Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Spiced Pears


Makes  8 servings

1 ..........can (14 ounces) whole-berry cranberry sauce
1/3 .......cup sugar
1 ..........tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 .......teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 .......teaspoon ground ginger
6 ..........medium pears , peeled  and sliced
2 ..........medium navel oranges , peeled and sectioned

In a large saucepan , combine  the cranberry sauce , sugar , lemon juice  , cinnamon and ginger . Bring to a boil  over medium heat . Stir in pears  and oranges  ; simmer  uncovered  for 15 minutes  or until pears are tender .

This refreshing  change of pace  includes  pears , oranges , cinnamon  and more for a nice alternative to vegetable  sides . It's one holiday  dish you can prepare  quickly  and serve anythime ... and it taste spectaclar .
Heart Healthy

South-of-the-Border Soup


Prep : ... 15 minutes  ... Cook : ... 35 minutes  ... Makes 8 servings

1 ....................egg
1/4 .................cup dry  bread crumbs
1/2 .................teaspoon salt
1/4 .................teaspoon pepper
1 ....................pound ground beef
1 ....................jar (16 ounces) picante sauce
1 ....................can (15-1/4 ounces) while kernal corn , drained
1 ....................can (15 ounces) black beans , rinsed and drained
1 ....................can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes  , undrained
1-1/4 .............cups water

1 .........In a large bowl , combine the first 4 ingredients . Crumble beef over mixture  and mix well . Shape into 1-inch balls .
2 .........In a large saucepan , brown meatballs ; drain . Add the picante sauce  , corn , beans , tomatoes and water ; bring to a boil . Reduce heat  ; cover and simmer  for 20 minutes  or until the meat is no longer pink .
Heart Healthy

Sausage Kale Soup


Prep : ... 10 minutes  ... Cook :  25 minutes  ... Makes 7 serving

3/4 ..............cup chopped onion
2 .................garlic cloves , minced
1 .................tablespoon olive oil
4 .................cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 .................medium potatoes , peeled and cubed
1/4 ..............teaspoon salt
1/4 ..............teaspoon pepper
1 .................pound fresh kale , trimmed and chopped
1 ...............cup (15 ounces) white kidney beans  or cannellini beans , rinsed and drained
1/2 ............pound reduced-fat smoked polish sausage  or turkey kielbasa , sliced

1 ......In a large saucepan or dutch oven , saute onion  and garlic in oil until tender . Add the broth  , potatoes  , salt and pepper . Reduce heat  ; cover  and simmer  for 10 to 15 minutes  or until tender .
2 ......Using a potato masher  , mash potatoes slightly . Add the kale  , beans and saudsage  ; cook over  medium-low heat  until kale  is tender .

The hearty sausage slices  , white kidney beans  and colorful kale  in this soup will have your gang asking for seconds .
Heart Healthy

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Hot Buttered Rums Rolls



Makes 8  rolls

1-1/4 .........................teaspoons active dry yeast
1/4 ............................cup plus 2 tablespoons  warm water
2 ...............................tablespoons sugar
2 ...............................tablespoons  plus 1 teaspoon canola oil
1/8 ............................teaspoon salt
1 to 1-1/4  ................cups all- purpose  flour
TOPPING:
2 ..............................tablspoons butter
1/4 ............................cup  packed brown sugar
1-1/2 ........................teaspoons 2% milk
1 ..............................teaspoon all-purpose flour
1/2 ...........................teaspoon rum extract
FILLING:
1/4 ...........................cup chopped pecans
1/4 ........................... cup packed brown sugar
2 ..............................tablespoons butter , melted
1/4 ...........................teaspoon rum extract

