Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Michelle's Ratatouille

I had a few eggplants, tomatoes, and peppers left. I was introduced to this recipe last year, but have not been able to make it because we never received eggplant this year in our CSA. The weather just did not cooperate. So disappointing. But our garden managed to give us 2 SMALL white eggplants. So they are small... they are still good right?

Michelle's Ratatouille

2 eggplants
1 chili pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 green pepper
2 celery stalks
1 medium onion
1 summer squash
4 cherry tomatoes
4 radishes
2 TBSP oil
salt n pepper to taste

Chop all the veggies.  Cook in oil until soft. Salt and pepper to taste.

We enjoyed it with the left over flat bread from lunch and a dash of gaucamole. I am a little sad that the dish is over already. I have to wait until next year to eat it again. :-(

Keema - Beef of the Indian variety.

I am trying to expand my horizons.  So I decided to try this recipe with the beef I had sitting and waiting for me....

Michelle's Keema
Serves:18
  • 2 onion, minced
  • 2 lbs ounces ground lean beef
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 firm, ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh hot green chilies, or to taste
  • 4 cups frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro, or to taste
  • Indian flatbreads (rotis) or tortillas, as an accompaniment

Directions

In a nonstick skillet set over moderately high heat, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Add the beef, and salt and pepper to taste, and cook, stirring, until no longer pink. Add the garlic, tomatoes, gingerroot, Garam Masala, and chilies, and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add the peas and continue to cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes more, or until flavors blend. Stir in the lemon juice and cilantro and correct seasoning, adding more salt if necessary. Either transfer to a bowl and serve with warm rotis or tortillas or spoon Keema down center of bread and roll up like a burrito

I made enough to be able to put 2 portions in the freezer. YUMMY! 

Grande Cooking

I hope to finish this by the end of the day, but I thought I should start now and I can add to it as the day goes on.

First off.... here in the e-book that we used, and a short article on how it works. I will post a few pictures and our menu and recipes a bit later.  We had a menu of 12 meal options.  I provided links to the recipes that are online.  I included the recipes that came from other sources. We ended up making a total of 142 meals. We had 5/6 ladies that participated this time around. I think I can say for the rest of us, we have a great time.  We'll have great memories the Black Bean Lasagna nightmare and the Mexican Barley Soup that seemed to take FOREVER to cool!


Chicken and Red Bean Enchiladas
Black Beans Chicken and Rice
Heathified Chicken Tortilla Casserole
Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore
Chicken Diven
Cheddar Macaroni Beef Casserole
Cheesy Chicken Tortellini Bake
Mexican Chicken Barley Chili

Sue's Casserole
1 lb. ground beef
1 clove garlic
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
1 tsp. sugar
3 - 8 oz. cans of tomato sauce
6 oz. tomato paste
4 oz. pkg. cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
16 oz. pkg. spaghetti noodles, cooked
1 cup shredded cheese
In one or two large bowl(s) mix together noodle, seasonings, sauce, paste,
cream cheese, and sour cream. Place in pan and top with shredded cheese.
Bake in oven until all heated through.


Beef Enchiladas
24 oz. enchilada sauce
1½ lb beef
2 cups cheese
2 cups corn
8-10 flour tortillas
Very good with green sauce too.
Layer a little sauce, add ½ of the tortillas, ½ of the beef, ½ of the sauce, all
of the corn, and ½ of the cheese. Repeat. Heat in oven.


Chicken & Rice casserole
 2 cups brown rice OR 1¾ cup brown rice and ¼ cup wild rice
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 can chopped water chestnuts
1 can chopped mushrooms
1 packet of dry onion soup mix (use the homemade recipe listed at the end of
the recipe section)
1-2 lbs. boneless chicken
Assemble in a bag.
Mix and pour in casserole dish and bake until done, or put in crock-pot for at
least 4 hours on high.

Laura’s Black Bean Lasagna
15 ounce can of black beans, drained
28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
15 ounces pinto beans mashed (refried beans)
¾ cup onion
½ cup green pepper
¾ cup chunky salsa
1 tsp chili powder
8 ounces cottage cheese
1/8 tsp garlic powder
2 eggs
Salt and pepper to taste
10 lasagna noodles
1 ½ cups mozzarella cheese’
1 ½ cups cheddar cheese

Combine black beans, tomatoes, pinto beans (refried beans), onion, green pepper, salsa, chili powder, and cumin.  Mix well.  In a small bowl, combine cottage cheese, garlic powder, eggs, salt, and pepper. Spread 1 cup tomatoes mixture in a greased 9x13 pan. Top with ½ the noodles. Add half the remaining tomato mixture.  Spoon cottage cheese mixture over top. Top with half the cheese and remaining noodles, tomato mixture, and cheese.
Cover with a spray coated foil. 
Bake for 45 minutes, uncovered.
Let stand 15 minutes.

