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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*

Monday, March 28, 2011

Fishy soup

I wasn't 100% sure about this soup...
the thought of fish in a soup was a little worrisome to me.
While I LOVE clam chowder was definitely a foreign concept.
But I must say it was really good.
Fairly easy to make
and provided plenty of leftovers.
So it pretty much met all of my requirements for a good meal.
The clam juice was a little odd, but it tasted great in the soup.
Just don't smell it before putting it in, 
might weird you out.
I learned that the hard way.
I've had this 3 times as leftovers...still good, but I think I'm getting close to turning into a fish.
Good thing its almost gone.

Manhattan Fish Chowder
4 slices bacon (4oz) cut crosswise into 1/2 in pieces
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
1 can whole peeled tomatoes in juice (28oz)
2 cups clam juice
1 1/2 cups water
2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2 in cubes
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves (1/2 tsp dried)
1 lb skinless tilapia fillets, cut into 2 inch pieces

In a large pot, cook bacon over medium low heat until browned and crisp, stirring occasionally, 8-10 minutes.  Spoon off all but 1 T rendered fat.
Add onion and carrots, season with S&P.  Cook stirring occasionally until vegetables are softened, about 10 min.
Break up tomatoes with kitchen shears or your hands (in the can), then add to pan along with their juice.  Add clam juice and the water, bring to a boil.  Add potatoes and thyme; reduce heat to a simmer. Cook (uncovered) until potatoes are tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife but not falling apart, 15-20 min.
Add tilapia; cover and cook until the fish is opaque, about 3 min.  Season with S&P. 
Serves 6. 

Paige Rating: ***

Sunday, March 27, 2011

I hope you are going to the gym...

Because if you aren't, you should probably not make these.
Not because they are that bad for you,
but because they are so good that it is a distinct possibility 
you will eat the ENTIRE PAN!
I am telling you, these things are addicting. 
There should be a warning on the recipe, for sure!
Ok, so maybe you all have more self control than I do...
good for you.
Then you don't need to go to the gym.  
Next time I make these,
because there will be a next time,
I will make sure it is when I am having company.
So I can't eat them all!

Glazed Lemon Cakes
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temp, plus more for muffin tin
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for muffin tin
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup low fat buttermilk or plain low fat yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon, plus 2 T juice for the glaze
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 350.  Butter and flour 6 cup jumbo muffin tin (or one regular muffin tin).  In a med bowl, whisk the flour with the baking owder and salt.  In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, vanilla, and lemon zest and juice.  Set aside.
With an electric mixer, cream the butter and granulated sugar until light.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of the buttermilk mixture.
Divide evenly among the muffin cups.  Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cake comes our clean, 20-25 min.  
for 10 min in tin, then cook completely on wire rack.
Set the rack over wax or parchment paper.  In a small bowl, stir confectioners' sugar with the remaining 2 T lemon juice until smooth.  Pour over the cakes, spreading to the edges with a small knife.  Let set for 30 min before serving.  (YA RIGHT!!!! Impossible!)

Paige Rating: *****

Holy Chocolate

Are you drooling??
I thought so!
This lava cake is absolutely devine.
It received raving reviews from all 6 people who ate it, including me.
It is definitely a dessert that could be served at a really great restaurant.  
So if you want to impress your friends, make this.
It is SO good and seriously SO easy.
Its also fat free, sugar free, and calorie free...
Ok that part is a lie, but still
You must try it!

Molten Chocolate Cakes
4 T unsalted butter at room temp, plus more for muffin tins
1/3 cup granulated sugar , plus more for muffin tins
3 large eggs
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
8oz bittersweet chocolate, melted
confectioners' sugar for dusting
Whipped cream for serving (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 400.  Generously butter 6 cups of a standard muffin tin.  Dust with granulated sugar and tap out excess.  Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and granulated sugar until fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  With the mixer on low speed, beat in the flour and salt until just combined.

Beat in the chocolate (do not overmix).  Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups.

Place the muffin tin on a baking sheet; bake just until the tops of the cakes no longer jiggle when the pan is lightly shaken, 12-14 min.  Remove from the oven; let stand for 10 min.

To serve, turn out the cakes and place on serving plates, top sides up.  ( we served them top sides down, it was easier.)  Dust with confectioners' sugar, and serve with whipped cream, if desired.

I topped them with fresh whipped cream.

Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy cream
1-2 T granulated sugar

In a deep mixing bowl, beat the cream until soft peaks form.
Sprinkle the sugar over the cream; beat until soft peaks return.  Do not overbeat.

Paige Rating: *****

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Home sweet Home

I have finally gotten to the point where I can share the recipes we made when I was home for spring break.  I am so excited to share some of these with you!
This meal I made for my parents and my aunt and uncle, Candy and Dug and my grandma Marlys.
I've mentioned Dug on here before, he is an amazing cook and I learned much of what I know from him.
So it is always fun to get the chance to cook for him :)
I made the chicken, coleslaw and potatoes.  The potatoes I just made up, but the other two are challenge recipes.  Dug made the dinner rolls, SO good!
The chicken was superb, coleslaw was definitely different, but grew on us all and was actually pretty good!
Great meal, great people...can't go wrong.

Buttermilk Baked Chicken
oil for baking sheet (or Pam)
8 slices white bread
1 cup buttermilk
1tsp hot-pepper sauce
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp dried thyme
4 lbs chicken parts (legs, thighs, and wings)
-we used breasts also, for a leaner option

Preheat oven to 400.  Generously rub a baking sheet with oil (or spray with Pam).
In a food processor pulse the bread until it turns to coarse crumbs.
(My next gift to my mother will be a food processor!)
In a large bowl, stir together buttermilk, hot pepper sauce, 3/4 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper.  In a separate bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, parm, thyme and 1/8 tsp pepper.
Place the chicken in the buttermilk mixture, turning to coat evenly.  Working with one piece at a time, remove the chicken from the liquid, letting the excess drip back into the bowl; dredge in the breadcrumb mixture, turning to coat evenly.  Place the coated chicken pieces on the prepared baking sheet.  
Bake until the chicken is golden brown, about 35 min.
Serves 4.

Paige Rating: ***

Carrot Cumin Slaw
1/4 head green cabbage, shredded
3 carrots, coarsely grated
1 jalapeno chile, seeded and minced (don't seed if you like more heat)
1/4 cup canola oil (I found this to be too much time I would add less)
2 T fresh lime juice
3 T chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
1/2 tsp ground cumin

In a large bowl, combine cabbage, carrots and jalapeno.  
Drizzle mixture with canola oil and lime juice.
Sprinkle with cilantro, cumin, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8tsp pepper.  toss well.  
Serves 4.

Stay tuned for some AWESOME dessert recipes! 

Paige Rating: **

Supper Club-Asian Theme

I am still catching up on old recipes,
I know this is not a surprise to most of you.
Anyway these recipes are the things I made at the supper club we hosted a few weeks ago,
it was an Asian theme this time.  
SO I made hot and sour soup, pork potstickers, and gingered snap peas.
So I have three recipes to share with you in this post.  
I also made dessert wontons, with chocolate chips and raspberries inside...they were KILLER!
Thank you supper clubbers, for making this yet another successful night!

Lets start with the soup.

I can't for the life of me get this stupid picture to turn you will have to turn your computer.
This soup was REALLY good!
And my mushroom hating, tofu despising fiancĂ©e, LOVED it.
How bizarre. 

Hot and Sour Soup
2 cans reduced sodium chicken broth
2 T soy sauce
1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
8oz fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, caps thinly sliced (I used some shiitake and some crimini)
3-4 T rice vinegar
2 T cornstarch
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 package soft or firm tofu, cut into 1/4 in cubes, drained well
2 T finely grated peeled fresh ginger
3 scallions, thinly sliced

In a large pot, combine the broth, soy sauce, red pepper flakes and 2 cups water.  Bring to a boil over med heat.  Add the mushrooms; reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 10 min.

In a small bowl whisk together 3 T of the vinegar and the cornstarch.  Add to the pot; simmer stirring until the soup is thickened, about 1 min. 
Add egg through a slotted spoon, and stir to form ribbons.  Stir in the tofu.  Remove from heat; let stand covered for 1 min.  Put the ginger in a small sieve (aka my hand) and squeeze to release its juice into the soup (discard the solids).  Taste; add the remaining T vinegar if desired.  Serve sprinkled with the scallions.  Add more red pepper flakes if you want more heat!
Serves 4.

Paige Rating: ****

PotStickers are next...
These were delicious!  They were a huge hit, I doubled the recipe and we had NO leftovers.  
They were a bit annoying to make, because I had to make them in batches, but it was worth it!
You will LOVE these!

Pot Stickers
1/2 cup finely chopped napa or savoy cabbage
6oz ground pork 
3 scallions, trimmed and finely chopped
1 T finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 tsp low sodium soy sauce
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
24 rectangular or square wonton wrappers
2 T vegetable oil, such as safflower 
1 cup water

In a med bowl, toss cabbage with 1/2 tsp salt.  Let stand 10 min.  Wrap cabbage in a double layer of paper towels; firmly squeeze out excess liquid.  Return cabbage to bowl; add pork, scallions, ginger, soy sauce, and sesame oil.  Mix well with a fork.  (this could be refrigerated for up to 2 days if you wanted to make it ahead of time).
To make pot stickers, work with one wonton wrapper at a time; cover the rest with a damp kitchen towel to keep them from drying out.  Place 1 rounded tsp of filling into center of wrapper.  With dampened fingertips, moisten all edges.  Fold wrapper in half over filling to form a triangle, making sure filling is centered; press down edges firmly to seal.  Transfer to a lightly oiled plate and cover with a damp towel to keep moist.  Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling.
In a large skillet with a tight fitting lid, heat 1 T oil over med high.  Add half the wontons and cook turning once, until lightly browned, about 1 min per side.  Carefully add 1/2 cup water (oil may spatter); cover and steam until wrappers are translucent, 2-3 min.  Repeat with remaining wontons. 
Makes 24.
Paige Rating: *****

And lastly lets look at the peas.
These were really good and really simple to make.  
A nice healthy option, compared to the other finger foods we had.

Gingered Sugar Snaps
1 T oil
1 pound sugar snaps, strings removed
1 piece peeled fresh ginger, finely chopped, about 1 T

Heat oil over med high.  Add sugar snaps and ginger.  Cook stirring occasionally, until snaps begin to brown, about 5 min.
Add 1/4 cup water; reduce heat to med.  Cook, stirring and scrapping up the ginger from the bottom of the skillet with a wooden spoon, until snaps are crisp-tender, about 2 min.  Season with S&P.
Serves 4.

Paige Rating: ***

Friday, March 25, 2011

I write poems now

Its my new thing,
I write poems.
Risotto, oh risotto
how I love thee
you are very tasty.
I could eat you everyday
and so with that I will say
risotto, oh risotto
I love you!

Ok so I'm no good at it.
I will stick to graduating and becoming a nurse!
Speaking of, I would like to take this time to thank the good lord
that we no longer have to wear these.
My mom wore them when she graduated 30 years ago...along with a white skirt and white tights.
oh how the times have changed.

Back to food.
This was amazing, as you can tell from my poem.
I want to make every kind of risotto known to man...
in fact maybe that will be my next challenge. 
Ok I will focus on finishing this one first...

Spring Risotto with Peas and Zucchini
2 cans reduced sodium chicken broth
3 T butter
1-2 large zucchini (1 lb) cut into 1/2 in cubes
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 1/2 cups arborio rice 
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish

Heat broth and 2 1/2 cups water in a saucepan over low heat; keep warm.  Meanwhile, melt 2 T of the butter in a 3 qt saucepan over med heat.  Add zucchini; season with S&P.  Cook, stirring often, until the zucchini is golden, 8-10 min.  With a slotted spoon, transfer the zucchini to a plate.
Reduce heat to med-low.  Add onion; cook until soft, 5 min.  Season with 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.  Raise heat to med.  Add rice; cook, stirring, until translucent around the edges, about 3 min.  Add wine, cook until absorbed, about 2 min.
Cook the rice, adding 1 cup hot broth at a time (stir until almost all liquid is absorbed before adding more), until tender, 25-30 min total.  
Add zucchini and peas; cook until peas are bright green, 2 min.  Remove from heat.  Stir in remaining T butter and parmesan (I skipped the extra butter).  
Serves 6.

Paige Rating: *****

Weird Combo

Safeway, you failed me!
No eggplant?  
This meal was supposed to be eggplant and mushrooms,
but instead I made squash...weird I know.
I wasn't sure what to do,
I'm not used to not finding what I need at the store.
I just grabbed the first thing I saw...happened to be a squash.
Luckily it actually tasted good, but I have a feeling eggplant would have been better.
So don't panic like I did...find the eggplant.
P.S. I don't actually know what Japanese eggplants are...

Steamed Eggplant and Mushrooms with Peanut Sauce
6 Japanese eggplants (about 2 lbs) sliced into 1in thick rounds
1 lb shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps halved
3 T smooth peanut butter
3T rice vinegar
2 T soy sauce
2 T finely grated peeled fresh ginger
1-2 T light brown sugar
4 scallions, trimmed, cut into 2 in lengths, and thinly sliced lengthwise
cooked rice, such as basmati for serving.

Fill a large pot with about 1 in water; bring to a boil.  Add eggplant and mushrooms.  Reduce heat to med-high, cover and steam until tender, 8-10 min.
Meanwhile, make sauce;  place peanut butter in a small bowl.  Gradually whisk in vinegar, then add soy sauce, ginger, brown sugar and 1 tsp salt; whisk until smooth and combined.  

With a slotted spoon, transfer steamed eggplant and mushrooms to a large bowl.  Add scallions and peanut sauce; toss gently to coat.  Serve over rice.
Serves 4. 

Paige Rating: **

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

20th follower? Where you at??

Would you like to be my 20th follower???
I just know you do!
Just click the follow button,
Come on try it, 
you might like it!
Peer pressure always worked on me.

SO I'm really sorry about the lack of picture of the finished product.  I hate when I don't have very many photos to share with you all.
This meal happened to be for one of our supper clubs.
The theme was soup, it was amazing!
So I made gumbo, it was absolutely delicious.
I made it mostly on the stove, but finished it in the Crockpot.
I was a little afraid of okra, to be honest.
Have heard horror stories about the sliminess.
But I loved it!
And after this meal I actually sauteed it up with other veggies and had it as a side with orzo and chicken one night for dinner. 
You must try it.
I love being introduced to new vegetables.
This gumbo was very good as is, but I made it even better by the addition of Slap ya Mama.
The flavor was awesome, it was a huge hit
and the leftovers were just as good.

Half-Hour Chicken Gumbo
3 T veg oil, such as safflower
1/3 cup all purpose flour
2 red bell peppers, chopped (I used green, because they were cheaper)
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp dried oregano
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1 package frozen cut okra (unthawed)
8oz smoked andouille sausage, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/4 in thick
4 cups shredded roasted chicken (from the leftovers of kale night)

In a dutch oven (I need one of these) or heavy 5 qt pot, heat oil over med.  Add flour and cook; whisking constantly, until pale golden, 5-7 min.  Stir in bell peppers, onion, garlic and oregano; season with salt and pepper.  Cook stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, 10-12 min
Add chicken broth and water; stir in okra and sausage.  Bring to a boil.  Stir in shredded chicken, and cook until heated through, 1-2 min.  Season with S&P. 

Paige Rating: ****

New computer and old meals

I was wrong
My computer was not on the mend, 
it was on its way out. 
I finally have a new one and have transferred all the pics over to it.
So I can once again blog!
I know you are all relieved!
So here is another old meal that I made a couple weeks ago.
It was GREAT though!
I have a new found love for kale.
I would eat it in my house,
I would eat it with a mouse.
I would eat it here and there
I could eat it EVERYWHERE!
I know its an odd thing to love, but its so green and tasty, how could I not?
Anyway, the chicken and potatoes I have made already,
but the kale is new.
Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
FYI, don't add too much lemon...can be a bit overpowering!

Sauteed Kale with Garlic and Lemon
1 1/2 lbs kale, stems removed, leaves torn into bite size pieces
2 T olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice

Bring a large pot of water to boil; add a generous amount of salt.  Cook kale until just tender, 4-6 min, drain well.  Heat oil in a large skillet over medium.  Add garlic; cook, stirring until fragrant, about 1 min.  Add kale; season generously with S&P.  Cook tossing often until tender 4-6 min.  Sprinkle with lemon juice, toss to combine. Serves 4.

Oh and here is my other new new ROASTING PAN!
I know its weird that I love vegetables and cookware,
but can you really blame me!?

Paige Rating: *****

Saturday, March 19, 2011

I will return!

I have been in MN for spring break (exotic I know) visiting my family.  I have actually done quite a bit of cooking and have lots to share with you!  My computer has been a little testy lately, but I think its on the I will get an update to you all VERY soon.
I'm leaving on a jet plane and will be back in MT tonight.
Blogging and coffee will for sure be a part of my Sunday morning.
Thanks for hanging in there!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tofu, the other white meat??

So I just want to clear something up!  
I got an anonymous comment on one of the posts referring to the fact that the recipe was the same as the one on Martha Stewart's website. 
I think most of you know that I'm doing a challenge here, cooking through two of her cookbooks.
I try to make it clear that these are NOT my recipes...I am following her recipes straight out of the books.
I think I'm giving her credit, with the books being pictured and hopefully this is clear to everyone.
I am certainly not trying to pass her WONDERFUL recipes off as my own, 
I am simply not that talented! :)
Sorry about any misunderstanding.

So I must apologize right off the bat for not having a finished product pic for this recipe,
you can refer to page 254 of the orange book if you have the cookbook..its much prettier there anyway.
I must have been in a hurry and forgot,
then I planned on taking it when I ate the leftovers,
but the leftovers went bad in my fridge...BUMMER.
I know, I know there are starving children in Africa...SORRY!
Anyway this was really good, 
I think that I ate too much of it at once though,
got sick of it
and then didn't want to touch the leftovers...
I made this because I knew Logan would stare at me with a sour look on his face if I made it for him.
You know the kind of look that says "NO WAY MOM, I will not eat those lima beans".
I could just see it now.
So in an attempt to avoid that, I made this tofu dish in his absence.
It was the first time I've ever had tofu as the main event in a dish...
I have to say I was surprised at how filling it is.
This is definitely something I would have never made before this challenge.
If you are a tofu fan, try it...if not, DON'T blame me when you don't like it! :)
Happy cooking!

Teriyaki Tofu and Mushrooms
2 packages (14 oz each) firm tofu, each sliced crosswise into 6 rectangles
3 T finely grated peeled fresh ginger
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 T rice vinegar
1 T sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
1 to 1 1/2 cups water
2 T vegetable oil, such as safflower
8oz fresh shitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps sliced (I can never find shitake so I used creminis)
1-2 bunches watercress, tough stems removed, for serving (I skipped this)

Press tofu:  Arrange tofu slices in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with a double layer of paper towels.  Cover with more paper towels and another baking sheet; weight with a heavy skillet (or whatever you have on hand).  Let drain 15 min.
Meanwhile, make sauce; place ginger in a fine sieve; press to release juices into a bowl, discard solids ( I just used my hands to squeeze the juice out).  Whisk in soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, cornstarch, and 1 cup water.
Heat 1 T oil in a large skillet over med heat.  Cook half the tofu until golden brown, 4-6 min per side.  Transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining slices.
Heat remaining oil in same skillet over med.  Cook mushrooms, stirring often, until browned, about 5 min.  Add sauce; bring to a boil.  Cook just until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 1 min ( if you need to you can add up to 1/2 cup more water to thin sauce).  Return tofu to pan; toss gently to coat.  

Serves 4.

Paige Rating: **