Thursday, September 29, 2011

Italian Beef Soup

1 pound ground beef
1 cup diced onion
1 cup sliced celery
1 cup sliced carrots
2 cloves minced garlic
1 16 oz. Can diced tomatoes
1 15 oz. Can tomato sauce
1 15-oz. Can red kidney beans with juice
2 cups water
5 teaspoons beef bouillon granules
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon sweet basil
½ teaspoon black pepper

Sauté garlic in a bit of olive oil. Add ground beef and brown. Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce kidney beans, water and spices. Add onion, celery and carrots. Bring to a boil. Simmer until vegetables soften.

Pasta option: Add ¼ cup of small pastas such as Acini Di Pepe, Rizo, etc.

Turkey Pasta Soup

1 cup uncooked small pasta shells
1 lb. lean ground turkey
2 medium onions chopped
2 garlic cloves minced
3 cans 14 ½ oz. reduced sodium chicken broth
2 cans 15oz. white kidney beans (light red kidney) or cannelli beans
2 cans 14 ½ oz. Italian diced tomatoes
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon fennel seed crushed
1 teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper

Sauté garlic in olive oil.. Add onions. Add ground turkey and brown. Add broth, beans tomatoes and spices. Bring to a boil. Add pasta. Simmer 15 minutes.

Sweet Potatoes Almondine

4 large sweet potatoes
4 tbsp butter or margarine
2/3 cup milk or soy milk
¼ tsp salt
½ cup brown sugar
 ¼ tsp pumpkin pie spice
½ cup slivered almonds
4 tbsp butter or margarine

Cook, peel, and mash sweet potatoes. Add 4 tbsp butter, milk and salt. Spoon into greased casserole dish.  Cream together brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, almonds and 4 Tbsp butter. Spread over sweet potatoe mixture.  Bake at 350 until heated through and topping has melted

Pumpkin Chip Cookies

1 1/2 c butter (3 sticks) softened
2 c packed brown sugar
1 c regular sugar
1 15 oz can pumpkin
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
4 c flour
2 c. oats quick cooking
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
2 c chocolate chips

Cream butter and sugars.
beat in pumpkin, egg, and vanilla
combine all dry ingredients
add to creamed mixture
stir in chocolate chips
Drop by tbsp 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet
Bake at 350 degrees 10-12 minutes.
Cool on wire racks; let them solidify before you take them off cookie racks.

Cousin Michael's Rhubarb Cake

1 and 1/2 cups raw Rhubarb cut fine
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup applesauce
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour

In large mixing bowl cream sugars and butter, add egg and salt. Stir in applesauce, soda, vanilla, and flour. Add rhubarb. Pour in prepared 9x13x2-inch baking pan and sprinkle with 1/4 cup white sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon. Bake at 375-degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. The cake is very moist and needs no frosting.

Kathy's Incredible Clean the Cupboard Cookies

Grandma B used to make these when  we were kids to use up what was left in the cupboards.

2 STICKS BUTTER SOFTENED (NOT MELTED ALL THE WAY)
CREAM TOGETHER WITH:

3/4 CUP WHITE SUGAR (if the cereal you use is sweet, use ½ cup instead)
3/4 CUP BROWN SUGAR (if the cereal you use is sweet, use ½ cup instead)

Add and beat well one at a time:
TWO EGGS

Then mix in:
1 TABLESPOONS SOY OR REGULAR MILK
1 1/2 TEASPOON VANILLA

Pour all this from above over dry ingredients already mixed:
3/4 CUP WHITE FLOUR
3/4 CUP WHEAT FLOUR OR WHOLE WHEAT PASTRY FLOUR
1 TSP BAKING SODA
1 CUP OATMEAL (OR 1 EXTRA CUP OF CEREALs below)
3 CUPS CRUNCHED UP LEFTOVER CEREALS (IN PAST HAVE INCLUDED KIX, CINNAMON LIFE, SPECIAL K, RAISIN BRAN AND GRANOLA, TOTAL, CORNFLAKES – MIX CEREALS UP IN QUISINART TO MAKE FLOUR TYPE TEXTURE)

Mix entire mixture together, then:
ADD ONE CUP CHOCOLATE CHIPS

Bake 350 or 375 for 10 minutes, move to shelf above for 1 minute, then let cool outside oven for 2 minutes before removing from pan to cooling rack. Makes 3 dozen medium sized cookies. If not flattening, press spatula to flatten half way through baking.

Green Beans with Lemon and Pine Nuts

1 ½ lbs. fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces (or keep long)
2 TBSP minced fresh parsley
4 tsp olive oil
1 ½ tsp. grated lemon peel
½ tsp. salt (optional)
¼ tsp. pepper
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted

Place beans in a large saucepan and cover with water.
Bring to a boil.
Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
Drain and immediately place beans in ice water.
Drain and pat dry.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the parsley, olive oil, lemon peel, salt and pepper.
Pour over beans; sprinkle with pine nuts.
Toss to coat.

Can be made a few hours ahead of time and refrigerated.

Easy - Never Fail Banana Bread

Certainly, my hankerin' for Banana Bread originated from our Grandma B (that's Great Grandma B to Michelle). However, Penny's sister's husband, Steve (our bro in-law), has had us hooked for several decades now on this version of the recipe. This version ends-up a with just a bit more "crunch" on the crust than Grandma B's version. It's great in loaf form or as muffins.

