Archive of ‘My Recipes’ category

Onion Tart (Torta di Cipolla)

Onion Tart

I found this recipe for an onion tart on CiaoItalia.com and tucked it away last summer, but it got lost in my ever-growing stack of recipes that I want to try. I had some onions that I needed to use, so I remembered this recipe and pulled it out of my stack. And, boy, am I glad that I did. This recipe was super easy to make, it calls for simple ingredients that are readily available, it looks gorgeous, and it tastes even better. It has a subtle flavor that would satisfy even picky eaters and could be served for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, plus it heats up in the microwave (1 minute per slice) beautifully. I served this onion tart for lunch yesterday with a side salad and then popped it into the microwave and ate it again for breakfast this morning with a cup of coffee–it was that good. Get the recipe here. Doesn’t this look great?

Onion Tart3

Texas Hot Dog Sauce

Texas Hot Dog Sauce

I love hot dogs. I like them with simple toppings like mustard and ketchup; I like them fancy with exotic isle toppings like pineapple, papaya, and cilantro; I like them Chicago style, and I like them Texas style. It seems like whatever I top my dog with the end result is delicious, and this recipe for Texas hot dog sauce is a big hit with my family.

I like to serve Texas hot dogs with macaroni salad and baked beans, like the delicious sausage-spiked baked beans pictured here. What? You want those recipes, too? You know you do. I’ll be posting those recipes next. Here are the ingredients you’ll need to prepare Texas hot dog sauce.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 heaping teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 2 heaping teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 heaping teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 6 heaping tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 package hot dogs, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 package hot dog buns (I like Martin’s potato rolls)
  • Shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions:

  1. In a large skillet, cook the ground beef and onions over medium heat until the beef is browned and the onions are soft; drain fat.
  2. Add remaining ingredients; simmer for 30 minutes, adding more water if necessary.
  3. Serve over hot dogs with additional mustard, finely chopped raw onions, and shredded cheddar cheese.

Savory Kielbasa and Sauerkraut Stew

Sausage Sauerkraut Stew

I’ve been preparing this savory kielbasa and sauerkraut stew for many years. It’s inexpensive, easy to prepare, uses ingredients that are readily on hand, and always gets rave reviews. I often reach for this recipe during inclement weather, like last Wednesday’s snow storm, which blanketed our area with 12 inches of snow and strong winds that chilled us to the bone. I found the original recipe in Taste of Home Magazine, but I’ve adapted it over the years to suit my taste, so I’m reposting the recipe here with my changes. If you like kielbasa and sauerkraut, you’re going to love this simple stew.

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cups carrot chunks, cut into 2″ pieces
  • 4 cups Yukon gold fingerling potatoes, quartered, skins on
  • One 14-oz. can sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
  • 2 1/2 pounds low-fat polish sausage (I use Healthy Choice), cut into 3″ pieces
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt

Instructions:

  1. In a large Dutch oven, brown the sausage in olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Combine all other ingredients.
  3. Cover and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.

How easy is that? I’ve also made this recipe in a crock pot. Brown the meat first then add the remaining ingredients and cook on low for 8-9 hours or until the vegetables are tender. This recipe is so easy and delicious. It’s definitely a keeper.

Chicken with Cashews

Cashew Chicken

I’ve been collecting recipes on Pinterest for a couple of months, and I’ve tried a number of dishes with mixed results. Of the roughly half dozen dishes that I’ve tried so far, only three recipes are keepers: this sweet and sour chicken with vegetable fried rice that I blogged about several weeks ago and this cashew chicken from SheWearsManyHats.com.

The original recipe is served on lettuce wraps but I wanted a more substantial meal so I served the chicken with steamed white rice. I made some changes to the original recipe to suit my taste. Specifically, I doubled the amount of brown sugar in the sauce and I substituted spring onions for the yellow onion (although the next time I make this dish I would toss uncooked spring onions on top of the completed dish instead of stir frying it with the garlic because the onions wilted immediately). I also doubled the amount of stir fry sauce and I’m so glad I did because the sticky sweet and spicy sauce was fabulous. Heat wise, I give this dish a medium rating, so folks who prefer less heat may want to reduce the amount of ground red pepper in the sauce, though I think it’s perfect. Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this dish (my changes are included):

For the sauce:
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground ginger root
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
For the cashew chicken:
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 cup spring onions, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup cashews, chopped
Instructions:
  1. Combine the stir fry sauce ingredients in a small bowl; set aside.
  2. Heat the canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the diced chicken and cook until no longer pink in the center (about   4-5 minutes); set aside.
  3. Add garlic and 1 teaspoon of soy sauce to the pan; cook for a minute or two then add the stir fry sauce, cooked chicken, and cashews. Saute the mixture and stir to combine; remove from heat. Top with diced spring onions.

Weekend Chef: Meatball Gyros

Meatball Gyros

I love gyros so when I found this recipe for meatballs with cucumber sauce on flatbreads in the August 2012 issue of Better Homes and Gardens Magazine I just had to try it. The recipe calls for frozen meatballs, which are a real time saver for busy cooks like me. I served these Greek-style sandwiches with a tossed green salad and had dinner on the table in under 30 minutes. Delicious, easy, and quick–that’s a winning combination in my book. Get the recipe at bhg.com.

