Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Beer Bread

1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle beer
3 cups self-rising flour (Make your own self rising flour by adding 1 t. baking powder and 1/2 t. salt to each cup of flour).
1/3 c. white sugar

In a large bowl, mix together the sugar and flour. Add beer and continue to mix, first using a wooden spoon, then your hands. Batter will be sticky. Pour into a 9 x 5 inch greased loaf pan. Let sit for 15 minutes to 1/2 hour. Brush with melted butter.

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees ) for 50 for 60 minutes. The top will be crunchy, and the insides will be soft. Serve topped with butter or cheese spread.
*if you want to be CRAZY you could add some jalepeno's and grated cheese to the batter before you cook it.... LIVE LIFE ON THE EDGE....

Beer Marinated Chicken and Homemade Fries

One 12 oz. beer at room temperature
1/2 c. butter, melted
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 T. chili powder
1 T. brown sugar
2 t. salt
6 chicken drumsticks

1. In a resealable plastic bag, combine the beer, butter, garlic, chili powder, brown sugar, and salt. Add the drumsticks, seal the bag and let marinate while you proceed.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet or broil pan and add chicken and marinade. Cook until done, basting with marinade every once in a while, about 30-45 minutes.

For Homemade fries:
4 large russet potatoes (or 2 large sweet potatoes), cut into wedges.
olive oil

Toss potatoes, 1-2 T olive oil and salt in a large bowl until coated. Cook in a 450 degree oven for about 20 minutes until starting to get golden brown and crispy on the outside.

Fusilli Pasta with Lemon Cream Sauce, Broccoli, and Cherry Tomato's

This recipe came from "Barefoot Contessa" (Ina Garten of the food network), when I was trying to find a use for some extra lemons that I had that I didn't want to waste. The result is a creamy, dreamy sauce with a lemony burst and sweet tomatoes with a bite of peppery arugula. SOOOO TASTY!!!!!

1 tablespoon good olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic (2 cloves)
2 cups heavy cream
3 lemons
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch broccoli
1 pound dried fusilli pasta
1/2 pound baby arugula (or 2 bunches of common arugula, leaves cut in thirds)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the garlic, and cook for 60 seconds. Add the cream, the zest from 2 lemons, the juice of 2 lemons, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until it starts to thicken.
Meanwhile, cut the broccoli in florets and discard the stem. Cook the florets in a pot of boiling salted water for 3 to 5 minutes, until tender but still firm. Drain the broccoli and run under cold water to stop the cooking. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add 1 tablespoon of salt and the pasta, and cook according to the directions on the package, about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain the pasta in a colander and place it back into the pot. Immediately add the cream mixture and cook it over medium-low heat for 3 minutes, until most of the sauce has been absorbed in the pasta. Pour the hot pasta into a large bowl, add the arugula, Parmesan, tomatoes, and cooked broccoli. Cut the last lemon in half lengthwise, slice it 1/4-inch thick crosswise, and add it to the pasta. Toss well, season to taste, and serve hot.

French Onion Salisbury Steak

I have always had a love for french onion soup. When I found this recipe in "Cuisine At Home" magazine, I knew I had to try it. I was not disappointed.
1 1/4 lb ground sirloin
1/4 c. minced fresh parsley
2 T. minced scallions
1 t. kosher salt
1/2 t. pepper
2 T. all purpose flour
1 T. olive oil
2 c. sliced onion
1 t. sugar
1 T. minced garlic
1 T. tomato paste
2 c. beef broth
1/4 c. dry red wine
3/4 t. kosher salt
1/2 t. dried thyme leaves
4 slices French bread or baguette cut diagonally 1/2 inch thick
2 T. unsalted butter
1/2 t. minced garlic
pinch of paprika
1/4 c. shredded swiss cheese
1 T. parmesan cheese
1. Combine ground sirloin, parsley, scallion, salt and pepper. Shape into 3/4-1 inch thick oval patties. Place 2 T. flour in a shallow dish; dredge each pattie in flour.
2. Heat oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Add patties and saute about 3 minutes on each side, or until browned. Remove from pan.
3. Add onion and sugar to pan; saute 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and tomato paste; saute 1 minute, or until paste begins to brown. Sprinkle mixture with 1 t. flour and cook 1 minute. Stir in broth and wine, then add salt and thyme.
4. Return meat to pan; bring sauce to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 10 minutes.
5. Make Cheese Toasts:
Preheat oven to 400. Place bread on a baking sheet. Combine butter, garlic, and paprika, and spread on one side of each slice of bread. Combine cheeses and sprinkle evenly over butter. Bake until bread is crisp and cheese is bubbly, 10-15 minutes.
6. Serve steaks on Cheese Toasts and ladle onion sauce over them. Garnish with chopped parsley and parmesan cheese.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Smashed Golden Potatoes

These potatoes are soooo yummy and soooo easy!!! I am always on the lookout for easy, different side dishes and this one is definitely a keeper!

