Sunday, February 27, 2011

Steak Sunday

by Pioneer Woman
4-6 of your favorite steaks
2 tbsps. Lawry's seasoned salt
3 tbsps. Lemon pepper seasoning

Just exactly what I had in my cupboards.  I've been using Lawry's seasoned salt for many, many years.  I bought the Lemon Pepper seasoning at Trader Joe's on a trip to Richmond a while back, it's so cool it comes with it's own built in grinder.

This is what they look like when combined together.

Grab your favorite steaks, pat dry with a paper towel.

Take the seasoning mixture and sprinkle steaks, both sides.

Set aside as you get the grill good and hot.

Here they are sitting next to the grill, getting ready to give off some wonderful, savory flavors and smells.

Make sure grill is good and hot.  Set steaks on grill and do not touch, grill for about 7-10 minutes each side.

Chillin' and grillin'

Succulent, savory, steaks you can eat all by themselves.  These babies were SOOO tender.  We didn't eat them by themselves though, we had them with a baked potato and buttered corn.

What a way to end the weekend :)

Pork Chops and Mushrooms in Cream Sauce

by WS Slowcook Cookbook

4 bone in pork chops, 3/4" each
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tbsps.  unsalted butter
2 leeks, white and pale green parts only, thinly sliced
1 lb. assorted fresh mushrooms, brushed clean, stems removed and caps sliced
1/4 cup Madeira
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsps. chopped fresh tarragon
1/2 cup heavy (double) cream
1/4 cup chicken broth

Season the pork chops generously with salt and pepper.  In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter.  Add the pork chops and cook until browned on both sides, 5-6 minutes.  remove from the pan and set aside.

Return the pan to medium-high heat and melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter.  Add the leeks, reduce the heat to medium, and saute until soft and golden, 3-4 minutes.  Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms are softened and beginning to release their liquid, about 4 minutes.  Stir in the Madeira, Worcestershire sauce, and 1 tablespoon of the tarragon.  Cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes.  Stir in the cream and broth.

Return the pork chops and any accumulated juices to the pan.  Spoon the mushroom mixture over the pork chops, cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook until the pork chops are tender, about 10 minutes.

Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon tarragon and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve the pork chops at once, topped with the mushroom and sauce along with white rice.

Pork chops are one of my favorite meats, I can eat them any time.  Elise picked this recipe from her Williams Sonoma cookbook and mmmmmm, we're so glad she did.  What makes this different than any other fried pork chop recipe is that it has Tarragon in it.  I'm not too familiar with and have never cooked with it but it gives this dish a distinct but delicious flavor.  What a satisfying meal and tasty meal, hit the spot!!  ~isavortheweekend

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Fried Rice served with General Tso Chicken

FRIED RICE by Rachael Ray

  • 2 3/4 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups white rice
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable or wok oil, 3 turns of the pan
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 inches fresh ginger, minced or grated
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots, available in pouches in produce section, a couple of handfuls
  • 1 small red bell pepper, diced
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced on an angle
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/3 cup Tamari, dark aged soy sauce


Bring water to a boil. Add rice, reduce heat, cover and cook over medium low heat until tender, 15 to 18 minutes. Spread rice out on a cookie sheet to quick cool (oooops, I skipped this part).

Heat a wok, wok shaped skillet or large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add oil to the pan. 
Add egg to hot oil and break into small bits as it scrambles. When eggs are scrambled, add garlic and ginger to the pan.
Add carrots, pepper, scallions to the pan and quick stir-fry veggies 2 minutes. 
Add rice to the pan and combine with veggies. Fry rice with veggies 2 or 3 minutes.
Add peas and soy sauce to the rice and stir fry 1 minute more.


Heat the chicken pieces according to directions on package.
Use your favorite stir-fry sauce.  I bought this one at Target.  Heat in the microwave for a few minutes, just until its heated thoroughly.
Pour heated sauce over chicken pieces
Serve with fried rice.
This was a very quick and simple recipe to make especially since the chicken was already cooked and just needed to be heated.  I didn't have the peas nor the Tamari dark soy sauce, so what does one do in this situation?  Either improvise OR do without, I chose the latter as far as the peas go,  plus I'm not crazy about peas in my fried rice anyways.   I did have the regular soy sauce and after everything was said and done, it was all VERY good.  I really enjoyed this dish as I'm nuts over Asian food :) ~isavortheweekend

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

Sugar Cookies for Valentine's Day
(Sugar Cookie recipe)

I baked these cookies a few days ago.  It's good to start a couple of days ahead so that they have time to "age"....dry good and hard.

