Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Chili in a bread bowl...

It's freakin' cold outside...it's time for chili!! Back in October I made some awesome chili. No really..I made it up myself, and Husband proclaimed it "best". Now being a bit of an inventor in the kitchen, I didn't write it down..and the next time I made chili it wasn't half as good. So I racked my brain (ouch, right?) and tried to remember HOW I made the 'good' chili. I made it again and wrote EVERYTHING down. Yay me! I also made bread bowls..but I'm not taking the credit for them..you can get the recipe for them here!
Suzy's Chili
1lb 80/20 ground beef-browned
1 can (12oz) V8
1 Qt tomato juice
3T chili powder
2T granulated garlic
1T cumin
2t black pepper
1t salt
1T ranch powder
1 can El Pato
2 chipotles in adobo + 1T sauce from can
1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles
1 can chili beans
1 small white onion-diced
1/2 green bell pepper-diced
In a large soup pot-brown your meat (do not drain) add V8 and spices cook for about 5 minutes add tomato juice, El Pato (which is a jalepeno salsa in a green can that you find in the mexican section at the grocery), and chipotles/sauce-cook for about 5 minutes add can of tomatoes/beans, add onion/green pepper cook low for about 3 hours. For the last 30 minutes up the heat and simmer until desired thickness.
This is a spicy chili...but spicy good..not too spicy to eat! You can always back off to ONE chipotle instead of two..that might help..or omit the chipotles altogether..but I think they help with the flavor!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Beer battered fish and chips

It was a HAPPY day in my house when I found the plug in to my Fry-Daddy. I'd been craving something laden with homemade greasiness..no really. The fish in my freezer..Tilapia the Skinny girl in me quietly spoke "put lemon pepper on me and broil me, I'm healthy" ..and I(the Fat girl) answered it with a resounding "Shut up! You are getting dipped in beer battered and fried!" The Fat girl won...was there really a debate about who would? Now...to toot my own, I'll just say..I make damn good beer battered fish. But I can't say that it's because of some hidden battering talent I have, or some penache for dropping things in 350 degree oil. No...I'll thank the beer. Two quick notes... 1) I am allergic to alcohol. No really. I didn't use to be. I used to drink with reckless abandon, relishing that fuzzy headed buzzed feeling, and not even minding really when I'd have to throw up suddenly b/c I'd just go back to drinking...ah..to be young. But then...then I had Little Miss...when she was about meh...10 weeks old I finally decided to crawl out of my cave of a house and go have a "Congrats you had a Baby!" drink at our local bar...the bartender there..Mack (Hi Mack!) makes THE BEST White Russian eva. I'll share his recipe sometime...well..I got it..and I'm sipping on it and all of a sudden I feel HOT like someone just turned a heat lamp on my face. It got VERY uncomfortable..but it's dark in the bar so my Husband doesn't notice. We both get antsy..want to get back to the Tiny Miss and when we get in the car and Husband sees my face-"OMG what is WRONG with your face?!?!" Um..note to the men..don't EVER say that to your spouse, ok? So...I get home..take a Benadryl and it goes away. But now..if I want to have ANYTHING with alcohol in it..I have to take a Ben FIRST to avoid disaster..therefore..I don't really drink b/c it's just not fun anymore. *shrugs* 2) My Mother-in-law was over when we had this dinner (anyone else notice the inlaws are over...alot?) and she declares "well I made fish and it didn't taste like this.." Which brings me to the following point...use good beer. It's like wine and cooking...if it doesn't taste good to drink, it won't taste good in the food. Now...a light beer is FINE if you are at a baseball game, tailgating, or a frat house (ah...memories)...but NOT when it comes to the fish...use something with body...I used a Honey Lager and it was divine! (and didn't turn my face red, score!) Ok..so the batter 1 cup self-rising flour 1 1/2 GOOD beer and the 'dredge' 1 cup corn starch and the 'fish' tilapia filets (cut in half) Oil at 350... I choose corn starch as my dredge of choice..I've just found it works for me..therefore I use it. You want your batter to be a pancake batter consistency..so if you need more beer or less...go for it..add it in 1/2 cup increments. Also..use a whisk and wait between additions...so...flour in the pan..1/2 cup beer..whisk-whisk-whisk-check consistency, 1/2 cup beer repeat... pat your fish dry then dredge in corn starch, place in beer batter and shake off excess, then put into oil... shoot for a golden brown color on these like in the picture... drain on something 'wicking'-I drained mine on a dish towel, you can do this on a brown paper sack as well. Lightly salt when it comes out... Now the chips...oooh the chips....on a mandoline set it to 1/32 and slice your potatoes...this is supa-thin....fry them in the same oil...season when they come out and TRY not to gorge yourself. Just try...

Monday, December 6, 2010

A little help...

Hello again today! Sad, well pathetic, story for ya... My house that smells like dogs, cats, and kids (unless I am cooking something) needed help..so I had a Scentsy party..and um..no one showed. So...I'm reaching out to my bloggy friends with this...maybe you are thinking of someone who is hard to buy for...like in-laws, or teachers. Maybe you got chosen for secret Santa at work and have NO clue what to get. Maybe your family drew names and you got your weird cousin...now you know what to get!! Scentsy products are GREAT..if they weren't I wouldn't BOTHER trying to get some for myself! Right now on my friend Tracy's site, I'm her open party...you'll see my name. I know most of us don't live close...but you can get it shipped right to you, wherever you may be! I'll keep this post up for a couple days so you can have access to the site... There are SOOOOO many great scents, and it's awesome because the wax doesn't get hot enough to burn little fingers, or hurt pets..and again..smells so so good! Check it out!

Buttermilk Pumpkin Trifle

I know Thanksgiving was a couple weeks ago..but I thought I'd share my meager contribution. But really it was hardly meager b/c it was very tasty. :) Crumbled gingersnaps for crunch and spice Pumpkin layer- can of pumpkin 8oz block of cream cheese 1tsp of pumpkin pie spice 2T sugar beat into yummy submission The Buttermilk layer was a Buttermilk pie that didn't set up that I ran through the food processor. Fresh whipped cream between the layers. topped with more gingersnap crunchy bits! Lots of layers of Yum!! I think the 'pie' layer would be good with ANY pie...imagine an apple pie crumbled up in there, or a blueberry, or oooh...a pecan! Yum!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Distractions

