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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tricia's Week 47 Recipes: Thanksgiving Cooking with Rachel

Last week I went to visit Rachel in Washington.  I brought MN with me, so on the foul weather days we baked and cooked.  Here are two recipes from our delicious feast.  The Parsnip Spice Cake is a new recipe.  The Chutney I've made before (a slightly different version), but it's worth sharing.  Both were delicious, and Rachel just informed me today that the cake is gone...time to make another!

Parsnip Spice Cake (adapted from Eggs on Sunday): The original recipe called for cupcakes, but we used a 9 inch round cake pan and it worked just fine.
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour [or, you can do as I did and substitute half whole wheat pastry flour]1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon ground ginger2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3 large eggs
1/2 cup canola oil or vegetable oil
1/2 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups (packed) shredded peeled parsnips
1/2 cup pecans, toasted, chopped
Mix all ingredients and fold in parsnips and pecans at the end.  Bake at 350 until done.

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting, also from Eggs on Sunday:
6 ounces cream cheese, softened (I used 8)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
pinch of ground nutmeg
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup (I like to use Dark Amber/Grade B)
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
Mix together cream cheese and butter, add other ingredients, finally add sugar.  Frost cake.

I was very fond of this cake.  It was most delicious and I wished I could have stayed to eat more.  Perhaps I'll have to make it again, here in MN.

Cranberry Apricot Chutney (recipe from All Recipes).


  • 1/4 cup diced dried apricots
  • 1 (12 ounce) package fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar

Cut up apricots, and in a largish bowl put all fruit and spices.  Mix.  In a saucepan big enough to hold it all, add water, sugar and vinegar and stir til sugar is dissolved.  Add fruit, bring to a boil, and then simmer until thickened.  (10-20 minutes depending on your pan and stove)
I do like this chutney.  I am going to make some for on toast.  I think it would be excellent on the french bread with some brie, too! 

Tricia's Week 46 recipe: Mediterranean Pepper Pot

This recipe was supposed to be a recipe made in the crock pot.  I found it in my crock pot cookbook.  But then, I ran out of time to put it in the crock pot in the morning, so made it in a skillet instead.  Served over rice.

Mediterranean Pepper Pot
1 lb hot italian sausage
1 can navy beans, rinsed and drained
1 medium yellow bell pepper
1 medium green bell pepper
1 can diced tomatoes
2 tsp dried oregano
enough water to keep it moist while it simmers and thinks about itself (if crock pot 1.5 cups)
1/2 cup to 1 cup marinara sauce (I used this instead of the ketchup called for in the recipe)

Brown sausage.  Add all other ingredients, and simmer 30 minutes.  Simmer water down until it's almost gone.  Add marinara at the end and serve over rice

I would love to try this in the crock pot, I bet it turns into an almost stew.  I will definitely make this again.

Tricia's Week 45 recipe: French Bread

I love to make homemade bread, but had never tried one of the 'artisan breads'...not that French bread is, but it's not in a loaf pan!  So I pulled up a recipe in my book, and got to work.

French Bread
2 packets yeast
2.5 cups water
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp butter, melted
7 cups flour

Heat water to 105-110 degrees F.  Disolve yeast in water.  Add water, salt, and melted butter to the mixing bowl.  Add flour.  Put on kitchen-aid mixer.  Mix on speed two until fully mixed, and then knead on speed 2 for 2 minutes.  Rise 1 hour.  Split in half and roll into two loaves about 15" long.  Place these on cookie sheet and rise one more hour.  Bake in oven for 25 minutes at 450.  Take out of oven.  glaze with mixture of 1 egg white and 1 tbsp cold water.  Bake 5 more minutes.  Cool

I will definitely make this again, and I have since I made it in week 45. My change included making three loaves instead of 2, because with only two they are huge!  Yum!

