Thursday, March 31, 2011

Oprah Winfrey

So I know a lot of my friends and family know this, but for all of you who don't know me personally I wanted to let you know that I have a personal blog as well.  It tells you all about me.  It's called "The Strasburg Family".  

The latest and greatest news is that I will be going back on the Oprah show for the 3rd time since I was 19.  This is the last and final time I will be on and the show is "Oprah's Most Memorable Guests" spanning her entire time on air.  It will be filmed on April 6th, and then I will make sure to let you know the date it will be on TV.  If you want to check out my blog click here.  So I just wanted to let all of you know because I probably won't have to many new recipes up in the next week just because I'm getting ready to fly to Chicago and getting ready for the show.  

If you are interested in what my show was about you can visit the Oprah website by clicking here.  That will tell you the whole story.  Anyway I hope you all have a great week, and I'll have some amazing and delicious recipes for you when I get home!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Bruschetta-5 Different Way

Here is the 1st recipe of a 5 series with Bruschetta.
So I love bruschetta.  I also love really really good olive oil.  I have come across 1 of my favorite olive oil companies and a recipe that will knock yours socks off if you like bruschetta.  I always like to try a little twist to the original fresca one, so here is what I came up with last night.
 Prosciutto, Burrata Cheese, and a slice of fig, on top of a really crusty bagetta, drizzled with rich organic extra virgin olive oil from Olio and Olive, bake that under your broiler and then layer the ingredients on top!!  You will love it!  I will post many more Bruschetta recipes to come!  

I would highly recommend checking out Olio and Olive though!  You can order their sampler and try out all of their amazing olive oils, if that is your thing.  It definitely is mine.  I love to go and just buy a loaf of ciabatta bread and warm it up and dip in EVOO and cracked pepper.  Delish!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Homemade Wheat Thins

 I follow a bunch of blogs and a lot of food blogs, so needless to say I find a lot of amazing recipes.  This one sadly I have to say is not my own, but it was so fantastic that I had to steal it from Tracey's Culinary Adventures....So thank you Tracey for the amazing recipe!

I love Wheat Thins, and how great that you could make them all by yourself and know exactly what is in them and make them delicious?!

Homemade Wheat Thins
1 1/4 cups (5 oz) whole wheat flour (I used white whole wheat)
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus extra for topping
1/4 teaspoon paprika
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 400 F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Add the flour, sugar, salt and paprika to a medium bowl and whisk to combine.  Cut the butter into small pieces and add it to the bowl.  Then, using a pastry blender, mix the butter into the dry ingredients thoroughly.  Combine the water and vanilla in a small measuring cup.  Add to the butter/flour mixture and mix until a smooth dough forms.  (My dough was still pretty dry so I added slightly more water before it came together.)

Divide the dough into 4 pieces.  Work with one piece at a time, keeping the others covered with a towel so they don't dry out.  Lightly flour your work surface and rolling pin and roll the dough into a large rectangle.  Lift the dough and turn it as you roll to ensure it's not sticking.  You want to roll the dough as thin as possible, try to make sure it's 1/16-inch thick at most.  If you want all of your crackers to be perfect, trim the edges of the dough so you have a rectangle with even sides.  Use a pizza cutter to cut the rectangle into squares about 1 to 1 1/2 inches wide. 

Transfer the dough squares to the prepared baking sheets.  You don't need to leave much space in between the crackers - they don't spread at all in the oven.  Sprinkle the squares lightly with salt.  Repeat the rolling and cutting process with the remaining 3 pieces of dough.  Save all of your scraps under the towel; reroll them all at once to create a final batch of crackers.  (I covered the baking sheets with towels while I rolled the rest of the dough so the cut crackers wouldn't dry out.)

Bake the crackers, one sheet at a time, until crisp and browned, about 5-10 minutes.  Check the crackers at 5 minutes, and if some of the thinner ones are browning too quickly, remove them to a plate and return the remaining crackers to the oven to finish baking.  The crackers can burn quickly so you want to keep a close eye on them.  Once brown and crisp, transfer to a plate to cool.  Store the crackers in an airtight container.

Monday, March 21, 2011


Tacos are one of my favorite meals.  I have come up with my own taco recipe over the years that I love and luckily my family loves as well. So, I hope your family enjoys it as well.

1 1/2 lbs. Ground Beef
1 can refried beans
1/2 C. salsa
1 tomato diced
Lettuce chopped
grated sharp cheddar cheese
Mild Green Sauce

Brown the beef in a pan and drain the grease.  Add the salsa and refried beans until warm.  There's your meat.

Warm up your tortillas either in a pan or microwave.  And layer however you want, but this is how I do it.

tortilla, meat, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, mild green sauce.  You can always add sour cream if you want!  Enjoy!

Pantry Perfect Stew

1 lb. Hamburger
3-14oz Cans Diced Tomatoes
1 can Chicken Broth
1 Can Beef Broth
2 Cans of Corn
2 Cans of Peas
2 Cans Carrots
1/2 Onion diced
S & P
3 Potatoes washed and dice (I leave the skins on)
Brown hamburger and drain. In a large pot mix everything together and let warm and simmer until it thickens up.  Serve with a thick piece of bread.

