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Monday, June 29, 2009

Chuck's Fish

My Mom is in town for a couple of nights while she attends a teacher conference at Samford. There is a new restaurant on 280 that we have been waiting to try - Chuck's Fish. Chuck's Fish took over the space previously occupied by Prairie Fire Grill. We took my Mom to Chuck's tonight and we all loved the food.

To start they bring out some bread and butter. It is small slices of a french baguette with an herb butter. The butter tasted like it had some Italian seasonings in it. It was good. We all skipped appetizers and salads and chose to go with just our entree. I got the Panned Chicken Pasta, Tadd got the fish tacos and my Mom got the Shrimp and Grits. Everyone loved their entrees. We were too stuffed to have dessert.

The bar area

Chef's Bar - watch them cook!

Sushi Bar - it was full when we left.

The food:

I had the Panned Chicken Pasta - SHOCKER!
The chicken was seasoned nicely and coated with Panko Bread Crumbs. It was topped with fresh basil and tomatoes and served over penne pasta in a garlic cream sauce.
It was really good. I didn't share!

Tadd had the grilled Mahi Tacos - he said they were good and spicy. It was served with a side of Mexican style rice and some avacado slices.

My Mom had the Shrimp & Grits - she said it was out of this world. It came with 8 shrimp and some great onions. The shrimp was poached in Vermouth. The polenta was wonderful. She tried to eat it all, but couldn't make it.

Overall, Chuck's was great. It was pretty busy for a Monday night. I bet it is packed on the weekend. They serve the famous White Chocolate Bread Pudding - we didn't get any :( Next time!!

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Sunday, June 28, 2009


We just got back from Tadd's meeting at SanDestin. The drive back made for a long day so I wanted to make something quick for dinner. I've been seeing these new Buitoni Reserva Ravioli advertised in magazines so I decided to try them tonight with my favorite Vodka sauce. I picked the 4 cheese and spicy beef & sausage ravioli. I cooked half of each package. They were both really good. We thought the ravioli were restaurant quality. I don't know why anyone would go out and pay a lot of money for ravioli when they can just go buy these and save a ton of $$$.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


We are enjoying a little break at SanDestin this weekend. It is nice to get away and do nothing!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Flip Flop Cakes Take 2

In April I made a birthday cake for a friend's daughter's birthday. When I gave brought it to her I immediately got a request for another cake in June. This was so much fun to make and it turned out super cute! It is perfect for a little girl's birthday party. I hope she likes it as much as I do!!

Not bad for an amateur!

Happy Birthday Morgan!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Lemon Pepper Chicken

I was looking at all the beautiful pictures on Tastespotting the other day and I found this recipe. It looked like the perfect weeknight meal for us - chicken, easy and healthy. I marinated the chicken overnight. I pan seared the chicken for three minutes on each side and then baked it at 400 for 15 minutes. The chicken was very moist and the flavor was great. It reminded me a lot of the "Fire Chicken" that we grill. Tadd cleaned his plate and finished off my chicken for me. We really liked this and will be making it again.

Lemon Pepper Chicken
(Printable Recipe)

1 garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons lemon pepper seasoning
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
lemon wedges for garnish

In a bowl combine all ingredients except the chicken. Place chicken breasts between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet until they are a uniform thickness. This ensures that they will cook evenly. Place chicken in a glass dish. Pour the marinade over the chicken. Turn the chicken to coat. Marinate for 2 hours. After two hours, remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the remaining marinade. Cook the chicken in a skillet 3-4 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Serve with lemon wedges.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Acting Debut

Last night David made his National Television Acting Debut! He was on Good Eats on the Food Network. It was an episode on punch. He was actually on the crew, but they use the crew in all the skits. He is the blonde with his head on the table. Hey, it might only be the back of his head, but at least he made it on national television!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta

This is one of the most popular recipes on Recipezaar.com and I can see why. This was really quick and easy to make. I cut up the chicken into chunks and sauteed it in olive oil and butter. I used half milk and half whipping cream to cut down on the calories. I also added about a tablespoon of flour to help thicken it up. This was really good and I will be making this again.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Strawberry Shortcake Cookies

I recently signed up for The Cookie Carnival over at The Clean Plate Club. I thought this was the perfect "club" to join since I love to bake cookies and it was only once a month. The cookie this month was Strawberry Shortcake Cookies by Martha Stewart. I made these for my Father's Day dinner with Tadd's parents. They were a big hit! The cookies were soft and tender. Everyone loved them. They were perfect because they weren't too sweet. I made some homemade whipped cream with my leftover pint of cream and topped the cookies with it.

