Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls


Christmas morning was at my house this year. This was a lot of pressure for someone who admits that I don't do breakfast. Half of a bagel or instant oatmeal is good for me! So, what to make, what to make? I decided on Alton Brown's Overnight Cinnamon rolls. They were a hit. Even my dad ate one, and he usually saves such things for breakfast the next day. Oh wait, this was breakfast! It really wasn't all that much to put together the night before. You assemble the rolls into almost their final form the day before. The day of, you have a little rise, then bake, make some icing, and ta-da cinnamon rolls!


Andy got up first, so I prepped and allowed for the second rise. Right before "Santa Gifts" I put them into the oven to bake. When there were cooling, it was easy enough to make the icing and then serve. My mom said they looked liked they came from a bakery. My FIL said "they don't make them like this anymore." We will see if they make it to next years breakfast menu.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

My first Turkey...

So this was my first Thanksgiving at my house. Thank God my Mom was there to help me. I chose to try a bunch of new recipes. I had great success with the version of this Barfeoot Contessa Recipe with a chicken that I decided to try the turkey version for T-Day :)

The vegetables didn't cook all the way :( I still enjoyed the turkey though!
My first TURKEY on Thanksgiving!!!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Susie's Super Cut Out Cookies


I belong to this one playgroup that meets every Wednesday morning. Earlier this year, it was hosted by Susie. She used the playgroup as a little birthday party for one of her three (3!) boys. The snacks she provided were amazing: cupcakes, homemade chex mix, and these wonderful decorated cookies. The cookies were professionally wrapped and decorated, but we soon realized that she had done them herself. And she has three boys. And (this one is for Melissa) she is a pharmacist. I knew that I had met my match. ;)

With Christmas here I wanted some cookies to have the kids decorate and Susie was nice enough to share her recipe with me. It is a long process. I made the dough one evening and let it chill overnight:


The next day, I rolled it out and James helped me to cut out shapes (Andy was sick and napping):


After the cookies had baked and cooler, I made the icing. Twice. First time the icing ending up tasting kind of funny. It uses crisco, and mine apparently was best if used by 2007. Who would have thought. To be honest, I wasn't sure about the crisco, but look at that nice white color:


After icing the cookies (not nearly as nicely as Susie does hers), I let the kids use sprinkles to decorate them. Good in theory, but not so effective. Next time I will try to use little candies. James put forth a nice effort:


Andy, put forth effort in eating the sprinkles:


I took them to get hair cuts while buying Crisco#2, can you tell? Here they are eating their cookies:


Now the recipe:

1 1/2 cupes powdered sugar
1 cup butter softened
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg
2 1/2 cups self rising flour

- mix together sugar, butter, vanilla, and egg. Gradually add flour. Divide into 2 rounds. Wrap and refridgerate at least 2 hours. After rolling and cutting out, Susie usually refridgerates them again before baking. Not essential for round cookies, but helps other cut outs hold their shape better.
- bake 375 for 6-8 minutes

Buttercream frosting
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup crisco
1 tsp vanilla
1 lb powdered sugar
3-4 Tb milk

- Cream butter and crisco. Add vanilla. Gradually add sugar. Add milk a little at a time to moisten frosting. This buttercream will dry hard, but if pushed it will mush down.

Royal frosting (I didn't make this, but hope to try it next time!) - it dries hard
1 lb powdered sugar
3 Tb meringue powder
5 Tb water
- mix all together at high speed for 7 minutes until still peaks.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Peppermint Cookie Pops

I found this recipe on my Cooking Light message board. I was looking for something different, yet fancy-smancy and impressive looking. Oh, and also easy enough for my kids to help me with. This one seemed all of those. I actually planned to make these at a different time, but alas, we were instructed to bring a "goodie" to James's Christmas program the next day. Time to assemble the troops and put them to work:


They did a good job, so they got a reward:


This was Andy's first experience with cookie dough...he liked it!


The recipe calls for lollipop sticks, but I couldn't find any. I hear they have some at Michael's, but I improvised with popsicle sticks. I made the cookies a little bigger...not really on purpose, but I think it worked with the popsicle sticks.


Now, these were just your basic cookie, but it had a lot of brown sugar. I just think this would be a prettier christmas cookie if it was more white...or chocolate ;) I would not make as written again, but the kids loved their "cookie pops"!


