Saturday, October 30, 2010

Italian Bread Dip

This was a really good oil dip, perfect for an appetizer. This is a tad spicy, so if you don't like the heat, leave off or cut down on the crushed red pepper. Ingredients:
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried rosemary
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. granulated garlic
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (or as needed)

Italian Salad Dressing

A classic Italian Salad, similar to that of Olive Gardens....however, I, personally like this one better! Ingredients:
lettuce mixture
1 can of black olives, sliced in half
Red onion, sliced
Large croutons
Banana peppers
Roma tomatoes

1/2 cup mayonaise
1/3 cup white vinegar
1 tsp. vegetable oil
2 TBSP. corn syrup
2 TBSP. parmesan cheese
2 TBSP. romano cheese
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp. italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. parsley flakes
1 TBSP. lemon juice
1 TBSP. sugar

Mix the dressing ingredients in a blender until well mixed. Toss over the salad. Sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese and fresh ground pepper.

Italian Risotto

The kids all raved over this one! Very creamy and flavorful, almost just melts in your mouth.Ingredients:
2 TBSP. butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
2 sprigs of thyme
7 cups chicken stock, hot
4 TBSP. butter
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a 12 to 14-inch skillet, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent but not browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Once the onions are translucent add the rice and stir with a spoon until toasted and opaque, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the wine to the toasting rice ensuring that it is all cooked off before you add any stock. Add a 6-ounce ladle of the chicken stock and cook, stirring, until it is absorbed. Add in two sprigs of thyme. Continue adding the stock a ladle at a time, waiting until the liquid is absorbed before adding more. Cook until the rice is tender and creamy and yet still a little al dente, about 15-20 minutes. Remove the thyme. (See Note Below) Remove from heat and stir in the butter and cheese until well mixed. Season to Taste with salt and pepper. Portion risotto into 4 warmed serving plates, serving with extra cheese.

Italian Beef Tenderloin

This is very flavorful and almost melts in your mouth. The cut of meat is expensive, but it is worth it! I did make this in a crock pot with a regular rump roast. You still get the flavor and it does make a yummy roast. Although, I do recommend the tenderloin the most.
Beef tenderloin roast (4-5 lbs.)
2 TBSP. olive oil
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. Oregano
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. minced garlic

1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 TBSP. butter
1/4 cup water
1 TBSP. corn starch
1 tsp. dijon mustard
1 tsp. tomato paste
1 can beef broth
2 cups portabella mushrooms, sliced

Directions: Take the first set of ingredients and combine all the spices in a bowl. Take the olive oil and spread over the roast. Then coat the roast with the spices. Brown until a crisp outer coating on all sides. Then place in a roasting pan on a rack and roast it at Bake 425 for 35-40 minutes, rotating occasionally. Then remove from the oven, cover with tinfoil and let sit for 20 minutes before slicing.

Gravy: Saute the onion and mushrooms in the 2 TBSP. butter, mix the corn starch in the 1/4 cup cold water and add to the onion/mushroom mixture. Add the can of beef broth and the tomato paste and mustard. Bring to a boil and then simmer until thickened. Serve over the roast.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Slow cooked Pork Ribs

I made some ribs for dinner tonight. Yum, were they ever good! The kids ate them all up and wanted more! I really thought the sauce was good. I left out the cayenne pepper, as my kids don't like it spicy. They sure tasted good with garlic, smashed red potatoes. I was just missing the bloomin' onion! I did have to tweak the recipe a bit to make it work with my work schedule. I actually cooked them most the way the night before, then put it in the fridge overnight and finished up the next day. They were great. Perfect way to make ribs in the winter when you don't want to go outside and use the grill! Brown the ribs and then season them with a mixture of: 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. onion powder, 1/2 tsp. garlic salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper (This is enough for one rack of ribs). Bake in the oven, covered in tinfoil at bake 275 for 3 hours. Then I put it in the fridge overnight and finished the next day. But you can just dump the sauce over it and continue to cook for another 30 minutes.

2 medium onions, chopped
1 TBSP. minced garlic
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup water
1 cup spicy ketchup
3 tablespoons white vinegar
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Liquid Smoke
2 teaspoons ground mustard
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional (I didn't use it)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Saute the onions and garlic in the butter until soft. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil and simmer for 10-12 minutes. Pour over ribs and cook for an additional 30 minutes. Serve.

Mushroom Hazelnut Salad

This is a very flavorful salad. The mix of the warm, sauteed mushrooms and almonds gave it a classy taste. I LOVED it! Next time I am going to try adding a little bacon.
4 TBSP. Olive Oil
1 TBSP. Red wine vinegar
1 TBSP. fresh Tarragon, chopped coarsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp. honey
salt and pepper to taste
In a small skillet, over medium heat, saute the mini bella mushrooms in 1 TBSP. olive oil. Remove from pan. Add the almonds and toast until browned. Toss in with your salad mix and toss with the dressing.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Whole Wheat Bread

One of our family favorites...freshly ground, whole wheat bread! Syd learned to make it this summer and became quite the master! Directions:
In your mixer, using a dough hook, place 7 cups freshly ground whole wheat flour and 5 cups hot tap water. Stir until mixed well. In a seperate cup, mix 1/2 cup hot tap water with 2 TBSP. yeast and 1 tsp. of sugar to activate. Stir to dissolve. Add 2 TBSP. salt to dough, 2/3 cup honey and 2/3 cup olive oil. Next add the yeast. Add in 5 more cups of flour. Let knead. Add more flour until dough becomes sticky (like cookie dough). Knead in mixer for 10 minutes on a low speed.

