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.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Joann Fluke's Chocolate Highlander Bars

So this was one of the recipes from the Joanne Fluke books, and we enjoyed these quite a bit.  I was actually surprised by how they turned out, I expected them to be a shortbread base with kind of a creamy chocolate topping, but these were brownies with a shortbread base.  I enjoyed how well these stayed together, and how moist they are.  We all would've appreciated more chocolate flavor, but over all these were great. The calories, for 1/24 of the total, were 320 calories, so high, but still yummy :).

Chocolate Highlander Cookie Bars
Preheat oven to 350.
1 c softened butter
½ c powdered sugar
¼ t salt
2 c flour
4 beaten eggs
1 c melted butter, cooled
1 c sugar
1 t baking powder
¼ t salt
½ c flour
2 ½ c chocolate chips, melted

1.      Cream butter and powdered sugar and salt.  Add flour and mix well.  Pat it out in a greased 9x13 pan.  Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.  Remove from oven.
2.      Mix eggs with melted butter and sugar.  Add dry ingredients and mix well.  Add melted chocolate chips to the dough.

3.      Pour over shortbread dough and cook for at least 30 more minutes, then remove from oven.   Let cool completely then cut into bars.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Michael Symon's Marinated Chicken Tenders and Feta and Cucumber Salad

So this was a hit at our house.  I didn't like either of these recipes as well by themselves, but together these were awesome.  I didn't just come up with this pairing on my own, Michael Symon made this suggestion, and I'm so glad I followed it.  We made some changes to the chicken, so I will post what I did.  This is a 30 minute dinner, and Owen, Aaron and I all gave it a 9, while Noah gave it an 8 because it was too spicy for him.

The calories for this are super duper low, for the serving pictured above, the calories are only 275, and that just makes life easy :).  

Marinated Chicken Tenders

1 1/4 lb chicken tenders
1 c Greek yogurt
3 garlic cloves, minced
Grated zest and juice of 1 tangelo
1 T coriander
2 t cumin
2 t paprika
2 t chipotle powder (here's where the spice is, cut back if you want a little less spice)
1 c chopped parsley

Rinse, dry and salt the chicken thoroughly.  
In a gallon bag, mix together all the rest of the ingredients, salting more if desired.  Throw in the chicken, and shake it/mix it well to distribute the ingredients.  Marinate for about 4 hours.
Spray a large skillet with non-stick spray (I used olive oil spray), remove the chicken from the marinade, and cook for about 3 minutes per side.  Serve with the cucumber feta salad.

Cucumber Feta Salad

3 cucumbers
1 garlic clove, minced
1 shallot, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
2 T fresh oregano leaves
Grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
1/4 c olive oil
6 oz crumbled feta cheese

Slice the cucumbers as thinly as possible (wishing for a mandoline here :)).  Toss the cucumbers with a large amount of salt and let them sit in a colander.  (I underdid the salt, don't make the same mistake :))
Whisk together the garlic, shallot, jalapeno, oregano, salt, lemon zest and juice, and then add in the olive oil.  Drain off and discard any water that the cucumbers have released.  Add the dressing and toss to combines.  Just before serving, add the feta.  Serve with the chicken.


Monday, September 15, 2014

The Border Cookbook's Creamy Crab Nachos

So although Aaron was freaked out by the name, and none of us were sure how these would be, we really liked them.  The boys and I gave these nachos a 9, and Aaron gave them an 8, but he also had them when they weren't warm anymore.  This meal is so super fast and easy, we loved it.

Each serving, and that is what is pictured, was 371 calories, and these are delicious.  I made just a few changes from the Border Cookbook's original recipe, but I pretty much followed it.  Here's what to do:

6 oz cream cheese
4 oz Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 c sour cream
1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce, chopped and seeded, and about 2 t sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 t cumin
8 oz Krab (imitation crab meat, but splurge on the real stuff if desired :))
6 oz tortilla chips
minced scallions for the top
tomatoes, avocados, and other toppings as desired

Preheat the oven to 400.  Mix all the ingredients, excluding the chips together.  This can be made ahead, and refrigerated until ready to bake.  Spread each chip with topping, cook them for 5 minutes on a cookie sheet.  Top with toppings and eat.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Make It With A Cake Mix's Maraschino Cherry Cupcakes

As you can tell from the name, this was a cake mix recipe.  I bought this cookbook, Make It With A Cake Mix recently, and when Aaron told me he needed something for a potluck for work the next day, I decided to try this one out.  The boys helped me decide which one to try, and this one turned out so well.  We all gave these a perfect 10, and they are super easy to make, and only 258 calories each, so not too bad!  The calories will differ based on cake mix brands/types, but that is what ours turned out being with 24 cupcakes.

1 box yellow cake mix
3 eggs
1/3 c oil
3/4 c milk
1/2 c sour cream
2 t almond extract
1 c maraschino cherries, roughly chopped

1 c butter, softened
1 1/2 t almond extract
3 1/4 c powdered sugar (may need more or less)


Preheat the oven to 350, and line muffin tins with liners.
Mix together the eggs, oil, milk, sour cream, and almond extract.  Sift in the cake mix, then fold in the cherries.  Fill the cupcakes, and cook for about 18 minutes, checking often.  Cool completely.

