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Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

TiramisuI have been wanting to make tiramisu for over a year.  Every once in a while I would browse the cookie ilse at the grocery store looking for ladyfingers, but could never seem to find them.  Then, a few weeks ago I was at Trader Joe’s and the ladyfingers practically jumped in my cart.  I was looking for edamame in the frozen food section, looked up, and they there were on the self directly in front of me.  I took that as a sign that it was time to finally make tiramisu.  Even better, Easter was only a few weeks away, so I ever had a special family get together as a reason to make a nice dessert. 

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pound mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee, room temperature
  • 1/8 cup Kahlua, rum or other coffee liquor
  • 2 (3 ounce) packages ladyfinger cookies – I prefer the soft kind
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until well blended. Whisk in milk and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils. Boil gently for 1 minute, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Cover tightly and chill in refrigerator 1 hour.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat cream with vanilla until stiff peaks form.
  3. Whisk mascarpone into yolk mixture until smooth.
  4. In a small bowl, combine coffee and rum. Split ladyfingers in half lengthwise and drizzle with coffee mixture.
  5. Arrange half of soaked ladyfingers in bottom of a springform pan. Spread half of mascarpone mixture over ladyfingers, then half of whipped cream over that. Repeat layers and sprinkle with cocoa. Cover and refrigerate 24 – 48 hours, until set.  the flavors are at their peak at about 48 hours.
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Chocolate Chip CookiesThese chocolate chip cookies truly are the best that I have ever had the pleasure to eat.  I am not alone in this claim!  My friends and family loves them, too.  In fact, some friends and family members get very disappointed when I fail to bring these cookies to family gatherings:-)  Now, I’m sharing the recipe, so that you all can make these cookies whenever you have a craving.

 

  • 1 cup butter flavored shortening (I prefer Crisco sticks)
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (Mexican vanilla tastes great)
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips (dark chocolate chunks are my favorite)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.  
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter flavored shortening, brown sugar and white sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition, then stir in the vanilla. 
  3. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; gradually stir into the creamed mixture.
  4. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets.
  6. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until light brown.
  7. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Chicken pot pieChicken pot pie is one of my favorite one dish meals to make in the fall and winter months.  I opt for the ready-to-use pie crust, which cuts down on cooking and assembly time. It’s also a great way to use up leftovers after roasting a whole chicken. I cut-up the leftover chicken and freeze it in pot pie servings, so it is ready to go when I have a craving for chicken pot pie!

1/3 cup stick butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 small onion chopped (about 1/3 cup)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1-3/4 cup chicken broth or stock (I use my own homemade stock)
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup frozen corn
2 fresh carrots peeled and sliced
2-1/2 cups cooked cut-up chicken (I prefer a mix of dark and white meat)
Ready-to-use 9 inch two crust pie (Pillsbury works great)

Directions 

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Melt butter in large pan over medium heat. Stir in flour, onion, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is bubbly. Remove from heat. Stir in chicken broth and milk. Heat to boiling, stiring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Stir in chicken, peas, corn and carrots. Remove from heat.
  3. Line a 9 inch pie pan with a layer of ready-to-use pastry crust.  Pour chicken mixture into the pastry-lined pie pan.  Place top layer of ready-to-use pastry crust over chicken mixture and seal edges by squeezing together top and bottom crust.  Cut a few 2 inch long slits in the top layer of pastry for ventilation.  Or, you can arrange a lattice work type top (as seen in my picture) by cutting the pastry into long sections and laying them on top of the chicken mixture in a lattice work pattern.
  4. Bake about 35 minutes or until golden brown.
  5. Let sit for at least a half hour before cutting, so that the liquid/gravy in the pie has time to cool and thicken.  Otherwise it will run all over when you try to cut a piece out of the pie. 
  6. Enjoy!

