Saturday, January 10, 2015

Crock Pot Beef Osso Buco with Polenta

Are you looking for a good stick to your ribs dinner for this unbelievable cold outside?  This Crock
Pot Beef Osso Buco can be waiting for you when you come home from work. The price is under $9.00 and can feed a family of 4 off of two large shanks. I purchased mine at Woodman's. I was looking at oxtails but for some reason they are crazy expensive right now. With the addition of polenta as a side, you have a delicious, filling meal.

Osso Buco

You need the stove for the first part, but I swear, the rest is easy peasy. Firstly, season and brown both sides of the beef in about 2 tablespoons of oil. You want a nice crust to form. Even brown the sides. Remove the beef to the crock pot. Add the mushrooms and onions and saute until golden.  In the same pan, add one cup of red wine. I used Rex-Goliath Merlot. Use  a wooden spoon to push up the brown bits from

the pan. Reduce for 5 minutes. The alcohol will cook out. Pour over the beef shanks. Add a pinch of Thyme, a teaspoon of minced garlic, a bay leaf, season again with salt and pepper. Add two tablespoons tomato paste and one can drained fire roasted tomatoes to the crock pot. Instead of adding more broth at this point, I added 2 beef bouillon cubes to keep the water content down.

You can add root veggies like turnips, potatoes, and carrots. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. The meat will be fall off the bone. Remove the sauce to a sauce pot on the stove. Add corn starch mixed in water to thicken. Serve over your favorite side. For the polenta I used a tube version that I mixed chicken stock with until it was grit consistency.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

No Bake PB Nut Fudge

I saw this recipe on FB and had to try it. I am over baking cookies for the season and this fudge recipe is no bake. You only need the melting energy of the microwave. No condensed milk in this recipe either!

No Bake Fudge

1 cup Peanut Butter
2 sticks butter diced
4 cups confectioners sugar

In an microwave safe glass bowl add the PB and confectioners sugar. Melt in one minute intervals. Stir after each minute until all of the PB and butter are melted. Mix in the nuts. Add to a tin foiled 8 inch pan and let set for four hours. Enjoy!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Hot Chocolate French Toast

My daughter came up with this recipe. Who would have thought that delicious hot chocolate could become a delicious breakfast?

Be creative and garnish with whipped cream and marshmallows. The chocolate taste is amazing. I used skim milk but feel free to use the milk and bread of your choice. If using regular bread only give a brief dunk or your bread will fall apart. This would be good with Texas toast also.

This would be great for Christmas morning.
Hot Chocolate French Toast

4 TBSP melted butter
3 eggs beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 pinch salt
1 pkg hot chocolate made with 1 cup milk
6-8 pieces of bread

Heat the milk in the microwave for 2 minutes. Add the hot chocolate mix and stir. Temper the eggs by gradually stiring in the hot chocolate Add the butter, salt and vanilla. Dip each of the pieces of bread briefly in the chocolate egg mixture. Fry in a non stick frying pan until set. Serve with whipped cream and syrup.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Oreo Mint Cookie No Bake Truffles

Oreo Mint Chocolate Chip Truffles (makes 48)

1 16oz pkg. mint chocolate chips
without the chocolate 
1 brick cream cheese room temp.
1 pkg oreo cookies

In a food processor, grind the cookies down to a fine grain. Reserve some for the topping. In a microwave proof bowl. Melt the chocolate chips starting at one minute intervals. Stir after each minute. (takes about 3 minutes) Stir the Oreo's with the cream cheese. Use a melon baller to make 1 inch balls. I did mine by hand and they were large.  Dip in the melted chocolate and sprinkle the tops with the remaining Oreos. Keep in the fridge until ready to serve.
Tip: You can also add 1/4 tsp. Canola oil to your chips to prevent them from scorching.

Christmas Cupcakes

I found this on Pinterest. I have been so busy with the end of my internship and school for the semester that I didn't have time to go out and shop for gifts for my co-workers. I did pick up some holiday Fun Fetti cake mix and frosting each for .99 and also purchased some cones. This project was under $4.00. My daughter baked the cupcakes while I prepped the cones. Easy peasy and these were a big hit at work. No offset spatula? I used a butter knife.
1) The Fun Fetti icing was already green but I added 20 drops of green food coloring and stirred. I used a half a jar to start off with. I crumb coated each cone. Then I put them in the freezer for 5 minutes to set up. The cupcakes were left to cool.

2) I used a star tip purchased at the grocery store. I cut one end off a large zip loc bag. I fit the star tip into the corner and used a big spoon to put the icing into the bag. I placed the icing on the trees pulling back and making short strokes to make the branches.

3) Candy such as red hots or jimmies, even M&M's can be pressed into the icing. Back into the fridge to set. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. I only used one can for the whole project.

4) Make white frosting for the cupcakes. 2 cups confectioners sugar, 1/2 tsp. vanilla,  and two TBSP milk. If it's not thick enough, stir in a additional 1/2 cup. Let set up in the fridge for a half hour. Frost the cup cakes. Save some icing for the bottom of the cones to help them adhere to the cup cakes. Attach the cones to the cup cakes. I used the actual muffin tin to transport them to my work.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Chili Mac...Warms Your Body on a Cold Winter Day

I have been freezing all day. In Wisconsin, we think the 30's is warm. It really is but I think I got a chill at the 5K I walked on Saturday. This chili mac is everything you love about the soup without all of the liquid. Wisconsin cheese added on top makes for the perfect bite. My girl Angie used to invite me over to her house when I was single and make this for me. This is how my Mom taught me how to make chili. (she thinks she invented it.) I have tweaked the recipe over the years to find out what we like. To make a whole chili add water to the soup can and the two bean cans.

Chili Mac

1 lb lean ground beef
1/2 of a large onion diced
1 large can stewed tomatoes chopped and drained
2 cans of red beans or kidney beans drained
2 small cans Campbell's tomato soup
2-4 TBSP chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
2-4 shakes hot sauce
1 lb cooked macaroni pasta

Brown the ground beef and onion in a frying pan with high sides. Drain off the fat once or twice and break the meat up into larger pieces. Season a few times with salt as you go. Once no longer pink, add the tomatoes, beans, and chili powder, and salt. Let cook for 10 minutes or so to combine flavors. Cook the pasta and drain. Fold into the chili and add the cheese. Serve with your favorite condiments such as sour cream.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Turkey Left Over Frittata

We still have a lot of left overs. This morning I used some of what I had to make a delicious frittata. You can use the turkey, ham, veggies (I had left over root veggies) green pepper, onion, mashed potatoes, and the cheese of your choice to make this easy and fast breakfast treat. A cast iron skillet works best for this will be placing it under a hot broiler. Otherwise make sure the handle is heat proof.

Turkey Frittata

1/2 cup leftover turkey chopped (we had Gran Mariner injected turkey)
1 cup mashed potatoes
1/2 cup onion diced
1/2 cup pepper diced
4-6 large eggs beaten
1/4 cup fat free milk or heavy cream
1/2 cup grated cheese
salt and pepper
cilantro for garnish
2 TBSP oil

Add the oil onion, root veggies, and pepper to the skillet. Brown for 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the turkey and warm through. Next add the potatoes. Again, season and warm through 1-2 minutes. Cover with the beaten eggs. Top with cheese and place under the broiler for 3-5 minutes. Serve with cilantro garnished on the top.