Sunday, December 25, 2011

How to Make Cranberry Orange Bread

This is a family favorite that was originally a James Beard concoction.

The sour-sweet combination is just right and the bread goes great as a dessert or meal accompaniment, in loaf or muffin-form.

How to Make Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffed mushrooms are one of those foods I like the idea of, but I hadn't actually made them until recently. I picked a filling that didn't require any pre-cooking, although I did throw some mushrooms stems in. Those could be sauteed in advance.

Bite-sized and bursting with flavor!

-Cream cheese
-Other cheeses, grated (cheddar, parmesan...)
-Green onions, chopped finely
-2 pieces cooked bacon
-salt, pepper, paprika
-walnuts, chopped finely

How to Make "Melting Moments" Shortbread Sandwich Cookies

Also known as "yo-yo" cookies, these are popular in Australia and New Zealand, but I managed to find a recipe with American measurements.

I get a craving for these every once in a while, and I'm never sure they're going to turn out. The cookie itself is pretty simple, and I decided to do a very basic icing instead of a more elaborate filling like some of them out there.

I had my doubts, but when they came together, it was the exact flavor and texture combination I was looking for! If you do an image search for these cookies, you can find lots of appetizing combinations. Appearance doesn't seem to be my winning feature in cooking, but I can guarantee the flavor!

The cookie recipe I used is this one:

And for the icing I used this:

Friday, December 16, 2011

How to Make Scrumptious Scrambled Eggs

My food photography needs help...
I think I am sadder about this blog's neglect than my other one. 7 months? Recipes are USEFUL. I will try to catch up over the holidays.

Here is a standby breakfast recipe, in the meantime.

I'm a rather sloppy, yet ambitious cook. Which means that I like to jump right into big projects without learning the basics of kitchen chemistry.

Today, I decided to learn how to make simple, scrambled eggs. But the taste is far from simple, especially after experimenting with kefir. YUM!

Scrambled eggs for 1 (makes a small portion; double if you like a hearty breakfast!)
1 large egg
1-2 tbsp kefir
1 pat of butter
salt and pepper

-Heat a non-stick pan over medium-low heat. Add butter. While butter is heating up, whisk the eggs, kefir, and seasoning together.
-Carefully pour egg mixture into pan. Let sit for a minute while the bottom layer sets and then GENTLY begin to move them around.
-When almost cooked through, turn off heat and allow to cook the rest of the way, nudging with the spatula if necessary.

P.S. I read this tip here: If you like them a little drier, use water. If you like them moist, use milk (kefir, cream, etc.).

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

How to Make Italian Tomato Soup

I'm not sure what makes this "Italian," but it makes it sound sophisticated, at least. :)

I'll confess, I really hate chopping vegetables for soup. Lately I've been making use of the frozen, pre-chopped ones. But here's a recipe that uses just a few ingredients. It has the potential to be made completely from scratch, if you like to avoid canned ingredients. Or you can use some short-cuts, like I did.

2 cans chicken broth (or chicken pieces for making broth)
1 can peeled, diced tomatoes
1 can white kidney beans
1 medium-sized onion
2 cloves of garlic
fresh or dried herbs
Additional: more vegetables, pasta, other kinds of beans

1) Boil chicken with bay leaves, carrot/onion/whatever you like to make the broth flavorful.
2) Remove chicken from broth.
3) Add beans, tomatoes to broth, bring to a boil, and allow to simmer (add additional veggies or pasta if using).
4) Saute onion and garlic, then add crushed herbs and stir for a few seconds.
5) Shred chicken from bone and add back in, along with onion, garlic, and spices.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

How to Make a Baby Carriage Cake!

So far we've had 3 baby showers at my church here in St. Petersburg. I always have very grandiose expectations which prove difficult to meet, given the lack of baby shower props sold here. And doing it all yourself is a nice idea, but very time-consuming!

At the first two baby showers I really wanted to make one of those picture-perfect cakes you see on all the sites, but there are no specially shaped baking pans or cans of fondant to be had!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

How to Make Quick Beef (or Chicken) Curry

There is no claim to Indian authenticity here! Just a quick weekday skillet meal in a curry sauce.

Friday, March 4, 2011

How to Make Melt-in-Your-Mouth Chicken Cutlets

This is more of a tip than a recipe. I love tender slices of chicken breast, which can be used for chicken parmesan and other dishes.

Of course, grocery store chicken breasts can be pretty tough. To get them really tender, I first slice the breasts thinly, then pound, then soak in kefir (buttermilk or regular milk would work, too) for 30 minutes or even leave them overnight.

Before cooking, I usually dip them in egg and milk, then into a plate of bread crumbs or flour mixed with spices (the lighter pieces in the photo were dipped in flour and the orange pieces were dipped in store-bought bread crumbs). See ranch chicken, which is a nice flavor combination.

Could be baked as a healthy alternative.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

How to Make Tomato-Avocado Salad

I've been craving fresh salads a lot lately, maybe because of the winter doldrums. I was in the mood for avocado, so I picked some up at the store and came up with this concoction using the ingredients I had on hand.

I'm sure it would be tastier in the summer with local fruits and veggies, but it hit the spot for me anyway. I love the zing of the lemon juice and cumin.

This made one serving for me, so add other veggies or double/triple the ingredients to get more servings.