Thursday, December 30, 2010

Buttered Rum Spiced Cider

Cider boiling
6 c. apple cider
1/2 tsp. whole cloves
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
3 cinnamon sticks
6 Tbsp. butter
6 Tbsp. packed brown sugar
3/4 c. rum

Brown sugar, butter, and rum
Heat cider, cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon sticks to boiling in a saucepan over medium heat. Strain cider mixture to remove cloves and cinnamon sticks if desired. For each serving, place 1 Tbsp. butter, 1 Tbsp. brown sugar and 2 Tbsp. rum in a mug. Fill with hot cider. 6 servings.

From Betty Crocker

Monday, December 27, 2010

White Sauce

I use this all the time! It's good over pasta or vegetables.

2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
pepper to taste
1 c. milk (or cream)

Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat. Stir in flour, salt, and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and bubbly; remove from heat. Gradually stir in milk (or cream). Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute.

Sometimes I add Parmesan or Gorgonzola...

From Betty Crocker's Cookbook

Spinach and Feta Triangles

This recipe takes a little time, but it's worth it!

2 lb. English spinach
Spinach mixture
1/4 c. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
10 spring onions, sliced
1 tsp. dried dill
large pinch of ground nutmeg
1/3 c. freshly grated Parmesan
5 oz. crumbled feta cheese
3 oz. ricotta cheese (If I don't have ricotta on hand, I use more feta)
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/4 oz. butter, melted
1 Tbsp. olive oil, extra
12 sheets filo pastry

Filo dough
Trim any coarse stems from the spinach. Wash the leaves thoroughly, roughly chop and place in a large pan with just a little water clinging to the leaves. Cover and cook gently over low heat for 5 minutes, or until the leaves have wilted. Drain well and allow to cool slightly before squeezing tightly to remove the excess water.

Small portion of mixture on dough
Heat the oil in a heavy-based frying pan. Add the onion and cook over low heat for 10 minutes, or until tender and golden. Add the spring onion and cook for a further 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the drained spinach, dill, nutmeg, Parmesan, feta, ricotta, and egg. Season well.

Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C). Grease two baking trays. Combine the melted butter with the extra oil. Work with three sheets of pastry at a time, keeping the rest covered with a damp tea towel. Brush each sheet with butter mixture and lay them on top of each other. Cut in half lengthwise.

Just before going in the oven
Ready to eat!
Spoon 4 Tbsp of the filling on an angle at the end of each strip. Fold the pastry over to enclose the filling and form a triangle. Continue folding the triangle over until you reach the end of the pastry. Put the triangles on the baking trays and brush with the remaining butter mixture. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown.

From The 1000 Best Recipes

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Soba Noodle Soup

8 oz. packet soba noodles
64 oz. vegetable stock
4 oz. snow peas, cut into thin strips
1/2 c. mushrooms, sliced
2 small carrots, cut into thin strips
3 garlic cloves, minced
6 spring onions, sliced
1 in. piece fresh ginger, cut into julienne strips
1/2 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
1/3 c. soy sauce
1/4 c. mirin, sake, or cooking wine
1 c. bean sprouts

Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions. Drain.

Combine the vegetable stock, snow peas, mushrooms, carrot, garlic, spring onion, and ginger, and cilantro in a large saucepan. Bring slowly to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Add the soy sauce, sake, and bean sprouts. Cook for a further 3 minutes.

Divide the noddles among four (or however many people you're serving) large serving bowls. Ladle the hot liquid and vegetables over the top.

From The 1000 Best Recipes

Sesame Pork

2 Tbsp. sesame seeds
3 Tbsp. peanut oil
1 1/4 lbs. pork fillets, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp. hoisin sauce
2 Tbsp. oyster sauce
2 tsp. cornflour
1 Tbsp. water
2 tsp. sesame oil
8 spring onions, sliced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp. fresh ginger, finely grated
2 carrots, julienned
6 oz. snake beans, cut into short lengths

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Place the sesame seeds on an oven tray and bake for 5 minutes, or until browned. Heat a wok until very hot, add 1 Tbsp. oil and swirl to coat. Add half the pork and stir-fry for 3 minutes, or until browned. Remove. Repeat with the remaining pork. Remove.

Combine the hoisin and oyster sauces, cornflour and water, and mix until smooth.

Reheat the wok until very hot, add remaining peanut oil and the sesame oil, and swirl to coat. Add the spring onion, garlic, and ginger, and stir-fry for 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the carrots and beans, and stir-fry for 3 minutes, or until almost cooked but still crunchy.

Return the pork to the wok, add the cornflour mixture and stir until the sauce boils and thickens. Simmer until the meat is tender and the vegetables are just cooked. Toss through the sesame seeds and serve immediately. We served it over hot cooked rice.

Adapted from The 1000 Best Recipes

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Beef and Caramelised Onion Pie

1/3 c. oil
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
Flour covered beef
1 tsp. brown sugar
2 lb. lean rump steak, diced
1/4 c. plain flour
4 cloves garlic, crushed
7 oz. button mushrooms, sliced
1 c. beef stock
5 oz. stout (I used Guinness)
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. thyme
11 oz. potatoes, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 1/4 lb. quick flaky pastry
1 egg, lightly beaten

Heat 2 Tbsp. of oil in the frying pan over medium heat and cook the onion for 5 minutes, or until light brown. Then add the sugar and cook for 7-8 minutes, or until the onion caramelizes. Remove from the pan. Wipe the pan clean. (Or just cook in a separate pan like I did)

Toss the beef in flour and shake off the excess. Heat the remaining oil in the same pan and cook the meat in batches over high heat until browned. Return all the meat to the pan, add the garlic and mushrooms, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the stock, stout, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and thyme. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 1 hour. Add the potato and carrot, and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Grease a pie dish. Pour in the filling, then top with the onion. Roll the pastry out between two sheets of baking paper until it is 1 inch wider than the pie dish (We tried using wax paper, but that did not work). Cut a 3/4 inch strip around the edge of the pastry circle, brush with water and place damp side down on the rim of the dish.

Cover with the remaining pastry, pressing the edges together. Knock up the rim by making small slashes in the edges of the pastry with the back of a knife. Re-roll the trimmings and use them to decorate the pie. Brush with egg and bake for 25 minutes, or until golden.

From The 1000 Best Recipes

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Mrs. Fields Cookies

These cookies are amazing. This recipe is for 4-5 dozen.

1 c. butter
1/2 c. margarine (if I don't have margarine, I substitute butter)
1 1/8 c. white sugar
cookie dough!
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
3 Tbsp. vanilla
1 1/8 tsp baking soda
1 1/8 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
4 1/2 to 5 c. flour
2 bags chocolate chips (most times I only use one bag)

Preheat the oven to 325 F.
Mix the butter and sugar together. Add the eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Add everything but the chips, then mix. Add the chips and stir in. Bake on wax paper on cookie sheets for about 12 minutes.

Right out of the oven!

Recipe courtesy of Aunt Jennifer Bolanos


1 c. Swiss cheese, shredded
1 c. cheddar cheese, shredded
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp. chives
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp. Worcestershire
pecans, crushed

Mix all the ingredients together, except pecans, with an electric mixer until well blended. Pack into a large ball, roll in crushed pecans. Wrap in wax paper and put it in the fridge for a day or two before serving with bread, crackers, or veggies.

Recipe courtesy of Christie Gerow