Saturday, April 30, 2005

Watermelon Salad (& a cool website)

This recipe sounds great -- I haven't tried it yet, but I intend to once watermelon season rolls around.

The site as a whole, A Girl's Gotta Eat also has interesting, sort of exotic recipes; last summer, I made her Zucchini Summer Pasta (without the mint and with something else, although I forget what).

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Crockpot Mexican Chicken

I made this for dinner tonight and it was a big hit. I drained the liquid from the corn first, and it was still rather liquid-y at the end, so I served it over rice. I also used more chicken. (I used 3 chicken breasts, but I think 4 would also be fine.) I put it under the broiler to melt the cheese, and it looked fantastic.

2 cans niblets corn (WITH JUICE!)
2 whole frozen b/s chicken breasts
1 packet taco seasoning
2 cans black beans-
1 jar chunky salsa
1 can diced tomatoes
chopped fresh cilantro to taste
1 cup grated, low fat, sharp cheddar

Lightly spray crock with non-stick cooking spray. Put corn in bottom of crockpot. Place chicken on top of corn. Sprinkle chicken with taco seasoning. Pour in Salsa. Pour in tomatoes. Pour beans over salsa. Cook on Low heat for 6-8 hours. Remove chicken pieces and dice. Return to crockpot and add cilantro. Before serving transfer to oven-proof serving dish and top with cheese. Put in oven to melt.
Makes 8 servings - (WW 4 points,or it's all Core)

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Brothy Japanese noodles with mushrooms and tofu

from Food Network Kitchens Making it Easy

1/3 c. soy sauce
3 Tbsp. rice vinegar
2 Tbsp. mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine)
2 Tbsp. peanut oil
1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
1 2-inch piece of ginger, finely grated
2 blocks firm tofu, blotted dry
1 lb. portobello mushrooms
2 Tbsp. gomashio (sesame seed spice, found in ethnic stores or sometimes in the ethnic aisle of grocery store)
Kosher salt
2 small bundles soba noodles (ethnic store or ethnic aisle of grocery store)
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 tsp. chile oil (which I left out, but I bet would be good)

Position oven rack six inches from the broiler and preheat. Line a large broiler pan with aluminum foil. Whisk soy sauce with the vinegar, mirin, peanut oil, sesame oil and ginger in a large bowl.
Cut the tofu in about 8-10 pieces total, depending on how crispy you'd like yours to be. Arrange tofu and mushrooms on broiler pan, pour half the sauce on it, and then turn to coat thoroughly. Set aside for at least 5 minutes and up to 30. Broil the tofu and mushrooms for about 5 minutes, then turn. Sprinkle gomashio on top and broil 5-8 more minutes.
Meanwhile, bring water to a boil. Salt generously, and add soba noodles and cook 2 minutes. Add 1 c. cold water, bring back to a boil, and cook about 2-3 more minutes. Scoop out 1/4 c. of the noodle cooking water and add to reserved soy sauce mixture. Drain noodles and add to bowl with soy mixture, along with scallions and more gomashio. Toss to coat.
Slice the mushroom caps. Divide the noodles among 4 bowls and top with tofu and mushrooms and even more gomashio.

This is a really simple recipe to make, and it was so tasty. We'll be adding this one to our "dinner rotation" on a regular basis.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Pecan-Crusted Chicken

Here's yet another super-easy, looks-harder-than-it-is recipe for chicken breasts.

boneless skinless chicken breasts
ranch dressing (can be regular, light, whatever)
pecan chips (get "chopped pecans" and chop them some more)

1. Put chicken and dressing in a ziploc bag. Shake to make sure dressing covers everything.
2. Marinate in the fridge. (Longer is better, try for at least two hours, or do it the morning of.)
3. Dredge chicken through pecans and put in a baking dish.
4. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes, until it's cooked through.

- Works well with chicken breast tenderloins, too.

- Make sure the bag is big enough so that the dressing can move around easily. Over the weekend, I had to up-size my bag because the breasts were kinda huge, and it was hard to get the dressing all over everything.

- The pecans might not stick to the chicken very well. I usually dredge everything, then dump the remaining pecans on the chicken.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Pineapple chicken

I loosely based this off a Filipino dish that Ernie was craving.

