Sunday, May 31, 2009

Madras Banana Smoothie

Recipe name:
Cookbook date:
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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Polenta Pudding with Blueberry Topping

Recipe name: Polenta Pudding with Blueberry Topping
Source: Cooking Light via Cheap Healthy Good
Servings: 4
Cookbook date: January 16

1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries
1/2 cup sugar, divided
2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
6 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
3/4 teaspoon lemon rind
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

Let me start by saying that I didn't have the above recipe at the time I made the dish. As a result pretty much everything was done slightly differently. To start things off I didn't know how to make polenta so I ended putting boiling about two cups of water into which I put about a half cup of cornmeal. I also added 1/4 cup of sugar and a bit of salt to the polenta as it was firming up. I don't really what the water to cornmeal ratio was but I do remember I had to cook it a bit longer to make it thicken.

We didn't have blueberries so I had to substitute it with a bag of mixed berries we had in the freezer. I think I added a little bit more than a cup. I added the vanilla, a splash of lemon juice and the other 1/4 cup of sugar to a small sauce ban. I brought that to a boil and let it simmer for a few mins and then took it off the heat. To serve I just dished up the polenta into a bowl and put some of the berry topping....well on top.

Both Tiffany and I enjoyed this dish. It was really easy to make, very quick and quite tasty. Polenta is one of those dishes I keep forgetting about but keep on enjoying.

Monday, January 26, 2009


For those those of you who have noticed a drop in our posting frequency this video may explain a few things. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Rolled Cheeseburgers

Recipe name: Rolled Cheeseburgers
Source: Taste Buds
Servings: 4
Cookbook date: January 8

1 lb extra-lean ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
season salt
1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 lb bread / roll dough

Brown ground beef, onions and salt until cooked through. At the same time preheat the oven for 425 degrees. Once the beef is cooked set it aside. Roll out dough on a well floured surface until it is approximately 12 to 14 inches in diameter. Place beef mixture the over the rolled dough and sprinkle with cheese. Roll up as tightly as possible, tucking both ends under . Place the loaf on a greased baking sheet and place in the oven for 25 minutes. Let it stand for 5 mins before slicing.

Let me start with the substitutions once again. The only difference is that we used ground turkey in place of beef and garlic salt instead of season salt. Come to think of it, I'm not really sure what season salt is so maybe it wasn't a substitute at all. I added the garlic salt to taste, but I'm not really sure how much I added. Maybe a teaspoon?

For some reason, I had a hard time with this recipe. I know what you are thinking, "What is there to mess up? There are only 5 ingredients!" Well all my difficulties came from rolling the dough. To start with I realized that I only had one half pound container of crescent rolls. Actually, as my wife pointed out, we did have some rolls but they were half a pound as well. So I ended up rolling the crescent rolls and biscuit dough separately. A piece of advice: it is really hard to roll a bunch of biscuit rounds into a single flat piece of dough so don't attempt it. Next time I try something like this I am going to go for the bread dough. I suppose you could make your own dough but yeast stresses me out. Oh yeah, we don't have a real roller so I had to use a wine bottle. That didn't really help with the whole dough rolling thing either.

So after having a hard time getting both the crescent and biscuit dough to roll out I made the mistake of placing the meat in the center. I now realize I was suppose to spread the meat out pizza style but for some reason I decided to go the burrito route. As a result you get a lot of meat in the middle. I think the original point was to have a pleasant mixture of bread and meat throughout the dish. So in the end instead of having one large pizza rolled loaf with bread throughout I had two burrito rolled loafs with a bunch of meat in the middle.

Despite my mishaps we both liked this dish well enough and will probably eat it next time it comes up in our rotation. I think it would have tasted much better if I had been able to make one large pizza rolled loaf, so I we will defiantly do it that way next time. Plus I learned a valuable lesson: it is really hard to roll biscuits from a tube into one large flat piece of dough with a wine bottle.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Back from the Break with Pesto Pasta with Sausage

Recipe name: Pesto Pasta with Sausage
Source: Pennies and Pounds
Servings: 4
Cookbook date: January 7

1 pound pasta
2 tablespoons almonds (approximately)
4 cloves garlic
1 bunch cilantro
salt and pepper
1/4 c. olive oil
Reserved pasta cooking water
1/4 c. grated pecorino romano
1 pound turkey smoked sausage or kielbasa

Tim here once again. We took a little hiatus over the holiday break and now we are back in full force, well back posting at least. As always we made a few modifications to the recipe. We used dried cilantro and Parmesan cheese rather than Ramano.

Cooking the dish was pretty straight forward. First you start a large pot of water on the stove top to boil. Cook the pasta until it's al dente or still a bit chewy. The great thing about this recipe is that you can prepare the pesto while the water is working up to a boil.

To make the pesto you combine the almonds, garlic, cilantro and salt and pepper in a food processor. Once everything is chopped up you can drizzle in the olive oil. About now the water should be ready for the pasta. Once you put in the pasta to cook you can start on the sausage.

I cooked the sausage on a large skillet on medium heat until it was browned. Before you strain the pasta sauce make sure you reserve a cup of the water. Use this water for the pesto sauce in the food processor and process until you get to a smoother consistency. Now all you have to do is put it all together. I decided to to toss the pasta, pesto, Parmesan cheese and sausage in the pot I cooked the pasta in to reduce the number of dishes. If it still seems to dry you can add in some of the left over pasta water.

While we both enjoyed this dish but we felt that the pesto sauce was lacking. If we had to do it over we would make sure we used a fresh bunch of cilantro and made the pesto a little more saucy.