Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

Amazing filet mignons with a brandy cream sauce, crab and lobster in a cream/bearnaise sauce over a biscuit (like the kind you can get at a popular chain lobster restaurant). Salad and baked potato on the side.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Clam Chowder

I've never really been fond of clam chowder, but it is something that my husband and children enjoy. I haven't made it much, but since my husband has been working hard all day tearing out flooring and prepping for a new floor tomorrow (which he is also installing), I thought I'd treat him to a great clam chowder.
This is what I did:

Sauteed bacon in the ban, removed the bacon when it was cooked, to be added back into the chowder at the end. I drained some of the excess fat from the pan, then added diced onion and celery, cooked until tender. Then, I added diced potatoes, pepper, and thyme. Then, I put in a bottle of clam juice, water, and a cube of chicken bullion.
When potatoes were cooked, I added two cans of minced clams, with the juice, and some heavy cream. When it was warmed through, I added a slurry made from brandy and cornstarch. Add it to the chowder, along with the reserved cooked bacon. Let it simmer for a few minutes to thicken a bit.

The brandy really made a difference in this chowder, it was marvelous!

Roast Beast 2011

Pretty simple, really. Rubbed a rib roast with truffle olive oil, then a mixture of kosher salt, coarse ground black pepper, thyme, and a bit of garlic powder. It started out in a hot oven, 475F for about 20 minutes, then turned the oven down and finished it at around 325F. I took it out of the oven when it reached an internal temperature of 130. Let it rest for 20 minutes. It was a perfect medium in the center and medium well at the ends, just how my family likes it!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Swedish Pancakes

Using my Great-Grandma's "recipe," I used 3 eggs, 2 cups milk, some flour, and a pinch of salt, some melted butter. I added some sugar, and almond extract, too.

Christmas Cheesecake

Three packages cream cheese, softened, 3 eggs, 1 cup sugar, a couple of tablespoons cornstarch, a teaspoon (or more) almond extract. Combine all in a bowl, mix well. After putting it in a graham cracker crust, I dolloped some raspberry filling (in a can, find it next to the almond filling at the grocery store), and marbled it.
I took it out of the oven (325F) when it was still slightly "jiggly" in the center.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Cardamom Pancakes

These were really easy, just threw what was left in a box of low fat baking mix, some whole wheat four, cardamom, a bit more baking powder, an egg, almond extract, and some milk into a bowl and stirred. I liked the addition of the whole wheat flour, upped the flavor. the texture was perfect.


So easy in a slow cooker. Just browned some petite sirloins, put some small red potatoes (cut bigger ones in half) in the bottom of the cooker, add browned steaks, top with browned onions, add some liquid. I also added some bacon fat, as the meat was quite lean. Towards the end of cooking, I dumped in a can of carrots, drained. It was seasoned with salt and pepper, a bit of thyme, a splash of balsamic vinegar, and a bay leaf.
I cooked it on high for the afternoon.

Easy Bean Dip

One can refried beans, one can roasted green chilies, diced jalapenos (I used pickled), a bit of water, some cheese (American slices, some shredded cheddar), cumin, ancho chili powder. Heat. Eat.

Solstice Cookies

These were based on a shortbread cookie dough, as I was out of baking powder and baking soda. And it's snowing really big flakes and I didn't want to got to the store!
I used 1 cup butter, whipped, 1/2 cup sugar, whipped some more, 1 egg yolk, and yep, whipped even more, some almond extract. Then stirred in 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour, and most of a bag of mini-minty chips from the sausage/cheese place that opens up at the mall during the holidays. Yep.
Rolled it into balls and I flattened them slightly with a jelly glass dipped in sugar.
Baked at about 350F convection, switching pans halfway through, for about 8-10 minutes.
These are really buttery, with a crunch from the candies on the mint chips. Yum.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Brussel Sprouts Gratin

Cut Brussel sprouts in half, toss with oil and a pinch of kosher salt. Roast at a high temp, 400F; add salami cut into strips partway through. Toss with breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan to finish.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Frosted Citrus Pull-Aparts

It's a go-to dish when I wake up to a note on the table saying one of the kids has a friend sleeping over. We usually have a can o'biscuits in the fridge, and something to enhance them.
These are super easy, just the basic pull-apart using jumbo flaky layers, cut into fourths. Then dropped into melted butter. I added Meyer Lemon infused Olive Oil to the melted butter, along with some orange zest. Layered in a baking dish with sugar that has been seasoned with cloves and allspice. I poured a bit of fresh squeezed OJ over the top, just a couple of tablespoons.
Bake. It takes about 20 - 25 minutes in a 350F oven; it depends how deep the layers are in the pan. More layers, more time, and lower temp, otherwise doughy in center and burned on top.
I turned it out onto a plate, covered with a frosting made with powdered sugar, OJ, aforementioned lemon olive oil.
The olive oil can be found at

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Pork Tacos

I had a pork loin, it wasn't totally thawed, and I needed to cook it in the slow-cooker. So, I cut it into 4 pieces (like boneless 3" chops), browned them, and put them in the cooker. They were seasoned with cumin, salt, and pepper, added a diced Anaheim chili and half an onion. I used a can of green enchilada sauce and chicken stock as liquid. Part way through cooking, I took most of the liquid out, added a bit of canola oil to the pork (it was a really lean cut), and reduced the cooking liquid. I let it cool, and then ladled a bit of the top off to pour over the meat, too. This made the loin very moist, otherwise, it can come out dry and stringy.
When the meat was tender, (and when we were ready to eat), I took a piece out of the cooker, put it in a bowl, and used a fork to shred the meat a bit.
I served it with lightly fried corn shells, cotija cheese and some pico de gallo (onion, tomato, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice).

Monday, November 28, 2011

Freezing Pumpkin

I had a pumpkin left over from Halloween that I hadn't cut into, so thought I'd bake it. I cut it in half, scooped the seeds and stringy stuff out. Lightly salted, turned upside down on cookie sheet and baked until tender.
When cooked, I put it in a strainer and weighted it with a can of beans on a plate. When drained, I pureed it and put it in a bag to store in the freezer.
It made about 2 cups.

Spanish Rice

Diced onion, Anaheim chili, seeded jalapeno, can of fire-roasted tomatoes, cumin, smoked paprika, chili powder, tumeric, water added to appropriate level in rice cooker.
Brown rice.
I sauteed the vegetables, then added the seasonings, then added that to the rice along with the tomatoes in the slow cooker. Took about 45 minutes.

Anasazi Beans

I had about half a package of Anasazi beans, I picked through them, washed them, put them in a saucepan, covered with water and brought to a boil. I turned off the burner and let them sit for about 30 minutes. Then I drained them, covered with fresh water and simmered until partway done.
Then, I put them into a slow cooker.
In a saute pan, I browned some onion, carrots, and celery, using grease leftover from browning salt pork (which I diced and set aside). After vegetables were browned, I added them to the slow cooker, along with half a can of roasted green chilies and the cooked side pork that was set aside. I seasoned it with cumin, chili powder.
After a couple hours, I used my immersion blender and pureed the beans. I cooked it further and added small diced onion, Anaheim chili, and seeded jalapeno.
Right before serving, I added some pats of butter, stirred to melt.