Friday, November 29, 2013

Choc Shots

Choc Shots

Thanksgiving has come and gone, but one thing that has remained are the endless leftovers, and a big batch of Choc Shots in my fridge.  Not for lack of trying to finish those, just saying!

My sister in law made these yesterday and since then, I have found myself in the kitchen, at different times of the day with a shot glass in my hand......or found licking the last few drops remaining in the shot glass.

I know the holiday has come and gone but just in case someone would like one this weekend, I thought I would share the recipe with you.  There's really nothing to it, super easy to make, but oh so yummy.

Choc Shots

Choc Shots

Milky Way candy bars, broken into pieces
500 ml heavy cream (about one pint and a half)
Vodka

Place a big pot of water on the stove, top with a metal or glass bowl and melt the chocolate candy bars.  Add in the heavy cream and stir well.  Next goes in the vodka.  Now there's no real measurement for that, just add to your taste, if you like it a little stronger add more, if you don't want it too strong add less.

Mix everything well, pour into a pitcher and let sit on the counter until it's cooled down.  Transfer to the fridge to cool.  When it's nice and chilled, pour into shot glasses and enjoy!!!!

I have been known to go for the wine glass and just sip it while watching a movie...but you know, I'm a rebel like that. 

Choc Shots

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Miss Kay's Honey Pecan Pie

Folks, do I have the perfect Pecan Pie for your Thanksgiving .

Usually I stick with the same recipe, which is the one you can find on the back of the Pecan bags, and truth be told, I've made that one every year.  It worked, it never failed and it was good.

And then I started watching Duck Dynasty a few months ago and I became enthralled by Miss Kay's cooking.  I noticed she had a Honey Pecan Pie and since I do love a good Pecan Pie I decided that I had to try it.  It's SO good guys and it's the recipe I'll use from now on.

Seeing that it's Thanksgiving tomorrow, I always bake the pies the day before so that I'm not so overwhelmed with everything else on the day of.

So, I'm here to share the recipe with you and to encourage you to get your hands on Miss Kay's Duck Commander Kitchen Cookbook.  It will make a great gift for the cook in your family :)

Miss Kay's Honey Pecan Pie
Miss Kay's Honey Pecan Pie
Source:  Kay Robertson

3 large eggs
¾ cup sugar
½ stick (4 Tbsp) butter, softened
½ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup light corn syrup (I use Karo)
½ cup maple syrup (I use Johnnie Fair) or honey
1½ cups pecan halves
1 (9-inch) unbaked pie crust, homemade or store bought


Heat the oven to 350ºF. Beat the eggs with the mixer until fluffy, about 8 minutes.

In another mixing bowl, stir together the sugar, butter, salt, vanilla, and syrups. Gently fold this into the eggs. Gently fold in the pecans. Pour the filling into the piecrust.

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the filling is set and no longer wobbly in the center.

Let cool completely before cutting.

Miss Kay's Honey Pecan Pie

Monday, November 25, 2013

Black's Bakeware Dimpled Cookie Sheet



Boy do I have a great product to talk to you about.

A few weeks ago I was sent a cookie sheet from Black's Bakeware.

But a cookie sheet is just....a cookie sheet, right?  Oh my friends, that is where you're wrong.  It's not just any old cookie sheet, it is a dimpled cookie sheet and what it can do for you cookie baking is wonderful.

It has now become my only cookie sheet specifically assigned to cookie baking, and I do a lot of that around here.

But who exactly is Black's Bakeware and how did this cookie sheet come about?

Let me introduce you to Charlie Black, a retired military veteran.  


Charlie Black is a retired military veteran with decades of experience in mess halls and commercial kitchens.

During Charlie’s time in the kitchen, he began to notice a pattern: traditional baking sheets were becoming warped after repeated exposure to heat. If you’ve ever spent any time around the military, you know that anything less than perfection won’t cut it, so Charlie made it his mission to create the perfect baking sheet. That’s how Black’s Bakeware was born.

Charlie created his first cookie sheets in the workshop behind his home in West Virginia. He quickly found a home for them in schools and restaurants in the local area. Charlie’s process of making the perfect cookie starts with the perfect cookie sheet.

