Thursday, October 27, 2011

Beef Stroganoff

This recipe I adapted from one of Rachael Ray's 30 minute meals.  I make this anytime I have left over steak.  It doesn't have to be sirloin.  You could use a strip steak also or any cut of meat you can cut really thin.   Here is what you will need.  

1 lb beef sirloin (sliced really thin 1/8 -1/4 inch thick)
1 cup beef broth
1/4 small onion
1/2 cup sour cream
1-2 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. dill
Olive oil
Salt & Pepper

Begin by slicing your meat. 

*Put the meat in the freezer for 20-30 minutes before you are ready to slice it.  It will be easier to slice really thin.

Salt and pepper your meat and then coat with flour.  Place in your skillet once the oil is hot.  Grate the onion into the skillet with the meat. 
Once your meat is browned, add beef broth.  Make sure to scrape the bottom of the pan to pick up all the drippings.  This will help thicken your sauce.  Simmer for a few minutes until it thickens. 

Turn your heat to low and stir in the sour cream until smooth.  Add lemon juice and dill at the end right before you serve. 

I like to serve over egg noodles with a vegetable. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats

Halloween is a time for fun treats and I wanted to share this.  My brother made these when we were young and I thought he was the coolest brother ever!!!  We would pour them onto a plate to cool and devour them.  They are even more fun to make fun shapes with like black cats, bats or witches hats.  Be creative and have fun!!

I just used the original Rice Krispie Treat recipe from the box.

3 Tbs butter
1 pkg fresh marshmallows (about 40 or 4 cups mini marshmallows)
6 cups Cocoa Rice Krispies

Butter a 13 X 9 inch pan.

Melt butter in large pot then add marshmallows and stir.  When they are completely melted remove from heat and add cocoa rice kirspies.  Stir until they are coated and then press into pan with a buttered spatula or wax paper. 

Let cool and then cut out your favorite shapes.  (Shape witches hats while they are warm and then let cool)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Taco Soup

This time of year I love sitting down with a bowl of warm soup.  I always try to keep everything on hand to make this for dinner because its so easy and comes together very quickly.  It's always a crowd favorite for pot lucks too.  I adapted this from a recipe I collected from one of my cooking classes in college. 

 I am making this ahead to put in my freezer for next week.  We will be traveling and some big adjustments at our house, so I don't want to be stressed out about what to make for dinner.  

1 lb. ground beef
1 small onion chopped
1 cup beef broth
1 can kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
1 can corn (drained)
1 can diced tomatoes (I prefer petite diced but use what you have)
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1/2 pkg. taco seasoning

In a large pot cook the meat and onion.  Drain fat.  Add the remaining ingredients.  Give it a good stir to combine the spices and then simmer with the lid on for 20 minutes. 

At this point it is ready to serve with your favorite toppings: Sour cream, grated cheese, avocado slices, tortilla chips.

* I will be cooling it completely before storing it in an air tight container in the freezer.  All you have to do is thaw it and reheat it in a stock pot before serving. 

* You can also add diced celery and carrots to the soup to add some vegetables.  Cook them with the meat and onion so they get tender. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Creepy Crawly Dirt Pudding

With Halloween just around the corner I wanted to do something fun that my son would enjoy.  When I went to the grocery store I found some fun gummy worms and I knew exactly what to make.  I have had "dirt cake" several different ways, but I kept mine simple with what I knew my boys would like. 

1 box chocolate pudding
1 3/4 - 2 cup milk 
8-10 oreos (remove filling and crush)
gummy worms

I mixed the pudding according to the instructions on the box (regular or pie recipe will work).  Then I poured it into 2 separate containers for my husband and son.  Feel free to use one large bowl if you desire.

Let the pudding set up in the frige for a few minutes, and then top with your crushed oreos. 
 And decorate with gummy worms.  I found the Halloween colored ones, but you could use the bright colored ones too. 
Your kids will love these!! 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Asparagus- Grilled and Roasted

Asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables.  It's so easy to make, delicious and healthy.  I usually roast it in the oven or if my husband is cooking we like to grill it with the steaks.  I used to eat it steamed, but after grilling and roasting it I haven't gone back to steaming it. I simply prefer the flavor.   

