Saturday, June 16, 2012

Bacon Bleu Cheese Garlic Sliders

These were so good I just had to share! I Instagrammed my way right through this recipe.

2 pounds 90% lean ground beef
10 strips precooked bacon
4 oz. (container) crumbled bleu cheese
3-5 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup yellow onion
1-2 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 tsp. Seasoning Salt (like Lawry's)

Prepare by finely mincing the onion, pressing the garlic and chopping the precooked bacon into tiny bits. Next place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix together by hand until well combined. 
Once combined, form little meatballs ever so slightly larger than golf balls and then squish them into adorable little patties that are cute enough you are thinking of naming them all and crocheting bonnets for them. Don’t do it. It will make it much harder to turn around and eat them and believe me… you really want to eat them!
When you are done forming them into adorable patties, admire them and imagine what all of that bumpy bleu cheese is going to look like once the sliders are grilled.

BBQ the sliders on a nice hot grill, turning only after the first side has some nice grill marks. Flip. Finish those puppies off and then bring them inside. Don’t overcook them. It would be so sad if they dried out. Dry sliders aren’t anywhere near as cute as juicy ones.
Serve on little adorable buns. We used hawaiian rolls. Lettuce (or coleslaw!), some mustard and mayonnaise… Heaven on a bun. Take them from amazing to FREAKING amazing by making some of Ree’s super delicious onion strings to put on top! ((hold me))

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Apple Pecan Salad and Coconut Chicken Strips

Okay. It was DELISH.

For the pecans:
Spiced Candied Pecans
2 1/2 cups raw pecans
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. honey
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350F (just in case). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, stir the pecans with the egg white until pecans are coated, then add vanilla and honey. Stir well.
In a small bowl, stir together the sugar, cinnamon, allspice and salt. Pour over the nuts and stir until evenly coated.
Spread in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes.
Slide parchment paper (with nuts still on it) off of the baking sheet and onto a wire rack (or the counter) to cool.
Break nuts up into a bowl to serve or store at room temperature in an airtight container.

For the chicken:

Cut chicken breasts into small thin strips (mine were too large so I had to cook them for longer in the oven after frying them -- which was fine and actually crisped them up all the more). In a large bowl combine one can coconut milk and about 1/2 cup of buttermilk and 1 egg. Place chicken in this mixture, making sure all chicken is covered. Let stand (in fridge if you like) for about 20-30 minutes.

In another bowl mix together the dry ingredients. I really had to play with it to keep it the right combination of ingredients. The more chicken I dredged in it the more chunky it became making it harder for the good stuff to stick to the chicken. I used approximately equal parts flour, panko bread crumbs and shredded coconut as well as a few tsps. of (Lawry's would be good) seasoning salt. (Follow your instinct on all of this.) If it's not sticking well after a while, add a little extra everything until it's dry enough to stick again. (We had LOTS of chicken so if you are cooking less you might not have this problem as much.)

Dredge the chicken in the coconut mixture and place in about 1 1/2 inches of hot oil. Cook for a few minutes on each side (until dark golden-brown.) Remove to a paper towel lined plate. If the chicken is not fully cooked, place it on a baking sheet and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

For the salad:

1 head of red leaf lettuce
1 head of butter lettuce
1 pkg. crumbled feta
1 cup of dried cranberries
3 small apples (or 2 large), peeled and sliced thin
the candied pecans (you'll want a lot... trust me)
3 green onions sliced (I didn't use these but it begged for it.

And your favorite balsamic vinaigrette dressing (homemade if possible because everything is better homemade!!)

There you go! :^)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Mom's Spaghetti and Meatballs

AKA The Best Spaghetti and Meatballs I've EVER tasted. Seriously.

Italian Meatballs

Basic recipe for Meatballs, Sunset Italian Cook Book; p. 24
Modifications by Joan Olsson
I’m giving the quantities used in their recipe. For sixteen of us I multiplied quantities by 1 1/2.

5 slices day-old sweet French bread, crusts removed. Note: I used my favorite buttermilk bread from Costco.
2 pounds ground lean beef
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 large onion, finely chopped (food processor) (Note: as in the Joy of Cooking recipe, I always saute the chopped onions in a little butter and olive oil until translucent.)
1/2 cup chopped (Italian) fresh parsley
1 teaspoon each (chopped) oregano leaves and (Kosher) salt (I used at least 2 Tablespoons of chopped fresh oregano.)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons dried basil flakes (I love basil and always use more.)
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
3 eggs, slightly beaten
3 Tablespoons olive oil or salad oil (Please use olive oil!)

Whirl bread in food processor - you should have 2 cups lightly packed crumbs.) In a large bowl mix together crumbs, ground beef, the 1 cup Parmesan cheese, the sauteed chopped onion, chopped parsley, chopped oregano leaves, basil, garlic, the slightly beaten eggs until well blended. Mixing is best done with your hands. form mixture into 1 1/2 inch meatballs. I use an ice cream scoop to help form portions. I put all the meatballs on a baking sheet until ready to begin cooking them.

