Monday, February 16, 2009

Meal Plan Feb. 16th - 22nd

Monday: "Fried" Chicken, Mashed Potatoes and Steamed Broccoli
Tuesday: Salad
Wednesday: Pork steaks and Yucca with Garlic Mojo
Thursday: leftovers
Friday: Black bean burgers and potato salad
Saturday: Curry Lentil Soup
Sunday: Dan is making dinner, not sure as to what he will make yet.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Goat Cheese & Leek Cakes:

I wanted to make these after we had something similar at a restaurant in Savannah over New Years. The ones at the restaurant were better, the problem that I had with making these was that I used a tart white wine. These would be better using either Riesling or omitting the wine.

Goat Cheese & Leek Cakes:
Source: Emeril Lagasse

4 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped leeks
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
Salt and pepper
1 pound goat cheese (I used 4 oz)
2 tablespoons white wine (I used Sauvignon Blanc) (I highly recommend greatly reducing the amount of wine or omit it all together because it gave the cakes a very intense flavor)
1 cup flour (I used ½ c)
1 cup fine bread crumbs (I used ½ c)
2 eggs, beaten (I used 1 egg)

1. In a saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil.
2. Add the leeks and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Saute 2 minutes.
3. Remove from the pan and turn into a mixing bowl.
4. Stir in the cheese and white wine.
5. Form the mixture into 4 (2-ounce) cakes.
6. Season the flour and bread crumbs with (original recipe did not specify but I used 2 tsp.) Bayou Blast
7. Dredge the cakes in the flour.
8. Dip the cakes in the beaten eggs, letting the excess drip off.
9. Dredge the cakes in the seasoned bread crumbs.
10. Season with salt and pepper. Saute for 2 minutes.
11. In a saute pan, heat the remaining olive oil. When the oil is hot, lay the cakes carefully in the oil.
12. Pan-fry the cakes for 2 to 3 minutes on each side.
13. Remove from the oven and drain on paper-lined plate.
14. Season the cakes with Bayou Blast.

Bayou Blast

Emeril's Essense Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):
Source: Emeril Lagasse

1 ¼ tablespoons paprika (when dividing I forgot to divide this for the 2nd time so you can cut this in half)
1 ½ tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 ½ tsp black pepper (I used white pepper)
1 ½ tsp onion powder
1 ½ tsp cayenne pepper (I used crushed red pepper flakes)
1 ½ tsp dried oregano (I only used 1 tsp because that’s all I had)
1 ½ tsp dried thyme

Combine all ingredients thoroughly.

Oreo Cheesecake Ice Cream

I have had fun the past 2 weeks making some treats out of this book (The Ultimate Ice Cream Book) that I received from my friend Amanda for Christmas during my anniversary board's elfster exchange. (She also got me some barefoot Contessa fudge sauce that I look forward to trying soon, I wanted to taste it when it got here and Dan thought that was a bad idea to eat it from the jar.) Anyway, this ice cream is delicious and very easy to make.

Ice cream chilling tip: I put my ice cream batter in a metal bowl and place that bowl into an ice bath into the refrigerator. This speeds up the cooling process so that you can churn your ice cream sooner.

Oreo Cheesecake Ice Cream
Source: The Ultimate Ice Cream Book by: Bruce Weinstein

1 c sugar
4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 c milk
1 1/2 c heavy cream
7 oreos, chopped


Beat the sugar and cream cheese together until smooth and creamy. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Set aside.

Bring the milk to a boil in a heavy medium saucepan. Slowly beat the hot milk into the cheese mixture. Pour the entire mixture back into the pan and place over low heat. Stir constantly with a whisk or wooden spoon until the custard thickens slightly. Be careful not let the mixture boil or the egg will scramble. Remove from the heat and pour the hot custard through a strainer into a large clean bowl. Allow the custard to cool slightly, then stir in the heavy cream. Cover and refrigerate until cold or overnight.

Stir the chilled custard, than freeze in 1 or 2 batches in your ice cream machine according to the instructions. Stir the crushed oreos in by hand after removing the ice cream from the machine. Ice cream should be soft served and ready to eat now, or freeze for at least 2 hours for a firmer ice cream.
Yield: 1 quart

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Meal Plan Feb. 8-14th

Sunday: Leek & Goat cheese cakes
Monday: BBQ chicken, steamed broccoli, and corn on the Cobb
Tuesday: leftovers
Wednesday: spaghetti & meatballs
Thursday: leftovers
Friday: tofu with brown rice
Saturday: eating out

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Superbowl Sundaes

While trying to come up with an idea of what to make for dessert on Superbowl Sunday, I thought of the idea to make sundaes and thought that it was a cute play on words. It also gave me the opportunity to make vanilla bean ice cream again (I made it for Thanksgiving too) so there is now a picture to go along with the original post. I buy my vanilla beans online at because they have a larger selection and the price is so much cheaper. I bought eleven beans for $18.10 (including shipping), at my local grocery store they cost $7-8 per bean. Plus I like that they vacuum seal them at Beanilla so they stay fresh so much longer.
Superbowl Sundaes:
Sliced Banana

Monday, February 9, 2009

Caramel Sauce

Caramel Sauce:
Source: The Ultimate Ice Cream Book

1 c heavy cream warmed
1 c sugar
½ c water
1 tsp vanilla

1. Place the cream in a small saucepan set over low heat. Cover and keep warm while making the caramel.
2. Combine the sugar and water in a large, heavy saucepan and place over medium heat.
3. Stir until the sugar dissolves and the syrup is clear.
4. As the syrup boils, use a wet pastry brush to wash down any sugar crystals that form on the side of the pan.
5. Continue to cook without stirring until the syrup is golden brown.
6. Immediately remove from the heat and slowly add the warm cream, stirring constantly.
7. The caramel will split and rise up, so do this carefully.
8. The sugar may also form a clump on the bottom of the pan. If this occurs, return the pan to low heat and stir until the caramel dissolves into the cream completely.
9. Let simmer for 2 minutes.
10. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
11. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Yields: 1 1/3 c.

Chocolate Sauce

Chocolate Sauce:
Source: The Ultimate Ice Cream Book
¼ c unsalted butter
2 oz unsweetened chocolate
¾ c. sugar
2 T unsweetened cocoa powder
½ c heavy whipping cream
2 tsp vanilla

1. Melt the butter and chocolate together over a double boiler or in a large metal or glass bowl over a pan of simmering water.
2. Combine the sugar and the cocoa in another bowl.
3. Stir the heavy whipping cream into the sugar & cocoa and mix until a thick paste forms.
4. Stir the chocolate paste into the melted chocolate and butter.
5. Cook the mixture over simmering water for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
6. Whisk in the vanilla.
7. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Yields: 1 ½ cups

Vanilla Cream

Vanilla Cream:
Source: Giada De Laurentiis - food network


1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar (I used 4 T)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I omitted)


In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream until it forms soft peaks. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. Continue to beat until cream holds stiff peaks.

Red Potato Soup

The original plan was to follow this recipe, but as it came along I ended up making several changes. Click on the link to see the original recipe. The soup came out good but after the changes it does not taste like O'Charley's soup. I think that it came out a little spicy, which can be controlled by the amount of hot sauce that you add.

Red Potato Soup: adapted from:

24 oz red potatoes, cubed unpeeled)
2 tbsp
3 cups whole milk
1 cup buttermilk
8 oz package
Velveeta cheese, melted (I used reduced-fat)
½ tsp.
white pepper
½ tsp.
garlic powder
several shakes of hot pepper sauce
pinch of salt
pinch of onion powder

1. Dice unpeeled red potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes.
2. Place in large saucepan; cover with water and bring to a boil.
3. Let boil for 10 minutes or until 3/4 cooked.
4. In a separate pan, combine melted butter and flour, mixing until smooth.
5. Place over low heat and gradually add milk & buttermilk, stirring constantly.
6. Continue to stir until smooth and liquid begins to thicken.
7. Add melted Velveeta.
8. Stir well.
9. Drain potatoes and add to cream mixture.
10. Stir in pepper, garlic powder and hot pepper sauce.
11. Cover and cook over low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
12. Blend soup with either a stand or immersion blender. (Be sure to leave some chunks)
13. Cook vegetarian bacon in a non-stick skillet, cook each side for about 3 minutes, “bacon” will be crispy.
14. Chop “bacon” and top the soup with it.

Buttermilk Biscuits

Need a way to use up leftover buttermilk, then these biscuits are for you. I have been meaning to make these for the past several months but I keep forgetting when I have buttermilk. In my opinion these biscuits are much better than the ones that come in a can, and the way that I look at it the are also healthier. I justify this because you get a larger biscuit for the same amount of fat or possibly even less (not 100% sure because I have not compared the nutrition info for both). When I served these I made them into egg & cheese biscuits and served the leftovers with boysenberry preserves.

Buttermilk Biscuits:

Source: Alton Brown

2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons shortening
1 cup buttermilk, chilled

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
2. Using your fingertips, rub butter and shortening into dry ingredients until mixture looks like crumbs. (The faster the better, you don't want the fats to melt.)
3.Make a well in the center and pour in the chilled buttermilk. Stir just until the dough comes together. The dough will be very sticky.
4. Turn dough onto floured surface, dust top with flour and gently fold dough over on itself 5 or 6 times.
5. Press into a 1-inch thick round. Cut out biscuits with a 2-inch cutter, (I used a drinking glass) being sure to push straight down through the dough.
6. Place biscuits on baking sheet so that they don't (original directions say for them to touch) touch.
7. Reform scrap dough, working it as little as possible and continue cutting.
8. Bake until biscuits are tall and light gold on top, 15 to 20 minutes. (mine baked faster, about 12 mins.)
Yield: 10 biscuits

Nutritional Information:
Calories 145.2
Total Fat 5.3 g
Saturated Fat 2.6 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.9 g
Cholesterol 8.6 mg
Sodium 427.5 mg
Potassium 64.9 mg
Total Carbohydrate 20.8 g
Dietary Fiber 0.7 g
Sugars 1.2 g
Protein 3.4 g
Calculated using SparkRecipes

Peanut Butter Cookies with M&M's

About two weeks ago I had a craving/desire to bake some cookies, so I started searching through some blogs that I follow when I came across this recipe on Annie's blog ( and I knew that I needed to try these. I add M&M's because I have them on hand, and also because I love chocolate chip cookies with peanut butter M&M's. Anyways these cookies are awesome, and you really should put them on your must make list. I sent 2/3 of my batch to work with Dan and meant to send some to my neighbor's but ended up eating the rest myself, oops.

* I halved the original recipe.
Source: adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
small pinch of grated nutmeg
1 stick (4oz.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup peanut butter (crunchy or smooth) (I used smooth)
¼ c + 2 T sugar
1/2 c packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
½ c M&M’s (my addition)

Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350°. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.

Whisk (I sifted) together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.

Working with a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed for a minute or two, until smooth and creamy. Add the peanut butter and beat for another minute. Add the sugars and beat for 3 minutes more. Add the egg, beating for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl and, on low speed, add the dry ingredients, mixing only until they just disappear. Mix in the M&M's. You’ll have a soft, pliable (mushable, actually) dough.
I used a cookie to scope to form my cookies and places them onto greased cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.

Bake for about 12 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point. When done, the cookies will be lightly colored and still a little soft. Let the cookies sit on the sheets for a minute before transferring them to cooling racks with a wide metal spatula. Cool to room temperature.

Repeat with the remaining dough, making sure to cool the baking sheets between batches.