Sunday, April 8, 2012

Angel Food Banana Split Parfait

Simply angel food cake, torn into bite sized pieces, layered with sliced strawberries, fresh pineapple, sliced bananas, strawberry sauce, and reduced fat whipped topping.
I macerated the straberries in sugar, then pureed them to make the strawberry sauce. The fresh pineapple was soaked with rum.
Yep, it was yummy. Especially with Hawaiian chocolate macadamia nut coffee.

Easter Dinner

Apricot/pineapple glazed ham: butt portion ham, and half a jar of preserves added towards the end of cooking.
Ham, roasted sweet potatoes, peas with cheese, roasted asparagus.
My plate, no cheesy peas, I'm on a diet!

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Rosemary

Peel sweet potatoes, cube. Having a really sharp knife is important! Toss with olive oil, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Bake, stirring partway through cooking. Drizzle with honey towards the end of cooking. I had a ham in the oven at 350F, one can cook them quicker at a higher temp. It took about 45 minutes.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Panko Crusted Pork Cutlets

I found some thinly sliced pork sirloin on sale today, so made these. It was a simple 3-stage breading procedure: cutlets get floured (I used white whole wheat), then dip into a wet mixture of egg whites and dijon mustard, then into a dry mixture of panko bread crumbs, shredded asiago cheese, thyme, and pepper. I laid the breaded cutlets onto racks (on baking sheets), sprayed with canola oil. Then I lightly sprayed the tops of the breading, then baked until golden.
I served them on a jarred "garden vegetable" spaghetti sauce, with a side of mixed lettuce. (The family had pasta, too)

Black Bean Soup with Green Chilies

This was another easy dish to prepare. I combined a can of drained and rinsed black beans, a small can of "fire roasted" mild green chilies, a small package of condensed chicken stock, dried onion, crushed cumin seed, about 1/3 cup salsa, diced jalapeno, pepper, ground ancho chili pepper, a smale cube of dried cilantro (find it in the Mexican food section), grated garlic, and water.
It simmered on the stove to develop the flavors. Towards the end of cooking, I used an immersion blender to slightly puree the soup, leaving some recognizable bits.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Chickpeas and Spinach

Drain and rinse a can of chickpeas. Add a bit of olive oil, minced garlic, cumin and coriander seeds, ground fresh. Add some ginger, red pepper flakes, and a half teaspoon red curry paste. Heat through, add some water to the pan, not much. Then, add fresh spinach. I used what was left in the fridge, the baby washed spinach from the salad cooler. Use lots, it wilts down to nothing.
This can also be pureed to make spinach hummus.

Creamy Lemon Pie

Easy. Sweetened condensed milk, about a can and a half. Add to that lemon zest, 1/2 cup lemon juice, a tsp. lemon extract, several eggs, I think I used one whole egg and a couple of yolks.
Par-bake a pie crust, yes, I use the ones rolled up in a box in the cooler next to the biscuits. I put some foil (or parchment or waxed paper) into the shell and fill partway with dried beans. The beans prevent the crust from puffing up or shrinking out of shape. I reuse them, have them is a bag in my baking cupboard.
Put the filling into the partially baked crust, bake on low for about 20 minutes. Chill well before serving. One could top it with meringue, made with the leftover egg whites. But my husband hates meringue, so he tops it with whipped cream.

Grilled Bone-in Filet Mignon

I rubbed the steaks with grated garlic, onion, brown sugar, and balsamic vinegar. They were grilled to an internal temperature of 120. They rested for about 20 minutes. Served them with brown rice and grilled vegetables.
I made a brandy "cream" sauce, using fat free half and half. I sauteed onion and garlic in a bit of olive oil, deglazed the pan with brandy, reduced it. Then added peppercorns, rosemary, horseradish, and the fake cream. The fat free product isn't really meant to use in a sauce like this, it was merely O.K.

Corn and Black Bean Salad

Drain and rinse one can of black beans. Add a can of drained corn, chopped onion and sweet pepper (I used an orange one). Dress with a simple vinaigrette made with olive oil, lime juice, cumin seed, chopped cilantro.
One can also add diced jalapeno to increase heat.

Easy Grilled Shrimp, Kielbasa, and Vegetables

This was another easy dinner. I put some Old Bay, and a bit of smoked paprika on the shrimp and let is sit in the fridge for awhile. Then put a combination of polska kielbasa, shrimp, and vegetables on skewers.

I took a bag of vegetables, parboiled them, and then finished the vegetables off on the grill, along side some asparagus.

Citrus Cardamom Rolls

It started with a rich bread dough containing flour, yeast, milk, eggs, sugar, butter, cardamom. After the first rise, I rolled it out, added butter and folded the dough. Chilled it in the fridge, took it out, folded and rolled again. Repeated several times. Then it was rolled out, and spread with, yes, more butter, sprinkled with sugar and citrus peel. It was cut into slices and baked in a muffin tin.
Great with cream cheese frosting.

"Yes, it's that easy," Beef Stew

This stew is very easy to make. First, brown the beef. Don't crowd the pan like i did, use high heat so it browns and doesn't steam.
Add carrots, potatoes, and a package of dried beefy onion soup mix. Add a bay leaf, water to cover. Cook all day on low, or half a day on high.