Wednesday, April 17, 2013

April 14: Cheesy Shrimp on Grits

On Monday I made Cheesy Shrimp on Grits. It is from the "brunch and breakfast" section of the cookbook. I started at about 5:30 PM, so I didn't end up using the crockpot. Here are the ingredients:
In a pan, I put 2 cups of finely chopped bell peppers, 1/2 cup thinly sliced celery, 1/2 cup chopped green onions, 1/2 stick cubed butter, 1 1/4 tsp seafood seasoning, 2 bay leaves, and 1/4 tsp ground red pepper:
I let that cook, covered, while I started preparing the grits. Once the grits were on, I added a pound of peeled shrimp to the peppers. It's supposed to cook in the crockpot for 4 hours on low or two hours on high before you put the shrimp in. I cooked the grits and the shrimp (separately) for 5 minutes:
Then I added 8 oz of shredded sharp Cheddar and 1/4 cup of whipping cream, and I stirred it until the cheese melted:
I served the shrimp on the grits and garnished it with green onions.

I liked this recipe for the most part. It was a little too oniony. DH hated it on principle. He said you're supposed to mix the cheese in with the grits, and then mix in the shrimp. You're not supposed to cook the shrimp in vegetables first! He can't stand vegetables in his breakfast food. So, next time I make this, I'll do it his way.

April 13: Ginger Beef with Peppers and Mushrooms

I made this recipe Saturday night so that it would be ready when we came home on Sunday from church. I gathered up these ingredients:
I prepped them all, then I had DH drop them in the crockpot and set it to cook overnight because I went to bed before he did. He put in 1 1/2 lbs beef top round steak cut into cubes, 24 baby carrots, one chopped red and one chopped green bell pepper, one chopped onion, a pkg of halved mushrooms, 2 tbsp fresh grated ginger, a cup of beef broth, 1/2 cup hoisin sauce, and 1/4 cup quick tapioca. He set that to cook for 10 hours on low. It stayed on warm until we got home from church:
I cooked up some rice and served the beef and vegetables on top of the rice:

This recipe tasted pretty good. The meat and vegetables were good, but the peppers were overdone. I would probably just cook this for 8 hours next time.

April 12: Herbed Turkey Breast with Orange Sauce

I didn't make this recipe either. I think there were 2 recipes that I skipped, so I could catch up.

ETA: 5/1/14

I made this recipe for dinner tonight. It was an easy one. I started at about 9:30 AM gathering up these ingredients:

I chopped up the onion and put it in the bottom of the Crock Pot:

Then I minced 3 garlic cloves and mixed them with a tsp. of dried rosemary and 1/2 tsp. of pepper:

I cut the turkey breast 3/4 of the way through at 2 inch intervals, I rubbed the garlic mixture into the turkey and poured 1 1/2 cups of orange juice over it:

Then I cooked it on low for 7 or 8 hours:

I served it with some steamed asparagus:

This was probably the best tasting turkey I've ever had. It was so moist and the sauce was the perfect blend of spicy and sweet. It didn't taste like an old boot at all! I will have to remember this recipe next time I'm making turkey.

April 11: Greek-Style Chicken Stew

I didn't make this recipe this year. We kind of didn't have enough money to buy all our ingredients this week. Man, our tax return check can't come soon enough! I might try this one next year.

ETA: 4/30/14

I made this recipe for dinner tonight. I started it at about 9:00 this morning. I gathered up these ingredients:

In the Crock Pot, I put 2 c. sliced mushrooms, 2 c. cubed eggplant, 1 1/4 c. chicken broth, 3/4 c. chopped onion, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 1/2 tsp. flour, 1 tsp. oregano, and 1/2 tsp. each of basil and thyme. I cooked that on high for one hour.

Meanwhile I floured some chicken thighs (the recipe calls for breasts, but I had thighs on hand), and browned them in a hot, oiled skillet:

After an hour, I removed the veggies to a bowl with a slotted spoon, then put the chicken in the bottom of the Crock Pot:

Then I put the veggies back in the crock pot, added 3 tbsp. sherry, and 1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper:

I cooked it on low for 6 hours, then added the artichokes and cooked for 45 more minutes:

I stirred it up:

Meanwhile I cooked some wide egg noodles:

And I served the stew over the noodles:

This was one of the most delicious meals I've ever eaten! I knew it was going to be good because my house smelled heavenly all day. The vegetables were perfectly cooked, the chicken was tender, but not mushy, and the sauce was rich and flavorful. This is going to be one I come back to in the future!

