Friday, April 25, 2008

National Pigs in the Blanket Day

Yesterday was National Pigs in a Blanket Day. So, I decided to make my own jazzed up version of this starting with making my own turkey apple sausages. I went in search for some instruction on this and found this recipe.

Wickedly Perfect Turkey Apple Sausages
2 teaspoons of oil
1 onion-small diced
2 apples-small diced (Fuji or Gala)
2 pounds of ground turkey
1 egg-beaten
3 slices of white bread-ground in a food processor
¼ cup of heavy cream
2 teaspoons of sage-chopped
2 teaspoons of kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon of fennel seed
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper
½ teaspoon of garlic powder
Fill a large roasting pan with about 4-5 inches of water and bring to a boil on your stove. Place oil in a sauté pan with onion and apples and cook until tender (about 10 minutes) and place in a large bowl.
Combine all remaining ingredients into the bowl and mix.
Place two large pieces (approx. 18″ inches) of aluminum foil on your counter and spoon out the sausage mixture, dividing equally between the two sheets of foil and shape into a slender sausage-like form (14 inches long by 2 inches wide). Next, pull one end of the foil above the mixture and using a straight edge such as a cookie sheet, tuck the mixture so that you remove any air and twist each end to secure and create a very tight casing for your sausage.
Poach the foil wrapped sausage in the water for about 15 minutes. Let the sausage cool, remove the foil and then grill or pan sauté.

I followed this recipe as is going with the pan saute method in the end. Then I rolled them up in crescent rolls, slipped in a little slice of mozzarella, put an egg wash on the tops of the crescent rolls and sprinkled with poppy seeds. Popped in the oven and viola!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Happy Earth Day!

In honor of Earth Day today, my kiddo and I whipped up a "dirt cake". He had alot of fun making it and actually didn't even leave me with much clean up. He was on a bit of a sugar high afterwards from all the oreos and gummi worms though. LOL I did make this as a reduced fat version using fat free products and you could not tell a bit. The crunch of the cookies combined with the creaminess of the pudding mixture made for a quite thrilling after dinner dessert.

What did you do today to celebrate Planet Earth?

"Dirt Cake"
1/4 cup softened butter
8oz softened cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 boxes of chocolate fudge instant pudding mix
3 cups milk
1 container of Cool Whip
1 package of Oreos, crushed
Gummi worms to garnish

Mix butter, cream, cheese, sugar and vanilla on low until well blended. Mix in pudding mixes and milk a half a cup at a time until well blended. Fold in Cool Whip. Layer cookies, then pudding, then cookies, then pudding and finally top with cookies. Garnish with Gummi Worms.

Product Holla!

Target has been carrying this line of food products for awhile now, but it seems to keep expanding more and more and I have to say that makes me happy. I had mostly just had the flavored nuts, trail mix type things, salsa, etc. But I recently noticed more box type meals and things. Being as everything else had been so tasty and reasonably priced, I decided to give this a go. It is prepared just like a Lipton noodle mix but so much tastier. I prepared just like the box said, but then towards the end threw in some extra sliced fresh mushrooms. I served this alongside some grilled steaks and steamed broccoli which made the finishing of a very tasty meal.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Just Dandy

Yes I will eat just about anything once...and here's proof. I recently was discussing homemade wine with a friend and remembered back in the day when I tried some Dandelion Wine, well that got me to thinking. You can make wine with them and eat the greens in salads and I also knew the little yellow flower tops were edible too, but how other than thrown in a salad could you go about fixing those. I did a little searching and it turns out you can fry those suckers. So, being the crazy one that I am...I did just that.

Ready for the pickin'

I concocted a little recipe that goes a little something like this:

Fried Dandelion Blossoms
about 15-20 dandelions
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup of flour
1/4 cup of milk
Old Bay Seasoning
** I added the Old Bay since the greens tend to be a bit bitter thinking maybe this might help cut some of that.

I battered em up, tossed them in the ole Fry Daddy and there you have it. I whipped up a little Roasted Garlic Aioli for dipping and tried those bad boys. To my surprise they were not at all bitter and tasted quite like fried cauliflower. Now I doubt I will be craving or fixing these often, but I can now say I tried them and that makes me feel "Just Dandy".

Okay, I lied.

Just yesterday I posted about my breakfast type dinner and how I like never eat actual breakfasts foods for breakfast. Well, what did I do today...I ate breakfast for breakfast. I couldn't help it. I woke up thinking about fresh doughnuts and pms wasn't helping the situation. Next thing I knew my car was driving to the local doughnut shop. I got there a little after the rush so some varieties were gone, but I still came home with a dozen doughy bites of goodness.

You Are a Powdered Devil's Food Donut

A total sweetheart on the outside, you love to fool people with your innocent image.

On the inside you're a little darker, richer, and more complex.

You're a hedonist who demands more than one pleasure at a time.

Decadent and daring, you test the limits of human indulgence.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Breakfast....Its what's for dinner.

Or at least at my house tonight that is the case. I love breakfast foods. Eggs, bacon, sausage, biscuits and gravy, french toast, pancakes, hashbrowns. All of it. Ironically though, I don't really like it for breakfast. For some reason I would rather wake up and eat a turkey sandwich or leftover spaghetti and meatballs. But for dinner bring on the breakfast foods. I know...that's weird. But that's me. So anyway, tonight was make your own omelet night. I prepared a slew of chopped up stuff, mixed up a bunch of eggs and let everyone make their own signature dish. The little one went with ham, eggs and cheese. The hubby got crazy throwing in green olives. I stayed pretty standard...ham, colbyjack cheese, tomatoes, mushrooms and jalapenos. Served up with some toasted party rye slices which were of course smeared with butter and the roasted garlic I made below in honor of National Garlic Day. I think the chickens would be proud.

Friday, April 18, 2008

National Garlic Day!

April 19th is National Garlic Day!

National Garlic Day promotes the many uses of Garlic. And, there certainly are many uses. It's a vegetable. Its' a herb. It is used in recipes around the world. Garlic has been used medicinally for thousands of years. And, Garlic is believed to ward off evil spirits. About the only negative thing you can say about it, is that it can negatively affect an otherwise romantic evening.

I completely *heart* garlic in everything. Especially roasted in whole form and then smeared onto crusty bread.

To roast my garlic I generally make a aluminum foil pouch like thing, stick in the heads, drench with EVOO, sprinkle with kosher salt and cracked black pepper, sometimes a little oregano if the urge strikes me and roast at 325 for 1 hour.

Pucker up anyway honey!!!! Its time for some garlic infused kisses... :)

Avocado Shrimp Cocktail

My new cilantro product find not only has me dreaming of fish tacos, but guacamole and all other things avocado. This takes me back to the Avocado Shrimp Cocktail that I made this past New Years Eve. I want one. I want one now.

Avocado Shrimp Cocktail

10 large cooked, peeled, deveined shrimp, cut in chunks
1 large avocado, peeled and chunked
lime juice, fresh ground pepper and fresh cilantro to taste
2-3 Tablespoons of cocktail sauce

Product Holla!

Alrighty now....I'm a big big fan of fresh herbs. And prefer to buy or grow my own and cook with them, but I will admit I always end up with some soggy ones found way back in my fridge that were leftover and I forgot about. Especially with cilantro or parsley that I always have a big bunch of so when I saw this I had to give it a try. I used it when making the above Chicken Mole and I must say I was very pleased. The flavor was still very fresh and I know that I won't end up with a wilted wad of green in my cold box later. I'm already dreaming of some fish tacos....

It's getting to be that time again.....

Nothing beats a big frosty mug of Root Beer when it gets warm. The sun was shining beautifully today and had me dreaming of summer so I had to have one. I only wish I had a big scoop of vanilla to plop in it.

Diva Dinner

Okay, I'm just going to jump right in and post my first official blog. Here is the dinner I made tonight. It was the first time I had made it and it was quite good. The hubby agreed.

Chicken Peanut Mole with Cilantro Citrus Rice

olive oil
2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced
1 cup diced onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
14 oz chicken broth
1 can of tomatoes with green chiles
3 teaspoons of chili powder
1/4 peanut butter
1 tablespoon cocoa
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons cilantro

Heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute chicken until golden brown and remove. Saute onion and garlic. Add all the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Add chicken and reduce and simmer five minutes. Serve over rice.

Cilantro Citrus Rice
3 cups cooked brown rice( cook according to package, adding 1 teaspoon of cumin and 1 teaspoon of salt to water while cooking)
1/2 cup orange marmalade
2 tablespoons cilantro

Fluff rice with a fork and mix in marmalade and cilantro.

***The only thing I may change next time is to add some crushed peanuts or use crunchy peanut butter instead. I also can't wait until summer to use fresh tomatoes and chiles for an even better flavor.