Friday, November 30, 2012

tgif.. and a simple but great appetizer.. pimento cheese

i think i mentioned that we had a "chili" party the other night.. i served my chili.. i made tater tots, flour tortillas and had tons of toppings.. i also served pâté with spicy cranberry relish and mini sweet gherkins.. and this pimento cheese.. i heart pimento cheese.. one version i like to make is posted here.. but this recipe is a little different because i actually hadn't "planned" on making it before hand so i had to use what i had on hand.. and i have to say i really like this version too.. i grew up on pimento cheese.. it's a south thang.. my grandma aka mommabell was born in gonzales, texas and she would make pimento cheese on rye bread for my lunch all the time.. i didn't think anyone else knew about it..i thought my grandma invented it and it was our own little secret.. then one day, a few years back, i was in the grocery store and i bumped into a friend.. well we got to chatting and i mentioned i was making pimento cheese and she asked why didn't i just buy the jar stuff.. jar stuff?? what in the tarnation are you talking about.. so she took me to the cracker and chip ilse and sure enough there is jarred pimento cheese.. who'da thunk it.. well let me be the first to tell ya.. that jarred stuff aint pimento cheese..not sure what it is but it's not my grandma's pimento cheese.. and actually this recipe isn't either ha.. but it's close.. i jazzed it up a bit!! and i can't wait to make a grilled pimento cheese sandwich or maybe slather it on a burger.. jake added it to his chili.. you can do so many things with it.. it's that good..

pimento cheese

prep time: 5 minutes
servings: about 2-3 cups


3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
1/2 cup mayo (if you think it needs more add a little bit at a time)
1/2 cup greek non fat yogurt
1 jar of pimentos (with some of its juice) i didn't have pimentos but i did have a jar of roasted sweet red peppers, which is basically the same thing so i chopped up one of the peppers from the jar and added a tsp of juice from the jar
1 red chili pepper, seeded and chopped fine ( i used what i had in the garden i can't remember the type of pepper but a jalapeno would do also)

combine everything until well incorporated.. cover and put in the fridge for about an hour before serving.. what doesn't get used put in an airtight container and it will keep for about a week.. i like to serve it with crackers and ruffles.. because ruffles have ridges.. and i like ridges.. (ruffles are amazing dipped in hunts snack pack chocolate pudding.. in case you were wondering..)

enjoy and get cook'n

Thursday, November 29, 2012

thirsty thursday... pomegranate lime spritzer

i had a get together over at my house the staturday after thanksgiving.. family mostly.. but even when it's just family we had about 15 or so people.. i was trying to come up with something to serve that everyone would like.. this was very yummy.. it's tart.. sweet.. sour.. spiked.. what more could you ask for..

pomegranate lime spritzer

prep time: 5 minutes
servings: 4


1 bottle of pomegranate juice
1/4 cup simple syrup (if you don't know how to make it  here is a recipe .. and it's well simple to make)
1 1/2 cup club soda
1 cup cranberry juice cocktail
juice of 1 lime
white rum or vodka
lime wedge for garnish

mix pom juice, syrup, club coda, cranberry and lime juice together.. put in fridge until ready to serve.. pour in your serving glass.. add a shot of vodka or white rum stir.. garnish with a lime wedge and slurp it down..
enjoy and get drink'n!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

take my word for must try this pasta w/ spicy chicken sausage

you know those recipes that spark a memory.. that when you eat them you just feel good.. well this one did just that.. i was cruising pinterest the other day and saw this recipe here.. and upon gazing at it's cheesy wonderfulness.. i realized i had to make it.. forget what was already the menu.. this dish needed to be made.. it's the adult version of mac 'n cheese with hot dogs.. which by the way i loved as a kid.. i first saw that recipe in a kid friendly cookbook my mom had and when i was allowed to pick the meal i loved to have mac 'n cheese with hot dogs.. i tried making it for my kids and while jake thought it was delish shell turned her nose up at it and declared it blah.. but who could blame her it was boxed mac 'n cheese and plain old hot dogs.. now this dish has pizazz.. and i knew if i made it she would have to like it.. well i hoped she would.. i actually thought oh lord i am going to have to make her a peanut butter and jelly sandwich instead.. but much to my surprise she liked it.. she loved it fact she requested it for lunch the next day.. score one for mom.. it's so simple yet satisfying i will be making this again.. i basically combined my velvetta pasghetti and the recipe i found on pinterest.. it was like a match made in heaven.. creamy cheesy spicy heaven that is..

pasta with spicy chicken sausage
prep time: 5 minutes
cooking time: 45 minutes
serving: 4


