Wednesday, September 15, 2010

i remember when rock was young

i don't really, but her heiness loves that song on Lego rock band. i often talk about angelfood ministry on my regular blog and how much we enjoy it. one of the boxes they offer is a fresh fruit and veggie box. the only problem we run into is that often the fruit is just a pit ripe or bruised, not always and not all. this past month we got 4 peaches that were a little bruised for my just munch on in a few days preference. what do you do with 4 peaches that won't make it a week? you dig through your pantry until you find a box of jiffy raspberry muffin mix. then you sprinkle those peaches that have been sliced with a bit of nutmeg and sugar. you mix the muffin mix with an egg, some milk, cinnamon, and vanilla. i did spray the pan first. then i dotted the peaches with some real butter, poured the muffin mix on them, put them in the oven and.......

a peach melba cobbler.

it was delicious and all the kids chowed down heartily. so what do you do with fruit that is past its eat by date but not yet to its toss date?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

another one bites the dust

another day of cooking new and delicious foods has come to an end. after dinner was finished we went over to a friend's house and we picked apples. LOTS of apples, and there were at least 3 times as many as we picked still on the tree. all total we cut, cored and bagged 16 gallons of apples. we put them in the freezer until we will have time to make something yummy with them.
yes that is what 16 gallons of bagged apples look like. impressive huh.

for supper we had dolmades and cucumber salad. they were both so good.
Dolmathakia me Kima
i found our recipe here. i only used ground beef, and after rolling for an hour we decided to bake the rest of the filling. it was similar to meat loaf, but better somehow. we used grape leaves off of our grapevine in the yard, that was pretty awesome.

the recipe for the yummy olive salad can be found here. take some time to check out her blog, it is one of my faves.

leave me a comment if you are following Greek week. I'm curious to see if anyone is actually reading this. thanks

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

friends are friends forever

i love getting to spend time with my bestie. especially if good food is going to be involved. below is a picture of my lil man, and if you look in the corner you can catch a sneak peek of my bestie and her adorable girls. i got to hang this afternoon with her and we decided to share dinner with her and her family. on the menu tonight was souvlakia and tzatziki.

i just realized the picture doesn't look very appetizing, but looks can be deceiving. this dip was delicious and the hubby and i were discussing all kinds of uses for it in the future.

preparation time: 15 minutes + 2 hours refrigeration time
total cooking time: 20 minutes
serves 6
3 small cucumbers coarsely grated
16 oz thick natural yogurt
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh dill
1 Tablespoon olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1. line a fine strainer with cheesecloth. spoon cucumber into strainer, cover with cloth to enclose. press and squeeze firmly to remove the moisture from the cucumber. place cucumber in mixing bowl.
2. add yogurt, garlic, dill and oil; mic well to combine season to taste. cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

the next part of dinner was souvlakia.
preparation time: 20 minutes + overnight refrigeration
total cooking time: 10 minutes
serves 4
2 pound leg of lamb, boned
1 green pepper cut into 3/4 inch squares
1 red pepper, cut into 3/4 inch squares
1/3 cup lemon juice
2/3 cup olive oil
1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
2 bay leaves, crumbled
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1. trim the lamb of excess fat and tendons. cut lamb evenly into 1 1/4 inch cubes.
2. thread the meat and the peppers alternately onto oiled skewers; place in a shallow non-metal dish
3. combine the lemon juice, olive oil, white wine vinegar, garlic, oregano, bay leaves, salt and pepper. pour the marinade over the meat on skewers. cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, turning occasionally. drain skewers and reserve the marinade.
4. place the skewers on a lightly greased grill. cook over medium heat for 10 minutes or until the lamb is tender, brushing with reserved marinade several times during cooking. serve with warm pita bread and Greek salad or tzatziki.

i will admit to cheating. lamb is expensive so we used our angel food steaks in place of the lamb. we also broiled ours in pans in the oven. they turned out fantastic. we all thoroughly enjoyed the dinner.
check back here tomorrow for another yummy recipe.

