Monday, December 29, 2008

Thanksgiving... Yes, I am that far behind!

For Thanksgiving, Brad had to work. I made a pumpkin roll for him and the other poor schmucks who had to be there while the rest of us were enjoying food and family.

Pumpkin Roll
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 cup pumpkin puree
3 eggs
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9x13 inch jelly roll pan or cookie sheet.

In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, and pumpkin pie spice. Stir in pumpkin puree, eggs, and lemon juice. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Spread the mixture evenly. Bake at 375 degrees F for 15 minutes.

Lay a damp linen towel on the counter, sprinkle it with confectioner's sugar, and turn the cake onto the towel. Carefully roll the towel up (lengthwise) with the cake in it. Place the cake-in-towel on a cooling rack and let it cool for 20 minutes.

Make the icing: In a medium bowl, blend cream cheese, butter, vanilla, with a wooden spoon or electric mixer.

When the cake has cooled 20 minutes, unroll it and spread icing onto it. Immediately re-roll (not in the towel this time), and wrap it with plastic wrap. Keep the cake refrigerated. Cut the cake in slices just before serving.

This was really good. I didn't have a linen towel, because frankly, who does? I used one of the kitchen towels with no fuzz. It worked pretty well. I ate the leftovers, and enjoyed every minute of it.

My contribution to the family Thanksgiving was crab bites, salad, mashed potatoes, garlic mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, salad, chocolate cheesecake and pecan pie.

Crab Bites
2 (12 ounce) packages refrigerated biscuit dough
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (6 ounce) can crab meat, drained
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease 18 mini muffin pans.

Divide rolls in half and press into the prepared pans. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, crab, mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, Cheddar cheese, green onions and Worcestershire sauce. Spoon 1 teaspoon of mixture into tarts.

Bake at 375 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes, or until light brown.

Sweet Potato Casserole (Old family recipe -- from grandma Bach)
5 large sweet potatoes, cubed
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 tablespoon HOT water

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Put sweet potatoes in a large saucepan with water to cover. Cook over medium high heat until tender; drain and mash.

n a large bowl, mix together the sugar, eggs, salt, butter, milk and vanilla. Add a scoopful of potatoes to the mixture. Stir well. Add this entire mixtures into the mashed sweet potatoes. Mix until smooth. Transfer to a 9x13 inch baking dish.

In medium bowl, mix the cinnamon, sugar and flour. Cut in the butter until the mixture is coarse. Stir in the pecans. Add hot water. Drop mixture evenly over the top of the sweet potatoes.

Bake in the preheated oven 30 minutes, or until the topping is lightly brown.

I have learned after years and years and years of preparing this that it is best to put it in a dish that is at least 1/2 an inch deeper than you need it to be. Otherwise, in the baking process it spills over, and there is almost nothing worse burnt to the racks of your oven than the sugary goodness of sweet potato casserole.

Mashed Potatoes (old family recipe -- from Grandma Mary)
1 5 pound bag of potatoes, peeled, cut into cubes
1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese
1 (8 oz.) container sour cream

Place peeled, chopped potatoes in a large saucepan. Cover potatoes with water, and boil until fully cooked. Drain water immediately. Place butter in saucepan and allow to melt. Mash potatoes and butter until smooth. Add cream cheese and sour cream. Continue to mash, if needed. Otherwise, stir until fully melted and incorporated. Add milk to make potatoes desired consistency. (I never add more than 1/4 of a cup.) Add salt and pepper to taste.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes (recipe mostly by Pioneer Woman)
6 heads garlic
olive oil
salt pepper

1 5 pound bag of potatoes, peeled and chopped into cubes
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese
1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
1/2 - 1 cup (milk, half and half or cream)

Preheat oven to 375 F. Generously oil the bottom of a baking dish. Cut the tops off of the heads of garlic to expose the garlic. Generously pour olive oil over the tops of the garlic heads. Sprinkle with kosher salt and a fresh ground pepper. Cover with foil, and bake for 40-45 minutes. Allow garlic to cool for a few minutes. Then, squeeze garlic "meat" out of heads.

While garlic is roasting, place peeled and chopped potatoes into a large saucepan. Cover potatoes with water and boil until thoroughly cooked. Drain potatoes. Add butter and sour cream, and mash until smooth. Stir in milk to achieve desired consistency. Add roasted garlic, and mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste.

These are really good, but the longer they sit, the more potent the garlic flavor becomes. Warning: If making these the day before (as I do for Thanksgiving) use LESS garlic than you would if you are serving them the same day.

Chocolate Cheesecake
1 8 or 9 inch pre-made graham cracker crust
2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips, melted

Preheat oven to 350 F. Place cream cheese and sugar in a medium sized mixing bowl. Beat with a mixer until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition until just incorporated. Stir in vanilla and melted chocolate chips. Pour into crust, and bake for 30 -40 minutes, or until center is firmly set. Cool. Refrigerate 8 hours before serving.

Pecan Pie
1 unbaked pie crust
1 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large bowl, beat eggs until foamy, and stir in melted butter. Stir in the brown sugar, white sugar and the flour; mix well. Lastly, add the milk, vanilla and nuts.

Pour into an unbaked 9-in pie shell. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes at 400 degrees, then reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until done.

I really enjoy THIS particular recipe, because it tastes more like a pecan pie than a corn syrup pie with pecans on top. It is really yummy, and I would highly recommend it to anyone.

From the Beginning...

I have been a major slacker with the recipes, lately, though I have been updating the "Keep me Accountable" page so I would at least remember what I made in order to post the recipes. I will start with the beginning and work my way to the present time, ending with a writing inspired by my friend Eric, which will include the phrase "greased slide to hell." Without a lot of fan fare, I began buying groceries for the pantry and freezer around the beginning of November, and in no time, they were both packed again, so in honor of Katie, I will, once again, take stock of everything I have, and then cease purchasing items for stock, and only buy fresh food and staples as I run out of them.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Hold Me Accountable!

I cooked almost every night last week, and my slacker self has not updated. I still haven't posted the Thanksgiving recipes, though that post is almost finished, just not posted. Just so I have a reminder when I finally stop slacking...

Last Monday: Beef Bulgoga/ Chocolate chip pie for lesson dessert
Last Tuesday: Salmon
Last Wednesday: Seafood Pasta
Last Friday: Chicken Caesar Squares
Saturday: Don't remember, but did the Holiday Baking
Sunday: Chicken Sandwiches and Sweet Potato Fries

Monday 12/8 Take-out subs
Tues 12/9 Pork
Wednesday 12/10 chicken dumplings
Thursday 12/11 nothing of consequence
Friday 12/12 Pot Roast
Saturday 12/13 Christmas date
Sunday 12/14 Mushroom pizza with fresh mozzarella

Monday 12/15 swiss fondue
Tuesday 12/16 Pasta with sun dried tomato cream sauce
Wednesday 12/17 Quiche Lorraine
Thursday 12/18 Polish sausage and mashed potatoes
Friday 12/19 nothin'
Saturday 12/20 Chicken with Garlic Sauce, brussel spouts, squash, couscous
Sunday 12/21 appies and dessert for grandma's party... rye dip, crab bites, lemon cake, chocolate cake
Monday 12/22 Lasagna for friends
Tuesday 12/23 Mushroom and Cheddar Soup
Wednesday/Thursday... Christmas/ didn't cook
Friday 12/26: crab bites, sweet and sour coctail weiners, beef bulgoga, rice, roasted vegetables, bananas foster

Saturday 12/27... ran errands with mom and had Chinese Food
Sunday 12/28...
Monday 12/29... Crazy Peruvian came over... pierogies and pork chops, roasted carrots, greenbeans, bananas foster
Tuesday 12/30... Date Day!
Wednesday 12/31...