Thursday, March 29, 2012

Chiles Rellenos with Tomato Sauce

I have a slight serious addiction with Mexican food.  I don't know what it is about this food that is so enticing to me but it definitely has a special place in my heart.  What is it about endless freshly cooked chips, spicy (and super cold) salsa and that white cheese dip, how I love them all.  ( I think I could make a meal out of the chips and dips alone!)  Let's not even get me started on the endless entree options, so full of flavor, I just love it.  I honestly think I could eat it all day everyday and never get sick of it.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Poached Eggs- A Tutorial

Have you ever been to one of those fancy schmancy restaurants that serve brunch?  If so, I'm sure you've seen items on the menu such as eggs benedict or croque madames, as well as multiple other items that include poached eggs.  There's just something about poached eggs that turn a regular, everyday meal into a "special" or fancy (feeling) meal.  Poached eggs are a simple way to dress up any breakfast or brunch plate.  The flavor combinations are endless; use them to top roasted tomatoes, bacon cups, asparagus, various types of salads, or even toast-your options are only limited to your imagination.

Since poached eggs are typically seen in the breakfast and brunch type setting, which aslo means they are typically seen in smaller bistros or a more upper-end restaraunt, they have the reputation of being difficult to make.  This mindset about poached eggs is definitely a misconception.  The process is fairly simple, utilizing minimal tools.  Remember, practice makes perfect and if you don't nail it the first time then try again.  Practice patience and take your time and you too can make a perfect poached egg to top anything your heart desires!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

DB: Bread with Dutch Crunch Topping

I have to say I've been on quite a bread kick lately; from more complex, yeast breads like cinnamon rolls to simple non-yeast breads like my brown butter banana muffins, I love them all.  There is just something about working with yeast that never ceases to amaze me, it's almost magical each time I make any type of bread!  The combination of a few simple ingredients, as well as a little time, helps to produce something so light, fluffy and delicious.  How could this ever get old?  Plus there is just such a since of accomplishment every time it's a success!

Well, this months Daring Baker's helped to carry on my bread kick. Sara and Erica of Baking JD's were our March 2012 Daring Baker hostesses! Sara & Erica challenged us to make Dutch Crunch bread, a delicious sandwich bread with a unique, crunchy topping. Sara and Erica also challenged us to create a one of a kind sandwich with our bread!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Weekly Meal Plan

This past weekend was pretty busy so I'm a day late getting this posted!

Meal plan for March 25-31, 2012

Sunday-coming back from my brother's wedding so we'll get something quick
Cornmeal waffles, poached eggs and salsa (Hopefully we'll actually get to have these this week!)
Stuffed hot dogs, coleslaw and french fries
Cheesy chili mac and a green salad
Filets, roasted potatoes with garlic-butter sauce, green salad

SRC: Best Blueberry Muffins

I have been eyeing this recipe on multiple blogs for a few months now.  I don't know what it is about them but I've been intrigued by this particular recipe.  Maybe it's the claim of being perhaps the "best muffin ever" by multiple sources.  Maybe it's the preparation process; boiling down half of the berries to a jam-like consistency while leaving the other half whole.  Like I said, I'm not sure why this recipe has been taunting me but it has and it's finally gotten the best of me. 

After a few months of seeing this recipe on a few different blogs and hearing all the claims of how incredible these are I decided to finally give in and and see what all the hype was about.  It's like this muffin and I were destined to be united.  I really wanted to make this recipe and it just so happened the blog I was assigned, a cook's quest, this month for the secret recipe club had this recipe this that had been taunting me for months.  Not only was it just listed on her blog but it was actually on her most popular posts.  Another sign that these just might actually be the best blueberry muffin recipe.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

I have long been a fan of breakfast pastries.  I am also a firm believer that you can never be armed with too many pastry recipes.  There really isn't such a thing as too many breakfast pastries.  Honestly, you need to be prepared to make whatever you're craving at any given point. 

Now that I say all that I am about to say something that probably contradicts every single word I've just said.  I am not a morning person.  I try, I honestly do but I'm not a morning person.  I so wish I could be the modern day June Cleaver.  Wake up at the crack of dawn with a smile on my face (hair and make-up probably perfect), get myself ready for the day, prepare a piping hot breakfast and have it ready for my family.  Okay, okay, okay...back to reality.  Because, first of all, I'm not a morning person.  If I do wake up before the rest of my family it's just early enough to get a pot of coffee started.  And I definitely don't wake up all composed with every strand of hair in place.  I mean really, who does that?  But just because I'm not a morning person or early riser doesn't mean that I don't have the desire to make a delicious breakfast for my family.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Spaghetti with Sausage-Mushroom Sauce

This was another one of those meals that taste ultimately won over the photo.  If I didn't love this meal sooo much, I would probably hold off from posting it until I was able to get a better photo.  There's just something about pasta with red sauce that doesn't photo well for me, not sure why that is, but it just doesn't.  Oh well, enough about the picture and my whining, let's talk about the recipe.

