Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Countdown to 2015: Best Desserts of 2014


Hi again everyone

It's another day of the countdown to 2015 hosted by Sarah over at Fantastical Sharing of Recipes in conjunction with Secret Recipe Club. Today's theme is Desserts and I really had an awesome amount of desserts this year. We got a new ice cream machine as a wedding gift, which has really upped my dessert repertoire. Check them out

 


From top left going clockwise we have:

Watermelon Sorbet
Three Layer Christmas Jello
Peach Sorbet
Greek Yogurt Souffle
French Vanilla Ice Cream
Tofu Chocolate Pudding
Lemon Meringue Pie
Orange Olive Oil Cake

Thanks for looking. See you in 2015

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Countdown to 2015: Best Main Dishes of 2014


Hi again readers.

It's another day of my countdown to 2015, hosted by Sarah at Fantastical Sharing of Recipes in conjunction with Secret Recipe Club. Today's theme is main dishes and boy did I make a lot of those this year. I used to make bits and pieces (a lot more baking) but this year I've made a lot more whole meals. We were saving for the wedding and started eating at home a lot more often than before. It's a wonderful habit to get into, but it really shows on my blog. There are so many tiles in this post I can barely keep track.


Starting the top left and going clockwise we have:

Ginger Cilantro Whole Roasted Snapper
Vietnamese Noodle Bowl with Fish Sauce Dressing
Beet and Goat Cheese Ravioli
Spaghetti Carbonara
Enchilada Bake
Sweet Potato, Lentil and Sausage Stew
Lebanese Stuffed Eggplant
Thanksgiving Turkey Burgers
Coq au Vin
Spinach and Butternut Squash Ravioli
Milk Braised Chicken

Thanks for all the great views. See you tomorrow and in 2015

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Countdown to 2015: Best Crockpot Dishes of 2014




Hey again readers.

I'm back with another day of my 2015 countdown, hosted by Sarah at Fantastical Sharing of Recipes. Today's them is Crockpot dishes. I realized after making my collage that I really hadn't made that many crockpot dishes in 2014. I really need to change that this year!

In the meantime, check out my crockpot recipes from 2014

 

Pictured recipes are:

Asian Style Pulled Pork
Chili from Dry Beans
Split Pea and Ham Soup

Thanks again. Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow and in 2015.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Countdown to 2015: Best Breakfast Recipes of 2014

Hello everyone.

This year I'm trying something a little different as my New Year retrospective. Sarah over at Fantastical Sharing of Recipes participates in this yearly countdown to reflect on your best recipes of the year, make an awesome collage and see other folks "Best of" list. It's a great way to find some amazing new recipes to try. Today's theme is Breakfast. Yum.



I've never been very good at keeping up a blog in the past but this year has been different. This year I got accepted to Secret Recipe Club and it really has changed everything. Now I look forward to blogging recipes from other bloggers, posting new things for others to try and basically being part of a community. I really feel so fortunate that I discovered this group in 2014.

I've had so many great things happen in 2014. I got married to my best friend in the world, our families are still in great health and we maintained a lot of great friendships. I can't wait to see what 2015 has in store (for food, otherwise, and the combination of the two).

 
 

I didn't realize just how many breakfast recipes I had this year. Starting from the top right and going clockwise we have the following:

Salad Lyonnaise
Apple Aebleskiver
Spinach and Ricotta Quiche with Quinoa Crust
Breakfast Crescent Rolls
Sourdough Hot Cross Buns
Cranberry Apple Streusel Coffee Cake
My Husband's family Irish Soda Bread

Thanks so much! See you in 2015

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Breakfast Crescent Roll



I saw this recipe on Pinterest and thought it was absolutely amazing. This is the kind of thing I could never come up with on my own. I never ate crescent rolls growing up. It would never occur to me to purchase them. But my husband grew up with them on the dinner table so we will purchase them from time to time.