Tricia's Week 44 Recipe: Hot Italian Skillet Hotdish

I wanted to make a hot dish and bake it, but then I became too hungry to wait for the oven, so I made a skillet dinner instead.  It helped that like many casseroles or hot dishes, many of the ingredients were left overs

Hot Italian Skillet Hot Dish
1 lb hot italian sausage
2 cups veggies (corn, green beans and some leftover veggie mix)
1 can diced tomatoes w/ green chilis (hot)
1 can diced tomatoes w/ garlic and onion
rest of leftover pizza sauce.
leftover noodles
mozzarella cheese

Brown sausage in a large skillet.  Add diced tomatoes, juice in, and veggies.  Add any spices you want (I used pasta spice and more garlic - because you can never have too much garlic). Simmer until most of the juices are gone, and add pizza sauce.

Heat noodles, place in bowl.  Add hot dish, and top with cheese.  Enjoy!

I will definately make something like this again, it's a good way to use up one's veggies.

Tricia's Week 42 Recipe: clover leaf rolls

I have made bread, but never rolls, so I decided to make rolls.  I found this recipe, but didn't want 24 rolls, so I made 12 rolls and did the rest as a loaf of bread.  That worked well, actually, though the bread was a bit heavier than normal:

1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
3 tbsp butter
3 packages yeast
1.5 cups warm water (105-115)
5-6 cups flour

Heat milk, sugar, salt and butter in small sauce pan until salt and sugar are dissolved, remove from heat and cool to lukewarm.  Add yeast to water and dissolve.  Mix these two liquid mixtures with flour in mixer on speed 2 w/ dough hook until mixed, then kneed for at least 2 minutes more.   Cover, rise for 15 minutes.  Break into 24 pieces (or 12 and roll the rest like a loaf of bread).  place in greased muffin pan the pieces, and greased loaf pan the loaf.  With scissors cut each ball in half then quarters.  Let rise again about 15 minutes.  Bake at 425 for 12 minutes.  Remove and cool on racks

I need more skill at cutting my cloverleafs.  Mine turned out like upside down tables, but they were sure tasty!

Jennifer's Week Forty-Eight Recipe: Quick Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

Monday evening, Tricia and I ventured to Chris's house for a lesson in felting (and to wind yarn, as it turned out). We decided to have a dinner of snacks as Chris dispensed sage advice and I volunteered to bring dessert. I said "Oh, I'll bring dessert!" with my usual gusto. Then added, "I could make a Bundt cake!" After all, I have an entire book dedicated to them. I got myself all excited to make the Cranberry Orange Bundt that I have been eying up since I purchased the book over two years ago. I was going to do it!

Then I made an entire Thanksgiving meal on Thursday followed working the Day After Thanksgiving (I work retail) and that was followed by hosting another meal for the in-laws on Saturday to meet my brother-in-law's girlfriend (turned out that I was the only one who had not met her yet). Sunday evening arrived and the cake had not been made. I looked over the ingredients and the directions and whined a little to Chad. I didn't want to spend that much time in the kitchen! I didn't want to run to the grocery store and buy a cart full of ingredients! (That may be a slight exaggeration.) And Chad, in all his wisdom, said "Make something else."

"But I promised cake!"

"Make it from a box."

"A box cake would not count has my recipe for the week."

"Aren't there recipes in that book that use box mixes and then you add a few things to them?"

"Yeah." Then Chad just looked at me until the lightbulb went on and I dashed to the store for the few things I needed for the following recipe.

Quick Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

1/4 cup poppy seeds
1/4 cup milk
1 box (18oz) lemon cake mix
1 small box instant vanilla pudding mix
1 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 12-cup Bundt pan using butter and flour or Baker's Joy and set aside.

Soak poppy seeds in milk and set aside. Stir together cake mix and pudding mix in a large bowl, making sure to break up any clumps. Make a well in the center of the floury mixture and pour in water, oil, and eggs. Beat on low speed until blended. Scrape bowl, and beat 4 minutes on medium speed. Blend in the poppy seed mixture and sour cream. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake for 60 minutes (or 50 in my stupid oven), or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack or plate to cool completely.

