Wednesday, December 31, 2008

NYE

Happy New years Eve. I wanted to get Chinese food or go out to dinner but instead I've wound up making dinner. At least DH was helping so it wasn't too bad. I bought a pork loin and when I opened it the loin actually was 3 pieces. This is the first time that's ever happened to me. I don't think it's the norm, but do check and see if your loin has a sneaky label that says 3pc.


Ingredients
1 pork loin
1 box Jiffy cornbread mix
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
salt
pepper
rosemary
sage
butter
1/4 onion, diced
1 apple, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
Handful of chopped walnuts
Kitchen String- my grocery store did not sell any so I asked at the meat counter if they would cut me about 3 feet of string and they did :)

Instructions
DH cut the loin(s) so it would lay flat and pounded it
Then the meat was salted, peppered, and rosemary and sage seasonings were sprinkled on it.

I baked a jiffy box of cornbread per the box directions and crumbled it
I diced 1 stalk of celery and a quarter of a sweet yellow onion.
I sauteed the celery and onion in butter
DH diced up 1 whole Honeycrisp apple

I dumped the vegetables over the cornbread pieces and added the diced apple
Then I added a sprinkling of chopped walnuts
Stir everything together well

Take cornbread mixture and smear a layer on top of the flatten pork loin.
Tie up the loin with kitchen string

Heat oven to 450 degrees
Place the loin in a baking pan
Cook the loin at 450 for 15 minutes
then lower the temperature to 325 and continue cooking for another 45 minutes

Internal temp should be 140-145 degrees

Remove kitchen string and cut into 1/2-1 inch pieces. Don't cut pieces too thin or the stuffing will fall out.



Friday, December 26, 2008

Mexican Lasagna

So this recipe has been printed out several times by me and I've never gotten around to making it until today :)
http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2008/08/cooking-with-pastor-ryan-delicious-mexican-lasagna/

My edits
MAKE HALF THE RECIPE
I have a seriously large casserole dish and half of the recipe just barely fits in

I made spanish rice, I believe it was Old El Paso
I added Franks Hot Sauce, black beans, and a can of diced green chilis to the meat, taco seasoning, onion, and garlic saute. I split the mixture into two layers instead of one.
I used small corn tortillas, 18 of them (I did three layers instead of the recommended two)
1 whole can of salsa verde in the bottom of the pan
1 whole can of enchilada sauce (the smaller 16 oz one) divided in two
frozen corn (not canned), I did one layer just like the directions indicated.

It is really yummy. We had it with a little sour cream on the side. It didnt take too long to put together and bake either.
I'll make it again! I think it'll be great as leftovers, it'll heat up nicely in the microwave.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Hosting Family Dinner for 1st time

I've had my entire family over to our house for casual dinners like grilling in the backyard for our house warming and around my aunts funeral.

I havent had my entire family over for dinner around the dining table.
My DH has invited them all, everyone in Maryland and VA.

I'm making this slow cooker pot roast recipe because I really liked the gravy it made
Slower Cooker Pot Roast



and I'm making mounds of mashed potatoes. I use lots of butter and some milk for my potatoes

and we'll have broccoli.



My mom is bringing over her fabulous red velvet cupcakes with coconut cream cheese frosting!!!!

I hope everything works out for this dinner tomorrow. I'm stressing a little.

Monday, December 15, 2008

fondue leftovers soup

I had some sliced zuchinni, three carrots, some chopped broccoli, and some frozen roasted corn that I threw into some chicken stock. I also bought some cheese tortellini and added garlic salt and black pepper. It was cheap, quick, and easy plus used up some leftovers! yay.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Beer Cheese Fondue

Beer Cheese fondue
Rachael Ray


Ingredients

* 1 sack, 10 ounces, 2 1/2 cups, shredded sharp Cheddar, available on dairy aisle
* 1/4 to 1/3 pound, 4 to 6 ounces, Gruyere, shredded
* 1 rounded tablespoon all-purpose flour
* 1 cup German lager beer
* 2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
* A few drops hot sauce
* A few drops Worcestershire sauce


Directions

Combine cheeses in a bowl with flour. Add beer to a small pot and bring up to a bubble over medium heat. Reduce the heat to simmer and add cheese in handfuls. Stir constantly, melting the cheese in batches. Stir in a figure-eight pattern with wooden spoon. When the cheese has been incorporated fully, stir in the mustard, hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Transfer fondue to warm fondue pot.


We served this last night with brats cooked in beer, zuchinni, mushrooms, green peppers, pumpernickel bread, tortilla chips, and sourdough pretzels. All of the cheese was gobbled up by the 5 of us.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

cookie swap

5 hours later and I'm crying because when I tried to put my cookies away the icing got smeared on about 50 of the 60 cookies I made today. Now I dont even want to go to the swap. Anthony is trying to tell me to cover it up with new icing or sprinkles but it took me forever to ice all those cookies I just cant do it again and they are shortbread cookies and I dont want sprinkles on them because I dont want people to think they are sugar cookies.

UGH. I have major OCD when it comes to baking. I just want it perfect.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Game Night 2

So we are going to a game night at another couples place tonight. We were told it would be appetizers and italian.

We decided to make the following appetizers. Photos coming. I made Anthony take some :)

BBQ Meatballs (no I do not do the grape jelly thing)
1 pound ground meat
1/3 cup chopped onion (which we ended up sauteing with some garlic first)
1/2 cup italian bread crumbs
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 egg
1/4 cup milk

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Mix all ingredients and form bite sized balls. Bake for about 10 -12 minutes. We put foil on a sheet pan and bake them on that.

BBQ sauce
2 cups Heinz chili sauce (2 bottles)
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons dry mustard
3 tablespoons chopped onion
2 cloves garlic
2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
2 drops Tabasco sauce
2 tablspoons butter
2 bay leaves

Mix all together in a saucepan and simmer for an hour. After simmering take out the bay leaves. (I throw the sauce in the crockpot and flip it on high because I put the meatballs in there and keep the pot on while people are eating). Add the meatballs to sauce and bake in a covered casserole dish for an hour.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Ham dinner

I bought a spiral ham for dinner.
It was a small spiral and it came with a packet of brown sugar glaze
I bought some orange marmalade

I mixed the orange marmalade with the brown sugar glaze and spread on top of the spiral ham, made a foil tent over the ham, then put it in the oven at 350 for about an hour

I made mashed potatoes too
4 brown baking potatoes, peeled, and cut into small pieces, then boiled in salt water
I drained the potatoes, put them in my kitchenaide mixer with a stick of butter and splashes of milk until desired consistancey.

I cheated on the rest of the dinner. I bought a two gravy packets and made both but probably only needed one! I also bought two steamers of broccoli and cheese and microwaved those.

The pork and potatoes were the best part of the meal. Really homemade is best. I should have just bought fresh broccoli and steamed it and made my own cheese sauce.

