Warm Buttermilk Syrup

When I was a kid, for a special treat we would have “Ice Cream Waffles”.  You put a scoop of ice cream on a hot crispy waffle and enjoy!  It still remains a fun memory to me, and I promise, if you think it sounds weird, just try it.  Think of a warm waffle cone with creamy ice cream.  We would try all kinds of flavors, from plain vanilla to mint chocolate chip or whatever.  This would be a great addition.  I’m thinking crispy waffles, butter pecan ice cream, and a drizzle of this on top.  It would also go great on a multitude of other dishes, but I’ll leave that to you to have fun experimenting with!
WARM BUTTERMILK SYRUP
Recipe by My Stained Apron
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 T corn syrup
1 tsp baking soda
1 T vanilla extract
Combine butter, sugar, buttermilk, and corn syrup in a pot and boil over medium high heat.
Add baking soda and vanilla, allow to cook only briefly before removing from heat.
Serve hot, or reheat before serving.

Bolognese

This is probably my husband’s favorite dish that I make.  He seriously makes a fool out of himself when I serve this.  And I love every second of it. : )  There is nothing like seeing your family savor every bite of a meal.  Happy and content.  I make a big batch of this so I have it on hand in the freezer when needed for a seriously good quick dinner.   And I know with school starting back up, many of you are looking for some extra satisfying dinners with minimal effort. 
I’ll be sharing more recipes for using this sauce this week, so make sure to check back for that!  At the bottom I’m including directions for a small batch as well.  Usually you would use white wine when making this sauce, but since we don’t drink alcohol I don’t cook with it either, so I use all chicken stock in it’s place.  I don’t think you miss it at all.
LARGE BATCH BOLOGNESE SAUCE
Recipe by My Stained Apron

3 T olive oil

6 chopped onions (about 6 cups)
9 shredded carrots (or chopped)
18 cloves garlic, minced
3 lbs ground beef
3 lbs ground pork or Italian sausage
3 (6 oz) cans tomato paste
3 cups chicken stock
one #10 can of crushed tomatoes (or three 28 oz cans)
salt and pepper, to taste
Saute onions, carrots, and garlic in the olive oil.  Let cook and soften while you cook meat.
In another pan, brown meat in batches, then add to pot with vegetables.
Add tomato paste and incorporate well.
Add chicken stock, then crushed tomatoes.
Simmer on stove for 1 to 3 hours.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
I then separate into 7 freezer-safe quart containers.  Label and freeze.
To serve: Heat in a pot, add 1/2 to 1 cup milk depending on personal preference.
Toss with noodles. Sprinkle on some fresh basil if desired.
SMALL BATCH BOLOGNESE
1 T olive oil
2 onions, chopped
3 carrots, shredded
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb ground pork or Italian sausage
1 lb ground beef
6 oz can tomato paste
1 cup chicken stock
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes in puree
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup milk
Saute onions, carrots, and garlic in olive oil.  Cook for about 5 minutes, until softened.  Add meat and cook until browned and no longer pink.  Stir in tomato paste.  Cook for a minute.  Add chicken stock and crushed tomatoes.  Let simmer for 1 to 3 hours for flavors to marry.  Season with salt and pepper.  Just before serving add milk and warm through.  You can use this to make 2 meals, depending on the size of your family.

Strawberry Sauce

YUM.   I really love berries.  Maybe it’s the Pacific Northwest in me, but I can make a million and one things with berries and love them all.  I wanted to make a simple strawberry sauce recipe that more berries than anything else, that I could make with frozen berries in the off season. 
This can used on anything from french toast, waffles, pancakes, in lemonade or limeade, with a lemon lime soda, drizzled on ice cream, cheesecake, crepes, banana splits, angel food cake, pound cake, with a rich chocolate brownie… What CAN’T you put this on?! 
I make no claims as to how long it keeps in the fridge (especially since we used ours up fairly quickly) But it should keep for a couple of weeks I’m guessing.  You could also freeze it to have on hand as well.
STRAWBERRY SAUCE
Recipe by My Stained Apron
3 cups strawberries, fresh or frozen
1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar (depending on desired sweetness and sweetness of berries)
1/4 cup water
1 T vanilla
1 tsp vanilla extract
Put the berries, sugar, and water in a pot and bring to a boil.
Boil for about 5 minutes, or until berries are soft and break down easily.
Remove from heat, add vanilla and lemon juice.
Let cool slightly and puree in blender.
Store in the fridge.

