Saturday, January 29, 2011

Spicy Lemon Garlic Shrimp and sides

We really enjoyed these shrimp. I think next time I would add a bit more red pepper flakes. I didn't taste the spice in this, just the yummy butter, lemon and garlic goodness. That Pioneer Woman and her butter. Seriously. This was a lot of butter. BUT I think I do need to follow her suggestion next time and get some great crusty bread to soak up all the extra drippings.

We are recent shrimp converts. No more precooked frozen shrimp for this family. I am now comfortable with uncooked (fresh) frozen shrimp. These shrimp even had the shells on them! It makes for a messy meal but Jim agreed it was worth it.

We made half the recipe.

The sides were leftover mashed potatoes and cauliflower soup with bacon bits and cheddar cheese. You know how some foods just go together? Like you should have a vegetable, a protein, and a starch? I didn't think these were perfect together but we were using up our fresh vegetables and leftovers in the refrigerator. We are economical :)

Click here for the stolen recipe for Pioneer Woman's Spicy Lemon Garlic Shrimp.


I can never find the recipe for this online, even though that's where we got it originally, but this is our staple chili. We have never looked for another recipe- why mess with a good thing?

On Friday I came home and this was simmering on the stovetop. I love when my husband makes dinner :)

Do you want the recipe? Leave a comment and I'll know to just type it out later.

Asian Marinated Flank Steak

Excuse my half eaten plate! I forgot to take a picture and I knew this was a recipe that I wanted to blog about.

This marinade combines a bunch of ingredients that we love, and it's very easy. It is so nice to mix up the marinade, throw it in a ziploc with the flank steak, and then grill it the next day. I love my grill pan :)

Quick mashed red potatoes (potatoes, butter, half and half, a bit of cream cheese) and steamed asparagus with lemon.

Really, it looked more appetizing when it was freshly dished out!

Click here for the stolen recipe for Asian Marinated Flank Steak.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Chocolate Waffles

I love breakfast for dinner. My son and I tend to do this on the nights that Jim is out (he has a weekly pool league night). I don't think I would have experimented with chocolate waffles on a regular dinner night. Also, chocolate waffles sound more like dessert. Well, when it's just the two of us I go a little nuts :) It's like a special Mom/Son thing or something.

It's not often that James actually LIKES something new. I was glad he was willing to try the waffles and then he LIKED them!! Success. He dipped them in syrup and was happy.

I ended up only eating half of mine and I put strawberry jam on top. It is a pretty big waffle. I also made one for Jim and froze it. I know he'll enjoy it tomorrow!

The waffle recipe is from the waffle maker manual. I'm going to copy it here since I don't know if it's available anywhere online.

Chocolate Waffles
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered baking cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine the dry ingredients (flour through salt) in a large bowl. Whisk the wet ingredients (milk through vanilla) in a medium bowl. Whisk the milk mixture into the dry ingredients just until the dry ingredients are thoroughly moistened. Let batter rest 5 minutes. Spray both waffle grids with cooking spray. Pour 1 cup batter onto the center of the bottom grid. Close top and flip waffle maker. Bake until set, about 4 minutes. Serve topped with your choice of topping- whipped cream, syrup, fruit.
Makes 3 waffles

I made regular Belgian waffles too and talked about my waffle iron in this post.

Monday, January 24, 2011

My Cookbooks

Hi CRMS Students,
I'm going to be reading an entry from my cooking blog. I keep this blog just for fun. I have a lot of friends and family members who like to look at the pictures of the food that I cook and bake. I started to bake after I took a Home Ec class in junior high- that's like your FACS class that you have or will have here at CRMS. Back then you had to cook from cookbooks, recipes that were from your family, or recipes that you created on your own! Now you can find almost anything online!

I've always been a cookbook girl. Actually, I've always been a book girl. I used to stay up really, really late at night without my Mom knowing (Hi Mom!) and hide under the covers with a flashlight and book. We didn't have many cookbooks laying around so my love of cooking was on hold for several years.

Books! They were everywhere when I was a kid. I went to the library a lot. Now my family has our own library in our house.

Here is my son's library. He has a great collection of Spanish books, picture books, and he still holds on to his baby board books. He loves to read. We read him books every night. I'm strict and will usually read "just two books" because otherwise he doesn't know limits. I love the time that I get to spend with him.

I wish I would have cleaned up the mess in my husband's office but here is our great big bookcase. Most of the books are mine but all the other stuff? His. He has Star Wars collectibles, little gadgets, and other interesting things on the shelves. But we love our books!

