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*All recipes on this blog (unless otherwise noted) are Martha Stewart's from the Everyday Food Cookbooks here and here, they are not my own. If other than this I will post links to the recipes or indicate that they are originals*

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Egg-White Omelet with goat cheese

Well this one cause a debate in our house.  I thought it was absolutely delicious and Logan couldn't even finish his he hated it so much.  I guess sometimes things just come down to personal taste.  Anyway if you love a western omelet and you love goat cheese this is the perfect combo, top it off with some toast and a cup of coffee and you have yourself a perfect breakfast.  In my opinion at least.  Logan said it was too mushy tasting for him (he didn't give it much of a shot...2 bites is all).  I would attribute the mushiness to the goat cheese and egg whites, but to be honest I didn't think it was mushy at all.  So you will just have to try this one for yourself to settle this debate...hope someone enjoys it as much as I did...this is a new breakfast staple for me!

8 large egg whites (1 cup) I used egg white substitute 
2 T water
2 tsp olive oil
2 heaping T goat cheese
4-6 T salsa

Whisk egg whites with water, season with S&P.
Heat oil in a skillet.  Add half the egg white mixture; cook pulling eggs from edges with a flexible spatula to allow runny parts to run underneath and cook.  Do this until nearly set, 2-3 min.  Top with half the cheese and salsa.  Gently slide omelet onto a plate, tipping skillet to fold over omelet.  Repeat with remaining ingredients. 

Easy and delicious!

Logan Rating:  No stars 

First Disaster...Steamed Cod with ginger and scallions

Well unfortunately this is the first meal from these cookbooks that neither of us really enjoyed.  When I looked at the recipe I thought it was something we were going to LOVE.  Whats not to love?  Fish, ginger, soy sauce, all things we love.  And this meal was very quick and easy, but it just didn't turn our very tasty.  In the recipe they have you season the fish with S&P and I think I would skip that step if I ever made this again, because the dish was WAY too salty combined with the soy sauce.  I feel like I want to try this again, just because I feel like I ya never know maybe I will.  I actually used Tilapia instead of Cod, just because it was cheaper at the store.  So maybe I would follow the recipe exactly next time and see if that helped...who knows.  I guess they all can't be winners right???

3 T rice vinegar
2 T soy sauce
2 T finely grated fresh ginger
4 skinless cod fillets
6 scallions

In a large skillet with a tight fitting lid combine vinegar, soy sauce and ginger.  Season both sides of cod fillets with salt and pepper (I would skip this step); place in skillet.  Bring liquid to boil; reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cover and cook for about 6-8 min. 
Meanwhile, cut green parts of scallions into 3 inch lengths; thinly slice lengthwise.  Scatter over fish; cover and cook until scallions are just wilted, about 2 min more.  

Maybe someone will make this right and let me know what I did wrong...

Logan Rating: *

Thursday, May 27, 2010

More Mexican!!! Stuffed Poblanos

So we have been trying to have at least one night a week that our meal doesn't revolve around some kind of meat.  Mainly because meat is expensive and also because well sometimes when I think about it, its kinda nasty how much meat we eat in the US.  However, this does not stop me from consuming it about 6/7 days a anyway just trying to cut down a little at least.  This recipe was really good!  A little time consuming when you take into account the prep and the cooking time, but well worth it in my opinion.  Now usually I don't let Logan into the kitchen, YES I will admit I am a bit of a control freak in this department.  But this time I needed help, we needed to get this into the oven and I can't believe it but I asked him to step into MY kitchen.  And do you know what? It was actually really nice to have the help, I will admit I was a bit uptight at first...he wasn't chopping the onions quite to my specifications, but I chilled out and let him do it and it was actually really fun to do it together.  DON'T get me wrong, it's not like I'm making this a habit or anything :)  But I enjoyed it for this night!  Thanks Logs for all the help, you're the best, even if you don't chop onions as fast as I'd like you to! :)  Anyway we loved this vegetarian meal, it was surprisingly filling and perfectly spicy, I will definitely repeat this meal someday when I finish this blog challenge. ENJOY!

