Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Oven fried fish

This is a simple recipe from my saving dinner book.  I didn't change it much except to add a bit of parmesan/romano blend when my Pamesan ran out.  I made it with 2 mahi-mahi filets and 2 salmon filets.  I didn't try it with the salmon.  It was ok with the mahi mahi, but I didn't find the crumb mixture to be all that flavorful.  I thought that was surprising with the Italian seasoning in the crumbs and the cheeses, but oh well.  The directions on this were a  little bit funky in the book so I've written those out how I made it.

Enchiladas Verdes

Today's meal was another one of those why did I bother trying to cook days where everything wanted to go wrong.  I was making Enchiladas Verdes from the slow cooker book I've been using this week.  They called for a medium onion.  I didn't have one - I always have onions - Luckily I found a purple onion in the fridge with only a small chunk out of it.  Good.

Stuffed Chicken Parmigiana

I was interested to try this one because I love Italian especially red sauce type Italian food, so I love Chicken Parmigiana.  This was a slow cooker version, I thought that would be different.  The other thing that piqued my interest was that it used some different cheese - fontina and parmigiano reggiano (which I actually bought rather than subbed out.)  I really liked the chicken, but the sauce could have been way better.  I think part of the problem is the crushed tomatoes I used.  I wasn't a fan of their flavor.  It was good enough the first day - the chicken really did help make up for the sauce.  It was especially delicious in the spots with lots of the bread crumb mix.  I wished I would have put even more in each roll.

Peachy pork chops

This was a great, easy recipe for the crock pot.  It didn't take too long to cook either. I made it in the afternoon which was nice because I could do it when I put the baby down for a nap.  Great time to make dinner.  It also made a nice gravy that was delicious over the pork chops and the potatoes.  I did think the chops were a tiny bit dry, but I used pork loin chops, not regular bone in and the leaner cut of meat usually gets a bit drier.  However, with the gravy, they were wonderful.

Monday, July 26, 2010

New York Style Pizzas

I've decided we will have more pizza nights because we all love pizza and everyone eats it without complaint.  Can't beat that right.  However, since I don't like having the same thing over and over, I've decided with this new pizza more often plan that we will try different pizzas.  DH wanted to try and even thinner crust pizza today, but I decided to flip through the our favorite pizza book, American Pie,  (I love this book.  It is purely pizza, but also a lot of story about trying the pizzas, and where he found them.  Great book!)   The first interesting recipes I came to that were not using Neapolitan or Neo Neapolitan crusts (which we use most often around here) were the New York style.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

mini meatloaf

I made this recipe up by kind of combining 2 I had seen on different websites.  I wanted to do mini meatloaves because they cook so quickly, and I really wanted that for today because it is grocery shopping day, and that is usually a very busy day for me.  Here is how I made them.
I served this with my slowcooked mac 'n cheese except that I cooked it on the stove to make it a ton faster.

menu 7/22

B- oatmeal with peaches
D- mini meat loaf, slow cooked mac 'n cheese, salad  (for meat loaf, combine this with this.)
Make pizza dough

B- chocolate banana muffins
L- cashew butter 1/2 sandwich, celery with cream cheese, grapes
D- New York Style sauce and cheese pizza (p. 194-5), New York Style white pizza (p. 196)

B-pancake, yogurt, fruit
L- baked potato with broccoli and cheese, pears
D-Beef Braciole (p. 183 prosciutto, spinach, romano, sweet onion, crushed tomato, raisins)

D-Just peachy pork chops (p. 250 peach preserves, balsamic vinegar, onions)

L-cottage cheese and pineapple, peanut butter and crackers, pudding
D-Enchiladas Verdes (anaheim chili and tomatillo salsa w/queso fresco &Monterey Jack p. 99)

B-bagel, milk, fruit
L-egg salad or tuna salad, yogurt
D-stuffed chicken parmigiana (p. 485)

B-toast with almond butter
L-left over, or something in freezer
D-Oven fried fish (SD p. 35)

L- sandwich
D- baked potato and cream corn casserole (mom's book)


I checked out a new book from the library this week that was slow cooking.  I'm going on vacation next week, so I will plan some recipes from it this week, but I'm going to list some other recipes I'd like to try from  that book so menu planning will be easier next week.  I'm also writing myself a brief idea of what they were again to make planning easier.  I'll just pull a few and add them to this week when I'm done.

So here is my list.

