Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Whiskey Cola Glazed Ham

This year for Christmas I assigned myself to a baked ham. I have had all sorts of baked hams over the years, and I wanted to put a little twist on mine. I loosely used a recipe from Emeril. This ham turned out great- and made great bean soup for the Packer game the following Monday! Perfect ending note for our Christmas feast! Hope you all had a wonderful holiday! Enjoy!
10 lb bone-in Ham
1/3 cup Brown Sugar
1/3 cup Whiskey
2 cans of Cola
2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt

Remove ham from fridge about 1 hour before you bake. This helps to remove the chill from the meat.
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.
Rub ham with salt and pepper mixture. Score ham with a knife making parallel cuts. Turn ham and score the opposite way so you have almost an X pattern. Place a clove where the cuts cross. Rub ham with brown sugar. Place ham in a roasting pan, and pour 1 can of cola in the pan. Mix 1 can of cola with whiskey. Baste ham every 20-30 minutes. Bake ham for about 2 1/2 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Towards the end of the cooking process you may want to cover the top of the ham to prevent burning. Allow ham to rest for about 20 minutes before serving.

Christmas Dinner, Part 3: Burgundy Mushrooms

This might be one of the yummiest things ever. I could eat this bowl and nothing else and be happy. I found this recipe on Pioneer Woman's website. Her picture is better than mine- I had a little trouble getting a good one. I am so happy we tried these wonderful little things. They have to cook for 8-9 hours so if you make them be prepared to start early, and to have your house smell delicious all day. It is a great set it and forget it recipe and a must try! Enjoy!
4 pounds White Button Mushrooms
2 sticks Butter (Just do it)
1-½ teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 liter Burgundy Wine (I used a Cabernet)
1 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
2 cups Boiling Water
4 whole Chicken Bouillon Cubes
4 whole Beef Bouillon Cubes
1 teaspoon Dill Seed
5 cloves Garlic, Peeled (I left this out- my Mom and Sister are allergic)
2 teaspoons Salt (I didn't add salt)

Thoroughly wash the mushrooms and throw them into a large stockpot. Add all the remaining ingredients except the salt. Stir to combine.
Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for six hours. Remove the lid, then continue cooking, uncovered, for three hours.
Add salt to taste at the end if desired. The mushrooms will be very dark in color. Simmer until needed. Server straight from the pot or in a serving bowl.

Christmas Dinner, Part Two: Gluten Free Cheesy Vegetable Bake

Next on our menu was a cheesy vegetable bake. I wanted to make it gluten free so Mr. Ron could partake. I am slowly getting more comfortable with gluten free cooking. In the beginning, some of the different ingredients were a bit intimidating for me. Plus, it took some digging to find ingredients that had a similar taste. This recipe was based off my Aunt Cherry's cheesy vegetable bake. The finished product tasted very similar to her recipe. This can also be modified to use gluten products. Enjoy!
2 1/2 cups, Baby Carrots
2 1/2 cups, Broccoli, cut into bite size pieces
2 1/2 cups, Cauliflower, cut into bit size pieces
3 slices Bacon, cut into small pieces
1 Onion, Chopped
5 Tablespoons Butter
4 1/2 Tablespoons All purpose Gluten Free Flour (I used Glutino)
2 1/2 cups Whole Milk
2/3 cup Half & half
2 tsp Salt, More To Taste
1 tsp Black Pepper, To Taste
1 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated
1 jar (4 Ounce) Sliced Pimentos
1 1/2 cup Gluten Free Corn Flakes, crushed (I used Erehwon)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Blanch the carrots for about 5 minutes. Add broccoli and cauliflower and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Remove them from the boiling water and place them in a colander so they can dry.
Add bacon pieces and onion to a large rimmed skillet over medium heat. Cook until bacon is done and onions are golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
Place veggies in a greased oven safe casserole dish. Top veggies with bacon and onions.
In the same skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Sprinkle flour into the pan and whisk immediately to mix it into the butter. Cook for a few minutes, pour in milk and half & half. Continue cooking and whisking constantly. The sauce will begin to thicken after a few minutes. Add salt and pepper. Stir. Add the cheddar cheese. Stir while cheese melts into the roux. Remove from heat and add pimentos. Mix well. Pour sauce over the veggies and stir it around to coat the vegetable with the cheese. Top with corn flakes. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes, or until bubbly and hot.

Christmas Dinner, Part One: Spaghetti Squash with Maple and Shallot

I wanted to post a few tidbits from our holiday meal this year. My cousin and I whipped up a feast for the family that was truly delicious (I used the term whipped loosely, because this did take careful planning and time). This recipe caught my eye on Pioneer Woman's website. It looked light and delicious and a great compliment to our ham and roast beast. Enjoy!
2 whole Medium Spaghetti Squash
3 Tablespoons Butter
2 whole Shallots, Finely Minced
¼ cups Maple Syrup
Dash Of Salt
Dash Of Nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Pierce spaghetti squash a few times with a sharp knife. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 1 hour.Cut squash in half. Scoop out and discard seeds and slimy pulp. Scrap out the rest of the squash with a fork. Place in a bowl. Keep warm. In a large skillet, melt butter. Cook shallots over medium heat for 2 minutes or until soft. Reduce heat and add maple syrup. Cook for a minute, then remove from heat. Stir in salt. Pour mixture over squash. Sprinkle on nutmeg and mix together gently. Sever warm.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Treats, Part Five (Last But Not Least): Dulce De Leche

This is one of my favorite things to make to give to friends during the holiday. This is a rich creamy caramel sauce that is positively addictive. My friend texted me to tell me she couldn't stop eating it. I assure you this is not a problem. it is a problem when it is gone- very sad. This is another example of "kitchen deceptions". This is the easiest thing to make- ever. There is one ingredient- well 3 if you count the pot and water... Make this and your friends will love you even more than they already do. I like to add a little spoonful on the of my apple pie- or even better- off a spoon directly out of the jar. Enjoy!
4 cans sweetened condensed milk
Large Pot
Six 8 oz wide mouth jars with lids

Remove labels from cans and place in the large pot. Cover cans with water (about 3 inches over the cans). Simmer for an hour and flip cans. Simmer for an additional forty five minutes. It is important not to let the cans simmer over two hours. They might explode then, and no one wants that. Remove cans from water and allow them to cool. When cans are cool the touch they can be opened. Spoon dulce de leche into jars and cover with lids.

