Sunday, February 28, 2010

Every Pot and Pan..... is dirty.

Welcome! I started this blog as simply a private journal to myself as I learned how to cook this year.  I quickly got found out and started sharing it.  Recently, I did a revamp of the site and am now ready to launch into more cooking and blogging.  My resolution still stands, but I hope my enjoyment of cooking (and cooking and blogging) lasts past 2010. I make no promises though.

I've been inspired by other food blogs that I've found and I've realized the this blog can also help me with another goal of mine- to be a better photographer.  I hope to learn a lot about taking pictures with my camera and at least these subjects will stay still!  Learning on a toddler and infant is quite challenging at times!

And, the title.  It just seemed so appropriate.  I was taught by my mother and Austin can attest, that when I cook, I use every pot, pan, plate, bowl, glass, knife, and utensil in the kitchen.  It's just how I cook.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Romance Cookies

This recipe came out of my grandma's recipe box.  It's titled a cookie, but it's really a bar.  I always enjoy trying a recipe from my grandma's box.  There is something so fun about doing a recipe that she obviously liked enough to keep. As I made the cookie I pictured her in Annapolis in her home of over 30 years with newspaper and bushels of crabs piled up on the kitchen table, the stick of soft butter that sat out 24/7 on the counter next to the salt shaker with the largest holes I'd ever seen on a salt shaker. I pictured my grandma sitting around her table chatting with her friends and exchanging recipes.  And, here I am making one of those recipes.
In true Renee fashion, I didn't fully read the instructions until I got going.  The recipe calls for a jelly roll pan, which I do not own.  Instead I used a 9x13dish.  I hate recipes that say "do not over-bake".  When it's the first time you've make the recipe you have no idea where that line is.  I paced the kitchen as the oven buzzer went off.  The center still seemed gooey, but the top seemed done.  Was this how the cookie was supposed to be?  Was it still not done? Since the top seemed done and I didn't want to "over-bake" I took it out.  They're sure yummy!  I refuse to admit how quickly the pan of bars was eaten.

Romance Cookies
From: Grandma's Recipe Box, credit to Jackie Miller
Printable Recipe
1 c butter
2 c flour (for cookie layer)
1/2 c sugar
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 c brown sugar
2 Tbs flour (for topping)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c shredded coconut
1 c chopped nuts (pecans)
confectioner's sugar

1. Cream butter until soft.  Blend in 2 c flour, sugar, and salt. (Mixture is loose ad lumpy.) Spread mixture in even layer in ungreased jelly roll pan 15x10-1. Bake at 350 for 10 min (top will not be brown). 

2. While cookie layer bakes, beat eggs until light and fluffy.  Stir in brown sugar, 2 Tbs flour, baking powder and vanilla. Beat until thick and smooth. Fold in coconuts and nuts. 

3. Carefully spread egg mixture over baked cookie layer.  Return to oven for 20 more minutes or until golden brown and firm on top (do not overbake). 

4. Remove from pan and cool on large wooden board. (I don’t know how to get such a large thing out of pan, so I don’t.) Dust lightly with confectioner’s sugar. Cut into squares with very sharp knife.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Falafel Cucumber Sauce

I'm not a frying person.  I discussed this during my Eggplant Parmesan meal.  Generally, I'd rather find another way to cook the food.  However, I do acknowledge that some foods just taste better fried.  For me, falafels need to be fried. I've tried baking them and they're just not the same.  I figured I really should try frying something for this whole food experiment thing, so why not do it tonight with the falafels.
 
I found recipes to make falafels completely from scratch, but that would have been a bit much for this week and I already had a box of Casbah Falafel Mix in the cupboard.  For those that aren't familiar with falafels, they're patties of chickpeas and spices.  I found frying quite exhilarating. I see why people get into it. I certainly don't want to get used to it as it's not the healthiest way to cook, but it was great fun.

