Sunday, July 27, 2008

Pork Loin in Key Lime Sauce

This was another part of my key lime escapade.  I had a pork loin I needed to cook and I wanted to do something different than just salt and pepper.  I thought with it being summer it would be nice to have a lighter, citrus-y taste with the pork. 
This marinade is another recipe I discovered from Key West Key Lime Pie Co.   I adapted this sauce recipe from Jim's Key Lime Sauce. 

Pork Loin in Key Lime Sauce


1 Pork Loin
1/2 Cup of olive oil
1/3-1/2 Cup of soy sauce
1/4 Cup of Worcestershire
1/4 Cup mustard
1/4 Cup key lime juice
Dash of garlic
Salt
Pepper to taste
Lemon and Lime slices


Directions:


Preheat oven to 350 F.
Line pan/casserole dish with foil, place half of the lemon and lime slices on bottom of pan, put pork on top.  Mix up remaining ingredients, except lemon and lime slices, and pour over pork.  Place remainder of lemon and lime slices on top of the pork.  Cover and cook for 40 minutes or until cooked all the way through.  Uncover and place back in oven for 10 minutes more.  


 

Recipe Source: Lynsey & Key West Key Lime Co.

Parsley Fried Squash

Being from the south I can't help but be a true southern girl.  I definitely integrate some southern flare in a lot of my dishes.  Southern style food, as we all know, is known for having a lot of fried style dishes and squash is not exception.
I have grown up on squash in various forms.  It is one of my favorite veggies; I love it fried, boiled, on salads...pretty much in any form.  We had gotten some fresh squash from my hubby's dad's garden and so I decided I would fry this batch up.  Instead of doing the traditional cornmeal and flour I decided to add some herbs to give it a change.  It turned out wonderful and the small addition of herbs made such a difference!





Parsley Fried Squash


Ingredients:
1 Cup milk
1/2 Cup cornmeal
1/2 Cup flour
Salt and Pepper- to taste
1/2-1 Tablespoon parsely
Oil for frying


Directions:


 Preheat oil in medium to large skillet on low-medium heat. 




Clean and thinly slice squash.  In medium bowl combine flour, cornmeal, parsley, salt and pepper.  In separate bowl pour milk.  Dip squash in milk, toss in flour mixture and then place in frying pan. 




Fry until both sides are golden brown.
Remove from oil, place on plate covered with a paper towel.




Recipe Source: A Lynsey Original

Cheese-Garlic Biscuits

Cheese is a main staple in our house.  We make so many things that includes cheese and we're always looking for new recipes including cheese.  I have made these before it was just a long long time ago.  It is one of those recipes that we LOVED but it just kind of slipped through the cracks and I didn't really ever think of making them.
We were having a surf-n-turf meal at our house and when I was putting the menu together I wanted to make a bread but something other than garlic bread or regular biscuits.  DH and one of the other guys that was coming over LOVES the garlic cheese biscuits from Red Lobster so I knew that was a no fail recipe for this group.  I looked around the internet for a little bit and came across quite a few recipes and decided on this one since it was quick and easy.  I did find some others that I want to try that are a "from scratch" recipe but I just didn't have the time to do that with everything else I had to get together.
These biscuits were awesome.  They are so simple and easy to throw together; especially when you need a quick bread side.





Cheese-Garlic Biscuits

Ingredients:

2 Cups Bisquick mix
2/3 Cup milk
3/4-1 Cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 Cup butter, melted
1/4 Teaspoon garlic powder or garlic salt


Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 F.
Mix baking mix, milk and cheese until soft dough forms; beat vigorously for 30 seconds. (If too dry add a little more milk) Drop dough by spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.  Mix butter and garlic powder; brush over warm biscuits before removing from cookie sheet.  Serve warm.




Recipe Source: adapted from www.cs.cmu.edu

White Sangria

We were having a few friends over after work one evening.  We were grilling out and I wanted a fun drink to sip on while preparing the meal and during the meal.  We love sangria; when we get together it's guaranteed we'll get a pitcher or two to share.  It's definitely a no fail choice when we're together. 