1 can pineapple chunks in light syrup
4 or 6 chicken boneless, skinless chicken thighs (if you cook more, you may need more pineapple)
onion (optional--I didn't use it this time, but I will the next time, so I'm writing the recipe that way)

Slice one onion, line the bottom of your crockpot. Place chicken (seasoned with granulated/powdered garlic) on top. Cover with pineapple, juice and all. If you need more liquid, use pineapple juice or no more than 1/4 cup water. Any more than that will water down the pineapple taste.
Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours. Serve with rice (or not, if you're doing the low carb thing).


I'm trying three new recipes this week...I'll post the results after we eat them. Anyone else want to try something new, and add a little variety to their cooking routine. Be sure to post the recipe and results and let us know what you thought.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Christina's Lemonade

(this sounds simple, but it was very good)

1 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
ice cubes and additional water, to taste
Slices of lemon for garnish

Heat water to boiling. Add sugar. Dissolve completely. Add lemon juice, stir to mix. (Here's where you have to guess a little, depending on preference): Fill pitcher about halfway with ice cubes and additional water, depending on taste. Pour lemonade mixture over ice. Garnish with sliced lemons.

Request: Summer drinks

I'm trying to cut as much soda as possible out of my life. I already drink the proper amount of water (training makes you thirsty) and we drink a fair amount of iced tea, both herbal and regular. I'm looking for other drinks -- lemonades, limeades, fruit punches. Whatever you guys have to suggest.
I'm also toying with the idea of coming up with a frappucino-type drink. Any thoughts? Right now I'm thinking cooled coffee, chocolate, milk (?) and a lot of ice.

Oh, and a note. That couscous dish is GOOD. Even "The Gaby" loved it.

Beans and Rice

Here are some other recipes that might work for potluck dinners. These are all from a Williams and Sonoma book on, cleverly, beans and rice.

Mixed Bean Salad with Balsamic Dressing
1/2 c. dried black beans
1/2 c. dried black eyed peas
1/2 c. dried adzuki beans (these are little red beans)
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil
salt and fresh ground pepper
1/2 lb. fresh green beans, ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 small red onion, chopped
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
Pick over and discard any damaged beans or stones. Rinse the dried beans and soak them in separate bowls, at least 3 hours.
Drain the beans and place in separate saucepans with water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to boile, reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until beans are tender. It's about 1 hour for black beans, 45 minutes for black-eyed peas, 30-45 min for adzuki beans. Drain and combine in large bowl.
Whisk together vinegar, mustard, olive oil and salt in pepper in separate bowl. Add to warm beans, toss to coat and let cool.
Fill a saucepan 3/4 full of water and bring to boil. Add green beans and boil about 7 minutes, until tender. Drain and let cool.
Add green beans, onions and parsley to the cooled mixed beans. Toss well and serve at room temperature or chilled.

Brown Rice Tabbouleh
2/3 c. brown rice
2 c. water
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil
4 or 5 cloves of minced garlic
1 c. fresh lemon juice
1 bunch green onions, cut crosswise into slices 1/4 inch thick
2 bunches fresh parsley, chopped
4 Tbsp. fresh chopped mint
4 tomatoes, diced
1 cucumber, diced
romaine leaves or warm pita bread
Rinse rice well and drain. Place in heavy saucepan with water and salt. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low, and cook covered for 45 minutes. Do not remove cover to stir. After 45 minutes, uncover and check to see if rice is tender and water is absorbed. If not, re-cover and cook for a few minutes longer. Then uncover, drizzle with 1/4 cup of oil, and fluff gently. Let cool completely.
Place cooled rice in the bottom of a large salad bowl. Mix together with remaining olive oil, garlic and lemon juice. Layer in given order: green onions, parsley, mint, tomatoes and cucumbers. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 24.
Serve with romaine leaves or warmed pita bread for scooping.

Crockpot: Five-Layer Vegetable Strata with Pesto

A warning with this recipe: It tasted great, but it looked a little gross. I overcooked it a bit, setting it on the full 8 hours and then leaving it on warm for another 4, so that might have been the problem, but it turned a sort of weird brown color. Fine for non-picky eaters, but I wouldn't plan this for a dinner party or anything like that.

That said, it was good. It's from the "Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow-Cooker" cookbook.

