Sunday, March 29, 2009

Easy Cream Puffs!

A while back I saw this recipe on Bunny's Warm Oven and just knew that I had to give it a try.

I love cream puffs but I don't make them very often because of how time consuming they are, the fact that this recipe is quick and easy AND it calls for using Puff Pastry, was enough to make me put it on my list to try.

Today was the perfect day, it's been cloudy and windy and just the type of weather to make me want to get into the kitchen and bake.


Cream-filled Pastry
-Bunny's Warm Oven


PASTRY:
1 pkg. frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed per package directions

Remove the package of puff pastry from the box; take it out of the wrapper and allow it to sit on the counter @ room temperature for 20-30 minutes Carefully open one pastry sheet along the creases; place remaining sheet in the refrigerator to keep it cold (I cut the pastry when it's partially frozen-as long as I can unfold it and it doesn't tear, it's fine. The pastry seems to puff higher when it bakes if it's cold when it goes in the oven). Using a long, sharp knife, cut each strip of pastry at creases, forming 3 strips. Cut each strip widthwise into 7 pieces, slicing straight down-don't drag the knife across the pastry. Flip each cut piece over (to place the side you cut on down onto the sheet). Place on lightly greased baking sheets, leaving room between each piece. Repeat with remaining sheet of pastry. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to a wire rack and cool completely. Using a serrated knife, slice through the center to make top and bottom halves.


CREAM FILLING:
1 c. whole milk
5 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 c. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. shortening
1/2 c. butter or margarine, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Place flour in a small saucepan; slowly whisk in milk. Cook and whisk constantly over low heat until mixture thickens and comes to a boil. Remove from heat; place mixture into a small bowl. Cover bowl with a paper towel and cool to room temperature.
Place cooled mixture in bowl of electric mixer; beat until fluffy. Add remaining ingredients, one at a time, and continue beating on medium-high speed for 5-10 minutes or until light and fluffy (I use my KitchenAid mixer-I start with the paddle, then when all the ingredients are very well mixed, I switch to the whisk attachment and let that do the rest of the work). The mixture should look like a whipped cream type frosting. I rub a little of it between my fingers to make sure the sugar has totally dissolved. Spread about 1 Tbsp. of filling on bottom half of each pastry; replace tops. Store in refrigerator. Yield: 42 pastries.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Jucy Lucy!

Have you heard of the Jucy Lucy Hamburger?

I admit I hadn't heard of it until yesterday, while watching the Travel channel's
"Man V Food" I got a glimpse of the first Jucy Lucy.....and my mouth dropped, and it drooled and my stomach growled and it evoked all these delicious thoughts in my head.

Cheryl Bristol, daughter of Matt Bristol, the bar's founder and namesake, tells the well-known tale: "The whole story goes like this: There was a bachelor customer who used to come in every day and order a burger. One day, in 1954, he told the cook to seal up some cheese in the middle. So the cook did, and when he bit into it the hot cheese spurted out, and he wiped his mouth and said, 'Oooh, that's one juicy lucy!' They used to talk goofy like that back then." The name went up on the board as "Jucy Lucy," and they've been serving a couple hundred a week ever since.

There was NO way I could go without making one at home. It's not that hard, just imagine if you will a burger with the cheese "inside", with every bite, it oozes out and drips onto your hands. Yeah...AMAZING!

So here's my own version of the Jucy Lucy.

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Sandra's Jucy Lucy

1 lb ground beef (no leaner than 80%)
salt
onion flakes
garlic powder
black pepper
4 slices American cheese (NOT cheddar, it has to be american or you won't have the melty delicious gooey mess)
4 buns (I actually had mine on toasted sliced bread)
Your favorite condiments and toppings


In a big bowl, combine the beef, salt, garlic, black pepper and onion flakes. Divide into equal 8 portions.

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Shape each portion into a hamburger patty.

Take each slice of cheese and cut into four pieces, place in the middle of four of the patties.

