Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My first blog award!!

Thanks Dianna!!! You are so sweet!!

My 'acceptance speech' consists of 35 quickly answered questions ... meaning concise answers, and not my usual rambling ones.

1. Where is your cell phone? in my purse
2. Your hair? ponytail right now
3. Your mother? in heaven
4. Your father? probably at home
5. Your favorite food? seafood, especially sushi or shrimp
6. Your dream last night? none that I remember
7. Your favorite drink? diet wild cherry pepsi or champagne if we are venturing to the drunken side. :)
8. Your dream/goal? to finish nursing school
9. What room are you in? playroom/computer room
10. Your hobby? cooking, reading, scrapbooking
11. Your fear? losing another loved one
12. Where do you want to be in six years? a nurse
13. Where were you last night? at home doing school work
14. Something you aren’t? co-dependent
15. Muffins? take em or leave em
16. Wish list item? new bedroom furniture
17. Where did you grow up? the ville
18. Last thing you did? discussion boards for Nutrition class
19. What are you wearing? sweatpants and a t-shirt
20. TV? foodie shows, medical dramas and too much reality tv
21. Your pets? Daisy & Slyvester, my fur kitties
22. Your friends? totally fab of course!
23. Your life? crazy beautiful
24. Your mood? happy
25. Missing someone? my mom
26. Vehicle? Chevy Blazeer
27. Something you’re not wearing? socks
28. Your favorite store? World Market
29. Your favorite color? blue
30. When was the last time you laughed? today
31. When was the last time you cried? last week
32. Your best friend? so many for so many different reasons
33. One place that you go over and over? Wal-mart
34. One person who e-mails me regularly? Jenny
35. Favorite place to eat? seriously depends on my mood, but generally I can always go with Ramsi's

I get to bestow this award on 6 others .... be sure and check out these wonderful women.

Deanna- because she is definitely a fun mama!

Smitten Kitchen

The Denia Interlude

Chasing Cheerios

What do you want for Christmas?

So, I'm making my list and checking it twice....

Okay, so not a year goes by that I don't put some kitchen/foodie stuff on my list for Christmas. Anyone else? What are you asking for for Christmas for the kitchen or otherwise?

My foodie Christmas wish list...
- a new wok(mine has a dent and I can't take it anymore...I'm throwing it out!)

-saffron(most expensive spice ever but so darn good...I can't wait to get creative with it)

-Barefoot Contessa, Back to the Basics cookbook (sometimes her personality gets on my nerves, but I love her recipes! I love her use of fresh ingredients!

-And for the stocking...silicon muffin cups and some chocolate. I specifically requested the chocolate bars from World Market this year...chocolates infused with chili peppers, green tea and honey and sea salt...yum yum!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Festive Fall

I always get festive with the fall cooking the week of Halloween. Here were my adventures this year.

Dinner in a Pumpkin
2 lb. lean hamburger
1 (8-12") diameter fresh pumpkin

3 garlic cloves, minced
1 med. onion, chopped
12 sm. mushrooms, sliced
1 med. bell pepper
1 1/4 c. uncooked rice
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
5 tbsp. butter
1 #303 can stewed tomatoes
2 c. beef broth
1/4 c. grated Cheddar or Longhorn cheese
Parsley sprigs
8 to 12 cherry tomatoes
Wash the pumpkin and cut the top stem out to create a lid. Scoop out the seeds and stringy fibers. Melt the butter but only 2 tablespoons and take a plastic sandwich bag to dip into the melted butter to oil the inside of the pumpkin. Turn the pumpkin on its side and remove to sprinkle inside with 1/2 teaspoon salt.Saute onion, mushrooms, bell pepper, and garlic in the remaining 3 tablespoons butter. Add the 2 pounds lean hamburger, brown, and drain. Then add the rice and stir until thoroughly mixed. Add the remaining salt and pepper, the stewed tomatoes, and the beef broth and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes then fill the pumpkin with this mixture. Replace the pumpkin lid and place the pumpkin in a shallow greased baking pan. Bake approximately 1 to 1/2 hours at 350 degrees. Pumpkin is ready when tender and should remain firm enough to hold the filling without danger of collapsing. If necessary, more beef broth can be added as needed. When baked, remove from the oven, lift lid and sprinkle inside with the 1/4 cup cheese. Return pumpkin to oven, lift lid and sprinkle inside with the 1/4 cup cheese. Return pumpkin to oven without lid until cheese is melted. Remove from oven, replace lid and garnish around the bottom of the pumpkin with fresh parsley and cherry tomatoes. Serve from the pumpkin, scraping some of the pulp into each serving. Serve with green salad and French bread. Serves 12.

Maryland Pumpkin Seeds
4 cups pumpkin seeds, raw, rinsed and dried on papertowels
1/4 cup Old Bay seasoning
a good drizzle of olive oil

Drizzle the oil over the seeds. Sprinkle with the Old Bay and toss well to coat. Spread out in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes at 300 degrees.

And lastly here are the "kitty kat" cookies me & my 3 year old son put together...

Two Childhood Favorites Combine

I of course like every other kid grew up eating macaroni and cheese and with my mom it almost always was homemade instead of the blue box powdered stuff. I also grew up eating plain macaroni and tomatoes. Still one of my favorites today. So I decided to combine the two for a retro rewind with a twist.

I don't really have an exact science to my mac and cheese. I also used boiled noodles, topped with a little cracked black pepper and butter. Mix in 2-3 cheeses of your choice and a little milk and bake. So in addition to that I added some stewed tomatoes. I thought it was pretty darn good actually, but I think I still prefer both dishes separately.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Salmon Pouches

I just kinda whipped this up one evening. It was healthy, quick and quite good.

On a piece of foil I placed some bell peppers & banana peppers. Salmon on top. I sprinkled with salt and pepper and some minced garlic. Then threw in some grape tomatoes and a drizzle of white wine. Make a foil pouch, stuck in the oven for about twenty minutes and viola!

I was short on my fresh veggies but I think this would be extra special with some fresh asparagus.

Baked Spaghetti

I try not to make this too often because its definitely not the healthiest dish in the world although I do try to make it as healthy as possible, but we sure do love it in this house. Its a great dish for taking to someone as well. I recently took it to a friend that just had a baby.

Baked Spaghetti

8 oz spaghetti, cooked according to package
2 T butter
1 cup fresh grated Parm
24oz cottage cheese( I use low fat)
1 lb ground beef ( I use lean)
24oz spaghetti sauce
8oz shredded mozzarella

Toss cooked spaghetti in butter and place in a foiled lined pan. Top with Cottage cheese and then parm. Brown ground beef in pan. Drain and add sauce and simmer for about 10 minutes. Pour on top of cheese layer. Top with mozzarella. Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes at 400. Remove foil and bake 15 more minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Bridal Shower Treats

I also recently hosted a bridal shower. I went with a finger food theme and the bride requested a chocolate cake with peanut butter icing. I think everything turned out rather nicely if I do say so myself.

Here are a few peeks of some of the fare.

Bacon & Tomato Tarts

Fig, Goat Cheese & Prosciutto Crostini

Smoked Salmon & Cucumber Roulades

Devil's Food Cake with Homemade Peanut Butter Icing
(this icing was quite greasy, but wow was it ever sinfully delicious!)

Hummingbird Cake

I am not a baker. I love to eat the sweets, but I do not like to make them really. Too much measuring and following of instructions. I'm way too crazy for all that. lol I like to cook so I can tweak and do my own thing, thus, always breaking the rules. With that being said I was asked to make the dessert for a friend's baby shower and she requested a Hummingbird Cake. I did some searching took a couple of recipes and put them together to still make it my own creation. It got rave reviews unless everyone was lying. :) Seriously though, I would have picked chocolate any day myself, but this did turn out really moist and flavorful.

Hummingbird Cake
1 yellow cake mix, mixed up using directions on box
Add to mix:
1 can crushed pineapple drained
2 cups of banana, mashed
1 cup of chopped walnuts
Bake at 350 in two nine inch pans for 1 hour and cool.

8oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 pound butter, softened
1 pound powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Blend all together and frost middle, top and sides of cake.
Sprinkle with more chopped walnuts.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Salt & Pepper Calamari & Shrimp

I love the salt and pepper calamari at a local chinese buffet, so this was my attempt at making it myself. I was quite pleased with the results. The addition of shrimp was good too!

Salt & Pepper Calamari & Shrimp
Toss cleaned shrimp and squid in a little cornstarch, kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Be generous with the pepper. Saute all until crispy in sesame oil and a drizzle of chile oil. Drain on paper towels.

Buffalo Chicken Salad

This is one of our new favorites for a quick dinner.

