Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The man sandwich!

This is not a healthy guilt free meal. It is also not a meal I should make again, but I will. Honestly, I have already made it again, this was round two. It is just that simple and good. Just a few ingredients and 30 minutes and dinner is on. If you are looking to please a red med meat eating man in your life, here is the ticket ladies, I nearly guarantee success. Michael liked it better last time with out the A-1 sauce, but I liked it better this time with the A-1, so you decide if you want it or not. I just learned he is not an A-1 kind of guy I guess. Please don't be shy with the butter, I have made it twice, and it was better with all of the butter instead of the scant amount I tried to get away with the first time. Just follow the recipe, you will be glad you did... until the next morning when you can't button your slacks for work!

Marlboro Man’s Favorite Sandwich
(Marlboro Man is Pioneer Woman's husband, in case you wondered)
Pioneer Woman

2 to 3 pounds cube steak (tenderized round steak that’s been extra-tenderized
1 large onion OR 2 small/medium onions
4 French/Deli rolls
Butter, man
Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
Worcestershire Sauce
A-1 sauce

Slice onions and cook in 1/4 stick butter until soft and light brown. Remove and set aside.

Slice cube steak against the grain. Season with Lawry’s.
Heat 2 TBSP butter over high heat (in same skillet) until melted and beginning to brown.
Add meat in single layer. Cook one side until brown, then flip and cook until brown, about a minute on both sides.
Add 1/2 a bottle (at least) Worcestershire sauce, 5 to 6 shakes Tabasco, and 2 TBSP butter and a few healthy shakes of A-1. Add cooked onions. Stir to combine.
Butter halved French rolls and brown on skillet.
To assemble, lay bottom half of French roll on plate. Place meat mixture, followed by a spoonful of juice from the pan. Top with other half of roll, cut in half, and devour!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Fall is here!!!

Fake spider, I promise! I decorated for Halloween today, and I couldn't resist!

Okay not really. But we have cooled down to the seventies, and that is plenty of reason to bust out the pumpkin. I saw this recipe on Annie's Eats, who adapted the recipe from Bakespace, and knew that it would be my first pumping recipe of the year. They were amazing good, who doesn't love a little cream cheese filling when they bite into a cupcake! These were the perfect start to my fall baking, I can't wait to use the pumpkin left over in my fridge for something new. Or maybe I will just make these muffins again, they were that good. I brought them to my first day at my new job and made instant friends, so thanks Annie! Happy Fall baking friends!

Yummy cream cheese filling!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
Yield: 24 muffins


For the muffins:
3 cups flour (I used white wholewheat flour)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tbsp. and 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
4 eggs
1 ¼ cups vegetable oil (I used 1/2 applesauce and 1/2 oil)
2 cups sugar
2 cups pumpkin puree

For the filling:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar

For the streusel topping:
½ cup sugar
¼ cup and 1 tsp. flour
4 tbsp. butter, cubed
1 ½ tsp. cinnamon

To prepare the filling, combine the cream cheese and powdered sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and whip until smooth. Form into a log on plastic wrap or foil, making sure that the diameter is small enough to fit into the well of a muffin pan. Wrap the log up tightly and freeze until slightly hardened, 1-2 hours. (Alright, so you should know that I skipped this step, because I wanted to eat the muffins now, I didn't want to wait 2 hours, and it worked out perfectly. I just used my tiny cookie scoop to drop the filling into each muffin)

To make the muffins, combine the flour, spices, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl. Mix well and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the eggs, vegetable oil, sugar and pumpkin puree. Mix until well combined. Add in the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until just combined.

To make the streusel topping, combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Mix together with a pastry blender or two forks until crumbly.

Preheat the oven to 350°. Line two muffin pans with paper liners. To assemble the muffins, fill each muffin well halfway with batter. Remove the cream cheese log from the freezer and slice into 24 equal slices. Place a slice in each muffin well. Divide the remaining muffin batter evenly among the muffin cups, on top of the cream cheese. Sprinkle the streusel topping over the top of the batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Let cool completely before serving.

Crockpot Potato Soup

This soup far exceeded my expectations. I have these two crock pot cookbooks that I have been trying recipes out of, and they have been pretty hit and miss. This one though, was wonderful. I prepped everything the night before so in the morning all I did was dump it in the crock pot and turn it on. The house smelled so good when we got home from work, and we so enjoyed the soup for dinner and lunches the next couple days. We served it topped off with some sour cream, cheese, and fresh chives from my newly cultivated herb garden. Oh, and the letters you see below, that was my husband asking if he could dice the potatoes. Next thing I know he had that spelled out instead in potatoes. He is not much help in the kitchen, but he sure is sweet! The recipe below contains some changes, but mostly it came from 101 More Things To Do With A Slow Cooker.

6 cups of potatoes peeled and diced
5 cups of water
2 cups chopped onion
4 cubes of chicken bullion or 4 tsp instant granules
6 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 can evaporated milk
1 cup of shredded cheese
1 tbsp black pepper

Combine potatoes, water, onion, bullion, and pepper in greased slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat 6-8 hours or until potatoes are tender. Stir in crumbled bacon, cheese, and milk. Cover and cook an additional 20 minutes. Makes 10-12 servings.

One additional step that I took was to blend about 5 or 6 ladles of the soup before adding the bacon and cheese, just to give the soup a creamier thicker consistency.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Muffin Madness!

I know that I have said that my raspberry muffins are the most amazing muffins ever, but I may have lied...or at least their is a tie. Let me introduce the amazing delicious moist wonderfulness that is these banana coconut muffins. Let me pause for a moment of remembrance for these muffins, there were so good and gone too fast! Anyways, I found these from this blog of a friend from The Nest's What's Cooking board, and am so happy that I stumbled upon them. Go make them, and double it like I did, because 8 muffins will not be enough!!!
source: this blog, who got it from www.epicurious.com

sorry for the bad picture...I'm still learning how to use a camera!

Banana Coconut Muffins

Servings: Makes 8.
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (I used white whole wheat flour)

1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 very ripe bananas, mashed (3/4 cup)
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375°F. Line muffin cups with liners.Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Whisk together bananas, butter, sugar, egg, vanilla, and 1/2 cup coconut in a large bowl until combined well, then fold in flour mixture until flour is just moistened.
Divide batter 8 lined muffin cups and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup coconut. Bake until muffins are puffed and golden, about 25 minutes. Transfer muffins to a rack and cool slightly. (I took mine out after 20 minutes and they were plenty done!)

Crockpot Cooking 101

This is hardly a recipe, but so much of crock pot cooking is just throwing stuff in a crock pot and ending up with something yummy that I thought that I may as well post it. I have been using my crock pot a lot lately now that I am working. I prepare everything at night so that all I have to do is plug my pot in in the morning. We served these burgers with TJ's sweet potato fries, (Michael's new found favorite side!) and some baked beans, nothing healthy, but everything tasted great. And actually I take that back, the buns were whole wheat!

Crock Pot BBQ Chicken

4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 bottle BBQ (your favorite kind)
2 onions, cut into rings

Put everything in crock pot on low for 5 hours, shred chicken, spoon onto hamburger buns.

Like I said easy, the way it needs to be sometimes. We are going to use the leftovers for BBQ chicken pizza later this week. Easy again!