Tuesday, August 30, 2011

BBQ Chicken Pizza

(This is for you, Kristy!)


- Premade Pizza Dough
- Your Fave BBQ Sauce
- 2-3 cups Mozzerella Cheese
- 1 Grilled Chicken Breast, brushed with bbq sauce and sliced
- 1/4 cup Red Onion, diced
- 1/2 bunch Fresh Cilantro, chopped

Preheat oven as high as you can. (450ish) Roll out pizza dough. Brush on bbq sauce. Layer cheese and chicken. Sprinkle with red onion, salt and pepper. Slide onto cookie sheet or pizza stone and bake till crispy and brown. Remove from oven. Sprinkle on cilantro, salt and pepper.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Creamy Potato Squash Soup and Bruschetta

The other day, I made Giada's roasted zuchinni, potato and onion recipe hoping it would finally give me something else to do with zuchinni and yellow squash beside the old stand by... (Usually I saute it with olive oil and parm or goat cheese and serve over pasta) Alas, it was just ok... So, I made it into soup. I took the mixture and pureed it in the food processor, added some chicken stock and half and half. I'm not sure I'd make it on purpose. But, it was good! A little more exciting than your average potato soup and a good way to sneak in veggies.

The bruschetta, however, was totally on purpose and very yummy.

I sauteed some red pepper, tomatoes, yellow onions, garlic, crushed red pepper, italian seasoning and fresh basil in olive oil until softened. Added some red wine and reduced. Meanwhile, I toasted some french bread with a brush of olive oil. I made a small salad with arugula and more fresh basil and dressed it with olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Then, I took some goat cheese with black pepper and spread some on the toast and topped it with the salad, the red pepper mixture and then crumbled a little more goat cheese. So good.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Pesto Recipe

(Made this pesto the other day for a friend's bbq/pool party. Very good!)

• 1/4 cup walnuts
• 1/4 cup pine nuts
• 3 tablespoons diced garlic (9 cloves)
• 5 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 11/2 cups good olive oil
• 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Place the walnuts, pine nuts, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Process for 30 seconds. Add the basil, salt, and pepper. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until the pesto is pureed. Add the Parmesan and puree for a minute. Use immediately or store the pesto in the refrigerator or freezer with a thin film of olive oil on top. Makes 4 cups

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Jaimie Dee's Sawmill Gravy

My roomie Jaimie and I made tons of this in college. Serve over crumbled biscuits. (We used low fat bisquick to make this dish "healthy."

1 package breakfast sausage
2-3 T ap flour
salt and pepper

Brown and crumble sausage over medium heat. Sprinkle flour on sausage and cook till flour dissolves. Pour milk to cover sausage and cook until mixture comes to soft bubble. Reduce heat and let thicken. Season to taste.

Challah! Egg & Cheese Casserole

This is my Grammy's Christmas Egg & Cheese Casserole (with my own little addition)

1 loaf fresh challah bread, torn into pieces
18 large eggs, scrambled
whole milk, about 5-6 cups
4 cups sharp shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper, to taste

Heat oven to 375. Arrange torn bread in 9 x 9 buttered pan and sprinkle/mix in cheese. Mix eggs, milk, s & p, and pour over bread and cheese. Press down and let set to soak in 30 min in fridge. (If the bread looks dry, add more egg and milk) Bake 30 minutes or until browned, set in the middle and puffy. (Bake on a cookie sheet to avoid any spills in the oven.)

(Optional) Add one combo of the following for extra flavor:
cooked crumbled breakfast sausage
sauteed mushrooms, swiss cheese and thyme
sauteed red onions and spinach
cooked bacon and diced potatoes
diced tomatoes and fresh basil

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Adobo Marinade and Applications

I use this stuff for everything from skirt or flank steak, to chicken, to pulled pork in the crock pot.

1-2 cups orange juice (depending upon size of meat)
Juice and zest of one lime
1 T minced garlic (I cheat and use the jar)
1 T dried oregano
1 T cumin
salt and pepper

Marinate for 15-20 minutes or longer. Easy and super flavorful.

For steak:
Marinate and grill till medium rare. Serve with white onion and cilantro or chimichurri sauce

For chicken:
Marinate and grill. Cut up and fold into yellow rice and cilantro

For pulled pork:
Marinate and sear on all sides. Cook up 3-4 small onions till clear. Add meat and onions to crock pot with 1 more T garlic, oregano and cumin. Cover in beef or chicken broth. Cook still falls apart. Shred and add in (you guessed it) cilantro. Serve with slaw mix on burger buns.

Auntie Melissa's "Kick Ass Brownies" (The Monique Version)

For the Brownies
2 packages of dark chocolate brownie mix with chocolate chunks (I prefer Ghiradelli)
Stir up a double batch and bake in a foil lined pan till a toothpick poked in the center comes out almost clean.

For the Hazelnut Coffee Fudge
Melt one stick of butter over low heat.
Off heat, stir in 4 T unsweetened cocoa powder and 2 T International Foods Hazelnut Coffee mix
Alternate 5 cups powdered sugar and 6-7 T milk. Finish with 1 tsp vanilla extract.

Pour over brownies. Top with sprinkles, slivered almonds,or peanuts, etc. Or, stir in caramel or melted peanut butter into the fudge and swirl.

Let set in the fridge. Remove pan of brownies by the foil and cut into small squares.

Get ready to make these again. Everyone loves them.

Piggy Cupcakes!

A friend of ours had a pig roast. So, I couldn't resist making pig cupcakes for the occasion. I looked at several versions online and, of course, I had to make up my own. I considered several candies to use for the ears and snout before I settled on this version which uses Sour Patch Watermelon slices cut in half to make the ears. The eyes and nose were made with black "sparkle gel" from Wilton. I dipped a toothpick into the black and made tiny dots on the snout. I think they turned out pretty cute!

How to Make Brownie Pops

Here is a little picture tutorial of how I made brownie pops. One box of brownie mix yields about 30 pops if you use a small ice cream scoop. I used semi-sweet chocolate chips, a variety of sprinkles and coffee stirrers as lollipop sticks.
1. Bake brownies as directed on box. Let cool slightly.
2. While still warm, scoop and form into balls using an ice cream scoop and your hands.
3. Dip the stirrers into the melted chocolate and insert into the brownie ball while still warm. Pop in the fridge until the chocolate hardens.
4. Use a spoon to help ladle the chocolate over the brownie. Cover the brownie completely (The hardest part is covering the brownie pop in chocolate without the brownie falling off the stick.)
5. Set on wax paper or silpat. Sprinkle with desired topping.
6. Let cool completely in fridge.

Later, I made the pops with white chocolate chips and I think I prefer those better. Here are the pics:

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, covered in salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme and a little olive oil. Bake at 350 till cooked.
1 store bought double pie crust
2 cups frozen mixed veggies
2 onions, chopped
1 T minced garlic
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp thyme
3-4 cups milk (didnt measure)
4 T butter
4 T flour
salt and pepper
1 egg beaten

- Bake chicken and cut into bite size pieces. Set aside
- Saute onions in butter till browned. Add seasonings
- Stir in garlic and cook 2-3 minutes over low heat
- Stir in flour and cook 4-5 minutes over low heat
- Pour in milk and turn heat to medium. Cook till thickened, stirring often
- Add mixed veggies and chicken. Adjust salt and pepper to taste
- Pour into pie crust.
- Cover top in egg wash, salt and pepper.
- Bake at 350 till browned.

Someone's Been Baking!

Brownie Pops, Teddy & Mommy Cupcakes, Chicken Pot Pie, Piggy Cupcakes, Auntie Melissa's Brownies

Easter Pics (a little late)

Easter Buntings!

Here I go again...

