Thursday, December 27, 2012

Easy Lunch

Felt like something other than a sandwich for lunch today. I knew I did not want to go out for fast food because it is bitter cold outside. The other day, at Costco, I picked up some Chicken Mozzarella Ravioli & it was staring at me from the fridge. So, I took 8 out of the package & put the rest in the freezer for later.  Then, I followed the directions on the package: 3-4 minutes in salted boiling water. Not good enough for me. I then moved them to a pan with melted butter & olive oil & garlic & black pepper & sauteed them to a beautiful golden brown. This was so delicious, I just had to share. It is in my plans to make my own fresh pasta, including ravioli, but this will definitely suffice in a pinch.

Christmas Dinner

So this year, Ed decided he wanted beef tenderloin for our Christmas dinner. Who am I to say no? So, I made a beef tenderloin, roasted red potatoes with onions & roasted brussel sprouts & mushrooms. So yummy. The tenderloin turned out perfect. I was pretty proud of myself, as this was the first one I had made. I followed, sort of, Rachael Ray's recipe. Started the oven out at 500 degrees fro 10 minutes & then dropped it down to 375 degrees for another 40 minutes.  What did I get? A perfect medium rare.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Blueberry Muffins

These are so good, and that is saying A LOT coming from me.  I am not a fan of cooked fruit, I do not eat apple pie because of the cooked apples.  There is something about these muffins, though. I have already eaten a couple of them.  This batch did not get the topping, I was trying to be a "little" healthy by avoiding the extra sugar.

Blueberry Muffins
1 1/2 cup AP Flour
3/4 cup Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/3 cup Vegetable Oil
1 Egg, beaten
1/3 cup Milk
1 cup Berries (you can substitute cranberries, strawberries, etc.)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
Line muffin tin with cupcake liners
Combine 1st four ingredients & set aside.
Place oil in a measuring cup & add the beaten egg.  Then, add enough milk to fill the cup.
Add to dry ingredients & mix until combined.
Fold in berries.
Fill to the top & sprinkle with crumb topping (optional).
Bake 20 minutes.

Crumb Topping
1/2 cup Sugar
1/3 cup AP Flour
1/4 cup Butter, cubed
1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients &, using your fingers, mix until looks like sand. Sprinkle over the muffins just before baking.

Chipotle Cheeseburgers

I originally found this on the Food Network site & changed it up a bit.  They can be spicy, so be careful.
Start with 1 1/2lbs of ground beef & sprinkle with Tex-Mex chili seasoning.  Add the chopped Chipotle Peppers, salt & pepper and beer.  Combine gently.  I hate touching raw meat, so I am gloved up during this process.

Divide into 4 even portions and let sit while the griddle is getting warm. I heat mine up to 350/360 degrees.

The delicious finished product.  I used American cheese this time around.  I have added notes at the bottom if you want to make them spicier.

1 1/2lbs Lean Ground Beef
2 Tbls Tex Mex Chili Seasoning (I use McCormick's)
2 tsp Chipotles in Adobo Sauce
1/4 cup Beer (your choice)
Salt & Pepper
Pepper Jack Cheese
Chipotle Mayonnaise, see recipe below

In a mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, chili seasoning, chopped chipotle peppers and beer.  Shape into 4 even portions & set aside.  Heat the griddle pan to 350 degrees, or grill outside.  Season the patties with salt & pepper & cook until done the way you like (4-5 minutes per side for medium)  2-3 minutes before they are done, add the cheese.

Chipotle Mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoons Chipotle Peppers
3/4 cup Mayonnaise

Slit open the peppers & remove seeds (leave in for spicy)
Finely chop the peppers.
Stir the mayo & peppers together and put in the fridge until ready to use.

NOTE: You can control the heat by reducing or increasing the amount of peppers in the burgers.  Remember, if you remove the seeds, they are likely to be a little less spicy.  

Special K Cookies

After spending time with Grandma & family last week, I was feeling a little homesick. So, I decided it was time to make Grandma's Special K cookies.  I believe I heard she got the recipe off a Special K cereal box many, many years ago.  The original recipe I had called for 5 sticks of butter.  I only use 4 & they are still delicious.  And, you can substitute cornflakes. :-) 
 4 sticks Unsalted Butter
3 cups Flour
1 1/2 cups Powdered Sugar
1/2 cup White Sugar
2 cups Special K cereal
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 tsp Almond Extract

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2.  Cream the butter & white sugar together. Add the extracts.
3.  Sift the flour, powdered sugar & baking soda & add to the mixture.
4.  Once mixed, add the cereal.
 5.  Drop by tablespoon onto baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.

They are a little soft when they first come out.  I leave on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before moving to the cooling rack.

Kale Chips

 A healthy alternative to potato chips & super easy to make.
 Take one bunch of Kale, rinse & dry thoroughly.  Tear into bite size pieces & drizzle with olive oil.  Then, sprinkle with salt & pepper.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes & you will have crispy & delicious Kale chips.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Game Day Wings

Start by marinating the wings in heavy cream, egg, hot sauce, cayenne pepper & other spices. I let mine marinate all morning

Then, I tossed in flour & cornstarch seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder & a bit more cayenne. Let the wings rest for about 20 minutes while you are heating up the oil. I use peanut oil & heat it to 375 degrees.

These are so good & so easy. I took a recipe from Sunny Anderson and then tweaked it just a little bit.

2 quarts vegetable shortening, for frying
24 whole chicken wings (about 6 pounds)
4 eggs
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cornstarch

In a large pot, heat vegetable shortening until a deep-fry thermometer reaches 375 degrees F. Line a sheet tray with a wire rack.

Using kitchen shears or a sharp knife, separate the chicken wings into the drummettes and wings, discarding the wing tip joint.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, cream, cayenne, a couple shakes of Frank's Red Hot, 1 tablespoon salt and black pepper.

In a paper bag, shake together flour, cornstarch, 1 tablespoon salt, 1/2 tablespoon pepper, 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper & 1 teaspoon garlic powder. Place chicken in egg mixture and toss well to coat. Place chicken in batches in the bag of flour mixture. Shake well to coat. Set on wire rack to let coating set, 20 minutes.

When oil is at the right temperature, add chicken, working in batches, and fry until cooked through and crispy, about 13 minutes. Season chicken with salt.