Monday, December 26, 2011

Holiday Orange Cookies

Orange Cookies

Adapted these from a few different recipes this year. Really liked the way they turned out for the holidays. Might be great with drizzled chocolate also.
1 cup Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking Powder + a small pinch extra
5 tbsp Butter - room temperature
1 cup White Sugar
3 Egg Yolks
2 tbsp Orange Juice
Rind from 1/2 a Large Orange (a heaping tablespoon)
Powdered Sugar to coat the cookies

1. In one bowl, add flour, salt and baking powder.
2. In another bowl, cream butter with sugar until light and fluffy.
3. Add yolks, orange juice and rind to the butter mix and then blend.
4. Add the dry ingredients and then make sure that it is well mixed.
5. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
6. After the cookie dough is removed from the refrigerator, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
7. The dough will be sticky, but roll into balls around 3/4" in diameter and then drench in powdered sugar. Place on a cookie sheet with parchment paper at least 2 inches apart.
8. Cook for 8-10 minutes and then let sit on the cookie sheet for around 2 more minutes before moving to a wire rack or paper towel.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Holiday Red Cabbage and Chestnuts

Holiday Red Cabbage and Chestnuts
Holiday Red Cabbage and Chestnuts
This is an adaptation of a family recipe that I got from my mom. I loved making this for the holidays - but it is not a dish that everyone loved. Please note that this recipe makes a ton - freeze part of it since you will never eat it all.

2 Onions (medium sized) - sliced thinly in a mandolin
2 Shallots - sliced thinly in a mandolin
3-4 tbps Olive Oil
1 head of Red Cabbage - sliced at the thicker level (~1/4" thick) after removing outer layers (Sometimes cabbages can be too much - so use as much as you want above 1/2 a head).
1 tsp Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
1 Whole Apple - Peeled and Chopped
1-2 cups Roasted Peeled Chestnuts (around 11 ounces)

1. Heat Olive Oil over medium-high heat in a large pot. Add Onions and Shallots and saute until brown 6-8 minutes.
2. Add sliced Cabbage to pot and mix.
3. Add Salt & Peper to mix and then add water to cover around 3/4 of the ingredients.
4. Lower heat and simmer for one hour.
5. Add Chopped Apples and simmer for an additional 30 minutes.
6. Add Chestnuts and simmer for an additional 45 minutes.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Tuna Pasta Salad

Tuna Pasta Salad

Wonderful pasta salad that is actually great all year long, and very easy to make.

1 14oz box of Pasta shells or other shape
2 5oz cans of chunk tuna in water
4 stalks of celery, trimmed, cleaned and cut into thin slices (1/8" - 1/4")
1 tsp Lemon Juice
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1/2 tsp Celery Salt
1/4 tsp Celery Seeds
1/2-3/4 Cup of Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip

1. Cook pasta per the directions on the box and let cool with cold running water. Add the pasta to a mixing bowl.
2. Add the tuna, celery, lemon juice, black pepper, celery salt and celery seeds and mix.
3. Add the Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip (adjust amount to taste) and mix thoroughly. Enjoy!

Doctored Brownie I: Hazelnut & Peanut Brownies

Doctored Brownie I: Hazelnut & Peanut Brownies

I was demonstrating the Melcat inter-library loan feature to people at the Ross School of Business and I ended up requesting this book - Brownies! : favorite recipes for brownies, blondies & bar cookies.

They have a number of recipes that use brownie mix as the base - so I am calling these Doctored Brownies! I will make a few and record them out here. This one is called Easy Hazelnut Brownies (page 125). I did not have hazelnuts - so I played a bit. I used Pillsbury Chocolate Fudge - Family Size (19.5 oz).

1 Family Size Brownie Mix (makes 13" x 9" brownie)
3/4 cup toasted peanuts
1/2 cup Nutella Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray cooking spray on the bottom of a 13" x 9" pan.
2. Prepare the brownies as directed.
3. In a saute pan, toast peanuts over low heat (around ten minutes) - stirring often. Let cool and then crush into smaller pieces (you can use the bottom of a heavy glass).
4. Mix in Nutella Chocolate Hazelnut Spread until well blended.
5. Add to pan and bake for around 30 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick or knife comes out clean.


Garlic and Herb Lemon Chicken

Lemon-Garlic Chicken

Adapted this recipe from a McCormick advertisement for their Garlic & Herb Perfect Pinch - which is an ingredient. It is fantastic! I think that you might use any Garlic and Herb Seasoning mix in its place.

2 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into slices around 1/3"
3/4 cup flour
2 tbsp McCormick Perfect Pinch Garlic & Herb Seasoning (or other seasoning mix)
4 tbsp Canola Oil (or another vegetable oil)
2 cups chicken broth
2 tbsp+1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp dried parsley

1. Mix the flour and the seasoning mix in a bowl. Dip cut chicken in water and coat both sides with mixture.
2. Heat 2 tbsp of oil over medium heat. Add chicken slices (filling the pan in a single layer) and cook for 3 minutes per side.
3. After cooking on both sides, remove and place on a plate under foil.
4. Heat the other 2 tbsp of oil and cook the remaining chicken the same way.
5. When the chicken is done cooking (and keeping warm), add the broth, lemon juice and around 2 tbsp of reserved flour mixture. Use a wisk to bring up the browned bits in the skillet and steadily mix for around 5 minutes. After around 4 minutes, add the dried parsley.
6. Pour over chicken and serve.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Pan Seared Zucchini

Pan Seared Zucchini

Adapted from a recipe found on, this was a great side dish.

2-3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1-2 tsp minced garlic (two cloves)
3 thin zucchini, ends trimmed and cut diagonally into 1/4" slices
1 tsp (or to taste) kosher salt
1/2 tsp (or to taste) ground black pepper


1. Heat oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat
2. Add Garlic and saute for 1 minute
3. Meanwhile, spread the zucchini slices and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Place the salt/pepper zucchini slices in the pan - spice side down - and then sprinkle the tops with salt and pepper.
5. Cook for around 3 minutes and turn over for another 3 minutes.

Enjoy as a side with just about anything! Great when the veggies are fresh.

Heat oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add zucchini slices in a single layer and cook 2-3 minutes per side, until golden. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then serve.

Serves 1-2.

Friday, July 29, 2011

BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches

BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Modestly adapted from a bunch of recipes that I found. I never cooked with soda before...but I will certainly do it again - this was AMAZING! We used Pork Tenderloin - which came out beautiful. More expensive, but less fatty.

4-5 lbs Pork Tenderloin or Roast
2 tbs dried chopped onions
1/2 tsp ground pepper - adjust to taste
1 tsp kosher salt - adjust to taste
Root Beer (you will want about 1 cup per each lbs of meat, with one cup for the pot - like with tea)
1 18-20 oz Bottle of BBQ sauce (any type will do)

1. Place dried onions in the bottom of a slow cooker.
2. Add pork to the slow cooker and sprinkle the salt and pepper on top (adjust amount to taste).
3. Pour root beer directly on the pork and then set on low for 8-10 hours.
4. Remove the pork from the slow cooker and place on a plate. Drain most (not all) of the liquid from the pot.
5. Remove any fat from the pork (especially if you are using a Butt Roast) and return it to the slow cooker.
6. Using two forks, shred the meat.
7. Add the BBQ sauce and mix thoroughly. Cook on low for an additional 2 hours.
8. Pork is ready to serve - great on rolls, crusty bread or buns.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Pan Fried Whitefish

Pan Fried Whitefish
Modestly adapted from a recipe found on the Food Network site. Super easy and very delicious.

Ingredients (three fillets feeds 4 people comfortably)
Whitefish fillets (cut into 5" sections)
Kosher salt
Black pepper
Flour (about 1/2 cup for three fillets)
2 tablespoons of olive oil

1. Heat the olive oil over medium high heat.
2. With the skin-side down, sprinkle the flesh of the fillet with salt and pepper to taste. Then sprinkle lightly with flour. Gently Shake off excess flour.
3. Place the fillets in the pan with the skin side down, cook for 4 minutes (you might need to adjust with the thickness of the fish). Skin side should be nice and golden.
4. Turn the fish over and let it cook for another 3-4 minutes.
5. Remove from pan and let the oil drain (paper towels work here).


Saturday, June 4, 2011

Simple Chicken with Broccoli Stir-fry

Simple Chicken with Broccoli Stir-fry

4-5 tbsp Olive Oil
4 tsp Chopped Garlic (or 4 cloves)
1 small Onion (sliced thinly)
1 8oz. can Water Chestnuts (sliced)
3 Chicken Breasts – thinly sliced
½ or whole Fresh Red Pepper (sliced into thin strips)
12 oz White Mushrooms (sliced in half if smaller or in quarters if large)
Florets from 2 Broccoli Crowns (keep as much of the stem as you would like)
3-4 tbsp Oyster Sauce
2-3 Scallions – thinly sliced

1. Heat 2-3 tbsp of Olive Oil over medium high head.
2. Add 2 tsp of Garlic, the onion and chicken and cook for 6-8 minutes (stirring continuously). When done, remove and place in bowl, covered with foil to retain heat.
3. Heat 2 tbsp Olive Oil & remaining Garlic.
4. Add Red Peppers and Mushrooms and cook 1-2 minutes (stirring continuously).
5. Add Broccoli and Water Chestnuts and cook around 5 minutes (stirring continuously).
6. Mix back in the cooked Chicken and stir. Add Oyster Sauce and Scallions (if wanted)
7. Mix thoroughly and heat for around 2 minutes. Serve with rice.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Pasta with Mushrooms and Shrimp

Pasta with Mushrooms and Shrimp
1 lbs pasta (your choice)
1/2 cup, plus 3 tbs olive oil
4 tsp chopped garlic (or 4 cloves)
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 tbsp dried parsley
1 lbs white mushrooms (sliced) - you can reduce mushrooms to taste
1/2 lbs raw shrimp (devined)

1. Cook pasta as directed.
2. Over medium-high heat, warm 3 tbs olive oil and saute the garlic and mushrooms for 5-7 minutes.
3. Add shrimp and cook for 1-2 minutes depending on the size of the shrimp. The shrimp should be pink.
4. Drain the excess liquid from the pan (there will be liquid from the mushrooms).
5. Add remaining oil (1/2 cup), the salt, pepper and parsley.
6. Mix with mushroom and shrimp saute. for around 30 seconds to warm up the oil.
7. Remove from the heat and mix in pasta to coat with sauce. Add Parmesan cheese if desired.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Orange Tea Cakes

Orange Tea Cakes

Another idea is calling these "cakies" (part cake - part cookie). This recipe was adapted from Fifteen-minute meals by Emalee Chapman (101 Productions, San Francisco, CA, 1981). These are really great!

- 1/2 cup unsalted butter or margarine (softened)
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup flour
- 3 tablespoons of orange juice (with pulp if available)
- Powdered sugar
- Optional topping: thinly sliced almonds

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Place butter in the bowl with the sugar and blend together.
3. Add eggs, flour and orange juice and mix well.
4. Lightly butter a cookie sheet or spray with cooking spray. Drop small rounds (around 1 teaspoon) around 2-3 inches apart. They do spread when cooking.
5. Bake at 375 degrees for around 8 minutes (the cakes will be lightly colored with brown edges.
6. Remove from cookie sheet and sprinkle powdered sugar on top.

Alternative - place 4-5 thinly sliced almonds on top of rounds before cooking. This adds a nice taste to the cakes.

I tried with parchment paper - but they did not cook cleanly.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Thai Chicken with Basil and Peppers

141/365/871 (October 30, 2010) - Thai Beef with Peppers and Basil over Coconut Rice

This was modified from a recipe from Martha Stewart. It was not that difficult and was fantastic. (NOTE: The buns were for sloppy joes!)

1 1/4 cups jasmine rice
1 can (13.5 oz) coconut milk
3/4 cup water
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 tbs plus 1 tsp fish sauce
2 tbs plus 1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tbs olive oil
2-3 tsp chopped garlic
1 red bell pepper - sliced julienne style
1 green bell pepper - sliced julienne style
2 skinless chicken breasts
3/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves

1. Slice the chicken breasts in thin strips (around 1/4" thick) - you might freeze it for a short time to make it easier to slice.
2. In a saucepan, combine rice, coconut milk, 3/4 cup water, and 1/2 tsp of salt. Cover and bring to a boil - then reduce heat to a simmer and cook until rice was tender - around 25 minutes. The liquid will be absorbed by the rice.
3. Combine fish sauce, soy sauce, and sugar in a small bowl.
4. When the rice is almost done - start the rest of the meal.
5. Heat oil in a skillet or wok over high heat.
6. Add garlic and the peppers and cook for around a minute.
7. Add the chicken and cook for around 4 minutes (you can take a piece and make sure it is cooked through).
8. Add fish sauce mixture and cook for around 45 seconds.
9. Add the basil and stir to combine.
10. Remove from heat and serve over rice.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Fish Cakes

Fish Cakes

This recipe was adapted from Emalee Chapman's Fresh 15-minute meals. The original recipe was for crab cakes. This is an easy recipe and it makes a great dish.

1 1/4 cup cooked cod or other white fish (skin removed)
1 tsp lemon or lime juice
2 eggs
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbs flour
1/2 cup canola oil

1. Break apart the fish with a fork into smaller pieces and place in mixing bowl.
2. Add lemon or lime juice and eggs. Mix until well blended
3. Add breadcrumbs, salt and pepper (to taste) and mix to combine.
4. Using a tablespoon, form small patties. Sprinkle patties with flour on both sides.
5. Heat oil over medium heat. Cook 3 patties at a time. Cook approximately 3-4 minutes on each side. Drain over paper towel and enjoy!