May 31, 2011

Saturday Eats...

I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend! We, of course, had crappy weather Saturday and Sunday...Monday was absolutely BEAUTIFUL...and luckily, I only stayed at the office till about 10:30am. SCORE!

Despite the weather on Saturday...we cooked out and had some friends over anyways...we kept it simple with burgers and brats...but I wasn't sure what I wanted to have along with it...then suddenly I had a craving for my Nana's potato salad. I don't know what it is about it but is is so amazingly delicious! So, I called her up, got the recipe and here you go!

Nana's Potato Salad
recipe by: Donna Williams aka Nana

8 new potatoes, cooked, peeled and diced
6 celery stalks, finely diced
1 green bell pepper, finely diced
1/2 cup green olives, chopped
8 hard boiled eggs, roughly chopped or crumbled by hand
1/2 cup dill relish
1 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 tablespoons yellow mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons celery seed
1 teaspoon olive juice
salt & pepper, to taste

In a small bowl mix together the mayo, mustard, olive juice, salt & pepper.
Place all remaining ingredients into a large mixing bowl, add the mayo mixture and mix together well.
Refrigerate for about 1 hour and serve. 
Makes approx 12 servings and is even better a day or two later!

I must say, it turned out pretty good...maybe not quite as good as hers but it was a close second.


Check out this burger recipe below, It will change your life! I only have a picture of the patties before they got thrown on the grill...Not really sure why I didn't take pictures...does anyone else ever do that??????

A good friend from LHP showed me how to make these quite a few years ago...they are bursting with flavor and oh so delicious!

Onion Ceasar Burgers
Recipe by: Jimmy L
1 1/2lbs ground chuck
2 tablespoons Montreal Steak Seasoning
1/2 cup Ken's Ceasar Dressing (I used the light one)
1/4 yellow onion, very finely diced
1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
buns of your choice
cheese of your choice

Mix the meat, steak seasoning, onion, garlic and dressing all together and form into patties.
Grill over med/high heat for approx 20 minutes, flipping once. Top with cheese of your choice, cook until cheese is melted.
Serve on bun of your choice.
A1 is great on this burger!

This will make 4-6 burgers, depending on the size of the patties.

Clearly, I scaled down the recipe when I typed it up for ya!
Let me know how ya like it!

I'll be back later to tell you about the pork butt's Matt cooked in the Caja China!
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May 25, 2011

Chicken way...or your decide!

Last night I knew the husband would be stuck at the greenhouse rather late...It actually gave me a chance to get a few things done at finish planting my flower pots...until I ran out of soil...vacuum, wash know, all that fun stuff. 
I also knew that since he wasn't going to be home for dinner, I wanted something quick and easy. My fridge was in need of a bit of a cleaning, so I thought to myself...How bout a stir-fry??? 
Really, you can't go wrong. Open your veggie drawer, see what ya got and there ya have it!!!!!

As most of you know, we like a lot of spice, so I used House of Tsang Spicy Szechuan Sauce and added some Sriracha too. But you can use whatever flavor floats your boat!

I'm not gonna lie...I had stir-fry on my mind when I went to the store last week....because I don't normally buy bok choy on a regular basis!

Spicy Chicken Stir Fry
1 package boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1" pieces
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon ginger paste
1 whole yellow onion, sliced
1 bunch bok choy, roughly chopped
1 bunch broccolini, stems trimmed
1 can bean sprouts, drained or 1 cup fresh
1 cup edamame, shelled
1 cup bottled szechuan stir-fry sauce, or your favorite flavor
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons sriracha sauce*optional*

  • Heat oil in a wok or large pan over high heat, add the onions, garlic & ginger paste and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add the chicken, cover and cook for 5 more minutes. Stirring once or twice.
  • Next, add the bok choy, broccolini, stir-fry sauce and soy sauce. Mix well, cover and cook for an additional 5-8 minutes(depending how soft/crunchy you like your vegetables).
  • Finally, add the edamame, bean sprouts and sriracha sauce. Cover and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Serve over hot rice or noodle of your choice.
This would probably serve 4 maybe 6 adults...still working on that cooking for 2 thing ;)

Printable Recipe!!!
Didn't use the bell pot was pretty loaded already!

