Thursday, March 27, 2008

Some Days are WAY Better Than Others

I am so thankful for good friends!!!
I have not been blogging because
I haven't been cooking.
My husband has been out of town
and my sweet friends have been taking
care of me. Feeding me and putting
up with my craziness!!!!

The following picture will help
with the understanding of part
of my craziness.

Why is there a pot on top of my cabinets
you ask??

Well, because my kitchen ceiling was dripping
the other night and that can only mean one
thing - A LEAK!!!! UGGHHHH!!
So the plumber came out and here is the solution:

This is really no solution!
They are not able to determine where the
water is coming from, so for now, I am
left with these lovely square holes
and a pot on the top of the cabinets.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Balsamic Chicken

Don't you just love the sound of the
smoke detectors going off.
First a light beeping sound,
then the first one warns the other
and they all start beeping - SUPER!
I hope my neighbors don't mind since
I set them off about 4 times the
other night while making dinner.
Dinner wasn't burning but the
sauce on the pan was - YIKES!
I made Balsamic Chicken Drumettes
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
5 sprigs of rosemary
5 garlic cloves, halved
10 to 12 chicken drumsticks
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Combine the balsamic, honey, brown sugar,
soy sauce, rosemary sprigs, and garlic cloves,
in a large, re-sealable plastic bag.
Shake and squeeze the contents of the bag to
dissolve the honey and the brown sugar.
Add the chicken drumsticks to the bag and
seal with as little air as possible in the bag.
Place in the refrigerator and marinate for 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Place the drumsticks on a foil-lined baking sheet.
Bake until the skin is caramelized and
very dark in spots, about 30 to 35 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the marinade in a small saucepan.
Bring the marinade to a boil (in order to kill bacteria).
Reduce the heat to simmer and cook over low heat
until thick, about 15 minutes. Reserve.

Use a pastry brush to brush some of the cooked
marinade on the cooked chicken.
Place the chicken on a serving platter.
Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and the chopped parsley.

As you can see the drumsticks turned out very good
no burning. The sauce on the foiled pan was burning
cause the smoke detectors to go off.
But trust me it was worth it - these little guys
were GREAT!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Stuffed Yellow Squash

Sorry, I know it has been a few days
it is just that time of the year - busy!!

I wanted to share my side dish
from dinner the other night
because it turned out great.
I didn't follow a recipe so
here is what I remember....

Sausage and Cheese Stuffed Yellow Squash
4- 6 yellow squash
one small yellow onion, chopped
1 cup cheddar cheese grated
3 tbs. cream cheese
bread crumbs for topping
Start by placing the yellow squash (whole)
in boiling water for 5 minutes.
Remove, and cut each squash in half.
Core out the center of each squash
And save this for the filling.
leaving room to stuff each half.

Sauté the onion and sausage in a pan.
Remove the grease
Remove the pan from heat
Add the squash (from center), cream cheese,
cheddar cheese, thyme, sage and a pinch
of salt and pepper.
Mix together
Stuff each squash with the mixture.
Add breadcrumbs to the top of each.
Drizzle lightly with melted butter.

Place in oven at 375 for about 20 minutes
or until the tops are lightly browned.

Before baking and bread crumbs.

After baking!! Isn't it lovely!!

I will share the main dish a little later.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Red Snapper

You know you have a GREAT husband when:
* he folds the laundry
*he lets you come home from work and take a nap
*he listens to all your stories
* he puts up with your craziness
AND when he makes:
Pan Fried Blue Corn Coated Red Snapper
with Green Chile Aioli and Creamed Kale
for dinner!!!!!!!

This amazing recipe is from Bobby Flay
Green Chile Aioli:
1 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1 poblano pepper, roasted,
peeled, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
salt and freshly ground pepper
Combine all ingredients in a blender
and blend until smooth.
Set aside

Red Snapper:
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cups seasoned all-purpose flour
2 cups seasoned blue cornmeal
4 red snapper fillets (about 6 ounces each)
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Season the eggs lightly with salt and pepper.
Place the eggs, flour, and cornmeal in 3 separate bowls.
Season the snapper fillets lightly on both sides
with salt and pepper.
In a large saute pan over medium-high heat,
heat the oil.
Dredge each fillet in the flour
and shake off any excess.
Dip into the beaten egg and let the excess drip off.
Dredge both sides lightly in the cornmeal and shake off any excess.
Saute for 3 minutes on each side
and drizzle with the red pepper sauce.
Serve immediately, garnished with green chile aioli.

