Saturday, July 31, 2010

Bacon Breakfast Sandwich

Ah, Saturday morning. A day to spend cooking up delicious contraptions in the kitchen while your husband zones out on every video game known to man kind. I'm excited to try a new dessert this afternoon. Here I am, getting ahead of myself. I should probably fill you in on what I've actually already made today, as apposed to things I plan on making, right?

I typically try to make something easy, but equally delicious for weekend breakfasts. I'm in such a rush to get my husband off to work with a full belly, I often grab a banana and call it a morning for myself throughout the week. When we first got here, I found myself making pancakes almost every single morning, and even a few breakfast for dinners! We went through an economy sized box of Bisquick in a matter of 3-4 weeks, and let me tell ya' the second box has lasted about 2 1/2 months and still looks un-touched. I started adding a few more items onto my breakfast menus, and the breakfast sandwich was born.

Now, today's sandwich has bacon on it, only because it was thawed and needing to be used. I prefer a sausage breakfast sandwich, but hey, it's a sandwich for breakfast all the same, which is awesome.

4 slices toast
3 eggs
2 slices cheese
6 slices of bacon
splash of milk
garlic salt

I should add, you won't see me cook a lot of eggs, period. I can't stand eggs, unless, oddly enough, on a breakfast sandwich. I also have not mastered the art of cooking eggs, and hey people, it is an art.

Crack eggs into bowl, and whisk with milk, and a dash of garlic salt and pepper. Set egg mixture aside. Cook bacon over medium-high heat until crispy. Place on paper towels to remove excess grease. Set aside. Place slices of toast (I used homemade bread) into toaster, while waiting for your toast to pop back up, start your eggs.

Once toast pops, place a slice of American cheese (or cheese of your choice) on top of one slice of toast, place 3 strips of bacon lengthwise, and egg. Place second piece of bread on top, and there you have it, a bacon breakfast sandwich.

Roasted Garlic & Pesto Pizza

If you've ever worked at a pizza joint for longer than a day you might soon find yourself dreading when people suggest pizza for dinner. I hated pizza after I started working with it for hours each day. It gets boring, right? The same sauce, the same ooey gooey cheese, and the same traditional toppings.

I started making homemade pizza, again, while living with my brother. Now, pesto and roasted garlic never made their way onto those pizzas, but I would occasionally throw on some artichoke hearts, per my brothers request. Besides that, the most creative toppings to make it's way onto that buttery crust was deer meat, and let me tell you, it's an amazing topping for a pizza.

I had to call my brother last night and ask if the pesto was supposed to be the sauce for my pizza or just a topping. He started laughing off the bat and asked if I had ever even eaten pesto pizza. I had not. Not until I made it myself. Now, here is another meal I made where my husband was full, but not beaming with a belly full of freshly grilled steak. I thought it was great. It was something different then we normally eat, and that's the goal. Who wants to eat the same five meals Monday-Friday? My husband may, but I don't.

I know, I know, I should have tried to make my own pesto, but while grocery shopping yesterday I looked up, and there and behold... PESTO! I've been dying to have Ricotta cheese lately, but the only thing I grew up eating with that involved was lasagna. To be honest, I'm not quite sure how to make lasagna just for two. That's been one of the challenges of my kitchen. Learning to cook for two instead of, well, soup kitchen-like quantities. Slowly but surely, slowly but surely. Now, without further ado, the Roasted Garlic & Pesto pizza!

2 boxes Jiffy pizza crust
1 c. water
4 c. shredded mozzarella
1 jar original pesto
1 c. ricotta cheese
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
2 gloves garlic, peeled
butter, for greasing pan and handling dough

Preheat oven to 375F. Prepare dough as directed on package. For 2 boxes of Jiffy, you combine mix with 1 c. hot water, mix, cover and set aside to rise.

While rising, I shred my mozzarella. You can buy pre-shredded but it's more expensive. Shredding your own cheese is a great way to cut back on costs!

Take two cloves of peeled garlic and wrap in foil. Place in oven for 20 minutes. Remove, smash with flat side of knife, stir in with pesto.

Take rectangle baking sheet and grease with butter. Coat hands as well, remove dough from bowl, and spread evenly on pan pushing excess around edge of pan to create a crust. Place in oven for 2-3 minutes. Remove and add pesto sauce. Spoon ricotta onto the sauce, followed by the Parmesan cheese, and finally the mozzarella. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Whaa-la!

I think there's something taken away from pizza when it isn't cut into triangle shaped slices. I mean after all, wasn't the Lion King written about the circle of life? No where in that sentence did I see the word square or rectangle. I wish I had a fancy perfectly circular pizza stone, but for now, my rectangle of life pizza remains.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Biscuits & Gravy, baby!

