Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Party Mushrooms

This is an ideal appetizer or as a steak topper as I used last night. With only 3 ingredients, how could it be any easier!

1 8oz container of whole button mushrooms ( use sliced if adding to a steak or burger )
1 ranch dressing pkg.
1 stick of butter

I combine all ingredients into my mini crock pot and let it sit for 1 hour. You can also use the stove top. Just melt the butter and add dressing packet and mushrooms.

*I would double this recipe for an appetizer.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Midwest Tacos

8 corn tortillas
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 flank steak, grilled with fajita seasoning and sliced thin
2 11oz. cans of pork & beans
1 16oz. container of cottage cheese
2 medium tomatoes, diced
2 cups of shredded lettuce
1 red onion, chopped
1 1/2-2 cups of jack cheese, peppered or reg. shredded

Grill flank steak over med. heat with fajita seasoning, about 8-10 min. each side. Let it rest for 15 min. before slicing. Set aside.Fry each tortilla in oil over medium high heat until brown and crisp, turning once. Layer tacos with steak, beans, cottage cheese, tomato, onion and jack cheese. Top with your favorite salsa.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Corbelli Chicken

So I think we have tried news ways to dress up chicken and last night I came up with a new recipe. I picked one ingredient that I know each person enjoys in my family. A given was Emma with her butter. That girl lives for the stuff ;) Noah loves lemon and for Dan I needed something Italian and chose oregano. Myself, I choose salt and olive oil, the 2 things I can't cook without. I told the kids I was creating in the kitchen once again and needed their honest feedback on the chicken they were about to eat. Since mine are also avid dunkers, I also explained it needed to be consumed before it was drowned in ranch, bbq sauce, what have you. So.....we have a hit! Corbelli chicken will be a repeat for sure. Maybe you'll give it a try or do something similar. Taking your favorite herbs, spices and making your own famous family chicken! I'd love any feedback both here on the blog or in the facebook group on what you think of any of the recipes you try!

4 bone-in chicken breasts with skin
2 lemons
4 Tbsp. of butter
Kosher salt, pepper and oregano to taste

Slice the lemons into rings, (you'll need at least 8) and arrange 4 in the bottom of your roasting pan. Drizzle olive oil onto each chicken breast then add salt pepper and oregano. Cut a small slit at the top of the chicken, under the skin, and add 1 Tbsp. of butter to each piece. While adding the butter make sure to season under the skin as well for full flavor. Once everyone is seasoned and bone side down in the pan, place a lemon ring on top of each piece. You should end up with lemon both underneath and on top of each piece of chicken. Bake at 325 for one hour and serve with your favorite sides.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Signature Slaw

This is hit side dish at all our family gatherings. It's a perfect match with BBQ chicken and some homemade corn bread.

3 bags of shredded coleslaw, without dressing kit :)
1 red pepper, julienned
1 yellow pepper, julienned
1 1/2 cups of light mayo
1/4 cilantro, chopped
3 shallots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
4 jalapenos, chopped
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp malt vinegar
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
1 Tbsp worcestershire sauce

Blend mayo, cilantro, shallots, garlic, jalapenos, lime, vinegar, mustard, and worcestershire sauce in a food processor until smooth. You can also puree them in a blender. In a large bowl combine coleslaw and peppers. Coat with dressing and mix well. Salt to taste and serve. You can make this an hour or 2 before serving and chill until needed.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

No Fuss French Dip Sandwiches

I made this a few months back when I was getting back into the slow cooker cooking. As this week has us more busy than usual, I'm busting out the crock pot again. This was a hit with the hubby and kids and couldn't be easier to throw togther. Switch things up and make it your own by maybe adding some bell peppers, different mushrooms, or even the rolls you serve it on. Hope it becomes a staple in your home too.