Christmas Treats, Part Four: Sugared Cranberries

These little guys are beautiful. They pop in your mouth and taste like a glass of fresh cranberry juice. I am eating some as I type. Delicious. I found this recipe (it is originally from Cooking Light) and was immediately intrigued because it sounded so easy. I love cranberries, but they are a bit too tart to pop out of the bag and start munching on. This recipe went over very well with my family. In fact, we had a friend stop by on Christmas Eve, and my Dad brought the container to the door when he answered so they could sample a few. Yum! Enjoy!
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups water
2 cups fresh cranberries
3/4 cup superfine sugar or baker's sugar (or granulated sugar processed for 30 seconds in a food processor)

In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and water and cook over medium-low heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a simmer, and remove from heat. Stir in the cranberries, then transfer the mixture to a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours, or overnight.Drain the syrup from the cranberries (save it to make yummy drinks, or to soak a cake). Place the superfine sugar in a shallow dish, and add the cranberries. Stir lightly to coat completely, then transfer the cranberries to a baking sheet. Allow to dry at least one hour before serving

Christmas Treats, Part Three: Homemade Nut Roll

These are wonderfully delicious. The Nut Roll candy bars are a favorite in our house, and when I came upon this recipe I HAD to try it. They are a bit messy, but taste delicious. The is another recipe courtesy of a Tasty Kitchen member. They are very easy to make and they keep well if you wish to bring them to a holiday party. My gut tells me that I may be making these more than once a years. Enjoy!
1 jar (7 Oz. Jar) Marshmallow Creme
½ teaspoons Almond Extract
3 cups Powdered Sugar
1 bag (14 Oz Bag) Caramels
2 cups Salted Nuts
Waxed Paper

Put marshmallow creme, extract, and powdered sugar in a bowl and combine with your hands. This can take a few minutes! The dough will be very stiff. Divide into 6-10 pieces depending on how big you want your nut roll to be, then roll into a cylindrical shape. Wrap each cylinder in waxed paper and place in the freezer for at least 2 hours. Melt caramels in the microwave for about three minutes, removing to stir at 30-second intervals. Make sure they are completely melted. Place salted peanuts (or whatever variety you would prefer) on a baking sheet. Remove rolls from freezer, then dip into caramel and coat completely. Try not to use your fingers! This gets really messy if you do. You can use two forks to dip and remove. Place the caramel-covered roll onto salted nuts and cover completely. Transfer nut-covered roll onto waxed paper, then store in the refrigerator

Christmas Treats, Part Two: Peanut Butter Cups

Hello friend..... These are so good. If you are like me, you hate the crumble fake texture of the big named peanut butter cups. Ew. These are wonderful. The peanut butter is creamy and delicious. This treat is so easy, but people always think it took a great feat to make them... ahhhh kitchen deception. My favorite. This recipe is courtesy of the Pioneer Woman's Tasty Kitchen member Jessinthekitchen. This is a site really worth checking out is you are looking for an abundance of recipes from a variety of different types of foodies. Enjoy!
6 ounces, weight Chocolate, Milk Or Semisweet
¾ cups Creamy Peanut Butter
4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, At Room Temperature
½ cups Honey

Line a mini muffin tin with muffin papers and lightly spray with oil.
Melt the chocolate, milk or semisweet, over a double boiler. This is done by filling a medium sized pot with 2 inches of water. Allow it to boil over a medium flame. Place a glass bowl on top of the pot with the chocolate in it and slowly melt until it’s glossy and smooth.
Add 1/2 teaspoon of melted chocolate to each muffin liner, swirling it up the sides. It doesn’t have to be perfectly even because you’re going to put more chocolate on top. Place the tin into the refrigerator for about 10 minutes to harden slightly.
While those are chilling, mix together the peanut butter, butter, and honey until thoroughly combined. Once the chocolate has set up, add 1 teaspoon of the peanut butter mixture into each chocolate cup. Then cover with another 1/2 teaspoon of chocolate. Chill for about 20 minutes to completely set the chocolate.

Christmas Treats, Part One: Pumpkin Truffles

,This is part one of a few posts dedicated to Christmas treats! These are really good. They remind me of pumpkin pie. They are not gluten free because Ron doesn't like pumpkin, I know what is wrong with him? However, they do make gluten free gingersnaps if you would like to make them gluten free. Ron also helped me with the dipping process this year- my truffles have cute little feet!!! Enjoy!
5 cups gingersnaps
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1 lb white chocolate

Grind gingersnaps in a food processor, or place in a plastic bag and crush by hand. Reserve a little extra crumbs for sprinkling at the end. Add all ingredients, besides chocolate to gingersnaps and mix well. Roll mixture into small (about 1 inch). Place pumpkin balls on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Chill in the freezer for about 20 minutes. While the pumpkin is chilling melt chocolate according to package instructions. I like the use a double boiler, but if you don't have one you can do this in the microwave. Make sure to stir the chocolate frequently so it doesn't become clumpy. When chocolate is melted, and the pumpkin has chilled you can start dipping. Dip the pumpkin balls into the white chocolate using a spoon. Tap the side of the bowl with the spoon so the chocolate is soon and excess is removed. Place back on cookie sheet with parchment paper. Sprinkle with remaining crushed gingersnaps. Repeat till all have been covered with chocolate. Place cookie sheet in the fridge so chocolate can set. The truffles can be stored in a Tupperware container in the fridge for about 10 days.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!!!

From Wisconsin!!!!

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday.

I will be back after Christmas with more eats and treats!!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Pioneer Woman's Chicken Piccata

Oh yummy.... I love trying recipes from Pioneer Woman. They are usually delicious and involve butter. This recipe was modified a bit, but you can find the original here. Her pictures are prettier than mine- I want a new camera... sigh... Anyways, this recipe is wonderful, and nice a quick for a weeknight meal. I like the flavor or lemon with meat (especially chicken). It seems so refreshing and flavorful. Brings me back to summer with lemonade and patios. I miss patios. We have 10 inches of snow on the ground.... Enjoy the chicken!!
4 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
Sea Salt Salt
Black Pepper
4 Tablespoons Flour (Gluten Free)
4 Tablespoons Butter
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 cup Dry White Wine
¾ cups Low Sodium Chicken Stock
2 Tablespoons Capers
2 whole Lemons
1/4 Cup Heavy Cream
Chopped Fresh Parsley
1 pound thin spaghetti (we use corn pasta)
Parmesan Cheese, for sprinkling

Prepare pasta according to instructions and set aside.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides of chicken breasts and dredge in flour.

