A Monday Ramble ~ 18 March 2013

Just a few rambles for this March Monday ~ 18 March 2013

I decided to finish my Denyse Schmidt quilt I started a month ago. Started out with a pile of charms I received from a Denyse Schmidt Charm Swap and with a few cuts from my own stash I went from this:

dscharms2813

To a 60″x72″ quilt top ready to be sandwiched, quilted and bound.

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But first I must wait to spring my new machine out of layaway prison (should anyone have any money burning a hole in their pocket…she’s sitting at Windy Moon Quilts! ;) ).

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Last week on Facebook I saw this MEYER LEMON LOAF recipe on Mennonite Girls Can Cook.

Oh My Word! It’s very tasty! My husband and I have almost polished off one loaf…I stuck the other on in the freezer.

My loaf isn’t as pretty as theirs…the pan I used was a bit bigger than what they suggested. Use the smaller loaf pan, it’ll look bigger. LOL!

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Over the weekend we went to SWAN LAKE, in Lemmon Valley, to see if we could spy any birds. I walked along the Marsh boardwalk, but it was sorta of disappointing. Besides the sparrows and finches…we saw Mallards, Northern Harriers and Canada Geese. That’s it. I’ve been there before when there were quite a few swans and other water fowl.

Canada Geese

Canada Geese

Such a pretty birdie.

Such a pretty birdie.

Northern Harrier

Northern Harrier

Northern Harrier

Northern Harrier

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Headed up to Frenchman’s Lake too…we like the little day area below the dam.

Creek below Frenchman's Lake.

Creek below Frenchman’s Lake.

Slushy ice behind the dam.

Slushy ice behind the dam.

Older guy fishing.  Looked like everyone was pulling out some fish that day.

Older guy fishing. Looked like everyone was pulling out some fish that day.

Irish Creme Brownies

I made up some brownies for a St. Patrick’s Day luncheon, thought I’d share the recipe. This recipe makes 16 brownies.

Irish Creme Brownies

Ingredients:

4 oz semisweet chocolate (I used one Ghiradelli baking bar)
1/2 cup of butter
1 cup of sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1-3/4 cup flour
3 eggs
1/2 cup Irish Creme (plus some for the glaze)
1/2 cup Powdered Sugar (for glaze)

Preheat your oven to 350F. Spray an 8″x8″ square baking dish with cooking oil spray.

In a medium or large bowl melt chocolate and butter (make-shift double boiler) over medium-high heat.

Once all melted, take off heat, stir in sugar and let it cool down a bit.

In a measuring cup or small bowl beat eggs senseless. Stir in Irish cream and beat again. In another measuring cup/bowl sift together flour, baking powder and salt.

Once your chocolate mixture has cooled a bit add the egg/creme mixture and then beat in the flour mixture until well blended.

Pour batter into the baking dish and bake for 30 minutes.

Cool then slice.

Place your brownies onto a serving dish and then mix 1/2 cup of powdered sugar with enough Irish cream to make a drizzle…take a spoon and drizzle away! Add green sprinkles.

New Recipe to try ~ Stuffed chicken rolls with mushrooms and onions

Ok…originally it was Stuffed VEAL, but I don’t eat veal so I switched to chicken. Pork would be great too! :)

The Sunday’s issue of the Reno Gazette Journal has an insert on What’s For Dinner Tonight? Last Sunday, March 4th, had a yummy looking recipe for Stuffed Veal Rolls with mushrooms and onions. But as I said above, I don’t eat veal so changed it to chicken and next time I’ll try pork chops.

First I’ll give the original recipe and then my substitutions.

