today (a very sleepy Tiger)
June/July 2012 (still a very sleepy Tiger)
This past Thursday night Russell and I invited a couple from our church over for dinner. I planned to keep things simple and easy to reduce stress on myself – I’d serve chips and salsa as an appetizer, chicken enchiladas for dinner (a dish that I’ve made several times before), and a green salad as a side. I chose as dessert a recipe that I had not made before but wasn’t complicated. I started cooking early in the afternoon to allow plenty of time to get everything done. I timed the enchiladas to be done just as we were finishing the chips and salsa, and while we were eating dinner I’d put dessert in the oven. The best part was that dinner and dessert both required a 350° oven, so I wouldn’t even have to wait for the temperature to change before swapping them out.
So, our guests arrive on time, and we munch on chips and salsa for a few minutes. I offer them a tour of the house, and just as we are heading back to the kitchen the timer dings to signal that the enchiladas are done. I swap out the dessert dish for the dinner pan and reset the timer. Halfway through dinner I hear sizzling coming from the oven and decide to investigate. I turn on the oven light to see a very black dessert. I quickly open the oven and pull it out. It is then that I realize that instead of baking my dessert at a nice 350° I had been broiling it and turning it into charcoal. In stressful situations (company coming over, playing hostess, trying to get dinner done at the right time) my mind sometimes gets very flustered and doesn’t remember important things such as switching the oven back to 350° after broiling the cheese on top of the enchiladas. So dessert was ruined and I had to throw the whole thing out. The one good thing I can take away from this, though, is that I have been married for 1 year 4 ½ months and this is the first dish that I have just completely ruined, and it wasn’t even the main dish. I’d call that a success!
And now, the evidence:
Now I just need to figure out how to remove the burned stuff from the rim and handles of the glass baking pan. Any advice from more experienced cooks would be greatly appreciated!
Oh, and I will post that chicken enchilada recipe soon. It is easy and delicious!
**UPDATE: The chicken enchilada recipe is now posted! You can find it here.**
This is a recipe that my best friend tried a few weeks ago and liked. After reading the instructions I knew that this recipe wasn’t going to be hard, but I didn’t realize how easy it actually was until I started putting it together. Mix a few ingredients together (6 to be exact) in a bowl, dump into a 9×13 baking dish, and bake. To make it even easier I bought stew meat that was already cubed so all I had to do was trim a bit of excess fat before combining it with the other ingredients. And this is totally a make-ahead dish. I mixed everything together in the baking dish in the afternoon then just let it marinate in the fridge until I was ready to put it in the oven.
No Peek Beef Tips
From the kitchen of: Mommy’s Kitchen
Prep Time: 3 hrs 10 mins
Servings: 6 – 8
2 lbs your choice beef: tenderloin tips, stew meat, chuck roast or chuck eye, cubed
1 (10.5 oz) can cream of mushroom soup
1 packet brown gravy mix
1 packet dry onion soup mix
1 (4 oz) can mushrooms, optional
1 cup water or ginger ale (I used red cooking wine)
Preheat oven to 300°.
Spray a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
In a large bowl mix together all of the ingredients except the meat. Add the meat and stir to coat. Pour meat mixture into sprayed baking dish.
Cover the dish with foil, and bake for 3 hours. Do not remove foil until done.
Serve over rice, mashed potatoes, or egg noodles.
Tiger has discovered a new place to nest. He’d even take a nap here if I’d let him. He’s done this several mornings when I’m sitting at the computer in my robe and once when I was wearing a fleece jacket. Russell thinks Tiger likes it because it’s warm.
This is one of his new napping spots. We built him a huge cat tree with a 2-story cat house yet he prefers a paper grocery bag.
This casserole was super yummy! I have tried a slightly different recipe for this dish, but it just wasn’t as good. My husband gave rave reviews after the first bite, which tells you how good this is because I usually have to drag a response out of him after he’s done eating. On top of that it’s a pretty simple recipe and easy to make. You probably have most of these ingredients in your pantry/fridge already (unless you are learning to meal plan like I am and only buying groceries for one week of meals at a time). I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
The side featured with this casserole is Hummus Broccoli.
Sour Cream Noodle Bake
From the kitchen of: The Pioneer Woman
Prep Time: 30-45 mins
1 ¼ lbs ground beef (I used 1 lb)
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce (I used two 8 oz cans)
½ tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper (I used regular table pepper)
8 oz (weight) egg noodles
½ cup sour cream
1 ¼ cup small curd cottage cheese
½ cup sliced green onions (less to taste)
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 350°.
Brown ground beef in a large skillet. Drain fat, then add tomato sauce, ½ tsp salt, and plenty of black pepper. Stir, then simmer while you prepare the other ingredients.
Cook egg noodles until al dente. Drain and set aside.
In a medium bowl combine sour cream and cottage cheese. Add plenty of black pepper. Add to noodles and stir. Add green onions and stir.
Spray a 9×13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. To assemble: add half of the noodles to baking dish. Top with half the meat mixture then half the grated cheddar. Repeat, ending with cheese on top. Bake for 20 minutes, or until all cheese is melted.
I’ve had this recipe pinned to my food board for 47 weeks, according to Pinterest, and I’m just now getting around to trying it. I’m really glad that I finally did because the flavor was great. The sauce was light and complimented the fish well, and it was super yummy on the rice I served as a side. It is also a really easy recipe that gives big results, which is great for beginners like me. 🙂
Baked Salmon with Browned Butter Sauce
From the kitchen of: Foods of Our Lives
1-1.5 lb salmon filet with skin on (I used 2 smaller filets)
coarse sea salt (I used regular table salt)
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup white wine
kosher salt & fresh ground pepper, to taste (I used regular table s&p)
Preheat oven to 450°.
Place the filet skin side down on a roasting pan. (I used a cookie sheet). Sprinkle with sea salt and place in oven. Bake until it flakes apart with a fork, about 15 minutes. (If you are using smaller filets like I did, they will probably take less time to bake. I let mine cook the full 15 mins and they were overdone.)
While the fish is cooking, place the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Melt and cook until the butter browns. Swirl the pan as it is melting and watch it carefully; it will turn fairly quickly and you don’t want it to scorch. Aim for a light brown color.
Once the butter turns, add the flour and stir; then quickly add the heavy cream and wine.
Stir the sauce until slightly thickened, and remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Serve over cooked salmon. Top with a few chives, if desired.
I used whole milk because I didn’t have any cream. The flavor was still great, but it probably would have been even better had I used cream.
Turn this into a meal by adding a green vegetable and Cheddar Bay Biscuits.
Tiger likes to sleep in unusual places, in positions that Russell and I believe can’t be comfortable, but the Tiger disagrees. Here are a couple odd places he chose to nap this week:
He kept jumping up on the table during dinner to sit on this blanket that my brother’s girlfriend gave me for Christmas. Russell pulled a chair from the kitchen up next to the table and put the blanket on top. Tiger happily sat down on it and promptly fell asleep.
Russell was trying to get some work done on the computer when Tiger decided to lay down across his arm.
Since he can never stay in one position too long (we are convinced he has ADD, maybe even ADHD) he then switched to this position.