August 31, 2008

Daring Bakers make Chocolate Eclairs

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This month's recipe was chosen by Meeta of What's for Lunch Honey? and her co-host, Tony of Olive Juice. A chocolate eclair recipe from Pierre Hermé!

I have made cream puffs many times in my life and I have even blogged about them. The challenging part to me was actually forming the pastry dough into an eclair shape. EH, I don't think I did too awful bad.

The day I made the eclairs was the day we had a family tragedy and I didn't get great photos. I was thinking because we like to eat these, I would make them again, but alas, I didn't get the chance. I probably will attempt the eclair shape again. I didn't have horrible luck. It isn't often that I mess up cream puff dough (but it can happen!). My eclairs puffed up nicely and for the pastry cream I used the one I posted here - with butterscotch schnapps - totally by accident! I was going to use amaretto in the pastry cream and I grabbed the wrong bottle! Oh well, the pastry cream tasted great anyway!

To see what my fellow Daring Bakers did with their challenge this month, check out the blogroll. I had some pretty amazing previews in our DB Challenge forum so you don't want to miss out!

August 30, 2008

My Kitchen My World - England

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This week for My Kitchen, My World Megan of My Baking Adventures took us to England! Right away I knew what I would be making because just a few days before finding out what country we would be visiting Grumpy had told me he wanted this dish. Little did he know he was fulfilling my need to make a British dish for my blog. he he.

I made a Shepherd's Pie. I also decided to do a little looking up about it. I found out it is also called Cottage Pie. This dish consists of diced meat and vegetables in a gravy, covered with mashed potatoes and sometimes cheese. I did some web searching and found a recipe with a gravy that I thought sounded pretty flavorful. The recipe is listed below with my (few) alterations in red.

For all of you out there dying to know how Grumpy liked this one - he did like the dish. I mean, it was meat and potatoes for goodness sake!

British Shepherds Pie

1 1/2 pounds ground beef (I used ground venison)
1 cup carrot -- diced (I used a little more than 1 cup of frozen carrots and peas)
1/2 cup onion -- diced
1 cup corn (didn't see this til it was too late - and Grumpy DID notice the corn was missing!)
2 cloves garlic -- crushed
1 cup beef stock (I used better than boullion - beef flavor)
1/2 teaspoon salt (didn't use the salt)
1/2 teaspoon pepper (forgot the pepper - man I'm starting to worry about myself forgetting and missing items in the ingredient list!)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons steak sauce
1/2 cup gravy, dry mix, brown
2 pounds potato -- mashed
1 cup water

Brown ground beef with onions. In a skillet on medium high heat Add garlic, beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, steak sauce and vegetables. Finish cooking.

Add Salt & Pepper to taste.

Cook potatoes in water with a dash of salt, mash cooked potatoes and set aside. (I mashed my potatoes with half and half - maybe about 1/3 cup and about 1-1/2 Tablespoons butter)

Pour the dry gravy mix into bowl & mix with 1 cup of cold water. Mix gravy mix back into pan containing beef and vegetables, stirring continuously till thickened.

Pour mix into a baking dish and allow to cool. When cool spoon mashed potato over mixture,
Bake in Oven till golden brown approx. 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees.

You can also finish this off by topping with Grated cheddar cheese and sliced tomatoes. (I did top with cheddar cheese but I did not top with tomatoes)

If you are interested in joining MKMW, hop on over to the site and check it out. While your there, check out the other bloggers who participate and see what they made this week!

August 29, 2008

Mango Cardamon Muffin

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As many of you know, I am a muffin person! I am always on the lookout for a different muffin recipe to try. This morning, when I was awake at 2:30 AM with a toothache I decided to try to take my mind off the pain and search the web for a little bit for a muffin to make. I have 2 mangos and I knew I had seen something somewhere for a mango muffin. There is one on, but after reading the recipe I decided it just wasn't different enough. So, I did a search and came up with a Cooking Light recipe from The recipe called for cardamon - something that we used in our Daring Baker Challenge for the Danish - and something I had never used before then. I decided this was the one to go with as I remembered the aroma that filled my home with the danish! I brought these into work but did leave a muffin home for Chris and gave one to Justin this morning as he brought me into work. I enjoyed the muffin I had and am anxious to hear what others think! I am thinking maybe the mango will need to be pureed or chopped finer when I make these again. The recipe follows:

Mango Cardamon Muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 cup chopped peeled ripe mango
3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk (I didn't have buttermilk or lemon juice - so I used 1/2 lime juice mixed into the milk instead and it worked fine)
1/4 cup butter or stick margarine, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
Cooking spray
2 tablespoons sugar

Preheat oven to 400°.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (flour through cardamom) in a medium bowl; make a well in center of mixture. Stir in mango. Combine buttermilk, butter, vanilla, and egg; add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist (batter will be stiff).
Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray; sprinkle evenly with 2 tablespoons sugar. (I forgot the sugar, don't think it made a difference but probably a nice addition) Bake at 400° for 23 minutes or until the muffins spring back when touched lightly in center. Remove muffins from pans, and cool on a wire rack.

August 27, 2008

Brownie Biscotti for Kristina

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Earlier this week I had to leave my car at the shop to have my gas tank replaced. How frustrating to have a leak of one of the most expensive things to have to buy! Not to mention, it sure wasn't cheap to have it replaced either! Anyway, I dropped my car off at the shop and my son and his wife picked me up from the shop and took me home. My boy is great to his mom - he's letting me drive his car until I get mine back!

On the way home that evening Justin informed me that Kristina would like me to make her some brownie biscotti with macadamia nuts! Well, of course, it made me happy to have Kristina request something special from me! It means she likes it!

Last evening I decided was the time to make her biscotti and I will get them to her today! I forgot that these were really easy to put together - and now that I have made them for her, I think I need to make some for us! Maybe even some to take to the office! Despite the fact that I was too tired for the cooling and longer baking process, they turned out just as they should. Crunchy and delicious!

Brownie Biscotti

1/3 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (I used chopped macadamia nuts)
1 egg yolk, beaten
1 tablespoon water


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease baking sheets, or line with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa and baking powder; stir into the creamed mixture until well blended. Dough will be stiff, so mix in the last bit by hand. Mix in the chocolate chips and walnuts.

Divide dough into two equal parts. Shape into 9x2x1 inch loaves. Place onto baking sheet 4 inches apart. Brush with mixture of water and yolk. (I made just one big log, not two separate ones)

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until firm. Cool on baking sheet for 30 minutes. (I was too tired, I didn't wait for it to cool - I carefully cut the logs and threw them back in the oven for the next step below and then only did one baking, not two. I was having a hard time staying awake!!)

Using a serrated knife, slice the loaves diagonally into 1 inch slices. Return the slices to the baking sheet, placing them on their sides. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes on each side, or until dry. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.

August 26, 2008

Peach Muffins

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Today is Tuesdays with Dorie but unfortunately I am not participating this week. This week's pick, Chocolate Banded Ice Cream Torte, was chosen by Amy of Food, Family, and Friends. Check out the blogroll if you would like to see how other TWD'ers made out with the torte! I've seen a few already and they are pretty impressive!

There has been a lot going on between both home and work which is why I didn't have the time to prepare the torte this week. If I could have done it this morning, believe me, I would have! All the students have returned to the university and classes began yesterday, Chris starts classes today at a different university, and I spent last weekend working EFY (Especially for You) which ended after 14 years.

I have mentioned before that I belong to a cooking forum of friends and recently they have been talking about peach muffins. Peaches are one of my favorite fruits. I love the aroma and am so happy that any peach I have had this year has been excellent. Nothing is worse than thinking you have a wondrous fruit to eat and when you take a bite out of it find it is mealy and yuck.

The recipe comes from and being the muffin fanatic I am and loving peaches, I decided that this was worth trying. Not to mention my cooking friends recommended it!

Peach Muffins

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup sour cream (I didn't have a full 1/2 cup of sour cream so I used vanilla yogurt to fill up the cup measure)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (there is nothing like pure vanilla extract - it will make the recipe!)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup chopped fresh or frozen peaches (I scalded the peach -- it took 1 large peach -- skinned it then chopped)
1 cup chopped pecans (I opted out on the nuts this time - maybe next time!)

My photo's can't compare to Cookin' Mama's on allrecipes, so make sure you check the recipe out there to see her picture! I want to thank Cookin' and Jammin' for talking about these muffins. They were delicious! I will bet the students think so too as that is where the 10 that are left are going (yeah, I HAD to eat one and I left one at home for Chris!)