1/2 C granulated sugar
1/2 C brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
12 tsp, baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 C flour (we like to use white whole wheat)
3 Tbsp milk
1 C crushed, ripe bananas (approx. 2; we throw the ol' black ones in the freezer and just thaw/microwave them them as needed for this recipe)
1/2 C butter, melted
1/2 C chopped walnuts (very coarsely chopped)

Preheat oven to 350F. Mix all ingredients together by hand (adding bananas, butter and nuts last). Pour into greased (spray with PAM, no flour) bread pan or muffin pan. Bake at 350F for approx. 1 hr for loaves; muffins only require 25-30 minutes.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Venison Stew (can substitute beef or mushrooms)

I forgot all about this recipe until Greg asked me to post it recipe because he lost it (yeah right, he just got tired of typing?)    This recipe would be good with beef or mushrooms or garbanzos of you don't have venison.  I got the recipe from the man who delivered Nic and Ali -  our friend Dr Haugen.  Nancy.


2 lb venison or ?
1/4 c flour and salt and pepper
1 stalk chopped celery
1/2 green and red pepper
3 tbsp bacon fat
2 medium onions
2 cloves of  minced garlic
2 c tomatoes
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
Wide noodles or rice


Dredge the meat or ? in flour mixture and brown in bacon fat.  Add the celery and peppers, onions and garlic and brown for a few minutes.  Add the tomatoes and worcestershire sauce and simmer for 1-2 hours.  Serve over cooked noodles or rice.  That's right, now I remember this was pretty good.

Silver Palate Sour Cream Apple Pie

Crust:
2 1/2 C all purpose flour
5 tbsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
6 tbsp cold unsalted butter
6 tbsp cold shortening
4-6 tbsp apple juice

Filling:
2/3 C sour cream
1/3 C sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp all purpose flour
5 or 6 tart apples, peeled and sliced

Topping:
3 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 C chopped walnuts (coarse, not fine)

Prepare Crust: Sift flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon into a bowl. Cut in the butter and shortening with a fork until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Moisten with just enough apple juice, tossing ingredients lightly with a fork. Form dough into a ball. Wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Cut off 1/3 of the dough and return it to the refrigerator. Roll out the other 2/3 between two sheets of waxed paper. Line a greased 9-inch pie pan with the dough. Trim overhang and crimp. Preheat oven to 350F.

Whisk all filling ingredients, except apples in a bowl. Add apples, then spoon into the pastry-lined pie pan. Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle over filling.
4. Roll out the remaining dough between wax paper to form a circle 10 inches in diameter. Cut into strips 1/2-1 inch wide and arrange lattice-fashion over apples; trim ends of strips and crimp with edge.

Bake pie in center of the oven until the juices are bubbling and the apples are tender, about 55-60 minutes. Cover loosely with foil if the crust browns too quickly. Serve warm or cooled.

Salads, salads, salads!


If there is a classic meal in our household it would be grilled salmon with greens and garlic salad dressing and baguette.  And there is nothing better then growing your own greens from Seed Savers Salad mix.


Now this is easy.....If you are looking for great salads, look no further then the 101 ideas in the NYTimes Minimalist column .  I won't steal the Berlin Burns thunder by posting it,  but Uncle Johns garlic salad dressing is the best ever.

Shrimp Scampi

I am posting this because it is delicious but also because it is so stinking easy but seems like something special. Believe it or not it is pretty economical too.  I always choose fresh shrimp until the man behind the counter told me all of it was frozen at one point anyway -unless you are in Alaska, Norway or somewhere near Buba Gump.  If you are in Alaska by the way, eat some fresh "Spots' - shrimp that will change your life.  Nancy.


2-3 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion finely chopped
3 cloves minced and crushed garlic
1 lb (thawed) uncooked peeled shrimp
About a Tbsp ideally fresh thyme, rosemary or your favorite herb


Heat the oil and saute the onion until translucent, then add the garlic and cook for a minute more.  Mix in the herbs and add the shrimp and saute until they are pink, no longer.  The whole process takes less then five minutes - you just need to plan ahead to make your rice, pasta or green salad to accompany the shrimp.

Pumpkin French Toast

Being a fan of everything fall flavored, I love this "french toast", even though doesn't have eggs, it's delicious and easy.

Pumpkin French Toast


c pumpkin
1 1/2 c milk
2 Tbsp cornstarch
2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp vanilla


1 stale baguette, sliced diagonally
oil for cooking

Mix the first set of ingredients together and pour into baking pan.  Dip the bread so it's covered on both sides and let it sit in the mixture for 20 minutes.  Flip and let it sit for 10 more minutes.

Preheat a little oil in a cast iron pan (or similar). Cook the bread until golden brown and a little crispy (about 6 minutes on one side and 4 on the other).

Epic Brownies

Okay, I know there are two other brownie recipes on here so far, so first off - FORGET THEM.  These are the best brownies in the world.  No joke.  Now let's get down to business.


Epic Brownies


3 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp flax meal
1 3/4 c flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
7 Tbsp cocoa powder
1/3 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tsp instant espresso powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 c boiling water
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 Tbsp margarine (I use nondairy Earth Balance, normal butter would work)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla


Whisk together the water and flax seed meal and let it sit for about 10 minutes until it gets gooey.  This happens to be an egg replacement method, so you probably could replace it with 1-2 eggs, but I've never tried it. 


