Saturday, July 31, 2010

Bran Muffins

I love muffins and yogurt for Breakfast. My mom used to make these almost every Saturday when I was young. I love mine with butter and honey!


Bran Muffins

2 cups All-Bran Cereal
1 1/4 cups milk
1 egg
1/4 cup oil

1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Soak Bran cereal in bowl with milk for about 5 minutes. While cereal is soaking, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in another bowl, whisk together, set aside. Combine oil and egg together.
When cereal is softened with milk, add the egg and oil and stir. Add dry ingredients to the cereal mixture and stir until just comibined.
Drop by spoonfuls into greased muffin tin, I fill tins about 3/4's full. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown!
Serve warm with butter and honey if desired. Enjoy!

Salmon Patties

This is another one of my comfort foods. My mom used to make them alot when I was young! I use canned salmon and remove the bones. I remember eating them when I was little and once in a while mom would miss a bone (those round ones that are part of the spine) I always thought they were eye sockets or something...hahaha. But I love them and salmon is good for you! (I also used to have two goldfish that I names Sam and Patti) :o)

Salmon Patties

1 can (14oz) Pink Salmon
1 to 2 cups bread crumbs (you can use fresh, or the canned , I prefer the canned)
1/3 cup minced onion
1/4 cup milk
2 eggs
1 tablespoon parsley, crumbled ( or 2 tablespoons fresh, chopped fine)
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon dill weed
1/4 teaspoon salt
dash of pepper

Drain salmon, reserving 2 tablespoons liquid; put in large bowl and flake with fork, removing bones. Combine all ingredients in bowl. Shape into 8-  1 inch thick patties. Pan-fry in skillet with 2 tablespoons olive oil on both sides until golden brown.
Serve with a slice of lemon and Enjoy!!
I serve mine with cream peas and potatoes!

Macaroni Salad

I love salads, and macaroni salad is one of the best! It's about all I get at Pizza Hut's salad bar! hahaha! Here's my recipe for it! Enjoy!

Di's Macaroni Salad

2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
1 cup Best Foods REAL Mayonaise
1 Tablespoon vinegar
1 Tablespoon French's mustard
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup celery, thinly sliced
1 cup chopped red and green bell peppers
1/4 cup onion, diced small
3/4 cups cheese, diced into about 1/4 in cubes--any kind of cheese works, I like cheddar or monterey jack

Cook macaroni in a pot of salted boiling water for about 10 to 12 minutes or to desired doneness. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop cooking and cool noodles, and drain throughly.
Combine the mayo, vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Whisk until smooth. Then add the celery, bell peppers, onion, cheese and macaroni. Stir to coat.
Cover and chill in fridge until ready to eat!
Yummo!!

Shredded Beef Enchiladas

mmmmmm I love Enchiladas... I didn't quite know how to make them when I first got married. This is how I learned to make them from Jim's mom. I've learned to make quite a few mexican dishes from her. These are pretty easy, and yummo! For this recipe remember to cook the roast ahead of time in a crock pot, or you can use ground beef instead of a roast! I used canned Enchilada sauce, could make home made, but canned is good and easier!

Shredded Beef Enchiladas

 2 pound (aprox) beef roast
1/2 cup diced onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Cumin and Chili poweder (or taco seasoning)
Cheese, sliced into about 12-1/4 inch thick strips, and 1 cup grated
olives, sliced
Corn tortillas
1 medium can Enchilada sauce(I use Las Palmas, or Rosarita is good, and Old el paso)

I cook my roast in the crockpot on low, all day while I'm at work.  I put about 1/2 cup beef broth in with it and sprinkle the roast with salt and pepper, garlic powder and onion powder.
Remove roast from crockpot and shred with two forks. (or cook ground beef and onions together and  season with taco seasoning)
Heat a couple Tablespoons olive oil in skillet, and saute onions for a couple of minutes or until translucent. Add garlic and saute a minute more. Add shredded beef, and toss. I season with about 1 teaspoon of ground cumin, and 1 teaspoon chili powder and salt and pepper. Meanwhile heat enchilada sauce in another smaller skillet. I put a spoonful or two on the beef as well, and toss to coat. Set beef aside.
Have a casserole dish ready and sprayed with pam. Place 1 or two tortillas in enchilada sauce and let heat a minute so the tortilla is pliable. Remove toritilla from sauce and place in casserole dish. Place a couple of spoonfuls of beef down the middle of tortilla, place a strip of cheese and a few sliced olives....

