Sunday, March 24, 2013

Italian-Style Beef Pot Roast

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Who doesn't love a good pot roast?  Simple, slow cooked, one pot meals are definitely popular with many people and I think it's a wonderful way to have a GREAT meal to serve to your family. 

Traditional pot roasts are usually made with a brown gravy, or onion soup mix, along with potatoes, carrots and such. This pot roasts makes a twist on that and goes "Italian" for a very flavorful dinner.

Recipe

Ingredients
1 - 3-4 lb. Top Round Roast (London Broil), chuck roast or round roast
1 large white onion, sliced
1 - 14.5 oz. can petite diced tomatoes (make your own)
1 - 14.5 oz. tomato sauce (make your own)
2-3 tsp. minced garlic
1-2 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp.course-ground black pepper
1/2-3/4 cup red cooking wine
3-4 tbls. Balsamic vinegar
6 Yukon Gold or red potatoes, peeled and cut in 1/2 if too large (leave smaller potatoes whole)
6 large carrots, peeled and cut in 1/2 (if using small carrots, leave them whole)

Method
Spray a large slow cooker with cooking spay.

Mix onions, tomatoes, tomato sauce, seasonings, red wine and balsamic vinegar in the crock pot, add roast and spoon mixture to cover roast.  Cover and cook on low heat 9 hours.

Two hours before roast is done, add potatoes and carrots and continue to cook until vegetables are tender.

Remove roast from slow cooker to cutting board, cover with aluminum foil and let sit 10-15 minutes before carving.

When ready to serve, remove vegetables from slow cooker and serve with the roast and some of the sauce spooned over all.

This is delicious served with some Hearth Bread to sop up the sauce with!





















*Note - when carving, cut meat across the grain.  If you're in a hurry, add the potatoes and carrots one hour prior to roast being done and turn the heat to high.  Otherwise, you can also add them when you put everything together in the morning.  We like our veggies a little more al'dente, so I didn't want "carrot mush," which is why I do it the way I do.

Enjoy,
Mary

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Hearth Bread

Yum

This recipe, also known as "The Easiest Loaf of Bread You'll Ever Bake," appears on the back of some of the King Arthur Flour bags. Recipe from King Arthur Flour.



Recipe

Ingredients
1 tablespoon (1 packet) active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon salt
2 cups warm water (not over 110°F)
5 1/2 to 6 cups All-Purpose Flour*
cornmeal

boiling water
* For a heartier, healthier bread use Organic Hard Red or White Wheat Flour. Wheat flour is more "thirsty" than all-purpose flour, so add 4 cups flour to begin with, adding 1/2 cup more flour at a time until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.


Organic Hard Red Wheat Flour


To mix: Mix together the first four ingredients. Let this stand until the yeast, sugar and salt are dissolved. Add the flour to the liquid and mix thoroughly until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface to knead. (I used my dough hook and my Kitchen-Aid Stand Mixer to do most of the work mixing on a low setting).

Knead It: Fold the far edge of the dough back over on itself towards you. Press into the dough with the heels of your hands and push away. After each push, rotate the dough 90°. Repeat this process in a rhythmic, rocking motion for 5 minutes, sprinkling only enough flour on your kneading surface to prevent sticking. Let the dough rest while you scrape out and grease the mixing bowl. Knead the dough again for 2 to 3 minutes.


Let It Rise: Return the dough to the bowl and turn it over once to grease the top. Cover with a damp towel and keep warm until the dough doubles in bulk, about 1 to 2 hours. (I let mine rise 1 1/2 hours)

Shape it: Punch down the dough with your fist and briefly knead out any air bubbles. Cut the dough in half and shape into two Italian or French-style loaves (or make into round loaves). Place the loaves on a cookie sheet generously sprinkled with cornmeal. Let the loaves rest for 5 minutes.


Bake it: Lightly slash the tops of the loaves 3 or more times diagonally and brush them with cold water. Place on rack in a cold oven with a roasting pan full of boiling water on the oven bottom. Bake at 400°F for 35 to 45 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and sounds hollow to the touch. 

For a lighter, crustier bread, let your shaped loaves rise for 45 minutes. Preheat the oven and roasting pan with water to 500°F for 15 minutes. Brush the loaves with cold water, place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Lower the temperature to 400°F and bake for 10 more minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool and devour! (This is my preferred baking method).


Hard Red Wheat Flour Loaf





















Beautiful Hard Red Wheat Flour Loaf




















Enjoy,
Mary

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Monday, March 18, 2013

Garlic-Cheese Biscuits

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Oh my yummmm!  Who doesn't like Garlic-Cheese Biscuits, just like those at Red Lobster?  I've been making these for years, and they are always a huge hit here.  Super-simple to make, they taste yummy and go well with almost anything. I have friends asking me to "save them some" every time I make them. 


Ingredients
2 cups baking mix, like Bisquick (or make your own)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp parsley flakes
2/3 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup melted butter
more garlic powder for dusting on top of biscuits

Method
In a large bowl, mix baking mix, garlic powder, parsley flakes, milk and shredded cheedar cheese together.  Drop by rounded spoonfuls on lightly greased baking sheet.  Brush biscuits with melted butter and sprinkle with additional garlic powder.  Bake in 425 oven for 10 minutes.


**Option** - add 4 pieces cooked and crumbled bacon to the mixture for a great tasty twist!




Enjoy,
Mary


Sunday, March 17, 2013

New York-Style Cheesecake

Yum
We love cheesecake!  It's my daughter's choice for her "birthday cake," and also a tradition with our family when we move into a new home.  While my husband was active-duty military, serving in the US Air Force, we moved many times.  This homemade cheesecake was always the first dessert made in a new house to make it feel like home ... lots of very happy family memories surround this yummy New York-Style Cheesecake. Topping is fresh strawberries from Willard Farms!  Yumm!
















Ingredients
1 3/4 cups Graham cracker crumbs
1 1/4 cup sugar, divided
1/3 cup butter, melted
3 - 8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened
2 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs
1 cup sour cream

Method
Preheat  oven to 350 for silver pan; 325 for dark, nonstick pan.  In a 8" or 9" springform pan, mix graham cracker cumbs with 1/4 cup of the sugar and melted butter.  Press firmly onto bottom and 2" up sides of pan; set aside.

Beat cream cheese, 1 cup remaining sugar, and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on high speed until well blended.  Add eggs, one at time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended.  Add sour cream.  Pour into crust.

Bake 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until center is almost set.  Turn off oven.  Leaving door slightly adjar, leave cheesecake in oven for 1 hour.  Remove from oven; cool completely.  Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.  Remove side of pan, top with pie filling if desired.  Store leftover cheesecake in refrigerator.

Enjoy,
Mary

New England Boiled Dinner

Yum

One of my one-pot favorites is a New England Boiled Dinner, aka Corned Beef and Cabbage. We almost always have it on St. Patrick's Day, and at other times throughout the year.

I love the one-pot convenience, and all the smells and taste.  Use leftover corned beef for Reuben sandwiches, or corned beef hash!  Check out some Reuben Recipes here from my friend, Lynn, at Southern With a Twist!



Ingredients
1 - 3 1/2-4 lb. corned beef brisket (with seasoning packet)
5-6 medium carrots, peeled and cut in half
1 large onion, quartered
6 potatoes, peeled and cut in half
1 medium cabbage, cut in half, then in wedges
(other root vegetables such as parsnips or turnips, peeled and quartered, optional)

Method
Place corned beef and seasoning packet in a large stock pot, cover with water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover tightly and simmer 3 1/2 hours or until tender. 

About 30 minutes before meat is tender, skim fat from liquid.  Add onions, potatoes and carrots. Cover; simmer 20 minutes, or until vegetables are cooked and tender.

Remove meat from pot (cover with foil on a large cutting board).  Add cabbage and simmer uncovered 15-20 minutes of until vegetables are tender.

Enjoy,
Mary

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Homemade Chicken Pot Pie with Homemade Puff Pastry

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First of all, I love chicken pot pie and have been searching for a homemade one for a long time.  Yes, I've made them with condensed cream of chicken soup, and they're ok, but not what I was looking for.  I finally found this recipe over on Simply Scratch and it fit everything I was looking for.  Not hard to do at all, the only change I wanted was do make a Puff Pasty Crust instead of a traditional crust. And so enters Flour Me With Love and her homemade puff pastry.  Wonderful!!!

















Ingredients
1 pound Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts (I used leftover cooked chicken from a roasted chicken)
1 stick of Butter, divided
2 whole Carrots, peeled and diced small
2 Celery Stalks, diced small
1 cup Diced Cooked Potatoes ( I used 4-6 red potatoes, peeled, diced and par-boiled)
1 medium Yellow Onion, peeled and diced small
1 cup Frozen Peas
1/2 cup Frozen Corn
3 cups Chicken Broth, warmed
1-1/2 cups Whole Milk
1/2 cup Flour
2 teaspoons Kosher Salt, more or less to taste
1/2 teaspoons Black Pepper, more or less to taste
1 tablespoon Dried Parsley
1 teaspoon Chopped Fresh Thyme
1 teaspoon Poultry Seasoning (or more to taste)
6 (10-ounce) Ramekins (I made this is a 13 x 9 pan)

Method
Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a large Dutch oven. Add in the diced carrots and cook for 5 minutes. Add in the diced onion and celery and season with a teaspoon of kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. Cook until the onions are soft and translucent and the carrots are soft {but not too soft}.
Now add in the remaining 6 tablespoons of butter and let that melt. Once melted add in the half cup of flour and stir often while it cooks for 2 minutes. Pour in the 3 cups of hot chicken broth and the 1-1/2 cups of whole milk. Let that simmer, stirring occasionally until thickened 5-8 minutes. Next add in the frozen peas, corn, cooked chicken, dried parsley and chopped fresh thyme. Stir. Taste add season further with up to a teaspoon more of salt and a little more black pepper if desired. Place the ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet. Evenly divide the diced cooked potatoes into each prepared ramekin. (I used a 13 x 9 pan). Spoon the pot pie filling evenly over the potatoes, filling the ramekins to the brim. Let them cool down a bit before placing the pie dough over top and crimping the edges. With a sharp knife make slits for ventilation. Slide the tray of pot pies (or 13 x 9 pan) into a preheated 375 degree oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the crust is golden. (may take longer in 13x9 pan) Remove and let them cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Puff Pastry
1 3/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 cup butter, frozen and cut into slices
1/2 cup sour cream

Method
Mix the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar together in mixer.  Add butter and mix until mixture looks crumbled; mix in sour cream. Roll out on floured board (abour 12"x13"), fold top in to middle and bottom in to middle, then both sides, like and envelope.  Flour lightly and proceed again to roll out as above.  Fold in again, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes.

 
Enjoy,
Mary
 
 
 


Monday, March 11, 2013

Mexican Lasagna

Yum

I love almost all Mexican or Tex/Mex foods, and have for years, but again, the hubs does not ... that is until recent times.  Now he loves cheesy chicken enchiladas, will tolerate build-your-own taco night with the grandsons, and this Mexican Lasagna.  I love it because it's so easy and makes a quick weeknight supper.

Ingredients




1 lb. ground beef
salt and pepper, to taste
dash or two of garlic powder
1 - 15.5 oz jar of your favorite salsa (or make your own)
8 corn tortilla's
2 cups kernel corn (I use frozen, but you could use canned corn, drained)
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend (I use Sargento's 4-cheese Mexican cheese blend)
1 - 14 oz. can pinto beans or black beans, drained (optional)*

Method
In a skillet, brown ground beef, and drain grease.  Add about 1/2 to 3/4 of the jar of salsa and stir to blend (you don't want it to runny).   Cut corn tortilla's in half.  Spray a 9 x 9 baking dish with cooking spray, and layer 8 corn tortilla halves on the bottom of the pan, overlapping each.  Top with 1/2 the hamburger/salsa mixture, 1 cup of the corn and 1 cup of the cheese.  Repeat layers one more time with remaining ingredients, making sure the cheese is the top layer (may need more cheese, which I always do).  Bake in 350 oven 25-30 minutes or until mixure is bubbly and cheese is melted. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.
 
*I don't use the pinto beans as the hubs doesn't like them, but if you were to, you would mix them in with the hamburger/salsa mixture.

Serve with remaining salsa, shredded lettuce, sliced black olives, sliced jalapenos and sour cream if desired.

Recipe is easily doubled.

Enjoy,
Mary

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Lemon Filled Bundt Cake

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Marrying my great-grandmother's homemade lemon pie filling with her pound cake (slightly adjusted for a larger cake) this is how I came up with this amazing cake!  So light, fluffy and tasty in a sweet, yet tangy way!  Oh my ... it is so yummy!  Just be sure you don't let your cake stick to the pan, like my first effort with this cake did ... then we had Crumbled Lemon Filled Bundt Cake!  LOL!  Still tasted yummy.





















For the Cake
1 cup butter (do not use margarine, it will not come out the same way)
3 cups sugar
6 large eggs (preferably farm fresh)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. lemon extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract

Method
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour and cream and extracts, mixing well.

For the Lemon Filling
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
1 tsp salt
6 tbls. corn starch or instant clearjel (if canning any)
Juice of 2 lemons
Grated rind of 1 lemon
4 egg yolks (lightly beaten)
1 tbls. butter

Method
Mix water, sugar, salt, cornstarch or clearjel, lemon juice, grated lemon rind and egg yolks in large sauce pan, whisking to combine. Cook over med-high heat, stirring often to prevent sticking. Bring to a boil and cook one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in butter, stirring until melted. Allow to cool. (Use remaining lemon pie filling in lemon filled fried pies)

To assemble
Pour half of cake better into a greased and floured 12-cup bundt pan; carefully spoon approx. 1 cup approx. of the lemon pie filling over batter and top filling with remaining cake batter.  Bake in 300 degree oven for 1 1/2 hours or until cake is done.  Cool in pan 10-15 minutes; turn out onto wire rack or serving  plate to continue cooling.  Sprinkle top with confectioner's sugar.



Enjoy,
Mary

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Cheesy Ham and Potato Casserole

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Cheesy Ham and Cheese Potato Casserole



















Ingredients
1 can (10-3/4 ounces ) condensed cream of celery soup, undiluted (or cream of mushroom)
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 package (28 ounces) frozen O’Brien potatoes (or plain frozen cubed potatoes)
8 ounces of process cheese (Velveeta), cubed
1 cup (8 oz) shredded cheddar cheese (I use sharp cheddar)
1-1/4 cups cubed fully cooked ham

Method
In a large bowl, combine the soup, sour cream, water and pepper. Stir in the potatoes, Velvetta cheese and ham. Transfer to a greased 11-in. x 7-in. baking dish. Sprinkle top with shredded cheddar cheese. Cover and bake casserole at 375° for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake 10-15 minutes longer or until bubbly. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Yields 5 servings.

Enjoy,
Mary

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Chocolate Truffle "Pie"

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Well it's called a "Chocolate Truffle Pie," but it's much denser than a pie, almost more of a cake-like texture and very rich! Tastes just like a truffle, only in a pie, and a little bit goes a long way!  Serve with a dollop of whipped cream or sprinkled with Confectioner's Sugar.  Original recipe from Baker's Chocolate.



















Ingredients
10 oz. Semi-Sweet Chocolate
1 1/2 cup whipping (heavy) cream (1/2 cup for the pie, 1 cup for topping)
4 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
 
Directions
Heat oven to 325°F. Microwave chocolate and cream in microwaveable bowl on high 2 min. or until chocolate is almost melted; stir until completely melted. Cool. Whisk in eggs, sugar and flour. Pour into 9-inch pie plate sprayed with cooking spray (I use a 9" square baking dish). Bake 35 min. or until edge of pie is puffed but center is still slightly soft; cool. Serve topped with remaining 1 cup whipped cream.

Note - edges do puff up alot and the center will some as well.  As it cools, it sinks a bit and  pulls away from the edges of the pan.  Pie is very dense.

Enjoy,
Mary