I've been hearing for years about how I should try a blue cheese butter with my steaks. However I've never been a fan of blue cheese until the past few years. I asked at the Harmon's cheese bar about a good cheese to use for steaks, since they had given me a few other great cheese selections, and they suggested a Stilton blue cheese. At first I thought I was just going to crumble the blue cheese over a cooked steak but again it was suggested I try it in a butter for the steaks. I have to say I really liked the taste of this butter with the steak. The blue cheese had just a hint of its flavor yet it flavored the steak well. I think I'll have to make this anytime I plan on serving steak. I like it much more than steak sauce now. I found the recipe here.
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 tbsp. crumbled blue cheese
1/2 tsp. coarse ground pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
Stir together butter, blue cheese, coarse pepper and garlic in a small bowl; cover and set aside until ready to serve.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
I did not post last months as we headed to Disneyland minutes after the pick up. But here is this month's score:
2 8oz. top sirloin steaks
4 5oz. pork chops
2 lbs. chicken legs and thighs
1 lb. lean ground beef
2 lb. brown rice
2 loaves Stoneground's artisan wheat bread
6 lbs. yellow onions
7 red bell peppers
2 romaine lettuce
2 ham steaks
1 loaf German rye bread
1 package Colosimo's kielbasa sausage
For a grand total of: $48.25
Thursday, March 26, 2009
This turned out much tastier than I thought it would. It was a very easy sauce to make and it had lots of flavor. I'm usually not a fan of a meaty spaghetti sauce but this was really good. I did add a can of mushrooms just because I like mushrooms. I found this recipe on the Taste of Home's website .
- 1 pound ground beef or bulk Italian sausage
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
- 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon Domino® or C&H® Pure Cane Dark Brown Sugar
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 to 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 to 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon dried thyme
Transfer to a 3-qt. slow cooker. Add the next 10 ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or until heated through. Discard bay leaf. Serve with spaghetti. Yield: 6-8 servings.
Monday, March 23, 2009
I love this salad dressing. It tastes like the salad dressing used at Cafe Rio. I love that it is very easy to make and I've found that I used it for more than a knock off Cafe Rio dish. I've used the dressing for just a regular salad, on my Chicken Wraps , or as in the picture above on a taco salad. You can use this dressing in place of ranch in pretty much any recipe.
1 package Ranch Buttermilk Dressing mix
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 cup Mayonnaise (I use half mayo and half sour cream)
3 fresh tomatillos
1 cup fresh cilantro
2 cloves garlic
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
Just put everything in a blender and puree.Refrigerate for a couple of hours and if you need to, adjust the thickness by adding more buttermilk to thin it out, or sour cream to make it thicker.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Oh my all I can say is this was one of the best sandwiches I've made. You know when after the first bite your husband is yelling "damn this is good," that you've made something tasty. I love the fact it was so easy to make for all the great taste. I thought about making it with chicken stock or even nonalcoholic beer but I went for the real stuff. This recipe called for a small fully cooked ham and I used some sliced deli meat. Using the deli meat shaved about one and a half hours off the total cooking time. I also cut the recipe down to feed a smaller crowd as posted the recipe serves 16. I added baby swiss to the sandwich just because my husband likes cheese with most sandwiches. This is definitely a recipe I will be making again. The recipe as in the March 10, 2009 Standard Examiner.
3 large sweet onions, halved, thickly cut into wedges
12 ounce bottle pilsner beer
3 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 small fully cooked smoked ham, 8 to 9 pounds
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Mix the onions, beer, mustard, brown sugar, and pepper in the bottom of a large roasting pan, spreading the onions in an even layer over the bottom. Place the ham, cut side down, over the onions. Cover tightly with heavy-duty foil; bake until heated through, about 2 hours.
Remove ham to a cutting board; cover with foil. Put the roasting pan over medium high heat. Cook, stirring nearly constantly to reduce the pan juices and glaze the onions, about 25 minutes; cool. Thinly slice the ham; serve with the onions.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
This is the last of the Greek recipes from my Greek dinner. I've made several recipes over the years looking for the perfect Greek salad dressing recipe and although this one is not perfect it has been the best I've tried so far. I will admit I think it calls for a little too much olive oil as the dressing tasted very oily but maybe I'm just a little too picky. I did add one teaspoon of sugar. It was a trick I read about in the Cook's Country magazine a few years back. Another addition was 2 tablespoons of feta cheese. I put all the ingredients into a food processor and blended them together. The feta cheese adds great flavor and sort of a creamy taste. I found the recipe here.