I think I did pretty well though going to the store with no plan until I grabbed a ham :)

I also bought a roast for another night. It was on sale. I have trouble leaving the meat aisle sale without buying something. I know I wont get to that roast until maybe Friday.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Not a Rave

Tarder Joes chicken empanadas are so gross to me that I cant finish the three I made. I got through 1.5 and the rest I'm throwing away. I made my own beef empanadas once upon a time but didnt like my crust, but I've read a few places that suggest using a pie crust instead. I think I better make my own or buy them at the latino grocery store. These were awful. Ew.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Turkey Pot Pie

So I didnt have any Thanksgiving leftovers because Thanksgiving was at my parents house
I went to the grocery store today and bought a turkey breast which I roasted for about 2 hours. Then I bought the ingredients for a pot pie :) I used the same recipe as my previous chicken pot pie

5 hours later

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving 2

More of my mom's Thanksgiving recipes

Creamy Corn Pudding **we TRIPLE this recipe for our Thanksgiving of about 12 people

3 tablespoons butter
3 tablspoons flour
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1 can (17 ounces) cream style corn
3 eggs

Melt butter in saucepan over low heat; add flour, sugar, and salt, stirring until smooth. Cook one minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add milk; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbly. Remove mixture from heat, and stir in corn. Beat eggs well. Gradually stir in about 1/4 of hot mixture into beaten eggs; then add remaining hot mixture, stirring constantly. Pour into a lightly greased one and one half quart casserole. Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour. Yield 6 servings

For some reason when we make a double batch for 9 people it disappears so we now triple the recipe.

PLEASE be careful when adding eggs to a hot mixture. You can get scrambled eggs and it is not what you want to do here!






Sweet Potato Casserole


2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 pound butter, softened
1 cup milk

Cook, peel and slice sweet potatoes. In mixing bowl with electric mixer, beat sweet potatoes until smooth. Mix in remaining ingredients. Butter a shallow 2 quart casserole dish. Pour in potato mixture, smooth out the top. Next add praline topping

Praline topping

2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 pound butter, melted
1 cup chopped pecans
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Spread evenly over potatoes. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes (golden brown and bubbly). Remove from oven and let stand for ten minutes. Its always super hot! This can be made a day ahead and refrigerated overnight.


Lastly, the Kraft Broccoli Cheese Casserole. Complete with cream of soup and cheez whiz. At least I do technically live in the south where this sort of food item is acceptable :P
http://allrecipes.com/recipe/krafts-broccoli-rice-casserole/Detail.aspx

Italian Wedding Soup

Yeah spinach for the second Monday in a row :P I served this with cheese bread from Harris Teeter

Italian Wedding Soup
from A Year in the Kitchen by Ashlee Wetherington
Italian Wedding Soup

Italian Wedding Soup

Meatballs:
1 tbsp. fresh minced italian herbs
1/2 small onion, grated
1 egg
1 clove minced garlic
2 tbsp. grated parmesan
salt and pepper
1/4 c. breadcrumbs
6 oz. lean ground beef (I used a pound and just added extra breadcrumbs and parm cheese)


Soup:
1 tbsp. EVOO
1/2 yellow onion, grated
2 garlic cloves, grated
8 c. chicken broth
1/2 c. stars pasta (I used mini wagon wheels)
1 c. frozen leaf spinach, thawed and drained well (I used a 10 ounce box and it may have been a little too much but I didnt mind it)
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp. fresh flat leaf parsley, minced
1 tbsp. fresh minced oregano
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes


Heat a large soup pot over low heat. Add EVOO, onion and garlic. Season and sweat out veggies for 5 minutes, do not brown!
Add stock, and turn heat to high. Cover and bring to a low boil.
While stock begins to boil, mix together all meatball ingredients. Divide into fourths. From each fourth, form 6 mini meatballs.
Turn the stock down to medium heat, and drop in meatballs as they're formed.
Once finished, add in stars and cover. Cook for 8 minutes.
Add in spinach and herbs. Taste and season.
Serve immediately, top with grated parmesan.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Rice Krispys with a twist

I don't think I have personally ever made Rice Krispy treats. I may have been in the kitchen once when my mom made them. Anthony is in charge of his work party this year. The caterers brought some kind of Rice Krispy treat that he enjoyed. It involved a peanut butter layer and mini marshmallows.

So.

We made the regular rice krispys treat recipe
www.ricekrispies.com
Look for the ORIGINAL recipe. There are other variations.

3 tablespoons butter
10 ounces marshmallow
6 cups cereal

Melt the butter, then add the marshmallows and melt them too, last you add the cereal and smoosh it all into a pan.

Next we took 1 cup corn syrup and boiled it (it boils FAST)
Then added 1 cup peanut butter to the hot syrup and stirred it until smooth

We spooned the peanut butter mixture over the rice krispy treats

Lastly we sprinkled peanuts, chocolate chips, and mini marshmallows over the wet peanut butter layer.

Now it is sitting in the fridge.
I have no idea if this is like the dessert DH had but he seems satisfied with it.

Thanksgiving

I'm sure everyone is thinking about Thanksgiving about now.

I wanted to post this Southern Living recipe that we make every year.
We usually serve this salad sort of as an appetizer.
We make all parts of the salad, the dressing, the sugared nuts etc.
It's good. Try it :)

Baby Blue Salad

Monday, November 17, 2008

Sausage florentine artichoke bake

This is very much adapted from the Chicken Florentine Bake from Better Homes and Gardens. I found the original with adaptations on the blog of
http://goodthymesandgoodfood.blogspot.com/

1 pound medium shells, cook per package directions
1 small onion chopped
1 tablespoon butter
2 eggs
1 1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning. I did a mix of parsley, oregano, and basil
salt
pepper
crushed red pepper flakes
2 links of turkey kielbasa, cut into small bite sized pieces
8 ounces of a shredded cheddar cheese mix of mild and sharp
1 container of crumbled feta cheese
frozen broccoli florets, thawed
1 12 ounce jar of marinated artichokes, drained and chopped
1 10 ounce package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
about 1/4 - 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
italian bread crumbs
paprika
jarred hot sandwich peppers (chopped kind)
minced garlic

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Cook pasta according to package, drain
In medium skillet cook onion, garlic, and hot sandwich peppers in butter about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally

2. In a large bowl whisk together eggs, milk, Italian seasonings, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes.

Stir in small pieces of kielbasa, about 7 ounces of cheddar cheese, artichokes, spinach, half the Parmesan, onion mix, pasta, feta cheese, broccoli florets

3. Bake covered for about 20 minutes in a rectangular baking dish

in a small bowl combine Italian bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, the last of the cheddar cheese, melted butter, and a few dashes of paprika

4. Sprinkle bread crumb and cheese mixture over the dish and bake uncovered for 15 more minutes. The bread crumbs should be browned.

Lots of servings :)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Scalloped potatoes

It was nice weather here today so we invited friends over to grill.

I made pumpkin bread (from Trader Joes)
and I am making scalloped potatoes right now. They are almost finished.
They look so cheesy and good! So I didn't follow the recipe so much as I used it as a guideline. DH and I used 4 large potatoes and made a lot more sauce. We had several layers of potatoes in a large casserole dish that we normally use for lasagna

DH is grilling chicken he marinated with his apple BBQ sauce
Our friends are bringing some veggies and salmon (but I dont eat seafood)

Cheese Scalloped Potatoes

Emeril


Ingredients

* 1/4 cup chopped onion
* 2 tablespoons butter
* 2 tablespoons flour
* 1 1/4 cups milk
* 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
* salt and pepper
* 3 potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced, not rinsed

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350°F Fry the onion in butter until soft, add flour and whisk in with butter for 2 minutes.