Buffalo Chicken Salads
Toss together:
Salad greens of your choice
hard boiled egg
shredded cheese
Cut up buffalo chicken tenders

Cauliflower Salad

This was quite tasty. The original recipe called for cauliflower and broccoli, but I only had cauliflower on hand.

Cauliflower Salad
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup cauliflower florets
2 cups hard-cooked eggs, diced (optional)
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
6 slices bacon
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Crumble and set aside.
In a medium sized salad bowl, layer in order the broccoli, cauliflower, eggs, cheese and bacon.
Prepare the dressing by whisking together the mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar. Drizzle dressing over top and serve.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Going Greek

One of my favorite chicken recipes. Minimal ingredients and impossible to mess up.

Greek Chicken

Chicken thighs, with skin left on
extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt
Greek Seasoning

Rub chicken with oil and then seasonings. Bake on 200 for 2-3 hours depending on size until chicken is cooked through and skin is crisp.

Last time I served this up with a Greek salad: cukes, tomatoes, black olives, feta and dressing.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Salmon with Pecan Coating

Salmon with Pecan Coating
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons butter, melted
5 teaspoons honey
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
3 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
6 (4 ounce) fillets salmon
salt and pepper to taste
6 lemon wedges

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). In a small bowl, mix together the mustard, butter, and honey. In another bowl, mix together the bread crumbs, pecans, and parsley.
2. Season each salmon fillet with salt and pepper. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Brush with mustard-honey mixture. Cover the top of each fillet with bread crumb mixture.
3. Bake for 10 minutes per inch of thickness, measured at thickest part, or until salmon just flakes when tested with a fork. Serve garnished with lemon wedges.

**The only change I made was to use a whole plank of salmon instead of fillets**

Teddy Bear Snack Mix

I made this for my sweet little boy and his friends when we hosted a teddy bear picnic at the park.

Teddy Bear Snack Mix
-chocolate chip teddy grahams
-chocolate chocolate teddy grahams
-honeycomb cereal
-mini marshmallows
Toss all together and snack away!

Linguine with Clams

Whole clams, EVOO, parmesan cheese, garlic, parsley, lemon juice, mushrooms...
Tossed with pasta...

Devil's Chicken Thighs & Braised Leeks

This recipe was courtesy of Smitten Kitchen.
It was quite time consuming, but very worth it.

Devil’s Chicken Thighs with Braised Leeks and Dijon Mustard
Adapted from Sunday Suppers at Lucques

We halved this but made a full recipe of the braised leeks. Hey, we all have our priorities.

Serves 6, or more if you have the kind of guests who only would want one thigh apiece.

12 chicken thighs, trimmed of excess skin and fat
1 cup thinly sliced onion
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
2 chiles de arbol, thinly sliced on the diagonal
2 fresh bay leaves, thinly sliced, or 2 dried leaves, crumbled
3/4 cup dry vermouth
2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup finely diced shallots
1/2 cup dijon mustard
1 extra-large egg
2 teaspoons chopped tarragon
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup chicken stock
Braised leeks (recipe below)
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place the chicken thighs in a large bowl with the sliced onion, 2 tablespoons thyme, chiles, bay leaves, and 1/4 cup vermouth. Using your hands, toss to coat the chicken well. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.

Place the breadcrumbs in a medium bowl. Heat large saute pan over medium heat for 1 minute. Add 3 tablespoons butter, and cook until it’s brown and smells nutty. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the brown butter over the breadcrumbs. Wait 1 minute, and then toss well with the parsley and 1 tablespoon thyme.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Return the saute pan to medium heat for 1 minute. Swirl in the remaining tablespoons butter, and when it foams, add the shallots and remaining 1 teaspoon thyme. Saute about 2 minutes, until the shallots are translucent. Add the remaining 1/2 cup vermouth and reduce by half. Transfer to a bowl and let cool a few minutes. Whisk in the mustard, egg, chopped tarragon, and a pinch of black pepper.

Remove the chicken from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking, to bring it to room temperature. Discard the seasonings, and pat the chicken dry with paper towels. After 15 minutes, season the thighs well on both sides with salt and pepper.

