Friday, October 30, 2009

May Be Foodless Friday: More Confessions of a Food Blogger

So a few weeks ago I confessed that I have over 100 recipes that I want to try, well... make that 208 (as of Wednesday at 5 PM). I organized the recipes into some categories that worked for me (thanks for the ideas.)

Here's more of a confession: out of those 208 recipes - 97 dessert recipes, 28 main dish recipes, 19 breakfast recipes, 17 bread recipes, 10 snack recipes,10 side dish recipes, and 25 other recipes (other recipes include condiments, and how-to). That means that I have 3 times as many dessert recipes as any other recipes that I have.

Am I really going to make all these desserts? I think all the other recipes are doable, but 100 desserts is really WAY too many - currently it's not unachievable but I keep adding to it every week. Maybe I should just run and hide from any blog post that has any mention of a dessert recipe, but they are the posts that tend to draw me in. It is like the magazines at the counter in grocery stores, the ones that have delicious desserts on the cover. You all know the ones I'm talking about, but the thing that makes me laugh is that most of them also have a headline about losing weight - SERIOUSLY - next time you're in the store check it out. There is no way you'll lose the weight claimed by eating the dessert on the cover. Great marketing - some women will buy them because of the dessert recipe and others because of the weight loss gimmicks.

I'll let you know if I EVER get through my dessert list, and how much weight I gain in the process... okay, I'll at least let you know if I get through all the recipes.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Beef and Broccoli

I love Beef and Broccoli! I really do, it makes me happy when I eat it. This is the first time I have made it and I am so happy with the way it turned out. I almost always get Beef and Broccoli when I go to Panda Express or some place similar. I also love egg rolls, I am definately going to have to try them soon!! Maybe when I feel better. Let me tell you of my week so far - I woke up Monday and decided to start an exercise program (I haven't really done anything since I moved.) I did one heck of an ab workout - the most rigorous since my baby was born 7 months ago... I didn't push myself, I did take it easy, but yesterday I woke up feeling like my head wanted to explode. I also have a cough... and my stomach muscles were sore! Not a great situation to be in. I was trying to be good to my body by exercising and eating right, but look what happens, I get sick... I really feel miserable, typing on the computer is about all I want to be doing. Actually I just want to lay in bed and be miserable. Hopefully I'll be feeling better soon, and the next time I decide to get back into shape I won't get this sick!

Alright, back to the meal that I made... Roast at the store was cheaper than hamburger, so guess which we bought? Yep the roast. I didn't want to do the same old thing because that gets boring! So I used half of the roast to make this beef and broccoli, and saved the other half for what I made Monday night (before I got sick) and I am really excited to share Monday's meal with you next week! Is this post coherent? I sure hope so, I feel like I am in a haze, so if I seem a little scatterbrained, that would be why! Back to the meal, I was surprised by how authentic this dish turned out and was hoping that this would be the one you all voted for, and it won by 1 vote... baked potato soup gave it a run for its money! They were both great dishes too!

Beef and Broccoli
Adapted from Dinner's On Me
1-2 lbs beef roast sliced into 1/4 inch thick pieces. Depending on how wide your roast is you may want to slice them in half.
Marinate beef in:
6 Tbsp Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
2 Tbsp sesame oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp minced ginger (I did not have any minced ginger on hand so I used 1 tsp powdered ginger, and while I am sure it would have been better with fresh minced ginger, it did turn out pretty well.)
1 Tbsp Honey
2 tsp rice vinegar
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp garlic chili sauce
for up to 4 hours (I actually only marinated for 2.5 hours)
Cook meat in marinating sauce over medium high heat until cooked through. About 8 minutes.
Steam 6 cups broccoli florets until crisp-tender.
Mix 1 Tbsp cornstarch in 2 Tbsp soy sauce, add to cooked beef stirring constantly. Add steamed broccoli, toss to coat.
Serve over rice.
We served Egg Drop Soup with this meal.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tuesday Treats: Mock Pumpkin Cookies

When we moved I had 4 lbs of frozen carrots that we used to keep the rest of our food cold... the only bad thing is that by the time we had traveled for 4 days, the carrots were not frozen anymore. I made some of them into baby food for my son, and the rest I pureed and made into cookies. After making them, I was surprised how much they tasted like pumpkin cookies! I knew that I had to share these with you. There is a subtle carrot taste to these cookies, but if not told people did think they were made with pumpkin - I am sure the color helps.

To puree the carrots, I cooked them and then added them with some of the cooking water to the blender. It took about 1 lb bag of frozen carrots to make 2 cups (if you have a little less or a little more it won't matter.)

Mock Pumpkin Cookies

In a large mixing bowl, beat 2 cups sugar (you can also use 1/2 cup sugar), 4 cups pureed cooked carrots, and 1 cup butter.
Mix in 1 whole egg.
Add 1 tbsp cinnamon, 1 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp cloves, 2 tsp baking powder, 2 tsp baking soda, and 1/2 tsp salt.
Add 4 cups flour (I used half whole wheat and half all-purpose flour).
Mix until combined. You can add 1 cup raisins, nuts or chocolate chips, if desired.
Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 375 degrees or until browned.
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Monday, October 26, 2009

Meals - October 19-25 - Poll is up now!

