Saturday, October 18, 2008

Just checking in...

...and letting you know I'm still alive.

We've officially closed on our first house, and have installed all new three-prong outlets, completely primed and painted the entryway, living room, and hallway, and are 80% done removing gawd-awful wallpaper from the master bedroom.

Tomorrow, I finish all of the trim in the painted living areas, and hopefully DH finishes the wallpaper -- then onto spackle, prime, and paint again. We're feeling the pressure now, though, because we move next Saturday, and we've got to work all week. Eek!

Here's a little something to keep ya interested. There are tons of "100" lists floating around the blog-o-sphere...and I thought this one was cute.

My American Food 100 -- bold means I've eaten it!

1. New York pizza
2. Hoppin’ John
3. New Mexico green chile
4. Homemade buttermilk biscuits
5. Tasso
6. Whole Maine lobster
7. Calabash-style shrimp and hushpuppies
8. Kansas City barbecue ribs
9. Hot glazed Krispy Kreme
10. San Diego fish tacos
11. Cheese curds
12. Key lime pie
13. Philly cheese steak
14. Memphis pork barbecue sandwich
15. Lowcountry boil
16. Huckleberry pie
17. New England clam chowder
18. Boiled peanuts
19. Buffalo burger
20. Eggs Benedict
21. Pastrami on rye
22. Corned beef and cabbage
23. Pancakes with maple syrup
24. Everything bagel with cream cheese and tomato
25. Thin Mints
26. Frito pie
27. Potato knish with mustard
28. Silver Queen corn on the cob
29. Soft pretzel from a street cart
30. Fresh-picked blueberries
31. Sourwood honey
32. State fair funnel cake
33. Chesapeake crab cakes
34. Candied yams
35. Oyster dressing
36. Snow cone or snowball
37. Wild Alaskan salmon
38. Sautéed morels
39. Persimmon pudding
40. General Tso’s Chicken
41. Frozen custard
42. Italian sausage with peppers and onions on a hoagie bun
43. Chili dog
44. Buffalo wings with blue cheese
45. Spam musubi
46. Saltwater taffy
47. Fluffernutter sandwich on Wonder Bread
48. Black and white cookie
49. Frybread
50. BLT with thick-cut applewood bacon
51. Baked beans
52. Pumpkin pie
53. Collards with vinegar and Tabasco
54. Tex-Mex fajitas with skirt steak and sautéed peppers
55. Fried green tomatoes
56. Succotash
57. Shrimp and grits
58. Hot water cornbread
59. Barbecue chicken pizza with red onions
60. Chicken fried steak
61. Carnitas burrito
62. Apple butter
63. Geoduck
64. Soft-serve ice cream cone dipped in chocolate shell
65. Pecan pie
66. Catfish supper at a church or fire station
67. Oysters Rockefeller
68. Homemade cranberry sauce
69. Pimiento cheese
70. MoonPie washed down with R.C. Cola
71. Pickled watermelon rind
72. Cracker Jacks at the ball game
73. Smithfield ham
74. Meatloaf and mashed potato blue plate special at diner
75. Chicken and waffles
76. Po’Boy
77. Green bean casserole with French’s fried onions
78. Stuffed sopaipillas
79. Turducken
80. Shad roe on toast
81. Sweet potato casserole with or without marshmallows
82. Cioppino
83. New York cheesecake
84. Pan-fried river trout
85. Jambalaya
86. North Carolina pig pickin’
87. California rolls
88. Burgoo
89. Penuche fudge
90. Fried peanut butter and banana sandwich (the Elvis)
91. Scrapple or livermush
92. Elk medallions in red wine reduction
93. Muscadine grapes
94. Cheeseburger at backyard barbecue
95. Open-face turkey sandwich
96. Chicago deep dish pizza
97. Cobb salad
98. Peach pie a la mode
99. Macaroni and cheese with Tillamook sharp cheddar
100. Root beer

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

"Pennsylvania Dutch" Chicken Pot Pie

A few weeks ago there was a discussion on the What's Cooking board on TheNest about pot pie in soup form.

Most had never heard of it, and those that had were centered around a very small area of Central Pennsylvania -- also known as where I currently live.

I'm not from this area, so I think this "pot pie" with no crust is a bit odd, but my husband loves it. Prefers it to my "crazy" pot pie that actually looks like a pie!

So I decided to try my hand at it. I'd never made it, and it turned out really well. The ONLY thing that would've made it more delicious is if I'd have had a whole day off to slow roast a chicken to use in it. Mmmm..slow roasted chicken.

Oh! And before we get to the recipe...a note about the noodles involved.

Part of what differentiates this type of pot pie from any chicken noodle soup recipe are the noodles. They're a thick egg noodle, cut into squares.

