Friday, March 27, 2009
This is one that I tried a few months back for one of our Sunday night dinner dates. Not sure if I have ever mentioned our dinner dates before but I can't even begin to tell you how much I enjoy them. Since Daniel works second shift during the week that means we don't have the normal sit down dinners like most married couples have. It also doesn't help that Saturday nights are dedicated to the family dinners, which by the way, I wouldn't trade for the world. Due to the fact that 6 of the 7 nights of the week are taken, I put into affect several months ago that Sunday nights would be our date nights. We would plan a special meal, usually something we have never tried before, and together we would prepare and cook it. There is just something special about standing next to your special someone in the kitchen preparing a special meal. Lord help me when this man ships off to Afghanistan for a year.
Anyway, I made this a few months ago to go along with Daniel's baked cod recipe. It was super yummy and definitely different from your standard mac and cheese. It has lots of ingredients and lots of steps so this probably won't be a weeknight recipe for you, but give it a shot sometime on the weekend and I can guarantee you won't be disappointed.
Macaroni and Cheese with Caramelized Onions and Bacon
1 (16 ounce) package elbow macaroni
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sour cream
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
4 cups grated Asiago cheese
4 cups grated Vermont Cheddar cheese
4 slices bacon
2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, sliced thin
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce
1.) Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil, add macaroni and cook for 8 minutes (noodles will still be slightly hard). Drain noodles and transfer to a large bowl with 1/4 cup of butter and toss to coat. Whisk together the sour cream, egg, and cream cheese; add to the pasta and mix well. Stir in 3 cups of grated Asiago and 3 cups of grated Cheddar cheese, reserving the remaining 2 cups of cheese for the topping.
2.) Place the bacon in a large, deep skillet, and cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Drain the bacon slices on a paper towel-lined plate and chop into small pieces.
3.) Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
4.) Stir 2 tablespoons butter, the onion, and garlic into the bacon drippings in the pan and cook and stir for 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and add the brown sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes until the onions are very soft and golden brown. Mix the cooked bacon, parsley, and panko breadcrumbs into the onions, transfer mixture to a small bowl and set aside.
5.) Return the skillet to the heat and melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in the flour, and stir until the mixture becomes paste-like and light golden brown, about 5 minutes. Gradually whisk the milk into the flour mixture and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook and stir until the mixture is smooth and thickened. Stir in the ground mustard, paprika, salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Remove sauce from heat and let cool for five minutes.
6.) Pour the sauce over the macaroni mixture, stirring well. Transfer to a greased 9x13 inch pan and sprinkle with the remaining 2 cups of Cheddar cheese. Top cheese with the onion breadcrumb mixture.
7.) Bake in preheated oven until bubbling, hot and golden brown on top, about 30 minutes.
Now folks, I realize that this is not very figure friendly, but when you are in need of comfort sometimes you just have to push that thought aside.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
We made our taco's using soft taco shells, dabbing on some our cilantro sauce, layering with our pork, and topping off with some cheese. Between the pork and the cilantro sauce the smell was so good. I am eating another one as I type this, home for lunch. I also made fish taco's using cod. I cut the cod up into small pieces, cooked in about a tbsp. of butter and then I sprinkled on some of the Emeril essence I made last week for the shrimp. Daniel liked the pork tacos better while our buddy Denny liked the fish better.
First up, Amy's Cilantro Cream Sauce~
You will need the following ingredients;
1-8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 tbsp. sour cream
1-7 0z. tomatillo salsa
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. celery salt
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
1.) Combine cream cheese, sour cream, salsa, pepper, celery salt, cumin, garlic powder, cilantro, and lime juice in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy.
* I made this sauce using 7 oz. of salsa verde because we were un-able to find any tomatillo salsa. Also I did not use the sour cream in this dish and instead of using fresh lime juice, I used the juice out of the little green bottle.
Second Up, Mexican cornbread salad;
1-16 oz. package of cornbread mix
1-4 oz. can chopped green chile peppers
2-15 oz. cans pinto beans, drained
1-8 oz. bottle ranch dressing
1 green pepper, chopped
2-15.25 cans whole kernel corn, drained
1-3 oz. can bacon bits
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1.) Prepare cornbread mix as directed on the package, adding the can of green chiles. Set aside and allow to cool and then crumble.
2.) Place half of the cornbread in bottom of a large bowl. Evenly layer with 1 can of beans, 1/2 the bottle of dressing, 1/2 chopped bell pepper, 1 can of corn, 1 chopped tomato, 1/2 jar bacon bits, 1/2 package of cheese, and 1/2 of green onions. Repeat layers in same order using remaining ingredients.
3.) Cover and refrigerate 2 hours and serve chilled.