The sandwiches were fantastic! One day I might try making the falafels themselves from scratch.  I did make the Cucumber Sauce for the first time.  It really was the tipping point for the meal.  Falafels can be sort of, I dunno, dry.  Not dry in a bad way, but it's more that falafels just are dry so the rest of the items in the sandwich needs to balance out the dryness.  The sauce helped with that.  Some recipes also called for using a Tahini sauce.  We didn't have Tahini in the house.  We'll try that next time. Oh yes, there will be a next time. 

Falafel Sandwiches
Printable Recipe

Whole wheat pita bread
Falafels
Cucumber Sauce
Hummus
Lettuce
Cucumber, sliced
Red Peppers

Cucumber Sauce
Adapted from Sean's Falafel and Cucumber Sauce on All Recipes
1 (6 ounce) container plain yogurt
1/2 cucumber - peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried dill weed
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon mayonnaise

1. In a small bowl combine yogurt, cucumber, dill, salt, pepper and mayonnaise. Chill for at least 30 minutes.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Baked Salmon Cakes

I planned this meal because I knew we'd have extra salmon after yesterday's meal.  I grew up eating my grandma's crab cakes and loved them!  I wanted to find a recipe that baked the cakes more than fried them.  The recipe was easy and delicious.

I made a lemon dill sauce to go with it.  Delicious! It was just mayonnaise, dill, and lemon juice.

I love my Cuisinart.  How have I survived in the kitchen without one.  I actually got rid of my last Cuisinart because it was too big and I never used it.  It was a dust collector.  I didn't miss having one for quite awhile.  Then, I started this cooking experiment and I needed one.  I got a mini one.  I've had it a week and already used it three times.  It's so much fun I'm looking for stuff to chop.  I'm sure the newness will wear off at some point, but for now here's to chopping!

Baked Salmon Cakes
Adapted From Easy Salmon Cakes
3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely diced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 cups cooked salmon (15 ounces canned salmon, drained)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 3/4 cups fresh whole-wheat breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 lemon, cut into wedges
    1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray.

    2. Heat 1 tsp of oil in a skillet over med-high. Add onion and celery and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in parsley and remove from heat.

    3. Place salmon in a bowl. Remove any bones and skin. Add egg and mustard. Mix. Add onion mixture, breadcrumbs and pepper. Mix.

    4. Shape the mixture into 8 patties, about 2 1/2 inches wide.

    5. Heat remaining 2 tsps oil in the pan over medium heat. Add 4 patties and cook until golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a wide spatula, turn them over onto the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining patties.

    6. Bake the salmon cakes until golden on top and heated through, 15 to 20 minutes.

      Friday, February 19, 2010

      Salmon and Roasted Vegetables

      This recipe came from one of my pregnancy cookbooks.  I almost got rid of the book but I had tried a couple of recipes during my pregnancies and there were all delicious.  Plus, the cookbook seems to understand that pregnant women do not have hours to make meals, so most recipes are relatively simple.  Which is vital to new moms too.  I'm still learning how to cook salmon.  I overcooked it tonight and it was dry.  The vegetables were great.
      Salmon and Roasted Vegetables
      Adapted from Better Food for Pregnancy
      Printable Recipe

      1 T olive oil
      2 tsp minced garlic
      2 tsp dried thyme, divided
      1 c diced, peeled sweet potatoes
      1 c diced zucchini
      1 c diced red bell peppers
      1 c parsnips or potatoes
      2 T lemon juice
      1/4 tsp pepper
      1 8-12oz salmon

      In small bowel, stir together olive oil, garlic and 1 tsp of thyme. Place vegetables in baking dish and sprinkle with oil mixture, toss to coat. Spread out vegetables in single layer and roast in preheated oven of 425 for 15 min.

      In a bowl used for oil mixture, combine remaining thyme, lemon juice and pepper. Brush mixture over salmon.

      Remove vegetables from oven and stir. Place salmon, skin side down, on top of vegetables. Bake for 10-15 minutes until fish is opaque or flakes easily with fork. Remove skin and serve.

      Mom's Best Brownies

      Simple brownies.  My recipe title is "Mom's Best Brownies".  I wonder if I wrote this meaning my mom or if that's what was on my mom's recipe meaning it is my grandma's recipe.  I'm thinking they might be my grandma's recipe because the ingredients are so simple.

      Mom's Best Brownies
      Printable Recipe

      1/2 c cake flour, sifted
      1/2 c cocoa powder
      1/4 tsp salt
      2 egg whites
      1 large egg
      3/4 c sugar
      6 T unsweetened applesauce
      2 T vegetable oil
      1 1/2 tsp vanilla
      1 T chopped walnuts (optional)

      Preheat oven to 350. Spray 8' pan. In med bowl combine flour, cocoa and salt.  Mix. In a large bowl, whisk together egg whites, egg, sugar, applesauce, oil, and vanilla.  Stir in flour mixture until blended. Do not over mix. Pour batter into pan; sprinkle with walnuts. Bake till set- 25 min.

      For chewier brownies: Replace the 1/2 c cake flour with 7 T all purpose flour.

      Thursday, February 18, 2010

      Chicken Lasagna

      Great meal. I made the yesterday and then put in fridge and cooked for 1 to 1 1/2 hrs to warm to bubbling today. 

      Chicken Lasagna 
      From: Debby Blackburn
      Printable Recipe

      9 lasagna noodles
      2 tsp olive oil
      1 large red onion
      1 carrot, finely chopped
      4 garlic cloves, minced
      3/4 lb chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
      2 1/2 c canned crushed tomatoes
      1/2 tsp dried rosemary
      1/2 tsp salt
      1/2 tsp pepper
      1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
      1 3/4 c milk
      3 T flour
      1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese

      1. In a large pot, cook noodles. Transfer to bowl of cold water to prevent sticking.
      2. In a skillet, heat oil. Add onion, carrot, and garlic. Cook til soft.
      3. In a food processor, process chicken until coarsely ground. Add chicken to skillet and lightly cook.  Stir in tomatoes, rosemary, salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and red pepper flakes. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer and cook uncovered for 5 min to blend flavors.
      4. Preheat oven to 400. In med saucepan, whisk milk into flour and cook over me heat, stirring frequently until slightly thickened, about 5 min. Stir in remaining 1/4 tsp pepper.
      5. Spray 9inch dish. Dividing ingredients evenly, built lasagna in three layers: noodles, chicken sauce, white sauce, Parmesan.  Bake for 20 min or until bubbling.

      Monday, February 15, 2010

      Tuscan Chicken and Artichokes

      Yummy Meal!

      Tuscan Chicken and Artichokes
      Adapted from Parents Magazine article

      Printable Recipe

      2 pkg frozen artichoke hearts
      1 med onion, chopped
      3 cloves garlic, minced
      1 can 14-oz chicken broth
      2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken thighs
      1 tsp Mediterranean or Greek seasoning
      1/2 tsp kosher salt
      1/4 tsp pepper
      1 med zucchini, sliced
      1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
      1 pkg (11oz) dry whole wheat couscous
      Chopped parsley, optional

      In a slow cooker combine: 1 pkg artichokes, onion, garlic, broth, chicken and seasoning, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook 3 hrs. After 3 hrs add: zucchini, tomatoes, and second pkg artichokes in cooker. Recover and heat 15 min until veggies cooked. Remove chicken and veggies. Keep warm in foil covered dish. Stir in couscous to liquid. Cover and cook 5 min until liquid is absorbed. Serve chicken and veggies over couscous. Top with parsley if desired.

      Sunday, February 14, 2010

      Roasted Tomato Soup with Grillled Cheese Croutons ★★★

      It was fun to make tomato soup from scratch.  This would be a fantastic recipe to make with all those cherry tomatoes we grow in the summer.  It was very good.  Maybe I'm on the road to figuring how the Glenwood's Tomato Cheese soup that we all love and crave!

      The grilled cheese croutons were a fun twist too.

      Roasted Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons
      Adapted from Parents Magazine article
      Printable Recipe

      6 cups (3 pints) cherry tomatoes
      3 Tbs olive oil
      1 tsp salt
      1/2 tsp pepper
      2 Tbs butter
      2 garlic cloves, minced
      1 c chopped onion
      1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
      4 c chicken broth
      1/2 t thyme
      1 c milk

      Heat oven to 400.  Combine cherry tomatoes, 2 Tbs of olive oil, and the salt and pepper.  Toss the ingredients to coat evenly and spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Roast tomatoes until they are shriveled with brown spots, about 35-40min.  In a large pot, heat butter and remaining oil on med heat. Add garlic and onions and saute until softened. (About 6 min.) Add the canned tomatoes and their juice, broth, thyme, and roasted tomatoes including any liquid on the baking sheet. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered for 40 min. Puree soup until smooth.  Return to pot and stir in milk.  Do not boil.  Ladle into bowls and garnish with croutons.

      Croutons
      butter
      bread
      cheese
      1/4 tsp thyme
      Basically, make grilled cheese sandwiches but sprinkle thyme on buttered sides of bread.  Cut up sandwiches in crouton sizes and add to soup.

      Tuesday, February 9, 2010

      Eggplant Parmesan

      Another departure from the dreaded meat.

      I actually prepped this meal yesterday while I was making the goulash and had it sit in the fridge all day and then just popped it in the oven tonight. It worked well preparing ahead. This was the my first time dealing with eggplant. I had no idea what to expect when I cut the eggplant open. I got 3 eggplants, but 2 were plenty for my pan.

      During the part where it says to cover in egg and bread crumbs and then brown I did struggle a bit. I couldn't get it to brown the way I expected. I happened to have my mother in law Judy on the phone with me at the time and I asked her about it. She asked me if I was using olive oil in the pan too and I said yes. Then it hit me what I was doing wrong. See, I don't come from much of a "frying" background. Putting olive oil in the pan to me translates to spraying the pan with olive oil spray. I realized what I was supposed to do was put a lot of oil in the pan. I tried it a bit but I was very disturbed by how much oil kept disappearing. (Not only just for cost- olive oil is expensive! But also for health- that's a lot of oil going into each eggplant!) I'm sure I was using about 1/4 of the oil that would be recommended anyway. So about 1/2 my pan was semi- correctly fried eggplant and the other half wasn't. After it all cooked in the oven- I couldn't tell the difference.

      This was another good dish. I found it delicious and the only reason I'm giving is 3 stars instead of 4 is because of the frying aspect. I'd love to play around the recipe and omit the frying aspect all together. Maybe baking them?

      Eggplant Parmesan 
      From: Judy Bailey 
      Printable Recipe

      Olive Oil
      3-4 medium eggplants, peeled and sliced 1 in. thick
      6 tomatoes, sliced (optional- peeled)
      12 mushrooms, sliced
      2 eggs, beaten
      1 cup flour or seasoned bread crumbs
      1 qt marinara sauce
      Parmesan cheese, grated
      Mozzarella cheese, sliced for top

      Heat oil.  Cook mushrooms. Drain.
      Dip eggplant sliced into egg then flour, brown in oil.
      In casserole dish, layer- marinara sauce, eggplant, mushrooms, tomatoes, grated cheese.  Fill casserole dish with marinara sauce.  Place mozzarella slices on top.  Keep covered. For toasted top, uncover last 5 min. Bake 350 for 1 hour.

      Monday, February 8, 2010

      Hungarian Goulash

      This has always been one of my childhood favorites! I was really shocked at how easy it was to make! I love recipes where you just put everything and a pot and come back an hour later.

      I didn't love touching the beef because I chose to make the pieces a bit smaller, but that was my biggest complaint.

      I hope I made enough sauce to freeze a few servings for another time. I think next time I'll do a double batch and freeze some. Super Yummy!

