Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Cookies

Every year, I give my coworkers homemade goodies for Christmas. This year I found these cute little bins that were the perfect size for Christmas cookies.

The Caramel Swirl Blondies are amazing. They have a great combination of flavors. It doesn't make very much batter, but the blondies puff up a lot as they cook. These are a new favorite.

The Pineapple Coconut Cookies turned out differently than I expected, but they are really good. They spread out a lot. I made them smaller than the recipes calls for, but I still ended up cooking them for 8 minutes.

The Snickerdoodle recipe is one that I have had for years. I just don't know where I got the recipe from.

1 c. shortening
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs
2 3/4 c. flour
2 t. cream of tartar
1 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt

2 T. sugar
2 T. cinnamon

Cream together shortening, sugar and eggs. Sift flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix well. Roll dough into balls the size of walnuts. Mix cinnamon and remaining sugar together. Roll the dough balls in the cinnamon sugar. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 11 minutes.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Herb Crusted Pork Loin

Pork loin is just not something that I have made or even eaten much before. So I didn't want to experiment too much by making up a recipe. This recipe from Paula Deen was great. My boyfriend, Stephen, always talks about wanting a sauce to go with his food. So, even though its not in this picture, I came up with a spicy tomato sauce that is similar to a sauce that his mom makes.

Spicy Tomato Sauce
1-8 oz. tomato sauce
1 c. chicken broth
¼ onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly smashed
½ t. dried thyme
2 t. cumin
1 T. paprika
1 t. chili powder
½ t. ground red pepper
Salt and pepper

In small pot, mix all ingredients together. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove garlic.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Stewed Beef

The thing I do like about the weather getting colder outside is that I start to make more hardy, warm foods. This meal was made completely with my boyfriend, Stephen, in mind. In fact, I don't know that I would have ever thought to make something like this if wasn't for him. It involves 3 of his favorites: beef, a thick spicy sauce, and coconut rice.

Stewed Beef
2 1/2 lbs. stew meat
1/4 c. flour
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 c. red wine
1 can beef broth
Salt and pepper
2 T. paprika
1 T. chili powder
2 t. cumin
1 t. garlic powder
2 t. onion powder
1/2 t. ground red pepper
In large pot, saute onions over medium heat for 4 minutes. Toss stew meat with flour to coat beef. Add garlic to pot. Add meat and increase heat to medium high. Cook meat for 3 minutes on each side. Mix in paprika, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper and ground red pepper. Add red wine, using a wooden spoon, scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pot. Let wine reduce and add beef broth plus 1/2 cup of water. Bring to boil and reduce to simmer. Cover and let simmer for 1 hour.

Coconut Rice
1 can coconut milk
2 c. uncooked instant rice
1/2 bunch scallions, chopped

In medium pot, bring coconut milk and 1/4 cup water to boil. Stir in rice, salt and scallions. Cover and let sit for 7 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Hunter's Stew

I grew up in Illinois, and now I live in North Texas. One of the reasons that I moved to Texas is because I wanted to live somewhere warmer. So imagine my dismay when it snows this morning in Dallas, and I realize that it snowed here before it snowed at my parents'. My mom found this quite humorous.

So with our cold weather, I decided to make one of my favorite comfort foods my mom makes. I wanted to make this the way my mom makes this stew. I just added the corn, because well, I love corn.

Hunter's Stew
2 lbs. ground beef
3 cans Campbell's Old-Fashioned Vegetable Soup
1 large potato, diced
1 c. frozen corn
Salt and pepper

In large pot, brown ground beef and drain off grease. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in potatoes. Add soup and 1 1/2 cup of water. Let simmer for 20 minutes. Add corn and let cook for 5 minutes.