Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Fried Rice


3 Tbs. sesame oil
3 cups cooked rice, chilled
1 c. diced ham, or smoked turkey
4-6 scallions, white part only, minced
3 eggs
1 Tbs. sugar
soy sauce
peas (optional)

In a large skillet or wok, heat oil on med/high.  Add rice and stir fry until rice is slightly scorched.  Add ham, peas, and scallions.  Toss for 1-2 minutes.  Push all contents to one side of the skillet.  In a bowl, beat eggs with a fork.  Add eggs to cleared side of skillet.  Scramble until no longer runny.  Combine with rice mixture.  Pour soy sauce evenly along entire skillet of rice just enough to make the top layer turn brown.  Stir, add sugar and pepper to taste.  Toss 1-2 more minutes.

Strawberry Shortcake Trifle

Strawberry Shortcake Trifle


1 large angel food cake, cut into bite-sized pieces
1-2 carton strawberries, washed and diced, then sprinkled with a couple Tbs. sugar (releases juices)
1 small container Cool Whip
1 large box vanilla pudding, prepared
1 small package strawberry glaze (usually sold right next to angel food cakes)

Layer 1:  1/2 Angel food cake pieces
Layer 2: 1/3 strawberries
Layer 3:  Drizzle of strawberry glaze
Layer 4: 1/2 pudding
Layer 5: 1/2 Cool Whip
Layer 6: remainder angel food cake
Layer 7: 1/3 strawberries
Layer 8: drizzle of strawberry glaze
Layer 9: remainder of pudding
Layer 10: remainder Cool Whip
Layer 11: remainder strawberries
Layer 12: final drizzle of strawberry glaze (optional)

Marble Chiffon Cake

Marble Chiffon Cake

2 squares ( 1 oz. each) unsweetened chocolate
1 3/4 cups sugar, divided
1/4 cup hot water
1/4 tsp. baking soda
2 cups flour
1 Tbs. baking powder
1 tsp salt
7 eggs, separated
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup veg. oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
 1/2 tsp. cream of tarter


4 sares (1 oz. each) semisweet chocolate
1 Tbs. butter or margarine
7 Tbs. whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar

In a small saucepan, melt unsweetened chocolate over low heat.  Add 1/4 c. sugar, hot water, and baking soda.  Mix well and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and remaining sugar.  Form a well in the center; add yolks, water, oil, and vanilla; blend until moistened.  Beat 3 minutes on medium speed; set aside.

In another mixing bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar on high until stiff peaks form.  Gradually fold into batter.  Divide in half; gradually fold chocolate mixture into one portion.  Alternately spoon the plain an chocolate batters into an ungreased tube pan.  Swirl with a knife.

Bake at 325 for 55 minutes.  Increase temperature to 350, bake 10-15 minutes longer or until top springs back when lightly touched.  Immediately invert cake; cool completely.

For frosting, melt semisweet chocolate and butter in a small saucepan over low heat.  Stir in cream and vanilla.  Remove from the heat; whisk in powdered sugar until smooth.  Immediately spoon over cake.  Cool.  Recipe from Taste of Home.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Pw's Chicken-Fried Steak

3 lbs. cube steak
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups milk, plus 2 cups for the gravy
3 cups flour, plus 1/3 cup for the gravy
2 tsp. seasoned salt
3/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (more if you can handle it)
1 1/2 tsp black pepper
3 tsp. seasoned salt
1/2 cup veg. oil for frying

1. Begin with an assembly line of dishes for the meat, milk-egg mixture, and flour mixture with a clean plate at the end to receive the breaded meat.
2. Get cube steak out and ready.
3. With fork, beat eggs and 1 cup milk in a bowl.
4. Mix flour with seasoned salt, paprika, cayenne, and black pepper in bowl.
5. Lightly season a piece of meat with salt and pepper then dip it into the egg-milk mixture.  Flip to the other side to coat.
6. Next, place the meat on the plate of seasoned flour. Turn over to coat thoroughly.
7. Now place the meat back in the egg/milk mixture, turning to coat.
8. Finally, dredge in flour one more time.   This repetition will create a nice, thick crust-the signature quality of chicken-fried steak.
9. Place the breaded meat on the empty plate until ready to fry and repeat the process with the remaining pieces of meat.
10. Heat the oil in a large skillet over med.-high heat.  When the oil is sufficiently heate fry 3 pieces of meat at a time.  Cook on one side until the edges start to look golden brown, about 2 1/2 min.
11. Tun over and cook for 2  or 3 minutes, until the other side is golden.
12. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and keep warm.  Repeat with remainder of meat.
13. Now it's time to make the gravy.
14. After frying all the meat, pour off the grease into a heat-proof bowl.  Withoug cleaning the pan, return it to the stove over med.-low heat.  Add 1/4 cup grease back to the pan. Allow the grease to heat up.
15. Sprinkle 1/3 c. flour evenly over grease.
16. Using a whisk, mix the flour with grease, creating a golden brown roux.  It needs to attain a deep rich color.
17. After a couple of minutes, whisking constantly, pour in 2 cups milk.
18. Whisk to combine, then let the gravy come to a slow boil. It will thicken gradually, but if it seems too thick add splashes as milk.  Cooking process should take 5-10 minutes.  Generously season with salt and pepper, careful not to underseason.
19. Serve meat with mashed potatoes and cover both with gravy.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Pw's Creamy Mashed Potatoes