1            In a large bowl , dissolved  yeast  in warm water . Add the sugar , egg , salt and 1/2 cup flour . Beat on medium speed  for 3 minutes  or until smooth . Stir in enough remaining flour  to form a soft dough  (dough will be sticky).
2          Turn onto a lightly floured surface  ; knead until smooth  and elastic , about 6 to 6 minutes . Place in bowl  coated with cooking spray  , turning  once  to coat the top . Cover  and let rise  in a warm place until doubled , about 1 hour .
3          FOR TOPPING : In a small  saucepan  , melt butter  over medium heat . Stir in brown sugar  , milk , flour and extract . Bring to a boil ; cook and stir until smooth . Remove  from the heat . Pour into a 9-inch  round baking  pab coated  with cooking spray ; set aside .
4         Punch dough down . Turn onto a lightly  floured surface ; roll into an 8-inch square  . Combine filling ingredients  ; spread over dough  to within 1/2-inch  of edges . Roll up jelly-roll style  ; pinch  seam to seal . Cut into 8 slices . Place  rolls  cut side down in perpared pan  . Cover  and let rise  until doubles , about 30 minutes .
5          Bake at 350* for 12 to 15 minutes  or until golden brown  . Immediately  invert  onto serving platter . Serve warm .
If you enjoy something sweet for breakfast  , you can't beat  these buttery rum rolls ... you can have them for a light snack with milk , tea  or coffee .
Heart Healthy            

Savory Winter Soup



Prep time : ...20 minutes ...Cook time : ...7 hours ... Makes 14 servings

2 ..........................pounds ground beef
3 ..........................medium onions , chopped
1 ..........................garlic clove , minced
3 ..........................cans (10-1/2 ounces each) condensed  beef broth , undiluted
1 ............... ...........can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes , undrained
3 ...........................cups  water
1 ...........................cup fresh or frozen cut green beans
1 ...........................cup each diced carrots and celery
1 ...........................cup cubed peeled potatoes
2 ...........................tablespoons  minced fresh parsley  or 2 teaspoons dried parsley  flakes
1 ...........................teaspoon dried basil
1/2 ........................teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste *

In a small skillet , cook the beef , onions and garlic over medium heat  until the meat is no longer pink  ; drain . Transfer  to a 5-quart slow cooker  . Add remaining  ingredients  and mix well . Cover and cook on high for 8 hours  or until heated through .
Your family will enjoy this full-flavored  soup . Work or play ... your dinner will be ready on time .
Heart Healthy

Chicken Chili



Prep time : 10 minutes ... Cook time : 5 hours  ...6 servings

1-1/2 .....................pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts  , cut into 1/2-inch cibes
1 ...........................cup chopped onion
3 ...........................tablespoons  vegetable oil
1 ...........................can (15 ounces) cannellini or white kidney beans , rinsed and drained
1 ..........................can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes , undrained
1 ..........................can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes with green chilies , undrained
1 ..........................cup frozen corn
1 ..........................teaspoon salt
1 ..........................teaspoon ground cimun
1 .........................teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 .......................teaspoon celery salt
1/2 .......................teaspoon  ground coriander
1/2 .......................teaspoon pepper
***Sour cream and shredded cheese , Optional ***

1            In a large skillet  , saute chicken and onion in oil  for 5 minutes  or until  chicken is browned . Transfer  to 5-quart  slow cooker  . Stir in the beans  , tomatoes  , corn and seasonings . Cover  and cook on low for 5 hours  or until chicken is no longer pink . Garnish with sour cream and cheese if desired .
Assemble this miday  and your dinner will be ready  and waiting for you . It's a fantastic chili  that's nicely seasoned  , but not too  spicy.
Heart healthy

Saturday, October 27, 2012

It's Apple Season ........ Apple Streusel Divine

 

A streusel topping makes this apple cake an instant favorite.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hours 15 minutes
Serves: Serves 8


Ingredients:


  • 11/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 9 tbsp butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins


For the streusel topping


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar or light brown sugar (packed)
  • 1/3 cup ground almonds
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 5 tbsp butter, cubed

Directions:


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly grease an 8in (20cm) round springform pan, and line the bottom with parchment paper. Sift the flour into a bowl, add the butter, sugar, cinnamon, eggs, and vanilla, and beat with an electric mixer until light and creamy. Scrape the mixture into the pan, and scatter the apple and raisins overtop.
  2. To make the topping: In another bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, ground almonds, and cinnamon. Rub the cubed butter into the mixture with your fingertips until it resembles coarse bread crumbs. Scatter an even layer of the topping over the fruit, pressing down gently. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean or with only a bit of moist fruit clinging to it. Let cool in the pan for at least 20 minutes before releasing the sides of the springform.

