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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Fresh Corn & Asiago Bread Pudding

I can't believe today is the last day of August. College football starts this week and we get a long weekend for Labor Day! Christmas will be here before you know it!

This recipe is from Southern Living. When I saw the title, I knew I had to make it. I love corn, asiago and bread, so it was a no-brainer for me. This was so simple to put together and it tasted amazing!  The more we ate, the more we liked it.  It was very addicting.  I have plans to make it again this weekend for our Labor Day cook-out. 

Fresh Corn & Asiago Bread Pudding
Southern Living
(Printable Recipe)

1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup whipping cream
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 (12-oz.) French bread loaf, cut into 1-inch cubes (8 cups)
4 cups fresh corn kernels
1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) shredded Asiago cheese

Whisk together first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; add bread, tossing to coat. Let stand 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375°. Stir corn and cheese into bread mixture; spoon into a well-buttered 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Bake at 375° for 45 minutes or until set and golden brown.

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Monday, August 30, 2010

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Saw's BBQ

Are you looking for THE BEST BBQ?  Well, look no further than Saw's BBQ in Homewood, AL.  

I ordered the pulled pork sandwich and Tadd got the pulled chicken sandwich.  I've never had a pulled pork sandwich quite like this one.  You can tell the meat was fresh and they pulled it when you ordered the sandwich.  It was so juicy and flavorful.  The chicken sandwich was also the best we have ever had at a BBQ joint.  It was extremely tender and juicy; not dry like some chicken at other BBQ joints.  The white sauce was ridiculous.  The mac & cheese had SO much cheese; you couldn't take a bite with getting a ton of good stringy cheddar cheese.  The baked beans were tasty as well.  They were very mild and good bbq flavor to them.  I could have eaten a ton of them.  

The key is to eating at Saw's is to get there early.  There aren't a lot of seats and this place gets busy.  We arrived at 11:30 for lunch and we were one of the first people there.  By the time we left the line was out the door.

The decor is very Southern BBQ joint.  It has license plates, street signs, old cola/food signs and lots of football stuff on the walls.  I loved that the sauces and salt & pepper were in old 6-pack containers. 

Saw's BBQ isn't fancy, but it sure is something special.  It is a MUST if you are in the Birmingham area.

Pulled Pork Sandwich

Smoked Chicken with White Sauce

Mac & Cheese

Baked Beans

Saws on Urbanspoon

Pin It!

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Friday, August 27, 2010

Baked Club Pinwheels - Football Friday

It's Football Friday!  SEC Football is one week away!!  The first college game is next Thursday.  Are you ready?  I am ready for some football and some great tailgating!! 

This sandwich is perfect for a crowd.  It is easy to grab and eat on the go.  You don't need any special utensils or even a plate - which is good at a tailgate.  The less you have to tote around the better!  You can serve this with some honey mustard, ranch or BBQ if you want a little something extra.  Chicken Legs & I tested this recipe out for lunch and it was a huge hit.  We had enough leftover for lunch the next day and it was just a good.   I have a feeling we will be making this again soon.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Edgar's Bakery President's Choice Panini

I am at it again with my grill press. This is the other sandwich that I love from Edgar's Bakery in Birmingham. It is called the President's Choice "Roast beef and melted mozzarella cheese with Peter Luger steak sauce on toasted multi grain bread."  I am not sure why they call it the President's Choice - maybe the President of Edgar's likes it? Who knows?  It is a great sandwich whatever you call it.

I couldn't find any Peter Luger steak sauce in town, so I went with Shula's steak sauce.  I thought it was a good substitute since we have a Shula's here in town.  We both really enjoyed the at home version of the sandwich.  We had a good time experimenting with Panini Month!

President's Choice
(Printable Recipe)

2 slices Pepperidge Farms Soft Sourdough bread

2 slices mozzarella cheese
5 slices deli roast beef
2-3 tps Shula's Steak Sauce
Spread butter on one side of each piece of bread. Put one piece of mozzarella cheese each non-buttered side of bread. Top one side with roast beef and steak sauce. Place the remaining slice of bread butter side up ontop of meat. Place butter-side down in heated grill pan. (I used a grill press to press the sandwich down in the pan) Flip and grill until golden brown.

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Lasagna "Cupcakes"

I love these! Homemade lasagna is one of my all-time favorite foods.  When I was a kid, we would always have lasagna on Christmas Eve.  I hated turkey (still do), and I would eat the leftovers for lunch on Christmas Day. 

I love to make lasagna, but it seems like a waste since there are just two of us.  I saw these cute individual lasagna "cupcakes" on Framed and I immediately added them to our menu. I think they turned out great!  They are perfect for small families and great for portion control (this is, if you don't eat 4 or 5 at a time!).

For me, this was really just a new method to making lasagana as opposed to a new recipe.  I used my Mom's lasagana recipe and just layered it with wontons instead of pasta in the muffin tins.  They took a little time to assemble, but it was worth it.  These cook in about 20 minutes, which is much better than the hour and a half my big pan of lasagana takes.  I was concered about getting them out of the pan, but they popped right out.  I just assembled cupcakes until I ran out of cheese and sauce (I got 24 in total).  I wrapped the leftovers and threw them in the freezer for a great weeknight meal later!!

Lasagana "Cupcakes"
Ingredients for 1 "cupcake"
(Printable Recipe)

3 wonton wrappers - cut into circles using a 3" biscuit cutter
3 Tbsp of your favorite meat sauce (or you can use a jar of sauce and add 1 lb sweet Italian sausage)
2 Tbsp cottage cheese or ricotta mixture (see below)
1/2 mozzarella cheese slice cut into thirds (1/2 oz total)
2 tsp parmesan cheese grated

Spray muffin tin with cooking spray.  Place one round wonton wrapper into tin.  (I used a mini tart press to press down the edges in the pan).  Top wonton with 1 Tbsp meat sauce.  Place second wonton ontop of the sauce.  Layer 1 Tbsp cottage cheese, 1/3 of mozzarella, 1Tbsp meat sauce, 1/3 parmesan cheese.  Top with last wonton and repeat layers.  Top with the last piece of mozzarella. 

Repeat process for as many "cupcakes" as you want.

Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes.  Allow to rest for 5 minutes.  Run knife around the edge of each "cupcake" and remove from pan.  Serve with additional meat sauce.

Cottage Cheese or Ricotta Mixture
24 oz cottage cheese or ricotta
1 egg
1 Tbsp dried parsley

In a medium bowl, mix until egg is thoughly combined. Set aside.

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Cinnamon Oat Snickerdoodle Cookies

This months product from the Foodbuzz.com Tastemaker Program was Fiber Plus cereal. I received two boxes of Kellog's new Fiber Plus cereal - Fiber Plus Berry Yogurt Crunch and Cinnamon Oat Crunch.  Both cereals tasted great and contained at least 35% of your daily fiber.  Not bad! 

Chicken Legs immediately gobbled up the box of Berry Yogurt Crunch (we've already bought another box).  I knew I better act fast with the Cinnamon Oat Crunch cereal or I would be out of luck for any baking.  I found a recipe for snickerdoodle cookies with Cheerios mixed in.  I immediately thought that the Fiber Plus Cinnamon Oat Crunch cereal would be perfect in a snickerdoodle since they have the same flavors. 

The cookies were fantastic.  They were crispy and airy, just like a snickerdoole is suppose to be.  We devoured these cookies - just making sure we got our daily fiber intake, of course!

Cinnamon Oat Snickerdoodle Cookies
adapted from Noble Pig
(Printable Recipe)

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-3/4 cups Fiber Plus Cinnamon Oat Crunch cereal

For cinnamon-sugar:
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Mix together flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

Beat butter and both sugars together on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Add in the egg and vanilla beat for an additional minute. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add in the dry ingredients until well blended. Fold in Fiber Plus Cinnamon Oat Crunch.

Chill the dough for 2 hours, as dough will be too soft to roll in sugar without chilling. Once chilled, roll dough into balls and roll in cinnamon sugar mixture. Bake for 12-14 minutes in a 375F oven (let them sit on the cookie sheet for at least 5 minutes before moving cookies to a cooling rack).

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Monday, August 23, 2010

Meow Monday



Jack (& Marmalade)

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Friday, August 20, 2010

Spicy Buffalo Chicken Beer Dip - Football Friday

It's Football Friday!  We are only TWO WEEKS away from the start of college football!!  I can't believe it!! 