1 15.5-oz. can cannellini or other white beans, drained and rinsed
1 c vegetable stock
2 T pesto (I also threw in some fresh basil and more garlic)
1 T olive oil
2 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 large onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
1 medium-sized red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1 large zucchini, thinly sliced
1 large ripe tomato, thinly sliced
salt and pepper

1. In a food processor or blender, process the beans, stock and pesto until well blended. Set aside.

2. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add potato and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 10 minutes. Set aside. Add onion slices to the same pan and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

3. Lightly oil the slow cooker and place potatoes on the bottom. Season with salt and pepper. Top with the onions, followed by a layer of pesto mixture, bell pepper slixes, more pesto mixture, zucchini slices, more pesto mixture, and then tomato slices. Pour remaining mixture over all. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Ask and receive: Summer Pot-Luck Dishes

I did a quick search of Food TV's Web site and found these recipes. I haven't tried any of them yet, but I think I'll be trying them soon because they look good. :)
I'll post the other ones I'm thinking of tonight, when I have access to my cookbooks and recipes.

Layered Mediterranean Salad
Recipe courtesy Gourmet magazine
For the cucumber layer:
3 cups plain yogurt
2 English cucumbers, seeded and chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large cloves garlic, minced and mashed to a paste with 1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
For the bean layer:
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chicken broth, homemade or low-sodium
5 1/2 cups drained canned navy beans
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the tuna layer:
4 (6 1/2-ounce) cans tuna packed in oil, drained and flaked
1 1/3 cups finely chopped red onion
1 cup finely chopped pitted kalamata or other brine-cured black olives
2 cups minced fresh parsley leaves
1/4 cup red-wine vinegar, or to taste
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the garnish:
4 plum tomatoes, diced
2 green bell peppers, diced
1 red onion, sliced thin
1/2 cup sliced pitted kalamata or other brine-cured black olives
Make the cucumber layer: Drain the yogurt in a coffee filter-lined sieve set over a bowl for 1 hour. Put the cucumber in another sieve, sprinkle it with the salt, and let it drain for 1 hour. Pat the cucumber dry between paper towels and transfer it to a bowl. Stir in the yogurt, garlic, and salt and pepper, to taste, and combine the mixture well. Set aside
Make the bean layer: Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, oregano, and cook, stirring, until softened. Add the wine and simmer until reduced by 1/2.
In a food processor, puree the beans and the onion mixture with the broth and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and chill.
Make the tuna layer: In a bowl toss together the tuna, onion, olives, parsley, vinegar and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Assemble the salad: Spread the bean puree in the bottom of a trifle bowl, top with the tuna mixture, and spoon the cucumber mixture over the top. Chill covered, for at least 3 hours or overnight.
When ready to serve, sprinkle the top with the garnish and serve.

Vegetarian Summer Roll (Rice Paper Wrap)
Recipe Courtesy of Ming Tsai
2 limes, juiced
Segments of 1 lime
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 cup grape seed oil
1/4 cup Thai basil leaves, whole
1/2 pound bean sprouts, hair removed
1 medium sized red bell pepper, julienned
1 medium sized carrot, peeled, julienned
1 small package smoked tofu or tempeh, julienned
1 package rice papers, 10 to 12 inches diameter, rehydrated
Salt and black pepper, to taste
In a bowl whisk together juice, lime, mustard and sugar. Whisk in the oil and season. Toss with all the vegetables and tofu. Check for seasoning. Lay out 1 wrapper and place a small mound of mix near the bottom. Roll bottom towards the middle. Fold in both sides and continue rolling. Finish roll and let rest. Individually wrap each roll with plastic wrap. Will hold for 2 hours in the fridge. Remove wrap, slice on the bias and serve on top of extra salad.

Recipe Courtesy of Cathy Lowe
2 cucumbers, diced
3 large tomatoes, diced
1 red pepper, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 1/2 cups tomato juice
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
In large glass bowl combine vegetables. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Add half the mixture to a food processor and blend until smooth. Combine puree with original mixture. Chill for 4 hours and serve.

Many Melon Salad with Yogurt Sauce and Lime

Recipe courtesy Gale Gand
1/2 cup milk
1 cup good-quality yogurt, preferably not fat-free (my note: I don't see why fat-free wouldn't work)
1 tablespoon honey
1 cantaloupe or another orange melon, such as Crenshaw, Charentais, or Cavaillon
1/2 green honeydew melon
1/2 small watermelon
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 or 2 limes, cut into wedges
In a bowl, whisk together the milk, yogurt, and honey. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. When ready to serve, peel and seed the melons and cut into 1-inch cubes. Combine them in a bowl, toss lightly, and divide the mixture among dessert bowls (preferably glass, so that you can see the melon colors). Drizzle yogurt sauce on top of the fruit. Sprinkle each serving with about 2 teaspoons brown sugar and serve with lime wedges to squeeze over the fruit at the table.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Request: Summer Pot-Luck Dishes

Does anyone have any really good, unique pot-luck dishes? Specifically, I'm looking for side dishes, veggies, etc. Every pot-luck ends up with 12 different kinds of potato or macaroni salad. I want to find something unique and healthy to bring to summer events. Thanks!

