Wednesday, April 27, 2011

CEiMB - Asian Noodle Bowl

Hostess this week is one of my favorite blogger friends, Margaret, of Tea and Scones.  When we were up for recipe choosing for this month, this was my first choice but it had already been chosen by Margaret.  I was glad because I had been wanting to make it.  We loved loved it, however my photos do not do it justice.  Was in a hurry the day I made it, snapped a few shots, and went on my merry way.  I'm sure you have all been there on occasion.  This really is a great recipe and as Ellie's recipes always are, you can bet it is good for you as well.

Simply delicious.  Full of vegetable surprises. 
Hop over to Margaret's blog to find the recipe.  Come join us at Craving Ellie!  It is a small group of wonderful ladies sharing healthy recipes each week.

Monday, April 25, 2011

TWD - Cornmeal Shortbread Cookies

Hostess this week for our Tuesdays with Dorie group is Valerie and you can reach her blog to get the recipe by clicking on this link - Valerie has a beautiful blog so you will definitely find it interesting.

Calling all TWD bakers for some help figuring out where I went wrong with these cookies.  I made the dough.  I put into a baggie and rolled out just to Dorie's instructions.  I put in the refrigerator for two days.  It was very easy dough to work with.  I took a ruler and I cut the cookies exactly to 1 1/2 inch square.  I thought they looked a little thicker than the 1/4 inch Dorie specified, so I did squish them out just a tiny bit more.   I pricked each one with the fork.  I cooked for five minutes less than the recipe called for.  They had all spread out, run together, and they are thin.  Not at all like the pretty squares in our book.  And the fork pricks were no longer showing so I added a few after they were baked.

I will say, I could have eaten the entire two cookie sheets of them in one sitting.  They are buttery, and sort of like a sugar cookie but not as sweet.  We really loved the taste. 

But I was very disappointed in their appearance.  Would love constructive feedback from you all!!

Hope you had a wonderful Easter holiday.  These were a great pick Valerie - thank you!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

New Group - Ina's Garden - Orange Poundcake

I am thrilled to announce the formation of a great new cooking and baking group. 
“Ina’s Garden." 

If you are a huge fan of Ina, a/k/a the Barefoot Contessa, you will love this group.  I love her recipes and her laid back entertaining style.  So several like-minded bloggers have gotten together to form this new blog hop group. We will be cooking her recipes together as well as discussing our experiences.

This is how it will work:
On the first Thursday of every month we  will all make the same recipe together.  You do not have to participate every month, just join in when you can.  Recipes will be announced in advance and on the day, you will be able to join with the co-hosts and link up your posts about them.  All you have to do is copy your permalink (please link to your actual post, and not just to your blog homepage).  Then click on where it says "add your link" in the linky below this post.  You will then be able to add a link to your own post and even choose a picture for the thumbnail.  By linking to any one of the host sites, your post will be visible on all six of our sites.  You will have fun and make new blogging friends, and your posts will get maximum exposure too.

We do ask as a courtesy, that you link back in your post to whichever host site you have linked to.  It is just good blog hop etiquette!

On the third Thursday of every month, you can choose any recipe from Ina's collection from within a "theme" chosen by one of the co-hosts.  The theme will be announced in advance so join in whenever you like.  There is no obligation to participate every time.  Once again, you will then be able to join with the co-hosts and link up your post about whatever recipe you have chosen in the same way, and your post will be visible on all six of our sites, whichever host site you  link to.

My fellow co-hosts for this group are Chaya of Bizzy B Bakes and Comfy Cook, April of The 21s Century Housewife and The 21st Century Housewife’s Kitchen, Louanne of Louanne’s Kitchen, Mia of Bright Morning Star, and Yummy Chunklet.

Our first official recipe will be hosted on May 5th by Yummy Chunklet.  She is starting the group with Ina's Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars! The link will be open for several days.
The theme for our May 19th meeting is Pasta with Pizazz.  Find your favorite pasta recipe from Ina's collection and come join in.

To kick things off today, all six of us have made Ina’s Orange Pound Cake. The recipe can be found at Bizzy B Bakes site.  We hope you will make the pound cake and come link up with us!

