Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Andy and I escaped to the beach for Thanksgiving. It was very relaxing, just what we needed! For our Thanksgiving dinner, we had Filet Mignons With Shallot-Rosemary Cream Sauce, Cornbread Dressing, cranberry sauce, Brussels Sprouts With Lemon and Bacon, and Panettone Bread Puddings With Tipsy Whipped Cream. I decided to have filet because that is Andy's favorite. (We will be have the traditional Thanksgiving dinner at my grannie's on Saturday.)

Filet Mignons With Shallot-Rosemary Cream Sauce
2 filet mignons
Kosher salt
Cracked black pepper
2 shallots, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped

1. Generously sprinkle filets with salt and pepper on both sides. Sear meat in an oven-safe skillet over high heat 3 minutes on each side. Place skillet in a 450° oven; bake for 10 minutes or until desired degree of doneness (this is medium). Remove filets to a platter, and keep warm.
2. Melt butter in same skillet in which the steak was cooked. Sauté shallots and garlic in skillet, stirring to loosen particles on bottom of skillet. Stir in cream and rosemary; cook until thoroughly heated. Serve over steak.

Cornbread Dressing
1 1/2 onions, chopped
4 celery ribs, chopped
2 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 (10-inch) pan cornbread, crumbled
4 slices sourdough bread (Use food processor to make breadcrumbs.)
5 Cheesy Bacon Muffins, crumbled
1 tsp. dried sage
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. poultry seasoning
Salt and pepper
3 cups chicken stock
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/3 cup butter, melted
3 eggs, lightly beaten

1. Sauté onions and celery in hot oil and butter in a large skillet for 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
2. Combine crumbled cornbread and next 2 ingredients in a large bowl. Add in sautéed vegetables, sage, and remaining ingredients. Pour into a butter 9-inch-square baking dish.
3. Bake at 350° for 1 hour.

Panettone Bread Puddings With Tipsy Whipped Cream
I used eggnog in place of additional eggs because I like firm bread pudding, not spongy.
1 (16-oz.) panettone, cut into cubes
1 cup eggnog
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Zest and juice from 1 orange
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 to 1 cup brown sugar (I used 1/2 cup, but if you want a sweeter dessert, use more sugar.)
Tipsy Whipped Cream

1. Place panettone cubes in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, combine eggnog and next 5 ingredients (through brown sugar). Pour eggnog mixture over panettone cubes, stirring until combined. Spoon panettone mixture into lightly greased jumbo muffin cups, filling completely full.
2. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until bread puddings are firm. Serve warm with Tipsy Whipped Cream.

Tipsy Whipped Cream
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
4 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1/4 cup brandy

1. Beat whipping cream with an electric mixer, gradually adding in sugar and brandy. Beat until soft peaks form; serve with bread puddings.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Butternut Squash Soup

This was the first time I have ever made this kind of soup. It was very satisfying and made a lot, so there are now a couple of meals in the freezer. My inspiration was a recipe from Jamie Oliver on the Food Network, which I varied a little.

Butternut Squash Soup
4 lb. butternut squash, halved, seeded, and cut into chunks
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 onions, chopped
4 carrots, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp. fresh sage, chopped
1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
2 quarts chicken stock (I like College Inn brand.)

1. Place squash on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 400° for 30 minutes or until softened.
2. Sauté onions and next 3 ingredients in hot oil in a Dutch oven until vegetables are tender. Stir in sage and rosemary. Add in roasted butternut squash and chicken stock. Use an immersion blender to puree mixture until smooth. Cook until thoroughly heated.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Cuban Sandwiches

These sandwiches remind me of the years my family lived in Tampa. There was a hole-in-the-wall Cuban restaurant near our church that had great Cuban sandwiches and black beans and rice. I made these on Friday night with the leftovers from Tuesday's Roasted Pork Tenderloin. The hallmark of these sandwiches is the combination of pork, yellow mustard, and dill pickles. Traditionally ham is also included, but I didn't have any for these.

Cuban Sandwiches
1 loaf ciabatta or Cuban bread
Yellow mustard
Jarlsberg or Swiss cheese, cut into slices
Leftover pork tenderloin, chopped or shredded
Dill pickles (I used dill pickle relish.)

