Please continue to enjoy recipes/photos posted here on Blogger. Some of my favorites will be transferred over to Prep2eat at Wordpress where I will move forward in my foodblogging adventures.
Come by for a visit: Here is my first blog post http://prep2eat.wordpress.com/2013/03/17/spicy-turkey-balls/?trashed=1&ids=5
Please check out my Welcome Page, About Prep2eat, at Wordpress while viewing my posts:
Thursday, October 4, 2012
Ground White Turkey with Vegetables and Butternut Squash Soup
Cooked Ground Turkey Mixture Served with Cooked Brown Rice
Quick meal utilizing leftovers
How I prepared three meals from one main recipe and enjoyed every one of them!
On a cool, rainy day I decided to prepare my favorite fall soup recipe, Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup.
Here is the link to this recipe from my Blog:
Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup
(smooth, creamy and non-dairy)
Spices in my Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup
These Spices bring intense flavor and heat to the pureed soup.
With leftover soup for the next day, I wanted to prepare a hearty dinner using the leftover soup so I got the idea to cook some ground white meat turkey (can use ground beef instead if you choose), saute some onions, carrots, celery and red peppers making a larger amount of the mixture to serve to the family. The sauce, leftover cooked soup from the refrigerator, was added to the ground turkey mixture, warmed up with the ground turkey and vegetables. This mixture now became a thick, hearty, flavorful meal with very little effort during the cooking process.
Now with the larger amount of cooked, ground turkey mixture, I still had some for leftovers the next day and served this with a side dish of cooked brown rice. Yum!!!
How wonderful to use one soup recipe for three separate meals! A little creativity and having produce in the refrigerator and meat on hand in the freezer makes cooking at home enjoyable and rewarding. I might add the word "impressive" to those tasting these meals for the first time.
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
by The Souper
Entering my second year of blogging at Prep2eat, I am sharing with you one of my favorite recipes for Vegetable Ragu. This dish utilizes summer produce in a healthy, hearty, spicy and comforting meal. Cooking a large amount one time allows a home cook to recreate several meals from the original creation. I like to use the word "creation" because personal choices go into the total recipe. Creativity makes a unique dish.
A traditional Ragu by definition is "an Italian culinary staple that refers to any sauce to which meat is added." This comes from online website of wiseGEEK http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-ragu-sauce.htm
Also from this same website: "The actual word Ragu is derived from the French word ragout which translates to stew. The French verb ragouter literally means to stimulate appetite."
Enjoy visiting your local Farmers' Markets in season to bring home the fresh produce for your home cooking creations.
Use as a side dish to a protein meal of cooked meat or chicken.
Cut leftover, cooked hamburgers or chicken into leftover Vegetable Ragu and reheat for a quick meal with protein.
Cook pasta or rice and add to cooked Vegetable Ragu to increase amount of a side dish.
Cooking time for Vegetable Ragu after prep: about 30 minutes depending on the amount of ingredients used.
Vegetable Ragu (one version)
Olive oil or canola oil, three tablespoons
Onion, one small or half medium
Garlic cloves, two or three
Summer squash, small
Carrot, one medium
Broccoli, fresh or frozen, two cups
Tomatoes, one 28 ounce can, crushed
Tomato paste, 12 ounce can
Water, two cups or more (as needed)
Kosher salt, two teaspoons (add more as needed for tasting)
Crushed black pepper, one teaspoon (add more as needed for tasting
Sugar, two teaspoons (add more as needed for tasting)
Red pepper flakes, one quarter teaspoon (add more as needed for tasting)
What you will need:
Cutting board, large
Small mixing bowls (two)
Large mixing bowls (one)
Fry pan, large
Serving platter or large serving bowl
Serving spoons, large
Bring all cooking supplies to central prepping area of your kitchen.
Wash and dry all fresh produce.
Peel produce such as carrots.
Take skin off onion and garlic
Wash and dry the top of cans before opening.
Cut fresh produce into cubes of same size.
Put cut onions into one bowl.
Keep cut garlic cloves separate in small bowl.
Put remaining cut produce into a large bowl
Add oil into large frying pan and turn stove burner to medium high heat for one minute.
To the heated oil in the frying pan, add cut onions and stir with wooden spoon until color of onions turns shiny, opaque color.
Add salt during the stirring of cooking onions.
Add cut garlic cloves to the cooking onions and continue to stir the mixture for a minute.
Add remaining cut vegetables, crushed black pepper and optional red pepper flakes.
Keep stirring the cooking vegetables and lower stove burner temperature to medium heat.
When cooking vegetables soften, after about three minutes or more if needed, add the can of crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar and water.
Stir slowly to combine all of the mixture together.
Keep stirring and add more water if sauce is becoming too thick and continue to stir the mixture.
Lower stove burner temperature to low setting and keep stirring the cooking sauce.
With a clean table spoon, carefully taste the cooking sauce and add more salt, sugar and/or crushed black pepper to a flavor that is pleasing to you.
Turn off the stove burner and carefully put the cooked ragu sauce into a large serving bowl.
Saturday, January 21, 2012
Update on variety of ingredients in Turkey Ball Recipe
Updated photo by The Souper for Turkey Balls using the ingredients shown above.
How do you make a favorite comfort food a little healthier? Without losing texture and flavor, all you have to do is switch from using ground beef to a good quality ground turkey, of course! That said, you will need to spice the turkey balls up with add-ins or cooking them in a flavored sauce. Update to this recipe: A wonderful pairing of flavor is to add White Horseradish and Sweet Pepper Relish. Yum. Note: I use Gluten-free Horseradish.
