Thursday, January 29, 2009
This is a really versatile dish; as Rachael Ray would say, it's more about learning a method rather than a recipe. I chose to use pepperoni, salami, and fresh mozzarella for my filling, but any shredded Italian cheese would do, and any combination of meats and veggies would be delicious. And as for the sauce -- I suppose you could make your own quite easily, but I was perfectly content with a jarred tomato basil sauce that I jazzed up myself with my favorite blend of Italian spices. These would be a perfect appetizer to serve for a Super Bowl party, and they're a simple and delicious dinner choice any night of the week. I think kids would really love them, too. I'll have to test them out on Andrew in a few years!
4 eight-inch flour tortillas
1/2 pound deli-sliced pepperoni
1/2 pound deli-sliced Genoa salami
12 slices fresh mozzarella cheese
1 cup jarred tomato sauce
1. To prepare the sauce, in a small pot cook sauce on medium heat or until heated through, seasoning as desired.
2. To prepare the quesadillas, top half of each tortilla with pepperoni, salami, and 3 slices of fresh mozzarella. Fold in half. Cook tortillas in a non-stick skillet until browned on both sides. Cut into wedges and serve immediately, with the sauce for dipping.
Monday, January 26, 2009
This soup was quick, simple, and delicious...my kind of food!
This bread is so yummy; it is the true definition of "spicy." I don't mean it's hot, but rather that it's full of delicious spices that dance on the tongue. The bread itself is not incredibly sweet, which makes it a perfect balance to the powdered sugar glaze. This was a great use for the ground cardamom that's been sitting in my spice cabinet since I last used it in October, just waiting to come out and play. This bread isn't as moist as some of the other quick breads I've made, but it was still incredibly good. It was the perfect thing to warm me up on a chilly, snowy day!
Source: Betty Crocker Annual Recipes 2009
For the bread:
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup prepared tea or water
1/3 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
For the glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
3 to 5 teaspoons milk (I ended up using about 6)
Additional ground cinnamon
1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease bottom only of 8 x 4- or 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with shortening or cooking spray.
2. In large bowl, beat granulated sugar and butter with electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. On low speed, beat in tea or water, 1/3 cup milk, 2 teaspoons vanilla and the eggs until ingredients are well-combined (will appear curdled). Stir in remaining bread ingredients just until moistened. Pour into pan.
3. Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on cooking rack 10 minutes. Loosen sides of loaf from pan; remove from pan to cooling rack. Cool 30 minutes.
4. In small bowl, stir powdered sugar, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla and 3 teaspoons of the milk, adding more milk by teaspoonfuls, until spreadable. Spread glaze over bread. Sprinkle with additional cinnamon. Cool completely, about 2 hours, before slicing.
The beef mixture was supposed to be stuffed inside hollowed-out baked potatoes, but as you can see from the above picture, that didn't happen for me. When I tried to scoop out the meat of the potato, I kept tearing the skin (even though I was being "careful," just as the recipe instructed). About halfway through, I was getting frustrated and thought, "Screw it. I'll just turn it into a casserole." And that's what I did. I'm not a big baked-potato-skin person, anyway. (Also, I somehow spilled the can of green chiles all over myself, because I'm just graceful like that. Thankfully, most of them were salvageable.)
This is just an okay recipe. And I think I can judge it fairly, since really the only thing my version was missing was the potato skins. Even with the green chiles and chili powder, it was a little bit bland. I can't pinpoint what exactly it needed, but it definitely needed something.
I've posted a link to the original recipe, since maybe some of you out there know how to stuff a potato better than I do. That's what I get for trying to do something fussy!
Beef-Stuffed Potatoes (or, Beef and Baked Potato Casserole)
Source: adapted from Taste of Home's Recipe Card Collection (special edition magazine); original recipe can be found here
6 medium baking potatoes
1 pound ground beef
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1/3 cup sour cream
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chiles
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1. Bake potatoes at 375 degrees for 1 hour or until tender. Cool. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the beef and onion over medium heat until the meat is no longer pink; drain.