Heat olive oil in a wide frying pan over medium/high heat. Add meatballs, several at a time, and brown on all sides, shaking pan frequently so balls keep their round shape and brown on all sides. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and drop into prepared sauce. When all are added, bring sauce to a low boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Serve over spaghetti, cooked al dente, sprinkled with extra Parmesan cheese.

Spaghetti Sauce

This recipe makes a large quantity of sauce adequate for serving at least sixteen people. Amounts can be adjusted. Make this sauce before beginning to prepare meatballs.

3 stalks celery, washed and cut into chunks
About 2 cups baby carrots or 2 to 3 regular carrots, peeled and cut up
1 large green pepper, cut into chunks
1 large or 2 medium onions
3 - 5 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley
1 - 2 Tablespoons chicken soup base
olive oil
1/2 - 3/4 cup dry white or red wine
2 Tablespoons dried basil flakes
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 bay leaves
2 cans ( 1 lb 12 oz each) tomato puree: I used 2 quarts of our home canned tomato puree
2 14 oz. cans diced tomatoes
1 14 oz. can tomato sauce

Put celery and carrots through food processor. Saute in olive oil and butter in non-stick frying pan for about 5 minutes or until beginning to soften. Meanwhile, process onion and green pepper and add, with garlic, to other vegetables. Saute until onions are translucent. Add chicken soup base and wine and small amount of water if necessary. Simmer for several minutes - smells yummy! Put all in large dutch oven. Add tomato puree, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, chopped parsley, oregano, basil, pepper, bay leaves, and salt to taste (May not need any added salt, depending on amount of chicken soup base used.) Simmer for at least 30 to 45 minutes or until beginning to thicken. Serve over cooked spaghetti. Sprinkle with grated or shredded Parmesan or Romano cheese.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Chicken Bacon Pasta Casserole

I made a super yummy dinner tonight.

Chicken Bacon Pasta Casserole

I know it's a mouthful to say and I promise you will eat it and end up trying to talk with you mouth full. Words like, "Ohhhhhh" and "Hmmmmmm" and "Donn moot dat in da fwidgdth yed... I wann moe." (Isn't that how that would sound with your mouth stuffed full of yumminess? I think so anyways. Sorta like that.)

So when I'm in the cooking mode and I know something is going to come out stinkin' delicious I always momentarily think, "Oh, I should take pictures of the process like my Buddy Ree does." But then I just get too in the zone... and I cook when I'm already starving and therefore in a hurry and therefore decide, "Nahhh... I'd rather just get 'er done and eat this grubbin' good faire." Yup. That's the thought process behind the fact that I never ever have pictures of food that I am either making or have made. The only time I'd be able to get a picture is after the family has devoured half of it and you will all thank me and agree with me that a half-eaten crock of casserole is hardly an appetizing and alluring image of a food that you want someone else to try.

So in the absence of any real pictures of food I have decided that heretofore, due to my lack of patience with a camera during meal preparation, the picture below will be substituted for any real picture of food. You should thank me. What this does is force your underdeveloped (due to the sensory overload it endures day in and day out at the invisible hands of the internet and television monstrosity) imagination to exert its sorry little self.

food picture substitute

See? I'm helping you.

You're welcome. Any time.

Now, for the recipe. And be advised that all amounts in pretty much any recipe I create are going to be "some of this and some of that" and "about this much" and "about that much" because when I am in the zone it's like art... I don't measure. Does an artist measure paint daubs? Don't answer that. If they do measure them I don't want to know about it because I am living in my dream world and using analogies to things with which I am wholly unfamiliar.

And now for the recipe!

And by the way, feel free to alter this thing until it makes you happy. Until it makes you sing (if casserole has a habit of doing that for you that is). Until it makes your olfactory glands explode with intense, never before felt emotion. And be aware while you are cooking this dish that, while it is delectably delicious and perfect for an Autumn evening, I do have a tendency to exaggerate just a wee tad... so if your olfactory glands and your taste buds don't actually break into the Tango, well... just blame it on my obsessive use of superlatives and my penchant for hyperbole.

And NOW for the recipe!

This is what I'll be sharing with you today:

food picture substitute

Miss Nancy says to put on your thinking caps and try really hard to imagine what you believe to be the picture of overt yumminess. (Anyone remember Miss Nancy? From Romper room? She never said my name when she looked through her magic mirror, which we later discovered was just a handheld mirror with the mirror part removed... because if she did say my name, she'd be saying her name and what televised preschool teacher ever says "hello" to herself in a magic mirror? No. I'm not bitter. But thanks for asking.)

Got the picture in your head? Good. Now I can tell you the recipe.

