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Monday, June 21, 2010

Tricia's Week 24 recipe: Brandy Slush

A recipe blog wouldn't be complete without a beverage concoction!  Mine happens to be alcoholic, so those of you less than 21 - please make without the brandy - I'm sure it's just as tasty!

Brandy Slush
Boil 5 cups water and add 3 green tea bags and 2 cinnamon tea bags.  Brew 5-10 minutes, discard bags.
Add 1 12 oz frozen lemonade concentrate, one 16 oz frozen orange juice concentrate, one cup sugar, and 2.5-3 cups brandy.  Freeze.  I make mine in a large ice cream bucket.

Once frozen, fill cup 1/3 to 2/3 full , and add sprite/seven up/ginger ale/tonic (diet of any of these) until cup is full.

Enjoy in moderation, and do not drive while under the influence of brandy slush!  (Yes, I am an industrial hygienist)

Will I make this again?  You bet!  I will be enjoying these delicious drinks all summer long!

Chris's Week Twenty-Five Recipe: Lentil Soup

Part 1 of this culinary encounter....

"What is ze page that Madame is reading so intently?"

"It's a recipe for lentil soup that I plan to make for dinner."

"How charming! How provincial! How.... Madame is not planning to use expensive, imported French lentilles vertes in SOUP?"

"Madame certainly is."

"But that is so bourgeoisie!"

"A moment ago it was 'charming' and 'provincial'."

"There are so many more sophisticated dishes Madame could be making! Lentil souffle, lentil Bolognese, lentil-encrusted escargot...."

And thus, the lovely green lentils that Sue brought back for me from Paris (they didn't really appear one stormy evening in my kitchen) achieve their first incarnation in:

Lentil Soup

1 c French green lentils
2 c chopped vegetables
- I used about 1/2 c each of onion, carrot, frozen (French) green beans, and frozen peas
4 c vegetable broth
- I used 4 c water and 2 cubes Rapunzel vegetable bouillon w/ sea salt & herbs

Put all the ingredients together in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook for 20-30 min at a slow boil or until the ingredients are tender.

NB: The lentils really absorbed the water, so before putting the leftovers into the fridge, I made up another 2 c of vegetable bouillon and added it to the pot.

Would I make this recipe again? Mais oui! Honestly, this simple recipe was some of the best soup I've ever made.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Chris's Week Twenty-Four Recipe: Chocolate Sour Cream Cookies

Happy Father's Day to all the fathers out there! My own dear father chose the following menu for Father's Day: pizza and Mom's chocolate cookies. The pizza came from Papa Murphy's and I made the cookies. Specifically, the cookies Dad requested are an iced chocolate sour cream cookie from mother's late-50s era Betty Crocker cookbook that Mom has made for years. They're a special favorite with all the men in my family.

Chocolate Sour Cream Cookies

1/2 c shortening (I used butter, Mom usually uses margarine)
1 c brown sugar
1 c sugar
2 eggs
2 squares melted unsweetened chocolate*

Mix in:
1 c sour cream (or evaporated milk)
1 t vanilla

2-3/4 c flour
1/2 t soda
1/2 t salt (the original recipe calls for 1 t, but I cut it in half)

Chill dough. Drop by teaspoonsful onto greased cookie sheets and bake for 10 min at 375F

* I used semi-sweet chocolate squares because I wasn't paying attention! The cookies turned out fine, but were lighter in color than they would have been with unsweetened chocolate!


Please note that powdered sugar icing is an art, not a science. Mix together about

1 c powdered sugar
1/2 t vanilla
3 T cocoa (I used Penzey's Dutch cocoa... yum!)

Add milk very cautiously until you get a really 'stiff' icing. Ice the cookies when they're completely cool.

Would I make this recipe again? Let's put it this way... now that my mother knows I can make these cookies, I bet I'm the family's new designated chocolate cookie baker!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Update: Rhubarb Coffee Cake

I was up in Duluth last weekend to visit Linda and she very kindly made a pan of the rhubarb coffee cake recipe that she sent in some time ago. It reminded me very strongly of fruit cake because there was just enough batter to hold the rhubarb and pecans together.

