Thursday, June 11, 2015

Grilled Yumminess Drumsticks and Brocolli and Random Red Pepper and Grilled Asparagus Risotto

Tonight is sort of a random meal and I'm just feeling chatty so thought I'd blog about it.  As some of you know I have a huge fear of the grill.  I, in the past, have failed miserably, and developed a total fear of the grill.  I left all the grilling up to my husband.  As you have read in all my grill recipes it says to hand the food to your husband and have him cook it.

I decided to face my fear.  For two reasons.  First being that I want to not be scared of any aspect of cooking (except I'm still afraid to bake, even though I do it, to many restrictions for me) anyways and secondly because of pure hunger!!!  Steve has been working so late and if I waited for him to get home to hand off the plate of raw meat than we wouldn't be eating till our bedtime (which is like 8 p.m.).  So after asking Steve for instructions on how to start the grill I've finally got that down to a science and am now OBSESSED with the grill.  A lot of time I just grill chicken breasts seasoned heavily with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika.  It's make fav to get a few of these breasts all delicious and cooked up and save 'em to snack on all week.  Monday I made up this fab marinade of soy sauce, fish sauce, honey, crushed red pepper, salt, pepper, garlic, and Dijon mustard.  I over cooked the steaks by like 30 seconds and they were sooooo delicious.  That day I also grilled some potatoes in a foil packet that were off the chain.  Also I grilled a trio of veggies, vidalia onions, Portabella mushroom caps and zucchini.  I may have put slightly to much chiptole chili powder on the zucchini it was fiery.

Any who, today I went to my local supermarket and they had family packs of Chicken Drumsticks with 14 drumsticks in them for $5.49 with $3.00 of managers special coupons so it cost me $2.49 for the 14 drumsticks that's.  So that's what's for dinner.  I also thought I had some potatoes to grill but I didn't so I made a random red pepper and asparagus risotto (because I had asparagus that was going to go bad) and grilled broccoli (because I had broccoli which was going to go bad) which was a devirginating experience for us.  I feel like drumsticks are hard to grill but I nailed the drumstick part.  So here's the drumstick recipe or really instructions.

Grilled Perfect Drumsticks
Ingredients:
  • salt, pepper, garlic, paprika powder
  • drumsticks (hehe captain obvious)
  • and some sort of BBQ sauce.  This is where we screwed up.  I bought this new Sweet Baby Ray's Hawaiian BBQ sauce, TERRIBLE.  Don't try it.  it tastes like rotten old artificial fruit.  I dipped it in some other flavored BBQ sauce to mask the flavor which helped.  The chicken was perfect sauce was not, DON'T try it!!
Directions:
  1. Preheat grill on medium high heat.  
  2. Dry chicken on both sides with paper towels (skin will not get perfectly crispy if you don't)
  3. Season both sides of the drumstick heavily with spices.
  4. Grill on about 400 degrees for 35 minutes or so.  Check internal temp.  Chicken should normally be like 165, but make the drumsticks 180 ish or they will still be bloody.  Flip them every 10 minutes
  5. Brush on BBQ sauce let sit on that side for a minute or two flip and BBQ the other side.  Enjoy.
Grilled Broccoli
Ingredients:
  • two large heads of broccoli
  • olive oil spray
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder, Cayenne powder
Directions:
  1.  Make the heads into big chunks like three stalks a piece just roughly chop it.  
  2. Place on a foil lined cookie sheet and spray both sides with olive oil spray.
  3. Season well with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Very lightly season with Cayenne.
  4. Place on Med High grill.  Grill each side about 7-10 minutes.  
We love oven roasted broccoli that gets that charred yummy flavor.  This was about the same but no messy pan or clean up.  I cooked mine a little crunchy it could have used another minute so I did adjust timing above!!  It was delish!!  I could eat that every day.  I've never had or heard of grilled broccoli, neither had Steve it was fab.

