Friday, February 22, 2008

Ginger Shrimp

-1 tablespoon olive oil
-1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
-3 tablespoons finely chopped ginger
-1 cup white wine
-1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
-8 ounces snow peas, cut in half on the diagonal
-1/3 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
-1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
-1/4 teaspoon black pepper
-One 10-ounce box (1 1/2 cups) couscous
-lemon zest and lemon juice
-Fish sauce
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Stir in the garlic and ginger and cook 2 minutes. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Nestle the shrimp in the onions and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the snow peas and stir to combine. Continue cooking until the shrimp are bright pink and cooked through, about 2 minutes. Stir in the cilantro, salt, pepper juice of half a lemon, zest of half a lemon and fish sauce. Meanwhile, cook the couscous according to the package directions. After couscous has cooked add left over cilantro, more lemon zest and lemon juice to the couscous pot and fluff with a fork. Divide the couscous among individual bowls and spoon the shrimp and snow peas over the top.

Monday, February 18, 2008

York Peppermint Patty Brownies

My friend Holly brought these amazing York Peppermint Patty brownies to bookclub last month. They were so awesome that I thought I would try the recipe out. Holly told me that she found her recipe on the back of the baking bag (24 pieces) of Yorks. So, I went to the store thinking no big deal I'll follow the recipe on the back it will be simple. Well....the bag of 24 pieces I bought didn't have the recipe so I called Tim at home panicking and asked him to look up the recipe online (thank goodness for technology). The result was more of a peppermint and chocolate cake then brownies, but it was still really good. Soon I'll try to find the bag of with the real recipe and try it again. Hmmmm look forward to a second York Peppermint Patty Brownies post.
-24 small (1-1/2 inch) YORK Peppermint Patties
-1-1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter or margarine, melted
-3 cups sugar
-1 tablespoon vanilla extract
-5 eggs
-2 cups all-purpose flour
-1 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
-1 teaspoon baking powder
-1 teaspoon salt

-Heat oven to 350°F.(325°F. for glass baking dish). Remove wrappers from peppermint patties. Grease 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Stir together butter, sugar and vanilla in large bowl. Add eggs; beat until well blended. Stir in flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; blend well. Reserve 2 cups batter. Spread remaining batter in prepared pan. Arrange peppermint patties about 1/2 inch apart in single layer over batter. Spread reserved 2 cups batter over patties. Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from sides of pan. Cool completely in pan on wire rack; cut into squares. About 36 brownies.

Real Simple!

Here's a recipe I found in Real Simple magazine from their March 2008 issue.

Crispy Breaded Shrimp with Garlicky Beans
-1/2 cup bread crumbs
-2 TBL chopped fresh rosemary
-Salt and Pepper
-5 TBL olive oil
-1lb medium chrimp, peeled and devined
-1--19oz can of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
-2 bunches of arugula, I used spinach instead
-I aslo added the juice from 1/2 a lemon

Heat oven to 400. Mix the bread crumbs rosemary, salt, pepper and 3 TBL of oil in a large bowl. Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Transfer shrimp and any excess crumbs to baking sheet. Bake until the shrimps are cooked through and the bread crumbs are crispy, 10-12 minutes. Heat the remaining oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the beans, 1/4 cup water, salt, and pepper. Cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, add the arugula (or spinach) and toss to combine. Sqeeze lemon juice onto bean/spinach mixture. Divide beans among individual plates and serve with shrimp. Sprinkle any extra bread crumbs from the pan over the top.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Recipes without Pics

Here's a couple of recipes I've made recently that I don't have pictures for. They were both excellent and I have to say the cookbook that they both come from "Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook" is great. There are some recipes that I've tried that haven't been as great as others, but for the most part it was worth the $17.00. What a buy! Let me know what you think.

Mahogany Glazed Pork
-1/3 cup soy sauce
-1/2 cup orange marmalade
-2 cloves garlic
-1 ts red pepper flakes
-3 TBL ketchup
-One 3.5lbs boneless Boston pork butt, cut into large pieces or 3.5lbs country-style pork spare ribs (we used the ribs)
-Optional: Sugar snap peas and red bell peppers
Coat slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Combine the soy sauce, marm, garlic, red pepper flakes, and ketchup in a small bowl and mix until smooth. Brush mixture ive both sides of meat. Arrange the pork butt or ribs in the cooker (If you have a round cooker stack the ribs). Pur over any extra sauce. Cover and cook on LOW until fork tender and the meat starts to separate from the bone, 8 to 10 hours. Stir in the sugar snap peas and bell pepper, cover and let stand for a few minutes to warm (we omitted this step and served the meat with brussell sprouts on the side instead).
Moroccan Chicken Thighs with Chickpeas and Cumin
-Two 16-ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
-One 15-ounce can whole plum tomatoes, drained, and cut into 1-inch cubes
-1 large red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch squares
-1 medium-sized red onion, chopped
-1/4 cup golden raisins
-2 Tbl tomato paste
-2 Tbl water
1 1/2 ts cumin
-Pinch of paprika
-4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes
-2 Tbl peanut butter
Put chickpeas, tomatoes, bell pepper, onoin, raisins, tomatoe paste, water, cumin, and paprika in the slow cooker; stir well. Scatter the chicken on top. Cover and cook on LOW until the chicken is tender and cooked through, 6 to 7 hours. Stir in peanut butter. Serve over hot couscous.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I Love Odes!

