Monday, March 31, 2008
This was really good! I was nervous, considering how much we disliked Rachael Ray's mushroom ravioli, but we were both pleasantly surprised. The Husband's first response was "This looks weird." Definitely reassuring... but the flavor was fantastic.
I did make some modifications.
Instead of egg roll wrappers, I used won ton wrappers. I also added some garlic to the mushroom/marinara mixture. I used baby bella mushrooms and white mushrooms.
I followed Giada's directions for freezing, but didn't have enough wrappers to do the whole mixture... we'll see how they turn out!
This had a lot of steps, but was pretty easy to make. The results of all that work were well worth it, and the recipe was very good.
I used won ton wrappers, which made about 15 ravioli.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
The instructions asked that the heat be lowered to 300 and the cookies were to bake for 25-30 minutes.
They were much crisper than the fresh kind, but the taste was still outstanding.
And luckily, they turned out great shape-wise too... no massive spreading and flattening like in the first batch!
Saturday, March 29, 2008
These were pretty good. They were relatively easy to make, which is always a plus, and they were juicy and tender. We had them on gigantic kaiser rolls with lettuce, tomato, and Italian dressing. This made way more than would serve 4 as the recipe suggests, and as a result we have a lot of leftovers. I'm planning to put them in the freezer to use over the course of the next week.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
These came out...not great. I used vegetable oil as suggested, but also added some chicken broth. Those were the only changes I made and they were blech. The Husband claimed that they were "mealy." I don't know how to describe it, but I spit it in the trash.
Next time I'll try the same recipe, but I'll go forward with the homemade chicken broth as suggested.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
You can see it here!
Ok, so I did things my own way. I started to make the sauce, and then hungry husband started asking how much longer till dinner. I then looked at the recipe and noticed I had missed the "simmer for one hour" bit. WOOPS!
So I pulled out some jarred sauce. And when I say "some," I mean about a 1/4 cup. YIKES. So I started to make do with what I had.
Then hungry husband suggested that we put the meatballs in the pot of still cooking sauce. Ok, whatever... I said that I was planning to put the sauce in with the meatballs rather than vice versa, but he wanted to help so, sure, do whatcha like. So we ended up with Giada's sauce, Giada's meatballs, spaghetti, and a 1/4c of jarred sauce tossed in.
Anyway, our assessment of this recipe was that the meatballs were just ok. There wasn't a whole lot of flavor in there. They were good enough to eat, but not good enough to make again. The sauce was pretty good. When it's all gone, I think I'll try making it again....WITHOUT the addition of jarred sauce!
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Anyway, the hard part of meal planning for me is finding meals to make for my picky (he describes it as he "knows what he likes and what he doesn't) husband--off limits foods include sweet potatoes, hard pasta (like baked ziti), anything that tastes like beef, among others. We eat a lot of chicken around here... alas.
So here's what we're eating this week.
Wednesday--Chef Salad, from Ye Ole ATK
Thursday--Spaghetti and Meatballs, from Giada's Italian Dinners (sorry I don't remember the title of her book exactly)
Friday--Devils game, eating out
Saturday--Pork Cutlet sandwiches, ATK
Sunday--Penne and Sausage with Peppers (No idea where this is from; I've had it in my own cookbook for awhile)
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
These babies are baking and boy do they smell good.
Apparently, the dough was not the best cookie dough The Man had ever had. I wouldn't know, because ever since my neighbor told me a hundred years ago that eating raw cookie dough gives you worms, the mere thought of doing it turns my stomach.
Seven more minutes until the DING!
These were pretty darn tasty. Of course, our finicky oven decided to be just that and the cookies on the lower rack (despite switching them midway) came out very flat and BIG. But they still tasted incredible, and the ones on the top rack look gorgeous!
This was...eh. Our first eh from ATK, I believe. It was kind of a pain to make, since I had to chop the broccoli, then food process it, all before cooking. I suppose it would have been faster had I used frozen broccoli, but anyway...
The man is used to broccoli and cheese soups (probably made with Velveeta, no less), so he was not at all a fan and didn't even finish his bowl. I thought it was ok, but not something I'd bother to make again.
The recipe can also be used to make asparagus or pea soup. The man will eat neither of these, and it's not worth it for me to make for myself either.
AH WELL, the search for a great homemade soup stands at the ATK Cream of Tomato soup.
This was a really rich and buttery bread. It reminded us of croissants in that respect. I don't know what this bread would be good for as a result, unless it was eaten for breakfast with some jam. I made it to go along with the broccoli soup, and it just wasn't a great pairing.
The man wanted to eat it with some butter, though. I told him that there wasn't almost a whole stick of butter in the bread, so that was probably not a great idea.
