Friday, May 27, 2011

burger and fries.. nothing simpler than that..

I am really loving the fish sauce lately.. I know your thinking what in the world.. but it just adds such a unique depth of flavor.. so for the last 2 or 3 times i've made burgers i have added a tablespoon or so of fish sauce.. shh don't tell my kids they really like the burgers but they will protest..


prep time: 30 minutes
cooking time: 10 minutes
servings: approx. 6


2 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 tblsp. of fish sauce
1/2 tbls. worcestershire sauce
1/2 tbls. garlic powder
1/2 tbls. onion poweder
pepper to taste ( you don't need salt because the fish sauce is salty enough)
hamburger buns
olive oil
smokey thousand island dressing (recipe found here) (optional)
onion (optional)
tomato (optional)
pickles (optional)
bacon (optional)
guacamole (optional)
grilled pineapple rings (optional)
your favorite cheese

(my pickles look like to 2 eyes.. he looks like a smiling burger..)

In a medium bowl combine all ingredients.. (don't over handle your meat).. shape into 6 hamburger patties.. (at this point i leave them on the cutting board and place in the fridge usually about 20 minutes, just while i fire up the bbq and do other things.. it allows the ingredients to marry so to speak) then on a medium high grill cook for about 4-5 minutes per side.. depending on your level of doneness you like.. we like ours medium) right before taking your burgers off. place a slice of cheese on each burger... then brush your buns with a little olive oil cut side and place on the grill.. watch them carefully so not to burn.. then assemble your burger with your desired toppings.. i had (which is the above picture) smoky sauce, chiplote cheddar cheese, fiery pickles and onions.. everyone had different toppings.. its nice when you have a variety of toppings everyone can make that special burgers just for them..

oven fries

prep time: 10 minutes
cooking time: 40 minutes
servings: approx. 6


5 medium russet potatoes, cut into fries
canola oil

toss all the ingredients together.. place on a lined baking sheet.. cook in a 425 degree (f) oven for 20 minutes.. remove and using a spatula flip them over to the other side.. put back in the oven for an additional 20 minutes or until done and your desired crispness..

Thursday, May 26, 2011

better than take out spicy & sweet thai chili shrimp

so i was cruising Gina's Skinny Taste food blog and i ran across this recipe.. which sounded really good  so i did a google search and found this recipe.. both sounded wonderful but not exactly what i was looking for .. so i took what i liked out of each and came up with this one which i have to say is scrumptious.. we have a question in our house "would you pay $15.00 for that dinner".. and pete said YES he would pay that for this dinner.. (not sure its worth $15.00 but it was pretty darn good..)  i served the shrimp over rice noodles.. umm yumm..

spicy and sweet thai chili shrimp

prep time: 10 minutes
cooking time: 10 minutes
servings: approx. 4


2 lbs. large shrimp, peeled and de-veined
2 tsp. corn starch
1/2 tsp. salt
sesame oil
1/2 tblsp. fresh ginger, finely grated
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 tblsp. thai sweet red chili sauce
1 tblsp. dry sherry
1 tsp. soy sauce
1/2 tbls. fish sauce
2 scallions, thinly sliced (both green and white part)
2 scallions, thinly sliced (just the green part (chive) for garnish)

coat shrimp with cornstarch, mixing well with your hands.. heat a large wok or non stick skillet on high heat until very hot.. 2 or 3 swirls around the with sesame oil. (before adding shrimp make sure everythingng is ready to go.. i had lids off and everything chopped, minced and grated because the fish cooks very fast..) once oil is hot add shrimp to pan and stir-fry.. make sure to stir continuously.. cook until pink but not cooked all the way through like 2 minutes.. (if you over cook them they will get rubbery) now add ginger, garlic and jalepeno and cook another 1-2 minutes.. then add chili sauce, sherry, soy sauce and fish sauce.. cook another 3 minutes or until shrimp is cooked all the way trough.. add scallions stir and incorporate cook another minute.. serve over rice noodles and sprinkle with the green part of the scallion.

fried rice noodles

prep time: 5 minutes
cooking time: 15 minutes
servings: approx. 4


1/2 a box rice noodles
2 strips of bacon, diced
1-2 tblsp. soy sauce
1 tbls. fish sauce
1 scallions thinly sliced (both green and white part)

cook noodles according to package.. while its cooking  heat a small/medium wok or non stick skillet on high heat until very hot.. add bacon.. cook until done but not crispy (if to much oil from bacon is there spoon some off).. add noodles toss with bacon.. cook about 1-2 minutes. add soy sauce and fish sauce.. toss and cook another 1-2 minutes.. add scallion and toss.. cook another minute.. serve with shrimp and sauce over top..

