Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Corn and Potato Chowder

I love this crazy Utah weather.  I love the snow, the cold, cooking and baking.  It just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  ahhh.... Well, this is a recipe that is loved by my whole family.  As a mom, it feels good to sit down after you have made dinner and have EVERYONE, say.. "that was soooo good."  That happened with this one in my house!  Hope it works for you!

2 bacon slices, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 russet potato, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
2 cups (or more) whole milk
1 15-ounce can creamed corn
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon thyme

Cook bacon in heavy large saucepan over medium heat until fat is rendered, about 3 minutes. Add onion and cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Add potato and bell pepper and sauté 1 minute. Add 2 cups milk and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender and soup thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.
Add creamed corn, corn kernels and 1 tablespoon thyme to soup and simmer until heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over low heat, stirring frequently and thinning with more milk if too thick.) Sprinkle with thyme and cheddar cheese and serve.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Peanut Brittle

Did you know that Peanut Brittle is was the first candy ever made into a real recipe?!  The recipes can be found back into the early 17th century. You learn something new everyday! Useless, but who knew?

Peanut brittle reminds me of my grandma's house.  I truly I don't even know that she liked it, I'll have to ask my dad, but it was always there during the holidays.  It's location was as predictable as the Christmas tree, right in the middle of the table. Christmas time at my grandma's was unlike anything else.  The smells, traditions and family.  It still gives me goosebumps and I truly wish I could go back in time!   I love Peanut Brittle for many reason, but the top reason, is it's yummy and super easy to make!

1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
1 cup peanuts
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon baking soda

Grease a large cookie sheet. Set aside. In a heavy 2 quart saucepan, over medium heat, bring to a boil sugar, corn syrup, salt, and water. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Stir in peanuts. Set candy thermometer in place, and continue cooking. Stir frequently until temperature reaches 300 degrees F, or until a small amount of mixture dropped into very cold water separates into hard and brittle threads.

Remove from heat; immediately stir in butter or margarine and baking soda; pour at once onto cookie sheet. With 2 forks, lift and pull peanut mixture into rectangle about 14x12 inches; cool. Snap candy into pieces. (If someone in your home has an allergy to peanuts, you can use cashews or pralines.)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Broiled Tilpia

I really hope everyone's Thanksgiving was amazing.  I truly have so much to be thankful for, I just need to rememeber it on a daily basis and not just on a holiday.
MY FAVORITE time of year is finally here!  I have some amazing holiday recipes coming your way!  But until then, this is what's for dinner tonight....

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup butter, softened
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon celery salt
2 pounds tilapia fillets

Preheat your oven's broiler. Grease a broiling pan or line pan with aluminum foil.

In a small bowl, mix together the Parmesan cheese, butter, mayonnaise and lemon juice. Season with dried basil, pepper, onion powder and celery salt. Mix well and set aside.

Arrange fillets in a single layer on the prepared pan. Broil a few inches from the heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the fillets over and broil for a couple more minutes. Remove the fillets from the oven and cover them with the Parmesan cheese mixture on the top side. Broil for 2 more minutes or until the topping is browned and fish flakes easily with a fork. Be careful not to over cook the fish.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Caramel Drizzled Pumpkin Cake

There is one thing, okay SEVERAL things that I love about Thanksgiving, but the desserts take 1st prize in my book!  I LOVE dessert and I love pumpkin!  BUT, I do have to admit, that I am a bigger fan of things made from scratch, however, THIS CAKE IS AMAZING!  You will be the hit of the party!
1 box yellow cake mix
1 cup (from 15-oz can) pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
2 jars (12 oz each) hot fudge topping
1 container (12 oz) Betty Crocker® Whipped fluffy white frosting
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
2 tablespoons caramel topping

Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Grease or spray bottom of 13x9-inch pan.

In large bowl, beat cake mix, pumpkin, water, oil, eggs and pumpkin pie spice with electric mixer on low speed until moistened. Beat 2 minutes on medium speed. Pour into pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until cake springs back when touched lightly in center.

Immediately poke cake every inch with handle of wooden spoon halfway into cake. Drizzle condensed milk evenly over top of cake; let stand until milk has been absorbed into cake, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, place hot fudge in medium microwavable bowl. Microwave uncovered on High 15 to 30 seconds or until smooth. Spoon and spread over cake, pressing slightly into holes. Run knife around sides of pan to loosen cake. Cover and refrigerate about 2 hours or until chilled.  Spread frosting over top of cake. Sprinkle with pecans.   Just before serving, drizzle caramel sauce over each serving of cake. Store cake loosely covered in refrigerator.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Roasted Turkey Roulade

I found out yesterday that I will not be cooking for lots of people this Thanksgiving.... SADNESS.  However, it is still possible to have fabulous turkey without having to cook a ton of it!  This recipe is from one of my favorite chefs... Ina Garten, aka.. The Barefoot Contessa! This serves about 6-7 adults and is well worth the effort!

¾ cup large-diced dried figs, stems removed
¾ cup dried cranberries
½ cup Calvados or brandy
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1½ cups diced onions (2 onions)
1 cup (½-inch-diced) celery (3 stalks)
¾ pound pork sausage, casings removed (sweet and hot mixed)
1½ tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
3 cups Pepperidge Farm herb-seasoned stuffing mix
1½ cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 extra-large egg, beaten
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 whole (2 halves) turkey breast, boned and butterflied (5 pounds)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Place the dried figs and cranberries in a small saucepan and pour in the Calvados and ½ cup water. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, then lower the heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and celery and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the sausage, crumbling it into small bits with a fork, and sauté, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes, until cooked and browned. Add the figs and cranberries with the liquid, the chopped rosemary, and pine nuts, and cook for 2 more minutes. Scrape up the brown bits with a wooden spoon.

Place the stuffing mix in a large bowl. Add the sausage mixture, chicken stock, egg, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper and stir well. (The stuffing may be prepared ahead and stored in the refrigerator overnight.)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place a baking rack on a sheet pan.  Lay the butterflied turkey breast skin side down on a cutting board. Sprinkle the meat with 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Spread the stuffing in a ½-inch-thick layer over the meat, leaving a half-inch border on all sides. Don’t mound the stuffing or the turkey will be difficult to roll. (Place the leftover stuffing in a buttered gratin dish and bake for the last 45 minutes of roasting alongside the turkey.) Starting at one end, roll the turkey like a jelly roll and tuck in any stuffing that tries to escape on the sides. Tie the roast firmly with kitchen twine every 2 inches to make a compact cylinder.

Place the stuffed turkey breast seam side down on the rack on the sheet pan. Brush with the melted butter, sprinkle generously with salt and pepper, and roast for 1¾ to 2 hours, until a thermometer reads 150 degrees in the center. (I test in a few places.) Cover the turkey with aluminum foil and allow it to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. Carve ½-inch-thick slices and serve warm with the extra stuffing.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Perfect Thanksgiving turkey..... I mean Prime Rib?!

That's right! Who serves PRIME RIB for Thanksgiving?!  My in laws.  That's who!  As I told you awhile ago, I am not a super traditionalist, BUT I do expect turkey on Thanksgiving.  So you can imagine my surprise 9 years ago at my first Thanksgiving dinner in the Elggren household and they were cooking a Prime Rib Roast, IN ADDITION to Turkey! 
Well, as I am preparing to make Thanksgiving dinner for my side of the family this year, I heard my husband on the phone asking if he could come get some prime rib from their house on Thanksgiving day!  Silly man! 

