Friday, March 23, 2012

Days of Summer



Well, Spring has finally arrived. At least the Spring rain has arrived--I think it has rained every day for the last 5 days. The grass is green, but I long for some sunshine. These pics were taken of Schnitzel and Boo last summer after they had been groomed. Don't they look cute! It won't be long doggies until summer is here, and then I will probably be saying something about needing a cool, rainy day. Or maybe not !




Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Mexican Night!

Spanish Rice

Ingredients:

8 slices Bacon, cooked and crumbled

1 cup Onion, Diced

¼ cups Green Bell Pepper, Diced

16 ounces, weight Can Of Tomatoes, Diced

1-½ cup Water

¾ cups Rice, White, Long-grain

1 teaspoon Frank's Hot Sauce, Use More If You Like It Spicy

1 teaspoon Salt

¼ teaspoons Black Pepper

1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar

½ teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce

Preparation:

In a 10-inch skillet, cook bacon till crisp; remove. To the bacon grease, add onion and green bell pepper and sauté until tender but not brown. Add tomatoes, water, rice, hot sauce, salt, pepper, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce and half of the bacon. Cover and simmer 35-40 minutes. You will need to stir it a few times to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Top with remaining bacon. Serves 6. (If you have a rice cooker, you can cook the bacon and sauté the onion and pepper on the stove and then transfer everything to the rice cooker, which is what I do.)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

I must have been crackers!


He thought he was so funny. He jumped in my recliner as soon as I got up. Rule #1: Never give a two year old a sleeve of crackers if you want said recliner to be cracker free. On the upside, I have a dog cleanup crew who stepped in and ate every crumb!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Dinner Theatre, Y'all

Okay, so Sunday offered me the chance to go to dinner theatre at The New Theatre Restaurant. I was treated to an early birthday present. I had never seen Pump Boys and Dinettes, so I was very excited. I love musicals. Gregory Harrison starred, and I tell you, it doesn't look like he has aged a bit since his days on Trapper John, M.D.

The best part of dinner theatre, it has dinner attached to it. You get to dine, then sit back and relax while you are entertained.

My favorite dish was Sweet Pea Mélange...tender sweet peas and edamame (baby soy beans) all simmered in a light dill sauce. Note to self: Look for a recipe for this!

Okay, the farm raised catfish (marinated in a seasoned buttermilk, deep fried to a golden brown and served with a citrus aioli) and the pan seared tenderloins (tender prime beef marinated over-night, pan seared and served with a pomegranate demi-glace) weren't bad either.

Here is the full menu...let the drooling begin!

baby carrots… tossed in a brown sugar, orange-bourbon glaze

granny's green beans …
over-cooked to perfection, southern style, with roasted garlic and sweet onions.

sweet pea mélange
tender sweet peas and edamame (baby soy beans) all simmered in a light dill sauce.

pasta florentine
tender trottole pasta tossed in a spinach, basil, and parmesan sauce.

roasted garlic potatoes…
our signature mashed potatoes with sweet roasted garlic.

polenta
one of our house specialties, prepared with mild queso fresco, finished with a roasted tomato sauce.

grilled pork brisket…
tender pork brisket infused with a vegetable marinade, served with spiced apples.

farm raised catfish…
marinated in seasoned buttermilk, deep fried to a golden-brown and served with a citrus aioli.

grilled chicken… tender, marinated chicken breast grilled over an open flame and served beside a fresh oregano-lemon sauce.

pan-seared tenderloins…
tender prime beef marinated over-night, pan-seared and served with a pomegranate demi-glace.

Chef’s Choice... et tu creole - grilled Italian sausage, smoked ham and grilled chicken sautéed in a creole style fresh tomato sauce.

Bubble Up Enchiladas

A couple of weeks ago, I made Bubble Up Pizza. Then, I found a recipe for Bubble Up Enchiladas. Trader Joe's Enchilada Sauce has been touted numerous times online, so I ventured out and purchased my very own bottle for this recipe. It was pretty tasty. I hope you find it delicious.



Bubble Up Enchiladas

Ingredients:

1 pound lean ground beef

1 jar enchilada sauce (Trader Joe's is the brand I used, but you could use a can of Old El Paso)

1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce

1 can (16 oz.) golden layer buttermilk biscuits (Pillsbury Grands! Jr)

2 cups shredded Mexican Cheese, a mix of Monterrey Jack and Cheddar works!

Extra Ingredients:

Green onions, black olives, salsa, black beans, corn, sour cream, lettuce, tomato

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut biscuits into quarters and place in large bowl. Toss biscuits with enchilada sauce and tomato sauce. Add beef and half of the cheese. You can also add in the beans, corn, green onions and/or black olives at this stage, but that is optional. Toss until well blended. Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Pour biscuit mixture into pan and top with remaining cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until biscuits are done.

Top with a tablespoon sour cream or salsa if you like before serving. I like to put a little tomato and lettuce on top of mine when they are finished cooking.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

If it's Spring...or almost Spring

Roasted Vegetables

There really is nothing more simple than roasting vegetables, and something magical happens in the oven as they roast and caramelize. It is like Harry Potter visits my oven and transforms these vegetables into something else.

Roasted Asparagus

Ingredients:
1 lb fresh asparagus
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt
pepper

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Trim the ends of the asparagus. Place them on a parchment covered cookie sheet. Toss them with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the vegetables for 20-25 minutes. You can also add in some fresh garlic before putting them in the oven. This recipes works with other vegetables as well, including carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower.