Friday, April 23, 2010

Peanut/Rice Bowl

I successfully made a dinner that Craig said was "to die for". Here it is:

Peanut/Rice Bowl (serves two)

1 1/2 c. cooked rice
1 c. peas
2 carrots julienned
2 scrambled eggs
1/4 c. peanut sauce (recipe below)

Pile all ingredients into a bowl.

Recipe for peanut sauce.

1/2 tsp oil
1 clove minced garlic
2 tsp fresh ginger (or a couple of dashes dried)
1/2 tsp chili paste (I just used 1/2 tsp chili powder
½ c. lowfat coconut milk
3 tbsp unsweetened peanut butter
1 ½ tsp sugar (if I didn’t have unsweetened peanut butter, I’d probably omit the sugar)
1 ½ tsp soy sauce
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
juice of 1/2 lime

1. warm oil in small saucepan over medium-low heat

2. sauté garlic and ginger 3 minutes

3. add chili then coconut milk. Bring to a boil.

4. add peanut butter and mix well. Then add sugar, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and fish sauce. Simmer 5 minutes.

5. squeeze in lime then add sriracha to taste.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Spinach Stuffed Pork Loin

I apologize for the poor pictures. Photography is not my speciality. Also, I didn't have any kitchen string so I used toothpicks to hold it together.
Spinach stuffed porkloin

1 pork tenderloin (about 1 pound)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon)
4 slices swiss cheese
2 cups fresh spinach
2 thin slices deli ham (1/2 ounce each)
Cut a lengthwise slit down the center of the tenderloin to within 1/2 in. of bottom. Open tenderloin so it lies flat. On each half, make another lengthwise slit down the center to within 1/2 in. of bottom.
Cover porkloin with plastic wrap and flatten to 1/4" thick.
Salt and pepper porkloin and sprinkle with half of the garlic powder.
Layer with the cheese, spinach and ham. Press down gently.

Roll up jelly-roll style and tie with kitchen string.
Sprinkle with remaining salt, garlic powder and pepper.
Place on a rack in a shallow baking pan. Bake about 25 minutes at 425° (thermometer reads 160°).
Notes: Salt very lightly, most porktenderloin is already salty. I only had shredded swiss, so that's what we used. A little bit messier but I think the cheese was distributed more evenly. We had leftover Easter ham, so that is the ham I used but still thinly sliced. This is a great easy recipe but looks so gourmet!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

English Muffins

Have you ever made your own English Muffins? They are super easy and off the griddle they are amazing! You can even make your own sausage egg muffins for breakfast. Yum!

English Muffins
Yields: 18 servings

1 cup milk
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1/4 cup melted shortening
6 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt

1. Warm the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles, then remove from heat. Mix in the sugar, stirring until dissolved. Let cool until lukewarm. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

2. In a large bowl, combine the milk, yeast mixture, shortening and 3 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Add salt and rest of flour, or enough to make a soft dough. Knead. Place in greased bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled (about an hour).

3. Punch down. Roll out to about 1/2 inch thick. Cut rounds with biscuit cutter, drinking glass, or empty tuna can. Sprinkle waxed paper with cornmeal and set the rounds on this to rise. Dust tops of muffins with cornmeal also. Cover and let rise 1/2 hour.

4. Heat greased griddle to 350 degrees. Cook muffins on griddle about 10 minutes on each side. Keep baked muffins in a warm oven until all have been cooked. Allow to cool and place in plastic bags for storage. To use, split and toast.

Notes: I will make a double batch and freeze them. They freeze well and don't dry out. Forget the stove top heating of the milk- just micro-blast it. He he... Be prepared for a messy griddle to clean. I also have done half whole-wheat and there were two things- first, they dry out a lot faster than white so be prepared to either freeze more right away, or eat lots. Second- the wheat does take longer to rise.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Baby Food

Baby food- SO EASY.

I thought this would be an appropriate place to share a baby food trick I learned with baby #1. Thanks to an amazing, very frugal, sister-in-law, this came about.

First, boil your vegetables or fruits until they are soft (peel first unless keeping the peel). I've done peaches, pears, plums, apples, carrots, sweet potatoes, green beans, and peas. Maybe more but I can't think of any more right now.

Next, puree. No big chunks. The peas are a bit harder and take a bit longer in your processor.

Place into ice cube trays and freeze. After about 6 hours or when they are frozen solid, break them out and place them into ziplocs for long-term storage. You can freeze them up to 6 months.

Then, the night before I'll decide the menu, take them out of the ziplocs, and put them into small rubbermaid containers. They last 2-3 days in the fridge. At the beginning they eat one cube size. My baby now (At 8 months) eats 2-3 per meal.

This is so easy and you can do a months' worth of food in only a couple of hours. Also, it saves you SO much $$$!!!

Also, they make great fillers- throw a couple sweet potato cubes in your spaghetti sauce or some apples into your brownies (in place of oil). Yum!

Sour Cream Waffles

Don't they look fabulous? They are! I found the original recipe from Heidi Swanson's website 101 cookbooks HERE.

Sour Cream Waffles

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter melted
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
3 large eggs
Maple syrup or jam, for serving

Heat a waffle iron according to manufacturer's directions. Lightly oil the grids. Meanwhile whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl to combine and make a well in the center. Whisk the melted butter, milk, sour cream, and eggs in a medium bowl until well combined and pour into the well. Whisk just until smooth; do not over mix.
Spoon about 1/4 cup of the batter into the center of each quadrant of the waffle iron and close the iron. Cook until the waffle is golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Serve the waffles hot, with the syrup passed on the side.

Makes twelve 4-inch waffles.

Notes: My only problem with this recipe was the butter- I'm not a big butter fan. I made these three times- the first time I followed the recipe perfectly. Next, half the butter (which was also fabulous and no real difference in texture). Thirdly, I omitted most of the butter. I actually did 2T butter and 1/4 cup applesauce instead. They turned out well, very moist. I also did one cup whole-wheat flour and 3/4 c all purpose on the last two attempts and whole-wheat works great.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Tomato Pie

Super yummy though my kids thought it was a bit strong in the spices so you could easily cut back on those a little, I suggest not too much though. :) I based this recipe from here !

Tomato Pie

• 1 (9 inch) deep dish pie crust
• 6 large Roma tomatoes, peeled and sliced (don't drain)
• 3 Tbs dried basil
• 1 ½ Tbs dried minced onion
• ½ pound bacon - cooked, drained, and chopped
• ½ teaspoon garlic powder
• 1 ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
• ½ fresh red bell pepper, chopped
• 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
• ¼ cup mayonnaise
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
2. Mix tomatoes, basil, bacon, garlic powder, oregano, and red bell pepper in a bowl, place inside pie crust. Then in the bowl mix cheese with mayonnaise. Place cheese mixture over top of pie. Cover loosely with aluminum foil tent.
3. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes. Remove foil from top of pie and bake an additional 15 minutes. Serve warm or cold.

Basic Pie Crust --super easy!

• 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup shortening, chilled
• 3 tablespoons ice water
1. Whisk the flour and salt together in a medium size bowl. With a pastry blender, cut in the cold shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Drizzle 2 to 3 tablespoons ice water over flour. Toss mixture with a fork to moisten, adding more water a few drops at a time until the dough comes together.
2. Gently gather dough particles together into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 30 minutes before rolling.
3. Roll out dough, and put in a pie plate. Fill with desired filling and bake.