Monday, October 27, 2008

Crockpot Beef Curry!

So easy, I usually make it on the stove but actually tried it in the crockpot this weekend and WOW was it good.

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CROCKPOT BEEF CURRY

1 lb stewing beef
1 onion, chopped finely
olive oil
salt and pepper
1 bay leaf
paprika
1 or 2 tablespoons of curry powder (depending on how hot you want it)
1 small can of tomato sauce
1 cup of water
1 can of coconut milk
cooked rice
coconut


In a crockpot add a bit of olive oil, beef, onion, salt and pepper, curry powder, bay leaf, a dash of paprika, tomato sauce and 1 cup of water. Cook on high for 2 hours.

15 minutes before it's done, add the coconut milk, when the time is up check the gravy, if it's too runny, whisk in 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and stir until thickened.

Serve over cooked white rice and sprinkle on coconut. TRUST ME, don't be weirded out by the coconut on top, it makes the curry and it helps cut some of the heat from the curry powder.

Enjoy!

Bolo Marmore - Marble Cake

If there's one single cake that brings back childhood memories, it's this one. I remember sitting around the kitchen table with my brothers as we waited for my stepmom to cut us a slice, then taking the biggest bite ever and ooohhh ahhhhing for a while.

Tonight is like being back home, it's like reverting back to when I was 5 or 6 years old and enjoying a home cooked meal after a day of playing outside until dark....I can see my greatgrandmother with a smile on her face as she dished out the dinner she had made for our family, Shepherd's Pie or Cottage Pie whichever you prefer and Marble Cake for dessert.

My husband is working a new shift which means he will only see the kids on the weekends and they're missing him already, so tonight is all about comfort food and giving my children the same wonderful memories that I hope one day will remind them of home.

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BOLO MARMORE - MARBLE CAKE

1 1/2 cups of sugar
2 sticks of butter, softened
6 eggs, separated
3/4 cup cornstarch
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 capful vanilla extract (just use the bottle cap to measure)
2 tablespoons cocoa powder


Beat sugar with softened butter....add egg yolks one at a time and vanilla extract

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Beat egg whites until stiff

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Mix flour, cornstarch and baking powder, then alternate incorporating the egg whites and the flour into the egg mixture.

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Divide the batter in half, add 2 tablespoons of chocolate to one of the them.

Then by the spoonsful, add the mixture to the cake pan that has been sprayed with non stick spray.

Since the kids were helping me with the cake, I gave them measuring cups to add the cake batter into the pan.

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Preheat the oven to 350º. Bake the cake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

While the cake is baking, give the kids the mixing bowls and cups and let them go to town........aahhhh the best part of making a cake isn't it?

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Waffles with Vanilla Custard!

Another great recipe from Mennonite Girls Can Cook.

The vanilla custard reminds me of the one I used to eat back home in South Africa, LOVE IT.

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WAFFLES (makes about 4 - 5 round waffles)
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 egg and
2 egg whites - save yolks for sauce
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
6 Tbsp oil

Preheat waffle iron. Mix dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Add buttermilk, oil and eggs; mix until smooth (with hand held mixer). Spread onto hot waffle iron. (leave room around edge for batter to spread) You may want to spray or wipe the Teflon with an oily paper towel, just before cooking the first waffle. It should be fine then until the next time you use it.

VANILLA SAUCE

2 cups milk, divided
2 (rounded) Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/8 tsp. vanilla powder or 1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 egg yolks

In a small pot, heat 1 cup milk until it begins to boil. (med heat) While you are doing this:
mix dry ingredients, add just a little of the 2nd cup of milk, blend the egg yolks in well, and then the rest of the milk. Just before the milk in the pot begins to boil up, stir in the sauce and stir with whisk until the sauce begins to cook and thicken. Done!

Veggie Lasagna!

We're big pasta lovers in this house and especially when it comes to a hot comforting lasagna straight out of the oven. But I like making different versions , not always sticking to the same plain ol' lasagna....this is a vegetable lasagna but you can certainly add in some ground beef or sausage or chicken or whatever you wish.

The original recipe comes from Mennonite Girls Can Cook.

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VEGGIE LASAGNA


1 large red onion. . chopped fine
2 cloves of garlic. .minced
4 cups of sliced mushrooms
1 medium zucchini diced
1 bell pepper diced. . any color will do
1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning
1 jar of tomato pasta sauce. . 22 ounce or 700 ml.
1 19 ounce can or 540 ml. of diced herb tomatoes
1/2 cup of shredded fresh basil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
a good grind of fresh black pepper

12 oven ready lasagna noodles
and mozzerella cheese (light if you are wanting to cut calories)


Spray a lasagna pan with Pam.
In a large heavy pot, either spray with pam or put a tablespoon of olive oil in the pot.
Saute the onions and garlic a few minutes add the recest of the veggies and seasoning and simmer about 10 minutes.

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Add the Pasta sauce undrained tomatoes, basil and balsamic vinegar.


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At this point I added in some maple breakfast sausage

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Let it simmer about 20 minutes on low


Cheese and Spinach Layer
Mix together. .
1 pound or 454 grams of ricotta cheese
1 - 2 cups of crumbled feta
1 package of chopped frozen spinach that has been thawed and squeezed of its liquid
1 large egg
Set aside

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Preheat the oven to 375.

