Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Honey Barbecue Sauce

This barbecue sauce is delicious!  It's so good!  It's a little sweet, which I love, and it also begins with the smell of onions sauteeing in butter, which is one of the best smells in the world.  Bizzuck decided that for the Fourth of July, he'd rather have barbecue than hamburgers--because of this sauce.  It didn't take very long, I already had all of the ingredients, and it can be made up to a week in advance.  What's not to like?  It's from the Southern Living Complete Quick and Easy Cookbook, so there's no surprise that it's so good. 

Honey Barbecue Sauce

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 cup onion, diced (1/2 large onion for me)
1 cup ketchup
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup honey
2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp black pepper

Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, add the onion, and saute 4-5 minutes or until tender.  Stir in ketchup and remaining ingredients; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes.  Stir leftover sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.  Makes about 2 cups.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Teak Dog Tuesday!

Here's Teak being so handsome in the front of the boat.  He loves the boat.

Here he is, being rather possesesive of his bed/girlfriend.

And finally, here he is after a busy morning of digging out of his kennel, rolling in something dead, and tracking mud all over the floor and couch.  He leads a busy life, and it'd wear you out, too.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Ricotta Lemon Cake Mix Cookies

I love these cookies!  They're light but also a little chewy.  So good!  I also made them pretty small, so it's easy to eat eight of them without blinking an eye.  I like the idea of making cookies with cake mix, and I'm going to keep looking for recipes like this.  Pour yourself a glass of milk, and try one (or fourteen) of these little gems.  I got three dozen out of the recipe.  Thanks to the Cooking Photographer for this great idea. 

Ricotta Lemon Cake Mix Cookies

1/2 stick butter, melted
1 cup ricotta cheese (not non-fat)
1 large egg
1 tsp lemon extract (I used vanilla extract)
zest of 1 lemon
1 (18.25oz) box lemon cake mix

Preheat oven to 350.  With a hand mixer, mix butter and ricotta cheese in a large bowl until fluffy.  Add egg, lemon extract, and zest, and beat until combined and fluffy.  Stir in cake mix until combined.  Drop dough by heaping teaspoonfuls on baking sheet.  Bake one sheet at a time for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned on the bottom.  Let cookies sit for 2-3 minutes on baking sheet before moving to cooling rack. 

Friday, June 25, 2010

Blueberry Cream Muffins

My favorite part about these muffins is how the blueberries kind of explode in the oven and bleed their goodness everywhere.  Definitely use muffin cups for these; I did, and I still had clean up the blueberry juice from the muffin tin, so I can only imagine the cleanup you'd have to do if you didn't use the paper cups.  They're not exactly the healthiest blueberry muffins you'll ever have, but I made them a little bit better by substituting applesauce for vegetable oil.  I'm sure you could go even healthier and use yogurt instead of sour cream, but let's face it: I'm more likely to have sour cream in my fridge than plain yogurt.  I got 30 muffins out of the recipe, which I adapted from All Recipes.

Blueberry Cream Muffins

4 eggs
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup applesauce
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups sour cream
3 cups blueberries

Preheat oven to 400.  Line muffin ins with liners or grease with cooking spray.  In a large bowl, beat eggs.  Gradually add sugars while beating, and continue beating while adding applesauce.  Stir in vanilla.  In a separate bowl, stir together four, salt, and baking soda.  Stir dry ingredients into egg mixture alternately with sour cream.  Gently fold in blueberries.  Scoop into prepared muffin cups.  Bake for 20 minutes.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

No Fear Pizza Crust

I impressed myself by this recipe.  I'm a little scared of cooking with yeast just because I haven't done it much.  I wasn't sure how this pizza crust was going to turn out, but it was great!  I think this is a particularly easy recipe because it only requires the dough to rest for ten minutes, not to sit and rise for hours.  I don't have a pizza stone, so I baked it on a cookie sheet that I sprayed with cooking spray.  So good!  You can have whatever toppings you want, obviously, but we had diced tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, chopped onion, sliced mushrooms, and chopped bell pepper.  Try it, and you'll impress yourself and your friends. 

No Fear Pizza Crust

1 cup warm water
1 Tbsp white sugar
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

Stir water, yeast, and sugar together until dissolved.  Add the olive oil and the salt.  Stir in the flour until well blended.  Let dough rest for 10 minutes. 

Pat dough in pan or onto a pizza stone using fingers dipped in olive oil.  If desired, sprinkle basil, thyme, or other seasonings on crust.  Prebake crust at 425 for 8 minutes; top with desired toppings and bake for an additional 10 minutes. 

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Teak Dog Tuesday!

After being out of town for a week, Teak excitedly welcomed me back!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Honey Dijon Chicken

This was good!  It was sweeter than I expected, and I really liked it!  This type of recipe is nice, too, because it only calls for baking the chicken in the mixture; marinating isn't required!  I did marinate it as well as baking it in the mixture this time, but I love recipes that don't require the marinating, since I don't always have my act together enough to cook things that require forethought.  It requires throwing things into a bag, throwing the bag into the fridge, and then throwing the contents of the bag into a casserole dish; it really couldn't be easier!  It also leaves a lot of leftover sauce.  Next time I might thicken it with some cornstarch and serve it over rice.  It's from All Recipes.  Very good!

Honey Dijon Chicken

1/4 cup honey
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 tsp Dijon mustard
4 chicken breasts

If you choose to marinate the chicken, combine the first four ingredients in a large zip top bag,  add the chicken, and place in the refrigerator.  When ready to bake, place chicken in glass casserole pan and pour honey mixture over the chicken breasts.  Bake uncovered at 350 for 35-40 minutes, turning or basting every 15 minutes.  

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Parmesan Crescent Rolls

These are really good, require almost no extra effort, and require only one more ingredient that you most likely already have in your fridge.  I could probably a can of crescent rolls by myself anyway, but when you add Parmesan--whoa.  Try these.  They're so easy and tasty!

Parmesan Crescent Rolls

1 can crescent rolls
Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375.  Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on a plate.  Separate crescent rolls into triangles, and coat both sides of each triangle with Parmesan cheese.  Roll into crescents, and bake on ungreased cookie sheet for 11-13 minutes.  

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Teak Dog Tuesday!

Handsome and hardworking.  Keep up the good work, Teak.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Sausage Balls

Sausage balls must come straight from Heaven.  After a day on the river, five of us took down this whole pound of sausage within an hour.  I dare you to eat just one of these; you can't do it!  And every occasion is perfect for celebrating with them.  July 4th?  Of course!  Baby shower?  Why not!  Christmas Eve?  Yes, please!  Are they just out of the oven?  Delicious!  Have they been sitting in the fridge all afternoon?  Fantastic.  You have to try these.  Your life will be so much better for doing so.  (And as with all of my favorite recipes, they're super easy.  Just three ingredients.)  I might make just these for Biz for his birthday; he probably likes them more than anything else I'd get for him. 

Sausage Balls 

1 lb. hot sausage
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
2 cups Bisquick

Preheat oven to 350.  In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients with your hands until they've been combined.  Shape into small balls and put on greased cookie sheet.  Bake for 15 minutes (I turn them over halfway through).  Enjoy!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Bizzuck's Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

Of course, Bizzuck didn't know that these were his favorite chocolate chip cookies when I made them.  He discovered how good they were upon eating them.  That's always nice. 

They were easy, and the dough was divine--I ate at least seven cookies worth of dough.  I already had all the ingredients too, and that too is always nice.  I got the recipe from PlainChicken, and she explained that it's the Nestle Tollhouse recipe, except that it's only half the butter of the original recipe.  That's right, everyone; that means these cookies are low fat.  Right?  She also made hers in a muffin-top pan, which immediately made me want one.
(I'm starting a wish list, and that's the first item.) 

Anyway, these cookies are very good.  You will like them!