This recipe was so easy to make and doesn't really take a lot of time to prepare or chill.  I halved the recipe since there were only going to be two people drinking it; but the full recipe would be great for a larger group.

White Sangria

1 Bottle sauvignon blanc
1/2 Cup brandy
3/4 Cup sugar
1 Lemon and 1 Lime, thinly sliced
1 Granny Smith Apple
1 Liter Sprite (or lemon-lime soda)
1 Cup frozen green grapes

Directions:

Combine the wine, brandy and sugar in a larger pitcher and mix gently to dissolve the sugar  Add the sliced lemon, lime and apple.  Chill for 2 hours or longer.  Add the Sprite and grapes and mix gently.  Serve over ice.


Recipe Source: Adapted from "Beach Appetit", The Junior League of the Emeral Coast

Key Lime Dressing

So, I'm still on my key lime kick.  I've come across quite a few recipes that involve key limes and key lime juice.  I love light foods especially in the summer time; something that's different, fruity and sweet always interests me.  I came across this dressing recipe and wanted to give it a try.  It's so simple and easy to throw together; it uses 3 ingredients that I think everyone always has in their kitchen.  This is going to be a go to recipe for me; especially when I want something light and different or if I need a quick dressing.

***Substitute plain lime juice for key lime if that is all you have.

 

Key Lime Dressing

1 Cup Mayonnaise

1/4 Cup honey

1/4 Cup key lime juice

Combine all ingredients, mix together and refrigerate until ready to serve.

 



Recipe Source: Key West Key Lime Pie Co.

Key Lime Pie

I am a huge fan of things sweet and tart; but mix the two together and it's a guaranteed winner.  Key lime pie is one of my long time favorite desserts.  Every time I go out and it's on the menu it's guaranteed I'm going to get a piece for dessert. 


I have made many desserts that have the sweet and tart combination but I have never taken on the challenge of making a key lime pie myself.  One day I searched all day for the perfect recipe to try out; I really never found one that really jumped out at me and had everything I wanted in one.  There are some that seemed like the flavor would be muted because of lack of lime or too much other stuff so I decided to write one myself.  I figured if I wrote it myself it would include everything I was hunting for. 


The first attempt turned out pretty good.  I was very impressed with it; especially for it being my first attempt.  I will definitely make it again; I may try to "tweak" it a little to make the filling a little thicker initially so it doesn't have to bake as long but that's probably the only change I'll make.


***If you're not a big fan of lip puckering tartness half the amount of key lime juice used.
ingedients 




Key Lime Pie


 Crust:                                                                                   


5-6 Tablespoons butter, melted                         
1 Cup graham cracker crumbs                                    
1/2 Cup almonds                                                      
1/2 Cup pretzels                                                       
1/8 Teaspoon sugar                                                  

 Filling:
1 Can sweetened condesned milk
1 Egg, beaten
2 Egg yolks
Zest of 1 lime
1 Cup sugar
1 Cup key lime juice (I used Nellie and Joe's)

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Crust:Place pretzels and almonds in bag and smash with rolling pin until in course pieces.  (I wanted to be able to see the almonds in the crust and I didn't want the almonds or pretzels to be a powder so that's why I coarsely crushed them) Combine butter, graham cracker crumbs, almonds, pretzels, and sugar and mix until completely combined.  Once mixed together put mixture in 9 inch pie plate;pat the mixture in the pan until pan is completely lined. 


Once finished place for 10-12 minutes or until crust is completely cooked.  Remove from oven and let cool. 

 Filling:
Beat egg and egg yolks.  Combine condensed milk, eggs, sugar and combine.  Once combined add lime juice and lime zest and blend together completely.  Pour in cooled pie crust.
 


