Saturday, January 31, 2009

Meatloaf Surprise

Last night we had meatloaf. Oh how we love this easy family favorite. I was in the mood to do something different to it, so I stuffed it with cheese. Not knowing what I would call it the name came as hubby was slicing it and said "oh, I didn't know there was going to be a surprise inside." Thus the name meatloaf surprise was born.

Meatloaf Surprise

2 lbs. ground beef
1/4 c. bread crumbs
2 celery stalks, diced
1/4 an onion, diced
1 Tblsp. spicy Italian seasoning
1 egg
1 Tblsp. minced garlic
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 c. shredded cheese (any variety you like is fine)
1 can diced tomatoes & green chilies

Preheat oven to 350*
Place meat into a large mixing bowl.

Add in bread crumbs, celery, onion, Italian seasoning, egg, garlic & Parmesan cheese.

Using your hands, mix meat and ingredients together. Do not over mix or the meat will become tough.

Place 1/2 the meat mixture and place into a small roasting pan. Shape into a loaf and make a well down the center of the meat.

Layer shredded cheese into well.

Place remaining meat mixture on top of the cheese and shape into a loaf to cover and seal cheese inside of the meatloaf.

Pour tomatoes & green chilies over the top of the loaf.

Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until meat is no longer pink. Let rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Click HERE to print recipe

Creamy Italian Sausage

One of our favorite comfort dishes is Creamy Italian Sausage. The recipe way we make it calls for whipping cream as well as fettuccine or linguine noodles, but today I am using what I have on hand. So in place of the heavy cream I will use can evaporated milk and wide egg noodles in place of the fettuccine. Photos & recipe will show our usual way to make this (not with today's improvised ingredients.) So how did it turn out with the substitute ingredients? Yummy!! I like the whipping cream better as far as richness but the flavor was still tasty.

Creamy Italian Sausage

2 T. olive oil
2 bunches green onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 lb Italian sausage, casing removed
1 cup whipping cream
2 (14.5-oz) cans diced tomatoes in juice
1 tsp. dried sage
1 lb. pound fettuccine noodles (or linguine noodles)

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add green onions and garlic; cook until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Add sausages and cook until no longer pink, crumbling the sausage.

Add cream; simmer for about 5 minutes. Pour in undrained tomatoes as well as sage. Simmer until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally. This shouldn't take very long, maybe 20 minutes or less.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.

Add drained pasta to meat mixture. Toss pasta with tongs to coat.

Click HERE to print recipe.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Homemade White-Wheat Bread

A few weeks ago I found Tammy's recipe for wheat bread and thought I'd give it a try. We love homemade bread and wheat is one of our favorites. We tried it and I can safely tell you that they did not last long in our kitchen. Since we are low on bread, it's cold out and I have the housework caught up, it seemed like the perfect day to get baking. I changed the recipe slightly to fit what I had in the pantry, as well as increased the amount of ingredients to yield more loaves.

Homemade White-Wheat Bread

3 cups luke warm water
3 Tblsp. milk
6 Tblsp. oil
6 Tblsp. honey
3 Tblsp. sugar
3 Tblsp. molasses
3 tsp. salt
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
6 tsp. active dry yeast

In a large mixing bowl combine water, milk, oil, honey, sugar, molasses and salt. Stir to mix well.

Add yeast and stir to dissolve.

Mix in flours, a cup at a time.

Knead until dough is smooth and elastic.

Place dough in a greased bowl, turning once to grease. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk. (There's no set time on how long this will take as it depends on the temperature& the humidity.)

Punch dough down. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide dough into equal portions and form into loaves. (This should give you at least 6 loaves.)

Place loves into greased bread loaf pans. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30-35 minutes.

Remove bread from oven. Turn bread out onto a wire rack, thump loaves lightly on the bottom and listen for a hollow sound. When you hear this you know your loaves are done. (If not, place back into pan and return to oven for about 5-8 minutes. Check again for doneness.)

Allow loaves to cool before storing in bread bags.

*We did have 6 loaves but we used a loaf for dinner and another loaf went into our bread container.

Click HERE to print recipe

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Rhonda's BBQ Sauce

Why buy it when you can make it? Ok we were out of BBQ sauce a few days ago, so instead of running to the grocery store to buy a bottle, I made a batch of Ronda's homemade B-B-Q sauce. Let me tell you, it is yummy! The only thing I changed was that I used 1/2 T. onion powder and 1/2 T. garlic powder.

Ronda's BBQ Sauce
2 T. canola oil
1/2 T. onion powder
1/2 T. garlic powder
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste and mix with 6 oz of water
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup Worcestershire
2 T. prepared mustard
Dash of salt
Dash of pepper

In a 2-quart saucepan and heat oil. Add all of the other ingredients & stir well. Simmer over medium-low heat for 15 minutes. The mixture will thicken up some, but it won't be as thick as commercial barbecue sauce.

To thicken BBQ Sauce - Mix 1/3-cup water & 4 tsp cornstarch together and add during the last five minutes of simmering. This will thicken the sauce quiet well.
Pour sauce into a wide mouth quart size jar. Keep refrigerated.

Click HERE to print recipe

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Lemon-Blackberry Glazed Muffins

While in the mood for something sweet but not wanting the usual cookie or slice of cake, I found a bag full of blackberries in the freezer. What to do, what to do I thought, then it hit me...make muffins. So incorporating a basic muffin recipe I came up with the following sweet treat.

Lemon-Blackberry Glazed Muffins

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup frozen blackberries
1/2 Tblsp. lemon extract

1 cup powdered sugar
3 Tblsp. milk
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400*

In a medium size mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.

In a small bowl, beat egg.

Add milk & oil. Stir well to blend.

Pour egg mixture into flour. Stir just until flour is completely moistened.

Lightly incorporate blackberries & lemon extract. Stir just until blended.

Ladle muffin batter into greased or paper lined baking tins; filling only 2/3rds full (filling higher will result in the muffins baking over the cups.)

Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden on top. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before glazing.

For glaze:

Mix together milk, powdered sugar and vanilla in a small bowl until smooth.

Glaze each muffin and enjoy!

Click HERE to print recipe