Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Beef Stew

2 lbs beef stew meat
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon paprika
4 carrots (I add more)
3 potatoes (I add more)
1 1/2 cup beef broth

Mix meat, flour, salt and pepper in crockpot. Add remaining ingredients and stir. Cover.

Cook on low for 10-12 hours or on high 4-6 hours.

Grandpop's Chili (Wayne Kuhner)

Brown 1 lb ground beef.
Put cooked ground beef in crock pot with 1 can kidney beans (undrained), 1 16 oz can tomato sauce, 2 small cans tomato paste and 2-3 cups of water. Add 2-4 teaspoons of chili powder.

Optional- add 2 cups of uncooked macaroni

Cook on high for 4-6 hours.

*Double recipe for lots of servings. Freezes well.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Crepes & Manicotti

My husband's favorite food is manicotti. I used to buy the shells at the store and cook them and try to stuff them with the cheese filling. It takes forever, makes a mess and is a LOT of work. Once, when we ordered manicotti at Buca de' Bepos it seemed like their shells were very similar to crepes. I went home and tried my crepe recipe and they turned out delicious. My husband requested that I always make the crepe version from then on.

This recipe is a regular crepe recipe so if you like crepes, try making them and filling with fruit or more savory fillings. Look ideas up for fillings online. If you want to make the manicotti, just go to allrecipes.com and look for a good manicotti filling recipe and use these as the shells.

This recipe originates from my Vita-Mix cookbook so I always make it in my blender.

1 cup skim evaporated milk
4 eggs or egg substitute
1 tablespoon sugar or other sweetener, to taste
1 cup all-purpose flour

Pour approx. 3 tablespoons of batter onto hot, lightly buttered crepe pan or 8 inch fry pan. Tilt to spread batter. Crepe is done when set on top and lightly browned on bottom.

I always use a regular frying pan. One with rounded edges works best. Try to make these as thinly as possible and they'll work better. I usually flip my crepe just briefly. Don't overcook or they'll be brown and crispy.

Manicotti Filling Recipe

2 eggs
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 container ricotta cheese
½ cup parmesan cheese
½ cup Monterey Jack cheese
1 tablespoon minced garlic
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
2 tablespoons sour cream
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

Make sure to use less parsley/basil if using dried.

Bon Appetit

Homemade Pancakes

This recipe comes from my Vita-Mix cookbook and I make it for my daughter and I all the time. I do mine in my blender but it can also be made in a regular bowl as well. Save money by not having to buy bisquick or pancake mixes. This is cheap and very quick to throw together.

1 1/4 cups milk
1 egg or egg substitute
2 tablespoons light olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
2 tablespoons sugar or other sweetener to taste
1 cup flour, all-purpose or whole wheat or a combination of both
2 teaspoons baking powder

Hint: when using whole wheat flour, substitute brown sugar for sugar or other sweeteners.

I usually use 1/4 cup whole wheat flour and 3/4 cup all-purpose flour. They're a little healthier but still taste good. When I tried 1/2 and 1/2 it didn't taste nearly as good. I usually go a little light on the olive oil as well. Other than that, I make the recipe as is. Enjoy

Monday, December 22, 2008

Dad's Rolled Biscuits

My mom did most of the cooking when I was growing up but whenever we needed some delicious biscuits my dad was the one who made them. (My mom would have make then just fine...it just became my dad's recipe because he perfected them so well). These are easy to make and so delicious spread with homemade jam!

Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Sift Together into a large bowl:
3 ½ cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp baking powder

Cut in with knives or a pastry cutter:
¼ or ½ cup chilled butter or margarine

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and Add all at once:
1 ½ cup milk

Stir until the dough is fairly free from the sides of the bowl. Don't overmix.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured board. Knead gently and quickly, making about eight to ten folds. Roll with a lightly floured rolling pin, until the dough has the desired thickness. (About ½ inch thick works great). Cut with a biscuit cutter dipped in a little flour. Brush the tops with:
Milk or melted butter. (optional)

Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake until lightly browned-12-15 minutes.

