"Food is our common ground, a universal experience." - James Beard

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Creamed Spinach

Kent made this dish as part of our Valentine's dinner last week.  If you like spinach even a little bit, you will love this recipe!  The shallot gives it so much flavor!  It made a wonderful side dish and would be easy to double if you wanted to make it for a dinner party.  I can't wait until we have it again!

Creamed Spinach
1 (9 oz) bag of spinach
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1 tbsp flour
3/4 cup milk
2 tbsp vegetable oil
salt and pepper to taste

Wilt spinach by placing it in a covered pan on medium heat and adding a little salt.  After the spinach has wilted, squeeze out any excess moisture and set aside.  Saute the shallot in oil until they become clear (2-3 minutes on medium high heat).  Add salt and pepper.  Add the tablespoon of flour and mix it in thoroughly.  Allow the shallot/flour mixture to cook for about a minute.  Add in the milk and drop the heat to low.  Cook for 3 or 4 minutes to allow the mixture to thicken.  Take it off the heat and mix it into the spinach.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

I hope everyone has a wonderful
Valentine's Day today!!

I'm sure many of you know about The Pioneer Woman.  She's awesome!  She has a blog where she posts recipes, gardening tips, photos, and all sorts of things.  She is currently doing a book tour and will be coming to Memphis and Atlanta later this month.  Today, for Valentine's Day, she is hosting a giveaway on her blog for a limited edition KitchenAid Stand Mixer... and it's gorgeous!!!  To enter this giveaway, leave a comment on her blog.

The Pioneer Woman's limited edition KitchenAid as pictured on her blog - isn't it beautiful?!?!?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Peanut Butter Dog Cookies

Happy Birthday, Jack!
So, yesterday was Jack's birthday!  He turned 1!  Clearly, I have a small obsession with our pup, so after Kent outlawed a birthday party, I decided I would have to at least bake my precious Jack a birthday surprise!  I found the recipe for these peanut butter cookies at this website for homemade dog treats.  The thing I liked about this recipe, besides the fact that I had all of the ingredients, was that the ingredients didn't consist of anything weird.  The cookies actually smelled really good baking in the kitchen!  They were easy to make and are a hit with Jack - he LOVES peanut butter!

Peanut Butter Dog Cookies
½ cups water(add more water later if required)
½ cup oil
2 eggs
3 tablespoons peanut butter
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
½ cup cornmeal
½ cup oats
Blend wet ingredients together. Whisk dry ingredients together and mix into wet mixture to form a ball of dough. Roll out and shape. Put onto a non-stick cookie tray or lightly greased one. Cook 20 minutes at 400 F. Turn off oven and allow the biscuits to cool in oven until crisp and hard. Store in airtight container.

(To shape, I used a fork and pressed a criss-cross design into the top of each cookie.)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Urban Cookhouse Benefit Dinner

Urban Cookhouse in Homewood will be donating the money that it takes in tomorrow night from sales of take-home dinners to a North Alabama farmer who lost most of his crops during the snow storm in early January.  I have eaten at Urban Cookhouse twice and really enjoyed the fresh ingredients in their dishes!  I'm sure their take-home dinners are just as delicious!  To read more about farmer that Urban Cookhouse is supporting, read this article.  You can visit Urban Cookhouse's website to view their whole menu.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Baked Greek Chicken

I easily get tired of chicken recipes since we eat chicken pretty often.  A few weeks ago we were planning to eat chicken for dinner and wanted to try something different.  We were both hungry and had not planned ahead - so we didn't have it marinated and I didn't feel like standing over the stove watching it cook.  This baked chicken recipe was perfect!  It had so much flavor and was ready to eat quickly!

Baked Greek Chicken
2-4 chicken breasts
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp finely minced garlic (or garlic puree from a jar)
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme

Place the chicken in a small casserole dish.  Mix all of the other ingredients together.  Pour over the chicken.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Stuffed Venison Backstrap

This is one of several venison dishes we've been making around here lately.  Kent made this for dinner last weekend.  I was a little leary at first, but it was so good!  This recipe is from another food blog, Home Cooking is What I Like.  Visit this blog for lots of really great recipes!

Stuffed Venison Backstrap
6 slices of bacon
1 medium Vidalia onion, chopped up
1/2 cup of celery, chopped up
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup of carrot, chopped
1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
2 teaspoons parsley flakes
2-4 lb. venison back strap (Deer, Elk, Moose, and even Wild Pig)
4 slices of bacon (cut in half)

Make sure the meat is no more than 1 inch thick after cutting. Filet meat out with long knife until meat lay flat, like a sheet of paper.

Fry the cut bacon over medium heat until crisp. Drain on paper towels and finely crumble. Reserve 4 tablespoons of bacon fat for later.

Cook onion, celery, and carrot in bacon fat until soft. Remove from heat and stir in crumbled bacon, breadcrumbs, parsley flakes, salt and pepper.

Spread veggie mixture evenly on meat. Pat mixture and roll up with the grain of meat. Tie loin with butcher string. Place bacon on top of roll slightly wrapped around meat. Put in roasting pan or above water pan in smoker.

Heat oven or smoker to 250 degrees the slower the better. Cook meat to about 150 degrees (RARE) take off and wrap in tin foil. Wait about 30 minutes and enjoy!
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