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Archive for the ‘Dinner (Lunch)’ Category

 

Last week I posted a recipe for Italian Stuffed Mushrooms and I promised a follow-up post to let you know how I used up my leftover mushroom stuffing mix to make a quick and delicious lunch idea.  But first, there’s something I want to show you.

The other day, while in the barn, I couldn’t help but snap this picture. Look at those eyelashes. Are they not the most beautiful lashes you’ve ever seen? Maybelline wants you baby.

So after everyone in our house had eaten as many stuffed mushrooms as they could possibly eat, there was still a substantial bowl of stuffing mix sitting in the fridge and it kept calling out to me every time I opened the door.  

It got to the point where I just couldn’t take it any more and so I made these Cheesy Italian Naan breads for lunch. It’s a great way to use up any leftover stuffed mushroom filling.

Here’s how it’s done.

Preheat your oven to 350 °F. Pull out some Naan bread ( I buy mine from the local grocery store in the bread section but if you have trouble finding it, any type of flat bread will work) and place it on a greased baking sheet. Cover the Naan bread with shredded mozzarella cheese followed by the Italian stuffed mushroom filling. Sprinkle with some chopped Italian parsley. Bake in a preheated oven for 15 minutes or until slightly golden.

 

I ate mine piled high with English cucumbers for a refreshing crunch. This was quick, easy and delicious.  And that’s just the kind of lunch I love.

Cheesy Italian Naan

Naan Bread (any flavour)

Pam cooking spray

Mozzarella Cheese, shredded

Italian stuffed mushroom filling (recipe found here)

sprigs of Italian parsley

Method

Preheat your oven to 350 °F. Place the Naan bread on a  greased baking sheet. Cover the Naan bread with mozzarella cheese followed by the Italian stuffed mushroom filling. Sprinkle with some chopped Italian parsley. Bake in a preheated oven for 15 minutes or until slightly golden. Allow to cool and serve warm.

Notes

I love recipes that are versatile and this one is definitely versatile.

How many Naan breads you can make depends on how much of your Italian mushroom filling you have left over.  I was able to make 4.

You could make the Italian Stuffed Mushroom filling just so that you could have these cheesy Naan’s. The only difference is you would need 4-5 mushrooms to chop and saute with all of the other ingredients instead of 40. It would make approximately 8-10 cheesy Naan breads.

Another idea I had … I know stop already. Instead of filling mushrooms …  how about filling zucchini?  Hmmm. Anyone who grows zucchini know’s you can never have enough zucchini ideas.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend. 

Jackie

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One potato, two potato.

My dear friends, please forgive me, but this is my second potato recipe  in 

just over a week and I’m not done yet.  The thing is, I’m making a lot of  them

these days and they’re so yummy, that I just have to share them here with

you.  It’s all white and winter-y here in Ontario, so I’m fixated on warm, stick-

to-your ribs, comfort foods and potatoes keep making the menu.

When you think of all the ways that you can prepare potatoes, it makes

you realize what a versatile vegetable they are.  Whether in soups, stews,

casseroles, bread, rolls, pancakes (yum, LOVE potato pancakes), baked,

boiled, or roasted  ~ you’ve gotta admit, potatoes are pretty awesome. 

What I like about THESE potatoes is they’re crispy outside followed by a soft

and yummy inside. Par-boiling makes all the difference. It releases the starch

before you bake them in the oven, jump-starting the crisping process.  By

tossing them vigorously with garlic, salt and olive oil, for one to two minutes,

the water evaporates quickly and you get a nice starchy coating all over,

which gets all nice and crispy in the oven. Just look at all that yummy garlic,

olive oil and starchy coating.

Yukon Gold potatoes offer the best results for this recipe.  They ensure an

even crispiness outside and a silky-smooth inside – everytime. It’s also

important to get the pan good and hot before you put them in the oven in

order to achieve that crispness and golden colour. Chopped garlic is optional,

but if you like garlic, be sure to mix it in, as it adds another flavour dimension. 

