Monday, March 30, 2009

Roast n' Toast

Steve has requested that I figure this one out because his Grandpa Day would eat it. I think it's cute that he wants to be like his Grandpa. It's pretty easy to make and it's a great way to use leftovers.

Leftover roast
4 pieces of toast buttered
1-2 Tbs cornstarch

Place the roast in a skillet over medium heat. let the fat and gravy render out a little. If you need more gravy mix cornstarch with a little water, pour in with meat. If you use 1 Tbs cornstarch add about 1 cup of water. Season to taste. I like to add quite a bit of pepper. Bring to a boil. Let it simmer til the gravy thickens.
Spoon warm meat mixture over toast.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I told a friend I would send this to her... but since I have taken a vacation form cooking fancy food I thought I would offer it to all of you (all 2 of you).

I love risotto. It's made from a special kind of rice that will make it's own creamy sauce without cream. There are countless ways to dress it up. you can add peas or broccoli, mushrooms, if you roll that way (blah!), I like to put Parmesan cheese in mine with some broccoli. I have also put butternut squash in and that one is FANTASTIC!

1 qt stock of your choice- I use chicken most of the time
2 C Arborio rice (in the store it may be packaged as risotto rice)
2 tbs olive oil
1 tbs butter

Heat the stock in a large pot over medium-high. You may want to add a cup or two of extra water. You want to keep this liquid warm, but not at a boil. Add butter and oil to a large skillet. Add rice and let cook for 2-3 minutes stirring to coat the rice. Then add about half of the liquid, turn the heat down to low just to maintain a simmer, keep uncovered. When the liquid has been absorbed add a little more about a cup at a time. Wait til it is absorbed then add a little more. It will take close to 20 minutes for the rice to cook completely.

Don't worry too much about getting too much liquid, you add it slowly so you'll know if it is getting too saturated, this is not likely to happen though, it's very "thirsty" rice.

*A couple more ideas for stir-ins: spinach, shredded zucchini, green onions, basil, sun ripened tomatoes, the possibilities are endless!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Enchilada casserole

I made this one up all by myself! I'm hoping I can come up with a better name for it. Cause it's not really enchiladas at all... I don't know I'll have to think about it.

1 lb ground beef
1 can pinto beans
1 onion chopped
1 can cream of chicken
1 can Enchilada sauce
1 1/2 C crushed tortilla chips
1 C frozen corn
shredded cheese

Heat large skillet over medium-high heat with a Tbs oil. Add onions and let cook for 2-3 minutes. Add ground beef and cook until no longer pink. Turn the heat to low and add soup and sauce. Stir til well combined. Remove from heat and stir in 1 C of the chips and the corn. Place mixture in a 9x13 baking dish and top with cheese and remainder of the chips. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

*I think this would also be great if you added a small can of green chilies. It would also be good with a dollop of sour cream.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Cheese toast

I love cheese toast, as most people do. I have been trying unsuccessfully to recreate "Wow Bread" this is the closest I've been able to come.

1 C finely shredded Dubliner Cheese (Parmesan and any other hard cheese will work)
6-8 slices french bread
garlic powder

Heat a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Put cheese on a plate. Butter bread on one side and place butter side down on the cheese so that cheese sticks to the butter. Butter the other side of the bread while it's in the cheese. Sprinkle with garlic powder. Place cheese side down in the skillet. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until brown and crispy.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

St. Patrick's Feast

Every St. Patrick's day we have the traditional corned beef, cabbage and potatoes. I could definitely eat this more thank once a year. It's so easy and yummy.

Corned Beef
I just get the packaged corned beef from the store. It already has all the seasonings, it's ready to go. I just throw it in the crock pot and put enough water in to come up about half way up the sides of the meat. Let it go for about 4-6 hours.

Cabbage and Potatoes:
2 potatoes (not green) cut into chunks
1/2 head of cabbage chopped

Put potatoes in a skillet that has a top put enough water in to cover, or almost over the potatoes. Cook for 10 minutes and add cabbage. Cover and let cabbage steam 10 minutes while potatoes finish cooking. When done remove lid and let the extra liquid cook off. Serve with plenty of butter and salt.

To finish off this meal in true St. Patrick's fashion we drink green ginger ale. I figure it's still green ale without being beer :)

Pierogi and Spicy Beet Salsa

First of all sorry I'm slacking. Recipes have kind of been the last thing on my mind lately. Anyway I love this one, it's from Rachael Ray. FYI I have only been able to find the Pierogi at Wal-Mart (ugh) But it's a big bag and of course it's the lowest price, "Always". Also this is the recipe that opened my world up to the divinity of beets. I LOVE beets and I have this recipe to thank for it. Just try it! If you don't like it do what Steve does, ketchup *wretch*.

