Thursday, January 30, 2014

take my word for it wednesday.. i've been blogging for 3 years. so let's celebrate with beer, chocolate and bacon.. today i give you a chocolate chip, beer, bacon and pecan tart..

this was supposed post yesterday.. actually if truth be told it was supposed to post on tuesday, my 3 year blogaversary.. but i got busy and didn't have time.. i usually write and upload my posts during the lunch hour but work has been so busy and crazy that i haven't had time.. which is a good thing, makes the day fly by, but a sad thing too.. it means we are suing a lot of people or our clients are being sued.. :/ so please forgive me for posting this late..  
i can not believe i've been blogging for 3 years.. like the old saying goes "days are long but the years are short" it amazes me i have been allowed to share with you my recipes, stories and little bits of my kaotic life.. i appreciate all the kind words and encouragement i receive.. thankfully i have never received a mean or hurtful email or remark.. i've said it before i am not a "blogger" persay.. just a muddled minded cook that if she didn't document her recipes would forget them the next day.. so
THANK YOU FOR BEING A LOYAL READER!! and welcome new comers.. everyone is welcome in my kaotic kitchen.. {pssst the kitchen and house have been more kaotic than usual we've been doing some "remodeling" which, i will share with you when all done.. i can't wait but i love all the changes we are making}
i think you'll forgive me for posting this late because today's recipe is sweet, chocolaty and it has bacon and beer.. seriously what could be better??
i had a dinner  party {sheesh doesn't that sound so formal.. but it was a party where we ate dinner soo..} the other night and when i invite friends/family over for meals i like to do themes.. i know it's a little silly but hey it's me.. the most recent dinner was all things bacon.. we even made bacon.. we got a pork belly, cured it for 10 days then slow smoked it over maple wood.. it was phenomenal... i made apple, spicy bacon and blue cheese canap├ęs, bacon wrapped stuffed jalapenos, bacon vodka {recipe coming soon} to go in the blood mary's, blue cheese wedge salad, a bacon mushroom savory bread pudding {recipe coming soon} and bacon wrapped pork tenderloin medallions with a garlic dijon compound butter {recipe coming soon}.. everything was so scrumptious.. a little on the decadent side but in little doses worth the calories..
we had a new years eve party and this beer was left over so i used it in the tart.. worked out perfect.. thanks lo..

i actually made 2 tarts/pies one with chocolate and one without.. equally delicious. 

beer, bacon, chocolate chip pecan tart {inspired by this recipe here}

prep time: 10 minutes
cooking time: 20-30 minutes
servings: 2 tarts


2 ready made pilsbury pie crusts


1 cup stout beer
4 oz. butter
4 cups pecans
2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 eggs {slightly beaten}
1 cup chocolate chips {optional}
5 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled or diced  {here is the easiest way to cook bacon in the oven}

candied bacon garnish:

3 bacon strips
2 tblsp. brown sugar {cook like the easy bacon above just rub brown sugar all over the bacon before cooking} then crumble or dice


pre heat your oven to 375 degrees {f} let your dough sit out for about 10 minutes, then place them each in a 11" tart pan or pie plate.. using your fingers gently press the dough to the bottom and side of pan.. using a fork prick dough on the bottom.. place dough in oven for 5 minutes.. while it's cooking make your filling.. in a large mixing bowl combine beer, butter and brown sugar.. add pecans, corn syrup, heavy cream, eggs, chocolate chips and then bacon.. mix until well combined.. divide in two and pour in partially cooked pie dough... cook for 15-20 minutes or until firm.. remove from oven and sprinkle with candied bacon garnish.. allow to cool and place in fridge until ready to serve... warning: it's soo rich, so you might want to serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream to cut the richness.. *wink*

enjoy and get cook'n!!

Monday, January 27, 2014

angry eggs aka harissa~tomato and eggs

I've mentioned a few times a wonderful breakfast that tina introduced us too.. tina's tomatoes and eggs .. we love it.. but recently i've been hearing about this moroccan paste called harissa that is spicy, tomatoey but ohh so flavorful..

i thought ohh that would be soo good in tomatoes and eggs.. add just another depth of flavor..

i couldn't find it  anywhere so i ordered it off amazon (for the record i think amazon is the most amazing thing on the internet.. just saying..) let me tell you this paste is so freaking good.. pete was eating this dish and at first said it's not spicy then it creeps up on you and hits you in back of your throat.. which is how this dish got it's name.. pete called them angry eggs!! angry or not.. it's good.. i can't wait to try harissa in other recipes.. if you have any suggestions give me a shout! 

