Sunday, February 22, 2009

Fast Sunday Dinner

I was watching the Food Network a couple of days ago and Giada (Everyday Italian) was making what her family likes to eat when they watch awards shows. It looked like such a fun and delicious dinner, so I decided to make it today for Sunday dinner. It was so good & really fun to eat. You cook the meat for a long time and then slice it and serve it will 2 sauces. I think it would be a great dish for a party. Instead of making the salsa verde sauce she made I made a chimichuri sauce. It was good, but super garlicy. Matt and I both thought that the meat was best with the gorgonzola sauce and the chimichuri was good with french bread dipped in it! I also made the macaroni and cheese that I already posted on here, but instead of making it the normal way I sauteed some baby bella mushrooms and spinach and added them in. It was really good. Then for dessert I made a blueberry and peach cobbler. I was using evaporated milk a few days ago and noticed a super easy cobbler recipe on the back of the can of milk so I decided to try it. It was not the best cobbler I've ever had, I think I will add some sugar to the mixture next time. But it was super super easy.

Bollito Misto

Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis

Prep Time:
40 min
Inactive Prep Time:
hr min
Cook Time:
2 hr 40 min


8 to 10 servings


* 4 pounds beef brisket or top round
* Salt and freshly ground pepper
* 4 cups beef stock or broth
* About 4 cups water, enough to cover the beef
* 2 onions, peeled and quartered
* 4 celery stalks, cut in 1/2
* 1 bay leaf
* 4 carrots, peeled and cut into thirds
* 1 pound small boiling potatoes
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* Gorgonzola Sauce, recipe follows
* Salsa Verde, recipe follows


Heat a large braising pot over medium-high heat. Season the beef with salt and pepper. Sear the beef, browning it on both sides, about 5 minutes a side. Carefully add the stock and enough water to just cover the meat. Add the onion, celery, and bay leaf. Bring the liquid to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 1 hour. Add the carrots and potatoes and cook until the meat is tender, about another hour. Carefully lift out the meat, place on a cutting board, and cover with foil. Strain the vegetables from the stock. Discard the celery, onion, and bay leaf. Arrange the carrots and potatoes on a platter and cover with foil to keep warm. Continue cooking the stock uncovered over medium heat until reduced by half, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, slice the meat against the grain, on an angle. Arrange the meat alongside the carrots and potatoes on the platter. When the stock has reduced, season with salt and pepper, to taste, and transfer to a gravy dish. Serve the Bollito Misto with the gravy and bowls of the Gorgonzola Sauce and the Salsa Verde.
Gorgonzola Sauce:

4 ounces Gorgonzola

2 cups mayonnaise

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Put all the ingredients in a food processor and combine until smooth. Serve in a side dish.

Yield: 1 1/4 cups

Spicy Salsa Verde:

1 cup chopped parsley leaves, about 1 bunch

2 shallots, chopped

2 tablespoons chopped capers

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons hot sauce, or 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil

In a bowl, stir all the ingredients together until combined. Serve in a side dish.

Yield: 1 1/2 cups

Chimichurri Sauce

recipe image
Rated: rating
Photo By: SPEARL20
Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Ready In: 10 Minutes
Servings: 12
"This famous Argentinean sauce is perfect for any grilled foods. My catering customers love this sauce on garlic crostini with grilled flank steak slices."
1 cup fresh parsley
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons dried oregano

2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 tablespoon pepper sauce, such as
Franks® Red Hot® or Tabasco™
1. Place the parsley, olive oil, red wine vinegar, oregano, cumin, salt, garlic and hot pepper sauce into the container of a blender or food processor. Blend for about 10 seconds on medium speed, or until ingredients are evenly blended.

Hill Country Fair - Mom's Easy Fruit Cobbler
1 c pancake mix
1 12 oz can evaporated milk
3 c drained canned fruit (peaches, pineapples or apples)
1/2 c chopped pecans (optional, I didn't use)
1/4 c sugar

1. Heat oven to 350. Spray a 2 quart baking dish with cooking spray.
2. In a bowl combine pancake mix and evaporated milk. Stir well. Pour mixture into baking dish.
3. Arrange drained fruit evenly over milk mixture. Sprinkle fruit with pecans and sugar.
4. Bake for 30 mins.

Rosemary Bread like Macaroni Grill

This bread is delicious!! Seriously good. It tastes just like the bread they serve at macaroni grill. I couldn't get it quick as crunchy on the outside as the bread they serve, but the taste was awesome. I got the recipe from Some the the reviewers suggested putting an egg wash on the bread. I did that and it helped to get a nice brown crust.