  • Chicken Balsamico with Yukon Gold Potatoes (thighs, rosemary, bacon, balsamic vinegar p. 106)
  • Bistro Chicken Thighs (thighs, onion, garlic, thyme, crushed tomato p. 107)
  • Boursin and Spinach stuffed chicken breast (Boursin - cheese, chives, cream p. 121)
  • Old Fashined chicken pot pie (no crust, jut the middle p. 127)
  • Chicken meatballs in chunky tomato sauce (like spaghetti but with chicken meatballs p. 128)
  • Garlicky Lemon and Thyme Turkey (p. 132)
  • Mediterranean beef rolls (p. 171 - feta, dill, spinach)
  • North African Beef Stew (p. 173 - garbanzo beans, apricots, cumin, cinnamon, carrots, onion)

  • Chicago-Style Italian Beef (p. 220 onion, bell pepper, italian seasoning, soy sauce)
  • Pulled pork (p. 240, soy, ketchup, worceterchire sauce)
  • Pork Chops with sage and balsamic vinegar (p. 247 figs)
  • 5 de mayo pork (p. 241 cumin, salsa, corn)
  • Sweet Potato pork chop supper (p. 249 onion, sweet potato, oj)

  • Cranberry orange pork loin (p. 254)
  • Pork loin braised in cider with apples and cream (p. 255)
  • Sugar and Spice pork loin (p. 258 fennel, cinnamon, ginger, potato, onion, sweet potato)
  • Pork Tenderloin Osso Bucco-style (p. 262 onion, carrots, celery, tomato, lemon and orange zest, sage)
  • Pork Tenderloin stuffed with cranberry wild rice with cranberry sauce (p. 263)
  • Jamaican jerk pork tenderloin in mango sauce (p. 265)
  • Chile Relleno pork tenderloin with ranchero sauce (p. 266-267)

  • Apple Praline sweet potato gratin (p. 358)
  • Orange-Thyme glazed carrots (p. 359)
  • Ultimate creamed corn (p. 388)
  • Southwestern chili con queso (p. 469)

  • Hot Lemon Blueberry pudding cake (p. 433)
  • Hot Fudge Upside down cake (p. 434)
  • Mom's old fashioned rice pudding (p. 439)
  • Double chocolate croissant bread pudding (p. 445)
  • Cherries Jubilee lava cake (p. 523)
  • Coconutty bread pudding (p. 447)
  • Grape-nuts custard pudding (p. 449)
I also checked out cooksmart and would like to try at least the following recipes:  

  • oven fried chicken that's as good as fried (p. 33)
  • Some rib recipe but I'd have to read more first (p. 149-)
  • Waffles crisp to the last bite (p. 258 -assuming I ever get my waffle iron back from Calphalon)
  • Not your average peanut butter cookies (p. 279)
This book had lots of explaining that I'd love to read - lots about how and why she uses what she does and the experimenting of the cooking.  I'd love to read that, but don't have time right now.  Maybe I can take it with me on vacation.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Orange poached fish with rosemary

Today's recipe is from my Saving Dinner book.  It is the first time I have cooked mahi mahi.  It was OK.  Nothing spectacular, but many times the recipes in here are not and I add something to them.  I think part of the fault may have been mine in that I probably overcooked them a bit trying not to leave them slimy.  I did like having the sauce to pour over it, but I did add additional orange juice near the end of cooking to have enough sauce.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

crock pot cabbage rolls

This recipe came from Saving dinner.  My changes were minimal - 1/2 the onion, twice the carrot, more turkey, and that's it.  It was wonderful.  I could smell the cabbage all day, and I'm not the hugest fan of cabbage so I was a bit worried, but it was great.  I loved the sweet tang of the sauce that it made, and the meat inside was so good.

Coconut beef patties (Rempah) and rice in coconut milk (Nasi Uduk/Gurih)

This meal was a bit heinous to prepare, but I'm the silly person who decided to start with a few fresh coconuts.  It wouldn't be nearly as bad to prepare with regular grated coconut,

Roast pork Calypso

I'm a couple of recipes behind this week.  For some reason life has just been busy lately and I've barely gotten around to cooking - let alone blogging it.  I've made some quick meals, and some already blogged favorites, and the ones I have made I haven't managed to blog.  I need to get back into a better pattern of blogging.  I'm going to try and get caught up today.  I just finished adding pictures for what I have blogged in the last 2 weeks, now to finish writing what we made.
This was only yesterday, so it isn't hard to remember.  It comes from the Multicultural cookbook I have out from the library this week.  It is from Jamaica.  I really liked it.  I wasn't really able to make the gravy because I had no drippings from baking the roast, but it really didn't need a gravy.  It was very tasty, tender and juicy.  I liked the flavor of the spices because it was different.