      Grandma Goodwin's Hungarian Goulash 
      From: Anne McRae
      Printable Recipe

      1 lb beef in cubes (or pork)
      2 medium onions, minced
      ¼ tsp dry mustard
      1 ¼ tsp paprika
      2 T brown sugar
      1 ¼ tsp salt
      3 T Worcestershire sauce
      ¾ tsp cider vinegar
      6 T ketchup
      1 ½ cups water
      3 T four
      1- 6oz pkg of noodles (your choice)

      Brown meat.  Add onion.  Combine mustard, paprika, brown sugar, salt.  Add to meat. Combine Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, ketchup.  Add to meat.  Add 1 cup water.  Stir and simmer until meat is tender.  (Longer is better than shorter.)  Use flour and remaining water.  Add to meat to thicken the sauce.

      Serve over noodles.  (Sauce can be frozen.)

      Saturday, February 6, 2010

      Tabbouleh Salad

      The tabbouleh okay. I like tabbouleh salad, but this was the first time I've ever made it. Even though I followed the directions I think my proportions were a bit off- at least for my liking. There was too much parsley or not enough bulgar and later I realized I would have preferred things chopped a bit more.

      Tabbouleh Salad
      Printable Recipe


      1 cup Bulgar wheat (fine-medium grind)
      2 cups hot water
      1 pound ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped (about 2 cups)
      1 bunch green onions, white and green part, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
      1 hothouse cucumber, halved, seeded and diced (about 2 cups)
      2 large bunches fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves finely chopped (about 2 cups)
      1 bunch fresh mint leaves, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
      1/2 teaspoon cumin
      Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
      2 lemons, juiced
      1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil


      Put the Bulgar in a large bowl and pour in the hot water. Cover with a dish or plastic wrap and let stand for about 30 to 45 minutes to rehydrate. Drain in a strainer, pressing with the back of a wooden spoon to squeeze out as much water as possible.
      In a mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes, onions, cucumber, parsley, and mint. Toss the salad well to incorporate the ingredients; season with cumin, salt and pepper. Add the bulgar; moisten with the lemon juice and olive oil. Fold everything together to incorporate the ingredients. The flavor will improve if the tabbouleh sits for a few hours. Serve at room temperature.

      Turkey Loaf

      What was I thinking? I hate meatloaf. Seriously, what possessed me to tear this recipe out of the magazine? I would have just thrown it out, but I already bought all the ingredients. It didn't even occur to me at the grocery store that I hate meatloaf?! Where is my brain. The prep was terrible too because really the best way to mix everything is to use your hands and that was just gross. I did it though and it's ready to go in the oven. For the future though I should really try and remember to plan recipes I like the idea of.

      I took one bite. The flavor was good, but I just don't like meat loaf. I just couldn't get over the fact that it was a big slab of mashed meat. I heated up the leftover fish chowder for my dinner. Austin liked it a lot and ate his and my plates. He said it's a 4 star meal for him. Charlotte even liked it and asked for more. If you like meat loaf, I think this recipe is a winner. If you don't, this recipe won't change your mind.

      Turkey Loaf
      Adapted from Parents Magazine article
      Printable Recipe

      2 eggs
      2 Tbs brown mustard
      1 tsp oregano
      1 tsp thyme
      1/2 tsp salt
      1/4 tsp pepper
      1 c ketchup, divided
      2 lbs lean ground turkey
      3/4 c Italian-style seasoned bread crumbs

      Preheat oven to 400. Spray an 11x9 baking dish with cooking spray. In a large bowl, lightly beat eggs. Add the mustard, oregano, thyme, salt, pepper, and 1/2 c ketchup. Stir together. Add turkey and bread crumbs. Mix until combined. (Do not over mix as the meatloaf will turn out dry.) Transfer mixture to baking dish and form into a loaf. (Approx. 10x5 size) Spread the remaining ketchup over the top. Bake until a meat thermometer registers 165. (About 45 minutes.) Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

      Baked French Toast

      We made this for lunch instead of breakfast and it was sure yummy. I got french bread instead of italian bread ad I think it would have been better to have a smaller denser bread overall. I was only able to get about 7 pieces of bread in the pan. We had to up the cooking time because it took longer for the french bread pieces to cook. And, I'd definitely recommend buttering the bottom of the pan generously. I only did a light coating and my bread stuck.

