Saturday, May 31, 2008

Fresh Fruit Popsicles

I got this recipe from Paved With Good Intentions and it looked so good I immediately ran to Target and found popsicle molds. I made a couple changes from the borrowed recipe: I decided not to strain the fruit and I cut back on the sugar a bit. Eating these popsicles reminded me of a good fruit smoothie. Yum!


1 cup strawberries
1 cup watermelon
handful of mint
1/8 cup sugar
juice of one lime


Put everything into the food processor and process until smooth. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze overnight.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Just a quick post showing my tiny kitchen (and my gorgeous new apron). OK, OK - some people's kitchen's are surely tinier than mine, but you must admit - it is fairly small.

Roast Beef for my Husband

I am not a roast beef eating kind of person. I much prefer things like chicken or no meat at all. I do enjoy beef hamburgers, but for some reason when beef comes in a giant hunk or a big slab, it is not all that appetizing to me. That being said, I decided to make this for my poor red meat loving husband who doesn't actually get to eat red meat all that often. I served the roast with a side of steamed broccoli and mashed red potatoes with parsley, garlic, and Parmesan cheese.

Top Round Roast Beef
Recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse, Food Network


1 (4 1/2 to 5 pound) top round roast, rinsed and patted dry
16 cloves peeled garlic
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
2 teaspons salt
1 teaspoon Essence, recipe follows **I didn't have this, so I just used some dried thyme, garlic, salt, and pepper
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
12 small sprigs fresh thyme


Preheat Oven to 400 Degrees.

Put the roast in a small roasting pan, bone side down. With a small sharp knife, make sixteen 1/2-inch-deep slits in the meaty side of the roast. Insert 1 garlic clove into each slit, pressing into the meat. Pinch with your thumb and index finger to close the openings. Combine the chopped thyme, salt, Essence, and pepper in a small bowl. Slowly stir in the oil to make a paste. Rub the paste on both sides of the roast, and place the thyme sprigs under the roast. Roast for 1 hour. Remove the pan from the oven and turn the roast for even browning. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the roast reads 125 to 130 degrees F for medium-rare, about 45 minutes, or 140 degrees F for medium, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let the roast stand for 15 minutes before carving.

Fiesta Rice

This is one of my all-time favorite recipes. The time spent making this dish is well worth it. The rice is so versatile and can be used as a side dish, in a burrito, on top of nachos, and basically anywhere else you can think of! This recipe makes a nice big batch, so plan on lots of leftovers.

Fiesta Rice

Source: Cooking Light


2 teaspoons olive oil
1 (10-ounce) package frozen whole-kernel corn, thawed
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup chopped green onions
1 1/2 cups uncooked brown rice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Dash of salt
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with chiles, undrained
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice


Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add corn to pan; cook 10 minutes or until corn starts to brown, stirring occasionally. Remove from pan. Set aside.

Melt butter in pan. Add onions; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in rice, cumin, and garlic; cook 1 minute. Add chicken broth, black pepper, salt, and diced tomatoes to pan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in reserved corn and beans. Cover and let stand 10 minutes. Stir in cilantro and juice.


8 servings (serving size: 1 cup)

Nutritional Information...

CALORIES 226(16% from fat); FAT 3.9g (sat 1.3g,mono 1.7g,poly 0.7g); PROTEIN 6.6g; CHOLESTEROL 4mg; CALCIUM 52mg; SODIUM 354mg; FIBER 4.9g; IRON 2.1mg; CARBOHYDRATE 43.5g

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I can't spell Shepherd's Pie

When I sought out a recipe for this classic comfort food I ran into some difficulty due to my inability to spell "shepherd." One would think that someone who frequently did well in Elementary school spelling bees would not have this problem. However, not once did it occur to me that there would be an "h" in the word. Naturally, once I found the proper spelling, it all made sense. Shep-herd - one who herds She(e)p.

In any case, this blog is about cooking, not spelling. On to the recipe! While this dish takes a little while to make from start to finish, it comes out beautifully and is so satisfying! It's one of my new favorites! Enjoy! (Please excuse my poor photography)

Shepherd's Pie
Source: Emeril Lagasse


1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 pound chopped lamb shoulder or lamb fillet **I used Ground Beef**
1 cup chopped yellow onions
2 carrots, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 ounces button mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced
**I also added about a cup of frozen corn**
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 1/4 cups lamb or beef stock
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 pound potatoes
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup white cheddar, grated


Lightly grease a 6-cup baking dish and set aside.

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add the lamb and cook until starting to brown, about 3 minutes. Add the onions, carrots, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and bay leaf, and cook, stirring, until their liquid is almost all gone, about 4 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until starting to color, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Gradually add the stock and Worcestershire sauce, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until thickened, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Meanwhile, place the potatoes in a medium pot and cover with salted water by 1-inch. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain in a colander and return to the pot. Over low heat, mash the potatoes with a potato masher. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, 3/4 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, and nutmeg, and mash to incorporate. Add the heavy cream and mix well. Remove from the heat.

Remove the pot with the meat from the heat. Remove the bay leaf. Spoon into the prepared dish and top with the mashed potatoes, smoothing the top. Sprinkle the cheese over the top and bake until browned and bubbly on top, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

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