Heat 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry two of the chicken breasts at one time until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes on each side; a little longer if breasts are thicker, a little shorter if breasts are thinner. Remove to a plate, then add the other 2 tablespoons each of butter and remainder of olive oil. Fry the other two breasts until golden, monitoring the oil/butter mixture to make sure it doesn’t burn.

After removing the chicken, have the heat on medium to medium-low. Pour in wine and chicken broth, capers, and squeeze in the juice of two lemons. Whisk the sauce, scraping the bottom of the pan. Allow sauce to cook and bubble and thicken until reduced by about half.

Reduce heat to low and pour in cream. Whisk together and allow to cook for a couple of minute until sauce thickens.

Place chicken over pasta on individual plates. Top with sauce and sprinkle parsley and Parmesan cheese on top.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Buffalo Chicken Casserole

I have been wanting to try and make a buffalo chicken casserole so awhile, but for some reason it never ended up on out table. Last week, I decided there had been enough screwing around, and it was time to come up with a yummy recipe. I really liked this recipe casserole. Nice and spicy!! You can scale down the heat depending on the level of heat your mouth can take. This re-heats nicely, but we sprinkled a few extra crumbles of blue cheese! Enjoy!
12 oz chicken breast, cut into small pieces
1 onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks of celery, sliced
6 oz elbow noodles (we use corn pasta)
1 1/4 cup chicken broth
3 oz light cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
1/3 cup wing sauce (we use Frank's buffalo wing sauce)
1/8 cup flour (we use gluten free)
1 T olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large skillet or pot, saute vegetables in olive oil till the onions and peppers are tender. While veggies and cooking, cook chicken in a small skillet and cook noodles according to package instructions. Set chicken and noodles aside when done. Add flour to veggies and stir to coat. Add broth and stir well. Allow mixture to simmer for about 5 minutes. Reduce heat. Add noodles and chicken. Stir well to incorporate all ingredients together. Mix in seasonings, hot sauce, and cream cheese. Pour into a 9X9 baking dish. Top with blue cheese crumbles. Bake, covered, for 30 minutes.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Zuppa Toscana

Mmmmm..... Zuppa Toscana you are delicious. Who can resist spicy sausage, tender potatoes, and earthy kale. I am not a big fan of Olive Garden- when we eat out we tend to avoid chain restaurants. However, when I have eaten there this is one of my favorite things to order (yes even over pasta!). I decided that I wanted to try to make my own rendition of this classic soup. Ron never tried Zuppa Toscana, and was thrilled with the end result. The soup is really easy, and takes very little time to put together- which is awesome on a weeknight! You will not e disappointed with this soup. Enjoy!
1 lb Italian sausage
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
2 lb potatoes, peeled and sliced about 1/4-1/2 inch thick
3 strips of bacon, diced
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 pint cream
1 bunch kale, ripped into bite size pieces
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp butter
1 tsp olive oil

Saute bacon, onion, and garlic in olive oil and butter. When onions are tender and translucent add broth and water. Bring liquid to a simmer, and add potatoes. While potatoes are cooking, brown sausage in a separate skillet. When potatoes are tender, add sausage, pepper, and crushed red pepper. Reduce heat. Add kale and cream. Stir well, and allow soup to cook for about 5 minutes. Serve with crusty bread.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Lentil and Sausage Soup

This soup is so amazing. I wish I was eating it right now... yum. Delicious. Lentil soup takes me back to childhood. We have a great family friend who made a great lentil soup and would bring it to the house for a family meal. I decided that I needed to create my own version of this old favorite. This recipe is so easy and very yummy. Lentils are great to cook with because they don't require the same amount of soaking/cooking time as beans, but they still give a hearty flavor. Enjoy- I am off to do more holiday candy making!
1 lb uncooked lentils
1 lb kielbasa sausage, quartered and diced
5 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 onion, diced
3 quarts chicken stock
8 stalks celery, sliced
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 T olive oil
1 tsp tarragon
1 tsp thyme
2 bay leaf
1/2 tsp cumin
3 T red wine
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

In a large bowl, cover the lentils with boiling water and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Drain.

In a large stockpot over medium heat, saute onions, carrots, celery, salt, pepper, thyme, tarragon, and cumin until vegetables are tender (about 20 minutes). Stir in tomato paste. Add chicken stock, red wine, and bay leaf. Stir well. Add lentils and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow soup to gently simmer for an hour. Add sausage and simmer for an additional half hour. Serve and top with grated parmesan cheese.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates

These are a terrific appetizer for the holidays. Super easy and crowd pleasing! They are a little time consuming, but all the more reason to enlist help while putting together your spread. Enjoy!
1 lb pitted dates
4 oz goat cheese
1 lb of center cut bacon, sliced in half lengthwise
Good Maple Syrup

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.

Slice dates down one side, and open them up. Stuff with goat cheese. Close the halves of the dates, and wrap a half-slice of bacon around the outside. Secure each one with a toothpick. Bake for 20-25 minutes (until bacon is crispy). Arrange dates on a platter and drizzle a little maple syrup on top.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Gluten Free Cranberry Walnut Bread

Back from Washington, D.C.! What great fun! We got to see so many fun sites and catch up with old friends. As most of you know I have been experimenting with gluten free cooking and products after we discovered Ron has a gluten intolerance. Some products are a bit gross, but for the most part we have had good luck. Ron and I were really craving bread and decided it was time to try our (my) hand at making gluten free. I used a recipe from Joy of Baking and it was really easy to make a few modifications. This bread turned out really great. It was a tiny bit dry, but the flavor was just what I was looking for. Ron used the left overs to make french toast. He said it reminded him of fruity pebbles. Enjoy!
3 cups gluten free flour (we use a potato based)
1 cup sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 eggs, beaten
5 Tbl melted butter, cooled
1 tsp vanilla
2 cup milk
1 cup cranberries, chopped
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
zest of 1 orange

1/3 cup powdered sugar
3 tsp milk
juice of 1/2 an orange

Pre-heat over to 350 degrees.

Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and zest. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, butter, vanilla, and milk. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Mix in cranberries and walnuts. Pour mixture into a greased loaf pan. Bake 60-70 minutes. While bread bakes, whisk sugar, milk, and orange juice together. Remove bread from oven and allow it to cool before removing it from the pan. Drizzle glaze on top of bread. Slice and serve.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Jalapeno Popper Chicken Skillet

This dish was inspired by a chicken dish I had at a restaurant in Green Bay awhile back. It almost reminded me of a jalapeno popper. I needed to make my own twist. This dish is super easy and tastes great. It is pretty spicy so depending on your tolerance you can ease back on the jalapeno- or add more if you want a bigger bang! I am off to Washington, D.C. for a few days- see you later and enjoy!
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 6 oz each)
1 onion, chopped
1 large jalapeno, stemmed and sliced thin (I used a mandolin)
2 oz cream cheese
1/8 cup sour cream
1 small tomato, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup chicken broth
splash of white wine (optional)
1 Tbl olive oil
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cumin

Saute onions and jalapenos in olive oil in a large rimmed skillet. While vegetables and cooking season chicken with salt and pepper. When vegetables are tender add wine, tomatoes, cumin, and broth. Bring to a boil and immediately reduce to medium heat and add the chicken. Simmer, covered, for 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cream cheese and sour cream. Serve over rice or pasta.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Creamy Pork Enchilada Casserole

This dish was one of those totally random kitchen accidents that came together as something awesome! Originally, I wanted to make pork enchiladas with salsa verde. However, my corn shells did not want to behave and work with me. The shells preferred to break. Ultimately, it was formed into a casserole after I almost threw them out the window. I was so happy when I took the first bite, and it was amazing!!! I guess it reminds me that some of the yummiest dishes are born from fixing our original plan. Enjoy!!!
2 lb pork tenderloin
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 can diced green chilies
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp adobo seasoning
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups monetary jack cheese, divided into 3 portions
4 oz cream cheese
18 small corn tortillas
Salsa Verde
sour cream, black olives, and diced tomatoes for garnish

Salsa Verde (adapted from Tyler Florence)
12 tomatillos, husked and rinsed
1 jalapeno
1 onion, quartered
1 tsp white vinegar
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp adobo seasoning
1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped
pinch of salt
juice of 2 limes


Place pork, chilies, garlic, adobo, salt, pepper, 1/2 tsp cumin, and broth into a crockpot. Cook on high for 4-5 hours. Remove pork from crockpot and shred. Return meat to crockpot and turn off the heat.

Make the salsa: Put the tomatillos, jalapenos, and onion in a saucepan with the vinegar and water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and poach until the tomatillos are soft, about 10 minutes. Drain. Put the vegetables in a blender (I use an immersion blender, but a stand-up blender works as well), add the cumin, and puree. Add the cilantro, lime juice, and salt, and pulse to combine. Set aside.

Pre-heat over to 350 degrees. Add cream cheese to the pork and stir well. In a large greased casserole dish layout 6 corn tortillas. Layer 1/2 of the pork over the tortillas followed by 1/3 of the salsa, and 1/3 of the cheese. Place 6 more tortillas over the pork and salsa mixture. Layer the second half of the pork, 1/3 of salsa, and 1/3 of the cheese. Finish the casserole with another 6 tortillas and the remainder of the salsa and cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Garnish with sour cream, olives, and tomatoes.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Chicken (Or Leftover Turkey!) and Rice Soup

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I had a great holiday. I am thankful for my family, my boyfriend, my friends, my cats, my immersion blender, blue cheese, pickles, Glee, my health, hot chocolate, and soup. especially this awesome soup! This is a great way to use up leftover turkey, and it freezes well! Good luck to those braving the stores today- I was already out this morning, and found a coffee grinder for $7! Enjoy the soup!

2 lbs bone-in chicken breasts (skin removed)
Bouillon (I use better than bouillon paste. If you use cubes I would use 5-6)
Water (enough to cover chicken- you may add more as you go)
1 lb carrots, sliced
2 cups celery, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 cup green beans, chopped into large pieces
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp rubbed sage
1 tsp ground thyme
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1 tsp celery salt
1 1/2 cup uncooked rice (I used brown)

Place chicken breasts in your soup pot. In a separate bowl, mix bouillon paste with water and pour over chicken. If you do not use the paste, add regular water and cubes to pot. Simmer chicken until it begins to fall apart. Remove chicken from broth and shred. Add shredded chicken to broth. Add all veggies and spices. Stir well. You may want to add a little extra water at this point. Cook med-low till veggies are tender. Add rice and simmer till rice is tender.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Grown-Up Mac and Cheese with Hot Dogs

I have many memories of eating mac and cheese with hot dogs as a child. It was probably one of the go to dishes for my sister and I (or how about the spaghetti oh's with franks? Remember those!?). I decided that I needed to spruce it up a bit for as an adult. My boyfriend is sensitive to wheat, so for the recipes dealing with pasta or flour I use a sub. In this dish, I use a gluten free flour, gluten free bread crumbs, and corn pasta. I can't say enough about corn pasta. It really holds up, and it has a great flavor (maybe a little sweet?). Yummy. Obviously, you can use regular pasta and flour- or you can try it gluten free! I decided to use a chicken sausage (apple and chardonnay) in place of the traditional hot dog. I think that this turned out great, and it made wonderful leftovers. Enjoy!

2 1/2 cup uncooked pasta (I used elbow noodles)
1/2 Tbl butter
2 Tbl flour
2 cups milk
2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
4 oz velveeta (I used 2%), diced
3 chicken sausage links (about 9 ounces), sliced and quartered
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup bread crumbs, tossed with 1 Tbl of butter

Pre-heat over to 350 degrees. Cook pasta according to instructions, drain and set aside. Add sliced sausage to a small skillet and allow it to heat through. Melt butter in a large skillet. Add flour and allow it to thicken. Stir in milk. The roux will thicken at this point and begin to add the cheese. Add velveeta first, and stir to while it melts. Next add the cheddar cheese. Once the cheese has melted, add sausage and noodles. Season with salt and pepper. Stir well. Place pasta into a circular baking dish (like a pyrex), top with bread crumbs, cover, and bake for 20 minutes

Monday, November 22, 2010

Stuffed Peppers

I think everyone's mom or family member had a recipe for stuffed peppers they remember from their youth. Maybe not everyone feels this way, but I always loved stuffed peppers. This recipe is different than my Mother's, but still very very yummy. I mixed it up with a few green olives, paprika, and garlic. The peppers came out so yummy! I think that this will stay on rotation. Maybe with a little lamb and feta? Oh the possibilities. Enjoy!
1 lb ground beef
4 bell peppers
1 onion, diced
1/3 cup carrots, chopped
4 large green olives, sliced
1 can diced tomato, drained
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbl parsley, chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/2 cup cooked rice (I used brown)
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley for sprinkling

Add beef, garlic, carrots, and onion to a large skillet. Cook till beef is browned and veggies are tender. Meanwhile, cut off tops of bells peppers and clean out the seeds. When beef mixture is finished add tomatoes, olives, parsley, salt, pepper, paprika, and thyme. Mix well and add the rice. Allow mixture to simmer for about 10 minutes. Stuff peppers with beef mixture, and place upright in a small casserole dish. Top with mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes. Sprinkle parmesan cheese and parsley on top.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Root Beer Glazed Pork Chops

For the life of me I don't remember where I found the original recipe. I made cola glazed ham and chicken before, but this sounded great. My other half loves root beer so I knew this dinner would be an enthusiastic thumbs up. This glaze is yummy. I added a little hot sauce to the original recipe to give it a sweet, but spicy kick. I am so sad that grilling season is leaving us soon (it gets difficult to lug the grill out in half a foot or snow). Boo. Come back soon summer!! Enjoy the chops!
2 pork chops
1 1/2 can of root beer
1/2 cup beef stock
1 Tbl brown sugar
1/2 tsp hot sauce
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 pinch of salt

Place pork chops in a medium bowl and pour half the root beer over the chops. Let the chops rest in the refrigerator for about 2 hours. Remove and season with salt and pepper. Add remaining root beer, stock, sugar, hot sauce, and Worcestershire to a sauce pan. Allow mixture to reduce on the stove (this may take awhile- mine took about 20-25 minutes). The sauce will have the consistency of maple syrup. When sauce is almost done begin to grill the pork. Just before the pork is done brush sauce on each side to finish. Drizzle remainder of the sauce on the pork chops, and enjoy!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Game Day Taco Dip

Taco dip is a fantastic treat to bring for a tailgate, or any event for that matter. I love how easy it is, but so simple at the same time. You can also adjust what you put on top of the dip depending on the crowd that will be enjoying this treat. Usually, I add the cheese before any other toppings- however, I forgot it until the end. Oops! Bring this to your next party, and the guests will love it!! Enjoy!
16 oz reduced fat cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup reduced fat sour cream
3-4 Tbl taco seasoning (or one packet of store brand)
2 cups shredded lettuce
2 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 can black olives, sliced
4 scallions, diced
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

In a medium bowl mix cream cheese, sour cream, and taco seasoning. Spread taco mixture onto a large circular serving platter (you could also use a pie pan if you want to base a little thicker). Top evenly with cheddar cheese. Add lettuce, tomatoes, and black olives. Top with scallions. Serve with tortilla chips.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Fluffernutter Cookies

I needed some comfort food. The man I work for lost his election last night. It is a very sad day. So I needed some cookies. However, they are not just any cookie! 3-ingredient fluffernutter cookies courtesy of Picky Palate. These cookies are really yummy, and so easy to make! It always brings back the memories of childhood! Enjoy these with a tall glass of milk!
1 Cup creamy peanut butter
1 large egg
1 cup marshmallow cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix the peanut butter and egg until well combined with a spoon. Slowly stir in the marshmallow cream until just combined. You want to see the marshmallow cream not fully incorporated, almost like swirled through. With a small-medium cookie scoop, scoop dough onto a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until baked through. Let cool for 5 minutes on cookie sheet before transferring to a cooling rack.

about 18 cookies

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Broccoli Cheese Soup

I apologize in advance for the so-so picture! This a great soup courtesy of Cooking Light. I love broccoli in any form, and I love cheese in any form so......I love this soup. I needed comfort food these past few weeks! As I have mentioned before, I work in politics (my other passion besides cooking and food- well horses too) and we are a few days out from our election (or should I say RE-election). Keep your fingers crossed for us, but I know we will come out on top. I try to keep these things separate from my blogging because this really is an outlet for me outside work. However, it has taken over recently- I haven't cooked since Monday! Enjoy the soup!!
1 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 (16-ounce) package broccoli florets
2 1/2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
8 ounces light processed cheese, cubed (such as Velveeta Light)

Heat a large nonstick saucepan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; saute 3 minutes or until tender. Add broth and broccoli. Bring broccoli mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium; cook 10 minutes. Combine milk and flour, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Add milk mixture to broccoli mixture. Cook 5 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring constantly. Stir in pepper. Remove from heat; add cheese, stirring until cheese melts. Place one-third of the soup in a blender or food processor (I used my immersion blender), and process until smooth. Return pureed soup mixture to pan.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Shepherd's Pie

