Sunday, December 23, 2012

Beef Stroganoff

I'm visiting my sister this weekend for Christmas and last night she asked me if I would make my beef stroganoff recipe.  I realized then that I don't think I have ever shared this recipe with all of you.  As I was making my grocery list for what I needed to buy my husband said he was so excited for my stroganoff and that I needed to make it more.  Now I know he's become accustomed to my cooking, but it must be somewhat good for him to say that right??  :)  Anyway here is a recipe for you all and this is what we're having for dinner tonight at our house.
 Classic Beef Stroganoff
1 1/2 lbs. Flank Steak
1 1/2 cups FULL FAT Sour Cream
8 oz. Fresh Mushrooms, sliced
2 Onions thinly sliced or diced (whatever you prefer)
2 Garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 C. Beef Broth
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Worcestershire
1/4 C. Flour
3 C. COOKED Egg Noodles
1 tsp. dried Parsley
1/4 tsp. Pepper
1 tsp. dried Basil

In a saute pan sear the steak on each side for apx. 2-3 minutes (depending on thickness).  You want it medium rare on the inside. (or cook to your liking).  After it is cooked to where you like, let rest on a cutting board for 8-10 minutes.  Slice across the grain in about 1/2 inch thick slices (you want it to be thin enough to basically melt in your mouth.)

In the saute pan add 3 Tbs. butter and cook onion, garlic, and mushrooms, over medium heat until tender.

Add the beef, salt, and broth and cook for about 1-2 minutes.  Then add the remaining ingredients all but noodles and stir until well mixed, let simmer for about 3 minutes.  Turn off heat and stir in noodles.  Let sit and thicken for about 5 minutes and then serve.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Gingerbread Men Cookies

Every Christmas Eve Aunt Jilly brings 2 cookies to the party to frost with the niece's and nephews.  I bring cut out sugar cookies, and gingerbread men cookies.  Then I bring all different types of frosting, in all different colors, and an array of sprinkles.  We have so much fun decorating the cookies for Santa, and then leaving them out with a glass of milk for him to eat when he comes.  It's so fun to see each of the children big and small get into their decorating, and be so proud of what they have done.

My cut out sugar cookie recipe is one of my most popular recipes and you can find it on the side of the blog, but this is the gingerbread men recipe that I use, so you'll have that too in case your family wants to start this tradition if your home.  Happy Holidays!!
3 cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¾ cup (6 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces and softened slightly
¾ cup molasses
2 tablespoons milk

In a standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, stir together flour, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt and baking soda at low speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Stop mixer and add butter pieces; mix at medium-low speed until mixture is sandy and resembles fine meal, about 1½ minutes. Reduce speed to low and, with mixer running, gradually add molasses and milk; mix until dough is evenly moistened, about 20 seconds. Increase speed to medium and mix until thoroughly combined, about 10 seconds.
Scrape dough onto work surface; divide in half. Working with one portion of dough at a time, roll ¼-inch thick between two large sheets of parchment paper. Leaving dough sandwiched between parchment layers, stack on cookie sheet and freeze until firm, 15 to 20 minutes. (Alternatively, refrigerate dough 2 hours or overnight.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Remove one dough sheet from freezer; place on work surface. Peel off top parchment sheet and lay it back in place. Flip dough over; peel off and discard second parchment layer. Cut dough into gingerbread people or round cookies, transferring shapes to parchment-line cookie sheets, spacing them ¾-inch apart. Repeat with remaining dough until cookie sheets are full. Bake cookies until set in centers and dough barely retains imprint when touched very gently with fingertip, 8 to 11 minutes, rotating cookie sheet from front to back halfway through baking time. Do not overbake. Cook cookies on sheets 2 minutes, then remove with wide spatula to wire rack; cool to room temperature.

Repeat until all dough is gone.

Once cookies are cool, decorate with royal icing, if desired. or as I do it, just put icing into tip squeeze containers and decorate.  Enjoy!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Homemade Lofthouse Cookies

I had a lady tell me that her son's favorite cookies are Lofthouse cookies from the store, but he has a severe nut allergy so they're no longer able to buy the cookies from the store (they are made in a place that makes things with nuts.)  She was so thrilled when I instagramed a picture of my Lofthouse cookies last night and instantly emailed me and said, "I NEED YOUR RECIPE!!"  It's little things like that, that make coming up with recipes worth while.  I was so excited that I could make a little 9 year old boy happy.  I can't wait to hear all about his reaction when she surprises him this weekend with cookies!

For all of you that love lofthouse cookies, but would like to make your own here it is!!  The Homemade Lofthouse Sugar Cookie "Copycat" Recipe....

