and short ribs in the crockpot. In a small bowl, combine broth, wine, tomato paste and flour. Whisk to combine. Pour over the short ribs. Season with salt and pepper; add the thyme and garlic. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Drizzle the truffle oil over each serving.
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Friday, January 14, 2011

Inside Out "Stuffed" Chicken with Mushroom Dressing

IMG_6454xWhen I saw this recipe in Martha Stewart Living, I knew I had to try it. In our house, we love stuffing. And I am not talking about "dressing", I am talking about stuffing stuffed inside the bird to get moist and wonderful. It is my favorite part of Thanksgiving. I could be totally happy with only a plate of stuffing and a spoonful of gravy. Who needs the other stuff? So when I saw this recipe, I was intriqued. The stuffing captures all the drippings from the bird, but it isn't nearly as good as stuffing that is stuffed inside the cavity. That being said, it cooks up a lot quicker and satisfies the stuffing craving.
Inside Out "Stuffed" Chicken with Mushroom Dressing

5 tablespoons butter, divided
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound white button mushrooms
6 cups day old bread cubes
1 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
1 whole chicken, ~4.5 pounds

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large ovenproof skillet over high heat. Cook onion and mushrooms for 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds more. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in bread, stock and one tablespoon sage. Place chicken, breast side up, on stuffing and tuck the wings underneath. Mix remaining butter with one teaspoon sage. Rub skin and underneath the skin with the butter mixture, season with salt and pepper. Roast for 60 minutes, until instant read thermometer read 165 degrees. Let the chicken rest 10 minutes before serving.

Adapted from Martha Stewart Living
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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Treebeard's Butter Cake

IMG_6216xThis was a request direct from C, he had this cake at work with one of their lunch spreads and asked if I could make it at home. He just raved about it. He found a recipe online and off I went.  I made it exactly as stated, even using the specific Pillsbury pudding cake mix (thank goodness for my $2.50 off three Pillsbury products coupons, they paid me to buy it!)  He tasted it, said it wasn't the same.  That the buttercake he had is "flakier".  I have no clue.  Next time his office gets it, he is going to bring a piece home for me to inspect and try it again.  He did think that this recipe was great, just not exactly what he was after.
Treebeard’s Butter Cake

1 (2-layer size) package yellow cake mix (Treebeard's uses only Pillsbury pudding-included type).
4 eggs
1 stick butter (1/2 cup), melted
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pound powdered sugar (approx. 3 3/4 cup)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. This recipe has been adapted for a 13x9x2 inch pan. If using oven-proof glass, reduce baking temperature to 325 degrees.

Mix 1 slightly beaten egg with dry cake mix and butter to a moist dough consistency. Grease a 13x9x2 inch pan. Press mixture evenly in pan.

Soften cream cheese (can use microwave) and beat in electric mixer with remaining eggs and vanilla until creamy. Beat in powdered sugar gradually and beat until smooth; this takes several minutes. Pour over crust. Bake at 350 degrees (325 if using glass pan) 35 to 40 minutes. Watch carefully so base doesn't get too brown.

The cheese mixture sinks into the center somewhat leaving a firmer crust around the edges. Cut in squares to serve.

Source: Treebeard's cookbook
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Monday, January 10, 2011

Hassleback Potatoes

IMG_6276xI saw these potatoes on Barefoot in London with Ina Garten. They looked beyond amazing. Her version called for rosemary, but I had fresh thyme and that worked great. There are so many wonderful things you can stuff between the thin layers of potato...garlic, Parmesan cheese, dill...so yummy!  These will go into regular rotation in our weekly menu, they are so elegant and taste even better.
Hassleback Potatoes

8 Yukon gold potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
3 sprigs thyme

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Scrub, wash and dry the potatoes. Place the potato on a large wooden spoon. Carefully slice the potatoes into 1/8” slices without slicing all the way through. Arrange the potatoes on a baking sheet, brush with the olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Remove the leaves from the thyme sprigs and sprinkle over the potatoes. Cut the butter into eight equal pieces, top each potato with the butter. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes, depending on the size of your potatoes.
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Friday, January 7, 2011

