Saturday, August 27, 2011

Churros

I have always loved the smell of churros. I have also always loved the taste of churros. This year we haven't gone anywhere that makes churros so I decided it was time to make some of my own. After a little research, I realized churros are super, duper easy to make. And they require hardly any ingredients. Woot! Woot! You do have to have a piping bag in order to make them. And you need a star shaped tip that is 1/2 inch wide. The tip is only about $1.00 at any craft store. And totally worth buying for these yummy churros!

2 cups vegetable oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
4 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon orange zest
3/4 cup flour
2 eggs

Heat the oil in a skillet until the temperature registers 350 degrees on a thermometer.

Combine the 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.

In a skillet, heat the butter, water, 2 teaspoons sugar, salt and zest over medium heat. Once it starts to boil, stir in the flour. Continue stirring until the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the pan. Cook for 1 minute more. Transfer to a bowl.

With an electric mixer, beat the dough for 30 seconds. Add the eggs, one at a time, until completely incorporated, before adding the next egg. Let the dough cool slightly.

Transfer the dough to a piping bag fitted with the star tip. Pipe strips of dough into the hot oil. Fry the churros until golden brown, turn the churro and continue to brown the other side. Remove the churros and place on paper towels to drain. Immediately coat the churros in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Serve immediately.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Beef Empanadas with Black Bean Dip

I have never had empanadas before but they looked so good I had to try them. I was happily surprised at how easy they are to make and delicious! They are so simple, I can't believe I didn't come across them before. Then you dip them in the amazing black bean dip and oh, my. Your taste buds are happy, happy, happy! You will need a box of puff pastry to make these. There are two sheets inside. It takes about 40 minutes for the puff pastry to thaw, so plan your dinner in advance. Once the puff pastry is thawed, unwrap both sheets. Cut each puff pastry sheet into 9 squares, so there is a total of 18 squares.

1 pound hamburger
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon ketchup
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 box frozen puff pastry, thawed
1-15oz can of black beans, drained
1 cup sour cream

Combine the hamburger and garlic in a skillet and cook until meat is cooked through. Add the ketchup, cumin and cayenne. Reduce heat to medium and stirring often, cook for another 4 minutes. Let the meat mixture cool slightly.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Spoon the meat mixture onto each precut square. Fold over the edges to form a triangle. Crimp the edges with a fork. Place on the prepared cookie sheet. Spray the empanadas with non-stick cooking spray. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the tops are puffed and golden brown.

While the empanadas are cooking, puree the beans and sour cream in a blender until smooth. Place in individual bowls for serving.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Pan-fried Zucchini

There is an older neighbor near me who has a large property and grows all kinds of foods to sell. He is amazing!! I bought some zucchini from him and brought it home to make it into zucchini bread with a friend of mine. My husband was so excited (not like we have never had zucchini before) and instantly requested pan fried zucchini like his mom made. So I called her up, and she told me how she makes it. She doesn't have a recipe but eyes it as she goes. When I made it for dinner that night, my husband declared it was just like his mom made. Yeah!! The batter ends up being like a tempura around the zucchini. It's quite liquid before it's cooked. It needs salt and pepper but I prefer to sprinkle it on at the end, rather than add it to the batter.

1/2 to 1 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1/4 cup flour
3 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 large zucchini, cut into rounds and 1/4 inch thick
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. You only need it to cover the bottom of the pan - that's why there is a range on the oil amount.

Whisk the egg. Whisk in the flour, milk and garlic powder until smooth. Dip the zucchini into the mixture, flipping over to cover both sides. Fry in the heated oil for about 1 minute, flip and cook for an additional minute. Zucchini should be cooked but still crisp.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Chicken Alfredo Noodles

Typically chicken alfredo is time consuming or involves lots of steps. But not this one! I brainstormed some ideas and came up with a quick and easy way to make this meal. And was it ever yummy! Plus, I think it's so fun to use different noodles, rather than just the typical spaghetti-type ones. And if it wasn't for cooking the noodles, this would be a one-pan meal! My favorite kind. The less dishes, the better.

1 package of small shells
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped
1 1/2 cups milk (I used 2%)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 stick butter
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan, divided
2 teaspoons pepper
4 Tablespoons parsley

Cook the noodles according to package directions.

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and saute until the chicken is cooked through. Add the milk and garlic, cook for 3 minutes. Add 1 cup Parmesan and simmer until the liquid is reduced to about 1 cup. Remove from heat. Stir in the cooked noodles. Sprinkle with parsley and enjoy!!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Unstuffed Pepper Bake

This meal is so yummy. In fact, I looked forward to eating the leftovers. My mouth would water as I smelled it warm up in the microwave. I grew up eating stuffed peppers. My mom makes the best ones! But I never liked eating the pepper, only the mixture inside the pepper. So, when I saw a recipe for this, I had to make my own version. Oh, and I had a coupon to save money on a set of tricolored peppers - even better.