Bacon, Egg, and Potato Salad

Bacon Egg and Potato Salad1

This bacon, egg, and potato salad is one of my daughter’s favorite salads. It’s my variation of a spinach salad with a hot bacon dressing that my mother served years ago. This salad, however, is served cold and I’ve removed the bacon grease from the dressing. The end result is a sweet and sour, crunchy salad with a feather light dressing that’s truly a party in your mouth. This salad is a bit more time consuming to prepare than most salads since you’ll need to boil the eggs and potatoes and fry the bacon, but it’s well worth the extra effort. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make bacon, egg, and potato salad:

Bacon Egg and Potato Salad Ingredients

Ingredients:

1-2 heads Boston (or butterhead) lettuce, washed and torn into bite-sized pieces
1 medium onion, sliced
1 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled
6 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
6 Yukon gold potatoes, boiled and sliced (I don’t peel them)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water

Combine the lettuce, onion, crumbled bacon, chopped eggs, and sliced potatoes in a large bowl; set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine the cider vinegar, rice vinegar, sugar, and water. Cook over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Cool completely and pour over the salad.

Doesn’t this look good?

Bacon Egg and Potato Salad2

Three Women and a Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

This is a pineapple upside down cake fresh out of the oven. My mother made it as a treat today for me and my daughter.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake Half Eaten

And this is the same cake 10 minutes later. Boy was it good; so good I have to share the recipe. Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make old-fashioned pineapple upside down cake.

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
9 whole pineapple slices
12 maraschino cherries
12 pecan halves

Mix flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. Cream shortening; gradually beat in sugar. Add eggs and vanilla; beat thoroughly. Add flour mixture alternately with the milk. Melt butter in the bottom of an oven-proof fry pan. Add brown sugar and spread evenly on the bottom of the pan; bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Arrange pineapple slices with a cherry in the center of each slice and additional cherries and pecans between the pineapple slices. Pour cake batter on top of the pineapple mixture. Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes. Loosen sides of the cake from the pan with a knife. Invert onto a serving plate.

Skillet Steak and Corn

Skillet Steak and Corn

When I’m short on time I often reach for this recipe for skillet steak and corn. It’s delicious, easy to prepare, and uses ingredients that are readily available in my pantry. I found the original recipe in Taste of Home magazine, but I’ve made a few changes over the years. Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make skillet steak and corn:

1 lb. skirt steak cut into strips
1 medium onion, cut into wedges
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
2 tablespoons oil
1 cup beef broth
1/3 cup red wine (I used merlot)
1 can (14 oz.) diced tomatoes
1 can (15 oz.) whole kernel corn, drained
Hot cooked rice

In a skillet brown the steak, onions, garlic, and thyme in oil. Add the beef broth and wine; simmer for 10 minutes, or until the liquid has evaporated. Stir in tomatoes; cover and simmer for 15 minutes longer. Add corn; heat through. Serve over hot cooked rice.

Sweet and Sour Chicken and Fried Rice

Sweet and Sour Chicken with Fried Rice

I found these recipes for sweet and sour chicken and vegetable fried rice on Pinterest yesterday, and they looked so good that I had to try them. My daughter loves Chinese food, and the end results were so delicious that I scored lots of mom points with this dinner. I nearly asked her if I was “momtastic or momtacular.”

I tried two Pinterest recipes this weekend; one was a bomb so I was hesitant to try these recipes. I must say that the cooking process–dipping the chicken bits into cornstarch and then beaten egg and pan frying it was time consuming and created big messes on my counter tops, stove, and fingers. So some process improvement was in order. Halfway through the dipping process, while I was complaining about my messy counters and sticky fingers my daughter came up with a brilliant idea: just combine the cornstarch and eggs, stir it into a paste, and then pour it over the chicken. No more messy counters or hands, and it really sped up the preparation time.

This sweet and sour chicken is amazing but it’s loaded with sugar, salt, and fat. I reduced the garlic salt by half since there’s plenty of salt in the soy sauce, and didn’t miss it at all. I may substitute garlic powder for the garlic salt the next time I make this dish to further reduce the salt.

The vegetable fried rice was also delicious and a snap to prepare. No complaints here and no tweaking of the recipe was necessary. If you throw in some diced chicken, ham, or shrimp it would make a great main dish. With the process improvement now in place, this make-at-home sweet and sour chicken and vegetable fried rice are must tries. Here’s a close-up shot. Get the recipe here.

Sweet and Sour Chicken with Fried Rice2

How to Make a McCafe Frappuccino at Home

Make-at-Home McCafe Frappuccino1

In November I shared my recipe for how to make a McDonald’s McCafe iced mocha at home. Yesterday, my daughter asked me to duplicate her favorite McCafe drink–a mocha frappucinno. She really loves this frozen drink, and I wanted to duplicate it as closely as possible, so I bought a McCafe mocha frapp to use as a taste comparison and got to work. It only took me one attempt, plus a few adjustments, to come up a recipe that tastes very close to the original.

The same ingredients are used to make both McCafe drinks, but the proportions and preparation are different. Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make a home-made McCafe mocha frappuccino:

Iced Mocha Ingredients

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon Starbucks Via iced coffee mix
3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons chocolate syrup
1 cup water
2 cups crushed ice
Canned whipped cream

Combine the Starbucks Via coffee mix, heavy whipping cream, chocolate syrup, water, and ice in a blender. Blend until slushy. Pour about one tablespoon of chocolate syrup in the bottom of the glass, add the frozen drink mixture, top with whipped cream, then drizzle with chocolate.

Now you can enjoy your favorite McCafe iced coffee treats from the comfort of your own home, plus it’s cheaper.

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