Place the oven rack on the lowest position it can be and preheat the oven to 350.  Line a 8x8 inch pan with parchment paper.  I typically do this by getting a big sheet bigger than the pan, then cutting squares from the corners so it fits in the pan nicely, with tabs coming out of the top so you can pull the brownies out easily.


In a bowl, add the cocoa powder, chocolate chips, espresso powder and the salt.  Add the boiling water and stir until everything is melted.  Next add the sugar, margarine, vanilla and flax mixture.  Mix until smooth. Add the flour and mix until combined - you may need to use your hands. 


Note: The mixture gets REALLY thick and you'll be wondering how on earth these will turn into brownies, especially if you're used to making boxed brownie and such.  But believe me, it works and they are amazing.


Move the batter to the baking pan with the parchment and use your hands/spatula to press it into place.  Bake 35 minutes (oven rack on the lowest rack!).  Let the baking dish cool on a cooling rack for 1 hour.


Use all your will power not to dig into them until they are completely cool. You can easily pull out the brownies with the parchment paper to help them cool once the pan isn't hot. If you try to cut them before they are cool, they tend to fall apart.  I know this from experience because they are so tempting when they come out of the oven.

Homemade Hostess Cupcakes


This recipe is vegan if you use nondairy milks/margarine, but I'm sure if you made it with dairy substitutes it would work out fine as well.

First, just make a batch of chocolate cupcakes - this is my fallback chocolate cake recipe from Moosewood.  It's the best cake very - super moist and delicious.  Very good with some added almond extract with fresh berries and powdered sugar on top - but for the hostess cupcakes i'd keep the almond out.  Another note about the cake - for a good deep chocolate cake with hint of mocha, use cold coffee instead of the water.

Chocolate Cup Cakes

1.5 c. flour
1/3 c. cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. oil (vegetable or canola)
1 c. H2O
2 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp, cider vinegar

Preheat the oven to 375 - prepare muffin tins with wrappers (for cake pan, grease and lightly coat with cocoa)

Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt and sugar.  Make a small well in the sifted dry ingredients and add the oil, water and vanilla - mix well.  Add the vinegar and mix well.  You'll see lighter colored swirls - don't hesitate to put them in the pan and then oven because the moment you add it it starts creating gas to help the cake raise.  Cook until match or toothpick comes out clean - normal sized cakes take 25-30 minutes, I didn't right down how long cupcakes take so just keep an eye on them.  You can then start making the fluffy filling while the cupcakes are cooling 

Fluffy Filling

1/4 c. margarine (I use Earth Balance, a nondairy and non-hydrogenated margarine)
1/2 c. shortening (Butter flavored Crisco)
3/4 c. powdered sugar
1/4 c. soy milk powder
pinch of salt
2 tsp vanilla

Mix all ingredients together with an electric mixer for 10 minutes - seems like forever, but it'll form peaks and be nice and fluffy

DO THIS STEP AFTER CUPCAKES ARE COMPLETELY COOL! Fill pastry bag or ziplock with the filling and stick in in the cupcake and put a little in side.  If you don't have a pastry tip you might have to just poke a LITTLE hole (like with your pinkie) but you don't need to clear the whole area for the filling, it just fills in the air spaces.  Note: this is enough filling for two batches of the cupcake recipe above


Ganache

1/3 c. soy milk
2/3 c. chocolate chips

Melt the chocolate chips double boiler method (big pot with boiling water with smaller pot inside it with chocolate, make sure water doesn't get in the chocolate or it'll turn grainy.)  Once metled, add the soy milk.  While still warm and melty, dip the tops of the cupcakes (with filling inside), using a twisting motion to drip off excess chocolate.  Once the ganache is dried, you can add the white squiggles on top

Royal Icing (squiggles)

2 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbsp soy milk powder
2 Tbsp H2O

Mix all ingredients together, it'll be annoying and pasty looking - kind of like toothpaste.  Put into a pastry bag or ziplock with tip cut off - I'd suggest practicing the squiggles before moving on to the cupcakes

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

About two weeks ago Matt and I started talking about cookies and I though "Why do you never see Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate Chips in them!?". Sure enough, soon as I said that, I saw two different varieties at different grocery stores and had to try them.  Sadly, they were super dry and crumbly, not the chewy moist cookie of our desires.  That was the start of our quest to make delicious peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.


Luckily, I think we got it down pretty good in one try.  Matt and I just made this - they are delicious!  We even made one without the chocolate chips for Luke and he approves of them as well.


Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 c butter, room temperature
1 c chunky peanut butter
3/4 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 Tbsp milk (we used soy)
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 c flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350

Mix together the butter and peanut butter until smooth, then stir in both sugars.  Add the egg, milk and vanilla and stir until smooth.  Stir in the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt until it's all combined.  Dump in some chocolate chips and mix those in as well.  Form into little balls, place them on a cookie sheet and use a fork to criss-cross the top.  

Bake 10-11 minutes, or until bottoms are turning golden brown.  
We like our cookies chew, but if you want them crunchy just cook them a little longer.

Matt also made a big freeform cookie that I think looks like a crumpet:


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sweet Blueberry Muffins

2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup oil
3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

Crumble topping:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter

Combine the wet and dry ingredients in separate bowls.
Once they're both mixed well, stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
Fold in the berries.
For the topping, mix the flour, sugar, and chilled butter together and sprinkle it on each muffin.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Makes 24.

