Friday, November 29, 2013

Turkey Talk

Turkey
Now that we have all stuffed ourselves silly for Thanksgiving, it is time to get through all those leftovers lurking in the refrigerator. I am happy with a straight plate of leftovers once or twice, but after that, I am over it. My most favorite thing to make is Cranberry Barbecue Sauce using leftover cranberry sauce, even the canned stuff will work. I like to serve it on turkey on a bun.  I also love turkey chowder and turkey pasta, both are easy whole meals in one dish.  Serve either with any leftover diner rolls you have, maybe add a green salad to try to get a little healthy post Thanksgiving.  And of course, there is the traditional Turkey Tetrazzini.  It wouldn't be leftovers without it.  Also consider using your turkey in enchiladas, pot pie or empanadas. This year, I want to try and make gnocchi using leftover mashed potatoes, I will let you know how it goes.
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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Crockpot Chicken and Noodles

Crockpot Chicken and Noodles
This may not be a beautiful dish, but it is warm, satisfying and perfect for a cool fall day.  Miss F had requested carrot cake for her birthday cake this year, which she happily shared with C for his birthday (it's his favorite cake too!)  I had carrots left over and had seen Pioneer Woman cook chicken and noodles on her television show.  This recipe was inspired by hers, mainly that I wanted another recipe to use the Reames frozen noodles.  Miss F actually most preferred the carrots, she is sort of obsessed.  At the grocery store in Aspen, they carry a giant 25 pound bag of carrots that she wants to buy every time we are there.  I am not sure who is buying it, but Miss F would love them to share some of the carrot bounty with her.  I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving tomorrow!
Crockpot Chicken and Noodles

3 tablespoons butter
¼ cup flour
2 ½ cups chicken broth, divided
½ cup milk
4 chicken thighs, skin removed
1 pound carrots, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
½ onion, diced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried parsley
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon pepper
dash of hot sauce
1 package frozen egg noodles

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in flour; keep stirring until smooth and bubbly. Remove from heat and add ½ cup chicken broth and milk, a little at a time, stirring to keep smooth. Return to heat. Bring sauce to a gentle boil; cook, stirring constantly, until it thickens. Stir in the remaining chicken broth.

Add the chicken thighs, carrots, celery and onion to the crockpot. Stir the salt, parsley, thyme, pepper and hot sauce into the chicken broth mixture, pour over the chicken thighs. Give the mixture in the crockpot a stir or two. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours. Turn the heat to high, add the egg noodles and cook one hour more, checking the liquid and stirring occasionally, add more broth if needed.
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Monday, November 25, 2013

One Bite Wonders

One Bite Wonders
This recipe was recommended by a friend and I happened to have two over ripe bananas in our fruit bowl.  Miss F adored these little muffins.  Since they have peanut butter in them, I am not able to send them to school in her lunch, but she did enjoy them for breakfast almost every day for a week.  Like a little breakfast dessert.  Next time I will probably half the recipe since it makes 48 mini muffins.  Though that will force me to half an egg, which is always a pain. I know you can freeze leftover muffins, but I am never happy with the quality once they are defrosted.
One-Bite Wonders

1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 ripe bananas, mashed
½ cup peanut butter
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup vegetable or canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two mini-muffin pans with baking cups.

In a bowl, whisk together both flours, baking powder, and baking soda; set aside. In a second bowl, combine bananas, peanut butter, both sugars, oil, vanilla, and egg. Whisk wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until moist (do not over mix, a few lumps are okay). Gently fold in ¾ cup chocolate morsels. Fill each well in the prepared muffin tins 2/3 full with batter. Top with a few of the remaining chocolate morsels.

Bake for 10-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove muffins from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan.
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Friday, November 22, 2013

Crispy Skin Salmon with Avocado Remoulade


Crispy Skin Salmon with Avocado Remoulade
I have been lucky to dine at Nobu a few times, the most interesting being in Hong Kong with Miss F. Now that she is eating salmon, I have something else to offer her when we return =) This recipe is loosely based on the recipe for Nobu's crispy skin salmon. I didn't have time to get to the Asian grocer for daikon, so I decided to try the fish with avocado remoulade instead. It was wonderful. I know I will use this remoulade the next time I make po-boys. It is rich and creamy, the perfect accompaniment to the salmon.
Crispy Skin Salmon with Avocado Remoulade

2 large avocados, cut and peeled
3 tablespoons lime juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1 tablespoon minced parsley
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
dash of hot sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound salmon, cut into 4 filets
Canola oil

Put avocado pieces and lime juice into a food processor or blender and pulse until blended. Slowly add -olive oil, pulsing, until you reach desired consistency of sauce. Add minced shallot and parsley, pulse just until combined. Remove to a bowl, add mustard, hot sauce, salt and pepper to taste.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over high heat until hot, and swirl oil in. Place salmon, skin side down, in skillet; cook, undisturbed, for 2 minutes. Cook remaining 3 sides of fish until 70 percent cooked (it should be opaque on the outside yet slightly rare inside), 1 minute each side; fish should cook 5 minutes total.