Bake 20-25 minutes or until filling is set.  Let cool and refrigerate until ready to serve.   
                                               


Recipe Source: A Lynsey Original

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Bacon Avocado Griddle Pizza

I love recipes that take two distinctly different dishes and somehow incorporate them into one dish that flows together so nicely.  This pizza incorporates all the elements of a guacomole salad, yum, and istead of serving it as a dip it serves as the "sauce" on this light and delicious pizza.  I could eat guacomole all day long, it's one of my favorite dips, I didn't think it could get any better but with the addition of bacon, chicken and spinach it takes it to an entirely different leve.  I saw this recipe for Bacon Avocado Pizza in Rachael Ray's magazine, and I knew instantly that I just had to make it.  

This is the first time I have cooked a pizza in a less than traditional manner, I've always cooked my pizzas in the oven but I'm always up for something new and cooking this pizza on the griddle was so fun.  The crust cooks up very quickly, and after you flip it once the pizza is ready to assemble.  The crust itself is fabulous, it's just the right consistency of bread and crunch, and topping it with the avocado mixture and the bacon just put this pizza right over the top.  This is such a great twist on two classics but it's also a very quick and easy meal to put together any night of the week. 

 Bacon Avocado Griddle Pizza


1 Cup lukewarm watter
2 1/4 Cups flour
One 1/4 ounce packet active dry yeast
1 Teaspoon sugar
Salt
1 Pint plum tomatoes, halved
1 Small onion, lightly sauteed
1/4 Cup extra virgin olive oil, plus some for drizzling
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Pepper
3 Avocados
One 12 ounce package bacon
2 Cups spinach
Garlic salt, to taste
Tobasco, to taste
Grilled boneless, skinless chicken breast (optional)


 Directions:


 In a large glass, whisk together the water, 1 tablespoon flour, the yeast and sugar; let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Using a food processor, combine the remaining flour and 1 teaspoon salt. With the machine on, pour in the yeast mixture and process until the dough forms a ball. Mix for another minute, then transfer to a large greased bowl, turning the ball of dough to coat. Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
In a bowl toss together the tomatoes, sauteed onion, olive oil and vinegar; season with salt and pepper. Let stand at room temperature.
In a bowl, mash the avocados and then mix in garlic salt, pepper, and tobasco then press plastic wrap directly onto the surface to cover.
Preheat a large skillet; add the bacon and cook until crisp. Drain on paper towels.
Preheat a griddle over high heat or an electric griddle to 400°. On a lightly floured work surface, divide the dough into 4 pieces, then flatten each one into a disk. Stretch each disk into a 10-inch round (if dough is too elastic, let rest for 5 minutes).
Brush one side of each round with olive oil and transfer to the griddle, placing the oiled sides down. Cook, lightly brushing the tops with more oil and flipping once, until browned, about 6 minutes on each side. Transfer to a cutting board.
Spread the avocado evenly on each crust. Toss the spinach with the tomato mixture and scatter over the pizzas. Crumble the bacon on top.



Recipe Source: Slightly adapted from Everyday with Rachael Ray







   

Pepperoni Stuffed Chicken

I was trying to think of something to cook for supper but nothing really sounded that great.  I started thinking of what all I had and what I could do with what I had.  I started going through different combinations of how I could pair things; and after I went through several I finally decided on this one.  There is not a lot to it; but the combination goes together very well. 



Pepperoni Stuffed Chicken
Ingredients:


2 Boneless, skinless chicken breast


1/2 Cup Spinach, coarsely chopped


1/2-1 Cup parmesan cheese (amount according to taste)


15-20 Slices pepperoni


1 Tablespoon Parsely


1/8 Cup seasoned bread crumbs


Olive oil


Salt and Pepper to taste


 Directions:

Place chicken breast between 2 pieces of parchment/wax paper and poud out until about 1/2 inch thick.  Once pounded out salt and pepper to taste then add parsley. 


 

Sprinkle spinach over chicken, followed by pepperoni and shredded cheese.



Roll chicken breast, then secure with toothepicks.  Sprinkle chicken with bread crumbs then drizzle olive oil over chicken. 






Place in oven, cook for 25-30 minutes at 350 F.





