Thursday, October 31, 2013

Sweet Glazed Meatloaf



The wind is out of control right now.  Trick or treating was postponed because of this "storm".  Thank goodness because if I would have had to pass out candy, I wouldn't have been able to take this horrible picture.  I need a camera.  Seriously.  That probably wouldn't have helped this picture though.  It's meatloaf.  I know what you're thinking.  Meatloaf, Aimee??  Seriously? Let me tell you.  I am super serious about this.  It's not the dry, plain old ketchup covered meatloaf from the 50's and 60's.  This meatloaf has sage.  And a delicious sweet glaze.

My mom and I found this recipe several years ago in a Harrison County Extension Agency Homemakers Cookbook.  I've made some changes but believe me, it is good.  It's the complete opposite of dry.  In fact it kind of melts a little.  Just trust me on this.


Maybe this picture does it more justice.  Regardless.  It's delicious and makes a mean sandwich for lunch the next day!

Sweet Glazed Meatloaf

Ingredients

1 pound ground beef
3/4 cup milk
2/3 cup oats
2/3 cup onion, finely diced
1/2 tablespoon sage
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt

For the glaze:

4 tablespoons ketchup
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon mustard
1/2 nutmeg

In a mixing bowl combine milk, oats, onion, sage, egg and salt.  Add ground beef and mix well.  Pat into loaf pan.

Combine the ketchup, brown sugar, mustard and nutmeg.  Cover the meatloaf with the glaze.  Bake in a 375 degree oven for 55 to 65 minutes.

Let rest for about 10 minutes after removing from the oven.

*you may want to double the glaze

Monday, October 28, 2013

Chicken and Rice Soup



The only way I stayed nourished in college was because of my hot pot.  I don't know who invented this contraption but I am eternally grateful.  The food at my school was not good.  That's being kind.  I'm just going to say that I don't think there were actual eggs in the scrambled "eggs".  I digress.  After going to the cafeteria and throwing away a plate of picked over food, my roommates and I would head back and cook up some mac and cheese.  For a special treat we would "cook" a bag of the seasoned rice.  You know what I'm talking about, right?  Back in the day it would go on sale for 88 cents which is perfect for a college students budget!

My favorite flavor was the chicken.  It had all those familiar flavors of a home cooked meal--at least as home cooked as one could get in a tiny dorm room with 2 roommates. My love for that rice prompted this recipe for a quick meal.  You can throw this hearty soup together in about 30 minutes.  What's not better on a chilly day than a warm bowl of chicken and rice soup?

You'll eventually learn that I try not to waste anything.  I shredded the chicken from my roast chicken last week and froze it in 2 cup portion sizes.  I also made a broth out of the bones.  It simmers for about 4 hours which isn't always convenient but so totally worth it.  Having these things on hand really makes this soup, super quick.

Chicken and Rice Soup

Ingredients

2 tablespoon butter
1 cup onion, diced
2 carrots, chopped
1 heaping tablespoon flour
2 cups broth
2 cups water
2 cups chicken
1 bag or box of chicken flavored rice
2 cups milk

Over medium heat, sauté onion and carrots in butter for about 5 minutes.  Once the onions start to turn translucent, add the flour and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Next add the chicken broth, water and rice.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover.  Let simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is tender.  Stir occasionally.  Finally, add chicken and milk and simmer until they are heated through.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Roasted Jalapeño Dip



I LOVE football. There is nothing better than a crisp, sunny, fall Sunday with a bunch of guys hitting each other. Part of my love of the game was developed by my dad.  Poor guy never had a son so being his oldest daughter I took over that role. The other part stems from living in Cincinnati and having access to an NFL team. Those were the days! 

Another thing I love is game day food.  Is there anyone that doesn't like a spread of appetizers?  I'm always looking for and attempting to create new ideas.  Especially creamy, cheesy, gooey dips.  The base recipe for this dip is one that I use for many things.  It's super versatile and almost any thing can be added to it.  Roasted Jalapeño dip is a new spin on it.  It's spicy, creamy and super dip-able.  It's also really fast to throw together for those last minute shin digs.  I serve it with homemade tortilla chips but crackers would be good too!

Roasted Jalapeno Dip

Ingredients

1-8 ounce package of cream cheese
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
Juice of 1/2 a lime
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 roasted jalapeños
1/3 cup cheddar cheese

Directions

Place the jalapenos in a small baking dish and roast at 425 degrees until they start to blister.  It took about 30 minutes for mine.
Mix the cream cheese, mayo, lime juice, sugar, onion powder, garlic powder and salt.
After the jalapenos have cooled slice in half and remove the seeds and stem.  Chop finely and add to the cream cheese mixture.  Spread the mixture in an 8x8 baking dish and sprinkle with the cheddar cheese.  Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 25 minutes.

This exact recipe works for a small group.  Double it for larger crowds.  Enjoy and may the best team win! (Who Dey!)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Sweet Buttermilk Biscuits



It is my opinion that families in Kentucky are divided into two categories: Biscuit families and yeast roll families.  I could be very wrong about that.  My opinions certainly do not represent the entire state of Kentucky--just a very small part of it.  I come from a yeast roll family.  My aunt Elvany (Her real name was Elvira, really) made the most delicious yeast rolls that have been a part of every family event for as long as I can remember.  They're good.  Very good.  What I can't figure out is why we don't have a biscuit recipe floating around this family somewhere.  Maybe we do and someone just isn't sharing.  Shame on you.  I am absolutely sure that my great-grandmother McCauley had a biscuit recipe that she handed down to my Gom-gom and for some reason it never made it any further.

Well, that stops here and now.  After searching for two years for a biscuit recipe that I will hand down to my non-existent children, I finally found it.  I'm not kidding.  Two years!!  The struggle has been real. I wasn't looking for texture as much as taste, buttery, savory yet a hint of sweetness.  I've given up several times and just settled for frozen biscuits from the grocery.  They're good, don't get me wrong, and the convenience of being able to just pull a couple out at a time was a perk.  Not anymore though.  Thanks to those geniuses over at A Family Feast,  I now have a delicious, buttery biscuit recipe that I can hand down to generations that I'm not producing.  I've become obsessed with these biscuits, making a batch every week for the past 3 weeks. Crispy on the bottom yet light and fluffy but dense at the same time.  That makes zero sense, I know.  You just have to taste them to know what I'm talking about.  They go great with gravy or as a sausage sandwich.  They pair extremely well with beef stew to soak up every bit of that goodness.  I could seriously go on for days about them.

Giving credit where credit is due, you can go here for the original recipe.  I will continue to be eternally grateful that A Family Feast has ended my search for the perfect biscuit.  I feel like I will have so much free time!



Sweet Buttermilk Biscuits

Ingredients

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.   Cut butter into small pieces and place it in the freezer so that it stays cold.  Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour mixture.  (I don't have a pasty cutter so I use 2 forks).  Next add the buttermilk and stir until the dough is mixed but still a bit tacky.   Pour the dough onto a floured surface and shape into a rectangle.  Fold the dough onto itself 6 times and spread to a 1-inch thickness.  Cut into biscuits.  The original recipes says that leftover dough can be combined and cut again but just once.  Place biscuits on a cookie sheet almost touching.  Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.  I brush melted butter on the top once they are out of the oven.

Enjoy these biscuits and wow your family and friends with them!




Thursday, October 24, 2013

Stove Top Popcorn

Thursday is my favorite day of the work week...  Well, Thursday night, at least.  It gives me hope that I will survive yet another week since the next day is Friday.  Also, Scandal.  Have you seen this show?  It is SO good!  Like, sit on the edge of your seat, good.  Watch it.  Thursday at 10pm.  Your mind will be blown.  The main character in the show is Olivia Pope.  She survives off a strict diet of popcorn and expensive red wine.

Popcorn is delicious!  It's the perfect snack to eat in front of the tv.  Who am I kidding?  It's the perfect snack anyplace, anytime, which brings me to my stove top popcorn recipe.  If there was any way to be a lot lazier about this I would but since I don't have a microwave, stove top it is.  You heard that right.  I haven't had a microwave since I moved into this house back in May.  To be honest, I'm surviving quite well without it.  I'll get one eventually but for now I'm living without it.  A tea kettle though.  That's one thing I wish I did have.  Oh, well.

Stove Top Popcorn

Ingredients:

1/3 cup popcorn
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
salt

Cover pan and heat over high heat.  I use a sauce pan.  It makes the perfect amount for me.  Add oil, just enough to cover the bottom of the pan.  I use olive oil and it adds enough flavor that I don't feel the need to add any butter.  It's a personal preference though.  Next, add the kernels to the pan, sprinkle in the salt and put the lid back on.  Shake the pan to prevent the popcorn from burning.  Once it starts popping, keep shaking the pan.  When there are 2 seconds between pops, remove from heat and enjoy!!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Sweet Cornbread



All week long I've been hearing the weather forecasters talk about how cold it was going to be towards the middle of the week.  I was in denial. It's just October! Much to my dismay, I woke up to a gray, dreary day--again.  Last night before bed I figured I should probably pull something out of the freezer to heat up for dinner tonight.  I went with pinto beans that I made in the crock pot a few weeks ago.  I know, Mom.  You never thought you'd see the day. I can't just eat beans though.  In fact, the ONLY reason I eat beans is so that I can eat corn bread.  I like my corn bread sweet and have spent my entire life eating Jiffy (which is delicious).  Lately though, the texture has been disappointing so I went on a search for a corn bread recipe that was a bit fluffier.  I found it with this recipe at food.com.  This particular author says it comes from Steph's Kitchen but after searching for a few minutes unsuccessfully, I gave up.  This corn bread is sweet, buttery and oh-so-moist (I hate that word but really don't know another one that describes this particular recipe so well.  I need a thesaurus.)  It only takes a few minutes to throw together and best of all you only dirty one mixing bowl! So, without further adieu, I introduce my new go-to sweet corn bread recipe!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup corn meal
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup oil
3 tbsp melted butter
1 tbsp honey
1 1/4 cup milk
2 eggs, beaten

