Showing posts from June, 2010!

I think this is another 4H recipe. It's super quick (as in, 30 minutes, very beginning start to very end finish) and requires only 5 or 6 ingredients. Intrigued? Then read on for...

Pronto Chili
Serves 4
1 lb. lean ground beef or turkey
15 1/2 oz. can kidney beans (dark or light), drained
{14 1/2 oz. can diced tomatoes and 5.5 oz. tomato juice (2/3 c.)} OR the big can of whole tomatoes (chop them up into bite-sized pieces with kitchen scissors or a knife when you add them)
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 T. chili powder
7 oz. can mushrooms, drained (optional)

Cook ground meat and onion in large saucepan until lightly browned (you can also use a skillet but make sure it's a.) really big and b.) really deep because you're going to put all the ingredients in this skillet and then simmer). Drain off fat. Stir in remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer (baby boil) for 10-15 minutes.


A couple of notes: The picture to the left is the size pot I make th…

How to impress your mother...

Silly me...with the *excitement* of writing a conference paper and starting this blog, I completely forgot the most important rule of cooking and Girl Scouting: BE PREPARED. In this case, preparation starts with the most basic of basics: kitchen stuff and a bit of cooking know-how.

Kitchen Stuff
You can cook or bake pretty much anything if you're equipped with the following:
Mixing bowl
Mixing spoon
Liquid measuring cup
Dry measuring cups
Measuring spoons
9"x13" baking pan (metal or glass)
Skillet or frying pan (12" is a pretty good size)
At least two saucepans, one 'big' and one 'small'
Flipper-type spatula
Clean-out-the-bowl spatula
2 or 3-qt. microwave and oven safe bowl or casserole dish
Cutting board
Good sharp kitchen knife

Nifty little extras:
Electric hand-held mixer
Rolling pin
9"x9" or 8"x8" baking pan
Bread/loaf pan
Larger/small saucepans and skillets
Cutting board (use one for stuff you can eat raw and one for stuff that you need to co…

Another microwave miracle dinner

I have no idea where this recipe came from. All I know is that K. and I would make it for dinner a lot in undergrad since it's really easy, fast, and doesn't require weird stuff.

Overnight Tuna Casserole*
Serves 4

1 can (10.75 oz) cream of celery soup
1 c. milk
1 can (6.5 oz) water-packed tuna, drained**
1 c. uncooked elbow macaroni (or similar small pasta)
1 c. frozen peas
1/2 c. chopped onion (optional--I usually don't put it in)
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Whisk/stir together soup and milk in a 2-quart microwave-safe bowl until well-blended (just use the same dish you used to make the Sweet & Sour Chicken!). Stir in remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate at least 12 hours (so just make it the night before and stick it in the fridge!).

Cover with lid or vented plastic wrap. Microwave on high for 15-17 minutes, until bubbly. Let stand uncovered 5-7 minutes.

* Instead of using canned tuna, you can substitute canned chicken. Although I've actually never tried this substi…

I love my microwave

This is another fantastic 4H recipe and it's perfect for summer because you cook it in the MICROWAVE! If I had to pick the best appliance ever (besides the refrigerator and possibly the invent of the KitchenAid stand mixer), I'd say the microwave takes top honors.

Sweet and Sour Pork (or Chicken)
Serves 4-6
1 1/2 lb. cubed lean pork or chicken (I always do chicken)
2 T. cornstarch
3 T. soy sauce
1/4 c. packed brown sugar
1/4 c. vinegar
1/4 tsp. ginger
1 15 oz. can pineapple chunks, undrained
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 medium green pepper, sliced

Toss together pork/chicken cubes and cornstarch in a 2 quart casserole dish or microwave-safe bowl. (I use a 2.5 quart glass bowl and it works just fine.) Stir in remaining ingredients except green pepper. Cover dish with lid or plastic wrap.

Microwave on medium for 15 minutes. Stir. Microwave on medium for 10 more minutes. Add green pepper and cook on low to medium for 5 minutes, or until meat is tender. (If the meat is tender when you go to a…

Bear, nab an ad...

...or BANANA BREAD! This is one of my favorite quick bread (no yeast required) recipes, right up there with pumpkin bread...mmm :-)

Banana Bread

1 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. cinnamon (I usually use a little more)
1 egg
1 c. mashed bananas (~3 medium) **Make sure your bananas are really ripe!**
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. cooking oil (aka veggie, canola, etc. oil)
Optional: 1/2 c. chopped walnuts or pecans

Grease the bottom and sides of a loaf pan (mine's 9"x5" and was cheap-o at Target). In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and 1/8 tsp. salt.

In another bowl, mash the bananas (you can use a fork or, if you're really fancy, a potato masher or wooden kitchen mallet). Then add the egg, sugar, cooking oil and mix well. Add egg mixture all at once to dry mixture.

Stir until just moistened (batter should be lumpy!). Fold in nuts (if desired).

Pour batter into your greased loaf pan. Bake at 350* for 50-55 minut…

Summer is pie season!

I started making pies way back in my 4H days...I think summer is the perfect pie season since there's so much fresh fruit around. If you're like me, though, canned works in most cases. Since peaches aren't quite ripe yet, I used canned for this recipe:

Prizewinning Peach Pie
Two-crust pie (for a 9" pie tin)
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
2/3 c. plus 2 Tablespoons shortening
4-6 T. cold water (I use water from the fridge)

In a medium bowl, mix flour and salt. Cut in shortening, using a pastry blender or a fork or knife (I use a fork instead of a pastry blender; it's easier to clean up and it works just as good), until particles are the size of small peas. Sprinkle with cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork (or your hands!) until all flour is moistened and pastry almost leaves the sides of the bowl.
Your pie dough should look something like this

Gather pastry into a ball. Divide into two equal parts. Shape each part into a flattened round. **Ok, here'…

Manly man recipe!

Tonight's cooking adventure is brought to you by the letter P: Pork Chops! I made these and served them with Pierogis and Phaseolus vulgaris (aka, green beans). Also, Pounding (ok, crushing) is involved! Get ready for...

Breaded Pork Chops
From THE Betty Crocker Cookbook, the 20 minute meals section!

1/2 c. Bisquick mix

12 saltine crackers, crushed*

1 tsp. seasoned salt (I don't add this)

1/4 tsp. pepper

1 large egg

2 T. water

3 T. vegetable oil (for cooking)

8 pork boneless loin chops, 1/2" thick**

In a small-ish bowl, mix Bisquick, cracker crumbs, seasoned salt, and pepper. In another bowl, mix egg and water.

Dip pork into egg mixture, then coat with Bisquick mixture.

In 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook pork in oil 10-12 minutes, turning once, until no longer pink in center.

*The easiest way to crush crackers is to put them in a zippy bag and then use a rolling pin:

**The pork chops will cook faster if they're closer to 1/2" thick instead of an i…

Cupcakes always make me smile :-)

I originally got the idea to start this blog from one of my friends back home who occasionally posted recipes and her finished product. As an engineering grad student with a bakery as Plan B, I really liked this idea. After wandering through some of the blogosphere, I found lots of moms who started blogs in hopes of helping other frazzled moms in the same situation as themselves.

What about grad students!??!

We're a step above your average college student; after all, most of us are getting paid to go to school. In terms of our cooking skills, some of us are still stuck in junior high. True story: A guy at my lab never cooked. He always ate out, ate at our advisor's house, or planned his meals around when and where groups were having meetings with free food.

This blog aims to save you from an existance of pizza and moochery. I've made everything from cupcakes to Easter dinner for 15. If you're looking for a new recipe to impress your parents or a cute girl from your ME 610…