The first time I prepared a ground turkey dish was tossing the rounded balls of fresh ground turkey and cooking them in a spicy, sweet and sour sauce in a large pot on the stove top. These were a big hit with guests and of course the turkey balls with sauce partnered well with rice or couscous for a complete plateful.
To cook a very simple, tasty version of turkey balls, I prepared fresh ground turkey with ingredients as if preparing a meatloaf. Everyone has their own version of meatloaf, but I find using Panko Bread Crumbs to be an ingredient giving a meat or turkey mixture some body so the compacted meat does not become too dense. By baking the seasoned ground turkey balls, one saves some calories by avoiding a frying process for cooking.
These baked ground turkey balls can be served as an appetizer with a favorite dipping sauce or served as a main dish along side of a healthy carb and a side salad. Either way, these tiny balls of comfort are satisfying to the palate and are fun to eat.
What you will need:
Lage mixing bowl
Small mixing bowl
Fork or Whisk
Lage baking sheet
Spatula or cooking tongs
Large serving platter or large serving bowl
Fresh ground turkey, one pound
One whole egg OR Two eggwhites
Ketchup, 1/4 cup
Worcestshire Sauce, 1/4 cup
Kosher salt, one teaspoon
Black pepper, one teaspoon, crushed
Smoked Paprika, one teaspoon
Panko Bread Crumbs, 3/4 cups or more for consistancy to form balls
Optional: add an herb or choice or chopped, fresh spinach
Update to recipe:
Horseradish, white, 1/4 cup (or more for personal taste.)
Sweet Pepper Relish, 1/4 cup (or more for personal taste.)
The Cooking Process:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cook turkey balls for about 20-30 minutes until they are slightly browned. Do not overcook or they will be too dry.
With the fresh ground turkey in a large bowl, add a well-mixed egg (or only eggwhites) from the small bowl that has been mixed with the fork or whisk.
To the turkey egg mixture, add the remaining ingredients and mix with the wooden spoon to a consistancy to form a small ball with clean heands.
Continue to form balls of mixture and put them on a lined baking sheet with parchment paper.
Put the baking sheet into the preheated oven to bake.
Check often to make sure the turkey balls are not browning too much.
When the turkey balls look browned on the top, shut the oven off and remove the baking sheet from the oven.
Remove the turkey balls on to a clean platter.
Saturday, January 7, 2012
Keeping it "old school" I prepared fresh, homemade Potato Latkes (Potato Pancakes) for family and friends this past December for the holiday of Chanukah (or Hannukah). Using a traditional recipe from my well-used cookbook (btw those are the best recipes coming from a worn-out cookbook) I had an extra challenge: make Gluten-free Potato Pancakes! No problem since I enjoy several Gluten-free products and know where the very large supply of Gluten-free products are in my market.
Among the many varieties of Gluten-free Pastas, Cookies, Cake Mixes, I saw a bag of Gluten-free Brown Rice Flour! Yes, this would be an excellent exchange for regular white flour. With the little amount I needed for this Latke Recipe, I purchased the Brown Rice Flour and began the process of preparing Potato Latkes as usual.
Guess what? There was NO difference in flavor or texture from substituting Brown Rice Flour for the White Flour. So simple and stress-free!
(I am not being paid for mentioning this product.)
Preparing this recipe I did need to keep it simple, therefore, I did use a food processor to grate the potatoes and onion. To prepare Latkes the "old-school way," one would grate the potatoes and onion on a box grater which produces a smoother texture. The flavor is still the same with grating potatoes and onion in a food processor producing larger pieces and more string-like crispies as seen in the photo of Latkes cooking in the fry pan.
Serving suggestions for Potato Latkes: a side of applesauce or sour cream and perhaps a plain, thick yogurt.
This recipe produces 20-25 Latkes depending on size of choice.
Preparation and cooking time is about 30 minutes but there is a "refrigeration time" of about an hour before the grating process!
Also, these delicious Potato Latkes make a great appetizer or side dish any time of the year, not just for a holiday celebration.
What you will need:
Food processor or large box grater
Large kitchen knife
Large cutting board
Two large mixing bowls
1 small mixing bowl
whisk or fork
Large fry pan
Large baking sheet
(Optional: preheat oven to 300 degrees F. to keep Potato Latkes warm on a baking sheet, with paper towel liner removed, until serving time.)
6 large Russett or Yucon Gold Potatoes preferred, all-purpose baking potatoes ok also: peel potatoes
1 large onion, peeled
2 well-beaten eggs
2 tablespoons flour (All-purpose White or Brown Rice Flour)
2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed Black Pepper
4 plus extra tablespoons of Canola or other vegetable oil.
Peel potatoes and onion.
Soak for about one hour in a large bowl of cold water in the refrigerator.
After the soaking in cold water, drain the water from the large bowl.
Cut the potatoes and onion on the cutting board with the kitchen knife into pieces that are able to fit into the tube of the food processor.
Using the grating attachment for your food processor, grate both the potatoes and onion. (you may have to emptly the bowl of the food processor when it gets full and put the mixture into a large bowl and continue to grate the remaining potatoes and pieces of onion.
At this point after the grating process, you have two options: drain all the liquid out of the mixture from grating by pressing the mixture down in a large colander. Then continue with adding remaining ingredients to the drained mixture in a large bowl.
Option: further grate the mixture in the bowl of your food processor with the blend attachment to get a smoother texture to the mixture of grated potatoes and onion. Then drain all remaining liquid carefully out of that mixture in a strainer with small holes. Then continue adding the remaining ingredients to the blended mixture in a large bowl.
Either process mentioned above will create a flavorful Potato Latke, it is an option for the texture you prefer.