1 can (28oz) whole peeled tomatoes
1 jalapeño, minced 
2 small onions, coarsely chopped
3 garlic cloves, 2 crushed, 1 minced
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
1 tsp cumin
3/4 cup water
4 large poblano chiles, halved lengthwise, ribs and seeds removed

Preheat oven to 425.  In a blender (I had to use in immersion blender because we don't have a regular one) puree tomatoes with their juice, jalapeño, half of the onions, and the crushed garlic until smooth; season with salt.  Pour sauce into a baking dish and spread evenly to cover.  

In a bowl combine beans, cornmeal, 1/2 cup cheese, remaining onion, minced garlic, cumin and water; season with S&P. 

Dividing evenly, stuff poblano halves with bean mixture; place on top of sauce in the baking dish.  Sprinkle poblanos with remaining cheese, cover dish tightly with aluminum foil.

Bake until peppers are tender, about 45 min.  Uncover, and continue to cook until sauce is thickened slightly and cheese is browned, about 10-15 min.  Let cool 10 min before serving.  

Logan Rating: ****

Rigatoni with Sausage and Parsley

I didn't feel much like cooking this night, so instead of the meal I was planning on making I switched it up with this pasta that was planned for later in the week.  It was VERY quick and simple, which made me VERY happy!  Yes I am human, even though I love to cook I still have nights where I really just want to call up the pizza delivery guy...this was one of them.  I don't like to buy white pasta so I substituted penne in this dish, since for some reason they don't make rigatoni pasta in the whole wheat variety...LAME!  I'm not sure why this is so...but there are several pasta shapes that I am unable to find in whole wheat..anyone know why?  It seems to me that all you'd need to do is change a few things on the machinery and ta dah...rigatoni..but I guess not!  Anyway I won't rant...this dish was actually better than I expected it to be.  It looked nothing like the picture. Partly because of the different pasta, but mostly because I don't know how they got theirs so colorful, maybe they had mutant red onions...who knows!  Anyway we ended up liking it a lot more than we thought we would, which is awesome and exactly why I am doing this blog.  Actually the last 3 or 4 things I've made, Logan says afterwards that he thought for sure he was going to hate it....but that he was pleasantly surprised at how much he liked it.  Mission accomplished!!!!!  Hope you all enjoy it!  LET ME KNOW, is anyone cooking these recipes? Hope so!

1 lb Italian spicy sausage, removed from casings and crumbled
2 med red onions, sliced
1 can 14.5oz chicken broth
1 lb rigatoni (or other short tubular pasta)
3 cups packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves (I only used 1 cup and it was plenty!)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese.

Cook sausage until browned, about 5 min.  Reduce heat to medium and add the onions; cook until the onions are caramelized, 10-12 min.

Add the chicken broth and cook until heated through, about 5 min.
Meanwhile, cook pasta until al dente.  Drain and return to the pot. 

Add the sausage mixture, parsley and parmesan to the pasta, toss to combine.  Season with S&P.

Yea ok everyday did you get your red onions to stay so freaking red??? They can't be from this planet!!!!

Logan Rating: ***

Spicy Beef Fajitas...first day of work.

Well on Monday I managed to be a working woman and still put a delicious dinner on the table.  I pretty much already knew I was capable of doing this since nursing school is a lot like a full time job most of the time.  Anyway, both Logan and I love Mexican food, aside from anything Asian it is probably our favorite.  So I usually try to include something Mexican at least once a week in my meal planning, this week I did 2...a nice treat!  Fajitas and tacos are always an easy quick meal, but these happen to be better than your average fajitas, maybe I was just craving beef (usually I use chicken) or maybe they really are that good!  I generally don't use a fresh jalapeño, because I usually just don't have them on hand, but I think it made all the difference with this one, gave it that depth of heat that it really needs.  The jalapeño also succeeded in seeping into the cracks of my hands and burning me for days...rude jalapeño, just rude!  Next time I'm wearing gloves, I don't care how wussy that sounds!  Anyway enjoy this awesome and easy meal.