What sets his baking sheet apart from the rest is Black’s patented dimples, which not only act as place markers for dough so your cookies won’t run together as they bake, but also they prevent your cookies from sticking. Cookies and breads will bake evenly throughout, thanks to the patented design. Now, after almost 12 years Black’s Bakeware is being released to the general public. Find out why professionals and commercial kitchens count on Black’s Bakeware!

Black's Bakeware

I got the small baking sheet, which measures 11” x 15 ½” – bakes 12 desserts, rolls, or biscuits
All-natural, aircraft-grade aluminum – None of the carcinogenic chemicals found in other baking sheets
100% Made in the USA
No oil needed!
Easy to clean and easy to store!

Black's Bakeware

Truth be told, I didn't really know what to expect, nor did I imagine that those little dimples in the sheet would be the secret to perfectly baked cookie.  I have had so many cookie sheets, matter of fact still do have tons, but I always end up having to put foil or parchment paper over them because they get so dingy and nasty.

Not to mention that they never bake the cookies exactly the same way, some are over baked, others are not yet done.  It's a pain.

Did you know that commercial chefs use these sheets?

Black's Bakeware

I got a batch of Oatmeal cookies in the oven.  I was so eager to give it a try and see if it really did do what it says it does.

True enough, the cookies baked evenly and came out about the same size.  Just beautiful cookies.

Black's Bakeware

One thing I'll tell you about this sheet, is that it makes a great addition to your kitchen, especially if you love baking with your little ones.

Even though my kids are not little anymore, they still enjoy baking with me and they found that the dimples on the sheet made it easy to know exactly where to put the cookie dough, as they're evenly spaced apart.


Black's Bakeware

Yum, Yum, Yum!

I now have a very happy husband and kids, a very happy kitchen, an easy cookie sheet to clean and the knowledge that I'll never have to worry about burnt, uneven, stuck cookies again.

These really are the best baking sheets I have ever come across.

I don't know exactly when they'll be available for purchase, but I'm waiting to hear back on that and as soon as I have an answer for you, I will come and let you know.  I think they would make a great gift for the baker in your family :)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Best Ever Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes

I love a good pancake, dripping with butter and drizzled with delicious syrup.

I don't make them too often as breakfast around here is usually a bowl of cereal or oatmeal, toast and other easy things.  But once in a while I really crave a good pancake and not out of a box mix (though I do use those too).

Enter the fluffiest buttermilk pancakes you could ever have.  These come from the great food blog The Slow Roasted Italian.  So very yummy!

The key really is to let the batter sit for an hour or overnight, that is what will give you super fluffy pancakes, though if you make them right away you will still get pretty fluffy ones.

The best ever fluffy buttermilk pancakes

The Best Ever Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes
Source:  The Slow Roasted Italian
Serves 6

2 cups all purpose flour
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 beaten eggs
2 cups buttermilk
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda. Whisk to combine. Add eggs, buttermilk, butter, salt and vanilla. Stir until just combined. Do not over stir or you will have flat pancakes.

Set aside on the counter for an hour, or place in the refrigerator overnight.

Ladle ¼ cup batter on a hot non stick skillet, over medium heat. Cook until pancakes are golden brown around the edge and bubble appear around the edges. Flip and cook until done.

Serve and enjoy!

The best ever fluffy buttermilk pancakes

Lucky Leaf Giveaway Winner!!!

Thank you all for participating, and if you weren't chosen as the winner, I hope it doesn't stop you from baking up a storm this holiday season.  :)

I used Random.org to draw the winner and the number that came up was:


#7 - Vera Khule

Congratulations Vera, I will be contacting you shortly :) 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Menu Plan - 11/18 to 11/30

It's been a while since I've put up a Menu Plan.  Quite honestly, I've had to neglect my poor food blog for other more important things going on around me, but every chance I get, I try to get back here with a little update.

Today it's the menu plan, maybe tomorrow it will actually be a recipe, who knows. 



