Friday, October 31, 2008

Revision to previous post

Please note that my previous post, advertising another food blog, is in no way meant to detract from the amazing and totally comprehensive blog that we are all currently viewing. In fact, don't even think about looking at that other blog. Recipe Go 'Round is the ideal blog for us all.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Amazing Website

Hello friends! I found this AMAZING website with soooo many beautiful and interesting recipes. I highly recommend that you take a look. Every recipe has a lovely picture attached. Here are some examples of recipes that interest me: peach gnocchi, amazing black bean brownies, big slurp dumping soup, and many more. Check it out:

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Two Estranged Carbs, One Delicious Reunion

Beer Bread.

It's so fast, and so good. It uses maybe $1.50 of ingredients, and takes 0 effort.

3 cups flour (sifted)
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 (12 ounce) can beer
1/2 cup melted butter (1/4 cup will do just fine)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Mix dry ingredients. Mix in beer.
Pour into a greased loaf pan.
Pour melted butter over mixture.
Bake 1 hour, remove from pan and cool for at least 15 minutes.

I tried this recipe last weekend and didn't believe it. Especially the bit about pouring the butter right on top. When I put it in the oven, I expected disaster for sure. But everyone at the table was delighted. Using the full stick of butter makes for an extra delicious annd crunchy loaf. We used Pyramid Thunderhook IPA, which gave the bread a hoppy zing. I want to try it with a dark stout next.

Spanish Rice

This was really easy, and totally delicious. Double or triple the recipe and eat it alllll week long.

1 T veggie oil
2 slices bacon, minced (I didn't use this, but I bet it's good)
1/2 C chopped onion
1/2 C chopped green bell pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1 C long-grain white rice
1 3/4 C chicken broth
1 C chopped drained canned tomatoes
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

In a 10-inch ovenproof skillet or casserole dish, cook the oil, bacon, onion, bell pepper, and garlic over medium heat about 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir until well-coated. Add everything else, bring to a boil, then cover and put in the oven. (note - I don't have an ovenproof skillet, so I transferred everything to a bread loaf pan and it worked great). Bake about 25 minutes or until fluffy and awesome.

I added chicken, shrimp, and mushrooms, and it was a full meal. Basically a really great and easy way to make rice more interesting.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Veggie Lasagna

•1/2 box lasagna noodles or ~0.5 lbs lasagna noodles, cooked according to directions on box.
•1 Jar Pasta Sauce of your choice
•16 oz mozzarella, shredded
•A container of Ricotta Cheese (not sure how many ounces are in it)
•Two Eggs
•Two Zucchinis, sliced into rounds
•A gaggle of mushrooms. I had a bunch, I think 8 or so large white buttons, sliced
•1 Package Frozen Spinach, also prepared according to directions and set aside.

Preheat oven to 375˚

1) Take all of the ricotta cheese, and 3/4's of the sliced mozzarella, and mix together in a large bowl. Also add two eggs to this cheesy mixture and make sure it is well blended. You could also at this point mix in the cooked spinach to make things easy, but I made things hard on me and did not as will be seen below.

2) Grease up a baking pan with spray, olive oil, or butter. Anything will work, you just don't want too much sticking.
2) Lay down a layer of zucchini slices, and pepper/salt generously
3) A layer of sliced mushrooms
4) A layer of spinach goodness
5) Layer of Ricotta/Mozz/Egg mixture
6) Slap some noodles down, depending on the size of the pan, 3.5 noodles will do.
7) Cover in some sauce!
8) Repeat these steps indefinitely until you run out of things to add.
9) Once you have your top layer of sauce, cover with the remaining 1/4 of the shredded mozzarella on top.
10) Cover this whole 'Mesopotamia with aluminum foil and pop it in the oven for 30 minutes.*
11) Rip off the aluminum foil and let bake uncovered for 10 more minutes. Longer if you like it extra crunchy.
12) Take out of oven, let cool for ~10 minutes or until you cannot wait any longer and eat. I like it with salad and crusty bread.

**So someone in the Corral used all the aluminum foil and so I baked mine uncovered for the entire time. If you do this, it may take a bit longer for everything to get done. The veggies remain toothsome and the noodles are crunchy. You may want to have some sauce (or gravy) on the side if you like it wetter.

It makes a ton of lasagna. And is good energy for tackling reaction mechanisms.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Potato Salad?

I was perusing (a common work day ritual) when I found what looks to be a delicious recipe for potato salad, with goat cheese. Here is the link and I will copy the recipe below). Personally, I LOVE potatoes and most things made with them. A personal favorite is potato salad and I am curious if anyone who reads this blog might want to share their favorite potato salad recipe? Thanks so much!

You can use Yukon golds, fingerlings or red bliss potatoes for this warm, creamy salad. The goat cheese melts into the dressing when you toss it with the hot potatoes.

Warm Potato Salad With Goat Cheese

For the dressing:

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 small or medium garlic clove, minced or pureed
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, or for a low-fat dressing use 1/4 cup low-fat yogurt or buttermilk and 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

For the salad:

1 1/2 pounds Yukon gold, fingerling or red bliss potatoes
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 to 4 tablespoons finely chopped red onion (to taste), rinsed with cold water and drained
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 ounces soft goat cheese
2 to 3 sage leaves, cut in thin slivers (optional)

1. Make the dressing. Whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper, and garlic. Whisk in the olive oil or the yogurt and olive oil. Taste and adjust seasonings, Set aside.

2. Scrub the potatoes and cut into 3/4-inch dice if large. If using fingerlings cut in 3/4 inch slices. Steam above 1 inch of boiling water until tender but not mushy, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the heat and toss while hot in a bowl with salt and pepper to taste, the onions, parsley, goat cheese, and the dressing. Sprinkle the sage over the top and serve.

Yield: Serves 6

Advance preparation: You can make the dressing several hours before making the salad.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Pasta Sauce Magee, with Shrimp

Last night Bret and I made a really yummy pasta sauce for our dear friends Mary and Paul. It is really easy and quite tasty.

One onion, chopped
Garlic, couple cloves chopped
One orange (or any color) bell pepper, chopped, or slices
Handful of white mushrooms, sliced
One can stewed tomatoes
Seven or eight cherry tomatoes
White wine
Basil, bay leaves, other herbs that you like

Sautee the onions and garlic until soft. Add bell pepper and sautee until a bit soft. Add a hearty amount of white wine and the can of stewed tomatoes. Let simmer for a few minutes. Add the cherry tomatoes whole. The tomatoes get extra tasty as they stew in the hot sauce. Add the mushrooms and herbs and let simmer until everything is cooked through and delicious. Season with salt and pepper and serve in heaping spoonfuls over fresh pasta. We also added cooked shrimp on top of the pasta and sauce. You could also add unwrapped sausage and cook it in the sauce. This is another nice variation that goes well over pasta. We served this with a simple salad and bread.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Buttermilk Potato Bread

Made this for Jessica's birthday party, and it seemed to be of at least moderate popularity. I love it, and it goes great with brie, salad, or really, any meal of your choosing.

3/4 C freshly cooked potatoes, mashed (but not too much - it's awesome to find potato chunks in the bread)
1 stick butter
2 C room-temperature buttermilk
2 packages (1 1/2 T) active dry yeast
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 T sugar
2 1/2 tsp salt
6 1/4 C flour

While the potatoes are still warm, stir in the butter. Add the buttermilk, yeast, eggs, sugar, and salt and mix well. Then add in the flour very gradually, until you get a dough that's moist but not sticky. It takes a fair amount of mixing and kneading to get it to the right consistency, but press on - it'll get there.

Knead the dough about 10 minutes, then transfer into an oiled bowl and turn one to cover; cover with plastic wrap and let sit 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until the dough has doubled in size. Punch it down, not too hard, divide in two, then lay (seam-side down) in two greased bread pans. Let sit another hour (it will again almost double in size), then brush the tops of the loaves with a beaten egg with a pinch of salt in it.

Bake in a 375 oven for 40-45 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the bottom of the pans sound hollow when tapped. Let cool for 1/2 hr, then cut and serve!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Novelicious Pumpkin Butterscotch Chip Cookies

It's crazy, right? Pumpkin and butterscotch? Yes, it's a novelty cookie. But it works.

These little gems end up being more like bite sized cake-breads thanks to all the moisture (pumpkin and oil), but they have a fantastic flavor thanks to the surprising little butterscotch bits.

2 C. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
1 C. white sugar*
1/2 C. canola or corn oil**
1 C. canned pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla
1 C. butterscotch chips

* (could reduce a tad?)
** (try butter instead for crunchier cookies?)

Rack in middle of oven. Preheat to 325 degrees.

Sift flour, powder, soda, salt, and cinnamon. In another bowl, beat eggs and sugar until smooth. Mix oil, pumpkin, and vanilla until blended. Mix in flour mixture until incorporated. Mix in butterscotch chips.

Scoop out 1/4 C. mounds at least 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Smooth out the mounds with a spatula before baking to get a prettier cookie (they end up coming out about how they go in).

Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, until the top are firm and toothpick just comes out clean -- about 16 minutes. Cool, and dust lightly with powerdered sugar.

Strangely, these cookies only get more and more moist the longer they sit around. Experiment with butter to keep that in check. Or just eat them up faster.

Lemon Ginger cookie sandwiches

Just made these tonight with my friend Isaac - they came out pretty well, though are insanely rich.


2 C unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 t. salt
2 1/2 t. ground ginger
1 t. ground cinnamon
1 C (2 sticks) butter, room temp.
1 C powdered sugar
2 t. finely grated lemon zest
1 t. vanilla
1 C whole blanched almonds, toasted then finely ground (4 oz)

Lemon filling

1/2 C (1 stick) butter
1 1/2 C powdered sugar
2 t. lemon zest
1 TB lemon juice

Sift all the dry stuff. Mix butter and sugar until smooth, with an electric beater if you have one. Add the zest, vanilla, and almonds. Mix in the flour until it's just incorporated. Divide the dough in half and form into 2 6-inch disks - wrap in plastic and refrigerate 40 minutes.

Pre-heat oven to 325. Roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness, and cut out disks with your favorite round thing. This recipe is actually suppose to make only 9 cookies, but I made them a little smaller and wound up with more cookies. Since the recipe has THREE STICKS OF BUTTER in it, it's probably a good idea. For half of the cookies (ie, the tops of the sandwiches) it can be cute to poke out a smaller hole - donut-style - so that the filling oozes out of the sandwiches. 

Bake the cookies for 20 minutes, or until lightly brown. Note: They don't actually change color all that much.

For the filling: With an electric mixer, mix butter, sugar, zest, and lemon juice until smooth. 

Let cookies cool, then spread filling and make the cookies. Then, eat them. Store in the fridge but serve at room temperature.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Pickled Red Onions

I had these at my birthday bbq a few weeks ago.  You can add whatever spice mixture you want, I used these for something slightly sweeter and hot, but you can go savory if you like.

adapted from David Leibowitz:

~3/4 cup white vinegar
~3 TB sugar
pinch salt
1 cinnamon stick
5 Cardamom seeds
small dried chili pepper
1 bay leaf
•large red onion, peeled and thinly sliced into rings.

1) heat vinegar, salt, sugar, and seasonings until boiling
2) add onion slices, submerge completely in boiling liquid, lower heat, simmer for ~30-60 seconds
3) Remove from heat and cool completely
4) Transfer to a jar and refrigerate.

Should last a couple of weeks.  Really good on hot dogs, pulled pork, any type of sandwich where you want some bite.

Mac 'n' Cheese Pancakes

You read that right.

Scrambled eggs, Ramsey-style

A pretty great way of scrambling eggs, if you have a little time. Keep in mind the eggs will reduce a LOT. Also keep in mind they will be delicious.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Apple Crisp

This is a really good recipe for right now because there are all kinds of good baking apples available now.

1 cube butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup oatmeal
1 tsp cinnamon

6 crisp baking apples - Granny Smiths, Gravenstein or your favorite apple that you use for apple pie - needs to be tart

Peel and slice apples and place in a greased 9x12 baking dish and toss with a little bit of sugar and cinnamon.

Make topping: Add all ingredients together mix with a pastry cutter till you have small clumps

Pat the topping on top of the apples and bake at 350 for 1 hour

Serve warm or at room temperature. Adding a scoop of vanilla ice cream makes this very nice. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Matthew's Mexican Casserole

(It's lame my mom named this one after my brother, but whatever. It is still pretty darn tasty)

1 lb lean ground beef
1 tsp onion powder (I chop an onion real fine - aprox 1/4 cup or a little less)
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 16 oz can stewed tomatoes, chopped (I cut these up in the pan)
1 15 oz can ranch style beans, drained
1 egg
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1 8 oz carton cottage cheese
4 oz slightly crushed tortilla/corn chips

Brown the beef along with the spices & drain off the liquid.
Add stewed tomatoes (these are usually pretty chunky out of the can & need additional chopping) and drained beans. Allow these to cook together until the tomatoes seem done to your liking.

Mix egg, cheese and cottage together in a bowl.

In a 7 x 11" baking dish, spread half of the meat mixtureTop with all the egg & cheese mixture then sprinkle over this with the crushed chipsCover with remaining meat mixturePlace some whole chips on top and cover with the grated cheese

Microwave on High for 8 Min. - Rotate dish once if your microwave doesn't turn

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Turkey cakes

These cakes are delicious and can be made with chicken, too - but with Thanksgiving around the corner, is a great way to use up leftover turkey. I've also been quite flexible with the recipe, especially with the herbs, so... experiment! One thing I've enjoyed adding is corn.

1 C onion, diced
1/2 C celery, diced
2 T butter
2 C cooked turkey or chicken
1 1/2 C bread crumbs
1/4 C chopped fresh parsley
1 T chopped fresh sage
1 T chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
4 eggs
4 T vegetable oil

Saute the onionjs and celery in butter over medium heat until soft. Transfer to a large bowl, let cool slightly, then add meat, bread crumbs, herbs, salt, and pepper. Fold in the eggs.

To form the cakes, lightly pack the mixture into a 1/3-cup measure, and then press down into 3-inch cakes on a flour-lined baking sheet. Chill at least 15 minutes, and dust the tops of the cakes with flour.

Fry the cakes in two batches in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat using 2 T oil per batch. Cook until golden, about 4 minutes, then flip and fry 1-2 minutes more.

I like to eat these with tomatoes and avocado.

Monday, October 6, 2008

The best chocolate pie in the WORLD!

Another great one from my Grandma.

Here's Grandmama's Chocolate Pie Recipe

3/4 cup Sugar
4 Heaping Tbsp. Sifted flour
1/4 Cup Hershey Cocoa

Mix dry ingredients well in your sauce pan -- to that add:

1 1/4 cup milk -- add a little at a time, on fairly high heat, stir constantly -- When hot, cut back heat to medium
and cook 'til it becomes lumpy -- keep stirring 'til the lumps fade away and remove from heat

2 Egg Yolks (save the whites for your meringe) Beat yolks well & add small spoonful of chocolate mixture to egg.
Keep adding spoonfuls ( 4 - 5 ) to the yolk. This will help "cook" the egg without it curdling

Add egg mixture to the pot & place back on low-medium heat and add:

1/2 Stick butter
1 tsp. Vanilla

Mix well & pour into your slightly pre-cooked pie shell


2 Egg Whites
4 level Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. Vanilla

Beat egg whites in mixer 'til forms soft peaks. Gradually add sugar 1 spoonful at a time and beat well. Add vanilla and stir into the whites. Spread on pie after it has cooled a bit

Bake @ 325 aprox 15 min.

The Best Chocolate Cake in the WORLD!

From my Grandma, to my Mom, to me, to YOU! Enjoy!

Granmama's Chocolate Cake

Preheat oven at 400 Bake time: 20 - 30 min.

In mixing bowl: Mix these together really well
2 cups Flour
2 Cups Sugar

In Sauce pan: Bring this to a boil
1 Stick butter
4 Tbsp. Cocoa
1/2 Cup oil (Not Olive Oil)
1 Cup water

Pour this over the sugar & flour mixture and add:
1 level tsp baking powder
1 level tsp baking soda
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla

Mix well
Fold in 2 beaten eggs
Bake in 9 x 14 greased & lightly floured pan
Let cake cool for at least 10 min. before icing

For the Icing: This is just the recipe off the Hershey Cocoa can which I like a lot.

1 Stick butter
2/3 cup Hershey cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla

Melt butter & stir in cocoa
Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating on medium speed to spreading consistencey
Add more milk, if needed
Stir in vanilla

Onion Soup

This past weekend I spent a lot of time with a colleague from China. He owned two Chinese restaurants in the 70s in Palo Alto and he gave us a very simple recipe for Onion Soup. I haven’t tried it yet so no guarantees, but it is apparently a great base for other soups. Written out here it seems much less exciting than when Bill told me the recipe. Just try to imagine an elderly man describing the taste and smell of each common, yet amazing ingredient.

Heat a small amount of oil in a large, sturdy pot. Add about 4 or 5 sliced onions and saute until a lovely golden brown color. Add a small amount of butter to coat the onions with the rich flavor. Add a decent amount of any type of wine you like, either white or red. Add flour to make the broth thicker and to coat the onions. Afterwards, add water and simmer until the flavors are deliciously balanced and the desired consistency. Yum!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Bestemoder's Klejner

Bestemoder Jørgensen's Klejner (pronounced Kliner)

3 Eggs
1 cup Sugar
1/4 cup (whipping) Cream
1/2 cup Butter
1 1/2 tsp Cardamom (open pods, the crush the seeds inside)
1 tsp Baking Powder
3 & 1/2 cups flour (more or less)
vegetable oil for frying
powdered sugar, sifted and in a big bowl

Blend softened butter and sugar, then stir in the eggs and cream. Sift flour and baking powder. Add to first mixture. This should make a soft dough, yet stiff enough to roll. Chill the dough for at least two hours.

Roll dough out to about 1/8 inch thickness (thin) on a floured surface and cut into diamond shapes (a roller for cutting pastry helps here). Make a slit in the center and pull one point (end) through the slit.

Heat one or two frying pans half-full of oil (depending on how many people participate in this project! - if only one person, one pan is enough).

Drop a bit of dough in the oil to see if oil is hot enough (dough rises to the surface if hot enough). Place 3-5 klejner in the oil, turn them when they BEGIN to turn golden and have risen to the surface, then take quickly out of pan with a knitting needle (the Danish way) or, if no needle, use a pairs of tongs or skewers (for kebabs), and put on paper towels on a plate.

If children are involved in this (such as Katy and Bret (Jørgensen) Turner), they can do the following part with no risk of getting burned and much risk of getting cavities:

Sift powdered sugar lightly on klejner, or, more fun for kids, let them roll (LIGHTLY) the klejner in the powdered sugar. Place on a plate (or in the mouth if the parents aren't watching too carefully).

These doughnut like cookies need to be kept in an air tight container or in the fridge, well sealed, since they don't keep well. They are beautiful and delicious, well worth the work, and go very well with Christmas!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

A few handy cooking tips

Important words have been bolded for your reading ease & pleasure. If you've got any great tips, share them in the comments. Soon we will have a veritable army of tips, and we will be unstoppable.

- To remove excess fat from chunky broth or stew, just place a lettuce leaf or two on the surface... and the fat will be absorbed.

- To hull strawberries without a huller (holla!), find a sturdy plastic drinking straw and push it through the bottom of the berry and up through the leafy end.
- To help keep your stovetop clean, place an overturned baking sheet over the unused burners. The baking pan will catch much of the grease and splatter and is much easier to clean. 
- Bonus oil tip! If you spill oil on the ground, sprinkle some flour over it, wait a few minutes, and it will be much easier to clean.
- To unscrew a small cap that just won't unscrew, grip a nutcracker around it and turn with that. Of course, you have to have a nutcracker for that.
- To make frothy milk without an espresso machine, just use an electric egg beater.

- When you have a party, and want to serve a lot of cool tasty beverages, simply fill your washing machine with ice and drinks. When the party's over, run the machine's spin cycle to remove the water.
- To cut very crusty bread, turn it on its side - easier to cut that way.
- To store bacon - roll up the bacon strips tightly in twos or threes or fours, and store them in a ziplock bag. This avoids the issues of frozen strips being impossible to thaw later.