The most important step in the process is draining the liquid away from the grated potatoes and onion. Discard the drained liquid.
Add the remaining ingredients to the grated mixture: beaten eggs, flour of choice, salt and pepper.
Mix all the ingredients carefully in a large bowl with the wooden spoon.
The Cooking Process:
In a large fry pan, add some of the cooking oil and turn the stove burner to a medium-high temperature.
When the oil in the fry pan is hot in just a minute or two, carefully spoon the mixture into the fry pan. The cooking mixture will begin to sizzle and in a few minutes the edges of the latkes will begin to brown. At that time, carefully turn the Latkes over with a spatula to continue to brown on the other side.
When both sides of the Latke is browned, put the Latke on the prepared baking sheet lined with paper towels to absorb the extra oil from cooking.
Make several Latkes at one time, but do not crowd the fry pan as it will decrease the temperature of the oil in the fry pan.
Add a little more oil when the fry pan looks dry. It is the oil that makes the Latke have the brownish color, therefore, crispy.
The outer layer of the Latke should be crispy, keeping the center of the Latke softer.
Serve the cooked Latkes immediately on a clean platter or remove the paper towel layer of the baking sheet and put the cooked Latkes onto the baking sheet and keep warm in the oven until serving time.
Thursday, December 29, 2011
What do you do when there is a brisk chilly feel to the outside air and the wind is howling around the house but it is brilliantly sunny outside? You make soup, of course!
I took out from my refrigerator the very basics for a good hearty, spicy vegetable soup. There was a half of a large butternut squash sitting quietly in my refrigerator along with a large bag of carrots. I discovered a half of a large onion just waiting to jump into a food creation of mine. Supporting the major components of this throw-together soup are my spices always ready to flavor-up a dish.
With a full stock of staples in the pantry, I of course had a box of low-sodium chicken broth to blend into a pot of soup or rice stirfry sidedish.
There you have it. Chopping the vegetables, adding seasonings and broth blends into the most satisfying, creamy tummy-warming soup in just about one half an hour. Yes, from the chop to the blend I was eating not one but two bowls of this velvety smooth liquid meal in under an hour! How wonderful is that?
With the basic kitchen skills and tools, you too can impress yourself as well as your loved ones with a healthy, nutritious pleasure.
Prep time about five minutes. Cooking time about one half an hour.
Serving suggestions: Add soup crackers, or small cooked pasta to a bowl of soup. (If you can tolerate dairy, grate some melting cheese on top of the soup or a tiny bit of cream.)
What you will need:
Cutting board, large
Small bowls for chopped vegetables
Large pot with matching cover
Large soup spoon
Immersion blender or food processor (even a blender if soup is cooled.)
Canola or Olive Oil, 3 tablespoons
1/2 large sweet onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 large butternut squash, cubed into small pieces
2 medium carrots, washed, peeled and cut into thin discs
1 box, 32 ounces of low-sodium chicken broth. (Swanson's)
Kosher salt, add during cooking and flavor cooked soup
(about 1 teaspoon during cooking onions, 1 teaspoon when butternut squash and carrots added to the cooking onions. Add 1 teaspoon if needed when soup is finished cooking and still in the pot if more flavoring is needed.)
Crushed black pepper, 1-2 teaspoons during the cooking process
Turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon on top of the cooking butternut squash and carrots
Smoked Papika, 1/2 teaspoon on top of the cooking butternut squash and carrots.
Wash, peel, cut the carrots and set aside until needed
Peel butternut squash and cut into small pieces
Peel the onion and chop into small pieces and set aside until needed
Peel clove of garlic and crush into small pieces
Add the oil into the large pot and put on the stove burner turned on medium-high heat
Add the chopped onions, some salt and stir with the wooden spoon often.
When the cooking onions look shiny and appear to be softer in texture, add the crushed garlic and keep stirring with the wooden spoon often.
Quickly add the cut butternut squash and cut carrots into the cooking mixture and keep stirring around often with the wooden spoon.
Add more salt, add crushed black pepper as well as the turmeric and smoked paprika and keep stirring with the wood spoon.
When the cooking vegetables appear to be softer, slowly add the chicken broth and keep stirring the mixture.
Reduce the heat under the pot to a low setting, cover slightly with the matching cover.
Check on the cooking soup in about 25-30 minutes, taste a little bit with the clean, large soup spoon and add more salt or crushed black pepper to your personal taste.
The flavors come together with a correct balance of seasonings. (Your tastebus will tell you if more seasonings are needed.)
With the stove burner off, use the immersion blender slowly to blend the cooked chunks of vegetables into a smooth, velvety texture.
If using a food processor or blender, let the soup cool a bit before blending.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
It was exciting to find a lasagne pasta made of brown rice so that I could prepare a gluten-free lasagne for people on a restricted diet AND while thinking about dietary needs of others, I decided to make this recipe for lasagne to be dairy-free as well. Did I have concerns how this recipe was going to turn out? You bet I did. Did I have concerns about how a lasagne without cheese would hold up in the cooking process? You bet I did, again.
I am happy to report that this lasagne with ground beef and sauted vegetables turned out to be one of the best tasting culinary experiments I have prepared. There was an abundance of flavor in this meat lasagne from the spiced-up seasonings used during the cooking of the ground beef. The sauted veggies of choice for this recipe added their own flavor and texture to the entire lasagne. How surprised was I? Very surprised and satisfied with this homemade creation.
