Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Menu Plan Monday!!!

I know I'm a day late, but I really wanted to participate.

Been having some muscle pains lately and haven't been on the computer much, that is the reason for this late addition to Laura's "Menu Plan Monday".

I will post the recipes as I make them.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Ravioli Lasagna!!!

A couple of you asked for the recipe, so I'm going to share it with you.

What I love about this dish is that it's just like lasagna but instead of using the lasagna noodles AND cheese, you already have that in the Cheese Ravioli...cuts down on time and prep, which when you're a mom you KNOW is a precious thing.

I serve this meal with some Garlic Cheese Bread and a simple salad.



2 cups light chunck style spaghetti sauce
1 ( 9oz) pkg. refrigerated meat or cheese filled ravioli
1 beaten egg
1 ( 15 oz) carton ricotta cheese
1/4 cup romanot or parmesan cheese
1 ( 10 oz) pkg. froz. chopped spinach, thawed and drained


I 10 inch skillet combine spaghetti sauce and 1/3 cup water, bring to boiling. Stir in ravioli, cover, cook over medium heat about 5 min or till ravioli are nearly tender, stirring once.

Stir together the egg, ricotta cheese, and romano or parmesan cheese. Dot ravioli with spinach. Spon ricotta mixture atop. Cover and cook over low heat about 10 min more. or till ricotta layer is set and pasta is just tender.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Fettuccine alla Carbonara!!!

One meal that I make quite often is this one. A few years ago when money was really tight, it was one of those dishes that I could throw together with the ingredients I had on hand.

This recipe that I'm sharing is from the Better Homes and Garden "New Cookbook Special Edition" and slightly different than my version.

6 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces

6 ounces dried fettuccine or linguine

1 beaten egg

1 cup half and half, light cream or milk

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

1/4 cup snipped fresh parsley

Coarsely ground black pepper

Cook bacon until crisp. Drain.

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain; keep warm.
Meanwhile, for sauce, in a saucepan combine egg, half and half, and butter.

Cook and stir over medium heat until egg mixture just coats a metal spoon (about 6 minutes); do not boil. Immediately pour sauce over pasta; stir gently to coat.

Add cooked bacon, Parmesan cheese and parsley; stir gently to combine. Season with with pepper. Serve immediately.


Mother Dearest from the great blog "Home Sweet Home" asked me if I had a recipe for homemade frosting.

Well I have a few, and actually growing up I remember any kind of frosting was made from scratch, there were no such things as frosting in a tub, and quite frankly to me it's a bit too sweet.
So here are some great frosting recipes:

Buttercream Icing

6 tablespoons butter, softened (no substitutions)
3 tablespoons whipping cream, unwhipped (35%)

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 cups icing sugar

1. In a bowl, beat together the butter, whipping cream and vanilla until smooth (about 3 minutes).

2. Add in icing sugar; beat very well until smooth, adding more if necessary to achieve desired consistency.

3. Note: In order for the icing to have a creamy texture, only whipping cream must be used.

The Perfect Buttercream Icing

1/2 cup Crisco Shortening
1/4 stick butter (2 tablespoons), slightly soft not mushy

1 TBSP to 2 TBSPS (1/8 cup) heavy whipping cream

1/2 tsp. clear vanilla

1/2 pound (2 cups) powdered sugar, sifted (measure than sift)

In your mixer bowl, beat the shortening until it's smooth, add the butter and beat together until smooth and light and fluffy. Add smaller amount of the heavy cream indicated in the recipe and the vanilla and mix well. Add half the powdered sugar and mix for 5 minutes on low-med. speed. Add remaining sugar and mix well. Add more cream or powdered sugar if necessary to adjust the consistency.

One Bowl Buttercream Frosting

* 6 tablespoons butter, softened
* 2 2/3 cups confectioners' sugar
* 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

* 1/3 cup milk

* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In medium bowl, beat butter. Add confectioners' sugar and cocoa alternately with milk, beating to spreading consistency (additional milk may be needed). Stir in vanilla.

