Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Macaroni and Cheese

By now, I have made this recipe for three consecutive Fridays. I got this recipe from Martha Stewart's new cook book: Cooking School, Lessons and Recipes for the Home Cook. (pgs 389-391.) It seems that Martha (can I call her by her first name?) has a lot of Macaroni and Cheese recipes on-line. As far as I know, this one isn't online.
I don't want Martha's cronies, if she has any, coming by and breaking my oven if I infringe on her copyright, otherwise I would love to post this recipe. It contains 4 cheeses, Gruyere, Parmesan, Cheddar, and Fontina. This recipe was a little daunting at first, but after I made it once, it seemed like a piece of cake the second time. I swapped Romano for the Parmesan and made adjustments with the liquids depending on what I had in the fridge. I also doubled the amount as the original amount would probably not feed a hungry family of 4.
The first time I made this, my children were talking to me and I added too much cayenne so it was a little spicy for my husband and daughter, but my son and I loved it.
She also suggests serving roasted tomatoes on top. I did this two weeks ago and it is a wonderful way to make nasty winter tomatoes very tasty and actually flavorful.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Buttermilk Pancakes

This pancake recipe was from the America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook. These are absolutely the best plain pancakes I have ever had. The batter takes about 5 minutes to make and I put the hot ones in the oven while I cook the rest. I have also found, like it suggests in the book, that powdered buttermilk is just as good as regular buttermilk. I figured that to make this recipe, it costs under $3.00 with butter and maple syrup. The syrup is the most expensive factor, lately I have not been able to find it for under $14.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Italian Pepper Steak

This is an Italian Pepper Steak recipe from p. 297 of The Better Homes and Gardens New Book Book. I have no idea what year it was published, as it was a gift for my wedding shower and it has been well used these past 7 years. It is not my favorite cookbook though I think it is a good asset to have on hand. I originally made this recipe for my husband during the first year we were married. Usually I serve it with mashed potatoes, but this time we had boiled finger potatoes with butter, salt, pepper and sour cream.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Bacon Egg Bake

Another egg bake!

This time I used:
  • 3 strips of leftover bacon (actually I intentionally cooked extra the night before for this)
  • 8 beaten eggs
  • 2 cups of shredded cheese
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • dash of cayenne
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

Layer cheese in the bottom of a greased pan with bacon on top. Pour eggs with garlic powder, salt and pepper over top. Bake at 325 for 45-55 minutes.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Lasagna Roll-Ups

  • 8 cooked lasagna noodles
  • 16 oz of your favorite sauce (I used a marinara because this was for a Friday)
  • 8 oz (1/2 a large container) of ricotta
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 1 tsp basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Mix ricotta, egg, basil salt and pepper
  2. Divide mixture evenly onto noodles and roll up
  3. Pour sauce over top
  4. Top with mozzarella cheese
  5. Bake at 325 for 25-30 minutes

This was just something that I came up with to be a quick meal. We did not want any leftovers, so I made the exact number of roll-ups that I thought everyone would eat.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Simple and Quick Egg Bake

Six eggs, beaten with:
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 tsp garlic powder
sea salt and pepper to taste.
Layer cheese on bottom of a greased pan (I pour eggs over it). Bake at 325 for 25 minutes. A simple breakfast that I did not have to mind while the kids and I got ready to begin a busy day.
Pardon my absence but I lost my camera, and have been busy preparing for the end of our school year.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


I have to thank my friend T. for teaching me how to make this. It has been a favorite for awhile.
It is really flexible, you can make any amount and change the amounts of the ingredients to taste.
Here I used 2 Roma tomatoes; diced, 3 green onions; sliced, about 2 oz of feta; crumbled, 7 slices of French bread and pepper to taste. Normally, I would have used about 4-5 leaves of fresh basil, chopped; but it was after Christmas and the store was completely out.
It is pretty simple, just grill the sliced bread in a pan with olive oil (about 2 tbsp), over medium heat and top with mixture. Sometimes I use grape tomatoes because they are sweet. I believe my friend T. recommended that to me.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Spinach-Stuffed Mushrooms

I had some leftover spinach dip, and some extra mushrooms. I added about 1/2 c bread crumbs, and 1/2 cup shredded cheese to about 1 1/4c spinach dip and stuffed it into the mushrooms that I did not use for my traditional stuffed mushroom recipe. Baked at 350 for 15-20 minutes. These were good and a great use for leftovers.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Buttermilk Waffles

Nothing fancy here, just a recipe from p. 234 of The America's Test Kitchen Cookbook. I didn't read the directions right the first time I made these but they came out perfect and I have been making them the same since then. I used powdered buttermilk and have been using it in many recipes, it is really great to keep on hand. I wish someone would have alerted me sooner to the fact that homemade waffles are fantastic! I have ruined my family for the better, they will likely never eat pre-made store bought waffles again.
Cost analysis:
Flour $0.26
Buttermilk, salt, other stuff $0.10
Eggs $0.44
Unsalted butter $0.21
Butter $0.44
Over priced maple syrup $1.25
Total: $2.26 for eight waffles with fixings, that fed four people (we could have had a few eggs too, but it was a small breakfast)
I buy better flour and eggs, so if one were to do generic, the cost would likely be lower. Though I do buy flour in bulk.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Pizza Mom!

My mother made pizza for us on a Friday during her visit. The crust was a simple, basic pizza dough crust from a book that she had many years ago. The sauce was essentially tomato paste, tomato sauce, garlic powder, basil, oregano and who knows what else. Whenever I make sauce like that it NEVER comes out like my mother's. For toppings we had whole-milk shredded mozzarella, some fresh mozzarella, sliced tomatoes, and basil. Yum-diddy yum yum yum. Thanks Mom!
PS Fresh basil was nearly impossible to find the weeks after Christmas. I ended up buying a whole plant. It died the next day, but we got what we needed.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Bacon Wrapped Shrimp with Jalapenos

Basically, you can use any amount of shrimp. This is a very flexible recipe.

  • Marinade shrimp (tails removed) in a favorite marinade for 15 minute to 1 hour(I used balsamic vinegar dressing)
  • Microwave bacon for 1-2 minutes (I did one, but should have done two so it would be crispier)
  • Wrap shrimp with 1/2 piece of bacon, skewer with toothpick
  • Slide a slice of jalapeno in there, either seeded or with the seeds--your call
  • Broil for 9 minutes, turning every 3 minutes

I was thinking that roasting the jalapeno first might have given the pepper a bit more flavor and also made it softer. Next time I will do this.

Boy oh boy! These were awesome!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Chorizo Stuffed Chicken and Rice

  • 1 link of chorizo
  • 5-6 button mushrooms
  • 2 c spinach (I used roughly 1-2 large handfuls)
  • 2 c cheese
  • 5 chicken breasts (either pounded flat to roll up or with a pocket cut in the for stuffing)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • smoked paprika
  • 1 c brown rice cooked according to directions in water with 2 cubes chicken bullion and 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes, (medium, hot or whatever you prefer)
  • 1 can green chiles
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  1. Cook chorizo, draining excess grease, remove from pan
  2. Saute mushrooms in same pan, adding spinach at the end with enough time to just wilt it a bit
  3. Mix mushrooms and Spinach with chorizo
  4. Stuff mixture into chicken and seal with toothpicks
  5. Bake at 325 for 50-70 minutes, covered in a glass pan
  6. While chorizo is baking prepare rice adding bullion and olive oil
  7. Once rice is about 90% done, add chiles, cumin, and garlic powder and tomatoes
  8. During last 10 minutes of baking, top chicken with cheese

If you have any leftover chorizo mixture, save it and make a dip layered with cream cheese, with shredded cheese on top. You can either microwave it or bake it until the cheese bubbles, serve with tortilla chips or on small flour tortillas for a snack or a light lunch.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Moroccan Chicken

This recipe was from Gourmet Momma. I did not have some of the ingredients on hand, namely peas or squash. I used yellow bell peppers and some onion because that is all I had and the snow was piling up! This was are really great dish. I added a dash of Chipotle pepper powder for some heat. I made this while my mother was visiting and she also enjoyed it.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Shrimp Scampi

  • 20-25 shrimp peeled, de-veined (tails removed, if you prefer)
  • 6-8 button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 c white wine (I used Chardonnay because it was on hand)
  • 2-3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 bunch green onions sliced
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 2 small tomatoes, diced
  • sea salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 lb fettuccine (or your favorite pasta)
  • hard cheese like Romano or Parmesan to serve on top
  1. In a large skillet, add 2 tbsp olive oil, garlic, shrimp, mushrooms and green onions
  2. Saute over medium heat for 3-4 minutes
  3. Add wine and butter
  4. Add lemon juice, season with salt and pepper to taste
  5. Cook until shrimp are completely pink and tender. Careful not to overcook them or they will be like rubber!
  6. Add tomatoes and remove from heat.
  7. Serve over pasta with grated cheese on top.

PS Please excuse my absence, I have had guests and sickness and busy Holy Days! I hope to get back on track soon!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Crispy Oven Buffalo Wings

I used Frank's Red Hot Chile-Lime Sauce, and this recipe as a guide. I omitted the salt and vinegar and just melted butter with hot sauce. I was a little more than generous with the hot sauce, I served the extra wing sauce on the side.
They were crispy and you would have mistaken them for being fried. Delicious.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Getting the Most From Your Roast- Tortellini Beef Soup

I had some leftovers and I wanted to clear a few things out of the pantry and freezer. So here is how to turn your leftover roast into a soup.
On hand, I had the pan drippings, with the fat skimmed off from the roast, which was a brisket cooked with tomatoes, onions and wine. I would have made this on the stove, however, I had to run some errands so I used the crock pot.
Into the pot on high went cold, cubed roast, 2 carrots peeled and sliced, 6 cubes of beef bullion, about 2 cups of leftover boxed vegetable broth, the pan drippings and about 2-4 cups of water.
When the carrots were cooked, I added a can of Northern Beans that had been living in the cupboard for some time, a can of stewed tomatoes, the last of a bag of frozen corn, and some frozen tortellini.
I added a little extra balsalmic vinegar, and served it with grated Romano cheese. There was enough soup left over for lunch for two days.