3 Tbs butter softened
1 (16-19 ounce) package frozen potato filled pierogi
1 15 oz can sliced beets drained and chopped
1 small red onion finely chopped
juice of 1 lime
hot sauce
1/4 C chopped parsley
1/4 C cilantro
1/4 C sour cream
salt and pepper

Spread butter on the bottom of a skillet. Arrange pierogi in the pan in a single layer. Add 1 C water to the pan cover and place over medium heat. Cook for 8 minutes. Remove lid and let any liquid cook off. When all the water cooks off the pierogi will start to "stick" and brown in the butter. When the dumplings are nice and crisp and brown remove to a serving platter.

While the pierogi cook throw together the beet salsa. Combine beets, red onion, lime juice, hot sauce, parsley, cilantro, sour cream and a little salt and pepper.

Serve the pierogi topped with salsa...or ketchup.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Irish Eggs

On of our favorites days is coming up. Since I married a Leprechaun we have to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. I found this recipe in a Rachael Ray cookbook (FYI that's where most of them come from). I'm not one for soft eggs, I like mine very well done. The cream in this makes that impossible but it was delicious!

1/3 C heavy cream
8 eggs
1/2 lb Irish cheese (I used Dubliner, it's Steve's fav.)
2 tbs Irish butter or regular butter cut into bits

Heat medium skillet over medium heat, add butter. Wisk eggs, cream and add salt and pepper. Pour eggs into the skillet and cook slowly. When they are still a little runny add half of the cheese, stir and add the other half. Cook until done and serve.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Stuffed Crust Pizza

As you know I love eat out food. What I don't like is paying for it (I'm the biggest penny pincher) or thinking about what is in it. Steve loves Pizza Hut's Stuffed Crust pizza I have figured a way to make my own for WAY cheaper than they sell it. I was pretty darn proud of myself. Steve even said it was good pizza, that's pretty hard to do, it seems like if you can dream it, it's been on a pizza.

5-6 pieces of string cheese, halved long wise
pizza crust
pizza sauce
desired toppings

I would prefer you use the pizza crust recipe I gave you but I guess you could use a prepared one... Roll out the dough in a circle about 2 inches bigger than you want it. Roll the cheese pieces in the edges, make sure to seal the edges. Then put the sauce and toppings on. Bake at 400 for 15 mins and you have your own stuffed crust pizza, fantastic!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Penne with Cauliflower Sauce

All I can say is.. LOVED IT! Of course Steve wasn't the biggest fan. It was kind of hard to hide the cauliflower, oh well. Did I mention that I loved it, don't tell anyone but I ate three helpings.

1 lb penne rigate
1/4 cup olive oil
3 garlic cloves sliced
1 red onion chopped
1 head of cauliflower cored and chopped
1 C chicken stock
4 sprigs of fresh rosemary (I used a tsp of dried)
3/4 C Parmesan cheese
Black pepper

Bring pasta water to a boil. You will need a ladle or two of the cooking water.

While the pasta works prepare the sauce. Heat oil over medium heat and add garlic cloves, cook for 3 minutes, then remove and discard garlic. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes. Then add cauliflower, chicken stock and rosemary. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Uncover and add the little bit of pasta water. Mash the cauliflower with a potato masher.

Combine pasta and cauliflower, toss to combine, add cheese and toss again. Season with salt and pepper to taste, serve.

Chili and Cornbread

This is my kind of soul food. Last night was a perfect night for a hot bowl of chili, it was rainy and snowy out but inside it smelt like home. I always think about my mom when I cook chili. I think I make mine the same way and it's so good.

2 cans of chili beans (we like Bush's the best)
2 (or 1 large) cans of diced tomatoes
1 onion chopped
1 green pepper chopped
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 lb ground beef (or turkey)
1/2-1 tbs cumin
1/2 tbs chili powder

Brown ground beef, drain if needed. Add onions, peppers and garlic, saute for a couple minutes.

Add beans, and tomatoes. I always add about a bean can of water. Then add seasonings and bring to a boil. turn the heat down to a simmer. Let simmer uncovered for at least 30 minutes, an hour would be better, after an hour if you're still not ready to eat just turn it way down and cover it.


1/2 C melted butter
2/3 C sugar
2 eggs
1 C buttermilk
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 C flour
1 C cornmeal
1/2 tsp salt

Combine butter, sugar, and eggs, mix well. Add buttermilk, and baking soda. Combine with flour cornmeal and salt. Bake at 350 for 30 mins. Cool for 5-10 mins and serve with butter.

*If you don't have butter milk you can add 1 Tbs lemon juice to milk and it will sour in about 5 minutes. Sounds gross but it works so well.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Lemon Spaghetti

This is a new one. I have never made it before. It turned out pretty good. It's one of those that is light and refreshing. The garlic and the red pepper give it the slightest kick.

