Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Ice Cream Cake Roll

4 eggs, separated
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup cake flour
1/4 cup baking cocoa
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups ice cream, softened
2 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened baking chocolate
1/4 cup butter
2/3 cup evaporated milk, heated to 160 degrees F
1 cup sugar
Let eggs stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Line a greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan with waxed paper; grease and flour paper; set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat egg yolks on high for 3 minutes or until lemon-colored. Gradually add sugar and vanilla, beating until thick and pale yellow. Combine the flour, cocoa and baking powder; gradually add to egg yolk mixture Beat on low until well mixed (mixture will be thick).
In another large mixing bowl and with clean beaters, beat egg whites and salt on high speed until soft peaks form. Fold a fourth of egg whites into the batter, then fold in remaining whites.
Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Turn cake onto a kitchen towel dusted with confectioners' sugar. Gently peel off waxed paper. Roll up cake in the towel jelly-roll style, starting with a short side. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Unroll cake; spread with ice cream to within 1 in. of edges. Roll up again. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until serving.
In a small heavy saucepan, melt chocolate and butter over low heat, stirring until smooth. Gradually add warm milk and sugar; stir constantly for 5 minutes or until completely dissolved. Serve with cake.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Thai Coconut Green Curry Chicken

in a shkillet with vegetable oil, saute 1 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, ( cut in bite sized pieces). In a seperate medium saucepan, combine 1/2-1 T green curry paste with 1 can pure coconut milk9 for a low fat version, in a glass measuring cup place 1 C milk and 1 T pure coconut extract, let sit for 15 minutes or longer in the refrigerator, and simmer for 5 minutes . Add 2T dried basil, 3T fish sauce, 2T brown sugar, 1/3 C chicken broth, simmer for 10-15 minutes. Now add chicken and any vegetable you like, I added 2 bags of frozen vegetables.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Rachael Ray's Cheesburger Cavatappi

1 pound cavatappi (hollow corkscrew pasta) or penne
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 pound ground sirloin
3-4 tablespoons grated onion and its juice
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce (eyeball it)
Salt and pepper
4 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup chicken broth or stock
2 cups whole milk
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped dill pickles, for garnish (optional)
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced, for garnish (optional)
Preparation Heat a pot of water to boil for pasta. Add the salt and cook the pasta to al dente.

While the pasta works, heat a nonstick skillet with 1 tablespoon of EVOO, once around the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the beef and brown, breaking it up into bite-size pieces. Add a little grated onion, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper to the skillet to season with the meat.

While the meat browns, heat a sauce pot over medium to medium-high heat. Add butter and, when it melts, whisk in the flour, cook it a minute, then whisk in the stock and milk and season the sauce with salt and pepper. Bring the sauce to a bubble, then thicken it up a few minutes. Stir the mustard into sauce, then melt the cheese in a few handfuls at a time, stirring in the cheese in a figure-eight motion. Adjust salt and pepper, to taste.

Drain the pasta, add it back to hot pasta pot and add the beef and cheese sauce to it. Stir to combine the mac ‘n cheese ‘n burger, adjust the seasoning and serve in shallow bowls with chopped pickles and tomatoes for garnish(optional). I garnished with sliced Jalapeno peppers.

Adelaide Bartow's Irish Soda Bread

I found this recipe at just look under the tag for Irish soda bread. You can find detailed instructions and pictures at:
Excellent bread. The changes i made were increasing the sugar to 1/2C and I dusted with confectioners sugar prior to baking.

April Daring Baker Challenge

This months challenge was hosted by:
Deborah at Taste and Tell
And Elle atFeeding My Enthusiasms
Although I am not a huge fan of cheesecake I do like it. This recipe was actually the best cheesecake I have ever tasted. I definitely will be making this again. Everyone really loved the flavor of this cheesecake. Although I have made cheesecake before,this was the first time I ever worked with a hot water bat method. The cake was easy to whip up. I needed to keep increasing the time by 10 minute increments as the center of the cheesecake was not setting. I waited until the center was no longer "jiggling" and the cake was great. I enjoyed this recipe. I was not too creative with the sprinkles as they are not a huge hit here. I used a dipping milk chocolate in a double boiler and the key is to keep the temperature low and also not to let any water touch the chocolate. I cannot wait to see the other daring Baker photos. I wonder what the challenge in May will be?

