Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Rachel Ray's Chili Dog Nachos

Recipe name: Chili Dog Nachos
Source: Food Network
Servings: 4


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, 1 turn of the pan
  • 1 pound ground sirloin
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 hot dogs, sliced into 1/2- inch pieces
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 sack yellow corn tortilla chips
  • 1 sack, 10 ounces, shredded yellow Cheddar
  • Sour cream, garnish
  • Salsa, garnish
  • 2 scallions, chopped


Heat a medium skillet over high heat. Add oil then beef, and begin to brown and crumble with a wooden spoon, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then add chopped hot dogs and continue browning, another 3 minutes. Add onions and seasonings, Worcestershire, chili powder, and cumin. Cook another 3 to 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce and simmer 5 minutes more.

Preheat broiler.

Arrange corn chips on a platter or in a casserole dish. Top the chips with the cooked chili dog topping. Cover the chili dog sauce with cheese. Melt cheese under hot broiler, 2 minutes, until melted and bubbly. Garnish with sour cream, salsa and chopped scallions.

So it's been a while since I attempted a Rachel Ray recipe, and since I normally have success with her dishes, I thought I'd give this one a go, just in time for football season to get going (I say that like we watch football, which we don't!).

Let me just cut to the chase here, people. This was gross. It was just way too much of everything. The sheer amount of meat and cheese in this dish made me feel sick. There are some great reviews of this recipe, so evidently not everyone will agree with me. If you are feeling especially carnivorous, this may be a go-to recipe. But as for me, I won't be making this again. I could literally feel my arteries clogging as I ate it. Oh, and if this does appeal to you, definitely don't make more than you can eat in one sitting, as the chips will go soggy quickly.

Monday, September 29, 2008

chicken meatballs

Recipe name: chicken meatballs
Source: Meet me in the kitchen
Servings: 4-6

Finger-Picking Chicken Balls adapted from Annabel Karmel's Lunch Boxes and Snacks

Makes about 20 chicken balls
1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled and grated
2 small, skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
1 onion, chopped
1 Tbsp parsley
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
1 chicken bouillon cube dissolved in 1 Tbls boiling water
salt and black pepper
flour for coating
1 Tbsp canola oil
cooking spray

Using your hands, squeeze out some of the excess liquid from the grated apple. Put the apple, chicken, onion, parsley, thyme, bread crumbs, and chicken bouillon into a food processor. Process until a smooth mixture forms a ball. Season with a little salt and pepper.
With your hands, form the mixture into about 20 balls, roll in flour, and fry in the oil for about 10 minutes, until lightly golden and cooked through. Serve with your favorite condiment, such as ketchup or honey mustard.

Thanks to Meet Me in the Kitchen for posting this dish. I thought that these were good overall, though the next time I make these I'll only use half of an onion. The sweetness from the apple took a little getting used to, but I'm always a fan of finding ways to sneak in an extra fruit or vegetable serving. My only other complaint about the meal was that I thought they were a little pungent. I noticed that my entire refrigerator smelled like these meatballs the next day! While these aren't making my OMG list of recipes, I'll keep this especially in mind the next time we have guests with children.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Curried Chicken and Mango Sandwich

Recipe name: curried chicken and mango sandwich
Source: Closet Cooking
Servings: 4

1 cup cooked chicken
1 small mango (peeled, stoned and cut into bite sized pieces)
1 green onion (chopped)
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 tablespoon mango chutney (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
2 slices of bread (optionally toasted)

1. Mix everything but the bread in a bowl.
2. Assemble sandwich.

This is yet another successful recipe that I got from Closet Cooking. I am a huge mango fan, but I'll be honest, I was a bit skeptical about this dish. I thought the curry would taste kind of weird and perhaps overbearing. But no, it was perfect! This is definitely a keeper. Give this a try the next time you are able to get your hands on a ripe mango. The taste in beyond belief for something that comes together so quickly.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

White Bean Dip

Recipe name: White Bean Dip
Source: Giada on Food Network via Simply Tasty
Servings: 4

1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil, plus 4 tablespoons
1/4 cup (loosely packed) fresh Italian parsley leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
6 pitas
1 teaspoon dried oregano

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the beans, garlic, lemon juice, 1/3 cup olive oil, and parsley in the work bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is coarsely chopped. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer the bean puree to a small bowl.

