Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Try It Tuesday: Reviews and News for January 25, 2011

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s,
Oh my.  I'm exhausted.  Hannah has been waking a lot at night...so *I've* been waking a lot at night.  I got behind on laundry last weekend, so I'm playing catch-up now.  I did get a triple sorter, and that really helps.  I think sorting is what takes the longest.  Anyway, I'll get on to old business right away...so I can go to bed, LOL!

Review of Fettucine Alfredo (recipe in earlier post)

Well.  I lost the carefully recorded remarks of the whole family.  BUT...this was a home run recipe.  It is a definite addition to my recipe book...and we all look forward to having it again.  It was so, so good.  In fact, I liked it better than any I've had in any restaurant.  Super yum.  If you like fettucine alfredo, you really should give it a try!

Now for this week's Try It:

It's a side dish this time.  And it's definitely *not* a whole food.  Sigh...I pulled it out of my crockpot recipe binder, in the section marked, "To Try."  I got it off the internet in 1999!  So, after over 10 years, I finally got around to trying it, lol.

Slow-Cooked Broccoli

2 pkgs (10 oz each) frozen chopped broccoli, partially thawed
1 can condensed cream of celery soup, undiluted
1-1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 t. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 t. pepper
1 cup crushed butter-flavored crackers (about 25)  [I used a Ritz-type one.]
2 T. butter

In a large bowl, combine broccoli, soup 1 C. cheese, onion, Worcestershire sauce and pepper.  Pour into a greased slow cooker.  Sprinkle crackers on top; dot with butter.  Cover and cook on high for 2-1/2 hours.  Sprinkle with reamining cheese. Cook 10 minutes longer or until the cheese is melted.

Ok.  Well, I'll post our comments on the broccoli recipe next week.  I'll work extra hard to not lose the paper this week...maybe I'll just put them in a draft on here....
Must run...my eyes are wanting to droop....

Y'all keep your wool dry!
The Ewe

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Try It Tuesday: Reviews and News for January 18, 2011

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s,
Well the snow is now mostly slush, but the weather service is forecasting more snow in the next week.  We'll see what happens.
  I'm trying to catch up on my laundry, etc, after a weekend at an Answers in Genesis conference--good stuff!--so I'll get straight to Old Business...

Last week's Try It was Creamed Chicken and Vegetables.  (recipe in earlier post)  Here is our family's review of that dish:

Meg: 9!! out of 10!!  "Very good!  A little too spicy, but just a tiny bit.  By far the best 'Try It Tuesday' we've had so far!!"

Reid: 9.5!! out of 10!!  "Best yet!  Love the hint of spicy heat!"  He also reported that it was better the second day, as leftovers.

Claire: 10!! out of 10!!  "It was great! one of the best Try It Tuesdays!  I really liked the tiny bit of spiciness.  It was so good!"

Amy:  9!! out of 10!!  "This one is going in my recipe book.  Admittedly, it's a "comfort food," a lot like a pot pie.  Next time--and there *will* be a next time--I will use either the pepperoncini or the red pepper, but not both."

Hannah:  8!! out of 10!!  "It was too spicy.  I liked it a little bit."

Adam: "It's good!  It has vegetables!!"  :-)

Annie:  9.5!! out of 10!! "stop it...lol...ha ha...gasp....lol...I didn't say that....no, no that's funny!  Although it's kind of annoying...umm...I didn't say that!  lol...lol...I'm thinking....lol...ummm.......I didn't burp!!!!  I did not!!!  But it was quiet...NO!!!  LOL!!!   I sighed!!!  It wasn't a burp, it was just very quiet!  Stop THAT!!!  LOL...Would you stop it so I can think without laughing?!?  LOL....SIGH...I did not BURP!!  NO!  I'm not making that noise!  No.  I liked it!  Yes!  umm...it was a lot like chicken pot pie...uh, stop!  I didn't say that.    It was better with the biscuits than the cornbread waffles, but it was still good with the cornbread waffles.  Stop!  I like doing the cornbread that way.  I would like to have it again.  I wish that I had written down my own review, instead of telling Mom what to write."

Heh heh heh...
As you can tell, Annie's review was typed verbatim, in real time.  heh heh heh...

Ok...New Business!
Today's recipe is from Emeril Lagasse, off of Foodnetwork.com (LOVE that site!).

Fettucine Alfredo

1 lb dried fettucine
6 T butter
1 shallot, minced (I'll be using plain, ol' onion 1/4 C minced)
1 C heavy cream (oh yeah!)
1 C finely grated parmigiano-reggiano (I will be using an Italian 3-cheese blend--parmesan, romano, asiago--                pre-grated...I got it from the deli)
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. black pepper
fresh parsley, for garnish, optional  (I'll be using dry. )

Cook the fettucine in a pot of rapidly boiling salted water until al dente.  Drain in a colander, reserving 1/4 C pasta water.
  While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add shallots and saute until tender.  Add the cream and bring to a boil.  Cook until sauce has reduced slightly, about 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat.
  Return the pasta to the pot it was cooked in, set over medium-high heat along with the reserved cooking liquid.  Add the butter-cream mixture and half of the parmesan and toss to combine thoroughly.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Sprinkle with reamining parmesan and garnish with parsley, if desired.  Serve immediately.

Ok, as you can tell, this is definitely *not* low-cal.  Sorry about those New Year's resolutions.  I resolved that this year, I will eat more butter.  ROTFLOL  (not really...just kidding...though it would be an easy one to keep!)
   Annie says I should now tell you to go look at her blog--  jibenow.com/welcometomyworld   --to see other funny (or not) resolutions. 
  Alright...must run...
Keep your wool dry!

The Ewe

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Try It Tuesday: Reviews and News

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s!
Well, are you snowed in?  We are!  It's beautiful.  Yesterday was the perfect "play outside day" because the temps were barely under freezing, but still cold enough to snow.  It didn't stop snowing until early this morning.  I'd guess we have around 8 inches.  The temps today are too cold to allow outside play--9 degrees air temp...under zero wind chill.  It's supposed to get down to -1 tonight, with a wind chill of -15.  Think we'll be staying in...lol
    Last week's Try It was enough to make me say, "Forget new recipes!  Let's stick with the tried and true!"  but..then...that would defeat the idea of "Try It Tuesday."  Anyway...as you remember (I'm sure--ha!) last week  we tried Pork Chops and Brown Rice.  (recipe in the earlier post). So, I'll offer you my family's opinions of that dish, plus share with you tonight's Try It.  (As usual, we'll Try It tonight...you Try It when you want...if you want.)
    Review of Pork Chops and Brown Rice:

Hannah:  "Get me AWAY from that CRAZY STUFF!!!  It's DISGUSTING!!!  I HATE it! I HATE IT!  I HATE IT!!!"   (editor's note:  she was having a fit which was totally unrelated to the meal...so, you may want to keep that in mind--LOL...I don't even think she tasted it...but, I pretty much agree with her on it, LOL)

Reid: 7!! of 10!! on chops  "The dish, as a whole, I could not rate.  The chops were tender and nicely seasoned.  The rice was nice, but too strong on thyme and not ready when the chops were.  Perhaps a bit of salt would help."

Meg:  5!! out of 10!!  without soy sauce...with soy sauce 7!! out of 10!!  "The chops were very good.  The rice was a bit too thymey.  [is that a word?]  I've had better, and I've had worse."

Claire:  4.5 !! out of 10!!  "The chops weren't exactly as tender as I wanted them, but they had a really good taste."

Adam:  8!! out of 10!!  "The meat wasn't as chewy as meatloaf.  I liked that the meat wasn't too juicy."

Amy:  3!! out of 10!!  "I like the technique of browning the chops, then finishing them in the oven, but I think immersing them in the rice water washes off the crust on the chops, reducing the flavor.  The rice was still raw after an hour.  Since the chops were ready and we'd already finished our salad, we had the pork along with steamed CA blend veggies.  After another hour, the rice was cooked.  As for taste, I didn't care for the seasoning blend.  The only plus was that the pork was very tender and fairly moist.  I used very lean, boneless chops."

Ummm....so...that one isn't making it into the Hall Family Recipe Book.  So far, we're 0 for 2.  I'm anxious to try out tonight's recipe, Creamed Chicken and Vegetables, in which you just make white sauce and add cheese, chicken and veggies. (How can that be bad??)   With it, I return to my Southern roots.  Ha!  I'm needing a win tonight, so I pulled out the Southern Living Cookbook.  :-)  So, here's the recipe:

Creamed Chicken and Vegetables

1 (10 oz) package frozen mixed vegetables or frozen peas and carrots
1/4 cup chopped celery (I forgot to get celery, so I'll sprinkle in some celery seeds)
2 t. finely chopped onion
3 T. butter, melted
3 T. all-purpose flour (I'll be using freshly ground whole wheat flour)
1 1/2 C milk
1 1/2 C whipping cream
1/3 cup shredded cheddar
1 t. salt
1/2 t. white pepper
1/4 t. red pepper
3 cups chopped, cooked chicken
1 (2 oz) jar diced pimiento, drained (ummm...I don't have this...so, I'll chop up a small pepperoncini...don't laugh at me)
Garnishes: shredded cheddar cheese, paprika

Cook mixed vegetables and set aside.  Saute celery and onion in butter.  Add flour, stirring until smooth.  Gradually add milk and cream; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture is thickened and bubbly.  Add 1/3 c cheese, salt and peppers; stir until cheese melts.  Stir in chicken, diced pimiento, and cooked vegetables;  cook until heated through.  Serve over cornbread or biscuits.