Lately I've become fully obsessed with two things... 1) Bitchin' Kitchen. Seriously. She's gorgeous, she's crude, she cooks amazing food, and she makes funny faces at the camera. I LOVE Nadia G! She makes me wish I was canadian...and italian...and thin with always matching pumps and fingernails. And I l.o.v.e. her kitchen...esp the vintage knobs on her cabinets. I DVR every episode and watch it a few times through...and I always find something new that makes me laugh. I'm even thinking of starting Hans' training that he never quite gets into-but it has SOMETHING to do with 5 sets of 15! He's exactly what I imagine Quinn in the Sookie Stackhouse series would look like! Anyway...we get the cheapest option on our Dish network, so we only get Cooking channel like every other month-but if you get Cooking Channel..WATCH her. You'll love her! source 2) Our new family member. Beauty. I wanted to change her name, but nothing else fits..because she is absolutely Beautiful.
It took me months to find her...I've got this silly, stupid, idealistic, maybe even romantic idea about horses. I've watched movies and read books and seen 'relationships' between horse and owner. Like a friendship between human and beast. We've had horses before...(4 actually) and I've never had that. I kinda thought I just wasn't the person for it. I mean I get along great with goats, cats, and dogs...maybe I'm just not horsey....So when my Dad told me he wanted to get a horse (another one, the last one we gave away to an Amish kid) I knew that it would be a process. I didn't want just 'any' horse. I wanted a connection. I've had two bays....and I didn't really want a bay. I wanted a black horse..(might have something to do with the PC Cast book obsession and Hades dread steeds)-but really...my criteria was kinda low-1)not more than an hour away, 2)over 2 years old, 3) at least halter trained-because I'll be doing the saddle training (scary!!), 4) has some magical kismet connection. Not that bad right?
The first horse I looked at, before I even GOT to her I could tell she didn't like me. No really. AND she had 1 blue eye. My Grandpa (the one I never met) always told my Dad "never trust a horse with a glass eye" (meaning blue)-so I might have prejudged her a bit...but she wasn't the horse for me.
I'd emailed a lady and never heard back about this random black horse...and after I'd semi given up my search she emailed back..so I arranged to go meet this horse. We first met Beauty on a drizzly cold day, but even in the rain she acted calm and unaffected. She let me pet her and where I didn't really feel a connection, I knew she was a gorgeous animal and had a nice feel about her. Then she lifted her big head from grazing and full on nuzzled my Big ol Daddy. A man she'd never met..that's when my heart flipped. She's been our baby ever since.

Monday, November 15, 2010

How about High School?

I'm going to go back to how I ate in High School. Sounds weird right? But no, really. I've heard people say to teenagers "you can't eat like that forever!" And yet, here I am...28 years old and thinking that's the way to go! Why? Well.... -high school lunches: premade portions + daily salad='s I ate a salad EVERY day. And most of the time I'd move whatever was in the big spot on the tray to a smaller spot and get a bigger salad. I also had at least ONE serving of low-fat milk daily with my lunch. I say daily...but weekdays is what I mean. -sweets ONLY on a rare occassion. Birthdays-yes. Random high school spirit day-yes. Even though I worked at the local grease pit that had ice cream..I didn't eat it everyday! This, my friends, is why I'm pushing Husband to let me open a bakery-because THAT way I'd be able to be around baking everyday and wouldn't need to bake to eat. I could bake to feed OTHER people. :) I know there was more to my high school diet than that....I know I did alot of bad things...drank ALOT of soda. I didn't drink caffeine but I'd suck down Sprite like a fiend! But since I got the baking bug, it's like my FAVORITE thing to do. Really...when I get a new cookbook-those are the FIRST recipes I go for! How do you moderate something you are obsessed with? How do I go back from baking all the time-to JUST on special occassions? It's gonna be hard...I'm not going to like it. But I think it will be better for me. So here's my plan....ONLY TWO baked sweets for the rest of the year. Wait, what? Yes. I'm the one that is doing dessert for family Thanksgiving. So that is one. And the other I'll probably save for Christmas. It will give me more to look forward to, right? Either that or I'll just go insane from lack of sugar. Maybe not insane, but I can almost guarantee crankiness. The cookies pictured at the top of the post are partially to blame. Those sneaky little sirens called my name until I ate them all. And I don't even really LIKE chocolate chip cookies. But these are different. These are Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies. They are the devil. I first encountered them at Can You Stay for Dinner. Thinking, naively that this gal is 1) totally gorgeous and 2) totally thin...so eating ALL of these cookies wouldn't negatively affect me. Um..ha. It doesn't work that way. And I really doubt she eats ALL her cookies..like a certain cookie monster does *points at self* Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies with Pecans (adapted from here) 2 cups + 2 T AP flour 1/2 t baking soda 1 1/2 sticks salted butter 1 1/2 cups brown sugar 2 eggs 1 t mexican vanilla 1 cup chocolate chips 1 cup finely chopped pecans Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a saucepan over medium high-melt your butter and let it brown. This took me a good 10-15 minutes. Your nose will know, as will your eye when it's ready. It gets this delicious 'nutty' flavor. Pour the browned butter in your mixing bowl, and add the brown sugar. Mix Once combined add the eggs and vanilla. Mix Then add your flour and soda. Mix Then mix in your chocolate and pecans. *I ran my pecans through my mini chopper so they were seriously tiny pieces* I used my mini scooper and went to down on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Baked these babies for about 12 minutes per sheet. Let them cool. Then went to town with a glass of milk. You have been warned. And if you have NO self control, like me...well...I informed you thusly. (*giggles* anyone know the tv show?)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Golden Chicken Stroganoff

Really..ONE of these days I'll get a camera that actually makes my food look appealing...because THIS meal...ROCKED. And rocked hard!
Golden Chicken Stroganoff
2 chicken breasts, butterflied then cut into thin strips
1 onion-chopped
1 1/2 cups chopped cremini mushrooms (or any probably would do)
some oil
seasoning salt black pepper
3/4 cup sour cream
Very quick and easy... oil in a pan onions in oil until soft (but not colored)-add mushrooms-add black pepper-cook until golden.
Remove veggies and add a little more oil season chicken with seasoning salt put in pan and cook until golden Add mushrooms and onions back to pan Add 3/4 cup of sour cream...mixy mixy.
And yea...that's it. No really...that's it. I served ours over brown rice, and along side some cheesy broccoli, and a simple salad.

 Even though Dad hasn't seen any results on his scale (they have an old school black doctor's scale) I can tell by looking at him that he's lost some weight. It comes off of him in his arms and chest first. Weird huh? When I lose it, I notice first in my calves and wrists! How about you? I'm working on chili for dinner...is it a good sign when it's already burning my eyes? Ouch! :)

Monday, November 1, 2010

the start of something...

Am I the only one that saw faces in my breakfast??So my venture into ONE-derland was short lived...b/c the scale said 205.8 this morning. *gulps* Obviously October was NOT my month. It's the first and it's a Monday so my initial mentality is to jump on some bandwagon...and I'm going to. 70lbs is NOT a small number. But it can be broken INTO smaller numbers...so that is what I'm aiming for. I've got a wedding in May to get ready for, and another next October. I know it's ambitious to want to lose weight in November (Thanksgiving) and December (Christmas)-but I'm gonna try. I'm gonna try the journalling thing this time around. Writing down EVERYTHING I eat and drink. I'm still breastfeeding a certain blue eyed boy, so I can't be as gung ho with cutting calories as I 'need' to-but we'll see how it goes! It's harder to post lately because this.... demands alot of attention..this is a shot of what happens when I'm on the computer. But it's such a cute distraction, isn't he? Also..despite the fact that I gained over 5 lbs this past month..I haven't been cooking alot of stuff. I think that might be part of the gaining problem. We ate out ALOT this past month. My Dad is starting a diet today...the HCG diet...I don't know much about it..but I do know our friend Jean has lost 60lbs in the past 3months by following it! You take this HCG supplement under your tongue, and a multivitamin and follow a REALLY strict diet. You have to break up with milk, starch, most fruits (apples and oranges are ok), and *gasp* cheese. Dad has a long road ahead of him...he's about 375lbs..and would ideally like to get to about 200. I'm gonna be there cheering him along!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Dear,

