Monday, March 7, 2011

Ann's Noodles

I got this recipe from my good friend Ann, hence the name!  We lived next door to each other, then we decided to move back to MN and she had the guts to move to WA!  I'm really happy for her, but miss her terribly!  Back to the recipe.  This is a tomato and cream based sauce with penne tossed in.  If you are watching what you eat, well you may just want to skip it purely for the cream.  But, if you want to indulge keep on reading!

I may make this for a women's retreat at church.  What do you think, for about 150 people?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Mozzarella Bread

I've been wanting to try this recipe for months, so since I had nothing to do today (yeah, right!) I thought I'd give it a whirl.  The name really should be blue cheese bread with a little mozzarella & onion thrown in, just because I am a huge blue lover!  This bread has a lovely mixture of flavors and a nice crispy, crunchy, light bread to hold it all together.  I made this while the boys (aka; husband and son) were out doing man stuff.  The aroma alone is enough to make you want to take it out of the oven & eat it before it is done!  I couldn't stop eating it, really I had to say out loud I need to stop eating!

Going with the theme of the blog, this is homemade.  What?  I heard you say bread is too time consuming.  Yeah, it is but once you try it you'll be sold.  The bread & onion is the only two ingredients that were homemade this time around.  If  I could make my own cheese I would!  My hubby says I don't need to attempt that, there is plenty of good cheese at the store!  He meant that in a good way.

Here are the pics and recipe below.

Mozzarella Bread

1/2 C warm water (about 110 degrees)
1/4 oz yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 C + 1/8 C flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp evoo
1 med. onion sliced
7 oz. mozzarella cheese
4 oz. blue cheese
pinch white pepper
pinch sugar
pinch basil, oregano, parsley

1.  In a bowl combine, water, yeast & sugar.
2.  Stir until yeast is dissolved.
3.  Cover bowl & set in warm location for about 10 minutes.
4.  In medium bowl, four flour & make a well in the center.
5.  Pour yeast mixture into the well.
6.  Stir until mixed together (I use my hands), just about to the end of mixing add the salt.
7.  Put dough on a floured surface.
8.  Add evoo to dough
9.  Knead dough for about 5-8 minutes.  You will feel the dough changing, becoming more smooth.
10.  Cover dough with a bit of evoo all over, place in a large bowl.
11.  Cover dough with a towel and place in a warm location until doubled in volume.
12.  Roll out dough into a rectangle shape.
13.  Spread mozzarella over dough, onions, blue cheese
14.  Add the seasonings:  white pepper, sugar, basil, oregano, & parsley
15.  Bake for about 10-15 minutes at 400.  Take out when cheese is nicely melted, I like mine a bit on the brownish crunchy side, so mine was probably in for 15-18.  

Monday, January 10, 2011

Use What You Have

I stayed home from church yesterday with a sick child.  The others were at church, so I couldn't run to the store for our "Special Breakfast".  Every Sunday we have a "Special Breakfast",  it is just a brunch but we all love our meal after church.  The usual is biscuits and gravy, eggs benedict, pancakes, french toast, quiche, egg bake....all of which is as home made as I can make it.  Since I couldn't make it to the store yesterday I had to be creative & use what I had at home.  I ended up making a lot of bread products, scones, biscuits, and scrambled eggs.  I made craisin and blueberry scones.

I challenge all of you to use what you have on hand for your next meal instead of going to the store.  You'll be surprised!



  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 cups AP flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup raisins/chocolate chips/craisins


  1. In a small bowl, blend the sour cream and baking soda, and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a large baking sheet.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, cream of tartar, and salt. Cut in the butter. Stir the sour cream mixture and egg into the flour mixture until just moistened. Mix in the raisins/choc chips/craisins.
  4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead briefly. Roll or pat dough into a 3/4 inch thick round. Cut into 12 wedges, and place them 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.
  5. Bake 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown on the bottom.



  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 1 cup milk


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Gradually stir in milk until dough pulls away from the side of the bowl.
  3. Turn out onto a floured surface, and knead 15 to 20 times. Pat or roll dough out to 1 inch thick. Cut biscuits with a large cutter or juice glass dipped in flour. Repeat until all dough is used. Brush off the excess flour, and place biscuits onto an ungreased baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges begin to brown.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Gourmet Grilled Cheese

Happy New Year!  We got the mother of all blizzards to we had to forgo all parties and stay in.  Some of the kids were disappointed, but we cooked & ate junk food & watched a movie. 

I found this grilled cheese recipe from another food blogger but now can't find it to give them credit.  I will if I can find it.  This is not your processed, horrible for your body, loaded with stuff you can't pronounce grilled cheese.  This actually was very simple, fabulous ingredients & few of them!  Look at the ooey, gooey cheese and perfectly toasted bread!  What could go wrong here?  Here is a little eye candy for you & look below for the recipe.  A reminder on the recipes, I sometimes don't give the measurements.  This is not a mistake.  Usually I am cooking, not baking.  Baking you need to be precise.  Cooking you do not need to be precise, maybe that's why I like cooking more than baking.  I'm sort of laid back, do what I want...wait I digress.  So, cooking=throwing more onions in this recipe if you want.

Grilled Onion and Cheese Sandwich

The Line Up
Bread slices (I used Italian, but beer bread, wheat would all work.  Use a nice heavy bread to hold up the ingredients, and toast well.  No, your regular white kids bread will not do the trick)
Dijon mustard
Oregano (about 1 tsp ish)
S & P  (salt and pepper)
Worcestershire Sauce (a splash or two, more if you like that flavor)
Liquid Smoke (about 1/2 tsp, again more if you like that)
Sliver of butter (real stuff, not margarine--that stuff is not natural)
Onions sliced thin (how ever many & flavor you like.  I used red & yellow)
Cheddar Cheese
Fontina Cheese

Put some evoo & butter in a saute pan. 
Get the evoo & butter hot then throw in the onions. 
Saute them for about 5 minutes then add the S&P, oregano, Worcestershire, & liquid smoke and saute until until nicely golden brown.

Take your nice thick bread slice & spread mustard on one slice. 
Add cheddar, add onions, add fontina. 
Top with the other slice of bread.  You will have a sandwich that is untoasted at this point. 
Take another pan (that has a lid) and melt some butter.  Take that beautiful sandwich and set 'er on that melted butter on medium heat.   Put that lid on.  The lid is the trick for getting your bread all nice & golden brown.  
Watch your sandwich you don't want to burn it.  Turn it over to brown the other side.  Take it off & slice it & enjoy the delicious melted cheese with a nice bite of onion!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Fresh Pasta

I watched an episode on Food Network last night.  The chef was making homemade pasta, Linguini alla Carbonara.  I've made homemade pasta once or twice before quite awhile back.  I thought  I'd give it a try again, even though I don't have a pasta machine.  I made it today for lunch.  Homemade pasta takes your dry pasta dishes from dive to you need to make a reservation to get into this restaurant!  Really, I am not kidding it makes all the difference in your pasta dishes.  The one I made was so good even doing it the old fashioned way, rolling out the dough with my muscles!  Next time you do pasta night, please try making fresh pasta.  And, let me know how it turns out.

Homemade Pasta

1 C cake flour
1/2 C all purpose flour
1/8 C evoo
dash of salt
2 egg yolks

Put above into a food processor (or right on your kitchen couter if you dare.  if you dare, put the flour down first and then make a well in the center then pour the rest of the goods).  Once it all comes together, slowly pour in the water.  There is no measurement, because it depends on the type of flour you use (you can use all all purpose flour the dough will just be more dense.  The cake flour makes it nice & light & fluffy).  You want the dough to form into a ball, and when you push it in with a finger it says together.  I think today I started with a 1/2 water but did not use it all.

Wrap up the dough into a ball into plastic wrap & put it in the fridge for 30 minutes.

If you have a pasta machine, you already know what to do to finish the dough.  I don't, so I floured a board and my fingers.  I pulled out the rolling pin and just kept rolling to my desired thickness.  Then I cut the dough into strips.  I made fettuccine noodles.  Keep in mind the dough does expand while cooking, so next time I will cut my strips not so wide.

Start your pot of water, get it boiling.  Add some salt.  This will season your pasta.  Some people add vegetable oil or evoo.  I normally don't, but heck today I was kinda sassy so I put in a little evoo.

Cooking fresh pasta takes a lot less time to cook than the dry.  Mine took 4 minutes.  Really watch it until you get the hang of it.  Take a piece out and test, the only way you'll know.  Then drain as usual.

Linguine Alla Carbonara

2 T evoo
2 T white wine
1/2 heavy cream
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic
4 strips bacon/4 oz. bacon or pancetta  chopped
1 egg seperated
1 C parmesan cheese

Put evoo into pan and heat over med low.  Cook the bacon, about 7 minutes.  Add the garlic, & stir about 5 seconds.  Don't burn the garlic.

Add the white wine, cream, and pepper.  Stir and cook until it becomes thick. About 3-5 minutes.

Once the pasta is just about done (drain about a minute before it is done), strain and put into the sauce.  Take the sauce pan off the heat. Stir in 1/2 C of parmesean.  Stir sauce and noodles being careful not the break the noodles.  Fresh noodles are more fragile than dry.

Keep the pan off the heat.  Stir one egg white into the pasta/sauce.  Then stir the egg yolk.  Mix all until well combined.  Garnish with remaining cheese.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Falling on ice =

Can you guess?  Yes, I broke my arm.  My right elbow to be exact.  I'm right handed.  It's been 3 weeks now and it has been tough if I can be honest.  Think about it, I can't dry my hair, straighten it, I have to brush my teeth with my left hand, & not to mention extremely little cooking for 3 weeks.  I say the sleeping has been the most difficult, but actually I think it is tied with my lack of cooking.  I know a lot of you would rather go out to eat than even begin to think about what's for dinner tonight.  But, for me my excitement level is highly elevated when I am deciding on my nightly meal!  I have way too many food blogs bookmarked, cook books, printed recipes (don't get my family started on my recipe box), & my own creations.  I'm thinking I should go to Culinary School or maybe be a personal chef...oh wait I already do that in my own house! 

My broken arm is my reason for no posts for the last few weeks.  Hopefully I'll be on the mend soon so I can hold up my camera to take pictures of my creations.  My line now when people ask about my arm is, it is still broke but attached.  It will get better just not soon enough for me to get back in the kitchen!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

What? Fried Burgers?

Fried burgers?  No way!  I am a die hard grill woman.  A burger is grilled on a charcoal grill.  Gas grills are for sissies lazy people!  There is no other way.  I grill as many nights of the week as I can.  And, yes, even in the winter.  I saw some burgers on a show the other day and thought oh my goodness they look delicious, BUT they were fried.  Yeah, fried as in on a pan.  The other loud, loud gasp I had watching that show is that the cook 'smashed' the burgers.  A burger is never, ever to be smashed.  All the goodness is smashed out when you do that.  So, I said to myself.  Self, keep an open mind & try these.  I watched the show, and they did not give me the recipe.  How dare them?  I wrote down what they said they used for ingredients and what I thought they didn't say.  I went free style and guessed on all measurements.  Oh my goodness (or OMG for all you youngsters), these were the best burgers I have ever made!  Every one in my family said the same exact statement.  It was as if all the planets were aligned, because it really is a rare occasion when everyone is in complete 100% agreement.
I would love to have my own burger restaurant one day, so when  my ship comes in and my joint is open this will be on the menu.  So, my apologizes I can not give you my recipe.  It is top secret.  I will tell you that I made a basil pesto mayo w/a few special ingredients that was the star of the burger.  And, the burgers were fried with onions seasoned with about 9 spices, delicious!