Monday 18th
Bacon Alfredo

Tuesday 19th
Niece's Birthday - Out to Dinner


Wednesday 20th
Chicken Parmesan Meatballs with Egg Noodles


Thursday 21st
Beef Stew with Homemade Cheddar Bay Biscuits


Friday 22nd
Shepherd's Pie with Salad and Pickled Beets


Saturday 23rd
Chicken Pepper Pasta


Sunday 24th
Pumpkin Soup, Grilled Cheese and Tomato

Monday 25th
Bifes c/ molho de cerveja (Portuguese Steaks with Beer Gravy), Homemade Fries


Tuesday 26th
Upside Down Pizza Casserole


Wednesday 27th
Big Eddie's Rigatoni


Thursday 28th
Thanksgiving - Fried Turkey, Gravy, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Green Bean Casserole, Cornbread Stuffing, Cranberry Sauce,  Homemade Dinner Rolls, Sweet Potato Casserole, Pecan Pie, Pumpkin Pie

Friday 29th
Leftovers


Saturday 30th 
Sriracha Honey Wings, Oven Potatoes, Garlic Roasted Brussels Sprouts


Monday, November 11, 2013

Oven Roasted Chestnuts!

Dia de Sao Martinho or St. Martin's Day is celebrated in Portugal today.

In Portugal, St. Martin's Day is commonly associated with the celebration of the maturation of the year's wine, being traditionally the first day when the new wine can be tasted.

It is celebrated, around a bonfire, eating the magusto, chestnuts roasted under the embers of the bonfire (sometimes dry figs and walnuts), and drinking a local light alcoholic beverage called água-pé (literally "foot water", made by adding water to the pomace left after the juice is pressed out of the grapes for wine - traditionally by stomping on them in vats with bare feet, and letting it ferment for several days), or the stronger jeropiga (a sweet liquor obtained in a very similar fashion, with aguardente added to the water).

Oven Roasted Chestnuts

Having spent my childhood in Portugal, I vividly remember enjoying roasted chestnuts served in a cone made out of newspaper. It was one of our favorite things to do as the year drew to a close and the busy city center of Lisbon became lit with Christmas lights.

Even though I can't enjoy those anymore, I am still trying to bring that tradition to life each year for my children. Oven roasted Chestnuts are as close as I can get to the delicious fire roasted, but they are equally tasty and sure take me back in time.

Oven Roasted Chestnuts
Oven Roasted Chestnuts

Chestnuts
Paring Knife


Preheat the oven to 425 F. Using a sharp paring knife, make an X on each chestnut, make sure to cut through the skin so they can vent. Last thing you want is for them to explode in the oven, they make a huge mess.

Bake them for about 30 minutes or until the skin peels back on the chestnut. Shake the pan or stir them up a few times throughout the baking time.

Enjoy!!!

To roast on an open fire:
Rinse and score the shells. Fire up your grill to medium-high. Put the nuts on the grates cut side down and close the lid. Roast until the shell peels back and begins to scorch and the meat starts to turn golden, perhaps 10 minutes.

Oven Roasted Chestnuts

Holiday Baking with Lucky Leaf - Giveaway!!!

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Can you believe the Holidays are almost here? And you know what that means. It means shopping, baking, cooking, and most importantly getting together with the ones you love.

Well, here we are, another Lucky Leaf giveaway and more yumminess being whipped up in the kitchen.

The folks at Lucky Leaf sent me a really cute baking kit, which included the sweetest little ceramic pie bird and of course delicious pie fillings.  I can never have enough and always have cans in my pantry.

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From the recipes included in the kit, I picked, or rather the family immediately picked the Caramel Apple Pie.  Can't get more American than Apple Pie right?

Oh my, this was delicious, my brother enjoyed a big slice before heading off to work and my sister in law even had two slices, it was that good.

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Caramel Apple Pie
Source:  Lucky Leaf
Serves: 8
Cook Time: 45 minutes

2 prepared pie crusts
221-ounce cans LUCKY LEAF® Premium Apple Pie Filling
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon all spice
12 Kraft® caramel squares
1 teaspoon milk
½ cup chopped pecans

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425°F. Place one pie crust in a baking dish.
Combine spices with LUCKY LEAF Apple Pie Filling. Pour apple mixture into crust.

Melt caramels and milk in microwave-safe bowl for about a minute, stirring twice. Pour melted caramels over the Apple Pie Filling.

Place pecans on top and cover with the second crust. Vent crust for baking.
Brush top of pie crust with the beaten egg wash and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of sugar.
Brush top of pie crust with the beaten egg wash and sprinkle with 1-teaspoon sugar. Bake for 45 minutes.

