Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday List

I figured I should do a list of Stuff I Should Know How To Make By Now. Because, you know, I should.

◙ lasagne
◙ peanut butter cookies
◙ hummus
◙ guacamole
◙ salsa
◙ pumpkin cookies
◙ pot roast

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Corn Chowder

My fabulous dinner last night, which turned out ok even though I screwed it up royally.

Corn Chowder, courtesy Tyler Florence


* 2 tablespoons butter I completely forgot this because...
* Extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 onion, diced ...I completely ran out of onions
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 6 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only I killed my thyme so I used dried
* 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
* 6 cups canned vegetable stock I used 4c veg stock and 2c chicken
* 2 cups heavy cream
* 2 Idaho potatoes, peeled and diced
* 6 ears corn I used frozen corn, about 2 16oz bags
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves


Heat the butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and thyme and cook until the vegetables are good and soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Dust the vegetables with flour and stir to coat everything well. Pour in the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Add the cream and the potatoes, bring to a boil and boil hard for about 7 minutes, until the potatoes break down (this will help to thicken the soup and give it a good texture).

Cut the corn kernels off the cob and add to the soup. Season with salt and pepper and simmer until the corn is soft, about 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in the parsley and give it another little drink of olive oil. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.

Upon opening my cream, I found a lovely pudding-type blob on top. I smelled the cream, and it smelled like cream... so I poured it into a strainer and tasted it... then it occurred to me, I don't know what cream should taste like. But it didn't taste bad, so I added it to the soup minus the blob. Tee hee hee.

Cookin' in my new Paula Deen dutch oven:

I heart my PD pot.

yum, soup completed, with oyster crackers.

The Hubs was making fun of me taking pictures, but I had to take this one because he put so many damn crackers in it looked like cereal.
Later, he said, "Is this what corn chowder is supposed to look like? Creamy?"...uh, it's chowder. What else does it look like? Well it didn't look like his Wawa corn chowder, but too bad... it was homemade and darn good. He ate two bowls.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Hershey's Chocolate Cake

Best. Cake. Ever. Anyone in my family will agree.

Due to copyright infringement (or because I'm a Hershey advocate and want you to be suckered in) go to the website and get the recipe there!

Pardon the pic, as it was the last piece left. It goes that fast.

Banana Bread

I had some old bananas (I buy food, hubs doesn't eat it, I make dessert) so I figured why not. Pulled out the old (and by old, I mean I went to my mom's and photocopied her circa-1970 Betty Crocker) cookbook and found a recipe for nut bread. Now, the recipe I used had several different variations on nut bread, and the one for banana said to lower the milk amount to 1/3 cup, which I thought was preposterous so I just dumped the rest of my milk in. I'm thinking it might have been 2/3 cup total. Or 3/4, like the recipe I found online says.

Nut Bread with a variation: Banana Nut Bread with a variation: Banana Bread
courtesy mom's old old old BC cookbook, recipe found online at

(Variations such as Banana Bread are listed after this basic recipe for Nut Bread.)

2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar (my recipe called for 1/2 c reg sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar)
3 1/2 tsp. baking powder (I thought my recipe said 2 1/2??)
1 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. oil
1 1/4 cups milk (reduce for Banana Bread as instructed in variations)
1 egg
1 cup finely chopped nuts (obviously, I omitted these)

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 9 X 5 X 3-inch loaf pan or two 8 1/2 X 4 1/2 X 2 1/2-inch loaf pans.

Measure all ingredients into large mixer bowl; beat on medium speed 1/2 minute, scraping side and bottom of bowl constantly. Pour into pan(s).

Bake 55 to 65 minutes or until a pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from pan; cool thoroughly before slicing.

*If using Self-Rising Flour, omit baking powder and salt.


Apricot Nut Bread:
Decrease milk to 1/2 cup; add 4 tsp. grated orange peel, 3/4 cup orange juice and 1 cup fienly chopped dried apricots.

Banana Nut Bread:
Decrease milk to 3/4 cup; add 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2 to 3 medium).

Date Nut Bread:
Add 1 cup cut-up dates.

Orange Nut Bread:
Decrease milk to 1/2 cup; add 4 tsp. grated orange peel and 3/4 cup orange juice.

