Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Sausage Tortellini Soup (from Stake RS Conference)

This is the soup we made for the Stake RS Conference last week.

Sausage Tortellini Soup
1 lb. Italian sausage (turkey sausage works fine)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
6 C beef stock (boxed or Better than Bouillon)
1 can crushed tomatoes (28 oz)
1 can tomato sauce (8 oz)
1/3 C diced carrot
1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
1 T dried oregano
1 T dried basil
1 pkg (10 oz.) cheese tortellini
s & p
Grated Parmesan cheese

Remove casings from sausage and brown until thoroughly cooked. Drain fat (I actually rinse with hot water); then add onion and garlic and cook until soft. Add stock, tomatoes, tomato sauce, spices, and carrots and simmer about 45 minutes, until carrots are tender. Then add zucchini, cook about 20 minutes; finally add pasta and cook 15 minutes. Season with s & p; serve with parmesan cheese.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Mexican Rice-Lime and Cilantro

This is from Mel's Kitchen is so easy and way better than "typical" Spanish Rice...Kaity, you can leave out the cilantro!

1 C rice (I use Hunan which is stickier)
2 C chicken broth (Better than Bouillon or low sodium "boxed")
1 T olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C tomato paste
1 T lime juice (l lime)
2 t cumin
1/2 C chopped cilantro

Cook rice in chicken broth. While it's cooking, sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil. Stir in the tomato paste and cumin and continue cooking for a couple of minutes. When the rice is done, stir in the tomato/onion mixture and the lime juice and cilantro. I might add a little rotisserie chicken and cheese to the leftovers and roll in a tortilla...add some avocado...yummm...

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Two Tanookies

So here is Kody in his Tanooki outfit...

They are admiring their tails!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Cookie Project!

So the last couple of weeks I've pretty much spent most of my time producing 250 sugar cookies to serve for dessert at the dinner for our Stake RS Women's Conference.
First...make 250 cookies! I used my favorite recipe (I think it was in a cook book I got as a wedding shower gift from Barbara Terrill...Betty Crocker's Cooking for Two):

Make this recipe 10 times (two at a time...don't try to make a bigger batch because the recipe doesn't work as well)

1 1/2 C sifted powdered sugar
1 C butter
1 egg
1 t vanilla
1/2 t almond flavoring
2 1/2 C flour
1 t baking soda
1 t cream of tartar

This makes a REALLY soft dough...but don't add more flour or the cookies aren't as tender. Roll 1/4 inch thick and cut with cookie cutters...I used the 4" flower from the Wilton set below: bake at 350 only 7-9 minutes.
So I made all of these a couple of weeks ago and put them in the freezer.

Then a few days before our dinner I started pulling them out of the freezer and glazing them with Petit Four frosting:

9 C sifted powdered sugar
1/2 C light Karo syrup
1/2 C warm water
1 t almond flavoring

Mix OVER hot water (use a double boiler or set up a pan inside a pan as I did). Put each cookie on the wire rack and quickly pour 1/3 C glaze over, coating the entire will have to hold the rack and tip it a bit to coax the glaze over all the edges. If the glaze gets thick as you are working, add a little more water.
Immediately, while glaze is still moist, sprinkle with white sanding sugar or sparkling sugar...if you forget the sugar (as I did at first) you can spray a TINY bit with warm water to moisten the glaze and then sprinkle on the sugar.

Then using a fork, carefully lift the cookie off the wire rack (and wipe off any drippy edges) and place on foil to completely dry.
I let them sit out several hours until thoroughly hardened, then stacked four deep in gift boxes(that I got at the Container Store) with foil between the layers. At this point I put them back in the freezer...

After three days (a couple hours at a time), I had them all glazed, added Royal Frosting blue flowers (to look like Forget-Me-Nots) with yellow centers...I used "Delphinium Blue" to match our table squares perfectly...

On Thursday (the day of our dinner) I made two trips to the Stake Center to transport them as I couldn't put them all in one layer in the back of my car...I didn't want to risk stacking the trays/boxes...

Here they are...serving as both dessert and table decoration...a lot of work, but they worked out well for our dinner!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Great Garlic Gadget!

I've tried several garlic presses over the years from the squeezie ones to chopper types that roll on the counter...all are limited in their capacity and can only deal with 2 or 3 garlic cloves at a time...also they are a bit of a pain to clean. Usually I just opt for scooping some from the big jar of Costco's minced garlic in my refrigerator. But "real" garlic is really better in some I was delighted to find this new approach to "mincing" or "chopping" can easily do a bunch in under a minute and cleanup is easy...just rinse to clear out the holes. I got it at a kitchen store, but it's available on Amazon for about $15.

This is 8 cloves of garlic done in a snap!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Tanooki Parker

Parker IS Mario in his mind...he wears his Mario suit most of every day (and Kody wears the Luigi costume)....but last week Parker decided he wanted to be Tanooki Mario....(in the game Mario gets the special Tanooki suit- which looks like a little raccoon - when he finds a Tanooki gives him special powers and allows him to break blocks with his tail) Kendra got a brown sweatshirt (after we looked all over ebay, amazon, etc for ready made tanooki costumes) and I made him his own Tanooki suit....he was so delighted!!!!! But now I have to make another for Kody....