1/2 Cup red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
2 teaspoons shallot, minced
2 teaspoons fresh oregano, finely chopped
2 teaspoons fresh basil, finely chopped
1 teaspoon Dijon or whole-grain mustard
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1-1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
Combine all ingredients except oil in a medium mixing bowl with a wire whisk. Once ingredients are combined, slowly pour in the olive oil while whisking to form an emulsion. Makes 2 Cups
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Yummy is the best way to describe these. These were so tasty and crispy yet fluffy. My only real complaint about the potatoes is only some of them had a lemon taste. But that is easily fixed and I can't wait to try them again. The cooking time was long but I think if you played with the dish for awhile you could probably shaved 45 minutes off the cooking time. To make these potatoes a little more like the ones from my favorite Greek place I spooned some homemade Greek salad dressing over the top just before serving. I found the recipe here.
8 large potatoes, peeled, cut into large wedges (about 6-7 wedges per potato)
4 garlic cloves, minced (more garlic is a good thing, less garlic is a no-no for this recipe)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup water
1 tablespoon oregano (get the Mediterranean, it's the best!)
1-1 1/2 lemon, juice of
fresh coarse ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 440°F. Spray the baking pan with Pam.
Put all the ingredients into a baking pan large enough to hold them.
Season generously with sea salt and black pepper.
Make sure your hands are very clean and put them in the pan and give everything a toss to distribute.
The garlic will drop into the water/oil solution but its flavour will permeate the potatoes, and this way, it won't burn.
Bake for 40 minutes.
When a nice golden-brown crust has formed on the potatoes, give them a stir to bring the white underside up, season lightly with a bit more sea salt and pepper and just a light sprinkling of oregano.
Add 1/2 cup more water if pan appears to be getting dry, and pop back into oven to brown other side of potatoes.
This will take about another 40 minutes.
Do not be afraid of overcooking the potatoes- they will be delicious.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Another dish from our Greek dinner. This was unbelievable good. I liked the taste so much more than the rice from the local Greek place. I found this recipe on Kalyn's Kitchen and have made it a few times. The rice had good flavor with just enough lemon flavor. A few things I did differently, I misread the recipe when I made the rice this time and used 2 tablespoons of butter. I don't recommend this as you could taste the butter and it distracted some from the recipe. However using one tablespoon olive oil and one tablespoon is the way I've made it in the past and its really good that way. I also did not use the converted rice. I don't buy the stuff so I used other rice. I usually make it with medium grain brown or white rice but this time I used jasmine rice. I really liked the jasmine rice in this dish and will probably use it all the time now.
1 cup Uncle Ben's Converted Rice (not instant)
2 T olive oil (or 1 T butter and 1 T olive oil)
1 tsp. salt
3 T lemon juice (or more)
3 C chicken stock
Use a heavy pan with a tight fitting lid. Saute rice in olive oil for 2 minutes. Add salt and lemon juice and saute 1 minute more. Add chicken stock carefully so it doesn't splash up on you, let it come to a boil, reduce heat to the lowest you can get it and still keep the liquid boiling and cook 30 minutes without peeking at all.
After 30 minutes you are allowed to peek to see if all the liquid is absorbed. If not cook a few more minutes until it has.
Monday, March 16, 2009
This is another great recipe from my one of my favorite blogs, My Kitchen Cafe. I don't think I've ever had a recipe that did not turn out from her blog. This is Melanie's post about the recipe. I have to say this was the best lemon chicken I have ever attempted at home. I'm usually not a big fan of fruity flavored meats but I thought this recipe was a tasteful one. I was in the mood for my favorite Greek dinner at my favorite Greek restaurant yet did not have the money to go out to eat. I made a fabulous Greek dinner using this recipe for the chicken. I'll post the rest of the recipes in the days to come. I used a charcoal grill to grill the chicken in this recipe. The only thing I would do differently is add a little more garlic. I'm a huge fan of garlic and I can never get enough of it. In the recipe as is it seemed you could barely taste the garlic so next time I'll add one or two more cloves in hopes of a little more garlic flavor. Overall huge winner in my book and I look forward to making it again.
Lemon and Garlic Grilled Chicken
from Erin W.
