Thursday, July 21

Day #202 and a"Real" Meal

Last night I made dinner and dessert.  It's a first since we moved into this house. I've been too busy organizing and cleaning to think about a meal plan.  Oh and did I mention it's been HOT?  Steak is one of my favs, but due to budget we hardly ever have steak.  While at Sam's, I noticed that if you bought the rib eye roast instead of steaks you saved almost $1 a pound.  Bonus!

At Border's I bought a new cookbook, Sandra Lee's 20 Minute Meals, only $4.99!  I cannot stand to watch the woman on TV, but she does have some pretty good recipes.  One of which was tiramisu.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE tiramisu!  And what do you know I had all the ingredients!  Such a simple recipe!

NEW RECIPE #?  Tiramisu
(S.L. 20 Minute Meals #2)
(A.F.R. 4.0)

1 tsp. Instant Espresso Powder
1/3 C. Water, warm
1/3 C. Orange Liquor
1 box Instant Vanilla Pudding
1 pkg. Lady Fingers
1 3/4 C. Milk
1 tsp. Orange Extract
Cocoa Powder, dusting

Mix espresso powder and water until dissolved.   Add liquor and dip lady fingers in mixture.  Line an 8"x8" pan with lady fingers.  Whisk together pudding mix, milk, and orange extract for 2 minutes, pour over lady fingers.  Let sit for 5 minutes, dust with cocoa powder.

My variation:
I did not use liquor.

Oh and be sure to check out my Recipe Box page.  I will keep updating it this week til all the recipes are listed!  Have a good one!

Wednesday, July 20

Day #201 and Another Hot One

It's hot.  If you live somewhere other than the middle of the United States, may I come visit?  I would prefer Alaska, if possible.  This has been the most miserable summer I can recall.  Although I hear 1980 was, and I quote, A HOT SOB.  I was only 3 years old at the time and probably a little more tolerable of the heat.  It's really even too hot to go swimming. 

So what is one to do when the heat is on? Oh no, that awful song just popped into my head.  Great!  I'm not really cooking much these days or really anything else for that matter.  I did find a cool desk on Craigslist for way cheap so now I have a place to sew, one of the things I have missed since our move. I still have pictures and curtain rods to hang, and a few other little things around the house.  Yesterday we took the kids to Border's book store to use their gift cards and free book coupons before they start liquidating everything.  I've never really been a Border's fan.  They never have the book I am looking for or anyone around to help you.  But we got $91 worth of books for $15 and that was worth the trip.   

Over the weekend, Hubby and I help our friends buy trees for their new house.  Nine trees to be exact.  While at the nursery, I saw these super cute fairy gardens. Since everything was 50% off, I decided to purchase a few plants and start my own mini garden.  I bought a bonsai tree, a dwarf shrub, and two succulents.  I haven't decided what to do just yet.  I have a planter with a mostly-dead fern that I think I will use.  I need mini furniture for the garden.  I think I will keep my eye out for doll furniture at the thrift stores instead of buying the pricey mini furniture from the nursery. 

So stay cool my friends and have a good day!

Monday, July 18

Day #199 and Strawberries

Strawberries are my favorite fruit.  As a kid, I had a Strawberry Shortcake collection.  My favorite was a doll that smelled like strawberries!  While we were at Aldi over the weekend I picked up two packages of strawberries and some vanilla wafers. For tonight's dessert, another recipe from the Family Circle magazine...

NEW RECIPE #? Creamy Strawberry Pie
(Family Circle August 2011)

6 oz. Nilla Wafer Cookies
2 Tbsp. Sugar
5 Tbsp. Butter, unsalted and melted

2/3 C. Sugar
1/3 C. Cran-Raspberry Juice
8 C. Strawberries, hulled and thinly slices
1/4 C. Cornstarch

Whipped Topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Combine wafer cookies and sugar in food processor and pulse until crumbly.  Transfer to pie plate and add melted butter, combine.  Press into bottom and sides of pie plate. Bake until lightly browned, 14 minutes.
Combine sugar, juice, 2 C. strawberries, and cornstarch in a sauce pan.  Gently mash berries and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 2 minutes or until clear and thickened, let cool slightly.  Stir in remaining strawberries.  Pour into pie crust and chill for 4 hours.   

Have a good week!

Thursday, July 14

Day #195 and Pasta

Pasta and I are long time friends.  Simple, easy, and you can add just about anything to it.  While at the eye dr. office I saw the new Family Circle magazine.  It's not one I normally buy, but something to pass the time while we waited.  There are several recipes I wanted to try.  So we made this one night before last:

(FYI:  I did not take the magazine from the dr.'s office.  I bought my own!)

NEW RECIPE # ? Lemony Herb Pasta:
(Family Circle Aug 2011)
(Average Family Rating 4.5)

1 Container Part-Skim Ricotta Cheese
5 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
1/4 C. Parmesan Cheese, grated
1/3 C. Parsley, chopped
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
2 tsp. Lemon Zest
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Black Pepper
1 lb. Penne Pasta
1 lb. Asparagus, trimmed and cut in 1" pieces
8 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled

Combine first 8 ingredients in a bowl large enough to add cooked pasta.  Cook pasta as directed on package, adding asparagus to pasta during the last few minutes of cooking.  Drain.  Add to ricotta mixture and combine.

Now for my variation:

Instead of Asparagus:  1 Can of Spinach and 1 Can of Artichoke Hearts, both drained well and added to ricotta mixture

Instead of Penne Pasta:  Egg Noodles

Followed recipe, but then put in individual buttered gratin dishes topped with shredded mozzarella cheese and bake until bubbly!

Quick and Easy!

Monday, July 11

Day #192 and Turkey, Who Knew?

I've been cooking with ground turkey for the past few months, adding it to ground beef to make our meals stretch.  One pound packages were on sale at our local grocery store for a dollar a package and I bought twenty packages.  Yes I said 20!  Last night I made meatloaf with it.  YUM!  Ground turkey doesn't have the gritty texture of ground beef.  With the rising grocery costs I think I just might buy ground turkey from now on and skip the beef.  Not all beef, still gotta have my steak! 

So try something new today.  You never know if you might actually like it!

Tuesday, July 5

Day #186 and Summer Sickness

I had so much planned for today...laundry, cleaning hardwood floors, and hanging up more pictures, etc.  BUT I 'm in bed instead.  I feel weak and all around yucky, sure being in the heat all day yesterday didn't help!  I know it will all be there for me to do tomorrow, but I am just not a good sick person.  So maybe I will try to get something done this afternoon? 

I was going to make Sweet Corn Ice Cream this past weekend, but somehow I never found the time.  Maybe tomorrow...  I did manage to make this awesome Pulled Pork yesterday.  Super easy and way yummy!

NEW RECIPE #? Pulled Pork:
(CMW 2011)
(Average Family Rating 4.5)

Pork Blade Roast (10-12 lbs.)
For the Rub:
1/2 C. Brown Sugar
1/4 C. Paprika
1/4 C. Minced Onion
2 Tbsp. Minced Garlic
2 Tbsp. Kosher Salt
2 Tbsp. Black Pepper
Whiskey (I used Crown Royale)

For the Cooking Liquid:
1/2 C. Water
1/4 C. Worchestire Sauce
1/8 C. Liquid Smoke
1/8 C. Soy Sauce

Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Place pork roast in deep roasting pan, fat side up. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl for rub.  Add just enough whiskey to wet the mixture.  Rub all over meat.  Combine ingredients for cooking liquid and pour in bottom of roasting pan.  Cover with lid and cook for 8-10 hours.  Remove bones and shred using two forks.