Friday, December 26, 2008

Paula Deen Two-fer

I've got a Paula Deen two-fer for you guys. I was in charge of desserts over the past couple of nights and here are a couple of winners.

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cakes

Creme de Menthe Brownies

Monday, December 22, 2008

Pancake Dinner


I was hoping to start a new family tradition featuring a pancake dinner. The tradition idea got a leukwarm reception, but that didn't stop everyone from gobbling up the pancakes!

I used Alton Brown's instant pancake mix recipe as my base. You mix enough dry ingredients up for three batches, then whenever you are ready, you add the wet ingredient which consist of a lot of butter. Be sure to shake up your buttermilk to get consistant results! Also, I found the batter to be a bit thin for my tastes, so I don't add the full amount of buttermilk.


We made a variety of different types: plain, blueberry, chocolate chip, and banana nut. Banana nut seemed to be the favorite, but yuck, I hate bananas!


For my family, which consisted of 6 adults and 3 small children, I made a double recipe and had a total of 2 pancakes leftover.

Man...who took this picture?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Charred Chili Relleno with Green Rice

This is my first contribution for our monthly challenge this December. Perhaps it's because I don't watch television. It took a while to record some stuff, watch it, and then decide to make it. But here you go. This is a Rachael Ray recipe and it was actually quite delicious. I do recommend the chihuahua cheese that's in the recipe, although you can sub monterrey jack.

DH and I give it two thumbs up. Make sure you get the seeds out though, or you'll be scrambling for ice cream later!

As a side note, the rice was so-so, but the chili relleno was first class.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Chicken Stemperata

I think this is my first Mario Batali recipe to try. I don't remember now what I was searching for when I stumbled onto this one. I love the one pot veggie packed meal idea but I have to say it was nothing special. I can think of a lot better ways to make a chicken stew. I probably wouldn't try this one again. The only thing that kept the meal interesting was the help I received from this little one, a future monthly challenge blogger .....

and, perhaps, the 2006 Mondavi Private Selection Cabernet that I chose with it. It's great if you need a good wine for the holidays.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Perfect Panini

I was trying to find something to use my Krups panini press on and remembered seeing Giada make these a time or two. The recipe doesn't state to use a panini press but it sure was good toasted anyways. I resisted the urge to slap a piece of cheese on it ... surprisingly, it didn't need it. It was nice and creamy as is and the pureed olives made a really nice combination. I wouldn't sub regular black olives ... the kalamatas were perfect for it. Click here for Tuna and Artichoke Paninis.

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

For this soup I used Tyler Florence's Roasted Tomato Soup and Ina Garten's Roasted Tomato Basil Soup as guides for mine. I roasted the tomatoes in the oven. Then I sauteed some onions and simmered both with some chicken stock and seasonings. I pureed the soup in the food processor a small amount at a time and then finished it with some cream.

I served it with a salad.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Me too!

I also made the Jam Thumbprints (center) this weekend, along with Alton Brown's Cocoa Brownies (right) posted by wirrek back in October and Martha Stewart's Chocolate Macaroons (left). I know, Martha's not on the Food Network, but close enough.

And just for sympathy, here's a picture of the half inch of ice on the inside of my living room window from this morning. No one should ever have to experience a wind chill of -26.

Another steal


That isn't the best picture. My camera battery was about to die, and that was the best I can do.

These jam thumbprint cookies were originally posted by Lindsey earlier this month. I felt like trying something new for a cookie party I was going to, and a double recipe of these were perfect. They didn't turn out like I was expecting, but very tasty. I think next time I would keep them in the oven a little longer to get the coconut a little toastier. They were well received and a great Christmas cookie!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Roasted Green-Chile Chicken Enchiladas


So, I finally got my hatch chile peppers. Well, about half of them. I am not going to post the link to the company I order from or anything. That is a mess for another time.

But I did order some hatch chile peppers with the intention of making some kick ass chicken enchiladas with them. Actually, when looking for a recipe, I didn't really see what I was thinking of, but this one by Tyler Florence seemed interesting.