Juice of 1 lemon, approximately 3 tablespoons
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic, about 2 medium cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 pound chicken breasts (I usually cut really thick chicken breasts down to thin them out and make the pieces a little smaller so they absorb the marinade better)
Combine all marinade ingredients. Place chicken in a ziploc bag and pour marinade over chicken. Seal bag and place in fridge overnight. Grill (or cook in frying pan). Serve with sides of your choice or cut into bite sized pieces and add to desired recipe (I'll be sharing a few with you soon). Note: If you cut your chicken into smaller, bite-sized pieces and then marinate it, you can get away with only letting it marinate for 5 or 6 hours instead of overnight.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
I read about these doughnuts in the Deseret News food section a few weeks ago. Yesterday I finally decide to give them a try. What a nightmare they were to make. As you can tell from the picture I gave up on actually making doughnuts and decided to go for doughnut holes. The dough was just very sticky and I could not cut a doughnut shape out of them. I added way more than the 5 1/2 cups of flour and yet the dough was still sticky. While they were a pain to make they tasted really good. Not like the doughnuts you buy at the store but different in an old fashion way. The article from DN took me here which is where I got the recipe I used. I tried the second recipe which was modernized from the original recipe.
2 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs, beaten
5 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
6 tablespoons melted butter
In a medium bowl stir together all dry ingredients and set aside. Whisk together buttermilk, eggs and sugar. Add melted butter and whisk again. Add dry ingredients and gently stir together -- do not use a mixer. Dough will be sticky. Start heating frying oil to 375 degrees. Roll or pat dough on a well-floured board about 1/4 to 3/8 inch thick. Cut with 2 1/2-inch doughnut cutter. Form the scraps into a ball and reroll and cut. (The dough could be cut with a knife or pizza cutter in small squares or rectangles to speed up the process). Fry in hot oil. Doughnuts will start to crack on top when they are ready to turn. Remove from oil when golden brown. Drain on paper towels. While warm, roll in or sprinkle with granulated sugar as desired. Makes 2 dozen doughnuts.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
I'm a big supporter of the csa's. I find that I get really good local organic produce for a decent price. I'm listing a few csa's for the Northern Utah area.
What is a CSA? (Thanks to Slow Foods Utah.org for the answer)
ommunity Supported Agriculture (CSA) provides a mutually beneficial arrangement between farmers and consumers. People join by purchasing a "share" of produce pre-season, then pick up their weekly produce from a central drop point in their area during the harvest season.
CSA Benefits for the farmer? When signing up, you dedicate yourself to being a customer for the season, providing the farmer a secure market. CSAs enable farms to share the risk and abundance of producing food with the consumer, resulting in a more direct and rewarding link between farmer and community. (Payment in the Spring also provides cash to the farmer when it is needed most.) (Courtesy of Borski Farms.)
CSA Benefits for the shareholder? No more guessing where your food comes from! Members receive a weekly supply of diverse produce with "the farmer’s face on it." You can talk with the farmer, and many offer opportunities to visit the farms. Your produce is harvested and delivered directly to you, generally via a drop–off point, ensuring the freshest produce with a high nutritional value. You also get the satisfaction of knowing you are supporting a local farm. (Courtesy of Wasatch Community Gardens)
I've had this recipe for close to 6 years. I have no idea where I found the recipe so I can't give it the credit it deserves. However this is my favorite potato soup recipe. Every once in awhile I try another recipe but it never tastes as good as this one. All the flavors blend together just right and it's so easy to make. Whenever I make baked potatoes I usually end up baking a few more just so I can make this soup.
5 large potatoes, baked
10 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
3 green onions, chopped
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
8 oz. sour cream
2/3 cup flour
2/3 cup butter
6 cups milk
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1. After potatoes have cooled, scoop out pulp into a bowl and mash.
2. Melt butter in large pot. Add flour. Stir until smooth. Gradually add milk over medium heat, stirring constantly until thick and bubbly. Do not let milk burn on the bottom of pot!
3. Stir potatoes into cream sauce.
4. Add salt, pepper, bacon, 2 TB. green onions, and cheddar cheese. Cook until heated through, but do NOT boil.
5. Stir in sour cream, but do NOT let boil.*Serve with extra cheese, bacon, and green onions for toppings.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
I found this recipe in the Taste of Home Busy Family Cookbook. It was a hit with everyone including my father who is very picky these days about pasta dishes. This is a recipe that will be made again in this house. As usual I did play around with the recipe. I chopped one onion and added it to the hamburger while cooking. I also added a minced garlic clove towards the end of the meat and onions being cooked. I mixed everything but the cheese and pasta together. I then add some Worcestershire sauce, about 1 teaspoon, and about 2 tablespoons regular mustard. I also add some seasoning salt and pepper. Then I mixed the pasta with the meat mixture and then topped with the cheese. I served a homemade pickle along side the dish. The flavors were great together and it was a simple and easy dish to make.
