August: Potlucks!

August Theme: Potlucks. What do you take with you?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Meatballs with Cream Sauce

1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 c. milk
2 T. ketchup
1 t. Worcestershire sauce
3/4 c. quick cooking oats
1/4 c. finely chopped onion
1/4 c. minced fresh parsley
1 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
3 T. flour

Cream Sauce:
2 T. butter
2 T. flour
1/4 t. dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste
14 oz. chicken broth
2/3 c. heavy whipping cream
2 T. minced fresh parsley

1. In a large bowl, combine the first nine ingredients. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into 1 1/2" balls. Roll in flour, shaking off excess. Place 1" apart on greased 15x10x1" baking pans.
2. Bake uncovered at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Turn meatballs, bake 12-15 minutes longer or until meat is no longer pink.
3. Meanwhile, for sauce, melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour, thyme, salt and pepper until smooth. Gradually add broth and cream. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
4. Drain meatballs on paper towels; transfer to a serving dish. Top with sauce; sprinkle with parsley.

*You can also put the shaped meatballs on a rack in a shallow baking pan. Bake at 400 degrees until no longer pink, about 20 minutes.
**Serve over mashed potatoes!

Garden Saute

It will be that time pretty soon to start cooking with all those fresh veggies! When I made this the first time, I didn't have all of those herbs so I used a lot of oregano, basil, pepper, and salt and it was still great.

1/4 c. chopped red onion (white works fine too)
1 garlic clove, minced
2 t. olive oil
1 medium yellow summer squash, sliced
1 medium zucchini, sliced
1/2 c. sliced fresh mushrooms
1 medium tomato, cut into wedges
1/4 c. chopped celery
1/2 t. lemon juice
1/4 t. dried rosemary, crushed
1/4 t. dill weed
1/4 t. Italian seasoning
1/8 t. fennel seed
1/8 t. pepper

1. In a large skillet coated with nonstick cooking spray, saute onion and garlic in oil until tender. Add the remaining ingredients; gently stir. Cover and cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Chicken & Cheese Flautas

1 c. Mont Jack cheese, shredded
3/4 c. shredded cooked chicken
1 T. cumin, to taste
6 tortillas, heated
1/3 c. salsa
4 t. oil

1. Combine cheese, chicken and cumin.
2. Place 1/4 c. mix on tortilla topped with salsa and roll up tight. Brush with oil.
3. Cook over medium heat 4-6 minutes, turning to brown evenly.
4. Serve with guacamole and sour cream and salsa for dipping.
6 flautas, 3 servings, 410 calories each

Rigatoni "D"

This is a delicious pasta dish from a restaurant called Maggiano's in Atlanta. My sister made it for a me a few weeks ago and I am now a huge fan. My only advice is cook it according to directions, but then take it off the heat and wait for it to cool down and thicken a little bit. I am also giving you the trimmed down recipe, enough for 4 people. (Or 2 at dinner and 2 for lunch!)

2 T. olive oil
1/2 package button mushrooms
1/2 onion, chopped
1 t. garlic, minced
salt and pepper
1/2 lb. chicken breast, cut into 1" pieces
1/2 c. chicken stock
1/4 c. Marsala wine
1/8 c. White wine
1 1/2 c. heavy cream
1/2 lb. rigatoni pastas
1/2 T. fresh basil, chopped
1 T. parmesan cheese, grated
2 T. garlic butter

1. Heat oil.
2. Saute mushrooms, onion and garlic. Brown lightly.
3. Season with lots of salt and pepper.
4. Add chicken.
5. Add chicken stock and both wines. Cook until reduced by half.
6. Add cream and bring to a boil.
7. Turn down heat and simmer to skim away any impurities.
8. Cook rigatoni al dente.
9. Add drained rigatoni to chicken mixture in pan and finish with adding basil, parmesan cheese, garlic butter and salt & pepper.
10. Place heaping amount in pasta bowl and garnish with parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Hot Milk Sponge Cake

This is a yummy, LOW FAT cake!! We're having it tonight with strawberries and whipped cream made from powdered milk. Mmm!

2 eggs (stand at room temp. for 1/2 hour)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 T butter

Grease 9x9 inch baking pan, and set oven to 350F. Stir together flour and baking powder and set aside.

Beat eggs on high in a medium bowl for about 4 minutes or until they are thick. Gradually add the sugar, beating on medium for 4 to 5 minutes, or until ight and fluffy. add the flour mixture, and beat on low until just combined.

In a small saucepan heat and stir milk and butter until butter melts, then add to batter, beating on low until combined. Pour batter into pan and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

I found this delicious recipe in the Cook's Country magazine. I thought it turned out well for being reduced-fat. :) I did use a different cream cheese frosting, because I didn't have the marshmallow cream. Anyway- enjoy!

