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Friday, April 29, 2011

Chorizo Quiche


A few weeks ago we ventured out for our traditional Saturday lunch.  We decided to go to Another Broken Egg in Mountain Brook.  We had eaten breakfast there once before and wanted to give the lunch items a try.  I scanned the menu and quickly decided on the Big Rooster - grilled chicken, bacon and swiss.  It was the best chicken sandwich ever!  I could eat it every day.  Chicken Legs couldn't resist the breakfast items and went with the breakfast sampler.  It consisted of a waffle, potatoes, bacon and quiche.  The quiche that day was a chorizo, monterey jack and green chilies quiche.  It was fantastic!  I immediately knew that we would make our own version at home. 

I went all out on this quiche and even made the crust.  This was my first attempt at making a pie crust from scratch and it wasn't as difficult as I thought.  I still need some practice, but it was really good.  The quiche was light and fluffy with tons of great flavor.  We ate this for lunch and served it with some chips, salsa and guacamole.  I think it would be equally as good for breakfast or brunch with some hash browns.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Amaretto Cake


Oh my goodness!  This cake was incredible!  It was very moist and full of almond flavor.  I happen to love almond and amaretto, so this cake was right up my alley.  This was really easy to make. Shh - it uses a cake mix and pudding.  It smelled amazing while it was baking.  We couldn't wait to eat it.  The cake tasted better completely cooled, but it was still pretty good slightly warm.  The glaze kept the cake super moist.

I baked the pan in the new Honeycomb Cake Pan from Williams-Sonoma.  I love it!  It was so much fun to pull the cake pieces off and eat them.  They were the perfect individual serving (of course, Chicken Legs serving was two pieces).  I couldn't be trusted with this cake in the house.  I had to give away a lot of this cake to the neighbors.  They were very appreciative.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Bacon Cheeseburger Pasta


I needed a quick and easy dinner last week and decided on this bacon cheeseburger pasta.  I had several recipes like this bookmarked and decided it was time to give it a try.  I received samples of Lay's new Dip Creations from the Tastemaker program at Foodbuzz.  I decided to use the Garden Onion seasoning mix in this dish, but I think the Country Ranch seasoning mix would work just as well. 

This was really good.  It was wonderfully cheesy and full of flavor!  The Garden Onion seasoning mix worked great.  This dish was hard to stop eating.  The more we ate, the more we liked it.    If you need a really quick weeknight dinner, this will fit the bill.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Chicken Popper Wrap


It's sandwich time again.  This week's wrap was a real adventure for me.  I was a little unsure about this one because of the cream cheese and jalapenos, but I ended up loving it!  The cream cheese gave the wrap a wonderful creaminess that the other wraps we've made didn't have.  I mixed the cream cheese with some salsa to mellow the flavor out, and I think that was my favorite part.  I will have to figure out how to incorporated it into more wraps.  It was just wonderful.  The wrap overall was great.  I had enough leftover chicken to eat this for lunch the next two days.  Two of the best lunches I had all week!


Monday, April 25, 2011

Marmalade Monday




1996-2011


Last Monday night, April 18, 2011, we had to send Marmalade back to the angels.  We found out the week before that she had cancer.  She had lost a lot of weight and stopped eating.  That was a huge red flag since she LOVED to eat.  We took her to the vet, and they determined that it wasn't a kidney problem or hyper-thyroidism, but lymphoma.  We could have tried chemo, but she was 15 years old and we didn't want her to suffer through that for a few more months with us.

I'm not sure I can put into words what Marmalade meant to me, but I will try.  She was my best friend, confidant and all around bosom buddy.  She was with me every step of the way the past 15 years.  We got Marmalade when she was a kitten.  From day one, she had a personality like no other.  She was sassy, feisty and could be down right mean at times.  She did what she wanted, when she wanted.  On the flip side, she was also sweet, caring and the most tender hearted cat ever.  She always knew when I was sad or upset and would sit with me until I felt better.  She loved to be held (when she wanted) and rocked; it was our special time - "Marmy & Me" time.  We would sit and hug for 20 minutes at a time.  Then she would bite me and let me know she was done!

