Thursday, November 15, 2007

Baby Blanket

This is the baby blanket I made for charity. I am delivering it tomorrow. It will be going to a 7 month old little girl. I hope to make a hat to match for her tonight.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Danger Danger

I scanned the Sunday ads today after breakfast and found that Michaels was having a 25 -50% off sale on most all their yarns!! Uh oh! I just HAD to go. But today I went with a purpose. I chose two things that I had been wanting to make for me. The first one is a red, white, and blue wrap that has pockets in it. Too too fun! I found the pattern on the LionBrand website. There was only one problem. The yarn they say to use has been discontinued so I had to find another yarn that would work well. So I bought Bernat Soft Boucle at $2.79 a skein. The project will cost me a total of $16.74!

Then I chose a cute but warm -looking hat/scarf combo pattern. Again the yarn they suggested (Lion Brand Wool-ease Sport weight) was discontinued also. So I went with the Wool-ease worsted weight instead. I got it in a red with little specks of different colors. This project will come to $8.36!! Love a sale!!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Whitney's Beefaroni

1 lb ground beef
1 small to medium onion, diced
1 can (14 1/2 oz) peeled tomatoes, diced
1/2 jar plain spaghetti sauce (I use Prego, traditional)
1 TBS Italian Seasoning
3/4 cup mild cheddar cheese, shredded
3/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 lb box of elbow macaroni pasta, cooked

Brown ground beef and cook onion at the same time in a skillet. Drain juices and return to skillet. Add Italian Seasoning, tomatoes, and spaghetti sauce. Let simmer for about 10 minutes until all is hot and bubbly. In a 9x13x2 casserole dish mix the macaroni and meat sauce together and spread out evenly in the dish. Mix the two cheeses and sprinkle all over the top. Bake in a 350 degree oven until cheese is melted, about 5-10 minutes. Serve with green beans, a salad and warm bread.

Still Working

Still working on the baby blanket! It is about 2/3 the way done. It is coming along well and I love the pattern. I sure hope they like it and use it!! I am crocheting it for a family that work adopted for the holidays. They have a 7 month baby girl.

I am using Vanna White's new yarn from Lion Brand. If you go out to the website there is a wonderful pattern for a large granny's square afgan that is very pretty. The yarn is nice but it is acrylic and with that it can seem a bit scratchy. Overall it is nice for afgans but I am not sure I would make a sweater from it. The colors though are beautiful! I hope they make a softer yarn in the same colors.

Crab Bisque

Crab Bisque

1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of asparagus soup
2 cups milk
1 cup half & half
1 6oz can crabmeat
1/3 cup sherry

Combine first 4 ingredients in saucepan. Heat thoroughly, stirring often. Add crabmeat and wine. Heat through.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Comfort Foods: Mac and Cheese and Meat Loaf

It is a rainy day here in Richmond and I thought I would pull out some comfort foods to post from Dad's files. Dad was famous for his meatloaf!

Em's Mac n' Cheese(Emeril Lagasse, 2002)
6 TBS unsalted butter
½ lb elbow macaroni
6 TBS all-purpose flour
3 cups whole mile
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
Pinch cayenne
2 ½ cups grated cheddar (about 6 oz)
½ cup fine bread crumbs
1 tsp Essence (Can be bought in the spice aisle at the grocery store)

1.Preheat oven to 350o. Butter a 2 QT baking dish with 1 TBS of the butter and set aside.
2.Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold running water. Drain well.
3. Melt the remaining 5 TBS butter in a heavy 3 QT saucepan over medium heat. Add flour, and stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, cook over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, being careful not to let the flour brown. Using a whisk, add the milk in a steady stream and cook, whisking constantly, until thick and smooth, 4 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the salt, pepper, cayenne, and 2 cups of the cheese, and stir well. Add the noodles and stir well. Pour into the prepared dish.
4. In a mixing bowl, combine the remaining ½ cup of cheese with the bread crumbs and Essence. Sprinkle evenly over the macaroni and bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 25 minutes.
5. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Meat Loaf
11/2 lbs ground beef
½ cup cracker crumbs
2 eggs, beaten
1 8oz can tomato sauce
¼ cup finely chopped onion
2 TBS chopped green pepper
Dash- thyme, crushed
Dash- marjoram crushed

Combine all ingredients and 1 tsp salt; mix well. Put into 12x71/2x2 inch loaf pan. Bake at 350oF for 1 ¼ hours.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Potato Casseroles and Slow Cooker Recipes

It is getting chilly outside and I thought I would post a recipe from Dad's stash.