Lest anyone think I'm kidding about Linda and her use of nutmeg, here is a short sample of the conversation from making the coffee cake.

Linda: Do you think I ought to put in some nutmeg.

Me (laughing): Sure!

Linda: How much?

Me: Maybe....

Linda dumps the rest of the container of nutmeg into the batter.

Linda: Never mind!

Linda swears there was only about a quarter of a teaspoon nutmeg left in that particular container. I'm not so sure....

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Jennifer's Week Twenty-Four Recipe: Good Eats Meatloaf

So, last week Friday I spent the night at Chez Velander (along with Katie) to assist Erin with her small ones. (At one point, I was carrying both children up the stairs: Amber is too young to get much out of it but Lily thought it was great fun!) Erin made this meatloaf for dinner and I thought it was tasty and I live with carnivores. (A loaf? Made of meat?! Perfect!) It also has a slightly spicy/Mexican flavor to it and I thought I would test our theory that Erik loves Mexican food. Yes, it is yet another Alton Brown recipe and I promise I will get a recipe from someone/somewhere else next week!

Good Eats Meatloaf

6oz garlic-flavored croutons (At Super Target, all brands of croutons come in 5 oz bags!)

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp dried thyme (Penzeys FTW!)

1/2 onion, roughly chopped

1 carrot, peeled and broken (or use baby carrots like Erin and I)

3 whole garlic cloves

1/2 red bell pepper

18 oz ground chuck

18 oz ground sirloin

1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 egg

For the glaze:

1/2 cup catsup/ketchup

1 tsp ground cumin (Am I the only one that thinks cumin smells like body odor?)

Dash Worcestershire sauce (I know I used more than a dash)

Dash hot pepper sauce, i.e. Tabasco (see above)

1 Tbs honey

Heat oven to 325 degrees F.

In a food processor bowl, combine croutons, black pepper, cayenne pepper, chili powder, and thyme. Pulse until the mixture is of a fine texture. Place this mixture into a large bowl. Combine the onion, carrot, garlic, and red pepper in the food processor bowl. Pulse until the mixture is finely chopped, but not pureed. Combine the vegetable mixture, ground sirloin, and ground chuck with the bread crumb mixture. Season the meat mixture with the kosher salt. Add the egg and combine thoroughly, but avoid squeezing the meat.

Pack this mixture into a 10-inch loaf pan to mold the shape of the meatloaf. Onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, turn the meatloaf out of the pan onto the center of the tray. Insert a temperature probe at a 45 degree angle into the top of the meatloaf. Avoid touching the bottom of the tray with the probe. Set the probe for 155 degrees.

Combine the catsup, cumin, Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce and honey. Brush the glaze onto the meatloaf after it has been cooking for about 10 minutes.

This was a HUGE hit with Erik. "Mommy you need to make this for dinner EVERY night!" Really, what better praise is there. Thanks Erin!

A Culinary Encounter

The scene: Chris's kitchen on a stormy night

"Bon jour, madame!"

"What? Who? Who... who said that?"

"It is us, cher madame. Here, on ze cheap linoleum."

"That is not cheap... well, ok, it's not expensive linoleum, but it's not cheap! What's this bag of lentilles vertes doing here?"

"We have come all ze way from France to your aid, madame!"

"Why do I need a bag of French peas?"

"We are not ze peas! Peas are chubby and round, much like madame. We are sleek and nutritious."

"I don't suppose you sing silly songs, either."

"Clearly madame has been watching too much 'Veggie Tales'. No, in our far-away home we have heard of the ze great Chana Dal Disaster and have rushed to be at your side. Together, we shall achieve heights of culinary magnificence as never seen before!"

... to be continued.

