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Monday, August 31, 2009

My Cupcake Weekend!

This weekend we celebrated my sister's birthday, (on time) and also, my father-in-law's (very late). I wanted to make cupcakes for the occasions. My littlest son and I looked through Martha Stewart's Cupcake cook book for inspiration. We decided on peanut butter and jelly cupcakes and peanut butter-filled chocolate cupcakes. I don't know if he was the one in the mood for peanut butter or I. My guess would be, that it was me, trying to gently lead him to the cupcakes I felt like eating. I mean, baking. I decided to use whole wheat flour for both recipes. Just straight, not mixed with any white flour. This makes the cupcakes pretty dense, but hey, they're healthier, right?! Besides, I think the texture, especially in the peanut butter and jelly cupcakes, really goes well with the flavors. Feel free to use white flour or half and half or whatever.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes
Adapted from Martha Stewart

  • 1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 t baking soda
  • 3/4 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 3/4 c butter (1 1/2 sticks)
  • 1 1/3 c sugar
  • 2/3 c creamy peanut butter-natural style
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 t vanilla
  • 1/2 c sour cream
  • 1/2 c strawberry jelly or jam
  • creamy peanut butter frosting
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper liners (22). Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  2. With an electric mixer on medium speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low. Mix in peanut butter. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Mix in vanilla. Gradually add flour mixture; beat until just combined. Mix in sour cream.
  3. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. bake, rotating tins halfway through, until golden, about 22 minutes.
  4. To finish, use an offset spatula to spread frosting over cupcakes, leaving a small well in the middle. Dollop about 1 tsp jelly into each well.

Creamy Peanut Butter Frosting

  • 6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature (I added the whole block)
  • 1/3 c powdered sugar (I added extra because my peanut butter was very runny)
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 c creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 t vanilla
  • 1/2 c heavy cream
  1. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar until pale and fluffy. Add salt and peanut butter, and beat to combine. Beat in vanilla.
  2. In another bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk cream until medium-stiff peaks form. Fold cream into peanut-butter mixture.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Peanut Butter-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes

Adapted from Martha Stewart

  • 2/3 c whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 c (1 stick) unsalted butter cut into pieces
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 t vanilla
  • peanut butter filling
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a muffin pan with 12 paper liners. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Put butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a pan of simmering water; stir until melted. Remove from heat, and let cool slightly.
  2. Whisk sugar into cooled chocolate mixture. Add eggs and whisk until mixture is smooth. Stir in vanilla. Add flour mixture; stir until well incorporated.
  3. Spoon 2 tablespoons chocolate batter into each lined cup, followed by 1 tablespoon peanut butter filling. Repeat with another tablespoon of batter, and top with 1 teaspoon of filling. Swirl top of cupcake batter and filling with a wooden skewer or toothpick.
  4. Bake, rotating tin halfway through, until a cake tester in center comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached, about 40 minutes.

Peanut Butter Filling

  • 4 t (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 c powdered sugar
  • 3/4 c smooth peanut butter
  • 1/4 salt
  • 1/2 t vanilla

Stir together all ingredients until smooth. Use immediately.

xoxo

Melissa

Sunday, August 30, 2009

SMS Fresh Peach (Cherry) Muffins

Fresh Cherry Muffins
First of all, thanks to Jovann of http://thegivenschronicles.blogspot.com/, for choosing this week's Sweet Melissa Sundays recipe. If you'd like this recipe, you'll find it on her blog. Well, I was really going to make these fresh peach muffins, even though I really don't care for peaches. At the last minute, I just ran out of time. I was already baking two kinds of cupcakes for two different family members and the thought of going to the store to buy one more thing, after I had already been twice that day, didn't appeal to me. I decided instead to use what I already had on hand, cherries. Instead of the lemon zest, I used lime, because I love the combination of cherry and lime. In the cookbook, there are several different fruit suggestions to add to this muffin recipe, instead of the peaches. It's basically a muffin base, to which you can anything you like. I also used whole wheat flour and turbinado sugar for the top. There were some comments from the other bakers about the muffins being dense and not peachy flavored enough. I have to agree, mine could have used a bit more cherry flavor. Mine were also dense, but that is usually the case when using whole wheat flour. Also, the muffins are not very sweet, which I happen to like. I think they make a very nice breakfast.

xoxo Melissa

Friday, August 28, 2009

Cheese Souffle or Souffle Au Fromage

I actually made this a while ago and forgot to post about it. I had never made a souffle before and wanted to try. I used Julia Child's souffle recipe. I think it came out perfect, don't you think?