August 23, 2008

Shrimp in Coconut Cream Sauce

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The part of the world we are cooking from this week is Jamaica. My family (other than myself) just is not happy when I don't make something that is not meat and potatoes. Well, Grumpy isn't happy....but this time, even Chris wasn't all that happy. (Jenny, I think my guys are Picky Palate II)! It probably didn't help that the evening I made this I wasn't feeling my best also. I came home from work with high hopes. You see, Grumpy loves the Shrimp in coconut cream sauce at one of the Chinese places in this area. So, when I saw the recipe on Jamaican Recipes I thought I had maybe found something nobody would complain about because it had Shrimp and potatoes in the recipe....(I am rolling my eyes here because I was wrong). When Grumpy saw the shrimp in the colander his words were "must be we aren't having anything with substance tonight." Sigh. Its so hard being someone who would rather eat light mainly vegetarian meals and try to please someone who is totally meat and potatoes.

Everyone ate dinner - basically because I think they felt bad. I really wasn't feeling well and here I was trying to fix dinner that nobody was crazy about after they saw it. LOL. Poor, poor, pitiful me. Grumpy did say it wasn't too bad, but he got a piece of pepper that really threw some heat into the dish for him. he he serves him right for not making nice comments about what I was making! After I felt a little better I was able to eat my dinner. I personally liked it and if I could be guaranteed others would eat it - then I would make it again. I added salt and sugar to taste to the recipe because when I tasted it, it seemed way too bland (yeah, even with that curry in there!) - unless you got a bite of the pepper itself! Otherwise I followed the recipe which I am listing below.

Shrimp in Coconut Cream Sauce
1 lb large shrimp, peeled & deveined and pre-cooked
4 med. red-skin potatoes, diced
½ cup chopped onions
3 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon curry powder
3 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup diced tomatoes
1 cup coconut milk/cream
2 teaspoon paprika
2 stalks scallion, chopped in small pieces
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
2 dried red chilis, chopped finely
½ cup walnuts (optional) (I opted to not use the walnuts)
12 ounces fresh or frozen peeled and deveined shrimp


Warm oil on medium heat.
Add potatoes and saute over low heat until just barely tender, stirring constantly.
Then add onions, and scallion and let that saute until onions are transparent.
Add garlic, paprika, parsley and curry powder.
Continue to cook over *low* heat for 3 mins, stirring constantly.
Add the coconut cream, thyme and tomatoes, and cook for 3 mins on medium heat - stir often, to prevent coconut milk from drying out.(I actually added more coconut milk than it called for so we would have more sauce - because I love sauce like this...)
Finally, add the shrimp and cook for another 5 mins (until shrimp is tenderly cooked).

Now, there was some lovin' going on in the house that night. Since I lost my baby Peabody we did get a new family member. His official name is Rudy Rut-ton. I have to say that since Rudy came home and after he was here a couple of days Chubby finally shut up. He missed Peabody so much that he was constantly following us around the house from room to room meowing to NO END. Chubby and Rudy now are best buds as you can see from the photos below!

August 22, 2008

A new award and a special muffin!

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I would like to thank Yummy Food for passing on the 'Wylde Woman Award' to me. The rules of this award are:

1. You can give it to one or one hundred or any number in between - it's up to you. Make sure you link to their site in your post

2. Link back to this blog site Tammy can go visit all these wonderful men and women and remember the Purpose of the Award: To send love and acknowledgment to men and women, who brighten your day, teach you new things and live their lives fully with generosity and joy. It's been a blessing and an inspiration to meet all of you through your wonderful blogs.
I am passing this award to all of my favorites - listed on my side bar! I have many other blogs I read but haven't had a chance to add them yet but chances are if I have left you a comment, I am looking at your site! The sidebar is my way of keeping up with you all!
Now for that special muffin.....
I decided that I would mention one blog in particular because the author has a recipe that I have made MANY times. I did blog about it here a little while back....The blog is Elle's New England Kitchen. The title of her muffin is what caught my eye at first, but then when I read the ingredients and I see it called for coconut milk, well then I was enamored!

If you would like to see her recipe, follow the link here to her site. Her recent post is about making pita bread and seeing her photos makes me want to make them today!

I want to thank Elle for such an awesome muffin recipe. I do play with it a bit, but it is awesome just as written! I have to say this is my favorite muffin recipe of all time!
I am headed out for the weekend to work my last EFY weekend - thankfully blogger can schedule posts and my post for My Kitchen My World will be up on Sunday! Have a great weekend!