I never ate breakfast until I moved in with my husband. I mean, there was the occasional pop tart, bowl of cereal, or maybe even a few 'I drank so much last night it'd be in the best interest of my life to eat something' mornings. My brother on the other hand LOVES breakfast! Biscuits and gravy was one of the more common things he made in the year and 1/2 I lived with him. Biscuits and gravy, hold the sausage. Whhhhatttt!? Hold the meat?! I'm a meat lover, and well, so is the rest of my family. In the semi-short stay with my brother, he taught me a few things. One of those things being, you don't always have to eat meat with every meal. I stomped my feet and pouted my lips a few times, but I got used to it. I never take the time to make sausage with biscuits and gravy now. Time sort of limits my breakfast abilities since my husband gets a short window between PT and morning formation. (He's in the military if that helps)

I don't make homemade gravy and I don't hand drop my own biscuits, sorry. I should add, I'm not trying to claim rights to these recipes, and heck I'm not even sure if some of the people I get them from are the original creators. I just want to blog about what I cook, homemade, box made, and any other made-forms there are in the food industry. I mean, I'm not trying to open up a breakfast cafe here people, just trying to feed my hungry piranha, I mean... my hungry husband.

When my husband and I first started seeing each other, he'd join my brother, his significant other, and myself for meals here and there. When my brother does cook with meat, it's pork. Pork, pork, pork, pork, pork! I don't want to tell you how many times I missspelled pork while typing it five times! My husband however, grew up not eating pork. Boy, were his arteries in for the shock of their life when he met me! I added this little bit of information because you'll notice in later recipes I use a lot of beef now as opposed to pork. Have no fear, the pigs are never fully exiting this house!

I use a package of Old Fashion black pepper gravy. It requires you to mix the contents of the packet with 3/4 c. of water. On the stove bring one cup of water to boil and then add gravy mix to boiling water. Whisk until thick, remove from heat.

I used packaged biscuits. I remember my brothers girlfriend shaking her head in disbelief when we would hand the packaged biscuits down the line. Why you ask? They pop, out of no where and loud too! Who wants to be scared to death while trying to make some flaky butter biscuits?! I sure don't. I've had to get over my fear in the past few months because I typically start cooking breakfast while my husband is showering and getting ready for work. Well here it is, my simple morning breakfast, dry gravy mix and packaged biscuits, biscuits and gravy!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Onion Petal Dipping Sauce

The best part about Outback is the bloomin' onion right? Well, if you're apart of my family, the answer to that is yes. The worst part about Outback? Well, one, you demolish close to a year's worth of onion consumption in a matter of minutes, one or two... okay fine, three or four of those little rye loaves of bread. I mean come on! Who honestly makes loaves of bread smaller than a damn teacup Chihuahua!?

My point was, who really wants to eat a huge overpriced steak and your choice or baked potato, mashed potato, or french fries after you've already eaten fist fulls of heavenly fried onion?! Well here at our house we skip the bill, feeling of entering into hibernation, and getting dressed (up). Alright, that last part was a joke. We typically choose to eat with clothes on. I scoured the internet for a recipe for that delicious dipping sauce. I found one, and tweaked it about three times until I was finally satisfied with it. Or, maybe that was just my excuse for continuously making it. Either way, here it is.

1/2 c. mayonnaise
2 tsp. ketchup
3 tbl. horseradish
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
dash of black pepper

Mix all ingredients together. Chill for 30 minutes, covered. Serve with fried onion petals, onion rings, as a burger topping, or any other way you see fit. I've just began to realize how amazing horseradish can be!

Kielbasa Quesadillas

You know that feeling when you know you really should go to the grocery store but money, time, or pure procrastination simply does not allow it? That's been the state of this house all week! Sure there is a little of this and little of that. We have 1/2 a gallon of milk and a fresh carton of eggs, but nothing that makes me say, 'Mmm, I should make (insert title of delicious dinner here)! Behold, the Kielbasa Quesadilla! While my husband actually asked me not to post this recipe, I simply could not let my food-blog-orexia step down. I told him that I will post everything I make. The good, the bad, and the very, very ugly.

I should now add that, I found these to be good. I should also add that my husband is a self-proclaimed 'meat & potatos kind of guy'. Anything that is not meat (preferribly a slab of steak), potatos (mashed, of course), and corn (creamed, please.) and the food to him, is merely mediocre. Now that's out of the way! The not so 'normal' quesadillas.

1/2 Kielbasa
1 tbl. minced garlic
1/4 c. real bacon bits
1 small onion
4 tortillas
1 1/2 c. shredded Colby Jack cheese
2 tbl. Olive oil

Chop onion and slice kielbasa into 1/4 in. slices. Combine with garlic over medium heat, cook until kielbasa is heated through and onions begin to carmalize. Remove from heat and set aside.

