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Showing posts from December, 2010

Great Sushi!

My wonderful hubby took me out for sushi while we were shopping in Grand Junction today. We went to one of my favorite sushi places....No Coast Sushi. Devin had the Wicked Garden and the Wasabi Nut Crunch rolls. I had the KA (eel) and the Cougar (fried oyster). I absolutely love this place. If you are ever in Junction and looking for great sushi, this is the place to go!

If anyone knows any other sushi places in Junction, please leave a comment and let me know. I'm always looking for new places to check out!

Soup and Sandwiches for Dinner!

Tonight I decided to take my panini press for a spin. I hadn't done that in a while. I knew we were having the cheesy brat soup for dinner, so I figured grilled cheese sandwiches would be a good combination.

Dev just wanted gouda cheese in his sandwich. I was in the mood for something a little more...complicated.

I took a slice of Dev's homemade bread and put 4 slices of brie on it. Then I laid a few pieces of thinly sliced deli turkey on the brie. Next, I piled on some radish sprouts and 2 pieces of bacon. I slathered the other piece of bread with a thin coat of sour cherry preserves. One more piece of brie finished off the sandwich. I slathered both outsides with butter, and fired up the panini press.

I think the picture pretty much sums up how good this sandwich was.

Cream Cheese Stuffed, Bacon Wrapped Jalapenos

These are so good, they're sinful. And addictive. And rich. And easy. And relatively quick.

A couple of weeks ago, Dev and I went to a covered dish supper for the last night of our Spanish class. One of the many wonderful dishes there was a tray of stuffed, roasted jalapenos. They were whole jalapenos, somehow hollowed out, with cream cheese piped in, and wrapped in bacon, then roasted.

They were heavenly! The pepper itself was soft and sweet, the bacon done, but not too crispy, and the creamy filling was warm and gooey. I knew then that I had to make them for myself.

I had 6 jalapenos laying around in my produce basket. I couldn't figure out how to hollow them out so they could be whole, so I halved them. Then I took out the seeds and membranes. I decided since I could cut the cream cheese into sticks while it was still cold, not to soften it. This is good, because this time of year, room temperature in my kitchen isn't nearly warm enough to soften anything! So…

Beer, Brat and Cheese Soup

Today was a good soup day. It was cold and rainy.

I sat down and looked through my soup recipes and found an old favorite. The only thing I did differently this time was using kielbasa instead of brats (because that's what I had).

Brat, Beer and Cheese Soup
From Penzey’s

3 bratwurst sausages, cooked and sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 c. onion, finely chopped
1 c. celery, finely chopped
1 c. carrots, finely chopped
1/4 c. flour
1 lb. potatoes, peeled and diced
6 c. chicken stock
1 beer (12oz)
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
1/2 c. milk or half and half
1/4 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
2 c. grated sharp cheddar cheese

Heat olive oil in soup pot over medium heat. Add onion, celery and carrots. Cook about 15 minutes or until tender, stirring every so often to keep from sticking. Stir in flour; cook about 1 minute. Add potatoes, stock and beer. I didn't have 6 cups of stock, so I used 4 cups st…

Shrimp Curry and other pantry purging meals...

Earlier today I posted about New Year's Resolutions. I had another brilliant idea. I resolve to figure out what all I have in my pantry, and start cooking with it. There are 2 benefits to this strategy. The first is, of course a neater, trimmer pantry. The second is the opportunity to make room for new stuff!

Being a foodie, I have amassed some pretty odd stuff. And the sad thing is, I have no idea what all's in my collection.

So this afternoon I poked around on the shelves and found a package of curry mix. Here's a pic of it...



Ok. Go ahead. I'll wait. I know you want to make jokes about the name of the mix. It is frightfully close to gonad shrimp curry. There. I said it. Now can we get on with the post?? Thanks.

I followed the directions on the packet and combined 3/4 cup of lemon juice with an equal amount of olive oil, then whisked in the powdered spice packet. I defrosted and peeled about a pound of shrimp and put them in a dish. I poured the mixtur…

American Macaroni Salad

I have rediscovered pasta salads. I don't know why I'd forgotten about them. If you think about it, any sort of pasta salad is the perfect lunch! You can add protein and veggies, and you've got pasta! There are vinaigrette type dressings, mayo based dressings, the sky's the limit...

I took a macaroni salad to our staff Christmas Party. It was the classic macaroni salad. The only change I made to the recipe was to add sharp cheddar.

American Macaroni Salad
From Food Network Kitchens
Prep Time:
20 min
Inactive Prep Time:
--
Cook Time:
10 min
Level:
Easy
Serves:
6 servings
Ingredients
• 2 cups dry elbow macaroni, cooked, rinsed, and drained
• 1/3 cup diced celery
• 1/4 cup minced red onion, soaked in cold water for 5 minutes, drained
• 1 tablespoon minced flat-leaf parsley
• 1/2 cup diced vine-ripened tomato (optional)
• 1/2 cup prepared mayonnaise
• 3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
• 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
• 1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
• 3 tablespoons sour cream
• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus…

New Year's Resolutions

I'm starting a little early this year on my New Year's Resolutions. I've been brain-storming a few ideas, which the goal of narrowing them down and picking the top two to tackle in the coming year. Here are the 2 I thought of today:

1. Spend less time watching TV and more time practicing my hobbies (cooking and knitting).
2. Get more active- this would be good for me and the dog. We took him out for a romp in the snow this morning and now he's pooped. That equals not as hyper, which equals happier owners.