Creamed Kale:
2 pounds kale, center stalks removed
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Blanch the kale in lightly salted water
until tender, rinse in ice water, drain
and cut into 1/2-inch ribbons.
In a large saute pan over medium heat,
melt the butter and add the kale, cream and nutmeg.
Reduce the heat to low and
cook for 5 minutes, or until the cream
has reduced and thickened.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Every part of this dinner was excellent!
The Red Snapper was light and crispy.
The Green Chile Alioli was a little spicy
and a little sweet.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

After two nights of eating out
I was really looking forward
to a home cooked meal on Sunday.
On Friday, we took off for Gwinnett Arena
to watch a little high school basketball.
Really I should say we crawled to the Arena
ecause we were in bumper to bumper
traffic for about two hours
Wheeler High School was playing
Norcross High in the
Final State Championship Game.
It was a close game but Norcross won!
Anyway, dinner that night was a slice
of pizza for me and gyro wrap for my husband.
Saturday Night we went out with four other
couples to the NEW Cobb Energy Performing
Arts Center to see Jesus Christ Superstar.
We all decided that the play was very good
but not something we need to see again.
Dinner was Thai food.
So when Sunday rolled around I was
ready for some home cooking!
I borrowed this delicious recipe from
the Food Network - Tyler Florence.

Oven Roasted Pulled Pork Sandwiches:
Dry Rub:
3 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon dry mustard
3 tablespoons coarse salt
1 (5 to 7 pound) pork roast,
preferably shoulder or Boston butt
Mix the paprika, garlic power, brown sugar,
dry mustard, and salt together in a small bowl.
Rub the spice blend all over the pork
and marinate for as long as you have time for,
as little as 1 hour or up to overnight,
covered, in the refrigerator.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Put the pork in a roasting pan
and bake for about 6 hours.
Basically, roast the pork until it's falling
apart and an instant-read thermometer
inserted into the thickest part registers 170 degrees F.

Cider Vinegar Barbecue Sauce:
1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
1 cup yellow or brown mustard
1/2 cup ketchup
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

To make the barbecue sauce:
combine the vinegar, mustard, ketchup,
brown sugar, garlic, salt, cayenne, and black pepper
in a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer gently,
stirring, for 10 minutes until the sugar dissolves.
Remove the pork roast from the oven
and transfer to a large platter.
Allow the meat to rest for about 10 minutes.
While still warm, take 2 forks and "pull"
the meat to form shreds. Using 2 forks,
shred the pork by steadying the meat with
1 fork and pulling it away with the other.
Put the shredded pork in a bowl.
Pour 1/2 of the sauce on the shredded pork and mix well to coat.

To serve, spoon the pulled pork mixture
onto the bottom 1/2 of the hamburger bun,
and top with the spicy slaw.
Serve with pickle spears and the remaining sauce on the side.

As you can see I did not make the slaw and

I was so hungry that I took this last

picture so fast I forgot to focus.

BUT the sandwich was Fantastic!!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Sausage, Bacon and Cheddar Cheese Quiche

This dinner was inspired byMeeta who is hosting another
Monthly Mingle. This time the challenge is to make
One Dish Dinners.

Sausage, Bacon and Cheddar Cheese Quiche
I used an already baked pie crust to save time
but if you are good at making a pie crust
go for it.

Filling :
Jimmy Deans Sage Sausage
8 strips lean bacon, cooked and crumbled
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups half-and-half or whole milk
1/4 teaspoon dried leaf thyme
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
Cook the sausage in a skillet breaking
it into small pieces while you cook it.
Drain off the oil and set aside.
Cook the bacon. Again drain off the excess oil.
Then in a small bowl
whisk together the eggs, milk, thyme,
and pepper.
Add the sausage, bacon and cheddar cheese.
Pour into the crust.

Bake at 375° for about 30 minutes,
or until quiche filling is set
and top is lightly browned.

This is a One Dish Wonder!!

Cooked to perfection!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Chicken Strip Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing

Wow! Life has been a little busy lately.
Great days, late night activities or trainings,
followed by weekend events with friends!
I would hate to miss any of it but as you can
tell I have not made an entry in about a
week or so - yikes!
The dinner I made the other night is simple,
healthy and satisfying.
Salad with Parmesan Chicken Strips, Sunflower Seeds,
Boiled Eggs, Cucumber, Green Onion and a home- made
Honey Mustard Dressing.

Honey Mustard Dressing :

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon whole-grain mustard

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tbs lemon juice

Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper