Monday, November 16, 2009

Mushroom Turkey Tetrazzini

Sorry JD - lol - just couldn't resist. I know you dislike mushrooms as much as I love them. Thanks for trying one the other day :0) eventually you WILL like them - I promise. I appreciate that many people don't like them at all - this recipe is forgiving - try using onion, celery, peas - let me know what you try!! Would love to hear what you think of this recipe. This is one of my husband's favorites. He is not a casserole fan - but this is an exception.

Mushroom Turkey Tetrazzini

1 - 12 oz pkg of spaghetti - I use whole wheat - good fiber and great flavor
2 tsp chicken bouillon
1/2 lb sliced fresh mushrooms
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1/4 cup sherry
3/4 tsp lemon pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 cup fat-free evaporated milk
2/3 cup grated Parmesan, divided
4 cups cubed cooked turkey
1/4 tsp paprika

Cook spaghetti according to directions on package. Reserve 2 1/2 cups of cooking liquid.

In large skillet, saute mushrooms in butter until tender.

Stir in flour until blended.
Gradually stir in sherry and reserved cooking liquid.

Add lemon pepper, salt and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, stir and cook for 2 minutes until thickened.

Reduce heat to low; stir in milk.
Add 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese until blended.

Add sauce to bowl with spaghetti and turkey - stir to combine. Pour mixture into a greased baking dish. Sprinkle with paprika.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Serves 8.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Mincemeat, Christmas (Fruit) Cake, Hamburger Soup, Lasagna

Today was quite a day. Jolaine (JD) is visiting from Canada and it is wonderful to have her here for a few days. We decided to stick around home today - I had some cooking/baking plans and all my kids were home with assorted friends coming and going - a wonderful day. Also...Tia - a friend of JD's from "blogworld" drove from Michigan to come and officially "meet" JD. Such neat things today - an absolutely beautiful day.

Light Orange Almond Fruitcake
I grew up with my mom making fruitcake or Christmas cake every year. I never cared for it - candied fruit was too sweet....just not my thing...Until I found this recipe that is. I purchased The Canadian Living Christmas Book in 1993 and saw the picture for this fruitcake and knew I needed to give it a try. I have made it every year since - and it is something our family looks forward to at Christmas. (Canadian Living is a Canadian magazine)
One cute story about this cake. When we lived in Canada I would make this cake in mid October and store it in Tupperware in our storage shed. It kept it cold, dry and away from the "critters". One year we had an extra loaf left and Tim went out in the spring only to find the lid off and the wrappers empty with some crumbs left. At supper that night we were talking about it over supper when I noticed our middle child - Nelson - with a sheepish look. We asked him about it - come to find out - he had discovered the treat and had eaten a little at a time til it was all gone.

3 cups mixed candied fruit
2 cups golden raisins
1 1/2 cups halved candied cherries
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped candied pineapple
1 1/2 cups whole blanched almonds
1 cup candied citron peel
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tbsp coarsely grated orange rind
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup orange juice

In large bowl, combine mixed candied fruit, raisins, cherries, pineapple, almonds and citron peel; toss with 1/2 cup of the flour and set aside.

Stir together remaining flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.

In large bowl, beat butter with sugar until fluffy;
Beat in eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Add orange rind and almond extract, beating well. Add flour mixture alternately with orange juice, making three additions of dry and two of juice and mixing just until the flour is incorporated. Fold in fruit mixture. Harley was willing to lend a strong arm to get the fruit good and coated with the cake batter.

Courtesy of guest photographer Jolaine (JD)

Scrape cake into pans lined with parchment paper.

Courtesy of guest photographer Jolaine (JD)
The recipe suggests 2 full size loaf pans. I used 2 mini pans and 3 medium size pans. I prefer the smaller sizes - that can be given as gifts.

Bake cakes on center rack in 250 degree oven for 2 1/2 hours or til cake tester inserted into center comes out clean. Let cakes cool completely in pans on racks. Once cooled I wrap them in plastic wrap then foil and store either in cold storage or the freezer til Christmas.


Another Christmas tradition - and unfortunately another taste/flavor I just didn't enjoy. My husband, Tim, loves this year I decided to spoil him a little. I did a search online for a recipe - many - but I came across one that intrigued me - a recipe that dates back to 1910. I liked the idea of a recipe with a long history.