Dear Next Door Neighbor, Right now I have TWO sick kids, you don't know that, but I do. I try my best to be a courteous neighbor and I lock my dogs up by 8 (so they won't bark and wake your kids) and I don't let them out until at least 9 (so they won't bark and wake your kids) SO when you are whacking, slamming, banging on your truck until 11pm and then flipping a bookcase in your driveway end over end and dragging crap out of your house at 7:30AM, which causes my indoor dogs to bark, which then causes my 7mo old to wake up when he has only slept mere minutes...I hope you enjoy my present of letting my coonhound out so he can bark until his little heart is content. Dear Giveaway Gods, I know I was lucky enough to win an AWESOME giveaway this morning...but please, please, oh please...let me win the Scooby-Doo giveaway for Lil Miss. Dear Dish Network, I think it's total and complete CRAP that you are dropping Fox. It really pisses me off that I won't be able to watch Fridge OR Glee. *pouts* Dear House dogs, The point of the housetraining pads is for you to go to the bathroom ON them, not next to them. And really...you aren't puppies, it's stupid that you even do this. Dear Little Man, I know you don't know, but I thought I'd let you know that you save me. I can be on the edge of the cliff and I can nurse you or even just hold you close and the tension just melts away. I don't know how you do it, but I'm so thankful you do. And so thankful to my Heavenly Father for both you and your sweet sister. Alrighty kids...your turn!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Chicken A La Bonne Femme

at least that's what it's called in the cookbook...but either way..it was good! I can't remember where I read it/heard it/whatevered it-but the other day it was asked "Do people READ cookbooks anymore?". Um...I do..all the time! Then again when I was a kid I liked flipping through the encyclopedia (I still do actually). When I'm out at the farm I snoop through my parent's kitchen cabinets-my Mom calls it shopping. They are bulk buyers and graciously take me along for the shopping trip (Friday-yay!!) AND give me free range of all their freezers (2 deep freeze), fridges (2 standard) and plentiful cabinets. When it's the end of the month and we're out of groceries..I shop at Mom and Dad's first! So when I was 'shopping' the other day I opened a cabinet and there were cookbooks staring back at me...a bright yellow one with a green binder seemed to pulsate and call out an eerie "yuuuuuuum" to me. I tenderly plucked it from it's hinding place and brought it home..I flipped through the first pages and had to put it down to go to the desk and get my highlighter. This cookbook is a Layfayette, LA cookbook..so it's all kinds of cajun and homecooked stuff...and there is a TON of stuff I want to try in it! However ALOT of the recipes say things like "will easy feed 47,000 people" so I had to cut the portions down ALOT. Is it healthy...Nooooooo, but was it tasty...Yes, I'll say it again...Yes. You need- 3 potatoes (peeled and cut in half-or leave the peels-but cut them in half) 2 chicken breasts 1/2 lb of bacon 1 onion (peeled and sliced-set aside) That's it. No really. That's it... Turn your oven on 350. Cook the bacon until crispy, then remove from pan. leave the grease. Season the chicken (I cut mine into chunks) with whatever you want to-I put cajun seasoning on mine. Brown seasoned chicken in bacon grease (again, NOT healthy)-remove from pan.. leave the grease. Brown potato halves in bacon grease/chicken drippins. 8x8 baking dish..let's layer! chicken potato onion bacon -repeat if you can..if not..no biggie. Bake covered with foil for about 30 minutes. The whole time it was baking I was thinking "where is the wet?" there is no cheese, no soup, no broth...so how is this going to stay moist? It's oven magic..that's all I know. Because this WAS moist. We inhaled it topped with salsa and it will come back to our dinner table soon.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A little bit of help, please

Two seconds..seriously...just click, click..done..and you can vote for Little Miss! Please oh please?? Also if you could ask everyone you know to vote too? That would be awesome! xo

Monday, October 18, 2010

Dear,

I had so much fun doing my "Dear" post..I'm gonna make it a weekly thing? You mind? Hope not! Let's have fun with it!
It will have to be a mix of serious and silly, b/c that's what I am...let me start with the serious-
Dear Cancer,
I HATE you. I know hate is a strong word, but I really do. Last week I got the news that my friend Joanna lost her fight with you. Does it really make you feel good that she's leaving her 4 children (all under 10 btw), her sweet husband, and all her friends that loved her crazy personality? I know, I KNOW that Heavenly Father has a plan for all of us. I KNOW that when it's time for us to go home to him, we'll go. But in the meantime, you are making our brief earthly existence even more heartbreaking than it needs to be.
Dear Hayfever,
You suck. You make it impossible for me to enjoy this luscious fall weather we're having without the foggy, drug haze of an allergy pill so I can breathe in said fall air. You make it impossible for me to have the windows open unless I want to have the bottle of allergy eye drops attached to my face. And outdoor activites with the kids? Yeah..can't do it. Thanks for that. Again, you suck.
Dear Red Robin,
Are you REALLY that stupid to have a local high school football player be our server on a Sunday when the Chiefs are playing? Thanks to the fact that he was more interested than the game than our table, I sent you a scathing email about the crap service we got. Good thing the Mt. Olympus burger was awesome or I would have lost it right there to the manager in person.
Dear Jessica,
I love all your recipes, I love that you have a site for healthy kid's eating, and I LOVE that you are doing a Bake for the Cure week!
Dear Readers,
Please go to Jessica's site and leave her a comment on her Bake for the Cure recipes, she's in a contest and it's awesome, and since she's my buddy..I really hope she wins!
Dear Giveway Gods (I totally typed dogs first btw),
I really, really, REALLY have to win the Scooby Doo prize pack for Little Miss b/c she's obsessed with it. So please, please, PLEASE let it happen!
Dear Self,
The floor won't vacuum and shampoo itself. You have company coming over in about 2 hours and the house smells like dog piss. Get off the blogs and get to work.
How about you? Any "Dears" this week??

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A weighty matter...

I know it's not impressive to any of you....but it was a HUGE deal for me. UNDER 200. I know, right? You might have been thinking I was mortified to see that my weight had gotten to 199...no..I'm relieved..happy..thrilled..that it is DOWN. Do I still have about 60lbs to lose before I'm where I want to be? Yes. Did I make my birthday goal of losing 20lbs? No Did I lose about 11 by that time? Yes Do even my feet look fat? Yes..blech. Weight is a weird thing. There are lots of things for me to consider...so stick with me a sec- 1. BOTH of my parents are overweight-they have NEVER been critical of my weight..ever. My Mom is the first to offer to take me shopping when I need a bigger size. And my Dad will be the first to tell me when I've gained weight, but he would never tell me to lose it. 2. I purposefully didn't try to lose weight between pregnancies and I used being pregnant as a food excuse. BAD. 3. I constantly use the kids as an excuse to NOT exercise-but really..it's a pretty good excuse. I don't sleep b/c the kids sleep with us therefore I am tired ALL the time. I'd like to think the time I spend monitoring ='s chasing the kids daily counts for something. Even trying to write this post I've had to take multiple breaks to get Little Miss out from under the desk (between my legs) and let Little Man chew on my finger b/c he is teething. If I can't even write a blog how the F am I supposed to get on a treadmill? 4. I really dislike going out in public. Mainly b/c I'm afraid I'll run into someone that knew the 'old' (='s thin) me and judge me. I'm esp afraid of running into them at an eating establishment. So there's that. I found a blog this morning and a book review. Not only is the blog writer brilliant, but she really makes me want to read the book she reviewed. She's got an awesome weight loss/eating/happy story and I'm just enamored with her site now! And..she's giving away a copy of the book...from her description..I want it! Another blog favorite of mine goes over SO many good principles, but I don't have an answer to her question "What does it mean to you to eat intuitively?" I need to find that answer, and maybe the next 60 will be easier to get off.