1 package of penna pasta, cooked according to package directions
1 block of velvetta cheese, sliced up or chunked up 
1 can of rotel tomatoes
2 packages of spicy chicken sausage, i used habanero with monetary jack cheese, sliced  into disks
salt and pepper

pre heat your oven to 350 degrees (f).. slice up your chicken sausage into rounds.. cook sausage in a medium non stick saute pan over medium heat until cooked and lightly caramelized.. remove from stove.. in the meantime while the sausage is cooking start your your pasta and cook according to package, drain and put in a casserole dish that's been sprayed with pam.. add your tomatoes, cheese and chicken sausage.. combine everything.. cover and bake in a 350 degree (f) oven for 30 minutes.. remove cover and stir to make sure all the creamy gooey cheese is over everything.. bake another 10-15 minutes uncovered.. remove from oven add salt and pepper and dig in..
enjoy and get cook'n!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

spicy cranberry pomegranate relish

i had such a good "harvest" of pomegranates this year.. i couldn't wait to use them in recipes.. i made this spicy cranberry pomegranate relish/sauce which was soo good.. i put it on everything.. i even mixed it with my mayo for my sandwich of leftover turkey.. simply delicious..and really easy..

spicy cranberry pomegranate relish

prep time: 5 minutes
cooking time: 15-20 minutes
servings: about 12-15


1 bag of fresh cranberries
2 cups (or one small bottle of pom) pomegranate juice
1/2 cup to 1 cup sugar (depending on how sweet you like it)
juice and zest of 1 orange
1-2 diced small, red chili or jalapenos (i used what was growing in my garden)
pomegranate seeds

combine everything, except pomegranate seeds, together in a medium sauce pan and cook over medium low for about 20 minutes.. stir every now and again to prevent scorching.. it will start to thicken and the cranberries burst.. i used the back of my spoon and pushed them again the side of the pot to kinda smoosh them.. once it was pretty thick i added the pomegranate seeds and turned the heat off.. i ladled the relish into 2 mason jars and allowed it to cool then kept in the fridge until ready to serve.. it's great as a side for turkey or chicken.. goes well on sandwiches.. mixed with whipped cream cheese for crackers.. i also served it with liver pâté (that recipe here) and the sweet and spiciness played well with the pâté.. it's a very versatile side dish..

enjoy and get cook'n!!

Monday, November 26, 2012

chocolate pumpkin crunch cake

we had a chili party at my house on saturday and i wanted to make a dessert that was easy but still reminded us it was fall.. we needed reminding i think it was 78 degrees saturday afternoon.. we had a fire going in our fire pit but strictly for ambiance there was no need for its warmth.. i had on a sleeveless shirt and i didn't even need a jacket when the sun went down.. but nonetheless this cake did the trick.. it was easy and so good..

pumpkin crunch cake

prep time: 5 minutes
cooking time: 5-60 minutes
servings: 8-12 (depending on the size of pieces you serve)


1 box betty crocker super moist spice cake mix
2 cups pumpkin butter (my recipe can be found here) *
1 can of evaporated milk
3 large eggs
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1 cup butter, melted

pre heat your oven to 350 degrees (f).  spray the bottom of your casserole dish with pam.  mix pumpkin butter with evaporated milk and eggs.. whisk to combine.. pour mixture into your casserole dish.. sprinkle dry cake mix over pumpkin mixture.. then top with pecans and chocolate chips.. drizzle melted butter over entire thing.. bake 50-55 minutes.. remove from oven allow to cool about 15 minutes and serve warm or you can serve room temperature... top with whipped topping if you would like..

* if you don't have pumpkin butter you can use 1 15oz. can of pumpkin puree, 1.5 cups sugar, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice and 1/2 tsp. salt

enjoy and get cook'n!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

crab rangoon pizza

it's the day before thanksgiving and your probably thinking what the heck crab rangoon pizza? well i kinda thought you might want a break and a recipe not thanksgiving.. shell declared this beauty her favorite pizza of all time i even had to make it twice last week.. pete came in the house on saturday and said can you make that shrimp pizza stuff again.. i looked at him blankly because for a few seconds i honestly had no idea what he was babbling again.. then i remembered on monday for dinner i had made this pizza with spicy thai chicken wings.. (sorry no photos of that dinner, i am finding it's just  to hard to take photos during the week they never turn out) so when pete asked for it again i jumped at the chance then i could take photos and share this yummy recipe with y'all.. i got the idea for this pizza from watching sandra lee's new show on the cooking channel, it's called something like lounge, taverns and bars.. it's basically an excuse for her to get her drink on.. i personally don't like her cooking shows but all liquored up she isn't to bad to take.. well she was in some bar having a funky monkey (some wild drink) and eating this pizza and it sounded so wonderful i decided to make it.. and let me tell you it doesn't disappoint at all.. i was supposed to top with crispy won tons and a drizzle of sweet and spicy chili sauce but i totally forgot to add it for the picture..  sorry.. i am getting oldtimers..