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Top with another patty and crimp the edges tightly to seal.

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Cook 3 to 4 minutes on the first side. You'll notice that burger will puff up, that's fine.

Turn the burger over and then gently poke the top with a toothpick or wooden skewer, so the steam can escape.

Cook another 3 to 4 minutes. Serve on a bun with your favorite condiments.

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Monday, March 23, 2009

Stuffed Meatloaf!

I was looking around online and found a recipe called "Messy Meatloaf", it looked really good, but as always, I can't seem to leave a recipe alone without messing with it, so I tweaked it here and there and came up with not so much a loaf, but more of a flat loaf.

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STUFFED TURKEY MEATLOAF



1 can mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
fresh baby spinach
Spaghetti sauce, divided
shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 lb ground turkey
1 lb ground beef
1 egg, lightly beaten
½ cup Italian style bread crumbs
1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix together turkey, beef, egg, bread crumbs, mushrooms, seasoning and salt.

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Spoon half of meat mixture onto a greased baking pan. Flatten and smooth out.

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Top with a layer of spaghetti sauce, spinach leaves

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and shredded cheese.

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Top with remaining meat, flatten again and then go around the edges an seal, pulling in the loaf away from the sides of the pan.

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Spread some more spaghetti sauce on top and sprinkle with shredded cheese.

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Bake for about an hour or until meat registers at 170 degrees.

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Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing. ENJOY!


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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Lemon Tea Cookies!

So I got my new Farm Chicks Cookbook in the mail this afternoon and there is SO much goodness in there, but these caught my eye, maybe because I was sitting under my lemon tree reading the book.

They are SO SO good....melt in your mouth and topped with a lemony sweet frosting. YUM!

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LEMON TEA COOKIES
Credit: Farm Chicks Cookbook

1 1/2 cups all -purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup confectioner's sugar, sifted
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
Lemon Frosting (recipe below)


Make the dough: Whisk together the flour, cornstarch, confectioner's sugar, and salt in a medium-size bowl.

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Cream the butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed; add the lemon juice and zest, beating until combined. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat on low speed until well combined.

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Shape the dough: Divide dough in half. Roll each half into a log approximately 1/2 by 8 inches.

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Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

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Bake the cookies: Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut each log into 1/4-inch slices; arrange on baking sheets, spacing about 1-inch apart. Bake until cookies are firm - 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the cookies from the baking sheets to a wire rack to cool. Spread Lemon Frosting over each cookie.



LEMON FROSTING

Beat 1 cup sifted confectioner's sugar, 1/4 cup softened unsalted butter, and 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice in a medium-size bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Use immediately. Makes about 1/2 cup.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Cheesy Tuna Casserole

It's one of those dishes that everyone seems to have a different version for. I came up with my own when the kids were little and I was running late for dinner. I didn't have all the ingredients on hand that the recipe called for, so I improvised.

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CHEESY TUNA CASSEROLE

2 cans of tuna, drained
1 green onion, sliced
8 oz. pasta (I used Cellentani, but feel free to use your favorite)
8 oz. heavy cream
1 envelope brown gravy
1 to 2 cups of shredded cheese
dried parsley

Cook the pasta according to package directions, drain.

In a medium bowl, combine the tuna, green onion, cream, gravy and half of the cheese. Mix well and then add the pasta to the mixture and stir everything together.

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Pour into a baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining cheese, bake in a 375 degree oven until bubbly and the cheese is melted.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Two Week Menu Plan

I do my grocery shopping on the 1st and the 15th of every month, so I shop for two weeks, it's easier for me to do it this way than shopping every single week.

Here is my menu for the next two weeks......with almost all the meals from my new Gooseberry Patch Cookbook.