Monday, May 23, 2011

waffles with blackberry syrup/jam

when i got my bountiful basket (i know your going to get sick if hearing/reading me say/type that) it had blackberries.. growing up as a kid my favorite kind of jam was blackberry.. so i decided yumm waffles with fresh blackberries would be a nice suprise for pete and shell sunday morning..

waffle mix

prep time: 5 minutes
cooking time: 4-6 minutes
servings: approx. 6-8 waffles


1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 egg whites
1 3/4 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup conala oil
2 egg whites
chocolate chips (optional)

in a medium mixing bowl stir together the dry ingredients.. make a well in the center.. in another bowl mix the yolks, milk and oil slightly.. add yolk mixture to the well in the dry mixture.. stir until moistened.. (will be lumpy) in a another small bowl whisk egg whites until frothy and peaks begin to form.. gently fold in the whites to your other mixture.. don't over mix.. spoon your batter into your waffle maker.. and cook according to directions on the maker.. i think mine is 4-6 minutes..whenever the little red light goes off.. serve with blackberry jam... (shell wanted the jam to be more of a syrup consistency so i added a little water and zapped it in the microwave for 30 seconds..) shell also wanted chocolate chips in hers.. if you do make them with chocolate chips be warned its hard to clean the chocolate out of all the little crevices of the waffle maker..

blackberry jam (i know its not a formal jam but shell made peanut butter sandwiches out of it and loved it..)

prep time: 5 minutes
cooking time: 30 minutes
servings: approx. 10


1 package of blackberries
1/4 cup sugar (or splenda)
2 tsp. corn starch
squeeze of 1/2 a lemon

in a small pot over medium heat add all ingredients.. keeping stirring to get everything mixed after about 10 minutes the blackberry's start to break down.. stir every 10 minutes until its all smooth and jam like texture.. put in a small mason jar and chill before serving..

Saturday, May 21, 2011

key lime cheesecake

tons of key limes in the bountiful basket the other day.. so shell decided she wanted to make key lime cheesecake.. talk about heavenly.. that girl can bake.. not sure where she gets it from.. she found the recipe here..but like me changed it up a bit..

key lime cheesecake

prep time: 20 minutes
cooking time: 50 minutes
servings: one 9 inch cheesecake


1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
6 tbls. melted butter
2 packages (16 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 can sweetened condensed milk
4 large eggs
1 tblsp. cornstarch
3/4 key lime juice
1 tbls. zest of the limes

heat oven to 325 degrees (f) combine graham cracker crumbs and butter.. press crumb mixture firmly into the bottom of an ungreased pie pan.. beat cream cheese in a large bowl with an electric mixture until fluffy.. add sugar and lime zest then gradually add milk beat on low until smooth...add eggs one at a time then add corn starch and lime juice and mix well.. do not over beat.. pour into your prepared crust.. bake for 50-55 minutes or until set.  to minimize cracking place shallow pan of water on the lower rack during baking.. cool when completely cooled chill for up to 2 hours before serving..

Friday, May 20, 2011

nonna gullo's sugo sauce w/ homemade meatballs & pasta

when pete was growing up he lived next door to his grandma and grandpa gullo.. and he remembers on sunday's she would make sugo sauce.. his memory was she would be cooking all day and they would go over and have sunday supper.. (but her recipe calls for using a pressure cooker so i don't think she was necessarily cooking all day..) when i got my 25 lbs. of tomatoes he wanted me to make sugo sauce.. what we found out his grandmother didn't use fresh tomatoes.. so i will post both recipes.. kinda like ones a little bit country and ones a little bit rock n roll.. both are fantastic..

