Friday, January 31, 2014

Wine pairing in the Stone Age

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Black Forest cake

Mike's birthday is just a few scant weeks before Christmas, when I'm already in the cookie baking frenzy that becomes my life in December.  It would be sooooo easy (and tempting) to simply put some cookies on a plate and say "There you go!" to my sweetie, but that wouldn't be very nice.  This year it was a wonderful Black Forest Cake that his heart desired!

Black Forest Cake

Two layered chocolate cake - your favorite recipe.  Mine is at the link.
Chocolate frosting, glaze, or dipping sauce - I used the dipping sauce since it spreads so nicely.
2 c whipping cream
1/2 c powdered sugar
2 T brandy
21 oz can of cherry pie filling
1/2 t almond extract
Almonds for garnish, chopped

Mix up and bake the chocolate cake according to your recipe in two round pans.  Cool completely before assembling.  Make the chocolate dipping sauce and set aside.  In a small bowl, combine the cherries and almond extract and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the whipping cream until it starts to thicken.  Beat in the powdered sugar until stiff peaks form.  Gently fold in the brandy.

Place one cake layer top down on your serving plate (edged with waxed paper to be removed later).  Spread with 1/2 of the chocolate sauce, 1/2 of the whipped cream, and then about 1 c of the cherries, keeping them slightly back from the edge.  Add the second cake layer, top side up, and add the remainder of the toppings.  Sprinkle with the almonds.  Store in the refrigerator.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Beef index

Beef burgundy stew

The Main Event

Asian casserole

Beef and linguine casserole

Beef roll-ups

Beef stroganoff

Beef stroganoff meatballs

Braised brisket or pot roast

Chile and garlic beef

Corned beef

Cuban shredded beef

Italian meat sauce, quick

Italian stuffed mushroom caps

Kalbi beef

Meat loaf, basic

Meat loaf, premium

Meat loaf, chipotle

Meatball master mix

Middle Eastern meatballs

Salisbury steaks

Sauerbraten meatballs

Sesame beef

Sloppy Joes, somewhat healthy


Spaghetti and meatballs

Steak tips au poivre

Stuffed grape leaves

Taco salad, Deb's

Soups and Stews

Beef and lentil stew

Beef and squash stew

Beef barley soup

Beef burgundy stew

Beef chowder

Beef stew with Belgian beer

Beef stew with cinnamon and fennel

Beef stew with Mchuzi Mix

Chili, easy basic

Chili, spicy braised

Cuban picadillo

Hamburger and tomato stew, hearty

Hungarian goulash

Provencal beef stew

Sag gosht stew


Chipotle marinade

Chipotle-orange barbecue sauce

Flank steak with mango sauce

Flank steak with spice rub

Grilling brisket or other tough cuts

Middle Eastern burgers (Kofte)

Mustard rub and sauce

Stir Fries

Beef and broccoli stir fry

Beef and cabbage stir fry

Fast stir fries

Stir fry with Mchuzi mix

Friday, January 24, 2014

Kumquat, blueberry, or whatever

I'll have a cup of Whatever, please...

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Cheater's baked beans

You want them to taste great, but you don't have time to simmer all day: here is a cheater's version of baked beans that aren't too bad.

Cheater's Baked Beans

2 slices of bacon
1 onion, chopped
2 (14 oz) cans of small red or pink beans, rinsed
1/2 c molasses
1/4 c ketchup
1 t grainy brown mustard
Salt and pepper

In a large saucepan, cook the bacon, pouring off the excess grease.  Remove and crumble.  Cook the onion until softened.  Add the rest of the ingredients, including the bacon and heat through.  Add water if needed.

Image - Mk2010

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Pumpkin cornmeal cake

I was sort of hoping that this recipe would be appropriate to serve for dinner, but it's really too sweet as is.  I'm definitely thinking about redoing it in a more savory quick-bread form, but in the meantime, it really is quite delicious as a cake!  Check out the recipe for Pumpkin Cornmeal Cake in Hannaford's Fresh magazine.  I found that I needed to raise the temperature to 375 in order to keep the middle of the cake from falling.  

Friday, January 10, 2014

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Trinidad chicken curry

Sometimes I go for long periods of time not remembering my slow cooker.  But recently I realized that I'd been neglecting it when it really could be a great help...especially when we were going to be eating at different times during the evening.  Not my favorite situation, but there you have it.  It happens occasionally!

I like the recipe for Trinidad Chicken Curry that I found in Hannaford's Fresh magazine, but the meat just has to be seared first.  With that caveat, I followed the recipe pretty closely otherwise.  It's a really nice mild curry because of the coconut milk.  

Monday, January 6, 2014

Pasta puttanesca

Was it really first made by Neapolitan prostitutes who needed a quick dinner?  Who knows.  Who cares.  It's delicious!

Pasta Puttanesca

1 1/2 - 2 lbs grape tomatoes

1 lb rotini, fusilli, or orecchiette pasta
Salted water

3 T olive oil
3 - 4 cloves of garlic
1 T anchovy paste
1/2 t red pepper flakes
2 t fresh oregano or 1/2 t dried

1/2 c pitted kalamata olives, chopped
3 T capers, chopped
1/2 c flat leaf parsley, chopped

Process the tomatoes until chopped but not pureed.  Scrape out into a mesh strainer over a bowl and let drain, pressing down solids as needed.

Start the water for the pasta and begin cooking when it boils.

Mix oil through oregano a small bowl.  In a large skillet, cook the garlic mixture over medium heat, stirring for 2 minutes.  Add tomato liquid a simmer for 2 more minutes.  Add chopped tomatoes, olives and capers and cook for 2 more minutes.  Stir in the parsley and keep the sauce warm.

Drain the pasta, reserving 1 c of the liquid.  Return the pasta to the pot and top with the tomato sauce.  Add as much liquid as needed and reheat gently if needed.  Serve immediately.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

"Mostly Vegetable Soups" to help remove the holiday pounds

Mostly Vegetable Soups

Click to purchase ~ $2

Just before the holiday gluttony kicks in, and just after the New Year gluttony ends, Mike and I fill ourselves up with healthy healthy soups and stews.  These comfort foods give us the boost we need to resist some of the worst abuses, and they also help to get us back on track in the New Year.  This has been our pattern for years now, and I'm happy to say that even if we pack on a few pounds during the week leading up to Christmas and the week in between it and January 1, we always manage to get them right back off before another two weeks have passed.

No, we're not special (as in "well isn't that special?")...we just choose our gluttony wisely!

Well, I've put together an e-booklet with 13 of our favorites.  While I can't make any health or nutrition or even diet claims for these soups (I am not a registered anything), I can tell you that they work for us. 

Tomato Basil Soup