 

Placing the sliced potatoes in a single layer, flat on the baking sheet, achieves

a warm, golden color and a nice, even crispness. Take them out of the oven

after 15 – 20 minutes, when you’ve got a nice crispy brown all around the

edges, and give them a good flip.

 

Back in the oven for 10 more minutes and voila, gorgeous crispy, baked

potatoes. Sprinkle them with a little salt and some ground pepper and you will

eat well, my friend.

These potatoes are great.

for breakfast.

for lunch.

for dinner.

They’re really quick and they fill people up.

They’re delicious! 

They BAKE in the oven, while you’re busy with other things. (Like taking

pictures of things baking in the oven).

They’re self-sufficient – which is awesome.You only need to flip them ONCE,

not a gazillion times like the fry pan method. I love self-sufficient food.  

Things, or people.

They free up your stove top. You can never have enough stove top.

They’re versatile. 

Here are just a few flavour combinations you can try.

Serve them with eggs, for a hearty, country-style breakfast.

 

Dip them in sour cream, apple sauce and then sprinkle them with a wee bit of

chili powder.

 Mmmm … can you say delicious?

  

For those who recently accepted my invitation to follow this blog, and for all

of your encouragement and fantastic advice,  thank you from the bottom of

my heart. I look forward to sharing more posts about our life here in the

country, the foods we love and the everyday adventures we encounter while

raising a family on a working farm in Ontario. From my table to yours, I hope

you’re having an awesome, super delicious day. 

Love, Jackie

This Sweet Wife

Here’s the recipe:

Crispy Roasted Potatoes

Adapted from: The Best of America’s Test Kitchen

2 1/2 pounds of Yukon Gold potatoes (about 5 medium)

rinsed and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch thick rounds.  For the photos, my

potatoes were peeled; you can do either peeled or unpeeled.

5 tablespoons olive oil

Salt

Pepper

Method

1. Adjust an oven rack to the lowest position, place a rimmed baking sheet on

the rack, and heat the oven to 400°F (200° C).  Place the potatoes and 1

tablespoon salt in a Dutch oven and add cold water to cover the potatoes by 1-

inch. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat and gently simmer

until the exteriors of the potatoes have softened but the centers offer

resistance when pierced with a paring knife, about 5 minutes.  Drain the

potatoes and transfer to a large bowl.  Drizzle the potatoes with 2 tablespoons

of the oil and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of salt.  Using a rubber spatula, toss

to combine.  Drizzle the potatoes with 2 tablespoons more oil and 1/2

teaspoon salt and continue to toss vigorously until the exteriors of the potato

slices are coated with a starchy paste, 1 to 2 minutes.

 

2. Working quickly, remove the baking sheet from the oven and drizzle the

remaining 1 tablespoon of oil over the surface. Carefully transfer the potatoes

to the baking sheet and spread into an even layer (skin side up if an end

piece).  Bake until the bottoms of the potatoes are golden brown and crisp, 15

to 20 minutes.

 

3. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and, using a metal spatula and

tongs, loosen the potatoes from the baking sheet andcarefully flip each slice. 

Continue to roast potatoes until the second side is golden and crisp, 10 to 15

minutes longer, rotating the baking sheet as needed to ensure the potatoes

brown evenly.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

 

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My husband’s mom could always make a really good biscuit.  Still does. So could my grandmother. Effortlessly.  I, on the other hand, could not.  I tried. Lord knows, I tried. But more often than not, I failed miserably. I’m not going to tell you how long it took me to make a biscuit worth eating. Let’s just say it was a long time.

Okay. It was a very long time. 

So, if you’re like me and you have a little trouble with things now and again (like me). Don’t give up.  Keep trying.

 

Here’s the recipe.

Good luck!