James's crunchies

Ok, this isn't a very good picture:


Its the holidays, so that means you have to give presents to all your kids' teachers. I really do like to do something homemade, but all the sweets are overwhelming this time of year. Last year I came up with the idea to give granola. It isn't exactly low fat, but it is considered healthy. Plus it is a yummy treat that no one else usually makes. I have posted granola on this blog before, but the following recipe is our version of it:

James’s Crunchies
James loves his crunchies (granola). He helps to make them and eats them sprinkled over yogurt. It keeps forever in the freezer, but it never seems to last all that long. Enjoy!

In a small saucepan, combine:
¼ cup maple syrup
3 TB flavorless oil (canola)
1 TB water
½ tsp cinnamon
- Bring to a boil over low heat

In a large bowl combine:
2 cups old fashioned oatmeal
½ cup wheat germ
3 TB brown sugar
Pinch salt
1/3 cup coconut
1/3 cup chopped pecans

Mix well. Drizzle saucepan ingredients over dry ingredients and mix. Pour onto large rimmed baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Working a handful at a time, squeeze granola to form clumps. Bake at 275 for 30 minutes. Add 1/3 cup craisens and bake an addition 15 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

MIL Mac and Cheese


This is a recipe that Mark grew up with, so of course, I had to find out how to make it. It is just good old fashioned mac and cheese. It is served with every holiday dinner and other meals in between. I made it this past weekend for a progressive dinner to great reviews. Oh, and it is definatley NOT light.

MIL Mac and Cheese

1 cup uncooked macaroni
1 lb sharp chedder cheese
1/3 cup sugar (we use less)
2 eggs
~ 1 1/4 cup milk "whole milk is best, but 2% will do" ps-granny uses cream.
1/2 tsp salt

- cook macaroni until just starting to get soft (I usually do 9 minutes)
- cut up cheese into cubes 1/2" thick and put into a 2 Qt baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.
- add 2 eggs and sugar to the cheese.
- drain the macaroni and pour hot pasta into the baking dish.
- Add some milk. Stir. Add some more until milk is about 3/4" from the top.
- Bake at 375 for 45 minutes to 1 hour until top and bottom are brown. It usually takes around an hour or more.


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Holiday Showcase

Wow, Dec 6th...I am getting worse and worst at this. So sorry, I know that all of you have been waiting on pins and needles to hear what this month's challenge is. This challenge was actually my sister's idea. She wanted an excuse to show off her Thanksgiving menu and came up with having a Holiday Showcase. Any traditional holiday dishes are fair game, as is anything you make for the first time for a holiday purpose. Happy Cooking everyone!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Pumpkin Black Bean Soup

I found this recipe in a magazine at my mom's house on Thanksgiving. It sounded neat and I decided to try it because I had leftover pumpkin.

2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes (14.5oz)
1 can pumpkin puree (16oz)
1/2 cup chopped red onion
2 gloves garlic, minced
4 Tbsp olive oil
4 cups vegetable broth
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ground pepper
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1. Place oil, red onion, garlic and seasonings in a large pot.

2. Cook on low to medium heat until onion and garlic brown.

3. Puree the beans and tomatoes with half of the broth. Add to pot.

4. Simmer uncovered until think, about 40-45 minutes. Before serving add the balsamic vinegar.

We thought this was pretty good. Although it needed a little spicing up. I'm not sure what to try. I thought I might add some corriander next time. Any suggestions?

Also, it needs some kind of sharp cheese or sandwich to go with it too. All we had on hand were some crackers.

Sorry, I have no pictures!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Minnesota Wild Rice Soup


I thought I remembered Robin posting this on the blog, but I couldn't find it. Instead I found her recipe on her recipe archive. It just sounded like a nice, healthy, hearty little soup.

So, I thought it was called "Minnesota Wild Rice Soup" because it would help keep you warm in Minnesota. Turns out, Minnesota is where they grow the wild rice...who would have thought? Also, it is pretty hard to find wild rice at the grocery store. I had to buy 2 boxes of real Minnesota Wild Rice at $3.99 each...yikes!

This was a pretty good soup. For some reason, I was thinking it would have cheese and chicken in it...I guess I have had one too many chicken and wild rice casseroles! I served it with homemade white bread. Not sure if I will make it again, but we did enjoy it.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Root Vegetable Soup

I've got one more that I tried this month ... a nice smooth Root Vegetable Soup. I love pureed soups so this was a great find. Also, if you are curious about using other winter veggies like rutabagas and parsnips but don't know what to do with them it is a good experimental recipe.

