Monday, March 29, 2010

Brussels Sprouts with Garlic Butter & Almonds

I really like brussels sprouts so I was excited to find a new way to prepare them. As often as I make them, I always make the maple-bacon variety. And I love those. But I really like these too.

Start by toasting the almonds. You can do this simply by cooking them in a skillet over medium heat for about 3-4 minutes. Stir them frequently so they don't burn on one side.

Set the almonds aside. Then slice the garlic

and cut the sprouts in half, if you like. (I always do this, even when I buy the petite versions.) I really like frozen sprouts for the convenience, but you can use fresh as well.

In the same skillet you used for the almonds, melt the butter over medium heat then stir in the garlic,


salt and water.

Cover and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring ocassionally. Make sure you stir often enough that the garlic doesn't get over-browned.

(If you're using fresh sprouts, you may need more time; 8 minutes should be plenty for frozen.)

Once the sprouts are tender, transfer them to a serving dish and sprinkle with almonds.

Get more ideas at Mouthwatering Monday, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday and Tuesdays at the Table.

Brussels Sprouts with Garlic Butter & Almonds

1/4 cup slivered almonds
1 Tbsp. butter
2 large garlic cloves, slivered
1 pound brussels sprouts, halved or quartered
1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp. water
1/2 tsp. salt

In a nonstick skillet, cook almonds over medium heat for 3-4 minutes or until browned, stirring frequently. Transfer almonds to a cup; set aside.

In same skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in garlic, sprouts, water and salt. Cover and cook 8-10 minutes, stirring ocassionally. (Stir often enough in the last minutes of cooking so that the garlic does not overbrown.)

Transfer sprouts to a serving bowl and sprinkle with almonds. Makes 5-6 side dish servings.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Tuna Tetrazzini

I've had this recipe for what seems like eons. After the first time I tried it, I knew it would be in frequent rotation. It's good, cheap, quick and easy. Many nights I don't mind experimenting or cooking something that takes time, but sometimes, you just want good comfort food, and fast. I almost always have the ingredients on hand to make this, and it never disappoints!

First, combine the butter, water and milk in a large skillet and heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring frequently. Then add the noodles,

stirring to coat them all with the liquid. Then stir in the peas.

Bring this mixture to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat. Simmer for 6-8 minutes or until noodles are tender. Then stir in the soup, mushrooms,


and parmesan cheese,

stirring well after adding each ingredient.

Continue to cook just until it is heated through.

Get more ideas at the Krazy Kitchen , Cooking Thursday, Foodie Friday, Food on Fridays and Friday Food.

Tuna Tetrazzini

1 1/4 cups milk
1 1/4 cups water
1 Tbsp. butter
6 oz. medium egg noodles
1 cup frozen peas
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 4 oz. can mushrooms, drained
2 cans tuna, drained
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a large skillet over medium heat, combine milk, water and butter and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Add egg noodles and stir to coat all noodles with the liquid. Add peas and return to a boil. Cover; reduce heat and simmer 6-8 minutes or til noodles are tender. Stir in soup, mushrooms, tuna and cheese, stirring well after each addition. Cook until heated through. Serves 4-5.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Mixed Rice and Barley Pilaf

I love finding new and interesting side dishes, especially when they're made with healthy whole grains. This one fits the bill! And as a bonus, the leftovers freeze and thaw beautifully. (Pictured above with teriyaki chicken.)

This dish requires very little prep besides some chopping and sauteing. Most of the cooking is done in the oven so you can prepare something else, or read a book.

Start by rinsing the wild rice in hot water, then drain it completely. Next, combine the barley,

brown rice and wild rice

in a small bowl. In a large skillet or saucepan, saute the garlic in butter then add the rice mixture,

and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add the onion,



salt and pepper and thyme.

Bring this mixture to a boil, then pour it into a 2 quart baking dish that has been greased or sprayed with nonstick spray.