2.Then whisk in the milk and cook (on medium heat) until thick and bubbly.

3.Remove from heat and add 3/4 cup of cheese, stirring until melted; season with salt and pepper.

4.Layer half of potatoes in a small baking dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover with half of sauce.

5.Layer remaining potato slices on top of sauce and season. Top with remaining sauce and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

6.Bake, covered, for about an hour (mine is taking longer since I have so many potatoes and so many layers)

Love my new bowls

I bought some Trader Joes pumpkin bread mix on an impulse buy. I know I can make my own from scratch but I grabbed it anyway and it's been sitting on the shelf a while.

I bought these bowls from Martha Stewart's Macys collection on Tuesday and I got to use one while mixing my pumpkin bread. I love these bowls! They are nice and hard, wont pick up stains, and they have nice tight lids so you can toss them in the fridge. I love to just keep my food in the bowl instead of having to transfer it to tupperware.


Saturday, November 8, 2008

Klobys BBQ

Last night we went to my nephew's high school football game. We decided to bring our own food which turned out to be a very good idea since they ran out of food at half time! DH and I stopped at a BBQ place with my dad. The place is pretty new and the food is good.

www.klobysbbq.com

They were grilling and chopping the meat for our sandwiches while we were waiting for our order. My dad and I got the brisket cheese steak sub and it was crazy good.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Mexican Cornbread

Anthony made homemade apple BBQ sauce and ribs. I'm making a side dish of Mexican cornbread to go with it. We are also having tater tots, salad, and coleslaw. We are going all out for dinner tonight. I hope we have leftovers for tomorrow. I feel like I spent a lot of money at the grocery store.

Mexican cornbread

1/2 cup melted butter
8 ounces sour cream
2 eggs
15 ounces sweet cream corn
11 ounces white shoe peg corn- drained
11 ounces whole kernel corn, with red and green peppers- drained
8.5 package of corn muffin mix (we use Jiffy)

Heat oven 325
pray glass baking dish (2 quart)
mix butter, sour cream, and eggs
add corn and muffin mix
stir until moist
pour into baking dish
bake 45-55 minutes

Friday, October 17, 2008

Apple Cake

This is the recipe my mom uses. I love how its so simple to put together. We are having house guests this weekend and its perfect for dessert or breakfast :)

Fresh Apple Cake

Cream Together:
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
2 eggs
3 tablespoons vanilla

Sift together:
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Add 2 cups apples cut fairly small. Mix all together. Makes a thick batter. Press into a greased tube pan (I used a bunt pan). Bake one hour at 350 degrees.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Apple Sauce


Since we went apple picking on Sunday I have a lot of apples.
I peeled and diced about 10 apples
I threw them in the crockpot with 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar plus dashes of cinnamon.
Now they are baking in the crock.
When the apples are soft I'll put them in the food processor and we'll have some hot applesauce for dinner!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Crock Pot Bow Tie Chicken

Crock Pot Bow Tie Chicken

The review. Very good meal but it's lacking something. I would add broccoli or I would add mushrooms with peas to the pasta. I think the crunch of the broccoli would be perfect.

We served with garlic bread made from leftover hamburger rolls. haha. I should submit my meal to the trash eats community. It did have cream of crap soup plus garlic bread made from hamburger rolls

2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 8oz. pkg cream cheese (I used 1/3 fat)
1 c. sour cream (I used fat free)
1 pkg ranch dressing mix
3 T Parmesan cheese (I ommited because I didnt have any)
2 c. chicken bouillon water
1 1/2 T. Italian seasoning (I forgot but since there is a whole packet of ranch it was still seasoned)
1 T minced garlic
Chicken (I used three thin breasts)

Put all of this is the crock pot and cook. Serve over pasta (I used rigatoni because thats what I had).
So I had the super thin chicken breasts and it took maybe 2 hours on high
Normally I'd cook it on low for longer.

You need to know your crockpot. If I had thick chicken breast I'd probably cook on low for 5-6 hours.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Sugar Cookies

DH decided that we'd have our Halloween treat decorating party TOMORROW.
He let me know yesterday

I ran home today to make sugar cookie dough. I used this Martha Stewart recipe because someone used it in their blog recently for making cute birthday cookies.
Here is the blog http://reservationsnotrequired.blogspot.com/

I like that they are a firm sturdy cookie but they still seem soft in the middle.


Sugar Cookies
Source: Martha Stewart

* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 large egg, lightly beaten
* 2 tablespoons brandy, or milk
* 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar; add dry ingredients, and mix until incorporated. With mixer running, add egg, brandy (or milk), and vanilla; mix until incorporated.
2. Transfer dough to a work surface. Shape into 2 discs, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with nonstick baking mats or parchment paper; set aside.
4. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes, and transfer to prepared baking sheets, leaving an inch in between. Leftover dough can be rolled and cut once more. Bake until lightly golden, about 10 minutes; do not allow to brown. Transfer to wire racks to cool.
5. Decorate with Royal Icing, optional.

When rolling our cookies out they were really really sticky. We used a ton of flour. It was fun and messy and when I say we I mean intern S and I, not DH

I'll have photos tomorrow. We'll have lots of photos during the party :)

I also made Hersheys Perfectly Chocolate cake recipe into cupcakes for the party.
http://www.hersheys.com/recipes/recipes/detail.asp?id=184
It's on the back of the can of cocoa too

I did not make the frosting because tomorrow I'll be making a boatload of buttercream to color with my gel colors. Lots of orange, purple, green, and black.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Crockpot Chili

We ate a HUGE lunch at Cheesecake Factory before going downtown to view the Jim Henson exhibit. It's the last day it's open and DH promised to take me. I was disappointed in it actually. It was smaller than I thought and didn't have anything from Labyrinth.

I decided to throw together some chili for a late dinner. We aren't hungry but probably will be when 9pm rolls around.

Crockpot Chili Recipe
1 packet of chili seasoning
1/2 green pepper, diced
1/2 onion, diced
1 jalapeno, diced
1 (15oz) can of kidney beans, not drained
2 8 oz cans of tomato sauce
1 pound ground beef, browned

Brown the ground meat and then stir everything together in the crockpot. I've got mine on low and it'll probably be cooking for at least 4 hours today.

Later I'm going to make some Jiffy mix cornbread. Yes it is a lazy Sunday :)

Indian at Home

We had two leftover steaks that we needed to use up.
We wanted to make Indian food so I took my chicken Tikka Masala recipe and instead of adding chicken added our steaks.

Recipe from "Complete Indian Cooking"

"Chicken" Tikka Masala

Masala Sauce
4 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil
2 onion, thinly sliced. I used just 1 onion because I wasnt using a lot of meat and I wanted a good balance
1 inch piece of ginger root, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 cardamoms, bruised. I did not have these and couldn't find them at the grocery store and I didn't have time to visit Penzys
2 teaspoons garam masala
2 teaspoons coriander
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 tablespoons hot water I used some of the boiling water that was cooking my rice
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
We threw in some frozen peas

Make the sauce by heating the ghee or oil in a large skillet or saucepan; add the onion, ginger, and garlic and cook over gentle heat, stirring frequently, until softened but not colored.