2-3 lbs of small potatoes (red or golden or fingerling - and don't be shy, if your family will eat more, use more!)
salt to taste
pepper to taste
garlic salt to taste
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Scrub potatoes, place in water in a large pot and bring to a boil (leave the skins on!). Cook for about 15 minutes until almost done, drain. Grease a large cookie sheet with olive oil and place cooked potatoes on the cookie sheet. Take a large glass and smash each potato slightly. Drizzle with a little more olive oil (or you could use melted butter...) and season with salt, pepper, and garlic salt. Place in oven and cook for about 15-20 minutes until tops are golden and crispy. I'm telling you: This one rocks. Try it.

Steak Bites

This is my familie's new favorite dinner, which is ok with me, because it is SO easy. We love steak at our house and are always looking for new ways to try it. I found this idea on and ran with it. She is a genius. I love that woman.

Steak Bites with Brown Butter Sauce
2-3 good quality steaks, cut into bite sized pieces
1 cube butter
salt, pepper, and garlic salt
Heat a large nonstick pan over HIGH heat. The highest possible. You want that pan smokin' baby. Season steak with salt, pepper, and garlic salt. Add 1/2 of the butter and let it melt and bubble until it starts to brown. You have to watch it close because you don't want it to turn black. That would be bad. And it can go bad quickly, so pay attention. As soon as the butter starts to brown at the edges add enough steak to cover the bottom of the pan. You don't want to crowd them in. They don't like that. And they won't get that delicious brown caramelization that you want. So let em have their space. Cook for a couple of minutes and then flip over. DONT turn down the heat. Keep it smokin hot! They cook fast -just one to two minutes per side. When this batch is finished pour the whole plan onto a large plate (browned butter and all) , and tent with some tin foil while you finish doing the other batches of steak. The butter makes the steak melt in your mouth juicy and the flavor is AMAZING! My husband and son like it with A1, my daughter likes it with ketchup and I just eat it bare naked and let it melt in my mouth. mmmmmmmmm.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Before I post this recipe, I have to apologize about the picture. I made these for Valentine's day and my kids were eating them as fast as I could put them out, so needless to say, I wasn't able to stage for a picture, because they weren't lasting that long!!! But I know you will all get passed that and just love me and my strawberries for who we are: a little fruity, but a lot delicious.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries
1 or 2 pints of large strawberries
your favorite bag of chocolate chips (I like ghiradelli milk chocolate myself)
Wash and dry your strawberries. Put the chocolate chips in a microwave safe container and microwave for 30 seconds. stir. microwave for 10 more seconds. stir. continue at 10 second increments, followed by stirring until the chocolate is melted and still shiny. Only do 10 seconds at a time, because if you overcook the chocolate it will "clot up" and you won't be dipping anything in it! Once you have acheived the perfect consistency to your chocolate, take each strawberry and swirl around in the chocolate. Place each dipped strawberry on a piece of waxed paper and then to the fridge to firm up. Enjoy whenever you're ready. Try to eat just one, i dare ya!

Delicious French Dip

I love french dip sammies! They have always been a favorite of mine. I modified this recipe from one I found on We ate it with some sweet potato fries and lots of Au Jus....

French Dip with Au Jus

3-4 lb beef roast
1 onion thinly sliced
1-2 cloves garlic, smashed and skins removed
1 T. tomato paste (or ketchup)
2 T. worcestershire sauce
2 cans beef broth
2 cans beef consumme soup or 2 cans french onion soup
1 12 oz bottle or can of beer (don't freak out - the alcohol cooks out, and the flavor it makes is to die for!!)

Season the roast with salt, pepper, and garlic salt. Add the roast and all the rest of ingredients to your favorite crock pot and cook on low for about 7-8 hours. (until you can shred the roast with a fork). Shred the roast and put back in the Au Jus.

Hoagie rolls
melted butter
provolone cheese, sliced

Split Hoagie rolls, brush with melted butter and broil in oven until lightly toasted. Add provolone cheese and continue broiling until melting (1 or 2 minutes). Place shredded beef on each hoagie and serve with juices left in crock pot for dipping!


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