Royal icing.  This icing is more like a glaze.  It's very difficult to spread, that's why the cookie is dipped into it.  I use this icing more for painting a design on the cookie as oppose to using Sprinkles to decorate it.   I followed this recipe to the "t" and found the icing to be WAY too tough to stir.  I added a little more milk, a wee little more corn syrup one teaspoon at a time until it was pliable.  If anything, add more milk than corn syrup other wise it won't harden as fast and you'll be waiting days for the icing to dry enough to decorate.
I then put my icing in a 9" pie plate just so that it would be easier to dip the cookie in and out.  Place cookie face down.

Very carefully pull the cookie off, one side first and then the other.  Let the excess drip off.  As soon as you turn it right side up, grab an offset spatula, spread the icing but don't spend too much time on it as the icing should smooth itself out.

Set the cookies on a drying rack to dry over night.  Since it's winter, it's very cold, so I was able to take my cookies drying on the rack out to my garage and leave them there to dry and harden in time for me to decorate them the following day.  Cool dry air is the best.

Colored gel for icing.  Green, black and red.  I don't know the names of each brush, I just used a small flat tip brush for thick lines, a small long haired tip brush for thin lines and a short narrow tip brush for writing.  I also have a container of water for each color to rinse the brush when needed.  Have plenty of paper towels to blot.

Shimmery pink pearl dust for the cookie edges.  I really like this stuff.  It's so silky and shimmery.  I feel like Tinkerbell with my pixie dust.  You can find all these food products at Michaels in the Wilton Cake section.

When the icing is good and dry, it's time to decorate.  Slightly wet the flat tip brush, dip it into a little bit of the pink pearl dust and paint the edges of each cookie heart

With the long narrow tip brush, dip it in a little bit of green gel and a little bit of water.  Paint squiggly lines in shape of the heart.  Also paint little green leaves..yeah, I know they look like hearts but that's okay.  It's a Valentine cookie, whatchu 'spect?

With the same long narrow tip brush, rinse it real good first and blot.  Dip in the red gel and water and paint little hearts to your heart's desire ;)  To get the lighter and darker effects, just water down the gel a bit.

I got the idea to paint these cookies this way from a French food blogger that I follow.  Her blog's name is La Table De Nana.  She's quickly becoming a favorite of mine like Pioneer Woman.

This is what I'll use to decorate these next cookies.

 My second frosting is more of creamy frosting, easy to spread.  Sprinkles work well with this frosting.

Sprinkles.  My grownup daughter loves Sprinkles to this day.

Sprinkle decorative red sugar for an added effect

Set on drying rack in a cool place.

There's plenty of love to go around.  

Love never fails
1 Corinthians 13:8  

The recipes for these cookies/icings are the same ones I used on my football helmet cookies I made for Super Bowl XLV.
Royal Icing or Glaze
Antonia's74 Royal Icing or Creamy Frosting

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Potato Cheese filled Pierogies - Super Bowl XLV cont'd

5 large red potatoes, boil until soft.
1 large onion, diced and sauteed in butter
4-8 oz. grated cheddar cheese
Salt & pepper to taste

While the potatoes are boiling, dice and saute the onion.
After the potatoes were soft, I drained them poured them into a food processor along with the sauteed onions.  Blend well.  You can also use a potato masher but I couldn't find mind.

Once you're done blending them in the food processor transport them back to the same pan.  Sprinkle in the cheddar cheese and parsley and blend well.  Set aside and let cool.  Once it's cooled down, put around a tbsp. (depending on how big the Pierogi circle is) and roll into a ball.  Set the balls aside, and cover until ready to use.

