Sunday, December 16, 2012

Week 14: Taco Loaf and unwanted phone calls.

The Patriots killed the Texans this week, 42-14.  Brady seemed like he was in a great mood during the pre-game interviews, joking with the media and grinning like a madman when asked about his wife and their new baby girl, Vivian Lake.  As usual, my husband and just about every other male I know got tickets to the MNF game.  While he seemed to be having a great time before the game as well, he was in less of a good mood when he stumbled in the door at 2:30 AM and if possible, even less of a good mood when I woke him up at 7.  

Hernandez picked up where Gronkowski left off, scoring 2 TDs and doing some of the worst end zone dancing that I have ever seen.  Lloyd contributed 2 TDs as well and Ridley and Stallworth each contributed 1 apiece.   That’s about all I can tell you since I fell asleep at halftime.  Luckily, since my husband decided to call me just about once an hour seeing as he was less than sober, at no time did I have to worry that the Patriots were losing their lead.  

Since the hubs was gone, I didn’t cook FOR the game.  But for my faithful 15 followers, only one of which consistently reads the blog (thanks mom!) I have posted two recipes below that I could have made.

Stuffed Serranos
These are only mildly spicy.  If you want more of a kick, I would suggest using Hot Sausage, exchanging the Parmesan for Pepper Jack or adding a few dashes of Cayenne.

1 Lb Sweet Sausage
8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
1 Cup shredded Parmesan
2 Shallots
15 Hot Peppers (Serranos, Poblanos or Jalapenos)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Wash, Halve, De-Stem and De-Seed the Serranos.  Set aside.
3. In a Saute pan, heat oil and cook shallots 3-5 minutes or until translucent.  Remove from pan and set aside.
4. Saute Sausage until done.  Drain and set aside.
5. In a large bowl, combine Shallots, Sausage, Cream Cheese, and Parmesan.  Mix well.  Stuff approximately 1-2 Tbsp of Sausage mixture into each pepper half.
6. Arrange Peppers on a parchment lined pan and bake 30 minutes until they the Sausage is browned on top and the Peppers are cooked through.
*Serve with Ranch or Sour Cream for dipping.

Taco Loaf

1 Lb Ground Beef
½ Cup Onion, Chopped
½ Cup Green Pepper, Chopped
½ Cup Red Pepper, Chopped
1 Can Diced Green Chilies
I Envelope Taco Seasoning
1 Loaf French Bread
1 Tomato, Diced
¼ Cup Green Onion, Diced
Grated Cheddar, Mozz, or MJ

1. Brown Ground Beef and Onion until beef is no longer pink. Add Peppers and cook 2 more minutes. Drain.
2. Add Green Chilies and Taco Seasoning, cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring often.
3. Half the loaf of bread. Spread half of mixture on each side. Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet.
4. Divide and sprinkle Tomatoes, Green Onion and Cheese over Beef Mixture. Broil 8 inches from the top for 1 to 2 minutes. Cut into slices and serve.

Happy Cooking!

Week 13: Chicken Piccata and Hard Knocks

The Patriots clinched the AFC East title this week by winning a close one against Miami, 23-16.  The Patriots earned their points mostly by capitalizing on Miami’s mistakes, including a roughing the punter, a botched punt and a fumble.  

Welker tied Jerry Rice for the number one spot with 17 games with 10+ receptions and Brady tied Drew Brees with the third most seasons with 25+ TD passes at 8 total.  

I was pumped to see the Miami game this season just because HBO featured them on Hard Knocks.  I was more pumped to see that Tannehill didn’t do a great job.  He acted like a spoiled brat during the preseason.   I liked Matt Moore.  Since I am not an NFL analyst, I didn’t really question it when they said Gerrard would start over him.  But when Gerrard got hurt they went  to Tannehill?  The only thing I liked about him was his wife.  And it was one of those “I would love to hate her because she looks like Barbie but she does so much charity work I actually have to like her” type of likes.  The best part of the whole team is Offensive Line Coach Jim Turner.  The man is hysterical.  Not only is he an ex Marine but he is also a BC Alum and from Braintree, so it’s no wonder I like him.  He is the epitome of Massachusetts Sarcasm.  I could easily picture him donning a worn out Sox hat and backing up Matt Damon as he kicks some ass in Good Will Hunting.  How do you like them apples?

Easy Chicken Piccata

3 Boneless Skinless Breasts - butterflied and cut in half
½ Cup fresh Lemon Juice
6 Tablespoons unsalted Butter
¾ Cup Chicken Stock
¼ Cup White wine (optional)
¼ Cup Capers - rinsed
Salt and Pepper
Chopped Parsley
Olive Oil

1.  Liberally season the chicken with salt and pepper.  Dredge in flour.
2. Add 2 tablespoons butter and 3 tablespoons olive oil to a large pan over medium heat.  When bubbly, add 3 pieces of chicken.  Cook 3 minutes per side.  Remove from pan.
3. Add 2 more tablespoons butter and 2 more tablespoons oil.  When bubbly, cook last 3 pieces, 3 minutes per side.  Remove from heat.
4. Add chicken stock, wine, capers and lemon juice.  Bring to a boil, add more pepper or stock if needed.
5. Add chicken, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.
6. Remove chicken from pan.  Add last 2 tablespoons butter and whisk for 2 minutes.
7. Garnish chicken  with parsley.
Serve Sauce on top or on the side
*Note: This is not a picture of my chicken piccata.  I forgot to take one :(  I swiped this baby off Google Images.  Oops. 

Happy Cooking!

Week 12: Thanksgiving and Italian Subs

Happy Thanksgiving!

I would be less happy if I had fought my food coma to stay up and watch the Patriots lose, but since we spanked the Jets 49-19, my holiday ended on a very good note.   For the past 4 weeks the Patriots have put up an average of 45.7 points per game and won by an an even more impressive 27.3 points per game.  (Let it be said that I did NOT compile those numbers myself.  I don’t do math.  I simply read about it on SBNation.)

This game was both a Patriots win and a Jets meltdown.  On the Patriots side of things, 6 different players scored TDs.  Edelman (2), Brady, Vereen, Ridley, Gregory and Welker.  On the Jets side, they turned the ball over 5 times, one of which will live in infamy as Sanchez ran into his own player's butt and fumbled the ball.  

Now, if you think that I put together a Jet-Centric meal on Thanksgiving, you’re crazy.  But I am posting about my famous Sub Sauce so you can make your own Italians.

Italian Sub Sauce:

Ingredients: (for 4-6 subs)
2 Tomatoes, seeded and chopped
½ Small Red Onion, minced
1 Cup Dill Pickles, diced (1/2 Cup if you don’t like them as much)
6 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons White Wine Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Fresh Parsley, chopped
2 Cloves Minced Garlic
1 teaspoon Dried Basil
¼ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
Pinch of Dried Oregano
Salt and Pepper to taste
*Optional - 1 Tablespoon FINELY MINCED Jalapenos.  

1. Combine and let sit 1 hour.  Use to top an Italian Sub.

To put together the Sub, I like to toast the bread with Provolone on top, then pull it out and add Mortadella, Ham, Salami, Banana Peppers and the Sub Sauce in the middle.  If you want Lettuce, add it on top of the sauce.  Personally, since it tastes like nothing, I don’t think it contributes anything to the sandwich and I don’t bother adding it.  

Happy Cooking!

Week 11: Maple Mustard Pork and Indiana Potato Salad

For a few weeks now I have been hearing the RGIII vs. Andrew Luck Rookie of the Year debate.  I hadn’t paid much attention to it as I no longer play fantasy football nor had I seen either QB play against the Patriots. Until this past week.  Lets just say that Luck was not so lucky.

Tom Brady threw three TD passes in the Patriots 59-24 win over the Indianapolis Colts.  Luck threw three interceptions.  