August 21, 2008

Taste and Create XIII - with The Spiced Life

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This month for Taste and Create I was paired with Laura of The Spiced Life. I spent quite a bit of time looking over her blog. She definitely cooks and bakes the kind of foods I would love to be eating! Laura volunteers at an animal shelter where she ended up taking a lost dog who ended up in her yard - If you have the time, you should read about her saving Bony and how she now volunteers at the shelter. She has such a big heart for animals and it put tears to my eyes how much she cares. She has a desire to have a cat (and maybe now she is closer to getting on with building their own home?) and I relate to that totally as I myself love my cats (and probably would love dogs just as much if Grumpy would only let me).

Laura had so many goodies to choose from that it took me 3 or 4 visits before I finally made up my mind. I decided to make her Milk Chocolate and Caramel Blondies (with my own adaptations). My son Chris had been talking about batter up brownies and going on and on about how great they were. See, Chris' grandmother and aunt make these brownies and it seems to be a favorite of many of the grandchildren!!

I found this recipe of Laura's and thought it sounded a lot like the batter up brownies that Chris talks about, so to surprise him for this evening, I went ahead and made them. Oh my goodness! Let me say that the smell that filled my home was wonderful and I could barely wait for them to finish baking and cooling down so I could try one! They were hard to keep out of after making them because the caramel bits were just so yummy and tempting.

I made the following changes to the blondies:

  • instead of caramel swirl chips I used the Kraft Caramel Bits (I was bad and didn't really measure either - just kinda poured into the batter)
  • instead of chocolate chips I used butterscotch chips. I wanted to make this non-chocolate and keep the caramely theme.
  • instead of the pecans called for I chopped up some cashews with sea salt and added them to the brownies.
I encourage you to check out Laura's site. Especially if you love Indian food (as I do!) and give her recipes a try. I know I intend to continue reading her blog and bookmarking recipes I would like to give a try!

August 19, 2008

Granola Grabbers

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This week, Michelle of Bad Girl Baking chose: Granola Grabbers on page 82 of Dorie Greenspan's Baking cookbook. I'm glad she did, because otherwise, I may not have made this because of the title! See, Grumpy doesn't like cookies that go hard and the title made me think it would be a cookie that went hard. Maybe if I had totally stuck to the recipe, they would have been crunchier, but the cookies I made turned slightly crunchy around the edges but chewy on the inside - just what I was hoping for! You can view the recipe on Michelle's site.

What I did different from Dorie:

Instead of Granola I used Great Grain's Pecan, Date, Walnut cereal
Instead of raisins I used a dried fruit mix medley from Aldi grocery
I added about 1/4 more coconut (decided to use it rather than put just about that much back in the cupboard)

I really believe these contributions added a bit of "moisture" to the recipe - more than granola and raisins would have anyway. Needless to say, Grumpy liked them. Last night when he got home he was eating one after another until I finally had to tell him to stop or I wouldn't make him dinner! However, I did eat 4 for breakfast that morning also. Guess I was just as guilty....

To see what all the other TWD creations are, check out the blogroll.

August 18, 2008

My Kitchen My World (I wanted to say My Kitchen Grumpy's World!)

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I recently joined My Kitchen My World group - where we make a dish once a week (participate at least twice a month) from another country. The most recent week was home! Now some people will say Lasagna is not American - but in our home, its a favorite of Grumpy's so this is my post for MKMW - as Lasagna will always be a part of my kitchen and my world forever!

I never make lasagna the same way and me, being me, wanted to "experiment" and make it all from scratch all on my own using the basic knowledge I have about lasagna making. It turned out pretty good if I do say so myself!. I think I would next time add a little more red pepper flakes for a little more heat in the sauce (but that is because I love heat!).

Everyone enjoyed it - Chris, Justin, & Sam (a friend of the boys who came over for dinner with them and my former student worker at work!). Justin was giving me a hard time telling me it was awful....even though he sat there eating it. My kids love to aggravate me - especially Justin! I wonder where on earth they got that trait from? lol). Grumpy enjoyed it and I guess that is what mattered most to me - although he didn't tell me it was mind blowing delicious, he did say it was good. (all of us cooks/bakers want to be told how mind blowingly delicious our food is - just in case you didn't know). At least my kids tell everyone what a great cook their mom is! One of Christopher's friends recently told me that all Chris talks about is making sure he gets home in time for dinner. God love that boy! he he. Chris even called me at work one day to get my blog web address to give his boss at work! My kids are my best promoters!

