Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Rachel Ray's Super Nachos

These are the best homemade cheese sauce nachos we have ever had, and they get a 9 around here.  I found the recipe at foodnetwork.com, and here is the original.  I made a few changes, so I will post the recipe the way I made it.  Each serving was 620, and we had 10 servings.

1 1/2 bags tortillas chips

Pico De Gallo

1 lb ground beef
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
1/2 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1 t salt
1 1/2 t chili powder
1 1/2 t cumin
1/4-1/2 t cayenne pepper
1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

2 T butter
2 T flour
2 c milk
1 lb pepper jack and cheddar cheese mixture (I used mostly pepper jack)

Toppings to taste

Brown the beef over medium heat, then add in the onion, garlic, and seasonings.  Cook until beef is completely browned, then add in the black beans.  Turn the heat to low while you make the cheese sauce.  Melt the butter, then whisk in the flour, then whisk in the milk.  Add in the cheese slowly, then stir until all the cheese is melted.  Serve.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Joanne Fluke's Vanilla Crack

So recently we made this chocolate crack, which was delicious, but we had a recipe for vanilla crack as well, so we tried it.  While not as wonderful as chocolate crack, this was still pretty darn delicious.  The calories for 1/48 are around 91, again each piece of candy is varied in size, so that is just an approximation.  We gave this a 9, and it was super yummo, and easy again.  Here's the recipe adapted from Joanne Fluke.

Vanilla Crack 
Preheat oven to 350.
1 box salted soda crackers 
1 c salted butter 
1 c white sugar 
2 t vanilla 
½ c salted nut pieces 
white chocolate, about 10 oz 
Line a cookie sheet with heavy duty foil.  Spray foil with cooking spray.  Cover the pan completely with a single layer of soda crackers, salt side up.  Set aside.

Combine the butter with the sugar and vanilla in a saucepan.  Bring it to a full boil over medium high heat, stirring constantly.  Boil it for exactly 5 minutes, stirring it constantly.  Pour the mixture over the soda crackers as evenly as you can.  Sprinkle the salted nut pieces over the top.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven, and spread the white chocolate over the top.  Let cool, chill, then break it into random sized pieces.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Chinese Take-Out's Sweet Chili Shrimp

This is a great, easy shrimp recipe from Chinese Take Out, and like all shrimp recipes, it comes together in a flash.  I doubled the sauce, since I always get the complaint that there isn't enough sauce, and this was a solid 8 for us.  Aaron wanted it sweeter, but I don't love super sweet meats, so this was fine for me.  There were five servings for us, and each serving was 175 calories with the sauce doubled.  Here's what to do:

1 lb shrimp, shelled and deveined
2 t cornstarch
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper

2 T soy sauce
2 T honey
2 T cider vinegar
1 T chili sauce

1 T vegetable oil
2 t minced garlic
1 t minced fresh ginger
1 shallot, finely chopped

Toss the shrimp with the cornstarch, salt and pepper.  Stir together the soy sauce, honey, cider vinegar and chili sauce.  Set aside.  Heat the oil over high heat, then cook the garlic, ginger and shallot for a few seconds.  Toss in the shrimp, cook for about two minutes, then pour in the sauce and serve.

 Everyone had rice except for me, I was out of rice, sigh :)  Anyway, this was a great dish, and so fast and easy.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Rachel Ray's Genovese Style Red Sauce

Merry Christmas!  Although this isn't a Christmas meal, this is definitely a delicious, low fuss meal to feed a crowd, or just have lots of left overs for the week.

I found this recipe on foodnetwork.com, and here is the link.  Each serving with the pasta (I only used 1/2 pound instead of a full pound of pasta) is 401 calories, and Aaron and I gave this a 9 while the boys gave it an 8.  They felt like there was too much meat in it, not something that deters Aaron and me :).  Anyway, I followed the recipe exactly, and it is delicious.  I hope you have a wonderful holiday, we are doing prime rib here, my first time, so we'll see how it goes ;).  

Monday, December 22, 2014

Kristen Ashley's Chocolate Cherry Cake

My boys wanted a chocolate cherry cake for Thanksgiving, so I found this recipe for Gramma Moutaw's Chocolate Maraschino Cherry Cake on Kristen Ashley's website, and it was delicious.  I made only one change, I added some almond extract to the cake and icing as well as the vanilla extract.  Mine cooked for about 45 minutes, but check it after about 30 minutes.  This is easy, delicious, and full of flavor.  I have no calorie information on this one, I don't even want to think about calories on this one, I made it for Thanksgiving and didn't count calories that day, so just guess it's going to be high :).  My kids and mom gave this a perfect 10, and my dad and I gave it a 9.  Try it, it's delicious!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Cook's Illustrated Pear, Cranberry, and Ginger Relish

We had this at Thanksgiving, but this recipe is just in time for Christmas now :).  This has to be my favorite cranberry sauce, and it is easy and delicious.  My mother, Noah, Owen and I gave this a perfect 10, and Aaron and my dad gave this a 9.  I have tried lots of different cranberry relishes/sauces, and this one tops them all for me.  I found the recipe in Cook's Illustrated Best Recipe cookbook, and each serving is about 120 calories.  Here's what to do:

3/4 c water
12 oz cranberries
1/4 t salt
2 pears peeled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks (I cut them into matchsticks)
1 t ginger (if using fresh ginger, use 1 T)
1/4 t cinnamon

Bring the water, salt, sugar, ginger and cinnamon to a boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar.  Stir in the pears and cranberries, bring it to a boil, then let it simmer for at least five minutes (I let mine cook much longer).  Bring to room temperature and serve or store for future use in the fridge.


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Rachel Ray's Shrimp and Chorizo Quesadillas

We love shrimp, and we love chorizo around here, so I found this recipe from Rachel Ray, and decided to try it.  I didn't follow the recipe exactly, especially the guacamole.  We prefer our guacamole a different way, so I didn't make the chipotle guac, but I did make the quesadillas.
I had already taken a bite when I realized I hadn't taken a picture, so sorry for the ugly picture, but these were outstanding.  Each quesadilla and guacamole serving was 791 calories, sigh, but so delicious.  The boys and I gave this a perfect 10, and Aaron gave it a 9, he said the quesadillas weren't the awesome part, the guac made it amazing, but they are still great.  Here's what I did:

1 c pico de gallo (chop 1/2 onion, 2 tomatoes, 1/2 lime juiced, 1 pinch New Mexico chili powder, some cilantro and salt)
3 avocados
salt

5 flour tortillas
1 T olive oil
1/2 lb chorizo
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lb shrimp, shelled and deveined
salt
10 oz grated Pepper Jack chese

