Wednesday, July 30, 2014

take my word for it wednesday.. cauliflower crusted "pizza" is ahh-mayy-zing!

 
another wednesday and another day for you to take my word for it!! and this is where I ask you to overlook the funky photos.. this was the first time i had made this pizza and i hadn't planed on sharing it yet.. but it was so freaking good i couldn't wait.. i will be most definitely making this again and i will share with you better photos and other tips.. i work out of the home 36 miles away from my house and this was easy enough to whip it up after work and still eat at a decent time.. this is definitely going to be making it into the menu rotation!!
 

at first the texture is a little weird... but don't let that sway you.. 



you pop it into the oven and it comes out looking kinda like a boboli pizza crust.. 


you then top it with your favorite pizza toppings and stick it back in the oven..


it's seriously delish!! now some bloggers will lead you to believe it "tasted just like pizza" you can't tell difference, etc.. let me tell you that's not true.. it doesn't take "just like" pizza.. but it does taste pretty darn close but on it's own even not comparing it to pizza it's fanfrickentastic!!
 

cauliflower pizza crust

prep time: 15 minutes
cook time: 60 minutes
servings: 1 pizza

ingredients:

crust:

1 head {smallish} cauliflower
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
salt
1/2 tsp. crushed dried basil
1/2 tsp. crushed dried oregano
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 egg {I doubled the recipe and used 1 egg and 1 egg white}

pizza toppings:

pizza sauce {i took a can of diced italian tomatoes in a non stick skillet and reduced it down until there was basically no liquid just a lovely thick sauce.. i cooked it over medium low heat for 30 minutes}
shredded mozzarella
pepperoni or anything else that strikes your fancy on a pizza

directions:

put your pizza stone in the oven on 500 degrees {f} and allow it to heat up for 30 minutes.. {if you don't have a pizza stone i have read that some folks stick a baking sheet in the oven at 450 degrees {f} to heat up.. but i recommend getting a pizza stone it always gives your pizza whether dough or cauliflower a crispier crust}.. wash and dry your cauliflower.. if you get a larger head of cauliflower just make 2 pizzas and increase the other ingredients.. cut off the florets and pulse them in your food processor for about 30-40 seconds.. it turns out like "snow".. put your snow in a microwave safe bowl and zap for 4 minutes.. pour the cooked cauliflower out on a dish/tea towel and allow to cool.  if you don't you will burn your hands and hop around the kitchen like a loon.. so once it's cooled wrap the towel around the cauliflower and wring like there is no tomorrow...  it will shock you how much water will come out, DO NOT SKIP this step if you do your crust will not get crispy.. once you've wrung it for all it's worth pour into a medium size mixing bowl.. add the remaining crust ingredients and combine well.. remove your "fough" from the bowl and put on a piece of parchment paper {you want your parchment paper to be about 6 inch bigger than your crust round} with your hands form into a ball then flatten out and form into a round crust.. about 1/2 inch thick.. then take each side of the parchment paper place it and the crust on the pizza stone.. bake for about 12-15 minutes..{you might want to remove the parchment paper half way through to prevent it catching on fire} you want your crust a golden brown.. remove from oven with a pizza peel.. now top your crust like any pizza.. a little sauce, some cheese.. some pepperoni.. then slide the pizza back onto the pizza stone and cook 5-7 minutes or until cheesy, melty goodness appears.. remove from oven and allow to cool 2-3 minutes then slice up and enjoy!! it really is good and the slices can be eaten just like a pizza they are "sturdy" enough..

 
enjoy and get cook'n!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

take two tuesday.. leftover meatloaf sandwich on grilled parmesan sourdough ..

 
my favorite meatloaf recipe is posted here the best turkey meatloaf.. it's so moist and so delicious... and it makes a wonderful sandwich..i love to make meatloaf intentionally just to have leftovers for a sandwich the next day.. I bet you will too..
 

this sandwich meatloaf sandwich on grilled parmesan sourdough from marie calendars is what inspired todays recipe.. yummy parmesan grilled sourdough is what takes this sandwich over the top.. 