8 ounces uncooked penne pasta
1 pound ground beef
6 bacon strips, diced
1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed tomato soup, undiluted
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
Barbecue sauce and prepared mustard optional
Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain and set aside.
In the same skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove to paper towels; drain discarding drippings. Drain pasta; add to the skillet. Stir in soup, beef and bacon; heat through. Sprinkle with cheese; cover and cook until the cheese is melted. Serve with barbecue sauce and mustard if desired.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
I realize my sister is indeed back from Disneyland, but she is ever so graciously still going to allow me to post! It makes me happy, especially when I ran across a recipe that I made and adapted and needed to share. Original recipe is actually called Lemon Cream Pasta with Chicken and I found it here. I was inspired to take up the challenge of making this dish a little healthier by the comment posted by Kameron and because I love to read Cook's Country and their stories about adaptions of a recipe. I am unsure how much healthier my version is, but I do still have another option to try out next time I make this dish, which I will because it was very delicious.
I thought the best way to accomplish a low fat option would be by making a rue and using it to thicken skim milk. Then I realized it was probably going to taste bland. So I threw in a rine of parmesan cheese and pressed a garlic clove into it. I felt the sauce wasn't going to be enough, because I like a lot of sauce, especially a cream sauce. So I added about 1/3 cup of cream, thinking this could add some flavor. Then I tasted it and thought, "good thing I have extra cream to revert to the original recipe". But I decided to march ahead with at least attempting to make it. So I added salt, pepper and garlic powder. Tasted it again. I added more pepper, some McCormick's salt free garlic and herb seasoning and grated some parmesan cheese into it. Now I felt the sauce had some flavor and was pasta ready, but don't forget to remove the rine of parmesan before pouring on top of your pasta. Of course, seeing as how I added butter(for the rue) and the parmesan cheese, I'm not sure how much healthier/less fattening this sauce was compared to the original cream.
I only made half of the original recipe, as there is only 2 of us in my house. But I was worried that since I used a different kind of pasta, orricchiette(because I LOVE the pockets for the sauce to get caught in) that my pasta would need more liquid to absorb, so I used two cans of chicken broth plus 1/2 cup of water. Which by the time the pasta was cooked I actually had extra liquid in my pot still. So I strained and reserved the liquid, approximately 3/4 cup worth. And since it had been simmering for 20 minutes, it had reduced to a wonderfully creamy chicken-lemony stock. Below is a picture of the liquid.
I assume the liquid thickened/creamed because of the starch from the pasta and because the reduction. But I am by no means a food scientist. Which got me thinking that you could probably make the recipe and plan on extra liquid from the start, cook the pasta to your liking, reserve the leftover stock and add in cream to make a sauce for it. I think this method would still preserve the creamy flavor but make it healthier because less cream, butter and cheese is used.
So here is the recipe I made tonight:
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 (14.5 ounce) cans of chicken broth
1/2 cup water[or you may try additional chicken broth]
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
8 ounces orricchiette pasta(roughly 2 1/2 cups)
2 cups cooked broccoli, chopped into bite size pieces
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup skim milk
1/3 cup of heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt free garlic & herb seasoning
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
DIRECTIONS - PASTA
In a large pot, put chicken broth, garlic powder, pepper, lemon juice and pasta. Bring to a boil. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until most liquid is absorbed, roughly 20 minutes for my orrichiette pasta. Strain. Pour pasta back into pot. Stir broccoli into cooked pasta.
DIRECTIONS - SAUCE
In a medium saucepan, melt butter. Whisk in flour. Slowly whisk in skim milk. Add cream, salt, pepper, pressed garlic, salt free garlic & herb seasoning and lemon zest. Cook over medium low heat, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes. Stir in parmesan cheese. Pour over pasta.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
We really like this recipe. The flavor is good and the taste is very similar to the actual Applebee's appetizer. I make these for lunch or dinner for a quick and easy dish. Most people have the ingredients on hand in their house most of the time. Last night I used a salsa I preserved in the fall along with my guacamole recipe.
