Sunday, February 28, 2010

Go Canada Go!

I don't know of many Canadians who aren't watching the gold medal game today. There is 3 minutes left in the 3rd period as I write. My friend Heddy was out and about town this afternoon and apparently it is a ghost town out there. Everyone is hunkered down to see who will come out on top.

Before the game started, I made some cookies. Another keeper from Nanny's book. I had to go to the store for oatmeal in the middle of making them, but they turned out good! Nanny's recipe called for raisins, but I subbed chocolate chips.

Dad's Oatmeal Cookies
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup coconut
  • 1/2 cup raisins (or chocolate chips)

Cream shortening and brown sugar. Add egg and mix. Add in dry ingredients and mix well. Bake at 350 for 10 to 12 minutes. (Mine were done at 9 minutes) Be careful not to overbake, they burn quickly!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Night Chili

I am so glad it's Friday. I get to sleep in tomorrow. I love the Olympics, but, I am ready to get back to regular TV. But not before Canada captures the gold in Men's Hockey!

How about Women's Team Canada, eh?? How empowering for all woman, especially Canadian women and girls who play competitive hockey! I don't feel it's about who wins the most medals, but more about pride in our athletes, our country, and our people. What a sense of accomplishment Olympic athletes must feel!

Not much going on with us here in the prairies. I am hoping to prep for next weekend tomorrow. I am going to a scrapbooking weekend, and I trying to be somewhat prepared. Should be good times though.

Being Friday, and having a craving for chili, I put one together for dinner tonight. I think it turned out pretty good. I am even eating it from the bowl I got from the Handicraft Guild's Chili Bowl Supper.

Friday Night Chili

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 2 tsp salt, divided
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 can tomato sauce (398mL)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (398mL)
  • 1 can red kidney beans, drained (398mL)
  • 1 can Aylmer Accents tomatoes with Chili seasonings (540mL)
  • 1 cup sweet corn, frozen or canned
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 Tbs molasses
  • 1 1/2 Tbs brown sugar

Add beef, 1 tsp salt and pepper to a large saucepan. Brown beef and drain. Add all remaining ingredients and mix well. Simmer on low heat for one hour.

I don't know if Aylmer tomatoes or chili seasoned tomatoes are available in the US, just as we can't get Rotel in Canada. If not, you could used diced tomatoes, you just may need to add a bit more chili powder and garlic. I tasted the tomatoes out of the can and chili and garlic were the predominant flavors, but celery, bell pepper and onion are also listed on the can.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

I received a special delivery on Friday!

Aren't they purdy?? I have the best husband ever!

I was planning on being Wonder Woman in the kitchen today, but I woke up this morning with a killer headache. I maxed out on my ibuprofen intake for the day, and it only numbed the pain for a few hours. Long enough for me to whip up a cake.

I decided on another recipe from Nanny's cookbook. Her friend Joan's Chocolate Oatmeal Cake. I hadn't made it before, but I recall eating it as a kid when Joan would come to Nanny's for a visit. If raw eggs don't bother you, lick the beater. You can thank me later.

Joan's Chocolate Oatmeal Cake

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup margarine or butter
  • 1 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 Tbs cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Mix oatmeal and water in a mixing bowl (or stand mixer bowl). Allow to sit until cooled.

Once it is cooled, beat in margarine/butter, brown sugar, and eggs. Sift in flour, baking powder and cocoa and beat. Add vanilla. Mix baking soda with a teaspoon of hot water in a small bowl and add in.

Pour batter in a greased 8x8 pan and bake in a 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes. Don't overbake!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Nanny Ruth's Hamburger Soup

There is a cafe not far from my house that serves hamburger soup every Monday at lunch. I often stop in to enjoy some. My love for hamburger soup began in high school, at the high school cafeteria believe it or not. Those lunch ladies made a mean pot of hamburger soup!

When I graduated high school, my grandmother gave me a hope chest and a recipe book with her tried and true recipes. Hamburger soup was among the select dishes. And for some reason, I have never tried to make it myself! I am not sure if I just missed the recipe in the book or what happened. What happened tonight was a pot of delicious soup!

Nanny Ruth's Hamburger Soup
1 1/2 lb ground beef (I used lean)
1 medium onion, diced
1 can tomatoes (I used 19oz can of diced tomatoes with italian spice. It was in the pantry)
3 cans consomme (I used 2, picked up a can of broth by accident)
4 carrots, chopped fine
2 cups water (I used three cans of beef broth instead)
1 bay leaf
8 tablespoons barley (I used pot barley)
1 cup cabbage, chopped fine
1/2 cup celery, chopped fine
Salt and Pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients in a pot and simmer for 2 hours.
I browned my ground beef, then added my remaining ingredients.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Salsa, baby!