In short, it was good enough, but not something I will probably make again.
Monday, March 17, 2008
PreparationMelt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms; sauté 3 minutes. Add green bell pepper and onions I added garlic here too, and sauté 2 minutes. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Stir flour into mushroom mixture; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Combine milk, Chicken Stock, and sherry. Gradually add milk mixture to pan, stirring with a whisk until blended. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook 3 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Add cream cheese, stirring until smooth.
Stir in chicken, red bell peppers, salt, and nutmeg; cook 1 minute. Remove from heat. Arrange 4 toast pieces on each of 4 plates; spoon 1 cup chicken mixture over toast. Sprinkle evenly with parsley.
This was really good! It had good flavor and seems to be a healthier version of comfort food. We ate most of the pan for dinner, and I'll have the leftovers for lunch today.
No pictures today... M looks at me like an idiot when I take pictures "Why are you taking a picture of your first bread? You're going to look back and think 'Why was I such an idiot?'"
Saturday, March 15, 2008
1 c plus 2T water
3c Bread Flour
1/2c shredded Parmesan cheese
1-1/2 cloves crushed garlic
1-1/2t dried oregano
2t quick active dry yeast
1/3 c sun dried tomatoes (packed in oil), drained and coarsely chopped
1. Measure carefully, placing all ingredients except tomatoes in bread machine pan. Add tomatoes at the Raisin/Nut signal.
2. Select Basic/White cycle. Use medium or light crust color. Do not use delay cycles. Remove baked bread from pan, cool on wire rack.
This was pretty tasty, if I do say so myself. I completely missed the raisin/nut signal, so the tomatoes didn't get added. Next time I make this, I will probably use the light crust setting--the crust was a bit hard for my liking.
Otherwise, it wasn't bad for my very first bread. I'm also happy to be giving the bread machine some use.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
I've made an Oven roaster before, using some rub I found on the Perdue website. It turned out fine, but I figured I'd see what the ATK folks came up with.
This was pretty darn tasty. Our oven, once again, decided not to cooperate and we had to add an additional 15 minutes to the cooking time just to get the little popper to pop.
This turned out really good! I used parsley in with the butter, since that's what I had. The chicken was incredibly juicy and moist, and it was fall off the bone tender on the leg I ate.
I made roasted garlic mashed potatoes and peas to go alongside the roast chicken, and plan to make Chicken a la king from the leftovers.
Originally found here
CHEESECAKE FACTORY KEY LIME CHEESECAKE
1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
5 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 cup plus 1 Tbsp. sugar
3- 8oz. pkgs cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup fresh lime juice (about 5 limes) If using key limes or juice, use half
Preheat oven to 350*. Combine crumbs, butter and 1 Tbsp. sugar in a bowl. Stir
well to to coat all crumbs. Keep it crumbly. Press the crumbs onto the bottom
and half way up the sides of an 8" springform pan. Bake crust for 5 mins.and
In large bowl combine cheese, 1 cup sugar and vanilla. Mix with electric mixer
till smooth. Add the lime juice and eggs and continue to beat till smooth and
Pour filling into crust. Bake for 60 to 70 mins. If top is turning light brown
it's done. Remove from oven and allow to cool till room temperature. Put into
fridge. When chilled, remove the pan sides and cut. Serve with whipped cream.
I had a store bought graham cracker crust, so I just used that. This was my first time making a cheesecake of any kind, so I'm interested to see how it will turn out... it's in the oven now.
I made this to participate in my first blogging event, Eat to the Beat, but I'm too late to submit. :( But anyway, I selected this, which I'll rename "It's the End of the World as We know it (and I feel fine)...because I'm Wasting Away in Margaritaville. That's right, ItEotWaWKI... mentions CHEESECAKE, and Margaritaville--the Florida Keys--inspired the Key Lime part of this.
More pictures to come, once we slice into that cake!
Oh. My. God. This was soooo good. The top was nice and firm and the inside was perfectly soft and squishy. It had a nice touch of lime, and the hubby commented that is just as good as his family recipe--which seems to be really long and temperamental.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
1-1/2 c panko or 2 c fresh breadcrumbs I used Italian flavored breadcrumbs
1T olive oil
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
1/2 c all purpose flour
1-1/2 t garlic powder
salt and pepper
3 large egg whites I used one
6 thin, boneless chicken breast cutlets I used 2
2 c Light Tomato Sauce refers to a recipe in the book; I used jarred
3 oz reduced fat mozzarella, shredded
1 T minced fresh basil I used dried
1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 475 degrees. Combine the breadcrumbs and oil in a 12" skillet and toast over medium heat, stirring often until golden, about 10 minutes. Spread the breadcrumbs in a shallow dish and cool slightly; when cool, stir in the Parm.
