Thursday, December 18, 2008

Let's Have Breakfast...for Dinner

Guest author John here. While Annemarie is in San Diego, she has handed the family over to me. That means I am responsible for the nourishment and well-being of our children. And if there is one thing I have learned over the last year, when you make a sweet dinner, you blog about it.

I'm not as meticulous as Annemarie about measurement, proper cooking temperatures, and things like that, so I'm pretty much just going to show you the pictures of this awesome meal.

Any food "breakfast for dinner" starts with sausage

A couple of the kids (and me) really love sauteed mushrooms on their eggs.

After this, the cooking was pretty fast and furious and their wasn't much time for pictures, so here's the final product.

There's a good chance that the rest of the meals I prepare will not be as big as this one. Next up, "Cereal for Dinner".

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

frozen hot chocolate...

4 ounces of your favorite chocolate
2 teaspoons store-bought hot chocolate powder
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 cups milk
3 cups ice cubes
sweetened whipped cream
chocolate shavings (optional)

Chop chocolate into small pieces and melt in microwave on low heat. Once melted, add hot chocolate mix and sugar, stirring constantly until thoroughly blended. Slowly add 1/2 cup milk, stirring until smooth. Cool to room temperature. In blender, place the remaining 1 cup milk, room-temperature chocolate mixture and ice. Blend on high speed until smooth and the consistency of a frozen daiquiri.
Makes about 4 8oz servings

Need I say more?

*recipe from My Kitchen Cafe...LOVE her site!

Monday, December 15, 2008


1 1/2 Tbsp butter, melted, plus softened butter for greasing pans
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups milk, at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees .
Generously grease popover pans with softened butter. You’ll need enough pans to make 12 popovers. Place the pans in the oven for exactly 2 minutes to preheat. Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, salt, eggs, milk, and melted butter until smooth. The batter will be thin. Fill the popover pans half full and bake for exactly 30 minutes. DO NOT PEEK.

I have always wanted to try to make these. I was a little put-off at first that I needed to buy a special pan...especially after a lengthy search and no time to head to the baking supply store...I got lucky and happened upon a popover pan at Target (of all places) for $11. Score! Popovers can seem a little daunting, but this is just one where the recipe needs to be followed EXACTLY, and I promise it will turn out. This is another fabulous Ina Garten specialty. They were a nice change from bread or rolls, and perfect for a special occasion.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

oven roasted pork roulade...

6 boneless pork chops, pounded into cutlets
1 pkg dressing mix (not stuffing)
salt & pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup chicken broth
1 Tbsp butter, room temp
1 Tbsp flour

Prepare dressing according to pkg directions. Set aside to cool to room temp. Place each pork chop in between two sheets of parchment or plastic wrap & pound out with a meat tenderizer or rolling pin to 1/4 inch thick. Season with salt & pepper.
Spread a couple of tablespoons of dressing onto each pork chop, roll up & secure with 2-3 toothpicks. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat olive oil in a skillet over med-med high heat. Brown rolled up pork chops on all sides. Place on baking sheet at finish cooking in oven until 160 degrees (about 20-25 min)
Meanwhile, drain excess fat from skillet, return to heat and add 1 cup chicken broth. Let simmer for 3-5 min, scraping bits off the bottom of the pan. Make a paste out of butter and flour and whisk into chicken broth. Simmer over med heat until thickened.
Remove pork from oven and let rest about 15 min. Slice and drizzle with pan sauce.

This was a little time consuming, but relatively easy to put together...and VERY good! This was a crowd pleaser. Watch the pork (once in the oven) carefully. Depending on the thickness, it may take less time to finish cooking. The pan sauce really pulled the whole dish together.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

holiday dinner...

*oven roasted pork roulade
*roasted green beans with shallots
*peppermint bark
*frozen hot chocolate

**recipes on the way!

Monday, December 8, 2008

ginger snaps...

3/4 cup butter, room temp
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 egg
2 1/4 cup flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves

Combine dry ingredients, set aside. Cream butter and sugar. Add molasses and egg and mix until smooth. Add dry ingredients, one cup at a time and mix to combine. Chill dough. Shape into 1-inch balls and roll in sugar to coat. Bake on greased cookie sheet at 375 for about 10 min. If you like them soft, take them out as soon as the balls crack on the top & let them cool.

This was a recipe from the cookie exchange last week from my cute friend, Stacy. Mine didn't turn out as good as hers...but they tasted YUMMY!!! Bake some up for Santa...he'll love 'em!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

ham & cheese in puff pastry...

1 package (2 sheets) frozen puff pastry, defrosted (recommended: Pepperidge Farm)
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 pound black forest ham, sliced
1/2 pound Swiss Gruyere or cheddar, cheese sliced
1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place a piece of parchment paper or a silpat on a sheet pan.
Lay 1 sheet of puff pastry on a floured board and carefully roll it out to 10 by 12 inches. Place it on a sheet pan and brush the center with the mustard, leaving a 1-inch border around the edge. Place a layer first of ham and then cheese, also leaving a 1-inch border. Brush the border with the egg wash.
Place the second sheet of puff pastry on the floured board and roll it out to 10 by 12inches. Place the second sheet on top of the filled pastry, lining up the edges. Cut the edges straight with a small, sharp knife and press together lightly. Brush the top with egg wash and cut a few slits in the top to allow steam to escape.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until puffed and golden brown. Allow to cool for a few minutes and serve hot or warm.

I love Ina. She, yet again, came through. The episode where she makes this just aired today...I didn't even watch the whole thing, but I knew I needed to make this. She recommends this for a cocktail party...One man's appetizer is another man's dinner.
My family loved it.
(I used a little more ham than the recipe calles for in as much as it was dinner)
*cut into 12...1 serving 7 pts*

Thursday, December 4, 2008

chocolate turtle cookies...

1 cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 Tbsp butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 large egg, separated, plus 1 egg white
2 Tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans, chopped fine
14 soft caramel candies
3 Tbsp heavy cream

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat liners. Combine flour, cocoa, and salt in bowl. With electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg yolk, milk, and vanilla and mix until combined. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture until just combined. Refrigerate dough until firm, at least 1 hour.Whisk egg white(s) in another bowl until frothy. Place pecans in another bowl. One at a time, roll dough into 1-inch balls, dip in egg whites, then roll in pecans. Place balls 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Using teaspoon measure, make indentation in center of each ball. Bake until set, 10 to12 minutes. Meanwhile, microwave caramels and cream in bowl, stirring occasionally, until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Once cookies are removed from oven, gently press existing indentations with teaspoon measure. Fill each with 1/2 to 1 teaspoon caramel mixture. Cool 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and cool completely.

This was my contribution to the annual cookie exchange that we have for Enrichment each year. Yum, yum & yum! I so wish I had taken a pic of the plate of cookies I came home with...but they disappeared too fast...hmm...

These were a little time consuming, but totally worth it. I think it would be a little easier, and maybe even taste better with caramel ice cream topping (Mrs. Richardson's to be exact) in place of the candies & cream. OR...if you were reeeaaaally daring...homemade caramels.

*Recipe from My Kitchen Cafe*

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

crunchy caramel apple pie...

1 9 in. deep dish pie crust (store bought or homemade)
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tbsp flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
6 cups thinly sliced, peeled apples (fuji, granny smith, honeycrisp, or any combo of these)
1 recipe crumb topping (below)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
caramel ice cream topping (Mrs. Richardson's butterscotch caramel sauce)

In large mixing bowl stir together sugar, flour, cinnamon & salt. Add apples & toss until coated. Transfer apples to pie crust. Sprinkle crumb topping over apples. Place pie on lined baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 50-60 min. Remove from oven and sprinkle with chopped pecans and drizzle with caramel.

Crumb topping:

1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup butter, room temp
Stir together 1st three ingredients. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

This has been a must have at Thanksgiving for the past several years. It is so amazingly wonderful!! It certainly is not just for Thanksgiving, though. It's just a kicked-up apple pie that could be made throughout the year. Oh...and don't forget the vanilla bean ice cream!!!