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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*

Friday, July 23, 2010

BIG news!

Well I wanted to let you all know that I haven't blogged my most recent meals because we have been SO busy, and I also wanted to warn you that there will be a few weeks of no posts with me traveling all over the country.  Ok I know your wondering...whats the news?  Well the day before yesterday, my bofriend, Logan of almost 6 years popped the big question.  So yes blogging world, we are engaged!!!!!!!!!!!!  Hopefully this is a good enough excuse for you all, however I do realize that hardcore bloggers should really have no excuses, so I apologize for that!  While this is not food, I will post a picture...its made out of Karats does that count?? hahaha
We are SO excited and have had such an outpouring of love from family and friends, this is what life is all about!  So blessed!

Logan Rating: OFF THE CHARTS :)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Classic Combination-Pork & Apples

Alright I'm staying on top of my blogging game, this meal was made LAST NIGHT...wahooo!  So this is the first part of pork two ways.  I decided to stretch the pork that I bought this week into two meals, great way to save money and so far a very delicious idea.  No I will not take all the credit for this great idea, it's actually in the cookbook!  Can you believe it?  This cookbook not only gives you delicious meals but money saving tips as well...that's right people and this is why it is my favorite!  The other thing that I love about this recipe is the way the pork is cooked, under the broiler.  Which is a really quick way to cook this meat and really exciting for me since I had anticipated a long time in the oven.  I looked at the recipe again and realized the meat only took about 20 min to cook, AMAZING!  And to prove that this meal really is quick and easy, I made it in about 30 min from start to finish right  before our second pre season kickball game!  You did read that correctly, ladies and gentlemen, Logan and I are now a part of a pretty kick ass kick ball team, which is aptly named "Kick your balls, say YEAH!".  We have yet to win, but our team spirit is awesome and we have a pretty awesome neon theme going.  I know you're just dying for a here you go...

Well now that I know you are all jealous, we can get back to the food! :)
While I felt like this was much more of a fall meal, Logan and I both enjoyed it thoroughly.  AND just as icing on the proverbial cake, I actually cooked the meat PERFECTLY, which is a pretty rare thing with pork, no pun intended.  It was a little pink in the very center, nice and tender, SUPER delicious!  This time the meat thermometer really did it right, I've learned to not always trust that thing.  And the leeks and apples on the side really couldn't be easier, just a simple sauté, which takes just about the same amount of time as the pork does to convenient.  Try this one out...I won't be offended if you wait till Sept or Oct...I'll probably make it again then when our apple trees are producing!

Pork Tenderloin with Sautéed Apples and Leeks
2 pork tenderloins (about 1lb each)-only if you are going to use leftover for another recipe otherwise one tenderloin will do. 
 2 T olive oil 
2 leeks, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise and cut into 1in pieces
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
3 gala apples, cored, halved lengthwise and then crosswise, cut into 1/4in pieces 
1 T honey
1 tsp red wine or sherry vinegar

Heat broiler, with rack set 4 in from heat source.  On a rimmed baking sheet rub pork with 1 T of oil; generously season with S&P.  Broil until thickest part registers 145, about 14-18 min.  Transfer pork to a plate.  Cover loosely with foil and let rest about 10 min, the internal temp will rise about 5 degrees during rest. 

Meanwhile heat remaining oil over medium heat, add leeks and fennel seeds; cook until leeks are tender, about 6 min.  Add apples and cook until just beginning to soften, 3-4 min.  Remove from heat and stir in honey and vinegar.  Season with S&P.  
Serves 4.

Looks pretty good right?  TRY IT!

Logan Rating: *****

Monday, July 19, 2010

All up to date...Salmon Patties

Ok folks, thats right this crazy marathon of blogging is complete after this post and lets hope I never let it get this out of hand again...uff dah!  Ok so I'm going to say it again...another AMAZING summer meal.  This one is definitely at the top of my list and you'll be able to tell by his rating, tops logan's as well.  A really inexpensive way to use salmon, because you can make it stretch, I halved this recipe and actually only used 1/2 lb, which was like $3!  Although next time I would truly half the recipe and get .75 lbs.  Now I do have some tips for you that I learned the hard way.  So when you fry up these awesome little patties, make sure your pan is pretty hot so that right away they get a sear on them, this will help them to not fall apart.  AND make sure you thoroughly spray the pan before you put them in AND before you flip them, even though the instructions do not say this.  My patties were a failure for the most part, but they still tasted fantastic!  I luckily had 3 that turned out ok for picture purposes ;).  The noodles are FANTASTIC by the way, and they perfectly accompany this meal, best asian noodles I've ever made I think.  The sauce is also another one that you just have to make, its SO easy and it totally makes this dish. So don't skip it!  Alright everyone, enjoy this recipe and cross your fingers that I will be much better at blogging in the future.  However I do leave this friday for HOME (MN) and a small trip down to NC to visit one of my favorite people in the whole wide I will be MIA for a few weeks, although I may decide to still do some blogging....we shall just have to wait and see.  Hope everyone is having a fantastic monday!  