White Chili

From Aunt Kathy Rosenberg

SERVES 6 CUPS


• 1 ½ POUNDS SPLIT CHICKEN BREASTS, skin removed
• 1 tsp OLIVE OIL
• 1 tsp MINCED GARLIC
• 1 cup CHOPPED ONION
• 1 (19 OUNCE) CAN CANNELLINI BEANS, UNDRAINED
• 1 (15 OUNCE) CAN GREAT NORTHERN BEANS, UNDRAINED
• 2 (4 OUNCE) CANS DICED GREEN CHILES, UNDRAINED
• 2 TABLESPOONS SNIPPED FRESH CILANTRO
• 2 tsp GROUND CUMIN
• 1/4 tsp SALT
• 1/4 tsp CAYENNE PEPPER
• SHREDDED COLBY OR MONTEREY J. CHEESE
• TORTILLA CHIPS
-IN LARGE SAUCEPAN, ADD CHICKEN TO BOILING SALTED WATER (3 CUPS WATER, 1 TSP SALT). REDUCE HEAT TO LOW; SIMMER, COVERED, UNTIL CHICKEN IS FORK-TENDER AND JUICES RUN CLEAR (20-25 MIN). REMOVE CHICKEN FROM BONES; CUT INTO 1 INCH PIECES. HEAT OIL IN DUTCH OVEN; SAUTE GARLIC & ONION OVER MEDIUM HEAT UNTIL ONION IS TENDER (4-5 MIN). STIR IN CHICKEN & REMAINING INGREDIENTS EXCEPT CHEESE & TORTILLA CHIPS; HEAT THROUGH. LADLE INTO SOUP BOWLS; SPRINKLE W/ CHEESE & CRUSHED TORTILLA CHIPS.


What I do as far as cooking the chicken: I use the frozen chicken breasts from Sam’s club.
I rinse 5-6 frozen breasts for a few seconds under warm water to remove the “iced glaze” that they all seem to have on them. Then I put them in the crock pot frozen and put one can of Swanson’s chicken broth over them. I set my crock pot on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-7 hours. After they are done, (and be sure to not over cook them otherwise they get too shredded).
I remove them and put them on a plate, cut them into small 1 inch or ½ inch chunks.
Then I sauté the veggies, add the chicken then add the beans, and then spices, etc. Mix and cook to heat through, then serve. Or you can do this an hour before serving then keep in crock pot till serving.

Kathy's Best Beef Stew Ever!

Modified from Taste of Home’s Slow Cooker Classics: Vegetable Beef Stew - “A bit sweet from the fruit and squash, with a bit of South American or Cuban flair.”

• ¾ to 1 Pound of lean beef stew meat, cut into ½ inch cubes (I didn’t cut more than store had it cut for stew)
• 2 teaspoons canola oil or olive oil
• 1 can 14 ½ oz beef broth (I used one cup hot water and 1 teaspoon beef boullion)
• 1 can 14/12 ounces stewed tomatoes cut up (I used can of diced tomatoes)
• 1 ½ cups cubed peel butternut squash ( I used 1 large yam cut up into
1 ½ cups, or I can of butternut squash and skip the cornstarch)
• 1 cup frozen corn thawed (or I used 1 cup from can of green giant sweet niblet corn)
• 6 dried apricot or peach halves quartered ( I used 1 fresh cut up peach – could have used more, second time did 10 apricots dried)
• ½ cup chopped carrot (I used little sized carrots cut in thirds, second time think chunks)
• 1 teaspoon dried oregano
• ¼ tsp salt
• ¼ tsp pepper
• 2 tablespoons corn starch mixed in ¼ cup water (skip if use canned squash)
• 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

In nonstick skillet, brown beef in oil over medium heat. Transfer to slow cooker.
Add the broth, tomatoes, squash, corn, apricots, carrot, oregano, salt and pepper.
Cover and cook on high for 5-6 hours or until vegetables and meat are tender. ( I did 6 hours on high-perfect and meat was tender not dry).

Combine cornstarch and water until smooth; stir into stew. Cover and cook on high for 30 minutes or until gravy is thickened. (I put in right away with other ingredients in the beginning and it turned out a great thickness).

Stir in fresh chopped parsley (I did do that in the end).

This made 4 hefty servings, more like 5.  Next time – double for serving 8-10 and invite company.

Served with fresh fruit and also with warmed Ciabatta bread and cheese slices.

Kathy's Chili for 20

Makes 20 cups


4 POUNDS VERY LEAN GROUND BEEF (93/7)
4 MEDIUM CHOPPED ONIONS
2 MEDIUM CHOPPED GREEN PEPPERS
3 TSP MINCED GARLIC
4 CANS TOMATOE SAUCE
2 CANS STEWED TOMATOES
2 CANS DICED TOMATOES
1- 15 OZ CAN LIGHT KIDNEY BEANS, DRAINED AND RINSED
1 -15 OZ CAN DARK KIDNEY BEANS, DRAINED AND RINSED
1 -15 OZ CAN BLACK BEANS, DRAINED AND RINSED
1 -11 OZ CAN GREEN GIANT NIBLET CORN DRAINED AND RINSED
CHILLI POWDER 3 TABLESPOONS +
GROUND PEPPER FROM PEPPERCORN MEDLEY
SALT - MINIMAL


SAUTE CHOPPED ONIONS, GREEN PEPPERS AND GARLIC IN OLIVE OIL. SET ASIDE.


