Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Help (Saturday and Sunday)

This is a two day blog (not that they aren't all long, but this one might be longer)...

I was off both Saturday and Sunday and instead of going out Hubby and I stayed in :D. So Saturday was a semi-normal cooking day, decided not to try out a new recipe but would make cookies and some "Rica-a-Roni" that I have made more times then I could count. Would you believe that I messed up that darn cookie recipe?!?!?!?! Instead of putting in 1 tablespoon of water and 3 tablespoons of Vegetable Oil, I put in 1 teaspoon of water and 3 teaspoons of Vegetable oil, needless to say they didn't get any bigger than the balls that I rolled, and they didn't rise...oh well I added toffee chips and they still tasted great, and good to dip in coffee!!! Now to that darn "Rice-a-Roni" recipe that I messed up...It is a "Blend of rice, vermicelli, broccoli and chicken broth" (so says the box, and what the hell is vermicelli????). So step one is to add butter and Saute over medium heat until vermicelli is golden brown, stirring frequently, um it goes from white to burnt in like 10 seconds. I burnt the entire thing and had to make mac and cheese (cause who can mess that up?). Hubby made steaks on the grill and they were yummy, we also had salad, and Hubby ate peas, cause I can't stand them!!!

Sunday was another day of doing nothing :D I <3 days like these!!! I watched "The Help" if you have not watched that movie or read that book, you must it is REALLY good! In the movie "Minnie" one of the maids teaches "Celia" how to cook, and the first thing that she makes is fried chicken, I thought if she could do it, so could I. So I got two pieces of chicken, one egg, butter, flour, and some lemon pepper spice and went to work. My first piece of chicken came out all crispy and cooked just right. But in between that piece and the 2nd I didn't change my burnt butter, and so, the out side was burnt and the inside was raw!! I had to pull it out, change my butter, make my house all smokey, turn on my Scentsy (PS if you are reading this you should buy from me!!!, trust me you will be hooked), and then put the chicken back in the pan!! Talk about frustrated!!! I also made Broccoli-Cheddar Soup. It is my favorite soup, and I have always wanted a recipe that I could tweak and make my own. So I finally found one in my favorite cooking magazine; food network!!! It was a very easy recipe and one that Hubby could work on too, so we made it together!! It was so yummy!!! I like to have him in the kitchen if he is willing to help, it makes my work easier sometimes, and it makes him see how hard it is to make things sometimes, and how things can go wrong.

On another note I tried to make guac again...and my Avocados weren't ripe, I had to throw them away!! Bummer!!!

I can't post the rice recipe, cause you have to buy the "Rice-a-Roni" so just buy one with vermicelli and see if you can manage not to burn it.

Same with the Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe, it is a bagged cookie mix and I only added the toffee, so if you get the better crocker one and try it let me know!!

Now one I can post :D

Broccoli-Cheddar Soup
Active: 35 min Total: 35 min Serves: 4

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups of half-and-half
1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 bay leaf
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cups chopped broccoli florets
1/3 pound sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 and 1/3 cups)
Croutons, for topping (optional)

Try this out tell me what you think!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Tonights Menu: Steamed and Nasty!!!

Sometimes recipes are just better off left in a book for no one to ever taste or see...or they look better in a picture!!!

I made two recipes tonight, one that was so yummy (mom's carrot recipe) and Slow-cooked chinese pork tenderloin (YUCK!!!) Whatever a crock pot does to pork, I won't be adding any more!!! This recipe started at 5 today and ended at 9, and I didn't even finish it! (and no my husband hasn't tasted it!)

So I had to wait to finish this blog for Hubby to get home, I started writing at 9pm it's now 10:15. While I did not like dinner one bit, minus the carrots, Mike loved each part of it, and he hates carrots but loves mom's recipe, go figure!!!

So for the carrots you need baby carrots, brown sugar and mustard. I forgot to add the salt, but I don't think that it made a difference. I don't like to measure exactly, I know that you are supposed to when you follow a recipe, but sometimes I need to edit it. I guess you could say in the world of cooks I am a "Rachael Ray" rather than a "Paula Dean". My Mom and BFF are both Paula's and I "eyeball the EVOO" as Rach would say!!! So not only did I make these two recipes for dinner but I made my wedding soup for my grandparents and mom for lunch.

Mike doesn't like my wedding soup, so I have to make it for someone other than him, haha!!