* Now once again I didn't read the directions before beginning this and I didn't add the green chiles to the cornbread mixture, instead I used half the can and added a layer to the first layer of ingredients. Also, I did not add the bacon bits nor did I add the second can of corn...I thought it would have been too much when compared to the amount of other ingredients.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Hog-Apple Baked Beans~
I promised my Husband that if today's trip to the grocery was under $100 that we could get some Chipotle's for lunch since he had a craving. It was under a $100 so the quesadillas were put on hold. I am making some tonight for a snack so I will post them in the morning along with the biscuits and gravy. Just wanted to let everyone know...I didn't forget.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Taco Dipping Sauce
Baked Beans (Daniel's version)
Million Dollar Cake (It's absolutely heavenly!)
Bisquits & Gravy
Pulled Pork Tacos (gotta love leftovers)
Mexican Cornbread Salad
We're doing a little bit of Southern and a little bit of Mexican both days...I am so excited I can hardly wait to dig in!
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
First of all our new little man Lennon has already cost us a small fortune. Great Danes are known for their long tails and unfortunately many of them end up breaking their tails at some point in time caused by knocking them on doors and walls. I have never had a Great Dane that has done this but I have seen it first hand and have always been grateful it has never been something that I have had to deal with...until NOW!!! On the Sunday Daniel met and brought Lennon home he broke his tail on a door while being brought out to Daniel. They wrapped it up and Daniel proceeded to bring the poor guy home. I think we both were thinking, "we'll keep it wrapped and cleaned and he will be good as new within a week or so." WRONG!!!! Two weeks later and we have now had to schedule the amputation of his tail. He keeps taking the wrappings off it and every time that tail hits a wall I just cringe. My house looks as if though he have had several shootings occur, there is blood splattered on every wall and on every door. I spent about an hour this past Sunday with a mixing bowl full of hot water and soap trying to get as much of it cleaned up as I could. I don't know why I even bothered. The vet thought it was broken when we took him to see her on Friday and we now think he has broken it again in another spot because now not only is it bleeding but it's crooked as well. We made the decision to have it amputated after noticing that he is biting through his skin on the upper portion because it is bothering him so much. Poor dog is not only blind, deaf, and dumb when it comes to his squeaky toys, but now he is going to have a stub for a tail...what will all the other doggy kids think of him??
On top of my crazy dog issues my Uncle Dan was admitted to the hospital on Monday night. This man has had some severe health issues for the past four or five years that has left him in constant pain. It is something that he has to deal with on a daily basis and the amount of drugs he has to take just to try to alleviate some of it is ridiculous. He has congestive heart failure, COPD, which is something involving the lungs, and he also has some disorder where his body produces too much blood. He has to have the excess blood drained once a month or so. He was in bad shape over the weekend and his body swelled up to the point Doctors were giving him a drug intravenously to help rid his body of the extra fluids. What we didn't know at the time was that they were actually dehydrating him to the point that by the time he got to the hospital his kidneys were starting the process of shutting down. I stopped by the hospital yesterday and he was in much better spirits and was up walking around which was a 100% improvement from how he was during our Saturday night dinner. The Doctors said he was having a flare up of the COPD which was why, along with the kidney issue, he was so weak and felt so bad. They still aren't sure why he is swelling everywhere but in my opinion the swelling had gone down some which is a good thing. I informed him yesterday he had missed some of my posts and he said that he was missing it. It's good to have fans out there! :)
I am also dealing with the fact that my Husband is in the process of making a very, very big decision in regards to his employment situation. I can't give details at the moment as he plans on discussing the matter with all of the family on Saturday during his birthday dinner. What I can tell you is that it would require his leaving this country for a year, only getting to come home once every four months.
Now after just forcing you lovely individuals to read my moments of worry, I must admit I feel a little better to get the stuff off of my chest. I am a firm believer that when feeling bad about something no matter how frivolous you may think it is, you should share it with someone else. So since I feel better I think it's only fair that you should feel better. I want everyone to leave a comment to this post telling me one of their current worries. I don't care if it is as sad as having a relative pass away or as crazy as having to keep pulling your underwear out of your tushy because you gained five pounds. I want to know and trust me, it will make you feel better!! :)
Also, I promise my next few posts will go back to being about food. My daring husband has a birthday sneaking up on him and we are celebrating this Saturday so you all know that there will be food involved.
