Category Archives: Cooking

It’s What’s For Dinner

Mar

21

2011

corn chowder

Well, I’m not throwing up daily anymore. Thank you to everyone who kept me in your prayers. I attended Wyatt’s Sunday School class a couple weeks ago, and Wyatt said something I hadn’t considered before:

The topic was prayer, and we were talking about why we pray when our Heavenly Father already knows what we need, and we cannot change the will of God regardless.

Wyatt said there are some blessings that God does WANT to give us. It is his will that we have those blessings. But those blessings are dependent upon us asking for them. It is a relationship we must maintain. This made me think of being sick and the blessing of getting better sooner than I ever have before.




Now to task at hand:

Dinner for my family.

Last night I made (drumroll please) dinner! (Ta da!) Lemon chicken pasta to be exact, which is an easy and delicious meal, and a great way to get back into “I can do this” mode.

It’s the first time I’ve made a real dinner in almost three months.

Today I sat down to plan out a menu for the week (I am ambitious!). The trouble is – it’s Spring. And I’m expecting. And winter food is too heavy for both. But summer food isn’t right either. And the inbetween food of fall isn’t in harvest this time of year.

This made it very challenging.

But after some looking through my recipe box, and some internet searches, here is my game plan.

Monday:
Broiled Tilapia Parmesan
Steamed Asparagus
Salad
Wild Rice

Tuesday:
Chicken Picatta
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Steamed Broccoli

Wednesday:
Corn Chowder
Bran Muffins

Thursday:
Leftovers

Friday:
Baked Ziti
Garlic Bread
Salad

Saturday:
Wyatt’s night to cook. *This is a new development in the Christensen household. Last week was Wyatt’s first time. He told me to go get a pizza AND bake it. I don’t think that counts. I cut him some slack because of March Madness. But this week he better come up with something good!

Sunday:
Something in the crock-pot: Pot roast?

My question for you is: What do you eat this time of year?

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

Oct

26

2010

Is always delish on a Sunday afternoon. And now that church is over by noon, I have a whole afternoon to bake (or take naps, or read, or build blanket forts. Aren’t Sunday’s luxurious?)

This bread is super moist, and “not too pumpkin-y.” It’s at least as good as what one might get at the local Great Harvest. And it’s even better the next day!

IMG_1773

Ingredients

  • 1 (29 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/3 cup water
  • 6 cups white sugar
  • 7 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2  teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 – 2 Cups chocolate chips of choice (I like dark chocolate for this because there is plenty of sweetness in the bread itself).

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour your 7×3 inch loaf pans.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.
  3. Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Makes 6-8 loaves.

Stuffed Peppers

Sep

18

2010

Stuffed Peppers4 large red bell peppers
3/4 pound ground chuck
1/2 pound ground pork
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons beef bouillon granules
2 teaspoons House seasoning, recipe follows
1 cup cooked rice
1/2 cup jarred cheese and salsa
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup diced tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped green onion tops
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 cup hot water


Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Start by cutting the peppers in half lengthwise, leaving the stems intact, and halving them also. Remove the seeds and ribs inside the peppers.

Using a hot skillet, saute the ground beef, pork, onion, garlic, 1 teaspoon of bouillon granules, and house seasoning together. Saute until onions become translucent. Drain the fat off. Add the rice, cheese, sour cream, tomatoes, green onion tops, and soy sauce. Mix well and stuff the mixture into the peppers. In a small bowl, mix the hot water and the remaining bouillon granules. Pour this mixture into a shallow casserole large enough to hold all of the peppers. Place the stuffed peppers in the dish, cover with foil and bake for 25 to 35 minutes. Remove the foil and spoon the juice from bottom of the casserole over the top of the peppers. Bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes.


House Seasoning:

  • 1 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup black pepper
  • 1/4 cup garlic powder

Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months

Greek Salad

Aug

18

2010

Greek SaladGreek Salad

3 T EVOO
1 1/2 T Lemon Juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 t  dried oregano
1/4 t salt
1/4 t pepper
3 tomatoes, cut into wedges
1/2 red onion – sliced into thin rings
1/2 cucumber – sliced into thick half moons
1/2 green pepper – julienned
4 oz. feta cheese – cubed or crumbled
16 calamata olives

PLACE the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper and oregano in a small jar with a screw-top lid and shake to combine. PLACE the salad ingredients in a large bowl. POUR the dressing over the salad and toss gently to combine just before serving. GARNISH the Greek salad with a little freshly ground black pepper.

Mahi Mahi Tacos

May

20

2010

Ingredients

Slaw:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup diced red peppers (roasted preferred)
  • 1/4 cup diced green peppers
  • 1/4 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup diced carrots
  • 1/4 cup diced celery
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 1 head green cabbage, quartered and sliced into thin strips

BBQ Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup mango chunks
  • 2 roasted red bell peppers, (roasted at 400 degrees F, seeds and skin removed)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon Caribbean jerk seasoning
  • 1/4 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce

Cilantro White Sauce:

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 bunch chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon blackening spice

Guacamole:

  • 2 fresh avocados, halved, pitted and flesh diced
  • 2 fresh jalapenos, diced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion diced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 bunch chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Tacos:

  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds mahi mahi, skinned and cleaned
  • Blackening seasoning
  • Olive oil
  • 1 dozen (6-inch) flour tortillas
  • 1 cup shredded cheese of choice
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes

Directions

For the Slaw:

In mixing bowl mix all ingredients together except the cabbage. Once evenly mixed add the cabbage and turn with your hands or spoons until the cabbage is evenly coated. Cover and store in refrigerator until ready to serve. Should be made 24 hours in advance.

BBQ Sauce:

Mix all of the ingredients in food processor and puree. Pour into a bowl or jar and refrigerate.

Cilantro White Sauce:

Mix all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl until thoroughly combined. Cover and store in the refrigerator.

Guacamole:

Mix all of the ingredients into a mixing bowl. HINT: Use a potato masher first to crush the avocados then use spoon to combine the mixture. Cover and refrigerate.

Tacos:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Coat the mahi mahi with blackening seasoning. Add some olive oil to a saute pan and add the mahi mahi. Cook until flaky, about 3 to 5 minutes. Shred the fish with a fork or a spoon. When the fish is no longer pink in the center, add 1/2 cup BBQ sauce and mix together. Heat the tortillas in the oven for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

To serve:

Spoon the guacamole down the center of each tortilla then add a layer of shredded cheese and diced tomatoes. Add the slaw and the mahi mahi. Top with the white cilantro sauce. Arrange on a serving platter, get a napkin and dig in.

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies {EVER}

May

11

2010

I did it! I created the BEST chocolate chip cookie recipe in the Entire Universe – and that’s a big space.

Want confirmation? Just ask this guy.

Now, here’s the thing that is so exciting to me:

It’s my first very own recipe. My very first very own recipe.

That’s right. I took the little I know about baking, put it into the mixer, and out of the oven came these beauties.

What makes them better than other cookies in the universe:

1) They’re chewy. Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies – can you really argue with that?

2) They’re chocolatey, but not too chocolatey.

3) Now here’s the secret – I don’t add the salt until the very end – even after the chocolate chips. This gives the cookies these little sparkles of saline – total surprise. You get that salty sweetness that is neither overwhelming or underplayed. Try it, try it, you will see! You will like them, Sam-I-Am.

Andrea’s Mo’Yum Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pre-heat oven to 375°

3/4 C sugar
3/4 C packed brown sugar
1/2 C butter
1/2 C shortening
1 egg
2 1/4 C flour
1 t vanilla
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 bag (2 C) chocolate chips

In a large bowl mix sugars, butter, shortening, egg & vanilla. Add flour & baking soda. Stir in chocolate chips. Add salt at the very end. Roll onto ungreased cookie sheet, flatten each cookie slightly with the palm of your hand. Bake 8-10 minutes @ 375°

Warm Chocolate Melting Cake

May

9

2010

IMG_8768

Mmmm. . . last summer Carrie and I tried a recipe that was in my Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook. It was good, but too long and complicated to ever make again.

Then I saw this recipe being made on “America’s Test Kitchen” -or something like that. Looked it up, tried it (actually, conned Carrie into making it) – easy peasy, we even made it again later that week! You should try it too! It’s delish.

downsize(7)

Warm Chocolate Melting Cake

8 ounces semisweet chocolate
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
7 eggs, divided use
6 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup flour
Vanilla ice cream, for serving

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Melt chocolate and butter; cool 10 minutes.

In separate bowl, mix 4 eggs with sugar. Whisk. Add flour and whisk. Add remaining 3 eggs. Add egg mixture to chocolate mixture. Pour in individual baking cups or ramekins.

Bake until just done, about 15-20 minutes (interior will be melting, not set).

Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Makes 8 servings. Approximate nutritional values per serving: 460 calories (64.7 percent calories from fat), 8 g protein, 35 g carbohydrate, 27 g sugar, 2 g dietary fiber, 35 g fat, 250 mg cholesterol, 60 mg sodium.