Sunday, June 2, 2013

long time no write... but still cookin'!

Well, I haven't been the best with posting lately... and for that I am sorry.  Lots of craziness has been going on at home, so I have unfortunately gotten behind.  This post won't have a lot of gab, but instead will have quite a few recipes that I have done since I last posted...  I probably won't have all of them in this post, but I will definitely try to catch up!  Hold on tight, because here we go!

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Spaghetti Carbonara (from pbs.org)

1lb spaghetti
8oz bacon
salt/pepper to taste
3 large eggs
3/4c Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
1/2c half&half

Cook pasta per directions.  Cook bacon until crisp, then crumble.  Meanwhile, in large bowl, whisk eggs, Parmesan cheese and half&half, and set aside.  Drain pasta and quickly add to egg mixture and stir.  The heat from the pasta cooks the eggs, so do not rinse or cool off pasta prior to adding to mixture.  Add in bacon and continue stirring.  

Notes: I have used various types of pasta, from bow-ties to curly to anything else.  I prefer that kind rather than spaghetti as it is something different.  I also use pre-cooked bacon and just heat it up, then tear into smaller pieces.  This is a quick and easy meal, which re-heats well, as it gives us lots of leftovers.

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"Grilled" Tuna with Vegetables in Herb Butter (pg 122, Favorite Brand Name Classic Recipe Collection)

4 pieces havy-duty aluminum foil
12oz tuna, drained and broken up
1c slivered red or green bell pepper
1c slivered yellow squash or zucchini
1c pea pods
1c slivered carrots
4 green onions cut into 2in slices
salt/pepper to taste

Herb butter
3tbsp butter/margarine, melted
1tbsp lemon or lime juice
1 clove garlic
2tsp dried tarragon leaves
1tsp dried dill weed

On each piece of foil, mound tuna, peppers, squash, pea pods, carrots and onions.  Sprinkle with salt/pepper.  Combine all ingredients for herb butter in small bowl and drizzle over tuna and veggies.  Fold all the edges of the foil together to make packets.  Place packets on grill until heated through, turning halfway through (about 10-12 minutes).

Notes: I don't follow this exactly as it says...  I don't put the veggies with the tuna, and also marinate the tuna overnight.  In order to do this, I'll double or triple the butter sauce.  I'll let it marinate in the fridge in a bowl that I can put into the oven.  I'll usually do veggies on the side, whether fresh or bake them in a little bit of oil/cheese.  Also reheats well.

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Wisconsin Tuna Cakes with Lemon-Dill Sauce (pg 126, Favorite Brand Name Classic Recipe Collection) 

12oz tuna, drained and flaked
3/4c seasoned bread crumbs
1/4c minced green onions
2tbsp pimentos
1 egg
1/2c milk
1/2tsp grated lemon peel
2tbsp margarine/butter

Lemon-Dill sauce
1/4c chicken broth
1tbsp lemon juice
1/4c tsp dill weed


In large bowl, toss together tuna, bread crumbs, onions and pimentos.  In small bol, beat together egg and milk, and add in lemon peel.  Stir into tuna mixture; toss until moistened.  With lightly floured ands, shape into eight 4in patties.  In large nonstick skillet, melt margarine.  Fry patties, a few at a time, until golden brown on both sides (about 3min per side).  Place on ovenproof platter in 300F oven until ready to serve.  For sauce, in small saucepan, heat broth, lemon juice and dill.  Serve tuna cakes and spoon sauce over cakes. 

Notes: We omitted the pimentos, and used lemon juice instead of peel in the cakes (I don't know how much I add... just a few squirts, I guess).  I'll heat the sauce in the microwave rather than heat it on the stove.  Definitely do not make the cakes too thick, or they get to be a little doughy and lose some of the cooked flavor.  Good meal, but time consuming...  and not too bad reheated.  Decent substitute to crab cakes.

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Rigatoni con Ricotta (pg 156, Favorite Brand Name Classic Recipe Collection)

16oz rigatoni
2 eggs
15oz ricotta cheese
3/4c Parmesan cheese
1tbsp parsley
2x26oz pasta sauce
12oz mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375F.  Spray 13x9 baking pan with nonstick spray.  Cook pasta according to directions and drain.  Beat eggs in a small bowl.  Stir in ricotta, Parmesan and parsley.  Assemble casserole as follows: spread sauce to cover bottom of pan.  Place half of the pasta over the sauce.  Top with half of the ricotta mixture, added dropwise.  Spread a layer of mozzarella.  Spread more pasta sauce.  Layer remaining half of pasta, then remaining half of ricotta mixture.  Tops with mozzarella cheese, pasta sauce and more cheese.  Cover pan with foil and bake 60-70min or until bubbly.  Uncover and continue cooking until cheese is melted.  Let stand 15min before serving.

Notes: We are not a fan of a lot of red sauce, so I end up using only half of what is called for.  And we use more cheese than what is called for, but you already know we love cheese!  This is a good meal to make for a large group, or hungry teenagers, as it is very filling.  It also reheats really well.  I am personally hesitant about making it beforehand due to the eggs and ricotta cheese, but I'm sure it's okay if you make it the night before, refrigerate it and then pop it in the oven when you get home from work.

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Spicy Southwest Corn Cheese Soup (pg 182, Favorite Brand Name Classic Recipe Collection)

10oz frozen sweet corn, thawed and drained
1 clove garlic, minced
1tbsp butter/margarine
12oz velveeta cheese
4oz green chilies
3/4c chicken broth
3/4c milk
2tbsp cilantro

Cook and stir corn and garlic in the butter in a large saucepan until tender.  Reduce heat to medium.  Stir in remaining ingredients and cook until velveeta is melted and soup is heated through.  Top with crushed tortilla chips.

Note: This is an easy meal to do one evening after work.  I have another recipe like this one, which I like better, but this one isn't bad.  Oh, and it is NOT spicy...  I used canned corn, which changes the flavor a little bit, but I drained them first.  I didn't use cilantro either.  The tortilla chips weren't added at the end, but instead dipped into the soup.  Definitely makes it super yummy!  We didn't have any leftovers, so I  can't comment on being able to reheat it...

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Last recipe for this entry....

 Apple Crumb Coffeecake (pg 238, Favorite Brand Name Classic Recipe Collection)

2 1/4c all purpose flour, divided
1/2c sugar
1 envelope rapid rise yeast  
1/2tsp salt
1/4c milk
1/3c butter/margarine
2 large eggs
2 cooking apples, cored and sliced

Crumb topping - mix all ingredients until crumbly
1/3c sugar
1/4c all purpose flour
1tsp cinnamon
3tbsp cold butter/margarine

In large bowl, combine 1c flour, sugar, undissolved yeast and salt.  Heat water, milk and butter until very warm (120-130F).  Gradually add to dry ingredients.  Beat 2min at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally.  Add eggs and 1/2c flour.  Beat 2 minutes at high speed, scraping bowl occasionally.   Stir in remaining flour to make stiff batter.  Spread evenly in greased 9in square pan.  Arrange apple slices evenly over batter.  Sprinkle crumb topping over apples.  Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1hr.  Bake at 375F for 35-40min or until done.  Cool in pan 10min.  Remove from pan, cool on wire rack.

Notes: I found this to be very tasty, but the cake was rather bland by itself.  I think I might add cinnamon or something else to it next time.  I didn't let the cake rise with the apples and crumb topping on them because I didn't want the apples to turn brown and yucky.  It didn't rise very well, so it was VERY dense.  It reheated fairly well as a good dessert for work lunch, but was a nice tasty breakfast for a Sunday morning.



Well I think that's all I'll do for this entry... more than enough to keep everyone busy...  Happy cookin'!

~KB~ 

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