Add the spices and fry, stirring for 1-2 minutes until fragrant, then add the cream, tomato paste, water, sugar, and salt. Bring slowly to a boil, stirring, then lower the heat, and simmer gently, stirring, for 10-15 minutes. We cooked the sauce for about 10 minutes and for the last 5 minutes we included the precooked meat and the frozen peas.

We served this over some brown rice and had Trader Joes Garlic Naan on the side. It was really really good. I'll be making it again.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Great Steak

Safeway had a huge 6 pack of steaks for $16. They were nice thick, not too fatty, no bone kind of steaks. I grabbed them up. I also bought 2 cucumbers and some dill to make Bettina's cucumber salad.

When I got home I threw the steaks in a ziplock bag with some balsamic vinaigrette, minced garlic, worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper.
They marinated about 2 hours.

I peeled and thinly sliced my cucumbers, threw them in a bowl, added sour cream and splashes of vinegar, then salt and pepper. I chopped up my fresh dill and threw that in too and stirred. I set it in the fridge for about 2 hours also.

Then I had some quick biscuit mix, cheddar garlic flavor. All I had to do was add water and drop them on a cookie sheet. The biscuits were actually pretty good. They could have used a little butter brushed on top. Maybe next time :)

After dinner we had dessert. Its ridiculous to eat this well on a Wed night right?
Brownies and ice cream. All Safeway made, but still yummy. I microwaved my brownie before topping with french vanilla ice cream and some peanut butter.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Chower and Taquitos

I made Rachael Ray's Keilbasa and Corn Chowder again but I doubled the recipe since I was feeding 5 people.
http://tinyurl.com/48wo7u

I also visited our brand new Harris Teeter

and picked up some Taquitos from the frozen food section.

Everyone at dinner raved about the Taquitos.

So here is my product endorsement
http://www.elmonterey.com/index.aspx

El Monterey, frozen Southwest Chicken Taquitos.


We finished off 10 of those babies at dinner. I should have baked the entire package. I'll be looking for more of their products!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Crockpot Applesauce pork

Ingredients

3 Pork Chops (bone in)
1 jar apple sauce
1/3 cabbage cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 an onion
minced garlic
brown sugar
salt
pepper

I put a layer of applesauce in the crockpot
Then added the porkchops
Then I added the rest of the applesauce, and other ingredients.

I cooked on high for about 3 hours. Time will depend on your crockpot

Kahlua Chocolate Cheesecake

Kahlua Chocolate Cheesecake

Chocolate cookie crumb crust
2 cups crushed oreo cookies
1/3 cup melted butter
3 tablspoon sugar

Filling:
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate pieces
1/4 cup Kahlua
2 tablespoons butter
3 packages (8 ounce) cream cheese softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 egg whites
1 cup whipping cream



Prepare Chocolate Crumb crust. Press firmly in bottom of 9 in. springform pan, Preheat oven 350 degrees.

In small saucepan, over medium heat, melt chocolate with Kahlua and butter; stir until smooth. Set aside.

In bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, flour, and vanilla. Add egg whites; beat on low.

Stir in cream

Gradually blend in chocolate mixture.

Turn into prepared crust.

Bake 40 minutes or until filling is barely set in center.

Remove from oven and let stand at room temperature 1 hour.

Then refrigerate several hours or overnight.


**I really like this cheesecake, its a nice chocolate flavor, but I think next time I may reduce the cream a bit and add more kahlua. I want more Kahlua taste!**

Monday, September 15, 2008

Chicken Pot Pie

So I decided I wanted chicken pot pie. I used Ina Garten's recipe from the Food Network and of course changed things a little.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/chicken-pot-pie-recipe/index.html

Chicken Pot Pie

3 whole (6 split) chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on (I used boneless)
3 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
5 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade (I used canned)
2 chicken bouillon cubes
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter (Mine is probably salted butter)
2 cups yellow onions, chopped (2 onions)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 cups medium-diced carrots, blanched for 2 minutes (I did not blanch)
1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas (2 cups) (I probably used a lot less because I had other veggies going in)
1 1/2 cups frozen small whole onions (I left these out)
(I cut up two celery stalks)
(I added some frozen corn)
(I boiled 6 red potatoes and diced them)
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves (I used dry and a lot less. Just a big handful)

For the pastry: (I bought pie crust, I really suck at making my own)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/4 pound cold unsalted butter, diced
1/2 to 2/3 cup ice water
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
Flaked sea salt and cracked black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the chicken breasts on a baking sheet and rub them with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, or until cooked through. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then remove the meat from the bones and discard the skin. Cut the chicken into large dice. You will have 4 to 6 cups of cubed chicken.

In a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock and dissolve the bouillon cubes in the stock. In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the onions over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent. Add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the hot chicken stock to the sauce. Simmer over low heat for 1 more minute, stirring, until thick. Add 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and heavy cream. Add the cubed chicken, carrots, peas, onions and parsley. Mix well.

For the pastry, mix the flour, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add the shortening and butter and mix quickly with your fingers until each piece is coated with flour. Pulse 10 times, or until the fat is the size of peas. With the motor running, add the ice water; process only enough to moisten the dough and have it just come together. Dump the dough out onto a floured board and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic and allow it to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

(I made one large casserole dish instead of 4 individual dishes. I cut my pie crust into ribbons and did a woven pattern across the casserole dish)

Divide the filling equally among 4 ovenproof bowls. Divide the dough into quarters and roll each piece into an 8-inch circle. Brush the outside edges of each bowl with the egg wash, then place the dough on top. Trim the circle to 1/2-inch larger than the top of the bowl. Crimp the dough to fold over the side, pressing it to make it stick. Brush the dough with egg wash and make 3 slits in the top. Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, or until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling hot.


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

snakebite pasta

So this recipe really varies for us. Tonight I made dinner so here it goes

Snakebite pasta

Garlic Cheese Tortellini (2 store bought packages)
Buitoni vodka pasta sauce
1 can black beans drained and rinsed
two ears of roasted corn, kernels cut from the cobs
4 jalapeno pepper slices, diced (from a jar)
5 pieces of roasted peppers, diced (Trader Joes jar)
1 chili in adobo sauce (canned)
splash of hot sauce

Boil water and cook tortellini
In a sauce pan add vodka sauce and the rest of the ingredients, heat through
Drain tortellini and add the vodka sauce, veggie mixture

Eat :) I didn't find it very spicy (because I made it) I avoided throwing in a lot of the seeds from the chili in adobo can. DH adds more chilis and I think he throws in cheese.


Friday, September 5, 2008

Almost fall baking

Pumpkin Choc chip cookies
allrecipes.com

INGREDIENTS

* 1 cup canned pumpkin
* 1 cup white sugar
* 1/2 cup vegetable oil
* 1 egg
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon milk
* 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
* 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
* 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)


DIRECTIONS

1. Combine pumpkin, sugar, vegetable oil, and egg. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and salt. Dissolve the baking soda with the milk and stir in. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and mix well.
2. Add vanilla, chocolate chips and nuts.
3. Drop by spoonful on greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for approximately 10 minutes or until lightly brown and firm.


**My changes**
I did 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice instead of 2 teaspoons cinnamon
I put all liquid ingredients together in my mixer, including the milk and vanilla before I added my dry ingredients
I baked at 365 for 12 minutes because one of the recipe comments suggested it.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Hersheys Best Brownies

mmmmmm. It's Labor Day weekend and even though we've had no plans I am making brownies right now and crockpot french onion soup next :)

The brownies baked perfectly! Next time I might double it all so they turn out thicker. They are moist but not too sticky and the edges arent too crispy. Yum. I already have sampled one and we haven't had dinner yet.

Hersheys Best Brownies
from the Hershey website

Best Brownie

* 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter or margarine, melted
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 2 eggs
* 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/3 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
* 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup chopped nuts (I did not use)

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 9-inch square baking pan.
Stir together butter, sugar and vanilla in bowl. Add eggs; beat well with spoon. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; gradually add to egg mixture, beating until well blended. Stir in nuts, if desired. Spread batter evenly into prepared pan.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from sides of pan (I only baked about 18 minutes). Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into squares.

There is frosting that goes with these but I'm not making any frosting.

Monday, August 18, 2008

crockpot pot roast

So I decided to try pot roast in the crockpot and I wanted to have big fatty sandwiches for dinner :)

I pretty much followed a fellow nesties recipe
http://aboutabitofeverything.blogspot.com/2008/08/cooking-with-crockpot.html

Crockpot Pot Roast
1 pot roast (chuck, arm, shoulder, bottom round or similar cut)
1/2 C. chopped onion
1/2 C. red wine vinegar
8 oz. tomato sauce
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
3 medium cloves garlic, minced
7-10 dashes of hot sauce

Trim excess fat from roast and cut to fit into crock pot. Combine all other ingredients and pour over the roast. Cover and cook for 6-8 hours.

I bought sour dough, lettuce, and cheese, plus we have banana peppers, hot peppers, and a lot of condiments. It should be the dinner I was dreaming of :) The roast smells amazing. I did attempt to make gravy but I dont know if its right. I'll see if anyone actually wants to be brave and eat it on their sandwich

Monday, August 11, 2008

Stuffed Peppers

I threw together stuffed peppers. I think I saw them in someones blog and got a craving for them :)

6 green peppers
2 packages taco rice
about a pound of ground meat
1 package of shredded cheddar
1 jar of pasta sauce
half of a white onion
minced garlic
olive oil

Wash the green peppers and using a sharp knife cut the tops off. Use a spoon and scrape out the insides of the peppers.

Cook rice as directed on package.

Coat a large pan with olive oil and add minced garlic, chopped onion, and ground meat. Cook the meat until it's no longer pink and drain off the liquid.

Add rice, a few handfuls of cheddar cheese, and some of the pasta sauce to the meat and stir together. I eyeball the amount of rice and pasta, just make sure there is more meat than other stuff :)

Stuff each pepper with the meat mixture

Stand the peppers upright in a baking dish

If you have extra rice sprinkle it around the peppers and it'll help hold them up in the dish. Add a little extra pasta sauce over top of everything. Finish with more cheddar cheese.

I had the oven at 450 degrees. I covered my peppers with tin foil so the cheese wouldn't burn. I would bake them for 20 minutes with the foil and take the foil off for another 10 minutes of baking.

On the side we had hot sauce and sour cream. We like it spicy! However I didn't add hot sauce to my meat mixture because intern Stephanie isn't a hot head

Enjoy

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Grilling at 10pm

We saw the new Batman movie Dark Knight last night. We went to a 6:50 show and got home really late and we hadn't eaten yet. We already had meat marinading all day so we went ahead with our grill plan. We grilled some steak and chicken. I made a cold orzo salad to go with it. We also had a green salad with our variety of salad dressings. I think we have almost 10 different dressings in our fridge :(

Orzo Salad

half a box of orzo
1 cucumber peeled and sliced thinly
crumbled feta cheese
pine nuts, toasted
vinaigrette dressing

Boil the pasta and drain the water
Toss pasta into a large bowl

Toast pine nuts in a dry skillet on top of the stove, then add to bowl

Peel and slice the cucumber into thin slices. I then cut my round slices in half and tossed them into the bowl.

Sprinkle in feta cheese as much as you prefer.

Add your vinaigrette and chill the salad for a few hours.

Stir the ingredients together well and taste

Add more dressing if needed. The pasta tends to soak up a lot of dressing while it sits in the fridge.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Ooey Gooey Chicken

Ooey Gooey Chicken Pasta by Kelly

Ingredients:

* 1 package chicken tenders
* 1 large jar of spaghetti sauce
* 1 box whole wheat pasta
* 3/4 cup of ff ricotta cheese
* 1-2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook chicken via your preferred method; I boiled mine. Let it cool and then pull apart with fingers or finely chop.
Cook pasta as directed. In a sauce pan, add shredded chicken and spaghetti sauce and whatever spices you like. Simmer on low-med until warmed through.

Drain and pour pasta into your baking dish. Add ricotta cheese and about half of the mozzarella and mix into hot noodles. Pour spaghetti sauce mixture over pasta and mix in. Top with the remaining shredded cheese. Bake on 350 for 20-25 minutes. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

I love Balduccis

I bought some hamburger patties that were so fat and juicy and delicious.
YUM. They were almost too big and fabulous to eat the whole thing. I had to force myself ;)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Thai Red Curry

I picked up 3 chicken breasts, a bag of broccoli florets and a bottle of Thai Red Curry sauce at Trader Joes.
I put some water in the bottom of my crockpot, I added the thai sauce, tossed in the chicken and chopped whatever amount of onion I had laying around in the fridge. I did check the grocery store to see if there was any thai basil or lemongrass or some sort of spice I could add, no such luck. I feel like the dish needs some hot chilies but I dont know what kind!

I boiled my noodles and at the end threw in some of the broccoli.

Anyways. Anthony is coming home from work with his coworkers and they have decided they feel like grilling so my meal will be put off until tomorrow. At least everything is made.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Peanut Butter Passion

I used this Eagle Brand kit to make the Peanut Butter Passion. I was having a real chocolate craving last night. They are not what I expected. I thought they would be more brownie like but its more like chocolate and peanut butter fudge with a crust on the bottom. They are very good. I could make something similar from scratch though. All that was needed to make these was butter and a bit of water.

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Spotted Pig

**2009 edit*** I just realized this was a Mario Batali restaurant** yay

We were in New York City over the weekend and while I was watching Rachael Ray she actually recommended two NYC restaurants. She doesn't usually do that on 30 minute meals but I had DH look up the restaurants and we decided on going to Spotted Pig. It was the best dinner I've ever eaten.

I ordered quail stuffed with chorizo, goat cheese souffle, and a salad with spanish almonds.

DH ordered a huge burger with shoestring fries.

