Monday, January 23, 2006

Mini Shrimp Scampi & Angel Hair Pasta

This is a recipe from Rachael Ray's new book "Cooking Rocks! Rachael Ray 30-Minute Meals for Kids."

It's fast, easy, and good. Both my girls even liked it. Now that's a keeper!

Mini Shrimp Scampi and Angel Hair Pasta
makes 4 servings

1 pound angel hair pasta
4 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
3 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
1 pound (300-count) baby shrimp
salt and freshly groundn pepper, to taste
1 cup chicken stock
4 to 5 blades chives, snipped with scissors
a handful of fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley leaves, chopped or snipped (2 tablespoons)

Put a large pot of water over high heat and bring to a boil; add salt. Cook pasta according ot package directions, to al dente.

Meanwhile, smash garlic cloves with a small pan; separate out the skins and throw them away.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add EVOO and butter. When butter has melted into oil, add crushed garlic and cook 2 minutes. Add shrimp; add salt and pepper. Cook shrimp until heated through, 2 or 3 minutes; add stock and raise up heat to bring to a boil. When liquid boils, remove pan from heat and drain pasta and add to the pan. Toss pasta with shrimp, sauce, and the snipped or chopped herbs. Adjust seasonings and serve.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Spaghetti with Fresh Tomato Sauce

This is a wonderful summer recipe. It's great to make when you recieve a bag of tomatoes from someones yard.
I wanted to add it to the blog before I forget. Yes, I am hoping spring and summer some soon.

Spaghetti with Fresh Tomato Sauce
from "The Italian Kitchen" by Gabriella Mariotti

Serves 4

4 large ripe tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 tbsp chopped fresh herbs such as: basil, marjoram, oregano, or parsley
(I use basil and parsley)
2/3 cup olive oil
salt and pepper
1 lb spaghetti

1. Skin the tomatoes by placing in boiling water for 1 minute--no longer or they will become mushy.
2. Lift out with a perforated spoon and plunge into a bowl of cold water. Peel off the skins, then dry the tomatoes on paper towels.
3. Halve the tomatoes and squeeze out the seeds. Chop into 1/4 inch cubes and mix with garlic, herbs, olive oil, and seasoning in a non-metallic bowl. Cover and allow the flavors to mellow for at least 30 minutes.
4. Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water.
5. Drain the pasta and mix with the sauce. Cover with a lid and leave for 2-3 minutes, toss again, and serve immediately.

Broccoli with Cheese Topping

from a BMCC member.

Thought you might like to try a recipe that my Mom
passed on to me. It is very delicious, and easy to
make, especially during the holidays.

Broccoli with Cheese Topping:

The swiss cheese topping, melts into the broccoli as
it heats in the oven.

1 bunch (2lbs) broccoli
salted water
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1/3 cup real mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons grated onion
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard (I use dijon)

Wash broccoli, separate into spears, and trim off tough ends;
peel stems, if you wish. In a large frying pan with a tight
fitting lid, bring water to boiling;drop in broccoli. Bring
to boiling again;cover pan, reduce heat and cook 5
minutes longer, or until broccoli is just tender crisp when
pierced with a fork. Drain and arrange broccoli in a
heat proof platter or shallow baking dish (one you can
bring to the table) You can do this several hours ahead and let
stand at room temperature.

In a small bowl, combine cheese, mayo, onion, salt,
pepper, and mustard. Spoon cheese mixture evenly over the top
of the broccoli. Place dish, uncovered, in a 350 degree
oven until broccoli is hot and sauce is melted, about 15 minutes.

Serve at once. Makes 4-6 servings.

Oven-Roasted Green Beans

from a BMCC member.

Our new Favorite Green Beans

Oven-Roasted Green Beans

2  pounds green beans, trimmed
4  teaspoons extravirgin olive oil
1  teaspoon sea salt
1/2  teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 425°.

Place a jelly-roll pan in oven for 10 minutes. Place beans in a large bowl. Drizzle with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss well to coat. Arrange green bean mixture in a single layer on preheated baking sheet. Bake at 425° for 8 minutes or until crisp-tender.