1 pound hamburger
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 each - red, yellow and green pepper, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-14.5oz can diced tomatoes, drained
1 1/2 cups instant rice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cups cheddar cheese, divided
1-15oz tomato sauce

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Combine the hamburger, onion powder, peppers, garlic and salt in a large skillet. Saute until the meat is cooked through and the vegetables are tender. Stir in the tomatoes, rice and Worcestershire sauce. Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup of cheese. Spread the mixture into a 9x13 pan. Top with tomato sauce and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes, or until heated through and cheese is melted and bubbly. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Peanut Butter Layer Bars

I found a recipe for these bars months and months ago. I even made them but, quite honestly, they were really dry. They needed a little something else. So, I put my mind to work, adjusted the recipe and now these bars are amazing! They are super loaded with peanut butter. The crust is peanut butter cookies, followed by a melt-in-your mouth peanut butter layer, sprinkled with marshmallows and topped with more peanut butter, peanuts and rice krispies. Is your mouth watering yet? Just wait til you try them!

1 pound peanut-butter sandwich cookie, coarsely crumbled (I used Nutter Butters)
8 Tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted
4 cups peanut butter chips
1 1/3 light corn syrup
8 Tablespoons (1 stick) butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups mini marshmellows
2 cups dry-roasted peanuts (I used the salted kind)
2 cups crisp rice cereal (I used Rice Krispies)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray and 9x13 pan with non-stick spray.

Crush the cookies either using a food processor or a rolling pin. Add the melted butter and mix until well combined. Press into the prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden.

In a saucepan, combine the peanut butter chip, corn syrup, butter and vanilla. Stir until smooth, about 7 minutes. Spread 1/2 of the mixture over the crumb crust. Top with the marshmallows and return to the oven. You only want them in there until the marshmallows puff, about two minutes. If you cook them longer, the marshmallows will turn crunchy.

Toss the peanuts and rice cereal with the remaining peanut butter mixture. Stir well so everything is evenly coated. Drop, by the spoonful, over the marshmallows. Cool bars completely before cutting and serving.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Sarah's Salad

The other day my hubbie and I were invited over to our friend's for dinner and games. Dinner was this salad and I have to say, it was incredible. One of the best things I have had in forever! So I had to make it at home for me and my hubs another time. The best part is, there are several components, but if served buffet style each person can add as much or as little of each part they like. Our friends used a flavored Ranch dressing, but I didn't have any when I made it. I loved it without dressing, my hubbie made due with some dressing from our fridge. When I made the rice in my rice cooker, I just added a canned of drained pinto beans with the uncooked rice as the way to cook them.

1 - 2 pound pork roast
1 cup barbeque sauce
2 cups of uncooked rice and a can of drained pinto beans, cooked together
1 head of romaine lettuce, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 avocados, chopped
dressing of your choice

Cook the pork roast until you can pull it apart with a fork. I put mine in the crockpot, on low, for 6 to 7 hours. Once you pull the pork apart, stir in the barbeque sauce.

Meanwhile, about 1/2 hour before the pork is done, cook the rice and beans. While they are cooking, cut the lettuce, red pepper and avocados. Place each in a separate bowl. Place the pork and the rice and beans into separate bowls when finished cooking. Assemble the salad for each individual, adding as much or as little of each food as desired. Then dig in and enjoy!! Thanks Sarah for sharing this amazing salad!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Coconut Curry Chicken and Potatoes

Curry really doesn't look too appetizing, does it? But it sure tastes amazing! This dish made our taste buds come to life and dance. Yummo! However, my house smelled like curry for the next couple of days, so be prepared for that. This comes together quickly and is very filling. Also, minus using my rice cooker, this only took one pan to make the entire thing.

1 tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons curry powder (I used yellow)
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut chunks
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 golden potatoes, cut into chunks
14oz can coconut milk
14.5oz can stewed, diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons sugar
cooked rice

Heat the oil and curry powder in a large skillet over medium-high heat for two minutes. Stir in onions and garlic. Cook 5 minutes more. Add chicken, salt and pepper, tossing lightly to coat with curry mixture. Reduce heat to medium.

Add potatoes, coconut milk, tomatoes, and sugar into the pan. Stir to combine. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are fork tender and sauce thickens. Serve with rice and enjoy!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Jamaican Jerk Porkchops with Fruit Salsa

Time for some barbeque!We started off the season with some mouth watering pork chops. All I did was rub some yumminess on the meat, barbequed it up and topped it with a fruit salsa. So easy and so delicious!

1 1/2 cups chopped honeydew
1 1/2 cups chopped cantaloupe
1 cup sliced strawberries
1 Tablespoon snipped fresh mint
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon honey
4 teaspoons Jamaican jerk seasoning
1 1/2 pounds pork chops

Combine the honeydew, cantaloupe, strawberries, mint, lemon juice and honey. Stir gently to combine. Leave in the fridge until serving, up to one hour.

Sprinkle the Jamaican jerk over the pork chops and rub in. Grill the pork chops for about 40 minutes, or until an internal temperature reads 160 degrees. Turn only once while grilling to retain the juices.

Cover with fruit salsa and enjoy!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tuna Noodle Casserole

My food storage is overloaded with tuna fish. I used to eat it all the time, then I got pregnant and "they" say pregnant woman shouldn't eat tuna fish. But I did it anyways and it was delicious. I was craving it. So I figured if it was mixed with a bunch of other stuff, it would be alright. Hence the reason for this yummy tuna noodle casserole.

