Tuesday, April 30, 2013

cinco de mayo round up...

i love mexican food!! here are a few of my favorites just in time for cinco de mayo.. this weekend i plan on making some fun and funky mexican dishes so check back next week :) 

Friday, April 26, 2013

oven roasted artichoke {easiest side dish ever}

i {heart} artichokes.. ever since i was little they have always been one of my favorite veggie side dishes.. i grew up eating them with mayo or flavored mayo.. pete grew up dipping them in melted butter.. over the years neither of us has really changed sides.. i still dip mine in mayo and he dips his is melted butter or nothing at all.. the way i have always made them was to cut off the bottom stem, cut off the top, boil then serve..after this recipe i will never never make it that way again.. this was soo easy.. no mess no fuss.. and sooo flavorful!! i am kicking myself why i never made it this way before.. i saw this recipe here on pinterest and i thunked myself on the forehead and thought ok that's the best thing ever and i immediately went to the store bought artichokes and make them.. i have since then made them 2 more times {its only been 2 weeks since i found the recipe} but it's so good.. so easy.. i promise you will be so happy when you try this recipe..

roasted artichokes

prep time: 10 minutes
cooking time: 1.5 hours
servings: 4


2 large artichokes
4 cloves of garlic, minced {2 cloves per artichoke}
1 lemon {1/2 and juiced - each artichoke gets the juice of a 1/2 a lemon}
olive oil
salt and pepper


slice off the top third of the artichoke with a sharp knife.. cut off the stem right at the base of the artichoke...  tear of a large square of foil and place on a baking sheet and then place one artichoke in the middle of the foil and open up the leaves a bit with your fingers....  tuck the minced garlic into the artichoke leaves...  sprinkle with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper all over then squeeze 1/2 a lemon over it and drizzle olive oil over the top.... {one time i used lemon oil i made which was awesome, i will post that recipe next week} repeat with each artichoke.. once seasoned wrap the foil up around each artichoke, sealing it well... if you're not using heavy duty aluminum foil, wrap them with an extra sheet of the regular kind...repeat with the remaining artichokes.. place wrapped artichokes on a baking sheet and roast in a preheated 425 degree {f} oven for an hour to an hour and a half.. if you're using small artichokes, check after one hour... {you want them to somewhat soft when squeezed with tongs} when done remove from the oven and let the artichokes sit until cool enough to handle, then unwrap... the smell will be amazing.. place in a bowl  and serve with your favorite dip, melted butter or even plain with no dip these are still amazing.. i like to take a about a 1/4 of mayo, 1 minced garlic, 1/2 a lemon juiced and a tablespoon of parmesan and mix it together and dip my artichoke in it.. yummyyyyyyyyyy..

Thursday, April 25, 2013

beef stir fry just like mom used to make.. ok sorda.. kinda.. not really.. but still good.

growing up one of my mom's favorite things to make was stir fry.. for me not so much.. mainly because on those nights i was put in charge of chopping all the veggies and my mom's stir fry was full of fresh veggies.. once it was time to eat i enjoyed it but i didn't like the prep work... then i saw this recipe here on pinterest and thought i could adapt it and and it would give me the same "feel" as my moms stir fry without the hard work... this sauce is to die for.. i absolutely love it.. i recently marinaded a london broil steak in it and grilled it.. it was so good..  i have to say if you enjoy stir fry this recipe is definitely one to try if you have never had it.. it's worth trying!!

to save time i cooked the veggies and meat separately.. the wok is perfect for the veggies but you want some color to your meat so i used the iron skillet..

i love my iron skillet.. see the sauce getting caramelized and it added such a rich luscious color to the meat.. it was so good..

once everything was cooked i combined it all in the iron skillet, and bonus.. all those wonderful bits and "stuff" that were in the bottom of the pan from cooking the meat.. it made the dish!!