Cheesecake Pops

Makes 30 – 40 Pops

5 8-oz. packages cream cheese at room temperature

2 cups sugar

¼ cup all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon salt

5 large eggs

2 egg yolks

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

¼ cup heavy cream

Boiling water as needed

Thirty to forty 8-inch lollipop sticks

1 pound chocolate, finely chopped – you can use all one kind or half and half of dark, milk, or white (Alternately, you can use 1 pound of flavored coatings, also known as summer coating, confectionary coating or wafer chocolate – candy supply stores carry colors, as well as the three kinds of chocolate.)

2 tablespoons vegetable shortening

Assorted decorations such as chopped nuts, colored jimmies, crushed peppermints, mini chocolate chips, sanding sugars, dragees) - Optional

Position oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. Set some water to boil.

In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, flour, and salt until smooth. If using a mixer, mix on low speed. Add the whole eggs and the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well (but still at low speed) after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and cream.

Grease a 10-inch cake pan (not a springform pan), and pour the batter into the cake pan. Place the pan in a larger roasting pan. Fill the roasting pan with the boiling water until it reaches halfway up the sides of the cake pan. Bake until the cheesecake is firm and slightly golden on top, 35 to 45 minutes.

Remove the cheesecake from the water bath and cool to room temperature. Cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap and refrigerate until very cold, at least 3 hours or up to overnight.

When the cheesecake is cold and very firm, scoop the cheesecake into 2-ounce balls and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Carefully insert a lollipop stick into each cheesecake ball. Freeze the cheesecake pops, uncovered, until very hard, at least 1 – 2 hours.

When the cheesecake pops are frozen and ready for dipping, prepare the chocolate. In the top of a double boiler, set over simmering water, or in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, heat half the chocolate and half the shortening, stirring often, until chocolate is melted and chocolate and shortening are combined. Stir until completely smooth. Do not heat the chocolate too much or your chocolate will lose it’s shine after it has dried. Save the rest of the chocolate and shortening for later dipping, or use another type of chocolate for variety.

Alternately, you can microwave the same amount of chocolate coating pieces on high at 30 second intervals, stirring until smooth.

Quickly dip a frozen cheesecake pop in the melted chocolate, swirling quickly to coat it completely. Shake off any excess into the melted chocolate. If you like, you can now roll the pops quickly in optional decorations. You can also drizzle them with a contrasting color of melted chocolate (dark chocolate drizzled over milk chocolate or white chocolate over dark chocolate, etc.) Place the pop on a clean parchment paper-lined baking sheet to set. Repeat with remaining pops, melting more chocolate and shortening (or confectionary chocolate pieces) as needed.

Refrigerate the pops for up to 24 hours, until ready to serve.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Baked Stuffed Shrimp, Basmati Rice and Steamed Vegetables

For the shrimp:
1 C celery, grated
1C carrot, grated
1/2 C onion, grated
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 stick butter
24 large shrimp
2 rolls Ritz crackers, crushed
Start by melting the butter. Once completely liquified, add celery, onion, carrot, and garlic, sauteeing until translucent over medium heat. Turn burner off and add crackers. Peel, devein and butterfly shrimp and place them in a greased baking panaround the edges, place stuffing down the middle of the baking pan. Bake at 400 degrees F for 12 minutes.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Chicken Piccata and Deluxe Potatoes

You can find both of these recipes around 2/2/08.

Fiber One Apple Bran Muffins

Fiber One box mix muffins, very moist, on sale at Sam's Club.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Blog Party #33 Round Up

To see the guests at the Diner Blog party please click the link above.

Brown Sugar Cinnnamon Biscotti

I found this recipe a while ago at :
well today I finally tried these and they make the house smell great and are tasty.

Sesame Seed Cookies

3/4 C sesame seeds
1/2 C softened butter
1 C brown sugar
1 egg
1C flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
Spread sesame seeds on a pie pan and toast in a 275 degree F oven until they rae pale amber, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. In a medium bowl, with mixer on medium, cream the butter until fluffy. Add the sugar and beat until light. Beat in the egg. Sift the flour and salt into the creamed mixture, along with the sesame seeds and vanilla. Drop dough onto greased baking sheets, leaving at least 2" between each mound of dough. bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes or until the cookies are a rich caramel color. Cool on wire racks.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Chicken with Eggplant, Capers and Kalamata Ollives

1 T olive oil
1 1/4 lb. boneless , skinless, chicken breast , cut into 1" pieces
1 medium eggplant, peeled and cut into 1" pieces
1 c diced onion
2 cloves garlic , minced
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 C pitted kalamta olives
1T capers, rinsed and drained
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried oregano
2 bay leaves
2T dried basil
salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium hign heat. Add the chickan and cook until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside. To the same skillet add the eggplant, onion and garlic, cook for 3 minutes or until all is softened. Return the chicken to the pan and add the tomatoes, olives, capers, thyme, oregano and bay leaves. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to low , partially cover the skillet and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, remove the bay leaves, sir in the basil, salt and pepper and serve.

Peanut Butter Apple Muffins

1 1/4 C white flour
1/2 C whole wheat flour
4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. allspice
2 T vegetable oil
1/4 C creamy peanut butter
1/4 C sugar
1C milk
3/4 C apple, raw and chopped
Sift flours, baking powder, salt and allspice and set aside. Cream oil and peanut butter with sugar, bating until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat well. Stir in milk and apple. Add flour mixture and stir just enough to moisten ingredients. Fill muffin tins about 2/3 full and sprinkle tops with 2 T sugar mixed with 1/4 tsp. cinnamon. Bake at 400 degrees F for 20-25 minutes.

Asiago and Red Pepper Focaccia

1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
1 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
3 1/4 cups bread flour, divided
1 whole garlic head
1 1/2 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil, divided
1 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
Cooking spray
1 teaspoon cornmeal
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
3/4 cup chopped bottled roasted red bell peppers
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded asiago cheese

Dissolve yeast in water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add 1 cup flour to yeast mixture, stirring well to combine. Cover and let stand at room temperature 8 hours or overnight to create a sponge (mixture will become very bubbly).

Preheat oven to 350°.
Remove papery skin from garlic head (do not peel or separate cloves). Wrap in foil. Bake at 350° for 1 hour; cool 10 minutes.

Separate cloves; squeeze to extract garlic pulp. Discard skins. Place garlic pulp, 1 tablespoon oil, and 1 teaspoon salt in a small bowl, and mash with a fork until smooth. Stir into sponge.

Add 2 cups flour to the sponge; stir until a soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes); add enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel tacky).

Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 45 minutes or until doubled in size. (Gently press 2 fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.)

Punch dough down. Cover and let rest 5 minutes. Divide dough in half; roll each half into a 10-inch round.

Place 1 dough round on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Arrange basil over dough, leaving a 1/4-inch border; top with bell peppers. Sprinkle evenly with cheese. Top with other dough round; pinch edges to seal. Lightly coat with cooking spray. Cover and let rise 45 minutes or until dough is doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 400°.