Monday, April 18, 2005

Macaroni and cheese

I know it's getting warm and thoughts are turning to veggies and fruits and gazpacho and all those fun things (mine are too). But I have a two year old, and she demands mac'roni and cheese. I'm getting a little tired of the stuff in the blue box, which is good in moderation, but not all the time.

Here's my family's take on mac and cheese. No real recipe, this is a "wing it" one.

One box elbow noodles, cooked al dente and drained. Put one layer of noodles on bottom of casserole dish. Cover with cheese. (I like shredded cheddar, colby, monterey jack, asiago or queso blanco...pretty much whatever we've got on hand.) Dot with a little bit of unsalted butter. Repeat until casserole is full, with cheese/butter on top.
Make a custard of one egg and some milk. Pour over casserole dish. The egg/milk mixture should come half-way up the pan.
Bake in oven at 350 until all bubbly and gooey, and egg is cooked. Usually 30-45 minutes.

Now, if you wanted to be healthy, you could add spring peas (frozen or fresh) and blanched asparagus to this. We always ate stewed tomatoes on top, but I don't eat it like that anymore.

Ainsley's Artichoke and Chicken Dish

Ok, guys, I am starting to scare myself! Hee. Not really. I am just totally psyched that, for the second day in a row, I created a tasty tidbit. My husband, who used to be a chef, was totally impressed! This dinner rocked, even if I do say so myself! :-)

1-2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs (you could use breasts if you prefer white meat)
1-14 oz. can of artichoke hearts in brine (if you get the ones that are marinated in oil, it will change the flavor of the dish - don't know how that would taste.)
1 c. diced tomatoes (I used the ones from a can)
1 shallot, chopped
1 cup of vegetable or chicken broth
1 small bunch of parsley, chopped
2 tsp. of crushed red pepper flakes (of course you can adjust this measurement to taste, or omit)
1/2 c. Sargento Bistro blends shredded cheese in Mozzarella & Asiago w/ roasted garlic flavor
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (for cooking the chicken)
3/4 lb. of your favorite pasta (I used Ziti)

Begin by filling a large pot with water for cooking the pasta. (Take a tip from Rachael Ray and have that water boiling and waiting for you.) Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the oil, and when the skillet is hot, add the chicken. Season with salt and pepper. (You can cook the thighs in whole pieces and then dice, or dice and then cook.) While the chicken is cooking, chop the shallot and parsley, set aside. Begin cooking the pasta. Drain when cooked. Open the artichokes, and drain the liquid. Give the artichokes a rough chop to make the pieces bitesize, and discard any tough outer layers. Using a strainer, drain the liquid from the can of diced tomatoes (if using fresh tomatoes, seed and chop). When the chicken is cooked through, remove from the pan and place on a paper towel lined plate to absorb excess oil. Set aside. Reduce heat to medium and return skillet to stove. Add the shallots to the skillet (add some extra virgin olive oil if needed) and saute til soft. Add the artichokes, tomatoes, and red pepper flakes. Cook for about a minute. Then, add the broth. Gently scrape the bottom of the skillet to release the chicken drippings. Allow mixture to heat completely. Add the diced chicken and the pasta. Sprinkle in the parsley and the cheese. Give the mixture a gentle toss to lightly melt the cheese. Enjoy!

Poll: Crockpot Or Not?

As some of you know, I am totally obsessed with my slow cooker and use it all the time, but do you guys have and/or use them? If what I'm making right now turns out well, I'll be happy to post the recipe, but don't want to waste space if some of you don't like crockpots. (In which case, I will try really hard to talk you out of that, because, as I said, I'm obsessed. :) )


In case you hadn't noticed, I cook a little compulsively. Get 7 pounds of oatmeal? Scour for granola and oatmeal recipes, and make every one I find.

The latest compulsion? Smoothies. Gaby hates breakfast these days, but she loves we're going to try smoothies. Anyone have any suggestions? I'm going to look for recipes today, and start making them tomorrow.

My other obsession? Quiche. I haven't had any lately, I just really want some. I've got two pie crusts in the freezer...anyone have a favorite quiche recipe to share?

