Archive for December, 2010

posted by Nina on Dec 7

In an attempt to get my children to eat some greens other than salad…

3/4 pound ready-to-cook haricots verts
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 cup shaved parmesan cheese
Freshly ground black pepper

Place the haricots verts in a large microwave-safe bowl. Cover and microwave on high for 5 to 7 minutes. Remove and drain, if necessary.

In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream and lemon juice. Pour over the haricots verts and toss to coat.

Serve immediately with shaved parmesan and freshly ground pepper.

Did I change anything? I left out the pepper because I forgot it and I didn’t have any parmesan that I could shave, I just had the regular kind in a can. It worked just fine. Also, I didn’t microwave the green beans, I cooked them on the stove.

What did the family think? No one liked this but me, which quite frankly, I am surprised by. Parmesan makes everything taste better…right? Both hubby and our oldest said they would have rather had their green beans plain. Crazy boys.

from Food Network

posted by Nina on Dec 6

This sounded like the perfect cold weather meal, so I thought I would give it a try. Our youngest had also just read the Russian folk tale “The Turnip” in class, so I thought it was fitting since he had never actually seen a turnip before.

2 Granny Smith apples, diced (with skin)
3 cloves garlic, smashed
4 sprigs thyme
8 large sprigs parsley
1 tablespoon pickling spice
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 4-to-5-pound smoked picnic ham (pork shoulder)
1 pound medium turnips, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 cups dry white wine
1 pound frozen chopped winter greens (such as turnip greens, kale or spinach), thawed

Put the apples, garlic, thyme, parsley, pickling spice and brown sugar in a 5-to-6-quart slow cooker. Add the ham and surround it with the turnips. Pour in the wine and 2 cups water. Cover and cook on low, 7 hours.

Remove the ham from the slow cooker. Add the greens to the cooker and stir to combine with the liquid. Return the ham to the cooker, cover and cook on high 30 minutes.

Slice the ham and serve with the turnips, apples and greens.

What did the family think? This was not as good as I had hoped, but I didn’t buy the right kind of meat. Ugh! (This isn’t the first time I’ve messed up a pork dish by buying the wrong cut of meat.) I don’t think I have EVER cooked a turnip in my life, but I found that the ones that I had cut up the smallest were cooked just right, but the larger chunks weren’t as tasty. So, make sure you cute them up into fairly small chunks. Hubby liked it, but wasn’t too fond of the turnips. The kids actually ate the pork, but steered clear of the turnips.

from Food Network

posted by Nina on Dec 5

I FINALLY got a chance to look through my November issue of Food Network magazine last night. I am always looking for a new cornbread recipe, so I thought I would give this one a try.

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk (shake before measuring)
2 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and position a rack in the middle. Butter an 8-inch-square baking pan.

Melt the butter in the microwave in a microwave-safe dish in three 15-second intervals on high or in a small pan on the stove. Set it aside to cool.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and the eggs. Add the melted butter. Add the flour-cornmeal mixture and stir just until combined. Pour the batter into the pan. Bake until the cornbread just begins to brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 18 to 23 minutes. Cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

We had this with chili and some grapes.

What did the family think? Everyone liked it and decided it was much better than the last time I made homemade cornbread. I grew up eating Jiffy cornbread, which is fine and certainly inexpensive, but cornbread is so easy I really would prefer to make my own. Also, everyone decided this cornbread is really moist, so if you like your cornbread dry and crumbly, this is NOT the cornbread for you.

posted by Nina on Dec 4

I hate it when I get ready to cook something and I get the recipe out and realize I was supposed to have been marinating it for the last three hours, but dinner needs to be on the table in an hour. That happened to me this evening, so I tweaked this recipe a little and it still came out great.

1/3 cup apple juice
1/3 cup maple syrup
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 (8 ounce) salmon fillets

Spray cooking pan with cooking spray.

Put salmon in pan and then add the rest of the ingredients.

Bring to a boil. Cover pan with lid and reduce heat to medium. Cook for about ten minutes or until fish is cooked through.

What did the family think? Hubby and I liked it. It was very flavorful and tender.


posted by Nina on Dec 4

These are pretty easy and super yummy…

1/8 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large potatoes, peeled and cubed

Preheat oven to 475 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine oil, garlic, basil, marjoram, dill weed, thyme, oregano, parsley, red pepper flakes, and salt. Stir in potatoes until evenly coated. Place potatoes in a single layer on a roasting pan or baking sheet.

Roast for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, turning occasionally to brown on all sides.

Did I change anything? I left out the dill…not a huge dill fan.

What did the family think? Hubby and I loved them. Our oldest is sick and didn’t eat dinner, but he would have really liked them and our youngest acted like he was going to die if he had to eat them.


posted by Nina on Dec 2

The only thing tricky about this recipe is that you have to plan ahead a little bit. If you plan on eating it for breakfast, do the prep work at night. If you are going to have breakfast for dinner, do the prep work in the morning.

Butter or Cooking Spray
1 loaf Crusty Sourdough Or French Bread
8 whole Eggs
2 cups Half and Half
¾ cups Sugar
2 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract

Grease 9 x 13-inch baking pan with butter. Tear bread into chunks (or cut into cubes) and evenly distribute in the pan.

Mix together eggs, milk, cream, sugar, and vanilla. Pour evenly over bread. Cover tightly and store in the fridge several hours or overnight.

When you’re ready to bake the casserole, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 45 minutes for a softer, more bread pudding texture. Bake 1 hour or more for a firmer, less liquid texture.

Scoop out individual portions. Top with butter and drizzle with maple syrup.

We had this with scrambled eggs and sausages for dinner.

What did the family think? They thought it was super duper yummy because it is and it makes your house smell fantastic.


posted by Nina on Dec 1

Since MommaCook’s was put on a temporary hiatus, I got this wonderful recipe suggestion from one of my dearest friends, Christie. She made this recipe up all by herself. Easy Crockpot recipes are great when your kitchen is in total disrepair. :)

1 lb. chicken breasts (shred when done cooking)
1 can chicken broth
1 jar salsa verde
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 pinches red pepper flakes
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
2 cups frozen corn
1 small package frozen spinach
Crushed tortilla chips
Shredded cheddar cheese

Put chicken, chicken broth, salsa verde, black beans, red pepper flakes, cumin and chili powder in CrockPot.

Cook on high for three hours. Add spinach and corn and cook for an additional hour.

Serve in bowls topped with crushed tortilla chips and cheddar cheese.

Did I change anything? I didn’t use the corn…hubby isn’t a big fan of corn in Mexican food. Also, due to time constraints, I added the spinach at the beginning of the cooking which worked out fine, but it definitely looked like overcooked spinach. I also defrosted the spinach before I put it in the Crockpot which might have been part of the problem.

What did the family think? The boys ate it, but were a bit turned off by the color of my overcooked spinach. Hubby and I liked it though.

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