Monday, December 27, 2010

Perfect Mashed Potatoes

Perfect mashed potates everytime, plus if you have a lot of things going in the kitchen, you can make them in advance and keep them warm in the oven at 250 degrees F covered with foil until you are ready to eat by Lacey Johnston.
Serves 2 - 4
  • 2 Russet Potatoes, peeled and cut into 2" chunks
  • 1 Yukon Gold Potato, peeled and cut into 2" chunks
  • 1/4 cup Milk
  • 4 tbsp Sour Cream (optional)
  • 2 tbsp Fresh Chives (optional)
  • 4 tbsp Butter
  • Salt & Pepper
  1. Add potatoes to a large pot, fill with cold water just till covered.
  2. Turn heat to high and bring to a bubble. 
  3. As soon as it starts to bubble, reduce heat to medium-low (a barely bubbly simmer) and cook 15 minutes.
  4. Check potatoes with toothpick to ensure they are done, drain, return to pot.
  5. Using a hand potato masher, mash just till there are no longer any big chunks.
  6. Add butter, milk, sour cream, chives, salt and pepper to taste. Add more milk if needed to reach desired consistency. Mix with an electric mixer on low speed till smooth.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Roasted Red Pepper and Basil Pesto Panini

A vegetarian sandwich that is very good for you, without all the mayo of a traditional sandwich by Lacey Johnston.
Serves 1.
  • 6" French Baquette or Pugliese, sliced in half
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Basil
  • 1 clove Garlic, chopped
  • 2 - 4 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 slices Mozarella or Provolone
  • 2 Roasted Red Peppers, seeded and sliced in half
  1. In a food processor, add basil and garlic. Pulse 2 - 3 times.
  2. Through feeder tube, slowly pour in olive oil until mixture becomes paste-like and spreadable, about 2 - 4 tbsp.
  3. Spread on insides of sliced bread.
  4. Top bottom slice with red peppers and cheese, put top slice on to form sandwich.
  5. Toast in a panini maker on medium heat for 3 - 5 minutes or until cheese is melty and bread is slightly toasted.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Spaghetti & Meatballs

A classic spaghetti and meatballs, very easy to make and the meatballs pack a lot of flavor by Lacey Johnston.
Serves 4 - 6
Makes 15 meatballs
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 slices Bread, chopped into small cubes
  • 1 lb. Ground Beef
  • 1/4 cup Onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp Green Bell Pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/8 tsp White Pepper
  • 2 tbsp Fresh Parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 recipe Spaghetti Sauce
  • 1 box Spaghetti Noodles
  1. Prepare sauce as directed.
  2. Preheat oven to 375* degrees F.
  3. Add bread crumbs to food processor, pulse 4 - 5 times or until you have small crumbs but not dust.
  4. Toss on a baking sheet and toast in oven till golden, about 3 - 5 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, saute onion and bell pepper in olive oil till crisp-tender on high heat, set aside.
  6. Reduce oven temperature to 350* degrees F.
  7. In a large bowl, combine egg, bread crumbs, onion, bell pepper, oregano, salt, pepper, parsley, garlic powder and meat; mix well.
  8. Shape into 15 meatballs, about 1" in size. Arrange in baking pan with 1" between meatballs.
  9. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes or until browned, drain.
  10. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside.
  11. Heat large pan over high-heat with 2 tbsp olive oil, add meatballs. Let cook 1 minute, add sauce to pan and reduce to simmer.
  12. Simmer for 10 minutes, serve over hot noodles.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Stir-fry Beef & Snow Peas