Baked Sun Dried Tomato Alfredo

I’ve made this dish for many years, sometimes I add cooked chicken cut into strips, sliced mushrooms, some fresh herbs… but this is a nice basic edition that you can serve as is or add your own favorite pasta pairings to.  And you don’t have to bake it, but it really does add another nice layer of flavors. Hope you like it!
BAKED SUN DRIED TOMATO ALFREDO
Recipe by My Stained Apron
3 T butter
8 oz cream cheese
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella, divided
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
1/2 pound pasta
Combine butter, cream cheese, and milk in saucepan over medium heat, stirring well until well combined.
Add milk, Parmesan, mozzarella, and sun dried tomatoes.
Meanwhile, cook pasta al dente.
Pour pasta into casserole dish, pour sauce over pasta.
Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese.
Bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.

Pesto Sauce

Pesto sauce has so many great uses, but on pizza instead of a red sauce is really fun. 
PESTO SAUCE
4 cloves garlic
2 cups basil leaves
1/4 cup walnuts, optional
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, optional
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
Mix garlic, basil, walnuts, and parmesan in a food processor or blender.
While running, pour the oil in in a stream.
Process until smooth and beautiful.
TIP: Pesto sauce freezes especially well without any cheese.  But either way, you can pour the leftover pesto sauce into ice cube trays, let freeze, then empty into a ziplock bag and store if freezer and use as little or as much as you need later.

Cheese Fondue

Meet Irish Cheddar.  My favorite cheese. EVER.  My hubby’s favorite cheese. EVER.
And I wouldn’t be surprised if it will be yours when you try it too. Smooth, sharp, but not too sharp, creamy…. perfect.  It’s getting much easier to find now, even Costco is selling it. So next time you see it, try some, you won’t regret it!   And now, a recipe using it!

I’m finally getting around to posting this recipe, we actually had it for Valentine’s Day!  I don’t make fondue very often, only a couple times a year, but it really is easy, delicous, and very fun.  You can get really creative with the dippers, or be very basic. 

CHEESE FONDUE
3 T butter
4 T flour
1/2 tsp paprika
2 1/2 cups milk
12 oz shredded cheese ( I used Irish Cheddar, I sometimes use half cheddar, half swiss)
Juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper, to taste
  
Melt the butter in a saucepan.  Add flour and paprika, cook a minute.  Gradually add milk, whisking in completely.  Add cheese, then stir in lemon juice, salt, and pepper. 
Whisk in more milk if it’s thicker than you want.  Serve in fondue pot.
Dipping Ideas: cubed french bread
lightly steamed vegetables-like cauliflower, carrots, and broccoli
lil smokies
cooked chicken
Steak
Apple slices or cubes

Lemon Dill Fish, Baked Chips, and Tartar Sauce

This is a three for one recipe post! I figured they kinda go together. I don’t care for store-bought tartar sauce (at all) and the one my mom used to make was good, but still not quite what I wanted. So I experimented the other night and I came up with what I think is the perfect fish companion! The lemon zest really brightens the flavors and makes it all work.
We love baked fries, they’re so simple and so much better than they’re fried versions, in my opinion.
And a great side dish for so many things.  Have fun trying them with different seasonings too.  You’d be surprised how adjusting the seasonings will change them.
And the fish is simple, easy, AND delicious.  (You know how I love those three words together!)
And using Tilapia makes it much more affordable than halibut or cod or such.
I hope you try all three of these and your family enjoys them as much as we do!

LEMON DILL FISH, BAKED CHIPS, AND TARTAR SAUCE
printable version

Lemon Dill Fish
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp dried dill weed
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
4 tilapia fillets, about 1/2 inch thick
2 T oil
Stir together flour, bread crumbs, lemon zest, dill, and salt until well blended.
Beat egg in another dish.
Dip fish in egg, then flour mixture. Heat oil over medium heat. Cook fish, about 3 or 5 minutes per side.
Baked Chips
potatoes
oil
salt and pepper
Cut potatoes in half lengthwise, then each half into 4 wedges.
Drizzle with oil, salt, and pepper, toss to coat.
Bakt at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Turn halfway through.
Tartar Sauce
1 cup mayonaise
1/4 cup finely chopped pickles
1 tsp pickle juice
1 T dried onion (soaked for a few minutes in 1 T water) or 2-3 T chopped onion
1/2 tsp seasoned salt (more to taste)
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp lemon juice
Mix everything together well. Flavors get better if allowed to sit in the fridge for a bit.