1 2lb. beef rump roast, I like to slice the roast about 1/4 in. thick before putting in the crock pot. You can leave it whole and then shred at the end too if you prefer.
16 oz. of sliced button mushrooms
1 large white onion, sliced
4 pkgs. of Aus Jus seasoning mix
8 cups of water
2 garlic cloves, smashed
2 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. black pepper

Put all ingredients in a slow cooker on low for 5 hours. We like to serve ours on steak rolls with some of the cooked onions as well as horseradish. Serve with some fries or salad and your set! We use the sauce in the crock pot for auj jus dipping sauce too. This will make enough for a small army and you may want to half it. I have yet to learn how to make small meals :)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Gnocchi with Vodka Sauce

These potato dumplings are a wonderful alternative to your classic pasta varieties. They hold up to both the lighest and heaviest of sauces. We came across the BEST Italian restaurant while in Chicago and I ordered this dish. While I do not have their particular recipe I do have a vodka sauce that is pretty tasty. Hope you enjoy it!

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, once around the pan in a slow stream

1 tablespoon butter

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 shallots, minced

1 cup vodka

1 cup chicken stock

1 can crushed tomatoes (32 ounces)

Coarse salt and pepper

16 ounces pasta, such as penne rigate

1/2 cup heavy cream

20 leaves fresh basil, shredded or torn

While making the sauce boil water for the gnocchi. It can be found in several areas of your grocery store. It is offered in both the freezer and fresh pasta section as well as shelved by the dry pasta. Cook according to pkg. directions and coat well with sauce. Shave fresh parmesan and top with torn basil.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Ribeye Steaks and Wedge Salad

Yep, that's what's for dinner. We were fooled into thinking Spring was right around the corner and grilling weather would be upon us. Well, then 7 more inches of the white stuff decides to blow in last night. Too bad snow, I'm grillin' some steak!!!

Ribeye Marinade

Place the steaks into a large Ziplock bag . Coat each steak with oive oil,and a few splashes of balsamic vinegar. Salt & pepper to taste. Mince 2 cloves of garlic and add along with 3-4 sprigs of rosemary.

Grill each steak 8-10 minutes per side over med. heat or until your preference. ( Grill with the rosemary as well for added flavor.)

Wedge Salad, or what we call the BLT salad.

1 head of iceberg lettuce, quartered
1 pint of grape tomatoes,
1 small red onion, sliced thin
8 slices of cooked, crumbled bacon
1 bottle of your favorite blue cheese dressing
6 oz crumbled blue cheese
flat leaf parsley for garnish, chopped fine

Arrange wedge on small plate for individual servings or a platter for "family style."  Surround the lettuce with tomatoes and red onion. Drizzle dressing on top of each portion and top with bacon and blue cheese. Garnish with parsley.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Prosciutto Wrapped Melon

This is an appetizer that has "Spring" written all over it. The refreshing sweetness with the saltiness of the prosciutto is a perfect blend. This will be one of my Easter appetizers.

1 cantaloupe, sliced into half inch semi circles
15 slices of prosciutto
3-4 springs of mint for garnish

Wrap each semi circle of melon with one piece of prosciutto. Arrange on platter and garnish with mint. You can aslo use honeydew and cube the fruit and then wrap in prosciutto and make them into fruit skewers. This works well if you're having an outdoor gathering.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Chicago Dogs

Ok, I am from New York but I have to admit I LOVE Chicago hotdogs! Chicago, you can keep your pizza though :) When it comes to pizza nothing beats a slice from the Big Apple!

1 all-beef, natural casing, Vienna hot dog, char-broiled to perfection

1 poppy seed bun, well steamed

1 heaping teaspoon mustard

1 tablespoon green relish

Fresh chopped, steaming hot, grilled onions

2 large pickle wedges

4 slices red-ripe plum tomatoes

A dash celery salt

1 serrano pepper, cut in half length wise

Place char broiled hot dog in bun. Top with mustard, relish, onions, pickles, and tomatoes. Finish it off with a dash of celery salt. Then add serrano pepper. Wash down with your favorite cold beer!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Kiwi Margarita

So in keeping with my "green" recipes, I wondered what other green foods I could add to the blog. I've done green celery, green apples, and then kiwi's came to mind. I'm not a fan of fruit tarts with the kiwi so I found another way to put it to good use ;) In a margarita of course!!!
- 2 oz tequila

