Monday, October 26, 2015

Magic in the Middles

Someone as slightly messed up in the head as I am.

Seriously...year round I can watch Christmas movies and bake cookies.
Oddly enough, none of my (in-state) friends feel that same longing.

I do have one in FL who might as well share a mind with me. She is always game...but it's a slight bit of a hike for her.

The girl child rolls her eyes at me when she finds out I was listening to Christmas carols on Pandora. In August.
Or September.
Or any month other than December.

Did she really come from ME?

Funny enough though, there are no rolling of the eyes when the cookies come out of the oven. Hm.

1 ½ Cups all purpose flour
½ Cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ Tsp baking soda
¼ Tsp salt
½ Cup sugar
½ Cup packed brown sugar
½ Cup unsalted butter (softened)
¼ Cup smooth peanut butter
1 Tsp vanilla extract
1 Large egg

¾ Cup smooth peanut butter
¾ Cup powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 375
2. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.
4. In another bowl, beat together sugars, butter, and peanut butter until light and fluffy
5. Add vanilla and egg, beating to combine
6. Stir in dry ingredients, blending well
7. Prepare filling: In a small bowl, stir together peanut butter and powdered sugar until smooth.
8. With floured hands, roll the filling into 1-inch balls
9. Break off 1 tbsp of dough. Make indentation in the center and press a peanut butter ball into the indent.
10. Bring dough up over filling, pressing it closed.
11. Roll the cookie in the palms of your hands to smooth it out.
12. Dip the top of each cookie in granulated sugar and place on baking sheets about 2 inches apart
13. Grease the bottom of a drinking glass and use it to flatten each cookie to about ½ inch thick
14. Bake for 7-9 minutes




Adapted from: Recipe Girl

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Monday, October 19, 2015

Ginger Beef with Mushrooms

I cut a deal with the cat today.
Yup. We held a conversation and came to a middle ground.

My lower back has not been my friend as of late. Still not sure what I did, but things on the ground are my arch nemesis. No way can I bend down to get any of it.

I was in the hall closet looking for a new container of soap...and I stupidly hit his bag of treats. Yeah, it made the crinkle noise and he came running. It was like slow motion watching said bag-o-treats hit the ground.
Yeah, not going to happen.

In front of my fur baby, I kicked the bag back into the closet and shut the door.
He was looking at me with that wounded look "how can you neglect me so"?

So, I said,
If you can wait 45 minutes until the girl comes home, I will make sure she gives you treats.
Just a little longer.
It's a lifetime in kitty minutes, I know...but pretty, pretty, pretty please!?

He meowed that it was OK.
I about attacked the girl when she came in. Just told her he needed treats.
Now that I think about it, she didn't ask why...or why they were on the floor.

Oblivious...or maybe not wanting to embarrass her Mama!
Probably more like she is just used to crazy mom. Yeah, I can buy that.

1 ½ lbs stew beef
24 Baby carrots
1 Red bell pepper, chopped
1 Green bell pepper, chopped
1 Onion, chopped
8 oz white mushrooms (sliced)
2 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 Cup beef broth
½ Cup hoisin sauce
¼ Cup quick cooking tapioca
White rice

1. Combine all ingredients (except rice) in slow cooker
2. Cook on low 8-9 hours
3. Serve over white rice


And of course I forgot an ingredient...shocker!

Adapted from: Moms with Crock Pots

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Monday, October 12, 2015

Mushroom Lasagna

Hubby dearest considers himself an "easy to please" eater.
Yeah...not so much.

The girl and I have learned the importance of clever naming in order to trick entice him to eat.
When we saw this recipe on the Brown Eyed Baker site, we knew we were GOING to have this...but what to do with hubby. Hm.

We decided we would just call it lasagna.
Worst case scenario, we would use the words veggie lasagna.

All I heard while cooking was "OMG something smells soooooo good".
Yeah, my win was short lived. The girl and I happily ate away while hubby picked the mushrooms out. Every. Last. One.