Olive oil

The preparation for roasting and grilling is the same.  Just drizzle with some olive oil, salt and pepper.  Then toss them around to make sure all spears are coated. 

Put them on a baking sheet to roast them at 375.  The time you cook them will depend on how thick your asparagus is.  If they are thin maybe 6-7 minutes.  Thicker maybe 10-12 minutes.  When they are bright green and slightly browning on the edges they are done. 

For grilling look for the same thing.  Bright green color and slightly charred on edges.  You can poke them with a fork to see if they are tender also. 

This was our date night dinner, so we served it with rib eye steaks and mashed potatoes.  Asparagus is such an easy and simple side dish to prepare for almost any meal. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Apple Dip

I always loved fall growing up especially all the beautiful trees covered in red, yellow and orange leaves.  Then I moved to Idaho and I always dreaded it.  It always seemed to go from summer to winter in the blink of an eye.  This year for the first time in a long time I am enjoying the fall weather (because we finally have a fall).  I'm excited to pull out all my sweaters and enjoy some fall food.  Of course apples came to mind, and I remembered a recipe I got from one of my roommates in college.

8 oz. softened cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup chopped pecans

Blend cream cheese, sugars and vanilla with electric mixer until smooth.  Add nuts. 

My favorite apples to serve a fruit dip with are granny smith because they are tart, but you can use your favorite.  I also like a crisp Fuji apple too.  

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Kick Off Post- Lasagna

I've been wanting to start a food blog for a couple years now and just haven't done it.  There have been other important things in my life like being a wife and mother that have come first.  Now, I feel like I have some time to put into this blog. 

I plan on posting recipes and other cooking or kitchen tips and tricks that I use or have learned.  To be honest I don't always cook with a recipe.  Sometimes I will refer to a recipe and change it to my liking or sometimes I just use them for inspiration, and other times I cook simply by what I have on hand.  I will try my best to measure along the way and provide as many recipes as I can for those who like to replicate the same dish over and over. 

My husband's favorite food is lasagna, and we have eaten it twice in the past week.  I have been trying for that last four years to make lasagna to his liking.  He likes it meaty and cheesy of course.  He always eats my lasagna, but he just told me that he LOVES my lasagna. 

9 lasagna noodles
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 small onion
1-2 gloves of garlic
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese to
1/2 lb. mozzarella cheese  (I like to grate my own)
8 oz. cottage cheese
1 1/2 - 2 cups marinara sauce (jar or homemade)

Prep time 45 min.  Cook time 1 hour.

Start by boiling your pasta noodles.  I use 9 for 3 layers of 3 noodles because it fits nicely in a 13 X 9 pan.  Feel free to make 12 noodles for 4 layers if you wish.  Just make sure you have enough sauce and cheese for another layer. 

*I don't cook my noodles all the way.  I drain them before they get to al dente.  This way they continue to soak up the red sauce when they cook in the oven and your lasagna won't by all runny. 

Then cook the ground beef, onion and garlic in a skillet.  When the beef is all brown and the onion is softened, drain the fat. 

 Add your desired red sauce.  I just use my favorite from a jar to cut down on time.  Every brand has a different spice blend, so just use what you know you already like whether its from scratch or a jar. 

 Then I begin layering starting with a little sauce in the bottom of the pan. 3 Noodles, 1/3 of sauce, sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, dollops of 1/2 cottage cheese, 1/3 of mozzarella cheese.  Repeat again and for the last layer just cover the noodles with the last of the sauce and mozzarella cheese. 

Cover with foil and cook at 300 degrees for 45 minutes.  Then I remove the foil and cook at 350 for the last 15 minutes until hot and bubbly. 

 *Let it cool for 15-20 minutes before you cut into it.  This helps get out nice pieces and it won't fall over when its on the plate. 
Serve with garlic bread or a Caesar salad.