2. Cut a thin slice off the top of each potato and scoop out pulp, discarding most of the skins. Place pulp in bowl and add sour cream, chilies, butter, Worcestershire sauce, salt, garlic powder and chili powder; mash or beat. Stir in meat mixture until combined.
3. Pour into a 2-quart casserole dish and sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until heated through.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
2 cups frozen pearl onions, thawed
1 cup sliced button mushrooms
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (about 2 pounds)
1/2 cup dry red wine
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup tomato paste
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies
1. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars on medium speed for about 3 minutes. Add vanilla and eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
2. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; add gradually to batter, beating well after each addition. Stir in chocolate chips and hazelnuts.
3. Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls 3 inches apart onto lightly greased baking sheets. Flatten with a fork. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until light brown. Remove to a wire rack to cook. Makes 3 dozen cookies.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
This meal is the kind of thing I absolutely love to cook: simple ingredients, that are simple to prepare, that come together to make something absolutely knock-you-over good. My oh my, this pasta was delicious. This recipe comes from On Top of Spaghetti..., a pasta cookbook I've had for a long time but never cooked from. After looking through it, I discovered that it's filled with delicious pastas I'm just dying to try, and it's definitely one I'm going to come back to frequently. All that pasta...my poor, poor waistline.
I made very few changes and additions to this recipe, mostly just for convenience's sake; they're in purple.
I would entertain with this pasta. As a main course. It is that good.
Pasta with Creamy Spinach and Parmesan Cheese
Source: On Top of Spaghetti... by Johanne Killeen and George Germon
12 ounces dried spaghettini (I used an entire box of fettucine)
8 cups firmly-packed washed and trimmed baby spinach
1 cup heavy cream (I used about 1 1/2 cups)
10 swipes of fresh nutmeg across a grater (I used a dash of dried)
20 to 25 turns of a pepper mill filled with white peppercorns (I used a couple dashes of ground white pepper)
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Stir in a generous amount of salt and drop in the pasta. After a minute or two, add the spinach a handful at a time so the water doesn't lose its boil at any time. Cook, stirring often, until al dente.
2. Meanwhile, warm the cream over moderate heat with the nutmeg, pepper, salt and garlic powder. Bring it to a boil, but don't let it reduce. Taste the cream; it should be well-flavored with nutmeg and pepper. Add more if needed.
3. Drain the pasta and spinach in a collander, reserving about 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. Over low heat, stir the pasta into the cream mixture along with most of the parmesan cheese (save the rest for passing at the table or garnishing). If the noodles absorb too much cream, add pasta water, a tablespoon at a time, until you have the consistency of heavy cream, with each serving having a puddle in the bottom of the bowl. Serve immediately.
These were delicious! I made a few changes to the recipe, which I've highlighted in purple below. Joe really liked them, too, so I'm sure I'll be making them again!
Friday, January 9, 2009
Monday, January 5, 2009
Saturday, January 3, 2009
1. Taste of Home's Ultimate Cookie Collection
2. What's Cooking: Soups
3. Southern Living Christmas Cookbook
4. Simple Pasta Step-by-Step
5. Rumford Complete Cookbook
6. Cookies, Brownies & More ---> butterscotch chocolate chip blondies
7. Taste of Home 2008 Annual Recipes
8. The New Basics Cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins
9. Taste of Home's Big Book of Soup ---> cauliflower, ham and cheese chowder
10. The Taste of Home Baking Book ---> chocolate truffle cookies
11. The Church Supper Cookbook
12. The Better Homes and Gardens New Grilling Book ---> prosciutto pork kabobs
13. Taste of Home's Best of Country Breakfast and Brunch ---> fluffly waffles with cinnamon cream syrup
14. Taste of Home's Grandma's Favorites
15. The Cake Doctor by Anne Byrn
16. Better Homes and Gardens Annual Recipes 2007 ---> chicken fajita pasta
17. Tyler's Ultimate by Tyler Florence ---> the ultimate macaroni and cheese with peas and bacon
18. On Top of Spaghetti... by Johanne Killeen and George Germon ---> pasta with creamy spinach and parmesan cheese
19. A Passion for Baking by Marcy Goldman
20. Pillsbury Christmas 2007
21. Better Homes and Gardens Christmas from the Heart, Volume 16
22. Better Homes and Gardens Christmas from the Heart, Volume 17
23. Progressive Farmer Country Living Recipes
24. Pillsbury Annual Recipes 2008 ---> provolone, prosciutto and pesto quiche
25. Chocolate Epiphany by Francois Payard
26. Taste of Home's Grandma's Great Desserts ---> hazelnut chocolate chip cookies
27. Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook (Celebrating the Promise Edition)
28. Betty Crocker One-Dish Family Favorites ---> creamy bow ties with ham and vegetables
29. Everyday Pasta by Giada de Laurentiis ---> baked gnocchi with spinach and goat cheese
30. Betty Crocker Annual Recipes 2008, Volume 1
31. Betty Crocker Annual Recipes 2008, Volume 2: Celebrate!
32. The Food You Crave by Ellie Krieger ---> stuffed turkey burgers
33. Favorite Brand Name: Country Italian ---> classic chicken piccata
34. HER Realtors Celebrity Cookbook, Volume 9
35. Taste of Home's Best Holiday Recipes (special edition magazine)
36. Taste of Home's Holiday Get-Togethers
37. Betty Crocker's Cookbook (1978 edition)
38. Betty Crocker Cookbook (new edition)
39. Tuscany: The Beautiful Cookbook by Lorenza de Medici
40. Better Homes and Gardens Annual Recipes 2006
41. Nestle Classic Recipes
41. Culinary Art Institute's Christmas Favorites
42. Taste of Home's Contest Winning Annual Recipes 2007
43. Betty Crocker's Picture Cookbook
44. Better Homes and Gardens Biggest Book of Slow-Cooker Recipes ---> Christmas breakfast casserole
45. Another Potful of Recipes by JoAnna M. Lund and Barbara Alpert
46. Best-Loved Slow Cooker Recipes ---> Crock pot coq au vin
47. Taste of Home's Test Kitchen Favorites
48. Taste of Home's Best of Country Cakes
49. Campbell's Creative Cooking with Soup
50. Taste of Home's Pasta Cookbook ---> Mexican chicken stuffed shells
51. Cooking Light's Annual Recipes 2008 ---> New Orleans-style shrimp
52. Taste of Home's America's Best Church Supper Recipes
53. Our Cooking Heritage (cookbook compiled by my hometown)
54. Pillsbury Annual Recipes 2007 ---> breakfast quesadillas
55. Taste of Home's America's Family Recipes 2006
56. Taste of Home's Homestyle Cooking with Cream Soups
57. Best of Home-Tested Collection
58. Bloomfield Church Cookbook (recipes from my grandma's church)
59. Classic Recipe Collection ---> frozen pumpkin squares
60. The Lady & Sons Savannah Country Cookbook by Paula Deen
61. Church Suppers
62. The Best of Cooking Light ---> peach-glazed pork chops with grilled peaches
63. Busy Woman's Slow Cooker Cookbook by Gene and Sharon McFall and Linda Burgett
64. Favorite Brand Name: One-Dish Recipes and Secrets of Slow Cooking
65. Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan ---> devil's food white-out cake
66. Betty Crocker's Chinese Cookbook by Leeann Chin ---> kung po chicken
67. The Book Lover's Cookbook by Shaunda Kennedy Wenger and Janet Jensen
68. A Taste from Grandma's Kitchen ---> "Ohio style" corn dogs
69. Taste of Home's Cooking School 50th Anniversary Cookbook
70. Pillsbury Everyday Family Suppers 2008
71. Better Homes and Gardens: Our Best Recipes
72. Taste of Home's Contest Winning Annual Recipes 2006
73. Taste of Home's Best of Holiday Recipes 2005 (special edition magazine)
74. Taste of Home's Recipe Card Collection (special edition magazine) ---> beef-stuffed potatoes (sort of); basil tortellini soup
75. Charity cookbook compiled by my workplace
76. The Taste of Home Cookbook
77. The New Pillsbury Family Cookbook (1973)
78. Cheesecake Extraordinaire by Mary Crownover ---> key lime cheesecake
79. Taste of Home 2007 Annual Recipes
80. Christmas Cooking from the Heart, Volume 5
81. Christmas Cooking from the Heart, Volume 6
82. Taste of Home's Family Collection Cookbook
83. Betty Crocker's Country Favorites ---> mini corn and pepper cakes
84. Express Lane Meals by Rachael Ray
85. Taste of Home's Mom's Best Meals
86. There's a Chef in my Family!: Recipes to Get Everybody Cooking by Emeril Lagasse
87. Southern Living 2006 Annual Recipes
88. Taste of Home's Complete Guide to Country Cooking
89. Taste of Home's Prize Winning Recipes ---> taco puffs
90. Taste of Home 2000 Annual Recipes ---> banana nut pancakes
91. Taste of Home's Treasury of Christmas Recipes
92. Taste of Home's Holidays and Celebrations Cookbook (2003)
93. Taste of Home's Holidays and Celebrations Cookbook (2004)
94. Taste of Home's Holidays and Celebrations Cookbook (2007)
95. Martha Stewart Living Cookbook: The Original Classics
96. Junior's Cheesecake Cookbook by Alan Rosen and Beth Allen
97. Old-Fashioned Bake Sale ---> fudgy peanut butter chip muffins
98. Blue Ribbon Family Favorites ---> sausage-stuffed baked apples
99. Southern Living 2007 Annual Recipes
100. Better Homes and Gardens Eat and Stay Slim
101. Italian Grill by Mario Batali
102. Betty Crocker Annual Recipes 2009, Volume 1 ---> chai-spiced bread
103. Betty Crocker Annual Recipes 2009, Volume 2: Dinner Made Easy
104. Betty Crocker Just Cupcakes
105. Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics by Ina Garten ---> baked sweet potato fries
106. Family Circle: Our Best Recipes
107. Pillsbury Everyday Family Suppers 2007 ---> salisbury steak
108. Martha Stewart's Cookies ---> cakey chocolate chip cookies
109. Bon Appetit, Ya'll by Virginia Willis ---> Coca-Cola-glazed baby back ribs
110. Viva La Mediterranean by Jean Oliva-Rasbach and Christian W. Schmidt -- chicken cacciatore risotto
111. The Soup Bible by Debra Mayhew
112. Martha Stewart's Cupcakes ---> cookies and cream cheesecake cupcakes
113. Cooking Light Fresh Food Fast ---> BBQ-stuffed baked potatoes
114. Down Home with the Neelys by Pat and Gina Neely
115. Family Circle Hometown Cooking
116. Better Homes and Gardens All-Time Favorites
117. The Global Gourmet
118. Taste of Home's Busy Family Cookbook ---> BBQ shrimp over buttered noodles
Thursday, January 1, 2009
Taking my inspiration from Deborah, the author of one of my favorite food blogs, I've decided to make 2009 the Year of the Cookbook. I have waaaay more cookbooks than one person should probably own -- and some of them still have crack-free spines. So here's my goal: Cook at least one recipe from each and every cookbook on my shelf this year. And until I reach that goal, I'm not allowing myself to buy another cookbook. I want to get started as soon as possible, so look for the first Year of the Cookbook recipe soon. I clearly have my work cut out for me:
Wish me luck! And may your lives (and your stomachs!) be blessed in 2009!