      I was hungry and annoyed it was taking longer so I was preemptively giving this dish a lower mark in my head, but then I tasted it. So yummy! The maple syrup really takes it up a notch too. I don't use much maple syrup in my life because I just can't do syrup in the morning. This would be fantastic for brunch. I think we should eat more brunch!

      Baked French Toast
      From: Katharine Gallagher
      Printable Recipe

      1 (13- to 14-inch-long) loaf soft supermarket Italian bread
      1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
      2 large eggs
      1 2/3 cups whole milk
      1/4 teaspoon salt
      3 tablespoons sugar (or more)
      Accompaniment: maple syrup

      Butter a 13-by-9-inch glass-baking dish. Cut twelve 1-inch-thick diagonal slices from bread (reserve ends for another use). Generously butter one side of each slice and arrange slices buttered sides up in one layer in buttered dish, squeezing them slightly to fit if necessary.

      Whisk together eggs, milk, and salt in a bowl until well combined, then pour evenly over bread. Refrigerate, covered, until bread has absorbed all of the custard, at least 1 hour (time may vary depending on bread). The soaked bread can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours. When ready to bake, bring soaked bread to room temperature.

      Put a rack in middle of oven and preheat oven to 425° F. Sprinkle bread with sugar. Bake until bread is puffed and top is golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve immediately, with maple syrup.

      Cranberry Upside Down Cake

      I made a Cranberry Upside Down cake for dessert tomorrow. I had to hunt a bit for cranberries since it's not the holidays but I found a bag of frozen cranberries at the grocery store.  I'd never had red currant jelly before and it's now a new favorite.  I think currants and huckleberries must be closely related because it reminded me of huckleberries.

      I was a little confused by some of the directions- like butter the bottom of the pan with 3 Tbs of butter. That's a lot of butter! I very very generously greased the bottom of the pan, but I still had plenty of butter left. We'll see how it turns out tomorrow.

      Cranberry Upside Down Cake
      Printable Recipe


      1/4 stick (6 T), plus 3 T unsalted butter
      1 lb cranberries- rinsed, picked over and patted dry
       1 large egg
      1 tsp vanilla
      1 tsp orange rind, minced
      1 1/4 c flour
      1 1/2 tsp baking powder
      1/4 tsp salt
      1/2 c milk
      1/3 c red currant jelly

      Butter the bottom of a 9' cake pan with 3 T of butter, sprinkle 1/2 c sugar evenly over the bottom and arrange the cranberries in the pan.

      In a bowl with mixer, cream together remaining 1/4 stick of butter and 1/2 c sugar. Add egg, vanilla, orange rind and beat until well combined.

      In another bowl, sift flour, baking powder, and salt.

      Stir in dry ingredients into the butter mixture, 1/2 c at a time, alternately with the milk until just combined.  Pour batter over cranberries and smooth top.  Bake cake on a cookie sheet in middle of the oven for 1 hour or until well browned at 325. Transfer to wire rack and cool 20 min. Invert cake.

      In a small saucepan, melt the currant jelly over low heat, stirring constantly.  Brush it over cake.  Serve warm with whip cream.

      Thursday, February 4, 2010

      Fish Chowder

      The soup was easy to make and definitely yummy. It's a slightly expensive soup as it calls for two pounds of fish and I bought about a pound of sausage (4 links) too. I'd do less sausage next time ( just a personal taste). I cut the sausage out of the skin thing it's in and just cooked it more like ground beef. I need to find the "bulk sausage" that my friend Sarah was telling me about. They I don't have to deal with that gross shrink wrap stuff on the sausage at all. Cutting up the fish was easy. I have a lot less issues around touching fish than I do other meats. Maybe it's because I remember watching my dad "clean" trout after we caught it. Fish just isn't as gross to touch. I did have to check in with my mom as I thought it odd I was dumping raw fish into the pot. It felt like contamination or something. It disturbed my senses a bit, but it was right and I cooked the soup a good long time after it went in so I knew it was done. It was good soup! And, it make a ton! We'll be eating on it for a few day which will be really nice. Austin gave hit a huge thumbs up.