I am looking forward to doing it again next month. It was hard work, but so much fun.

Home made Gaucamole and Tortilla chips

I was watching Food network a while back and they have a mexican chef that I enjoy watching from time to time.  She made her own tortilla chips with her left over corn tortillas. When we made Gaucamole yesterday I remembered her making them. So I dug into my cabinet and we cooked up the last of my corn tortilla stash. :-) So without further ado... here is how I did it.

Michelle's Gaucamole
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 teaspoons finely chopped yellow onions
2 teaspoons minced jalapeno or Serrano chilies, seeds and membranes removed,
Kosher or coarse salt
2 large ripe Avocados, peeled and seeded
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Warm tortilla chips, for serving
Throw in the food processor until blended.  ENJOY!

Fresh Tortilla chips
1 pkg corn tortilla
Olive Oil
Salt

I put about 1 inch of oil in the bottom of my cast iron skillet. I then cut up my corn tortilla into 6 wedges per tortilla. I fried until crispy in the hot oil.  Salt.  Enjoy.

Carrots... carrots... carrots soup

So I no longer have a single carrot in my house. But we sure enjoyed our carrot soup from our Samantha, an American Girl cookbook.:-)

Samantha's Cream of Carrot Soup
  • Peel the carrots and cut into ½ inch slices. Place carrots in a small saucepan with chicken broth over medium heat. When the broth begins to boil, turn heat down to medium-low.
  • Cook carrots for 20 minutes or until they are very soft.
  • Pour the broth from the carrots into a bowl and set aside.
  • Put the drained carrots back into the saucepan and mash with potato masher until smooth,
  • Place a large saucepan over medium heat and add butter. When it melts and sizzles, add flour and stir often for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add mashed carrots, salt, and cayenne pepper. Stir.
  • Slowly pour in broth and stir until soup is smooth and bubbly,
  • Add half and half. Stir again and heat soup slowly. Do not let boil.
  • Pour into bowls and top each serving with croutons.
    Serves 10-12

Creamy chicken and rice soup

I still have some chicken left... so this was my last recipe to use it up.  We've made this recipe so many times I have lost count.  I found some chicken broth in my freezer on my hunt to find my roasts.  YAY!


Creamy Turkey and Wild Rice Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups chicken or turkey broth
  • 2 cups cooked wild rice
  • 2 cups half-and-half cream
  • 2 cups diced cooked chicken
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Directions

  • In a large kettle or Dutch oven, saute onion, celery and carrots in butter until onion is transparent. Reduce heat. Blend in flour and cook until bubbly. Gradually add broth, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil; boil for 1 minute. Reduce heat; add wild rice, cream, chicken , parsley, salt and pepper; simmer for 20 minutes. Yield: 10-12 servings (about 3 quarts).
Now I have a BUNCH of rice cooked up.... Hmmmm,

Cheesy Chicken Tortellini Bake

I was cleaning out my cabinets and ran across some tortellini.  I had some left over chicken in the fridge so I decided to try out a meal I decided to skip on my Grande Cooking day. Not sure why I did now, but I did. I changed the recipe a little since I did not have fresh tortellini and I had to make my own alfredo sauce. Instead of baking it, I tossed in my slow cooker for 2 hours. The kids and my husband thought it was great.  Me.. not so much.  Serves 6

Michelle's Cheesy Chicken Tortellini Bake

1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic
1 t. olive oil
1 recipe of alfredo sauce
1 pkg. cheese tortellini
1 1/2 cup cooked cubed chicken
1 cup milk
1 cup water
1 t. dried basil leaves
Optional:1 cup frozen peas, grated parmesan cheese, bread crumbs

In a pot, heat oil & cook onion and garlic until tender. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cover and bake in oven at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. Cool completely, pour in labeled freezer bag or casserole dish.

Defrost in refrigerator, sprinkle parmesan cheese and bread crumbs on top, bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes or until heated all the way through. 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Putting up meat

I canned meat for the first time in my life.  I had heard of people doing it, but I had been too chicken to try it. So yesterday I invited my mom to come over and we tried it.  It was not that hard, but it took me ALL afternoon and most of the evening.

Here is how I did it... and so can you. :-)

Cut your roast (I used a rump, chuck roast, and stew meat ) into 1 - 2 inch strips.  Brown your beef roast in a pan. They do NOT have to be well done. Just browned.  Pack in sterile, hot jars.  Fill with jar with hot water and seasonings. I used Italian seasonings. Most people recommend beef broth.  Prepare jars, lids, and rings. Place in pressure canner and process for 1 hr and 30 minutes at 10 pounds pressure.

I was able to can 11 jars.  I want to try again and hopefully finish up my roasts. Not sure I want to try my ground beef yet. I use it for so many things and I am not sure that we would like the flavor of cooked to death beef.