Mix the avocados and the pico de gallo well, the season to taste.
Heat the oil in the pan, add the garlic and shrimp, and season well.  After about 2 minutes, remove the shrimp from the pan, then cook the chorizo in the same pan.  In another pan, layer cheese, chorizo, shrimp, and cheese on half of the tortilla, then fold the tortilla over the top.  Cook on both sides until crispy, then repeat five times.  Serve with the guacamole.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Crockpot Indian Chicken and Lentils

I made this recipe from Best Ever Indian Cookbook, a cookbook I received a while ago, and just haven't had the chance to dive into.  I wanted something easy while my parents were here, but they enjoy different kinds of food from us, and so I knew this would hit the spot with them.  They gave this a 9, and we gave it an 8.  This is very low in calories, about 200 calories per serving, and this made us about 16 or more servings.  This is known as Chicken Dhansak, but I made some changes from the cookbook, so it isn't really authentic :).  This is also better the second day, like most crock pot meals.  Here is what I did.

about 1 c green lentils
2-4 c chicken broth
2 t ground cumin
1 t curry powder
1 onion finely chopped
1 t ginger
1/2 jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed, chopped
1 t coriander
salt
1/4 t chili powder
14 oz canned diced tomatoes
1-2 lbs chicken breasts
cilantro, chopped
1 t garam masala

In a large crockpot, place the lentils, broth, cumin, curry powder, ginger, onion, jalapeno, coriander, chili powder, tomatoes, chicken and salt.  Cook on low all day long, then right before serving, add cilantro and garam masala.  Take out the chicken, chop it up, then return it to the crock and stir together.  Serve with rice.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Rachel Ray's Bacon Burger Mac N Cheese

So I love macaroni and cheese, and we were watching some Rachel Ray episodes on Netflix, and Aaron said he was interested in trying this.  Aaron interested in homemade macaroni and cheese?  Heck yes :).  So I made this the next night, and it was a hit at our house.  We all gave this a 9, and while it doesn't really taste like mac n cheese, it does taste like a bacon burger, so win there, and Aaron really liked it, so win win :).  I found the recipe here, and I followed it pretty closely.  Here's what I did, and each serving was 572 calories for 12 servings.

1 lb elbow macaroni
salt
12 slices bacon, chopped
4 T reserved bacon fat
1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 c beef broth
3 T Worcestershire sauce
6 T butter
5 T flour
3 c milk
4 1/2 c sharp cheddar cheese
1/3 c ketchup
about 1/4 c mustard (more or less to taste)
2 T sweet pickle relish
1 T hot sauce (I used a little less Tabasco)

Top with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, some reserved bacon, and/or pickles

Cook the pasta in well salted water, then drain and set aside.
Cook the bacon until crisp, then when finished cooking remove to a papertowel lined plate.  If you have more than 1/4 c bacon grease, remove some of it.  Add the ground beef, then add in the onions and season with salt and pepper.  Cook until the beef is cooked and the onion is softened, then add in the broth and Worcestershire and reduce the heat to low.
In a large pot, make a roux with the butter and flour, then add in the milk, whisking the entire time.  Season well, then add in the cheese, and stir until melted.  Add in the ketchup, mustard, relish and hot sauce.  Combine this with the pasta, then combine that with the meat and most of the bacon (or all the bacon if you don't want any to sprinkle on top).  Serve with desired garnishes.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Cook's Illustrated's Spaghetti and Meatballs

These are amazing meatballs, and probably our favorite recipe for them, at least the family's favorite, but I don't enjoy frying things, so I prefer other meatball recipes.  However, these are delicious, easy, and guaranteed to please, just like all Cook's Illustrated's recipes.  These get a perfect 10 from everyone except for me, and I give them a 9.  Because of the simple tomato sauce, dried pasta, and fast cooking meatballs, this comes together super quickly, and is a great week night meal.  Each serving, because of the frying and my high calorie ground beef, is 683 calories for 6 servings.  Here's what to do:

Meatballs:
2 slices white sandwich bread
1/2 c buttermilk
1 lb ground beef or a mixture of beef and pork
1/4 c freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 T minced fresh parsley leaves
1 large egg yolk
1 small garlic clove, minced
3/4 t salt
pepper
1/2 c oil for frying (You can use more or less, depending on how quickly you want to fry them)

Tomato Sauce:
1 T olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 T minced fresh basil leaves
salt and pepper

1/2 lb spaghetti, cooked according to package directions in salted water and drained
Grated Parmesan cheese for serving

 Combine the bread and the buttermilk, smooshing them together with a fork occasionally while they sit for 10 minutes.
Place the meat, cheese, parsley, egg yolk, garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl, then mix together with the bread/buttermilk mixture.  Shape each meatball about 1-1 1/2 inches in diameter, then set aside, being careful to not compact the meat too much.  I made about 20 meatballs.
In a large pot or pan, heat up the oil, then cook each meatball about 10 minutes, turning to brown all sides.  I had to do two batches.  When done frying, drain and set on a paper towel lined plate.
Dump out the oil, leaving the browned bits in the pan, then place the 1 T olive oil in the same pan.  Heat it up and brown the garlic for a few seconds, then add in the tomatoes.  Cook for about 10 minutes, then stir in the basil, salt and pepper.  Return the meatballs to the pot with the sauce, and stir carefully for about 5 minutes.  Serve with the pasta.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Latin American Street Food's Pork Tenderloin Sandwich

This was a delicious sandwich, although we were all a little concerned because the chili paste in the sauce was super strong smelling.  This isn't spicy at all, however, and an easy, delicious meal.  I made a few changes, but this sandwich from Latin American Street Food was a hit at our house.  We all gave it a 9, and my parents gave it an 8.  Each sandwich was 348 calories when it was cut in half, and here's what I did.

1 1/2 T olive oil
4 t aji amarillo paste
2 t cumin
2 t salt
1 t garlic powder
1 t pepper
2 lbs pork tenderloin (the recipe called for beef tenderloin, but it was too pricey for our budget :))
1 lb havarti cheese, thinly sliced
2 T mayonnaise
8 T margarine spread (use butter if you want, it will be more calories)
8 rolls (French bread rolls, or other similar)
Avocado, sliced

Mix the olive oil, aji, cumin, salt, garlic powder and pepper.  Spread it all over the pork and marinate for at least 1 hour in the fridge.
Cook the pork on the stovetop to brown it on every side, then transfer it to a very hot oven (mine was at 450) until pork reaches desired tenderness.
Cut the rolls in half, then spread the bread with butter and toast it.  Place mayo, if desired, on bread, top with meat, avocado and cheese, then return to the oven to melt.  Serve.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Joanne Fluke's Chocolate Crack

Sooo...this might be the most delicious, addictive, amazing candy ever, and it takes all of 15 minutes. The calories are random because of the way you crack the candy up, but it is about 100 calories for 1/48 of the total.  This is easy and fun, Noah helped me make it, and we all gave it a perfect 10.  I found this recipe in one of Joanne Fluke's books, and there is a vanilla version which I will be trying soon.