Tips:
  • Cheat...Use store-bought crumble mixture, but add some ground cinnamon for extra flavor.
  • This cake also works well as a warm dessert served with ice cream, or cream.

You are the streusel QUEEN. Give yourself a pat on the back and put on your tiara.

Apples are in Season!! ....... Apple Fritters

   It's Apple Season. Here is the first of our apple recipes
 
These are Portuguese style fritters but you can leave out the liqueur for a more traditional taste.
These light, batter-coated rings enclose tender apple, with the aromatic flavors of anise and cinnamon

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes-20 minutes, plus 1 hr resting
Serves: makes 4 servings


Ingredients:


  • 3 large Golden Delicious apples
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup anise liqueur, such as Anisette or ouzo
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • confectioner's sugar, for dusting

Directions:

  1. Peel, core, and thinly slice the apples into rounds about 1/8in (4mm) thick. Toss the apples, 1/4 cup of the sugar, the liqueur, and lemon juice in a bowl. Let stand for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, milk, oil, and eggs together in a bowl. Sift in the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon and stir until smooth. Set aside for 30 minutes.
  3. Pour enough oil to come halfway up the sides of a large skillet and heat over high heat to 350°F (180°C). In batches, dip the drained apple slices in the batter. Deep-fry about 3 minutes, until golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Serve warm, dusted with confectioner's sugar.


   Very tasty and the liqueur warms the cockles of your heart. ( whatever cockles are)
    I don't make up these old sayings. Applause! Applause!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Simple Tasty Meat Pie



Original recipe makes 2 - 9 inch pies
 
Ingredients
 

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C.)
  2. In a large skillet, cook the ground beef and chopped onion until meat is no longer pink. Remove from heat and drain off excess fat. Stir in the vegetable beef and cream of mushroom soups, the potatoes and carrots. Season with salt and pepper. Divide filling between 2 - 9 inch pie plates.
  3. Roll pastry to fit the top of each pie. Cover each pie and cut slits in top to allow steam to escape.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until golden brown. Let stand on a wire rack for 15 minutes before serving.
  5. Serve and listen to the 'ohhs' and 'ahhs'

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Chicken Provencale



Prep : ... 15 minutes  ...Bake : ... 65 minutes ... Makes 4 servings

1 .............................broiler/ fryer chicken ( 3 to 4 pounds) cut up
1 .............................tablespoon vegetable oil
1 -1/2 ..................... cups chopped onions
3 .............................garlic cloves  , minced
2 .............................cans (15-1/2 ounces each) great northern beans , rinsed , drained
1 .............................can (29 ounces) diced tomatoes  , undrained
3 .............................medium carrots  , sliced  1/4 inch thick
1 .............................tablespoon chicken bouillon granules
1 .............................teaspoon  dried oregano
1/2 ..........................teaspoon pepper

1)        In a skillet , brown the chicken  in oil . remove  and set aside .Saute  onion  and garlic  in drippings  until tender  . Stir in remaining ingredients .
2)        Spoon into a 3-quart baking dish  ; arrange  chicken pieces  on top . Cover and bake  at 350* for 65 to 75 minutes  or until meat thermomoter  reads 170* in brest pieces  and 180* in 180* in thighs  and drumsticks .

When you serve this entree  , people always  comment on the tender chicken  and favorfully seasoned  beans . You can fix it a day ahead  ... it's as good  as it is the first day .
Heart Healthy

Beef & Potato Moussaka



Prep : ...25 minutes ...Bake: ... 1 hour  +standing ... 8 servings

1 .....................pound ground beef
1 .....................medium onion , chopped
1 .....................garlic clove , minced
3/4 ..................cup water
1 .....................can (16 ounces) tomato paste
3 .....................tablespoons  minced fresh parsley
1 .....................teaspoon salt
1/2 ..................teaspoon dried mint  (optional)
1/4 ...................teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 ...................teaspoon pepper
                   PARMESAN SAUCE :
1/4 ...................cup butter , cubed
1/4 ...................cup all-purpose flour
2 ......................cups milk
4 ......................eggs , lightly beaten
1/2 ...................cup graded Parmesan cheese
1/2 ...................teaspoon salt
5 ......................medium potatoes , peeled and thinly sliced