stir beef with veggies

prep time: 15 minutes
cooking time: 30 minutes
servings: 8


1.5 lbs. flank steak, sliced into strips
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
3 tblsp. sherry
2 tblsp. agave
2 tsblp. cornstarch
1 tbslp. minced fresh ginger
1 tsp. sriracha {more if you like more heat}
1 large bell pepper, seeded and sliced into strips
1 large onion, sliced
8 oz. of fresh snow peas, ends trimmed
3 scallions, diced green and white part
salt and pepper
olive oil
crushed red pepper


in a medium mixing bowl, combine soy sauce, sherry, agave, cornstarch, ginger and sriracha.. add  your cut up meat to a zip lock and pour the sauce over the meat and seal and place in the fridge for 1-6 hours before cooking {over night would be wonderful}.. before you cook your meat remove it from the fridge and bring it up to room temperature, then in a heavy iron skillet heat two twirls around the pan of olive oil over high heat.. with tongs add enough to the pan that will allow it to cook evenly and not on top of each other.. once meat is cooked {you want the meat to get as brown as it can as quickly as it can, if you cook it to long it gets chewy} and getting a wonderful brown color remove to a plate and continue with the remaining meat until done.. in a wok over medium heat add 1 twirl around the pan with olive oil and then add your bell pepper, onion and snow peas.. cook until tender.. when done remove from heat.. once all your meat is done add back to the iron skillet with any accumulated juices on the plate, any left over marinade in the zip lock and the veggies you cooked.. stir to combine and turn the heat to simmer.. add 1/2 scallions and crushed red pepper and stir to combine.. after about 10 - 15 minutes of simmering, check for spices it might need a little salt and pepper at this point.. serve over fried rice and sprinkle with scallions.. { i added  little more crushed pepper to mine}
enjoy and get cook'n!!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

take my word for wednesday it's wing wednesday!! bbq'd grilled chicken wings


i might have mentioned before i love wings.. it's actually an obsession.. for years every friday night we would meet tina and lo at buffalo wild wings aka bww aka b-dub, etc.  for an order of wings and a beer or two or oh hell alotta beer while we still do that occasionally we do now venture out to other restaurants.. but i still have my obsession with wings and i love to make them!! in fact i made them twice this past weekend.. once for dinner friday night and once for lunch the next day!! 2 different ways.. the wings i made friday night are my go to recipe.. very simple.. no frills.. in fact i think the recipe i posted is like the 2nd recipe i ever posted on my site.. pizza and wings.. i don't change the recipe up very often.. only changing the sauce for the wings..but saturday i was feeling adventurous.. maybe a little dangerous.. i thought ohh what if i baked them for about a 1/2 hour.. then finished them off on the grill with bbq sauce and made them sticky and sweet and a little charred.. {and yes these type conversations go on in my head daily.. he he } the results were amazing.. shell could not get over how good they were.. and she usually doesn't like my wings... she and her dad fought over who got to eat the left overs..

bbq grilled chicken wings:

a bag of frozen chicken wings
1 cup of your favorite bbq sauce {i used sweet baby rays}

preheat oven to 425 degrees (f)..take a cookie sheet, cover with foil, put a rack over foil.. spray with pam.. arrange your chicken wings on rack and spray the wings with pam.. cook for about 15 minutes then flip them over and cook another 15 minutes.. preheat your outdoor or indoor grill to medium high.. get it pretty hot and drop it to low.. remove chicken from oven and add your chicken wings to a bowl.. add bbq sauce and toss to evenly coat.. with tongs remove your chicken wings from the bowl and place on the hot grill grates.. cook for about 5-7 minutes then flip them over and cook another 5-10 minutes.. until done.. keep an eye on them because the sugar in the bbq sauce can burn, but you do want them to get slightly charred.. remove from grill and serve immediately.. warning!! they will be sticky, sweet and hot and simply delicious.. is served them with my homemade blue cheese dipping sauce.. recipe found here.. it was a perfect meal to enjoy on the patio during this lovely weather..

enjoy and get cook'n!!

take two tuesday.. left over korean beef/kimchi eggrolls

this post was supposed to show up yesterday.. sorry :(

i made korean short rib tacos w/ homemade kimchi the other day and wow.. double wow.. is all i can say.. i know i know i am women of many words.. but it's all i can think of when describing how good it was.. we had a little left over {actually we wouldn't have but i hid it knowing i wanted to make to egg rolls with it} and pete had been working so hard on projects i decided to whip up these quick and easy appetizers.. and boy were they good too!!

