Author Archives: Bill

Beef Wellington with Roasted Red Potatoes

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jillpickle:  I decided to make The Ultimate Beef Wellington recipe from Tyler Florence for New Years Day.  It was a fun recipe to try.  Next time I would try to remove more of the moisture from the duxelles before spreading it on the pastry.  For me, some of the moisture caused a little bit of a soggy bottom.  Other than that, it was a great recipe.  I liked the potato recipe too.

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Chicken Parmesan with Oven-Roasted Tomato Sauce

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jillpickle: I decided to make a Chicken Parmesan with Oven-Roasted Tomato Sauce Recipe from this month’s Cooking Light.  It was a little time consuming and resulted in lots of dirty dishes (which is not bad if you live in a house where someone else likes to wash dishes).  One of the reasons that this turned out so well was that we used organic cherry tomatoes, home-grown garlic, home-grown lemon thyme and organic onion.  It turned out to be the best Chicken Parmesan I’ve ever eaten.  Modifications I made were few: I used a small onion in place of the shallot and instead of cutting the chicken through the middle, I flattened the chicken with a mallet and cut the cutlets in half.  I had more chicken that the recipe called for so I used more bread crumbs.  Really yummy!!!

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Slow-bake Cheese Cake

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jillpickle: This past Tuesday was “Quilting Night” at my house. Quilting night is a time to get together at quilt club member’s homes and eat luscious desserts. (Oh and quilt too!!) Here is my version of a turtle cheesecake including homemade caramel topping, pecans and fudge drizzle. You can’t go wrong with this cheesecake when you want a fancy dessert! Slow-bake Cheese Cake from Sue Skrzeczkowski Just make sure you have time to bake and cool all of the layers. I’ve tried making this “fast” and it did not turn out! This is a great bake-ahead dessert since it tastes better the day after you make it!

Fudge Drizzle:

Melt about 1 cup chocolate chips (Ghirardelli), 1 Tablespoon butter, 2 Tablespoons honey, 1 Tablespoon water and 1 teaspoon vanilla in a glass dish in the microwave for about 1 minute. If this is too thick, you can add a tiny bit more water. This will solidify in the frig, but stick it back in the microwave for a few seconds to melt and use. You can use this sauce to drizzle over ice cream as well.

Tomato-Glazed Meatloaves with Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes

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We decided to make a recipe from the Smitten Kitchen cookbook. It’s actually two recipes that make a great dish together. I made the Tomato-Glazed Meatloaves and Jill did the Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes.

The meatloaves were full of flavor which the tomato glaze topping enhanced! The brown butter mashed potatoes were really good and provided a nice combination with the meatloaves. Definitely comfort food!

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Friendship Scone Mix

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Jill has given Friendship Scone Mix in a quart size jar as a Christmas present.  She decided to make some this morning for breakfast.  They took a little longer to bake than the recipe calls for.  Almost another 10 minutes.  They were really good topped with maple syrup!  Jill’s version with syrup is shown above.

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Parmesan chicken with orzo with a side of Swiss Chard

Jill Pickle:  I wanted to make a quick and easy recipe so I tried Parmesan Chicken and Rice from the Cooking Light, Dinner Tonight Cookbook.  I made a few changes.  I added orzo instead of rice and added the whole can of chicken broth.  It was really good!  The wine, mushrooms and Parmesan cheese added so much flavor!  I also used thyme and Italian parsley from my herb garden.  As a side, I made Swiss Chard.  In my garden, I’m also growing lovely Rainbow Swiss Chard and it was surprisingly good!!

Pesto Pasta with Shrimp and Roasted Asparagus

Bill:  I was inspired by Katie’s recent post to make a quick but tasty meal.  Last fall I froze a couple of batches of pesto that I made with almonds.  The pesto was frozen in ice cube trays which makes it easy to use later.  I pulled out 4 cubes of pesto to use along with 2 servings of pasta.  I added some raw shrimp into the boiling water the last two minutes that the pasta was cooking.  Jill taught me this trick which is the perfect length of time to cook the shrimp.  I also reserved a couple of ladles of pasta water which I added slowly to the pesto cubes to get a nice consistency before adding to the cooked pasta.

To go along with the meal I roasted some asparagus in the oven.  Katie, there are some Asparagus Festivals in the Midwest, but I’m not aware of any Asparagus Princesses.  You’ll have to take us to a German Asparagus celebration sometime.