Sunday, January 25, 2009
Allow me to introduce Mr. Scrubby, my fearless potato scrubber.
This little guy not only looks super cute, but he does a great job! Don't let his oh-so-handsome face fool you because on his backside is a rough brush that does a number on your dirty potatoes. It was definitely a good purchase. I picked him up at Bed, Bath and Beyond (gee, go figure) for just $3!
This recipe sounded delicious. I was really excited to make thai chicken the other night and this crock pot recipe sounded like a great one! I was pretty disappointed with the outcome though. The flavors were all really good, but the texture was off. It almost left a chalky feel in your mouth. Bleh.
If you're feeling up to it, the recipe can be found HERE. Also, I omitted the cilantro and peanuts. After the first few bites, I knew nothing was going to turn this dish around. Not even cilantro.
Friday, January 23, 2009
So I'm home alone because my husband is at work and I'm staring at this lovely loaf of french bread. It's toying with my emotions. Part of me says, "Eat your salad and a turkey sandwich" while the other part of me says, "Oh yes, just induldge. It's Friday for crying out loud!"
Guess what I chose?
- 1 hearty chunk of french bread
- Black olives and green olives, roughly chopped
- Slice onion, just a little
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp mayo (reduced fat)
- Shredded cheese, roughly a handful of colby jack
- Mix chopped olives and onions in with the softened butter.
- Add mayo. I just used the spoon I was mixing with to add two tablespoons of mayo. Not sure exactly how much that was, but not a lot.
- Stir in shredded cheese and continue to mix very well
- Slap that mix of goodness onto your slice of french bread
- It should look a little like this now:
- Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes until browned and yummy (I just put mine in the toaster oven)
Holy cow. This was JUST what the doctor ordered! This was ooey-gooey goodness. Part of me said, "Go make another slice!" but fortunately I didn't listen to that voice. ;) I would make this as an appetizer or side to pasta dish. It would even be a hearty addition with soup! Try it out! Just increase the portions if making more bread.
Source: Pioneer Woman
Monday, January 19, 2009
Remember THIS post? Well the shelf is up! It's not much, but it's amazing how much it cleans up the kitchen area.
The shelf is in the nook (over the island) which you can sort of see in the first picture from the past post. And the fridge picture? CLEARED of all cookbooks! Success!
(Okay yes, one of those cookbooks is titled "Any Blonde Can Cook" but it was a gift from my girlfriend Jessie... it's a great cookbook actually! Haha... I'm just happy they were right!)
So my newest gadget is this handy-dandy veggie slicer. It makes a lovely crinkle cut for veggies (and even potatoes or fruit!) which in turn makes them a little more fun in my book :)
Again, it was a Bed Bath and Beyond purchase but COME ON... I couldn't resist for under $3!
Did I mention how ridiculously cheaper carrots are when you DON'T buy the minis? Yeah, it's a LOT. So this still gives me the feel of baby carrots but at a fraction of the cost. I feel like this gadget has already paid for itself!
But yes, they're my new favorite toy and I gave them their maiden voyage while making these garlic knots. SO WORTH IT.
- 3 cups bread flour
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 TBSP sugar
- 1 tsp instant yeast
- 1-1/4 tsp salt
- 2 TBSP olive oil
- 1 cup + 2 TBSP lukewarm water
- 3 cloves garlic, pressed
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- A few shakes of italian seasoning
- For the dough - mix all dry ingredient in a bowl and then add the olive oil, milk and water.
- Using your (AWESOME) dough hooks, mix and knead to form smooth and elastic dough
- Place the dough in a different and lightly greased bowl, cover it, and allow dough to rise for about an hour
- Divide dough into 8 pieces and roll each into a rope. Tie into a knot and place the knots on a lightly greased baking sheet for another 45 minutes or so.
- FOR THE KNOT:
- To make the glaze - Put garlic cloves through garlic press and add to melted butter and seasoning
- To bake - Put the knots in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes or until lightly golden. Brush on the glaze and bake for another few minutes.
These were tasty and delicious. And much cheaper than other garlic bread from the store! Although next time I will add some fresh pressed garlic or garlic powder to the dough. The only garlic flavor was really in the glaze and it just wasn't enough for me. Garlic + bread = HEAVEN so the more the better!King Arthur
Friday, January 16, 2009
- Jalepenos (hopefully yours are spicy!)
