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Red Heart

October 2014

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Oct. 20th, 2014

Red Heart

Tuna Noodle Casserole

I love tuna noodle casserole...sometimes.  Its one of those dishes where you don't think about it at all for several months or years and then suddenly...OH MY GOODNESS I WANT IT NOW.  Not joking.


Tuna Noodle Casserole

Ingredients:
*  2 tbsp unsalted butter
*  1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped and divided into 2
*  3 tbsp flour
*  2 1/2 cups skim milk
*  1 tsp dry mustard
*  1 tsp kosher salt
*  1/4 tsp black pepper
*  2 cups frozen peas
*  2 cans light tuna packed in water, drained
*  8 oz egg noodles

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 F and lightly spray with PAM a 9x11 pan
2.  Cook the egg noodles according to direction in salted water.  Remove from heat and drain.
3.  Melt butter on medium high heat, reduce heat to medium and add 1/2 of the divided onion.  Saute for about 5-7 minutes.
4.  Whisk in flour and let cook for about 30 seconds.
5.  Whisk in milk until combined and add mustard, salt, and pepper.
6.  Dump egg noodles, reserved onion, peas, tuna, and milk into prepared 9x11 pan.
7.  Bake for 25 minutes or until golden on top.  Feel free to top about 5 minutes before pulling from oven with Panko or Parmesan cheese [not calculated].
8.  Serve with a side salad or broccoli.  :D

Serves 6 | Calories 268 | Fat 5.7 g | Cholesterol 65 mg | Sodium 757 mg | Potassium 523 mg | Carbs 26.2 g | Fiber 3.4 g | Sugars 8.7 g | Protein 26.6 g

Oct. 16th, 2014

Red Heart

Cast Iron Macaroni & Cheese

So I've been on a search...no really, an honest to goodness search for a "default" Macaroni and Cheese.  I think I found it with this receipe (thanks Epicurious) because this was such a HUGE hit at my house last night.  I'm STILL craving it.  I brought it for lunch.  I might eat it for dinner tonight.  Yum, yum, yum.


Cast Iron Macaroni and Cheese
Adapted from Epicurious Cast-Iron Macaroni and Cheese

Ingredients:

*  One 12 -14.5-ounce box whole-wheat or whole-grain pasta (I like to use Elbows)
*  2 tablespoon unsalted butter
*  1 1/2 cups skim milk
*  3 teaspoon dry mustard
*  1-2 teaspoon kosher salt
*  1 cup (4 oz) Kraft Velveeta 2% Cheese
*  1 1/2 cup (4-6 oz) Monterey Jack (or other melting cheese of your choice)  shredded
*  3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1. Preheat oven to 400 F.

2.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, covered.

3.  Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat.

4.  Add pasta to pot of salted water when it comes to a boil and cook according to the low end of instuctions.  My pasta only needed 8-12 minutes for al dente; I cooked it for 8.

5.  Melt butter in skillet and whisk in the flour until incorporated.  You can let it toast a bit, but I skipped this step.

6.  Add milk, mustard, and salt whisking until combined.

7.  Whisk in the Velveeta (make it easier and quicker by chopping the Velveeta in blocks before putting in the skillet).  Once melted add 1 cup of the Monterey Jack, reserving 1/2 cup for later.  Whisk until completely combined.  Taste and add salt if needed.

8.  Drain the pasta and add to the skillet, stirring to incorporate well.

9.  Remove skillet from heat, sprinkle with the reserved cheese, and place in oven.  Switch oven from Bake to Broil.  Broil for amount 4-6 minutes, checking frequently, until you reach your desired "toasty" top.  Cool briefly before serving.

10.  Serve with a green salad or broccoli.  Feel free to have some sort of meat on your plate or choose to have none.

Notes:

Throw a folded towel over the handle of the skillet to prevent inadvertent burns.  It happens even if you cook with cast iron for years!

Serves 6 | Calories 383 | Fat 14.4 g | Cholesterol 38 mg | Sodium 677 mg | Potassium 135 mg | Carbs 47.2 g | Fiber 6.3 g | Sugars 3.6 g | Protein 19.6 g

Oct. 14th, 2014

Sunflower

Fried Rice

I've been debating writing this post for awhile.  It's one of those "recipes" that aren't really recipes and more technique/judgment call.  So I resolved to write my "technique" and see how that works out.

