Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Orange Scones

I used a few scone recipes I found around the internet to create these little beauties. I did not put a glaze on them since they were nice and tasty plain, but there were many orange glaze recipes around that would work well on them.

3 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Cut in:
3/4 cup butter

Mix in:
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup buttermilk
zest of one orange

Roll out on floured surface into a large circle.
Cut into 10 wedges.
Brush with milk.
Bake 375* for about 9 minutes.

*I've been baking everything with convection lately, so you may need to increase the time if you bake with in conventional oven.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Easy Ground Beef Vegetable Casserole

I found this recipe a long time ago when I was wanted to do something different with ground beef. I love tacos and hamburgers, but there must be more out there, right?

I'm sure you could add other things-peas, shredded zucchini, even greens. Tonight I am going to substitute toyko turnips for the potatoes. And I might throw in some sweet peppers. We'll see how it goes...

1 to 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef, browned
1/2 cup chopped onion
salt and pepper
3 large potatoes, sliced
2 Carrots, shredded
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
Brown ground beef in a skillet with chopped onions; cook until onions are tender. Drain off excess fat; transfer ground beef and onion to casserole dish. Add layer of sliced raw potatoes, sprinkle with salt and pepper; shred carrots to cover potatoes.

Put soup over carrots. Bake at 350° for 40 to 50 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Sprinkle shredded cheese over top and bake for about 5 minutes longer, or until cheese is melted.This easy ground beef and potato casserole serves 4 to 6.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

And We're Back...

I know, I know...it's been a LONG TIME since I've posted anything here. But I have a good excuse. Okay, like 14 good excuses. I had a baby and we moved out of my sister's house and into our new house that had no kitchen. (None, zip...we had completely gutted it. It didn't even have a floor). The last 9 months has been a labor of love by my husband (love for me, not the kitchen) as he put our kitchen together piece by piece. The refrigerator, the tile, the cabinets, the sinks...on and on. Finally, this past Sunday night, the remaining vital piece went in...the oven and stove. We rejoiced by making a batch of chocolate chip cookies...that hadn't happened in a while. And while I could have posted many recipes, especially over the summer while we were grilling EVERYTHING...and I do mean everything, I just couldn't do one extra thing like blog about it. But now, I feel motivated. My new beautiful range has brought back my love of finding new recipes, tweaking old ones, and writing them down so I can repeat it. Plus, I love my oven. It's a dream. And it has a blue interior. It just makes me smile. Even when the baby is screaming at me while I'm trying to get dinner on the table. Oh, my Elextrolux 30 inch Free Standing Gas Range...I love you. And I love my husband for installing it.

So I hope you'll join me again as I get back into this cooking thing. Not that I haven't been cooking over the last 9 months. I have. I should post about everything you can make in an electric fry pan...that is one of the most versatile little kitchen devices every created. I was kind of sad when I put it away the other day knowing I probably wouldn't use it again for a long while...but then I looked at my range and quickly got over it.

Maple Mustard Pork Tenderloin with Mashed Sweet Potatoes

I found these recipes separately. I was really just after a simple recipe for pork tenderloin. I found this Maple Mustard one on About.com. Easy. Then I realized I had these two sweet potatoes that needed to be used, but I only had about 30 minutes until I wanted everything on the table. Baking them in any way was out, so I quickly searched for a mashed sweet potato recipe, figuring it was faster to boil them than bake. I found one on MarthaStewart.com. And it is even easier than boiling...it steams them so you don't have to mess with dumping out boiling water while trying not to lose any bits of potato down the drain. Priceless.

I wouldn't change anything about the pork recipe, except I ended up having a bunch of glaze left over. I think it would have covered two tenderloins. I used one of the tenderloins from Costco...I didn't realize two came in the package, and since I wasn't sure how far the glaze would go, I only baked one. I could have easily done both of them.

With the sweet potatoes, I followed the recipe exactly, but I think you could cut the milk mixture, even by half. The sweet potatoes ended up beautifully creamy and rich, but I just kept thinking about how fattening they were with all that butter and half & half. I think you could reduce the amount of liquid between a 3/4 and 1/2 of the amount. It just depends on how creamy (and fattening) you want them.

Mustard Pork Tenderloin
1 to 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin (I think mine was about 2 pounds)
salt and pepper
1 to 2 TBS olive oil (enough to coat the skillet)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
3 TBS Dijon mustard

1. Line a baking dish (or cookie sheet) with foil and spray with cooking spray. Heat oven to 350.
2. Wash pork, trim excess fat and silver skin, and season with salt and pepper.
3. In large heavy skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add pork and sear on all sides.
4. Combine syrup and mustard in small bowl and whisk until smooth.
5. Place pork in baking dish and roast for 12 minutes. Brush generously with about half of the mustard mixture and roast for about 5 minutes more, or until the pork reaches about 155 degrees.
6. Heat remaining sauce in microwave to boil.
7. Let pork rest for about 5 minutes, then slice and drizzle with remaining sauce.

This easily served 3 adults and one child.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed in about 1 inch cubes
1/2 cup half and half
3 TBS butter
2 TBS brown sugar

1. Steam potatoes in steam basket for about 15 minutes, or until tender.
2. In separate saucepan, combine half and half, butter and brown sugar. Heat on low until melted, stirring often.
3. When potatoes are done, mash with either a masher or in a mixer (I used my Kitchen Aid mixer). Add milk mixture and mash until just mixed. Season with salt and pepper.

I would say this makes about 4 serving.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Chocolate Crackle Cookies

These are cookies that my mom made a lot while I was growing up. This is not her recipe, but they sure taste the same. I found this one somewhere on cooks.com. They are relatively simple, and super tasty. DON'T cook them on an airbake cookie sheet. I used a plain old cheap aluminium pan and they came out perfectly. The ones on my airbake were too flat and crispy.

1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 c. brown sugar, packed
1/3 c. salad oil
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt

About 1 c. powdered sugar (to roll cookies in)

Melt chocolate (I did in the microwave for a few minutes on very low heat).
Combine with sugar and oil.
Add eggs, one at a time; beat well.
Add vanilla.
Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to chocolate mixture.
Chill dough for at least an hour.
Roll dough into teaspoon size balls and drop/roll around in powdered sugar to coat.
Place on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 350 for 10-12 minutes.
Makes 4 dozen.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Cranberry Apple Sauce

I have never been a cranberry sauce fan. That gelatinous stuff that comes out of the can has never looked appealing. But this...this was really good. I know it's well past Thanksgiving, and this is technically a Thanksgiving recipe, but it was so tasty I have to write it down here. I'm thinking of using it again at Christmas.

Cranberry Apple Sauce

1 cup apple cider (I used regular apple juice)
1/2 cup sugar
1 Braeburn or Gala apple, peeled and grated (I used Gala)
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground cloves
1 12 oz. bag fresh or frozen cranberries (I used fresh)
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
salt to taste

Boil cider, sugar, apple, cinnamon, and cloves in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add cranberries and simmer 10-12 minutes, or until berries burst and sauce thickens. (I had to constantly "pop" the cranberries as they were cooking. It took about 15 minutes for it to thicken) Stir in vinegar, season with salt, and chill at least 2 hours before serving.

Can be made up to 2 days ahead.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

What Santa's Workshop looks like in these parts...

So, my addition to Arlene's fab blog this evening is not healthy. No way to sneak veggies into this recipe, no wheat germ mixed in. Pure unhealth.

And it is on the brain tonight because every year, I make huge quantities of this to put into gift bags for my husband's coworkers.

White Chocolate Peppermint Bark

1 bag white choc. morsels
1 cup Rice Krispees
3 candy canes

1. Put candy canes in plastic bag and crush with cooking mallet, rolling pin, or hammer.
2. Melt choc. (50% power)
3. Stir in Krispees.

Spoon choc/Krispees onto wax paper (on tray) and spread out with large spoon. Pizza trays work well. Add crushed candy after this is spread out- sprinkle around and mash in. Chill ~half an hour. Break into brittle/bark pieces.

Easy & fun!

Jen McCarthy