I love Shepherd's pie. It is really easy to make, and it makes awesome leftovers. I use to eat this dish as a child, but really fell in love with it after eating it in England about 15 years ago (they made it with lamb). I usually put a little cheese on top, but you don't have to some people like to make little designs with a fork on top so you get those nice little crisp edges. I also don't use canned veggies in this dish- granted it s easier- fresh is best. Enjoy!!!
1 1/4 lb ground beef (I use 90/10)
3 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 onion, diced
3/4 cup fresh corn (about 2 cobs)
1 tsp ketchup
1 tsp A-1 steak sauce
1/3 cup water
1 tsp flour (I use gluten free)
2 Tbl butter
3 Tbl lite cream cheese
1 tsp garlic powder (optional)
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup cheese, for the topping (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Boil the potatoes until you can easily pierce them with a fork. Remove potatoes from water and set aside. Brown beef in a large skillet. When meat is cooked add veggies. Allow the beef mixture to cook for about 5 minutes. While beef mixture is cooking, mix the water and four together in a small bowl. Add to beef mixture. Allow the beef to cook till all liquid has been absorbed. While beef mixture cooks add potatoes, cream cheese, butter, milk, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to a large bowl. Mash potatoes either by hand or with an electronic mixer. Set potatoes aside when complete. Once liquid has been absorbed from the beef. Add ketchup, A-1, and season with salt and pepper. Pour mixture into a circular Pyrex, or a medium size casserole dish. Top with potatoes and cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Roasted Acorn Squash Soup with Sweet Potato and Parsnip

Yum. Yum. Yum. I love this soup. I also love immersion blenders. They make life so much easier. So worth the money- I bought mine for $30 at La Sur. Back to the soup, I wanted to make this soup for awhile now, but couldn't decide between squash and sweet potato. So I used both- why not? It turned out sweet, creamy, and yummy! Go Pack Go- Happy Sunday!
20 oz parsnips, peeled and chopped
2 large acorn squash, split and seeded
3 medium sweet potatoes
14 oz chicken broth
1/2 pint cream (I used lite)
1 cup water
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp thyme
salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Roast parsnips and squash till soft. The parsnips will cook fast, so be sure to take them out before the squash is finished. While squash and parsnips roast cook sweet potatoes in the microwave- about 12-15 minutes. Cut cooked potatoes in half and scoop the potatoes out of their skin and add them to a medium soup pot. Add parsnips, chicken broth, water, and spices (besides salt and pepper). When squash is done roasting remove from skin, and cut into pieces. Add squash to soup pot. Use immersion blender to puree soup until smooth. Add cream and puree with immersion blender. If you do not have an immersion blender- buy one. Just kidding, you can use a regular blender and it will do the trick. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot and garnish with sour cream or, in the case of the picture, greek yogurt.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Cheesy Chicken Cordon Bleu Rice Casserole

A yummy casserole and crisp fall day go together like football and brats :). This is recipe is soooo good. It will certainly stay on our rotation as we start to go into winter. This recipe is from the Picky-Palate, and it's great! The Picky-Palate blog is wonderful- lots of original, easy, and family friendly recipes. Also, the recipes are pretty healthy, or can be modified to your health needs. Next time I make this I think I will thrown in some broccoli or chopped spinach. Enjoy!

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
½ lb diced ham
2 Cups cooked shredded chicken breast
4 Tablespoons butter
¼ Cup flour (I used gluten-free)
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
14 oz can chicken broth
3 Cups cooked rice of choice (I used brown)
1 Cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 Cup shredded mozzarella or swiss cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil into a large rimmed skillet over medium heat. Saute onion and bell pepper until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, ham and chicken. Cook for an additional 5 minutes. Melt butter then stir in flour, salt and pepper until combined. Slowly stir in chicken broth until well combined. Stir in cooked rice then transfer to a 9×13 inch baking dish. Top with cheddar and mozzarella cheeses. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cover the dish with foil the last 10 minutes for oozing cheese.
6-8 servings

Monday, October 11, 2010

Mexican 7 Layer Dip

I made this after the last Packer home game for a snack for the hungry football goers. This is super easy and totally old school, but people always seem to love it. I like it when the beans are warm, so its best to put it together quickly right before you are going to serve it. Enjoy!
1 can refried beans (I like to use the original flavor or vegetarian)
1 small can green chilies, diced
1tsp ground cumin
1/2 cup cheddar cheese (Grate your own- it's just better)
3/4 cup reduced fat sour cream
1 cup guacamole
1/2 cup monterey jack cheese (Same deal as the cheddar- grate it!)
1 can black olives, sliced
1 cup pico de gallo

Heat refried beans into a small pan over medium-low heat. Add one can of drained and diced green chilies. Add a little bit of ground cumin. Mix well. Spread the warm beans on the bottom of a large plate. Add the cheddar cheese. Next, spread the sour cream on top. Spread the guacamole over the sour cream. Add a layer of monterey jack and sliced black olives.
Lastly, add Pico de Gallo. Serve with tortilla chips.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

This is one of my favorite dips ever. It goes great with chips, pitas, and veggies. It is also super easy, and always a great thing to bring to pot luck. Sometimes I like to throw in red bell peppers or jalapenos to spice things up. Enjoy!
8 oz cream cheese
3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayo
1 14.5 oz can of artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste

Mix cream cheese, sour cream, and mayo in a large mixing bowl. Add artichokes, spinach, parmesan cheese, and garlic. Mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Spread into a pie pan, and top with mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350 degrees till cheese is melted and sides begin to bubble.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Crockpot Little Smokies

This is probably the easiest appetizer ever. It's always well received at a party. Who can resist little sausages in BBQ?? Unless you are a vegetarian then I guess you get a pass. Try it for your next party and enjoy!
2 14 oz packages of little smokies
1 12 oz jar of grape jelly
1 12 oz bottle of chili sauce

Mix jelly and chili sauce together in crockpot. Add smokies and stir. Turn crockpot to high and till smokies are hot. Turn crockpot to warm once desired temperature has been reached.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Quick Moussaka

I wanted to make this dish for long time, but was looking out for the right recipe. This recipe from Martha Stewart is awesome! It is a little different that the traditional classic Greek casserole which uses white sauce, which is made from butter, flour, and milk. This recipe uses ricotta and feta to make the classic "crust". Enjoy! Ingredients

Butter, for baking dish
1 large eggplant (2 1/2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
7 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground beef or lamb
1 can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes, drained
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup (9 ounces) ricotta cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup (4 ounces) feta cheese, room temperature
1 large egg, room temperature


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Butter a 4-quart ovenproof dish. On a baking sheet, toss eggplant with 6 tablespoons oil and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer, and roast in the oven until soft and golden, 20 to 30 minutes. Transfer eggplant to prepared dish, spreading in an even layer. In a large saucepan, warm remaining tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, and ground meat; cook, stirring to prevent sticking, until meat is browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in drained tomatoes, tomato paste, parsley, oregano, cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Simmer, crushing tomatoes with the edge of a spoon, 15 minutes. Spread the mixture evenly over the eggplant. Heat broiler. In a small bowl, mix ricotta, feta, egg, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and a pinch of salt. Pour mixture over the casserole, and spread evenly to the edges. Broil until topping is browned in spots, 5 to 10 minutes. Serve hot.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Pico de Gallo and Guacamole

Pico and guacamole are probably the easiest sides for a party. It just takes a little chopping! I made the pico and guac for a seven layer dip for Packer Sunday. I always make a little extra. Who doesn't like to a little pico stirred into scrambled eggs for breakfast, or a little gauc on a sandwich? Enjoy!

Pico de Gallo


5 vine ripe tomatoes
1 small onion
2 jalapeno peppers
1 bunch Cilantro
lime juice
salt to taste


Chop jalapenos, tomatoes and onions into a very small dice. Next, chop up cilantro (this should equal about a cup to a cup and a half). Place all of these ingredients together in a bowl and stir.
Squeeze the juice of half of one lime into the bowl. Add salt to taste and stir again.



3 avocados
pico de gallo
lime juice
salt to taste


Halve avocados lengthwise and remove the pits. Next, with a spoon scrape the avocado meat out onto a large plate. Next, mash the avocados (I have used the bottom of a cup, a fork, or a potato masher with success). Add salt to taste. Next, a couple large spoonfuls of Pico de Gallo (about 2/3 to 3/4 cup) and stir well. Lastly, squeeze the juice of half of a lime over the top and stir.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sherry Dijon Chicken with Mushrooms

Unfortunately I have a mushroom and mustard hater in my house. I love mushrooms and mustard. I should kick him out.... Then I can cook with fungi till my hearts content. He does make good pancakes (I will make him do a guest post one of these days). Decisions, decisions. While the mushroom hater was gone for work I created a dish with my two lost loves. Enjoy!
1 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
8 02 portabella mushrooms
1 cup plain greek yogurt
1 clove garlic, minced
1 packet onion soup mix (low sodium if you can find it)
1 1/2 T sherry wine
1 1/2 T dijon mustard
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper

Mix all ingredients besides chicken in a medium bowl. Grease crockpot with PAM. Place chicken in the crockpot. Cover chicken with mushroom mixture. Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 4 hours.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Roasted Lemony Teeny Tiny Potatoes

Trader Joe's will you come to Green Bay??? Please? Pllleeeaaassseee??? Maybe that will get their attention. Then I will finally be able to get a little bag of these cute little potatoes without stopping on my way from Milwaukee or Madison to Green Bay. Lemon goes great with a roasted potato. It looses the a lot of the tartness, but keeps a unique flavor. Almost making the potatoes refreshing! This is super easy. You can easily do this with a regular potato- or even a purple potato (how pretty). Enjoy!
1 lb potatoes (teeny tiny!)
3 T olive oil
1 1/2 T lemon zest
1 1/2 T lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Toss potatoes in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 30-40 minutes. Toss with lemon juice and zest.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Honey Curry Salmon with Roasted Brussel Sprouts

I am bbbaaaacccckkkk! Finally. Apparently, my computer settings were changed? I don't know about these things (even though I really should!). Ron saved me in about 3 minutes.... I rewarded him with a chef salad from Grapevine Cafe (YUM!!). This meal was from a few weeks ago, but it was wonderful. I have been on a bit of a sprout kick lately- which defiantly is not a bad thing! Enjoy!

Honey Curry Salmon


1 lb Salmon, skinned

2 tsp honey

1/2 tsp curry

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

2 Tbl olive oil


Mix honey, curry, salt, pepper, and olive oil in a small bowl. Brush both sides of salmon with honey curry mixture. Grill on low heat till cooked to desired temperature (If you have a grill grate it helps prevent scorching).

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

1 1/2 lb brussel sprouts
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
3 Tbl olive oil

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Trim hard ends off the washed sprouts. Toss sprouts in a medium bowl with olive oil. Spread sprouts evenly on a baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Bake about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and flip. Bake for a remaining 10 minutes.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Kale with White Beans & Italian Sausage

I love rustic dishes, and I thought this was a perfect way to use the beautiful kale I just picked up. Kale is an awesome veggie, and full of great nutrients. A little italian sausage, a can of beans, and the dish grew from there. This is a quick meal that is packed with flavor and

2/3 lb ground italian sausage
1 large bunch of kale
1 1/2 cup white beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp oregano
salt and pepper to taste

Brown sausage in a large skillet over medium heat. While meat is cooking, wash kale and pat dry. Tear kale into pieces and set aside. When the sausage is almost cooked through remove from skillet. Add kale, white beans, and spices. When kale begins to wilt, add sausage to skillet. Season with salt and pepper.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Maple Dijon Vinaigrette

I made a nice salad to serve along side my mojo chicken. This was a quick dressing I threw together, and it turned out awesome. I love the flavor or maple and dijon. I topped a mix green salad with apple, walnut, and almonds. Enjoy!
1 T maple syrup
1 t Dijon mustard
1 T cider vinegar
1/4 t salt
1/8 t pepper
2 T olive oil
Mix together all ingredients accept for olive oil. Then slowly drizzle in olive oil while stirring with small whisk or a fork.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Grilled Mojo Chicken

I noticed that this marinade has been circulating the blogs for awhile now, and decided to give it a try. The recipe called to marinate the meat for hours hours, however I marinated the chicken for about 12 hours and it was delicious!! I can't wait to try this with pork. Enjoy!
1/2 cup orange juice
2 T fresh lime juice
2 T soy sauce
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 T minced garlic
1/2 t hot sauce
1/2 t ground cumin
1/4 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts

I a medium bowl whisk all ingredient together. Place chicken and marinade in a ziplock bag. Marinade in fridge for 8 hours. Grill or bake till chicken is cooked through.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Maple Dijon Pork Chops with Sauté Brussel Sprouts