Return the same saute pan to high heat for about 2 minutes. Swirl in the olive oil, and wait 1 minute. Place the chicken thighs in the pan, skin side down, and cook 8 to 10 minutes, until the skin is a deep golden brown. Turn the thighs over and cook a minute or two on the other side. Place the chicken on the braised leeks. Turn off the heat and discard the fat. Add the chicken stock to the pan, and scrape with a wooden spoon to release the crispy bits stuck to the bottom. Pour the chicken stock over the braised leeks.

Toss the chicken thighs in the bowl with the mustard mixture, slathering them completely, and then rearrange them over the braised leeks. Spoon any remaining mustard mixture over the chicken thighs. Top each thigh with breadcrumbs, patting with your hands to make sure they get nicely coated. (You want lots of mustard mixture and lots of breadcrumbs.) Bake about 40 minutes, until the chicken is just cooked through. To check for doneness, piece the meat near the bone with a paring knife; when ready, the juices from the chicken will run clear.

Turn the oven up to 475°F and cook the chicken thighs another 10 minutes, until the breadcrumbs are golden brown.

Serve in the baking dish, or transfer to a large warm platter.

Braised Leeks
Adapted from Sunday Suppers at Lucques

You can pair these with the chicken dish above but seriously, if this recipe seems too daunting altogether, at least promise you’ll make these alone. With a hard or soft-cooked egg, a mustard vinaigrette, a sharp salad and crusty bread, you’ll have the best meal ever. And this dish reheats great — we actually made this part a day or two in advance.

6 large leeks
About 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (though I always skimp and use less)
1 cup sliced shallots
1 tablespoon thyme leaves
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 to 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock or water
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Remove any bruised outer layers from the leeks. Trim off to the roots, leaving the root end intact. Trim the tops of the leeks on the diagonal, leaving 2 inches of the green part attached. Cut the leeks in half lengthwise, and submerge in a large bowl of cold water to clean them. Shake the leeks well to dislodge the dirt stuck inside. Let them sit a few minutes, to allow any grit inside the layers to fall to the bottom of the bowl. Repeat the process until the water is clean. Place the leeks, cut side down, on a towel and pat dry completely.

Turn the leeks over so their cut sides are facing up, and season with 2 teaspoons salt and a few grindings of black pepper.

Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Pour in 1/4 cup olive oil, and wait 1 minute. Place the leeks in the pan, cut side down, being careful not to crowd them. (you will probably need to saute them in batches or in two pans. Add more olive oil to the pan as needed, for each batch.) Sear them 4 to 5 minutes, until they are golden brown. Season the backs of the leeks with salt and pepper, and turn them over to cook another 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer them to a large gratin dish, lining them up, cut sides facing up. (Choose a baking dish or gratin dish that can go from oven to table and that will accommodate all the leeks and chick thighs, or use two smaller dishes.)

Pour 1/4 cup olive oil into the pan and heat over medium heat. Add the shallots, thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of pepper. Cook about 5 minutes, until the shallots are just beginning to color. Add the white wine and reduce by half. Add 1 1/2 cups stock, and bring to a boil over high heat.

Pour the liquid over the leeks. The stock should not quite cover them; add more stock if necessary.

Braise in the oven 30 minutes, until the leeks are tender when pierced. (This always takes longer in my oven, but is less to be concerned about if you’re going to top them with the chicken, in which case they’ll have plenty of additional baking time.)

And I have to does not look pretty at all, but wow did it ever hit the spot. We ate it with sliced hard boiled eggs. So so so devilish indeed!

Happy Shrimp!

I can't remember for the life of me where I got this recipe. I just had it saved on my computer, so I apologize for not giving credit where credit is due because this was quite tasty.

Happy Shrimp!
The Cast of Characters: Shrimp, Olive Oil, Tabasco, Worcestershire, Salt, Pepper, Butter, and Lemon. Get ready to party!

First, thoroughly rinse raw shrimp w/ shells still on. I used 21-26 count (that means 21-26 shrimp per pound) but I’ve certainly used bigger. Any smaller than this, and it’s difficult to peel, so stick with 21-26 or bigger.)

Place the shrimp in large baking pan

Arrange them in somewhat of a single layer.

Now take Extra Virgin Olive Oil…and drizzle it over the shrimp.
I probably used about 1/2 cup

begin GENEROUSLY sprinkling black pepper all over the shrimp

Now for the salt. I use Kosher because I’m madly in love with it, but of course, regular table salt will do just fine.Sprinkle generously with salt

Now cut some lemons in half. I used about three or four.Generously squeeze lemon juice all over the shrimp.

GENEROUSLY drizzle Worcestershire all over the shrimp.1/4 to 1/2 cup

GENEROUSLY you choose to add Tabasco depends entirely upon how much heat you can stand.maybe twenty shakes

Cut the butter into pats and begin placing it on top of the shrimp.two sticks of butter.

Now put the pan under the broiler in your oven for just about ten minutes, until the shrimp are no longer translucent. Don’t overdo it; you don’t want the shrimp to dry out.

Now, for your party you’ll want to have a loaf of crusty French bread on hand. Warm it in the oven, then wrap it in a nice napkin.

Just take a chunk of bread.And dip it into the pan, absorbing the juice.

Italian Meatloaf

Okay, so I realized lately I must be on a huge tomato
But that's always true I guess...I love tomatoes.
Anyways, this has become our new favorite meatloaf.

Italian Meatloaf

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon Italian-style seasoning
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a large bowl, mix together ground beef, eggs, bread crumbs and ketchup. Season with Italian-style seasoning, oregano, basil, garlic salt, diced tomatoes and cheese. Press into a 9x5 inch loaf pan, and cover loosely with foil.
Bake in the preheated oven approximately 1 hour

Roasted Tomato Soup

I got this recipe from Family Fun Magazine. It was so so good! With grilled cheese sandwiches for dunking of course.

Roasted Tomato Soup

6 cups(3 pints) of cherry tomatoes
3 T olive oil
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper
2 T unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup onion, chopped
1 (28oz) can of diced tomatoes
4 cups of chicken broth
1/2 t thyme
1 cup whipping cream

Heat the oven to 400. On a baking sheet combine cherry tomatoes, 2 T olive oil and the salt and pepper. Toss to coat evenly and spread in a single layer. Roast 30-45 minutes.

In a large pot, heat the butter and the remaining oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and saute until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the canned tomatoes with their juice, the broth, thyme and the roasted tomatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, 40 minutes.

Using a food processor or blender, puree the soup until its smooth. Return to the pot and stir in the cream. Warm over medium heat, stirring often. Do not let boil. Ladle into bowls and enjoy!

**Again I forgot to take the final picture after it was done....***

***My only change was that I used fresh basil instead of thyme because I had it on hand and just love the flavor of basil with tomatoes.***

Tomato Basil Chicken

I'm so behind on blogging, so time for some quick catching up.

These turned out really good. I forgot to take a picture after they cooked because we gobbled them up too quickly.

I pounded some chicken breasts thinned and marinated them in fat free italian dressing. Placed some mozzarella, sundried tomatoes and fresh basil in the center, rolled up and held closed with toothpicks. Wrapped in bacon and broiled.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Crunchy "Oven Fried" Chicken

So, I'm a Southern girl at heart, so I of course love me some fried chicken, but let's face it, my body doesn't and I'm trying to make some healthier lifestyle changes, not saying I'll never eat fried chicken again because that would be a bold faced lie, but its nice to have a healthy option in my recipe rotation.

I found this recipe on one of my favorite websites for Weight Watchers recipes and it was a pretty darn good substitution.

Crunchy "Oven Fried" Chicken
3 tablespoons buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons lime juice
1/4 teaspoon dijon mustard
dash garlic powder
dash white pepper
dash salt
8 ounces boned and skinned chicken breasts -- 2 4-ounce pieces
1 1/2 ounces corn flake crumbs -- or bread crumbs
2 teaspoons vegetable oil -- divided

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

2. Pound chicken to 1/4-inch thickness.

3. IIn small mixing bowl combine buttermilk, lime juice, mustard and seasonings; stirring to combine.

4. Dip chicken in buttermilk mixture.

5. On sheet of wax paper or a paper plate dip chicken in cornflake crumbs, turning to coat both sides. Arrange on non-stick baking sheet.

6. Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon oil over each piece of chicken and bake until lightly browned, 8-10 minutes; turn chicken and drizzle with remaining oil and continue to bake until chicken is tender and coating is crisp, about 10 minutes longer.

**I followed it close to exact except cut my chicken into tenders instead of leaving as whole breasts and I didn't have buttermilk on hand, so made my own substitute using milk and white vinegar. I also used olive oil instead of vegetable oil**

Candied Grapes

I recently had these at a friend's house for lunch and they were just that little extra spark I needed to add to my boring ol' midday fruit snack.

Candied Grapes
-Red or Green Seedless Grapes
-Sugar Free Jello Mix

Rinse grapes and then while still wet roll them around in the sugar free jello mix of your choice. Chill in the fridge and serve.

**I used red grapes and orange flavored jello because I had it on hand. The cherry flavored ones I had at my friends were even better!!**

Edamame Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing

I follow this blog of Camille's from Enlightened Cooking. I first saw her as a contest in a cooking competition on The Food Network and have just kept up with her. Here is her recipe for Edamame Salad. It was tops with me!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Here Chick Chick...

Ah the chickpea and I have become friends. I've always loved them so because of hummus, but have recently been indulging in these chickpea snacks as well. They are both so yummy and healthy to boot.

Chickpea Salad

1 can of chickpeas rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons of onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
1/2 cucumber, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 T olive oil
1 T lemon juice
2 T red wine vinegar
salt & pepper to taste

In a large bowl combine all and chill for two hours before serving.

Roasted Chickpeas

1 can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained

Put on a baking sheet in an even layer. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle with your desired seasonings:
-garlic powder, salt and pepper, a pinch of cayenne
-Lemon Pepper
-and Mrs. Dash seasonings are great
-Greek seasoning
-basically whatever tickles your toes

Bake at 375 for 15 minutes. Give pan a good shake. Bake another 15 minutes.
Eat warm and enjoy!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Spicy Beef Curry

I've made this a couple of times now and its really good. The original recipe wasn't spicy enough for us so I added extra heat. My changes are **starred** below.

Spicy Beef Curry

* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 1 pound beef stew meat
* salt and pepper to taste
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger **used ground because I had it on hand**
* 1 fresh jalapeno peppers, diced ** used serrano peppers**
* 1 tablespoon curry powder **used 2 Tablespoons of red curry paste**
* 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
* 1 onion, sliced and quartered
* 1 cup beef broth

1. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, and brown the beef on all sides. Remove from skillet, reserving juices, and season with salt and pepper. Cook and stir the garlic, ginger, and jalapeno in the skillet for 2 minutes, until tender, and season with curry powder. Mix in the diced tomatoes and juice.
2. Place the onion in the bottom of a slow cooker, and layer with the browned beef. Scoop the skillet mixture into the slow cooker, and mix in the beef broth.
3. Cover, and cook 6 to 8 hours on Low.

I served it over rice and steamed long beans.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Crabby Artichoke Fondue...

At my dear friend Maleesa's request I'm reposting this with the recipe included.
I just kinda took two or three recipes I found and picked my favorite ingredients of each and vamped it to make my own.

Crabby Artichoke Fondue

- 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
-1/2 cup chopped roasted red bell pepper
- 1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
- 8oz shredded fontina cheese
-4oz cream cheese
-1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup sliced green onions
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped jalapeno peppers
- 1/2 pound crab meat
- 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice

Warm oil in fondue pot. Add bell pepper, artichoke hearts, green onions and saute 2-3 minutes. Add cheeses and milk and melt on low until nice and smooth. Lightly fold in crab meat and other ingredients. Serve with cubes of warm crusty french bread.

Buffalo Chicken Rolls

Buffalo Chicken Rolls

* 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - pounded to 1/4 inch thickness
* 4 tablespoons butter, melted
* 1/2 cup hot sauce
* 1/2 cup shredded provolone cheese

1. In a small bowl, stir together the melted butter and hot sauce. Place chicken breasts in a glass bowl, and pour the sauce over. Turn to coat, cover and refrigerate for 15 to 20 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Remove chicken breasts from the hot sauce, and place 1 tablespoon of cheese in the center of each one. Roll up, and secure with a toothpick. Repeat with remaining breasts, and place them seam side down in a glass baking dish.
3. Cover the dish, and bake for 30 minutes, or until chicken is fork tender. Increase the temperature of the oven to 450 degrees, and place the chicken 8 inches from the heat. Uncover, and bake for 5 minutes, until browned. Garnish with remaining shredded cheese, remove toothpicks, and serve with ranch or blue cheese dressing.

**These were pretty darn good. I served them with blue cheese dressing for dipping. I did use mozzarella string cheese instead of provolone which the chicken wrapped around perfectly**

Pan Grilled Sea Scallops

This recipe came from one of my new cookbooks that I got for Christmas, The New England Clam Shack Cookbook.

1.5 pounds of sea scallops
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
2 tsp olive oil
Lemon wedges

If the scallops are damp or wet, pat dry with paper towels. To make the seasoning mix, in a small bowl, combine the salt, sugar, basil, thyme, garlic powder and onion powder. Stir well.

In a large skillet heat the oil over the medium-high heat. Sprinkle the scallops very lightly on both sides with the seasoning mix. When the oil is hot, arrange scallops in the pan in a single layer, without touching. Cook, adjusting the heat if necessary, until the bottoms are nicely browned and caramelized, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn with tongs and cook on the other side until the scallops are just firm to the touch and lightly browned on the bottom another 2-4 minutes, depending on their size.

Serve with lemon wedges.

Sausage Apple Quiche

I found this on and it is apparently a Bob Evans recipe. The apples in this were a nice change to your ordinary breakfast dish. And it turns out kinda pretty. I used the maple syrup flavored sausage in mine.

Sausage Apple Quiche
* 1 (9 inch) refrigerated pie crust
* 3/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese
* 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
* 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
* 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
* 1 (12 ounce) package Bob Evans® Original or Maple Sausage Links
* 4 eggs
* 1 1/2 cups milk
* 3/4 teaspoon salt
* 3/4 teaspoon sugar
* 1 dash cayenne pepper (optional)
* 1 medium apple, cut into 1/4-inch slices

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line 10-inch quiche or pie pan with pie crust. Sprinkle cheeses, chives and parsley over bottom of crust. Cook sausage in large skillet over medium heat until no longer pink in the center. Arrange in spoke fashion over cheese layer. Beat eggs in medium bowl with wire whisk until light in color. Whisk in milk, salt and sugar until well blended. Carefully pour egg mixture over sausage layer; sprinkle with cayenne pepper, if desired. Arrange apple slices around outside edge of quiche, pressing down slightly into egg mixture to coat apples. Bake 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F; bake 15 to 20 minutes more or until knife inserted into center comes out clean. Refrigerate leftovers.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Slow Cooker Carnitas

These were very good! The meat was fall apart tender. We stuffed it into tortillas and topped with diced tomatoes, a little cheese and sour cream.

Slow Cooker Carnitas

2T tomato paste
2T adobo sauce(from canned chipotles)
3T chopped garlic
1T chili powder
1t salt
1t pepper
3lb boneless Boston butt, cut into 2" pieces *I actually used boneless country style ribs cut into 2" pieces because I already had them. I'm sure they actually ended up making it even more flavorful**
1c beer of chicken broth **I used the beer which I think is a must!**

Combine first six ingredients in slow cooker. Stir in meat pieces. Microwave beef on high for 2 minutes. Pour over meat. Do not stir. Cover and cook on high for 6 hours. Shred meat using two forks.
**Be sure to spoon some of the sauce over the meat.**

Ringin' in 2009

We always stay home on New Years Eve and just cook, eat, watch movies, eat, play games, eat, drink and eat. Well, you get the picture. The menu always varies, but always includes at least one item of seafood. Here are a few things from this year...

Buffalo Wings

Buffalo Shrimp

And Crabby Artichoke Fondue

And my personal favorite...a little champagne to get the party started.

Happy New Year Everyone!! Hope its been great so far!

A few Christmas goodies...

Here are a few things that we had for Christmas this year.

Ranch Chex party mix...although I took the original party mix and the ranch party mix and picked my favorite ingredients out of each recipe and vamped it to create my own party mix. lol

Lots of Christmas cookies. My favorites are the toffee bars that are the ones on the end and they are super easy to boot! I love to cook, but am not really into baking all that much(I hate to have to measure ingredients!), so these cookies are right up my alley.

Toffee Bars
1 sleeve of graham crackers, crushed fine
1/2c of butter
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1/2 pkg of mini chocolate chips
1/2 pkg of Heath toffee chips

Melt butter and pour in a 9x13 pan. Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs on top and press down. Pour milk on top and spread evenly. Sprinkle with chocolate and toffee chips, press down. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.

Polish Roses
**my mom always made these and my DH loves them**

Polish Roses
8oz cream cheese, softened
2T prepared horseradish
5oz jar of sliced dried beef
green onions

Mix together cream cheese and horseradish. Spread onto each piece of beef. Place onion in center and roll up.

And last but most certainly not least I cooked my first prime rib this year for Christmas dinner. It was a hit!