Thursday, June 30, 2011

Egg Rolls and Teryaki Noodles

Well I don't have a picture.. was so engrossed in getting eggrolls made and on the table for 11 people, I totally forgot. My egg rolls are pretty easy, though.. I just brown up a pound of ground pork in the wok.. When its browned nicely I add some oil and a couple cloves of chopped garlic and the pan screaming hot.. then I poured in a couple bags of cole slaw mix. I stirred it around with my big tongs and then poured about half a cup of soy sauce all over the cabbage in the pan, along with a few splashes of apple cider vinegar. I tossed everything really well the tongs and just let it stir fry for a few minutes, until the cabbage started to wilt down and soften up just a bit. Then we filled our eggroll wrappers and closed them up with an eggwash. I deep fried them in my big cast iron dutch oven in 360 degree veggie oil. Really simple and really yummy. We let the kids make a couple egg rolls.. those ones needed some "patches", but they did pretty good. LOL They had fun and that's what is most important.

I had some left over filling mix, so when I was ready to do the noodles, I heated up veggie oil in the wok and tossed in some cooked spaghetti (I had cooked it earlier then tossed it with olive oil so it wouldn't get sticky).. Then I tossed in the leftover egg roll filling mix (it was about 2 or 3 cups worth) and 2 sliced green onions.. Stir fried it all together for a few minutes then poured my Teryaki Glaze over all of it and stir fried it around for a minute or two..

I made a little bit of my special dipping sauce.. two parts thai sweet chili sauce and one part less sodium soy sauce mixed together.. yummy stuff.. and we had quite the feast. It was so good and I was so dang full my stomach hurt. The husband ate 5 egg rolls. He didn't like them or anything.

It was a full day of cooking. My feet hurt and I'm tired. Tomorrow night is going to be simple.. That italian sausage casserole I came up with last week.. This time I'll try to remember to take a pic of it.

Sweet Roll obsession!!!

Okay it's official. I am addicted to these suckers. So I made 4 different kinds, as planned... I made one full batch of The Pionner Woman's cinnamon rolls. Ree is an amazing woman. Bless her. I refrigerated my dough after adding the last cup of flour and the baking powder/soda. Had other things to do, like make a huge batch of egg rolls and teryaki noodles for dinner.. That I completely forgot to take pics of. LOL Anyway, after dinner and the mountain of dishes were cleaned up.. I got started on the different fillings.

For the blueberry ones, I simmered a pint of blueberries, a cup of sugar, a tablespoon or so of cornstarch and half a cup of water with the zest of a lemon, and the juice of half a lemon.. I cooked this until the blueberries burst and the sauce thickened up. Turned off the heat and let it sit there and cool while I started working on everything else. Then I took a cup of white sugar (which ended up being too much.. more like half a cup woulda been fine) and zested a lemon directly into it.. then worked the lemon zest all through the sugar with my hands until I had a gorgeous sand like yellowish lemon scented sugar. (this was a gorgeous substance.. the orange was even tastier) . When it came time fill these rolls, I slathered half a cup of melted butter and spread most of the blueberry filling out on the rolled out and rested dough (more on this later).. there was simply too much filling so I didn't need it all... After spreading as much filling as I thought that dough could hold, I sprinkled it with the lemon scented sugar and rolled it up, pinched it closed and sliced into 1-1.5 inch rolls and laid them out in a 9x13 that had been rubbed down with melted butter. It was an ooey gooey mess.. Everytime I cut a roll, blueberry filling splurged out onto the table. It was quite the mess!! Thank god I had my sis in law there to help me clean up as I went or I'd probably still be scrubbing things. LOL For the glazed on these, I took about a third of a bag of powdered sugar and the zest and juice of one lemon, about 1/3 cup melted butter, and a few splashes of milk and whisked it together.

For the orange rolls.. I did the same trick as the lemon scented sugar.. zested 1 whole orange into 1 cup of white sugar and worked it through with my hands. This tasted amazing all by itself.. but I really wanted to know what it would be like with a tad clove and cinnamon.. so I took a small portion out and tried it.. I liked it.. but The Husband wasn't wild about it, and my sis in law preferred the plain orange. Well after thinking about it.. I had a PMS moment and grabbed a couple chocolate chips, and sorta dipped them into the orange sugar.. and popped them into my mouth.. cuz I love orange flavored chocolate so much. And I had an epiphany! I needed to put chocolate chips in my orange sweet rolls!!! And so that's what I did. After slathering the rolled dough with the required half a cup of melted butter, I sprinkled the entire cup of orange scented sugar (since there was no blueberry filling, I needed the whole cup in this batch) all over the surface and then liberally dispersed chocolate chips.. Rolled it up, sliced it, put it in the buttered dish. I die. For the glaze I did the same as the lemon glaze, except obviously replacing the one whole lemon for one whole orange.

For the chocolate chip round, I did it just like PW does hers.. Slather with melted a butter, a combo of white and brown sugar, generous sprinkling of chocolate chips and rolled it up and sliced it (Sis in law actually did this batch :)) and set it into the buttered pan. For the glaze on these I took a third of a bag of powdered sugar, added a couple teaspoons of vanilla (I actually got a little carried away with the vanilla, oh well LOL), 1/3 a cup of melted butter, and several splashes of milk, and whisked together.

The last pan was my standard version of PW cinnamon rolls.. melted butter, a mix of white and brown sugar, a hefty sprinkling of cinnamon.. roll 'em up and slice 'em. For the glaze I softened(actually accidentally mostly melted lol) 2/3 a brick of cream cheese, 1/3 cup melted butter, 1/3 bag powdered sugar, a teeny splash of vanilla and a couple splashes of milk to make a cream cheese glaze.