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Ainsley's Gourmet Grilled Cheese

So, I had some leftover Asiago cheese from dinner last night, and... let's just say I got my creative groove on! :-)

Shredded or thinly sliced Asiago cheese
2-4 slices of ham or turkey lunch meat
2 slices of Italian bread
Dijon mustard

Begin by mixing approximately 4 tablespoons of mayo with approximately 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard. You can add more Dijon if you prefer; make the sauce to your taste. Shred or thinly slice the Asiago cheese - again use as much as you like. Heat a small saute pan on medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the pan. Dip one side of each slice of the bread in the melted butter. Put one slice in the hot pan and start building your sandwich. Spread the sauce on the bread, then layer on the cheese. Next, top the cheese with either ham or turkey. Spread sauce on the other slice of bread and top your sandwich. Your grilled cheese should be about ready to turn over by the time you are finished topping it. Flip and brown the other side. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Lemon Couscous Chicken

This is a great recipe, and it's really easy.

1 T olive oil
2 c. broccoli flowerets (I use fresh, but frozen would probably be ok, too)
1 package roasted garlic & olive oil couscous
1 1/2 c. chopped cooked chicken
Juice of 1 lemon (about 3 T)
1 t grated lemon peel

In large skillet, bring 1 1/4 cups water, olive oil, broccoli, and contents of the couscous spice pack to a boil. Stir in couscous, chicken, lemon juice, and lemon peel. Remove from heat. Cover; let stand 5 minutes. Fluff lightly with fork.

Makes 4 servings.

- I start by cooking the chicken in my skillet with a little oil, making sure it cooks all the way through. While it's cooking, I'm chopping my broccoli and getting the lemon seeded. When the chicken is ready, I remove it, chop it, and use the same skillet for the recipe itself.

- The recipe says to serve immediately, but it can be made ahead and refrigerated (haven't tried freezing it yet). It's also good as leftovers. When reheating, it has a tendency to dry out. Add some water when you're reheating, and it'll be fine.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Squash Casserole

This is originally from Shannon, but I've never written it out -- I figured I should put it here for safekeeping...

2 pounds yellow squash, sliced
1 small onion, chopped
1 small bell pepper, chopped
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 1/2 pounds cheddar cheese
1 cup Italian bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350.

Saute squash, onion, and pepper in a saute pan with olive oil until squash is soft. Add salt and white pepper. Put into a casserole dish.

Mix the cheese and 1/2 cup of bread crumbs into the casserole dish with the vegetables. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of bread crumbs on top of casserole. Bake until golden brown.

Yankee Sweet Potatoes, Apples and Sausages

Hooray! Love the new food blog.

A friend of mine copied (and then modified) this recipe from an old cookbook in a family house in New Hampshire -- it's kind of old-New-England-ish. Hence the "Yankee" in the name. It can be made vegetarian by taking out the sausages, obviously, and it's still excellent.

3 large apples, peeled, cored and sliced
3 t. butter
3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced, then boiled until crisp and tender
3 chicken-apple sausages, cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces
1/4-1/2 cup maple syrup
salt to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Saute apples in 1-2 t. butter until slightly soft. Add potatoes for a minute or two, and toss to coat in butter.

Place all in oven-safe casserole dish. Sprinkle with salt, pour syrup over the top, and dot with butter.

Bake about 35 min.

Easy Oven Roasted Veggies

I got this recipe from my friend (and neighbor) Keyna. Ok, so she got it off a Lipton soup box, but who cares? It is so easy, and so full of flavor. I make this veggie dish all the time!

1 envelope of Lipton Recipe Secrets Savory Herb and Garlic Soup Mix
1 1/2 lbs. of assorted veggies*
2 Tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil or vegetable oil

*Asparagus, squash, zucchini, portabella mushrooms, onions or shallots, and red, yellow, or green peppers work the best. You could also use carrots and celery.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. In a 13x9 inch baking dish or roasting pan, combine all ingredients until evenly coated. Bake uncovered, stirring once midway through cooking, about 20 minutes, or until veggies are tender.


Adding members

Gwen and Ainsley are both going to join the blog and post recipes. :) If anyone else would like to play, send me an e-mail.

Fruit salad

I picked up a copy of Cooking Light the other day in Whole Foods, because the picture on the cover (I think it was lasagna) looked good. There was an article about potassium inside, and how it's good for reducing high blood pressure and hypertension, and also reduces cramps if you've been doing a lot of exercising. Those are all fine things and a good reason to eat food that is good for you...but I made this salad because it looked good.