Ingredients:

4 thin veal cutlets, about 2 ounces each
1 slice of bread, diced small
2 TBSP freshly grated Parmesan
2 TBSP chopped fresh herbs, such as chives, basil or oregano (optional)
1 tsp coarsely ground Italian seasoning
1/2 TBSP butter
1/2 Cup chopped red onion
1 Cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 TBSP olive oil

Place veal between sheets of waxed paper and pound to 1/8-inch thickness. Mix crumbled bread, Parmesan and herbs in a medium bowl. Sprinkle mixture on each cutlet, then roll and secure with toothpicks. Sprinkle with italian seasoning. Melt butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and mushrooms; cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Move vegetables to the sides. Pour oil in skillet and let heat for about 30 seconds, cook veal rolls, turning often, about 12 minutes or until all sides are evenly browned and rolls register 145 degrees on a meat thermometer. Serves 4.

MY VERSION ~

I used 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts…cut filet style then SMASH SMASH SMASH with a hammer. :) Boy that really feels good.
1 slice of whole wheat bread, crumbled
1/4-1/3 Cup shredded Italian cheese mix (had in frig so used it)
1 tsp EACH of dried oregano, thyme, and Italian flat-leaf parsley (dried from my garden)
1/2 Cup red onion and 1/2 Cup yellow onion
1-1/2 Cup of sliced mushrooms
1/4 Cup plain panko crumbs, plus some for sprinkling over the chicken rolls as they go into the skillet.

I smashed the chicken pieces and then peppered them. In a small bowl I mixed the whole wheat bread, dried herbs, cheese and 1/4 cup panko crumbs…then placed on chicken and rolled, secured.

The rest is the same…only I used 1 TBSP of butter with the veggies as I used more and 1 TBSP olive oil. I cooked the veggies a little longer as I like them caramelized. :) The chicken didn’t take long to cook.

This comes together really fast! Enjoy with a salad or whatever else floats your boat!

Two New Recipes to Try ~

I love trying new recipes…or, just throwing stuff together from the pantry/frig.

Am going to share two of them, one from our local newspaper on 29 January 2012 ~ Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Meatballs. I’ll give you their ingredients and then my extras that I added.

1 small (1.5 pounds) spaghetti squash
1/2 cup water
6 ounces lean ground turkey
1 slice whole wheat bread
1 egg
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cups marinana sauce
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
Chopped fresh oregano

Cut squash in half lengthwise. Place cut side down in microwave safe dish with lid. Add water and seal the lid. Cook on high 8 minutes. Meanwhile, chop bread into tiny dice. In a large bowl, combine turkey, bread crumbs, egg and seasoning. Use your hands to mix well and shape into 2 inch balls. Remove squash from microwave and set aside to cool. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add meatballs and cook, turning often, until cooked through, about 7 minutes. Add sauce and reduce heat to low. When squash is cool enough to handle, remove and discard seeds, then use a fork to scrape out the stringy flesh. Add 3 cups squash to the pan with sauce and meatballs, toss well. Garnish with Parmesan cheese and oregano.

(NO PICTURES – sorry…we dug in and ate it all before I realized I didn’t get any pictures)

MY VERSION of above ~

My squash was pretty dang big. Probably 10″ in length so I cut in quarters, put them flesh down into a pie tin with some water and stuck it in the oven at 450F for 30 minutes. (Not big with microwave)

I mixed 20-oz package of ground turkey with 2 eggs, 1 cup of brown rice (had in the frig from another meal), 3 pieces of Milton’s Multi-grained bread, 1 tsp each of dried oregano, thyme, Italian parsley (from my garden). My mixture made up 20 2″ meatballs…I put them on parchment paper/cookie tin and stuck them in the frig until the squash was done. Scoop the squash into a bowl once cooked.

In a large fry pan I heated up 1 TBSP olive oil and cooked all 20 meatballs (covered)…definitely took longer than 7 minutes. :) Once browned and cooked through I put them on a paper plate and added 1/2 of the spaghetti squash (freeze the other half). Then I made a ring and put 8 meatballs (I froze the rest to use later…even 8 was too many for two of us) into the middle of the squash and poured about 1 cup of my own tomato-basil based sauce over the meatballs, covered to let heat throughout.