Although I technically am not restricted to a gluten-free diet, I enjoy the wonderful new products appearing in the markets for those restricting gluten in their nutritional diets. A personal observation: when eating too much bread or white pasta, I find a bloated feeling after a meal and see more puffiness under my eyes. Again, this is just a personal observation. The same feeling is personally observed when eating a lot of dairy products. So, good to know that substitutions of ingredients still allows for a hearty flavor in favorite meals.
Noting here that I chose ingredients for this lasagne without promoting any products. I enjoy their flavors.
What you will need to prepare this dish:
Large pot with matching lid
Large cutting board
Wooden spoon, two
Large lasagne pan or high baking dish
Olive or Canola Oil spray
Lasagne pasta, gluten-free
Olive oil, 3-4 tbs for sauteing vegetables and ground beef.
Small onion, chopped
Garlic, 3 cloves, fresh and chopped
Carrot, 1 large, washed, peeled and grated
Red or Green pepper, 1 medium, washed and cut into small pieces
Butternut squash, 1 cup, fresh, cut into small pieces
Zucchini, 1 small, washed, cut into small pieces
Kosher salt, 1-4 tbs (add half of total amount during vegetable saute; add some salt to taste during cooking process after the ground beef is added but save some salt to add to boiling water for cooking pasta)
Black pepper, 1 tsp, crushed
Ground beef, 1 lb, lean OR White ground meat turkey, 1 lb.
Tomato sauce, one jar prepared tomato sauce of choice (with/without added herbs, but no cheese.)
Tomato paste, 4 tbs from tube or small can
Water, 1 cup, cold (add half of the water to determine thickness of mixture)
Tumeric, 1 tsp, powder
Smoked paprika, 1 tsp, powder
Oregano, 1 tsp, dried
Basil, 1 tsp, dried
Gluten-free bread crumbs
Lasagna Preperation Process:
Fill the large pot with cold water, put lid on the pot and put the pot on a stove burner, high heat, to bring water to a rolling boil. This will take 8-10 minutes depending on your stove temperature. When large bubbles appear in the boiling water, remove the lid, add some Kosher salt and carefully add the dried lasagne pasta. Stir gently to separate each noodle so they do not stick together.
When all the lasagne pasta is softer, but still firm, turn off the burner under the pot, put the colander in the sink and carefully lift the pot with pot holders and slowly drain the boiling water from the pot leaving the partially cooked lasagne pasta in the collander.
While the water is reaching a boiling temperature, preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
At this time put the large skillet on another stove burner, add the olive oil into the skillet and turn the burner under the skillet to medium-high heat. In a minute or two, carefully add the chopped onion and stir around the skillet with a wooden spoon. When the onions look softer add the rest of the vegetables and keep stirring the mixture. Add some of the Kosher salt and all of the crushed black pepper. Keep stirring the mixture with the wooden spoon.
When all the vegetables look softer, add the uncooked ground beef (or ground turkey), add all of the herbs, the tomato paste and continue to stir with the wooden spoon until the ground beef (or ground turkey) turns brownish, more firm looking texture to the meat. Then, add 3/4 of the jar of tomato sauce. (save 1/4 of the tomato sauce for the top of the lasagne before baking)
Keep stirring the mixture above and then add the water, as much as needed for the desired consistancy of the mixture. The mixture of vegetables, meat and sauce should not be too watery.
Turn the temperature under the skillet with cooking mixture to a low setting and keep stirring with the wooden spoon until cooking mixture is fully heated and bubbles begin to form in the mixture.
Turn the burner off under the skillet after the mixture is hot and bubbly.
Spray the large baking dish with some olive oil spray to keep the bottom of the lasagne from burning while baking.
The Layering Process Before Baking:
With a clean wooden spoon, add a little bit of the cooked mixture from the skillet to the bottom of the baking dish.
With tongs, carefully take several partially cooked lasagne pasta and put them on top of the first layer of cooked ground beef (or ground turkey) and vegetable mixture. Add a bit more cooked mixture on top of the lasagne pasta and repeat this process until the top layer is cooked meat and vegetable mixture.
Add a thin layer of gluten-free bread crumbs for a crunchy topping (optional)
Add last 1/4 of jar of tomato sauce to the top of the lasagna.
Put the baking dish on a clean baking sheet so oven will not get messed up if the cooking lasagne overflows with tomato sauce.
Put the baking sheet with the lasagne baking dish on it into the preheated oven.
Bake the lasagne for about 20-30 minutes until heated totally in the middle.
Cut the cooked lasagne into large squares and serve each individual portion with a spatula on a dinner place.
Saturday, December 3, 2011
When I was a little kid home with a bad cold, my nose stuffy, chills running through my body from a fever and all I wanted was to be comforted and be held in loving arms. With a scratchy throat I did not want to eat anything solid that I had to chew and I did not want to talk.
Ah, but then warm, soothing relief came in the form of a bowl with steam rising out of it. My Mom brought me her homemade cold remedy, Chicken Soup! As the steamy bowl of soup came closer to my face, breathing became a little bit easier. Then a spoonful of hot soup reached my mouth. My dry lips from breathing from my mouth felt moistened as soothing liquid entered my waiting lips. The first drops of this salty, tasty warmth slid down my sore throat. "Mmmm," automatically came as my first words since being sick. I wanted more soothing soup immediately. I began spooning this miracle liquid faster. The warmth ran through my body and then my nose started to drip from the hot steam of the soup and I reached for the tissue box. Yes, I was beginning to breathe again. What a miracle!
Fresh Chicken Soup is easy to prepare. Prepare some for your family and friends. A big potful of soup will make several quarts. Freeze some for the times when you need this wonderful relief from a cold and congestion. Or when you just want comforting memories, defrost and heat a quart of fresh Chicken Soup and get your bowl and spoon ready for your treat.