Karin's Week Twenty-Four Recipe: Creamy Pasta with Chard and Tomatoes

This past Saturday, we once again ventured out to our local Farmer's Market. One of my goals this summer is to eat more veggies of types that I am not used to. This week the Swiss Chard looked very tasty and colorful, along with some of the early-ripening tomatoes - chard is not on my usual veggies list, tomatoes are.  Once we got home, I needed to find something to do with the Swiss Chard. Lucky for me, this recipe used ingredients that were on hand, and fresh. Once again, Joy of Cooking comes up with a recipe for a random ingredient.

Creamy Pasta with Chard and Tomatoes

1 T olive oil (a bit more if your pan is nonstick)
1/4 c chopped onion (I used shallots, about 1/2 c, as they needed to be used up)
2 cloves garlic, minced (we ended up using twice this, as we like garlic)
1/4 - 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 large ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped, or 1 cup chopped drained canned tomatoes
1 lb chard, trimmed and cut crosswise into 1/2 inch strips (including green leaves)
3/ 4 c heavy cream
Black pepper to taste

Cooked fettuccine or egg noodles in amount you need to feed a family.

Heat olive oil in large saucepan over med-high heat. Add onion, garlic and red pepper flakes, stirring occasionally until soft & golden, about 2-3 minutes. Add tomatoes (which I did not peel only chopped, as who has time to peel tomatoes?) and cook stirring occasionally until most of the liquid is evaporated, about 5 min. Add the chard and cook while stirring until chard has wilted, about 2 min. Add the cream and black pepper, then cook for 2 min or until bubbly. Remove from heat and serve over pasta.

This took less time to make than I thought it would. Once everything was chopped, it went together in the time it took to boil the water for the pasta. I was worried that this would have the texture of cooked spinach, which I abhor, but the chard ribs stayed crunchy in the sauce. Flavor-wise, the sauce was nice and light, but both Nate and I agreed we would add more red pepper next time, as you really couldn't taste it. This was a tasty recipe that got a thumbs-up and I will probably make it again if I need a quick pasta dish.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tricia's Week 23 Recipe: Rhubarb Crisp

I love rhubarb.  It is deliciously tart, and scrumptious.  So, I decided to make a crisp out of it, which I've never done before.  I searched high and low for a recipe, and decided to modify my Aunt Joan's Door County Cherry Crisp recipe, which I love.

Rhubarb Crisp

Cut together with two forks or pastry cutter thing (I do not recall the name of this wonderful tool):
1 stick butter
1/2 cup oatmeal
3/4 cup brown sugar

Cut up 6 cups rhubarb, macerate in 1/2 cup granulated white sugar for 30 minutes to an hour. 

Reserve some of the above crisp for topping, and make a crust for your pan. You can use a 9X9 or 8X8 or 13X9 depending on how thick you want your crisp.  I used a 13x9 pan.  Grease pan and place layer of crips on bottom.  Pour in rhubarb and place remainder of crisp on top.  Bake at 350 until done. 

I would definitely make the recipe again, but I think I would 1.5 the crisp with that much rhubarb, and use a metal pan rather than a glass pan.  Still, it's a yummy recipe to experiment with!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Karin's Week Twenty-Three Recipe: Chicken Curry

After reading Jenni's post last week about the Curried Chicken Pot Pie, I got the idea of making curry stuck in my head. Again with the rather quick lunch at my house, I looked through my Thai and my Indian cookbooks for something for which I had the ingredients. I had no coconut milk, so that cut out most of the Thai curries. This one I found in my Indian cookbook, Six Spices: A simple concept of Indian cooking, and it didn't call for coconut milk. Also, this cookbook has been a fun one to read, as the author is local to my area, and really seems to have made complicated recipes simple. There are lots of ingredients, but it goes together in less time than needed to cook the rice. Just make sure you have things lined up on the counter before you turn on the heat.