crab rangoon pizza

prep time: 15 minutes
cooking time: 7 minutes
servings: 2 pizzas


pizza dough (my go to recipe that i use can be found here or a pre made pizza dough from the store is fine..)
8 oz. 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
1 can of lump crab meat, drained and any hard bits picked out
1 scallion chopped green and white part
2 tsp. red thai curry powder
1 cup mozzarella cheese

wonton skin cut into strips and fried or you can buy the fried crispy won ton salad toppers
sweet chili sauce
the green part of the scallion, chopped

preheat your oven to 500 degrees (f) for 30 minutes with your pizza stone in the oven.. cut dough in half and roll out dough on a floured surface to the thickness your family likes.. slide the pizza dough on to a piece of parchment paper.. in a medium mixing bowl combine cream cheese, lump crab meat, scallions and curry powder.. stir to combine.. spread mixture among the 2 pizza dough rounds.. sprinkle 1/2 cup of mozzarella on each pizza.. pick up parchment and pizza and slide gently onto pizza at a time bake until lightly brown and cheese is melted.. about 6-7 minutes.. but keep an eye on it the thin pizza cooks up pretty fast.. remove from oven sprinkle green onion, crispy won tons and drizzle a little sweet chili sauce.. slice and serve with with some spicy sriracha chicken wings.. my recipe found here..

enjoy and get cook'n!!
i hope you and your family have a wonderful thanksgiving i can't wait to hear all it!! 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

spiced pumpkin butter

nothing says fall like spiced pumpkin butter.. it's creamy deliciousness.. you can use it on toast, blend a little with your cream cheese for a bagel, use it in over night french toast, add to oatmeal, add to vanilla yogurt or in my case pumpkin bread pudding.. the bread pudding i am making for thanksgiving day i decided to use this lovely luscious concoction.. and it's sooo easy.. like really easy.. as in 45 minutes wam bam you have home made pumpkin butter that in the grocery store costs a pretty penny.. try it this year you won't be disappointed..

spiced pumpkin butter

prep time: 5 minutes
cooking time: 40 minutes
servings: 30 or so.. it fills 3 smaller mason jars or one big one


1 (29 oz) can of pumpkin puree or about 3.5 cups of  fresh cooked pumpkin
1 cup apple cider
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tblsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 cup light brown sugar
juice of 1/2 a lemon

combine all ingredients except lemon juice in a large sauce pan, bring to a boil, you want to cover it, it splatters and spits all over but you want your lid slightly ajar.. then reduce heat to low-simmer and keep it slightly covered for about 30-40 minutes.. stirring often.. remove from heat and add your lemon juice then keep covered for about 10 more minutes, it might keep popping and spitting.. once cool, pour pumpkin butter into air tight container/jar(s).. it will keep for about 2 weeks.. it is not recommended to can pumpkin butter by the USDA.. and we'll it scares me to "can" things so i was peachy keen with not canning it..

enjoy and get cook'n!!!!

Friday, November 16, 2012

quick and easy velvetta mac 'n cheese

we decided to go camping for the veterens weekend.. it was kind of a spur of the moment.. i mean for us that is.. you see i plan things months in advance..for example, we are leaving for hawaii in 6 weeks and i am already packed.. but this trip was planned a week in advanced so that's spur of the moment for me.. and curtis and janet and the kids decided to come visit us for the day to go fishing..they were going to be there for 2 meals and ollie's favorite thing in the world is mac and cheese.. and on saturday while at the grocery store i decided i should have some mac 'n cheese in case he didn't like anything else i was making.. so while walking the isles i saw this big block of velvetta and thought i could make a quick and easy mac 'n cheese using my starchy pasta water, velvetta, a handful of cheddar cheese and pasta..i sprinkled in some nutmeg, salt and pepper and viola done.. and it was soooooooo good.. so simple.. so quick.. excuse the photos we were camping :)

creamy velvetta mac 'n cheese
prep time: 5 minutes
cooking time: 20 minutes
servings: 8-10


1 16 oz. bag/box of macaroni shells (or any shape will do)
1/2 lb. velvetta, cubed
1 cup sharp cheddar, shredded
2 cup starchy pasta water
1 tsp. nutmeg
salt and pepper

cook pasta according to package directions, before draining reserve 2 cups pasta water, drain pasta and add back to pot over low heat..  add cubed velvetta, stir around and add 1 cup of the pasta water, stir around add shredded cheese and add another 1/2 cup of pasta water.. stir until creamy.. add nutmeg, salt and pepper.. stir around and keep on low heat for about 10 minutes.. (if you think it needs it you can add the remaining 1/2 cup of pasta water)

amelia being her precious self..

ollie and janet getting their fishing on..

ollie and curtis fishing..

amelia looking pretty darn fly..

shell and i taught amelia "soo big" when you say "how big is amelia" she lifts her arms up..

how big is amelia.. sooooooo big!! great weekend with the family..
enjoy and get cook'n!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

roasted and brined thanksgiving turkey with cornbread jalapeno stuffing..

