Thursday, April 30, 2009

Soft Pretzels

From Smitten Kitchen

Oooh, I love a good soft pretzel. This recipe is so good and addicting. Ben is not a big pretzel fan, so I am cursed to forever having to make up excuses to make them. Be sure to prepare some mustard or dipping sauce because these are going to blow your mind.

This recipe (like a lot of breads) was a little time intensive, but try not to rush it. My first attempts did not turn out so well...

but I kept at it and by the time I rolled my last it was downright cute.

2 cups warm water
1 Tbsp + 2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp active dry yeast
5-6 cups flour
1 Tbsp salt
2 tsp canola or other neutral oil
1/4 cup baking soda
1 large egg
coarse salt

1. Pour warm water into a bowl, combine with 1 Tbsp sugar. Stir gently, add yeast and let sit for 10 minutes (until foamy)

2. Combine 1 cup of flour and yeast in a large bowl, and mix until combined. Add salt and 4 cups flour, and knead together for a few minutes. If the dough is still wet and sticky, add 1/2 cup more flour. Knead until smooth.

3. Pour oil in a large bowl; swirl to coat sides. Transfer dough to bowl, turning dough completely cover all sides. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for 1 hour (or until doubled).

4. Preheat oven to 450. Lightly spray two baking sheets and set aside. Take dough and punch it down to remove bubbles, then transferred to a lightly floured surface. Knead once or twice and cut to divide into 16 pieces.

5. Roll one piece of dough at a time into an 18 inch strip. Twist into a pretzel shape and place on a floured surface (maybe use corn meal? I had trouble removing the rolled dough without messing up the shape). Cover with a towel and let rise for 15 minutes.

6. After all the pretzels are rolled, fill a large, shallow pot with a couple inches of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and add baking soda (step back, it foams quickly!) and remaining 2 Tbsp sugar. Transfer 2-3 pretzels into the water and poach for 1 minute each side. Use a slotted spoon to take pretzels out, drip dry for a few seconds and then place them on the prepared baking sheet. Continue until all pretzels have been poached.

7. Beat egg with 1 Tbsp water, and brush pretzels with the glaze. Sprinkle with salt. Bake until a golden brown (12-15 minutes) and let cook on a wire rack.

Pretzels are best the same day but will keep at room temperature, uncovered for two days. Do not store in covered container or they will become soggy.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sweet and Sour Meatloaf

From my old roommate, Stacy

This is for people who hate meatloaf.
I was one such person, until my domestically inclined roommate Stacy showed me the way. It is so good, sweet and spicy, I couldn't believe it. The whole dorm room looked forward to her meatloaf and the day of we made it a rule that we could only listen to Meatloaf on meatloaf day in preparation for the occasion. So get your 80's CD's ready.

1 (12 oz) jar red currant jelly
1 (12 oz) jar chili sauce
1 lb ground beef
1 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 egg
1/2 cup ketchup

To prepare sauce, combine red currant jelly and chili sauce in a sauce pan. Heat until jelly is melted and well blended.
For meatloaf, combine ground beef, bread crumbs, chopped onions, salt, pepper, egg and ketchup mold into a 5x9 loaf pan. Pour half of sauce over meatloaf and bake for 1 hour at 400. Heat remaining sauce and serve with meatloaf.

*Must also play meatloaf CD

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Spinach and Swiss Salad with Poppy Seed Vinaigrette

From my mum

Another great salad, with lots of flavor. The poppy seed vinaigrette is wonderful and (in my humble opinion) the best part of the salad.

Large bunch of spinach
1/2 red onion, diced
1 cup sliced mushrooms
3/4 cup Swiss cheese, grated
1/2 lb bacon, crumbled
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

Poppy seed Vinaigrette
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 Tbsp poppy seeds

Cook bacon and combine salad ingredients. In a small bowl, mix together dressing and toss in salad or serve on the side.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Raspberry Chocolate Muffins

I'm not sure where I got this recipe, but I rediscovered it a few weeks ago and had to try it out. A nice combination of berry tart and chocolate, they didn't last long enough to see the next morning. Always a good sign.

3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup white flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup raspberries
1/4 cup chocolate chunks

Preheat oven to 400. Mix together oil and sugar. Add in eggs and beat well, then add milk. Sift together dry ingredients, and add it slowly to the wet mixture until just combined. Gently fold in berries and chocolate, reserving some to sprinkle on the top. Pour a spoonful into prepared into muffin tin and sprinkle chocolate and a few berries on top. Bake for 12-15 minutes and let cool before serving.

