Sunday, January 31, 2010

Cheesy Reuben Appetizer

Found this one at the Betty Crocker website.
Might be a great idea for gameday.
I liked the edges where it got all crispy and brown! I served it with those little cocktail rye bread slices grilled in some butter.
1package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 1/2cups shredded Swiss cheese (6 ounces)
1/2cup Thousand Island dressing
4ounces deli sliced corned beef, chopped
1/2cup well-drained sauerkraut
Pretzel crackers, if desired
Cocktail rye bread slices, if desired
Chopped fresh chives, if desired
Sliced radishes, if desired
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1.Heat oven to 400°F.
2.Mix cream cheese, 1 cup of the Swiss cheese, the dressing and corned beef. Spread in pie plate, 9x1 1/4 inches, or quiche dish, 9x1 1/2 inches. Top with sauerkraut and remaining 1/2 cup Swiss cheese. (Cover and refrigerate up to 24 hours if desired.)
3.Bake about 15 minutes or until bubbly around edge. Serve hot with pretzel crackers or cocktail bread. Garnish with chives and radishes.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


I know, dumb post title. Just humor me.
Once again I have to put forth the disclaimer that I don't claim to know jack about authenticity of any type of Asian cooking. But I had seen a few recipes around I'd been wanting to try, so here goes! And I have to say that all three of these dishes ranked pretty high on the "easy to prepare" scale.
The boy and I really enjoyed it. I was surprised at how much of this he ate considering it's got a bit of spiciness going on. I made mine with regular thin spaghetti and thought it turned out just great. We had ours warm, but I'm sure it will be great cold tomorrow.
I think the fact that the black sesame seeds look like little bugs sitting up there just adds to its charm.
I've always been a fan of the crab rangoon. Just would like it so much more without the crab!
Here they are made to order for people like me.
The filling is nothing more than cream cheese mixed with some crushed garlic.
I'm not sure why this next picture turned out so orange-y. This is even after it was auto-fixed. Oh well.
I saw this Crunchy Romaine Toss at All Recipes.
It's got crunched up ramen noodles in it that you brown in butter with some fun is that!
I personally liked this salad. It actually made me want to eat my broccoli. No one else in the family was too thrilled about it though.
I used one of those bags of chopped romaine and that was just the right size with a small head of broccoli.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Buttery Garlic Parmesan Wings

Well, I guess the title pretty much sums it up...hehe.
We always have our wings buffalo style, and I love 'em, but I was wanting to try something a little different this time.
I baked my wings first (you could always deep fry, grill 'em, or fricassee them too I suppose).
Then I gave them a swim around in the butter with garlic powder, cayenne pepper, onion powder, tabasco, and some rotisserie seasoning I had.
After that they got to roll around in some shredded parmesan.
If you enjoy butter dripping down your chin and parmesan sticking to your fingers, this may be the dish for you.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Braised Beef Brisket and Cucumber Salad

As promised, here is Tyler Florence's braised beef brisket. Which may or may not be his, incidentally. When I went to the Food Network site to find it, the recipe had been removed. So this one comes from RecipeZaar (click there for recipe) and claims to be his. If it's not, I apologize.
This brisket has a pretty easy prep, and the aroma in the house during it's cooking was a bit maddening.
The recipe instructs you to strain off the veggies and toss them, but I just couldn't bring myself to do that. Then I wouldn't have had this bowl full of yummy stuff with that fun little half garlic head.
So in the end, how did it compare to PW's brisket? I hate to say it, but hers wins, hands down. This one makes a nice meal, no doubt. But I won't be waking up at 2 a.m. thinking about it, unable to go back to sleep. Maybe hers is better because of the long marinading time, or cooking it low and slow. I dunno, all I know is I big time puffy heart love it!
I've been seeing lots of Ellie Krieger recipes floating around. This cucumber salad is one of them. It was pretty good, maybe a little salty.
I'm not sure if I'm crazy about Ellie overall. I guess she's okay if you like little pixie haircuts on cute pixie faces, perfect skin, and calm demeanors. If you're into all that. Whatever.

What A Dip!

Sometimes I get a hankerin' for something cheesy, gooey, bacon-y, onion-y all warm and bubbly...
...smeared on top of some crunchy bread. Of course this is just another variation of dips I've made like this in the past.
With this particular dip there wasn't exactly a recipe but it went something like this:
First, cook half a pack of bacon till just crisp, then chop it up (preferably after it cools so you don't burn yourself).
Add the following to 2 packages of softened cream cheese:
*large handful of shredded sharp cheddar (maybe 3/4 cup)
*a plop of mayo (about 1/4 cup)
*1/2 chopped onion
*your previously chopped bacon
I wanted to top it with panko but I couldn't find mine, so I used Italian bread crumbs.
Put all this in some sort of baking vessel, pop in a 350 oven about 30 minutes, then dig in!
This was the perfect snack for me to eat while finally getting to watch "Julie and Julia". (nice title for a movie, btw)
Tonight I'm planning to make Tyler Florence's ultimate brisket, so I can compare it with PW's brisket, which I think is the ultimate ultimate. A throwdown of sorts, I suppose. I'll let ya know the outcome.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Paula Deen's Banana Pudding

A friend at work had told me about a banana pudding she had made with Chessman cookies instead of vanilla wafers. When I looked into it, I found out it's a Paula Deen Recipe. Oddly enough, no butter! But we add cream cheese to make up for it. And I made it even a bit naughtier by making extra whipped cream so I could layer it in a trifle bowl.
The kids seemed to like it, and I did too, in spite of the lack of chocolate.
(UPDATE: This banana pudding gets even better after a day. The cookies get all nice and soft, but not soggy; and the flavors really mingle together nicely. AND it's not watery like banana pudding will sometimes get the next day.)
Speaking of kids, my boy child could have eaten this entire piece of salmon by himself I think!
I'm not that great at preparing fish, but salmon was on sale so I wanted to give it a try. I used this recipe also found at food network, and it was pretty easy.
I just feel guilty that I haven't fed this to my son every day of his life...that's how much he liked it!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Dim Sum Style Pork Buns

I'll preface this whole thing by saying that I don't claim to know jack about making any sort of Asian food with any degree of authenticity. But a couple of years ago I had the opportunity to try dim sum and the bbq pork buns they served have haunted me ever since. (yes, I did try the chicken feet, too)
So these are my attempt to recreate them at home. They weren't really much like the ones I had at the restaurant, but I enjoyed them just them same.
This effort is a combination of a couple of different recipes but mostly based on the one found here on TLC Cooking.
You start by making a 12 oz pork tenderloin and chopping it up really small. Mine was more like a pound and half so I didn't chop it all up.
I pretty much followed the directions found on the TLC site for the filling but I didn't use the mushrooms.
The bread dough is from the frozen aisle and instead of a whole loaf I got the rolls. I defrosted about 9, but I think 12 would have been better to use up all the filling. After they have defrosted and risen, you just punch them down individually and make a little circle about 3 or 4 inches in diameter. Then pinch it up to close it.
After this place them seam side down to rise again about 45 minutes.
I think he's kinda purty. Even the picky boy child ate a little of it.
So do I recommend trying this at home? Sure if you're feeling adventurous and got a little time on your hands. Go for it!
I also made some fried rice cakes which start out with a box of chicken flavored rice and vermicelli. I should have known right there to not even start. They didn't really stick together like they should, and the flavor is just okay. I burned just about every finger I have making these things too. Oh well, live and learn.
We also had some roasted cauliflower that I found a recipe for at Home with Mandy.
I am not a cauliflower fan at all, but this made it quite a bit more tolerable. Could have been that 3/4 stick of butter, but whatever.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Spaghetti Chicken Madness I made a whole bunch of chicken spaghetti ala Pioneer Woman. I'm not even gonna link it up, I know you can find it.
The big one was for my friend who just gave birth to her 7th baby. That's 7 as in SEVEN. She deserved so much more than a casserole, but that's all I had to offer.
The round one was for a friend who's preggers with her 2nd. Since I was whipping up such a huge batch I figured I could make some for her too. Along with the PW cinnamon rolls she's been craving.
The 3rd one was for us. We often times like to eat, too.
I have to say I really enjoyed doing this. I felt really happy preparing food and delivering it to people. I probably missed my calling!
Diet Coke update:
I still want it. But for the most part I've only had one a day. Except the night I had pizza and wings. That just requires more. And the excuses begin!
Waffle Update:
I found a really nice recipe at Serious Eats. It requires that you beat the egg whites separately but they're really nice and light, crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. If you do go try that recipe, it really needs a bit of sugar and vanilla added to it, otherwise it's a bit blah.
Speaking of waffles, I saw this place called the Waffle Cabin on the Travel Channel yesterday.
People just ski up to the window and order a fresh made waffle that can be embellished with chocolate syrup, the workers hand it to them in a piece of paper and they ski off with it! How fun....I think it's in Vermont.
And to round out the random yet non-coherent flow of this post, here's a pic of my silly dog. He likes to sit in the hula hoop. Maybe he thinks he safe from Sea Bears.

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year's Resolutions

I don't know about you but I'm not much for making resolutions. I don't need to be set up to fail, I can do that just fine without any planning.
But I've got one I'm going to try to do this year. I'm going to try to drastically cut down on my intake of nutrasweet/aspartame. I know the FDA would have me believe it's as safe as..well, nevermind that thought, nothing's safe. But I really think that stuff may be trying to kill me.
It'll be kinda hard. I get most of my nutrasweet intake as caffeine free diet coke. I don't just like diet coke, I need it. I've even tried the kind sweetened with splenda, but I don't like it.
So I'll just take it in small steps, try to just have one a day (so far so good today). Then maybe I can cut down to 1 or 2 a week. I tried to convince myself today I like unsweetened tea. I think it might be possible.
Anyway, enough about me. You got any resolutions? Or resolving not to resolve?