Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Happy Happy Joy Joy

Egg rolls...what more can I say? It's like Yummy present wrapped up in a crispy little present. It is fried I know...but everything in moderation...right? I rationalize the frying calories by taking note of the vegetables that are hiding inside....OK, they are just good and I want you to make them and enjoy just how yummy they are. I like to serve them with a couple of different sauces....It just depends on what kind of mood I am in. My favorite sauces are Hoisin, Sweet and Sour, golden plum, and Sriracha. I always make extra because they are super fabulous eaten cold the next day...the skin is soft the next day, but they make a great lunch.
EGG ROLLS

1 package egg roll wraps
1 small bok choy
1 bell pepper
1 package broccoli slaw
2 handfuls bean sprouts
1 small bunch green onions
2 c chicken, pork, bay shrimp chopped small
5 T oyster sauce
Salt & pepper
Lightly coat a heavy pan or wok with olive oil. Over medium-high heat fry the chicken or pork (not the shrimp or it will over cook) until golden brown. Set aside. All the vegetables need to be cut up into small pieces-not diced. In the heavy pan or wok sauté the vegetables for a few minutes. The purpose is not to cook the vegetables through, but to get out excess water. Add the chicken and the oyster sauce, salt and pepper to taste.
Fill the wraps and fry according to instructions on your fryer. The wrap should be crisp and golden brown. Serve immediately or the wraps do wilt a bit.

Enjoy!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Carrot Raisin Breakfast Bread

In my last post, I bragged about the beautiful April weather we are having here at the base of the Wasatch Mountains.....It didn't take long for the "Powers that be" to show me who is boss around here. The temperatures have dropped and it has been raining, sleeting hailing...and snowing in the mountains. But you won't hear me complain, because I love the end product-May Flowers. However, I do hope that the temperatures don't drop so far down that it freezes the trees that have blossomed already. The apricot trees are done blossoming, but now the pear trees are in full bloom.
I actually love rain. It makes me want to bake. There is something about a warm house filled with sweet aromas while the windows are spattered with raindrops. The rain keeps me from doing work out in the yard and gives me time to be in the kitchen.
My husband and eldest daughter leave pretty early in the morning. She isn't much of a breakfast eater in the first place, and in the early hours she especially isn't...six hours until lunch is a bit long to go without nourishment, so I have taken to making her smoothies every morning. But, to break the monotony of smoothies, I love to bake breakfast breads. I pack the breads full of nutritious elements as well as plenty of YUMMY. You will find the recipe below for my Carrot Raisin Bread.
Finally.....my giveaway was a BIG FLOP! Oh well, maybe I'll have another one sometime.

CARROT RAISIN BREAD
makes 1 loaf


1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup flax
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup orange marmalade
1 egg
1/2 cup + 3 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups carrots, shredded finely
1/2 cup golden raisins
Prepare a loaf pan by brushing it with shortening or butter and then dusting it with flour. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Ina bowl, combine the oil, sugar, marmalade, and egg and beat well together. Add the carrots and mix. Add all the dry ingredients and mix until well blended. Finally, fold in the raisins. Pour into loaf pan and bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center. Gently turn loaf out of hot loaf pan onto a cooling rack as soon as possible so that the bottom of your bread won't be overcooked. T
urn bread onto it's side to slice easily.

I love to enjoy it with just a dab of creamy butter. But you can make a simple cream cheese frosting if you wish.

ENJOY!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Spring...Family Favorites...and a GIVEAWAY!


Spring is here! It is in the trees, the flowers, the fields. Now, I am not trying to get too far ahead of myself here, due to the fact the temperatures are planning to drop later this week, but I am fully committed to Spring. Check out these beautiful apricot trees...in just a few months, these trees will be loaded with delicious apricots and my blog will be loaded with apricot recipes.
And the green grass....I love it so much more than the mud. The dog can actually play Frisbee with the kids and I don't have to bathe her before she can come in the house.....
Thank you spring....

and the dog thanks you too!
Ok, I am getting totally distracted....spring does that to me.

Sooo...you know I often say I dislike leftovers. I never really enjoy re-heated foods. I am usually the very last person to take food home from a restaurant...'cause I just won't eat it. But there are a few leftover worthy meals....that actually make me crave left overs. Lasagna just happens to be one of them. It also happens to be yet another of my favorite family comfort meals. The deal is... it is a bit more time consuming than a typical lasagna recipe, as it is from scratch...but who cares...you can eat it two nights in a row...with my blessings.

LASAGNA
1 1/2 pounds ground beef, or sausage if you like it spicy
2 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
2 28 oz. can pureed tomatoes
4 tsp. garlic
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup bell peppers, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup olives, sliced
1 cup zucchini, sliced or diced
2 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. oregano
2 tsp. basil
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 bunch spinach, washed and De-stemmed
1 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup cottage cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
1 package lasagna pasta, cooked cording to instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a heavy saucepan, brown the onion and beef together. Add the garlic, bell peppers, olives, mushrooms, tomatoes, zucchini and seasonings and simmer for ten minutes. in the meantime, cook and rinse the pasta. Spay a lasagna pan with cooking spray and spoon enough sauce in the pan to cover the bottom. Place your first layer of pasta on the bottom of the pan. Next, spoon a third of the ricotta onto the pasta and spread it evenly. Place the spinach over the ricotta in a single layer and then cover with 1/3 of the sauce. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the Parmesan. Repeat the process two more times. Finally, spoon the cottage cheese over the top and run a knife through it so it is swirled with the sauce.
Place the lasagna in the oven uncovered and bake for 40 minutes. Sprinkle the mozzarella over the top and return to the oven for 8 more minutes, or until the cheese is thoroughly melted. Remove from oven and let sit for five minutes before cutting into this yummy dish!

