Thursday, December 26, 2013

Beef Stew

Beef Stew
serves 4
from Everyday Food Magazine

1 1/2 Pounds Stew Beef, Cut Into 1-Inch Pieces
1/4 Cup Flour
1 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Pepper
1 Medium or Large Russet Potato, Cut Into 1-Inch Pieces
1/2 Bag Baby Carrots
1/2 Bag Frozen Peas
32 Oz. Beef Stock

Preheat the oven to 375.  In a large heavy pot, toss beef with flour. Add potatoes, carrots, beef stock and salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and transfer to the oven.  Cook for 2 hours until beef and potatoes are tender.  Stir in peas and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.  Perfect with popovers.

One wintry night last year I made a pot of beef stew and watched a Downton Abby marathon.  Since season 4 is coming out in January, I thought I should post this stew since stew and Downton are synonymous in my mind now.  Finish the meal with some tea and pumpkin bread pudding!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Peppermint Oreo Bites

Peppermint Oreo Bites
makes 2 dozen

1 (8 Oz.) Package Cream Cheese, Softened
1 Package (15.25 Oz.) Oreo Cookies, Finely Crushed
1 Teaspoon Peppermint Extract
1 Package (4.25 Oz.) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
2-3 Candy canes, Crushed 

Mix cream cheese, Oreos, and peppermint extract until well blended.  Form into 1-inch balls and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Place cookie sheet in the freezer to allow the bites to firm up.  For the coating, place a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water.  Pour the chocolate chips in the bowl and stir until chocolate is smooth.  Drop the bits into the chocolate to coat, and place back on the parchment paper.  Sprinkle with crushed candy canes.  Place bites in the fridge for 10 minutes to allow the chocolate to set.

I don't think I even need to tell you how amazing and addictive these little guys are.  One tip I have is to use a food processor to crush the oreos.  I just beat mine with a rolling pin in a plastic bag which makes for lumpy looking bits.  Crushing them completely in a food processor will eliminate the lumpy problem.  Oreos.  Peppermint.  Cream cheese. Happy Holidays!    

Monday, December 16, 2013

Cranberry Pistachio Cookies

Cranberry Pistachio Cookies
makes 2 dozen cookies

(1) 1 Lb. 1.5 Oz. Pouch Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix
1 Box Pistachio Instant Pudding and Pie Filling Mix
1/4 Cup Flour
1/2 Cup Butter, Melted
2 Eggs
1 Cup Dry Roasted Salted Pistachios, Chopped
1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries, Chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl mix together cookie mix, pistachio mix, and flour.  Add melted butter and eggs and stir until incorporated.  Fold in pistachios and cranberries.  Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto a parchment lined baking sheet and slightly flatten with fingertips.  Bake 8-10 minutes.  Let them sit on the baking sheet for an additional 2 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

If you can, find pistachios that are already shelled.  Don't be like me.  These cookies are so simple and fast (and only one bowl to clean!).  The only tricky part is when you take them out of the oven they won't look done but you will just have to trust that they are!   

Friday, December 13, 2013

Parmesan Crusted Halibut

Parmesan Crusted Halibut
serves 3-4

1-2 Pounds Halibut Fillet, 1-Inch Thick
1/4 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs
1/4 Cup Plain Bread Crumbs
1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese
1 Lemon, Zested
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Pepper
2-3 Tablespoons Pesto

Preheat the oven to 450.  Line a baking sheet with tin foil and spray with non stick spray, set aside.  In a small bowl, mix together panko, bread crumbs, Parmesan, lemon zest, and salt and pepper.  Arrange the halibut on the baking sheet.  Spread the pesto on the top of the halibut, then top with the bread crumb mixture, lightly pressing it into the fish.  Spray with cooking spray lightly to coat.  Bake for 12-15 minutes until crumb mixture is golden brown and fish flakes with a fork.

If you are going to only make one halibut dish in your life this should be the one!  The crust was so flavorful and the fish came out perfectly done.  I think I'm going to have to make this again this weekend because I literally could not get enough!  I served the halibut with sauteed butternut squash and potatoes.   

Monday, December 9, 2013

Halibut Corn Chowder

Halibut Corn Chowder
makes 6 servings

4 Strips of Bacon, Cut into 1-Inch Pieces
3 Small Russet Potatoes, Cut into Small Diced Pieces
1 Yellow Onion, Diced
1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 Teaspoon Dried Parsley Flakes
1/2 Bag Frozen Corn
1 Pound Halibut, Cut into 1-Inch Chunks
1/2 Cup Flour
4 Cups Low Sodium Chicken Stock
1 Cup Milk (I used Whole)
1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
Salt and Pepper, To Taste
Tobasco, To Taste (optional)

In a large pot, cook bacon until crispy.  Set aside.  In the bacon fat, cook the potatoes until fork tender, about 10 minutes.  Add the onion, garlic powder, and parsley and brown for a few minutes to soften, then add the corn.  Toss the halibut in gently and let brown for 3-4 minutes till the edges are white but not yet cooked through.  Add flour and mix in gently and cook for 1 minute.  Slowly pour in chicken stock and bring to a simmer.  While simmering, add corn starch to milk and mix in a small bowl, then add to the pot.  Add seasonings and let simmer until halibut is cooked through and soup has thickened.  Serve in bowls topped with bacon.

M went fishing in Alaska this summer and brought back a freezer full of salmon and halibut and I am just now getting around to trying some new recipes with all this fish!  This chowder was a big hit with our family.  Next time I think I'll add some diced carrots and it will be even more delish!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Ranch Seasoning

Ranch Seasoning
Inspired by multiple Pinterest pins

1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
1 Tablespoon Dried Onion Flakes
1 Tablespoon Onion Powder
1 Tablespoon Dried Chives
1 Tablespoon Dill
2 Tablespoons Dried Parsley

Mix all ingredients together and store in an airtight container until ready to use.  For Ranch dressing mix 2 Tablespoons seasoning mix with 1/3 each milk and sour cream.

This recipe is a gem.  You can use a tablespoon or two of the mix instead of using a packet of ranch seasoning that you got from the store.  I love it on roasted potatoes.  Just sprinkle on potatoes that have been drizzled lightly with oil and roast or sautee as usual.  How do you ranch???

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Spicy Mexicorn Dip

Spicy Mexicorn Dip
serves 15

2 (11 oz.) Cans Mexicorn, Drained
1 (4 oz.) Can Chopped Green Chilies, Drained
1 Whole Bell Pepper, Chopped
3 Green Onions, Chopped
1 Small Can Chopped Jalapenos, Chopped
8 Oz. Cheddar Cheese
1 Cup Mayonnaise
1 Cup Sour Cream

Combine all ingredients.  Chill before serving.  Great with Fritos or Triscuts and a Fresca!

This was a fun snack for a lake weekend.  Sweet, creamy, spicy, and salty all in one delicious bite!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Craisin Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Craisin Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
from the Market Pantry Quick Oats Container
makes about 3 dozen

1 Cup Butter, Softened (2 Sticks)
1 1/4 Cups Packed Brown Sugar
3/4 Cup White Sugar
2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
2 Eggs
1 1/2 Cups Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon Powder
3 Cups Quick Oats
1 Cup Raisins
1 Cup Dried Cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a medium size bowl, beat together the butter, brown and white sugar, and vanilla on medium speed.  Beat in eggs until light and fluffy.  In a separate bowl mix together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.  Mix the dry ingredients into the wet.  Stir in oats and raisins.  Shape dough into 2-inch balls and place on a baking sheet two inches apart.  Bake for 16-18 minutes until edges are golden brown and centers look slightly soft. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy with a tall glass of milk.

I've always thought that oatmeal raisin cookies were the ugly step sister of chocolate chip cookies.  However, these craisin oatmeal raisin cookies will rival any chocolate chip cookie!  Also, they are awesome for breakfast.  Oatmeal!  Fruit!  You can't go wrong!  

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Green Monster Smootie

Green Monster Smoothie
adapted from a bunch of smoothie recipes from Pinterest
makes one 16 oz. smoothie

1 Banana
1 6 oz. Container Vanilla Yogurt
About 1/3 of a Can of Pineapple Chunks (about 10 chunks), Plus a Few Tablespoons of Juice
A Handful of Fresh Baby Spinach
1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds

Blend all ingredients together with a blender or with an immersion blender.  That's it!

I've been having at least four of these bad boys a week for lunch for the past month.  They are so delicious and ridiculously easy!  If you've never tried a spinach smoothie before, I know it can be a little scary.  But I promise that if you didn't know there was spinach in there you would never guess it!  I sometimes switch it up with a different flavor of yogurt or use a different canned fruit like peaches.  This recipe is merely a guideline, make it your own!