Monday, January 31, 2011

Friday, January 28, 2011

Super Bowl

What's everyone making for the Super Bowl? I kept going back forth between dishes until Anne reminded me that I made this stromboli last year. I think I'll be making it again. The party starts way before the game does at my parents house so I remember it was a good lunch for everyone to have before all the party finger foods came out later that night. I'll be making two this year though, one with pepperoni (and maybe sausage) and one veggie. The sautéed onions, green and red peppers, mushrooms and garlic sounds too good to pass up.

Any who, back to my original question. What are you making?!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Apples Going Bad

When apples start to go bad I hate throwing them out so I usually hurry and bake something with them. Dan loves anything apple so that makes it easy. I made apple bars last night with MaryGrace while he was at class. I thought it'd be a good wintery treat for him when he got home. Plus, he could take them to work to share with the guys so they aren't around here all day for me and MG to eat.

Apple Bars

1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup milk
1 large egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 1/2 cups chopped peeled apples (I got this from one apple, the recipe says two)
1 cup chopped walnuts
Spice Glaze (below)

1.     Heat oven to 350 degree. Grease bottom and sides of 13x9x2

2.     Mix brown sugar, oil, milk and egg in large bowl. Stir in flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Stir in apples and walnuts. Spread in pan. (It's sticky so I used a spatula to spread. It's also a very thin dish - I thought I grabbed the wrong size pan at first but it cooked up nicely.)

3.     Bake about 20 minutes (mine took about 15 but me oven runs a little hot). Cool 30 minutes. Drizzle with Spice Glaze. Cut into 2 inch squares.

Spiced Glaze
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1-2 TBLS apple juice or milk

mix all ingredients until smooth and spreadable. The glaze really does finish this dish off. I don't normally make the little stuff recipes call for but did here and loved it.   

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Smith Menu

Potato Soup
(Dan likes bread on the side with this. That's a little too carb-city for me but I found some bakery-made bread at Meijer on the major discounted shelf for $1.49. We love fresh baguettes but hardly ever get them so I think he'll love this treat)

Ham/cheese/veggie Omelets and Potatoes

Stuffed green peppers

Left-over Night

Jambalaya (minus the sausage)
Corn bread

Dad's Specialty
mashed potatoes
green beans

The crockpot is coming mighty handy these days. If we go to 4:30 on Saturdays it's definitely a crockpot meal night because by the time we get back everyone is hungry for dinner. Dan is also going to a class two nights a week until the beginning of March so my hands will be busy as he leaves right during supper time. Meals like stuffed greens peppers, meatloaf, etc. I like to make when both girls are down for their naps so I can just throw it in the oven when 5:00 o'clock rolls around. Getting meals to the table is going pretty smoothly. Dan is always a huge help too - whether it's throwing the last couple of ingredients in if Anna needs to nurse or browning the meat at the beginning on the process he's always there lending a helping hand. MaryGrace now helps too -she sets the table every night and it's too cute.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Roasted Root Vegetables with Poached Eggs and Hollandaise (Part I)

Okay. I hear you! "Finally!" you say! I know.. This three-part post is a little nuts.. But don't worry. We're near the end. And here we have the roasted root vegetables! Now, again you can use the veggies as a side dish at dinner or a meal in itself! Either way, let's get right to it.

Non-stick oil spray
Olive Oil
2.5 cups diced potatoes (Yukon Gold works best)
1 cup diced onion
6 cups of any combination of the following, diced:
- carrots (so great in this)
- brussel sprouts
- sweet potato
- asparagus
- parsnips
- rutabagas
- red bell pepper
- squash
Salt and Pepper
Couple minced garlic cloves
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray. Toss the ingredients (except the garlic) in a bowl, ensuring that you have enough olive oil (4 tablespoons maybe?), rosemary, salt and pepper to cover everything. Spread on a prepared sheet in single layer. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast vegetables until tender, stirring and turning occasionally, about 45 minutes. Stir in garlic; roast 5 minutes longer -- you don't want it to burn.
  2. Divide hash among 4 plates. Using slotted spoon, top each serving with 1 poached egg. Drizzle with hollandaise.
** Remember to dice the vegetables to be about the same size so that they cook at the same rate. **

You could also make this really hashy by adding in some corned beef, which I think would actually go pretty well!

I would add a video, but apparently everyone who likes roasted root vegetables are LOOOOSERS! They were super boring. But take my word for it.. This is a great dish. I hope you'll like it! :)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Roasted Root Vegetables with Poached Eggs and Hollandaise (Part II)

So here's part two in this big ol' recipe! I break this one up because technically it's three different recipes that could be used separately! Pair the roasted root vegetables with a pork chop at dinner or drizzle the hollandaise over your eggs benedict at brunch.. Or, put a poached egg on your lunchtime cheeseburger. I know, I know.. I haven't tried it either. But apparently, it's to die for.
Let's get the image out of our minds though and just poach an egg.

Now, there are many variations on how to do this, each one that at least someone swears by. I think the sandwich baggie one looks interesting.. I might try it but I hate to cook in plastic.. Anyway, here's the way I do it:

You'll need -

An Egg or two
1 tablespoon of White Vinegar
1 teaspoon Salt

  1. Fill a large saucepan with about 3 inches of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, pour in the vinegar and salt, and keep the water at a gentle simmer.
  2. Now here's my big tip.. I did this accidently once and now I see that everyone's been doing it for years! I'm so behind the times.. Stir the water so that it's turning slowly. This will help the egg white fold around the yolk. Just don't make it an aquatic tornado.
  3. Crack an egg into a small bowl. Holding the bowl just above the surface of the water, gently slip the egg into the simmering water. Repeat with the remaining eggs. Poach the eggs until the whites are firm and the yolks have thickened but are not hard, 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. Remove the eggs from the water with a slotted spoon, and dab on a kitchen towel to remove excess water.
Here's a video with some extra tips for ya!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Roasted Root Vegetables with Poached Eggs and Hollandaise (Part III)

Howdy, gals!

This is my second Cookin' Sisters and Friends post and I thought I'd share one of my favies!

Yes, I said favies!
It's a dish I recreated after having the best brunch of my life at a little bistro in Chicago with my cousin awhile back. It took some time to get it just right, but I think I've got it, my dear Watson and I'm here to share it with you! It's a perfect winter breakfast, though don't expect to be hungry for lunch soon after!

The root vegetables are seasoned perfectly, soft inside, crispy outside with a real earthy flavor! The poached eggs give a creamy, simple texture and the Hollandaise brings a rich, sweet finish to the whole thang! I can't wait for you to try it!

However, this is a three-part recipe (pronounced "ress-eep") and so I'll break it up a little and leave you wanting more (or perhaps, for all of those non-Caitie-fans out there, wanting less! *wink!*). And since posts are listed as newest first, I'll start at the end and begin with Part III - Hollandaise Sauce!

Now, I couldn't really find a good picture of Hollandaise sauce without it being on some other dish, so I just gave you a picture of Heaven, cuz that's what Hollandaise Sauce is! Heaven.

Well, technically butter and eggs, but like I said: Heaven.

I like this recipe cuz it doesn't use a double boiler and won't separate. Easy peasey, lemon squeezy!

So here's what you need:

1/2 cup of Butter
3 Egg Yolks
1/4 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1-2 tablespoons o' lemon juice
Dash of Tobasco Sauce or, my preference: Cayenne pepper
A Blender!!
  1. In the blender, combine the egg yolks, mustard, lemon juice and hot pepper sauce or cayenne pepper. Cover (seriously, do it), and blend for a couple seconds.
  2. Heat butter in the microwave or on the stove until completely melted and hot. Set the blender on high speed and pour the butter into the egg yolk mixture in verrrrrrry slowwwwlllyyyy in a thin stream. It will thicken up pretty quickly, but if the sauce gets too thick, you can add the second tbsn of lemon juice, but it should be all good.
  3. You can keep the sauce warm until serving by placing the blender container in a pan of hot tap water or something equally as genius.
This is great for Eggs Benedict, asparagus, etc. It's not something to have everyday as there are a million calories in the scent alone, but definitely something every cook should know how to make!

Here's a good video for all you illiterates! I like this one cuz the guy is shirtless (just the way I like to cook) and he has a couple good tips. He doesn't use cayenne pepper (and truthfully, you don't have to), but I've forgiven him.

Next up: Part II - Poached Eggs! or!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Butterbeans with Rosemary and Garlic (from

I bought my dad a small rosemary bush for Christmas and then the next week found this recipe for beans with rosemary and garlic. it's DELICIOUS. I can't wait to try it as a sandwich spread. It's from Jules Clancy's cooking blog

Warm Butterbeans with Rosemary

1 14oz can butter beans, drained
3T olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic, peeled & finely sliced
2 small sprigs rosemary, leaves picked
pinch chilli flakes, optional
extra virgin olive oil, to serve

I added more rosemary than the recipe calls for. and I overdid it on the chili flakes, but it was so tasty!!