Serve with a nice salad…with shaved parmesan over it ALL. :)

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Thai Chicken Pizza (at least my version of it)

I use Pioneer Woman’s basic pizza dough…1/2 teaspoon of yeast over 3/4 cup warm water (in a measuring cup). Mix 2 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 cup of olive oil. Pour in water/yeast and mix. Put in an oiled bowl, cover and let rest for 1-3 hours (if you don’t use it that day it can be kept in the frig for 3 days)

I cut up 2 chicken breasts and put them in a fry pan with a couple of teaspoons of peanut oil and a few splashes of sesame oil…with some fresh ground pepper. Once cooked through I put chicken in a bowl and added about 1/4 cup of Peanut Satay Sauce, set aside.

I shredded 2 carrots, sliced 3 green onions, sliced about 1/2 cup of mushrooms, 1/4 cup of red pepper.

Chopped up about 4 TBSP of unsalted peanuts.

Shredded 1 cup of Pepper Jack cheese and 1 cup Mozzarella.

Heat oven to 500F. Spray a large cookie tin with oil (unless you have a pizza stone)…roll out the dough nice and thin and plop on the cookie tin.

Spread out the rest of the jar of Peanut sauce, then add 1/2 of cheese. Next layer on the chicken, veggies, rest of cheese and top with peanuts.

Stick in oven for 10-15 minutes, slice and serve. I like to shake on crushed red peppers.

Thanksgiving Quiche and Winter Squash Bisque Recipes

I’m in a group of twelve women, at work, that meet once a month for a potluck lunch. It was my turn as the ring-leader today. I did some searching online to find a few different items that I could make to add with a salad, rolls and dessert. I found a Thanksgiving Quiche from Hillbilly Housewife (is that a cool name or what?) that uses stuffing for the crust of the Quiche! It was a HUGE hit! Also great for all those leftovers from Thanksgiving.

I pretty much followed her recipe and used the following:

3 cups cornbread stuffing with one egg for crust
layered 1 cup of chopped cooked turkey breast
1.5 cups of shredded swiss, cheddar and Monterrey cheese
1 cup of sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup of sliced green onions
then mixed up 4 eggs with 1 cup of non-fat half and half

I wanted to make a soup/bisque to add with the Quiche. Couldn’t really find one that sounded “great” so I combined a few recipes with some ingredients I had on-hand. This recipe served 16 people with small bowls…so if you have nice size bowls at home, 8-10 people would be a good guess.

Winter Squash Bisque

1 Butternut squash, quartered and seeded
1 Acorn squash, halved and seeded
1 large Sweet Potato, halved and wrapped in foil
4 large carrots, chopped (leave skin on)

Place squash upside down in a roasting pan with water in it…throw in the potato and carrots too. Roast in a 425F oven for 45 minutes.

In a stock pot saute, in 1/4-1/2 cup of butter, the following:

2-3 green apples, peeled cored and chopped
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
4-5 stocks celery, chopped
Fresh Ginger, shredded (I used one the size of my thumb…2″ long?)

Add scooped out squash meat, carrots and sweet potato. Cover with 6+ cups of either veggie or chicken stock. Bring to boil then simmer for 30 minutes.

I don’t have a large food processor nor an immersion blender…so the whole kit n’ kaboodle went into my blender, which took me a bit longer to smash everything together. Once I got it all smooth I added my spices:

1-2 teaspoons of Cayenne Pepper
1 teaspoon of Nutmeg
1 teaspoon of Kosher Salt
LOTS of Fresh ground pepper

It all goes back into the pot to simmer until it’s time to eat. You can add more stock until it’s as thin or thick as you want it to be. This is pretty creamy without cream or milk…but you could add some Almond Milk if you’d like.

Jalapeno Popper Egg Rolls

At Wooster High School’s all-class reunion earlier this month I had a jalapeno popper in wonton skins…they were delish! Didn’t have any wonton skins at home, but I did have egg roll wraps, jalapenos and Neufchatel cheese.