Cover the dish and bake the pilaf at 350 for 70 minutes or until the rice and barley are tender. Then uncover and bake an additional 5-10 minutes until the liquid is absorbed.

Get more cooking and eating inspiration at the Krazy Kitchen, Mouthwatering Mondays, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Tuesdays at the Table and Tasty Tuesday.

Mixed Rice and Barley Pilaf

1/3 cup uncooked wild rice
1/3 cup uncooked long grain brown rice
1/3 cup uncooked medium pearl barley
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp. butter
1 large sweet onion, chopped
8 oz. sliced fresh mushrooms
3 cups beef or vegetable broth
2 tsp. dried thyme
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Rinse wild rice with hot water; drain. Combine the wild rice, brown rice and barley in a bowl. In a saucepan, saute garlic in butter. Add rice mixture; saute for 2-3 minutes. Add the onion, mushrooms, broth, thyme, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil.

Transfer to a 2-qt. greased baking dish. Cover and bake at 350 for 70 minutes or until rice is tender. Uncover; bake 5-10 minutes longer or until liquid is absorbed. Serves 6-8.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Seek and You Shall Find!

Check out the new search box to the right! Now if you're looking for something specific, you can enter a recipe name or just an ingredient and Google will find you all the relevant mentions on Cook with Sara!

Oatmeal Caramel Chocolate Bars

Here's a hint for you: don't make these bars the same week you have to go on vacation and wear a swimsuit every day. You won't be able to stop eating them. That should have been self-evident to me looking at the title, but I went ahead and made them anyway. And I ate way too many. And I enjoyed every minute of it.

I slightly modified this recipe from Mel. She has a great cooking website! You should go see her and get inspired. If I made everything she has posted, I would never wear a swimsuit again!

These bars have a different texture at room temperature than when refrigerated. I liked them equally both ways (suprise, surprise)!

Let's get started! Combine the flour, oats, salt, baking soda and brown sugar in a medium mixing bowl.

Add the melted butter,

and stir well until the dry ingredients are all moistened. Press half of this crust into a 9x13 pan.

Bake this for about 10-12 minutes or until golden - it will smell amazing!

While the crust bakes, combine the caramels and half and half in a small saucepan,

and cook over low heat, stirring often, until smooth. Remove the crust from the oven and sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top,

then pour the caramel mixture over the chocolate chips.

Crumble the remaining "crust" mixture over the top of the caramel,

and return to the oven to bake an additional 10-12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned and caramel is bubbly. Cool completely before cutting.

You can store these in the fridge or at room temperature, and they freeze really well too! (I didn't get all of them eaten before my vacation so I froze some and have now handily eaten them.)

Get more ideas at Cooking Thursday, Krazy Kitchen, Foodie Friday, Friday Food, Food on Fridays and Would you like chocolate with that?, Ingredient Spotlight.

Oatmeal Caramel Chocolate Bars

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups oats
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 cup butter, melted
1 - 14 oz. bag of caramels
1/2 cup half and half
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Combine the flour, oats, salt, baking soda and brown sugar in a medium bowl. Add the melted butter and stir well to coat all the dry ingredients. Press half of this mixture onto the bottom of a 9x13 baking pan. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes, until lightly brown.

Meanwhile, melt the caramels and half and half in a saucepan over low heat, stirring often, until smotth. Remove crust from oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips and then pour caramel mixture over the top. Sprinkle the remaining crust over the caramel and return to the oven.

Bake for an additional 10-12 minutes, until the caramel is bubbling and the edges are lightly brown. Cool the bars completely before cutting. Makes 30 bars.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Fruited Bran Muffins

I just love finding new muffin recipes. I really like bran muffins, and I really like banana and blueberry in muffins, and this recipe has it all - and apples too! Jackpot!

Other benefits: you can stir it up the batter with a wooden spoon (no mixer required!), they're whole grain with both bran and whole wheat flour, they freeze beautifully.

Start by pouring the cereal in a large bowl and then covering it with the buttermilk.

Stir it up a bit so that all the cereal bits are covered with milk. Let this sit for about 5 minutes.

