Monday, May 30, 2005

Cookie Recipes: Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients for Chocolate Chip Cookies

These ingredients should make about 4 dozen cookies...depending of course on how big you make each cookie.

3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
1 stick butter/margarine (softened)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour (if using self rising flour, omit salt and baking soda)
12 ounces (usually 1 package or two cups) semi sweet chocolate chips
(optional) 1 cup chopped nuts (course)

Instructions for Chocolate Chip Cookies

1) Heat oven to 375.
2) Mix the margarine, sugars and egg in a large bowel.
3) Stir in the salt, flour and baking soda. (dough will be stiff at this point)
4) Stir in the nuts and chocolate chips.
5) Drop the dough by rounded spoonfuls about 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
6) Bake for 8 - 10 minutes or until light brown.
7) Remove from oven and let the cookies cool slightly (1 - 2 minutes).
8) Remove cookies from pan.

Chicken Parmesan in 20 Minutes

Here are the ingredients:

4 boneless& skinless chicken breast halves
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
2 tb butter or margarine
1 3/4 cup spaghetti sauce
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tb grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Here are the instructions
1) Flatten chicken to even thickness (use hands).
2) Dip chicken into egg then into crumbs to coat.
3) In skillet over medium heat melt margarine.
4) Place chicken in skillet. Brown chicken on both sides.
5) Add sauce. Reduce heat. Cover; simmer 10 minutes.
6) Sprinkle with cheeses and parsley. Cover; simmer 5 minutes or until cheese melts.

And there you have it; chicken parmesan ready to eat in 20 minutes.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Blueberry Topped Vanilla Ice Cream

A nice summer desert recipe.

2 pints vanilla ice cream
¼ cup sugar
1 pint blueberries (more if you want to use blueberries as garnish also)
2 teaspoons unsalted butter

Over medium heat, melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the sugar and blueberries after the butter has melted. Cook the mixture until the blueberries start to release their juices. It usually only takes 2 -3 minutes.

Serve it warm over scoops of vanilla ice cream. Add blueberries for garnish if you like. Should serve 6 - 8 depending on appetites.

Baked Beans Recipe

Trying this one out tonight. I picked it up here.

1 pound regular or spicy bulk sausage
4 cans different types of beans (dark red kidney, black beans, navy beans, pinto beans, etc.)
1 (31 oz.) can pork and beans
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 (10 oz.) can regular or spicy Ro-Tel (chopped tomatoes with green chilies), drained
1 tsp. liquid smoke
1 tsp. mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
6 to 8 strips of bacon

Preheat oven to 350. In a large skillet, brown the sausage, breaking it up into pieces as it cooks. When cooked through, remove from skillet and drain fat.In a very large bowl, mix sausage with beans, pork and beans, brown sugar, barbecue sauce, ketchup, onion, tomatoes, liquid smoke, mustard, salt and pepper. Transfer to 13 x 9-inch or other large baking pan. Place bacon strips on top and bake for 1 hour. If necessary, run under broiler to make bacon crisp before serving.

I'm going to throw some peppers in to...should be tasty.

What's this all about?

First, welcome to my little section of the web:-)

Because of a recent career change I'm at home a lot more now and have been spending some more time in the kitchen. I've always had an interest in internet stuff so I thought why not start a blog about things I pick up while I'm learning to be a better cook. Maybe by some odd chance something I learn and write about will help someone else down the road.

I'm not the best writer in the world but I'll give it a shot.

Cooking Tip, Give Chicken Flavor

When cooking chicken it's always a good idea to wash the chicken thoroughly with cold water. After washing the chicken pat/dry it lightly with a paper towel or napkin.

Next, brush the chicken (all the way around) with a "light" olive oil. Olive oil helps keep skin drying to a minimum. It also helps keep the dry rub (seasoning) adhered to the chicken while it's cooking.

After you have the chicken lightly coated with olive oil it's time to put on the dry rub (or other seasoning of your choice). If the chicken you are preparing still has the skin, where ever possible without tearing the skin, slide your fingers (covered in seasoning of course) under the skin to apply the rub/seasoning directly to the chicken. If you prefer, you can also add barbecue sauce to the chicken at this point prior to placing it on the grill.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Fish Recipes

Pan Fried Lake Fish

4 8-to-10 ounce fresh or frozen pan-dressed trout, lake perch, or other white fish
3/4 cup finely crushed saltine crackers
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon snipped parsley
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 beaten egg
3 to 4 tablespoons shortening or cooking oil
Lemon slices, halved (optional)

Preparation and Cooking Instructions
1) If frozen, thaw fish..

2) In a shallow bowl combine the crushed crackers, grated parmesan cheese and snipped parsley.

3) In another shallow bowl combine the flour and pepper.

4) Place lemon juice and egg in separate bowls (or cups).

5) Dip fish in this order: lemon juice - flour mixture - egg - cracker mixture.

6) Heat the cooking oil in a 12 inch skillet.

7) Add the fish to the pan in a single layer - do not stack.

8) Fry the fish over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes or until brown on one side.

9) Turn fish fry for 5 to 7 minutes more or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.

10) Drain fish on paper towels.

Serve fish with lemon. Garnish with parsley, rosemary, and dill if desired. Serves 4.

Selecting Frozen Fish

Tips for selecting frozen fish:

1) The package should be tightly wrapped with no signs of damage or punctures. There should be very little air space between the fish and the packaging.

2) Look for freezer burn. Typically any discoloration on the fish is a sign of freezer burn.

3) Fish and packaging should be odor free.

4) Packaging should, at minimum, include an expiration date. Make sure to check for this date.

Classifying Fish by Fat Content

Fish is naturally high in protein and low in fat, cholesterol, calories and saturated fat. The percentages of fat found in fish depends on the time of year, location and primary diet of the fish.

Lean Fish
A fish is classified as "lean" if it has 2.5% or less fat. Lean fish are best when steamed, poached or fried.

Medium Fat Fish
Medium fat fish have between 2.6 and 5.0% fat. Medium fat fish are typically suitable for all cooking methods.

Fatty Fish
A "fatty" fish is any fish with 5% or more fat. Fatty fish are best when they are broiled, poached, baked or grilled.

The fat content of fish should be listed on the label of the packaging the fish came in. If unsure, check with the employee(s) of the store you are purchasing the fish from.

Microwaving Fish

First, place the fish on a large microwave safe plate with the thickest parts of the fish facing the outer edge of the plate. You can even fold under the thinner ends fillets the help balance out the speed in which the fish will cook.

Next, cover the fish with plastic wrap. Fold the edge back 2 or 3 inches to allow room for the fish to vent while cooking.

Cook the fish on high until they flake easily with a fork, or, for the duration included on any instructions you may have received with the fish.

Determining if Fish is Done

Fish is very tender therefore you want to make sure to not overcook it. When overcooked fish tends to get dry and very tough. As a general rule of thumb you should cook fish until it flakes easily with a fork. If you have a thermometer, we suggest cooking fish until it reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees.

If you do not have a thermometer you can insert a fork into the thickest part of the fish. Twist the fork gently and if the fish "flakes" easily it should be safe to eat.