1. Cut bread in half with a serrated knife; scoop out the center of bread, leaving a shell. Spread mustard on cuts sides of bread shell. Layer one side of bread with cheese, pork, and pickles. Top with remaining bread half. Wrap sandwich in foil.
2. Bake at 400° for 15 to 20 minutes or until sandwich is warm and cheese is melted. Cut sandwich into 4 pieces.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Pumpkin Cookies

I love pumpkin in desserts! However, most recipes call for 1 cup of pumpkin, which is a little more than half a can. What do you do with the other half if you don't need a double recipe? Last week, I made Pumpkin Streusel Coffee Cake and instead of just throwing away the extra pumpkin (it's a wasteful habit, I know), I put it in the fridge. Tonight I made Pumpkin Cookies, a recipe from my friend Cindy, and they are as good as always, even with an ounce less pumpkin. This dough is very soft, but they don't spread; the cookie texture is very tender, almost like a soft biscuit. The frosting is supposed to be cooked, but I didn't want to wash another pan tonight, so I figured out a way to make it in the microwave.

Pumpkin Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup pumpkin
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
Brown Sugar Frosting

1. Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in pumpkin (mixture will look slightly curdled); beat in egg and vanilla.
2. Combine flour and next 3 ingredients. Gradually add to butter mixture, beating until blended.
3. Bake at 350° for 9 minutes. Cool on pans 10 minutes; remove to wire racks, and spread Brown Sugar Frosting over tops of warm cookies.

Brown Sugar Frosting
This would be tasty as a glaze for pound cake; just use less powdered sugar.
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 Tbsp. butter
4 tsp. cream or milk
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla

1. Combine brown sugar and next 2 ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 45 seconds or until butter is melted. Stir mixture; microwave for 45 more seconds or until brown sugar is dissolved. Stir in powdered sugar and vanilla. Use immediately.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Roasted Pork Tenderloin With Applesauce

On Saturday I saw Anne Burrell, a chef on the Food Network, make this meal; she used a six-rib pork roast, which is much more elaborate than a pork tenderloin (what I used). I am not a fan of the flavor of pork, so I marinated the tenderloin (or tender-lone as my granny used to say) in apple cider, fennel seeds, thyme, sage, salt, and pepper all day in the fridge. This helped to tame the pork-y flavor and made the meat super tender. My father-in-law spends most Tuesday nights with us, and this combination of flavors is right up his alley, so I thought it would be a good choice to serve him. Also, last Tuesday we had what my friend Julie calls "Grab and Growl" (leftovers), and he was trooper. Tonight we had the pork tenderloin, Potato Gratin, and Slow-Cooker Green Beans. This may seem too fancy for a weeknight, but we ate one hour after I started cooking. (I made the green beans on Sunday and refrigerated them so I could serve them throughout the week.)

Roasted Pork Tenderloin With Applesauce
1 (1.5-lb.) pork tenderloin (there are actually two in the package; I used both)
1 gallon apple cider, divided
Fennel seeds
Dried thyme
Dried sage
Salt and pepper
2 fresh rosemary sprigs
2 fresh sage sprigs
2 garlic cloves
Olive oil
1 red onion, sliced

1. Place pork, apple cider to cover, and next 5 ingredients in a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag; seal and chill 8 hours.
2. Remove pork from marinade, discarding marinade.(Optional: At this point, I used kitchen twine to tie the 2 pieces of pork together for more even cooking.) Sprinkle pork with pepper.
3. Coarsely chop rosemary and next 2 ingredients in a food processor. Add in salt and enough olive oil to make a paste. Spread paste over pork.
4. Place onion slices in bottom of a roasting pan; drizzle with olive oil. Place pork on top of onions. Pour in about 1 1/2 qt. apple cider.
5. Bake at 425° for 45 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 150°. Let pork stand 15 minutes before slicing. Serve with Applesauce.

3 Tbsp. butter
4 Granny Smith apples, cored and chopped (I didn't peel them.)
1 1/2 cups apple cider
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

1. Cook apples in melted butter, stirring occasionally. Once apples become tender, stir in apple cider. Cook until apples are very tender and look like chunky apple sauce. Stir in cream and walnuts; cook until thoroughly heated.

Potatoes Gratin
5 potatoes, thinly sliced
2 cups whipping cream
1 container garlic-herb cheese
2 shallots, minced
Salt and pepper

1. Layer potatoes in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle shallots on top; sprinkle with salt and pepper.
2. Combine cream and cheese in a large microwave-safe bowl; microwave at HIGH 1 minute, stirring until mixture is blended. Microwave at HIGH 45 more seconds. Pour mixture over potatoes.
3. Bake at 425° for 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

This is an unbeatable combination! (Can you tell the cold weather influenced my grocery shopping? Lots of soups!) Homemade Tomato Soup is so easy and it's much tastier than the canned variety. These grilled cheeses have another layer of flavor from pesto that was left over from Friday's make-your-own pizza party. Enjoy!

Tomato Soup
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 large cans whole tomatoes
1/4 cup fresh basil, cut into strips (also a leftover from Friday night)
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried parsley flakes
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup milk or cream (optional)

1. Sauté onion and garlic in hot oil over medium heat until onion is tender. Add in tomatoes and next 7 ingredients. Cook, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes. Use an immersion blender to puree tomato mixture until desired consistency. (If you don't have one of these, you can either use diced canned tomatoes or pour the mixture in a food processor.) Stir in milk, if desired.

Pesto Grilled Cheeses
Sourdough bread slices
Melted butter
Basil pesto
Provolone cheese slices
Sliced plum tomatoes

1. Use a pastry brush to spread melted butter on both sides of each bread slice. Place bread on grill pan, and cook until golden brown. Remove bread from pan. Spread pesto on grilled sides of bread; layer half of bread slices, grilled side up, with provolone cheese and slice tomatoes (it works best if you have cheese on top and bottom of tomatoes). Top with remaining bread slices, grilled sides down. Place sandwiches on grill pan, and cook on both sides until golden brown.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Soup for Sunday Lunch

After church, some friends came over for lunch. I made super-easy Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup. (Note: This is a Southern Living recipe that hasn't been published yet; I can't post it but will be happy to verbally share it.) It has a great flavor and is made completely from convenience products. I combined the ingredients last night and refrigerated them; then I poured the mixture into the slow-cooker, and set it on WARM while we were at church. The soup was just right! (You can use a rotisserie chicken or roast your own; either method works well.) We also had Cheese Muffins (a variation of Cheesy Sausage Muffins, minus the sausage) and Apple Streusel. I made up the recipe for dessert on the spot because I hadn't prepared anything and wanted to serve one. Very simple!

Apple Streusel
4 apples, cored and chopped
1/2 cup sugar
Juice of 1 orange
3/4 cup oatmeal
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, melted
Vanilla ice cream (optional)

1. Combine apples and next 2 ingredients in a bowl. Pour mixture into a baking dish.
2. Stir together oatmeal and next 4 ingredients; sprinkle mixture over apples.
3. Bake at 400° for 30 minutes. Serve with ice cream, if desired.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

French Onion Soup

I forgot to take a photo of our dinner tonight, but this soup is very gray, so it's probably for the best. However this is a great meal on a cold night. You have to chop a lot of onions, but the flavor makes it totally worth it.

French Onion Soup
1/2 cup butter
4 onions, cut in half and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup red wine
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 (32-oz.) boxes beef stock
Baguette slices
Freshed grated Jarlsberg or Parmesan cheese

1. Melt butter in a Dutch oven. Add in onions and next 4 ingredients. Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat 25 minutes or until onions are very tender. Stir in wine, and cook 10 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Sprinkle in flour, and cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes or until flour is absorbed. Gradually stir in beef stock. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 15 to 20 minutes or until soup is slightly thickened.
2. Sprinkle baguette slices with grated cheese. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes.
3. Ladle soup into serving bowls, and top with bread slices.

Apple-Cinnamon Pancakes

For breakfast we had yummy apple pancakes. My mom brought me some apples from an orchard near my brother's house a couple of weeks ago. I still had one left, so I thought it would be tasty in pancakes. In the photo, you'll see one of my favorite kitchen tools: my double-burner grill pan. It's great for cooking a lot of chicken at once, grilled sandwiches, and making pancakes. A. gave it to me for Christmas a couple of years ago; it's one of the best gifts ever! We had bacon, of course, with our pancakes.

Apple-Cinnamon Pancakes
Double this recipe to serve 4 to 5 adults.
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 apple, cored and chopped
Maple syrup

1. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients in a bowl. Combine buttermilk and next 3 ingredients. Gradually add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, stirring just until blended. Carefully stir in chopped apple.
2. Use a 1/4-cup measure to place batter on a hot grill pan or skillet. Cook until bubbles cover surface of pancakes; flip and cook until pancakes are done. Serve with warm maple syrup.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Make-Your-Own Pizzas

Some friends came over for dinner tonight. It was actually their son's birthday, so I wanted to have a very kid-friendly meal. (LS and L are the cute models in the photos.) The idea was to create personal pizzas. I bought pizza dough from the bakery at Publix (one round, which makes 2 (8-inch) pizzas cost about $2.50). Their dough is very tasty and it saves you rising time with homemade. Just ask for it at the bakery counter. We had a lot of topping options: roasted chicken, bacon, turkey Italian sausage, pesto, tomato sauce, fresh spinach, fresh basil, chopped tomatoes, provolone slices, shredded mozzarella, and fresh mozzarella. Everyone topped his or her dough circle with the desired toppings; the pizzas baked at 450° for 20 minutes. While we waited for the pizzas, we snacked on Layered Mexican Dip and Homemade Tortilla Chips. For dessert, we had Oatmeal-Chocolate Chip Cookie (substitute chocolate chips for the golden raisins) Ice-Cream Sandwiches. This is a great party idea that I'll definitely use again.

Layered Mexican Dip
The one pictured is missing chopped tomatoes on a portion to accommodate one of our dinner guests.
1 can fat-free refried beans
1 (16-oz.) container sour cream
1 package reduced-sodium taco seasoning mix
1 (8-oz.) block colby-Jack cheese, shredded
4 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped

1. Spread refried beans in an even layer on the bottom of a serving plate. Stir taco seasoning mix into container of sour cream until well blended. Spread over beans. Sprinkle cheese on top of sour cream mixture, and top with chopped tomatoes.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Weeknight Cupcakes

Tonight we wanted a sweet treat but weren't in the mood for my baking standard, cookies. I used a Devil's food cake mix as the base for Orange Liqueur-Chocolate Cupcakes. They are a snap to make and the liqueur really elevates the basic mix. Homemade cream cheese frosting is the perfect topper.

Orange Liqueur-Chocolate Cupcakes
1 box Devil's food cake mix
1/4 cup orange liqueur (I used Grand Marnier.)
Orange-Cream Cheese Frosting

1. Prepare cake mix according to package directions. Stir in orange liqueur. Scoop batter into muffin cup liners in 2 muffin pans.
2. Bake at 350° for 18 to 20 minutes or until cupcakes are done. Let cupcakes cool completely. Spread a generous amount of frosting on each cupcake.

Orange-Cream Cheese Frosting
1 (8-oz.) block cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 tsp. orange zest
1/4 cup orange liqueur
1 (16-oz.) box powdered sugar

1. Beat cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer until blended. Beat in orange zest and liqueur. Gradually beat in powdered sugar until blended.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Crawfish Fettuccine

This is a slight variation from my friend Dawn's recipe; the changes came about because I didn't have all of the necessary ingredients. I also only used 1 pound of crawfish tails instead of 2 pounds. Her original, Creamy Crawfish Pasta, appeared in the December 2003 issue of Southern Living; find it on This decadent pasta dish appears to be fancy and complicated, but it's actually very simple and will be on the table in 30 minutes or less. (Shrimp would be a good substitute for the crawfish.)

Crawfish Fettuccine
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 pint whipping cream or half-and-half (I wouldn't substitute fat-free half-and-half.)
1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles
1 (1-lb.) package frozen crawfish tails, thawed, rinsed, and thoroughly drained
Juice from 1 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp. dried parsley (Fresh chopped parsley would be a nice addition.)
8 oz. fettuccine or linguine, cooked

1. Melt butter in a Dutch oven; stir in flour, and cook until butter and flour are combined. Add in onion and next 3 ingredients; cook until vegetables are tender. Stir in cream and next 3 ingredients. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in salt, pepper, and parsley. Stir in pasta.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Chicken Enchiladas With Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

On Friday, we had some friends over for dinner. I made some Mexican classics that were based on recipes from Tyler Florence, but I gave them my own twists. The chicken breasts for the enchiladas cooked in the slow-cooker while I was at work. I used 1 cup of orange juice, salt, pepper, dried cilantro, and 1/2 cup butter with the six chicken breasts (I doubled the original recipe). Chicken Enchiladas, Yellow Rice, Black Beans, and Guacamole were served with Homemade Tortilla Chips.

Chicken Enchiladas
Olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1.5 pounds chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
10 flour tortillas
1 (8-oz.) Monterey jack cheese, shredded
Vegetable cooking spray
2 cups sour cream
Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

1. Sauté onion and garlic in hot oil until tender. Stir in cumin and flour. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add chicken stock, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened. Stir in half of tomatillo salsa, cilantro, and chicken; season with salt and pepper to taste.
2. Pour a small amount of tomatillo salsa into bottom of a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spoon chicken mixture into center of each tortilla; sprinkle with shredded cheese. Roll up tortillas, and place, seam side down, in baking dish. Spread sour cream over top of enchiladas; top with remaining tomatillo salsa.
3. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Serve with additional sour cream.

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa
1 lb. tomatillos, husks removed
1 onion, cut into chunks
4 garlic cloves
1 jalapeño, seeds and membrane removed
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Juice from 1 lime

1. Place tomatillos and next 3 ingredients on a foil-lined baking sheet.
2. Bake at 400° for 30 minutes.
3. Place tomatillo mixture and pan juices in food processor bowl; pulse until mixture is pureed. Pour into a bowl, and stir in cumin and remaining ingredients.

Yellow Rice
2 cups rice
4 cups water or chicken stock
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp. turmeric
1 bay leaf

1. Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes or until rice is tender. Discard bay leaf before serving.

Black Beans
2 cans black beans, drained
1 can diced tomatoes with chiles
1/2 cup orange juice

1. Bring all ingredients to a boil; reduce heat to low, stirring occasionally, until liquid is absorbed.

2 avocados, peeled
1 plum tomato, chopped
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
1 garlic clove, minced
Juice from 2 limes
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Place avocado in a bowl and mash with a fork or potato masher. Stir in remaining ingredients.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Turkey Focaccia Sandwich

This sandwich is super easy and super quick. Feel free to vary the types of meat and cheese as well as the pesto. Tonight I layered on a sliced yellow tomato, but roasted red pepper strips would also be tasty. I served the sandwich with Potato Chips With Garlic-Herb Cheese. I bought the focaccia at The Continental Bakery, which had it as the bread of the day this past Saturday.

Turkey Focaccia Sandwich
1 (9-inch) round focaccia
Sun-dried tomato pesto
1/2 lb. sliced turkey
1/4 lb. sliced fontina cheese
1 tomato, sliced
5 bacon slices, cooked (optional)

1. Cut focaccia in half with a serrated knife. Spread pesto on cut sides of bread. Layer turkey, cheese, tomato, and, if desired, bacon on one bread round. Top with other half, pesto side down.
2. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Cut into quarters.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Oatmeal-Golden Raisin Cookies

A coworker asked me to bake oatmeal-raisin cookies for an election day event at work on Tuesday. I've made oatmeal cookies a million times, and this is the first time I've ever made them with raisins. (I didn't like raisins for most of my life; in college I was known to pick them out of the cookies in the caf.) I like them now, but I prefer the golden ones to the regular purple variety. These cookies are bigger than the ones I normally make; I used my medium-size scoop (about 2 ounces) to shape them.

Oatmeal-Golden Raisin Cookies
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups oatmeal
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 box golden raisins

1. Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until blended and fluffy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Beat in vanilla.
2. In a separate bowl, combine flour and next 5 ingredients. Gradually add to butter mixture, beating until completely blended. Stir in raisins. Scoop dough, using a medium-size scoop, onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets.
3. Bake at 350° for 13 to 14 minutes. Cool on pans 10 minutes; remove cookies to baking racks to cool completely.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


Now that's it's November, soups and stews will be a big part of my menus. Chili is one of those recipes that most people make the same way every time. However, I'm always trying new combinations; sometimes I use beef tips instead of ground beef, black beans instead of kidney beans, Texas style with no beans at all. This weekend I made it this way, which is pretty straightforward and tasty.

2 lb. ground sirloin
1 link Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
1 onion, chopped
2 minced garlic cloves
2 (14-oz.) cans onion-and-roasted garlic diced tomatoes
2 (8-oz.) cans tomato sauce
1 can black beans, drained
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. cumin
Salt and pepper

1. Sauté ground sirloin, sausage, onion, and garlic in a Dutch oven until meat is browned and crumbly and onion is tender. Stir in tomatoes, tomato sauce, 2 cans beans, and remaining ingredients. Bring mixture to a boil, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Tomato Sauce With Meatballs

Andy loves Italian food, so tonight I decided to make one of his favorites, Tomato Sauce With Meatballs. I have a thing about spaghetti noodles, so we ate the sauce over rigatoni instead.

Tomato Sauce With Meatballs
1 onion, chopped
2 minced garlic cloves
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large can whole tomatoes
1 (8-oz.) can tomato sauce
Salt and black pepper
Dried basil
Dried oregano
Dried parsley flakes
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
Hot cooked pasta
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Sauté onion and garlic in hot oil until tender. Stir in tomatoes and tomato sauce. Stir in desired amount of next 5 ingredients and 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes. Break up whole tomatoes with spoon as you stir. Simmer over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes.
2. Stir in meatballs, and simmer for 15 minutes. Serve over hot cooked pasta with grated Parmesan cheese.

1 onion, chopped
2 minced garlic cloves
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. ground sirloin
2 links Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
Salt and pepper
Dried basil
Dried oregano
Dried parsley flakes
1/2 cup Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
1 egg

1. Sauté onion and garlic in hot oil until tender.
2. Combine ground sirloin, sausage, and onion mixture in a large bowl. Mix in desired amount of next 5 ingredients. Mix in breadcrumbs and egg. Shape mixture into balls, and place meatballs on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
3. Bake at 400° for 20 to 25 minutes until meatballs are done.