Monday, March 16, 2009
When we first moved to the farm I hated it. I was a born and bred city girl who wasn't use to living so far away from the nearest grocery store. I quickly adjusted and there was never a dull moment for us four kids. We were fortunate in the fact our parents didn't make us work during our school years as long as our grades were up to par. The rule no longer applied once you hit the in between high school and college phase of your life so you were given a choice. You can either go out and get a full time job working until you leave for college or you can take over all of the barn chores, which includes feeding and mucking out stalls. Now being the typical lazy teenager that most are I had to weigh each of my options, go out and get an 8-5 job or work in the barn maybe three hours out of the entire day going back to bed after the morning feeding. I don't think I need to tell you which one I chose. Does anybody have any experience with mucking out horse stalls full of saw dust in 90 degree weather? The heat, smell, and the thin layer of sawdust that settles on your skin and hair was enough to make me question whether or not a 8-5 job would be easier. I stuck it out though and the day I left home I swore I would never set foot in that barn again. I love the horses but I hate the work and smell associated with having them.
1 lb. shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 can diced green chilies, sm. can
1 tbsp. lime juice
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. red pepper flakes
Essence of Emeril Seasoning
1.) In a large skillet over medium high heat add your butter, green chilies, lime juice, and shrimp.
2.) Sprinkle red pepper flakes and about a tablespoon or so of the Essence of Emeril seasoning. Saute until your shrimp are a nice pink color.
You can serve this over angel hair pasta, in taco shells, or just eat plain like we did. Also, if you have trouble finding the Essence of Emeril in stores like yours truly did, make your own essence using the recipe below. This is supposed to the exact replica of how Emeril makes his.
Essence of Emeril~
2 1/2 tbsp. paprika
2 tbsp. salt
2 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. black pepper
1 tbsp. onion powder
1 tbsp. cayenne pepper
1 tbsp. dried oregano
1 tbsp. dried thyme
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Does anyone else feel like your pulling teeth when asking your significant other what they would like for meals through out the week? I despise trying to get that sort of information out of Daniel. One of the last times I asked him you know what he said...hot dogs? Hot dogs?? You have a wife who loves to cook, is willing to cook just about anything, and has a food blog to top it all off, and all you can think about is hot dogs? How am I supposed to blog about hot dogs...geesh.
Anyway, I am slowly realizing that my husband doesn't have a fancy palate, he is happy with down home simple meals such as a good casserole. I know this probably isn't considered a casserole but it's down home and very easy. Some may know it as Johnny Marzetti as my family does, others may know it as Goulash, either way I hope you enjoy!!!
Katie's Johnny Marzetti~
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 lb. elbow macaroni, cooked and drained
1- 14.5 oz petite diced tomatoes
1- 6 oz. tomato paste
2/3 C. tomato sauce
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1.) In a large pan, bring to a boil elbow macaroni.
2.) In a skillet brown ground beef, add green pepper and onion. Drain grease.
3.) Add ground beef mixture to drained elbow macaroni and add your diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and tomato sauce. Stir together and add salt and pepper, stir once again.
Now if it were up to me I would add a couple of cups of shredded cheese and throw that bad boy in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes. Since Daniel is picky and I want him to enjoy this I am going to leave as is. You do whatever floats your boat!
I don't know if it's the sad puppy dogs eyes that they have from the time of birth to the time of death or the need to sit on the couch as if they were human beings or what. You just can't say no to these creatures they are pathetic sad saps that you just can't help but take aside and squeeze until they almost burst from your love. Meet Mr. No Name, this lovely little fellow showed up on The Pioneer Womans front porch this morning and I'll be darned if she didn't let him in just like my Husband would have done. She also fed him and now I wonder if she will keep him. What kind of power do these wonderful creatures hold that makes people unable to use Great Dane and heck no in the same sentence?? Click on "The Pioneer Womans" and go directly to her blog to read more!
Picture provided by Ree Drummond @ The Pioneer Woman
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
1 box. jumbo shells
5.) In a 9x13 baking pan take a little of your sauce and cover the bottom. Layer stuffed shells. Top with remaining sauce and remainder of shredded cheese.
6.) Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit covered for 45 minutes, for the last ten or so minutes bake uncovered so that topping can brown slightly.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
1 can of Coca-Cola
Katie's Fried Pork Chops~
16 medium thick pork chops
2 C. all purpose flour
1 tbsp. paprika
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. onion powder
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. black pepper
1.) In a large cast iron skilled add about a cup or so of vegetable oil. I didn't measure the amount just added enough until it was about an 1/2 in. deep. I warm it up on high heat and then before adding the meat I take it down to medium.
2.) In a separate bowl add your three eggs and a splash or two of milk. Beat until incorporated.
3.) In another bowl add all of your dry ingredients and mix.
4.) Dip pork chops in egg wash and then generously cover in the flour mixture.
5.) Add to skillet and brown on each side.
6.) After browning on each side I add them to the oven at about 300 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour and half.
They came out really moist and tender and I think we only had three leftover.
Hope everyone enjoys as much as we did!!
I would also like to take a moment to introduce a new member of my family. The great dane resuce that we are associated with holds a grooming day once a month. It allows all of the volunteers to come to the rescue and groom the adoptable dogs, trims their nails, brush them down, and just overall socialize with them. I made the mistake of allowing my Husband to go by himself today and I just received the call he's bringing me home another son.
His name is currently Lennon, however I am not fond of it. Suggestions are welcome! Did I also mention that he is partially blind and deaf...this should be very interesting.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Chocolate Chip Walnut Pancakes~
2 C. Bisquick
1 C. milk
1/3 c. chocolate chips
1/4 c. finely chopped walnuts
1.) Mix in a bowl, Bisquick, milk, and eggs. Gently fold in chocolate chips and then walnuts.
2.) Cook over medium heat until browned on each side.
3.) Serve with a spread of butter, drizzle of maple syrup, and a dash or two of powdered sugar.
Hope everyone enjoys...chocolate chip pancakes always bring a smile to my face!
Friday, March 6, 2009
The rules for accepting this award are listed below:
Show the 7 winners names and links on your blog, and leave a comment informing them that they were prized with "Honest Scrap." Well, there's no prize, but they can keep the nifty icon.
List at least 10 honest things about yourself.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Today, I received at work, an e-mail containing a PDF file of a recipe book called "Insider's Recipes Master Edition". Friends...this book contains the recipe for things such as Arby's Horsey Sauce, Auntie Ann's Pretzels, KFC Baked Beans, and McDonald's Big Mac Sauce and those are just the tip of the iceberg. Now I don't know how close to the actual recipe these are but here is my plan to find out. Every Sunday for the next several weeks I am going to select what I feel is a very popular dish/sauce/soup from this book and test it out just to see how close they really are to the real thing and whether or not I like the homemade version better. Since I can't list the entire table of contents, shoot me an e-mail if you are looking for a recipe and I will see if it is included. I will try it out and report back!
I can't wait to get started, I think this is going to be very interesting!!
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Anyway, this particular man is not only my favorite Uncle, but he's my Godfather, and pretty much my third Dad. Technically he's my second since he came before my step-dad, but I categorize them all together so we're good. If I wasn't with my Mom and Step-Dad or with my Dad and Step-Mom, I was with my Uncle Dan and my Aunt Robin. A kid can never have to many places to call home and their house was definitely just as much mine as all my other homes were.
1/2 C. butter, softened
1 C. sugar
3 C. all purpose flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 C. milk
1- 21 oz. can apple pie filling
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 C. chopped walnuts
1/4 C. packed brown sugar
2 tbsp. butter, softened
1.) In a large mixing bowl cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs, combine with flour, baking powder, and salt, slowly add milk.
2.) Pour half of mixture into a greased 9x13 baking dish. *Combine apple pie filling with cinnamon and spoon over batter. Drop remaining batter over filling and spread gently.
3.) Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle over batter.
4.) Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
5.) Cool on a wire rack.
* I added the cinnamon to the batter instead of mixing with the apples.
Verdict...this is good, not my favorite. I bought the cheap brand of apple pie filling and I can tell. I think next time I would make my own apple pie filling. Uncle Dan will like it, he will eat just about anything I make. Daniel's stuff not always, Daniel likes to sneak in the heat, we will not discuss the atomic buffalo turds will we Uncle Dan??
I chose Melissa because I think it is so cool that at the age of 17 she can already cook like a pro. I have lost count of the times she has made me drool on my keyboard and I applaud her effort at trying to be the best cook possible. I couldn't even guess at what I was doing at 17.
Lastly I chose Sheila because not only does her blog provide us with more yummy recipes but also creative decorating and organizational tips. What I wouldn't give to have some of her organizational skills. If I had even a bit of those skills, I bet my two spare bedrooms would be used as bedrooms and not walk-in closets.
Anyway, congratulations Ladies and keep up the good work...I do enjoy it!!
Monday, March 2, 2009
Anyway, since I was feeling almost human today and feeling a little on the guilty side after my poor husband commented last week I hadn't made him dinner in almost two weeks, I felt compelled to put forth some sort of effort tonight. I use the term "effort" very loosely with this recipe because it is literally three ingredients with a few seasonings thrown in a pot and set to simmer. I learned it from my Grandma, of course she put a little bit more effort into hers. It's down home comfort and just what I needed tonight. This meal was actually the meal I served my family the day that my Grandma died. Serve it along with mashed potatoes and green beans and you have yourself one heck of a meal.
Beef N Noodles
2- 32 oz. beef broth
1- 28 oz can of Keystone Heat & Serve Beef
1- 8 oz. package wide egg noodles
1 cup water
2 tsp. dried onions
1 tsp. black pepper
1.) In a large pot bring to a boil beef broth and beef.
2.) Add dried onion and black pepper.
3.) Add egg noodles and add one cup of water.
4.) Turn heat to medium heat and allow to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.