      Fish Chowder 
      From: Anne McRae 
      Printable Recipe

      One package of Trader Joe’s Chicken Sausage:  Garlic & herb flavor
      1 ½ pounds Yukon gold potatoes, cut into ½ inch pieces
      4 leeks
      28 or 32 oz can diced tomatoes (I used two pints I canned)
      salt and pepper
      2 pounds firm white fish (I used cod) cut into 2-inch pieces
      a bunch of basil  (recipe calls for ½ cup fresh flat-leaf basil; I did not have any so used a bunch of basil)
      parsley (optional)

      In a large pot, brown the sausage over a medium high heat, 1 to 2 minutes.  Add the leeks and cook, stirring occasionally until beginning to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the potatoes, tomatoes (with their juices), 3 cups water, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Add basil. Cover and bring to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are just tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the fish and simmer gently until opaque throughout, 5 to 6 minutes.  (Stir in the parsley here if you use it.)

      I extended all the cooking time and cooked it for hour or 1 ½ hours. Can be kept in refrigerator for 3 days.  Not good frozen.

      Great Grandma's Baking Powder Biscuits

      These biscuits are my great grandma Harriet's recipe. (Grandpa Goodwin's mom) My mom told me that Grandpa Goodwin used to tell my Grandma that she just couldn't make the biscuits quite like his mama could. I wonder what he would have thought of my attempt.

      The biscuits are really basic, as would make sense for a woman cooking in the Depression. I thought they tasted a bit salty, but they don't call for a ton of salt, just 1/2 tsp. I think I was tasting all the baking powder. They were fun to do, but I'm not sure I'll be repeating them much. I'd much rather learn to make some yummy whole grain biscuits.

      I went through a bunch of old recipes of my grandma's and it was interesting to see the progression of the word butter. I have recipes that call for oleo, shortening, Crisco, and margarine. Very few call for butter. I wonder if it's because butter was not around or very expensive. There isn't any reason I can't substitute butter for these words right? 


      Baking Powder Biscuits 
      From: Great Grandma Harriet Goodwin's
      Printable Recipe
      2 c flour
      4 tsp baking powder
      2/3 c milk
      1/2 tsp salt
      2 Tbs shortening

      Sift dry ingredients, cut in shortening, add milk.  Pat down on floured board and cut out wit biscuit cutter or glass. (Grandma Goodwin always used top of a glass.)  Bake 12-15min in 450 oven.

      Buttermilk Cut Out Cookies

      A recipe I got from an old co-worker's mom.  Part of the getting the recipe was promising NOT to bring Michelle raw dough.  I never did because I never made the cookies until now.  As a cookie dough lover myself I had to try it.  The raw dough was good, but doesn't top raw chocolate chip cookie dough.  This is a great "sugar cookie" recipe.

      Buttermilk Cut Out Cookies
      Printable Recipe


      4 c flour
      1/2 tsp salt
      1 tsp soda
      1 1/2 c sugar
      1 1/2 c butter
      1/2 c buttermilk (or 1/2 c milk plus 1 T vinegar)
      2 eggs
      1 tsp vanilla

      Blend the dry ingredients really well.  Cut in butter, real fine like pie dough. Add buttermilk, eggs and vanilla. Mix well. (Original recipe calls for hands, but Kitchen Aid works fine.)

      Refrigerate overnight.

      Next day, roll out on floured board. Cut in shapes. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Frost when cool if desired.

      Wednesday, February 3, 2010

      Five Spice Roast Chicken and Ginger Scented Rice

      We first had this recipe right after Penelope was born. My friend Katharine brought this to us for dinner. It was all prepared and I just had to put it in the oven. It was absolutely delicious. The rice was to die for and Austin has been hounding me ever since to get the recipe.

