Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms

 Cookery, Homekeeping, Marriage, Recipes  Comments Off on Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms
Jul 092012

Yesterday was HubbaHubba and my 7th wedding anniversary. To celebrate the blessing that our marriage is, we had some friends take the girls after church to play while we went out on a date, by ourselves! We took a while trying to decide where we were going to eat. We did have the qualifications that it couldn’t be someplace that we would take the girls at this stage in our lives. We settled on Outback Steakhouse. It was very good and we hope to go back someday (without the children of course.). We then had a quiet afternoon at home before picking the girls up and heading over to church for the presentation on the missions trip to Poland and Czechoslovakia from last month and ice cream social. We get home from that (after getting a container of ice cream foisted off on us) and get the girls ready for bed. After they were down we made ourselves a late evening supper of stuffed portabella mushrooms. Let me say, these were incredible.

Cream cheese pesto stuffed portabella mushroom

First you need to get some of those giant portabella mushrooms. I mean the big ones that are like the size of a saucer if you can (you can do smaller ones and have more that way I suppose or use this as an appetizer). Clean them and place them on a non-stick sprayed baking sheet with the gills facing up.

Take a brick of cream cheese (or half if you are being reasonable and doing just two large ones.) and heat in the microwave until you can stir it with a fork easily. Add about a quarter cup of parmesean cheese to it and mix thoroughly. Spoon into the mushrooms and spread to reach all the edges.

On top of the cream cheese mixture, place about a tablespoon (or more to taste) of pesto. I highly recommend making your own if you can it is easy (pine nuts or walnuts depending on what you can find, basil, garlic olive oil and parmesean cheese. Grind the pine nuts and basil together with the garlic in the food processor, then add the parm. After it is all mixed, drizzle the olive oil in until you get the consistency you like. We never measure our pesto as we fix it by taste and which flavors we want to be stronger, the ratios are totally up to you. If you want it with a bit of spice, add a dash or two of crushed red pepper flakes).

Sprinkle the mushrooms with some grated mozzarella cheese and top with shrimp if you like. I dusted them with more parm and then we roasted them at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes when they were hot all the way through and the cheese had melted and the parm on top had started to turn brown.

prebaked stuff mushroom

If you wanted, you could use crab meat or lobster in place of the shrimp. Or leave the seafood off and try adding some olives (which my husband isn’t fond of), artichokes or spinach. These were big enough for a full meal. If it had been dinner time, a nice side salad would have rounded it out nicely.

Jul 072012

I hadn’t know of the Garden Challenge until I saw it on Twitter tonight. If I had, believe me, this was my first year gardening and I would have joined in (probably…If this gardening adventure had turned into a total failure, I’m not sure I want the public embarrassment of having to admit it).

Our first cherry tomatoes, still green, tiny little ones.

We planted two four by four raised beds this year. In one I have five tomato plants (a cherry tomato, Cherokee Purple, Mr. Stripey, Arkansas Traveler and Pink Brandywine) along with a host of hot banana peppers and two peppers that lost their tags before I got them planted thanks to the Bugs’ attempt at trying to be helpful (they are either Tabasco or jalapeno). In the other plot, we have a red sweet bell, green sweet bell, Thai hot pepper, Serrano and then the other remaining Tabasco or jalapeno and watermelon and cantaloupe. We have basil and oregano growing in a pot on the back porch and attempted to grow lettuce in an old wash tub, however, it has been way too hot and they stopped growing after they sprouted. We also tried some sunflowers, but I directly planted them into the ground and the squirrels found them.

Our first Serrano pepper. It was nearly 8 inches long!

It got really hot here the last few weeks so that the tomatoes refused to set blooms except for the cherry tomato (we got our first five off that this past week. The eldest and I stood out there and ate them right off the vines, they were so yummy). Our hot peppers are extremely happy though. We’ve harvested close to twenty Serranos off the one plant and it has even more buds! HubbaHubba has used them in omelets, hamburgers and made three jars of pickled hot peppers. He is extremely proud of his pickled peppers. I am proud of the fact that he pickled them mainly on his own with his intense aversion to the smell of vinegar. All three of the jars sealed up and we are waiting for them to be good and pickled before we start to eat them. I can’t wait to try them as all the pickled peppers at the store contain sulfites, of which I am very allergic to.

3 jelly jars of pickled hot banana and Serrano peppers

We can’t wait until the tomatoes start to ripen (the like six we have) to make some homemade salsa. And tomorrow (Sunday July 8) we are harvesting a lot of the basil to make some homemade pesto sauce for our wedding anniversary. We both love pesto, but hate the extreme price of it. Our local Aldi had pine nuts as a special buy this week at an extremely reasonable price so I grabbed some. We’re both looking forward to celebrating a wonderful 7 years together and what I pray is many more until we’re both old and gray.

The girls have loved watching the garden grow. Every time a new pepper is formed or a cherry tomato is ripened, they come running into the house yelling “It’s a miracle Mom!!!!! Come and see!!!!” I love their excitement in watching the plants that they helped plant grow and produce wonderful food for us to eat. This ties in so nicely as we are going to do botany this next school year (which starts for us on Monday, too hot to do much else, may as well get ahead). They are living what they will be studying in science this year. I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything.

Jul 032012

My family likes to have a nice leisurely brunch on Saturdays as Daddy doesn’t have to go to work and it is just a great chance for family time.