2. In a second shallow dish, combine the flour, garlic powder, 1T salt, and 1/2t pepper together. In a third shallow dish, whisk the egg whites and water.
3. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, place a wire rack on top, and spray the rack with vegetable oil spray. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, then season with salt and pepper. Lightly dredge the cutlets in the flour, shaking off the excess, then dip into the egg whites, and finally coat with the breadcrumbs. Press on the breadcrumbs to make sure they adhere. Lay the chicken on the wire rack.
4. Spray the tops of the chicken with vegetable oil spray. Bake until the meat is no longer pink in the center and feels firm when pressed with a finger, 15-20 minutes.
5. Remove the chicken from the oven. Spoon 2T of the sauce onto the center of each cutlet and top the sauce with 2T of mozzarella. Return the chicken to the oven and continue to bake until the cheese has melted, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the basil and serve, passing the remaining sauce and extra Parm.
We really liked this recipe. It did take a long time to make (about an hour total time), but it was pretty close to just as good as what we'd order from our local pizza shop. And it also didn't have that greasy fried taste. I served with a side of spaghetti and broccoli, and used ragu with peppers and mushrooms.
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
2 (10 oz) packages frozen broccoli (thawed and chopped medium)
1 lb shredded mozzarella (4 c)
2 c medium chopped cooked chicken (1lb) I used Perdue Shortcuts
1/2c Pesto I used Buitoni
salt and pepper
flour for the counter
2 lbs pizza dough
1T extra virgin olive oil plus extra for oiling the baking sheet
coarse or kosher salt (optional)
1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 450 degrees. Pat the broccoli dry, then toss with cheese, chicken, and pesto. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
2. On a lightly floured counter, roll out half the dough to a 12-inch round, about 1/4 inch thick. Mound half of the filling onto one side of the dough, leaving a 1" border along the edges. Brush the edges with water. Fold the other half the dough over the filling and press the edges to seal. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
3. Transfer the calzones to an oiled baking sheet. Use a sharp knife to cut 5 slits diagonally across the top of each calzone. Brush the oil over the tops and sprinkle with coarse salt (if using). Bake until golden, about 15 minutes.
DELISH! I used homemade whole wheat dough (see below), topped it with some Italian seasonings and garlic powder and served it with jarred spaghetti sauce. Really liked this--certainly not restaurant quality, but pretty good for home.
I even snacked on the filling as the calzone was baking and it was pretty darn tasty--I might one day put it on a sandwich by itself or maybe as a pizza topping.
Yet another keeper from the ATK!
Stuffed Pork Chops
3T unsalted butter
1 onion, minced
1 rib celery, minced
1T minced fresh parsley I used dried
2t minced fresh thyme I used dried
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 slices high quality sandwich bread, cut into 1/4" cubes
2T heavy cream
4 bone in rib pork chops
1T vegetable oil
1. Melt the butter in a 12" skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, andn salt. Cook until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the herbs and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a medium bowl and toss with the bread cubes, cream, and pepper. Mix, lightly pressing the mixture against the side of the bowl, until it comes together.
2. Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 450 degrees. Cut a small pocket through the side of each chop and stuff with a quarter of the stuffing.
3. Heat the oil in a 12" skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Brown the chops on both sides, about 6 minutes, then transfer to a 9x13" baking dish (don't wash the skillet if making a pan sauce). bake until the center of the stuffing registers 135 degrees on an instant read thermometer, about 15 minutes, turning the chops over halfway through cooking.
4. Transfer the chops to a clean plate, tent with foil, and let rest until the pork reaches an internal temp of 145-150 degrees before serving, 5-10 minutes. If desired, use the browned bits left in the pan to make pan sauce.
6 garlic cloves, minced
1T vegetable oil
1c low sodium chicken broth
1/2c hoisin sauce
3T red wine vinegar
1/8t red pepper flakes
Add the oil and garlic to the skillet and return to medium heat until fragrant, about 30 sec. Stir in the broth, hoisin, vinegar, red pepper, and any accumulated pork juice, scraping up any browned bits, and simmer until thickened, about 7 minutes. Spoon the sauce over the pork before serving.
This was pretty good. I used carrots instead of celery since I didn't have any celery around. The pork chops came out very tender, although the work involved really wasn't worth it. It was an hour of work, with really no breaks.
That said, the sauce was fantastic. I will definitely be making it again to put over pork chops... I'll just make the pork chops differently next time.
Recipe coming soon...
We made these together with the intent of bringing them to a friend's house. Unfortunately, our cantankerous oven had other ideas. The edges were getting hard while the middle was still crusty batter.
The flavor was alright, but nothing to really write home about.