i watched alton brown's thanksgiving episode of good eats forever ago.. (recipe found here..) and have been making my turkey similar to his recipe ever since.. it makes it so moist and flavorful.. our thanksgiving weekend is busy it consists of several different dinners.. we always go to my moms early around 3 and she has a big blow out.. anywhere from 35 people to one year we had nearly 60+ people.. she makes 3 or 4 turkeys and all the trimmings.. it takes weeks to prepare for it.. then once we have adequately stuffed ourselves we go to pete's moms house around 6 or so... and with family alone that can be 30 people.. this year we are having it pete's sisters house.. i am making a ham, stuffing, grandmommy's sweet potato casserole and pumpkin bread pudding.. pete's brother will make the turkey, mashed taters and another kind of stuffing.. everyone is bringing something it should be a good time.. then on the weekend i make my own thanksgiving dinner.. i really like the left overs.. so i will be consuming a lot of turkey next weekend.. and you won't hear me complaining.. no matter if your thanksgiving is crazy hectic or calm and quiet.. remember to give thanks and enjoy the people you are with..

brined roasted turkey

prep time: 10 minutes
cooking time: 3- 4 hours
servings: 14-16 (general rule of thumb is 1 lb. per person)


1 (14-16 lb.) frozen young turkey

for brine:

1 cup kosher salt
1/2 brown sugar
1 gallon veggie broth/stock or chicken stock/broth
1 tblsp. pepper
1 tblsp. poultry seasoning
1 gallon heavy iced water

for cooking the bird:

1 stick of butter
salt and pepper
stuffing (recipe below)

2 or 3 days before roasting begin thawing your turkey in the fridge.. then once defrosted (about a day before) in a large cooler (we use a gott water cooler) combine broth/stock, salt, sugar, iced water and pepper.. place your thawed turkey, with the innards removed, in the cooler.. set in a cool area for 8-16 hours before cooking. when ready to cook preheat your oven to 350 degrees (f).. remove bird from brine and rinse it off under cold water then place it on a roasting rack and pat dry with paper towels.. melt 1 stick of butter and pour over bird and inside cavity rubbing in while pouring.. (wash hands) then sprinkle with salt and pepper.. stuff cavity with stuffing and cover and put in the oven on the lower rack of the oven... cook for 1 hour 30 minutes.. and check every 30 minutes and baste your chicken with the juices..after about an hour and half remove cover and cook another hour and a half or two.. ok here is where controversy has come up i was always taught to cook your bird 20 minutes per pound meaning that it would take about 5 hours to cook a 14-16 lb. bird.. but my mom called the butterball hotline last year and they said that's old school and a 14-16 lb. bird should take about 3-3.5 hours..  i cooked mine the less amount of time last year and the turkey came out juicy and moist.. what your looking for is an internal temperature of about 155 is when it's time to remove from the oven and when the turkey rests out of the oven it will rise to be about 160-165 which is what your ideal temp should be.. i removed my turkey after about 3 hours loosely covered with a foil tent and allowed it to rest for 30 minutes.. the temp was spot on and the turkey perfectly cooked... *when checking the temp of the bird insert thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh and then the breast* for extremely helpful tips check out this website here..

jalapeno cornbread stuffing

prep time: 30 minutes
cooking time: depends on the size of your bird


1 cup butter, melted
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup apple, chopped
1/2 cup golden raisins
2-3 jalapenos seeded and chopped (more if you like more heat or you could even leave the seeds in.. and remember these little babies are hot so wash your hands when done and don't touch your face or eyes before washing.. been there done that.. no fun)
1 cup chicken broth
2 6 ounce packages of mrs. cubbison's seasoned corn bread stuffing (one box)
salt and pepper to taste (i like alot of pepper in mine)

in a large mixing bowl combine all the above ingredients.. if it seems dry add a little more chicken brother and/or melted butter.. i let mine sit over night.. then in the morning i stuff my bird.. now if not cooking in the bird then place stuffing in a greased baking dish, cover and bake in a 350 degree (f) oven for about 45 minutes.. remove cover (check again to make sure its not dry.. if it is melt a 1/2 a stick of butter and pour over the stuffing) and bake another 10 minutes longer uncovered..

enjoy and get cook'n!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

take my word for it wednesday.. duck liver pâté is awesome!!