1        In a large skillet  , cook the beef  , onion and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink ; drain . Stir in water  , tomato paste , parsley , salt  , mint if desired  , cinnamon  and pepper . Set aside .
2        For sauce , melt butter  in a saucepan over medium heat . Stir in flour  until smooth ; gradually add milk . Bring to a boil  ; cook and stir 2 minutes  or until thickened . Remove  from the heat . Stir in a samll amount  of hot mixture  into the eggs  ; return all to the pan , stirring  constantly  . Add the parmesan cheese  and salt .
3        Place half of the potato slices in a greased shallow 3-quart baking dish . Top with half of the parmesan sauce  and all of the  meat mixture . Arrange  the remaining potatoes  over meat  mixture  ; top with remaining  Parmesan sauce .
4        Bake , uncovered  , at 350* for 1 hour  or until potatoes  are tender  . Let stand  10 minutes before serving .

Beef & Potato Moussaka  is a classic Greek  entree ... it has earned high marks  each time I make it . Men love the hearty meat and potatoes combination .
Heart healthy .

Monday, October 22, 2012

Pumpkin Patch Biscuits


                   Makes 6 biscuits

1-3/4 .........................cups all-purpose flour
1/4 ............................cup packed brown suger
2-1/2 .........................teaspoon baking powder
1/2 ............................teaspoon salt
1/4 .............................teaspoon baking  soda
1/3 .............................cups plus 1-1/2 teaspoons cold butter , divided
3/4 ............................cup canned pumpkin
1/3 ............................cup buttermilk

1.             In a large bowl , combine the flour , brown sugar  , baking powder  and baking soda . Cut in 1/2 cup butter  until mixture  resembles  coarse crumbs  . Combine  pumpkin and buttermilk  ; stir into crumb mixture  just until moist .
2.             Turn onto a lightly floured surface  ; knead  8 to 10 times  . Pat or roll  out to 1-inch  thickness  ; cut with a floured 2-1/2-inch biscut cutter  . Place  1-inch apart on a greased baking sheet .
3.              Bake at 425* for 18 to 22 minutes  or until golden brown . Melt remaining  butter ; brush over biscuits . Serve warm .
Your family  will love the pumpkiny goodness in these biscuits  and will request them not only for Halloween  ... but through out the year .
Heart Healthy .

Southern Chicken Soup


Prep: 25 minutes ...Cook : 2 hours + cooling ... Makes 6 quarts
1 ..........................broiler/fryer chicken (about 3 pounds)
10 ........................cups water
2 ..........................teaspoons salt
1/2 .......................cup uncooked long grain rice
1/2 .......................cup chopped onion
1/2 .......................cup chopped  celery
1/2 .......................cup thinly sliced carrots
1/2 .......................cup sliced fresh or frozen okra
1 ..........................can (14-1/2 ounces) stewed tomatotes . diced
1 ..........................tablespoon chopped green chilies
1 ..........................garlic clove , minced
1-1/2 ...................teaspoons chili powder
1 ..........................teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 .......................teaspoon lemon-pepper  seasoning
1/2 .......................teaspoon Creole seasoning

1.           Place chicken  , water  and salt  in a soup kettle  ot Dutch oven . Slowly bring to a boil  ; skim foam . Reduce heat  ; cover  and simmer  for 45 to 60 minutes  or until chicken is tender .
2.            Remove chicken  and set aside  until cool enough to handle . Remove bones  and skin . Cut chicken into bite-size peices  . Skim vegetables  and seasoning  . Cook , uncovered  over medium heat  for 30 minures .
3 .           Add the chicken . Simmer  for 30 minutes  or until vegetables  are tender .
TIP: The following spices may be substituted  for the creole seasoning  : 1/2 teaspoon each  paprika  and garlic powder , and a pinch of each  cayenne pepper , dried thyme  and ground cumin .
Heart healthy

