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A nice dinner

My sister reminded me last night that I haven’t written a blog post since October so I thought I would throw one up tonight after I finished making dinner. I even have pictures! 😀

I decided that since it was a beautiful day out today, I would open all the windows in the house and clean. Once I got started, I ended up wanting to cook a nice dinner as well. The spring air makes me so happy 😀 I made cheeseburgers with animal sauce, caramelized onions, pretzel rolls, and salt and vinegar chips. I was intending to grill the burgers and potatoes but the grill ran out of propane after the potatoes were done. I ended up making those in a cast iron skillet instead.

I didn’t really change the recipes that I used for each thing so there aren’t too many comments to make.

Adapted from Bobby Flay’s Salt and Vinegar Grilled Potato “Chips”

I saw Bobby Flay make these on a commercial for his grilling show the other day. They were pretty delicious. I made them with Golden Potatoes that were pretty small but I still cut them in coins before I put them on the grill. Pre-boiling them really does make them cook so much faster!

Ingredients
6 golden potatoes, scrubbed
Canola oil
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Red Wine vinegar (Malt would have been better)
Kosher salt

Heat the grill to medium.
Place potatoes in a pot of cold water, add 1 tablespoon of salt and cook for 10 minutes once it starts boiling. Drain, let cool more than I did and slice into 1/4-inch slices.

Toss the potato pieces in a little oil, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl. Place them on the grill until they are golden brown and cooked all the way through, about 10 minutes.
Take the slices off the grill and move them to a platter in an even layer and immediately drizzle with the vinegar and season with salt.

Pretzel Rolls I have made quite a few times and every time, they are amazing. This time was no exception. They don’t have a lot of ingredients and they are pretty easy. I use my mixer so my recipe varies a bit from what the original says to do. I got the recipe from Serious Eats, along with the ones for the animal style sauce AND the caramelized onions. I highly recommend Serious Eats whenever I can.

Pretzel Rolls

Ingredients
2 3/4 – 3 cups bread flour
2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup and 1 tablespoon hot water
1/3 cup baking soda
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup cornmeal

Place the bread flour, instant yeast, kosher salt, and sugar into a mixing bowl and mix with the beater until it is well combined. Swap to the dough hook and stream the water in while the mixer is on low speed. Once all the water is mixed in, set the mixer on 3-4 and let it mix for a few minutes until the dough forms a ball. Put the dough ball into a greased bowl and let it double in size (30 minutes or more).

Once doubled in size, punch the dough down and separate it into 8 equal pieces (I ended up with 7 this time) and form each piece into a ball. Slash the tops with an X and let them rise for another 30 minutes.

During this time, fill a stock pot with water and let it come to a boil. Heat the oven to 375F. Once it starts to boil add the baking soda and sugar to the water. Do it slowly because the baking soda will make the water froth! Once 30 minutes are up, boil the pretzels for 30 seconds on each side. Place them on a baking sheet that has been greased and sprinkled with cornmeal. Sprinkle the rolls with Kosher salt while they are still wet from their bath. (The original recipe says to use egg whites but I didn’t want to waste an egg)

Bake the rolls for 15-20 minutes, until they are golden brown and look like pretzels!

Next up, the caramelized onions! These are part of the Serious Eats spread on how to make an In-n-Out burger at home. I followed the directions for the onions and also for the animal sauce.
Serious Eats In-n-Out Burger Recipe

Ingredients
2 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided
1 large onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon ketchup
2 teaspoons sweet pickle relish
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon distilled white vinegar

To make the onions:
Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a 10-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onions and 1/2 teaspoon salt to skillet. Reduce heat to medium low, and cook, tossing and stirring occasionally until onions are well browned, about 15 minutes. Once onions begin to sizzle heavily and appear dry, add 1 tablespoon water to skillet and stir. Continue cooking until water evaporates and onions start sizzling again. Repeat process, adding 1 tablespoon of water with each iteration until onions are meltingly soft and dark brown, about 3 times total. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

To make the sauce:
Put the mayo, ketchup, relish, sugar and vinegar in a bowl and mix until it is combined.

Finally, I made a tomato mozzarella salad with basil, parsley, scallions and vinegar/oil for the dressing. It is something I make in the summer all the time so I thought it would go well with this dinner. This is the recipe I followed originally for it. Tomato Mozzarella Salad is based on a caprese salad. I use a pint of regular red grape tomatoes. Unfortunately, it is not the season for tomatoes so these were a little bit too tart.

The last photo is the best, I think! Everything all finished and ready to eat 😀

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2012 in Meals!

 

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Solstice’s Grandmother’s Pierogies!

Solstice’s lovely grandmother, Oma, took the time to type out her recipe for Pierogis for me. I fixed it to make it more readable but it is her recipe I used and it was worth the 7 hours it took me to make these. I have enough leftover to feed a small army tho. ;D

Ingredients:
Potato Filling —
* 1 c grated cheddar cheese
* salt and pepper
* 4-6 medium potatoes
* 1 tbsp finely diced onions
* 2 tbsp butter

Dough —
* 2 cups flour
* 1 tsp salt
* 1 egg
* 1 tbsp butter, melted
* 1/2 cup water

Directions

* Step #1 Make the Potato Filling.
* Step #2 Cook the onion in 2 Tbsp butter until tender.
* Step #3 Add onions and the cheese to hot cooked potatoes and mash thoroughly. (I used a ricer.)
* Step #4 Spice up to taste with salt and pepper.
* Step #5 Set aside. Let cool to about room temperature before using.
* Step #6 Make the dough.
* Step #7 Mix 2 cups flour 1 tsp salt in a deep bowl.
* Step #8 Add egg, 1 Tbsp melted butter and enough water to make medium soft dough. (start with 1/4 cup)
* Step #9 Knead on floured board until smooth.
* Step #10 Divide dough into two parts – Cover up and let this stand for at least ten minutes.
* Step #11 Roll dough thin on floured board – about 1/16th of an inch
* Step #12 Cut dough into 2-1/2 inch squares. (I cut mine with a 2in round biscuit cutter)
* Step #13 Place a spoonful of filling on each square – fold over to form triangle.
* Step #14 Press edges together with fingers – wet one half of the edges to help the dough stick.
* Step #15 Place pierogi on floured board and cover with a damp tea towel to prevent drying.
* Step #16 Drop a few pierogies at a time into large quantity of rapidly boiling salted water – do not cook too many at a time. (I did about 6-8 of them at a time in a large pot)
* Step #17 Stir carefully with wooden spoon to separate and prevent from sticking to bottom of pot.
* Step #18 Continue to cook for 3 – 4 mins — Pierogi is ready when it begins to float or is well puffed.
* Step #19 Remove with perforated spoon to colander and drain thoroughly.
* Step #21 Place in deep dish, sprinkle and toss generously with melted butter and lightly browned onions in butter. (I sauteed them for another 2-3 minutes until they got a good, light golden crust on the outside)
* Step #22 Serve with sour cream and/or sliced crisp bacon.

I love these. I made entirely too much filling and had to make the dough recipe 4 times over before I ran out of filling tho. That was my fault because I also did another filling that Bean had given to me to do. Apparently, he was using me as a guinea pig however because he told me to record what I did. Here it is.

1/2 a cantaloupe, finely diced
3 1/4 inch slices of proscuitto, finely diced then fried til crisp
7 sun-dried figs, rehydrated in honey water, finely diced
1/2 the container of crumbled bleu cheese

I just mixed all those things together and stuffed the pierogies the same way that Oma does the potato ones. With this filling plus the potato filling (1/4 of which I set aside and added half a jalapeno to) I had way too much filling and not enough dough so I ended up making the same dough 4 times. By the last time though, I was really good at it and I also was lucky enough to have Carter’s help rolling it out.

Photos here:
Prosciutto – diced and sauteeing

Cantaloupe:

Figs rehydrating:

Potatoes with jalapeno:

Dough rounds:

Dough + pierogies:

Prosciutto/Melon mixture:

Potato and cheese:

Kielbasa sausage (served with it):

Completed Prosciutto Melon:

Completed Potato Jalapeno:

Completed Potato Pierogies:

Time for the frying pan!

I am so exhausted. I hope this post came out ok. Much love to Solstice and his Oma for the recipe!! It tasted just like it did when I was a kid! 😀

 
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Posted by on February 25, 2009 in General Food

 

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Steak and potatoes!

I decided that I wanted a steak and some potatoes for dinner tonight. Carter was cool with it so we headed out to the store for supplies. I got a NY strip steak that I put a bit of olive oil and pepper + garlic on and I used 2lbs of red potatoes cooked with 2 cloves of garlic cut in half. When they were done, I drained them and added some butter + milk and whipped them up. The salad is just baby spinach with some very thinly sliced onion and balsamic dressing. I also made some mushrooms to go with it.. they just had some garlic, pepper, salt, and a tsp or so of balsamic for acidity. I fried them up in some olive oil and butter. The results are as follows:

Spinach salad:

Raw Steak:

Cooking Potatoes:

Completed potatoes:

Mushies:

Cooked Steak:

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2009 in General Food, Meals!

