Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Toys = A Whole New Cooking World

If you have been following this blog from the beginning you should know by now that my new found cooking obsession/hobby is not only supported by my husband, but is also widely accepted with joy by my family and friends. Therefore, this Christmas' gifts to me were mostly about one thing "What can I get her so she will make more food?".
Here are some of the awesome things I got this year, and I am so excited to try out!As you know, I have been hinting for weeks/months that I absolutely NEEDED a Kitchenaid Stand Mixer. This kind of died down for me when I got a hand mixer with dough hooks, but then started up again when I realized that the air cooling off the motor was also making all my flour fly around my kitchen. I did not expect to get a Stand Mixer for Christmas because they are so incredibly expensive. I should never doubt the power of Santa though because about 10 or more years ago, he knew my mom would be worked overtime at an old job and in payment for her overtime they would give her a Stand Mixer. So, it's a little old, but I have already used it to make rolls and mashed potatoes and I couldn't ask for a better one. :-DThis present was actually given to Emi, but lets face it, we all know who is going to end up using it. It is The Lean Mean Spin Frying Machine by George Foreman. It spins the food while it is deep frying leaving it with a nice deep fry that isn't so oil saturated. We both can't wait to try this out on some french fries.This is my new panini grill. I am very excited about this because I'll be able to make some pretty nice and quick lunches/dinners without all the hassle. I have already used this on normal white bread with our sandwich meats, and I don't know that I'll eat sandwiches any other way now. I can also use this to cook fish and chicken. Emi and I haven't been into making smoothies or anything, but Emi decided we had better start when he picked this up for me. I am really excited to use it and LOVE how I can make individual glasses. We thought about taking this back because I already have an awesome blender, but decided to keep it because we can make individual smoothies for different tastes. Yum!

Saved the best for last!

My new Cuisinart food processor! My brother, Eric bought this for me-and Emi's stomach. This thing is amazing. I haven't had a chance to use it yet, but I will this weekend for Pizza dough and again next week for Creamy Pesto sauce. You can do so many different things with a food processor it is just amazing! I highly recommend you get out there and buy one as soon as you can if you don't already have one.

So here are some of my new toys that I will be using to make some of my dinners from now on! Yay for food!

Look forward to my recipe and review of Bacon Roasted Whole Chicken on Thursday.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Cheesy Lasagna Rolls

Grading scale: A

I actually made these about a week ago. I didn't post it because Shayla had just barely posted it on her blog (that's actually where I got the idea!), but these little lasagna rolls have had such an effect on me that I haven't stopped thinking about them since. I made 13 lasagna rolls and I, like Shayla, added 1 lb of meat into the mixture. As I was sitting watching the food network last night, I was thinking about these lasagna rolls and I think I found the perfect way to make them just PERFECT. While I really loved these, I also thought the filling was a bit dry, kind of pasty texture. I also thought that the meat didn't have a lot of flavor. I've added a small jar of tomato sauce to the filling and suggest while browning the meat to add some Italian Seasoning. I also think it might be good to do a mixture of cottage cheese and ricotta cheese. These made excellent leftovers!

Here is my edited recipe:

Cheesy Lasagna Rolls

12 Lasagna noodles, cooked and cooled (I used 13 because I boiled 14 and only one of them came out cracked)
1 jar spaghetti sauce, divided

1 lb ground beef (cooked with a bit of Italian Seasoning to taste)
1 small can tomato sauce (the smallest can you can find because you might not use it all)
1 container (15 oz) ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp parsley flakes
1/8 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic salt
2 cups mozzarella cheese, divided (1 1/2 cup for filling, 1/2 cup on top)

Pour 1/2 of spaghetti sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan, just enough to cover the bottom to prevent sticking. Brown meat. Mix together all ingredients for the filling, using just enough tomato sauce to make it moist, but not runny. Lay noodles flat and spread filling mixture on noodles. Roll up like a sleeping bag and lay in pan. Top with remaining sauce and mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes.

*Note: Do not over cook noodles. Follow directions on box of noodles.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Potato Salmon Patties

It is hard to put this meal on a grading scale because most of the meals I have made that are on this site are just so much more fabulous than this. Not to say that this wasn't a good meal because it definitely was. It was really quick and easy to put together and make and Emi loved them. We both agreed that it is a good alternative when there isn't much time to make dinner, or I don't feel like cooking. I think we will probably keep the ingredients on hand from now on for a VERY quick, very easy, and tasty dinner. Next time though, I'll grab some Tartar sauce and I might substitute scallions instead of the onion. I served it with Broccoli Au Gratin rice (courtesy of Rice-a-roni! Haha)

Potato Salmon Patties

1 (14.75 ounce) can salmon, drained and flaked
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup garlic and herb seasoned dry bread crumbs (I used Italian Bread Crumbs)
1/4 cup dry potato flakes
1 medium onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried dill weed (I used dried dill seed because I couldn't find the dill weed)
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil

In a medium bowl, mix salmon, eggs, garlic and herb seasoned dry bread crumbs, dry potato flakes, onion, garlic, dill weed, celery salt, salt, and pepper. Form the mixture into 2 inch balls, and flatten into patties about 1/2 inch thick.
Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. In batches, cook patties about 5 minutes on each side, until lightly browned.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Slow Cooker Chicken Stroganoff

We just had some friends pop in from Las Vegas unexpectedly last night so I moved one of our dinners to tonight. This was pretty good, but also pretty salty. I also think I am not a fan of shredded chicken in this type of dish with noodles. It just reminds me too much of a tuna casserole and Emi even asked me if there was tuna in it. Weird. I think if I were to make it again, I would possibly cube the chicken, but I don't know if that would work out because it is SO tender coming out of the crock pot. I have never shredded chicken so easily!