Would I make it again? Yep! Easy to do and it was delicious. Chris and Tricia approved!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Chris's Week Forty-Eight Recipe: Spicy Baked Chickpeas

My dear sister-in-law served these as part of the Thanksgiving appetizers and I knew I had to try them myself. The original recipe calls for Spanish smoked paprika, which was delicious, but having none... and having the madcap pair of Tricia and Jenni over for snacks and felting... I went for something with a little more zip!

Spicy Baked Chickpeas

1-15 oz can chickpeas
1 T olive oil
1/2 t ground cumin
2 pinches kosher salt

Rinse & drain the chickpeas and dry them by rolling them around in a kitchen towel. Combine the other ingredients, then add the chickpeas and toss to coat evenly. Transfer the chickpeas to a lined baking sheet and spread out in a single layer. Bake at 400F for 25-35 min or until golden and crispy. Shake the tray at about 15 min into the baking process.

Would I make this recipe again? Probably. Tricia, Jenni & I agreed that the taste was great, but they weren't as crunchy as they could have been. We thought they'd be great on salad, though!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Jennifer's Week Forty-Seven Recipe - Turkey Chili

I tripled the following recipe and used left over turkey from Thanksgiving (we made a 22 pound bird). This chili was a huge hit with the in-laws and I've had to share the recipe with several people already. I based my version on a recipe from and customized it to make it my own.

3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey (or hamburger)
1 (1 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 (14.5 ounce) can beef broth
1 (7 ounce) can salsa (I used a medium salsa)
1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes, or coarsely chopped tomatoes packed in puree
1 (7 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced
1 can black beans. rinsed
1 can kidney beans, rinsed
1 can garbanzo beans/chick peas

For on the side:
1 bunch green onions, chopped
sour cream
shredded Cheddar cheese

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Crumble turkey/hamburger into the pot, stirring with a wooden spoon to break apart as much as possible. Season with taco seasoning mix, coriander, oregano, chili flakes, and tomato paste, and mix until meat is evenly coated with seasonings. Continue cooking, reducing heat if necessary, until turkey is well browned.

Pour in beef broth, and simmer to reduce liquid slightly, about 5 minutes. Add salsa, tomatoes, and green chilies, and continue cooking at a moderate simmer for ten minutes. Adjust the thickness at any time you feel necessary by adding water.

While chili is still cooking, heat one tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook onion and green bell pepper, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes, or until onion is translucent and bell pepper is lightly browned. Add onion and bell pepper to the chili, and continue cooking at a very low simmer.

In the same skillet, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini, and cook stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the zucchini and the 3 types of beans to the chili, reduce heat, and continue cooking for 1 hour. Again, adjust the consistency with water as needed.

Ladle chili into serving bowls. Top with sour cream, green onion, and cheddar cheese, and serve.


Monday, November 22, 2010

Chris's Week Forty-Seven Recipe: Spiced Hot Chocolate Mix

Ol' Man Winter is back... and he's not in a good mood. Weather like this requires hot chocolate, and since I had some powdered goat's milk leftover from making bath soak (recipe on request!) I decided to make hot chocolate mix. Alton Brown was able to get me started; here's my version:

Spiced Hot Chocolate Mix

1 c powdered sugar
1/2 c Dutch processed cocoa
1-1/4 c powdered milk
1/2 t salt
1 t cornstarch
1-1/2 t cinnamon (I used Penzey's Ceylon cinnamon)
1/2 t nutmeg

Put all the ingredients into a 2 quart canning jar, screw the lid on tightly, and shake. (This is good exercise!)

To make a mug of cocoa, fill the mug 1/3 of the way full. Pour boiling water over just to cover and mix thoroughly. When you've got a good slurry, add the rest of the water and mix some more!

Would I make this recipe again? Take that Ol' Man Winter!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Jennifer's Week Forty-Six Recipe - Black and White Pound Cake

As the year winds down, I'm trying to go back to my original goal with this blog and try recipes I have marked in my cookbooks. This week's recipe comes from Bundt Cake Bliss. (An MHS Press book!) This recipe is not starred since I plan to make every recipe in this book at some point! As of tonight, I have 4 completed. This book has been well used: Erik spilled water on it shortly after I bought it two years ago and I can also feel flour and other things on the pages of the chocolate section. I have not made anything from the other sections... yet.

