Sunday, June 28, 2009

Rock Em Sock Em Brownies

So the name is dorky I know, but these brownies Rock!!!

I was in a baking mood and pulled out my trusty box of Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Brownie Mix, and then added mini-marshmallows, semi sweet chocolate chips and chopped Marcona Almonds on top. I think the almonds are what really send these brownies over the edge!

As you may or may not know I only use boxed cake and brownie mixes, in my mind and on my palate if you add additional ingredients they taste like home made. The marshmallows were perfectly toasted and it was yummy!

1 box of Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Brownie Mix
mini marshmallows
semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup of chopped Marcona Almonds (or any type of nut will do)

Prepare your brownie mix according to box directions

Pour into a greased casserole dish

Add a layer of chocolate chips, a layer of nuts, layer of coconut, and top with the mini marshmallows

Bake according to package directions, mine took quite a bit longer than the package suggested!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Stuffed Peppers

I have never made stuffed peppers before, and I had been seeing them around the blogsphere, so I decided it was time for me to give them a try. I looked at a bunch of recipes and decided to do my own thing. I loved them, my husband not so much, he is a picky mo fo! What can ya do?

I also cheated a bit by using boxed rice (good god I am ashamed)! Use the spices according to your tastes, after combining everything you can re-taste for seasonings as everything is essentially cooked.

1 box of GOOD Spanish Rice, I like Old El Paso
1/2 lb lean ground beef
1/2 lb ground pork
1/2 onion diced
2 garlic cloves minced
1/2 tomato, chopped
1/2 Jalapeno ribs removed and diced small
onion powder
garlic powder
smoky paprika
Jalapeno Jack Cheese, shredded
4 Bell Peppers, I used yellow and red (I hate green ones)

Cut your peppers in half (as you can see I did it the long way, just to be different), de-seed and remove the stem if you wish

Saute your beef and pork in a skillet, about half way thru cooking drain the grease off and then add your onions, jalapeno, garlic and spices

Cook your Spanish rice according to the box instructions, use about 1/4 less liquid than it calls for and under cook it a bit (I added in the diced tomato to the rice before cooking)
In the meant time, place your peppers on a non-stick sheet pan and cook at 350 for about 15 minutes, remove and cool

Mix your cooked rice with your meat and fill the pepper shells

Cook at 350 for about 15-20 minutes, remove and sprinkle on cheese

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Kielbasa and Northern White Bean Soup

The weather here in Oregon has turned gray and rainy so I decided to make soup! We made a special trip to Otto's in Portland, where they make and sell specialty sausages, meats, etc. (actually we were in town to pick out the slab granite for my new counter tops, whooo hoo).

Anyway, my husband bought some of each kind of sausage they sell, we came home and my thoughts turned to soup! I decided to use the Kielbasa Sausage and Northern White Beans, which I have not cooked with before.

It turned out tasty and delicious, I highly recommend pairing these two items!

Here is what you will need to make it!

p.s. I actually used canned low salt broth, I was too lazy to make it or thaw some from my freezer.

3 sliced Kielbasa Sausages (mine were fresh ground, but you could use the other kind if needed)
1 16 oz sack Northern White Beans
5-6 cans of low sodium chicken broth
1/2 onion diced
4 stalks celery diced
5 medium carrots diced
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste
Rosemary and Thyme to taste
Olive Oil
1/2 a bag of Spinach

I am a big believer in soaking your beans overnight, so soak them in cold water (which covers the beans), overnight then drain

Place 2 tbl olive oil in your soup pot and saute the sausage until caramelized, remove and set aside

Place the vegetables into the pan, adding more oil if needed and saute till the onions are translucent (about 10 minutes)

Add your sausage back in, then the beans and chicken stock (you want the stock well above the level of the beans, etc)

Place your Bay Leaf in and add salt, pepper, dash of Thyme and some Rosemary (I ground mine first in my mortar and pestle)

Let cook, removing scum as it comes to the top

Continue to cook until the beans are the level of tenderness you desire

Place the Spinach in the soup and cook for an additional 10 minutes

Serve with fresh rolls

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Orzo Pasta with Butter and Parmesan

This dish just came to me several months ago, I had half a box of Orzo pasta and thought to myself "hmmmm, what if I just simply cooked the pasta and added butter and some fresh grated Parmesan Cheese, salt and pepper"?

DADUM!!! It was freaking delicious!! creamy and smooth, and the Parmesan put it over the top. This will be one of my menu staples from now on. You could add chives, roasted tomatoes, whatever sounds good, or just leave it simple as I did. YUM!

1/2 box of Orzo pasta, or double recipe for a full box
salt and pepper to taste
2 scallions, chopped
2 tbl butter
1/4 cup finely grated fresh Parmesan

Make your Orzo pasta according to the package directions, I let it cook about 2 minutes longer than the package indicated, drain.

Add your butter, salt, pepper and Parmesan and mix well.

Top with scallions and serve. I paired it with a Rotisserie Chicken and Roasted Butternut Squash!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Corned Beef Hash

I am a fan of Corned Beef Hash, the kind in a can, Hormel specifically. I have never had anything as good as the stuff in the can, seriously, it is my all time favorite. Some things are just better out of a can, this being one of them!

Have I made myself clear!

Also, it is one of the first things my dear Sister In Law Mary and I bonded over.

That being said, I made Corned Beef last weekend and had some left over. I decided to try to make home made hash. It was pretty good, but I still prefer the stuff in the can, I am weird that way.

This recipe makes 2 servings

1 large Russett Potato
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 to 1.5 cups of diced corned beef
salt and pepper to taste
garlic powder
onion powder
Cholula Hot Sauce
Olive oil

Scrub your potato well, microwave for 5 minutes, remove and let cool

Dice the potato into cubes, removing the skin if needed

Place a tablespoon of olive oil in a non stick fry pan, add the onions and saute for about 5 minutes

Add in the meat and garlic (you may need more oil at this point), saute for about another 5 minutes, add your seasonings to taste. Add in a few drops of Cholula for color and zing

Add in your potato and continue to cook (try not to keep stirring, let the potato develop a brown crust)

Serve with an Egg on top, I like my yolks runny!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Deviled Ham

I had a fair amount of ham leftover after Easter Brunch and decided I wanted to try to make Deviled Ham.

I grew up on the stuff in a can, and have to say I adore the greasy, salty, gritty taste!

However, after tasting this, I do have to say that home made Deviled Ham is easy to make yourself, and about a thousand times better that the stuff in the can. And as an added bonus, you can add whatever flavors you wish!

1 pound smoked ham, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 cup mayonnaise (you may need more)
1/4 cup prepared mustard
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons hot sauce (recommended: Tabasco)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons paprika (I used 1)
1 teaspoon mustard powder


Chop your ham up in a food processor to the consistency you wish, transfer to a bowl.

I also used the food processor to dice my onion, I used 1/2 an onion, add to your bowl of ham

Add the remaining ingredients, taste for seasonings, adjust to your liking, and serve on crackers or a sandwich!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Italian Soda

I typically have a "Summer Thing" which I get addicted to, last summer it was Passion Tea Popsicles, this summer it is Italian Soda's.

I had been buying them from my Coffee Gals and one day asked exactly what was in one, she told me and I kicked myself in my own ass for spending $3.00 for a large one, when I can make my own for pennies!

I have been making them ever since, and my picky husband even loves em!

They are a whopping two ingredients! You can get the regular and sugar free syrups at your local grocery store, however if you are local to Oregon, Cash and Carry has hundreds of different regular and sugar free syrups for about $3.50 each.

p.s. One of my pals told me you can also add cream to them or 1/2 and 1/2 would work too or even milk I imagine!

Glass Full of Ice
Club Soda
Sugar Free Fruit Syrup (any kind, you can even use non-fruit syrups), we like Cherry and Raspberry

Place your ice in your glass, add about 2 tbl of the syrup of your choice, then top with Club Soda!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Sweet and Savory Breakfast Bagel

I realize this post is lame and the photo sucks, but raising a puppy is time consuming :)

I find that if I eat a breakfast which includes carbohydrates, protein and a bit of fat, I can make it all day long with plenty of energy. I like to combine sweet and savory, and this has become one of my favorite breakfast sandwiches.

I like the combination of a Blueberry Bagel, an Egg, combined with Turkey Bacon, and Tillamook Sharp Cheddar Cheese, YUM! It is easy and quite fast to make!

1 Bagel, your choice; I like Blueberry
2 slices of cooked Turkey Bacon
1 Slice of Sharp Tillamook Cheddar Cheese
1 Egg or 1/4 cup Egg Product such as Egg Beaters

Slice your bagel in half and toast it to your liking, then butter lightly

Place your egg in a bowl, which you have swished with water first (this helps the egg to not stick), microwave for about 45 seconds

Place your turkey bacon and egg on the bagel, top with the cheese and microwave the whole thing for about 25 seconds to melt the cheese

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