Thursday, January 29, 2009

Broccoli and Red Onion Scramble with Goat Cheese

If I didn't have a kid who was very allergic to eggs, I would make this once a week for dinner. Rachael Ray makes it as a frittata, but I'm too lazy to go and bake the darn thing. So, it always ends up being scrambled eggs with "more goodness" (as my brother, Tom, would say).

2 T olive oil
2 ½ c broccoli florets
1 T chopped fresh thyme leaves (4 sprigs)
½ large red onion, finely chopped
12 eggs
Splash of cream or half-and-half
Zest of 1 lemon and juice of ½ lemon
8 ounces goat cheese

Heat 10 inch nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add broccoli florets, thyme, onion, salt and pepper. Cook for 6-7 minutes until broccoli tarts to take on a little brown color ans is tender. Beat eggs with salt, pepper, cream, and lemon zest. To the broccoli mixture, add crumbled goat cheese and lemon juice. Immediately add seasoned beaten eggs. Scramble all together.

Makes 4-6 servings.

I got my vegetables mixed up, so the picture has twice the vegetables of what the recipes calls for--still, it was quite tasty. I may just start making it that way all the time.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Hitting It Out of the Park

Yes, that's what I've done for a whopping 2 nights in a row--made 2 dinners that my kids LOVED. And, where did I get these recipes, you might ask?

From my lovely Christmas present, a subscription to Cook's Country. In February's issue, I found a recipe for meatloaf. I'm not a fan of meatloaf, but my kids love hamburgers, so I made this (before I read Jessica's article, darn it!). The glaze totally makes it!

Then, there was a 30 minute supper called "Chicken Lo Mein," made with lots of ramen noodles (Nate says, "Tell them to make sure they like ramen!"), some pre-packaged coleslaw (minus the dressing)--next time I'd use broccoli slaw instead, and chicken with a tasty sauce. This was a perfect "piano lesson day" dinner. I made the sauce and chicken beforehand, so all I had to do was cook the noodles, throw in the coleslaw, and dinner was done.

So, go to your library if you're cheap like me, or go buy next month's issue. (Next up, I'm trying the glazed roasted butternut squash.)

Saturday, January 24, 2009


I got this recipe from the wife of a friend Nate grew up with. She just rattled it right off the top of her head and made it sound so easy. So, I made it for a party later. People loved it and gasped, "You made flan?! I thought it was so difficult!" This means that ever since people have told me flan is hard to make, I make this and am terrified every time that it won't turn out. Oh, the power of suggestion.

Daisy Weeks

1 C sugar
1 1/4 C water

Mix over heat until golden. This is the part where I've had trouble; I can't get the caramel syrup golden unless I melt the sugar over medium high heat (stir, stir, stir) until it's golden. Then, I add very hot water (slowly) and stir it in.

Mix in blender:
1 can evaporated milk
1 can condensed milk
5 eggs
1 t vanilla
1/3 c milk

Pour caramel in a 9X9 or 8X8 or pie dish. Then, pour the milk/egg mixture over. Put the pan in a bigger pan of water. Bake for 50 min at 350 degrees. I'm very diligent about the time here because it's hard to tell when flan is done. When you shake it, it should move about as much as jello. Let it cool for 1-2 hours in the fridge, run a knife around it, and flip it onto a serving plate.

Prepare for lots of ooh's and aah's.

My Favorite Salad Dressing

Well, it is pretty much my favorite salad dressing, but it's also what it's called. This comes from the ONLY decent food allergy cookbook I have ever found. It's a top-8 allergy free cookbook. Now that we only have 3 of those, it's not my only cookbook, but I'll forever be grateful to Cybele for a year of meals that were so good that I didn't feel like I was eating Asher-safe food.

My Favorite Salad Dressing
The Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook

1 small clove garlic, minced very fine
10 fresh basil leaves, chopped or torn
2 t Dijon mustard
1 T honey
2 T unseasoned rice vinegar
2 T balsamic vinegar
1/2 c olive oil

Blend garlic, basic mustard and honey in blender. Add rice vinegar and balsamic vinegar, mixing thoroughly. Then add olive oil slowly as blender runs.