Uncover dough. Make indentations in top of dough with a knife. Gently brush dough with 1 1/2 teaspoons oil, and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bake at 400° for 30 minutes or until the focaccia is browned on bottom and sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from pan; cool on a wire rack.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Classic Brownies

I found this recipe in the Cook's Illustrated magazine and they are wonderful. Perfectly moist and chewy.
1 cup (4 ounces) pecans or walnuts, chopped medium (optional)
1¼ cups (5 ounces) cake flour
½ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon baking powder
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped fine
12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, cut into six 1-inch pieces
2¼ cups (15¾ ounces) sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 325 degrees. Cut 18-inch length foil and fold lengthwise to 8-inch width. Fit foil into length of 13 by 9-inch baking dish, pushing it into corners and up sides of pan; allow excess to overhand pan edges. Cut 14-inch length foil and, if using extra-wide foil, fold lengthwise to 12-inch width; fit into width of baking pan in same manner, perpendicular to first sheet. Spray foil-lined pan with nonstick cooking spray.

2. If using nuts, spread nuts evenly on rimmed baking sheet and toast in oven until fragrant, 5 to 8 minutes. Set aside to cool.

3. Whisk to combine flour, salt, and baking powder in medium bowl; set aside.
4. Melt chocolate and butter in large heatproof bowl set over saucepan of almost-simmering water, stirring occasionally, until smooth. (Alternatively, in microwave, heat butter and chocolate in large microwave-safe bowl on high for 45 seconds, then stir and heat for 30 seconds more. Stir again, and, if necessary, repeat in 15-second increments; do not let chocolate burn.) When chocolate mixture is completely smooth, remove bowl from saucepan and gradually whisk in sugar. Add eggs on at a time, whisking after each addition until thoroughly combined. Whisk in vanilla. Add flour mixture in three additions, folding with rubber spatula until batter is completely smooth and homogeneous.

5. Transfer batter to prepared pan; using spatula, spread batter into corners of pan and smooth surface. Sprinkle toasted nuts (if using) evenly over batter and bake until toothpick or wooden skewer inserted into center of brownies comes out with few moist crumbs attached, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool on wire rack to room temperature, about 2 hours, then remove brownies from pan by lifting foil overhang. Cut brownies into 2-inch squares and serve. (Store leftovers in airtight container at room temperature, for up to 3 days, or, ahem, in the freezer until your resistance gets the better of you.)

Irish Soda Bread

4 cups sifted Flour
3/4 cups Sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. Caraway seeds (optional)
1 cup Raisins
1/4 cup Butter
1 1/3 cup Buttermilk
1 Egg
1 tsp. Baking Soda

Sift & mix dry ingredients, except baking soda. Stir in the raisins and caraway seeds if you use them. Cut in the butter. Combine buttermilk, egg, and soda in a small bowl. Mix with dry ingredients. Turn onto floured surface and knead. Form into two small loaves. Put loaves in greased glass pie pans, cut a cross into the top of each loaf and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Chipotle Shrimp

In a skillet heat 2-3T vegetable oil and 1T butter. Dice and sautee 1 medium onion. Sprinkle on a bit of garlic powder, salt and pepper. Thinly slice 3 bell peppers( today I used an orange, a red and a yellow,sautee until tender. Add to skillet 3T dried cumin. Place 1 bag of frozen veggies in skillet along with 12-15 large shrimp. Heat through. Add 6T chiles in Adobo sauce( i left chiles whole for easy removal but still keeping the flavor). Now add 1/2 C pure maple syrup and 4T honey. Stir and cook down a bit. Serve with Basmati rice.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Crunchy Homemade Granola

4 C rolled oats
1 C wheat germ
1C walnuts, chopped or slivered almonds
1/2 C sesame seeds
1/4 C brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 C vegetable oil
1/3 honey
1/3 C water
6 oz. dried fruits
Heat the oven to 330 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the oats, wheat germ, nuts, sesame, brown sugar, cinnamon ans salt. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the oil, honey and water. Add fruits. Toss the mixture until all the ingredients are well combined, then spread evenly on a cookie sheet. Bake the granola for 40 minutes, or until lightly browned, stirring every 10 minutes to keep the mixture from sticking. Let it cool completely. Makes about 7 cups.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Orange Fruity Cookies

4 c sifted flour
1 l tsp. baking pwd.
1 1/2 c butter
1 c sugar
1 pk (3 oz.) jello any flavor( today i used orange)
1 egg
1 ts vanilla


Sift flour with baking powder. Cream butter. Gradually add sugar and
Jello, cream well after each addition. Add egg and vanilla; beat
well. Gradually add flour mixture, mix after each addition until
smooth. Force dough through cookie press onto ungreased baking sheet.
Bake @ 375 about 13-14 min. or until golden brown. Makes 5 doz.