2 cups flour, plus extra for kneading and rolling dough
1/2 tsp. salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup sour cream, plus extra to serve with the pierogi
1/4 cup butter, softened and cut into small pieces
butter and onions for sauteing
Enough Pierogi dough balls (filling)

Mix the flour and salt.  Beat the egg, then add all at once to the flour mixture.  Add the 1/2 cup sour cream and the softened butter and work until the dough loses most of its stickiness (about 5-7 minutes).  You can use a food processor with a dough hook for this, but be careful not to over beat.  Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes or overnight (it can be refrigerated up to 2 days).  Yields 12-15 Pierogies, depending on size.  ( I didn't take any pictures of this process because it's just the same as any other dough I've mixed in my mixer but then when it came to roll it out, I forgot since my hands were full of flour and dough).  So, here's the next step....with pictues).
Roll the Pierogi dough on a floured board or countertop until 1/8" thick.  Cut circles of dough (2" for small Pierogies and 2-3 1/2" for large Pierogies - I opted for small ones).  I used a thick, fluted edged coffee cup (I don't own a round cookie cutter yet).

Place a small ball of about a tbsp. of the potato filling (this potato ball was too large for this dough round so I had to pull some off) on each dough round and fold the dough over, forming a semi-circle.

Press the edges together with the tines of a fork. Be careful not to poke holes in the dough like I did :\

Use up all the dough and set all the Pierogies aside until it's time to boil them.

Boil the Pierogies a few at a time in a large pot of water.  You know they are done when they float to the top (about 8-10 minutes).  Rinse in cool water (oooops I skipped this part) and let dry.  I let mine dry on some paper towels and they didn't stick!

Saute chopped onions in butter in a large pan until onions are soft.  Then add Pierogies and pan fry until lightly crispy.  Serve with a side of sour cream (see top picture) for a true Pittsburgh Pierogi meal.

If you're like me, I love dumplings, especially the ones you find in Chinese buffet restaurants.  So I got excited about these "dumplings" even though the potato filling didn't thrill me too much.  These were fun to make, a little time consuming but I know once I get the hang of it, I'll be whipping these babys out like it's nobody's business.  As far as the taste, well, I'm not sure.  The potato filling ended up being wonderful and I could just eat it by itself.  I would love to someday go to Pittsburgh and taste an authentic Pierogi and maybe then I'll see what the hoopla is all about.  Although, I must add that my daughter-in-law did like them and thought they were good :)  ~isavortheweekend

Saturday, February 5, 2011


SuperBowl XLV Cookie recipe - click Here

1/2 Cabbage head, thinly sliced (about 6 cups)
1/2 cup sugar
1 to 2 tsps. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. celery seed
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
Freshly ground pepper

For the slaw:
Combine the cabbage, sugar, salt and celery seed.  Place in a colander set over a medium bowl.  Let stand at least an hour up to 4 hours.

The cabbage will be wilted (at least 4 cups).  Discard the draining liquid; rinse and dry the bowl, then transfer the wilted cabbage to the bowl.  Add the oil and vinegar and toss to coat.  Season with salt to taste.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

For the french fries:
The recipe asked to make homemade French Fries.......are you kidding me?  I just went to Five Guys and bought two orders of french fries.  Might be more expensive but oh so worth the time saver.  Set the fries aside.
For the meat and cheese:
3 tbsps. butter
2 lbs. spicy, thinly sliced capicola ham
1 pkg. Provolone cheese, sliced
4 vine ripened tomatoes (I accidentally left these out! oooops!)
16 large slices of soft Italian bread (18 oz.)

Melt butter in heavy skillet over medium heat.  Have ready a large baking sheet.  Separate the ham slices and add to the skillet, turning them as needed until the slices are warmed through.  Transfer the slices to the baking sheet.  Top each with a slice of provolone cheese and a couple of french fries.

Place in oven just until the cheese has melted.

In the meantime, split open the bread slices, place them face down on the same skillet and toast over medium heat.

Remove ham and cheese from oven.  Fill bread with a ham, cheese and fr. fries.  Cut sandwich in half, serve with slaw and tomatoes (which I had forgotten about).
and this folks, is my first try at Primanti Bros. Sandwiches (top right).  In the next few days, I will post the others.

This recipe was shared at:

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage
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