Monday, December 29, 2008

Exciting News!

I, The Good Wife, in about 6 months will be The Good Mother!

That's the little bean in there. I am so scared and nervous and happy and excited all at the same time.

This is defiantly life-changing.

Friday, December 19, 2008

BBQ Pork Steaks

Nothing says winter like BBQ?

While not the first thing you think of when you think of winter, I was getting a little bored with our same old routine of beef steak and 'taters. The local meat market had some beautiful pork steaks on sale for cheap and I decided the best way to serve them was to coat them in a spice rub and then slather them in BBQ.

Now, I am not from the South or Texas and while I have been to both St. Louis and Kansas, I am not sure if this would be considered "real" BBQ by true fans. I didn't cook it on a smoker and it didn't take hours to prepare but for a Good Wife in a Midwest kitchen, this is the kind of BBQ I create.

The Good Wife Spice Rub
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon seasoned salt
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
2 large pork steaks
1-2 cups of your favorite BBQ sauce, I used KC Masterpiece Mesquite BBQ

~Combine the first ten ingredients for the spice rub and generously coat the pork steaks on all sides.

~Heat the oven to 350 degrees and bake the pork steaks for 20 minutes, turning once.

~Remove the steaks and coat with the BBQ sauce. Return to the oven for 10 minutes.

recipe by: The Good Wife

Easy Vegetable Rice Medley

A great side dish for the BBQ Pork Steak is this vegetable rice medley I saw in Kraft Food and Family Magazine. I have been getting the KFFM since 2005 but I have never really found all that many recipes that I like. They also recently switched formats for the magazine and I have found they rely too much on processed and boxed foods.

But the older magazines do have some good easy recipes, like this one. This recipe appeared in the Winter 2006 KFFM. This rice dish is easy to make, fast and flavorful. Also the picture in the KFFM is so pretty, that is the real reason I decided to make it. (The picture on the website is not the same as the one in the original magazine, so I was not seduced by that one. Even my picture is not as pretty as the original.)

1 Tbsp. canola oil
1 cup chopped onions (about 1 medium)
1/2 cup chopped carrots (about 1 medium)
1/2 cup chopped celery (about 1 stalk)
1/2 cup chopped red peppers
1 can fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
1-1/2 cups white rice, uncooked, I used Jasmine rice since that is all I had on hand
1 cup frozen peas, I omitted the peas

~Heat oil in nonstick skillet. Add onions, carrots, celery and peppers; cook 5 min. or until tender.

~Add broth; bring to boil.

~Stir rice and peas; cover. Simmer 5 min. Remove from heat. Let stand 5 min. before serving.

recipe by: Kraft Food and Family Magazine, Winter 2006

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Poll results

The most favorite Thanksgiving food was mashed potatoes and gravy!

Good job, starch. Turkey, ham and green bean casserole need to work harder next year to win the hearts and palates of The Good Wife Readers.

The new poll focuses on the current Holiday Season and what you like the most. Feel free to post anything here that you love about the Holiday Season but I didn't include in the poll.

Roasted Garlic Dip

I was craving a simple snack the other night but I didn't have too many ingredients on hand. I had some cream cheese and some sour cream and garlic. I pondered what I could make with such scare ingredients and thus, Roasted Garlic Dip was born.

The flavors of this dip were mellow the first day but after it sits in the fridge to a while, the flavors start to blend and sharpen. After a few days I could really taste the spices but it was not overwhelming.

2 heads garlic
1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 8 oz. pkg. sour cream
1/2 tablespoon Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle Seasoning Blend
1/2 teaspoon powdered garlic
2-4 drops of liquid smoke

~Peel away dry outer skin from one large garlic head, leaving the skins of the individual garlic cloves intact. Cut off the top portion of the head, leaving the bulb intact but exposing the individual cloves. Place garlic head, cut side up, on a large square of foil and drizzle with olive oil. Allow the oil to seep into the head of garlic, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with salt. Wrap the garlic tightly with foil and bake in a 350 degree F oven for 60 minutes or until cloves feel very soft when pressed. Cool. Press to remove garlic paste from individual cloves.

~Combine the remaining ingredients and chill for at least one hour or overnight.

recipe by: The Good Wife

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Ugliest Cake in the World

I had a craving for chocolate the other day and was bored as well and decided to make a layer cake. The Good Husband is a sheet cake fan, while I love the tall stuff. If you haven't figured it out already, TGH and I are actually polar opposites in most things.

So the journey of cake making began. The actual cake part was the easiest. It was the frosting of the cake that proved challenging and thus the reason I produced the ugliest cake in the world. Please don't turn me into Cake Wrecks.

I wasn't able to produce an actual butter cream frosting since it has eggs in it and for the meantime eggs are out of my diet. This frosting is just butter and coco powder and powdered sugar. I wasn't too impressed with it. It was far too sweet for me and not chocolate-y enough. But TGH ate the rest of the cake so it couldn't have been THAT bad.

Yellow Cake
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup butter or margarine
1-3/4 cups sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
1-1/4 cups milk

~Grease and lightly flour two 9x1-1/2-inch round baking pans; set pan(s) aside. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

~In a large mixing bowl beat butter or margarine with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar and vanilla; beat until well combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating 1 minute after each. Add dry mixture and milk alternately to beaten mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just till combined. Pour batter into the prepared pans.

~Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean. Cool layer cakes in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove layer cakes from pans. Cool thoroughly on racks.

~Frost with desired frosting. Makes 12 servings.

Chocolate Butter Frosting
1/3 cup butter or margarine
4-1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup coco powder

~In a mixing bowl beat butter until fluffy. Gradually add 2 cups of the powdered sugar, beating well. Add coco powder. Slowly beat in the 1/4 cup milk and vanilla.

~Slowly beat in remaining powdered sugar. Beat in additional milk, if needed, to reach spreading consistency. If desired, tint with food coloring. This frosts tops and sides of two 8- or 9-inch layers.

recipes by: Better Homes and Gardens

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Good Wife Party Mix

Mmmm. Party Mix.

I am not old enough to have seen the height of the home party mix craze in the 70s. I had only know party mix as the kind you get in the bag at the store. The horror!

Once, a few years ago, my grandma made the original, old-fashioned kind and I was hooked. I had to make it and I had to make it for every party there was. Then I discovered Peanut Lover's Chex Mix at the store and I was torn. How could I incorporate all the peanuty goodness of PLCM with all the traditional flavors of the original Party Mix?

I experimented and I developed this very tasty Party Mix: The Good Wife Party Mix!

The two main secrets to my party mix are: 1. Use real garlic and 2. Use both dry- and honey-roasted peanuts. I also don't add pretzels, just because I am not a big hard pretzel fan but feel free to add pretzels if you like them. Oh and I don't add the wheat Chex either.

4 1/2 cups Corn Chex cereal
4 1/2 cups Rice Chex cereal
1 cup dry roasted peanuts
1 cup honey roasted peanuts
1 cup garlic flavor bagel chips, broken into 1-inch pieces
6 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt
3 to 4 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon onion powder

~Heat oven to 250°F.

~In large bowl, mix cereals, nuts and bagel chips; set aside. In ungreased large roasting pan, melt butter in oven. Stir in seasonings. Using a garlic press, press 3 to 4 cloves of garlic, depending on your love of garlic flavor. Stir in cereal mixture until evenly coated.

~Bake 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Spread on paper towels to cool, about 15 minutes. Store in airtight container.

The addition of the real garlic cloves really add a nice roasted garlic flavor to the mix and the two contrasting peanuts enhance the flavor of the mix.

recipe by: The Good Wife