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix corn meal, flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a mixing bowl.  Add oil, butter, honey, milk and eggs.  Pour into a greased 8 inch baking dish.  Bake for 35 to 40 minutes.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Taco Tuesday



Tuesday.  It's kind of that odd day out.  It's not Monday (thank goodness) but it's so far away from the weekend.  What could make a Tuesday better?  Tacos.... Just the word brings a smile to my face.  I don't know anyone who doesn't like tacos.  Seriously.  And what goes better with a mundane Tuesday than a spicy, messy, cheesy taco? The answer is nothing.  I love tacos--any kind of taco.  Chicken, steak, ground beef, fish, shrimp, basically anything you can throw in a tortilla will suit me just fine.  Today I was in the mood for a basic taco though.  I stopped using the packaged taco mix years ago so I'll share my taco recipe which only contains words I can actually pronounce.


Aimee's Beefy Taco's

1 lb ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
2 1/2 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1 can tomato sauce
salt and pepper

Assorted toppings:  My favorites are tomatoes, sour cream, pickled jalapeño's, lime, cilantro or italian parsley

Brown ground beef and onion in skillet over medium heat.  Add the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Cook until ground beef is cooked through, about 15 minutes.  Add tomato sauce and mix well.  Let simmer over medium low heat for 15 to 20 minutes.   

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunday Roast Chicken

Who doesn't love a lazy Sunday?  Football, food and couch time.  If Sunday wasn't followed by Monday it would probably be my favorite day of the week.  Sadly, my Monday blues set in around 7pm on Sunday.  I'm getting sidetracked already.  Anyway, I dream about the day that my sister and her family moves to Lexington so we can have big Sunday dinners.  (This will never happen)  In the meantime,  I make Sunday dinners for myself.  Usually something that will make a few different meals.  Enter my Sunday Roast Chicken.  I would call it something else but this is the only day of the week I seem to have enough time to make it. It's a simple dish even though I thought roasting a chicken seemed like a daunting task until about a year ago.  It only takes a few minutes to make a meal that tastes as though you slaved over the oven for hours!!

You'll need:
1 whole chicken (This one was a 5 pounder!)
1/2 stick of butter, softened
2 cloves of garlic
1 lemon, halved
1 small onion, quartered
2 cloves of garlic
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375.

I start by making a garlic butter to spread over the chicken.  I chop 1 clove of garlic and add it to 1/2 stick of butter.  Next, I rinse the chicken and pat it as dry as possible.  When that's completed, I place the whole chicken in my 5 1/2 quart saute pan that's oven friendly (any oven safe dish works.  I just use this one in order to make gravy). Spread the butter over the entire chicken.  You have to use your hands--clean ones.  There's just no way around it.  After washing all the butter off your hands, liberally salt and pepper the entire chicken, outside and in. Squeeze the juice of half the lemon over the chicken then add to the entire lemon, onions, bay leaf and the other clove of garlic to the cavity.  Stay with me, we're almost done.  Finally, sprinkle the oregano and thyme over the chicken.  Place it in the oven for 1 3/4 to 2 hours or until the temperature reads 165 F.  If you're roasting a smaller bird, Better Homes and Garden has a great guide for cooking times. Just go here. Seriously, how simple was that?


I served this particular dish with my thyme mashed potatoes which I'll share in a later post!  Enjoy!!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Fall is Definitely Here...


As I stare out the window on this gloomy, chilly fall day in the bluegrass, I'm beginning to miss the fruits of summer.  However, part of embracing where life leads, is to accept whatever it throws at you.  So I will say goodbye to fresh summer tomatoes and corn and say hello to fall's bounty.  What's not to like about apples and pumpkins, after all?  I figured for my first post I'd share a little about myself and what led me here.  I'm Aimee, a 30 something single girl just enjoying life with my partner in crime (a rescued long haired dachshund named Dolce) and I hope you enjoy reading about my journey.  Growing up in a small town in central Kentucky, I dreamt of the day I could escape to the big city.  I did just that and headed north to Cincinnati.  I made some great friends and memories during my years there.  There were international cultures that that I had never experienced and it definitely influenced quite a few of my meals.  After 15 years in the Queen City I decided it was time to try something new and headed way south to Tampa, Florida or as I call it, my paradise.  My time there was short but I was blessed to have that experience.  All of these places have had an impact on my life and will always be a part of me.  Almost 5 years ago I returned to Kentucky and landed in Lexington.  I'm learning to love everything it stands for.  We have fantastic farmers markets, local restaurants, shopping and of course, great basketball!!  I'm excited to share all these things with you whether it be Kentucky Proud or beyond!