Thursday, October 23, 2014

Sweet and Spicy Oven Kabobs

Kabobs aren't just for the grill anymore.

Dress a basic chicken kabob up however you want. Add onions, peppers, zucchini...whatever. It's your kabob.

Bake at 375 for 25 minutes and there you have it! Oh, and make sure you've soaked your skewers for several hours, it should be a no brainer that you don't want to stick dried out wood in a blazing oven.

You might want to serve these Sweet & Spicy Kabobs with a side of Kleenex, there's much more of a kick than I thought.

-Chicken breasts cut into kabob chunks
-1/4 cup water
-4 tablespoons honey BBQ sauce
-3 tablespoons hot sauce (cut back to 2 if you don't like things too spicy)
-1/2 cup brown sugar

1. Place chicken chunks on skewers. Heat oven to 375.

2. In a sauce pan over medium heat, combine the water, BBQ sauce, brown sugar, and hot sauce. Simmer 5-6 minutes until the sugar is melted and sauce is heated. Spoon over kabobs, reserved a bit for dipping. Season with salt, pepper, and a little garlic powder.

3. Bake kabobs for 25 minutes. Spoon remaining sauce over top.

Sauce Source: Budget Savvy Diva


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Garlic and Sage Brown Butter Ravioli

I wouldn't say I'm a chronic re-decorator, more of a chronic shifter. Since this pretty much sums up my current financial situation...

...I like to rearrange my decor from room to room to give myself the feeling of having new things.

My latest creative is these wall circles. I saved the tops of Bath & Body Works candles and used some scrapbook papers to make a really cool wall piece!

This pasta dish is so freaking easy and quick to throw together, but tastes way more involved than it is! I suggest only making this with ravioli or tortellini, don't try using just regular pasta.

-1 (20z) package refrigerated cheese ravioli or tortellini
-1/2 cup butter, cubed
-4 garlic cloves, minced
-1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh sage
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1. Cook ravioli according to package.

2. In a saucepan melt the butter and add in the minced garlic. Cook over medium heat roughly 6-7 minutes to brown the butter and the garlic. Add in the sage and salt and cook an additional 2-3 minutes.

Source: Taste of Home Cooking Magazine, October 2013

3. Pour in cook ravioli, stir to coat. Serve with shredded Parmesan cheese.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Espresso Frosting and South Park Cake

After watching a few episodes of Chopped the other day, I got to thinking...those challenges are way too easy. Ya know what would really bring in some viewers? Have the contestants look inside my fridge and have to come up with an edible scrumptious dinner. I imagine Ted Allen would say a little something like this:

"Ok, inside your fridge you have questionable leftovers, grape jelly, hot sauce, and a soy sauce packet. You have 30 minutes on the clock."

Now that's a challenge!

Behold my South Park cake. I'm really happy with how this turned out. Admittedly, I did skip out on doing their gloves and shoes butttttt I got so fricken tired and thought they looked fine as is. The frosting is a rich espresso, I forgot to take a photo of it, but I'll definitely be making it again it was that good! I basically used my mocha frosting recipe that I've made several times before, but eliminated the cocoa and increased the espresso powder.

-1 cup butter, softened
-2 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
-1 tablespoon strong brewed coffee
-1 and 1/2 tablespoon espresso powder (I used Cafe Bustelo in the yellow pack)

1. Whip together the butter and the powdered sugar, add the tablespoon of brewed coffee and espresso powder. If mixture is too firm, add brewed coffee a teaspoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.  Spread onto a cooled cake.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Blush Alfredo

I was thumbing through a People Style Magazine the other day. I normally chuck these freebie magazines right in the trash, but I was exceptionally bored one evening. A couple key points:

1. I have to say this whole "oxford shoes are so chic and sexy" thing needs to be over.

2. Just because a celebrity is wearing it doesn't mean it's trend-setting and fashionable.

3. Those god-awful flowy/tapered/pleated pants that are super popular right now look decent on only about .3% of women. Unless you are a size 0 with no curves it just looks like you are lazily trying to hide your thighs and ass in pajama pants you're trying to pass off as real pants.

4. There was a pajama section and the pajama sets were $200. HAHAHAHAHHA! I'm sorry, this one still cracks me up. People are really spending over $20 on pajamas? God that's rich.

This is a divine tomato Alfredo sauce that you absolutely must try. The original recipe called for using jarred Alfredo sauce, but trust me my Alfredo recipe is so quick and tasted 150 times better than that jarred stuff.

-4-5oz tomato sauce (I use Muir Glen Organic)
-handful chopped basil
-Homemade Alfredo Sauce
       -2 tablespoons butter
      - 2 tablespoons flour
      -2 cups heavy cream
      -1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
      -1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (don't skip this!!)
      -1/2 teaspoon salt
      -1.2 teaspoon pepper

1. Melt butter in a saucepan then stir in the flour. Pour in the cream. Add the Parmesan cheese and stir to melt. Add the salt, pepper, and nutmeg and bring to a boil. Add another tablespoon flour if you need to thicken the sauce. Simmer to reduce, 30 minute. 