Souffle Au Fromage

Serves: 6 / Preparation time: 30 minutes / Total time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

  • Room temperature butter (about 1 tablespoon), for greasing mold and collar
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 cups hot milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • Grating of nutmeg
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 7 large egg whites
  • 5 ounces Gruyere cheese, coarsely grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
  1. Arrange oven rack in the bottom third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
  2. Butter a 6 or 8 cup souffle mold and sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the bottom and sides.
  3. Cut a length of parchment paper or foil long enough to wrap around the mold with a 2-inch overlap.
  4. Fold the sheet in half lengthwise for a 6- to 8-inch band, and butter it well on one side.
  5. To prepare the béchamel, melt the 4 tablespoons of butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  6. Stir in the flour with a wooden spoon to make a smooth paste.
  7. Cook for about 2 minutes without allowing it to color.
  8. Remove the pan from the heat, let it cool a moment, stirring, then pour in all of the hot milk at once, whisking rapidly to blend.
  9. Bring the sauce to a boil over medium heat, stirring and clearing the sides of the pan with the whisk.
  10. Cook for 2 minutes, whisking, as the béchamel bubbles slowly and becomes as thick as mayonnaise.
  11. Remove it from the heat and whisk in the salt, pepper, paprika and nutmeg.
  12. One at a time, whisk in the egg yolks.
  13. In a large, perfectly clean bowl, beat the egg whites until they're stiff.
  14. Scoop one-quarter of the egg whites into the béchamel and whisk into the warm sauce to lighten it.
  15. Then scrape about one-third of the lightened sauce back over the egg whites in the mixing bowl and sprinkle on a good handful of the grated Gruyere cheese.
  16. Fold in the sauce and cheese by rapidly cutting down to the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula, then drawing the beaten whites up from the bottom and sides, and turning them over into the sauce blend.
  17. When almost blended, fold in half of the rest of the sauce and Gruyere cheese, then the remaining sauce and cheese. Work rapidly, and do not over-blend.
  18. Scrape the soufflé mixture into the mold. Smooth the top, wrap the parchment band, buttered side in, around the mold to form a tight collar, rising 3 or 4 inches above the top.
  19. Fasten at the overlap with 2 straight pins. (The unbaked soufflé can stand at room temperature for about 30 to 45 minutes, away from drafts.)
  20. When ready to bake, place the soufflé on the rack in the lower third of the preheated oven. Bake the soufflé for 45 minutes or more, until it has puffed about 2 inches into the collar and the top is nicely browned and slightly firm to the touch.
  21. To check whether it is done, open the oven quickly and plunge a long skewer into the side of the puff; withdraw it and close the oven. If the skewer has moist bits of soufflé clinging to it, your soufflé will be creamy inside (and may not hold its height); serve now if you like it that way, or bake for a few more minutes. If the skewer is almost clean, the soufflé is more set and will maintain its puffiness better.
  22. As soon as the soufflé has been removed from the oven, withdraw the pins and unwrap the collar. Immediately bring it to the table.
  23. To serve, hold your serving fork and spoon back-to-back and plunge them into the crust to pull it apart. Spoon out portions that include some of the crusty sides and top, as well as the soft center.

xoxo

Melissa

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Calling All Vegans!!

I need some help. I have a basic understanding of what vegans eat/don't eat, but I need to know the things that aren't obvious. Such as, is there a good vegan substitute for milk, butter, eggs for baking? What about for cooking? Are there certain brands that are better than others? What about bread and pasta? Tips for eating vegan at restaurants. Where would animal products be hiding that I wouldn't necessarily think they would be? Is there any GOOD cheese substitute? If you have or know of a vegan recipe blog, would you please email it to me or put it in a comment? Thank you!

xoxo

Melissa

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

And the winner of my first giveaway is..........
Comment number 3!!!
Cindy!
I will be sending your prize package out today or tomorrow!
Congratulations and thanks for entering!!!
My son chose the winning number, randomly, out of his cereal bowl.
xoxo
Melissa

Monday, August 24, 2009

Baked Cucumbers in Butter

Have you ever eaten cooked cucumbers? Baked, roasted, fried? I never did, until last night. The idea, to me, just didn't sound very appealing. I imagined mushy, flavorless, hot cucumber rings. Gross! Well, let me tell you, I was wrong! According to Julia, you have to prepare the cucumbers first and then, you don't have the problem of a wet, soggy, flavorless cucumber. She is totally right. By tossing the cucumbers in a bowl with salt, sugar and vinegar for at least 30 minutes, you draw out the extra water and bitterness, without losing the cucumber flavor.

