Friday, May 28, 2010

My new favorite thing....

While I am not blogging, check out this blog instead!   Just promise me you won't stop reading mine after you see this one!

Cooking Channel Blog

Monday, May 24, 2010

Check out my friend's competition!

My friend Rachel is having a competition on her blog The Handmade Heritage.

Come up with some fun Father's Day quotes and submit them to her blog via the comments on this post.

There's prizes involved, so have some fun and maybe you'll win!!

Pasta with Bell Peppers and Sausage/Chicken and Mushrooms

So this is one of the things we actually made twice while we were in Park City last week.  Our hotel room had a kitchenette and so to save money on eating we went grocery shopping and generally cooked twice a day and went out for one meal each day.  And from eating out, I definitely got some inspiration for what I would like to try to make myself later!  Anyway, back to the pasta.  We used Italian sausage one night and chicken strips the next night, but the rest of the recipe is about the same.  Hope you enjoy, we thought it was super tasty!

Oh, and if you are a foodie and like to go to Park City, there's a fantastic olive oil place you need to check out downtown.  It's called Mountain Town Olive Oil Company.  They let you taste olive oils and balsamic vinegars from all over the world, and there is some pretty tasty stuff!

Pasta with Sausage or Chicken and Bell Peppers and Mushrooms

1 lb whole wheat pasta, any shape that will hold some sauce
1 lb either chicken tenders or Italian sausage (in the casing)
1-2 sweet bell peppers, red, yellow or orange, sliced into thin strips
8 oz sliced white button mushrooms
2-3 tbsp pesto (you can use my recipe or just get a jar of it)
2-3 tbsp olive oil-- we used the Tuscan Herb infused stuff from the fancy store downtown, if you don't have that, use regular, but add some basil and oregano to the sauce mix, and add some garlic too!

Cook pasta to pkg directions.  Reserve some of the cooking water from the pasta while it's still cooking before draining (you'll use that for the sauce).

Cook meat first.  If using sausage, cook the sausage in the casing, whole, then slice after completely cooked. t I usually steam the sausage with about a cup of water with them in the skillet til the water evaporates or just til it all looks cooked through, then I drain off the extra water and brown the outsides with a bit of oil, then slice.  If you are using chicken, slice the tenders into smaller strips, so they are bite sized...about 1/4 inch wide strips, and about an inch and a half long.  Cook these completely and if you need to, remove from the skillet so you have enough room to cook the veggies and then add the meat back once the veggies have reduced in size.

Saute mushrooms in a bit of the oil, then add bell pepper strips and continue to saute.  Add meat back to pan to bring to temperature, add starchy cooking water to the mix and the pesto.  Stir to combine the pesto with the water and the veggies and meat--should be a kind of slurry mixture, not too thick, but will coat the pasta.   Toss veggies and meat mixture with pasta and serve.

I'll add a picture this week, I promise.  It was tasty!

Friday, May 21, 2010

We are out

It's our anniversary so we are gone off to Park City.  Where we are discovering how bad we really have the foody bug.  We found a quaint little shop and bought olive oil that we put on some ciabatta bread with fresh mozzarella.  Mozzarella is a cheese best eaten fresh not aged.  A tomato would be great with this.
And we had the best pizza we have ever had, ever.  At

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Marinated Broiled Pork Chops with Curry Spiced Oven Fries

Alright, I will be honest, lately I haven't been cooking a lot.  We have been very busy because my husband Jeff graduated with his Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering degree on Saturday (yes, I am bragging, its a big deal for us!).  Most of the nights last week I haven't had to cook because we have had a lot of potluck dinners and celebrations.  My husband has been cooking the last couple nights, and now it came to my turn.  We had pork chops tonight, and they were pretty tasty.  We're trying to eat out of the freezer as much as possible because we are moving in a couple weeks.  So this is something quick I came up with from the pork chops we had defrosted.  I include the oven fries recipe as well as how I boil my corn --my mom taught me, and it turns out perfect every time! Maybe this will make up for lost time.

Marinated Pork Chops with Roasted Garlic paste

3 bone in pork chops (about 1/2 inch thick), defrosted
1/3 c Virginia Brand Vidalia Onion Vinaigrette dressing (yep, the same stuff as for the pasta salad)
5 cloves garlic
1 tbsp dried rosemary
olive oil

I store my meats in freezer ziplock bags, so I just added the dressing to the chops into the bag and mashed the bag til all the meat was coated.  You can use a bowl, but I find the meat gets more evenly coated if you do it in the bag. Set that aside for about 20 minutes.  Probably would be even better if you did it the night before.  While that marinates, smash cloves of garlic with the side of a large, sharp knife.  Mince it after smashing and then add salt and rosemary and keep mincing til paste-like.  In a roasting pan, drizzle some olive oil, and then place marinated meat into pan.  Top chops with garlic paste, and place in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes.

Curried Oven Fries

5-6 medium potatoes, sliced or wedged into about 8 pieces per potato
2 tbsp olive oil
seasoning salt, curry powder

After washing and slicing potatoes, toss in a large bowl with oil and seasoning.  Place evenly on a cookie sheet and bake at 450 degrees for about 20 minutes.  Should be browned on the outside and slightly crispy.