Chocolate Crack 

Preheat oven to 350.
1 sleeve (more or less) graham crackers 
1 c salted butter 
1 c brown sugar 
12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips 


Line a cookie sheet with heavy duty foil.  Spray the foil with cooking spray.  Cover the pan completely with a single layer of graham crackers.  Set aside.  Combine butter and brown sugar in a saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium high heat, stirring constantly.  Boil it for exactly 5 minutes, stirring it constantly.  Pour the mixture over the graham crackers as evenly as you can.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top.  Give the chips a minute or two to melt and then spread them out as evenly as you can.  Cool and then chill completely.  Peel the foil off and break into random-sized pieces.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Cook's Illustrated Macaroni and Cheese

So this is comfort food, and probably my favorite recipe for homemade mac and cheese in the world.  Guess where it's from...Cook's Illustrated.  I know, I am totally predictable, but I do like their recipes so much.  Anyway, I don't follow their recipe exactly, so this is how I do it, and unfortunately it is a calorie bomb.  Each serving is 567 calories, and it is pure deliciousness :).  We all gave this a perfect 10, except Aaron who gave it an 8 because he doesn't like home made mac n cheese.  Here's what I do:

1 lb macaroni
salt
5 T unsalted butter
6 T flour
1/2 t dry mustard
5 c milk (whole milk is what I used)
12 oz (3 cups) grated Monterey Jack cheese
12 oz (3 cups) grated sharp cheddar cheese

Cook the macaroni in well salted water until the pasta is tender.  Drain it and set aside.  Heat the butter in a large Dutch oven or pot and whisk in the flour and mustard.  Continue whisking as the mixture becomes fragrant, then add the milk, bring it to a boil, and then let it thicken, whisking, about 5 minutes.  Add in the cheeses and salt to taste, then mix in the macaroni.  Let settle about 10 minutes, then serve.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Michael Symon's Pork Tenderloin with Arugula

I found this recipe in Michael Symon's Carnivore cookbook, and it might be my new favorite pork meal.  This is quick, easy, and so full of flavor.  Noah and I gave this a perfect 10, and Aaron and Owen gave it a 9.  Since you can make the pork marinade up to two days in advance, this is just so little effort.  Michael Symon says to grill this, but I don't grill, so we had this broiled.  Each serving, and we made four servings, was 322 calories, so super healthy, even with the changes I made.  Here's what I did:

1 T Dijon mustard
1 t salt
2 t cumin
1/2 c cilantro leaves
1 t smoked paprika
grated zest and juice of 1 lime
1 lb pork loin, sliced in half
1-2 c arugula
2 T olive oil
1 avocado, diced
dash of sugar
salt and pepper

Combine the mustard, salt, cumin, paprika, lime zest, and cilantro in a large ziplock bag.  Add in the pork, then shake the bag and refrigerate it for up to two days.  (I only did it for one day)
Heat up the broiler.
On a stove top, heat 1 T olive oil, and brown the meat on all sides.  Add some lime juice to the pan, the put the pan under the broiler, until the pork reaches 140-145 degrees on an instant read thermometer.  Let rest, then slice and serve.
Mix the arugula, avocado, olive oil, some cilantro, salt and sugar together.  Serve with the pork.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Cook's Illustrated's Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic

This is another Cook's Illustrated winner, we love this recipe so much.  If it weren't bone in chicken, it would receive a perfect 10 from all of us, but only the boys give it a perfect 10, Aaron and I give it a 9.  This is not a difficult recipe to make, but it does take a little time.  Each serving is about 185 calories per piece of chicken, but that is an average, so a little less or more depending on how big your chicken is and what piece you eat.  Anyway, this is such a great chicken dish, so flavorful and moist.  Here's what to do:

4 lbs of bone in skin on chicken pieces
1/4 c table salt
pepper
3 medium heads garlic, cloves separated but unpeeled
2 medium shallots, peeled and quartered
1 T olive oil
salt
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 c chicken broth
2 T unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 400.  Dissolve the 1/4 c salt in 2 quarts cold water, and brine the chicken for 30 minutes.  Rinse the chicken pieces and pat dry, then season with pepper.
Toss the garlic and shallots with 2 t of the olive oil and salt and pepper and place in a 9 inch pie plate.  Cover with foil and roast until softened, about 30 minutes (or more), shaking the pan after 15 minutes.  Stir, and roast uncovered for another 10 minutes.  Remove the garlic from the oven and increase the oven to 450.
Heat the remaining 1 t of olive oil in a heavy bottomed skillet over medium-high heat, and brown the chicken pieces skin side down.  Brown on both sides, then remove the chicken to a plate.  Discard the fat.  Add the chicken broth and herbs, scraping the brown bits from the pan.  Add the garlic/shallot mixture to the pan, then nestle the chicken skin side up in the pan.
Bake the chicken until the breast registers 160, and the thigh reaches 170 degrees.  When chicken is cooked, remove the pan, and remove 12 garlic cloves to press through a fine mesh sieve.  Transfer the rest of the garlic, the shallots, and the chicken to a serving plate.  Push the garlic through the sieve into the pan juices, bring the liquid to a simmer, then adjust seasoning to taste.  After thickened slightly and seasoned, remove from heat and whisk in the butter.  Serve with the chicken.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!  Here's my apple pie I can't wait to eat :).  I hope everyone has a wonderful day, and I also hope I will have some new recipes to share after our feast.  I am so thankful for my family and friends, good food, and a wonderful life!  I hope everyone is safe and happy this Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Julia Child's Boef Bourgignon

Soup is a comfort food for me, especially with our weather being so cold right now, and this might be the best soup/stew in the world.  I can't actually believe I've never featured this on my blog, it's one of our family favorites, and Aaron asks for it a lot.  This is a time consuming meal, but it is totally worth the time.  This is the Boef Bourgignon that was made famous on the movie Julie and Julia, and I make very few changes from Julia Child's original, except we substitute the wine for beef broth, which makes it not bourgignon, but oh well.  We've made it with the wine before, and it is delicious that way, but we prefer it with the beef broth.  This gets a perfect 10 for us, and each serving is about 490 calories.