I made these, but I did see that in the grocery store here, San Giorgio sells Pot Pie Noodles -- they're hidden on the top shelf near the egg noodle section. Check your store and see if they have them -- I'm curious if they sell them anywhere but here!

Onto the recipe -- and pardon the bad pictures. It's getting dark earlier, and I'm also in the process of prepping a house for move-in, so dinner has been very late!

Pot Pie Squares (The Noodles)

3 cups flour
1 large egg
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening (like Crisco)
1/2 to 3/4 cup water

- Mix the flour, egg, and shortening together
- Knead the dough mixture, while alternately adding small amounts of water until the dough holds together well
- Divide the dough into two or three pieces
- Roll each piece out to about 1/8" thick on a floured surface
- Cut the rolled out dough into squares - about 2" to 2 1/2" wide
- Allow the freshly made pot pie noodles to dry for about 30 minutes or more before cooking

The Soup
*3-4 cups of shredded chicken, turkey, beef, or even ham leftovers can be used instead of a whole stewing chicken for this. When using leftovers, use broth instead of the 2 quarts of water. With leftover chicken or turkey, use 4 cans of chicken broth.

1-3 lb stewing chicken
2 quarts water
5 medium potatoes - peeled and cut into bite sized chunks
2 cups chopped celery
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup finely diced carrots
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

- Cook the chicken in water until tender
- Remove the chicken from the broth and separate the meat from the bones and skin
- Cut or shred the cooked chicken into bite size pieces
- Meanwhile, add the vegetables and seasonings to the simmering broth
- Cook for about 15 to 20 minutes, then add the pot pie squares to the broth mixture, a few at a time, stirring frequently so they don't stick together
- After all have been added, cook gently for about 6 to 8 minutes or until the noodles are tender
- Add the cut up chicken and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally for 10 to 15 minutes longer
- Cover, and let stand for a few minutes before serving.

**The article this recipe was taken from suggests serving it on dinner plates, or in shallow bowls. Sides are recommended as a salad such as coleslaw, pepper cabbage, or lettuce with bacon dressing --- if you REALLY want to do it "Pennsylvania Dutch" Style!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Menu Mondays

This week is boring and leftover-esque -- we'll be painting/priming/prepping our new home every evening!

Monday: Steak for dinner -- maybe some kind of dessert for a friend's b-day
Tuesday: Sloppy Joe sandwiches and french fries
Wednesday: French Dip sandwiches and a salad
Thursday: Sloppy Joe leftovers
Friday: French Dip leftovers

...Lots of beef this week! Oh well.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Sunshine S'mores Cupcakes

First, I have no idea why these are "Sunshine" S'mores Cupcakes. For me, they're just S'mores Cupcakes.

I made these because I had 1/2 jar of Marshmallow Creme left from making S'mores Bars. These were pretty good, but not nearly as good as the Bars!

They did provide some cute photos, though...

S'mores Cupcakes

1 (18.25 oz) French Vanilla cake mix
2 tablespoons graham cracker crumbs
1 1/2 cups water
3 egg whites
24 milk chocolate candt kisses
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 (7 oz) jar marshmallow creme

- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line 24 muffin cups with paper liners
- In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, 2 tablespoons graham cracker crumbs, water, and egg whites
- Beat for 2 minutes at high speed of an electric mixer
- Divide the batter evenly among paper-lined cups, filling about 2/3 full
- Place a chocolate kiss in each cupcake, pressing in lightly
- Spoon 1 teaspoon graham cracker crumbs onto each cupcake
- Bake at 250 degrees F for 18 to 25 minutes (Mine took exactly 18)
- Remove from oven and top each cupcake with 1 teaspoon marshmallow creme -- dip spoon into hot water to prevent sticking
- Return to oven for about 1 minute to melt slightly

- For the hot water/spoon trick, I had to dip my spoon in hot water before EVERY spoonful of creme or I got a sticky mess
- I also moistened my fingertips, and that allowed me to scoop the creme out of the spoon and try to arrange it on the cupcakes with minimal stickiness
- These are WAY BETTER warm, so if you have leftovers, just pop them in the microwave for 10 seconds to heat everything up again.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Meatball Subs

Everybody's got their own way of making these, but since I tried a new meatball recipe I figured I'd post it.

This meatball recipe was good, but I've had others that are better -- I guess I need to start asking family/friends for their meatball recipes!

My family meatball recipe is super-simple, and I was looking for something with more spice and flavor. These were quite tasty -- just not quite what I was looking for.