Marinated beef full of chinese flavors that you can make ahead and simply stir-fry when you are ready to eat. A recipe my mom used to make for my family growing up by Kathy Johnston.
Serves 4 - 5.
  • 1 1/2 lbs. Beef Top Round Steak, thinly sliced
  • 3 slices Ginger Root, minced
  • 2 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp Oyster Sauce
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp Aji-Mirin, Sweet Cooking Rice Wine
  • 2 tsp Corn Starch
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 4 tbsp Water
  • 2 tsp Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Sweet Chili Sauce (more if you want it spicy)
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 cups White Rice, steamed
  • 2 stocks Celery, diagonal sliced
  • 1 Carrot, diagonal sliced, then halved
  • 1/2 Yellow Onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup Water Chestnuts
  • 1 1/2 cups Snow Peas, tips cut off
  1. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients, excluding stir-fry vegetabls, till meat is coated.
  2. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 - 60 minutes to marinate.
  3. Heat wok over high heat with 1/2 cup Olive Oil.
  4. Add meat and marinade, cook about 4 minutes or until meat is almost no longer pink, remove and set aside.
  5. Add veggies to wok with 2 tbsp olive oil and 2 tbsp marinade sauce from beef, cook veggies till crisp-tender, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  6. Return meat and sauce to wok, cook 2 - 3 minutes more or until meat is done.
  7. Pour over white rice and serve family style.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Chinese Pork Dumplings

One of my childhood favorites, my mom's recipe and I have loved them as a kid and still as an adult. Very tasty filling that can be made with either ground pork or ground beef.  Normally I wouldn't recommend using a premade biscuit but this is how my Mom makes them, you can easily substitute the biscuits for won-ton wrappers by Kathy Johnston.
Makes 12 Dumplings.
  • 1 thin tube Grand's Biscuits or Won-Ton Wrappers
  • 4 stocks Green Onions, sliced
  • 1 clove Garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 2 tsp Corn Starch
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire
  • 1 1/2 tsp Sesame Oil
  • 2 tbsp Oyster Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 lb. Ground Pork or Beef
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  1. In a large skillet, brown meat and garlic over high heat in 1 tbsp Olive Oil, drain and return to pan.
  2. Reduce heat to low, add onion and cook 2 minutes.
  3. In a small bowl, mix water and corn starch till smooth.
  4. Add corn starch mixture, sugar, Worcestershire, sesame oil, oyster sauce and soy sauce to meat.
  5. Return heat to high and cook for 2 – 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  6. Remove from heat and set aside.
  7. Lightly grease bamboo steamer baskets to prevent sticking, set aside.
  8. Flour board and rolling pin, roll out biscuit dough till paper thin and about the size of a small taco shell, flour well and flip between rolling.
  9. Fill with 2 tbsp filling, pull up sides and pinch, twist top and pinch to seal. Should look like a pretty onion or upside down garlic clove.
  10. Place dumplings in bamboo steamer baskets, leaving about 1” around each dumpling.
  11. Steam 15 – 20 minutes (if using won-ton wrappers, adjust cooking time accordingly), starting on high heat for 3 minutes, reduce to medium-low for remainder of cook time. Dumplings are done when they start to become translucent.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Sugar Cookies

The best sugar cookies I have ever eaten, light and soft with just the right amount of sweetness by Kathy Johnston.
Makes about 36 cookies.
  • 2/3 cup Butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 Egg, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp Milk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  1. Preheat oven to 375* degrees F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium-high speed for 30 seconds.
  3. Add sugar, salt and baking powder, mix just till combined.
  4. Beat in egg, milk and vanilla till combined.
  5. Beat in flour slowly, in four parts, mixing till combined between each addition.
  6. Divide the dough in half, cover and chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  7. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough until 1/8" thick.
  8. Cut into desired shapes (remember to coat cutters in flour between each cut) and place 1" apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
  9. Bake 7 -8 minutes or until golden.
  10. Let cool on sheet 2 minutes.
  11. Transfer to wire rack and let cool completely before frosting.
Mom's Classic Sugar Cookie Frosting
Not too sweet and very spreadable, perfect for decorating cookies by Kathy Johnston.
Decorates about 30 cookies.
  • 5 tbsp Butter, softened
  • 4 tsp Milk
  • 1 lb. Powdered Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  1. Mix all ingredients with electric mixer on medium-high speed till smooth.
  2. If too thin = add powdered sugar; If too thick = add milk; If too sugary = add butter