cucumbers tossed with salt, sugar and vinegar

I baked 3 cucumbers, and ate them all myself. I am going to make them all the time. In Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Juila suggests possibilities such as parslied cucumbers, creamed cucumbers and cucumbers with cheese sauce. Next time, I will try the cheese sauce. This time, I wanted to do something simple. I wanted to taste the cucumbers, not mask the flavor in any way.
Concombres Au Beurre

  • 1.5 T melted butter
  • 3 cucumbers, cut in half lengthwise, seeded, cut into strips and patted dry (after first being prepared as above for at least 30 minutes)
  • 1 t dill
  • 1 t chives
  • pepper
  • one garlic clove halved
  1. toss the cucumbers in a baking dish with the butter, herbs, chives, garlic and pepper
  2. set uncovered in a preheated 375 degree oven for 1 hour, tossing 2-3 times

Try this one, really. It's very unusual, but very good. The cucumbers still have a crispness to them, and they still taste like cucumbers. They have a similar texture to a cooked summer squash or zucchini. I love the combination of dill and cucumbers, but you could also use basil or even parsley. It does take some time, but I can see adding this recipe to the Thanksgiving menu. Next time I will add more garlic, because I love it. ;-) I apologize for my pictures. I keep cooking at night when there's no natural light and the fluorescent light in my kitchen stinks!

xoxo Melissa

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Giveaway

Please keep leaving comments to be entered in the Bumble Bee Tuna giveaway. I will keep the comments open until Tuesday at midnight, then draw a winner! xoxo Melissa

SMS Mom's Banana Apple Bread

Mom's Banana Apple Bread

Apples in banana bread??? What a great idea! This bread is so good and so moist. The trick is that the apples are caramelized. The only thing I would do differently is to leave out the cloves. I don't really care for cloves, but I thought I'd make the recipe as it was written. For the people who don't love bananas, I don't think the banana flavor is very strong at all. I think it just gives the bread a great consistency. Thanks to Joy of Hot Oven, Warm Heart, for chosing this weeks recipe. If you would like to make this bread (or use it for yummy muffins!), you can find the recipe on Joy's blog. http://hotovenwarmheart.wordpress.com/

xoxo Melissa

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Bumble Bee Tuna Sundried Tomato Pasta and Giveaway!

I was sent some tuna and wooden spoons from Bumble Bee Tuna and HouseParty.com, to throw a party, and test out some recipes. I have extra packets of tuna and wooden spoons that I would like to offer as a giveaway. To enter, leave a comment. It's that simple. I will draw a number and whoever's comment matches that number will win! I will also include some tuna recipes and a coupon. If you tell a friend, have them mention your name in the comment, and if I draw either of your numbers, you both will win! You can enter more than once, U.S. only, please. (sorry!)
Sundried Tomato Pasta
  • 1 - 5 oz bowl Bumble Bee Sensations Sundried Tomato & Basil Seasoned Tuna Medley
  • 4 oz dried spaghetti
  • 1/2 pint (about 15) red and yellow cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1/2 cup pitted black olives
  • 1/4 cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  1. prepare spaghetti according to package directions
  2. combine spaghetti with tuna
  3. top with cherry tomatoes, parsley, olives and cheese

I added a bit of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon to mine, because that's how I roll.

xoxo
Melissa

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Chipotle-Apricot Chicken Burritos (for Jimmy Sandbags)

I was asked to write a recipe for burritos, and this is what I came up with. This is a chipotle-apricot burrito with black beans and veggie rice. I decided to make the rice and beans kid friendly. Also, full of veggies and protein so it can be eaten alone. This way, you can make one meal for the whole family and hopefully everyone will have something they like. The rice is made with roasted then pureed veggies, instead of water. This makes it colorful, and flavorful as well. I threw the black beans in for protein, but you could easily leave them out. You could add corn if you wanted, also.
Jimmy Sandbags' Chipotle-Apricot Chicken Burritos