3 teaspoons grated fresh ginger root
1/3 cup orange marmalade
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1 tablespoon mustard powder
1 cup beer (the darker the better)
1 (8 pound) prime rib roast
1/4 cup olive oil
freshly ground black pepper

Mix together the ginger, marmalade, garlic, soy sauce, brown sugar, hot sauce, and mustard. Stir in the beer. Prick holes all over the roast with a 2 pronged fork. Pour marinade over roast. Cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, basting at least twice.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place roast on a rack in a roasting pan. Pour about 1 cup of marinade into the roasting pan, and discard remaining marinade. Pour olive oil over roast, and season with freshly ground black pepper. Insert a roasting thermometer into the middle of the roast, making sure that the thermometer does not touch any bone. Cover roasting pan with aluminum foil, and seal edges tightly around pan.

Cook roast for 1 hour in the preheated oven. After the first hour, remove the aluminum foil. Baste, reduce heat to 325 degrees, and continue roasting for 1 more hour. The thermometer reading should be at least 140 degrees for medium-rare, and 170 for well done. Remove roasting pan from oven, place aluminum foil over roast, and let rest for about 30 minutes before slicing.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Shrimp Dip

For as long as I can remember my mom has made a dip just like this for both Thanksgiving and Christmas.  And, I can NEVER remember it lasting past the first 10 minutes of any family get together!  Especially with my uncle Kurt there!  Anywho, here it is!  ENJOY!

1 can tomato soup
8 oz. cream cheese
1 pkg. Knox gelatin
3 tbsp. water
1 c. celery, chopped
1 sm. onion, chopped
3/4 c. mayonnaise
1 (4 1/2 oz.) miniature salad shrimp

Heat soup and cream cheese. Mix gelatin with water and pour into soup mixture. Stir in mayonnaise and then dump in all remaining ingredients. Put into an oiled mold or small to medium bundt pan. Chill overnight. Transfer to a decorative plate by turning the mold upside down.  You may need to soak the pan in warm water to get it to release into it's shape. Note: Be careful not to leave mold in hot water too long when unmolding as the dip will lose it's shape when inverted on serving plate.
Serve with crackers or pita bread.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Don't forget the cranberry sauce....

Thanksgiving wouldn't be right without the cranberry sauce.  It adds so much.  Flavor, color, texture, the cool popping noises they make when you cook them...
HOWEVER, I don't actually use it until the next day when I have it on my infamous turkey sandwich on a roll.  Strange I know, but it's the truth!
I love this recipe below.  It adds just the right everything!  ENJOY!
2 bags (12 ounces each) fresh or frozen cranberries
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 wide strips orange zest, plus 1 cup fresh orange juice
Coarse salt and ground pepper
In a medium saucepan, combine cranberries, sugar, orange zest, and 1/2 cup water; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over medium-high. Reduce to a simmer and cook until thickened, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in orange juice. (To store, refrigerate, up to 1 week. Bring to room temperature before serving.)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Instead of the mashers...

Mashed potatoes are called 'mashers' in our house.  And believe me, they are considered major delicacy food, especially by Mr. E.  But HIS week spot is Sweet Potatoes mashers, so I won't even mess with taking these away from him.  Oh No, this recipe below is to replace just plain old mashers at the Thanksgiving table!  Wonderful and oh so easy...  I promise, they won't last long!

Mashed Potato Gratin

(recipe from here and picture from here.)
3 tablespoons butter, plus more for baking dish
3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
Coarse salt
3 large egg yolks
1 1/4 cups milk
1 1/2 cups coarsely grated Gruyere, Jarlsberg, or other Swiss cheese (6 ounces)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter a shallow, 1 1/2-quart baking dish. In a large pot, cover potatoes with water by 1 inch; add 1 tablespoon salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer until easily pierced with a paring knife, about 20 minutes. Drain. Wipe pan; return potatoes.

Add butter; mash with a potato masher until creamy. Cool slightly. Fold in egg yolks, milk, 1 1/4 cups cheese, and 2 teaspoons salt. Spread in prepared dish.  Top with remaining cheese. Bake until golden brown in spots, rotating dish halfway through, about 30 minutes.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Not your everyday Thanksgiving....

THANKSGIVING. I truly love this holiday.  Wonderful food, family, friends and a nap if you are lucky!  Followed by Black Friday early morning shopping!  WOO HOO! But that's another post for another blog, right?!  I love the traditions associated with it, however, I am by no means a traditionalist when it comes to the menu.  I will do a turkey for turkey day, (how can you NOT?), but I love to shake everything else up a bit.  I also want to cut time and effort whenever possible, and NO I am not lazy! (wink wink). 

So it begins... The week and a half of non traditional, time saving Thanksgiving recipes! Whether you are cooking the entire feast, or just bringing a side, I hope at least ONE of these new recipes that I have found works for you and your loved ones! ENJOY!

(recipe and picture from here.)
Slow Cooker Sourdough and Wild Rice Stuffing
8 cups cubed sourdough bread

3 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup uncooked wild rice
1/3 cup dried porcini mushroom pieces
3 medium celery stalks, chopped (1 1/2 cups)
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon ground sage
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3/4 cup chicken broth

Heat oven to 300ºF. Spread bread cubes in single layer in large roasting pan or baking pan. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until lightly toasted; set aside.
Place 3 cups broth, the wild rice and mushrooms in 4- or 5-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on high heat setting 3 hours.
Add remaining ingredients except 3/4 cup broth to wild rice mixture. Add bread cubes. Pour 3/4 cup broth over bread mixture; toss gently. Cover and cook on low heat setting 4 hours to 4 hours 30 minutes.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Too Die For Salted Carmel Hot Chocolate

Ok, so it might NOT be 'Too Die For', but I do admit, that's it's pretty awesome!
This one is for you Paul!
3 tablespoons caramel syrup, heated to luke warm
Hot Chocolate of your choice ( I used Ghiradelli double chocolate)
Fresh Whipped Cream
Pinch of Medium Coarse Sea Salt

Pour 2 Tablespoons of caramel syrup into a mug so the inside of the mug is coated well. Add hot chocolate and stir everything. Top off with with cream, drizzle with remaining caramel, and sprinkle with sea salt. Enjoy!

Friday, November 12, 2010

I left my heart and GOOD Clam Chowder in San Francisco...

San Francisco... FISHERMAN'S WHARF

My hubby and I and our dear friends just got back from a VERY fun, VERY quick vacation to San Francisco.  Besides doing all of the necessary touristy things, we were on the HUNT for the BEST food and this included AMAZING clam chowder....  Well, long story short, we found ALL of it!  So I immediately came home to find the BEST version of San Francisco Clam Chowder!  Although its yummy, it was better with the pier in the background.  hee hee.. SO,Here it is... ENJOY!

4 slices bacon, diced
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 1/2 cups water (more if you like it thinner) 
4 cups peeled and cubed red potatoes
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
ground black pepper to taste
3 cups half-and-half
3 tablespoons butter
2 (10 ounce) cans minced clams

Place diced bacon in large stock pot over medium-high heat. Cook until almost crisp, drain the fat; add onions, and cook 5 minutes. Stir in water and potatoes, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, and cook uncovered for 15 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender.

Pour in half-and-half, and add butter. Drain clams, reserving clam liquid; stir clams and 1/2 of the clam liquid into the soup. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until heated through. Do not allow to boil.  Serve in sourdough bread bowl and ENJOY! (recipe from here., with a few alterations :))

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Potato Crusted Salmon

I LOVE salmon and crazy thing is... SO do my kids.  We grill it, bake it, microwave it,(yes, I said microwave), broil it, eat it raw.  You name it, we've done it!  This recipe was made for me 8 1/2 years ago by my darling husband.  Really I think he was trying to impress me AND that he did!  Now it's a family favorite and I almost can't make enough because my kids devour it!  THATS A GOOD THING! ENJOY!

Potato Crusted Salmon
1 lb salmon, 3/4 inch thick (I get mine at Costco)
1 egg white, slightly beaten
2 tablespoons water
1/3 cup dry mashed potato flakes
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
1 teaspoon olive or vegetable oil

Remove and discard skin from fish. Cut fish into 4 serving pieces. Mix egg white and water with fork. Mix dry potatoes, cornstarch, paprika and lemon-pepper seasoning. Dip just the top sides of fish into egg white mixture, then press into potato mixture.

In 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over high heat. Cook fish, potato sides down, in oil 3 minutes. Carefully turn fish, using wide slotted spatula. Reduce heat to medium. Cook about 3 minutes longer or until fish flakes easily with fork.
Recipe and picture from here.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Slow Cooker French Onion Soup

I am a sucker for a good French Onion Soup, but even BETTER when I don't have to slave over it all day.  This recipe is fantasic and will warm you up this fall/ winter season!  ENJOY!

3 large onions, sliced (3 cups)
3 tablespoons margarine or butter, melted
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) ready-to-serve beef broth

Cheesy Broiled French Bread
8 slices French bread, 1 inch thick
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (3 ounces)
2 tablespoons grated or shredded Parmesan cheese

Mix onions and margarine in 3 1/2- to 6-quart slow cooker.   Cover and cook on high heat setting 30 to 35 minutes or until onions begin to slightly brown around edges.

Mix flour, Worcestershire sauce, sugar and pepper. Stir flour mixture and broth into onions. Cover and cook on low heat setting 7 to 9 hours (or high heat setting 3 to 4 hours) or until onions are very tender.

Prepare Cheesy Broiled French Bread. Place 1 slice bread on top of each bowl of soup. Serve immediately.  Recipe and picture from here.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Leftover Halloween Candy?! Make COOKIES!

If your home is like our's,  then your kids got a TON of Halloween candy, and I really don't want them munching on it for the next couple of months.  SOOO, we unwrap it, chop it up and MAKE COOKIES!  Then we can deliver them to neighbors or just for fun to friends and teachers.

Halloween Candy Cookies
3 2/3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 1/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups chopped candy bits (such as Butterfingers, Baby Ruths, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, m&m's, jelly beans, OR WHATEVER you have leftover.

Preheat oven to 350.
Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
Beat butter and sugars together with a mixer until very light, about 5 minutes.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Add vanilla.  Reduce speed to low.  Add flour mixture and mix until combined.  Stir in candy bits.
Drop dough by tablespoons onto baking sheet.  Bake 15- 20 minutes. Cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes.  Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.  Makes about 4 dozen really yummy cookies! 
Recipe from here

Monday, November 1, 2010

Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto- FOR YOU DENISE!!

I have a dear friend back east who asked me for this recipe.  SOOO..... here you go Denise!  Let me know how you like it! AND, this is where I found it!

3 lb butternut squash
6 cups nonfat chicken broth
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice (9 oz)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
5 tablespoons finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1/2 oz)
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
4 oz arugula or baby spinach (6 cups), stems discarded and leaves very coarsely chopped

Roast squash:
Preheat oven to 450°F.

Halve squash lengthwise and seed, then cut crosswise into 1 1/2-inch-wide slices and season with salt. Roast slices, skin side down, in a shallow baking pan in middle of oven until tender and golden, about 50 minutes.

Set aside 6 crescent-shaped squash slices for serving and keep warm. Cut flesh from remaining slices into 1/2-inch pieces, discarding skin.  Start risotto after squash has been roasting 40 minutes: Bring broth to a simmer and keep at a bare simmer, covered.

Meanwhile, cook onion in butter in a 4-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 6 minutes. Add rice, garlic, and cumin and cook, stirring, 3 minutes.

Stir in 1/2 cup simmering broth and cook at a strong simmer, stirring frequently, until broth is absorbed. Continue simmering and adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and letting each addition be absorbed before adding the next, until rice is creamy-looking but still al dente (it should be the consistency of thick soup), about 18 minutes total. (There will be leftover broth.)
Stir in squash pieces, then stir in cheese, salt, sage, and arugula and simmer, stirring, 1 minute. (If necessary, thin risotto with some leftover broth.)
Serve risotto immediately, spooned over reserved squash slices.
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