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I made beef stroganoff for dinner tonight and it turned out so good (if I must say so myself) that I wanted to share the recipe.  The basic recipe came from allrecipes.com, but I added my own touches.  This one is definitely going in the recipe binder.  In fact, I was so hungry and excited to eat this that I forgot to take a picture.  Ooops!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound cubed beef stew meat (my grocer actually had meat packaged as”stroganoff”)
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed golden mushroom soup
  • 1 soup can of water
  • 1 beef bouillon cube
  • 1/2 packet of Lipton onion soup mix
  • 1 clove garlic chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • salt and pepper to your liking
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • dollop of sour cream
  • 8 ounce package button mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 package wide egg noodles

Directions

  1. In a slow cooker, combine the meat, soup, water, bouillon, onion soup mix, garlic, onion, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper.
  2. Cook on Low setting for 5-6 hours.  
  3. Mix the corn starch and water in a small bowl until corn starch disintegrates.  Stir in to create a thickness to your liking.
  4. Saute mushrooms in olive oil.  Add to mixture within a half hour before serving.
  5. Stir in cream cheese and sour cream just before serving.
  6. Serve over egg noodles.

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Peanut Butter Noodles

peanut butter noodlesWhen I have a craving for Pad Thai, but don’t feel like driving to the closest Thai restuarant, becuase a good one is at least 20 minutes away, I make this delicious recipes at home.

  
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger root
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter (use the all natural kind, like Smuckers All Natural)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons hot chile paste (optional, if you like it hot)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces rice noodles
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped peanuts
Directions
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add noodles and cook until tender according to package directions. Drain.
  2. Meanwhile, combine chicken broth, ginger, soy sauce, peanut butter, honey, chili paste, and garlic in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until peanut butter melts and is heated through. Add noodles, and toss to coat. Garnish with green onions and peanuts.

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Matzo Ball SoupMy familiy celebrated another fun and delicious Hanukah dinner on December 9th.  I always look forward to Hanukah dinner, even more than Thanksgiving!  I would take a brisket, potato pancakes and a big bowl of matzo ball soup over turkey and stuffing anyday!

This year’s menu was similar to all the rest, why mess with perfection.  We start off with my mom’s matzo ball soup.  It is the perfect comfort food.  I am proud to say that I can now make this soup just as well as my mom.

Soup 

1 package of chicken thighs (about 4-6 thighs)
1 whole onion
3 stalks celery, quartered
5 carrots, quartered
4 chicken boulion cubes
Salt & pepper

Matzo Balls

After experimenting with many different matzo ball recipes, we still love the Manischewitz mix better than any other matzo ball!  Just follow the directions on the package.

1 box Manischewitz Matzo Ball Mix
2eggs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Add all ingredients to 2 1/2 quarts cold water, bring to boil.  Cook 1 to 1-1/2 hours until chicken is tender.  Remove chicken and pull chicken and skin from bone.   Add chicken, minus skin and bone, back into the pot.

Turn the heat up, so that the soup comes to a boil.  Wet hands and form matzo ball batter into balls approximately 1 inch in diameter.  Drop into boiling soup, cover tightly.  Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

I like to eat my matzo ball soup with noodles.  Try the Manischewitz egg noddles.  They come in a few different sizes and are perfect with this soup.

I hope you all enjoy the matzo ball soup that I grew up eating and still crave today!

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Best lasagna ever!

If you like a sweet tasting pasta sauce, then you will love this lasagna recipe.  I always make more sauce than is needed for the lasagna, so that I can freeze it for spaghetti dinner another night. 

lasagna.jpg

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes with liquid
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar 
  • 12 ounces cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 9 lasagna noodles, like Barilla no boil
  • 1 pound shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook beef until brown. Drain. In another skillet over medium heat, cook onion and garlic until onion is translucent. Combine beef, garlic and onion in a large saucepan with tomato paste, crushed tomatoes with liquid, water, oregano, garlic powder, salt, pepper and sugar. Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 1 hour.
  2. While sauce is simmering, blend cottage cheese, Parmesan and egg until smooth. Set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  4. Spread 1 cup of sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Cover sauce with 3 noodles. Cover noodles with one-third of remaining sauce. Top with half the mozzarella. Place another layer of noodles and one of sauce over the mozzarella; top that with the cottage cheese mixture. Top with remaining 3 noodles and remaining sauce.
  5. Bake in preheated oven 30 minutes. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella on top and bake 15 minutes more, until golden and bubbly.

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