Friday, August 9, 2019

Crazy Caprese Salad

Sometimes tradition is made to be broken.  Or rather, sometimes tradition isn't quite right in your opinion.  Caprese is all of that for me.  I love it, I mean L O V E it.  I don't love balsamic vinegar, and neither does my husband.  I don't always have big beautiful tomatoes available or on hand so this mixed up version of a classic is what we love and eat probably at least once or twice a week!  It is super easy and I almost dare say isn't even a real recipe but, I am sharing anyway.  We have every level or home chef watching and reading and nobody will be left out!

This is simple and your kids can even make it.  My favorite way to eat it is next to a thick rare steak, or grilled, highly seasoned chicken breast or thigh.  I don't care for mushy tomatoes so I make as much as we will eat in one meal that no more.  I don't want to have to refrigerate.  Just say no to tomatoes in the fridge!!!

Here is what you will need!

1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
1 8 oz ball of soft mozzarella
5-10 leaves of fresh basil
2 T olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Cut tomatoes in half or bite size pieces and place in a bowl.  Do the same with the mozz and toss it in!  Tear, or cut your basil.  Add it and the rest of the ingredients to the bowl.  Mix to combine and let sit about 15 minutes before serving.  We prefer ours at room temp but service it how you enjoy it!

YouTube Video:  (Don't forget to SUBSCRIBE!)

I know this was simple and easy but we love it so much I had to share.  We don't care of balsamic vinegar but if you do, add it!


Monday, July 15, 2019

Easy Pineapple Upside Down Cake

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my hubby!  Another year older, another year wiser and another year better than ever!  I love you my George!  May God give us many more birthdays to celebrate!

Sometimes, traditions get a scramble and that is what happened this year.  My husband always wants an ice cream cake.  ALL vanilla, so I have to special order it.  I make it match his "theme" which we do every single year for each other.  Full decorations, everything!


He asks for pineapple upside down cake this year.  How do I theme pineapple upside down cake?  Do a pineapple theme?  I am sure he will love instead for the first time in 20 years, I had no theme.  I think he was a little devastated.  Since he spring this on me last minute, I didn't have a white cake mix.  You might think to use yellow, but for my licking it is to dense.  So of course this mean a trip to Walmart because as I have said before, it is 3 blocks away!  You know, if Walmart doesn't have it, nobody does!

So here is what you will need for your pineapple upside down cake.  Read carefully because there will be a couple of substitutions and additions to the recipe!

You will need:
1 white cake mix
120 oz  can chunk pineapple (and its juice)
Smalll Jar Maraschino Cherries
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted.
vegetable oil

Preheat oven to temperature suggested on the box.  I made an 9x13 so I preheated mine to 350 degrees F.

Melt your butter and pour into baking dish.  Use a spatula and spread it around and coat the sides a little so it doesn't stick and for more flavor!  Now, sprinkle in your brown sugar.  It seems like a lot.  It is.  Go with it!

Now for the pineapple.  DRAIN AND KEEP the juice!  Every single time I yield 1 cup of juice from my pineapple.  You are going to use this juice in place of water.  Squeeze or smooth the pineapple to get all of the juice.  If you don't get enough, use water to make up the difference.

Now evenly sprinkle your pineapple over the brown sugar.  Now go in with your cherries!  Use as many or as few as you like.  Even leave them off if you like.  Set baking dish aside and get out a bowl for better!

Mix up the box recipe as instructed only use WHOLE EGGS (not just whites) and pineapple juice for water.  Mix until smooth and then pour over the brown sugary, pineapply goodness!  Smooth out and bake.  Mine took an extra 30 minutes in the oven.  Just keep an eye out, start with the suggested time and add whatever time you need

Let sit for 10 minutes and then flip out on to a platter or cake board!  I just used a cookie sheet!

I hope you enjoy this light, delicious cake and give it a try!  Happy Birthday my sweet George!


Thursday, June 20, 2019

Egg Roll In A Bowl

Hello my friends!  I do hope this new recipe finds you enjoying the beginning or summer and warm weather!

This is a recipe I was introduced to by my friend Nacine.  She follows a ketogenic way of eating and this recipe was a must make from the moment I saw it.  I know there are 10,000 versions but I wanted to make this one.  Nacine and I have collaborated by picking a recipe of each others and making it.  Check out her channel and see what she thinks of my Quick Pickles!  You can click here.

This turned out just as amazing I thought it would.  It literally tastes like the inside of an egg roll and I love egg rolls!  I want to note a couple of things I did differently. She used broccoli slaw and I used cabbage slow mix.  Whichever you use, it will be amazing.  I used ground turkey and she used ground beef.  Again....whatever you choose is going to be perfect.  Ready for it?  Me too!

You will need:
1lb ground beef, turkey or pork
1, oz16 pkg slow mix (cabbage or broccoli)
2-3 stalks of celery chopped
1 cup shredded carrots (2-3 or cheat and use already grated!)
2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp pepper (black or white)
2 tsp onion powder
1 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce

In a high sided pan brown your ground meat.  If you ground meat rendered a lot of fat, drain it off!  Add in onion powder, garlic, pepper and veggies.  Mic until completely combined, stirring on medium heat.  When all ingredients are combined, taste it, see if you need to adjust any seasonings.  When you have it just perfect, turn heat to LOW, put the lid on and let sit for 405 minutes.  If you want very soft veggies let it go about 7 minutes.

This is really delicious and it will be a staple in our house from now on!  I hope you enjoy it too!

Might I saw, you could roll this up in some egg roll wrappers and have legit delicious egg rolls too!

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Italian Style Meatloaf

Good Saturday evening my friends!

Oh what a beautiful day it has been!  I have 3 of my grandchildren today and overnight and the sun is shining and they took a long nap and ahhh......

My husband has been asking me to make him Italian meatloaf and I have been poopoo'ing him off a bit.  THEN, I was asked by one of my dear YouTuber friends if I was interested in doing a meatloaf collaboration video.  She had gotten 4 of us together and we each would share a version of meatloaf we enjoy!  It was the perfect opporutniy to share my Italian Meatloaf AND make my husband happy!  Win! Win!

This meatloaf might seem a little out in left field for you but if you aren't ready to try it with the eggs, do it without.  I encourage you though, to try it.  While I shouldn't give such secrets away, this mixture will make meatballs that your family and friends will beg you to make again and again!

2lbs ground beef
1lb Italian sausage
1cup breadcrumbs (plain or seasoned)
1/2 cup shredded or grated Parmesan cheese2 eggs
2 tsp salt
1 tsp granulated garlic
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 cup marinara sauce
4-6 hard boiled eggs

1/2 cup mozzarella
1/2 cup marinara

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
In a stand mixer or large mixing bowl combine all ingredients, for the meatloaf.  Mix with a hand mixer or let mix for 3-4 minutes (see video).

Place meat mixture into a backing pan and form into a loaf.  Make an indention in the middle and place eggs in a row.  Cover with meat mixture well to try and avoid it cracking.  If it does crack, no big deal!

Now to top the meatloaf, pour over 1/2 cup marinara, and bake for 66 minutes.  Remove meatloaf, add shredded mozzarella cheese and back another 10 minutes. 

Let rest for 5 minutes and enjoy!

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Pistachio Oreo Fluff

Happy June everyone!  Can you believe it is already here?  School is out for most of you, graduations, summer sports, days at the beach, swimming and more will quickly begin!  But alas, it is also bathing suit season.  This terrifies me in ways I can't explain.  I know!  Let's have dessert and not think about it!

It is also time for lots of BBQ, picnics, family reunions, etc.  You will likely already have a stocked arsenal of recipes for such events, but please, let me share with you something new, SUPER easy, and delicious.  It isn't so overly sweet, but light and creamy and fluffy and OH SO GOOD!  This recipe was just inspired by a recent collaboration video I did on my YouTube Channel!  I taste tested the new Pistachio Oreo Thins!  My husband is a pistachio lover, and these thin Oreo's were no different.  I wanted to come up with something easy for summer, no baking or cooking, simple, not many ingredients and so here we go.

1 pkg Pistachio Oreos
1 3.4 box INSTANT Pistachio Pudding
2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream
1/3 cup SHELLED Pistachios (adjust to your taste)

In a bowl combine pudding, and heavy whipping cream.  Using a hand mixer or stand mixer if you are doubling or tripling the recipe for a larger group, mix until creamy and stuff peaks are formed.  Take approx 10-15 Oreos and crush them with your hands into the mixture.  Fold mixture to combine.  Cover and chill at least 1 hour, more is better!  Before serving, crumble over a handful more Oreo cookies and your chopped pistachios for a wonderful salty crunch!

Like I said, this is not a super sweet dessert.  It is just perfect and the texture is delightful!  The occasional chunk of cookie, or salty crunch of the nuts.....perfection!

Enjoy this dessert.  I wrote this amount for a small group, doubling or tripling is easy and better suited for a larger amount of people!

Give this a try!  Let me know how you liked it!

Monday, May 6, 2019

Cafeteria Corn Bread

Once upon a time, in a teeny, tiny town in central Nebraska, there was a little elementary school with the best cooks ever!

Yes it is true, we had the best lunch ladies.

Now, I knew it couldn't be all that hard to make this to cafeteria lady perfection. One day, well let me start at the beginning.

I had been on the hunt for the perfect cornbread for a long while.  Perfect to me was sweet and NOT DRY!  No hunks of peppers, jalapenos or corn either!

I used to do a "Wednesday Morning Coffee Chat" on Facebook.  We at some point were discussing cornbread because I very much dislike dry tasteless cornbread.  I didn't grow up with it being made at home so maybe I just had no palate for it.  As I stated I loved the stuff we had at school, with chili!  So during the live chat I phoned my old Elementary School, asked for the cafeteria and asked for the person who had been in the kitchen the longest.  I got her on the phone and told her I was wanting to recreate it at home, and for my viewers and readers and she told me the secret.  Sugar, butter and honey.  Her exact words, "a TON of it".  In it, and on it!  Awesome I had my info and I could get to work.

Fast forward 2 years (LOL) when I actually started working on it.  At first it wasn't moist enough, then the corners didn't have that chewy done part we fight over on the edges.  She also told me they use JIF Cornbread Mix.  I forgot to tell you that.  How it ended up was the bit of honey IN the mixture gives you those crispy, chewy edges.  The sour cream gives it an incredible moist texture. which extra milk contributes to as well.  Just don't skip any steps and if you went to OES!    You will take one bite and instantly go back in time!

Here is what you will need:
Jif Cornbread mix
1 egg
1/2 cup Milk
1/4 cup Sour Cream
1/4 cup white Granulated Sugar
1 T Honey

3-4 T Melted Butter
3 T Honey

Preheat oven to recommended temperature on the mix, mine is 400!  In a large bowl combine, dry mix, egg, milk, sour cream, 1T honey  and sugar.  Mix to combine and let sit for 5 minutes to rest.

Prepare an 8x8 square baking dish by spraying with nonstick cooking spray or buttering it.  Pour cornbread mixture into the pan and bake for recommended time.  The center may get a little dark and that is perfeclyt fine.  Test with a toothpick and when inserted it should come out with NO wet batter!

While the goodness is in the oven, melt your butter and honey together.  Be ready, if you miss the window of perfect timing, it won't work. (kidding)  When you take out the cornbread use a toothpick and  poke little holes all over that baby.  Then, drizzle that honey butter all over the top.  Don't forget even the tiniest spot!  Let sit for 5 minutes.

If this doesn't take you right back to Ord Elementary, I don't know what will!


Friday, March 29, 2019

Everything But The Bagel-ish Seasoning

Mu first introduction to an everything bagel was back in about 1994.  I was served a toasted, buttered everything bagel with an order of pasta.  On that day, my foodie life changed forever.  Mostly

Fast forward to a year ago.  I saw the Everything But The Bagel seasoning in Trader Joe's.  I am going to be honest, it is awesome, a little spendy, but I don't love chunks of salt, onion and garlic dried up on my bagel as much as I once did.  I decided recently after being at TJ's again that I needed to just make this at home, my way.

You will find many versions, but you will only find ONE of mine.  I make mine in a more "granulated" form.  I guess my coffee grinder that I use for spices ran away to join a traveling carnival of other "mis-used" coffee grinders, because it is gone.

I use this seasoning on garlic toast, chicken, steak, pork, and veggies.  I mean, I love this stuff!  Shop your local Asian markets or other places for less expensive spices, make double or triple the amount for what you pay for one bottle!

You will need:

2 TBSP Poppy Seeds
1 TBSP Dried Minced Onion
1 TBSP Onion Powder
2 TBSP Granulated Garlic
1-2 TBSP Pink Salt
1 TBSP Sesame Seeds (White)
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1/2 tsp Dried Parsley

Combine all ingredients into a Ziploc bag.  Roll over mixture several times with a rolling pin.  I like the different textures it gives.  How long you roll over it will depend on the consistency you want!

Place into airtight jar or container and enjoy!  I promise it won't last long in your house!

I LOVE making my own versions of spice blends and any other spice blends!  I hope you enjoy this recipe and don't forget to FOLLOW my page here!