                                

A Lynsey Original

Broiled Parsely Tomatoes

These tomatoes were pretty easy and very quick to throw togehter.  I was looking for a side that would go well with chicken I was cooking and the chicken had somewhat of some pizza toppings on it; so I thought what better to go with pizza flavors than tomatoes.  I saw this recipe in The Taste of Home Cookbook and thought it would do the job perfectly.



Broiled Parsely Tomatoes

Ingredients:


4 Large plum tomatoes, halved


3 Tablespoons butter, melted


2 Teaspoons minced fresh parsely


1/4 Teaspoon salt


1/4 Teaspoon pepper


Directions:


With a knife, make deep cuts in the cut surface of each tomato.  Place tomatoes cut side up on a greased baking sheet.


In a small bowl, combine all of the remaining ingredients; spoon over tomatoes.  Broil 3-4 inches from the heat for 3-4 minutes or until tops are lightly browned.


***I also added some parmesan cheese. 





Recipe Source: Taste of Home Cookbook

Sunday, July 13, 2008

TAG...you're it!

It's been a pretty crazy weekend so far so I don't have any food to post as of right now; hopefully I will have something to update my blog with tonight.  Friday I got home late and didn't really want to cook something and eat at 9:00 so we just ate leftovers.  Yesterday we had a friends wedding and were gone from 11:00 in the morning until about 9:00 at night, so I obviously didn't have the time to cook yesterday either.  I am trying to find something creative for supper and hopefully it will turn out great so I can tell you all about it.  I am posting right now because I have been tagged by Joelen of  Joelen's Culinary Adventures.


Here are the rules:Each player answers the questions about themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.


What was I doing ten years ago?


I was enjoying the summer between my freshman and sophmore year of high school.  My mom owned a business so I helped her in her office; doing miscellaneous work to help take the load off her.  When I wasn't helping her I was enjoying our pool, just taking it easy.


What are 5 (non-work) things on my to do list for today?


1. Clean House


2.  Cook supper for DH and myself


3. Run to the store


4. Try to get an idea of what we'll have for supper this week


5. Get things in order for another work week



Five Snacks I enjoy.


1. Trail Mix


2. Popcorn...especially movie popcorn


3. Cookies


4. Chips and Salsa


5. Ice Cream  


 Things I would do if I were a billionaire:


1. Travel Europe


2. Have an ocean front property on some secluded island


3. Help fund cancer research


4. Make sure my parents and family were taken care of.


5. Open up a business for the sheer enjoyment...it would be great doing something I loved but didn't have to worry about making a ton of money to be able to pay the bills.


Places I've Lived:


1. El Dorado, my hometown growing up


2. Little Rock, where I moved to go to college and where I currently live.



Jobs I've Had:


1. Office assistant


2. Retail Sales Clerk: it was my high school job


3. Photography assistant and office manager


4. Child care


5. Banker

I will be tagging:


Hornedfroggy of MyBakingHeart


Bethany of ThisLittlePiggyWentToMarket


Mary Ellen of MaryEllen'sCookingCreations


 Carrie of Carrie'sSweetLife

Friday, July 11, 2008

Neiman-Marcus Cookies



I have been craving some cookies for quite some time now.  I haven't really had the chance to make any in a while but this week I made up my mind I was going to make some.  These are some of my favorite cookies; a definite "go to" recipe that never fails.


These cookies are so great.  They turn out just right all the time; so oooey and gooey.  One of those cookies that great right out of the oven and just as good the next day.  I'm sure quite a few people have made them and enjoyed them; for those of you who have yet to try them I hope when you do you enjoy them just as much as I do.





Neiman-Marcus Cookies


1 Cup butter


12 oz. Chocolate Chips


2 Cups flour


1 Cup brown sugar


1/2 Teaspoon salt


1 Cup sugar


1 8oz Hershey Bar (grated)


2 1/2 Cups blended oatmeal


2 Eggs


1 Teaspoon baking powder


1 Teaspoon vanilla


1 1/2 Cups chopped nuts (any kind)


Directions:


Measure oatmeal and blend to a fine powder.  Cream the butter and both sugars.  Add eggs and vanilla, then mix with flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder and soda. 