Stuffed Flank Steak


                Makes 6 servings
1......................... beef flank steak  (about 1-1/2 pounds)
1/8......................teaspoon plus 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 .....................teaspoon pepper
4 ........................bacon strips , diced
3 ........................leeks  (white portion only) sliced
1 -1/2 ................ cups chopped  sweet yellow  pepper
1-1/2  .................cups chopped celery , divided
1/2 .....................pound baby spinach , torn
1 ........................teaspoon dried thyme
1 ........................teaspoon  dried basil
2 ........................garlic cloves  , minced
3 ........................tablespoons olive oil
1 ........................medium onion , cut into wedges
1 ........................cup water
1/2 .....................cup chicken broth
1 ........................bay leaf

1.          Cut steak hortizontally  from a long side  to within  1/2-inch  of the opposite side . Open steak so it lays flat  ; cover  with plastic  wrap . Flatten  to 1/4-inch  thickness . Remove  plastic  ; sprinkle  steak  with 1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper . Set aside . In a skillet , cook bacon  until crisp . Remove  to paper towels  . Drain , reserving  2 tablespoons  drippings .
2.          In the drippings , saute  leeks , yellow peppers  and 1 cup celery until tender . Stir in spinach  , thyme  , basil  and bacon . Spoon over  beat to witnin 1/2-inch  of edges . Roll up tightly  jelly-roll style , starting with the long side  . Tie with chicken string .
3.           Rub steak with garlic  and remaining salt . In a large  skillet  brown meat  in oil  on all sides  . Place in a shallow  roasting pan . Add onion  and remaining  celery . Combine  remaining ingredients  , pour over steak . Cover loosely with foil .
4.           Bake at 350* for 1 hour . Baste  with drippings . Bake uncovered  , 15 minutes  longer or until meat is tender  . Let stand  for 10 to 15 minuutes  . Remove string  and slice . Discard bay leaf ; thicken juices if desired .
Heart healthy .

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Nanook Polar Bear Cubs


                                             
 
7  Really important things you can teach your parents  to help stop global warming . The pictures is from my posters  at my meeting Friday  , my daddy put them on here for me because he wants me to learn how .
 1 . Talk to your friends  your teaches and your parents   a special place for meeting with people  to help fix climate change . get your teachers and parents to help . Get your school to  join as a group.


2 . Know what damage you are doing . It is not much use  trying  to change something  if you are part of the problem  or you do not  understand  what it is all about .There are places on the web  you can look . Watch out   do not believe  all you read  or see . not everybody tells the truth .

3 .  Why drive when you can walk ? If your family owns a car  get them to use it  less  wlak to places that is close buy , if you need to travel further than you can walk   make all your trips  at one time if you can .

4 . Make your own climate  . Turn the heating down in winter if you are cold  , wear more clothes . My mama dress us in layers . Turn the air conditioning down in summer or use a fan . Hot tip from a cool penquin . When it is hot  dress cool  when it is cool dress hot .

5 . Reduce  reuse  recycle  remember your 3 Rs . Reduce  is the most important  , it you do not buy  so much stuff in the first place   then you  do not need to reuse or recycle . Reuse  whatever  you can , if you can not reuse something  , recycle it .

6 . Turn off and shut it . Turning things off may seem boring   but leaving lights   heating air conditioning   computers  TV and stuff on when you do not need them waste a lot of energy . Turning them off saves money  too .If it is cold in one room and warmin the other  , shut the door to keep the heat in . leaving  things on  like tv  computers and stuff also use a lot of energy .