Serve salmon on top of avocado remoulade sauce.
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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Overnight Refrigerator Dinner Rolls

Overnight Refrigerator Dinner Rolls
These rolls were originally inspired by a recipe from BHG. The only issue I had with them was that they had the first rise overnight, then the second rise was before baking them, which doesn't seem like a timesaver at all. So instead, I adapted a recipe from Martha Stewart, mainly reducing the amount of rolls it made. Because if I made 18 rolls, I would eat all the rolls. Miss F may have a couple, but I would eat the rest. Bread is my most favorite food. If you have noticed, I have been baking a lot of bread lately. C hates the smell of fresh baked bread, so now that he is gone during the week, I can bake and bake. And the house smells fantastic. And I end up eating a ton of bread. These rolls would be perfect for Thanksgiving since they can be prepped the night before and baked up while the turkey is resting.
Overnight Refrigerator Dinner Rolls

1 cup warm water
2 ¼ teaspoons yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted, plus more for pan and brushing
1 large egg, lightly beaten
½ teaspoon salt
3 cups flour, plus more for shaping dough

Add warm water to a stand mixer bowl; sprinkle with the yeast, and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add sugar, butter, eggs, and salt; whisk to combine. Add flour; mix until incorporated and a sticky dough forms. Swap out for the dough hook attachment and knead for 5 minutes. Brush the top of dough with butter; cover bowl with plastic wrap, and set aside in a warm place until dough has doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Turn dough out onto a floured work surface. Roll into a log and cut into thirds, cut into thirds again to end up with 9 rolls. Brush a 8-inch cake pan with butter. One at a time, flatten each piece of dough, then fold edges toward the center, pressing to secure, until a smooth ball forms. Place dough balls in prepared pan, smooth side up. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove plastic wrap; brush rolls with melted butter. Bake until golden and rolls sound hollow when tapped on bottom, 25 to 30 minutes. Pull rolls apart, and serve warm.
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Monday, November 18, 2013

Lemon Chicken Spaghetti

Lemon Chicken Spaghetti
One of my most favorite blogs is Confections of a Foodie Bride. I spent a crazy weekend in Chicago with Shawnda and she is one of the most fun people I know.  I have had her recipe for lemon chicken spaghetti bookmarked for the longest time and when my mom sent me home with lemons from her tree, I knew it was time to make it.  It came together amazingly quick and tasted fabulous.  Miss F had three full helpings, even after eating all her green beans.  We were Skyping with C during dinner and he was shocked how much she ate.  She even requested the leftovers for school lunch the next day. 
Lemon Chicken Spaghetti

½ pound thin spaghetti
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
1 tablespoon butter
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon flour
1 lemon, juiced and zested
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup milk
½ cup finely grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and return pasta to the pot.

Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the pan; sauté until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken to the pot with the pasta.

Add butter to the sauté pan; add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute. Whisk in the flour, cook for one minute more. Add lemon zest, cream,and milk; bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for a minute to thicken. Stir in Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, and pepper. Cook 2-3 minutes, until very hot and slightly thickened. Pour sauce over pasta and toss. Let sit 5 minutes then serve topped with Parmesan.

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Friday, November 15, 2013

Recipe Swap: Bean and Cheese Taquitos

Bean and Cheese Taquitos
The theme of this week's swap is a Vegetarian Recipe. I had many wonderful recipes to choose from Sweet Beginnings, but I instantly knew which recipe I would be making: bean and cheese taquitos. I knew Miss F would love these. She devoured three for dinner and then requested more for her lunch box the next day. I cut them in half to fit in her Thermos container and she was thrilled to have them in her lunch.  I will be completely honest, I didn't eat any.  Beans are not my thing, but as much as I dislike them, Miss F loves beans.  These are going into the repertoire for the nights where I am cooking something I know she won't enjoy.  I used leftover refried beans from Pappasitos instead of canned, but other than that, I kept to the recipe.  I served them with guacamole, but Miss F preferred hers plain.  And she ate them sideways, silly girl.  Thanks to A Taste of Home Cooking for hosting!
Bean & Cheese Taquitos

1 can refried beans
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
1 lime
2 cups shredded cheese (such as cheddar, Mexican blend, etc)
Flour tortillas (16-20)
Cooking spray
Sea salt for topping

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. In a large bowl, mix the refried beans, black beans, cilantro, and spices. Then add the zest from the lime and the juice from half of the lime and stir. Mix in the cheese. Put about two tablespoons of filling lengthwise into each tortilla. Spread it out into a strip and roll up the tortilla around it. Place it seam side down on a baking sheet. Repeat with all of the tortillas. Lightly spray the tortillas with cooking spray and immediately sprinkle with sea salt. Bake until the edges are golden brown, about 10 minutes. Serve warm with your choice of dipping sauce (salsa, sour cream, etc.)





