Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Chicken Caprese

We have been so busy. We are on our 2nd week of company. Having a great time. 2nd week in a row we got to go sailing. I am cooking a lot too. I made lasagne again, because it feeds a crows. Made my cucumber salad, my garlic rolls, the strawberry cake, Lava cakes, Chicken Caprese which is one of our all time favorites. I didn't take pictures, by the time I remembered it was all gone. I made it over my home made angel hair pasta noodles. I love my new attachment that makes it super easy to cut them.

Chicken Caprese Ingredients

8-10 plum tomatoes, Roma (2 pounds)
30 medium fresh basil leaves
2 teaspoons black pepper
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts or chicken breast fillets
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 cup white wine
3 tablespoons garlic, minced, divided
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3 1/2 teaspoons italian seasoning, divided
1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, plus
1 tablespoon salt, divided
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 1/2 cups flour, plus
1 tablespoon flour, divided
1 lb dry capellini (angel hair)
Tomatoes and Basil Preparation:.
Core and cut Roma (plum) tomatoes into 1-inch pieces. Chef's Note: To preserve juices and seeds, use a paring knife to remove just the top of the core on each tomato. Cut basil leaves into 1-inch pieces (no stems). Combine Roma tomatoes, basil, 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons of minced garlic, 1½ teaspoons of Italian seasoning and 1½ teaspoons of salt in a large bowl and blend thoroughly. Cover, set aside and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Chicken Preparation:.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Coat a large, non-stick skillet with vegetable oil and heat over medium-high heat.
Combine 1½ cups of flour, 1 tablespoon of salt, black pepper and 2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning in a shallow dish.
Dredge chicken in the mixture, shaking off any excess.
Place chicken in skillet and sauté for about two minutes on each side, or until just golden brown. If skillet is not large enough, sauté the chicken in batches.
When finished, transfer chicken to a large baking dish and place in oven to cook for approximately 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Pasta Preparation:.
Cook pasta according to package directions.
Drain and set aside until needed.
Sauce Preparation:.
While pasta is cooking, heat 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat.
Add 1 tablespoon of minced garlic and sauté for approximately 1 minute. Do not brown.
Slowly add 1 tablespoon of flour and stir to combine.
Add white wine and bring to a boil. Boil for approximately 1 minute.
Remove marinated tomato and basil mixture from refrigerator. Drain tomatoes and basil from liquid and set aside until needed. Add ½ cup of the marinade liquid and sauté for approximately 1 minute.
Add heavy cream. Lower heat and bring to a simmer.
Add grated Parmesan cheese.
Assembling Chicken Caprese:.
Preheat broiler.
Remove chicken from baking dish and set aside until needed.
Transfer pasta to baking dish and partly coat with sauce.
Pour desired amount of the remaining sauce on pasta and evenly distribute tomatoes and basil over pasta.
Place chicken on top of pasta.
Sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese evenly over chicken.
Place baking dish under broiler for approximately 2-3 minutes or until mozzarella cheese has melted.

It is not a hard recipe and it is so good. I make it with my cheesey garlic rolls, and Serve it over noodles.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Insalata di pasta

Been a busy week. Our friends left early this morning and my sister and her family just arrived tonight. We are going to the beach tomorrow since it will be 85 and sunny. Monday we are going sailing again. The perfect quick dish for sailing is

Insalata di pasta (pasta salad). You can put it in seperate glad tubs for individual serving. It is a great Sunny dish.

2 bags vegetable spiral pasta
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
•1 garlic clove
•1/2 teaspoon salt
•2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
•1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
•3 tablespoons minced fresh basil
•1/2 oz parmesan, finely grated (1/4 cup)
•1/4 teaspoon black pepper
•1/2 cup olive oil

Cook water according to pasta instructions. While pasta is cooking Mix garlic, salt, vinegar, lemon juice, basil, parmesan, black pepper, and olive oil.
Drain pasta and rinse with cold water.. drain again. Put in pasta and dressing top with carrots and another 1/4 cup parmesan cheese. Stir.
If you want to add protien add cooked chicken.