Bizzuck's Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 stick butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 cups (12 oz bag) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 375.  In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt.  In a separate larger bowl, combine the butter, white sugar, brown sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer until the dough is creamy.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating the dough well after each egg.  Gradually beat in the flour mixture.  Stir in the chocolate chips.  Scoop out rounded tablespoonfuls of dough (mine were slightly larger than this) and place two inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown (mine took closer to 11-12).  Cool on the baking sheet for two minutes, and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. 

Friday, June 11, 2010

Bacon Quiche Tarts

How tasty!  These have all the ingredients that I love--bacon, cream cheese, and Cheddar cheese.  How could they not be good?  This would be fantastic for a brunch or breakfast.  Obviously they're good fresh, but they're just as good reheated in foil in the oven or even just in the microwave.  I adapted this from a post on AllRecipes, but I used Cheddar cheese instead of Swiss, and I cut the amount of cream cheese in half (surprising for me, yes).  Not surprising, though, I might add a couple more strips of bacon next time.  I used Grands biscuits (actually, it was the Winn Dixie brand jumbo biscuits--I'm a bargain shopper) and sliced them in half for the crust.  The recipe also calls for the cream cheese to be softened, but I didn't plan ahead for that, and things still turned out fine. 

Bacon Quiche Tarts

5 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
4 oz cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp milk
2 eggs
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar (or Swiss) cheese
2 Tbsp chopped green onions
1 can (you'll need 5 biscuits) refrigerated Grands biscuit dough, sliced in half

Preheat oven to 375.  Lightly grease ten muffin tin cups with cooking spray.  Place the cream cheese, milk, and eggs in a medium bowl, and beat until smooth with an electric mixer set on low.  Stir in Cheddar and green onion, and set aside.  Press biscuit dough into the bottom and sides of each muffin tin cup forming a 1/4" rims.  Sprinkle half the bacon into the bottoms of the dough-lined muffin cups.  Spoon about 2 Tbsp of the cream cheese mixture into each muffin cup.  Sprinkle with the remaining bacon.  Bake for 20-25 miniutes in the preheated oven, until the filling is set and the rims of the tarts are golden brown.  Remove from pan, and serve warm. 

Thursday, June 10, 2010

White to Brown Rice

This was a tasty side dish that I got from AllRecipes, although I gladly took most of the butter out of this recipe.  It called for a whole stick--yuck!  I used less than a tablespoon, and I thought it was still great.  I served this with the little butter biscuits and the chicken with satay sauce, and Biz said this was the best part of the meal.  It took all of five seconds to put together.  I'll happily make this again.  

White to Brown Rice

1 cup white rice
1 (10.5 oz) can condensed French onion soup
1 (10.5 oz) can beef broth
1 Tbsp butter, cut into small pieces

Preheat oven to 425.  In a 9"x9" baking dish, combine rice, can of soup, and can of beef broth.  Place butter pieces on top of the mixture.  Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.  Uncover and bake for an additional 30 minutes (it only took me 15-20).  Enjoy!

Easy Butter Biscuits

These little suckers are buttery and delicious and couldn't be easier--just three ingredients! The recipe fills exactly two mini-muffin tins, so they're bite-size, which makes it easy to pop four in a row. They'd be great with some soup or a bowl of chili. Give them a shot, and don't feel too guilty. Just don't add more butter.

Easy Butter Biscuits
2 sticks butter
1 cup sour cream
2 cups self-rising flour
Preheat oven to 350, and spray non-stick spray in two mini-muffin tins. Melt two sticks of butter, add the cup of cour cream, and stir in the two cups of flour. Bake in tins for 20-25 minutes. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Grilled Chicken with Satay Sauce

This sauce was really interesting and really good. I've never cooked with fresh ginger or sherry before, but it almost didn't matter since the peanut butter was the dominant taste. I liked the sauce a lot, and it definitely made more than just two people could eat, so I'm trying to think of other things to use it with--more chicken or pork or whatever. It's not the most appetizing picture, but don't judge it by the looks. It was good. This was another of Ina Garten's recipes from Barefoot Contessa, and she said to use rotisserie chicken. I only grilled a couple of chicken breasts without any special instructions, so here's the recipe for the sauce.
Satay Sauce
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp sesame oil
2/3 cup (1 small) red onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tsp fresh ginger root, minced
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup ketchup
2 Tbsp sherry
1 1/2 tsp lime juice