7 . PSST ! Do not keep this a secret   the future could be tradable . This one cool secret which a lot of grown ups  do not seem to know about  so the kids must tell everyone  . Do not put it off  if you do not know what TEQs , also called  DTQs are . I did not know either  . But they look like a fair way to help slow global warming  and energy shortages . Get your head round TEQs  and then be sure to tell  everyone  .  Way to go .
_______________________________________________________________________
Polar Bear facts for grown ups most kids are learning
Arctic is my home   I love swimming   I am a giant    I wear a thick coat   seals are yummy   I have a sharp nose   my fur reflects  white   my home is mealting   help . Global warming  is affecting polar bears  by melting away sheets of arctic ice  which are their floating  hmoes  and hunting grounds  . Polar bears  are also  poached  for their meat by men .
I want to think my daddy for helping me  with my pictures . I want to thank aunt Jeannie for all the  information she gives me and for  telling my mama about the polar bears .
Listen up Polar Bear Cubs  , there are a lot of endangered  speices  you can pick your own  . Lets get out there and show the grown ups how it is done .
Thank you    Jennifer Carano  3rd grade  and 8 years old .

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Instant Deliciousness..No work...Lots of Praise...Minnestrone Casserole

After a long day at the office, you want to spend time with your kids, not slave over a hot stove. With this Hamburger Helper* dish, you don't have to. Just put it in the oven and reconnect with your family while it cooks!
Prep Time: 10 Mins | Total Time: 45 Mins | Makes: 6 servings


Minestrone Casserole
 
Ingredients:
1 lb (500 g) lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 pkg (220 g) Hamburger Helper* Lasagna
1 cup (250 mL) water
1 medium stalks celery, sliced
1 can (12 oz/341 mL) Green Giant* NIBLETS* WHOLE KERNEL CORN
1 can (14 oz/398 mL) whole tomatoes, undrained
Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
Method:
  • Heat oven to 400°F (200°C).
  • In a large skillet, cook and stir beef and onion until lightly browned; drain.
  • Stir in uncooked pasta, sauce mix and remaining ingredients except cheese, breaking up tomatoes with a fork.
  • Pour mixture into an ungreased 3 qt (3 L) casserole. Cover and bake 35 minutes or until noodles are tender.
  • Sprinkle with cheese just before serving if desired.
For this recipe you'll need Hamburger Helper* Lasagna
Lasagna
Tip
 
 
 
 
Tip: Green Giant* Frozen Niblets* or Peaches & Cream Whole Kernel Corn can be substituted for canned (use about 1 1/2 cups/375 mL).

Leek and Mushroom Beef Stew...Hot, Rich and Delicious

 
 
 
Beef, leeks and mushrooms, what a great combination for a warm and comforting winter stew. For this recipe I use a chunk of tender rump steak but you can use any beef from rump to stewing beef as this is a long, slow-cooked recipe, so well suited to less tender cuts.

I like to serve this with fluffy mashed potatoes  and any fresh green vegetables, especially green peas.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1lb/480g rump or braising steak, cut into 1"/2.5cm chunks
  • 3 large shallots, peeled and quartered
  • 3 large garlic cloves, peeled and halved
  • 2 medium leeks, trimmed, cleaned and roughly sliced
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose/plain flour
  • 1½ pints/ 700ml dark beef stock
  • 6 baby carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 oz/150g baby button mushrooms
  • Salt and pepper

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 300°F/150°C
  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Pat the beef chunks with paper towel and then put into the frying pan. Stir constantly and remove from the pan once browned all over.
  • Remove the beef from the pan and place into an ovenproof casserole dish. Keep the frying pan on the heat and add the shallots, garlic and leeks. Stir and cook for 1 minute. Remove the vegetables and place in the casserole with the beef.
  • Keeping the pan on the heat add the wine and reduce by two-thirds. Sprinkle the flour over the hot wine and stir to create a thick paste. Whilst whisking constantly with a hand whisk, slowly add 1 pint of the hot stock. Pour over the beef and vegetables. Finally add the carrot chunks and bay leaf.
  • Place the casserole in the oven and cook slowly for at least 2 hours up to 4 hours. Look at the stew from time to time to make sure it hasn't boiled dry, top up with the remaining beef stock as needed.
  • 30 minutes before serving add the button mushrooms and return the casserole dish to the oven.
  • Once ready serve with mashes potatoes and a green vegetable.
  • Hearty, warming and delicious. Perfct for an autumn day. You really are a genius.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Traditional Sicilian Cannoli...Try it...You'll like it

Sicilian Cannolis
 
 
Credit: Francesca Borgognone



Cannoli are pretty essential to Italians, especially during the holidays. They're a must-have along with struffoli at Christmas, grain pies at Easter, and cassata cake and profiteroles on New Year's. They can be large, they can be small, they can be chocolate-dipped, and even chocolate-filled. This recipe, however, is as classic as they come.  And simple for beginner cannoli makers.
 