nonna gullo's sugo sauce

prep time: 15 minutes
cooking time: 30 minutes
servings: approx. 6


1 small can of tomato paste (hunts)
1 big can of tomato sauce (hunts)
1 onion chopped
2 garlic buds
basil salt
olive oil
whatever meat you want.. chuck roast, chicken or pork

brown onion and garlic in a little oil when done add tomato sauce, paste, 1 large can of water, onion and garlic to a pressure cooker add salt and basil to taste and pressure cook for 20-30 minutes..  if you choose to add meat brown whatever meat you are using to the pan when cooking your onions and garlic.. place meat at the bottom of the pressure cooking sauce and then if your making meatballs they go on top.. pressure cook for 20-30 minutes.. if you want a thicker sauce remove lid from pressure cooker and cook until sauce is thicker.. (now this is her recipe as given to jimmy.. below is the way i made it..)

rock n roll sugo sauce

prep time: 30 minutes
cooking time: 6-8 hours
servings: approx. 8


3 cans of tomato paste
2 cans italian diced tomatoes
fresh tomato sauce (recipe below) (about 3 large cans would be what i made)
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbls.  fresh basil, chopped
1 tbls. fresh oregano
1 tbls. fresh parsley
3 lb. chuck roast, cut into chunks
40 meatballs (recipe below)

make your tomato sauce when its done to that add 1 can of tomato paste, diced tomatoes, garlic, basil, oregano, parsley, roast and meatballs.. cook on medium low for about 2 hours.. stirring often.. after about 2 hours add another tomato paste and stir often.. after another 2 hours turn to low/simmer.. again stirring often, after another 2 hours (6 hours total) add your last tomato paste using 2 forks shred the roast.. at this point it should be ready but we weren't ready to eat and i cooked it another 2 hours.. a m a z i n g.. so rich and meaty and simply delicious... so your wondering i am sure where is a picture of this amazing sauce.. i don't have an answer not sure where that step got lost.. (oops now there are pictures.. i have a confession.. the pictures were not taken sunday.. they were taken a few nights later when we had it for left overs.. *hanging head in shame*) *smile*

meatballs (again I did mine a little different I will just point out what i did differently)

prep time: 15
cooking time: 20-30 minutes
servings: approx. 8


2 lbs of ground beef ( i used 1 lb. ground beef and 1 lb. spicy italian sausage)
4 eggs
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 cup fresh grated romano cheese
1 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
garlic powder to taste (i used 2 cloves fresh minced garlic)
salt and pepper

mix all the ingredients in a bowl add water to moisten if needed..(i did not do this) shape meatballs (i made them about 2 inches around) brown in frying pan with a little oil.. (i did not do this, i was not looking forward to the splattered mess.. so i put them on a lined baking sheet and baked them on 375 (f) around 20-30 minutes .. basically until golden brown).. taste meatballs (now this was a step i totally got on board with.. maybe a little to much..) add meatballs to sauce..

tomato sauce

prep time: 30
cooking time: 3-4 hours
servings: approx. 8


30-35 chopped roma tomatoes

cut up a boat load of tomatoes. i think we cut up around 30-35 medium roma tomatoes.. now the controversy.. several recipes called for peeling and seeding the tomatoes first.. and several said the step was not necessary.. well it is.. i mean it is if you want a pretty sauce.. the skins make it kinda funky.. the taste is wonderful..but presentation wise it was a bit weird.. its basically up to you so pile all your tomatoes in a pot salt really good and cook over medium for about 1. keeping stirring.. after about an hour the tomatoes start to break down.. with the back of your spoon kinda mash them.. some will and some wont.. turn the temp to low and cook another 2-3 hours.. stirring often.. every time you stir mash more tomatoes.. eventually its a smooth sauce..

(see you can see the skins and its not really appealing)

so since i was making grandma gullo's sugo sauce shell decided she would make homemade pasta.. my kitchen was a disaster and flour every where but all in all stupendous..


prep time: 20 minutes
cooking time: 4 minutes
servings: 4

2 eggs
1/2 lukewarm water
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt

mound flour on counter kinda like a volcano and make a hole in the center.. drop eggs into hole add salt and then add water gradually and knead until firm.  let rest for 10 minutes in a covered warm bowl.. divide dough into halves and roll out about 1/8 of inch.. cut into strips.. we hung ours on coat hangers until time to cook.. in a medium size pot boil your water with a fair amount of salt.. once boiling drop in pasta for about 4 minutes.. drain and serve..