Now my note on rolled and rested dough.. Even though my dough had already risen technically twice.. once warm and then the second a slow cold rise in the fridge.. I like to roll out the dough and then leave it for 10-20 minutes before spreading the filling onto it and rolling it up. I find that because I tend to roll it rather thin no matter how hard I try not to.. this allows the dough a minute to sorta puff back up so the spirals inside the roll are nice and prominent and not tons of tiny spirals that fall apart. So what I ended up doing was rolling out all 4 portions of dough in separate spots on the table (thank god for a big table!), once I was done with the last one, the first was nice and puffy again and ready to be filled. Once the rolls are filled and sliced they have to rise one last time for 30-45 mins, depending on how cold the dough was from the fridge. I do it on the back of the stove while the oven warms up.. the oven vent provides heat that really makes them puff up and rise nicely.

Here's a pic of my rolls rising.. as you can see the ones in the back, by the vent are nice and big and ready to go.. once those were in the oven, I moved the other two pans to the back and they got just as big..

Being risen techincally 3 times resulted in a REALLY yummy tasting dough. I couldn't have been more pleased with all of this.. and refrigerating that dough after the first rise instead of going ahead and making rolls right away, really made the dough SO much easier and less sticky to roll out. All in all, a really fun project and I'm glad I finally experimented with some new flavors.

As of right now, I've only had the orange chocolate and the blueberry lemon, because I'm showing self restraint.. both were amazing. I tried to go with just half of each.. but.. well PMS got the better of me and I went back for the other half of the orange chocolate one. It reminds me so much of those "whack it and unwrap it" chocolate oranges that you can get at christmastime. I *love* those things and that's just what the inside of these rolls taste like.. I just can't even get over how in love I am with it. Yummy stuff. Best idea EVER!!! :)

Oh and just because I really needed a plain orange sweet roll.. I pulled the chocolate chips out of two of them before rising and baking, so that I'd have a couple that are just like my orange ones from the can.. but better. :D I hid them in a tupperware in my room. Those heathens woulda stolen it by morning. I don't trust em. Not with my sweet rolls! lol

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Dough is Rising

I have my sweet roll dough rising on the back of the stove. I love the smell of yeast as a dough is rising. So yummy. I probably won't make them right when it's done.. I wanna refrigerate the dough so it is easier and less sticky to work with.. and it'll be time to get started on egg rolls when right when the rising is finished.. so yeah, I'm just gonna put it in the fridge and work on them tonight.. I love baking at night anyway. Things turn out better. :)

I went to the store and got a pint of blueberries and 4 lemons.. Gonna give that blueberry lemon idea a go. Lori says if it's going to be the Lori Sweet Roll, it's gotta have nuts of some kind. Idk if I have any nuts.. or what would be good with this combo.. maybe almond? Idk.

Definitely going ahead with my orange plans. I never did make any orange scented sugar.. I'll have to go do that in a minute. I think I'll do a lemon scented sugar as well, to sprinkle over the blueberry filling. mmmmmmmmmmm

Oh and I got a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm I is a baaaad girl. Chocolate chip sweet rolls.. yeah baby. I blame PMS.

Post with pictures and details of what I decide to do with them (I'm still working it all out in my head LOL) coming soon :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

OMGosh! a sweet roll just for Lori!

So Jamie and I are planning to experiment with the cinnamon rolls tomorrow.. I'm going to make the full recipe of dough, so I'll have at least four 9x13 pans of rolls.. And I want to do them in different ways.. I know I'm going to do an orange sweet roll.. I'm thinking white and brown sugar on the dough, orange zest.. or maybe orange scented sugar?? Oooh, I could go make that tonight. Anyway.. A little cinnamon and a tiny smidge of clove.. Then for the glaze.. powdered sugar, orange zest, orange juice and melted butter. Mmmmm I'm excited just thinking about it.

Now for Lori's sweet roll. Lori's favorite cake is my lemon cake with blueberry filling. So I'm thinking I need to fill one batch of dough with blueberry filling and some white sugar, and then a glaze made just like the orange one, but with lemon. I really think she's gonna love this!

For the other two pans.. I'm not sure.. probably at least one traditional cinnamon.. and one pan I'd *really* like to do some chocolate chips and a vanilla glaze.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Busy Life

Yep.. that describes it. With my brother's family here I find myself on the computer less and less..but we are definitely cooking up a storm! I made some pulled pork for Sunday Lake Day that was really awesome.. But I think next time I'm gonna use more liquid smoke and not wrap the shoulder in foil. I wanna get a little crust on the outside from my rub. And so it's not sitting in the fat drippings.. it just gets TOO wet and soggy when it sits in the drippings the whole time.

Tonight I'm making fried pork chops with rice and gravy and the husbands favorite green beans. And if the husband can find any... some soft white dinner rolls.

And at some point this week the sis in law and I are going to experiment with my cinny roll recipe.. and make orange sweet rolls! Mmmmmm Whenever we buy canned cinnamon rolls, I always grab a roll of the orange flavored ones cuz they are my favorite.. so I wanna give some orange ones a try with my from scratch recipe. I also think at some point I should make some with chocolate chips. No, I'm not PMS'ing or anything. And no I did not just eat a candy bar that I bought for the sis in law on Friday night but she never ate. Nope. No issues with chocolate cravings what-so-ever right now. haha

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Chicken and Mushroom Enchiladas.. plus cupcakes!

Don't they look good?? Gosh. LOL These were so freaking good. Dave ate 6. Yes SIX. And I did something new.. I added a ton of stuff to my filling with the chicken and cream cheese.. Here's what I did..

