Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Penne ham veg gratin

See my notes at the bottom. I made what is pictured so I had to make some adjustments. Everyone LOVED THIS....

Pepin's Penne, Ham and Vegetable Gratin



  1. Boil about 2 quarts of water. Add penne and cook about 12 minutes until al dente (slightly firm). Drain and cool under cold water.
  2. Put cooked penne into a large bowl and stir in the ham, corn, peas, zucchini and cheese.
  3. Make the White Sauce:.
  4. Melt butter in saucepan, add the flour, and whisk it together until smooth.
  5. Add the milk and bring to a boil, stirring a bit. The sauce should thicken.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cream. Let it cool until lukewarm.
  7. Heat the broiler. Add the sauce to the penne and vegetables, and place in a shallow baking dish that can hold about 6 cups.
  8. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.
  9. Broil about 4 inches from the heat until the top is lightly browned (about 6 to 8 minutes).
  10. Serve immediately.
  11. NOTE: Pepin says you can make this ahead of time up to adding the Parmesan. It will keep, covered, at room temperature for a few hours, or up to a day in the fridge before finishing in the oven, so it’s a great make-ahead dish. If refrigerated, just bring it back to room temp and bake at 425 for about 30 minutes.
  12. SECOND NOTE: Don’t let this sit in the oven after it’s finished or it will become gooey.
MY NOTES: I used MORE of everything. I used 15oz of pasta as I wanted a cake pan filled with this.... I didn't have any corn, so I added what I had, zuchinni, brocolli and cauliflower. I used the same amount of salt and pepper, used 2 cups of cheese(swiss & Gruyere). On the White sauce, I used 3 TBS butter, 3 TBS flour, 2 1/2 cups milk, & 3/4 cup heavy cream. Just to have a bit more, and it was perfect.

The three of us at 3/4 of a cake pan... I know. but it was good!

Monday, February 23, 2009

banana muffins

  • Banana Muffins
A great way to use up a lot of bananas! These were really moist and delicious.
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 bananas, mashed
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 wheat germ
  • 1/4 walnuts
  • 1/4 chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease 10 muffin cups, or line with muffin papers.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder salt, wheat germ and walnuts. In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups. add a few chocolate chips on top, just for good measure!
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes

Onion chuntey

I sort of made this up as I went along. It's pretty yummy.

Red Onion Chutney

I took:
6 red onions & shredded them on my mandolin.
1/2 Cup olive oil
and over med. high heat, saute them about 20 minutes, they will start to turn brown
and caramelize, so stir often.

I then added, 3/4 cup sugar
and 1/4 agave.
( I always try to cut the amount of sugar with agave, since this was the first time on this it worked for me)

1 Cup red wine vinegar
1/4 balsamic vinegar

and let it cook until it was gooey.

I sterilized two pint mason jars, and filled them up with the onion chutney sauce.

And proceeded to eat one off with our turkey dinner... ;-)

You do not have to water can the two jars. Once you pour into the jars the sauce, put on lids, tighten and turn the jars upside down and let the heat seal the lids.

I let cool and put both in the fridge. Once opened, will last THREE months in the fridge. Donna Hay also has a similiar recipe, and that is what is listed there.

Salmon and Soba noodles

This is a Donna Hay recipe.
It is a HUGE favorite in our house. It's FAST, easy and Delicious.

Salmon & soba noodles with mirin dressing

(10 oz) about 2 bunches of soba noodles
1 1/2 salmon fillets, skin removed
1/4 cup coriander (cilantro) leaves
salt & cracked pepper

Mirin dressing:
2-3 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
2 teaspoons chopped pickled ginger
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 tablespoons mirin
salt & cracked pepper

Mirin dressing: Place sesame seeds, ginger, soy, lemon, mirin, salt & pepper in a bowl and stir to combine. Set aside;

Place noodles in a medium saucepan of boiling water and cook until ready. Soba noodles are quick, and should take about 3-5 minutes. Drain and set aside;
Brush the salmon with oil and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Heat a medium saucepan and cook salmon to your liking;
Place the noodles and half the mirin dressing in a bowl and toss to coat. Divide the noodles between bowls and top with fresh cilantro.

Serve salmon over noodles. top with veggie, sauce, sesame seeds and fresh cilantro.

We like to also add a veggie. usually stir fried zuchhini....

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Homemade Vanilla Yogurt


4 Cups FAT FREE Milk
1 Cup instant dry Milk
1/4 Cup agave (I use agave to cut the amount of sugar used)
1/4 Cup sugar
2 Tsp vanilla
5oz Stoneyfield PLAIN yogurt

Large pot

A source for low heat. either an electric stove that can heat to 110-155 degrees, or a gas stove where you just turn the light on, or even to use a heating pad with a towel in a box to keep in the heat...

In large pot, add Milk and powdered milk, stir well, and heat until 180 degrees, stirring often so the milk does not scorch. I find to heat it slowly helps.

Sterilize you jars & lids while the milk is heating. wash them, & pour boiling water into them and let sit...

Also fill the sink with ice water. Once the milk gets to 180, add sugar, agave,
set pot into the ice cold water and stir until it cools to 110-115 degrees. Add Vanilla, and then stir in your 5 oz of live yogurt (stoneyfield or 5 oz from a previous batch you've made) Stir up well.

Pour the water out of your jars, and fill them with the yogurt mixture, put on the lids, set them in a small baking pan, and place them in your preheated low heat oven.

The heat needs to stay consistent, and do not be moving the jars around. let them SIT so they can SET, Leave them for 4-6 hours, or up to 12 hours depending on how tart you like it and the longer it sets the more "GOOD" bacteria will grow...

I let mine sit in the oven for 6-8 hours, then move to the fridge to get cold and thicken. do not shake them up when they come out of the oven, or they won't set... IF the heat is not consistent, it also won't set.

Serve when cold. Plain Vanilla, or you can blend up fruit into it, or add a spoon of jelly.

My daughter and husband, LOVE it. better than anything in the stores... Save 5 oz of this batch for your next batch, so you can keep adding your live culture and you wont' have to keep buying a little container of Stoneyfield....

One batch, makes I quart, 1 pint, and a little more..(1/
2 pint/jelly jar) see picture... it disappears very quickly around here...