This is my version. The original is in Cooking Light's current edition.

Fruit salad

2 cups canteloupe, in bite sized pieces
2 cups honeydew, in bite sized pieces
2 mangos, cubed
6 kiwis, in wedges
1 medium papaya, cubed

for dressing:
2 Tbsp mint
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp lime juice
1 Tbsp orange rind
2 Tbsp orange juice

Blend dressing in food processor, pour over fruit and mix together.

Everything in this salad is a high-potassium fruit, and it tastes good, too. In other food news, I made a yogurt parfait this morning with banana/vanilla yogurt, granola, strawberry yogurt and more granola. It was really tasty.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Fruit and Spice Granola

This is the first granola recipe I figured I'd try, because it's got cinnamon (which my mom requested when I told her I was going to bring her some granola) and dried fruits. I've tweaked the original recipe a bit, from some of the comments that had been posted. If you want the original, go here.

Yum. It's good, and it makes the house smell good, too.

4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup unsweetened unsulphered coconut
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup pecans
2 teaspoons cinnamon, plus sprinkling on top
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1/2 cup honey (I used clover this time, but will try orange blossom next time)
2 cups mixed dried fruits such as cranberries, cherries, currants, golden raisins, apricots, prunes, and/or dates (I used dried tart cherries, golden raisins, dried blueberries and dried apples)

Preheat oven to 3o0°F.

In a large bowl stir together oats. coconut, nuts, and spices. In a small saucepan melt butter with honey over low heat, stirring occasionally. Pour butter mixture over oat mixture and toss to combine well.

Spread granola evenly in 2 shallow baking pans and bake in upper and lower thirds of oven, stirring frequently and switching position of pans halfway through baking, until golden brown, about 30 minutes. In large bowl combine granola with dried fruits . Then pour back into one of the pans, and press down with a paper towl. Let cool and then break into pieces. (Granola keeps in an airtight container, chilled, 1 month.)

July 1996
You Asked For It; The Governor's Inn, Rochester NH

Wednesday, April 06, 2005


I'm about to become compulsive about oatmeal. I made some for breakfast last weekend (the real stuff, not the instant) when Ernie's parents were here...and it was GOOD. I've been wanting some much so that I told Ernie I wanted to skip pancakes tomorrow (we're working from home to go see the dentist) in order to come home from dropping my car off at the dealership and eat oatmeal.
Sick, I know. But oatmeal is much better for you than pancakes.
I've found several recipes for oatmeal cookies and granola...Tina sent me a bunch (thank you!) and I found a bunch on epicurious and foodtv. I'm going to start trying them out this weekend (maybe even tomorrow) and I'll post which ones we like, after we try them.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Bargain Beef Stroganoff

There will be nothing earth-shattering about this blog. I just wanted a place I could post all of my recipes in one spot, instead of taking up all that room on the other blog. If you've got a recipe you'd like to share, feel free to e-mail me, and I'll post it. I'll even give you credit for it, and if you have a blog, I'll link to it (if you want).

I've been cooking a lot in the crock pot lately. We've been very busy, I can cook a large quantity of food in a short amount of time and it's usually pretty good. This recipe is from America's Best Slow Cooker Recipes and was pretty decent, with a little tweaking.

1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 lbs. stewing beef, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
16 oz small white button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 1/2 c. beef stock
3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
3 Tbsp tomato paste (I used the kind that comes in the tube)
2 Tbsp paprika
1 1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 c. sour cream
Hot cooked egg noodles

In a bowl or plastic bag, combine flour, salt and pepper. In batches, add beef and toss to coat. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add beef in batches and cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until browned on all sides. Transfer beef to slow cooker, add mushrooms and onions
In a bowl, combine beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, paprika and mustard, mixing well. Pour into slow cooker.
Cover and cook on Low for 8 to 10 hours or High for 4 to 6, until bubbling. Stir in sour cream and serve over hot noodles.

It was pretty good. Not as good as the recipe that my mom has always used, but I would make this one again, definitely.

I'm currently scouring the net for granola recipes, oatmeal cookie recipes and other things to do with about 5 pounds of oatmeal. My Gran goes a little nutty in Costco.


Just testing to make sure this all works. I wanted to clean up the other blog a little bit, so I'll be posting recipes here.