April 10: Italian Braised Short Ribs in Red Wine

I made this recipe on Thursday. The baby was sick, and slept all day. He's so pitiful when he gets like that.

This one came from the "holiday entertaining" section. Here are the ingredients:

I seared the ribs on all sides and transferred to the crockpot:

Then I sauteed 2 sliced onions:

To them I added 2 pkgs of quartered cremini mushrooms and 2 minced cloves of garlic. Then I added 2 cups of red wine, 2 cups of beef broth, and 2 tsp Italian seasoning:

I simmered it for 3 minutes, then poured it all in the crockpot on top of the ribs:

It cooked for about 6 hours on high (or it could be 10-12 hours on low):

I cooked up some mashed potatoes and served the ribs with the sauce on top:

I liked this recipe. The ribs were really tender. I don't think the fam liked it much because of the mushrooms. Why do I have to have a family that doesn't like mushrooms? I'm still going to cook them, though, because the more they eat them, the more they'll like them. That's my theory and I'm sticking to it!

April 8: Tuscan Bean and Prosciutto Soup

To make this recipe, I gathered these ingredients:
I melted a couple tbsp of butter in a skillet and cooked 4 slices of prosciutto until crisp:
I cooled it on some paper towels, then crumbled into small pieces in the crockpot. To that I added 3 cups of water, 1 c dried navy beans, 1/2 c dried lima beans, a chopped onion, some cilantro, salt, cumin, black pepper, and paprika:
I cooked that on low for about 10 hours and then added 2 cans of diced tomatoes. I heated that through, then served it.
I'm not sure why, but all the liquid was gone out of the soup by the time it was done:
This soup had a good flavor. DH didn't like the tomatoes, but I did. The beans were slightly underdone, so I would suggest cooking this one overnight. If you like tomatoes and beans, you will love this soup.

April 9: Streusel Pound Cake

Here is another dessert. This one is from the "brunch and breakfast" section of the cookbook. Here are the ingredients:

I prepared the cake mix according to the package directions, then I stirred in 1/4 c of brown sugar, a tablespoon of flour, 1/4 c chopped walnuts,  and a tsp cinnamon.

I poured it into the greased crockpot and baked it on high for about 2 hours. The recipe said 1 1/2-1 3/4 hours. It also said to use a 4 1/2 quart crockpot, and I don't have one of those.

When I took it out to cool on a plate, it broke in half and some of the top came off:

I served it with powdered sugar:
It doesn't look very pretty. It tasted okay, except the outside was burnt. It really tasted like coffee cake, not like pound cake. I don't think this recipe was worth it. I'd rather have the streusel on top of the cake. I don't see the point in putting on the inside. I didn't really like the addition of the nuts in this one. Next time, I think I'll just cook the pound cake in the oven.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

April 7: Vegetarian Lasagna

In addition to the Turkey Paprikash from the previous post, I made Vegetarian Lasagna for our guests on Sunday. I think I woke up at about 5:45am to get this started. I gathered up the ingredients:
I sliced an eggplant and salted it. I let that stand to reduce some of the bitterness:
While that was standing, I cooked some whole wheat lasagna noodles:
After the eggplant was rinsed and dried, I drizzled it with olive oil, and browned it in a skillet:
Meanwhile, I combined a container of ricotta cheese, 6 oz. shredded Jack cheese, and 1/2 c. Parmesan:
When the eggplant was done, I removed it to a plate, then added some onion and mushrooms to the skillet. I cooked them until softened:
To the skillet I added a jar of pasta sauce and a tsp each of dried basil and oregano:
Then I started the layering in the crockpot. I spread 1/3 of the sauce in the bottom. I layered that with one third of the lasagna noodles, half of the eggplant, and half of the cheese mixture:
I repeated those layers, and for the last layer I used the remaining noodles, the zucchini, the remaining sauce, and topped with 1/2 cup of Parmesan:
I covered and set it to cook on low for 6 hours:
I served it alongside the Turkey Paprikash. The lasagna is in the back:
Our guests seemed to really like the food. They told me they enjoyed being Guinea pigs.
DH is on the right.
And we had a delicious dessert of strawberry shortcake.

The lasagna was very good! I would definitely make it again, but DH didn't even try it. He said he would never eat vegetarian lasagna on principle. He doesn't know what he's missing.