Here is how I made it - if you try it and like it (or don't) please let me know!

HoneyB's Homemade Pasta Sauce

2 quarts tomatoes (I used home canned tomatoes) with liquid
1/2 green pepper
1/2 onion
1 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon orgeano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 Tablespoon salt (I used sea salt)
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
a pinch (or 2 or 3) red pepper flakes

Saute the green pepper and onion in small amount of olive oil. Add tomatoes and seasonings. Bring to a simmer. Add entire can of tomato paste and blend into tomatoes. Simmer uncovered (to thicken). I believe I simmered this about an hour on low. Remove from heat and using hand held blender (I love this tool!) blend sauce until smooth. Set aside to cool.

HoneyB's Sausage, Mushroom & Onion Lasagna

1 lb Italian Sweet Sausage
16 oz package mushrooms, wiped clean and chopped
1/2 medium onion, diced
1-1/2 cups part skim ricotta cheese
1 cup 2% cottage cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1 lb part skim mozzarella cheese (2/3 shredded, 1/3 thinly sliced)
1 egg, beaten
15 lasagna noodles
HoneyB's Homemade Pasta sauce

Cook the lasagna noodles according to package directions. Once cooked, I rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process, then store in pan with cold water to cover so they do not dry out until I am ready to assemble the lasagna.

Saute the mushrooms, onions, and sausage until sausage is done. Remove from pan and set aside.

In a mixing bowl combine the ricotta, cottage, Parmesan, and 1/3 of the shredded mozzarella cheese. Add the parsley and egg and stir until well blended. Set aside.

Assembling the lasagna:

Spoon some sauce to cover the bottom of the lasagna pan (I use a 9x13 pan). Using 5 lasagna noodles, lay noodles to cover sauce. Spread 1/3 of the cheese mixture over top. Layer 1/2 of the meat mixture over top of the cheese, sprinkle with shredded mozzarella and cover with sauce. Repeat layer. For the top layer, spread with last 1/3 of cheese mixture, spread with sauce. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes. Remove foil, place slices of mozzarella cheese on top and bake another 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let set at least 15 minutes prior to serving. Enjoy~

August 17, 2008

Getting Creative with Tofu in a Greek Kinda Way...

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Years ago I received a recipe card pack from some people who ran a health center that was totally vegan. There were quite a few recipes they made during the week I was there that were quite tasty, but my very favorite one was a "Greek" Salad made with tofu. I don't know what it is or why - but I will crave tofu. Tofu on it's own has absolutely no flavor and is disgusting. But put it with other food and it becomes delicious.

Today I will share with you the Marinated Tofu that is used in the Greek Salad recipe. Naturally, the tofu is replacing the feta cheese in this recipe and it is marinated in a dressing that you spoon over your salad along with the tofu. Yum!

Greek Salad

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons salt (I used sea salt)
1 teaspoon basil
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano

Pour dressing over:
1 lb. tofu cut into 3/4" cubes

Marinate at least 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

For the Salad:

Wash, core & cut into wedges - 3 fresh tomatoes. Add some slices of red onion and thin sliced cucumber, and 1 cup greek or black olives.

Serve on a bed of lettuce. Makes 6-8 servings.

August 16, 2008

Waffling for the fun of it

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I've been thinking about waffles lately. Its been so long since I've made them - years in fact. The recipe I used to make was a really healthy one but I knew Grumpy would turn his nose up at that recipe, so I went on a search on I found one for Deluxe Waffles - not too bad, but not one I will probably make again. Its pretty basic and probably one little kids would gobble right up. Grumpy didn't complain so that goal was met. Maybe next time I'll sneak in the healthy recipe and see what happens. he he. I did make turkey bacon this morning in an attempt to not have so much fat in our breakfast. It wasn't bad, not bad at all!

Here is the recipe I followed:

Deluxe Waffles

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons white sugar
4 egg yolks
4 egg whites
1 1/4 cups milk (I used 2% milk)
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used canola oil)


In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Make a well in the center of the bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together the egg yolks, milk, and oil. Pour into well of flour mixture and stir well. Stir just until ingredients are moistened. In a small bowl, beat egg whites until stiff. Fold into batter. Cook batter in waffle iron.

August 15, 2008

A Spicy Honey

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Over the last few years I have really grown to love spicy foods. Mind you, I don't want smoke coming out of my ears heat but I do enjoy a heat that leaves a little burn and makes me feel a little warm. I had never used chipotle in any of my cooking and when I heard them talking about what a chipotle pepper was on the Next Food Network Star, well, I was intrigued. Intrigued enough to want to try it. I went on an excursion to find chipotle peppers in adobo sauce as that is what my BBQ sauce recipe called for. I had no idea how hard it would be to find such a thing in Potsdam, NY! I went to every store possible and ended up at the food co-op where I finally found a can. (I did find that the new Super Walmart that opened yesterday in Potsdam does carry them also now!)

I had written down a recipe for Grilled Spice-Rubed Pork Tenderloin Steaks with Honey Chipotle Barbecue Sauce on one of my recipe cards. I can't tell you for sure where the recipe came from, but I'm sure it came from one of the many magazines I read! I decided that we were going to try this with the Oven Roasted Red Potatoes I made not too long ago and some fresh garden green beans. I really loved the sauce the most. I was dipping my potatoes in it and a couple of days later I ended up using what was left of the sauce as a topping for meatloaf! YUM!

I did deter some from the original recipe so I will be posting how I made it here:

For the pork rub:

1 Tbsp Chili Powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 Tbsp light brown sugar
2 teaspoons garlic powder
salt and pepper

This will cover 2 to 2-1/2 pounds pork steaks.

Rub all over the pork steaks and let sit for at least 15 minutes at room temp, or for up to 2 hours in the refridgerator. Cook steaks on a grill about 3 minutes, flip and continue to cook until temp registers 140 degrees F. Place the pork on platter and let rest. Meanwhile, mix sauce (recipe below). Spoon the sauce over the pork and serve.

Honey Chipotle BBQ Sauce

3/4 cup honey
1/4 cup cider vinegar
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 chipotle, minced, plus 2 Tablespoons adobo sauce (from can of chipotles in adobo sauce)

Stir all together, season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon over meat and serve.

August 13, 2008

On top of spaghetti

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I never was a big meatball fan unless it was a vegetarian meatball. But, since having Grumpy for a hubby and since he is such an avid hunter, we have all this venison in our freezer all the time! So, I have to come up with ways to use it! I have basically become a venison "fan" so to say. When I was a little girl I would never want to eat ground venison. I hated it. I prefered my mom's vegetarian meatballs over real meat of any kind-any day! Still do actually. Someday soon I will have to showcase her meatballs on my blog. I just realized I haven't done that yet! Anyway, last evening I made some venison meatballs. They looked great and smelled awesome - and you really couldn't taste that "wild game" taste. (or maybe I have just become used to it?) In any case, I enjoyed them and plan to take a couple to work today for lunch! I don't follow any specific recipe when making my meatballs. I basically throw together what I feel like and go from there. The recipe I made tonight follows.

Baking in the oven

HoneyB's Homemade Venison Meatballs

1-1/2 lb ground venison (our vension is premixed with pork when taken to the butcher)
1-1/2 tsp garlic powder
1-1/2 tsp dried onion flakes
1/2 cup italian seasoned bread crumbs
1 egg

Ready for the sauce

Mix all together until well blended (I do use my hands for this!). Using large pampered chef scoop, scoop meatballs and place on foil lined cookie sheet. This makes a decent sized meatball and makes the men happy! Place in oven at 350 and bake for approximately 25 minutes. Remove from oven and mix with your favorite spaghetti sauce (tonight I used sauce from a jar for convenience sake!). Simmer on the stovetop until meatballs are no longer pink. Enjoy over top of spaghetti....all covered with cheese.... :)


I also would like to Thank Jenn from the Leftover Queen for putting me on her Finest Foodies Friday list. Be sure to join the Foodie Blogroll if you haven't yet!! I was really pleased to see that I had been noticed!

August 12, 2008

TWD: Sour Cream Blueberry Ice Cream gone "Peachy"

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This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie recipe was chosen by Deloras of Chronicles in Culinary Curiosity. Deloras chose Blueberry Sour Cream Ice Cream on page 434 of Dorie Greenspan's Baking cookbook. You can visit her site for the full recipe.