Brickle Drop Cookies

Here's one of the recipes I made last week, but didn't have time to take pictures. These turned out really well. I added mini chocolate chips as well as the toffee bits. They passed the kid test...my husband used them as "auction items" in his 5th grade class.

Brickle Drop Cookies

Ingredients
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1-1/3 cups (8 oz. pkg.) HEATH BITS 'O BRICKLE Toffee Bits

Directions
. 1. Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease cookie sheet or line with parchment paper. 

. 2. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, vanilla and salt in large bowl until blended. Add eggs; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and cream of tartar; gradually add to butter mixture, beating until blended. Stir in toffee bits. Drop by heaping teaspoons onto prepared …

Christmas Break!

Yay! Two weeks off...sigh.

I have a whole bunch of recipes to try AND our new Wii should be here any time now. I can't wait!! One of my goals for the New Year is to be better about posting to my blog and remembering to take pics of the stuff I cook. I've been cooking up a storm, I just don't take time to stop and document it.

Wow- this has been a random post....

Soft Pumpkin Cookies

Old-Fashioned Soft Pumpkin Cookies

Yields:
36 cookies
These cookies are something different and great for after school with a big glass of milk.
Ingredients
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
1 cup LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Glaze (recipe follows)
Directions
PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Grease baking sheets.

COMBINE flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in medium bowl. Beat sugar and butter in large mixer bowl until well blended. Beat in pumpkin, egg and vanilla extract until smooth. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto prepared baking sheets.

BAKE for 15 to 18 minutes or until edges are firm. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Drizzle Glaze over cookies.

FOR GLAZE:
COMBINE 2 cup…

Getting in the Christmas Spirit...

Here are some silly Christmas pics I snapped over the past couple of days.





So cute!

Braised Chicken with Tomatoes and Garlic

Chicken with Tomatoes and Garlic

Prep Time: 10 Minutes Cook Time: 1 Hour Difficulty: Easy Servings: 6
Ingredients
• 8 pieces Chicken Legs Or Thighs
• Salt And Pepper, to taste
• 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
• 1 Tablespoon Butter
• 1 can (28 Ounce) Diced Tomatoes
• 1 can (14 Ounces) Whole Tomatoes
• 2 Tablespoons (Heaping) Tomato Paste
• Fresh Herbs: Basil, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary
• 8 cloves Garlic
• 16 ounces, weight Pasta (I Used Cavitappi)
• Grated Parmesan Cheese, For Serving
• ½ cups White Wine (or Red Wine)
Preparation Instructions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Salt and pepper chicken legs.
Heat ovenproof skillet or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and butter. When oil/butter is hot, add chicken legs to the pan. Using tongs, brown on all sides, about 2 minutes. Remove chicken from pan.
Pour in wine, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any bits. Cook for 1 minute. Pour in tomatoes with their juice and add tomato paste. Add salt and pepper to taste, stirring to combine. Bring sauce to …

Pecan Pie Bars

Several people have asked for the pecan pie bar recipe. So here it is. I aim to please!

Pecan Pie Surprise Bars

Base:
1 pkg. yellow cake mix
1/3 c. butter, softened
1 egg

Filling:
½ c. firmly packed brown sugar
1 ½ c. dark corn syrup
1 t. vanilla
3 eggs
1 c. chopped pecans

Heat oven to 350. Grease 13x9 pan. Reserve 2/3 c. dry cake mix for filling. In large bowl, combine remaining dry cake mix, butter and 1 egg at low speed until well blended. Spread in prepared pan. Bake at 350 for 15 to 20 minutes or until light golden brown.

In large bowl, combine reserved cake mix, brown sugar, corn syrup, vanilla and 3 eggs at low speed until moistened. Beat at medium speed about 1 minute or until well blended. Pour filling over base; sprinkle with pecans. Return to oven and bake 30 to 35 minutes or until filling is set. Cool completely. Cut into bars. Store in refrigerator.

36 bars.

I followed the recipe exactly as it is written here. I don't remember from whom I stole this. I'm guessing …

Rolls- 2 batches from one great recipe!

So today I decided to do some baking. Over the Thanksgiving Break, I spent some time in Savannah with my parents. They get the Cooking Channel with their cable package (I don't here in Rifle). I watched it quite a bit at night when Mom and I would get back from the hospital. One evening I caught an episode of "Kelsey's Essentials" (that might not be the exact title). She was making homemade roll dough that could be used to make either sweet or savory rolls. After I got home, I remembered it and downloaded the recipe.
I was extremely pleased with the way it turned out. I followed the recipe exactly. It made enough dough for one batch of cinnamon rolls and one batch of dinner rolls with rosemary/garlic.
For the cinnamon rolls, I just rolled out the dough and spread it with softened butter. Then I sprinkled brown sugar, cinnamon and pecans on it. I rolled it up, cut it in one inch slices, put the slices on a cookie sheet, let them rise 20 minutes and baked them a…