Monday, September 22, 2008

Meal Planning

My sister just introduced me to the coolest website for meal planning. I tell it to plan a month's worth of meals, which I can then customize to fit our life, including storing my own recipes to be included in the month's plan. Then, the best part of all, it generates a shopping list!!!! Yea! I don't love making menus or shopping lists, especially since I get in a rut with making the same old boring meals. This way, the computer "thinks" for me--it's a beautiful thing. If you're interested, it's

{I got my Stroganoff recipe (see below) from this site.}

Beef Stroganoff

The flavor of this was awesome. Really, really good. Try it!

1 1/2 pound beef top round steak
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 T margarine
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/4 tsp paprika
1 14 1/2 oz can beef broth
2 T cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water
1 1/2 cup sour cream (I only used a cup.)

Cut beef into bite size pieces or strips. Melt butter in large skillet or wok over medium high heat. Add beef and chopped onion. Add salt, pepper, parsley, and paprika while cooking beef. Saute until beef is browned on all sides. Add broth and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer covered at least ten minutes or longer if desired. If desired, add more water for additional sauce. Return to boil. Combine cornstarch and cold water in small bowl; add to beef mixture. Stir until thickened, a minute or two. Remove from heat. Add sour cream. Serve over hot cooked noodles (we used Barilla Ziti and loved it) or rice.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Savannah Bow Ties

This dessert is divine. It was easy and definitely worth it, you won't want to share!

1/2 a (17 1/4oz) pkg frozen puff pastry (1 sheet)
1/2 cup almond paste
1 egg yolk, white reserved
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsps milk
1 egg white
sugar, for sprinkling

Chocolate dipping sauce
3/4 cup sugar
2 TBS cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
6 (1.5oz each) Hershey milk chocolate bars
2 cups whipping cream
1 egg yolk, beaten
1/2 tsp vanilla

Let pastry stand at room temp for 20minutes or until easy to roll. Unfold pastry on lightly floured surface. Roll into 14 inch square. Cut square in half. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
For Filling:
crumble almond paste in small mixing bowl. Add egg yolk,brown sugar,and milk. Beat with electric mixer on medium speed until well mixed. Spread filling over 1 pastry half. Place remaining pastry half on top of filling. Cut dough crosswise into 14 one inch wide strips. Then cut each strip in half crosswise to make 28 pieces. Twist each piece twice in center (looks like a bow). Place twists about 2 inches apart on cookie sheets lined with foil or parchment. Brush twists with slightly beaten egg white. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake 12-15 min or until golden brown. Transfer to wire rack to cool. Serve wit the dipping sauce. The recipe comes from the Food Network Website

Monday, September 15, 2008

I♥ Honey & Spice Cookies

These are my favorite fall cookies

cream together:
1c brown sugar
3/4 c shortening-- butter or margarine don't substitute well in this recipe
1 egg
1/4c Honey

2 1/4c flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cloves

mix all ingredients together. roll into cookie sized balls and smoosh with a fork. Bake@ 375 for 8 to 10 minutes.

yield: about 2 dozen if you don't eat all the dough first

Parmesan Garlic Bread & Marinara Sauce

Being 7 months pregnant, an entire meal can be daunting for me to prepare. Our meals have ended up being pretty simple these days ... most would call this a snack, but I call it a meal right now! Enjoy!1 French loaf
6 TBS butter, softened
8 oz shredded parmesan cheese
garlic salt (I use Lawry's)
Classico Cabernet Marinara sauce (the best!)

Preheat oven to 350*. Slice loaf in half, from end to end. Spread with softened butter. Sprinkle with garlic salt and paprika. Sprinkle again with parmesan cheese. Place loaves directly on oven rack and bake for 6-8 minutes, until cheese looks soft and edge of bread are starting to brown. Then, switch oven to BROIL and broil for about 2-3 minutes longer, keeping a close eye on it, so that it doesn't burn. Remove from oven and slice into large pieces. Serve with WARM Classico Cabernet Marinara sauce. So simple. So yummy!!

Bacon Wrapped, Stuffed Jalapenos

My friend Claire served these to the adults at her daughter's birthday party ... they were SO amazing that my husband had to re-create them. Claire, let me know if he botched the recipe. lol.
12 fresh jalapenos
1 8 oz block cream cheese
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1-2 TBS garlic salt (I use Lawry's)
1 tsp fresh cracked pepper
6 slices bacon, cut in half lengthwise


Combine softened cream cheese, parmesan cheese, garlic salt, and pepper, until creamy and uniform. Prepare jalapenos by cutting of the top 1/4 inch, including stem. Scrape out the seeds, as best as you can. Rinse them out. Poke a hole in the tip of each jalapeno, using a toothpick. Stuff the jalapenos with the cheese mixture until full. Wrap with 1/2 slice of bacon and secure bacon with a toothpick. Bake on a broiling pan at 425* for 10-15 minutes, or until bacon is cooked and crisping. Remove toothpicks before serving. ABSOLUTELY delicious!!

Cowboy Beans

1 lb. lean ground beef
3/4 lb. bacon, chopped
1 cup chopped onion
2 cans (16 oz. each) pork & beans
1 can (16 oz.) kidney beans, drained
1 can pinto beans, drained
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 TBS liquid smoke
3 TBS white vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

Brown meat; drain and put into crock pot. Brown bacon and onions; drain and add to meat. Combine all remaining ingredients in crock pot and stir well. Cover and cook on low heat 4-6 hours, depending on your schedule. Can simmer on low for up to 9 hours. Kids LOVE it.