Stuffed Italian Peppers

Take 6 bell peppers and cut the tops off. Stuff with a mixture meat and rice. For stuffing saute 1 medium onion in 2T olive oil, add 2 lb. meatloaf mixturecook until no pink is left. Set aside to cool. In a large mixing bowl place 3 C cooked and cooled basmati rice (according to package directions), 2-3T tomato paste, 2T italian seasoning, salt and pepper to taste and cooled meat. Mix and stuff peppers. In a crockpot place 1 jar of meat sauce line up peppers and top with additional sauce and 1 can of mushrooms. Cook on high temperature for 5 hours or until peppers are fully tender. Serve with grated cheese and bread or pizza.

Colored Carnations

For a fun project with the children: Place 1/2 C warm water in 4 small glasses, add 20 drops of food color to each glass. Cut white carnations so they are 5" or so tall and place in the water. By the morning you will have beautifully colored flowers.

Ziploc Omlet

I have had this recipe for nearly 1 year and finally tried it. The results were pretty neat.
First have guest write thier names on one gallon ziploc bags with either permanent marker or pen. Crack 2 eggs into each bag ( not more than 2 eggs) and shake to combine the eggs. Place a variety of ingredients:cheese, ham, green pepper, tomato, salsa, ect. Each person adds the ingredients they d shakes thier bag. Make sure to get all of the air out of each bag and zip it up. Place the bags into rolling, boiling water for exactly 13 minutes. You can cook 6-8 bags per large pot of boiling water. Open the bags and the omlets will roll out easily.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Rachael Ray's oatmeal Cookie Pancakes

I saw this recipe on Jenny Bakes: and i have been very interested in trying the pancakes. They turned out great. I omitted the nuts and raisins to make the crowd try them, next time I would definitley add the two ingredients. Here is the recipe:
1 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 ounces, 1/4 cup, chopped walnuts
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup whole milk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 really ripe bananas, mashed up
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 stick butter, 1/4 cup, melted, plus additional for buttering skillet
Maple syrup or honey, for drizzling

Here's a great tip: if you cannot find really ripe bananas, just nuke them in the microwave for about 15 seconds and they will become super soft for mashing.
Mix dry ingredients, the first 7, in a bowl. In a another bowl, mix the wet ingredients, the next 4. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined, then fold in the mashed up bananas and the raisins. Stir in the melted butter.

Heat a griddle over medium heat and brush with additional melted butter. Cook pancakes, each about 1/3 cup, until bubbles form on the top, then turn. Cakes will cook in about 2 minutes on each side. Keep pancakes tented with foil as they come off the griddle to keep them hot. Serve with drizzled honey or maple syrup over the top.

Friday, April 11, 2008

White cake with Buttercream Frosting

Excellent cake and Frosting. Easy Too!

For the Cake:
2-1/2 cup sifted cake flour
1-1/2 cups sugar
3-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup milk
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
4 egg whites, at room temperature
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9" round layer cake pans and line the bottoms with waxed paper; set aside. Sift flour, sugar, and baking powder into a large mixer bowl. Add butter, milk and vanilla.
Beat on slow speed until blended. Then beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add unbeaten egg whites (yes, UNbeaten - that's the trick), and beat two minutes longer at medium speed.
Pour batter into prepared pans and bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes or until cake is light golden brown and is beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan. Cool 15 minutes in pans, then carefully remove layers from pans and cool completely on wire rack.

