Friday, April 23, 2010

Meatloaf and Broccoli with creamy cheese sauce

Wow, it's been a little while since I posted something to cook! So, I dusted of my camera, charged up some batteries, removed the 100000000 dog pictures from my memory card... and I hopped to it in the kitchen! Full meal tonight guys - hopefully complete with the best sheet cake ever that I posted about last week = chocolate decadence at its finest (and easiest)!

So, here we go!
Magimoms Meatloaf

What you need: 
Ground beef - 3 - 5 lbs (depending on your crew)
Garlic - 3 cloves
Bread crumbs
3 eggs
Worcestershire sauce
Dijon Mustard (I use Grey Poupon cause it makes me feel all rich and stuff)
Salt and Pepper 

Preheat oven to 325.

Crumble ground beef into a large bowl (make sure its big enough for everything, plus your hands). Mince garlic - either in your food processor or by hand. 

Add garlic to ground beef.Add everything else - yep, dump it all in there!

Using your hands - yes, I said your hands (preferably freshly washed hands) to knead mixture together until ground beef holds together well when compressed:

Shape into loaves and place in 8x12 or 9x13 baking dish. 
Coat loaves with a layer of ketchup:

Place loaves in preheated oven for about an hour. 

When done, remove from oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes before slicing. This allows the juices to settle, and the meatloaf holds together better

After cooling, remove to platter and slice

Broccoli and Creamy Cheese Sauce
What you need: 
Broccoli (about 1lb fresh or frozen) Steamed
I use frozen and put it in my steamer basket and cook until tender. 

3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 c milk
1 c shredded cheddar cheese. 
Melt butter over low heat. Remove from heat and add flour, salt and pepper stir until well blended and smooth.

Add milk and stir until smooth. 

Return to heat and heat milk to simmer stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Mixture will be thick and bubbly. Add cheese and stir until melted. 

Spoon over broccoli as desired. Can also (discovered at dinner) be used on potatoes, and I plan to use the leftovers over pasta for my lunch tomorrow! 
Served with "dirty mashed potatoes", this makes for a hearty meal!
From the kitchen of a mom, with lots of love! Magimom

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Hooboy... this ought to be good! Breadmaking 101

It has been a little while since I actually did anything 'step-by-step' on here, but tonight might be different. I'm doing a dinner that I've been wanting to share on here for a while, and if my camera will cooperate I just might get it done today... but also, I'm going to try my hand at some Lucky Four-Leaf Clover rolls from over at the Tasty Kitchen Blog. I love this place, it's full of reader submitted recipes and reviews of recipes! It is part of The Pioneer Woman site, which I've already admitted to being addicted to, and worth a look-see if you're fresh out of ideas for dinner, a party, or dessert - hell just about anything.

Tonight, I'm making a Cheesy Rotini Bake, made with... wait for it... hehe... you'll never guess?!?!... 

Rotini and Cheese! HA - you would never have figured it out... so yeah, anyway I use three types (or two, or four, just depends on what I have/want) of cheese usually - Monterey Jack, Cheddar, and Velveeta. I have also been known to toss in Mozarella, Ricotta, or plain American cheeses when I needed a little boost. It's a great dinner that kids love, and that's good around here because my kids are damned picky eaters and if i can find something they'll eat thirds of, I've made a winner. 
So, Cheesy Rotini Bake, and Lucky Four-Leaf Clover rolls, brushed with garlic and Italian butter.  We'll see how this works with the camera - otherwise, I'll just post the recipe later. 

From the kitchen of a mom, with lots of love!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Oh, holy crap Pioneer Woman!

So, I joined the ranks of Pioneer Woman cooks in the last year, I know I've talked about her before on my blog. Well, in the last two weeks, I've made two different desserts from her kitchen, and I can only say one thing... HOLY CRAP Pioneer Woman! It's a wonder Marlboro Man doesn't weigh 500 lbs! And how she keeps her girlish figure eating like this and this I don't know!!!

My girl and I made the Carrot Cake to take with us on our vacation. We wound up dividing it between us and bringing our half home, because the guests expected didn't arrive until after we left. But when we got home and DEVOURED our half - I can only say HOLY CRAP Pioneer Woman!!!! That was the sweetest, moistest (is that really a word???), most heavenly carrot cake I've ever eaten. I don't normally like carrot cake... but this one, this one I fell in love with. I even tinted the frosting with a bit of my Wilton frosting colors, in orange, for the holiday! The cake was simply to die for. 
Then yesterday... ahhhh yesterday, in a chocolate craving fit I started digging through PW's cookbook because I KNEW that I'd seen a cake in there I wanted to try... So last night I found all my ingredients, except buttermilk, which I was able to fix with a tip from PW; and I baked the Best. Chocolate. Sheetcake. EVER! Ok, I've said it before... I will say it again - HOLY CRAP Pioneer Woman! 
This cake is totally the best cake I've ever made. It filled me with pride as the family sunk their teeth into the chocolate decadence on their plates. It also filled me with a deep nostalgia... for this woman: 

Yes, the lady there in the glasses, holding a smiling mischievous baby? That my friends is my grandmother... She was a constant in my life from birth. My grandparents stoically followed my mother everywhere. I know now that it was more a case of my grandmother could not possibly live anywhere my mother wasn't... so she dragged my grandfather with her wherever we moved. It started out the other way around... in the early days of their marriage, and my mother's youth my grandfather was a Shrimp Boat Captain. In fact, I am named after his favorite Shrimp Boat, the Elizabeth Ann...  Yep, I'm named after a boat! Meh... anyway - my grandmother stayed home when mom was young.. then when mom and dad married, and daddy started shrimping with grandpa, we followed them. From Fort Myers, FL to Corpus Christi, Texas. Stopping for a while here and there in towns like Mobile, Alabama and Cameron , Louisiana. 
Grandma was there from day one, and if I wasn't with mom and dad, I was with her. She was such a wonderful soul, and she died an unfair and tragic death... and I miss her horribly. But I remember the food! 
Grandma made this very same cake when I was a kid... I don't know how PW got it perfect, but she did... and for that I say a hearty  THANK YOU Pioneer Woman - you awoke one of my fondest memories with this cake... It makes you truly understand the power of food in our lives! 

From the kitchen of a mom, with lots of love!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Hamburger Steak in Pepper Gravy

Tonight was another of those 'before the big grocery' run nights. 
So, I decided to make use of the nearly month's worth of hamburgers left in the freezer. I generally buy a big box of the premade patties, just so we have quick dinners once in a while, and it's cheaper than buying the Tupperware stuff that makes and stores them, since I'd have to have like a kajillion of them! Anyway... digression again... seems to be something I do well

So, I took some frozen hamburger patties

I seasoned them with salt, pepper, and garlic powder -- generous on the pepper, but then, I like pepper!

And I cooked them until they were done... and then, I drained the grease. Meanwhile, I cheated... 

Somebody gave me this stuff, and I figured I didn't want it to go to waste... and honestly, it was worth it! this stuff was GOOD.... so I followed the directions on the package, which entails boiling 1 cup of water, adding the package of gravy mix to another cup of water, mixing well and then adding the mixture to the boiling water... twice, because I used two of these bad boys... 
Now, normally, the pepper gravy is made from scratch, with flour and pepper, and milk, lots of milk... but it's "between grocery store run's" time and we're using up what's in the cabinets, you know... 

So when this stuff is all nice and thick and bubbly... 

I add it to the pan the burgers are waiting in...


 Now, during the time I was making the burgers, and the gravy, I was also making four cups of rice.  Two 'hamburger steaks' some rice, this lovely gravy, and some corn... and you have dinner!


I don't know what this cat wants...

But I'm pretty sure it's got to do with washing my dishes...

Or maybe, just maybe, he'll take out the trash...

And for one more quick update, my kitchen reno has begun... and while I'm not getting anything *new* I am rearranging things to suit how my kitchen flows and my new interest in photographing everything I cook! 
Watch my progress over at Mom Stuff!

From the kitchen of a mom, with lots of love!

A little bit of Bar-B-Q!

Sorry that no photos will accompany this post... 1. my kitchen is in the middle of a massive remodel, and it's a feat to even find counter space for the crock pot right now. 2. this was not a meal  I expected to post, simple because it's a quick, easy, CHEAP meal used to fill in between grocery runs. 

So... as I have talked about before -- I have a penchant for giant pork roasts... I get 20 - 30 lbs of pork loin a month at my local grocery store for about 1.20 a lb. It's good, low fat meat, that can be cooked as many ways as chicken can, if you're willing to experiment. I purchased one of these earlier, and had only used two of the three roasts it made. Sooooo, feeling lazy yesterday, and out of milk for potato soup, I decided to put the roast in the crock pot. But I'm not necessarily fond of 'boiled' pork... nothing about cooking pork in the crock pot appeals to me for some odd reason. But the crock pot and pork roast were all I had...
So -- 3 lb pork roast, fat removed 
2 bottles honey bbq sauce (or some of my son Jon's incredible homemade sauce, which I used)
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce. 
salt, pepper, and garlic powder 
1 tsp mustard
water to cover

With crock pot on high empty one bottle of barbecue sauce into the pot (don't throw it out yet!). Season your roast well, then add it to the crock pot, refill sauce bottle with water, shake well and add water to cover the roast. 

Cover and turn up on high. Cook 5 -6 hours until roast starts to separate. Separate roast with pair of forks until pork is shredded. If your sauce is very watery (like mine was) remove about 1/2 of the juice from the pot, and replace it with the other bottle of sauce. Cook for about 15-20 more minutes to thoroughly heat the sauce. 
Toast hamburger buns, or deli rolls in the oven, on about 350 for 10-12 minutes or until heated through and lightly toasted. 

Using a slotted spoon (important, your sauce will soak the bun if you don't use a slotted spoon) top the bun with pork, and add any condiment you choose -- some things I've seen used, or used myself? - Mayo, coleslaw, honey mustard, miracle whip, horseradish sauce  (my personal favorite -- gives it a super zing)!

This turned out so awesome I had to share -- sorry about the lack of photos, but soon my kitchen will be done, and my camera will have batteries (if I have to knock the SO out to get them out of the Xbox controller), and I will be more able to cook and photograph again! 

Have a wonderful, warm day, and enjoy some crock-pot barbecue.

From the kitchen of a mom, with lots of love!

Friday, January 29, 2010

A Taste of What's to Come

I'm hoping that everyone enjoy's the new layout -- I do, of course, it's likely not to stay long -- I like change in things sometimes, especially those things under which I have control! 
So, like I said yesterday I had an idea that included pork... and today that idea has come further on in my mind to a more fully fledged dish idea, which I will be cooking tonight, and photographing. Then I'll post it here for your pleasure. 

In the mean time I have a game plan that includes the launch of a new blog that deals with all things domestic. I have lots of experience -- been a mom for almost 26 years -- that gives me hope! 

Just know that soon, you can read my opinions on everything from baby powder to pre-cooked bacon (let me just say -- no). For now, that is all -- see you at dinner time! 

From the kitchen of a mom, with lots of love!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Upcoming Stuff

Well, I suppose it's been a little while, and the only thing you've seen new is the  Potato Soup recipe I posted a couple of days ago. So... I thought I would let you know that Magimom is still in her kitchen, and cooking away. One of the things I plan to try on the monsters is a pork dish I've been tossing around in my head... as you know I have a thing for pork... *sigh* especially bacon... but I digress. This is for a pork loin (tenderloin). I'm thinking of slicing it some what thinly like I would for pork stir-fry... ooo something else to think about! Anyway, off track again... so, thin sliced pork... some cream of mushroom soup... some rice... some green onions -- and maybe even some chicken broth -- who knows where this is going to go, but it's going somewhere I'm sure. I just hope it's not the garbage can. We're working on a shoestring budget until it resets the first of the month, and I'm thinking of a series of "cooking on a shoestring" type menu/recipes for the month. We'll see too, where that might take us. I hope somewhere warm and cozy, because it's cold around here... 

And since I've left you with nothing to look at this week -- here's a sweet little image from my house: Our new friend -- Flufficus Maximus

Ignore the crazy lady in pajamas holding him -- she stops by every morning and drinks my coffee...

From the kitchen of a mom, with lots of love!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Down but not Out

Has been a rough couple of weeks for Magimom... and I'm sorry I've not posted new food. Tonight I'm thinking of some Tilapia fillets (my favorite non-fishy fish), home made cornbread, and grits for dinner. Yes, very southern... and I DO know what a Grit is... and yes, very good!
Since I've not done much in the way of cooking the last couple of weeks -- I will feed your desire for recipes with one of my tried and true favorites... Magimom's Tons of Taters Potato soup. This stuff sticks to the ribs, the pot, the spoon, and the sides of your sink.. just kidding, but it is truly a wonderful wintertime comfort food, and it has my favorite meat -- bacon in it! :) Enjoy!
This soup is HEAVY, and is typically exceptionally thick. Remember I cook for 7 or 8 most of the time, so my recipes are always for LARGE groups. Most of them you can cut in half for the normal family... so without further ado...

8-10 lbs Idaho Potatoes washed and cubed with peel on (you can remove the peel if you want, I don't since that's where all the nutrition is, and I'm incredibly lazy)
1 lb bacon fried and crumbled
4 cans green beans (sm size) if using the medium cans 2 will usually do it
1/2 gallon milk
1/2 lb butter
Mashed potato flakes as needed to thicken
Pepper to taste
Salt to taste
Garlic to taste

Wash and cube potatoes and place in LARGE stockpot with enough water to cover. Add salt, pepper, and garlic to taste -- I use a LOT of pepper because I like it a little more "spicy".Bring to boil and cook until potatoes begin to soften.
Fry, drain, and crumble bacon. I like to cut my bacon in half in the package before cooking, it is easier to get more in the pan that way, and I'm all about EASY in the kitchen!
Once potatoes start to soften (about 30-35 minutes in) add green beans with their juice -- open the can and dump it in... again, LAZY woman here... actually, the green bean liquid adds a great flavor to the soup.
Add the bacon crumbled to the pot... Now, I add my bacon drippings too... but that's just me and I like a lot of that smoky flavor in my soup.If you are watching your weight you can use turkey bacon, and drain it well prior to using and it cuts the fat WAY down.
Add butter -- I know, 1/2 lb of butter sounds like a LOT... I typically use margarine, and I add it until my soup is a nice soft yellow color, which usually takes about 1/2 to 1 cup but can be as much as 1/2 lb. This recipe is totally an "as you like it" type thing so change up what you need to for the desired effect!
Add milk... this can be as much as 1/2 gallon, or more if you'd like... Remember, milk thickens some as it cooks and potatoes have that wonderful natural starch that also does it's own thickening. Return soup to boil, be careful here -- milk will scald and taste "burnt" if you boil too hard from this point on. I usually keep my burner around 4 or so from now on and have been known to turn it down to 2. Cook until potatoes are soft and falling apart. You know the texture we typically use for mashed potatoes, that's what we want here, nice and THICK!
I normally let mine sit at this temp for about 30 - 45 minutes so it gets nice and creamy thick. If you aren't getting the thickness due to too much milk, butter, or the bacon drippings -- go ahead and add 1 cup at a time some mashed potato flakes. You can't tell they're in there and they add a nice thickness to the soup. Once your soup reaches the desired thickness serve in warm bowls or soup cups with a sprinkle of FRESH parsley or chives on top... My kids also love a little cheddar cheese on top too!
To store: remove from heat and let stand 1 hour. Remove soup from pot and place in storage containers. If soup is still very hot (for some reason potatoes retain heat very well) leave the lids unsealed on your containers until soup stops steaming. NEVER put hot soup in the fridge! The milk can sour. Refrigerated this lasts about 3 days, frozen up to 4 months. 

Hopefully this will add some warmth on the winter days still ahead! Enjoy :) 

And if you are interested in what has Magimom so out of sorts lately, check out my other blog Story of a Life.

From the kitchen of a mom, with lots of love!