Monday, November 21, 2011

Crock Pot Roasted Beef Medallions


My mom gave us a bunch of beef medallions that she got for a steal a few months ago (Obviously, they've been frozen this whole time). And I was grateful, because food is so stinkin' expensive lately. I wanted to throw them in the crock pot on a Sunday, so I looked up some recipes and found the one below from Spark Recipes. I actually had all of the other ingredients on hand, so it was perfect. And YES, I do sometimes cook with red wine. My mom thinks it's abominable. As long as the alcohol cooks out, I'm good with it. Alcohol makes meat taste AMAZING.

Crock pot Roasted Beef Medallions with Vegetables a la Red Wine

    8 beef medallions (4 oz. no fat)
    3 carrots, sliced
    1 large potato, sliced
    3 celery stalks, chopped
    0.5 onion, sliced
    2 garlic cloves, pressed
    2 tsp of Yellow Mustard
    1 tbsp of Whole Wheat Flour
    1 cup of Red Wine
    1 tbsp of Olive Oil
    0.5 cup of Water
    1 dash of Rosemary
    Salt and Pepper to the taste

Put the flour, salt and pepper in a plastic bag, put the medallions and shake evenly.

In a hot pan, heat the oil and brown the medallions on every side. Cover them with mustard and reserve.

Put the vegetables in layers inside the crock pot, add the garlic cloves and season, put the meat evenly distributed, ad the red wine, the water and sprinkle some rosemary above, cover and cook. Cook in your crock pot on low for 6 hours, or high for 4 hours.

Serve with a cup of brown rice to complete a delicious meal.

Number of Servings: 8

Friday, November 18, 2011

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

Oh, I just had to try these. And I'm so glad I did. The recipe looks a little intimidating because of its length, but it was worth every moment I spent on it. I was lucky I had all of the ingredients - food prices are so high these days that we've been eating our food storage food a lot lately. I didn't have to buy one thing - my son loves granny smith apples, so we had them on hand, and the carmel sauce is homemade, so I didn't have to go out and buy that, either.

I got this from Mel's Kitchen Cafe. The girl is a cooking genius!!

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars with Streusel Topping
Printable Version
Printable Version with Picture

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

Cream Cheese Layer:
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Streusel Topping:
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

Caramel Sauce:
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
½ cups half-and-half or cream
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small bowl, stir together chopped apples, two tablespoons sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine all the streusel topping ingredients and mix until crumbly. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or two forks until mixture is crumbly but combined. Press evenly into a 9X13-inch baking pan lined with aluminum foil. Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

While the crust is baking, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese with 1/2 cup sugar until smooth. Then add eggs, one at a time and then the vanilla. Mix well. Pour over the warm crust.

Spoon the apple mixture evenly over the cheesecake layer. Sprinkle the streusel topping over the apples. Bake for 30 minutes until the filling is set.

Cool the bars to room temperature. Drizzle with the caramel topping (or plate individual slices and drizzle with topping one by one).

For the caramel sauce, mix butter, brown sugar, half-and-half or cream, and salt in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook while whisking gently for 5 to 7 minutes, until thickened slightly. Add the vanilla and cook another minute to thicken further. Turn off the heat and pour the sauce into a jar. Refrigerate until cold. If the caramel sauce has cooled in the fridge long enough to harden, warm slightly before drizzling on bars.

* Kar's Note: I measured the caramel sauce after I made it - it yields 1 1/3 cup. So if you would rather buy prepared caramel sauce, buy about 1 1/3 cups worth.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Cranberry Salad

So this salad is more of a creamy fruit salad. If you want something cranberryish, but creamy instead of jelloey, this is the one for you. I think I got this one from my mom, maybe??

Cranberry Salad


1 (12 oz) pkg. fresh cranberries
1 cup sugar
1 pomegranate, seeded
1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup chopped pecans
1 pint heavy whipping cream
7 oz miniature marshmallows


1. Coarsely chop the cranberries in a food processor; put in a large, non-metal bowl and mix in the sugar. Cover and refrigerate for 12 hours.

2. Whip the cream until stiff. Add the pineapple, pomegranate seeds, and nuts to the cranberries, mix well. Fold in whipped cream and marshmallows; refrigerate until ready to serve.

* Note: I didn't let the cranberries sit in the sugar for 12 hours - I didn't have that kind of time. So I just went ahead and mixed everything together, and it still turned out wonderfully yummy.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Turkey Rolls

Man, I have had this recipe for so long that I can't remember who I got it from. Probably from my mom??

