Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Deep Fried Mac & Cheese Balls!!

Our appetizer today is quickly becoming a restaurant favorite. It is a new twist on an old classic, and I thought it might go great with our traditional meatloaf meal. Here is what you need:

1/2 pound Elbow Macaroni
8 oz Four Cheese Shredded Cheese
1 cup Milk
1 Egg
 Italian Style Bread Crumbs
2 tablespoons Butter
Salt & Pepper
Boil water and cook your macaroni.
 Drain Macaroni & set aside
Melt your butter
Add a tablespoon of flour to your butter & mix 
it together. You are making a roux. This is
 the thickener for your cheese sauce.
It should look like this as you are mixing.
Put your milk in a saucepan, heat it on medium low, and add the roux.

Add your cheese & mix until smooth.
It should look like this. If your cheese sauce is stringy,
add a squeeze of lemon juice, or some other acidic food
like orange juice. Just a small squeeze.
Add the cheese sauce to your macaroni. Mix well.
It should look like this. Let it cool down.
 I used this mini muffin pan to size my mac & cheese balls.
Fill them like above, or about this size. After your
cheese balls are formed place the pan in the refridgerater
While your cheese balls are chilling, heat up the oil in a 
saucepan until it reaches a temperature of 325 degrees.
That is the probe from my thermometer in the pan.
This is the other end of the thermometer. This thermometer is the one
I posted about this past Saturday. It is such a great item to have.
Pour some of the breadcrumbs in a bowl.
Put one egg in a bowl and add a little water. You are 
making an egg wash. Beat the egg mix.
Take the cheese balls out of the fridge, and form into balls.
Dip the balls into the egg wash, (sorry, no pics) and then roll the balls 
into the breadcrumbs.
When your oil is to temperature, drop your cheese balls
in to the oil, and begin to cook. Make sure to move 
them around in the oil, so they cook evenly. When they 
are brown, they are done.
Drain the cheese balls on paper towels.
Serve with ketchup.

There are several different ways to make these cheese balls. You could add onion, or chopped bacon to the macaroni when you add the cheese. You could use a different type of cheese such as cheddar, or even a spicy
pepperjack. That would be good! You could also use a different dip. I used ketchup, but ranch, or salsa, or even marinara would taste great.

Thank you for joining me today. Tomorrow we will make the mashed potatoes & gravy for our
meatloaf meal.

See you tomorrow!
What would you like to make?

Monday, May 16, 2011

This Weeks Menu & Grocery List

This weeks menu is more of a traditional "meat & potatoes" meal. It is one of my husbands favorites. I am more of a chicken eater myself, but I can tell you that I used to sell sooooo many of these entrees. I used this entree recipe in three different restaurants, and it was always a hit!  I hope you like this menu. Next week I think we will go for something a bit lighter, and with a southwestern flavor!!

Here's our menu:

Appetizer~Fried Mac & Cheese Balls
Soup/Salad~No soup/salad but, Mashed Potatoes with Gravy
Entree~Homemade Meatloaf
Side Dish~Green Bean Almondine
Dessert~Chocolate Pots De Creme

Here's your shopping list:

Fried Macaroni & Cheese Balls
elbow macaroni
cheddar cheese
Italian Style Bread Crumbs

Mashed Potatoes & Gravy
beef base

Grandmas Meatloaf
1.5 pounds ground beef
salt & pepper
garlic powder

Green Bean Almondine
Fresh Green Beans
Slivered Almonds

Chocolate Pots De Creme
semisweet chocolate (you can use chips or a baking bar)
half & half
rum (optional)

This is gonna be good!
See you tomorrow for fried mac & cheese!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Do I Really Need That?

Today's gadget in question is the thermometer. Do you need a thermometer when you are cooking? Of course you do. You need them to bake meats, cook syrups, fudge, and lots of candies. But what kind of thermometer do you need? Here is the thermometer I have.

I love this thing!!
I can use it for temping meat in the oven, & cooking 
candies on the stove.The two best features of the
thermometer are the timer and the beeper for the temperature. 
When I make brittle, for example, the syrup has to boil to a 
certain degree and it takes about 20 minutes. I simply set
the timer and the beeper for the temp,
and I know that if I get distracted, like I often do,
the beeper will keep me on my toes. 

This thermometer is also digital. 
This is a must for the perfectionist in me.  I have been know 
to agonize over the little red marks on my old thermometer,
trying to gauge the exact temp,matched up with the exact line, 
to get the perfect temperature I am seeking.

So, I am concluding that although all thermometers will help you
in recognizing the correct temperature for your food, this thermometer
will help you be a better cook.

Thanks for listening. I will see you tomorrow to
discuss next weeks menu and the grocery list.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Dessert That Is Light & Yummy!

I probably have the worst sweet tooth of anyone I know. (I think I have mentioned it before!) But sometimes I just want a little sweetness, and sometimes I try to eat right. This dessert is sweet, and good for you. And it looks cute.
Here is what you need:
Strawberries~sliced into bite sized pieces
Bananas~sliced into bite size pieces
Strawberry/Banana Yogurt
Heavy Whipping Cream
Toll House Toppers

I picked up these tiny, cute, trifle glasses at Walmart. I think they 
make the perfect presentation for our desert.
Start by placing a small layer of yogurt into the bottom 
of the glass. Place 4 or 5 slices of strawberries on top 
of the yogurt.
Add another layer of yogurt, and then a layer of sliced bananas.

 Add a layer of strawberries.

Add another layer of yogurt, and then a layer of whipped cream.

Remember when we made this in a past post? If you need some info go to
Add your toppers and enjoy.
Shaved chocolate would be great on top also!
Enjoy your light dessert!

Tomorrow we will discuss if you need a thermometer.
Thanks for joining me this week.
See you Saturday! 

Friday, May 13, 2011

Corn on the Cob~ It's our side dish!

I love corn on the cob! Don't you?  It's the perfect accompaniment to so many entrees. This corn I used was not the best.  It is a little early in the season in North Carolina for corn. But it wasn't bad.
 Here's all you need:
Ears of Corn
Salt & Pepper
Put a pot of hot water on your stove. I like to add just a pat of butter to the water.
Bring it to a boil.

While you are waiting for the water to boil, shuck your corn,
and scrub the kernels down to get rid of the silt. (little string)
 Boil your corn for 10-15 minutes. The longer
you cook, the softer your corn. Take your corn out of the
water with tongs, and shake the water off.
Serve with butter, salt & pepper.
When corn is at the height of its season, you really don't
need butter or salt or pepper. It's so good just boiled & eaten.

So, pretty simple, huh?
Thanks for stopping by, see you tomorrow for dessert!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Our Main Course for Today~The Philly!!

It's hard to beat a philly steak sandwich. I mean, it has everything~tender, juicy, thinly sliced steak, sweet, sweet, sauteed onions, cheesy, chewable, provolone cheese, an oh so soft, and beautifully lightly browned sub roll, and sweet, creamy, philadelphia cream cheese. WAIT! What!..........Oh yeah!
There is nothing better than a philly with cream cheese lightly spread on the bun. The first time I was served a philly with cream cheese was at the Palace Saloon in Fernandina Beach, Florida. It is the most beautiful place, and is also Florida's oldest continually running saloon. But the last time I was there I was told they do not serve food anymore. So Sad!! Well, now it is up to us to keep this tradition alive. Just try it. I know you will like it!!

Here's what you will need:

1/2 pound sirloin sliced very thin
medium onion cut into small slices
provolone cheese slices
super soft deli roll
cream cheese~whipped or regular

 Slice your sirloin very thin, If you are having trouble getting it as
thin as you want it to be,heres a little trick.  Put it in the freezer for
about 30 minutes.This will enable you to have
better control as you are slicing.
Slice your onions into thin rounds, and then cut them in half.
Once they reduce in size by sauteing, they are the perfect bite size!
Start by cooking your onions. I like to saute on medium high heat 
with a little butter. If you saute on too high of heat, your butter will burn.
Go ahead and add your sirloin just as your onions start to saute.
Move your onions and sirloin as they cook.
This is what it should look like when fully cooked.
Drain any excess juice.
Add your Provolone Slices to your meat while it is in the pan.
If you don't have a lid for your pan, you can improvise.
 I used another similar size pan to make my lid.
I have even used cookie sheets when I don't have anything else.
There is no wrong way. You are just trying to melt your cheese.
Prepare your sub roll with the Philly cream cheese. Now, I know
some people like mayo on their philly. So put it on!
There is no wrong way to enjoy the food you like!
You can add tomato and lettuce if you would like.
It's all good!
Use a spatula to put your meat on your roll.
Dig in!

There are some variations you can use to make your philly cheesesteak
more appealing to you. You can saute red, green, and/or yellow peppers
to add to you sandwich. If you want to do this, then put the peppers
on to saute before the onions. Let them cook a little and get a little
soft before adding the onions and meat. Peppers take a little
longer to cook. You can also add mushrooms.Put them
 on to cook early like the peppers. 

Thanks for joining me today. Tomorrow we will make our side dish!
See you then!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Dinner Salad w/Homemade Herbed Vinaigrette

Hi Everyone! Today we are making our side dish, a dinner salad with a homemade herbed vinaigrette. Here is your recipe:

Herb Vinaigrette

3/4 cup salad oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoon chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
salt & pepper

Salad Mix

1 head Romaine Lettuce
2 Roma Tomatoes
1 Cucumber

Combine the mustard  and vinegar in a glass bowl and whisk together.

Put the mix in the blender with the oil, tarragon, salt and pepper. Pulse your blender for 10 seconds. Add a few more seconds if it isn't totally combined. If you don't have a blender, use a whisk and mix thoroughly.

Transfer to a glass bowl and let it stand for 30 minutes so the flavors can meld.

Wash and chop your romaine lettuce. Lettuce leaves are the best when they are bite size pieces.  They can be cut larger, but then you have to cut your salad with a knife. If you would rather use the pre-cut lettuce pieces from the grocer, just remember to wash them before you eat them. I know they say they are washed, but it's a good idea to wash it yourself anyway.
Slice your tomatoes into small slices, and slice your cucumbers into bite size pieces.
A really well prepared salad is one that does not have to be cut after it is served.

Give your dressing a good whisk immediately before serving.

I am sorry about no pictures today. Technology and I are not the best of friends. But, my camera will be fixed by tomorrows post.

Thank you for stopping by. See you tomorrow.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Steak Bite Scoops

Today, we are going to make Steak Bite Scoops! They are delicious, easy to make, and addicting.
Here's what you need:
Tostito's Scoops
Sour Cream
Diced Onion
Chopped Avocado
Muenster Slices
1/4 pound Sirloin Steak
This menu is not specific in amounts because I am not sure how many Steak Bites you might 
want to make. I would recommend making a lot. They are tasty!!
In my case, I made 9 bites.
Go ahead and cook your steak to your liking. I love medium rare. Then, 
cut your steak in small bite size pieces. 
You need to make them bite size, because you don't want to have to work at biting the steak. 
They should be small enough to fit into the scoop.

Dice your onions, and chop your avocado. Make sure they are bite size also.

Place your scoops on a microwavable plate.

Fill each scoop with chopped onion. If you like onion, put in a lot.
Place your pieces of steak on top of the onion.
Take your Muenster Cheese pieces and cover the scoops like in the picture. Microwave
on high for about 18 seconds for nine pieces. 
They will look like this when done in the micro.
Separate the pieces so they are no longer attached to one another by cheese.
Add a dollop of cream cheese to each scoop.
Add a piece of avocado to top each piece.
Doesn't that look good? 

There are some variations you could make on this appetizer. 
Pieces of chopped sun dried tomato would add a hint of sweetness and a splash of color.
The tomato would look good placed under the avocado, on top of the sour cream.
You could also use chicken. A chicken breast seasoned with fajita seasoning would taste great, especially when topped with chopped onion and chopped roma tomato. You could then top it with 
shredded cheddar, sour cream and avocado. Yummy!
When you get to brainstorming, there are a million different variations!!!
That good become my new hobby!

I hope you enjoyed today's appetizer. Tomorrow we will be making a 
crisp dinner salad with a herbed Vinaigrette.

Thanks for stopping by. See you tomorrow!!

This Weeks Menu & Shopping List

Hi Everyone! Happy Mother's Day to all the mom's!!

This weeks menu is one I know you will enjoy:

Appetizer~Steak Bite Scoops
Soup/Salad~Dinner Salad with Homemade Dressing
Entree~Philly Steak Sandwich with Cream Cheese
Side~Corn on the Cob
Dessert~Individual Fruit Trifle

This is your list of things you will need:

Steak Bite Scoops

      1 bag of Tostitos Scoops
       1/4 pound Sirloin Steak
              1/4 pound Muenster Cheese ( sliced)
       Small Onion
        Sour Cream

Steak Bite Scoops Ingredients

Dinner Salad w/ Herbed Vinaigrette

3/4 cup Salad Oil
1/4 cup White Wine Vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
2 tablespoon chopped Parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
salt & pepper
1 head Romaine Lettuce
2 Roma Tomatoes
1 Cucumber

Philly Steak Sandwich w/ cream Cheese
1/2 pound Sirloin
medium onion
provolone cheese slices
whipped cream Cheese
Sub Rolls
Philly Steak Sandwich Ingredients

Corn on the Cob

Corn on the cob
Salt & Pepper
Corn on the Cob Ingredients
Individual Fruit Trifle

2 medium Strawberries per Trifle
1 cup Heavy Duty Whipping Cream
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 Strawberry/Banana Yogurt
Nestle Toppers
Fruit Trifle Ingredients
I am looking forward to cooking these recipes with you this week. I hope you are too!
Please join me tomorrow.
The Steak Bite Scoops are incredible!!