Saturday, November 29, 2008

Basic Beer-Cheese Bread

Almost as good as the Tastefully Simple beer bread!

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 c. finely chopped yellow onion
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
13.5 oz. flour (about 3 cups)
3 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 c. (4oz) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 (12oz) bottle lager-style beer
cooking spray
2 Tbsp. melted butter, divided

1) Preheat oven to 375.
2) Heat oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion to pan; cook 10 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Stir in pepper and garlic; cook 1 minute.
3) Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Make a well in the center of the mixture. Add onion mixture, cheese, and beer to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.
4) Spoon batter into a 9x5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Drizzle 1 Tbsp. melted butter over batter. Bake at 375 for 35 minutes. Drizzle remaining 1 Tbsp. butter over batter. Bake an additional 25 minutes or until deep golden brown and a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pan 5 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

From Cooking Light, November 2008.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

Dayman Musical

Potato Gouda and Chive Soup

Another yummy recipe from the recipe swap! This is actually the first one I made, but I wasn't as actively blogging then, so here you go! Also, I have half of this frozen and I'm waiting for some cold winter night in December to finish it off!

Side note: I bought a "normal" size block of smoked Gouda and shredded all of it before realizing that it was twice as much cheese as I needed! So, I dumped all of it in (because really, what are you going to do with an extra cup of shredded Gouda??) - still tasty! However, I probably recommend just using the suggested 1 cup and eating the rest of the block while you're making the soup! ;)

8-10 med-large Yukon gold potatoes, sliced
49 oz. Swanson's chicken broth
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup shredded smoked Gouda
1/2 cup chopped fresh chives
Salt (as desired) and freshly ground black pepper (good with lots of pepper)
1 onion, carmelized
Additional chives for garnish

Place the potatoes and 2 cups of the stock in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 3 hours, or until the potatoes are just tender.

Transfer two-thirds of the potatoes to a food processor or blender, along with the cooking liquid. (Let it cool before blending.) Add the garlic and carmelized onion. Blend to the desired consistency: a blender will yield a smooth texture, a food processor a rough, rustic consistency. (Or use an immersion blender—so you don’t have to wait for it to cool.)

Return the potato purée to the slow cooker and stir in the shredded cheese, remaining stock and the chives. Cover and cook on low for 30 minutes, or until the soup is well heated. Add extra stock or water if the soup is too thick. Season with salt and pepper.

You can do the whole soup on the stove in a stock pot - there's no reason it has to be done in the crockpot!

Ladle into soup bowls, sprinkle with the chives, and serve immediately. Serves 6-8. Freezes well.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

End of an Era

Last game in the Dome. Worst Gophers loss I've seen. Super freakin' cold tailgating for 2 1/2 hours before the game. Lots of drinking just to stay warm. At least we had fun while it lasted!

I think I may have an obsession...

I just finished season 2 of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman this morning, and now all I want to do is watch season 3 - immediately. But, unfortunately I'm on a waitlist (yes, more than one person wants to watch Dr. Quinn!) at the library and I don't have a movie to send back in to Netflix yet so I can't get it that way...I did discover, however, that they recently released the complete series megaset! So now, for a meer $150 I can own all 6 seasons!! (Which is actually a pretty good deal, considering each season is $50-70 on its own!) Crap, I can't wait - I really want more Dr. Quinn!

Friday, November 21, 2008

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Seriously, the funniest show ever. How do you make an entire season finale based on this crazy song??

What is going on with ABC?

First they fire Brooke Smith (Dr. Erica Hahn) from Grey's Anatomy because they no longer like her gay storyline, and now they cancel three shows mid-season? Pushing Daisies, Eli Stone, and Dirty Sexy Money are all ending! This cannot be a good sign for the network. I bet Kate Walsh (Dr. Addison Montgomery)is just hoping her new show, Private Practice, makes it through the season with good ratings in order to avoid getting axed for next season!

Thursday, November 20, 2008


So today I've been thinking a lot about wine. Probably because we're about to enjoy a nice bottle of pinot grigio that I brought back from Napa last spring for the lab, but also because after that I'm off to Surdyk's to re-stock our wine for the house. (We're down to 2 bottles that we brought back from Napa, which we're saving for awhile yet, and 1 bottle of a MN zinfandel...)

Which brings me to some exciting news...Surdyk's is carrying wine from not just one, but TWO wineries that we visited while in Napa! They're now carrying two wines from Artesa, a chardonnay and a cabernet sauvignon, and one wine, a merlot, from Rutherford Hill. Unfortunately, we did not actually purchase any of these wines while in Napa, however I may pick up at least one of them tonight! Yeah!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Don't freak out. I just changed the template, but you are still at the right place! Sometimes you just need a change, ya know?

Panera Bread Broccoli Cheese Soup

Another recipe swap recipe, this one is from my cousin, Jan. The notes in parentheses are from her, but I followed accordingly and liked her version!

1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups half-and-half (I use heavy cream)
2 cups chicken stock or bouillon
1/2 pound fresh broccoli (I use mostly tops)
1 cup carrots, julienned
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (I don’t always add the nutmeg)
8 ounces grated sharp cheddar (I use shredded cheddar and monterey jack)


Saute onion in butter. Set aside. (I put the onions in a bowl and use the same pan to make my roux. The onion juice adds a caramel flavor.) Cook melted butter and flour using a whisk over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Stir constantly and slowly add the half-and-half (this is called making a roux). Add the chicken stock whisking all the time. Simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Add the broccoli, carrots and onions. Cook over low heat until the veggies are tender for 20-25 minutes. Add salt and pepper. The soup should be thickened by now. Pour in batches into blender and puree. Return to pot over low heat and add the grated cheese; stir until well blended. Stir in the nutmeg and serve.

Super good! My only complaint is that it only made about 5 bowls of soup, which was enough for 2 meals for the hubby and I, and one extra lunch. I may double it next time!

Roy's Beef

I participated in a recipe swap recently (via email, not snail mail!) and I have tried only a few of the recipes, but they've been so good that I wanted to share! This one is from J-funk , and it's AWESOME! It makes a ton of beef, but my hubby and I took down half of it in one meal! :) Thanks J-funk!!

Roy's Beef

3 lb. chuck roast
1 jar of pepperoncini (banana peppers)
1 packet zesty Italian dressing mix

Put roast in crockpot, pour banana peppers and juice over roast.

Cook on high for 8 hours.

Remove stems from peppers (you can remove roast and peppers to do this, but I just left them all in and dug out the peppers individually).

Add in Italian dressing mix, stir into juices.

Cook on low for 1 additional hour.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

State Volleyball 08

The state volleyball tourney was last weekend, so the hubby and I spent a good amount of time in downtown St. Paul watching my cousin's team. They lost the first game, so they ended up in the consolation bracket, but they won their second game so they got to play a third game on Saturday morning for the consolation championship. We had Gopher football at 11am on Saturday, but we decided to go to the 9am volleyball game and then fly over to downtown Mpls to get to the game a little late. Unfortunately the girls lost the third game, but they gave the other team a run for their money! MCW was down 2 games (you have to win 3 of 5), then they came back to win the next 2 games, to force it into a 5th game, which they lost. But it was fun! Hopefully they'll make it back next year, considering they're only losing 3 seniors and the majority of the starters are sophomores!!

Oh, and I made all of the 'cousins' t-shirts out of blue duct tape! They were a hit!

Sunday, November 02, 2008


We went to my cousin, Taylor's, volleyball game last night in St. Peter. They were playing for the section championship, and chance to go to state - and they did it! The coolest part - the team is primarily sophomores (including my cousin, who is the setter) - so hopefully this is just the beginning of some pretty amazing volleyball for them!

We were hot.

Pretty sure I will never wear this much grease paint again...