Coming up next... more on carrots, eggplant, and avocados.

Arugula Pizza and Kale Krisps

I know a crazy title,  but I never claimed to be clever.  So those are the 2 things I used up recently.  And here is how I did it.

I made pizza with the arugula. My husband had some arugula in his sandwich the other day and he did not like it too much. So I was a bit worried this recipe would be a flop, but it was a hit with everyone.  Without further ado...

Arugula Pizza
Serves 6

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Medium Onion
4 Cups Arugula
salt and pepper
6-6 inch whole wheat tortillas
4 ounces grated cheese (I used Cheddar)

Preheat the oven to 400.  Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the onions and cook, stirring, until golden and the edges are browned about 10-12 minutes. Add the arugula and cook until wilted, about 1 minute.  Season with salt and pepper.
Place the tortillas on the baking sheet and top each with the arugula mixture.  Crumble the cheese over each and bake until the cheese is slightly melted, about 10 minutes.  Let cool for a few minutes, then cut each pizza into 4 wedges and serve.

And now for the Kale. Don't faint, but I actually followed this recipe... LOL!  It would have been REALLY good had I not overcooked it. I did not burn it, but the cheese was a little too hard. Oh well. I have more Kale this week so I am doing to try again. So... here we go...

Kale Krips
Serves 8

2 bunches of Kale
2 cups shredded Cheddar Cheese


Preheat oven to 425. Oil 2 baking sheets. 

Removed the stems and ribs from the Kale, and shred the kale very thinly. Spread the shredded kale onto the baking sheets, and sprinkle evenly with Cheddar Cheese.

Bake kale for 10 minutes, watching carefully to prevent burning, until the kale is crisp and the cheese is browned.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Michelle's Spiced Pumpkin Muffins

So far this morning I have made 3 recipes using up my fresh produce.

Here is the original muffin recipe. I changed up a bit.

Michelle's Spiced Pumpkin Muffins
2 cups pumpkin puree
3 cups whole wheat flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup raw sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 cup milk
2 egg, beaten
2 tablespoon butter, melted

Unsoaked recipe:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease a 24 cup muffin pan. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, white sugar, salt and pumpkin pie spice. In a medium bowl, thoroughly mix together milk, egg and butter. Stir in pumpkin. Fold the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened.  Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan, filling cups about 1/2 full. Bake 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove from muffin pan and cool on a wire rack.

Soaked recipe:
The night before or better yet 24 hours in advance. Mix together Flour, pumpkin pie spice, pumpkin, milk, and butter.  Let sit overnight to soak.  The next day, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease 24 muffin. Fold in remaining ingredients until combined.  Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan, filling cups about 1/2 full. Bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove from muffin pan and cool on a wire rack.

They must have been a hit because the kids ate them up so quickly that I had to scramble to keep some for daddy's breakfast!

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This next recipe is actually from Pioneer Woman, but of course I had my own twist to it. :-)

Turnip Gratin

INGREDIENTS:
·  4 whole Turnips
·  3 cloves (to 4 Cloves) Garlic
·  2 cups Motz and Cheddar cheese
·  4 Tablespoons (to 6 Tablespoons) Butter
·  Vegetable or Chicken Broth
·  Heavy Cream
·  Salt & Black Pepper, to taste
·  Fresh Herbs, to taste
DIRECTIONS:
Preheat the oven to 375ยบ.
Start by scrubbing and thinly slicing the turnips and mincing
the cloves of garlic. Grate about 2 cups of cheese. In
a large oven-proof skillet, melt 2-3 tablespoons of butter over
medium-low heat. Place a single layer of turnips on top of the
butter.
Next, sprinkle a little of the garlic on top, then – and this is
purely optional and really not all that necessary – add a couple
of tablespoons of butter.
Next drizzle a healthy splash of chicken broth over the turnips.
Next, do the same with the cream.
Now add a nice layer of cheese – about ½ cup. Sprinkle a bit
of salt, but not much as the cheese is already salty.
Repeat these layers twice more. Sprinkle on some freshly
ground black pepper.
Now pop the whole thing into the over and bake for about 20
minutes or until the top is hot, brown and bubbly.
Serves 6

The kids were not too thrilled with it, but they did eat it. Not sure we will be trying it again.

*****************************************************

Then I made up this with my Radishes.  We've been wanting to try some Oriental recipes, but we needed to wait for the radishes from CSA.  I can't wait to use them in a sandwich tomorrow for lunch. YUM!

Overnight Daikon Pickles
INGREDIENTS:
·  1 1/2 cups chopped daikon
·  3/4 teaspoon salt
·  1 tablespoon rice vinegar
·  1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
· 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil (optional)
DIRECTIONS:
In a mixing bowl, toss daikon with salt. Cover, and refrigerate
until 1 to 2 tablespoons of water is released, about 30 minutes.
Drain and rinse daikon, removing as much salt as possible. Pat
dry with a paper towel, and return to bowl. Stir in rice vinegar,
black pepper and, if desired, sesame oil. Cover, and refrigerate
at least 8 hours.

