Thursday, July 19, 2012

Best with Beer Chili

Heading to "THE LAKE" (aka Hackensack) this week, so decided to preview our meal before we serve to the 30 people up there!!  We were in charge of the "mild" chili - but man, this was still awesome!!  Ross even said "that is the best chili you've ever made..." - so we will be making this over and over again!  It was so good and so flavorful!!  YUM!!
8 servings
2 lbs ground beef or sausage
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped green pepper
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 cans of 15 ounce diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cans of 15 ounce tomato sauce
2 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon red cayenne pepper
1 ½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
2 cans of 15 ounce chili beans
1 bottle of your favorite beer

Cook beef, onion, pepper and garlic until beef is brown, drain
Stir in remaining ingredients except the beans.  Heat to boiling, reduce heat.  Cover and simmer for at least an hour.
Stir in beans.  Heat to boiling, reduce heat and let simmer for about 10 minutes.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

French Silk Tarts

Dessert cookbook -- what what!!  These bad boys were AMAZING!  Good thing we had a bunch of preggers who were too nervous to eat more than 1 (due to the raw pasteurized egg...), so we had leftovers for our man friends - but T-A-S-T-Y!!  Make it up...super easy too!!
Makes 16: Betty Crocker Party Food

1 box (15 oz) refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box
3 oz unsweetened baking chocolate, cut into pieces
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
4 pasteurized eggs (because the eggs are not cooked, must use pasteurized eggs)

Heat oven to 425.  Remove crusts from pouches; unroll on work surface.  Pat or roll each crust into 11 1/2-inch circle.  With 3 1/2-inch round cutter, cut 8 rounds from each crust; discard scraps.  Fit rounds into 16 ungreased regular-sized muffin cups, pressing in gently; prick sides and bottom with fork.

Bake 7-9 minutes or until edges are golden brown.  Cool 1 minute; remove from muffin cups to wire rack.  Cool completely, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in 1-quart saucepan, melt chocolate over low heat; cool.  In small bowl, beat butter with electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy.  Gradually beat in sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in cooled chocolate and vanilla until well blended.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating on high speed 2 minutes after each addition; beat until mixture is smooth and fluffy.

Fill tart shells with chocolate mixture.  Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.  Store in refrigerator.

Peach Cobbler

Cookbook theme tonight was dessert - so thought we would add some fruit to be a little healthier.  This was "eh"...nothing to make again, but if you are looking for a peach cobbler it's a quick fix and tasted good....just wasn't anything special!  The ice cream was the best part :)
Recipe per Day
1/2 cup butter
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup milk, room temperature
1 egg, room temperature

1 (28oz) can sliced peaches, drained
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350.  Melt butter in 9x13 baking dish.  Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Stir in milk and egg.  Pour evenly over melted butter.  Combine peaches, sugar, and spices.  Spread over batter.  Do not stir.

Bake 35-45 minutes until batter rises to the top and is golden brown.  Serve warm with ice cream if desired.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Grape Salad

This salad was AMAZING!!  It's not the healthiest thing you can eat, but after eating it- you don't even care!  It's super fast to make too....but man - it's SO good!  That brown sugar on top just does it for me!  Had Burkes over tonight - and she loved it too!  BIG hit!
Recipe per Day

1 1/2 lb green grapes
1 1/2 lb red grapes
8 oz cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup broken pecans

Wash and dry grapes really well.  Mix together cream cheese, sour cream, white sugar, and vanilla.  Fold in grapes and put in 9x13 pan.

For the topping, mix together brown sugar and broken pecans.  Sprinkle over grape mixture and  refrigerate.

Volcano Burgers

Summer time...ahhh it's been SO HOT here in MN!!  It's 105 stuff.  Didn't feel like turning our oven on, so Ross headed out in the heat to grill (thanks mr. man!)  These were pretty tasty...weren't our favorite burgers - but a good twist on the normal burger!
Recipe per Day
1 lb lean ground beef
1/3 cup red wine
1/3 cup white wine
1 tablespoon lemon juice
dash of chili powder
2 pepperoncini peppers
1/2 onion
pepper jack cheese slices

Preheat oven to 375 (or grill).

Combine beef, red wine, white wine, lemon juice, and chili powder.  Form patties and place on a nonstick / foil-lined pan (or again, grill).

Chop pepperoncinis / onions and sprinkle over top of patties.  Top with slices of pepper jack cheese.  Bake until patties are cooked - and check them out....they look like little volcano's :)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich with Garlic Mayo

Crib shopping tonight - so needed 1. something fast / tasty and 2. something that would give Ross enough energy to watch me debate cribs that all look alike :)  This was really good!!  Super tasty - really quick to make - and didn't make us go #2 right away (Ross thought it was something that tasted like it would run right through you - but don't didn't!)  :)
Recipe per Day
1 cup mayo
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lb beef round steak, cut into strips
2 green bell peppers, cut into 1/4 inch strips
1 onion, sliced into rings
4 hoagie rolls, split lengthwise and toasted
8oz mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 500 / broil.

In a small bowl, combine mayo and minced garlic.  Cover and  refrigerate.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Saute beef until lightly browned.  Stir in green pepper and onion.  Season with salt and pepper. Saute until veggies are tender and remove from heat.

Spread each bun generously with garlic mayo.  Divide beef mixture into the buns.  Top with shredded cheese and sprinkle with oregano.  Place sandwiches on a baking pan and broil sandwiches until cheese is melted and slightly browned.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

White Sangria

Had P's wedding shower today, and I was in charge of drinks....I've never made sangria before, but I was told this was very tasty!  (I'll be honest - I had to have a sip because fruit / white wine was too good to pass up - so sorry Little One, but even that little sip was delicious!)

I was nervous when I was making it - because I didn't understand how people wouldn't have like chunks of fruit floating in their cups, but it worked pretty good....and actually, I was told that spooning some of the fruit in with your glass actually was better :)
Makes 8 cups
1/2 cup superfine sugar
1/2 cup cognac
1 mango, peeled, pitted, and thinly sliced
1 peach or nectarine, pitted and thinly sliced
1 red apple, cored and thinly sliced
1 Granny Smith apple, cored and thinly sliced
1 to 2 plums, pitted and thinly sliced
2 bottles (750 mL) dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio, chilled
Ice cubes, for serving

In a large pitcher, stir sugar and cognac until well combined. Stir in fruit slices until fully coated; let stand, refrigerated, overnight.

Add wine to pitcher and stir until well combined. Serve sangria over ice.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Grilled BBQ Pulled Pork Pizza

Gotta love a pizza that takes less than 20 minutes to prep / cook....this was super yummy!!  Grilling the crust was a first, but made this so tasty!!  I just used store bought pizza crust (save some time) - and that worked great!
OBB Cookbook
Pizza Dough
vegetable or olive oil
Leftover BBQ Pulled Pork
BBQ Sauce (Use the same one you used to cook your pork)
1 part smoked cheddar
2 parts Mozzarella cheese
thinly sliced red onion
diced pineapple, fresh or canned
chopped parsley or cilantro

Prepare your pizza dough.  When it has just 5-10 minutes of rising left, preheat outdoor bbq grill to medium-high heat.  Place all other prepped ingredients on a tray so they’re ready to go and easily accessible.  Divide dough into 4-6 pieces.  Roll out each piece on a floured surface to about 1/3 of an inch thick.  Lightly brush with oil.

Make sure grill grates are clean, and lightly grease them.  (Tip: An easy way to grease grill grates is to dip a few folded paper towels in vegetable oil and use a pair of tongs to hold them and lightly rub them along grill grates.)  Place dough oil-side down on grill.  Lower heat just a bit and close the lid.  Cook for a few minutes, checking for the dough to look puffed, and golden brown on the bottom.  Lightly brush top side of dough and flip.

Immediately drizzle top of pizzas with bbq sauce and spread out evenly.  Sprinkle with cheeses, pork, red onion, and pineapple.  Close BBQ lid and cook for a few more minutes until crust is cooked and toppings are melted and bubbly and then sprinkle on cilantro or parsley.  If bottom crust is getting too done, place on top rack, or turn off heat directly under pizza to let center of dough and toppings continue to cook.  If needed, you can always pop pizzas under the broiler to brown tops.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches

This week is all about SIMPLE at our household - so I put the meat in this am, and came home to the smell of heaven!!  This meal couldn't get any easier...and it was SO DELICIOUS!!  and if that isn't awesome enough - you actually can use the leftovers the next day and make a completely different meal: Grilled BBQ Pulled Pork Pizza.
OBB Cookbook

3 lb boneless pork shoulder
Garlic powder
Onion powder
Kosher salt
Black pepper
Smoked paprika or liquid smoke
About 12 oz. of your favorite BBQ sauce
About 12 high-quality rolls
Thick-cut dill pickle slices

Rinse pork roast well in cold water and trim of excess fat. This is important because sometimes, boneless pork shoulder (and bone-in pork shoulder, for that matter) can take on kind of an icky fishy odor and a lot of that smell is in the juices and the fat. Pat dry. Sprinkle roast with liquid smoke and seasonings and place in your slow cooker. Add about 1/2 inch of water and cook on low for 8-10 hours.

When the roast has cooked, drain liquid and then return to the slow cooker and shred. Pour enough sauce over the meat so it’s well-incorporated but not soupy. Return the lid to the crockpot and heat through.
When ready to serve, slice rolls and add meat. Top with coleslaw and a few slices of dill pickle.Nearly die of sheer happiness.

Prepare meat through the seasoning step. Instead of placing in the crockpot, place seasoned meat in a freezer-safe container. When ready, follow the same cooking instructions. Just make sure that you have BBQ sauce, pickles, and rolls on hand. Because coleslaw isn’t freezer-friendly, if you’re not up to making homemade coleslaw, just pick up a container from KFC or your favorite BBQ restaurant.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Grilled Chicken Sandwich with Avocado and Tomato

We were out on the boat all day, so was craving something yummy and SUPER easy!  This sandwich was super quick - and tasted really good....AND it was healthy :)
Serves 1
2 oz Ciabatta
2 tablespoon mashed avocado
2 oz grilled chicken breast
3 slices ripe tomato
salt and pepper

Slice bread open - smear avocado on top of both top and bottom.  Season with salt and pepper - top with tomatoes, chicken...and DONE!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Chicken Fried Steak

I was SUPER excited to try this, cause I figured Ross would LOVE it.....but it was "eh".  I actually liked it more than Ross won't be trying this again - but if anyone has a good recipe for it, let me know!!
Serves 4

2 pounds beef bottom round, trimmed of excess fat
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 whole eggs, beaten
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.

Cut the meat with the grain into 1/2-inch thick slices.  Season each piece on both sides with the salt and pepper.  Place the flour into a pie pan.  Place the eggs into a separate pie pan.  Dredge the meat on both sides in the flour.  Pound meat to tenderize, until each slice is 1/4-inch thick.  Once tenderized, dredge the meat again in the flour, followed by the egg and finally in the flour again.  Repeat with all the pieces of meat.  Place the meat onto a plate and allow it to sit for 10 to 15 minutes before cooking.

 Place enough of the vegetable oil to cover the bottom of a 12-inch skillet and set over medium-high heat.  Once the oil begins to simmer, add the meat in batches, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Cook each piece on both sides until golden brown, approximately 4 minutes per side.  Remove the steaks to a baking sheet or pan and place into the oven.  Repeat until all of the meat is browned.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup whole milk
Salt and pepper, to taste

Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil to the pan used to cook steaks.  Whisk in the flour.  Add the chicken broth to the pan.  Whisk until the gravy comes to a boil and begins to thicken.  Add the milk and whisk until the gravy reaches desired consistency, approximately 5 to 10 minutes.  Season to taste, with more salt and pepper, if needed.  Serve the gravy over the steaks. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Roasted Broccoli and Sundried Tomato Penne

So I FINALLY have (some) of my motivation I am pumped to be cooking again!, and cleaning, and caring about anything :)  Who knew pregnancy was the thing that could make me actual ONLY watch TV without doing anything else....and still feel 100% content!!  ANYWAYS - I'm back and hopefully to stay!  

This was super quick - and it was yummy.  I feel like I've made something similar to this before, but it's hard to keep finding new recipes - so I'm posting it anyways!  Made me feel healthy too - and now I actually have leftovers to bring to work tomorrow (the first time in 3 months!)
Serves about 4 to 6
4 heads broccoli
6 cloves garlic 
12 ounces to 1 pound whole wheat penne
16 sundried tomatoes packed in oil
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, plus more to serve
1 can chickpeas (or 1 1/2 to 2 cups cooked) 
3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Wash the broccoli and chop it into bite size florets. Thinly slice the garlic. Place broccoli and garlic on a baking sheet, and toss with enough olive oil to coat (about 2 tablespoons), about 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper. Place the tray in the oven and roast for about 25 minutes, until tender.

While the broccoli roasts, start a pot of water boil. Boil the penne for according to the package instructions (about 11 minutes or so).

Meanwhile, chop about 16 sundried tomatoes, grate 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, and drain and rinse the chickpeas.

When the pasta is done, drain it. Then mix it with the broccoli, chickpeas, tomatoes, and parmesan cheese. Drizzle on 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil to coat the pasta, and add kosher salt to taste (around 1 teaspoon). Serve immediately with freshly ground pepper and more parmesan.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Patriotic Punch

Ok so I tried to find something fun and easy to bring to our 4th of July celebration.....and it was fun....and easy - but it didn't turn out :)

Here is what my drink looked like:

and here is what it was supposed to look like:

So yeah....I tried.  It still tasted very sugary and awesome :)  Just didn't look as pretty....if you try it and it works, let me know :)

Hawaiian Punch (red color)
Diet Sierra mist (white color - also works for you preggers out there!)
G2 Gatorade (blue color)

Then all you do is fill your glass all the way to to the top with ice.  Start with red (or whichever has the highest sugar content) - and fill up the glass 1/3 of the way.  When you pour your next two layers pour them slowly, right over and ice cube, down the side of the glass.  (this part didn't work for me....mine just blended as soon as I poured.  I tried like 4 glasses too...)