Monday, March 30, 2009

TAG!

So, a dear friend posted the following on her blog and I played along. I love stuff like this...And when Brook does anything, you can always count on it to be fabulous. She still makes a far better chocolate chip cookie than I do. the best part, is that I forgot about it and was super surprised to get a little package in the mail Saturday morning.(see below) Anyway, as for the "catch" that is detailed below, I am now posting the same post. Make sure you read completely before playing the game.


The first five people to respond to this post will get something made by me, Sara--my choice for you. (how can you NOT leave a comment?) :) Here's the scoop.1- I make no guarantees that you will like what I make--but there's a pretty good chance you will!2- What I create will be just for you.3- It'll be done by the end of April- You have no clue what it's going to be. It may be a story. It may be poetry or an article on properly cleaning your face before a masque. I may scrapbook something. I may bake you something and mail it to you. Who knows? Not you, that's for sure!The catch? Oh, the catch is that you must re post this on your blog and offer the same to the first 5 people who do the same on your blog. The first 5 people to do so and leave a comment telling me they did it will then win a fabulous homemade gift made by me!Oh, and be sure to post a picture of what you win when you get it! Have fun playing!*Copied from Alli. E.'s blog...Good Luck!!



So lookie what I got!


Thanks Brook...I love it soooomuch!

Wendy's Chicken Wraps-NOT

Ok, so this post will have to be labeled "not so gourmet" or "A monkey could make it", or maybe "is this really cooking?". But come on, we don't always want to cook....do we? And sometimes, I want to offer up a normal* dinner, that doesn't require explanation and that the kids just eat. I love recipes that take only a few minutes to prepare and a only a few minutes to clean up - because there is nothing left over. So, a few weeks back, I had a grilled chicken wrap. I was really just wanting something that was under a million calories (good news, it is only 190 calories, 4 weight watcher points). Anyway, it was pretty good, good enough that I have been craving one since. So thus my version.
* yes, my children sometimes complain that I do not cook normal food.

Spicy Chicken Wraps

3 Large chicken breasts
1/2 teaspoon each-salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons hot sauce
2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce
8 tortillas
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 Tablespoons honey
2 cups lettuce, shaved
1 cup tomatoes
1 cup cheddar jack cheese,grated



Season the chicken breasts with the salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder. Cook in a large skillet with a couple tablespoons olive oil.
Combine the mayo, honey and Dijon and set aside.
Shred the lettuce, chop the tomatoes, and grate the cheese.


Slice chicken and mix in 3 tablespoons Hot sauce. I like to use Franks Red Hot.

For extra zip, I add few teaspoons of my favorite chili garlic sauce.


warm the tortillas. Spread a Tablespoon of the honey mustard on the tortilla and add a few slices of chicken.

Add lettuce, tomato, and cheese
Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Amo Carbonara

Oh what a wonderful dinner we had last night. I stood in the middle of the grocery store last night contemplating frozen pizzas....I know, I know...pathetic. I was so tired and on a limited time restraint. I was there to pick up bananas and yogurt and figured that I would cast myself into frozen pizza shame. Oh, but you know me better than that. My dinner epiphany came and I rushed home to make a splendid dinner of Carbonara. Such an easy comforting meal. Even grandma (who absolutely detests garlic...so she thinks....I use it almost daily and she never has caught me) loved the dish. And so, I share it with you. Now, I will commit blasphemy so please just bear with me - I didn't have any white wine in the house, so I used beer...I'm not Italian so I am not ashamed. I also used a vegetable/yogurt margarine instead of butter (I have to watch cholesterol/fat in my house. And speaking of that-if you have to watch that as well, use egg beaters in place of the eggs.
I hope you enjoy!

Carbonara

1 lb. capellini
3 eggs
1/2 lb. bacon, or pancetta, or proscuitto, chopped
1/4 cup parsley
1/3 cup Parmesan
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup white wine (I used beer)
1 1/2 cup chicken stock
5 Tablespoons butter (I used margarine)
1 cup frozen peas
Gruyere
salt and pepper to taste
chili flakes




In a heavy saucepan, combine the onion, bacon, and garlic. Cook over medium heat, until golden and the onions are translucent.




