Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Birthday Dinner for the Birthday Girl

My sweet daughter has a birthday today. We celebrated her accomplishments in her profession on Saturday but last night was just about her. The boys were working so it was just the Mrs. and Mackenzie, a lovely temperate evening, some grilled NY Strips and fresh asparagus. Killer bread of course and I made Hollandaise for the asparagus. Delish!  No dessert because I frankly did not think of it. Honestly, for the calories I would have rather had more steak (we only eat 4 ounces) than dessert but we did splurge on Saturday. There is a chain company in Omaha called Nothing Bundt Cakes. They have the best, most decadent cakes in mini bundt form. So tasty but that was my fix for the week


I made the Hollandaise with a typical recipe:

4 egg yolks
juice of a lemon
dash of cayenne
dash of salt
1/2 cup melted butter

I used the had blender and a 4 cup glass measure. Make sure the butter is steaming hot. Combine all and drizzle the hot butter while blending. I had a shallot so I chopped that up in there too. It was thick and rich and the perfect foil for the roasted asparagus.

Just so you know, I screwed this up a bit and made it before I looked up the recipe. I used 2 whole eggs and it was all a bit thin so I placed atop a double boiler, whisked it constantly and it quickly tightened up. Not sure if it tasted all that different. I am under the firm opinion that almost anything can be rescued. Don't try to reheat this in the microwave, does not work, live and learn.

Monday, June 25, 2012


A Pizza night here. Hamburger and Mushrooms with fresh mozzarella. Crispy but thicker than I had planned. I used the new recipe I posted a while back that had half and half and baking powder besides yeast. The crust was tasty and the stones I have crisped it nicely, just should have made 3 pizzas instead of 2.  I pre baked the crusts as I had errands to run for the birthday girl (Mackenzie) for about 10 mins at 400. I let them cool and finished later closer to mealtime.  I still use my cast iron pizza pan. I love it. Try the new recipe and let me know what you think.

Pro-Logic Pizza Roasting Pan, 14 in, Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Outdoor Concert

Last night a local shopping legend "Rockbrook Village" had their Friday night concert. The crowd was a bit septugeniarian but we packed our stuff and headed on in. We grabbed a table close to the festivities and unpacked an al fresco dinner fit for a king with several bottles of wine.

Here was the menu:

Buffalo Blue Cheese dip with celery
Assorted cheeses including a delicious Brie with wild mushrooms
Large boiled shrimps (8-10 per pound)
Large crusty bagette
Fresh fruit
Sliced Brisket with rolls
Several Chardonnays and one Burgundy that had gone south

Great evening, great friends and family...okay music (Dixieland is not my favorite) and beautiful weather not ot mention the company.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Buffalo Blue Cheese dip

1 cup Mayo
2 T hot sauce
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 c sharp cheddar shredded
3 T crumbled blue cheese
2 T prepared blue cheese dressing

Adjust hot sauce as needed. I added 1/2 t Chipotle powder. Serve cold with pretzels or celery.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Tis madness I say....madness

Oreo Brownie Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars?


How crazy is this? Madness I say.

A tub of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough patted into the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan sprayed with cooking spray.

A layer of Oreo Cookies.

Topped with a prepared Brownie mix and baked to gooey perfection. Bake 350 for 30 minutes covered with foil. Uncover and bake another 25 minutes. Cool and cut. Take another shot of insulin first.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Cook once, eat twice

I love it when a meal can serve double duty. Of course, I always cook enough for leftovers for lunch but sometimes I can get a completely different dinner the next day. Case in point, on Sunday I had brined about 5 chicken breast with the intent of grilling. I divide them into two thinner pieces and make cutlets with a panko breading. This produced fully 10 or 12 nicely browned cutlets. For dinner we had a Chicken Milanese and put the rest in the fridge. I had a small piece for breakfast and then used most of the rest for Chicken Parmesan for dinner. That and some sauteed spinach made quite a tasty meal. Leftovers for lunch today.

So easy, no mess the second night and 2 great meals, lunches and snacks.

The recipe for Milanese is well know to the blog, just run a quick search for it. The Chicken Parmesan was nothing more than non stick foil, a layer of your favorite sauce, chicken, sauce and cheese. Heat till bubbly and serve.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Eating Omaha...Mother India

Wow. What a great evening in the metro! Mild and warm with a nice breeze and always great company. Our chosen destination tonight was Mother India. A little Indian bistro on 36th and Leavenworth. Not much to look at but looks are deceiving. Some of the best food in town if you like Indian Cuisine and crowded also. We arrived about 6:30 and the place filled up fast.

Standard Indian fair, kormas and masalas. Delicious breads and samosas. No alcohol is served.
I had the Lamb Korma, Brenda had the chicken. Lori had Tandoori Chicken and Mat had the Lamb Kashmiri (with bananas) It was all delicious! Lori was kind of a an Indian novice so she thought things were a bit spicy, I on the other hand could have used a lot more heat. The check was average for most Indian places in the area, about $35 per couple. Thanks to Nick and Brooke (who lives up the street) for the recommend. Loved it!

I cooked a pretty successful masala (recipe on the blog here) and have a real interest in this type of cooking. We will be doing more for sure.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Orange Glazed Chicken Thighs

8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 cup thawed orange juice concentrate
1 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons light-brown sugar
4 teaspoons white-wine vinegar
4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons hot sauce
Preheat oven to 450 degrees, with rack in upper third. Season chicken with salt and pepper and arrange, skin side down, on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until deep golden brown and cooked through, 45 to 50 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine 1 teaspoon salt, juice concentrate, ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce. Bring to a simmer and cook until mixture has thickened, 18 to 20 minutes.
Heat broiler. Transfer chicken to a large bowl, add glaze, and toss to coat. Drain off fat from sheet. Return chicken to sheet and broil until sauce is bubbling and chicken is dark brown in spots, 1 to 2 minutes.


Thanks to the boys over at The Bitten Word for the recipe.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Chicken Tikki Masala

In the mood for Indian...this is what I see


  • 4 skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 red onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala or other curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 10 ounces light cream, or 3/4 cup plain yogurt plus 1 teaspoon flour
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste


  1. Into a large bowl, grate half the ginger, and zest the lemon. Then add the garlic, cilantro, 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, half the lemon's juice, a tablespoon of yogurt, salt, and pepper. Stir, add chicken to bowl, and set aside to marinate.

  2. While the meat is marinating, heat the remaining oil in a heavy, large skillet over low heat. Roughly chop the remaining ginger and add it to the oil with the onion. Cook gently for 10-15 minutes until falling apart and caramelized. Add the spices and stir well to combine. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes to marry the flavors. Season with a good pinch of salt, then scrape into a bowl and reserve.

  3. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the chicken pieces. Cook, turning occasionally, until brown and cooked through, but still tender. Return the onion mixture to the skillet, and add the cream if using, or the flour then yogurt. Stir in the tomato paste and simmer for 5 minutes.

  4. Check for seasoning, adding salt or lemon juice as needed. Serve with basmati rice or naan.


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