Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Mushroom Turnovers with Sour Cream

As soon as I received my Dinner Tonight email, I said "Mushroom Turnovers with Sour Cream" out loud, and H-Bomb said, "Can you make those for dinner tonight??" We had everything except mushrooms and sour cream, and I was planning on going to the store anyway, so I said yes! I ended up with some white button mushrooms, cremini and a couple portabellos (H-Bomb's favorite mushroom). I weighed the mushrooms to equal about 20 ounces, because none of them were in the right size package, of course.

Easy to put together, the hardest part was rolling out the pastry dough evenly enough to make four turnovers of roughly equal size. I didn't trim the edges of the dough, honestly with my poor rolling I needed all the dough I could get!

These are quick, savory and delicious! Three out of four family members finished their dinner. We served them with edamame and green peas (each boy requested each vegetable) to green things up.

Mushroom Turnovers with Sour Cream

From Everyday Food, November 2008

Our flaky stuffed pastries are a vegetarian main that's easy and elegant. Store-bought puff pastry makes quick work of these savory turnovers that require only five ingredients.

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Serves 4

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 packages (5 ounces each) mixed mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 sheet frozen puff pastry (from a 17.3-ounce box), thawed
1/2 cup sour cream, for serving

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Add mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; set aside.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough (still folded in thirds) to a 20-by-10-inch rectangle. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, trim edges straight; cut dough into four 10-by-5-inch rectangles. Dividing evenly, mound mushroom mixture on one half of each rectangle, leaving a 1/2-inch border on three sides. Lightly brush border with water; fold other half of pastry over filling, and press edges firmly to seal. With a floured fork, crimp edges.

Using a wide metal spatula, transfer turnovers to a large baking sheet. With a paring knife, cut 3 to 4 small slits in the top of each turnover. Bake until golden and puffed, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes; serve turnovers with sour cream.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Kafta - Lebanese Meatballs on a Stick

Once a month, I post a recipe over at Our Krazy Kitchen. I used to post once a week, but life got in the way. Our Krazy Kitchen is a bunch of people who contribute recipes, kind of a nice recipe sharing community. Because there are so many people (I've honestly lost count), you never know what the recipes will be, so I check in just about every day to see what's cooking!

When Lyndsey of The Tiny Skillet posted this one for Kafta, I knew I wanted to make these meatballs right away. I couldn't find lamb, so I just used beef from one of our cattle. The only thing we would do differently is add salt. (we added it on top this time). We did try both ways of cooking the meatballs, and the grill worked easier for us than the grill pan + oven method. Do whatever floats your boat, but make these soon!

formed & ready to grill!

Kafta - Lebanese Meatballs on a Stick

1 1/2 pounds ground lamb (we used ground beef)
4 green onions chopped
1 bunch parsley chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
a handful of mint chopped
1 tablespoon Lebanese seven spice or sometimes called mixed spice
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Mix all ingredients together. Cover and rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes to get the flavors merging all together nicely and the meatball will form easily. If using wooden skewers soak them for the same 30 minutes so they won't burn on the grill. Lyndsey says, "I don't like to form the meatball too firm so it won't be too dense after cooking...just my preference." Also prepare the Cucumber Sauce during this time.

You can grill them or make them on a grill pan stove-top, Lyndsey suggested browning them on the grill pan first, then transferring the pan to the oven to finish them off. Grill them like you would burgers, just make sure the meat is cooked no longer pink, but try not to overcook them.

We tried both methods, and preferred the meatballs on the grill. We served them with pita bread and Lyndsey's Cucumber Sauce (below).

Cucumber Yogurt Sauce

1 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 cucumber, chopped
1/2 tsp dill
a dash of garlic powder
a squeeze of lemon juice

Mix everything together and let sit in the fridge while preparing the meatballs.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Make Your Own Pizzas with Newman's Own!

As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemakers program, I received free jars of Newman's Own Roasted Garlic Pasta Sauce AND a free Flip Video Camera with the Newman's Own logo! The mission: create an easy, fast, family-friendly recipe. What better dinner than a pizza night?!

You may have already seen a post like this, in which H-Bomb had a friend over and we made individual pizzas. That time, I used Artisan Bread Dough for the crust, and homemade Marinara Sauce, in addition to the toppings. The boys LOVED them. (follow the above link for those recipes) They had so much fun, and ate all of their dinner, so I decided to let them do it again!

I made a batch of Artisan Bread Dough for these crusts, but accidentally left it out on the counter for over 24 hours, and that, my friends, is too long! When did I discover this? When we were getting ready to prepare dinner, of course. I considered using tortillas as a last-minute crust, but decided to google first. I found a no-knead, no-rise crust recipe to try, on a food blog called Adventures of a Food Slut. (a perfect match for The Bad Girl's Kitchen, I say!)

Super Quick, No-Knead Pizza Dough

2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups flour

Dissolve yeast in water. Add remaining ingredients and stir vigorously 20 strokes. Let rest 5 minutes. With floured fingers, pat into pizza pan. (I sprinkled a little cornmeal on the pan first) For pizza, top as desired, and bake 15 to 20 minutes at 425 degrees F.

I formed the dough into three individual mini pizzas for the three boys. The toppings were LinkNewman's Own Roasted Garlic Sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni and mushrooms.

The dough took about 10 minutes, including the 5 minute resting time.

The cute pizza prep video (which I am having the hardest time adding to this post!) is about 3 minutes real time, that's all it took for the boys to get their own pizzas loaded up.

Fifteen minutes in the oven, and they were done!

I think the boys can speak for themselves! There was not much pizza left at all!

Thank you Foodbuzz and Newman's Own!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pumpkin Parmesan Pasta Sauce

This recipe is inspired by part of a gift we received from our good friends Alice and Doug as a housewarming gift two years ago: A jar of Williams-Sonoma Pumpkin Parmesan Pasta Sauce. The jar said, " A rich, creamy sauce featuring pumpkin and aged Parmesan cheese seasoned with caramelized onions, roasted garlic and sage." It was delicious. I wrote down the ingredients so I could try to make it from scratch, because there is no Williams-Sonoma anywhere near here.

I didn't end up using all the same ingredients, (namely water and butternut squash) and of course there aren't amounts on a jar of sauce from the store. So this is my own creation, inspired by Williams-Sonoma. I used leftover fresh pumpkin puree I had in the freezer from last year's Halloween!

Number One proclaimed, "This tastes like fall." H-Bomb, after initially saying he didn't want sauce, said he loved it. Sawed Off ate it, but wouldn't commit to liking it. I thought it was delicious, and I'm proud to say the sauce turned out on the very first try!

While it's not as orange or quite as smooth as the jarred sauce was, I can say that I know exactly what is in it, and we liked it!

Pumpkin Parmesan Pasta Sauce
Serves 6 to 8 (I'm sort of guessing because we had a lot of leftovers)

1 pound spaghetti or pasta of your choice

2 tablespoons butter
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup chicken broth
3 cups roasted pumpkin puree
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon sage leaves
1 cup half-and-half or heavy cream
1/3 to 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon lemon juice
grated Parmesan, to serve

Put a pot of water on to boil for the pasta.

In a large pan, saute onions and garlic in olive oil over medium-low heat, until onions are translucent and just starting to brown. Stir in chicken broth and heat. Stir in pumpkin puree and spices, then simmer on low while preparing your pasta as directed. (I actually simmered my puree for about 20 minutes, because it had been frozen and needed to simmer out some of the water.)

Whisk half-and-half into the pumpkin mixture, and heat gently. Stir in Parmesan, adding more if desired. Minutes before serving, stir in lemon juice.

Drain pasta and place in large bowl, pour sauce on top of pasta. Serve with more freshly grated Parmesan on top, if desired.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Blonde Butterscotch Brownies

These were a big hit with my co-ed Great Books group. —Wendy D.


Serves 8

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup butter

1 ½ cup dark brown sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup butterscotch morsels

1 cup chopped walnuts

1. Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

2. Melt butter; remove from heat.

3. Stir in brown sugar.

4. Stir in eggs, one at a time, until well-blended.

5. Stir in vanilla extract.

6. Add dry ingredients and stir gently until mostly blended.

7. Stir in butterscotch morsels and walnuts until distributed evenly and none of the dry ingredients can be seen.

8. Spread mixture in a buttered 13x9x2-inch baking pan.

9. Bake in a 350°F oven for about 25 minutes. Do not overbake; brownies will become firmer when cool.

10. Cut while warm. Eat when cool.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


1 1/2 to 2 pounds pork rib chops, trimmed of fat 

1/4 teaspoon sea salt 

1/4 teaspoon  freshly ground pepper
3 teaspoons safflower oil, divided
1 medium onion, sliced thin
1 clove  garlic, minced
1/2 cup  orange juice 

3/4 cup  barbecue sauce
2-3 cups prepared white rice
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Generously sprinkle pork chops with salt and pepper. 
  • Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large ovenproof skillet over high heat. 
  • Add the pork chops and sear to brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
  • Add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil to the pan. 
  • Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened. 
  • Stir in garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant. 
  • Add orange juice and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. 
  • Stir in barbecue sauce until well blended. 
  • Return the pork chops to the pan, turning several times to coat with the sauce.
  • In a large baking dish layer the rice on the bottom, smoothing the top.
  • Add pork chops to top of rice.
  • Pour remaining sauce over the chops and rice.
  • Transfer the dish to the oven and bake until the pork chops are barely pink in the middle and an instant-read thermometer registers at least 145 degrees. 10-15 minutes.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Spicy Coconut Custard with Candied Coconut