3 cups golden raisins
3 cups dark raisins
3 cups currants
2 1/2 lbs apples
1 lb ground beef, cooked
3/4 cup citron
1 1/2 tbsp grated cinnamon
1/2 tbsp grated cloves
2 tsp grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
3 cups brown sugar, packed
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 quart apple cider
1/2 lb beef suet, minced
3 lemons, juice and *zest
3 oranges, juice and *zest

Peel, core and chop apples into half inch dice.

Put all ingredients into a large pot. Mix well, and bring to a simmer.

Cook, uncovered, until apples are soft, stirring frequently. When softened, cook for 30 minutes, partially covered. Pack into sterilized jars and **process for 30 minutes.

*To zest is to remove the outer skin of the fruit - not the whole rind - just that light outer layer. I have a tool that helps to do this...called a zester.

**To process put lids on jars, do not tighten, and place in pot of boiling water for 30 minutes. Remove from pot and tighten lids.

I have to say...I think I have grown up or at least my taste buds have :) because the smell of the mincemeat cooking was wonderful and I found myself looking forward to making pies/tarts with this mixture. This recipe made 5 quart jars.

Hamburger Soup

1 1/2 lbs ground beef
2 cups diced onions
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 cans (14.5 oz each) chicken broth
1 can (15 oz) crushed tomatoes
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp hot pepper sauce
1/3 cup barley

In a large pot, combine the beef, onions, carrots, celery and garlic.

Cook over medium heat until meat is no longer pink and vegetables are tender. Stir in broth, tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce and barley. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until the barley is cooked.

I think this has become my new favorite soup. Simple and easy to make...such nice flavors on a cold winter day. Although today was in the 60's here - lol. I like the combination of the ground beef and chicken broth - the veggies are good - the Worcestershire sauce always gives a nice touch too. mmmm soup...


I haven't made lasagna for quite awhile - but Tim, my husband asked me last week if I would make it sometime. I decided today was a good day since there were lots of people around. I combined two recipes and liked the results. One recipe is from Paula Deen's restaurant, Lady & Sons and the other was from the lasagna noodle pkg by Barilla.

1 1/2 lb ground beef
no-bake lasagna noodles
12 oz cottage cheese
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
2 cups grated Swiss cheese
2 cups grated sharp cheddar
1-8 oz. pkg cream cheese, cubed
1 1/2 cup grated mozzarella
2 jars of spaghetti sauce (I used 2 quarts of homemade)

Mix cottage cheese, egg and Parmesan cheese - set aside.

Mix Swiss and cheddar together, set aside.

Crumble ground beef and cook til no pink is left. Set aside.

To put together the lasagna here are the steps.

1. Spread 1 cup of sauce in bottom of baking dish.

2. Layer as follows: lasagna noodles, 1/3 of cottage cheese mixture, 1/3 of cubed cream cheese, 1/3 of browned beef, 1/3 of cheeses, 1 cup of sauce.

3. Repeat layers 2 more times.

4. One more layer of lasagna noodles, finish with remaining sauce.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and bake another 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let set for 15 minutes before serving.

This was a wonderful recipe...there were so many things I like about this. The egg in the cottage cheese mixture gave nice texture. I had never tried cooking lasagna without the cheese from the beginning of cooking. I preferred this to using foil and having the cheese stick to it. This gave opportunity for everything to cook - add the mozzarella and let it melt and brown. One thing I would change the next time is to leave out the cream cheese. I did not find it added anything to the lasagna either in flavor or texture. I believe I have found my new go-to lasagna recipe...thanks Paula and Barilla

Today was a blessing. Our goal is to have our home a haven for family and friends. A place they can come for rest, food, laughter, tears, long chats, or quiet times and always a warm hug. God has blessed us and we pray we use it to bless others. That is my prayer.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Inside-Out Stuffed Cabbage Meatballs, Roasted Potatoes with Rosemary & Nutty Broccoli Slaw

Inside-Out Stuffed Cabbage Meatballs

3 tbsp butter
2 lbs green cabbage, shredded
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp caraway seeds
salt and pepper
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 tsp ground allspice
Slice cabbage or put through the food processor. (I just sliced with a knife)
In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-heat. Add the cabbage and 1/4 cup water and cook, stirring frequently, until wilted, about 5 minutes. Stir in the maple syrup and 1 tsp caraway seeds; season with salt and pepper. Lower the heat to medium-low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer 1 cup cabbage to a bowl and let sit until slightly cooled.
Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the meat mixture with the breadcrumbs, egg, allspice and remaining 2 tsp caraway seeds.

Divide the mixture into 12 mounds. (I learned a trick to doing this - spread the meat into a rectangle of even thickness on a piece of wax paper. Using a knife cut the mixture into the desired number of squares - I added some extra because I was serving 6 - not 4 for this meal)

Hold 1 mound in your hand and press a heaping teaspoon of the cooled cabbage mixture into the center; shape the meat around the cabbage to form a meatball. Repeat with the remaining meat and cooled cabbage.

Add 1 cup of water to the cabbage in the skillet; nestle the meatballs in the cabbage. Bring to a simmer over medium heat; cover and cook, turning the meatballs once, until cooked through - about 15 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper. Serve the meatballs on the cabbage.

Serves 4
This was a nice meal. Although it was decided that the meatballs don't really need the cabbage inside them - just extra work that doesn't change the flavor at all. I will definitely try this again.
Roasted Potatoes with Rosemary
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper, to taste
2 lbs. potatoes, cut in quarters
Heat over to 425 degrees. Spray a baking dish with non-stick spray. Stir together oil, rosemary, garlic powder, salt and pepper in large bowl. Add potatoes. Toss well until coated. Spread evenly in prepared pan.
Bake 30 - 35 minutes, stirring occasionally until potatoes are fork-tender and golden brown.

Serves 4
Also YUMMY - I have used this recipe with assorted herbs and spices. This mixture was nice.
Nutty Broccoli Slaw
2 pkg chicken flavored Ramen noodles
1 lg pkg broccoli slaw (or 2 small)
2 cup diced onions
1 cup sunflower seeds (or more to taste)
1 cup slivered almonds (or more to taste)
1 small can sliced black olives
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
2 Ramen noodle chicken seasoning pkg
Mix salad ingredients together.

Mix dressing ingredients together and blend well.

Combine all in a large bowl with a lid. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

First - I didn't add the black olives. I am not a fan so left this ingredient out. This recipe is going in the keeper binder.

My dear friend Jolaine (or JD) arrived today for a visit. All the way from the East coast of Canada. I am so blessed that she would come all this way for a visit. She was here this summer with her kids and arrived in time for the 4th of July. We have a picnic with our small group from church and then head to the park to watch the fireworks. This salad was brought by a friend to the picnic - and Jolaine was a big fan. She has been asking me for ages for to try to get the recipe. I finally followed through and got the recipe last week. I got all of the ingredients together and made it so JD could enjoy the salad tonight - her first night here in Ohio again :) It did make her smile!!

Jolaine and I are planning lots of cooking during our time together. I am looking forward to spending time together sharing some of my traditions - Christmas Cake, Christmas Pudding, Mincemeat, Beef Jerky and MORE Grape Juice.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Home-Style Shrimp Curry, Basmati Rice and Pan-Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Home-Style Shrimp Curry & Basmati Rice

1 cup Basmati rice, rinsed
1 1/3 cup water
2 tsp Madras-style curry powder
kosher salt
3 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, quartered
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp ginger, minced
1 - 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup plain yogurt

Combine the rice, 1 1/3 cup water, 1 tsp curry powder, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/2 tbsp oil in a saucepan. Cover and cook undisturbed over medium-low heat, about 15 minutes; keep warm.

Meanwhile, chop the onion in a food processor, drain the excess liquid and set the onion aside.

Heat the remaining 3 tbsp oil in a deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until golden, about 12 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp curry powder and stir fry until slightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and water and simmer until thickened, about 8 minutes.
Add the shrimp, cover and cook over medium-low heat until the shrimp are firm, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat, then stir in the yogurt. Serve with rice.

Serves 4

This was very nice - next time I would add some chilies for a little more heat. But nice texture and flavor.

Pan-Roasted Brussel Sprouts

2 lb Brussel sprouts, halved lengthwise
1 tbsp olive oil
7 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp butter
1 large sprig fresh rosemary
2 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp salt

In a large saucepan cook Brussel sprouts, uncovered, in enough lightly salted boiling water to cover for 3 minutes, drain well.

Place a large heavy skillet over high heat for 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium, add oil and garlic. Cook and stir for 2 minutes and then add half the butter. Increase heat to medium-high; carefully arrange half of the sprouts, cut-side down, in the hot skillet. Top with half of the rosemary, fennel and salt. Cook, uncovered for 4 minutes or til sprouts are well-browned.
Remove sprouts from pan. Repeat with remaining butter, sprouts, rosemary, fennel and salt.
Serves 6

This was also tasty - but lots of fiddly work. Not sure the taste is worth the time involved.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Super-Sticky Chicken, Holy Haluski and Creamy Garlic Dressing

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. I have been struggling with headaches for longer than I want to think about. Last week my husband was travelling. As a result of him being gone, I had a busier week and my headaches were worse - so my kids fended for themselves at mealtimes.

If I haven't mentioned it before - I am collector of recipes, recipe books and recipe magazines. I love them all. I love to try new recipes on a regular basis. I knew I needed to get back into the swing of cooking meals and blogging. we are.

Super-Sticky Chicken

2 lbs of chicken pieces (I used quarts - legs with the back attached)
3 garlic cloves, crushed (I used minced garlic in the jar)
3 tbsp sesame oil
3 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tbsp ground ginger

Place chicken pieces in large dish/roasting pan.

Mix remaining ingredients in a bowl and whisk together. Pour over chicken, turn and coat. Leave to marinate for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and back chicen for 30 minutes. Turn to coat and bake another 30 minutes. Check for doneness. May need a few more minutes depending on size and number of chicken pieces.
Because of my busy day, I was unable to marinate the chicken for an hour. In the future I would marinate it at least an hour - and possibly overnight. It wouldn't hurt. This has nice flavor.

Holy Haluski
This recipe is from the November issue of Food Network Magazine. My husband and son are fans of the show, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives with Guy Fieri. This is a traditional Polish recipe he experienced while visiting Kelly O's Diner in Pittsburgh, PA. He made some adjustments and I did the same. I left out a couple of ingredients and was very happy with the results.
3 tbsp butter
4 oz thinly sliced pancetta, diced (bacon can be used - but I like the flavor of the pancetta)
2 large onions, sliced
1 medium head of cabbage sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 cup carrots, cut in 1/4 inch julienne
1 tsp kosher salt (regular salt works the same)
2 tsp black pepper
8 oz. wide egg noodles
3 tbsp minced garlic (again, I used the minced in a jar)
1/4 cup while wine
1 tbsp lemon juice
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the noodles.
In a large pot, melt 1 tbsp of the butter over medium heat and add the pancetta. Cook, stirring, until crisp - 12 to 14 minutes. Remove the pancetta to a paper-towel lined plate to drain.
Add 2 tbsp butter to the pancetta fat and melt. Add the onions, cabbage and carrots. Season with the salt and pepper. Stir to coat the vegetables with the butter. Cover and cook til the cabbage is wilted and almost tender, about 10 minutes. Uncover and simmer til the cabbage is very tender, about 10 more minutes.
While the cabbage cooks, add the noodles to the boiling water and cook according to the directions on the package.
Increase the heat to high , stirring until the cabbage and onions are golden, 10 - 12 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the white wine to deglaze the pan (stirring to release the yummy bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pan). Stir in the lemon juice. Add 3/4 of the pancetta, combine well and remove from heat.
Drain the noodles and add to the pot with the cabbage. Toss well to coat the noodleswith the cabbage mixture. Sprinkle with the remaining pancetta and serve immediately.

This dish was amazing. There are very few recipes that I make that all 5 of us love. I encourage everyone to "critic" a new recipe. What would they change, add, take away...They are not so much critical of the cooking - but the recipe. For this one - they all loved. It is an interesting dish...unusual - but sooo yummy. Definitely a keeper - one for the binder JD.

Creamy Garlic Dressing
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp minced garlic - yes, from the jar :0)
In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine all ingredients; shake well. Chill.
Refrigerate leftovers. Makes 1 2/3 cup.
I used a dish and whisked the ingredients. I used about 1/3 of the dressing on romaine lettuce with some chopped mushrooms (yes JD mushrooms) and cucumber. Any lettuce mixture and add -ins can be used. Nice flavor.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sausage, Potato and Cabbage Stew

This recipe creates more of a "stoup" - a cross between a soup and a stew.

1 lb kielbasa, sliced
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 tbsp spicy brown mustard
1 1/2 tbsp white wine vinegar
4 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 lbs red potatoes
3 cups (1/2 pkg) store-bought coleslaw mix
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, cook the kielbasa and onion over medium heat until the onion is tender, about 10 minutes.

Stir in the mustard and vinegar; then add chicken broth.

Cut potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes and add to pot, along with the coleslaw mix. Season with salt and pepper.

Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

This recipe serves 5. Serve with fresh bread. Yummy.