Friday, February 26, 2016

Corned Beef and Cabbage

March is just around the corner and for all you foodies that means green beer, Irish fries, Corned Beef and Cabbage to celebrate St. Patrick's day.  Corned Beef to me is a unique dish to make and serve.  I remember a dinner club that was scheduled just around St. Pat's Day where the hostess decided to cook a corned beef for the first time and was unsure when to say the meat was done.  I got a call saying " I have been cooking this for quite awhile and the meat is still red".  

For years we have been cooking our corned beef in the crock pot with a recipe that came from the cook book that was included with the pot.  It was simple and used an orange peel for some additional flavor.  My mom had given me a corned beef she had purchased but thought it was too big for he.  She told me when I made it save her some.  In looking for a new way to cook the beef, I found this recipe online that included the potatoes and onions right from the start and then added the cabbage and carrots at the end. 

 Hubby was coming home from an overnight business trip. He called on his way home and I told him our dinner plans.  He advised me that he would stop for the cabbage and was surprised to learn that I already taken care of it.  When I got home from work that night, he was home as well.  I checked on the meat and found a cutting board and paring knife close by.  Hubby was sure I hadn't included the potatoes to my recipe and after adding two small potatoes  he realized that I had already done so.  I told him that the recipe was right next to the crockpot  and he could of read it to see that I was well prepared. 

This recipe turned out great and Mom enjoyed her cooked corned beef.  I think I will be making this again soon.  

Corned Beef and Cabbage


1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 (4 lb.) corned beef brisket with seasoning packet, rinsed, trimmed
2 whole cloves
1 small onion
24 baby carrots
1 small white cabbage, cut into 8 wedges
Arrange potatoes and garlic on bottom of slow cooker. Place corned beef on top of vegetables and sprinkle with seasoning from packet. Push cloves into onion and add to cooker. Add enough water to just cover meat; cover and cook on low until tender, 6 hours and 30 minutes to 8 hours.
Transfer meat to cutting board and cover with foil to keep warm. Transfer potatoes to bowl and cover with foil to keep warm. Add carrots and cabbage to cooker, turn to high, cover and cook until just tender, about 30 minutes.
Slice beef across grain and serve with potatoes, carrots and cabbage.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Fettucine with Sausage Meatballs

I was looking for a quick recipe that our son would appreciate one night when he had a basketball game and could be quickly made when I got home from work.   So if you haven't figured it out yet, that would be anything that includes pasta.  This recipe seemed easy to make in  the time frame we had.  I never realized how easy it is to make sausage meatballs.  Just remove from casing, and roll into the meatball form.  What really made this dish is the simple sauce that when with it.  A very flavor full meal that was kid tested and approved and the fresh fettuccine  was a delicious change.  

My Pasta Lover!

Fettuccine with Sausage Meatballs 


1 (9-ounce) package refrigerated fettuccine
3 (4-ounce) links sweet Italian turkey sausage
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups sliced onions
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
2 cups lower-sodium marinara sauce 
1/2 ounce pecorino cheese, grated (about 2 tablespoons packed)
8 basil leaves, torn


 Cook the pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.

Remove casing from sausages. Shape sausages into 12 (1-inch) balls. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add meatballs to pan; cook 7 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove the meatballs from pan. Add onions, red pepper, and garlic to pan; sauté for 2 minutes. Return meatballs and add marinara sauce to pan, and bring to a simmer over medium heat, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 5 minutes or until meatballs are done. Add pasta to sauce mixture; toss well. Sprinkle with cheese and basil.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

A Classic Returns- Lemon Sour Cream Pound Cake

Sometimes you need to revisit a classic recipe. I had a craving for a moist cake that was both easy to make and would also take care of my need for something with a lemon twist. This recipe originally came from Cooking Light so I felt a little less guilty eating this.  I originally made this for our son's christening party 16 years ago.  It has been repeated a couple of times since then, but not in the recent past.  This cake is great on its own or with some sliced berries on top.  A very simple dessert when you need one.



Cooking spray
3 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter or stick margarine, softened
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons lemon extract
3 large eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons grated lemon rind (about 2 lemons)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, divided
1 (8-ounce) carton low-fat sour cream
1 cup powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a 10-inch tube pan with cooking spray, and dust with the breadcrumbs.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl; stir well with a whisk.

