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Showing posts from September, 2010

Baked Butternut Squash

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I’m starting to see fall all around ~ leaves are beginning to change color and drop off the trees, the air is crisp, squirrels are gathering extra food for the winter, pumpkins and mums abound at the food markets and squash is plentiful. 
We love squash and I’m having visions of it on our dinner table quite often in the coming months.  Actually, this reminds me of pumpkin pie which Bill loves.  Years ago, his mom baked a squash pie and tried to deftly pass it off as pumpkin pie.  Bill took a couple of bites of the “pumpkin” pie and thought it tasted a little different and then was really suspicious when Mom asked, “How did you like the pie?”  Bill told her it was OK, “why are you asking?”  Mom said, “Because it’s squash pie; I knew you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between squash and pumpkin!”  Bill insisted, “Yes, I can” and Mom was not a happy mom! 
This is the perfect time of the year to bake squash.  Winter squash is so easy and it really only requires paring and cutting…

Creamed Chipped Beef or SOS over Toast

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SOS
Creamed chipped beef

Growing up, my Mom made creamed chipped beef every now and then for dinner.  I loved it and thought it was a great fast dinner.  And then, Bill came along....
As a young boy, Bill’s mom made the same creamed beef using chipped beef.  He didn’t like it but forced himself to eat just because “mom said so.”  Then, when he was in the Army (1960’s) and in basic training, chipped beef (SOS) was served.  Again he had to eat it or face consequences!   After basic training, it was serve yourself.  If you didn’t like something, you didn’t have to eat it.
Later, Bill went to Germany and the mess Sgt. (Sgt Stacy) had his own way of making creamed beef.  He would fix some with chipped beef but mostly it was with ground beef.  Bill said what a difference!  Two pieces of toast, creamed ground beef on top, topped with an over easy egg ~ SOS!
When we got married and lived in Louisville, I mentioned to Bill about chipped beef for dinner.  He said as long as it’s with ground beef and…

And the Winner Is…

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Thanks to all of you who entered the CSN giveaway for a $65 gift certificate! 

I used Random.org and the winner is Pegasuslegend @ What’s Cookin’ Italian Style Cuisine.  Pegasuslegend, please email me at mzpst@att.net for your CSN gift certificate. 

Thanks again to all of you!

Congratulations Pegasuslegend!



Noodles with Snow Peas and Red Pepper Strips

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Do you like egg noodles?  I always enjoy them with just a little butter, salt and pepper and Parmesan cheese.  Then, I cooked this version and it bowled me over. 
Egg noodles are not the stars of the pasta world.  They don’t have the flair of rigatoni, the temptation of spaghetti nor the figure of farfalle. They are just a plain, sturdy noodle to be doctored up in a casserole or jazzed up in a side dish like this, to become a trusty addition for completing a meal.
Isn’t it a colorful side dish also?  The snow peas with the red pepper make it a delicious, spicy side dish to about any meat.  This is a great dish that I think you would enjoy!

Noodles with Snow Peas and Red Pepper Strips
Ingredients:
8 ounces uncooked wide egg noodles 1 tablespoon canola oil 1 cup red bell pepper strips 1 cup julienne-cut snow peas 3 garlic cloves, minced ½ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon pepper ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
Method:
Cook noodles according to package directions.  Drain well. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large ski…

Gnocchi with Shrimp and Asparagus in Pesto Sauce

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OK, would somebody please help me…  
I’ve seen many of you writing about gnocchi and a lot of you have even made it from scratch.  It’s new to me.  It took me 10 minutes, at least, to find a package of the potato dumplings in the grocery store the other day and they only had two of them. 
If I had known how to pronounce the word, I would’ve asked the clerks what aisle to go to find it.   So, please tell me ~ is it gnocchi with a “hard” G as in good or is it gnocchi with a “silent” G as in gnat?
However it’s pronounced, we think it’s great and I’m sorry it took us so long to meet. Gnocchi is a great hearty alternative to pasta and a perfect addition in this recipe!   I loved the texture and size of it and how quickly it cooked.  The taste of the shrimp, fresh asparagus, and homemade pesto sauce with the gnocchi was absolutely delicious!!!  
Would you just please tell me how to pronounce it…


Gnocchi with Shrimp and Asparagus in Pesto Sauce
Ingredients:
1 (16-ounce) package vacuum-packed gnoc…

Mustard-Herb Crusted Pork Tenderloin

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You know how people brag about their great steak recipe, their great chicken recipe but, who have you heard brag about their great pork tenderloin recipe?  We love pork tenderloin and I’m bragging about this recipe ~ it’s great!
The tenderloin is the leanest and most tender cut of pork and I love the way it almost melts in your mouth.  Dijon mustard is the perfect ingredient for it.  In this recipe, the mustard is brushed on the tenderloin, and then the pork is coated with a crumb mixture for a savory, succulent meat dish for dinner.  This has become our favorite way to enjoy pork tenderloin!

Here’s a little “pork” trivia for you:

Do you know?
… How Wall Street got its name?  Free-roaming hogs were famous for rampaging through the valuable grain fields of colonial New York City farmers. The Manhattan Island residents chose to block the troublesome hogs with a long, permanent wall on the northern edge of what is now Lower Manhattan. A street came to border this wall -- named aptly enough,…

End of Summer Fried Corn

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This is a great way to put end-of-summer fresh corn to use!  I could actually eat this every day but no, I don’t. 
I told you a couple of days ago about how when we lived on the farm Mom and Grandma made fried corn in the summer.  They had it easy ~ no going out to the farmer’s market to buy some; just send the kids out to the corn field to pick some!  Grandma then fried it up in lard; Mom used bacon grease or butter. 
Fried corn is a breeze to make.  Just stand the ear of corn on end on a cutting board and cut down it with a sharp knife.  When all the corn is cut off the cob, run the knife blade back over it, extracting the pulp and milky liquid.  The corn has been so sweet all summer so sugar is not needed in this recipe, unless you want the addition.  And, a cast iron skillet is best!  Canned or frozen corn can be used also.





This will probably be the last week for sweet corn at our farmer’s market.  What a sad thing…   That means fall is here with ice, snow and bitter winds right be…

Tender and Delicious Italian-Style Baked Chicken Breasts

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Are you in the mood for chicken tonight? If you are, here’s a great recipe for it!




Everyone seems to love chicken and there are several things I like about this recipe:  the ease of preparation, just a few simple ingredients and no sacrifice of the flavor because it is simple.  It tastes mmm mmm good! 
This dish is great for a weeknight meal or company also.  Just dip the chicken breasts into beaten eggs, coat them with the Parmesan bread crumb mixture, drizzle with the spicy, garlicky Robusto Italian dressing and pop them into the oven.  They come out baked to perfection, being fork tender.  I served it with rice and a crisp mesclun salad.


Italian-Style Baked Chicken Breast Printable recipe

Ingredients:
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts 2 eggs, beaten 1 cup Parmesan cheese 1 cup Italian bread crumbs ½ tablespoon garlic powder ¼ teaspoon salt ¼-½ teaspoon seasoned pepper ¼ cup Wishbone Robusto Italian Salad Dressing 4 teaspoons butter
Method:
Wash chicken, pat dry. Combine cheese, bread crumbs, g…

Smoked Catfish

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Bill is posting today and all I have to say is that the catfish was excellent!  Love it prepared in this fashion!
Here’s Bill:
I’ve made many foods on the smoker but even though we love catfish, I never thought about smoking catfish until Pam told me about it after reading on Stephen’s blog, The Obsessive Chef.  It’s pretty simple as it’s a white fish, thin filets and no skin.
Thinking back, Dad made a smoker by taking an old refrigerator and converting it to a smoker.  He was so proficient that people he knew would ask him to smoke the salmon they caught from Lake Michigan.  He smoked all kinds of meat as well as his favorite, cheddar cheese.  Delicious!
Having used only an electric smoker which I thought didn’t really do a great job, I bought a charcoal smoker.  It is so much easier, except I have to learn the nuances of where the heat is the highest and the smoke output is greatest.  I’ll learn it as I plan to smoke a turkey breast soon.



Smoked Catfish
Ingredients:
6 catfish fillets, appr…

Loaded Chewy Oatmeal Cookies and Home on the Farm

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Mom baked all the time as I was growing up on the farm and we had dessert every evening with supper.  To her way of thinking ~ a meal was not complete without dessert.  When we had company she went over the top with a sweet ending.  Mom baked a multitude of fruit pies, cream pies, tarts, cakes and cookies for us to enjoy.

Our farm house
Mom and I, circa 1950

On the farm, “dinner” was served at noon.  Especially during the summer, with many workers helping with the crops on our farm and my grandparents’ also, my mother and grandmother served huge meals for “dinner.”  Physical labor consumed many calories on the farm and a welcome “dinner” provided energy and a short rest. 
The table was laden with several varieties of meat, always fried or mashed potatoes, fresh vegetables from the garden, casseroles, homemade pickles, fresh bread or rolls, fried sweet corn (my favorite), most generally pies for dessert and sweet tea to wash it all down.  There was a LOT of food and Mom and Grandma defini…

A GREAT CSN GIVEAWAY!

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If you follow my blog, you know that I will be going on a great happy passage in life ~ that being from mother to grandmother, with the birth of my first grandchild in February (see July 12th post.)
Will she be smart like her mom, with dark hair, a beautiful smile and a bubbly personality?  Or, will he be smart like dad, tall and athletic with a compassionate heart? 
I can rock her to sleep and then let Mom get up with her in the middle of the night.  I can read him a book and hand him over to Dad for a diaper change.  I am beside myself anticipating meeting this precious blessing.  For years I have dreamed about becoming a grandma and I know I will cherish every moment with this baby….loving, kissing, hugging, playing and laughing!
Since I’ve learned of this blessed event, I have been researching items for the baby.  And what perfect timing!  CSN Stores has offered another fabulous giveaway and I see lots of great baby items there, such as a crib that will be needed in the near future …