Monday, December 26, 2011

Salted caramel sauce

For Christmas, my mom got a new ice cream maker- one that doesn't need to be in the freezer. She already had made some butter pecan- that was AMAZING! To go with it, I decided to try this caramel sauce that I found in Food & Wine magazine.

It is fantastic!

3/4 c heavy cream
1/4 c light corn syrup
1 1/4 c sugar
4 T butter
1/2 t salt

In sauce pan, melt sugar without stirring over medium heat. Swirl the pan to coat the sugar. Cook 4 minutes.

Microwave the corn syrup and cream for 2 minutes.

Remove the sugar from the heat and carefully add the cream and stir with spoon. Return sauce to low and add butter and salt. Stir until all caramel is melted.

Transfer to a heatproof glass jar.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Pumpkin Cookies

I first made these cookies probably 10 years ago. Actually... I was a teenager when I made them, so it was probably 15 years ago at least!

Anyway, I made them for Thanksgiving, and with all the family pies, no one ate the cookies. I gave a bunch to my aunt for my cousins to eat later.

Once we returned home from the Thanksgiving feast, my aunt called asking me for the recipe. My cousins ate the cookies on the way home and LOVED them!

Back then, I never made the icing thick enough- not adding enough powdered sugar. The old icing was a very thin drizzle. Now, the icing is spreadable- but I think it is too sweet and it over powers the cookie a bit. So- somewhere in between! Or- just put on less!

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1cup butter, softened
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 to 2 cups powdered sugar
1. Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, combine sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1 cup butter; beat until light and fluffy. Add pumpkin, vanilla and egg; blend well. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well. 
2. Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 350°F. for 10 to 12 minutes or until light golden brown around edges. 
3. Immediately remove from cookie sheets. Cool 15 minutes or until completely cooled. 
4. Meanwhile, in medium saucepan, combine 3 tablespoons butter and 1/2 cup brown sugar; bring to a boil. Cook over medium heat for 1 minute or until slightly thickened, stirring constantly. 
5. Cool 10 minutes. Add milk; beat until smooth. Beat in enough powdered sugar for desired spreading consistency. Frost cooled cookies.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Chili bowl chili time

Lots o chili powder
Weird combo of tomatoes, like sauce, paste, and chopped cherries
Garlic powder

Cook long time.

Post #200

I didn't even plan this, but THIS is a great meal for my 200th post. Who knew that 200 posts later, I'd still be at it...

This meal was tasty good.

The butternut squash soup tasted creamier than normal even.

The chicken (which I call olive oil delights) was good as always (thighs are just tasty and cheap- can't go wrong)!

The collards were simple (boiled in chicken broth).

And the rice was a cheat (90 sec bag in the microwave).

Updated Olive Oil Delights Chicken:

Lay chicken thighs in pan (I use one with higher sides since there will be juice/liquid).

Pour over it: 
1/4c olive oil
3 T garlic (or some garlic powder)
3 T soy sauce
1/4 t black pepper
1 t paprika (I like hot)

Preheat broiler. Broil for 10 minutes. Flip and finish broiling for 10 minutes.


I really enjoy my homemade enchiladas sauce, and a fall day craves the oven (can I say that another 5 posts?!).

For my enchiladas, I used onions, refried beans, black beans, with 1 cup of enchiladas sauce, cheese in corn tortiallas. Baked with enchiladas sauce and cheese ontop. Not sure how to do this? Click on the link above.

On the side, I made corn sauteed in milk and red pepper flakes. Mixing corn and enchiladas in a bite is the way to go.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Overcooked Chicken Pot Pie

This Chicken Pot Pie didn't photograph well. And, it wasn't my best, to be honest. (See the comparison...)

When making my pie, JW wanted to hang artwork... so it got burnt. And, the art is slightly off center. (But don't tell him, he will make me re-hang it.)

Prep 25 minutes, cook 35 minutes
2 T butter
3 chicken breasts (I had frozen, with the bone in breasts, so I boiled them for 10 minutes to poach the meat and ripped it off the bone)
2 T shallots
1/4 c flour
1.5 c broth
1/2 c white wine
1/2 c milk
1 T parsley
16 oz frozen veggies
2 roll-out refrigerated pie crusts (room temp)

1. Preheat oven to 400, and grease a 9" pie plate. Since I used two pie crusts, I laid one in the bottom of the pan, pricked it, and let it bake for 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, I diced the chicken and shallots and added them with butter to saute. Let them finish cooking (8 minutes) and added flour to coat. Then poured in wine, broth, milk, parsley, and veggies; allowing the dish to simmer for 10 minutes.

3. Added S&P, and took the pie crust out of the oven. and poured the mixture inside. Lay the second crust out and wet the edge with a little water (it called for egg, but i was out), and flip it on top. Push the crust into the pie dish to seal. Slice the top with a knife and I sprayed with olive oil spray (since i didnt have egg to make a yolk wash).

4. Put the dish on a cookie sheet (or else you will smoke yourself out with burnt drips!) and bake for about 30 minutes.

The funny thing is- I didn't even read my own post fully- as I almost forgot the cookie sheet... one burnt drip and I remembered the hard way.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Baking for the Fall!

With a weekend away at Washington College, I came home craving a warm oven to warm our home. With the CSA apples taking over the kitchen, I knew it was going to be the first apple crsip of the season (and had prepared by stopping at WFoods on the way home to get french vanilla ice cream).

In addition, I wanted lamb. When I had been in Chestertown, I went to Brooks Tavern, owned by the same couple that owned the Kennedyville Inn, where I had worked for almost 10 years. I had been debating between the duck breast and the lamb- and went with the duck as it isnt something I'd make at home.

So, to get my lamb fix, I fixed a leg od lamb, with the apple crisp. Odd, I know.

Roasted Leg of Lamb:
2 lb leg of lamb

Stab the lamb with a knife and insert slivers of garlic. Sprinkle all sides with salt, pepper, and rosemary. Bake at 325 for 2 hours, rotating a few times.

I added about 4 or 5 small potatoes to the pan, and roasted as well.

Apple Crisp:
6 cups of apples, peeled and sliced
1 t cinnamon
1 T water
1 t lemon juice

1/2 c butter, half melted or room temperature
1 c oats
3/4 c flour
3/4 c brown sugar

Layer apples in pie dish and sprinkle with next 3 ingredients. In bowl, mix 4 ingredients until gravel like. Sprinkle topping over apples.

Bake 30 minutes at 375 (or 50 at 325).

If in a hurry, invest in chicken thighs and a broiler.

I am a big fan of quick weeknight meals. My "mother in law" is usually amazed that I make a real dinner almost every night.

The benefit- leftovers.

My co-workers were all jealous today, smelling my meal.

Broiled Chicken Thighs (that I refer to as olive oil delights)
Chicken layered in roasting pan
1/4 c olive oil
3 T garlic

3 T soy sauce
1/4 t black pepper
1 t paprika
Pour over chicken. Broil for 7 minutes on both sides.

Roasted Yams
Sliced, covered with oil and salt and pepper and baked at 350 for 20 minutes.

A crazy veggie that arrived from the CSA- a flavor cross between cauliflower and brocoli. I boil/steamed, and served with butter, salt, and pepper.

Wait, you mash your own potatoes?

I'm probably one of a few people that actually chose food from the UK as a favorite. I am a meat and potatoes kind of girl. I LOVE SHEPHERD'S PIE!!!

I've been on a quest for a simple and delicious version. I typically find simple but tasteless, or delicious but extensive. Finally, for the first time, Rachael Ray came through for me, with a 30 minute Shepherd's Pie:

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
1 3/4 pounds ground beef or ground lamb
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup frozen peas, a couple of handfuls

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup beef stock or broth
2 teaspoons Worcestershire, eyeball it

2 pounds potatoes, such as russet, peeled and cubed

2 tablespoons sour cream
1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup milk (or substitute vegetable or chicken broth)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sweet paprika


1. Boil potatoes in salted water until tender, about 12 minutes.

2. While potatoes boil, preheat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add oil to hot pan with beef or lamb. Season meat with salt and pepper. Brown and crumble meat for 3 or 4 minutes. (If you are using lamb and the pan is fatty, spoon away some of the drippings.)

3. Add chopped carrot and onion to the meat. Cook veggies with meat 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

4. In a second small skillet over medium heat cook butter and flour together 2 minutes. Whisk in broth and Worcestershire sauce. Thicken gravy 1 minute. Add gravy to meat and vegetables.

5. Stir in peas.

6. Drain potatoes and pour them back into the pot. Combine sour cream, egg yolk and cream. Add the cream mixture into potatoes and mash until potatoes are almost smooth. (I also added a sprinkle of cheddar cheese., salt and pepper and some butter...)

7. Preheat broiler to high. Fill a small rectangular casserole with meat and vegetable mixture. Spoon potatoes over meat evenly. Top potatoes with paprika and broil 6 to 8 inches from the heat until potatoes are evenly browned.

My friend JD came over for dinner (especially since JW was away in Boston) to help eat the pie. She walked in the kitchen to catch me mashing my own potatoes.

"Wait. You mash your own potatoes?"

"Wait. You don't?"

Cook them tasty food...

A small break from cooking to celebrate a few of my favorite things. First off, my penguin sparkling water maker. THIS THING IS AMAZING. A popular wedding gift (for us to give, so if you want one, get married, and don't make me come to the wedding...). But, we love it. And, it is cute. And easy. Insert regular water, out comes sparkling!
And-- this great bunper sticker came from my friends AG and DP- sent in a box full of 30th birthday gifts (wait, who is 30?!).  I have a hard time putting this on my car- but believe that it belongs on my blog!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Colleen's Chocolate Saltine Candy

Layer a pan with a lip with saltines, or a sleeve of club crackers.

In a pan, add 2 sticks of butter with 1 cup of white sugar. Heat until boiling for 3 minutes. Pour over crackers. Bake for 10-15 minutes at 300 degrees.

Melt 16 oz of chocolate chips, and pour over crackers. Refrigerate until solid. Cut and serve!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Grandmom's Pasta and Bobby's Sauteed Kale

To bring in fall, it called for a meal "stewing" on the stove. JW requested pasta, which is not typical.

I wanted to make my grandmom's pasta sauce, because it is so good and easy- but I didn't have "real" tomatoes- just crushed in a can. And to be honest, I think I like it better!

Spaghetti with Grandmom's Pasta Sauce:
2 cloves of garlic
1 diced onion
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 lb of ground beef
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 can of tomato paste
5 drops of Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon of sugar (I used brown), basil, and oregano
2 bay leaves

Saute the garlic and onion in the oil for about 8 minutes. Add and brown the ground meat. (Drain off some of the fat, and keep it on reserve if you need to add more.)  

Add the tomatoes and spices, and let simmer for 30 minutes.

Sauteed Kale, with bacon:

4 slices of bacon, chopped

1 1/2 pounds young kale, stems and leaves coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced

1/2 cup stock

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Heat bacon in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until soft, but not colored. 

Raise heat to high, add the stock and kale and toss to combine. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. 

Remove cover and continue to cook, stirring until all the liquid has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add vinegar.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Columbus Day breakfast

With the day off (yes, I'm bragging), I made myself crepes! And a pot of coffee. Nothing is easier and tastier...
1 c flour
1 c milk
1 egg
Mix, add to pan, turn, flip. Smother in butter and syrup.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sunday cooking to steave off a cold

After 6 days of a nasty cold, I finally felt better enough to return to the kitchen today. And to do so, in honor of the cool air outside, I decided to bake and make a soup/chili.

For breakfast, I baked a chocolate chip banana bread, but knew it was going to be creative. I didn't have enough butter, milk, or flour... but I was determined!

Resourceful Chocolate Chip Banana Bread:

1/2 c butter (or in my case, a little less than a stick and vegetable oil to complete)
3/4 c sugar (I mixed white and brown sugar)

Mixed together until fluffy. Add 3 ripe bananas (mine were frozen).

Add 2 eggs, 1 t of vanilla and 1/3 cup of milk (I was just short, but since the recipe only really needed 2 bananas, I figured I was good).

Mix in 2 cups flour (I only had one cup, but had coconut flour- so added just under a cup of that since it is drier), 1 t baking soda and 1/2 t salt. Once mixed, add 1 c of chocolate chips.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.

Chicken Chili Soup:

Ok- I'm a cheater. I used a mix. JW's uncle has given me this Harry and David's sampler for two years in a row- and I managed to have 2 packs of Southwestern Chicke Chili- so I made both!

I first chopped frozen chicken breast and cooked it in its own jucies, and put them off to the side. Boiled beans for an hour, then added chicken broth and spices for 30 minutes, added the chicken, jalepeno peppers, and veggie pack for 30 more minutes!

Chicken was moist! Served with cheddar cheese!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tikka Masala, again!