Monday, July 26, 2010

discovering you and discovering me

we started our Greek discovery week with some tasty oikos Greek yogurt with honey. as you can see the kids thought it was yummy.

q was sucking his out of the container. he ate almost the whole container.
her heiness felt the need to pose for her picture. she too inhaled hers.

monkey ate hers slowly, she really seemed to enjoy it.

we had some shopping left to do today in the big city, so we didn't get to study anything cool today other than how to not make your parents completely crazy. our meal for supper was moussaka. i had never had it before this evening, but how can you go wrong with eggplant, meat sauce, and cheese sauce. i found my recipe in the recipe encyclopedia. it is an awesome cookbook my sister bought me several years ago for my birthday.
preparation time: 20 minutes + 1 hour standing
total cooking time: 1 hour + 45 minutes
serves 6
3 medium eggplants
1 Tablespoon salt
1/2 cup olive oil
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 pound ground beef
2 Tablespoons dry white wine
13 1/2 ounce can of tomato puree
1 Tablespoon finely chopped flat leaf parsley
2 teaspoons finely chopped mint leaves
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup flour
2 cups milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2/3 cup grated Romano cheese
1. cut unpeeled eggplant into 1/2 inch slices. sprinkle both sides with salt; stand in a colander for 1 hour. rinse in cold water, drain well. squeeze out excess moisture wit paper towels.
2. TO MAKE MEAT SAUCE: heat the oil in a pan. add the onion and ground beef. stir over high heat 10 minutes or until well browned and all the liquid has evaporated. add the wine, tomato puree, herbs, cinnamon and pepper; bring to a boil. reduce heat, simmer, covered, 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. remove lid and simmer 10 minutes.
3. TO MAKE CHEESE SAUCE: heat butter in small pan; add flour. stir over low heat for 2 minutes. add milk gradually to pan, stirring until smooth. stir over medium heat for 5 minutes or until mixture boils and thickens. cook for 1 minute; remove pan from heat. add eggs and cheese, beat until smooth.
4. preheat oven to 350 degrees. heat the oil in a heavy-bottom pan. cook the eggplant a few slices t a time until golden;; remove from pan, drain on paper towels. divide the eggplant into three. arrange one portion over the base of a shallow oven proof dish. spread with half the meat sauce, add a second layer of eggplant, then the remaining meat sauce and eggplant. spread cheese sauce over the top layer of eggplant. bake for 45 minutes or until golden. leave in dish for 5 minutes before serving.
that's what it looked like before i scarfed it down. i recommend beginning the sauces immediately after you put the eggplant to drain. it took me nearly the entire hour for the making of the sauces. i found the recipe for the baklava here. it was delicious. as i was making the syrup to pour over the baklava, i noticed that it smelled like roses. who knew? i hope you enjoy our first day in this adventure.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

i know what i know if you know what i mean

tune in next week for some tasty Greek goodness. things to be included are mostly traditional Greek, but a few foods that we adore that are not. we will be trying our hand at baklava, tatziki, souvlakia, cheese triangles, dolmades, hummus, tabbouleh, and Greek pizza. i found most of the recipes here, but a few came from cookbooks i have collected over the years. i also found a recipe for a delicious cucumber salad here. i can hardly wait to take pics and share the experience, so be sure to check in.

Monday, June 28, 2010

oye como va

i do love to cook Mexican food. we had some veggies from the angel food veggie box this month and we had to find something to do with it. i have wanted to try my hand at albondigas for some time now, and this was the perfect opportunity to do it. recipe is below the picture.
(meatball soup)
1 lb. lean ground round steak, i just used hamburger
6 green onions, sliced in 1/8 inch pieces
1 tsp garlic pepper
1/2 tsp crushed red peppers, from jar
1/2 tsp ground allspice
3 cans (10 oz size) beef consomme
2 medium tomatoes, diced
2 medium zucchinis, diced
1 c chopped cabbage
2 ears corn, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
in large mixing bowl, combine ground round steak, onions, garlic pepper, red peppers, and allspice. form into balls about 1 inch diameter. empty consomme into large saucepan or dutch oven and heat to the boiling point. gently place meatballs, one at a time, into the boiling consomme. add tomatoes, zucchini, cabbage and corn. reduce heat and simmer gently, uncovered, for 45 minutes.
this stuff was so good, and it was really filling. q loved his bowl of soup.

i got lazy and cut a step out of the gorditas, so they didn't puff like they should. so instead of filling them, we covered them. they were fabulous.

Friday, June 25, 2010

brown sugar, how come you taste so good?

i whipped up this yummy amish brown sugar pie. complete yumminess. recipe is under the picture.


