Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Meringues

This one is out of my blue note book. The typeface is very YM or Teen Mag and it's a really easy recipe, so I am guessing it's prolly from those days.
Merry Meringues
4egg whites
pinch of salt
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
Red & green sprinkles
Preheat oven to 200 F. In a large bowl, beat together egg whites and salt with an electric mixer at medium-low speed until frothy. Increase speed to medium , then pour in 1/2 cup sugar in a slow stream and beat until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in remaining sugar with a spatula. Pipe meringue mixture into desired shapes using a pastry bag fitted with a No. 22 tip. Cover with Sprinkles. Bake for 2 hours or until dry. Makes 6 dozen.
I cheated and added a little bit of peppermint extract to them to make them taste more fun
Comments: The commentator hasn't tasted them yet, but they look beautiful and I can't wait to put them out tomorrow for Christmas. I will edit this with feed back comments after they have been sampled.
Technical stuff: makes about 6 dozen

Difficulty: really easy. super duper easy. but you have to be patient - long baking time.
Served with: Xmas Beverage of your choice, mine are going with peppermint schnapps spiked mochas.
Reheat Well?: They last for a long time.
Comments: The Chief commentator LOVED them, they are his new favorite thing to eat (this week!)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Rocky Road

I wish I would have taken a better photo of this before it was all wrapped. I made a huge batch and gave out a bunch of it for the chief commentator's kids teacher gifts. I also wrapped up a bunch and gave it out as gifts to my girlfriends.

Effortless item to make. It was from a Borden Eagle Brand Magazine Ad, that had a recipe for foolproof fudge or Rockey road. The page was cut out of Better Homes and Garden's Magazine April 1982.

Eagle Brand Rocky Road

12 oz semi-sweet chips
1 (14oz) can Sweetened Condensed Milk - NOT EVAPORATED MILK
Dash Salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used almonds)
2 tablespoons butter
10 1/2 oz marshmallow minis

in heavy saucepan, over low heat melt chocolate with milk, remove from heat and mix in: butter, salt and vanilla.

place marshmallows & nuts in greased 13x9 lined pan. pour chocolate mix over top and mix well. Press into pan. Chill 2 hours before cutting.

Technical stuff: makes a large pan or 1 3/4 pounds of candy.

Difficulty: easy, just make sure to pay attention to the chocolate and don't burn it.

Served with: what ever you choose. I like mine with some port or coffee

Reheat Well?: refridgerates well, and lasts.

Comments: The Chief commentator liked it a lot. He wishes I would have poured ribbons of carmel in it as well. maybe next time. Both of the teachers and all my recipients loved it too.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Cold Rice Salad

This is a recipe my mom made a lot when I was a kid. I am guessing I put a copy in the book because I liked it. I remember eatting it a lot and occassionally making it too.
Cold Rice Salad
2 cups each: cooked long grain white rice
cooked wild rice
1 cup each of the following
Onion - white or purple
Red Bell Pepper
Green Bell Pepper
1 15oz can each:
Garbanzo Beans
Red Beans
Black Eyed Peas
(drained and rinsed before mixing)
1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons chopped Garlic
Tabasco Sauce to taste start with 1/2 teaspoon
Mix in a shaker cup.
Fold all ingredients together in large bowl.
Shake vinegrette and drizzle over salad
Salt and pepper to taste, stir a little
Chill a few hours or overnight is best.
Technical stuff: makes a lot. you can easily 1/2 the recipe and still have plenty
Difficulty: really easy. even easier with a rice cooker
Served with: We had ours with chicken
Reheat Well?: Lasts for several days, and I think it improves after sitting and absorbing the dressing.
Comments: The Chief commentator who loves rice, says this is a staple he could eat every week, which is good because we always make too much rice. Its good. I always add a dash of lemon juice to my bowl and way more tabasco... but I am like that.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Red & White Cabbage Slaw

This one is from my blue notebook. It's got Marie Claire at the top of the page and credits Gillian Duffy in the byline.

Red and White Cabbage Slaw:

1/4 cup cider vinegar
5 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons whole grain dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 small red cabbage (about 10 oz) cored and shredded
1/2 small white cabbage (about 10 oz) cored and shredded
1 large carrot peeled and grated
1/2 medium red onion thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped parsley

In a large bowl mix together the vinegar, sugar, mustard and celery seeds; season with salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in the oil.

Add shredded cabbage, carrot, onion and parsley and toss together until coated with dressing. This keeps well and can be made one day ahead.

Technical stuff: makes as a starter enough for at least 4

Difficulty: simple!

Served with: Chicken Paillard

Reheat Well?: stayed crisp after dressed for at least a day

Comments: Cheif Commentators words: new favorite! He loved the spice and tang with a hint of sweetness in the dressing. He also liked how it all stood up to the dressing and didn't wilt. I liked it but would put less sugar in next time, as I prefer my dressings more tart.

Holiday House Cranberry Salad

I will start off this note by saying the Chief Commentator was not available to do my photo, therefore forgive me for the image above, it certainly doesn't put the dish in any better light.. pun intended.

