Thursday, April 30, 2009

Side Dishes

Sooooo, anyone have good summer/spring side dishes? That's the place I sometimes fall down on when it comes to sides that work well when grilling or you don't want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Simple Broccoli Recipes?

Did anyone by chance try any of these recipes? I made the broccoli bow ties for the second time (the first time I accidentally put in 2 T of salt, not 2t of salt). We were pretty underwhelmed. Anyone have a broccoli recipe that is really tasty?

Friday, April 10, 2009

My Grandma's Noodles

My family in Montana looks forward to holidays together for a lot of reasons but one of the main ones is Grandma Jane's homemade noodles. They are just simple buttered noodles but they are, oh so good. Grandma now has the Kitchenaid mixer and noodle maker attachment but up until a few years ago, she would hand cut the noodles. I cannot imagine.

For my birthday this year, my parents bought me the noodle maker attachment and I've been a bit intimidated by it. I finally made noodles last week though and they turned out great! Tonight I will be making four batches to serve with Easter dinner.

Homemade Noodles

3 egg yolks
1 whole egg
1 T. water
1 c. flour or as needed to make a stiff dough (I added a bit more to make the dough less sticky)

Slightly beat eggs and add water. Mix in flour. Knead until smooth. Roll thin. Cut narrow or wide as you like. Spread apart on a tea towel to dry. Cook noodles for about four minutes. Drain and add desired amount of butter.

(I also followed the tips and instructions in the manual for the attachment)

The cut noodles drying:

The cooked noodles:Proof that they were good:

Great ham sandwiches

Ham Sandwiches...coming from someone who doesn't even like ham, I LOVE these sandwiches! They are so easy to make and freeze great so you can keep them frozen for a dinner or lunch in a pinch. The recipe sounds a little odd to read but trust me they are good!

1lb chipped ham- I order good baked ham shaved
1/2lb american or cheddar cheese shredded or in small chunks
1 small onion chopped
6 hard boiled eggs (cooled and chopped)
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup chili sauce
My mom also adds pepper flakes for flavor

Mix all ingredients in bowl. Spoon into buns & wrap each sandwich individually in foil & keep in freezer till ready to eat. Heat sandwiches (still in foil) in 350 degree oven 15-20 min or until hot.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Italian Easter Bread

Not sure if there are any other Italians in the group- or anyone who has tasted this delicious bread but I found this blog and loved her pics...I could almost taste the bread!

My Mom has made Easter bread alot like this every year since I can remember. I've never made it yet myself and contemplated doing it this year but alas I do not have a Kitchenaid mixer so I'm not sure I would be alot of work just by hand! Maybe next year...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Spring for Lemon Thyme Bars!

I was flipping through the channels yesterday and had to stop when I saw Giada De Laurentiis making these Lemon Thyme Bars for a spring dessert. They looked super easy to make and I love that they combine lemon and thyme in a sweet combination. I will definitely be making them in the near future and love having another reason to grow fresh herbs in the summer!
Picture from here.

Mini Meatloaves

We had some seriously (y)ucky weather the past two days, so I was craving a comfort food meal. I made these mini meatloaves last night and they were tasty! Also, they qualify for meals that can be frozen for later use. Recipe from here.

Mini Honey-Mustard Meatloaves
olive oil for baking sheet
2 tablespoons honey mustard (I used honey dijon)
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 pound ground meat (I used turkey)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1 cup shredded white cheddar (I used a yummy six month aged cheddar)
Coarse salt and ground pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Brush a rimmed baking sheet with oil. In a small bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons mustard and ketchup.

In a medium bowl, combine meat, egg, panko, 1/2 cup cheddar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and teaspoon pepper. Form into four 2-by-4-inch loaves; place on baking sheet. Brush with mustard mixture; top with remaining 1/2 cup cheddar.

Transfer meatloaves to upper rack of oven. Bake until loaves are cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes.

The panko made the meatloaves light and fluffy, plus the mustard/ketchup mix was all tart and tangy. I served with salad and yukon gold smashed potatoes. Yum!

Friday, April 3, 2009

New (and better?) chocolate chips

You know how everyone has a signature dish they bring to parties or family gatherings? Mine is chocolate chip cookies.I know terribly boring, but I make big honking ones that soft in the middle and crunchy on the edge cookies. My secret is not my recipe (it is the one of the back of the toll house bag), but a few things I do differently.

Last week someone who'd had my cookies gave me this article from Cooks Illustrated about their search for the perfect chocolate chip cookie to see if the methodology was the same. I never understood the science behind why my cookies turned out like they do, but the article explained everything. This is all a roundabout way to get to my new favorite chocolate chip:

When I made these drunkcakes, I bought some Ghiradelli 60% cacoa bittersweet chips because I was lazy and didn't wan to chop up a bar of chocolate. I had some leftover, so I tossed them in with the last batch of cookies I made. They made the cookies so much better! The bittersweet mixed with the sugary dough was so tasty. They had intense flavor and the chips spread out into thin disks, so there's more to go around. And lo and behold, the Cook's Illustrated article rated them as the top chocolate chip. Yum!

image from here.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Best (BEST) Balsamic

When we were in Florence, I picked up some just pressed extra virgin olive oil (gone) and two bottles of Manicardi balsamic vinegar (almost gone). I wish I'd bought cases of each because they both revolutionized salads at our house. The olive oil was citrusy, light and flavorful. The balsamic is rich, tangy and tart, thinking about it makes the sides of my tongue get all prickly.

Anyway....if you happen to come across Manicardi balsamic vinegar, buy it! And let me know where you can purchase it. I found it on Amazon, via EuroGrocer, but its $23.99!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Best Ever Steak Marinade

Yes, the name is silly but I didn't make it up and it was really good marinade.

Now that grilling season is upon us (who are we kidding, I grill all year long), here is a great steak marinade that I tried for the first time last week. I didn't have shallots on hand and it was fine without them.


Ladies? What think we?