look at those amazing layers of yumminess. My mouth is watering just looking at it! And look at all those vegetables hidden within...genius I say...Genius!!
So, now that I am done with the business of the day, how about a giveaway??(Hey, did you notice that rhymed?) In the last few posts, have been focusing on family favorites. My question to you, is what is your family favorite? What dish brings your family to the table and pleases all? If you are willing to share your favorite, please e-mail it to me. I will make the recipe that tempts my tummy the most and post it! But of course, that is not the giveaway. The giveaway is this cute little set of stationary that includes a magnetized shopping list, notebook, stickers, and cute little note cards.
So how do you win these? It's easy. Leave a comment and tell me your favorite dish. If you want a few more chances to win, pass my blog onto a friend or two and have them leave a comment. Make sure they leave both your name and their own so that you both get a chance. Make sense..I hope so, I am new at this. The giveaway will end Wednesday at 9:00 p.m. MST. Good luck!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Yo Quiero Tacos

So....I am going to stick with the same theme for a few more days... family favorites. Did the Sloppy Joes tempt you? Were they similar to what you were raised on? Well, the following recipe is another simple family favorite. I make all kinds of fancy tacos like margarita Chicken, Carne Asada, and Fish Tacos, all found under the mexican tab. http://svoortmeyer.blogspot.com/search/label/mexicanBut really, the real kid pleaser and most familiar is this one. My mom made it, my grandma made it...so I make it. It is so easy to whip up, it is a fabulous meal for the nights that the family pulls in the driveway a little too late. It will save you the trip to the local Taco Bell.


GROUND BEEF TACOS
2 lbs. lean ground beef
1 cup onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup bell pepper. chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1 can Rotel tomatoes with green chilis
1 small can pinto beans, drained

In a heavy skillet over medium high heat, combine the ground beef, onion, garlic, and peppers. Cook until ground beef is browned and broken into very small pieces. If you use lean meat you shouldn't have to, but drain off fat if necessary. Add the spices and mix until well incorporated. Finally, add the tomatoes with the juice and the beans. Simmer for twenty minutes. Serve with tortillas, diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, and grated cheese.

I like to rol them up withh a little cilantro, taco sauce and sour cream......YUMMMY



ENJOY!

Lately, I have had readers who have expressed that they might like these recipes as vegetarian. Believe it or not, I do like to sub out the meat sometimes and use a soy product instead. My favorite replacement for ground beef is this product: For the most part, you can barely tell the difference. I have used it in chili, tacos, and sloppy joes.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

NO MANWICH ZONE


I love the recipes I grew up on. No matter what new things I have learned, and new tastes I have acquired, I still always yearn for what I was raised on. The thing is....what I was raised on...is what my mother and father were raised on. There a handful of recipes that have been passed down for generations that are tried and true family pleasing favorites. I think every family has a similar story....classic recipes made by someone in your family.....that no matter how good it may be somewhere else, it will never be as good as what you were raised on.
My favorite family recipes are pretty much the basics like....tacos....spaghetti sauce....sloppy joes.....barbecue chicken...lasagna....pineapple ice cream... and angel food cake. I would love to know what recipes you hold dear to your heat, and what makes them so special. Start thinking about it now, because next week I am having a CONTEST! I know...I am so excited. I'll give you all the details in a couple of days.
In the meantime, here is a recipe for Sloppy Joes, or Spoon burgers. Sloppy Joes you ask? You mean MANWICH? NO!!!!! Traditionally, this is a pretty basic recipe. It is usually made with some sort of tomato sauce, garlic, onion and green peppers. My mother made it with a can of chicken gumbo soup (thus, the rice in the recipe), but I have made it a bit more complicated because I like to cook from scratch and deprive myself of all that canned sodium and stuff. When I have leftover rice from dinner or Chinese take out, I will just pop it in the freezer in a zip lock baggie and pull it out when I need it. Otherwise, it isn't necessary to add rice, but you should try it. Anther thing....if you like your sloppy joes to be a bit more on the BBQ side, just add a teaspoon of liquid smoke to the recipe and it will get you there. I hope you love it as much as I do. Don't skimp on the soft buns though, they can make or break the deal.

Sloppy Joes

2 lbs. ground beef
1 cup onion, diced
1 cup green bell pepper, diced
2 tablespoons garlic,minced
1 cup cooked rice
1 cup chili sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1 Tablespoon cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 cup water

In heavy skillet over high heat, brown the ground beef, onion and peppers together, chopping the beef into small pieces as you cook it. Cook the meat through and then add all the remaining ingredients together and mix well. Simmer over medium heat for twenty minutes. Serve with fresh buns.


or you could have a Manwich-recipe s follows:


Tomato Puree Water, Tomato Paste , Distilled Vinegar , Sugar , Less than 2% of: , Salt , Dehydrated Onions , Dehydrated Red & Green Bell Peppers , Chile Pepper , Tomato Fiber , Spices , Guar Gum , Xanthan Gum , Oregano , Dehydrated Garlic , Locust Bean Gum , Natural Flavors