Meanwhile, cook the pasta. Remember that capellini only needs to be cooked for about 5 minutes.

Remove the mixture from the pan and set aside.

In a bowl, mix the eggs and Parmesan together until smooth and creamy.

Deglaze the pan with the white wine and simmer until 1/2 the liquid cooks down.

Next add the chicken stock and cook down till about a cup and half of liquid is left in the pan.


Drain the pasta, but do not rinse it, rather add it directly to the simmering liquid. Toss in the parsley and peas.

Add the butter, bacon, onion, and garlic. Lastly, add the egg mixture and salt and pepper. Toss aggressively, to combine the egg evenly throughout the hot pasta. If you want to kick it up a bit, add some pepper flakes to your preference.







Serve immediately with warm crusty bread. Yummy!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Whistling Dixi


Ohh my bad....I didn't realize I had gone a full week without a post. Sorry. Actually, I have a very good excuse....I am on a mini-vacation! Yes I am in St. George, for a baseball tournament with my family...soaking in the sunshine. The average has been in the mid-eighties.....I am now ready for spring! So unfortunately I don't have any pictures for you, but this recipe rocks. It is the easiest egg dish for a crowd. Half it if you are only making it for 4-6 people. Enjoy.

Baked Omelet

1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
3/4 cup chopped broccoli
1 tomato diced
½ cup bacon or ham
¼ cup finely sliced scallion
¼ cup diced pepper
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup milk
¼ cup flour
½ tsp. Salt
Pinch of pepper
3 eggs

Layer cheese, meats, and vegetables in an un-greased baking dish. Beat the eggs, flour, salt, and milk together and pour over vegetable mixture.
Bake in a 375 degree oven for 40 minutes until egg is set. Let stand a few minutes before serving.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Top O' The Mornin' To You!

OOOH I Love today. There is not a lick of Irish in my blood, but oh how I love St. Patrick's Day. I cook Corned Beef a few times a year, but it never tastes as good as I does on this day. Here is a recipe for the carrots we will have with our Corned beef, braised cabbage and potatoes, and fresh rolls. I will post the recipe for the Corned Beef later, as it is currently cooking. Now folks, i try not to rant about what items to use too much but in this case I must. I understand that those Pre-peeled carrot nubs are quite popular, but they don't taste half as good as a beautiful and sweet carrot, that you peeled and cut yourself. As a matter of fact, it is rare I can find any flavor in items that are prepared like that. Try to buy carrots that are not so fat, the smaller ones are more flavorful.

Ginger Glazed Carrots

8 medium carrots, peeled and sliced at a bias.
2 scant Tablespoons ginger.
2 Tablespoons butter (or margarine)
1 teaspoon horseradish
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 Tablespoons honey
salt and pepper to taste
In a skillet, add 1 cup of water to the carrots and steam for about 5 minutes until tender.
Drain off any remaining water. Add 2 Tablespoons butter and 2 Tablespoons honey.
Next, add 1 teaspoon horseradish (prepared-not creamy) and a scant 2 Tablespoons fresh grated ginger. mmmmm.
Lastly, add about 2 Tablespoons orange juice and cook until there is no liquid in the bottom of the pan. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
You can sprinkle it with a bit of parsley if you like.
carrots will never be the same again!







Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity. ~Voltaire

I love a good pork chop...but like chicken, I am always searching for fun ways to prepare it. Tonight I made a quick Creamy Dijon sauce and broiled the chop. I served it with an artichoke with a zesty lemon butter...Yum!
I will never forget he first time I cooked my husband pork chops. He cut into the juicy chop, placed it in his mouth, and chewed it very slowly. He took another bite and looked up from his plate.
"What is this?" he asked
Perplexed, I answered "a pork chop."
He looked at me unbelieving and replied, "Pork chops don't taste like this, they are chewy....like jerky...I don't like pork chops."

"Well," I said.."Is it good?"
"Yes," he answered.
"Then it's not a pork chop."

