Sunday, March 19, 2017

Pizza Pie

It seems like it has been forever since we have had pizza on a Sunday night. Tonight's was especially delicious with Roasted Sausage and Peppers for a topping. The crust was crispy and the sauce was perfect.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Black Bean Soup and Cheddar Scones

Not sure which I liked better. The soup or the scones. The soup was so darn easy to make but the scones were very, very good.

Black Bean Soup

1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 chopped red pepper
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. oregano
2 cans (15 oz.) Black Beans (drain liquid from 1 can)
Black pepper to taste

In a large pot over medium heat, cook onion and pepper in hot oil for five minutes.
Stir in cumin, chili powder and oregano. Puree one can of beans (the can that was not drained) add to pot. Add remaining can of beans, the can that was drained. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring often. Add black pepper to taste. Garnish with salsa, shredded cheese or fresh herbs on top.

I found this scone recipe on Delicious scones. I made half of the recipe and it was plenty for us with leftovers.

2 1⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 cup cold butter, cubed
1 cup old cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg, lightly beaten

Method -
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cayenne pepper and salt.

Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Stir in the cheese.

Add the buttermilk all at once, stirring with a fork to make a soft, sticky dough.

With lightly floured hands, press the dough into a ball.

On a lightly floured surface, knead gently 10 times.

Pat out the dough into a 3/4-inch thick round.

Using a 2-1/2-inch floured cutter, cut out rounds.

Place on a ungreased baking sheet.

Gather up the scraps and repeat dough once; cut out more rounds.

Brush the tops of the scones with egg.

Bake in a 425 degree F oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden.

Behind the scenes at So What Are You Making For Dinner?

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Lentils and Egg Stew and Homemade Bread

You know the routine by now. It snows and I bake bread. Today was Blizzard Stella. It was more stress than snow. They forecast high winds and wide spread power outages. I hate loosing power. We do not have a generator and we have well water. Thank God we did not loose power. If we did how would I have baked my bread?

This recipe is an oldie! I cut it out of Cooking Light Magazine in 1994. French Wheat Baguettes.

2 1/4 tsp dry yeast
1 c Whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp Salt
3 1/4 c Bread flour
1 tsp Sugar
1 1/2 c warm, water, (105˚ to115˚), divided
Vegetable cooking spray
1 tbsp Cornmeal  

Dissolve yeast and sugar in 1/2 cup warm water in a small bowl; let stand 5 minutes. 

Place bread flour, whole-wheat flour, and salt in food processor, and pulse 4 times or until blended. With processor on, slowly add yeast mixture and remaining 1 cup warm water through food chute; process until dough leaves sides of bowl and forms a ball. Process 15 additional seconds. 

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead 3 or 4 times. Place the dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85 degrees), free from drafts, 45 minutes or until doubled in bulk. 

Punch the dough down, and turn out onto a lightly floured surface; knead 3 or 4 times. Cover and let rest 5 minutes. Divide the dough in half, and roll each portion into a 17 x 9-inch rectangle. Roll up each rectangle, starting with a long edge, pressing firmly to eliminate air pockets; pinch ends to seal. Place each roll, seam side down, in an 18-inch-long baguette pan coated with cooking spray and sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover and let rise 45 minutes or until doubled in bulk. 

Uncover the dough; using a sharp knife, make 6 diagonal cuts 1/4 inch deep across top of loaves. Spray loaves with water. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes or until loaves sound hollow when tapped. Remove from pans; cool on wire racks. Yield: 2 loaves, 12 servings per loaf. 

Dinner was Lentil and Egg Stew from Bon Appetit. Comfort food at the end of a stormy day.

 Lucy rode out the storm next to the heat vent.

Monday, March 13, 2017

National Chicken Soup Day!!!

It never works out that we actually eat the food which is being celebrated on the right day. After dinner tonight I found out that today was National Chicken Soup Day. And yes we had Chicken Noodle Soup!

We are getting ready for a Blizzard. Stella is it's name. They are saying we should be prepared for power outages. I don't remember this happening so often when I was growing up. Hopefully I will be able to do a post tomorrow night. Stay safe and warm!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Crockpot Corned Beef and Guinness Beer Recipe

Let's be honest. I have never been a fan of Corned Beef and Cabbage. That was until today. One of my favorite blogs to follow is What's Cookin' Italian Style. The posts remind me so much of the food my mom and aunts use to make.

Tonight's dinner was so good that we will have it again on Friday night, St. Patrick's Day. Yeah it's Lent but the bishop said it was okay.
Every part of this dinner was delicious. The cabbage was amazing! Click here for the recipe.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Slow Roasted Lemon Pepper Chicken

The star of a few upcoming meals will have started with this dinner.  Lemon Pepper Roast Chicken in a Slow Cooker. This is definitely a favorite slow cooker recipe.

3 teaspoons salt
2 pinches cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
zest of one lemon, then take the lemon & cut in half
4 carrots, cut into thirds
4 celery, cut into thirds or quarters
1 lemon, quartered  
4 to 5-pound whole chicken, rinsed and patted dry with a paper towel, neck & gizzards removed (if any)

Gravy (optional but too good not to make!)
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons all-purpose unbleached flour
1/4 cup white wine
salt & pepper

Mix salt, cayenne pepper, ground pepper and lemon zest together in a small bowl and set aside.

Chop vegetables and add to a 6 to 7-quart slow cooker.

Prep the chicken
Fold wings back below the chicken. Put lemon pepper spices inside and all over the skin of the chicken. Add the quartered lemon pieces to the inside cavity of the chicken. Taking the lemon you halved, squeeze one-half over the chicken and over the vegetables. Add the two halves on top of the vegetables in the slow cooker.

Lay the chicken inside the slow cooker on top of the vegetables. (No need to add water or broth). Turn slow cooker on high for 3 to 4 hours or on low for 4 to 6 hours until chicken is thoroughly cooked through to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F.

Remove chicken with turkey lifters and place into a baking dish and broil for 4 to 6 minutes or until the skin is crisp. Keep an eye on the chicken under the broiler it can brown up pretty fast!

Carve the chicken and serve with the vegetables from the slow cooker if desired.

Remove vegetables and pour chicken broth from the bottom of the slow cooker into a fat separator or use a spoon to remove any extra fat. Strain the liquid.

In a skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and mix with a wooden spoon to cook the flour. Whisk in 1 to 1.5 cups of the strained chicken broth. Bring to a boil and allow to boil for 30 to 60 seconds. Add in white wine and stir. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes and season to taste.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

 I have found a go to Tomato Soup recipe. It is a variation of the Buddy Valastro's Easy Tomato Soup.

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
2 28-ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand with their juice
1 cup chicken stock, plus more if needed
1/2 cup (loosely packed) fresh basil leaves, washed and coarsely sliced or torn by hand
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Heat a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Add the butter and cook until it is melted and foamy. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, about 4 minutes. Pour in the tomatoes and their juices then stir in the stock. Raise the heat to high, bring to a boil, then lower the heat so the liquid is simmering. Continued to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to break down, about 10 minutes. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the basil, and stir the rest into the pot. Using an immersion blender, or working in batches in a standing blender, puree the soup until almost smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and garnish with the remaining basil.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Pasta with Peppers and Sand

The first Friday of Lent. We start with one of my favorite recipes. We have been making this recipes for years. The recipe is from Jeff Smith's "Frugal Gourmet Cooks Italian." Peppers, Bread Crumbs, Crushed Red Pepper, and Pasta. Oh, I did add sliced Zucchini to the recipe tonight. Perfect for a Friday night when work went a little longer than planned.
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium red bell pepper
1 zucchini sliced
4 cloves garlic
12 cup fresh breadcrumb
14 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
12 lb spaghettini or 12 lb angel hair pasta

Place a large pot of water on to boil for the pasta.
Remove core and seeds from pepper and slice thinly--julienne style.
Heat a large frying pan and add 2 tablespoons of the oil.
Add the pepper and saute over high heat for two minutes.
The peppers should remain a little crisp.
Remove from the pan and set aside uncovered.
Heat the frying pan again and add the remaining oil and the garlic.
Saute just a few seconds. Add the bread crumbs and red pepper flakes.
Gently toast the mixture, stirring often, until very lightly browned.
Boil the pasta until al dente and drain well.
Return to the pot and toss with the red bell pepper and the bread crumbs.
Salt and pepper to taste if desired.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Chunky Italian Vegetable Stew

Ah, Lent. I love the challenge it presents. What to have for dinner that is nourishing, delicious and fairly easy to make. Our first meal met all the criteria. From we have Chunky Italian Vegetable Stew. I believe Chris said it was quite delicious, or something along those lines.

6 tablespoons olive oil
2 leeks (white and light green parts only), sliced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 bunches Tuscan or Lacinato kale or 1 medium bunch curly kale (about 20 ounces total), thick stems discarded and leaves sliced
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 15-ounce cans butter, cannellini, or corona beans, rinsed
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
kosher salt and black pepper
1 ounce Parmesan, grated (about ¼ cup), plus more for serving
6 thick slices country bread, toasted

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the leeks and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the kale and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the broth, beans, tomatoes (and their juices), 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 20 to 30 minutes. Stir in the Parmesan.

Tear the toasted bread into large pieces and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the oil. (I served the bread on the side. Homemade bread, of course!)

Serve warm topped with the bread. Drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and sprinkle with additional Parmesan.