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So good!

Aside from all the great holiday baking that is to come, Lucky Leaf is also running a Lucky 13 Recipe contest.

The Lucky 13 Recipe Contest begins on November 6th.  Enter your best original recipe using Lucky Leaf® Pie Filling for a chance to win one of 13 great prizes, including the $2,500 grand prize! Please submit your recipe between November 6th and December 2nd. Qualified recipes will be on display in the recipe gallery on the Lucky Leaf Facebook page starting on December 3rd.

AND to top it all off, Lucky Leaf is also generously giving away a baking kit to a lucky winner.  You will receive a can of Lucky Leaf pie filling, a recipe card, a ceramic pie bird and two pie slice boxes and forks.

Now doesn't that make you want to get in the kitchen and bake???

== Contest is open to all US Residents.  Giveaway runs through Monday, November 18th 2013 and I will draw a winner using Random.org.

== Please leave a comment including a way to contact you if you are picked as the winner.....keep in mind that if you don't claim your prize within 2 days, I will pick another winner.

Good Luck, and Happy Baking!!!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Arroz a Valenciana - Valenciana Rice

Arroz a Valenciana

As a young child growing up in a Portuguese home, with quite a big family around, I think the moments I most remember are the ones spent around the dinner table.

I have loved to cook for as long as I can remember, and I think the beginning of this love affair with food and cooking was brought on by my great grandma.

She was quite a strong, amazing woman, always in the kitchen preparing these huge meals for a table of 14 or 15 at a time.  As with many large families, dishes were often kept simple but stretched to feed many, as is the case with this rice.

Sometimes she would add in a few shrimp, or some calamari.  Other times she would substitute bacon for the chourico, but no matter which way she made it, it was always one of my favorites and today, it's one I prepare for my family and my brother's family, knowing that it will go quite far.

Arroz a Valenciana

Arroz a Valenciana

1 lb chicken breasts, cubed (you can also use a whole cut up chicken or drumsticks or thighs)
1 onion, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
bay leaf
olive oil
salt and pepper
paprika
turmeric
saffron
white wine
1 small can tomato sauce
2 cans of vienna sausages, sliced
2 small chouricos, sliced
Frozen peas (I sometimes use mixed veggies)
fresh parsley
2 cups rice

In a pot, add a little bit of olive oil, the onions, tomatoes, garlic and bay leaf and cook until the onion is translucent.

Add in the chicken and the spices and stir well to combine, next pour in the tomato sauce and some white wine, I use about 1/4 cup of wine or so, just eyeball it.

Cook for a few minutes until the chicken is brown, then add in the frozen veggies and a little water and cook for a few minutes more until the veggies are done.

At this point, add in the 2 cups of rice and the sliced chourico.  Pour in enough water to cover the rice about an inch above.  Stir well and cook over medium heat until rice is to your liking.  Some people like the rice to have a bit of crunch to it, while others prefer a mushier rice, so cook according to your family's taste.  About 5 minutes before the rice is done, add in the sliced viennas and some chopped fresh parsley.

Serve immediately. 

Arroz a Valenciana

National Pizza Month with California Ripe Olives

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October is known for many things: falling leaves, cooler nights, and Halloween costumes. But in the culinary world it means one thing and one thing only: National Pizza Month!

We are a pizza AND olives loving family, matter of fact, you can always count on finding homemade pizza and some kind of olive as a topping.  I do have a certain affinity for black olives though, especially on pizza.

In 1769, the first olive cuttings were planted in California at the San Diego Mission. As most transplants do, they responded quite well to the California climate-sunny days, cool nights, fresh air-and they set their roots.

 You can find out more about California Ripe Olives by visiting CalOlives.org or by following @MissCAOlive on Twitter, or Facebook.

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The wonderful folks at California Olives sent me a kit to try out some of their olives and even included a recipe for a Black and White Pizza which I think is delicious.

Black and White Pizza

Black and White Pizza



1 Tbsp olive oil, plus additional for crust
1 cup onion that has been quartered and thinly sliced
2 Tbsp minced roasted garlic
4 oz mushrooms, chopped
1 ball prepared pizza dough
1 cup prepared Alfredo sauce
1 cup shredded smoked mozzarella
4 oz fresh mozzarella, torn into ½ inch pieces
1 (6 oz) can extra-large California Black Ripe Olives, cut into quarters chicken breast, cooked and sliced thin
2 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


Preheat oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a skillet, heat the 1Tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and mushrooms and cook until onions are soft (about 10 minutes). Set aside.
Roll pizza dough into a very thin oval.Transfer to parchment lined baking sheet and light brush with olive oil.
Then top crust with Alfredo sauce followed by mushroom mixture, cheese, chicken, and rosemary. Sprinkle with olives.
Bake at 450 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes until cheese is melted and crust is brown around the edges.
Serve with Parmigiano-Reggiano. Serves 4.


I didn't get a picture of this one because it went THAT fast, by the time I grabbed the camera it was gone LOL

I did make another one using butter and garlic as a base, instead of pizza sauce. I added smoked ham, banana bell peppers, California ripe black olives, onion and cheese....it was YUMMY!

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By far, one of my favorite olive brands has to be California Ripe Olives, so I always keep a few cans in my pantry, not just for pizza but for quite a few of my Portuguese recipes too :)

Thank you to the folks at California Ripe Olives for providing me with a kit for this review.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Homemade White Bread

Fresh, hot bread out of the oven, slathered in butter and then bit into while the melted butter drips down your hands.  I do believe that has to be one of Earth's wonders, right??

Homemade White Bread

So tonight, I wanted to make a big pot of potato and onion soup, it's been pretty chilly here and downright Fallish, and the perfect meal for a day like that is a bowl of steaming soup with a slice of hot fresh bread.

If you're looking for the soup recipe, it will be up right after this one :)

Anyway, back to the bread.  I do have quite a few bread recipes on the blog and I enjoy every single one of them.  This one however is one I tried from the blog Jamie Cooks it Up and it's truly a simple, easy and delicious bread to make.   The fact that I get 5 loaves out of it makes me extremely giddy too, because you see, fresh better never lasts longer than an hour in this house.

Homemade White Bread
WHITE BREAD
Yield: 5 loaves
 Source:  Jamie Cooks it Up

4 C hot water
1/2 C sugar
2/3 C oil
2 T salt
3 T yeast
10-12 C white flour


1. In a Bosch or Kitchen Aid mixer place the hot water, sugar, oil, salt, and 4 C of the flour. Mix for 1 minute.

2. Add the yeast, and the rest of the flour 1 C at a time while mixing. You will know you have enough flour when the sides of your mixer get scraped clean.

3. Once you have enough flour mix for 8 minutes on high.

4. Let the dough rest in the bowl for 5 minutes.

5. Divide the dough into 5 pieces and place in sprayed bread pans.

6. Take each piece and “spank” it to get any bubbles out.

7. Round the dough into a ball and place back in the pans.

8. Place the pans in your oven at 170 degrees, and let rise for 25 minutes, or until the bread has risen about 1 inch above the edge of the pan.

9. Turn the oven up to 350 and bake for 25 minutes. Don’t take the pans out while the oven heats up.Just let the bread keep rising while it heats. Enjoy!

Homemade White Bread

Monday, September 23, 2013

Italian Beef Sandwiches

Soon as the weather starts cooling down, I start using my crockpot more often.  I love stews, and soups and sandwich fixings that have been slow cooked for an entire day.

I've been super busy around here the past few months and quite honestly, I don't see it slowing down any time soon, so the crockpot has been my savior on more than one occasion.

These are so delicious and easy to throw in the crockpot, turn on and walk away.

Italian Beef Sandwiches



Italian Beef Sandwiches
Source: Taste of Home


1 boneless beef rump roast or bottom round roast (2 pounds), halved
1 boneless beef chuck roast (2 pounds), halved
1 beef sirloin tip roast (1 pound)
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 cups water
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 envelopes Italian salad dressing mix
1 envelope zesty Italian salad dressing mix
1 envelope (0.87 ounce) brown gravy mix
1 to 2 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
16 hoagie buns, split
Sliced provolone cheese, optional
Giardiniera, optional


In a large skillet, brown each roast in oil on all sides. Drain.

Transfer meat to a 7-qt. slow cooker. Combine the water, onion, garlic, salad dressing and gravy mixes, pepper flakes, Italian
seasoning and Worcestershire sauce; pour over beef. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or until meat is tender.
Remove beef; cool slightly. Skim fat from cooking juices.

