Friday, September 23, 2011

2 year old smile on a dreary Friday

Happy Friday Friends! We made it! The end of the week is upon us and a date with my hot husband is just a few hours away. Whoo hoo!

It's pouring down rain outside and couldn't be more dreary. I've chosen to give you something to smile about in this post - no recipe, just a few crazy antics from my two year old.

The house will get strangely quiet, too quiet, so I know I have to find my son before permanent marker ends up on walls or a whole roll of toilet paper gets dropped in the water. One particular day this week, I found him all the way at the TOP of the pantry. I store the candy up there and he climbed up and got it, unwrapped several pieces and ate them before starting on the loaf of bread. (If you want to come help me organize my pantry, I would love you forever!)

Next, we like waffles around here and I found a jackpot of a deal and ended up with a freezer full of eggos. We won't have to buy them for months! For breakfast, to make it special, I will scatter a few sprinkles on the boys' waffles. Apparently I didn't put enough on there to my youngest sons' liking. I came downstairs to see this. We'll need new green sprinkles for Chrismas this year as mine are now gone.

The joys of motherhood! :) He makes me laugh and I wouldn't trade these moments for anything. I hope you have a wonderful weekend - don't forget to go to church on Sunday!

The house is too quiet, I'm off to find out what new mess I need to clean up.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Chile Relleno Torta

I am a quiche lover - give me Sausage and Cheese, call me Lorraine, throw in Spinach, Mushroom or Broccoli and Ham and I am a happy girl. Pair it with a side salad and you have an entree. Heat it up in a mad rush and you have a perfect breakfast or afternoon snack (depending on how hearty you slice that wedge!).

I was excited to run across a new quiche recipe - don't let my title fool you. Chile Relleno Torta is the schmancy way of saying "Mexican Quiche". This is a zippy welcomed change and I was pleased. It's not difficult and the result is a really pretty presentation with the layers of color and flavor. Say Ole and let's begin!

1 premade pie crust, uncooked
1/2 lb. grated cheddar
1/2 lb grated monterray jack
5 eggs
1/3 c. flour
1 2/3 c. half and half
4 oz. can of diced green chilis
1/4 c. salsa or picante sauce

Form the pie crust into a 9 inch pie pan. Layer the cheddar cheese, then the monterray jack. Beat the eggs, flour and half and half together and pour this over your two cheese layers. Spoon the diced green chilis over top and then spoon the salsa or picante sauce on top of that (great color with all the layers!).

Bake at 375 for 45-60 minutes, until the center no longer jiggles. Let set for 5-10 minutes and then slice and serve. So easy, so tasty and you'll be glad you tried something new.

Have a great day folks - get out there and enjoy this wonderful fall weather!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Maple & Blue Cheese Steak

I have to admit, one look at the picture in my husband's taste of home grilling magazine had me drooling and pulling ingredients as fast as I could to fix this. Since it was a steak recipe, I knew it would be a hit with my meat loving husband and sons. Since it involved blue cheese and a balsamic reduction, it had me at hello.

6 T balsamic vinegar
6 T maple syrup (I used pancake syrup)
3 1/2 T. Dijon mustard
1/4 t. dried Thyme
1 pound sirloin steak
4-5 T. chopped pecans
1 T. olive oil
1/8 t. each of salt and pepper
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese

In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, maple syrup, mustard and thyme.

Take your sirloin and stab it a few times with a knife to allow the marinade to get in and really flavor up the meat.

Pour the marinade over the meat and refrigerate for 3-4 hours.

Saute your pecans in the olive oil until toasted and set aside.

Now, head out to your grill and attempt to refrain from burning off your eyebrows by setting the heat to medium low.

Sprinkle each side with salt and pepper and grill the meat for 4-6 minutes on each side or until meat reaches desired doneness. I like my steak cooked medium so there is a nice pink on the inside.

Place the leftover marinade in a saucepan and bring it to a boil, cooking until it has reduced by half, which takes about 2 minutes.

Slice your meat and drizzle each portion with the plate licking sauce, pecans and blue cheese.

It's divine I tell you. Divine.

