Saturday, February 26, 2011
So, if you are interested in sharing your recipes and photos and there's a story behind your favorite dish, send me a message and I just might feature your yummy favorites here on the Satisfied Spoon!!
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Confession: I like to cheat a smidge and get the meaty country style ribs, just to appease my meat-eatin' habits.
Here is a great basic hickory smoke sauce that you can make ahead and keep in the fridge for your bbq'n days. It's also super for any ribs you make in the crock. BBQ Sauce
1 tablespoon butter
1 onion, chopped
2 cups tomato ketchup
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon smoke flavoring
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon liquid hot pepper sauce
Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat; add chopped onion and cook until tender, stirring frequently. Add ketchup, cider vinegar, brown sugar, smoke flavoring, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, and liquid hot pepper sauce. Heat on low for 30 minutes; stirring often.
Makes about 3 cups. To make Ribs in the Crock:
Spray inside of 4- to 5-quart slow cooker with cooking spray.
Remove inner skin from ribs. Cut ribs into 4-inch pieces. Layers ribs in slow cooker.
Cover and cook on low heat setting 8 to 9 hours or until tender. Remove ribs from slow cooker. Drain and discard liquid.
Pour barbecue sauce into shallow bowl. Dip ribs into sauce. Place ribs in slow cooker. Pour any remaining sauce over ribs. Cover and cook on low heat setting 1 hour.
Sunday, February 20, 2011
This is one of those times.
I absolutely love a hearty veggie pasta bake. Normally I'm not crazy about having to take so many steps in a recipe. My time is very limited. Remember, I'm not a chef. I am a mom with a lot to do. And I do like to share shortcuts and tips with you, but this is not one of those recipes. But I can assure you, that this recipe is worth the chopping and slicing and in the end you'll have a delicious pasta recipe that you'll use again and again!!
*I also like to add smoked sausage coins to this recipe, but if you like it veggied up, then omit any meat.
2 cups uncooked mini lasagna (mafalda) noodles (4 oz)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion (1 large)
1 cup sliced carrots, (2 medium)
2 medium stalks celery, sliced (1 cup)
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
1 medium zucchini or summer squash, quartered lengthwise and sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cans (15 oz each) red kidney beans, drained, rinsed
1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes with Italian herbs, undrained
1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup refrigerated basil pesto
Heat oven to 350°F. Cook and drain pasta as directed on package using minimum cook time.
Meanwhile, in 10-inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, celery and bell pepper; cover and cook 5 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until carrots are just tender. Uncover; stir in zucchini and garlic. Cook and stir 1 minute longer.
Place pasta in ungreased 2 1/2-quart casserole. Stir in carrot mixture, beans, tomatoes, 1/4 cup of the cheese, the salt, pepper and pesto. Cover casserole. Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until hot in center. Top each serving with remaining cheese.
1 (16-oz.) pkg. frozen cooked Italian meatballs, thawed
1 cup frozen pearl onions
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 (14.5-oz.) cans diced tomatoes with Italian-style herbs, undrained
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons water
2 1/2 cups frozen bell pepper and onion stir-fry, thawed, drained
1oz. (1/4 cup) shredded fresh Parmesan cheese
In 3 1/2 to 4-quart slow cooker, combine meatballs, onions, salt and tomatoes; mix well.
Cover; cook on low setting for 6 to 8 hours.
About 20 minutes before serving, in small bowl, blend flour and water until smooth. Stir flour mixture into stew. Stir in bell pepper and onion stir-fry. Increase heat setting to high; cover and cook an additional 15 to 20 minutes or until stew has thickened and bell peppers are thoroughly heated. Sprinkle individual servings with cheese.
2 lbs. Meat (You can use a pork shoulder or tenderloin, beef roast, or even chicken)
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 small onion, sliced
1 can (8 oz) crushed pineapple in juice, undrained
3/4 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon grated ginger
Hot cooked rice, if desired
Spray 3 1/2- to 4-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Place roast or chicken, garlic and onion in slow cooker. Spoon about half of the pineapple with some of the juice over ribs. Reserve remaining pineapple and juice.
Cover; cook on Low heat setting 8 to 10 hours.
About 35 minutes before serving, drain and discard cooking juices from slow cooker; wipe edge of slow cooker clean. In small bowl, mix ketchup, brown sugar, hoisin sauce, ginger and remaining pineapple with juice. Spoon or pour evenly over ribs. Increase heat setting to High. Cover; cook 25 to 30 minutes longer or until ribs are glazed. Serve with rice.
Friday, February 18, 2011
The History: Our lofty space is in a great vintage building built circa 1920. We are located on the 3rd floor. I often wonder what kinds of people lived here before us and especially what they cooked in that kitchen space.
I wasn't up for splurging on new hardware, so I gave all those little handles a coat of black paint. What a difference. Design on a dime, lemmetellya!!
To bring out the red even more, I used a simple red broadcloth to create a tie up shade for the door and made a quick valance for the window.
The floor was probably the most dramatic change that occured in the room!! And no I did NOT pay a floorer (is that even a word?) to come in and do it. I laid all those beautiful tiles myself and only spent about $50 for the entire kitchen and pantry area. What a deal :)
I found this adorable wall decal on ETSY (my fave) for around $13. It suits me well. This was so easy to put on the wall. It's not one of those sticker ones either, this is rubbed directly onto the wall itself, so it gives the illusion of it being painted on.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Now, on to the ugly!
The kitchen space itself is probably a total of 70 square feet. In a real estate listing you'd probably see words like cozy, quaint, or minimalistic. The butler's pantry is a separate space, yet an adjoining room to the kitchen, where the refrigerator is also housed.
Since there's not much I could do about the countertop eyesore, I just have to work with it. Whoever decided faux wood laminate would look awesome, ought to be ashamed of himself. There's nothing cool about faux wood. NOTHING. COOL. By that same token, whoever decided faux wood adhesive paper was attractive should also be ashamed of himself. And whoever thought it would look nice in this kitchen should really be spanked. I'm just sayin'. 3 different counter spaces and none of them match. Nice.
The shelving unit in the corner is a trapezoid of sorts built specifically for the space because of where the door opens (to the left of the sink area). It houses pots and pans and is covered with the faux adhesive. It's functional, but not appealing.
You totally missed the vintage stove that once took up the space where the newer oven is. What was so odd about it was there was no set temperature mode. I turned it on and it kept heating up to about 500 degrees, seriously. So I really had to pay attention to anything that was baked. It finally saw its final day about a year ago.
When the guys came to remove the old stove and bring up the newer one, This gem of a wallpaper that had to be an original, was uncovered.
I kind of dig the small wood countertop built in. Underneath, we store a trash can, and containers for our assortment of rice. And on top of it is our microwave and toaster oven. It's a small counter, but we make it work.
The walls are an ugly shade of ivory to match the cabinets. Really brings the monochromatic look full swing don't ya think?
Things I like about this kitchen? Well, Hmmmm...I'm thinking................I'm still thinking.
I do like the openness of the wall space. It's not hindered by overbearing cabinets. I also love the exposed pipes that actually are functional and a little modern. Missed those huh? They are hidden with the ivory paint.
Although we're on the 3rd floor of this fantastic vintage building,
Monday, February 14, 2011
One of my favorite parts of the "before" part of the meal while eating out or at my almost mother-in-law's house is the salad. It just makes me happy. And not only are there about 5 gazillion types of salad, but they are great with just about any kind of entree. Pizza and salad, soup and salad, pasta and salad, sandwiches and salad, like I said...it makes me happy.
What I love about this particular salad is the dressing. Oh my stars, it's dreamy! The balsamic vinegar with basil and garlic just knocks it out of the ballpark. I'm tellin ya, you gotta try this!!
Who knew making your own dressing could be this fun or only take a few minutes? If you've never made your own dressing, this is a great one to start with.
Balsamic Basil Dressing
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup roasted garlic
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 cups olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
In a blender, combine the basil, garlic, cheese and vinegar. Slowly blend in the oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
*The salad pictured was made using Wild Harvest Organic spring greens, sliced strawberries, crumbled feta cheese, and large black olives.
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Don't be surprised if I pull out hearts and candles in July to celebrate how much I love you. That's just how I work.
I have planned a particularly wonderful dinner for my family for Valentine's Day. I feel justified spending a smidge more money at the grocery store on a holiday though.
And since I'd much rather cook a special dinner (I mean, who doesn't like homemade deliciousness?) than have an overcrowded, unpersonalized restaurant meal I have decided to make Herb Tanned Beef Tenderloin alongside buttery potatoes. And for a luscious dessert I'm making individual Creamy Red Velvet Cheesecakes.
Tenderloins always remind me of some kind of sea creature when I remove the packaging. Honestly they freak me out a little. But I love when they are cooked to perfection and the tender juicy meat just melts in your mouth. The herbs add a nice little crust to the outside. Sometimes you can find them pre-marinated in the meat department.
Have a lovely Valentine's Day Holiday!
Herb Tanned Beef Tenderloin
1 beef tenderloin roast
Salt and pepper, if desired
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano leaves
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
Heat oven to 425°F. Rub beef roast with salt and pepper. In medium bowl, mix parsley, oregano, rosemary, garlic and oil. Press mixture onto top and sides of beef.
Place beef on rack in shallow roasting pan. Insert meat thermometer so tip is in thickest part of beef.
Bake uncovered 35 to 50 minutes or until thermometer reads 140°F for medium-rare or 155°F for medium doneness. Remove beef from oven, cover with foil and let stand about 15 minutes.
Creamy Red Velvet Cheesecakes
24 thin chocolate wafer cookies (from 9-oz package), crushed (1 1/4 cups)
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 packages (8 oz each) plus 4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons red food color
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon granulated or powdered sugar
Chocolate curls, if desired
Heat oven to 350°F. Place foil baking cup in each of 16 regular-size muffin cups. In small bowl, mix cookie crumbs and melted butter. Divide crumb mixture among cups. With back of spoon, firmly press cookie crumbs in bottom of each foil cup.
In large bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Gradually beat in 1 cup granulated sugar and the cocoa until fluffy. Beat in vanilla and food color. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until well blended. Divide batter evenly among baking cups (cups will be almost full).
Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until centers are firm. Cool 15 minutes (cheesecake centers will sink while cooling). Refrigerate in baking cups at least 1 hour; cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour longer before serving.
In chilled small bowl, beat whipping cream and sugar with electric mixer on high speed until stiff. Spoon whipped cream on chilled cheesecakes. Just before serving, garnish with chocolate curls. Cover and refrigerate any remaining cheesecakes.
Saturday, February 12, 2011
I'm very pleased with the outcome and all the hard work I've put into making my kitchen an expression of creativity and culinary drama.
We still have to eat though, right?
I did take a lot of help from the crock, so that each day I could complete a project in the room.
Here is a recipe for Adobo Pork that we made into yummy sandwiches!! With a side of corn on the cob this was a perfect meal!!
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
3 teaspoons chili powder
3 pounds boneless pork shoulder -- trimmed of fat
1 can (8 ounce size) tomato sauce
2 canned chipotle chiles -- finely chopped
1 tablespoon adobo sauce from canned chipotle chiles
20 burger buns -- split
5 medium avocados -- pitted, peeled and thinly sliced
Spray 4- to 5-quart slow cooker with cooking spray.
In small bowl, mix brown sugar, salt, garlic powder, mustard and chili powder. Rub seasoning mixture over pork. Place pork in cooker. Sprinkle any remaining seasoning mixture that doesn't stick to pork over top of pork in cooker. Cover; cook on Low heat setting 7 to 8 hours.
Remove pork from cooker; place on cutting board. Remove liquid from cooker; skim fat from liquid and reserve liquid. Cool pork slightly.
With 2 forks, shred pork. Return to cooker. Stir tomato sauce, chipotle chiles and adobo sauce into shredded pork. If desired, stir in some of the reserved cooking liquid for desired moistness.
Increase heat setting to High. Cover; cook 15 to 30 minutes longer or until hot. Spoon about 1/3 cup pork mixture into each bun. Place a few slices of avocado over pork in each bun. Pork mixture can be kept warm on Low heat setting up to 2 hours; stir occasionally.
Sunday, February 6, 2011
As I've ranted and raved before, I think a kitchen space needs to be inspiring in order to create meals. I'm really hoping that with some innovation and hard work, my kitchen will finally come to life.
I payed Lowe's a visit today and I have to send a kind word to the sweet paint lady. She knew exactly what I wanted....read my mind when it came to choosing the kind of paint I needed. Thank you Lowe's paint lady...whose name has skipped my mind in the midst of my kitchen redo excitement.
Hopefully at some point this week or next , you'll be able to reap the joy of the ugly kitchen redo, with me, in photos.
(I'm ashamed to post before pictures, right now. But maybe at one point you can see before and after photos.)
Finally in my excited rage, I perused a garden of fabrics at Joanne's. Not crazy about their selection, but I did find a very bold modern print that will work well in our house. Scott said the fabric that is currently in the kitch now reminds him of a rug and it's too dismal, not to mention it won't match my new paint choices. Especially when he is an art connoisseur of a very strange and eclectic mash of pop art.
So many options are circling around in my head!! I must stop.
It's not easy to cook in a kitchen that's in the midst of a beautification project...so I'm thinking tonight might be dinner out...at some point this week I plan to make chicken and dumplings...they are like nobody's business....they're momma's recipe. Oh yeah.
Until then, I've got a great skillet recipe for a creamy chicken and pasta with veggies mixed right in, so it's a one pot meal. Add a salad and some crusty garlic bread and Enjoy!!
*TIP: This is a great meal to use leftover chicken or a rotisserie chicken.
I had a package of thawed chicken thighs in the fridge, I didn't want them to go bad before I had a chance to cook them so I popped them in the crock one day, cooked it, and had it ready to go....perfect for this meal.
2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes, well drained
1 cup milk
1 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
1 pound cooked chicken
1 package (16 ounces) frozen broccoli, red pepper, onions and mushrooms, thawed and well drained
2 1/2 cups rigatoni pasta (8 ounces)
Shredded Parmesan cheese, if desired
In a medium Dutch oven, stir together tomatoes, milk, sour cream, salt, pepper and red pepper. Heat to boiling; reduce heat to low. Add garlic, basil, and oregano and Simmer uncovered about 10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Stir in chicken and vegetables.
Meanwhile, cook and drain rigatoni as directed on package. Stir rigatoni and vegetables into chicken mixture; cook until hot. Serve with cheese.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Well, since I'm more into the food, I thought I'd share a few of my favorite SuperBowl party foods!!
Cheesy Potato Dippers
1 package (24 oz) frozen potato wedges with skins
1/2 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
8 oz Velveeta cheese, cut into chunks
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
1 can (4.5 oz) chopped green chiles, drained
Heat oven to 450°F. Bake potato wedges as directed on package.
Meanwhile, in large saucepan, cook ground beef and onion over medium-high heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beef is thoroughly cooked; drain. Stir in cheese, tomato sauce and chiles. Cook over low heat until cheese is melted and mixture is hot, stirring frequently.
Serve hot potato wedges with cheese dip.
Southwest Chicken Chile Crock Tacos
1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
Taco seasoning mix (either homemade or 1 package store-bought)
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
1 can (4.5 oz) chopped green chiles
1 cup frozen corn (from 12 oz bag), thawed
1 can (10 oz) enchilada sauce
4 medium green onions, sliced (1/4 cup)
1 package taco shells
Taco fixins (lettuce, tomato, cheese, sour cream)
Spray 3- to 4-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Place chicken in cooker. Sprinkle with taco seasoning mix and brown sugar; toss to coat. Mix in green chiles, corn and 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce. Refrigerate remaining enchilada sauce.
Cover and cook on Low heat setting 6 to 7 hours.
Place chicken on cutting board; use 2 forks to pull chicken into shreds. Return chicken to cooker. Stir in green onions. Cover and cook on Low heat setting 15 minutes.
Heat remaining enchilada sauce. Serve chicken mixture in taco shells with fixins and warm enchilada sauce.
1 can cream cheese frosting (16 oz.)
1 package chocolate bark (regular or white chocolate)
After cake is cooked and cooled completely, crumble into large bowl. Mix thoroughly with 1 can cream cheese frosting. (It may be easier to use fingers to mix together, but be warned it will get messy.)
Roll mixture into quarter size balls and lay on cookie sheet. (Should make 45-50. You can get even more if you use a mini ice cream scoop, but I like to hand roll them.)
Chill for several hours. Probably easiest in the freezer.
Melt chocolate in microwave per directions on package.
Roll balls in chocolate and lay on wax paper until firm. (Use a spoon to dip and roll in chocolate and then tap off extra.)
*TIP: Only melt a few pieces of chocolate bark at a time because it starts to cool and thicken. It’s easier to work with when it’s hot.Have fun at your SuperBowl Party!!!