Cut each pita in half and then into 8 wedges. Arrange the pita wedges on a large baking sheet. Pour the remaining oil over the pitas. Toss and spread out the wedges evenly. Sprinkle with the oregano, salt, and pepper.

Bake for 8 to 12 minutes, or until toasted and golden in color. Serve the pita toasts warm or at room temperature alongside the bean puree.

I saw this recipe over at Simply Tasty a while back and bookmarked it to try later. Today was later. Let me tell you that my only regret is that I didn't try this sooner. I really think this may be my new favorite healthy snack. I love the creamy texture and the lemon-garlic infused taste. If you like hummus this is an absolute must try. I had it with some leftover pita bread, but I'll also be cutting up some raw veggies to have with it.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Coconut Mint Cream Cake

Recipe name: Coconut Mint Cream Cake
Source: Bon Appetit September 2008
Servings: 8-10
Cookbook date:



  • 2 3/4 cups cake flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract (optional)
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 14-ounce can coconut cream


  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, chilled
  • Sweetened flaked coconut



  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter two 8-inch-diameter cake pans with 2-inch-high sides; dust with flour. Place round of parchment paper in each pan.
  • Sift cake flour, baking powder, and salt into medium bowl. Mix milk, vanilla extract, and coconut extract in small bowl.
  • Beat butter and 1 cup sugar in large bowl until well blended. Beat in flour mixture alternately with milk mixture in several batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture and beating just to blend after each addition.
  • With clean dry beaters, beat egg whites in another large bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 1/2 cup sugar and beat until stiff but not dry peaks form. Fold egg whites into batter in 3 additions.
  • Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake until tester inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, about 35 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, combine condensed milk and coconut cream in medium bowl.
  • Remove cakes from oven and let cool 5 minutes. Poke holes all over top of each cake layer with skewer. Pour coconut cream mixture by half cupfuls over cakes, allowing mixture to be absorbed before adding more. Cool completely in pans.


  • Stir 1/3 cup mint, sugar, and 3 tablespoons water in small saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves. Cook just until bubbles appear. Cover and remove from heat; let steep 30 minutes.
  • Strain syrup into large bowl, pressing on mint. Cool completely. Add 1 1/2 cups chilled whipping cream to syrup and beat until firm peaks form. Turn cakes out of pans onto separate plates. Peel off parchment.
  • Spread 1 cup mint whipped cream on 1 cake layer. Top with second cake layer. Spread remaining mint whipped cream over top and sides of cake. Sprinkle with sweetened coconut. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome and refrigerate.

ingredient tip

  • A thick mixture made from shredded coconut and water, coconut cream is often sold in cans or cartons. If unavailable, buy coconut milk and open the can without shaking. The thick white coconut cream will be at the top of the can, separated from the milk. Don't confuse coconut cream with cream of coconut, which is a sweetened mixture often used in drinks and desserts.

Well, this was certainly an ambitious recipe for us at moose headquarters. We very much enjoyed the cake, though we won't be making it again because we thought it took a great deal of effort and it made a terrible mess. It was really good, but it wasn't cake Nirvana, so we'll stick to something easier next time. I thought I would post it for those of you who have more culinary skill than us, or for anyone who just wants a bit of a challenge.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

meatball marinara pita pocket

Recipe name: Meatball marinara pita pocket
Source: Meet Me in the Kitchen
Servings: 4

Meatball Marinara Pita Pocket
12 lean turkey meatballs with Italian seasoning
1 jar marinara sauce
1-15 oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini
4-6 pitas, cut in half
shredded mozzarella cheese
Place sauce and beans in blender and puree. Put sauce into a large skillet and add meatballs and zucchini. Heat until warm over medium heat. Cut meatballs in half (makes it easier to eat). Open a pita half and spoon a few meatball halves and sauce into the pita. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and serve.

