Wednesday, November 18, 2009

What's for Dinner: Sloppy Joes

I know many people have Sloppy Joe memories stretching back from their childhoods, well I don't. I don't know if it was just not something my mom made, or if she didn't make it knowing my dad would not consider this a meal. So my first real introduction to Sloppy Joes was at Jon's Grandma Brewster's home while we were still dating. My only memory is grease. Then a few months ago my friend Michelle gave me a recipe for Sloppy Joes, I made it, and it was ok but Jon said we didn't have to make them again. So when my trial issue of Cook's Country came and Sloppy Joes was one of the recipes I thought I'd give it one last time, and I'm sure glad I did. Not only was it a winner with the whole family flavor wise, but it's one of their recipe makeovers in which a normal Sloppy Joe (including the bun) is 570 calories with 30 grams of fat and 10 grams of Saturated fat. Their version is only 300 calories (including bun) with 9 grams of fat, and 3 grams of Saturated fat. It makes a big difference, I don't have to feel guilty about eating 2 and with a salad it makes a great dinner! So here is the recipe, try try try it at home and then let me know what you think.

Cook's Country Reduced-Fat Sloppy Joe

Serves 4.

2 tsp vegetable oil
6 oz white mushrooms, sliced thin
1 small onion, minced
1 1/4 tsp chili powder
1 (8oz) can tomato sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1 Tab. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. brown sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tsp. cider vinegar
10 oz 93% lean ground beef
salt and pepper
4 Hamburger buns.

1. Process Mushrooms. heat 1 tsp. oil over med-high heat in large nonstick skillet until shimmering. Add mushrooms and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to food processor and pulse until mushrooms are finely ground.

2. Make Sauce. Heat remaining oil in empty skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Cook onion and processed mushrooms, covered, stirring occasionally, until tender, 8 to 12 minutes. Stir in chili powder and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomato sauce, ketchup, Worcestershire, sugar, water and vinegar. Simmer over medium-low heat until vegetables are completely tender and sauce is slightly thickened, about 15 minutes.

3. Simmer Beef. Add beef and simmer, breaking up meat with wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper. Divide mixture among buns. Serve.
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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What's for Dinner? - Chicken Pot Pie

At 3:45 pm yesterday I thought to my self, "What's for dinner." I didn't want to go the grocery store, we had already been out all day, and I wanted to use what we had. I'd been looking online earlier in the day at some cakes on the King Arthur Flour site and found a recipe for Classic Chicken Pot Pie. B I N G O! I knew I had stuff to make a crust and had some frozen chicken I could use. Little did I know that 2 hours later we would be eating the best Pot Pie ever! Legendary!

I followed their crust exactly, including the buttermilk powder. If you don't have this and live near me come borrow some, but it's well worth having on hand. I started the filling but realized upon opening the freezer that I didn't have peas or pearl onions. This is where the recipe became mine. Instead of peas I used about 1/2 cup of green beans, and I peeled one carrot. I looked at the mixture and realized the recipe had no potatoes and for some reason I really like potatoes in pot pie. I ran down stairs to get a few potatoes and noticed I had a mini butternut squash and thought why not. Both are what really made it! Try the recipe and let me know what you think!

Go to the King Arthur Flour site and print the recipe. Follow their directions for the crust and the start of the filling, except bellow is what I used in my filling. Par cook your potatoes and butter nut squash together. Peel both and chop into 1 inch pieces, and cook in about 1/4 cup of water in the microwave on the cook veggie setting for about 3-5 minutes. They won't be soft yet but it will make for soft potatoes later.

6 Tablespoons butter
6 Tablespoons flour
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
2-3 cups cooked chicken, shredded
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon dried minced onions
Pinch of : Tarragon, Thyme and Parsley
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 of a butter nut squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup frozen green beans
2 carrots, peeled and cut into slices

Put into a 9x13 cover with crust and bake for 45-60 minutes.

This recipe can also be cut in half if you don't want a big 9x13, that's what I did, but next time I would just make the whole thing and same some for lunch the next day.
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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Turkey Cookies

Have you ever had a memory of something from your childhood that you then try to recreate. Turkey Cookies are somehow in my brain I don't know where they fit in or why I remember them. I thought it would be fun to make them with our Activity Day Girls. It's a great no-bake idea.

What you need:

1 bag of ginger snaps
1 bag of candy corn
2-3 Rollo packages (the chocolate and Carmel candies)
Some red hots, if desired
1 recipe for royal icing (2-3 eggs yokes, 4-5 cups of powdered sugar, mix 5 minutes until stiff)

What you do: On one ginger snap you use the royal icing (glue) to affix the candy corn with the large part out, forming the feathers of the Turkey. Then you affix a candy corn piece to your Rollo to make the head. Use another ginger snap for the bottom, Glue your Rollo to the bottom and the back. Let dry and eat!

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What's for Dinner? - Chipotle Enchiladas

So often the question is What's for Dinner? How many times have you web surfed trying to find just that right recipe that not only looks good in the pictures but that also takes less than 30 minutes to make, has only ingredients that you have in your house, that your husband and kids will eat, that is healthy and the list goes on. So here is one, Lighter Chicken Enchiladas, (click the link for the recipe) I like to call them Chipotle Enchiladas. A little on the spicy side (which we just love) it was a find out of Everyday Food, a Martha Stewart venture. And yes you might not have a can of Chipotles in adobo, but it's an easy find in the Latin section of your super market, and don't forget the pepper jack cheese, it's worth it. If you don't like the spice just half the chipotles, and make sure to take the seeds out. Let me know if you like!

The Fireman and his Monkey

Happy Halloween, we had lots of fun, and are eating way too much candy, hope you are too!