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Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year and Crockpot Breakfast Steak and Biscuits

Let me start by wishing you a Happy New Year.  May 2013 be the best year for you yet.  I want to thank those of you that have followed me this year in my new little adventure.  I am looking forward to the coming year and what it might bring to this blog.  As I have said before I love hearing from you.  I love hearing about the recipes that you have tried and want to try.  Continue to share with me your stories.  Also feel free to share my link with your family and friends.  I am trying to get the word out there that it can be quick and easy to put dinner on the table for your family and some special meals along the way.

Today I want to share a quick and easy crockpot breakfast with you.  This steak and biscuits sure are good on cold winter mornings.
It doesn't take much to make this dish.  Just some small pieces of steak, a stick of butter, and Montreal Steak seasonings.  You can use whatever kind of steak seasonings you have on hand.
Sprinkle the pieces of steak really well with the steak seasonings.
Put the steak in your crockpot.  I used my small one but if you do more pieces use your larger one.
Cut up the stick of butter and put a piece on top and bottom of the steak pieces. Cover and turn on low when you go to bed.  The next morning you will almost have breakfast ready.
The next morning cook your biscuits.  No need to make homemade biscuits because there are some really good frozen ones.  Pop them in the toaster oven to bake while you are getting ready.
Look at these tender steak pieces.
Split your biscuits and load up the steak.  You can put a little of the butter mixture in the biscuit if you like.  What a great way to start a new year with a nice stick-to-your-ribs breakfast.

Stay safe tonight and enjoy ringing in a new year with all kinds of new possibilities.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Red Velvet Pound Cake

My husband needed a dessert for a work Christmas party so I thought I would try the Red Velvet Bundt Cake recipe.  It turned out really good, and looked very festive for the holidays.
Red velvet cakes are a chemistry lesson which makes it a lot of fun to make.  I mean how many cakes have vinegar in them?
Start with 2 eggs in a bowl.
Whip them up a little.
Add 2 cups of oil.
Beat and then add 1 Tablespoon of vinegar.
Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla.
Add 1 cup buttermilk.
Then add 1 oz of red food coloring which is one small bottle.
It is part of what makes the cake so red.  This is a pretty color but I like the color better when the cocoa is added.
Add 2 cups sugar.
Add 1 teaspoon baking soda
Add 1 teaspoon salt.
Add 3 Tablespoons cocoa powder.
Add 2 1/2 cup all purpose flour.
Grease and flour a bundt or tube pan and pour the batter into the pan.  Place the pan in a preheated 325 degree oven. Bake for 50-55 minutes.  Insert a toothpick to see if the cake is done.
Let the cake sit in the pan for about 5 minutes then turn out onto a plate.  Let cool completely.
This is what you need for the icing for the cake.
Start with 8 oz cream cheese and 1 stick of butter that have both been softened.
Whip that first then add about a teaspoon of vanilla.
Then add 4 cups of confectioners' sugar one cup at a time.  Beat well after each cup.
Then add about 1/4 cup milk.
Here's the icing.
Just loosely ice the cake.  I added some red and green sprinkles on top for decoration. Afterwards I thought if I had had some red and green gumdrops I could have rolled them out and cut out green leaves and red berries to decorate the top.  I'm sure you can think of something to make it look festive.

Red Velvet Bundt Cake Recipe

2 1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 cup sugar
1 cup oil
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 oz red food coloring

Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
8 oz cream cheese softened
1 stick butter softened
4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 c milk

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Paula Deen's Foolproof Standing Rib Roast