meatloaf sandwich on grilled parmesan sourdough

prep time: 10 minutes
cooking time: 5 minutes
servings: 2

ingredients:

left over meatloaf
mayonnaise
lettuce
tomato, sliced
4 slices of sourdough
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup shredded fresh parmesan cheese

directions:

combine butter and parmesan cheese.. spread each piece of bread with the butter/cheese mixture {only on one side} heat a large non stick skillet over medium heat.. place the bread parmesan cheese down and cook until slightly brown.. remove and on the uncooked side spread mayo, add lettuce and tomatoes and then place 2 slices of left over meatloaf and add other piece of bread.. this is one of my all time favorite sandwiches.. you will not be disappointed!!

enjoy and get cook'n!!
 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

take my word for it wednesday.. valerie's perfect spanish rice is amazing!!

 
it's a pretty bold statement to say something is perfect.. but i think i can say that about this rice.. a lot of my mexican recipes i make are somehow handed down to me from my sis in law camille's family.. today's recipe is from her sister valerie.. valerie is a god send and she is the keeper of the kaotic kitchen.. {the actual kitchen..} she comes once a month and makes sure everything is in its place.. organizes and gets it back to it's glorious  beautiful shine.. then usually 10 minutes later i make something and it's back to it's kaoticness but in those 10 minutes it's beautifully organized and clean.. anyway we were talking about rice and i pouted i had never made spanish rice very well. not sure why but every time i tried it just came out blah.. ho hum.. *shoulder shrug* ok.. not great.. but just ok.. she then gave me this recipe and well that's all changed.. it's so simple.. so basic.. so freaking good!!! do not let the simplicity fool you.. sometimes fancy ingredients and wizbang cooking methods are just not needed.. and this is one of them.. seriously people take my word for it this is awesome rice..
 

perfect spanish rice

prep time: 10 minutes
cooking time: 35-40 minutes
servings: 8

ingredients:

2 cups long grain white rice
2 fresh cut roma tomatoes {i used a can of mexican diced tomatoes *rotel preferred*}
1 small onion, diced small
1 clove garlic, minced
2 - 8 oz. cans of tomato sauce
1.5 cups low sodium chicken broth {more if needed}
olive oil
salt and pepper
1 tsp. cumin
chopped cilantro for garnish {optional}

directions:

in a large sauté pan with lid, heat two twirls around the pan of olive oil over medium heat, add rice and cook rice until lightly brown, add onions and garlic and cook until translucent, about 3-5 minutes, don't let your garlic burn.. add canned tomatoes {if using fresh tomatoes then add them when you add the onions and garlic don't wait the few minutes}, tomato sauce and chicken broth.. add cumin, salt and pepper stir and get everything well incorporated.. then lower heat to low/simmer and cover with the lid on and cook for 15 minutes... after 15 minutes remove lid and  give it a good stir and check if it needs more broth.. cook another 10 minutes with lid on....  keep an eye on it you don't want the bottom to burn.. after the additional 10 minutes remove lid and garnish with cilantro.. serve immediately.. it's so basic yet so simple.. you must try this recipe... {variations would be to add fresh chopped jalapenos or red peppers.. maybe some scallions or black olives...}

 
enjoy and get cook'n!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

tip trick tuesday.. refurbishing old lamps..

  
 
 many many years ago when i was about 17 my mom had a friend that was selling princess house crystal.. i couldn't sell it until i was 18 but she took me to meetings and what not to see if it was something i was interested in... and while once i turned 18 i sold it for a couple of years i was never quite comfortable with the whole come into your house have a party thing but i did love love the product.. by the time pete and i were married i had boxes upon boxes upon boxes of princess house.. from glasses to plates to cookware, i had it all and have most of it still.. i probably have 50 fantasia dinner plates.. not to mention the salad plates and dessert plates.. sheesh i think i might be a hoarder or least a crystal hoarder.. but anyway next to our bed for the last 29 years were princess house lamps.. with 12 year old shades {blah}.. and since we decided to re do our entire master bedroom i put them in with the antique furniture in the guest bedroom {which by the way i had my first guest in 12 years stay there she loved it.. } well 2 nights before we were scheduled to have guests i decided i didn't like the lamps anymore and i was going go get new ones the next day.. pete jokingly said paint them, since you paint everything else.. well guess what!! i did.. and they turned out awesome.. then i realized how icky my lamp shades were.. i wiped them down with a damp cloth and they looked worse.. so guess what i painted them too.. and the result.. i love love my "new" lamps.. and it was so easy!!
 