Random Red Pepper and Grilled Asparagus Risotto
You can basically just follow the recipe on the side of the box and throw in whatever you want.
Ingredients:
  • 1/2 red pepper diced
  • 1 bunch of asparagus (ends cut off sprayed with olive oil spray seasoned with salt and pepper and grilled on medium high heat for about 10 minutes till they get a char but are not like smooshy) then taken off the grill and chopped into like 1 inch long pieces
  • 1 sweet white onion diced
  • garlic powder (I would normally use fresh garlic but didn't plan for this and didn't have any surprisingly) Salt and pepper.
  • 2 tbsp dried parsley
  • normally risotto calls for a 1/2 cup of white wine but I didn't have it so I skipped it
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • cup fresh Parmesan (I didn't have any fresh today so I used Kraft)
  •  2 cans of chicken stock heated in the microwave
  • 1 cup of arborio rice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
Directions:
  1. I know these are not good instructions but if it ain't broke dont fix it.....follow the recipe on the box/package.  When you throw the rice in to toast before starting the white wine or stock throw in the red peppers.
  2. At the end before the cheese and butter throw in the asparagus.
  3. Eat it.  hehe enjoy!
By the way, I didn't take a picture b/c I was using the phone as a baby monitor.   So you'll just have to close your eyes and imagine it. 


 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Blueberry Bread

The grocery store had blueberries buy one get one free.  I'm the only one that eats them in the house and realized I have to many and they were more on the soft sweet than tart and firm side.  I like the later of the two and so I decided to do some baking.  I am not a baker and I don't love it...I feel like I always screw it up.  I followed a few different recipes and combined them.   I tried a piece fresh out of the oven because I needed to know how it tasted.  Sort of a bad idea...hot juicy blueberries = very burnt ouchy tongue.  It was good, but maybe not as sweet as I wanted.  Here is what I think the problem was, I may have forgotten a cup of sugar.  So I doubled the recipe to gift the second loaf, and I was doing it so fast while the baby was napping and while making it I could not remember if I put one or two cups of sugar in.  Everything else I know I doubled but I blacked out while doing the sugar and truly can not remember.  It tastes really good and the texture is perfect, but just not quite so sweet so I will have to make this again to make sure.  Also there is lemon zest in it, I by a lot reduced the lemon zest in a fear I have of lemon flavored deserts, cakes, breads, etc.  It called for two teaspoons of lemon zest I put like a pinch....you can't even taste it.  One of the recipes I used called for milk, one called for plain yogurt...I opted for yogurt but used vanilla as Jack has been making me buy the huge container of yogurt and doesn't eat all of it so I used that, it didn't really taste vanilla-y at all.....so use vanilla yogurt if its all you have.

Blueberry Bread

Recipe makes 1 loaf
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 70 minutes
 
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups of All Purpose flour
  • 2 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 2 cups of blueberries
  • little bit of lemon zest if you want
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1/2 cup of lowfat or fat free plain or vanilla yogurt
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray loaf pan with non stick cooking spray.  
  2. Mix with a fork the flour, baking powder, and salt.  
  3. Once the above are incorporated stir in the blueberries and lemon zest into flour mixture.
  4. Cream with a hand mixer the butter and sugar.  Once incorporated add the eggs one at a time and beat until mixed in.
  5. Stir in yogurt. 
  6. Once yogurt mixed in stir in flour blueberry mixture a little at time until all incorporated.  Do not over mix or aggressively mix you don't want to pop all the berries (haha that sounds like pop a cherry, sorry I couldn't help myself, Rene I know you will read this and find it funny)
  7. Dump into your pan and bake for 70 minutes.  I made two loafs the one in the dark non stick loaf pan only took 60 minutes and the one in my new corning ware porcelin loaf pan took 70 minutes so I'd just check it at 60 minutes.  Enjoy with some melted butter on it when its all warm and gooey, be careful of hot blueberries!!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Copy Cat Panera Broccoli & Cheddar Soup

So at work yesterday my friend Courtney was eating broccoli and cheddar Panera soup they serve in the cafeteria.  It looked delish and I was inspired instead of having a big bowl of pasta on my day off like usual to make some soups.  So I made this copy cat Panera Broccoli and Cheddar Soup.  The recipe came from a website I found on Pinterest, but I changed it just slightly, as always.  It really wasn't to unhealthy as I subbed fat free half and half for the full fat version.  You could also used reduced fat cheddar cheese.  I served this soup with some fresh cheese on top and with a petite loaf of crusty french bread (it truthfully wasn't as crusted as I had hoped more of a sandwich french bread but that's neither here nor there).  Steve and I both have a love for broccoli, but if you don't you'll still love this soup.  Steve always says the more broccoli the better, and I agree!!  Creamy and cheesy and SOOOO easy to make.  Prep time was hard to calculate b/c I was simultaneously making a chicken pot pie soup but I'd say total prep time was 15 minutes and total cook time about 50 minutes but that's mostly just simmering. 

Copy Cat Panera Broccoli and Cheddar Soup

Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 cups of chicken stock
  • 2 cups of fat free half and half 
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 3 heads of broccoli, just florets cut up
  • 1 cup of carrots in julienne style (I used baby carrots and just like match sticked 'em up its what I had in the fridge.  You could easily just buy the matchstick carrots and use a cup)
  • 8 oz cheddar cheese
Directions:
  1.  Heat butter on medium to med low heat.  I used a dutch oven.  When melted add onions and garlic and simmer until soft and fragrant about 7 minutes or so.  Do not have the pan to hot you do not want them to burn just to soften. 
  2.   Once softened add four, simmer this roux for about 2-3 minutes stirring so it does not burn to bottom of pan will sort of be a sticky glob.
  3.   Slowly add the two cup of half and half letting bubble and thicken before adding more and stiring very frequently.  Once you add all the half and half add the stock same way slowly.  
  4.   Add salt, pepper, and nutmeg stir and simmer for 20 minutes on med low.  Stir frequently.
  5.   Add broccoli and carrots simmer covered for another 25-30 minutes.  Stir frequently.
  6.   Use immersion blender or regular blender or food processer (immersion blender is the best) and blend until all large chunks of brocolli are gone and soup is smooth.  
  7.   Stir in cheddar cheese in a figure 8 motion.   Serve sprinkled with some extra chedder cheese (8 oz was the whole bag so I had some random shredded mexican cheese I sprinkled on top and Jackson who I tricked into eating this soup even though he says he always hates broccoli which hes never had!! He loved it and even when I told him it was broccoli he had another two bites!!)
Enjoy.


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Double Baked Brie

For Thanksgiving this year I was both having some pregnancy cravings and also wanting to try out some new recipes and food adventures.  I settled on baked brie and something "fallish"  You can check out my Pumpkin Bacon and Goat Cheese Crisps which I will include a link once I blog it.  I don't know why I have been craving brie, so odd but anyways decided to make two different kinds of stuffed baked brie.  Both were amazing but one was certainly more of a winner than the other.  The winner of the two was my Fig and Caramelized Onion Baked Brie with a very close second place was my Pepper Jelly Baked Brie.  These apps looked so fancy smancy and were sooooo easy to make.  I served them with home made french bread chips and I will tell ya how I made those too.  I haven't stopped thinking about this brie since I made it!  Even my cousin Nikki who is super picky approved of the brie and took home the what little was left for a snack later!!  Highly recommend making these for Christmas  or another get together!!  I made the chips and caramelized the onions ahead of time and then just assembled at my moms house.

Crispy French Bread Chips
Ingredients: 
  • 1 french bread baguette day old is best so its easier to slice
  • about a cup of olive oil (I didn't measure just kept adding more if I needed it) seasoned with pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and parsley
Directions: 
  1.  Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  2.  Very carefully thinly slice the french bread with a sharp knife very thin like if you imagined the width of a bagel chip that thin.
  3. Take each piece of bread and dip it into the olive oil spice mixture.  You will have to stir the oil mix frequently because the spices will settle in the bottom. Lay flat on foil lined baking sheet.  I had to use two sheets and do these in two batches.
  4.  Bake for about 15 minutes or so until crispy and golden brown do not over cook.  Let cool on cookie sheet and serve with baked brie. 
Fig and Caramelized Onion Baked Brie

Ingredients:
  • 1 wheel of brie
  • 3 large sweet onions sliced thin
  • 2 tbsp of butter
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • fig preserves
  • 1 package of Crescent rolls
Directions: 
  1.  Caramelize the onions by throwing them butter and sugar into a pan and cooking on low to med low heat for about an hour ,stir frequently.  When they are golden brown, gooey, and no longer look like onions but a little brown sticky pile your done!!  Let cool to room temp (I made them the day before put 'em in the fridge then took them out to bring 'em to room temp the day I was using them)
  2. When you are ready to assemble preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with foil spray with a little cooking spray where you will place the brie.   Open the crescent rolls.  There will be essentially 2 sheets of dough.  Take the first try to use your finger to smooth out seams so they dont fall apart while baking and lie flat on the foil.  
  3. Place Brie wheel in center.  Top with heft amt of fig preserves and then with a plop of the caramelized onions.
  4. Take the second sheet of crescent roll and place on top of the brie tucking it down around the sides.  
  5. Take the bottom crescent roll and pull up over the top around the sides to seal it.  Mine didnt come out to pretty but it was sealed.  All that matters.
  6. Bake on 375 degrees for about 15-20 minutes until golden brown, I just watched it till it looked like the crescent rolls were nice and brown and removed.
  7. Let sit for about 10 minutes then serve with pie server and have people pile it onto the french bread chips.  Enjoy!
Pepper Jelly Baked Brie 

Follow all the steps above.....omit onions and fig preserves.  Use Pepper Jelly in place of fig.  Roll up just like above and bake just like above!!!  Enjoy!!

Singapore Noodles w/ Shrimp & Shiitake Mushrooms

I originally got this recipe from the show the Chew.  Obviously I added some things and changed some things but not my orginal idea!  We had my best friend Irene and her son Andrew (who is to young to eat this but probably would have loved it too).  Dish was a hit and left overs were just as good.  Although I don't know if my co workers were happy with me for re heating shrimp at work, its sort of an unwritten NO NO.  Makes the whole unit smell like fish!!!
Any who delicious and healthy meal and took about 15 minutes from start to finish!!  You could add any protien or any veggies that you want!!  This meal felt like Chinese take out however you did not feel like you needed a nap or ate a pound of bricks after!!

Singapore Noodles w/ Shrimp & Shiitake Mushrooms

Ingredients:
  • 3 tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 1 cup onion (diced
  • 4 large cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger minced
  • 1 tsp resh hot red chili (I used a green Serrano b/c I couldnt find a red pepper)  Also I used the whole pepper instead of a a tsp and it wasn't that spicy at all!!
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp Thai or Vietnamese Fish Sauce
  • 1 pound of fresh uncooked medium size deveined and peeled shrimp
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 2 8 oz containers of shitake mushrooms sliced
  • 3 heads of baby bok choy (or regular bok choy just happened to be what I had) chopped
  • 1 cup of shredded carrots
  • 1 cup of frozen corn
  • 1 head of scallions sliced thin on an angle
  • 1 red pepper sliced very thin
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 ounces of Cellophane Rice Noodles (vermicelli type, softened per package instructions)
Directions:
  1.  I used my Wok.  Heat to medium high heat and add Sesame Oil.  When oil is almost smoking add the onions, garlic, and ginger.  Saute for 3-4 mins.
  2. Turn heat down to medium and add the fresh Chili
  3. After about two minutes add all the veggies.  Cook for another two minutes then add the curry powder, fish sauce, and soy sauce..
  4. After two more minutes add the shrimp cook for 3-4 minutes until just pink and not to curled.  Do not over cook the shrimp.  Season with salt and pepper generously.  
  5. Toss with the noodles and scallions to combine.  Serve and enjoy!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Grammy's Meatloaf

I really never even had a meatloaf that I enjoyed until I was about 20 years old.  Actually I'm not sure I gave it a fair chance, I think I hated the idea of a loaf of meat, yuck.  Just has a yucky sound to eat.  I used to work at this restaurant that had the best meatloaf!!  After that I thought ok so maybe I've really just been missing out.  Steve loves meatloaf and so years back had mentioned I wanted to make a meatloaf and my mom mentioned that she had my Grammy's delicious recipe.  All she had to do was mention bacon and I was sold!!!  What could be better than a large loaf of meat but its beauty wrapped in bacon then drenched in a delicious sauce???  Ok until tonight had only made it once again years ago.  Jack ate meatloaf at his Nana's house the other night and from what I'm told he ate the entire helping (for those of you that know Jack know he doesn't eat a whole portion of anything especially any meat product).  Jackson requested meatloaf yesterday and so I promised I'd make it today.  He also requested mashed potatoes and corn (which I won't include the recipe for because its just your basic mashed taters and some frozen super sweet corn).  I know everyones got their own meatloaf family recipe and everyone likes it different ways.  I typically like mine with some ketchup however the sauce on this a combo of creamy soup mixed with tomato soup takes over that sweet salty ketchup flavor with a rich delicious sauce.  Make sure you see the after thought.  Blogged before we ate and then published after we ate.....so just a small after thought.

Again anything wrapped in bacon is a winner in my book....so here's the winner meatloaf recipe.

Grammy's Meatloaf

Ingredients:
  • 1-1.5 lbs of ground beef, turkey, or chicken.  I used 85% lean ground beef, which beef has been wigging me out since I've been preggo so hopefully I can stomach this.
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of oatmeal ( I didn't have any and didn't want to spend anymore money than I needed to so I subbed a cup of seasoned bread crumbs)  If you use oatmeal it will lack seasoning so adjust accordingly and also last time I made it with oatmeal I ground it up in the food processor to make it smoother.
  • 1/2 white onion thinly sliced
  • 6-8 slices of bacon ( I used this like super thick cut stuff we had left over from breakfast that was on sale)
  • salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, italian seasoning (I only used a tiny bit of this b/c I did use pre seasoned bread crumbs but if you use the oatmeal use more!!) And I just used as much of these as I felt necessary  I did not measure
  • 1 can of tomato soup
  • 1 can of cream of mushroom soup
  • 8 oz package of mushrooms
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
  2. Mix together meat, egg, breadcrumbs, and seasoning until well blended.  Form into a loaf and put in a pan (I  do not use a loaf pan because you need to have room to dump the sauce in I used like a square baking dish.
  3. I forget how I did this last time but then take the onions which i cut the slices in half and sort of straddled the meatloaf with the onions all down the top.  Then wrap in bacon tucking the slices down and under the loaf.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes take out of oven and drain bacon grease.
  5. Mix together soups and mushrooms.  I seasoned this with salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder.  Original recipe had no seasoning here but I season at every step!!
  6. Pour over the loaf and back again for 45 minutes.  Slice and enjoy!!!  Ours actually cooked for another almost hour as at the 45 minute it was only at about 140 degrees about med rare and ground beef has been freaking me out so we turned the stove up to 400 degrees and cooked an extra 15 minutes or so.

After thought --- so last time I made this I remember loving the bacon.  This time maybe it was because I already ate bacon for breakfast or maybe just wasn't the craving of the moment...but Steve and I both decided the bacon didn't do much.  It was the sauce, the onions, and the mushrooms that really made this meatloaf amazing.  I think to save some calories and fat next time I'd leave off the bacon.  Jack ate his whole serving....amazing I've never seen him eat that much!!!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Grilled Yummy Sunday Dinner

Tonight Steve and I were really feeling like doing some grilling.  We bought some of our favorites sweet potatoes, rib eye steaks, and asparagus.  We had no plan for them and came up with a last minute one that was amazing!!!  Steve came up with the great idea to cook the sweet potatoes on the grill in a foil packet, which I sometimes don't like because they don't get crispy, however not true with this recipe they were  crispy and soooo amazing!!!  They truly had the taste of the fall with the flare and taste the grill adds to everything.  Steak and asparagus were also great and super easy to measuring or prep for any of them!!!


Fall Foil Grilled Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients:
  • two sweet potatoes peeled and chopped
  • 2 heaping tbsp of brown sugar
  • 1 tsp of cumin
  • 2 dashes of cinnamon
  • 2 dashes of sage
  • 2 dashes of cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp of salted butter

Directions:
  1. Make two large pieces of foil on the counter, put one sweet potato in each.  Each sweet potato will cook separately.  
  2. I mixed the spices in two small dishes because 1/2 of each spice goes in each packet.  So in each small bowl mix 1 tbsp brown sugar I used a heaping one, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1 dash of sage, cinnamon and cayenne in each bowl.  
  3. Sprinkle 1/2 of the spices and sugar mix on each pile.
  4. Slice each tbsp of butter up into little pieces and put a tbsp on each of the two piles.  
  5. Top with a second piece of foil and curl up and seal the edges to make two packets
  6. Have your husband grill them on about 350 degrees cook for 15 minutes, flip them and cook for another 15-20 minutes.  
  7. Be careful opening them they were really hot but so delicious enjoy.


On the steaks we rubbed and seasoned them heavily with kosher salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika on both sides.  Then cooked perfectly by Steve to a medium rare...well they were more rare but they were heated all the way through and perfect.  Jackson even loved them!

The asparagus I cut of the ends to one bunch.  Covered a baking sheet with foil.  I preheated the oven to 450.  I covered the asparagus with a light drizzle of olive oil then seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and parsley.  I cooked for three minutes, flipped then cooked another three minutes.  I plated the asparagus and then topped with some freshly grated parmesan cheese which lightly melts waiting for you to eat it!!