Fold in chocolate chips, Hershey Bar, and nuts.  Roll into balls and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet.





Bake for 10 minutes at 350 F.








***I added 1/2 cup of heath bits.

Macaroni and Cheese with Smoked Sausage

I really didn't know what to cook last night and I had some smoked sausage in the fridge that needed to be cooked so I started looking around to see if I could find something a little different to make.  I looked at a few different sites before checking out www.recipezaar.com; and that is where I came across this one.  I really didn't know what to make of it at first; it sounded really different and I really didn't know about the smoked sausage in the macaroni. 


I thought about it for a while, asked Spencer what he thought and then we decided to try it out and see what we thought of it.  It went together really well and I was very surprised at the outcome.  I made a few changes in how the recipe was prepared and I was very pleased with it.  Hope you enjoy; and remember don't be afraid to try things that sound a little odd or different at first.


 Macaroni and Cheese with Smoked Sausage


14 oz Macaroni and Cheese


Milk (for mac)


Butter (for mac)


1/2lb smoked sausage (cut into chunks)


1/4 Cup onion, chopped


1/2 Cup bell pepper, chopped


1/2 Teaspoon garlic powder


1/2 Teaspoon thyme


1/8-1/4 Teaspoon ground red pepper


  


Prepare macaroni and cheese according to instructions on the box.  While preparing mac and cheese place meat and veggies in a skillet over medium heat.  Keep meat and veggies cooking until mac and cheese is almost done. 


 


Once mac and cheese is almost ready drain meat and veggies then add to mix.  Mix together then add garlic powder, thyme and pepper.








***I used regular pepper and parsely.


Thursday, July 10, 2008

Deep-Dish Apple-Blackberry Pie

I had some fresh blackberries that I needed to do something with before they went bad; I was searching for recipes on the internet when I came across this one that looked so good.  I love baking pies and it's been a while since I've made one so this one was calling out my name.  It was a good blend of 2 fruits that went so well together.  The crust was incredible as well; with the walnuts and sugar everything just went so well together.





Deep-Dish Apple-Blackberry Pie


FILLING:


1 1/2 Tablespoons lemon juice


1 Teaspoon vanilla extract


1 1/2 pounds tart apples (about 6 apples)


2/3 Cup sugar


1/4 Cup cornstarch


2 Cups blackberries (frozen or fresh)


1 Recipe Walnut Pastry Dough (Recipe Follows)


Directions:


 Preheat oven to 350 F. 


 Combine lemon juice and vanilla in large bowl.  Peel, core, and cut apples into 3/4 inch chunks, tossing them in lemon juice mixture as you work. 


Mix 2/3 cup sugar and cornstarch and toss with apples.  Then add blackberries.
Roll thelarger piece of dough into a 13-inch circle. Place the dough in a prepared pan, letting excess dough hang over the edges. Gently press the dough into bottom and sides of pan.

With a rubber spatula, scrape the apple-blackberry filling into pie shell.

Roll out smaller disk of dough, making an 11-inch circle. Place the dough over filling. Press together edges of pastry to seal. With the tip of a sharp knife, cut 3 or 4 short slashes to vent steam.

Moisten a pastry brush with water and lightly brush top of pie. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. Place the pie on a baking sheet with sides. 

Bake until crust is golden and filling bubbles, 45 to 55 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for about 1 hour. Serve warm or at room temperature.


 PASTRY:


1/2 cup walnuts
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
3 tablespoons walnut oil
6-7 tablespoons cold water



 Directions:


Preheat oven to 350°F.


Spread walnuts in a pie pan and bake for 5 to 7 minutes, or until fragrant. Let cool.


Combine the walnuts, flour, sugar and salt in a food processor; process until the walnuts are finely chopped. Add butter and process until incorporated. Transfer to a large bowl.


Drizzle oil over the flour mixture. Use your fingertips to rub the oil into the mixture. One tablespoon at a time, add water and mix with a fork until dough is crumbly and holds together when pressed.


Divide dough into 2 pieces, 1 slightly larger than the other, and form each into a disk.
                   