Heat flat pan for 1-2 minutes on medium heat. Lightly drizzle olive oil in middle of the pan (you will have to do this for each tortilla seperately). Place tortilla on olive oil, sprinkle cheese on one 1/2 of the tortilla, a few spoonfuls of cooked kielbasa, onion, and garlic, and sprinkle of bacon bits. Fold empty side of tortilla over ontop of filling. Allow to cook for another minute, and then flip. Cook for 1-2 minutes, checking frequently. It should be lightly toasted and crispy.

I cut these into 3 small triangles with a pizza cutter immediately after removing them from heat. Serve right away.


Please excuse my tacky blue plates, I purchased them when I was 18 with no intentions of food blogging! I should add that I make a delicious side serving of onion petals with a really great dipping sauce. We've used this sauce for other things such as a burger topping... and well, a sauce for these quesadillas. I think the sauce is what threw it off for my husband so, I will post the recipe for the sauce next, but maybe for now, these quesadillas are better left, un-sauced!

Lemon Cookies

These are one of the easiest cookies I've come across. With only four ingredients, what's a cook not to love?! Now, I typically am not a huge fan of lemons or lemon like things. In fact, I'm typically the person who dines out and requests an ice water hold the lemon, please and thank you! If my memory serves me right, I made these for the first time back in high school. My mom had a box of lemon cake mix sitting in her cupboard for some time. I mean, who buys lemon cake mix anyway? Either way, I googled myself to a cookie recipe requiring a box of lemon cake. Perfection. My best friend absolutely loves these cookies, I think of her everytime I pop these little puppies out of the oven.

1 box lemon cake mix
1 egg
1/3 c. butter (soft)
1/3 c. shortening

Combine all ingredients. Roll into 1-1 1/2 tbl sized balls. I use a cookie scooper, compliments of my best friend. I know, I know, you hear people saying you HAVE to have this or that in your kitchen. I love my cookie dropper, and I'm stickin' to it!


Place on ungreased cookie sheet roughly 2 inches apart.

Bake for 7-8 minutes at 350F. The bottoms should be golden brown. These cookies burn fast so, if they really aren't done at 7 minutes, keep an eye on 'em until they are!


Grandma's White Bread

My grandma is famous for shoving your pockets full of candy while trying to exit her house. My brother and I on the other hand are famous for immediately looking for what's good laying out to eat while visiting there. While he typically went for the full sized candy bars, and I, the delicious mint taffy candies, we both counldn't help but to slice up her homemade bread! Afterall, who doesn't love homemade bread?! A few days before moving states away, I made sure to jot her bread recipe down. In fact, it was the first thing I baked in my new kitchen. A few minor mistakes were made, but hey, trial and error people, trail and error.


1 c. milk (warm)
1 c. water (warm)
1 pkg. dry yeast
2 tbl. sugar
3 tbl. butter
1 tsp. salt
5-6 cups all-purpose flour

Warm milk and water, combine. (They should be warm to your finger but not boiling.) Add butter, yeast, sugar, and salt to warm liquid. Add 2 cups of flour, beat well. Add remaining flour until dough is easy to handle. Knead on lightly floured surface for at least 5 minutes. Grease bowl and top of dough with butter. Place the dough back into the greased bowl and cover with a towel. Let rise until double in bulk. Grease two loaf pans with butter. Make into 2 loaves and put into pans. Allow the dough to rise again until double. Bake at 350F for 35-40 minutes.

Not sure if your bread is done or not? My first mistake was assuming that since I had baked the bread for the exact amount of time I was told and the bread looked nice and done, that the middle would be too. Boy, was I wrong! Flip the bread over and insert a meat thermometer into the middle of the bread. White bread should read 200F when baked properly. If it isn't 200F quite yet, placing it back in the oven for a few minutes should do the trick.

I butter the tops of my loaves once they come out of the oven, remove from pan, and allow to cool.

Meet the chef, hey, that's me!

I suppose I should warn you. I don't work in a 5-star restaurant, my kitchen isn't stocked with fancy food that I can't pronounce, and my recipes are not very complex. I love cooking nonetheless. I'm not a chef, I'm just a wife. Not that I feel as though I'm just a wife, but becoming a wife is what really made me start cooking.


There I am, and that lucky guy next to me is my husband. Now, I must be doing something right, because my cooking has not ran him out yet!

I wasn't one of those kids that started cooking at the age of five. However, I have always enjoyed cooking. I didn't spend weekends baking cookies with my mom and I surely was not counting down 365 days to her next Thanksgiving turkey. Now that I have my own kitchen, my own pots and pans, more time on my hands than I'm used to, and a husband depending on my food for his own personal survival, I love cooking! Though I wish I would have started this four months ago, I'll start today. So here it is, my very own food blog.