Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Key Lime Pie

I grabbed this off our cooking message board at work because I just realized I have some leftover and slightly burnt sugar and spice cookies in my freezer. I'm in a cleaning out the freezer kind of mood, plus a cleaning out my e-mail folders kind of mood. This recipe is from someone who grew up in Key West, so seems promising.

Key Lime Pie
1 can condensed milk
4 egg yolks (beat until yellow), save the whites
½ cup lime juice fresh or bottled
Graham cracker crust

Beat 1 egg white stiff, fold into the condensed milk, yolks and lime juice. Bake in oven at 350 until set; about 10-15 minutes. While cooling, beat the remaining egg whites and gradually add 6 tablespoons sugar and ½ teaspoon tartar to make a meringue. Top pie with meringue and place in oven until golden brown.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Turkey Chili Con Refried Beans

I’m not sure there is any recipe more subjective than chili. Do you honestly know any two people who make it the same? I love how creative chili can be, and how it can be tweaked with an ingredient or two and become something completely different. Here’s my take.

Turkey Chili Con Refried Beans

I add or subtract amounts depending on how many I’m feeding. Just don’t skimp on the seasonings.

Several garlic cloves, minced
Red and green peppers, minced
jalapeno, minced
Onion, minced
1 lb turkey burger (not the super lean kind)
1 package of chili mix
Garlic powder
Chili powder
3-5 cans of Mexican style or chili ready tomatoes
2 can fat free refried beans

Saute peppers, onions and garlic until soft. I used to have some chili flavored olive oil and would use that for a kickin' chili. Now I use water or chicken broth so the chili doesn’t get too oily. Once soft, add burger and chili package. Season liberally with seasonings. Then more garlic powder for good measure.

Add meat mixture to crock pot, add tomatoes and refried beans. I prefer to cook on low for 8 hours rather than high for 4. I was always check for flavor an hour in or so, then season as needed. Here’s where I differ from most. Ala Cincinnati chili, I serve mine over rice. Then top with cheese, sour cream and saltines.

Next time I make it, I’m also going to make these cheese muffins.

My new favorite frittata

I've made many a frittata but this is my new fav...such an easy and delicious way to make eggs for a crowd.

Spinach and Goat Cheese Frittata

1. 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2. 6 thin slices of pancetta (3 ounces) – or cubed (available at T-Joe’s)
3. 1 leek, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
4. 1 cup baby spinach – I used a bit more
5. 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes roughly chopped
6. 8 large eggs, beaten w/ splash of milk
7. Salt and freshly ground pepper
8. 3 ounces fresh goat cheese (approx. 1/2 cup)

Preheat the broiler. Heat the olive oil in an ovenproof 12-inch nonstick skillet. Add the pancetta and brown over moderately high heat, about 3 minutes. If you’re using slices, transfer the pancetta to a plate and let cool, then crumble it and add back to skillet.

Add the leek to the skillet and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until softened and lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add the spinach and tomatoes and sauté until spinach is nearly wilted, about 1 minute.

Season the eggs with salt and pepper and whisk in splash of milk and the goat cheese. Pour egg-mixture over the veggies in the skillet and use spatula to combine all ingredients. Bake on medium to low heat for about 15 minutes ( *While cooking run spatula around the edges of the pan to assure frittata isn’t sticking), until the frittata is nearly set. Place on middle rack under broiler just for a few minutes to complete cooking process and brown the top.

Slide the spinach and goat cheese frittata onto a cutting board or serving tray, cut it into wedges and serve at once. Serves about 4.

Tater-tot Casserole

Ok this sounds soooo bad but yet I really want to try it..perhaps tonight! Going to make a few minor adjustments to class it up a bit starting with fresh green-beans I just got at the market....also going to definitely use turkey and low sodium soup to keep it healthier...going to put meat and beans both down then cover with soup and tots and lastly I'm going to put under the broiler the last few minutes to really get those tots crispy! Mmmmmm, we'll see how it goes!


1 lb. ground beef or turkey
1 (16 oz.) pkg. French style green beans
1 can mushrooms (or fresh) - optional
1 pkg. tater tots
1 can cream of mushroom soup - or any other cream variety you like
1/2 C milk
1/4 C water

Brown ground meat. Put in a 9 x 13 inch pan sprayed with cooking spray. Cover meat with cream of mushroom soup mixed with milk and water. Top with green beans and tator tots and bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Slow-Cooker Chili Chicken Tacos

I looked back through the archives and I can't believe I never posted this recipe from Everyday Food. Talk about easy.

Slow-Cooker Chili Chicken Tacos

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 C prepared tomato salsa, plus more for serving (optional)
1 to 2 T chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo
1 T chili powder
Coarse salt and ground pepper
8 hard corn taco shells
Cilantro, shredded cheese, lime wedges, and sour cream, for serving (optional)

In slow cooker, combine chicken, garlic, salsa, chiles, chili powder, 1 t salt pepper. Cover; cook on high, 4 hours (or on low, 8 hours).

Oven method: preheat oven to 350 degrees. In step 1, use a 5-quart Dutch oven or ovenproof pot with a tight-fitting lid; add 2 C water. Cover; bake until chicken is fork-tender, about 2 hours.

Transfer chicken to a serving bowl, and shred, using two forks; moisten with cooking juices.
Serve in taco shells, with toppings, if desired.

Suggestions: chicken can also be used for burritos, quesadillas and other dishes calling for cooked chicken.

Margaret's Confetti Egg Strata

This breakfast casserole is my sister-in-law Margaret's recipe. Very adaptable and hard to keep from hungry people.

Confetti Egg Strata

1/2 loaf Italian bread, cut into 1 inch cubs
8 oz ham, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (1 1/2 cups)
1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 cup red or green pepper, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup green onions with tops, sliced
2 cups (8 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
10 eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups milk
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper

In a greased baking dish, layer half of bread, cheese and veggies. Repeat. Whisk milk and seasonings into eggs until well blended. Slowly pour evenly over layered ingredients. Cover with foil and refrigerate several hours overnight.

Bake uncovered at 350 for 55 to 60 minutes or until strata is set and top is golden brown.

As far as substitutions, you can do all kinds of things. I skip the mushrooms. Bacon or sausage both work great. I like a lot of green onions, so I load up on those. We eat a lot of sourdough bread and don't always make it through a loaf before it starts to go bad, so I freeze it. This last time I made it with all my leftover bread, including sourdough, boule, two croissants and some country Italian bread. You could make it Mexican with chorizo, salsa and Mexican cheese.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Corn Dip!

At a March Madness party I had an awesome, amazing corn dip. I've been meaning to get the recipe for tailgating. Besides asking the person whose house I had it at, I also polled the cooking discussion board at work. This is the one I'm making:

Corn Dip
2 10 oz. cans of Mexicorn
1 cup sour cream
1 cup mayo
2 jalapenos - chopped
1 10 oz. grated cheddar cheese (I like the larger shreds)
2-3 green onions - chopped
1 small can chopped green chilies
pinch of sugar

Mix all together. Chill and serve with Fritos scoops.

But I'm also including the ones I got from fellow cooking enthusiasts at work.

Spicy Corn Dip
2 pkgs. 8 oz cream cheese
1 can white shoepeg corn-drained
1 can yellow corn-drained
1 can diced green chilies
1 can Rotel tomatoes

Cube cream cheese and add all other ingredients into microwavable bowl. High for 5 minutes...stir...high for another 3-5 minutes.

Serve with large Frito scoops or tortilla chips.

Corn dip
2 things of cream cheese
1 pkg Ranch Dry Mix
1 can of corn
1 can of crushed black olives
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
Frito Scoops

I sometimes add in jalapeños and shredded cheese

Mexican Corn Dip
1/2 cup of mayo
8 oz. sour cream
6 green onions
1.5 cups of Mexican shredded cheese
2 cans of Green Giant Mexican corn (drained)

Jalapenos to taste (canned is fine)
Splash of jalapeno juice
Splash of milk to thin out if necessary

I use more green onions than what I've noted below, but you can certainly adjust to your preferences. Chill for several hours before serving. It sets up pretty firmly so I typically add a splash of milk or jalapeno juice to get it back to the consistency that I prefer. Serve with Fritos or tortilla chips.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Thanks, Amanda!

I have been wanting to make ice cream all summer and finally made this Chocolate Hazelnut Gelato recipe found by Amanda. It was heavenly!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Sautéed Baby Squash with Basil and Feta

I have squash and leeks from the crop share and we grow basil and ALWAYS have a lot of feta on hand so I am going to try this tonight as a side with our grilled salmon.

Photo and recipe courtesy of Cooking Light.

Crockpot Recipe for Vegetarian Black Bean and Tomatillo Soup with Lime and Cilantro

We had tomatillos from our crop share last week and I wanted to do more of a main dish with them rather than making salsa verde which is what 99% of the recipes I found were. We all liked the soup. I'd always thought that you couldn't put rice in the crockpot though so I was curious to see how that went. Sure enough, it gets way overcooked but it's almost like having soft lentils in the soup.

Here's the recipe and here's where I found it. She has good pictures.

Crockpot Recipe for Vegetarian Black Bean and Tomatillo Soup with Lime and Cilantro
(Makes about 6 servings, recipe created by Kalyn)

1 T olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
8 tomatillos, chopped in 1/4 inch pieces (about 2 cups chopped tomatillo)
1 T finely minced garlic
1 T dried cilantro (optional, but recommended)
2 tsp. dried Mexican Oregano
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 cans black beans, rinsed well
2 cans diced tomatoes with juice
4 cups vegetable broth or chicken stock
1 cup water
1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (or a bit less if you don't love lime like I do)
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish if desired

Chop onions and tomatillos into pieces about 1/4 inch. Heat olive oil in large frying pan, then saute onions and tomatillos about 5 minutes, then add garlic, dried cilantro, Mexican Oregano, and cumin and saute 1-2 minutes more. While vegetables saute, dump beans into a colander placed in the sink and rinse until no more foam appears.

Put tomatillo-onion mixture into large 4-5 quart crockpot. Add beans, tomatoes with juice, chicken stock, water, and brown rice. Cook on high for 4 hours (This could also be cooked on low for 8 hours.) Slow cookers can vary, so check and adjust the cooking time according to how hot your crockpot gets. After 4 hours (or 8 hours if using low) turn the crockpot to low setting, and let it cook 15 minutes to lower the temperature, then add the fresh lime juice and cilantro and cook 10 minutes on low. Serve hot, with additional chopped cilantro for garnish if desired.This recipe could be cooked on the stove. Follow directions above, but put ingredients into medium sized soup pot and add one cup more water. Cook at very low simmer for about one hour, then reduce heat for five minutes, then add lime juice and cilantro and simmer five minutes more. Serve hot, with additional chopped cilantro if desired.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Untested Breakfast Recipes

Mmm, these are some of the recipes I've flagged, but not yet tried.

Carrot Muffins
Strawberry Coffee Cake
Apple Tart
Homemade Bagels
Cottage Cheese Pancakes
Pink Grapefruit Yogurt Cake
Brown Sugar Bacon Waffles (which I've both had and made a variation of after being introduced to them by Joe)

Some of my favorite breakfast foods to eat or bring when staying at someones house are banana bread and strawberry bread. At home we usually do waffles or buttermilk pancakes (recipes from Joy of Cooking) or Anthony makes really tasty egg sandwiches.

I'll post a few other favorites like danish puff and my sister-in-law Margaret's confetti egg casserole. Photo from here.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Breakfast Foods and Recipes

I've been thinking about breakfast foods, in part because of tailgating, but also because cold mornings make me want toasty good things to start the day off right.

Should we do some breakfast related posts this month?