I was able to salvage 2 little noodles that she made.. the rest was devoured and I had to make regular pasta for seconds.. thirds.. and left overs..

Thursday, May 19, 2011

shell and her art..

now shell loves to be creative.. she draws and makes things.. the walls in her room are a testament to her creative side.. well the other day i brought these little white keds from walmart.. came home they said size 6.. well they were a huge size 6 so i gave them to shell who wears an 8 and they fit perfectly.. but shell being shell could not have just plain white shoes.. so she pulled out the tie dye stuff (which we have tons because she loves to tie dye shirts and what ever she can get her hands on..) which brings me to my next post.. its not a recipe.. but shell being creative.. one thing shell is when she is creative is messy.. really messy..

(this is the right shoe.. she made the left one different)

(see the left one.. she said they can't be the exact same so why try)

(see her creative genius at work..)

(i told her i bought the table cloth when i was pregnant with her she said well its old now so it can be trashed..)

love this kid and her creativeness..

black bean brownies

ok first off let me say these are a tad weird.. there had a been a rumor going around the food blog world that these were amazing, wonderful, as good if not better than the real thing..come on..nothing and i mean pretty much nothing is better than an ooiey gooey fudgy brownie.. i am a chocolate fanatic.. love love chocolate.. my dessert rule "used" to be if its not chocolate it's not worth eating.. (i have wavered on that a little bit in recent years but the basic premise still holds true.. chocolate is my favorite..) so i was skeptical when i saw these but what the heck.. jake came over and saw these on a platter on my counter and popped a big ole one in his mouth and well the reaction was priceless.. he gaged.. then he did the whole i think i am choking bit.. ran and i mean yes literally ran to to the fridge and grabbed the milk and chugged it (and this a a kid who hates hates milk) then he says what in the world was that.. i said its a brownie he said no its not what is it really.. shell hearing the commotion comes in the kitchen and she said their weird huh and he says umm yeah and shell says mom made them with black beans.. he looked at me like i had sprouted horns on my head.. he felt the texture was all wrong.. and he thought they were dry.. ( i did not) so all in all do i think i will make them again no.. but do i think if you are not a complete chocolate addict like me you might actually like them more than real brownies because they only have a hint of chocolate.. you be the judge.. if you make them drop me a note and let me know your families reaction..

black bean brownies

prep time: 10 minutes
cooking time: 30 minutes
servings: approx. 20


1 (15 oz) can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/3 cup melted butter
1/4 cup cocoa (i might have used more)
2 tsp. vanilla (pure extract not the imitation stuff)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (optional i did not do cause i don't like nuts in my brownies.. takes away from the star ingredient.. chocolate)
powdered sugar for dusting

drain and rinse beans thoroughly.. add beans and melted butter to your food processor bowl.. blend until smooth.. add sugar and eggs.. pulse a few times until incorporated.. add cocoa, vanilla and salt.. blend until everything is completely pureed.. then gently stir chips and nuts in then pour into an 8"x8" pan that you have sprayed with pam.  bake at 350 degrees (f) for 30 minutes.. sprinkle with powdered sugar.. cool completely before cutting..

chicken and artichokes in a lemon cream sauce

the picture of this isn't to appealing and i am sorry because it was very very good.. so don't let the picture fool you.. it was yummy.. I am on a lemon kick these days.. I have been putting zest in everything..