Alright.  There it is.  I'm thinking a dairyman came up with this recipe, LOL.  I will be doubling, as usual.  There is currently a debate happening here as to whether we use cornbread or biscuits.  I guess maybe we'll do a little of both, and compare.  I sure hope this works out.  I'm losing heart, LOL.

  I'll be back next Tuesday with another Try It...until then,

Y'all Keep Your Wool Dry!

The Ewe

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Try It Tuesday: Reviews and News

Hello F.O.T.E.'s!
I bet you thought I'd forget, didn't you?  heh heh heh ....Well, here I am with this week's Try It Tuesday.  I'll share the recipe from last week, plus its reviews from The Flock, as well as today's Try It Tuesday recipe.  Please join me in trying the recipe--we'll try it tonight, you try it whenever you please this week--and sharing your reviews.  I'm trying to be more spontaneous (ha!) this year...or at least more interesting, LOL.  Trying new recipes is a fun way to do that, for me, anyway.  :-)
Ok...Old Business:

Chili Tots

1 lb ground beef
2 (15 oz) cans chili without beans
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (4 oz) can chopped green chilies
2 C (8 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
1 (32 oz) pkg frozen tater tots

    Cook ground beef until no longer pink; drain.  Stir in chili, tomato sauce and chilies.  Transfer to a 9X13 pan sprayed with no-stick spray.  Sprinkle with cheese and top with tater tots.  Cover and bake at 350* for 35-40 minutes.

  Review:  I doubled this, as I usually do.  Last week, only the kids tried the dish, as Reid and I went out that night.  So, below are their opinions:

                  Adam (6): 12 ! out of 10 !  (read, "12 yays out of 10 yays")..."I like the tater tots.  I like the spices.  It's as good as Sonic's."  (high praise, no?  LOL)

                   Hannah (4):  [no yays recorded]  "I liked 'em.  They tasted like chili...with tater tots.  It should be crunchier."

                  Claire (10):  [no yays recorded]  "I liked 'em because they tasted like chili.  It's chunky, like Mama's chili, which I love, but the tater tots were a little on the soft side.  Other than that, they were good.  I recommend it."

                 Meg (13):  7! out of 10!   "It would have been better with Mama's chili.  I thought it was a little too spicy and there was too much liquid.  It also needed more cheese, but overall, pretty good."

                 Annie (16): 5! out of 10!  "It's ok, but not great.  The chili to tot ratio was too high and the tots were too soggy, even after baking at a higher temp without the foil  for an extra 20 minutes.  I think if the tots had been baked before putting them with the chili and the cheese it would have been better.  It doesn't quite stand up to Sonic's, but not too far."

         Ok, so not sure that one is going to make it into our Family Recipe Book.  Could try Annie's suggestion or baking it the whole time without the foil.  Plus, in the week between when I tried this recipe and now, I have read the book _In Defense of Food_ and decided to try a (modified) return to our family roots and move back toward a whole foods diet.  So, with that said...

       This week's Try It:

   Pork Chops and Brown Rice

1 C uncooked brown rice
2 1/2 C boiling water
4 pork chops
1/2 C chopped green bell pepper
1/4 C chopped onion
1/4 t. thyme
1 t. garlic salt
1 t. Worcestershire sauce

Soak rice in boiling water for 30 minutes.  Brown pork chops on both sides in skillet; set aside.  Add  remaining ingredients to skillet.  Simmer for 10 minutes.  Pour rice mixture into greased 9X9 inch baking dish.  Arrange pork chops over rice.  Bake, covered, at 350* for 1 hour.

    I will be doubling this--the yield is only 4 servings.  I will record everyone's comments about the dish, and report them to you next week.  Please do try it yourself, if you please, and share your comments, too.  (I realize that not all folks eat pork, so if you don't, hang around...I do a *lot* of chicken!)

  Ok,  I'll see you back here next Tuesday!
Y'all keep your wool dry!
The Ewe