Thick Vanilla Frosting

1 cup shortening 2 teaspoons vanilla 4 cups powdered sugar (sifted) 4 tablespoons milk

Beat together shortening and vanilla for 30 seconds medium speed with an electric mixer. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar a bit at a time while beating. Then add 2 tablespoons milk. Slowly add in the rest of the powdered sugar and the rest of the milk until you get the right thickness for your frosting.

Those are just a few of the recipes I've used before, and when I want to make a chocolate frosting I just add cocoa to the ingredients. Enjoy!!!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Menu Plan Monday!

Morning ladies, it's monday and you know that means it's time to take out our menus and then go share them over at Laura's Blog.

Even if you don't have a menu to share, I encourage you to go over and take a look at all the wonderful meals being made across blogland, who knows, you might be inspired to use one of the meals for your own menus this week.

As always, I will share the recipes on the same day that I'm making them.


12 oz. lean ground beef
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
2 medium onions, cut into thin wedges
1/2 tsp. bottled mince garlic
1 12-oz. jar beef gravy
2/3 cup dairy sour cream
1 TBSP. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. snipped fresh thyme or sage or 1/4 tsp. dried thyme or sage, crushed
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
2 cups hot cooked rice or noodles
2 TBPS. snipped fresh parsley

In a large skillet cook ground meat, mushrooms, onion, and garlic until meat is brown and onion is tender. Drain off fat.

In a medium bowl stir together beef gravy, sour cream, Worcestershire sauce, thyme and pepper. Stir sour cream mixture into meat mixture. Cook and stir until heated through.

Serve the meat mixture over hot cooked rice. Sprinkle with parsley.

Yield: 4 servings

Sunday, October 22, 2006


The name itself makes me salivate, so when I first saw this recipe on a Rachael Ray show, I knew I had to try it.

It's so easy to make but so good, and it looks like you've been in the kitchen all day long, which I LOVE because I can spend time with the family and then within a few minutes have this wonderful meal put together.


6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
2 whole chicken breasts, 4 halves, bone-in and skin on
Salt and pepper
3 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons thyme leaves, 7-8 sprigs, leaves stripped and chopped
3 tablespoons honey (eyeball it)
4 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup plus apple cider vinegar
2 cups chicken stock

Preheat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add a couple tablespoons of EVOO, 2 turns of the pan. Season chicken liberally with salt and pepper, and add to the hot oil, skin side down. Brown chicken, about 5 minutes per side. Remove and reserve. Add another 2 turns of the pan of EVOO, the onions, thyme, honey and the garlic. Season the onions with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring frequently for about 20-30 minutes or until the onions are really brown.

Add cider vinegar, scraping up all the brown bits on the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Add the chicken stock and bring up to a bubble.

Once at a simmer, return the chicken to the pot with the liquid and onions. Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat down to medium and simmer for about 15 minutes, flipping the chicken over in the sauce about halfway through. Remove lid, check to make sure the chicken is cooked through by cutting a small slit in the thickest part of the breast with a paring knife to have a look inside. If it is cooked through, no pink meat, remove to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Turn the heat up to high and simmer until the sauce thickens up slightly, about 4-5 minutes. You can serve the chicken right away topped with a big spoon full of sauce and the onions or you can return the chicken to the pot, turn the heat off and cover with the lid until you're ready to serve it. Once you are ready, add 1/2-3/4 cup additional chicken stock and turn the heat back on to heat everything back up.

Serve with mashed potatoes and a salad.

Sandra's Sausage Biscuits!!!

One thing my husband loves are sausage biscuits, so I knew I wanted to come up with a homemade version that was quick and tasty.

I had leftover ground meat from Portuguese Meatballs and I thought it would be perfect. I gave it a try and it was a huge hit, it made great Sausage Biscuits.


For the meat filling, follow the recipe for the Portuguese Meatballs.

Shape into round small flat patties, and fry them until done.

For the biscuits I used a can of buttermilk biscuits that I had on hand, serve warm. They are SO good, and you can also add a slice of cheese or egg if you wish, though we prefer them plain.



I remember my greatgrandmother and grandmother making these quite often, I loved them and they're so versatile that you can use them for hamburgers too.

What makes it so tasty is the ingredients that go into seasoning your ground meat. It can be beef or pork, and turkey would be tasty too.


