Sunday, December 7, 2014

Homemade Lemonade

2 cups of sugar
3 cups of fresh, cold water
2 cups of freshly squeezed lemon juice, about 20 small lemons
Start by squeezing and straining lemons.

Combine sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and let simmer until sugar is completely dissolved.

Let sugar mixture cool. then combine with lemon juice. Refrigerate until chilled. Serve over ice.

Recipe Found HERE

Breakfast Potatoes

Recipe Found Here

4 whole (to 5) Large Red Potatoes
1 whole Onion
1 Tablespoon Vegetable Or Canola Oil
1 Tablespoon butter (more if pan needs it)
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Red and Green Bell Peppers, Diced (optional)

Place potatoes in a large pot and cover entirely with water. Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are fork tender (20 min or so). When they are ready, place the potatoes on a cutting board and dice them into 1-inch pieces.

Next cut up an onion into a large, rough dice.

In a large skillet heat oil and butter. Put the onions in the skillet and sauté until they start to turn brown. (You can also use red and green bell peppers diced up. If you do, throw them in at this point).

Next, throw in the diced potatoes. Stir well and then slightly press/pack then. Now you will cook them without stirring for several minutes. You want the pan to be hot enough to crisp the potatoes but not hot enough to char them. (Optional step: sprinkle a bit of flour over potatoes as they cook). Cook for several minutes and then flip them with a spatula. Salt and Pepper them as they cook. Cook until desired brownness.

Sausage Tortellini & Cream Sauce

This can be easily made with or without meat. I double the recipe for our family of 6. You can use 1-2 lbs of sausage, depending on your taste I think 1 lb is enough even if you double the recipe. 

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 pound sausage (I use reduced fat regular sausage)
1 cup vegetable broth
2 cups tomato pasta sauce (I have used Trader Joe's Bolognese Sauce or any other that you prefer)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 package refrigerated tortellini (cheese filled, or your preference)

Saute sausage in a large skillet until no longer pink and drain.  Heat broth, pasta sauce, and cream in a deep skillet over medium-low heat. Add pasta and cooked sausage and cover and simmer for about 12 minutes.

Recipe found here 

tempering chocolate notes

Just temper the chocolate!

Foolproof method (they taught us this in school AFTER we mastered the hardcore old-school French methods):
-bring a pot of water to a boil
-turn it off, put the chocolate in a bowl over it, and ignore for about 10 minutes
-when all the chocolate is melted except the middle, remove from the heat and stir to melt the rest
-stirring vigorously is important, and by the time the chocolate reaches the holding temperature, there should still be a few unmelted pieces
-the holding temperature for dark chocolate is 86-90, for white or milk it's 83-86 (as in, it should stay in that range while using)
-you can test if it's tempered by smearing a bit on a cool surface...if it sets up quickly and without streaks, you're good. if not, stir some more and maybe rewarm, then bring the temp back down with some new pieces of unmelted chocolate.

another guide:

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Homemade Pizza Crust

 Recipe Found Here

1 1/2 cups warm (105-115 degrees) water
1 tablespoon instant or active dry yeast (active will take longer to rise)
1 tablespoon. sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 and 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
Olive oil/nonstick cooking spray
Garlic salt
  1. In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer (preferred), stir in water, sugar and yeast. Let sit 5-10 minutes or until the yeast is foamy and dissolved. Add olive oil, salt, and 1 ½ cups flour and mix until combined with your hook attachment (or with a wooden spoon if not using a mixer). Gradually mix in 2 more cups of flour until dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl. If your dough is too wet, add 1 more tablespoon of flour at a time (up to 1/4 cup) until dough barely sticks to your fingers. Once dough has pulled away from the bowl, knead in mixer on medium-low speed or by hand for 5 minutes.
  2. Shape the dough into a ball and place back into your large mixing bowl that has been coated lightly with olive oil or nonstick cooking spray. Turn dough over to coat all sides. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled in size, 1-2 hours.
  3. Guestimating 15 minutes before your dough is ready, preheat your pizza stone or baking sheet in middle rack of your oven for 30-60 minutes at 475 degrees F.
  4. After dough has doubled, remove from bowl and knead a couple times. Divide dough into two equal balls and cover with a towel for 15 minutes. You can freeze one of the balls at this point if desired.*
  5. Carefully remove your pizza stone/baking pan and GENEROUSLY grease the entire surface with olive oil or with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle with cornmeal.
  6. After dough has been resting 15 minutes, roll each dough ball out onto a lightly floured surface or slip mat into a 12-inch round circle. Transfer pizza dough to your baking sheet or pizza stone then pinch edges to create a rimmed crust. Lightly brush the top of the crust with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic salt. Using a fork, prick several holes in the crust.
  7. Bake for 12 minutes with favorite toppings then broil for 2 minutes or until cheese is golden.
If you use a jar sauce and have this at your local grocery store, I highly recommend it! The taste is perfect. Le Roselli's -

*Freezing and Thawing Instructions
After the 2 balls of pizza dough have risen (Step 4), you can freeze 1 or both of the balls of dough. Lightly spray all sides of the dough balls with nonstick spray. Place the dough into separate ziploc bags, squeezing out any air. When ready to use, thaw dough in the refrigerator for about 12 hours then bring to room temperature by placing on your counter for approximately 30 minutes. Preheat pizza stone/baking sheet as in Step 3, then skip to Step 5

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Chicken Noodle Casserole

2 cups uncooked egg noodles
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
1 package {16oz.}  frozen peas, carrots, beans and corn
1 cup milk
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/2 teaspoon Salt (I left this out, soups have lots of salt already)
1/2 teaspoon Pepper
1/2 cup Chopped onion (I sprinkled some onion powder instead)
2 Tablespoon Melted Butter
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Salt
1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning

Cook noodles according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Drain noodles; add to chicken mixture. Transfer to greased baking dish. Cover and bake casserole at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 10-15 minutes longer until heated through.

Recipe Found Here

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Boneless Grilled Pork Loin Chops

2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons ketchup
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 (6 ounce) thick-cut boneless pork loin

Mix the garlic, brown sugar, honey, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, ginger, onion powder, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper together in a bowl. Pour half the mixture into a large plastic zipper bag, and place the pork chops into the marinade. Squeeze the air out of the bag, and seal the bag. Refrigerate 4 to 8 hours, turning occasionally. Refrigerate remaining marinade in the bowl.
2. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium heat, and lightly oil the grate.
3. Remove the pork chops from the plastic bag, and shake excess droplets of liquid from the chops. Discard the marinade from the plastic bag. Grill chops on the preheated grill, basting with the reserved marinade until meat is browned, no longer pink inside, and shows good grill marks, 8 to 10 minutes per side. A meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a chop should read at least 145 degrees F (63 degrees C).
4. Pour remaining reserved marinade into a saucepan over medium heat, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook the marinade until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes, stirring constantly; serve sauce with chops.