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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Toffee Almond Bars

They used to sell these delicious bars of yumminess at Starbucks and my BFF and I used to share one with our coffee.  Ok, so to be totally honest we shared the first one and from then on we had to get our own.  Deliciousness!!

1 cup and 2 TBS all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup of brown sugar
1 stick of butter
1 tsp of vanilla extract
A smidge of almond extract
1 large egg
1/2 cup of white chocolate chips
1/2 cup of milk chocolate chips
3-4 Heath bars, crunched to pieces

cream butter, egg and extracts in a bowl
combine dry ingredients (not candy) in a bowl and add wet to dry.
add about 1 TBS of flour to the candle and combine.
add candy to mixture and mix lightly
pour into greased 9x9 glass pan
bake 20-25 minutes

You can eat it right out of the oven, but it takes a good hour or two to cool before they are solid.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Lime Chicken Tacos

Have I mentioned that I love limes?  I would marry limes but they have rules against that.  Plus, lots of people use limes and I think that would be cheating.  That's not fair to society, or me, or limes. Anyways, back to it.

1 package of chicken tenderloins, cut into 3rds
1/2 juice of half a lime
1/4 onion, cut in big honkin pieces
2 TBS butter
1 TBS garlic powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/4 c chicken broth
1 tsp fresh chopped parsley
pinch of crushed red pepper (or more, I won't tell)

Melt butter over high heat, add onion and stir to brown.
Add chicken and brown for a min or two, then reduce heat and add chicken broth (chicken can still be pink in the middle at this point)
Add all the rest of that stuff, put a lid on it and allow to cook slowly for about 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink in the center.
Remove lid and turn up heat until most of the liquid is absorbed. 

You can put it in tortillas w/ a little sour cream, cheese, salsa, and a squirt of lime juice, but the chicken is good just by itself.

Confessions: I used only half a lime because I had one lime left and I knew I would want to squeeze some over this after it was done.  It was delicious and next time I probably would use the same amount.  That is all.  Also, I love the flavor of onions, but hate biting into one...that's why I use big pieces.  For real now, that is all. 

Mexican Rice
1 cup rice
2 cups chicken broth
1/3 cup of hot salsa
6 pickled jalapenos
Pinch of crushed red pepper
1 tsp of fresh chopped parsley

Puree salsa and jalapenos in the blender (we have a little bullet thing so it was no big deal, but I don't do chucks so this was a "have to" for me)  If you don't want to blend it to baby food, then don't, but don't come crying to me when you get a chuck of tomato.
Add salsa and rice to a pot and turn up the heat.  Watch it now, don't burn.
Continuously stirring until the rice absorbs most of the salsa. 
Add parsley and crushed red pepper.
Pour in chicken broth and bring to a boil.
Once boiling, put a lid on it and turn heat to low for about 20 minutes. 
Season w/ salt and pepper.  Top w/ a little cheese and a dollop of sour cream.

Marinade, London Broil

This recipe is bitter sweet because the flavor of the meat was delicious, but the meat was not so much.  I think I over cooked it, actually, I know I over cooked it, but it was a little fattier than I thought it would be.

You live, you learn. 

1/2 cup vinegar (I used white, distilled)
Juice of one lime (get out the little juicer thing, you want all that juice!)
1 TBS brown sugar
2 TBS white sugar
1 TBS of Worcestershire sauce
2 TBS ketchup
1 Tsp garlic powder
Sprinkle of Garam Masala (about 1/2 tsp..maybe?)
London Broil

Mix it all together in a bag and add meat.  Marinade overnight.
Preheat to 400 degrees for about 10 mins a side.  You are gonna have to check it because I over cooked the meat terribly.  It was still okay, but there was a lot of fat inside the meat.  Maybe I did something wrong, but either way I wasn't a big fan of the meat itself.  I ended up cutting it up and stuffing it in a tortilla w/ a little sour cream and a dash of lime juice!  I am a huge fan of limes and their juice! 

Roasted Sweet Sweet Potatoes
1 large sweet potato
brown sugar
melted butter, about 1/4 stick

Peel sweet potatoes and cut into long thin strips or baby chunks.  I wasn't gonna be baking them all night so I made them pretty thin. Lay flat into a baking dish.
Pour over melted butter, sprinkle with brown sugar.  I used about a 1/4 cup.  I lied, I probably used more.  I don't know why I lied.
Drizzle with as much honey as you'd like.  I honestly have no clue how much honey I used. 
Bake 400 for about 20 mins or until tender.

Guess I wasn't in the photographing mood because I do not see the pic's of these two.

Meatball Not So Strouganoff

8-10 Meatballs (see standard recipe)
3 TBS white wine (again, using the cheap moscato)
1/2 c heavy cream
1 cup 2% milk
fresh parsley, about a TBS
garlic powder, about a TBS
onion powder, abut tsp
1/4 c parm cheese

Brown meatballs on low until done all the way thru, remove and keep warm.
Remove most of the great w/ a paper towel and then add wine and parsley, cook until reduces by half.
slowly add milk and cream, allow to simmer about 10 mins and add remaining spices and cheese.  Add parm cheese and serve over egg noodles.  I used whole wheat egg noodles cuz thats how we roll.