 
this is what they looked before.. {see the cart they are on.. i re did that too check back to see it's transformation..}
 

i knew i wanted the base color to be purple or lavender but i didn't have purple/lavender so i combined a red and blue chalk paint but it was a little too dark so i added some white chalk paint and the color was perfect.. i painted the entire lamp purple/lavender and allowed it to dry.. i then painted it with annie sloan pure white chalk paint and allowed it to dry.. i then took a light grit sand paper and went over everything giving it a distressed look.. i then combined  annie sloan clear wax and dark wax together and waxed the entire piece then i used a very soft steel wool and ran it over everything.. then i took a soft clean cloth and polished it up.. the entire process from start to finish took about 3 hours for both lamps..


you can see remnants of the princess house etched flower in the glass.. i love it..
 


just a hint of the purple/lavender can be seen peaking through.. 


then i decided to do the lamp shades and i was talking and not paying attention and i painted them the wrong color.. gray.. what the heck was i thinking.. but no fear when it comes to chalk paint anything is possible.. so i just painted over it with a combination of annie sloan olive with pure white mixed in.. and it came out pretty cool and compliments the purple/lavender hues in the room.. i also like that the gray comes through in spots it actually looks really good on the lamp..



for a little added touch i added these butterfly pins.. when my aunt was alive she must have had 200+ butterfly pins.. after she passed we gave them out at her funeral to her friends and family and then i got to keep some of my favorites and so did shell.. i thought they would look nice being displayed on the lamp shade.. 
 
so far i haven't found anything that can't be painted with the chalk paint.. it just gives it an all new or old appearance.. i love it and i am officially hooked.. try it i bet you will like it too.. 
 
enjoy and get diy'n!!
 

Monday, July 14, 2014

homemade ice cream & root beer floats {adult version too}..


for fourth of july i decided to try my hand at home made ice cream.. the menu was pretty simple and easy.. that post with the easy recipes can be found here at easy bbq fare along with a deep dish patriotic fruit pizza.. this ice cream dish is amazingly easy.. and amazingly delicious.. it's got 3 ingredients for the vanilla and 4 for the chocolate chip.. how easy is that?? no fancy ice cream maker.. {i had an ice cream maker at one point but it was in the garage for apparently more than a minute and got donated.. if you've been reading this blog for any amount of time you know my problems with my husband donating my stuff he thinks i don't use any more :( can we say rainbow vacuum, pressure cooker, electric skillet, shell's prom dress.. i could go on and on but won't.. blah..} anyway so since i don't have an ice cream maker i set out to find ice cream that didn't need one and i found the simplest recipe ever... {that recipe can be found here eaglebrand} since i was making homemade ice cream i decided to go one step further and have root beer floats.. i then went even one more step further and served them with root beer float vodka.. yeah that happened..  holy cow!!


homemade vanilla ice cream {no machine required}

prep time: 15 minutes
freezing time: 6 hours
servings: 24

ingredients:

2 cups whipping cream
1 14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk
1 tblsp. vanilla

directions:

in a medium mixing bowl whip cream until soft peaks form.. add sweetened condensed milk and vanilla to whipped cream and gently fold until well combined.. pour into a tight seal container and put in the freezer at least 6 hours.. remove and enjoy.. now this is just the canvas.. you can add anything.. fresh fruit, nuts, crushed cookies, change the vanilla to a different flavor extract.. the possibilities are endless..


for the chocolate chip version of the ice cream i made it like above but added 1 cup chopped up chocolate chunks.. after i folded in the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla and added the chocolate and then poured it into my container ..