I put this off until I absolutely could not put it off any longer. I love homemade ice cream but I didn't want to make blueberry ice cream. I love blueberries - really I do! But, blueberry ice cream just didn't appeal to me. Honestly, I had been eying recipes for ice cream and I am truely a vanilla fanatic when it comes to homemade ice cream. I had found a recipe in Rachel Ray's magazine for White Russian Ice Cream, and I was really wanting to make that....but I didn't.....yet! Saturday when I went through town and saw the fruit stand had some awesome, beautiful peaches, I made up my mind then and there that I would use them instead of the blueberries to make the ice cream. I love the way a peach smells and I was so lucky the texture of these peaches were to die for! I could have eaten each and every peach by itself and just scrapped the idea of ice cream all together. Now I am wishing I did because I have to eat the ice cream all by myself. Chris was so excited to get peach ice cream and he was so disappointed when he tried it. The sour cream ruined it for him. His comment "it taste like cheese curd." You don't expect your ice cream to taste like cheese curd. I personally don't dislike it and I don't think it taste like cheese curd. I think it is the sour cream in the recipe that gives it the flavor he didn't like. I'm not in love with it myself, but I will be able to eat it. At least some of it anyway.

I basically followed the recipe with the exceptions noted below:

  • Instead of 1 cup of blueberries, I actually used about 1-3/4 cups chunked up peaches.
  • I used my hand held blender instead of my standing blender
  • I used reduced fat sour cream
  • I used half and half instead of heavy cream
This was my first time using an ice cream maker on my own. Now I have experience with this ice cream, I will not be so hesitant to go ahead and make Rachel Ray's ice cream recipe I have been looking at. I'm sure Chris will be happy with that one....besides, I want to make him happy now that I have disappointed him! Don't we all hate to disappoint with our cooking? (ice cream making?!)

To see what all the other TWD creations are, check out the blogroll.

August 10, 2008

Makin PBJ....... Cupcakes!

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Earlier this month I went to Syracuse to meet up with my best friend from high school. When Tracy & I see each other, whether it has been a year or two since we last were together, its like nothing has changed. This year I was able to see her brother's Kip & John (and also met John's family for the first time). We spent some time shopping, eating, and talking - having a lot of fun. One evening Tracy, Kip and I met up with Dan (another friend) and we all went to Olive Garden for dinner. It is great seeing your friends - even if it is once a year - and know that nothing has changed!

One of our shopping stops was the Christmas Tree Shoppe. I just love shopping there! While there I found a cookbook for only $3 - called the Peanut Butter & Co. cookbook. Since I l-o-v-e peanut butter, I couldn't resist. I have tagged quite a few pages of items I want to make, but today I decided the one I wanted the most was the Peanut Butter & Jelly Cupcake recipe. Mostly because I l-o-v-e peanut butter frosting!!

Peanut Butter & Jelly Cupcakes
from Peanut Butter and Jelly Co.

1-1/2 cups flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk (I did use 2% milk since that is what we use)
3/4 cup strawberry jam (I didn't measure this-I just put approx a teaspoon of jam in the center)
2 cups Peanut Butter Frosting (recipe will follow)

Makes 1 dozen cupcakes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 muffin cups with paper baking cups.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt, and set aside.

In a separate bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, then add the milk. Slowly add the flour mixture and combine until the batter is uniform. Do not overmix.

this ole muffin tin has certainly seen many years of use!

Fill each cupcake liner halfway with batter. Drop a tablespoon of the jam in the center of each cupcake and then top with more batter so they are a little more than three-quarters full.

baked and cooling

Bake for 20 minutes or until the cupcakes spring back when touched lightly. Let them cool completely before icing with Peanut Butter Frosting.

Peanut Butter Frosting

1-1/4 cups (2-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup peanut butter (smooth)
5 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp whole milk (I used 2% here also)

In a large mixing bowl, use an nelectric mixer to whip the butter and peanut butter together. Add the confectioners' sugar, salt, and then the milk. Add additional tablespoons of milk or sugar to loosen or tighten the icing, respectively. For best results, use immediately.

this cupcake was screaming "eat me," and I just couldn't resist!

These taste awesome - and smelled wonderful baking! My only disappointment was when I cut it looked like the jelly sunk and that I probably didn't put enough in. Next time I'll put a little more :)
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