First I took some boneless skinless chicken breasts and rubbed them down with some olive oil and salt and peppered them and put them in a 425 degree oven for 20 mins. Then I sliced up one box of cremini mushrooms and asked my sis in law to slice up an onion.. Threw them into a really hot pan that had butter and olive oil in it... sauteed them till they were golden brown and then tossed in some minced garlic.. Then I deglazed the pan with some marsala (I know.. weird right? it was good!) and let it cook down. During this time my sis in law sliced up some black olives and some pickled jalapeno peppers. When the chicken was cool enough to handle (not really, I burned my fingers lol) we pulled it apart and shredded it a bit, leaving nice big chunks.. Then we put all of this into a big mixing bowl with half a block of cream cheese, a handfull of shredded cheddar cheese (literally a handful lol) and about 1/3 of a big can of diced green chilies and I mixed all this together. It was really hard to not just grab forks at this point and go for it straight from the bowl, forgetting the tortillas and sauce all together.. but somehow we managed some sort of self restraint and mixed up the sauce..

For the sauce I mixed a 16oz container of sour cream (I used fat free) and a can of.. a can... uhm. Dangit I'm ashamed of the next ingredient. But I used it, I can't lie.. I used a can of cream of crap, I mean cream of chicken, soup. There I said it. Flay me now. But it works so good. LOL
Anyway.. I mixed together the sour cream and cream of crap, then I added in the rest of green chilies, a big handfull of chopped fresh cilantro, a teaspoon of cumin, a teaspoon of onion powder, a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of garlic pepper. This tasted yum!

We rolled a hefty portion of the filling into flour tortillas and lined them up, seam side down in a buttered casserole dish.. Then I ladled sauce down the middle of the row of enchiladas, leaving just the edges of the tortillas bare from sauce (I like this way this looks personally.. you can smother them if thats your thing LOL).. then I put a few handfulls of cheese down the center of line of sauce, sprinkled it with some sliced black olives and popped them into the oven at 375-400 until the cheese was all melted and the enchiladas heated through.

Best enchiladas I have EVER made. Mushrooms and olives were the best freakin thing. THE BEST!!! :)

The cupcakes we made today were really yummy too... Just look:

The cake is actually just a mix my sis in law had in her stuff, from Paula Deen... we added some of my vanilla bean paste to it to doctor it up a bit... Then I took those frozen berries I've been trying to decide what to do with into a pan with a couple cups of sugar and some water and cooked them down.. sent them through the food processor to puree them.. back into the hot pot and added a cornstarch slurry to thicken it up. Filled the cupcakes, using my new cupcake filler tip after hollowing out a small portion in the top of the cupcake (I'll post pics of how to do this tomorrow) . We made a buttercream with almond extract in it that tasted devine.. Then I showed my sis in law and our three girls how to do the rosettes I learned how to do over at iambakers blog. So cute, so yummy!!!!

Tomorrow we are thinking of doing the other box of cupcake mix with some banana cream filling she has in her box of pantry stuff.. and icing them with some leftover chocolate buttercream I have in the fridge and the leftover almond buttercream. Can we so oh hell yeah? MMMMMMMMMM lol And tomorrow night dinner is gonna be spaghetti and meatballs. :) Yum. Shoot. I forgot french bread. Dangit. Gonna have to send the sis in law to the store I think.

I love cooking with my sis in law.. we have such a good time. :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Fun Day :)

I took the kids to the water park here in town today.. We had a blast. They were stoked that I stopped at McDonalds for 10 bucks worth of dollar menu double cheeseburgers to take with us. LOL Poor baby girl Hannah's face is FRIED though. She still had sunburn scabs from Sunday, and even though I put tons of sunscreen on her, and zinc stick over and over again.. they are bright red. :( Poor baby. But she loved every minute of being there. :) It kills me that they are big enough to go around the lazy river by themselves.. and too big for the playscape. We've been going to this water park for years.. and they have always played in the baby pool, or on the playscape.. and now they are big girls.. that can swim really well.. and are tall enough to walk around the lazy river without me. Growing up so fast on me! I can't believe they are 9. Craziness. Where are my babies? Weren't they just babies? I swear they were! The boys had fun, too.. Even though I was a cruel mom and wouldn't buy them a snowcone.. after spending 60 freakin dollars that day, on entrance fees, sodas and water, the aforementioned double cheeseburgers, an out of the way stop at walmart for goggles that were not full face and just eye goggles (park rules) .. nooo this was not all enough.. "Dont we have enough money for snowcones??" No. We don't. Just like we didn't 30 minutes ago. And just like we didn't the 30 minutes before that. STOP ASKING! Sheesh. I did order pizza on the way home, though. Sad when you start out with a $100 bill and at the end of the day you have $1 of it left. It was fun though. :)

Tomorrow night.. Enchiladas with my sis in law.. and we have some plans for those babies!!! Like sauteed mushrooms and onions and some black olives inside the filling with the chicken and the cream cheese. MMMMMMMMM And a sour cream sauce with lots of green chilis. Some sliced green onions over the top... Yeah baby! Gonna be yummy. But I'm gonna need more mushrooms for greenbeans later this week. LOL

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

In other news..