Fried Rice


Ingredients:

* 4 cups cooked white rice - chilled (at minimum one hour in fridge and 1/2 hour after that in freezer.  Preferably chilled in fridge overnight)
* 1/2 yellow onion, chopped finely
* fish sauce, to taste
* reduced sodium soy sauce, to taste
* sesame oil (around 1 tbsp)
* canola oil (around 2 tbsp)
* 1-2 cups matchstick carrots
* 2-3 large eggs
* 2 cups shredded cabbage
* 1 cup peas
* OPTIONAL - Chicken Breast (1/2 pound to 1 pound), Shrimp (1 pound small/medium), or Pork (1/2 pound ground or shredded)


Directions:

1.  In a large wok (or if no wok in a large Dutch oven) bring 1/3 tbsp sesame oil and 1/2 tbsp canola oil to medium high heat
2.  Add diced onion and sauté until transparent.
3.  Carefully remove onion, draining as much oil as possible, to a dinner plate.
4.  Add cabbage and sauté until softened.
5.  Carefully remove cabbage, draining as much oil as possible, to same dinner plate.
6.  You will likely need to add more oil (cabbage soaks it up pretty good), bring 1/3 tbsp sesame oil and 1/2 tbsp canola oil back up to temperature.
7.  Add carrots and sauté about 3 minutes (keeping a crunch)
8.  Carefully remove carrots, draining as much oil as possible, to same dinner plate.
9.  Add peas and sauté about 1-2 minutes (keeping a crunch)
10.  Carefully remove peas, draining as much oil as possible, to same dinner plate.
11.  Add eggs and quickly scramble.  Remove to dinner plate
12.  OPTIONAL - add more oil in the same quantities and cook meat.  Shredded when cooked if chicken, dice slightly if shrimp, and crumble/shredded when cooked if pork.
13.  Add more oil in the same quantities and add rice to the pan.  Add everything that was reserved on dinner plate and mix briefly.
14.  Smoosh the rice mixture down in the pan and DON'T touch for at least a minute.  You'll start to smell a "fried" smell.  That's ok.
15.  Add about 1 tbsp soy and about 1/2 tbsp fish sauce over the rice.  Quickly stir and flatten rice back down again.  Taste the rice.  If not enough soy and fish sauce, add a little more at this point.
16.  Let the rice fry a couple of times, flipping the bottom rice to the top every 1-2 minutes.  Your nose is what works here.  You should not smell BURNT rice, only toasting/frying rice.
17.  Taste the rice after flipping a couple of times and adjust soy sauce /fish sauce if needed.
18.  Fried rice is done when you reach your desired "fry" look.


Notes:

1.  The key to this receipe is NOT touching the rice for minutes at a time before flipping.  You want to fry, not sauté the rice.  Flipping it too much makes soggy rice.

2.  Cooked rice has to be dry and cold prior to frying it.  Fresh rice DOES not work.

3.  Add and adjust to your tastes.  The ingredients are just suggestions.  I usually like the cabbage/pea/carrot/onion/egg/chicken combo, but frequently make without meat or with "leftover meat" such as the raw filling of pot stickers if I'm assembling them (see recipe for pot stickers).  Add and remove until you find your "perfect" fried rice.

Oct. 7th, 2014

Sunflower

Beef Rouladen

Since it's been so long since my last post (not including the other post I submitted today) I thought I'd add another recipe made almost two weeks ago.  This is a traditional German dish that I had for the first time around 5-6 years ago.  My dad has been dating a woman from Germany (I believe Munich) for almost 10 years and one night she made this for a special treat.  She was kind enough to send along her recipe for me to make.  This recipe is partially adapted from her recipe.  Enjoy!

Beef Rouladen
INGREDIENTS:


* 1.5 pounds top sirloin pounded flat and sliced into strips about 4 inches wide and 7 inches long (flank steak and breakfast steak work equally well)
* salt, to taste
* pepper, to taste
* Dijion mustard (around 1 tsbp per strip)
* Center cut bacon (1/2 slice per sirloin strip)
* Dill pickle spears (1/2 spear per sirloin strip)
* 1/2 cup thinly sliced white onions
* 1 tbsp olive oil
* 2 cups beef broth
* kitchen twine cut into 6 inch strips

DIRECTIONS:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 F
2.  Take each sirloin strip that has been pounded out and sliced into strips and sprinkle with salt and pepper
3.  Add about 1 tbsp of dijion mustard to each slice and spread evenly to the corners of the slice
4.  Add about 2-5 slices of white onion to slice longwise in the middle of each slice (i.e. - the same direction as the longest side of the slice)
5.  Place one 1/2 strip of bacon lengthwise (same as onion) on slice each slice
6.  Place one 1/2 dill spear perpendicular to the onion and bacon on each slice
7.  Roll the slice short end to short end, starting with the dill spear wrap around the spear and continue to the far end
8.  Tie shut with kitchen twine.  Repeat on each slice until you have all of the beef rolled up.
9.  Bring olive oil to medium high heat in a deep pot
10.  Sear off, in groups, each roll on all sides.
11.  Add seared off rolls to a 9x11 pan
12.  Once all the rolls are in the pan enough broth to cover about half way up the rolls (around 2 cups, usually less)
13.  Bake in the oven for about 1 hour covered.
14.  Remove from oven and serve with noodles, mashed potatoes, or rice.