It's so fun entering these contests from Marx Foods! In the most recent Marx Foods recipe contest I entered, I came in third with my Chile-Spiced Chocolate Tarts with Crème Pâtissière and Red Wine and Chile-Infused Strawberry Sauce!! They were so delicious! And honestly, without Marx Foods providing the dried chile peppers, the inspiration to create those tarts may never have arrived!

So when you enter a Marx Foods contest, you may have an idea of what you're going to get, but it still somehow is a surprise. This particular contest was a complete surprise--RANDOM Recipes! I had no idea what would be in the box, and was pleasantly surprised to find:

Hurray, and thank you!! Now, I love mushrooms, but the ideas just weren't flowing. So I turned to the Coconut Sugar. It's actually coconut sap sugar; I had no idea they even made that! (Did I ever tell you I love coconut?) Still being in love with the chiles from the last challenge, I chose to use those as well. And by now it's no surprise I made dessert!

The custard is smooth and creamy and cool, with a hint of heat on the back of your tongue. It picks up its yellow hue from both the pureed chiles and the fresh-laid-today chicken eggs! The chiles also provide some nice orangey flecks in the custard.

The candied coconut adds just the right sort of caramely-coconutty crunch, nice texture contrast, and has a unique flavor. The family loved it!

I did some experimenting until I got enough heat in the coconut milk (even throwing some extra Puya seeds out of the package into the pot!) I used the methods my husband and I developed with the tart filling to get all the delicious flavor of those Puyas. If you like more heat, you can use one or two more chiles. The possibilities are endless!

The coconut sugar reminds me of jaggery (an Indian sugar) in the way it behaves when heated...in other words, not normally! So the Candied Coconut is a little tricky, but it's tasty if you stick with it!

Spicy Coconut Custard with Candied Coconut
Serves 4

1 can (approx. 14 ounces) coconut milk
2 whole dried Puya chile peppers
3 eggs, beaten gently
1/4 cup sugar

Heat coconut milk and Puya chiles in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Gently bring to boiling, stirring, then turn off heat. Let milk steep for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. I rested my wooden spoon right on top of the chile pepper to keep it submerged during the steeping. After 10 minutes, remove stems from chiles and place them in a small food processor (I used the bowl attachment with my Cuisinart stick blender), along with about 1/4 cup of the coconut milk. Process chiles and milk until chiles are relatively small, then return mixture to remaining coconut milk in the saucepan. Stir, and let entire mixture sit and steep until completely cool.

Place a glass bowl in a pan of ice water.

Add eggs and sugar to coconut milk mixture in the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, just until mixture coats a metal spoon. (much longer than that and your eggs will start to "scramble," take my word for it!) Immediately pour custard into prepared glass bowl, and stir constantly to cool, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour custard into 4 individual custard dishes (or pretty glasses). Cover custard surface with plastic wrap (to prevent a skin from forming), and chill dishes in refrigerator for at least one hour.

Just before serving, remove from refrigerator, remove plastic wrap (of course), sprinkle with candied coconut, and enjoy!

Candied Coconut:

1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1/4 coconut sugar
1 cup raw dried coconut (not sweetened)

Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper on the counter.

Melt butter over medium heat and spread around pan; sprinkle coconut sugar on top. Let melt a minute or two before mixing. This will not look like you may expect it to, the sugar won't really melt or dissolve, it'll just look sort of greasy but will start to spread out a bit. Mix it in with the butter using a wooden spoon. When it is mixed together, turn heat to low and sprinkle in the coconut and quickly stir.

To mix the coconut with the sugar mixture, you'll have to sort of "chop" the coconut into the sugar with your wooden spoon to separate it and break up the clumps, otherwise you'll end up with big brown clumps of coconut sugar and the coconut itself won't have much coating. So, mix and "chop" over low until the coconut is turning golden (both from the sugar and from the hot pan), being careful not to burn it.

Turn coconut onto the prepared baking sheet, breaking up any large clumps with the wooden spoon, then let cool before using.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Taste & Create Partner List

Here is the T&C partner list. Please remember to submit your creations to Nicole's Taste & Create website by October 24th, 2011!

If you have any questions or problems, check out the How it Works page, or please feel free to email
me at cowgirlmin07 [at] gmail [dot] com.

Have you heard of Taste & Create? It's a monthly food blog event in which participants are randomly paired off, and must choose and create a recipe from their partner's blog. It is great fun! A picture of everyone's creation and a brief "review" gets posted on the Taste & Create website, linking back to your own blog post.

If you'd would like to sign up for NEXT month, please email me by the 8th of the month. You'll be randomly paired with another food blogger, and the fun will begin!

Can't wait to see what you all create!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

"Drunken Frenchman" Toast

So this has taken a while, but I finally made it!

For Spring Break, we drove over to Colorado to visit my friend Nicole and her family, who were on vacation from Germany. We stayed at the Devil's Thumb Ranch, outside of Tabernash, Colorado. They have a gorgeous lodge with several restaurants. The restaurant we frequented every morning (and our first night) was called Heck's. It is a very impressive hexagon-shaped (hexagon = six, in case you've forgotten) room which surrounds a spectacular hexagon-shaped fireplace. Breathtaking.

Before we left, I had to try their "Drunken Frenchman" Toast. I asked for the recipe, but the waitress only recited a list of ingredients. So other than the ingredients, the proportions are all mine. For the record, the waitress said "bourbon." I don't have any bourbon, so I chose to use Jack Daniel's. You can use whatever you'd like.

I was hoping it would turn out similar to my breakfast at Heck's, and I have to say, woohoo! This is a delicious rendition of the Devil's Ranch breakfast! Make some at your ranch!

"Drunken Frenchman" Toast
Serves 4

8 slices Texas toast*

4 eggs
2/3 cup half and half
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon Jack Daniel's

powdered sugar
maple syrup

Preheat griddle to medium; preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Whisk eggs, half and half, spices, vanilla, sugar and bourbon together in a shallow dish. (a pie plate works perfectly for this). Soak each side of each piece of Texas toast in the egg mixture, (not too long!) then place on griddle. Cook for about 2 minutes each side, until golden brown. Place toast on an oven-safe platter and keep warm in the oven.

To serve, sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with maple syrup.

*I actually got nine pieces of toast out of my egg mixture this morning.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Bauducco Panettone French Toast

As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemakers program, I received two free samples of Bauducco's Panettone! (If you're like me, you're saying, what does that even mean?)

Well, when I opened the box, I saw that a Panettone is a "specialty cake!" We got one with chocolate chips in it, and one with raisins in it. Each cake is about 26 ounces, pretty big! Foodbuzz also sent a couple recipes, for French toast and Bread Pudding. I couldn't resist the French toast...and of course chose to make it with the chocolate chip panettone!

But first a bit of history...right off the box.

"In 1952, in a small confectionery, the Bauducco family began making Panettones using its special recipe directly from Italy. With great dedication, work and a special talent for baking, the family saw its Panettone become increasingly recognized for its quality and unique taste. Carefully prepared with a traditional natural leavening process, each Bauducco Panettone takes more than 50 hours to bake."

We sampled a couple pieces before we made the French toast, and it is delicious! Just the right texture, with a hint of a citrus flavor, which is excellent with the chocolate! So far we've only had the chocolate chip cake, because we have two little boys who love chocolate. They are in love. "That cake is sooooo yummy," they both have said several times. "This is the Best French Toast Ever," they said. Things like that.

If you want to try some, here's one place to get it: Bauducco Panettone with Hershey Chocolate. You do have to carefully remove the baking paper from the cake, but it comes off pretty easily.

The French toast is, of course, simple to prepare. The recipe calls for sour cream, but I made a late-night chip dip last night and...we don't have any more sour cream...so I used plain yogurt. I doubled the recipe so we each got a piece, and there was enough egg mixture for 6 half-slices of toast. (the cake is pretty big, so I cut each slice in half for easier handling)

The French toast turned out moist and decadent, a welcome departure from regular French toast. We loved it! It was like a special treat on a regular Saturday. We went simple and served ours with maple syrup (and a little whipped cream for my husband and the boys!)

Panettone French Toast
Serves 2

2 3/4-inch-thick slices of Bauducco Panettone
2 eggs
1 heaping tablespoon sour cream (or plain yogurt)
2 tablespoons milk

Beat eggs, sour cream and milk in a shallow, flat-bottomed dish. (I always use a pie plate). Place panettone slice in the dish for a minute, then turn over to soak both sides completely.

Warm skillet or griddle over medium heat. Add butter to grease the skillet. Gently remove soaked panettone from dish and place onto heated skillet. Cook for about 1-1/2 to 2 minutes per side for soft center, 3 minutes per side for firm center. (I cooked mine for about 2 minutes per side, and they were perfect!)

Spread a little butter on each slice, then drizzle with maple syrup and/or powdered sugar.
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