Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Halloween fun food

Growing up, we always had Sloppy Joe's on Halloween night before going out Trick or Treating.

Is anyone doing anything fun for Halloween Dinner?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Today Regina had asked me for my bread bowl recipe.  I live in Minnesota, we eat lots of soup. I can't serve soup with out bread. 
I used to make bread bowls where I shaped the dough around an upside down bowl and bake. It was good but often unsteady, the dough wouldn't rise evenly.  Last week I found a recipe where you make a roll and cut off the top scoop out the middle and fill it with soup. It sat flat on the plate but mine had holes where the soup dripped out. We ate it in bowls so not too big an issue but I'd love to find a great bread bowl recipe or fixes for my problems with the recipes I have.
Any advice?
Who doesn’t love a dinner that makes the whole family happy? Tonight we’re having meatloaf. I have to double the recipe now, for my family of six, and yes, I know that’s not good portion control, but for one evening, everyone is truly happy. And anyone who has teenagers, a tween, and a toddler, or any combination thereof, knows that’s a tall order.

By the way, “fancy” meatloaf doesn’t cut it. It has to be the plain old Lipton’s recipe, with mashed potatoes. My brother-in-law, George, likes his meatloaf with gravy (his comfort-food-of-choice, I believe), but my family goes with ketchup and hot sauce (thank you, PopPop, for that addition to my kids’ culinary repertoire). Except me, I like mine sans condiments.

Also, it has to be served with mashed potatoes. My mom used to make the best browned potatoes with her meatloaf, and I really love those, but for meatloaf, my family really wants mashed potatoes paired with it.

And added bonus: This is quick prep. Just mix and bake. The individual muffin tins or mini loaf pans make great presentation for kids.

To make this recipe healthier, use ground turkey rather than ground beef. Also, substitute wheat germ for ½ of the bread crumbs and/or substitute baby carrots or sweet potatoes or green vegetables for ½ of the ketchup. For Southwestern meatloaf, substitute barbecue sauce for the ketchup. Finally, if you like a glaze, spread ketchup or barbecue sauce on top of the meatloaf before baking.

Souperior meatloaf

1 envelope Lipton onion soup mix
2 lb lean ground beef
1½ c bread crumbs
2 eggs
1/3 c ketchup
¾ c water, if needed
Preheat oven to 350°. Combine all ingredients in large bowl.

Bake 350° for about one hour in 9x13 pan, or about 40 minutes in muffin tins for individual servings or mini loaf pans for 2 servings each.

Monday, October 27, 2008

What's for dinner tonight?

I am always looking for inspiration in what I want to make for dinner and would love to hear what others are doing. So, what is your family having for dinner tonight?

We're having stuffed shells and salad tonight. If I get motivated, maybe I'll let my little ones help me make some bread dough and we'll have fresh bread and a salad with it.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Bars

I thought I'd add the first recipe. My husband and I, our girls too, love chocolate and peanut butter treats. My Mom always made a chocolate, peanut butter bar with graham cracker. I was looking for a new recipe. And found this one below on The girls and I enjoyed it. Brad said "Why mess with a good thing" and requested the original. I'm saving the recipe for a little bit of a dressed up bar, if I'm bringing them somewhere. I've been meaning to share it with my sister since I tried it last weekend. So here it is. 

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Bars  
1½ c all-purpose flour 
2/3 c brown sugar 
½ c melted butter 
2 egg yolks 
2/3 c chocolate chips 
1¼ c confectioners sugar 
1 c peanut butter 
¼ c butter melted 
1 t vanilla 
1/3 c chocolate chips 
1 T butter 
Preheat oven to 350°. In a medium bowl combine flour, brown sugar, ½ cup butter, and the egg yolks. Mix together by hand. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until light gold. As soon as it comes out of the oven sprinkle 2/3 cup of chocolate chips. return to oven for 2-3 minutes. In a large bowl mix together confectioners sugar, peanut butter, ¼ cup of butter and vanilla. Stir in the milk. Crumble the peanut butter mix over the chocolate layer. Press down lightly. Melt 1/3 cup of chocolate chips and 1 tbsp of butter. Drizzle over the peanut butter mixture and refrigerate 2-3 hours. Cut into bars. I ended up using a little extra chocolate chips and spreading it on top. 


Welcome to the virtual dinner group

I’ve had a dinner group with my neighborhood friends for several years now, and my sisters (far-flung across the U.S.) have often said they wished they could join us.

A few years ago, my sister, Maureen and her friend, Jenner started up an email list of friends and family with whom they’ve often shared recipes, and gone to for the answers to everything from “How do you feed your family at night when you don’t walk in the door until 5:30 and you have a soccer game at 6 and piano lessons at 6:15 ... on opposite ends of town?” to “What’s your Thanksgiving menu this year?"rdquo; to “Remember that punch you made for the kids at Mom & Dad’s anniversary? What was the recipe?” That email list grew as friends and family added more people to the distribution (they told two people and they told two people and they told two people and so on and so on).

From that email list, this blog was born. We want to share our recipes with one another in a more interactive forum, and we want to share them with you. We hope you'll share with us too. So come on in to our virtual dinner group, pour yourself a glass of wine and let’s start cooking together.