Asian Salmon Patties
1 1/2 lbs skinless salmon fillet, finely chopped
2 shallots, minced
2 T grated ginger
1 large egg
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
sesame mayonnaise for serving (recipe below)

In a large bowl, combine salmon, shallots, ginger, egg, red pepper flakes, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper.  Form into 8 equal patties, about 1 in thick.  Freeze until just firm, about 20 min.

Heat large nonstick skillet over medium high.  (SPRAY SPRAY SPRAY).  Cook until browned on both sides and just opaque through, about 4-6 min per side.  
Serves 4.

Sesame Mayonnaise
1/3 cup mayo
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 T fresh lime juice
1 tsp toasted sesame oil

Stir together all ingredients, chill and store up to 3 days

Chinese noodles with sesame dressing
8 oz thin chinese noodles
1 T veg oil 
1/4 cup lime juice
2 T soy sauce
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 tsp brown sugar
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes (if you like it hot add more)
3 T coarsely chopped cilantro

Bring pot of water to boil; cook noodles according to package directions.  drain and rinse under cold water.  Transfer to large bowl, toss with oil.
In a small bowl, whisk together all the other ingredients and then pour sauce over noodles, season with S&P.


Logan Rating: *****

Another weird sandwich...Fig and Prosciutto

So here is another one that I never would have made if it weren't for this challenge.  This is very exciting for me, because it was SUPER delicious.  It's just really cool to branch out and make things that aren't necessarily mainstream and have them end up to be awesome...makes me realize how much I've been missing out on over the years.  So hopefully this blog inspires all 10 of you (haha) to think outside the box and cook things that you wouldn't normally venture to cook.   
This sandwich is a little more time consuming because of the fig-jam, but if thats made ahead of time, then its super easy and quick.  I couldn't believe how much we liked this one, I though it would be ok, but in fact it was absolutely delicious!  I served it with a simple salad with garlic vinaigrette, which I believe the recipe is in a previous post.  I dare you all to try this one, I swear you won't be disappointed!!

Prosciutto and Fig-Jam Sandwiches
1 large baguette or soft italian loaf
fig jam
4 oz prosciutto
4 oz asiago cheese, thinly sliced
1 small bunch arugula, washed and dried

Cut baguette into four 5-6 in long pieces.  Split each piece horizontally leaving one side intact.  Spread all the bread with fig jab, layer bottom halves with prosciutto, cheese and arugula.  Fold halves together and serve.
Serves 4. 

Fig Jam
10 oz dried figs, stemmed and cut into 1/4 in pieces
3 T sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1 T lemon juice

Combine figs with sugar and water, bring to boil stirring to dissolve sugar.  Reduce heat.  Cover and simmer until almost all liquid has evaporated and figs are tender, about 20 min.  

Transfer to a food processor;  add lemon juice.  Puree until smooth.
Makes 1 1/4 cups.  ( halved this recipe and still had leftover.)

Logan Rating: ****

Greek Kebabs

Ok this dish I actually made just last week, so we are getting closer to the present, which is a good thing.  This is a very delicious summer meal...I feel like I say that a lot in this blog, but its true.  Its a super light and yet very filling yummy meal.  I was surprised at how much I liked the mint-feta sauce that accompanied the kebabs and really how can you go wrong with a kebab?  They are just the easiest best summer grilling in my opinion.  So this was a greek take on kebabs and it was wonderful.  Logan and I both thoroughly enjoyed it.  And despite the marinating and rice cooking time this was a quick and simple meal.  You do have to account for those two things however, when planning this dinner.  I absolutely love grilled onions so next time I'd probably use more onion, so if you share that love GO FOR IT.  I also used brown rice, because well we all know its better for us...I try not to use white things...not that I'm discriminating or anything, hopefully the white rice doesn't feel bad. :)  Alright everyone, really this is awesome, so give it a try.  AND DON'T SKIMP, you must make the sauce, because it totally makes this dish!

Grilled Greek Chicken Kebabs with Mint Feta Sauce
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 in pieces
1 zucchini, halved lengthwise, cut into 1 in pieces
1/2 small red onion, quartered lengthwise, layers separated
2 T olive oil
1 tsp dried oregano 
3 T red wine vinegar
oil for grill
1/2 cup crumbled feta
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 cup packed fresh mint 

In a resealable bag, combine chicken, zucchini, onion, olive oil, oregano and 2 T vinegar; season with S&P.  Marinate at room temp for about 30 min, or put in fridge overnight.  

Heat grill to medium, lightly oil grates.  Put chicken, zucchini and onion onto skewers, grill turning occasionally until chicken is cooked through, about 12-14 min.

To make sauce, blend feta, yogurt, mint and remaining T vinegar in a food processor until smooth.

Lemon and Pine-nut Rice
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup long grain white rice
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 T olive oil
1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest, plus 1 T lemon juice

Bring water to boil, add rice, season with S&P; return to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until rice is tender, 15-17 min.  Remove from heat and let stand, covered 5 min.
Fluff rice with a fork, then toss with pine nuts, oil, and lemon zest and juice.  Season with S&P.

Serves 4.

Logan Rating: ***

Open fire cookout...Supper club style!!!

I'm sure I've mentioned to you all before about this fantastic supper club that Logan and I are a part of.  Well we finally were able to host our first supper club and we really did it up big.  We had an open fire cookout, followed by a campout, followed by the first EVER breakfast club in our backyard.  It was definitely a marathon of a weekend and we all had a great time.  I don't have all the recipes of the food that everyone else brought, but I made the BBQ ribs from a previous blog post and some baked beans.  We also had teriyaki  chicken sandwiches with pepperjack and grilled pineapple, a very delicious salad, followed by a kick ass dutch oven cobbler with ice cream.  I think that was it for food, it was all extremely delicious and as usual we had way more food than we had people to eat it.  In the morning Neil made a Murray family dutch oven recipe, which I believe he called the mountain man breakfast.  It was definitely hearty and extremely delicious and just a great way to top off an awesome supper/breakfast club.  Thanks to all involved, it was such a great time!!!
So just a quick note about the baked beans for this blogs purposes.  I will post the instructions as the recipe states them, as I'm sure most of you will be using an oven and not an open fire.  I thought these were AWESOME, but logan being new to beans was not so impressed.  SO just so everyone knows, if you love beans, you will love this recipe.  It's super simple and really I don't think I will ever buy canned baked beans again, these were SO delicious!  And may I reiterate...SO EASY!  Enjoy!

Boston Baked Beans
1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
1/2 cup ketchup 
1/4 cup dijon 
3 cans navy beans, drained and rinsed
1 large onion, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/4 in thick
4 slices bacon, halved crosswise (I used centercut)

Preheat oven to 375.  Combine molasses, ketchup, and mustard.  Add beans and season with S&P.
Transfer to 2-3 quart covered baking dish.  Scatter sliced onion over beans; lay bacon slices on top in a single layer. 

Cover dish and bake 30 min.  Uncover and cook until bacon is crisp, 30-40 min more.  Let cool and stir well before serving. 

Serves 6.  

Looks like a pretty awesome supper club huh??

Logan Rating: *
(again non bean eater)

First post of a marathon of "catch-up" posts...mmmmm salad

I guess I should start out with yet another apology for being such a lazy blogger and well also a lazy cooker.  I guess I needed a little break, but thats really no excuse, so I'm very sorry for anyone who looks forward to new recipes on this blog.  Lucky for you I'm about to post A LOT, so try to keep up my friends, there's tons of good food to come.  
This salad is a awesome refreshing summer meal.  I often feel like when I make my own salads they aren't hearty enough for a meal, but this one really was, especially for a hot summer night.  It was very simple and we were able to use fresh greens from the garden, which is always great.  I did not follow the recipe for cooking the shrimp.  I felt like it would be more flavorful if I sautéed the shrimp with garlic and S&P and I was right, the shrimp was awesome, and all in all this was a really delicious light summer meal.  You can cook the shrimp however you like.  I could see this being a great side salad also, with or without the shrimp, to a larger meal.  Alright friends...onto the recipe. 

Shrimp and Snap Pea Salad with Ginger Dressing
12 oz sugar snap peas, stem ends and any strings removed
1 lb shrimp, medium, peeled and deveined 
4 scallions, trimmed, white and green parts separated, thinly sliced
1/4 cup vegetable oil, such as safflower (or olive)
3 T fresh lime juice
1 carrot, coarsely chopped
1 T chopped peeled fresh ginger
1/4 cup water
1 large head Boston lettuce
2 red bell peppers, ribs and seeds removed, thinly sliced

Bring a medium saucepan of water to boil; add salt.  Cook snap peas until bright green, about 2 min, then reduce to simmer and add shrimp.  Cook until shrimp is opaque and peas are crisp-tender, about 1 min.  Drain and rinse under cold water.
In a blender, combine white parts of scallions, oil, lime juice, carrot, ginger, and water; process until smooth, about 2 min.  Season with S&P.
Toss lettuce, peppers, green parts of scallion, snap peas and shrimp with dressing in a large bowl. 
Serves 4 as a main course. 