Gronkowski grabbed two of Brady’s TD passes this week, Edelman was the recipient of the third TD pass and he also added a 68 yard punt return at the beginning of the second quarter.  Gostkowski managed to get a field goal through the uprights and the Patriots D had two TD’s of their own.  Alfonzo Dennard had an 87 yard interception return for a TD and newbie Aqib Talib had a 59 yard interception return for a TD. 

The big news (other than the good defensive work by the Patriots) was that Gronkowski broke his arm late in the game during an extra point play.  Lots of people have been critiquing Belichick for leaving him when we were winning by 20+ points but like usual, Belichick doesn’t care and neither do I.  It’s their job to PLAY.  Besides, when is the last time someone got hurt on an extra point play?  The odds were with us.  

In my humble opinion, you can’t do better than last year’s Indianapolis food.  Last year we had Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches, Indiana Potato Salad and Mustard Vinaigrette Coleslaw.  This year we only slightly switched it up.  We redid the Indiana Potato Salad (Yum!) but had Maple Mustard Pork Tenderloin Tips instead.  

Indiana Potato Salad

8 Large Yukon Gold Potatoes
1 Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1 Cup Green Onion, chopped
8 Slices Bacon, cooked and crumbled.
½ Cup Mayonnaise
½ Cup Sour Cream
½ teaspoon Seasoned Salt
½ teaspoon Pepper
¼ teaspoon Celery Salt

1. Peel and cube potatoes.  Boil for 8 minutes or until slightly tender.  Drain and let dry.
2. Preheat oven to 350.  
3. In a large bowl, combine Potatoes, Cheese, Onion, Mayonnaise, Sour Cream, Salt, Pepper and Celery Salt  Mix well.
4. Pour the Potato mixture into a lightly greased 9x13 pan.  Top with Bacon bits and bake for 1 hour or until cheese is browned.

Maple Mustard Pork Tenderloin Tips,2327,152179-232202,00.html

1 Pkg Pork Tenderloin Tips (1.5 Lbs)
1 Tablespoon Butter
1 Tablespoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Celery Seed
1 Tablespoon Pepper, divided
½ Tablespoon Dried Thyme
¼ Cup Maple Syrup plus 1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup, divided
¼ Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
4 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard, divided
½ Cup Mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Creamed Horseradish

1. Preheat oven to 375.  
2. In a small bowl, combine ¼ Cup Maple Syrup, Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 Tablespoons Mustard.  Mix well.
3. Melt butter in a large skillet over Medium High Heat.  Season Pork with Salt, Celery Seed, Thyme and half of the Pepper.  Add Pork to the pan and cook 2-3 Minutes per side until lightly browned.  Remove meat from pan and set aside.
4. Add Maple Syrup mix to pan and cook 5-8 minutes or until reduced by half, stirring frequently.
5. Return Pork to the pan and turn to coat.  Place skillet in the oven and cook 10-15 minutes, basting every 5 minutes.  Let pork stand 5 minutes before serving.
6. In a small bowl, combine remaining 1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup, 2 Tablespoons Mustard, Mayonnaise, the remaining Pepper and Horseradish.  Serve with pork.

Happy Cooking!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Weeks 8, 9 (bye) & 10: Bland Fish, Deli Calzones and Buffalo Chicken Bites

The St. Louis game from London doesn’t get it’s own post for 2 reasons.  First, I didn’t get a chance to actually watch the game.  Second, the food I made was horrible.  Well, not horrible.  We ate it.  But definitely bland.  I made Oven Baked Fish and Chips using Corn Flakes in honor of the Pats playing in London.  It tasted exactly like that: Fish in Corn Flakes.  Not that great.  The fries were good, but it’s kinda hard to muck up french fries.  

From what all the recaps say, the Pats absolutely killed St. Louis.  (Figures I didn’t get to see THIS game.)  Brady passed for 304 yards with 4 TD’s in a 45-7 win over the Rams.  Gronk had 2 TD’s and 146 yards, Lloyd had 2 TD’s and Ridley contributed with 127 yards and a TD as well.  In total, the Patriots 305 yards of total offense for the 17th straight game broke the NFL record set by Kurt Warner and the Rams in the 1999-2000 Season.  