chicken and artichokes in a lemon cream sauce

prep time: 15
cooking time: 30 minutes
servings: approx. 4


olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
16 ounces of boneless skinless chicken strips (walmart has them all ready cut and ready to go you can get breasts or thighs..)
salt and pepper to taste
2 lemons, zested and juiced
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
2 cans evaporated skim milk
1/2 cup parmesan
2 cans of artichoke hearts (not marinated)
1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
1 box/package of your favorite pasta (cooked according to directions)

in a large non stick skillet of medium heat 2 swirls around the pan.. then add garlic.. salt and pepper chicken and add to the pan, saute until chicken is cooked all the way through.. remove chicken and set aside..add the chicken broth, the lemon juice and zest..scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen any brown bits (they are good) and cook over medium high heat for 10 minutes.. reduce heat add milk and whisk... (you can add flour at this point if you feel the sauce is to runny) salt and pepper.. add the parmesan cheese and whisk until thick.. (this part usually makes it thick enough).. add the chicken back to the pan and any reserved juice that has gathered on your plate... add the artichokes and stir gently.. the sauce will get even thicker.. put your pasta in a bowl or on a plate and top with the chicken mixture... garnish with chopped parsley..

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

salt and vinegar fried fish and chipolte sweet potato "chips"

it was a wonderful day out so i thought I would make fish and chips.. sit out on the back porch and enjoy the amazing weather on sunday.. pete invited jimmy over so it was a nice meal.. I got the idea for this recipe here... and much to my surprise i followed it pretty closely.

oven fried fish

prep time: 15
cooking time: 18 minutes
servings: approx. 4


4 cod filets (pete didn't buy cod he bought whitling fish i had never heard of it but it worked out just fine)
2 eggs whites (whisked)
2 cups crushed salt and vinegar potato chips

preheat your oven to 425 degrees (f).. line a baking sheet with parchment or foil and lay a wire rack on top, spraying it with pam.. add potato chips to a zip lock back and crush into pieces.. (I think a mini food chopped/processor would have worked better)  season fish with pepper.. dip each fillet into the egg white mixture then dredge through crushed potato chips pressing to make sure the chips stick.. lay on the wire rack and speay each filet with pam.. bake 15-18 minutes until golden brown..

(the beer is woodchuck hard cider - amber.. oh my word is it yumm)

chipolte sweet potato chips

prep time: 15
cooking time: 30 minutes
servings: approx. 4


4 sweet potato, cut into shoe string fries
1/4 of a cup of cooking oil
2 tsp. chipolte powder *more if you like more heat*
2 tsp. smokey paprika

preheat your oven to 400 degrees (f) mix oil and spices in a bowl add cut fries and toss.. spread out on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment or foil.. make sure none are overlaping.. cook for 15 minutes then take them out and kinda move them around with a spatula.. basically turn them over and cook another 15 mintes or until done..

tarter sauce (adapted from simply recipes recipe found here) jake declared this the best tarter sauce he has ever eaten and ate some all by itself.. gotta love that kid..
prep time: 15

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup light sour cream
2 tsp. dijon mustard
2 chopped scallions (white and green part)
1 tbls. chopped chives
juice and zest of 1/2 a lemon
1 tbls. of sweet pickle relish ( i might have used 2 i love relish)
1 tbls. of dill pickle juice (it would have been easier to use dill pickle relish ha)
1/2 tbls. of splenda
several dashes of tobasco

mix all ingredients in a bowl and chill before serving.. any remaining keep in an air tight container in fridge for about a week..

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

grilled talapia tacos with pico de gallo, guac and crunchy slaw..

i've been making fish tacos for years.. don't remember when it all started but i know when we would go to the lake and pete would fish i would make tacos that night for dinner at the boat of whatever fish he had caught.. catfish was the kids favorite.. i don't know who to credit this recipe to since i've been making it for over 10 years.. but i am sure i have tweaked and changed it so much it barely resembled the original recipe..(sorry the pictures aren't very good.. they don't do these tacos justice.. they were very good)

grilled talipia tacos

prep time: 15
cooking time: 8 minutes
servings: approx. 4


taco seasoning (you can use pre made taco seasoning but i always make my own, recipe below)
1 lb. talipia fillet (or any firm white fish)
olive oil
1 cup pico de gallo (you can use pre made but again I make my own.. recipe after the seasoning..)
1 cup crunchy cole slaw (recipe after pico de gallo)
1/2 cup guacamole (you again can use premade but shell prefers home made my recipe below)
8 corn tortillas

season each side of your fish with the taco seasoning.. a few swirls around your grill pan with olive oil.. heat your grill pan to medium high heat.. cook for about 4 minutes on each side.. let it rest for 5 minutes..