- Shredded mozz cheese (because that's all I had)
- Frank's Red Hot Sauce
- Bread crumbs
- One egg, lightly beaten
- Vegetable oil
- I cut the jalepenos in half and scooped out the insides
- In a small bowl, I mixed some shredded cheese with a few dashes of hot sauce. I'm not sure how much I used, but it couldn't have been anymore than a teaspoon
- Place cheese mixture in peppers and pinch down so that the cheese is smooshed in (smooshed, yes, it's a cooking term... somewhere)
- Set out two more bowls. In one you will have a lightly beaten egg and in the other you will have breadcrumbs
- Dip the soon-to-be popper in the egg and then in the breadcrumbs.
- THEN REPEAT. This is key to getting a fully coated popper! After two times, set aside.
- Heat some (1/2 cup maybe?) vegetable oil in a pan and heat until it's ready to fry
- Fry poppers for about 2 minutes on each side
- Remove from oil and place on paper towel
There you have it! Poppers V2.0 :)
Source: Mary Ellen
Just follow THIS recipe and sub in any different salsa you desire. The possibilities are endless (and tasty!).
Instead of over rice, this time we rolled them up in soft shell tortillas. Mmmm...
One change in the recipe though... Instead of taco seasoning, I used fajita seasoning. Your choice!
- Boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 1 TBSP Honey (I used sugar free)
- 1 TBSP Dijon Mustard
- Pretzels, crushed (fat free)
Thanks to the sugar free honey and the fat free pretzels, this is a pretty healthy dish!
- Place pretzels in a bag and crush with a meat mallet. ***NOTE: I would have crushed my pretzels much smaller. It was hard to get them to stick when they were bigger chunks. Lesson learned!***
- Mix honey and dijon mustard together in small container
- Add chicken to honey mustard mix and coat
- Marinate in fridge (I think I gave it about 20 minutes)
- Throw the chicken breast in the bag with the crushed pretzels to coat
- Bake at 350 until done!
I actually just put my little chicken breast on some tin foil and threw it in the toaster oven at 350 for around 25 minutes. Minimal cleanup... just the way I like it!
This chicken was very tasty. I will definitely mix honey and dijon mustard together more often! It would be a great dip for other things too. It would also make a nice glaze for ham :)
Next time I make this (oh yes, there will be a next time!) I am going to make a little side of the honey mustard for dipping. It was really that good!
Monday, January 12, 2009
No fair! It's hard to make dinner in a house without the appropriate counter space to prep a meal. It's even harder when you can't keep your appliances out on the counters.
And this is how I make space when there aren't enough cupboards. Although Drew and I did buy a shelf to put in the 'nook' so that I can finally remove my cookbooks from on top of the fridge!
And that's it! Back out to the dining room.... SIGH. Although I always say that we will appreciate our next house just that much more because we lived in a small one first. I do love this house... but it's old and small and sometimes a headache.
But we're making it work! :)
Our original recipe for mussels in Mexican beer called for cilantro. Well, since we didn't end up making that one, I had cilantro and beer that needed to be used. This dish was so flavorful and delicious. It was great!
- chicken trimmed and cut into cubes
- 1 handful of cilantro, chopped
- jalapenos, I used sliced jalepeno rings
- 1/2 of an onion, chopped into large pieces
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- Cumin, chili powder, and salt
- 1/2 cup Mexican beer (again, I had Negro Modelo left over from my failed mussels attempt)
- 2 TBSP lime juice
- Mix cubed chicken with the cilantro, spices, and beer. Set in the fridge for about an hour to marinate the flavors
- Make a foil packet and mix the marinated chicken with the peppers, onion, garlic, lime juice, and a splash more beer
- Wrap it up and cook it on the grill for about 25 minutes or so.
The chicken was moist, the flavors were bold, and it was SO GOOD. Definitely a must try if you enjoy cilantro.
Adapted from: Mary Ellen
Drew wanted turkey burgers, but I don't like them plain so I dug around in my fridge. I found the ingredients for pizza and decided to give it a go!
- Turkey pepperoni, chopped into pieces (regular would work, but the turkey kind is healthy!)
- Ground turkey
- Cheese (I used shredded mozz because that's what I had)
- Italian seasonings
- Pizza Sauce
- Throw chopped up pepperoni in with ground turkey. Make a patty.
- Add some italian seasoning on top
- Cook the burger stovetop. A few minutes before it's done, top with cheese
- Place the burger on a bun and drizzle with pizza sauce
The burger had a good flavor, but I wasn't sold on the turkey. I think it would have been better in ground beef. If I try this again, I won't use turkey.
You slide your middle (or index, whichever is comfortable) finger into the little ring and the gadget fits in the palm of your hand. It gives you a lot more control when peeling those pesky taters!
So we switched gears and went with a simple surf and turf.