Friday, April 24, 2009

BBQ Chicken

I put this chicken in the oven and was supposed to take it out earlier but I accidentally fell asleep reading and when I woke up 2 hours had gone by. (Note to self: Don't do that.) The house smelled great, the chicken had been baking under the foil all that time and was fall apart tender and so delicious. The sauce is too good to waste, be sure to have rice or pasta to serve with it to soak up the juices.

3-4 chicken thighs
1/2 cup chicken broth

BBQ Sauce
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp paprika
1 Tbsp chili powder
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 tsp cayenne

Preheat oven to 350. Heat oil in a sauce pan. Add garlic and sauté until brown. Then add remaining BBQ sauce ingredients and reduce heat. Simmer for 15 minutes until thick and let cool.

Once the sauce is no longer warm, pour sauce over the chicken in a baking dish. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake chicken for 2 hours.

Take the chicken out and pour the remaining sauce and pan scrapings into a sauce pan (skim the fat if needed), bring to a boil and add the chicken broth. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add flour or cornstarch if the sauce is too runny. Pour over the chicken and serve.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Fancy Dill Biscuits

from Bread and Honey

I forgot to buy rolls at the store, and really wanted something quick and savory for dinner that night. These biscuits took less than 10 minutes to prepare and turned out wonderfully. They would be especially good with a hot bowl of soup.

2 cups flour (I used half whole wheat, half white)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup sour milk (milk + 1 tsp vinegar)
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1 Tbsp dried dill
1/4 tsp pepper
A large handful of cheese. Asiago would be good. I've used Swiss and Parmesan.

Preheat the oven to 450. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt, toss in the onions, and cheese and mix until evenly distributed. Add the oil and sour milk and mix gently until just combined. Spoon into lightly oiled muffin tins and bake for 12-18 minutes. Makes about 10-12 medium muffins.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Roasted Pork Tenderloin

adapted from For the Love of Cooking

Another pork tenderloin recipe... the sauce is great and so very easy.

1 lb pork tenderloin
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp parsley
2 tsp dry mustard (2 Tbsp prepared)
4 cloves garlic, minced
Black pepper to taste

Pan Sauce:
1/2 cup chicken broth
4-5 Tbsp of the pork marinade
1-2 tsp butter

Combine all ingredients and allow pork to marinate in the fridge for 3-4 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350. Take the pork out and reserve the juices. In a hot skillet, sear the tenderloin on each side for 2-3 minutes. Place in the oven and cook for 20 minutes (meat is done when it reaches 160 degrees). Let the meat rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing.

Meanwhile, place the skillet back on the stove. Add the chicken broth and scrape up all of the browned pieces from the bottom of the pan. Add the marinade and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the butter and remove from heat, stirring until the butter has melted. Pour over pork tenderloin when serving.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Almond Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing

from my lovely Mom

As a kid (and into my late teens) I refused to eat salads because I considered "bunny food" to be beneath me. However, I always made an exception for this one. It's salty and sweet, colorful and delicious. Thanks mom.

Large bowl of leafy greens
4-5 medium chicken breasts
2 cans mandarin oranges
1 cup of chopped almonds, lightly toasted and salted

Honey Mustard Dressing:
3/4 cup light mayonnaise
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup mustard
pinch of salt

Cook chicken and cut into chunks. Toast almonds in a bit of butter or olive oil and salt. Toss all ingredients together. Mix dressing well (until smooth) and serve on the side. This is better the first day, so I wouldn't put it all together until right before you eat. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Biscuit Crust

A healthier alternative to the All Butter Pie Crust

1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp butter
1/3 cup milk

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut in butter until it looks like coarse crumbs. Stir in milk and form the dough into a ball, adding a bit more flour if too sticky. Roll out the dough to the size where it will fit the top of your baking dish.

Chicken Pot Pie

adapted from my mom

My mom used to make the best chicken pot pies, and they were always so good that there were never any leftovers. The secret, she would always say, is the homemade pie crust. I was all ready to roll out the dough when I looked up the calories in a pot pie with homemade crust. It was a little disheartening. So this time I did an experiment with one pot pie with the double pie crust, and one with a low fat biscuit crust (topping only).

I can't lie, the pie crust is better. It is sinfully good. But the biscuit crust wasn't bad at all, and I would have to admit that it is less time consuming than the flaky butter crust.

This is, sadly, the best picture I could get of our wonderful dinner.