For the corn, fill a large pot with water and bring to boil.   Once water boils, add corn and set timer for 5 minutes, then remove from water.  Will still be crisp, and have good texture, and be very sweet.  I like to just add butter and salt and pepper.  Perfect!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sorry for the lack updates.

This is what I have been up to lately....  Check it out!

Facebook Photo Album: Earrings

I'll post a new recipe tonight when I make dinner.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cinco De Mayo Calls for Tacos!

So I know this is a simple thing and not really much of a recipe, but I thought I would post it anyway.  I posted the shredded beef tacos in the past here.  But here is the cheater version made with hamburger meat.  Jeff and I will do this when we don't have a roast to cook, and we want tacos anyway.   They taste great and we usually have some ground beef on hand.  I hope you enjoy.

Ground Beef Tacos

1 lb ground beef
3 tbsp taco seasoning
1/2 c water
1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz can corn, drained
2 c cooked white rice
2 tortillas per serving
Sour Cream, Salsa, Cheese, lettuce, tomatoes

Brown and break up ground beef in skillet, and then add seasoning and water and stir to coat meat.  Simmer over high heat for about 10 minutes, then add beans and corn.  Continue to cook.    Heat tortillas in a different skillet til they are still soft but slightly crispy on the outside.  Layer tacos with rice, meat and toppings.  Enjoy!

Hubby is a Tech Geek

This is Jeff, I post on this from time to time for example I did the eggrolls bit a while back.  Anyway mostly I'm here for tech support.

So added to the site is a paypal donate button, not so much because I expect money mostly because I'm taking advantage of having a lab to work in.  But if you send me money awesome.  Or if you want to help out you can visit our sponsors.  See by the miracle of Google I can type a word like "GPS" and then the advertiser robots on my blog will try to sell you a GPS and if click on the GPS links you can go see their products and Google gives me money because of my superior street cred.  For my wifes blog however it's more likely to sell you fancy sausages and cheeses.  Though I'm not sure why you would buy that online.  Or it might try to sell you Pampered Cheif, and if it does go visit those people because they have awesome stuff that would make Alton Brown jealous.

Also here's a button.  That is over in the right column.  If you like the blog and would like to help us with our street cred (although we can't pay you for it like Google you just have to like us) then you can have the little decal just by copying the HTML code in the box below and putting it on your website.  You don't even need to know HTML isn't that great.  So here it is and if you miss this blog post it will always be in the right column->

To link to us copy the HTML code in the box

"Healthified" Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

This one is a Betty Crocker recipe I have changed to my liking, but originally was referred to by my cousin Connie.   I give you my changes here, but you can also do what the actual recipe calls for which can be found here.  I thought they turned out well, if you ask me.  I substituted raisins for semisweet chocolate chips because my husband isn't too fond of raisins, but you could easily use the raisins.   Enjoy!

Healthified Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 1/2 sticks butter (3/4 c)
1/2 c Splenda
1/4 c plus 2 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 c white sugar
1/3 c buttermilk
2 egg whites
2 tsp vanilla
2 c whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 c old fashioned rolled oats
1 c raisins or chocolate chips
1/3 c chopped nuts of your choice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly spray or grease cookie sheets.  In a large bowl, beat butter, sugars, and Splenda.  Add buttermilk, egg whites and vanilla until well mixed.    On low speed, beat in flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt, until combined.  (I mix the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl first, then add them slowly to the wet in parts.)  Add oats, chocolate chips and nuts and beat on low setting until well combined.  Drop rounded tablespoons onto cookie sheet, and slightly flatten with a fork.  Bake for 11-13 minutes.  Cool on a cooling rack, and store in a tightly covered container.

**NOTE** I didn't have buttermilk, so I mixed a tablespoon of white vinegar to a cup of milk and let it stand for 5 minutes.  You can use the leftovers for pancakes or something later.  The recipe calls for low fat vegetable oil spread (margarine) which I detest, so I used real butter.  It's a bit higher in fat, but I am not okay with eating margarine...tastes funny to me and I prefer using real stuff rather than synthetically made stuff.  You can use whatever you like.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Tri-Color Pasta Salad

This one wasn't my particular favorite, but Jeff liked it, and when I took it to a potluck some people said they enjoyed it too.  So maybe you will like it more than I did.   It has some good ingredients and it sounded good to me, but just didn't do it for me when I tried it.  I got it off the salad dressing wrapper, and thought I would try it...and we all have some that weren't perfect, right?  And though I didn't enjoy it, you just might like it a lot!

Tri Color Pasta Salad

1 lb tri color pasta (I used "wacky mac"-- different colors and shapes)
1/4 c parsley, chopped
1/4 c black olives, sliced
1/4 c sweet onion, sliced or diced
1 c chopped bell pepper (I used red)
1 tsp black pepper
1 c Vidalia Onion Vinegarette Salad Dressing (the brand I got it from was called Virginia Brand)

Cook pasta to pkg directions.  Drain and rinse in cold water, or plunge into ice water and drain again.  Add other ingredients, then toss and refrigerate for at least an hour.