What you will need:
One large soup pot with matching lid
One whole fresh chicken (about 3 lbs) or assorted chicken parts of choice.
One large onion, fresh
Carrots – 3-4, fresh
Celery – 1-2 stalks, fresh
Parsnips – aka white carrots (optional), 1-2 fresh
Cold water – enough just to cover the chicken (NOT to fill whole pot)
Kosher salt – several tablespoons to begin with. Add more to flavor when final tasting the soup.
Large spoons with holes or strainer with handle
Large bowl or platter
Preparing Chicken Soup:
Take out any inner plastic bag full of giblets, remove chicken neck for soup but other giblets not needed for the soup.
Rinse fresh chicken (inside and out) or chicken parts with cold water and pat dry.
Put the chicken or chicken parts into the large soup pot
Add cold water only to cover the top of the chicken, not any more. This will make a more flavorful chicken broth instead of a watery, diluted broth.
Cover the pot with matching lid and turn stove burner to medium high heat.
Wash, dry and peel carrots, celery and/or parsnips.
Peel the whole onion and do not cut it.
When you hear the water boiling or see steam escaping from under the lid, carefully take off the lid and turn down the heat of the stove burner to medium heat.
At this time take a large spoon with a small bowl to collect the foam off the top of the soup. This is called skimming.
Discard all of the foam that you have collected from skimming the soup.
While the soup is still at a rolling boil, add the vegetables.
Add the Kosher salt
Return the lid partially back on the soup pot while cooking continues.
Lower the stove burner to low heat.
Continue to cook the soup for about an hour and a half to two hours. The chicken should be floating to the top of the pot and the meat should be tender.
Carefully taste the soup for salt content. Add more Kosher salt at this time to your personal taste.
Turn off the stove burner under the pot, remove the lid.
Serving chicken soup:
Carefully lift the chicken or chicken parts out of the pot with large spoons with holes or strainer with handle. Put chicken in/on a large bowl or platter. Let chicken cool a bit and then take meat off the bones. Discard skin and bones of the chicken.
Remove the celery, onion and parsnips from the soup pot and discard.
Keep the cooked carrots for serving in the bowl of soup.
Ladle soup into a small serving bowl with pieces of the soft, cooked carrot.
Add some cooked chicken meat into the bowl.
Now enjoy a steaming bowl of wonderful, flavorful homemade chicken soup
Options: add some soup crackers to your bowl or cooked thin soup noodles or small pasta.
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Thinking about cookies makes me happy. What a perfect little treat to hold in my hand with each bite bringing me pleasure to all senses. First the visual, eye-opening appearance to the inhale of sweet scent, to feel texture, hear crunch, taste flavor and experience comfort in the total eating process, producing a mouth-watering sensation for my taste buds.
I have many cookie recipes in my collections to choose from with unlimited flavors. So where do I begin? I went back to the basic sugar cookie or butter cookie. Wanting to keep it simple for our early family Hanukkah Party to include children of all ages as well as adults carefully watching their calorie intake at our family feasts, I choose one of my first cookie recipes from a Sesame Street Cookbook called “Cookie Monster’s Famous Cookie Dough.” Who else would know more about cookies than Cookie Monster, right? This recipe is a very classic, easy-to-follow recipe with quality ingredients producing a rich taste on the palate, yet easy on the sweetness scale of flavor. These cookies bake quickly and can be decorated for all occasions using cookie cutters and icing of choice.
A very simple sprinkle of a cinnamon-sugar mixture on these cookies while baking will bring the memories of baking at home when you were a child. What is more comforting and satisfying than a warm, sweet smell floating through your home?
To “party-up” these cookies a sprinkle of some gold, granular sugar on the star-shaped cookies gives an appearance of a glow coming out of the cookie as well as a little more flavor and crunch. On other cookies in this collection I choose to outline in blue icing to highlight the shape of the toy Dreidle that children play with at a Hanukkah Party. The icing gives a little more sweetness to this cookie as well as more visual affect.
What you will need:
Large Baking Pans - two
A medium-sized mixing bowl
A Hand Mixer
A Wooden Spoon
Butter, unsalted, 3/4 cups
Sugar, white granulated, 1 cup
Eggs, two whole eggs
Pure Vanilla, 1 teaspoon
All-purpose Flour, 2-1/2 cups plus extra flour for rolling out dough
Baking Powder, 1 teaspoon
Salt, 1 teaspoon
Optional for decorating: cinnamon, sugar, icing or frosting
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Cookies bake for about 11-12 minutes or until slightly browned around the cookie.
In a mixing bowl, put the butter into the bowl and put the sugar on top of the butter in the mixing bowl.
With the hand mixer on low setting, blend the sugar into the butter until creamy smooth.
Crack eggs into the butter-sugar mixture.
Add the vanilla to the mixture also.
Blend the eggs and vanilla into the mixture in the bowl on low setting.
Add the flour, the baking powder and the salt into the above mixture and blend into the mixture in the bowl with the wooden spoon.
With all ingredients blended together, wrap the cookie dough into two round balls, flatten with your clean hands into two-inch thickness portions and wrap in plastic wrap.
Put the wrapped cookie dough into the refrigerator for a least one hour before rolling out to cut into shapes for baking.
When cookie dough is chilled, remove plastic wrap and sprinkle a little bit of flour on the clean surface to roll out the dough to about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thickness. (flour the rolling pin also while rolling out the dough.)
With a cookie cutter, cut out shapes and put uncooked cookies onto lined baking pan with parchment paper.
Combine cookie dough into a smaller ball after cutting out cookie shapes and repeat cutting shapes from the smaller ball of dough that has been rolled out again.
Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar onto the cookie before baking or just after taking the cookies out of the oven when they are still warm.
After baking, take the cookies off the baking pan with a spatula and put them on baking racks.
Icing or frosting should be done when the cookies have cooled down to room temperature.
Monday, September 26, 2011
If it is fall in New England then it is time to go apple picking. This is an annual event in my family and has bonded our family for many years. What better way to experience first hand how a favorite fruit grows and is incorporated into homemade apple pies, apple crisps and of course homemade applesauce! Tasting different varieties while in the apple orchard tempts us to try many varieties of apples. Shining one up after picking, before eating this natural treat, is part of the adventure of a visit to the local apple orchard.
We pick mostly Cortland apples for our baking pies and crisps and making applesauce. Macintosh (Macs) and Granny Smiths can be combined in many favorite recipes.
A good eating apple is a Gala, Fuji and Macoun as well as Honey Crisp. These are firm and sweeter varieties. If you crave that lip-puckering tartness of a crisp apple, go for the Macintosh.
From our tutorial on apple varieties right there in the apple orchard, we learned that Cortland apples do not get brown as quickly when cut into pieces, therefore, they make a good baking apple.
The process for making fresh applesauce is simple to follow. There is nothing better than the taste and consistency of homemade applesauce. Try it and be proud of the quality of your efforts.
What you will need:
Cortland or Mac Apples
Large Pot with matching cover
Cortland applese or mixture to include Grany Smith and/or Macintosh
Water, about 1/2 cup
Cinnamon, about 1 tablespoon or to taste
Sugar, about 3-4 tablespoons or to taste
Wash all apples before cutting
Cut the apples with the kitchen knife on all sides close to the core
Add all cut apples including the cores, put into the large pot with the water.
Put the pot on the stove burner, turn heat up to medium-high at first.
Cover the pot.
When the apples begin bubbling in the water, turn down the stove burner to low setting.
Keep the cover on the pot and check on the cooking apples often, turning them over in the pot with the wooden spoon.
Cook the apples down until a bit mushy, but still solid.
Take the cover off, turn off the stove burner and let the apples cool a little bit.
With the food mill in place over a large bowl, spoon in the cooked apples into the food mill and begin to turn the handle to press the cooked apples through the strainer in the food mill.
When all the cooked apples have been put through the food mill, add cinnamon and sugar, and stir through the mixture.
Adjust the cinnamon and sugar for your personal taste.
(Flavor from cooked apples is different depending on the varieties of apples used.)
Serve the fresh applesauce at room temperature or keep in the refrigerator until a later serving time.
The applesauce firms up after refrigeration and the flavors blend together.
Sunday, September 4, 2011
At what age did you become responsible for your own meal preparations? Are you a young adult, living independently from your family, and relying on take-out food or easy pick-up, prepared meals from the supermarket? If you notice this is your regular meal planning stategy for satisfying your immediate hunger pains, then have you also noticed that your weight is increasing as you continue these eating habits?
This blog post is about how Scott took a desire to eat healthier by preparing a meal at home with ingredients he chose himself. Scott also increased his time at the gym during the week. When possible, Scott is making better food choices for his overall health. Scott is in his early thirties, lives independently in his own home, has a very busy business career involving lots of travel and has lots of social events with friends involving food, of course.
This fresh stirfry dinner was prepared by Scott, on his own. He thought ahead what he wanted to prepare for his dinner, went to the supermarket to purchase fresh ingredients and took a little time to organize and cut his produce and protein before beginning the cooking process. Scott, without knowing, utilized the process of "Mise En Place" meaning everything in its place before cooking. This is how the chefs cook in restaurants. By having all the ingredients of a meal washed, cut and measured just before you begin the cooking process, allows you to efficiently introduce each ingredient into the cooking process. Therefore, less frustration and chaos while cooking. The result is a smooth, organized, stress-free prepared meal.
Another thing Scott shared with me is a couple of photos of his meal preparation. He even presented his photos on white dishes which is the choice of the professional food photographers, as I have learned as well.
I think Scott took responsibility to prepare a healthy, nutritious meal at home and gained some confidence during the process of preparation and cooking. With a tasty dish like this stirfry, imagine what other home cooking meals await Scott? By controlling the ingredients during home cooking, Scott controls the salt, sugar and fat content and does not let others do this for him. This is a much better way to eat for your overall health, I think. How about you?
Reminder: cut fresh produce first and put into medium bowls. Wash kitchen knife and cutting board to cut the chicken tenders and put pieces into medium bowls. Wash kitchen knife and cutting board again to cut the shrimp and put the pieces into a medium bowl. This prevents cross-contamination of food.
What you will need:
Large cutting board
Large fry pan or skillet
Large spoon, metal or wooden
Medium bowls for ingredients (3-4)
Serving spoon, large
Fork and knife
Olive oil or vegetable oil, two tablespoons
Green pepper, small to medium, chopped into small pieces
Red onion, small, chopped into small pieces or slices
Chicken tenders, fresh and skinless, cut into small pieces
Shrimp, fresh, shelled, cleaned and deveined
Kosher salt, one teaspoon
Black Pepper, crushed, one-half teaspoon
Optional: one teaspoon soy sauce, low sodium.
Cooking process: Fast, total cooking time about five minutes.
Add the olive oil or vegetable oil into the fry pan or skillet. Turn heat on stove top to medium-high.
Add the red onions and green peppers and stir as they cook in the oil.
Sprinkle the salt and crushed black pepper on top of the cooking vegetables.