1 lb spaghetti
3 tbs olive oil
4 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (I think I used 1/4)
zest and juice of two lemons
3/4 C heavy cream
1 C grated parmesan cheese
handful of fresh chopped parsley

Bring pasta water to a boil, salt and drop the pasta in.

Heat a large, deep skillet over low heat and add oil, garlic, red pepper, and lemon zest.

When pasta has been cooking for about 5 minutes add a ladle of cooking water to the garlic mix. then add lemon juice and cream. Don't freak out when the cream curdles a little bit, it's ok. Turn the heat up a little and bring to a bubble.

Drain pasta and add sauce. Toss so the spaghetti can absorb the sauce, add about half of the cheese, and parsley toss again. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.

*I did this one with a chicken breast and it was a really nice, easy dinner. It made my house smell good too. I guess it's only good if you like the smell of garlic though.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

My Dark Secret

I have a confession to make... I don't admit this to many people, just my closest friends. I love white trash food! That's right I LOVE it! Ramen is great, I crave mac and cheese from a box, and don't even get my started on Spam. That's right people I have ingested Spam (numerous times) and lived to tell the tale.
Steve goes on business trips every now and then. They are just short over nighters. I like to use that time to make something that he just doesn't appreciate. Yes, Yes I will usually go for the tofu or totally vegetarian but sometimes I like to trash it up. Steve isn't a huge fan of mac and cheese, even when I make homemade cheese sauce, whatever! So this last time I decided to really go all out. I made a classic, mac and cheese with hot dogs. To make it a little more gourmet I grilled the turkey dogs before I added them to the mac and cheese. It was fabulous!
I hope this doesn't skew your view of me too much, hey I'm human too! Just keep in mind I don't eat like this all the time it's a total guilty pleasure. I promise there will be more exciting yummy recipes to come this week.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Swiss Turkey Burgers with Onions

As you know Steve LOVES hamburgers. He is leaving for a business trip in the morning so because I love him I made turkey burgers for dinner. It was only after the first bite when he said "Mmmm these are good" did he know it was turkey. I also made my famous oven fries.

1 lb ground turkey
1/2-1 Tbs grill seasoning
plain bread crumbs (you may not need these)
1 onion sliced
4-6 slices of Swiss cheese
4 buns

Combine turkey, salt , and spices, the amounts above are just guesses. I always season to taste unless I'm baking or have never made the dish before. The bread crumbs would be added now too, but only add them if your turkey is having trouble staying together, this helps to soak up some moisture.
Heat a Tbs oil in a small nonstick pan over medium heat and add onions. Let them caramelize while burgers work.
Cook burgers on a griddle or grill. 5-6 minutes each side. Be sure the burgers are cook all the way through, it's poultry, I don't want any sickies!
When done place cheese on the burgers and cover with foil, let stand until cheese is gooey and melty. Serve topped with onions. I personally like the spicy brown mustard on this one, no ketchup please.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Sliced Chili-Rubbed Flank Steak with Spicy Rice

I'm branching out a little more this go 'round. I have picked some new recipes for the next couple of weeks. This one I got out of a Rachel Ray cookbook. It's originally called Mexican Surf and Turf. It calls for shrimp and I don't like shrimp so I made a couple changes. The rice is not spicy hot, it just has spices. Steve said "mmmm this IS good" when he took the first bite, so we have a winner?

1 1/2 Grill seasoning
1 Tbs chili powder
Zest of 1 Lime
2-2 1/4 lb Flank Steak (I used a Flat iron steak and it was still yummy, honestly I don't know the difference)
2 Tbs Butter
1 1/2 C long grain rice
1 Onion chopped
1/2 red bell pepper chopped
1 jalapeno diced (I used a Serrano, less heat)
3 cups chicken stock
2 Tbs tomato paste
1-2 avocados
1/2 C crumbled white Mexican cheese (I used goat cheese, feta is probably too feet-ish for this dish)

Combine grill seasoning, chili powder and zest, rub both sides of steak and let sit for 10 mins while you prepare rice and allow grill to heat.
In medium sauce pan melt butter and add onion, peppers, and rice to toast. Add stock and bring to a boil. Stir in tomato paste and let cook for about 20 mins. Add fresh cilantro just before serving.
When grill is hot place steak on and let cook for 7-8 mins on the first side and 5-6 on the second, for medium done-ness. Let the meat rest for a couple of minutes before slicing.
For the rice: put in a serving dish and top with avocados and sprinkle with cheese.

This is so super yummy, perfect for summer and using the grill. I used my griddle and it worked out fine. I really wish we would have taken a picture of this one, it was really colorful, but we were hungry and couldn't wait. If you want to see just how pretty it is catch Steve at lunch :)