Saturday, February 21, 2009

Roasted Broccoli With Garlic and Cheese

About 4 pounds of fresh broccoli, cut into large pieces, don't wash, it's important for it to be dry, The high heat will kill any germs if you are germ-a-phobic, then wash it, but dry it very well.
Olive oil, good for you yumminess!!
Garlic and a lemon.
Shredded Parmesan cheese or a blend like I used, black pepper and salt.
About 4 pounds of fresh broccoli, cut into large pieces, after placing them on a baking sheet, add 5 Tablespoons of olive oil, about 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoons of black pepper. Then move on to the sliced garlic.
Peel about 4 cloves of garlic and then slice into the broccoli, here is our mess we left behind, I say we cause Pete did anger management exercise by smacking each clove to remove the peel with my meat mallet.
Last step is to before the oven is to peel and slice about 4 cloves of garlic over the top, then lightly toss with your hand to gently coat the broccoli with the above ingredients. Pop into a pre-heated 425 degree oven for about 20-25 minutes or until broccoli has some roasted brown areas on the florets.
Out of the oven hot, the broccoli has roasted to firm and slightly brown texture. Lightly zest part of a lemon over the vegetable, then squeeze 1/2 lemon over the top, making sure to not leave any seeds behind.
Add about 1/3 cup or a tad more of the shredded Parmesan cheese and toss lightly to cover all ingredients before serving.
Broccoli with garlic and cheese, this is truly an amazing dish. If you are not sure about this green tree shaped veggie, mostly because of the texture or the mushiness when it is cooked too much, try it this way for a change. Roasted in a high heat oven with olive oil and garlic then tossed with Parmesan cheese, lemon and more oil, it makes for a meaty textured taste. While I won't categorize this food as a low-fat choice, health-wise it ain't too shabby. The broccoli loaded with vitamins C and D, olive oil for heart health, and garlic which is known to decrease blood pressure and ward off vampires. Maybe give this a try as a new side dish choice, if you don't like it I will come over and eat it. Love to you all.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Order Up! Sliders and Hot Dish

We are going old school tonight, cheeseburger sliders with mac and cheese on the side. Everyone has to like these choices, even the PETA people can surely agree on a little bite size slider, what harm can that cause. I have always wanted to own a diner and these would be on the menu, good old basic burgers and creamy cheesy mac and cheese. Enjoy! and HEY, Order up!!
Line up for mac and cheese, macaroni, I really like Barilla elbows, cause they have grooves in the pasta that hold the sauce, it is really good pasta and not much higher than the other brands, pasta is still an extremely good band for the buck. Elbow pastas, 3 cups, 1 1/2 cup asiago cheese, 1/2 pound Velveeta cheese, 1/2 cup or 1 stick butter, salt and pepper and a dash of paprika for color.
Bring about 4 quarts of water to boil in a 5-6 quart pot. At a full rolling boil, add macaroni, 3 cups and cook until tender, you can salt your water, I don't always.
Hamburger, ground chuck, 80/20, the best blend for burgers, this is really nice burger from a small local store that still does it's own meat work and grinding.
Form into patties that will fit your buns, I bought Hawaiian Rolls, they are very tender with a hint of sweetness, the perfect size for sliders. Fry the burgers over medium-high heat.
My new best buddy, Lawry's Season Salt, I love it, it adds so much flavor to meats and no MSG.
Add coarse ground pepper, again, no froo-froo grinder for this gal.
I split open the Hawaiian rolls and slightly sprayed them with butter cooking spray, to give them a nice color. Pop them under the broiler for just about 1 minuter, be careful they brown quickly, you don't want burnt buns.
Nicely tanned and toasted buns ready for cheese. Say cheese!, little behinds.
A half of a slice of American for each roll, the warmth from the roll and the burger will melt them once assembled.
When your pasta if done, drain and return to burner to steam off any left-over water.
Add, 1stick of butter, salt and pepper, you be the judge of the seasoning, I just judge by eyeball.
Mix into the hot pasta, 1 1/2 cup of asiago cheese and 1/2 pound of Velveeta, start mixing to melt together.
Add about 3/4 cup milk, I add slowly a 1/4 at a time because I don't want it to get to runny, but usually as the cheese cools, it stiffens back up so a little extra milk won't hurt.
Just a dash of paprika will do, this really doesn't add much to the flavor, but it makes the sauce a prettier color with the little flecks of red. Mix well and serve.
An old fashioned diner delight, burgers and mac n' cheese. Okay, not calorie controlled or low-fat by any means, but a fun weekend kind of meal, most definitely one the kids would love. Creamy homemade macaroni and cheese, with cheeseburger sliders, just right for little kids hands. The mac and cheese is so rich with good cheeses that it doesn't take a lot to satisfy. Slide on in to Sherry's diner for a fun meal.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Egg Foo YUM!

The line up includes 1 bag or can of bean sprouts, 1 small can water chestnuts, diced, 1 stalk of celery, 2 green onions, diced, 4 eggs, 4 fresh mushrooms, diced or 1 small can of mushrooms, oil, gravy or sauce mix for topping. I can thought of this recipe last night and realized I hadn't had it in a long time. It sounded so good, so I decided to make it for supper for myself and post it for you. If you like egg foo yung from take-out, try my version, I think you will find it a really good substitute.
Drop 4 eggs into a large mixing bowl, whisk to break yolks before adding additional ingredients.

Chop up for fresh mushrooms and add to the eggs or 1 small can of mushroom pieces.
Mix in 1 stalk of celery, chopped.
Add in 2 green onions, chopped.