The recipe makes two loaves so I halved it since there are only two of us here to eat it.  I made this recipe twice.  The first time I used a pan that had never failed me, but the cake stuck and fell completely apart when I tried to take it out of the pan.  It just would not release.  So we had a bowl full of pieces of poundcake.  They were good to eat however!!  The next time the cake came right out of the pan.  Also, when I sent Chandler to the store to get my supplies, he was supposed to get navel oranges and he came back with tangelos. When I asked how he could confuse oranges with tangelos, he replied "well they looked orange to me."   So I used those and they gave this a nice tangelo flavor. 

The recipe for the Orange Poundcake can be found on Mia's blog brightmorningstarsfoodie

We hope you will join us on May 5th for the delicious Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

CEiMB - Wheat Berry Salad with Lemon Chicken

Posting a bit early on this one. 

Hostess this week:  Leslie of Lethally Delicious  This salad did not appeal to me at all, but Leslie is one of my favorite blogger friends and I wanted to cook with her this week.  Hop over to her blog on the link above and get the recipe there for this salad.

First of all, what ARE wheat berries?  I have never heard of or eaten any that I know of.  I looked for them at Publix, but did not find anything called wheat berries.  I thought a good substitution might be Bulgar Cracked Wheat.  I mean if I don't know what a wheat berry is, I could pretty much substitute anything I wanted to and call it a good substitution, right?  Actually, the photo of the wheat berry reminds me of Sugar Smacks cereal but I sort of figured that would not work.  This was a very easy to prepare and light dinner for us.  Funny, we liked it except for the Bulgar Wheat substitution.  I guess that will teach me!  Maybe it will be better tomorrow after it has chilled?  The chicken was delicious.

The wheat did not take long to cook - only 15 minutes.  I left the scallions out since Chandler is not a fan.  I added some onion flakes instead.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

CEiMB - Tuna Noodle Casserole

It is my week to host!  Yea!  It was really hard for me to choose a recipe this time.  We enjoyed all of Ellie's recipes.  I went with the Tuna Noodle Casserole because Chandler loves tuna and it looked like it would be a nice healthy meal for us.  Visit the Craving Ellie webpage and check out what the other members did with this recipe and what other delicious foods we will be cooking in the coming weeks.

It was filled with a lot of good stuff.  First you sautee onions, celery and mushrooms.  Adding chicken broth and milk makes a nice creamy sauce.  It also has broccoli and peas in it.

Although it called for whole wheat fettucine, Publix did not have any.  They had whole wheat every other type of pasta, but not fettucine.  So I just went with regular fettucine.
I added almonds on top instead of the grated parmesan, just because I like almonds better.  Gave it a nice crunch.  I also cheated and did not make my own bread crumbs.  I'm sure it would have been better had I done that, but in the interest of time, I purchased some.
It made a huge 9x13 casserole and we have already eaten it for three meals with a lot left over.  Next time, I will halve the recipe.  Thank all of you who cooked this with me this week - you are all special to me - and I hope you and your family enjoyed it as much as we did.

Here is the recipe:


•5 slices whole-wheat bread, crusts included
•1 tablespoon canola oil
•1 small onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
•1 large stalk celery, finely diced (about 1/2 cup)
•1 (10-ounce) box white mushroom, stemmed and chopped (about 2 1/2 cups)
•1/4 cup all-purpose flour
•3 cups 1 percent milk
•1 cup low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
•3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
•1/2 pound whole-wheat fettuccine noodles, broken into thirds and cooked according to package directions
•1 (10-ounce) box frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
•1 (10-ounce) box frozen peas, thawed
•4 (6-ounce) cans chunk light tuna in water, drained

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Place bread in food processor and pulse for 30 seconds into bread crumbs (makes about 2 1/2 to 3 cups crumbs).
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring, until onions are soft and translucent, 8 minutes. Add celery and cook, stirring, until just tender, 6 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, until mushrooms release their water, 5 to 7 minutes. Add flour all at once and stir immediately and vigorously with a wooden spoon until flour is completely incorporated into vegetable mixture until there are no flour lumps. Add milk and broth, stir to combine and bring mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to a vigorous simmer and cook, stirring, until liquid has thickened and reduced by about 1/2 cup, 7 to 8 minutes. Add salt and pepper and stir to combine. Combine cooked pasta, vegetable-liquid mixture, broccoli, peas and tuna and toss to incorporate. Pour into a 9 by 13-inch casserole. Top with bread crumbs. Bake for 25 minutes, or until crumbs are golden brown and toasted.
Per Serving:
Calories 500; Total Fat 7 g; (Sat Fat 1.5 g, Mono Fat 2 g, Poly Fat 1 g) ; Protein 49 g; Carb 56 g; Fiber 11 g; Cholesterol 75 mg; Sodium 990 mg

