Monday, October 15, 2012

Shrimp Penne with Spinach

Okay, three posts in one day is exhausting so I'm going to make this right to the point. Feel free to read the two posts below for my awesomeness.

1/2 bag baby spinach leaves
1 1/2 tbsp butter
1/2 box mini penne pasta
1/4 cup Parm. cheese
20 large peeled detailed shrimp
garlic salt
black pepper

Wilt spinach in 1/2 tbsp melted butter over medium heat. Cook pasta. While pasta is cooking, saute shrimp in 1/2 tbsp melted butter. Combine pasta, spinach, shrimp and toss in remaining 1/2 tbsp butter. Sprinkle with garlic salt, black pepper and the parm cheese. Simple, easy, and delicious.

Homemade Bread Bowls & Soup

I've never understood why fall and soup go hand-in-hand so well. I used to think it was because it was always chilly outside and you come in and think 'burrrr, man it sure it cold out there, I wish someone would make me a big pot of delicious soup that I could heat my starving belly up with' but then you come inside and there isn't a heaping pot of warm, delicious, mouth watering soup on the stove and you're still cold. Now your stomach hates you because you tricked it into thinking it was going to have liquid hot deliciousness inside of it but you forgot to add that you grew up with someone that skills didn't quite go hand-in-hand with cooking. She made up for it in other ways, my mother. I now theme many situations to the tune of 'How Much is That Doggie in the Window' *ruff ruff*. I have the image of cats eating my mothers goldfish when she was a small child every time I look at my own cat, and she taught me to never treat your children as though you have a favorite, but clearly have a favorite nonetheless. (it's clearly me) Now, I'm not quite sure how I always get on the topic of myself, oh yeah, because I'm so awesome, it's easily done of course. What is equally awesome was the amazing, hot, delicious pot of soup I made this Sunday.

I wasn't so thrilled with this photo either, but it tasted so good, who needs quality photos? The bread bowls turned out okay, my husband really liked them, but he smokes so I claim he can't really taste anything, and he doesn't have the smartest of taste buds to begin with. The bread was just too dense for me, I'm not sure if I just didn't let it rise enough before I baked it or what but I was slightly disappointed, therefore I won't bother posting the recipe, it was a fairly simply bread recipe anyway, so find your own! The soup recipe I based off of an Oktoberfest Lager soup I liked on but there isn't anywhere around here to get decent lager, not that I have any clue on lager and when I expressed this to my husband, he suggested I put one of his watered down American bottles of piss in it in which I was so greatly insulted I almost fell over into my steaming pot of soup and died. I also get my dramatics from my mother. Now, for the recipe, which I will definitely be making again, and might I add the leftover soup the second day was even better (which is usually the case with homemade soup) Mmm.

1 tbsp olive oil
14 oz. beer smoked sausage
1/2 head cabbage (thinly sliced)
1 onion (thinly sliced)
4 large russet potatoes cubed
(I left the skin on)
1 1/2 tsp. black pepper
5 cups hot chicken stock
3 gloves garlic minced
1 cup milk
2 tbsp flour

Melt butter in large pot over medium heat. Add sausage and allow the brown. Add onions until carmelized and tender. Add cabbage and allow to soften and take in flavors. Add garlic and allow to cook for 3 minutes or until it has cooked down. Add hot chicken stock, pepper, and milk and potatoes. I wanted to thicken my soup up a bit so I mixed 2 tbsp of flour with water before adding it to the pot, it thickened it just a bit, however if you like a really thick dense soup I would add 2-4 more tbsp flour. Allow pot to come to a boil before reducing heat to simmer. Soup is ready once potatoes are cooked through and soft, however, soup is always better the longer it simmers, in my expert opinion!


Ahh, Sopeeeeeeee. Mmm. There is a little hole-in-the-wall El Salvadorian place in Bellevue, Ne that my dad and I enjoy pigging out at. We took my husband once and decided he needed to try everything on the menu, our whole table was filled with food, Pops ended up taking most of it home since we were all stuffed to the brim, and the tab was like $22.00? Amazing. Now, since I'm far-far away from home it's one of the places I miss going every time my dad goes he sends me a text just to rub it in. I made sure we went while I was home a few months ago and they gave me chicken instead of steak and well it just ruined the whole experience.

So, what did I do? I made 'em myself. It was actually super easy except that frying anything in something other than an actual fryer always seems to be a huge mess and I decided to make my sopes the size of a large dinner plate and it was a bit difficult to properly flip them without cracking them. It also didn't help that each one took up the entire pan I was attempting to fry them in, but hey, lesson learned, right? Next time I'd just make cute little ones and use the excuse that they're so little to eat, oh I don't know, 27 of them? My stomach is smiling at the mere thought. Anyways, I'll get on with it already. The photo isn't very bright, but hey, they tasted amazing enough I didn't even care about the photo!