  • 3 pounds lean pork roast (I used a pork loin)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger (we used a chopped ginger in a jar because I was out of ground)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • salt and pepper to taste - we just put in a sprinkle of each
  1. Preheat oven to 325.  With a large meat knife, make crisscross diagonal cuts 1/4 inch deep about 1 inch apart in the fat side of the pork roast.  Place roast, fat side up on rack in roasting pan.  (we put ours on a cooling rack on a cookie sheet because we have no roasting pan.)  
  2. Bake for 1 1/2 hours or until golden brown)
  3. Remove roast.  (If you have drippings, pour them into a small saucepan.)  I actually removed the fat from the roast at this point.  I didn't want the glaze on the fat, I wanted it on the meat.
  4. In a small bowl combine brown sugar, garlic, ginger, cloves, salt and pepper.  Add 2 Tablespoons water and stir into paste.  Spread paste over the surface of the roast and return to the oven.  Continue baking 35-45 minutes or until juices run clear.
  5. Transfer roast to cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing
  6. If you had drippings, you can make a gravy by stirring 2 cups chicken broth into the dripping.  Bring that to a boil over medium high heat and reduce heat to low.  Put 2 teaspoons arrowroot into T tablespoon water and stir to make a smooth paste.  Add to broth mixture stirring constantly.  Cook until thickened.  Remove from heat and stir in 3 Tablespoons of lime juice.  (I'm sure this would have been great.  I would have loved to see how the lime flavor worked with it, but I had no drippings, and the pork was wonderful without it so I didn't bother with making the gravy.)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Black bean quesadillas and yet another way to make black beans

So, today I found a recipe that I wanted to make for black bean quesadillas in my Saving Dinner cookbook.  I had a book checked out from the library last week called Daisy cooks Latin. I didn't end up making anything out of it because it seemed time consuming, or included ingredients that I never see at my grocery store, so I didn't try much, but she did say in the book that she never remembers to soak her beans overnight, but that she just cooks them for a couple of hours and they are done, so I decided to try it today.  Lo and behold, it worked.  Super simple too.  So, today you get the recipe for the black beans (which I totally made up.) and the recipe for the quesadillas.  They both turned out great.  I resisted my cumin urge, and actually added much less than I usually do to black beans.  They were still great, and I liked the change of flavor.  I also liked the black bean quesadillas.  They would get a 4.5 from me, but they weren't as big of a hit with the kids - Tavio didn't like the bell pepper - not sure what Benjamin didn't like - Duncan ate 2, so a 4 star wins for today.  I'm putting a picture of how it looked without the  lid since it just looks like any other quesadilla with the lid on it.

Black bean ingredients

  • 1 lb black beans
  • lots of water (I didn't measure, you just cover the beans by a couple inches and add more as needed.)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic blend
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon dehydrated onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  1. Rinse beans.  Put in a large pot and cover with 2 inches of water.  Boil for 2-2 1/2 hours or until desired tenderness is reached, adding water as needed so they don't dry out.  When they are almost done, add garlic blend, salt, onion, and cumin.  Simmer for a little longer to blend flavors.  Serve.
Quesadilla Ingredients
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 15-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained (I used the above homemade and eyeballed how much a can would be.
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 package frozen corn (5-6 oz.)
  • 12 flour tortillas (I used more and still had mix left over.)
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese (I used more and made them good and cheesy.  I also used a variety - white cheddar on top, Monterrey jack on bottom for some, 4 cheese Mexican blend for others.)
  1. In a large skillet, saute onion in butter.  Add garlic.  Mix in corn (until unfrozen)  Add beans, bell pepper and tomatoes.  Cook until heated through.  
  2. Make quesadillas in a large skillet.  (I layered mine tortilla, cheese, veggie/bean mix, cheese, tortilla.)  I sprayed my pan with non-stick spray and cooked them until browned on each side.)

Chocolate loves Vanilla Bread

So this is another recipe from the same book as the Challah I tried the other day.  This recipe is from my King Arthur bread book.  I'm actually super slow in adding this.  I started writing it on 7/5.  It is now 7/19 and I'm adding pictures but only have a draft of this with 1 line typed?  Oops.
This bread was delicious!!  Sweet, but not too sweet.  Delicious.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Magic in the middle cookies

I actually saw these over on Mels' kitchen cafe.  She has them pictured on the side of her blog always, and they have intrigued me for a long time.  Benjamin wanted to make cookies yesterday, so I decided to try them.  They are originally from King Arthur Flour's site.  I followed the directions from there because they have a lot of pictures.

Prego casserole

This is a recipe I grew up with.  It wasn't on my menu for today, but by the time I got home from the grocery store and got all of the groceries put away today, this got to be dinner because I didn't have time for what was on the menu. This was way better than I remember it.  I'm going to just say that this meal is only as good as your ingredients.
 Today I used a different brand of pasta sauce and a mix of ground beef and sausage I had in the freezer.  I'm assuming that is why it was tastier.  It still gets the name Prego casserole because that's what I grew up calling it.
We had ours with corn and grapes as sides.  Simple and quick.

