Thursday, April 30, 2009

Carrot Slaw

My husband made barbecued ribs on Sunday and I decided to make Carrot Slaw. I have not had it in many years, my mom used to make it all the time. I looked around the web for the basic recipe then Dunkinized it!

The red pepper flakes were a fantastic addition, they made you go HMMMMMM!

p.s. thanks for your support, the puppy and I are finally getting a system down and things are going smoother around the Casa!

1 cup low fat mayonnaise
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
3 Equal packets
1.5 lbs shredded carrots, I used about 8 carrots
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup Craisins
small can drained Mandarin Oranges
1 tsp crushed red peppers (optional)

In a medium bowl, add mayonnaise, pepper, salt and Equal, mix well.

Add carrots, raisins, Craisins and the mandarin oranges. Stir well, add in your red pepper flakes if you choose to do so!

It is even better the 2nd day!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Hamburger Gravy over Mashed Potatoes

I am going old school on this one. I have to admit one of my favorite lunches while in grade school was Hamburger Gravy over Mashed Potatoes, I still think of it often today. Talk about "comfort food".

I have been thinking about making it for quite some time, my husband helped me "kick it up" and make a more flavorful adult version! It was soo good and brought back many memories!

1 lb ground beef (I used 15% lean), you need some fat for the gravy
1 onion diced
1/8 to 1/4 cup of flour
4 cups milk
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbl onion powder
2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup dried mushroom (fresh would work as well)
3 tbl of the concentrated beef broth
Cayenne to taste

Saute beef and onion until browned

Add the flour and cook until browned, add your milk and bring the mixture to a very low boil.
Add your spices, beef broth, and mushrooms, then stir, stir, stir until it comes to the consistency you like.

You can serve over Mashed Potatoes or Rice

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Sweet Cola Ribs

My husband is the Master of the Barbecue and now our new Traeger Smoker. He makes some seriously wicked awesome Ribs. I had been watching an episode of Down Home With The Neely's and they used an interesting rub/sauce combo which I asked my husband to try.

Can I just say that those two annoy the hell out of me, with their cutesy ways, enough already!

Anywayyyyyyyyyyyy, the ribs turned out pretty well, but my husbands rub/sauce combo is much better. At least we tried something different!

I made half the recipes as we only cooked a rack and a half of ribs.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cups ketchup
1 can cola
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tablespoon onion powder
1/2 tablespoon ground mustard
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Dry Rub:
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon black pepper

2 racks pork spare ribs (about 3 pound each)
For the sauce:
In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, add oil. Once heated, add the onion and garlic and saute until tender. Add all the remaining sauce ingredients and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to a simmer and cook uncovered, stirring frequently, for 1 hour 15 minutes.

For the dry rub:
Whisk all dry ingredients together in a small bowl. This can be stored up to 6 months in an airtight container.

For the ribs:
Rinse and dry ribs. Place on a clean cutting board, pull off the membrane and trim the ribs of excess fat. Liberally season both sides of the ribs with rub. Wrap ribs with plastic wrap and refrigerate 4 to 12 hours so flavors can permeate.

Preheat grill to 250 degrees F. using hickory and charcoal. Set up your grill for indirect heat.

Place ribs, meatier side down, on the grill away from the coals. Close grill cover. Cook the pork ribs for 1 hour 15 minutes; flipping several times for even cook. *Coat ribs with Sweet Cola Barbecue Sauce and cook for another 20 minutes.

*Reserve some of the sauce for dipping when the ribs are served

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Muffins Two Ways

I used the Banana, Coconut and Walnut Muffin recipe over at Pam's Place (For the Love Of Cooking) made two minor changes, and made muffins two ways! These were so tasty and with very little fat you don't feel so guilty eating them.

I actually had some Toasted Hazelnuts which I substituted for the Walnuts, so they were Banana, Coconut and Hazelnut muffins and for a bit of variety I added mini semi sweet chocolate chips to the tops of about half of the muffins prior to cooking. The same muffin, two different ways!

1 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
1/2 cup of vanilla yogurt (I used fat free)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large, very ripe bananas
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup of chopped Hazelnuts
1/2 cup of mini Semi Sweet Chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a muffin tray with cooking spray or use the paper liners.

