Friday, December 31, 2010

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Baked Turkey Breast with Italian Dressing and Worcestershire

A friend brought home a 6.8 lb turkey breast (bone-in) so I started looking for recipes. The boyf's mom had a recipe they normally use for grilled turkey. So we tried it out in the oven. The turkey and onions were deliciously moist and flavorful. The potatoes somehow didn't cook in 4 hours, so I would recommend cooking them separately on a baking sheet. (We put them underneath the onions). But the turkey turned out really well!! 
Taste: The turkey and onions tasted great. A little bit sweet from the Italian dressing, and flavorful from the Worcestershire. 
Texture: Turkey was moist! Especially when you pour some extra sauce on it. 
Would I make it again?: Yes, just keep the potatoes separate- they were a disaster.
Baked Turkey Breast with Italian Dressing and Worcestershire
1 Turkey Breast (with bone)
1 bottle Italian dressing
3 or 4 cloves garlic (crushed or diced)
1/4 C Worcestershire sauce
1 large or 2 small onions sliced 1/4 inch thick

Mix together dressing, garlic and Worcestershire and put in ziploc with turkey to marinate overnight.

Preheat oven to 325. Line an old 9x13 metal pan with heavy duty foil. Spray foil liner with Pam.

Marinate onions 30 minutes in some Worcestershire.

Place turkey breast on top of onions. Save marinade for basting. Slather turkey breast with olive oil or butter so it browns nicely.

Put turkey in oven uncovered until it gets slightly brown. Cover with foil tent when nicely browned.

Baste with marinade every 20 minutes until done...usually 3 hours or so. (Mine was 6.8 lbs and took 4 hours.

Italian Meatball Stew

This is another crockpot recipe that is super easy and delicious!
Taste: The meatballs were flavorful, and the broth tasted great on it's own.
Texture: The vegetables still had a little crunch so they were a good contrast to the soft meatballs.
Would I make this again?: Yes, it was so easy to throw together in the morning.
Italian Meatball Stew
From: Crock Pot

1 1/2 pounds ground beef (I used ground turkey)
1/2 cup fine bread crumbs
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
6 ounces tomato paste, canned
1 cup water
1 cup beef broth
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon basil
10 ounces mixed frozen vegetables, thawed

Combine beef, bread crumbs, eggs, milk, cheese, salt, garlic salt and pepper.
Form into meatballs.
Add to slow cooker with all other ingredients, except for frozen vegetables.
Cover; cook on Low 6-7 hours.
Add vegetables during last 30 minutes of cooking.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Eggnog Shortbread

These cookies are SO delicious! One of the best cookies I've ever made! They have the perfect amount of spice and creaminess. The icing is pretty sweet, but compliments the cookies well! I mixed green food coloring in half of the dough to make them christmas-y. 
Taste: Very delicious! The perfect amount of spice and creaminess.
Texture: Moist cookies, especially with a little bit of icing.
Would I make this again?: YES. I debated making another batch the next day!

Eggnog Shortbread
From: The Fig Tree
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1 and 1/4 cup of unsalted butter, softened
1 cup of white sugar
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 egg
1 tablespoon of eggnog
3 and 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
3 cups of icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
3 to 4 tablespoons of eggnog (enough to make a spreading consistency)

In a large bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer on high for about 30 seconds. Add the sugar, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt. Beat until combined.
Beat in vanilla, egg and eggnog into the dough.
Beat in as much flour as you can with the mixer. If it becomes too tough, mix in the remaining dough by hand.
Divide dough in half, cover and chill for 1 hour.
Pre-heat oven to 375'F.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out one of the dough portions to 1/4 inch thick. Using a fluted 3 inch round cookie cutter, cut out the dough. Place dough rounds 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet (I used parchment paper).
Bake cookies for about 8 to 10 minutes (or until the edges look lightly golden).
Transfer cookies to a wire rack and cool. Repeat with second portion of dough.
Once cooled, drizzle or ice the cookies with the eggnog drizzle/icing.

Cookies freeze extremely well. Once the cookies are drizzled with the icing, freeze cookies separately in the freezer, so they don't stick together. Cookies last about 3 months in the freezer. This recipe made about 40 cookies.

Eggnog Drizzle/Icing
Stir 3 cups of icing sugar with 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla. Slowly add in 3-4 tablespoons of eggnog or until you get the right consistency to either drizzle the icing or spread it. (note: I found 3 cups of icing sugar to be too much. I used 1.5 cups and it made plenty icing to ice all the cookies)

Slow Cooker Layered Enchilada Dinner Recipe

As you may have noticed, I've had a lot of baking/cooking time lately! I took off the 4 days between Christmas and New Years and had a goal of baking something and cooking dinner everyday! Along with some cleaning and errands mixed in there. And so far they have been successful! Here is another dinner I made. I love crockpot recipes as you can throw all the ingredients in the morning and not worry about it until it's ready at dinnertime! 
Taste: Pretty flavorful. The corn added a flavor contrast.
Texture: The recipe called for corn tortillas, but I don't like the taste. I think they would have held up a little more. The corn tortillas became mushy, but they still tasted good.
Would I make this again?: Maybe, it didn't totally impress me, but was really easy.
Slow Cooker Layered Enchilada Dinner Recipe
Adapted from Pillsbury

1 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef
1 small onion, chopped (about 1/3 cup)
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 can (4.5 oz) Old El Paso® chopped green chiles
1 can (10 oz) Old El Paso® enchilada sauce
10 corn tortillas (6 inch)
1 bag frozen southwestern flavor corn
3 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (12 oz)

1. In 10-inch skillet, cook ground beef, onion and garlic over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until beef is thoroughly cooked; drain. Stir in soup and chiles.