These is another recipe that is fairly quick to assemble making it perfect for a weeknight meal.  It may seem like there's quite a few steps but it really consist of boiling pasta (easy and effortless) and browning meat.  Those are the two most time consuming steps and the process doesn't require your undivided making it easy to multitask.  This simple meal was packed with tons of flavor thanks to the various elements.  The Italian sausage added so much flavor and since I chose the to use the spicy variety, it lent some spice to the dish, as well.  The rosemary added a nice earthy element that really helped to brighten up the dish.  The sauce was a simple reduction of tomato sauce, cream and water; that thickened up perfectly and added just the right amount of creaminess to this dish.  The sweetness of the tomato sauce helped to cut through some of the spice from the sausage making them a perfect combination of flavor.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Soft Giant M&M Cookies

These have to be one of the simplest, yet most delicious cookies I've made.  These cookies are gooey, chewy, and incredidbly massive.  And dare I say, one of the best things you've ever sunk your teeth into!  Yes, those are some strong words but I promise I have the proof to back them up.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Chicken, Bacon, Ranch Taquitos

What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think of taquitos?  Automatically, my first thought is those deep fried, light and flaky, crispy tortillas filled with and ooey gooey, cheesy chicken concoction that you find in those "heat boxes" (for lack of a better word) in the convenient store.  Come on, you know exactly what I'm talking about.  I must admit, I was addicted to those things in high school.  It's been a while since I've had one, so I don't know if they would live to my memories expectations...some things are better left as just a memory! 

Even though I haven't had one in a while doesn't mean that I don't crave them from time to time.  I've seen many taquito recipes circling the internet for quite some time, time after time I've planned to make them but for one reason or another those plans have gotten pushed to the side.  I have multiple recipes taquito recipes bookmarked, but when the opportunity finally presented itself I decided to make taquitos filled with cream cheese, chicken, bacon and ranch.  You can't tell me that doesn't sound good.  How could this not be good?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Soft Hamburger Buns

When I told Spencer, and a few others, that I was planning on making my own hamburger buns their response was "cool", and "who does that"?  Then they answered their own question, "oh yeah, you do that".  Their responses cracked me up!  In my circle of friends I'm the one who does the "from scratch", time consuming recipes.  While my friends enjoy cooking, they enjoy cooking less time consuming meals.  So while they kind of kidded me about this they thought it was really neat, as well.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Weekly Meal Plan

Meal plan for March 18-24, 2012

Steaks, mixed grilled vegetables and garlic-butter new potatoes
Chile rellenos, black beans, jalapeno rice casserole
My mom is in town so we will eat out
Saturday-my brother is getting married!

Have a great week!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Irish Coffee Blondies For St. Patrick's Day

Tomorrow is St. Patrick's day.  Do you have your green out and ready to wear?  We wouldn't want you to get pinched!  What else goes along with St. Patrick's day; good food and booze, right?  No matter what you have on your menu for St. Paddy's day, make these Irish coffee blondies for dessert.  It's the perfect mix of sweet, coffee and whiskey. 

I just recently came across a new blog that I am slightly obsessed with, Baked Bree.  I love everything about her blog; her writing style, beautiful photographs and awesome recipes.  This week she has been posting "Irish" inspired recipes and when I saw this recipe for blondies, I knew I had to make them for St. Paddy's day. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Sage Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni and cheese is another one of those things you just can't have enough of.  I mean, can you ever have too many delicious macaroni and cheese recipes?  I don't think so!  This is another macaroni and cheese recipe that takes this classic and add a unique spin.  I love the addition of sage. 

To be honest, I had never really cooked much with sage until the past few weeks.  I must say, I love the flavor the addition of sage lends not only to the recipe but all the other recipes I've tried recently.  Sage has a unique flavor, it's probably one you probably either love or hate, and it lends a very earthy flavor a dish.  I, personally, love the flavor of sage and think it dramatically enhances this dish.  However, if you don't like the sage flavor, simply omit it from this dish and you still have a delicious and very cheesy entree or side.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Banana Cream Pie with Salty Bourbon Caramel for Pi Day

Whew, that's a mouth full!  Can you say that 5 times fast? 

Well, today is National Pi day, not to be confused with national pie day that takes place in December.  And, I actually remembered this year!  Every year I have the very best intentions to participate and I always forget.  Well, I forget until I open up my feed reader and see pies.  Pies, pies everywhere.  Everywhere I turn I see pies and I then realize that another Pi day has come and gone and I didn't particpate, again.  Well, this year is different, I actually remembered!  Honestly, I'm pretty sure the only reason I remembered was because after missing last year's I marked it on my calendar.  Yes, I'm serious.  I honestly marked it on my calendar.  I know, I have problems!   