Reduced-Fat Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 (4 oz) jar carrot baby food (or about 4 oz apple sauce)
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup oil
1 pound carrots, peeled and shredded (about 4-5 carrots)

1. Heat oven to 350 and lightly grease 9x13 pan.
2. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt in large bowl. Mix and beat eggs, baby food, and sugar until smooth and creamy, 1-2 minutes. With mixer running, slowly add oil and mix until thoroughly incorporated, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary, and mix until nearly smooth. Fold in carrots.
3. Spread batter in prepared pan and bake 24-28 minutes. Once cooled, spread on frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup marshmallow creme
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup confectioners sugar

Mix together cream cheese, marshmallow creme, and vanilla. Sift sugar over mixture and beat on low until smooth, about one minute. Frost cooled cake.

Alternate Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
4 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cube butter
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar

Mix... if too dry add 2 or 3 tsp water.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Luscious Lemon Bars

I am totally not ashamed to assert that these are probably some of the bestest lemon bars you will ever eat!

For Crust:
1 C butter melted (don't use margarine, it's just not the same!)
Dash salt
½ c sugar
2 c flour

Combine and press into greased 9x13” pan. Bake for 15 minutes at 350.

For Filling:
2c sugar
¼ c flour
4 beaten eggs
7-8T lemon juice (fresh squeezed lemon juice is best, but concentrated is good, too)
2 ¼ T cornstarch (add in after everything else is mixed)

Combine and pour onto crust. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 until firm but not dry. Cool completely and sprinkle with powdered sugar (or not) and cut into squares. Enjoy gooey lemony goodness!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Whipped Topping from Powdered Milk

I've been using my food storage powdered milk for everything except for drinking. Bryninn and I made this to go with our strawberries the other night, and it's pretty good!

Mix 1/2 cup powdered milk with 1/2 cup cold water. Beat to soft peak stage (4 minutes at medium-high). Add 1/2 teaspoon lemon or vanilla extract, and beat 6-7 minutes at the same speed. Add 2 tablespoons sugar and beat for one minute at medium-high and enjoy!

Coconut Rice Custard

1 13.5oz can unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup plus 2/3 cup sugar
1 cup long-grain white rice
3 cups half-and-half (I used powdered milk, and added a little more powder to make it creamy)
5 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Heat oven to 325F. Bring coconut milk, water, and 1/4 cup of the sugar to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir in the rice, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer gently until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed (about 20 min). Meanwhie, warm the half-and-half in a small saucepan over medium heat, but do not allow to boil. Whisk together the eggs, vanilla, and remaining sugar, and pour the warm half and half into the eggs mixture, whisking constantly. Skim off any foam that rises, and stir in the rice. Transfer to an 8x8 baking dish, then place that dish into a large roasting pan or baking dish and put in the oven. Add enough hot water to the larger pan to reach halfway up the sides of the smaller dish. Bake until custard is set (about 1 hour). This is good served warm or cold!

Cake Mix Turned Fantastic!

I just got this book this week and it is SO fun! I have an addiction that can only be cured by making cupcakes for everything I can think of. I just made an Easter egg basket bunch for a baby shower, which-- of course I didn't take any pictures of. But I tried out a tweaked recipe that was awesome!
Perfect Cake-Mix Cupcakes
"You can use any standard cake mix, but avoid those with pudding in the mix and steer clear of lighter cake mixes such as angel food cake, since cupcake projects need a firm cake that will hold up when it's decorated. If you don't have buttermilk on hand, you can make a fair substitution by adding 1 tablespoon lemon juice to 1 cup whole milk. Let it sit for about 10 minutes to sour. (Actual buttermilk is better!)"

1 box cake mix
1 c. buttermilk (in place of the water called for on the box)
vegetable oil (the regular amount on the box)
4 large eggs (in place of the number called for on the box)

1. Preheat oven to 350*F. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.
2. Follow the box instructions, putting all the ingredients in a large bowl and using the buttermilk in place of the water specified (the box will call for more water than the amount of buttermilk that you are using), using the amount of vegetable oil that is called for (typically, white or yellow cakes call for 1/3 c.; the chocolate cakes usually call for 1/2 c.), and adding the eggs. Beat with an electric mixer until moistened, about 30 seconds. Increase the speed to high and beat until thick, 2 minutes longer.
3. Spoon half of the batter into a ziplock bag. Snip a 1/4" corner from the bag and fill the paper liners 2/3 full. Repeat with the remaining batter. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 15-20 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the baking pans, place on wire rack and allow to cool completely.

* I learned that you should never open the oven door to peek at the cupcakes before 15 minutes is up or you will let the air out and they will sink!!
**I also learned that you need to always use room temperature butter when making your own cake mix, and to always cream it together thoroughly.
***But when it comes to mixing the wet and the dry, only mix until it is combined.
****Lastly, always tap the bottom of your cupcake pan to get any air bubbles out so they will puff up nice and even!!