* Note:  Sorry I can't be more specific on how much mustard, bacon, and pickle spears to use.  When I made this recipe I had about 12 rolls.  You might have more, you might have less.  Once you have the slices pounded out and assembled calculate how much you need of each ingredient to proceed.  The calorie calculations are based on 12 rolls with a serving size of 3.

Servings 4 | Calories 402 | Fat 21.3 g | Saturated Fat 7.5 g | Cholerestol 104.8 mg | Carbs 2.6 g | Fiber .5 g | Sugar 1 g | Protein 47.3 g
Tags: ,
Red Heart

Taco Pie

Hello everyone.  It's been awhile, I know.  But I finally moved on to a job that doesn't stress me out quite so much.  My previous employer, its safe to say, was nuts.  I've been at my new firm for 6 months and love it.  While life never gets less stressful (i.e. - sister who lives with me had a baby...talk about stressful) it certainly is a lot better than it was.

For the past year I have gotten into running and last week ran 13.1 miles in one day!  Yay!  I had planned on entering a half marathon that weekend, but time snuck up on me and the entrance price jumped from $50.00 to $140.00...nope  So I just ran it instead.

Now on to the next great challenge....yep have no idea yet.  Maybe improve running speed?  I am finding out however that running in fall is much harder than running in summer, at least in regards to gear.  Time wise...much better.  I haven't yet committed to running outdoors in winter, but spending another winter entirely indoors saddens me.  I guess I better make the decision either way so I can prepare for it!  Please don't send us another 5 feet in snow this winter!

On to food.  I cooked this last week and got raves on it.  Next time I think I twist it up a bunch...it was missing something.

Taco Pie
Adapted from Damn Delicious (who adapted it from Betty Crocker)


INGREDIENTS:

* 1 cup unbleached flour
* 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/4 teaspoon (pinch) salt
* 1 tablespoon canola oil (or other such neutral oil/fat)
* 2 cups skim milk
* 3 large eggs
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 1 pound ground turkey (chicken or beef also work)
* 1 small yellow onion, diced
* 1 cup corn (canned is fine)
* 1 tbsp cumin
* 1/2 tsp kosher salt
* 1-2 tsp chili powder
* 1/4 tsp black pepper
* 1 tsp onion powder
* 1 tsp garlic powder
* 1 (4.5 oz) can chopped green chiles
* 1 and 1/2 cup shredded monterey jack (cheddar or mexican mix works well too)
* 3 cups shredded romaine lettuce
* 1-2 medium sized tomatoes chopped (heirlooms preferable, if not grocery store red globes work fine)


DIRECTIONS:

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
2.  In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, canola oil, milk, and eggs.  Set aside.
3.  Heat olive oil in a large cast iron skillet on medium heat and add chopped onion.  Cook until softened around, about 3-5 minutes.  Add ground turkey and cook.  Make sure to crumble the ground turkey.  Drain any excess fat carefully.
4.  Stir in corn, cumin, kosher salt, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, and green chiles until heated through.
5.  Stir in the reserved flour mixture until combined.
6.  Place into oven and bake until golden brown around 30-35 minutes. (You can check if cooked by either wiggling the skillet or slicing a knife down the middle.  If it doesn't jiggle when you wiggle...lol, or the knife comes out clean, your good to go).
7.  Pull from the oven and sprinkle with cheese.  Return to oven and cook another 4-5 minutes until the cheese is fully melted.
8.  Serve with lettuce and tomato on top.  Add other taco-like toppings if desired.  (It's particularly good with plain greek yogurt and resturant style salsa).  Yum!

Serves 8 | Calories 452 | Fat 25.8g | Saturated Fat 11.2 g | Cholesterol 174 mg | Sodium 814 mg | Potassium 535 mg | Carbs 23.4 g | Fiber 1.7 g | Sugars 5.5 G | Protein 31.6 g

Aug. 4th, 2014

Books

Chinese Pork Potstickers

So, I'm addicted to Potstickers.  It's a sad fate, but oh so true.  What I love about making them at home, is you can make large batch and freeze personal portions in freezer bags to cook later.  I currently live with my sister and her baby.  My sister is one of the least adventurous eaters I have ever met, so in self-defense I like to prepare things like this that I can quickly eat when it's one of those days where all she wants to eat is Kraft Mac and Cheese (and hey don't we all have those kind of days?)