2 cups Maseca brand corn masa
pinch of salt
1/2 tbsp butter
1 can refried beans
1 pkg. thinly sliced sirloin steak (sliced into strips)
shredded lettuce
Queso Fresco

On medium heat, melt butter in medium-large skillet. Brown sirloin in butter, set aside. Following directions of Masa bag for desired amount (I used 2 cups) mix masa with water and pinch of salt. Shape into flat patties then mold lip around edge with fingers. Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side in oil filled pan. Remove and set on paper towel to absorb extra oil. Spread thin layer of warmed up refried beans on flat portion of the shell. Add desired amount of steak, lettuce, crumbled queso fresco, and lastly the creama. Eat every last bite, or you should be ashamed of yourself.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Homemade Pizza

Mmmmmm mm. My friend Tina and her husband have been apparently going on and on about my homemade pizza ever since they came over for dinner a few weeks ago. We went out to lunch yesterday in Savannah and returned to their house to later cook dinner. Ideas were thrown about, what to cook and what not. The final word was pizza. Made by me. So we made two because you know, not everyone likes the same types of pizzas. One was topped with pepperoni, hot Italian sausage, onions, and green peppers, while the other was just hamburger and pepperoni. I tried the first, and I have to say it was by far the best pizza I have made e.v.e.r. Have you ever eaten something and wished that you could for that one meal extend you stomach, I don't know, twenty-five times it's size so you can continue to eat without feeling sick? Well, two slices is usually all it takes to reach my maximum capacity level, so I wasn't able to eat the entire thing my self. *sigh* However, I'm sure my scale is thanking me today that I stuck with two slices instead of the entire pizza. Another couple joined us for dinner as well, the wife gave the ultimate compliment of stating she thought it was the best pizza she'd ever eaten. Hello, I made it! I'll go ahead and let you in on the staple ingredients... including the one secret ingredient I swear is what makes it so good... the crust!

2 boxes Jiffy pizza crust
1 c. water
3 cups shredded mozerella & provolone cheese
1 lb hot Italian sausage
1/2 white onion (sliced)
1/3 green pepper (chopped)
1 jar Classico pizza sauce
butter (I butter the pan really well and also my hands when stretching out the dough)

Follow the instructions on the back of the crust box =) I use 1 large cookie sheet per 2 boxes of crust mix. Usually serves 4 people (2-3 slices per person)

Drop Sugar Cookies

So, I was expecting these little guys to flatten out a bit upon baking but, I have to admit they were kind of cute in their little fluffy ball shape. I also have to admit my favorite part of the cookie is the inside, I've never been much on 'crunchy' cookies unlessssss you bring up the ever so famous Oreos, but that's another cookie, another day. Can't let the Oreo steal the show here. The truth is, after a few glasses of wine anything of the cookie variety sounded absolutely delish so I dove on in and started baking. Between the wine and trying to converse with my mom via telephone the entire duration of ingredient mixing I'm surprised these little guys turned out so well.

2 1/2 c. AP flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 c. butter (room temp.)
3/4 c. sugar
1 large egg
2 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In mixer, blend egg, sugar, butter, and vanilla until combined. Slowly add flour mixture until dough is formed. I dropped them with a cookie scooper and baked at 350 for 8 minutes.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Chicken Caesar Salad

I know you guys have been refreshing the blog page for days, holding onto your seats in anticipation for the next round of new blog posts. Don't worry. I think I've brought you a few delicious things to look at today my foodie friends. This salad was way better than anyone I've had to pay $8 for! Maybe because it was made by my lovely hands or maybe because I didn't have to sit in a noisy booth waiting an hour for it to be brought to my table. All I know it that is was goooooood. The only thing I would change is shaved Parmesan cheese versus the grated.

8 oz. Tyson grilled chicken, sliced
1/2 head romaine lettuce
3 tbsp. Caesar dressing
1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
handful of Italian style croutons

Combine all ingredients, plate, and top with croutons. Sit, eat, and enjoy!

Chicken Caesar Wrap

Is there anything better than a Chicken Caesar salad? Yes my friends, behold the delicious chicken ceaser wrap! Are you guys tired of all the wraps? Well, I'm not! So many possibilities my friends! I also can't believe how many times I've paid 9$ for one of these things at a restaurant! Really? I'll spend 10 minutes making it myself and save my money, thank-you-very-much-over-priced-corporate-restaurants!

8 oz. Tyson packaged grilled chicken, sliced
2 wraps
1/2 head romaine lettuce
3 tbsp Kraft caesar dressing
1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Toss all ingredients together, place down center of wrap and... wrap!

Banana-Nutella 'Ice Cream'

Now, I know you're thinking, what the heck is that a picture of? Well my blogging friends, that WAS delicious, chocolate-y, banana-y, goodness! This was super easy and a little challenging at the same time. I originally found a recipe that was titled 'Nutella Fudge Pops'. So I venture to Wal-Mart that day looking for Popsicle molds... na-da. After searching the darn store for over 30-minutes I gave up. I decided I'd try and just put the contents into plastic tumblers with a Popsicle stick and hope for the best. Well the best wasn't good enough so I pulled that stick out, grabbed a spoon, and well, the rest was history. Ice cream with no milk or cream? Yes, please!

3 frozen peeled, ripe bananas
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 cup Nutella
pinch of salt

I threw all the ingredients in my Kitchen Aid mixer and mixed it at level 2 until the bananas started combining, then turn speed up to mix into a creamy consistency. I learned my lesson on trying to speed up the mixing process because I cranked that bad boy up to 5 to see what it was really made of and well, what came next was a 1/2 frozen banana flying towards my face leaving chunks of nutella on the counter, the floor, and yes, my shirt. Take it slow my friends, take it slow. Think of this recipe as a 'wine & dine' type of gal! Place in desired container and freeze. Grab a spoon and enjoy!

'Sweedish' Meatballs

So, I hate to admit that I grew up having a weird love for the Lean Cuisine 'Sweedish Meatball' meal. I somehow managed to recreate a not so lean version with 3... yep, 3 ingredients!

Farmrich Italian Style pre-packaged meatballs
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/3 bag of wide egg noodles

Place can of cream of mushroom soup in small crock pot on high for 3 hours with desired amount of meatballs. I probably used about 15. Cook noodles according to package directions, drain. Combine contents of crock pot with noodles and dinner is served! Super easy and very tasty! Not my favorite picture so I've got it at the bottom of all the new posts!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Turkey Wrap

As you can see, I've got a new thing for wraps. Looking back at my first wrap photo I was a little disappointed in my 'wrapping' skills. They have become much more pretty as I've been practicing my wrap techniques. Lil' Wayne ain't got nothing on me. Get it. Yeah, that just happened.

I honestly didn't have enough left over grilled chicken to fill two wraps so I ended up making one chicken wrap (minus the baccccon) (I just used a cliche French accent while saying bacon in my head...*ahem*) and then I assumed my husband was pretty much as hungry as a baby dinosaur and figured I should come up with something to feed him as well. Well, I ended up using all the same ingredients but I added cracked black pepper turkey and I tried out a new flavor of wrap, which is at the moment absent from my head, but it was onion and herb or something like that and swapped out the swiss cheese for pepperjack because hey, everyone needs a little spice in their life, anyways, wha-la. I even thought it was better than the chicken wrap, however, those were pretty tasty, not to mention they had bacccccon in them. That my was second attempt at the French accent, I'm glad that it sounds so good in my head because for whatever reason I feel like saying it aloud might get me some strange looks from my husband who is totally and utterly obsessed with this new nerdtron of a game. However, I suppose I can't be too upset that he's playing it since I was the one that text messaged him while I was running errands and asked if he'd like me to pick it up for him while I was out. (insert palm to forehead here)

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

So, I forgot about my one and only baking activity since I've been back to Georgia thus far. The first couple of nights my husband was home he was a bit sick and going to bed pretty early so one night I decided I'd use up the too-ripe-to-eat-not-too-ripe-to-bake-with bananas I had sitting in the freezer. I browsed around Food Gawker for a recipe to follow for some banana muffins but I decided that banana wasn't enough, oh no, not enough my blog-babies. We needed some chocolate. So I went on the hunt for some banana-y chocolate-y goodness. I followed this link . The only thing I changed was using mini chocolate chips instead of the normal ones and wha-la. Okay so my pictures didn't turn out quite as cute as the other persons, but in my defense, I finished baking these around 10:30 at night and by the time I started my photo op I was a bit tired so, sorry for the not-so-adorable photo.

Smashed Potatoes

Mmmmmm. Well while I've quite enjoyed eating whatever I please the first two weeks of my husband being home, I figure it's about time to hop back on the 'watch what you eat' thing again. I made these twice, I figured they were so good the first time it was worth making them again while my in-laws were in town. What could be better than potatoes? Mashed.. er.. smashed potatoes. My staple food as a child, my ridiculously chubby cheeks didn't thank me later in life but hey, you've got to indulge from time to time, right? Right.

Pretty much I went about making these like I do any other type of mashed potato, but I went ahead and left the skins on. Surprisingly growing up I was quite fond of the skin on my potatoes and can't believe I hadn't left the skins on for mashed potatoes before the ripe age of.. dun dun dun.. 22. So, I saved myself the agonizing task of peeling potatoes and I left those suckers on. Take that you darn potato peel... TAKE THAT!

So, I'm not going to lie, I can't really remember how many potatoes I used and I NEVER measure out my milk. I will however let you know that the secret to amazing mashed-smashed potatoes in my family is butter. Lots of butter. I believe an entire stick went into this delicious bowl of starchy goodness. I will add that my legs are screaming 'nooooo' everytime I put shorts on so, we'll blame the potatoes. Darn them.

Anyways, to sum it up, I used white potatoes, 2% milk, unsalted sweat cream butter (yeah, that's right butter, an entire stick to be exact, and don't go telling me how Paula Dean ended up with diabetes after using all THAT butter on her famous cooking shows and such. Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention the insane amount of Lawry's Garlic Salt (course ground with Parsley) my all-time favorite container of seasoning. Mm-hmmm. And if you haven't caught on by now, it's pretty much assumed you put in black pepper, because well, who doesn't love black pepper.. in... Yes. Black pepper, garlic salt, potatoes, milk, and buttttttttttter.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Shrimp & Rice

This was seriously the easiest meal ever. I figure since my husband is now sick and in bed early, I'd take some time to get back into the blog of things. So, I'm not going to lie, it's been nice getting back into the swing of cooking again but even great chefs like to take the easy way out sometimes right? Okay, really, I just didn't feel like waiting for meat to defrost so I figured it'd be easy enough to thaw some uncooked frozen shrimp and go from there. So, here's what we ate for dinner.

1 cup white rice
1 chicken bouillon cube
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
18 large uncooked peeled shrimp
1 tbsp butter
2 tsp. seasonings (I used a premixed grinder my dad got me awhile back, a little garlic powder, and yes, more black pepper!)

Start your rice, I add my seasoning to the water before it begins to boil. Thaw your shrimp and take off tails. Add butter to saute pan on medium heat and allow it to melt. Add desired seasonings to butter and add shrimp. Your rice will probably be done by now but I usually allow it to sit under the lid for longer than the normal amount because hey, I don't think it seems to hurt. Allow shrimp to saute for about 5 minutes. Wha la. I threw on a side of green beans for the husband just because he complains if he doesn't get a vegetable, him and the dog split those!

Chicken, Bacon, & Swiss Wrap

I'm backkkkkk! Well fellow bloggers, after a very long at times/short at times year, my husband has returned from his one-year tour in Afghanistan. So, I'm now back at Fort Stewart and officially back in my 'own' kitchen. Our place is smaller than our last and we by no means have less stuff! As time has progressed so has my kitchen collection! My cabinets are full of my kitchen gadgets and goodies again. I've had this new found love for wraps for awhile now and thought I'd go ahead and try to make a couple up for lunch today. They were a hit and really quite simple. And that's a wrap! (I had to do it!)

Ingredients: (for 2 wraps)
Sun Dried Tomato & Basil Wraps
2 chicken breasts, sliced in 1/2 inch strips
3 tbsp. ranch dressing
3 slices of swiss cheese
2 cups lettuce
4 slices bacon

Sizzle your bacon up in a large pan on the stove. Set aside on paper towels to absorb excess grease, drain most of the drippings from the bacon pan, add chicken. Cook chicken on medium heat until cooked through. I seasoned mine with a bit of black pepper and garlic powder.

Once your chicken is cooked, I let mine get a good little golden brown on it, I assembled my wrap. I placed 1 1/2 slice of swiss cheese on each wrap, topped with bacon, chicken, lettuce, and finally the ranch. These turned out quite a bit more filling than I imagined but my husband can't seem to stop eating since he's been home so he polished off 1 & 1/2 of these bad boys. Definitely something that I'd recommend making if you've got left over chicken as well, or making ahead for lunch and wrapping them up, they should keep quite nice in the fridge for next days lunch. I guess I should add that I ended up with an extra cup or so of chicken that I just set aside for a salad for tomorrow, so in the event you're trying to over stuff your wraps with mouth watering chicken and you can't seem to close the darn thing, just set some aside for something else! =)

Monday, January 9, 2012

A Big Thanks!

Thanks to all family members who have contributed over the past several months on adding to my ever-growing kitchen stock pile of amazing gadgets and gizmos galore! So what do I do? I delete all the things I received for Christmas, my birthday, and just 'because' reasons. Then, I stared at it and added all the things I've been talking about wanting lately. So, I've set my mission high, but I shall complete it! Let the sale searching begin!