Friday, December 12, 2008

Leftovers For Tomorrow's Chocolate Trifle

Okay, no I didn't invent this Trifle, but it is so beautiful that I had to put it up here! (This photo shows a trifle made by Kimberly Ray for my birthday!) I plan to make a strawberry version with Nilla Wafers and vanilla pudding, but I'm having a hard time figuring out what alcohol to incorporate. Any suggestions?

Here's the recipe for the Chocolate Trifle:

1 box chocolate cake
2 boxes chocolate pudding
Heavy cream
2 containers of Cool Whip
2 Scor bars (Some people use Heath bars, but Scor is better)
2 Symphony with almonds & toffee chips (This is my own addition to a pretty classic recipe)

Make chocloate cake. When preparing pudding, use heavy cream in place of milk & reduce amount by 1/3 cup for each box. (Use 1/3 cup Kahlua in its place.) It helps to make each box of pudding in its own bowl.

After making the cake, put half of it in the bottom of the trifle bowl. Sprinkle 1/3 cup Kahlua on top of the cake. Pudding goes on next (first box), then cool whip, then candy. Then you do another layer of the same: more cake with Kahlua; more pudding (second box); more cool whip; more candy. And look how pretty it is!!!! It's always an impressive dessert to bring to someone else's party - or to serve at your own!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Leftovers For Tomorrow's Chili

Hello fellow foodies! I have really been neglecting my food blogging lately... so hopefully this wonderful chili recipe will make up for that. I've also got a great dessert to post next, a chocolate trifle.

I went heavier on the beans than I usually do. I was going to make the chili in my crock pot, but I used so many ingredients that I had to move it over to a stock pot on the stove. (I cooked on a low temperature for about 4-5 hours.) My favorite thing about chili is that it's delicious & really easy to make.

1 can Hunt's fire roasted tomatoes
1 can corn
1 can black beans
1 can dark kidney beans
1 can light kidney beans
1 can refried beans
1 diced onion
1 diced green pepper
1 jar Newman's Own Garden Variety salsa
Handful of shredded Cabot habanero cheddar cheese
Just under 2lbs ground beef
McCormick chili mix
4 minced cloves of garlic
chili powder to taste
paprika to taste
garlic powder
onion powder
pinch of oregano
ground black pepper
Splash of leftover pasta sauce
Sprinkle of parmesan/romano cheese

I mixed the ground beef with the McCormick chili mix, some minced garlic, the onions, green peppers, and fire-roasted tomato sauce in a skillet. I then added the cooked ground beef, to the stock pot with all the other ingredients above. The longer it simmers, the yummier it will taste. This chili had a good kick to it. (Thanks to the extra chili powder I added & the habanero cheddar cheese.) I brought it in to work, and it was a hit with my co-workers.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Leftovers For Tomorrow's Zucchini Bread

This one is actually pretty easy & oh so tasty! **A great tip** When you are grating your zucchini - use a fork when you get to the end so you don't cut your fingers; you'll also have the added benefit of using as much of the zucchini as possible. You can also use more than two cups, if you are feeling wild. The last time I made this, I reduced the cinnamon, and added a tiny bit of nutmeg and allspice in its place. This recipe does make two loaves, so you should have leftovers for tomorrow! Freeze any bread you won't eat right away.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup applesauce
2 cups white sugar
3 teaspoons real vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup chopped walnuts (I use my food processor to chop up really fine, but that's just a personal preference.)

Grease and flour two 8" x 4" pans. Preheat oven to 325° F. Mix sifted flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.

Beat eggs, oil, applesauce, vanilla extract, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add dry ingredients to the wet mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini and nuts until well combined. Pour batter into prepared bread pans.

Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool* in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan.

*Well, you should let it cool, but I prefer it right out of the oven, steaming, with (you guessed it) country crock. :)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Leftovers For Tomorrow's Popovers*

*Disclaimer: If you make them correctly, you won't have any leftover popovers for tomorrow! These are best right out of the oven, with some country crock...
These popovers are meant to accompany my beef stew recipe, but they are yummy anytime!
I will warn you that if you (like me) have a hard time following directions... your popovers may not pop as prettily as the three in the photo above.

I enlisted the help of my neighbor and best friend Kim (who you will see mentioned again and again as this food blog continues - Look forward to some of her cookie recipes for the holidays & something called "Delicious Squares," as soon as I learn to stiffen egg whites properly...)

Kim has a knack for following directions, where I just want to throw everything in a bowl, in the oven or crock pot, and be done with it... I make great chili (tomorrow's project) and meatloaf, but my technique makes really pathetic popovers, like eggy little lump muffins, rather than the beautiful hollow creations popovers should be... they still taste okay, but not really the way they should. When it comes to popovers, dense is bad, and light and airy is good. So how do you do it correctly?

Follow the directions... as annoying as they are... and you will have pretty popovers...

2 large eggs

1 cup all-purpose flour (do not use self-rising flour)

1 cup milk

1/2 tsp salt

Heat oven to 450°. Grease 6-cup popover pan with shortening. Heat popover pan for 5 minutes.

In medium bowl, beat eggs slightly with a fork or wire whisk. Beat in remaining ingradients just until smooth (do not over-beat or popovers may not puff as high). Fill cups 1/2 full.

Bake 20 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 325°. Bake 10 - 15 minutes longer, until deep, golden brown.

Serve hot (with country crock...)

Good luck!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Leftover For Tomorrow's Pumpkin Cookies

This photo is from my first attempt. I did not use walnuts, dried cranberry, or raisins in this batch, but they were still darn tasty even without the addition of said ingredients. They are healthful (well, except for the icing, so I left half unglazed) & make a great breakfast snack on the go...

1/4 cup granulated white sugar

1/4 cup sugar in the raw

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 tbsp molasses - **great tip** coat the spoon with olive oil first, and the molasses will slide right off!!

1 cup canned pumpkin (brand I recommend is: One Pie Pumpkin; it's much better than Libby's. It looks like this: one-pie.jpg )

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 cup rolled oats

1 & 1/3 cup granola (I like Cascadian Farm brand - in health food or cereal aisle)

2 cups flour (I think I used more, and I always use my sifter)

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 egg

2 tbsp vanilla yogurt

2 tbsp butter

1/2 cup walnuts - I chopped most with food processor & left a few chunkier pieces

1/2 cup dried cranberries - chopped in food processor

1/2 cup raisins

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp ginger

1/4 tsp allspice

dash of nutmeg

Heat oven to 350 - Bake for about 15 minutes

These cookies will pretty much keep the shape you drop them in, so you can put them rather close together on a cookie sheet. The consensus was that people prefer the frosted cookies...

The Glaze (I used food coloring to make orange)

2 cups confectioners sugar

3 tbsp milk (I'm pretty sure I used more)

1 tbsp melted butter

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My First Attempt at Beef Stew

Leftovers For Tomorrow's
Beef Stew

This beef stew was dinner on Sunday night with leftovers to share with friends yesterday and today. I was not even left with one bowl to freeze for later, so I'm thinkin' that it was pretty tasty. Served with popovers - I'll post that recipe the day I can get a popover to look ready for its close up!

I happily report that all of my test subjects enjoyed my concoction. In the interest of time, I did not use a crock pot for this stew, but I most likely will when next I stew... thanks for reading my recipe, please comment if you try it out, and keep in mind, I'm not a cook. I'm just experimenting with food...I also never measure anything, not really, so these are my best guesses at what I used…

Lots of potatoes cut into small cubes – boiled for 12 minutes (I used those little golden potatoes)

I added one cube of chicken bouillon cube dissolved in 1 cup hot water (didn't have beef bouillon - it did not taste at all like chicken, fear not)

Diced onions and green pepper & cut carrots

Red pepper chopped in my food processor to get really small pieces

2 - 3 cloves garlic, depending on size; I used 3 medium – in garlic press

I mixed the vegetables, potatoes, broth (from chicken bouillon) and started to simmer on low. I needed more liquid, so I added a second chicken bouillon cube dissolved in hot water.

One can cream of celery soup (I would have used celery, too, but all my veggies had already been cooking & I didn't want the celery to be undercooked if I ran out to get some.)

One packet dry onion soup (a friend recommended) & add boiling water until you get to consistency you want - it will thicken.

Main seasonings: Ground rosemary and ground thyme & also some regular rosemary.

Accent seasonings: paprika, dash ground cloves, 2 bay leaves, peppercorns from grinder, black pepper flavored with Worcestershire sauce, sea salt, bit of lemon juice, dash oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, dash of sage, and a pinch of crushed red pepper.

A bit of light cream, olive oil, & butter – 2 pats, maybe

One TBSP brown sugar

Around 1/2 - 1 cup flour or more (really not sure on this one, as far as how much I really used, add as needed to thicken)

Sirloin meat – cut into cube-like pieces. I cooked in a frying pan in olive oil, flour & added the McCormick's Broiled Steak seasoning I use when I broil meat. I had to cook the meat in 2 sections, as I had just over 2 lbs., so with the second batch, I also added brown sugar to the mix – then I dumped all my beef in with everything else, and finally my stew started to look the right color…

I added a bit of hot water when it seemed to get too thick & served with popovers. I cooked a little too high (burner on level 4) for the first 20 minutes, and a little started to stick to the bottom of the pot, but I caught it in time to adjust (down to level 2... eventually down to 1) .That was really the only thing that went wrong, but it was still delicious. Probably cooked almost two hours – had cooked veggies for 45 min before adding beef. The carrots were cooked perfectly. I was afraid I should have boiled them first, but there's no need. Inspired or what? Used leftovers & just had to pick up the cream of celery, the meat & dry onion soup mix.