Monday, January 24, 2011

Wild Rice Pilaf

Creamy, yet crunchy. Wild rice gives this pilaf a nutty flavor that puts it over the top. I came up with this recipe after eating out a restaurant.  The only thing I don't add is the parsley.  It doesn't need it.  It makes plenty and you can freeze the leftovers for a quick reheat later.

Wild Rice Pilaf

1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup brown rice
1/2 cup wild rice
1/2 cup carrots, diced
1/2 cup onion, diced
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup long-grain white rice

Dice your carrots and onions. 
In large saucepan (preferably non-stick) saute brown rice, wild rice, carrots, and onion in olive oil for 10 minutes or until brown rice is golden. 
 Add broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes.
Stir in white rice, cover, and simmer for another 25 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.  Sometimes it takes less time, some times a little more. You can always drizzle in a little more broth or water if the liquid is gone and the rice is not quite finished.
If you like it creamier you can add water when it's absorbed and then cook some more, add more water etc like risotto.

**You can use all brown rice instead of the white just add it all in the beginning and be sure to watch the liquid as it absorbs it quicker than the white rice. You may need more broth.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Oatmeal Pecan Pie

The first time I had this pie was at my mother in laws house. It was so good. The second time I had it, she didn't put nuts in it. I asked her if the pie was supposed to have it and she said she never makes it that way. Ok, so my memory isn't great all the time but I know nuts and I KNOW they were in there. I don't think I ever saw the pie made with nuts again but I was determined to figure it out. After she passed away I decided to check out some church lady cookbooks to find an oatmeal pie recipe that called for nuts. Sure enough I found one. Guess who's name was on it? Yep, my mother in law Pat! So yeah it called for nuts! I don't make it real often but when I do I put the nuts in it and add extra on top! Miss you Pat, LOVE the pie!

Oatmeal Pecan Pie

1/4 cup margarine or butter, melted
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 eggs, slightly beaten
dash of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup flaked coconut
3/4 cup quick oatmeal
1/4 cup pecans (and some halves for decoration)
1 - 9" unbaked pie shell

Mix together butter, sugar, eggs, salt, and vanilla.  Add remaining ingredients in the order given.  Mix well.  Pour into unbaked pie shell. Add pecan halves on top for decoration. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.  Cool and serve with whipped topping or ice cream.


Monday, January 17, 2011

Homemade Christmas Ornaments

Making your own ornaments is a fun way to personalize you Christmas tree.  I think I love painting them as much as the kids do.  


Homemade Christmas Ornaments

1 cup salt
2 cups flour
1 cup water

Mix salt and flour together. Add water a little at a time.  Knead on floured surface 7-10 minutes until smooth and putty like. Roll 1/4" thick.  Cut with any kind of cookie cutter, preferably with a design. Use a toothpick to poke a hole at the top for thread, ribbon, or hanger.

Lightly grease cookie sheet.  Bake ornaments at 325 degrees until light brown, approximately 20-30 minutes.  Some may puff a little.  Just give them more character. When cool varnish or paint to protect from moisture.

I've had these since 1994 and they still hang on my tree!





Ravioli with Sage-Walnut Butter Sauce and a Balsamic/Honey Drizzle


Ravioli with Sage-Walnut Butter Sauce and a Balsamic/Honey Drizzle


1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
1 bay leaf
2 9-ounce packages refrigerated cheese ravioli
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup fresh sage leaves
1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Combine the vinegar, honey and bay leaf in a small saucepan and boil over medium-high heat until syrupy, 4 to 5 minutes. Cover to keep warm
Cook ravioli according to package directions.  Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat, then add the sage and walnuts and cook until the nuts are toasted, about 3 minutes

Increase the heat to high, ladle in about 1 cup of the water from the ravioli and bring to a boil. Cook until reduced by about half, 1 to 2 minutes.
Drain the ravioli, reserving another 1/2 cup cooking water. Add the ravioli to the skillet and toss to coat, adding the reserved water as needed.
Remove from the heat, toss with the parmesan and season with salt.
Divide the ravioli among plates and drizzle with the balsamic syrup.  So fancy looking but so easy!


Coconut Pecan Blondies

Coconut Pecan Blondies

1 egg
3/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
couple dashes of salt
3/4 cup chopped pecans
2/3 cup shredded coconut
4 squares (1 oz each) white baking chocolate coarsely chopped (I suppose you could use mini chocolate chips)

In a mixing bowl add egg and brown sugar.
Beat for 3 minutes. It will be really light colored.  Don't worry if you don't so the whole time they still come out really good.
 Add butter and vanilla, mixing well. 
Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in separate bowl.
Add to brown sugar mixture and beat just until blended.
This is how your chocolate should look.
Add pecans and chocolate.  You can stir or I use the mixer, it's faster.  Just until incorporated or your bars will not be nice!
Spread into a foil lined, greased 8 x 8 pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out with moist crumbs.  Don't over bake.  I start checking at 25 minutes. I will firm up a little after it is done cooling.
When it is completely cooked lift it out with the foil and cut!
It is an award winner.  I have won CHAMPION (Dark Purple ribbon)  and Reserve Champion (Light Purple ribbon) at the Washington County Fair the two years I took it.


Steak and Gravy

Steak and Gravy

1 pound round steak, tenderized
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 cup dry bread crumbs
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup diced onion
1/3 cup diced carrot
1/3 cup diced celery (optional)
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 cup water (or milk)

Chop your veggies.
Beat egg in shallow bowl and put bread crumbs, salt, and pepper in another.
Dip steak in egg.
Then in bread crumbs.
Heat oil in non stick pan. Fry meat on both sides until golden brown.
Add veggies to pan.
Mix together soups and milk or water.
Pour over meat, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes or until veggies are soft and meat is cooked through.
To serve scoop a piece of meat onto plate and ladle gravy over the top.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Banana Nut Bread

This is my mom's recipe!

Banana Nut Bread

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2-3 small ripe bananas
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
1/2 cup milk

Beat sugar, oil, and eggs together.  Add bananas.
Sift together Flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. 
Add flour mixture to banana mixture.  Whisk or beat just until mixed.   
Pour in milk and add nuts.  Mix just until incorporated.
Pour into greased loaf pan or stoneware. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour or until done.  They can be made into smaller loaves or even muffins just adjust your cooking time.


 **Bread can be frozen after cooked and cooled. Bring to room temperature before cutting.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Cheeseburger Soup


Cheeseburger Soup


1 pound lean ground beef
3/4 cup onion, chopped (or 2/3 cup diced)
3/4 cup carrots, shredded
3/4 cup celery, diced
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried parsley
4 cups chicken broth
4 cups potatoes, peeled and chopped
3 Tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
8 ounces Velvetta, chunked or 1 to 1-1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1-1/2 cups milk
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded Mexi blend cheese or cheddar
croutons

Dice veggies.
Add along with basil and parsley to beef and cook until veggies are tender.

Add broth and potatoes to beef mixture.
Bring to boil and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
Meanwhile make your roux. Start by melting butter in small saucepan.
Add flour
and cook for one minute.
Add roux to soup stirring so as not to have lumps.
This is what is should look like so far.
Add milk...
Velveeta....
and sour cream.
Stir until blended and everything is melted in. Ladle into bowls and top with shredded cheese and croutons if you like.

If you leave the potatoes out you can freeze the rest of the soup.  While it is heating on your stove throw in your cooked potatoes!

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