Showing posts from 2010

Sort-of Swedish Meatballs

Once upon a time, a long time ago in an apartment just across town, I attempted to make meatballs for the first time.  I didn't have a recipe. I had a package of ground beef and a friend with an idea for dinner by my side.  We rolled the meat into balls and put them in a hot frying pan.  We stood there, poking at the meatballs, wondering how in the world would we know when they were done?

Then I rolled one, and it was burned. Then another and another, all burned. We laughed at our mistake and tried to eat the unburned half of the meatballs with spaghetti sauce from a jar and slightly overcooked pasta.

But it was still OK.  I had to learn somehow.  Cooking is about doing it.  Pick something, come up with a way to cook it, then give it a taste.

Since then, I have figured out how to cook meatballs without burning them into little briquettes. I got a recipe from a real cookbook and tried it. Then I made it again with a little change.  Then again with another little change. Over and o…

Pear Apple Pie

Yesterday, I made pie. I was so excited to bake! I had some nice firm D'anjou pears just waiting to get eaten somehow. It didn't take much deliberation to decide upon a pie.

The last time I made pie, the kids were excited too. Yesterday was an off day for them. Eric was completely uninterested in it. Even after I tried to make it sound different and fun by calling it "pear-ple" he was not into pie.
Some days are that way. Anyhow, the pie turned out nicely. However, I have a distinct lack of photo evidence. I will admit to digging out the video camera in an attempt to cook and video. This is actually harder than it sounds and I will require a filming assistant (probably Justin) if this is going to become a regular feature. Let me just say for today, for this recipe, no video will be appearing. At least the concept of video cooking is now on my radar.
You can refer to some of the other photos from other recipes, Rhubarb Strawberry Pie or Apple Crisp, if you need to see a…

Turkey Tetrazini

This year, Thanksgiving was fairly quiet. Justin's mom was the only guest we had.  With that in mind, we kept the big feast pretty small. I actually did not make a pie. I had lots of good ingredients for a couple of pies, but we decided that was too much for us.  We ended up buying a few loaves of pumpkin bread from House of Bread and some of Starbuck's holiday gingerbread.
I had to make the basic Roast Turkey, and at 11.5 lbs, we thought it was small.  Trust me, that is still a lot of bird. It took about 3 1/2 hours at 325F. I fixed my Turkey Stock so I could make Turkey Gravy and Turkey Giblet Dressing and made sure I had enough stock to have some left for tetrazini. The only thing I did different was add parsley to the stock and the dressing.  I also made Michel's Cran-Raspberry Mousse. I also happened to get some really good rolls from House of Bread.

Thanksgiving Eve Dinner, I didn't even bother to get out the good china or serving bowls.
Tonight, I fixed up a dish o…

Trying new things

I know it has been a few weeks since I have posted any recipes.  I've been working on some new things.  I'm not completely sold on them yet so no sharing until they are perfect.

I have been messing with oven roast veggies. Potatoes, parsnips, onions.  I think I'm getting close to something. And carrots with honey or maple sauce. I wolfed down the leftovers of those a few nights ago.

Another other tasty thing in the works has been a pan seared filet mignon with a cabernet reduction.  I'm not completely in love with the wine reduction, so I have to tweak the herbage.  Also, I think next time I will fry the shallots to make them crispy and not include them in the wine sauce.  I think they would be better as a garnish.

I have also been on a cupcake mission. I made yet another batch of cupcakes yesterday containing yummy Negra Modelo beer and chocolate.  I almost have them rising well (you know high altidue makes things rise funny so it take a bit of work to get pretty cak…

