Monday, November 30, 2009

Sticky Spiced Apricot Meatloaf

I have been wanting to make this meatloaf for quite a while, but getting the hubby to agree to eat it was a lot more difficult than I thought it would be. In the end he tried it, said he liked it but next time he would rather have his mom's meatloaf recipe! On the other hand I thought it was really good!

2 slices sandwich bread, chopped
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons apricot jam
1 teaspoon Worcester sauce
2 pounds ground beef
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
7 dried apricots, chopped
2 teaspoons curry powder

Preheat the oven to 350°. In a small bowl, soak the bread in the milk. In another small bowl, whisk together the apricot jam and Worcestershire sauce.

In a large bowl, add the meat, almonds, apricots and curry powder. Add the bread-milk mixture, season with salt and mix together with your hands. Transfer to a loaf pan and brush with the jam mixture. Bake for 1 hour. Pour off the fat and let cool for 15 minutes before removing from the pan.

Brown Buttered Sugar Snap Peas With Pecans

I was looking for a side to make with the sticky spiced apricot meatloaf and found this one in the latest issue of the Rachael Ray magazine.

1 3/4 pounds sugar snap peas
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup pecan pieces Salt and pepper

In a large saucepan of boiling, salted water, cook the peas until crisp-tender, 2 minutes; drain.

In a large, heavy skillet, heat the butter over medium-high heat until golden-brown and fragrant, 1 to 3 minutes. Add the pecans and cook, stirring, until lightly toasted, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the peas and cook until heated through; season with salt and pepper.

Curried Chicken and Cider Soup

We have a lot of apple cider in our fridge right now and so I've been looking for recipes to use it in. I had everything I would need to make this soup and decided to give it a try. I think maybe I like my curry flavours a little stronger, so next time I think I will play around with the spicesa little, other than that it was a good soup.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
Salt and pepper
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup apple cider
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1/2 head cauliflower, coarsely chopped
1/2 rotisserie chicken, skin and bones discarded and meat shredded

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, ginger and 1teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the curry powder and cumin and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Stir in the cider, scraping the bottom of the pan. Add 4 cups water and the sweet potato and bring to a boil. Add the cauliflower, lower the heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.

Using a blender, and working in batches, puree the soup; return to the saucepan. Stir in the chicken and warm through over medium heat; season with salt and pepper.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Cottage Pie With Leeks

Growing up in England cottage pie was a favourite meal of mine, I have never made it with leeks before, but I had some in the fridge that needed to be used up, and they made a great addition to one of my favourite comfort foods.

1lb ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp plain flour
150ml/5fl oz red wine
400ml/14fl oz beef stock
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Worcestershire sauce, to taste
2 leeks, chopped
2lbs potatoes, peeled and chopped
4oz butter
125ml/4½fl oz heavy cream

Brown the ground beef in a large pan, drain, add the onion, carrot and thyme and cook for 2-3minutes

Stir in the tomato paste and flour and cook for a further minute

Add the stock and red wine to the pan and leave to simmer for 45 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened. Season, to taste, with salt, freshly ground black pepper and a few dashes of Worcester sauce

In a separate pan, heat a little butter. Add the leeks and fry until softened, but not coloured

For the mash, place the potatoes into a pan of salted water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 12-15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender

Mash well with a potato masher or ricer, then add the butter and milk, beating to form a smooth mash. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper

Transfer the meat into an ovenproof dish and layer the leeks on top, arrange spoonfuls of the mash on top of the meat and leeks

Cook for about 30 minutes at 375, until the potato is crisp and golden-brown around the edges. Serve hot.

See other recipes at The Grocery Cart Challenge

Monday, November 16, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Crockpot red chicken curry with butternut squash and jasmine rice

Tuesday: Chinese pepper steak

Wednesday: Cottage pie with leeks and sweet green bean bundles

Thursday: Zuppa toscana soup and BLT's with avocado

Friday: Going out to eat

See other menu plans over at Organizing Junkie

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Remember, Remember The 5th Of November

Remember, remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason, why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.