I wasn't expecting much from this dish, but they are delicious. They are super buttery (so this is just a once in a while dish) and versatile. I use whatever leftovers I seem to have in the fridge when making these and just serve it with a nice salad. Best of all, this is a great dish for a lazy dinner as well when you just can't muster the energy to make real food.

Give it a shot. I'm sure you'll like it.

Breakfast Crescent Rolls
Ingredients

  • 1 can Pillsbury crescent rolls
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 strips of bacon, half cooked
  • a couple slices of onion
  • Parmesan cheese
  • basil/herbs
  • salt and pepper
Directions
  1. Roll out the crescent rolls and divide into 4 rectangles
  2. Pinch the sides slightly to create a lip. Place bacon and onion and crack an egg in the center
  3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, Add fresh herbs and cheese
  4. Bake at 375 for about 12 minutes. Check after 10 minutes, depending on how firm you like your eggs. The white should be cooked and the yolk should be firm, but soft
  5. Eat immediately with a light salad or fruit.


Thursday, December 18, 2014

French Onion Soup


I'm sick. Or I'm getting sick. My husband has left me at home alone while he goes out for a holiday party without me. He has left me to fend for myself like an injured animal in the wilderness.

Except injured animals don't have leftover French onion soup in the freezer they can defrost and heat up at a moment's notice.

Chicken noodle soup might have been better, but this is still pretty delicious. I love french onion soup any time of year from its richness, the sweetness, the cheese, etc. It's perfect, easy and quite cheap to make. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Like all of my recipes, this isn't so much a recipe as a baseline. It changes from time to time depending on what I have in stock,

Now if you excuse me, I need to go blow my nose, cough up a lung and make a pot of ginger tea.

French Onion Soup
Ingredients
  • 10 cups sliced sweet onions (about 5 Oso or Maui onions)
  • 3 or 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 or 3 Tbsp butter
  • a few sprigs fresh time
  • 1 tsp caraway seed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup wine (red or white... it won't really matter in the end)
  • about 2 1/2 quarts stock (I use half an half beef and chicken but most people prefer all beef)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • stale french bread
  • gruyere or swiss cheese

Direction
  1. Melt butter over medium low heat in a dutch oven. Add onions, garlic, bay leaf, thyme and caraway and cook down until the onions are well caramelized (a couple hours, give or take). Leave them alone on lower heat, but make sure they don't burn.
  2. Deglaze the pot with wine  and cook down slightly.  Add stock. Season soup to taste
  3. Simmer soup for an hour or so until flavors come together.
  4. Pour soup into ramekins or oven safe mugs. Top with a toast point and cheese. Place under the broiler just until the cheese melts and browns slightly.
  5. Eat immediately with gusto. Enjoy




Sunday, December 14, 2014

Secret Recipe Club: Sesame Seed Cookies


It's time for a special installment of the Secret Recipe Club.


As you all know, Secret Recipe Club is a weekly collection of recipes from a great group of bloggers. Every Monday, the particular group makes a recipe from another member (in secret, of course) and reveals it on the given day. It's great fun and you get to learn about some great recipes and amazing blogs.

Usually I post  with group C on the third Monday of every month. That's today. The months of December/January are a little weird because groups C and D take a break in December and groups A and B take a break in January in order to accommodate for the holidays. I thought I was going to have to miss out on SRC this month, but then I learned they were doing a cookie swap. It sounded perfect, especially around the holidays.

Instead of having a member of Group C this week, the cookie swap mixed folks from all different reveal groups. This gave me the opportunity to explore Sid's Sea Palm Cooking, who normally posts on the second Monday of the month during Group B.

Sid loves cooking and sharing it with her friends for a variety of things, including Tapas Night and something called Boat Club (though I'm not really sure what that was). I knew I was looking for a basic cookie that would be great with tea and wasn't too sweet. When I saw the recipe for her Sesame Seed Cookies, I knew this was the one.

