emily's experiments

Friday, February 20, 2009

Goodbye for now

Yeah, I had high hopes for a renovation of this blog, but I just don't think I have it in me right now to make it a priority. I'll leave the blog here with the recipes, should you so desire to use them, but I'm sorry to say that there won't be much, if anything, going on around here. Maybe one of these days my motivation will kick in, but not now. So, happy cooking to all you kitchen girls out there. 

Friday, January 9, 2009

Hiatus, I guess

So it's been some time since my last post. I don't know what's going on. Maybe I'm being less creative with my meals, or doing a lot of repeats from this blog, but I really don't find hardly any pictures to post when I plug in my camera, or at least any worth posting. When I started this blog I posted literally anything I made, no matter how simple it was, or even if it wasn't my own recipe (always giving proper credit), or even if the picture wasn't great or appetizing. So I guess, as time has progressed, I have become more picky about what I post. I almost want to make a revised version of this blog with only posts that are up to my current standards, which a lot of these posts aren't. I want to make it purely my unique recipes, or really good finds that I can't help but share. But that seems like a project, and though I have the time and the resources, it's hard sometimes for me to jump into things like that. I know once I get started, it will be fun and I'll be very motivated, so I'll have to find some way to make that jump. There are some incredible food blogs out there, and though I don't care about mine being super professional, as this is really just a resource for me, but I would like to make it a bit more refined.

I seriously used to have a list on my white board of recipes to post, but now that is non-existent. Maybe the busy holidays put me in a funk, and I'll get out of it soon, but I really don't know why I am slacking. I am kinda glad I have this blog staring at me (as guilty as it makes me feel) so I can kick myself back into gear to start making fun meals for my family again. I do have a few ideas lurking in my brain and some in my drafts.

So mainly this post was to ease the pressure I feel every time I look at this blog, so I can relax and let the creative juices flow. I'll be back, hopefully soon.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Chocolate Mousse Parfaits

This was inspired by leftover chocolate mousse I had in the freezer. It was quite simple, and make a very decadent dessert for our guests. In fact, too rich. I could hardly eat half of mine. Next time I'll make them in smaller glasses.

You'll need:
Chocolate mousse (you can use a mix, or your favorite recipe)
freshly whipped cream (heavy cream beawt to medium stiff peaks with a little powdered sugar and vanilla.)
frozen berries
nuts, toasted (You can toast your own by placing them on a baking sheet and baking at 350 degree for 10 minutes or so.)

Make a berry compote by placing frozen berries, and a sprinkling of sugar and cinnamon (to taste) in a sauce pan. Bring to simmer and let cook until slightly thickened and sugar is dissolved maybe about 10 minutes. Add vanilla and let cool completely. Let chill in the fridge. You can use this compote for so many things-pancakes, toast, scones, with cheesecake, etc. Layer fresh whipped cream, toasted nuts, chocolate mousse, and berries. It you want to make it pretty and clean, use a pastry bag filled with each component to layer them. Then they go right where you want them to, instead of getting all over the sides of the glasses. I also have these yummy caramel sprinkles from Pampered Chef that I added at the end. They added a nice touch.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Polish Stew

This is such an easy soup that I have loved for as long as I can remember. Now KC loves it just as much as I do, and we love that it's cold so we can enjoy it more often. I don't know how authentic the name is, but that's what I've always called it.half a head of cabbage, cut into thick shreds
half of a kielbasa sausage, sliced, or cubed
1 c corn, frozen or canned (or you could use the whole can. whatever)
4-5 potatoes
half a medium onion
enough chicken broth to cover the cabbage, maybe 4-5 cups
Spicy brown mustard

In a large pot, saute in the sausage until starting to brown and renders a little fat. Add the potatoes and onion and let the potatoes start to brown a little. Add the shredded cabbage and corn, and cover with chicken broth. Simmer until the cabbage and potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally. Serve hot with mustard. It may sound weird, but the mustard is what makes it so good. Squeeze it right into the soup. Either stir it in, or enjoy it visibly on each bite. I like to add more as I go. I'm a little bit of a mustard fanatic. If you don't like mustard, it's good anyway. I hope you give this a try.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Ravioli Lasagna

I know this is a trend going around lately, so I thought I'd take a whack at it. It really was so simple, and does accomplish the same thing. Of course, nothing can replace that lovely flavorful gooyness that regular lasagna has, but it's a nice replacement as a simple form of the comforting dish.

This ended up being vegetarian, but brown up some beef or turkey if you'd like.

Frozen cheese ravioli
frozen broccoli (it's what I had on hand, but you could, of course, use fresh)
one small onion
about 1 c sliced mushrooms
a sprinkle dried basil
a sprinkle paprika
3 cloves minced garlic
about 1/2 jar marinara sauce ( I added a little water to it so the ravioli would be nice and tender)
Italian blend cheese, or any cheese you want to sprinkle on.

Turn over onto 375. In a hot skillet saute the onion, broccoli, mushrooms, garlic, paprika, basil, and s&p with a little olive oil. Let cook until onions are translucent, and broccoli is becoming tender. Spread a thin layer of the sauce on the bottom of a greased 8x8 pan. Place a single layer of ravioli over that and sprinkle half of the vegetables over that. Add a thin layer of cheese, and repeat the process. Add one more layer of ravioli and top with the rest of the sauce, a little more cheese, and some Parmesan and basil to finish it off. Top with foil ( I like to spray my foil with cooking spray so the delicious cheese doesn't stick.) and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is melted. I like my cheese a little brown so I like to take of the foil stick it under the broiler for a minute or two after it's cooked. Try it out.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Spicy Potato soup

We made a smaller batch than this, but here's the full recipe. I made a few changes that I'll note in the recipe. Both versions are delicious and perfect for the winter.

1 lb. ground beef (I used turkey)
one onion, chopped
4 c water
4 c potatoes, cubed
1 c frozen green beans cut in half (my addition for color)
3-8 oz. cans tomato sauce
2 t salt
1 1/2 t pepper
1/2 t hot sauce (I used a little of this, and a little cayenne)
a few shakes of paprika and dried basil (I added these)
plain yogurt ( I added this for garnish)

Brown the meat and the onion until there is no pink showing. If using beef, drain the fat. Add everything else (except yogurt) and let simmer for about an hour, or until the potatoes are tender. Serve with a nice dollop of yogurt to help mellow the heat. Add fresh herbs like basil or parsley is you have any.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Cheddar Fondue

This is a very simple, and still delicious way I like to make fondue. I made this for a movie night with the girls, and KC and I enjoyed leftovers the next day. Fondue twice in a row. Not too good for the waistline.

1 c chicken broth
1 can condensed cheddar cheese soup

1/2 c sour cream

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 T spicy brown mustard

1 T Worcestershire sauce

1/4 t nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
1 lb. cheddar cheese

In a saucepan whisk together everything except the cheese. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and slowly stir in the cheese a little at a time waiting between installments making sure it melts before you add more. If it seems too thick when all the cheese is added, add more broth. Transfer to a fondue pot and dip whatever sounds good to you. We usually like lightly steamed broccoli or cauliflower, ham, or kielbasa, rustic bread (Here's a tip for the bread: cut it into cubes, and toast it in a deep skillet drizzled with a little olive oil, and s&p until the cubes are lightly browned. I'm TELLING you, when I ate it with the cheese, it's the best thing I'd had in a long time.), apples, etc. You can get gourmet with cut up, steamed asparagus, grilled chicken, cherry tomatoes, grilled zucchini, the options are endless. This Christmas Eve tradition in my family will continue on with me, that's for sure. I think I'll make it more often than that, though.