Cooking away in the kitchen.... be back later to chat about Kale! YUM!

To get to the point.

Just this morning I read an article about wasting less food. Which is EXACTLY what my goal is for the week. To clean out my fridge so my food does not spoil before I use it up.  So I thought I would share it will everyone.  I find myself doing most of the suggestions in the article.  How about you?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Michelle’s Spicy Runzas

My second attempt at using up my fresh produce was actually a bigger hit then the first.  I was inspired by these 2 recipes.  Runza Burrito and Runzas-Bierocks.  I am German, but I don’t think I have ever had a Runzas.  I did not even know it was a german based dish until I read the reviews of the first recipe. I was just looking for recipes with tortillas.  I guess you learn something new every day.

I decided to make the first recipe, but I did not want to mess with making tortillas this morning. So I threw the ingredients in my bread machine for my bread dough and went that route. 

So here is my version. Again I made 2 batches.  They were so well loved that one of my children decided to steal one of my “freezer” portions. The little rascals.  But what do you expect from a child that is ½ German. He he he.  Next time I make these I want to add cheese. I forgot about the cheese until I went to look at the recipe later. Oops.  Oh well, they were still delicious. J

Michelle’s Spicy Runzas
Serves 12

2 pounds ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
1 ½ pound bread dough (made from my mom’s bread recipe of course)
1 head of bok choy chopped.

Cook beef with onion, salt, and pepper.  Drain off fat.  Add red pepper flakes and cabbage. Cook until cabbage is soft.

Divide dough into 12 portions. Roll into a circle. Take 1/12th of the meat mixture in the middle of the dough. Fold over dough and seal edges.  Place on a greased pan. Repeat with other 11 Runzas.

Preheat oven to 350. Let Runzas raise as the oven preheats.  Bake Runzas for 20-30 minutes.

Michelle's Vegetable Enchilada Casserole

I know you are suppose to do it weekly, but that does not always happen at our house. My last fridge cleaning session happened Sunday.  I have 2 to clean.  I cleaned the fridge part of one, and the freezer part of the other. So hey, I am at least half cleaned. LOL!  While I was cleaning out the fridge I was contemplating using up the fresh produce on I had on hand. The alternative was using  up the freezer meals I had just made the day before at our Grande Cooking day.  I thought it would be better to use up the fresh instead of letting it go bad was the better choice.  So far I have made 2 different meals using up our fresh ingredients.  Both were hits with the family.  Good thing because I made a large batch so I had additional meals for a later day in the freezer. My poor victims. I mean children. LOL!  My husband happily eats just about anything I set in front of him.

Yesterday I made up a Vegetable Enchilada Casserole. I used this recipe as my base and added a few extra things. I made a double batch so I had 2 8x8 pans to put in the freezer or a later day.

Michelle's Vegetable Enchilada Casserole
Serves 24

2 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cups diced summer squash
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped pepper - I used yellow.
4 cups packed coarsely shredded swiss chard. Stems and leaves
4 cup canned corn
3 cups cooked navy beans
3 cups cooked black eyed peas
1/2 cup beef taco meat
1/2 cup beef breakfast meat
2 (24 ounce) jar Enchilada Sauce
16-24 corn tortillas (6 inch)
4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

Heat oil in skillet. Add zucchini, pepper, onion, and swiss chard stems and cook 5 minutes or until golden brown and tender. Add swiss chard and corn. Cook and stir until chard wilts.

Spread 1/2 cup enchilada sauce in (2, 9x13 or 4, 8x8) baking dish. Place tortillas, overlapping as needed to cover bottom of dish. Spread with half of remaining enchilada sauce. Top with 1/2 vegetable mixture and half the cheese. Top with remaining tortillas, vegetable mixture, enchilada sauce, and cheese. Cover with foil. Freeze or continue with baking as directed below.

Thaw. Preheat oven to 350. Bake 40-50 minutes or until casserole is bubbly. Remove foil and cook 5 more minutes until cheese is lightly browned.

Welcome to Mixing with Michelle

I am constantly trying new recipes or inventing new ones. I guess you could call it a hobby of mine. One of the few I still have left. :-)

In an attempt to NOT bore my Facebook friends with a constant stream of recipes, I thought I would start a blog to share all my cooking, baking, and canning adventures.  Not many days go by without trying something "new".

I am hoping with this blog my children will be able to have their "recipe" book of our adventures in cooking. Sometimes we have some major flops, but that is what life is about. Learning.

So without further ado... let the adventures in the kitchen start. :-)