I found the recipe in the book Top Secret Restaurant Recipes. I cut the quesadilla into 4 slices instead of the six.
2 10 inch (burrito size) flour tortillas
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/3 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/3 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 medium tomato, chopped
2 teaspoons diced onion
1 teaspoon diced canned jalapeno (nacho slices)
1 slice bacon, cooked
/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh cilantro
dash of salt
On the side
Heat a large frying pan over medium heat.
Spread half of the butter on one side of each tortilla. Put one tortilla, butter side down, in the hot pan.
Spread cheeses evenly onto the center of the tortilla in the pan. You don't have to spread the cheese all the way to the edge. Leave a margin of an inch or so all the way around.
Sprinkle the tomato, onion, and jalapeno over the cheese.
Crumble the slice of cooked bacon and sprinkle it over the other ingredients.
Sprinkle the cilantro and a dash of salt over the other ingredients.
Top off the quesadilla with the remaining tortilla, being sure the buttered side is facing up.
When the bottom tortilla has browned, 45-90 seconds, flip the quesadilla over and grill the other side for the same length of time.
Remove the quesadilla from the pan, and, using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut the quesadilla three times through the middle like a pizza, creating 6 equal slice. Serve hot with sour cream, guacamole, and salsa on the side.
Friday, March 6, 2009
I found this recipe in the March/April issue of Simply Delicious. Tasty and so easy to make. I like this recipe more than a few other ranch potato dishes I've made. The ranch flavor was not real strong but you could taste it. I could not tell I used sour cream and Don who hates sour cream said he liked the dish.
7 medium potatoes cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1 cup (8oz) sour cream
1 envelope ranch salad dressing mix
1 cup (4 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
Place potatoes in a greased 11x7 inch baking dish; dot with butter. Cover and bake at 325 degrees for 60-65 minutes or until tender.
Combine sour cream and salad dressing mix; spoon over potatoes. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
I no longer buy canned sloppy joe mix or the packets because the flavor of homemade is so much better. No weird after taste for me. I finally discovered what it was that I did not like about sloppy joes and that was the canned or packet stuff. I'll never go back to the packaged stuff. Making your own is not much harder than opening the can and the trade off in taste is unbelieveable. This recipe also freezes well although you sometimes have to add water to get the consistency right after reheating. I found this recipe in a Cook's Country magazine. I'm not sure what issue as it was in the year end collection book they print.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped fine
1/2 teaspoon table salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 pound 85 percent lean ground beef
Ground black pepper
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 cup tomato puree
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
4 hamburger buns
1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion and salt and stir until coated with oil. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft, about 10 minutes (if onion begins to burn after 5 minutes, reduce heat to low). Add garlic and chili powder and cook, uncovered, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add beef and cook, breaking up meat with wooden spoon, until just pink, about 3 minutes.
2. Add 1/4 teaspoon pepper, brown sugar, tomato puree, ketchup, water, and hot sauce. Simmer until Sloppy Joe sauce is slightly thicker than ketchup, 8 to 10 minutes. Adjust seasonings. Spoon meat mixture onto hamburger buns and serve.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
So we are home from Disneyland and sadly I have not felt well enough to do much cooking. However last night I wanted soup and since I really liked the soup I had at the PCH Grill at the Disney Paradise Pier hotel I tried to make it. I could not find the recipe so I made do with a recipe from allrecipes. It turned out really good with a few additions but it was not exactly the same as the soup I had at PCH Grill. I'll make this recipe again as it was quick and easy and so much better than canned cream of mushroom soup.
1/4 cup butter
1 cup chopped shiitake mushrooms
1 cup chopped portobello mushrooms
2 shallots, chopped
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth
1 cup half-and-half
salt and pepper to taste
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute the shiitake mushrooms, portobello mushrooms, and shallots for about 5 minutes, or until soft. Mix in the flour until smooth. Gradually stir in the chicken broth. Cook, stirring, 5 minutes, or until thick and bubbly.
Stir in the half-and-half, season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with cinnamon. Heat through, but do not boil.
Things I did different:
I did not chop the mushrooms. I sliced them. The soup I had was sliced not chopped.
I added about one teaspoon cooking sherry.
I added one minced garlic clove with the shallots and mushrooms
I used evaporated milk instead of half and half.
I add a piece of parmesan rind to the soup.