Prune Nut Bread:
Decrease milk to 1/2 cup; add 3/4 cup prune juice and 1 cup drained chopped cooked prunes.

picture to follow!

Black Forest Cookies

Part of my Tuesday List last week, these were cookies I made for the cookie exchange at work. I must say, Ghirardelli chocolate is FANTASTIC in cookie form. Just the cookie itself would have been heaven.

Original Recipe is at Martha's website. It was either these or the Chocolate Sable Cookies from Food Network's 12 days of cookies, but that called for Dutch Process cocoa, and though I am in Dutch Country (PA to be exact) there is no Dutch Process cocoa to be found. And I'm not brave enough yet to mess with the extra stuff needed to sub.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Pappardelle with Chicken Cutlets in Vodka Cream Sauce

I wasn't sure what I was hungry for last night, but I knew I wanted something tomato-ey and cream-ey. So I stopped at Russo's (Italian heaven) and picked up some stuff.

1) saw the chicken cutlets, thought, ok I can do that.
2) got myself some vodka cream sauce
3) saw pappardelle sitting next to the sauce... DONE

I sauteed the chicken in EVOO after I spiced it with some salt, pepper, and garlic powder (too much garlic powder as I later found out, but not a problem for the hubs). I cooked the pappardelle and because I still can't judge cooking times, had to put a lil EVOO on it and let it sit until the chicken/sauce was finished.
After the chicken was fully cooked I added the sauce to my ginormous Emeril pan. I ♥ Emeril. After it bubbled, dinner was ready.
The chicken was excellent and very moist, too much garlic, but oh well. This is one of the hubs' favorite dinners now. He ate half of it. I had 1/4 and took 1/4 today for lunch. Yum, pasta.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Tuesday List

items about which I have yet to blog

admittedly, this list will slowly dwindle down as I use the pics for the other posts!

1) homemade hamburger helper, that's right. I make the easy dishes more complicated.

2) Christmas cookies. The only ones I actually made are the chocolate ones (Black Forest Cookies) and the white chocolate chip macadamia ones.

3) SPAGHETTI-Os! (ok they're really called anelli or anelletti)

Monday Random

One of my mom's first text messages (in response to my asking if the puppy could have cheese):
Yes cheese ican text, iam sopmebody

so cute. and then she proceeded to overextend my texting limits. you owe me $2.50, mom.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Martha Stewart Basic Buttercream

Basic Buttercream
this one is from the Living magazine, but I couldn't find it on the website.
(makes about 4 cups)
12 oz (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 pound confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Beat butter with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to medium.
Add sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating after each addition, about 5 minutes (after every 2 additions, increase speed to high, and beat for 10 seconds, then reduce speed to medium-high).
Add vanilla, and beat until buttercream is smooth. Use immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days (bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth before using).

Betty Crocker's Silver White Cake

Silver White Cake
from the Betty Crocker Cookbook
prep: 10 min bake: 45 min cool: 1 hr 10 min; 12 servings
(I doubled the recipe and made 24 cupcakes and an overflowing round cake, so judge for yourself)

2 1/4 cups all-purpose (not self-rising) or 2 1/2 cups cake flour (I use cake flour because I'm cool like that)
1 2/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup shortening (I use butter, same amount)
1 1/4 cups milk
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
5 large egg whites

The recommended frosting is White Mountain or Chocolate Buttercream. Go buy the book for those recipes.

1. Heat oven to 350. Grease bottom and sides of 13x9", 2 round 9", or 3 round 8" pans with shortening; lightly flour.
2. Beat all ingredients except egg whites and frosting in large bowl with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on high speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally.
3. Beat in egg whites on high speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into pan(s).
4. Bake rectangle 40-45 mins, 9" 30-35 mins, 8" 23-28 mins, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean or until cake springs back when touched lightly or when your smoke alarm goes off. Cool rectangle in pan on wire rack. Cool rounds 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
5. Frost and enjoy. I made this last one up.

Nutrition Info:
1 serving 310 cal, 12g fat, 0 chol, 370mg sodium, 47g carbs, 5g protein, 10% DV calcium