Spicy Beef Fajitas
8 flour tortillas (6 in)
1 T vegetable oil
2 yellow or red bell peppers sliced 
1 red onion
4 garlic cloves
1 to 2 jalapeños, very thinly slice crosswise (My uncle Dug will be disappointed but I only used one...)
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1 lb cooked flank steak, thinly sliced against the grain
2 T lime juice

Hold each tortilla with tongs over a gas burner flame until warm.  You could also wrap them in foil and put them in the oven to warm them, but the flame gives them extra flavor and I would highly recommend it.  
Heat oil in large skillet, add peppers, onion, garlic, jalapeño, cumin and coriander; season with S&P.  Cook until veggies are tender and browned, about 5-7 min.  Add steak and cook until heated through, about 2 min. Add lime juice and stir.  Serve beef mixture with tortillas and accompaniments as desired (we did sour cream, salsa, cheese and cilantro).

Logan Rating: ***

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Love me some Breakfast!!!

So on Sunday morning I woke up early so I could prepare a feast for our guests.  I woke up to a nice little gift from our dog Rylie...I won't go into details but she wasn't feeling well and well just couldn't hold it I guess.  So instead of preparing a feast for our friends I was cleaning up dog poop in my living room...NOT cool!  Anyway I decided to prevail and attempt to make the breakfast I had planned despite my delay.  Well little did I know the egg dish I was planning on making needed to set in the fridge for at least 2 hours.  Greeeeeat, there goes that plan.  I didn't find this out until I started making it, so I decided to finish making this and put it in the fridge to bake later.   In an attempt to salvage breakfast I made some muffins that I was planning on making anyway.  They were delicious!  As was the egg bake once it was set and baked.  I doubled the muffin recipe, but I didn't fill the muffin tin full enough so my muffins turned out to dwarf muffins, oops sorry, not PC...little muffins.  So warning these muffins do not rise at all, fill them as much as you want!  Sorry for the lack of posts recently, I swear I have been cooking and I have a back log of recipes to put up on here.  I have been nannying for an adorable little 15 month old girl and well she is a busy lady and doesn't always leave me much time to blog. :)  I'm off tomorrow so will probably have time to catch up.

Raisin-Bran Muffins
1 1/2 cups raisin bran cereal
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
1/4 cup packed brown sugar

Preheat oven to 400.  Combine cereal with milk; let stand until softened, about 5 min.  In another bowl, whisk together both flours, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.  Stir oil, egg and brown sugar into cereal mixture, then fold in flour mixture. Pour batter into muffin tin.  Bake, until golden brown and knife inserted comes out clean, 20-25 min.  Cool in tin 5min, then turn out to cool.  

Canadian-Bacon Strata
Unsalted butter, room temp
4 english muffins, split, toasted and cut into half-moons
1/2 lb canadian bacon, cut into half moons
1 1/4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup parmesan 
8 large eggs
3 cups milk
4 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1/4 tsp hot pepper sauce

Butter a shallow 2 quart baking dish.  Arrange muffin halves and canadian bacon cut slides down in dish.  Sprinkle evenly with both cheeses.  Whisk together eggs, milk, mustard, 1/2 tsp salt, a pinch of pepper, and the hot pepper sauce until combined.  Pour into dish; cover tightly with plastic wrap, refrigerate at least 2 hours, or up to overnight.  Preheat oven to 350.  Place baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet, bake until puffed and set in the center about 1 1/2 hours.  Let stand 10 min before serving

Muffins: ***
Strata: ***

Monday, May 24, 2010

Grilled Chicken and awesome friends!

This was a great meal for company.  I served it with roasted potatoes to stretch it a bit more, but there was plenty of food.  I always have fun cooking, but I absolutely love cooking for company, especially when they are good friends.  There's nothing better than cooking while drinking a glass of wine and chatting with a good friend.  SO much fun!  The weather wasn't great for grilling, but in an attempt to make it feel like summer time we did it anyway...good thing the grill is under a roof.  Everyone loved the roasted red pepper sauce, this is again something I could put on anything!  What a great summer time meal.