2. Pour in the tomato sauce and chopped basil and stir to combine.

Source: Pinterest

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Copycat Panera Orange Scones

Well we're more than half way through summer, which means I can pretty much give up the idea of getting in bikini shape.

But, with the gym now open in my building after 8 months of renovations I feel obligated to use it, so maybe a few pounds will fall off in the process. I've always had a bit of gym-phobia, meaning I'm terrified to try new machines that I've never used before and look like a bozo reading the instructions only to use the damn thing wrong and look a little like this

These delicious scones are almost an exact replica of the Panera Orange Scones! Perfectly zesty, orangey, not too crumbly, and filling!

****Note: I'm as dense as these scones and originally forgot to list the salt in the ingredient listing below. 1/2 teaspoon salt!!
Makes 8 scones
-1/3 cup sugar
-zest of 2 navel oranges
-2 cups flour
-1 teaspoon baking powder
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/4 teaspoon baking soda
-8 tablespoons butter, divided
1/2 cup sour cream
1 egg

1. Heat oven to 400. Combine the sugar and orange zest. Stir in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add in butter, using your hand to combine until mixture has formed a coarse meal.

2. In another bowl, combine the sour cream and the egg. Using a fork, stir sour cream mixture into the flour mixture until large dough clumps form. Using your hand, form dough into a ball.

3. Place on a lightly floured surface and form into a circle about 7" wide. Cut into triangles. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake 17 minutes.

-3 tablespoons butter, melted
-1 cup powdered sugar
-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
-2 tablespoons fresh squeezed OJ

1. Combine all ingredients. When scones have cooled, spoon glaze evenly over each scone. Let set, then repeat to double-glaze.

Source: My Baking Addiction

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Blue Cheese Crusted Pork Chops

I'll admit it, my blog photos can leave a lot to be desired. I like to think on a 1-10 rating scale my pics hover somewhere between a 5.5 and 6.5.

But my less then perfect score isn't going to stop me from calling out some of the worst offenders of food blog pics.

Hands in pics

Whhhhhyyyyy?! I don't care how well-manicured your nails are, I don't want to see your weirdo hand and fingers. I get it, you can eat the food with your hand, you don't need to show me how you pick up a chip.

 omg, ew gross.

Step-by-step photos of simple tasks

Complex methods or hard to explain procedures? Sure, go ahead and post pics on how to lattice a pie crust or make pull-apart bread. But don't waste my time showing me what it looks like when butter melts in the pan, or what diced peppers look like.

10,001 Pics of the same damn thing

You're a genius with the camera. The food is just begging to be photographed. But after the second photo we all get what your roasted chicken looks like...really, we do.

Now onto the recipe and a photo that violates none of these grievances above.

Blue Cheese Crusted Pork Chops

-2 boneless pork chops
-1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
-1/2 cup panko 
-2 tablespoons chopped scallions
-olive oil
-salt and pepper to taste

1. Combine the blue cheese, panko, salt & pepper, and scallions. Add a little olive oil just to keep the mixture binded together.

2. Place the pork chops under the broiler for about 6-7 minutes per side depending on thickness. Remove and top with blue cheese mixture, and broil an additional 4-5 minutes until the cheese is browned and melty. Let stand 3 minutes before serving.

Source: Kylee Cooks

Friday, May 9, 2014

Cheesy Red Pepper Corn Dip

I'm all for making appetizers cute and adorable.

What I'm not for is making appetizers cute and adorable but making them ridiculously awkward to eat. Like this:

or this:

How the fuck you expect me to eat that?!

Basically makes me feel like this when I'm trying to look like the delicate lady I am:

Here's something you can eat and still look like a civilized human being. A creamy, cheesy corn dip with red peppers and onions.

-1 tablespoon butter
-1 can corn, drained
-1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
-1/4 cup diced white onion
-2 tablespoons mayo
-1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more if you like the heat)
-1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
-1/4 teaspoon onion powder
-optional: 1/2 cup diced crispy bacon

1. Heat the oven to 400.

2. In a sauce pan, over medium-high heat the butter then add the red peppers, onions, and corn. Saute about 5-7 minutes. Pour into a bowl and stir in the mayo, garlic and onion powders, cayenne pepper, and salt and pepper to taste. If adding bacon, stir in as well. I've made it a few times with bacon, SO good!! Stir in about 3/4 cup of the cheese. Pour into a baking dish and top with the remaining cheese.

3. Bake 15 minutes, then broil 5-7 minutes to make the cheese on top golden browned. Add more cheese if needed, I won't judge you.

Source: Closet Cooking