So, I never said that I would be good at this sort of thing.

A quick update:

Grouper is still with us! Though, he is definitely worse for the wear. Homeboy has decided that the whole bathrom al fresco is too much trouble for him. Of course, this creates much more work for us. Still, he is a good dog and I'm glad he's with us.

We had a great birthday party for the boys on March 5th. Will post pics soon. Had a general boy birthday theme with all sorts of birthday goodness. Teddy spent the night parked in front of the sno cone machine. Good thing I made homemade syrup out of real fruit. We rented a bounce house and sno cone and popcorn machines and had all sorts of goodies to eat. I used up some of my ridiculous stash of scrapbook paper by making buntings, hanging flowers, birthday hats for the kids and tiny cupcake picks with the boys' faces. Super cute. I didn't have the heart to throw any of it out. Hence, a few more rubbermaid containers in the garage! (Sorry Ryan...) Alas, a good time was had by all.

Teddy update:
Teddy has certainly his the "terrible threes" in many ways. Though, he is still cute as a button and very compassionate. He still loves Thomas the Train, bounce houses, race cars and every Disney Pixar movie. Though he is a pill to get to eat in general, he will down a fair amount of string cheese (peeled like an octopus), ice pops and popcorn.

Matty Guns:
Still without teeth, #2 is growing like a weed. In the 75% in height, he will likely be bigger and taller than his big brother. (We'll see) Matty began walking about a month or so ago. He is all over the place and starting to follow Teddy everywhere and get into his stuff. Just the other night, I caught him saying "uh oh" when he dropped a toy. In his usual fashion, Ryan said, "Oh, I've heard him say that before... (Thanks for telling me) Matty will eat his weight in anything you put in front of him. Though, I can see he is also partial to string cheese, grapes and saltines. Actually, saltines are pretty much the bulk of his diet.

All in all, I can say that I am so glad I had two boys. Never would have thunk it... But, definitely thankful.

Other randomness:
We spent Ryan's spring break down in South Florida so he could do a few charters. Ryan's Grandma McBride is in her last stages of dymentia. So, we spent some time with her and doing a few fun things as a family in between fishing and fish tank maintenance. I tried to make cake pops for the first time for a get together with the Brandels. Lots of cursing later, I think I got 12 out of a whole box of cake mix. But, they were cute and tasty! (More pics, I promise)

We took the boys to Disney World for the second time. This time, Uncle Manny and Aunt JenJen went with us. (Also more pics to come) Teddy was a little more aprehensive of the characters. But, you could tell he remembered going before and knew exactly which rides he wanted to go on again. Matty enjoyed himself a bit more than last time. Or, at least he stayed awake for more of it.

Easter was very fun this year. Teddy was a little confused about the whole thing, calling the eggs "Christmas Eggs." We had a huge hunt at the church, then a little hunt at the house for the boys. Matt did a good job picking up eggs with a little help from Dad. "The Easter Bunny" made a jelly bean trail to the baskets that led to a hiding place under the dining room table. Chocolate bunnies, peeps, and of course Thomas the Train and one of those Sing A Ma Jigs made it into the buckets. We finished up Easter with a dinner at the Evans' where Jeannie had another little hunt for the boys. Needless to say, there was plenty of candy in the house for weeks. (I still have a little stash of the good jelly beans that only come out at Easter time)

With better success, I tried my hand at brownie pops which are definitely easier and super yummy. I have to say, though, the white chocolate pairs better with the richness of the brownie center.

Last but not least, I made some pretty adorable pig cupcakes today. Will definitely post pics! I made them for a friend's pig roast. Though, sadly, we are missing out on the party as Matty caught Teddy's croup and has a 104ish fever this evening. Poor little dude. Building that immune system is something we've been working hard on these days! I would say we have 3-4 days of healthiness around here before one of the four of us catches something. C'est la vie!

Ok, I've done it. "You're" (whoever that is) pretty much up to date. Will try and post pics soon.