Tuesday, December 30, 2008
- Steak! Whatever size and cut you prefer
- 1 package dry brown gravy mix
- 1 cup red wine (I used Pinot Noir)
- Mushrooms (baby portobellas left over from Chicken Marsala)
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 1 sweet onion, chopped thin
- 2 tsp sugar
- Olive Oil
- Butter or margarine
- Salt and pepper
- ~For steak~
- Rub steak with a little bit of olive oil and lightly salt & pepper
- Grill or bake to desired temperature (My husband seared the steaks on the stovetop first and then finished them off in the oven. They were PERFECT.)
- ~For mushrooms~
- Chop mushrooms to desired size
- Melt 2 tbsp butter in saute pan
- Heat mushrooms until they brown
- Set aside
- ~For gravy~
- Put gravy mix in a sauce pan over high heat
- Follow directions on the dry gravy packet but substitute wine for water
- Continue to stir until gravy reaches desired consistancy
- Add mushrooms
- Remove from heat
- ~For onions~
- Melt 2 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp olive oil in a hot saute pan
- Add onions, salt and pepper lightly, and cook until they become soft
- Sprinkle in 2 tsp of sugar, mix
- Stir occasionally until onions become golden brown
- ~For asparagus~
- Add olive oil to the bottom of a saute pan
- Place asparagus in a row in pan
- Add just enough water to cover the asparagus
- Lightly salt and pepper
- Bring to a boil and then immediately reduce heat to a simmer
- Heat until asparagus is cooked but not mushy
- (I added one clove of minced garlic to my pan for extra flavor)
Now scoop your red wine mushroom gravy over your cooked steaks. Top steak with carmalized onions. Serve with a tasty side of asparagus and you have a gourmet meal for a Monday night!
(Don't worry, this was my little hunk of steak. I gave Drew a MUCH bigger piece!)
Sunday, December 28, 2008
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 1/2 cup bleu cheese dressing (or use ranch if you prefer)
- 1/2 cup Frank's Red Hot sauce
- 1/2 shredded cheese (I used mozzarella, but you could use bleu cheese crumbles)
- 1 can chunk chicken breast (or you can boil chicken and shred, but this was quicker)
- Mix everything together and throw in a crockpot.
- No, I'm not kidding. It's that easy!
- I put the crockpot on low for about 3 hours and then switched the setting to "Keep Warm".
- Serve with tortilla chips and celery
Unfortunately, I didn't take a picture! Next time I make it I will update with a photo.
- 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1/2 cup of flour
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 2 cups sliced mushroom (I used baby portobella. YUM)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup marsala wine
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Pound chicken breasts so that they are all an equal thickness
- Salt and pepper the chicken breasts
- Dredge chicken in flour (I added just a pinch of onion powder and thyme to the flour mix for some flavor). Set chicken aside.
- In a saute pan, melt butter and add mushrooms
- Cook mushrooms until they brown a bit. I believe this took around 10-12 minutes.
- Remove mushrooms and set aside.
- Add the oil to the pan and heat up
- Add chicken to the saute pan and cook 10 minutes on each side or until cooked.
- Set chicken aside and cover to keep warm
- Reduce heat and add marsala wine to the pan, simmer for a few minutes.
- Return mushrooms to the pan and heat for a little bit longer
- Pour mushroom sauce over chicken and serve!
- 4 cups corn chex cereal
- 4 cups rice chex cereal
- 6 tablespoons margarine
- 2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
- 1.5 teaspoons seasoning salt
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- A few pinches of crushed red pepper
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees
- Melt margarine in microwavable bowl
- Add worcesteshire sauce, seasoning salt, garlic powder and onion powder. Stir to mix.
- Place chex cereal in an oven safe bowl
- Drizzle butter mixture over chex and carefully stir to coat all of the cereal
- Bake for 1 hour, but take out and stir the chex mix every 15 minutes
- Let cook on paper towels
I made this last night for Drew and the boys while they watched the UFC fights. It was gone before the fights were over.