When the cooking vegetables look softer add in the chicken and keep stirring the mixture. When the cooking chicken looks like color has changed from pinkish to more white color and looks firmer, add the shrimp and keep stiring the mixture. If adding low-sodium soy sauce, add this now and keep stirring to cover all the vegetables, chicken and shrimp.
When chicken is white color and shrimp is more firm and pink color, stir and taste the stirfry.
Add more salt and black pepper for your personal taste.
Turn off the stove top burner and put the cooked stirfry on a clean plate using a clean large serving spoon.
Bring the serving plate to the table where your clean fork and knife have been placed for you to enjoy your home cooked stirfry meal.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Gathering my fresh produce definitely stimulates my imagination. The colors inspire me to create in the kitchen. Today I must make fresh Salsa. I will include fresh sweet corn I just picked up from my local Farmers' Market.
This fresh, colorful Salsa is sure to please the pickiest of palates. The seasonings bring warmth and mix well with the cool, cut vegetables creating the perfect blend for my tastebuds. Did I mention how healthy this Salsa is? It sure is :)
Serving Suggestions: Tortilla chips, Corn Chips in the shape of scoops, Hearty Bread drizzled with fresh olive oil, baked on a baking sheet in the oven at 400 degrees F. until browned. When cooled, cut in triangles for better scooping of the Salsa.
What You Will Need:
Large cutting board
Matching cover to the bowl or clear plastic wrap.
Tomatoes, two fresh, medium or one fresh, large.
Green and Red Peppers, one half of each color pepper.
One half Sweet Onion, Vidalia or a Spanish Red Onion.
Garlic, three cloves, peeled.
Corn on the Cob, two whole ears, cooked kernals of corn.
Easy microwave cooking instructions for the corn below:
(peel the husks of corn, wash in cold water, wrap in wax paper and microwave for 4-6 min. on high. The corn will steam. When cooled, cut corn kernals off the cob and add to the bowl of cut veggies.)
White Vinegar, one teaspoon.
Lime juice, one half fresh lime.
Kosher Salt, one half teaspoon.
Black Pepper, one quarter teaspoon, crushed Pepper
Red Pepper Flakes, one quarter teaspoon.
Optional instead of Red Pepper Flakes use chilies of choice, one or two small, chopped.
Chopped Cilantro or Fresh Flatleaf Parsley, one half teaspoon.
Walsh the vegetables and dry them before cutting into small pieces on the cutting board.
Put the cut vegetables into a medium bowl and season with the rest of the ingredients above.
All flavoring is up to personal taste, so be sure to taste the mixture often.
The final mixture will marinate, covered with plastic wrap or matching cover to the bowl, in the refrigerator for several hours or better when left overnight.
It is helpful to mix the Salsa a few times to blend in the flavors.
Before serving, mix the Salsa with a spoon once again.
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
What is like a Scavenger Hunt? My weekly visit to my local Farmers’ Market starts off with my list in hand, ready to gather fresh produce and baked goodies to bring home to enjoy. As soon as I reach my destination, my excitement builds, my eyes dance around from the assembled tables of each vendor, and I forget the items on my list and buy with my eyes! Knowing the produce I select has not traveled far from the very ground it grew in, makes my choice of vegetables even more special.
Each week the farmers bring the most seasonal offerings to the market. This week I purchased adorable, little new red potatoes. My mind was racing with so many ideas on ways to prepare these little beauties. Then I chose some sweet corn and in my mind I could immediately taste the sweet little kernels dripping in melted butter and sprinkled with a bit of salt to bring out even more corn flavor. Glancing back at my prepared list, I did pick up some summer squash, zucchini and my weekly brownie treat.
With so many recipes to create with my new little red potatoes, I could easily make a sensational mashed potato side dish. Roasting these little ones would bring out their sweet, hearty flavor enhancing their goodness with olive oil, salt and pepper enabling the potatoes to brown and develop a crispy outside surface.
The recipe I would like to share with you is one for a nutritious, comfort breakfast. Starting off a new day with a filling, healthy breakfast allows me to have energy to get on with the day and to reduce hunger cravings before my next meal at lunch time.
I call this recipe New Potato and Vegetable Scramble. Why? This dish is filled with fresh vegetables blended together with the protein of whole eggs or just egg whites, brought together as one meal filled with flavors from seasonings such as salt, pepper and paprika. As the nutritional experts tell us, "eat vegetables and good proteins." The simplicity of all the ingredients produce mouth-watering comfort. You know you have had a good meal after the full feeling you experience after this hearty breakfast, almost wishing for more comfort, but knowing you are totally satisfied and can eat no more.
Total Preparation Time approximately 10 minutes.
Total Cooking Time approximately 10 minutes.
Ingredients for Two Servings:
Olive Oil, 2 tablespoons.
Butter or Vegan Buttery Spread, 1/4 cup.
Vidalia or Sweet Onion, 1/2, chopped
Summer Squash, one small, cut into small pieces
Red New Potatoes, 2-3 small potatoes, cut into small pieces
Large Eggs, 4 whole or optional 7 Eggwhites only, for fewer total calories.
(optional: prepared EggBeaters or Eggwhites from supermarket.)
Kosher Salt, 1 teaspoon
Black Pepper, crushed, 1/2 teaspoon.
Paprika, 1 teaspoon
What you will need:
Large cutting board
Large frying pan
Whisk or fork
Serving plate or bowl
Wash the summer squash, red potatoes and dry them.
With the kitchen knife, cut the onion, summer squash and red potatoes on the cutting board.