korean beef/kimchi egg rolls

prep time: 10 minutes
cooking time: 10 minutes
servings: 12 appetizers


2 cups left over korean short ribs {recipe found here}
1 cup kimchi {chopped} {recipe found here}
1/2 cup water
oil for frying

spicy soy sauce for dipping {recipe found here}

heat your left over beef in a small non stick skillet over medium heat then add kimchi and cook for about 3-5 minutes.. remove from heat and allow to slightly cool.. pre heat oven to 400 degrees (f).. then have a little bowl of water ready and get out your egg roll wrappers once the above mixture has cooled.. take your wrapper have a corner facing you.. should look like a diamond.. put about 1 tblsp. of the korean beef and kimchi  mixture across the center of the egg roll wrapper.. {corner to corner} {if you check out this website here there are step by step photos...} now fold the bottom up and over the filling.. fold in the two side corners, making it like an envelope.. dab your finger in the bowl of water and run along the exposed corner then roll everything up like a burrito.. place seem side down on a baking sheet.. once they are all made heat 2 tbls. of oil in an iron skillet.. (your not deep frying your pan frying..) once the oil is hot fry them for about 2 minutes each side they should be lightly browned on all sides. i then placed them on a lined baking sheet and placed them in oven for about 4-5 minutes to get them extra crispy.. remove from oven to a serving platter.. add your dipping sauce and serve.. it's so good.. you will compliments.. guaranteed

i made them for pete and then wanted them back for me.. and only me.. all mine.. but i shared them.. even though i didn't want to.. i was a nice wife :) after all he did put a pretty big dent in his "honey do" list..

enjoy and get cook'n!!

Monday, April 22, 2013

korean short rib tacos {crockpot} with homemade kimchi

sorry about the photos i quickly took them when the beef was done and it was sunset and the lighting went wacky.. but please don't let that prevent you from trying these.. i have stated before i do not like stringy meat and i don't like things cooked in a crock pot.. but wow.. a big huge WOW.. this was just amazing.. so flavorful.. i am making them again this week because it was that good.. you really must try it.. you won't be disappointed.. i started noticing more and more recipes on pinterest boasting korean style... so i started pinning them.. i can't wait to try korean sizzling beef, and this korean beef and then i saw this recipe here for crockpot korean beef tacos and decided why not i'd give the ole crockpot thing another go and boy am i glad i did {i used several different recipes to come up with my version of this taco}.. this is now my new favorite meal.. and with the leftovers i made eggs rolls... *sigh* so good..

korean short rib tacos

prep time: 12-24 hours
cooking time: 10-11 hours
servings: 4

galbi aka bbq short ribs:


3 lbs. beef short ribs


1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup agave {or honey}
1/4 rice wine vinegar
2 tblsp. sesame oil
2 tblsp. minced garlic
1 2" knob of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 tsp. siracha {more if your adventerous}
salt and pepper

for the tacos:

corn tortillas
kimchi {recipe below}
sweet and spicy soy sauce {recipe below}


in a medium mixing bowl combine all the ingredients for the marinade and whisk until well incorporated.  add beef ribs to a zip lock bag and pour marinade over ribs and seal bag and keep in the fridge for 12-24 hours.. when ready to cook spray your crock pot dish with pam.. add beef and all of the marinade to the crock pot.. cook on low for 10-11 hours.. stir every few hours to make sure the ribs are getting well coated with the sauce.. when done remove the ribs from the marinade and discard the left over marinade, shred meat and serve in warmed tortillas with kimchi and a drizzle of spicy soy sauce..

so i decided to try my hand at kimchi.. we had a little korean place in boulder for a few months {didn't last long} but while it was there pete and i enjoyed it.. and i had kimchi for the first time and loved it.. now my version isn't real "authentic" because i didn't have korean red pepper.. so i had to improvise but let me tell you it's really dang good.. the first day i made it pete walked into the kitchen and was not impressed he said it stunk like dirty feet.. just what every cook wants to hear about something their making.. but i explained that i had to add fish sauce and it needed to "ferment" in the fridge for a few days before it was ready to eat.. he was skeptical but said he would try it.. well lucky for me he loved it and thought it was very tasty..