Spray four loaf pans and using olive oil on your hands, divide the dough into fourths and shape into loaves. Bake at 325 for 45 minutes.

Skor Bar Cake

I haven't made this cake for awhile. I forgot how yummy and rich it was. I love it best the next day after it's sat in the fridge all night! If you have a sweet tooth, it's great for breakfast!!! :) Now you all know how bad I am. Ingredients:
1 pkg. Devils food cake mix
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 small jar caramel topping
1 8oz. cool whip
skor bars, crushed

Make the cake mix and bake according to instructions on the box. While warm, poke holes in the cake and drizzle condensed milk and caramel topping over the cake. Allow to cool. Top with cool whip and crushed skor bar. Keep in fridge.

Chicken Fried Steak with Creamy Pepper Gravy

I got this recipe out of a Southern Living Magazine about ten years ago while we were living in Iowa. It's been a favorite ever since! Normally I make it with pounded flat chicken breasts, but for the sake of this blog, I actually DID buy cube steak! It's great either way.
1 egg white, beaten
2 3/4 cups milk, divided
20 saltine crackers, crushed
1 cup flour, divided
2 tsp. salt, divided
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper, divided
1 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 cup vegetable oil
6 cube steaks
1 TBSP. butter

Combine egg white and 1/4 cup milk in a bowl. Combine crushed crackers, 3/4 cup flour, 1 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper and poultry seasoning in a shallow dish. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat until hot. Dip 3 steaks, 1 at a time, into egg white misture. Dredge in seasoning crumbs. Preass to coat. Fry 4 minutes on each side or until golden. Remove to a wire rack. Then keep warm in a 225 degree oven. Repeat procedure with remaining three steaks. Drain hot oil, reserve browned bits and 2 TBSP. drippings. Melt butter in drippings over medium heat. Whisk in remaining 1/4 cup flour, remaining 1 tsp. salt and 3/4 tsp. pepper. Whisk in 2 1/2 cups milk. Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly. Serve with mashed potatoes.

Apple Crisp

One of my favorite things in the fall (actually anytime of the year) is apple crisp. I love it warm, right out of the oven with really GOOD vanilla ice-cream melting on top of it. Even drizzled with caramel...yum! I love to use a mixture of apples, not just one kind. Topping:
1 c. butter
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. flour
1 c. oatmeal
1/4 tsp. baking powder

In a large bown mix together butter, brown sugar, flour, oatmeal, and baking powder just until the butter is broken up and ingredients are mixed. Mixture should be crumbly. Set aside.

8 good sized fresh apples, peeled and sliced
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon

Place apples in a 9x13 pan. Sprinkle with sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Then crumble crisp topping on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until golden brown.

Zucchini Cake

Not the best picture, but I promise you, this cake is light, fluffy and will satisfy any chocolate craving. You'd never know it had zucchini in it at all! I like making it in a bundt cake and drizzling a chocolate sauce over the top, but you can make it in a bread pan and eat it plain.INGREDIENTS:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup oil
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream
2 1/2 cups flour
4 TBSP. baking cocoa
1/2 tsp. bakin powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2-3 cups zucchini (chop in a food processor)
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Beat the butter, oil and sugar well. Beat in the eggs, add the vanilla and sour cream. Dump in dry ingredients and beat into mixture, stir in zucchini. Pour into a greased and floured bundt cake or into loaf pans and bake at 325 for 1 hour. Cool in pan for 15 minutes.

If your like me, glaze with 3/4 cup whipping cream and 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips and 3/4 cup milk chocolate chips, melted over low heat.

No Bake Cheesecake

This is a favorite recipe from my childhood. Whenever my mom made cheesecake, this is what she would make. I haven't made it in a long time. I forgot how much I loved it. It's a lot different than traditional New York Cheesecake, but I still love the rich, cream cheese taste! Plus, it's super easy! Crust:
You can cheat and buy a pre-made graham cracker crust (which isn't as good) or make your own. I prefer to make my own, so I can make it thicker, as I LOVE the crust!
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cube butter, melted

Stir together and press on the bottom of a pie pan.

2 pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 can Eagle Brand
1/3 cup lemon juice

Whip the cream cheese until beat smooth. Slowly pour in the Eagle brand and lemon juice and continue whipping until it's super smooth. Pour over prepared crust and chill in the refrigerator for at least four hours.

Topping: I love canned cherry pie filling, although I pick out the cherries! But you can top it with anything or just enjoy it plain.