Strawberry Shortcake Cookies
(Printable Recipe)

12 ounces strawberries, hulled and cut into 1/4-inch dice (2 cups)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2/3 cup heavy cream
Sanding sugar, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine strawberries, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and remaining 7 tablespoons granulated sugar in a large bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter, or rub in with your fingers, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in cream until dough starts to come together, then stir in strawberry mixture.

Using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop or a tablespoon, drop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment, spacing evenly apart. Sprinkle with sanding sugar, and bake until golden brown, 24 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool. Cookies are best served immediately, but can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Wine Down

I am trying a new wine tonight - Mirassou Pinot Grigio. I've started reading Slashfood's Wine of the Week posts and this was one of their recent recommendations. I love Pinot Grigio so I thought this would be a good start to my new wine adventure. I had to search all over town for it. I finally found it at Target.

Here is what Slashfoods said out the Mirassou Pinot Grigio:

Mirassou Pinot Grigio 2007 ($9). Ripe with oranges, peaches, nectarines and hints of spring flowers, this deliciously inexpensive Pinot Grigio got a surprise 90 rating from Wine Enthusiast.

I hope it is good!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Amaretto Brownies

Tyler Florence does a weekly cooking lesson on twitter. This past Friday I noticed that he was baking Amaretto Brownies. I love brownies and amaretto so I had to make them! The brownies were really good and the amaretto added a nice flavor. I love almond flavor, so next time I would add a little bit more!

Amaretto Brownies
Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence

2 sticks unsalted butter
8 oz bittersweet chocolate chips
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 tablespoons amaretto liqueur

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×9-inch square, deep baking dish and line with parchment paper. Melt butter and chocolate over a double-boiler and stir gently until smooth and shiny (I melted it in the microwave). Remove off heat to cool slightly. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside. Using a kitchen mixer, combine eggs, sugar and amaretto and mix until well combined, about 3 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and slowly pour in melted chocolate to combine. Gradually add flour mixture, and incorporate until just combined. Transfer batter to baking pan and bake for 45-50 minutes - a cake tester should come out clean in the middle when inserted. Remove from the oven and carefully lift brownie out of dish using the parchment paper ends.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The News

David made the news for being on the crew for a new reality show being filmed outside of Atlanta. He is at 25 seconds left in the video. Pretty cool. I didn't make the news today for doing journal entries and producing financials........

Perez Hilton has a post about the show David is working on. Seems to be creating a "buzz".

Cheesy Biscuits

Jim N Nicks has good BBQ, but they have even better cheese biscuits. The cheese biscuits are my favorite thing about Jim N Nicks. I found this recipe over at Sugar & Spice and put them on my list to make this past weekend. They were easy to put together and they came really close to Jim N Nicks. Tadd loved them! The next time I make them I am going to make them in my mini muffin pan so they will be just like Jim N Nicks.

Jim N Nicks Cheese Biscuits
(Printable Recipe)

1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 cup milk (or buttermilk)
1 egg, beaten well
4 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. vanilla

Mix all ingredients together. Pour into greased muffin pan and bake at 400 degrees for 15 - 20 minutes. This recipe makes approximately 12 muffins.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Maple & Brown Sugar Beans

When I was looking through my new Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book I saw these beans and knew Tadd would love them. I was right. The beans were great. They are my new "go to" baked bean recipe. We had the beans Friday night with our new favorite pork tenderloin recipe. The original recipe makes a ton. I only made a third of the recipe and it was more than enough for two people.

Maple & Brown Sugar Beans
adapted from Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book

2 Tbs minced dried onion flakes
3 strips of bacon, cooked & chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 15-ounce can pinto beans, drained
1 15-ounce can light red kidney beans, drained
8 teaspoons brown sugar
8 teaspoons maple syrup
8 teaspoons barbecue sauce
4 teaspoons ketchup
4 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon yellow mustard

Combine all ingredients in medium sauce pan and simmer for 30 minutes.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Pecan-Crusted Pork Tenderloin Pinwheels

Last night we had one of the best meals ever! We made the Pecan-Crusted Pork Tenderloin Pinwheels out of my new Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book. These were fantastic! They were easy to put together and I really liked the Carolina Mustard Sauce on this. We both thought these would be great for a cookout diner party. We will be making these again soon!