Creamy Dijon Pork Chops

6-10 pork thick cut pork chops
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup honey
2 Tablespoons Dijon
2 Teaspoons chili garlic sauce
1 Tablespoon dried onion
salt and pepper to taste
6 artichokes


Lemon Butter Sauce

12 Tablespoons unsalted butter
zest of one lemon
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 Tablespoon fresh parsley




Start your creamy Dijon sauce with 1/2 cup mayonnaise.


Add honey.

Add Dijon mustard-I like the coarse ground.

Add 1 tablespoon dried onion.

Add chili garlic sauce.

Mix everything together and set aside.


Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Spray a broiler pan with non-stick cooking spray and arrange chops. Season with salt and pepper on both sides. Put the chops in the oven and turn to broil. Broil for 5 minutes and then turn. Broil for 5 more minutes.

Pull the chops out of the oven and slather them in the Dijon sauce. Return to the oven for an additional 5 minutes.

Look at these beautiful artichokes.

I remove the bottom leaves-they are tough and usually pretty beat up. I also cut the top right off-the tops usually are sharp.

If you want, you can cut the artichokes in half and remove the "choke"-this can easily be done with a spoon. I usually just leave them whole when serving my family, but when serving guests I halve them.

Pour 2 cups of water in a large pot. Arrange the artichokes in the pot and add salt generously. Steam for 25-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, for the artichoke butter dip, melt butter*,garlic, lemon zest, and parsley together. If you want a kick add a pinch of pepper flakes.
*I personally like to clarify the butter-Melt the butter slowly. Let it sit for a bit to separate. Skim off the foam that rises to the top, and gently pour the butter off of the milk solids, which have settled to the bottom.

To finish the artichokes, I just spread the leaves open like a flower and drizzle them with the lemon butter sauce. I serve it with a lemon wedge as well.
Ohh baby they sure were tasty!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Don't be shy

I have now been blogging for one year. I am always looking for ways to make my blog better. I hope that I have been providing things that you enjoy. What I want to know, is what do you want to know? What are you looking for when you check my blog out? Leave comments here or email me voortmeyersr@yahoo.com

And while you are at it....check out the widget to the right. Join my blog role. I would love to check out your blogs as well.

Ta-ta!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Oh Baby It's Cold Outside

Well, just as my internal temperature began to rise, and I committed to the idea that spring was here to stay.....Mother Nature pulled a fast one on me! It is snowing once again. When it snows...I cook soup. There is nothing better when you come home cold and hungry to find a satisfying hot soup and warm bread on the table. So this is what we had for dinner tonight. If you don't like crab, then leave it out. Also, if you would like to make this vegetarian, use vegetable stock instead.


Roasted Corn Chowder with Crab
3 large russet potatoes
3 celery stalks
4 cloves of garlic
bunch of green onions
2 cups corn
1 ½ cups bell peppers, any color will do
1 box chicken stock, only good stuff
8 Tablespoons butter
2/3 cup flour
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 ½ cups smoked cheddar cheese
1 ½ cup crab meat




Dice the potatoes in large chunks.

Dice the celery small.

I like to use the center of the celery for this because it has more flavor. In a large stock pot, combine the celery, potatoes, and stock. Bring to a boil and simmer until the potatoes are soft enough to mash. But don’t mash them.


Meanwhile, dice the peppers and onions, chop the garlic and combine with the corn on a sheet pan.

Drizzle with olive oil and place in a 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes until corn begins to get a golden brown tint.

While the vegetables are all cooking, melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the flour and stir into a paste. Cook the paste for one minute.

Ladle about 2 cups of the cooking stock into the paste and whisk. Next, add the 2 cups of milk and stir until smooth over medium heat. Add the cheese and stir in well. Pour the rue into the potatoes

and add the roasted vegetables.

Season with salt, pepper and Worcestershire. Simmer for twenty minutes.
Ladle soup into a large bowl and sprinkle with additional cheese. Top with a few tablespoons of crab meat* and a splash of Tabasco. Serve with fresh corn bread.
This dish is great with or without the crab meat. You could substitute shrimp or chicken as well.