Maple dijon marinades are one of my favorites. We had these beautiful chops in the fridge and I thought it was a perfect moment to break out the mustard! To accompany the pork I opted for brussel sprout. Yum. Do not give in to your childhood fears of this veggie. It is so versatile and so yummy. Enjoy!
Maple Dijon Pork Chops
2 Large pork chops, trimmed
1/8 cup dijon mustard
1/8 cup olive oil
1 1/2 T pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
Mix all marinade ingredients in a medium bowl. Place chops into a ziplock bag and pour in marinade. Allow pork to marinate for about an hour. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Grill till meat is cooked through.
Sauté Brussel Sprouts
1 lb Brussel sprouts, washed with ends removed
4 slices center cut bacon, cooked and chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Slice brussel sprouts into thin rings. Add sprouts, bacon, and garlic to oiled pan. Cook till sprouts are wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Beer Dip

First, please excuse my hand taking up half the picture! I was having a little trouble getting a good photo. This is one of my favorite cold dips, and one of the easiest too! This is a great recipe for a summer BBQ or just for a great snack. Enjoy!
1 1/2 cups Shredded Cheddar cheese (grating right off the block give the best flavor)
12 oz. Cream cheese, softened
8 oz. sour cream
1 packet Hidden Valley Original Ranch Dips
1/2 to 3/4 cup beer
1/2 tsp black pepper

Combine cream cheese, sour cream and dips mix in medium bowl. Stir till all ingredients are incorporated together. Gradually stir in beer until mixture reaches desired consistency (dip may be a bit soup, but will set in the fridge). Stir in cheddar cheese. Allow dip to sit chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes to an hour. Serve with pretzels and veggies.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Grilled Strawberry Balsamic Chicken and Grilled Onion Packets

Time for a double post! I have a lot of different thing to post this week, and very little time! Why not kill two birds with one stone? Sounds good to me. I love the combo of strawberries and balsamic. To top off the chicken I decided that I needed to wrap it in a slice of bacon. Perfection....sigh.... This maybe a new favorite chicken grilling sauce. Yum. On two recipe number two! I love sauteed onions. However, I wanted to try something a little different, and it was great! I used a chicken bouillon cube with this onion, however next time I would love to try beef to get that yummy french onion soup flavor. Enjoy!

Grilled Strawberry Balsamic Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
5 strawberries (green tops off!), mashed
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (I used a 16 year)
1 shallot, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp honey
4 strips center cut bacon

Mix all ingredients except chicken and bacon in a medium bowl. Pour marinade into a ziplock bag. Add chicken. Allow meat to marinate for about an hour. Remove chicken from bag and wrap with bacon (secure with a toothpick if necessary). Grill till chicken is cooked through completely.

Grilled Onion Packet
1 large sweet onion
1 bouillon cube (chicken or beef)
2 T butter
salt and black pepper

Peel onion and cut out a small pocket in the center for the bouillon cube. Place bouillon cube in packet. Top with butter, and season with salt and pepper. Wrap onion in tin foil twisting at the top to form a point. Grill on medium-low heat for about 35-45 minutes depending on grill heat.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Grilled Orange Rhubarb Pork Chops

I picked up a jar of cherry rhubarb jam last time I was in door county for a weekend get away. I have been putting it on toast like mad, but I thought the jam with a little orange would make an interesting combo on my grill. I really like the combination of flavors! It was sweet, but had a little zip from the orange zest. I think you could use any combination with the orange. If you can't find a cherry rhubarb or plain rhubarb jam, cherry will work great as well. Enjoy!


4 pork chops, I used boneless

for marinade

Juice of one orange

Zest from 1/2 an orange

1/2 cup cherry-rhubarb jam

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp salt


Add all marinade ingredients to a medium bowl and mix well (you could also mix in a food processor). Place pork chops in a large ziplock bag. Add marinade and turn to coat completely. Allow pork chops to marinate in the fridge for about an hour. Remove chops from bag and pat off any access marinade. Cook on the grill on medium heat till the pork is cooked through.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Grilled Romaine with Blue Cheese-Bacon Vinaigrette

I love grilled romaine, but never made it before. I saw this recipe and it looked perfect! I love blue cheese and bacon. I made this for my Dad because he had just ate a grilled romaine caesar salad and raved about it. This salad turned our great! It is super easy, and can be prepared quickly after you meat comes off the grill. Enjoy!

(Recipe by Guy Fieri)

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup chopped red onion
1/2 pound bacon, chopped
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
3 heads romaine lettuce, cut in 1/2 lengthwise
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the grill to high heat. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a saute pan over high heat. Add the onions and bacon and cook until the bacon is crispy. To the same pan add the balsamic vinegar and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and stir to combine. Remove from heat and set aside.
Brush the romaine lettuce with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, place on the grill cut side down, and quickly sear. Serve the lettuce, cut side up, and drizzle the balsamic dressing over the lettuce. Sprinkle with blue cheese and garnish with cracked black pepper.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Bourbon-Barbecued Rib-Eye Steaks

I really love our new grill. You will probably notice that the past couple posts, and many posts to come, are dedicated to grilling. I recently purchased Weber's Real Grilling cookbook. It's really awesome. The book has tons of tips for people new to gas grilling aka people like me who have only used charcoal. This recipe was fantastic. It packs a great flavor with a mild spice. Plus, the marinate is easy as pie! Enjoy
Ingredients (from Weber's Real Grilling)

1/2 cup bourbon
1/4 cup ketchup
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
2 T soy sauce
1 T white wine vinegar
2 T garlic, minced
1/2 tsp hot sauce
1/2 tsp ground pepper

2 bone-in rib-eye steaks, about 1 1/4 lb each (I did not have use steaks with bone)
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 T finely chopped fresh Italian parsley (I omitted this)

To make marinade: In a medium bowl whisk marinade ingredients. Place steaks in a large ziploc bag and pour in the marinade, and turn several times to coat the meat. Place bag in a bowl and refrigerate for 1 1/2-2 hours.

Allow steaks to stand at room temperature for 20-30 minutes before grilling. Remove steaks from bag, and discard marinade. Pat steaks dry with paper towels. Brush both sides with olive oil.

In a small bowl, mix paprika, salt, and pepper. Press seasonings into both sides of the steaks. Grill over direct heat until cooked to desired temperature, turning once. Allow steaks to rest 3-5 minutes before serving. Garnish with parsley, and serve warm.