And there ya have it! Delish!!!

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May 18, 2011

I know I've said this before....

I really need to cut back on my pasta intake...but I can't help it...I LOVE it! How could you not???? There are so many things you can do with it, it's ridiculous! Linguine with Clam Sauce being one of them and also happens to be a favorite of mine! I have made it once or twice before, each a little different and I must say...this was my best yet. It is SO simple and delicious. This version is actually quite light, no butter or heavy cream! Although I did eat a nice chunk of bread and butter with it...oh well, ya win some ya lose some!
Also, I did pretty good with the "trying to cook just for two" thing...this is enough for 2 hearty portions with some pasta leftover for lunch...we destroyed the clams! They were SO good and would make an impressive appetizer prepared this way as well!!!!

Linguine with Fresh Clams
12-18 littleneck clams, scrubbed
1/2 pound fresh chopped clams
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 yellow onion, sliced
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped plus more for garnishing
salt & pepper, to taste
1/2 lb linguine, cooked al dente
fresh cheese for grating

  • Heat olive oil in medium skillet over high heat. Add the garlic & onion, cook until translucent. Approx 8 minutes.
  • Add the wine, chicken stock, lemon juice, oregano, crushed red pepper flakes, parsley, salt & pepper. Bring to boil, turn down heat and add the chopped clams. Simmer for about 5 minutes.
  • Next, add the clams, cover and steam for approx 8 minutes or until the clams open. Transfer to bowl and discard any clams that do not open.
  • Finally, toss the linguine with the sauce right in the pan, serve into bowls and top with the whole clams.
  • Garnish with freshly grated cheese and parsley.
Printable Recipe!!!

Don't forget the fresh bread & fresh grated cheese!
There's no more left?!?!?!?! May need to up the clam quantity next time!


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May 12, 2011

I did it...

I managed to make a FABULOSO meal without going to the store...I was so proud...because we all know if I had gone to the store...I would have walked out with over $100 worth of shiat I didn't need! 
I introduce you to...

Lemon Pepper Shrimp & Penne Alfredo
1 box whole grain penne, cooked according to directions
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons pepper
2 teaspoons garlic salt
2 tablespoons lemon pepper seasoning
2 fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
2 cups shredded Italian cheese blend
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 pound large shrimp(approx 18-20) peeled, deveined and tails removed

  • Coat shrimp with 1 tablespoon olive oil, season with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the lemon pepper and mix together. Set aside in the fridge.
  • Heat butter in a medium sized sauce pan over medium heat until melted. Stir in the flour, whisking constantly to make a roux.
  • Slowly stir in the milk and cook for 10 minutes. DO NOT LET IT COME TO A BOIL.
  • Next, add the pepper, garlic salt, the remaining lemon pepper and fresh basil. Let cook down for about 20 minutes or until it has reached your desired thickness and stir in the cheese. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium saute pan. Add the shrimp and cook for 5 minutes or until the shrimp has turn pink and opaque.
  • Toss the sauce with the noodles, top with the shrimp and finish off with some freshly grated parmesan.
This is enough to serve 4-6. And yes, it was just Matt & I last night...I do NOT know how to cook for just 2. SERIOUSLY...need to get on that train...


Well folks, I hope you have a fabuloso weekend! I'm off to DC tomorrow to see my brother, eat at some delish food and hopefully catch up with some friends!

Foodie post upon my return!!!

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May 10, 2011

One Dish Wonder

I reallllllllllly need to make one dish meals more often...
When I was in South Texas last year I found a one pot meals cookbook at TJ Maxx. I have been eying this particular recipe ever since I opened it and for some reason or another, never got around to actually making it or anything from the cookbook for that matter...I tried to find it online to show you but I can't find it anywhere! I should have taken a picture of it!!!

Here it goes!