1 boxed White Cake mix
1 small Vanilla pudding package
3 Tbs. Sour Cream
1/3 C. Canola Oil
1 tsp. Vanilla
2/3 C. Flour

Your dough is going to be thick, so don't be surprised. 

Heat your oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  (YES, you have to use parchment paper or a baking mat for this recipe. It's MANDATORY!)

Roll dough into little balls and place on your baking sheet.  Then take a cup and smash the ball down until it's about 1/2 inch thick. 

Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, no longer; just so they have set up.  Remove from oven and let sit on the baking sheet for 1 min. and then transfer to cooling rack.  You want to make sure you don't cook longer than 10 min. because you don't want the bottom to brown or the top to brown.  The great thing about Lofthouse cookies is that they are soft and white and moist and fluffy, not crisp on the bottom.  The 10 min. will make sure the entire cookie is as soft as the original Lofthouse.

Once the cookie has cooled frost with whatever frosting recipe is your favorite.  If you are going for the Lofthouse frosting you are going to make a simple buttercream.  I like cream cheese frosting, but you choose whatever you like.  Enjoy!

5 Minute Fudge

I love fudge, and when I say that I mean ALL fudge.  I go through so many different fudge recipes around the Holidays it's not even funny.  This one is tried, and true.  It's delicious, and easy, and if you break it up into little chunks and put in those Chinese take out boxes you can give them as neighbor gifts, because let's be honest; who doesn't LOVE fudge?!
1 bag Milk Chocolate Chips
1 bag Butterscotch Chips
1 Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 C. Walnuts
1 tsp. Vanilla

In a heavy bottom pot, dump everything in and place on the stove over medium heat.  Stir constantly until completely melted.  Pour into a pie pan, or a 9x9 baking dish.  Put in your fridge to harden, and then cut into bricks and give as gifts, or eat the whole thing yourself like I do.  :)  Enjoy!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Coconut Macaroons

These are the most delicious and most easy cookie in the world!  If you make them, I promise you'll be hooked.   You should probably double the recipe just to be prepared.

1 14oz can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 14oz Bag sweetened Flaked Coconut
2 tsp. Vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix all ingredients together in a mixer.  Place pastry paper on a cookie sheet and spoon cookies onto the cookie sheet.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the cookies are slightly browned all over.  Cool and eat!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Lazy Sausage Dinner Bake

I was looking in my bare fridge today and not having any desire to go to the grocery store I decided I was going to make due.  In the freezer I had 4 sausage's that I thawed and decided to throw a bunch of veggies and herbs in with them and see how it turned out.  I was lucky because it turned out delicious!!  (Good thing because hubby doesn't like when my "experiments" don't turn out nummy.)  Now that's it's tested and passed, I'll give the recipe to you!  I always wanted to let all of you know that I am working on a cookbook right now!!  This recipe will definitely be in it! Enjoy!

2 tsp. Dried Parsley
2 tsp. Dried Basil
2 tsp. Dried Oregano
1 1/2 C. Chicken Broth
1 tsp. Seasoning Salt
1/4 tsp. Pepper
2 Onions, cubed
1 lb. Potatoes, peeled and diced
5 Large Carrots, peeled and cubed
5 Garlic Cloves, smashed
4 Sausage Links/Bratwursts Pork or Beef
3 Tbs. Olive Oil

In a saute pan, brown your sausages on every side.  Cut in 1/2 and put into a 9x13 baking dish. Dice your carrots, onions, and potatoes and throw those into the baking dish. Smash and peel your garlic and put those in.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a mixing bowl combine your broth, herbs and seasonings, and olive oil and whisk together. Pour over the vegetables and sausages.  Cover with Heavy Duty aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove and stir and then cover and place back in the oven for another 15 minutes or until the veggies are soft.  Remove and let rest while covered for 10 min. before eating. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

No-Bake Vanilla Custard

 If you need a quick dessert, this is one of my favorites! If you put it with some fresh fruit it makes the perfect after dinner treat!  It's fast, easy, and delicious.  I normally always have everything that I need already at my house, so it's one of those you can make anytime.

1/2 C. Heavy Cream
1 1/2 C. 2% Milk
2 Eggs, beaten
1 tsp. Vanilla
2 Tbs. Cornstarch
1/3 C. Sugar

Whisk eggs in a bowl until blended and set aside. 

In a saucepan over medium heat bring the milk, sugar, cream, and cornstarch to a steam, whisking constantly. Do not boil, just get it steaming. Take off heat and mix 1/3 C. of the milk mixture and whisk into the eggs to temper the eggs.  Then add the eggs into the milk mixture, and return to heat. Continue to whisk over medium heat until thick (about 3 more minutes) Remove from heat and add vanilla. 

Chill.  Serve with fruit or by itself.