This week we had family visiting for my Grandmother's funeral. Monday and Tuesday neighbors brought over dinners for our family (trust me it was a lot of food for which we were grateful!) My whole family was here including my 4 nephews. They loved spending time with my son (the youngest nephew is just over 2 years old.) My grandma's funeral was on Wednesday and we had left over food from the family luncheon for dinner that night.

Thursday I made enough soup for the whole family (7 adults and 4 children) and then for 5 adults the next night, so it was a lot of soup. Sunday night it was back to just my parents, Hubby and me that were eating (my brother and sister do not eat the same diet as we do...) Life is starting to settle back down, but it is still a little crazy!

Here is the menu (not including Monday-Wednesday when we had food brought in):

Baked Potato Soup
Baked Potato Soup

Hubby and I went out on a date. It was a nice little treat (except the food was not that great... we're living outside a town of just over 5500 people so I'm sure you can imagine!)

Sunday: Beef & Broccoli and Egg Drop Soup
Be sure to vote on which recipe you would like to see! Sorry I forgot to put the poll up when I posted!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Peanut Pad Thai

I had an adventure making Pad Thai this time... I started making it when my mom got a call from the Rehabilitation Center that my grandma was in saying that she had passed away. I drove my mom (and my baby) to my grandfather's so she and her sister could let him know that grandma had died. About 2 hours later I was back in the kitchen making the Pad Thai. We ate it for the next two nights. This post is late because grandmas funeral was Wednesday and we had a full house here until this morning, but I figured you'd all understand.

I started making Pad Thai about 2 years ago by request of Hubby... he'd had it at a Thai place and really wanted me to make it. The problem was I had never had it so I had no idea what it should taste like! I found a recipe and made a Pork Pad Thai. Since then I have made it with chicken and with Peanut Butter. This time I made it with just peanut butter. It turned out great.

Pad Thai

Cook 1/2 lb rice noodles according to package directions, rinse in cold water - set aside.
Meanwhile, saute 2 cups matchstick carrots (I cut my own when I have the time, do not use a julienner as it will not cut them large enough and the carrots will turn to mush.) in 2 Tbsp peanut oil over medium heat.
While carrots are cooking, mix sauce ingredients:
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp fish sauce
1 Tbsp ketchup
2 tsp garlic, minced
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp garlic, minced
1/2 tsp garlic-chili sauce
in a separate bowl, set aside.
Add 3 eggs, scrambled and cooked rice noodles to the carrots.
Pour in sauce ingredients and mix thoroughly.
Turn burner off and add 1-2 cups mung bean sprouts.
Garnish with scallions, chopped dry roasted peanuts (I've used regular but dry roasted peanuts are the best), and cilantro (not pictured as our store was out.)
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Monday, October 19, 2009

Meals - Oct 12 - 18

This last week started out pretty good, we had left over soup on Monday, and it was still really delicious! My Mom believes that soup is always better on the second day, but I could not really tell the difference (other than I didn't have to spend the time making it!). I had just started making dinner on Thursday when we received a call from the rehabilitation center my grandmother was in that she had passed away. Dinner making was dealyed by a few hours, but as cooking is therapeutic I decided to continue making the Pad Thai.

I was able to see my grandmother about 2 weeks before she died (it had been about a year and a half since I had seen her before that) and she was able to see my son (but only though her window since she had an infection that is contagious and not advised to expose infants to.) Due to her funeral on Wednesday, I will be late posting the recipe that you all vote on, I will post it either on Thursday or Friday.

Here's our Menu:

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Roast with herb oven roasted potatoes and company corn (if voting for this please leave a comment if you want to vote for the potato or corn recipe.)

French Dip

Pad Thai

Pad Thai

Tortilla Soup

Tortilla Soup

Be sure to vote for which recipe you want to see!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

When the weather starts to turn cold, I start making soups... I LOVE soup, and yes I do cook soup in the summertime, but I make a lot more in the fall! While grocery shopping, I found broccoli on a great sale and got some to make this soup. I bought 2 bunches (which is about 6 cups cut up). I love cream of broccoli soup, but Hubby doesn't care for it and prefers to have cheese in his soup, so I add the cheese to make him happy (because I love him.)

I have tried various combinations while making this soup, but when I made this last week, I think I hit close to perfection!! Of course that is for me and my family's taste preferences... I'll let you judge for yourself.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Steam 6 cups chopped broccoli until tender. (I used florets and the inside of the stalks - which are nice and tender after peeled). While steaming broccoli, boil 4 cups of chopped potatoes (I used red) until tender, drain.

In a blender puree 4 cups of the steamed broccoli, 1 can reduced sodium chicken broth (Use vegetable broth to make this a vegetarian dish), and the 4 cups of cooked potatoes. Reserve.

Chop the remaining 2 cups of broccoli to desired size (we like smaller chunks in our soup, so I chop them very fine.) Reserve.