Mexican Chicken, Chile & Potato Pot
adapted from : One Pot Meals Cookbook
2 tablespoons vegetable, canola or olive oil
1 package boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1" cubes
1 whole yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced 
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 zucchini, diced
2-4 potatoes, depending on the size, diced
1-2 serranos or jalapenos, diced (serranos are a bit hotter than japs)
1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes
2 cups chicken stock
1 bunch fresh cilantro, roughly chopped and separated into two piles
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons tomato knorr**see note
salt & pepper to taste

  • In a large pot heat the oil over medium/high heat and cook the chicken until lightly browned.
  • Add the garlic, onion, bell pepper, zucchini and potatoes. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Next add the chicken stock, half of the cilantro, hot pepper, canned tomatoes, cumin, oregano, knorr**, salt and pepper.
  • Simmer for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are no longer crisp.
  • Serve with warm flour tortillas, fresh avocado slices and garnish with the remaining cilantro and ENJOY!
You can really do a lot with this dish. It would be great with fresh tomatoes instead of canned, green cabbage and the original recipe called for a sweet potato! I just used what I had on hand and it was DELISH!

**You can find tomato knorr in most grocery stores. It will be in the Mexican/Spanish foods section. It is a good staple to have on hand when cooking Mexican cuisine**

NOT PICTURED: Oregano, canned tomatoes, knorr, oregano, cumin, salt & pepper
Didn't use the red pepper, but I'm sure it would have been delish!

Just don't make the same mistake I did...opened the wrong end of the oregano shaker!

Matt's...he had the right idea by adding the shredded cheese!

I hope you guys like this!!! It is one of my new favorites!!

PS-It's my birthday today and I am spending my afternoon at the dentist...What was I thinking??? 

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May 5, 2011

Authentic Mexican Rice

I had a dream last night about a very dear friend of mine, almost like a second Mom to me, that passed away last August after a very courageous battle with cancer. I won't go into the details of the dream but it is sort of ironic that I had planned on posting this today in honor of Cinco De Mayo.

I can accredit her with all of my Mexican cooking skills. Starting from a young age, I would sit in her kitchen during the Summers we spent in Michigan and help her cook. Everything from flour tortillas to beans, rice and everything in between. Some of them are still a work in progress but one thing I have mastered is the rice fluffy, tender and delicious. Just like she used to make it.

Esmer's Rice
1 cup long grain white rice, preferably Comet brand* see note
2.5 cups water
1.5 tablespoons tomato knorr or tomato bouillon 
1 garlic clove, minced
1 green bell pepper, sliced thick
1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Stir together the water and knorr, heat in the microwave on high for 4 minutes.
Meanwhile, In a large skillet heat oil over medium/high heat, add the rice and garlic, saute for 3 minutes then add the bell pepper, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Continue to cook the rice until lightly browned.
Add the hot water/knorr mixture and bring to boil. DO NOT STIR, VERY IMPORTANT!
Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for approx 20 minutes or until all the water has evaporated. AGAIN, DO NOT STIR! VERY IMPORTANT!
Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

NOTE* Comet Rice can be found in most stores throughout Texas. However, I do not live in Texas and can only get my hands on it when I go. Any long grain white rice will do but I find that La Preferida is a close second to Comet. There is something about how the rice fluffs when it is cooked :)

A necessity for Mexican Cuisine!

Time to cover and simmer

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May 3, 2011

Grilled Pizza...take 1

Hello there! On Friday night Matt and I attempted to grill pizza...It wasn't a complete success but it was close! There a a few kinks we need to work out...first off, I had put all the toppings out on our bar we have outside, it was a little chilly and I think they got too cold therefore, the cheese didn't melt quite enough before the bottom of the crust was done...oopsie. Second, I think we had the temperature of the grill right, it was about 400 degrees but the coals themselves were too close to the rack. But other than that the flavor of the pizza was AMAZING!
I'm not going to go into too much detail here because I want to try it again...but here are some pictures for your viewing pleasure ;)

Be sure and use Rustic Pizza Sauce which you can find here...

Oopsie...this was the first didn't taste all that burnt...I'm serious!
This was the second one we made, not burned but it was thicker than we wanted...
See what I mean about the cheese?? I would have liked it to melt more and be hot, not warm...
All in all, it wasn't a complete success or failure. We will probably try it again this Friday...I will let you know how take 2 turns out :)

FINALLY...perfect night for a fire
My hubby!

That's all I've got for now! Happy Tuesday!!!!

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