Mongolian Beef – Crock Pot Dish

I saw this recipe on a food blog, The Recipe Critic.  I generally do not use my crock pot unless it is a weekend.  Cooking a bunch of food in a pot on weekday from 8am to 6pm just does not work for me.  The end result is usually way overcooked and not very edible.  I tried this recipe today, which happens to be a Saturday.  It was not overcooked and definitely very edible!!

Mogolian Beef (In case you want to know where the dish originates I linked it to Wikipedia)

September 028

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds Flank Steak
1/4 cups cornstarch
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
3/4 cup Soy Sauce
3/4 cup Water (I used Beef Broth)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup grated carrot
green onions (you don’t need to use these)

Directions

  1.  Cut flank steak into thin strips.  Put meat strips in a ziplock bag and add cornstarch.  Shake the bag to coat the meat pieces. Set aside.
  2. Add all other ingredients into crock pot and whisk together.
  3. Add meat to above ingredients and stir until all mixed together.
  4. Cook on high 2-3 hours or low 4-5 hours.  In my crock pot it was done in 3 1/2 hours on low.
  5. Serve over rice and if you like green onions add some of those too.  September 021(Next time I will be adding some chili peppers for a little heat.  I enjoy some heat in my dishes!)

That was it.  Could that be any simpler?  Enjoy!!

Quick Cheese Bread (with a little Rosemary if you like. We sure do!)

Fall is in the air. Time to bake some bread.  Here is a recipe I found in an America’s Test Kitchen magazine a long time ago. We add rosemary and it makes a great complimentary flavor.  Everyone enjoys this simple and delicious bread!

Quick Cheese Bread

September 024

Ingredients

3 ounces (1 cup) Parmesan cheese, shredded (use the large holes of a box grater to shred this cheese)
2 1/2 cups (12 1/2 ounces) all purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne powder
1/8 teaspoon pepper
4 ounces (1 cup) extra sharp cheddar cheese, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sour cream
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 large egg
1 Tablespoon Rosemary, fresh and chopped, optional (it adds an awesome flavor though)

Directions

1.  Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan with vegetable oil spray.  Sprinkle 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese evenly in bottom of pan.
2.  In large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, salt, cayenne, and pepper to combine.  Using rubber spatula, stir in cheddar, breaking up clumps, until cheese is coated with flour.
3.  In medium bowl, whisk together milk, sour cream, butter, and egg.  Using rubber spatula, gently fold milk mixture into flour mixture until just combined (batter will be heavy and thick, don’t overmix).
4.  Scrape batter in prepared pan; spread to sides of pan and level surface with rubber spatula.  Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan evenly over surface.
5.  Bake until bread is deep golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 45-50 minutes.  Let bread cool in pan on wired rack for 5 minutes.
6.  Remove bread from pan and let cool to room temperature. Take a spatula and go around the pan before removing.  It will release out of bread pan without any problems.  Let cool about and serve.

Home Fries – Simple and Delicious

I posted this recipe last fall.  Another recipe from America’s Test Kitchen. I thought I would post again since we had Breakfast Friday last week.  Everyone loved these.  Kent thought they could have stayed in the oven an extra 15 minutes.  Next time.  They are just like your favorite diner home fries.  Simple and Delicious and time consuming but worth it!  (What else do you have to do when your hanging out with family!)

Home Fries

September 016

Ingredients

3 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch dice
1/2 teaspoon baking soda (Don’t miss this important part of the recipe!)
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces
Kosher salt and pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 onions, cut into 1/2 inch dice
Directions

1.  Adjust oven rack to lowest position, place rimmed baking sheet on rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees.
2.  Bring 10 cups water to boil in Dutch oven over high heat.  Add potatoes and baking soda.  (Another reminder; you need to add the baking soda, don’t forget it).  Return to boil and cook for 1 minute.  Drain potatoes.  Return potatoes to Dutch oven and place over low heat.  Cook, shaking pot occasionally, until any surface moisture has evaporated, about 2 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Add butter, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and cayenne; mix with rubber spatula until potatoes are coated with thick, starchy paste, about 30 seconds.
3.  Remove baking sheet from oven and drizzle with 2 Tablespoons oil.  Transfer potatoes to baking sheet and spread into even layer.  Roast for 15 minutes.  While potatoes roast, combine onions, remaining Tablespoon oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt in bowl.
4.  Remove baking sheet from oven.  Using metal spatula, scrape and turn potatoes.  Clear about 8x5inch space in center of baking sheet and add onion mixture.  Roast for 15 minutes.
5.  Scrape and turn again, mixing onions and potatoes.  Continue to roast until potatoes are well browned and onions are softened and beginning to brown, about 10-15 minutes.  (To get these brown it is about 60-75 minutes in oven) If using chives, stir in.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.   Serve immediately.September 019I had to post this.  He enjoyed Breakfast Friday and he cracks me up!

Cinnamon Buns – Simple and Delicious

I make these buns a few times a year.  I got the recipe from Cooks Country magazine.  I first posted this recipe in 2012, then again in 2013.  I made these last week and brought them into work.  The ladies loved them.  I thought it would be nice to post the recipe again and move it up on my feed for my coworkers (and others) to bake these Simple and Delicious buns!

Cinnamon Buns with Buttermilk Icing

September 014I

Ingredients

Cinnamon Sugar Filling

3/4 cup dark brown sugar (I used light, that was all I had)
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon butter, melted

Directions
Combine sugars, cinnamon, cloves and salt in small bowl. Add melted butter and stir with fork until mixture resembles wet sand, set aside.

Biscuit Dough

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
6 Tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Brush 9 inch nonstick square or circular cake pan with 1 Tablespoon butter.

For the Biscuit Dough
1.  Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in large bowl.
2.  Whisk buttermilk and 2 Tablespoons melted butter together in small bowl.
3.  Add liquid to dry ingredients and stir with wooden spoon until liquid is absorbed.
4.  Transfer dough to lightly floured counter and knead until smooth.

Next, pat the dough with hands into a 12 by 9 inch rectangle.  Brush dough with 2 Tablespoons melted butter.  Sprinkle evenly with filling, leaving 1/2 inch border around edges of dough. Press filling into dough.  Loosen dough from counter.
5.  Starting at long side, roll dough, pressing lightly, into a tight log.  Pinch seam to seal.
6.  Roll log seam side down and cut into 8 equal pieces.
7.  Place 1 roll in center of prepared pan and place remaining rolls around perimeter of pan.  Brush with remaining 2 Tablespoons of butter.
8.  Bake until edges are golden brown, 23-25 minutes.  seafood pizza 004 Use spatula to loosen buns from pan and place on wire rack to cool.  After 5 minutes of cooling, start icing!

Icing

2 Tablespoons cream cheese, softened
2 Tablespoons buttermilk
1 cup confectioners sugar

While buns cool, line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, set rack with buns over sheet.  Whisk cream cheese and buttermilk together in a non metal bowl until thick and smooth (mixture will look like cottage cheese at first-and it really does).  Sift confectioners sugar over (sometimes I sift, sometimes I don’t); whisk until smooth glaze forms, about 30 seconds.  Spoon glaze evenly over buns and serve immediately.

This may seem like it takes forever but it really doesn’t and these buns are AWESOME!!

NOTE:  I ended up making 2 batches Thursday night.  One for us and one for work.  I prepared them the night before and placed in the refrigerator overnight.  I took a pan out in the morning for work and when I got home from work I baked the other pan for our Breakfast Friday.  When you take out the overnight pan, let it set on counter to get to room temperature (about 45 minutes) and then bake as instructed. I made the icing while they were baking.

Another Simple and Delicious adventure in my kitchen.  ENJOY!!

Twice Baked Potatoes – Simple and Delicious

These are delicious.  Paige requested recipe so here it is!

Twice Baked Potatoes

September 032

Ingredients

6 russet potatoes (7 to 8 ounces each), scrubbed and dried
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 cup), I did 1 cup
2 pieces bacon, chopped, fried & crispy
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup buttermilk
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3 medium scallions, white and green parts sliced thin (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions

1.  Adjust oven rack to upper middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Bake potatoes on foil-lined baking sheet until skin is crisp and deep brown and skewer easily pierces flesh, about 1 hour. Setting baking sheet aside, transfer potatoes to wire rack and let sit until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes
2. Using an oven mitt or folded kitchen towel to handle hot potatoes, cut each potato in half so that blunt sides will rest on work surface. Using a small dinner spoon, scoop flesh from each half into medium bowl, leaving a 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch thickness of flesh in each shell. Arrange shells on lined sheet and return to oven until dry and slightly crisped, about 10 minutes.
3.  While potatoes shells are baking, mash potato flesh with fork until smooth. Stir in remaining ingredients, including pepper to taste, until well combined
4.  Remove shells from oven and increase oven setting to broil. Holding shells steady on pan with oven mitt or towel-protected hand, spoon mixture into crisped shells, mounding slightly at the center, and return to oven. September 029Broil until spotty brown and crisp on top, 5 to 10 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Serve warm.

 

Indian Tea Biscuit Cookies – Simple and Delicious

This Friday Martin requested tea biscuits.  He used to have these biscuits often when he lived with his grandparents in Bulgaria.  We usually buy these biscuits at World Market.  I searched the web and found this recipe at Cook’s Country.  Had I known they were so easy to make I would have done this years ago!  These tea biscuit cookies were quite a hit with our family.

Indian Tea Biscuits

September 006

Ingredients

September 004

2 cups (10 ounces) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
16 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (4 ounces) confectioner’s sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoons plain whole milk or low fat yogurt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

1.  Combine flour, cardamom, baking powder, and salt in bowl; set aside.
2.  Using stand up mixer fitted with paddle, beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add yogurt and vanilla and beat until incorporated. Reduce speed to low, add flour mixture in 3 additions, and mix until just combined, scraping down bowl as needed. 3.  Divide dough in half and form each half into 5-inch disk. Wrap disks in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 4 hours, or up to 2 days.
4.  Preheat oven 350 degrees.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
5.  Take dough out of fridge and allow the dough to soften slightly on counter.  Working on a lightly floured counter, roll each disk into 1/8 inch thick circle. (I used parchment paper to roll out and no flour.  I got as close to 1/8 inch as I could.)  Using a 2 1/2 inch cookie cutter, cut out rounds and place on parchment lined baking sheet, 1 inch apart.
6.  Bake until lightly browned, 14-18 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through baking.  Let cookies cool on sheets for 5 minutes and transfer to wire rack to cool completely.  (Cookies can be stored a room temperature for up to 3 days.)

Hope you give this recipe a try.  Ciao!!

Banana Cookies

I bought some Costco bananas.  They get ripe way too quick.  Not in the mood for Banana Bread.  Kent suggested Banana Cookies.   This is a recipe I have had for many years.  I cut it out of the Syracuse Herald Journal newspaper a very long time ago.  Through the years I have made a couple of changes.  Give them a try!!

Banana Cookies

september 002

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1  cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup mashed banana (I use 3 mashed bananas)
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoons vanilla
4 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4-1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (We go light on the nutmeg)
1 cup chopped nuts, optional (we don’t add nuts)

1.  I used my stand up mixer.  You could easily mix by hand if you wanted to.  Mix the sugar, brown sugar, mashed bananas, oil,  and vanilla together.
2.  Mix in dry ingredients
3.  Drop by spoonfuls onto parchment lined baking sheet or ungreased baking sheet.
4.  Bake 10-12 minutes.

These always a hit.  And I wasn’t kidding when I said “Simple and Delicious!”