Chicken Strips and Honey Mustard

I have quite the back log of recipes (78 to be exact!) but I couldn’t resist sharing this recipe with you right away.  I made them just the other day, I had seen the recipe on The Pioneer Woman and had to try it, my girls and hubby love chicken strips for a special treat, and I make baked versions all the time. But sometimes when you’re craving something really crunchy, the baked ones just don’t taste the same.
So I whipped up some honey mustard sauce with them and I couldn’t believe how much everyone loved them! They were very crunchy and tender, and all around great. We don’t eat fried food often in our home so they were a fun treat, and even stayed crunchy the next day.
CRUNCHY CHICKEN STRIPS WITH HONEY MUSTARD
CHICKEN STRIPS
2 or 3 chicken breasts, cut into 1/2″ strips (or chicken tenders)
2 1/2 cups Buttermilk (aprox.)
2 cups flour
2 to 3 teaspoons of seasoning (seasoned salt, or paprika, etc)
Vegetable or Canola Oil
Rinse and dry chicken.
Put in bowl and cover with buttermilk (make sure to leave 1/2 cup of buttermilk for later.)
Let marinade for 15 or 20 minutes, or longer.
In another bowl combine flour with seasoning.
Drizzle in buttermilk, stirring gently with a fork as you add it (about 1/2 cup).
If you have too big of clumps in the flour, just use your fingers to gently break them up.
Coat the chicken a few pieces at a time in the flour.
Place on a plate, continue until chicken is all coated.
Heat 1 to 1 1/2 inches of oil in a heavy skillet (I prefer cast iron because it retains the heat well) over medium to medium high heat.
When oil sizzles well when you sprinkle flour in it, it’s ready.
Fry the chicken, a few at a time.
Cook for about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side, until golden and crispy.
If you overcrowd the skillet, it will drop the temperature of the oil and you’ll have soggy, greasy chicken… not good eats.
You can put them on a paper towel lined plate after cooked, or I put them on a wire rack set on a cookie sheet in a warm oven while I finished cooking them to keep them warm.
SOURCE: http://www.thepioneerwoman.com/, slightly adapted
HONEY MUSTARD
1/2 cup dijon mustard
1/2 cup honey
1 T cider vinegar
pepper, to taste
Whisk all together in a bowl till well combined.
If time allows, let flavors combine in fridge for awhile.

Sauteed Cabbage with Horseradish Cream

I could seriously eat a huge bowl of this for dinner and totally be happy with that.

Sauteed Cabbage with Horseradish Cream

For Cabbage:
4 T butter
1 head Cabbage, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste

For Horseradish Cream:
1 cup half and half (or whipping cream)
2 -4 T creamed horseradish, more or less dependingĀ on how strong you want it*

Mix together horseradish and cream and chill for flavors to develop.
Heat butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add cabbage, stirring often, and cook until softened.
Serve with horseradish cream to drizzle on top.

Sauteed Cabbage with Horseradish Cream

Ingredients

    For Cabbage:
  • 4 T butter
  • 1 head Cabbage, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
    For Horseradish Cream:
  • 1 cup half and half (or whipping cream)
  • 2 -4 T creamed horseradish, more or less depending on how strong you want it*

Instructions

  • Mix together horseradish and cream and chill for flavors to develop.
  • Heat butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add cabbage, stirring often, and cook until softened.
  • Serve with horseradish cream to drizzle on top.
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    Mushroom Gravy

    Serve on mashed potatoes, chicken fried steak, or whatever you fancy! And if you’re a super mushroom lover like myself, then add more!

    MUSHROOM GRAVY

    3 T butter
    8-12 oz mushrooms, sliced
    salt & pepper, to taste
    1 1/2 T flour
    1 cup chicken broth
    1/4 cup heavy cream
    1 tsp dried thyme (fresh if available)

    Melt butter in saucepan over medium high heat.
    Add mushrooms and salt and pepper, cook 5-10 minutes, until mushrooms are cooked down some.
    Stir in flour, cook about 1 minute.
    Add chicken broth and bring to a boil.
    Cook for a couple of minuted until thickened, then add cream and thyme.

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