Recipe Review- Corn Souffle

Evening guys! So today I have pretty much spent the entire day in the kitchen (and grocery store). I meal planned, I shopped, and I cooked my heart out. It is my Daddy’s birthday tomorrow, so I cooked him one of his favorite meals; Pork Ragu. I also made this corn souffle recipe I got from this cookbook…
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It has so many amazing recipes that I want to try, but this one caught my eye right away. I have always wanted to take on the souffle, but I have always been afraid to try. This was in the section called “The Scary Stuff,” but the directions were super clear and easy to follow. I followed this recipe to a tee. I encourage you to BUY this book up. It is perfect for the home cook who wants to gain skill and tips from a master chef!

Corn Souffle- from The Chef Next Door by Amanda Freitag

Ingredients- makes four 8-Ounce Ramekins
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, plus more for the ramekins
1 cup corn kernels ( fresh or frozen)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk
4 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

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Here is how it progressed…

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I think it was a hit! Becca loved it, but she said next time I should add some cheese. Done!

Cheesy Beef and Mushroom Sandwiches

Evening guys! I hope everyone had a great day. It was a scorcher here, so instead of the pool, we opted to go to an indoor jump place for the girls. My parents came with us and then we all had lunch at Mellow Mushroom. My dad and I both had a calzone; mine was tomato, basil, and black olives and his was steak and cheese.  I have enough leftovers for a few days…those things are bigger than my head!

Tonight I made this new recipe. I had a container of ground beef, but I wanted to come up with a something unique that we have never had before. I also had some mushrooms, an onion, and a random can of cream of mushroom soup. So I thought I might make a take on Philly cheese steak, but more playing up the mushrooms. I also used 2 different cheeses. Cheddar on half and provolone on the other half. Turns out they both taste good! This would be great for a quick dinner on a busy night or even a great appetizer for game night! I am already thinking of new sandwich ideas to use in the future!

Cheesy Beef and Mushroom Sandwiches

4 mini french loaves or one large loaf cut in 4 sections
1 pound ground chuck
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced in a garlic press
1 container mushrooms, chopped
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
salt and pepper to taste
CHEESE! I used half cheddar (about 1 cup shredded) and half provolone (6 slices in total)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350
Brown the onion and beef. Season with salt and pepper. Halfway through the beef being browned, add the mushrooms and garlic. Mix well.
Add in the mushroom soup and Worcestershire sauce. Mix well and cook for another 5 minutes or so. Cool.
Slice your bread and scoop out a little of the insides to make room for your beef and mushroom mixture. This is a great snack for the kids or dog =)
Add the beef and mushroom mixture on the bread. Top with your cheese and bake in the oven for about 12 minutes or until the cheese is melted and starting to brown.

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Spicy Quick Pickle Veggies

I had a ton of okra, beans, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and peppers I got from the farmer’s market the other day, so I decided to make a jar of quick pickles. These guys turned out so good; super flavorful and very spicy.

Ingredients

a couple handfuls of okra- Trim off ends and slice okra in half
2 sweet peppers- 1 yellow, 1 green sliced in thin strips
1 jalapeno pepper, cut in half- I used the ribs and seeds, but you can take them out if you wish
handful of beans (green, purple, yellow)- Trim off ends
handful of cherry tomatoes, whole
3 garlic cloves, peeled, whole
3 1/2 cups cider vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
4 cups water
1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
pinch of red pepper flakes
4 cups water

Directions

Add all the trimmed vegetables, except the garlic, into a large, stainless steel mixing bowl or stockpot. Combine all the rest of the ingredients in another large saucepan, and bring to a boil over med-high heat.

Carefully pour the boiling liquid over the vegetables, and make sure all the ingredients are submerged in the brine by using some large plates or glass platters to hold them under the liquid.

Cover and let cool to room temperature. Add them to your mason/Bell jar. Transfer to refrigerator and chill before serving. Pickled vegetables can be kept refrigerated, completely submerged in their liquid, in an airtight container, for up to 2 months. =) Enjoy!

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Kale and Beet Chips

Hey there! I am here with another idea for summer veggies. Make them into chips! I did my chips 2 ways; kale and beets. Crunchy and healthy.

For the kale- tear or cup off the leaf from the rib and stem. Discard the rib and stem. They are just too fibrous to eat. No bueno. I sprayed a cookie sheet with Pam. Then I sprayed the kale with Pam and salted it just a bit. You could use olive oil. That is fine. Plus, it has no fat or calories, so it is a bit more figure friendly. But if you have olive oil spray, that would be fine as well. Still healthy! Cook at 450 for about 15 minutes. This stuff cooks fast, so be on the watch so it doesn’t burn. I don’t mind when it turns a little brown, but more than that and it is unedible. 014

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for the beets- slice very thin, preferably on a mandolin. Use the guard and be careful! I treated the beets the same way as the kale. Pam and a little salt and pepper. These take a bit longer. Mine went about 30 minutes. 015

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These are a great way to eat kale and beets even if you don’t think you like kale or beets. The kale has this amazing salty crunch that just sort of melts in your mouth after each bite. The beets are a mix of sweet and salty and are just beautiful. I think next time I will gild the lily and add a sprinkle of grated ginger. Ginger and beets go hand in hand.