Chicken Curry (Rase wali Murgi)

  • 2-3 lb skinned chicken parts (we used breast meat)
  • 2 1/2 tsp salt, divided (I omitted this)
  • 6 T cooking oil, divided (olive oil worked fine)
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tsp garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, chopped (I used Penzey's ground, about 1.5 tsp)
  • 1 tsp cumin, roasted and ground (again Penzey's)
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder (I used Penzey's Medium)
  • 1/4 c water, divided
  • 1/2 lb fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 T fresh cilantro, chopped (again with the Penzey's)
  • 6 T plain yogurt (this I didn't have, but had Vanilla flavor, so used that)
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  1. Wash chicken pieces and dry. Sprinkle with 1 1/2 tsp of salt and set aside.
  2. In nonstick frying pan, heat 2 T of oil on high heat. When hot, add chicken and fry for 3-4 min, turning once. Transfer to a plate. (Chicken will be fully cooked later in recipe.)
  3. Add remaining 4 T of oil to the pan. Add onion, garlic, and ginger and cook until onions are soft and golden brown. (I added my ginger with the other dry spices instead.)
  4. Reduce heat to low. Stir in cumin, turmeric, coriander, red chili powder, and 2 T of the water. Cook for 1-2 min, stirring constantly. Stir in tomatoes, 1 T of cilantro, yogurt, and remaining salt.
  5. Increase heat to medium, add chicken pieces with juices from plate. Pour in remaining water. Bring to a boil, turning chicken in sauce to evenly coat.
  6. Sprinkle curry with garam masala. Reduce heat to low. Cover and let curry simmer for about 20 min or until chicken is tender.
  7. Add lemon juice and remaining cilantro. Simmer another 5 min.
  8. Serve hot over rice.
Note: All spices used came from Penzey's, of course. They had the garam masala in the catalog, and I liked the story so much, that I bought it when I bought this cookbook, as then I didn't have to mix it myself.

This curry was simple to make, and the vanilla yogurt didn't affect the taste or smell at all. Both of us agreed it was tasty and worth making again, maybe with a slightly different meat. We ate it with brown rice (not my favorite, but Nate's choice), and it wasn't as spicy as you would think looking at the ingredients list. This could be made with root veggies for a vegetarian version, as almost the same ingredients are on the facing page for Mixed-Vegetables Curry. It does make a lot, and tastes great as left-overs.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Chris's EXTRA BONUS Week Twenty-Three Recipe: Summer Rice Salad

The latest issue of Penzey's catalog has a really good-looking recipe for Basmati Rice and Chicken Salad. I made my own variation this week, but I'll include the original recipe for those who have to feed their local carnivores!

NB: I used sun-dried tomatoes which I reconstituted by simmering a bit on the back of the stove. Sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil would be tasty, too. Just be sure to drain off most of the oil.

Summer Rice Salad


1 c uncooked brown rice
3/4 t minced garlic
1/2 c thinly sliced green onions
1/4 c sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 t Penzey's lemon peel (reconstituted)
1-15 oz can garbanzo beans
1-14 oz can artichoke hearts, drained & chopped


1/4 c water
3 T lemon juice
3 T olive oil
1 t Dijon mustard
1/2 t salt
1/2 t ground pepper
1/2 t oregano

Cook the rice with the garlic. Set aside and let cool. Mix all the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Mix up the dressing (I put it into a canning jar and shake!) and drizzle over the salad.

Would I make this recipe again? Yes, and I would probably put in twice as many sun-dried tomatoes and some red or yellow peppers, too! I only used about 2/3 of the dressing, but if you had chicken in the recipe, you'd probably use it all.

Basmati Rice and Chicken Salad


1 c uncooked white or brown basmati rice
3/4 t minced garlic
2-3 c cooked chicken, chopped
1/2 c thinly sliced green onions
1/4 c sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 t Penzey's lemon peel (reconstituted)
1-16 oz can garbanzo beans
1-8 oz can artichoke hearts, drained & chopped


1/4 c chicken broth
3 T lemon juice
3 T olive oil
1 t Dijon mustard
1/2 t salt
1/2 t ground pepper
1/2 t oregano

Cook the rice with the garlic. Set aside and let cool. Mix all the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Mix up the dressing (I put it into a canning jar and shake!) and drizzle over the salad.

