Thursday, April 12, 2012

Random Friday Notes

Good day good people. And heathens!

Work has me hemmed all the way up.
It has been stressful and anxiety ridden

I paid $12 at 2 different bakeries for five really bad cupcakes. The cakes tasted stale or they tasted like boxed cake; the lemon didn't taste remotely like lemon nor did the strawberry taste like strawberry. They were "turrible"

I was more mad about wasting the calories than wasting the money

In my world eating cupcakes is considered market research...LOLOL

My daughters rock

Oh I found out I have asthma. This inhaler has been lung opening awesomeness!

Gotta go back to the allergist for a 2 hour skin testing....

Almost 40 and my body wanna do what it wants to do? No ma'am no sir. I am the boss of this here!

Praise the Creator for good employment and health insurance!

B and I are going to see Ragtime at Miller Outdoor Theatre this weekend.

I love the many free entertaining options Houston offers.

Hope you all get up get out and do something fun this weekend!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Our Easter Menu

What's on your Easter menu?  


Ours will include:


Lamb (haven't decided how I am going to prepare it yet)


Scalloped potatoes


Roast cabbage slices (my sister's recipe)


Green beans with fried onions


Homemade honey rolls


Brown butter cornbread


My momma's banana pudding and a Strawberry Vanilla Cake (this cake looks soooooo good)


Have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, April 2, 2012

What To Do?



Found this on the clearance rack at my favorite grocers. It looks so good! Jalapeno Bearnaise Sauce.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Homemade Seasoning Salt



The salt reduction struggle is real at 18082. Both E and I have high blood pressure so any chance I get to lower or eliminate sodium in our diet I take it. A couple of years ago E had a scare that sent him to the hospital.  Seven days and one surgery later, I knew I was going to make some drastic food changes to our diet.


I started with purchasing those salt free seasonings. At the time the selection was limited and they were running about $3.00 for a 2.4 ounce container. I cook nearly everyday there is no way I could afford that on an ongoing basis; plus we like curry spices, garam masala, BBQ seasonings, etc and I just couldn't find low or no sodium versions of the seasonings we liked.


So I started experimenting with my own. I started with a taco/chili seasoning, moved on to a tandoori mix and now a seasoning salt mix. Homemade mixes use better ingredients and waaaaaaaay less sodium than the store purchased brands. You can adjust the spices to your liking and you will definitely taste the difference.




Homemade Seasoning Salt
Adapted from http://www.thecomfortofcooking.com/search?q=seasoning+salt&x=0&y=0


What you need: 

  • 3/4 cups chili powder
  • 1/2 cup each

ground black pepper
onion powder

  • 1/4 cup each

garlic powder
paprika
salt
dried parsley
cayenne pepper
allspice
ground cumin
celery seed

  • 1 heaping Tbs turmeric


What to do:

  • Mix all of the spices together in a medium bowl until well combined
  • Store in an airtight container









Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Oatmeal Cream Sandwiches




Do ya'll know how much I love Pinterest? Seriously I could spend hours upon hours pinning stuff. I've decorated my entire house, filled my closet with shoes and clothes and hats and every accessory imaginable...all on my Boards! LOL


Two of my most favorite boards are 'Recipes to Try' and 'Pinterest Recipes I've Tried.' Recipes to Try is slowly getting out of control so I am on a mission to make what's already there before I add anymore. 


I couldn't wait to make these delicious cream filled cookies!


The only thing I changed about this recipe was adding chopped pecans to the batter for the last batch. The cookie alone was soft and chewy and could totally stand on its own. These will most definitely be among the rotation at 18082!


Oatmeal Cream Sandwiches
http://www.burning-down-the-house.com/2011/09/01/oatmeal-cream-pies/


What you need:



For the cookies

  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 ¾ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 ½ cups quick cooking oats



For the marshmallow frosting

  • 2 egg whites
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla




What to do:


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and cover baking sheets with parchment paper. Set the baking sheets aside.
  • In a medium bowl cream the butter, sugar, and brown sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, vanilla, and honey and beat until the ingredients are incorporated.
  • In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, stirring just until incorporated. Stir in the oats until evenly distributed. Place the dough in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
  • Remove the bowl from the fridge and place 1 Tbsp of dough onto the prepared baking sheets. 
  • Bake the cookies 10-12 minutes or until the edges begin to brown. The cookies will be soft but will firm up a bit as they cool. Let cookies cool completely before spreading with marshmallow cream.



While the cookies are cooling, prepare the marshmallow cream. 

  • In a double boiler (or using a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water) combine the egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar. 
  • Whisk the mixture frequently until it is very frothy.
  • Place the mixture into a clean bowl.  Whisk on high speed until the egg mixture holds stiff peaks and is a light texture (several minutes). 
  • Carefully fold the vanilla into the egg whites mixture. 
  • Add the frosting to the underside of one cookie and assemble.





Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Last Night's Dinner

Broiled Jerk Catfish, Sauteed Squash Mix w/parmesan


Have a lovely day!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Fresh Lime Cupcakes

 

I love citrus. Lemon is my all time favorite. However, I decided to change it up a bit and work it out with some limes that didn't include margaritas!

This recipe was super easy as it used self-rising flour in addition to all purpose flour. Fresh lime juice and lime zest are all up and through these cupcakes! It is a mild flavor but you can definitely taste the flavor.

The original recipe calls for green food coloring but I omitted it. It also called for vanilla in the frosting but I used more fresh lime juice instead. I got about 18 cupcakes out of the mix...we kept six and gave the rest away!


Fresh Lime Cupcakes
http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/2011/05/key-lime-cupcakes.html

What you need:
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4cupself-rising flour
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lime zest
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk

What you need for the frosting:
  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2cup(1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lime zest
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh lime juice


What to do:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line standard muffin pan with 12 paper liners.
  • Whisk both flours in medium bowl.
  • Beat butter in large bowl until smooth. Add sugar; beat to blend. 
  • Beat in eggs 1 at a time, then next 3 ingredients (batter may look curdled).
  • Beat in flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with buttermilk in 2 additions. Spoon 1/3 cup batter into each liner

  • Bake cupcakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pan; cool.
FROSTING
Beat all ingredients in medium bowl until smooth. Frost cupcakes. Enjoy.



Thursday, February 9, 2012

Dry Rib Rub


Rubs are easy.  You just take some of your favorite spices, mix them together and slather it on your favorite cut of meat and slow cook it in the oven or grill it over coals!

Easy.


The measurements for my rubs are not exact because it is really adjustable according to the flavor I want to achieve.  I use this rub for the ribs we had for Memorial Day but it can be used on steak or chicken also.

What You Need:

Start with tablespoon increments of these spices and adjust.
  • Black pepper
  • Brown sugar
  • Chili powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Ground cumin
Start with teaspoon increments of these spices and adjust
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Dry mustard
  • Ground allspice
  • Ground coriander
  • Paprika
  • Salt
What to do:
  • Combine all ingredients
  • Mix well
  • Store in an airtight container



Cook. Eat. Repeat.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Baked Shrimp Scampi


I love The Barefoot Contessa.  She is my friend in my head.  Like she calls me up and invites me to her estate in the Hamptons...in my head.  I have tried many of her recipes and I have not been disappointed.  They typically use simple ingredients and are easy to prepare and pack huge flavor.  You will see many of her recipes on this here site!
The original recipe is for two pounds of shrimp and uses way more butter than I care to.  I adjusted this recipe for one pound of shrimp and decreased the butter to half a stick but I am sure I could have used a couple of tablespoons and been fine. So good!

Baked Shrimp Scampi
Adapted From Ina Garten’s “Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics”

What You Need:
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and de-veined and butterflied
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dry white wine
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots (I used onions)
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves (I used dried)
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/3 cup panko
  
What To Do:
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Place the shrimp in a mixing bowl, and toss gently with olive oil, wine, salt and pepper. Set aside while you make the butter and garlic mixture.
  • In a small bowl, mash the softened butter with the garlic, shallots, parsley, rosemary, red pepper flakes, lemon zest, lemon juice, egg yolk, panko, until combined.
  • Arrange the shrimp in a single layer. Pour the remaining marinade over the shrimp. Spread the butter mixture evenly over the shrimp. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until hot and bubbly. If you like the top browned, place under a broiler for 1 minute.

Originally posted March 3, 2010

Monday, February 6, 2012

Tandoori Spice Mix


I love a well seasoned turkey burger so when I ran out of my favorite tandoori mix (and it was raining out) I had to think of something else...fast? The troops were restless!

When I was researching 'tandoori spices' several variations of the spices came up.  I made this mix based completely on smell and what I knew about the ingredients! LOL I thought it was going to be too spicy but it didn't cook spicy.  Since it is a spice mix you can adjust the amounts to your tastes.


Tandoori Spice Mix


What You Need:

Start with 2 tablespoons each of:
Onion powder
Dried basil
Coriander
Cumin
Ginger

Then with 1 tablespoon each of:

Paprika

Cayenne pepper
Garlic powder
Salt

Finally 1-2 tsp each of:
Cinnamon
Clove

What to do:
Mix well.
Store in an airtight container.
Good on poultry or vegetables.


Cook. Eat. Repeat.