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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Lemon Yogurt Pancakes


Lemon Yogurt Pancakes
Miss F loves pancakes and anything lemon flavored, so I knew these pancakes from Two Peas and Their Pod would be a big hit. Miss F doesn't like syrup on her pancakes, but she does like dipping them in yogurt. This recipe was perfect for that because there was just enough yogurt left in the cup for her to dip her pancakes into. She loved them, she ate three at one sitting. I have never understood the need to add poppy seed to anything with a lemon flavor. They just get stuck in your teeth and don't add anything flavor wise, so I omitted them. We made these pancakes with Meyer lemon juice from my mom's tree. I love citrus season!
Lemon Yogurt Pancakes

1 ½ cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
½ cup plain or lemon Greek yogurt
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 eggs
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a large bowl. In a two cup measure, whisk together the yogurt, milk, lemon juice, eggs, oil and vanilla. Pour the yogurt mixture into the dry ingredients. Stir together until just combined.

Heat a large griddle over medium-high heat. Grease with shortening or cooking spray. Use a large ice cream scoop or ¼ cup measure to dish the pancakes onto the griddle. Cook the pancakes a couple minutes a side, until golden.
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Monday, November 11, 2013

Cajun Red Snapper with Lime Beurre Blanc

Cajun Red Snapper with Lime Beurre Blanc
This recipe is loosely inspired from the Tabasco website. I adore Tabasco, I will add it to most anything. And you cannot go wrong with a Beurre Blanc sauce, anything with that much butter in it has to be amazing. I love how quickly snapper cooks up, even with the marinade time, this came together in under 45 minutes, which was the exact time needed to bake the Hassleback Potatoes.  The sauce also went well with the green beans and potatoes.  I was not a fan of mixing foods when I was a kid, but now I do it all the time.  I may have had a fork full of fish, potato and a green bean.  No divided plates for me!
Cajun Red Snapper with Lime Beurre Blanc

1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning (such as Tony Chacheres)
1 teaspoon Tabasco
Juice of 2 limes
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 (8-ounce) fillets red snapper

Lime Beurre Blanc
½ cup chopped shallots
½ cup white wine
Juice of 2 limes, divided
½ cup heavy cream
1 cup butter, cut into small pieces

To make marinade, combine Cajun seasoning, Tabasco, lime juice, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a shallow dish and mix well; add fish and marinate for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare beurre blanc and set aside.

Just before serving, heat a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to hot pan. Place two fish fillets at a time in pan, skin side down, and cook 3 to 4 minutes. Turn fish over and cook 1 to 2 minutes longer.

Spoon some beurre blanc on 4 plates; top with fish fillets and more beurre blanc.

Lime Beurre Blanc: Combine shallots, wine, and juice of one lime in a small saucepan; cook over medium heat until mixture is reduced to 1 ½ tablespoons. Add the heavy cream and cook 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add butter a piece at a time, whisking until all is incorporated, stir in juice from remaining lime. Season to taste with salt and pepper and heat for 30 seconds.
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Friday, November 8, 2013

Butternut Squash and Corn Chowder

Butternut Squash and Corn Chowder
I adore soup. Even though fall thus far in Houston has meant highs in the 80s with out of control humidity, I am still in an autumnal mood. Miss F is usually a huge soup fan as well, but this one wasn't to her tastes. She usually loves butternut squash, so I am not sure the issue was, so I will blame it on the go-to excuse for this week: time change. I think as it gets dark so early now, Miss F thinks it is her bed time much earlier than it actually is. Which makes her grumpy and tired, not such a great dining companion. I adore this soup, it is easy to prepare and so delicious. Hopefully we will get into a good routine with the time change soon, I am tired of waking up at the crack of dawn and dealing with a miserable kid at dinner. Why is there a need to set the clocks back?  I think the state of Arizona has it right.  This recipe is adapted from Martha Stewart.
Butternut Squash and Corn Chowder

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 ½ pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bag (10 ounces) frozen corn
1 teaspoon cumin
Coarse salt and ground pepper
4 cups chicken broth
½ cup heavy cream

