Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My Christmas Presents

I did get some stuff that didn't have anything to do with the 
kitchen but these were some of my favorite gifts.  For a foodie like
me this stuff is seriously cool!  

I've seen Nigella use golden syrup and English mustard and Rachel Allen
makes a mean shortcrust pastry with a tart tin.  I'm going to see if I can 
have some fun with these items too.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Blog Award!

Wow!  I came home from a date this afternoon with my husband
to find that LesaPea over at LesaPea Musings gave me the Inspired 
Blog Award!  

Thank you so much LesaPea!  I'm honored that you find my blog 
the least little bit inspiring.  I'm having fun and adore cooking and 
sharing any good recipe I find.  

Thank you again.

I really appreciate your thoughtfulness.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Dinner 2010

As I posted in my Christmas Dinner menu planning post 
a couple of weeks ago, we had.....

Tenderloin Steak Medallions

Garlic Cheddar Biscuits

Hearts of Romaine Salad with Parmesan and Blue 
Cheese dressing with croutons


Cranberry Orange Pull-Apart Bread

It's tradition at our house to have this wonderful 
pull-apart bread on Christmas morning. 

I have been making this recipe for years but 
I try not to make it too often so it will stay special 
for the holiday season.  The kids really 
look forward to it!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Swedish Pancakes with Lingonberry Preserves and Turkey Sausage

 Just the other day I was telling Jim that I wanted a 
Plett pan so I could make Swedish pancakes that I 
adore and get out at restaurants so often.

 Well, he got up this morning (Christmas Eve) and 
surprised me with Swedish Pancakes for breakfast!  
He made them beautifully without the pan!  He 
served them with wonderful tart lingonberry 
preserves and homemade turkey sausage.  I love 
sweet and savory or sweet and salty foods and 
this combo was amazing!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Buffalo Chicken Soup

The unique flavor of buffalo wings is duplicated in a 
number of dishes from chicken nuggets tp pizza and 
even potato chips.  This dish is a combination of two of 
my favorite things....spicy buffalo sauce and soup.  
There is nothing better to warm you up on a cold 
winter evening than a steaming bowl of this yummy

Buffalo Chicken Soup

6 cups milk
2 (10 1/2 oz) cans cream of chicken soup
1 (10 1/2 oz) can cream of celery soup
1 rotisserie chicken, de-boned and chopped
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup blue cheese dressing
1/2 cup Frank's Original Red Hot Sauce

Combine all ingredients in a large pot and cook 
on stove until hot and flavors have blended.  Stir 
often to dissolve everything and to keep from 
scorching on the bottom.  At least 30 minutes.  

May serve over tortilla chips and garnish with 
additional blue cheese dressing and hot sauce.

I like to serve it over crushed tortilla chips to give it a little more substance and top it off with a drizzle of blue cheese dressing and extra hot sauce.  I love the cooling tang the blue cheese imparts...

If you love hot wings you really need to try this dish as
well as my buffalo chicken salad.  I think you will love
them both!

I love spicy food.   Do you?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Pesto-Spinach Lasagna

Pesto-Spinach Lasagna is one of my favorite Italian 
dinners. It's so fast and easy to make but tastes like 
you spent hours in the kitchen. I normally will make 
my own Alfredo but with the addition of a 1/2 cup of 
white wine the sauce does not taste like it came out of 
a jar.  You will be the only one in on the secret!  It's so
 good it would also make a wonderful meal for 
company or the holidays.

Feel free to add chicken if you like..........
You can also use the no-boil noodles and let it set 
overnight but be sure to cover it as airtight as you 
can to help the pesto not turn dark.

Baked Taco Eggs

During the work week we eat on the run and don't take time for a nice on the weekend we like to slow down and enjoy the most important meal of the day.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Pear-Gingerbread Upside Down Cake

After I looking through my new Fannie Farmer Cookbook this recipe caught my interest and I knew I had to make this for the Holidays!

Pear-Gingerbread Upside Down Cake

(printable copy)


2 bosc pears, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup dark brown sugar

In a cast iron pan melt 1/4 cup butter and add the dark brown sugar and
stir until melted and combined. Arrange pear slices in a decorative
pattern in the syrup.