      Remember how I know nothing about chicken. The recipe calls for a cut up chicken. It says 8 pieces about 3 1/2 pounds. I got to the store and I had no idea what to buy. I found packages with all the same kind of part and whole chickens, but I couldn't find a "cut up" chicken. Maybe I just missed it. I must have. I bought a "split chicken", which I thought was what I wanted. The poundage was about right, but when I opened the package I realized my mistake. The chicken is split in half, but that's it. Eek! What do I do? I decided to go ahead and prep it with the spices as is, but I have no idea how to proceed. I might even cook it and then figure out how to cut it up afterwards.

      As I pulled it out to put atop the onions I decided to try and cut it. It was not fun! There's like bones and stuff and I think I cut through a rib cage. Just reminders that it's an actual animal and I don't like to think about that. But, I did it. Things will be going in the oven soon.

      I've never worked with fresh ginger before. It smells great. Can't wait to taste everything.

      This dish should be a five star meal. That's how I remember it before. This time it didn't turn out quite as good. It was still delicious, but I had a few issues that I'm not sure how to resolve. The rice was great, but I realized I need to mince the ginger much more than I did. I had it in slight chunks so sometimes you bit down on a thing of ginger and it was just a bit much. When Katharine brought me the rice you couldn't see the ginger at all, you just tasted it. I wonder what she did. I bet she grated the ginger or something. Also, the chicken was a bit greasier or something. The pan liquids didn't cook down as much as they did last time and carmelize the onions as much. Maybe I just needed to cook it all longer? Austin thinks this round was even better than last time and he thinks I'm just freaking about about it all because I haven't cooked chicken that much so all those pan juices are new for me. This is big favorite so I'll definitely be doing it again. Definitely need more onions though!

      Five-Spice Roast Chicken 
      From: Katharine Gallagher

      4 servings / Marinate the chicken overnight, then pop it into the oven the next day. Serve with Ginger-Scented Rice

      4 garlic cloves, pressed
      2 T coarse kosher salt
      2 T extra-virgin olive oil
      1 t Chinese five-spice powder (available in bulk section at M of Choice)
      1 cut-up chicken (8 pieces; about 3 ½ pounds)
      1 large onion, peeled, cut into 16 wedges (can use more, if you like)
      Combine garlic, salt, olive oil, and Chinese five-spice powder in a large bowl or bag for marinating. Add chicken pieces; turn to coat. Cover and chill at least 1 hour or overnight.
      Preheat oven to 425. Arrange onion wedges in a 13x9x2 inch-roasting pan. Arrange chicken, skin side up, atop onions. Roast until chicken is cooked through, basting occasionally with pan juices, about 50 minutes. Onions may char at edges.
      Remove chicken from oven and let rest 10 minutes. Arrange chicken and onions on platter and serve.

      Ginger Scented Rice
      From: Katharine Gallagher
      Printable Recipe
       
      4 small servings / Doubles easily
      1 3-inch-long 1-inch think piece fresh ginger, peeled and diced (grated is better)
      1 ½ C water
      1 C jasmine rice
      1 T butter
      1 t coarse kosher salt

      Add ginger, water, rice, butter and salt to same pan. Cover; bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, until rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove pan from heat; let rice sit 10 minutes. Uncover; fluff rice with fork.

      Tuesday, February 2, 2010

      Red Lentil Soup

      Another favorite of ours that I just wanted to share. I get red lentils in the bulk section of Market of Choice. I'm learning what my true favorite recipes are in the process too. Any recipe I'd rather do instead of trying something new must be a favorite.

      Happy Groundhog Day!

      Red Lentil Soup 
      From: Karen Guillemin
      Printable Recipe

      3 t olive oil
      1 large onion
      2 garlic cloves
      1 can diced tomatoes
      1 tsp cumin
      1/4 tsp salt
      1/4 tsp pepper
      1 qt chicken broth
      2 c water
      1 c red lentils
      1 large carrot
      Juice 1/2 lemon
      3 Tbs fresh cilantro chopped
      In large pot, heat oil, onion, garlic for 4 min. Stir in cumin, salt, pepper. Saute 2 min.  Add water, broth, lentils, carrot, and tomatoes. Simmer med-low for 30 minutes.  Puree 1/2 the soup. (Using immersion blender works very well.) Remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice and top with cilantro.
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