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Monthly Archives: April 2012

Best cheesecake ever!

Date: 25-Apr-12

Menu: gluten free pizza dough artisan pizza; watermelon, feta salad; best cheesecake ever

This week’s Monday night dinner occurred near GF’s Birthday. So I thought I (FFB), would make her a cake. I had skim read a cheesecake recipe for a friend and apparently couldn’t get it out of my brain. In the end GF actually made the cake, but I did a lot of dishes at her house so I’ll call it a fair trade. I also bought all the ingredients. I talked GF into making a cheesecake at her house because she has a fancy Kitchen Aid mixer. I would have been able to mix the ingredients by hand but it would have been less social and time-consuming. The recipe recommended to make the cake ahead of time so this was all done 1 day before dinner.

I call it artisan pizza because there were fancy toppings: spinach; roasted zucchini and eggplant; bell peppers; feta cheese; prosciutto salami and gypsy salami for the meat eaters. Also proper soft mozzarella cheese. I believe Costco had something to do with this dinner being affordable as I know my local store would make this an impossible budget for our weekly meal.

The gluten free pizza dough was tasty and even reheated in the microwave reasonably well.

Now the salad made the group wonder about GF’s palette watermelon, onion, black olives, mint, cilantro and feta cheese. Looks funny when you first see the salad deconstructed. Not trusting the mix TokenBoy took a moment to steal some watermelon pieces before all the pieces got mixed together. Watermelon, feta salad GF used cilantro instead of parsley because she likes it better. This salad is very tasty and is actually good on day 2 as well. According to my google search for this recipe, it made it big by being published in ‘O’ magazine in 2006. Since the recipe showed up from GF’s Mom around that time I’m thinking this is definitely the one.

With all this good food for the main course we managed to stuff ourselves silly. This necessitated a couch and comfy chair lounging intermission before dessert. Even though we were still pretty full, there’s always some room for dessert. We discovered that the cheesecake is the best we’ve had and all wanted seconds but prudently waited until the next day with each of us getting 2 pieces to enjoy later.

 

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Meat-atarian week

Date: 18-Apr-12

Menu: PW’s Favorite Meatloaf; mashed potatoes; wilted spinach with caramelized onions; GF cookies and Sauce’n’cake

It was CTG’s turn to host this week and her Mom was in town. CTG had some other plans so Mom and I (FFB) did the cooking with the ingredients and recipes provided by CTG.

TokenBoy sat this week out. I’m not sure if it’s because he was busy or because we told him he would need to bring his own protein for the meal.

Pioneer Woman’s Favorite Meat Loaf

There were some adjustments for dietary concerns and some substitutions just ’cause. We used Uti brand gluten free bread and I cut it into chunks for the soaking. There was 1% milk on hand so that was subbed for whole milk. The meat was 1.25 lbs extra lean ground beef and 0.75 lb of ground pork. I shaped the mixture into 2 smaller loaves on the broiler tray since 1 big loaf looked like it would be troublesome to get cooked thoroughly.

I adapted the sauce recipe because I couldn’t find the ketchup that was front and center in the cupboard. I had trouble finding the ketchup in the cupboard because I was looking in the fridge.

The mashed potatoes were wonderfully smooth and buttery. Mom had her work cut out for her peeling them since they were older potatoes from the cupboard and reportedly very hard.

The wilted spinach with caramelized onions was another recipe from the “Michael Smith’s Kitchen” cookbook. I think CTG is liking her Christmas 2010 present from her family.We ate 2 large bags of spinach so I made the frying pan look like the picture twice.

There were vanilla cream Kinnikinnick pre packaged cookies for dessert for Mom and GF.

CTG and I got to try to eat an entire Dr. Oetker’s Sauce’n’Cake. Most people I know remember this dessert from when they were kids. I think the stuff is amazing and so easy.

First you open the box of the flavour of your choice and find a baking pan and an egg

Then, you follow directions to mix packet 1. Packet 2 goes over the top dry.

2 c boiling water and it looks weird on its way into the preheated oven.

After baking I looks really tasty and there is a sauce hiding under that baked cake.

mmmmmmmm

 

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Short’n’Sweet

CTG made us a meaty – slightly veggie meal of fabulousness.

Menu: Slow cooker short-ribs; Parmesan garlic mashed potatoes; cooked cauliflower & carrots; gluten free coconut milk chocolate mousse w/mint chocolate chip ice cream

For TB (TokenBoy) there were portabello mushroom caps fried in the skillet with sauce from the ribs. They would have also been tasty fried in teryaki sauce.

CTG mixed less expensive stir-fry beef cuts in with the short ribs so that she could afford the portabello mushrooms.

The short ribs recipe was modified for the slow cooker from the Michael Smith’s Kitchen cookbook.

The Parmesan mashed potatoes were also adapted from Michael Smith’s Kitchen.

The cauliflower and carrots were boiled but still had the crunchy centre and GF made the coconut milk chocolate mousse.

There were some modifications that we made to the interweb recipe for the chocolate mousse, the can of coconut milk was refrigerated without being opened. And honey was the sweetener to taste as none of us use stevia. The ice cream was left over from our potluck birthday bash in December and it was nice to have it used up.

Updated: I found this in ‘drafts’ thinking there were photo’s available for it….at least the recipes are here. This meal was made back in early January or February 2012.

 

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Springtime healthy vegetarian feast for <$20

Date: 11-Apr-2012

Menu: Curried red Lentil and Mushroom burgers w/swiss cheese, Polenta fries, Garden Salad

Sounds simple and a bit plain right? Well….there was food for days. Delicious and tasty and probably even good for us.

I’ll start off waxing poetic about the burgers. Another shout out to one of my favourite food blogs Everybody Likes Sandwiches. I find I often end up making the recipes as they are posted on her site. So when I saw Curried red lentil and mushroom burgers I knew they would make a great Monday night dinner. I used rolled oats to stick the patties together due to our Gluten free friend. (I should have used gluten free rolled oats, but GF can live through some incidental gluten, I’m told) I doubled the recipe and ended up with 12 lovely burgers to bake. I also found that red lentils cook really fast and you need to keep an eye on them.Topped with Swiss cheese ’cause it was on sale.

Most of us had dinner rolls for our burgers, not GF though she just skipped that starch. Homemade guacamole was provided as a topping for the burgers. Also provided; sauteed mushrooms and onions; BBQ sauce; salsa; lettuce; sweet relish; ranch dressing and hot sauce.

Saw the polenta fries recipe in a Chatelaine magazine and thought they would be a good match for burgers. I used the cornmeal package directions for making Polenta. When the notes say to watch for hot spatters they aren’t joking. If I were going to make them again I would cool the Polenta on a cookie sheet for thinner pieces to fry. Also I used 1 T of dried thyme instead of chives. It’s just what was on hand. As it turned out, I enjoyed my reheated polenta fries more than the original night. I think the dried thyme had more time to add flavour while these tasty treats waited in my fridge.

A garden salad was made with lots of fresh veggies and just used some bottled salad dressing options from the fridge. I awarded myself style points for presentation.

I was really happy at the grocery store when my bill was $17.83 for pretty much everything needed to create this meal. We all had leftovers for the next day too. Oh yeah, I made apple crisp for dessert which we enjoyed after a 30 minute intermission to not overstuff ourselves. The link is to the recipe as posted in the past.

 

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