Posts Tagged ‘cooking mommy’

Giada’s Roasted Beef Tenderloin

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    OK, so I didn’t stray from Giada too long :) This recipe was fantastic, aside from the meat being $10, but then again, you get what you pay for. Recipe.


  • Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds Note: I used about 2 tsp of ground cumin.
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds Note: Omitted (didn’t have any).
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, plus 2 teaspoons
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 (3½ to 4-pound) beef tenderloin, trimmed Note: I used two thick tenderloin steaks.
  • Note: I added garlic powder and added a little more cumin to replace the coriander.
  •    Mayonnaise:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise Note: I used fat free and light.
  • ¼ cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves Note: Used dried, and not nearly that much, but a couple tbsp.
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Giada starts the recipe off by having you grind up your own seeds with a mortar and pestle and then toasting them. I didn’t do any of that :) I thought about toasting the ground spices but thought that it probably wouldn’t turn out so hot and decided against it. She then has you make the garlic paste, which seemed like it wasn’t going to work at first, but stick with it. You really do just take a large knife and kind of mush the garlic at an angel. I didn’t achieve so much a paste as I did a smushed up version of minced garlic. That’s my version of chef jargon; I’m writing a book on it later. But not really :) After making your paste, just rub it+the spice mixture onto the meat. This is another good opportunity to include your kids! I usually tell A that she can’t touch raw meat because it’s dangerous and has germs on it that can make her sick and we all know kids really enjoy doing things that are usually not allowed, so let ’em help you :) We only put the mixture on one side. The directions didn’t say either way, but one side worked fine for me.
   The mayonnaise mixture was something else. I made the full recipe, not thinking that I wasn’t going to need all of it because I did not have a full tenderloin, but oh well. Mine never achieved ‘sauce’ consistency; it was more like a dip. It also made a lot. If you don’t like curry, don’t bother with the mayonnaise. It is curry-licious. I could only handle small bites of it with the meat, but it did pair nicely. You can also use it as tortilla chip dip :)
    I cooked my steaks according to the directions and used a meat thermometer to determine doneness. They were definitely a nice medium between 30-40 minutes, but I turned the oven off and let them sit in there because the husband wasn’t home yet, and that brought them up to medium-well (boo!). This kind of meat is meant to be eaten at medium doneness! Just try it if you’re a diehard well-done kind of person. Well-done just means you have to chew more because the meat is tougher, at least in my opinion and since this is my blog, that’s the only one that matters! :p Juuuuust kidding! Make sure you let your meat ‘rest.’ Don’t pull it out of the oven and start cutting it right away or else all the juices just spill out. Give it five or ten minutes to allow the juices to reabsorb back into the meat so that they can be absorbed into your belly when you eat them! :) It turned out great. I would’ve like it a little more medium, but I know how to do that next time.


   Husband rating:9! C really enjoyed this dish and it was really easy to make.
Would I make this for someone else?: Yes. I would definitely consider finding (does anyone else around here have trouble finding beef tenderloin? I can only usually find pork) a whole tenderloin and making it for a group of people, should a group of people ever come to my house :)

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Sausage Balls & Key Lime Pie

    I attended a baby shower this week and will be attending several in the upcoming months because my Bible study chicas weren’t playing around with the whole “be fruitful and multiply” command ;) I signed up to bring cheese and crackers, but of course when came down to actually doing that, I wasn’t feeling it. I also didn’t have a lot of money to make anything too fancy, so I decided to try out a recipe (I got the basics from her) from a MOPS mom :) There are several places to find this recipe, just google “sausage crescent roll balls” or “sausage balls.”

  • 1lb ground sausage
  • 1 8oz package of cream cheese, softened
  • 2 pkgs of crescent rolls
  • Salt and pepper to taste

    That simple! Well the ingredients were simple ha. The construction was a little bit more difficult than I expected, so give yourself time. Brown the sausage and drain. Turn heat to low and add the cream cheese until it melts and incorporates into the sausage. There’s your filling! You can add salt and pepper, which I recommend. I dumped goodness, what seemed a ton of pepper into the filling by accident and was a little scared, but they turned out pretty tasty. Putting it all together for me was difficult for some reason. I needed to make enough for 15-20 people to have at least two, so I decided that I needed to cut the crescent rolls in half somehow; this left some very thin strips of dough with not much room for filling, but I made it work :)

    I rolled them into little balls and tried to pull the corners over the sausage exposed ends so that it made a little basket type thing. You might be able to see it in the picture if you click on the thumbnail (sorry it’s blurry!). If there was a lot of overlap after I rolled the sausage up, I pulled it off and placed the extra dough over the exposed sausage part. For some reason I thought it would fall out, but I think a little less dough might have allowed the sausage filling to shine a little more. This was a good idea and good for a small get together. I usually make pigs in a blanket lol and this was basically the same thing, but it seemed a little nicer :) There weren’t any left at the end of the evening (does it matter that A and I ate about 8 of them? oh my), so they couldn’t have been too bad! The MOPS mom also said she made the filling ahead of time and was able to freeze it until she needed it, which is always a time saver. I think next time I will try it the other way I’ve seen sausage balls done: with biscuit dough and sausage formed into an actual ball. I wonder if you could wrap these in puff pastry instead of the crescent rolls? Thoughts?

    Now onto the best, most wonderful, awesome Key Lime Pie ever. My dad started making this pie years ago and always made one for me until I realized I could buy the key ingredient at my own local Kroger (doh!). What is this key ingredient you ask? Nellie and Joe’s Famous Key West Lime Juice. It’s SO good. I can literally eat a whole pie in two days. Really. It’s bad. I’m almost a little sad I realized I could by these near my home instead of having to make the trek to the parentals because now I want to make one a week. Have you checked the ‘nutritional’ content of sweetened condensed milk? Even fat free? I had no idea!

  • 9″ graham cracker pie crust Note: I use chocolate.
  • 14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk Note: Fat free, of course!
  • 3 egg yolks (whites not used)
  • 1/2 cup Nellie & Joe’s Key West Lime Juice
  • scant (a bit/little less than) 1/4 of sugar Note: My dad adds this, and I can’t imagine the pie without it, but it doesnt come from Nellie and Joe.

    Combine milk, egg yolks, sugar and lime juice. Blend until smooth. Pour filling into pie crust and bake at 350º for 15 minutes. Allow to stand 10 minutes before refrigerating. Just before serving, top with freshly whipped cream, or meringue, and garnish with lime slices. <–I don't serve it with anything and I eat it straight out of the pie tin :) My dad has also added another little twist at times which makes for a superbly terrific pie. He will melt some chocolate (a Hershey bar) and pour it into the bottom of the crust before putting the key lime filling in. It needs to be a thin-ish layer because one time it was almost 1/4” thick and after being refrigerated, no one could cut into it! :( It was very sad. Anyway, C doesn’t like this pie. It’s pretty tart, but I love it. Probably one of my favorite pies if not the favorite.

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Giada’s Strawberry & Rosemary Scones

If you enjoyed this, check out the Fondant Flyboat CakeGiada’s Beef Tenderloin, and Giada’s Zeppole.

Surprise! Another Giada recipe! I can’t help it. I watch her once a day M-F so most of my ideas are bound to come from her. Who do you guys like? Any requests? I’m up for most anything as long as I don’t have to buy wildly expensive or rare ingredients and my family might eat it :) I don’t know what made me choose these scones. It’s not like I’m a big scone lover or anything. I’m not even that big of a fan of rosemary. I’ve only had that on my grandmother’s lamb really. I do have a baby shower coming up and thought these might be nice to take, but other than that, this was a total random thing. Lie. Oops, I also really like A’s (my daughter) strawberry jelly with no sugar added (This stuff is great.). Anyhow, no special reason this recipe was chosen.
Note to self: Read the ENTIRE recipe before you decide to make it! I’ve been off my game a little (first with the Zeppole, then this!) and it’s made for some ‘just ok’ recipes, but due to my own mistakes, not the recipes themselves. This one was kind of the same way. The original recipe can be found here.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves Note: I used dried.
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into &frac12;-inch pieces
  • 1 cup heavy cream Note: I only had light cream AND I goofed and used more than called for.
  • 1/3 cup strawberry jam
  • Glaze:

  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice, from 1 large lemon Note: I used un-fresh.
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons water

As you’ll notice by reading the recipe, Giada suggests the use of a food processor but in my head what she really meant to say is “Hey, a food processor would be the easiest route to go, but a blender works fine too as I know more people have them.” Wrong. Do not blend this! Read to the end of the recipe for the instructions for those without food processors. I used dried rosemary and thought that the pieces were a little too big, so I chopped them up with a knife. This was tricky because when I tried to chop them they scattered everywhere, lol. I did this:


Just place one hand over the top of the blade and press down on the hand with handle with the opposite hand. So, painfully long and embarrassing story short, I blended the ingredients and the dough ended up very goopy and gloppy (probably also because I added more cream because my blender wasn’t blending so well hah :)), but I was reeeallly excited for this recipe, so I just placed them on a cookie sheet like I would chocolate chip cookies :) I pressed down a little in the middle and added about a ½ tbsp of jelly. I made the glaze while the Scoonies were baking and it made way more than enough, for me. Like &frac12; a cereal bowl full of glaze.

Scoonies (Cookies+Scones?)

Now, while my version was definitely not as attractive as Giada’s was, it was DEFINITELY tasty! I loved loved loved them and cannot wait to make them again….with the food processor I will one day have or using the non-food processor directions :p C (husband) even took them to work to have the guys in his office try them. Please make these and let me know what you think! :)

Husband rating: 8. C’s friends also gave it an 8 overall :)

Would I make this for someone else?: Yes! After a few minor tweaks…lol. It’d be nice if they could be heart-shaped like Giada’s.

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Taco Soup

    ‘Tis the season for soups, no? I love this soup as well and although it it’s not as creamy and rich as the Cheeseburger Soup, it makes up for it in easy of preparation. This is another gem from Allrecipes. I love that website!

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 (16 ounce) can chili beans (drained)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans (drained)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle beer Note: Omitted.
  • 2 (10 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained Note: I use one; C is not a fan of tomatoes
  • 1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning
  • 3 whole skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)
  • sour cream (optional)
  • crushed tortilla chips (optional)

    This is so easy to make it’s ridiculous. Put 1lb of chicken breasts in the fridge the night before you plan to make this so that the chicken is thawed enough to remove the paper/padding stuff attached to the bottom of it in the package. Sometimes (most of the time) I forget to do this and will put some hot water in the sink with the chicken and let it thaw in there for about 30 minutes, just until I can get that paper stuff off (does anyone know the point of this?). Put the chicken in the crock pot. I season it with salt, pepper and garlic powder on top of the taco seasoning. Put the drained corn and beans in the pot, along with the rest of the ingredients. I substitute 12oz of chicken broth (made with bouillon cubes ;)) for the beer. Turn the crock pot on high, go do whatever you need to do for about 6 or 7 hours, come home and dinner is served! If you do not not start out with frozen chicken, put the crock pot on low instead of high. The chicken is tender and flavorful. The beans and corn are hearty and healthy. The whole thing is just easy and wonderful!

Topped with cheese and sour cream