Monday, April 14, 2014

Menu Plan Monday

The only meal I made last week from the menu plan was the stromboli, as last monday Randal's dad was rushed to hospital, so Randal flew up to Tulsa and won't be returning until this wednesday.  So again this week I doubt I will be making many meals.

Monday: Something quick and easy for me, probably scrambled eggs and toast

Tuesday: My birthday, and also the first day of watching 3 toddlers and a baby, so I will be lucky to have the energy to make toast at the end of the day!

Wednesday: Randal returns from Tulsa, but I doubt I will cook, Randal will probably go pick up dinner

Thursday: Breakfast - sausages, bacon, eggs and hashbrowns

Friday: Eating out

See other menu plans over at Organizing Junkie

Honey Cupcakes

Time for another Secret Recipe Club reveal.  This month I was assigned the blog Jenny's Cookbook.  I immediately went to see what dessert recipes were on her blog, because I love any excuse to bake and especially cupcakes.  I was so happy when I saw these Honey Cupcakes, as I had recently bought some adorable sugar bee cake decorations at bake a cake, which is my favourite specialty baking store in Houston.  I had no idea what I was going to make with these cute little decorations, but I just knew I had to have them, so finding a honey cupcake recipe was just perfect.  I did decide to make my favourite vanilla bean cream cheese frosting for these cupcakes rather than Jenny's recipe, although I am sure that either one would be great with these cupcakes.

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla extract

1 stick unsalted butter
1 8oz  package cream cheese
Seeds from 1 plumped vanilla bean (vanilla beans plumped in rum for at least 2 weeks)
2 cups icing sugar
3 tbsp honey

Preheat  oven to 350 and line muffin tin with cupcake liners.

Combine flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl and set aside.

Mix together the buttermilk, honey and vanilla and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until creamy.   Add the eggs one at a time.  

Add a third of the flour to the mixer and combine, followed by half of the buttermilk mixture, half of the remaining flour, followed by the last of the buttermilk and remaining flour, beat just until combined.

Fill the cupcake liners two thirds full and bake for 18 minutes, or until cooked through.

To make the cream cheese frosting in the bowl of an electric mixer beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add the vanilla, honey and icing sugar and beat for 3 minutes, until thick and fluffy.
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Monday, April 7, 2014

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Stromboli and salad

Tuesday: Breakfast - sausages, bacon, eggs and hashbrowns

Wednesday: Zuppa toscana and salad

Thursday: Cabbage rolls

Friday: Eating out

See other menu plans over at Organizing Junkie

Monday, March 31, 2014

Swedish Meatballs

Randal loves Swedish meatballs, but until recently it wasn't a meal I made very often, not until I found this recipe over at  damn delicious anyway!

This recipe made a lot of meatballs so I froze half of them, which is perfect for us right now, as in a few weeks I am about to be even more busy during the day as Sophie and her baby sister will be coming back to daycare, the twins are very excited to get Sophie back but I have already warned Randal that he will be eating a lot of simple meals, at least until I get the three 2 year olds and the three month old on a schedule.

1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
1/2 cup panko
1 onion, diced
2 large egg yolks
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup all purpose flour
4 cups beef broth
3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

In a large pan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil and cook the onion until softened, about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, combine the ground beef and pork, along with the egg yolks, panko, allspice, nutmeg, salt, pepper and the cooled onion.  Roll into 1 1/2 inch sized balls.

Add a tablespoon of oil to the pan the onion was cooked in and brown the meatballs in batches and set aside on a paper towel lined plate.

To make the sauce, melt the butter in the pan, add in the flour and let cook for a few minutes.  Gradually whisk in the beef broth and bring to a simmer.  Add in the sour cream, salt and pepper and whisk to combine.  Add the meatballs back to the pan and cook for 10 minutes.  Top with fresh parsley and serve.

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Irish Apple Cake

Being English I don't celebrate St. Patrick's day, our day is St. George's day, which is in April.  However I rarely pass up the opportunity to bake something, so I figured I would join in with the rest of America this year and celebrate St. Patrick's day just a little bit!

This cake is packed full of apples with a crunchy sugary top.  I made my usual custard to serve this with this rather than the one that was with the cake recipe over at  the kitchen mccabe.

3 cups all purpose flour
6 oz butter
3/4 cup sugar
4 large granny smith apples, peeled and diced
2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar, to sprinkle on top of cake

Preheat oven to 375 and grease an 8 inch springform pan.

 Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cloves into a large bowl.

Using your fingertips rub the cold, diced butter into the flour mixture, until it resembles crumbs.

Add the sugar and apples to the mixture and stir together.

In a small bowl, combine the eggs and milk.  Add to the flour mixture and stir together.

Pour cake batter into the cake pan and sprinkle the top with the 2 tablespoons of sugar.

Bake for 45 minutes.

Creme Anglaise
1.5 cups heavy cream
1.5 cups whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
Seeds from 1 plumped Vanilla Bean (vanilla beans plumped in rum for at least 2 weeks)
8 large egg yolks

Pour the cream and milk into a saucepan, and add the sugar. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla beans and add to the milk, then split the vanilla beans in half and add that to the milk also. Whisk the egg yolks in a large bowl and leave near the stove. Place a sieve over a second large bowl.

Heat the cream mixture over medium heat, stirring often to dissolve the sugar, until the mixture is very hot but not boiling. Slowly whisk half of the cream mixture into the yolks. Pour this mixture back into the saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the crème anglaise is thick enough to coat the spatula. Pour through the sieve to remove the vanilla beans and any cooked egg pieces, leave to cool for 15 minutes.

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Greek Lemon Potatoes

One of my favourite restaurants in Houston is Niko Niko's.  Their lemon potatoes are so addictive that I usually buy an extra order to reheat the next day.  Now these lemon potatoes are not really the same as Niko Niko's because theirs doesn't have an oven roasted feel to them at all, but the flavour of these potatoes wedges are as equally addictive as the ones at Niko Niko's, so lemony and delicious!

4 large potatoes
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/3  cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Peel potatoes and slice into wedges.

In a large ziploc bag, combine the olive oil, garlic, oregano, salt, pepper and chicken broth.  Add the potatoes to the bag and leave to marinate for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 400.

Pour the potatoes and marinade into a baking pan.  Bake for 1 hour, turning half way.

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Greek Yogurt Chicken

I found this chicken recipe on pinterest, but I think I read that it is originally a weight watchers recipe.  I was already planning on making some greek lemon potatoes but I wasn't sure what to make with them, but as soon as I saw the picture for this recipe I knew I had to try it.

This is a really simple meal to make, but very flavourful.  You simple marinate the chicken in yogurt and herbs and then bake.


2 lbs chicken thighs
1 cup plain greek yogurt
5 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 tbsp oregano
Juice and zest from 1 lemon
Salt and pepper

In a large bowl, mix together the yogurt, garlic, parsley, oregano and lemon juice and zest.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add to the yogurt mixture.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Preheat oven to 375.

Place the chicken in a large baking pan and cook for 45 minutes,, or until chicken is cooked through.
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