1 lb ground beef or pork
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small tomato, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tbsp dried parsley or fresh one if you have it available
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup white wine

1 egg, beaten

In a bowl, mix all ingredients together just until well blended. Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator overnight or for a few hours.

Shape into balls, dip in egg and roll in breadcrumbs. Fry on medium heat for a few minutes on each side until brown.

Remove to a plate covered with paper towels to drain the grease.

Serve with homemade fries and a salad.

For Hamburgers:

Shape into hamburger patties and grill until done. Serve on warm hamburger buns, with lettuce, tomato and onion slices.

Sandra's Sausage Biscuits!!!

One thing my husband loves are sausage biscuits, so I knew I wanted to come up with a homemade version that was quick and tasty.

I had leftover ground meat from Portuguese Meatballs and I thought it would be perfect. I gave it a try and it was a huge hit, it made great Sausage Biscuits.


For the meat filling, follow the recipe for the Portuguese Meatballs.

Shape into round small flat patties, and fry them until done.

For the biscuits I used a can of buttermilk biscuits that I had on hand, serve warm. They are SO good, and you can also add a slice of cheese or egg if you wish, though we prefer them plain.


Saturday, October 21, 2006

The Ultimate Spaghetti and Meatball Supper!

This is a recipe that I got from Rachael Ray, it's so easy to make and really really good.

Hubby and the kids LOVE spaghetti and what's better than some meatballs too huh??? Will also give me a chance to try out my new Spaghetti Bowl set.


2 tablespoons EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
4 cloves garlic

1 small onion

1 28-ounce can chunky crushed tomatoes

1 15-ounce can tomato sauce

Salt and pepper

3/4 pound ground veal

1/4 pound pork

A generous handful of flat-leaf parsley

1 egg

1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs

3/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

2 beef bouillon cubes
1 bay leaf

1 pound spaghetti

2 tablespoons butter


Bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta.

Add EVOO to a medium saucepan over moderate heat. Add the onions and half of the chopped garlic, and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce. Season the sauce with salt and pepper. Let simmer for 8-10 minutes.

While the sauce is simmering, make the meatballs. Place the ground veal and pork in a medium mixing bowl and add the remaining chopped garlic, parsley, egg, bread crumbs, 1/2 cup Parmigiano cheese, salt and pepper. After thoroughly combining everything with your hands, roll the mixture into balls the size of a large walnut and drop into the simmering sauce.

While the meatballs are simmering in the sauce, add the beef bouillon cubes and bay leaf to the boiling water for the pasta. Once the cubes are dissolved, add the spaghetti. Cook to al dente. Right before draining the pasta, reserve a ladle of pasta water for the sauce.

Once the meatballs are cooked through, add the reserved starchy beefy pasta water and the butter to the sauce. Drain the spaghetti, discard the bay leaf and transfer to a large serving bowl. Top with the sauce and the remaining 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano. Pass more grated cheese at the table.

Yields 4 servings

Friday, October 20, 2006

Pudim Flan (Caramel Custard)

This is one that brings back childhood memories too, and memories of Christmas with all the family around the table.

I LOVE this custard, actually the word love doesn't even describe it, it's just sooooo decadent. If you've never tried it, you just have to, and it makes a great dessert for when you have company over. Go ahead and try it and let me know what you think!!!

I always make it for Christmas Eve, it's part of the Portuguese


1/3 cup plus 1 cup sugar
6 eggs
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
Zest of 1 lemon, grated fine

Melt 1/3 cup sugar in a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat until it turns golden brown. Carefully pour the caramel into a 1-1/2-quart casserole dish or divide it among eight individual ramekins (or custard cups) and set aside. Bring a kettle of water to a boil and preheat oven to 350°. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, beat eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until pale yellow. Stir in salt, milk, and lemon zest; mix well. Pour the mixture into casserole dish or divide among ramekins. Next, pour boiling water into a 2-quart (or larger) baking dish.

Set casserole dish or ramekins into this larger pan and place in the oven. Bake 50 to 55 minutes at 350°, until centers no longer jiggle when tapped. Let cool. To serve, invert pan on a plate and let the carmelized sugar sauce ooze over the flan.