For a large party, it's best to purchase the shells. They're not hard to find (try your local pastry shop or salumeria) and come in large and mini size.
 

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 pounds ricotta impastata*
  • 1 pound sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Pinch of cinnamon oil
  • 80 cannoli shells
  • 1 pound chocolate chips
  • Powdered sugar, for garnish

DIRECTIONS

Mix the ricotta impastata in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed for about 5 minutes. After that, gradually add all of the sugar. Add teaspoon of vanilla and a pinch of cinnamon oil.
Fill the shells on either end and sprinkle chocolate chips on top. Add powdered sugar on top for garnish and serve.

Recipe Details

Total time: 10 minutes
Cuisine: Dessert, Italian
 
*Note: It can be difficult to find ricotta impastata..Look for it online

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Bluberry Cobbler....Sooooo Good

Blueberry cobbler
 
 
Credit: Ali Rosen
Cobbler is all about the fruit-to-dough ratio. You need a light, doughy top but it should never overshadow the star of the dish: fresh, delicious, baked, slightly sugared fruit. If you're worried about an expensive item like blueberries, err on the side of a smaller cobbler like this one.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/8 cup mint, chopped (optional)
  • 1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, beaten

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Combine the first 3 ingredients plus ¼ cup of the sugar in a bowl together with the mint (if using), and toss lightly until all ingredients are mixed. Grease an 8-by-12-inch pan with butter and pour in the mixture.
In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and remaining sugar together. Add the butter in small chunks, without melting, and mix together with a fork or a handheld mixer on low speed. Mix in the egg, taking care not to overmix.
Add the dough to the top of the cobbler filling in spoonfuls. The dough does not need to be spread evenly since it will flatten as it bakes.
Place in the oven for 30-40 minutes until the top is browned. Remove from the oven, and serve. Enjoy your fifteen minutes  as the coolest mom.

Recipe Details

Servings: 4
Total time: 45 minutes
Cuisine: Dessert
Special Designations: Vegetarian, Kid-friendly

Notes and Substitutions:

Note: Both the filling and the dough can be made up to a day in advance.

Dirt Cake...Specially for Kids

Dirt Cake
Credit: Jane Bruce
This classic kids' dessert is easy enough to make, and doesn't require an oven. To jazz up the presentation, clean out tiny flower pots or sand pails for individual cakes. Or, if you're layering the cake in a standard cake pan like I did, freeze the cake and defrost it an hour before serving

INGREDIENTS

  • One 15-ounce package Oreos or chocolate cookies
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • One 3.4-ounce package instant vanilla pudding
  • 2 cups cold milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 6 gummy worms, or more if desired, for garnish

DIRECTIONS

If using Oreo cookies, remove the cream centers and discard. Place cookies in a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin until the crumbs resemble dirt. Mix the cookie crumbs with half of the chopped chocolate. Set aside.
In a bowl, whisk the pudding mix together with milk until it forms pudding. Let thicken.
In another bowl, cream the butter, cream cheese, and powdered sugar using a handheld mixer on medium speed for about 5-10 minutes, until smooth. Fold into the pudding.
In another bowl, beat the heavy whipping cream with a handheld mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes. Gently fold the cream and the remaining chocolate chips into the pudding mixture.
In a 8-by-4-inch cake pan, layer 1/3 of the cookie-crumb mixture on the bottom. Spread ½ of the pudding mixture over the cookie crumbs. Repeat with another layer of cookie crumbs, then the remaining pudding. Finally, top with the remaining pile of cookie crumbs and garnish with gummy worms.
Chill for at least an hour before serving.

Recipe Details

Servings: 4
Special Designations: Kid-friendly

Notes and Substitutions:

Note: If you prefer a more chocolate-y dessert, use instant chocolate pudding instead.