Three Potato Gratin

1 TBS Butter
2 Heads of Garlic, split in half
1 Qt Cream
1 lb peeled white potato slices
1 lb peeled sweet potato slices
1 lb peeled red potato slices
2 cups grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
salt and white pepper
Old Bay Seasoning (secret ingredient)
2 TBS Chopped chives

1. pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Grease souffle dish with butter
3. In a small sauce pot bring garlic and cream up to a simmer, add salt and pepper and Old Bay and simmer 15 minutes until 1/4 reduction.
4. Layer potatoes in souffle dish with cheese-six layers.
5. Remove Garlic from cream and pour over potatoes
6. Cover dish and bake 30-35 minutes.
7. Remove foil and cook 10 minutes till golden brown.
8. Garnish with seasoning and chives.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

World Famous Spaghetti

My dad used to spend all day Sunday making a big batch of spaghetti sauce. We would come in from playing outside to this wonderful aroma infiltrating every nook and cranny in our house. I remember asking as I grew older if he would let me help. He would say, "No, it is a secret recipe". I then began asking for the recipe when I moved out and got my own home. He would say, "when you get married I will give it to you." So, I got married and asked again. He then said, "You really don't need the recipe. Just get a jar of spaghetti sauce and doctor it up a bit by adding fresh onions, peppers, and other vegetables. The jars are just as good." I was so disappointed. I really wanted that recipe. I had watched him from afar many times growing up and he didn't use a jar of sauce. My dad died a few years back and I immediately went after his cookbooks and his other files of recipes. No spaghetti sauce. We finally found it later on. He had written it on a file card and titled it "Herb's 'World Famous' Meat Sauce". He had filed it under MEATS. Here it is...

1 cup onion, chopped
1 lb. ground beef
3/4 lb. sausage
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. 14oz canned tomatoes
1 lb. canned tomatoes
1 6oz tomato paste
1/4 cup snipped parsley
1 TBS brown sugar (secret ingredient)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp MSG
1 1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp thyme
1 bay leaf

1. Saute onion and garlic
2. Add meats and cook until brown
3. Skim off excess fat
4. Add remaining ingredients and 2 cups of water.
5. Simmer uncovered for 3 hours or until sauce is thick
6. Serve over spaghetti, shells or other pasta.
7. Top with parmesian cheese

(Remove the bay leaf before serving)

Dad always had a "secret ingredient" that he would put in that would make it all that much better and a bit different from the normal.

You can leave out the MSG and I am not sure but from reading this recipe it may be 2 cans of 1lb 14oz canned tomatoes instead of one big and one little can. You may have to play with the amount of tomatoes a bit. The recipe is unclear.

A new group of recipes

Over the course of the next couple of weeks or until I start to get bored with it, I am going to post some of my dad's great recipes. He was a wonderful cook and he had a wide range of recipes. My dad would take some recipes and "doctor" them up to his liking or he would add a "secret ingredient" that would make it just a little better. You will see these as I post the recipes. Some of his recipes he made up and others he got out of cookbooks. The ones he liked he would add to his file box of recipes, but wouldn't add the source of the recipe. So I am not always sure if it was an original or one from another book. But they were always yummy. I hope you enjoy them. Post a comment if you try it and let me know how it turns out.

Friday, November 2, 2007

What I am doing now...

Right now I am working on a baby blanket for the family that my work has adopted for the holiday season. There is a Mom and three kids. The youngest is a baby of 7 months. I am working on a new pattern for the blanket. It is a zig-zag crochet pattern, "ripple". Let me tell you, I thought it would be easy and thought I could adapt an adult afgan pattern for the baby one. No way! I screwed it up twice and finally went in search of an appropriate ripple pattern for a baby blanket size. It still is a bit bigger than I anticipated but I used a chunkier yarn and a bigger hook. I found the pattern on Bev's Country Cottage site and you can find it if you click on "Bev's Journeys" on the sidebar. I will post a picture later this evening of it so far. If I have time I would love to make hats for the family as well.

I am about a fourth done so I expect it to be done in another week. I still have Nicholas' sweater to finish and I am only still on the back in knitting it. The blanket is more pressing right now.

I have a funny for you. Remember the pirate doll I made for my son for Halloween? He said yesterday that it looked like Tigger in a Halloween costume! It really does!!