heat your corn tortilla's according to package directions.. (i just took a griddle got it screaming hot and cooked them on each side about 2 -3 minutes but I have also been know to fry them... take about a 1/4-1/2 cup of canola oil.. heat on high in an iron skillet.. when oil is very hot gently put your tortilla in and then with tongs fold one side over making the taco shell.. turning over several times to make sure both sides get cooked.. cook until the desired crispness..)

taco seasoning

prep time: 5


1 tbsp. chili powder (i use mexican hot)
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. ancho chili powder
1 tsp. chipolte chili powder
1 tsp. smokey spanish paprika
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. course sea salt

combine and keep in a mason jar so its always ready for whenever you need it.. i keep it in my spice cabinet and use it all the time.. tacos, chili, eggs, etc..

pico de gallo

prep time: 15
servings: approx. 1 cup


2 small tomatillo's, husked and chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 a medium onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped (i kept the seeds and everything and it was quite hot)
1 poblano, chopped
1 cup cilantro, chopped
zest and juice of 1/2 a lime
1 garlic clove, minced

mix all ingredients together in a small bowlm cover and chill until ready to use..

crunchy cole slaw

prep time: 15
servings: approx. 1 cup


1 1/2 cups of shredded cabbage
5 radishes, sliced into sticks
1/2 a lime, juiced
1/4 of a cup of sour cream
1 pablano, chopped

mix all ingredients in a medium bowl, cover and chill before serving..


prep time: 10
servings: approx. 1/2 cup


1 very ripe large avocado
2 garlic cloves, minced
juice of 1/2 a lime
1 jalapeno, chopped (optional)
course salt

cut avocado in half, remove seed and scoop out inside into a bowl.. add minced garlic and lime juice and mash to the consistency you like.. some like it very smooth others kinda chunky.. add chopped jalapeno and salt and mix well.. cover and refrigerate until ready to use..

pork chile verde w/ refried beans

when i got my bountiful basket this week i got the mexican basket too and it was loaded with tomatillos and peppers.. so i picked up cubed pork stew meat and made this wonderful pork chile verde..

pork chile verde

prep time: 15
cooking time: 2 hours
servings: approx. 6

10 tomatillos, husked removed and chopped
2 large tomatoes, chopped
4 poblano peppers, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped  (more if you want more heat)
5 roasted anaheim green chiles, chopped (albertson had a special if you buy 32 lbs. they would roast them for you..)
3 garlic gloves, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil
1 tblsp. flour
2 pounds pork stew meat, chopped

in a medium sauce pan over medium low heat add everything but the pork.. cook until the tomatillos and tomatoes start to break down.. about 20 minutes.. remove from stove and pour into blender and blend until smooth..

in the same pan twice around the pan with olive oil.. add your pork and brown.. once brown and no longer pink add flour and cook another 3 minutes.. pour your blended sauce over the pork and simmer for about an hour and half.. stirring often and until pork is fork tender.. serve with tortillas and homemade refried beans..

refried beans

prep time: 5 minutes
cooking time: 1 hour
servings: approx. 6

1 large can of pinto beans (we like sun vista)
3 slices of bacon cut into lardons
cheese (optional)
fresh rosemary (optional)

cut up your bacon and cook in an iron skillet until tender but not crispy.. add pinto beans juice and all.. simmer for about an hour or until most of the liquid is evaporated.. about 10 minutes before serving mash with a potato masher.. i keep some beans still whole because I really don't totally creamy smooth beans.. just unappealing to me.. top with cheese if desired.. my mom used to chop fresh rosemary from our back yard and stir that in at the last minute too..

These are the tortillas we used.. I just love the ones that are raw and need to be cooked on a skillet.. but the other corn and wheat ones are pretty darn good too..

(uncooked flour tortillas--awesome)

(a unique blend of corn and wheat)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mothers Day!! (posted a day late and a dollar short)

so we had a wonderful Mothers day and I hope you did too.. we started the morning off at the las vegas country club.. one.. of my favorite places in the world.. and we had a lovely brunch.. sadly jake could not attend he had to work but he did come over later that evening for dinner.. pete had an absess tooth (the side of his face was all swolen) so we had to cut our brunch a little early.. but the food was wonderful..