Crack the whole eggs into the small bowl and whisk together to blend or if using just eggwhites, separate the eggs into two small bowls. Save the yokes in a covered small bowl and place in the refrigerator. Discard yolks if not using for future recipes.
Put the frying pan on the stove burner and turn heat up to medium-high temperature.
Immediately add the olive oil and the butter at the same time to allow for maintaining the high temperature without burning the vegetables and eggs during the cooking process.
Add the onions into the melted butter and olive oil in the frying pan, keep stirring around with the spatula so the onions do not burn.
Sprinkle some of the salt to bring out the liquid of the cooking onions.
When the cooking onions look shiny and opaque, not clear, then add the summer squash and keep stirring around the vegetables with the spatula.
At this time add more of the salt and the crushed, black pepper.
Now add the cut red potatoes into the cooking onions and summer squash, keep stirring around so these vegetables do not burn.
Sprinkle the paprika on the cooking vegetables and keep stirring.
When the potatoes look softer and a little brown in color, turn down the stove burner to Low Heat.
Add the eggs or eggwhites and let the liquid of the eggs settle smoothly on and around the cooking vegetables.
When the eggs or eggwhites look firm, take the spatula and carefully slip it between the side of the frying pan and the outside edges of the cooking eggs or eggwhites. This keeps the eggs or eggwhites from sticking on the sides of the frying pan and allows for other liquid from the eggs or eggwhites to settle into the outside of the cooking vegetable and egg mixture.
When the vegetable and egg or eggwhite mixture looks cooked and firm, take a spatula full of the mixture and turn it over. Continue this process until all of the egg and vegetable mixture has been turned over to fully cook.
This process takes just a minute or two and then turn off the heat of the stove burner.
With your serving platter nearby, scoop up portions of the vegetable and egg or eggwhite mixture to the serving platter.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Here is my symbolic First Blogaversary Cupcake to share with you.
As I mentioned in a previous post during my First Blogaversary Week, July 27, 2010 was the beginning of my adventures in food blogging. I have enjoyed this past year and thank you to all who helped me learn new skills, improve on my writing posts, and challenged me to take better food photos.
I have connected with many food bloggers and remain impressed with how dedicated you all are to your passions. My collection of favorite blogs continues to grow and I enjoy collecting your "Grab-a-button" to share on my Prep2eat site. I also have a shiny, new "Grab-a-button" in place in my collection. Please take a moment to "Grab" one and post on your blog to connect our sites and share our recipes.
Prep2eat will continue to inspire home cooks to prepare healthy, nutritious meals along with special tasty treats. Why cook at home? You have control over the quality of the food you purchase and monitor the prices of products and produce you buy for your consumption. It is a win-win solution for you and your family: daily meals are cooked with your choices and you save money by eating-in, rather than eating-out. No paying another person to prepare your food and tip them for doing so! What quality food are they preparing for you? At home, cooking extra portions allows for lunches or no-cook dinners on busy nights. With cooking-in during the week you probably will be able to enjoy a dinner out on a special occasion. But, you might just find that you enjoy your cooking better, like I do :) I can treat myself very well with fresh food here in my home.
Thank you to all my Followers of Prep2eat.
Warm regards and keep on cooking,
Friday, July 22, 2011
Here is my gift to you during the week of my First Blogaversary :)
Last July 2010, I created Prep2eat. As my first adventure into the blogging Foodie World, I am so happy to offer you this healthy, nutritious, fresh and flavorful recipe for my version of Salmon Salad.
My goal for blogging here at Prep2eat is to inspire home cooking without intimidation in the kitchen. If I assisted in any way to help you eat healthier and save some money at the same time, then I have achieved my goal. Hopefully my food photos have caught your eye to investigate further what I am preparing in my kitchen.
Most important education from my food blogging experience this past year is that I have networked with so many "foodies" just like me! I have learned how to write posts with more focus on details from following advice of authors and publishers I interacted with online. I have found my Voice. Thank you so much for your feedback and advice! Thank you also to my followers here at Prep2eat as well as on Twitter (@soupiton). I have so much fun getting to know you and learning from you. :)
This Salmon Salad Recipe has been adapted from a recipe I found that had fresh mint, olive oil, shredded carrots and other good things. What caught my eye to create my version of Salmon Salad was no mayo was used in this recipe! What keeps the price of preparing this recipe down is using canned, Alaskan Red Sockeye Salmon - an excellent source of Omega 3's and not farm-raised salmon. Fresh Sockeye Salmon is wonderful, but not available all year round and it is very expensive for feeding several people.
Therefore, I can have a very healthy, nutritious, economical meal any time of the year!
One Can Alaskan Red Sockeye Salmon
Olive Oil, two tablespoons
One Carrot, grated on box grater
Cucumber, one half, peeled and grated or cut into small pieces.
Tarragon, one teaspoon dried.
Dill, one teaspoon dried.
Zest of one fresh Lemon
Juice of one half of fresh lemon.
Flat Leaf Parsley, fresh, chopped: two tablespoons (optional)
Serving suggestions: Put Salmon Salad in a sandwich, hot dog bun or serve with healthy tortilla chips.
With a can opener, carefully open the can of salmon.
Drain the liquid from the can of salmon using a strainer.
Put drained salmon into a large bowl.
Separate out the large bones and skin from the salmon.
(small bones are ok to keep in. they have lots of calcium.)
Add the olive oil into the bowl with the drained salmon.
Add the grated carrots into the bowl.
Add the grated or chopped cucumber into the bowl.
Add the dried Tarragon and Dill into the bowl.
Add the lemon zest along with lemon juice.
Add the chopped, fresh parsley. (optional.)
Mix all the ingredients together with a large spoon.