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Friday, July 31, 2009

Ultimate Baked Beans

This is our new favorite baked bean dish. I am not a huge bean fan, but these are AWESOME! Tadd said he could just eat the beans as his meal. This was SO easy to put together and would be the perfect side dish to take to a potluck.

Ultimate Baked Beans

1/2 lb ground beef, browned and drained
1/4 cup water
1/2 tbsp white vinegar
1/2 pkg onion soup mix (I pulse mine in the food processor to chop up the onions)
1 (15 oz) can Van Camps pork & beans
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp prepared mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 lb bacon, cooked

Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients except bacon together and spread in a 8x8 dish. Top with cooked bacon. Cover with aluminum foil and bake covered for 30 mins, then uncovered for 15 mins.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Bacon Cheeseburgers

These burgers were flavorful, juicy and yummy in my tummy! They have all my favorite things - Dale's, Ranch and cheese! This was easy to mix together and I had everything in my pantry. Next time I might leave out the egg and add a few breadcrumbs. The burgers tried to fall apart when we grilled them. We served these with some amazing baked beans.

Bacon Cheeseburgers
(Printable Recipe)

1 lb hamburger meat
1/2 lb bacon, cooked
2 tbsp Dale’s steak seasoning
1 pkg ranch dressing
1 egg
Montreal Steak Seasoning
3 slices colby jack cheese
3 hamburger buns

Cut bacon in half and fry in a large skillet over medium to medium low heat about 10 mins each side. Meanwhile, place hamburger meat in a shallow dish, pour over Dale’s, ranch dressing, and beaten egg. Mix together with hands, being careful not to over mix. With a knife, divide the meat into 3 even sections. Grab a section and gently form a ball. Press down to form into patty. Season both sides with Montreal Steak seasoning. Grill burgers to desired doneness. Top with bacon and cheese and cover with grill lid until cheese is melted. Top with desired topping and enjoy!


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Baked Chipotle Beef Taquitos

I adapted this recipe from OurBestBites.com. I used the leftover beef from the French Dip Sandwiches I made earlier. I heated the beef in a skillet and added all the seasonings. These were easy to put together. They came out of the oven nice and crispy and had a good Mexican flavor. I served them with homemade salsa and sour cream.

Baked Chipotle Beef Taquitos
adapted from OurBestBites.com
(Printable Recipe)

3 C cooked, shredded beef roast
1/2 cup salsa verde

1/3 cup salsa
1 Tbs chipotle seasoning
1 t garlic powder
1 t coriander
1/2 t cumin
1 t chili powder
1 T fresh lime juice
4 oz jalapeno pepper jack cheese, shredded
white corn tortillas
olive oil or cooking spray
kosher salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Slice any larger pieces of roast across the grain so the beef is shredded into 1/2-1 inch pieces.
Combine salsa verde, salsa, chipotle, garlic, coriander, cumin, chili powder and lime juice in a bowl. After stirring to combine, gently toss together with shredded beef. Heat beef in skillet over medium heat just until warm.

Wrap a pile of tortillas in damp paper towels and microwave for 1 minute to soften.

Working with one tortilla at a time, crumble about 1T cheese in a line across the center of the tortilla. Top with 1-2 T shredded beef mixture. Tightly roll and place seam-side down on a lightly sprayed baking sheet. Continue to roll until all of the tortillas are filled.

Use cooking spray on the top of each taquito. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Place in the pre-heated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown on the edges.

Serve warm with sour cream, salsa and guacamole. Makes about 20 taquitos.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Smoky Chicken Pasta

OH MY GOODNESS - This pasta was AMAZING. It is better than most pasta dishes that I've eaten in restaurants. You must try this SOON! It is extremely simple to put together. It could easily be made on a week night. The chicken had a nice smoky flavor from the marinade. The sauce was simple and flavorful. The bacon is a must - it pulls the whole dish together.

We will definitely be making this again. Tadd cleaned his plate!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Lemon Ricotta Cookies

This month's cookie for the Cookie Carnival was Giada's Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze. These cookies were very moist and cake-like. They had a refreshing lemon flavor that we really enjoyed. The lemon glaze put the cookies over the top! They are light and very easy to eat.

Tadd declared these cookies "EVIL" and told me to never make them again! (He ate all of them)

Lemon Ricotta Cookies
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 lemon, zested

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 lemon, zested
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.


In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In the large bowl combine the butter and the sugar. Using an electric mixer beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating until incorporated. Add the ricotta cheese, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Beat to combine. Stir in the dry ingredients.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Spoon the dough (about 2 tablespoons for each cookie) onto the baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes, until slightly golden at the edges. Remove from the oven and let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 20 minutes.


Combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Spoon about 1/2-teaspoon onto each cookie and use the back of the spoon to gently spread. Let the glaze harden for about 2 hours. Pack the cookies into a decorative container.

Meow Monday

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Bread Dipping Oil

This is the oil that we dip our focaccia bread in. It is a mixture of parmesan, Italian seasoning, garlic and red pepper flakes. We love it!

Bread Dipping Oil

1 Tbs parmesan cheese
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
Olive Oil

Friday, July 24, 2009

Cake Batter Ice Cream

Tadd said this was the best ice cream we have made so far. I might have to agree. This was really good. I used chocolate cake mix. I thought it had a good chocolate flavor with out being too rich and sweet. I heated the milk and sugar over low heat until the sugar dissolved and then added the remaining ingredients. I chilled it overnight and then put it in the ice cream maker.

Cake Batter Ice Cream
(Printable Recipe)

1 cup whole milk, well chilled
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups heavy cream, well chilled
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup cake mix

Place freezer bowl of ice cream maker into the freezer. It is better to keep it in there 24/7 that way it is always ready.

In a medium bowl, whisk the milk and granulated sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla to taste.
Stir in cake mix, making sure there are no lumps. Pour mixture into the freezer bowl and let mix until it has thickened (about 25-30 minutes). Remove ice cream from freezer bowl and place into a separate container. Place freezer bowl and the ice cream into the freezer to further harden.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Focaccia Bread

This bread was amazing. We loved it! It was really easy to make. I used my Kitchen Aid Mixer with the dough hook. It took minutes to put together. I cut the mozzarella cheese down from the original recipe. It took about 15 minutes to bake. I served it with our dipping sauce - parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, minced garlic, red pepper flakes and olive oil. We gave this bread 5 stars!

Easy Focaccia Bread
(Printable Recipe)

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 (1/4 ounce) packet active dry yeast
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 dash ground black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup warm water (105-115 degrees)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese (grated)
1/2 - 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese (shredded)

Mix the yeast and water in a small bowl. Let proof for 10 minutes (until bubbles begin to form). In large bowl, stir together flour, salt, sugar, garlic powder, oregano, thyme, basil, and black pepper. Add the yeast mix and vegetable oil to the dry ingredients and combine. Then dough has pulled together, turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Lightly oil a large bowl, place dough in bowl, and turn to coat with oil. Cover with damp cloth and let rise in warm place 25 minutes. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Punch dough down, place on greased baking sheet. Pat dough into 1/2-inch thick rectangle (doesn't have to be perfect). Using your knuckle, make indentations in the dough about 1/2-inch apart, then prick dough with fork. Brush top with olive oil, then sprinkle with Parmesan and mozzarella cheese. Bake for 13-15 minutes until golden brown.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

French Dip Sandwiches

This was a great tasting sandwich. This was a fix it and forget it meal. I seared the roast the night before and put the seasonings and wet ingredients in the crock-pot before I left for work. The meat had a nice flavor; you could taste the onions but it wasn't overwhelming. We dipped our sandwiches in the wonderful juices that were left in the crock-pot. Tadd loved it and went back for seconds.

French Dip Sandwiches
adapted from OurBestBites.com
(Printable Recipe)

1 2.5-3 lb. rump roast
salt and pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
2 1-ounce packages dry onion soup mix (I chopped mine in the food processor to cut up the onions)
2 cups water
2 cans beef broth
French bread loaf
2 Tbs melted butter
1/2 tsp garlic powder
sliced mushrooms (optional)
Provolone cheese, sliced

Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat and rub roast with salt and pepper. When very hot, carefully place roast in pan and sear on all sides.

Place in crockpot and sprinkle with onion soup mixes and garlic powder. Pour water, Worcestershire and beef broth over roast.

Cook 8-10 hours on low or cook 4-5 hours on high and another 3-4 hours on low. Thinly slice the roast and dip into juices.

Melt 2 Tbs butter and add 1/2 tsp garlic powder. Cut french bread loaf into four pieces and slice lengthwise. Brush each side of bread with garlic butter. Place under the broiler until toasted.

Place meat and mushrooms on top of one half of the bread. Top with cheese and broil open-faced in the oven or toaster oven for a few minutes, until cheese is melty. Serve with sides of the crock-pot juices for dipping.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Cinnamon Rolls

Homemade cinnamon rolls have been on my to do list for years. I finally broke down and made them over the weekend. I decided to use the recipe on Pioneer Woman's blog. The dough was incredibly easy to make. I let the dough sit in the refrigerator overnight and rolled it out the next morning. The cinnamon rolls were great. I didn't use Pioneer Woman's glaze recipe. I just mixed up some powdered sugar, milk and vanilla and poured it over all the rolls.

Cinnamon Rolls

2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 packet dry active yeast
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 /2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup sugar
generous sprinkling cinnamon

Mix milk, vegetable oil, and sugar in a pan (large soup-pot type). "Scald" the mixture (heat until just before the boiling point.) Turn off heat and leave to cool 45 minutes to 1 hour.

When the mixture is lukewarm to warm, but NOT hot, sprinkle in yeast. Let this sit for a minute so the yeast gets all warm and moist and happy. Then add 4 cups of all-purpose flour. Stir mixture together. Cover and let sit for at least an hour.

Now add 1/2 cup of flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir mixture together. At this point, you could cover the dough and put it in the fridge until you need it—overnight or even a day or two, if necessary. Just keep your eye on it and if it starts to splurge out of the pan, just punch it down. Or, of course, you can just go ahead and make the rolls.

Sprinkle surface generously with flour. Take dough and form a rough rectangle. Then roll the dough thin, maintaining a general rectangular shape. Rectangle should increase in both width and length as you roll it out.

Now drizzle melted butter over the dough. Sprinkle sugar over the butter, followed by a generous sprinkling of cinnamon.

Starting at the opposite end, begin rolling the dough in a neat line toward you. Keep the roll relatively tight as you go. Some of the butter / sugar / cinnamon mixture may ooze out toward the end, but that’s no big deal.

Next, pinch the seam to the roll to seal it. Spread 1 tablespoon of melted butter in four round, foil cake or pie pans. Then begin cutting rolls approximately 3/4 to 1 inch thick and laying them in the buttered pans. This recipe makes approximately four pans of rolls (29 rolls)

While the rolls are in the oven, make the frosting. To a mixing bowl, add powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla. Stir until mixture is thick but pourable. Taste and adjust as needed.

Generously drizzle frosting over warm rolls after you pull them out of the oven. Be sure to get frosting around the perimeter of the pan, too, so the icing will coat the outside of the rolls.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sausage & Cheese Scones

These were fantastic! They were really easy to put together. I prepped the sausage and cheese the night before and just dumped everything in the bowl in the morning. These would be good for a brunch, tailgate party or company breakfast. The scones were light and airy and had a great flavor with the sausage and cheese. We will be making these again soon!

Sausage & Cheese Scones
(Printable Recipe)

2 cups cooked, sliced breakfast sausage links (1/2" pieces)
1 cup diced sharp cheddar cheese
3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Pizza Dough Flavor, optional
1/2 cup butter, cut in pats
1 cup buttermilk ( OR yogurt or sour cream)

Preheat the oven to 425°F. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and Pizza Dough Flavor. Add the butter, cut in pats. Work in the butter till the mixture is crumbly. Add the sausage and cheese, mixing to distribute. Add the yogurt, buttermilk, or sour cream. Mix just till everything is evenly moistened. Transfer the dough to a piece of parchment or a lightly floured work surface. Pat and roll it into an 8" x 10" rectangle about 3/4" thick. Cut the dough into twenty 2" squares.

If you've been working on parchment, simply lift the parchment onto a baking sheet. Separate the scones so there's about 1" between them. If the scones aren't on parchment,, space them on a lightly greased baking sheet, leaving about 1" between them. Bake the scones for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they're a medium- to deep-golden brown.

Remove the scones form the oven, and cool them on a rack briefly. Serve warm.


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Are you ready for some football

It is officially 49 days until kick-off!

Row Tyde!
They don't live in the past do they?!?! LOL!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Orange Sherbet

I love orange sherbet.

Not that orange Sherbert!

I am talking about orange Sherbet ice cream!

I found this recipe on the Food Network site. It is from Alton Brown. I liked this recipe because it was simple and fresh ingredients. The sherbet wasn't as rich as the vanilla ice cream we made last weekend. This ice cream was light and fresh tasting. We really liked it. I would like to have a scoop of the sherbet with a scoop of the vanilla from last week - homemade creamcicle!

Orange Sherbet
(Printable Recipe)

7 ounces sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons finely grated orange zest
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice, approximately 2 to 3 pounds oranges
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups very cold whole milk

In the bowl of a food processor combine all of the ingredients except the milk and process until the sugar is dissolved, approximately 1 minute. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and whisk in the milk. Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator until the mixture reaches 40 degrees F or below, approximately 1 hour.

Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and process until it is the consistency of soft serve ice cream. You may serve now or transfer to a lidded container and place in freezer until firm, approximately 3 hours.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Creamy Chicken Parmesan

We love Italian food; we eat it all the time. I came up with this recipe by combining my favorite Italian dishes - cheesy baked pasta and chicken parmesan. This is basically a "kicked-up" chicken parmesan dish. I topped chicken parmesan with a ricotta and pesto mixture. The ricotta gave the dish a nice creaminess and added wonderful flavor with the pesto. We both really liked the dish and would eat it again. This is a quick meal and could easily be made on a weeknight after work.

Creamy Chicken Parmesan

2 boneless chicken breast
5 Tbs panko bread crumbs
5 Tbs grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/3 cup Olive oil, divided
1/3 cup ricotta cheese
1 Tbs pesto
3 slices mozzarella cheese
1 jar pasta sauce
7 oz thin spaghetti, cooked and drained

Pound chicken breast to 1/4 inch thick. Combine bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, garlic powder and Italian seasoning. Coat chicken breast with olive oil and dip in bread crumb mixture. Heat remaining olive oil in skillet. Cook chicken breast for 2 minutes on each side. Pour sauce in 8x8 pan. Place chicken breast on top of sauce. Mix ricotta and pesto together. Spread ricotta mixture over chicken breast and top with mozzarella cheese. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve over thin spaghetti.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Rosemary Focaccia Bread

This is another recipe I found from Our Best Bites. I thought this sounded a lot like the Macaroni Grill's wonderful bread. I halved the recipe to only have one loaf of bread. This was very simple to put together - you just have to plan ahead for all the rising. I served this with an olive oil dipping sauce - olive oil, parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, minced garlic and Italian seasoning. Tadd loved the bread and was very impressed that I made it from scratch.

Rosemary Focaccia Bread
(Printable Recipe)

1 c. warm (105-115 degrees Fahrenheit) water
1 Tbsp. yeast
1 Tbsp. white sugar
1 tsp. Kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
2 Tbsp. butter, divided
2 Tbsp. crushed dry rosemary
2 1/4-2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

In a large mixing bowl, combine warm water, yeast, and sugar. Allow to stand for 10 minutes or until bubbly. While the yeast is getting bubbly, combine 2 C of the flour, salt, 1 Tbsp. rosemary.

Add flour mixture to yeast mixture along with 1 Tbsp. melted butter. Mix well. (I put it in my stand mixer with the dough hook on). Slowly add remaining flour to make a very soft dough--try and resist the urge to add too much flour. You probably won't use the entire extra 1/2 c. of flour. I usually only use about 1/4 cup. You want a soft, wet dough.

Cover and allow to rise 1 hour.

Lightly flour work surface and transfer dough onto this surface. Divide in half. Shape each half into a round loaf and place on a greased cookie sheet or pizza stone. Cover and allow to rise another 45 minutes.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Melt remaining tablespoon of butter and mix with remaining tablespoon of rosemary. Brush on loaves and sprinkle lightly with Kosher salt.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until very lightly golden-brown. Serve immediately (if you can) with olive oil and balsamic vinegar (if you want) and feel your butt get bigger (you will. It just happens. And it's worth it.)


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Italian Pork Tenderloin

For a change of pace, I made pork tenderloin for dinner this week. I needed something quick since I didn't plan ahead and marinate the tenderloin the night before. I decided on an Italian pork tenderloin. I rubbed olive oil and minced garlic on the tenderloin. I sprinkled about a tablespoon of our Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse seasoning all over the pork and baked it for about 40 minutes. It turned out great. It made we wish I were going back to Chicago this weekend to eat at Gibsons! Soon - hopefully!!

Italian Pork Tenderloin

3-4 Tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1-2 Tbs Gibsons Steakhouse seasoning OR Italian Seasoning & Kosher salt

Rub the olive oil and minced garlic on the tenderloin. Sprinkle the seasoning all over both sides of the pork and baked at 375 for about 25-30 minutes.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Wine Down

I have found a great new wine - Casal Garcia Vinho Verde from Portugal. It is a fresh, light-bodied white wine. It also has a slight sparkling quality. I think it is the perfect wine to drink on a hot summer night. I read about it on Slashfoods - they had a post about wines to drink when you are grilling. Here is what they said about the wine:

"Summer Appetizer Wine: Vinho Verde
I buy this wine by the case throughout the summer. Not only is it affordable, it's light, crisp and perfect for hot summer nights. Vinho Verde is a very common wine in Portugal and its semi-sparkling characteristic raises eyebrows at the first sip. Try pairing it with my Grilled Prosciutto-Wrapped Peaches."

The best thing about this wine is that it was only $7 at World Market!
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