See all those delicious mushrooms and onions?  Yeah, they make this stew.  Here's what to do:

For the Stew:

2 lbs beef stew meat, dried and salted
6-8 slices bacon, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 onion, chopped
salt and pepper
2 T flour
3 c red wine if using or
5-6 c beef broth (may want to go low sodium broth, can get very salty), enough to cover the beef
1 T tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, mashed
2-3 thyme sprigs
bay leaf

For the Onions:

18-24 pearl onions
1 1/2 T butter
1 1/2 T oil
1 c beef broth
4 parsley sprigs
bay leaf
2 sprigs thyme

For the Mushrooms:

2 T butter
1 T oil
12 oz sliced mushrooms
1 scallion, chopped

Preheat the oven to 450.  Saute the bacon in a Dutch oven until crisp.  Remove to a side dish, then brown the beef in batches, browning on all sides.  Remove the beef to the same dish as the bacon, then add the onion and carrot and brown them until a little softened.  Drain off fat if necessary (I never have any fat to drain), and return the beef and bacon to the Dutch oven.  Add in the salt and pepper, then the flour, making sure to coat the beef well.  Place the beef in the preheated oven, uncovered, for 4 minutes.  Stir the beef, then cook for four minutes more.  Remove the pan, then reduce the oven heat to 325.  Stir in the wine/broth, then add the tomato paste, garlic, herbs, and additional seasoning.  Bring to a simmer on the stove top, then cover it and place in the oven for 2.5-3 hours.  
While the beef is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms.

Melt the butter and oil, add in the onions, and brown on all sides for a few minutes.  Add in the beef broth and herbs, season to taste, and let braise for 45 minutes to an hour.  Make sure onions are super tender, but still retain their shape.  Set aside.

Melt the butter and oil, then when the butter has ceased bubbling, add in the mushrooms.  Cook, flipping the mushrooms often, until the mushrooms start to release some of the fat they have soaked up.  Season well, then add in the green onion, and cook for a minute more.  Set aside.

When the meat has finished cooking, remove the meat/veggies from the broth, and bring the broth to a boil.  You want this to get as thick as you desire, we like our stew thick, so we reduce it quite a bit.  Adjust the seasoning to taste, then add the beef/veggie mixture back in the broth and add in the mushrooms and pearl onions in as well.  Make sure everything is heated through, then serve.  

Monday, November 24, 2014

Homemade Chicken Nuggets

So these were a hit in our family.  For science, the boys had to make a week's menu of meals, figure out the nutritional information, and make the shopping list with me.  They also had to help me make the food.  This was one of Noah's choices, and our family was nuts about them.  These are the best chicken nuggets we have ever had, and everyone gave these a perfect 10 except for Owen, he gave them a 9 because he said they were too crispy.  Anyway, it's hard to go wrong with deep fried chicken :).  I don't have calorie information about these, because I didn't really measure anything, but here's what I did:

2 lbs chicken breasts, cut into bite size cubes and seasoned

flour
salt
garlic salt
pepper
onion powder

3 eggs
buttermilk

Parmesan herb bread crumbs
plain bread crumbs
1/2 t baking soda

Heat a large pot of oil to about 350 degrees.  Mix together the flour, salt, garlic salt, pepper, and onion powder.  In another bowl, beat together the eggs and buttermilk.  In a third bowl, mix together the bread crumbs and baking soda.  Coat the chicken in flour, then in the buttermilk mixture, then in the bread crumbs.  Fry the chicken in batches, making sure the chicken is golden brown on all sides.  Drain on a paper towel lined plate, then serve.

Easy peasy lemon squeezy, and totally delicious!

Friday, November 21, 2014

JoAnn Fluke's Cranberry Muffins

These are a great fall muffin, and my kids loved these.  I found them in one of JoAnne Fluke's books, and these are simple and quick to throw together.  Noah helped me.  I made 23 muffins, and each muffin was 213 calories.  Owen and Noah gave them a perfect 10, and I gave them a 9, I would've like a little almond or vanilla flavor in these.  
Cranberry Muffins 

Preheat oven to 375.
¾ c melted butter 
1 c white sugar 
2 beaten eggs 
2 t baking powder 
½ t salt
1 c dried cranberries 
2 ¼ c flour 
½ c milk 
½ c whole berry cranberry sauce 
Crumb Topping:
½ c sugar 
1/3 c flour 
¼ c butter softened 


Line muffin tins.  Put cranberries in the melted butter and set aside to cool.  Mix together sugar, baking powder, eggs, and salt.  Stir in the butter and cranberries.  Add ½ the flour mixture, then ½ the milk.  Add the rest of the flour mixture then the rest of the milk.  Stir in the cranberry sauce.  Fill tins ¾ of the way full then add the crumb topping.  To make crumb topping mix together sugar and flour, then cut in the butter.  Bake for 20-30 minutes, cool for 30 minutes, then remove from pans.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Border Cookbook's Goat Cheese Tacos

So I loved these goat cheese tacos, but the rest of the family didn't love them as much as I did.  Oh well, they are so tasty and fresh, I love me some goat cheese!  These are fairly simple to make, and with the pico de gallo and avocado, these are healthy and vegetarian too :).  Maybe that's why Aaron didn't like them as well :).  Anyway, Aaron and Owen gave these a 7, Noah gave them an 8, and I gave them a 9.  Each taco was 312 calories, and I found this recipe in The Border Cookbook.  Here's what to do:

8 flour tortillas
4 oz creamy goat cheese at room temperature
1 c refried beans, warmed
4 oz Monterey Jack cheese

avocado/guacamole
pico de gallo

Spread each tortilla with goat cheese, refried beans, and Monterey Jack cheese.  Cook them in the oven or in a pan until melted through.  Top with avocado and pico de gallo, and more jalapenos if desired.  Serve.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Cake Batter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I found this chocolate chip cookie recipe on tastykitchen.com, and it was a hit with the boys :).

Aaron, like usual says he wishes these were just chocolate chip, but oh well :).  I followed the recipe exactly, I just didn't add as many sprinkles.  We took these to AWANA and everyone enjoyed them.  Each cookie was 155 calories, and Aaron gave these an 8, Owen and I gave them a 9, and Noah gave them a perfect 10.  These are fun, easy, and really delicious.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Chinese Take-Out's Mongolian Beef

I am a red meat kind of girl, so when I get to have beef rather than chicken for Chinese food, I am all in :).  Aaron prefers chicken most of the time, but I love me some steak/beef/what ever.  This Mongolian beef has such great flavor, and we all gave it a 9, except Aaron who gave it an 8.  Like all the recipes in Chinese Take-Out cookbook, this is relatively low in calories, but we always wish we had more sauce.  Each of the five servings was 256 calories, not including the rice, but it would be more if we made more sauce, which I plan on doing next time.  In fact, I will just post the doubled sauce recipe here, so I won't even try to make it the other way :).  Here's what to do:

Marinade:
1 T soy sauce
1 T mirin
2 t cornstarch

1 lb flank steak, sliced thinly against the grain

Sauce:
1/4 c soy sauce
4 t hoisin sauce
4 t chili paste
4 t mirin
2 t oyster sauce
2 t sesame oil
1/2 t crushed red pepper flakes

1 T oil
2 leeks, white part only sliced thinly
1 t minced fresh ginger
1 scallion, chopped

Marinate the beef in the marinade for about 10 minutes.
Mix the sauce ingredients together, then set aside.
Heat the oil in your pan, then add in the beef to stir fry for a few minutes.  Add the leeks, and ginger and stir fry for another few minutes.  Add the sauce, and stir, cooking until the beef is cooked to desired doneness.  Garnish with scallions and serve.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Cake Batter Pancakes

So we found these delicious pancakes at tastykitchen.com, I love that site, and we loved these.  The boys gave these a perfect 10, and Aaron and I gave these a 9.  Each pancake was only 78 calories each, because this made a lot, and there is no oil or butter in this recipe, which cuts down on the calories.  Anyway, I followed the recipe exactly, I just didn't make the glaze, which would probably be even more delicious, because my family always says they just want syrup, sigh :).  Try these, they are great!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Absolutely Avocado's Mexican Chopped Salad with Crab

This was going to be a side dish salad from the Absolutely Avocados cookbook, but the recipe I was going to make with the Krab didn't happen because I forgot one of the main ingredients, sigh :).  Anyway, I changed this recipe a little to make it a main dish, and it was super delicious.  We all gave this a 9, it was super great.  Each serving was 578 calories, and it came together really quickly.  Here's what I did:

2 avocados, peeled and chopped
4 ears corn, cooked and cooled, then cut off the cob
3 scallions, chopped
1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 bag romaine lettuce, chopped
chopped cilantro, to taste
1/2 c olive oil
1 lime, juiced
1 t honey
1 T mayonnaise
1/2 t salt
5 oz pepper jack cheese, grated
1 lb Krab (fake crab meat, use the real stuff if you can :))

Mix together the olive oil, lime juice, honey, mayonnaise, and salt.  Set aside.  Mix together the avocados, corn, scallions, black beans, bell pepper, lettuce and cilantro.  Add in the cheese and Krab, then toss with the dressing and serve.

Yum, yum, yum!  This was a great, cool salad, and a really good summer meal, even if we had it in October :).

Friday, November 7, 2014

Michael Symon's Spicy Fried Potatoes

My favorite potato recipe, hands down.  I loved this.  I gave it a perfect 10, Aaron and Noah gave it a 9, and Owen gave it a 4 because of the spicy sauce.  I found this in Michael Symon's Carnivore cookbook, and it was a great side dish.  Each serving was 329 calories, and this was spicy!  The potatoes by themselves are not, just the sauce is.  I actually cut down on the spice, I can't imagine how spicy it would be with the original amounts.  I will post what I did here.

7 small yukon gold potatoes, chopped in half and cooked in well salted water
1/4 c olive oil
1 T paprika
1/2 T chipotle powder
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 c mayonnaise
1 T sriracha sauce
1/4 c bacon fat
salt
grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 scallion, chopped

Combine the olive oil, paprika, chipotle powder and garlic together in a small saucepan, and warm for about 1 minute.  Remove from the heat, let cool slightly, then add the mixture to the mayonnaise and sriracha.  Set aside.
Heat the bacon fat in a skillet, then smash each potato with your hand, and cook the potatoes for about 3 minutes per side.  Sprinkle them with salt, the lemon juice and zest, and the scallions.  Serve with the spicy sauce.

So delicious, I will be making these again, and Owen likes them a lot without the spicy sauce, he gives them a 9, so maybe try that if you make this, the potatoes even on their own are delicious.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Michael Symon's Couscous in Tomato Sauce

So Noah and I really enjoyed this, giving it a 9, while Owen and Aaron only gave this a 6.  I love that this has so many veggies, but doesn't taste like veggies only.  This came together relatively quickly and easily, and was a great side dish to have with our bacon wrapped chicken.  Each serving, and the servings are large, was 337 calories.  This came out of Michael Symon's Carnivore cookbook, and he called for fregola, but since I can't find that, we used couscous.  Here's what to do:

6 T olive oil
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 onion, chopped
1 turnip, peeled and diced
1 rutabaga, peeled and diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 sprigs fresh thyme
salt
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 t red pepper flakes
1 c couscous, cooked in chicken broth or well salted water
1 bunch thinly sliced kale
1/2 c freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Heat the olive oil over medium heat, then add in the vegetables and thyme and some salt.  Cook about 10 minutes.  Add in the tomatoes, 1 cup of water, and the red pepper flakes and simmer for 30 minutes.  (I wish I had cooked this longer, I would've liked my veggies a little mushier, but that is just a personal/family preference.)
Add in the couscous and kale, and cook for a few minutes.  Pick out the thyme stems and discard.  Stir in the Parmesan, adjust the seasonings, and serve.

Monday, November 3, 2014

The Border Cookbook's Riders In Chaps

So this wasn't a hit with anyone aside from Owen.  He loved this meal, he gave it a perfect 10, Noah gave it a 7, Aaron gave it a 4, and I didn't even have any of the eggs, so I don't get a vote.  I don't love eggs, especially not over medium ones :).  Anyway, the pork was really good, everyone agreed on that, but no one liked the eggs in addition, except for Owen.  Like I said, he loved it with the eggs.  The pork was an easy crockpot combination, and the eggs just needed to be cooked right before serving, so this was an easy meal.  Each tostada with two eggs on it was 535 calories.  Here's what to do:

1 lb pork loin
1 large onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 canned chipotle chile and 1 t adobo sauce
1/2 t salt, plus more to taste
1/4 t dried thyme
1/2 c water

6 tostadas
guacamole
12 eggs
cheese
beans if desired

Place the pork, onion, bay leaf, chipotle chile and sauce, salt, thyme and water in your slow cooker.  Cook on low for around 6 hours, or until the meat shreds easily.  Shred it and set aside.
When ready to serve, cook the eggs either sunny side up, or over medium, and salt them to taste.
To assemble, take one tostada, swipe with beans if using, layer on meat, 2 eggs, cheese, and guacamole, then serve.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Joanne Fluke's Candy Bar Bar Cookies

Happy Halloween!  Sorry about the terrible picture, that's what happens late at night :).  Anyway, here is a great way to get rid of that Halloween candy, easy and fast cookie bars.  I used Mr. Goodbars, my favorites, and KitKats, but you could use any candy bars you wanted.  I cut these into 16 bars, and each bar was 350 calories.  The boys gave these a 9, and Aaron and I gave them an 8.  Super easy, and this recipe was found in Joanne Fluke's books.