Originally posted July, 27, 2010

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Jamaican Jerk Chicken


First, I can’t remember for the life of me where I got this recipe. So my apologies if you read this and it is yours! Shoot me an email and I will post proper credits! 
I have no experience cooking "island" dishes. The original picture of this looked so good I couldn’t wait to try it out. After trying, I am a fan! This is a great make ahead dish because it comes together so quickly. I especially loved it because of the low sodium. We have to watch our intake round these parts. It wasn’t bland and for us it had just the right amount of saltiness.
The rice that is next to those juicy pieces of meat, Turmeric Chorizo Rice, was a combination of two recipes that I made my own. So simple: two cups cooked white rice, sautéed onions, peppers, garlic and celery kicked up with turmeric and chorizo. I only used chorizo because I had made it (recipe testing) earlier in the day. I am sure you could use any smoked sausage you fancied.
Hope you enjoy!

What You Need: 
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • 2 jalapenos, seeds removed (unless you want that fiyah!)
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme (I used dried)
  • 3 tbsp lime juice (I forgot this and left it out)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (I used low sodium)
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground allspice AND ground cinnamon
  • 8 pieces bone in chicken legs and/or thighs (I used all legs)

What to do:
  • Remove skin and fat from chicken and make slits all over the meat
  • Put all of the remaining ingredients in a food processor (or blender) and blend until smooth
  • Place 1/4 cup of marinade aside for brushing
  • Place the chicken pieces in a zip lock bag and pour marinade over chicken
  • Make sure chicken is coated well
  • Refrigerate for 4-6 hours or overnight (I marinated overnight)
  • Grill the chicken over medium heat until done or bake at 400 degrees until dark golden brown and juices run clear. (I prepared mine in the oven on a sheet pan)
  • Be sure to brush the chicken with the reserved marinade throughout cooking.Also let the chicken rest for 5-10 minutes before eating.


Originally posted February 16, 2010

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Vanilla Bean Scones



Love. Period.


See I am not a CrackBux junkie but on the rare occassion I partake, I always cop one of their pastries.  Their OK. So when I found this recipe over here I. Couldn't. Wait.


Eating this was like eating a warm, citrusy, sweet biscuit!  The lemon was a WONDERFUL addition to this pastry.
I didn't use the glaze from her site (but I will the next time I make them).  Since I ran out of powdered sugar I used a lemon simple sugar glaze (one part lemon juice to one part sugar, heated until dissolved).  I'm going to whip up a batch for my cousin just so I can have an excuse to make them again...I can't have all that goodness all up in my house less I gain 50lbs!


The only change I made was I did not use vanilla bean paste. I used vanilla bean and I did not use the glaze. I also may have used a bit more lemon zest cause I love lemon in pastries!



Vanilla Bean Scones
Adapted heavily from http://amybites.com/?p=855

What you need:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 cup sour cream (regular)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or vanilla beans
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest


 What to do:
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, and sugar) with cubed butter. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal (the dough will be kind of grainy).
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together wet ingredients: sour cream, yolk, vanilla beas, and zest.
  • Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Mix with a fork or whisk until dough comes together.
  • Place dough on parchment lined baking sheet, then form with floured hands into an approximately 9 by 12 inch rectangle.
  • Cut into 12 squares, then each in half diagonally until you have 24 wedges*.
  • Bake for 17 minutes or until golden-brown. Let cool on wire rack before using glaze of your choice. 
*I actually got about 15-17 wedges.


 Cook.Eat.Repeat.

Originally posted February 2, 2011

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Finally: Christmas Recap

In pictures!

I did some decorating


Looked cute


Gave homemade vanilla extract as gifts

Catered a couple of parties

Had a great time with my family














Monday, January 30, 2012

Browned Butter Cornbread


I told ya'll browned butter stay winning over here! LOL

This is my most favorite cornbread recipe...now. I used to make it the way L Beezy does until I came across this one. While momma's is still the best...this is one I will pass down to my girls.

The batter will make a bit more than will fit in the pan so it is likely you will have some leftover. Also be careful not to over fill the skillet as the bread has a nice rise to it.

I won't even tell ya'll how B and I were eating this with agave nectar like it was dessert...I won't tell that. I also won't tell ya'll we had two hunks slices of it either! A piece.


Browned Butter Cornbread
Adapted from http://www.kneadysweetie.com/2011/10/browned-butter-and-sour-cream-cornbread.html?showComment=1327618366464#c8759078024875327168

What You Need:
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

What To Do:
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, swirling often until lightly browned and nutty, about 4-5 minutes. Pour into a medium bowl, and set aside to cool.
  • Place the olive oil in an 8-inch cast-iron skillet; place in oven to heat.
  • In a large bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda.
  • Add eggs, sour cream and buttermilk to cooled butter, whisking well.
  • Pour into dry ingredients, and stir just to combine.
  • Pour batter into hot skillet. The batter should sizzle in the pan!
  • Bake until golden and a toothpickinserted in the center comes out almost clean, about 25-30 minutes.