(here is shell trying to make me laugh.. btw it worked)

(shell hated my hat)

(shell, poppi and bob)

(ollie and poppi)

(curtis and shell.. don't you love her hair clip?)

(happy mother's day bob)

(janet, curtis and ollie)

now for my dinner sunday night petebought thick ribeyes.. i salt and peppered them and grilled them on medium-high for about 6-7 minutes each side.. right before i flipped them i slathered them with sweet baby rays bbq sauce.. on both sides.. for our sides i took about 2 cups of sliced mushrooms, tablespoon of butter and two swirls around the pan of olive oil in a saute pan.. cooked the mushrooms until brown and tender and then again i put sweet baby ray bbq sauce in..yummy.. and then cooked another 10 minutes or so.. i made baked potatoes.. nice big russet potatoes.. scrubed them then i slathered them with olive oil and wrapped tin foil around them.. cooked them for 40 minutes in a 400 degree (f) oven.. i added butter, sour cream and you guessed it sweet baby rays bbq sauce.. the meal was devine!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

21st Birthday Luau..

well we had jake's 21st b day party this weekend and we decided to go with a luau theme.. we smoked pork for kalua pork.. huli chicken, spam fried rice, island yams, macaroni salad, pineapple coleslaw, roasted potatoes, chocolate chip-macadamia nut hawaiian bread pudding and last but not least grandmommy's miracle whip cake (recipe found here).. not alot of pictures of food i was having to much fun...

kalua pork

prep time: 20 minutes
cooking time: 10 hours
servings: approx. 20


2 4-5 lb. pork butt roasts
12 banana peels
salt to taste
16 cloves of garlic
aluminum foil

cut slits in pork roast and put 8 garlic cloves in each roast, liberally salt roasts then wrap pork in banana peels with the skin (green or yellow) side down then wrap in aluminum foil.  we cooked ours on our smoker for 10 hours (or until the internal temperature reached between 180-190) over apple wood.. (if you don't have a smoker you can cook in the oven for 10 hours at 225 degrees (f).. once we removed it from the smoker we let it sit for 15-20 minutes then removed the foil and banana leaves.. discarded them and shred the meat.. i served with hawaiian bbq sauce (recipe below) and hawaiian rolls for sandwiches.. (the best way to eat it was a little bbq sauce, a little pork and pineapple cole slaw on the hawaiin roll.. umm yumm)

huli chicken

prep time: 20 minutes
cooking time: 2 hours
servings: approx. 20


3 3-pound chicken fryer
2 cups low sodium soy sauce
1 cup lime juice
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 tblsp. garlic
1/2 tblsp. ginger
hawaiian bbq sauce (recipe to follow)

combine all ingredients and mix well.. put 1 chicken in a zip lock bag then pour sauce.. repeat with other chickens.. refrigerate for up to 48 hours.. remove chicken from marinade and discard marinade.. place chicken on your rotisserie spit (according to your rotisserie's directions) we had to tie our legs and wings back with kitchen string.. grill over medium low heat for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. (it was kinda windy so ours took a little longer than it should have)  20 minutes into the cooking time baste with hawaiian bbq sauce and then about 20 minutes after that baste the chicken.. now had i been thinking i would have put my potatoes on the grill under the chicken to get all their juice and then roasted them with the juice so next time for sure) remove chickens from grill and shred and serve next to pork.. again super yummy with a hawaiian roll, bbq sauce and cole slaw..

hawaiian bbq sauce (i used it to baste the chicken then i put the remainder in a squeeze bottle and had it on the serving table so the guests could add extra sauce to their meal)

prep time: 10 minutes
cooking time: 1 hour
servings: approx. enough for 3 chickens and left over


1 cup pineapple juice
1 cup teriyaki sauce
1 cup ketchup
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbls. minced ginger
1/2 cup brown sugar

in a heavy bottom sauce pan over medium heat combine all the ingredient's.  when it starts to boil reduce heat to simmer and allow to continue cooking for 10 minutes.. this recipe was inspired here..