3 carrots, chopped
1 large potato, chopped
1 large parsnip, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 T. sunflower oil
2 T. butter
1.5 quarts water
1 1/4 c. milk
3 T. creme fraiche or sour cream
fresh dill

Put carrots through onion in a large saucepan with the oil and butter and fry lightly. Cover and sweat over low heat for 15 minutes, shaking pan occasionally. Pour in water, bring to a boil and season well. Cover and simmer 20 min. until the veggies are soft. Using a food processor puree soup until smooth. Return to pan and add milk and stir to reheat. Remove from heat and stir in creme fraiche ... top with dill.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Looking for a Quick, Delicious Meal?

Then this French Onion Soup recipe is NOT for you. OMG! Talk about the longest cooking session ever. This probably would have been okay, but I didn't really plan for the commitment. I am not great at Prior Proper Planning...

First you cook the onions in the oven for over 2 hours.

Then you saute the onions for another... hour.

Then you actually add some ingredients and it has to simmer for like hour!! Then you have to toast up some bread and broil with the cheese!!

Whew!! The recipe I found was nice because it had so many pictures. I knew I didn't cook mine enough when it didn't match the pictures:) My parents and I just had some and they like it...I guess it was worth it!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Slow cooker Beef and Barley Soup

Since I had barley leftover from last week, I found this recipe that I could do in my crockpot.


It took some prep to do before you put it in the crockpot. I am usually against that. The soup turned out ok. I swear the carrots still weren't quite done after being in the crockpot all day. The meat had a nice texture...not buttery like the stew I posted, but fine. The barely turned out really good though.

To be honest, the entire time I was making this I keep thinking how good a mushroom and barley soup sounded. Doesn't that sound good?

I served it with some homemade wheat bread from my breadmachine.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Pasta Fagioli

This was a simple version of Pasta Fagioli soup that I found in that same Encyclopedia of Soups. It was good ... and filling.
4 T. olive oil
1 onion, minced (I subbed leek)
2 carrots, minced
2 celery stalks, minced
14 oz. can chickpeas, drained
7 oz. can canellini beans, drained
2/3 c. passata (pureed tomatoes)
1/2 c. water
1.5 qt. vegetable or chicken stock
1 sprig fresh rosemary
scant 2 c. dried pasta shells
parmesan cheese (to top)
Heat oil in a large saucepan. Add the chopped veggies and cook over low heat for 5-7 min. Add both beans, mix, and cook for 5 more 5 min. Stir in the passata and water and cook 2-3 min. Add 2 c. stop, rosemary sprig and salt and pepper to taste and bring to a low boil. Lower heat and simmer for 1 hour. Pour in the remaining stock, add the pasta and bring to a boil. Lower heat and cook pasta for 7-8 min. or according to manufacturer's suggestion. Remove the rosemary and serve soup with Parmesan cheese.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Baked Potato Soup

Found this recipe on Cooking I didn't use all the sour cream it called for, but I did use whole milk. I also didn't have any green onions on hand so I used some dried chives that were in my spice cupboard and some minced onion. I think it definitely need some kind of onion flavor.

My husband and I both thought this was pretty good!!! We topped it with extra cheese and bacon...Guess which bowl was my husbands?

Double Potato Soup

Made this recipe for the third time last week. Slightly different than the standard tomato based vegetable soups that I make so often. You could make it vegetarian, but I think it is better with the smoky notes from the bacon. Ham would suffice, but you get more bang for your buck from bacon.

Like so many soups, it's better the 2nd day. I usually try to make soup in the morning, so it has the day to sit before dinner. Plus, dinner prep only involves reheating.

