Oct 312011
 

Put more love and less labor into cooking and entertaining.

 

Did you know that one out of every two new brides and brides-to-be say they feel more pressure to cook and entertain compared to when they were single? It’s no wonder. As a new bride, you’ll inevitably be faced with entertaining “firsts,” like hosting your in-laws, throwing couples’ dinner parties, and upgrading your usual gatherings to elegant parties.

In this guide, you’ll discover tips and ideas from entertaining and lifestyle expert Debi Lilly, and simple, yet elegant recipes from our Test Kitchens, to help make those firsts as easy as can be. 

Whether you’re newly engaged, a newlywed or just new to entertaining, enjoy learning how to entertain with ease!

 

Click here for the entire guide for your reference.

Oct 312011
 

 Ingredients

2 packs Grand Biscuits
1 ½ – 2 lbs ground beef, sirloin or turkey
1 package taco seasoning mix
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1 package – 16 oz. shredded taco/Mexican cheese (at least Monterey jack and cheddar)
2 tblsp Onion
2 tblsp Green Pepper
6 oz water

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, place biscuits together in deep dish
baker or large pie pan (this might make 2, if using regular sized pie
plates), press biscuits together gently or roll together to form a pie
crust

Meanwhile, in a large skillet sauté ground meat, onion and green
pepper for approximately 5 minutes until meat is no longer pink. Drain
grease and then add tomato paste, water (fill tomato paste can), taco
seasoning mix, cook together for 2 – 3 minutes, spoon meat mixture on
top of crust, cover with cheese and bake at 400 for 15 minutes.

Oct 312011
 

bigstock_closeup_barbecue_pulled_pork_s_10237778

 

Ingredients

1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup(s) ketchup
1/3 cup(s) cider vinegar
1/4 cup(s) packed brown sugar
1/4 cup(s) tomato paste
2 tablespoon(s) sweet paprika
2 tablespoon(s) Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoon(s) yellow mustard
1 1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
1 1/4 teaspoon(s) ground black pepper
4 pound(s) boneless pork shoulder blade roast (fresh pork butt), cut into 4 pieces
12 soft sandwich buns or ciabatta rolls, warmed

 

   Directions

In 4 1/2- to 6-quart slow-cooker pot, stir onion, ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, tomato paste, paprika, Worcestershire, mustard, salt, and pepper until combined. Add pork to sauce mixture and turn to coat well with sauce.
Cover slow cooker with lid and cook pork mixture on low setting as manufacturer directs, 8 to 10 hours or until pork is very tender.
With tongs, transfer pork to large bowl. Turn setting on slow cooker to high; cover and heat sauce to boiling to thicken and reduce slightly.
While sauce boils, with 2 forks, pull pork into shreds. Return shredded pork to slow cooker and toss with sauce to combine. Cover slow cooker and heat through on high setting if necessary.
Spoon pork mixture onto bottom of sandwich buns; replace tops of buns.

Oct 312011
 

Ingredients

4 eggs
1 cup sugar
* teaspoon salt
9 oz bitter-sweet chocolate bar
9 oz semi-sweet chocolate bar
1 stick of butter
1 cup of chopped pecans
1 Oreo cookie crust

 

Directions

Melt both chocolate bars with butter in medium pot over medium heat.
Mix together melted chocolate, pecans, eggs, sugar and salt

Pour mixture into cookie crust and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for
30 – 35 minutes or until firm. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Decorate as desired.

Easy Boeuf Bourguignon

 Beef, Easy Recipes, Entrée  Comments Off on Easy Boeuf Bourguignon
Oct 312011
 

•       2 pounds lean stew beef
•       1 cup red wine (marinade)
•       3 cups full-bodied, young red wine , such as a Chianti (sauce)
•       4 sprigs fresh parsley
•       1 sprig fresh thyme
•       1 bay leaf, preferably fresh
•       6 ounces bacon
•       4 tablespoons butter
•       1 onion, sliced
•       1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
•       1 tablespoon tomato paste
•       2 garlic cloves, pressed (you may choose to add more)
•       3 cups full-bodied, young red wine , such as a Chianti (sauce)
•       1/4 cup beef broth
•       salt and ground black pepper to taste
•       2 tablespoons butter
•       4 ounces bacon, chopped
•       12 small onions
•       4 ounces button mushrooms, sliced

Directions
1.      In a medium bowl, combine beef, wine, parsley, thyme and bay leaf.
Let marinate for 3 hours.
2.      Remove beef; strain. Heat 4 tablespoons butter in a large heavy
casserole (preferably cast iron) over medium high heat. Sauté the
sliced onion until tender. Remove onions and add bacon to pot. Simmer
bacon for 10 minutes.  Remove bacon from pot and add in beef, and cook
until evenly brown. Do not cook too much at a time or browning will be
difficult. Remove beef and set aside. Add flour to pan, and cook,
stirring, until brown. Slowly stir in the wine making sure to get all
the yummy bits from the bottom of the pot. Now enough stock or
bouillon so that the meat is barely covered. Add the tomato paste,
garlic, herbs, and bacon. Bring to simmer on top of the stove. Then
cover the casserole and set in lower third of preheated oven. Regulate
heat so liquid simmers very slowly for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. The meat is
done when a fork pierces it easily.

Skim fat off the sauce. Simmer sauce for a minute or two, skimming off
additional fat as it rises. You should have about 2 1/2 cups of sauce
thick enough to coat a spoon lightly. If too thin, boil it down
rapidly. If too thick, mix in a few tablespoons of stock or canned
bouillon. Taste carefully for seasoning. Pour the sauce over the meat
and vegetables. Recipe may be completed in advance to this point.

For immediate serving: Cover the casserole and simmer for 2 to 3
minutes, basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce several times.
Serve in its casserole, or arrange the stew on a platter surrounded
with potatoes, noodles, or rice, and decorated with parsley.

For later serving: When cold, cover and refrigerate. About 15 to 20
minutes before serving, bring to the simmer, cover, and simmer very
slowly for 10 minutes, occasionally basting the meat and vegetables
with the sauce.

3.      While the beef is cooking or the day you plan to serve, prepare the
onions and mushrooms. Set them aside until needed.  Heat 2 tablespoons
butter in a medium skillet over medium high heat, add the small
onions, and sauté until onions are tender. Add mushrooms, and continue
cooking until mushrooms are golden brown. Serve as a garnish.

 

Table and Wine Suggestions

Boiled potatoes are traditionally served with this dish. Buttered
noodles or steamed rice may be substituted. If you also wish a green
vegetable, buttered peas would be your best choice. Serve with the
beef a fairly full-bodied, young red wine, such as Beaujolais, Côtes
du Rhône, Bordeaux-St. Émilion, or Burgundy.

Oct 312011
 

 

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 slices bacon chopped
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons
  • 2 pounds chicken tenders, cut into 1 1/2 to 2-inch pieces
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 ribs celery from the heart of the stalk and leafy tops, chopped
  • 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 bay leaf, preferably fresh
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme, 4 to 5 sprigs
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 cups white French wine, 1/3 bottle
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup frozen pearl onions
  • 1 pound extra-wide egg noodles

Directions

Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat with extra-virgin olive oil. Add bacon and cook until crisp, about 5 minutes, remove with slotted spoon.

Heat a pot of water to boil for egg noodles.

While bacon crisps, scatter 1/2 cup flour on a shallow dish. Season the chopped chicken with salt and pepper and add to flour. Toss the chicken to coat and shake off the excess as you add it to the hot bacon drippings. Lightly brown the chicken about 3 minutes on each side then remove. Add to the pan the celery, carrots and onions as you chop them. Season with salt, pepper and thyme. Cook vegetables 5 to 6 minutes to tenderize them. Scoot vegetables off to the sides of the pan forming a well. Add 2 tablespoons butter to the well and melt them whisk in 2 tablespoons flour. Whisk wine into roux, shake pan to combine then stir in stock. Add chicken back to the pan and stir in the onions. Simmer the chicken 10 minutes. Adjust seasoning.

Quick and Easy Garbanzo Madness

 Easy Recipes, Entrée, International Recipes, My Favorites, Top Recipes  Comments Off on Quick and Easy Garbanzo Madness
Oct 312011
 

Ingredients
•       12 ounces chorizo, cut into coins and then halved
•       12 ounces ham, cut into cubes
•       2 tablespoons regular olive oil
•       2 (15-ounce) cans garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
•       Salt and pepper
•       Chopped fresh cilantro, to serve, optional
The Best Part Ingredients:
•       2 cups fresh cilantro chopped finely, firmly packed (about 2 bunches)
•       3-6 cloves of garlic
•       2 tablespoons chopped onion
•       1/2 cup olive oil
•       1 tablespoon lime juice (optional)
•       Kosher salt and red pepper flakes to taste

 

Warm the olive oil in a thick-bottomed skillet (I prefer a stir-fry) on a medium heat add chorizo and ham and sauté for 10 minutes. I like mine a little crispy so yours may take less time. Add the Garbanzo beans and cook for another 10 minutes. Don’t forget to add the cilantro paste. The garlic is not cooked so be prepared for a little bit.

Oct 272011
 

Believe it or not, one raw fresh garlic clove, finely minced or pressed releases more flavor than a dozen cooked whole cloves. When you bake garlic or cook whole cloves of garlic, the flavor mellows into a sweet, almost nutty flavor that hardly resembles any form of pungency. The smaller you cut garlic, the stronger the flavor. Mincing a fresh garlic bulb and/or pressing a clove exposes more surfaces to the air, causing a chemical reaction to

produce that strong aroma and potent flavor  (I love my garlic press – see top product picks).  When cooking with garlic, remove any green shoots beforehand. The green shoots on the whole cloves contain bitter-tasting compounds that remain even after cooking. Store garlic away from direct sunlight in a cool dark location. Fresh garlic also needs to “breathe” and allowing the correct air circulation will extend its shelf life. When buying fresh garlic, look for a garlic bulb that is heavy for its size, enclosed in dry, papery layers.

Want the perfect Garlic Press.

Oct 272011
 

Summer squash, like zucchini, and winter squash are versatile vegetables to use in cooking. Summer squash have thin, soft skin, while winter squash have hard skin and inedible seeds that have to be scooped out. Winter squash, such as butternut and acorn squash, can last up to a month in a cool storage area. Otherwise, they should be used within 2 weeks so warmer room temperatures won’t dry the squash out. This vegetable is high in fiber and vitamins A and C, as well as a good source of potassium, magnesium, iron and calcium. If you’re wondering how to bake squash, it’s easy. Cut lengthwise and remove the seeds before baking at 350°, about 45 minutes. There are other methods for cooking with squash too. Follow the same preparation steps – cut lengthwise and remove the seeds before cooking a squash in the broiler or steaming it on the stove.

Oct 272011
 

Make your Halloween a little less scary with these tips!

*Sprinkle Cinnamon and nutmeg all over the inside of your pumpkin.
When the candle is lit it will smell like pumpkin pie.

*When your pumpkin starts to look a little shriveled place the ENTIRE
pumpkin into a sink or bucket of warm water. After an hour or so it
will expand back and look fresh! This is a great tip so you can enjoy
your pumpkin longer.