Thought I should make some munchies in case I decide to stay home tonight. UFC is tonight, and I am undecided if I should stay home or head to Boston Pizza. So just in case, I made Pioneer Woman's Restaurant Style Salsa. Ooohhh, is it ever good! I am not a big fan of chunky salsa, so this works just perfect for me. Good for those who are partaking in Game Day tomorrow. It makes ALOT! It filled my blender to the top.

PW's Restaurant Style Salsa

1 can (28 Ounce) Whole Tomatoes With Juice
2 cans (10 Ounce) Rotel (diced Tomatoes And Green Chilies) (No Rotel in Canada, use Aylmer Accents with Spicy Red Pepper. In the tomato aisle at the store.)
¼ cups Chopped Onion
1 clove Garlic, Minced (I used 2)
1 whole Jalapeno, Quartered And Sliced Thin
¼ teaspoons Sugar
¼ teaspoons Salt (I used a whole teaspoon)
¼ teaspoons Ground Cumin
½ cups Cilantro (more To Taste!) (Safeway didn't have fresh, so I picked up a jar of the Litehouse Freeze Dried Cilantro. Worked great and no chopping involved!)
½ whole Lime Juice
Combine whole tomatoes, Rotel, onion, jalapeno, garlic, sugar, salt, cumin, lime juice, and cilantro in a blender or food processor. Pulse until you get the salsa to the consistency you’d like—I do about 10 to 15 pulses. Test seasonings with a tortilla chip and adjust as needed.
Refrigerate salsa for at least an hour. Serve with tortilla chips or cheese nachos.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Mmm Mmm Good!

Last weekend and again tonight, I made Pioneer Woman's Cajun Chicken Pasta. Move over East Side Mario, there's a new girl in town! I love ESM's Pasta Amatriciana or however you say/spell it, you know what I mean. I don't usually try pasta at home as I find it most times bland. This pasta kicks it up three or four notches. It is excellent leftover too. The recipe is below, with my comments!

PW's Cajun Chicken Pasta

3 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, Cut Into Cubes
3 teaspoons Cajun Spice Mix, More To Taste
1 pound Fettuccine
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 whole Green Bell Pepper, Seeded And Sliced (I diced my peppers and onion and used green and yellow, red were sold out)
1 whole Red Bell Pepper, Seeded And Sliced
½ whole Large Red Onion, Sliced
3 cloves Garlic, Minced
4 whole Roma Tomatoes, Diced
2 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
½ cups White Wine (I didn't have, so I just replaced with more broth)
1 cup Heavy Cream (whipping cream to Canadians)
Cayenne Pepper To Taste
Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
Salt To Taste
Chopped Fresh Parsley, To Taste
Do all the prep work before starting. All the chopping, measure out the liquids, get the pasta pot boiling and such. Once you get going with this, it moves pretty quickly as you are cooking over high heat.

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain when pasta is still al dente; do not overcook!
Al dente is important here. No one likes mushy pasta, and even mushier leftovers! I get the pasta water boiling as I am heating the frying pan to start the chicken. When the chicken is cooked, I add the pasta. If I think the pasta is going to be done first, I will cook to very al dente and turn off the heat and allow it sit in the hot water for a few minutes till I am ready to use. It will finish cooking and not be all stuck together.

Sprinkle 1 1/2 teaspoons Cajun spice over chicken pieces. Toss around to coat.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a heavy skillet over high heat. Add half the chicken in a single layer; do not stir. Allow chicken to brown on one side, about 1 minute. Flip to the other side and cook an additional minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a clean plate.
Repeat with remaining chicken. Remove chicken, leaving pan on high heat.

Add remaining olive oil and butter. When heated, add peppers, onions, and garlic. (I added my garlic after a minute or two of the veggies being in there. I was afraid it would burn and burnt garlic is gross with a capital G.)
Sprinkle on remaining Cajun spice, and add salt if needed. Cook over very high heat for 1 minute, stirring gently and trying to get the vegetables as dark/black as possible. Add tomatoes and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Remove all vegetables from the pan. (Put them on the plate with the chicken)

With the pan over high heat, pour in the wine and chicken broth. Cook on high for 3 to 5 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan to deglaze. Reduce heat to medium-low and pour in cream, stirring/whisking constantly. Cook sauce over medium-low heat for a few minutes, until cream starts to thicken the mixture. Taste and add freshly ground black pepper, cayenne pepper, and/or salt to taste. Sauce should be spicy!

Finally, add chicken and vegetables to sauce, making sure to include all the juices that have drained onto the plate. Stir and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until mixture is bubbly and hot. Add drained fettuccine and toss to combine.

Top with chopped fresh parsley and chow down! (Safeway was out of fresh parsley too.)
I forgot to mention that when I halved the recipe, it filled my 12 inch skillet. So if you are doing a full recipe, but sure to use something large enough to hold it!