You could pet her head, but not her back.  She loved to sit in boxes - she could fit in any box no matter the size.  She had an incredibly short tail for being such a big cat.  She loved to play with ice cubes.  I was the only person who could pick her up.  She had more nicknames than anyone I know - Marmy, Lou Lou, Louie, Marm, Stinky, Sweet Marmy, Marm-O, Stinky Marmy, Lou Dog, Lou Lou Belle, Big Girl, Stink, Stink-O, Big Stuff, The Lou - just to name a few.





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Friday, April 22, 2011

Chocolate Eclair Cake


A few weeks ago we celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary.  Since our anniversary fell during the week, we we decided to stay in and grill out.  We grilled skirt steak (our new favorite) and had crack potatoes.  YUM!

For dessert I made this Chocolate Eclair Cake.  I haven't made this dessert in years.  I'm not sure why because it is Chicken Legs' all-time favorite dessert.  I decided to surprise him and make it for our anniversary dinner.  OMG - I forgot how good this is!  It gets better the longer you let it sit.  I only made a half batch and we almost finished it all by ourselves.  It is so light; it is hard to stop eating!  This is a great recipe for a crowd.  It is easy to make and makes a ton.  Make it tonight and it will be perfect in time for Easter dinner.


As part of our anniversary celebration, I decided that we needed to have some updated photos made.  We haven't had professional photos taken since our wedding day; unless you count the photographers at Disney World.  :) We got married at the University Chapel in Auburn, AL, and I wanted to have the photos done at the same location.  

We used T2 Photography in Auburn, AL.  They came highly recommended by a friend (who happens to be a professional photographer as well).  We had such a fun time with Sarah & Thomas.  They made us feel so comfortable in front of the camera and had tons of great ideas to update our photos.  They posted a sneak peak of our session on Facebook this week.  We love it and can't wait to see the rest of them!





Thursday, April 21, 2011

Bunny Rolls


Looking for a fun, quick and easy Easter morning treat?  Look no further! These bunny rolls are the perfect treat.  The best part of this recipe?  Only one ingredient!  Can't beat that!

Apparently these are very popular at Easter time, but I just found out about them a few weeks ago.  I simplified the recipe by using a can of Pillsbury Orange Rolls.  You just unroll the dough and twist it into the bunny shape.  Super easy!  You could also substitute regular cinnamon rolls or bread sticks for cute dinner rolls.  They can easily be adapted to your family's tastes.   These were a lot of fun to make and even more fun to eat!!


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Chocolate Chip Turtle Cookies


A few months ago I was contacted by our local paper, The Birmingham News.   They saw my posts over on al.com and wanted to see if I would be interested in publishing some of my recipes in their weekly food section..  I, of course, said YES

Last Friday they came out to the house and took some photographs of me in the kitchen.  I made these Chocolate Chip Turtle Cookies for the photo shoot.  They were prefect for the shoot, and for the cookie monster that lives at my house. (You can see the article here)

The cookies tasted as good as they looked.  They were crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.  The addition of the caramel and pecans took a great chocolate chip cookie to a whole new level.  Make them next time you need to feed for your resident cookie monster!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Chipotle Steak Wrap


We switched it up for sandwich night last week and went with a steak wrap.  We grilled some skirt steak last week (one of our favorites) and had a ton leftover.  We couldn't let it go to waste so we whipped up these Chipotle Steak Wraps for dinner the next night.  They were wonderful!  We both loved the flavors in the wrap. 

We marinated the skirt steak in a combination of Dale's Seasoning, Worcestershire sauce and some 21 Seasoning Salute from Trader Joe's.  The 21 Seasoning Salute has Onion, Black Pepper, Celery Seed, Cayenne Pepper, Parsley, Basil, Marjoram, Bay Leaf, Oregano, Thyme, Savory, Rosemary, Cumin, Mustard, Coriander, Garlic, Carrot, Orange Peel, Tomato Granules, Lemon Juice Powder, Oil of Lemon, and Citric Acid. The best part about the seasoning is that there is no salt in it!  Look for it next time you are in Trader Joe's (I go when we are in Atlanta or Nashville) and grab a jar.  It is under $5!  It is a great seasoning for everyday cooking.


