Archive | April 2014

Praline French Toast

Here’s a recipe from another great website:  http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/praline-french-toast-00420000019531/  I like French toast, but I usually do the old “dip the bread in the egg/milk mixture and heat it up on a griddle” method.  However, the couple of baked French toast recipes I’ve tried have been pretty good, and this one looked especially yummy.

I forgot about blogging until after I had the bread ready to soak overnight:  2014_0408April20140001  That’s certainly not 8 slices of bread there, and they’re nowhere near as large as the bread slices shown in the recipe photo.  The only French bread I’m familiar with is the long thin baguette (?)  I bought one of those and sliced the entire thing up and put it in my 9 X 13 glass baking dish.  All that was left in the morning was to put together the ingredients for the topping:  2014_0408April20140003  I have two children who don’t think they like nuts, so I didn’t put the topping on all of the bread:  2014_0408April20140008  After baking, I served this with maple sausage links:  2014_0408April20140011  Very, very yummy.  In fact, as I was typing this up my oldest son said, “You have to make that again!”

A&W Coney Dog

I saw this recipe floating around Pinterest for A & W Coney Dogs and thought I’d try it, because I’m pretty sure I recall actually having and liking A & W coney dogs in my youth.  So I printed out the recipe and started writing down the ingredients I needed to buy and I saw “pork and chicken mince” listed.  Huh?  Well, it looked like ground meat in the picture, and I know I can buy ground chicken and ground pork, so I did:  2014_0405March20140068  The remainder of the ingredients didn’t seem as mysterious:  2014_0405March20140069  I admit to not using chicken frankfurters.  I just bought the hot dogs my husband says he likes best and served them with the sauce, onion and Parmesan cheese as instructed:  2014_0405March20140073  This didn’t turn out to be quite what I expected.   I think the sauce was a little too sweet and I know I would prefer beef instead of the pork/chicken blend.  Oh well, it was worth a try . . .

Apple Pear Pecan Salad

Another online find, this salad recipe: http://nancycreative.com/2014/01/14/apple-pear-pecan-salad/

I really used it more as a list of ingredients than as a recipe, per se.  I gathered the ingredients called for: 2014_0405March20140014   But then I just built individual salads in our bowls and didn’t measure anything: fill the bottom with salad, add some apple and pear (more for hubby than for me because he likes fresh fruit better than I do), and toss in a handful of Craisins, a handful of pecans, and a handful of feta cheese, drizzle on some dressing (more for me than my husband, because I prefer a little salad to hold my dressing while he prefers a little dressing on his salad 😉 )  Done:  2014_0405March20140021  Very easy, very tasty, and a way to get myself to actually consume some fresh fruit 🙂

Baked Sea Scallops

There are many many many many websites “out there” filled with recipes to try.  This recipe came from one of them: http://www.justapinch.com/recipes/main-course/fish/baked-sea-scallops-2.html   If you’ve read my previous posts, you know that seafood is not my thing, but I do prepare it for my husband.  For this particular recipe, I used frozen seafood:  2014_0405March20140011  We don’t live near the sea, so even though we can buy some seafood from the counter at the grocery store, often it is “previously frozen” anyway.  Besides, even the frozen stuff is pretty pricey!

The baked sea scallops I made for my hubby ended up looking like this:  2014_0405March20140017  He liked them so well that, since he didn’t need leftovers for his lunch the next day, he ate all of them!

Caramelized Onion Soup

The “Every Day with Rachael Ray” magazine always contains a mini-cookbook insert, and the one in the April 2014 issue was titled “A Month of Sensational Soups!”  On page 6 of that insert was a lovely, rich-looking “Caramelized Onion Soup”.  I wish I had found a link to it on the website so you could see the photo, but alas, ’twas not to be.  You can go check for yourself if you like:  http://www.rachaelraymag.com/

Since I could not find the link to the recipe, I will type it up for you, just in case you decide you’d like to try it.

CARAMELIZED ONION SOUP

3 T EVOO

3 lb. large sweet onions, sliced

1 T packed dark brown sugar

1/8 t ground nutmeg

1 C dry white wine

8 C low-sodium beef broth

In a large pot cook EVOO and onions over med-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened, about 12 minutes.  Add brown sugar and nutmeg; reduce heat to med-low and cook, stirring often, until onions are golden and very soft, 30-45 minutes.  Add the wine; scrape up browned bits and cook until the wine is reduced by half, about 3 minutes.  Add broth, bring to a boil, and then simmer until liquid is slightly reduced, about 15 minutes; season with salt and pepper.  Serve immediately.  (Makes 10 cups)

Here’s what I used:  2014_0402March20140011  And yes, you see beef bouillon and white cooking wine there.  Perhaps not the best ingredients, but the most practical for our household budget.

The results:  2014_0402March20140015  My soup was not anywhere near as deep brown as the photo with the recipe, but this was mighty tasty served with some good crusty bread from the grocery store bakery.   It’s similar to French Onion Soup minus the topping of bread and cheese.  If you like the sweetness of cooked onions, this recipe is for you.

Gnocchi with Bacon and Escarole

Hello everyone!  It’s been awhile since I’ve found time to sit and share recipe reviews with you, but in the meantime I’ve tried several.  I’m going to start with the ones I’ve tried so far this month and if I catch up, I’ll try to go back to all the ones I’ve missed in previous months.  That is, until I reach the point where my memory fails me even when I see the photos and the recipe . . .

When I received my April 2014 issue of Food Network Magazine and started flipping through it, this recipe caught my eye: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/gnocchi-with-bacon-and-escarole.html

I decided to try it right away, and collected these ingredients to use: 2014_0402March20140002  Yes, that’s dried parsley you see there.  I know that to many cooks, that’s pretty much a mortal sin.  Sorry, but to my taste buds the fresh parsley has too strong of a flavor that I don’t care for, so I use dried.  If you happen to like the fresh, then by all means, you must use it.  In general, fresh is better when you can get it.

I also didn’t use the thick-cut bacon.  That’s just a matter of preference.  To be totally honest, I buy the thin more because I get more slices per package than because I prefer thin to thick.  When I’m feeding 5 people who like bacon, the thin sliced actually goes further.  The kids don’t see it as “one thick slice is pretty much the same as two thin slices”.  They see it as “I want 2 slices of bacon” period. 😉

Other than that, I pretty much followed the directions on this recipe.  Though I’m pretty sure my bacon took longer than 7 minutes to crisp.  I think I must use a lower temperature than most people when I cook bacon and ground beef, because mine always takes longer to cook than the recipes state.  I guess I’m afraid of burning my food, LOL!

In the end I came up with a dish that looked like this:2014_0402March20140006  And my husband proclaimed it “EXCELLENT”  and that’s always a good thing 😀  This one will pop up on our menu again sometime for sure!