i am a liver pâté person.. you either are or you aren't.. shell used to be but now she snubs her nose at it and says ewww.. my mom and i used to have an annual trip to california.. and one time we stayed in this little "inn" and for dinner we ordered their liver pate platter.. it came with toast points, crackers, jam, the best pâté i've ever had, onions, sliced pickles, crisp green apple and cheese.. i was in heaven and even though that meal was probably 18-19 years ago i still think about it and smile.. my mother in law makes awesome chicken liver pâté for thanksgiving.. i look forward to every year.. it's not the prettiest of appetizers but it's really yummy..  (the below recipe is the way my mother in law makes her chicken liver pâté i used duck because i made a duck last week.. i will share that with you soon.. what a treat that was.. it was really good)
duck liver pâté
prep time: 5 minutes
cook time: 5-7 minutes
servings: 16 as an appetizer
1 lb. duck livers (or chicken livers)
3 tbls. unsalted butter
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/4 cup of red wine
1 hard boiled egg
salt and pepper
heat butter in heavy bottom saute pan over medium heat let the butter slightly brown add garlic and livers.. add salt.. toss the livers around in the pan to get all sides evenly brown and kinda carmelized.. remove and pour butter, livers and garlic into your food processor then add wine to pan and deglaze the pan for about 1 minute over medium heat.. remove from heat and add wine to food processor and add hard boiled egg, salt and pepper.. pulse a few times until everything is blended it will look like the picture above.. remove from food processor and add to a serving bowl and put in the fridge for about an hour before serving.. i served mine with pomegranate jam, sliced mini gherkins and sour dough bread.. (i was out of crackers or i would have served with them also).. it may look a little funky but believe me it's delicious.
enjoy and get cook'n!!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

so nice i am posting twice.. goulash..

this little dish has gotten so many hits from being featured in the all free casserole's e-cookbook.. which i am honored to be a part of.. i decided to revisit it.. make it a tad different.. but believe me no major changes.. if you like the other way by all means continue to make it that way.. or maybe try this different way and see which one you like best.. but again very small change.. i promise.. now the original post can be found here.. i love goulash and it invokes such fond childhood memories.. it's also one of shell's favorites.. so i love to make it come fall it just brings a smile to my face..


prep time: 5 minutes
cook time: 30 minutes
serving 4


1 lb ground turkey (ground beef obviously would work too ha)
1 small onion, diced
1 small red pepper, diced
1 can of diced tomatoes (we like to use the mexican ones but any kind or unflavored will do)
1 can of tomato paste
1 tblsp. smokey hot paprika
1 tsp. garlic powder
salt and a ton of pepper
macaroni cooked according to package (16 oz. box or package)
olive oil

cook macaroni according to package reserve 1/2 a cup of the starchy pasta water before draining.. while its cooking in a large skillet heat up two turns around the pan with olive oil over medium heat.. add onions and peppers.. cook until soft about 7 minutes.. add turkey and cook until no longer pink.. add tomato paste, 1/4 of a cup of starchy pasta water, paprika and garlic powder.. cook another few minutes you want your tomato paste and pasta water to form a thick rich tomato sauce.. then add your can of diced tomato and salt and A LOT of pepper.. cook another 3-4 minutes.. add cooked macaroni and stir until all well incorporated and cook another 15-20 minutes on low.. check for seasoning and consistency if it's seems to dry add the remaining 1/4 cup of pasta water..I always serve it with wheat sandwich bread and butter.. i put my goulash in my bread and fold over like a taco.. super yummy..

enjoy and get cook'n!!

Featured on

i am so excited to be featured on this great site and included in their e-cookbook.. take alook it can be found here.. e-cookbook..

Monday, November 12, 2012

eggless caesar dressing

I love caesar salad.. and i love caesar dressing on everthing..we use it to dip our meat or chicken in during the meal.. this recipe a simple quick but very easy dressing that i got from here and didn't change up much of it all.. it's very good.. i like the thick creamy texture of it.. it adheres well to your lettuce..

prep time: 10 minutes
cooking time: n/a
servings: 4

1/3 cup finely grated parmigiano reggiano cheese
juice and zest of 1/2 a lemon
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/2 tblsp. dijon mustard
1/2 - 1 tblsp. anchovie paste
1 tblsp. extra virgin olive oil
5 tblsp. non fat greek plain yogurt

in a medium mixing bowl combine all ingredients except oil and whisk.. then slowly add oil and keep whisking..cover and and keep in fridge until ready to use.. will keep in the fridge for about a week..

enjoy and get cook'n!!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

chocolate punkin whoopie pies

so i told you about these little punkie pie cookies here.. they are so simple and easy.. once i made them i thought they would make cute whoopie pies.. i had some left over chocolate ganach from making my no bake s'more cake in the fridge and decided to combine the two and make whoopie pies.. but if you had nutella or chocolate frosting either one would be ideal for these little treats.. just quick little goodies.. make a sunday afternoon seem special.. be sure to have a tall glass of ice cold milk around..

punkin pie cookies

prep time: 10 minutes
cooking time: 12-15 minutes
servings: 32 cookies

betty crocker spice cake mix
15 oz can pumpkin
mini chocolate chips (approx. 1 cup)

preheat your oven to 350 degrees (f). mix all the ingredients together, spoon onto a lined cookie sheet, i used my cookie scooper...bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes until just firm..

chocolate ganache

1/2 a bag of semi sweet chocolate chips (8 oz)
1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream
1/2 tsp. of salt

combine everything in a heavy bottom sauce pot and cook on medium low until chocolate is melted and creamy.. remove from heat and allow to cool it will become frosting like consistency after a while and easy to spread.  Once cookies have cooled spead of this heavenly frosting on the bottom of one of the cookies and top with another.. it's heaven on a plate!!

enjoy and get cook'n!!