Good Morning!....Coffee Cake

Batter Ingredients:
1 1/2 Cups Flour plus 1/2 Tbls extra
1 Tbls. Baking Powder
3/4 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Softened Butter
1/2 Cup Milk
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 Egg

Topping Ingredients:
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
2 Tbls. Flour
2 Tbls. melted Butter
1 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon

Mix all the batter ingredients together until well combined.  The mix the topping mixture in a mixing bowl. 

Grease a 9x13 baking dish or place in parchment paper and layer the cake in a 9x13 baking dish 1/2 batter, 1/2 mixture, 1/2 batter, 1/2 mixture.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30 min.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Spur of the Moment Spaghetti Sauce

I was at my sister's house tonight and she just had a baby.  I had set it up so that dinners would be coming to them for a week, so when I got there I was expecting them to have a meal.  To my surprise there was no food there at 5pm.  So I asked what was going on and they let me know that they had received a text message a few minutes prior and that the person who was supposed to be making their dinner was sick and didn't want to chance them getting sick, so they would not be getting dinner.  Well I could not have that happen to my sweet family that I love, so I asked them kindly if I could raid their pantry and refrigerator and make a meal.  This is what I came up with, and by the way, it was a HUGE hit!

1 12oz can Tomato Sauce
1 12 oz. can Diced Tomatoes with Chili's
6oz. Tomato Paste
2 tsp. minced garlic
3/4 onion chopped
1 lb. ground beef
1/3 C. cream cheese
2 tsp. basil
2 tsp. Oregano
1 tsp. tyme
about 4 flakes of crushed red pepper
4 tbls. butter
1 box of whole wheat spaghetti

In a deep pan brown the ground beef, drain and set aside.  In a saute pan melt your butter and add your onion and garlic.  Cook until translucent.  Throw the onion mixture into the deep pan with your beef.  Then add all your ingredients except the spaghetti over medium heat.  Let everything heat up and simmer so the spices combine and it becomes tastey  (About 20-25 min).

When the sauce has about 10 more minutes to simmer bring 4-6 quarts of water to boil and salt heavily.  Once the water is at a rolling boil drop your pasta and cook according to package instructions.  Save about 1/4 cup pasta water.

When pasta is done you can either mix the sauce with the pasta water and pasta, or just drain your pasta and place the sauce on top.  Top with a little grated cheese and voila!  It was easy and delicious!  It was also very creamy because of the cream cheese.  I'm sorry I don't have a picture, but I promise there wasn't any left! 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Italian Meatballs

I really enjoying coming up with new recipes for hamburgers, meatballs, meatloaf, anything to do with ground beef really.  It's such a versatile ingredient and you can do so much with it.  So this is my meatball recipe that I came up with on Halloween of last year.  I was throwing a party for my Mother-in-law's Birthday and I needed some meatballs to go with my spaghetti.  There are 8 kids in this family, 6 grandkids, and Mom and Dad, so I had a HUGE family to feed.  My point is, this recipe will give you enough meatballs for a small army.  :)  I even had some left over after everyone had stuffed themselves full!

1 1/2 lb. Ground Beef
1 1/2 lb. Ground Mild Sausage
3/4 C. Parmesan
2 Eggs
3/4 C. Bread Crumbs (make sure they are really small)
4 Garlic Cloves Grated or Minced
1 Red Onion Finely Diced
4 Tbls. Butter
1/4 C. Fresh Chopped Parsley
1 tsp. Dried Basil
2 Tbls. Worchestershire Sauce
Salt and Pepper

In a saute pan melt the butter and get it to ripple so you know it is hot.  Dump in the onion and grate in the garlic.  Cook that down until the onions are translucent.  Remove from heat and let cool. 

In a mixing bowl combine all the ingredients and mix with hands.  Add the cooled onion and garlic and make sure to use a rubber spatula to get all the drippings into your meat.  (I also like to save about 1/4 of the onion and 2 garlic cloves to grate into the raw meat because those juices that come off the raw onion and garlic are to die for!  But this is totally an optional step.)

Take little palm sized pieces of the mixed meat and form into a  2 inch ball.  In the same saute pan you used to cook the onion you are going to brown every side of the meatball.  You just want a good crust on the outside of each ball.  Once the meatballs are completely browned you're going to line them up in a 9x13 baking dish.

Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil.  You want the steam to cook the meat thoroughly and keep it moist.  Since you already have a good crust on it you just want to focus on keeping them tender. 

Place baking dish or dishes in a 375 degree oven and bake for about 30-45 min.  You want the center to be 170 degrees, so just watch it.  Once the meatball is no longer pink in the middle, take off the aluminum foil and turn the broiler on high.  Let it just get a little bit darker under the broiler (about 3-5min).

Once they are no longer pink you can serve.  