So I suppose you can try out both and see what you think. Maybe use the calorie laden crust for special occasions, and the lower calorie one for more frequent use?
Either way, this dinner is a keeper.

4 pie crusts to make 2 pies (top and bottom)
* or you can try out the biscuit crust for lower calories

1 lb chicken chunks
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup peas
1 cup corn
1/2 cup celery, sliced
1/2 cup potatoes, diced
1/3 cup butter
1 medium onion
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp parsley
2/3 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cup milk

In a large pot, combine chicken, carrots, peas, celery, potatoes, and corn. Add enough water to cover and boil for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain, and set aside.

In a large saucepan over medium heat cook onions and garlic in butter until soft. Stir in the flour, salt, pepper, and parsley. Then slowly add the chicken broth and milk. Simmer over medium/low heat until thick. Remove from heat and add in the chicken/vegetable mixture.

Pour the chicken mixture in the bottom pie crust. Cover with top crust and seal edges. Make several small slits in the top to allow the steam to escape.

Bake for 30-35 minutes until pastry is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Cool for 10 minutes before serving - the insides will be very hot!

*Tips: Prebake the bottom pie crust to keep it from getting soggy. To do this, place a piece of parchment paper on top of the bottom crust and fill it with beans or rice so it will keep its shape. Bake for about five minutes.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Nordic Cocoa Cookies

from Nordic Recipe Archive

Mmmmm, these cookies are the chocolaty cousin of the Danish butter cookie. They feel very light and are so easy to make.

6 Tbsp butter
4 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg yolk
4 Tbsp cocoa
13 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp baking powder

Beat the soft butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add in the egg yolk, and beat until smooth. Sift the flour, cocoa and baking powder and slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Mix until just combined, then wrap the dough in plastic and put in the fridge for 30 minutes to harden.

Roll the dough out into long cylinders about 2-3 centimeters thick. Then go down the cylinder and slice it into pieces about one inch long. They should look like little tootsie rolls. Take a fork and use the prongs to flatten, forming fluted cookies. Carefully put the cookies on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 8-15 minutes.

Friday, April 17, 2009

All Butter Pie Crust

adapted from Simply Recipes

This creates one pie crust. If you need a top and a bottom, double the recipe. This crust is great and flaky, so much better than store bought.

1 1/4 cup Flour
1/2 cup butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Sugar (increase to 1 1/2 tsp for a sweet recipe)
2-4 Tbsp Ice Water

1. Cut the butter into 1/2 inch cubes, and place into the freezer for about 15 minutes, or until thoroughly chilled

2. Combine flour, salt and sugar until mixed. Then add butter, and mix roughly, until just combined and clumpy. Then add the ice water one Tbsp at a time until the dough begins to stick together. Take care not to over mix. You want to have small irregular chunks of butter scattered about the crust because that is what makes it flaky. Then gently form it into a ball (or multiple balls if you have doubled the recipe) sprinkle it with flour, wrap it with plastic, and put it in the fridge for at least one hour.

3. Pull it out and roll it to on a lightly floured surface to about 1/8 of an inch thick. Carefully place it into a 9-inch pie plate, pressing it down so that it lines the bottom and sides, and trim around the edges.

**If you want to prebake your crust (a good idea for fruit or juicy pies), put pie weights on the bottom of the crust and bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 (176 C)

4. Add pie filling, add the other crust on top (if needed) and pinch the two together around the edges using your fingers or a fork. Pierce the top pie crust several times so the steam can escape.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Egg Salad Sandwiches

As Easter winds down, there is always the question of what to do with all of those lovely hard boiled eggs. This is a recipe earned through trial and error recipe, though feel free to experiment for personal preference.

8 hard boiled eggs
1/4 cup mayo
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 Tbsp mustard
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp dill
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste

Quality bread (best toasted)
Tomatoes, sliced
Pickles **MUST have pickles.

Mix up egg salad ingredients, put a nice wedge of it on the bread with lettuce, tomatoes and pickles. I don't put together the sandwiches until right before I eat because there is nothing worse than soggy bread.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Apricot Lamb Tangine

Adapted from Closet Cooking

For Easter this year, I decided to try out a lamb recipe. I saw this one from Morocco and wanted to try it, but was a bit intimidated by the ingredients. Nevertheless, I kept going and was wonderfully surprised at how good it was. First bite was a huge burst of sweet and spicy flavors, and the lamb itself just melted in your mouth.