In a large heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high; add squash and onion. Cook until onion is soft, about 6 minutes. Add corn and cumin; cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add broth and simmer until squash is tender, about 25 minutes. In a blender, blend half the soup until smooth. Alternately, use an immersion blender to puree half of the soup. Return to pot and stir in cream; heat through over medium-low.
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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Miracle Bread

Miracle Bread
My bread machine has remained on the top shelf of our pantry for the last couple of months, with one exception to make bread machine bagels. I am trying more and more to make bread without the machine, but with the assistance of my KitchenAid Mixer, I am not getting too crazy. This bread is truly a miracle.  It takes under and hour to prepare, start to finish, which is amazing.  Miss F loves a plain cheese sandwich in her lunch box and this bread is perfect for her lunch.  Thanks to Recipes Chez Moi for the great recipe, I can't wait to try it with whole wheat.
Miracle Bread

2 ¾ cup bread flour
2 tablespoons sugar
¾ teaspoons Kosher salt
2 ¼ teaspoons yeast
1 ½ tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup hot tap water

Mix together the flour, sugar, salt and yeast. Mix in the oil and water. Knead with the stand mixer for 5 minutes. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray. Shape the dough into a loaf, add to the prepared pan and cover with a dish towel. Let rise in a warm place for 25 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Cool and slice.
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Monday, November 4, 2013

Cajun Shrimp Pasta

Cajun Shrimp Pasta
I was going to make my new favorite Cajun Chicken Pasta for dinner, but Miss F ended up napping until 6:30 pm and I needed something that could get to the table a little quicker. I had been eyeing this recipe from the wonderful Tide and Thyme for quite some time.   since the shrimp cook so quickly, the whole meal took about 15 minutes to get to the table.  When you have a grouchy and hungry four year old, every second counts.  Miss F had two helpings and was a huge fan.  She really loves bell pepper, especially if she gets to select what color we buy at the grocer.  The recipe calls for a green and red bell, but I halved the recipe and only used the red bell.  You can really use whatever color pepper you like.  This dish was amazing and absolutely perfect for a weeknight.  
Cajun Shrimp Pasta

1 pound medium or large shrimp, peeled and de-veined
1 tablespoon Cajun spice mix
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
½ onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup white wine
½ cup chicken broth
1 cup cream
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
Cayenne pepper, to taste
1 pound cooked linguine

Sprinkle 2 teaspoons Cajun spice over the shrimp, toss to coat. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp to skillet, and cook for about 2 minutes. Flip shrimp over and cook for 1 minute more. Remove to plate and set aside. Add remaining tablespoon of olive oil and heat until shimmering. Add peppers, onions, and garlic. Sprinkle on remaining Cajun spice, and add salt if needed. Cook over medium high heat until peppers and onions are tender. Remove all vegetables from the pan to a plate, and set aside.

With the pan over high heat, pour in the wine and chicken broth. Cook on high for 3 to 5 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan to deglaze. Reduce heat to medium low and stir in cream and cheese, whisking constantly. Cook sauce over medium-low heat for a few minutes, until the mixture thickens. Add cayenne pepper, salt and pepper to taste. Add the vegetables to the sauce. Stir and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until mixture is bubbly and hot. Add drained linguine and toss to combine. Serve spicy shrimp on top of pasta.
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Friday, November 1, 2013

Lasagna

Lasagna
I am generally not a huge lasagna fan. C is a huge lasagna fan, so I figured I would make him a large pan on our last day in Aspen so he could have it for leftovers. The plan was to freeze some for the future. He liked the lasagna so much, there wasn't any leftover to freeze.  And I must say that I really enjoyed it as well.  I usually don't like ricotta, but the ricotta in this recipe works.  Mainly because I think there isn't a ton, so what is there really melts in with the mozzarella.  Miss F had never had lasagna and she loved it.  C has requested that I make a pan of lasagna every time we visit.  Or at least until he gets sick of it.  I adapted this recipe from All Recipes per a recommendation that it was the best ever.  And it was! 
Lasagna

1 pound sweet Italian sausage
1 pound lean ground beef
½ cup minced onion
2 carrots, peeled and grated
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
2 (6.5 ounce) cans canned tomato sauce
½ cup water
1 ½ teaspoons dried basil leaves
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
18 lasagna noodles
16 ounces ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 egg
½ teaspoon salt
¾ pound mozzarella cheese, sliced
¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a Dutch oven, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, carrot and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with basil, Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon salt, and pepper. Simmer, covered, for about 1 ½ hours, stirring occasionally.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes or use no-bake noodles dry. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with shredded mozzarella, egg, and ½ teaspoon salt.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. To assemble, spread 1 ½ cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with one third of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices. Spoon 1 ½ cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with ¼ cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers twice more ending with the mozzarella slices on top. Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.

Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 20 to 30 minutes, until cheese starts to brown. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.
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