In other news.. we have house guests for the next few week.. my brother and his family are going to stay with us for a couple weeks while they look for a new house to live in. It's going to be an adventure.. a crowded adventure, that's for sure.. but it will be fun.. The kids are here all the time anyway. And my sis in law and I love to cook and bake together, so I am sure we'll have a lot of fun. One day this week we're going to make chicken enchiladas together... and we've already decided we have to bake something.. and there is a graham cracker crust about to go out of date coming from her kitchen.. so I'm sure we'll have to use that up right away! lol It should be fun! Oh I'm also going to show them my green bean recipe I posted last week... and going to make those with some fried pork chops and rice with brown pork gravy over top. That happens to be Jason's favorite meal of all time, which I never make because I'm usually dieting lol, so I'm sure he's REALLY excited. LOL I have to admit, I'm kind of excited too :D What else for this week? Uhmm.. Spaghetti and meatballs I think. Tonight I just did a frozen tray of baked tortellini I picked up at walmart with some totinos pizza rolls.. because we were helping them pack and get stuff to storage and needed a big meal for hungry people that didn't require tons of work. It felt dirty. But it was decently good, about like a frozen lasagna is passable but never compares to the real thing. I vowed to make a homemade version of this tortellini thing with my own sauce and my own pesto and real parm cheese. I'm thinking that for next week sometime.

The weekend was great.. spent the day at the lake on Sunday, drank beer.. got sunburned. On my belly. No, I didn't wear a bikini.. haha not there by a long shot. But I did lift up my swimsuit top as I was laying on my big flower shaped floaty out in the water. I'm sure the half cove was thinking "that fat girl needs to pull her shirt down" and the other half of hte cove was prolly thinking "awww what a cute pregnant mom, sunning her belly". haha You think I'm joking... I gotta get back on weight watchers. After the pizza pot pie. And the enchiladas. And the fried pork chops. Yeah. after all that. (and prolly then some)

Pizza Pot Pie

Huh? Yeah, I know.. that's what I thought. I'm watching "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" on the Food Network. And this guy just showed this pizza pot pie. They took a bowl, brushed it with olive oil, layered *several* slices of cheese (they said it was a wisconsin brick cheese, I think? idk, I bet provalone or mozz would work) then they put in 3 white button mushrooms (I'd use cremini and prolly add some black olives too, but that's just me) and ladled in a thick meat sauce that had onions and peppers and pork sausage.. then then took pizza dough (some secret Sicilian triple rise pizza dough) and draped it over the bowl and baked it in the oven (I'd salt that and maybe put a bit of dried herbs up there, but again, thats me) ... Then at the table, they dump it over onto a plate for you and it looks like a deep dish pizza!! Now how cool is that? I'm pretty sure I might need to rip off this idea (with my a fore mentioned suggestions) (have you noticed I like to use parenthesis a lot? I'm weird I know)... Soon. Yes soon.

I also saw, in the same episode, some apple pie that had pine nuts and new mexico hot green chilies in it. Idk about that. It sounds interesting. Veddy Interesting. Just not sure it's a good or bad interesting. lol

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Girls Night :)

Spent the evening with my brother's wife. We went to one of my fave mexican restaurants and had cocktails and yummy food.. We got the "ultimate fondue".. basically queso with crawfish tails, shrimp and scallops in it.. and IDK what the know it alls say.. Fish in cheese is okay with me! It was some yummy stuff! And then we shared a shrimp stuff avocado. Have you heard of these? If not.. oh my word. They take half an avocado and stuff it with cheese and shrimp.. then they some how bread it and it all holds together while they deep fry that sucker. It is some damn yummy stuff!! And the mexi martini wasn't half bad either.. they were heavy on the tequila which is always nice when you're only getting one drink. lol Oh and the donuts from the new donut shop half a block away.. REALLY freakin yummy! :)

Friday, June 17, 2011

No cookin' for me tonight

I spent 3 hours in the car today, picking up my niece from girl scout camp.. and after everything I've made this week, I most definitely earned the night off. I do have to still run to the store though.. gotta at least pick up some chicken nuggets or pizza rolls or something one of the kids can throw in the oven for dinner. I might make Dave pick me up some form of take-out. :)


I don't mean to brag.. okay yeah maybe I do... But I make *amazing* brownies. Fudgy and chocolately and oh so perfect when you're PMSing and will hurt people for chocolate. My love of chocolate is well noted. I don't care for it all of the time.. infact sometimes I'll pass it over completely for something cinnamon. But there are times (and it's usually when mother nature is present or on her way).. when chocolate is all I can think about and lust for. These brownies fill that void perfectly, everytime. I die from bliss with each gooey fudgy bite. The best part is that it's so easy.. just as easy as a box, but wayyyy better. :)

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 2 sticks butter, melted
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
Butter and flour a 13x9 baking dish (or just spray it with some pam) and preheat the oven to 350. Mix the first 5 ingredients in a large bowl (I use the kitchenaid).. Pour in the butter with the mixer on low and add the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla. Mix just long enough to get everything well incorporated and then spread it out in your prepared pan. It is a VERY thick batter.. this is okay :) Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 mins. Let it cool a bit then cut into squares.. and prepare to die from chocolate bliss.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Upside Down Peach Cake

Well, it sure looked pretty! I wish it had tasted as pretty. It was just okay for me. It was a little too dense and dry.. and definitely not sweet enough. I would post the recipe, but I really wasn't happy with it, so why bother? If I get a wild hair to make this again, I will search out a different recipe, for sure.


So I have some Fredericksburg peaches.. they have been in a paper bag by a window for a couple days.. They need to be used tomorrow. And I can't decide between making a peach pie, or peach upside down cake. They both sound SO good! I also have some frozen mixed berries in the freezer that could be used in whatever I decide to make.. but I can't decide which to make! lmao

Lots of cooking and mistakes gone good!

I made the italian sausage rice casserole tonight.. it was really good.. I made it just like I was brainstorming about.. With onions, but no peppers.. decided it didn't need any herbs, just some onion powder and garlic pepper... And I baked it in my big dutch oven, covered in the oven at 350 for 1 hour. Then I stired in some drained sliced black olives (a small can) and then sprinkled it with colby jack cheese and some cheddar.. Put the lid back on it for a few minutes (out of the oven) and it got all melty and gooey.. Oh man oh man.. Good stuff!

I also made some kickass brownies today. I did my regular brownie recipe (will post it tomorrow), then poured this leftover cookies n cream filling I made a few months ago for Jozi's bday cake and has been in the freezer ever since. Well.. that didn't quite swirl the way I envisioned.. Infact it looked like it was gonna screw up my brownies.. so real quick I whipped up another half batch of my brownie mix (minus some cocoa because I was running out and didn't have quite enough lol).. and poured that over the top of the swirled together oreo brownie batter mix. Baked it at 350 for a while.. it took a while for the middle to set because of the cookies n cream filling being so runny. But it all melded together and made the MOST delicious chocolately gooey centered brownies you ever tasted! Good stuff!!!! I love when mistakes turn out great. :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Mandolin Lesson #2

No matter how busy you are.. Always wash this gadget and put it away immediately after usage. Never ever ever put it into the sink to wash later, inadvertently piling other dishes on top of it, forgetting that it and its satanic blades are there at the bottom of the sink.. just waiting for you to come back 4 hours later to wash the dishes and reach down into the sink and WHAMO! Maim another finger. I got mad this time. I ripped it out of that side of the sink and THREW it into the sink I was washing in. Then started grabbing paper towels and asking for a bandaid because I was bleeding profusely. Because of the mandolin. Again.

Sheesh. I made it all the way through slicing the 4 pounds of potatoes.. It was the washing dishes part that was hazardous to my health.

Homemade BBQ Chips

So I embarked upon a homemade potato chip adventure tonight. The kids are in agreement.. Best idea ever!! I discovered a few things in the process.. had a lot of fun.. and didn't maim myself until I was washing dishes, proving my point that dishes are hazardous to my health.

So anyway, back to the chips.. I sliced several potatoes on my mandolin slicers thinnest setting. I was a smart girl.. I used the hand guard. Managed all the potatoes without maiming a finger. Woot! I put the mandolin over a bowl of water and sliced the potatoes directly into the water. I arinsed them a couple times.. then soaked them in a bowl full of water with a heavy pinch of salt added for about 25 minutes. During that time I chopped and fried up some bacon.. Yeah, I said bacon. We'll get to that later.. ;) After soaking, I rinsed the potatoes off and then laid them out on tea towels to dry.

In my big enameled cast iron dutch oven I heated up about 2 qts of oil to 365 degrees. When it came up to temp I used my big spider to drop a batch of potatoes into the hot oil, stirred them around.. and when they looked like this:

I let them cook for just 1 minute longer (really just so I could post the picture to facebook before fishing them out hahaha) then I fished them out with my big spider spoon thingy (you can kinda see there off to the right in the pic) and dropped them into a big metal bowl..

Now comes the fun part... I felt like Gina Neely from food network, playin' spice fairy to my chips! I had some rub left over from the beef ribs I did this weekend for Sunday Lake Day. One of my best rubs ever, actually.. Used white sugar, brown sugar, lawrey's salt, onion powder garlic pepper, white pepper, and a ton of paprika.. It was yummy.. So I sprinkled my chips with it right as they came out of the oil and tossed them around the bowl to coat them as I sprinkled..

They were SO freaking good!! Kids flipped out. I kick Lay's ass. For real.. who knew making BBQ style potato chips just required a standard rub. LOL I kept them on a paper towel lined cookie sheet in a 200 degree oven to keep them hot while I cooked all the took several batches.. especially since we kept eating them while the next batch was cooking.. putting them in the oven and keeping a small bowl out to munch on was the only way any of them actually made it to the table. LOL

They were amazing.. but I wasn't done there. Oh no. Noooooo. What I did next was naughty naughty. I drizzled some bbq sauce (bullseye memphis is what I used cuz I wanted that molassesy sweetness) all over the chips. Then I put several handfulls of shredded cheese (cheddar and colby jack) all over them, like nachos! Remember the cooked chopped bacon from earlier?? Oh yeah baby.. I sprinkled it all over my chips.. Then threw it under the broiler till the cheese was bubbly and melty and brown in some spots.. Then I tossed some chopped green onions (both the whites and the green tops) all over it, gave it one more little drizzle of BBQ sauce and gave it some pickled jalapeno slices.. And this little masterpiece is what my daughters have deemed "Pumped Up Chips!!".

Aren't they so pretty?

P.S. I totally ripped off this idea from Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. :D But man oh man.. this was freakin gooooooood!!!

P.S.S. The rinsing and soaking process that I used here results in a very light crispy chip.. much like a lays original potato chip. I like a little more crunch to my chips.. So I decided to try slicing up a potato and dropping it right into the oil without rinsing or soaking it, for one of the batches... I liked those chips a lot more, they seemed have a bit more crunch.. but I'd like even more crunch.. like kettle cooked chips... so I am going to look into making kettle style chips at home.

Monday, June 13, 2011

No new recipe tonight

My turkey italian sausages are good till the 19th... So I decided to wait on creating my new recipe. The stepson, Kevin, was here for dinner tonight and he requested the Marlboro Man sammich. Goooood stuff right there! Tomorrow night is prolly gonna be homemade potato chips.

Something different with italian sausage.

