Tag Archives: Cook

Brown Sugar Asparagus

25 Aug

My run of Les Mis started this past weekend. Opening night had a few bumps, naturally, but it was still a fantastic show. That meant that performance number two could only get better, right? Well, let’s start the morning off with trying to saw through a bagel…and my pinkie. Awesome. Five stitches and a tetanus shot later, my finger was wrapped in so much gauze and tape, I looked like I had sprouted another limb. I asked the doctor if I could take it off for the show (we actors are more than a little vain I suppose – I just could not fathom wearing that monstrosity on stage). He was hesitant, but said it would probably be fine if I just wore a regular bandaid. Hooray! Victory…ish. I took off the bandage just before curtain (I was being good and waited as long as I could), and nearly passed out from the process. I’m a boob. But the stitches got stuck on the gauze, it was all swollen and bruised…and I couldn’t even get the dumb bandaid to stay on right. In short, I ended up rewrapping the darn thing. I did cut the size down by about half, so it wasn’t so in-your-face-I-almost-amputated-my-finger kind of bandage. My mom could tell I had it on (she was looking for it because she told me I was crazy for only wanting to wear a bandaid – mom’s are always right), but my neighbor came and said she couldn’t see it from the audience. I’ll take it! Because I have to wear it for the entire run of the show. ūüė¶ The good news? The show was awesome – none of the glitches from opening night – I figure I absorbed all of the bad luck…and then bled it out all over my kitchen. I’m all about taking one for the team!

Asparagus…you don’t have to use a knife to remove the woody ends (I’m a little wary of knives these days) – just give them a good bend, and they snap off themselves. Don’t skip this step in attempts to avoid wasting a perfectly good spear of asparagus (I have never done this…ever). It tastes bad and it’s impossible to chew, so you’ll end up throwing it away anyways. This is my favorite way to prepare the good ends though! A perfect combination of sweet and salty, and oh-so-tasty!

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Ingredients:

1 lb asparagus spears

2 Tbsp butter

2 Tbsp firmly packed brown sugar

3/4 cup chicken broth

Snap off woody ends of asparagus and discard. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat until melted. Stir in brown sugar. Cook, stirring continually until sugar dissolves. Add asparagus to brown sugar mixture, turning to coat. Saute for 2 min. Add the chicken broth to the skillet. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, until asparagus are crisp-tender.

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Double Lemon Raspberry Swirl Pie

4 Jan

If you can’t tell by how many pictures I took of this pie‚Ķit is one of my new favorites. I have had a tab open on my laptop for months with the recipe, taunting me, begging me to make it. But, I am the only pie eater at my house (the kids tap in here and there, but they never eat an entire slice – I of course step in and make sure nothing goes to waste ;)). This means that I need a very good reason to make pie. “What are you doing for Christmas Eve?” asked my parents. “Want to come over for dinner?”

“YES! Can I make pie?”

Raspberries and Lemon‚Ķjust screams ‘Christmas,’ don’t they? I know, I know – slightly wrong season. But it turned out so very festive looking anyways! I love when food is pretty on top of tasting good. And oh, does this pie taste good!

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Ingredients

Raspberry Filling

1 package (10 oz) frozen raspberries in syrup, thawed
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 cup fresh raspberries

Lemon Filling

1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
4 oz white chocolate baking bars, melted, cooled
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 cup whipping cream, whipped

Lemon Curd

4 egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tsp grated lemon peel
Have ready, prepared pie crust.
In blender, place thawed raspberries and syrup. Cover; blend on medium speed 1 minute. Reserve 1 tablespoon. In 1 1/2-quart saucepan, mix remaining blended raspberries, 1 tablespoon sugar and the cornstarch over medium heat until boiling and thickened. Pour into baked shell; top with fresh raspberries.
In large bowl, beat cream cheese and white chocolate with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Mix in condensed milk until smooth. Stir in 1/2 cup lemon juice. Gently stir in whipped cream. Spread over raspberry filling. Refrigerate.
Meanwhile, in 2-quart saucepan, mix egg yolks and 2/3 cup sugar. Mix in 3 tablespoons lemon juice, the butter and lemon peel. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. Refrigerate 30 minutes. Spread over lemon filling to within 1 inch of edge. Drizzle reserved blended raspberries over lemon curd, and swirl using toothpick. Refrigerate 1 hour before serving. Garnish as desired. Cover and refrigerate any remaining pie.

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Original recipe: http://www.pillsbury.com/recipes/double-lemon-raspberry-swirl-pie/7d929ada-ef52-4c66-a557-217df9ab72c7/?nicam4=SocialMedia&nichn4=Pinterest&niseg4=Pillsbury&nicreatID4=Post

Turkey Tetrazzini

27 Dec

So, my seven-year-old woke up the night before Christmas Eve with a fever that held on for three days. We kept it at bay with some consistent dosage of ibuprofen and she finally woke up this morning fever free. Hooray! It put a little damper on Christmas, but she smiled through it, though her eyes were a little bleary, and we still enjoyed family, food, and all the wonderful joys of giving.

This morning, baby boy started acting a little feverish. ūüė¶ He had a really rough afternoon, so I scheduled him a doctor’s appointment – all the while knowing that it was most likely a virus that they wouldn’t be able to do anything about, but needing a little peace of mind that at least I did all that I could. A couple hours before our appointment, he perked up! Smiling, eating, playing‚ĶI was beginning to second guess my hasty call to the doctor. But, at my husband’s urging to take advantage of the last few days we have to go to the doctor before we have to restart our deductible :), I decided to just go ahead and go with my original instinct. Thank heaven for sensible husbands! A steroid dose for his tight breathing, and a prescription for an ear infection later‚Ķso happy we went in. He is sleeping soundly now, and maybe tomorrow his sisters will get to do something more than watch movies all day. Amazing how tiring a day of doing nothing but bouncing a baby can be!

We had take-out pizza tonight, but this recipe would have worked too. If your day after Christmas was as crazy as mine, pull out that left over turkey and make yourself some tetrazzini. It’s easy, it uses up your left-overs, and darn it‚Ķit tastes really good.

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Ingredients:

1/4 cup butter

1/2 onion, chopped finely

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 can evaporated milk

1/4 tsp marjoram

1/2 tsp celery salt

1/2 tsp salt

1 – 1 1/2 cup grate cheese (cheddar or parmesan)

2-4 cups cubed turkey (or chicken)

cooked rice or noodles

In a large pan, melt butter and brown onion until soft. Add soup, milk, and spices. Mix together with a whisk to remove any lumps. Add cheese and turkey, stirring occasionally, until cheese melts and the sauce is heated through. Do not allow to boil. Serve over noodles or rice.

Loaded Sweet Potatoes

22 Dec

Christmas is coming, and whether it’s you or the goose getting fat is entirely up to your level of self control. However, I have heard that calories disappear from holiday meals. They just don’t count. (I may or may not have just made that up‚Ķ) So, scoop yourself another heap of these ridiculously delicious sweet potatoes- because you can. ¬†I used to hate yams at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners – too sweet and syrupy. Fast forward to my adulthood, and that fateful night that a friend convinced me to try a loaded baked sweet potato – it had the marshmallows like the yams of old that I hated, but I gave it a go. And my life was changed. I am now a sweet potato junkie and this is my very favorite way to prepare them.¬†There is a very fine line that divides this dish between a side and a dessert, but if you’re like me, you’ll manage to sneak some for both courses. ūüėČ

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Ingredients:

Potatoes –

3 cups sweet potatoes

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup milk

1/2 cup butter

Peel and cut sweet potatoes into large chunks and boil in water until tender. Drain water and, in a large bowl, use a mixer to puree potatoes. Add all other ingredients and mix until well incorporated. Place in 9×13 baking dish.

Topping –

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup chopped pecans

1/3 cup flour

1/3 cup butter

marshmallows

Combine all ingredients except marshmallows. Crumble mixture on top of potatoes. Add marshmallows (put on as many as you like!). Bake at 350^F for 30-45 min (when the edges of crumble mixture look done, marshmallows are toasted, and center is hot and bubbly).

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Sweet Corn Puffs

17 Dec

Remember me? It’s ok‚ĶI don’t either. I’ve been MIA for the last little bit – hubby sent me on an awesome, sun-filled visit to FL to spend time with my sister and her family. The 7 hour flight down there, by myself, baby in tow, was even worth it. ūüôā He actually flew very well, but I’ve learned something about planes now that the novelty of flying from my youth has worn off‚Ķthere is no privacy in planes. The only respite is in the bathroom. I was almost grateful to make my neighbor move three times (yes‚ĶI was in a middle seat! yikes) with the excuse to go feed the baby or change him. But I’d do it again. Next time I think I’ll bring my husband with me though. ūüėČ

Following my return, I had a special presentation to do in my daughter’s school class, and then a company Christmas party to go to the same night. Where I proceeded to get food poisoning. Needless to say, writing about food was not on my list of priorities as I hurled all night and lay limp in bed the entire next day. Lucky for me, my mom loves me‚Ķa lot. She had already spent tons of times at my house taking care of my kiddos while I was away and my husband was at work. And then, the day after I get back‚Ķ”Mom! I’m soooo sick.” She’s an angel. I ate two whole pieces of toast this morning and half a pot pie (the latter only because I’m nursing and I decided that, no matter how much my stomach cramped up, I had to eat something for his sake). I’m still alive, but not quite all the way there.

Recipe for today is the easiest thing alive. My husband calls them the most addicting packaging peanuts around.  photo-186

Ingredients:

8 ounces puffed corn puffs (not the cereal Corn Pops)
1 C butter
3 T water
2 T corn syrup
1 C sugar

In a medium saucepan, melt butter then add water, corn syrup, and sugar. Mix well and cook for 8-10 minutes until the mixture reaches a golden brown color. Pour mixture over corn puffs and stir until evenly coated. Cool. Store in an air-tight container.

Strawberry Coconut Cream Pie

1 Dec

Pie. I love pie. I love¬†this pie. I found an awesome Pinterest Pie Party page (I haven’t jumped on the Pinterest wagon as of yet, but I do appreciate all the pinning others have done!) – so many pies, so little time. I saw a picture of this Strawberry Coconut Cream pie and my mouth fell open; maybe hoping that a digital slice would become real, Willy Wonka style, and jump right off the screen and into my mouth. Unfortunately, I had to wait‚Ķbut, oh! Was it ever worth the wait.

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Coconut Cream Filling Ingredients:
1 can (14 fluid ounces) unsweetened coconut milk
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
pinch kosher salt
3 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons corn starch
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup whipping cream

Topping Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
red food coloring (optional; I skipped this)
mint leaves or whole strawberries for garnish (optional)

Directions:
Heat the coconut milk, sugar, salt and vanilla in a medium saucepan over medium heat. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and corn starch. Add 1/2 cup of the hot cream slowly to the yolks, whisking as you add. Then pour the yolk mixture into the pot of hot cream and whisk. Continue to whisk with heat on medium-high for 3 more minutes. The mixture will turn thick and bubble. You need to continue to whisk for the full 3 minutes or the pastry cream will separate once it is cool. After the 3 minutes, whisk in the butter. Add the coconut flakes. Pour into a shallow dish to cool.

Cover with plastic wrap pressed right against the pastry cream. This will prevent a thick skin from forming on the surface. Refrigerate for at least an hour or freeze for 30 minutes. Once it is cold, stir the pastry cream to loosen. Whip the 1/2 cup cream to medium peaks. Stir in 1/3 to the pastry cream to lighten. Fold in the remaining cream until the pastry cream is nice and light. Fill baked, cooled pie crust with your coconut filling.

Slice 1 cup of strawberries in thin slices and set aside.

Make the glaze: Crush remaining 1/2 cup of strawberries and boil with water in a saucepan over medium-high heat for two minutes. Add the juice back to the saucepan over medium-high heat and gradually whisk in sugar and cornstarch. Cook until thickened. Add 6 drops of red food coloring for brighter color.

*Tip: Mix cornstarch and sugar together first, then add wet ingredients. Stir until all ingredients are incorporated before turning on the heat. This will prevent the cornstarch from clumping – if you add it to hot liquid it is next to impossible to avoid clumps!

Cool the glaze slightly and then pour over top of strawberry slices. Pour glaze on top of coconut cream. Chill entire pie for at least a few hours for best results.

Original recipe: http://willowbirdbaking.com/2013/06/12/strawberry-coconut-cream-pie/

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Sticky Pear Crescents

27 Nov

We made these for family night last week. My two year old was in charge of treats, so we tried to pick something easy enough for her to help with. I figured these would end up being tasty, but nothing special – crescent rolls and pears‚Ķno big deal‚Ķright? Ummmm, wrong!!! These were ridiculous – it must have been the caramel (I used our homemade caramel instead of caramel topping) and the glaze on top. That, and the pear is just different enough from apple that it tastes somehow more special. Plus the pecans‚Ķok, so the whole thing is just really good. The leftovers didn’t last long because I almost liked these better cold and they were too easy to snack on. There is a pear inside, so that makes it ok to eat 4 in a row – that’s the rule.

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Ingredients:
2 large ripe pears, peeled, cored
2¬†cans (8 oz each) Pillsbury¬ģ refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1/2 cup caramel topping
3/4 cup butter or margarine
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup chopped pecans
Heat oven to 350¬įF. Spray 13×9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray.¬†Cut each pear lengthwise into 8 slices. Unroll both cans of dough on work surface; separate into triangles. Spread about 1 teaspoon caramel topping on each triangle to within 1/4 inch of bottom edge. Place 1 pear slice across wide end of each dough triangle to within 1/4 inch of edge. Roll up, starting with wide end. Place point side down in baking dish.
In 1-quart saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat; stir in brown sugar and cinnamon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until brown sugar is dissolved. Pour over pears. Sprinkle with pecans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown.

 

Parmesan Crusted Chicken

25 Nov

My parents and my husband’s parents both live nearby; this means two Thanksgiving dinners. No complaining here! We had our first one last night, and I ate myself sick. So many good things to eat, not enough room for it all! But I did my best to fill every crevice of my stomach‚Ķover-flowing, I’m sure, into other organs as well. All in the name of good food.

This chicken wasn’t on the menu for our Thanksgiving feast, but it might make it next year! Who knew ridiculously tender chicken only required 4 ingredients?

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Ingredients

1/2 cups mayonnaise

1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

4 chicken breast

4 tsp seasoned bread crumbs

Directions

Preheat oven 425^ F. Place mayo and cheese in a small bowl and mix. Lay chicken breasts in baking dish and spread mayo mixture evenly atop each. Evenly sprinkle bread crumbs atop each. Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked thoroughly and juices run clear.

*Original recipe found here: http://www.keyingredient.com/recipes/60027340/parmesan-crusted-chicken-hellmanns-mayo-recipe/

Bacon Cheddar Pinwheels

21 Nov

“Mom! These are the best ever!” Palm to the forehead‚Ķwhy do I bother cooking anything that takes even a smidgen of effort? My kids always rant and rave about the things I throw together last minute, and poke their fork hesitantly at the things I slave over. I’ll tell you why I bother; I do it because I like my food to be interesting. So, I’ll keep doing it until one day my children develop taste buds and an appreciation for good food. In the mean time, however, I do thank my lucky stars that there are quick fixes out there that do taste pretty darn good.

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Ingredients:

1 pkg refrigerated crescent rolls

6 pieces of bacon, cooked crispy and broken in bits

shredded cheddar cheese

Lay out crescent roll dough in 2 rectangles, and cover with cheese and bacon bits. Tightly roll dough, sealing the edges and cut 4-5 individual pinwheels from each rectangle. Place on baking sheet and bake 375^F for 12-15 min.

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Play Dough

18 Nov

I’m way behind on posting lately – I have recipes piling up and I’m starting to forget about them. Similar to my laundry piles. I’d rather blog than fold laundry, so guess what gets my attention this morning? ūüôā

We made play dough at Grandma’s the other day. Everyone wanted different colors to begin with, but purple eventually won. Quick and easy and very salty! So don’t let the kiddo’s take a taste test. Or do‚Ķthey won’t do it again. ūüėČ

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Ingredients:

1 cup flour

2 tsp cream of tartar

1 cup water

1/2 cup salt

1 Tbsp oil

food coloring of choice

Mix dry ingredients together in a frying pan. Add wet ingredients and mix. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan. Put on wax paper, knead. Store in ziplock bag.

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