Yield: 12 servings (serving size: about 2/3 cup)

CALORIES 37(39% from fat); FAT 1.6g (sat 0.2g,mono 1.1g,poly 0.2g); PROTEIN 1.4g; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 29mg; SODIUM 196mg; FIBER 2.6g; IRON 0.8mg; CARBOHYDRATE 5.5g

Carrot Cake

from a BMCC member

My mom's carrot cake recipe ( I haven't made it yet, but I remember it as wonderful)


2 cups flour
1 ½ cups oil
2 tsp baking powder
4 eggs
1 ½ tsp soda
2 cups grated raw carrot
1 ½ tsp salt
1 (8 ¾ oz) can crushed pineapple,
2 tsp cinnamon
well drained
2 cups sugar
½ cup chopped nuts

Mix together flour, baking powder, soda, salt and cinnamon. Mix together sugar, oil and eggs and mix into dry ingredients. Stir in carrots, drained pineapple and nuts. Pour into greased and floured 13 x 9 inch pan and bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes, or until top springs back when touched lightly with finger. Cool and then frost with Cream Cheese Frosting.


½ cup butter
1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 pound powdered sugar

Combine butter, cream cheese and vanilla and beat until well blended. Add sugar gradually, beating vigorously.

Taco Ring

Another recipe from a BMCC member.

Last night I faked something I saw at a Pampered Chef Party. It is a ring made out of pillsbury crescent rolls stuffed with taco seasoned ground beef. So I'll make up a recipe. I hope you can understand it!

Taco Ring
1 lb ground beef
taco seasoning packet
Shredded lettuce
Chopped tomatoes
grated cheddar cheese
sour cream

Brown ground beef and season with taco seasoning according to packet. Cover a large cookie sheet or pizza pan with foil. Open and separate crescent rolls. Lay half the crescent rolls out on the pan in a circle with the points facing out. Take the second set of crescent rolls and overlap the first set, wide parts overlapping and points facing out. Put your cooked ground beef on the wide parts of the crescent rolls around the circle. Pull the points of the crescent rolls over the meat and into the center of the circle. It doesn't have to be perfect, and the dough doesn't need to cover all the meat. Bake at 350 for 15minutes or until it looks done.

Put the ring onto a serving plate. Pile the lettuce and tomatoes in the center of the ring. Serve with the rest of the toppings and anything else your family likes with tacos.

Hoisin Baby Back Ribs

Another recipe from a BMCC member. If you want to add the Sake, you might need to go to a Japanese grocery store to buy it. That's where I bought mine.

Hoisin Baby Back Ribs (very yummy)

5 lbs baby back ribs
2 inch piece fresh ginger, sliced plus 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 cup sugar
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup oyster sauce
1/3 cup hoisin sauce
1 clove garlic crushed
3 T sake
cilantro for garnish

Cut racks into individual ribs. Place in a large pot and cover with water. Add slices of ginger. Boil gently 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Drain ribs, discarding ginger. Combine sugar, ketchup, soy sauce, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, grated ginger, garlic and sake. Marinate the cooked ribs in this mixture 4-5 hours in the refrigerator. Preheat broiler. Place ribs in a roasting pan and broil 15 minutes, turning if necessary. Garnish with cilantro.

FYI: I don't put the sake in because I can't find it at the supermarket! And we usually barbque them instead of broiling. They only take a second because they're already cooked.

Mashed Potatoe Casserole

This is from one of our BMCC members. Sounds good. I'll have to try it....especially for a holiday dinner.

This can be made ahead and stuck in the fridge, we have it at Christmas.

Mashed Potatoe Casserole

5 lbs of potatoes peeled and cooked
1/2 pint sour cream
1 8oz cream cheese
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp garlic
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp onion salt
2 T butter

Mash potatoes and add all ingredients except butter. Beat until light and fluffy. Put in a greased 2 quart casserole (or 9x13). Dot with butter. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Chicken and Rice Casserole

This is a dinner a friend (BMCC member) brought to me and my husband a week or so after my first daughter was born. We enjoyed it so much I got the recipe from her. We've been enjoying it ever since. It's a great use of that left over chicken. I'm sure you could make it with turkey too. I haven't tried it.

