Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Breakfast Quesadillas

Breakfast Quesadillas

Serves 4-5.

Loved these!  If you want to use eggs instead of Egg Beaters, substitute 8 eggs, but I must say the Egg Beaters tasted great and made prep super easy -- no eggs to crack!
Adapted from: Eat, Live, Run blog

5 large flour tortillas ("Burrito" size)
2 c. Egg Beaters (one small carton)
4 sausage patties, cooked and roughly chopped
Butter, to grease pan
4 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
2 c. raw baby spinach
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
hot sauce and/or salsa, for serving

Scramble the Egg Beaters in a skillet with enough butter so that they don't stick. Season with salt and pepper.  Once scrambled, scoop eggs into a large bowl.  To the bowl, add cooked and crumbled sausage and crumbled goat cheese.  Stir gently to combine.

Heat up a large skillet and drop some butter in. Lay a tortilla flat down then sprinkle some shredded cheese on one half of the tortilla only.  Top with some spinach, then 1/5 of the egg mixture.  Sprinkle some more shredded cheese, and then, when tortilla is golden brown, fold the other half over and remove from skillet.  Allow to cool for a minute or two and then cut into wedges.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Fifty Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

Yes, I did.  I fell into the hype.  I'll have you know, however, that I didn't rush out and buy the book.  I actually waited in line on the public library reserves list.  And starting at number 1,053 (or somewhere around there), I slowly moved to #1 ( much faster than I thought I would...) and picked up my copy at the library.  Okay, so yes, I read it in a week.  And okay, yes, I have gotten on the reserve list for the second book in the series.  I wouldn't say it's a fabulous book, and the writing is average at best, but something about it IS pretty addicting...

Book description on Amazon:

When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms.

Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success—his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family—Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires.

Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Cinnamon Roll Pulls

Cinnamon Roll Pulls

Serves 4-6.

Let me share something with you: I've been wanting to tell you about this recipe for a while.  The first time I had it -- thank you, Cheryl! -- I was too overwhelmed with deliciousness to even think about snapping a photo.  The second time, I still didn't make it myself, but I HAD to take a picture (above) to send to my mom ("YOU HAVE GOT TO TRY THIS, MOM!").  The third time, I finally made it myself (below), and apparantly went a little overboard on the cinnamon sugar and a little UNDERboard on the powdered sugar glaze.  I'll have you know that it didn't change the experience.  Still one of the most delicious things I've ever eaten.  The. most. delicious. things. I. have. EVER. eaten.
Don't let another day in your life pass by without making this.  Brew some coffee, invite over a few friends, and... GO!
Source: Plain Chicken

1 unsliced round loaf sourdough bread
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 cup sugar
1 1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 cup powdered sugar
1-2 Tbsp milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

To make Vanilla Honey Butter: Whip butter and 1/4 cup powdered sugar together until smooth; stir in honey and vanilla. Set aside. (You can use regular butter if desired)

Cut the bread lengthwise into 1/2" slices, without cutting through the bottom crust. Spread vanilla honey butter in between slices. Rotate the bread 90 degrees and slice the bread again into 1/2" pieces, without cutting through the bottom crust. Spread more vanilla honey butter in between new cuts. This doesn't need to be perfect - just make sure there is lots of butter in between all the cuts. Combine sugar and cinnamon. Generously sprinkle in between all cuts. (You may have extra butter and cinnamon sugar. It will just depend on how large your bread loaf is.)

Wrap in foil; place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until bread is warm. Unwrap cinnamon bread and place on serving platter. Combine powdered sugar and milk - adding milk until you get the consistency desired. Drizzle icing over bread and serve immediately.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Pineapple Pork Chops

Pineapple Pork Chops

Serves 4.

Tasty and perfect summer recipe.  Get these chops marinating and then fire up the grill!
Inspired by: Pork

pork chops, 3/4-inch thick 
1 6-oz can pineapple juice, unsweetened (3/4 cup)
3 scallions, white parts sliced into thin rounds
3 tablespoons ginger, peeled and minced
3 tablespoons soy sauce, reduced-sodium
2 tablespoons Asian sesame oil, dark
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
3/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
4-8 slices pineapple

Mix pineapple juice, white parts of scallions, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, pepper and salt together in large bowl.  Remove a small amount to marinate pineapple slices with, and then add chops to the large bowl.  Cover both containers and refrigerate for 2 to 10 hours.