This past Saturday was interesting. You see, I hadn’t had time to go grocery shopping yet and we were down to not a whole lot in the breakfast food department. And HubbaHubba had promised the Bugs a special breakfast on Friday night. So, we came up with this breakfast pizza with what we had on hand. It was easy to make, filling and very good.

Breakfast Pizza with sawmill gravy, scrambled eggs, bacon bits, peppers and onions

We made our own pizza dough with this recipe first (it’s my mom’s). You could use your favorite pizza dough (either homemade or bought)

1 pkg. dry yeast
1 c. warm water
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 Tblsp. oil
2 1/2 c. flour

Combine, let rest for 5 minutes. Bake at 425 for 20 minutes. However, bake for 15 minutes without the toppings.

While the pizza is baking, make your favorite version of sawmill gravy (we used milk and flour and added a ton of black pepper and rosemary as we were out of sausage…) and scramble up some eggs, but don’t cook them all the way, leave them moister than you would if you were serving them as they will be going on top of the pizza and baking for about five to ten minutes and you don’t want them over done.

When the crust is nearly done (about five to eight minutes left) take it out of the oven and put the gravy on top, followed by the scrambled eggs. We then added bacon bits (we were desperate, ok?) shredded fiesta blend cheese and left over fajita peppers and onions and a can of mushrooms (veggies went to the “grown up side” of the pizza). We then popped it back into the oven until the cheese was melted and it was all hot.

Slice of breakfast pizza with sawmill gravy, scrambled eggs, bacons, onions and peppers oh, and mushrooms

It made for a very tasty and filling brunch. My husband did lament on the amount of dirty dishes it produced (I don’t know why, I’m the dishwasher of the family…) but other than that, it was great. And one of the greatest things is how versatile this is. You could do full blown sausage gravy, bacon strips, add spinach and tomato with goat cheese. Whatever fits your style and preferences. I want to try a ham and cheese omlette style next. What would you put on a breakfast pizza?

Recipe Box Challenge Thursdays Are Coming!

 Cookery, Homekeeping, Memes, Recipes  Comments Off on Recipe Box Challenge Thursdays Are Coming!
Jan 052012

Introducing Recipe Box Challenge Thursdays!

Back at Thanksgiving I was looking for a new roll recipe.  The one I wanted I couldn’t find and the sweet lady who made these rolls had just passed away so there was no way I could find a copy of them. So some friends and I on Facebook started talking about looking for a roll recipe this year as it seems that many of us have lost the recipe we wanted. During the course of this conversation, the idea came to host a recipe exchange on my blog.

I know, I know, a lot of people hold recipe exchanges on their blogs. What’s new about that one, right? Well, I was thinking that we are going to organize it more like a recipe box. The linky will be open for a week on every-other-Thursday. And we’ll have themes, like a recipe box. So one week we’ll post our favorite soup recipes, the next time maybe our favorite beef recipes, another time our favorite bread recipes. The theme for the link up will be posted on the first and third Thursdays of the month, you’ll have a week to get your recipes typed up on your blog and then we’ll post on the following Thursday (second and fourth) and the linky will be open for about a week. And if you have pictures, that would be terrific! (I don’t know about you, but I choose new recipes a lot of times from the pictures in my cooking magazines )

So, for the first Recipe Box Challenge Thursday, our theme will be soups. It is cold and chilly and perfect soup weather here. What is your favorite kind to make? Is it something traditional like chicken noodle soup? Or do you like something with a kick to it like chicken tortilla soup? Or is it an ethnic soup like pho? Share your favorite next Thursday and check out everyone else’s..

Nov 222011

This year I was going to make Lottie Rolls for Thanksgiving. In tribute to a lady from our church growing up who made the absolute best from scratch, homemade rolls ever. Lottie, in her mid-nineties was called home at the end of last week. She was the sweetest lady imagineable. And one of the best cooks I’ve ever seen. So I was rather upset today when I couldn’t find the old church cookbook with her roll recipe in it. So I had to settle on Beef House Rolls instead. If I find Lottie’s recipe, I so will be making them in her memory.

There is a steak house back home that makes the second (aside from Lottie Rolls) best rolls ever. This year, for Thanksgiving, I’m going to try to replicate them. I’m using a copy cat recipe from the Middlefork United Methodist Women’s Cookbook which was submitted by Jeanie Prillaman.  I don’t have the fine Wondra flour it calls for (never heard of it actually) but I do have the extra fine Winnona which I’ll use instead.

3/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. Salt
3 Tbl. Margarine (I’ll use real butter, we don’t let margarine in the house)
1 egg slightly beaten
2 pkgs dry yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
5 cups Wondra flour

(Directions verbatum from the book)

Mix 3/4 cup water, sugar, salt and margerine. Bring to a boil and cool to lukewarm. When cool, mix yeast in 1 cup lukewarm water until disolved. Then add mixture, egg, and 3 cups flour (adding more to make it unsticky). Beat until smooth. Add rest of the flour and mix well. No kneading necessary. Place in a greased bowl and let rise until doubled, about 1 hr. Punch down and form into balls, 2 per roll. Place in muffin tins and let rise again until desired rise. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes (check after 10 minutes and cover with foil if getting too brown).

So, what rolls are you baking? Have a terrific recipe? If so, post it on your blog and leave the link in the comments. Don’t have a blog, try to post the recipe in the comments so you can join in the fun. I’m planning a recipe box meme coming up soon complete with linkies, so be on the lookout for that.