Now here are two recipes that you really need to try:

Mustard-Glazed Carrots (Joyce's)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 lbs of Carrots (baby)
3 tablespoons of butter (I eyeballed it)
3 tablespoons of Dijon Mustard
1/2 cup of brown sugar
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Fill half a sauce pan with water, add the salt and bring to a boil. Cook carrots for 15 to 20 minutes, or until tender and drain. In a skillet melt butter. Stir in the mustard and brown sugar until well blended. Add the carrots and heat until warm. (I cooked them a little longer, kindof fried). Sprinkle with parsley (I cooked the parsley down so that the taste wasn't as Strong) .

Italian Wedding Soup (Crystal Style)

Either a package of Johnsonville Hot Italian Sausage Links, of entire package on non.
Two boxes of Chicken Broth (the box keeps better)
Half a box of the little circle pasta
1 onion
1 tablespoon of Oragino ( Can't spell that)
1 tablespoon or more of Italian Seasoning

Make the Sausage into small meat balls bake in the oven at 350 for five minutes then turn, bake another five minutes.
Chop all veggies
Combine all ingredients and two cups of water and cook for an hour or more.

Now if you want to try this one be for-warned in my house it is a 50/50 split:

Slow-Cooked Chinese Pork Tenderloin

2 pork tenderloins (about 2lbs total) cut into 1-inch cubes
1 green bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 carrots, thinly sliced
1 jar (15 ounce) sweet and Sour Sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
Hot cooked rice
Fresh Parsley or Cilantro

1:Place pork in 5-6 quart slow cooker. Add bell peppers, onion, carrots, sweet and sour sauce, soy sauce and hot pepper sauce; stir to combine

2: Cover; cook on LOW for 6-7 hours or on HIGH for 4-5 hours. Stir just before serving. Serve over rice; garnish with parsley, if desired.

Let me know what you think!!!

Monday, January 23, 2012


I'll give you some back ground...even though I don't know how many characters I'm limited to (I'll try not to mis-spell either ;)). Some time ago I was telling a friend at work some funny mishaps that I had in the kitchen (I broke a glass pan in the oven, and it was all over my feet). She told me that I should write about what I do, well that took me about 6 months maybe more, but here I am!!!

I think that my love of cooking started when I was about 11 or 12 and had to make a home made recipe for either girl scouts or home economics. I used a recipe from our neighbor for Chicken catchatore, it took me forever to make it, but I loved every second of standing in the kitchen (even though I burned myself a ton of times that day). I was pretty much hooked, it was a rush that I got cooking it....I would help mom cook dinner and many times try my own dishes ( I have my own recipe, that will come later).

Fast forward to 2012 and I am married and cooking my own food...and here is where I thought that you might be interested in reading what I have to say...there are some things in the kitchen after all these years, that I have no idea HOW to make or do..which you will find out quick....

Now onto yesterday and today...

Yesterday I spent about three hours going threw Food Network Mag and a couple books, as well a website so that I could find a good guacamole recipe. I decided that I would make home made pizza for the first time ever (no recipe), and that I would make guacamole, sweet and sour pork, honey mustard chicken, and broccoli cheddar soup.

The pizza was AMAZING and very easy to make..if you want the "recipe" message me and I will give it to you. And the silly: I made GUACAMOLE!!!!! On the recipe it said prep 10 minutes ready in 10 how about no!!! First of all have you ever cut, peeled, and pitted an avocado? That alone took me 20 minutes, I couldn't get the pit out and my hands were so green!!!! Then I had to mash them, couldn't find the potato masher so I had to use a meat pounder :D Cutting the onion and tomato were not hard, have done that many times, but the minced garlic killed me...and so I decided that I would throw it all in my trusty magic bullet (minus the tomatoes) and would have a nice creamy mix then I put it in the fridge, because for best results it should sit for 24 hours....the next day having almost ate an entire piece of garlic as well as biting into one, I really need to learn how to chop and mince that garlic before I decide that a machine can do it fore me!!!! Even though all that happened I am pretty pleased with my Guacamole and will be making it again.

Today I made turkey fajita tacos...they were okay..not something I will try again...

Guac recipe:

3 avocados- peeled, pitted, and mashed
1 lime, juiced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2cup diced onion
3 tablespoons of chopped fresh cilantro
2 roma (plum) tomatoes, diced
1 pinch ground cayenne pepper (optional)

I really like onion so I didn't measure that, I just put how much I thought that I would like in it. I also didn't use 3 tablespoons of cilantro, it was just too much. and Mike and I really don't like tomatoes that much so I only used one, and didn't add the pepper. Now try it and tell me what you think!!!!