Romano's Macaroni Grill Rosemary Bread Recipe #64446
This is an attempt to immitate the excellent bread that is served in the Macaroni Grill Restaurant.
by Hunter

2½ hours | 2¼ hours prep

2 loaves

* 1 tablespoon yeast
* 1 tablespoon sugar
* 1 cup warm water
* 2 1/2 cups flour
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 2 tablespoons rosemary
* 2 tablespoons butter

1. Place yeast, sugar and water in large bowl or food processor and allow mixture to become bubbly.
2. Mix in 1 T butter, salt, and 2 cups of flour.
3. Add one tablespoon of the fresh chopped rosemary.
4. Knead for about 10 minutes by hand or in food processor about 5 minutes until smooth and elastic.
5. Add more flour if necessary.
6. Oil a bowl, put dough in it and cover with a towel.
7. Let dough rise in a warm place for one hour until doubled.
8. Punch down dough and divide in half.
9. Let dough rest about 5 minutes.
10. Spray baking pan or cookie sheet with cooking spray.
11. Shape the dough into 2 small rounded oval loaves.
12. Sprinkle remaining 1 Tablespoon of rosemary over the loaves and press lightly into the surface.
13. Let loaves rise again until doubled, about 45 minutes.
14. Preheat oven to 375°F.
15. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly browned.
16. Carefully remove from oven, brush with remaining butter (and salt if desired.).

Monday, February 16, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wedge Salad with Elegant Blue Cheese Dressing
1/2 pound crumbled blue cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons white sugar 1 clove garlic, minced
ground black pepper to taste

1 head iceberg lettuce, cut into 8 wedges
2 roma tomatoes, diced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 pound crumbled blue cheese
1. Combine 1/2 pound blue cheese, sour cream, buttermilk, mayonnaise, vinegar, olive oil, sugar, garlic, and pepper in a bowl; blend using a hand mixer; chill until serving.
2. Build the salad by placing 1 lettuce wedge on each of 8 plates. Drizzle equal amounts of dressing over each wedge. Scatter tomatoes, onion, and 1/2 pound blue cheese over each salad.

(from Better Homes and Garden cookbook. I love this book! Thank you Kati!)

1/3 c sugar
3 beaten eggs
1 1/2 c milk
1/3 c sugar
1 t vanilla
dash ground cinnamon

1. To caramelize sugar, in an 8 inch heavy skillet cookie 1/3 c sugar over medium-high heat until sugar begins to melt, shaking skillet occasionally to heat sugar evenly. Do not stir. Once sugar begins to melt, reduce heat to low (I reduced to low and the sugar immediately hardened, so I would say put it down to medium heat). Cook about 5 mins more or until all of the sugar is melted and golden, stirring as needed with a wooden spoon. Immediately divide caramelized sugar among four 6 oz cups. Coat bottoms evenly. Let stand for 10 mins.

2. Meanwhile, combine eggs, milk, the 1/3 c sugar, and vanilla. Beat until well combined but not foamy. Place custard cups in a 2-quart square baking dish. Divide egg mixture into the 6 cups. If desired sprinkle with cinnamon. Place baking dish on oven rack. Pour boiling water into the baking dish into the baking dish around custard cups to a depth of 1 inch. Bake in a 325 degree oven for 30-45 mins or until a knife inserted near the center of each flan comes out clean.

3. Remove cups from wather. Take cups out to cool. You can chill until serving time. To unmold, loosen edges of flans with knife, slipping point between flans and side of custard cups. Invert a dessert place over each flan and turn plate and custard cup over together. Remove cups from flan.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Nutella Cheesecake

Yes, you did read that right, Nutella Cheesecake! Could it get any better?! I made it for cooking club tomorrow. I haven't tried it yet, but I can't wait to! I always email myself recipes I want to try that I find in random places. I can't remember where I found this recipe...

Creamy Nutella Cheesecake with Chocolate Ganache and Toasted Hazelnuts


  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted butter


  • 24 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 (13 ounce) jar Nutella


  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups toasted hazelnuts

Directions for Crust: Heat oven to 350 degrees F. In a small mixing bowl, combine crust ingredients. Pat into the bottom of springform pan and bake for 10 minutes.

Directions for Filling: In the bowl of a mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar, flour and vanilla extract until just combined. Add egg yolks and egg, beat on low until just combined. Add milk and Nutella and mix completely. Pour filling into springform pan. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees F. Place springform pan on a cookie sheet and then place in oven. Bake for 1 1/2 hours, or until center appears set when shaken lightly. Remove and cool on a wire rack.

Directions for Topping: Bring cream to a boil. Pour over chocolate chips. Stir until smooth. Spread evenly over top of cheesecake. Sprinkle toasted hazelnuts over chocolate. Refrigerate cheesecake for at least 4 hours to set.

Chinese New Year Part 2

My friend Tracy brought this super delicious Thai Noodle Salad dish to the party. It was so so good.

Tracy's Thai Noodle Salad
1 lb thin spaghetti
1/4 C sesame oil
1/4 C Corn oil (I use canola corn oil)
1/4 C honey
1/4 C soy sauce (i use the low sodium kind)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 C chopped cilantro
1/2 C chopped green onions or 1/4 C white onion
1/2 to 1 tsp red pepper flakes (we like it spicy)
1/2 C chopped lightly salted peanuts
Cook spaghetti according to package directions, add salt to water. Drain. Heat oils in small saute pan until just warm (carefull....sesame oil will burn). Pour oil over cooked spaghetti. Add honey and soy sauce. Toss w/cilantro & onion. Add red pepper flakes to taste. Sprinkle on nuts before serving.
This recipe is best made the night before.

Valentine's Day Idea

I got the idea for this from my friend Diana on facebook. I thought it was genius. I ended up using heart shaped sugar cookies (recipe on a previous post, you have to make the cookies extra thick and bake the skewer into the cookie), rice krispie treats in heart shapes (you have to let them cool overnight), peeps hearts, reeses hearts and dove hearts.

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Chinese New Year recipe Part 1

Sweet & sour sauce

2 cups water
2/3 cup distilled white vinegar
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 (8 ounce) can pineapple tidbits, drained (I just use the liquid and not the bits)
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, mix together water, distilled white vinegar, white sugar, tomato paste, pineapple tidbits and cornstarch. Cook, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes, or until mixture reaches desired color and consistency.

Thai sweet sticky rice. I used the directions on this website. I've tried to make this many times and it's never worked, but it worked perfectly with these directions. I didn't have cheesecloth so I used a pillow cover we don't use anymore. I also don't have a thai steamer basket, so I used the round bamboo steamer that I have.

Fried Rice

I don't use a recipe for this. I just scramble eggs, set them aside. In a big pan I heat a little oil & add a half a diced onion, sausage chopped up and let it cook for a minute. Then I add frozen veggies and cook until the veggies are soft. Then add as much steamed day old rice as you want. Add soy sauce (as much as you like) and salt a pepper. Then add the scrambled eggs and stir.

Pyong's Beef Broccoli

I met Pyong in Cosmetology school and she was nice enough to share this recipe with me.

1 lb beef sliced thin
1/4 c brown sugar
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/2 c soy sauce
2 t pepper

Mix all the ingredients (except beef and broccoli) in a medium glass bowl. Take beef and put it in the marinade for 2-4 hours or overnight.

Heat a wok with about 1 T of oil in the bottom. Add the marinated meat. Once the meat is cooked add the washed and trimmed broccoli and cook for about 5 mins (you don't want it too mushy, it should be aldente).

Orange Chicken

A couple of weeks ago we had a small group of friends over to celebrate Chinese New Year. We had a lot of fun celebrating the year of the Ox! Here are the recipes:

Orange Chicken
1 1/2 c water
2 T orange juice
1 c packed dark brown sugar
1/3 c rice vinegar
2 1/2 T soy sauce
1/4 c lemon juice
1/2 t minced ginger (fresh)
1/4 t minced garlic
1 t chopped green onion
1/4 t red pepper flakes
2 T corn starch
4 chicken breasts
1 c ice water
1 egg
1/4 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1 1/2 c cake flour (I've also used all purpose & it works just fine)
vegetable oil
Put all the sauce ingredients in a medium pot & set it aside.
Slice the chicken breasts into 1 inch chunks & set aside.
Heat cooking oil.
Beat together the ice water (take ice out) and egg in a medium bowl. Add baking soda and salt. Add 3/4 c flour and stir with a fork just until the flour is blended into the mixture. The batter will still be lumpy. Sprinkle another 1/4 c flour on top of the batter and mix with only one or two strokes. There should still be some flour floating on top.
Put the remaining 1/2 c flour in another bowl.
When the oil is ready to fry: Dip each piece of chicken first in the dry flour and then into the batter. Put the chicken into the oil & fry until cooked through. Let chicken drain on paper towels once cooked. Cook all the chicken. Put the chicken into a serving bowl.
Heat the sauce mixture until boiling, stirring frequently. Once it comes to a boil take it off the heat and let it cool & thicken a little. Pour the sauce over the chicken & gently mix until covered.
Serve over rice.