Archive for November, 2010

It’s Cookie Time!

It’s December. Which means it’s time to start thinking about Cookies. Christmas Cookies! Every year I have to make my favorites, Gingerbread Men, using this recipe from Martha.

I also have to try something new, and so far these two are on the list.

Whipped Shortbread from Dutch Blitz, and Chocolate Pistachio Biscotti from Food and Wine. Yum!

What are you making this year?

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Beef Randang

We made Cooking Light’s Beef Rendang this weekend. It was a nice change from the Turkey-stuffing-potatoes-cranberries we’ve been filling up on. It was a little tedious at first, but the long simmering time gave me plenty of time to clean up and relax before dinner time. The beef was very tender and we added some green peppers for some excitement. Next time I’ll add more peppers and probably mushrooms. It was full of flavor and had just the right amount of spice. Overall, it’s a keeper!

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Five-Spice Salmon

This is one of the easiest, fastest and tastiest dishes that I’ve made. Take a single portion of salmon, sprinkle some salt and five spice powder. Scatter a handful of fresh leeks on it and wrap it in parchment. twenty minutes in a warm oven and dinner is ready! We served it with roasted fingerling potatoes and sauteed sugar snap peas. So easy, so delicious. Yum!

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It snowed here this weekend. It was beautiful and we even sludged through it and made a rather large snowman. Then we came back in side and Daughter helped me bake some Pumpkin Chocolate-Chip Cookies. When I say help, I mean she moved her stool around in the kitchen and ate crackers as I measured and poured. She did love watching the mixer, which we both found fascinating. I’m a sucker for pumpkin and anything chocolate, so these cookies are amazing. The pumpkin is not overpowering, in fact, it’s very subtle, and really just adds a lovely texture to the cookie.

On a side note, sort of, most of these cookies landed in the freezer so I can bring them to my first Craft Sale on December 3rd! More details to follow, but it’s a Friday and the sale will be from 3-8pm, so mark your calendars and stay tuned for more information! There will be no obligation to buy anything, but if you show up you can have a cookie! Now, is that bribe, or what?

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Another Pantry Dinner

I was all set to whip up a quick Chicken Curry for dinner last night, when I opened my (newly organized) pantry and discovered I was out of Coconut Milk. Really? How on earth did I let that happen? So, I took a deep breathe, reached for a couple more cans and started in a different direction.

I started by sauteeing diced onions until they were soft, then added sliced green and red peppers. I sprinkled the Chicken Breasts with salt, pepper and cumin and added them to the onions and peppers. When the chicken was browned and I had flipped it over, I added those two cans. One of black beans, the other of diced tomatoes. I brought it all to a boil and let it simmer for 10 minutes. And then, dinner was served! We served it over leftover rice and topped it off with some store-bought salsa and a fresh Avocado. Easy and quick. Perfect for a week night.

Note on the diced onion… growing up my Mom never used fresh onion. Instead she kept a bag of frozen diced onion in the freezer and when she needed onion she just poured some out of the bag. I went a step further. Whenver I chop an onion and have leftovers, instead of letting it go bad in the crisper drawer and smell up the fridge, I put the extra chopped onion into a freezer bag and throw it in the freezer. Then on nights like tonight, I have the onion ready to go. No need to thaw, just throw it in the pan.

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I love Ina. She’s so real. And she loves to use lots of cream and booze in her feed. Did I mention I love Ina?

Her newest book, Barefoot Contessa, How Easy Is That? is definitely on my wish list. Is it on yours?

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Carrot-Ginger Soup

When I was in Denver a few weeks ago Husband picked up some groceries and brought home a huge piece of fresh ginger. While I love ginger, and we use it regularly, there was no way we would be able to use up the whole piece before it went bad. I also knew I had a big bag of fresh carrots from the St. Paul Farmer’s Market, so I went online and found this recipe for Carrot-Ginger Soup. I made a double batch of it this morning so we would have lunch for the week and a few pints for the freezer. I also added a couple cups of leftover rice from another meal to make it a bit more substantial. The soup is good, really good. Simple with just enough tang coming from the ginger. I’ll actually look forward to lunch this week! Yippee!

Have you made any great soup this fall?

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Holiday Gift Idea #1

How cool are these Potato and Garlic Storage Bags from Crate and Barrel? If only I had a decent place to hang them….

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How to Eat a Cupcake

1. Find Cupcake

2. Eat yummy decorations off the top. Cut off the bottom half of the cake portion.

3. Turn bottom half of the cake portion over.

4. Place it on top and shmush it down just a bit. Eat and Enjoy.

Credit goes to my friend Joy, who’s got a great laugh, a PhD in something and really knows how to do the important things in life. Like eat cupcakes. Thanks, Joy!

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