MONDAY 16TH

{ Parmesan Chicken }




TUESDAY 17TH

{ Slow Cooker Chinese Chicken Curry }


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WEDNESDAY 18TH

{ Bacon Chicken Alfredo}

http://hostedmedia.reimanpub.com/TOH/Images/Photos/37/exps24072_QC10480D10A.jpg



THURSDAY 19TH

{ Creamy Mustard Pork & Mushrooms }

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_RQF8eZpyjeM/SXeALIRis7I/AAAAAAAAAkk/KW02ynA_IyA/s400/IMG_1187.JPG
Credit: Jam and Clotted Cream


FRIDAY 20TH

{ Stroganoff Steaks }

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Credit: Jam and Clotted Cream


SATURDAY 21ST

{ Spaghetti and meatballs & Garlic bread }


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SUNDAY 22ND

{ Slow Cooked Thai Red Pork }


Credit: Jam and Clotted Cream


MONDAY 23RD

{ Oven Baked Sausages with fries }

Credit: Jam and Clotted Cream


TUESDAY 24TH

{ Ranch Stew }

http://hostedmedia.reimanpub.com/TOH/Images/Photos/37/exps13493_CB1217C134A.jpg



WEDNESDAY 25TH

{ Cheesy Tuna Pasta Bake }

Credit: Jam and Clotted Cream


THURSDAY 26TH

{ Shrimp Stir Fry }

http://img.timeinc.net/recipes/i/recipes/su/05/10/shrimp-noodles-su-600526-l.jpg


FRIDAY 27TH

{ Chicken, Mushroom, Broccoli & Rice Casserole }

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_L_3iC0zfdoo/SQ_b-1w-bBI/AAAAAAAAJuc/8nquHa9K8Ts/s400/IMG_0658.JPG
Credit: For the love of cooking


SATURDAY 28TH

{ Grilled Steaks w/ baked potatoes }

http://jbutlersbarandgrille.com/images/menu/Steak.jpg


SUNDAY 29TH

{ Stuffed Turkey Meatloaf }


Credit: Jersey Girl Cooks


MONDAY 30TH

{ Roast Chicken and potatoes }

http://www.receitasdecomidas.com.br/fotos/frango-com-batatas.JPG


TUESDAY 31ST

{ Salisbury Steak w/ mushroom gravy }

Credit: For the love of cooking

Slow Cooker Chinese Chicken Curry

We are a curry loving family, so when I found this recipe at one of my favorite blogs, I just knew I had to try it, and boy am I glad I did....it is SO good. Go ahead and give it a try, I am sure you won't be disappointed.

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Slow Cooker Chinese Chicken Curry

Ingredients:
2 Onions, chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, chopped
1 TBSP Curry Powder
2 TSP Light Brown Sugar
200ml Chicken Stock
2 TBSP Soy Sauce
4 Skinless Chicken Breasts, cut into chunks
3 TBSP Cornflour
Method:
Step 1: Heat some oil in a wok, add onions and garlic and fry for 2 minutes.

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Stir in curry powder and fry for further 30 seconds. Add sugar, stock and soy sauce and bring to the boil
Step 2: Toss the chicken pieces in the cornflour and lay in bottom of slow cooker, pour over sauce and cook on low for 4-6 hours


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Step 3: Season and serve with rice.

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Pecan Sticky Muffins!

Here's what is for breakfast this morning, the kids absolutely love them.

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Pecan Sticky Muffins
Credit: Taste of Home

Ingredients:

* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 3 teaspoons baking powder
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 2 eggs
* 1 cup milk
* 1/4 cup vegetable oil
* 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* TOPPING:
* 1/4 cup butter, melted
* 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
* 1 cup chopped pecans

Directions:
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.

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In another bowl, beat the eggs, milk, oil, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.

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Into each greased muffin cup, spoon 1 teaspoon butter, 1 teaspoon brown sugar and 1 heaping tablespoon of pecans. Top each with 1/4 cup of batter.

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Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until muffins test done. Invert pan onto a piece of foil. Let stand for 2 minutes; remove pan. Serve warm. Yield: 1 dozen.

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