Prego casserole

  • 1 jar Prego (or other pasta sauce - Today I used HEB Marinara and it was tastier than I remembered it.)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup shredded cheese, plus more to top if desired (Use your favorite - today I used sharp cheddar)
  • 1 lb ground beef (or pre-cooked - today I actually had a hamburger sausage mix I had made and frozen.  That was great.)
  • 1 package pasta (12-16 oz.  I had a 12 oz package of tri-color rotini today)
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions
  2. Brown beef with dehydrated onion, salt and pepper, drain (or use pre-cooked and just defrost.)  Add pasta sauce, sour cream and cheese.  Heat through.  Add cooked pasta and mix well.  Top with additional cheese if desired.

Menu 7/15

B- breakfast bar, milk
L- snack lunch - crackers, cheese, grapes, carrots or celery
D- Coconut beef patties and rice in coconut milk (MC p. 341 & 343)

B- Oatmeal
L- Ham sandwich (or veggie burger) carrots or celery, apple
D- chicken with lemon grass (MC p. 325- needs to marinate for 1 hour)
Start some sprouts (alfalafa)

B-Peach puff
L- vegetarian chili
D- Roast pork Calypso (MC 377- cooks for 1.5 hours)

B- Cereal
L- Nachos
D- Flank Steak Bogota Style, potatoes with cheese and onions (p. 406-407 -simmers ofr 2.5 hours, then in oven for 20 minutes and rest for 20)

Monday - 
B- Scrambled eggs
L- sandwiches
D- black bean quesadillas (sd p. 213- I'd really like to make tortillas and homemade black beans (a book I got this week says you can just boil them for 2 hours -keeping covered with liquid and skimming the foam - I'd love to try it if I have time, but they way I've been going lately, canned will probably win.) serve with melon

B-Look for something new (a bready something like bagels?)
L--Fruited tuna salad
D- Crock-pot cabbage rolls (SD p. 199)

B- Granola 
L-Peach black bean soup
D-Orange -poached fish with rosemary (SD p. 236) serve with couscous (try making it an orange flavor) and zucchini.  

For next week 
Breakfast -rice pudding

meat loaf - mini
pizzas -pick a new type

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Pizza Quesadillas, buttermilk tortillas

Wow, I really thought I had blogged this.  I even thought I remembered typing about the sundried tomato tortillas and the basil Parmesan Tomato sauce, but there is no blog post in sight.  Hmm.
I first made these sometime the week before last for lunch.  The original recipe is from the Gourmet Tortillas cookbook.
When I made them week before last I made a Sundried tomato tortilla.  It was OK, but not my favorite.  Definitely not worth the extra time to let the tomatoes sit in boiling water in my opinion, but really they were fine in the pizza.  You couldn't really taste the tomatoes all that often.  Today I made them with buttermilk tortillas.  I did sub out 1/2 cup wheat flour for white, and consequently had to add a bit more water, but I have made the buttermilk tortillas before all white and they were good.  Last time I made these I used a variety of different cheeses (pretty much used up what was in the fridge.) and I topped them with olives.  This time I used monterey jack inside and mozarella on top and topped a few with pepperoni.  Both ways were good.  I would love to try her sauce, but never have the hour it would take to let it simmer.  Today I used some left over sauce from homemade pizza today on 1/2 of the tortillas.  I love that sauce.
This could be a super quick meal if you use store bought tortillas and pizza sauce.  (All measurements are approximate - I don't measure anything.  I have always used 10 tortillas because that is how many my recipe makes.)

  • 10 tortillas
  • 1 cup pizza sauce
  • cheese of choice, grated
  • additional toppings of choice, pepperoni, sliced olives, diced onion or bell pepper.....
  1. Make Quesadillas in a skillet or on an electric skillet by placing one tortilla in the pan, topping with cheese, and then topping with another tortilla.  Let cook until starting to brown a little.  Flip and brown the other side - or cook until cheese is melted.
  2. Turn oven to Broil.  Place made Quesadillas on a large cookie sheet (only 2 or 3 will fit).  Top with a couple tablespoons of pizza sauce, cheese and any toppings you may want.  Broil until cheese is melted and bubbly. (Just a few minutes)  Cut into 4-8 triangles and serve.
Another alternative is to place 5 of the tortillas on 2 cookie sheets, top with cheese, broil, then top with another tortilla, pizza sauce, and more cheese and broil again.   This may actually be faster.  I just have only made this with homemade tortillas.  Since I'm already using the griddle to make the tortillas, I just make the quesadillas there too.

Buttermilk Tortillas
Ingredients and directions

  • 2 1/2 cups white flour (I used 2 white and 1/2 wheat today)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 2 Tablespoons dry buttermilk
Mix dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon butter softened
Cut butter into flour mix until it resembles coarse meal.
  • 6.5 oz. water
Add water all at once.  Mix well adding more water if necessary (it was necessary today.)  You want a soft dough that is not sticky.
Cover dough and let rest 15-20 minutes.
Divide into 10 equal pieces.   Roll out thin.  Cook on a skillet or frying pan for about 1 minute per side.

broccoli cheese soup

This is a super simple hungry girl soup.  I only changed the fact that I used milk rather than soymilk because I have vanilla soymilk at home right now and I didn't think it would go very well in soup.  :)  I served this with some pizza quesadillas for dinner.

Oven pork roast with Applesauce, baby potatoes, gravy

Wow, I made this a week and a half ago at least.  I was cleaning out the fridge, had the left overs still in there, so I came to the blog to see when exactly I made it, but it wasn't on the blog.  Oops.  I didn't use the exact same spices- partly because I don't like that much Mrs. Dash - too spicy for the kids, and partly because I actually ran out.  I'm hoping I remember right what I did because it has been a while ago.
The pork was surprisingly good.  It seemed like it was going to be dry because the outside was dry, but it was moist and delicious, it just had an outer crust that was hard, but in no way bad. The rest of the meal was just pretty normal.  I include it because it did make a nice complete meal.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Armenian Flat bread with sesame seeds (Churek)

The previous recipe said to use this bread for "sopping."  My pilaf definitely didn't have anything to "sop." but the bread had a great flavor.  The directions said to roll it as thin as possible - under 1/4 inch thick.  I don't think they understood that I can roll tortillas and crispy pizza dough really really thin.  One of these ended up a bit thicker than the rest, and I think we determined we liked it the best.
 I also kept baking them to get them golden, but I think the paler ones were a bit better because they weren't as dry.  They were still golden on the bottom.  The flavor what wonderful, but what bread wouldn't be with a stick of butter in the batter.  This was a really sticky dough.  I think I may have even added a full extra cup of flour.  When I first finished mixing, the dough was soo sticky I couldn't imagine rolling it thin, so I started adding flour.  I added so much that I wondered if I had just miscounted and only added 5 cups.  I'd have to make it again to find out.  Even adding the full extra cup of flour, it was still plenty sticky for a bread dough, but after it's rise, it was not so sticky that I couldn't roll it out with the help of a little cooking spray. I also didn't follow the directions for mixing very well.  They had you mix part of the water and part of the sugar with the yeast to bloom the yeast, but I just did it all at once, and I'm writing the directions as I made them.  These take up a ton of space to cook.  I only got 2 on a cookie sheet.  Luckily I have double ovens, so I actually cooked 6 at a time.  That helped dinner be ready quicker, and the remaining breads cooked while we were eating.  Both recipes are from this book which I have checked out of the library.


  • 1 package active dry yeast (2 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups lukewarm water
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup melted butter (1 stick)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 Tablespoons sesame seeds
  1. In a mixing bowl, combine yeast, sugar and water.  Let rest while gathering the remaining ingredients. (Get the flour, melt the butter...)   Add the flour, butter, then salt.  Mix until a soft, spongy dough is formed.  (I mixed until it wasn't sticking to the sides of my mixing bowl.)  Cover and let rise until double.
  2. Preheat oven to 350.  Place dough on lightly greased (or floured) surface.  Divide into 10 equal pieces.  Shape into balls and using lightly greased (or floured) rolling pin, roll each ball into a disk as thin as possible.  Place 2-3 disks on a nonstick baking sheet (I just sprayed mine with cooking spray.)  Using a spray bottle filled with cold water, lightly mist each disk with water and sprinkle with sesame seeds.  (I actually used a spray butter.  I also could definitely only fit 2 as thin as I rolled them, but I would leave them a little thicker next time.)  
  3. Bake for 20-25 minutes until loaves are golden brown.  Allow to firm up for 10 minutes before transferring to wire rack.  Continue baking remaining loaves in batches.

Pilaf with meat and fruit (Alma-ata plov)

So this week at the library I checked out a book called Multicultural cookbook of life cycle celebrations.  I didn't really notice the life cycle celebrations part at the library.  That made it  interesting.  I think I may try the one for students next.  Looking through the first part of the book I was afraid that I wasn't going to like it or find anything I would like to make because the first continent represented was Africa.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Coconut glaze fruit salad

I made this fruit salad for Brandon's birthday.  It was soooo good.  Definitely a keeper.  The original recipe called for light coconut milk - I didn't have any but I did have some coconut cream.  I used a bit of that.  I really don't think it needed it.  The extract and lime were where the real flavor came from.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

menu 7/8/2010

Going for the whole menu again this week so I will have enough fruits and veggies.  Did super poorly at that last week.
Also I have a new "multicultural cookbook" out from the library so I'm going to try some stuff out of there as well.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Sesame chicken with noodles and snap peas

Another recipe from Dinner Survival by Sandi Richards.  I did make some changes though.  I looked for "sesame snaps (sesame-honey crisps found in candy aisle)" at 3 stores but didn't find them, so I just modified the recipe.  I added honey to my soy sauce and sprinkled it with sesame seeds.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Drip beef

Dinner was so delicious tonight.  Yum!  We made the drip beef from pioneer woman.   Check out her website for a lot of pictures, and a second version.  We opted for the pepperoncini version and I worried that it would be a bit too spicy, but it was delicious.  It did have a bit of spice to it, but it tasted like pepper to me, not the tangy spicy I was expecting from the pepperoncinis.  This was super simple and quick.  It does require that you start early, but there is so little prep time.   The largest amount of time spent was trimming the fat from the meat.  This version does not make au jus for  dipping, but it didn't need it.  The meat was juicy and delicious.

Whole wheat challah

This was a very different recipe for me to try.  It was a yeast bread that used eggs.  I've just never made a bread like that before.  It had a different texture than I'm used to which made it hard to judge if I needed more liquid or flour.  I measured my pastry flour by weight and it was quite a bit different than by volume, so I was worried.  Add to that the fact that  it tried to totally flop on me because my yeast didn't work for some reason, and I'd say I was pretty lucky that I managed to resurrect it somehow and it worked.  I will write the original recipe with notes, but know that since the yeast didn't work at all the first time, I put a little bit of water (maybe 2 Tablespoons) in a bowl, added 2 1/2 teaspoons of yeast, a dash of sugar, and let it bloom for a minute.  I added that and a little more flour to the bread after the first rise (or lack thereof in my case today.)  Luckily, that worked.  From there I just rolled it out and let it rise 1 time (pretending that it actually had it's first rise.)  It turned out fine.  It was a bit different texture than I'm used to.  A little spongier maybe?  I also didn't bother to tent the bread because I baked it directly on my pizza stone. I took it out a bit early, and it probably could have come out a minute or 2 earlier that I took it out, but it was ok.  It was loved by the family who ate all of it except about 2 inches.
Here is the recipe with my notes


  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 6 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups (6 3/4 oz) whole wheat pastry flour **(see note below)
  • 2 cups (8 1/2 oz) unbleached bread flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
**  I weighted out 7.15 (or so) oz. of wheat berries and ground them on the pastry setting on my wheat grinder.  It only measured around 1 1/2 cups, but weighted a bit more than the 6.75 oz. called for.  On the bread flour, I used 2 cups.  They weighed just over 9 oz.  I figured that would do since my wheat flour had measured so much less than 2 cups.  I also thought I'd add more water if necessary.  The dough seemed an okay consistency as it was. - But then again I've never made Challah or any other yeast bread with egg in it.  It may have been a little too much on the flour.   Either way,  I ended up adding more flour, water and yeast to get it to rise, so I guess it isn't such a great indication.  The recipe says it is supposed to be "feather light"  so maybe I should have gone completely by the weight. 

  1. Combine all ingredients and mix and knead them until you have a soft, smooth dough.  Cover and allow to rise until nearly double in bulk (1 to 2 hours)
  2. Lightly grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper.  (I just put mine on my pizza peel)
  3. Gently deflate dough and transfer to a lightly greased work surface.  Divide into 3 equal pieces (around 10 oz. each for me)  Shape pieces into a rough log.  Cover the pieces and let rest for 10 minutes.
  4. Roll each piece of dough into an 18 inch rope.  Place side by side and braid squeezing the ends together and tucking them underneath.  Cover and let rise until puffy, but not doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.  Near the end of the rise, preheat oven to 375.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until thermometer registers 190.  (Original directions say to bake 20 minutes and then tent with foil and bake 10 minutes more.  

Notes for next time:

Let eggs warm up to room temperature before using (wondering if this had any bearing on the yeast not working.)
Add water, then yeast and let bloom (only slightly) then add honey, flours, then oil, eggs and salt.  (Maybe that would help my first batch of yeast work.
Start by adding only the called for weight of flour - only add more if necessary.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Honey-Garlic Ribs with Grilled Veggie Salad

This is also from the Sandi Richard's book I checked out of the library.  I was supposed to make my ribs by cutting them up and putting them in a slow cooker all day, but I didn't get them defrosted yesterday, or out and ready by this morning,.....  So I ended up making them the same way I usually make ribs.  In the oven, in a Extra Large foil pouch.  I did use her sauce which had a good flavor, but I probably should have reapplied it in the oven during the cooking time because the outsides of the ribs were a bit dry.  The middles were great though.  I found the salad to be interesting.  I think I served it the way the author had in mind - grilled veggies over lettuce.  I've never done that, but I liked the combo.  However, the veggies needed salt and/or a bit more salad dressing on the lettuce.  However, I was supposed to have put pesto on my grilled veggies but when I opened my pesto it was moldy, so I just sprinkled them with a little bit of oil and some dried basil.  Pesto would have been better I'm sure.  I'm also just noticing I was supposed to have added an onion to the veggie mix and I didn't.  I don't know how I keep just leaving out ingredients lately.  A little onion would have been good, but A full onion would have been too much.
Here is how I made this today.


  • 2 racks baby back ribs (about 5 lbs)
  • (recipe called for 1 12 oz. jar of honey-garlic sauce.  I could never find it so I made my own with the following as suggested by the book.)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce,
  • 1 Tablespoon molasses,
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon dehydrated onion
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 small zucchini (I used a yellow squash)
  • 1 onion (I forgot this, but would use maybe 1 large (1/2 inch) ring of and onion next time)
  • 10 mushrooms
  • 1 Tablespoon basil pesto  (mine was bad so I used 1/2 teaspoon olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon basil  -I'd add 1/2 teaspoon salt as well next time.)
  • 1/2 bag Romaine lettuce (6 oz)  I used 7-8 leaves chopped
  • 1/4 cup salad dressing (I didn't measure, but I probably used less.  I chose and Italian with basil and Parmesan to go with the basil in the grilled veggies.)

  1.  Heat oven to 400.  Place a large sheet of aluminum foil over a baking sheet.  Peel membrane off the bottom of the ribs and place on foil.  
  2. Whisk together sugar, honey, soy sauce, molasses, garlic, onion flakes and water.  Reserve about 1/2 cup sauce.  Pour the rest over the ribs.  Brushing it all over both sides.  
  3. Cover the ribs with another sheet of foil and fold edges together making a packet of ribs.  Put in the oven.  Set the timer for 1 hour.  
  4. When the timer goes off,put it on for another 30 minutes and light the coals for the grill (I don't suppose you would have to light a gas grill so early.)  Chop the veggies (peppers, onion, mushroom and squash) into a bowl.  Add pesto (or oil and basil) and toss until coated.  Spray a grill wok with cooking spray.  Add veggies.  Place on grill.  Stir and cook until crisp/tender.
  5. Remove ribs from oven.  Brush with reserved sauce and move to grill.  Grill for a few minutes reapplying sauce frequently.  
  6. Chop lettuce (if necessary)  Toss with dressing in a medium bowl.  
  7. Place salad on plates, top with grilled veggies.  Serve with ribs on the side. I also made bread, but it wasn't done until we were through eating.

Asian Tuna (or Chicken) wontons with corn on the cob

This recipe is from the Sandi Richard's book I have checked out of the library.  It is very similar to some wraps I made the other day from a Hungry girl book only this had you cook the wraps first, then fill them.  She also used oil, but I just used cooking spray having already tried that, I knew it worked.  I had to make various changes because this recipe called for things I can never find in the grocery store.  It called for Sambal Oelek - apparently it is a crushed chili paste.  I used Tabasco sweet and spicy sauce.  It also called for Kepac Manis - a sweet soy sauce.  That is actually why I chose the sweet Tabasco, and then used regular soy sauce.
I made 1/2 of the recipe using 1 can of tuna, then made the other 1/2 with precooked chicken that I shredded with my fingers.  Both were fine.  I think the tuna was a little bit better.  But even with that said, I liked the ones we had from Hungry girl better.  These were nice and crispy all the way to the bottom though.  You get 2 pictures today - one of the set-up and one of the plates.

This is how I made them - with 1/2 chicken and 1/2 Tuna


  • 1 1/2 teaspoon fresh garlic (jarred)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet and spicy tabasco sauce
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons lime juice (bottled)
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 can Albacore tuna in water
  • 6.5 oz chicken (can use canned, but I used pre-cooked that I shredded with my fingers)
  • 3 Tablespoons crushed peanuts (I totally forgot these, but they would have been good)
  • 4 cups coleslaw mix (I actually added a bit more - 1/2-1 cup)
  • non-stick cooking spray
  • 24 wonton wrappers
  • 6 ears of corn
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • (optional toppings, cilantro or bean sprouts)
  1. Preheat oven to 350.  
  2. Whisk together garlic, sesame oil, Tabasco, soy sauce, lime juice and honey in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add coleslaw mix and crushed peanuts to the sauce.  Divide into 2 bowls (if doing 2 flavors)  Drain water from tuna (and chicken if using canned.)  Add 1 can to each 1/2 of the mix.  (Here is where I added more coleslaw because the 1/ 2 of mix that stayed in the original bowl was juicier even though it didn't use as moist of a meat, so I added a bit more coleslaw to that bowl.)  Toss and set aside
  4. Spray the inside of 2 muffin tins thoroughly with cooking spray.  Place a wonton wrapper in each cup.  spray tops of wontons and push into the tin to form little cups.  Bake for 7-9 minutes or until golden brown.  (I think mine were about 9.  Original recipe was 6-7, but I know I put mine in for longer.  Probably because I used cooking spray rather than oil.)   If husking the corn, wrap in aluminum foil and place on the lower shelf of the oven while the wontons are still cooking.  (I did not husk my corn, I just placed it in the oven on the bottom shelf in the husk.)  Cook for 5 minutes more after taking the wontons out.  (I turned mine over when I took the wontons out.)
  5. To serve, fill cups with cole slaw mix, top with diced red peppers.   

