Loaves & Dishes
By Jennie Geisler Erie Times-News staff blogger
Follow Jennie Geisler's kitchen adventures on her Loaves & Dishes blog.   Read more about this blog.
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Archive for January, 2012
Posted: January 31st, 2012

I can't get past the homey charm of this recipe. John can just put some Red Hot on it.

I was tooling around on Pinterest.com and came across Tortellini and Garden Vegetable Bake, pinned by high school friend Nicole Adams. I stumbled over it and then I couldn’t pretend I didn’t fall. I re-pinned a lot of other stuff too: Zucchinis halved lengthwise and covered with cheese, basil and tomato slices baked until the cheese melts; pizza poppers made in mini muffin pans, Crash Hot Sweet Potatoes.
But this one had a make-immediately feel for me. I know I’m addicted to comfort food lately. It’s a January thing. I promise to snap out of it soon.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: January 30th, 2012

Banana Pumpkin Muffins look all puffy and warm and yummy.

As I’ve mentioned countless times before, I’m half Finnish. This means coffee isn’t just coffee. It should be accompanied by some combination of flour, sugar and butter, baked until crumbly. I don’t go this route with every cup I drink, mainly because this combination is not always handy, never healthy and I’m only half Finnish after all.
My husband and I, having dabbled in coffee culture most of our marriage, have recently jumped in with both feet, enjoying the expensive stuff any time of day we can swing it.
That plus my heritage puts recipes like Banana Pumpkin Muffins top of mind. I’m definitely looking forward to my next pot.
By the way, the recipe comes from Dole, which is sending out tips and recipes for bananas every day this year. If you follow the link to the recipe you can sign up for the daily e-mail and find a ton of other stuff, such as tips like polishing your leather shoes with a banana peel and eating bananas when you’re trying to quit smoking.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: January 26th, 2012

Sweet and Spicy Asian Pork Shoulder will change things up.

I’ve been on a tried-and-true kick at home lately. I’ve made my favorite pulled pork and Loaves & Dishes Tailgate Chili. Oldies are goodies, but I’m ready to try something new. Our Super Bowl party will be a quiet one, including my husband, son, me and a table full of food. The fun part of that is that I can try something different without risking the palates of a zillion guests.
This recipe for Slow Cooker Sweet and Spicy Asian Pork Shoulder just jumped to the front of the line.
I almost always get good results from pork shoulder in the slow cooker, and it had me at “Sweet and Spicy,” closing the deal with “Asian.”
I’m amused by the fact that it starts with a 2 1/2-pound pork shoulder and says it feeds only four. Maybe they mean four offensive linemen.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: January 25th, 2012

Here's a good prize to give away to the winner of your ghoul pool. Or just give away. Or keep. Whatever

We had some good response to the drawing for “Recipes for Success,” by Mark Allen Waltrip. I have 2 copies, so they’ll go to Lisa Rice and Mary Jane Zewe. They’ll go out in the mail today-ish.

For this week, in honor of the Oscar nominations, I’m hawking “The Dead Celebrity Cookbook: A Resurrection of Recipes from More Than 145 Stars of Stage and Screen,” by Frank DeCaro.
It’s fun to read about each celebrity, many of which I’ve actually heard of.
If you are not Lisa Rice or Mary Jane Zewe, you can enter to win the book by sending an e-mail to jennie.geisler@timesnews.com including your NAME, MAILING ADDRESS and the NAME OF THE BOOK.
Please don’t reply here, because I don’t think you want the world knowing your address, and it’s awfully hard for me to get you the book if I don’t know where to send it.

Here’s a recipe for which I have the utmost respect:
2 to 3 cups cooked chicken, chopped
1/2 cup shelled walnuts
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 cup seedless grapes, halved
1 green pepper, diced
1/4 cup stuffed green olives, sliced
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon curry powder

Combine chicken, walnuts, celery, grapes, green pepper and olives. Mix mayonnaise and sour cream and then add to chicken mixture. Toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper, lemon juice, and curry powder. Serve on a bed of lettuce.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: January 24th, 2012

Betty Crocker makes someone happy, namely me.

The 14th annual Souper Bowl takes place Sunday, and, if past years are any indication, thousands will rub elbows at the tables full of area chefs’ best efforts.
To get you warmed up, we’ve collected five winning Souper Bowl recipes into tomorrow’s Food section. Grab a bowl and spoon and dig in.
As far as I’m concerned, I can’t get enough soup or stew this time of year. Not only does it taste good and all that, it’s just the cozy satisfying feeling it gives me, like slipping on a super soft bathrobe or sitting by a fire.
I love it even in this mild winter. Nothing makes me feel more depressed, cold and miserable than 38-degree rain — not even 20-degree snow. Last weekend, I made Pulled Pork to steam up the windows. This weekend, I’m looking forward to Slow Cooker Beef Stew with Shiitake Mushrooms
I can already feel the warm fuzzies.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: January 23rd, 2012

If you're going to make Egg Foo Yong, you're going to have to -- stand in the kitchen for like 10 minutes.

Celebrate the Lunar New Year, which starts today, by taking a stab at Egg Foo Yong.. Asians all over the planet will celebrate all week long, so it doesn’t have to be tonight, in case you already have dinner all lined up. Overachiever.

1 cup (1 (3 1/2-ounce) bag) uncooked instant rice
1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided
1/3 cup finely chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped low-sodium, smoked, fully cooked ham
1 cup fresh bean sprouts, finely chopped
2 large eggs
2 large egg whites
1 tablespoon spicy stir-fry sauce
1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1. Cook rice according to package directions; keep warm.
2. Heat 1/2 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
Add onions and ham; stir-fry 1 minute. Add bean sprouts, and stir-fry 30
seconds. Remove from heat.
3. Combine the eggs, egg whites, stir-fry sauce, and white pepper, and beat
well. Stir in ham mixture. Heat 1/2 teaspoon oil in pan over medium-high
heat, and pour half of egg mixture into pan. Cook 45 seconds on each
side or until the egg mixture is lightly browned. Remove from pan, and
keep warm. Repeat with 1/2 teaspoon oil and egg mixture. Serve over
Makes 2 servings
— Recipes Du Jour

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: January 20th, 2012

This Martha Stewart dish should fill your inner dragon

Are you ready to get home tonight and fire up the stove? Or, well, at least think about firing up the stove tomorrow? Yeah. Tomorrow might be better.
Anyway, I’m hankering for Pulled Pork, but everything for that is in the freezer, so I might change my mind.
How about something to celebrate the Lunar New Year? The year of the dragon starts Monday. That’s it. Thai Chicken and Noodle Salad. Looks like a wonderful fresh start to me.
I’m always surprised by how simply Thai food comes together. The flavors are so complex, it seems like the recipes should be as long as my arm. The only weird thing here is the anchovy. You can buy the paste, I guess, but I think I’ll just add some salt and a splash of fish sauce.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: January 19th, 2012

Dudes like to cook with beer, I hear. I know I do, and you can't go wrong with Great Lakes.

When I was growing up, the last place you’d have found my dad was at the stove. But now that he’s retired, he does do the grocery shopping. Mom still cooks dinner, but he makes hot breakfast a lot.
That’s a small example of a larger trend sweeping the country, with more men shopping and cooking than ever before.
I’m looking for guys to talk to for a story about this, so if you’re a guy, or know a guy, who fits this description, reply below or send an e-mail to jennie.geisler@timesnews.com.
In honor of the occasion, here’s a recipe that would fit into the “dude food” category. It comes from Great Lakes Brewing company. I know you can get their beers at 6 Pack House, Wegmans and Giant Eagle. Probably other places too.

Commodore Perry IPA Chili Glaze
1 (12-ounce) bottle Commodore Perry India Pale Ale
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons chili garlic sauce or 3 tablespoons red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons local honey
2 tablespoons ketchup
4 fillets of fresh beef, chicken, pork or fish (also excellent with steamed vegetables and grilled tofu)

Combine beer, soy sauce, chili garlic sauce (or red pepper flakes), honey and ketchup in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Brush glaze on fillets throughout their entire cooking process.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: January 18th, 2012

This book aims to feed body and soul.

I was blown away by the response to the drawing for “Gourmet Gifts: 100 Delicious Recipes for Every Occasion,” by Dinah Corley. Your fearlessness in the face of these intricate dishes is duly noted.
The winner is the aptly named Catie Cook. I’ll pop it in the mail today.

If you are not Catie Cook, you are welcome to enter the drawing for my 2 copies of "Recipes for Success: A cookbook with a recipe for life," by Mark Allen Waltrip.
The book is part self-help, part memoir, part cookbook. It talks about how his and his wife’s lives changed after she was in a debilitating car wreck, their struggle with healing, and their discovery of cooking and global cuisine.
Check out the recipe below.
If you want the book, send an e-mail to jennie.geisler@timesnews.com including your NAME, MAILING ADDRESS and NAME OF THE BOOK you want.

1/2 pound pancetta, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 white onion, diced
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped
5 fresh basil leaves
1 large can crushed tomatoes
1/3 cup red wine
1/2 cup pecorino Parmesan
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper
1 pound Bucatini pasta, cooked

1. In a preheated pan on high heat, add olive oil and brown the pancetta for 3 to 5 minutes.
2. Add onion and cook until golden brown, approximately 3 to 5 minutes, then add the garlic, rosemary and red pepper flakes. Cook for 3 minutesw, then deglaze with red wine. Cook until wine is reduced.
3. Stir in tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes.
4. Add basil and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 15 minutes or until thickened. Toss with cooked bucatini and pecorino Parmesan.
– “Recipes for Success”

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: January 16th, 2012

That recipe I posted Friday for enchiladas served as just a jumping off point for what I actually made, and it was one of the tastiest comfort foods I’ve tried in a while. I just wanted to share the upgraded version, in case you want to try them. I know I will again soon.
1 pound boneless, skinless, chicken breast or tenderloins
1 can Rotel tomatoes with chilies
1/4 cup cilantro, fresh, chopped
One package taco seasoning mix
2 cups shredded cheese (cheddar or Mexican blend)
1 can black beans, rinsed
1/2 cup diced green chilies, or 2 4-ounce cans
8 flour tortillas
2 cans green enchilada sauce
. Turn on skillet to medium high heat. Spray with nonstick spray. Brown chicken about 2-3 minutes each side. Add tomatoes and chilies (with juice) and cilantro. Stir in taco seasoning, cover and simmer until chicken is cooked through and juice reduces.
2. Turn off heat and shred the chicken.
3. Combine chicken and tomato mixture with black beans and green chilies.
4. Warm tortillas enough so they will roll. Place 1/8 chicken mixture, and 2 tablespoons shredded cheese on each tortilla and roll. Place seam side down in a baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray.
5. Pour enchilada sauce over the enchiladas. Top with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
– adapted from Just A Pinch Recipe Club

Posted in: Uncategorized