1 lb lamb, cut into bite sized pieces
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 pinch saffron (I omitted this because I didn't have any, and it tasted fine)
1 tsp lemon (zest)
2 Tbsp oil
1 onion (chopped)
1 Tbsp garlic (finely minced)
1 Tbsp ginger (grated)
2 Tbsp tomato paste (I also added a few chopped sun dried tomatoes)
Enough beef stock to cover meat (I used about 4 cups)
3/4 cup dried apricots
1/2 cup raisins
1 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp harissa (I couldn't find this in Finland, so I just used 1/2 tsp chili pepper)
Parsley (garnish)

1. Mix together the paprika, turmeric, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cardamom, salt, cayenne pepper, lemon zest and oil. Place in a ziplock bag along with the lamb chunks and marinate in the fridge for a few hours to overnight.

2. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large pan and when it is hot, add the lamb searing until the sides are all brown. Take off the heat and set aside.

3. In a large pot, heat 1 Tbsp oil and add the onion and saute for about 5 minutes, add the garlic and ginger and saute about one minute more. Add the lamb, tomato paste, and cover with beef stock. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the lamb is fall apart tender (about 2-3 hours)

4. After 2-3 hours, add apricots, raisins, and extra beef stock if it isn't covered. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 20 more minutes. Then add the honey and harissa. Serve on couscous and garnish.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Crispy Oven Fries

Sometimes, Ben and I just get a hankering for fries. I don't mean the stringy ones from McDonalds, but the ones that still look and taste like potatoes. I have tried quite a few different recipes, and this one is my favorite. Adding the egg whites ensure that the spices distribute evenly without making them too greasy.

1 lb potatoes, washed and cut into wedges (skin on)
1 Tbsp oil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chili
2 Tbsp Parmesan
2 egg whites

Cut washed potatoes into wedges. In a small bowl, combine all spices, oil, egg whites and cheese. Mix well with a fork until the spices are well blended. Pour liquid over potatoes and turn them over to coat evenly. Place on a cookie sheet covered in baking paper and bake at 400 for 45 minutes, turning about halfway through. I leave mine in until I know that they are turning brown and crispy.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Symphony Cookies

adapted from Sister's Cafe

Mmmmm, these cookies were so light and buttery. The soft vanilla flavor was a nice twist, I will definitely be making these again!

1 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 small box vanilla pudding mix (1 oz)
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour (I used 1/2 white 1/2 wheat)
1 tsp baking soda
7-8 oz chopped chocolate (Symphony bar, I used chocolate Easter eggs)

Cream butter, sugar, pudding mix, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat until creamy. Combine flour and baking soda. Add to butter mixture, stirring until combined. Stir in chopped chocolate. Drop by spoonful on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 9-10 minutes. Cool on rack.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Strawberry Avocado Salad with Tangy Honey Dressing

adapted from Allrecipes

I made this springy salad because it is still cold out and I want it to get warmer. The dressing was excellent, and it was very light and refreshing. Great with a side of grapefruit. I will definitely be making this again when the local strawberries are in season.

torn salad greens
1 avocado, cut into pieces
10 sliced strawberries
1 kiwi, cut into chunks
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Tangy Honey Dressing:
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp white sugar
4 tsp honey
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tsp salt

Tear up salad, chop up fruit and assemble salad. In a small saucepan, toast the pecans with 1/2 Tbsp butter (or olive oil) and add salt, once turning brown put on a plate and set aside. Assemble dressing, mix well and sprinkle on salad.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Asian Pork Tenderloin

adapted from the Love of Cooking

I have never been a big pork eater. Part of this is because I have tried it a few times and it never came out very well. So actually enjoying this was a big step for me, and the marinade was great.

2/3 cup soy sauce (low sodium is best)
1/4 cup sesame oil
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp hot chili sauce
1 Tbsp fresh garlic, minced
3 green onions, sliced
1 1/2 lb pork tenderloin, trimmed of fat
Olive oil

Combine soy sauce, sesame oil, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, chili sauce, ginger, garlic, and 3/4 of the onions. Then marinate the pork in the fridge for 1-24 hours. The longer the better.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Heat a skillet with a glug of olive oil and remove the pork, reserving the marinade. Sear the pork on all sides, about 5-6 minutes total. Put the pork in a greased pan and stick in the oven for 15 minutes or until desired doneness. Let stand for 5 minutes before slicing.