Candy Bar Bar Cookies
Preheat oven to 350.
1 c softened butter 
¾ c white sugar 
1 beaten egg 
2 t vanilla 
½ t salt
2 ½ c flour, packed
15 oz chocolate bars (I used about 28 snack size candy bars)
¼ c sugar 

Foil line and spray a 9x13 pan.  Mix butter and sugar together until light and creamy.  Add the egg and stir thoroughly, then add vanilla and salt.  Add the flour in ½ c increments, mixing after each addition.  Pat and smooth ½ the dough into a prepared pan.  Top with candy bars.  Top with remaining dough, smoothing as well as possible.  Take the back of the fork and make cross-hatch patterns on the top of the dough, then sprinkle remaining sugar on top.  Bake for 25 minutes, then cool most of the way.  Cut into bars and serve.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Michael Symon's Elvis Biscuits and Gravy

Isn't that a terrible picture?  Oh well, it doesn't reflect the delicious flavor of the food.  Michael Symon made this recipe, and we really, really enjoyed it.  Aaron gave this a perfect 10, and the boys and I gave this a 9.  I love that you don't use sausage, you kind of make your own sausage with ground pork and spices.  The biscuits, like usual, are not as good as I'm sure they would be if someone else made them (biscuits and I don't get along :)), but this was still an amazing dinner/breakfast.  Each serving, 2 biscuits with gravy, was 663 calories.  Here's what to do:

Gravy:
1/4 c rendered bacon fat
1 minced onion
salt
1 lb ground pork
2 t sage
1 t red pepper flakes
pepper
1/4 c flour
3 c whole milk

Biscuits:
6 T butter
2 c cake flour
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
3/4 c buttermilk

Heat the bacon fat in a saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook, about 3 minutes.  Add the pork, 1 t of sage, and the red pepper flakes, 1/2 t salt and 1 t black pepper.  Brown the pork for about five minutes.
Add the flour, then add the milk, whisking to incorporate it.  Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat so that it simmers for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
While the gravy is simmering, preheat the oven to 400.  Melt 2 T of the butter in the oven on the cookie sheet while the oven is preheating.
Combine the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Add the 4 T butter in small chunks and incorporate it with your hands, then slowly add the buttermilk while still mixing.
Drop the biscuits on the cookie sheet, about 12 biscuits, and bake for about 15 minutes.
To finish the gravy, stir in the remaining 1 t sage, 1/2 t salt, and a little more pepper if desired.  Serve!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Joanne Fluke's Easy Fruit Pie

Noah and I tried this the other day, it is such a simple recipe, and really tasty, however the name is misleading.  This is nothing like pie, more like a cookie bar or a cobbler maybe, but it isn't pie :).  So rename it, then this will go over a lot better.  Aaron and I both were hoping for pie, and it definitely wasn't.  Anyway, this took all of five minutes to throw together, so it's a quick, easy way to make a yummy dessert.  We cut this into 12 servings, and each serving was 208 calories.  Here's what to do:

Easy Fruit Pie 
1/4 c salted butter 
1 c whole milk 
1 c sugar 
1 c flour packed down 
1 1/2 t baking powder 
1/2 t salt
1 21oz can fruit pie filling 


Preheat oven to 375.  Place the butter in the oven in a 9x13 pan to melt.  Mix the milk, sugar, flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl.  Don't overmix.  Remove butter pan from the oven and pour batter into the pan.  Tip the pan to cover the whole bottom.  Spoon the pie filling over the top of the batter, don't mix in.  Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour until golden brown and bubbly.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Michael Symon's Barbecue Chicken Thighs

This received a 9 from us, it was really delicious, that Michael Symon knows what he is doing.  We found this recipe in his Carnivore cookbook, and it was great.  We had chicken thighs, and each thigh was 226 calories.  This wasn't a lot of cook time or prep time, which is nice, but since I broiled it rather than grilled it as the recipe called, this took a little more time to cook than it might with a grill.  This is the easy recipe:

1/4 c olive oil
juice of one lime
1 garlic clove, minced
1 jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed, chopped
salt
pepper
10 chicken thighs
3/4 c barbecue sauce (I used Michael Symon's barbecue sauce recipe from the same cookbook, use your favorite)
Corn Salad

Mix together the olive oil, the lime juice, the garlic, jalapeno, and salt and pepper.  Add the chicken and marinate for a few hours.  Season the chicken well with salt and pepper, then brown in a pan on one side.  Flip the chicken, and brush with the barbecue sauce.  Flip again, then brush again.  Place under a broiler, and continue brushing and flipping for a few minutes.  Serve when chicken is cooked through.

This had great flavor, and like I said, it isn't very hard.  We really enjoyed it.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Birthday Cake Batter Cinnamon Rolls

So these might be the most delicious things ever :).  I found this recipe for cinnamon rolls on tasty kitchen, and although I made a few changes, I will just link to the recipe and tell what I changed.  I really dislike shortening, so I used butter in this recipe instead of shortening, and I used 8 T of butter rather than 6 T of shortening.  Also, I let the dough double in size both times, before and after shaping cinnamon rolls, rather than just doing a quick rise before rolling out the cinnamon rolls.  Lastly I made 41 cinnamon rolls, rather than the 16 the recipe called for, and each cinnamon roll was 243 calories. These had great flavor, they do taste like a cinnamon roll birthday cake, and the texture was so light and fluffy, just so great.  I loved these, and I'm looking forward to making them again!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Citrus Ricotta Pancakes

This was voted the boys', especially Noah's, favorite pancakes.  He liked how soft they were, and they both loved the orange taste.  These are really easy, and a great way to use up left over ricotta from other recipes.  I found this recipe on tasty kitchen, and I followed it exactly.  Each pancake was 102 calories, leaving out the butter for cooking the pancakes.  Anyway, easy and delicious!  Aaron and I gave them an 8, Owen a 9, and Noah a perfect 10.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Yammie's Noshery Chipotle Chicken Bacon Tacos

So although the boys didn't love these, they only gave them an 8 because of the spice, Aaron and I loved these.  We gave them a 9, and they are so great.  As you can see from the picture, we didn't use flat bread the way the recipe suggested, we just used tortillas, and I made my guacamole the way I like to rather than following the recipe.  Otherwise I followed this recipe exactly.  Each taco was kind of high in calories, about 490 a taco, but they were worth it.  Try this, it's so good!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Chinese Take Out's Barbecue Pork

So although this recipe called for pork belly, which I didn't have but would've been amazing, this still received a 9 from us because it was really delicious.  We found the recipe in The Chinese Take Out cookbook, and each serving was 235.  Here's what to do:
1 lb pork loin
2 T mirin
2 T soy sauce
1 T sugar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 t hoisin sauce
1/2 t Chinese five spice powder
2 T honey

Mix together all the ingredients except the honey, and marinate the meat for 2-3 hours.
Preheat the oven to 325.
Remove the pork from the marinade, brush 1 T of the honey on the pork, then bake for about 25 minutes.  Turn the pork over, brush with another 1 T of the honey, and then roast for another 20 minutes, or until pork is done.  Slice and serve.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Michael Symon's Pasta with Chorizo and Chard

So this was another delicious recipe from Michael Symon's Carnivore cookbook, and I will definitely be making it again.  Chorizo is one of our favorite things, and mixed with beans, chard, pasta and lemon this was outstanding.  For one serving, pictured here, the calories are 521, and this was very filling.  We gave this a 9, except for Noah who gave this a perfect 10, because "chorizo is my favorite meat Mom" :).  Anyway, this was an easy, great recipe.

