August 30, 2010

Salmon Patties

I'll be playing catch up this week since last week I couldn't post anything.  These salmon cakes were easy and delicious and took no time at all to throw together.  If you're looking for a nice change, give this a try.

Start with a can of Salmon, drain and reserve the juice.

Dice a medium onion.

Melt some butter in a pan over medium to medium low heat.

Saute the onion in the melted butter until the onion turns translucent.

Add 1/3 Cup of bread crumbs to a medium sized bowl.

Pour the reserved Salmon juice into the bread crumbs.

Pour a slightly beaten egg into the bread crumb mixture.

Pour the canned salmon (flaked) into the bowl, along with the mustard, and parsley and mix thoroughly.

Melt the Crisco in the same pan you sauteed the onion in.

Form six patties out of the salmon mixture and dredge in the remaining bread crumbs, making sure to cover all sides.

Add the patties to the melted Crisco in a hot pan and cook on medium to medium low heat depending on how hot your burner gets and what type of pan you're using.  You want a nice golden crust on the outside but you also want the inside to be fully cooked.

I served this with some homemade tarter sauce.  I hope you'll give this one a try.  It's perfect after a hard day!

Here's what you'll need:

1 can (14.75 ounce) salmon - drained and flaked, reserve the juice.
2 Tbsp butter
1 medium onion - diced
2/3 cup bread crumbs (or cracker crumbs)
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 Tbsp. dry parsley
3 Tbsp. Shortening

Drain on can of salmon, reserve the juice.  Flake the fish and set aside.
Melt the butter in a skillet and add the onion, cook until translucent.  In a separate bowl combine the onions with the reserved salmon liquid, 1/3 cup of the bread crumbs, eggs, parsley, mustard and salmon.  Stir well and then shape the mixture into 6 patties.
In a separate bowl put the remaining bread crumbs and dredge the patties in it making sure to coat all sides.
Using the same pan you used to cook the onions, melt the shortening.  Place each pattie in the hot Crisco and cook until browned on both sides. 

August 26, 2010

Here's the thing...

I've got two really good recipes to share with you. 

Oh, but I can't share them right now.

Why?  My husband is in Phoenix and he took the component I need to download the pictures from my camera.  I just wanted to let you know I hadn't forgotten about you.  I hope to have them for you this weekend.  I'll also be making yummy things this weekend for you.  I do it for you ya know, all for YOU!

I'll leave you for now with this picture of Montana last year.  I'll see you again soon Montana (please don't snow on me, I won't be packing snow gear).

August 18, 2010

Spaghetti-O Pasta Bake

Recently my family and I went on a little drive to find an Italian Market a co-worker told me about.  After a couple of wrong turns we finally got there.  It's such a cute little store and the couple that owns it makes their own sausages, and they import their cannoli shells from New York and make the filling on site.  They had a nice selection of Italian products.  We ended up getting three tiny cannoli's, some of the pasta I'm going to tell you about today, and some peppers and onion sausages that we haven't tried yet.  I'll be going back there again for sure! An interesting thing about the pasta that we purchased is that it needs to be boiled and then baked in order to get tender.  I've never heard of that before but I'm glad that the owner told me or else this recipe would not have turned out! I'm sure you can use any pasta in this, but these were so darn cute!

Brown 1lb of Italian Sausage - I used Sweet Italian. Preheat your oven to 350.

This is the pasta I bought.  I boiled this in some salted water for about 10 minutes while I prepared the meat mixture.

Cut one small onion.  I cut mine in fairly large pieces so I could dig them out easily for my daughter.  She's a pasta and red sauce kind of girl.

Add the onion to the browned sausage and cook until slightly transparent.

To this I added some mushrooms (again, large enough for me to dig out for my little one)

I had some red bell pepper on hand so I threw in about half of it, cut about the same size as the onion.