BROWN THE GROUND BEEF 2 POUNDS AT A TIME IN LARGE FRY PAN WITH GROUND PEPPER AND DASHING OF SALT, AND DASHING OF CHILLI POWDER, ADDING THE SAUTEED VEGIES TO THE GROUND BEEF ONCE ALMOST BROWNED
CONTINUE COOKING VEGIES AND BEEF TOGETHER TIL ALL BROWNED.


TRANSFER MEAT INTO 8 QUART SOUP KETTLE AND ADD ALL TOMATOE SAUCE, STEWED TOMATOES AND DICED TOMATOES, STIR THOROUGHLY, CHOPPING THE STEWED TOMATOES IN HALF IF TOO BIG.


ADD 3 TABLESPOONS OF CHILLI POWDER TO TASTE.
COOK ON MEDIUM HEAT TIL HEATED THROUGH ABOUT ½ HOUR OR TIL JUST BUBBLY.


DRAIN AND RINSE EACH CAN OF BEANS AND MIX BEANS IN SEPARATE BOWL, THEN ADD TO CHILLI.


COOK FOR ½ HOUR MORE OR PUT IN CROCKPOT.

Black Bean Salsa


From Aunt Kathy Rosenberg

Mix in small bowl or glass measuring cup and stir well:
JUICE OF ONE LIME (about 2 tbsp)
2 TBSP APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
2 TBSP WHITE SUGAR
1 ½ tsp SALT
1 TBSP CHILLI POWDER

Pour over below:
2 CANS BLACK BEANS, (drained, rinsed in cold water)
3 CUPS (About 7-9 medium) ROMA TOMATOES diced small
1 CAN (11 0z) GREEN GIANT NIBLETS WHOLE KERNAL SWEET CORN (rinsed)
¼ to ½ CHOPPED RED ONION
¼ CUP FRESH CHOPPED CILANTRO

OPTIONAL – 1 CUP CUBED MONTERY JACK CHEESE
OPTIONAL – JUST BEFORE SERVING ADD ONE CUBED AVOCADO

BEST SERVED WITH TOSTIDO LIME FLAVORED CHIPS

Tator-Tot Hotdish


A Lutheran Potluck Classic

1 lb Ground Beef
1 can of drained french cut green beans
1 large can of cream of mushroom soup
2 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 bag of froze tator-tots
Garlic powder, salt, and pepper (to taste)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a large skillet, brown the beef with the garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Drain fat.

Add drained green beans, cream of mushroom soup, and 1 1/3 cups of cheese. Stir ingredients until everything is mixed together and coated in the soup.

Pour mixture into a 9x13 pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the mixture and then cover with a layer of froze tator-tots.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, or until tator-tots are browned.

Peanut Butter Cookies

Ali making peanut butter cookies for Nic on a first day of school, ca. 1992
Not a family original - this one from Joy of Cooking.


1⁄3 cup softened unsalted butter
1⁄2 cup sugar
1⁄2 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 cup peanut butter (smooth or chunky)1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla

1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda



Cream the butters, sugars, eggs and vanilla, blend the flour and soad and mix all together.  Shape into 1-inch balls and arrange about 2 inches apart on parchment lined or lightly greased cookie sheets. Press flat with a fork in two directions. Bake at 375 10-12 minutes.

Grandma B's Ginger Cookies with Nancy's Modifications

1 1/2 c shortening
2 c sugar (Nancy uses half brown)
1/2 c molasses
2 eggs
4 c flour
4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt (Nancy uses kosher salt)
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp powdered ginger (Nancy doubles all  3 spices)
4 c flour


Cream shortening, sugars, eggs and molasses.  Next mix in dry ingredients.  Chill dough and roll in 1 inch balls, dip in sugar and place on ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake at 375 for 1o minutes.  Make some tea and enjoy these cookies!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Grandpa Matt Thommes's Potato Pancakes

Ali digging her potato pancakes


Posted by Nancy for Grandma B.  When Grandpa Matt Thommes told Grandma Agnes that her potato pancakes weren't as good as his mothers she told him he could make them then - and from that point on he always make them according to Grandma Betty Berlin.  During Lent when they couldn't eat meat, potato pancakes, eggs or fish were the traditional Friday night supper.


2 c grated raw grated potatoes - force out liquid in colander or dish towel
1/4 c milk
2 Tbsp chopped green or regular onions
1 egg
2 tbsp flour
Salt and pepper to taste


Put the grated potatoes immediately into the milk to prevent them from turning dark.  Drain milk and add well beaten egg.  Add flour and just enough milk to make stiff batter.  Season with salt and pepper and onions.  Drop large spoonful into hot  in oil in frying pan.  Cook until brown and crisp.  Serve with applesauce.

Grandma B's Cinnamon Bread

Could Stellas love of cinnamon rolls be genetic???


Posted by Nancy for Grandma B.  This is Grandma Lizette Berlin's recipe that she taught to Grandma Betty Berlin.  It makes 8 loaves and was a treat to Nancy, Greg, Eric, Jill, Jay, Kathy and Carl on Fridays as we grew up.


