Thursday, February 19, 2009

Red River Beef Stroganoff

A couple of years ago, I was on the hunt for a Stroganoff recipe that did not call for Cream of Mushroom soup (I can't handle that stuff!). I found this recipe on AllRecipes, slightly altered it and fell in love. The basil gives it a really nice flavor. I have only ever made it with venison, but I'm sure it's delicious either way. 

Red River Beef Stroganoff

2 lbs. sirloin steak (or venison), cut into strips
1/4 c. all purpose flour
1/4 c. butter
1 onion, chopped
1 can beef broth
1 small jar mushrooms
1 tsp. dried basil leaves
1 T. Worchestershire sauce
1 c. sour cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Cooked rice or egg noodles

Melt half of butter in large skillet over medium heat; add onions and cook until softened, about 3-5 minutes. While onions cook, put the flour in a bowl, add salt and pepper, and dredge meat in the flour. When onions are translucent, remove from pan and set aside. Place the remaining butter in the skillet and add the meat, browning on all sides. Then add the broth, mushrooms, basil, Worchestershire sauce and onions. Bring to a boil and cook until reduced, about 5 minutes. Stir in the sour cream just before serving. Serve over white rice or egg noodles.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies

I made these sugar cookies for Valentine's Day and I really, really like them! I do, however, love cream cheese. You do have to refrigerate them - and that can be a turn-off to some people - but I think they are well worth it! You should give them a try!

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, room temp (use real butter...I had to use 1/4 cup of salted butter, and it turned out fine)
1 - 8 oz. cream cheese, room temp
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract (I omitted this b/c I didn't have any)
4 cups flour (I may have added up to an extra 1/2 cup)
1 tsp. baking powder

1. In a large bowl, combine butter, sugar, cream cheese, almond and vanilla extracts, and egg. Beat until smooth.
2. Stir in flour and baking powder until well blended.
3. Chill the dough 8 hours or overnight.
4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
5. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough 1/3 at a time to 1/8 inch thickness, refrigerating remaining dough until ready to use.
6. Cut dough into desired shapes with lightly floured cookie cutters.
7. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
8. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven (mine needed to go a bit longer), or until light and golden brown.
9. Cool cookies completely before frosting.

St. Valentine's Baked Ziti

The guaranteed way into your Valentine's heart!

1 lb dry ziti pasta
1/2 to 1 whole onion, chopped (personal preference on amount, I used 1/2)
1 lb lean ground beef
2 (26 oz) jars spaghetti sauce (traditional Hunts is 98 cents each at Walmart)
6-8 slices Provolone cheese
1 1/2 cups light sour cream (tastes the same)
6 oz Mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

1. Bring a large pot of water and about 1 tbps Extra Virgin Olive Oil to a boil. Add ziti pasta, cook about 8 minutes; drain.

2. In a large skillet, brown beef and onions over medium heat. Add spaghetti sauce and simmer 15 minutes.

3. Preheat oven to 350. Spray 9X13 dish with Pam. Layer in pan as follows:
1/2 of the ziti,
slices of Provolone cheese,
sour cream, evenly spread,
1/2 sauce mix,
remaining ziti,
1/2 Mozzarella cheese,
remaining sauce mix,
remaining Mozzarella cheese.
Top with grated Parmesan cheese.

4. Bake for 30 minutes or until all cheese are melted.

Total Prep time: 30 min
Total cook time 30 min
Serves 4-6

I promise you will not be disappointed in this recipe. If you or your valentine are somehow unsatisfied with this dish after following all the steps correctly, I will personally come to your home and cook it for you (as long as you live within a reasonable driving distance to me and you provide all the ingredients).

Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Sun-Dried Tomato Quiche

This is another great recipe I found on one of the websites I mentioned in my previous post. It's a super easy, cheesy quiche so don't be intimidated! Especially good if you like sun-dried tomatoes.

3/4 cup Swiss cheese, shredded
3/4 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
2/3 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil)
2 T. finely diced onions
1 tea. Italian seasoning
1/2 tea. salt
4 eggs
1 cup half-and-half (I used fat free and it turned out fine)
3/4 cup milk (I used fat free here too)
1 T. flour
One 9-inch frozen pie crust

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Bake the pie crust for 5 minutes.
3. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
4. In a large bowl, whisk all ingredients together.
5. Pour mixture into the crust.
6. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
7. Slice into wedges and serve.

So Good Strawberry-Banana Bread

I almost always have old bananas in my freezer. It seems like we never eat them fast enough and I always feel guilty throwing them away. (I'm slowly getting over that.) This is one of my favorite recipes for banana bread. It's so good and addictive! It's really not all that hard either. It makes a TON though, so it's a good recipe for sharing! (Or you can half it.)

1 cup butter, softened (I used real butter, but I'm sure margarine works)
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups ripe bananas (about 6 medium), mashed
4 eggs
1 tea salt
2 tea baking soda
3 cups flour
1 1/2 pounds frozen sliced strawberries, thawed (I used whole strawberries w/o sugar and sliced them myself)

1. Grease 2 9x5-inch loaf pans.
2. Preaheat oven to 325 degrees.
3. In a larging mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar.
4. Incorporate the bananas in the sugar mix and scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
5. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each one. Set aside
6. In another bowl, mix together the salt, baking soda, and flour.
7. Add the flour mixture to the banana mixture and stir until fully incorporated.
8. Add the strawberries.
9. Pour into prepared pans.
10. Bake for 60 to 75 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
11. Cool completely on a rack before inverting onto a plate.