Have a delicious weekend, enjoy this fall weather and don't forget to go to church on Sunday!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Cheeseburger Soup

This past weekend I was in the mood for some hearty comfort food. With the air getting crisper, I took the opportunity to make my first soup of the season! The foodblog community that I belong to, FoodBuzz, gives a neat 'Top 9' rundown of the top 9 contributing recipes and this Cheeseburger Soup popped up, courtesy of The Country Cook

I was intrigued, in the mood for soup and that was enough to motivate me for Saturday night's dinner. This is sooo delicious and was an immediate hit with my family.

Cheeseburger Soup (Serves 4 to 6)

2 cups potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 carrots, peeled and grated
1 small onion, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon beef bouillon granules (about 4 cubes)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound ground beef, browned and drained
2 1/2 cups milk, divided
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
8 oz. Velveeta Cheese
Optional: 1/4 to 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
Garnish: 1/2 lb. bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled

Brown and crumble ground beef. Drain excess grease and set aside.

Combine first 8 ingredients in a large saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender. Stir in beef and 2 cups of milk. In a small bowl, whisk together flour and remaining 1/2 cup milk until smooth. Gradually whisk into soup.

Bring to a boil; cook 2 minutes or until thick and bubbly, stirring constantly (so mixture does not burn). Reduce heat; add cheese and stir until completely melted. Add cayenne pepper.

Garnish with bacon - it's key and really makes it.

Thanks Country Cook for sharing this great recipe!

Have a great day and we'll chat soon!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Best Sweet Potato Casserole in the Universe

With Fall approaching and me looking forward to wearing sweaters, jeans, knee boots and preparing endless crockpots of chili, my mind has also wandered to the holidays. I like to switch up the sides I fix to keep things interesting, so I start now by experimenting with a few to see if they are Thanksgiving and Christmas worthy.

I hit the jackpot with this sweet potato casserole recipe from Kraft. It's by far the best one I've ever had, surpasses those that taste like wallpaper paste that I've made in the past, and by golly, I think I have stumbled upon the ultimate sweet potato fixer againer!

Fasten your seatbelts folks, this is amazing!

What You Need
1 pkg. (8 oz.) Cream Cheese, softened
1 can (40 oz.) cut sweet potatoes, drained
3/4 cup packed brown sugar, divided
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 Granny Smith apple, chopped
2/3 cup craisins
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats, uncooked
1/3 cup cold butter or margarine
1/4 cup chopped Pecans

HEAT oven to 350°F.

BEAT cream cheese, potatoes, 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon with mixer until well blended. Spoon into 1-1/2-qt. casserole

Top with the chopped apples and craisins. Oh, this is such a party!

MIX flour, oats and remaining sugar in medium bowl; cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in nuts. Sprinkle over fruit.

BAKE 35 to 40 min. or until heated through.

WATCH as your family devours it and your children and husband ask for seconds.

Have a delicious weekend and don't forget to go church on Sunday!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Ricotta Cake

Thumbing through a cookbook, I came across a recipe for a Ricotta Cake. I adore Ricotta filled Cannoli's and it's a MUST for lasagna, so I figure putting in a cake must be good too.

The ingredients were simple enough, so I went to town; fixing one for me and one for my new neighbors that I needed an excuse to invite to church.

I started by taking a yellow cake mix and mixing it according to the directions on the back. Then, I poured it into a greased 9x13 pan.

Then, I mixed together 3/4 cup of sugar, 2 pounds of ricotta cheese, 4 eggs, and 4 teaspoons of vanilla by HAND to avoid the ricotta from breaking down too much.

This was poured on top of the cake mix and spread in an even layer.

I baked it for an hour and in that time, it did a magic act where the cake mix rose to the top and the ricotta mix made a nice middle layer. So cool. I refrigerated it for an hour before serving and then cut it into squares, topped with a powdered sugar dusting.

The taste is a subtle not too sweet almost breakfast/brunch cake. If you enjoy Ricotta cheese, it's a tasty treat.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm eating leftover Jambalaya that I made last night and need to drink a gallon of water before I start breathing fire. I got too excited when it came to the seasoning and there might be hair growing on my chest right now. Gracious it's hot stuff.

Have a delicious day and we'll chat soon!