  • 1 lb shredded chicken
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 package flour tortillas - burrito size
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1t coriander
  • 2 T apricot all fruit (preserves)
  • 1 chipotle in adobo chopped
  • 1 T adobo sauce from can of chipotles
  • 2 T tomato sauce
  • 1 or 2 limes
  • fresh cilantro
  • 1 c rice
  • 1 can black beans
  • veggies for roasting-Whatever you have on hand. You will need to fill 1/2 of a 9x13 baking sheet with veggies chopped the same size. Such as: carrots, peppers, onions, garlic, zucchini, tomatoes, or squash
  • olive oil
  • optional condiments: cheese, cilantro-lime sour cream, salsa

  1. roast veggies-Chop all the same size, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, 1 t coriander and 1 t cumin. Spread out on 9x13 pan and roast for about 20 min. at 400 degrees.
  2. when veggies are done, puree them, adding enough water to make 2 cups of liquid
  3. cook the rice, using this veggie mixture, adding salt if needed
  4. when rice is cooked, add black beans and cilantro
  5. to make sauce for chicken, mix chipotle, adobo, apricot all fruit, tomato sauce, 2 T lime juice and 1/2 t salt
  6. pour sauce over chicken, heating in a saucepan if necessary
  7. slice red pepper and saute in olive oil until tender
  8. assemble burritos by layering beans and rice, chicken, red peppers, cheese and cilantro- lime sour cream
  9. fold burritos and enjoy!

veggie rice

shredded chicken with sauce

cilantro-lime sour cream

assembled burrito

I really like how this recipe turned out. The chicken is sweet and spicy, but not too hot. If eaten alone, it's spicy, but in the burrito, with the other ingredients, it's very mellow. My four year old ate it without any complaints. The cilantro-lime sour cream is a must! I know I said it was optional, but it's so, so good on here. Just add a little lime juice and zest and some cilantro to your sour cream. It's wonderful. D would really like this one. Maybe there will still be some leftover by the time he gets home! xoxo Melissa

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Feta Bread and Bruschetta

I'm back!! I went with my brother on a road trip to visit our grampa. It was us two adults and five kids. Let me just say, I'm glad to be home! Did anyone miss me?? I missed you all. I really missed cooking. I miss Lola. She's staying with my mother-in-law, probably having a great time. (I'll pick her up tomorrow) Who I really miss, though is my husband. I have spoken to him on the phone once in four days. We are able to email several times a day, but I just miss him. Only three more days without him though!

Here is the feta bread recipe I promised you and also the most delicious bruschetta I've ever eaten! We went and saw Julie and Julia again, while we were on our trip, and if you've seen it, you'll know why I had to make bruschetta. It's so, so good. Fresh picked roma tomatoes from my garden just made it that much tastier!

Feta Bread

  • 1 pizza crust (dough)
  • 1 stick of melted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • dried parsley
  • 3 c mozzarella cheese
  • 4 oz feta cheese
  1. preheat oven to 500 degrees
  2. brush pizza dough with butter
  3. par bake pizza crust for 3-4 minutes -try NOT to brown the crust
  4. add garlic and 2 tsp dried parsley to melted butter
  5. cover pizza crust with feta, then mozzarella
  6. here's the good part-pour the rest of the butter all over the pizza dough-on top of the mozzarella
  7. bake for 5-7 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and golden
Feta bread is served at one of our favorite local restaurants. It's called Aubree's. I've tried to re-create the recipe several times before. This was the closest I've come. I think the butter is what makes it! I've never used nearly that much butter in making it before. Butter makes everything better, though, right?

Melissa's Bruschetta

  • Italian bread-I used 9 grain
  • roma tomatoes-less liquid and seeds!
  • fresh basil
  • good extra virgin olive oil
  • chives
  • 1 clove garlic
  • vinegar-I used salad vinegar because I am out of balsamic
  • salt and pepper
  • parmesan cheese
  1. heat enough olive oil to coat the bottom of a pan
  2. brown bread in pan, on both sides, adding more oil when you flip it over
  3. rub hot bread on both sides with the clove of garlic
  4. chop tomatoes, chives and basil and place in a bowl
  5. add about 1/2 T vinegar, a tiny bit of salt and pepper to taste, to the tomatoes
  6. put tomato mixture on toasted bread slices
  7. sprinkle with parmesan cheese

Try this one. Really, try it. It's so simple and fresh. It tastes like summer.

Coming up, I have a request for burritos, so I'm working on that. I have some surprises up my sleeve for this one, so be sure to check back for it. Also, I really want to make a souffle. I've never made one before and they are so elegant, I just want to make one. I have high hopes it will be beautiful. ;o) Any suggestions on what kind of souffle I should make? cheese? crab? bacon? some sort of combination? What sounds good to you? What flavor combination are you in the mood for? Okay, well, that's all for now. Au revoir.

xoxo

Melissa

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sweet Melissa Sundays Hazelnut Truffles (or almond truffles)

Ahhh, truffles. My favorite, although I must admit, not my favorite to make. I have hot hands-not good for rolling truffles. I had a pan of ice water that I had to submerge my hands in every 3 truffles or so, to keep them from melting. Also, I left the chocolate in the fridge overnight, which made scooping impossible. I have no pictures of the process, because it was such a mess. Anyway, I think they turned out pretty good, although I could not find hazelnuts! I've bought them before, but this time, I couldn't find them anywhere! I probably could have found some at Whole Foods, but I didn't have the time to go over there. I ended up using almonds and almond extract, instead of the liquor. If you would like the recipe, please go to http://foodcarious.blogspot.com/, you can find it there.
xoxo
Melissa

Friday, August 14, 2009

Preview

xoxo
Melissa

Feta Bread and Cheesecake Bars

I'm still working on this recipe. It didn't turn out the way I had hoped. I will try again and hopefully it will be something I want to share. Last night's tasted ok, but it wasn't what I wanted and I didn't even take any pics. I did make some cheesecake bars. It's a recipe I borrowed from: http://www.visionsofsugarplum.com/ They turned out great! Much easier than making a cheesecake and still has all the flavor of a cheesecake. I will make these again with different toppings. Here is the recipe: http://www.visionsofsugarplum.com/2009/07/crumb-topped-blueberry-lemon-cheesecake.html

xoxo

Melissa

Thursday, August 13, 2009

No recipe today...

because I was busy doing this:

p.s. The winning recipe from the poll was feta bread. I will hopefully get that up tomorrow!

xoxo

Melissa

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Cook Books and Crispy Rice

Look at this old cookbook! One of these days, I'll share a recipe from inside. It's pretty funny. It was my great grandmother's cook book.

Just to clairify, I have never written a cook book. I have never had anything published. Sweet Melissa Sundays is a baking group. Every Sunday, we bake a recipe from the book "The Sweet Melissa Baking Book". Yes, my name is Melissa. This book is written by Melissa Murphy, chef and owner of Sweet Melissa Patisseries, in Brooklyn, New York, not me. http://www.sweetmelissapatisserie.com/main.html

Crispy Vanilla PB Squares by Maple N' Cornbread

I love anything chocolate and peanut butter. When I saw this recipe over at maplencornbread.blogspot.com, I knew I had to try it. When I
realized how simple it was, I knew I had to try it right away!
It really was simple, too. It only takes a few minutes.
The longest part being, melting the chocolate.
You can find the recipe here:

xoxo Melissa

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I Love Ina and Her Goat Cheese Tart.

I have wanted to make this recipe for a while, now. As soon as my friend Tracie raved about it, I was sold. It's a tomato goat cheese tart recipe by Ina Garten. How bad can that be? ;-)
Have you ever seen Ina's Chefography on The Food Network? Growing up, she wasn't even allowed in the kitchen. She used to be a White House nuclear policy analyst. Also, she's had no formal cooking training. Weird. I love the stories about people finding their passion at a young age. The people who are lucky enough to have always known what they wanted to do. Even more, I love the stories about people like Ina, (and Julia, for that matter), who don't realize their passion until they are older. It's very encouraging and reassuring to know that you can start over, no matter what your age may be. In high school, the questions start coming, maybe even earlier than that. Where do you want to go to school? What do you want to do? These questions sent me into a panic. I wanted to do a hundred things. How was I supposed to make a decision the rest of my life would be based upon? At the time, that's what it felt like. Now I know I can do whatever I want. I can change my mind. I can try different things. It will be ok. Anyway, I hope that this wasn't too boorrinngg! I'm not going to type out the recipe, just post the link, but I'll share some yummy pics!
Tomato and Goat Cheese Tart
Oh, and I will include the salad that is pictured here because it is so yummy. I mean, unbelievably yummy. The dressing rocks and the combination of the strawberries, feta and almonds is delicious! Here it is: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Strawberry-and-Feta-Salad/Detail.aspx
On a side note, obviously if you've looked at the recipe already, I didn't cut my puff pastry into circles. Ina, I love you, but throw away the scraps??? Sure it would be prettier with a nice round crust to match the round tomato, but I wasn't about to throw away perfectly good puff pastry. I made mine triangles and only used one sheet of the dough. Also, I didn't have any white wine, so I used red. That's why my onions look so dark. It's not because they're burnt!
xoxo
Melissa

