Friday, February 22, 2013

Quick Parmesan Noodles

I wing meals so often that I cant even blog about it. For example, the noodles that I am posting today are so simple that I cant even really take a ton of pictures. But it is so much better than any box variety you can buy and is so easy you probably shouldnt tell your family. It'll be our secret.

Quick Parmesan Noodles

Noodles (I used 1/2 pound)
Pasta water
1 cup of fresh grated Parmesan
2 TB Butter
1 TB chopped Sage

start cooking your noodles. I am using whatever I have in my cupboard. While the pasta is boiling away, carefully scoop about 1 cup of the boiling pasta water. Then drain noodles and I just toss them back into my hot pan with 2 TB butter which melted immediately and then dump the  cheese on the hot noodles and add some of the pasta water until you get a cheesy consistency that is perfect. No milk needed

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Homemade Biscuits

My Gram would make the best biscuits growing up and each and every time I swear she did it different. Sometimes I saw her grab a box a biscuit and other times I saw her make them homemade with Crisco or butter. I think it just came down to what she had on hand. The Ballplayer loves biscuits and he doesn't have a favorite just as long as they are covered in butter. I made these quite some time ago.

Homemade Biscuits
2 cups all purpose flour plus flour to dust the counter
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter
1 cup  buttermilk (you  can  make buttermilk using whole milk  and a TB vinegar if you  are  missing this)

Take all dry ingredients and cut butter into them and then add enough buttermilk until it is shaggy. Turn out onto a floured surface and roll out to 1/2-1 inch thickness (I really dont measure) and cut out with biscuit cutters (I use a class) and place into a HOT BUTTERED cast iron pan and bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 10-12 minutes (more like 15 for my oven) I always run a cube of butter over mine right after they come out of the oven. It is a trick my Gram did.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Pizza Break Apart Bread

This is all the Country Cook's fault. She posted a recipe for Cheesy Bacon Ranch Bread which I blogged, and then had the audacity to changed and make Cheesy Jalapeno Bread (The Fireman's favorite) but while coming up with  The Fireman's Fave bread, we also came up with this one. This is perfect for kids, perfect for watching your favorite game and perfect for movie nights. If you like pizza you will like this. 

Pizza Break Apart Bread
recipe adapted by The Country Cook
1 french load
1 package pepperoni (turkey works great here)
1 package shredded mozzarella
1 stick butter (I use unsalted since I watch my salt)
garlic powder (I didn't measure but approx 1 tsp) 
you could also use Italian seasoning too!

Using a sharp bread knife, cut the bread going in both directions but don't cut all the way through the bottom. Lay the whole loaf on enough foil to wrap the loaf in.

 Stuff Cheese in every crevice
 top with chopped up pepperoni.
 Just stuff it in there! Then melt the butter and add with the garlic power and drizzle all over the bread
 Cover and bake 15 minutes in 350 oven
 then uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes
 Then dig in!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Roasted Brussel Sprouts & Apples

So everyone is hopefully recovered or recovering from Valentines Day. I am back on on my healthy eating. I try to eat under a certain calorie limit a day and at times it feels like it's anything goes. I generally try to be good so I can savor that one glass of wine a day. I made this a while back with pork. Many like to have applesauce with pork. I personally wasn't raised with that tradition but thought I would try to see what all the fuss was about. I didn't like brussel sprouts growing up, in fact I despised them, but have since found that I can roast any vegetable and find it to be my favorite. In fact you don't even have to have fresh, frozen will work, although I haven't tried it in this particular recipe.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts & Apples
1 package fresh Brussel Sprouts
1 apple
1 lemon
salt and pepper

Start by spraying a cooking sheet with cooking spray and the slice brussel sprouts in half and cube up the apple. If you are afraid to salt and pepper everything, then salt and pepper the brussel sprouts before adding the apple. I didnt care. Sweet does well with salt and pepper.
 Squeeze lemon all over the veggies
 Roast in a preheated 425 degree oven flipping when the veggies/fruit is brown on one side. I like mine pretty brown so I really let them caramelize.
 I mean what is not to love about this?

 I could eat this for dinner and forget the pork!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Double Decker Brownies

I saw these all over Pinterest last year. Pinterest is very very dangerous for me. I end up looking at recipes on my PHONE and then saving recipes to my iPhone with the intention of making them one day (I am 600 strong, so if there is a support group, I am first to go) and then I order pizza for dinner. No joke! These didn't even have a blog to go with them just a picture which I took a screen shot of with the intention of using for Christmas baking. Knowing how terrible I am about posting (I mean really, I can save these babies for next year you you all would like...) I was thinking that these are perfect for Valentines Day! I bought a special pan from Walmart for these. I think it was called a square muffin pan. It wasn't expensive and considering the outcome of these babies, it was all worth it even if I only use the pan once a year. I was thinking of using it for corn bread but I really like using a cast iron pan.Now you can make whatever chocolate chip recipe you like. I like the Toll House recipe. I know it by heart. And make whatever brownie recipe that you love. You can make it from a box. I don't care. But you need both for this recipe. At the same time. And then you need stuff to stuff in the double decker brownies. The Ballplayer loved the ones I made with a Peanut Butter Cup in the middle. I also made some with a Peppermint Oreo in them. But the best were the ones with pretzels in the middle. The sweet and salty was a perfect combo.

Double Decker Brownies
1 recipe chocolate chip cookie dough
2 recipes brownie
oreos, snap pretzels, peanut butter cups
cooking spray

prepare all your cookie dough and brownie dough
Spray pan really well. I didnt with my first batch and I regretted it. I used a small ice cream scoop (I always use them for making cookies) and clean hands to spread it out into the bottom of the pan.
Then Pick your stuffing. I did everything I could get my hands on.
 Then I used the large ice cream scoop I had and covered the cookie dough/stuffing layer

Bake 350 for 20 minutes (my oven is a dinosaur so check your double decker brownies)
Let cool completely before trying to take out of the pan. I found it took a careful pry with a butter knife and the would pop out.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Coke Cola Cake

I am taking a break from my healthy eating to show you a recipe I made way back when and promised I would get out on my blog, but then the holidays hit and time got away from me. Valentines Day is coming upon us so very soon and if you know me, that means very little to me. I am not big on it, probably because my anniversary is right around that time and it trumps Valentines Day any day. But if you like to bake for Valentines Day, this is an easy recipe that came to me from The Country Cook. Her Blog is amazing and her recipes have ruined my diet more than once. And I say that in the best of ways. I believe that moderation is the key. The original recipe called for no oil or eggs and I messed up and used it and it turned out so good so I am blogging it with the eggs and oil.

Coke Cola Cake
recipe adapted by The Country Cook

1 box (15.25 oz) Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix
1 small box (4 oz.) Instant Chocolate Pudding
Ingredients listed on back of cake mix box 
1 1/3 cups Coca Cola
1 stick unsalted butter
3 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa
4-6 tbsp. heavy cream or milk* (see notes below)
 (I used 3 eggs and oil on the package)
2 cups (packed) powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

The Country Cook's Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F degrees  

Prepare cake mix according to package directions.
But instead of adding water, you will replace that amount with Coca-Cola.
Add in dry instant pudding mix to the batter as well.
With this mix, it called for 1 1/3 cups of water, I substituted that with 1 1/3 cups of Coca Cola.
Spray 9x13 baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Pour batter into baking dish and bake according to package directions (usually 35-39 minutes).
Just before cake is ready to come out of the oven, start making frosting. In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, start melting one stick of butter/margarine. Then stir in confectioners sugar. (I didn't follow directions which shouldn't surprise you, I just mixed in a bowl. The Country Cook did hers in a pan over the stove)

Frost over warm cake. Yes warm cake.
I could barely wait to cut into it. I mean I have two hungry boys at home!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Roasted Beet Salad

It is a known fact in my house I do not like beets. My daughter loves them. My husband loves them. I cant handle the smell of them. If we do to a restaurant and they are on a salad I will kindly move mine to my sweet husband's dish, knowing how he will appreciate them. (He does the same thing with raw tomatoes.) When my CSA delivery service had beets in it, The Fireman was thrilled. Me, not so much. Researching online, I was told that I would like them roasted homemade. They would taste different. Sweet. Not like dirt. They were right. Now I don't want to order them on salads but I will have them homemade. And next year when they come in my bag of goodies I will look into making brownies or cakes out of them.

Roasted Beet Salad
recipe adapted from BLOSSER URBAN GARDEN
2 Beets
olive oil
Dijon mustard
walnut pieces (about 1 TB per salad)

I have to admit the smell was disturbing to me and I questioned making the dish but being a foodie will try anything once.
Cut off the greens and scrub clean. Beets can and will stain anything and everything. After scrubbing clean and patting dry with a paper towel, I laid on the foil I was going to cook into.
Once on the foil drizzle with a little olive oil. I actually took one hand and made sure it was covered with the oil and then salted.
Fold up the foil leaving space for it to steam
place on a cookie sheet
Roast 400 degrees for about 45 minutes or until a fork pierces easily (think of checking a baked potato)
See! Fork tender!
I made my beets in the morning so they would be cool for the salad. I wasnt sure if I was ready for hot beets. I like to make dressings in mason jars. Just mix
juice of one lemon
1 tsp Dijon
1 tb honey
about 1/4 cup olive oil (I dont really measure)
salt and pepper
shake up

Arrange baby greens on a plate or bowl, slice beets and arrange, add about 1 oz goat cheese to each salad and sprinkle with walnuts. Drizzle 1 TB dressing over the salad

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Roasted Artichoke Salad

I know January is over but I am still TRYING to eat healthy and as much and many vegetables as I can. This happens to be one of my favorite "salads" to make. It is so simple that I am almost embarrassed to share it but it is so good that I have to. I am also embarrassed to tell you that if The Fireman is on duty, I will make this and eat the whole BOWL (yes I did just confess that) for dinner. This is a warm salad although I am sure it is good cold too (but it doesn't make it to being cold in my house.) I buy frozen artichokes from Trader Joe's. When I make into there, I literally buy all the bags they have of them. Trader Joe's is a dangerous store for me. I usually want to buy all the cheese they offer as well as their  vegetables. The Fireman will want to buy chocolate and a big block of it. Dangerous store!

Roasted Artichoke Salad
1 bag of frozen artichokes
2 cloves garlic
Pam cooking spray
Kraft Zesty fat free Italian Dressing
These are the frozen Artichoke Hearts I buy. I have only found them at Trader Joe's. If you find them at another store, let me know!
Spray cooking spray on a cookie sheet. My sheets are really old so they take some spray or anything will stick. Season with your favorite seasoning. I like Creole, but plain salt and pepper would be fine
 grate a couple cloves of garlic over it. Garlic Powder would also work.
Roast in a preheated 400 degree oven until brown about 10 minutes and then flip and cook another 10 minutes
 Put in a bowl

 Put 2 Tb dressing over, toss
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