Thursday, July 21, 2011

Italian Meatloaf

Great for feeding a crowd of kids! I have always meant to put this on here but never got around to it until now.

2 lbs ground beef( you can sub pork or turkey or any mix as you please)
3 eggs
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs(or plain plus 1 tsp Italian seasoning)
1/2 cup onion, minced
2 cloves garlic,minced
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup green pepper, minced
3 TB chopped fresh parsley(1 TB dried)
1 TB fresh oregano(1 tsp dried
2 TB fresh basil(2 tsp dried)
3 TB tomato paste(a little less than 1/2 a 6 oz can)
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup shredded mozzarella (I actually used a mozzarella/smoked provolone mix)

Preheat oven to 375

Combine all in a bowl and gently mix together.

Shape into a loaf in a large pan

I top it with the remaining tomato paste mixed with a little water and some Italian seasonings.

Bake for 1 hr and 15 minutes until internal temp is 165.   In the last 10 minutes of baking sprinkle on a little more cheese.

Let stand for 15 minutes before cutting.

This was using 2.5 lbs ground turkey so a little bigger than 'normal'

Italian Dressing

Very tangy Italian Dressing. Great for salad or a Marinade!

1/3 cup white vinegar
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
2 TB balsamic vinegar
2 TB water
1 cup olive or canola oil
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1.5 tsp white sugar
1 TB oregano
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp basil
1 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp celery salt
salt to taste

Combine all and whisk together(I actually put it in an old cottage cheese container put the lid on and shake it well. Then pour it into a dressing bottle. Allow to mingle for at least 30 minutes before use. Shake well before use.

1000 Island Dressing

Yummy 1000 Island Dressing for a Reuban or just to top a salad!

2 cup mayo
1 TB olive oil
1/2 tsp lemon juice
3 TB tomato paste(Ketchup works too just omit the sugar)
1/4 cup sweet relish
1 tsp ground mustard
1 egg, hard boiled and minced fine
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp onion powder
sugar to sweeten to taste
sprinkle of oregano AND basil
pinch of salt
black pepper to taste
few drops of Worcestershire sauce

Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth(dont go nuts or it will get watery) You can add a touch of milk or water to thin if you wish.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Salisbury Turkey Steaks

I decided to tweak a Salisbury Steak recipe and use ground turkey. Turned out delicious! Of course beef can be subbed for a traditional "steak".

1.25  lbs lean ground turkey
1 can condensed french onion soup(recipe here)
3/4 cup italian bread crumbs
1 egg
1 tsp garlic power
seasoning salt and pepper to taste

Combine 1/2 cup of the condensed soup with the turkey, bread crumbs, egg and seasonings.
Form into 6 oval patties.

remaining french onion soup
2 TB tomato paste
1/2 cup sauteed mushrooms
1/2 cup beef broth
1/2 cup water
salt and pepper to taste
1 pinch of sugar (may be ommitted)

Combine all in a bowl and set aside

Heat 1 TB oil in a skillet over medium heat. Brown both sides of the patties, about 2 minutes per side.

Pour sauce over the patties, cover and simmer , stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes until internal temp is 165.

Place patty onto a plate and top with some sauce.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Carrot Zucchini Burgers

We always enjoy a good veggie burger. I found a Carrot Burger recipe and made a few tweaks to make it my own!

1 cup finely chopped carrots, about 3 large
1/2 cup finely chopped zucchini, about 1/2 medium
2 cups crushed bran flakes(about 4 cups)
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 small onion, finely chopped.
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste

1-2 TB canola oil

Steam carrots and zucchini until very tender(about 5 minutes)


Combine cooked carrots and zucchini with remaining ingredients(except oil)

Refrigerate 1 hour.

Remove and form into 6 patties.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat, add patties and cook about 3-5 minutes on each side until evenly browned.

Serve on a bun topped as you please, I chose Havarti cheese, lite mayo, spinach, pico de gallo and roasted red peppers.


Saturday, July 9, 2011

Slow Cooker Roast Beef with Cranberry Merlot Sauce

My oven is still on the fritz so I am having to put my slow cooker to good use this week! Not that I didn't before but it is getting double time duty. I had a beef roast and cranberries in the freezer and a bottle of Merlot.....and here we are.
 I did not get the finished pictures. I took them but they did not transfer to my computer. I removed my SD card assuming they did and deleted them before checking =(

1 - 2-3 lb beef roast
1 TB olive oil
salt and pepper

1 TB butter
1 smallish shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 cup Merlot
3/4 cup 100% cranberry juice(blends are ok too but make sure its 100% juice)
1/2 cup beef broth
1 cup cranberries

In a pan heat olive oil over medium heat. Add roast and sear on all sides. Season with salt and pepper and place in slow cooker.

In the same pan, melt butter add shallots and garlic and cook until tender. Add Merlot, cranberry juice and beef broth. Bring to a boil and simmer 10 minutes.

Add cranberries, return to a boil  simmer until the cranberries have popped.

Pour sauce over the roast in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 6-7 hours or high 4-5 hours.

Remove meat and cover with foil to keep warm.
Add a mixture of 1/4 cup cold water and 3 TB flour to the sauce. Stir well. Cover and turn up high for 10 minutes until thickened.
Slice the meat and top with sauce.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Crock Pot Strawberry Cupcakes

My oven is waiting on repair for a malfunctioning control panel but I wanted to make some cupcakes for a mini bday party. I decided to put them in the crock pot with my silicone baking cups and I got some pretty good results! Plus I have been working on a strawberry cake recipe without gelatin or cake mixes so I decided to put  it to the test. Of course you can bake this in the oven or double the recipe to make a cake. This made 12 cupcakes. They dont rise as high in the slow cooker but they are mighty tasty!

1/4 cup butter
3/4 cups sugar
1 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
3 TB  sour cream
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup flour
1 cup pureed strawberries
1 tsp lemon zest

Cream butter and sugar and add egg. Beat for 1 minute on high. Stir in vanilla and sour cream.

In a bowl combine flour, salt, soda. Mix well and add into butter mixture Beat for 1 minute on medium speed.

Mix in strawberries and lemon zest stirring until combined.

Lightly grease silicone baking cups and fill them slightly over half full.
Place in a layer on the bottom of the crock pot and pour in water to reach about 1/3 the way up the cups.

You can add a second "layer" by fitting in a small rack(a steamer rack that is slightly larger than the bottom of your crock pot works well) over the bottom layer or fashion a basket out of heavy duty foil. Poke a few holes in the foil to allow the steam through.

Set your crock pot to high and allow to cook for 3 hours until a toothpick comes out clean. Keep in mind these will NOT rise as high as normal cupcakes.

Cool completely before frosting

Next time I think I will try them in my roaster pan as I can have them in a single layer and have a little better control of the heat.

Frost as desired:
I suggest a very mild lemony frosting...

3 oz cream cheese
1 1/2 TB butter
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
3/4 tsp lemon zest
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
milk to thin

Beat together cream cheese, butter, lemon juice, zest and vanilla extract. Beat in powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time. Thin with milk to desired consistency if needed.

Scoop it into a ziplock bag and cut off a corner and frost.

Happy Birthday to my mom and my little buddy Ian!!
check out my submission at the Sweet as Sugar Cookies blog!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Cajun Garlic Bread

A nice kick to plain old Garlic Bread!

1 loaf french bread, sliced into 1 inch pieces

1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tsp cajun seasoning(I use Emeril's Creole Seasoning, make your own or store bought)
1 TB dried parsley
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
3 TB fresh grated Parmesan cheese
fresh ground pepper to taste
seasoning salt to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, mix well and chill.

Spread evenly over slices of french bread

Broil until the edges are brown and topping is bubbling.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Mexican Shredded Pork and Rice Tacos

I found an excellent Shredded Pork recipe on allrecipes. I modified slightly it to make tacos..DELICIOUS!!!

12 taco shells

1- 2lb pork roast( I use the kirkland sirloin tip roasts.)
1-4 oz can diced green chilies
2 chipotle peppers in adobo(chopped and I use about 2 TB of the adobo)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup water
2 cloves garlic, minced

Slice your roast into 2 inch slices, place in slow cooker and top with remaining ingredients.
Cook low 6-7 or high 4-5 until the meat reaches 165.

1 cup uncooked long grain rice
3 TB fresh lime juice
2 cups water
3 TB fresh chopped Cilantro

Bring water to a boil, add lime juice, rice and cilantro. Cover and simmer 20 minutes until tender.

Remove meat and shred well.

Return meat to juices in the slow cooker, add cooked rice and stir. Simmer for 15 minutes on high.

Stuff taco shells and top as desired.
I used chopped spinach, pico de gallo, sour cream and Monterrey Jack cheese.

Monday, July 4, 2011

4th of July Sorbet Cake

I wanted to make a special Red White and Blue cake for Independence day but every recipe I came across has the addition of artificial colors. I was thinking about and ice cream cake with blueberry and strawberry ice creams but then I realized those would turn out pink and lite I decided to go for sorbets instead! Paired with a moist white cake and a vanilla whipped cream frosting and topped with blueberries and strawberries it turned into a lovely red, white and blue(ok well technically purple, but whose nitpicking LOL) cake without adding dyes!

Cake First:

You can use any white cake recipe you like but I love this one!

2-1/4 cups sifted cake flour*
1-1/2 cups sugar
3-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup milk
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
4 egg whites, at room temperature

*Even if it says pre-sifted, sift it again! Then measure it by spooning it gently into the measuring cup and level it off with a butter knife.
If you do not have cake flour a substitute for this recipe is 2 cups all purpose flour and 1/3 cup cornstarch, sift together twice then measure out the 2 1/4 cups.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9" round layer cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper; set aside.

Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into a large mixer bowl. Add butter, milk and vanilla.

Beat on slow speed until blended. Then beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add UNBEATEN egg whites , and beat two minutes longer at medium speed.

Pour batter into prepared pans and bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes or until cake is light golden brown and is beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan.

Cool 15 minutes in pans, then carefully remove layers from pans and cool completely on wire rack.



1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/4 cup lime juice
3 TB corn syrup
3 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced

In sauce pan over medium heat combine sugar and water. Heat and stir until sugar is dissolved and mixture is slightly thickened(about 5 minute or so)

Set aside and allow to cool completely

In a food processor puree strawberries and lime juice(strain to remove seeds if desired) add cooled sugar syrup and corn syrup and mix well.

Pour into your ice cream maker and proceed with manufacturers instructions

Place in a bowl and set in freezer and proceed to next sorbet


3/4 cup sugar
1 cup water
3 cups blueberries
3 TB lemon juice
2 TB corn syrup

Proceed as directed with the strawberry sorbet.

When everything is made and the cakes are cooled we can go to assembly...

Clean and spray your cake pans with a little cooking spray, line with parchment paper and return cooled cakes to the pan.

On one spread the strawberry sorbet(softened to spreadable if it has been in the freezer for awhile) and on the other the blueberry sorbet.

Place in the freezer for at least 2 hours.

Make Frosting:

this one is a little different then I normally do for ice cream cake but since I wanted it just plain white I came up with this.

4 oz cream cheese(I used Neufch√Ętel for a lower fat content)
1/4 cup white sugar(more or less to your sweetness preference)
1.5 tsp vanilla(clear if you have it!)
1 pint heavy cream

Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until creamy, switch to whisk attachment and slowly add in heavy cream, whip until stiff peaks form

Remove cakes from freezer and take out of the pans, remove parchment paper and stack cake side down.

Take a spatula and spread the center layer of sorbet upwards to fill in the crack a little.

Frost quickly with the whipped cream frosting and decorate with fresh blueberries and strawberries, I made a nice flag design.

Return to the freezer for at least 1 hour. Remove from freezer 15 minute prior to slicing and ENJOY!!!