I have already meal planned for the week. More repeats. I am going to post my caprese on here and possibly my piccata too. But I am making steak dijion again... it is Spring Break people... Time to play!!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

lento di pollo (slow chicken)

I wanted a recipe to throw in the crockpot in the morning, and eat at night. I have been cooking a garlic white wine chicken over rice for years. But tonight I have company and don't have time to do the last minute stuff. So I used that recipe and put it in the crock pot instead.

5lbs Chicken ( use thighs, take the skin and fat off )

1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 Tbsp. cooking oil
40 small cloves unpeeled garlic*  (you are not mistaken..yes 40 cloves)
1 cup dry white wine or chicken broth
1 cup chicken broth
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. dried basil, crushed
1 tsp. dried oregano, crushed
4 tsp. all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. dry white wine or chicken broth

Rinse chicken; pat dry. Season with the salt and pepper. In a skillet heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and garlic cloves. Cook chicken for 2 to 3 minutes on each side or just until brown, turning once. Put in a crock pot on low. To the crock pot add 1 cup white wine or broth, 1 cup broth, lemon juice, basil, and oregano. Cook on low a minimum of 3 hours...

can be all day if you have to work. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the chicken and garlic to a warm serving platter; keep warm. In a small bowl stir together flour and the 2 tablespoons dry white wine or broth. Stir into pan juices. Bring to boiling. Cook and stir for 1 minute more. Spoon sauce atop chicken. Serve with potatoes or rice

shrimp sweet Sweet Shrimp

My daughter does not like any spice. She literally is in tears when I make all of our spicey food. So I find I have to make 2 batches of shrimp. While I am remaking the gamberi diablo (spicey shrimp) that I have made before. I am making another sweet version for my daughter and any of our other company that does not like spice.

I used:

1 tablespoon gingerroot, peeled and finely minced

1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1/4 cup green onion, chopped
1 tablespoon rice wine
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 1/2 tablespoons water
5 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons white vinegar
Zest of one orange

Heat skillet 15 seconds over high heat.

Add 1 tablespoon oil.
Add ginger and garlic and stir-fry until fragrant; about 10 seconds.
Add and stir-fry green onions.
Add rice wine and stir 3 seconds.
Add 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 1/2 tablespoons water
5 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons white vinegar
Zest of one orange
and bring to boil.

Add cleaned, shelled, deviened shrimp. Cook until pink. Usually 3 minutes 1st side, 1-2 minutes 2nd side.
Serve over white or brown rice. Brown is healhier, white is faster.

On a side note, Tom is here from out of town. We call him "Mr. Sauce". He loves sauce. So I am making him a spicey cocktaill sauce for him to dip the shrimp in (note this is for the spicey shrimp, not the sweet).
Cocktail Sauce:
1/2 cup chili sauce

1/2 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons prepared horseradish
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
combine the chili sauce, ketchup, horseradish, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce. Refridgerate until served.

Cookie Dough Cupcakes

I am making my cookie dough cake, but in suprise cupcake form.
For the cupcakes:
2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 sticks lightly salted butter, room temperature, plus additional for greasing the pans
2 cups granulated sugar
6 eggs

Cookie dough filling:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels


8 ounces chocolate chips
1/3 cup whipping cream

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir to blend. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter until smooth and add the sugar. Continue whipping until the mixture becomes fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Note: this process can be done with a whisk by hand. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, taking care that each egg is thoroughly integrated. Add the flour mixture and combine.

Grease muffin pans with butter and fill each 3/4 full with batter.

Place the pans in the center of the oven. Bake until the center is firm or when the tip of a small knife emerges clean when it pierces the center of each cake, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool thoroughly, 1 hour at least.

For cookie dough filling: Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small mixing bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels

Once cake is completely cool, using a serrated knife, cut round holes in the middle of each cupcake.

Fill holes with cookie dough. Cut the very top of the hole pieces you have cut and put back on top of the cookie dough.

Cover with ganache. Put in fridge for at least 1 hour. Keep covered in the refridgerator.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Quick cooking

I know I am not posting recipes, but I am cooking. I am just cooking recipes over that I have already posted before. I made tetrazzini again tonight. I needed a quick meal that feeds a crowd. Jordan has some buddies over, so I threw tetrazzini together. I love that recipe. It was quick and easy and yummy.
Here is what a quick night looks like at the Silbaugh house:

Ok, now back to work. I promise the posts will continue once I get caught up on work.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Fun with noodles

As I said before, Penny is here visiting us from Oregon. We had a great time spending the day at "the office"

It was much needed time for us to catch up on eachothers lives. Living over 1,000 miles away can be tough. We have both been through a lot and it is so nice to be able to be there for Penny finally, and vice versa.

So obviously I am not spending as much time in the kitchen. I want to spend it playing. I have to fit work in there as well, so it is a busy time for me. But I am blessed, and wouldn't trade the hustle and bustle for anything.

I showed Penny how I make my noodles last night. I went for an easy homemade lasagne and garlic green beans to feed the crew. Because of course it was not just the Wades. There were kids here too. To be honest, I can't even tell you how many kids because I went outside to eat. They were all around my table. I think there were 7. Taylor, Jordan, Cassie, Frenchie, Justin, Emily and Joey... but give or take a few because there were others that came and went. Then there were us 4 adults. I was too busy to take pictures. But I did insist on getting one of Penny holding some of my noodles. =)

Different shapes yes, but it doesn't matter because it went in lasagne. =)

Here is my lasagne recipe the quick way (meaning I did not have time to make the sauce from scratch)

2 cups flour
3 eggs

In kitchen aid or by hand mix eggs and olive oil. Pour flour and make a crater in the middle. Pour egg mixture into crater and mix/knead until it is dough. Seperate into 3 flat portions. Run through pasta roller until at desired thickness.

1lb hot italian sausage (casings removed)
1 lb mild italian sausage (casings removed)
1/2 lb ground beef
3 cloves minced garlic
1lb parmesan cheese
1lb mozzerella cheese
2 cups ricotta

brown meat with garlic ( I usually have onions in here too, but Penny hates onions). Drain fat off. Add marinara.
In HUGE 14.25 inch x 10 inch x 4 inch  Lasagne pan spray bottom of pan with Pam. Add 1/2 cup of the sauce and spread around to keep noodles from sticking to the bottom of the pan. In layers, rotate, noodles, meat sauce, cheeses. Repeat and Top off with parmesan mozzerella mixture.

Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring Break... 3 weeks of it

Today marks the beginning of Spring Break. When you live in California you get to enjoy an extra long one, because different states have different Spring Breaks. There is usually Friends and Family that come down to visit. This next week The Wades, our best friends from Oregon, are coming to visit. The day they fly out, My sister and her family come for the next week. Then the week after is our States Spring break. My kids are heading to Oregon to visit friends and Family and I will be working my patootie off getting ready for our Pet Industry show in Baltimore Maryland. This is a huge show for those of us that make dog clothes. So I am not sure how much blogging will be going on for the next few weeks. I will be cooking a lot for company. I just will also want to soak up every spare second I have with them, so i am not sure how much I will document what I am cooking. I will try! I know I will at least a few times a week.

Sunday is the biggest discount grocery day of the week, and our company doesn't arrive until tonight, so I am organizing my coupons and getting ready for the quick grocery trip. Vons (Safeway for my Oregon friends) gets my vote this week on the best savings. They have my strawberries again. 2 pounds for $3. Oh yeah, I am making my cake again for company, and those basil strawberry martini's. Those were dang good! AND the strawberry shortcake... and it is only $3, course you have flour and sugar and eggs, but still... I can make the stuff for next to nothing. Not only that, but whole chickens are only $0.77 a pound. There is a ton on sale there, so I am giving them my business this week. I bet you that we will feed all of our company for under $250 per week. I know we will. We pretty much have company every night as it is any way. With all my kids friends and our friends, our door is always open. Most of my daughters friends know I cook and tend to show up around dinner time. So it will be a piece of cake... literally. Happy Spring Everyone!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

French Feast

I am so exited today! We got the FRONT page of Pet Style news!!! yeah, dog clothes, that is where it is at!!!
No I didn't cook yesterday. It was leftover night. Which means it cost me NOTHING. I was helping a friend with her business she is starting up and so leftover night worked out perfectly. Technically we cooked.... I mean we mixed ingredients so whatever you want to call that. I am excited for her launch. Stay tuned, I am sure I will write all about it on here.

Tonight we have company coming over. My dear friend Maria and her family are coming over for dinner. Her husband has been asking for french food. Poor Maria is recovering from surgery and can't move at all, so I am THRILLED to cook for them. The only glitch is that she doesn't like dogs. Hmmmm... maybe I will throw the dogs up in my room  with some steak. haha!

What am I making?  French Onion soup, because Maria said she loved it, Coq au Vin because it is probably the most famous of all French chicken dishes, and certainly one of the most delicious, with its rich red wine sauce, its tender onions and mushrooms, and its browned pieces of chicken with their wonderful flavor and bacon... I am getting hungry. I was interested to find out that it is considered a French comfort food. Pasta is always the comfort food for me which is perfect because it is one of the few dishes that is served with pasta. I am going back to the Queen of  French Cuisine.. well the queen who brought it to America anyway.

French Onion Soup
•2 tablespoons butter
•1/4 cup olive oil
•3 lb onions, halved and sliced thin
•2 cloves garlic, minced very fine
•1 teaspoon granulated sugar
•2 cups dry white wine
•6 cups beef stock or chicken stock (the beef will make a darker, more robust soup)
•salt and freshly ground black pepper
•6 ovenproof soup bowls
•12 toasted slices of French baguettes, 1/2 inch thick
•2 cups Swiss cheese, grated
•3 teaspoons Parmesan cheese, grated

In a large saucepan over medium heat melt the butter and oil together.
Add the onions, cook covered on low for 15 minutes. This will seem like way too many onions, but they cook down to 1/3.
Remove lid add  salt and sugar. Saute until slightly colored, stirring occasionally (don't stir too much - you want them to brown), for 30 minutes.
3.Add the white wine, raise temperature to medium high, and bring to a boil.
4.Lower temperature back down to medium and cook for 5 minutes.
5.Add the stock, raise temperature to medium high and bring to a simmer.
6.Lower temperature to low and simmer *uncovered* for 1 1/2 hours (90 minutes).
7.At this point you can freeze the soup for reheating later (after thawing).
8.To serve at this point, continue with steps: first, preheat your broiler.
9.Ladle the soup into the ovenproof soup bowls (6 of them).
10.Place two slices of toasted baguette onto the top of each soup bowl.
11.Sprinkle each serving with 1/3 cup of Swiss cheese, then 1/2 teaspoon of Parmesan cheese.
12.Place soup bowls onto a baking sheet and place in oven under preheated broiler.
13.Broil until the cheese melts (watch them carefully - depending on your broiler and how far the rack is from the heat, it can take anywhere to 45 to 90 seconds or so).
14.Serve immediately.

Julia Child's Coq au Vin

2 1/2 to 3 pounds cut-up frying chicken, skin on and thoroughly dried (I used my $0.66 per pound chicken and cut it up)*
4 ounces lean thick-cut bacon
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup cognac
2 cups red wine (Pinot Noir, Burgundy, Beaujolais or Chianti)**
2 cup homemade chicken stock or low-sodium chicken stock or broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, mashed or minced
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon thyme
Brown-Braised Potatoes
Brown-Braised Onions (see recipe below)
Mushrooms (see recipe below)
3 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter, softened
Parsley sprigs
Dry chicken thoroughly in a towel. Season chicken with salt and pepper; set aside.

Remove any rind off the bacon and cut the bacon into lardons (rectangles 1/4-inch across and 1-inch long). In a saucepan, simmer the bacon sticks in 2 quarts of water for 10 minutes; remove from heat, drain, rinse in cold water, and pat dry.
In a large heavy frying pan, casserole dish, or electric skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil until moderately hot. Add the bacon and saute slowly until they are lightly browned. Remove bacon to a side dish. Place chicken pieces into the hot oil (not crowding pan), and brown on all sides. Return bacon to the pan, cover pan, and cook slowly for 10 minutes, turning chicken once.
After browning the chicken, uncover pan, pour in the cognac. Flambé by igniting with a lighted match. Let flame a minute, swirling pan by its handle to burn off alcohol; extinguish with pan cover.
Pour the red wine into the pan and add just enough chicken broth to completely cover the chicken pieces. Stir in tomato paste, garlic, bay leaf, and thyme. Bring the liquid to a simmer, then cover pan, and simmer slowly for about 30 minutes or until the chicken meat is tender when pierced with a fork or an instant-read meat thermometer registers an internal temperature of 165 degrees

While the chicken is cooking, prepare the Brown-Braised Onions and the Mushrooms.

When the chicken is done cooking, remove from the pan to a platter, leaving the cooking liquid in the pan. Increase heat to high and boil the cooking liquid rapidly until approximately 2 cups of liquid remains.

While the liquid is boiling, in a small bowl, blend the 3 tablespoons flour and 2 tablespoons softened butter into a smooth paste; beat the flour/butter mixture into the approximately 2 cups hot cooking liquid with a whisk. Simmer and stir for a minute or two until the sauce has thickened (the result will be a sauce thick enough to lightly coat a spoon - just thick enough to coat the chicken and vegetables lightly). If sauce is too thin, boil down rapidly to concentrate; if sauce is too thick, thin out with additional spoonfuls of chicken stock. Taste the final sauce, adding more salt and pepper if necessary.
Before serving, reheat the onions and mushrooms (if necessary).

To serve immediately: Shortly before serving, bring the sauce and the cooked chicken to a simmer, cover and simmer slowly for 4 to 5 minutes, until chicken is hot through. NOTE: Do not overcook chicken at this point.

To serve: Either serve from the casserole dish or arrange the chicken on a large platter. Pour the sauce over the chicken. Arrange the Brown-Braised Onions on one side of the chicken and the Mushrooms on the other side. Decorate with sprigs of parsley. Accompany with parsley potatoes, rice, or noodles; buttered green peas or a green salad; hot French bread; and the same red wine you used for cooking the chicken. NOTE: This dish is traditionally served with wide egg noodles or potatoes.

So that takes care of the veggies, the protein and the starch.

Brown-Braised Onions and Potatoes:
6 potatoes
6  white onions, peeled
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt to taste
While chicken is cooking, drop onions into boiling water, bring water back to the boil, and let boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and drain. Cool onions in ice water. Shave off the two ends (root and stem ends) of each onion, peel carefully, and pierce a deep cross in the root end with a small knife (to keep onions whole during cooking).

In a large frying pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil, add parboiled onions, and toss for several minutes until lightly browned (this will be a patchy brown). Add water to halfway up onions and add 1/4 to1/2 teaspoon salt. Cover pan and simmer slowly for 25 to 30 minutes or until onions are tender when pierce with a knife.
NOTE: Onions may be cooked in advance, set aside, then reheated when needed. Season to taste just before serving.

1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, washed, well dried, left whole if small, sliced or quartered if large. I always slice in half. It is easier to brown.
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 tablespoon olive oil

Prepare mushrooms. Dry them!!! In a large frying pan over medium heat, heat butter and olive oil; when bubbling hot, toss in mushrooms and DON'T crowd them and saute over high heat for 4 to 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from heat.
NOTE: Mushrooms may be cooked in advance, set aside, then reheated when needed. Season to taste just before serving.

Creme Brulee of course. I have already posted the recipe before I think. You start with Creme anglaise, but use half the amount of sugar and whipping cream instead of milk.
1//4 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
1 tsp corn starch
1 3/4 boiling cream
Start boiling the cream in the microwave. Takes like 5 minutes
beat yolks and sugar unil it forms a ribbon about 3 minutes... then beat in corn starch
While beating yolk mixture, very gradually add the boiling cream. You have to do this slowly so you don't warm up the egg yolks too fast. A small steady stream of cream works.
Next you pour the mixture into a large heavy steel bottomed pan. cook at a very low temperature stirring constantly. This takes a long time. Be patient. If the egg yolks get near 160 they will curdle. I use a thermometer. Stir and scrap bottom and all sides. This can take 15 -20 minutes Be patient! Once it is thick and no longer foamy add 1 TB vanilla extract, stir in, Then pour in prepared (pam spray) custard cups. Put in fridge to set. Takes like 4 hours.

i make praline to put on top. Toasted almonds with sugar. Plus some straawberries.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Bracciola Christi Style

Google is really starting to tick me off. They are getting TOOOOOO personal. Today I went to search for something and found out they were trying to be extra nice and just search in my area. UMMMM… ever heard of the WORLD WIDE WEB??? Next time ask me first. There is my rant for the day. I have switched over to yahoo. I am done with google, they tick me off daily.

Walked into vons today to use the leftover $100 I had on my grocery budget for the week until Sunday. Bill was $128.37 ... guess how much I had to pay? $53.46!!!! yaya that's right! Which means I STILL have $46.54 left out of my $250 and i won't even need to use it. My meals are planned and the stuff is purchased! On my savings kick, did you know if you want to try chocolate Cheerios. Now is the day to do it. $0.25 for a box if you clipped your coupon and you go to Vons or Safeway. Their deals this week are crazy. If you clipped coupons you can get nature valley clusters for FREE this week. The madness of it all. I used to throw away so much money for no reason!!!

In Southern Italy braciola means a slice of steak rolled up around a filling. Means something completely different in North Italy, so we are going Southern Italy tonight. Yes, that is steak 2 nights in a row. I made last nights Steak Dijionase, rolls and asparagus for a total of $13.75 for a family of 4. That is total, not per person. They had a killer deal on boneless top sirloin steak. Regularly $6.99 a pound here in Cali it is $2.47 per pound. Heck yeah, I stocked up. Steak for less than chicken.. you betcha! Any way, this is my combo of all different recipes out there. To me this is the best Bracciola. So that is why I call it:

Bracciola Christi Style

Take and butterfly your steaks (cut it through the thickness, across the grain so they lay flat).

Pound the steaks with a coarse meat mallet to tenderize and stretch it out.

Season the meat on both sides with a light sprinkling of black pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, oregano, basil, parsley. (I strongly recommend fresh oregano, fresh basil and fresh parsley Fresh herbs make a difference!)

Grind up fresh onion and garlic. You know I am a huge kitchen gadget freak so I used my cuisinart smart stick. I had bought it for the emersion blender portion, but it came with all these attachments and it does EVERYTHING! Plus it is all dishwasher safe. It is my 2nd favorite kitchen gadget now. The first being my kitchen aid. I think with these 2 tools I can conquer any kitchen. The best thing is it is really really affordable. I mean for a do it all gadget around $40 is to me super affordable. Compared to paying $250 for my kitchen aid.

Spread the onion and garlic on both sides of the seasoned steak. Roll up the meat in plastic wrap and let it "marinate" in the refrigerator while the stuffing is prepared.

Again in with my smart stick using my little chopper attachment I chop: 1 c white mushrooms and 1 cup onion, 1 bell pepper. Stir together 3/4 c shredded, low moisture Mozzarella, 1 c Parmesan – this is now the stuffing.

Lay out the meat, place strips of bacon on the center side of the center line of the steaks, then place 2/3 of the stuffing alongside the center line of the steaks. Fold this side of the meat over and roll the rest of the steak around this pocket. Tuck the ends in and secure the roll with cotton butcher's cord. Or you can also skewer them. If you have bamboo skewers remember to soak them for at least 30 minutes in water first, so they don’t burn.

Preheat the oven to 350F.

In a hot pan, pour in just enough olive oil to cover the bottom. Remember to wait until the pan is HOT before you pour in the oil. Sear the meat on all sides.

Place the browned meat rolls into a lightly oiled baking pan. Spread the rest of the stuffing over it. Drizzle on a little olive oil and red wine. Bake covered for 30 to 40 minutes, or until done to taste (30 minutes for Randy 45 minutes for me. He likes his rare. I like mine medium well).

Slice into 1" (approx.) portions.

I also had got a major deal on crab, so I made crab cakes again. I have to tell you. We fed our family and others with tons of leftovers for under $20. Clip those coupons people and check your stores weekly ads. I was an idiot before. I never even looked at the ads. I just went and bought what I needed. Never again. I meal plan according to what is on sale. Even if you don’t need to, I just think it is the smart thing to do! Don't have time? Go to There is no longer an excuse!

One more plea about my limes:

Monday, March 15, 2010

Steak Dijionase

Things are so busy at work. As most of you know we finished our production of our cute adorable footie pajamas for dogs. The release was delayed a little because getting the fit right was important to us. We finished and then Nikki over at did a great review of them for us. If you haven't seen it you should check it out! Even if you don't dress your dog. So obviously we make dog clothes and the designing, making, shipping, marketing etc... takes a lot of work and a lot of time. It is 81 degrees outside and I haven't been able to spend any time out there! Our friends are coming next week, so I will for sure get some sun time in.

Can I just mention again today about my lime tree? We picked up all the limes last night that had fell. Well.. look how many fell over night:

Note how yellow they are because they are as ripe as they can get. So Randy went and hacked the crap out of our tree. hahahaha look at it now:

It is only going to make it produce even more, but at least the sun makes it into my backyard. I will be making a lot of things with lime or substituting lime for lemon. Even though we have lemons, we have much much much more limes.

Today being Monday was extra busy, so I went for making Steak Dijionase. It isn't tough, it is pretty quick, but still gives the gourmet feel.

Steak Dijionase
4 6oz Sirloin steaks
2 TB Dijon Mustard
4 TB diced onions
2 TB Clarified Butter
6 TB Heavy Cream
2 TB Unstalted Butter
Salt and Pepper TT
1/4 cup of white wine to deglaze pan

Pound the tarnation out of the steaks til they are 1/4 inch thin.

 Cover each side with 1 1/2 tsp of the dijion mustard and then press half the onion on one side and press the other half of the onion on the other side.

Saute the steaks in clarified butter.

Remove and put in a warm place. Deglaze the pan with a splash of white wine, add the cream and reduce by half.
Add the rest of the mustard. Stir in butter 1 TB at a time. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve each steak with sauce poured over them. This recipe is really good with a simple brown rice or potato recipe. I served it with Hawaiian rolls and garlic and buttered asparagus as well.

here is my plate:

My hubby is a big eater. here is his plate:

And here is his plate 10 minutes later:

The girls were extra happy because I had bought T bone steaks, I trim off the steak and find it extra scrumptious and the dogs get to chew the bones. Look how cute Cece is in her hair bow guarding her bone!

My TIP OF THE DAY is more of an answer to a question. "Why do I have to use unsalted butter?" Butter was originally salted to help preserve it. However, with modern refrigeration and distribution, salt is now used mainly because many people like the flavor. The amount of salt in salted butter can vary among brands, from 1/4 teaspoon per stick to 1/2 teaspoon. The reason recipes call for unsalted butter is so you can control the amount of salt in a recipe. This can be important in baking, especially with delicate flavors such as vanilla, citrus, floral or herbs, which are more easily masked by too much salt. Salt also allows for a higher boiling temperature. Most of the time you CAN use salted, but you will need to adjust the salt to taste and be careful with cooking temperatures.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Lime Bars

Our lime tree has been out of control. I am giving them away left and right and every morning I STILL wake up with 5 or 6 on the ground. So I am always looking for something to make with the limes. These were really tasty!

1 c flour
¼ c confectioners sugar
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp grated Lime zest
½ c cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

3 tbsp flour
½ c fresh Lime juice
1 TBS grated Lime zest
3 eggs
1 c sugar
Pinch of salt
Line an 8" baking pan with aluminum foil, and allow about an inch or so of foil hanging over the rim. Spray with non-stick cooking spray.

Preheat oven to 350°F.
To make crust, sift flour, confectioner’s sugar, and salt in a bowl and transfer to food processor. Add Lime zest, pulse to blend. Add butter a few pieces at a time until crumbly. Transfer to pan and press evenly to bottom and sides to form crust. Bake 25 minutes to golden brown.

In alarge measuring cup or pitcher, whisk flour and Lime juice. Add eggs, granulated sugar, Lime zest and salt and whisk to smooth. Pour filling into crust. Close oven and reduce to 325°F. Bake until springy, about 30 minutes.

After completely cooled, use foil as handles and lift from pan to cutting board. Dust with confectioners sugar using strips of wax paper to line for pattern before dusting. Cut into thin bars.

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