Pine nut and coconut-crusted salmon, melon salsa, couscous and asparagus

Pine nut and coconut-crusted salmon, melon salsa, couscous and asparagus - sounds delicious right - wrong - one of the worst meals ever.  I have to say that it was mostly due to the fact that we had some bad salmon, but that wasn't all.  Sad too because I was really looking forward to trying the meal.  It had you crush pine nuts and coconut together.  Then you dipped the fish in water, flour, water and rolled it in the nuts.  Sounds wonderful right.  I used up all of the pine nuts and did the second half of the fish with almonds.  Almonds and coconut - yum.  However, upon putting the first bite of salmon in my mouth, all hopes for a good meal were gone.  The salmon was way too fishy and it made my mouth tingle like it was full of vinegar or something - NOT what it should have done.  
I was looking forward to the couscous as well because I was trying a tri-colored couscous at a restaurant and it had been good - so I was trying this type of couscous in the recipe rather than the regular type which I do not like.  It was made with beef broth, so I had hoped it would have a nice flavor,  but it was just plain.  
Even the asparagus was mediocre.  It wasn't cooked enough....  
We ended up going out to chick fil a.   

It looked nice though.

Oh, did I mention that I also had a can of jam explode on me this day as well?  I poured my boiling  jam in the jar, put the lid on, flipped it upside down like I always do and all of a sudden the bottom burst off into my hand.  NOT my day for cooking.   
There is the residual jam left on my counter after my spillage.  

menu 6/30

DH wants to try a pioneer woman recipe.  Either drip beef here  or marloro man sandwich here.  Drip beef will win because that sandwich uses like 2 sticks of butter.  Now to find out which one of the drip beef recipes he wants to try.
Whew, I actually started this blog on the right day, and I made my menu on a piece of paper, but never got it online.  Luckily I got most of the recipes from the same book and remembered which ones they were.  I have had no plan for lunch of breakfast - not good.   Here is the plan for dinner

drip beef here
a side dish for the 4th of July ward activity - ended up being slow cooked mac 'n cheese
Oven Pork Roast with Applesauce, baby potatoes, gravy and asparagus (p. 48)
Pine nut and coconut-crusted salmon, melon salsa, couscous and asparagus (this was a horrible experience - post coming p. 72)
Honey-garlic ribs with grilled veggies salad (p. 74)
Sesame snap chicken with pasta and snap peas (I may have to change this chicken.  I haven't been able to find the sesame snaps)
Asian tuna/chicken wontons with corn on the cob (p. 154)

Friday, July 2, 2010

pancake mix

So I decided to make up a pancake mix this morning.  This is what I came up with.  Now I have to fiddle with it until I get it perfected.  Today I tried mixing it with milk, although with the buttermilk in there it could be mixed with water.  I just have extra fat free milk that I want to use up and figured the calcium and protein wouldn't hurt anybody.   I also tried a version with yogurt.  I meant to throw some blueberries in the plain ones, but it didn't happen.  I still want to try them with water, and possibly vanilla soymilk since I have some of that needing to be used in my fridge, but for today, I don't need that many pancakes.
1 batch made 10 normal sized pancakes for me.


  • 6 cups flour
  • 1 cup buttermilk powder
  • 2 Tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 Tablespoons baking soda
  • 6 Tablespoons sugar (or splenda)  1/3 cup is close
  • 1 teaspoon salt
To make
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 Tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 1/4 cup mix
This option was pretty strong on the buttermilk flavor.  Could add 1 teaspoon vanilla next time

Option 2
  • 1 6 oz. container yogurt (I used light cherry)
  • 1 egg (I actually meant to use egg substitute in this version - oops.  1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup mix
I actually added 1/4 cup mix and that made a really thick pancake, but it was good.  I added another 1/4 cup milk and it thinned the pancake, but changed the texture, so I'd try the above mix 


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