CHINESE PORK POT STICKERS
Adapted in part from the little kitchen, Damn Delicious
, and Gourmet Traveler


Ingredients:

* 1 cup shredded cabbage (or coleslaw mix)
* 1/2 cup pre-shredded carrots (matchstick carrots)
* 1/4 cup chopped chives (or 1/8 cup minced white onion)
* 1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, minced (you can also get this pre-grated in tubes in the produce section)
* 1 pound ground pork
* 1 teaspoon sesame oil
* 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
* 1/2 tablespoon fish sauce
* 1 or 2 pinches of black pepper
* 1 package wonton wrappers, around 48
* water for pinching the wrappers shut


Directions:


1.  In a large bowl combine ground meat, cabbage, carrots, chives, ginger, sesame oil, soy sauce, fish sauce, and black pepper.  Combine well.  If you'd like you can also cook some of the ground meat to taste the seasoning and adjust with the raw meat.  I don't usually do this step and judge by the smell.

2.  Use a small bowl (like a soup bowl) and fill with water.  Unwrap the wonton wrappers from their package and set near the bowl.  One at a time, place the wrapper in your non-dominant hand and put in the center of the wrapper about a teaspoon to a tablespoon of the ground mixture with your dominant.  You are going to seal the wrapper in a triangle shape (or if you have round wrappers in a half moon shape)

3.  Dip dominant fingers in bowl with water and brush two sides of the wonton wrapper.  Bring the dry side of the wrapper and the wet side up to meet above the filling and crimp the edges to seal.  It should look like a fat triangle or a fat half-moon (depending on the shape of your wrapper)

4.  Repeat until there is either no more wonton wrapper or no more filling (one usually occurs without the other).

5.  At this point I usually freeze the majority of the potstickers in portion sizes in freezer bags.

6.  If you desire to cook immediately (or when frozen), bring a large skillet to medium heat with about 1/2 tablespoon of neutral oil.  Once hot add potstickers to pot and cook on one side for about 2-3 minutes if fresh or 3-5 minutes if frozen.  Add only so many potstickers that you can so that the pan is not crowded and no potstickers touches the other.  Add 1/4 to 1/3 cup water to pan and cover, steaming for about 3-5 minutes (go longer if frozen).  Serve.

7.  You can also steam your potstickers without frying them.  I usually do this in either a bamboo or stainless steel steamer.  If frozen cook about 15 minutes.  If fresh cook about 12 minutes.

8.  If you want a good instructional video on how to assemble the potstickers (i.e. you are a visual learner) check out the little kitchen link at the beginning of the post.  It has a fabulous video near the end of the recipe that I highly recommend.

Servings 12 (about 4 potstickers) | Calories 187 | Fat 7.3 g | Cholesterol 29.1 mg | Sodium 428 mg | Carbs 19.8 g | Fiber 1 g | Sugars .4 g | Protein 10 g

Sep. 10th, 2013

Red Heart

Stuffed Tomatoes

This week has been a stressful one...and its only Tuesday. Thursday I close a $9 million deal earning my office quite a percentage. Do I get a bonus? Nope. But I do get the experience, and I guess for an attorney a year into her career that's pretty good. Today I was out sick and spent my morning gagging in my bed and answering e-mails for work. Pretty much the same thing I'd be doing at work at this point...minus the gagging and the PJs. By late afternoon I was feeling better and decided try my new recipe. It was awesome. You've got to try it...minus the gagging.


Stuffed Tomatoes
Adapted from Pinch of Yum



Ingredients:

* 4 large tomatoes beefsteak tomatoes
* 1 cup cooked texmati rice
* 3/4 cup canned, unsalted sweet corn
* 2-4 clove garlic, minced
* 1/2 cup fresh basil, chiffonaded
* 1/4-1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1/8-1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
* 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
* 1 tsp garlic powder

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Rinse and dry the corn. Place corn in a skillet over medium high heat with no oil or butter. Let sit for 3-4 minutes and toss. Repeat until corn gets nice and brown on the outside. Remove from heat and set aside.

2. Cut the tops of the tomatoes off and carefully scoop out the flesh, reserving the flesh in a separate bowl. Set whole tomatoes aside. Crush the tomato flesh with the back of a spoon until there are no large chunks.