1 teaspoon olive oil
2-4 slices bacon, chopped (could omit to make vegan)
1 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups cubed peeled sweet potato
2 cups diced unpeeled red potato
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 can (14.5oz) diced tomatoes, mostly drained
3 cups vegetable broth
4 cups chopped kale
1 (15.5-ounce) can navy beans, rinsed and drained

1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add bacon; sauté 3 minutes.
2. Add onion and garlic; sauté 3 minutes. Add potatoes through thyme, stirring to combine; cook 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes; cook 2 minutes.
3. Stir in broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat.
4. Add kale and simmer 25 minutes.
5. Add beans; simmer 5 minutes

Chicken Minestrone

I hate posting without a picture but sometimes it happens that way. We had this great soup with company over the weekend and with the craziness I forgot to take a snapshot. It turned out really well and I love that it doesn't make a ton of soup. If you haven't already you have to try the Penzey's soup bases ... so worth the $8.00 splurge and no MSG. This recipe I found in one of those Barnes & Noble generic sale cookbooks, The Cooks Encyclopedia of Soup. Serves 4

1 T. evoo
2 chicken thighs
3 bacon slices, chopped
1 onion, minced (I subbed leek)
a few basil leaves, minced
a few rosemary leaves, minced
1 T. chopped fresh parsley
2 potatoes, cut into 1/2" cubes
1 large carro, cut into 1/2" cubes
2 small zuchini, cut into 1/2" cubes
1 or 2 celery stalks, cut into 1/2" chunks
1 qt. chicken stock (I added a little more)
1.5 c. frozen peas
scant 1 c. small soup pasta

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add chicken and fry for about 5 min. on each side, remove with a slotted spoon, set aside. Add bacon, onion and herbs to the pan and cook slowly stirring constantly, for about 5 min. Add potatoes, carrot, zucchini, celery and cook for 5-7 min. Return chicken to pan. Add stock and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat for 35-40 min. Remove chicken and place on board and chop. Stir the peas and pasta into soup and return to a boil. Simmer for 7-8 min. Return meat to soup and adjust seasoning. Serve with parmesan cheese.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Lentil-Sausage Soup

My husband actually found this recipe for Lentil-Sausage Soup on He was looking for something that was similar to the soup at Carrabba's. This one is pretty healthy and we both really liked it. My older daughter enjoyed it son didn't fight the 5 bites I made him eat :) Here is a before and after picture...Before I put it in the food processor that is.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Best Beef Stew EVER.


Last year I tried a Hungarian Beef Stew that I found in a Cook Illustrated issue. I enjoyed the stew, but let's face it, that is a lot of paprika! However, I was really impressed with how the stew was made and how it turned out. I started on a quest to find a cooks illustrated version of a regular beef stew. Now, I don't know if you have ever tried to find CI's recipes on the internet, but it is tough, but after much googling, I found one. When I made it, perfection. We ended up having this stew about once a month...whenever the chuck roast was on sale. I like it because the prep can be done earlier in the day (ie during naptime) and since it cooks in the oven, you don't even have to think about it until it is done. I doubled up on my soups and stews this month because a)my dad was coming for dinner and he demands MEAT and b)we were in the middle of a hurricane and it seemed like good stew weather. If you like beef stew, you must try this.


Serves 6 TO 8
Make this stew in an ovenproof Dutch oven, preferably with a capacity of 8 quarts but nothing less than 6 quarts. Choose one with a wide bottom; this will allow you to brown the meat in just two batches.
• 3 pounds beef chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
• Salt and ground black pepper
• 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 2 medium onions, chopped coarse (about 2 cups)
• 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
• 3 tablespoons flour
• 1 cup full-bodied red wine
• 2 cups homemade chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
• 2 bay leaves
• 1 teaspoon dried thyme
• 4 medium red potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1 -inch cubes
• 4 large carrots (about 1 pound), peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
• 1 cup frozen peas (about 6 ounces), thawed
• 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley leaves

1. Adjust the oven rack to lower-middle position and heat the oven to 300 degrees. Dry the beef thoroughly on paper towels, then season it generously with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large ovenproof Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering, about 2 minutes. Add half of the meat to the pot so that the individual pieces are close together but not touching. Cook, not moving the pieces until the sides touching the pot are well-browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Using tongs, turn each piece and continue cooking until most sides are well-browned, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer the beef to a medium bowl, add another 1 tablespoon oil to the pot, and swirl to coat the pan bottom. Brown the remaining beef; transfer the meat to the bowl and set aside.

2. Reduce the heat to medium, add the remaining tablespoon oil to the empty Dutch oven, and swirl to coat the pan bottom. Add the onions and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently and vigorously, scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to loosen browned bits, until the onions have softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the flour and cook until lightly colored, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the wine, scraping up the remaining browned bits from the bottom and edges of the pot and stirring until the liquid is thick. Gradually add the stock, stirring constantly and scraping the pan edges to dissolve the flour. Add the bay leaves and thyme and bring to a simmer. Add the meat and return to a simmer. Cover and place the pot in the oven. Cook for 1 hour.