root beer float

ingredients:

vanilla ice cream
root beer
root beer or vanilla vodka {optional}

directions:

in a frosty mug {or large glass} add 2-3 scoops of ice cream and then pour root beer.. it will foam up.. allow it to foam up then go down before adding more root beer.. continue to do this until glass is full.. if making it an adult version leave room for 1 shot or 1.5 oz of the vodka.. serve with a straw and spoon!! they are soooooooooooo good with the homemade ice cream..
 

enjoy and get freez'n!!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

throwback thursday.. easy bbq fare and a patriotic deep dish fruit pizza



today is throwback thursday and i am sharing recipes that i have shared with you in the past.. they are some of my favorite because they are easy, quick and yummy.. last weekend was fourth of july and we had a party.. i tried to go simple and make things that i didn't need to spend a lot of time on.. it worked and everyone had a great time..
 
i made homemade ice cream without a maker that i will share with you next week.. but believe you me.. so easy.. 3 ingredients that's it that's all.. so come back next week.. also for dessert i went and bought several boxes of ice cream sandwiches and bars and just passed them out.. i got everything ready before hand, earlier in the day.. when it came time for guests to arrive pete threw the dawgs on the grill and we chatted, cooked, mingled..
 
 
below is a super easy recipe but very good for deep dish fruit pizza.. how can you go wrong with sugar cookie dough, cream cheese and fruit.. you can't!!
 
 
i had a drink station set up for root beer floats with the homemade ice cream and root beer vodka, wine, cranberry, lime and vodka and some other fun drinks.. {i'll share with you next week some of the drinks also}
 
all in all it was a fun night.. we had about 26 guests and everyone had a great time..
 

pimento cheese {a favorite among the kids}

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

ingredients:

4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1+ cup mayo {if you think it needs more add a little bit at a time}
1 jar of pimentos {with some of the 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
dash of tobacco

directions:

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..



grilled beer brats

prep time: 3 hours
servings: 8

ingredients:

2 packages of stadium brats
1 bottle/can of your favorite beer
chili powder

directions:

poke the brats with a toothpick all over and soak them in beer and a tablespoon of chili powder for about 3 hours.. remove them from the beer and discard beer.. cook over a medium hot grill until done.. about 5 minutes on each side.. top with grilled onions and horseradish mustard..



caramelized grilled onions:
 
ingredients:
 
2 onions, sliced
olive oil
salt
1/2 tblsp. chili powder
 
directions:
 
heat a large skillet over medium heat.. add two twirls around the pan with olive oil.. toss in onions, salt and chili powder and cooked until tender and caramelized for 15-20 minutes.. stir to prevent burning.. great on brats and grilled italian sausage..
 


coney island sauce

prep time: 10 minutes
cooking time: 30 minutes

ingredients:

1 lb. ground beef {use turkey if you prefer}
1 can tomato paste
1 tblsp. mustard
1 tblsp. worcestershire  sauce
1/2 tblsp. brown sugar
1 tblsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
a few dashes of tobacco

directions:

in a medium pot over medium high heat cook ground beef until no longer pink.. add tomato paste and mix around until well incorporated.. then add the remainder of the chili ingredients.. mix well and turn heat to simmer and let simmer for about 30-60 minutes.. once heated through and all the flavors are well incorporated.. then top your dawg.. a true coney island dawg is bun, dawg, mustard and coney island sauce.. i didn't get a picture of that version :( the picture above is the bun, dawg, sauce, onions and jalapenos.. super yummy nonetheless.. {serve over whatever type dawg you like.. hot and spicy, cheddar, turkey, all beef, etc..}



gullo macaroni salad {another kid favorite}

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

ingredients:

2 cups elbow {or any kind you like i sometimes use spiral, mini shells, ziti, etc.} macaroni, cooked, rinsed, and drained
2 cups cooked, peeled and cleaned salad/bay shrimp {sometimes i can't find the little shrimp so i use regular shrimp and cut them in 1/2 or in 1/3's}
1/2+ cup mayonnaise {start out with 1/2 cup if to dry add a little more}
salt and pepper to taste

directions:

cook pasta according to directions, while it's cooking  rinse your shrimp well ..cut the larger shrimp in half or in thirds with your kitchen shears if needed.. add to a large mixing bowl.. drain macaroni and rinse with cold water until pasta is no longer hot then add to mixing bowl {you must do this part or your mayo gets all runny and it's really rather unappealing}.. salt and pepper..{i pepper generously} add mayonnaise and mix well.. refrigerate for 2-3 hours before serving.. right before ready to serve check the consistency you might have to add a tad more mayo.. but you be the judge.. this has been a favorite at bbq's for many many years.. i always get asked for the recipe..


deep dish fruit pizza

prep time: 15 minutes
cooking time: 30 minutes
serves: 24 squares

ingredients:

2 rolls {16.5 oz.} pillbury refrigerator sugar cookies, {remove from fridge for about 10 minutes before using}
2 packages of cream cheese {room temp}
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. lemon zest
blueberries
raspberries

directions:

pre heat oven to 350 degrees {f}.. then take a baking sheet and spray with pam.. then press your cookie dough, i just tore off chunks and kinda mushed down onto the cookie sheet, until the baking sheet was covered with the dough.. bake 20-30 minutes until the cookie is cooked and a golden brown.. remove from oven and allow to cool.. while it's cooling combine in a medium mixing bowl {either with a mixer or large spoon} the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and lemon zest until combined and "fluffy".. spread cream cheese mixture over cooled cookie crust and top with your fruit.. i chose to decorate it like a flag since it was 4th of july but in the past i have decorated it with kiwi, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc. and in no particular pattern.. cover and keep in the fridge.. then when ready to serve remove about 20 minutes before..



enjoy and get cook'n!!
 
i hope you had a wonderful 4th of july..


Thursday, July 3, 2014

throwback thursday.. diy herb spikes from yardsale spoons..



today is throwback thursday and i thought this was a fun project i'd share again..we did this one 2 years ago on the fourth of july.. we had planned on going to the lake but pete nixed that idea that year saying it was too windy. i of course pouted and said he was over reacting.. yeah 9 boat capsized and 13 boats got stranded that weekend.. so ::shoulder shrug:: he might have been right.. anywho this is a fun project..

 i picked up  antique silver spoons at a swap meet..



i ordered from harbor freight a couple steel stamping kits.. i ordered a 1/4 " and and an 1/8 "


we pounded the spoons flat with a hammer and we put the spoons on an anvil..



then stamped the word we wanted in.. i then used a black marker colored in the words then wiped them clean..


they came out kinda crooked and i think that's what it gives it it's charm..


pete didn't understand and still doesn't get why the basil one is wrong.. i said you don't read from the bottom up he said i was crazy. ha ha


i just love how they look in the plants..


just to cute :)

 
enjoy and get diy'n!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

take my word for it wednesday.. skillet lasagna is an easy 30 minutes weeknight meal


it's wednesday again and today is when i "beg" you to take my word for it.. and today is no exception.. please please disregard the horrible photos.. i made this recipe on a whim and it was coming together so easy and smelled so heavenly that i knew i wanted to share it with you.. this is one of the best things i have made in one skillet ever!! and i mean ever.. this was so simple, easy, quick and a breeze to clean up after.. what more could you want in a dish?? nothing i tell ya.. he he.. so take my word for it you must make this and soon..



it's all done in a large skillet.. make sure to break up your lasagna noodles or i might use pappardelle pasta next time and make it that much easier..