In a large pan, saute 1/4 cup onion, chopped (I finely chopped the onion so there wouldn't be large chunks) in 2 Tbsp butter, add 2 large cloves of garlic, minced about 1 minute before onion is tender. Add 1 more Tbsp butter and 2 Tbsp flour, 1 tsp black pepper, whisk for 1 minute. Slowly add 2 cups half and half, whisking until it starts to thicken. Add 1 more cup half and half as well as 2 cups milk (I used 2%). Stir in the pureed mixture, chopped broccoli and 4 cups grated cheddar cheese (use less cheese if using sharp, I used medium). Stir until cheese is melted. Let simmer for 10-15 minutes stirring occasionally.

I added 2 tsp salt to the soup as well, but that is up to your taste buds ;).
We served this with Angel Rolls.
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Monday, October 12, 2009

Meals - October 5 - 11

This week we had a soupy menu... well we had soup for a few dinners at least. Fall does that to me. I love making soup in the fall (and winter.) I am really bummed though, because my taco soup pictures got lost (unless I was really spacing out on that day and did not take pictures - that was the day my little sister had a seizure, so I would believe it!! - she's fine.)

Our menu was:

We had take out.

Mini-Meat Loaves
Taco Soup

Taco Soup

Leftovers (meatloaves and soup)

We actually did not eat dinner because Hubby and I had a late lunch out after taking our son to Urgent care (he's fine.)

Broccoli-Cheddar Soup

Since this is being posted so late today, I'm going to let the poll run through Wednesday morning until 9 AM. Be sure to vote for which recipe you want to see!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Garlic Roast

The recipe winner is for a Garlic Roast. I love garlic. I also love roast! We got a chuck roast, which are definitely better cooked in a slow cooker as they tend to be a tougher roast. So that is how this roast was cooked, on high in a slow cooker - it would have been low but I started it later than low would have taken too long to cook (I'm sure none of you have ever done that one before :)

Roasts remind me of my childhood, we would have roasts for Sunday dinners a lot. My grandparents were ranchers, and would always give us a meat for butchering costs, so we were not without beef. I actually use to think chicken was a special meal. It works great for me now because I still love eating chicken, and since it is usually cheaper it is a bonus!

I really love carrots cooked in with a roast, I love the taste of the juices in the carrots, they are wonderful! I was worried that the garlic/black pepper combination of this roast would overpower the carrots, but they turned out great! We served the roast with carrots and toasted English Muffins.

Garlic Roast

Slice 4-5 cloves of garlic, cut them about 1/4 inch thick. Using a knife, slit holes into the roast and stick the garlic into the holes. Slit holes about 1-1/2 to 2 inches apart.
Cut 4 carrots into sticks and place in the bottom of a slow cooker. Place Roast on top and sprinkle with 1 tsp black pepper. Add 2 cans (about 3-1/2 cups) beef stock.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours (or high for 3-4) or until a meat thermometer reads 180 degrees - you only need to cook it to 160, but cooking it to at least 180 degrees makes it more tender.

Doesn't that roast look so good? I had already trimmed off a layer of fat.
Don't those carrots look so yummy! They are best served hot with gravy.
I used cornstarch to make the gravy. I place the strained drippings from the roast in a saucepan, and put 3 Tbsp cornstarch into 1/2 cup cold water. I then stir in the water to the drippings and then turn on the burner and heat to boiling. If needed I add some bouillon to enhance the flavor.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Meals - Sept 28 - Oct 4

This week we had an excellent menu. Friday we drove 2.5 hours to see Hubby's sister, on the way we stopped by to see my grandma. She is getting better, but because of an infection she picked up I had to get all dressed up in a gown, gloves and mask to see her (mainly because we were worried about the baby.) We were able to let my grandma see our baby through her window and she was so happy to see him!
We started out the week with a simple nacho meal. Then I made fajitas with a recipe for seasoning that I came up with, it turned out very well. The weather turned cold mid-week and so Chicken Noodle Soup sounded wonderful. I love making home-made chicken noodle soup, there is nothing like home-made noodles! Sunday I tried a new combo with the a chuck roast (Hubby likes plain roast, but I like to be more adventurous). Hubby liked it, but still prefers plain, but I really loved the flavor of the roast!

Here's our meals:

Macho Nachos



Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken Enchiladas at my sister in law's apartment (Thanks :)

Mom's Lasagna

Garlic-Black Pepper Roast

Vote for which recipe you want to see Wednesday!

Friday, October 2, 2009

May Be Foodless Friday: Confessions of a Food Blogger

I have a confession to make... I read about 70 blogs regularly and add more as I find blogs that I enjoy. From these blogs I have over 100 recipes that I really want to try, and this is only from the the past 2 months! I may be able to make all these recipes, but I know that more will just keep coming! My problem is that I read a recipe that sounds delicious and I really want to make it, then the next day it happens all over again... Should I just admit that I will never get to all the recipes I want to make? Or should I try to organize myself to be able to make all these wonderful dishes? What do you all think?

Have a great weekend! (I'm making an overnight trip to see my sister-in law - 2 hours away - so comments will be moderated tomorrow afternoon, but I'd love to hear your thoughts.)