I used two cans (14 ounce?) tomato sauce.  I also used the empty cans to add the equivalent of 1 can of milk to cut the acidicness of the tomatoes.  Add one Tbsp of sugar, and 1 tsp of garlic powder (or fresh - maybe two cloves).

Pour in the drained pasta.

Pour the mixture into a casserole dish, I used a 9x13 inch dish and it was perfect.

Top with Mozzarella cheese.  I used about 2 cups I think.

Bake for about 30 minutes.

This turned out perfectly and was so yummy.  My daughter really enjoyed it too (after I fished out all the meat and veggies :-/ ).  You could add any veggie you like or switch up the meat.  The sky is the limit.  Hopefully you can find some of these cute little pasta o's somewhere near you. 

Here's what you'll need:

1 lb ground Italian Sausage of your choice
1 lb package of Anelletti pasta (or whatever you've got on hand), boiled
2 14oz can's of tomato sauce
equivalent of one tomato can of milk
1/2 bell pepper cut into cubes
1 small onion cut into cubes
1 package of mushrooms, sliced.
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp garlic powder (2 cloves fresh)
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Put your pasta in a large pot of salted water and cook for about 10 minutes.
Brown the sausage, add the cut onion until it just starts to turn translucent.  Add the mushrooms and bell pepper.  Cook for about 5 minutes.
Add the tomato sauce, milk, sugar, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
Mix the pasta into the meat mixture and then pour into a 9x13 inch pan or a casserole dish.
Top with Mozzarella cheese and bake for about 30 minutes.

August 13, 2010

Berry Cornmeal Muffins

My not-so-bad-problem-to-have yesterday was a bunch of strawberries that were planning to leave this world without my permission.  How rude!  So I took control and made some muffins.  I don't think I've ever made corn muffins before but I'll be making them again for sure!  They were yummy.  Warning: my little girl helped me make these so some of the photo's aren't necessarily that great.  But you'll have to suffer because I think its the cutest thing in the world when she helps me. Yep, I'm sappy like that.

Here's the line-up. Flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, cornmeal, strawberries, yogurt, egg, butter.

Sorry for the shadows in this picture, the lighting in my kitchen is not so good. And I'm not a great photographer, not a good combination. 
Begin by mixing the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt.

In a separate bowl, mix the cut strawberries with 1/2 a cup of the flour mixture you just made.

In another bowl mix the yogurt, butter and egg together until smooth.

Stir the yogurt mixture into the flour mixture until combined.

Add the strawberries and gently fold them together.

Dollop the dough into your prepared muffin tins.  I sprayed the tins liberally, but you can use paper muffin cups also.

Put them into a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes.  Watching them makes the time go by faster.  Not really, but taking pictures of your kids watching muffins bake is great fun.

These came out of the muffin tin with no problem at all.  I love the color - just barely golden brown on top. 

Plenty of strawberries inside.  These are a really good treat that I hope you'll try.  Different from your everyday muffins, but a nice change that I'll be making again.

Here's where I got this recipe:
Berry Cornmeal Muffins

1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup white sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups chopped fresh strawberries
1 (8 ounce container) Yogurt - recipe calls for strawberry flavored but I used vanilla.
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 egg, lightly beaten

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare your muffin tin by either spraying them, or using paper muffin cups.

In a large bowl mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cornmeal.
In a separate bowl mix 1/2 cup of the flour mixture with the cut strawberries.
In another bowl; mix the yogurt, egg, and melted butter together. 
Add the yogurt mixture to the flour mixture and mix until incorporated.  Fold in the strawberries.
Put an even amount of dough in each muffin cup and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Makes 12 muffins.

August 12, 2010

Strawberry Peach Icebox Pie

A couple of weeks ago a co-worker of mine let me borrow her HUGE pie cookbook.  Since then I've marked probably about 50 pies that I'd like to try.  I think this amount is pretty good considering there were over 600 pages in the cookbook.  This icebox pie is the first one I've attempted so far and I think it was pretty darn good.  I did do some modifications when it came time to make the crust because the directions in this book are pretty in depth and it didn't adhere to my last minute nature....but all the same I think it was just fine. 
Here is a link to the cookbook, if you're interested: Pie: 300 Tried-And-True Recipes for Delicious Homemade Pie

First things first, lets make the crust OR if you're short on time go buy a graham cracker crust.  There are a million different recipes out there for homemade crust and I used the one for a single crust made with shortening from this cookbook.