Fill and frost with Buttercream Frosting
1 cup butter, softened
6-7 cups powdered or confectioner's sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
6-9 Tbsp. milk
2 tsp. vanilla
In large bowl, cream butter until very fluffy. Add part of the sugar and salt and beat again. Continue adding sugar and milk in small batches, alternately, beating until very fluffy. Stir in vanilla. Fill and frost cake.

Almond Spritz Cookies

I found this recipe on .Easy to make and very good.

1 cup butter
3/4 cup white sugar
3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon almond extract
3 cups cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C).
Cream together the butter and the sugar. Add the 3 beaten egg yolks and one teaspoon of almond extract. Mix until well blended.
In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually sift into the butter mixture and stir well.
Chill until firm (2 - 3 hours).
Using a cookie press, press out cookies onto a cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Pot Roast Risotto

Pot Roast:
2 1/2 pound beef shoulder
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 medium onions, peeled and sliced in half
4 large carrots, cut in half
2 celery stalks, sliced in large pieces
1 cup red wine
2 quarts beef stock
2 sprigs of rosemary
2 bay leaves
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked
2 cups Arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
8 cups pot-roast braising stock, strained, skimmed and heated
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
Cooking Instructions
Start with the pot roast. Drizzle the meat with extra-virgin olive oil and then season all over with a good amount of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. In a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot that has a tight cover, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil and 1 tablespoon of butter over moderately high heat. Sear the beef all over, ensuring a nice crust and good even color. Add the rosemary, thyme and garlic cloves to the beef. Then add the onions, carrots and celery and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the red wine and then the stock.

Cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Braise for about 3 hours, basting every 30 minutes with the pan juices, until the beef is fork tender. Set the meat aside and take out the vegetables. Strain the braising liquid and skim the fat, this will be used to make the risotto.

Now prepare the risotto. Place a large, deep skillet over medium heat and pour in 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add onions and cook for 5 minutes, until soft. Stir in the rice making sure to coat all the grains with the oil. Add wine and thyme and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Ladle in 1 cup of strained, hot braising stock. Using a wooden spoon, stir constantly until most of the stock has been absorbed. Keep adding stock, one cup at a time, and stirring until absorbed. After about 10 to 15 minutes, test the rice. It should be cooked and creamy but still have a slight bite to it. (You may not need all of the stock.) Season with salt and pepper; stir in butter and Parmesan cheese. Taste for seasoning then remove from heat and cover. Just before serving fold in chopped parsley.

To serve, slice the pot roast and arrange over the top of the risotto with some of the vegetables. Garnish with fresh parsley stems.

Clark Bars

1 (16 ounce) package graham crackers, crumbled
1 cup melted butter
2 1/2 cups peanut butter
2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

Grease a 9x13 inch pan.
Mix graham cracker crumbs, butter, peanut butter and powdered sugar together in a large mixing bowl. Press the mixture into the prepared pan.
In a small pot melt chocolate chips and condensed milk together over a low heat. Stir until well mixed. Spread the chocolate mixture over the peanut butter mixture. Chill the cookie-bars for 4 hours. Cut and serve.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Spera'sSausage and Potatoes

Tonight we tried a hot and a sweeet sausage from Spera's Deli in Syracuse, NY. The sweet had sausage and peppers in it and the hot had a great flavor. We would buy both sausages again. For the potaotes I cut up about 6-8 potatoes and deep fried until golden brown. I placed the potaotes on a paper towel lined plate to drain off the excess oil. Next I placed the potaotes on a baking sheet, sprinkled with salt, pepper and parsely and baked at 45o degrees F for about 20 minutes. They turned out crispy and tender in the inside.

