Monday, November 24, 2008

Book: Once-a-Month Cooking & a recipe

I think the concept of this book is really an interesting idea. But what this book lacked for me was recipes. The recipes were repetitious using similar ingredients so you would end up with several nights in row eating similar tasting meals. Or they just had many processed foods and not a lot of creativity. Meals people see at a church potluck which is fine once in a while at home. If you have no idea how to start doing this - just reading this book might help a person sort through their own recipes and get ideas on how to make the shopping list and how to execute all the cooking on your list (as cooking similar things back to back since you are chopping up chicken for one you might as well chop chicken for all the recipes you will use for the month). But for recipes alone this book really wasn't the best - in my opinion.

I saved a few recipes - The cookie recipes as you know having some dough in the freezer and being able to cook them up every once in a while when needing to send some to someone or celebrate a birthday or whatever would be handy. So that seemed very handy to me to freeze them already scooped into cookie size. (if you want the cookie recipes please let me know - ginger cookies and white chocolate macadamia nut cookies)

And then this one which I haven't had a chance to make yet...
Sicilian Meat Roll

2 beaten eggs
3/4 c. soft bread crumbs
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 lb. ground hamburger
1 (6 oz.) pkg. mozzarella cheese
1/2 c. tomato juice
2 tbsp. parsley
1/4 tsp. salt
1 clove garlic, minced
4-6 oz. thinly sliced ham

In bowl, combine eggs and tomato juice. Stir in bread crumbs, parsley, oregano, salt, pepper and garlic. Add hamburger; mix well. On waxed paper or foil, pat meat to a 10 x 8 inch rectangle. Arrange ham slices on top meat, leaving a small margin around edges. Reserve 1 slice of cheese. Tear up remaining cheese and sprinkle over ham. Roll up. Bake in 9 x 13 x 2 inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours, or until done. Put rest of cheese on top and melt.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Recipe: Pumpkin Cheesecake

1 1/2 cups ground gingersnap cookies
1 1/2 cups toasted pecans (about 6 ounces)
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
(**I ground more ginger snaps then needed so I made a little extra and crumbled on top of the cheesecake the last 5 minutes of cooking - it made it almost toffee like crunch on top)

4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 2/3 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups canned solid pack pumpkin (1 can pumpkin)
2 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons half and half
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
4 large eggs

For Crust: Preheat oven to 350°F. Finely grind ground cookies, pecans and sugar in processor. Add melted butter and blend until combined. Press crust mixture onto bottom and up sides of 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides.

For Filling: Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl until light. Add flour, pumpkin, 4 tablespoons half and half, ground cinnamon and ground allspice to mixture in large bowl and beat until well combined. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating just until combined. Pour filling into crust (filling will almost fill pan). Bake until cheesecake puffs, top browns and center moves only slightly when pan is shaken, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Transfer cheesecake to rack and cool 10 minutes. Run small sharp knife around cake pan sides to loosen cheesecake. Cool. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.

Something I don't do a water bath but usually I just do a tray of water on the shelf below to create moisture in the oven. I didn't do that because frankly I forgot. I was just so excited to be making a pumpkin cheesecake that I didn't remember to do the tray and my weird timing thing I usually do which is turning the oven from 350 to 250 and well it turned out really good.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Organizing Home Link

"It doesn't take much to keep your home running like a well-oiled machine. If you can find five to ten minute pockets of time you can accomplish small tasks that will make a huge impact on the orderliness of your home. Here is a list of ten key tasks that take little time but make a big difference. Start adding them to your daily routine today and see the difference in how your house looks and how you feel."

10 Daily Steps to an Organized Home

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Italian Stew - EASY!

It is getting cold and fall is here so soups and stews sound so warm and delicious. Sometimes I just want something easy not a lot of chopping and prep time and this recipe is just the answer. It has great flavor.

Browned and crumbled 2 Mild Italian Sausages (if you want it more meaty add more sausage but there is so many good things in this I didn't need more then 2 sausages)
1 can (14-15 oz)chicken broth
1 can (15 oz) white beans - drained and rinsed
1 can (14-15 oz)diced tomatoes with juice
1/2 package of stir fry peppers and onions
1/2 package of frozen green beans
basil to taste
1 cup cooked elbow noodles

I threw everything except the elbow noodles into the crock and cooked on low for 6 hours. The last 5 minutes I added the cooked elbow noodles and then served in bowls with some grated Parmesan cheese on top.

This could easily be done on the stovetop too but I love my crockpot.


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