2 Lbs portobello mushroom caps (gills removed and sliced)
¼ Cup olive oil
Salt and Pepper
1 Cup water
½ oz dried porcini mushrooms (rinsed)
2 Lbs red onion (chopped fine)
8 oz white mushrooms (minced)
4 Garlic cloves (minced)
½ Cup dry vermouth
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 Tbsp all purpose flour
3 ½ Cup whole milk
¼ Tsp ground nutmeg
¼ Cup plus 2 Tbsp minced basil
¼ Cup minced parsley
12 Lasagna noodles (cooked)
8 oz fontina cheese (shredded)
1 ½ oz Parmesan cheese (grated)

1. Heat oven to 425
2. Toss portobello mushrooms with 2 tbsp olive oil, ½ tsp salt, and ½ tsp pepper
3. Roast portobello mushrooms in the oven about 30 minutes.
4. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside
5. Microwave the porcini mushrooms in the water for 1 minute or until steaming. Let sit for 5 minutes.
6. Drain mushrooms thru a sieve, reserving the mushroom water. Coarsely chop mushrooms.
7. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a 12 inch skillet until shimmering
8. Add onions, ¼ tsp salt, ¼ tsp pepper, and cook. Stir occasionally until softened.
9. Transfer the onions to the bowl with the portobello
10. Heat the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil in the empty skillet until shimmering. Add minced white mushrooms and cook until browned and moisture has evaporated.
11. Stir in the porcini mushrooms, 3 garlic cloves, 1 tsp salt, and 1 tsp pepper
12. Reduce heat to medium and cook until the garlic is fragrant (about 30 seconds)
13. Stir in the vermouth, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is evaporated
14. Stir in the butter and allow to melt. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute.
15. Slowly stir in reserved porcini liquid
16. Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly
17. Stir in nutmeg and bring the sauce to a simmer
18. Cook until the sauce has thickened
19. Take off heat and stir in ¼ cup basil and 2 tbsp of parsley
20. Toss together fontina and Parmesan cheeses
21. Spread one cup of mushroom sauce over bottom of prepared 9 x 13 dish
22. Layer noodles, spread more mushroom sauce and some cheese. Repeat until all noodles are used.
23. Cover dish with aluminum foil (spray the side that contacts with lasagna) and bake 20 minutes
24. Combine remaining 1 clove garlic, 2 tbsp basil and 2 tbsp parsley in a small bowl
25. Remove foil, increase oven temperature to 500 and continue to bake until the cheese becomes spotty brown, about 6-8 minutes
26. Sprinkle lasagna with the garlic herb mixture
27. Let stand 15 minutes before serving


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Monday, October 5, 2015

Meatball Stew

We were heading to a family party one afternoon, and I threw this together in the crock pot for when we got home.
Well, the best laid know.

We ended up staying much later than expected, and eating way more than expected. Nobody wanted to eat when we got home.
In the fridge this went for another time.

My mother in law was coming over the next day to do some shopping. I threw this back in the crock pot thinking it would make for a super easy lunch.

What I wasn't thinking about was her major sodium issues. If she has just a smidge too much salt, she blows up like a puffer fish. It's not pretty.
When I know she is coming over, I plan accordingly.
Well, this was a last minute thing.

I am pleased to announce that since this soup calls for water and no broth, she was fine!
The rest of us sprinkled a bit of parmesan because we felt it needed some extra saltiness, but that's all good.

2 Lb ground beef
1 Envelope onion soup mix
1 Cup Italian bread crumbs
2 Eggs

Browned meatballs
10 Cups water
1 Can tomato soup
4 Carrots (chopped)
3 Potatoes (chopped)
2-3 Handfuls of fresh green beans (chopped)
1 Large onion (chopped)
1-2 Tsp pepper
1-2 Tsp salt
2 Tsp onion powder
2 Tsp Garlic powder

1. Mix all meatball ingredients.
2. Roll into “golf ball” sized balls and fry in a skillet until cooked
3. Mix all ingredients in a crock pot
4. Cook on low for 7-9 hours


Adapted from: Slow Cooker  Adventures

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