Banana Biscotti

2 cups flour
1-1/2 tsp. CALUMET Baking Powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2 eggs
1 ripe banana, mashed
1 tsp. vanilla
1-1/2 cups POST SELECTS BANANA NUT CRUNCH Cereal, crushed
1 square BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate (optional)
PREHEAT oven to 325ºF. Mix flour, baking powder and salt until well blended; set aside. Beat sugar and butter in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, bananas and vanilla; beat until well blended. Gradually add flour mixture, mixing until well blended after each addition. Stir in crushed cereal.
DIVIDE dough in half with floured hands; place on lightly floured surface. Roll each half into 14x2-inch log. Place, 2 inches apart, on nonstick baking sheet.
BAKE 25 to 30 min. or until lightly browned. Remove from baking sheet to wire rack; cool 5 min. Transfer to cutting board. Use serrated knife to diagonally cut each log into 12 slices. Place, cut-sides up and 1/2 inch apart, on same baking sheet. Bake an additional 12 to 15 min. or until slightly dry. Remove to wire racks; cool completely. If desired, melt chocolate as directed on package; drizzle over biscotti. ( i think these are great on there own)Let stand until chocolate is firm. Store in tightly covered container at room temperature.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Chicken and Biscuits

1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, cut in bite size pieces
1/4 c melted butter
1 medium onion , chopped
1 C potatoes, sliced
1 1/2 C chopped celery
1 1/2 C chopped carrots
2 C water
2 c chicken broth
1C frozen peas
1/2 C half and half
1 can cream of potato soup
2 cans cream of chicken soup( can substitute cream of mushroom)
2 cans chicken gravy ( can use turkey gravy)
Poach chicken pieces, onion, celery, potatoes and carrots in water and broth until tender. Reduce liquid to half. Add soups, butter,gravy, and half and half. Bring to a simmer. Add peas. Serve with biscuits on the top or bottom of the bowl and stew over the top.
For biscuits:
Preheat oven th 450 degrees F. In a medium bowl, whisk together 2/3 C whole wheat flour, 2/3 C all purpose flour, 2 tsp. baking powder, and 1/2 tsp. salt, set aside. In another small bowl, whisk together 2 egg whites, 3 T vegetable oil and 1/2 C milk;add to flour mixture , and stir until moistened. Drop 6-8 1/4 C scoops of dough onto a baking sheet, at least 2" apart. bake until golden, 12-14 minutes.

Ham and Cheese Loaf

1 lb. pizza dough
3/4 lb. deli ham thinly sliced
1 1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 C mayonnaise
1 egg, beaten
4T grated Parmesean cheese
Prehet oven to 35o degrees F. Place dough on a lightly floured surface, flatten slightlywith hands, roll into 12"X8" rectangle. Top the middle of the dough evenly with ham, leaving 1/2" border on all sides. Mix cheese and mayo;evenly over ham. Fold dough over on one side, flapo over both ends and then last side. Flip over so that the seam is down. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle on Parmesean cheese. Bak 35-40 minutes or until goldden brown. Cool 10 minutes prior to slicing.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Pop tarts form

I found this recipe at here you can find great photos and great recipes. She has detailed instructions as well. I have wanted to try this recipe for a while, I finally got to it today. She has a really great site, go and see for yourself.

Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

2 1/4 C all purpose flour
3/4 c sugar
3/4 C butter
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 C sour cream
1 tsp. almond extract
1 egg
1 (8oz.) package cream cheese
1/4 C sugar
1 egg
1 C seedless black raspberry preserves
1/2 c sliced almonds
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease bottom and sides of a 9" springform pan, lighty flour. In large bowl mix flour and 3/4 C sugar. With pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Reserve 1 C of the crumb mixture. To remaining crumb mixture, add baking powder, baking soda, salt, sour cream, almond ext. and 1 egg, blend well. Spread batter over bottom and 2" up side of pan. In a small bowl, blend cream cheese, 1/4 C sugar and 1 egg. Pour into batter lined pan. Warm preserves on the stove briefly for a better spreading consistency. Carefully spoon over cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle reserved crumb mix on top and the almonds. Bake 45-55 minutes or until the cream cheese filling is set and crust is deep golden brown. cool 20 minutes;remove side of pan. Serve warm or cold. Store in refigerator.