My friend Katie is in a writing class right now. She and I met for a couple of after-hours beverages the other night and laughed about her prof in the class who made them listen to recordings of people reading poems. Somehow, we started talking about Odes and writing them for her prof. After Tim's little incident this weekend I decided to write him and Ode.

Ode to Tim's Face

Once long and slender
Now marred with red streaks
His pale blue eyes glittering with fear
The tiny floor duster canine springing into action
Then the calm realization that my husband's face is a chew toy.

Today I received an email from Katie with the following message.

Here is what I did for you today in my meeting:

Ode to Sarah

Sarah of the curly hair
Friendly eyes and skin so fair
Your stories are so sweet and funny
They make me laugh just like the Easter Bunny
She is so kind to all her friends
True of heart until the end
But the best part is that she
Likes to swear as much as me

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Mom's Roast

I've had this craving for comfort food lately. Maybe it's because it's dark and dreary outside, maybe it's because it was -7 this morning when I woke up or maybe it's just because I miss my mom's homestyle cooking. I've been finding more and more that I want to make Coonsie's recipes: baked chicken, pineapple upsidedown cake, meatloaf. Of course I spice them up a bit and don't follow them to a "T," but they usually turn out well. I still say she can make all my favorites better than I can, but then maybe some day my family will say that about some of my recipes. I can only hope! Anyways, I made the roast below on Saturday. Once again my favorite butchers over at Everett's Meat Market really picked a fine piece of meat. I love our butcher.

Mom's Roast

-3-4 lb chuck or round bone roast

-2-3 large onins, halved

-6-7 carrots, washed and cut into thirds

-3-4 celery stalks, washed and cut into thirds

-A handfull of red potatoes, washed and cut into fourths

-1 packet of lipton's onion soup mix
-3-4 cups H2O

-salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350. Salt and pepper the meat. Add all ingredients to a roasting pan. Cook roast until you can easily pull the meat apart with a fork.

The roast in my turkey roasting pan.

Up close and personal.

Fighting Baby Cougars....

Tim has dreamed of fighting a baby cougar all his life an last night his dream became a reality. Below you can see the damage done to his face by the little feline ninja. Some people will say the baby cougar looked more like a 10 pound dog, but don't believe them--I was there! Today Tim will spend his day recovering with Wii game controllers in his hand and his head held high knowing that he has fought and won the battle of his lifetime. Congratulations Tim!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Crockpot Meal

Because of our new "waste less" goal for 2008 Tim and I have been trying to plan our menus a week ahead and buy bulk grocery items. This week I decided to try a couple of new crockpot recipes that seemed really interesting. We tried the one below last night. I left the crock to cook all day while we were at work and it smelled wonderful when we got home. I have to say this was the success of the week!
Thai Pork-Crockpot

-2lb pork loin, cut into 2-4 pieces
-2 cloves of garlic
-2 ts red pepper flakes
-1/3 (or more) cup teriayki sauce
-2 tbl rice wine vinegar
-2 red peppers sliced
-1/4 cup peanut butter

Garnish with peanuts, scallions and lime wedges.

Add pork (seasoned with salt), teriayki sauce, garlic, rice wine vinegar, red pepper flakes and peppers to the crockpot. Cook on low for 8-9 hours. Remove pork and chop. Add peanut butter to sauce in crockpot and stir to combine. Add pork back to sauce. Serve over jasmine rice and garnish.

Brian's Birthday Cake

Tuesday night is always bolwing league with two other couples that we also play kickball with. Brian's birthday was this week, so I thought I would bring a treat to bowling. I asked Brian earlier what his cake like and dislikes were and he mentioned pineapple upside down cake. I had a great recipe from my mom for that cake, but the instructions were kina cryptic so I had to call her and make sure all the details were correct. I thought it turned out fabulous and it's pretty easy.
Pineapple Upside Down Cake
-1/4 c butter
-2/3 c brown sugar
-8 marachino cherries
-1 can sliced pineapple rings
-1 c flour
-3/4 c sugar
- 1 1/2 ts baking powder
-1/2 ts. salt
-1/4 c butter
-1/2 c whole milk
-1 egg
Whipping cream to garnish
Preheat oven to 350. Combine butter and brown sugar in deep oven proof pan. Melt butter and sugar together and add pineapple to pan with cherries placed in the middle of the rings. Combine next 7 ingredients and make batter. Pour batter into pan and bake for 40-45 minutes. Flip when warm onto plate and serve with whipping cream.

Right out of the oven.

Getting ready to travel to bowling league.

Brian and his cake.