Chicken and Rice Casserole

2 cups cooked cubed chicken (six thighs with skin pulled off)
1 (6 oz) package Uncle Ben’s long grain wild rice
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
dash black pepper
1 cup milk
1 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup diced pimento
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup slivered almonds

Cook rice as directed on package. Set aside.
In a saucepan, saute onion in butter. then stir in flour, salt, and pepper.
Gradually stir in milk and broth. Cook and stir until thickened.
Take saucepan off heat.
Mix rice, sauce, and all other ingredients. Place in casserole dish.
Bake at 400° for 40 to 45 minutes

Broccoli Slaw/Cole Slaw Salad

These are very good, easy, and something a little different than the usual cole slaw or green salad.

Broccoli Slaw
brocoli slaw (look for pre-washed bag)
just add dried cranberries,
unsalted sunflower seeds
and salad dressing(Brianna's Poppyseed dressing)

Broccoli Cole Slaw Salad
Broccoli Cole Slaw (pre-washed bag)
Pineapple chunks or slices
apples, sliced or diced
Pears, sliced or diced

dressing: red wine vinegar and extra virgin olive oil-just a little to coat everything, or refrigerated cole slaw dressing

Sweet and Sour Sauce

A recipe from Martin Yan, The Chinese Chef

This is SO super easy. It is easy to keep all of these ingredients on hand. It's part of the Sweet and Sour Chicken Stir-Fry recipe. It's also great with the chicken wings. My secret - I originally got the chicken wing recipe from the back of a sweet and Sour Sauce bottle. Since I found this recipe in my Martin Yan cookbook I haven't purchased a bottle of sweet and sour sauce since. It's too easy, MUCH better tasting and MUCH cheaper.

Sweet and Sour Sauce

1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1/3 cup water in saucepan

Stir in
6 tablespoons brown sugar 2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1/4 cup orange Juice 1/4 teaspoon chili oil
3 tablespoons ketchup 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
2 tablespoons lemon juice 1 tablespoon shredded pickled ginger
1 tablespoon lime juice

Cook over medium heat, stirring, until sauce boils and thickens. Serve as dip.

Sweet & Sour Chicken Stir-Fry

This is easy and so good. You could also use left over chicken. I never have, but I'm sure it would work fine. A great way to use up left overs!

Sweet & Sour Stir-Fry
A recipe from Woman’s Day, 6 April 1993

Prep: 15 minutes Cook: 8 minutes Serves: 4

2 tablespoons cornstarch
12 oz boned and skinned chicken thighs, cut in 1 -inch chuncks
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and cut in 1-inch pieces (2 cups)
8 oz fresh sugar-snap peas, trimmed (2 cups), or 1 box (9 oz) frozen sugar-snap peas
1 can (8 oz) sliced water chetnuts, drained
3/4 cup Sweet & Sour Sauce (recipe also in blog or bottled sweet-and-sour stir-fry sauce)
For garnish: sliced scallions (green onions)

1. Put cornstarch in a plastic food bag. Add chicken and toss to coat.
2. Heat oil in a large, preferably non-stick, skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add chicken and stir-fry 3 to 4 minutes until golden brown an all sides. Remove to a bowl with a slotted spoon.
3. Add bell pepper, snap peas, and water chestnuts to drippings in skillet. Stir-fry 2 to 3 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender.
4. Pour in stir-fry sauce and return chicken to skillet. Stir to coat chicken and vegetables. Garnish with scallions.

For a change of pace:
•Leave out the water chestnuts and add almonds, peanuts or cashews.
•Add drained, canned pineapple chunks.
•Add 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper.

Blackberry Pie

This is from the can of Oregon Blackberries - on the back of the label. It was very delicous and very easy. I made my own pie crust, but you could also buy a pre-made pie crust at the grocery store.

2 cans Blackberries (drained, reserve syrup from 1 can)
6 tablespoons sugar (more or less to taste)
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tabelspoons lemon juice (optional)
1 tablespoon butter (optional)
Pastry for a double crust, 9-inch pie

Preheat oven to 400°F. Drain the berries and reserve the syrup from one can. Stir the blackberry syrup into the combined mixture of cornstarch and half of the sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened. Remove from heat. Gently stir in remaining sugar, blackberries and lemon juice. Let stand while preparing pastry.

Line a 9 inch pie pan with pastry and fill with fruit filling. Dot with butter. Adjust top crust on pie, cutting slits for steam to escape, and seal. Bake for 30 minutes or until filling is bubbly and crust is golden brown.

Note: I would also put a pan under the pie, just in case the filling bubbles out, like mine did. : )