Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Title Change

As of late, Michelle has been posting more than I have. I feel it's only fair to rename the blog to reflect that! Welcome to the "new" Jake's (and Michelle's) Recipes!

Beef & Veggie Pita Pizzas

With some leftover ground beef we made this delightful dish. The fennel and oregano give the beef a sausage taste, without the extra cost.
salt and pepper to taste
1 lb ground beef
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds

1 teaspoon oregano
1/8 dried red pepper flakes (optional)

1 green pepper, diced
1 small onion, diced
5 pitas

1 can of prepared spaghetti sauce
3 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
grated Parmesan Cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Season ground beef with salt and pepper. Brown ground beef with garlic. Midway through cooking add fennel, oregano and red pepper flakes. Cook beef until no longer pink , stirring constantly. Drain fat.

Saute onions and peppers until onions are translucent.

Arrange pitas on baking sheets. Spoon 1/4 cup spaghetti sauce onto each pita, and spread evenly. Divide onion & pepper mix, beef mixture, and mozzarella evenly among pitas.

Bake 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the pita edges are golden brown. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over each pita and serve.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Irish Stew

2 ¾ lb boneless lamb chops
(2 lbs lamb & ¾ lb stew beef chunks
1 Tbs vegetable oil
3 large onions
4 large carrots
3 ¾ C water
4 large potatoes, unpeeled and cut into chunks
1 large fresh spring of thyme
1 Tbs butter
1 Tbs fresh parsely, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper

Trim any fat from the lamb. Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole/pot and brown the lamb on high heat. Remove meat from pan

Quarter the onions. Add to the pot with the carrots and cook for five minutes, until the onions are browned. Return meat to the pot with water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour.

Add the potatoes to the pot and cook for another 45 minutes. Add the thyme then cook for 15 minutes longer.

Leave the stew to settle for a few minutes. Remove the fat from the liquid with a ladle, and pour off the liquid into a clear sauce pan. Stir in butter and parsley. Season well with salt and pepper then pour back into the pot. Serve.

Alteration: I don’t like my onions so big so I cut them into 8 chunks.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Baked Tomato Olive Halibut

Our youngest boy is a picky eater, but he gobbled this dish up and asked for more.
We ate this with a side of herb & butter rice with a simple green salad.

1 pound halibut fillets (about 4), cut into 2 inch pieces
Salt and black pepper
1 can (14.5 ounces) dices Italian-style tomatoes, drained
2 tablespoons chopped pitted ripe olives
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat 13x9 inch baking dish with non-stick olive oil-flavored cooking spray. arrange cod fillets in pan; season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Combine tomatoes, olives, and garlic in medium bowl. Spoon over fish

Bake 20 minutes or until fish flakes when tested with fork. Sprinkle with parsley.

Makes 4 servings

Friday, March 12, 2010

Breaded Eggplant and Eggplant Parmesan

I discovered a recipe for Eggplant Parmesan at Sunflower Market on the recipe board (hidden, it's on the way to the water fountain). My boys love it and request it every time they hear that eggplant is on sale.

Although, we call it Eggplant Parmesan, for the Allergics it's really Breaded Eggplant, since I leave out the cheese.  I bake on two sheets, Breaded and Parmesan, to avoid any cross contamination ;)

2 eggplants (about 2 pounds total)
3 egg whites or 2 eggs
3 tablespoons water
1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
2 1/2 cups tomato sauce
3/4 cup grated low fat mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 2 baking sheets with oil.

Cut eggplants cross wise into 1/4 inch thick slices

Whisk egg whites and water in a shallow dish until frothy.

Combine bread crumbs, kosher salt, pepper, (and Parmesan Cheese) in another shallow dish.
Dip eggplants slices into the egg mixture, then coat with the bread crumb mixture. Discard any leftovers of either mixture.

Arrange eggplant discs in a single layer on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes, turn the eggplant discs over, and bake until crisp and golden, about 15 minutes longer.

Stir basil into tomato sauce. Spread the sauce over the eggplant slices (and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese). Bake until sauce bubbles and the cheese is melted.

Serve with a side of sauced pasta and garlic bread. 

Makes 24+ slices (which easily feeds my family of 6)

You can also use zucchini, sliced in long strips. Mmmm.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Baked Green Eggs and Ham

One of my favorite breakfast dishes is Baked Eggs Benedict from the Pampered Chef. It sure is tasty with a delicious and simplified lemon butter sauce instead of the traditional Hollandaise.

Our typical St. Patrick's Day breakfast is green scramble eggs and ham with a side of toast. It's super quick and easy (I do it in the microwave). It was something my boys were guaranteed to eat when they were little.

Now as their enjoyment of food expands and their taste buds/palate becomes more refined, I sound snooty, I wanted to do something different to reflect that change. The wonderful thing is all I had to do is add a bit of food coloring to a dish they already loved.


  • 4 whole English muffins
  • 8 oz Canadian bacon, diced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 4 oz cream cheese, soft
  • 1 ¾ c. half & half
  • 10 eggs
  • ½-¾ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 10 drops green food coloring
  • 1 Tbs chopped fresh parsley
  • Lemon – Butter Sauce
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 stick butter, sliced by 8

Preheat oven to 400. Cut muffin halves into ¾ inch pieces. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown and crispy (like croutons). Place muffin pieces in a casserole (9x13 or 10x10). Sprinkle diced bacon over muffin pieces.

In a 4 qt. mixing bowl, whisk cream cheese until smooth. While continuously whisking, gradually add half & half, whisk until smooth. Whisk in eggs, cayenne pepper, and green food coloring. Carefully pour egg mixture into casserole. Bake 28-32 minutes. Remove from oven. Let stand for 5-10 minutes. The residual heat will firm up the nearly set middle. Sprinkle parsley on top

For lemon-butter sauce:
Grate 2 teaspoons of zest off a lemon. Juice lemon for ¼ cup juice. In a saucepan, combine lemon zest and juice; cook over medium heat 2 minutes or until juice reduces by half.
Reduce heat to low. Whisk in butter slices, one at a time, whisking after each addition, until butter is melted and sauce is smooth.

Cut baked eggs and ham into wedges and serve. Drizzle each serving with butter sauce
Use remaining lemon to make lemon slices to decorate.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Orange Coconut Muffins

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
2/3 cup toasted wheat germ
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup toasted flaked coconut
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
2 eggs
1 can (11 ounces) mandarin oranges, drained
1/2 cup toasted chopped nuts

Heat oven to 400 degree. Grease muffin pan with Baker's Joy or line with paper baking cups.

Combine dry muffin ingredients. Beat the eggs in a small bowl, blend in the sour cream and oranges. Mix into dry ingredients until moistened. Fold in nuts. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full.

Bake 18-20 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from pan. Cool on wire pack.

Makes 1 dozen muffins.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

1/4 cup quaker oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon margarine/butter or dairy & soy free spread, melted

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup quaker oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
2/3 granulated sugar
4 teaspoons poppy seeds
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup fat free milk or almond milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 egg whited or 1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

Heat oven to 400 degree. Grease muffin pan with Baker's Joy or line with paper baking cups.

Combine streusel ingredients, mix well. Set aside.

Combine dry muffin ingredients. Combine the muffin's wet ingredients and the lemon peel; mix into dry ingredients until moistened. Fill muffin cups almost full. Sprinkle streusel evenly over batter, patting gently.

Bake 18-20 minutes or until light golden brown. Let muffins stand a few minutes; remove from pan.

Makes 1 dozen muffins.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

St. Patrick's Day Dinner

Here's our traditional St. Patrick's Day Dinner, we're posting it early so you have enough time to corn your beef in for the holiday.

Corning your own corn beef - it will take 10 days to brine.

Boiled Corn Beef Dinner

Monday, March 1, 2010

Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

I've been trying to come up with better breakfast options (you know, not just cold cereal, a slice of toast, and a fruit) for the boys so that they have a more filling meal to last them until lunch. We've done a variety of things: hot cereals, pancakes, scrambled eggs, and. . . muffins.

I really love this muffin recipe because it is so moist and delicious. The big plus is that it has zucchini in it, which means the boys will actually get a vegetable that day. And they love it!

2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/3 unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup milk
1 cup milk chocolate chips (I used a mix of semisweet and milk)
1 cup shredded zucchini (I peeled the zucchini first)
Baker's Joy spray

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease muffin pan with Baker's Joy or line with paper baking cups.

Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.

Combine sour cream, oil, eggs and milk in small bowl until blended; stir into flour mixture until just moistened. Fold in the chocolate chips and zucchini. Spoon into prepare muffin cups, filling1/2 full.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes until wooden toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack 5 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack. Store tightly covered at room temperature.

Makes 12 jumbo muffins or 18 -24 regular muffins.

If you decide that you want to double the recipe, I would recommend doing it in batches. The batter is really thick and heavy.