Friday, November 9, 2012

so nice i'm posting twice.. friday night clam chowder with crispy clam cakes

clam chowder ranks up there in the top three favorite soups of mine.. tomato being my favorite and i have a easy recipe for it found here.. my second being lobster bisque and my third is clam chowder i've posted it before here but i thought it deserved a second posting.. pete and i will a lot of times choose the restaurant if we like their clam chowder.. once i eat a bowl of it with crusty bread i rarely order the entree.. good thing about clam chowder is it's one of the easiest soup, in my opinion, to make.. and after trying this recipe with it's chunks of potatoes and clams you will think it's pretty darn easy but ohh so good too.. now i got inspired to make clam cakes from diner's drive in's and dives.. i can watch a marathon of that show on a weekend for hours and never get bored.. even if i have seen the episode before, which is likely since i think i have seen them all.. but i always get ideas and inspiration watching it.. and well guy fieri is kinda sexy in a ghetto ridiculous kinda way. he he *wink* so after watching the show i googled clam cakes and the recipe i liked the best came from here.. i switched it up a little bit from watching the show and the result is a light, airy, crispy ball of yumminess.. you would think it's going to be oily or heavy and it's not at all..

clam cakes

prep time: 5 minutes
cooking time: just a few minutes per clam cake
servings: 16 clam cakes (4 per serving)


2 cups ap flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 egg
1/2 cup clam juice
1 can minced clams with juice (pete wanted more of a clam taste after the test batch so i added another can of chopped clams)
1/2 cup milk
oil for frying (the show used lard and well i couldn't do that.. ha i used veggie oil)

sift together the dry ingredients; in a medium mixing bowl whisk your egg and milk.. add clams and juice.. and then dry ingredients a little at a time.. stirring well .. heat your oil when it's hot enough fry the clam cakes by dropping a spoon full of mix into the hot oil.. when it's ready to be flipped it will float to the top.. gently roll over with a wooden spoon and cook the other side.. you want them brown and crispy.. remove from hot oil with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel..

creamy chunky clam chowder

prep time: 10 minutes
cooking time: 30-45 minutes
servings: 6


2 slices of bacon, diced
1 onion, chopped
3 stalks of celery, chopped fairly small
7-9 white rose potatoes, chunked up (not to big you want them bite size)
4 cans of clams, drained and juice reserved (i used 2 minced and 2 chopped)
1 bottle of clam juice
4 cups half and half
2 tblsp. cornstarch
salt and pepper

take your bottle of clam juice and reserved clam juice and add to a pot and add your potatoes.. if it doesn't cover your taters add water until it does.. cook the potatoes until fork tender.. while they are cooking start your soup, in a heavy bottom pot over medium heat cook your bacon, not until crispy but cooked, about 5 minutes or so.. then add your onions, celery and salt. cook until tender.. another 5 minutes.. your potatoes are probably done about now.. (don't drain them) with a slotted spoon remove 2 cups of the potatoes and 1 cup of the claim juice they were cooked in.. using a food processor (if you have one, if you don't then use a blender or hand mixer or even just a regular hand potato masher will do) cream the potatoes.. add your half and half to the bacon, onion and celery mixture.. then add the creamed potatoes.. then with a slotted spoon remove the remaining potatoes and add to the party .. stir.. now add our clams and salt and pepper.. take 2 tbls. of corn starch and 1/4 of a cup of the clam/potato juice whisk it together and add it to the clam chowder.. crank the heat to high until it starts to thicken about 3-5 minutes stirring.. watch it or the bottom will burn..then turn to low and let it simmer for about a half an hour stiring every now and again.. ladle in to soup bowls add a few dashes of tobasco and then dunk your clam cakes into the soup it's sooo good... this will warm up your innards right quick..

enjoy and get cook'n!!!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

punkin pie cookies (only 3 ingredients)

so i saw this recipe here from pinterest.. and thought what the heck.. let's give this a try.. i am glad i did.. these were so good.. so easy.. i had heard/read about the concept of taking a cake mix and adding a can of soda or can of pumpkin to it years ago.. and i even made a few, which i kind of thought they were "eh" ok.. but these cookies are amazing.. they are like little bit size cakes.. next time i am going to use a gingerbread cake mix with the pumpkin!! i can't wait.. :) i think it might be this weekend..