1 unbaked 8 inch pie shell

1 cup brown sugar

3 Tbsp all-purpose flour

speck of salt

12 oz can evaporated milk

2 1/2 Tbsp butter

ground cinnamon

preheat the oven to 350. in the pie shell, place the brown sugar, flour, and salt. mix with your fingers. pour the evaporated mil over the flour and sugar, but do not stir or mix this in. dot with butter, and drift cinnamon liberally over all. bake for 50 minutes, or until the filling just the bubbles up in the middle. the filling will never completely set, but that's the way it's supposed to be. this pie is better eaten at room temperature. if you refrigerate leftovers (it is unlikely there will be leftovers), reheat them in the oven before serving.

below are the delicious biscuits i made up for biscuits and gravy for dinner one night last week.

a wonderful quick dinner wanted, how about some kabobs. these are one of our favorite things to throw on the grill. simply cut up steak (we use our angel food steaks), onions, bell peppers, and zucchini. i usually brush them with balsamic vinegar and some spice seasoning.

i hope you have some good eats this weekend. we are having gorditas for dinner tomorrow, i will post pics.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

she's my cherry pie

it isn't cherry pie, but man is it good. this is what Indiana sugar pie looks like. it was so good and so very easy. look below pic to see the recipe.

this recipe is from the cookbook Heartland by Marcia Adams.

Indiana Sugar Pie

1 uncooked pie crust
2 Tablespoons cold butter
1 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
grated nutmeg, for garnish

preheat the oven to 300. Roll pie dough out on a floured surface and use to line a 9 inch pie pan. set aside. blend the flour, butter, sugar, and salt in a food processor until well combined and smooth, about 5 seconds. pour into the pie shell. add the cream and mix gently with your fingers, being careful not to break through the bottom crust.

in a measuring cup, combine the milk and vanilla; pour over the top of the cream mixture, but do not stir in. sprinkle lavishly with nutmeg. bake for 1 1/2 hours. (this seems too long, but it does require long baking.) the center of the pie will be bubbly and still a little wiggly. cool completely at room temperature before cutting.

the kids inhaled this pie, and my mom asked for the recipe. try it and tell me what you think. hope to post again soon.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

sugar pie honey bun

i know it has been forever. the new recipe thing lasted two weeks before life took over, but i have been cooking tons of yummy good things. tonight we had kabobs grilled out, so yummy. then for dessert we had pudding. I'm not talking about box pudding kiddos. this was the yummiest of puddings ever. i found it at my byrd house. i love this blog she has the best recipes and tons of other awesome projects available. check it out and let me know what you think. i made a white sugar pie and it was unbelievable. i will try to post the recipe tomorrow.

Monday, January 11, 2010

dream a lil dream of me

i have pics, but i'm exhausted. a sick 3 year old and an 8 month old who refuses to nap, make for long days and nights.

Friday, January 8, 2010

flying purple people eater

welcome back to another adventure in cookbooks. tonight's recipe is for the kiddos. we have been doing Friday pizza night for a long time. we started with store bought pizza and have slowly made our way to homemade. i didn't feel like messing with that recipe too much, so i made drinks for the kids instead. we headed over to the cowden's house for pizza night fun. the recipe is from Blender Cooking, a good deal of my cookbooks are thrift store buys or were inherited.
Grape Chiller
6 oz frozen grape juice concentrate, partially thawed
3 oz frozen orange juice concentrate, partially thawed
2 thin unpeeled lime or lemon slices, quartered
1 1/2 c cold water
1 c crushed ice
20 oz chilled ginger ale
Crumb first ingredients 20 seconds, or until lime or lemon is finely chopped. Pour an equal amount of mixture into 6 tall glasses over ice cubes; fill glasses with ginger ale and stir gently.

yeah i know the picture isn't that great, but did you see the one with the cookbook? that's my oldest daughter, monkey, and pattylicious' oldest son brc. well I've never been one to follow all of the rules, so i tossed the ice in with the first five ingredients. let's face it kids think anything out of the blender is way fun, well so i do i for what it's worth. the ginger ale made the grape mixture all foamy and cool looking, and the kids seemed to really like it. even the twins thought it was good stuff. i tried a glass because i wanted to warn you if it was too weird, and it was actually pretty good. i would have had another, but sadly it was all gone.

i don't promise anything too extravagant next week because i will be pulling double duty. my hubby has training in Orlando for a week, so i will be on my own. i will do my best to continue with my forward momentum. tune in tomorrow night to see how Scandinavian Saturday turned out. i think we are going to try to do a different global cuisine every Saturday, so this could be a lot of fun. until next time happy cooking.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

2 for tea

I'm trying to make up for the first few days of the new year that i didn't do a new recipe, so you get two today. i made some bunuelos for the girls to have snacks when they got home from school. i found this recipe in The Ford Treasury of Favorite Recipes From Famous Eating Places. the recipe itself is from a place in California called the Padua Hills Restaurant.