Pour juices into a large bowl. Shred beef with two forks; add to bowl. Cool. Transfer to freezer containers. Freeze for up to 3 months.

Italian Beef Sandwiches

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Speedy Brownies

I think everyone has a favorite brownie recipe in their stash.  Either it's been passed down from generation to generation, or from a favorite cookbook.

I've never really had one that I made consistently.  I have tried so many over the years, some infused with nuts and different flavors, some fudgey, some more cake like and I have certainly had my fair share of disasters when it comes to brownies too.

The recipe I'm sharing today, I can say that it really is the first one that I have kept on hand because of it's simplicity.  Dumping all the ingredients into one bowl and a sprinkle of chocolate chips is what I call easy....but don't be fooled into thinking they are less than stellar because these Speedy Brownies truly are delicious.

Speedy Brownies
Speedy Brownies
Source:  Taste of Home

36 Servings 
Prep: 15 min. 
Bake: 30 min.


2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup baking cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
5 eggs
1 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips


In a large bowl, beat the first seven ingredients. Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Sprinkle with chocolate chips.

Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack.

Speedy Brownies

Monday, August 05, 2013

Mexican Pasta

I shared the photo on the blog's Facebook page the other day but didn't get around to posting the recipe.  A few of you have requested it already, and I apologize for the delay....but here it is :)

This one comes from Noble Pig and I've adapted it slightly, or rather, left some things out to match the tastes of our family.  Very good pasta dish though and it makes a lot, it was more than enough for 8 people plus leftovers.


Mexican Bowtie Pasta Bake
Recipe adapted from: Noble Pig | Serves: Serves 8-10


1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 cups diced onion
1/2 cup finely diced pickled jalapenos
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
15 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground oregano
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 pound ground beef (90/10)
2 cans (3 cups) evaporated milk
2 (11 ounce) cans mexicorn, drained
1 pound bowtie pasta, dry
2 cups shredded monterey jack cheese
2 cups shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
Garnish with cilantro, sour cream, avocado and hot sauce

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare 13 x 9 or 3 quart baking dish by spraying it with cooking spray. Cook pasta according to package directions.
In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, add olive oil and saute onions until soft; about 5-8 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant; about 30 seconds. Add jalapenos, tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper. Make sure to incorporate all ingredients well.
Add ground beef and saute until slightly browned with other ingredients. Add milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in mexicorn.
Add pasta to the meat mixture and mix well. Place half of the mixture in your baking dish and top with monterey jack cheese. Place the rest of the mixture on top of the monterey jack and top with cheddar cheese.
Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Serve with cilantro, avocado, sour cream and hot sauce.


Monday, July 22, 2013

Portuguese 10 Egg White Cake - Bolo das 10 Claras

I don't even remember when I got this recipe, but it's always been one of my go to, easy cakes to make. Mainly because it always seems to turn out great and since I'm not a huge baker, I don't have to worry about messing it up.

You have no idea how much taking a cake out of it's mold, scares me. I have to talk myself into doing it LOL

I'm sure you've noticed that I don't have a huge collection of desserts on this blog.  Not like 90% of the other food blogs who are filled with yummy sugary goodies.

Bolo das 10 claras

The reason is simple, not only am I not a huge baker, but I have always preferred salty to sweet, and I will take a plate of comfort food over a slice of cake, any.day.

Anyway, tonight the Pastor of our new church, is coming over with his wife to get to know us.  I'm not a very outgoing person, am actually quite shy and don't really care for people in my house.  Weird huh? LOL

But I decided that I should bake something instead of just giving them store bought cookies.  So after some thinking I narrowed it down to this cake, and so it is.

If you like pound cake, you'll enjoy this one, it's simple, plain but with a hint of lemon.

Bolo das 10 claras
Bolo das 10 Claras
Portuguese 10 Egg White Cake

10 egg whites
pinch of salt
2/3 cup softened butter
1 and half cups sugar
3 tablespoons of milk
2 cups of flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
Juice and rind of 1 small lemon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a cake pan with butter and flour.

Start by adding the egg whites to a big bowl, add in a pinch of salt and beat until firm.