we had to have mai tai's at this shindig.. so here is poppi trying one..

mai tai (for a large crowd.. i got the recipe here)  I am not much of a hard alcohol drinker so i didn't deviate from this recipe

prep time: 20 minutes
servings: approx. 24


2 cups dark bacardi rum
1 cup light bacardi rum
1 cup triple sec
3 1/2 cups no pulp oj
3 1/2 cups pineapple juice
2 cups swwn n' sour mix
1/2 cup grenadine

combine all ingredients in a large pitcher or cooler (i used a sun tea jar).. stir and mix.. serve over ice with a slice of orange and a cute umbrella..

macaroni salad

prep time: 10 minutes
cooking time:  20 minutes
servings: 20


3 lb. bag of elbow macaroni
2 cups (frozen) cooked, peeled and cleaned salad shrimp
1 1/2 cup mayonnaise
salt and pepper to taste

cook pasta according to directions, while it's cooking thaw frozen shrimp and rinse well ..cut the larger shrimp in half with your kitchen shears.. add to a large mixing bowl.. drain macaroni and add to mixing bowl.. salt and pepper..(i pepper generously) add mayonnaise and mix well.. refrigerate for 2-3 hours before serving.. you will get happy faces all around..

pineapple coleslaw

prep time: 20 minutes
servings: approx. 20


1 large (or 2 medium) green cabbage finely shredded
1 large carrot shredded
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup splenda
2 tblsp. white wine vinegar
1 tbls. pineapple juice
1 tsp. celery seed
1/2 cup pineapple tidbits

mix mayonnaise, splenda, vinegar, pineapple juice and celery seed together in a large bowl.. then add cabbage, carrot and pineapple. stirring to coat well.. chill for about an hour before don't make to much in advance the cole slaw will get soggy and runny..

island yams

prep time: 20 minutes
cooking time: 1 hour 45 minutes
servings: approx. 10


6-8 medium sized yams
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 stick melted butter (plus a little more for dotting the top)
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped roasted macadamia nuts

preheat oven to 375 degrees (f) and cook yams for 45 mins.. remove from oven and keep oven on.. wait about 15 minutes for yams to cool so you can handle them.. cut each yam in 1/2 and remove pulp from inside.. put in a medium size mixing bowl.. once all yams are cut and scooped out discard skins.. add 1/2 cup melted butter and granulated sugar to yams.. mash yams with fork until smooth and butter and sugar are well incorporated with the yams.. pour into a casserole dish and dot with butter, sprinkle brown sugar and macadamia nuts on top.. bake covered for 45 minutes then remove cover and bake for an additional 15 minutes..

so the hawaiian bread pudding was inspired by my overnight french toast aka bread pudding recipe found here.. i just made a few alterations to fit the evenings theme..

prep time: 20 minutes
cooking time: 45 minutes
servings: approx. 24

24 hawaiian rolls, ripped into small pieces
1/2 cup butter, melted
8 beaten eggs
2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups half-half
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 tsps. cinnamon
1/4 -1/2 cup chocolate chips (depending on how chocolaty you want it)

1 stick of unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup dark karo syrup
1/4 cup chopped roasted macadamia nuts..

melt butter and pour into a 9x13 casserole dish.  put ripped up hawaiian bread pieces into buttered casserole dish.. in a large bowl add milk, half and half, beaten eggs, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon.. mix well.. pour mixture over the hawaiian bread pieces.. sprinkle chocolate chips on then gently press down bread pieces so the milk and egg mixture is absorbed.. cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

when you are ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees (f).  to prepare topping, mix melted butter, brown sugar and karo syrup in a small bowl.. pour over top of bread.. sprinkle macadamia nuts on top.. then bake uncovered for 45 minutes.. serve immediately.. (we served it with vanilla ice cream.. ohh my word..)

(poppi and jake.. and no poppi is not about to punch him ha ha he was looking at his nails right before i took the picture.. *giggle*)

(ollie was not in the mood to be held just then..)

(and shell was not happy about it.. ha ha )

(ollie finally gave shell the squeeze she deserved)

(jessie and dean)

(granny and poppa)

fun fun evening!! :) say good night gracie..