Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Awesome kids clothes.

This is definitely different than what I normally do, but I have an awesome friend who is going into the kids clothing business and her stuff is adorable!   She got her website up and running and you can actually order stuff from it now, rather than just see pictures.  I would love to order one of her hats for a Christmas gift this year, and I am sure you'll love it too.

So check out her website, and I am sure you'll like what you see.  I sure do!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Tomato and Goat Cheese Tart

I found this one in a recent edition of Martha Stewart's Everyday Food magazine.  It looked tasty, so I decided to try it.  I made a couple of changes to the recipe and I think everyone really liked it.  I think next time instead of using frozen puff pastry dough, I might actually use my husband's recently found recipe for pizza dough.   Anyway, enjoy.  Our family certainly did.

Tomato and Goat Cheese Tart

1 sheet puff pastry dough, thawed
1 tbsp sour cream
1 tsp dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp butter
2 leeks
3/4 lb vine tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, or plum tomatoes (or a combination of all of the above), sliced in 1/4 inch slices, or halved if cherry or grape.
2 ounces goat cheese (I would use more than that)
fresh thyme or basil leaves

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 12 inch square.  Mix mustard and sour cream together, and then spread mixture onto dough thinly.  Fold over edges of dough (about half an inch) and seal together by pinching with fingers.   It says to refrigerate this after pinching edges, but I didnt and it turned out fine.

Cut off the bottoms of the leeks and the tops.  You want to have the white and the light green parts left.  Once you have removed the dark green parts and the root ends, cut each leek in half lengthwise, and then slice into 1/8 inch slices.  Place in a bowl filled with water and gently with your hands move them around in the water (this gets rid of the dirt that gets between the layers while they grow).  With your hands, gently strain the leeks from the water and place on a clean kitchen towel or paper towel.  Dry them gently with the towel.   Saute the leeks in the butter with a pinch each of salt and pepper until the leeks are softened.  Takes about 3 to 4 minutes.  Once softened, place your leeks on top of the puff pastry dough and spread them out evenly on the dough.  Top with your tomato slices, and then bake for 25 minutes.

When done baking, remove from the oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes.  Crumble goat cheese on top all over the tart, and then add the fresh herbs.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Zucchini Bread

Consider this Part 2 of the "what do I do with ALL of that ZUCCHINI?" section.  I got this recipe from Lion House, but I altered it to my liking.  Mostly I just lowered the fat and sugar content by substituting Splenda and applesauce.  Hope you like my version.

Zucchini Bread

1 c applesauce
1 c sugar
1 c Splenda
2 c shredded zucchini
3 eggs
3 tsp vanilla extract
3 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking powder

Mix applesauce, sugar, splenda, zucchini, eggs, and vanilla in stand mixer or large mixing bowl with hand mixer.  Add flour, and combine on low speed til completely mixed.   Add baking soda, salt, cinnamon and baking powder and mix again.  Spoon evenly into two small greased loaf pans, and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

I doubled this recipe twice because we had a lot of zucchini, but this makes a healthy family dose of zucchini bread.   Great toasted and buttered, or just eaten plain.  You can also spoon the batter into muffin pans and make them into 24 muffins.  Cut the cooking time in half, but at same temperature.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Pasta with Ricotta and Peas

This recipe idea was inspired from watching Rachael Ray one morning and it sounded pretty good to me.  Simple and tasty.  I love ricotta cheese, and the fresh taste of peas, so it just seemed like a winner.  I am not sure if my husband liked it, but I sure did.  I hope you like it as much as I did.

Pasta with Ricotta and Peas

1 lb box of uncooked pasta, any shape that will hold sauce well (something with grooves or a tubular shape)
1 c frozen peas
1 1/2 c ricotta cheese
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp seasoning salt (I like McCormick's or Lawry's, but it's up to you)
1/2 tsp thyme
Parmesan cheese, to taste, and then for topping at the table

Cook pasta to pkg directions.  While cooking pasta, heat peas in microwave til thawed and warm. In a large mixing/serving bowl, mix the ricotta and spices together til cheese is softened and it is well blended (if you use a whole milk ricotta it tends to be thicker, you need to mash it to get the right consistency; if you use part skim it should just need a light mix).  Just before draining the pasta, reserve about 1/2 c of the cooking water in a mug or something.  You'll use that to loosen things up and make it more like a sauce than coated with cheese.  Drain the pasta, and then dump it over the cheese mixture, add peas and stir well.  Add parmesan cheese if you like, and stir again.   Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What do you do with ALL of that ZUCCHINI?!

So, being an LDS member who has been encouraged to have a garden since I was born, zucchini has always been the curse from September.  It's a doorbell ditch gift that nobody celebrates.  We always had to find inventive ways to use it before it went bad.  So this is how Mom came up with this recipe...she was trying to find other ways to get her kids to eat the stuff.  Oddly enough, even though I didn't like zucchini as a kid, I like it now, and this recipe has A LOT to do with it.   I hope it has the same effect for you!

Zucchini Fritters

5-6 c shredded zucchini, squeezed dry (the stuff holds a lot of liquid, needs to be wrung out after you shred it)
1 c breadcrumbs
1 c parmesan cheese
1 tbsp onion powder
2 tsp garlic powder
pinch each of salt and pepper
2 eggs
1/2 c flour

Mix all ingredients together until well combined.  Heat griddle over stove top or use electric stove.  Grease it well, and then spoon the zucchini mixture like pancakes onto the griddle, and cook until golden, then flip.  I recommend heating the oven to about 175 degrees, so they stay warm while you cook them all.  You'll have to do them in batches of about 5 at a time.  Makes about 25 medium sized fritters, or 40 small ones (for snacks or party appetizers).

Serve warm with ranch dressing, cream cheese, cottage cheese, or just butter and salt and pepper.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Meatballs and Biscuits

This one is a Prows family favorite that my mother in law, Cathy, makes all of the time.  My husband and all of his siblings really enjoy it, and I thought I would give it a bit of a face lift if you will.  The traditional recipe is based in basic meatballs, cream of mushroom soup gravy, and biscuits.  I decided to make homemade mushroom gravy, and upgrade the meatballs a bit, and take it to a different level.  Happily, the family enjoyed them and I was complimented on them and asked for the recipe.  I share it with all of you here!

Meatballs and Biscuits

I will start with the meatballs, then move to the gravy, and then move on to the biscuit dough....

1 1/4 lb ground beef
3/4 lb lean pork sausage (usually the size of the Jimmy Dean Lean tube)
1 tbsp worchestershire sauce
1 c breadcrumbs
1 egg
1 tsp each garlic powder and onion powder
1/2 tsp dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Mix meats with all other ingredients til well blended.  Form into balls about a 1/2 inch thick, and place in a greased 13x9 in. baking dish, and bake for about 25 minutes.

While Baking Meatballs, make...

Mushroom Gravy

1 lb mushrooms, sliced
1 can chicken broth (about 2 cups)
4 tbsp butter, plus 1 more (separated from each other)
3 tbsp flour
1/2 c milk
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tbsp worchestershire sauce

Melt 1 tbsp of the butter in a skillet, then add mushrooms.  It will look like a lot, but they generally shrink when sautéed.  Cook them til they are about half their original volume.  While this is going, melt the other 4 tbsp of butter in a medium saucepan.  Add flour to the melted butter, and whisk.  It will be still kind of thin, not as thick and dough like as when I make a white sauce.  Add chicken broth to the butter mixture, and stir till all lumps are out of your roux.  Add milk and whisk well.  Add worchestershire, and stir well, and then add mushrooms (at this point, ditch the whisk and use a wooden spoon or something).  Simmer on Low for the rest of the time til the meatballs are done baking the first half of the time.

While simmering gravy and still waiting for meatballs to finish, make...

Biscuit Dough

2 c all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
7 tbsp COLD butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 c milk

Blend dry ingredients together with a fork.  Add butter, and rub in with fingers or cut in with pastry blender.  Add milk and continue to mix with hands.  Dust with more flour and then roll out to 1/4 inch thickness, and cut with biscuit cutter.  Should make about 12 biscuits.

Lastly, pull out the meatballs from the oven, and pour the gravy on top of the meatballs.  Top with biscuits, and bake another 20 minutes.   By then, the meatballs should be fully cooked and the biscuits will be golden on top.  Takes a bit longer because you're baking the biscuits at 375 instead of 425, but you don't want to burn the gravy and meatballs while baking the biscuits.  When you take it out of the oven, just to keep the top of the biscuits softer, it might be good to brush or rub butter on the top of the biscuits.