Thursday, March 31, 2011

Mango Pork and Asparagus over Brown Rice

I bought a mango on a whim at the store the other day so I was looking around for a mango dish for dinner. I found a few that were along the lines of what I wanted and from those a new recipe is born!
This would also be fantastic with chicken!

1.5 lbs pork loin, sliced thin

1/2 lb asparagus spears
1 sm green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 sm red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 medium shallot, chopped
1 TB butter
1 TB olive oil

1/4 cup mango preserves
1/2 cup mango juice (or orange juice, if you dont have mango)
1 cup chicken stock
1 TB brown sugar
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 TB fresh ginger root, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp onion powder
2 tsp corn starch
salt to taste

1 medium mango, peeled and cubed

1 cup brown rice(or more if you like alot of rice!)

Cook Rice according to package instructions.

In a pan over medium high heat , heat olive oil and butter until melted.

 Add in asparagus, bell peppers and shallots, cook until fragrant(about 2 minutes)

Add in pork. Cover and cook until the pork is done, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While it is cooking in a bowl combine the sauce ingredients and mix well.

Remove meat and veggies to a plate.

Add Sauce to the hot pan and bring to a slow boil over medium heat until the sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes.

Add veggies and meat back to sauce along with the cubed mango. Heat through.

Serve over rice, make sure to get some sauce too.

You can sprinkle on some red pepper flakes for a nice kick!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Slow Cooker Balsamic Onion Beef Roast

I found a nice sized bottom round roast in my freezer and decided to slow cooker it. Today is the first day of spring break so an easy make ahead meal will save me a headache later!! And we will have leftovers for french dips tomorrow!

3.5 lb bottom round roast
2 cans cream of mushroom soup(homemade)
1 packet onion soup mix(homemade)
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar(you can go more or less if you like)
1 medium onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, smashed

1 TB olive oil
salt and pepper

Heat olive oil over medium heat, add in roast and sear on all sides.

Place seared meat into slow cooker and season with salt and pepper.

Place pan back on heat and add in onions, garlic and balsamic vinegar.

Cook for 5 minute over medium heat. Stirring to prevent scorching.

In a bowl mix soups.

Place onion mixture over beef. Pour soup mixture over the top

Cook on low 6-8 hours.

Remove from slow cooker and allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
The left over juices make a fantastic gravy for the meat and over potatoes!

When removing the meat , to the juices add a mixture of 1/4 cup COLD water and 2 TB cornstarch(more for a thicker gravy). Pour in and stir. Allow to sit uncovered on high for 10 minutes and stir again. (I run my immersion blender through it too because my kids dont like chunks)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Corned Beef Chili

I had leftover Corned Beef from our St Paddy's Day Feast so I decided to make a chili out of it!
Slow Cooker or Stove Top, super easy recipe.
Top with Shredded Swiss and a side of buttered Caraway Rye Cornbread Muffins.

1 lb corned beef, diced
1/2 cup sauerkraut,drained (more to taste if you like!)
1 clove garlic , minced
2 cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups tomato sauce
3 TB chili powder(more or less to taste)
1 TB cumin
1- 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker and allow to simmer for 6-8 hours on low.

Or Simmer on the stove top on medium low for an hour or so to let all the flavors mingle.

My corned beef is not a fatty brisket meat. It is made from a Bottom Round Roast so the fat content in this is less than the typical corned beef.

Caraway Rye Cornbread Muffins

I was looking for something to go along with my Corned Beef Chili. At first I was thinking just a loaf of Rye Bread and make some buttered toast, but then I was thinking no, chili needs why not combine?

3/4 cup corn meal
3/4 cup rye flour
1 tsp caraway seeds
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350

Place all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
In another bowl combine all the liquid ingredients until well combined.

Add liquid to the dry and mix until just combined. Do not over mix.

Grease a muffin tin and fill each cup about 2/3-3/4 full.

Allow to rest for 5 minutes

Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes.

Serve hot with butter. YUM!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Spaghetti and Turkey Enchilada Meatballs

I was feeling like I was in a dinner rut. So I looked up some different things and decided to combine a few cuisines.
Great for dinner or as a party appetizer!*

1.5 lbs lean ground turkey
2 cups cornbread crumbs
1/2 recipe Enchilada Sauce(you can use 1-10oz can if you want)
1 cup cooked black beans , drained and rinsed(you can use more or less to taste)
salt to taste
1.25 cups shredded Mexican style cheese
3/4 cup tomato sauce(about 1-6 oz can)

Crumble the turkey into a large bowl
Add cornbread crumbs, 1/2 of the enchilada sauce , the black beans, the salt(omit if using canned BB's, they usually have plenty already) and 3/4 cup of the cheese.
Combine well.

Preheat oven to 375

Shape meat mixture into a 10 inch square and slice 4x horizontally and 4x vertically to make 25 meatballs(you can go larger or smaller for your own size preference.

Roll each into a ball and place on a greased and foil lined broiling pan(broiling pan will help drain away any excess grease you can use a greased casserole dish if you want)

Bake for 20 minutes until cooked through.

Boil 12 oz spaghetti(preferably whole wheat) according to manufacturers instructions.

In a sauce pan combine tomato sauce and remaining enchilada sauce and bring to a low boil.

Drain pasta and scoop about 3/4 cup pasta onto plate  top with several meatballs , a scoop of sauce and a sprinkle of the remaining cheese.


*For use as a  party appetizer Just double the recipe and when they are done cooking, place them in a large casserole dish, pour over remaining sauce and cover with foil. When you are ready to use them, you can heat the whole thing in a 350 degree oven until bubbly, put a toothpick in each one and sprinkle with cheese!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Blueberry Banana Pudding Pancakes

My middle son was sick this morning and he was laying on the couch. A pancake commercial came on the TV and he popped up and decided he was finally hungry and wanted pancakes. I had a homemade banana pudding mix from experiments the other day and decided to see what I could create with that!

1 banana pudding mix (if you want to use a box, the 6 serving size is the equivalent)
1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 TB baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups milk(or buttermilk for a slightly richer pancake)*
2 TB melted butter
1 cup blueberries(optional)
*you can adjust the milk content for a thinner or thicker pancake.

mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl and make a well in the center
mix all liquid ingredients and blend well.

Add liquid ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
Fold in blueberries if using.

Heat a griddle to medium-high. Grease and pour batter by 1/3 cup scoops.
Cook 3-5 minutes until edges are dry and bubbles form on the top.
Flip and cook another 3 minutes until golden brown.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Homemade Pudding Mix

I like using pudding mix in my baking but if you look at the ingredients in a commercial box it is pretty daunting. Artificial colors, preservatives and junk. I set out to make my own!
The great thing about this is YOU control it. Too Sweet? cut down the sugar, not "flavored" enough, up the flavoring powder. I have tried to get a good medium on the recipes but it is all up to YOU!

This is for approx 1-6 serving size"box" of cook and serve style pudding .

1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
dash of salt

For Chocolate:
 add in 1/4 cup cocoa powder

For Vanilla:
Add in 3 TB  vanilla powder(if you cant find this make your own*, you will want about 1 TB homemade or add 2 tsp vanilla extract to the recipe you are using)

For Lemon:
Add in 3 TB dried lemon  powder(a few packets of True Lemon is good(5 or so) or it is super easy to make your own **, or add 1-2 tsp lemon extract to recipe)

For Banana:
Add in 3 TB banana powder***(or 2 tsp banana extract to the recipe , so far I have only been able to find "imitation" extract, but it works ok)

For Butterscotch:
Cut white sugar to 2 T
add in
6 TB brown sugar
1/2 ts butter powder

Place base ingredients and the flavor of your choice in a food processor and blend into a fine powder. Store in an airtight container or use immediately.

For use in pudding:
1  mix
2 1/4 cups milk
1 tsp butter
1 egg, beaten(can be omitted, but the end result will not be quite as thick)

Heat milk and mix in a double boiler over medium high heat, heat and stir until thickened.

Cover and cook 10 minutes. Add in butter and stir until melted.
Remove from heat , add 1/2 mixture into egg, stir well and pour it all back into the pot. Heat for 1 minute more.

Add any extracts after removing from heat.
chill and serve.

For use in baking :
Use about 1 cup of a flavored mix as you would 1-6 serving box(make SURE you look at the oz or serving size called for!) 3/4 cup would be a 4 serving size box, just over 1 1/4 cups for a 8 serving box

*Vanilla Powder

Take 6-7 vanilla beans and place them in a food dehydrator or low heat oven, dehydrate until fairly crisp(around 3 hours or so) and grind them in a coffee grinder until powdered

** Lemon Powder

Slice 4- medium sized lemons thin(rind and all) Dry them in a food dehydrator or on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet in low heat oven (275) until they are dark and fully dehydrated.

Put them in a clean coffee grinder and grind well(in batches, if you need too) add in 1/4 tsp sea salt and 1 tsp sugar to the final product and mix well.

(Picture is result of 1 lemon)

*** Banana powder

Slice 4 large bananas(greener the better) to an even thickness and dip in a mixture of 2 cups water and 2 tsp ascorbic acid(or 2 TB lemon juice)
Dehydrate for several hours in a dehydrator or oven on low heat(line a cookie sheet with parchment paper to prevent sticking), they will be a dark and slightly leathery. They will crisp as they cool.

Make sure they are WELL dried!!!
Grind chips into a fine powder in a coffee grinder. IF they were not dried enough they will ball up into kind of sticky chunks, its NOT ruined! Just scrape the stuff back onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet(or if your dehydrator has liners you can use that) and continue to dry them. Then just put it back into the (cleaned)grinder and try again!
(picture is with 2 bananas)

Here it is making a BIG batch for storage. Store in an airtight container.
You can make 1 flavor or leave the plain mix and add flavors individually as you need them

2 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt

Add ins: 
1 1/2 cups cocoa powder(try special dark cocoa or any "dark" cocoa powder for a richer chocolate!)

1 cup vanilla powder

1 cup Lemon Powder

1 cup banana powder.

cut white sugar to 1/2 cup
add in 2  cup brown sugar
and 2 TB butter powder

No fresh milk???

You can add in 3/4 cup dry milk powder to the individual or 4.5 cups dry milk powder to the batch to be able to use it with water making pudding!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Kitchenaid Wheat Thins

We LOVE homemade wheat thins here but I hate hand rolling dough, I can never get it quite thin enough and the edges are always thinner than the they burn ETC. I decided to give it a whirl with my kitchenaid pasta roller and they turned out PERFECT!!!!!
This recipe makes about 8 oz of wheat thin.

1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup water
1/8 tsp vanilla extract

In the kitchenaid bowl combine flour, sugar, salt and paprika. Mix well. Add in butter and mix it in until it resembles coarse sand.
Add in vanilla and Slowly add in water. Allow it to mix up well.

Remove from bowl and hand knead a few times.

Divide dough into 4 pieces.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper(or lightly grease them)

Attach your pasta roller attachment.(you can certainly roll it by hand if you want!)

Take one chunk of dough and run it through the roller set on 1 until it is a nice smooth rectangle. (this may take several times through, fold and roll , fold and roll. If it sticks dust the dough lightly with all purpose flour.

When you have a smooth sheet, turn the setting to 4 and send it through (unfolded) 1 last time.

Place your sheet on lined pans

Repeat with the other 3 chunks.

Cut each sheet into desired sizes(I used a pizza wheel)

Salt them to taste

Stick them in the oven ONE SHEET AT A TIME.

set the timer for 5 minutes and after that WATCH THEM CAREFULLY. They will burn VERY fast(as you can see in my top photo...the ones in the back I walked away to rinse my hands LOL). You want them lightly golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the pan. When you remove them they may be slightly soft still. They WILL CRISP as they cool!


Store in an air tight container.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Lemon Vanilla Chip Cookies

I went to make some chocolate chip cookies for my kids and low and chocolate chips...(for those that dont't know  me, my husband is a chocolate chip-oholic. To the point of me having a sign in my cupboard, obviously it didnt work LOL)
Anyway I had white chips so I decided to strike out and make my own cookie recipe with them.....

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup homemade lemon pudding mix(6 serving size box)
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
12 oz vanilla chips

Preheat oven to 350

In a bowl mix flour, lemon pudding , baking soda and salt. Set aside
In another bowl beat butter until light and add in sugars. Beat until creamy. Add in vanilla extract, then eggs, one at a time. Beat well.
Add in flour mixture slowly and mix until everything is well incorporated.

Add in vanilla chips and mix well.

Drop by spoonfuls onto an UNGREASED cookie sheet.
Bake 9-11 minutes.
Allow to cool for 2 minutes on sheet then remove to wire rack to cool completely.