Chris's BONUS Week Twenty-Three Recipe: Fresh Strawberry Pie

As indicated in my previous post, we have a birthday club in the library and it was my turn to make treats for Carol who requested 'strawberries'. I found this recipe and used it almost verbatim:

Fresh Strawberry Pie

1 cup plus 3 pints fresh strawberries, divided
1 pastry shell
2/3 c sugar
1/2 c water
2 T cornstarch
2 T cold water

Mash 1 cup of the strawberries and arrange the rest in the pie shell. Bring the water and sugar to a boil. Mix up the cornstarch and cold water (I put them into a small sealed container and shake!) and slowly whisk into the sugar-water. Stir in the mashed strawberries. Cook & stir for another two minutes or until thickened. Pour the mixture over the strawberries in the pastry shell. Chill for at least 2 hours.

Would I make this recipe again? Yep! I think most strawberry pies are overly-sweet, but this wasn't bad. And it did taste very fresh!

Update #2: Olive Oil Cake

I made another olive oil cake last night. It was my turn to bring birthday treats and Carol, the birthday librarian, had requested strawberry pie. I knew of at least one person in the group who was allergic to berries, so I thought this was a good opportunity to try the whole spelt flour I'd picked up earlier in the week at Mississippi Market in St. Paul. The texture was good, but not as moist as with the white spelt flour. Jury's still out on the best flour to use. I guess I'll have to replicate!

This cake had 1 t of Penzey's lemon peel in it and I do not think I'll be doing that again. The taste was good, but the texture of the little lemon chunks was too recognizable for this recipe.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Jennifer's Week Twenty-Three Recipe: Enchilada Lasagna

While I was going through Alton Brown recipes for last week's entry, I ran across this one and made the mistake of saying aloud, "'Enchilada Lasagna'?" to which Chad replied with "Make it!" So, I did.

Enchilada Lasagna

For Sauce:

2 dried chipotle chiles, stems and seeds removed, diced

3 large cloves of garlic, minced

2 1/2 teaspoons chili powder

1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds, freshly ground (I used already ground cumin.)

2 cups chicken broth (I used a low sodium variety)

3 cups tomato sauce

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

For Filling:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 pound boneless chicken breasts or thighs, cubed

1 1/2 cups onion, diced

Pinch kosher salt

1 large clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

12 (6 inch) corn torillas (I may have used 1 or 2 more than this - I didn't count them out)

3 cups shredded queso fresco* or Monterey Jack cheese

Nonstick cooking spray

Combine the chiles, garlic, chili powder, cumin, chicken broth, tomato sauce, salt and pepper in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes or until the chiles are soft. Set aside until ready to use.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat the vegetable oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Saute the chicken until cooked through, approximately 7 to 9 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and place in a medium bowl. Add the onions to the same pan along with a generous pinch of salt, decrease the heat to medium-low and sweat for 4 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic and oregano and cook until the onions are tender, 2 to 3 minutes more. Add the chicken back to the pan and remove from the heat.

Spray a 13 by 9-inch glass baking dish with non-stick spray. Place 1/2 cup of the sauce into the bottom of the dish. Dip 4 tortillas into the remaining sauce and lay them into the bottom of the dish. Cut 1 of the tortillas in half to evenly cover the bottom of the dish. Top this with half of the chicken mixture and 1 cup of the cheese. Starting with 4 more tortillas, repeat the layers, ending with the last 4 tortillas on top. Pour remaining sauce over the dish and top with remaining 1 cup of cheese.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the oven on the middle rack for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake an additional 10 minutes, or until cheese on top is bubbly.

* it should be noted that fresh queso fresco (redundant?) does not shred, it crumbles.