In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, white sugar and brown sugar until well combined.

In another bowl, mix the egg, oil, yogurt, vanilla and mushed bananas until mixed thoroughly.

Slowly combine the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients without over mixing.

Add the coconut and hazelnuts then fold them into the batter. Scoop into your muffin cups. Place 1 tsp of the mini chips on the top of 1/2 the muffins

Bake for 20-22 minutes or until golden brown and a tester inserted into the muffin comes out clean.

Cool on a rack then serve with butter

Monday, April 20, 2009

Roasted Butternut Squash

I roasted my first Butternut Squash a few weeks ago, previously I had been scared of them. It was so delicious, I could of eaten ALL of it! We ate it up so fast, no time for photos! I decided I was ready to eat it again, so I made it last night!

Butternut Squash is fairly difficult to peel, de-seed and cube, but it is worth the time. I added some Rosemary which really gives it a savory taste. This is really a simple and delicious recipe.

1 Butternut Squash, peeled, de-seeded and cubed
3-4 tbl good quality Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
Grey Sea Salt to finish (optional)
Dried Rosemary, I pulverized in my mortar and pestle

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees

Place your cubed squash on a large non-stick pan, and mix well with the olive oil, salt, pepper, and Rosemary.

Place in the oven and roast for approximately 25-35 minutes, turning frequently.

Finish with Grey Sea Salt if you happen to have it

Friday, April 17, 2009

Chocolate Surprise Cake

Today is my final day for Dessert Week at Cooking Dunkin Style! Thanks for dropping by!

I realized the other day I have only used my Bundt pan once in it's lifetime, and it must think I have forgotten about it. It must be one sad Bundt pan. I decided to remedy that situation immediately.

I enjoy experimenting and putting yummy stuff in the middle of cakes and cupcakes, you may have noticed this. One other thing I never do is make cakes from scratch. Actually there are three things I always use a boxed mix for, 1. cakes and cupcakes, 2. brownies, 3. pancakes. Where was I?

Oh yeah, I wanted to use my neglected Bundt pan and decided to put some chocolate chips and marshmallows in the middle. It turned out spectacularly well! It was sooo good, no frosting was needed!

1 Cake Mix, I used Chocolate Fudge
Chocolate Chips
Mini Marshmallows

Make your cake batter according to the directions on the box.

Pan spray your Bundt pan, even if it is non stick as mine is

Pour 1/2 of your cake batter into your bunt pan

Sprinkle chocolate chips on the top of that, be generous

Sprinkle marshmallows on, you don't want to see batter thru the marshmallows

Bake for the length of time and at the temperature indicated on the box

Let the cake cool, invert onto a plate or cake stand and shake some confectioners sugar on.

Eat it before anyone else can!
p.s. puppy countdown, 10 days till we pick up our girl!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Malted Milk Ball Cookies

As Dessert Week continues, I have my favorite pervert and co-hort in crime, Donna to thank for this recipe. She noticed I had mentioned that Whoppers were one of my favorite candies and she made these amazing cookies for me!

I swear to DOG they are my new #1 favorite cookie, they are freaking delicious, go make you some now! Trust me! Thanks Donna I heart you!

1 cup butter, softened
¾ cup brown sugar, packed
⅓ cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon salt
2 ¼ cups flour
2 tablespoons instant chocolate drink
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups malted milk balls, chopped

In bowl, cream butter and sugars together. Then beat in eggs and vanilla.

Combine dry ingredients and gradually add to creamed mixture.

Stir in malted milk balls and shape into 1 ½ inch balls.

Place 2” apart on greased cookie sheet(I used silpats)

Bake at 375 for 10–12 minutes or until set.

Cool for one minute before transferring to wire rack to cool

p.s. if you haven't already don't forget to enter my blogversarry giveaway by telling me what your "last meal on earth" would consist of; clickie here to enter, today is the last day!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Heath Bar Crunch Cake - Dessert Week

Sorry Dessert Week was delayed, but here we are! I hope you all had a spectacular Easter weekend!

My first blog for Dessert Week was this cake for a friend as a "Thank You" and it is childishly delicious! I love putting candy bars into cakes, and as you know I am the Queen of the Cake Mix. I would have added Kahlua and some coffee to this cake, but I had no idea if a kid would be eating it, so I omitted it this time.

I also got to experiment with a product called Pastry Pride, which is a non dairy whipped topping mostly used to frost cakes. I normally use heavy whipping cream for my "frosting" as it is easy to work with and low carb compared to a buttercream frosting. I was impressed, it tasted amazing and really held up compared to whipped cream.

I also remembered to use the trick told to me by a sweet old Jewish lady which was to never cook your cake at more than 300 degrees and it will help it stay flat, which works every single time!

1 box of Devils Food Cake Mix
4 Heath Bars Crushed, I used the back of a small heavy sauce pan
1 quart of Pastry Pride or Heavy Whipping Cream
1 tbl pure Vanilla Extract

Make your cake mix and evenly pour into two cake pans, shake them a bit to get the bubbles out and make them even

Bake at 300 degrees for approximately 30 minutes, checking for doneness often.

Remove from oven when a tooth pick comes out clean, let cool

Whip your Pastry Pride or Whipped topping (be sure and add the Vanilla) until medium to stiff peaks form

Frosting the top, add in 1/2 your crushed Heath Bars

Add the 2nd layer, then frost the entire cake

You can use a piping bag and decorate as I did

Add the remaining 2 crushed heath bars on top

Keep Refrigerated

Friday, April 10, 2009

Buttermilk Biscuits Dunkin Style

As I have mentioned previously I cannot seem to make biscuits, they never turn out. I decided this Sunday morning to give it another try. I was inspired by a recipe I saw which involved adding my very favorite food, Cheese!

I checked out a few biscuit recipes, they are all essentially the same. I decided to make mine cheesy, savory and very flavorful. The Biscuit God must of been watching over me, because they turned out amazing; flaky, savory, and the Cayenne woke up my mouth! WJ you would of been proud~

2 cups of all purpose flour
1.5 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cube non salted butter
1 cup buttermilk, start with 3/5 cup and add more as needed
1/2 tbl onion powder
1 tsp dried mustard
1/2 tsp Cayenne, you might want less
1.5 tbl dried chives
1/2 cup cheese (I used sharp cheddar)

In a mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients together with a fork. Cut in the butter using a pastry blender or fork until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Make a well in the center and add buttermilk (start out with 3/4 cup and add more as needed). Quickly fold dry ingredients and spices into buttermilk with your hands until a sticky dough forms.

Turn dough out onto floured surface. Gently fold the dough over itself 3 or 4 times to create layers.

Roll dough out to 3/4-inch thick. Cut with a 3-inch biscuit cutter.

Transfer dough rounds to a sheet pan. Gather scraps and repeat.

Make a dimple in the center to help the top rise evenly. Brush with butter.

Bake for 15 minutes in a preheated 400 degree oven until golden brown.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Blogversary and a give away!

Today, instead of Tips from a Frugal Housewife I am celebrating the one year anniversary of my cooking blog. The actual anniversary was last month and I totally missed it, so I am doing it today!

I am so glad I started this little project, luckily I had lots of encouragement from my neighbor Pam. We have barely eaten the same thing twice, and my cooking skills have improved dramatically.

I enjoy it much more than I ever thought, even if I do threaten to give it up when I get frustrated!

I am going to re-post my very first entry for your amusement.

I am giving away two of my favorite kitchen gadgets, a Silpat and my favorite item, a Micro Plane Grater! All you have to do is leave me a comment telling me what would your "last meal on earth" would consist of.

The giveaway ends on April 15th, and I will draw a random commenter. Thanks for playing.

I thought I would take a picture of what many of my husbands Breakfast's look like. I try to make him a nice well balanced breakfast each day. We only do egg's 3 times a week and that is turkey bacon! Notice the heart shaped egg! I am a dork!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Cheesy Rice

I saw this recipe on Katherine's website and wanted to try it, although I want to try every single dish she posts, they are all winners. I changed it up a bit, and it was everything I thought it would be!

Rice and Cheese my two favorite food groups, together in one dish? YUM is what I say!

3 cups of White Rice, cooked and cooled
2-3 tbl butter
1 onion diced
2 cloves garlic minced
1 can Rotel Tomato Chilis (drained)
1 can diced fire roasted chili's in a can (mild)
3 eggs
1 cup of milk
1 8oz package of Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
Salt and Pepper to taste
Cayenne Pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 350

Melt you butter in a non stick skillet over medium heat

Saute your onions with some Cayenne pepper, salt and pepper

Add in your garlic towards the end and stir well, remove from the heat

In a large bowl whisk the 3 eggs and cup of milk (you could add some hot sauce at this point)

Add your cooked rice and cheddar cheese to the milk mixture, stir to combine

Add the drained Rotel, Chili's, and the onion mixture and continue mixing until well incorporated

Place into a well greased casserole dish

Cook at 350 degrees for 30 minutes

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Fish Tacos

My video card is toast so Dessert Week is posponed until I can get access to my PC again!

In the meantime I give you Fish Tacos!

I am not a huge fan of fish, but recently have been trying fish taco's, I was quite surprised that I really enjoy them. The ones I have tried have all been fried, YUM.

My cholesterol poked me in the arm and suggested I try some that are NOT fried. Good idea! I went to my neighbor and fabulous cook's blog, For the Love of Cooking, I knew Pam would have a great Fish Taco Recipe and of course she did!

It was soo good, we gobbled it all up, there was enough for 1 lonely taco left over. No more fried fish taco's for this girl! I followed her recipe exactly, the only thing I did different was whip up a Cilantro Sour Cream Sauce!

Fish Marinade:
2 fillets of halibut, cod or tilapia (I used Cod)
Zest of one lime
1 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tsp olive oil

Combine ingredients in a zip lock bag and marinate for at least 1 hour. Note: Don't add lime juice to marinade because the acid from the juice will cook the fish.

Salt and pepper to taste
Dash of paprika and oregano
1 tsp olive oil

Remove fish from zip lock and place on a plate. Season to taste with salt, pepper, oregano and a bit of paprika on both sides.

Heat olive oil in a skillet, once hot add fish and cook for 2-3 minutes per side or until tender and flaky.

Cilantro and Lime Cole Slaw Salad:

2 cups of green cabbage shredded (or buy the bagged cole slaw mix with carrots)
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 - 1 lime, juiced
1 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Dash of garlic powder

Make this salad right before you serve the tacos so it stays crunchy. Combine all ingredients until mixed thoroughly.

Cilantro Cream Sauce

1/2 cup cilantro
1/2 cup fat free sour cream
juice of 1/2 lime
salt and pepper to taste

Place the above ingredients in a small chopper or food processor and whir until combined.

Other Ingredients:

Corn or Flour tortillas
Cotija cheese
Grated Cilantro & Lime Cole Slaw Salad

Cook tortillas (dry) in a hot pan for 45-60 seconds on each side. You want them soft & pliable. Top the tortillas with fish, cilantro & lime cole slaw, and whatever else you like and serve

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Pork Fried Rice

I hope you have enjoyed Asian Week, I know I have! Stay tuned, next week is Dessert Week, and I will have some yummy creations!

I have made fried rice several times and each time I do, I wonder why I buy it, it is easy to make and so much better for you than the stuff you get at a restaurant. You control the amount of oil that goes into it!

If you are Wok shopping I highly recommend a Cast Iron Wok, I adore mine, nothing sticks and it really retains the heat.

You can add in whatever ingredients you wish; pork, chicken, shrimp, the possibilities are endless! I had leftover meat from my Banh Bao, so I used that! You do have to make your rice ahead of time and refrigerate, so keep that in mind.

2-3 cups of cooked rice (I used a rice cooker)
1 cup of frozen peas (thawed)
2 eggs scrambled
2 green onions ends removed and chopped
salt and pepper
4 tsp oil
2 tbl Oyster Sauce
1 tbl Low Sodium Soy Sauce

When rice is done cooking, place on a non stick cookie sheet and spread it out, then into the refrigerator to cool

When rice is fully cooled, heat up your wok with 1 tsp vegetable oil

Whip and then salt and pepper your egg

Place your egg into your hot wok, and cook, moving it constantly, when almost done cooking, remove to a plate

Add the remaining vegetable oil, cooled rice, peas, meat and cook, keep it moving around.

After a minute or two add in your sauces, again, keep it moving, cooking until hot and mixed well

Add your egg back in and cook for an additional minute

Serve with the scallions on top for garnish

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