- Mexican beer (we bought Negro Modelo for our mussels)
- Steak (I had sirloin in the freezer)
- Seasoning (Montreal steak is fantastic!)
- Red potatoes
- Worstershire sauce
- Salt, pepper, red pepper flakes
- We used the beer as a marinade for the steak. Marinate for 30 minutes.
- A little bit of olive oil in a saute pan, add chopped new potatoes
- Give the potatoes a few squirts of worstershire sauce (I used a lot, but it can vary to your taste buds)
- Add salt, pepper, crushed red pepper and continue cooking potatoes until they are just barely fork tender
- Once the potatoes are ready, transfer to a cookie sheet that is lightly sprayed with Pam.
- Throw potatoes in the oven until they reach desired crunch
- Meanwhile, saute scallops in a little butter and olive oil until they are cooked through
- Once the potatoes are in the oven, add a little olive oil to another saute pan and sear the steak. Drew likes his medium rare so that was how we cooked it (about 5 minutes on each side)
And there you have it! Not really a wild adventure in cooking, but we had to deal with the cards we were dealt :)
Next time we will tackle something different (and hopefully find the ingredients we need!).
Friday, January 9, 2009
- Two cans diced tomatoes
- Celery, chopped (leftover from when I made this buffalo chicken dip)
- 1 cup chicken broth
- Onion, chopped
- Andouille sausage, sliced (I just used a package of Johnsonville cooked andouille sausage. Easy!)
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons cajun seasoning
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- Frozen shrimp (I had a package of 'salad shrimp' in the freezer. They're the tiny ones. You can use whatever you want and/or have though). Make sure they're cooked.
- In crock pot combine sausage, tomatoes, onion, celery, and chicken broth.
- Stir in oregano, Cajun seasoning, hot sauce, bay leaves, and thyme.
- Cover, and cook on low for 7 hours.
- Stir in the thawed cooked shrimp, cover and cook until the shrimp is heated through
- Pick out the bay leaves
- Cook up some rice and serve
This was a VERY nice change of pace. All of the flavors worked well together. I will admit I added a bit more hot sauce and cajun seasoning before I added the shrimp though. I need a kick in my dinner!
Source: Food Network
- 3 potatoes
- 1 egg white
- Seasonings of your choice (I used a smidge of onion powder and lowry's seasoning salt)
- Wash potatoes, pat dry, and peel
- Slice into 'fries'.
- Put egg white into a bowl and whisk until a bit fluffy
- Stir in seasonings
- Throw your fries into the egg white mix and coat
Now grab a baking sheet and lay some parchment paper on it. I add about two tbsp of oil to the paper and smear it around (you could use vegetable or olive oil). This step will make cleanup a snap! Place your fry slices on the paper and bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Turn fries and bake again.
That's it! You're done! Healthly french fries that taste delicious. Drew said, "You need to make these all the time." That's coming from the Fry King so I will take that as a success!
Saturday, January 3, 2009
It was fantastic!
Here is what you need to look for at the store:
Inside the bag is a 2.5 lb turkey breast in a "fool proof" wrapper. Leave the turkey in the fool proof wrapper and place in your roasting pan. 2 hours later I was cutting into a perfectly moist turkey with just the right amount of juices. SO GOOD!
There is a gravy packet included too! So to round out this Cheater's Guide to Turkey, I'm whipped up some stuffing from a box, 10 minute cresent rolls and some vegetable steamers (Rosemary butter green beans and potatoes...yummm!).
Friday, January 2, 2009
- Beef broth (I used 1 can beef broth and 4 bouillon cubes (and 4 cups water)... vary this as needed to taste and amount)
- 2 small white onions, chopped thin
- 1 pack onion soup mix
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 TBSP onion powder
- Cheese (I used shredded mozz because that's what I had but a lovely piece of provolone would have been perfect!)
- Bread (I used hamburger buns, but whatever bread is going to work)
- Combine onions, broth, soup mix, salt, pepper and onion powder in a slow cooker. Heat on low for 8 hours.
- To make the croutons, I took the top part of a hamburger bun and through it under the 'toast' function in my toaster oven for a few minutes.
- Toast until desired crunch is reached :)
- Add soup into an oven safe bowl or crock. Put crouton on top and add cheese.
- Set oven (or in my case, toaster oven) to broil and cook until cheese is melted.
In fact, I'm going to use the leftovers as the ingredients for THIS.
Source: Food Network
This little guy hooks onto the side of your pot and holds your spoon in place. Everything on the spoon drips back into your pot, leaving your stovetop clean and clutter free.