Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Quesadilla Starter!!!

This weeks appetizer is a Cheese Quesadilla!! You will love this. Once you make this quesadilla, you will realize how easy it is to make up your own combinations, and all of the sudden you are a recipe creator! Trust me~it's easy. You know what you like in the way of good food combos. That's what this is. I mean, everything tastes good in a tortilla!! You are gonna love this!!

This is what you need:
Flour tortillas
Roma Tomatoes
Yellow Onions
Cowboy Beans 
(leftover from last week)
Kraft Mexican 4 Cheese w/a Touch of Philly
Sour Cream
Avocado
Cilantro
Dice your tomatoes. Dice your onions. We did this here at:
http://thefreshmancook.blogspot.com/2011/05/cole-slaw-cowboy-beans-quite-pair.html
 Heat butter in a pan.
Add onions and tomatoes. Saute.
Add the beans, and heat them.
(Don't spill them on the stove, like the slop I am!!)
In another pan, melt a pat of butter.
Put a tortilla in and let it start to brown.
Put a handful of cheese on top of the tortilla.
Let it start to melt.
After it starts to melt, add the onions, tomatoes, and
beans to the tortilla.
Add some more cheese.
Top the tortilla with another tortilla.
Now it's time to flip the tortilla. But, it's no big deal.
You need to put another pan on top of the pan with the tortilla in it.
Once you are covering the pan with the tortilla in it, turn the pan upside down
so that the tortilla is now upside down in the second pan.
The butter will brown the bottom of the second tortilla.
Put your quesadilla onto a cutting board.
It should slide right out of your pan.
Cut in into a many pieces as you want with a
pizza cutter.
Move the quesadilla onto a plate for serving.
Garnish your completed quesadilla with a dollop
of sour cream, a slice of avocado, and a sprig
of cilantro.

Enjoy your quesadilla!!!!

There are so many different ways to personalize
your quesadilla. You can add different veggies, or maybe chicken,
steak, or pork. You can vary the cheese to whatever is your favorite.
I used a flour tortilla that is the low carb type, but you could use any kind of
tortilla, even corn tortillas.

Thanks for joining me today.
Tomorrow we will be making the salad portion of our meal.
It's salad with a twist! I know you'll like it.
So stop by and see what we're cooking.!!!





Monday, May 30, 2011

This Weeks Menu and Grocery List!

This weeks menu is fun and light. It's the perfect menu to start off the first official week of summer.

Appetizer~Cheese Quesadilla
Soup or Salad~Mini Caprese Skewers
Entree~Filet Mignon Steak Sandwiches served on Semi-Homemade Rolls
Side~Pasta Salad
Dessert~S'mores Bars

Here's our list:

Appetizer                                                                             Mini Caprese Skewers
Flour Tortilla                                                                               Grape Tomatoes
Roma Tomatoes                                                                          Fresh Mozzarella
Onion                                                                                         Spinach Leaves
Avocado                                                                                     Short Skewers
Garlic Powder
Sour Cream
Kraft Mexican Four Cheese w/ Touch of Philly

Entree                                                                              Soup or Salad
Filet Mignon Steaks                                                          Rotini Pasta
Romaine Lettuce                                                               Yellow Pepper
Roma Tomato                                                                    Green Onions
Onion Slices                                                                      Grape Tomatoes
Provolone Cheese Slices                             Homemade Zesty Italian Dressing~
Mayo                                                                                 Red Wine Vinegar
Bridgeford White Bread Rolls                                             Extra Virgin Olive Oil
                                                                                          Garlic Salt
                                                                                          Celery Salt
 S'mores Bars                                                                     Dried  Parsley               
Shortening                                                                          Onion Powder
Granulated Sugar                                                                Granulated Sugar
Brown Sugar                                                                       Dried Oregano     Eggs                                                                  
Vanilla Extract                                                                      Dried Thyme
Flour                                                                                    Dried Basil 
Baking Soda                                                                         Salt
Salt                                                                                        Ground Black pepper        
Mini Marshmallows                                                                       
Milk Chocolate Chips
Graham Crackers
Butter
Chocolate Candy Bar
                                                                                                               
Thanks for joining me today.
Have a Happy Memorial Day!
 See you at the grocery!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Do I Really Need That?

Today we are discussing a very simple gadget type item. The Evendough Bands. They ensure that your rolled cookies, or dough of any kind is all the same level. Do you need these? Maybe not. There are several ways to make sure that your dough is even. I have seen, but never used, a bar type system, where you roll your rolling pin over the dough, but the edge of your pin sits on the two parallel bars, so your rolling pin can not go deeper than the bars height. I think the evendough bands are easier to use, and more precise. We are going to make some sugar cookies, and you will see below how the bands work. The package comes with 4 different colors of bands, 2 of each. We will use the green bands. This means that our dough will be 1/4" thick after we roll it.
Lets make sugar cookies!
Here are the bands.
Band Thickness is :
Red 1/16"
Yellow 1/8"
Green 1/4"
Blue 3/8"
Here is the sugar cookie recipe:

No Fail Sugar Cookies
(from kitchengifts.com-changed slightly)
5 cups Flour
1 tablespoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups Butter
2 cups Sugar
2 Eggs
2 teaspoon almond extract


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
 Mix your flour, baking powder, salt together in a bowl. Set it aside.
 Cream your butter and sugar until light & fluffy.
 Add eggs and almond extract. Mix well.
Add your flour mix to the wet mix, and mix well.
The dough will come together, and the flour 
will be totally incorporated.
Here is your parchment paper. We are going to roll out
your dough without making a mess, and we won't have 
to add flour to the recipe.  This idea comes
from kitchengifts.com. 
Fold your parchment paper in half.
Put some dough in the middle of one half of the parchment.
This is how your evendough bands look on your
rolling pin. Put them as close to the edge of your pin as you can.
Fold the other half of the parchment over your dough.
Roll your dough out. 
Place your parchment with rolled dough inside on
a cookie sheet, or whatever you want to use. Then place in the refrigerator.
Continue rolling out dough on other pieces of parchment until
all the dough is rolled out. When all the dough is in the refrigerator
cover with plastic wrap to keep fresh. All the parchment with rolled dough
in it can be placed on one tray, all on top of one another.
Start your icing. 
We will make Antonia74 Royal Icing. 
This is taken from wwwcakecentral.com
You need: 
3/4 cup warm water
5 tablespoons meringue powder
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
2.25 lbs powdered sugar

In your mixer bowl, pour the warm water
into the bowl, then add the meringue powder. Whisk
for 30 seconds until frothy. It should get a little thick.
 Add your cream of tartar and whisk for 30 seconds more.
Add all of the powdered sugar at one time.
Using the paddle attachment on your mixer, if you have 
a counter top mixer, mix slowly for 10 minutes on the lowest 
speed. the icing will get smooth and creamy.
Take a parchment paper with dough out of the refrigerator.
Cut out circles from your dough.
Place your dough circles on another piece of
parchment paper on a cookie sheet and
bake in the oven for 8-9 minutes
Cool your cookies for about 10 minutes.
Then take cookies off of cookie sheet, 
and cool on the cooling rack.
Fix a decorating bag with a Wilton #2 tip, and then
fill with a little bit of the icing.
 Pipe around the edge of the cookie. 
(Try to get closer than I did!!)
Thin a little bit of the left over icing. Then flood the inner circle 
of your cookie.
Sprinkle with sprinkles!!
Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by today. 
Tomorrow I will give you the menu for next week.
It's gonna be good!!
See you then!!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Strawberry Shortcake-This Weeks Dessert!

I love strawberry shortcake!! I don't think I have ever met anyone who doesn't.  Really! To me it is the quintessential summertime dessert. So, I made a pound cake, and tried to dress it up a little. I think it tastes great. I hope you like it!
Two Step Pound Cake
(adapted from Southern Living)

4 cups Flour
3 cups Sugar
1 pound Butter
3/4 cup Milk
6 Eggs
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract

Here are some other items you will need:
Whipping Cream & Sugar
Fresh Strawberries and Milk
A wine glass

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
Place your butter in a bowl, and beat until creamy.
Gradually add your sugar, beating until light and fluffy.
Add your eggs, one at a time. I like to crack each egg 
into an egg cup before I put the egg into the bowl with the rest
of the ingredients. That way, if there is ever a problem
with shell pieces, it is a lot easier to fish the shell out of the egg cup
than to try and get it out of the batter.
Mix your batter after each egg is added.
Add your flour to the batter. You need to alternate the flour
with the milk. Start with the batter. Add about 2 spoonfuls,
then pour in a little milk. Keep your mixer running the 
entire time if possible. Continue adding flour and then milk
to your batter. You started with adding flour, so you 
should end with adding flour.
Add your vanilla extract. Mix together.
Fill a mini muffin tin with wrappers, then fill with batter.
Bake for about 13 minutes. If a toothpick inserted into
a mini cake comes out clean, they are done.
When they are done, place them on a cooling rack to cool.
Time to get out the strawberries.
Wash them thoroughly.
 Slice about 4 strawberries per order you are preparing.
Add about 2 teaspoons of granulated sugar to the strawberries,
stir them well, then refrigerate them for about 20 minutes.
While your strawberries are chilling, make your whipped cream.
We made this in a past post:
http://thefreshmancook.blogspot.com/2010/07/incredible-delectable-homemade-whipped.html.
We are going to put our strawberry shortcake in a wine goblet.
Fill the bottom with milk. Not a lot, just enough to
cover the bottom, and come up the side a little.
Add 2 pieces of pound cake to your milk.
Add 4-5 slices of strawberries.
Add 2 more pound cake minis, and then 4-5 slices of
strawberries again.
Pipe the whipped cream onto the top of your strawberries.
I used a Wilton tip 1M.
Garnish with a slice of strawberry.
Enjoy!!

Thanks for joining me today. Hope to see you tomorrow.
I hope your Memorial Day Weekend is off to a good & safe start.