prep time: a few days {for soaking and fermenting}
makes about 1 1/2 quarts


1 large napa cabbage
1/2 cup kosher salt
small daikon radish, peeled and sliced thin
1 heaping tablespoon of cayenne pepper
1/2 cup fish sauce
1 1" knob of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. agave


cut cabbage in half lengthwise, then into 2 inch pieces...  discard the root end.. peel and slice the daikon radish.. place cabbage and radish in a large jar {i used 2 mason jars} what i did was put some of the cabbage and radish in then sprinkle with the salt and then continue to layer it until full.. i pressed down on the cabbage each time.. add enough cold water to cover the cabbage.. make sure it's submerged in water.. seal tightly and allow it to sit over night.. drain cabbage into a colander and rinse with cold water. gently squeeze out any excess liquid and transfer to a medium bowl.  now combined the remaining ingredients, cayenne pepper, fish sauce, ginger, garlic and agave in a small mixing bowl and whisk until well incorporated... pour over cabbage and radish and toss with your hands so everything is evenly coated now pack back into your jars {rinse them out too before putting the cabbage back in} and press down so everything is tight.. cover with the lid and put in the fridge for at least 2 days before trying.. if you can 3 or 4 days is better.. it really is good..not fish or funky tasting at all.. a kick but not to much.. and very good in the tacos..

this picture is just the cabbage in the brine..

here is what's left of my first attempt at kimchi.. definately worth making!! i loved it.. i am going to make kimchi fried rice next..
spicy soy sauce
1/2 tblsp. of siracha {more if you like it very spicy}
1 tblsp. of low sodium soy sauce
1 tsp. agave
1/2 tblsp. ginger ale {or water}
combined and keep in air tight container.. i drizzled it over the tacos and used it as a dipping sauce for the egg rolls..
enjoy and get cook'n!!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

grilled asparagus

let me apologize for my absence.. the boston marathon bombings kinda side lined me, a lot of times i write my post during the lunch hour and after the bombing i became obsessed with finding out everything i could and that took up my lunch hour.. :/ i tend to do that, i become obsessed with news.. when i was in 5th grade it got so bad i had pin point ulcers and my dad said i was no longer allowed to watch the evening news or read the paper until i was old enough to handle it.. guess what! i still don't watch it or read the papers.. my mom, my friend helene and facebook basically tell me if there is something i need to know.. ohh and perez hilton of course.. enough about my neurosis, let's talk asparagus.. i've mentioned before it's one of my all time favorite veggies.. i shared with you this simple roasted asparagus recipe, this super delicious roasted asparagus garlic pizza recipe.. also there was open faced asparagus and egg sandwich recipe.. and another favorite is prosciutto wrapped asparagus.. i love asparagus.. this recipe is so simple and easy... tina brought it for dinner the other night and we all instantly liked it.. so this past weekend we had a bbq and pete smoked a pork shoulder for 13 hours and i grilled asparagus, ribs and corn.. {recipes to follow in future posts} you will thank me on how easy this is.. :)

grilled asparagus

prep time: 1 hour
cooking time: 20-30 minutes
servings: 4


1 lb. fresh asparagus
juice and zest of one lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tblsp. balsamic vinegar
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
salt and pepper


cut off the woody end of the stalk and discard then cut into 1 inch pieces... place asparagus in a zip lock bag.. in a small mixing bowl mix the remaining ingredients with a whisk.. pour mixture over the asparagus in the bag, squish it all around and make sure it's all covered.. close tightly and marinate for at least an hour, turning frequently..  heat your gas grill.. add your veggies to a grill basket.. cook over medium heat until tender but still with some snap.. remove from heat and serve immediately..

enjoy and get cook'n!!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

take my word for it wednesday.. italian turkey sausage ragu is so flavorful..