This post is a little different than normal, isn't about coupons, deals or food. I am feeling a little sad today as back home in England it is bonfire night / Guy Fawkes night.

I don't feel homesick very often anymore, but every year this day hits me a little harder than most.

For those that don't know, November 5, 1605, marks the date when Guy Fawkes and his fellow conspirators attempted to kill King James I and the Members of Parliament and to blow up the Houses of Parliament. Every year since then bonfires have burned on November 5th to mark the failed gunpowder plot.

I haven't set foot in England in almost 7 years, and I really don't know if I will ever go back home again, but today I miss it, I miss the fireworks, the bonfires, the cold, oh how I miss the cold weather, and most of all I miss feeling like I fit in or belong somehwere, I miss knowing that other people are celebrating the same things. I miss home.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Molasses Herbed Pork Tenderloin

I saw this recipe in the latest issue of the Paula Deen magazine. I don't really cook with molasses that much, and I had some in the pantry needing to be used up so I gave it a try.

2 (1-pound) pork tenderloins
1⁄2 cup soy sauce
1⁄4 cup molasses
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

In a large resealable plastic bag, place tenderloins.
In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, molasses, garlic, sage, and rosemary. Pour mixture over tenderloin; seal. Refrigerate for 2 hours, turning occasionally.
Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a shallow roasting pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Remove tenderloin from bag, discarding marinade. Place tenderloin in prepared roasting pan. Bake for 40 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before slicing. Serve tenderloin with Horseradish-Cream Sauce. Garnish with rosemary, if desired.

See other recipes at The Grocery Cart Challenge

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Grocery Deals

I took a break from couponing the past couple of weeks, I was just so tired of clipping and filing coupons, plus there really wasn't any good deals anyway.

However this week there were some great deals at Kroger, for the first time my total actually went negative, so the cashier had to cancel out some coupons to get the balance to where the store didn't actually owe me money for shopping there!

Shelf: $92.74
Spent: $0.34
Saved: $92.40
Pct : 97%

5 x snuggle fabric softener
5 x del monte canned tomatoes
3 x rotel
6 x carnation
2 x bumble bee tuna
2 x ricola
4 x keebler cookies
2 x knox gelatin
3 x betty crocker potatoes
2 x heinz ketchup
4 x land o lakes butter
2 x I can't believe it's not butter
2 x chex mix
activia yogurt
3 x steamfresh frozen vegetables
3 x beechnut
nescafe coffee
2 x chef michael dog food

See other grocery deals at The Grocery Cart Challenge and The New Frugal Mom

Monday, November 2, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Molasses herbed pork tenderloin with mashed potatoes and green beans

Tuesday: Zuppa toscana soup with homemade bread rolls

Wednesday: Puffy tacos

Thursday: Swedish meatballs with noodles and lingonberry sauce

Friday: Going out to eat

See other menu plans over at Organizing Junkie

Beef, cheddar and potato pie

I saw this recipe in the latest issue of the Rachael Ray magazine, it looked good and I had everything needed to make it, and even though I am usually awful at making pies I gave it a try.

2 lbs ground beef
2 carrots cut into cubes
1 onion, diced
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 large baking potato, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup dark beer
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
2 sheets puff pastry
1 large egg yolk
1 tbsp water
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375

In a skillet combine the beef, carrots, onion, celery, garlic and potato. Cook until the meat has browned

Add the beer, cook for 10 minutes

Add the cheese, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper, let cool

Place 1 sheet of pastry in a 10 inch pie dish, transfer the filling into dish, lightly brush the edge of the pastry with the egg wash, then place the second sheet on top. Press the edges to seal.

Place the pie on a baking sheet, brush the top with more egg wash and cut an X into the pastry. Sprinkle with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper, Bake for 45 minutes.