3. Remove the pot from the oven and add the potatoes and carrots. Cover and return the pot to the oven. Cook just until the meat is tender, about 1 hour. Remove the pot from the oven. (Stew can be covered and refrigerated up to 3 days. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat.)

4. Add the peas, cover, and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley, discard the bay leaves, adjust the seasonings, and serve immediately.

Black Bean and Barley Chili

We decided chili counted right?


Maybe that isn't the best picture. Anyways, I made this black bean and barley chili from Michelle's food blog last year. I really enjoyed it and even Mark admitted he could understand that non-vegetarians would like this one. I think the barley gives it a similar texture to ground beef. I made it earlier this week for this challenge, part of my new monday night soup night with homemade bread item. It does take an almost an hour to cook, but it is quick to put together from various pantry items.

I served it with Best Drop Biscuits that I posted on this blog before. You absolutely must NEVER make these. They are so good you end up not caring how much butter is in them. Here is Andy eating them. My kids don't really do carbs, so we are just thrilled he is trying it.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Tomato Basil Soup

A regular at our house. I add orzo or shell pasta to the kid's bowls, to make it easier for them to eat. Good served with crusty bread or grilled cheese sandwiches.
Tomato Basil Soup (modified a Cooking Light recipe)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Slow cooker chicken chili


Sorry, soups, stews, and CHILIs, right?

This is an oldie, but goodie in our house. I have made it for a couple people and they always ask for the recipe. I never toast the spices, but I do use good quality spices from penzey's. Also, I never use dried beans, just 2 cans of already prepared beans. I just don't trust the crock pot to cook them enough! Usually, I use chicken breast, but this time I did use the thighs instead because they were on sale...I think I prefer the white meat!

Like most chilis, it is not just the chili, but how you top it. This time I topped it with cheese, sour cream, red onion, and cilantro.

Monday, November 2, 2009


Sweet!! In honor of Fall and colder weather(...right Robin?), let's make some delicious soups and stews. I don't make enough stews...who does? I am very excited! I hope to get some good recipes, so SHARE SHARE SHARE!!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

OMG!! This was SOOO GOOD! ( Roasted chicken)

Be warned that it was greasy... BUT, delicious!!! I found this when I looked at the current message board and found that this thread had a good number of views. I just loved it...with the lemon and the garlic and the thyme!!! YUM! I also made some chicken stock!!
I had never cooked with a fennel bulb before. It reminded me of a onion/celery. Are you suppose to eat it? I wasn't sure since it smells like black liquorice. I put it with the broth, but then didn't eat it :)
* Exported from MasterCook *

Perfect Roast Chicken
1 roasting chicken -- (5 to 6 pound)
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large bunch fresh thyme -- plus 20 sprigs
1 lemon -- halved
1 head garlic -- cut in half crosswise
2 tablespoons butter -- (1/4 stick) melted
1 large yellow onion -- thickly sliced
4 carrots -- cut into 2-inch chunks
1 bulb fennel -- tops removed, and cut into wedges
Olive oil

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Remove the chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pin feathers and pat the outside dry. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, both halves of lemon, and all the garlic. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Place the onions, carrots, and fennel in a roasting pan. Toss with salt, pepper, 20 sprigs of thyme, and olive oil. Spread around the bottom of the roasting pan and place the chicken on top.

Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove the chicken and vegetables to a platter and cover with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes. Slice the chicken onto a platter and serve it with the vegetables.

Source:"Barefoot Contessa Cookbook page 130"

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Balsamic Glazed Pork Chops with Red Pepper Grits

We love pork chops at our house. Those things are always on sale and they are pretty good. We usually don't do much to them. Just some salt and pepper, maybe a simple marinade works for us as a week night staple. They are pretty healthy too. ( Ya know, the other white meat.) I am so glad I pulled up this thread with so many great chop recipes for me to try. Tonight we tried the recipe below and thought it was so simple and delicious.

