Anyone Hungry?

Ideas, suggestions and thoughts on my favorite topic.

New Year’s Eve-Afternoon December 31, 2008

Filed under: Appetizers — lindsayrose @ 10:48 pm

Today at work I decided to surprise everyone with a mini New Year’s Eve-Afternoon party.  Who really wants to be working on New Year’s Eve?  Not I.  So, I made some snacks.  I didn’t want it to cost a fortune so I went hunting for cheap appetizers.  Here’s what we ended up with.

 

  • Pigs in a Blanket-Easy yet tasty and most people like them.  Plus it is something hot that was easy to roll up last night and bake in the toaster oven at work today.
  • Fruit and Cheese Skewers-This is so basic but I wouldn’t have thought of it.  I googled “cheap appetizers” and found this one.  Just take a toothpick and skewer a cheese cube and a grape.  That’s all!  It looks cute and is very tasty.
  • Jalapeno Popper Dip-This was another one that looked easy, I had most of the ingredients, and you can heat it up in the microwave, making it easy for work!  I do think it would be better baked, but the microwave is a good alternative for when there isn’t an oven available.  It is basically cream cheese, mayo, green chiles and jalapenos mixed together with parmesan cheese on top.  I think I’d add more jalapenos next time, but when you’re making it for a group, it is better to go light on the heat.
  • Turkey Roll-Ups-These were easy and cheap and I made them up last night.  Spread some of the tasty cream cheese and herb dip on a tortilla, toss a slice of turkey on there and roll it up.  I added some green onion to the cream cheese mixture and omitted the chopped onion and shredded lettuce.  I cut each wrap up into little slices and stuck a toothpick through them for bite size treats. 
  • Mr. Amy’s Cucumber Dip-I have started buying a bunch of dip mixes from Amy’s Confection Company to have on hand when I need to take something somewhere but don’t have time or ingredients to whip something up.  They are all so tasty.  Mr. and Mrs. Amy are one talented couple when it comes to the kitchen!  All I had to do was mix in sour cream and mayo and voila!
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars-These are always a huge hit.  I think it’s funny because people always beg for the recipe… and it’s on the back of the bag of Toll House Chocolate Chips!  Am I the only one who’s ever looked back there? You just make the chocolate chip cookie dough and spread it in a 9×13 and bake for about 20 min or so.  They are super tasty – even better than the plain ol’ cookies!

 

So, that was our afternoon snack.  It was fun and made being at work not quite so sad on a holiday!  I hope everyone has a happy, fun and safe New Year’s!  Yay for ’09!

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Smoked Mozzarella Meatballs

Filed under: Entrees,Pasta,Uncategorized — lindsayrose @ 4:17 am

I’m back!  I don’t think I’ve ever gone for quite so long without updating my blog, and without cooking for that matter!  We’ve been spoiled rotten lately and have had meal after meal magically appear before us by one set of our parents or the other.  It’s been a wonderful treat, but I am happy to be back to cooking… I’ve got several new cookbooks and kitchen gadgets to test out!

 

Last night for dinner we made a recipe that we’ve made before and kind of forgotten about.  It is one that Ross found in one of his issues of Men’s Health magazine.  The recipe for Smoked Mozzarella Meatballs  is delicious, and easy to make.  Meatballs are delicious, but when there is a melted chunk of cheese awaiting you in the middle, now that is a real treat.  It is like a meatball truffle!

 

I made the recipe for the most part as directed with a few changes.

  • I didn’t have any fresh milk to soak the bread in, so I used it dry (we’ve been out of town and had to majorly clean out the fridge, so it’s pretty bare).
  • We didn’t have any smoked mozzarella, but we did have some mozzarella string cheese.  At first I thought this was a bit ridiculous, but it cut up into the perfect sized chunks.  I did miss the smoked flavor of the cheese, but it still had a nice creamy mozzarella taste and that was good enough for me.
  • After browning the meatballs, I added about 1/2 cup of red wine to deglaze the pan before adding the onions and garlic.
  • While the sauce was simmering I added about a teaspoon of sugar, some Italian seasoning and some rosemary, just because those are the flavors I like in my sauce.
  • We served it over linguine instead of polenta.

This recipe makes a quick, easy and cheap sauce, but you could just as easily add these meatballs (once browned) to your own favorite sauce.

 

We’re staying home for New Years, but I am excited about planning a super tasty meal.  It must involve some sort of a creamy soup, because I am dying to use my new immersion blender!!!