 

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Meatloaf!

Well, I haven’t had a fridge for a few weeks now because our old one died. I ended up with food poisoning from it and haven’t been feeling up to doing much of anything since then. Tonight I decided to make some meatloaf and roasted potatoes with green beans. I made individual meat loaves this time and everything turned out really good. I basically used steakhouse seasoning for everything, plus some extra garlic and red pepper flakes.

I took a packet of mushroom gravy mix and added some fresh sauteed mushrooms to it. It was really delicious and I tend to do that every time I make gravy now.

Hopefully, we will be getting a fridge soon so we don’t have to go out every day. I will be cooking more then too.

 
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Posted by on October 16, 2008 in General Food, Meals!

 

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Lots of Food!

So, I have been home for a long time. This whole month actually. I didn’t take pictures of everything I made but anything new, I got pics of. I had a bunch of bell peppers in my garden this year so I decided to pick them and make some stuffed bell peppers. I chose to make cheese scalloped potatoes along with it. They were really really good. I followed both recipes pretty much exactly. They were both recipes from Emeril Lagasse.

Mr. John’s Meat-Stuffed Bell Peppers

* 6 green bell peppers, tops cut away and seeds removed
* 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
* 1 cup finely chopped yellow onions
* 1/2 cup finely chopped green bell peppers
* 1/2 pound ground beef
* 1/2 pound ground pork
* 1 tablespoon minced garlic
* 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
* 3/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
* Pinch red pepper flakes
* 2 cups cooked long or medium-grain white rice
* 8 ounces tomato sauce
* Water

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large pot of boiling water, parboil the peppers until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and dry on paper towels.

In a large saute pan or skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and chopped bell peppers and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the beef, pork, garlic, parsley, salt, black pepper, and pepper flakes. Cook until the meat is browned, stirring with a heavy wooden spoon to break up the lumps, about 6 minutes. Add the rice and tomato sauce and stir well. Remove from the heat and adjust the seasoning, to taste.

Pour enough water into a baking dish to just cover the bottom, about 1/8-inch deep. Stuff the bell peppers with the rice mixture and place in the baking dish. Bake until the peppers are very tender and the filling is heated through, 25 to 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Cheese Scalloped Potatoes

  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced, not rinsed

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cook onion in butter until soft, add flour and cook for 2 minutes, whisking. Whisk in milk and cook until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat and add 3/4 cup of cheese, stirring until melted; season with salt and pepper. Layer half of potatoes in a baking dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover with half of sauce. Layer remaining potato slices on top of sauce and season. Top with remaining sauce and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake, covered, for 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender.


Next, I made some carrot cupcakes from scratch along with cream cheese frosting. I didn’t really like the way they came out but I took pictures of them anyways so I will post the recipe here as well. For me, the cupcakes were too oily. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that I changed the recipe into cupcakes… I am not sure. The frosting was mighty good tho!

Carrot Cake

Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, 2005

Show: Good Eats Episode: Carrots: A Taproot Orange

  • Unsalted butter, for the pan
  • 12 ounces, approximately 2 1/2 cups, all-purpose flour, plus extra for pan
  • 12 ounces grated carrots, medium grate, approximately 6 medium
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 10 ounces sugar, approximately 1 1/3 cups
  • 2 ounces dark brown sugar, approximately 1/4 cup firmly packed
  • 3 large eggs
  • 6 ounces plain yogurt
  • 6 ounces vegetable oil
  • Cream Cheese Frosting, recipe follows

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter and flour a 9-inch round and 3-inch deep cake pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.

Put the carrots into a large mixing bowl and set aside.

Put the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and process for 5 seconds. Add this mixture to the carrots and toss until they are well-coated with the flour.

In the bowl of the food processor combine the sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and yogurt.

With the processor still running drizzle in the vegetable oil. Pour this mixture into the carrot mixture and stir until just combined. Pour into the prepared cake pan and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 45 minutes. Reduce the heat to 325 degrees F and bake for another 20 minutes or until the cake reaches 205 to 210 degrees F in the center.

Remove the pan from the oven and allow cake to cool 15 minutes in the pan. After 15 minutes, turn the cake out onto a rack and allow cake to cool completely. Frost with cream cheese frosting after cake has cooled completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

8 ounces cream cheese

2 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

9 ounces powdered sugar, sifted, approximately 2 cups

In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese and butter on medium just until blended. Add the vanilla and beat until combined. With the speed on low, add the powdered sugar in 4 batches and beat until smooth between each addition.

Place the frosting in the refrigerator for 5 to 10 minutes before using.

Yield: approximately 2 cups

Today I made Alton Brown’s 40 Cloves and a Chicken Recipe. Carter helped me smash the garlic cloves to take off the paper on the outside. I butchered a whole chicken, (thanks to Bean for the video for that!) and roasted it for a good hour and 15 minutes with the garlic and thyme according to the recipe. Then Ashlee and I took the chicken apart for the pot pie casserole.

40 Cloves and a Chicken

Recipe courtesy Alton Brown

Show: Good Eats Episode: In The Bulb of the Night (Garlic)

  • 1 whole chicken (broiler/fryer) cut into 8 pieces
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 10 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 40 peeled cloves garlic
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Toss with a 2 tablespoons olive oil and brown on both sides in a wide fry pan or skillet over high heat. Remove from heat, add oil, thyme, and garlic cloves. Cover and bake for 1 1/2 hours.

Remove chicken from the oven, let rest for 5 to 10 minutes, carve, and serve.

Curry Chicken Pot Pie Casserole

Recipe courtesy Alton Brown

Show: Good EatsEpisode: Casserole Over

  • 4 cups frozen vegetable mix, peas, carrots
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 2 cups cubed cooked chicken
  • 1 package puff pastry

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Toss frozen vegetables with canola oil and spread evenly onto a sheet pan. Place into oven and cook until golden brown.

In a saute pan heat 1 tablespoon of butter and sweat the onion and celery. In another saucepan, heat the broth and milk. Add 2 more tablespoons of butter to the celery mix and cook out the water. Add the flour and curry and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the hot milk mixture and cook until thickened. Add the parsley, salt and pepper. Toss the browned vegetables and the chicken. Pour into a shallow baking pan, or a large terra cotta pot base, lined with foil, and top with 6 to 8 circles of puff pastry. Place into the oven and cook until puff pastry has browned and the mixture is hot and bubbly, about 25 minutes.

This is the leftover garlic from the roasting. I am not sure what I am going to do with it yet but Bean gave me some good ideas!

This is all that is left of the casserole. Everyone seemed to like it alot! I am very happy about that for sure. I also made some chocolate chip oatmeal raisin cookies from a recipe out of my Better Homes and Gardens Biggest Book of Cookies.

Favorite Oatmeal Cookies

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1 cup chocolate covered raisins

For oat flour, place 1/2 cup of the rolled oats into a blender or 1 whole cup into a food processor. Cover and blend or process til the oats turn into a powder. Transfer to a small bowl.

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and shortening with an electric mixer on medium high for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar, brown sugar and baking soda. Beat until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until combined. Beat in the oat flour and AP flour. Stir in the remaining cup of rolled oats and the walnuts and raisins with a wooden spoon.

Drop the dough by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Makes about 36 cookies.


Bean brought up a good point. If the cookies are warm when you put them in the oven, they will spread. I have had this problem with doughs before at other times. I think if the dough is refrigerated for a couple of hours at least before you bake them off, they will not spread so much. I noted it in my cookbook so I wanted to note it here as well. With the chicken pie, I used Pillsbury Grands flaky biscuits on the top instead of puff pastry. They were yummy. I didn’t use the curry in the recipe either… instead, I added some of the roasted garlic cloves to the celery and onion mixture before I put in the milk mixture.
We are going apple picking tomorrow so I will probably be making some fun things with apples next week! 😀

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2008 in General Food, Meals!, The Bakery!

 

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Meatloaf

Well, I made meatloaf today. I was inspired by Bobby Flay and his Throwdown the other night with the Colucci brothers in Massachusetts. I made my regular old meatloaf but added onion to it as well this time. I also made mushrooms with garlic and created a gravy out of it. Side dishes were baby red mashed potatoes with brie and garlic and sauteed spinach. Carter didn’t really like the spinach tho… I thought for sure that he would like it sauteed with garlic… ohh well. He helped me clean up and went to play games. I also made a chocolate pudding pie as well. I hope he likes it. :-/ I am sorta bored and sorta cold now… mebe I should play some Mario Galaxy for a while.


 
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Posted by on February 5, 2008 in Meals!

 

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