Pork Chops with Agrodolce Sauce

IMG_6206xWhen I saw this on Confections of a Foodie Bride, I knew I had to try it. I have never brined a pork chop before and after having it, I doubt I will ever eat a pork chop that hasn't been brined again. It was so good, moist, tender, flavorful. Sadly, C wasn't a fan of the sauce at all, "You know I don't like vinegar." Except for the fact that we dipped our bread in balsamic and olive oil at nearly every restaurant we ate at in Italy. So sadly, I won't be making this again for a family dinner.   Which is really too bad because I really loved the sauce.  It thickens up so nicely and melts so nicely onto the hot pork.
Pork Chops with Agrodolce Sauce

¼ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup honey
2 green onions, sliced
1 large clove of garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
2 brined pork chops (recipe follows)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Red pepper flakes
Salt
Black pepper

Preheat oven to 425.

In a small sauce pan, stir together balsamic vinegar, honey, white and light green parts of the onions, and garlic over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and let cook for ~10 minutes, reducing heat as necessary to prevent boil overs. Remove from heat, stir in butter until melted, and set aside to cool and thicken.

Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in an oven-safe pan. Liberally season both sides of the pork chops with red pepper, salt, and black pepper. Sear for 3 minutes, flip pork chops, and finish in the oven to an internal temp of 150. Remove and let rest in the pan for 5 minutes. Serve topped with a generous spoonful of Agrodolce sauce.

Pork Chop Brine

6 cups cold water
¼ cup of kosher salt
¼ cup molasses
1 teaspoon black pepper corns
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
2 pork chops, 1 1/2-2 inches thick

Add salt and molasses to water in a large Tupperware container. Add roasemary, peppercorns and pork chops. Cover tightly and refrigerate up to 24 hours. Remove from the brine and pat the pork chops dry before preparing.

Adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride
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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Chicken Marsala

IMG_6201This used to be one of my most favorite dishes to order whenever I went out for Italian. My tastes evolved and I haven't ordered it forever. I came across this recipe from Emeril and I knew I had to try it. So off to the store I went to get a bottle of Marsala wine and I was ready to go. C said he didn't like Chicken Marsala and asked me to make something else, but I had spent $10 on a bottle of Marsala and we were going to eat Chicken Marsala. After he ate it, he said it was 'alright', which is certainly an upgrade from not liking it. I loved it, it was better than any Chicken Marsala that I have ever had in a restaurant. It was phenomonal.
Chicken Marsala

½ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon thyme
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in halves and pounded thin
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 tablespoons butter
3 cups sliced mushrooms
¾ cup Marsala
1 cup chicken stock

In a shallow bowl or plate combine the flour and spices and stir to combine thoroughly. Quickly dredge the chicken breast halves in the seasoned flour mixture, shaking to remove any excess flour.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until very hot but not smoking. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter and cook the chicken breasts until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Add 1 tablespoon of the remaining butter to the pan and add the mushrooms. Cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms are golden brown around the edges and have given off their liquid. Add the Marsala wine and bring to a boil, scraping to remove any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. When the wine has reduced by half, add the chicken stock and cook for 3 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened slightly. Lower the heat to medium and return the chicken breasts to the pan and continue to cook until they are cooked through and the sauce has thickened, about 5 to 6 minutes. Swirl in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, add salt and pepper, to taste.

Adapted from Emeril Legasse
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Monday, January 3, 2011

Pork and Butternut Squash Stew

IMG_5899With this recipe, I have used the last butternut squash from my farm share. It adds a sweetness to the stew. There is a lot of chopping involved in the prep for this dish, but it is really simple...just set in in the crockpot and forget it. The butternut squash nearly melts away into the chicken broth to create a rich broth. This dish works well in the winter months for when you are looking for a comforting stew, but are looking for a twist on your standard stew.
Pork and Butternut Squash Stew

1 ½ pounds boneless pork, cut into ½ inch cubes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cups chicken broth
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
½ teaspoon rubbed sage
1 bay leaf
2 cups cubed butternut squash
1 large potato, peeled and cubed
2 cups carrots, peeled and diced

Add all ingredients to the slow cooker. Cook on high for 1 hour, then reduce heat to low and simmer 4 hours, or until tender.

Adapted from AllRecipes
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