Monday, August 10, 2009

A Nice Weekend and Yes, I Play With my Food

My New Friend

Our Dinner

D and My New Friend

This weekend, D and I had a chance to go out alone. We went out to dinner then met up with some friends for drinks. It was a lot of fun and the food was great. Then, on Sunday, my daughter and I went to see Julie and Julia. This is my favorite movie EVA! I LOVED it. I never say that, either. I don't like most movies. I don't even like The Notebook. Or Titanic. I love watching movies. We usually watch 2-3 a week. I just really dislike movies that are predictable or where everything seems to fall into place like a perfect puzzle. On the other hand, I love happy endings. I guess I'm hard to please. Anyway, this movie was so funny. Julia Child was so loveable and hilarious. Meryl Streep was amazing playing her! I want to watch it over and over. Am I gushing? Anyway, it was a good weekend. Hope yours was, too! xoxo Melissa

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sweet Melissa Sundays Snickerdoodles

I got my cookbook! Amazon said it should be here on August 10th, but it came early, on the 7th. Spike the Baker, chose snickerdoodles for this week's recipe. If you want the recipe, you need to go here: http://spikebakes.blogspot.com/

I made my cookies a little bit different
than the recipe. I rolled the cookies
in turbinado sugar and cinnamon
instead of regular white sugar.
I like how they turned out. I think
refrigerating the dough is really
key in making this recipe. My
snickerdoodles came out light
crispy and chewy. The kind of
cookie you can sit and eat a whole
plateful and not think twice about it,
until it's too late-all of the cookies are
gone.

So, do yourself a favor and make these cookies.

I love that you need only 8 ingredients, and it's

likely that you already have everything on hand!

Again, you can find the recipe here:

http://spikebakes.blogspot.com/

Thanks to Spike, great choice. Here's to my first

SMS recipe being a success!

xoxo

Melissa

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Sorry

I've tried fixing the Noodles Romanoff post several times and it just keeps going back to the way it was. I'm sorry the recipe is so hard to read. What a pain! Hope you have a great day! xoxo Melissa

Beef Noodles Romanoff

Ok, so I've never made noodles romanoff before. Actually, I never even heard of it until about a week ago. I was looking for recipe ideas to use what I already had in the house and found it. I decided that I would try it tonight. When I made my menu plan on Sunday, I made a grocery list that included all of the ingredients that I would need to make everything on my list, so I knew I had everything. So, usually, when I find a recipe online that I want to try, I bookmark it. Then, I set the laptop on the counter and start cooking. Well, tonight, when I went to look for the recipe, I couldn't find it. I Googled it and most recipes that I found called for tomato sauce, which I don't have today. Plus, I already went to the store today (for 2 things) and came out with five bags -not plastic bags either, five reusable totes! Anyway, I decided to just make up my own thing and use bits from all of the recipes that I saw, and added things that I like. I really liked how it turned out. It is really a comfort-y food. It reminds me a little of stroganoff. The kids liked it. They even ate the hidden veggies in it. D isn't home yet, but I'm sure he will like it. I will be pretty mad if he dumps a bottle of hot sauce on it, though. I'm just sayin'....
Beef Noodles Romanoff

  • 1 package egg noodles
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/2 pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • seasoning salt
  • red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 c ketchup
  • 1 c sour cream
  • 1 8 oz package cream cheese
  • 1/2 c cottage cheese
  • 1 tsp djon mustard
  • handful fresh parsley
  • handful fresh chives
  • 2 c cheddar cheese
  • 10-15 cherry tomatoes quartered
  • salt and pepper

- brown ground beef , while cooking, add chopped onion, pepper and garlic

- sprinkle with seasoning salt and red pepper flake

- drain off any fat

- add ketchup to meat and reduce heat to low

- boil noodles in salted water according to directions

- in a bowl, combine cream cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream, mustard, parsley, chives, salt and pepper (I used a hand mixer to make it smooth)

- drain noodles when done and return to hot pot

- add meat mixture, then cheese mixture to noodles

- pour beef and noodles into a 9x13 casserole dish

- sprinkle with cheddar cheese

- cook at 375 degrees for 20 minutes

- top with tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes

xoxo

Melissa