Thursday, March 31, 2011

A day late and a dollar short

I have been in crunch mode trying to study and learn a semester (or two) of Algebra in a week, before my Accuplacer Tests I am taking on Monday. But, i am still cooking for the family.

Two nights ago (yea, slackin on the writin biz too because of the ol nose to book) I decided i was going to make Pizza rolls with some fresh dough, Pepperoni, Mozzarella cheese, Ricotta cheese, and some sauce.

Yet another inspired Italian type recipe. Again from the appetizer menu at Old Chicago.

The recipe
-1lb or a 12in pan equivalent home made pizza dough.( I used a recipe off of the back of the "Pizza Yeast" packet from the baking Aisle. Now that i have made it a couple times, i may try to make some dough from complete scratch-not with quick yeast.)

-a hand full of your favorite pizza toppings, but not too many as these get a little tricky

-1/4 c red pizza Sauce

-Ricotta cheese

Make the pizza dough, and let it rest for a few mins under a cloth
Roll it out till its 1/8in thick

cut the dough into triangles with the base about 2-2.5in wide and about 5 in length (about the size of your hand)

at the big end of the triangle put some sauce and a few of your fave toppings on the dough, and make sure to add your mozzarella! roll the dough up fairly tight and stand it up right on a lightly greased baking sheet. Repeat this step for all of the bites.

bake for about 15 mins or until the crust is at a nice golden brown

My ultimate goal is to add more nutritional value to my cooking, but i am taking it one step at a time to get my creative juices going. Not to mention some days... i just don't want to cook.

Wednesday and Thursday were cop out meal days. Wednesday was Pork Steaks with Stuffing, rice, and green beans. (fresh grilled pork steaks, but everything else was from a box or can... so nothing too awesome) and Thursday was chicken sandwiches and fries.

I may not have many too exciting meals this week, but i will still try to be creative in serving my family yummy food.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Lime trees had a bad season

So, Lime trees had a bad season this year. I heard this about a month ago when my husband and I went out to eat Pho for dinner, and they gave us lemons instead of limes. I wasn't sure i believed this, because we had just recently bought limes and had them in our cervesas!

Well, I guess this is true, because Saturday I purchased 6 limes from Sunflower Market to make my yummy fajita marinade. It took all 6 to get the amount of juice I would typically get from one. Lucky for me, I keep a bottle of lime juice in the fridge for such an emergency.

On the menu for saturday-as i had stated above, was Chicken and Steak Fajitas
the marinade was made from individual spices... not a mix (yay me) I researched a few recipes and concocted my own.

The Recipe

1 lb your favorite Beef steak (i used London broil this time)
1lb of chicken (breasts are best for this)
(this would also make for an amazing shrimp fajitas for my friends whom do not eat beef or chicken)
1 onion
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
(or however you would like)
(I also think one package of mushrooms would be tasty in this mix
as well-but this idea came after i made everything)

Step 1.
The Marinade:
3oz of tequila
1/2 cup lime juice
a splash of sweet and sour (like 2Tbsp)
(or, you can just use original margarita mix)
2TB chili powder
1/2TB salt
1TB paprika
1TB sugar
1TB onion powder
1/2TB garlic powder
1/2TB cayenne powder
1/2TB red pepper flakes (you may add more if u like it spicy)
1 1/2tsp cumin
mix all of the marinade ingredients together well. split into two parts and set aside

Using a fork, poke multiple holes into both sides of the beef to make sure the marinade gets good and in there. Put the meat into a gallon size Zip-lock bag, and poor one of the two marinades in the bag with the beef.

Repeat these steps with chicken

Put both bags of meat in the fridge and let them marinate for at least 3 hours
Sear the Beef on the grill till both sides are nice and brown (about 5 mins on each side)
Grill chicken about 5m on each side as well

Cut the veggies into thin strips
Preheat a Medium Iron Skillet, and start to saute the veggies with about a Tbsp of butter

Remove meat from grill and cut into thin strips (do this while you are cooking your veggies)
Add the meat to your skillet and cook for about 5 more minutes constantly stirring with a pair of tongs

I originally was going to make homemade tortillas... but that did not go over too well. (bad shortening) so i just went with the traditional-store bought 10in tortillas

Serve with:
Sour Cream
Mexican cheese blend(or even just sharp cheddar)
spanish rice
and for those who like tomatoes... you will need some of those too (maybe even make a nice pico sauce for this-my family does not care for pico)

After this wonderful tasty dinner, I served everyone an Ice cream cake from Dairy queen. In celebration of my husbands 28th year.

I got through this dinner with the help of Dez, and my hubby Brian. and i am very impressed with the tasty results, and left overs we had for lunch Sunday.

Friday, March 25, 2011


Seriously.... I made a bomb ass dinner, and my hubby didn't like it..... Chicken Scampi.... grrr
I was proud of myself this time around. This recipe can be made with shrimp or Scallops too....