- 2 oz pineapple juice

- 1 oz Midori liqueur

- 1/2 oz lime juice

- 1/2 oz simple syrup

- 1 kiwi fruit, peeled and quartered

- Garnish: half kiwi slice

- Optional garnish: coarse sugar

Combine the ingredients in a blender with 1/2 cup ice and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass and garnish with a half kiwi slice. If desired, coat the rim of the glass with sugar.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Irish Apple Cake

• 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter

• 1 cup sugar

• 1 egg, beaten

• 4 Granny Smith apples, cored, peeled, and diced (2 cups)

• 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

• 1 teaspoon vanilla

• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

• 1/2 teaspoon soda

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

• 1 teaspoon cinnamon

• 1teaspoon nutmeg

• 1 cup all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously grease an 8-inch square cake pan. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg, apples, nuts, and vanilla and stir well. Sift in dry ingredients and mix well. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake until cake is lightly browned and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then unmold and serve hot or cold with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Stuffed Celery

This is a nice appetizer without all the guilt. It's cheesy, savory, light and refreshing. It's also quick, inexpensive to put together and is great to bring as a nice opener to any meal.

1 8 oz package Philly cream cheese

1 4 oz package crumbled blue cheese

1 sleeve fresh celery stalks, washed and cut

a pinch of salt and pepper

sliced chives for garnish
Slice celery into 3in. pieces. In a small mixing bowl combine cream cheese, blue cheese, salt & pepper. Scoop and spread mixture along each celery piece. Top with fresh chives.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Broccoli Salad

Here's our side dish for tonight. We're going to have this along side grilled london broil and homemade mashed potatoes. Wish it was dinner time!

1 bag of broccoli slaw
1 head of broccoli, just florets
6 slices of cooked bacon, cut into pieces
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1/4 cup sunflower nuts
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Marzetti's coleslaw dressing, about 3/4 of the jar

Combine all ingredients and toss with dressing. Can be served immediately or chilled.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Ciabatta Garlic Bread

Once you make this you won't use store made buy & bake ones! I have to admit I made a meal out of it last night it was so darn good.

1 loaf of ciabatta bread, sliced lengthwise
1 stick of butter, softened
1 tsp. garlic salt, more or less to taste
2 tsp. parsley flakes
2 tsp. dried oregano flakes

Heat oven to 375. In a small bowl combine butter, garlic salt, parsley and oregano. Smear onto open bread with a spatula and bake 12-15 min. or until golden brown. Slice into pieces and serve warm.

This would be ideal with a good soup and salad or your favorite pasta dish. I would like to try it as a sandwich with mozzarella, tomato and fresh basil. (Wish I saved some for leftovers!!)

Friday, March 5, 2010

Unstuffed Shells

This was a treat for me last night since my little girl made it for us :) She's quite the baker too!

2 lbs of med. shell pasta

2 cans of Hunt's tradtional sauce

1 large container of 2% cottage cheese

4 cups shredded mozarella

1 Tbsp. dried oregano

1 Tbsp. dried basil

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. black pepper

Cook pasta just short of al dente. Drain and set aside with a splash of oil on it to keep from sticking.

In a small bowl combine cottage cheese, oregano, basil, salt & pepper.

In a deep casarole dish, (or 2 disposable pans so you can freeze and re heat) coat the bottom of pan with some sauce. Next spoon an even layer of shells into dish. Then spoon 1/2 of cheese mixture on the shells. Follow with 1/4 of the mozzarella. Now top with the remaining 1st can of sauce. Repeat..noodles, mixture, cheese, sauce but then top with remaing mozzarella. Bake @350 for 45 min. or longer if frozen, ( almost 2 hours.) When baking, if you notice the cheese browning too much, cover with foil sprayed with cooking spray. This stops the cheese from sticking. The kids tend to prefer the cottage cheese over ricotta and it gives it a creamier texture.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Irish Car Bomb Cocktail

Maybe you'll be adventurous this St. Patrick's day and try this drink. Cheers!

3/4 pint Guinness

1/2 shot Irish cream liqueur

1/2 shot Irish whiskey

Pour the Irish cream liqueur into a shot glass.

Pour the Irish whiskey on top.

Pour the Guinness into a pint glass or beer mug 3/4 of the way full and let settle.

Drop the shot glass into the Guinness and chug.

Cranberry Marinade

This a versitile marinade that works well with pork, chicken or turkey tenderloins. As with most marinades, it needs about an hour to reach potential. The longer you can leave it the better! Another trick is to let the meat come close to room temp. before cooking esp. when grilling. So the Irish spin on this...Cranberries, you know, the famous Irish band  :)

6 oz. cranberries
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 tsp. grated orange peel
3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. chopped shallots
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black peppercorns
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Combine berries, water and orange peel in a heavy med. sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until berries burst, stirring occasionally, about 10 min. Strain berries and peel and add to food processor. Puree until smooth. Then add vinegar, shallots, salt, peppercorns and blend well. Gradually whisk in oil and cool completely.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Irish Potato and Onion Soup

4 tbsp. butter

2 med. onions, sliced

2 lb. potatoes, peeled and sliced

3 cups milk

5 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives, leeks, green onions, or scallions

1/2 tsp. celery seeds

1/4 tsp. dried thyme

1 cup light cream

Salt and pepper, to taste

2 tbsp. butter

2 tbsp. flour


1/2 c. chopped fresh chives

6 slices crisply fried and chopped bacon

Heat a 6-8 quart pot, add butter and onion and cook gently. Do not let onion brown. Add the potatoes, milk and stock. Add the herbs. Cover and cook gently for about 1 hour.

Prepare a roux: Melt butter in a small saucepan and whisk in the flour. Let this roux bubble for 2 minutes on medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Thicken the soup with the roux, whisking carefully to avoid lumps. Cook 5-10 minutes and then puree soup in blender or processor. Add the cream and heat gently, but do not boil. Season with salt and pepper to your taste. Serve with fresh chopped chives, leeks or green onions, and bacon bits as garnishes. Serves 8-10.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Grace Neill's Chocolate and Guinness Brownies

4 eggs

3/4 cup superfine sugar

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

4 ounces white chocolate, chopped

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup cocoa

1 1/4 cups Guinness stout

Confectioners' sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter an 8-inch-square pan.

In an electric mixer, combine the eggs and sugar. Beat until light and fluffy.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the bittersweet chocolate, white chocolate and butter, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and beat into the egg mixture.

Sift the flour and cocoa together and beat into the chocolate mixture. Whisk in the Guinness.

Pour into the pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.

To serve, dust the cake with confectioners' sugar and cut into squares.

Serves 8 to 10.

Times testing note: This is a dense, moist brownie. We used semisweet chocolate rather than bittersweet. The results were delicious, especially when served with mint chocolate chip ice cream.

Source: "The New Irish Table" by Margaret M. Johnson

Monday, March 1, 2010

Fiery Fettucicni

So when I think of Ireland a few things come to mind like wool, potatoes, beer, and red heads! Now I know this dish really has no Irish roots but it does have fiery red head flare! It was a spur of the moment dish that I came up with on Friday and my son Noah came up with the name since it does have quite a bite to it! If you like spicy dishes, this one's for you! It took no time to make and it boasts so much flavor. I hope you'll try this one out.

1 lb. of fettucini
1 can of Rotel diced tomatoes, "Hot" with habenaros
1 orange bell pepper, julienned
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1/2 cup extra light olive oil
sea salt to taste
shaved parmesan to garnish

Cook pasta according to pkg. directions. While pasta is cooking combine in a deep skillet  Rotel ( with juice ), peppers, oil, and salt. Mix well. Drain pasta and add to sauce mixture. Use a vegetable peeler to shave parmesan on top. Serve with warm crusty bread and enjoy!