This one is yet another from the magical envelope of jello dishes out of Grandma Melusines Largest Index box... I love fresh cranberries, and since they are in season, I figured I would knock out a bunch of recipes using them, while the getting is good.

Let's consider this recipe "down for the count"

Holiday House Cranberry Salad

1 (6oz) pack orange jello

2 2/3 c boiling water

2 Tabs Sugar

1 1/4 c cranberries, ground

1/2 c celery, finely chopped

1 cup crushed pineapple

2/3 cup chopped pecans

Dissolve gelatin in boiling water in large bowl. Stirl in sugar, cranberries, celery, pineapple and pecans. Mix well. Pour into an 8" square pan. Chill until set. Cut into squares. Makes 12 servings.

Technical stuff: makes 12 servings
Difficulty: it's jello with a bunch of junk in it.. what do you think?
Served with: some hot tea
Reheat Well?: Didn't heat it, but consistance gets better over time
Comments: Cheif Commentators words: Not his favorite. He didn't like how tart the cranberries were. I LOVED the cranberries, but couldn't stand the celery in it. The orange jellow with pineapple proved to be a great base tho. The half pint commentators weren't overly thrilled by this one either, mostly saying they prefer the kind with marshmallows and whipped cream... well - don't you agree?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Lamb Roast with Polenta and Vegetables with red wine reduction

I am not 100% certain the where about of how this recipe came to be, except to say that it’s written in my handwriting, and stuck in my notebook. I have made it several times in the past, occasionally I use Lamb Shank and cook it in a pan rather than a roast because it’s quicker. That being said…

What I am 100% certain about, is when you finish making this recipe, the meat is fall apart tender, and mouth wateringly delicious.

Lamb Roast with Polenta and Vegetables with red wine reduction

3-4 lb Lamb Roast, Tied
2 Meyer lemons, sliced
3-4 fresh sprigs of each
Sea Salt & fresh cracked pepper to taste
Hint of olive oil

Place lamb in Dutch Oven rub olive oil over skin and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Lay sliced lemons around and on top of lamb & sprinkle sprigs of herbs over top. Cover and place in Preheated oven at 325 degrees for 20 minutes per pound.

Vegetables with red wine reduction:
1 large red bell pepper - diced
3 cloves garlic - minced
2 shallots - minced
2 carrots - diced
4 stalks celery –diced
1 sprig rosemary
3 sprig Thyme
Handful of sage
28 oz of diced tomatoes (I used canned)
2 cups wine (red)
2 Tablespoons dry chicken bouillon
Tablespoon of Olive oil
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Cracked black pepper (to taste)
¼ cup Reserve of juice from lamb pan

Heat Oil in pan and add Shallots and Garlic, sweat until clear.
Add in all other veggies (except tomatoes) and turn a few times to coat. Slowly add tomatoes and wine. Bring to boil. Sprinkle in bouillon & Stirl to mix well.

Chop fresh herbs and blend into sauce, turn to simmer. Stirring occasionally, leave to simmer with lid on until Lamb is ready from oven. After removing lamb from oven, stir in ¼ cup juices from pan and the 2 Tablespoons vinegar. Bring back to boil for 2-3 minutes stirring continuously.

1 cup dry polenta
2 cups H2o
1 Tab chicken bouillon
2 cups milk
2 Tab butter
¼ cup grated parmesan

In pot, mix polenta, bouillon, butter and water, bring to a boil, while whisking constantly, add milk and continue to whisk until cooked.

Let the lamb rest for a few minutes while you finish up the sauce (with the juices from the pan) and make the polenta.

Spoon some of the reduction sauce onto the plate, top with the lamb and a little lemon slice. Place the polenta on the side, so the juices of the sauce also run into the polenta.

Serve with lots of crusty French bread for sopping up the amazing sauce.

Technical stuff: makes 6 servings
Difficulty: Moderate, there are more steps here than most of my recipies, but well worth it
Served with: it's a complete meal but you could easily just serve the polenta
Reheat Well?: Yup. yup. yup.
Comments: Cheif Commentators words: could easily eat it at least twice a month, if not once a week. The polenta was GREAT and reheated well with left over sauce. Spice of the sauce really highlighted the polenta. Comfort food for a cold day, without being overly heavy.

yup. it's a keeper.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Giant Snickerdoodles

Another one from Grandma Melusine. There is a whole envelope of recipes that are dessert or jello and this one is one of them!
Giant Snickerdoodles
1 cup butter - softened
1 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 eggs
2 2/3 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinammon
On medium speed cream butter with 1 1/2 cups sugar, eggs beat til fluffly. Use another bowl for flour, cream of tartar, soda and salt. Add creamed mix, stir. Refrigerate for 30 mins.
Preheat oven to 375, mix 2 tablespoons sugar and cinnamon. Shape dough 1" balls. Place 3" apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 12-15 mins. put on wire racks, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
Technical stuff: makes quite a few. (sorry I didn't count)

Difficulty: easy
Served with: Hot tea.
Reheat Well?: They last for a long time.
Comments: The Chief commentator and the kids rolled them out. Some of the easiest batter to work with that I have ever seen. smelled amazing. tasted amazing. Way better than anything you can buy in the store. I am not a huge snickerdoodle fan, but the 'experts' all adored them.