Also, I was a little weirded out by the small amount of liquid in the crockpot (even with my addition of the cooking wine), so I added a little bit of water about 3 hours into cooking because I was afraid the chicken would burn.

Another thing that I had also never done before is start with frozen chicken and I was VERY worried about this, but it turned out great! and that is probably why the chicken was so very tender.

I would probably make this again since Emi and our guests really liked it, but... I don't know. :-D Maybe as a last resort type thing. At least I learned about the frozen chicken trick and I really do hate defrosting chicken.

Slow Cooker Chicken Stroganoff
Here is my edited version.

4 frozen skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/8 cup margarine
1/2 cup white cooking wine
1 (.7 ounce) package dry Italian-style salad dressing mix
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
4 ounces sliced mushrooms

Put frozen chicken, margarine, white wine, and dressing mix in slow cooker. Mix together and cook on low for 6 hours.
Add cream cheese and soup, mix together and shred chicken. Add mushrooms. Cook on high for another 1/2 hour or until heated through and warm.

Molly's Rolls

Grading scale: A+

This was another hit roll recipe and relatively easy (especially since I have new dough hooks on a hand mixer!). They were soft and very fluffy! Everyone enjoyed them very much. Emi can't get over how good I am at making rolls.

Molly's Rolls

1 cup warm water
1 cup warm milk (Just heat it in the microwave for 30 seconds and let it sit while the yeast bubbles)
1/3 cup sugar
1 package yeast (2 1/4 teaspoon)
1/3 cup oil
1/2 T salt
1 egg
flour (About 4 1/2 cups)

In mixer combine yeast, sugar, and warm water; let grow until bubbly(about 5 minutes). Add milk and mix. Mix in oil and egg. Slowly add 2 cups flour, mix and then add salt. Add 1/2 cup flour at a time until it comes away from side of bowl. Let rise in mixing bowl for about 30 minutes. Form rolls as desired and place on a greased cookie sheet. Let rise and additional 30 minutes. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Brush hot rolls with melted butter.

I'm going to shape these into cresent rolls. If you need instructions on how to shape them go here.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Pasta Tossed With Parsley, Garlic, and Olive Oil.

I decided that it was time to do another post and since I won't be making any fancy dinners until Wednesday, I thought I would impart some new-found wisdom.

Lately me and Emi have been very much into garlic. Ever since I made the Sun-dried Tomato Chicken Rollups we just can't get enough of pasta tossed with parsley, garlic, and olive oil. It may not sound very tasty, but believe me it is! and I am one of those girls that usually likes very saucy pastas. Since I had to look up a recipe on how to make this pasta, I figure there might be other girls out there, like me that really don't know how to make it.

1 lb box of pasta (lately Emi and I have been favoring short pasta, like penne)
2-4 garlic cloves, minced (depending on your taste for garlic)
4 T. Olive oil
Fresh Parsley, chopped

1. Boil pasta according to directions on the box.
2. In a skillet, heat olive oil and garlic until garlic turns a golden brown color.
3. Remove from heat and add parsley.
4. Combine together with noodles.

It's as easy as that! Yum! I have served this to my family and some of our friends with various dishes and nobody can stop eating it!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Beef Parmesan with Garlic Angel Hair Pasta

This turned out great!!! I didn't remember to prepare this the night before, so that is probably something that I will do next time. I did take a picture, but it really doesn't look that appetizing, but believe me it was! It did require a little bit of work to put together, but was definitely worth it in the end. Emi has asked me to put this on the list of things that I will make again.

This meal had three things that my husband proclaims that he does not like and will not eat.
1. Marinara sauce.
2. Cooked Onion.
3. Cooked Green Peppers.

Now you are probably wondering why I would even make this since that is pretty much what the meal is. Well, I just kind of ignore the fact that Emi says he doesn't like Marinara sauce considering that he loves my Lasagna, he loved when I made Penne Rosa and I will be making it again next week, and he also loves the Chicken Parmesan that I make. All of which have Marinara sauce in them. Therefore, I ignore #1. As far as the cooked onion and cooked green peppers, I just figured that it would season the meat and he could pull them out since you keep them big. Not only did he love the sauce, he actually ate the onions and green peppers. Talk about a miracle of a dish!

I used Prego Roasted Garlic Parmesan as my marinara sauce. I can't vouch for this by itself since I've never had it on anything else and I'm sure that the green pepper and onion added to the flavor, as well as the garlic that was in the oil when I quick-fried the meat.