Beat the butter in a large bowl at medium speed of a mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add the granulated sugar and lemon extract, beating until well-blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add grated lemon rind and 2 tablespoons lemon juice; beat 30 seconds. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with sour cream, beating at low speed, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack. Combine 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and powdered sugar. Drizzle glaze over top of cake.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

A Great Weekend Dinner Idea

Turkey Breast Cutlets with Lemon Caper Sauce

The weekends are a great time to try out a new recipe that might seem a bit more involved for those busy week night dinners.  It is a dinner that you might sit down to with a glass of wine and make it a more relaxed evening.  It is not that typical weeknight dinner where you rush to get it made and then rush to finish and clean up to get out the door to the next activity.
For me, when I try a new recipe I like to prep all the ingredients before mixing them together as the recipe calls for.  I have found in the past that when you prep as you go along, you might miss something or put an ingredients in too late because you were not prepared.  So as you can imagine the counter will be filled with little prep dishes and I will have a lot of pots and pans for the clean up.  That was the case with these two recipes, but my clean up help didn't mind after the wonderful meal they just finished.  
I found the Gnocchi Recipe on Cooking Light, a favorite magazine of mine.  The turkey cutlet recipe was inspired by a recipe for wiener schnitzel because I was looking for a recipe that would prepare the turkey breast in a manner similar to the schnitzel.  The Lemon Caper sauce was a wonderful bonus to these cutlets.

So give these two a try, either together or separate.  You won't be disappointed.        




1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 pound turkey cutlets
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons capers
Garnishes: lemon wedges, chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


Combine flour, salt, and pepper; dredge turkey in mixture.
Melt 2 Tbsp. butter with oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add turkey, and cook, in batches, 1 1/2 minutes on each side or until golden. Transfer to a serving dish, and keep warm.
Add white wine, lemon juice, and remaining 1 Tbsp. butter to skillet, stirring to loosen particles from bottom of skillet. Cook 2 minutes or just until thoroughly heated.
Stir in garlic, parsley, and capers; spoon over turkey. Garnish, if desired. Serve immediately.

Brown Butter Gnocchi with Spinach and Pine Nuts


1 (16-ounce) package vacuum-packed gnocchi (such as Vigo)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons pine nuts
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (10-ounce) package fresh spinach, torn
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup (1 ounce) finely shredded Parmesan cheese


 Cook gnocchi according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.

Heat butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add pine nuts to pan; cook 3 minutes or until butter and nuts are lightly browned, stirring constantly. Add garlic to pan; cook 1 minute. Add gnocchi and spinach to pan; cook 1 minute or until spinach wilts, stirring constantly. Stir in salt and pepper. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.



Monday, February 8, 2016

Mini Muffin Treats

A couple of Sundays ago I decided I wanted to a bake a little treat for not only us but to send down to our daughter at school.  They reminded me of the little muffins that you could buy at the store in the bread aisle.  They were always a little special treat that my mom and dad would pick up when I was younger. There is something about cinnamon streusel cake that I can't resist.
I sent our college sophomore about 8 mini muffins and other supplies she needed and when I talked to her later she said she didn't know what there were so she had a friend give them to a friend.  He immediately knew what they were and told her "They're Coffee Cake muffins!" I believe she took back the remainder of the muffins for herself and her room mate. Great for a quick bite with a cup of coffee mid morning. 

Cinnamon Streusel Mini Muffin


3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus a pinch
1 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed


Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray mini muffin pans with nonstick cooking spray (I like using the nonstick spray that contains flour for these).
Stir granulated sugar, oil, egg, and vanilla in a large bowl until combined. Stir in milk.
In a medium bowl, whisk baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1 1/2 cups flour. Slowly stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Fill muffin pans with 1 tablespoon of batter per cavity (33-36 muffins).
Melt the butter in the same bowl you used for the dry ingredients. Stir in cinnamon, 2 tablespoons flour, a pinch of salt, and brown sugar. Mixture will be crumbly. Place about 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon of crumb topping on each muffin.
Bake for 9-10 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the muffin. Cool before removing from pan and serving. It’s easiest to use a knife to help remove these from the pan.
Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days for freeze for up to one month. You may also bake them in in mini muffin liners instead of straight in the muffin pan.