Adapted: Chex box
- 2 refridgerated rolled pie crusts
- 2 cans of cherry mix
- A little time and TLC :)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Place one of the rolled pie crusts into pie pan, press again pan
- Add cherries
- Now this is the fun part... slice additional pie crust into 3/4 inch strip
- Slowly weave the strips across the top of the cherries
- Place pie in the oven
- After 15-20 minutes of baking, cover crust edge with strips of tinfoil so that they don't burn
- Continue to bake an additional 20-25 minutes until pie is golden and yummy
But oh wait. One last step. After finishing this labor of love, be careful not to....
Yep, that's right. I dropped it. Like a 5 year old who just dropped their ice cream cone, I told my husband. My bottom lip was sticking out and with a pout in my voice I explained the fiasco. And what did he do? Ran to the store and got me more ingredients. (Yes, I know, he's amazing. I'm a lucky girl!)
So after a SECOND attempt at cherry pie (to which my lattice top turned out much better) I had a pie for Grandpa's birthday.
- 1 egg (for egg wash)
- Package of wonton wrappers
- Layout wonton wrapper so that they look diamond shaped
- Add a small dollop of crabmeat mixture in the middle of the wonton
- Rub 2 edges with egg wash
- Seal wonton by folding up to form a triangle
- Pull sides down to form rangoon
- Add a bit more egg wash to seal
- Heat oil in a frying pan and fry until golden brown.
These were delicious along side of our mongolian beef!
Monday, December 22, 2008
- 1 bunch green onion, cut into 1 inch pieces (I would use two bunches next time)
- 1 lb lean beef, sliced thin
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- Crushed red pepper (optional, but we like it spicy!)
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- Season sliced beef with salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder
- Sprinkle cornstarch over beef and toss to coat. Set aside.
- In a hot pan, saute garlic and onion in cooking oil until softened.
- Add meat and brown.
- Add soy sauce and crushed red pepper, stir to coat
- Just before servicing, add green onions and toss. (I added them a little early so that they were soft when served)
Note - I have noticed a few recipes add brown sugar... I think this would have added that sweet, delivery-style flavor to the dish. I'll try that next time!
Adapted: Joelen's Culinary Adventures
- 1 tbsp margarine
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken, cut into one inch pieces
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 can (4 ounces) mushroom pieces amd stems, drained
- 1 package Chicken Helper fettuccine alfredo (don't judge me...haha)
- 2 1/2 cups hot water
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- Package of frozen veggies, thawed and drained (I just used peas, carrots, corn and green beans)
- Melt margarine in skillet over high heat
- Cook chicken, onion and mushrooms in margarine for 3-5 minutes until outside of chicken turns white
- Stir in sauce mix, hot water, milk and mustard
- Heat to boiling and stir occasionally
- Stir in uncooked pasta, reduce heat
- Cover and simmer about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until pasta is tender
- Stir in veggies, cover and cook an additional few minutes
- Remove from heat and uncover
- Let stand about 5 minutes or until sauce is as thick as you like
This served it's purpose: cheap, easy and filling. Although I have to say it wasn't phenomenal. I didn't really taste the dijon mustard and would have used more if doing again. I also would have added some fresh garlic and perhaps some ground black pepper. But overall, we were full and satisfied (meaning it didn't go in the trash and we didn't quickly call Pizza Hut) so I consider it an average success.
Definitely worth a try if you're trying to dress up a cheap dish though!
Adapted: Betty Crocker
Saturday, December 20, 2008
- 2 small cans crab, drained
- One 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 tablespoon creamy horseradish
- Onion (to taste), finally chopped
- Dried parsley flakes
- Chopped almonds
- Mix the first 6 ingredients together and shape into a ball or log, whatever fits the serving dish you choose to use.
- Mix the parsley and almonds together and palce on wax paper
- Roll the log/ball over the parsley and almond mixture
- Wrap the log/ball up in wax paper and refrigerate. To seal in the flavor, wrap in saran wrap before putting in the refridgerator
- Serve with your favorite crackers!
Bonus - you can use the same recipe for yummy crab rangoons!
Adapted: Coworkers Salmon Log Recipe
- Two 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1/2 green bell pepper, finely chopped
- Green olives (to taste), finely chopped
- 1 package of Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing mix (the powdered kind)
- Tortillas (I used spinach and herb tortillas. They're delightful!)
