Sunday, September 26, 2010

Vegetarian Korma

We love Indian food, and I love trying new vegetarian meals. This one fit the bill for both. The whole family really enjoyed it. Using the curry powder is cheating a bit, but it made it a quick meal. I left out the cashews for our house, but I would recommend adding them for the crunch. This will be added to our Indian and vegetarian recipes.

1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 potatoes, cubed
4 carrots, cubed
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and sliced
3 tablespoons ground unsalted cashews
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
1 cup frozen green peas
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 can of Lite Coconut Milk
1 bunch fresh cilantro for garnish

1. Boil potatoes and carrots in water until tender.
2. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion, and cook until tender. Mix in ginger and garlic, and continue cooking 1 minute. Mix potatoes, carrots, jalapeno, cashews, and tomato sauce. Season with salt and curry powder. Cook and stir 10 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
3. Stir peas, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, and cream into the skillet. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 10 minutes. Garnish with cilantro to serve.
Serve over rice and a side of bread.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Dinner Party Serving 14

This weekend Mom was kind enough to serve a Birthday dinner in my honor. She served 14 people a lot of delicious food while being budget conscious. Here is the menu:

Grilled Chicken Breast
Asparagus Casserole (my fav)
Mashed Potatoes
Cooked Carrots
Three Bean Salad
Fruit Salad
Chocolate Pie
Banana Cream Pie

Grilled Chicken Breast:
-10 lbs Frozen Chicken Breast
-Bottled Marinade of your choice
Divide the frozen chicken breast, and put into 2 large Ziplock bags. Pour your favorite bottled marinade over the frozen chicken in each bag the day before cooking. Store in the refrigerator for about 1.5 days so the chicken has time to thaw. During that time turn the bags a couple times to keep the marinade over the chicken.

Asparagus Casserole:
This is a family favorite that we have at holidays, but it is good anytime.
-2 cans all green asparagus (pieces are good)
-6T butter
-3T flour
-1/2 cup bread crumbs
-1 cup grated cheese
-1 1/2 cup milk
-Salt and pepper to taste
-Hard boiled eggs (about 5)
Brown butter in a skillet, do not burn, add flour and brown a little more. Add milk and half of the cheese - let boil until thick. Add the the liquid from the asparagus one can to the skillet mixture then bread crumbs, salt and pepper. Chop the asparagus (into 2-3 inch pieces) and mix well. Pour in a well buttered baking dish and bake for 30 minutes, sprinkle the rest of cheese on top and serve at once. Add hard boiled eggs prior to baking. This was made the day before the dinner and kept in the refrigerator until time to bake.

Mashed Potatoes:
-5-6 lbs Yukon Potatoes
-1 stick butter
-8-10 oz of sour cream
-Salt and pepper to taste
Cook potatoes in the microwave or on stove and drain the water. Add ingredients and use mixer (hand or stand mixer) and mix until smooth. These were made 3-4 hours before the party. They were then put into a buttered crock pot on warm. Cover with the lid and they will be ready to serve when you need them.

Cooked Carrots:
-2 lbs carrots
Peel carrots and cut into 1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces. Put into salted water and cook on stove until tender. When tender, drain off water. Add butter to taste (about 4 tablespoons). Add a small amount of sugar (about 1/4 to 1/3 cup). This can be made ahead of time and kept in refrigerator to be heated up before dinner.

Three Bean Salad:
Bought a large jar of three bean salad at the supermarket. Poured in serving dish.

Fruit Salad:

French Bread:
-2 loaves French Bread
-Garlic Powder
Cut in 1/2 length wise. Open and put melted butter onto entire length of both pieces. Sprinkle with garlic powder. Put pieces back together. Wrap in foil. Bake in 400 degree oven for 10-15 pieces. Cut loaf into pieces after it has been heated. (From Rachael Ray Show). The bread was prepared the day before and heated right before serving.

We will add the dessert recipes another time.

Thanks Mom! It was delicious!!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Meal Planning September 19- 25

Well, I am back to to planning. In fact, after a month off of my meticulous planning, I was able to sit down today and plan out the next month. I planned five nights a week for the next four weeks. There was a feeling of relief as I did it. I also plan to do one new recipe a week this month. It doesn't seem so daunting to do one a week.

Sunday Night:
Shredded chicken and black bean burritos with homemade salsa, topped with green onions, diced tomatoes, and black olives.

Monday Night:
Crockpot Roast Beef with new potatoes and carrots

Tuesday Night: (Meatless)
Egg and Cheese Frittata

Wednesday Night:
Chicken Pot Pie

Thursday Night:
Mexican Casserole

Chicken Pot Pie- Sandra Lee Version

Hannah was watching Money Saving Meals last weekend and saw this recipe. She then recorded the episode, so I could later watch and make her this meal. I was thrilled that she wants to help with the meal planning. It definitely helps to have them involved. They try more, too.

I liked this recipe because it uses thyme, which has the same flavoring as my mom's recipe. I doubled it this week. It was very easy, and the house smelled wonderfully! I substituted the peas with green beans since that was what was in the freezer.

• 1 box pie crust
• 1 whole (4-pound) chicken , cut into parts
• 5 cups water
• Salt
• 1 tablespoon canola oil
• 1/2 medium onion, diced
• 3 stalks celery, diced
• 2 carrots , sliced
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
• 1 teaspoon freshly chopped thyme leaves
• 1 cup frozen peas
• 1 tablespoon milk

Prepare the pie crust according to the package directions. Divide it into 4 equal portions, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Put the chicken breast in a medium pot and cover with 5 cups of water.
Bring to a boil over medium heat and add salt, to taste. (Reserve the legs and thighs for the Round 2 Recipe Chicken Cacciatore.)

Simmer until the chicken is completely cooked through, skimming any fat that rises to the surface, about 20 minutes. Remove chicken, to a cutting board and when cool enough to handle remove the meat and dice into 1/2-inch cubes. Reserve the broth the chicken was cooked in. (Set aside 1/2 cup for Round 2 Recipe Chicken Cacciatore.)

In a medium pot heat the canola oil over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, carrots, salt and pepper, to taste, and cook until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour, poultry seasoning, and thyme and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Slowly pour in the reserved 4 1/2 cups of chicken broth, whisking to remove any lumps. Add the chicken and peas, bring to a boil, then remove from the heat. (Reserve 2 cups for Round 2 Recipe Chicken Noodle Casserole.)

Divide the remaining mixture between 4 (14-ounce) ramekins. (Alternately, the pot pie can be made in 1 (9-inch) pie pan.)

Roll out the 4 pieces of pie dough to 1/4-inch thick rounds. Brush the edges of the ramekins with milk. Cover each ramekin with a piece of dough and press around the edges to seal. Cut a steam vent in the top of each piece of dough and brush with milk. Arrange on a baking sheet and bake until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling, about 40 to 45 minutes.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Cooking Class

Hey everyone-

I took a hiatus with the start of school. I have not gotten into the swing of things again with the start of school. I am patiently waiting for things to settle in, and it just hasn't happened yet. I started a new project today at church, too. I volunteered to teach a cooking class once a month. We ended up with 13 ladies, and one brave man. We made 7 different recipes tonight in a 2 1/2 hour time frame. It was chaotic and a hell of a lot of fun. Our theme tonight was "Take -Out Recipes" They were things we eat out, but are easy to make at home. Below are all the things we made tonight.

Chinese Take-Out

Chicken Fried Rice (1 serving)
• 1 cup of fresh frozen peas, defrosted
• 3 T of peanut oil
• 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
• 1 T of minced garlic
• 3 to 4 cups of cooked rice
• 1 cup of cooked chicken, diced
• 1/4 cup of cooking sherry or white wine
• 2 T of soy sauce
• 1 T of sesame oil
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 1/4 cup of mince scallion (optional)
1. Put 1 tablespoon of the oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. A minute later, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until they soften and begin to brown, five to ten minutes later. Lower the heat if needed. Using a slotted spoon, take the onions out and transfer them into a bowl.
2. Add the peas to the skillet for a minute or two, or until hot. Add them to the bowl.
3. Put the remaining oil in the skillet, followed by the garlic. About 15 seconds later, begin to add the rice, a bit at at time, breaking up any clumps and tossing it with the oil.
4. Return the onion and the peas to the rice. Add the wine and cook, stirring for about a minute. Add the soy sauce and sesame oil, and chicken, then taste and add salt and pepper.
5. Turn off the heat, stir in the scallion, and serve.
Baked Vegetarian Egg Rolls (3 servings)
2 T of vegetable oil
1 T of sugar
3 T of Soy sauce
2 T of white wine or cooking Sherry
1 14 oz. block of firm tofu
1/2 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup shredded carrots
1 bunch of green onions chopped
16 oz of shredded cabbage
1 package of egg roll wraps
Heat vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, 1/2 teaspoon ginger, and garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Add tofu and carrots; cook 5 minutes. Add 3 tablespoons soy sauce, cooking sherry and sugar, and pepper to taste. Then, stir in cabbage mixture and let reduce for 2 minutes. Cover and chill 15 minutes.
Place 1 egg roll wrapper at a time onto work surface with 1 corner pointing toward you (wrapper should look like a diamond). Fold lower corner of egg roll wrapper over filling. Fold in corners.
Moisten top corner of wrapper with water; roll up jelly-roll fashion. Repeat procedure with remaining wrappers, tofu filling, and water.
Lightly coat egg rolls with cooking spray, and place, seam side down, on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 18 minutes or until golden brown. Turn egg rolls over half way through cooking process.