The result: underwhelming. Perhaps it was operator error, I used smaller tortillas and ended up with 2 dishes with a total of 20 enchiladas. The tomatillo sauce was good, but you really lost the flavor of the peppers. On with my quest to find a different enchilada sauce recipe. I have plently of chiles leftover to use up.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Rachel Ray's Beef Stroganoff

Have I posted this one before? I can't remember. This is one of out staples...even the kids like it pretty well! I saw Rachel Ray make this recipe years ago on 30 minute meals and still go back to it!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I don't want to bore you with another squash soup but ...

I'm going to anyways. I think no less than 20 posts have been dedicated to butternut squash soup so I didn't want to expose you to yet another recipe. But, because of my lack of inspiration in the kitchen lately and for fear that I won't have anything interesting to post about this month I will go ahead and say that I tried this Squash Soup recipe but wouldn't recommend it. It's way too sweet with the honey ... although it sounds interesting. I prefer a more savory tasting squash soup. I hate posting things with bad reviews so let me point you to another Food Network favorite of mine especially during this time of year ... Paula Deen's Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cakes, which I have not made this season yet but hope to have a reason to.

Cheese Muffins by Paula Deen

We love to have soups when the weather turns cold, but I got tired of serving crackers or sandwiches along with them.

This is a great and easy and tasty recipe for cheese muffins. Another plus for me, is that I almost always have all these ingredients on hand - So no special trip to the grocery store. We usually serve them with potato soup. If you have leftovers, and we always do, the are great reheated for breakfast!

1 1/2 c all purpose flour
1 T sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Sift together the above ingredients.

Add 3 cups coarsely grated cheddar cheese ( I sometimes add a little extra). Stir until all the pieces of cheese are coated with the flour mixture.

In a separate bowl, combine 1 egg and 1 c milk with a whisk or fork.

Stir the wet mixture into the flour mixture just until blended. Then add 1/4 c melted butter and stir just until incorporated.

Bake at 350 degrees in greased muffin tins (I alwasy use Pam spray) for about 20 minutes.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Look familar?


I was browsing the food network site trying to find something to make for this challenge. One of my new favorite shows is Quick Fix Meals with Robin Miller. I was looking at her recipes when I came across the Slow-Cooker Chipotle Lime Chicken Thighs that Robin posted. I had actually made it early in the week, and the picture is from when I served it leftover. (I love leftovers)

This was a pretty good recipe, but I think the fresh avacado is what made it great. I served it over brown rice.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Turkey Bolognese by Giada

I still had some leftover turkey and tried Giada's Turkey Bolognese. I didn't really like it because the turkey was over powering. I love the idea of a pasta with carrots and celery, but this one was not for me. Surprisingly, the kids ate it pretty well...maybe they were just really hungry.

Jam Thumbprint Cookies-Ina Garten

I am at a disadvantage for this challenge because we haven't had cable in 3 years. However, before we gave up this luxury, I saw Ina make these cookies as Christmas gifts for her friends. They are now a part of our Christmas cookie lineup every year, though they would be delicious any time of year. Sorry, no photo, but take my word that they are as beautiful as they are tasty.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Turkey Monte Cristo with Potato Soup

B has been wanting soup and grilled cheese everyday that it has been cold. I decided to try and spice it up a bit. We had some left over turkey so I did a search at foodtv for cooked turkey.

Among the 27 pages of recipe, I found this one for a Turkey Monte Cristo. The sandwich was fun and scrumptious. I could find any cranberry relish to put it, B thought it needed it :)

Then, I wanted to make a potato soup. I have never made one before and, heck, I am pregnant so it is OK that its not the healthiest soup, right? I didn't find one that looked good so I ended up using Potato soup with shrimp and Cheddar corn chowder as guides.

I sauteed the onions and carrots.
Added some butter and flour.
Then added some Chicken Broth and Milk.
Threw in some potatoes and let them cook.
Finished it with some half and half and some cheese.
Need less to say, it was good:)

December Challenge - Food Network!

Is is really December already? How did that happen?

I had a lot of trouble trying to figure out a challenge for this month. Everyone is so busy this time of year, I didn't want to pick something that was too strict, but wanted to experiment with different things (drinks maybe, cookies) so I figured if the challenge was any recipe from the food network, that would give us a lot of options.

So, anything from the Food Network, or Food Network chef, or Food Network chef's cookbook is fair game!