skillet lasagna

prep time: 10 minutes
cooking time: 35 minutes
servings: 6-8

ingredients:

extra virgin olive oil
1 lb. hot {or mild} italian sausage or ground beef or ground turkey {i used hot italian sausage}
1/2 an onion diced
2 clove garlic, minced or pressed
salt and pepper
red pepper flakes
16-oz box lasagna noodles {or 1 package of pappardelle lasagna noodles}, broke up
1 16 oz. jar of your favorite pasta sauce {or 2 cups of your favorite homemade pasta sauce}
1 jar of water {or 2 cups of water}
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1 cup part skim shredded mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup part skim ricotta cheese

directions:

in a large skillet {with a lid} over medium-high heat, heat two twirls around the pan of olive oil. add onion, garlic, salt and pepper.. cook until translucent {3 or so minutes} don't let your garlic burn... add meat and cook until crumbly and brown.. {about 7 minutes}.. break up the lasagna sheets {or pasta} and lay them over the meat, {you don't want them whole it would be to hard to eat..} then add your pasta sauce and water to skillet {if the noodles are not submerged then add a little more water...} stir until well combined and pasta is covered with the liquid... cover and cook on medium low heat for  about 7-8 minutes...{you want your pasta cooked al dente} stir once or twice making sure all the pasta is getting cooked and not sticking to the bottom.. reduce heat to low and  stir in parmesan cheese... then dollop the ricotta and place the cover back on and cook another 2-4 minutes on low.. remove cover and sprinkle with mozzarella and place cover back on and cook another 5-7 minutes or until the cheese is all melty and gooey.. i didn't do this but i might next time.. *use an oven safe skillet and the last 5 minutes cook in a 400 degree oven without a lid so the cheese gets melty and kinda brown*.. serve with a crisp salad and garlic bread.. i will most definitely be making this again and will take better photos!! but in the meantime.. take my word for it.. this is the best!!


enjoy and get cook'n!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

tip trick tuesday.. fourth of july diy projects..

 
i can not believe we are already into july.. where has this year gone?? we are gearing up for our 4th of july bbq!! i will post more pictures after the party and maybe it will give you some ideas for your next bbq!! but today is about a few projects i did last weekend to spruce up the event.. uncle jimmy got this pallet from work and was going to throw it away.. i asked for it with this project in mind and come sunday morning it was in front of my house.. i was soo excited..
 

i initially was going to use chalk paint on this and pete pointed out that it wasn't really needed so i used basic white, blue and red paint samples from lowes.. they come in little jars and usually run about 3 bucks!


the stars proved to be a little more difficult than initially anticipated.. i first painted the blue part white and got star stickers and planned on painting over them with blue then peeling them off and having perfect white starts.. well ummm yeah that didn't work.. they didn't want to stick and they kept falling off.. so i said screw it and painted it all blue then i tried to trace a star cookie cutter i had.. which did not work either and basically made a mess.. i once again painted over the blue with another coat of blue and got a star stencil and did it that way and it turned out peachy keen..
 

i have it set up in my front entry way to greet my guests.. {yeah we had our front porch poured and it was awesome then we got a leak under the concrete and they had to fix it so i know have a big square which hate :( need to come up with something to cover it}
 


janet's mom and dad gave me the benches and table this weekend.. i am so in love with them i can't wait to paint them!! i got the patriotic pillow, fabric and wooden trays at a yard sale on saturday for 10 bucks.. i love love love them!!
 

now to make some luminaries for night.. i took a pickle jar and mason jar.. painted them both white.. let dry, then wrapped the mason jar with frog tape and added star stickers to the pickle jar.. i then painted them their respective colors.. let try and peeled off the stickers and tape.. 

 
the red bled a little so using a small brush i touched up the white..


 i then scuffed them a little with a sanding block..
 
 
the third jar didn't turn out like i wanted.. i put the stickers on first then painted with white and then blue and it proved to be more difficult getting them off.. no matter it will be night and dark and no one will notice ha :)
 
ohh i have another project in the works which i will show you some of it now so you get the idea..

 
i bought these cabinet doors from savers for 3 for 2.99 they were a aqua blue..
 
 
i painted them white, then one the outer panel i left one white, painted one with blue and the other with red..  
  
 
i will paint the inside panel with black chalk board paint and write U on one, S on another, and A on the last one with a white chalk pen.. i will then display them on plate stands on the eating table..
 
happy fourth of july and remember to
 
enjoy and get diy'ing!!