Monday, April 18, 2011

Friday, April 15, 2011

A-Day Snacks - Chicken Salad Crescents - Football Friday


It's Football Friday!  I can't believe that it is football time again.  It seems like only yesterday that we were watching the National Championship game.  Both Auburn and Alabama have their spring games tomorrow.  I know everyone is itching to get back to the stadium and tailgate with friends and family.

These chicken salad crescents are the perfect bite size treat for Saturday's scrimmage.  We made some with cheddar cheese and some without cheese.  The ones with cheddar cheese were the clear favorite.  I made chicken salad, but these would be super quick and easy with some store bought chicken salad.  If you need more tailgating ideas check out these recipes.



Thursday, April 14, 2011

White Bubble Up Pizza


This recipe was inspired by my friend Joan.  When I posted my recipe for Bubble Up Pizza she emailed me and told me she was going to try it - with a few changes.  Her family doesn't like red sauce (I can't even imagine), so she was going to use shrimp and alfredo instead. 

I loved the alfredo idea, but I don't do shrimp (not a seafood person).  I opted for a chicken alfredo pizza (of course).  It turned out great!  I still prefer the orginal Bubble Up Pizzza, but I wouldn't turn this White Bubble Up Pizza down!  Thanks, Joan, for a wonderful new twist to pizza night!


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Rhodes Rolls Braided Spaghetti Bake


I was recently asked to be a Guest Blogger on the new Rhodes Rolls blog.  I was very excited about this opportunity since we are major carb lovers in our house!  I chose to make Rhodes' Braided Spaghetti Bake as my first recipe.  Spaghetti baked inside garlic bread - Oh my!  It was fantastic!


Head on over to Rhodes Rolls blog and check out the recipe and step by step photos of the process.  (It is easy, just plan ahead to thaw the dough).



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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Chicken Pesto Wraps


Last week for sandwich night we had this Chicken Pesto Wrap.  It was SOOOOOO good!!  This might be my favorite wrap so far (only because it is the last one we had).

For this wrap, we grilled some chicken tenders that had been marinating in Italian dressing and pesto.  You can use some of the precooked Italian chicken strips if you don't want to grill the chicken yourself.  We loved the flavors in this wrap.  The pesto added great flavor without being overpowering.

We cook all our wraps in a grill pan and use a Kingsford grill press to get the grill marks on the wrap.  If you don't have a grill press, I highly suggest getting one.  They are inexpensive and they work great for wraps.  We have really gotten our moneys worth out of ours!


Monday, April 11, 2011

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Masters Egg Salad



This is a big week at our house.  It's Masters Week! We actually had the pleasure of attending the Tuesday and Wednesday practice rounds this week.  It was SO much fun!  We saw all the big golfers - Phil, Tiger, Jack, Arnold and tons more.  I took over 400 pictures.  We walked the whole course and even watched the Par 3 tournament.  It was a fun, but exhausting, two days.

One of the many traditions at The Masters is the food.  It is great.  The best part is that it is cheap!



Four of us ate for $20 - that included 4 sandwiches, 3 chips, 3 cookies, 1 mini moon pie, 2 diet colas, 1 lemon-aid and a beer.  

Even the tables have The Masters logo on them.

Chicken Legs favorite is the egg salad.  The Masters' egg salad is very simple - eggs, mayonnaise and bread.

In anticipation of eating at The Masters, we made a batch of my Mom's egg salad on Sunday so Chicken Legs could do a taste comparison.  He said my Mom's recipe was better.  It is a bit more jazzed up.  It is still simple, but it just has a little more flavor going on.   It is the perfect sandwich for watching The Masters this weekend.






Better Than Augusta Egg Salad
(Printable Recipe)


6 hard-cooked eggs, diced
1/2 c diced celery
2 1/2 Tbsp mayonnaise
1 Tbsp vinegar
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce
1/8 tsp pepper

To cook the eggs:

Place the eggs in a single layer in a heavy saucepan and cover with cold water by at least one inch. Add a teaspoon of salt. Leaving the pot uncovered, turn the heat to high. As soon as the water comes to a boil, turn off the heat and cover. After 10 minutes, remove the cover and run cold water over eggs for 1 minute.

To peel, gently tap each egg against the counter, turning to make a crackle pattern. Start peeling at the broad end, where there is an air pocket.

To make the egg salad: Combine all ingredients and chill.


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