I have some turkey sweet italian sausage links in the fridge that I was supposed to make spaghetti and meatballs with that never happened last week (used the noodles on the teriyaki chicken thing).. So I need to use them up.. But I don't wanna do the spaghetti and meat balls..I don't wanna do anything with pasta.. or any sub sandwiches.. I want something *different*. So I've been racking my brain thinking about it... Looking at allrecipes for inspiration.. And I'm brainstorming and idea.. might as well jot it down in here.

I wanna take the turkey italian sausage I have in the fridge and remove it from the casings and fry it up in the big cast iron with a bit of olive oil and a chopped up onion(maybe some red and yellow peppers??).. when its nice and brown and crisp add in some minced garlic and 2 cups of rice and cook it for a min or two.. Then add in 1 cup of tomato puree, 3 3/4 cup beef broth, and 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce and a few pinches of sugar for the tomatoes.. Now this next part I'm kinda stuck. I don't know if I should add any kind of herb or spice.. It's italian sausage.. so that makes me think basil.. But its kinda like mexican rice.. so that makes me think maybe cumin.. But maybe it won't need anything at all? So I'm not sure on that part yet.. so I'm just gonna taste it and see where the feeling takes me. But I'm pretty sure I want to stir in some frozen corn and/or some sliced black olives into it about 5 mins before the rice is done. And then I wanna cover it in cheese.. but what cheese? Mozzerella? Monterey jack? Hmm. Idk yet. I also will have some green onions left over from another recipe that I could slice and put on top at the end. Hmmmm I think it's gonna be yummy. And I bought the italian sausage last week, so I need to use it early this week.. Sooo, I'm pretty sure I'm gonna work this recipe out tomorrow. and *hopefully* come back and write a proper recipe for it..

P.S. After making and eating this (way yummy btw) the husband and I agreed it needed bacon.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Homemade Potato Chips??

Yes. The answer is YES YES YES!!! I got a mandolin not long ago.. and thus far have only sliced zucchini and squash on it a few times (and have only maimed a finger one time.. use the hand guard, people.. use the hand guard).. And I've been thinking "Man I really need to make something else with this thing. Enter tonight: I'm having my usual Friday night hot date with Guy Fieri on the food network. DDD is such a great show. Lots of my good (bad hehe) ideas come from there. So tonight there are these people that are slicing their own potatoes and making potato chips. That in and of itself is a pretty dang good idea, right? Hells yeah it is! But these wonderful people took a few steps further. The took those wonderfully hot fresh outta the fryer chips and seasoned em up with season salt.. then they squirted BBQ sauce all over em.. THEN they took a big ol' handful of monterey jack cheese and smashed that on top and plopped them in the oven. Then they put on a whole bunch of chopped bacon! And some green onions.. And gave it some ranch for dipping. I'm thinking the only thing they forgot was the sliced pickled jalapenos!

And I am pretty dang sure that I'm gonna have to be a very very naughty girl and do this REALLY soon. Yep. I'm pretty dang sure.

Friday, June 10, 2011

My cinnamon coffee frosting

Half a bag of powdered sugar (so I guess thats like 1lb?)
half a stick of butter, melted
1 single serve packet of starbucks instant coffee, columbian style is what I used
1 tsp vanilla
1 tablespoon cinnamon (I like a LOT of cinnamon.. you can use more or less to your taste)
1/3-1/2 cup milk (I didn't measure this, sorry.. I just poured some in till I had a nice and thick, but pourable icing)

Mix all of this together in a large bowl and whisk the heck out of it till its smooth and pourable.

When using on cinnamon rolls.. don't be shy!! As PW says "really drown those puppies!". And you will have a roll that tastes like your coffee and your breakfast all in one bite. Really, it's most awesome.

I love cinnamon and coffee together. Infact, I'm thinking I might need to make some cinnamon coffee icecream. Hmmmm That sounds really freakin good. My poor love handles. hahahah

Cinnamon Rolls in the afternoon

Cinnamon rolls at midnight... cinnamon rolls at 6am.. cinnamon rolls in the afternoon. MMMMMMM They are almost gone, and that's probably a good thing because I'm having ZERO self control when it comes to them. hehe The cinnamon coffee frosting that I put on one of the pans is TO DIE FOR. Seriously yummy yummy. Andy loves it too. He even put on my facebook page that the coffee ones are his favorite. Isn't that so cute? My 10 year old facebooking. About my cooking. hehe

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Husbands Fave Green Beans

Looks pretty good, huh?? :D

1 lb fresh green beans (my package was actually 12 oz in a sealed pouch you can microwave them in) steamed for 2 minutes in the microwave.
1/2 lbs bacon, chopped (I cut the package of bacon in half and then diced it up)
1 medium onion, sliced
4 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced (half a little box is what I had in the fridge)
2 large cloves garlic, minced (3 or 4 if they are puny)
1 cup marsala wine

Start by browning the bacon in a large skillet.. Once its all nice and brown and crisp, remove it from the pan with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with a paper towel and set aside. Leave the drippings in the pan and throw in the onions and mushrooms. Cook the onions and mushrooms until the mushrooms are nice and brown and the onion is soft and translucent. Add a heavy pinch of salt and throw in the garlic. Let this brown for about 1-2 mins and then toss in your green beans. Sautee those for about 3 mins and then pour in the marsala wine.. give it a really good stir to scrape up all the yummy brown bits off the bottom of the pan, put the bacon back in the pan, and then clamp a lid on it and let it cook for 10 mins or so until the wine is completely absorbed. Voila! The husbands favorite veggie side. He asks for this often. :)

Teriyaki Glaze

  • 2 heaping tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoon cold water
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Mix all ingredients in a medium sauce pan and and bring to boiling over high heat until it because thickened.

Use to baste chicken (or whatever suits your fancy) in the oven or on the grill.

