Monday, November 21, 2011

Monday Morning Nonsense....

I didn't have a food post today but I had a couple funny pics of H.  These may help those of us in the D remember what summertime looked like...(considering it is, once again, cold and rainy today.....)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Banana Muffins - For those left over brown bananas on your counter or freezer.

H goes through stages where he will eat 2 banana's a day and then for the next week or two, will not touch them.  So, we tend to have a few left over bananas, almost going to waste, that get thrown in the freezer.  Yesterday, I opened the freezer door and an avalanche of frozen banana's almost broke my foot.  Therefore, banana muffin's were required......

I have adapted this recipe from a few different ones that I have seen/used via All Recipes website.  I use a combination of whole wheat and AP flour and applesauce instead of butter/oil to make them a tad more healthy.  I also cut the sugar down which I am going to continue to try to do so until I get a batch that tastes bad and then I'll repost to let you know the least amt needed (for those of you with little ones...)  This recipe can be made with entirely AP (all purpose) flour as well as 1/3 c butter/oil (butter melted) instead of the applesauce.


Banana Muffins

3/4 c AP flour
3/4 c Whole Wheat Flour
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
 1-1.5 t cinnamon
3 banana's, mashed
1/2 c sugar
1 egg
1/2 c applesauce
1 t vanilla
Cooking Spray for muffin pan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In medium bowl, mix flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.  Use a whisk to be sure to get the dry ingredients well blended (or you can use a sifter but I don't own one.)  In a larger bowl, mash bananas.  Add sugar, egg, applesauce and vanilla to bananas and mix well.  Stir in your dry ingredients being sure NOT TO OVER MIX....just stir until you don't see any more flour streaks and then STOP.  Over mixing muffin mix makes dense rock hard muffins, which are yucky!

Spray muffin pan, I use mini muffin pan's because H likes them that size for his lil' hands...and so he can shove the whole thing in there and proceed to run around and give me a heart attack (see photo below.)
such a sloppy baker...

Fill to top and bake for 10-13 minutes...poke with toothpick and your ready to go...Careful these babies are HOT HOT HOT.....

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Bar Stool Redo

Latest Project....Bar Stool Redo

So I actually forgot to take original photos of these bar stools.  They were originally this really horrible greenish blue (the legs.)   I got them for $5.00 a piece at the Salvation Army so I figured for that price they were easily fixable.  The white vinyl seats were in pretty good shape, all they needed was a quick spray of black spray paint and we were good to go....They have sat like this in our kitchen for over a year.  Then the other day while going through my stash of fabric, I ran into this IKEA pattern that I purchased in like 07' for a different project that never came to fruition.  I was hunting through the house for something to do with it since I didn't have much.  This is the end result....They are a little loud but I figure I will like them for a bit and then Hudson will spill something on them that I can't possible get out and then I'll start all over again....

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Addicted to Pot Roast Taco's.....

Apologies for the "yellowish" pictures.  We were cooking at night with zero natural light.

My friend Deanna and I love to cook together.  She is addicted to yummy foodilicious recipes like me.  We are especially fond of the recipes most people shy away from due to a million steps or ingredients.  This recipe is NOT one of those.  This is closer to a "throw it in a pot and ignore it for a couple hours" sort of recipe and let me tell you....You will not be cooking again for a couple days because the left overs are better and better the longer they sit in the fridge (if you don't eat it all in one sitting!)

The recipe is an adaptation of Tyler Florence's Mexican Pot Roast Taco's or his Rock-n-Roll Taco's...pending on where you are looking.  The one thing we did notice is all of the recipes (based on where you are looking) are slightly different.  They all have one thing "wrong."  He never mentions reducing the sauciness after simmering...If you did not do this, you would be serving soup.  So, our adaptation begins....

Pot Roast Taco's
Adapted from Tyler Florence's Mexican Pot Roast Taco's because everywhere you look there is different ingredient measurements.

2 pounds beef shoulder or chuck roast (we used Chuck roast because it was all they had)
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 large onion, sliced (not too thin)
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes- we used diced tomatoes (recommended: San Marzano)
1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
1 T cayenne (we used 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes but it definitely needed more)
1 T ground cumin
1 bunch of cilantro, divided in half.
2 T red wine vinegar

Salt and Pepper both sides of your roast/shoulder.  Heat 2-3 T of EVOO in the bottom of a heavy pot or dutch oven until shimmering.  Add roast/shoulder browning all sides well.  Add onion and scoot meat around so that it picks up some of the color (aka caramelizes.)  Add garlic and do the same (be careful not to burn garlic- it will get very bitter in flavor.)

Add can of tomatoes (with all juice), cayenne, cumin and cilantro. Do your best to stir it up a bit.  Add water to the pot, just enough to cover the roast.  Bring to a boil.  Cover with lid and turn heat down to low (or whatever your stove needs to be on to maintain a simmer) and simmer for 2 - 2.5 hours until meat falls apart when poked with a fork.
Add enough water to just cover roast
Reduced for approx. 30-40 min
Once meat is at the falling apart stage. Remove cover, add 2 T of vinegar and turn heat up to a slight boil to reduce the sauce.  This will also allow time for the meat to flake apart so you do not need to remove it and pull apart separately.   This will take approx. 30 min- 45 min (time depends on a lot of factors, heaviness of pan, how much water originally put in, how close to 2 lbs your roast actually is, whether your cover fit properly or if some water was able to cook off during roasting, etc....) Once it looks thick and yummy enough to put into a taco shell...DO SO IMMEDIATELY!! hahaha this is SO good! Add your favorite taco toppings and Enjoy.