Now, if you are serving with spaghetti what I like to do is take them out of the oven a little before they are all the way cooked and add them to my marinara sauce and let them really cook through in the sauce.  It makes them moist and delicious and that tomato flavor really gets all the way through the entire meatball.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Deliciously Easy Hollandaise Sauce

Well I have finally figured out Hollandaise sauce and how to make it easy and perfectly delicious! If you love eggs benedict, but have never been able to make your own sauce this recipe is for you! The packets that you buy from the store don't even compare, and to make it from scratch this way is even cheaper! I priced it all out.
A package is $1.50 for 2 servings and this recipe costs $.63 for 2 servings (1 serving is 1 whole english muffin piled with all ingredients.)
2 egg yolks
4 tablespoons cream
2 large tablespoons butter
1/2 lemon, juiced
Pinch salt
Pinch sugar
Chicken broth, optional (I just add it 1 tsp. at a time to get desired thickness.)
1 tablespoon white vinegar

Combine all ingredients in the top of a double boiler, over boiling water. Stir until thick, approximately 3 minutes; set aside until ready to use. Do not reheat or cover the pot. Thin, if needed with a little chicken broth. Stir in the vinegar. (I make mine as soon as the egg is done and everything is still warm, because it ruins the sauce if you reheat it.)

Eggs Benedict Twist:
I do my eggs benedict a different kind of way, but this sauce is perfect for any. I use 1/2 of an english muffin warmed, then a fried green tomato, smoked salmon, a tomato, and top with a poached egg. Drizzle with Hollandaise and sprinkle fresh chopped chives on top. Delish!! 

Roasted Garlic and Tomato Pasta

2 lbs. Roma Tomatoes diced
1 T. Italian Seasoning
¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil plus 2 T.
2 Garlic Cloves minced
½ t. Salt
¼ t. Pepper
½ t. Crushed Red Pepper
1lb. Favorite Pasta
¾ Cup Parmesan Cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

On a cookie sheet place the tomatoes, skin side down, on the cookie sheet.  Mix all ingredients; minus the pasta, in a mixing bowl.  Pour the mixture over the tomatoes, and bake for 45 minutes or until the tomatoes are starting to turn brown.

While the tomatoes are cooking boil your pasta per box instructions.

When the tomatoes are finished cooking mash ½ of them with the pasta, and add 2 T. olive oil, and parmesan cheese in a bowl.  Mix thoroughly until the cheese is melted.  Toss the remaining tomatoes in the bowl.  Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese on top, and garlic bread. 

Broccoli Chicken Pasta

Broccoli and Chicken Pasta

2 Cups cooked Rotini Pasta
1 package Frozen Broccoli
6oz. Grilled Chicken Breasts cut into Strips
3 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
¼ Cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
Tomatoes cut into wedges

Boil water and cook pasta according to box instructions.

Cook the broccoli in the microwave for 5 minutes until thoroughly heated. 

In a big pasta bowl toss the cooked pasta, broccoli, chicken strips, parmesan cheese, and olive oil.

Serve with tomato wedges and a little grated cheese on top.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Chicken Fettucine Alfredo

I had completely forgot about this recipe until today.  My sweet brother in law came over with his 9 months and 1 week pregnant wife, and said, "Jill could you make me your Fettucine when Laurz get's out of the hospital?  I love it and it's the best ever."  So I guess that means it's a winner and I better post it on my blog.  

I love this recipe because it is so easy and so incredible rich and delicious!

1/4 C. Butter
1 C. Heavy Cream
1 Garlic Clove Grated
1 1/2 C. Freshly Grated Parmesan (most important because it needs to be fresh!)
1/8 C. Fresh Parsley chopped

3 Chicken Breasts
1 Box Fettucine

For the Sauce:
Melt the butter in a sauce pan.  Over low heat at the cream and let simmer for 5 minutes.  Add the cheese, and garlic.  Stir until melted.  Remove from hear and stir in parsley.

For the Chicken:
In a saute pan grill the chicken breasts on each side for 3-5 minutes.  Get a good char on the outside.  Cook until it's not longer pink in the middle and set aside.  When the pasta is cooked cut into strips or chunks.

Before you make the sauce start the water boiling for the pasta.  Cook the pasta according to the box instructions.  Reserve about 1/4 C. up pasta water.

To assemble Pasta:
Toss the with the sauce and place in a giant pasta bowl.  On the top place the chicken and sprinkle with a little more freshly grated parmesan.  Sprinkle with a little more parsley and serve warm.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

All Organic-No Bake Cookies

I just made these tonight and they are super fast and delicious!! Plus it has the flax seed that my peanut butter rolls do, so it makes them that much healthier. They also have carob which is a substitute for cocoa if you were wondering.

No Bake Chocolate Cookies

6 Tbs. Soy Milk
2/3 C. Honey
2 Heaping Tbs. Carob Powder (You can find in any natural food section of grocery store)
3 tsp. Vanilla
2/3 C. Natural Peanut Butter
1/4 C. Ground Flax Seed
2 C. Rolled Oats

Put first 5 ingredients in a sauce pan and melt. Add last 3 ingredients. Mix together and let cool for a minute. Drop into balls on wax paper. Let them harden and enjoy!!