i've mentioned a time or two that pete is italian.. his grandparents on his dad's side both came over from sicily.. shell, bob and i are going to new york for shell's graduation and bob suggested we go to ellis island and show shell where her great grandparents are recorded.. i am rather excited.. believe me that trip will be food documented for sure..so back to pete being italian.. every sunday growing up his family had sunday supper.. and lasted well into the 90's.. then with all of  us moving in different parts of the valley it got reduced to once a month.. then once every few months.. but as a mother of a kid who doesn't live at home now i try to have the kids over as often as possible.. and well when that does happens pete a lot of times asks for an old family favorite.. since we now use turkey instead of beef this family favorite got a revamp and it was well received.. it's rich and thick and deep with flavor.. try it you'll like it.. and check back next week.. the kids are coming to dinner this weekend and we are smoking ribs, pork shoulder, salt and mozzarella.. i can't wait..

turkey italian sausage ragu

prep time: 45 minutes
cooking time: 2 1/2 hours


olive oil
2 carrot, finely chopped (i used my mini food processor)
1 large onion, finely chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb italian turkey sausage, casing removed
1/4 cup of red wine
1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes with it's juice
2 tblsp. tomato paste
1 cup chicken broth
1 tblsp. chopped fresh italian herbs {thyme, oregano, basil & rosemary} if you don't have fresh you can use dried
salt and pepper
1 tsp. crushed red pepper


in a heavy bottom skillet heat oil up (2 turns around the pan), add carrots and onions and cook over medium heat stirring occasionally until soft and just beginning to brown about 8 minutes... add garlic and cook another 3-4 minutes... using a slotted spoon remove veggies to a plate and set aside... 2 more turns around the pan with olive oil add sausage and cook until brown and crumbly.. add tomato paste and cook until well incorporated.. about 3-5 minutes.. then add red wine and simmer until most is evaporated, scraping up all the tasty bits from the bottom.. now add crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, herbs, reserved veggies you set aside and salt and pepper... reduce heat to low/simmer and cover and cook for 2 1/2 hours.. check on it occasionally and stirring.. towards the end about 30 minutes before your ready to serve add crushed red pepper..when checking on it if it's to thick add more chicken broth or if to thin add a tablespoon of tomato paste.. serve over pasta with a crisp salad and crunchy bread...

enjoy and get cook'n!!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

"deviled" egg salad sandwich

i posted yesterday how i love deviled eggs and they are so easy.. well i also love egg salad sandwiches.. i have noticed upon seeing how other people make their egg salad i make mine differently.. i basically make the creamy filling for a deviled egg then chop up the whites and add it.. i added some fresh chives this time because well my chives are doing so well.. i've been adding them to everything.. and see those gorgeous blossoms? i made chive blossom vinegar this past weekend.. keep an eye out for that post soon.. now on to the ohh so simple but very tasty sandwiches..

after easter i realized i had several hard boiled eggs left over, and short of eating them all plain with a little salt, i felt compelled to make egg salad.. which wasn't such a chore or punishment since i love egg salad and it's so easy..

deviled egg sandwich

prep time: 15 minutes
cooking time: 15 minutes
servings: 4 sandwiches


8 hard boiled eggs, {here are some tips and tricks to get that perfect egg}
1/2 cup mayo
2 tblsp. prepared horseradish
1 1/2 tblsp. low/no sugar sweet pickle relish
2 tsp. honey mustard
1 tsp. paprika
1 tblsp. chopped fresh chives
salt and pepper, to taste

8 slices of bread

hard boil your eggs, use the site referenced above for best results.. once they are cooled peel and cut in half, remove yolk to a medium mixing bowl and set the whites aside.. once all of the yolks are in the bowl mash with a fork.. then add mayo, horseradish, mustard, relish and paprika, chives, salt and pepper and mix well. you want it smooth.. chop up whites parts and add to egg yolks.. stir to combine.. you can now either eat it like this, add to a bowl of fresh torn lettuce, bread or serve with crackers.. i like to eat it with either crackers or like on this occasion i piled it on whole grain bread with a little lettuce..

enjoy and get cook'n!!