Beat the butter for a few minutes, then add in the almond extract.  Mix in the powdered sugar, then pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes, and top with sprinkles.  Serve

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Michael Symon's Tomato Salad with Red Onion and Dill

So although I didn't love the way the meat turned out, and you can tell from the picture the meat wasn't great, the delicious salad from Michael Symon really hit the spot for us.  We love heirloom tomatoes anyway, and having the onions, cucumbers, peppers, and fresh dressing was great.  This was an easy salad to put together, let set while making the meat, and then have the salad and meat come together at the same time.  Anyway, each serving was 221 calories, and we all gave this a 9.  Here's what to do:

1 c thinly sliced red onion
1 lb heirloom tomatoes
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 c red wine vinegar
1/2 c olive oil
1 red bell pepper, cut into chunks
1 c thinly sliced cucumber
1/4 c chopped fresh dill
1/4 c chopped fresh mint

Cut the tomatoes into bite sized chunks.  Combine the garlic, salt, and the vinegar in a large bowl.  Whisk in the olive oil in a slow stream.  Add the onion, bell pepper, cucumber, dill and mint.  Let marinate for 15-20 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and toss gently to combine.  Season with salt to taste.  Serve immediately.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Absolutely Avocado's Cheese Bellied Guacamole Turkey Burger

These were a fast and easy dinner for us, and although kind of a calorie bomb, they were delicious.  Aaron and Noah gave them an 8, Noah because they were spicy, and Aaron because he had his cold, so didn't love it :).  Owen and I gave them a 9.  This recipe was from the Absolutely Avocado cookbook, and these are super easy.  I used Wholly Guacamole, and store bought buns, so these came together super quickly.  Each burger was 600 calories, so save up :)!

1 lb ground turkey
1 T paprika
1 T chili powder
1 sprinkle red pepper flakes
1 t garlic salt
4 slices pepper jack cheese
4 hamburger buns
2 t olive oil
4 slices bacon
1 package Wholly Guacamole
some cotija cheese

Combine the turkey with the chili powder, red pepper flakes, paprika, and garlic salt.  Make four balls of the turkey mixture, fold up a slice of pepper jack cheese, and form a patty around it to make four patties.  Warm the olive oil in a skillet, and cook the turkey on both sides until done.  Make your burger with buns, burgers, bacon, guac, and cotija cheese.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Michael Symon's Honey Nectarines

So although these weren't a hit with everyone in our house, Aaron for example thought they weren't sweet enough, I had to feature these because they are so unique and delicious.  Michael Symon came through with a winner for me again, I love that these aren't super sweet, and that they have such a great flavor.  These weren't too difficult, aside from the amount of nectarines to be chopped up, and they are a great summer side dish.  Each serving, and we made at least 10, is 141 calories, and you just need one pot for this, so nice and easy.  I gave this a 9, as did our friends who ate with us, but I think Aaron gave them a 6, and the boys gave them an 8.  Also, my keyboard is fully functional again--hooray!  Here's what to do:

3/4 c dry white wine or white grape juice (the grape juice would obviously make them a little sweeter, something to consider)
Juice of 3 limes
1/4 c honey
1 shallot, minced
12 nectarines, pitted and quartered
3 T chopped fresh mint
3 T pine nuts

Bring the juice or wine, lime juice, honey, and shallot to a simmer in large pan over medium heat.  Add the nectarines and cook until the mixture is syrupy, about 20 minutes.  Gently stir in the mint and pine nuts.  Serve hot or at room temperature.

We had this as a side dish, but Michael Symon also suggests using this as an ice cream topping, and that would be fabulous.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Sally's Baking Addiction's Ultimate Fudge Brownies with Peanut Butter Chips

It has been years since I have made brownies with cocoa powder rather than baking chocolate, but I have an over-abundance of peanut butter chips, and I wanted to do something with them.  These were really good brownies, and super easy.  I would've liked a more pronounced chocolate flavor, and if I could've found some special dark cocoa powder, I bet the chocolate flavor would've been outstanding.  Unfortunately, my local grocer doesn't carry anything but basic cocoa powder, so whatevs :).  Anyway, these were great, and at 235 calories a brownie, not super calorific.  Aaron gave them a perfect 10, and the boys and I gave them a 9.  Peanut butter and chocolate, can't be beat!  Follow the link for the recipe, I followed it almost exactly, I just didn't sprinkle some of the peanut butter chips on top.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Chinese Take-Out's Cashew Chicken

This was such a tasty dinner, and like all the recipes in Chinese Take Out, super easy, taking only about 30 minutes to complete.  The boys and I gave this a perfect 10, and Aaron gave this a 9 because although he loved the flavor and the cashews, he said he wanted more flavor.  I used chicken thighs in this, and I love how great the flavor is with thighs.  Without rice, each serving is 225 calories, when you divide it into six.

1 T soy sauce
1 T mirin
1 t cornstarch
1 lb chicken thighs, chopped into bite size pieces

2 T soy sauce
1 T mirin
1 T oyster sauce
2 t sesame chili oil

2 T vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, chopped
1/2 jalapeno, chopped
1/2 c salted, roasted cashews

Marinate the chicken in the first three ingredients.  Set the chicken aside for 10-15 minutes.
Whisk together the soy sauce, mirin, oyster sauce and sesame chili oil, and set aside.
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat, then add the oil and swirl.  Add the garlic and stir fry about 20 seconds.  Add in the chicken, cook about 2 minutes, then add in the onions and jalapeno.  Cook for another 1-2 minutes.  Pour in the sauce and stir to coat the chicken.  Allow the sauce to warm and thicken, then add in the cashews and serve.