I also sauteed the peas with the shrimp after they were cooked through.

Logan Rating: ***

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Lazy Blogger!

Ok so I'm really sorry I have been a very lazy blogger lately.  Unfortunately I've been a little lazy in the kitchen as well.  BUT I do have plenty of recipes to share with you and I am back on track in the kitchen, SO I promise after tomorrow I will get all caught up.  Hang in there just a little bit longer...if anyone is reading this that is.  :)
Hope you're all having a GREAT weekend!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Open fire trial run...PIZZA.

So this is something we are very proud of.  We had an idea to have an open fire cookout/campout for supper club at our place, little did we know it would be such a difficult task to set it up.  We have a bonfire pit in our backyard, but we had to make it cooking friendly.  After a long day of brainstorming and hard work we did it!  And we tested it out with some open fire pizza a few nights before the real thing.  We were amazed at how great it turned out and how well our creation worked.  These pizza recipes are meant to be made in the oven, but it worked very well on the fire and I think would also be delicious just on a regular grill.  I feel like we have never made a pizza that was absolutely amazing and these did not disappoint.  I highly recommend you try these.  Sorry about the poor quality of the photos, my good camera had a dead battery.  I think you can get the idea though.  ENJOY!

Individual pizza with arugula and tomatoes
1lb pizza dough
olive oil
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
3 cups baby arugula
3 oz romano cheese, shaved
1 T balsamic

Preheat oven to 450, using your hands stretch dough into four equal pieces.  ( we just did one normal pizza).  Brush baking sheets with oil.  Place dough on sheets; brush dough with oil.  Crush tomatoes in a bowl, using your hands; season with S&P.  Spread tomatoes on dough; sprinkle with red pepper flakes.  Bake rotating sheets from top to bottom and back to front halfway through until crusts are golden, 18-20 min.  
Toss arugula with cheese; divide among pizzas.  Drizzle with vinegar and oil.
Serves 4.

Thinnest crust Pizza with Ricotta and Mushrooms
(we use regular pizza dough)
2 tsp olive oil
2 whole wheat sandwich wraps
2 oz asiago cheese
2/3 cup ricotta
10oz white mushrooms
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 450.  Brush baking sheets with oil.  Place one wrap on each sheet; brush each with 1 tsp oil. Sprinkle wraps with asiago, then dollop with ricotta.  Top with mushrooms and onion; season with salt and pepper.  Bake rotating sheets halfway through, until crusts are browned, 20-25min.
Serves 4. 

Logan Rating: 
Mushroom: ***
Tomato: ****

Sorry for the long absence!

Ok I must start out with yet another apology for my absence.  I'm blaming it on the holiday weekend, which was a blast by the way.  I hope you all had a fantastic 4th.  There will be more blog posts about the cooking that went on during the weekend.  For now I will start off with this meal that I made while our good friend Theresa was in town for work...last week sometime.  This was a pretty good grilled meal, not the most fantastic thing I've ever eaten, but certainly a perfectly edible meal.  It's been so long since I made this, I don't really remember any tricks or tips so you'll have to learn as you go on this one.  That's all for now folks, enjoy.

Garlic Marinated Chicken with Grilled Potatoes
1 1/2 lbs baby red new potatoes, halved or quartered if large
1 T plus 1 1/2 tsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 T white-wine vinegar
1 1/2 T fresh thyme 
1 1/2 lbs chicken cutlets
1 1/2 lbs asparagus (we used broccolini)
1 T butter
1 T garlic vinaigrette (recipe below)

Heat grill.  Fold 4 ft sheet of aluminum foil in half, place potatoes on the double layer of foil and form a packet.  Place on the grill and cook, turning once, until potatoes are tender, about 25 min.  Remove from heat, leave them in foil to keep warm.  Raise grill to high and lightly oil grates.
Meanwhile, make the marinade: in a large baking dish, whisk together 1 T of the oil, garlic, vinegar, thyme and 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.  Add chicken; turn several times to coat.  Marinade at room temp for about 10 min. 
Toss asparagus with remaining 1 1/2tsp oil, season with S&P.  Grill turning occasionally until tender, about 4-8 min.
Lift chicken from marinade and grill until cooked through, 2-3 min per side.  Remove from grill.
Remove potatoes from foil, toss with butter and season with S&P.  Cut asparagus on the diagonal and toss with vinaigrette.  
Serves 4. 

Garlic Vinaigrette
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 T dijon
pinch of sugar
3/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp garlic, minced

Whisk together all ingredients or shake them in a jar.  
Makes 1 cup.

Logan Rating: **