Pecan-Crusted Pork Tenderloin Pinwheels
from Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book p. 73
1 pork tenderloin
6 bacon strips
Carolina Mustard Sauce (I used Sticky Fingers sauce)
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Cut the tenderloin lengthwise into 6 long strips approximately 1/4 inch thick. Lay the slices on a cutting board; they should be the same size and shape as the bacon strips. Place a strip of bacon on top of each piece of tenderloin. Starting at one end, roll the tenderloin into pinwheel medallion. Secure with two toothpicks.

Set aside one cup of the Carolina Mustard Sauce and apply remaining sauce to the outside of the pinwheels. Stir together the pecans, salt and pepper and coat the tenderloin pinwheels with the pecan mixture. Cut each of the pinwheels through the equator to make two thin pinwheel medallions.

Build a charcoal and/or wood fire for direct grilling. Place medallions on the grill over medium-high heat and cook for 7 to 8 minutes on each side or until the edges of the bacon start to crisp. Serve with the reserved sauce drizzled over each pinwheel.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Almond Toffee Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

I found a new blog this week via twitter - Two Peas and Their Pod. Today, Two Peas and Their Pod posted the link to this cookie recipe on Twitter and I knew that I had to make them right away! I love almonds and toffee and these cookies did not disappoint. They were fantastic - probably me favorite of all time. I used toffee chips instead of chopping up a Heath bar and sliced almonds instead of chopping whole almonds. I will be sending a double batch of these cookies to San Antonio for Christmas this year. I know they will fight over these!!

Almond Toffee Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
(Printable Recipe)

½ c. brown sugar
1/2 c. white sugar
1/2 cup softened unsalted butter
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Baking powder
1/2 tsp. Baking soda
1 1/4 c. flour
1 1/4 c. oats-not quick oats
Chocolate chips-3/4 cup
2 Heath bars-chopped (I used 3/4 cup toffee chips)
Almonds, chopped-about ¾ cup (I used 3/4 cup sliced almonds)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Combine butter and sugar in your mixing bowl. Beat until smooth. On low, add in egg, vanilla, and almond extract. Beat until combined.

Slowly add in the dry ingredients. Stir in the oats, chocolate chips, Heath, and almonds. The dough should be nice and thick, with chunks of goodness

Scoop dough into balls and place on a cookie sheet lined with Silpats or parchment. Bake for 10-12 minutes! Allow to cool for a minute on the cookie sheet. Move to a cooling rack and indulge!


Monday, June 8, 2009

Chipotle Burgers & Home Fries

We didn't grill out this past weekend because we went out of town. I decided to grill burgers tonight. I adapted our Garlic Peppercorn Burger recipe and substituted Chipotle Rub. The burgers were so good! They were very flavorful and juicy. I really liked these burgers. They had a little kick from the chipotle and pepper-jack cheese. I also made some home fries - baked thinly sliced potatoes. I sprinkled them with seasoned salt. They were really tasty - we both enjoyed them.

Chipotle Burgers
(Printable Recipe)

5 Tbs bread crumbs
1/3 cup milk
1 tbsp Chipotle Rub
1 lb 85% lean ground beef such as chuck
3 onion rolls, split
3 slices jalapeno-jack cheese

Combine bread crumbs, milk and chipotle rub in Stainless (4-qt./4-L) Mixing Bowl. Mix until a smooth paste forms. Sprinkle ground beef over bread paste and mix gently until incorporated.

Form meat mixture into three thin patties, about 4 in. in diameter. Grill patties 3-4 minutes or until grill marks appear. Turn patties over using Jumbo Slotted Turner; cook 3-4 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160°F
and patties are no longer pink in center. Transfer burgers to paper towel-lined plate.

Home Fries
(Printable Recipe)

1 medium baking potato
1 medium sweet potato
Cooking Spray
seasoned salt

Slice potatoes thin - about 1/8" thickness. I used a mandoline. Spread out in a single layer on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Briefly spray the tops of the potatoes with cooking spray too. Sprinkle with seasonings. Bake at 425 for 20-25 minutes. Start checking the chips at about 15 minutes. Remove chips that are browning. Continue to bake until all chips are brown.
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