1/2 lb pasta
salt
1 lb chorizo
1 lb Swiss chard, roughly chopped
1 14.5 oz can cannellini beans
grated zest and juice of one lemon
1/2 c freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 c chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 T unsalted butter
1 T olive oil

Boil the pasta in well salted water until al dente.  Reserve 1/4 c of the pasta water, and don't rinse the cooked pasta.
Cook the chorizo until browned, then add the Swiss chard and cook for 2 minutes.  Add the beans, pasta, and reserved pasta water and simmer for about two more minutes, or until pasta is fully cooked.
Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the lemon zest and juice, the cheese, parsley, butter and olive oil.  Serve.

A fast, easy recipe, definitely worth making!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Flour 2's Chipotle Chicken Stew

I found this recipe for soup in Flour 2, the second cookbook from JoAnn Chang, and these are more savory dishes, so fun to try new things!  I didn't follow the recipe super closely, I love making soup in the crockpot, and that is what I did for this recipe.  We gave it an 8, it was hearty and filling, and I especially liked the smoky, spicy flavor from the chipotle pepper.  Each serving was only 276 calories, and we made 8 servings, which is the portion shown above.
Here's what I did:

2 14.5 oz cans black beans
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 canned chipotle pepper, seeded and minced (if you want more spice, don't completely remove all the seeds)
1/2 t ground cumin
1 14.5 oz can crushed tomatoes with juice
salt
1/2 c uncooked rice
shaved zucchini, about 1/2 c
2 t oregano
1/2 c cilantro, chopped
juice from one lime

Place the beans, onion, carrots, garlic, chipotle pepper, cumin, tomatoes, zucchini, and oregano in the crockpot.  Salt the chicken well, then add the chicken.  Cook for 6-8 hours on low, then add in the rice.  Cook for an hour on high, checking to make sure the rice gets done before serving, then add in the cilantro and lime juice and serve.

Easy and delicious!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Michael Symon's Pork and Beans

So no picture of this, it got lost when my phone was being repaired, but this was a really great dinner. Michael Symon came through for us again.  We gave this a 9, and it was hearty, full of flavor, and delicious.  Since it uses dried beans, rather than canned ones, this does take two days to make, but most of that is overnight soaking time.  The flavor in this really was so satisfying, I will be making this again.  This made 16 servings, and each serving was only 204 calories, so not too much.  The serving size was about 1 cup.

1 lb dried navy beans
1 lb bacon, cut into dice
3 carrots, diced
1 onion, diced
2 T minced garlic
4-6 oz Italian sausage
28 oz can chopped tomatoes
1 t chipotle pepper sauce
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 bay leaves
1 quart chicken broth
salt and pepper
1 c plain bread crumbs
1/2 c chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
4 t chives (freeze dried, or 1/4 c fresh)

Soak the beans overnight in enough water to cover them by at least two inches.  Drain the beans and transfer them to a large saucepan.  Add enough water to cover by 2 inches and bring to a simmer.  Cook for about 1 hour, or until slightly tender (I cooked mine for longer, more like 1 1/2 hours).  Set the beans aside to cool in their liquid.
Preheat the oven to 375.
In a large Dutch oven, cook the bacon until crisp.  Remove from the pot, and cook the carrots, onion, and garlic, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.  Set the veggies aside with the bacon.  Cook the sausage, then return the bacon and vegetables to the pan.  Add in the chipotle sauce, tomatoes, rosemary, bay leaves and chicken broth.  Simmer for five minutes.
Drain  the beans and add them to the pot.  Adjust the salt and pepper to taste, then bring to a simmer.  Transfer the pot to the oven, and cook, uncovered, for one hour.
Discard the bay leaves.  Combine the bread crumbs, parsley, and chives.  Sprinkle the mixture on top of the beans.  Bake for 20 minutes, or until the bread crumbs are golden brown.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Peabody's Fluffernutter Banana Bread

Here is the link for this delicious take on banana bread.  We gave this a perfect 10, and I think it is my favorite version of banana bread ever.

I didn't use very much powdered sugar for the icing, if you would like more of a set frosting, add more powdered sugar.  I used only about 1/4 c, maybe a little more.  Anyway, each piece was 400 calories, but it was so delicious that I don't even mind :).  Try this and you will love it!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Michael Symon's Arancini

So despite the deep-frying requirement, I knew I had to make this recipe.  Deep-fried sausage risotto balls stuffed with mozzarella?  Yeah, these were good :).  Michael Symon came up with this recipe, and we all loved it, Jonah included.  We gave this a 9, and every ball was 220 calories with the marinara dipping sauce on the side (I just used canned marinara sauce).

You start by making the risotto, cooling it, then forming the balls and frying them.  It's actually not that difficult, especially because you don't have to fully cook the risotto, just mostly cook it :).  Anyway, these are so good, they were a fun meal for us.

1 T olive oil
4 oz Italian sausage
1 onion, minced
salt
1 c Arborio rice
3 c chicken broth
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 c grated Parmesan cheese
5-6 oz mozzarella, cut into small cubes
deep-frying oil
3/4 c plain, dried bread crumbs

Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.  Break the sausage into small pieces and brown on all sides.  Add the onion and 1/4 t salt, and cook for 2 minutes.  Add the rice, and toast, stirring for about 2 minutes.
Reduce the heat to medium, add the chicken broth 1/2 c at a time, and stir constantly.  Continue to add the broth until the risotto is creamy and the rice is mostly tender.  When the rice is cooked, place the rice in a bowl in the fridge.
After the rice has cooled in the fridge for awhile.  Add the egg, egg yolk, Parmesan and 1/4 t salt.  Form the balls with damp hands, and place a cube of mozzarella in the middle.  Reform the ball, roll it in the bread crumbs, and fry for about 2 1/2 minutes.  Salt and serve immediately.  Yummy!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Kristen Ashley's Milky Way Cake

I found this cake on Kristen Ashley's website, and it's hard to turn down a candy bar filled cake.  Although it didn't taste exactly like Milky Ways, this was such a good cake.  The boys and I gave it a perfect 10, and Aaron gave it a 6, because we all know how he feels about cake.  This is buttery, flavorful, and has a texture similar to really moist carrot cake.  I followed the recipe for the cake exactly, but didn't use nearly the amount of powdered sugar that the recipe called for.  The recipe says 1 1/2 boxes of powdered sugar, and I used 3/4-1 c of powdered sugar.

