Saturday, October 31, 2015

Plantains Wrapped in Bacon

We're still in the appetizer section of the Columbia Restaurant Cookbook, and today it was time to try another recipe using plantains. Instead of the two-ingredient Fried Plantains, it was three-ingredient Plantains Wrapped in Bacon. The recipe called for 1/2 pound of bacon to be used with 4 ripe plantains. We ended up using 1 1/2 pounds. I don't know if that means their bacon was super, super thin, or if they used bigger chunks, or what, but that's okay.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Pizza Soup

We tried this a few years ago and it was delicious! The recipe came from a Quick Cooking magazine that I'm getting rid of, but someday I may want to make this soup again, so I'm writing it down.

Pizza Soup

1 1/4 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 cups water
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
1 cup chopped pepperoni
1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
1/2 cup cooked Italian sausage
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese

In a saucepan, saute mushrooms and onions in oil for a couple of minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the cheeses. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Garnish with cheese when serving. Serves 4.

Glazed Chicken Wings

Wayne likes his spicy Dutch oven wings; I prefer these. It never hurts to make two varieties! However, we usually make his recipe when watching football, and this one (which I discovered in a Quick Cooking magazine) for Christmas afternoon snacking.
Glazed Chicken Wings Recipe

Glazed Chicken Wings

5 pounds wing pieces
1/3 cup barbecue sauce
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup soy sauce

Put wings in a greased 9x13" baking pan. Combine other ingredients and pour over chicken. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for about an hour, until done.

Note: If you want more sauce, just increase it. It's super easy because the ratio of the three ingredients is 1:1:1!

Another note: This was pretty liquidy - more so than I expected - next time try baking 30 minutes before adding the sauce (after first draining off any chicken liquid that accumulates).

Sunday, October 25, 2015

A Birthday Dinner

Wayne loves steak. So, I usually serve it for Father's Day and for his birthday (and sometimes on other days of the year). This year for Father's Day I tried fixing filet mignon for the first time. It turned out so successfully, that that's the cut we had for his birthday dinner as well. I followed the directions found here and the steaks were perfect.

It's really quite simple, which is even better than trying something complicated. Let the steaks come to room temperature. Heat a bit of olive oil in an oven-proof skillet. (I love our cast iron one.) Season the beef with salt and pepper and place in the hot skillet. Don't touch them for four minutes. Then carefully flip them over and place the pan in an oven pre-heated to 425 degrees. Bake them for 6-7 minutes for medium rare. Immediately place them on a plate to rest for about five more minutes.

Updated Father's Day 2016: These directions were for steaks that are 6 ounces and 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick. For 8 ounce steaks that are 2 inches thick, try searing for 3 minutes on one side, an additional 3 minutes on the other, then put in the oven for 6-7 minutes. Today when I took them out of the oven, a meat thermometer registered 120 degrees; after resting for five minutes the temperature had climbed to 130. That was perfect.

On Father's Day, we had lobster tails. Today we tried king crab legs. In the future, I need to remember that small portions can be plenty satisfying!

We realize that filet mignon is expensive. That's one reason why this is the first year we've tried it at home. There are some things you can do when the grocery budget covers two people that you can't when it needs to feed eight. It's also better for us to have smaller portions, and this helps with that mentality. While we don't expect this to be something you try now, I'm posting so that someday when you're ready for a super special celebration, you'll know what to do!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls

There's been some extra apple juice in the refrigerator and so we tried a new recipe to help use it up. While this won't replace our regular cinnamon roll recipe, it's definitely worth keeping in the files. It's a great way to usher in the fall season!

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls

This recipe uses apple juice for the liquid in the dough (instead of milk) and I was a little leery of that at first, but it turned out to work just great. I didn't use her caramel recipe for the frosting, but made my own with apple juice, powdered sugar and caramel sauce (also something that's been lingering in the refrigerator). We'll still call them Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls, because there's plenty of brown sugar and caramel flavor, and that title flows better than just plain Apple Cinnamon Rolls. Delicious!