All night I told him he was missing out because my meal was SO good!

I think drinks may have been expensive. DH had a beer and iced tea, and I had two rum and cokes.

In total we spent about $100 on dinner.
Phew NYC is expensive

The restuarant is in the Greenich Village area. It was fun to walk around and check out the other restaurants in the area.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Anthony's birthday cheesecake

Last year Anthony requested I make a cheesecake with a peanut butter cookie crust. So I made a crust out of nutter butters, poured half of my cheesecake batter into the crust, added a layer of mini peanut butter chips, and then the rest of my cheesecake batter. It was quite good.

My basic batter has whipping cream and no sour cream. Anthony seems to like my cheesecake made this way so I stick with it and add various things

This year Anthony wants a summer cheesecake with a lemon cookie crust.
I have come up with this =)

Crust:
2 cups lemon filled cookie crumbs
1/3 cup butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar

Raspberry sauce: (that was my surprise part for Anthony)
2 1/2 cups fresh raspberries
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Cheesecake filling:
3 packages (8 ounces each) softened cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 egg whites
1 cup whipping cream (*I used less* use 1 cup for plain cheesecake filling)
*1/3 cup lime juice (eliminate for plain cheesecake filling)

Combine crust ingredients to make crust; press into bottom and up sides of a greased 9 inch spring form pan. Chill 1 hour or until firm.

Puree berries in a blender of food processor. Press through a sieve into a measuring cup; discard berries into another cup. Add water to seed and press through sieve again. Add water to berries in measuring cup if necessary to measure 1 cup of berry juice. In a sauce pan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Stir in raspberry juice; bring to a boil. Boil 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Refrigerate sauce.

In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, flour, and vanilla until fluffy. Add egg whites; beat on low until just blended. Stir in cream and *lime juice.

Pour half of the cream cheese filling into the crust. Top with 3/4 raspberry sauce. Carefully spoon the other half of the cream cheese filling on top.

Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until center is nearly set. Refrigerate overnight. Spoon chilled leftover raspberry sauce on top when serving.

----For presentation sake I am not spooning raspberry sauce on top. I am cutting paper thin slices of an orange to arrange on top----

And you have my version of a triple citrus cheesecake :) with a raspberry ribbon

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Pepperoni Roll

Last night I made spicy garlic lime chicken with penne noodles.
I wasn't a huge fan. I dont know if I made it right. The leftover noodles and salad are going to accompany todays creation

Today I have a pepperoni roll in the oven and OMG it smells good! It looks great too

I made just a few adjustments to this recipe
The adjustments were I bought pizza dough in a can, I used the whole thing and did not cut it in half to make two and I used regular Hormel pepperoni not turkey. It may have been better to cut in half and make two because then I worried about the dough in the middle cooking. I put mine on a foil covered baking sheet. I would recommend spraying the foil with Pam before putting the really sticky dough on it.

Pepperoni Roll
by http://tinyurl.com/64fq69

Ingredients:

* 1 loaf refrigerated bread dough
* turkey pepperoni
* shredded mozzarella
* butter
* Italian seasoning
* garlic salt
* olive oil
* dried parsley (optional)
* pizza sauce

Instructions:

1. Preheat over to 350F.

2. Take the dough out of the container & lay it flat. Cut it in half & roll out two rectangles. Spread a little butter over the dough. Sprinkle that with some Italian seasoning & garlic salt. Layer the pepperoni on the dough, and cover with mozzarella cheese.

3. Roll up lengthwise and seal the ends and seam. Place seam-side down in a baking pan.

4. Brush a small amount of olive oil over the top; sprinkle with dried parsley.

5. Bake for 30 minutes.

6. Serve with pizza sauce for dipping.



Morningstar asian veggie patties



I am eating a yum yum yummy lunch

I put two morningstar southwest patties in the toaster oven
I then broke them up on a tortilla
I topped with some reduced fat cheese
I added Franks Hot sauce, lettuce, and reduced fat sour cream

So yummy! I have heard the asian style patties are good too.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Ming Tsai at Target

I bought some Ming Tsai frozen dumplings at Target a while ago and never got around to boiling them up until today. They are really yummy! We have had so much American picnic type food from 4th of July that last night we had pizza for dinner and for lunch today I'm having asian dumplings :) Pick some up next time you are at Target

Monday, June 30, 2008

Creamy Chicken Lasagna

So tonight was the first dinner I cooked for Anthony and intern Stephanie.
I made a creamy chicken lasagna! I thought it tasted fabulous. Anthony was a little skeeved by the mushrooms and thinks spinach would be better. You could really toss whatever veg you like in this. Its the creamy mixture and the tomato sauce that really made it taste fabulous.

This recipe is from one of the fabulous people of the internet. http://tinyurl.com/6mxfpo

Creamy Chicken Lasagna


9 no-boil lasagna noodles (I actually used regular noodles and boiled them while the chicken breasts were boiling)
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 package baby bella mushrooms (I used more like a half a package but it was a big box)
1 sweet onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 boxes cream cheese (room temperature)
2 cups mozzarella cheese, divided
1 chicken bouillon cube
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
ground black pepper
1 jar favorite sauce

Boil the chicken until no longer pink, about 20 minutes, then chop or shred. Saute mushrooms and onion in olive oil until soft, adding minced garlic at last minute. In large bowl, combine chicken, sauteed veggies, cream cheese, 1 cup mozzarella, basil, garlic powder and pepper. Dissolve the bouillon cube in 1/4 cup VERY hot water, and add to chicken mixture.

The sauce that was creamed was ultra fabulous. Intern Stephanie said it smelled fabulous

Spread 1/3 of tomato sauce in bottom of 9x13 pan, and top with 4 noodles. Spread half of chicken mixture on top, then 1/3 of sauce, the noodles, then rest of chicken mixture, then noodles. Top with remaining sauce and sprinkle with remaining cup of mozzarella. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 45 minutes, then uncover for 15-20 minutes.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

My best cookie recipe

From Martha Stewart of course!

Martha Double Chocolate Cookies

Ingredients

* 1 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
* 1/2 pound good-quality milk chocolate, 4 ounces coarsely chopped and 4 ounces cut into 1/4-inch chunks
* 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
* 1 1/2 cups sugar
* 2 large eggs
* 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside. Melt 4 ounces coarsely chopped chocolate with the butter in a small heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water; let cool slightly.
2. Put chocolate mixture, sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until combined. Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in flour mixture. Fold in chocolate chunks.
3. Using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop, drop dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake until cookies are flat and surfaces crack, about 15 minutes (cookies should be soft). Let cool on parchment on wire racks. Cookies can be stored between layers of parchment in airtight containers at room temperature up to 3 days.

Game Night Food

We are invited to a game night and I said I'd bring taco dip and a dessert. I have made the taco dip several times before. The first time I ever ate it was at a nest get together and I got the recipe from the host. I HATE cottage cheese, but I like this dip :)

Taco Dip from Stephanie Palmer

8 ounces small curd cottage cheese
8 ounces softened cream cheese
small bottle taco sauce (not salsa)
handfuls of cheddar cheese
chopped lettuce
chopped tomato
chopped onion
(Use whatever taco like toppings you want)

Mix the cream cheese and cottage cheese together and smear into the bottom of a pie plate.
Pour the bottle of taco sauce on top of the cream cheese mixture
Add handfuls of cheddar cheese on top of the hot sauce
Top with whatever taco like toppings you want!
Chill in the fridge before serving. It makes the flavors blend




For dessert I decided to try a recipe I've had for years and have never made. It seemed like it would be more summery than a bunch of chocolate stuff. Cool Whip cookies. You can make them out of any flavor cake mix, I did orange but you could do lemon or strawberry. I'm not sure if I'll make this cookie again. It depends on if DH and others like it. I think I would have liked making cupcakes with the cake mix following the instructions on the box better and adding a cream cheese frosting. mmmm

Cool Whip Cookies

INGREDIENTS

* 1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
* 2 eggs
* 1 (18.25 ounce) package lemon cake mix
* 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar for decoration

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease baking sheets.
2. Beat together the whipped topping and eggs together. Add the lemon cake mix and continue to mix. Dough will be thick.
3. Drop by teaspoonfuls into a bowl of confectioners' sugar and roll to coat. Place cookies on the prepared baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 8 minutes.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Levante's in Bethesda

So one of Anthony's coworkers invited us to join them for her husbands birthday dinner. We had never been to Levante's before and it sounded like food we'd like.

We had a semi large group of about 8-10 people but the waitress seemed good

Anthony and I ordered this appetizer
Levante’s Cigars
Cheese pastries of Feta and dill wrapped in phyllo and deep-fried

It was yummy and came with a cucumber yogurt sauce for dipping. There were 4 cigars on the appetizer and it was perfect to share between two people.

I ordered a special that was beef and lamb with tomato sauce and some garlic white sauce. It came on top of cubed bread. I thought it was weird to have just a big pile of meet for the entree and no sides, no rice, or vegetable. The presentation was not so great. You couldn't tell what meat was where, it was all just thrown on the plate. The meat was good enough, it was just like shaved gyro meat, and we have a favorite Greek restaurant for that.

Anthony ordered the Kofte
Grilled ground beef with Mediterranean seasonings,
served with Tsatziki

at least his did some with a side (rice, fries your choice)
and some vegetables like green beans and a few carrots.
It was like three thin meat patties on a plate. He said he liked it though

The bad news is when it came to the bill everyone looked at what they owed and wrote their name, credit card, and total on the back of the bill.

Turns our we were $22 short and the waitress was pissed and was telling her manager she needed help etc.

I will not go back to this restaurant again. The food was not that great, good, but it's food we can get elsewhere, and the problem with the bill at the end was really annoying. It was not handled correctly. I left unhappy thats for sure.

If you are interested in visiting Levante's here is the website address
www.levantes.com

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Monday, May 12, 2008

Gross Candy-

So I have had two bad candy products lately

A white chocolate and lemon Hershey Kiss. EWW

Something called a 3 Musketeers snack bar. Eww. I though it was a mint Musketeers but the wrapper was deceiving me. It was this horrible chalky brownie like thing.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Andouille sausage, red beans, and rice

Not an original creation, I tried this for the first time tonight and it was good and filling. We added tons more hot sauce to our plates though

Andouille and Red Beans with Rice


Ingredients

1 (3 1/2-ounce) bag boil-in-bag long-grain rice
Cooking spray
4 ounces andouille sausage, diced- I used a whole 12 ounce package
1 cup chopped red bell pepper- I used a whole red bell pepper
1 cup prechopped onion- I used half an onion
1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons salt-free Cajun seasoning
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
1 (16-ounce) can dark kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley- I skipped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preparation
Cook rice according to the package directions, omitting salt and fat.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add sausage; cook 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Using a slotted spoon, transfer sausage to a bowl, and keep warm.

Add bell pepper, onion, Cajun seasoning, thyme, and hot pepper sauce to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until onions are tender. Add beans and broth to pan; cook 8 minutes or until thick, mashing half the beans. Add sausage, parsley, and salt to pan; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated, stirring occasionally. Stir in rice and serve.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Crockpot Salsa Chicken




This was easy, done in less than 4 hours, and it tasted good

Slow-Cooker Salsa Chicken

Ingredients

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup salsa (I used a whole jar of Pace Pico de Gallo)
1/2 package taco seasoning
1 can cream of chicken soup (condensed)
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
1 can black beans, rinsed
A few handfuls of frozen corn

Directions
Add chicken to slow cooker.
Sprinkle taco seasoning over chicken.
Pour salsa and soup over chicken.
Add black beans and corn
I stir it all together
Cook on high for about 3.5 hours and cut chicken to check for doneness.
Remove from heat and stir in sour cream.

The first night we ate this mix with these corn tamales we buy, that have no filling. They are just cornbread. We threw some shredded Mexican cheese on top of the salsa chicken mix



The second night DH ate the mix, with cheese again, on tortillas
I put tortilla chips in a bowl and poured the mixture on top, added cheese. It was like a Mexican chicken chili :)

I will be making this again!!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Ham Cannelloni

Last but not least in todays updates, a recipe review. I actually cooked for my brothers family the day before Easter.

I made Rachael Rays Ham Cannelloni dish from her website. I figured it had ham so it was Easter related : )

I wish I had doubled it because when you have 7 people eating it just didnt make enough, and I totally made more cannelloni than the recipe said it would make. I think I used about 10-12 egg roll wrappers, not the 8 the ingredients list suggested.

It was very easy to make. I guess it gets pluses for that.

After baking it seemed a bit greasy and its a big white mess. It made me feel so unhealthy! I think you could easily substitute some other things into the filling.

I dont know if I'll ever make it again. Only if maybe my DH said he wanted it, but I doubt it!

Here is the recipe link
http://tinyurl.com/358q9c

Trader Joes juices

Next product reviews, drinks

I really like the Mango Lemonade
Anthony likes the Pomegranite Tea but I dont

San J sauces

So I bought some sauces I think at Whole Foods recently. They were by San J.

Here is their website link http://www.san-j.com/default.asp

The Szechuan is not joking when it says Hot and Spicy. I thought my taste buds were burned for life! We stir fried some pork, snap peas, broccoli and has it over rice. It was really spicy and I had Anthony add honey to it before we ate it. We like spicy but we are going to have to possibly tone down this sauce somehow. I'm open to ideas

Then we also had the Sweet and Tangy sauce which I dipped my egg rolls in and really enjoyed.

Friday, March 21, 2008

food product reviews


I love Minute Maid's pomegranate lemonade. yum yum yum. Its pink so it's fun to drink :)


Also for lunch today Burrito Grande with salsa rojo. SO SO good. Yesterday I had the worst frozen meal ever that I threw it away and just skipped eating for lunch. Burrito Grande is super good!

To go with my burrito (I know I'm crazy unhealthy today, it's my spring break though)
I had two of these, but they were chicken not steak! Also super tasty.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Creamy Chicken with Artichokes

OMG sooooo good. I wish I had made some pasta or even steamed the broccoli I bought to go with this. I woke up with a horrible cold on Saturday and I still have it. Anyway, I was motivated enough to make dinner so we hit the grocery store and we had to hit Kensington Pizza and Kabob in order to get white wine, liquor store was closed.