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Cream Cheese Chicken

I must admit I came thisclose to not sharing this recipe with you.  Not because it wasn't good, because it was delicious, but because it just didn't picture well.  I know, that's a pretty petty reason, but still looks can either pull you in or turn you off.  But don't worry, the taste, however, won in the end and I just couldn't hold out on you. 

This chicken was full of flavor, protien and vegetables and is the ultimate one pot meal.  How easy is it to throw all of the ingredients in one pot, even frozen chicken, turn it on and forget about it?  That alone is a huge lifesaver during those hectic days/weeks/months.  It's even better when you can throw it all in and have the end result be a flavorful and healthy dish that is delicious.   

Monday, March 12, 2012

Caramel Sauce

Spring is rapidly approaching and soon after will be the warm months of summer.  With spring and summer comes cool treats to help beat the heat.  One of the most popular desserts of the spring and summer seasons is ice cream.  I know I am so ready to power up my ice cream maker, I have a plethora of ice cream recipes just waiting to be made!  Along with chocolate sauce, hot fudge, and sprinkles; caramel goes hand in hand with ice cream.  Since those warm months will be upon us shortly, we need to prepare ourselves with all the necassary add-ons for ice cream.  A rich, homemade caramel sauce is a must for ice cream, sundae's and so much more.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Weekly Meal Plan

Menu for March 11-17, 2012

Eat out for brother-in-laws birthday
Chicken bacon ranch taquitos, jalapeno-rice casserole, and beans
Chicken parmesan pizza
Dirty brown rice and shrimp
Eat out
Stuffed hamburgers, coleslaw and french fries

Have a great week!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Browned Butter Banana Muffins with Streusel Topping

By now, we all know that I have a slight obsession with browned butter.  There is just something magical about this nutty flavored butter.  I love the versatility of it; it can be added to both sweet and savory dishes.  The addition of browned butter adds so much flavor and depth to any recipe.  Who knew that something as simple as putting butter in a pan over heat and allowing it to "cook" and brown for a few minutes would make such a drastic flavor change?  I don't know who thought of this originally, but I'm so glad they did!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Apple, Gouda and Bacon Pizza

Can you really ever have too many pizza recipes?  I think not! 

Pizza is a staple in our house.  I crave pizza on a weekly basis and we probably have it that often.  It's easy, quick, as well as delicious.  Honestly, it's probably faster to make pizza at home rather than order out.  In the time it takes to determine what you want and where you want it from, order and then pick it up you could already be enjoying a delicious homemade pizza. 

As much as I love traditional flavors on pizza, I sometimes crave something different.  It's just nice to spice things up and add a twist from time to time.  That's exactly what this pizza did, spiced things up.  Apples, cheese and bacon.  I mean, can you really go wrong with these flavors?  I love the whole sweet and salty combo and this is another recipe that melds those flavor profiles. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Fish Tacos with Lime-Cilantro Crema

While the rest of the country is getting bombarded with harsh, winter storms we are enjoying weather with temperatures in the upper 60's to mid 80's.  Yes, I had to check the calendar a time or two to see what month we were actually in.  Some people, I'm sure, are still enjoying the cozy, comfort foods of winter but I am opening my arms to welcome spring and all of the light, fresh and flavorful foods that come along with it.  I am so excited, we just planted the first plants of the season in our garden!  I can't wait to use all of the fresh fruits and veggies that we'll have in a matter of months.  You just can't beat fresh vegetables straight from the garden!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Weekly Meal Plan

Meal plan for March 4-10, 2012

Sunday- we'll be on the road so we'll either eat out or have something quick at home
Oven fried fish, crispy oven fries and coleslaw
Cream cheese chicken tacos
French dip subs, sides TBD
Cheddar, bacon stuff hamburgers, bbq beans and french fries

Friday, March 2, 2012

Brown Sugar Cookies

There are those recipes that you see that just scream "Make Me NOW!" and then there are others that look good, that you want to make but they don't speak to you enough to move to the top of the list.  The cookie recipes that typically scream at me are those that are packed full of chocolate chunks, heath bits or candy pieces.  As of lately, some of the more simple cookies seem to be speaking to me.  Every time I make one of these cookies that seems to be more simple I am surprised how delicious and full of flavor they are, even without all those add-ins.  I have come across, yet another cookie that is not a typical cookie that speaks to me.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Salsa Verde Chicken and Dumplings

I don't know about you, but the weather here has been very spiratic, to say the least.  We've seen 80 degree weather at the beginning of the week then been in the 30's by the end of the week.  Not only is this weather an open invitation for colds, coughs and all that other fun stuff but it's also a pain trying to get a meal plan together.  Our meals plans have been as extreme as grilling burgers outside one night and cuddled up in cozy clothes eating soup, stew or chili the next night.  I guess a perk to this weather is if you really have a craving for summer inspired food and a cozy, comfort food all at the same time you can plan your menu accordingly.

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