Add in 1 package, fresh bean sprouts from the produce department or 1 can of bean sprouts.
Add one small can of water chestnuts, chopped, 1 teaspoon pepper, 1 teaspoon salt, mix well and get ready to cook up some egg foo yung.
Heat a couple of Tablespoons of oil in a non-stick skillet, place temperature on medium high heat.
Pour about 1/2 cup or a little less measure into a hot saucepan, let it cook for a few minutes or until set then flip and continue cooking until done, you can flip again if needed. It doesn't take long, the veggies can stay a little crunchy for texture.
This is really good stuff, sorry that is probably a local area item, but it is manufactured in Springfield and makes killer cashew sauce for cashew chicken. Again if you don't have this just make a brown sauce using either beef base, gravy mix and a small amount of hoiesn sauce, located in the Asian isle.
Just follow the directions on the container, it's like 3 Tablespoons to 1 cup of water. If you don't have this kind of mix locally, you can use brown gravy with a small amount of hoiesn sauce added.

Why pay for take-out when you can make this in minutes. Probably the hardest thing to do is to remember to buy the bean sprouts and water chestnuts and gravy mix the next time you go to the store. This recipe makes a lot, at least 2 good-sized pancakes for 3-4 people, depending on the size and hunger of your people. This is a very low cost meal idea, pick up a package of frozen egg rolls to throw in the oven and you have supper ready. Have a wonderful evening. Love to you all.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Chicken Salad With Grapes And Pecans

My daughter requested a chicken salad with grapes, she had eaten this somewhere and really liked it. I am attempting this recipe to see if it is close to what she had. It is different, I have never made chicken salad with grapes before. I started with some of our left-over roasted chicken from yesterday, or you can buy canned chicken in broth and use that. It went together very simply, it just needs some cooler time to chill and let the mixture blend. This is the final entry in chicken, any which way but loose. This line up includes: 2 cups cooked chicken breast, 2 stalks of finely chopped celery, 1 cup sliced red or green grapes, 1/2 cup chopped pecans, 1 teaspoon of dill weed, 1 cup real mayo, 1 cup sour cream and 1 Tablespoon of sugar, salt and pepper. Enjoy! Love to you all.
In a large mixing bowl add 2 cups of chopped cooled chicken, this was the chicken I roasted with seasonings yesterday, I just peeled the skin off and de-boned it and chopped it finely. Add to this 2 celery stalks, finely chopped.
To the chicken, add 1 cup of sliced grapes, I used both green and red for color and make sure they are seedless, you can add more or less grapes depending on how you like it, also add 1/2 cup chopped pecans, again don't add them if you don't like them.
Add in 1 teaspoon of dill weed, if you can get fresh it would be nice, but it is winter in the country and dried will have to do.
Add 1 cup of real mayonnaise, 1 cup of sour cream and 1 tablespoon of sugar, then mix and chill a couple of hours so flavors will blend, then ta-da time for magic.
Chicken salad with grapes and pecans, can be eaten in sandwich form on on a plate with greens, it is quite an interesting combination. I have never made this before, but it is really good. A different story from the typical chicken salad, a little frew-frew for my husbands taste, but would be nice for a wedding shower luncheon or appetizer on a dollar roll. My dear daughter, Laura requested it and here it is, now if she only lived closer she could take it home with her and enjoy.

Meatloaf please!

Yes, this can be supper tonight, in about 15 minute prep time and 1 hour cooking, you can have this mouth-watering meal for your family, along with stuff for sandwiches tomorrow. But of course, I had to cozy up some home made mashed potatoes and gravy to serve along side, a little salad or some veggies from the freezer and dinner is ready Grandpa!
Start with about 2 pounds of hamburger, I usually use 80/20, I know that this seems like a lot, you can always cut the recipe in half, but let me tell you, this makes a wonderful sandwich for lunch tomorrow, so just think about it before you do something rash.

Okay, now add about 1/2 small onion, chopped and 2 eggs to the hamburger.
Add about 12 saltine crackers, you know the little individual squares, all crunched up, 2 eggs, salt and pepper.
Add 1/2 cup of milk to the mixture, milk helps the meatloaf stay moist while baking, I know I am holding a 1 cup measure, but I grabbed it first and only measured 1/2 cup.
Add 2 cups of stewed or canned tomatoes, including juice to the mix, this is usually a standard can amount.

After getting all the ingredients into the bowl, mix it up with your hands if you want to, or use a spoon, what the heck, it's a free country.
Spray with cooking spray or grease up a baking pan, mine is a little smaller than a 9x13, it's old, sorry I didn't measure it for ya!
Ready to place into a pre-heated 375 degree oven, bake for about 1 hour depending on the size of the meatloaf. I know, I know this is one huge meatloaf, it will shrink some.
Mix together about 1/2 cup ketchup, 1/4 cup mustard, plain yella and 2 T. brown sugar, mix until blended and spread over top of hot meatloaf to give it a sweet and tangy glaze, return to oven.
When the meatloaf is almost done, spread the glaze on top, pop it back into the oven, about 15 more minutes, just to set the glaze.
Fresh and hot from the oven, nothin' says love like a fresh baked meatloaf, it's right up there with mom, apple pie and Chevrolet.

You might be saying, Hey it's just meatloaf, and you would be right, but meatloaf dates back to the ancient Romans who minced bits of meat and mixed it with herbs before cooking. Also, moms have feed families meatloaf to help stretch the mighty dollar and with grocery prices the way they are, meatloaf is a good thing to take another look at. Savory, moist and filling, make enough for meatloaf sandwiches tomorrow, cause it's always better the second day. Give meatloaf a chance, please!! Love to you all.