Happy Salty Meat Day

aka St. Patrick’s Day, LOL

I bought my corned beef a week earlier than the holiday so I froze it.

I took it out a day before I was going to use it to defrost in the fridge.

I filled the crock pot – half way with water – added in the spice packet and quasi frozen meat.  I turned it to high and left it there for about 12 hours, then I turned it to keep it warm.  (This was an overnight ordeal)

I boiled the potatoes in separate water with a dash of salt.  I sauteed the cabbage with salted butter and pepper.  I didn’t want the veggies and potatoes to be super salty, the meat would be salty enough for all of us.  And since I didn’t want to eat with an IV of fluids due to salt intake, this was the best way to go, LOL.

 

Brownie Me This and Brownie Me That

Homemade brownies are just the best.  You get that yummy crunchy edge and soft and gooey center thanks to sticks of melted butter ……LOL

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • Preheat the oven to 350 and lightly grease a 9×13 pan.
  •  In a saucepan over low heat, melt the butter, then add the sugar and stir to combine. Heat just until the mixture is hot, but don’t let it bubble. Watch for it to start looking shiny as you stir it.
  • As the butter is heating, n a large bowl beat the 4 eggs with the cocoa, salt, baking powder, and vanilla till smooth.
  • Add the hot butter & sugar mixture to the egg & cocoa mixture, stirring until smooth.
  • Add the flour and chocolate chips, again stirring until smooth.
  • Pour the batter into your prepared pan. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the edges of the brownies look set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. It’s ok if a few crumbs stick to the toothpick…the middle should be very moist, but not unbaked!

Minestrone – The Final Days for Hot Soup in AZ

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 medium ribs celery, chopped
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 2 cups chopped seasonal vegetables (potatoes, yellow squash, zucchini, butternut squash, green beans or peas all work)
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 large can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, with their liquid (or 2 small 15-ounce cans)
  • 4 cups (32 ounces) vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup whole grain orecchiette, elbow or small shell pasta
  • 1 can (15 ounces) Great Northern beans or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained, or 1 ½ cups cooked beans
  • 2 cups baby spinach, chopped kale or chopped collard greens
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for garnishing (optional)
    1. Warm 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the chopped onion, carrot, celery, tomato paste and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables have softened and the onions are turning translucent, about 7 to 10 minutes.
    2. Add the seasonal vegetables, garlic, oregano and thyme. Cook until fragrant while stirring frequently, about 2 minutes.
    3. Pour in the diced tomatoes and their juices, broth and water. Add the salt, bay leaves and red pepper flakes. Season generously with freshly ground black pepper.
    4. Raise heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil, then partially cover the pot with the lid, leaving about a 1” gap for steam to escape. Reduce heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer.
    5. Cook for 15 minutes, then remove the lid and add the pasta, beans and greens. Continue simmering, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until the the pasta is cooked al dente and the greens are tender.
    6. Remove the pot from the heat, then remove the bay leaves. Stir in the lemon juice and remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Taste and season with more salt (I usually add about ¼ teaspoon more) and pepper until the flavors really sing. Garnish bowls of soup with grated Parmesan, if you’d like.

This soup makes a big batch – I end up sticking it into mason jars!!!  Thank me later.  It’s a hearty soup too and my kids love it with some melted cheese on the top.  Enjoy!!!

Mexican Wedding Cookies

Who doesn’t love a butter cookie rolled in powdered sugar?  Duh, no one….. LOL

They’re easy to make and they’re so yummy!

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees

Cookies:

1 cup softened butter

1/2 c sugar

2 tsp vanilla

2 tsp water

2 c flour

1 c chopped pecans

1/2 c powdered sugar

Cream the butter and the sugar.  Stir in the vanilla and water.  Mix in the flour and pecans.  Let chill for an hour.

Rolls out into small balls the size of a quarter.  Bake for 15-18 minutes.  Let sit on pan for 1-2 minutes and then roll them in the powdered sugar.

Enjoy, enjoy and enjoy.

 

Ode to Baked Goods

I’m weird.  Like tons of energy weird.  Like if you’re going to bake you may as well bake 2-3 things LOL.  The flour is out, the measuring cups and spoons are out – just do it.

Tonight was a chocolate buttermilk cafe bundt cake, banana bread (so we don’t waste the now brown extra mushy bananas) and a cherry crisp.  Because the old lady in me loves a good crisp.

It started with the banana bread.  Then I was in the fridge fetching eggs and noticed the buttermilk would expire soon and since I didn’t want to waste that either that turned into this chocolate cake everyone loves.  Then the cherry crisp because I was staring at the bag of brown sugar.

Tada!

Happy Monday evening peeps.

Tres Leches

One of the most delicious – fluffy – whipped cream covered cakes on the planet – plus those cherries!!! Too die for, LOL.

Let’s get to it:

Cake:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

5 large eggs, separated

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Tres Leches Mixture:

1/4 cup heavy cream

One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

One 12-ounce can evaporated milk

Icing:

1 pint heavy cream – for whipping

3 tablespoons sugar

Maraschino cherries, to decorate

Directions:

  1. For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9- by 13-inch cake pan.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl.
  3. Separate the eggs. Beat the egg yolks with 3/4 cup of the sugar on high speed until the yolks are pale yellow. Stir in the milk and vanilla. Pour the egg yolk mixture over the flour mixture and stir very gently until combined.
  4. Beat the egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. With the mixer on, pour in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until the egg whites are stiff but not dry. Fold the egg white mixture into the batter very gently until just combined. Spoon into the prepared pan and spread to even out the surface.
  5. Bake until the cake is done, 35 to 40 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan, and then turn out (upside down) onto a rimmed platter.
  6. For the tres leches: Combine the heavy cream, evaporated milk and condensed milk in a small pitcher. Pierce the surface of the cake with a fork several times. Drizzle the milk mixture over the top and allow the cake to sit and absorb the milk mixture. Don’t worry about totally soaking the cake! That’s what you want.
  7. For the icing: Whip the cream with the sugar. Spread it evenly over the top and sides of the soaked cake and decorate with maraschino cherries.
  8. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Several hours is fine. The colder the cake, the better it tastes!

The Mother of All Cheese Boards

Rest assured it’s coming.  I am going to throw together this amazing cheese board.  Why?  because I can …..and I will.  Who doesn’t love fresh cheese?  Endive…..nuts….dried fruit….rainbow carrots with the tops still on….radishes….baby eggplants roasted with garlic …..fresh cut pepperoni….. grapes and blueberries….the things love are made of….

It’s the little things in life and after all what more could you ask for than this Mother of all Cheese Boards……