Cheesy Biscuit Squares

 2 cups (500 ml) all-purpose flour

4 teaspoons (20 ml) baking powder

1 tablespoon (15 ml) sugar

1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) salt

1 cup (4-ounces) cheddar cheese

1/4 cup (125 ml) shortening

3/4 cup (3-ounces) plus 1 tablespoon milk

Dill Butter

1/4 cup (125 ml) butter, melted

1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) dill weed

1/8 teaspoon (1 ml) garlic salt

Method

1.  In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.  Stir in

the cheese.  Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Stir in

milk just until moistened.

2.  Turn onto a lightly floured surface.  Roll out into a 3/4-inch thick square.

Cut into 12 squares.  Place 1/8-inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet.

3.  Bake at 400°F (200°C) or until golden brown. Combine dill butter

ingredients; brush over hot biscuits.  Serve warm and refrigerate leftovers.

 

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.  Stir in the

cheese.  Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Stir in milk just until moistened and gather in a ball.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll out into 3/4-inch thick squares.

You don’t want to squish the dough down really hard.  Just ever so lightly.

Cut into 9 or 12 squares, depending on how big you want ’em.

I made 12, but feel free to make 9, if you want ’em bigger.

You’ve gotta admit … these are pretty.

And so are these.

Place onto an ungreased baking sheet.

Bake at 400° F ( 200°C) for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes 1 dozen.

Serve your biscuits warm with butter or honey.

Dip ’em in your soup or your chilli and eat ’em in a hurry.

That way you won’t have to refrigerate the leftovers.

If you’re a dilly kinda girl, and you’d like some dilly biscuits, combine 1/2

teaspoon of dill weed and 1/8 teaspoon garlic salt with 1/4 cup melted butter

and brush over the hot biscuits.

Cheesy biscuits with dill are great served with seafood.

These are yummy! I hope you enjoy ’em.

This Sweet Wife

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These potatoes are yummy and delicious.

And who doesn’t like cheese and bacon?

If you’re looking for great side to dress up a quick meal, these mashed spuds

are sure to fit the bill.  And if you have to feed the neighbours, (which

sometimes happens on a farm), they can easily be doubled or tripled for a

crowd.

Sour Cream Potatoes

2 1/2 lbs. medium potatoes, peeled and quartered

1 cup (250 ml) sour cream

1/4 cup (50 ml) milk

2 tablespoons (25 ml) butter, melted

1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded cheese, divided

5 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled

2 cloves garlic, with ends cut off

1/2 tsp (2 ml) salt

1/8 tsp (1 ml) pepper

 

Method

1. Boil your potatoes and cloves of garlic in a large pot of cold water. Reduce

the heat once it starts to boil and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the

potatoes are easily pierced with the tip of a paring knife. 

2. While the potatoes are simmering, heat the milk and butter in a small

saucepan until boiling.

3. When the garlic and potatoes are tender, drain and return them to the pot.

4. Mash the potatoes and garlic. Add the milk and butter, sour cream, 1 cup

(4 oz.) of cheese, salt and pepper and stir until smooth. Spoon into a greased

2-qt. baking dish and sprinkle with remaining cheese and crumbled bacon.

3. Bake uncovered, at 350° F(180 °C)  for 30-35 minutes or until heated

through.

 

Quite simply, these potatoes really dress up a meal without a lot of fuss.

They’re great for filling famished farmboys and anyone who just needs to be

fed. Scoop up a helping of these savory flavours and you’ll be all warm and

happy.

And your neighbours will love you for it.

If you have neighbours who don’t love you, (though I don’t know how that

could be), just bring them some of these and then they’ll love you too.

From my table to yours, I hope you have a really wonderful day!