2 c warm water
3 pkg dry yeast (Red Star not Quick)
2 Tbsp sugar
5 c warm water.
1 c oil (Lizette used bacon drippings or lard in pre-Cholesterol days)
1 c sugar
1 rounded Tbsp salt
10-14c flour 


Mix yeast water and sugar while you gather the other ingredients.  The add 5 c water, oil, sugar and salt and stir until dissolved.  Add flour 1 cup at a time, until it "feels right" (smooth and elastic).  Knead dough 2-3 minutes.  Cover and rest in a warm place until doubled.   Uncover and knead for 2-4 minutes again.  Rise again until doubled, about and hour.  Divide into eight pieces and flatten dough, sprinkle with  a  mixture of cinnamon and sugar, roll and shape into bread, coffee cake or cut into rolls.  Top the bread with cinnamon and suger.  Bake at 350F "until it is done."

Uncle Charlie's Icebox Cookies

Thoroughly Modern Betty...sometimes.
This recipe was posted by Nancy for Grandma B. Her Uncle Charlie was a lumberjack and railroad cook in the 1920-1935 era.


2 c brown sugar
1 c shortening
2 eggs
1 tsp soda
1 tsp salt
1 c chopped walnuts
3 1/2 c flour


Mix all ingredients with mixer and shape into 3 or 4 long bars on wax paper.  wrap in wax paper and chill.   Cut into 1/4inch slices.  Place on cookie sheet and bake at 350F.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Halibut Soup

Substitute other white fish if you don"t have halibut - but the later is truly the best.  Heavenly dinner soup.  Nancy.


1 Tbsp dill
1 1/2 c onion
4 cloves garlic crushed
28 ounces canned tomatoes (organic plums are best)
8-10 new potatoes quartered
3/4 c white wine
1 1/2 c chicken broth
1 tbsp oregano
Salt and pepper
1 c shredded carrots
1/4 c fresh parsley
1 lb halibut
1/4 c peeled shrimp
1 c feta

Saute the dill. onion and garlic in olive oil. Add all but carrots, parsley, halibut, shrimp and feta and simmer until potatoes are done. Add the halibut and cook for 5 minutes, then add shrimp and shredded carrots and cook until the shrimp is just pink. Add the feta and parsley and serve immediately.

Eggplant Parmigiana

Another Moosewood favorite. Nancy.

2 eggplants, peeled and sliced 1/2-3/4 inches thick
Salt
2 c ricotta cheese
2 eggs
1/4-1/2 c Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup fresh chopped Italian parsley
Olive oil to brown eggplant
2 c tomato sauce (if your cheating Muir Glen Organic with Italien herbs is good)
1/2 lb Mozorella ( I used half Parmesan)

Salt eggplant and drain in colander 30 minutes (this really added flavor.) Combine ricotta, eggs and Parmesan cheese in a bowl. Brown the eggplant (do not fully cook) in oil and drain on paper towel. Pour 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce on the botom of a large baking pan and then place one layer of eggplant. Put a tablespoon of ricotta mixture on each eggplant slice and then sprinkle 1/3 of cheese on top all slices. Place the second layer of eggplant and layer the remaining ricotta, tomato sauce and cheese on top. Bake at 400 for 25-30 minutes until cheese is browned and bubbly. Let the dish 10 minutes before serving.

The Best Marinade for Port Tenderloin

¼ c Jack  Daniel’s
¼ c soy sauce
¼ c brown sugar
3 garlic cloves
¼ c Dijon mustard
1 tsp minced ginger
1 tsp Worcestershire
¼ oil

Mix all ingredients and marinade tenderloin overnight or in a pinch 4 hours. Barbecue or bake until done per meat thermometer.  

Chicken Marbella

Easy and great party dinner!  Can easily be doubled or trippled.  Nancy.

8-12 boned chicken breasts
1 head (lots!) of pealed garlic
1/4 c dried oregano
Salt and pepper
1/2 c red wine vinegar
1/2 c olive oil
3/4 c dried prunes
3/4 c dried apricots
3/4 c green olives
1/2 c capers with juice
6 bay leaves
1 c brown sugar
1 c white wine
1/4 c chopped Italian parsley

Combine all but brown sugar, wine and parsley in large bowl and refrigerate overnight. Preheat oven to 350. Arrange chicken in single layer and pour marinade over, then sprinkle brown sugar and wine over top. Bake 50-60 minutes. Transfer to serving dish and garnish with parsley.  

No Knead Bread

This bread is so good it will make you flip!


This is only the best bread you will ever eat.  Well, I think so - I have yet to taste Matts bread.  And, it is virtually effortless!  I found this recipe at http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/dining/081mrex.html .   Start this bread about 14 to 20 hours’ before you serve it.  Eat it warm from the oven - there won't be any left over.  I always bake mine in my deep 14 inch dutch oven - which by the way, is Berlin cooking heritage - Grandma B uses one for her sauces and stews as did her mother and grandmother.  Who knows before that.   Nancy.

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
¼ teaspoon instant yeast
1¼ teaspoons salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.

In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Pizza Your Way

Nic shows us how, Christmas 2009
Crust:
1 pkg dry yeast 
2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 c water
3 c flour
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp Parmesan cheese


dissolve yeast with 1 tsp sugar and 1/2 c water  until it starts bubbling about 3-4 minutes.  While you wait ix all dry ingredients in a bowl and make a well in the center.  Add liquids and knead 5-7 minutes until smooth and elastic.  Let rise about 40 minutes in warm place until doubled. 