Gingerbread Cake

1 cup molasses
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup sour milk
1 egg, well beaten
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt

Melt 1/3 cup butter and add to the molasses and mix well. Add the sour
milk and egg. Stir in flour that has been sifted with the soda, ginger and

Mix well and pour over the pears in the skillet. Bake at 325 for 35 minutes
or until done.

This is the fun part!  Make a decorative pattern with the pear slices so when you turn it over you get a gorgeous pattern on top.

The Fanny Farmer recipe I used is extremely moist and dense.  It's a wonderful choice but you can use your own favorite gingerbread recipe for this cake as well.

Mmmm....breakfast!  Happy Holidays!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Dinner Menu Planning.......

Okay.........I'm just starting to plan my Christmas menu and I need some 
feedback.  What do you think of this one?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Cream Cheese Chicken with Thyme

Jim and I were running around delivering Christmas presents to our sweet neighbors this afternoon so we opted to do a crockpot dinner tonight. It's so nice knowing dinner will be ready and waiting for us when we get home. The holidays are busy enough without worrying about dinner.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Chocolate Rocky Road

Okay.......tell me this doesn't look scrumptious!

Jim and I have spent part the day making this Jamie Oliver
recipe for our neighbors for Christmas gifts. We have some awesome neighbors and like to remember them during the Holiday Season!

This year we are giving a big popcorn bucket full of movies, candy, and popcorn, everything they need for a nice cozy family night at home. Chocolate Rocky Road is the "adult" candy we are including. I love that it has a "secret" ingredient....a red chili pepper. Chocolate with a little bit of heat from a chili is my personal favorite!

You can use any combo of fruit and nuts you like. We used cashews, pistachios, craisins and golden raisins.

Friday, December 3, 2010

My Cookbook Find

As I've mentioned before, I collect cookbooks. I usually pick books from current Chefs like Tessa Kiros, Nigella Lawson, Bill Granger or Jamie Oliver but my friend Lori told me about the Fannie Farmer Cookbook.

Every year she has two parties to show and sell her cards and other items she handcrafts. (You have to check out her blog, Choux Choux....she is does some amazing paper cards and crafts with vintage images.)

The food, usually cookies and other sweets are always delicious! She told me she uses recipes out of her 1946 (I think that's the year) Fannie Farmer cookbook.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Spanish Omelette

This omelette is a typical Spanish dish consisting of egg, potato and onions. The difference between it and a regular omelette are the potatoes. This recipe comes from Nigella Lawson and is very fast to put together and extremely tasty. The combination of the potatoes, cheese, scallions and the smokiness of the roasted red peppers is amazing. Don't let that limit you though, there are many variations onthis dish. You could add green peppers, chorizo, courgettes, aubergines, mushrooms or diced ham. Every Spanish home has it's own way of preparing the torte.

Spanish Omelette

8 oz baby new potatoes, halved
4 eggs
1/2 cup grated manchego or cheddar cheese
1/3 cup chopped roasted red peppers
3 scallions, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Turn the broiler on and let it heat up while you start the omelette.

Cook the new potatoes in boiling water for about 15 minutes or until tender, then drain.

Whisk the eggs in a bowl and add the cheese, potatoes, peppers, scallions and salt and pepper.

Heat some butter up in a small skillet and pour in the egg mixture, turn the heat to med-low and cook for approx. 5 minutes.

The bottom of the should be set by this time, so stick it under the broiler for a few minutes to set the top.

Turn the omelette upside down onto a plate to cool. It will continue cooking a bit as it cools.

Cut into 4 large wedges and serve.

Once turned upside down on a plate your omelette should be a nice golden brown and set. Don't worry if it's still a little wibbly wobbly, it will continue to cook a little as it cools.

We like to serve our omelette on a charred tortilla with sour cream and salsa with a sprinkling of cilantro.

Try this recipe for a great quick weeknight meal or a fantastic weekend breakfast!

What a surprise!