Then roll up. And repeat until you've used up the beef. Drizzle remaining enchilada sauce over the top of your enchiladas. ( usually theres about 1 cup left, but if there is a lot of sauce leftover, freeze some of it till next time, don't drown your enchiladas) Sprinkle the one cup grated cheese over the top, and then sprinkle the rest of the olives across them.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Serve with shredded lettuce, salsa, guacamole, and sour cream for toppings. I make mexican rice and refried beans for on the side sometimes.
Enjoy!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Grilled Chicken Panini Sandwiches with Chipotle Mayo

Lately I've been in the mood for sandwiches, and you know how I love to experiment. Well, here is one experiment that turned out Yummo!!! I was grilling chicken tenders for dinner, and had seen this recipe for Chipotle Mayo on the Food Network so I thought Hmmmm, bet that would make a great sandwich and it did! I grilled these  on my BBQ grill since I don't have a panini pan....

Grilled Chicken Panini Sandwiches with Chipotle Mayo

2 pounds chicken tenders (or 3 tenders per sandwich)
1/2 green bell pepper sliced thinly
1/2 onion, sliced thinly
2 Tablespoons sundried tomatos
Cheese, sliced thinly
Sourdough bread (two slices per sandwich)
Chipotle Mayonaise (recipe follows)

Marinade the chicken tenders in your favorite Marinade for 2 to 4 hours or overnight. (I used the Ranch Marinade from my recipe for Original Ranch grilled chicken)
Heat grill, and grill chicken on med/medium high heat for 4 to 5 minutes per side or until juices run clear. While chicken is cooking, sauted onions and peppers in a small frying pan with the sundried tomatoes for a few minutes or until crunchy tender.  Slice cheese, and make Chipotle Mayo (recipe to follow).
When chicken is done, assemble sandwiches. I spread a spoonfull of the chipotle mayo on each slice of bread ( I used the big square loaf of sourdough bread you can get at Walmart's bakery, or the round loaf would work too). Then I place sliced cheese on both slices. Then place 3 chicken tenders across the bread, and top with a few peppers, onions and sundried tomatoes. Top with the other slice of bread and cheese. Spray bread with pam, then place on hot grill, (make sure your grill has been oiled) then I placed one of my heavy cast iron skillets on top of sandwich and grilled for 2 minutes. Remove skillet and turn, and place skillet back on sandwich. Grill 2 more minutes. Remove from grill, cut in two and enjoy!! Way Yummo!!!!

Chipotle Mayonnaise:
1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (remember these are quite spicey so one pepper with a spoonful of the adobo sauce is all you want) save rest of can for later use. (I keep mine in the freezer)
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1/2 cup mayonnaise
salt and pepper to taste

In a small bowl mash together the chipotle pepper, lime juice , and mayo, mashing around to break up the pepper. (I don't chop this, because it's good in the sandwich to bite into a bigger piece of pepper, but you don't want them too big) Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Creamed Peas and Potatoes

I love Creamed Peas and Potatoes... another comfort food. I tweak mine a bit, rather than just have plain white sauce on mine. Yum!! I love fresh garden produce!!

Di's Creamed Peas and Potatoes

4 medium-size red potatoes
about 2 cups fresh green peas
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup diced onion
1/4 cup REAL bacon bits
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
1 cup grated cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Wash potatoes and cut into bite size pieces. Place in pot of salted water and bring to a boil. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes until fork tender. Drain and set aside. Steam peas in another pot for 3 to 5 minutes until tender. Drain and set aside.
While peas and potatoes are cooking, in a medium size sauce pan melt butter. Then add onion and cook a few minutes until onion is translucent. Then add garlic and bacon bits to the pot and cook 1 minute more. Add flour and stir until smooth, let cook a minute more. Then whisk in milk, cook and stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil and thickens. When it's thickened like a sauce, remove from heat and stir in the 1 cup cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. 
Pour peas into pot with potatoes, then pour sauce over all, stir to combine.
Serve and enjoy!!!
--Remember you don't have to add the onion, garlic, bacon and cheese to the sauce. Most recipes just make it with a regular bechemel white sauce. But I like the extra flavor!! Yum!!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Cowboy Cookies

I found (or should I say my hubby found) this recipe on the internet and we had to give it a try! These were pretty good! They don't have quite as much sugar in them as other cookie recipes I've tried so they didn't seem quite as sweet so we told ourselves they were healthy and ate two! But they have a little of everything in them. Great with a glass of milk!