Speaking of garlic, I used a lot more than the recipe called for. Probably about 4 cloves to fry the meat in, and then four cloves that I had with the olive oil I put over the noodles. I think I am going to change the recipe to reflect that. I love garlic! (Brooke made me a believer. I hardly ever use garlic powder anymore.)

I found this here. Here is my edited version.

1 1/2 pounds beef cube steak
1 onion, sliced into thin rings
1 green bell pepper, sliced in rings
1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 (16 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce (Prego Roasted Garlic Parmesan)
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
12 ounces angel hair pasta (I used penne)
8 garlic cloves (use less if you're not a fan)
1/4 cup parsley

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2.Cut cube steak into serving size pieces. Coat meat with the bread crumbs and parmesan cheese. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan, and saute 4 minced garlic cloves for 3 minutes. Quick fry (brown quickly on both sides) meat. Place meat in a casserole baking dish, slightly overlapping edges. Place onion rings and peppers on top of meat, and pour marinara sauce over all.
3.Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the thickness of the meat. Sprinkle mozzarella over meat and leave in the oven till bubbly.
4. While pasta is boiling, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan and saute 4 minced garlic cloves until golden brown. Take off the heat and add parsley to the pan. Set aside until pasta is done.
4.Boil pasta al dente. Drain, and toss in olive oil, parsley, and garlic. Top with grated parmesan. Serve meat and sauce atop a mound of pasta!

HINT: make the meat ahead of time, and refrigerate over night, the acid in the tomato sauce will tenderize the meat even more. If you do this, save the mozzarella till the last minute.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Review: Sticky Coconut Chicken

Grading scale: A!

This was really good, so good, in fact, that even though mine and Emi's mouths were BURNING, we still kept eating it. I knew this recipe has a significant amount of red pepper in it, but since trying the Penne Rosa and seeing how NOT spicy that was, I just didn't have the fear of the red pepper. The rice, however, does cool your mouth quite a bit. If it weren't for that I think we might have had to call the Fire Department! Emi has asked me not to put any red pepper in at all next time I make these (and he REALLY wants there to be a next time), but I am afraid that taking out the red pepper will make it less-tasty. Any suggestions?

And I have a picture for you! I ended up grilling these on the George Forman grill because it was threatening to snow outside. I cut them in half because I didn't want to worry about them not being cooked in the middle. Also, the glaze seemed to take a really long time to thicken, and I was not entirely sure that it HAD thickened when I took it off the heat, but after it sat for like 5 minutes, it was definitely thick.

How do you like my new Christmas plates that Emi got me?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Sticky Coconut Chicken

Doesn't this look so good??? I will be letting this marinade for about 5 hours and then when Emi gets home he can show me how to turn on the BBQ! :-D Or I might just grill it on my George Foreman. Check out my review here.

I'm excited!

Sticky Coconut Chicken

6-8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 cup canned coconut milk
1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1 tsp. red pepper flakes

Marinade chicken in coconut milk, ginger, pepper and red pepper flakes at least one hour. Grill on barbecue.

3/4 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. red pepper flakes

While the chicken is grilling, bring above ingredients to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until mixture is reduced and thickened, about 8-10 minutes. Be patient because it takes a little while. But once it starts getting really thick, immediately take it off the heat! Glaze both sides of chicken the last few minutes of grilling and serve chicken over rice.

Sidenote: My Kitchen Cafe suggests using the extra coconut milk left in the can as part of the liquid in the rice. It is very mildly sweet and pairs well with the chicken.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Baked Salmon

This is what's on the menu for tonight. My husband switched with someone at work so I had to come up with 3 more meals this week that weren't planned. Luckily I had some Salmon in the freezer!

Something that I think is way exciting is: Since I've been cooking a lot lately, I haven't had to buy a lot of things because I have already built my pantry! Without planning my meal I had everything I needed for this dish tonight!

This was a really good and simple way to make salmon. I used probably the equivalent of 6 garlic cloves (mine were really big) and I made 4 salmon fillets.

The best thing about this recipe... "Woman, this reminds me of home."

Baked Salmon

2 cloves garlic, minced
6 tablespoons light olive oil
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
2 (6 ounce) fillets salmon

In a medium glass bowl, prepare marinade by mixing garlic, light olive oil, basil, salt, pepper, lemon juice and parsley. Place salmon fillets in a medium glass baking dish, and cover with the marinade. Marinate in the refrigerator about 1 hour, turning occasionally.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Place fillets in aluminum foil, cover with marinade, and seal. Place sealed salmon in the glass dish, and bake 35 to 45 minutes, until easily flaked with a fork.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Review: Sloppy Joes

Grading scale: A-

These were really good and became one of Emi's favorites. I think once I settle down a bit and not make different dinners every night of the month that it may go into some sort of repeating schedule. I am not the biggest fan of sloppy joes, but these were the best I have ever had. I used more tomato paste than it called for because Emi is a big fan of tomato paste. I didn't really measure out the ingredients but just kind of eyed them. I'll make this again. :-D Very easy and very quick meal.

I also just ate them with your regular old hamburger buns.
Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin