all sorts of recipes, from me to you…



Thursday, September 30, 2010

Baked Butternut Squash


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 it into cubes or in half, adding a little seasoning and baking.  We love acorn squash and particularly butternut squash this time of year. 

This is a versatile recipe ~ use whichever spice you like; cloves, nutmeg, mustard seeds, coriander or ginger.  I use Splenda for dishes such as this when a recipe calls for sugar.  You can use regular brown sugar and substitute olive oil for the butter.




Baked Butternut Squash

Ingredients:

1 butternut squash, pared and cut into 1” cubes
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/3 cup Splenda brown sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Method:

Place squash in a 2-quart casserole coated with nonstick cooking spray.
Sprinkle with the spices and brown sugar.
Drizzle melted butter and lemon juice over the top.
Bake uncovered in 375 degree oven for 45-60 minutes until fork tender.


It’s delicious!!!


Check out my friend, Linda’s blog, at My Kind of Cooking for her great recipes and the 4 cookbooks she's giving away!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Creamed Chipped Beef or SOS over Toast

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 not chipped.  I had never heard of it this way but, made it and it was OK, especially with the egg on top.  However; I prefer my way, the chipped beef way and no egg on top!

I love it and would certainly like to eat it more often and so would Bill!


Creamed Ground Beef or SOS

 
Ingredients:

1 pound lean ground beef
¼ cup butter
½ cup flour
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
2½ cups milk

Method:

Brown minced beef in large skillet over medium heat.
Drain excess fat.
Move beef to the side.
Melt butter in skillet. 
Stir in flour.
Slowly add milk, stirring constantly.
Add Worchestershire sauce and salt and pepper.
Simmer until hot and desired consistency.
Serve over toast.




Creamed Chipped Beef


Ingredients:

4 oz. chipped beef (Buddig brand) torn into strips
6 tablespoons butter
½ cup flour
2½ cups milk
Few drops Worcestershire sauce
Pepper, to taste

Method:

Melt butter in skillet.
Blend in flour and pepper with a whisk.
SLOWLY add milk, stirring constantly.
Add Worcestershire sauce.
Bring to a simmer and add beef.
Simmer until hot and it reaches the desired consistency.

ENJOY!!!


Check out my friend, Linda’s blog, at My Kind of Cooking for her great recipes and the 4 cookbooks she's giving away!


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

And the Winner Is…






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!




Monday, September 27, 2010

Noodles with Snow Peas and Red Pepper Strips



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 skillet.
Add bell pepper strips and remaining ingredients.
Cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add noodles to skillet and toss; heat thoroughly.
4 servings

ENJOY!!!


There’s still time to enter the $65 CSN giveaway I posted on Sept. 15th!  It closes tonight at midnight, central time.  The drawing is tomorrow, Sept. 28th.  Good luck!


Check out my friend, Linda’s blog, at My Kind of Cooking for her great recipes and the 4 cookbooks she's giving away!


Friday, September 24, 2010

Gnocchi with Shrimp and Asparagus in Pesto Sauce



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 gnocchi
4 cups asparagus (about 1 pound), sliced into 1” pieces
1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp
1 cup basil leaves
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

Method:

Bring 2 quarts water to a boil in a large pan.
Add gnocchi and cook 4 minutes or until done.  Gnocchi will rise to the top.
Remove gnocchi with a slotted spoon and keep warm in a large bowl.
Bring water back to a boil.
Add shrimp and cook until done, drain well.

Meanwhile, in another pan, add asparagus and cook until tender, drain well.

Add shrimp and asparagus to gnocchi bowl.

Combine 1 tablespoon water, basil and next 4 ingredients (through garlic) in a food processor.
Process until smooth, scraping sides.
Drizzle oil through food chute with food processor on; process until well blended.

Add basil mixture to shrimp mixture.
Toss to coat.
Serve immediately
4 servings

It’s delicious!!!


Pam's note:  For a better procedure, see StephenC's second comment, #17.


Be sure to enter the $65 CSN giveaway I posted on Sept. 15th!


Check out my friend, Linda’s blog, at My Kind of Cooking for her great recipes and the 4 cookbooks she's giving away!



Thursday, September 23, 2010

Mustard-Herb Crusted Pork Tenderloin



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, Wall Street.



… Where the saying "living high on the hog" came from?
It started among enlisted men in the U.S. Army, who received shoulder and leg cuts of pork while officers received the top loin cuts. So "living high on the hog" came to mean living well.



. . . What's the origin of the saying "pork barrel" politics?"
The phrase is derived from the pre-Civil War practice of distributing salt pork from huge barrels to the slaves. By the 1870's, congressmen were referring to regularly dipping into the "pork barrel" to obtaining funds for popular projects in their home districts.



. . . How "Uncle Sam" came to represent the U.S. Government?
During the war of 1812, a successful New York pork packer named Uncle Sam Wilson shipped a boatload of several hundred barrels of pork to U.S. troops. Each barrel was stamped "U.S." on the docks, and it was quickly said that the "U.S." stood for "Uncle Sam," whose large shipment seemed to be enough to feed the entire army. 



. . . What President Truman had to say about hogs?
"No man should be allowed to be President who does not understand hogs."


 Brushed, coated and ready for the oven

Here’s the recipe:

Mustard-Herb Crusted Pork Tenderloin

Ingredients:

1½ pounds pork tenderloin
½ cup panko bread crumbs
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1½ tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon dried rosemary
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoon Dijon mustard, divided

Method:

Heat oven to 425 degrees.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick foil.
On a sheet of wax paper, mix panko bread crumbs with garlic, olive oil, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper.
Brush the pork with 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard.
Coat with crumb mixture.
Brush bottom of tenderloin with remaining tablespoon of mustard and coat with remaining crumbs.
Place on prepared pan.
Roast pork 30 minutes until crust is golden and instant-read thermometer inserted into center registers 160 degrees.
Let pork rest 5 minutes; slice.
Serve

ENJOY!!!


Be sure to enter the $65 CSN giveaway I posted on Sept. 15th!

Check out my friend, Linda’s blog, at My Kind of Cooking for her great recipes and cookbook giveaway ~ 4 cookbooks she's giving away!


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

End of Summer Fried Corn



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 behind it…

Fried corn is at its best when served hot.  It’s a great side dish but, I could make it the main course!


End of Summer Fried Corn

Ingredients:

6 ears sweet corn (about 5 cups)
2 tablespoons bacon grease
2 tablespoons corn meal
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/3 cup milk
Sugar, optional


Method:

Cut corn off of ears with sharp knife on a cutting board or in a bowl. 
Go back and scrape ears using the back of the knife, removing pulp and milky liquid.
Add bacon grease to skillet on high heat.
Add corn and remaining ingredients, except milk. 
Cook on high for a minute or two.
Turn down to medium-high, add milk and cook until browning begins.
Stir often to keep from burning.
Cook until mixture is thick and corn is tender, about 15 minutes. 
Serve immediately.


ENJOY!!!


Be sure to enter the $65 CSN giveaway I posted on Sept. 15th!

Check out my friend, Linda’s blog, at My Kind of Cooking for her great recipes and cookbook giveaway ~ 4 cookbooks she's giving away!


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Italian-Style Baked Chicken Breasts


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

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, garlic powder, salt and pepper on a plate.
Dip chicken into eggs.
Dredge chicken with crumb mixture.
Place on greased baking sheet.
Drizzle with salad dressing.
Place pat of butter on each chicken breast.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

ENJOY!!!


Be sure to enter the $65 CSN giveaway I posted on Sept. 15th!


Monday, September 20, 2010

Smoked Catfish




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 filets, approximately 2 pounds
3 tablespoons coarse black pepper
3 tablespoons sea salt
2 tablespoons white pepper
Smoked paprika
Crushed dill weed, dried

Mop (marinade):

2 cups seafood stalk
3 tablespoons lemon or lime juice (lemon is desired)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder

Method:

Prepare the filets by rubbing coarse black pepper, white pepper and sea salt on both sides.
In a large bow, combine mop ingredients.
Once the mop is prepared, add filets.
Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
When the smoker is hot and reaches 200 degrees, remove the filets from the refrigerator, reserving the mop.
Apply salt and pepper again.
Rub on a little smoked paprika and dill.
With the heat between 175-200 degrees, the smoking process takes about 2 hours.
Brush reserved mop on filets every 30 minutes.
Catfish filets are done when they flake easily.
Cool.
Wrap in foil and refrigerate.


Served with crackers, it’s a great hors d’oeuvres!


Be sure to enter the $65 CSN giveaway I posted on Sept. 15th!



Check out my friend, Linda’s blog, at My Kind of Cooking for her great recipes and cookbook giveaway.



Friday, September 17, 2010

Loaded Chewy Oatmeal Cookies and Home on the Farm



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 definitely spent many hours in the kitchen during those days.

Then times changed ~ we moved to Louisville ~ Mom usually only made dessert when we had dinner guests.  Going back to the “dinner-supper” thing; I remember to this day when Dad informed me after moving to Louisville that “dinner” was now called “lunch” and “supper” was now called “dinner.”  Huh?????   But then I drank “pop” in Ohio, a “soft drink” in Louisville, a “soda” up here and don’t remember what it was called when Bill and I lived in Missouri and Germany (beer!)

I generally only make dessert when the “kids” or others are here.  There are always cookies in the cookie jar though and through the summer, they’re store bought.  But come this time of year, I love to bake cookies and enjoy one every morning with a cup of coffee and so does Bill.  There’s nothing like the aroma in the air as they’re baking and these cookies are loaded with good things for a nearly perfect cookie!  Hope you try them!




Loaded Chewy Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients:

2 sticks butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
½ cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup dried cherries
1 cup chocolate chip chunks
1 cup flaked coconut

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, cream the butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla until smooth and fluffy.
In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
Stir into butter and sugar mixture.
Add remaining ingredients and combine well.
Place cookies 2” apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Bake for approximately 12 minutes until edges are golden.
Allow them to rest on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes before transferring to a rack for cooling. 
Makes 5 dozen

Pam’s note:  For a thicker cookie, refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes before baking cookies.  They make take a while longer to bake with the chilled dough.


Two questions for all you great folks out there:

Is it supper or dinner at your house?

Do you usually have dessert after the meal?


Be sure to enter the $65 CSN giveaway I posted on Sept. 15th!

Be sure to visit my friend, Linda’s blog, at My Kind of Cooking for her great recipes and cookbook giveaway.  She’s judging again today at the Clay County Fair in Iowa.