Monday, April 11, 2011

TWD - Strawberry Rhubarb Double Crisp

Hostess this week for our TWD group is Sarah of Teapots and Cakestands.  Sarah chose the Strawberry Rhubard Double Crisp.  It is a double crisp because it has sort of a crust.

I had issues with this recipe so I almost didn't make it, but Chandler loves rhubarb so I wanted to try it.  First, I am allergic to oats so the crisp part was going to be a challenge for me.  Second, it is not rhubarb season.  I did manage to find some frozen rhubarb at Publix and it worked really well. 

I have only tasted rhubarb once in my entire life.  It was when we lived in Cleveland, Ohio and we bought a pie from some Amish ladies.  It was a strawberry rhubarb pie and whoever made it had flooded it with sugar.  Waaay too sweet for my tastes so I never pursued anything rhubarb after that experience. This however, turned out nicely and we really liked it.

As I mixed up the filling, I realized my cornstarch was ancient and I tossed it in the garbage.  I decided to substitute flour (3 T. for each 1 T. of cornstarch).  It worked really well to thicken up the strawberry part of the filling.  Dorie said to smash up the berries, and I decided to try my new immersion blender on them so they might have gotten a little more mashed than Dorie had in mind!

Instead of oatmeal, I decided to try a jiffy yellow cake mix to use as the crust and the topping.  I put a little too much for the crust which didn't leave me much for the top of the crisp - so I goofed there.  But all in all, it turned out tasting delicious and that is what matters to us!!

Check out what the other bakers did at TWD.  Apple tart coming next week!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

CEiMB - Crispy Chicken Fingers with Honey Mustard Sauce

In our Craving Ellie group this week, Jennifer of The Rookie Baker chose the chicken fingers.  They could not be easier to make.  Go to Jennifer's blog on the link above to see how she fared with hers and to get the recipe.

I'm home with workmen this morning hanging sheetrock, and today is Chandler's birthday, so he is coming home for a lunch of good chicken fingers!!  If he is a good boy, I might take him to the Cheesecake Factory tonight for dinner.

The chicken fingers were simple.  Really just marinate in buttermilk, then coat with a cereal coating.  I used Multi-Bran Chex because that is what I had on hand.  I did add some red pepper flakes to the mix to give them a bit of a kick.  I took my friend Kayte's advice and cooked them on a rack in the oven with a cookie sheet underneath.  They came out very crispy all over.  Great idea Kayte.  Thanks!

The honey mustard sauce is my favorite.   These were very good and a great pick!  Stop by next week as I am hosting and we will be cooking up some Tuna Noodle Casserole!

Monday, April 4, 2011

TWD - Coffee Ice Cream Tart - NOT!!!

First, my deepest apologies to Jessica of Domestic Deep Thought of the Day who chose Coffee Ice Cream Tart this week in our TWD group.  I can only say ice cream does not like ME.  I am sure this tart is fabulous as are all of Dorie's creations.  I decided in order to keep baking along with the group, I would do a rewind of a cake that was chosen before I got into the group.  Big Bill's Carrot Cake.   Be SURE to hop over to Jessica's blog and check out the coffee ice cream tart by clicking the link above.

This week my sweet husband celebrates his birthday (number 41 again and again and again - he is stuck on that number for some reason) and since he loves carrot cake it was the perfect choice.  I did make it in a 9x13 pan instead of the traditional layers.

The recipe was really straight forward - nothing hard about it at all.  And let me tell you this is one fabulous carrot cake!!  Look at all those good for you carrots in it!

 The frosting is fabulous.  Cream cheese, confectioner's sugar, butter and a touch of lemon juice.  I think the lemon is what makes it so good.
Then I toasted some coconut to put on top.  Here is the finished product!  Delicious.