In the meantime, bring reserved marinade to boil in a small saucepan. Once it is boiling, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Sprinkle the onions and serve with some noodles and stir fried vegetables, drizzling the sauce over the whole dish.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Chickpea and Feta Salad

adapted from Kalyn's Kitchen

1 head of leafy greens, torn into peices
1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed well
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
4 oz Feta cheese, crumbled
Kalamata olives
1 small purple onion, diced
2-3 tomatoes, diced and seeded

1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1-2 cloves crushed garlic
1 tsp mustard
Salt and pepper to taste

Rinse chickpeas and let dry for 5 minutes. Combine them with 2 Tbsp of vinegar, shake to coat and let them marinate in the fridge for at least 1/2 hour. Make the dressing, toss the salad and add the rest of the vegetables. Add chickpeas before serving.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Ultimate Healthy Muffin.

originally from allrecipes

This is my go-to recipe for healthier muffins. I love it because it is so flexible and pretty healthy (about 100-130 calories each). Also it's made ingredients so I always have on hand, so they are easy to whip up and seriously good.

1 1/2 cups wheat bran or bran flakes cereal
1 cup milk
1/2 cup applesauce or 1/2 cup yogurt or 1 mashed banana
1 egg
2/3 cup brown sugar or 1/2 cup honey
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup white flour or 1/2 cup ground oats
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup berries, or 1 grated apple/pear, or raisins/cranberries... whatever you have on hand.

Preheat oven to 375. Grease a muffin tin (paper cups may stick to the whole wheat...) and set aside. Mix wheat bran and milk and let stand for 10 minutes. In a mixing bowl, combine applesauce, egg, brown sugar, vanilla. Then add in bran/milk mix. Sift together flours, spices and baking soda/baking powder and slowly stir dry ingredients into wet mixture. Then gently fold in berries. Fill muffin tin 2/3 full and bake 15-20 minutes. They are done when you can gently tap the tops and they spring back.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Simple Homemade Chocolate Syrup

adapted from Allrecipes

A simple chocolate syrup. For all those times you are craving Nestle Quick and live in a foreign country.

1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2/3 cups unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp vanilla

In a medium saucepan, combine cocoal, sugar and milk. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add vanilla.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

adapted from Martha Stewart

Is there anything Martha can't do? I have always always loved mac and cheese. It was my favorite food until I was probably 14 and even though I have long since moved on from the bright yellow Kraft stuff, I still have a little part of my heart that yearns for it. This recipe is little heavy on the calories so I will probably only make it once in a while, but I have to tell you it is divine!

Serves 12 (it makes a lot!)
6 slices of quality white bread, torn into 1/4" pieces
8 Tbsp butter
5 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup flour
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
4 1/2 cups (18 oz.) grated sharp cheddar
2 cups (8 oz) grated Gruyere or Swiss
1 lb elbow macaroni

1. Heat oven to 375. Grease a 3 quart casserole dish and set aside. Place bread pieces in a medium bowl, and pour over 2 Tbsp melted butter. Toss the bread until fairly evenly coated and set aside. In a medium saucepan, heat milk.

2. In a large skillet, melt remaining 6 Tbsp butter. When the butter bubbles, add flour, stirring constantly for about a minute. Then slowly pour the heated milk into the flour/butter mix, whisking all the while. Continue cooking, whisking constantly until the sauce bubbles and becomes thick. Remove from heat, add spices, and pour into a large bowl along with 3 cups cheddar and the 1 1/2 cups of Gruyere or Swiss. Set aside.

3. Boil water in a large pot, add macaroni. Cook 2-3 minutes less than the package says, so the pasta is underdone. Take out the pasta and rinse under cold water, drain. Add pasta to the cheese sauce and stir all together.

4. Pour mixture into the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining cheese and breadcrumbs on top. Bake until browned, about 30 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and serve.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Garlic Steak Salad

Garlic Steak Rub from Sister's Cafe

Mmmmm, something about making a baby has me craving red meat. This is a cinch to put together and feels hearty and healthy at the same time.

Steak Garlic Rub:
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 cloves garlic

1 large bunch of leafy greens
cherry tomatoes
1/2 purple onion
crumbled feta cheese

1/2 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp honey
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tsp basil
1 tsp parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Mix the garlic rub and marinade steak for at least 1/2 hour. In the meantime, assemble salad, dressing and cook rice. Prepare a hot griddle with a glug of olive oil and smack that meat down, about 1 1/2 minutes each side (for medium rare, depending on the steak thickness) longer if you want it well done. Serve on the salad with rice on the side. Delicious.