First I roasted the peppers under the broiler, skinned, de-ribbed and seed, then diced them. Mix the peppers with one package of Neufchatel cheese.

Take a spoonful of the mixture and put it in the center of the skin, fold up and tug snug, then flip over the two sides. Add water or egg to the top part and roll up.

Put them on a a cookie tin lined with parchment paper…stick them in the freezer for about 20 minutes to set up.

Brush lightly with olive oil and place in a 400F oven for 10 minutes. Or you can fry them.

I used 9 big ole fat jalapenos…me thinks I should have used two packages of cheese with all of those peppers! Mouth is a bit warm. :)

My Recipe Book App for iPad

So…as a few of you may already know, I have an iPad 2. (The big boy behind my iPad is my lovely, lovely, lovely 27″ iMac here at work. I love him very very very much. I’m always trying to figure out how to take him home without being caught. Big sigh.)

I’ve downloaded a lot of free apps onto it…but by far my “favoritist” is a $2.99 app called MY RECIPE BOOK.

You can enter your own recipes (yeah!) or download recipes off of the internet. I’ve been a busy bee adding all of my recipes scribbled on scraps of paper. Once that is finished, I’ll tackle my favorite and most used recipes out of my cookbooks.

You just click on the + ADD RECIPE link on the left and it takes you to this screen:

After you add the name of your recipe, where it came from, basic yield, prep/cook times and categories ~ you click on the Ingredients and this nifty screen comes up:

You then add the amounts with what will remind you of a slot machine going around and the measurements with the ingredient’s name. You’ll hit save and add another until you are finished then hit save. That will bring you to the screen to type in your directions. Hit save and TA-DA!

Then when you hit the wee grocery cart:

You get a GROCERY LIST to take with you to the store! You can take the iPad with you or print it out. The neat thing about this app is, you don’t need to be on wi-fi or 3G to access it! :) So if you’re at the store and can’t remember everything to make my beautiful friend April’s Zucchini Bisque? You can just tap on the recipe and there it is! :)

Well…this picture actually is the list for my sister-in-law’s Cranberry Relish. Hee.

Rambling Monday ~ 24 October 2011

Wow…it’s been a week since I posted anything.

Friday night, while my husband had boxing on, I prepped a lot of hexies so I can start making flowers again.

Spent Saturday up in Virginia City and then at Bowers Mansion. It was supposed to be cooler up in VC…but they lied. We wandered over to our favorite park up there to play a game of cribbage and frisbee. OH! That reminds me…if’n you’re ever in the need of a GREAT frisbee that just ‘feels’ right? Look no further than Del Sol! Just love that frisbee!

Then over to Bowers Mansion for a couple of games of horseshoes and to walk around.

(pictures taken from my Blackberry Torch…not my regular camera)


View looking down at Washoe Lake from the horseshoe pits.
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View looking up while laying in the leaves.
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View looking up to where the horseshoe pits are.
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Virginia Creeper on the wooden fence around the old hot springs swimming pool.
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After getting back from our outing I started washing the box of Macintosh apples I got from Apple Hill so I could make applesauce.

I used a recipe I found online at Simple Bites…posted by Aimee on 29 Sept 2010. I liked the idea of leaving the skin on while cooking the apples!

CLASSIC APPLESAUCE RECIPE

I added two cinnamon sticks, two vanilla beans and two cups of apple cider with my apples.

Here is some of the finished pint jars of applesauce ~ it’s very tasty! Thanks, Aimee!

Mediterranean Salad with Grilled Greek Chicken

Today was my time to feed a group of 12 women at work (a monthly luncheon)…I’m pretty new to the group so was nervous as to what to make. Will they like it? Did I make enough? Wonder how long it would take Jimmy John’s to get a bunch of sandwiches up to our conference room? ACK!

I decided on a Greek theme, and picked out recipes that I can serve cold or at room temperature! I found recipes from Giada De Laurentiis, Rachael Ray, Ina Garten, and Jamie Oliver. Used a marinade of Rachael’s for the grilled chicken. Giada’s Mediterranean salad, and a meld of Ina’s and Jamie’s Greek Salad. Throw in some pita bread and a lemon cake, from another group member, and we had an AWESOME lunch!