Honey Chicken

This recipe makes great glazed chicken wings. Sticky and sweet and definitely a finger food. It takes 2 minutes to prepare but plan ahead because it needs 1-1 1/2 hours to cook.

Turn oven to 375.

1 cup honey
½ cup soy sauce
½ clove chopped garlic
2 tablespoons catsup

Sprinkle 2 tablespoons vegetable oil over 4 lbs frozen chicken wings.

Pour mixture over the top and bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour or until caramelized. Turn approximately every 15 minutes.

I find that it takes longer than 1 hour for the caramelization to occur. Also, make sure the chicken is lying in a single layer on the bottom of the pan. If it’s stacked up, it won’t caramelize. My husband likes this with chicken breasts as well but it doesn’t caramelize without the wings.

Serves great with rice, biscuits and veggies.

Javanese Dinner

This meal is one I grew up with and it's easy to make and flexible for those eating it. This easily serves a large group but can be adjusted to feed two as well. I like to make it when I have guests over as it's fast to prepare and everyone usually likes it.

(Quantities can be adjusted for how many are eating)

10 cups cooked rice
3 cans(bags) Chinese noodles
2 cooked chickens-cut up
2 cans crushed, drained Pineapple
1 cup chopped celery
2 cups slivered almonds (or walnuts)
1 lb. package coconut
1 ½ cup grated cheddar cheese
2 cups grated onions

Chicken broth thickened with corn starch. Mix the cornstarch with a little water first so you don't end up with cornstarch lumps. Seems like a bland gravy but it actually tastes delicious mixed with the other flavors.

Just cook your rice and chicken and put all other ingredients in individual serving bowls on the table. The chicken takes the longest to cook and cut up. Everything else is super easy. You basically just start with the rice and put the ingredients you want on top. I never eat the celery or onions because I don't prefer them but I put them out for those that like them. This makes great left-overs as well. Just put everything in baggies and pull out the next day and reheat. Yum!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Potato Cheese Soup

This is one of those soups that is hard to mess up. The ingredients don't have to be measured exactly and it cooks up fairly quickly.

3 cups chopped potatoes (think bite-sized pieces)
1 can chicken broth
1/2 c chopped celery
1/2 c chopped carrots
1/4 c chopped onions
1 T parsley
1/2 t salt
pepper, to taste

Cook the above until tender. Add:

1 1/2 c milk
2 T flour

Cook until thick. Add:

1/2 Velveeta, cubed

Cook on medium-low heat until melted.

I didn't follow the recipe exactly, so here's what I did:
Sauteed onions and carrots with celery flakes until onions were cooked.
Cut up some fingerling potatoes.
Put a chicken bullion cube in the pot and put enough water in to cover the veggies and potatoes.
Added some celery salt and black pepper.
Boiled for a few minutes until the potatoes were tender, then lowered the heat.
Mixed some milk and flour, stirred that into the soup and then put in a little bit more milk.
Added some Mexican flavor Velveeta.
I measured everything by the trusty eyeball method (I wasn't making as much as the recipe calls for, so I used it as a guide only).
I think everything took me around 30 minutes or so.

As I said, this is hard soup to mess up - it can be adjusted to taste. I might recommend using two or three bullion cubes, but that is up to your taste completely. The Mexican Velveeta is a tip someone gave my mom. She prefers the taste of 1/2 regular Velveeta and 1/2 Mexican Velveeta. I used the celery flakes and celery salt because I can never find small quantities of celery at a reasonable price and have trouble using it up before it goes bad. Cooking the celery flakes in the soup reconstitutes them a little bit. I omitted the parsley because I just didn't have any on hand.

I love fingerling potatoes. They are generally comparable in price to other varieties of potatoes and their size and shape make them easy to cut up. They have good flavor in soups and roasts and cook nicely. They get soft but don't fall apart too much. If you can find a fingerling or baby potato assortment with multiple varieties of potatoes, go for it. The different flavors will blend nicely and give your soup a fuller flavor (also recommended in stews and mashed potatoes). They have thin enough skin that you can use them in most recipes without peeling them.