My husbands books are about computers, sports, and Star Wars.

The bottom two shelves are cookbooks. Whenever I have a birthday or it's Christmas I ask for books. The last few years it's been cookbooks. I make lots of things from the cookbooks. The books are well loved and well, they are sticky. They get pretty dirty when the flour, butter, and eggs are flying around the room!

One of my favorite things that I've made from my cookbooks are cupcakes. I made these owl cupcakes for my son's 3rd birthday party at daycare. At daycare they were having a "Forest Friends" theme for the week and so I made these cute owls.

They are just basic chocolate cupcakes with oreo cookies for the eyes, junior mints for the eyeballs, and a banana runt for the beak. Lots of chocolate frosting makes it look like they have feathers, sort of.

I found something that I love to do in books. What have you found in books that you love?
Thanks for looking at my blog!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Dark Chocolate Tart with Gingersnap Crust

In this house we have a favorite chocolate tart-like cake, it's actually a flourless cake called Chocolate Intensity. I did decide to experiment with a new recipe and I'm glad I did. This recipe won't take the place of Jim's beloved Chocolate Intensity because it is different. It's darker with a hint of spice (cinnamon, ground black pepper, and ginger in the crust). Yum.

It uses A LOT of chocolate. 12 ounces of bittersweet, to be exact.

It was a really simple recipe, almost foolproof. I love press-in-the-pan kinds of crusts. Even better when its pure cookie and butter goodness.

I made a little bit of homemade whipped cream, barely sweet because I knew the chocolate tart would be all the sweet I'd need. Small slivers of tart for both my Sweetie and me.

Lots of leftovers. I did consider making small tartlettes and freezing the small tarts for later but I think the large tart pan just really needed to be used. It gets lonely in storage, you know?

What to do with the leftovers... ?

Click here for the stolen recipe for Dark Chocolate Tart with Gingersnap Crust. It's from one of my favorite bloggers.

Ginger Beef Stir Fry

After being sick for so long it was really nice to try a new meal!

I've never tried this cut of meat, and I found it so-so. I think next time I would splurge with something more expensive. I also probably put too many vegetables (is that possible?) in the dish and so the sauce was spread a little thin. Next time I would stick to the proportions of the recipe or make more sauce! Oh, and the plum sauce was a new ingredient for me too. I found it quite easily in the ethnic aisle of Cub Foods.

Our verdict? Good. We will make it again! We love any meal that incorporates so many vegetables, an Asian flavor, fresh ginger, and my beloved Jasmine rice. Mmmmm.

Mr. Bento

I love my new lunch jar! This was another Christmas gift. My sister Ana has one too, and she warned me that I would cause a lunchroom sensation and I did a little. It is quite amazing that all of these little containers fit into the jar.

I love the little containers because it does force you to consider portion sizes.

In this day's lunch and snacks (I don't eat all of this at once), from left to right: pretzels, blackberries & clementines, leftover bbq chicken flatbread pizza, Greek yogurt with berries and a tiny amount of sugar.

I love my spork!

Belgian Waffles

I received a great gift of a waffle maker for Christmas. Yay! Great waffles are just minutes away now :) I just used the simple recipe in the waffle maker manual.

James won't touch them but the adults love them. With just a bit of butter and syrup. I need to experiment with different flavors... I saw a great looking recipe for gingerbread waffles. Yum.

So I do recommend this waffle maker- It's the Presto Flipside. I did forget to spray it once and the waffles stuck. But with the next waffle I sprayed with nonstick spray and it was perfect.

Classic Waffles

2 cups flour
1 T sugar
1 T baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups milk
2 eggs
2 T vegetable oil

Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk the wet ingredients in a medium bowl. Whisk the milk mixture into the dry ingredients just until the dry ingredients are thoroughly moistened. Preheat waffle maker. Spray the waffle grids with cooking spray and then pour 1 cup batter onto the center of the bottom grid. Close top and flip waffle maker. Bake until brown, about 3 1/2 to 4 minutes.

Makes 4 waffles.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Peppermint Bark Ice Cream

I almost didn't post this one. It has good flavor but it took a long, long time to completely set up. It isn't a custard based ice cream, but one that is a simple mixture of heavy cream, sugar, milk, crushed candy canes, chopped bittersweet chocolate and chopped white chocolate.
Again, good flavor but I think next time I would make a traditional vanilla ice cream and add the separate add-ins.