- Mix cream cheese until smooth
- Add ranch dressing powder and mix until well blended
- Gently stir in the peppers, onion, and olives
- Spread 2/3 cup (I just eye-balled it) on each tortilla
- Roll the tortilla up to a make a pinwheel
- Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, twisting the ends to seal it
- Continue this process until cream cheese mixture is gone
- Refrigerate at least 2 hours (I did overnight)
- After being chilled, remove from plastic wrap, cut off the ends and then slice each roll into 1" pieces
In hindsight, my girlfriend Lori and I thought some jalepenos would have added a nice kick to these rolls. I think I'll try that next time!
- 1 lb red potatoes
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 2 tbsp fresh minced parsley
- 2 tbsp 1/2 and 1/2
- Dash of salt, pepper and garlic powder
- Clean potatoes, cut in half
- Steam in boiling water for 20 minutes
- Combine cream cheese and parsley in a bowl and mix well
- Let potatoes cool just a bit and use a melon baller to remove the insides (leave a firm shell though)
- Place scooped out mixture into cream cheese mix
- Add 1/2 and 1/2, salt, pepper and garlic powder
- Preheat over to 375
- Place shells on baking sheet and pipe in potato cheese mixture (I just used a plastic ziplock bag with the corner cut off. Easy!)
- Cook until browning on top.
MMmmmm these were so good right out of the oven! They were still tasty once they cooled, but better if you can enjoy them warm.
They were GONE by the end of the night though :)
Source: Good Things Catered
There isn't anything to special about this recipe other than the cute decorating! I'm a fan of working smarter, not harder so I prepared these cupcakes from a box mix. The sugar cookies too!
- Cupcake mix (I used German Chocolate)
- Frosting (mmm cream cheese frosting is the best!)
- Red M&Ms
- Sugar cookie mix (Betty Crocker has a great sugar cookie mix... so easy!)
- Green food coloring
- Leaf cookie cutter
- Make cupcakes per directions on box, let cool
- Frost and set aside
- Make sugar cookie dough per direction on box/bag (I had extra cookie dough so this was a snap!)
- Add green food coloring to dough and roll onto a flour covered surface
- Using your cookie cutter (mine is actually a pie crust cutter) cut green dough into shapes.
- Bake green leaf cookies according to directions and let cool.
- Now you simply add your M&Ms and cookies...
So easy, so cute!
Decorating: Good Things Catered
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 large red pepper, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 2 tablespoons pesto
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Mix all incredients together and put in a 9" pie plate.
- Bake for 15 minutes until warmed through
- Transfer to adorable dish :) (optional, of course!)
- 3/4 cup softened butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 tsp vanilla
- 3/4 tsp almond extract
- 2 1/2 cup flour
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- chopped nuts (I used almonds)
- Pre-heat oven to 350 and line a cookie sheet with foil or parchment paper.
- Cream the butter and sugar with your mixer (I love my Kitchen Aid hand mixer! Thanks Mom!)
- Beat the eggs in one at a time and add vanilla and almond extracts.
- In a large bowl combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder and salt.
- Slowly add the flour mixture into the egg, butter, sugar mix.
- Flold in the almonds using a large spoon or spatula.
- Split dough in half and roll into two even logs (Okay I had some trouble with this... my dough was STICKY. I could barely roll it! So the solution? Slap it on the parchment paper in a long, roll-like blob)
- Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown, then when cool enough, slice into biscotti slices.
- Bake again for 10-15 minutes on each side, flipping once
- I melted some chocolate chips in a bowl and drizzled them over the top!
These actually turned out really well! I'm not sure why my dough was so darn sticky... perhaps cake flour would have made a difference? Either way, the shape and flavor turned out perfect. I took them to work to share with my coworkers. It just so happened that the VP of Marketing from our corporate office was in town and meeting with us that day. He spots my biscotti and says, "Oh biscotti! Where are these from?" To which my boss responds, "Molly made them..."
Holding my breath, because this man is a serious foodie, he dips into his coffee and takes a bite. "Ten times better than when I've ever made them, Molly."
My morning routine just got a whole lot tastier...
Friday, December 5, 2008
But I had some ground turkey in the fridge that I needed to use so I decided on a burger. Now let's see, what can I put in this burger to make it fun? I had already tried a savory bleu cheese burger, so how about something sweet!
(I apologize in advance... I didn't measure. Use your eyes and your tastebuds to lead the way!)
- Ground turkey (I don't know how much I used... enough for a burger. Maybe 1/4 lb?)
- Apple, finely chopped.
- Onion, finely chopped
- Worcestershire sauce (just a few dashes to keep the meat moist)
- Salt, pepper, onion powder
- In a bowl, mix all ingredients by hand.
- Form a patty and cook however you like! Like I said, I was home alone and it's a lot of work to pull a grill out of the garage for one little burger. I just did mine stovetop.
Sorry I don't have any other photos of the completed burger, but I was on the phone chatting with my Dad while it was cooking and by the time our conversation ended I was ready to gobble this burger down!
In hindsight, I would go 2/3 apple to 1/3 onion. I did about half and half and it was a little heavy on the onion flavor. But I didn't mind... it was GONE. :)
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 package taco seasoning
- 4 ounces (1/2 package) cream cheese
- 14 large pasta shells
- 1 cup salsa
- 1 cup taco sauce
- 2 cups of cheese (I used mozzarella because that's what I had, you can use anything)
- Brown the ground beef, add taco seasoning and prepare according to package directions. (I threw in some finely chopped onion and garlic too!)
- Add cream cheese, cover and simmer until cheese is melted. Blend well. Set aside and allow to cool completely.
- While meat mixture is cooling, cook the pasta shells and drain. Set aside on a cutting board but keep them seperated or they will stick together.
- Pour salsa in the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.
- Stuff each shell with the meat mixture. Place the stuffed shells in the baking dish and cover the tops of the shells with taco sauce.
- Cover and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes
- After 30 minutes, uncover, and sprinkle cheese on top. Cook for about 15 more minutes.
- You can garnish these shells with whatever you normally would use for tacos (sour cream, more salsa, etc)
Mmmm these were good! Word to the wise: I only had HOT salsa and HOT taco sauce. I love spicy, but I think I made my poor husband sweat a bit ;) I would suggest using hot for only one or the other.
Adapted from THIS recipe
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Uh-oh.... did I lose you already? Look at this adorable little guy and hang in there:
- 1 13x9 baked cake (I used chocolate cake from a box. Why reinvent the wheel?!?!)
- 1 can cream cheese frosting
- 1 small flower shaped cookie cutter (I think mine is about 1.25")
- Chocolate almond bark
- Pink candy melts (I found these at Michaels for only $1.29!!!)
- Bowls for dipping
- Wax paper
- Aluminum foil
- Sprinkles and m&ms
- Bake a cake (from scratch or via box mix). Cool completely.
- Crumble cake into a fine consistency.
- Add cream cheese frosting (I didn't use a whole can... but that's just me). Blend together using the back of a large spoon. Blend thoroughly.
- Roll mixture into 1.5" size balls and lay on wax paper covered cookie sheet.
- Cover with aluminum foil and place in freezer for about 15-20 minutes.
- Remove. Begin to shape into cupcakes using a small flower-shaped cookie cutter. Take the chilled ball and roll it into more of an oval and then slide into the cookie cutter. Push it into the cutter until about half fills the cutter and the rest sticks out of the top in the shape of a mound. Then push the shaped cupcake carefully out of the cookie cutter from the bottom. Set right side up on the a wax paper covered cookie sheet. Continue with the rest...
- Once shaped, cover and return to the freezer (10 minutes)
- While cupcake shapes are chilling, begin to heat up your chocolate bark.
- Brown chocolate bark for the bottom, pink (or whatever you feel like!) for the tops.
- Follow the instructions on the package for melting. Most recommend heating for 30 second intervals and stirring in between.
- When you are ready to dip, remove from freezer and set up another wax paper cookie sheet.