Monday, April 8, 2013

spicy deviled eggs

my cousins brought deviled eggs to easter this year.. they peeled over 48 eggs!! they deserve a huge shout out and thank you!! you guys rock.. there was only a few eggs left after the party and i promptly ate them.. you see i love deviled eggs.. and i especially love them a little spicy.. i whipped these up this past weekend because i didn't get enough on easter.. they are so easy and yummy..

spicy deviled eggs

prep time: 15 minutes
cooking time: 15  minutes
servings: 6


6 hard boiled eggs, {here are some tips and tricks to get that perfect egg}
1/4 cup mayo
1-2 tblsp. prepared horseradish
1 tblsp. low/no sugar sweet pickle relish
1 tsp. honey mustard
salt and pepper, to taste
hot paprika and cayenne mixed {about a tsp. of each combined}

hard boil your eggs, use the site referenced above for best results.. once they are cooled peel and cut in half, remove yolk to a medium mixing bowl and set the whites aside.. once all of the yolks are in the bowl mash with a fork.. then add mayo, horseradish, mustard, relish and salt and pepper and mix well.  you want it smooth.. pipe or spoon into the egg whites.. {i put the egg yolk filling into a small zip lock, cut off the corner and pipe my filling into my egg whites} sprinkle with paprika/cayenne mix and put in fridge until ready to serve..

enjoy and get cook'n!!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

take my word for it wednesday.. easter was wonderful and so were these chocolate chip monkey muffins

this year for easter i focused on bread type desserts.. i made grandmommys zucchini breadlemon monkey bread, cinnamon monkey bread {i made it the same way as the lemon but instead of lemon zest i added cinnamon.. but everything else was the same..i omitted the lemon glaze for the cinnamon loaf..} i made my carrot cake sandwich cookies and over night french toast aka bread pudding.. then i found this recipe rhodes monkey muffins and thought it would work out great with the rest of the desserts.. these muffins were pete's favorite.. they were sticky, chocolaty.. gooey and luscious..

even before they were cooked they looked yummy...

i tossed extra chocolate chips on top..

mine where a little over loaded and oozed all over my muffin tray..

but no matter if they made a mess or not they were soo good..

once you pull them out they are sticky and fall apart.. pete called them monkey nuggets..

chocolate chip monkey muffins

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


12 rhodes dinner rolls, thawed but still cold
6 tblsp. butter, melted
2 tblsp. corn syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup chocolate chip


cut each dinner roll into 6 equal pieces.  in small bowl, combine butter and corn syrup and stir until well mixed.. in another bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon and mix well.. dip 6 roll pieces at a time in the butter mixture and then roll in the sugar mixture.. place 6 pieces in each well sprayed muffin cup of a 12 cup muffin tin.. i then added a few chocolate chips while i was layering the pieces.. then repeat with remaining roll pieces.. cover and allow to let double in size.. preheat oven to 350 degrees {f} and bake for 15-20 minutes.. cool 3-4 minutes before removing from pan.. i removed them from pan once they were completely cooled i put in an air tight container until the next day then i got them out and allowed them to get to room temperature, about an hour, before putting on the serving table..

see they kinda fell apart once they got to room temperature but no matter they were yummy..

just to show you proof of the name of the blog.. this is my kaotic mess on saturday afternoon..

i still had so much to do and kept having to send pete to the store i added new things to the menu i wanted to make..

 k a o t i c

ha.. luckily i got it organized and ready of the party.. unlike above..

we made 10 baskets..see the "go snacks" box? i ran out of easter baskets and so i had to improvise and use the box.. the little boy who got it loved it he he 

 the dessert table..

friends joined us..

the kids loved playing in the grass..

smiles all around..

 good food..

aww amelia wasn't quite sure about all the people..

little jaxy got a teo pete mustache shirt..



kids opening their baskets..

amelia finally warmed up and loved playing with all her basket goodies..

all the girls looked so cute in their easter dresses.. 

each child was assigned a color and they could find eggs in their color.. here is ollie finding one of his "blue" eggs..

jake and sam.. love their smiles..
i hope you had a wonderful easter.. and remember
enjoy and get cook'n!!