This Sweet Wife

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I’ve been baking a lot of cookies lately and even though I love all that sugar,

I started craving some crisp, satisfying vegetables before I fell into a sugar

induced coma.  This salad proved just the remedy to balance my gluttonous

cookie consumption and gave me a boost of vitamins full of delicious flavours

that blend really well together. I couldn’t wait for the dressing to marinate the

vegetables since it was already lunch time and munched down immediately

after it was made.  It was delicious. If you have the time, however, it’s even

better after it sits in the fridge for a bit to blend the dressing flavours.  The

salty bacon pieces and cherry tomatoes added just before serving, take this

salad up a notch with some stand out flavours and they also really dress it up.

The colours of this salad are delightful, they make me sing, and singing makes

me happy.  And when I’m happy, the world is a better place.

Fresh Vegetable Salad

2 cups (500 ml) broccoli

2 cups (500 ml) cauliflower

1/2 cup (125 ml) pepper, chopped (I used red, but you can use any colour)

1/4 cup (60 ml) grated carrot

1 cup (250 ml) mayonnaise or salad dressing

1/4 cup (60 ml) sugar

3 tablespoons  (75 ml) Parmesan cheese

2 bacon strips, cooked and chopped

6 cherry tomatoes

Wash vegetables under cold water, drain and pat dry.  Chop vegetables into

bite size pieces and toss in a large salad bowl. 

In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, sugar and parmesan cheese; pour

over vegetables …

 … and toss to coat. 

Cover and chill. Sprinkle with bacon and halved cherry tomatoes just before

serving.  Yields 8 servings.  Bon Appetite!

Love,

This Sweet Wife

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Meatloaf is really a personal preference.  Everyone seems to have their own

version and it usually starts out with a ground meat of some sort … for some

it’s pork, for some, chicken, turkey or beef and  for some it’s a combination of

one or more of these. At our house, well … it’s always been just plain beef,

because that’s what we have an abundance of.  For years now I’ve been

making a standard meatloaf that combines the ground meat with eggs, milk,

salt & pepper, breadcrumbs, sour cream and a shot of worcestershire sauce

and mustard covered with a ketchup and brown sugar topping.  It’s always

been well received by most of my family, except my youngest son, Jordan. 

With my two oldest sons away at school a lot, it’s become rather difficult to

make the usual meatloaf, because there’s often just three of us and if one of us

doesn’t like it … well, it just seems to last forever. 

So, determined to find a meatloaf that even Jordan would like, I decided to try

these individual italian seasoned meat loaves.  The basic recipe is very similar

to what I was already doing, but it seems that the addition of the spices and

the parmesan cheese changes everything.  They were declared a winner and

now I can make meatloaf again.  Thank goodness, because I was wondering

just how I was going to use up all of that hamburger meat that I have in the

freezer.

Here’s the recipe. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Italian Meat Loaves

2 eggs, beaten

3/4 cup (112 g) cracker or bread crumbs

1/2 cup (125 ml) milk

1/2 cup (125 ml) plus 2 tablespoons

(30 ml) grated parmesan cheese, divided

1 teaspoon (5 ml) Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon (5 ml) garlic salt

1 teaspoon (5 ml) Italian seasoning, divided

2  pounds ground beef

1/4 cup (60 ml) ketchup

1/4 cup (60 ml) brown sugar

Method

In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, crumbs, milk, 1/2 cup cheese, onion,

Worcestershire sauce, garlic salt and 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning.  Add the

ground beef and mix well.  Shape into 10 individual loaves; place on a rack in a

greased large shallow baking pan.  Mix ketchup and brown sugar together and

spread on  top of each individual loaf; sprinkle with the remaining parmesan

cheese and Italian seasoning.  Bake at 350 °F ( 180 °C) for 45-55 minutes or

until no longer pink inside.  Makes 10 individual loaves. Recipe can easily be

halved.

lian

Italian seasoning is a staple in most grocery stores.  If, however, you have

trouble finding it, it is possible and actually nice, to make your own.  This

recipe can be made and stored in an airtight container for 3 months.  You can

use this combination of store-bought herbs or fresh herbs that you’ve dried

yourself.  Of course, the ones you grow and dry yourself will no doubt have

the best flavour.

Italian Seasoning

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
  • 2 Tablespoons basil
  • 2 Tablespoons marjoram
  • 2 Tablespoons oregano
  • 2 Tablespoons rosemary
  • 2 Tablespoons cilantro
  • 2 Tablespoons thyme
  • 2 Tablespoons dried savory

Method

In a food processor, combine basil, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, cilantro,

thyme, savory and red pepper flakes. Blend for 1 minute, or until desired

consistency is achieved. Remember, you can always change it up.  Leave out

what you don’t like and add more of what you do like. 

Adapted from: Taste of Home Magazine

Hope you enjoy these tasty meatloaf bundles!

This Sweet Wife

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These popovers are surprisingly easy to make.  I bake them in a metal muffin

pan and they come out puffy and golden; crispy outside and tender inside. 

They are superb with steak or a good old fashioned pot roast. Many people are

intimidated by the popover (commonly referred to as a Yorkshire Pudding).  I

myself used to feel the same way.  However, this recipe is foolproof.  

There are many theories about making the perfect popover and I have a few

myself which I’ll share with you here:

1.    Use ingredients that are at room temperature.  If your milk is just out of the refrigerator, measure it out and pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds.  Stir and you’re ready to go.  Same with the eggs, use them at room temperature but if you’ve forgotten to take them out of the fridge, set them in a bath of hot water for 5 minutes and they’ll be just as good.

2.    The trick to gorgeous height and puffiness – don’t overbeat your batter.  This  can be very tempting … but back away. In this case, less is more!

3.    Preheat your oven.

4.    Heat oil in each muffin cup before you pour in your batter and make sure you use the required amount.  It may be tempting to cut back on the oil, but don’t … there is nothing worse than cleaning up a muffin pan full of baked on popovers.

5.    Once baked, remove them immediately from the cups.

6.    Watch your timing!  Since these need to be served immediately you’ll want to bake these when everything else is almost ready.  Like the gravy, these should be one of the last things to hit the table.

7.    Have fun!   It’s great fun to watch these puff up while they’re in the oven. And just to be on the safe side, try not to get so excited that you’re jumping up and down … it might not be so good for the pop effect we’re going for!

Best Ever Popovers

1 cup (250 ml) all-purpose flour

1/3 teaspoon (3 ml) salt

2 large eggs

1 tablespoon (15 ml) butter, melted

1 1/4 cups (300 ml) whole milk

12 teaspoons (60 ml) oil

Method

1. Position rack in the middle of the oven, and preheat to 425 ° F (220 °C).

For this recipe, you can use a popover pan, a muffin pan or custard cups

placed on a baking sheet. 

2. In a food processor, combine the flour, salt, eggs, butter, and milk.  Process

for a few seconds, just barely enough to combine.  Scrape down the sides of

the bowl and process again briefly to break up any lumps of flour.

3. Place 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of oil in each cup of whatever type pan you are

using so that the popovers won’t stick.  Pop the pan filled with oil in the

preheated oven for about 2 minutes.  An  easy way to tell if your oil is hot or

not is to tilt your pan ever so slightly.  Hot oil will spread really fast across the

bottom of your muffin cup. If it doddles, heat it a little longer but not too long

or they will take up smoking.

4. Pour the batter into the prepared  cups, filling them half full.  Bake for 30

minutes.  Reduce the heat to 375 °F (190 °C) and continue baking until they

are a golden brown. 

5. Remove from the oven and immediately unmold them before they shrink

and stick.  If you come across one that sticks, pry it out with a spoon or the

edge of a sharp knife.  Serve immediately. Makes 12 beautiful popovers.

Adapted from: Williams- Sonoma Essentials of Baking

I just know you’re going to love these dramatic, little show-offs! Slathered with

butter, or crowned with gravey, they’ll bring you flurries of praise and

adoration. The two things I love most!

Love, TSW

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