The Buffalo game was less spectacular.  This was another one of those games where we didn’t “win” so much as “not lose.”  Had Ryan Fitzpatrick not thrown an insanely bad pass straight to Devin McCourty in the final seconds of the game for an end zone interception, we would have lost.  The Patriot Offense had a pretty good game with 4 TD’s and 3 FG’s.  The Patriot Defense just plain sucked.  The Patriots ended up winning 37-31 and amassing a 6-3 record on the year. 

Despite the shoddy defensive play by the Pats during the game, the food still rocked.  We had Calzones and Buffalo Chicken Bites.

Deli Calzones

⅓ Lb Sliced Provolone
⅓ Lb Sliced Black Forest Ham
⅓ Lb Sliced Genoa Salami
2 Cups Shredded Mozzarella
⅓ Cup Sliced Pepperoncinis
⅓ Cup Chopped Roasted Red Peppers
1 Tube Pillsbury Pizza Dough
Flour for dusting
Parchment paper

1. Preheat oven to 400.
2. On a piece of Parchment Paper, use a slightly floured rolling pin to smooth dough into a tall rectangle.  On each side, make 2” horizontal cuts every 1” so the sides look like the bottom of a missing dog flier.  In the middle layer Ham, Provolone, Salami, Mozzarella, Pepperoncinis and Roasted Red Peppers. Alternating sides, pull dough tabs across to the other side in a slanted manner (Like Shoelaces).  
3. Place Parchment Paper on a baking pan and cut off excess.  Bake for 25 minutes or until browned.
4. Let sit 5 minutes, slice and serve hot. 

Buffalo Chicken Bites

1 Tube Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
1 Cup Shredded Chicken
1 Cup Franks Red Hot Buffalo Sauce
⅔ Cup Blue Cheese Crumbles
½ Cup Shredded Cheddar
Flour for dusting
Blue Cheese or Ranch for dipping.

1. Use a slightly floured Rolling Pin to smooth out Crescent Dough into a large rectangle.  
2. In a large bowl, combine Chicken, Sauce, Blue and Cheddar Cheeses.  Mix well.
3. Preheat oven to 400.  
4. Spread Chicken Mixture on Crescent Dough and roll up lengthwise like a jelly roll.  Cover and chill for 15 minutes to set.
5. Remove from refrigerator and slice into pinwheels.  Bake for 20 minutes or until bubbly.  Serve with Blue Cheese or Ranch for dipping.

Happy Cooking!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Week 7: NJ Crumb Cake, Reuben Dip and Yellow Squash Casserole

The Patriots barely beats the Jets this week in overtime, 26-29.  The win moved the Patriots into the leading spot in their division, but with a 4-3 record, that isn’t exactly worth writing home about.  Like the spoiled Patriots fan I am, I could not believe that the Pats blew another lead in the fourth quarter.  What the hell is going on?  While it is nice to WIN a close one (Not our MO this season,)  it would also be nice to not have a series of life threatening heart attacks every time the Patriots enter the fourth quarter of a game. 

Thanks to Gostkowski, the Pats tied it up with a FG in the remaining second of the game and then took the lead with another FG 4 minutes into OT.  As most of you know a TD would have won the game, but in OT, the other team gets a chance to respond to a FG.  The win came when Ninkovich, (who totally deserves a superhero name this season, I am working on it,) knocked the ball out of Sanchez’s hands and recovered the fumble.  

At this point, I was ecstatic because I dislike Mark Sanchez and I despise Sexy Rexy.  Crushing them into submission would have been better, but I will take a simple win any day.  The only thing that could have made me happier would be if I thought the end of the Sanchez vs. Tebow debate had finally arrived.  Personally, I don’t “like” either of them.  But if I had to choose, it would be Tebow any day.  At least I would have something good to look at. 

We started the day with some New Jersey Crumb Cake.  (For all the deep thinkers out there, I will help you out - They play in NJ.)  I have made a Coffee Cake before, but I think I like this better.  It’s incredibly simple to make, so take note of this recipe and whip it out to impress people next time you have company over for breakfast.  

New Jersey Crumb Cake

½ Cup Butter
1 Cup Sugar
2 Large Eggs
¾ Cup Milk
2 Cups Flour
2 tsps Baking Powder
1 tsp Vanilla
½ Cup Butter
1 Cup Sugar
2 Cups Biscuit Mix
2 tsps Cinnamon

1. Cream Butter and Sugar in a large mixing bowl.  
2. In a separate bowl, beat together Milk and Eggs.  Add to Butter/Sugar mix.
3. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients.  Slowly beat into wet ingredients. Stir in Vanilla and pour into a greased 9x13 Pan.
4. In a mixing bowl, cut Butter into Sugar, Biscuit Mix and Cinnamon.  Sprinkle over batter and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.  

Rather than make Reuben Sandwiches for the game, Dan and I had a Reuben Dip.  Same stuff, just warmer and messier.  Making an entire batch for just the two of us was a mistake though. We could only eat about a ¼ of it, but what a good ¼ it was.

Baked Reuben Dip

⅔  Lb Corned Beef, thinly sliced
¾ Cup Light Cream Cheese
¾ Cup Shredded Swiss Cheese
¾ Cup Sauerkraut, drained
¼ Cup Light Sour Cream
2 Tablespoons Ketchup
3 Tablespoons Spicy Brown Mustard
Salt and Pepper, to taste  
Marble Rye, to serve

1. Preheat oven to 375.  Combine all ingredients in a large bowl
2. Spread in a lightly greased baking dish and cook for 30 minutes.
3. Serve with Marble Rye.

We also had a Yellow Squash Casserole with dinner.  Yellow Squash are native to NJ and I had been wanting to try this Food Network recipe for quite awhile.  It ended up being well worth the wait. If it is just the two of you, halve the recipe.  I think I am going to break this out again for either Thanksgiving or Christmas.  

Yellow Squash Casserole

3 Yellow Squash, Chopped
1 Zucchini, Chopped
2 Carrots, Chopped
¼ Cup Unsalted Butter
½ Large Onion, Chopped
1 Garlic Clove, Minced
1 ¼ Cup Ritz Crackers, Crushed
½ Cup Grated Cheddar Cheese
2 Eggs, Lightly Beaten
Salt and Pepper

1.  Preheat oven to 350 and butter an 8x8 Baking Dish.
2. Placed chopped Squash, Zucchini and Carrots in a saucepan.  Cover with water and bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat to Medium and cook for 20 minutes or until vegetables are soft.
3. Meanwhile, warm 3 Tbsp of butter in a medium skillet over Medium Low Heat.  Stir in Onion and cook until soft and translucent, approximately 8 minutes. Set onions aside and wipe down skillet.  Add the remaining butter and cook the cracker crumbs briefly until golden.  Set aside.
4. Drain the squash, mashing the vegetables just a bit.  Spoon into a mixing bowl with ¾ Cup Cracker Crumbs, Cheese, splash of Tabasco, and Onions.  Season with Salt and Pepper.  Stir in Eggs and spoon into the baking dish.  Top with remaining crackers and bake uncovered for 30 minutes.

Happy cooking!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Week 6: Seattle Dogs, Salmon Cakes and Applesauce Pudding

The Patriots lost to Seattle this week 23-24.  Hernandez returned to the game this week with a strong showing and the reliable Wes Welker had 10 catches for 138 yards.  Brady went 36 for 58 (yes... 58!) and 395 yards with 2 TD’s, but that was overshadowed by 2 Interceptions and a number of both overthrown and dropped passes. 

The surprise of the game was Seattle’s Rookie QB, Russell Wilson.  Wilson went 16 for 27 for 293 yards and 3 TDs, two of which came in the last 2 minutes of the game.  All in all, the game was entertaining to watch, even if it was heartbreaking in the end.  The Patriots are now 3-3, having lost 3 games by 3 points or less.  

Seattle is known for quite a few foods.  As I am allergic to shellfish, we chose to highlight Salmon, Apples and what locals refer to as “Seattle Dogs.”  For those native to MA, you know that after spending a night at the bars if you want street food you get a Sausage with Peppers and Onions.  The Seattle Dog is Washington’s version.  It is a hot dog put a on a Cream Cheese smeared bun and topped with Onions and Brown Mustard. I knew Dan and I wouldn’t want a bunch of hot dogs before dinner, so we made mini versions instead.

Mini Seattle Dogs

1 Tube Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
Cocktail Franks
1 Large White Onion, Thinly Sliced
2 Tbsp Butter
2 Ounces Cream Cheese
Brown Mustard

1. In a large Saute Pan over Medium Heat, melt Butter and add Onion.  Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are caramelized.  Chop into pieces and set aside.
2. Spread out ½ tube of Crescent Rolls. Using a rolling pin, flatten to equal thickness.  Spread ½ of Cream Cheese over the flattened rolls.  Cut into 1”x3” Strips.  One at a time, place a small amount of chopped onions on one end of the strip, top with cocktail frank and roll up.  Place seam side down on a baking pan. Repeat until all Franks or Crescent Rolls are used.
3. Cook at 375 for 15 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve with Brown Mustard.

For the main course we made Salmon Cakes with Dill Sauce.  Based this recipe on one by Ina Garten of the Food Network.  I had made these before and thought they could use a few changes.  Ina instructs us to cook the veggies before mixing them in with the Salmon, but I prefer the veggies raw, it gives the cakes some texture.  I also replace the bread crumbs with Panko for the same reason.  You can find the original recipe here:

Salmon Cakes

1 Lb Salmon
½ Cup Green Onion, chopped
⅔ Cup Celery, Diced
⅔ Cup Red Bell Pepper, Diced
¼ Cup Dried Parsley
¼ tsp Tabasco Sauce
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 ½ tsp Old Bay
1 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs
½ Cup Mayonnaise
2 tsps Dijon Mustard
2 Large Eggs, beaten
Salt and Pepper
2 Tbsp Butter
2 Tbsp Olive Oil

1. Preheat oven to 350.  Cook Salmon for 20 minutes or until just cooked.  Set aside to cool.
2. In a large bowl combine Celery, Bell Pepper, Parsley, Hot Sauce, Worcestershire, Old Bay, Panko, Mayo, Dijon, Eggs, Salmon, Salt and Pepper.  Mix together and let sit in refrigerator for 2 hours to marry flavors.
3. In a large pan over Medium/Medium High heat, melt 2 Tbsps of Butter with 2 Tbsp Olive Oil.  In batches of 2 or 3, form Patties, dust in flour and cook 2-3 minutes per side.  Place on paper towels to drain.  Serve warm. 

We capped the night with Applesauce Bread Pudding from Edible Seattle.  This was my first Bread Pudding and I was quite happy with the results.

Applesauce Pudding

4 Tbsp Butter, softened
6 Slices Sandwich Bread
1 Cup Unsweetened Applesauce
⅓ Cup Raisins
½ tsp Ground Cinnamon
⅓ Cup Brown Sugar (8 Tbsps)
2 Eggs
2 ½ Cups Whole Milk
½ tsp Vanilla
¼ tsp Salt

1. Preheat oven to 350.  Butter an 8x8” Pan and Butter the bread on one side.
2. Arrange half of the buttered Bread, butter side up, in one layer that evenly covers the bottom of the pan, cutting the bread as needed.
3. In a small bowl, mix together Applesauce, Raisins, Cinnamon and 2 Tbsps Brown Sugar. Spread over the Bread in pan.  Cover with second layer of Bread.
4. Whisk Eggs and Milk together.  Add Vanilla, Salt and remaining Brown Sugar, whisking until combined.  Pour over the bread. Let sit for a few minutes so the bread will soak up the Milk Mix.  Bake for 50-55 minutes.  Let cool to set before serving. 

Happy Cooking!

Week 5: Rocky Mountain Stew and Avalanche Bark

What a game! I don’t know anyone who wasn’t excited to see the most recent Brady vs. Manning rematch.  Despite team loyalties, you have to admit that these are two of the top quarterbacks in the game today.  And as usual, they did their best to put on a great show. 

I was nervous going into the game.  If you have previously read any of my blog posts, you must know that I consider Tom Brady to be the best quarterback in the league. What you may not know is that I consider both Peyton and his brother Eli to be right behind Tom in that category.  That being said, I was nervous because Denver’s defense kicks serious ass and ours... well, ours doesn’t.  I think we might have the worst secondary in the whole league.  I know people say it all the time, but I haven’t seen any facts to defend that statement.   I would confirm it by looking it up, but it’s one of those “I don’t really want to know” situations.

Anyway, the Patriots played a great game to beat the Broncos 31-21.  The Patriots set a franchise record with 35 first downs, with Brady going 23 for 31 for 223 yards.  Props to the Patriots defense who caused 3 Bronco fumbles and to Wes Welker who had 13 catches for 103 yards.

To honor the Broncos we made Rocky Mountain Stew and Avalanche Bark.  The Rocky Mountain Stew didn’t look as appetizing as I was hoping but was surprisingly delicious.  I usually make my beef stew with Tomato Juice or V8, but Dan enjoyed this version calling it the “beefiest” beef stew we have made yet.  I got the original recipe off of AllRecipes, but made a few adjustments before posting.  First, I don’t believe in making any soup or stew with water when you could just as easily up the flavor by using chicken or beef broth, so I switched out the water for chicken broth. Also, Dan and I don’t like pearl onions.  Even when we make Creamed Peas, we use regular onions.  I replaced the Pearl Onions with ½ a chopped white onion, added to the beef at the beginning rather than at the end.  You can find the original recipe here:

Rocky Mountain Stew

2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
2 Lbs Sirloin Tips, Cubed
4 ⅔ Cups Chicken Broth
1 Tbsp Salt
1 tsp Lemon Juice
¼ tsp Paprika
I Clove Minced Garlic
1 tsp White Sugar
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 Bay Leaf
4 Potatoes, Cubed
6 Carrots, Chopped
½ Large White Onion, Minced
½  Cup Flour
5 Ounces Frozen Baby Peas, Thawed

1. In a large pot over Medium Heat, warm oil and brown Sirloin Tips and Onion.  Pour 1 Cup of Broth over the meat and drippings and stir, cooking for 2 minutes until a gravy forms.  Stir in 3 Cups Broth, Salt, Lemon Juice, Paprika, Garlic, Sugar, Worcestershire and Bay leave.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 2 - 2 ½ Hours.
2. Stir in Potatoes and Carrots, simmering for 20 minutes or until tender.
3. In a small bowl, combine Flour with remaining Broth.  Stir into stew and cook until stew thickens. Add Peas 5 minutes before serving. 

For Dessert we made Avalanche Bark.  The following is a copycat recipe from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.  This is SUPER rich, so I would suggest cutting it into small pieces.

Avalanche Bark

½ Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
3 ½ Cups White Chocolate Chips
2 Cups Rice Krispies
1 Cup Mini Marshmallows
½ Cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips.

1. In a double boiler over medium heat, melt White Chocolate Chips and Peanut Butter, stirring constantly.  Set aside to cool.
2. Stir in Rice Krispies and set aside until mixture is room temperature.
3. Fold in Marshmallows and Chocolate Chips. Do not overstir.  
4. Smooth into a greased or wax paper lined 9x13 pan.  Smooth out the top with wax paper. Chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes or until hard.  Cut into small pieces and allow to sit for a few minutes to soften. 

Happy Cooking!