I always make mine in one big dish, but a lot of people will do the individual ramekins. The reason I make mine an individual big one is that I find it's easier for when you have company over, that way I don't have to worry about making enough or having to make 2 or 3 etc.

Enjoy :)

Thursday, October 19, 2006


"This melt in your mouth recipe from my grandmother has been in my family since 1899."
Recipe courtesy of : Marie Ayers

What is better than ginger anything during the Fall season??? It's rainy here today and dark and cold and I always love being in the kitchen cooking or baking with the kids.

I wanted to bake cookies this afternoon, and I was trying to think of a go
od recipe that included either pumpkin or molasses or ginger......and then I remembered that a while ago, Vicki from "Turkey Feathers" had posted about these great Gingersnap cookies. I knew I had to try them, so I followed her link to the recipe.

This is what the kids and I will be baking this afternoon, and I'll come back and post our pictures once the cookies are done :)

Just like Vicki, I plan on slathering some vanilla frosting in between them...oh goodness, I'm salivating at the thought :)

Picture courtesy of: Turkey Feathers



* 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
* 1 tablespoon ground ginger
* 2 teaspoons baking soda
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 3/4 cup shortening
* 1 cup white sugar
* 1 egg
* 1/4 cup dark molasses
* 1/3 cup cinnamon sugar


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (275 degrees C).
2. Mix and sift the first 5 ingredients. Sift a second time and place the mixture back into the sifter.
3. Beat the shortening until creamy. Add the 1 cup of sugar gradually and continue beating. Beat in the egg and the molasses.
4. Sift into this about 1/3 of the flour mixture, stirring and blending well. Repeat until all is added. Roll the dough into tiny balls by hand, rolling each in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar.
5. Place 2 inches apart on a ungreased baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes until the tops are rounded and slightly cracked. Cool on a wire rack. Store in an air tight container.

Yield: 5 Dozen

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Sausage Rice!!!

Now this is one recipe that I remember from my childhood. When I was going to school in Portugal, I had afternoon classes, so every day my greatgrandmother would make us lunch, which was always yummy stuff.

This rice dish was by far one of my favorites, it was good but also filling. It's one that I make nowadays and my kids enjoy.

So here goes, now remember though that I'm not a chef and I don't like cooking according to specific measurements and methods etc....I cook from the heart and I would say with my eyes....hence the eyeballing of ingredients at times :)


2 tbps olive oil
1 bay leaf
1 tsp garlic, crushed
salt and pepper to taste
1 small can tomato sauce
1 medium onion, chopped
1 lb sausage, sliced (now here you can use ANY sausage you like even sliced hotdogs)
1 1/2 cups of rice
3 cups of water

In a pan over medium heat, add oil, bay leaf, garlic, salt and pepper, tomato sauce and onion. Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes or until onion is tender....add the sausage and cook for another 5 to 6 minutes.

Add the rice and the water to the pan, reduce the heat to low and cook for about 20 minutes or until rice is done.

I usually check often to make sure that there is still enough water or if needed I add just a little more, I want the rice to be cooked but I also want a bit of the sauce to stay, so I don't want it completely dried up.

Remove the bay leaf and serve, along with a salad or some veggies.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Menu Plan Monday!!!

This week's menu is simple because hubby is still gone until Sunday. The kids have enjoyed all these Breakfasts for Dinner and their favorite meals, me on the other hand, enjoyed it but I'm more than ready to start cooking again.....I miss my stove!!!!

If you want to share your own menu, be sure to drop by Laura at "I'm an Organizing Junkie" and add your name to the list, there's tons of other wonderful ladies sharing their family menus too, I'm sure you could get some great ideas :)

As always, if there is a specific recipe you would like to see, just let me know and I'll post it :)

I'm going to post the recipe for the Strawberry Stuffed French Toast. It's one that my family loves and it's super easy to make.

Photo courtesy of: la.foodblogging.com


8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup strawberry jam
1/4 cup chopped pecans
French or Italian bread

4 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 Tbsp vanilla
(beat together)

Mix cream cheese, jam and nuts. Cut Italian or French bread into diagonal pieces about 1 inch thick. Cut pocket in each slice. Stuff with mixture. Dip into batter, coating both sides. With skillet on medium heat, brown both sides in margarine.