- Take the cupcake shaped mix and dip the bottoms into the melted chocolate - just to the point where the mounded shape starts. Remove from chocolate and turn upside down (wiggle so that the excess starts to slide down slightly). Lay on the wax paper upside down.
- Dry completely (15-20 minutes)
- Okay I'm tired. But just hang with me.
- Once dry, dip the tops of the cupcakes in the pink chocolate. You may need to move it around a little to cover the exposed areas.
- Remove from the pink chocolate and turn right side up.
- Turn them right side up on the wax paper. Then go ahead and put an m&m on top and add sprinkles.
TA-DA! The world's most time consuming (yet adorable) cupcake!
By the way, it only made ONE bite because I wanted a picture. These are just too good!
This is the first Thanksgiving that I've had an agenda other than eating too much. It was my very first year to contribute. And that contribution? The pie. The PUMPKIN pie. (Okay in my mind that sounded a lot cooler, but I digress).
Granted, a pumpkin pie is probably the easiest option when contributing to the turkey day feast but I was a bit intimidated. It's my Grandpa's favorite and I didn't want to disappoint.
Grandpa had two big pieces. I consider this a success!
- 1 pie crust (yes, Rookie Chef strikes again... I bought a graham cracker crust. Whoops. Luckily I had rolled, refridgerated pie crust in the fridge for chicken pot pies. I used that instead)
- 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 1 can of canned pumpkin
- 12 ounces of evaporated milk
- Heat oven to 375 degree.
- In a large bowl, mix brown sugar, flour, spices and salt
- Stir in egg. Beat in pumpkin and evaporated milk until smooth.
- Pour mixture into prepared pie crust.
- Bake 50-55 minutes (mine was about an hour and 10 minutes... but our stove is old).
- Serve warm or cold.
mmm mmm mmmm! It's Grandpa approved :)
Unfortunately for this Rookie Chef, I can never leave a good thing alone. So this time I added tuna to our typical deviled egg recipe. They were tasty... but a little different. In a good way, but not in a "Oh my goodness I can't stop eating these!" kind of way.
Try it for yourself and decide :)
- 1 6-oz can of tuna (I used Solid White Albacore in Water. It's the only way to go!)
- pinch of salt and ground black pepper
- Dijon mustard (do this to taste... every is different)
- 8 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
- 3 tablespoons mayo (I used fat-free... but again, add mayo to taste)
- Olives (optional)
- Drain tuna very well. Using a fork, break up any large pieces. Add salt, pepper and mustard
- Cut each egg in half and use a spoon to remove the yolk. Mash the yolks well. Add tuna mixture and stir in mayo.
- Spoon mixture into egg whites. Garnish with olives, if desired.
P.S. I tend to go a little paprika crazy when all is said and done. Feel free to leave this step out, but I highly recommend it!
Source: Crumbly Cookie
My very sweet husband bought me a new digital camera for my birthday and I haven't had a chance to install the software... until tonight! The camera is fabulous, but it still doesn't help with my rookie photography skills. Once I figure out how to take nice pictures without steam and awful flash I'll let you know!
So back to my updates...
I'm not a huge cheesecake fan. But I do love the little refridgerated cheesecake bites you can buy at the gas station. Yes, the gas station. I think they're called Philladelphia Cream Cheese Bites (???). I may be wrong.
Regardless, this version of yummy little mini cheesecakes turned out adorable and most of all, delicious!
- 1 package of vanilla wafers (I only used about 1/3 package... you could easily subsitute graham crackers if you have them instead)
- 1 package cream cheese (8 ounces I believe)
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup sugar (my 1/4 cup was very full)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Cherry pie filling (use as needed... I bought a can of it and had plenty of leftovers.... which I ate on vanilla wafers. bad bad bad.)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin tin with paper liners
- Crush vanilla wafers and place a decent amount in each paper cup
- In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla until light and fluffy
- Fill each paper cup with mixture almost to the top
- Bake 15 minutes
- Cool completely (they look a little puffy and sad when they come out, but trust me they will set like cheesecake after cooling!)
- Top with cherry pie filling
Oh yum! So good! Just be careful... they're addicting!
Adapted from: Cooks.com