punkin pie cookies

prep time: 10 minutes
cooking time: 12-15 minutes
servings: 32 cookies

betty crocker spice cake mix
15 oz can pumpkin
mini chocolate chips (approx. 1 cup)

preheat your oven to 350 degrees (f). mix all the ingredients together, spoon onto a lined cookie sheet, i used my cookie scooper...bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes until just firm.

i really was skeptical.. but they are so good.. perfect for a school fall party... or anyday really.. i mean i want you to make these.. like now!!!

enjoy and get cook'n!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

take my word for it wednesday.. it was prom and potatoes and pictures.. oh my.. and a little wee fire..


this is kind of a long post.. as it was actually a long day.. let me first start off by saying take my word for it the meal was great.. it was a hard road to get to great but the ultimate result was wonderful.. if your not a tri tip fan i urge you to reconsider.. i made it while we were camping a few weeks ago and my dad said it was one of the best steaks/roasts he has ever had.. i had it about 20 years ago while walking through costco, when they give you samples and they had a big bbq set up and had cooked tri tip.. it was so good i've been hooked ever since.. now i am going to show a few things NOT to do.. see i am here for you people.. i take my mistakes and near disasters and share with you so you don't end up with a big mess.. (like i almost did..) the things i do for you.. he he *wink* so today on take my word for it wednesday.. believe me when i say these dishes were good but don't make the same mistakes i did..

it all started off with jake getting his lsat scores back.. he will be applying to law school soon and good scores make that task a tad bit easier.. well he got them back and did well so i said let's have a celebratory dinner.. it's also shell's fall formal so i will have both kids in the same house at the same time, which is rare these days, i can take some photos.. so i started by getting a nice size tri trip.. i then put it in a zip lock with about a cup of olive oil and a tablespoon of garlic salt.. squished it all around and placed in the fridge to marinate for about 6 hours..

the store had awesome looking shrimp.. so i peeled and deviened them.. added a thin slice of jalapeno and wrapped them all in bacon.. then skewered them and sprinkled with cajun seasoning.. ohh my was it good..  i also took my corn brushed on butter then added whatever seasonings anyone wanted and wrapped in foil.. i had paprika, chili powder and cayenne on mine.. pete had garlic salt and italian seasoning on his.. the kids wanted just salt and pepper..

ok let's get this ball rolling i put the tri tip on a medium low grill (i had it cranked up to high and put the steak on then lowered to medium low on the burner the steak itself was on and left the other 3 on high)

i cooked it for about 7 minutes on the one side and flipped it to a hot side, dropped that temp down to medium low and cranked the one it had been on back up to high.. i then added my shrimp and corn.. and well this is where it all went wrong..

oops.. i closed my lid, because that's how i always bbq tri tip and kinda forgetting about the bacon and well it dripped down and pretty much lit everything on fire.. i got that out but the tri tip still had oil on from marinating all day and well it went up like christmas tree.. pete used his beer and put everything out.. he then tried to use my beer to put this hunk of meat out.. we almost came to blows.. there was about to be a wwf throwdown in the back yard.. he quickly realized the error of his ways and used water instead.. smart thinking..

but  i did something i knew was wrong.. when i did it i knew it was wrong but i did it anyway.. you see i had assumed i would need 8 skewers (4 kabobs with 2 skewers each) so i pre soaked 8 wooden skewers.. but i ended needing 10 and i just grabbed 2 and didn't soak them.. well can you see up there they caught fire.. then caught the bacon and shrimp on fire.. it was bedlam in my back yard folks.. but *whew* i got the fire out.. i moved things around.. it all worked out.. but i will be cooking my shrimp inside from now on that was to much stress..
then i remembered oh crap i have potatoes in the oven, thankfully they didn't get over cooked they were perfect.. i take my baking potatoes.. i scrub them, poke holes in them and rub them with olive oil.. put in a 400 degree oven for about an hour.. remove.. cut in half.. scoop out the insides and add to a bowl.. to the bowl i added light sour cream, low fat plain greek yogurt, shredded sharp low fat cheese salt and pepper.. mash it all up and add it back to the potato boats then place in a casserole dish and add back to the oven drop the heat to 350 and cook about 20 minutes so the cheese gets melty.. this part went off without a hitch.. it was then time to say good bye to shell as she left for her fall formal..

she and her bff, allie decided to go together.. can you hear beyonce's single ladies playing?? no? oh must be in my head.. moving on then..

i get so happy when i can actually get a photo of my kids together without shenanigans.. it does't happen very often as you can see by the below photos..

jake photoboming shell and sam..
i don't know what i said but jake thinks i am nuts.. (as usual)

jake trying to act like he is not interested in the photo..

that silly smile he makes..

he loves to photobomb the girls..

finally shell calls time out.. 
and here she is saying "your seriously not putting these all on your blog are you.." psst don't tell her.. out little secret.. *wink*
now onto what you came here to see.. the recipes.. so it begins..