Pizza Take- Out

Basic Pizza Dough Recipe (2 servings)
• 1 package active dry yeast (2 teaspoons)
• 1 cup warm water (105° to 115°, no more)
• 3 cups all-purpose or bread flour
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus a little for coating

How to make pizza dough from scratch:
1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Set aside and follow the instructions below for the method you choose.
By hand: In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the olive oil and yeast mixture into it. Stir until it begins to form a ball, then turn it out onto a clean, floured surface and knead for about 4 or 5 minutes.

In a mixer: Using a dough hook, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Add the liquid ingredients and mix on low until the dough begins to clump around the dough hook. Remove and knead as above.
Whichever method and pizza dough recipe you've chosen, your pizza dough should be a smooth, elastic ball.

2. Lightly oil the ball and the inside of a large glass bowl. Place the dough in the bowl, cover, and let it rise in a warm place until doubled, about an hour. For better crust, punch down the dough, reshape into a ball and let it rise again. You can refrigerate or freeze the dough at this point.

3. Divide the dough into 2 equal portions, about 12 ounces each. Roll each portion into a ball, then, working on a lightly floured surface, stretch the dough and work it with your fingers or a rolling pin to form an 12- to 16-inch circle. (Let your guests prepare their own.) The outer edge of the circle should be a little thicker than the body, forming a rim. Add toppings.

4. Transfer to a pizza pan or pizza stone. Bake in a 500° pre-heated oven until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted, 10 to 13 minutes, or perhaps a little longer if your oven does not reach 500°.
Pizza Sauce (3)
• 3 garlic cloves, minced
• 3 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
• 1 can of tomato paste
• 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
• 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• Up to 1 cup of water, depending on desired thickness
1. In a large saucepan, saute garlic in oil until tender. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until sauce reaches desired thickness. Sauce may be refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen, once cooled.


Mexican Take-Out

Salsa (2 servings)
• 1 1/2 cans canned tomatoes with juice
• 3 fresh jalapeno peppers, chopped
• 1 small onion, chopped
• 1 lime, juice of
• 2 cloves garlic, peeled
• 1/4 cup snipped fresh parsley
• 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
• 1/2 teaspoon pepper
1. Mix ingredients together for a chunky salsa or blender for just a few seconds for chunky salsa or a bit longer for a smoother texture
Tortilla Chips
• Twelve 6-inch corn tortillas (preferably white)
• 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
• Fine salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Brush both sides of the tortillas with the oil. Stack the tortillas and cut the pile into sixths to make chips. Spread the chips out in a single layer on two large baking sheets and season with salt. Bake until golden brown and crisp, rotating the baking sheets once, about 12 to 15 minutes. Serve.


Top It Off with Dessert

Mini Apple Turnovers
If you are looking for a smaller alternative of a great apple pastry either for a small snack, for finger food or to make for your children one snack that won't disappoint are Mini Apple Turnovers. Mini Apple Turnovers are made similar to traditional turnovers, except they are about half the size. Great for almost any time of the day, these mini treats are easy to make.

1 large pastry sheet
2 large apples, Red Delicious, Granny Smith, etc
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
Optional toppings, limited only by your imagination: powdered sugar, walnuts, chocolate syrup
Lay out large pastry sheet and slice into 8 equal sized sections. Slice the two apples into thin slices in a bowl. Mix with sugar and cinnamon. Next spread the apples, cinnamon and sugar at the center of each pastry sheet. With a brush, wet the edges of the pastry dough and press them closed, leaving small pockets for the filling.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place the turnovers in the oven; cook for about 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and decorate with powdered sugar, walnuts or chocolate syrup if you wish. This recipe yields eight servings.
Apple Turnovers are very versatile. They can be served as a breakfast pastry, an afternoon snack, or a dinner dessert. You can add an unlimited amount of ingredients to them to vary the taste ever so slightly. Some options include honey, cinnamon and nutmeg, black and blue berries, sliced strawberries, serve ala mode (with a scoop of your favorite ice cream), served with fresh whipped cream, granola, etc. There are numerous ways to serve up this dish; you will find that your family will appreciate this simple recipe almost every week of the year.