Friday, January 14, 2011

Beef Stew with Beer and Paprika

Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 2 Hours30 Minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Servings: 6


■3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
■1 Tablespoon Butter
■2 pounds Stew Meat
■1 whole Medium Onion, Diced
■3 cloves Garlic, Minced
■1 can Beer, 12 Ounce Can
■4 cups Beef Stock
■2 cups Water
■1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
■2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
■½ teaspoons Paprika
■½ teaspoons Kosher Salt
■Freshly Ground Black Pepper
■1-½ teaspoon Sugar
■4 whole Carrots, Washed, Unpeeled, And Roughly Sliced
■4 whole New Potatoes, Quartered
■Minced Parsley (optional)

Preparation Instructions

Heat oil and butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Brown meat in two batches, setting aside on a plate when brown. Cut pieces in half. Set aside.

Add diced onions to the pot. Stir and cook for two or three minutes until softened, then add garlic for another minute. Pour in beer, beef stock, and water, then add Worcestershire, tomato paste, paprika, salt, pepper, and sugar. Add beef back into the pot. Stir to combine. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Add carrots and potatoes, then cover and cook for an additional 30 minutes. (If stew gets dry, just add a cup of hot water at a time to replenish the liquid.) Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Serve in bowls next to crusty French bread. Sprinkle with minced parsley, if desired.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Jan’s Dilly Bread

Prep Time: 2 Hours
Cook Time: 45 Minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Servings: 12

1 package (2 1/4 Teaspoons) Active Dry Yeast
¼ cups Warm Water
1 cup Cottage Cheese, Heated To Lukewarm
2 Tablespoons Sugar
1 Tablespoon Minced Dried Onion
1 Tablespoon Softened Butter
2 teaspoons Dill Seed
1 teaspoon Salt
¼ teaspoons Baking Soda
1 whole Egg
2-¼ cups Flour (more If Needed)

Preparation Instructions

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Combine warm cottage cheese, sugar, minced onion, butter, dill seed, salt, soda, and egg. Stir to combine.

Stir in yeast mixture gently, then add flour gradually, stirring gently.

Cover dough with plastic wrap and allow it to rise until double in bulk. Punch down dough, then turn into a well-buttered round baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 45 more minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake bread in lower half of the oven for 40 to 50 minutes. Brush top with melted butter after baking. Serve warm with butter!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Prep Time 10 Minutes
Cook Time 1 Hour30 Minutes
Servings 8
Difficulty Easy


■2 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
■1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
■1-½ teaspoon Cumin
■1 teaspoon Chili Powder
■½ teaspoons Garlic Powder
■½ teaspoons Salt
■1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
■1 cup Diced Onion
■¼ cups Diced Green Bell Pepper
■¼ cups Red Bell Pepper
■3 cloves Garlic, Minced
■1 can Rotel Tomatoes And Green Chilies
■32 ounces, fluid Low Sodium Chicken Stock
■3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
■4 cups Hot Water
■2 cans Black Beans, Drained
■3 Tablespoons Cornmeal Or Masa
■5 whole Corn Tortillas, Cut Into Uniform Strips Around 2 To 3 Inches


■Sour Cream
■Diced Avocado
■Diced Red Onion
■Salsa Or Pico De Gallo
■Grated Monterey Jack Cheese

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix cumin, chili pepper, garlic powder, and salt. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil on chicken breasts, then sprinkle a small amount of spice mix on both sides. Set aside the rest of the spice mix.

Place chicken breasts on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until chicken is done. Use two forks to shred chicken. Set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a pot over medium high heat. Add onions, red pepper, green pepper, and minced garlic. Stir and begin cooking, then add the rest of the spice mix. Stir to combine, then add shredded chicken and stir.

Pour in Rotel, chicken stock, tomato paste, water, and black beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 45 minutes, uncovered.

Mix cornmeal with a small amount of water. Pour into the soup, then simmer for an additional 30 minutes. Check seasonings, adding more if needed—add more chili powder if it needs more spice, and be sure not to undersalt. Turn off heat and allow to sit for 15 to 20 minutes before serving. Five minutes before serving, gently stir in tortilla strips.

Ladle into bowls, then top with sour cream, diced red onion, diced avocado, pico de gallo, and grated cheese, if you have it! (The garnishes really make the soup delicious.)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Pistachio Cake

Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 1 Hour
Difficulty: Easy
Servings: 18


■1 box White Cake Mix
■1 package (4 Ounce) Pistachio Instant Pudding Mix
■½ cups Orange Juice
■½ cups Water
■½ cups Vegetable Oil
■4 whole Eggs
■¾ cups Chocolate Syrup (such As Hershey's)

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour bundt pan.

Mix all ingredients but chocolate syrup and beat for two minutes on medium-high. Pour 3/4 of the batter into the bundt pan.

Add chocolate syrup to the remaining batter and mix well. Pour chocolate-laced batter on top of the pistachio batter.

Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Note: You can use a knife to swirl chocolate batter into the pistachio batter for more of a marbled design.

Variation: Coat cake with chocolate ganache!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Pig Cake

Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Servings: 16


■1 box (18.25 Oz. Box) Yellow Cake Mix
■1 stick Margarine (softened)
■1 can (14 Oz. Can) Mandarin Oranges, Drained, 1/2 Cup Juice Reserved
■4 whole Eggs
■1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract


■1 package (4 Oz. Box) Vanilla Instant Pudding Mix
■1 can (20 Oz. Can) Crushed Pineapple, Juice Reserved
■½ cups Powdered Sugar
■4 ounces, fluid Frozen Whipped Topping (such As Cool Whip)
■Extra Mandarin Orange Slices, For Garnish

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. For the cake, combine cake mix, margarine, 1/2 cup juice from the mandarin oranges, eggs, and vanilla. Beat for four minutes on medium-high. Add drained oranges and beat again until pieces are broken up and small. Pour batter into greased and floured 9 x 13 inch baking pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown and set. Remove from oven and cool completely. If desired, turn out cake onto a large platter.

Once cake is cool, blend juice from drained pineapples with the vanilla pudding mix. Add powdered sugar and mix, then mix in whipped topping. Stir in drained pineapple. Spread on cooled cake and refrigerate several hours.

To serve, cut cake into squares and top each square with a mandarin orange slice.