Chile-Cheesy-Chini-Casserole

So the other day I was with my Dad and Little Miss at this roadside stand for pumpkins and I spied some zucchini...I love zucchini (Husby..not so much)-they were 3 for a buck and the PERFECT cooking size. You know what I mean right? Just like eh...and inch and a half in diameter and not gigantic but not tiny. And zucchini season is quickly ending. Sad. That and strawberries are my summer loves!
But what to do with them? I was at a loss for dinner the other night..so I played on Swagbucks a little while looking for zucchini recipes and found one at About.com (btw...both about and swag are awesome sights, just sayin').
However, I didn't have the recipe components that I needed...I had most of the them...but not all of them. AND I had my in-laws to feed too.
So what does Suzy do? IMPROVISE with what you have! And I did..and it was goooooood! 1 package Roasted Poblano turkey sausage
3 smallish-medium zucchinis-cut in half moons
Cheddar Cheese (shredded)
Pepper-Jack cheese (I had slices, but whatever works)
1 cup sour cream
2 eggs-divided
2T ap flour
1/2 cup italian breadcrumbs
cajun seasoning (just stay with me folks)
2T butter-melted
Oven on 350
8x8 pan (greased)
take the sausage out of the casing and brown it
get some salted water boiling and put your zucchini in there for just about 5 minutes-don't get soggy but cook a bit..take them out and put them on a baking sheet and sprinkle with the cajun seasoning
Mix together egg yolks, sour cream, and flour
In another bowl beat the egg whites until peaky, then fold into the yolk mix
Got your cheese out?
Time to layer!
Pan-1/2 of zucchinis + 1/2 of egg/sour cream mix + pepperjack cheese + ALL the turkey sausage
then repeat other 1/2 of zucchinis + other half of egg/sc mix + cheddar cheese
Mix your melted butter with the breadcrumbs, top it off and put it in the oven for 30 minutes.
Yuuuuuum. Really..it was. I loved it! I think you could easily sub potatoes if you aren't a fan of zucchini (or if the husband isn't a fan, like mine). Best part about this? Even though it had kind of a sour cream custard thing going on..it wasn't heavy, at all!
I can't stress it enough to NOT be afraid to experiment and improvise in the kitchen! I think that is the biggest thing that blogging has taught me! I see all these great recipes, but I don't always have the resources to go to the store and get EXACTLY what it calls for..so I make do, and I'm so glad that I do!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Great Green Pumpkin

Have you ever seen a wooly worm THAT tiny?!
Hades dread steeds...I'm in love! (If you didn't pick that up..it's a reference to PC Cast's Goddess of Spring)
Holy smackerelli...Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
the ONLY things I did differently was I subbed honey roasted peanut butter, didn't put in the peanut butter chips (b/c I didn't have them)-I used honey roasted peanuts..about 3/4 cup and the same amount of chocolate chips. Good right out of the oven, better the day after!
Gut-bomb...or Chili 5 way..and chili that I REALLY should have written down exactly what I put into it b/c it was AWESOME!
And..the Great Green Pumpkin Monster!
the pumpkin/greek yogurt mix from the parfait
two handfuls of baby spinach
a pumpkin spice coffee that I'd already added 2 sweeteners and some half and half to
1 frozen pumpkin
='s DEEEEEELISH!! I've been running back and forth to the farm this week helping out my parents. They've got a new set of triplet baby goats (AWWW), and the last storm we had knocked over the pear tree..didn't uproot it though! I hopped on Dad's tractor and we were able to pull it up and reinforce it. I also brought home 2 5 gallon buckets of pears...they are Kieffer and I really have NO idea what to do with them! Any suggestions?
I might just juice them all and drink myself into oblivion! I do love Pear Juice!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

You know what else has layers?

Parfait. Errbody likes parfait. You ever met a person you say "hey let's go get some parfait" and they say, "Hell, no I don't like no parfait." I got the inspiration here. Pumpkin Quinoa Parfaits (very loosley adapted from the above link) 16oz vanilla greek yogurt 2/3 cup canned pumpkin 1t cinnamon 1/4 t ginger 1/4 t nutmeg 3 packets of sweetener cooked quinoa 'crumbly stuff' Layer and devour! Now...let's discuss the crumbly stuff for a second. The original recipe calls for graham cracker crumbs..then I thought that gingersnaps would be good...then I remember that I had a bag of oat/gingersnap/pretzel crumbs from a Strawberry Pie this summer (for the record the pie was AMAZING-but fugly. seriously..my Dad said it tasted great once he got past the fact that it looked like dog puke-thanks Dad.) So my crumbs at the bottom was oats, gingersnaps (for the life of me I keep trying to type gingerspans...geez), and pretzels that got zipped in the food pro. Yum. Ginger and salty pretzel....nom nom nom! And NOW let's discuss Greek yogurt. Um. I kept hearing all these GREAT things about Greek yogurt. Naturally no fat, protein is in there, tastes better than regular, etc. I have TWO glaring problems with yogurt-1)the consistency-I HAVE to mix it with something-the parfait idea TOTALLY works! 2)the TANG. That's why I like Yoplait so much, b/c their flavors overpower the tang. Just know if you haven't already had Greek yogurt (I might be the last person on the planet to try it) it is the epitomy of TANGY. *puckers* However...once you mix the pumpkin, spices, and sweetener in it..it really tones it down. Whew! I really enjoyed this parfait...in fact I'll have another for breakfast this morning! Parfait might just be the best damn thing on the planet.... bonus admiration points if you can name the movie I've been quoting in this post!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Cat hate...

Soooo a couple weeks ago my cats (we have two) were acting like complete jerks. Typically they get a little food in the morning and a little food at night when they get put away downstairs (we put them up at night b/c my cat-Tapioca is a hellion at night and had a tendancy for breaking things at 1am). Well...again I say they started being jerks. When it came time for bedtime, they wouldn't go. They'd scoot under the bed, they'd avoid us at all costs...and when we could finally catch them they'd scratch and fight.. not typical behavior of them. So I nixed the a.m. feeding so that way they'd be ready to go to bed when it was time b/c bed would equal feeding time. However Trump-my husband's cat..continues to act like a douche. Example....grabbing random things off the counter and dragging them about the house. Today's victim? My half full bag of powdered sugar I didn't put up. Trail from the kitchen to the hallway..and that white thing? That's my daughter's socks..he carries them off and chews them up.
My counter and part of kitchen floor....
The Prick himself, apologizing later. Don't let that face fool you.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Dear,

Dear Body, I know I've put you through alot these past few years. I mean Hell, two babies in two years, it's not easy. However I don't really think it's fair for you to retaliate in the form of Stomach Flu, a Head Cold, a week off, then Stomach Flu again. I get that I need to sleep more, I get that I should take better care of you, but you aren't making it any easier. Dear Monday, You don't mean anything to me anymore really. We used to be enemies you and I...now I silently long for the daily work grind that I no longer have. Dear New Neighbors (x3), I really preferred living on this street before you moved in. Dear Kids, Mama is sick. So if there is any chance that you guys could be quiet and sleepy today I'd love it. Really. My body won't cut me a break...maybe you will? No, ok..just thought I'd ask. Dear Mother in Law, Thanks for the incoming drop off of Pepto....and handling a business call for me. Do you guys have any "Dears" for today?