2. Spray 3 1/2- to 4-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Spread about 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce in bottom of slow cooker. Place 4 corn tortillas over sauce, overlapping and breaking in half as necessary to make an even layer. Top with 1/3 of beef mixture, spreading evenly. Drizzle with about 1/4 cup enchilada sauce. Sprinkle with 1 cup of the cheese and 1/3 of the corn.

3. Repeat layering twice, using 3 corn tortillas and half of remaining beef mixture, enchilada sauce and cheese in each layer. Sprinkle paprika over top.

4. Cover; cook on Low heat setting 4 hours 30 minutes to 5 hours 30 minutes.

5. Let stand about 5 minutes before serving

Nutella and Sea Salt Caramel Chocolate Fudge

I'm obsessed with Nutella and had never made fudge before so this recipe looked like a fun challenge! I used a candy thermometer and made caramel for the first time! It was really fun. The Sea Salt Caramel came out REALLY salty though, but combined with the rest of the "fudge", it was delicious. I say "fudge" because mine never set up and turned into a sticky caramel-y mess. It tasted really good, but was so messy. Not sure what I did wrong, but I chilled it overnight and it still was a mess. Oh well, it was fun to make and tastes really good! 
Taste: The salty caramel combined well with all the other layers. It tasted really delicious all together.
Texture: The caramel layer never set up so it was SO messy. The middle layer was grainy, I must not have dissolved all the sugar or something. And the chocolate on the bottom was so hard I practically need a sledge hammer to cut it. 
Would I make this again?: No, it was kind of a disaster. I would try to combine the flavors some other way.
Nutella and Sea Salt Caramel Chocolate Fudge
makes one 9×9 pan, about 50 pieces

From: She's Becoming Doughmesstic

Bottom Layer
1 cup Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
1/4 cup Milk Chocolate Chips
1/4 cup Nutella

Caramel Layer: Sea Salt Caramel
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1/4 cup sour cream

Middle Layer
4 Tbsp. Butter
1 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Evaporated Milk
1 7 oz. Jar Marshmallow Creme
2 teaspoons Vanilla
1 cup Chopped Hazelnuts

Top Layer
1 cup Milk Chocolate Chips
1/4 cup Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
1/4 cup Nutella

For Top & Bottom Layers:
Heat Chocolate Chips in small bowl in the microwave for 40 seconds. Stir. Reheat additional 30 seconds. Stir. Repeat by heating for 20 second intervals until fully melted. Stir in Nutella until well combined.

For Bottom Layer, pour into Sprayed 9×9 Baking Pan (preferably silicon, or a regular baking pan lined with parchment). Spread evenly until entire level is covered.

Once slightly cooled, top with warm caramel.

Middle Layer:
Make Sea Salt Caramel as follows: 
In a small saucepan, combine the cream and the salt. Simmer over very low heat until the salt is dissolved. set aside.

In a medium saucepan combine the sugar and corn syrup carefully. They will not combine well until the sugar begins to melt. Cook over high heat until an instant-read thermometer reads 350 degrees, 6 to 8 minutes. Without a thermometer, just pull the sugar off the heat when it is a medium goldish brown – it will continue to cook in the heat of the pan. Better to pull it too early than too late. Remove from the heat and let cool for one minute.

Add the cream mixture and the vanilla to the sugar mixture. Whisk in the sour cream. Pour caramel into pan.

Top caramel with chopped nuts.

In a medium pan, melt butter. Add the sugar and evaporated milk. Boil 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and marshmallow creme. Pour mixture evenly over the previous layers.

Top Layer:
Repeat process for bottom layer, and pour evenly over the top of the previous layers.

Refrigerate for 3-4 hours, until firm. Cut into bite sized pieces. Caramel layer will be gooey, keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Oven Hot Dogs

I really love hot dogs. So when I stumbled upon this recipe, I was very excited! You throw all the fixings on your hot dogs and bake them into a mushy goodness! 
Taste: SO delicious! I loved the dill relish with the sweetness of the ketchup. And of course, tons of onions and cheese!
Texture: The bread that wasn't covered in chili got really hard in the oven. Make sure you cover every inch!
Would I make this again?: Yes, and most likely soon!
Oven Hot Dogs

8 hot dogs
8 hot dog buns
1 can of chili (or more)
1/2 an onion, diced
cheddar cheese
dill relish

Line inside of hot dog buns with mayonnaise and relish. Evenly add mustard. Fill with hot dogs and squish into a 13×9″ baking pan.