(I served them with 2 jarred sauces b/c I was lazy -- 1 marinara and 1 garden style -- and shredded provolone/mozzerella mix)

Italian Meatballs
(Joy of Cooking, by way of Elizabeth's Edible Experience)

1 pound ground beef
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 large egg, beaten
2 tablespoons tomato paste (I omitted b/c I didn't have any)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano


- Mix all of the above together
- Form into 2" balls with your hands
- Dredge meatballs in 1/2 cup flour (I omitted this step)
- In a large skillet over medium heat, add 2 tablespoon olive oil
- Brown meatballs in batches, then place on cookie sheets and place in a 375 degree F oven for 10 minutes to finish cooking
- Add to sauce

Altered version: For my meatball subs today, I followed the above directions, but then added my meatballs and sauce to my crockpot and placed them on low for a little while (so the tomato flavor would get into the meatballs). Then I moved them to low and left them available for football all afternoon.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Crockpot French Dip Sandwiches

I saw this recipe from a nestie a few weeks ago -- if it was you, let me know! I didn't write your name down!

It was so easy, I didn't even write the recipe down -- my kind of meal. Especially during the week!

DH and I really enjoyed these sandwiches and we'll definately add them to our rotation. Especially since they're crockpot-based -- which means dinner is basically ready when I get home. Woohoo!

Again, though, we ate them and I totally forgot to take pictures. Next time!

French Dip Sandwiches

2 lb. beef roast
1 packet dry onion soup mix
1 can Progresso French Onion Soup
2 beef bullion cubes

Sliced provolone cheese

- Place the beef roast, onion soup mix, can of soup, and beef bullion in a crockpot
- Cook on low for at least 6 hours
- Slice (or shred) the meat, reserving the juices in the bottom of the crockpot

- Toast the rolls, add meat and provolone, and slip under the broiler for a few seconds to melt the cheese
- Serve with juices for dipping.

Menu Monday

Sunday: Homemade meatballs (for meatball sub sandwiches) and S'mores Cupcakes -- both for football
Monday: Steak, steamed broccoli, pasta
Tuesday: "Pennsylvania Dutch" Style Pot Pie - Hint: There's no crust here! It's the soup version!
Wednesday: Spaghetti and meat sauce
Thursday: Leftover Pot Pie
Friday: Anything we can grab -- we close on our house in the afternoon!!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Homemade Oreos

This is the recipe I referenced yesterday (See Fran? You didn't have to wait long!) -- these are REALLY REALLY delicious (I daresay they may be better than store-bought oreos), but unfortunately we ate them all before I could get a picture.

I'll add pictures next time I make them (by then -- in my new kitchen! Woohoo!).

Homemade Oreos
(Retro Desserts, by Wayne Brachman -- by way of The Biscuit Pusher)

Makes 25-30 sandwich cookies

For the chocolate wafers:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) room temperature, unsalted butter
1 large egg

For the filling:
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) room temperature, unsalted butter
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

To make the cookies:
- Set two racks in the middle of the oven and preheat it to 375 degrees F
- Prepare 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper
- In a food process or the bowl of an electric mixer, thoroughly mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
- While pulsing, or, on low speed, add the butter and then the egg (do it slowly)
- Continue processing or mixing until the dough comes together in a mass (this took me awhile, so be patient)
- Take rounded teaspoons of batter (it won't be like cake batter -- more like cookie dough), and place on your baking sheet approximately 2" apart
- With moistened hands, slightly flatten the dough (this step is important because these cookies don't rise or change shape much during baking. basically, whatever shape/thickness they are going into the oven, is what your end cookie will be)
- Bake for 9 minutes, rotating once for even baking
- Set baking sheets on racks to cool

To make the cream:
- Place butter and shortening in a mixing bowl and at low spead, gradually beat in the sugar and vanilla
- Turn the mixer on high and beat 2-3 minutes until filling is light and fluffy

To assemble the cookies:
- In a pastry bag with 1/2 inch round tip (or if you're me -- a ziploc bag with the corner snipped off) pipe teaspoon-sized blobs of cream into the center of one cookie
- Place another cookie, equal in size to the first, on top of the cream
- Lightly press, to work the filling evenly to the outsides of the cookie.
- Continue this process until all of the cookies have been sandwiched with cream

- Dunk generously in a large glass of milk

Saturday, October 4, 2008

A Blogging Interruption

Hello all,

You know that point in life where your brain is so full of items to remember and do, that something starts slipping?

Well, that's where I'm at.

In the last week I've made homemade oreos, and DELICIOUS french dip beef sandwiches.

...and successfully scarfed down all evidence of both without ever remembering I needed pictures for the blog *sigh*

So I'll be posting the recipes soon -- but pictures will have to wait until I serve them up again!

Of course...if you were about to close on a house that looks like this:

You might have a lot on your mind, too!
Yes, that's PINK. EVERYWHERE. And yes, the Master Bedroom wallpaper IS original yellow and green paisley!