I came home this afternoon (I was already excited because I have a long 4 day weekend) and found Janet from The Skinny on Mini awarded Mika's Pantry the Stylish Blogger and The Versatile Blogger awards!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Fabulous French Onion Dip

I'm sharing this recipe now so you will have plenty of time to try this out for your Christmas and New Year parties. I guarantee once you make this dip you will NEVER go back to buying those pre-made dips again.

It does take a few spices and herbs and even one you might not have in your pantry, but once you have them all you can make this dip over and over again.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Cast Iron Dutch Oven and Chili

I used my Bobby Flay Cast Iron Dutch oven for the second time tonight and I can't tell you how much I love it. I made my middle son's favorite Chili and it turned out great! Right now Kohls has them on sale, so you might want to check them out!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Turkey Stew with Thyme, Rosemary and Parmesan

Okay people! Finally the last of the turkey. It was really good but I am seriously ready to move on. Anyway......... to use up the last of my leftovers I decided to make a turkey stew with cornbread. What did you do with yours?

Smoked Trout Melt with Cucumber on Pumpernickel

After reading Curtis Stone's "Relaxed Cooking with Curtis Stone" I was intrigued by this sandwich. Curtis calls it a sophisticated take on your childhood favorite grill cheese.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

I hope you are all enjoying your holiday with good food, family and fun.

Jimmy and I got up early this morning to put our turkey on to cook. I'm really happy how it turned out. We made some garlic, thyme, orange butter and put under the skin of the turkey along with some orange slices. Then we covered the outside with more butter. I got the idea from something I saw on Curtis Stone's website. Didn't it come out gorgeous?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Jamie's Tray Baked Chicken

Okay......let me just say that the more I cook of Jamie Oliver's dishes the more I think that man is a genius.

This was my first time brining anything and I have to say that I am hooked on the idea. Brining really added flavor and made the chicken super moist. It browned up nicely but trying to be a tad healthy we removed the skin. I know, I know......I am such a party pooper...... I did make up for the lack of crispy skin with creamy horseradish sauce though!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Korean Open-Face Burger

Years ago, Jim's mom Bonnie used to make open-faced hamburgers. She would smear raw hamburger meat thinly on a bun and top with grated Parmesan cheese bake until done and top them with mustard.
After we got married Jim would ask me to make these all the time. They are very good but after our daughter came home from S. Korea and I became familiar with all those wonderful Asian flavors........I kicked ordinary open-face up a notch! I took Bonnie's idea and used ingredients in my bulgogi and made a Korean open-face burger topped with sesame seeds.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sauerkraut Chowder

If you like sauerkraut...........I have just the soup for you.
I've been making this soup for quite a few years and my family loves it. It's a bit of a quirky spin on potato soup. Picture potato soup with the tart sourness of kraut and the rich smokeness of kielbasa. Getting the yummy picture?
I also want to try a different version of this soup sometime this winter. Instead of sauerkraut I want to use kimchi. Well..if you think about it, kimchi is just a wonderful spicy variation of sauerkraut, right? Korean food is close to our hearts and I love using the ingredients in new and unusual ways, so watch for this in the not so distant future.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Stir-fried Pork with Mushrooms and Spicy Sesame Noodles

A few weeks ago I ran across a great cookbook, Ken Hom's Top 100 Stir-Fry Recipes. I really recommend it for some great, fast, flavorful stir-fry recipes. I found this stir-fried pork with mushrooms and it called for fresh basil. Well, I wanted to try it before all my basil in the garden died out for winter. The weatherman has been threatening a freeze every night this week.

The flavors in this dish are fantastic. The only thing I did differently was to add a heaping teaspoon of fresh ginger. I absolutely have to have ginger in my Asian dishes, it's a must for me. I served it with a noodle dish that I've been making for years. If you have been trying to find a great Asian noodle dish, try this one. It comes out perfect every time and is so much better than those take-out places.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Tailgating at Oklahoma State

We went up to Stillwater on Saturday see our son Ty and his girlfriend Cassie. Ty is in his second year at Oklahoma State. Next year our son Tanner will be going there as well! Jim gets nauseous every time I mention that though...... hee hee. Oh well, that will give us even more reason to tailgate next year!

The Perfect Baked Potato

I LOVE baked potatoes and one of the cravings I have most often is for a garlicky baked potato that I can stuff with just about anything.

Today I was having a craving like that so the kids and I decided to have one for lunch.

There are a lot of ways to make a baked potato, in the Microwave (cringe), in the oven wrapped in foil, in the oven plain with out any wrapping and this way. This is more of a technique than anything.

I found that making my baked potatoes this way yields a potato with crispy, garlicky skin and creamy, soft, buttery center.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I'm Published!!!

About a year and a half ago someone contacted me about using a recipe of mine in a cookbook entitled "One Big Table" by the well known cookbook author Molly O'Neill. "One Big Table" is to be the ultimate community cookbook, a portrait of Americans and their food. Molly has been collecting and gathering stories for nearly a decade. The book is a self portrait of America through the home cook, of which I am one!

I remember being pretty nervous about being interviewed but the girl who called put me at ease right away. Talking to her was like talking to an old friend. She asked questions about my the recipe, what I like to cook, about my family and about my love of different cultures.

My love of different cultures stems from adopting my youngest child from South Korea. We have had many Exchange Students from there as well. The picture they used was of our family visiting our "oldest daughter" (favorite exchange student) on our birth land trip to Seoul in 2007. Yejoo (the one flashing the peace sign) was with us the entire year of 2004. She became part of our family and we still consider her our daughter.

As the article says I love to cook food from different countries. My favorites are Korean of course, Mexican, Chinese, Indian and Greek and Moroccan and the spicier the better. The recipe they picked is one I use often. I adore soups and stews anytime but especially in the winter. This one always reminds me of our many trips to Santa Fe and all the wonderful soups and green chili stews they have there.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Caramelized Onion Pita Burgers

When I was younger in the 1970's my mom would make this sandwich which was basically a hamburger patty with caramelized onions and sour cream in a pita pocket. I remember it being a favorite of mine and my brother and sister, so I took it and added a few of my favorite spices to give it a modern twist for my kids to try.

Baked Omelet

Our family loves to have breakfast for dinner occasionally, especially in the Fall and Winter months. This baked omelet is hardy enough for dinner and really delicious to boot.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Asian Glazed Salmon

I love Salmon! It's a fish even people who don't like fish can enjoy. It's so versatile, it's firm enough to grill, and can be cooked in many different ways. Here is one of my favorite recipes........

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Apple and Cheese Quesadillas

We have a saying in our family that if you aren't eating "breakfast food" for breakfast it's called "the breakfast of champions." Well this quesadilla falls in that category. You could also have this as a light lunch or even a snack.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Homestyle Meatloaf and Creamy Ranch Broccoli

Did you ever wonder where Meatloaf began?
Well, Meatloaf has European origins and has been 
around since the 5th century. It's even mentioned 
in a famousRoman cookery collection "Apicius."

Today, there are as many different meatloaf
recipes as there are families.

Here is mine......

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Roast Beef and Green Chili Panini

I adore chili rellenos but when I don't want to go to all the fuss of making them I make a Roast Beef and Green Chili Panini instead.

This panini has all the same flavors but is much easier to make.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Roast Beef and Mushroom Soup with Thyme

Okay....if you are making this soup you trusted me on the Roast Beef and Gravy recipe. Wasn't I right about it? Isn't it fabulous?

Now if you want to be transported back to heaven, make this soup with the leftovers. You won't be sorry, I'm sure this will quickly become one of your favorites as well.

Sweet Cornbread

Do you love Cornbread?

I do...... I could eat it at every meal.

If I have managed to hide a piece from dinner (which doesn't happen often) I will eat it for breakfast with warm honey or maple syrup drizzled on top.

If it would hold together I would make a sandwich out of it.

(I'll work on this one.)

If I have any soup, stew or chili, I have to have cornbread.

Yes......I love cornbread in any form but in my book it has to be sweet cornbread.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Roast Beef and Gravy guys are seriously gonna have to trust me on this.
This roast beef has a major no-no in it (you will see...) but it is the best roast I have ever made and I have made this one for years. It's that good!

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