Add the flour and sugar


Shortening (it was supposed to be cold, but mine wasn't).

Use your pastry blender until you get pea sized pieces of shortening.  This makes for a flaky crust.

Use ice cold water to mix the dough until it forms a ball - do not overuse the water. Just add water until the dough comes together.

Roll the dough out until it'll fit the circumference of your pie dish. 

Fold it in half...

Place it in your dish and unfold.  Patch up any torn spots by pressing the dough together.

This is where you might want to do something differently.  I'm not a huge fan of too much crust so I cut mine off as shown above.  If you like more crust you'll want to leave enough around the edges to fold under and use your fingers or a fork to flute the edges.  You'll also want to account for the dough shrinking up a bit in the oven and leave some room for that.

Poke holes along the bottom to prevent it from puffing up.  You can also use baking beans if you have any.

Bake in a preheated oven until golden.  As you can see, mine shrunk up in the oven - but that's OK with me.  I'm in it for the filling anyway. Refrigerate this so its nice and cool for the mixture.

Time to prepare the fruit.  Fresh Strawberries and Peaches, washed.

Skin and pit the peaches.

Cut the peaches into bite sized pieces.

Place the peaches in a medium sized sauce pan and add sugar.

Zest a lemon.

Add the zest to the peach/sugar mixture.

Turn the heat on and let the peaches come up to a boil for about 5 minutes.

Get the lemonade and cornstarch ready.

Mix the cornstarch into the lemonade right before its needed in the peach mixture.

Pour the cornstarch/lemonade mix into the peaches.  This will thicken very quickly.

Once it's thickened, pour the mixture into a large 9x13 inch dish to let cool. Spread it out as much as possible to speed things along.

While the peach mixture cools, cut up your strawberries.

Once the peach mixture is cool, pour the cut strawberries in and mix together.

Pour the fruit mixture into the cooled pie shell, cover with plastic wrap and put into the freezer for at least 3 hours.

I had to take mine out after two hours to try it.  It was late and my bedtime was quickly approaching and I just wanted some OK?

I made a quick whipped cream to top this with.  What a great summertime treat.  Healthy (OK not so much) but it's filled with fruit so that's how I'm going to justify it. You get three important food groups here, wheat, dairy, fruit so it's practically diet food. 

I hope you'll give this a try on a hot day this summer.  Its very refreshing and delicious.

Strawberry Peach Icebox Pie

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup cold shortening (mine wasn't)
1/4 cup ice cold water

4 cups Peaches, peeled, seeded, cut into bite sized pieces.
2 cups Strawberries, hulled and cut into bite sized pieces
1 tsp Lemon zest
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup lemonade
1/2 cup sugar

Whipped Cream:
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Prepare your pie crust, bake and leave to cool.

Combine the peaches, sugar and lemon zest in a medium sized saucepan.  Cover and cook on medium heat and bring to a low boil stirring frequently.  Cook for about 5 minutes.
Reduce the heat to medium low or low and add the cornstarch/lemonade mixture.  Sauce will thicken quickly so keep stirring for another 2-3 minutes. Pour this mixture into a shallow dish and let cool to room temperature.
Fold the strawberries into the peach mixture.  Once combined, pour the fruit mixture into the pie shell, cover with plastic wrap and put in the freezer for at least 3 hours.

Shortly before serving, make the whipped topping by putting the heavy cream in the bowl of your electric mixer using your whisk attachment.
Whip the cream on medium to medium high until the cream has stiff peaks.  Add the sugar gradually while whisking on low speed, then add the vanilla and serve immediately.