Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Cold Weather Favorite

This recipe is so easy, anyone can make it (are you listening, Everett? J/K)!

This is my absolute favorite thing in the whole world to eat when the weather is yucky and/or I'm feeling pretty icky myself.

Open one can of condensed tomato soup, fix according to directions on can

Get out two pieces of favorite bread (I like whole wheat)
grab a skillet, two pieces of 2% milk cheese singles, and some butter

Spray some non-stick spray in the skillet
heat skillet over medium heat
add butter
add bread, careful to flip bread over so both sides get buttery
once the bread is starting to get toasty, add the cheese slices to one and put one slice of previously toasted bread on top to form sandwich
flip over sandwich to get both sides evenly browned and crispy

You now have a wonderfully balanced meal of tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. Sometimes I do a variation used chicken noodle soup instead. Jamie doesn't like tomato soup (but loves tomatoes and catsup. Go figure)

Now, maybe this will stimulate some of you other people to put some recipes on here again!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Curry In A Hurry for Tara

Here is one of the best and easiest chicken curry recipes ever, and it's not in my own words, which makes it even better. It's a Rachael Ray recipe. I think it was the first thing I cooked for Daniel when we got married, and he was very impressed. He couldn't believe an "American" had written the recipe. Have fun! Then have chicken curry!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Roasted vegetables

This is a great way to prepare late fall root vegetables that people might otherwise find unappealing (rutabaga, anyone?).

Step 1: Preheat oven to 425.

Step 2: Cut an assortment of vegetables into 3/4-1" cubes. Tonight we dine on butternut squash and blue potatoes, but other possibilites might include red beets, golden beets, rutabaga, parsnips, carrots, turnips, potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squash, onion.

Step 3: Toss vegetables with a generous amount of olive oil, kosher salt, chili powder and dried rubbed sage. How much you use depends on personal taste and how many vegetables you've got in the first place.

Step 4: Spread on a large, shallow baking pan and roast in the oven for 30-45 minutes, or until a fork goes easily into the vegetables. Be sure to stir them up about every 10 minutes so that they roast evenly.

Step 5: Enjoy with fresh bread and a robust red wine. If you like wine, that is (which I do!)

This works with summer vegetables, too, like zuccini, bell pepper and tomatoes, but they don't take as long to roast.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

There's a Rumor that Fall is Here

There's a rumor that there are fall-like temperatures somewhere in the U.S. Fall always made me think of my mother's yummy, rich AWESOME pumpkin bread. So, as promised, here's the recipe so that those of you who are actually starting to get your winter clothes out of the attic (Tara) can enjoy some homemade goodies on a crisp fall day.

NOTE: C=cup, T=tablespoon, t=teaspoon. It's very important that you not get your T and t confused!

Shirley's Legendary Squash/Pumpkin Bread (We prefer the pumpkin!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix together:
2 C squash or 1 one-pound can of pumpkin
4 eggs
1 C Wesson oil
1/4 C water
3 1/2 C flour
3 C sugar (in my house, we use Splenda and can't taste the difference)
2 T cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
2 t baking soda
1 1/2 t salt

Bake in loaf pan for 1 hr and 10 minutes. You can also make pumpkin bread muffins with this recipe, you'll just have to keep an eye on them so they don't burn (I don't remember how long I baked the cupcakes last time, but I should have kept a better eye on them!)

When it gets closer to Christmas, I'll post my grandmother's jam cake and homemade caramel icing recipe!!!!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Monkey Mama's Macaroni Salad


1lb. macaroni (prefer rotini or shells)
4oz. grated sharp cheddar cheese (prefer Kraft)
2 carrots, grated (or roughly 1-2 cups of shredded carrots)
4-6 hard boiled eggs, sliced
Miracle Whip dressing
Cataline dressing

Cook the macaroni and drain. Put the macaroni in a really big bowl--you'll need the room. Mix in the next three ingredients. I have no idea how much of the miracle whip or Catalina to use, just what looks good to you. If I had to make an estimate, I would say 1/4-1/2 cup of MW--the Catalina is up to you. I just squirt in enough so that it shows up pretty good but doesn't pool in the bottom of the bowl. This is good warm and cold. It could serve anywhere from 2-12, depending on appetite and what else you were eating. We like this as a main course.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

End-of-summer harvest salad

We had this for dinner last night, and it hardly warrants a recipe. Here in the upper midwest, the beginning of September brings with it a chill in the air, early sunsets, and that wistful feeling that another summer has gone by. The first frost is still a few weeks away, but the vegetables in your garden or farmers' market are fewer and thinner, and they've lost their mid-summer sweetness, a warning that winter is not so far off. Just what do you do with a handful of beans? A couple of leftover potatoes? The last few succulent pear tomatoes?



Find a large plate or shallow bowl and line the bottom with lettuce. Pile all kinds of things on top, like steamed green beans, fresh tomatoes, avocado slices, green onion, boiled wax potatoes, chopped parsley, chickpeas, boiled egg, bell pepper and croutons made from slightly stale bread tossed with olive oil and garlic salt and baked in a hot oven for about 10 minutes. (It really doesn't matter what you put in there, as long as it's fresh.) Mix up a dressing using olive oil, crushed garlic, red wine vinegar, mustard, brown sugar, and a dash of kosher salt. Toss the dressing in the mélange at the last minute.