3. Combine the tomato mixture, rice, basil, corn, garlic powder and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Add a small handful of the shredded cheese, saving half for topping. Stir it all together until well-mixed.

5. Stuff the whole tomatoes with the tomato, rice, and corn mixture until rounded on the top. Top with shredded cheese.

6. Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees F.

7. Broil for 3-5 minutes or until cheese is golden brown.


Nutrition:

Serves 4:

Per Serving: 196 Calories 19g Carbs 10g Fat 11g Protein 186g Sodium 6g sugar

Aug. 9th, 2013

Red Heart

Amish Sweet White Bread

The last year has been a whirlwind of change. I moved 1000 miles away with no job, permanent place to live, or passing the bar. Since then I moved again to a "permanent" place to live, passed the bar exam, got a job, and have practiced law for almost an entire year. Mixed into all of that is taxation. I practice a specialized area of law called like-kind exchanges which is part of the IRC (IRS Tax Code). I also prepare farm tax returns at Amish homes during the tax season. This year I probably will not be doing that again, but the 4 month experience of being welcomed into Amish farmhomes to prepare taxes was enlightening...and fattening. In celebration of getting back on the posting receipe horse I'm sharing my favorite Amish White Bread Recipe.

Amish Sweet White Bread
Adapted from various sources including tips from Amish cooks, allrecipes, and the all important Google


Ingredients:

* 2 cups warm water
* 2/3 cup white granulated sugar
* 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
* 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
* 1/4 cup melted butter or canola oil (or other mild oil)
* 6 cups bread flour

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, dissolve the sugar in warm water, and then stir in yeast. Allow to proof in a warm place until yeast resembles a creamy foam.
2. Mix salt and butter (oil) into the yeast.
3. Mix in flour one cup at a time. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth.
4. Place in a well oiled bowl, and turn dough to coat. Cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1.5 hours.
5. Punch dough down. Knead for a few minutes, and divide in half.
6. Shape into loaves, and place into two well oiled 9x5 inch loaf pans. Allow to rise for 30 minutes, or until dough has risen 1 inch above pans.
7. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes.
8. Turn out in about 10 minutes from removing from oven. Let cool completely. EAT!

Aug. 30th, 2012

Red Heart

Pasta with Sausage, Tomatoes, and Cheese

Baked Pasta with Sausage, Tomatoes, and Cheese
Adapted from Cooking Light, November 2003


Ingredients:

- 1 (1-pound) package uncooked rigitoni
- 1 roll of regular Jimmy Dean sausage
- 2 tsp sriacha
- 1 small to medium yellow onion, chopped finely
- ½ cup red wine (can omit)
- 4-6 small garlic cloves, finely minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- ½ cup basil, snipped with kitchen shears
- 2 (14.5 oz) cans petite-diced tomatoes, undrained
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Cooking spray

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Cook pasta 3-4 minutes less than directions, drain and set aside
3. Meanwhile place olive oil in a cooking skillet, bring up to medium heat
4. Add diced onion and cook 5-10 minutes
5. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds
6. Add sausage and break it apart. Cook until sausage is cooked through
7. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, sriacha, half of the basil, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer and lower, simmering for 10 minutes.
8. Add a quarter of the parmesan to the sauce, melt.
9. Toss the noodles and sausage mixture in a bowl with remaining basil.
10. Place half of the noodles in a prepared baking dish (sprayed with cooking spray). Top with half on the remaining parmesan and half of the mozzarella
11. Add the rest of the noodles and top with remaining cheeses
12. Baked uncovered for 20-25 minutes.

Aug. 6th, 2012

Dancing

Strawberry Spinach Salad

So I'm back. Sorry about the unintended absence but the bar really kicked my ass + I moved 1000 miles and started a new job. But I'm here, if you were looking, which you aren't since this basically is where I put receipes I remember to write up. :D



Strawberry Spinach Salad
Adapted from Pampered Chef



Ingredients:

* 2 lemons
* 4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
* 1/4 cup white sugar
* 4 tbsp olive oil
* 3 tbsp water
* 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and quarted
* 1 small red onion, peeled and diced
* 12 oz fresh baby spinach leaves (about 2 bags)
* 16 oz fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
* 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted


Directions:

1. For dressing, zest both lemons being careful to avoid the pith.

2. Juice lemons to measure 6 tbsp.

3. Combine zest, juice, vinegar, sugar, and water in small mixing bowl; whisk until well blended. While whisking quickly slowly add the oil. Set aside.

4. Combine spinach, cucumber, onion and strawberries in a bowl.

3. Place spinach in large serving bowl. Add cucumber, onion, strawberries and almond. Toss to combine. Serve with dressing on the side or with dressing mixed in if serving immediately (this will create soggy salad leftovers so I recommend serving the dressing on the side).

Apr. 26th, 2012

Red Heart

Spring Pasta

Okay, so this is adapted from an Everyday Food magazine recipe partly because I had different ingredients in my fridge and partly for a friend who is looking for good flavor but low cholesterol. Queue veggies. Change the veggies up to anything you prefer or in season. Snap peas and basil would work well here! Enjoy.

Spring Pasta
Adapted from Everyday Cooking May 2012


Ingredients:

* 7 oz small pasta (such as fusilli or bowtie - I used Barilla Plus bowties)
* 1/2 cup skim milk
* 2 oz (1/2 cup) Parmesan cheese, grated
* 10 oz baby spinach
* 10 oz peas, fresh or frozen thawed
* 3-4 green onions chopped
* salt and pepper to taste
* 1 tsp olive oil


Directions:

1. Bring salted water and olive oil to a boil in a large stock pot.

2. Add pasta and cook one minute less than directed on the package.

3. Add peas and cook 30 seconds

4. Wilt in spinach and onions for a few seconds then drain the whole lot in a strainer reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water.

5. Leave the veggie and pasta mixture in the strainer and put the pot back on medium high heat.

6. Add milk and bring to a low boil.

7. Add veggie and pasta mixture back to pot and cook for 2 minutes. Add the pasta water back in to how thin you like the sauce.

8. Add in Parmesan to the mixture and stir.

9. Serve hot and enjoy. (Or if you are the partner of someone on a Cholesterol diet...with grilled chicken!)

Serves 4 (or three and a dog)

Nutrition: Calories 312.8, Total Fat 6.2 g, Saturated Fat 3.1 g, Cholesterol 12.1 mg, Total Carbohydrate 44.4 g, Dietary Fiber 7.7 g, Protein 20.5 g



Mar. 29th, 2012

Red Dress

Pasta Pork Bolognese

In attempt to diversify my cooking I've subscribed to several new food magazines, "Everyday Food" and "Cooking Light." This recipe is adapted from a Cooking Light magazine.

Pasta Pork Bolognese
Adapted from Cooking Light, April 2012



Ingredients:

* 9 ounces refrigerated fettuccine
* 2 teaspoons olive oil
* 1 pound lean ground pork
* 1/2 cup grated carrot
* 3 garlic cloves, minced
* 1/3 cup Shiraz
* 1 2/3 cups lower-sodium marinara sauce
* 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil, divided
* 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions:

1. Cook pasta per directions. Drain.

2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork, carrot, and garlic; sauté 6 minutes or until pork is done.

3. Add wine; cook 1 minute.

4. Add marinara, 1/2 cup basil, salt, and pepper; bring to a simmer. Pour sauce over pasta.

Mar. 12th, 2012

Red Heart

Ham, cheese, and spinach frittata

This is really a base recipe to mix and match to your own choosing. I like to use whatever leftovers items I have from a week of recipes. Its the best recipe I know of to make the most out of bits and pieces.


Ham, Cheddar, and Spinach Frittata
Adapted and Lightened from Real Simple Magazine



Ingredients:

1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2-3 yukon gold potatoes (about 3/4 pound), peeled and thinly sliced (use the slicing function of your food processor or a hand mandolin to achieve even slices)
1/2 large white onion, thinly sliced
1 small carton of egg beaters (swap amount should be between 6-8 eggs on the package about 16 oz)
2 large eggs
pinch of kosher salt and black pepper
1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess liquid
4 ounces reduced fat Cheddar, grated (1 cup)
8 ounces thinly sliced reduced sodium deli ham, cut into 2-inch pieces

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 400° F.

2. Heat oil in a large ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium heat (cast iron is preferable).

3. Add the potatoes and onion and cook, tossing occasionally, until the potatoes are tender, 12 to 15 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg beaters, pinch of salt, and a pinch of teaspoon pepper. Mix in the spinach, cheddar, and ham.

5. Add the egg mixture to the skillet, stir once, and transfer the skillet to oven. Cook until the eggs are set, 15-20 minutes.

6. Serve warm with a side salad.

Serves 6 | Calories 211 | Fat 6.6 g | Cholesterol 67 mg | Sodium 456 mg | Potassium 676 mg | Carbs 13.7 g | Fiber 2.8 g | Protein 24.8 g

Mar. 5th, 2012

Red Heart

Egg Drop Soup



Hey everyone. I'm not able to post this recipe until it is officially published. Its part of the new steamy kitchen cookbook that I get to test! WHOOT! Stay tuned for the next awesome cookbook by steamy kitchen.
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Jan. 15th, 2012

Red Dress

Baked Dijon Salmon Fillet

Dinner tonight was delicious and cheap. Picked up 4 frozen salmon fillets at Walmart for 4.50. Defrosted them and made this. Try it.  It can be subbed with other types of fish or even chicken, however the oily texture of salmon works particularly good with the mustard here.



Baked Dijon Salmon Fillets
By: Nichole Baer



Ingredients:

* 4 fillets salmon
* 4 tablespoons prepared Dijon-style mustard
* salt and pepper to taste
* 1/4 cup Panko
* Pam Olive Oil


Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with foil.

2. Place salmon skin-side down on foil.

3. Spread a layer of mustard on the top of each fillet, and season with salt and pepper.

4. Top with Panko, spray each fillet with PAM.

5. Bake the oven for 17 minutes, or until salmon flakes easily with a fork.

Serves 4 | Calories 300 | Fat 12.7 g | Cholesterol 36 mg | Sodium 283 mg | Potassium 22 mg | Carbs 3.2 g | Fiber .6 g | Protein 42.1 g

Jan. 14th, 2012

Sunflower

Cheesy Potato and Bacon Soup

Here is my most recent addiction!


Cheesy Potato and Bacon Soup
By: Nichole Baer



Ingredients:

2 tablespoon butter
1 cup chopped yellow onion
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups chopped red potato (about 1 pound)
2 cups skim milk
1 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
6 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

1. Melt butter in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.

2. Add onion to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until onion is tender.

3. Sprinkle with flour; cooking one minute stirring onion mixture constantly.

4. Add potato, milk, broth, and 1 cup water to pan; bring to a boil.

5. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes.

6. Add 1 cup reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese and black pepper; cook until cheese melts, stirring frequently.

7. Stir in bacon bits and check the seasoning, add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Serves 6 | Calories 276 | Fat 13.6 g | Cholesterol 47 mg | Sodium 478 g | Potassium 521 g | Carbs 21 g | Fiber 1.8 g | sugar 5.7 g | Protein 15.5 g

Jan. 12th, 2012

Flowers

Chicken Corn Soup

I love chicken soup in all its forms. But I hate used canned broth in my soup. Normally when I make my own broth I use scraps accumulated over a few weeks of cooking. However I recently was out of town for a long period of time and didn't have any scraps to use. Combine that with a really unhealthy craving for chicken soup and I was kind of screwed. Enter the method of making chicken soup my mom employed in her working two jobs, having three kids, and attending school days. The trick is to make the soup in two stages. For tools you only need a large stock pot, a larger strainer, a very large bowl, cutting board, knife, and wooden spoon.


Nichole's Chicken Corn Soup
One Pot Method



Ingredients:

* 1 fryer chicken about 4-6 pounds, rinsed and neck/gizzards removed
* 1-2 pounds of chicken backs or chicken legs
* 12 cups of water (or enough to cover)
* 1 cup parsley, don't bother to chop
* salt
* pepper
* 10 peppercorns
* 2-3 bay leaves
* 1 medium yellow onion, cut in quarters
* 6 carrots
* 5 celery stalks
* 2 cups yellow corn
* 3 hard boiled eggs, diced finely
* 3 garlic cloves
* 1 tbsp canola oil

Directions:

1. Heat a large stock pot to medium hot with oil. When oil is hot add chicken backs or legs. Let brown flipping occasionally for about 10 minutes.

2. Add whole chicken, onion, 3 carrots, 3 celery stalks (leaves and all), parsley, peppercorns, bays leaves, garlic cloves (smashed) and enough water to barely cover. Bring to a boil and reduce temperature to low and cover.

3. Cook for about 45-50 minutes skimming foam and fat off the top at least twice.

4. Set a large strainer over an even larger bowl (it should be able to hold over 12 cups of liquid). Remove whole chicken and place on a cutting board or lipped baking pan to cool. Let cool for 15 minutes.

5. Strain the pot into the strainer. Lift strainer out of the bowl and add strained liquid back into the stock pot. Bring up to a boil. Add remaining carrots (sliced into rounds), rinsed corn, remaining celery stalks (sliced), and eggs.

6. Remove chicken legs from strainer and add to where you put the whole chicken. After 15 minutes of cooling time, shred chicken and remove skin. Add shredded chicken to the stock pot.

7. Heat for about 15 minutes. Check for seasoning adding salt and pepper as needed. Serve hot with crusty bread to soak up the loveliness.

Nov. 29th, 2011

Red Heart

Griddlecakes

For the lack of a better term I'm going to call this recipe griddle cakes. What it really means is pancakes with a good chunk of my kitchen ingredients in them. :D


Nichole's Griddlecakes


Ingredients:

* 1/3 cup cornmeal
* 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
* 1 cup old fashioned oats
* 2 bananas, well ripened
* 1 tbsp white sugar
* 1 cup skim milk
* 2 tsp baking powder
* 1/2 tsp kosher salt
* 1 tsp cardamon
* 1/2 tsp nutmeg
* 2 eggs
* 1 and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Mash the bananas in a large bowl. Add the dry ingredient and stir to combine.

2. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add all the wet ingredients.

3. Stir until just barely combined. Don't over work the batter or it will be tough.

4. Heat a skillet to medium high. Test the skillet by dropping a few drops of water on it. If they "dance" the skillet in ready.

5. Scoop about 3/4 cup of the batter on the skillet and swirl the batter to push it out. Flip the griddlecake when bubbles form and pop around the edges and in the center of the cake. Check the griddlecake after about 30 seconds by lifting the cake up with a spatula to check to see if done. When done remove the cake and repeat.

6. Serve hot with butter and maple syrup!

Oct. 24th, 2011

Dancing

Baked Mac n' Cheese

So I like cheese...a lot of cheese. Only one problem, I'm lactose intolerant. However, I don't let that stop me. If I'm going to eat cheese, I'm going to go big....tons of cheese. And of course, pay for it later. :D

There are two basic ways to do Baked Mac n' Cheese, you can layer in the pan and let it cook or you can cook the mac n' cheese in parts and put it together to "blend" in the oven. I'm a fan of the second, while it creates more dishes than I necessarily like without a dishwasher, the result is much more creamer than the layer version.


Nichole's Baked Mac n' Cheese
Adapted from Mark Bittman's Baked Mac n' Cheese
How to Cook Everything



Ingredients:

* 16 ounces elbow noodles
* 2 cups fresh grated white extra sharp cheddar
* 1/2 cup parmesan
* salt
* pepper
* 4 tbsp unsalted butter
* 4 tbsp white flour
* 1/4 cup italian bread crumbs
* 1/4 cup panko
* 2 1/2 cup skim milk (I used Smart One's Lactose Free to reduce intolerance)
* 2 bay leaves
* olive oil spray

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and spray a 9 by 13 pan with olive oil spray.

2. Bring a pot of salted water to boil for macaroni and cook noodles 1 minute less than directed. About 8 minutes.

3. At the same time, heat at medium low heat a sauce pan. Add milk and bays leaves. Bring milk to just above room temperature and then take off the heat.

4. Grate Cheddar and Parmesan cheese into separate bowls.

5. Take finished elbow mac off the stove and rinse the pasta to stop the cooking. Place pasta in a third heat proof large bowl.

6. Rinse the pasta pot and put back on the stove at medium heat. Melt butter and then whisk in flour to create a roux.

7. Sprinkle Parmesan,salt and pepper on cooked pasta.

8. Discard bay leaves from milk mixture and the add milk slowly to roux whisking to prevent lumps. Then slowly add cheddar to milk mixture.

9. Slowly mix cheddar mixture into pasta mixture. Stir together until well incorporated. Add pasta mixture into prepared pan.

10. Sprinkle with panko and bread crumbs. Spray bread crumbs briefly with olive oil spray.

11. Bake mac n' cheese for 20 minutes. Serve pipping hot.

Oct. 12th, 2011

Red Heart

Mom's Famous Banana Bread - Nichole's Version

So as mentioned in the last post I thought it would be fun to post two different versions of the same recipe. This version is mine, lightened up and with some added spices that I enjoy.


Mom's Famous Banana Bread - Nichole's Version


Ingredients:

* 3 ripe bananas
* 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
* 1 and 1/2 cup Splenda
* 2 large eggs
* 1 cup white flour
* 1 cup whole wheat flour
* 1 tsp baking soda
* 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
* 1 tsp ground cardamon
* 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
* 1 tsp cinnamon
* sugar for dusting

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.
2. Cream bananas, applesauce, splenda, and eggs.
3. Slowly add flour, spices, and soda until well mixed.
4. Slowly fold in the walnuts if so desired.
5. Grease two medium loaf pans and fill 3/4 full of banana mixture.
6. Lightly sprinkle white sugar on top of the uncooked loaves
7. Bake in the oven for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick leaves clean.

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