2LBS of chicken tenders
6 cloves of garlic minced and crushed
1/4 cup olive oil (eye ball it)
2 hand fulls of flat leaf parsley
crushed red pepper
1/2-1 lb of angel hair pasta (will need pasta water)
1 lemon zest and juice
5tbsp unsweetened butter

mix olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper and parsley in bowl. split in half and toss chicken breasts in mix
grill at least 4 mins on each side
put the other half of mix in a skillet and cook on med heat till garlic is browning, add white wine, and let cook for at least 2 mins, then add butter and lemon juice. add 2 latels of pasta water
and boil for 5 mins

Remove breasts from gril and chop into (small) bite size pieces and put into skillet and let the mix cover the chicken then add pasta and toss
garnish with salt and pepper

sprinkle a light amount of crushed red pepper on the mix because the longer is sits the spicier it gets

I loved this recipe, and i can not wait to make it with shrimp.... too bad it has to be when hubby isnt around! im so tired of feeding my husbands co workers

on another note.... i cut off my husbands mohawk today. 2 years he has worn it... and it wasnt even a "serious" one. he looks like a different person, and i guess that every one needs to change but.... damn you Ball management.... my poor hubby has lost it all..

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sometimes you just need a piece of meat.

Yesterdays dinner consisted of a yummy pork tenderloin and loaded mashed potatoes.

The Pork was marinated in a savory marinade. We freshly cut the tenderloins and placed the marinade in the bag and froze them. This allowed for ultimate tenderness (aside from the fact it was a "tenderloin")

The potatoes were mashed, and loaded with mexican style cheese, sour cream, bacon, and corn. I could have put the corn on the side... but why waste a pan when your going to mix them when you eat any way right?

With the hubby on nights, he has to take his dinner to go. This is one of the hardest parts of cooking him dinner. For one month dinner is at 4 for the next its at 7.

I have also been trying to get my studying done to sign up for fall classes. i have been pumping myself up for this since October '10 and I cant believe its going to be a reality! and just think... in 6-10 years ill have my Masters degree in nursing and specializing in Nurse Midwifery! (one of my many childhood dreams) My husband cant wait to not have to work a full time job. he wont have to once i am done!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

first shot at cooking with Rachel Ray

Before i talk about the dinner recipe gone bust that i experienced today, i wanted to touch on another little tidbit.

NEVER wash pull ups. They are not reusable. they will puff up and separate and make a mess of your washer and clothes. I'm not sure how this pull up in question made its way into the washer but gee it made a mess. I had to go through the washer, pull out all the remains of it, and re wash every thing. sigh...... i guess the lesson to be learned from this is to learn to sort, and check laundry before washing it.

So... on with my post.

Today i picked a recipe out of a Rachel Ray cook book. It was not our taste. I am kind of disappointed because i was hoping it would be amazing.
pita bread drizzled with olive oil and crushed garlic baked for 5 mins
topped with ricotta mixed with lemon zest and salt and pepper
and also topped with mozzerella cheese

then the salad had prosciutto di parma lettuce fennel raddicio and tossed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

you are supposed to eat it like a "taco" but we ate it separately so we could try eac
h thing. even still.... the white pita pizza was good.... but the salad was way out of our element.... tomorrow i am going to stick with something i know, then try another recipe on Thursday. I dont want to starve myself or my husband by making food that no one will eat.

I did how ever pack up the dinner and sent it with my husband, in hopes that the guys at work would try it and possibly like it!

The hardest part was that everything in the recipe sounded decent. this cook book doesnt have enough pictures, i don't think.

I did discover that i like fennel though. never used it before when cooking

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Fly me to the moon (no, really its close to earth right now)

Saturday, I spent the majority of the day studying. Because I want to go back to school and get my masters degree, I am trying to refresh on all of my core skills so that when I go to take the placement test, i do not get a low test, and end up with a bunch of non accredited classes, that will in turn make my college career that much longer than it is already going to be.
Most everything i am studying is coming back to me. This is very good news, as i think i actually have a shot at having good grades! I can not wait to get on the ball and become a college student at the ripe bold age of 27!

This weekend I also have been putting up a fight to beat this "cold" my body is trying to come down with. today I am feeling much better, and I think I may have a shot at kicking its butt!

We also went to the hubbys grand parents house, up past Fort Collins (by red feather lakes) and my husband spent the day helping move a pallet of pellets for their stove. We love spending time with them, as we know their time is becoming greatly limited.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Buffalo Chicken Rolls (updated)

Tonight I took on a somewhat challenging and fun dinner idea. This dinner was inspired from an 'Old Chicago' appetizer that my husband and I fell in love with.

This dish took about 2 hours to cook but every minute of it was enjoyable. my kids and husband were involved and though we had a few fall over, by the last few rolls we had it down. every one ate them and enjoyed them. this recipe will be going into the recipe box.

Thank you Old Chicago!

The Recipe:
Pizza Dough (i used a simple dough from the baking aisle at the grocery store)
1 chicken breast, chopped into bite size pieces
Franks Hot Sauce
1 carrot, grated
1 celery stick, grated
Blue Cheese Crumbles
mozzarella cheese

makes about 8 rolls
cook chicken in medium skillet with olive oil. once done poor in about 1/2 a cup (eye ball it) of franks and let it simmer
roll dough out onto a flat surface and cut into thin triangle pieces about 7 inches long. use small amounts of celery, carrots chicken,crumbles and mozzarella and roll them up.
Place them into a greased pan and cook at 400 for 15 minutes.

Serve with ranch or blue cheese dressing (for added zang you can drissle some franks over the tops of the cooked rolls.)

***Update 1/7/2014***

I have since made this recipe many times. Instead of trying to individually wrap each roll, we discovered that making one round regular pizza crust with all its toppings, rolling it up, and either letting it cool, or cutting it works better and makes for more even distribution of its contents. Hope this helps! Happy reading