Guinness Braised Sausage with Apples, Pears and Cranberries....

So, I do not have any pictures of this recipe because it was a last minute throw it in a pot recipe that I wasn't expecting to like...I had purchased a bag of fresh cranberries and I wanted to use them before they went bad.  I did my tried and true way of finding a good recipe.  I went to and typed in the search engine, "Cranberries."  Then I look for the picture that makes my taste buds tickle...*dork*

This was VERY GOOD! I had my brother E over, he and Jason gobbled it up and asked for more before I could even take a bite.  J even stated this morning, "I don't know what that stuff was last night, but it was awesome!"  I rarely get this sort of reaction from him so if you have a man in your life whom you want to make a "healthy man meal" for, I suggest this recipe.

I used Medium spicy chicken sausage and Guinness for the beer.  I only used one apple and one pear but everything else the same...Link below....(Don't you just love the name of her blog!! Bitchin' Camero!)


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Savory Chicken Crescents...

I know, I know, the Volcano Cake's were supposed to be the first "blog back" however I'm feeling a lil' PLUMP from the honeymoon...SO, instead I'm skipping the deeeessertttt for now and going with something scrumptious.  This is a recipe my mother has made for a million years and it is from our family cookbook printed when I was young. So, enjoy...FYI---KIDS LOVE THIS SHIT!!! (Sorry for swearing, but it's true!!)

Chicken Crescents 
Original recipe from Kathy Conaway from the "Family Cookbook"
Makes 4 crescents or sammiches....

3 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
3 T. butter or margarine, softened
2 cups cooked chicken, cubed or "pulled"
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper
2 T. Milk
1-2 T. Chives or Green Onion, chopped*
1 T. Pimento, chopped (Optional, I did not have so I did not use)
8 oz. can of Pillsbury crescent rolls
3/4 cup seasoned croutons, crushed (or potato chips, which were awesome by the way...)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In medium bowl blend cream cheese, chives and 2 T. of melted butter (pour the butter over the cream cheese, it will warm it up a bit and help it incorporate) until smooth.

Add the s/p, milk and chicken, mix well.  

Separate crescents into 4 rectangles, firmly press perforations to seal.  

Spoon approx. 1/5 cup of meat mixture onto the center of each rectangle.  

Pull the four corners of the dough to top center; twist slightly and smoodge the seams together (aka, press to seal.)  Brush the tops with remaining melted butter and sprinkle with croutons or if you live in my family, potato chips because my husband and son are crouton snackers...I go to make a salad, and poof, gone....

the chips were bomb though! Fabulous substitution.

Bake on ungreased cookie sheet for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. 

Makes 4 sammiches...

Friday, January 7, 2011

A Tasty Finger Food - Goat Cheese and Olive Muffins

I am always looking for good "finger-friendly" appetizers for parties and gatherings.  I found this recipe on another food blog (which you can find here.)  This blogger served them full sized and over mixed greens.  The idea of a savory muffin intrigued me and I thought it would be a fantastic idea in a miniature size.  So out came my mini muffin tins and away I went.  I did make a couple changes to the recipe and did not originally serve over greens.  I do think they needed a lil' something....a lil' something in the form of drizzled olive oil/truffle oil perhaps or possibly the original bloggers idea and over a small amount of dressed mixed/micro greens.

The recipe found here is by weight.  I used an online conversion chart to make the changes but really they are estimates so feel free to adjust how you see fit.  I was considering using a little more milk next time.

Goat Cheese and Olive Muffins
Recipe adapted from Angie's Recipes

1 cup AP Flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 cup milk (i used whole because that is what i had on hand)
1/3 cup EVOO
2 eggs, yolks and whites seperated
2 oz. Green Olives (I used the small ones and left these whole)
2 oz. Black Olives (I used canned and sliced)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
2 T fresh parsley, chopped
2 T fresh rosemary, chopped (I used less because I'm not a huge fan)
Small log of goat cheese

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk together (to eliminate chunks) flour and baking powder.  Add milk, EVOO and egg yolks and beat until smooth. I used my stand mixer for all of this but it isn't overly thick so it could easily be done by hand.

Add in Parmesan, olives, chopped herbs and some salt/pepper. Go easy on the salt...Olives are VERY salty by themselves.  This mixture is going to seem overly thick and not at all muffin like, but we aren't finished!! :)

In a seperate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff.  Keep in mind this needs to be fluffy so don't beat them to death, just until they don't fall off whisk when you turn upside down.

Fold the egg whites into the olive batter.  Again, we want these to remain fluffy so be sure to fold and not stir.  We need the air to stay in the batter.

Fill the mini tins 3/4 or just until the top, simply being sure to not over fill.  Top each one with a small piece of goat cheese and drizzle with olive oil.  I drizzled mine with truffle oil and it was fantastic so if you have it or love it, use it!!

Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.  My where cooked through but not as golden on the top as I wanted so I flipped oven to broil and moved up the rack.  I left the oven door half open to release some heat so they wouldn't be cooking at full temp and browned the top slightly.

They were yummy, but as I said before, I served just like this and next time I will drizzle with oil again right before serving and/or serve on a platter of greens being sure to let guests know it is meant to eat with a small amt of greenery.