Black and White Pound Cake

2 1/2 cups sifted flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup butter, softened
2 1/2 cups sugar
5 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup minus 2 tablespoons milk
1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa, sifted

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare a 12-cup Bundt pan using butter and flour or Baker's Joy and set aside.

Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together and set aside. Cream butter for a few seconds and gradually add sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, creaming well after each addition. Add vanilla and beat. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, alternating with the milk. Remove 2 cups of the cake batter and blend the cocoa into it. Alternate spooning the light and chocolate batters into the prepared Bundt pan.

Bake for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the cake clean. Cool in the pan about 10 minutes. Invert the cake on wire rack to cool thoroughly.

Serve with high-quality chocolate or French vanilla ice cream.

Would I make this again? Yep! I love this book. This cake does need something else with it (like the ice cream) since it is a bit on the dry side.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Chris's Week Forty-Six Recipe: New England Squash Pie

As told in my post Of Squash and JalapeƱos, a previous experiment ended up in a lot of leftover roasted butternut squash. I decided to turn that squash into a pie and today, after our first big snowstorm of the season, seemed like a good day to make it. Pulling down my trusty 1950 Betty Crocker cookbook, I found the following recipe which is verbatim except for halving the salt.

Anybody have any idea why there's a tablespoon of melted butter in the recipe?

New England Squash Pie

Beat together:

1-3/4 c mashed squash (strain if necessary)
1/2 t salt
1-1/2 c milk
2 large eggs
1 c sugar
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
1/2 t ginger
1 T melted butter

Pour into a 9 inch pie shell and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a knife inserted near the edge comes out clean.

Would I make this recipe again? Yes! The custard's not as flavorful as pumpkin pie, but has a nice, bright taste.

Addendum: I served this pie to Mom & Dad tonight with mixed results. Dad kept a piece for himself while Mom declined, saying it was ok, but not as good as pumpkin pie.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Jennifer's Week Forty-Five Recipe: Egg Salad

Yes, Chris and I conspired to make the same thing for our recipes this week. Neither of us had ever made egg salad before so we both decided to do it, knowing we would come up with different versions. So here's mine! I didn't really measure ingredients so I'm kind of ball-parking it. When I make recipes, I tend to just add things until I like the taste.

Egg Salad

8 eggs
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2-3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 onion, finely chopped
3 baby kosher dill pickles, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dill weed
1/2 teaspoon paprika

Place eggs in a saucepan/pot and cover with cold water. Bring water to a boil; cover, remove from heat, and let eggs stand in hot water for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from hot water, cool, peel and chop.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mash the eggs until the egg salad is at the preferred consistency. Let chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour. Serve on toasted bread.

Will I make this again? Yes, I think so. I either over did it with the onion and/or the onion was strong. I may omit it on the next go around since it kind of overwhelms the egg flavor in Egg Salad. Overall, a good first attempt!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Chris's Week Forty-Five Recipe: Egg Salad

Honestly, I cannot ever remember making egg salad. Mostly, it's because I'm not a fan of mayonnaise, but laziness plays a part, too. It's pretty easy to slice up a couple hard-boiled eggs, slather some mustard on bread, and have a good sandwich.

But a new container of Greek Yogurt inspired me to make egg salad. They even had a recipe on their website! (Go to this link and look for the egg salad recipe under entrees.) Needless to say, I tweaked the recipe a little by adding some seasoning and substituting raw onion for olives.

Egg Salad

Whisk together:

1/4 c Greek yogurt
2 t Dijon mustard

Mix in:

3 T chopped onion
4 chopped hardboiled eggs

Would I make this recipe again? I'll probably mostly stick to hardboiled egg sandwiches, but if I ever get the urge for egg salad, I'll know where to go!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Jennifer's Week Forty-Four Recipe: Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Erik had some pumpkin carving to do on Sunday and I love to eat pumpkin seeds. Seriously, it's almost a vice. I figured that I would try to roast the seeds from his pumpkins. I tried that once before, about 4 years ago and ended up burning them. So, I figured I would try again. I looked at several recipes and mixed and matched to come up with the following.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

2 cups raw pumpkin seeds
1/2 Tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Mix all the ingredients together and spread out evenly on a baking sheet. Bake at 275 degrees for 1 hour, stirring the seeds occasionally.

Ok, either the recipe I got the baking time and length from was wrong (it was a 2 cup recipe like mine) or my oven isn't playing around anymore and is letting me know that our relationship has gone from love/hate to just pure hate. Seriously, I'm thinking about taking all birthday and Christmas money and throwing it at a new range. Hey, Oven, you and I are done professionally!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Chris's Week Forty-Four Recipe: No-bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

The conversation inside my head went something like this:

How about making cookies this week?

You don't need cookies! You've been eating Halloween candy for the last three days!

I haven't had any today.

You had cookies for lunch, for pity's sake!

They weren't homemade cookies. They were food service cookies. Besides, you could do a lot better. Think of it - fresh, homemade cookies....

Hmmmm.... Cookies does sound good. But I don't need a whole batch of cookies lurking around the house.

So make a small batch.

There is no such thing as a 'small batch' of cookies

There is if you make no-bake cookies. You know how good those buckeyes are.

I am too tired to dip cookies in molten chocolate.

So put the chocolate inside the cookies....

Thus was born:

No-Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Mix together:

1/4 c chunky peanut butter
1-2 T olive oil (add this slowly - the dough should be 'dry')
1 c powdered sugar
1/2 c semi-sweet chocolate chips

Line a flat container or a tray with wax paper. Using a small (size 60) scoop or teaspoons, scoop onto the wax paper and refrigerate. Makes 12 very small cookies.

Would I make this recipe again? Well, I might, but they are REALLY sweet. I wound up eating one and tossing the rest away. Maybe my taste buds were just worn out by all that Halloween candy....

Monday, November 1, 2010

Karin's Week Forty-Three Recipe: Carbonnade a la Flamande

This week's recipe came as a result of thawing out what turned out to be a huge chunk of chuck roast, and needing an easy recipe. This recipe came from the 2007 America's Test Kitchen Favorites cookbook. It is very reminiscent of a recipe that I tried earlier in the year out of Mastering the Art of French Cooking - back in Week Five, Carbonnades a la Flamande. That time I did it with venison and followed Julia's instructions. Here's the "tested" version:

Carbonnade a la Flamande
3.5 lb chuck roast, cut into 1 inch cubes
3 T vegetable oil
2 lb yellow onions, halved and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/2 tsp salt
1 T tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 T flour
3/4 c chicken broth
3/4 c beef broth
1 - bottle beer
4 sprigs thyme, or 1T dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1 T cider vinegar

Heat oven to 300 deg. Dry beef and season with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tsp of oil in dutch oven over med-high heat until beginning to smoke; add 1/3 beef to pot. Let cook without moving about 2 min, then turn using tongs and brown other side. Transfer browned beef to bowl. Repeat with remaining beef in 1/3 increments.

Add remaining 1 T oil to empty dutch oven; reduce heat to med-low. Add onions, salt and tomato paste; cook, scraping bottom of pot for about 5 min. Increase heat to med and continue to cook until onions are lightly browned. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the flour and stir til all is coated and flour is browned. Stir in broths, scraping bottom of pan to loosen browned bits; add beer, spices, and vinegar. Add beef with any accumulated juices. increase heat to med-high and bring to full simmer.

Cover partially, then place in oven and cook for about 2 hours until beef is fork-tender. Serve over noodles or mashed potatoes.

We ate it over noodles, as I somehow had no potatoes in the house to mash. It tasted very good, although I think I liked Julia's version a bit better. It makes quite a bit, and also reheats nicely with no loss of flavor. I might not use quite as much oil next time; I don't think I needed it. Overall, good, but not as good as Julia's!