Thursday, December 3, 2009

Elephant Stew

I have a few friends headed to Africa for mission work. I found this recipe and thought it was amusing. I hope they don't end up needing it!

Elephant Stew
1 Medium elephant
2 Rabbits (optional)
Brown Gravy (lots...I suggest from a jar)
salt and pepper

Cut elephant into small bite sized pieces (allow 2 months for this process). Add enough gravy to cover. Cook over kerosene fire at 465 degrees for 4 weeks. Serves 3,800 people. If more are expected by all means add the 2 rabbits. But only do it if more are expected.....most people do not like finding hare in their stew. :P

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Herbed Beef Tenderloin (Page 35)

This is beef tenderloin (a huge amount for $71). I bought it at Jungle Jim's for $9.99/lb. I have seen it go as low as $7.99/lb there. Jungle's does something others don't. Ask them to trim up the tenderloin and tell them you want to make meatloaf from the trimmings. It is the highest quality meatloaf you'll ever have. I used it for Italian meatloaf and got 2 meals just out of the meatloaf. We will have 2 very nice beef tenderloin dinners. Usually I have some leftover beef for a swiss cheese/ beef quiche. Without the quiche the breakdown is $17.75/ person, which is cheaper than getting beef tenderloin at a restaurant. And with this beef tenderloin recipe from the cook book... I submit better. Watch Jungle's for the lower price. (I have seen it as high as $13/lb.& as low as $8.99/lb - esp. around holiday/turkey time!) And enjoy a great tasting easy meal (s)! Here's the recipe:

Herbed Beef Tenderloin

1 whole tenderloin, trimmed
1 T. rosemary, ground in a coffee grinder
1-2 T. olive oil
2 tsp. sea salt, fine
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. black pepper
1 T. basil, dried
kitchen string
Take tenderloin and tie up kitchen string at about 1 1/2 to 3 inch intervals . Don't forget to tuck the thinner ends up under the meat and tie it for more even cooking!
Combine oil and garlic and brush it over all of the meat.
In a separate bowl: mix basil, rosemary, salt and pepper. Sprinkle it over all the meat and let it sit about 30 minutes (at room temperature). Place on a shallow roasting rack and bake, uncovered at 425 degrees for 45 minutes. I cook to 150 degrees, pull from the oven and wrap very tight
with foil. Let stand at least 10 minutes. When you let it stand the juices redistribute, so don't skip this step!

Friday, October 2, 2009


(Known in our house as THE soup)
by Rita Heikenfeld
3 cans Progresso cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 c. Olive oil (enough to cover bottom
of stock pot)
1-lb. fresh Italian sausage
3 leeks chopped (don’t use bulb or area where it begins to leaf out)
1/4 tsp. thyme
2-3 tsp. garlic, minced
8 c. chicken broth
14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes (pref. no salt)
1 sprig fresh rosemary or ½ tsp. dried
2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, diced (leave skin on)
Salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese for garnish
Parmesan cheese rind can be added (opt.)
1 Bay leaf great extra flavor
1 bunch of kale –stemmed and coarsely
Fill bottom of stock pot with oil over medium heat. Add sausage, leeks, potatoes, garlic, bay leaf and thyme. Saute until sausage is cooked. Add tomatoes, beans and broth. Simmer about 45 min. Add more broth if necessary. During last 15 min. add rosemary (it can overpower dish). Remove the bay leaf. Add kale and cook 5 minutes.
Garnish with generous amounts of Parmesan and an optional swirl of olive oil.

Freezes well. Serves 10-12 bowls. My kids loved this so much they even ate it for
Note: This is our number one favorite soup. I have had people ask for this recipe more
than any other recipe.

Asian Braised Short Ribs (pg 31)

This dish would be awesome in a crockpot. Just do your prep the night before, and make the slurry right before you eat it. Great with rice.

4 lbs. boneless beef short ribs (~$20, and very lean and we got 2 meals out of it) OR
boneless chuck roast cut into pieces (much cheaper/ ?fatty)
1/2 c. soy sauce
1/4 c. rice wine or dry sherry
2 T. olive oil
2 15.5 oz. beef broth
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. fresh ginger root, finely grated (peel with a spoon,freezes,whole,great)
2 tsp. Toasted sesame seed oil (keep refrigerated)$3.50 at Whole foods
1 c. onion, finely chopped
2 T. cornstarch mixed with 3 T. water
4 green onions, chopped
Preheat to 350 degrees. In a Dutch oven, heat the oil and brown the ribs or chuck a
few pieces at a time and set aside. When all the meat is cooked, add garlic, ginger and onion to the pan. Saute 5-7 min. until the onion begins to turn translucent. Add the meat back to the pan and slowly add the soy sauce, sherry and broth. (You can cool,cover, and refrigerate 3 days or freeze for 2 months at this point. Bring to room temp.
before proceeding.) Bake in a Dutch oven, covered, for TWO hours. Remove from oven. In a separate bowl, mix a corn starch slurry with the water and pour around meat. Cover and bake 10 more minutes, until the sauce thickens. Remove from the oven and stir sesame seed oil into the sauce. Garnish with green onions and serve over rice or
Note: Versatile dish that can be made ahead, can be done in a Dutch oven or a crock
pot (low 8 hours, high 4 hours). Thicken sauce in a small pan on the stove.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Nutty Butter Cream Cheese Cake with Buttered Pecan Frosting

(Nutty Butter Cream Cheese Cake or Carrot
Muffins) Pg. 57

1 stick unsalted butter,DIVIDED, room temperature,
1 lb. powdered sugar
4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1-2 T. evaporated milk
1 1/2 c. pecans, chopped
In a medium saucepan, melt 3 T. butter and add pecans. Brown the pecans. Allow the
pecans to cool. (I spread out on a cookie sheet. Cream together 5 T. butter, cream
cheese, and powdered sugar. Add milk to bring frosting to desired creaminess. Ice the
cakes as you normally would. Be generous between the layers, as you usually have
leftover icing. Layer the cakes (it's a 3 layer cake). Take the cooled pecans and lay
them on the outside, pushing into the frosting, but not the top of the icing, so that it's
coated all around with buttered pecans. Keep in a cool area.
Note: I make this at Christmas or any "special occasion". I think this icing would be
awesome on the carrot cake muffins, (just don't use the pecans).


1 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
2 c. sugar
1 c. buttermilk, room temperature
4 egg yolks (reserve the egg whites!)
1/2 c. water
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. rum flavoring (located near
vanilla in spice aisle)
2 1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
4 egg whites

Heat oven to 350 degrees. *Grease and flour 3 cake pans. Cream together butter,
cream cheese, and sugar. Add egg yolks, vanilla, rum, water, and buttermilk. Sift all
dry ingredients together, and add to the mixture, mixing well. In a separate bowl, beat
egg whites until fluffy and soft peaks form. Fold beaten egg whites into the cake
mixture. Place into the 3 pans evenly and bake for 40 minutes. Cool on racks.* Serve
with butter pecan frosting.
Note: Awesome cake recipe with a great "WOW" factor when this is served. I not
only grease and flour the pan, I also add a circle (pan-sized) piece of wax paper to the
base of a greased and floured pan. Remove the wax when the cakes cool.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Cincinnati Sauerkraut Balls Page 2

I brown the sausage a little first, then add the onions.Chop the sausage up, with the spatula, into tiny bits, so each ball has a bit of sausage.

I like to mix in all the smaller ingredients into the cream cheese first.

Make sure the sauerkraut has been squeezed very dry. I use a colander and the base of my hand. Don't rinse the sauerkraut, either!

I like to add the warmed sausage and onions as it sort of melts the cream cheese and allows for a thorough mixture.

Refrigerate for a few hours so you can form the balls easier.

It goes flour, water/egg (I only used 2T. water & 2 eggs for 35 balls!)Place on cookie sheet.

Be ready to go with very hot oil! Paper towel on cooling racks. Be careful! We did 4-5 balls at a time until they were browned and crunchy.

Outside is hot and crunchy and the inside is warm and creamy. You can cool them and freeze at this point.

1 (32-oz.) jar sauerkraut, drained and pressed
2 T. sweet hot mustard
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1 1-lb. breakfast sausage (Like Bob Evan's)
1/2 c. chopped onion
4 T. fine dry bread crumbs (in the mix)
1 (8-oz.) cream cheese at room temperature
4 T. chopped flat leaf parsley
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 c. all purpose flour
4 eggs
4 T. water
1 c. fine bread crumbs (for rolling) 1 bottle Cooking oil for deep fat frying
In a large skillet cook sausage and onion until sausage is brown. Drain.
Drain sauerkraut, pressing out as much liquid as you can. In a large mixing bowl add sauerkraut, sausage mixture, 4 T. bread crumbs, cream cheese, parsley, mustard,
garlic salt and pepper. Cover and chill several hours or overnight. (You can freeze it at this stage, but I freeze after frying) Put flour in a shallow dish. In another shallow dish, beat eggs with water until combined. Put 1 cup bread crumbs in a third
container. Using about 2 T. of sauerkraut mixture, form into balls. (It’s easier to do all at once). Roll the balls into the flour, then the egg mixture, and then the bread crumbs.
Fry a few at a time in deep hot fat (365 degrees) for about 2 minutes or until brown.
Remove from fat with a slotted spoon. Drain on a paper towel. Transfer to a baking
sheet. You can keep these warm in an oven at 275 degrees. I freeze mine at this stage
and reheat in an oven 350 degrees until warmed with no problems. This recipe yields
50-60 balls. That is a "2 bite ball" we made a 1 inch scoop and it yielded 35 "3 bite balls".

How To Cut a Pepper

The goal is to have a nice even dice, with no seeds.
First cut off the top, then then bottom. Then cut through the side and go around the pepper, careful to not disturb the seeds! Cut away in "squares" and make even julienne strips. Cut the strips into even diced peppers. Tah-dah! You can freeze this for quick soups and stews. They will be a little mushy....but it's stew, who cares?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

From Rita Heikenfeld ~ Freezing Food

To freeze - or not to freeze? Foods that freeze well & those that don't
Posted by RitaHeikenfeld at 9/7/2009 12:55 PM EDT on
Here's the deal:
Foods that freeze well:
Red meat - 4-12 months
Poultry - 9 to 12 months
Seafood - 3 to 6 months
Raw bacon - 1 to 2 months
Some casseroles - 1 to 4 months
Soups, stews & stocks - 2 to 4 months
Cooked legumes 4-6 months
Whole berries - 8 to 12 months
Peeled ripe bananas - 2 to 4 weeks
Blanched veggies - 2 to 12 months, depending on the veggie
Bread - 6 to 8 months (wrap well!)
Pie dough - 6 to 8 weeks
Nuts - 6 to 12 months
Butter - 6 to 9 months
Egg whites - 12 months
Flour (like whole grains, all purpose, etc.) - 6 to 12 months (check whole grains after 6 months)
Foods that don't freeze well:
High moisture veggies like lettuce, celery & cabbage get watery.
Cream and custard fillings separate.
Meringue toughens.
Milk undergoes flavor changes
Sour cream and yogurt separate (i've had luck whisking them a bit before using)
Heavy cream usually won't whip after it's been frozen, but it's OK to use.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


They say you eat with your eyes first!

I line up my veggies in order of cook time.

I had my lagest skillet and still made a mess.

Love these noodles!

Adding pesto to the veggies

Making the bechamel sauce, thickening

Adding the nutmeg

Chopping basil in a "chiffonade"

Ricotta cheese mixture ingredients

Layering the lasagna

The finished produce with a fluffy top ~ Yum.

olive oil salt pepper to taste
2 c. onions chopped nutmeg to taste (for bechamel sauce)
4 cloves garlic, minced 1 1/2 lbs. whole milk ricotta
3 zucchini, diced 8 oz. frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 red bell peppers, diced
1 cup shredded carrots optional
6 oz. mushrooms, sliced 2 T. fresh basil, chopped
4 Roma tomatoes, diced 2 1/2 c. mozzarella, divided
1/2 c. pesto, home made or prepared 1 1/2 c. Parmesan, divided
3 T. unsalted butter 3 eggs
2 T. flour 1 box of Barilla no bake lasagne noodles,divided in thirds
2 c. whole milk
In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft, add carrots and cook a few minutes more. Then add zucchini, peppers and garlic and cook. Add tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste. Place all veggies in a large bowl, set aside. Heat more olive oil and cook mushrooms. Add cooked mushrooms to vegetable mixand stir in 1/2 cup pesto sauce and coat well. Set aside. Bechamel Sauce: In a heavy saucepan, melt butter. Remove from heat. Whisk in flour. Return to heat and cook flour 1-2 minutes, don't let it brown. Remove from heat and whisk in milk. Return to heat and whisk until thick. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg (to taste). Set aside.

Ricotta mix: Combine ricotta, spinach, basil, 1/2 c. mozzarella, eggs,and 1 cup Parmesan. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Grease a 9 x 13 and preheat oven to 375 degrees. Take 1/3 of the bechamel sauce and place in the bottom of the pan. Lay 1/3 the noodles over the sauce. Layer 1/2 of the vegetables next and then the ricotta mixture. Spreading evenly as you go. Place 1 cup of mozzarella over next. Lay another 1/3 of the noodles. Repeat bechamel sauce layer, vegetable layer and then the
last 1/3 of the noodles. Spread the ricotta over noodles and cover with all of the remaining cheeses. Bake 45 minutes until nicely browned.

Note: You can find the home made pesto recipe in the "This and That" section of this
book. Don't be afraid to season each layer. Careful on the nutmeg, as it can over
power the dish.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Some Photos of Pesto Chicken

Here is what you do after you've made pesto: you add lemon juice, marinate a few hours and grill.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Pesto and Pesto Chicken (Pg. 39)

Pesto and Chicken with Pesto:
2 c. firmly packed basil leaves 1/2 c. olive oil
1-2 cloves of garlic 1/4 to 1/2 c. Parmesan cheese(the good stuff)
3 T. Pine nuts salt and pepper to taste
If making Pesto chicken add 3-4 T. lemon juice and 2 lbs thawed boneless skinless chicken breast.
Season chicken with salt and pepper place in a gallon size freezer bag or 9 x 13 dish. Cover and refrigerate. Wash up!
Pesto sauce:
In a food processor place garlic and pulse, then the basil and pulse.

Add the pine nuts and pulse.

Slowly add olive oil while processing, then pulse in the cheese.

You can pour into a small Ball Mason jar, cover the top with olive oil and freeze. You can use right away on bruschetta or in a pasta dish.

If making pesto chicken, add lemon juice to the mixture and mix well. Pour over the chicken and marinate for 30 min. to a few hours (refrigerate), but NOT over night. I like a freezer bag to flip the mixture.

Grill chicken, turning only once until cooked, but not until dry! Place on a platter and cover with foil so juices redistribute. Can be served over pasta or a bed of greens. Yum!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Chicken Pot Pie (Page 39)

4 cups chicken cooked and diced
1 cup onion,chopped 1 tsp. salt
1 cup carrot, chopped 1/4 tsp. pepper
1 cup celery, chopped 2 sheets puff pastry thawed (side by side)
1/2 cup + 2 T. unsalted butter 1 egg yolk
1 cup frozen peas 1 T. half and half
1/4 cup plus 2 T. flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup half and half

Take 3-4 uncooked chicken breasts and cover 1/2 way with water or broth and bake at 350 degrees until done. Dice into small pieces to 4 cups and set aside. Chop veggies as into small bits. Set up ingredients so that when the ingredients are gone, you are done. This is called "mise en place".

Melt the butter in a large saute pan (this is a 4 quart pan.) And saute the veggies.

You will be sauteing the veggies at least 10 min. over medium heat. Really make sure the veggies are soft. This is their only real "cook" time. As you are waiting for the veggies to soften, line up your next ingredients. Once you have softened veggies add flour and peas. Stir and cook for 1 minute.

Gradually add broth and cream. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thick and bubbly. Stir in salt and pepper. Add chicken and stir. Ladle mixture into an oven proof dish (or smaller individual oven proof bowls to 3/4 full. Place on a cookie sheet.

Lightly flour your surface and rolling pin. Roll out puff pastry to 1/8 inch thickness.I use an offset spatula to slide under the pastry, to loosen it. Mix the egg yolk and 2 T. half and half and brush onto pastry. Pick that pastry up and put it wet side down on top of mixture. If doing individual bowls, I would cut slt. larger than the bowl, then brush. Once the pastry is on the bowl, brush the top with egg wash. Bake about 20 min. or until the top is puffy and golden.

Notes: I only needed 1 sheet of puff pastry, so I took the other sheet, cut into squares and put into muffin cups. Bake 400 degrees until brown (?15 min) and you can give to people who want extra bread. I would double the base mixture and maybe even freeze it. There are never leftovers, so at our house ~ just double in 2 casserole dishes. The main goal of baking is to cook the puff pastry as everything in the base is cooked. I sprayed the casserole dish and would NOT do that next time. You see it made the dish look not so nice. You could wipe down the inside for baking. Individual ramekins (oven proof bowls have worked well in the past. Just really make sure the pastry seals to the edge and use a bake sheet in case there is spillage.