Each serving was only 313 calories the way I made it, when cut into 24 pieces.  This is good, easy, and worth making.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Michael Symon's Pork Pie

This recipe was from Michael Symon's Carnivore cookbook, and it was a fun, different meal, but I would make some changes next time I make it.  I loved the flavor of the filling, but didn't love that it wasn't super juicy, and we all would've liked it better had it been in a pocket/empanada form.  This received an 8 from all of us, and I'll share the filling with you, but I would recommend using this idea for the hand pockets, and adding a little broth and flour to the filling to give it more juice.  Each serving was 321 calories, for 1/8 of the pie.

4 oz bacon, chopped
1 lb ground pork
salt and pepper
1/2 c chopped celery
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 small potatoes, chopped
1/4 c chopped celery leaves
1/4 c chopped fresh parsley, chopped
1 t savory
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of ground cloves
Pie dough for 1 double crust pie
1 egg beaten with 1 T milk

Preheat the oven to 400.  Cook the bacon until crisp in a large dutch oven.  Remove the bacon from the pot and set aside.  Add the pork, salt and pepper and brown the pork.  Remove the pork from the pot and place with the bacon.  Add the celery, onions, and garlic and cook for five minutes.  Deglaze the pot with 1/2 c water, then add in the pork, bacon, potatoes, and herbs and seasonings.  Simmer for 20 minutes.
Roll out the pie dough and cover a pie plate, pricking the bottom with a fork all over.  Place the meat mixture in the pan, then top with the other pie dough.  Brush the top with the egg mixture, sprinkle with salt, and then poke holes in the top to vent.  Bake for at least 45 minutes until crusts are golden brown.  Cool and then serve.

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Border Cookbook's Joe's Breakfast Nachos

So this is just migas, really, and I have posted at least one great recipe for migas here, but if it's possible, this one was even easier, and still tasted delicious, so I wanted to feature it.  This received a 9 from all of us.  Each serving was 620 calories, but they were large, and very filling.  Here's what I did:

1/2 lb chorizo
1 onion, chopped
1 T butter
salt to tast
3 eggs
1 T water
2 oz salted tortilla chips
8 oz grated cheese
1 small tomato, chopped

Preheat oven to 350.
Saute the chorizo over medium heat.  Remove the chorizo, and add the onion.  Cook until softened.  Place the butter in an 8x8 baking dish, and melt it in the oven.  Mix the eggs and water together, then add the chorizo and eggs to the pan with the onions.  Cook for a minute or two, then spread the egg mixture in the warmed baking dish.  Top the eggs with the tortilla chips.  Sprinkle with the cheese.  Cook for 5-8 minutes, then top with the tomato and serve immediately.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Flour's Homemade Oreos

Yum!  As usual, we loved Flour's recipe.  Everyone gave these a 9, because although they were awesome, we have had better cookies from Flour, like the double chocolate cookies we loved.  Anyway, these aren't very difficult, and they make a darn good cookie :).  Each sandwich cookie was 165 calories, so high, but they are really delicious.

1 c unsalted butter, melted
3/4 c sugar
1 t vanilla
1 c semisweet chocolate chips, melted
1 egg
1 1/2 c flour-2 c flour
3/4 c cocoa powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 t baking soda

1/2 c unsalted butter, softened
1 2/3 c powdered sugar
1 t vanilla
1 T milk
pinch of salt

Whisk together the butter and sugar.  Whisk in the vanilla and chocolate.  Add the egg and whisk until thoroughly combined.
In another bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda until well mixed.  Fold the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture.  It should be the texture of play-doh.  (I had to add more flour to get this texture, about another 1/4 cup)  Let the dough sit at room temperature for about 1 hour to firm up.
Roll the dough in parchment paper, and roll to make a 2 1/2 inch in diameter log.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hour, until firm, rolling every so often to stop one side being squared off.
Preheat oven to 325.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Cut the dough into 1/4 inch slices.  Bake for 16-25 minutes, checking them frequently after 16 minutes.  (Mine went for about 19)  They should be firm to the touch.  Allow them to cool, then frost and make sandwiches.

Beat the butter for about a minute.  Add in the vanilla and powdered sugar and beat until smooth.  Add in the milk and salt, then fill the cookies.  Serve.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Tucson Carne Seca, or Machaca from the Border Cookbook

This was such an interesting recipe for us, we don't usually have machaca, which is the name by which I know this kind of meat, but it was fun to have different Mexican meat.  We had it on our tostadas, and we also had machaca breakfast burritos, both of which turned out great.  As usual, I am always looking to use my crockpot rather than my oven, so I made some changes to the recipe.  Here's what I did:


1 1/2 lb beef chuck roast
1 1/2 T vinegar (I used cider)
1/2 T salt
1 t pepper
5 sliced garlic cloves
1/2 T New Mexican chili powder
4 c water
Juice of 1 lemon

1/2 T New Mexican chili powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper

1 T oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 jalapenos, chopped
1 small tomato, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 t dried oregano
salt to taste

In a crockpot, combine all the first ingredients up to the lemon.  Don't add the lemon.  Cook for at least 10 hours, could be longer.  Let the meat sit in the crock, not cooking, for 30 minutes,  Strain the cooking liquid, and reserve 1 cup.
Preheat the oven to 275.  Shred the meat, then put it in a pot and use the 1 cup reserved cooking liquid and simmer until the liquid is absorbed.  Pour the lemon (or lime) juice over the meat and toss together.  Transfer the meat to a cookie sheet, trying to only make one even layer.  Mix the chili powder, salt and pepper together, then sprinkle half of it over the meat.  Cook the meat for 20 minutes, stir it well, then add more of the seasoning blend.  Cook an additional 40 minutes, until browned and dry.  In a food processor or blender, puree the meat until it resembles fine threads.  Refrigerate here for later use, or continue on with the recipe.
Warm the oil over medium heat, then add the onion and jalapeno and sautee.  Stir in the tomatoes, garlic and oregano, then cook for a few minutes.  Add the meat, and stir until all liquid is evaporated.  Add salt and more lime as desired.  Serve.

This can be scrambled with eggs, or just served as desired, or used to make burritos or taquitos.