Cook the olive oil, sesame oil, red onion, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes in a small, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, or until the onion is transparent. Whisk in the vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, peanut butter, ketchup, sherry, and lime juice, and cook for 1 more minute. Cool and serve with the chicken.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Tabasco Bowls

While in New Orleans, I bought these great soup bowls (or gumbo bowls) from the Tabasco store in the French Quarter. I already have a set of four dinner plates and a soup tureen, so I'm happy to add these. So cute.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Shrimp and Gouda Grits

Continuing with my Louisiana posts, here's one from something we actually cooked. Shrimp and grits is always a good dish, but there weren't words to describe this one. This was one of the most delicious dishes I've ever tasted, but I feel like I should warn you: it's very rich. Butter, heavy cream, whole milk, half a pound of Gouda--watch out. It really didn't take long to cook, especially since there were three of us chopping the vegetables and measuring everything out. ("New Orleans Lady" just came on the radio as I'm typing this! Too perfect.) My sweet friends got this recipe from a John Folse cookbook, and he always knows what he's doing in the kitchen.

Shrimp and Gouda Grits

Ingredients for Shrimp:

2 dozen shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 stick butter

1/4 cup red bell pepper, minced

1/4 cup yellow bell pepper, minced

1/4 cup green bell pepper, minced

1/2 cup minced celery

1 Tbsp minced garlic

1/2 cup minced andouille sausage

1/4 cup flour

4 cups shrimp stock (we used seafood stock)

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

1/4 cup chopped green onions

salt and black pepper to taste

In a large skillet, melt butter over medium high heat. Add all vegetables and andouille, and saute for 3-5 minutes, or until slightly golden. Slowly add shrimp stock, one cup at a time, stirring until a sauce-like consistency is achieved. Additional stock may be added if necessary. Blend in cream, bring to a low boil, and then add green onions and shrimp. Cook 3-5 minutes or until shrimp curl and turn pink. Season with salt and pepper.

Ingredients for Grits:

1 1/2 cup stone ground grits (we used quick grits)

3 1/2 cups whole milk

3 1/4 cups water

1 1/2 Tbsp salt

1/2 tsp white pepper

4 Tbsp butter

1/2 lb shredded Gouda cheese (not smoked)

In a one-gallon stockpot, combine the milk, water, salt, pepper, and butter. Bring to a low boil over medium-high heat. Add grits and stir well. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Cook 12-14 minutes, stirring occasionally until thickened (5-7 minutes for quick grits). Remove from heat and blend in cheese. Adjust seasonings, if necessary. Top each portion of grits with four shrimp and a generous serving of sauce.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Chicken Portobello Lavash Rolls - Fellini's, New Orleans

New Orleans is famous for many things, and good food is high on that list. Since I'm not in my own kitchen this week, I still want to report on some of the delicious food I've been having. Some sweet friends took me to Fellini's today, where we all got lavash rolls. I didn't know what lavash was, but it's similar to puff pastry dough, and this wrap was filled with shredded chicken, portobello mushrooms, mozarella and feta cheeses, and spinach. It was SO good. I can't provide a recipe on this post, but you can search for lavash recipes on the internet. I'll also be looking for lavash in the grocery store. I'd love to go back to Fellini's next time I'm there; they had the best soups listed, and I didn't get to try any of them: corn and crab bisque, portobello and Brie soup, and roated red pepper and Gouda soup. Yum!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Teak Dog Tuesday!

Poor Teak looks a little wide-eyed because of the flash.

There's not enough light in this picture, but he's so cute.

This last picture shows how he'll make himself nice and comfortable while taking a nap. It also shows his new haircut. He got all of his curls chopped off last week in hopes that he won't get so hot outside during the summer months. I miss those curls, but I hope he'll feel cooler.