4 eggs
1/2 c milk
1/4 c melted butter
3 c sifted flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
oil for deep frying

Beat eggs; add milk and melted butter. sift dry ingredients into this to make a soft dough easily handled without sticking. make into walnut-sized balls; roll on slightly floured board into a large circle like a tortilla or very thin pancake. fry in deep fat until golden brown. drain and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

i made shrimp etouffee for dinner. it was so much better than yummy. the recipe came out of the chef Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen cookbook.

i thought the ingredients alone sure looked pretty.

crawfish (or shrimp) etouffee

seasoning mix:
2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground red pepper (preferably cayenne)
1 tsp white pepper
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp dried sweet basil leaves
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 c chopped onions
1/4 c chopped celery
1/4 c chopped bell peppers
7 Tbsp vegetable oil
3/4 c all-purpose flour
3 c, in all, seafood stock
1/2 lb (2 sticks) unsalted butter, in all
2 lbs peeled crawfish tails or medium shrimp
1 c very finely chopped green onions
4 c hot cooked rice

thoroughly combine the seasoning mix ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. in a separate bowl combine he onions, celery and bell peppers.
in a large heavy skillet (preferably cast iron), heat the oil over high heat until it begins to smoke, about 4 minutes. with a long handled metal whisk, gradually mix in the flour, stirring until smooth. continue cooking, whisking constantly, until roux is dark red-brown, about 3 - 5 minutes (be careful not to let it scorch in the pan or splash on your skin). remove from heat and immediately stir in the vegetables and 1 Tbsp of the seasoning mix with a wooden spoon; continue stirring until cooled, about 5 minutes.
in a 2-quart saucepan bring 2 cups of the stock to a boil over high heat. gradually add the roux and whisk until thoroughly dissolved. reduce heat to low and cook until flour taste is gone, about 2 minutes, whisking almost constantly (if any of the mixture scorches, don't continue to scrape that part of the pan bottom). remove from heat and set aside.
heat the serving plates in a 250 degree oven.
in a 4-quart saucepan melt 1 stick of the butter over medium heat. stir in the crawfish (or shrimp) and the green onions; saute about 1 minute, stirring constantly. add the remaining stick of butter, the stock mixture and the remaining cup of stock; cook until butter melts and is mixed into the sauce, about 4 to minutes, constantly shaking the pan in a back-and-forth motion (versus stirring). add the remaining seasoning mix; stir well and remove from heat (if sauce starts separating, add about 2 tablespoons more of stock or water and shake pan until it combines). serve immediately over rice.

both of the items were well received. the hubby thought the etouffee needed more spice so he added Tabasco to his. it was absolutely delicious. i have included an extra picture of the wee finches holding a cookbook.

aren't they the sweetest things you've ever seen. her heiness is showing off some bubble bath that she got. let me know what you think or if you have questions. until tomorrow happy cooking.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

what exactly is a grit?

we found ourselves hungry today and the question of lunch or breakfast came up because it was 11. the hubby whipped out a cookbook to find something to try. the recipe is from Southern Living 1984 Annual Recipes. my hubby being ever the southern gentleman picked something with grits. we had the Grits-Sausage Casserole.

Grits-Sausage Casserole

1 c. quick-cooking grits
1 lb. bulk pork sausage
1 small onion, chopped
1/3 c. chopped green pepper
1 1/2 c. (6 oz) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

cook grits according to package directions; set aside. crumble sausage in a large skillet; add onion and green pepper. cook over medium het until meat is browned and vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. drain well.
combine grits, meat mixture, and 1 cup cheese. spoon into lightly greased 10 x 6 x 2 inch baking dish. bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese; bake an additional 5 minutes or until cheese melts. yeild 8 servings.

we didn't have sausage, bell pepper, or cheddar cheese, so we improvised. we used ground turkey and seasoned it with sausage seasoning. we had green chilis so we used those instead of the bell pepper. we had mozzerella, but just sprinkled it on top. i know i can't follow instructions, but that's nothing new right. it was so good we had double portions. most often breakfast casseroles are heavy and egg laden, so it was kind of nice that this didn't sit real heavy on the stomach. it had great staying power. i wasn't snacky all day, how awesome is that.

we will be having shrimp etouffe tomorrow for dinner, a cool grape drink on friday, and scandanavian satuday. you don't want to miss any of that do you? let me know what you think.

an exploration

those of you who follow my personal blog know that i love cookbooks. i have a 6 x 7 ft bookshelf covered in cookbooks. i have decided to try at least one new recipe a day,and i hope to use a different cookbook everyday. this blog is a way of keeping track of what works and what doesn't. if you have a cookbook or recipe suggestion i would love to try it. i will include the recipe and a picture of the completed dish. i hope that if you read this you leave a comment, just so i know you're out there. i will probably post in the evenings when my darlings are sleeping, so until this evening, i bid you good eating.