I seperated some of my sauce and used it to baste chicken thighs in the oven (every 10 minutes until they were done) and then sliced the chicken and put over spaghetti noodles and then ladled the reserved sauce (so there was no cross contamination from raw chicken) over the whole thing. The kids freaked over how yummy it was and declared we WILL have this again!!

Was good stuff! I highly recommend it! And I for one won't ever be buying bottled teriyaki sauce again! :)

Betty Crockwhore :D

I am at it again today... For dinner I made a from scratch Teriyaki sauce that I found on (and then of course modified to suit my taste LOL) It was really freakin good.. I glazed chicken with it and oven baked it.. and we had that over noodles. Way yummy stuff. I also made my scrumpy green beans with bacon, mushrooms, onions and marsala wine. After dinner I decided that I needed something sweet. I had no eggs to make the brownies I was thinking about.. So I decided something cinnamony would work instead.. and cinny rolls don't need eggs.. Sooo... I have two gorgeous pans of rolls rising on the stove as I type this. Oh yeah baby. Bring on the calories!

Recipes in posts of their own to follow. :)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

As Promised..

It was just freakin YUMMY!!! (and yes, as a friend pointed out to me on facebook.. I really need to invest in some white plates LOL)

Veggie Lasagna

Today I'm planning to make super yumminess. Veggie Lasagna.. Full of squash, zucchini, onions, garlic, mushrooms, carrots... mmmmmmmmmmmm Creamy parmesan bechamel.. layers of mozzarella and provolone cheese.. crispy panko breadcrumbs on top.. fresh basil from my garden running throughout... oh yeah baby. Its bad. Its yummy. And I'm in the mood to cook. I'm really looking forward to it. :) Here's my recipe:

Veggie Lasagna

12 lasagna noodles, cooked very al dente (don't let them get too soft!)
2 yellow squash, small diced
3 zucchini, small diced
1 large onion, small diced
3-4 carrots, peeled and small diced
8 oz container cremini mushrooms, diced (these shrink a lot when cooking so they don't have to be chopped as small)
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 Tbs butter
4 Tbs flour
2 cups milk
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
fresh pepper
1 handful fresh basil, chopped (sorry not exact, I literally just cut a handful off my basil plant in the garden)
12 slices provolone cheese
3 cups mozzarella cheese
1 cup panko breadcrumbs

Start by sauteing the veggies, 1 at a time in olive oil.. salting each one lightly. I do them one at a time so that there is room in the pan for each to get browned nicely. Then I move them to a bowl and mix them together there. I generally end with the mushrooms and add the garlic to those just as they are finishing. And do not salt the mushrooms until they are nice and brown. You'll regret it if you don't!!

Now lets make creamy parmesan bechamel. Melt the butter in a sauce pan and add the flour. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes.. just to get the flour taste gone. Then add in your milk slowly and whisk the heck out of it. We don't want lumps. Cook this until its boiling and bubbly and getting thick. If it's not getting thick enough.. you can mix together some flour in softened butter and whisk it in. Sometimes I have to do this, sometimes I don't. I never understand it. lol Once you have a nicely thickened white sauce, kill the heat and start adding in your grated parm. You may want to add more than 1 cup..if you're wild like me and think there is no such thing as too much cheese. Then add in a pinch or so of salt and a few grinds of fresh pepper.. and the fresh basil.

Now lets put it all together. In a lightly buttered lasagna pan, spread a ladle full of the bechamel in the bottom of the pan (this makes it not stick).. Then layer in 4 of the lasagna noodles, top them with half the veggies, 1/3 of the sauce on that, half the mozzarella cheese and then layer 6 of the slices of provolone on top of that.. Repeat the layers one more time. Then top with the last 4 lasagna noodles and the rest of the sauce and sprinkle with the panko breadcrumbs... and a little more parm cheese if you're feeling wild (I'm always feeling wild hehe)

Bake in a 400 oven for about 20-30 mins until its hot, bubbly, and the panko breadcrumbs are nice and brown. If you're having trouble getting the topping browned, just throw it under the broiler for a few mins (if your pan can handle being in the broiler, that is). Now the most important part is to let the lasanga sit for at least 15-20 minutes after taking it out of the oven. It must rest or it will run all over the place when you try to cut into it.

Enjoy!! Pics will follow later tonight :)

Monday, June 6, 2011

PW is crazy.

Yep. I said it. She is. Her recipe for the Dr. Pepper shredded pork calls for an entire can of chipotles in adobo sauce. Yeah. About that. I put in a couple chipotles, just a couple.. and it was quite spicy. Perfect for me, but way too spicy for the twins. A whole can of those suckers would have killed us all!! lmao Or maybe we just have hotter chipotles in Texas than they do in OK. idk. But there is no way in hell I would do a whole can. That woman is crazy for that. CRAZY. And I like me some spicy food so that's sayin something! I ended up not returning the pork to the Dr Pepper sauce after shredding it. I just poured some sweet BBQ sauce all over it instead.

The Dr Pepper part of it was pretty dang yummy though. I also added some lawrey's seasoned salt to the pork. We had it in tortillas. Andy ate three "tacos" . He liked it. Jason was a punk. Only ate one. Justin liked the Dr Pepper sauce and how spicy it was.. but he was the only one of the kids that was brave enough to give it a go. He was fanning his mouth.. but smiling. lol I think he and Jason are trading when it comes to who is the pickiest eater in all the land.

Oh and I was a bad naughty little girl.. I ate another piece of that 14 layer cake tonight. Yeah baby. Good stuff. :)

Btw, is it really apparent that I fell off the Weight Watchers wagon, yet again? Dude, I can only deprive myself of butter for so long before I say "fuck it all I will be fat, just give me good food!!" I'm sure I'll get back on it again.. but for now I'm doing the "I'm gonna eat what I want, in moderation" thing. And by "in moderation" I mean scarfing till I'm stuffed and then sitting in regret telling myself "tomorrow I will have more self control". Oops.

Spicy Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork

Tonight I'm making another PW recipe.. I the spicy dr. pepper pulled pork.. I can't wait to see how it turns out :) Kids are pretty excited about having pulled pork.. they looooove pulled pork. Should be a yummy dinner!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Oh Pioneer Woman.. How I love thee

Tonight I made The Marlboro Man Sandwich for the first time. Oh my gravy.. YUMMMY!!!! Talk about freakin good. My kids all flipped out over it. My step-son, Kevin, had two and a half sandwiches. Haha He's 14. He plays football. He's a big boy with a big appetite. I think he liked it. LOL Andy had two. Definitely winner winner steak sammich dinner thats gonna be made again. :D

The Hubby and Me

We went to a wedding yesterday morning, our bestfriends oldest daughter got married... Anyway, after the reception, since we were all dressed up we took some pics outside.. And I finally have a REALLY great picture of the husband and me! I just love this! He looks great, I don't look fat.. haha

Aren't we so cute?! :)

The inside of 14 layers of awesomeness

Now isn't that just beautiful?! It's not as pretty as Bakerella's but dangit, it's yummy!!! And the Mexican vanilla I decided to put in the cake batter... wayyyyy good idea. I make such good decisions. Sometimes. LOL

Saturday, June 4, 2011

14 layers of awesomeness!

Tonight I made Jason's 14 layer birthday cake.. I'm not sure if I'll ever do this again.. but hey, at least I can say I've done it once. LOL I can't wait to cut into it tomorrow night at his bday party sleepover. Here are some pics of my adventure into 14 layer madness:

All baked and ready to go!

Halfway done stacking and glazing:

All 14 layers.. Holy moly look at it drip.. and drip.. and driiiip! LOL

Here it is all glazed.. a little lopsided, but hey, can you expect? There are 14 pancake thin layers of cake sitting there! LOL Not to worry though.. all will look fine in the end..

See.. All frosted and straighted up and pretty.

This would look SO much better if I'd been able to find Hershey's Special Dark cocoa powder.. but they didn't have any at the store I went to.. and I was just too tired to go looking in another store.. so I just made plain chocolate cream cheese frosting. Oh well, it still tastes pretty awesome! If I do ever attempt this again (not bloody likely! haha) I will go the extra mile and find the special dark cocoa powder so my outer frosting matches the glaze on the inside. All in all though, I am pretty dang happy with how it turned out! I can't wait to cut into this baby tomorrow and see all those gorgeous layers of cake and chocolate glaze!! :)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Hot Pink Baby!

When I was posting shoe pics the other day, I couldn't seem to get it to let me post a third pic.. And I really wanted to post these.. I just love hot pink.. so sassy and girly.. so ME! :)

Happy Birthday Jason!!!

Today is my second baby's birthday. Jason is now 12, errr.. he will be at 11:25pm tonight anyway. lol Right about now 12 years ago I was being sent home from the hospital because my 25 hour long labor had stalled out. Well it stalled out on changing my cervix, I was still very much in the throws of contractions every 3-4 mins. LOL I can't believe it's been 12 since that day.. I still remember it all so vividly. Of course you don't soon forget a birth that results in 32 stitches to your special place. (TMI, I know, sorry. lmao)

So he is 12... One more year until I have two teenagers. That's a little freaky. I am making him the 14 layer cake I posted about a week or so ago.. And I'm gonna make cinnamon rolls either today or tomorrow for Sunday mornings breakfast after his sleepover. He wanted his sleepover to be tonight, on his actual birthday.. but I have a wedding to be at in the morning at 10am.. So we are doing it tomorrow night. He's pretty excited.. they will be watching movies, playing xbox, eating 14 layers of cake. LOL

For today he decided he wanted a birthday lunch, instead of a birthday dinner.. so he's having some steak fingers from DQ. And we plan to go to the pool for some swimming sometime this afternoon with the sis in law and my niece and nephew. Tonight they will probably just have some sammies on sub sammich rolls since I'm going to be making 14 layers of vanilla and chocolately goodness. Not gonna feel like cooking.

Pics to follow of my cake adventure. :)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Have we talked about shoes??

It's a widely known fact that I am indeed a shoe whore. Yep, I said it. A shoe whore. I own 69 pairs of high heels. If you count in my sandals, flipflops and tennis shoes, the number is easily 100 or more. I own at least 5 pairs of black peep toe stilettos. I can't even describe how much I love them. LOL If the house were to burn, I would probably die trying to get all my shoes out the window. LOL

My favorites lately have been these:

I wear them just about everywhere.. I call them my bondage shoes. lol

These are my favorite pair of black peeps:

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


I am happy to report that it seems to have been just a 24 hour bug that hit our house, everyone seems to be back to normal today.. I made them all stay home and chill out with movies in the livingroom, and said that no friends were allowed to come over today, just to be safe.. but everyone seems to be doing okay. Whew!!! There is nothing worse than a stomach virus hanging around and running rampant in a household of 5 children.

As for dinner... Since none of them have really eaten much in the last day, I decided they can have something they really enjoy, just to get some food in them... Corn dogs and fries. LOL I'm just gonna heat up a lean cuisine for myself and the husband has a frozen pot pie somewhere in the freezer. Nothing glamorous tonight. lol Tomorrow night will be grilled pork chops and roasted ranch potatoes, though.