JW's not feeling well so I decided to make Chicken Tikka Masala since he likes it, and maybe the spice will kick his cold!

So, to find the recipe, I came back to the blog, per usual. And each time, I am always so surprised at how long ago I made it. I found this post in June- I could have sworn that I already made it in September... JUNE! That was hella long ago! It's time!

I'm not reposting- I followed this, minus yogurt- I had fat free sour cream instead.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Squash Soup for Sunday Sports

We are going to our friend JCH's for Sunday Sports! He (and our friend DSG) always have an amazing spread! Today will not disappoint with a brisket, collards with black eyed peas, potato salad, and something vegetarian.

To add to the vegetarian options, to satisfy the fall chill, and use up some CSA items, I'm making soup! I've previously made this soup with butternut squash, but the CSA sent sweet mama and kabocha, so I am using both!

Squash Soup

Rich, tasty, and perfectly fall. I like to serve it with a dollop of Greek yogurt in the middle of the bowl, or sour cream if that is all I have.

6 tablespoons chopped onion
4 tablespoons butter

1 medium to large squash, like butternut, kabocha, or sweet mama (or a combo)
3 cups stock (vegetable stock today, usually chicken though)
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese

Carefully peel the squash, cut in half and remove the seeds, then cut into 1/2" chunks (or roast squash in oven 375 for 45 minutes to an hour. Scoop out seeds and discard.-- I have started to prefer the peel and cut method- less messy.)

In a large saucepan, saute onions in butter until tender.

Add squash, stock, marjoram, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Bring to boil; cook 20 minutes, or until squash is tender.

Puree squash and cream cheese with a hand masher (or in a blender or food processor in batches until smooth. Return to saucepan, and heat through). Do not let it boil.

Serve and enjoy!

Maybe next time I'll make a nice bread!

JW's 30th Birthday

For JW's 30th, we were originally going to get a large group of people together and go out to Zorba's for delicious Greek food! Then, the rain hit, and Phillies games got postponed so he had to go to the ballpark many days in a row- and wasn't as interested in another night out.

To celebrate, we decided to take The Waxed Bean down the street. We went to his mom's house, where I prepared dinner, and she made dessert!

Roasted Pork Tenderloin:
2 lbs Tenderloin (I used 2 1 lb loins, they cook faster)
2 cloves Garlic
3 T Dijon Mustard
3 T Honey

Cut garlic into slivers- and jab it into the pork. Mix mustard and honey together, and smear across top of pork.

Bake at 450 degrees for 35 minutes.

Slice on an angle.

Corn Risotto
Made corn risotto again since JW didn't eat any the other day.

For dessert we had a cake, and the icing was so amazing! I'll try to get the recipe!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Greek pasta

Someone has a 30th bday looming (he who shall not be named), so I'm trying to make a couple favorite dishes. Tonight was Greek pasta with artichokes!

I'm still mad he won't eat the corn risotto... as he claims its tainted (tainted from me arguing with him about something I don't remember)... I made it after "ruining his Sunday." Well, you ruined my corn risotto.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Corn risotto, greens, and shrimp

I adapted a recipe from a crockpot cookbook to make on the stovetop for corn risotto. It was delicious- and I would make it a few more times with the CSA corn!

1 T Olive oil
1 shallot
1 c Abrorio rice
3 cups chicken stock
2 ears of corn, cut kernels off the cob
1 T of butter
1/4 c parm cheese
1 T diced basil

Add olive oil to the pan with 1 large diced shallot. Add the rice and let coat. Once everything is covered and sauteing, add the chicken stock and let the mixture simmer. Once the liquid has reduced, add the corn and butter. Once the corn is cooked, add the basil and cheese, and pepper to taste.

For the greens: Saute bacon and onion. Add greens, 3 cups chicken stock, and 1 t vinegar.

Tomato dinner

The CSA continues to bring us lots of great veggies- and interesting tomatoes- green ones and yellow ones this week! I made a capresse salad by slicing the green tomato, and layering mozzarella, basil, olive oil and salt and pepper.

I also made a great chicken- I adapted a marinade-
1/4c olive oil
3 T garlic
3 T soy sauce
1/4 t black pepper
1 t paprika

Then broiled it.  (it is so simple and so good.)

On top, I served a yellow tomato salsa with red onion and vinegar.


JW was craving nachos- but we didnt have tortilla chips and we didn't have salsa... well, I wasn't defeated.

I took the corn tortillas out of the fridge and broiled them to make chips. I layered on beans, chicken, red peppers, onion, cheese, and a homemade salsa- corn, red onion, tomatoes, and spices.

The chips weren't great- but they worked!

Chicken and red pepper Alfredo

Kitchen helper

Cajun shrimp

I made a Cajun shrimp dish, with corn, black beans and tomatoes- but I don't remember how.

However, here are the salads- mine with organic lettuce and cherry tomatoes, and JW's with romaine and not much else besides parm cheese.

 (Steve- thanks for reading!)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Greek twist to chicken

Chicken Breast with Red Peppers and Feta:


  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram or thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 (4-ounce) skinned, boned chicken breast halves
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Cooking spray
  • 2/3 cup red bell pepper strips
  • 1/2 cup vertically sliced red onion
  • 1/3 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled feta cheese, divided
  • Oregano (optional)


Combine first 4 ingredients in a shallow dish. Dredge chicken in flour mixture. 

Heat oil in a nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add chicken, and cook 4 minutes on each side or until browned. 

In another pan, add bell pepper, onion, broth, and vinegar to pan; cook 5 minutes or until vegetables are soft, stirring frequently. Spoon bell pepper mixture into a bowl; stir in 2 tablespoons cheese. 

Sprinkle chicken with 2 tablespoons cheese. Cover; cook over low heat 2 minutes or until cheese melts. 

Divide the vegetable mixture evenly between 2 plates, and top each serving with a chicken breast half. Garnish with oregano, if desired.

Blog Anniversary Dinner- Pork with Rosemary/Sage/Parm Crust and Lemon Risotto

 I finally was able to cook a meal with a dedication to the year one mark of Waxed Bean. Originally, I thought I would make a full meal of Amanda Hesser recipes, as a connection to the book that got me blogging. But I rethought the approach because this blog is about my cooking history and style and less about my life, like her book.

So, I decided to make two dishes that compliment each other and have a mark on this blog and my cooking style in general: one, a recipe from Amanda's book for lemon risotto and another, a recipe I have been making and changing since '03, from a recycled photocopy of Food & Wine magazine.

Pork chops with a Rosemary, Sage, and Parm crust:
4 pork chops, cut to 1/2 inch
1/2 c flour
2 t rosemary, dried and crushed
2 t sage
1/3 c chicken stock or white wine

Dredge the pork in the flour and herbs, coating all sides. Add to warm olive oil in a pan. Sear until brown, then flip. Once the second side is brown, add the liquid and let it reduce down.

Meanwhile, make a Lemon Risotto:
1 T olive oil
1 T butter
2 cloves garlic
1 c Arborio rice
5 c chicken stock
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 c parm cheese

Add oil, butter and garlic to pan. Add in rice and coat for 1 minute.

Add the chicken stock by 1/2 cup increments until all the liquid is added. Halfway through the stock, add half the lemon zest.

At the end of the stock, add the remaining lemon zest and parm. Add a little S&P to taste.

A Wally Omlet

In April, we got a new cat from the shelter named Wally. And Wally, much like me, is fascinated with food. Only, Wally is borderline obsessed. He cries and runs in circles at meal time, he eats anything that falls on the floor, and lives on the kitchen counter if he isn't shooed off every 30 seconds. And, there have been more than 2 occasions when I have turned by back for one minute to find him licking butter off the counter, licking cheese off the salad, or sticking his face in my yogurt or soup, if I put it down for one second!

Today, he was just curious. Today, the most annoying thing about his presence was continuously keeping him back, and sanitizing everything insight, repeatedly! But, if the last photo says anything, it was a fun breakfast to make while JW slept the day away...

a kitty in the sink UNDER dirty dishes!

Walton Eggs

Since the last time I made this recipe it turned out a little too buttery, I decided to play with the ratios a bit.

Using the Julia Child "fork" that my
brothers gave me for Xmas!
For 6 people, I used:
7 eggs
1/2 c milk
1 t sugar

8 oz of Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded
4 oz of reduced fat cream cheese
16 oz of fat free cottage cheese

2 T butter
1/4 c flour
1 t baking powder

Since I was biking to a friends house, she picked it up the night before. So I baked it for 40 minutes at 350, and then she cooked it for 15 minutes more the next day. It was a tad wiggly still- but perfect on half a bagel with some bacon!