grilled tri tip
prep time: 6 - 8 hours
cooking time: 30-40 minutes
servings: 6
1- 2 1/2 pound to 4 pound tri-tip steak/roast, they can also be referred to as a triangle steak, it's the bottom sirloin cut ...look for one well-marbled with fat
1/2-1 cup olive oil (depending on the size)
1 tblsp. garlic salt
combine olive oil and garlic salt.. put roast in a zip lock and pour olive oil over it.. squish it around to make sure it's fully covered and put in the fridge anywhere between 4-8 hours.. when time to cook remove from zip lock, discard oil, and place on pre heated hot grill. I get my grill going on high then i put my steak/roast on and let the outside sear up for about 1-2 minutes.. i then drop the temperature of the side the grill the meat is on to low, close my lid and allow to cook for about 14-17 minutes.. then i flip the meat over to the hot side of the grill allow that side to sear up then drop the temperature to low and crank up the other side to high and close my lid and allow to cook for 14-17 minutes on that side.. be VERY CAREFUL for flare ups.. keep a water bottle on the grill.. the fat in the steak can drip down and cause flare ups ... just be careful if it's flaring up to much turn the side that the meat is on entirely off and cook an additional 5-7 minutes.. your basically looking for an internal temperature of  120° - 125° (f) for a rare roast, 130° - 135° (f) for medium-rare and 140° - 145° for medium.. remove from grill when it's reached the temperature you want and allow to sit for 10 minutes before slicing against the grain and serve..
twice baked taters (my taters are about as simple as they get.. my mom's been making them since i was little.. she always added cottage cheese i replace that with greek yogurt.. super simple..)
prep time: 10 minutes
cooking time: 1 hour to bake the potatoes then 30 or so to twice bake them
servings: 4
4 large russet potatoes
1 cup light sour cream
1 cup low fat greek plain yogurt
3 tbls. butter
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
salt and pepper
olive oil
pre heat your oven to 400° (f) scrub your potatoes.. then i poke them with holes and then i put a little olive oil on my hand and rub it all over the potatoes.. put in the oven on the middle rack and bake for about an hour.. you want them tender to the touch.. remove from oven and when cool enough to handle, slice in half and scoop out the innards into a medium mixing bowl and place your boat/canoe now in a casserole dish.. once they are all done add your sour cream, yogurt, butter, cheese, salt and pepper to the poatoes and mash together.. i use my potato masher i use when making mashed potatoes.. then replace the potato mixture back in the boats.. drop the temp down to 350° (f) and put them back in the oven for about 20-30 minutes more to get the cheese melted..
spicy grilled corn on the cob
prep time: 15 minutes
cooking time: 20-25 minutes
servings: 4
4 ears of corn
2 tblsp. butter, melted
your favorite spices it's really whatever you want.. i like mine with chili powder, cayenne and paprika, pete likes his with garlic salt and italian seasoning.. shell and jake like theirs with salt and pepper
ok people have asked me why i don't cook my corn in the husk.. i am allergic to the silk.. ya know that stringy stuff on the husk well it makes my hands itch and break out and it's horrible.. so pete just removes the husks and silk for me as soon as we get home once i buy it.. i take my melted butter and with a pastry or bbq brush i brush butter all over the ear of corn then i liberally sprinkle whatever seasoning i am going to use and then wrap in foil.. i usually cook my corn the same time i am cooking my meat so i use the top rack of my bbq and cook for about 20 minutes turning occasionally.. it will start to become tender to the touch (or the tongs i use to flip it) then you know it's ready.. but usually 20-25 minutes is a good estimate..
sorry no picture of this finished they didn't make it in the house before they got eaten they were amazing almost burned to a crisp but we prevented that..
bacon wrapped jalapeno shrimp
prep time: 45 minutes (less if your shrimp are already peeled and deviened)
cooking time: 30 minutes
servings: 4
20 large shrimp, peeled, deviened and rinsed
10 pieces of bacon, cut in half
20 slivers of jalapenos (about 2 jalapenos slivered)
cajun seasoning such as tony chachere
8 wooden skewers soaked in water for about a 1/2 hour before threading them!! (VERY IMPORTANT TO SOAK THEM IN WATER) he he
peel and devien your shrimp.. add a sliver of jalapeno to the back of the shrimp and wrap in bacon.. i used two skewer per kabob so they wouldn't spin.. put 5 on each kabob and grill over a medium grill.. don't do what i did and put on the top rack over your meat.. not a good idea :) you can cook in the oven too i have done this many times.. on a baking sheet in a 400 degree oven 15 minutes per side.. on the grill it takes about 30 minutes as well..  i have heard of par cooking your bacon in the microwave to speed up the process.. i haven't done that so i don't know the details :/ sorry.. Well that was my crazy day.. as crazy as it was we had such a good time.. i hope you were able to spend some time with your family..

enjoy and get cook'n!!