Sunday, October 15, 2006


2 C. Bisquick

2/3 C. milk

1/2 C. shredded Cheddar Cheese

1/2 C. butter or margarine, melted

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

  1. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Mix Bisquick, milk and cheese until a soft dough forms. Drop by spoonfuls onto an ungreased cooking sheet.
  2. Bake 8- 10 min until golden brown. Mix butter and garlic powder.
  3. Brush mixture over warm biscuits before removing from cookie sheet.

This is an extremely easy recipe and it always turns out good. Now I no longer have to wait until my next visit to Red Lobster, to enjoy these wonderful biscuits. Go ahead give them a try :)

Saturday, October 14, 2006


This next dish is also great for leftovers, and you can use meat or chicken, even fish, it's just delicious with either one.

It's a great filling meal because it includes scrambled eggs.

Beef Braz Style

Leftover chicken, beef or fish
1 medium onion, sliced
2 medium potatoes, sliced into thin fries
1 garlic clove, crushed
6 eggs
Olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
Parsley to garnish

In a large skillet add about 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the garlic and cook over low heat until it starts to brown. Remove garlic and add the fries.

Cook fries until done, and lightly browned, remove with a spatula to a dish and set aside.

On the same oil, fry the onions until tender, remove them to a dish and set aside too, next put in the leftover meat and cook until warmed through. Remove skillet from heat and add the fries and the onions. Mix everything well.

In a separate bowl, mix the eggs until well blended, add salt and pepper to taste, and then add the eggs to the skillet.

Return to the heat and stir constantly until the eggs are done (they should look like scrambled eggs), incorporating all the ingredients. Remove from heat and garnish with parsley. Serve immediately.


The translation of the name of this dish, is one that usually makes people go "WHAT?!?!?!", because it means "Old Clothes". Yeah, Old Clothes, but really don't be afraid of the name because it has nothing to do with the wonderful taste.

It's nothing extravagant or difficult to make, it's pretty simple and the dish is usually about using leftover meats and veggies from a previous meal, though a lot of people use it for the leftover Christmas Meal, which means codfish, potatoes, cauliflower etc.

This is so simple:


In a large skillet pour 3 tablespoons of olive oil and tons of finely chopped garlic. Now if you don't like that much garlic, just use one clove, finely chopped....my family and I LOVE garlic so I use a lot.

Next you add one large onion, finely sliced. Toss together with the garlic and olive oil, then add the leftover meat, shredded or cut into bite size chunks..

Add potatoes or leftover veggies and stir together over medium heat until it's warmed through.
A great idea is to use some Potatoes O' Brien. I always have them on hand, and when the leftovers didn't have any veggies, I add about a half a package of the Pototoes, it's great because they already have peppers included.

That's IT!!! It's a great way to use leftovers especially if you have a big pot roast sitting in the fridge :)

Monday, October 09, 2006


So tonight I'm fixing Chicken and Dumplings, it's a great recipe that I found online and I'm trying this version for the first time, hope it's good :)



* 2 tablespoons butter
* 1 large yellow onion, chopped
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 pound boneless chicken thighs
* 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
* 1 (10 ounce) package frozen mixed vegetables
* 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
* 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
* 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
* 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
* 3 tablespoons shortening
* 2/3 cup buttermilk


1. Melt butter in a large saucepan or pot over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic for 5 minutes, then stir in chicken and saute until browned, about 7 to 10 minutes. Stir in broth, vegetables, sage and thyme; mix all together and let simmer over medium heat while preparing the dumplings.

2. In a medium bowl, mix flour and parsley together. Add shortening and stir mixture into a coarse, mealy dough. Stir in buttermilk, a little bit at a time, until dough holds together and is soft but firm. (If needed, add up to 2 tablespoons more buttermilk).

3. Bring chicken mixture to a boil over medium high heat and drop round spoonfuls of dumpling mixture on top (do not let dumplings touch each other). Reduce heat to low, cover pot and let simmer for 10 to 12 minutes.

Menu Plan Monday!!!

Alright ladies, it's time for another Menu Plan Monday, thank you Laura for hosting this every monday :) I just love knowing what others are cooking, and I usually get really good ideas for my own menus!!!

So I wish I could thrill you all with some
GREAT menu for this week, but when hubby goes TDY somewhere, it's just me and the kids and honestly, I'm not going to cook big meals because the kids just don't want to eat. A little nibble here and there and that's it.

With that in mind, this weeks meals are all kid friendly, it's like a kid party menu stretched out over the next two weeks LOL

Enjoy!!! I know I'm going to!!!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Slow-Cooked Sirloin!!!

This is what we're having for dinner tonight, it's already cooking away in the slow cooker and it smells heavenly.

Oh btw, the other day someone asked if I was going to share the recipe for the Smoky Flavored Barbecue Ribs, and since I posted it under my Slow Cooking Thursday post, just click here for it.

As always I will come back and post the pictures after it's ready to eat.


1 boneless beef sirloin steak (1-1/2 pounds)
1 medium onion, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 medium green pepper, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) reduced-sodium beef broth
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon dill weed
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Dash crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water

In a large nonstick skillet coated with nonstic cooking spray, brown beef on both sides. Place onion and green pepper in a 3-qt. slow cooker. Top with beef. Combine the broth, Worcestershire sauce, dill, thyme, pepper and pper flakes; pour over beef. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or until meat reaches desired doneness and vegetables are crisp-tender.

Remove beef and keep warm. Combine cornstarch and water until smooth; gradually stir into cooking juices. Cover and cook about 30 minutes longer or until slightly thickened. Return beef to the slow cooker; heat through.

Yield: 6 servings
Light & Tasty Magazine Sept. 19, 2005

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Crockpot Beef Stroganoff!!!

I came upon this recipe online and just couldn't pass it up. I LOVE Beef Stroganoff but never fix it in the crockpot, so being able to find a quicker and easier way to make it, is just a plus for me.

The house smells wonderful, is there anything better than crockpot cooking??? I tell you, the few minutes I spend dumping the ingredients into the crockpot are no match for the amazing meal you get at the end of the day :)

So here goes....I got this one from Cooks.com:


3 lb. beef round steak, 1/2 inch thick
1/2 c. flour
2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
2 med. onions, thinly sliced and separated into rings
2 (4 oz. each) cans sliced mushrooms, drained or 1/2 lb. mushrooms, sliced
1 (10 1/2 oz.) can condensed beef broth
1/4 c. dry white wine (optional)
1 1/2 c. sour cream
1/4 c. flour

Trim all excess fat from steak and cut meat into 3 inch strips about 1/2 inch wide. Combine 1/2 cup flour, the salt, pepper and dry mustard; toss with steak strips to coat thoroughly. Place coated steak strips in crock pot; stir in onion rings and mushrooms.

Add beef broth and wine; stir well. Cover and cook on low setting for 8-10 hours. Before serving, combine sour cream with 1/4 cup flour; stir into crock pot.

Serve stroganoff over rice or noodles.


Monday, October 02, 2006


Tonight's dinner is per hubby's request. A few weeks back I decided to serve my curry the way I'm used to eating it back home.

Up until that time I had omitted the bananas, green peppers and coconut as the garnishes because I didn't think they would appeal to my family. But a few weeks ago I decided to take the plunge and just gave it to them....they didn't really want to try it but decided to anyway and now, I am NOT ALLOWED to serve curry any other way. LOL

So I'm linking you to the recipe, because it's been posted before as Beef Curry. I use the same base recipe but change the main ingredient, either beef, chicken, shrimp or crab are just wonderful.

You want to be sure you have a good curry powder, mine actually comes from South Africa.



The wonderful lady over at "Overwhelmed with Joy" is hosting this great recipe exchange today.
I'm sure you're familiar with her weekly "Five Ingredients Friday" feature, so this is just another way to add to your recipe collection.

Here is what she had to say:
As the holiday season draws near, I thought it might be fun to host a holiday specific recipe exchange called Holiday Cooking, Blogger Style! Don't worry, these don't have to be just 5 ingredients they can be as long as you'd like. I don't mind the extra time and effort in the kitchen during the holidays, I just ask that they are tried and true recipes.

As most of you know, I'm portuguese. We have traditions and ways of doing things, and of course we have our recipes for the Holidays.

The traditional Christmas meal in Portugal is eaten during the evening of Christmas Eve and consists of codfish with vegetables and boiled potatoes. This is normally followed by shellfish, wild meats or other expensive foods.

Every house has a rich table set in the living room full with traditional food, cakes, fried cookies, nuts and other goodies! The traditional Xmas cake is "Bolo Rei" (meaning King Cake) which is placed in the center of the table. People drink porto wine, traditional liquors and eat 'azevias' and 'filhozes' (Portuguese biscuits and sweets). The party lasts until the early hours of the morning!

On Christmas Day the living room table remains untouched and people still enjoy their goodies together! Families come together and have Christmas Day lunch together.

With that in mind, I wanted to share a few recipes for some of the foods you will find on the Christmas table. Prepare yourselves, they're not only good, but dangerous (can't eat just one).

(Portuguese Shrimp Turnovers)

1 lb bag of shrimp (salad shrimp works fine)
1 tbsp butter or margarine
1 cup flour
1 cup water

1 small onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp butter or margarine
1 tbsp flour
Salt and pepper to taste
Red chilli pepper flakes to taste

For the Pastry, boil one cup of water with the margarine and a little bit of salt, to taste. When the water starts boiling, add the cup of flour, mixing well until it forms a ball and pulls away from the sides. Remove from the pan and turn onto a lightly floured surface.

Knead briefly until dough is smooth and slightly springs back when pressed with fingers. Just don't overwork the dough. Divide the dough into two balls, cover with a dish towel and set aside until it cools down.

For the Filling, in one tbsp of butter, fry the onion. Add one tablespoon of flour and a little bit of water. Add the salt and chilli flakes to taste. Add the shrimp and mix well. I usually go in and add some garlic and paprika or just make sure it has enough salt and pepper.

When the dough is cool, take half the dough and roll out to 1/8-inch thickness. Using a cutter that is 3 1/2 to 4 inches in diameter (smaller if making appetizers for a party), cut round circles of dough.

Place 1 teaspoon of filling in the middle of a circle. Fold the dough over to form a half circle, pressing the edges together. Set aside on a sheet pan or tray lined with plastic wrap. Repeat until all the filling is used.

Dip them in beaten egg and then breadcrumbs and then fry them in about 2 to 3 inches of oil, until golden brown. Remove and set on paper towels to drain.

You can also try using Chicken, Tuna or even Codfish in place of the shrimp. These are really really good, and yes they take a bit of time to make, but well worth the effort.

Category: Appetizers

(Cod Fish Cakes)

This is another Portuguese Favorite. They are always a part of the Portuguese Christmas Feast, but they're also present at any gathering, parties, holidays or even as a snack. Try them, you will definitely love them :)

* 5 Potatoes
* 1 Slice of boneless salted cod (2 if small)

* 2 cloves of parsley chopped

* Pepper (to taste)

* Salt (to taste)

* 1 small onion chopped

* 3 large eggs

* ½ tsp. Baking Powder

* 2 Tbsp. Wheat Flour

* Vegetable oil (enough to fill approximately half of frying pan)

1. Cod must be soaked (re-hydrated) in water for 24 hours.

2. Boil potatoes (add salt to water if desired) and cod fish.
3. Once cooked and while cod is cooling, mash the potatoes.
4. Once cod is cool peel off skin and tear into small pieces.

5. Put cod in a clean cloth, wrap it and beat it against a counter.
(This mashes cod into fine pieces.)
6. Once cod is “mashed” into small pieces add to mashed potatoes.