Grilled Chicken with Roasted-Pepper Sauce
2 garlic cloves (unpeeled)
2 red peppers, quatered lengthwise
1 T red wine vinegar
3 T olive oil
3-4 T water
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

Heat grill.  Wrap garlic cloves in aluminum foil and grill until softened, 10-15 min.  meanwhile, grill peppers, skin side down, until charred 6-8 min.  Let peppers and garlic cool slightly.  

Remove skins from peppers; squeeze garlic cloves from skins.  In a blender combine garlic, peppers, vinegar, 2 T olive oil, and 3 T water; season generously with S&P.  Blend until emulsified, adding up to 1 more T water if necessary.  
Rub both sides of chicken with olive oil and S&P.  Grill until browned and cooked through, about 5-8 min on each side.  Serve with sauce, garnish with arugula if desired.  Serves 4. 

Cheddar Corn Spoon Bread
1 T unsalted butter
2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernals
2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
pinch cayenne
1 cup finely grated white cheddar (I used yellow)
4 large eggs, whites and yolks separated

Preheat oven to 400.  Butter a deep 2 quart baking dish.  In a saucepan combine butter, milk, corn, cornmeal, cayenne, and 1 tsp salt.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer stirring frequently until mixture is slightly thickened.  Remove from heat; stir in cheese.  Let cool until just warm to touch, about 15 min.  Stir in egg yolks until combined.  
With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat egg whites with a pinch of salt just until soft peaks form.  Stir 1/3 of the whites into cornmeal mixture until combined.  Then gently fold in remaining whites with flexible spatula.  Pour into prepared baking dish.
Place dish in oven, reduce heat to 375.  Bake until browned on top but still slightly loose in the center, 25-30 min.  Let cool 5 minutes, before serving.  Serves 6. 

And some awesome friends!
Who are welcome to leave guests ratings if they please.  :)

Logan Rating:
Chicken: ****

Fresh Rhubarb...Cottage Cheese Pancakes with a Rhubarb compote

So this was the first meal I served to my guests and I'm pretty sure they were honest in telling me that it was delicious, because I thought so too!  I'm not a huge breakfast person, I usually do something small with a cup of coffee, but on the weekends sometimes it is nice to just go all out.  Plus we have awesome landlords who give us pretty much full access to all of their garden and the rhubarb is ripe and delicious right now.  This pancake recipe is very unusual.  I've never seen one with cottage cheese in it, but it was actually very good.   I didn't really even taste the cottage cheese, but I guess they did have a bit of a different texture.  The one thing to warn you about is when you cook the pancakes be sure to make them small, like the directions say, because they are very difficult to flip when they are large...I learned this the hard way and had two casualties.  After that I figured it out and they turned out great.  I added a package of strawberries to the compote and it was SO SO SO good, I could put this stuff on EVERYTHING, seriously!

Cottage Cheese Pancakes
3/4 cup all purpose flour 
1 T sugar
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup cottage cheese
2/3 cup milk
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
5 tsp vegetable oil 
(I doubled this recipe and it served 4 perfectly)

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda.  Stir in cottage cheese, milk, egg whites and vanilla.  In a large skillet heat oil and working in batches drop batter into pan (1/4 cup per pancake).  Cook until just set around the edges and small bubbles appear on the top.  Flip pancakes and cook until set in center.  Serve immediately with rhubarb compote.

Rhubarb Compote
1 3/4 lbs rhubarb, ends trimmed, cut crosswise into 3/4 inch pieces (about 6 cups)
1 cup sugar
1 T finely grated peeled ginger

Stir rhubarb and sugar in a large saucepan (off the heat); let stand until rhubarb releases some liquid, about 10 minutes.  Stirring occasionally, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until rhubarb has softened, about 5 min.  (Add strawberries at this point if you choose).  Remove from heat.  Place ginger in a fine sieve set over a small bowl.  Press with a spoon to release juice (about 1tsp).  Discard solids. (I actually just put the ginger in, i don't have a sieve).  Stir ginger juice into rhubarb mixture. 

Logan Rating: ****

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Roasted Vegetable Soup and Peanut Crusted Chicken

Well we just saw our good friends Derek and Theresa off, back to Helena, what a fun weekend.  We did a lot of cooking and I have a backlog of posts for you, which I was going to try to post all at once, but I think I will just get them up slowly.  This post was dinner Friday night, for just the two of us, before our friends got into town.  I thought that peanut crusted chicken sounded amazing, but for me it kind of fell flat.  Next time I would try adding some spices in with the breading, maybe some cayenne or something to give it a little kick, because frankly it was just kind of bland.  This wasn't too difficult for me to remedy, seeing as I eat ketchup on just about everything, Logan ended up dipping his in the soup, which was excellent.  Very easy as far as skill goes, but it does require a decent time commitment, just because of the roasting of the veggies.  To blend the soup, an immersion blender is very helpful, much easier than having to split it up in batches into a food processor or stand up blender...but whatever you have will work just fine.
Roasted Vegetable Soup
6 beefsteak tomatoes, halved and cored
2 leeks, white and light green parts only
2 carrots, sliced
4 garlic cloves
2 T olive oil
2 cans vegetable broth (I used veg bouillon cubes)
1 cup water
basil for garnish

Preheat oven to 425.  Combine tomatoes, leeks, carrots, garlic and oil in a roasting pan or baking sheet.  Season with S&P.  Spread in a single layer and roast until veggies are tender, about 1 hour.  

Peel off tomato skins.  Transfer veggies to a large sauce pan, add broth and water; bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  

Blend the soup with an immersion blender or work in batches to blend in a regular blender, until very smooth.  Serve, garnished with basil.

Peanut Crusted Chicken Breasts
1 T olive oil
3/4 cup roasted unsalted peanuts
3 slices white bread torn into small pieces (I used wheat)
2 large eggs
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
(I halved the breading part of the recipe and only used one egg and I had plenty to coat 4 chicken breasts)

Preheat oven to 475.  Combine peanuts and bread in food processor and blend until coarsely ground.  Transfer to bowl and whisk in the oil, 1 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.  Lightly beat eggs and season generously with S&P.  Add chicken and turn to coat.  Dredge in peanut mixture, transfer to baking sheet.

Bake until crust is browned and chicken is cooked through, 10-15 minutes.

Again you'll need something to spice up the chicken or maybe just a dipping sauce to give it some flavor...does ketchup count as a dipping sauce?? I think so! :)
Logan Rating:
Soup-***** (Thats right the FIRST FIVE)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Egg in a Hole

Whether you call it an egg in a hole, egg in a nest, a hole in is still one of my favorite breakfast staples.  This is something I discovered a few years ago and absolutely love the ease and convenience of it.  I've been making it for years and it just happened to be in one of these cookbooks, so tad-ah another recipe bites the dust! If you haven't ever tried this breakfast favorite, you definitely should.  It won't take any longer than a fried egg to cook and if you don't like a runny yoke it makes for a very portable breakfast.  Not that I'm suggesting eating and driving or anything...just saying ;)  

I'm not working today and we have some friends coming into town for the weekend, which is going to be a blast!  So along with the inevitable cleaning I will also be doing lots of grocery shopping as well as COOKING today...might throw in a bit of baking even...we shall see.  So more posts to come, I promise!  Happy Friday to all!!!!

1 slice whole wheat bread
1tsp olive oil (I actually used spray "I can't believe it's not butter")
1 large egg
(We are lucky enough to have some chickens in our backyard, so this is a VERY fresh egg...harvested just this morning...and it was still warm when I got it! ewww gross haha)

Cut a hole in the piece of bread either with a cookie cutter or the rim of a glass.  Heat the olive oil in a pan and then place the bread and the hole that you cut out into the pan.  Crack the egg in the hole and season with S&P.  Cook until the egg begins to set, about 2-3 min, gently flip the egg and bread, continue cooking until the egg is cooked to your preference.  Serve with hot sauce or cheese if desired. 
Logan Rating: ***