 

Sugar Cookie Pops! December 14, 2008

Filed under: Desserts — lindsayrose @ 4:45 pm

Tonight, my sister Kara is hosting a cookie exchange at her house.  I am super excited because I have never participated in a cookie exchange before.  Everyone is bringing 4 dozen of one type of cookie and we will all go home with a big variety of cookies to share with family and friends. 

 

I really searched to find a recipe for this.  I wanted to find something that was holiday-ish (not just an everyday sort of cookie, but something special), tasted good, and was cute.  I don’t know why, but I really wanted my cookies to look cute.  I think it is because I have a complex about my cookies always being flat with craters in them and it makes me so frustrated. 

 

I found the recipe for Sugar Cookie Pops in my Southern Living Christmas 2007 cookbook.  They seemed easy, inexpensive to make, and they were definitely cute.  Sugar cookies coated in different sprinkles sitting atop a stick, made to look just like a lollipop!

 

I love these . They taste good, but mostly they are just cute and fun.  Here are some pics Ross took while I was working on them this morning!

 

These were pretty easy to make.  Once I mixed everything together, I just let them chill for awhile, rolled them into balls before I went to bed last night, and this morning I just rolled them in the sprinkles and baked them. 

 

I can’t wait to come home with a whole bunch of tasty treats!

 

Honeyed Pork Chops December 12, 2008

Filed under: Entrees,Side Dishes — lindsayrose @ 3:54 am

Dinner tonight was good.  I liked that this one used all ingredients that I had on hand, was very quick to put together, and gave the pork chops a really good flavor while cooking them just right, not too dry and not too tough.

 

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

6 boneless pork chops

3 tablespoons honey

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 small onion, chopped

1/4 teaspoon ginger

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

 

Preheat oven to 325.

 

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Brown pork chops 5 min on each side.  Transfer to a baking dish.

 

In a bowl, mix together the honey, water, soy sauce, onion, ginger and pepper.  Pour over pork chops in baking dish.

 

Bake pork chops for 1 hour in preheated oven, to an internal temp of 160 degrees.

 

I made some teriyaki rice on the side, but this makes so much tasty sauce that I’d probably just make plain rice next time and put the sauce over it. 

 

I also made some carrots the way my mom used to make them for a treat.  Cook them as you normally would and right before you serve them put a bit of butter and a tablespoon or so of brown sugar in the bowl.  Mix them around and they will be covered in a sweet, tasty, syrupy deliciousness.

 

Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf Patties with Pan Gravy and Sour Cream-Tomato Smashed Potatoes December 10, 2008

Filed under: Comfort Foods,Entrees,Side Dishes,Uncategorized — lindsayrose @ 4:33 am

Whew!  That’s a mouthful!  Luckily this one is easier to prepare than it is to say.  And let me tell you, it is goooooood.  True to Rachael’s word, this is a quick one to make.  I left work at 5:45, went to Wal Mart  and then to meet Fred and Ginger at the Page Household, got home a little after 7 and we were done eating by 8:00.  Nice, huh?

 

I loved that these were wrapped in bacon, I loved that the cooking directions made the patties come out perfectly and I love that the meal includes a very delicious gravy.  The smashed potatoes were pretty good, too!  You definitely need something to enjoy more of the gravy on top of.

 

OK, here goes:

 

Potatoes:

2 lb small red skinned potatoes, quartered

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 rounded tablespoons sour cream

1/2 cup milk

salt and pepper to taste

2 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped.

 

Place potatoes in a large pot, covering them with water. Bring to a boil and boil for about 1o minutes or until fork tender.  Drain, place in pot and return to burner (turn burner off) to dry out.  Add remaining ingredients except for tomatoes and mash.  Stir in tomatoes and cover to keep warm.

 

While potatoes are boiling, prepare burgers:

 

1 1/3 lb ground sirloin

1/4 cup plain bread crumbs

splash of milk

1 egg

2 teaspoons steak seasoning (such as Montreal by McCormick’s)

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1 rounded tablespoon tomato paste

1 medium onion, finely chopped (reserve 1/4 for sauce)

8 slices of bacon

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons flour

1 to 1 1/2 cups chicken broth

1 rounded teaspoon spicy brown mustard

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped.

 

Place meat in a large mixing bowl and create a well in the center of the meat.  Fill the well with the bread crumbs and damped them with a splash of milk.  Add the egg, grill seasoning, allspice, tomato paste, and 3/4 of the onions to the bowl.  Combine the mixture and form into 4 patties.  Place 2 strips of bacon on a cutting board to make an X.  Place burger in center of the X.  Fold the bacon around the patty, place seam side down in a the hot, oiled skillet.  Repeat for each patty.  Cook on medium high for 7 minutes on each side.  Place a loose aluminum foil tent over the skillet while cooking  (The tent reflects the heat and allows steam to escape from the pan).

 

Remove the meatloaf to a platter and return the pan to the heat.  Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining tablespoon of butter and the remaining onions to the skillet.  Cook the onions for 2 minutes and sprinkle the pan with the flour.  Cook the flour for 1 minute, then whisk in 1 cup of the chicken stock.  Bring the broth to a bubble.  If the gravy is too thick, thin with additional stock.  Stir in the mustard, Worcestershire sauce and parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper.

 

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner December 7, 2008

Filed under: Breakfast,Comfort Foods,Crock Pot,Entrees,Life,Panini,Pasta — lindsayrose @ 12:26 am

I think today is the laziest day I have ever had in my life.  I am not one that finds it easy to sit around.  I can’t sit still for more than about 5 minutes, even to watch TV.  That is actually the main reason I started this blog, so that at night when I was attempting to sit down and relax but couldn’t, I would have something to occupy me. 

 

Well, it is after 5:00 pm and I am still in my pj’s.  I’ve only left the house to walk the dogs around the block, and I did that in my pj’s too.  I have been working on a Blackboard proficiency all day so that I can teach online classes next semester, but I have barely left the couch.  As much as I don’t do well with not having any plans, every now and then it is kind of nice.

 

During one of my breaks from my online work, I decided to put dinner together in the crock pot.  I bought ingredients last week to make Chicken Casserole with Swiss Cheese, a recipe out of  The Ultimate Slow Cooker Cookbook (on sale at amazon.com for $10.36 if you are looking for a holiday gift!).  It is a great cookbook that I have used tons of times over the past few years.  I’ve been trying to do at least one crock pot recipe a week, just to make life easier and to make evenings a little less rushed here and there.  Well, here is what I put together this morning.  We haven’t eaten yet, but it smells super delicious and I think the ingredients are going to be very uniquely tasty together.

 

Chicken Casserole with Swiss Cheese

2 teaspoons olive oil

3/4 lb chicken breasts, cut into 3/4 inch cubes (I used about a pound and a half)

4 ounces mushrooms, sliced (as much as I love them, we were out and I wasn’t into going to the store, so no mushrooms tonight)

1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes

4 large garlic cloves, crushed

12 fresh basil leaves, minced (I used 1 teaspoon dried basil)

1 tablespoon minced onion (I’m out, so I used 1/2 of a medium sized onion, diced)

2 teaspoons sugar

1/8 teaspoon celery seeds (didn’t have any of those either, so I used 2 stalks of celery, chopped)

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon milk Louisiana style pepper sauce

3 oz Swiss cheese, cubed (it calls for reduced fat, but I think cheese is the only thing I cannot stomach reduced fat versions of… and I am definitely using at least 5 or 6 oz.  I love cheese.)

1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs, toasted

8 oz rotelle pasta

 

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the cicken and mushrooms; saute, stirring, until the chicken is lightly browned, 5-8 minutes.  **Since I used fresh onions and celery, I added those here, too.

Combine the chicken mixture, tomatoes, garlic, basil, onions, sugar, celery seeds, nutmeg and pepper sauce in the crock pot.  Cover, cook on LOW until the chicken is cooked through, 6-8 hours (mine is done and on warm and it’s only been 5 hours).  Stir in the cheese and cook until melted, about 20 minutes. 

 

Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions.  Drain well and divide among 6 plates.  Top with the chicken-tomato mixture and bread crumbs.  **To toast breadcrumbs, place them in a non-stick skillet and cook over medium heat, shaking the skillet frequently until lightly browned, 5-10 minutes.
I can’t wait to eat this!!!!
Making food in the crock pot around noon made me hungry, so I had to fix something to eat. I finally decided on scrambled eggs, and figured I’d make it into a panini since I love them lately.  I just put cheddar cheese on one slice of bread, topped it with a slice of bacon broken up and scrambled eggs, then topped those with another slice of bacon, some monterey jack cheese and the top piece of bread.  I grilled it up and dipped it in ketchup (if you thikn that is gross, you just haven’t tried it yet.  So very good).  It was a perfect breakfast/lunch treat all in one!
 

Wedding Picture Slideshow December 6, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — lindsayrose @ 3:50 am

http://www.amomentlikethis.net/100408/

Thank you, Bianca!!!