Recipe Source: www.foodnetwork.com

Beer Margaritas

On the Fourth we really didn't do anything to elaborate; it had been a long week so we took it easy and then decided to throw something together last minute.  We had a couple of friends over, grilled out, watched fireworks and hung out. 


I found this recipe on line and thought it was intersting and different and we decided to try it out for the 4th.


Beer Margaritas:

Ingredients:


Four 12 ounce bottles of a light flavored beer


1 Cup tequila


One 12 ounce can frozen limade concentrate


Lime wedges


Kosher Salt


Directions:


In a large pitcher combine beer, tequila and limeade.  Rub a lime around the rim of each glass then dip in salt.  Pour margaritas in glass and garnish with lime wedge.







This drink was very different and I really didn't know what to think about it when I read the recipe.  I decided to mix it up and give it a try.  It actually went over very well; all the flavors blended and it was a good and refreshing taste. 


Courtesy of Rachael Ray

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Bacon Wrapped Chicken with Blue Cheese and Pecans

Chicken is a one of the main dishes cooked in our house.  We are always looking for new and tasty ways to prepare it.  A few days ago I was looking on the internet for different chicken recipes and I came across this one.  I followed it step by step for the most part but I did add a few touches of my own. 

It turned out absolutely incredible and I know we will definitely be having this again and again!!!

Bacon Wrapped Chicken with Blue Chees and Pecans

Ingredients:

4 Pieces boneless, skinless chicken breast

Salt and Pepper

1 Cup blue cheese crumbles

2 Scallions sliced on bias

4 Slices of bacon

1 Tablespoon EVOO

2 Tablespoons butter

2 Tablespoons all purpose flour

1 Cup chicken stock

1/2 Cup 1/2 &1/2 or Cream

2 Tablespoons grainy mustard

 Directions:

Heat oven to 375

Butterfly chicken by cutting across breast (not totally through).  Place chicken on parchment or wax paper and open breast up and top with another piece of wax or parchment paper.  Pound lightly between.  Pull paper away and salt and pepper chicken.

Cover seasoned chicken with bluse cheese, pecans and scallions. (I also added cranberries)


Roll the chicken, wrap each roll with bacon and secure with toothepicks.  Season outside of rolls with salt and pepper.

Heat olive oil  in skillet, brown chicken evenly all over (5-6 min).


Transfer chicken to baking sheet and cook in oven 10 minutes. 

Melt butter in same pan, whisk in flour, cook 1 minute then add chicken stock.  Let thicken then stir in 1/2 & 1/2, mustard and salt and pepper.

 


Pour sauce over chicken and serve.

                                                        


Recipe Source: Rachael Ray Food Network

Banana Bread

Banana Bread is one of those dishes that can be used for a variety of things; a snack, put some icing on it and it can be a dessert, eat it for breakfast or even make muffins which are great for an on the go treat.  I have always loved banana bread, no matter what form it's served in, and now that I've gotten older and on my own it brings me back to my childhood and gives me the cozy feeling of home.  Another upside to making banana bread is that it's a great way to use up very ripe bananas instead of having to throw them out.  I always try to use up ingredients before they go bad and I love the fact the the more ripe the banana the better the bread it makes!

 


Banana Bread

Ingredients:

2 Cups all-pupose flour

1 1/4 Teaspoons baking powder

1/2 Teaspoon baking soda

1/4 Teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 Teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 Beaten eggs

1 1/2 Cups mashed bananas (3 medium)

1 Cup sugar

1/2 Cup cooking oil or butter or margarine

1/4 Cup chopped walnuts

 Directions:

Grease bottom of 9x5x3 inch loaf pan.  Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

In a medium bowl combine eggs, bananas, sugar, and oil.  Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture.  Stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy).  Fold in walnuts.

 


Spoon batter into prepared pan. 

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 55-60 minutes or until toothpic inserted near center comes out clean.  Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes.  Remove from pan and cool completely.

                                                                      


Recipe Source: Better Homes and Gardens Coodbook

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