angry eggs 

prep time: 5  minutes
cook time:  1 hour
servings:     2


1/2 onion, diced
1/2 a green pepper, diced
olive oil
1 14.5 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
2 tblsp. harissa
salt and pepper
4 eggs
2 sliced of bacon, cooked and crumbled (optional)

in an oven proof pan heat twice around the pan of olive oil over medium heat add onion and green pepper and cook until tender, add your can of tomatoes and harissa.. cook for about a 1/2 an hour or until most of the liquid from the tomatoes has evaporated.. stirring occasionally.. add salt and pepper and let simmer on medium low another 5 or so minutes.. your looking for it to start to get thick and most of the liquid to be gone.. heat your oven to 350 degrees (f).. crack your eggs into the tomatoes.. like sunny side up eggs.. then put in the oven for another 15 minutes or so.. you want the white part to be cooked all the way through.. now if you like your eggs cooked a little hard then by all means cook them to your liking.. once done remove from oven and let sit for about 3 minutes (it's super hot) scoop onto your plate, sprinkle with crumbled bacon and then take a flour tortilla or toasty bread and dig/dip in..naan bread would be great too :)

enjoy and get cook'n!!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

throwback thursday.. spicy lemon garlic shrimp

i originally posted this recipe here.. and it's been a staple in my house ever since.. we love this recipe.. it's great as appetizer or main dish with a salad or over pasta.. it's ahhmmaazing.. and it's so easy and so yummy.. try it .. you'll love it!!

i used thawed and rinsed shrimp.. 

i cut back on the butter by quite a lot from the recipe that inspired me.. mine almost looks like either broccoli florets or pesto.. but the taste was still there and spot on.. really good..

spicy lemon garlic shrimp

prep time: 5 minutes
cooking time: 15-20 minutes
servings: 4


1 lb. raw shrimp, deveind with shell on, thawed
3 tblsp. butter, cut into pieces, cold
3 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tblsp. parsley
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
juice and zest of 1/2 a lemon

pre heat oven to 375.. rinse your shrimp and arrange them in a single layer on your baking sheet.. {if i hadn't already made bacon on my baking sheet i would have sprayed it lightly with pam}  in the bowl of a food processor, add butter, garlic, lemon juice and zest, salt and parsley.. pulse until well combined.. sprinkle cold butter crumble over the shrimp.. sprinkle with crushed red pepper.. bake for 3-4 minutes and remove from oven.. with spatula mix shrimp around to get it well covered with everything.. bake another 3-5 minutes until shrimp is opaque and butter mixture is melted.. serve immediately with crusty bread {i served it with ciabatta that i had drizzled with olive oil and toasted since my shrimp was not as buttery as the original recipe once i served the shrimp i took the cooked bread and spread it all around the baking sheet allowing the remaining sauce to adhere to the bread.. it was to die for.. believe you me.. soo worth it..}

enjoy and get cook'n!!!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

take my word for it wednesday.. my mom is a pretty darn good cook.. here are her cheesy scalloped potatoes..

my mom doesn't get enough credit.. she is actually a very very good cook.. at one of my bridal showers some 29 years ago, (yes i said one of my.. i had like 4) my mom was sharing a roast recipe with another party goer.. when one of my brides maids and friend since middle school says to me, but loud enough for everyone to hear, i didn't know your mom cooked.. which caused everyone to laugh.. but just because i did a lot of the cooking when i became a teen, didn't mean she stopped all together and if you think about it i had to learn it from somewhere.. so my under appreciated and under credited mother is getting a shout out today!! now while she makes some wonderful dishes, {non of which come from a crock pot},  this recipe is one of the best.. now i wish i could tell you i've loved it since i was a kid and have fond memories of eating it.. but i can't.. cause i've said it before i was a brat and wouldn't eat potatoes.. {except mashed and only on meatloaf} i didn't like baked, fries, or any thing resembling a potato.. i know i was weird!! but after jake was born we went to dinner at my parents and my mom made this dish and i loved it and then regretted all the times i refused to eat it.. {just like the time i finally tried grandmommy's famous *yes it's actually famous* chicken fried steak and the angels sang and the heavens opened and i thought to myself why for the past 30 years would i never try this?? who knows.. i am bundle of non trying food regret} but anywayyyyyyyyyyyyy.....
this recipe has cream, (i used cream because that's what i had, but my mom has used milk or 1/2 and1/2 before) cheese and potatoes.. how bad it could be .. seriously.. it's soo freaking good..  

my mom always did a little trick.. layer some potatoes down, sprinkle with flour, drizzle a little cream, salt, pepper then a sprinkling of cheese.. the flour, cheese and cream combine while cooking into a delightful sauce.. now you can make a roux of sorts and do it that way, but this way is so simple, so easy and pretty much same results!! 

cheesy scalloped potatoes

prep time: 15 minutes
cooking time: 60-75 minutes
servings: 6-8


2 lbs. potatoes, {red, yukon gold, or russet} washed and scrubbed
1 tblsp. butter
1 yellow onion, sliced
approx. 2 cups cream {or milk or half n half}
approx. 1/4 cup flour
2 cups shredded cheese {i recently made it with cheddar and colby jack.. then i made it with guyere and romano} whatever cheese floats your boat is the cheese you should use..
salt and pepper
chopped parsley or chives for garnish {optional and i opted to forget..}


pre heat oven to 350 degrees (f).. butter a large casserole dish.. using a mandolin or slicer, if you have one, slice your potatoes 1/4 inch thick.. {if you don't have one just slice them up pretty thin with a sharp knife, it's what i did for years} layer 1/3 of the potato slices in the buttered casserole dish.. sprinkle with onions, salt, pepper, cream, flour and then a 1/3 of the cheese.. repeat twice more and ending with the cheese.. cover dish with foil {secret to not have your cheese not stick, is to spray your foil with a pam before covering your dish} bake for 40 minutes.. remove the foil and bake for another 20-30 minutes.. check after 20 you want it bubbly and hot.. when done remove from oven, slice, garnish and serve immediately. i can't tell you how great this is.. i served it with ham and then with grilled tri tip.. perfect side for either dish.. you can add ham to it and make it a one dish meal..

UPDATE: my mom reminded me, which i didn't do, is she always puts a few pats of butter with each layer.. she also reminded me that the meal she made that i ate them and finally appreciated them was bbq ribs, corn, baked beans and these potatoes.. yummmmmm...

 enjoy and get cook'n!!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

simple and tasty huevos rancheros

{shell and jake christmas eve} 
i'mmmmmmmmmmm bacccccccccccccckkkkkkkkkkkkkkk.. this year the holiday season was extra kaotic.. 2 days after christmas I had a family dinner party.. {recipes will be coming soon but we had tri-tip, scalloped potatoes and green beans bundles.. oh my word.. good} then for new years i had an impromptu new years party and we served burgers and brats and had a condiment bar.. again very good..
also on christmas morning.. jake asked sam to marry him!!! and she said yes.. we are all so excited and happy for them.. lot's of great things happening..
every christmas morning since i was about 12 we've had huevos rancheros for breakfast.. about a million years ago i had stayed at my cousin andi's house over christmas break and she made me this breakfast.. i fell in love.. i immediately went home and made it for my family.. they loved it.. so my mom said why don't you make this for us on christmas morning and so i did and have for the past 35 years.. i even made it last year when we were in hawaii.. it's tradition.. it's special.. it's awesome!!

huevos rancheros
prep. time: 10-15 minutes
cooking time: 20-30 minutes
servings: 4


canola oil
homemade refried beans
8 farm fresh eggs
8 corn tortillas
4 flour tortillas
sour cream
shredded cheddar cheese


make your homemade refried beans.. while they are cooking cook your tortillas.. in a medium/small iron skillet heat canola oil over medium high heat.. {you want the oil to come up 1/2 way up the pan} once hot, take your tortillas one by one add them to the hot oil.. cook a minute or two on each side.. you want them slightly crispy.. remove from oil and stack on a paper towel lined plate and then cover with foil or tortilla warming container.. when you get to your flour tortillas i usually cut them into fourths.. and fry them also.. once tortillas are cooked, the beans made, i heat up the salsa in the microwave for a minute or so.. now it's time to fry your eggs.. in a medium non stick skillet melt a little butter over medium heat.. cooking 2 eggs at a time {i use two pans} cook your eggs until your desired doneness..

to serve:

add two corn tortillas to your plate.. smear a little refried beans on top.. add your eggs then top with cheese, sour cream and salsa.. serve with a wedge of fried flour tortilla for dipping..  i like to add a little tobacco also..

it is by far one of my favorite breakfasts!! and my mom always sets the table so's such a special morning!! and remember to  

enjoy and get cook'n!!