Lahvosh Wraps

When I was about 8, Kate and I took a summer cooking class together from a couple of teenagers in the ward. It was so fun, but I think what I really liked was being in their fancy house and swimming after the cooking class.

The two recipes below are some from those classes in 1986 (yikes!) when wraps meant something very different than what we think of today.

Lavhosh can also be called "Cracker bread." They're giant (like 15" round) crackers, and they're kind of hard to find. I got one package at my local Safeway and opened it to find the crackers all broken. Not one was good enough to make the wraps. So, I went to my local Middle Eastern bakery (conveniently, that's it's name, too) and got some lovely whole ones.

As I made these, I realized there is no end of combinations of what can be made here. All you need is about 1/2 cup of a spread to help everything "stick." I made an advocado, bacon, turkey wrap Asher-safe by making a lemon soy mayonnaise (mayo made with soy needs a little something to take away the aftertaste. I recommend mixing garlic or lemon in to help). But, my favorite was a vegetarian wrap with blue cheese, 1/2 c mayonnaise, lots of veggies, and this vinagrette.

Still with me? Oh good! Here's the original recipe, but it's easy to make modifications. Just sprinkle whatever ingredients you like as you would when topping a pizza (see first picture).

Valley Wrap Chicken

1 large Lahvosh, softened (see below for my explanation)
1 package cream cheese, softened
1/3 c mayonnaise
5 ounces deli-sliced turkey
4 ounces jack cheese, thinly sliced or shredded (shredded--much easier!)
1 cup shredded lettuce or alfalfa sprouts
1/4 c toasted, sliced almonds

To soften lahvosh, get a large towel wet, not dripping wet, but good and moist. Place it on your kitchen counter and put 1 lahvosh on it. Fold half of towel over it. Tell your husband, so he won't put the towel in the dirty clothes (sigh...). Let it sit overnight or at least 4 hours to soften.

Put sesame seed side on counter. Mix sfotened cream cheese and mayonnaise together until smooth; spread evenly on lavosh. Arrange turkey slices to completely cover lahvosh. Layer cheese, lettuce. Scatter almonds over all.

Roll tightly in jelly-roll fashion. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours. Slice as you would a jelly-roll and enjoy!

Oh, and did I mention Asher is back on soy? No more $60 a can supplemental formula! And, a whole continent of cuisine has just opened up to us.

**again, Jessica--thanks for the pictures!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Italian Chicken Crock Pot

This is my favorite Crock Pot recipe. It is so easy to make!

1 stick butter (optional)
1 package of dry italian salad dressing mix
4 frozen chicken breasts
8 oz. cream cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 c. rice

Place the butter and chicken breasts in the crock pot. Sprinkle the dry italian seasoning on the chicken. (I made it without butter today, and I thought it tasted just as good.) Let this cook for 2 1/2 hours on high. Shred the chicken. Place it back in the crock pot with the cream cheese and cream of chicken soup. Let that cook for another hour. Serve over rice. (I think it takes about 5 total hours to cook if you do it on low.)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Warm Chocolate-Raspberry Pudding Cake

**Maybe I should make Jessica come over and take pictures of all the food I make!

Another Gourmet cookbook recipe. This is a little different than a traditional pudding cake recipe in that this cake has two separate batters. But, the bottom layer will become the frosting for the cake when you flip it over.

For frosting:
1/2 c seedless raspberry jam
1/2 c heavy cream
3 oz good bittersweet chocolate, chopped

For cake batter:
1/2 c boiling water
1/3 c plus 2 t unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
1/4 c whole milk I used the 1% in my fridge
1/2 t vanilla extract
1/3 c seedless raspberry jam
1 c all-purpose flour
3/4 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1 stick (8 T) unsalted butter, softened
1/3 c packed light brown sugar
1/3 c white sugar
2 large eggs

Put rack in middle of oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Generously butter cake pan (9 by 2 inch round cake pan).

Making the frosting:
Combine jam, cream, and chocolate in a small heavy saucepan and bring to just a simmer, stirring occasionally until smooth. Pour frosting into buttered cake pan.
I was worried that like a traditional pudding cake this had to go into the oven right away. Due to fussy children, I learned that this is not the case.