Would I make it again? Erik's reaction: "Mommy, this is awesome!" So, yes. Chad and I have come to the conclusion that Erik really likes Mexican/Tex-Mex food. He seems to always eat it with mucho gusto.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Karin's Bonus Week Twenty-Two Recipe: Blueberry Pie

Fresh blueberries were on sale this last week at the grocery store, and I haven't had the fresh kind in a very long time. After asking Nate what type of dessert he'd like, pie was the winner. I used my trusty Betty Crocker 40th Anniversary Edition Cookbook as I wanted to try and make a fruit pie not using my standard tapioca method.

Blueberry Pie

Pastry for 9-inch Two Crust Pie
3/4 c sugar
1/2 c flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon (I used Penzey's, of course)
6 c of fresh blueberries, or so
1 T lemon juice
1 T butter, cut into small pieces

Heat oven to 425 deg. Prepare pastry and line bottom of pie plate (I used a Pyrex pie plate). Mix sugar, flour and cinnamon in large bowl. Stir in blueberries. Turn into pastry-lined pie plate. Sprinkle with lemon juice and dot with butter. Cover with top crust and slit to let steam and juices escape; seal and flute edge. Cover edge with strip of foil, or pie crust cover. Remove during last 15 min of baking to allow edge to brown.  Bake 35-45 min or until crust in brown and pie is bubbly.

This tasted wonderful. I forget how nice fresh fruit tastes compared to frozen until spring/summer comes around again. The blueberries stayed nice and plump and didn't get mushy. The only issue was with the dry ingredients. When turning the blueberry mixture into the pie crust, the flour/sugar mixture ended up dumping in all in one spot, and although I tried to spread it out a bit, we ended up with clumps of cooked 'crust' in the middle of the pie. Next time I would maybe try and sift the berries out and then pour the dry mixture evenly over the crust.

Karin's Week Twenty-Two Recipe: Sesame Green Bean Salad

As often happens, I find out late in the evening that Nate has been assigned a dish to pass at the weekly work potluck. Usually these things are not decided until rather late in his shift, at which point all groceries are closed. He got assigned 'salad' this time around, and for some reason I recalled a green bean salad with sesame seeds on it that I have had at some point long ago. After some searching on I found a few sesame green bean salad dishes that could be combined to make what I was looking for, and took only 20 minutes to make.

Sesame Green Bean Salad

1 lb fresh green bean, washed and trimmed
1 T soy sauce (I used reduced sodium variety)
2 T olive oil
1 tsp cider vinegar
1 tsp lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
pinch salt
pinch black pepper
2 T white sesame seeds

Fill a large pot halfway with water, and bring to a boil. Whilst waiting for the water to boil, and to avoid the watched pot syndrome, make the dressing. Whisk together all other ingredients except the sesame seeds in a small bowl. Place the green beans in the boiling water and blanch for about 3-4 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a small pan on medium heat. Place the sesame seeds in the pan, and shaking every minute or so, toast seeds until nutty brown.

Remove green beans from heat, and drain. Wash with cold water to stop cooking process, and to chill slightly.

Place green beans in large serving bowl, or Tupperware bowl (if sending off to work), and drizzle with dressing. Toss until coated. Sprinkle with 1/2 of sesame seeds, toss. Sprinkle with remaining seeds, toss again. Chill in refrigerator until serving time. Toss again right before serving, or if using Tupperware, shake with top on (and sealed!) to coat again with dressing.

Votes on this from the Men-in-Tan were positive. Even with this dish containing all veggies and no mayo. I liked it, and the leftovers kept well for my lunch the next day. The dressing does make quite a bit, and I would venture to guess I could use the same amount of dressing with twice as many green beans, and half as many sesame seeds.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Chris's Week Twenty-Three Recipe: Green Beans with Mint

It's good to have a summertime goal and my goal is to NOT let the peppermint I planted this spring take over my deck. Oh, yes... it's in a pot by itself well away from other planters, but you know what mint is like: turn your back for a moment and there's mint everywhere!

To this end, I've been looking at recipes that combine green beans and mint. Not seeing any exactly to my taste, I came up with the following.

Green Beans with Mint

Sautee together:

1 T olive oil
1/4 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, roughly minced

Just when the onions and garlic are getting tender, add:

2 springs of mint, chopped - I just used a pair of kitchen shears to chiffonade the mint directly into the pan.

Saute for a another minute or so. Add mixture to:

2 c green beans cooked to your favorite level of tenderness (I like mine slightly crunchy)

Serve hot.

Would I make this recipe again? Yes! The mint adds a hint of sweetness to the veg. If you're not a genus allium fan, try adding the onion mixture to 4 c green beans.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Jennifer's Week Twenty-Two BONUS Recipe: No Crust Coconut Pie

So, the other day I ventured to Penzeys to stock up on rosemary and parsley. I decided that instead of just dashing in, grabbing what I need, and leaving (which is how I normally shop) that I would browse and see if they had anything else I would like to have in my kitchen. No other spices or anything like that, but I spied a recipe for No Crust Coconut Pie and was intrigued. So I ripped off one of the little sheets of paper and stuffed in my pocket before checking out and going home. I had originally planned on making it as dessert to consume after the Curry Chicken Pot Pie, but I couldn't find the little piece of paper! Stupid Jennifer forgot that when she got home that she changed shorts and the recipe was still happily tucked away in the pocket. So, this afternoon, I took a shower and donned the shorts from my Penzeys trip, put my hands in my pockets et voila! there was the recipe! So I made it today instead.

No Crust Coconut Pie

1 stick butter (1/2 cup) melted (I used unsalted butter)

2 eggs

1 1/3 cups sugar

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 - 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 cup flour

2 cups milk

3 cups shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a roomy bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix well. Pour into an ungreased 9-inch pie plate and bake at 350 until browned, about 35-45 minutes. Do not put in a pie crust - this dessert makes its own. Let cool before slicing, and run a thin knife around the rim of the pie plate before cutting.

I also whipped up a meringue for the top. It just felt needed for some reason.

Would I make it again? If some event called for a coconut pie, yes. I'm a person who loves the flavor of coconut, but sometimes the texture can be bothersome. I will eat this pie again. The meringue addition could really go either way, it really didn't make a huge difference to the pie as far as I was concerned.

I really feel that it should be noted that the contributors of this recipe for Penzeys are apparently named Edna and Bud Wiser.

Jennifer's Week Twenty-Two Recipe: Curry Chicken Pot Pie

So, after posting last week's recipe from Rachael Ray and lamenting that it was not an Alton Brown recipe, I figured that this week I would make a recipe from AB! So, I did! This is from the Good Eats episode "Casserole Over".

Curry Chicken Pot Pie

4 cups frozen vegetable mix (I used peas and carrots)

1 to 2 tablespoons canola oil

3 tablespoons butter

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup chopped celery

1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth/stock

1/2 cup milk

3 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon curry powder

2 tablespoons dried parsley

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

2 cups cubed cooked chicken

1 package puff pastry

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Toss frozen vegetables with canola oil and spread evenly onto a sheet pan. Place into oven and cook until golden brown.

In a saute pan heat 1 tablespoon of butter and sweat the onion and celery. In another saucepan, heat the broth and milk. Add 2 more tablespoons of butter to the celery mix and cook out the water. Add the flour and curry and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the hot milk mixture and cook until thickened. Add the parsley, salt and pepper. Toss the browned vegetables and the chicken. Pour into a shallow baking pan, or a large terra cotta pot base, lined with foil, and top with 6 to 8 circles of puff pastry. Place into the oven and cook until puff pastry has browned and the mixture is hot and bubbly, about 25 minutes.

Would I make this again? Yes, I would! However, it seems that we have come to the conclusion in the Wagner Household that Chad just does not like curry. (I know, I know...) He blames it on the fact that growing up he ate mostly 3 different meals: spaghetti, burgers and Hamburger Helper. Erik will not have a similar problem - he likes curry! And I refuse to make Hamburger Helper.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Update: Olive Oil Cake

Purely in the interest of culinary research, I made another Olive Oil Cake, this time making it (nearly) true to the original recipe from Good to the Grain and using chopped rosemary and bittersweet chocolate. (I did drop the chocolate from 5 to 3 oz, feeling that there really can be too much of a good thing.)

Tricia was kind enough to help me evaluate the cake and pronounced it "good". I don't know.... I almost think the whole wheat flour gave it a little more texture than the spelt flour. Clearly this means I'll have to make another batch to compare.

Jennifer's Week Twenty-One Recipe: Chicken Cordon Bleu Burgers

It has been well established here that I live with two carnivores. Beef loving carnivores. Now, while I enjoy beef too, we really have a love/hate relationship: I love to eat it, but my body hates it. So I have been trying to find news ways of taking things that usually involve beef (like burgers) and finding alternatives. Hence, this recipe from Food Network. (Rachael Ray, not Alton Brown unfortunately)

Chicken Cordon Bleu Burgers

2 tsp vegetable or olive oil

4 slices Canadian bacon (Note: these should be thick, otherwise double or triple up)

2 pounds ground chicken (2 pounds for 4 burgers... did not do the math until I started making them)

2 tsp sweet paprika

2 tsp poultry seasoning (I halved this after reading some reviews of the recipe)

2 tsp grill seasoning blend (Montreal Steak Seasoning recommended)

1 shallot, finely chopped

4 deli slices of Swiss cheese

2/3 cup mayonnaise

3 rounded Tbs Dijon mustard

2 Tbs freshly chopped taragon

4 kaiser rolls

8 leaves leaf lettuce

1 tomato, sliced

Preheat grill pan, nonstick griddle, large nonstick skillet or table top electric grill to medium high heat.

Add 2 tablespoons of oil and Canadian bacon. Warm bacon and caramelize it at edges, 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Remove to a piece of foil. Fold foil over loosely to keep warm.

Combine chicken, paprika, poultry seasoning, grill seasoning, shallot. Score meat with the side of your hand to separate into 4 equal amounts. Make 4 large patties, 3/4 to 1 inch thick. Drizzle patties with oil and place on hot grill pan, griddle or in skillet. Cook 5 minutes on each side, until chicken is cooked through.

Top patties with reserved cooked Canadian bacon and Swiss cheese. Fold each slice of cheese in half to fit the burger. Cover loosely with tin foil. Turn off pan and let cheese melt, 2 minutes.

Combine mayonnaise, mustard, tarragon. Slather bun tops or English tops with sauce. Place Cordon Bleu burgers on bun bottoms and top with lettuce and tomato. Put bun or muffin tops in place. Serve with oven fries.

Would I make this again? Probably, but the burgers will be a much more reasonable size next time!

Chris's Week Twenty-Two Recipe: Mediterranean Bean Salad

Summertime dishes are calling to me! I distinctly heard three-bean salad whispering my name last weekend, but I had no green beans or wax beans. Are we going to let a little thing like that stop us? No! Besides, this is the opportunity for a new blog recipe....

The following mixture is based very loosely on this recipe and would have had benefited from fresh parsley, but since my parsley's in the growing-up stage I used Penzey's Mural of Flavor spice blend. I'll add the parsley next time, but I'll definitely keep the Mural of Flavor!

Mediterranean Bean Salad

1-15 oz can garbanzo beans, drained & rinsed
1-15 oz can kidney beans, drained & rinsed
juice of one lemon
2 tomatoes - chopped
1/4 cup thinly sliced onion
1 t Penzey's Mural of Flavor
2 T balsamic vinegar

Mix all ingredients, cover and refrigerate for at least two hours, stirring occasionally. (Wait until the next day and it's even better!)

Would I make this recipe again? I have a feeling it's going to become a summertime staple!