1 box noodles (I used the mini bow tie pasta)
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
2 cans of tuna fish
1 1/2 cups peas
8oz can of mushrooms, drained
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Cook noodles according to package directions.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a large saucepan. Whisk in flour until well combined. Pour in the milk, stirring constantly until mixture thickens. Add the tuna, peas, and mushrooms, stir to combine. Add the noodles once they are cooked. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking pan.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until bubbly. Sprinkle with cheese and return to oven until the cheese is melted.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Maple Sugar Cookies

I actually made these cookies way back on July 1st to celebrate Canada Day! I had started to look back through all these recipes and found all these things I had planned for different holidays. Too bad I didn't make any of them. Guess I have it all planned out for next year. But I was headed to a friend's house to celebrate Canada Day and I just had to make these this year. And these aren't just maple by their shape, they are packed full of maple flavor. I think these might become a yearly tradition.

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
3 drops maple extract
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups flour

Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the maple syrup, maple extract and egg yolk until mixture is well combined. Add the salt and flour, mix thoroughly. 

Chill the dough (trying not to eat too much), wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, about 2 hours. 

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray cookie sheets with non-stick cooking spray.
Divide dough in half. Lightly flour surface. Roll out dough 1/8 inch thick and with a 3-inch floured maple-leaf cookie cutter cut out cookies. Arrange cookies on prepared baking sheets. Continue until all dough is used.

Bake about 12 minutes. Cool completely before frosting.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Coconut Caramel Bread Pudding

Anyone in the mood for a super yummy breakfast? To tell the real truth, we ate this for dinner one night and then for breakfast leftovers the next morning. The key to this melt-in-your-mouth yumminess is using stale bread. So you can either use stale bread, make it go stale by cubing it and placing it on a baking sheet overnight or popping it in a 200 degree oven for an hour. Either method works. This recipe does require the bread to sit in the milk for 45 minutes, but does not require the sitting to happen overnight. So plan a little longer for this to be ready to eat.  

For the bread pudding:

6 eggs
3 cups whole milk
1 13.5oz coconut milk
1 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1 loaf of French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes, must be stale
2 teaspoons butter
3 Tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Whisk together the eggs, whole milk, coconut milk, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl. Stir in the bread until combined. Let sit at room temperature for 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9x13 pan with the 2 teaspoons of butter. Transfer the bread mixture to the prepared baking dish. Combine the sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over the bread mixture. Bake until the center is set, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and cool for 20 to 30 minutes before serving.


For the sauce:

1 stick (8 Tablespoons) butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

Melt the butter and brown sugar in a saucepan until melted and smooth, whisking constantly for about 2 minutes.  Whisk in the cream, cinnamon and salt. Bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce thickens and is reduced to about 1 1/2 cups, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in the vanilla and lemon juice. Serve the sauce warm over the bread pudding.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Cheesy Broccoli Cauliflower Casserole


This casserole has a twist compared to other cheesy casseroles, because the cheese is Swiss and Parmesan. It really changes up the flavor. And to save myself some time, I totally used frozen broccoli and cauliflower. But this would work just the same with fresh veggies. If you use fresh veggies, place them in a pot of boiling salted water for 3 minutes. Drain and immediately shock in a bowl of ice water. This stops the cooking and helps the veggies keep their color. Set the veggies aside. If you are using frozen veggies, let them defrost first and drain the excess water. If you don't drain them, you will end up with soggy veggies.

3 cups broccoli florets
2 cups cauliflower florets
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs (I used Italian)
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
3 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons flour
2 1/4 cups milk (use 2% or whole)
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
2/3 cups shredded Swiss cheese
2/3 cups shredded Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Combine the bread crumbs and melted butter until coated. Set aside.

Melt the remaining 3 Tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, then cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and Dijon, cooking until the sauce slightly thickens, about 8 minutes. Make sure the mixture does not come to a boil. Add the cheeses and stir until completely melted. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the broccoli and cauliflower into the sauce. Make sure the veggies are completely coated, then pour into a 9x13 pan or a 2-quart baking dish.

Sprinkle the crumb topping over the casserole. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until the casserole is bubbly. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Garlic Pork Roast

I love garlic. I love pork loin roast. What a better idea than to put them together? The picture I have, shows gravy. But as a warning, pork loin roasts don't typically make enough drippings to make gravy. So, I'll admit it. I totally used the small amount of drippings and added a package of gravy mix. The best way to make sure pork is done correctly, is to use a meat thermometer. That way you also won't overcook it, making it dry.

2-3 pound pork loin roast
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 cloves garlic, cut in half
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.

Combine the oil, rosemary, sage, and thyme in a small bowl. Pierce the top of the pork to make six slits 2-inches apart on either side. Insert a garlic half into each slit. Like in the picture below.

Score the top of the pork by cutting in a crisscross pattern. Rub the herb mixture onto the pork. Roast the pork for 20 minutes, the flip and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of the pork registers 145 degrees, about 20 minutes more. Remove the roast from the pan, tent with foil and let it rest for 10-15 minutes. Then slice up and enjoy!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Shepherd's Pie

One evening my hubbie and I went to Provo to visit with my niece. She is currently living in the dorms as a freshman and we went to some fine dining at her dining hall. I was still on the edge of eating and not eating and I chose a Shephard's Pie to eat. It ended up being so delicious, I ate two. The most food I had eaten in forever. So naturally, I had to make one at home to keep up the trend. And I have to say, I think it turned out pretty dang good. Thanks for the recipe, Mom!

5 medium potatoes
1 pound hamburger
1 onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 can tomato soup
2 cups corn (I used frozen)
2 cups green beans (I used canned)
1/2 cup milk
2 Tablespoons butter
1 cup grated cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

Cube the potatoes (remove the skins first, if you like) and add to a large pot of boiling water. Boil the potatoes until fork tender. 