Roasted Eggplant Dip

So yesterday I bought a beautiful eggplant at the farmer’s market. I was thinking of what I could do with it; parmesan, rollatini, pasta, lasagna, etc. I was researching online to see what else was out there. Apparently, there are tons of ways to prepare eggplant. I kept seeing tons of different recipes for dips.

Babaganush is a eggplant dip served in many greek and mediterranean dishes. I have had it many times before, but I have never made it. Traditionally, it calls for tahini paste. Tahini is made from sesame seeds that are soaked in water and then crushed to separate the bran from the kernels. The crushed seeds are soaked in salt water, causing the bran to sink. The floating kernels are skimmed off the surface, toasted, and ground to produce an oily paste. Fun fact for the day!

Anyways, I didn’t have any tahini paste handy, and I did not want to make a special trip to the store to buy any, so I improvised with what I had. I ended up adding more olive oil and some red wine vinegar. I only used 1 eggplant here and ate half of this dip in one sitting with some carrots and pita chips. I would say one eggplant for every 2 people if you have a bunch of eggplant lovers. I also LOVE garlic, so I added 2 cloves. You can certainly use less or sub garlic powder for less intense garlic flavor.

Roasted Eggplant Dip- serves 2

1 eggplant- cut in half, salt and pepper, and add plenty of olive oil. Cook in a 400 degree oven for about 45 minutes. Let it cool.

Scoop out your eggplant filling. The skin should easily peel off. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar, and 2 garlic cloves finely minced. You could even pulse this all in a mini-food processor if you wish. I added a shake of Mrs. Dash.

Serve with chips, veggies, or crusty bread. You could even use this as a spread on a sandwich. If you like eggplant, you will love this dish!

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Radish Butter

You may remember that I have a slight obsession with radish and butter sandwiches. It comes from a memory of my Nanny, who used to make them all the time when I was little. Sometimes she would skip the bread all together and just smear butter on the radish and pop it in her mouth. It got me thinking, “Well, I make herb butter, so why not make radish butter?” GENIOUS!!! I’m sure I am not the first person to come up with this, but I am still proud of the idea and glad I thought of it. I am currently eating this on pita chips. You have to try this, especially if you love butter (which is everyone) and radishes (if you don’t, try this recipe and it may change your mind).

Radish Butter

About 8 radishes
1/2 stick of butter
salt and pepper to taste

Half the radishes, cube the butter, and pulse them in your food processor. Add just a pinch of salt and pepper before you pulse.

You could also use a box grater to make the radishes have more of a glamourous look to them, and mix the softened butter in the radishes. I like the little flecks of red and pink in my butter; plus, all that grating is a pain.

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Balsamic Tomato Bruschetta

Stuck in a lunchtime rut? This week I have had cheese and Triscuits almost everyday for lunch. So today I came up with this easy beauty. Bruschetta- pronounced bro͝oˈsketə/- or sometimes by Americans- bro͝oˈshetta is a toasted Italian bread drenched in olive oil and served typically with garlic or tomatoes. You can really top it with anything you like, but this garlic and tomatoes are the norm. We also make this sometimes with mozzarella, tomato, and basil. No matter how you say it or prepare it, these yummy toasts are quite satisfying for a snack, lunch, appetizer, or side dish for dinner. I served with mine with a side salad.

Balsamic Tomato Bruschetta

Turn oven on broil. Take some sliced baguettes, rub on some garlic. Drizzle on some olive oil. Top with sliced or chopped tomatoes that have been lightly dressed with some Balsamic Vinegar. Cook for just a few minutes. Keep your eye on these guys so they don’t burn. Add to a side of pasta, salad, or just enjoy as a snack!

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Spinach Chips

I had a nice quiet house, a growling tummy, and a bag of spinach. I made this…

http://theindolentcook.blogspot.com/2010/11/oven-baked-spinach-chips.html

This snack or side dish goes well with a nice glass of Cabernet. Would be a nice snack for girls night or happy hour!

Enjoy some healthy indulgence!
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Honey Sriracha Wings

Happy Friday, y’all!!! My hubby wanted to try out this recipe a co-worker made at a work potluck. It was super yummy! He is a pretty good cook, but he leaves most of the cooking to me. He teased that he has made his one meal for the month! =) Ha! I am happy to do all the cooking, so no worries there! We will be making this again!

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http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/honey-sriracha-chicken-wings-recipe.html

Leftover Lettuce Cups

Here is another idea on how to use up your leftovers; Lettuce Cups! These are a nice healthy way to use up leftover meat or veggies you have hanging around. Yesterday, I had the idea to make a snack with some leftover ingredients from my sandwich bar; bibb lettuce, tomato, bacon and a touch of mayo. A BLT without the bread! Today I made 2 lettuce cups with leftover Mexican steak and veggies topped with cheese and sour cream. A fajita without the tortilla!

If you are looking for a healthier alternative to bread, this is a super healthy idea. Even if you are not but just want to try something new, this is a delicious way to change it up. You could bag up all the ingredients individually and take this to work for a fast and easy lunch. I am even thinking of doing this with egg salad, chicken salad, or even roasted veggies to make a vegetarian meal. The options are endless! I hope you try this and enjoy!

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