Friday, October 30, 2009

The best of fall.....

Honey Crisps!  The best apple on earth.  The apple that I had never experienced until last year...Where did these apples come from?  Have I just missed them all these years or are they new?  Momma Love Honey Crisps. 

Monday, October 26, 2009


Early this morning I received a text from my brother...."Hey Sis, How do you make a bullseye again?"  Which, obviously, spurred this post.  I immediately went to work...slaving in front of the stove. hahaha Just kidding.  These are the easiest to make and they taste wonderful.  Some of you may know these under a different name.  My old roommate, BG, his family called them "One eyed Egyptians."



Take your bread and butter both sides.

Then find a small glass (or just use a knife) and create a hole in the middle of the piece of bread.  Be sure to use a small glass because if the hole is too big it will rip while cooking.


Over medium-high heat, melt a pat of butter or use cooking spray and place bread with hole in it and the left over hole itself (which will also have butter on it) in the pan and let "lightly" brown on one side. I say "lightly" because you will be turning it back onto this side to finish cooking off the egg so you dont want to overdo it this time around.

Flip bread (and hole,) and dollop a small amount of butter or spray more cooking spray into the middle of the hole in the bread. This will allow the egg to not stick to the bottom of the pan.

Break egg into hole in bread.  I leave the yolk intact so that it will ooze yumminess when I eat it but if you would like to break while cooking instead-- feel free.  Cook until your liking on that side, then flip back over to original side to finish the cooking of the egg.

Serve with toasted hole on top.

When I read this over it seems a little confusing but you really can't screw this up.  Even if the bread breaks and the egg breaks, it will still taste wonderful!

(Call me if you need me brotherman....miss you.)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pistachio Pesto

I have never been a big pesto fan. I know, strange considering the Italian family I grew up in but it just never tasted right to me. Even the addition of cream, which is fantastic in this dish by the way, did not do it for me. UNTIL, I met this lil' beauty of a recipe. I think the addition of spinach balances out the sometimes overbearing basil flavor and pistachio's, come on ya'll, you can never go wrong with pistachios!!

pistachio pesto
Recipe adapted from Closet Cooking Food Blog.

1 c basil, packed (which means pack it down into a cup to make sure you have a good amount)
1/4 c spinach (i used spinach/arugula mix)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 T pistachio's, toasted
1/4 c Parmesan, grated (I only use reggiano-it does taste different in my opinion)
3 T evoo
lemon juice, to taste and loosen

Peel pistachio's and place in a dry skillet over medium heat and toast.  You can tell when they are done when they change color a lil but more if you stick your nose near the pan and you can smell them. (FYI- the first time I made this recipe I forgot to toast the pistachio's and it didn't wreck the sauce so if you feel like skipping this step---go for it!)

After toasting, throw all the ingredients into food processor and process away.

This picture below is what it looked like without the lemon juice and with only the 3 T of evoo.  Seemed to need more processing and more liquid. Added the juice from 2 slices of lemon and processed further....Still a lil lumpy, added one more T of evoo and.....


The moral of the story is cook with your nose and your eyes people.  This isn't rocket science. It's cooking and if you add to much just throw in some more basil/spinach.)  It will always be recoverable.

IMPORTANT:  When making pesto on pasta--- 9 times out of 10 the pesto is not "saucy" enough and the noodles will suck it up and be dry.  It is important to save some of your pasta water that you cooked the noodles in.  This water has left over starch so not only will it loosen your will stick to the noodles, meld with the pesto and not just puddle up at the bottom of the bowl.

Now, you can use this pesto for almost anything.  Potato salad, just on some plain pulled chicken and placed on a salad/sandwich, over pasta with chicken (displayed), and then of course the "CREAM OPTION" which is what my mother would always suggest.  Cream Option: cook some noodles, place 1/3 c of pesto in pan to warm (medium low to medium heat).  Once it warms a little and starts to loosen, just add some heavy cream.  I would guess a couple T would do it, mix, put on noodles and try to ignore the thought of your rear end growing! (just kidding- what can a couple silly tablespoons of cream do? Nothing I say, NOTHING!)

Happy Eating.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

From Antique to Chic.....

These chairs were used in my grandfather's restaurant in the 60's.  They were pretty beat up from being stored in an outside "cabana" by the pool for a million years but I just couldn't resist asking for them when he was moving.

I used them for years in my old house even in their beat up condition they still looked beautiful.  Recently, I have been feeling in a "project" mood and the refinishing began. We have only gotten one done so far but 3 others are half way there and the other 2 are awaiting a good sanding and a drink of ebony stain.

They were gorgeous before but WOW! What a little TLC can are the before and afters.


Monday, October 12, 2009

For the love of......CORN DOGS!

Shhhhh....don't tell dogs!!