So this recipe didn't turn out well, but it is mostly my fault (big surprise).
First, I didn't use turkey meatballs (couldn't find them). We rarely eat ground beef, to the point where we don't really like the taste anymore. So that part of the dish was not so good. Second, I don't like zucchini, but I thought I could trick myself into liking it because the zucchini bits are so small. But there's no fooling me, people! Still, the recipe idea is really cool and if you either like meatballs made from ground beef or can find/make turkey meatballs AND you like zucchini, give this a try, because it did come together quickly.

The only reason I decided to post this dish at all is because I thought the idea of putting pasta sauce and cannellini beans together in the food process was pure genius. I thought the pasta sauce with the beans tasted terrific, and I will add beans to my sauce the next time we do spaghetti. We typically eat meatless spaghetti, but the meal is usually disappointing and a bit on the puny side. Now I can add some protein on the cheap!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Southwest Brown Rice and Black Bean Burgers

Recipe name: Southwest Brown Rice and Black Bean Burgers
Source: Taste Buds via Prudence Pennywise
Servings: 4
Cookbook date: December 2


2 cups brown rice, cooked
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1-3 tablespoons minced jalapeno or green chilies, (canned is fine)
1/4 cup salsa
1 egg white
1/4 cup to 1/2 cup flour
1 tablespoon olive oil

cheese, if desired

Mix rice, beans, chili powder, cumin, salt, garlic, onion, cilantro, chilies, salsa, and egg white in large bowl. Mixture will be very moist. Add flour, using only enough so that you can shape the mixture into patties. Dust the outside of the patties lightly with flour. Heat a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add olive oil and warm. Add patties and cook until nicely browned, about 3-4 minutes per side. Sprinkle with cheese, reduce heat to low and cover with lid to melt cheese.

Special thanks to Annemarie at Taste Buds for posting this delicious recipe. This came together very easily, so it makes a terrific weeknight meal. The only changes we made were to leave out the chilies (instead we added a few drops of tabasco) and we just used the whole egg instead of the egg white alone. The burger was a tad bit on the dry side, but this was much improved with some traditional hamburger condiments!

Pumpkin fruit dip

Recipe name: Pumpkin Fruit Dip
Source: Pioneer Woman Cooks
Servings: 8 (ish)

I had some canned pumpkin and some plain yogurt sitting in my refrigerator with no purpose this week. Basically, they were just sitting around waiting to expire. Then I read a post by The Pioneer Woman Cooks that gave lots of ideas for uses of plain yogurt. One suggestion had a fruit dip that used yogurt and pumpkin puree. Perfect!

Here's what I did:
Combine roughly equal parts of plain yogurt and canned pumpkin. Add powdered sugar to taste (I was making a rather large batch of dip, so I believe I used at least 3 tbsp of powdered sugar). Combine together with a spoon or spatula and chill.
I have some apples in the crisper drawer that I'm going to use with this dip. I can't wait!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Sloppy Joes

Recipe name: Sloppy Joes
Source: somewhere online (can't find it)
Servings: 8-10
Cookbook date: August 29

3 lb ground beef (we use ground turkey)
1 cup onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups ketchup
1 cup green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup water
4 tbsp brown sugar
4 tbsp prepared mustard
4 tbsp vinegar
3 tsp chili powder
hamburger buns

In a large skillet, brown meat, onion and garlic. Cook until meat is brown and onion is tender. Drain off fat. combine remaining ingredients (except buns) in a skillet. Stir in meat mixture. cover and cook on low for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Spoon onto hamburger buns.

We just made half of this recipe. While I wouldn't go so far as to say that these were the best sloppy joes I've ever had, they came together quickly and they were cheap to make since I had all the ingredients on hand. I'll make them again, for sure.

Garlicky Appetizer Shrimp Scampi

Recipe name: Garlicky Appetizer Shrimp Scampi
Source: All Recipes
Servings: 3
Cookbook date: September 3

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons olive oil
1-1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1-1/2 teaspoons minced shallots
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 pound large shrimp - peeled and deveined

Preheat grill for high heat.
In a large bowl, mix together softened butter, olive oil, garlic, shallots, chives, salt, pepper, and paprika; add the shrimp, and toss to coat. Lightly oil grill grate. Cook the shrimp as close to the flame as possible for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until opaque.