Mango Salsa

Some days, I get tired of eating regular salsa. You know, the kind with tomatoes. I'm also not a huge fan of cilantro. A tiny bit is OK, but too much tastes weird to me.  (I know this could be considered a "defect" of my taste buds. Or a defect in my brain processing taste-bud information.  Whatever.)  Anyhow, I decided that mango salsa would be a really easy alternative to normal salsa.
I went pretty mild with batch, but you could amp it up with more onion, more pepper, and switch the herbs.  I used mint so it was much fruitier and more refreshing than the typical cilantro bite. Also, the heat in peppers comes from the inner membrane and seeds.  Remove all that to keep it mild, or leave it in for some fire.
Ingredients 1 ripe mango, peeled and diced 1 green jalapeno pepper, ribs and seeds removed 1/2 cup diced red onion 2 sprigs of mint, stems removed and finely chopped 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar sprinkle of salt
Method 1. Combine all the ingredients.  Toss well. Let rest …

Chile Rellenos

Recently a coworker brought in some beautiful peppers.  As soon as I saw them, I knew they'd be prefect for chile rellenos.  I snatched up four of the little darlings and immediately started to plan dinner.

For this batch, I went with just cheese because I didn't have any leftover meat to add to the stuffing.  But, that is definitely a good idea, if you were curious. Quite a while ago, I went to a Mexican restaurant (which now happens to be out of business) and they had some really good chile rellenos. You could get them stuffed with chicken and  cheese. One was very filling, so it didn't take much to make a satisfying meal.

However, since said restaurant is now shuttered, I've had to attempt things at home.  These were slightly more work than I would normally devote to week-night dinner. I have to say, the pepper prep work was a bit tedious, so make sure you have the time and energy to devote to handling them. And my house smelled like frying oil for a couple days aft…

Apple Crisp

One of my hubby's coworkers asked for a good apple crisp recipe and this is it. I'm not one to toot my own horn, but I am tooting it a little, and very softly, so I don't want anyone getting any attitude. I think it turned out great.  The apples were tangy and covered in sticky sweet cinnamon-y goo syrup. I had mine with vanilla ice cream, Justin had his alone.  I liked the ice cream as a contrast to the warmth and the sweet-tang of the apples.

I'm not a huge fan of apple desserts any more.  So to get me to actually like cooked apples with cinnamon, it has to be pretty damn good. And yes, I like this or I wouldn't post it.

4 firm and sour apples, peeled, cored, and sliced (Granny Smith, or Golden Delicious if you want a milder apple)
1 Tablespoon flour
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon lemon juice or a generous sprinkling of Fruit-Fresh
1 stick butter (8 Tablespoons)
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup brown sugar

Sneaky Tip #7 - Piping Help

Quite a while ago, I bought a cake decorating kit. It came with interchangeable tips and a screw-down adaptor to fit it to a disposable plastic piping bag.

Have you looked at how expensive those disposable bags are?

Well, I needed multiple colors.  I got out the old reusable piping set I got from Mom and then I got out a bunch of freezer zip-top baggies to use with the newer interchangeable set.

It's very easy to take scissors, trim off about 1/8 inch from the corner tip of a baggie, add the screw-down adaptor and tip.  Then you fill it with frosting and zip it shut.

I especially like being able to close the top because I usually have issues keeping the reusable piping bag rolled shut, so when I'm not careful, icing goes out the top and over my hands. Yes, I will admit to being somewhat messy. It happens to the best of us.

The zip-top baggie trick also works well if you have really thin icing and need it to write.  Just fill baggie with thin icing (or chocolate syrup), trim th…

Devil's Food Chocolate Cake with Honey Buttercream

Haley, my daughter, turned 2 last weekend.  My baby angel is growing before my eyes into a big girl, into a toddler full of attitude. She has a inherited a few of Mommy's attitude traits, like the hand on one hip, the way she points her finger and hollers "No, no, no!" and the way she naturally wallops other kids.  After discussion with other family members and friends, we have determined that this little apple had not fallen far from the tree.
I put Haley in a Tinkerbell costume for fun for a little while, just to play, after a morning shower. She let me fix her hair.  I put it up in pigtails.  I like how she tries to say "pretty."  It comes out more like "pree" and she will pat her hair or whatever she's trying to show you that is pretty.

We had a small party at home. Before guests arrived, I changed her into her party dress. Then she didn't want her silver party shoes any more. She wanted the pink Ugg-style boots.  I figured she can wear w…