Thursday, October 25, 2012

Garlic Butter Pasta with Creamy Beef Sauce

I wanted a spaghetti dish but I was tired of red sauce so I did some searching around and came across this recipe. I did a little adjusting to my own tastes and it turned out delicious! You can serve with your favorite meatballs or just plain.  It is also great with chicken broth and chicken or turkey meatballs instead of beef, even veggie broth with some veggie meatballs for a great vegetarian dish!

12 oz pasta(any shape) cooked al dente
1/4 cup butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 TB parsley
1 TB oregano
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1/4 cup grated romano
salt and pepper to taste

In a large sauce pan heat butter and garlic until the butter is fully melted and garlic is fragrant. Add seasonings and then toss in the pasta.

Toss gently, then add in the cheese and toss gently again.

Cream Sauce:
1/2 cup milk*
2 TB butter, melted*
2 cups beef broth
3 TB cornstarch
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp onion powder
salt and pepper to taste

In a pan heat add butter, 1 1/2 cups broth and milk.(I did it in the pan I just cooked the meatballs in hence the flecks in the sauce) Heat through.

Mix the cornstarch into the remaining 1/2 cup broth and slowly whisk into the cream mixture. Add seasonings , Heat and stir until thickened.

* you can sub 1/2 cup heavy cream for the milk and butter if you have it on hand.

You can serve this right out of the pan or you can make it ahead by put it in a baking dish(add meatballs to the top if you are using them) and pour the sauce over the top.... cover and stick it in the fridge, then when you are ready preheat oven to 350 and bake 45 minutes until heated through.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Yummy Meatballs

I realized that I never  put a basic meatball recipe on here. This is our family favorite! The bacon can be omitted it you like, we just love our bacon here! Great for Spaghetti and Meatballs, My next recipe of Garlic Butter Pasta and Creamy Beef Sauce or a good Meatball Sub!

1 lb lean ground beef
3/4 cup crushed seasoned croutons
1 egg
1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 TB Worcestershire sauce
1 TB dried parsley
1 TB dried oregano
2 tsp ground mustard powder
1 tsp prepared yellow mustard
1 tsp red pepper flakes
seasoning salt and pepper to taste

2 thick slices bacon(or 4 regular cut)
1 TB butter

In a large pan cook bacon over medium heat until very crisp, drain on paper towels and set aside, when cool, chop into very small bits.

In the pan with the drippings place the butter to melt, turn heat off for now.

In a bowl combine beef, egg, croutons, onion, garlic, Worcestershire, bacon bits and seasonings.  Mix until well combined but don't overwork.

On a flat surface pat mixture out into a rectangle.

Cut into even pieces(I do 4 rows of 5 for 20 meatballs, you can go larger or smaller per your preferences) then roll each piece into a ball.

Heat the pan with butter and bacon drippings to medium heat. Gently place the meatballs in the pan.

Cook turning often about 20 minutes(depending on your meatball size of course)

Remove and drain on paper towels...

These are also fantastic baked, just place them on a greased broiler pan and bake at 350 for 30 minutes or

Monday, October 22, 2012

Cream Of Spinach(or Any Greens) Soup

This is so good! I really thought I would get resistance from the kids on this one, but they LOVED it!
I started off with this recipe, but modified it as I went along.
This is fantastic with any greens!! Turnip Greens, Kale, Mustard Greens, Radish Greens.....even Dandelion greens!!! Mix and match if you like!

1 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 TB olive oil
2 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 chicken or vegetable bullion cube
3 packed cups baby spinach leaves
2 cups milk
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste

1 cup sour cream(we prefer Daisy , for its simple ingredient list)

In a large pot heat olive oil over medium heat, add onion and garlic and cook until soft and  fragrant.

Add potatoes, broth and bullion cubes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover. Simmer 30 minutes until the potatoes are very soft.

Add spinach and simmer 10 minutes longer until the spinach is soft as well.

With a handheld immersion blender (or in a regular blender or food processor, but you may have to work in batches) puree the soup until it is very smooth.

Add in 1 1/2 cups milk and seasonings.

Mix remaining 1/2 cup milk with the sour cream, whisking until smooth then add to soup.

Bring the soup just to a simmer and whisk in the sour cream mixture, heat through and serve.

Garnish with some chives and a sprinkling of nutmeg if you like!

It is fantastic served hot or cold!

Jalapeno Bacon Wrapped Zucchini, Lettuce and Tomato Sandwiches

I wanted a BLT but I wanted to add something more to it too....Bacon Wrapped Zucchini sounded like the perfect touch....then I though of my Jalapeno Bacon and *drools* yummmmmm.

Amounts will be to your own number of sandwich needs

Slices of bread....I recommend a good Sour Dough
Slices of Zucchini(about 1-2 per sandwich depending on the size of the slices)
Slices of Bacon(1 per zucchini slice)
Slices of Tomato
Lettuce or Greens of your choice
Mayo(flavored if you like, I like chipotle mayo)

Cheese if you like, I added pepper jack.

1/4 cup jarred jalapenos(mince them up a bit) and liquid*

* If you don't want the kick, just omit the jalapenos from the mix!

First the zucchini...

Take you zucchini and slice it lengthwise into thin strips...If it is a large zuke, you can half those width-wise as well.

Wrap a slice of bacon tightly around each strip, make sure it overlaps a little so it doesn't slip off.

Then place the wrapped zucchini slices in and turn the heat to medium high, bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce temp to medium, continue to cook until the liquid burns off, turning the slices only once...
When the liquid is gone, reduce the temp once more to medium low and cook until the bacon has reached your desired crispiness, turning only one more time if possible, the more you play with them, the more likely the bacon is to slip off the zucchini.

Place on paper towels to drain...

Toast your bread and spread on some mayo, place on the zucchini slices, then tomatoes (I put on the cheese here, then broil it slightly to melt the cheese) then top with lettuce and remaining bread slice(also mayoed if you like) and slice and enjoy!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Pumpkin Ale Chicken Fingers

Another experiment with the Sam Adams Pumpkin Ale. You don't have to use pumpkin ale, any kind of beer would be delicious! And you can leave the breasts whole if you like for a more "adult" presentation but everyone likes nuggets LOL

6 chicken breast
1 bottle Sam Adams Pumpkin Ale
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 small onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
crushed red pepper
black pepper

In a large pan combine 1 cup of the pumpkin ale(reserve remaining 1/2 cup) with the canola oil, onion and garlic. Add seasonings to taste

Add chicken and marinate at least an hour but longer if possible 3-4 would be ideal!

Drain marinade and slice chicken into chunks or slices whatever your preference.

Preheat oven to 400

1 cup fine bread crumbs(gluten free are great!)
1 tsp oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 egg
remaining 1/2 cup ale

In a shallow dish mix bread crumbs, seasonings and cheese.

In another dish, beat egg and add the ale, mix well

Dip slices of chicken into the egg mixture, then into the bread crumbs, turning to coat.

Place on a greased baking sheet and bake for 25-35 minutes until cooked through, flipping once.

Apple Butter Pancakes

I had a ton of Apple Butter so I figured I would try to use some of it this morning. Yummy!!

2 cups flour(GF is delicious too, add 1/2 tsp xanthan gum too)
2 TB baking powder

1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup brown sugar(more or less to taste)

1/4 cup ground flax
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup apple butter
3 TB  melted butter

Mix dry ingredients together, then mix wet ingredients in a separate bowl.

Combine the two and mix well.

Scoop by 1/3 cupfuls onto a medium hot greased griddle.

Cook until the edges are somewhat dry then flip gently

Cook for a few minutes more.

Serve with Apple or Maple Syrup!

Friday, October 5, 2012

S'mores Ice Cream Cake

My youngest picked his birthday cake out way back in August, so I had plenty of time to come up with a recipe!

1 recipe Toasted Marshmallow Ice Cream

Graham Cracker Cake:

1 1/2 cups fine graham cracker crumbs(I used gluten free)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 egg, separated
6 TB butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla

Heat oven to 350 degrees, grease 1- parchment paper lined 9 inch round cake pan

In a bowl combine cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt.

Beat egg white stiff and set aside.

Mix egg yolk, butter and sugar until creamy, then

add milk and vanilla.

Mix into the graham cracker crumb mixture.
Fold stiff egg white gently into the cracker mixture.

Pour into prepared pan.( you can get it baking now, 30-35 minutes, or you can make the devil's food cake and bake them together)

Devil's Food Cake:

1 cup cake flour(GF cake flour works well too, add in 1/2 tsp xanthan gum too)
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
6 TB butter, room temp
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla
1 egg, room temp
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup boiling water

Lightly grease 1 parchment paper lined 9 inch cake pan.

Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, soda and salt. Set aside

Beat butter until smooth, then add sugar and beat for about 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Scrape down with a rubber spatula then add vanilla.

Reduce to medium speed and add egg, and beat again for 1 minute more.

Set mixer to low and add flour mixture 1/4 cup at a time alternating with milk, until well incorporated.

Stop mixer and pour in boiling water, mix on low until well incorporated, then turn to medium high and beat 1 minute

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in 350 degree oven and bake for 30-35 minutes

Cool cakes in pans for 10-15 minutes, remove from pan, and cool completely then remove parchment paper. Return to the pans(I prefer upside down for ease of cake assembly) chill well.

Ice Cream Cake Assembly:

Remove 1/2 cup ice cream and set aside

Divide remaining softened ice cream between the 2 cake pans. Cover with plastic wrap and place in freezer for a minimum of 6 hours, until firm.

Remove from freezer and remove the cakes from the pans.
Stack cake side down one on top of the other.  I did chocolate on the bottom, graham cracker on top, truly it should have been the other way for the "s'more" feeling (with the chocolate in the middle), but the chocolate cake was thicker so I ended up doing it backwards.

Smooth up the sides to fill in the crack. Return to freezer for 30 minutes(with this frosting you might need at least and hour or more)

I had attempted a Marshmallow Fluff Frosting and it did NOT work out, after all was said and done, it is a DELICIOUS frosting, but it just didnt want to stick to this and freeze properly....and it was all around VERY messy......... So I will just write in my standard frosting for ice cream cakes...
8 oz tub cool whip
1/2 cup reserved ice cream
Combine and Mix well.

Remove your cake from the freezer and frost quickly then top as desired I added 6 mini s'mores to the top because my son turned 6....and some coarse graham cracker crumbs, shaved chocolate and mini marshmallows for decoration and freeze 30 minutes more.

Allow to defrost 10-15 minutes for easier cutting!