This recipe is super easy, as long as you ignore the whole "use the grill" thing. I just sauteed the shrimp in a pan over the stove. Tim didn't really like this, but that's because he doesn't like shrimp (his loss, right?). I served this over rice and thought it was an awesome, indulgent meal. Yay butter!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Amazing Chicken Pilaf

Recipe name: Amazing Chicken Pilaf
Source: Tim's brain (based on 30 minute cookbook recipe)
Servings: 2-3
Cookbook date: August 21

2 tsp butter
3/4 cup onions
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground cumin
1 clove garlic
can of chicken
1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds
1/3 cup raisins
mango chutney

They say necessity is the mother of all inventions. That and laziness is what lead to this recipe. The original recipe called for a few things I didn't have and following the recipe would have taken a lot longer than I wanted so I decided to use the recipe as a guide. So here is what I did. (Read the next section with a Julia Childs' accent in your head, it helps.)

First I melted the butter and sauted the onions until they started to turn brown and slightly caramelize. I then added in the cinnamon, cumin and garlic. I let that cook for minute or two and then took out the onions and garlic. I drained the chicken and cooked it a bit in the pan to gather the flavor of the onion, garlic and spices in the chicken. I then placed the chicken on the same plate as the onions and then added a little bit of olive oil to the pan to cook the almonds. I cooked the almonds till they started to brown.

Meanwhile I had a package of instant rice cooking in the microwave. When it was done I opened it and added it the almonds. I added in the onion and chicken and the raisins and mixed it all up. I then added in a few tbsp mango chutney and mixed that in as well.

Tiffany and I both enjoyed this dish. While it might sound involved from my description it only took a few minutes to put together. I think we are on to something with this rice haugpaug dish thing.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Sweet Potato Muffins

Recipe name: Sweet potato Muffins
Source: no idea
Servings: 4
Cookbook date: August 23

12 oz sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup low fat yogurt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp raisins, chopped
1 tsp cinnamon

Microwave sweet potatoes until tender. Drain well and mash. Set aside to cool.
Sift flour, baking powder, and sugar in a bowl and mix to combine. Make a well in center of mixture. Add yogurt, eggs, vanilla, raisins and cinnamon. Mix until just combined. Fold sweet potato into mixture.
Spoon mixture into 12 muffin tins. Bake 35 minutes.

Tim here again. I'll be posting all this week. I don't have a lot to say about this one. The only substitute is that I replaced apple sauce for the yogurt. It turned out great. The muffins are great as leftovers and didn't dry out in the microwave when you reheated them. I think the chunks of sweet potatoes keeps them moist.

It isn't uncommon for Tiffany and I to have breakfast for lunch or dinner so we had these through out the week. If fact I'm not sure if we had them once in the morning.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Italian Beef Patties with Balsamic Cream Sauce

Recipe name: Italian beef patties with balsamic cream sauce
Source: Recipe Zaar
Servings: 4-6
Cookbook date: August 20



  1. In a medium bowl, mix together beef, cheese, egg yolks, salt and pepper and form into 6 patties.
  2. Heat 2 tbls butter in a heavy skillet over medium high heat, brown patties on both sides, reduce heat to medium and cook until juices are pink.
  3. Remove patties and cover with foil.
  4. Add oil, 1 tbls butter and onion to the pan and cook over medium heat until onion is golden brown.
  5. Add cream and vinegar and cook on low 2 minutes.
  6. Pour sauce over beef patties and serve
The debate over balsamic vinegar continues and I fear that I ended up on the losing side this time. Let me say as one aside that I didn't add quite as much vinegar as it called for. That being said, the sauce with the vinegar turned out great. The tanginess from the vinegar went great with the burger.

I followed the recipe almost to the T, with the only change being reducing the amount of vinegar and using the George Foreman instead of a pan. As I said the sauce was great but what really did it for me was how the cheese was slightly burnt on the outside of the patty. I'm not talking black burnt but ultra crisp burnt, the way cheese gets when you overcook it. Think of the cheese on the outside of a nice loaf of cheese bread. We crisped the buns too because that is just how we roll. The leftovers were great. This is definitely a keeper.