Prepare a medium-hot fire in grill. Brush grill grate clean and lightly oil grate. Remove chops from marinade, shaking off excess marinade. Do not pat dry. Discard remaining marinade. Grill chops directly over heat, turning once, until done.  Remove chops from grill, set aside, and then grill pineapple slices, quickly flipping after only a minute or two.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Crash Potatoes

Crash Potatoes

Serves 6.

Mine didn't "smash" as well as PW's appear to, so my presentation wasn't spot on, but they still tasted great.  And our guests offered rave reviews, as well.
Source: Pioneer Woman

12 whole New Potatoes (or Other Small Round Potatoes)
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Kosher Salt To Taste
Black Pepper To Taste
Rosemary (or Other Herbs Of Choice) To Taste

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add in as many potatoes as you wish to make and cook them until they are fork-tender.

On a sheet pan, generously drizzle olive oil. Place tender potatoes on the cookie sheet leaving plenty of room between each potato.

With a potato masher, gently press down each potato until it slightly mashes, rotate the potato masher 90 degrees and mash again. Brush the tops of each crushed potato generously with more olive oil.

Sprinkle potatoes with kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper and fresh chopped rosemary (or chives or thyme or whatever herb you have available.)

Bake in a 450 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

Friday, June 8, 2012

New York-Style Crumb Cake

New York-Style Crumb Cake

Makes about 24 big squares, or 35 smaller squares.

Leaving for the beach tonight/early tomorrow morning!  Vacations are awesome.  You want to know what's equally awesome?  This crumb cake.  Because the crumb topping is thick and almost a little bit crunchy, and the cake below is dense, moist, and delicious.  Yum.
Source: Nutmeg Nanny blog

1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, warm
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/3 cups sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For topping:
Mix both sugars, cinnamon, and salt in medium bowl and whisk to blend. Add warm melted butter and stir to blend. Add flour and toss with fork until moist clumps form (topping mixture will look slightly wet). Set aside.

For cake:
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Butter 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat room-temperature butter in large bowl until smooth. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating until well blended after each addition. Add sour cream and vanilla extract and beat just until blended. Add flour mixture in 3 additions, beating just until incorporated after each addition. Transfer cake batter to prepared baking dish; spread batter evenly with rubber spatula or offset spatula. Squeeze small handfuls of topping together to form small clumps. Drop topping clumps evenly over cake batter, covering completely (topping will be thick). Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean and topping is deep golden brown and slightly crisp, about 1 hour. Cool cake in dish on rack at least 30 minutes.

DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool completely. Cover and let stand at room temperature.Cut cake into squares and serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

BBQ Chicken Quinoa

BBQ Chicken Quinoa

Serves 2-4.

Light and healthy.  Perfect for summer.  And even The Mister loved it and returned for seconds.
Source: What's Gaby Cooking? blog

1 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 cup corn
1/2 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup shredded BBQ chicken
1 avocado, chopped
2 tbsp White Cheddar cheese, shredded
2-4 tbsp BBQ sauce
2 scallions, chopped
cilantro for garnish

In a large bowl, toss together the quinoa, corn, black beans, chicken and avocado. Season with salt and pepper

Transfer mixture onto a bowl and top with shredded cheese, BBQ sauce, scallions and cilantro.

Serve warm or at room temperature

Monday, June 4, 2012

Prune Juice Marinade

Prune Juice Marinade

Sounds weird, right?  Don't be intimidated.  It's a great marinade, and you'd never know there was prune juice unless you made it!  This marinade is a Chinese recipe used primarily with pork tenderloin, but is said to also taste great with chicken, beef, turkey, and venison.
Source: PruneJuice

1/2 c. prune juice
1/4 c. soy sauce
3 T. extra virgin olive oil 
1 T. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 t. garlic powder
3/4 c. ketchup
1/2 c. sugar

Add prune juice, soy sauce, extra virgin olive oil, fresh squeezed lemon juice, garlic powder, tomato ketchup, and white sugar into a mixing bowl. Using a metal whisk, rapidly stir these ingredients together until you have a smooth and even marinade, and all of the sugar granulates have fully dissolved.

Add meat to bowl and allow to marinate for a few hours or overnight, if time permits.