Top hot dogs with chili, cheese, and diced onion. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350F for 45 minutes.

Spumoni Slice Cookies

I found this Spumoni Cookie recipe and immediately knew I was going to make them for Christmas Eve. Spumoni is an Italian ice cream flavor with pistachio, chocolate, and cherry. The recipe was fun to make all the different flavors. I would recommend more flavor in the chocolate and cherry layers though. But they were really pretty! And my Italian side of the family loved them!
Taste: The pistachio tasted delicious with the nuts and the almond extract.
Texture: It was a pretty good cookie base.
Would I make them again?: Probably not. They were too much work, for very little flavor. I would add cherry extract (if that exists), and another chunk of semi-sweet chocolate.
Spumoni Slices
Adapted from: The Recipe Hoarder

2 1/4 c flour
1/4 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1 c butter, softened
2/3 c sugar
1 egg
1 square semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled (I would use 2 squares)
Green food coloring
1/3 c finely chopped pistachios
Red food coloring (I would add cherry extract)
50 maraschino cherries
1/4 t almond extract

Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the butter, sugar, and egg with an electric mixer set at medium speed. Beat until the mixture is light and creamy, about 3 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to low. Gradually add the flour mixture and mix until smooth.

Divide the dough into three equal pieces.

Stir the melted chocolate into one portion of the dough (I removed the other two portions from the mixer bowl and added the chocolate to this portion using the electric mixer). Set aside.

Add enough green food coloring to the second portion of dough to create a pastel green dough. Knead the dough in your hands to help evenly distribute the coloring. Stir the the pistachios into this portion of the dough as well, then set aside.

Add enough red food coloring to the third portion of dough to create a pink dough. Again, knead the dough in your hands to evenly distribute the coloring. Stir the almond extract and candied cherries into this portion of the dough.

Line an empty wax paper box (12 x 2 x 2) with wax paper. Press the pink dough evenly into the box. Press the chocolate dough into an even layer on top of the pink dough. Create a final layer on top with the green dough. Wrap the box with plastic wrap and chill until firm, at least 3 hours.

Heat the oven to 375°. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Unwrap the chilled dough. Cut the dough into 1/4 inch slices. Place the cookies about 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheet. Bake 7-11 minutes or until just set. Let the cookies rest for 5 minutes before moving to a rack to cool completely.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Hope everyone is spending time with loved ones!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas Eve!!

"Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there."

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Stir Fried Rice Cakes with Rib-Eye (Chao Nian Gao)

We used to have these rice cakes at my grandma's house all the time when we were little! We called them "sticky things" but the real name is Nian Goa. My sister bought these at a Chinese supermarket, and we were very excited to stumble upon this recipe! It's really delicious! It's a different take on stir-fry, but just as good! 
Taste: So delicious! I LOVE soy sauce, and all stir fry, so it was great!
Texture: The rice cakes made everything a little starchy.
Would I make this again?: I think I would make this stir-fry with udon noodles, and use the rice cakes the traditional way (floating in chicken broth, they get really squishy)
Stir Fried Rice Cakes with Rib-Eye (Chao Nian Gao)
Adapted from The Food Addicts

-2 lbs. fresh rice cakes
-1 lb. rib-eye, sliced ½” strips (optional: marinate with 1 tbsp oyster sauce, 1 tbsp soy sauce, and 1 tbsp garlic)
-½ white onion, sliced
-7 cups napa cabbage, sliced

-Mixed bag of vegetables (Onions, Asparagus, Mushrooms)
-1 Tbsp. garlic, minced
-2 Tbsp. soy sauce
-¼ cup oyster sauce
-1 tsp. sesame oil
-Pepper to taste
-2 Tbsp. green onion, sliced (garnish)

1. Soak ovalettes in water for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Break up the rice cakes with your hands if clumped together.
2. Cut rib-eye into ½” strips. If marinate, then add 1 tbsp. soy sauce and 1 Tbsp. oyster sauce. Marinate for at least 30 minutes.
3. In a pan, cook marinated rib-eye over high heat and set aside. About 3-5 minutes. Be careful not to overcook.
4. Heat wok or pan on high heat and add vegetable oil. Sauté vegetables for 2 minutes and garlic until aromatic.
5. Add cabbage and continue to cook for 3 more minutes stirring constantly.
6. Drain ovalettes and add to cabbage mixture. Cook until rice cakes are tender about 3-5 minutes.
7. Add ¼ cup oyster sauce, 2 tablespoons soy sauce and 1 teaspoon of sesame oil. Gently mix together and season with pepper to taste.
8. Plate and garnish with sliced green onions.

Enjoy! See step by step directions with pictures at The Food Addict!

Monday, December 20, 2010

tis the season

... for decorated cookies! 

Found: Bakerella

Friday, December 17, 2010

tis the season

... for ornaments! (I really want to make all of these!!)
Found: i art u

Thursday, December 16, 2010

tis the season

... For Madeleine's Christmas collage!!
See her post here

tis the season

.... for Christmas cookies.
Found: e.kristina

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010