7. Add chopped onion, parsley, pepper, onion and eggs.

8. Mix well.
9. Add baking powder and wheat four and mix well.

Cooking Instructions

1. Heat oil in frying pan, (or deep fryer) once hot, dip two tablespoons into oil.

2. Then grab the mixture in one spoon and shape with other into ovals.

3. Place into frying pan with hot oil.

4. Once it is a golden colour, remove and place on and cover with paper towel to soak up oil.

5. Repeat procedure until all mixture is done.

Category: Appetizers

(Leite Creme)

2 cups milk
7 egg yolks

2 tsp. flour

A pinch of salt

350 g fine granulated sugar (e.g., berry or caster sugar)

A few strips of lemon zest (optional)

1 cinnamon stick + powdered cinnamon

Mix the flour with a few spoonfuls of milk, set aside, pour the remaining milk into a saucepan, add the lemon zest and cinnamon stick. Heat over a low flame, stirring with a wooden spoon, remove from the heat once the milk is very hot, let cool to lukewarm. In a bowl, beat the egg yolks until light and frothy, add to the warm milk, return the saucepan to the heat and remove once the mixture is hot. Add the flour-milk mixture, return to the heat and let thicken, stirring constantly. Remove the lemon zest and cinnamon stick, pour into an oval baking dish, let cool until the custard forms a thin skin on top, sprinkle with 100 g (7 tbsp.) sugar. Optional: heat the base of a cast-iron disk or flat iron over a high flame until white hot and apply it to the sugar for a few seconds to caramelize the sugar on the custard, or sprinkle with cinnamon in a geometric pattern.

Category: Desserts

(Sweet Pasta Dessert)

My greatgrandmother LOVED this dessert, so when Christmas time came around, this was one of the dishes she just had to have. It brings back great memories :)

4 cups water
Rind of 1 lemon, slivered

8 oz angel hair pasta, broken into thirds

2 cups milk

1 1/2 cups sugar

6 egg yolks

Ground cinnamon

In a sauce pot, bring the water and lemon rind to a boil. Add pasta; cook until water is absorbed. Add the milk and sugar; bring to a boil. Lower heat and cook, stirring constantly, for 10 minutes. In a bowl, beat yolks; add a little of the hot milk mixture. Stirring constantly, slowly add egg mixture to the hot noodle mixture; cook over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool for 10 minutes. Pour into a serving dish. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Chill before serving. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Category: Desserts

(Boiled Codfish with potatoes or chickpeas)

Ask any portuguese person, and they are sure to tell you that Christmas isn't Christmas without the Codfish. This is usually the meal fixed for Christmas Eve, it's really really good :)

4 thick slices of salt cod,
150 g (6 oz.) each 8 potatoes or 4 handfuls of chickpeas and 4 potatoes
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
4 whole eggs, in their shells
Green vegetables - broccoli, fresh beans, spinach, as desired
1 onion, finely chopped
1 bunch of parsley, chopped
Wine vinegar
Extra-virgin olive oil

1. Desalt the cod and soak the chickpeas in the same water for 12 hours;
2. place some salted water in a large saucepan and bring to the boil; add the chickpeas; lower the heat and let simmer covered for 1 hour 40 minutes;
3. check the water level from time to time; if you have to add more water, pour in boiling water - otherwise you risk ruining the cooking;
4. continue as below.

Preparation with potatoes - 20 minutes

1. To the saucepan containing the chickpeas, or another pot half-filled with boiling water, add the eggs, vegetables, potatoes and cod;
2. let simmer uncovered over medium heat for about 20 minutes or until the vegetables are completely cooked;
3. drain the eggs and shell them.


1. Place the cod on a serving platter surrounded by the potatoes, chickpeas and vegetables;
2. garnish with the hard-boiled eggs;
3. place small cruets of oil and vinegar on the table so that guests can dress their plates to their own taste;
4. offer the chopped garlic, parsley and onion in separate little dishes.

Category: Main Dish

Menu Plan Monday!!!

Well it's monday and that means "Time to pull out the menu's". Laura over at "I'm an Organizing Junkie" hosts this wonderful weekly meme, so if you're interested in playing along or checking out what everyone else is cooking, just go on over.

Here is my menu for this week, I'm going to be using my slow cooker for three of the meals and I'm trying out 4 new recipes, so I'm hoping they're good. As always I will share the recipes on the actual day that I'm making that dish, so if something catches your eye, be sure to come back and check :)