Cowboy Cookies

3/4 cup walnuts or pecans, toasted and chopped
1 cup butter, room temperature
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup raisins

To toast nuts: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and toast nuts on a cookie sheet for 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned and fragrant. (check on them when you start to smell them, they are usually done then, even if it hasn't been 8 minutes. Be careful, they burn easily) Let cool, and then chop into pieces.

Place one oven rack in the top third of the oven, and one oven rack in the bottom third of the oven. Line TWO baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars until creamy and smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time to the butter mixture, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and rolled oats. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and beat just until incorporated. Stir in the nuts, coconut, chocolate chips, and raisins by hand.

Form dough into balls, using 1/4 cup for each cookie. Place six balls of dough (I fit 9 on mine)on each baking sheet. With greased fingers, gently flatten each ball of dough int a 1/2 inch thick cookie. Bake cookies for about 12 to14 minutes,(baking times vary with different ovens) rotating the baking sheets halfway through the baking time. Cookies are done when they are golden brown around the edges and just barely set in the center. They should still be soft. Remove from oven and let the cookies cool a few minutes on the cookie sheet, then place on wire rack to finish cooling.

Makes about 20 or so large cookies.

Yum....... I recommend eating while warm with a large glass of milk!

Grilled Corn on the cob

I love corn on the cob and this is my favorite way to cook it! Way more flavor than boiling. This isn't really a recipe ... more like a technique but I'll post it anyway. I learned this from Food Network of course!

Corn on the Cob-- however many ears you will eat.
Leave in the husks. First, I cut the very tip off the cob of corn, this is mostly to get the silk off. Then place in a pan or bowl. Something big enough to cover completely with water. Sprinkle liberally with Kosher salt. Let sit for about an hour or longer.Heat grill to medium/ medium high heat. Drain water off corn, and place on hot grill. Let cook for 20 to 25 minutes turn about every 5 minutes or so.This is what it looks like after cooking the 25 minutes.

When done remove and let cool until you can handle them, peel husks off and slather with butter and sprinkle on a little salt and pepper. Enjoy!

London Broil Steak Sandwiches with Cheese sauce

I know I've posted a steak and cheese sandwich recipe on here before, but I tried another version with London broil steak that I marinated for 24 hours. Then I had to try it with my homemade cheese sauce! Oh man these were good, but way messy! That makes them all the better right?

London Broil Steak Sandwiches

1- 2 to 3 pound London broil steak
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon Grill Mates SPICY Montreal Steak Seasoning
Whisk oil, vinegar, and steak seasoning together. Put steak in ziploc bag and pour marinade over it. Close bag and mush around a bit, then let marinade over night in the refrigerator.

When you're ready to make the sandwiches you'll need:
1/2 onion, sliced thinly
1/2 green bell pepper, sliced thinly
1/2 red bell peper, sliced thinly
Cheese sauce, warmed (see my recipe for mac and cheese, I used that cheese sauce)
Sandwich rolls

Heat grill to med/medium high heat. I heat my veggie grill tray too. When hot put veggies on grill tray, and steak on grill. Cook veggies about 10 minutes turning every so often so they don't burn. Cook steak about 6 minutes per side, or till desired doneness. We like ours medium rare so there is a little pink in the middle.
When steak is done, remove to a plate and let rest 5 to 10 minutes. Remove vegies when they are crunchy tender to a plate. Grill sandwich rolls opened up, for a minute on each side so you get nice grill marks, and they are slightly crisped.
Slice steak in very thin slices against the grain. London Broil is a tougher piece of steak so the thinner the slice the better and against the grain makes it easier to bite into.
To assemble sandwiches, place slices of steak on bottom of sandwich roll, then add peppers and onions, and top with a good helping of cheese sauce and top of sandwich roll. Have lots of napkins ready, and dig in!! I served with chips and guacamole. Yummo!!

Mac and cheese!

Mac and cheese is one of my favorite comfort foods. My mom used to make this. She'd bake it in the oven with extra cheese on top, sometimes I do that. But we eat it right out of the pot while it's still gooey! Way better than the boxed kind if you ask me!

Mac and Cheese

2  cups uncooked elbow macaroni**
Bring 4 cups water to a boil, add 1 teaspoon salt and cook about 10 minutes or until tender. Drain.
While macaroni cooks make cheese sauce :
Melt 1/4  cup butter in medium sauce pan.
Then add 1/4 cup flour, Whisk to blend in flour and let cook on medium heat a minute or two. Then add 2 cups milk, whisk while adding, and keep stirring while cooking. Bring to a boil and cook until thickened. Turn off heat and add 2 cups grated cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Here's where the kids and I like to eat it! yumm!!
or you can pour into a casserole dish and top with more grated cheese and bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is melty.

**You can use any kind of pasta, I've used shells, and curly macaroni. The cheese sauce is also good on broccoli and cauliflower, scalloped potatoes, etc!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Di's Sesame Chicken

You all know how I love to try out new recipes... well, I found this one on Allrecipes.com, and yes, I tweaked it a bit to my taste. It was yummo!! This is the recipe the way I made it....

Di's Sesame Chicken

Ingredients:
1 cup all-purpose flour
Sesame seeds
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teasppoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 pounds boneless, skinless, chicken tenders
oil for cooking chicken
1/2 medium onion, sliced into thin wedges
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced thin
1/2 package frozen green beans
1/2 cup teriyaki sauce (can use store bought, or make your own, see my recipe below)
2 Tablespoons honey (more if you like)
Hot cooked rice

In a large ziploc bag, combine flour, 1 Tablespoon sesame seeds, black pepper, five-spice powder, red pepper flakes, garlic powder,  ground ginger and salt. Shake bag to mix.
Heat a couple Tablespoons of oil in large skillet. Place a few pieces of chicken at a time into the bag of seasoned flour, and shake to coat. Remove chicken from bag, shaking off excess flour, and place in skillet. Brown for 3 to 4 minutes per side or until golden brown. Remove from skillet onto cookie sheet lined with paper towels. Continue this step until chicken is all cooked. Keep warm in oven.
Add another tablespoon of oil to skillet and add onion, red bell pepper and beans. Stir-fry a few minutes until onion is slightly browned and veggies are crunchy tender.
While veggies cook combine Teriyaki sauce, honey, and 2 more Tablespoons sesame seeds.
When veggies are done, remove from pan. Return chicken to skillet, reduce heat to medium low and pour Teriyaki mixture over the chicken. Toss to coat and cook just a minute to let sauce thicken. Return veggies to skillet with the chicken and toss again to coat and warm veggies.
Serve over hot cooked rice.   Enjoy!

Teriyaki Sauce
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 to 2 Tablespoons water
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon minced garlic

Whisk together in small bowl to combine.
 When making the above recipe I added 1 teaspoon cornstarch to help thicken just a little when cooking over chicken.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Otis Spunkmeyer Almond Poppy Seed Muffins

I LOVE poppy seed muffins, especially warm from the oven. I've tried quite a few recipes, but I like this one the best! I got it off of CopyKat Recipes. Yum!!! ...But I wouldn't recommend eating them before a drug test... did anyone see that episode of Seinfield when Elaine kept eating poppyseed muffins before a drug test?? hahaha

Otis Spunkmeyer Almond Poppy Seed Muffins

2- 1/3 cups All purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 Stick of butter (softened)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
1-1/2 cups sour cream
3 teaspoons almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 Tablespoons Poppy Seeds

Preparation:
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease desired size muffin tins.
In a medium size bowl, stir together the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder, set aside. In mixing bowl, beat softened butter, oil, and sugar until blended and creamy. Add eggs, vanilla, almond extract and sour cream to butter mixture. Blend until mixture is smooth, all moist ingredients should be blended well. Start adding the flour mixture to batter a little at a time until thoroughly blended but do not over beat.
Remove from the mixer and add poppy seeds. Stir with spoon until completely mixed through. Spoon into muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake in oven for 20 to 25 minutes (10 to 15 minutes for mini-muffin tins) or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center and muffins are slightly golden brown around the edges. Do not over bake.
Enjoy!!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Roasted-Pepper Pasta Salad


I made this recipe for our 4th of July BBQ on Saturday. I love trying out new recipes. The family seemed to love it! I did do a few things different than the recipe said to, see comments with the *'s by them. Otherwise I followed it pretty closely. This is a recipe from my food network magazine, and the picture too, I forgot to take a picture of mine before we ate it. Looked similar but I couldn't find the mozzarella balls


Ingredients:
Kosher salt
12 ounces rigatoni or other short tube-shaped pasta
2 bell peppers (red and/or yellow), halved, stemmed and seeded
   **I used a jar of roasted red peppers instead of roasting my own
6 cloves garlic, unpeeled
   **I roasted a whole garlic bulb in the oven--see my recipe for garlic mashed potatoes on how to do that.
1/4 cup almonds ( **I bought the slivered almonds and toasted those, then chopped)
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 lemon
8 ounces bocconcini (small mozzarella balls)
    **I couldn't find these, so I just cut up mozzeralla cheese into small cubes
1 bunch fresh basil, leaves torn (I chopped)
Freshly ground pepper
Directions:
Preheat the broiler. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook as the label directs. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. Shake off the excess water.
Meanwhile, place the bell peppers cut-side down on a foil-lined broiler pan, add the garlic and broil until charred, 7 to 8 minutes. Transfer the peppers to a bowl, cover and set aside about 5 minutes.
Heat a dry skillet over medium-high heat. Add the almonds and toast, shaking the pan, 4 to 5 minutes. Let cool, then coarsely chop.
Squeeze the garlic from its skin onto a cutting board. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt; mince and mash the garlic into a paste with a large knife. Peel the roasted peppers and slice into strips; transfer to a large bowl. Add the garlic paste and drizzle with the olive oil. Finely grate about 1 teaspoon lemon zest into the bowl and squeeze in all of the lemon juice. Add the bocconcini, basil, almonds, pasta, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste; toss.
**I whisked the garlic, olive oil, lemon zest and juice together in a small bowl and then added to the roasted red pepper. Then I tossed it with the pasta, nuts, and chopped basil.
I found I wanted just a bit more flavor, so I added a couple Tablespoons of my homemade basil-pesto. And then I sprinkled on some Parmesan cheese and tossed.
It turned out Yummo!!!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Twice Cooked Beef

This is a recipe that I have used over and over again. It's out of my Wok cookbook I bought when Jim and I decided to eat healthier back when he was in the Navy. You can use a pork roast as well if you'd rather. You can make it as spicy as you like by increasing the amount of crushed red pepper you use. Just a hint, I cook the roast in a crockpot first, for 4 to 5 hours. So plan ahead.

Twice Cooked Beef

1-  2 or 3 pound Beef roast (or pork)
Chinese 5 spice powder
Garlic powder
1/4 cup beef broth

1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced into 1 inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced into 1 inch pieces
3 or 4 green onions, dice the white parts, slice the green part into 1 inch pieces.
4 teaspoons hoisin sauce
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoons crushed red pepper.
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced ginger
Olive oil
Hot cooked white or brown rice

Sprinkle roast with chinese 5-spice and garlic powder, and a little salt and pepper. Place in crockpot with 1/4 cup beef broth, and cook on high for 4 to 5 hours until cooked through and tender. Remove from crockpot and let cool. (I freeze the broth for when I need broth in another recipe)
Make sauce by combining hoisin sauce, soy sauce, sugar and crushed red pepper together and set aside. (you could use 1 Tablespoon of the broth to thin this sauce a little)
When roast is cool enough to handle, slice and dice into 1/4 inch thick 1 inch square pieces. Set aside.
Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in pan or wok, when hot, add green and red bell peppers, stir fry for 2 to 3 minutes. Then sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt, and cook a minute or two longer until crispy tender. Remove from pan.
Heat 1 more Tablespoon of oil in pan, then add garlic and ginger, stir and cook for a minute, then add the beef. Stir until beef is heated through, about a minute. Next  pour the sauce over it and stir until beef is coated well. Add the bell peppers and green onion back into the pan, and stir and cook a minute or two longer till veggies are heated through.
Serve over hot cooked rice with Soy Sauce on the side to garnish for individual taste.
Enjoy!!
I served this on a big serving platter, family style.