Make the cake batter:
Whisk together boiling water and cocoa powder in a medium bowl until smooth, then whisk in milk, vanilla, and jam. Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt into another bowl.

Beat together butter and sugars in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour and coca mixtures alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture and beating on low speed until each addition is just incorporated.

Spoon batter evenly over frosting and spread it to cover frosting completely. Bake until a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center of cake comes out clean (frsosting on bottom will still be lidquid), 30-40 minutes. This is where I got a little nervous. My cake had cracked in the center and I could see pudding, but I wasn't sure if it was pudding or cake. I went the full 40 minutes and still worried that it wasn't done, but it turned out to be just a big, deep crack that was completely covered once the cake was inverted.

Cool cake in pan on a rack for 10-20 minutes.

Run a thin knife around edge of pan and twist pan gently back and forth on a flat surface to loosen cake. Invert a cake plate with a slight lip over pan and, holding pan and plate together with both hands, invert cake onto plate. (Frosting will cover sides of cake and run onto plate.)

Serve warm, garnished with raspberries, if desired. And, I would add a dollop of whip cream.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Brisket a la Carbonnade

I got this recipe from my ever-handy Gourmet cookbook (BEST COOKBOOK EVER!). The meat is so tender, and the onions melt into a lovely gravy.

3 1/2 to 4 pound beef brisket, trimmed of excess fat
3/4 t salt
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
2 T olive oil
2 pounds onions, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced (about 6 cups)
1 Turkish bay leaf or 1/2 California bay leaf
1 12 ounce bottle beer (not dark)*
1 dried-porcini boullion cube or beef boullion cube I didn't have either of these, I just used 1 t of seasoning salt
1 T balsamic vinegar

Put rack in middle of oven and preheat to 350.

Pat brisket dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat oil in 6 to 8 qt wide heavy ovenproof pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Brown meat well on all sides, about 10 minutes total. Transfer to platter.

Add onions and bay leaf to fat remaining in pot and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are golden, 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer half of onions to a bowl. Set brisket over onions in pot, then top with remaining onions. Add beer, boullion cube, and vinegar (liquid should come about halfway up sides of meat; add water if necessary) and bring to a boil.

Cover pot, transfer to oven, and braise until meat is very tender, 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Let meat cool in sauce, uncovered, for 30 minutes. I was nervous about leaving a cut of meat I'd never tried before in the oven and not being at home, so I cooked it in the oven while I was home in the morning. Then, put it in the Crock pot on low while I was out of the house for another 3 hours.

Transfer brisekt to a cutting board. Skim off any fat from sauce, discard bay leaf, and season sauce with salt and pepper. Slice meat across the grain and serve with sauce.

*being a good Mormon girl, I felt a little clueless in the liquor section. I bought a bottle of Heineken, remembering that it was German beer because the Gourmet cookbook pointed out that this dish is one of the national dishes from Belgium--Belgium is close to Germany, hence my selection

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Chocolate Banana Shake

I remember after my Mom had each of my brothers she would start making this shake as a healthy alternative to other sweets. Now that it's a new year and I'm trying to get back on the wagon I thought I would share it.
2 Tablespoons Cocoa
1 Cup Whole Milk
2 Small Bananas
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
Dissolve coca in 1/2 c hot milk. Allow milk cocoa mixture to cool. In blender chop banana with 1/2 c milk and blend until smooth. Then add the milk coca mixture and freeze.

Mexican Soup

My good friend Kim gave me this recipe and it is delicious. I made is Christmas Eve and it was a hit (if I don't say so myself).
7-8 medium potatoes
1 large onion
1 large can stewed tomatoes drained
1-2 cans diced green chili's
1 bunch cilantro
1 pound Monterery Jack Cheese
1/2 cup butter
garlic salt
1. Peel and cut potatoes, put in pan and cover with water
2. Add salt, pepper, garlic salt, 1/8 tsp oregano and 3 tbsp chopped cilantro leaves
3. Cook potatoes until tender, don't drain water
4. In frying pan melt 1/2 cup butter, add diced onions, drained tomatoes and green chili's - Saute until soft
5. Add to soup onion, tomatoes, green chili mixture
6. simmer 20 minutes
7. Turn off heat and add 1/2 lb cheese cut in chunks until melted
8. Add the other 1/2 lb cheese chunks just before eating

Friday, January 2, 2009

Cran-Ras-Lime Punch

At a church function recently the wonderful Amy Helbig (wicked cool native of Maine & former caterer) introduced me to this delightful punch.

1 lime sliced
1 frozen can of Cran-Raspberry concentrate
1 large bottle of 7up
Throw it all in your punch bowl, mix, and you're done!

I made this for Christmas Eve and switched it up a little I doubled the recipe and did 1 large bottle of 7up and 1 large bottle of raspberry flavored club soda. The flavored club soda really helped to bring out more of the raspberry flavor and made it a little less sweet.

Chicken Enchiladas

I love these--I don't think they're authentic Mexican food at all. In fact, I've only seen these at Mormon potlucks. I think of them as Mormon as red jello casserole and funeral potatoes. So, I made them for a Peterson family party. If you double this recipe, I now can verify that you can easily feed 20 adults. If you quadruple the recipe, well, you'll have chicken enchiladas to last you and whoever drops by for the whole holiday break.

I got this recipe from a little cookbook the Weston II Ward put out for a Super Saturday activity. Even though it's a small cookbook, I use it at least twice a month because it's full of recipes from old friends who are great cooks.

Chicken Enchiladas
Tanya Rogers

4 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded a Costco chicken is an excellent substitute
1 medium onion, chopped this time, I found the onions a little too crunchy. I think I might try to saute them first next time
8 ounces cream cheese
1 can green chilies
8 ounces cheddar cheese

1 cup milk
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup salsa

10-12 flour tortillas

Mix filling into a paste and divide in equal number of tortillas. Warm tortillas briefly (microwave, pan). Roll filling in each tortilla and place in 9x12 pan (I spray the pan with cooking spray, but I don't know if this is necessary). Pour sauce over it. Sprinkle with shredded cheese. Bake covered at 350 for 30 minutes, uncovered for 10 minutes longer.

Black olives and chopped green onion are optional toppings.

Julie's crepes

My sister-in-law, Julie (ok, this is her husband's blog, but she makes frequent appearances in it and you can see my cute twin nephews), makes REALLY good crepes--so good that we swallowed our pride and admitted that we had lost the crepe recipe for the 5th time, which is why we haven't had them for so long and why I've guarded the recipe written on a discarded shopping list the entire holiday season.

3/4 c milk
3/4 c water
3 egg yolks
1 T sugar
1 1/2 c flour, sifted
5 T butter melted

Blend all ingredients in blender and refridgerate overnight. Butter the pan (or spray with cooking spray, if you're lazy like we are) and turn to med-high heat. Pour 1/4 c batter and rotate the pan so it covers the bottom. Flip. Repeat.

My family likes Nutella and bananas on ours for Christmas breakfast. Nate's family has a few options:
1) a sprinkling of powdered sugar
2) strawberries and sugar syrup
3) blueberries and maple syrup

Dave, you're the only person who has actually had a Frenchman show you how to make crepes, so fix my directions, please!

New Bedford Clam Chowder

My mother-in-law makes this for Christmas every year. She got it from a woman she did some catering for when she lived in Boston, so it's authentic and has some nice family history behind it. It's not as thick as most clam chowders. I would guess this is because of the lack of potatoes.

2 T salt pork cubes (or 2 T butter and 1 t bacon pieces)*
1/2 c chopped onion
1 lb scallops
2 10 oz cans whole baby clams with juice
1/4 c butter
1/4 c sherry or white cooking wine
2 c whole milk
2 c cream
salt, pepper, parsley to taste

Saute salt pork cubes until crisp, discard pork cubes and saute onion in remaining fat until soft (The only salt pork I could find required me to buy a pound of it, which I wasn't willing to do for 2 T of it. Then, I meant to use the bacon instead, but I got lazy, so I just added a little more salt).

Dredge scallops in flour. Shake off excess and brown lightly in pan. Add wine or sherry and simmer briefly (to cook). Add remaining ingredients and simmer gently until warmed through.

This recipe will feed 8 adults with leftovers. I forgot this and doubled the butter and nothing else, which made it rich and delicious, but more for something to dip your bread in rather than a soup to eat. Next year, I'll get it right!