Meanwhile, brown the hamburger and onion. Add the salt, Worcestershire sauce, tomato soup, corn and green beans and stir gently. Once it's all mixed nicely and bubbly hot, place it into a 9x13 pan.

Mash the potatoes. Add the milk and butter. Spread over the mixture in the pan.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until bubbly. Sprinkle with the cheese and bake 5 minutes more, or until the cheese is melted.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Orange Creme Cupcakes

 Yes! Another cupcake recipe! :) These were also served at my cousin's bridal shower. And they were yum-o! I got the idea from a cupcake magazine I bought (Better Homes and Garden) but I changed it up. They were trying really hard to make them look like creme pops, but I really didn't think the extra icing and the wooden craft stick poking out of the top was worth it. So this is a orangey-orange flavored cupcake. Seriously, the flavor is amazing. Then it is topped with an orange creme icing. Delicious! And a hit at the party. This recipe uses a box cake mix and makes 24 cupcakes.

1 3-ounce package orange flavored gelatin
1 white cake mix
1 4-serving size cheesecake instant pudding and pie filling
1 1/4 cups orange juice
4 egg
1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the cupcake tins by lining them with cupcake papers.

Set aside 2 teaspoons of the orange gelatin for the frosting. Combine the remaining gelatin, the cake mix, the pudding mix, the orange juice, eggs, oil and vanilla - mix well.

Spoon the batter into the prepared cupcake pans, filling each one 2/3 full. 

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Cool cupcakes in the tins for 5 minutes, then remove and cool completely. 

For the frosting:

8oz package of cream cheese
1/3 cup butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
5 1/2 cups powdered sugar
orange food coloring

Beat together the cream cheese, butter and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the 2 teaspoons of reserved orange gelatin. Gradually add the powdered sugar until the frosting reaches desired consistency. Add a few drops of orange food coloring until it reaches your desired color.

Then frost away baby!! I like to do a swirl frosting top, but you can decorate them however you like. I added a little extra bling with orange sugar sprinkles. Fancy, I know. Now try to only eat one.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Lemon Cupcakes

I'm back! I'm really, really back! And what a better way to start back up a cooking blog then with some delicious cupcakes. I made these little lemon yummies for my cousin's bridal shower. These amazing cupcakes are lemon themselves, and then filled and topped with lemon curd. And trust me, they are delicious. But I might be slightly biased because I LOVE lemon curd. Like lick the bowl clean, love lemon curd. The cupcake itself is pretty dense, but it needs to be that way so they don't go soggy from the lemon curd. And this recipe makes 42 cupcakes! I adapted it from a Martha Stewart recipe. Here is a view of the inside of the cupcake:
For the lemon curd:

2 whole eggs plus 8 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces

Combine whole eggs and egg yolks, sugar, and lemon juice in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water (like a double boiler). Cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Remove from the heat and add the butter. Whisk until the mixture is smooth. Move the curd to another bowl, cover the top with plastic wrap, pressing it directly to the top of the surface. Refrigerate until chilled and firm, at least two hours.

While the curd is cooling, it's time to make some cupcakes!

1 3/4 cups butter
3 cups sugar
8 ounces cream cheese
7 large egg
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 1/2 cups flour2 Tablespoons fresh finely grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Prepare cupcake pans by lining with cupcake papers.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the cream cheese. Add eggs, one at a time, on low speed until each egg in incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed. Beat in the lemon juice and vanilla.

Whisk together the flour, lemon peel, baking powder and salt. Add to the batter and mix just until combined.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cupcake pans (remember this recipe makes 42 cupcakes!), filling each three-quarters full. Bake for 23 to 28 minutes. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely.

To assemble, dust the cupcakes with powdered sugar. Fill a pastry bag with curd. Insert the tip into the top of cupcake, and squeeze some curd below top to fill the inside. Then lift the tip and squeeze more curd in a pool on top. Filled cupcakes can be kept at room temperature up to one hour or kept in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

You may have noticed...

I haven't blogged in a looooooong time. I have a good excuse. I cannot cook or bake anything. Literally. It makes me so super sick. Even the smell of leftovers in a car or pizza sitting on the kitchen cupboard makes me sick. What's wrong, you wonder? This...

This baby does NOT like me to cook. Or really eat much either. I'm 14 weeks and still going strong as one sick girl. Let's hope this doesn't last much longer cause I MISS cooking. A lot. So here's to new adventures and I promise I'll check back in once I can finally cook again.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Coconut Cream Tart

This is so yummy! I am not a fan of pie crusts so I decided to go a tart crust route. Next time, I'm going to go my favorite route - graham cracker crust. So far, it really is the only crust I happen to like. I'm weird, I know. This tart takes a while to make but it's totally worth it. I can't believe how delicious it turned out. Then again, I LOVE making things from scratch. I think the yumminess factor increases when you are involved in every step of the process. I made this the day before and it was perfect the next day for dinner.

3/4 cup coconut
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup coconut
2 1/2 cups milk (I used 2 cups fat free, 1/2 cup cream and it turned out perfect)
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
pinch salt
3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Toast the first 3/4 cup of coconut to golden brown. Set aside to cool.

Mix together the flour, butter, sugar and salt to moist crumbs. I used a pastry blender and then my hands. Press the crust onto the bottom and halfway up the side of a tart pan. Freeze for 15 minutes. Prick all over with a fork. Bake for 15 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Cool completely.

Combine the second 3/4 cup of coconut with 2 cups of the milk in a saucepan. Heat over medium heat just until the milk simmers. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 10 minutes. Strain the mixture, return the milk to the saucepan and discard the coconut.

Whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, salt, egg yolks and remaining 1/2 cup of milk. Add 1/2 cup of the heated milk (from the saucepan) to the cornstarch mixture. Then slowly add the mixture to the remaining milk in the saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking consistently, until the mixture begins to thicken. Cook for 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl and add the vanilla. Cover and refrigerate for 45 minutes.

Beat the cream and powdered sugar until stiff peaks form.

To assemble, sprinkle 1/4 cup of toasted coconut on the tart shell. Cover with the chilled filling. Sprinkle another 1/4 cup of toasted coconut on the filling. Spread on the whipped cream. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup of toasted coconut. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Grandma Wahlen's Hot Rolls

This is the first time I have made my Grandma's rolls. And I LOVE them. They are so easy because there isn't a bunch of ingredients. There is no kneading involved. And you don't even need a mixer. Seriously easy. And if you are afraid of making anything with yeast, don't be. I'll walk you through the steps of proofing, or activating the yeast and you can't fail. One of the ingredients is scalded milk. This is how you do it: put the milk in a saucepan. Heat over medium high heat until small bubbles start to form, kind of like a mist on top of the milk. That's all!

1 Tablespoon yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 cup scalded milk
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons oil
1 egg
3 1/2 cups flour

Mix together the warm water and yeast. Set aside for at least 5 minutes.You should see the yeast start to bubble up. That's proofing!

Meanwhile, scald the milk and add the sugar, salt and oil. Once the mixture is lukewarm, add the egg and yeast mixture. Let sit for at least 5 minutes. Stir in the flour.

Rub oil around the sides of the bowl, cover and let rise until double in size. Roll out and cut into circles. Dot with butter and fold in half. Let rise until double in size. Bake at 400 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Hazelnut Green Beans

I have this book I love. It's called the Flavor Bible. I turn to it for all my greatest creations. Green beans were calling my name for Easter dinner. So I turned to my favorite book for some added flavor help. And I came up with (okay, I'm sure it's not original but in my kitchen it is) this great recipe. And talk about an easy side dish. This key to speed to is to blanch the green beans before. That is, bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the green beans and boil for 3 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Then store them in the fridge until it's time to make them. So easy!! 

4 Tablespoons of butter
1 pound green beans, snapped, blanched and rinsed
3/4 cup of hazelnuts, chopped and toasted (you can add more or less to your liking)

Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the green beans and hazelnuts. Stir until everything is well coated. Cook until heated through. Serve immediately. 

I told you it was easy!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Who doesn't LOVE mashed potatoes? My hubbie would like it if we ate potatoes, in some form, every night. When he had jaw surgery a few years ago, he lived on mashed potatoes. This year for Easter, my hubbie asked for garlic mashed potatoes. Everyone has their own way of making their potatoes, but this is how I did it.

5 pound bag of potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup butter
1 cup of milk (I mixed fat free with cream because I wanted to)
3 Tablespoons minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste

Put the peeled and cubed potatoes in a stock pot. Fill with water until about 3 inches above the potatoes. Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are fork tender.

Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot. Take that cube of butter and hide it in the potatoes. Leave it for a couple of minutes so the butter will melt. Pour in the milk and add the garlic. Then pull out your handy, dandy mixer and blend them up. Add more butter or milk to taste. Sprinkle in some salt and pepper to meet your taste buds desires. Lather on some gravy and dig in!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Apricot Glazed Ham

This glaze is super easy to make and increases the yumminess factor of your Easter ham. I wanted something a little more than the brown sugar packet of glaze my ham came with. And I really wanted a sauce left over that I could put on my ham. But since Easter dinner includes so many more parts, I wanted something super quick that wouldn't slow down putting together Easter dinner. So I came up with this.
1 packet of brown sugar glaze (that comes with your ham)
1 can of apricot halves

Put both ingredients in a blender and blend until well mixed. You will cook your ham according to package directions. Remove it 10 minutes before it should be done. Drain all the juices, if you plan on making gravy with it. Then cover and smother that ham in the apricot glaze. Put the ham back in the oven for the remaining 10 minutes.

When it's all said and done - this is what you get:
  
Delicious! Now it's time to dig in!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Apple Blueberry Salad with Cinnamon Almonds and Maple Vinaigrette

I have been a major blogging slacker!! I have a great excuse though. I have been tending and learning all about my new lemon, key lime, and orange trees; 3 blueberry plants and 25 strawberry plants. Plus my hubbie and I have been working on making grow boxes for our amazing garden this year! I'm so excited! However, that has really put me behind on blogging. And cooking for that matter. But I'm back. And soon I'll introduce you to my new garden and all the yummy things I can make with it. Meanwhile, here is the salad I have been promising for a few weeks now. It is amazingly delicious!! The tartness of the apples with the sweetness of the dressing and blueberries, makes a perfect flavor combination.

1 head of romaine lettuce, cut into bite sized pieces
2 Granny Smith apples, cubed
1 container of blueberries
1 (or more) cup of cinnamon almonds
maple vinaigrette dressing (recipe underneath)

Toss all ingredients together. If you are not planning on eating the whole salad at once, I would only add the cinnamon to the part you are eating or they may go soggy. Drizzle enough salad dressing to suit your fancy.

1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3 Tablespoons maple syrup (the real stuff)
1/2 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil

Pour the vinegar, maple syrup, and mustard in a blender. Turn the blender on and slowly add the olive oil. Continue blending for about 5 seconds after all the olive oil has been added.

Honestly, this dressing didn't taste wonderful after I finished mixing it. However, I was going to be late for work, so I stopped experimenting, poured some in a container for lunch, and headed out the door. Fast forward several hours, I poured the dressing over my salad at lunch and was pleasantly IN LOVE with this salad dressing. It's the perfect amount of maple yumminess!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Cinnamon Almonds

Cinnamon almonds you say? What are they for? Well, I personally love them in my salads. They add the perfect flavor to a delicious salad. It takes the salad that extra step to amazing. But it's hard not to munch on a few all by themselves. They are easy to make and take the perfect amount of time to bake so that you can have the rest of the salad done by the time they are ready. Oh, and that perfect salad to sprinkle cinnamon almonds on? Well, just wait for it. It's the next post!

1 1/2 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons cinnamon
1 egg white
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 1/4 cups almonds (I used slivered almonds)

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with tin foil and then spray the tin foil with non-stick cooking spray.

Mix together the sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.

Beat the egg white until it's frothy. See the picture below for what a frothy egg looks like.
Stir the vanilla into the frothy egg white. Add the almonds and toss to coat. Then add the sugar and cinnamon mixture and toss to coat again. Spread the almonds on the prepared baking pan. Bake for 25 minutes, stir after 10 minutes.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Mangos with Coconut Rice

There is this Thai restaurant my hubbie and I go to quite often. They have this deal on Friday nights where you get an appetizer, two main dishes and a dessert for $20! The dessert we, okay I, die for is mangos with coconut rice. It is amazing!! So naturally, I had to figure out how to make it for myself. I did a bunch of research on the internet and discovered you have to have sticky rice. This typically requires soaking the right kind of rice overnight and several other steps. Maybe I won't be making this rice, I thought. Then I researched how to cook rice in the microwave and found I could do this! Problem was, I went to three stores and couldn't find the right kind of rice. So I decided to just use regular rice. It didn't turn out the same as the rice at the restaurant, but it was still delicious!

1 cup rice
water
1 can of coconut milk (you can find this in the Asian aisle at the grocery store)
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 mango, sliced

Pour the rice into a microwave safe bowl. Cover the rice with water so the water is about 1 inch above the rice. Let it sit for 10 minutes. Cover the bowl and cook, on high, in the microwave for 3 minutes. Stir. Continue cooking in 3 minute increments, stirring after every 3 minutes. I had to add more water as I cooked the rice. Continue cooking until rice is cooked through.

Meanwhile, heat the coconut milk over medium heat. Stir constantly until the milk comes to a simmer. Do not boil or the milk with curdle. Once the milk is simmering, add the sugar and salt. Remove from heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Pour 3/4 cup of the milk over the cooked rice. Let it sit for 5 minutes. The rice will absorb the milk. Put the sliced mango on top of the rice and pour the remaining milk over the top.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Tomato, Spinach, and Mushroom Frittata

I love breakfast foods. It my most favorite meal of the day. So, you can imagine that we often have breakfast for dinner around here. Eggs were on sale for cheap, I had leftover veggies in my fridge and wah-la, breakfast for dinner. Frittatas are fun to make because it's like an omelet but you don't have to master the flip-over-the-eggs-without-wrecking-the-omelet skill. Basically, the veggies are mixed into the eggs, rather than folded in. Plus, I can overload the veggies and everything turns out perfect. Add a different cheese, or change up the veggies and it's like an entirely different meal.

12 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 cup Swiss cheese, grated
1/2 cup Montery Jack cheese, grated
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 package fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 Tablespoon garlic, minced
4 cups fresh baby spinach

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk together the eggs and milk. Stir in all the cheeses. Set aside.

In a 10-inch ovenproof skillet, add the tomatoes and Italian seasoning. Cook over medium heat until the tomatoes soften and release most of their juices, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the spinach and saute until it begins to wilt, about 2 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium-low. Pour in the egg mixture and gently stir to evenly mix the ingredients. Cook the egg mixture until it begins to set, about 3 to 5 minutes. 

Transfer the skillet to the oven. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the eggs are completely set. Remove from the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Bolognese

Have you ever heard of Bolognese? It's an Italian meat sauce for pasta, that's all. Nothing too fancy. Typical bolognese is loaded with fat but this one has hidden veggies, is made with turkey, and broth instead of wine. Basically a much healthier version. But still packed with flavor. It's a nice change from regular spaghetti sauce and very filling. My favorite part is the hidden veggies. They really are hidden, I can guarantee that. See, I hate celery (I blame it on eating celery and then getting the flu) and can taste it in everything. But I was brave and added it to this dish. And I couldn't taste it, not even one little bit.

6 ounces of noodles (pick your favorite)1/2 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup carrot, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
2 Tablespoons garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
1 cup low fat ricotta cheese
1/4 cup tomato paste
1- 28oz can diced tomatoes in juice, packed with oregano and basil, etc.
1 cup chicken broth
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup neufchatel (low fat cream cheese)

After chopping up all the veggies, throw them (the onion, carrot, celery and garlic) in a blender or food processor and mince them up. Here is a picture of what mine looked like.
Now cook up the turkey and oil, in a skillet, over medium high heat. I tried to cook it without oil, but then the turkey cooked too fast on the outside but was staying raw in the middle. Make sure you break the turkey into smaller chunks while it's cooking. Cook until browned.

Add the veggies and cook for 5 minutes. Add the ricotta cheese and stir until well combined. Add the tomato paste, tomatoes (in juice), broth, and vinegar. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer the sauce for 40 - 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

When the sauce has about 20 minutes left, cook the noodles according the package directions.

Add the neufchatel to the sauce, stirring until it is melted. Serve the sauce over the noodles.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Peach Crisp

I'm so ready for spring to really be here. It comes for a day or two and then it snows...again. So I cured my spring blues by making some peach crisp! This dessert is wonderful, melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness. I often whip this together quick when we have unexpected company and find myself in need of a dessert. Everyone loves peach crisp. It is different than cobbler because crisp has a crispy top, whereas cobbler has a cake like top. This is more like an oatmeal cookie on top. When I made this, my niece declared she didn't like oatmeal cookies. But she tried one bite and LOVED, loved, loved this. So it's even kid approved! In the summer, I use fresh peaches, which requires a longer cooking time. But in the winter, I use canned peaches. Both are wonderful. Especially when you are wanting Spring to get here.

6 to 8 fresh peaches, skin removed and sliced or 2 big cans of canned peaches, drained
2 cups flour
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Place the peaches on the bottom of the pan. If you are using fresh peaches, and they are not very sweet, sprinkle a teaspoon or two of sugar over the peaches. If they are yummy and sweet, you don' t need to do anything.

Mix together the remaining ingredients. I like to mix it using my hands, since you have to get your hands dirty placing the mixture over the peaches anyways. But you can use an electric mixer, just don't over mix. The mixture will be crumbly. Once nicely mixed, don't eat too much, and sprinkle the mixture over the peaches. Bake for 30 minutes for canned peaches, or 1 hour for fresh peaches. You know the peach crisp is done when it's hot and bubbly. Goes great with whip cream or vanilla ice cream!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Funeral Potatoes

These are called Funeral Potatoes (also known as Relief Society Potatoes) because they are commonly served at LDS funerals. Well, not at the actual funeral, but at the family dinner afterwards. However, they are worth eating at any time, and for no special reason other than they are delicious. You can make this using leftover baked potatoes or a bag of frozen hashbrowns. Whatever suits your fancy. They make a great sidedish for dinner, they are perfect for a potluck or that little something extra to impress visitors.

6 medium baked potatoes, grated or 1-32 oz bag of frozen hashbrowns
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream
3 chopped green onions
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup crushed corn flakes
2 Tablespoons butter, melte

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 pan with non-stick cooking spray, set aside.

Mix together the potatoes, soup, sour cream, green onions and cheese. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Mix together the corn flakes and butter. Sprinkle over the top of the casserole. Bake for another 20 minutes.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Swiss Penne with Ham and Peas

I have a two part story to tell you. It eventually ends in this amazing dinner. So bear with me. I love scalloped potatoes! But after a long day of herding 5 and 6 year olds, I'm not in the mood to slice up the potatoes. Part two, my local grocery store had noodles on sale for only $0.49 a bag!! Don't worry, I totally stocked up. Like filled an entire shelf in my food storage, stocked up. That left me pondering "what am I going to do with all these noodles?" and "I really want scalloped potatoes." There was only one thing left to do - combine them! I was slightly leery at first, but trust me, this recipe is a keeper, please everyone, make often kind of dinner.

6 ounces penne pasta
3 Tablespoons of butter
3 Tablespoons of flour
2 3/4 cups milk (I used fat-free but use higher fat milk if you want it to be creamier)
1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) Swiss cheese, shredded
8 ounces of ham, diced
2 cups frozen peas

Cook the penne according to package directions.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Add the milk, slowly, until well blended. Cook until slightly thickened, about 3 or 4 minutes. Add the cheese and stir until completely melted. Add the ham and peas, cook until the peas are hot. Stir in the cooked noodles. Remove from heat and enjoy!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Grocery Store Grab - Sun Dried Tomato Chicken from Campbell's

I originally saw this recipe on the back of a can of soup at my sister's house in Indiana. Sun dried tomatoes and chicken...right up my alley. It took a little searching when I came back home, but I found it! This can of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup went from this....

to this! I must admit, the picture on the can makes it look much more delicious. But trust me, your taste buds will be happy, happy, happy after eating this. I totally forgot to buy fresh basil, so I used dried when I made it. It took longer to make this than the can said because my chicken was really thick. So either pound down your chicken or cut the thickness in half.

3 Tablespoons olive oil
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts halves
1 shallot, finely chopped (I omitted this)
1 can (10 3/4oz) Campbell's Condensed 25% Less Sodium Cream of Mushroom Soup
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup thinly sliced sun-dried tomatoes
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 Tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves (or 2 teaspoons dried basil)
4 cups extra wide egg noodles, cooked and drained
1/4 cup shredded Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese (optional)

Heat 2 Tablespoons oil in 10" skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook 10 minutes or until well browned on both sides. Remove chicken from skillet.

Heat remaining oil in skillet over medium heat. Add shallot and cook and stir 2 minutes. Stir soup, water, tomatoes, vinegar and chopped basil in skillet.

Return chicken to skillet and heat to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cook 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Serve chicken and sauce over noodles. Sprinkle with cheese and sliced basil, if desired.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Rainbow Cupcakes

 
Here another something fun for St. Patrick's Day!! I posted this recipe almost two years ago. Aren't they super cute!!! I love them, even though they take a little extra time. I found this recipe on the blog "I "heart" cuppycakes". Now, she used a homemade recipe and her batter was thick. So her cupcakes turned out different than mine. Her's just had much more of a rainbow effect. But I still LOVE them! This is the original post. In my head, I was going to have time to make these again this week, and actually have a finish product I remembered to take a picture of. But it's report card time, and Parent Teacher Conferences, so there is no spare time. Not even a to make yummy cupcakes. But I had to repost this recipe. It's so perfect for a fun St. Patrick's day!


Here's what you do:

You can either use a homemade recipe for a white or yellow cake, or make it according to box directions. Since I'm on crutches, I had Brian move everything I needed to the table, and made the batter from a box (I usually always make them from scratch - one day I'll follow the cuppycake recipe and see how they turn out). Once your batter is complete, seperate the batter into six bowls, add food coloring and stir.

Now you drop a small amount into 24 cupcake forms. It takes less than you think so be careful.

Continue with each color. The orange next to red, yellow on top of red, green on top of orange, etc, until all colors are used. I decided to start with red and go to purple, the cuppycake lady started with purple and ended with red. The first time I made them, I only used three colors. That's because it was Janie's birthday and she has three favorite colors. Gotta spoil the birthday girl! Now, bake according to your recipe's directions.

This is what mine looked like out of the oven! The fun thing is every cupcake has a different pattern inside. Now I did ice mine with white icing and rainbow sprinkles but we had to run to the Elder's Quorum party so I forgot to take a picture. Yummy, fun and easy with an extra step!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

For that little green added flair for St. Patrick's day, how about some mint chocolate chip ice cream?? Boo-yah! As you will notice, there are no chocolate chunks in this ice cream. See, growing up in Canada, mint chocolate chip ice cream always had grated chocolate. Which means you get this perfect blend of chocolate and mint in every single bite. And there are no chunks of chocolate that overpower the mint flavor, followed by another bite with no chocolate at all. Trust me, grated chocolate is the way to go.

I bought a giant Hershey's bar, cause it was on sale for one dollar and it left me with some leftover chocolate to nibble on. Oh, yeah. Win-win! Grate it using a regular cheese grater, the big holes, and try not to lick your fingers until you are done grating. Then put it in the freezer immediately, until it's time to add it to the ice cream. I adapted this recipe from Ben and Jerry's ice cream book.

1 Hershey's milk chocolate bar, grated and put in the freezer
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy or whipping cream
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons mint extract
10 drops of green food coloring

Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the sugar, a little at a time. After all the sugar has been added, continue whisking until completely blended, about 1 minute more. Pour in the cream and milk and whisk to blend. Add the mint extract and blend again.

Pour into your ice cream maker, and freeze following the manufacturer's instructions. Just before the ice cream is done, add the frozen grated chocolate.

I always freeze my ice cream, in the regular freezer,  for several hours after it's done.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Irish Soda Bread

I have never made soda bread before and I've got to say, it is quite tasty. I will be making this again, a lot, to accompany meals. It really has a very different flavor than typical bread. But I loved it. Also, it doesn't need to rise. Just mix it up and bake. Just plan in advance, it needs to cook for an hour our more. It tastes amazing plain but would go great with butter, or jams or even a sandwich. Some people add raisins to their soda bread, but we aren't raisin people at my house. So add your own if you like them, I would say 1/2 cup.

1 egg
2 cups buttermilk (or sour milk - mix 1 3/4 cup milk with 1/4 cup vinegar)
3 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spray a bread pan with non-stick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, slightly beat the egg. Add the buttermilk and whip until mix. Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir just until moistened. Add the melted butter and stir until mixed. Pour into the prepared pan.

Bake for 65 to 75 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Corned Beef and Cabbage Stew

Ohhhhh...this is so good. Like drink every drop, eat every smorsels, lick the bowl clean good. It has the most amazing flavor and everything practically melts-in-your-mouth. One thing about this stew though, since corned beef is made from tougher meat, it needs to cook for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. However, then your house smells unbelievably delicious and your stomach is dying for dinner. It really is a win-win situation. Yummy, tantalizing smell, melt-in-your mouth deliciousness. Okay, one more thought. When I made this I started with the amount of water I listed below. However, I had to add at least 12 more cups of water as the meat cooked. So, if you have to do that, don't worry. Just add away.

2 to 3 pounds of corned beef
7 cups of water
2 beef bouillon cubes, crushed
1 Tablespoon basil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
12+ baby carrots, cubed (I used 12, add more if you like more)
3 to 4 potatoes, cubed (I left the peel on cause it's yummy)
1/2 cup onion, chopped
6 cups cabbage

Cut the corned beef into bite-sized pieces. Put in the water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-high. Add the crushed bouillon and basil. Let the meat simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, or until very tender.

Add the garlic, carrots, potatoes and onion. Continue cooking until the vegetables are tender. Add the cabbage and cook for just a few more minutes, or until the cabbage is crisp tender.

I am serving this with traditional Irish soda bread (recipe coming tomorrow) so I can get every little tiny smorsel out of the bowl.