Typically, I would devour a corn dog on only one occasion (Tiger's games) until now.  These little darlings taste just like the local dirty carny dogs.  They are puffy, sweet, savory and most of all FRIED.  The fact they also deliver a lovely dose of yellow mustard doesn't hurt either (one of my favorite condiments.)  I decided to give these a try for one of my mother's friends, Sharon.  She also has a secret crush.  This recipe was originally for full size hot dogs, however I cut them into "sample" size pieces prior to frying.  I believe this resolves the embarrassment of trying to consume the "wiener on a stick" in a public forum.

Make these! P.S. These are wonderful frozen and reheated in the micro and popped under broiler to re crisp...for the kids of course.

Start with a couple of these...and continue with recipe below~ :)

Corn Dogs

1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 t. salt
1/4 c sugar
4 t. baking powder
1 egg
1 c milk
Corn starch, to roll dogs in*

Veggie Oil*
2 (16oz) packages hot dogs*
wooden skewers*

* I used canola oil.  I used one package all beef hot dogs and one package white meat turkey dogs.  I used tooth picks.  I need a little bit of water, ~ 3 T, to loosen the batter just prior to frying.  Corn starch is to roll the dogs in prior to dipping in batter to help it to stick.


In a medium bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, salt, sugar, baking powder.  Mix to incorporate.

Stir in egg and milk to form a batter.

Place batter in freezer for at least 15 minutes prior to frying.  It sticks much better if very cold but because of the temperature the batter thickens up.  This is where you will need just a couple splashes of water added until you feel like it will coat the hot dogs nicely.  Remember though, this is a THICK batter so don't thin it out to much because it will them just drain into your oil and not create a coating on the dogs. 

Preheat oil in large deep saucepan (the deeper, the less splatter for those like me whom hate cleaning the stove!) over medium heat. If using a thermometer, approx. 365 degrees is good.

Dry hot dogs with paper towels. Insert wooden skewers/toothpicks.  

(These are "devilish-ly" good!)

Roll dogs in corn starch, dip into batter.  Be sure to get the whole dog, including the area where the skewer is inserted, coated in batter.  The dog will tend to burn in places the batter is missing. Drop into oil and be amazed as the transformation occurs. (I was not able to get a picture of the dogs coated in batter prior to hitting the oil...I did not have an assistant and my hands were covered in batter- my apologies)

 Corn dogs to enjoy in the comfort of your own home...carny-free and delish!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Teething Cookies--- HOLY COW!

Teething cookies aka "Biter Biscuits" aka Holy Mess!

There should be a notice on this box:  "Warning: bathing is required." This was his very first cookie and he enjoyed it immensely.

Sword fight anyone?

I'm gonna save this for later...right over here on my ear.

How can you deny such a cutie!! I will be thinking twice about when I give him these cookies though...wasn't prepared for this one!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

My Momma's Meatloaf

I know, your thinking, "FINALLY a recipe we have actually been asking for."  Here it is folks, the infamous momma's meatloaf recipe.  The recipe, when younger, my friends would come over and inhale.  The meatloaf we all have dreams about. Start salivating....start licking those lips....start starving yourself now so you can eat as much as you like....

Momma's Meatloaf
2 lbs. ground beef
1 cup breadcrumbs
2 eggs
1 cup Cheddar cheese, cut into cubes
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 medium onion, diced
Milk, just enough to moisten, approx. 1/3-1/2 cup

Salt and Pepper, to taste
1/4 cup ketchup
1 t yellow mustard
3 T brown sugar

Mix first 8 ingredients together (using your hands is the best way to mix) in large bowl.  Be careful not to "overwork." 


Form into a loaf and place in a greased baking dish.  

Mix together the topping ingredients and pour over meatloaf. I typically double the topping because I love it!  

]Pour Sauce over the top of formed loaf and spread with a spatula or spoon.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until thermometer reads done to your liking.

Slice and LOVE!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Newest purchase...

WOW~ 2 posts in one day?!?

I have been on a serious garage saleing kick lately. I have acquired a couple strange trinkets, typical of a garage sale including a 60's ash tray, strange food trays that look as if they had come from a prison (I love them but probably won't ever use them), a couple antique salt/pepper shakers, tea cups that i have the intention of turning into candles and a few cooking gadgets (the best spatula on earth that my mother has officially confiscated.) None, however have been as fantastic as this find, nor even close to as cute to model for the camera.  I definitely think he adds something to the chair don't you think???

Ok, so aside from my absolutely adorable model...Is this the greatest chair ever?

Gardening: The Results


So, the gardening season seems to be officially over due to the lovely frost that I awoke to this morning.  Although beautiful it was, I believe it is the death of all things left growing in our lovely little rockwall garden we have going here.  Of course, my being the slacker that I am, did not take any pictures of the herbs, tomatoes, strawberries (that never did really grow), cukes, yellow squash and zucchini.  I only photographed my mother's mutant "Honey I shrunk the kids plants" and our large crop of hot peppers. 

Here are the results:



Isn't the last pic sorta creepy! Inside of this strange looking pod is a large seed/bean that once dried you plant to grow the next season.