I called it "not so strouganoff" because it reminds me of it, but not all at the same time.  Make sense?  Yeah, me too.  Christopher gave it a 4.5 which surprised me because he's not much of a fan of this kind of stuff.  That or he was starving...I guess we'll never know. 

Beef Stuffed Shells

I know..whats w/ the shells lately?  Well I bought them and I still had some left over and I had so much fun w/ the other that I went for round two...sue me.

1/2 lb of ground beef
1 - 1/2 cup of ricotta cheese
onion powder
garlic powder
fresh chopped parsley (this is important)
spaghetti sauce (see hot spaghetti recipe)
parm cheese
2 cups of mozz cheese
12 jump shells, partially cooked and drained.

Brown ground beef over medium heat, add onion and garlic powder and real parsley.
Transfer to a bowl and add ricotta cheese, sprinkle w/ parm and about 2/3 cup of mozz cheese.  I kinda eyeballed it until I had a creamy, but not overly cheesy consistency. 
Line a pan w/ a little sauce of then lay shells on top.  Top w/ remaining sauce and then top w/ a ton of mozz cheese.  Cheese is more of a star in this recipe so be liberal. 
Bake for about 20-30 mins @ 350.  Or until cheese is melty and a little brown. 

I don't normally give a quantity for the spices because I like things really onioney and garlicey but I hate biting an onion and I hate chopping garlic.  I know, I know...but whatever.  I'm trying ok I had to chop the damn parsley. 

Mega Breakfast 9/16/12

Thats right, you read it right.  Mega Breakfast!  I absolutely love love love making mega breakfast for my friends.  The guest list included Allison, Brett, their baby, Ella Lou, Matthew, Melody and of corse my husband and I.  I did the basic spread that I normally throw out, but instead of pancakes I made French Toast Casserole.  It was a big hit and I was very proud of myself. 

We have a lot of food so the following recipe was halved and shown to the left. 

1 loaf of french bread, cubed
8 eggs, beaten
3 c milk (I did half heavy cream)
4 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 block of cream cheese, soft

2 TBS butter
3 TBS brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

Syrup and powered sugar

Butter the mess out of a 9x9 in square, glass baking pan.  (again remember the above recipe was cut in HALF)
Lay half of the bread in the bottom trying to make an even layer.
Cut cream cheese into small cubes and dot over the bread. (I dig cream cheese, do I had a lot of tiny spots)
Top w/ remaining bread
Beat eggs, milk (heavy cream) brown sugar, vanilla, salt and cinnamon in a bowl and pour over bread making sure to soak it all. 
I then sprinkled brown sugar and cinnamon on top and dotted w/ butter.  Cover and sit over night.
Take out of fridge about 1 hour prior to baking.
Bake 350 for 45-50 mins or until tooth pick inserted comes out clean.
Sprinlkle w/ powdered sugar and serve w/ syrup.  This is like Cake!!  And who doesn't love cake?!?!? 

Here is the table set.  I like for everything to be on the table.  Feels like a country fall day...why?  I don't know stop asking me dumb questions.  Eggs, hashbrown casserole, brown sugar grilled ham, bacon, sausage, biscuits and gravy and french toast casserole. 

Jim N' Nicks BBQ

Jim n' Nicks BBQ is the best place ever!!  We visited there accidently once while on vacation in Charelston.  Anytime we get cross the Florida line we are googling the nearest location. Their food is so delicious!  Our favorite is the cheese corn muffins pictured above.  I have come close to recreating them, but not quite there.  They also have a habanero bbq sauce that will make you wanna slap yo momma.  Moral of the story: don't eat here w/ Mom!  We were here last November on a trip to Atlanta and am JUUSST now getting around to sharing it w/ you. 

White Stuffed Shells

9-12 Jump shells, just barely undercooked
2 cups chicken, cut into small pieces
1-2 cup of mozz cheese
1/3 c parm cheese
1/4 cup of white wine (I had cheap moscato, so I used it)
garlic powder
onion powder
dried parsley flakes
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup of sour cream
2 tbsp butter

Heat butter in a skillet until hot.  Add chicken and sautee over medium heat until no longer pink. 
Add garlic and onion powder. Im not gonna lie, the odds of me dashing some cayenne here is pretty good.
Remove chicken and while skillet is still hot add the white wine and allow to reduce.
Add CofC soup and Sour Cream.  More than likely you are gonna want some more garlic and onion so while you have it out add some here and grab the parsley while you're at it. 
Put a little sauce on the bottom of a 9x9 square glass baking dish allow the rest to simmer for a second while you prepare the shells
Add about 1/2 to 2/3 cup of mozz and parm cheese to chicken and stir to combine.  Stuff chicken into shells and law in the baking dish. 
Top with sauce, making sure to cover the pasta well or it will be hard...I know this from experience! 
Top of as much mozz cheese as you like. I, personally, don't think the cheese in the star here, but whatever floats your boat. 

Serve w/ garlic bread and salad.  Right, like I made a salad.  But I did make bread.