In the pan .. layer 1 1/2 cups of the sauce
4 lasagna noodles
1/3 of remaining sauce
1/2 of the ricotta and spinach filling
Repeat the layer
Finish with the remaining noodles.
Cover with foil and put it in the oven for half an hour.
Remove the foil and add mozzerella cheese and bake for an additional 20 minutes or so until it is nicely browned.
Let sit a few minutes

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Friday, October 24, 2008

Simple White Bread!

I've tried many bread recipes over the years and there's a few that I stick to, mainly because they're the ones that I know for sure will turn out well and taste great.

This is one of the easiest recipes I have and after realizing this morning that I was completely out of bread, I decided it was the perfect one to use because I don't have to worry about kneading or letting it rise for an hour or two. Surprisingly though, it tastes really good, I think actually one of the best tasting breads I've had in a while. Wow!

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Simple White Bread

2 cups of warm milk
2 packets of instant dry yeast
1 whole egg
1/3 cup of vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups of all purpose flour

With an electric beater, mix the milk, yeast, egg, oil, sugar and salt.

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Add the flour

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and using a wooden spoon, mix the dough until smooth....the dough will be soft and more like a batter.


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Pour the dough into two greased loaf pans, fill about halfway as this dough will rise a LOT.

Yes I know, doesn't exactly look like bread does it, more like a cake batter... but don't mock it till you try it....though I admit at this point I was starting to question the whole bread thing, see I'm a lover not a fighter cook not a baker.

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Preheat the oven to 350 º and bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. (this just sounds more and more like cake doesn't it?)

Make sure not to open the door of the oven AT ALL while the bread is baking, you don't want to mess it up, or whatever it is that happens when you open the oven door and things turn out yucky. Again I'm NOT a baker!

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Cajun Spiced Chicken with Bacon and Cheese!

One of our favorite sandwiches, really they're a meal on their own and you don't even need to make a side dish. If you do want one, you could always serve these with some potato wedges or fries.

I first saw this recipe on one of the blogs online and I jotted it down but completely lost the link, so if this is from your site, please let me know.

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Cajun Spiced Chicken with Bacon and Cheese

You will need:
2 skinless chicken breast fillets - sliced into thinnish strips
4 rashers of streaky bacon - cut into 1 inch pieces
1 handful of grated Cheddar cheese
2 crusty baguettes

For the marinade mix together the following:

2 teaspoons of cornflour, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 2 teaspoons of Cajun spice mix.

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Put the chicken strips into the marinade mixture for at least 15 minutes.

In the meantime, drizzle some olive oil over the baguettes or french bread and pop in the oven for about 20 minutes until nice and warm and toasty.

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In a skillet, fry the bacon until cooked and almost crunchy. Remove the bacon, don't drain the drippings, you'll need it to cook the chicken.

This is not exactly a healthy recipe that's why we don't have it very often, but once in a while it's good to throw caution or diet or whatever to the wind and indulge.

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Remove the bacon and set to one side. Now drain off the excess marinade from the chicken and fry the chicken in the same pan as you used for the bacon.

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Just before your chicken is cooked through, put the bacon back in to heat through.

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Pull the bread out of the oven and top with the chicken and bacon.

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Sprinkle on the shredded cheese and pop back in the oven for about 5 minutes until it's melted and gooey. ENJOY!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Mexican Potato Casserole!

OH MY WORD is all I have to say. I just had two big helpings, I'm full, more like about to burst actually but it was worth every bite.

This recipe got rave reviews from the family, even the kids had two helpings and that is saying a LOT because usually we have days that we can't even get them to eat a bite of their dinner.

I got this recipe from Mennonite Girls Can Cook. You should go by there and take a look at the amazing food they have.

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Mexican Potato Casserole

4 medium potatoes, with peel
4 Tablespoons butter
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cups salsa
1 cup chopped peppers (red, green or yellow) *I omitted the peppers since my kids don't like them*
1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese


Cut potatoes into bite-size pieces and place in greased casserole dish.
Melt butter...stir in taco seasoning.

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Pour over the potatoes and stir to coat well.

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Bake uncovered at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes.
Stir...bake 10 minutes longer.

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Brown and crumble beef; add onion and cook until soft...then drain.

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Stir in salsa and chopped peppers.

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Pour over potatoes.

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Top with grated cheese.

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Bake uncovered for 10 minutes.

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Menu Plan Monday October 20


Hey Ladies, come on into my kitchen and see what I'm cooking this week.

MENU PLAN

Monday 20th

B: Biscuit Donuts
L: Chicken Soup
D: Portuguese Bean Soup

http://www.receitasdamamae.net/fotos/Sopadefeijao.jpg

Tuesday 21st


B: Cereal, Milk
L: Lean Pocket, Veggies
D: Barbecue Chicken Pizza

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Wednesday 22nd


B: Toast w/ Blackberry Preserves
L: Soup, Yogurt
D: Cajun Spiced Chicken w/ Bacon and Cheese

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Thursday 23rd


B: Cereal, Milk
L: Salad
D: Shepherd's Pie

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Friday 24th

B: Sausage Biscuits, Apple Juice
L: Grilled Cheese and Tomato
D: Cornish pastries w/ potato wedges

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Saturday 25th

B: Scrambled Eggs, Sausage
L: Sub Sandwiches
D: Spaghetti w/ bacon and mushrooms



Sunday 26th


B: FFYB (Fend for yourself breakfast)
L: Chicken Nuggets, Mac & Cheese
D: Portuguese Chicken and Rice