I got a new cookbook from my mom for my birthday that I have been wanting ever since it came out.  I was so excited!  Thanks Mom!

The Pioneer Woman is awesome.  Her food is great, and her explanations make it so that everyone can do it.  Her book is full of amazing pictures, and it has been a delight to dig into.

Disclaimer: her recipes are NOT low fat.  :)  We're eating great and loving her recipes, but it's time to hit the treadmill.

5 lbs. russet or Yukon Gold potatoes
12 Tbs. butter (1 1/2 sticks) softened, additional 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) optional
1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
1/2 to 3/4 cup half and half
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
salt to taste
black pepper to taste

1. Bring a large pot of water to a slow boil over medium-high heat.
2. Peel potatoes and rise in cold water.  Chop into halves and/or fourths.
3. Add potatoes to the pot.  Bring to a full boil and cook for 20-30 min.
4. They are ready when you can slide a fork in with no resistance, and the potatoes should almost but not completely fall apart.
5. Drain in a large colander.
6. Return the potatoes to the pot and turn the heat on low.  With a potato masher, mash the potatoes over low heat to allow much of the steam to escape.  Continue mashing until all lumps are gone, about 2 minutes.  Turn off the heat.
7.  Add butter.
8.  Add cream cheese.
9. Next add the half and half and stir together.
10.  Add seasoned salt, salt, and pepper.  Be sure not to underseason.
11.  Spread the mashed potatoes in a 2 quart baing dish.
12.  If you want you can dot the top with butter slices.  At this point you can cover the dish tightly with foil and refrigerate for up to 2 days before baking.
13.  When you're ready, preheat the oven to 350, cover with foil, and bake for 25-30 minutes until warmed through.
14.  Serve piping hot!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Toffee Trifle

Toffee Trifle 

1 pkg. brownie mix, baked
1-2 large pkg. instant chocolate pudding mix (Jello now makes an instant chocolate pudding mix with carmel bits, so I used that this last time and it was delicious)
1 bag of heath toffee chips
1-2 containers whipped topping 
1 large blue Symphony bar, chopped

1.  Make brownie mix and let cool.
2.  Make pudding mix and chill in fridge for 5 minutes.
3.  Put whipped topping in fridge to thaw.

Layer One:  1/2 pan of crumbled browies
Layer Two:  1/2 of chocolate pudding
Layer Three:  1/4-1/2 bag of Heath toffee chips, 1/4-1/2 chopped Symphony bar
Layer Four:  1/2 container of whipped topping
Layers Five-Eight:  Repeat

I don't have a large family, so when I made this tonight I only used 1 container of whipped topping, 1 box pudding mix, and half a bag of toffee chips.  If I were to make this for a party I would use twice as much of those and fill my trifle dish all the way to the top!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

7 Layer Salad

One of my favorites!

7 layer salad

2 cups mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
1 tablespoon sugar
1 head of lettuce, shredded
1 cup celery, diced
1/2 cup radishes, sliced
4 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
10 ounces frozen green peas, uncooked
1 small green onion, chopped
8 slices cooked bacon, crumbled (bacon bits work fine)
1/2 pound cheddar cheese, grated

Combine the mayonnaise and sugar. Mix and refrigerate it until you finish making the salad.

Layer the rest of the ingredients in the following order:

a layer of lettuce on the bottom of the bowl,
then a layer of celery
a layer of radishes
a layer of chopped eggs
a layer of peas
a layer of green onions
a layer of crumbled bacon

Spread the mayonnaise/sugar mixture over the top of the salad like cake icing. Sprinkle grated cheese evenly over it all. Seal the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight (or for 8 to 12 hours before serving).
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