Archive for June, 2012

Cheddar-Topped Shepherd’s Pie

This is a Martha Stewart recipe.

  • 2 lbs of potatoes (around 4 big ones) peeled and sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 6 medium carrots (we cut ours into rounds)
  • 6 celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 pounds ground beef (we used a little less)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded old cheddar, divided

1. Preheat oven to 450F.

2. Place potatoes in water and bring to a boil. Cook until potatoes are tender.

3. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet or pot over medium high heat. Add carrots, celery, onion and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 min, until vegetables are tender. Add flour and tomato paste and cook another minute. Add beef and cook until no longer pink. Transfer beef filling to an oven safe dish.

3. Drain potatoes and return to pot. Add milk and 1 cup of the cheese and mash until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

4. Cover beef filling with mashed potato topping. Sprinkle with rest of cheese. Bake until topping in browned and filling in bubbling, 20 min.

Verdict: This was an interesting recipe. The tomato paste made kind of a sauce/gravy, which is different to the Shepherd’s Pie we normally make. I like the addition of cheese to both the mashed potato topping and then again on top of that. I will say, that it didn’t feel like my family’s traditional Shepherd’s Pie, though, because you couldn’t eat it with ketchup.



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Rich Buttermilk Waffles (without buttermilk)

I found this recipe on another food blog.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (omitted because we use salted butter)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 3/4 cup buttermilk (we used one of the recommended substitutes: 1 1/2 cup plain yogurt and 1/4 cup milk)
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • Cooking spray for waffle iron

1. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

2. In a medium bowl, mix together the buttermilk (or substitutes), egg yolks, butter and vanilla.

3. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry.

4. Beat the eggs whites until stiff peaks form and retain their shape. Gently mix into batter.

5. Spread onto preheated waffle iron coated with cooking spray and cook as per directions of your waffle iron.

Verdict: These were good but lacking a distinctive taste to them.

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Banana Bread

I found this recipe on another food blog. The original recipe had a lot of possible combinations/substitutions, so I have just listed what I used.

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup raisins

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugar. Add in the bananas, eggs and yogurt.

3. Add flour and baking soda. Add raisins.

4. Pour into a mould and bake for 1 hour and 10 min (this one only needed about 45 min).

Verdict: I liked this recipe. The raisins were an interesting addition. It probably wasn’t the best banana bread recipe I’ve had, though.

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Caramilk and Marshmallow Cake

This is another recipe I found in the French Metro newspaper.

  • 12 large sized marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 Caramilk chocolate bars
  • 1/2 cup whipped cream
  • 20 crushed Oreo cookies (I ate a little too many of them before making the cake and had 18 left, which worked just fine.)
  • A little less than 1/4 cup butter, melted

1.  Melt together the marshmallows, chocolate bars and milk. Let cool.

2. Meanwhile, mix the crushed Oreos with the butter. Press into the bottom of a cake mould or pie plate.

3. When the marshmallow mixture is cool, mix in the whipped cream.

4. Pour the marshmallow mixture over the Oreo base (it is quite liquidy). Cover with plastic wrap and let cool until it sets (at least 2-4 hours).

I put the Whipped Cream on top to try and hide how ugly looking this piece was. 🙂

Verdict: I was a little worried that this would taste too much like the 3 layered chocolate cake, but the caramel and marshmallows gave it a different taste. The caramel kind of all settled right above the Oreos and the marshmallows rose to the top. It was very good.

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In Search Of: the Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie Part 42: Giant Hershey Kiss Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

I got this recipe from another food blog.

  • 1 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt (omitted because we use salted butter)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 1/2 cups chocolate chips (the bags here have 2 cups of chocolate chips, so we just used 1 bag)
  • (We couldn’t find the large Hershey Kisses here. so we used 36 regular sized ones, and still had dough left over for more cookies. We probably needed closer to 60 Hershey Kisses)

1.  Preheat oven to 350F.

2. In a large bowl, beat together butter, sugar and brown sugar. Add eggs and vanilla.

3. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, salt (if using) and baking soda. Add to wet ingredients. Stir in chocolate chips.

4. Wrap dough around one Hershey Kiss. Bake 15 to 18 min (ours needed around 10-12, because they were smaller.)

Forgot to take a picture of the chocolate-y centre.

Verdict: We made 36 cookies with Hershey Kisses and another 2 dozen without. These were really go. Alone, the dough had a nice taste to it that rivaled some of the other cookies we’ve made and loved. But I loved the gooey centre that the Hershey Kiss gave to the cookie.

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Broccoli and Chicken Casserole

I found this recipe on Yahoo.

  • 4 ounces dried noodles (we used Rigatoni, though probably closer to a couple of cups worth)
  • 2 2/1 cups cooked chicken
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 10 ounces of frozen broccoli, thawed
  • 1 can of cream of condensed mushroom soup
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • Paprika to taste

1. Cook noodles according to package. Drain.

2. In a 2 quart casserole dish, mix the noodles, chicken, broccoli and onion.

3. In a medium bowl, mix together soup, milk, cheese, basil and pepper. (The paprika was originally meant to be sprinkled on top prior to serving, but we mixed it in here as well.) Stir into noodle mixture.

4. Bake, covered, at 350F for 40 to 45 min.

Verdict: We really like this. The only thing I would probably change for the next time is that I would cook the onions before hand, probably with the chicken. Even after 45 minutes in the oven, the onions were still pretty raw, which I didn’t like. The rest was cheesy pasta goodness!


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In Search Of: the Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie Part 41: Chocolate Chip Oreo Cookie Sandwich

I’ve seen this recipe on a lot of food blogs, but the first one I saw it on was here.

  • 1 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 3 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt (omitted because we use salted butter)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 10 ounce bag of chocolate chips
  • 1 bag double-stuffed Oreos (we made more cookies than the original, so we ran out of Oreos with only one bag)

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. In a large bowl, mix butter, brown sugar and sugar until well combined. Add eggs and vanilla.

3. In a separate bowl, mix flour, salt (if using) and baking soda. Add to wet ingredients. Add chocolate chips.

4. (We made our cookies a little smaller than the original recipe. We just took enough dough to cover the Oreo cookie completely. Which is how we ran out of Oreo cookies before we ran out of dough. So we also made some plain no-sandwich cookies as well. Both took about 9 min to bake.)

Verdict: We made 24 sandwich cookies and 24 non sandwich cookies. My mom and sister really loved the basic dough of these chocolate chip cookies as well as the sandwich factor. It’s funny that with the last chocolate chip cookies we made with Oreos in them, my sister complained of a chemical taste to them, which I didn’t taste at all. This time, I tasted the chemical taste that no one else did. I think, in the other cookies, with the Oreo cookies chopped/crumbled up, I didn’t get as much of the cream together as I did here, where it definitely has a strange taste to me.

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