Start with the marinade:

1 large tub of Greek Yogurt
2 tsp ground Cumin
2 tsp ground Coriander
2 tsp dried Greek Oregano and Basil (I used my dried herbs from my garden)
1 package of frozen chicken breast tenders

Mix all together and put in large ziplock bag, stick in frig overnight. Either grill on the bbq, or put under the broiler, like I had to as it was raining out last night.

Next, Giada’s Mediterranean Salad:

3 Tbsp Olive Oil (plus about 1/4 cup)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound Israeli couscous
3 C chicken broth
2 lemons, juiced
1 lemon, zested
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 C chopped FRESH basil
1/2 C chopped FRESH mint
1/4 C craisins (dried cranberries)
1/4 C toasted pine nuts (she says to use silvered almonds, toasted)

In a medium saucepan, warm 3 TBSP olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the couscous and cook until toasted and lightly browned, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add broth, and the juice of 1 lemon, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, covered, until the couscous is tender, but still firm to the bite. About 8 minutes. Drain the couscous.

In a large bowl, toss the couscous with about 1/8 C of olive oil, remaining lemon juice, zest, salt and pepper, pine nuts and craisins and let cool. Once couscous it at room temperature, add the fresh herbs. Toss to combine and serve. (I made this up the night before and took it out of the frig about an hour before serving).

Now for a blend of Ina’s and Jamie’s Greek Salad:
8 cups of halved grape tomatoes ( I used yellow and red)
1 med-lrg red onion, thinly sliced
1 english (seedless) cucumber, cut thickly
handful (1/4-1/2 cup) fresh mint, chopped
handful (1/4-1/2 cup) fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
12 Greek Kalamata olives, crushed by hand
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
8-10 TBSP Olive oil
1/4 C Garlic Red Wine Vinegar
1 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp pepper
feta cheese, crumbled

Throw all ingredients together (except last five) in a large bowl. Put in frig until 1 hour before serving. Mixed olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper together…pour over salad one hour before serving, toss well.   Sprinkle the top with dried oregano and basil.  Let everyone sprinkle feta over their salad…as much as they like!

Beef Stroganoff Recipe ~ adapted from Paula Deen 2008 recipe

We had leftover Kinders Ball Tip Steak to use up…thought beef stroganoff sounded good. So I quickly googled and found Paula Deen’s recipe.

Her recipe follows…with my adaptions in (BOLD):

1-1/2 pounds cubed round steak, cut into thin strips (probably 2 cups sliced bbq’d ball tip steak)
House seasoning, recipe follows (1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper, 1/2 tsp garlic powder)
flour (TBSP worth)
2 TBSP olive oil
2 TBSP butter (1 TBSP unsalted butter)
1 medium onion, sliced
8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 10 oz can beef broth (fat free & low sodium)
1 10 oz can cream of mushroom soup
salt and black pepper (just the pepper)
1 cup sour cream (1/2 cup fat free sour cream)
cooked egg noodles

House Seasoning: (did not use!)
1 cup salt
1/2 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder
Mix the ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Directions:

Season the steak strips with house seasoning, then dust with flour. (I used flour, pepper, and garlic powder). In a large skillet, quickly brown them on both sides in the olive oil and butter. Remove (I did not…just pushed to one side) steak from the pan. Add the onion slices and mushrooms to the pan drippings. Saute for a few minutes, until the onion is tender. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon flour. Put steak back into the pan with the onion and mushrooms. Add the mushroom soup and beef broth. Cook over low heat for about 30 minutes, covered. Adjust seasoning to taste, adding salt and pepper (doesn’t need it!) , as needed. Stir in the sour cream the last few minutes, right before you serve. Serve over cooked noodles.

This is an AWESOME recipe! Very tasty! My husband asked for seconds!