Make Your Own Pizza Night

I found this dough recipe at here you can find detailed instructions and great photos. I forgot to take a photo of the end product. The dough was easy to work with and kept great in the refrigerator. I used a homemade sauce and a shredded cheese blend.

Crockpot Applesauce

8-10 medium apples, peeled and diced
1/2 C water
1 C sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
Combine all ing. in the crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 4.5-5 hours. stir a few times during cooking. The applesauce will come out chunky if you prefer a smoother sauce, cool and puree in the blender. Tasty and smells great!

Italian Red Wine Cookies

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons white sugar
1 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 T anise seeds
1 egg beaten
1/3 cup granulated sugar for decoration

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a large bowl combine the flour, baking powder and sugar. Add the wine,oil and anise seeds. Mix with a large fork and then with your hands. You may need to add more flour if the dough is to sticky.
Roll small pieces of dough between hands to make snakes then shape into wreath like circles. The circles should be no bigger than the 2 inches in diameter. Roll cookies in extra sugar and place on cookie sheet. Brush with beatedn egg before placing in the oven.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25 minutes or until slightly brown. After cookies cool they should be hard and crisp.

Soft Oaty Pretzels

This months theme is Diner and Road and Street food. You can find out all of the details here at
For this months theme i chose soft oaty pretzels and paired them up with a bottle of Liebfraumilch. Light pretzels and a nice light wine. See you at the round up.
3 to 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1-1/4 cups Quaker® Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 package (1/4 oz.) quick-rising yeast
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons margarine or butter, softened
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup Quaker® Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)

Preparation Steps
For pretzels, combine 2 cups flour, oats, sugar, yeast and salt in large bowl; mix well. Heat milk and water until very warm (120°F to 130°F); add margarine. Add to flour mixture. Blend at low speed on electric mixer until moistened; beat 3 minutes at medium speed. By hand, gradually stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough that pulls away from sides of bowl.
Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes, adding additional flour if dough is sticky. Cover loosely with plastic wrap; let dough rest on floured surface 10 minutes.
Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease or lightly spray 2 large baking sheets with cooking spray.
Divide dough into 24 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 12-inch long rope; form into pretzel, letter or number shape. Place pretzels on baking sheet. Cover loosely with plastic wrap; let rest 10 minutes or until slightly risen. Brush tops of pretzel with beaten egg; sprinkle with oats, pressing lightly.
Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown. (If baking both baking sheets at one time, rotate sheets top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking time.) Remove from baking sheets; cool on wire rack. Store tightly covered at room temperature.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Stuffed Pork Chops

2C cooked stuffing
1T+1tsp. parsley, divided
6 pork loin rib chops, 1 1/4" thick( about 3lb.0
salt and pepper
2T olive oil
1 large onion, minced
1/2 C white wine
1C chicken broth
2T capers, rinsed and drained
2T butter

Coat baking sheet with cooking spray. Combine stuffing with 1t parsley. Using a sharp knife, cut 3/4" deep slit into side of chop. Lift edge of chop and cut a 3" wide pocket, stuff each with about 1/3 C stuffing. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Sprinkle salt and pepper over both sides of chops. In a skillet heat oil over medium high heat. Cook chops turning once , until browned, 4-5 minutes per side. Transfer to baking sheet. Roast until no longer pink near bone, 10-12 minutes. In skillet over medium heat cook onion until softened, about 1 minute. Stir in wine, stirring up browned bits; cook until almost evaporated. Add broth;cook until reduced to 1/2 C, about 5 minutes. Add capers;whisk in butter. Pour over chops, sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Focaccia Bread

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 pinch ground black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup mozzarella

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt, sugar, yeast, garlic powder, oregano, thyme, basil and black pepper. Mix in the vegetable oil and water.
When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Punch dough down; place on greased baking sheet. Pat into a 1/2 inch thick rectangle. Brush top with olive oil. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese.
Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm.