Monday, January 9, 2012

Pumpkin Pancakes with Pumpkin Butter

These were inspired by two ingredients! I kept thinking about this can of Organic Pumpkin from Trader Joe's, too small to make a pie, but just enough for Pumkpin Pancakes.

Pumpkin Pancakes
1/2 can of pumpkin puree
1/2 to 2 cups of Bisquick
2 pats of butter, melted
2 tbsp of water

Mix everything and prime a pan or grill to make your pancakes. Make them as usual, letting them brown a little before flipping onto the other side.

Pumpkin Butter
1/2 can of pumpkin puree
2 pats of butter
2 tsp of brown sugar or a packet of Splenda
Dash of Cinnamon

Mix everything in a bowl and put in the microwave for a minute or so. Mix and let cool a little.

Spread the Pumpkin Butter on your pumpkin pancakes and top with maple syrup. Mmmm, easy pumpkin pancakes.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Creamy Au Gratin Potatoes

Naughty, naughty. I know I shouldn't be making these creamy, cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes, but what else are you supposed to eat meat with! lol. I make mine completely different than others I think, so try these!

5-6 potatoes, sliced into thin rounds.
Italian herbs, cayenne, salt and pepper lightly sprinkled
5 heaping Tbsp of Cream Cheese
1/2 cup of milk
2 pats of butter

Slice your potatoes, dust them with the herbs and lay them flat on a buttered pan or on a grill. Cook until slightly golden on both sides. Remove from heat and put in a glass pyrex or metal baking pan.

In a small saucepan or microwavable bowl, add cream cheese, milk and butter. Melt down. Pour contents over grilled potatoes and cover with grated parmasean cheese.

Pop in the oven and cook until melty and golden (evil and you need to have it). Lol. Usually 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

Beer Rub Steak

This is probably the simplest recipe ever, but the flavor is amazing. It's called Beer Rub, because you do a dry rub then about 15-20 minutes prior to cook - pour a nice good beer over it. It's important to use a good beer, since the stronger the ale or stout, the more flavor it will have.

You can use a DRY steak rub purchased in most grocery stores like Lawry's or McCormick's Montereal Steak Rub or make your own:

4 tbsp course salt
1 tbsp course cracked black pepper
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp paprika
1/2 tbsp granulated garlic
1/2 tbsp dried rosemary, lightly crushed
1/2 tbsp crushed red chili flakes
1/2 tbsp dried thyme

Rub Steaks with the dry rub, let sit for an half an hour or longer, covered yet not refrigerated. Then take a beer like an ale or stout and pour it over the steaks in a shallow bowl. The rub will start to fizz with the carbonation of the beer. Let it sit for 20-30 minutes.

Then you are ready to grill, fry or roast. Really the options are endless, different beers, different cook methods and different rubs. This is an easy one for BBQ's and everyone likes that beer flavor in the meat. Mmmmm.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Bok Choy with Tomato

I like to balance my meals with fresh side dishes, so when I had my New Year's Eve crab, I served it with a Stir Fried Baby Boy Choy with tomatoes and onions. Easy and light enough to balance the meal. It's also very colorfuland brightens up your plate.

3 heads of Baby Bok Choy
1 large tomato, firm
1/4 yellow onion, chopped
2 tbsp of butter
2 tbsp of soy sauce
2 tsp of water
Shake of Habenero Pepper Flakes or Red Chili Pepper Flakes (optional)

Heat butter and saute onions, add soy sauce and water. Add pepper flakes, then diced Boy Choy and saute another 2 minutes. Then add tomatoes. Cook until vegetables are still crisp, yet cooked thoroughly.

Kale stuffed mushrooms

My other New Year's Appetizer!

I went to a restaurant in Alameda called Pappo and was served Kale Stuffed Mushrooms. This sparked an idea. I would make these mushrooms using Baby Bellas (Portabella Mushrooms) and make some with bacon. They were amazing! Although the photos don't do much justice, you will have to take my word or take a chance!

For the Vegetarian Version, skip the bacon step or substitute with soyrizo.

24 Baby Bella Mushrooms, Silver Dollar size or smaller
1 head of Kale (I split this in two to make veggie ones and bacon ones), chopped small.
1/2 a medium onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic diced
1 tbsp of soy sauce
2 tbsp of Olive oil or Butter, more for the mushrooms
2 tbsp of water
5 slices of bacon, diced in tiny little pieces when raw
1/2 cup of bread crumbs

In a large frying pan or skillet, warm the oil or butter then add your garlic and onion, add chopped bacon (smaller the better), let saute and add soy sauce then water. Let that cook a bit then add the chopped kale and saute until cooked thoroughly. Remove from heat and drain a little if needed.

I purchased two large baskets of Baby Bella Mushrooms, cut off the stems and hollowed them if needed. I lined a pan with foil and placed the mushrooms on, drizzled them in olive oil. Then I scooped the kale into the mushroom filling them completely. Sprinkle bread crumbs on top.

Bake for 20 minutes or so at 350 Degrees, until the mushrooms are cooked and slightly golden brown on top.

Mini Champagne Crab Cakes

When I thought about what I wanted to make for the New Year's Eve Party my friends threw, I could decide between stuffed mushrooms or mini crab cakes. When it came down to it, I decided to make both. Cooking is my passion and food is the most enjoyable when shared with friends.

Mini Champagne Crab Cake Appetizers!!

2 cups of crab meat with onions/some juice from pan
1- 1/2 cups of boiled red potatoes, mashed
1 egg
1/4 cup of Italian Bread Crumbs, like Progresso
or make homemade with bread and a blender (like my other crab cake recipe)
Salt, Pepper, Cayenne, Parsley

Stir everything until thick, add bread crumbs last to balance the moisture, but if they are falling apart add a little more egg. (I try to judge things on the way the look and writing down recipes is new, so I took a picture. :)

So, heat a pan with butter or oil on medium heat. The middle ones will always cook faster with certain pans so it's best to rotate. Spoon each mini crab cake onto the pan with a tablespoon, flipping and rotating, cook until golden.

Once they are done, put on a napkin or parchment paper. Makes about 25 mini crab cakes the size of half dollars.

Champagne Roasted Crab for NYE

If I could have anything for dinner, it would probably be crab about 75% of the time. I love it and have made it soooo many different ways. Here's my newest:

2 large crabs, cut, quartered and cleaned
1/2 Yellow Onion
1/2 bottle of Champagne
3 lemons, squeezed and place inside
Cayenne, salt, pepper and dried basil

Place all items in a glass pyrex or baking pan and bake for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees. You can tell when it's done, the crab meat is white, the lemons cooked and the sauce bubbling.

You should then try my crab dipping sauce, it's too good and super easy. Take the juice with onions in it from the pan, add some butter and microwave that for a minute, then add Parmesan Cheese to thicken it up. OMG, it's so good - I don't know one person that does not like it.