This recipe was great. It was buttery, nutty and delicious. It held together very well and baked crunchy yet tender. I would absolutely make this recipe again.


Sesame Seed Cookies

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened (I didn't have salted butter, so I just added salt to taste)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • about 1 3/4 to 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream together butter and sugar
  2. Add egg and vanilla. Continue mixing until combined
  3. Add flour and baking powder. Mix until just incorporated
  4. Scoop cookie dough into small balls and roll in toasted sesame seeds. Flatten balls slightly until they are about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Cookies will not spread, so flatten as much as desired
  5. Place on baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes until golden. 
  6. Eat cookies with a cup of chai tea. Mmmm




Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Serious One Pot Pasta



Lately I've seen a lot of recipes on Pinterest for one pot pastas. You cook the pasta in a bare minimum of water with all your vegetables and the starch makes your sauce for you. It sounded interesting, easy and simultaneously like a terrible idea. Pasta should involve two pots. Period.

I tried it and it was pretty good. I still think I prefer pasta where the sauce is made separately, but it wasn't bad. This was also a great way to use up random things in the refrigerator. I used this basic recipes for a Kale, Mushroom and Chicken pasta but I adapted it to what I had in my house. If you want to try out something different, give it a shot. It's easy and it will only dirty one pot and one cutting board. If you care about that, it's a great alternative to regular pasta. This also scales well to a half box of pasta.

One Pot Pasta

Ingredients

  • 1 lb dry pasta (something with longer cooking time, like spaghetti, linguini, penne, etc)
  • 4 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 chicken apple sausages
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 2 zucchini
  • large handful of mushrooms
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • heavy cream for finishing
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • parmesean or mizithra cheese
  • any other vegetables you may want
Directions
  1. Cut the sausages into circles and brown in the pot you intend to use. Remove
  2. Add a little more olive oil and brown and sautee your onions, peppers, mushrooms, garlic and zucchini briefly until onions are translucent and slightly brown. Add remaining vegetables.
  3. Add pasta and stock. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until pasta is tender. Add a little more stock or water if necessary as the pasta cooks if it is evaporating too quickly.
  4. Finish pasta with a splash of cream and some shredded cheese. Stir until fully incorporate and adjust salt/pepper to taste. Top with more cheese if desired and serve immediately.


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Three Layer Christmas Jello


I made this jello for our Thanksgiving this year. My mother would always make it every Thanksgiving and Christmas because it looks so perfect for the holidays. My grandmother really enjoyed it and it was one of my favorite desserts at during the holidays.

In retrospect, it's kind of weird. I mean, who actually enjoys jello? But it tastes like childhood and that is the main reason I made it this Thanksgiving. I even made a special effort to share it with you so that you might have it this Christmas.

I hope everyone has enjoyed the season thusfar. I end this post with a picture of our cat, Because I am a cruel cat Mommy





Note: this can also be made for 4th of July with a slight change of colors.

Three Layer Christmas Jello

Ingredients

  • 1 6oz box of cherry jello
  • 1 6oz box of lemon jello
  • 1 6oz box lime jello
  • 6 oz cream cheese
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1 16oz can crushed pineapple, juice reserved
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Directions
  1. Prepare the cherry jello according to the package directions. Pour into clear parfait glasses or a casserole dish and put in the refrigerator until set
  2. Mix lemon yellow is 1 1/2 cups of boiling water. After jello is dissolved, Beat cream cheese and marshmallows in using an electric mixer. Marshmallows should melt slightly, but not fully.
  3. Beat the heavy cream until it holds stiff peaks. 
  4. Add pineapple to the jello mixture with half a cup of the reserved pineapple juice.
  5. Fold in whipped cream and pour lemon layer on top of the cherry layer. Let set in the refrigerator.
  6. Make lime jello according to box directions. Let cool to room temperature on the counter before pouring on the middle layer, otherwise the colors will run.
  7. Let set and enjoy.

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