Balsamic Glazed Pork Chops with Red Pepper Grits
* Exported from MasterCook *
Recipe By :Lorrie Hulston Corvin/Krista Montgomery

3 cups water

3/4 teaspoon salt -- divided

3/4 cup uncooked quick-cooking grits

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 teaspoon bottled minced garlic

1 (7-ounce) bottle roasted red bell pepper -- drained and diced

Cooking spray

4 (4-ounce) boneless center-cut loin pork chops (about 3/4 inch thick)

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons honey

Bring water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil. Add grits, butter, and garlic, stirring with a whisk. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in red pepper.While grits cook, heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Sprinkle pork with 1/4 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Add pork to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from pan. Stir in vinegar and honey, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute or until thick, stirring constantly with a whisk. Return pork to pan; turn to coat. Serve pork and sauce over grits.

Source:"Cooking Light Jan/Feb 2003"

NOTES : Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 pork chop and 1 cup grits).

Monday, October 26, 2009

Shrimp Marinara

I have to admit this CLBB is not easy to navigate and I find it a bit clicky. The search feature isn't the best and leads to a lot of dead ends. By chance, I found this recent post and followed it to a new blog for this shrimp marinara. It was really good, quick and light tasting. I didn't make my own sauce but I did use the Mom's Special Marinara brand sauce that I like to mention. When I went back to look for the thread it had been deleted and every CLBB member was blasting her for promoting her new blog in the forum ... apparently there are rules about what you can and can't talk about. Anyway, make what you want of it ... I thought it was a great recipe.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Chipotle Roast for Tacos


In case you missed it, someone has started a weekly "what a crock" thread about using their slow cookers. I am not sure if I have mention it on this blog, but I have a love/hate relationship with my crock pot. I just think it still cooks a little high and for best results, I use my oven. Since I am a SAHM, I am able to do this. But still, you can find apropiate crock pot recipes and I was hoping this was one.

Chipotle Roast for Tacos

3 lbs Beef Chuck Roast, trimmed of visible fat
*(or try with a Pork Roast)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
3 chipotle chiles in adobo, chopped

1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies

1 (7 ounce) can Salsa Verde
1 cup chopped Yellow or Red Onion
3 teaspoons minced garlic
1 cup beef broth

**Place chuck roast in large crock pot and sprinkle with the salt and pepper, chili powder and cumin.
**Add the remaining ingredients and simmer on high for 5 hours or on low for 7-8 hours.
**Shred the meat with a fork and simmer on high for additional 10-15 minutes.
**Serve in taco shells, rolled up in Tortillas, or on crusty rolls with some of the juice for dipping (ala a French Dip)

I pretty much followed the recipe as written, well, I just didn't use much beef broth. I find there ends up being plenty of liquid. It was ok. I think I like using a rump roast for this as it shreds easier. It was a good basic taco filling.

I served it with mexican rice from another thread. This rice turned out pretty close to what you get in "real" mexican restaurants. I was still a little disappointed. It might need a little more salt, but I did mix it up ahead of time, and put it in the oven with the start timer set. That might have affected the consistancy a little big.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pork Lo Mein

I was recently following this thread, because it also annoyings me that ATK and CI do not allow for easy access to their recipes. But in this internet age, all you have to do is ask the right people and there you have it. Anyways, I was inspired to make the Pork Lo Mein that ended up being posted.


I did really like this one and it came out looking pretty authentic (ie was made in a real fake chinese restaurant like Pei Wei). My only complaint was that I felt the 5-spice powder was overwhelming. I don't think it really was, I just feel it was. I use the Penzy's 5 spice powder and there is just too much cinnamon for me. Mark really like it. He said, "this is pretty good." which is an overwhelming compliment for him. I served it with the crunch edamame that KAJ posted.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Risotto with Porcini Mushrooms

I found this recipe for risotto, but I was similar to this Mushroom Risotto I made a while back. I probably won't make it again, but would like to try some of the other recipes on the board...

My kids liked it as well :)

Halibut Kebabs

I had intended to follow the recipe exactly on these Halibut Kebabs but then I found that wonderful tomato parmesan focaccia at Sprouts and I had to go with it. I also forgot to buy the pancetta for the kebabs. So, I didn't have high expectations going into this one because I thought without a little pancetta it may be bland. These were outstanding without the pancetta and probably would be unbelievable with it. I can't wait to make these again! Who would have thought a little EVOO, salt, pepper, garlic and rosemary could have been so great on fish. FYI ... there are several recipes on this thread that I would like to try.