Parmesan Broiled Tomatoes

4 large tomatoes
8 oz mozzarella, sliced
8 oz shredded parmesan cheese
garlic salt (I use Lawry's)
fresh cracked pepper

garlic bread

Slice tomatoes into thick rings, about 1 1/2 inches thick. Place them on a greased broiling pan. Sprinkle tomatoes with garlic salt and pepper. Place a slice of mozzarella cheese on top of each tomato. Then sprinkle the tops with shredded parmesan cheese (not the cheap grated kind). sprinkle the tops with paprika. Broil for about 5-6 minutes, or until the cheese is melted, bubbly, and browned. Serve warm with a piece of garlic bread.

German Pancakes

1 cup milk
1 cup flour
6 eggs
1 tsp salt
1 TBS sugar
6 TBS butter. cubed

Preheat oven to 425*. In a blender, combine milk, flour, eggs, salt, and sugar. Blend until smooth; about 30-60 seconds. Place cubed butter in a 9x13 glass baking dish and place in oven for butter to melt. Once butter has melted, remove dish and pour in mixture from the blender. Return to oven and bake for 20-25 minutes ... until golden brown. Serve with maple syrup ... these are so buttery, that butter isn't necessary.

**If you are not familiar with German pancakes, the batter rises a LOT. Make sure to leave at least 8 inches of 'growing room' in your oven, above the dish. Do not double mixture into one casserole dish! The corners and sides (and on occasion, the middle too) will raise about 6-8 inches and fall slightly when removed from the oven. Also ... this serves about 4 adults ... although, most of the time, my husband can eat half of the casserole dish himself. So, if you have a big crowd, plan on making a few casserole dishes to satisfy everyone. This also re-heats extremely well ... much easier than standing over the frying pan cooking pancakes all morning.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

the meat from 1 rotisserie chicken
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can RoTel tomatoes
1 can black beans, drained/rinsed
1 can pinto beans
1 can kidney beans, drained/rinsed
4 chicken bullion cubes
2 cups water
1/3 block of Velveeta cheese, diced
1 cup sour cream

tortilla chips

Combine everything, except tortilla chips, Velveeta, and sour cream in a big pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and whisk in sour cream and then add the Velveeta. Soup is ready to serve when all the cubes of Velveeta have melted. Salt & pepper to taste. Serve with tortilla chips.

Grilled Roast Beef Sandwich

leftover pot roast
2 slices whatever cheese you like
2 slices bread

Make a sandwich, placing a slice of cheese on both pieces of bread. Place the roast beef, brisket, whatever in between the cheese. Butter both sides and grill for about 2-3 minutes on either side.

*I had made a huge roast in the crock pot and I cooked it with homemade salsa for tacos. I used that leftover meat with 2 pieces of pepper jack cheese for my sandwich ... it was SO GOOD!! The picture doesn't make it look as appetizing as it really is!! It's a great way to use up leftover roast!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Alfredo Sauce with Parsley

1 T. unsalted butter
1 T. minced shallots (I just used green onions)
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup baby peas, frozen is fine (optional)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 large eggs
1 T. cracked peppercorns, or to tast (I used normal pepper)
Salt to taste
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

1. Melt the butter and saute the shallots for 3 to 4 minutes. Add thhe heavy cream. (If using the baby peas, cook in the hot cream.) Bring to a boil and thicken, cooking for about 6 minutes, sturring constantly.

2. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese. In a separate, large serving blowl, beat the eggs. Whisk in a tablespoon of the cream sauce; stirriing constantly, add the remainder of the sauce, a little at a time (be careful not to put it in too quickly or the eggs will scramble.)

3. Add pepper, salt, and parsly. Poor over spagetti squash, rice noodles if you're gluten free, or any other noodles.

makes 1 1/2 cups

from Healthy Plate: No-Gluten Cookbook

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Black Bean Burgers

Black Bean Burgers...
*Get one can organic black beans..rinse, drain and dump in a bowl.
*Using a potato masher..(or the back of a fork could work too) mash them up
* Dice about 'ehh..half an onion or so and throw it in...
* Put in about 1/3 cup chunky mild salsa..dump in some corn..(I didn't measure so maybe it was about 1/3 - 1/2 cup?), throw in some garlic..snip in about 1/4 cup cilantro and salt and pepper..mix well..
Then add 2 egg whites and a generous handful of breadcrumbs..
*Fry them up in a skillet for about 6 minutes..flipping once
*Get a whole wheat bun and put on some crisp lettuce..
top that with the burger..(I also melted some pepper jack cheese too). Then on the actual burger..a small dollop of salsa and on top of that add a spoonful of sour cream.
Pictures are on my blog...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Chicken Wings

This is the easiest "recipe" - the perfect thing for BBQ's on the beach or at home. Buy one of those huge bags of chicken wings from Costco and let it thaw. Salt & pepper the wings and place on the grill. After the wings are cooked, put in an aluminum tin and pour "Saucy Susan" peach & apricot sauce (found in regular grocery stores) over the wings. A definite crowd pleaser!