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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thanksgiving Part 2-Turkey

1 package cheesecloth (see note)
4 cups cold water
1 turkey , 12 to 14-pounds (see note), neck and giblets reserved
1 pound salt pork , cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Reserved turkey neck and giblets
1 onion , chopped
5 cups water
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Salt and pepper  

Monday, November 1, 2010

WIP No boil lasagna

This was my first attempt at lasagna using the no boil noodle so the recipe might be a little rough feel free to adjust as needed.
NOTE: I had extra room at the end of my 9x13 pan you may want to add extra noodles and filling to close the gap

12 no boil lasagna noodles
 1 jar spaghetti sauce with 1 cup water added
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
8 slices provel cheese

Cheese Filling:
2 eggs, beaten
15 oz ricotta cheese
1 small bag frozen spinach, thawed and mostly drained
1/2 cup asiago cheese, grated
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded

Meat Filling
1 lb. hamburger
2 small onions, chopped
4 handfuls carrots, chopped
1- 1/2 C blanched broccoli
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can diced tomatoes garlic flavored, drained

Mix cheese filling and set aside. Saute carrots for 5 minutes add onion and garlic cook for 5 more minutes. Add hamburger, tomatoes, and seasoning cook until the meat is done. Drain, add broccoli and set aside.

Thickly coat bottom of 9x13 pan with sauce. Place 4 noodles down. Put 1/3 of cheese filling on  the noodles. Cover with part of meat mixture. Add some sauce. Sprinkle with cheese. Lay 4 more noodles down, repeat proccess and top with 4 slices of provel. I ended up with 3 layers ending with the meat layer. Top the  final layer with all of the mozzarella cheese left. Cover tightly with foil. Can be refrigerated overnight (allow to warm up before baking) or baked at 375 for one hour. Remove foil top with 4 slice of provel, and bake until the cheese melts. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pumpkin Pie

1 9 inch pre-baked pie crust
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 Cups canned pumpkin, mashed
1 Cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg plus 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 Cup half-and-half
1/4 Cup butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
whipped cream, for topping

Preheat oven to 350.
For the filling, in a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer. Add the pumpkin and beat until combined. Add the sugar and salt, and beat until combined. Add the eggs mixed with the yolks, half-and-half, and melted butter, and beat until combined. Finally, add the vanilla, cinnamon, and ginger and beat until incorporated.
Pour the filling into the warm prepared pie crust and bake for 50 minutes, or until the center is set. Place the pie on a wire rack and cool to room temperature. Cut into slices and top each piece with a generous amount of whipped cream.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Thanksgiving Part 1- Garlic Mashed Potatoes

These are by far my favorite mashed potatoes because you only have to use one pot and they contain lots of fresh garlic (don't skimp).

4 pounds russet potatoes peeled and cubed
1 1/2 stick butter, cut into pieces
12 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 cups half & half
1/2 cup water
Salt and pepper

Rinse the potatoes and drain until the water is clear. Melt 4 T of butter in a dutch oven cook the garlic and sugar until it is sticky straw colored.
Add potatoes, 1 1/4C half and half, and 1 tsp salt. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 25-30minutes until the potatoes are tender. Remove from heat mash  add remaining butter and half and half as needed. Season with salt and pepper.

Tip: Flatten the leftovers in a 9x13 pan refrigerate overnight and grill the next day buy cutting them in squares.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Manhandler Stew

For a spicy stew add one red skinny mexican pepper and cook with the stew. Remove before serving.

2 T fat
2 pounds beef chuck or london broil, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
1 large onion, sliced
1 clove garlic
4 Cups hot water
1 T salt
1 T lemon juice
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. paprika
1-2 bay leaves
dash allspice or cloves
6 carrots, quartered
6 medium potatoes, diced
2 T cornstarch dissolved in cold water

Heat fat in dutch oven and brown beef on all sides. Add onion, garlic, boiling water, salt, lemon juice, sugar, worcestershire sauce, pepper, paprika, bay leaves and allspice or cloves. Cover and occasionally stir while simmering for at least 2-3 hours or until meat is almost done and tender. Add the vegetables and simmer for 30 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and garlic clove. Move the vegetable and meat to one side and add the cornstarch mixture to the opposite side. Bring to a boil and stir until thickened. 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

And its gone to the dogs and Kong

Figures I couldn't keep the blog completely human now that I've figured out a great way to stuff a Kong. I was disappointed that many Kong recipes aren't really healthy by the time you add tons of cheese and peanut butter for binder. (If you don't know what a Kong is see the amazon link below)

Kong Stuffing
Carrots, roughly chopped
1 small peanut butter smear (I really do mean just a tiny bit)
Dry dog food
1/2 handful of softened dog food (Soak overnight in just enough water to cover, or for a few hours in hot water)

Place carrots in the bottom of kong, 1/4 full. Place dog food in 1/4 of the way full. Smear with peanut butter. Pack down and fill almost to the top with dog food. Pack in the softened dog food until the kong is capped. Place in sandwich bag capped end up freeze overnight.

Sandwiches Over the Top

My latest goal is to revamp my boring sandwiches into something more fun... pictures to follow.
Here's the general idea:

Sesame Seed bun
Honey Ham
Hard Salami
Provel or Havarti cheese
1 tsp mustard
1 tsp ranch
italian seasoning

Place meat and cheese on bun broil until cheese is melted. Toast the top half of the bun until the seeds are browned. Swirl ranch and mustard on, sprinkle with italian seasoning. Top with handful of spinach and bun.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Teriyaki Chicken

1/4 C olive oil
1/3 C tamari (low sodium soy sauce)
1/3 C honey
1/2 tsp. pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
4-6 chicken breasts

Combine all ingredients in a ziploc bag marinate for 12-24 hours. Remove chicken and cook boil marinade and add constarch if you want a sauce.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Sloppy Joes

1 lb ground beef
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
brown sugar
a few dashes Worcestershire sauce
1tsp. grill seasoning
1 tsp. horseradish

Saute onions and garlic. Add meat, grill seasoning brown and drain. Add ketchup mustard and brown sugar to taste (if you like it extra runny add more ketchup). Simmer until slightly thickened. Add Worcestershire and horseradish. Serve on a toasted sesame bun.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Funky Chicken Noodle Soup

This soup is a spinoff of traditional chicken noodle and is great for cleaning out the pantry. This recipe makes a bunch so get ready to share...
If you don't have all the ingredients or have other favorite veggies feel free to use them.

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into large chunks
2 large cartons chicken broth
1 large onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, chopped
1 slice bacon
1 small bag baby carrots, chopped
1/2 bunch celery, chopped
1 bag dehydrated cheese tortellini (check the dry pasta aisle)
1 bag frozen corn
1/2 bag frozen peas
1 can water chestnuts
1 T black pepper
1 T italian seasoning
3 bay leaves
2 spoonfuls hot horseradish
large pinch of salt

In a large soup pot: Saute the onion and garlic in olive oil. Add 1 carton of chicken broth. Add chicken and bacon. Add 1/3 of carrots and celery. Add more of the chicken broth. Bring to boil add tortellini. Add black pepper, italian seasoning, 1 spoonful of horseradish. Reduce to simmer cover and simmer for several hours stirring occasionally at least until the tortellini break apart. Add remaining carrots and celery, cook until tender. Add water chestnuts and corn simmer for 15 minutes. Add peas don't stir cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in remaining horseradish and salt, remove slice of bacon and bay leaves. Serve.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Apple Pie

Apple pie in the making

It's that time of the year apples are in here's the first apple pie recipe.... It's simple and delicious. In keeping with the simple nature for this pie I used a store bought pie crust. In later post we'll explore several different homemade crusts.

Simple Apple Pie

2 pie crusts
3/4 Cup sugar
2 T flour
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1 T lemon juice
3 pats butter
6 medium apples, peeled and sliced thin (granny smith or combination of apples)

Preheat oven to 425.
Place bottom pie dough in 9 inch pie pan. Combine all other ingredients except apples and lemon juice. Gently toss in apples and lemon juice. Dot with butter. Top with second crust and bake at 425 for 40-45 minutes.

TIP: Use an apple peeler to make the peeling fast and fun & if you want to be adventurous try fresh nutmeg it really make a difference just grate some in.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Recipe Spin Off Pesto Pasta

Something to do with the leftovers assuming their are any?

Roast a spaghetti squash whole that you've washed a pricked with a knife @ 375 for 1 hour. Allow to cool and scoop out the flesh.

Place the squash in the bottom of the bowl pour over some marinara sauce I like Barilla roasted garlic. Top with leftover pesto pasta and sprinkle with cheese. Reheat and enjoy!

Organic Pasta Sauce Set, Dave's Gourmet. Red Heirloom Tomato, Roasted Garlic & Basil, Wild Mushroom, and Organic Spicy Marinara. 26-Ounces Each Jar (Set of Four)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Pasta with Pesto and Homemade Breadsticks

Basil is coming to an end so it's a great time to make up a batch of pesto if you don't have any feel free to purchase the pesto at the store.San Remo Pesto with Olive Oil, 3-Ounce Jar (Pack of 6)

2 Cups Basil
1/4 C walnuts or pine nuts
1/4 C hard cheese (asiago or parm)
1/4 C olive oil
Pepper & Salt to taste
1/2 box whole wheat pasta
1/4 C pasta water

For the pesto process in a food processor basil, nuts, cheese, salt and pepper until it forms a paste. While running drizzle in oil til a smooth paste forms.

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Place 1/4- 1/2C of pesto in the bottom of a bowl add 1/4 C reserved pasta water toss with noodles. Garnish with cheese and serve.

NOTE: Pesto freezes well so you can freeze the leftovers or make a larger serving of pasta

Homemade Breadsticks

The breadsticks are from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a day I can't rave enough about the book see the post here:
Artisian Bread In Five
I modified the recipe slightly by sprinkling dried herbs in a few tablespoons of olive oil to brush the tops of breadsticks with prior to baking.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Welcome to simply cooking. My purpose here is to archive my own recipes while sharing them with you. I hope you like what you see and taste. I hope to post one or maybe more recipes per week. I look forward in joining in the adventure with you.

Remember it's your kitchen cooking is supposed to be simple and fun... Make each recipe yours