Friday, October 1, 2010

Mocha Tiramisu

Mocha just means 'chocolate', right? Mocha Frappe is alot more fun to say than Chocolate Frappe..or Latte or whatever-te. Husband-who could eat spaghetti 7 days a week mentioned he'd like that for dinner. *sigh* It's quickly becoming meatloaf to me. Meaning...my Mom made meatloaf ALOT when I was younger and now..I don't really like meatloaf...ie spaghetti='s meatloaf. So..since I knew I wasn't going to love the main course...I had to make sure I'd like dessert, right? I love me some tiramisu. And honestly..the last couple of times I've had it out at restaurants...I've been disappointed. So yesterday I took to the internet...searched out some recipes...tweaked them a bit and made my OWN. It's better that way anyway right? Chocolate Lady Fingers-the easy way (adapted from here) 2 eggs separated 1/3 cup white sugar 1/4 cup + 1T ap flour 2T dark cocoa powder 1/2 t baking powder Oven at 400 Parchment line (and spray with cooking spray) a baking sheet In one bowl beat the egg whites until they are at soft peaks, then add 2T of the sugar and beat them again until they are more peaky. In another bowl beat the yolks and the rest of the sugar until it's pale. In ANOTHER bowl sift the flour, cocoa, and baking powder. Add 1/2 the whites to the yolks-stir gently until incorporated add flour mix-stir gently until incorporated add remaining whites-fold/say it with me-stir gently until incorporated. Now...take this mix and pour it onto your greased parchment. Don't question..just do, ok? Spread it out a little..but not too much b/c it will spread as it bakes anyway. Bake it for 8 minutes. Take it out..let it cool..while you do the rest- Tiramisu (adapted from here) -the white layer 8oz cream cheese 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream 1/3 cup sugar -the coffee layer 3/4 cup cold coffee 1/4 cup Kahlua 1/4 cup vanilla syrup Now that your chocolate cakey thing has cool...cut it into strips. Assemble! 8x8 pan, white on the bottom, dipped strips, white, dipped strips, top with white layer and shakey-shakey of cocoa powder-cover and fridge for at least 2 hours. It's an agonizing wait...but it's totally worth it!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Petite Pierogis

Carb fest eh? Mashed potatoes wrapped in dough? Um..not the healthiest dish..but dang..soooo good. And ALOT easier than I thought it would be! My 'line up' -dough in the silver bowl, masher mix in the bowl with the spatula, extra flour for dusting, biscuit cutter and wax paper lined pan.
I rolled the dough out supa thin...like really thin. My goal was to be able to see my table design through it, but it didn't get THAT thin. But I'm guessing it was at least 1/8 inch thick..if not less.
Little Miss (who is 2) took this pic of my petite pierogis!
Mmmm....dinner...
Sour Cream Pierogi Dough-(adapted from about.com)
4 cups ap flour
1 cup water
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 t salt
1 egg
In your mixing bowl put 3 cups flour and all the other ingredients. Add the remaining 1 cup flour until you get a smooth dough. Cover and set aside for at least an hour. My filling was leftover mashed potatoes (about 1 1/2 cups) + about 1/2 cup shredded cheese (I used the 'melts' shredded kind)+ 1/2 an onion that you run through a mini chopper or food processor..or if you want you can grate it in..just make sure it's really really tiny.
Once the dough has hung out for a while-roll it out really thin (see photo and note above), cut it into rounds, and fill...I used about 1 teaspoon of the filling, and used a little bit of water on my finger to get the pierogies to seal.
Then I popped the tray into the freezer.
I only pierogied up 1/2 of this b/c I was running out of time. and 1/2 of this prepared will get you about 30-if you don't have a toddler that is trying to help you 1/2 will probably get you 40-50..so the WHOLE thing will make a ton. Feel free to cut down the recipe for your needs...OR make them all and put them in the freezer for later.
Now..cooking them.
This is how I did it..and it worked out GREAT-Put two pans on at the same time
two pans...one big saute pan with some oil (about 2T) a chopped up onion and about a dozen chopped up baby bella mushrooms.
the other of water to boil.
by the time your water gets to a boil your veggies should be getting soft-
Put 1/2 a stick of butter into the pan with the veggies-
put some frozen pierogies in the boiling water. They'll float when they are done, then you remove with a slotted spoon and put them in with the butter and veggies to get nice and crisp.
By the time your pierogies are done...your mushrooms and onions will be nice and carmelized. Yum.
Sorry this post is kinda bleh..more just recipe and clinical than witty and fun. I'm having a very bad Mommy week...Little Man is teething and Little Miss who I 'thought' was pretty much potty trained has totally backslid. Boo.
I'll try to be back to my normal self really soon! Promise!

Monday, September 27, 2010

My battle with biscuits

I spent a good amount of my childhood in the south. My Daddy was born and raised in Arkansas. And I don't like biscuits. *hangs head* Dry, crumbly, dry, flavorless, did I mention dry? Generally..I'm not a fan. In fact I'll choose ANY other breakfast carbohydrate OVER a biscuit. Egg Mcmuffin, yes please! Croissant-wich, double yes! Even toast..that's right...TOAST, Hell....I'll take a piece of UN-toasted bread BEFORE I'd take a biscuit. I remember summers I spent in Indiana with my Granny and Papaw. I LOVED Granny's gravy..but she always made biscuits with it. So Papaw (who only had one hand btw) would wait until she left the room and would frisbee me a piece of loaf bread across the table in exchange for my biscuit. Loved that Man! When it comes to biscuits..homemade just wasn't for me. I gladly revolted against any semblance of heritage and bought them in cans. My Dad was horrified. He makes biscuits almost daily (probably another reason I don't really like them) He has his standard recipe and I've known that recipe for years. I finally tried it on the Husband..and he liked them...so I made them some more..and they were SO hit and miss. Usually..in my opinion..miss. When Dad would try my 'biscuits', he wouldn't even CALL them biscuits-he'd call them "bread like things". No really. But then I made a new blog friend and I began following her religiously. She made biscuits, I had the things she made them out of, and I figured if they sucked, well...I really just wasn't a homemade biscuit gal. I'd hang up any claim of southern I had and start wearing the scarlett Y for yankee *gasps*. I followed her recipe here (doing a half recipe)
And I will never again stray. These are the PERFECT biscuits. They are what all biscuits SHOULD taste like. They are what biscuits should STRIVE to be. I made them (again) the other day and took some to my Dad.
"What are these?" he asked.
"You tell me" I said..
"Well...*taking a bite*-it's flaky, buttery, good mouth feel, this is a BISCUIT!"
I FINALLY got the Dad-biscuit approval!
And...I finally LOVE biscuits!
Biscuits (barely changed from the recipe linked above)
2 cups self-rising flour
1 stick of butter
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
Cut the cold butter into the flour until it looks crumbly. Add whipping cream until it comes to a good dough texture (not too dry, not too sticky). Lightly roll out on a floured surface, cut and bake at 400 until golden (about 10-15 minutes).
My biggest biscuit test..the day after test (aka if they are edible and good the day after) they pass. So even though I make a half batch of Moogie's recipe-you can easily eat these ALL week.
Go make some biscuits kids!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Things I cannot make...

It's ok to admit that you can't do some things. I mean we can't be perfect at everything...and that's ok. But this place...does ALOT of things perfect. It's this little Mennonite bakery (just outside of Richmond, Missouri) and if you don't know where to look, you'll miss it. And you will miss out. It's a small little building and you walk in and your nose is instantly romanced by smells of yeast breads and fresh pies. They have a deli case full of meats and cheeses. They have shelves full of homemade pickles, jams, jellies, and marinated mushrooms. They sell saffron..like the actual little threads. But I go there for these...
in the unassuming cellophane bag, they don't look that impressive. That's the tricky thing about this place...everything is packaged so simply that you don't expect much...and everything exceeds expectations.
Behold! The chocolate crinkle cookie between my non-manicured fingers. It's my favorite cookie. And it's a cookie I can't make...I know b/c I've tried! They mix the dough up in 5lb buckets and keep them in their walk in cooler. And I think they must be using DARK cocoa powder. The edges are just a tiny bit crispy and the center is moist and soft, like a flat brownie. They are perfection.
And this one? Eh..it's just a picture I snapped out at the farm that I thought was kinda cool. Very hillbilly-chic. Dad's old truck (which is actually my old truck) and Pepper (one of the 12 dogs-not kidding) atop a pile of tarped off hay.
Buffet update-when I told my Mom my plans for painting it she said "it hurts my heart to think of it painted" I countered back with-
"really, painting it is such a problem, but the fact that it's been outside in a storage shed for over a year and is now peeling and falling to pieces (literally) doesn't phase you?"
The double standard is REALLY annoying.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Reubens and blueberry bars

Not usually two things that go together...and that's ok..b/c I didn't even make them the same day! But I'm happy to give you guys something savory AND something sweet in one post! Reubens are at least a once a month thing at our house. There isn't any special trick to them-but they are sure yummy! Rye bread pastrami or corned beef (from the deli) big eye swiss thousand island dressing bavarian kraut-I used bavarian instead of traditional b/c it's sweeter..and I like it better. When I do my reubens I use alot of foil....a foil lined baking dish to keep the finished sandwiches warm in a 200 degree oven. And a foil lined bottom of a just smaller pan to squish my working sandwiches. I don't have a panini maker..but this way works too! I put them together like a grilled cheese... butter the bread then add the meat then cheese then dressing then kraut then the other buttered bread. You just use however much of the fillings that you want. I usually use one piece of cheese, about 1-2 T of the dressing, maybe 3 T of the kraut, and eh...3-4 slices of the deli meat. If you don't like pastrami or corned beef...sub turkey...turkey reubens are really good too! Oh blueberry bars..how do I love thee, let me count the ways. -I love how you aren't that sweet -I love how after two days you are better than on the first day b/c you are softer -I love how crumbly you can be -I love how since I tossed in whole wheat flour it makes you in my mind-a health food. I think the thing I love most about blogging is I've tried more recipes than I ever would have having NOT been in the blogging world. I love how you see a recipe on a blog (I saw this one on Can you stay for dinner?) and they got it from somewhere else (smittenkitchen) who got it from somewhere else (allrecipes.com)it's like blogwide sharing..and that's the point isn't it? Well I had some blueberries that needed to be used. You guys know that Little Miss is a fruit bat and my parents willingly load her up with fruit. What you don't know is that even though they buy her a wide array of lovely fruit..she really just eats the grapes. And I wanted to bake. But I'm also trying to lose weight...so of course I decide to make something with fruit in it b/c that automatically makes it more healthy, right? Sure it does! Blueberry Bars Oven at 375 Line a 9x13 baking pan with foil, then spray the foil with cooking spray The crumbly part- 1 cup sugar 2 cups AP flour 1 cup whole wheat flour 1 t cinnamon 1/4 salt 1 egg-beaten 1 cup (2 sticks) cold butter Zest of one lemon Toss the flours, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl, then cut in the butter with a pastry cutter, then mix in the egg and the zest. Press 1/2 of this mix into the bottom of your prepared pan, and set the other half aside the berry part- 4 cups of blueberries 4 t of cornstarch 1/2 cup sugar the juice of the lemon you zested Put that on top of the pressed part, then top it with the other 1/2 of the crumbly. Then bake it for about 45-55 minutes or until the top is a nice golden color. Stand and salivate until they cool. Devour one immediately. Then stash the rest, b/c really they are better when they are a couple days old. In fact I might have had one, ok fine 3, with my morning coffee. I think you'll love them too!

Monday, September 20, 2010

honey scented memories

A pretty sad sight huh? But one day--hopefully soon...she'll be beautiful again. The last remnant of my Mom's first marriage. She was rescued from the Ex's inlaws laundromat (say that 5 times fast). This buffet has been a staple of my existence. It's been moved from state to state, house to house, room to room, and it's always been one of my favorite pieces of furniture. Then a couple years ago my brother and sister in law bought a house and took this with them. I was pissed. There, I said it. Pissed. This piece of history hadn't even been OFFERED to me, and boom...there it was..in their house...with a terrible dark stain job. I wasn't happy. However fate had a different idea...from my last post you guys know I fully believe in fate...my brother and sister in law are downsizing and it 'didn't fit in the storage unit'-and the poor baby was dumped, literally in the back of my Dad's pick up truck. He called me-semi distraught b/c he can't move it (he's got mondo back issues), AND they don't have room for it anymore b/c another piece of furniture took it's place. I claimed it then and there, I apologized to my husband b/c I knew it was in a terrible shape even before I saw it, and we went and got it. Right now she's hanging out in my in-laws garage until I can sand her down and paint her. I'm thinking keep the distressed (b/c she is an antique) and maybe paint her an antique white, or maybe even a pale sage. Any DIYers out there have thoughts for me? I'm a 2 pink packet sweetener + creamer gal for my coffee...and I'm LOVING this new one from Coffeemate...back in the single day there was a coffee house that I spent so much time in they named a latte after me-it was the Suzy Spice-a honey, vanilla, and cinnamon latte. This creamer really makes me think of it. Gosh I miss that place! They had a German Chocolate Mocha, and a Cinnamon Roll latte that would make your eyes roll back in your head. I probably spent at least $200 there a month....scary huh? Oddly enough they closed about a year after I moved from Kansas City. Rest in peace The Perfect Cup. I've got an extremely squirmy and almost 19lb baby on my lap (well baby check today for Little Man). I'll be back soon with a couple yummy recipes for you guys!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Finally, right?

It's me. I'm back. With some yumm-yumms and traditional Suzanne-randomness that you all so crave and admire *coughs* Have you been keeping up with my WLB blog? Meh..me neither really. I got hit with the stomach flu last week, then this week a head cold..wah..wah...wo is me. I'm sick of being sick. I was doing SO well..getting on the treadmill and such then WHAMMO...sick+sick..boo. My energy is slowing showing up again..it's like that party that you went to in high school, and the ONLY reason you went is b/c that 'guy' might show up..but he didn't show up until the VERY End of the party...'guy'='s my energy at this point. BUT I have lost almost 10lbs. Woot for me! Yes..it's after 10. Yes..it's after my bedtime. But I'm full of thoughts...so I'm letting it fly. Also...I'm going to change up the blog a bit..so be ready. I won a giveaway for a blog makeover..so I need to jump on that...Aaaannnndddd.... I figure my brain isn't limited to food alone. I've got lots of stuff to talk about. Like things that annoy me. Days of our Lives. Vampires and other mythical things My absurd obsession with PC Cast books Trying to manage being a stay at home mom and wife housework and my hatred for it my dogs that piss on things they shouldn't.... But first- the picture... Chipotle-honey-lime shrimp tacos!! 1/2 pound of peeled/deveined shrimp (I buy them that way)-tossed in some taco seasoning and fried in some butter until they are done. flour tortillas shredded romaine cheese-chicka-cheese sour cream CHL sauce- 2 chipotles in adobo sauce (they come in a can in the mexican food aisle) 2 T honey zest and juice of one lime 1/4-1/2 cup vegetable oil run all this through a blender until it's smooth. 3 shrimp on the tortilla-CHL sauce on the shrimp-other toppings listed- PARTY IN YOUR MOUTH. I have leftover CHL sauce..and I'm not afraid to use it. In fact I can't WAIT to use it b/c I'm pretty sure it will be good on everything! One more thing...well..more than one...I think there are 7 questions. :) My buddy The Frisky Virgin (don't you just LOVE that blog name..you'll love her too..just read her stuff) tagged me! She also gave me an awesome bloggy prize, but I'm kinda slow and not sure how to post it...do I just save the picture of the prize and do it that way? eh? Here are the questions she wanted to know my brilliant answers to! 1)Do you believe in fate? why or why not? Yes. Take my relationship with my husband...we knew each other when we were 16-that's when we met. But we didn't date. We liked each other, but we didn't date. We went our separate ways. Years later-met up, dated for 13 weeks then got married (a story for another day)-I've traced my lines back of things that I could have done. Directions I COULD have gone in and somehow...he would have ended up in those places at some time or another...so I think it was fated. *collective AAAWWWWWW* 2)If you could marry/date any supernatural being/superhero, who/what would it be and why? Gah....toughie. You are probably expecting me to say Eric from the Sookie books, or Edward from Twilight. Well..there is that allure for that...yes. But...Eric is a complete narcissist and Edward is WAY too moody for me. I pick...Clan Fintan from PC Cast's Divine books. If you haven't read them..you need to...seriously. He's so awesome. Ok..so he's a centaur...but he can totally shape shift into human (giving away that part of the book for you) and he's spiritual and knows feelings. Uh...wow. Chills just thinking about him. 3) Which one: Harry Potter or Twilight, why? I might lose readers over this one. But I'm going Harry Potter....BECAUSE the Twilight movies are killing it for me. I loved the books..LOVED the books...but I'm not loving (and honestly barely liking) the movies. However the Harry Potter books...loved them...and the movies...make the books even more real and awesome. 4) Are you a morning person or a night owl? It varies. Two babies in two years has REALLY jacked up my schedule. I'm leaning on the side of night lately. I rarely fall asleep until after 10, and even then Baby Boy is usually wanting to be bed around 12 then again around 4. Sometimes I'm lucky enough that he'll let me be lazy and just side nurse, but generally I'm up with the nursing pillow across my lap (which is actually a really soft body pillow-so comfy) and I turn the tv on...bad habit...esp b/c I LOVE infomercials. 5) You have three wishes that will come true: What are they? -to have my 16 year old body back. I respect my body that I have now b/c it grew and nourishes two babies...but I want the old one back. The one that was toned and slender and beautiful and athletic (even though I didn't do sports). -a big house on at least 20 acres somewhere. I hate living in town. -money. but not just any kind of money. secret money that my husband doesn't know about and that I don't feel guilty spending on crap for myself instead of helping with groceries and diapers. 6) What is your favorite? :Classic film, rom-com, fantasy, animated? All of the above. Really...I honestly CAN"T pick a favorite movie. It's not possible for me. My favorites are widely ranged...I love old musicals like Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, old non-musicals Gone with the Wind. French Kiss is my all time favorite rom-com....I know it inside out and upside down. I guess my interest in Tim Burton movies would fall under fantasy...weird twisted scary fantasy...but Beetlejuice is another top 10 favorite. And I can't ignore cartoons...having kids that watch animated stuff all the time really reminds me of how much I love some cartoons....Alice in Wonderland is just great to me. I'm a movie head....it's rare and I can honestly say its only happened a couple times that I watched a movie and then felt like I'd wasted time and brain power. One of those times was Solaris...sorry George..I just didn't get it. 7)What is your favorite kind of music? Gah! Another one I can't pin down FV sorry! Instead I'll list my favorite stuff..it's ALL over the place....Robbie Williams-I love this man. LOVE him. If given the opportunity I'd like to do bad things with him. *swoon* I love his normal stuff and I ADORE his "Swing" cd where he covers old Frank and Dean stuff. Also..love Frank and Dean stuff.... I have country roots....I love Patsy Cline's Heartache album, and Marie Osmond (yes...I just said that),Charley Pride, John Anderson, ooh ooh The Gatlin Brothers. Favorite country right now is Lady Antebellum...my favorite country male of all time? Ty Herndon- I love his voice. If he and Robbie want to duet at my funeral-that would be awesome. I'll be sad that I missed it! If I went on with my other favorites...we'd be here all day...but that's a glimpse! That's FV for the GREAT questions and for reigniting my blogging fire!! :)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Breakfast + Fruit ='s Happy

I'm trying really hard to incorporate fresh fruit into everything I eat lately. Mainly b/c my parents keep our fridge full of it for Little Miss (yes..we're spoiled like that). It should be simple right? And it is...really. Raspberry Cream Malt o Meal with a sprinkle of Cloves... yes..cloves...yes I know this is a VERY strong spice, and yes I just used a tiny bit...it was really good. I'm usually a cinnamon girl...but cloves are a nice change and still in that same family. Oh...ha..and um..a healthy pat of butter. This however...might just be my new obsession. Aarti calls it Quinoa Porridge, I can't call it anything b/c when I'm eating it I'm without words and my eyes roll back in my head. I didn't make it the same way she did...I cheated...
2 cups of water
1 cup quinoa
into the microwave rice cooker and into the micro for 15 minutes and you have PERFECT quinoa.
My medium saucepan was still dirty from making Malt o Meal the day before *shrugs* but it worked, so don't judge my laziness, k?
when I discovered how perfect it was, I couldn't help but dig in and since I'd been inspired by Aarti's post earlier in the day I went sweet...
1T butter
1T brown sugar
and a handful of pitted Bings later...
O.M.G.
With the natural nutty flavor of the quinoa-the butter/brown sugar duo took on a totally caramelly flavor. Yes..I know that is the base for caramel BUT I'm usually a bbs duo girl in my oats and it NEVER has tasted like this before.
The little pieces of the quinoa nesteled themselves into the cherries and gah...just divine...I'm getting goosebumps even writing about it and as soon as I finish...guess what's for breakfast?!
Quinoa folks, it's not just for side dishes.

Monday, August 30, 2010

time to work...

on working THESE babies off! Ok...I did only have ONE...but it might have been the second hardest thing in my life. The first being childbirth. My blogging buddy Heather is who posted the recipe...eep a couple years ago and it's been on my 'to make' list. Well..the wedding anniversary was last week and instead of a cake or cookies...I made cinnamon rolls. This recipe...will now be my go to recipe! They are pretty quick and VERY deceiving...what do I mean? well..I mean that mine didn't proof in the pan that much..so I was scared that we'd be having cinnamon hockey pucks (sadly it's happened to me MANY times before b/c I have no patience)-but it's like these babies were just waiting for the comforting, warm hug of the oven..because once inside...they grew! And they were divine! :) I made two 8X8 pans full....Husband had 2, I had 1. I took a pan over to a friend's house (she's less than 2 weeks from baby time-yay! and he's our go-to guy), and the 4 remaining in OUR pan I shared with Husband's Aunt (my favorite one..sshhh!), and his parents and brother. Get Heather's recipe here....you won't regret it! Another quick anniversary note...we went to Fogo De Chao for our celebratory dinner. Um...WOW! VERY good!!! I'm a huge carnivore..but I could have been totally happy and satisfied with JUST the salad bar! Huge hunks of aged parm, wedges of swiss and manchego, fresh crisp asparagus, onions marinated in red wine vinegar and oregano...lots of different chicken and potato salads...it was just all amazing. And ...their 'cheese bread' they bring to the table....popovers..I'd never had one and now I'm just itching to buy a popover pan and make some at home! They were so good! Then came the meat....I thought I'd be more 'just give me chicken' since I'm not a huge steak eater..but the rib eye was my hands down FAVORITE. None of the meats needed ANYTHING...no sauce, no salt, nothing but a quick cut up on the plate and put in your mouth. Delicious!! If you have one near by, you should go!

Friday, August 27, 2010

a long linky post!

Have you all missed me? Hopefully a little, right? I haven't been doing a TON of cooking...no really..I haven't. Because I'm trying to lose (a ton) weight...I got chosen for Season 2 of Win, Lose, or Blog! But I have cooked up a couple things... My Ma's birthday was the 17th...so I baked her up some banana cupcakes with honey-cinnamon frosting! I took inspiration from Martha and didn't change up much..cept for more cinnamon b/c my Ma is a cinna-holic. I did allow myself ONE cupcake...and actually..only ate half (self control was hard on this one!)-the cupcakes have the banana bread taste,but not the dense heavy texture..they have the nice light cakey texture. Also, my Dad praised me that the frosting really didn't overpower the cake...yes!
I'm a Food Network addict and one of my new favorite faces is Marcela on Mexican Made Easy. Husband has a MAD crush on her-totally understandable b/c she's a babe. He loves listening to her talk-I can fake it to make it on speaking spanish..but since she is from Mexico she can say it effortlessly...like PO-blanos, and Chiles (but it sounds like Cheee-lays). And when she made Stuffed Poblanos..aka Chile Rellenos, Husband and I both declared we needed to try it. Warning....unless you are Marcela and have the Food Network staff at your disposal...have another person helping you with this. It was difficult, but SO worth it!
Can it be-a, and italian quesadilla?? You know where Healthy is right? Ok..go there, but then take a left and go a few blocks, then take ANOTHER left and go down until you get to Ya-Kiddin-Me St. See..it's still in the neighborhood, but it's not REALLY healthy. Flat-out wrap + pesto (healthy...) + pepperoni + italian blend cheese (not healthy)='s awesome lunch!!
Last year a bloggy buddy of mine did 12 days of Oats to get in the Christmas mood. And where it's not Christmas (Yet)...I had some blackberries I wanted to use up..so I did them Heather style-old fashioned oats, a little butter and brown sugar, blackberries AND blueberries. It might very well be my new favorite way to eat oats!!
Ah..cherries...bings how I love thee...I do not however, love your PITS! I'd love to eat you like grapes (seedless ones of course) but alas I cannot b/c of your F*&^%*# PITS! I asked my Dad to get me a cherry pitter, he said he never had much luck...so I looked online and found my amazing solution-a pastry tip
seriously..there should be a Nobel prize for kitchen ideas and that person should get it! I had like $15 worth of Bings..and now..they are all seed free and MUCH easier to snack on!
Oh...a favor if you would please...my good blog friend Ivy is in a contest, and I'd LOVE to see her win!! Her awesome ice cream is the Whiskey-Blueberry! Go vote for her here! I'll try to be back soon with something yummy..this time in the form of a KC restaurant review! Yesterday was Husband and My 6th anniversary and tonight is dinner at Fogo de Chao!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Pukked Porl.

That's pronounced "pucked" for clarification...and my fingers wanted to type "Pulled Pork" b/c that's what this is/was. But my mashed potato brains typed Pukked Porl..so there you go. Um...have you got a whole day?? B/c you need one. You guys know how I am about my bbq. VERY picky. So is Husband. He's pickier than I am, but in a different way. I'm picky about flavor, he's picky about texture and if there is any fat on the meat..he won't touch it. Therefore usually at a BBQ restaurant he'll get turkey. Boring. We both like pulled pork. But I think 'fat' comes in two disappointing ways 1)brisket, 2) pulled pork. This pork...was FAAAAAANTASTIC! It tasted smoked..although it wasn't...BUT...it did take ALL day. Pulled pork should FALL apart....you need to cook it all day for it to fall apart So around eh...10am I put it in the oven on 300...and it went until about 10 that night. You'll need- a big ol butt *snickers* BOSTON butt I mean! I think mine weighed about 4-5lbs. I used a PD recipe as a guide...but really freehanded with the seasoning amounts..- PD's house seasoning is just a rationed mix of what I use all the time anyway! So I did go ahead and make up a bowl of her stuff..it makes life SO much easier! So....salt, pepper, garlic, -rub you meat *snickers* (I'm such a child) then....seasoning salt, then -rub your meat then....liquid smoke (this stuff is KEY)-then..say it with me now..RUB YOUR MEAT...you totally said it out loud this time didn't you?! Put it in a big ol pan and add the chopped onion, bay leaves (which I still haven't really figured out yet), and water. Put in the oven. Do not cover. I repeat...DO NOT COVER. You want it to look burned when you pull it out..that's bark. That's wonderful, delicious, awe inspiring...bark. Then you need to leave your house for a long time......at least until the pork is done. The first few hours of it being in the oven drove me crazy b/c it smelled SO good! Since it was about 10Pm when it got done...I put it in the fridge and saved it for Sunday supper... pulled it out of the fridge Sunday morning and pulled the heck out of it. I saved any fat and bone (there is one big bone) for the doggies. And I drained the juice...and saved it...SAVE the juice... It was then I realized..I had all this gorgeous pulled pork...and not enough sauce. NOT NEAR enough sauce. So I improvised. And OMG I'm so glad I did. 1/2 bottle of BBQ sauce (b/c that is all I had) 1/2 bottle of Go Chicken Go (it's a ghetto chicken place here in MO...but awesome sauce...it's like a more pulverized salsa) 1/2 cup brown sugar and the juice. I told you, you would need it. This was a time where I'm so glad that I'm not scared to make things up in the kitchen b/c it's seriously good sauce! I'm also glad we have another Boston Butt in the freezer...I have a feeling we'll be using it soon!!