I like to use pie crust to make my turkey rolls, but I know you can use those canned Pillsbury crescent rolls as well. You won't want to bake them as long as I bake mine in pie crust - if you choose Pillsbury rolls, you'll only want to cook them on 375 degrees for 15 - 20 minutes.

And you can roll yours up any way you like. I was inspired by my recent trip to China, where our friends taught us how to make dumplings. Now, I really, really think Chinese dumplings are disgusting, but I liked the concept of how they assembled them. And I liked how small and almost bite-sized they were. So when I made them this time, I did them Chinese dumpling-style.

A teeny picture tutorial -

You roll out your pie crust:

Then use a cup or a round cookie-cutter to make a bunch of circles:

Then you put in some of your filling - maybe 1 Tbsp or so - it's a small amount:

Then fold it up in half and pinch to seal:

Then flute the seam to make it look pretty:

In the past, I've just used a knife, made bigger squares with my crust, then folded up a larger amount of filling inside, kind of like an envelope. This way is prettier, but it is more time-consuming.

Kay. On to the recipe.

Turkey Rolls

2 T. melted butter
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/3 c. chopped mushrooms
1 stick diced celery
3 oz cream cheese
1 cup cubed, cooked turkey
1/4 of an onion, minced
half a can of chopped olives

Soften cream cheese. Combine with all of above ingredients.

1 1/3 cup herb-seasoned bread stuffing
1 cup walnuts

Put above in blender and crumble. Then put into a bowl.

Use a pastry recipe and make enough for four pie crusts. Roll out as directed above, put desired amount of filling in each roll, and seal.

Melt 6 Tbsp butter. Dip each roll in butter and roll into the crumb mixture. Put on cookie sheet. Bake for 40 minutes on 375 degrees.

Make a gravy to put on top:

1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 can cream of chicken soup

Thicken it and pour on rolls.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sausages with White Beans in Tomato Sauce

My mom gave me tons and tons of tomatoes from her garden that we needed to eat up, and I found this recipe on that seemed to fit the bill. I tweaked the original a little bit - I'll make note of the changes I made at the bottom. We had it tonight, and it was fantastic. I did take a picture, and it was so very, very awful that you get the pretty picture from epicurious instead.

Sausages with White Beans in Tomato Sauce

Makes 4 to 6 servings


2 tbsp. olive oil
4 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed
6 whole sweet Italian sausages (about 1 1/4 pounds)
6 cups cooked white beans with 1/2 cup reserved cooking liquid
1 14- to 15-ounce can plum tomatoes in juice; tomatoes chopped, juice reserved
2 large fresh sage sprigs
1 cup (or more) water

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic. Saute garlic until golden, about 2 minutes. Add sausages; saute until browned, about 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup reserved bean cooking liquid, tomatoes with juice, and sage. Simmer 5 minutes. Add beans and 1 cup water. Cover and simmer until sausages are cooked through, adding more water by 1/4 cupfuls if dry, about 30 minutes. Uncover and simmer until sauce thickens, if desired. Season with salt and pepper.

* Changes I made tonight - I used fresh tomatoes instead of canned. 2 cups of diced tomatoes is about the same as one 15-ounce can of tomatoes. And then I used canned beans instead of cooking them - four cans of great northern white beans makes about six cups. I used some of the liquid from the can as the 1/2 cup "reserved cooking liquid" from the beans in the recipe. And make sure you drain and rinse the beans before putting them in the skillet.

Craisin Salad

Wow. Neato picture. Sigh.

Anywho, this is one of MANY craisin-sprinkled salads I have on this blog, but it's so dang good that I have to include it. Remember - only shimmy-worthy recipes are allowed on here. :)

I got this from Barbeques - Parties & Potlucks, California Cookbook Company, 2001. We had it tonight and it's sooooooooo good.

Craisin Salad

1 head lettuce - red leaf, green leaf, iceburg, or a mixture of all three
8 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 small pkg. Parmesan cheese, shredded
1 cup craisins
1 pound bacon, cooked, crumbled
1 small pkg. almonds, sliced
3 chicken breast halves, cooked, diced
1/2 cup sweet onion, chopped
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup canola oil

Toss together lettuce, shredded, cheese, craisins, bacon, almonds, and chicken. In a blender, combine onion, sugar, mustard, red wine vinegar; blend, slowly adding canola oil until well-mixed. Toss salad and dressing together or serve dressing on the side.