This recipe is a twist on the usual Buffalo Chicken Dip that everyone serves.  We really liked this dip because of the Velveeta.  It was good and cheesy and had the perfect kick from the hot sauce.  You can adjust the heat by reducing or adding more hot sauce - the hotter the better for me!  We served this with chips, but it would be great with some celery and carrots too.    Perfect dip for a crowd.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

#52 Hickory Chicken (Roly Poly)

I am LOVING my new grill press!  We are making all kinds of new sandwiches for lunch on the weekend.  This sandwich happens to be our favorite sandwich from Roly Poly.  It is  #52 on the menu - the Hickory Chicken.  Roly Poly describes it as "Sliced Chicken Breast, Melted Cheddar Cheese, Onions, Mushrooms, Bacon, BarBQ Sauce, Grilled Golden Brown with a Side of Ranch Dressing".  We both love it.  I get it without mushrooms and onions (of course).  Chicken Legs will eat it all the way or without onions. 

I used my favorite grilled chicken tenders and assembled it as described.  It turned out much better than the original.  I think the chicken made the most difference.  I also used my favorite whole wheat tortilla

I already have some chicken marinating in the fridge to try more of our favorite Roly Poly sandwiches this coming weekend.

(Printable Recipe)

1 original La Tortilla Factory whole-wheat tortilla
2-3 Tbsp cheddar cheese, shredded
2 grilled chicken tenders, roughly chopped
2 tsp BBQ sauce
1 slice of cooked bacon
Lay the tortilla on a flat surface.  Layer ingredients in order on tortilla starting with cheese and ending with mushrooms.  Roll up the sides of the tortilla and place in grill pan.  Top tortilla with grill press and grill until golden brown.  Turn over and brown the other side.  Serve with a side of Ranch dressing.

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Decorated Sugar Cookies

Look what I made!  

I finally did it!  I made some super cute decorated sugar cookies!! This has been on my "to do" list for a really long time.  I finally took the plunge and I think they turned out great.  I can't believe that I waited so long to give this a try.  They weren't near as hard to make as I had imagined.  I used Our Best Bites cookie and icing recipe.  I thought their glace icing would be easier to work with (since I wasn't doing anything complicated) and taste better than royal icing.

Today is my Dad's birthday.  We celebrated last weekend and I was in charge of the birthday cake.  I made a lemon pie for his "birthday cake", but I wanted something that was more birthday-ish.  These cookies sure did fit the bill.  The best part about the cookies? They tasted AMAZING!  According to Chicken Legs, a bonafide cookie connoiseur, these cookies are the best he has ever eaten.  He said they are better than bakery cookies.  (He would know!) 

I had such a good time making the cookies that I bought three more cookie cutters this weekend.  I bought an ice cream cone, dragonfly and a flower.  I am about to become a cookie making machine!

***Happy Birthday Daddy!***

Sugar Cookies
Our Best Bites
(Printable Recipe)

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp almond extract
3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy- about 2 minutes. Add in egg and extract and mix to incorporate.

In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt and whisk to combine. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until completely combined.

Roll dough between 2 sheets of waxed or parchment paper and then place on a flat surface in the fridge. Chill for about 20-30 minutes and then start cutting out cookies.

Bake at 350 for 8-12 minutes - just until the bottoms start to brown. (This will depend on how big your cookies are) Remove from oven, allow to cool completely. You may frost them at this point or store them in the freezer until you are ready to decorate them.

Glace Icing

1 lb powdered sugar (about 3 3/4 cups)
6 Tbsp whole milk
6 Tbsp light Corn Syrup
1 tsp almond extract

With a whisk, combine sugar and milk until smooth. Then stir in corn syrup and extract.

You will use this same recipe for both glazing and piping. Take your glazing icing and separate it into bowls if you want to color it.

The way it is right now is the consistency you want for glazing. It's smooth and thin. It easily runs off the whisk in a pretty thin drizzle.

To prepare the icing for piping, you just add more powdered sugar until it is hard to whisk.

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Monterey Ranch Bread

I saw this bread over at NoblePig.com and my first thought was "Are you kidding me?!"  I mean, how could anyone not like bread, cheese and ranch? I think the only thing that could put this over the top would be to add bacon to it (next time). 

This was really good.  We had it for dinner two nights in a row.  I cut the original cheese mixture in half and thought it was perfect.  I know what you are thinking, why would you cut cheese and ranch in half?  Well, I only made half a loaf the first night and once I spread the amount of cheese I wanted on the bread, I still had half of the cheese left.  It was cheesy enough for us (we aren't very cheesy people - ha!), but you can always double up!  Hey - it's your heart.

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