Creamy Chicken with Artichokes
from http://lani-pleasurecooker.blogspot.com

3 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 can artichoke hearts, drained
4 oz. cream cheese
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Place each chicken breast half between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; pound to 1/4-inch thickness using a meat mallet or small heavy skillet. Sprinkle chicken breasts evenly with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Place flour in a shallow dish. Dredge chicken in flour. Add chicken to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until done. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm. Add wine, broth, garlic and artichokes to pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits; cook 2 minutes. Add cream cheese and stir until melted. If sauce needs to thicken, mix 2 tablespoons of broth with 1 1/2 tablespoons flour and add to sauce. Remove from heat; stir in juice. Serve sauce over chicken.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Kielbasa and Corn Chowder

Via Rachael Ray
It was tasty. We added a little cheese to the top :)

Ingredients

8 ounces kielbasa, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon butter
One 14.5-ounce can chicken broth
1 large baking potato (about 12 ounces), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 cup half-and-half
One 1-pound bag frozen corn, thawed
Salt and pepper
Chopped fresh dill, for garnish





1. Heat a deep skillet or a wide 4- to 6-quart pot over medium-high heat. Add the kielbasa and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
2. Add the onions and butter to the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 6 minutes. Add the broth and potato and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover with a lid and simmer until the potato is tender, about 10 minutes. Add the half-and-half and corn and cook, stirring, until heated through.
3. Using a blender or food processor, puree 1 cup chowder until smooth. Stir the puree back into the chowder along with the browned kielbasa and season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with the dill.


**Changes**
I used Turkey Kielbasa
heavy cream
Trader Joes frozen roasted corn because it has good flavor
Skipped the fresh dill because we havent found any this winter

Friday, February 22, 2008

Garlic Butter


Pillsbury Crescents were calling my name at the grocery store. I bought the Garlic Butter flavor and just baked them. YUM. I ate two as a snack. I should really think about making something for dinner. :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Cranberry Pork Loin





So we had a tiny bit of snow, less than an inch and it didn't stick to anything, and my evening class was canceled. I was able to go to the grocery store and make dinner! yay

I wanted something super easy. I found a recipe for cranberry pork loin
http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Slow-Cooker-Cranberry-Pork/Detail.aspx

Slow Cooker Cranberry Pork

INGREDIENTS
1 (16 ounce) can whole berry cranberry sauce
1/3 cup French salad dressing
1 onion, sliced
1 boneless pork loin roast (I bought a pre-seasoned pepper and garlic loin)

DIRECTIONS
In a medium bowl, stir together the cranberry sauce, salad dressing,
and onion. Place pork in a slow cooker, and cover with the sauce
mixture. Cover, and cook on High for 4 hours (I cooked for less time because I think my loin was on the small side)
I thickened my sauce with cornstarch in the end. We used it as gravy

I served it with green beans, mashed potatoes, and some fried corn things (frozen food packaged things).

Friday, February 15, 2008

Vday Theme breakfast at school


So my team chose the day after Valentines day for our turn at breakfast. I made strawberry cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and sprinkles :) yum and I also made this coffee cake. I have no leftovers of this coffee cake!

Walnut Rippled Coffee Cake
from all recipes
http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Walnut-Rippled-Coffee-Cake/Detail.aspx

1/4 cup water
4 eggs
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup sour cream



Instructions

1. Set aside 2 tablespoons cake mix. Place the remaining cake mix in a mixing bowl. Add sugar, eggs, sour cream, oil and water; beat on low speed for 2 minutes. Pour half into a greased fluted 10-in. tube pan. Combine the walnuts, brown sugar, cinnamon and reserved cake mix; sprinkle over batter. Top with the remaining batter.

2. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.

**my addition was making a little glaze for the cake. powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk, and pink wilton coloring gel**

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Cold Orzo salad

I've been wanting some cold pasta salad. I bought some orzo, cucumber, pinenuts, balsamic vinaigrette and feta cheese. Right now I have the orzo cooked, the cucumber peeled and sliced into small pieces, and the pine nuts are toasted. I have the pasta with the balsamic dressing chilling in the fridge. I didnt want to put the feta on the salad until it cooled. I cant wait for lunch today!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Moroccan Chicken with couscous

So this is a Nestie on the What's Cooking Board's recipe
Ellys Says Opa

Then tweaked by me


Moroccan Chicken with Lentils
Serves 2

1-1/2 tsp cuminhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif
3/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp allspice
4 bone-in skinless chicken thighs
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
few spoon fulls of tomato based pasta sauce (we used spicy red pepper)
1 cup chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup red lentils
salt and pepper

Mix the first 6 ingredients, along with some salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl. Pat dry the chicken thighs and rub each thigh, on both sides, with mixture. Heat a large saute pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the chicken and brown on both sides.

Stir in the garlic. Stir in the tomatoes, chicken broth, bay leaf, lentils, and salt and pepper. Scoop the chicken thighs on top. Bring the mixture to a simmer and then cover. Simmer for about 35-40 minutes until the lentils are tender and the chicken is cooked through.

Then we made Near East garlic olive oil couscous
In water you add a few tablespoons butter and seasoning packet
When water comes to a boil you add couscous and take off the burner, cover and wait 5 minutes. Fluff with fork and eat.

We used a half lemon each to squeeze over our chicken and couscous.
SO GOOD. I'm sad there will be no pictures. Sorry. DH took the pictures without there being a camera card in the digital camera and the food was so yummy its gone!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Lazy Man's Cabbage Roll Casserole and Apple Pie



Lazy Man's Cabbage Roll Casserole
1 pound ground meat, cooked with garlic, salt, pepper, a little hot sauce, and olive oil
Cooked brown rice from one of the Boil in the Bags
Head of cabbage shredded

Mix ingredients together in a glass lasagna dish

Pour on tomato pasta sauce

Bake at 350 degrees until ingredients are heated through and pasta sauce is bubbling
Add parmesan cheese



I ended up with extra filling that I put in two baking dishes to just eat :)

2 pastry crusts
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
dash dalt
8 cups thinly sliced tart apples (Granny Smith)
3 tablespoons butter

Heat oven to 425
Put 1 pastry crust into a glass pie dish
Stir together sugar, flour, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt; mix with apples.
Turn into pastry-lined pan; dot with butter.
Cover with top crust which has slits cut into it; seal and flute the crusts together. Cover the edges with foil to prevent excessive browning.
Remove foil the last 15 minutes of baking.
Bake 40-50 minutes or until crust is nicely browned and juice begins to bubble through the slits in crust.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Apple pie for breakfast

I decided to make apple pie this weekend. I woke up this morning and now I have my mom's apple pie recipe baking in the oven. I had extra filling so I put it in two small oven safe dishes and I've eaten the baked extra apple pie filling for breakfast. YUM YUM

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Mango


I dont care if its snowing outside. I am eating some Turkey Hill Duette! It is a combo of vanilla soft serve and mango venice ice. So good! Its a lot like Ritas but you can get it year round :)