First you gather your ingredients. These:

ingredients list CBC

Plus whatever else you think would be good. Oh, and (((gasp))) I left out Butter. How could I have left out Butter? Oh well, I dare say Butter has enough friends that he's not dying for my attention anyways. That's why I'm not going back to change my formal ingredients list. It has nothing whatever to do with the fact that I'm too lazy to do it. No sir. It's just that I mostly don't want to raise Butter's Google page ranking. He already gets plenty of hits without me adding to the madness. Oops... and I forgot chicken broth too... but yup... still not feeling like editing my formal list. Sorry.

First you do all of your veggie chopping. That would be two veggies. The onions and the celery. Melt some butter (a few Tablespoons) in a deep skillet or dutch oven. I used my dutch oven because I'm lazy and want to wash less dishes. When the butter is almost all the way melted, throw in your onions and celery. Sauté them for several minutes until the onions are translucent. Next add in your corn. You may or may not need another little touch of butter. Continue cooking for several more minutes. While it cooks cut your chicken breasts (or thighs or whatever you've got) into cubes. When the onion mixture smells divine and the corn is cooked through remove to a bowl.

Right about this time you'll want to start a pot of water boiling and cook your vermicelli noodles.

Again, if you need to add just a bit more butter to cook the chicken in, do so now. I usually like to use a little bit of butter and canola oil instead of all butter as it seems to not be as likely to burn. But do as you please on that front. Brown the chicken until almost done. Now add your bacon pieces, your fresh minced herbs as well as salt and pepper to taste. Give it a good stir and then add a few Tablespoons of white cooking wine and cook for another couple of minutes. Throw the corn/onion mixture back into the skillet/dutch oven followed by the cooked and drained vermicelli noodles.

Give it another good stir. Now add the abomination that causes atrial fibulations, your cream of mushroom soup, and then the sour cream, followed by the cheese. Stir all of this madness up together like as unto a witch stirring her evil bubbling gruel. Make sure to reserve some of the cheese to sprinkle on top. For what would a casserole be without a crustified crown of cheese, I ask? What?!

When it is mixed well and topped with cheese, sprinkle some paprika on it and place it in a 350° oven and cook for about 30 - 40 minutes. In my dutch oven it only needed 30 minutes to become piping hot.

And this folks... THIS is what it will look like when it's all done!

food picture substitute

Pull out of the oven and rapidly ingest whilst blessing me with a thousand blessings. (And don't forget that I warned you about my penchant for hyperbole.)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Quick and Easy Taco Salad

This recipe possibly seems like a total no-brainer to some but I know that sometimes in the evening I am so hungry and have thought so little in advance of dinner time that I am just too ravenous to come up with anything to eat. Here is about the quickest way I know to make a super yummy taco salad that you could even feed to guests and get compliments for. You don't have to tell them that it took you 8 minutes to assemble. It will be our dirty little secret.

Here are your ingredients:

1 Bag of Hearts of Romaine Lettuce (or whatever other lettuce you like)

1 to 1 1/2 Cups Mexican Style or Tex Mex shredded cheese
1 Store bought rotisserie Chicken (Just the meat folks. No bones please. This is about the only step that requires more work than mindlessly opening a can or bag and haphazardly dumping.)
1 Can black beans (drained and rinsed)
1 Can olives (drained)
3 Scallions (chopped up)
Several handfuls of your favorite corn chips (broken up). My real dirty little secret is that I actually really like mine with coronary artery disease in a bag Fritos.
1 to 2 Avocados (sliced up)
Okay, so mix all of that up together in a big bowl. Just dump it all in and stir wildly. Let your pent up emotions out. It's quick taco salad, not pretty taco salad so therefore it doesn't have to look pretty. Don't you like how the name of it sets you free like that? It just has to taste darn good. And it will. I promise. Okay so in another smaller bowl mix the ingredients for the dressing. There's nothing easier than this. In all honesty when I make it I measure it in blops. But "one blop of this and one blop of that" doesn't sound very good so I'm giving you estimates of how much I use. Mix it all up and either dress portions of your salad individually (if you want to save any for leftovers this is the best way to do it) or dress the whole kit 'n' kaboodle at once because you'll likely consume the whole thing in one sitting.1/2 cup of Ranch Dressing
1/2 cup of your favorite salsa
1/4 cup of sour cream
3 - 5 shakes of Tabasco Sauce
1 Can diced green chilies
That's it. Taco salad, whether I make it a little more gourmet or whether I throw it together in 8.2 minutes, is one of my favorite meals. It's because deep down I am part Mexican. I'm just sure of it. I'm just a really washed out Mexican. (And I realize fully that this meal doesn't really constitute real Mexican food. But work with me people.)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Friday, July 4, 2008


These two recipes were perfect together.

Cucumber Dill Salad (I call it Tzatziki Salad) I added two cloves of minced garlic some chopped chives and a bit of chopped fresh mint. It was better than fantastic. It was DELICIOUS!!

We ate it with this divine Rosemary Mustard Chicken. I never knew chicken breasts could taste so heavenly.