I don't know how many of you have ever made a Standing Rib Roast but if you are like me you have always wanted to try one.  Every year at the holidays Publix add will show how to cook one and I always say I am going to try that one year.  This year when the ad came out my husband said why not this year.  So I got brave and decided I would make one for Christmas Eve dinner.  I have several guinea pigs oops I mean friends and family coming for dinner so it was a perfect time to try it.  I asked several of my friends that cook had they made one and they said the same thing I did "I've always wanted to try one but never have".  I read several different recipes and this is a mixture of what I learned.  I hope you too will get brave and try one because it really was easy and very good.  I would suggest you choose sides better than I did because I used both ovens and couldn't try Yorkshire Pudding this go around but I will next time.
Really all you have to have for the rib roast is salt and pepper, but after reading some things I wanted to add some things to the roasting pan. Leave the meat out for about 1to 1 1/2 hours to get to room temperature.
I got this great roasting pan from Bed Bath and Beyond and it worked great.  I added a little bit of beef broth that I had left over in the fridge to the bottom.  I added three stalks of celery.
I cut up a couple of carrots and an onion.  This should add some good flavor to the roast.  Salt and pepper the tops and sides.
You will set the roast in the pan bone side down and the fat side up.
I went out to my garden and cut some fresh rosemary to use on the roast and the squash side dish.
I put some pieces of the rosemary on top.  Preheat the oven to 375.
Put it in the 375 oven for one hour.  Do not open the door to look at it.
At the end of the hour turn the oven off and set the timer for 3 hours.  During this time DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR.   I know it is tempting but don't do it.  At the end of three hours turn the oven back on to 375 and cook for about 40-45 minutes.  If you do not want any rare or medium meat in the middle you might want to cook it a little longer.  A thermometer inserted should register around 140 for rare to medium rare on up for more well done.
When you are ready to serve take it out of the oven and let sit for a few minutes to let all the juices settle throughout the meat. You can use some of the pan juice to make some gravy for the meat.  Sorry I didn't get any pictures of it sliced but we were ready to eat when it came out.  It was really good and I regret not trying it sooner.  It was the perfect Christmas Eve dinner and I think my guinea pigs really liked it too.  Just count backwards from when you want to eat to figure out when you want to put it in the oven.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Semi Homemade Mexican Cornbread

I like to use a premixed Mexican cornbread mix because it adds a little zip to the cornbread but not too much.
Martha White makes a really good Mexican cornbread mix.  I am doubling my recipe this time because I am making it for a party.  But one package is perfect for a family meal with probably some leftovers.
Pour the mix into a bowl.  For a single recipe you will use one of the small cans of whole kernel corn that you have drained well.  Also add a half of a medium onion chopped.
Then add some cheese.  You can use Mexican blend or cheddar really whatever you might have on hand.
Then add the milk and one egg that are listed on the back of the package.  I can't remember now how much milk it called for but it is regular sweet milk not buttermilk.  Most people don't keep buttermilk on hand all the time.
Pour some oil in a cast iron skillet and run it around and up the sides a little to coat it well.  If you are using just one package you can use a smaller skillet.  I always put it in the oven while it is preheating so the oil will get hot. Preheat the oven to 425.
Mix the wet ingredients with the dry.
Nice and well mixed.
Take the skillet out of the oven when the oil is nice and hot and add the mixture to the skillet.  It will sizzle when poured in.  Bake for about 22 minutes.  Check it because you might need to cook it a little longer since you have added the additional ingredients.  You want it nice and golden brown on top.
Nice and golden brown.  The bottom is nice and crusty too.  That is why you cook it in a cast iron skillet so the bottom will be crusty.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Beef Stew

I have made this beef stew for a long time and it's one of those dishes that doesn't really have a recipe.  On the plus side you can make as much or as little as you want.  I usually make a big pot of it and freeze half to have another day when I might not have as much time to cook.  I also make my Mexican cornbread to go with it.  I will post the recipe for it tomorrow.
When I made this I was making a really big pot for a dinner with friends.  I will tell you how to make just one recipe of it.
I pour one can/jar of tomatoes.  I use a quart jar of tomatoes that my mother canned.  I add the beef stew mix. Mix those together well.
If you beef tips are in large pieces you will need to cut them into smaller pieces.  For one recipe about a pound of beef tips is about right.
Add the beef tips to the tomato seasoning mixture and cook until the meat is brown.  It won't be cooked all the way through yet but you want the outsides to brown and cook.
That broth is looking good.  The meat is all brown.  Now time to add the veggies.
I like my soups and stews to be nice and thick so I add two cans each of whole kernel corn, green peas and green beans.  You can drain all the cans and then add a little additional water or you can drain half and just dump half juice and all.
Add chopped and peeled potatoes, carrots and onions to the pot too.
I like to let it cook all day and let all those flavors blend. You will have to keep stirring it all day so that it won't stick on the bottom.
After a day of cooking.  Doesn't that look good.  It is good left over and freezes beautifully.