In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, oil and molasses.

Whisk it up good to beat the eggs lightly, then add the mashed banana. Pour this mixture over the cereal.

Next add the flour,

sugar, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon.

Stir just until all the dry ingredients are moistened. Fold in the apples

and the blueberries.

Line muffin cups with papers or nonstick spray. Fill the muffin cups 3/4 full and then bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes, then remove muffins from the pans and cool completely on a wire rack.

Get more inspiration at Mouthwatering Mondays , Krazy Kitchen, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Tuesdays at the Table and Tasty Tuesday.

Fruited Bran Muffins

3 cups All Bran
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2)
1/2 cup molasses
2 eggs
4 Tbsp. canola oil
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup chopped tart apple (like Granny Smith)
1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Pour cereal into a large bowl and cover with buttermilk. Let sit 5 minutes. In a small bowl, combine eggs, molasses, oil and banana. Whisk together to lightly beat eggs. Pour this mixture into the cereal. Add flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Stir just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Fold in apples and blueberries.

Line muffin cups with papers or spray with non stick spray. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Cool for 5 minutes in the pan before removing muffins to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes 20-24 muffins.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Shrimp Lo Mein

I love finding one-dish meals that include veggies, protein and carbs. I especially love finding recipes that replicate some of my favorite restaurant fare. This one fits both categories! As with many stir fries - almost all the ingredients are interchangeable with what you have on hand. You could alter the meat, the veggies, the noodles - these recipes are great for using up what you have in the fridge!

It's really helpful to have everything ready to go before you start cooking. Get all your veggies chopped, and cut the shrimp into bite sized pieces. I used broccoli, yellow pepper, mushrooms, green onion and pea pods.

Get the noodles going - I used udon for this but spaghetti and linguine work well too.

Next, make the sauce. In a measuring cup, combine the water, ketchup, soy sauce,

cornstarch, broth, ginger,

pepper flakes and honey.

Whisk well to combine and to incorporate the cornstarch.

Now you're ready to cook! Heat 1 Tbsp. of oil in a large skillet and add the shrimp and garlic when the oil is hot.

Cook for 2-3 minutes until garlic is fragrant and shrimp are warmed through.

Remove the shrimp and garlic from the pan and rinse it clean. Add another tablespoon of oil to the skillet and turn the heat to medium-high. When the oil is hot, add the broccoli, peppers and green onion.

Stir fry them for about 2 minutes then add the pea pods and mushrooms.

Stir fry for an additional 2 minutes then add the shrimp and garlic back in to the skillet.

Whisk the sauce again then add it into the skillet,

stirring as the sauce thickens - it will bubble around the edges a bit as it gets thick. I think that is fun to watch!

Finally, add the drained noodles to the skillet.

Stir it all up so that the noodles get coated with the sauce.

Shrimp Lo Mein

1/2 pound cooked medium shrimp, chopped into bite sized pieces
2 garlic cloves, sliced
6 oz. whole wheat spaghetti, linguine or udon noodles
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup ketchup
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
4 tsp. cornstarch
2 Tbsp. sherry or chicken broth
2 tsp. honey
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
2 cups broccoli florets
1 cup chopped sweet pepper
1/4 cup sliced green onion
1 cup pea pods
1 cup sliced mushrooms

In a measuring cup, combine the water, ketchup, soy sauce, cornstarch, broth, honey, ginger and red pepper flakes. Whisk well to combine and set aside. Cook noodles as package directs.

Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add shrimp and garlic; stir fry for 2 minutes. Remove from skillet and rinse skillet clean. Add remaining oil to skillet and heat until hot. Add broccoli, pepper and onion; stir fry 2 minutes. Add pea pods and mushroom; stir fry 2 more minutes. Return shrimp and garlic to skillet.

Whisk sauce again and then add to skillet. Stir constantly until sauce thickens. Drain noodles and add to skillet. Stir well to coat noodles with the sauce. Serves 4.
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