Sauce:
2 tbsp olive oil
3 crushed cloves of garlic
1 diced medium onion
28 oz can of crushed tomatoes, preferably imported or substitute heirloom fresh
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp marjoram or oregano 
3/4 tsp salt
6 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped or 1 tsp dry


Saute onion then garlic in olive oil.  Add remaining ingredients and cook 10 minutes to all day.


Toppings:
We all have our favorites so be creative here.  In the Berlin Tennis household Pete and Davyd are your basic  sauce, pepperoni mushroom guys, sometimes with onions and peppers and mozzarella .   Nic likes marinated tomatoes and roasted veggies with Italien sausage and mozzarella.  Ali and Nancy like pesto with sun-dried tomatoes  with light cheese (vegan or good mozzarella or goat cheese.)  Some friends of ours like cheeseburger pizza with sauce, onions, hamburger pickles and cheddar cheese.  Our local vineyard makes a "Grapes of Wrath" pizza with tomato sauce, Italien sausage, jalapenos, red grapes and mozzarella.


The secret!
Nic gets credit for this tip.  No cookie sheets or pizza stones, just parchment!  Sprinkle a little cornmeal on the parchment and make individual sized pizzas.  Bake in a hot oven (bottom shelf best) or grill at around 500F.  Timing depends on your oven so watch it, most likely it will be about 5-10 minutes if hot enough.

Salade de Carottes Râpée: Grated Carrot Salad


The easiest, most delicious, frugal, and laid back summer salad.

INGREDIENTS:
7 large carrots (about, figure about 1 cup of grated carrots per person)
1/2 bunch of flat leaf parsley, chopped (coarse)
Juice of two lemons
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
salt
pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Grate the carrots very fine (this is difficult sometimes if your grater only has two choices, ideally you want them smaller than the biggest choice, but larger than the smallest... too fine and the carrots are too floppy and turn to mush, so if you have to choose, go bigger). Add parsley to carrots and toss with your hands.

In a small cup mix together lemon juice, olive oil and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Pour over carrots a little at a time until they are all moistened. You don't want the dressing to pool at the bottom. Toss with your hands in between pourings. The carrots should just glisten with the oil.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

et voila! you have yourself a delicious salad.

Quick Sausage and Mushroom Lasagna

Makes 8-10 servings, or a whole finals week of meals for a busy college student.

INGREDIENTS:
2 tablespoons olive oil
16 ounces of sliced crimini (baby bella) mushrooms
1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
2 tablespoons dried Italian seasoning blend
1 pound hot Italian sausage (ground, or with casings removed)
3 garlic cloves, pressed
1 cup dry red wine
4 2/3 cups marinara sauce (two 26-ounce jars should do)
1 9-ounce package of no-cook lasagna noodles (the flat ones look and taste more like homemade)
1 15-ounce container of ricotta cheese
2 8-ounce bags of Italian blend grated cheese (about 4 cups)

PROCESS:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Heat oil in a heavy large pot over high heat. Add the mushrooms, onion and seasoning blend; saute until vegetables begin to soften, about 6 minutes. Add sausage and saute until brown and cooked through, breaking up with back of spoon, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and stir 1 minutes, until aromatic. Add wine; cook until almost all liqued evaporates, scraping up browned bits, about 2 minutes. Set aside.


Spread 2/3 cup marinara suace over botom of a 13x9x2 inch baking dish. Place noodles (about 4) over sauce, forming one layer (noodles may overlap slightly, or not at all, it's all cool.) Spread 1 cup sauce over noodles. top with 1/3 of ricotta, then 1 cup grated cheese. Spoon 1/3 of sausage mixture over. Repeat 2 more times. Cover with 4 more noodles. Spoon remaining 1 cup sauce over; sprinkle remaining 1 cup grated cheese over.

Cover with foil, tenting in center to prevent cheese from touching foil. Bake lasagna 45 minutes; remove foil. Bake until bubbling a edges and cheese is browned, about 10 minutes longer.

Let stand 15 minutes before serving unless you want to burn all your guests' tongues.

Better Homes and Garden's Pie Pastry

The best, easiest, never fail pie crust.


FOR SINGLE CRUST:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup shortening
4 to 5 tablespoons ICE COLD water

FOR DOUBLE CRUST:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup shortening
8 to 10 tablespoons ICE COLD water

INSTRUCTIONS:

In a medium bowl stir together flour and salt. Using a pastry blender or your hands, cut in shortening until pieces are pea sized.

Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of water over the mixture and stir with fork. Add up to the 4 tablespoons of water, stirring with fork after every addition. If flour is still dry after 4 tablespoons, add one more until all flour is moistened and it stays together well.

Form pastry in a ball. If a double crust, form two balls. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge to rest for an hour or two.

After it has rested, on a lightly floured surface roll out to desired diameter.

Make sure you use all your extra pastry to make pastry dough cookies!! Bake them at 450 degrees for about 8 minutes, or until nice and golden.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Whole Peach Pies



This recipe is an August ritual at our house.  Grandma B made Whole Peach Pies as long as I can remember, and I plan to do the same - as long as I can still remember!  Nancy

Pie Crust (enough for 4-5 peaches)
1 c Butter-flavored Crisco or unsalted butter
2 c unbleached flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
6 tbsp ice water

Mix the shortening and dry ingredients with pasty blender until it is the texture of course sand. Sprinkle the ice water over and blend together - do not overwork! Divide into 4-5 balls and roll each between waxed paper. Wrap each peach carefully, avoid stretching or tearing the dough. Bake at 375 for about 35 minutes until golden.