In a separate big bowl, beat the softened butter and sugar until creamy.   Add the lemon juice and rind and the milk.  Mix well.  Add in the flour and the baking powder and mix until all ingredients are well combined.

Take a spoonful of the egg whites and add to the cake mix, slowly fold them in from bottom to top without beating.   Keep adding spoonfuls at a time and folding in gently until all the egg whites are mixed in.

Pour into the cake pan, sprinkle sugar on top to give it a nice crunchy crust and bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown and cake is done.

Remove from pan and serve.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Runza Casserole

A specialty from Nebraska, the Runza is quite popular in the State.  But if you're not from Nebraska, chances are you've never heard of it and didn't even know it existed.

Runza Casserole

I'm one of those people, I had no clue it existed until a friend of mine mentioned them.  So I went online, did a little search here and there and found the Runza's, which are originally a bread dough filled with a delicious meat filling featuring cabbage.

I LOVE cabbage.  Just wanted to get that out of the way.

After doing a little more searching I started seeing the Runza Casserole pop up all over the place and I just knew that I had to try it.

Let me tell you that my kids loved it and never even noticed the cabbage in there.  Definitely going on my Casserole List.


Runza Casserole
Runza Casserole
Adapted from:  Busy Bee


2 cans of crescent rolls
1 Pounds of Ground beef
2 Cups of Cabbage (I used shredded cabbage in a bag)
1/2 Cup of Onion
1 Can of Cream of Mushroom Soup
Garlic powder
Salt to taste
Shredded Mozzarella or Swiss Cheese


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Brown meat in large skillet, drain and return to skillet. Add cabbage, onion, garlic powder and salt, let it cook for a minute or two until cabbage is soft. Add the mushroom soup, stir well.

Grease baking dish, unroll one of the cans of crescent rolls and press into the bottom of the dish. Top with the ground beef and cabbage mixture. Sprinkle with shredded cheese.

Unroll second can of crescent roll, place over the beef mixture. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Runza Casserole

Cheese and Bacon Oven Baked Rice

Cheese and Bacon Oven Baked Rice

This is a really good way of using up leftover rice, which seems to be quite a usual occurrence in my household.

I either make this oven rice as a side dish for another meal, or I make rice pudding.  One thing is for sure, rice never goes to waste in this house :)

Cheese and Bacon Oven Baked Rice
Cheese and Bacon Oven Baked Rice

4 cups of cooked rice
4 slices of bacon, diced
parsley
3 tablespoons of parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar or any other cheese you have on hand
salt and pepper
2 eggs
1 cup of milk


In a bowl, mix the rice, bacon and parsley.  Transfer to a baking dish greased with butter.

In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, milk, cheeses and salt and pepper.  Pour over the rice.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.

Cheese and Bacon Oven Baked Rice

Crispy Bacon Cheddar Chicken

Crispy Bacon Cheddar Chicken

Bacon....cheddar cheese.....need I say more?

If there are two ingredients that are always in my refrigerator, it's bacon and cheese, and if don't see them in there it makes me sad.  Really!

This recipe came about when I decided to combine two chicken favorites around here.  The Crispy Cheddar Chicken and the Bacon Wrapped Chicken tenders we so enjoy.

Crispy Bacon Cheddar Chicken
Crispy Bacon Cheddar Chicken

1 pound chicken tenders
1 sleeve saltine crackers, crushed
salt and pepper
garlic powder
1 green onion, thinly sliced
Bacon
2 eggs
shredded cheddar cheese
Little bit of butter to dot the chicken with

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cut the chicken tenders in half.   In a bowl add the eggs, beat with a fork and set aside.  In another bowl, add the saltine crackers, salt and pepper, cheddar cheese, garlic powder to taste and the green onion.

Crispy Bacon Cheddar Chicken

Take a slice of bacon and wrap it around each piece of chicken.  Dip the chicken into the beaten egg and then into the cracker mixture, push firmly so the mixture adheres to the chicken.  Repeat with remaining chicken.

Spray a baking dish with nonstick spray and add the chicken.   I added little dots of butter to the top of the chicken and then baked it at 375 until golden brown and the chicken was cooked through.

Crispy Bacon Cheddar Chicken

Once the chicken was cooked through and crispy golden brown on one side, I turned it over to brown on the other :)

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