4-5 washed Peaches

Honey Sauce
1 c powdered sugar
1/2 c butter
3 tbsp cream
5 tbsp honey

Mix the sauce ingredients and cook on low heat for 30 minutes until golden in color. Pour sauce over peaches just before serving.

Tell me this is not heaven....

MAGIC Brownies'n'Pudding

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup granulated sugar
6 (heaping) tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, divided
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup boiling water

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 325F. Grease an 8x8-inch baking dish.

Combine the flour, granulated sugar, pecans, 4 (heaping) tablespoons cocoa, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and mix well. Stir in milk and vegetable oil. Spread in prepared baking dish.

Combine brown sugar and remaining cocoa in a small bowl and mix well.

Dissolve brown sugar/cocoa mix in the boiling water. Stir well to dissolve clumps. Pour this nasty looking mixture on top of brownie batter in pan. It will look gross and you will be in doubt that this will work, but it will, it's magic.

Bake until set, about 35 minutes. The liquid will have seeped down to the bottom to produce a delicious, hot pudding. Serve WARM with ice cream, whipped cream or milk, if desired. It's good the day after refrigerated, too.

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is PRETTY much Nestle's Recipe, but I think a few slight alterations make it a million times better.

INGREDIENTS:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup UNSALTED butter, softened -->Unsalted butter is better quality butter. Salted butter is a conspiracy theory, they use the lesser quality cream and then add salt to hide that and make it taste better. When baking you add salt anyways, so you might as well use better butter. YEAH, France made me picky about my dairy products. :)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar, packed -->The more moisture, the more CHEWY.
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs
2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels

THE PROCESS:
Soften butter to room temperature.

Put butter and sugars in bowl and cream (mix on high speed) until UBER fluffy, up to three minutes. This increases the interactions between the fats and the sugars, making them taste better.

Add vanilla and eggs, beating well between each egg.

Add salt and baking soda. Mix again.

Slowly add flour to keep from mad-flour-explosions till everything is incorporated.

Add chocolate chips to taste. I know my silly sista likes to go light on the chocolate chips, which I think is pretty crazy.

Scoop by heaping tablespoons onto pan. If you want perfect cookies, roll into neat balls. If you want monster-blob cookies (my personal favorite) make extra large scoops and place too close together on pan. Cut apart after baking.

Bake at 375 degrees 9-11 minutes, until the bottom is nice and golden.

Emily's (Recently) Famous Stuffed Chicken Thighs

PREPARATION PART:
4 Chicken Thighs (skin ON)
Tasty Marinade (I usually just mix up some soy sauce, lemon juice, a little olive oil, and some spices [garlic salt, pepper, a dash of cayenne])

Mix up marinade and pour on chicken thighs and let marinate for 2 hours or so (in fridge).

STUFFING PART:
1/2 Cup Panko (Japanese bread crumbs, but I bet plain flavored normal bread crumbs would produce the same effect)
1/2 Cup diced mushrooms (diced REAL small)
2-3 Tablespoons diced onion (also diced very small)
Zest of one lemon
2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons Rice Wine Vinegar
(or plain or apple cider)
2 Tablespoons Water

Mix up bread crumbs, mushrooms, diced onion, and lemon zest. Add soy sauce, vinegar and water. Stir together till well moistened.


THE GROSS PART:

Slide your finger underneath the skin on the thighs, the skin should separate fairly easy from the thigh. Try to make a little pocket in the skin by keeping 3 sides still attached to the meat and having the only opening on one side.

Take a spoonful of the stuffing and place it underneath the chicken skin. You want at least a quarter inch of stuffing under the skin, spread out evenly. Max would be about half an inch. Now you have two options for cooking these babies.

TO BAKE:

Make sure the chicken thighs are DRY. Pat dry with paper towels and remove the marinade (or else it will puddle in your pan and your stuffing will be MUSHY. Gross.) Rub tops of thighs with a little olive oil for even browning and salt and pepper. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes in a high-walled pan.

TO GRILL:
Don't worry about chicken being dry, the juices will drip out so you get a perfectly moist stuffing. Rub tops of thighs with a little olive oil and salt and pepper. Grill on indirect heat for a while until done... (honestly, I don't know how to grill chicken thighs, but if you do just use common sense [or google]. They are A LOT better grilled.)

Grilled Sweet Potatoes, Squash, Peppers and Onions with Feta


1 Sweet Potato
1/2 Butternut Squash
2 Red Peppers
1/2 Bermuda Onion
Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 cup Feta Cheese

Chop the sweet potato and squash in 3/4 inch cubes. Cut the pepper and onion in 1 inch pieces. Toss the roots in 1-2 tbsp olive oil and place in a bowl. Toss the pepper and onion with mixture of about 2 tbsp olive oil and 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar and marinade about an hour. Warm your grill (or I imagine you could roast in the broiler or oven...) and roast the roots till soft (about 10-15 minutes) and remove from grill. Grill the peppers and onions (about 5 minutes). Both will have slightly blackened edges and taste so sweeeeeeet!

Blend the grilled items in a serving bowl and sprinkle with feta.