Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Vidalia Onion Fig Sauce

I found this stuff while I was in Williamsburg, VA last weekend for a half marathon.  (I came in 2nd female, hooray!)

I had lunch at the Cheese Shop, and then had to browse their shelves because they had so many yummy things for sale.  I drooled over lots of things but of course they were all rather pricey and I was trying not to spend any money. In the end, this sauce was just too tempting to pass up.  I have not regretted the purchase, it's delicious!  I'm going to be so sad when I run out...

I have used this sauce twice so far.  Once with thin-sliced skillet steak, and once with boneless pork chops.  Both times, I marinated the meat in the fridge for a few hours before baking in the oven at 425.  The steak took less than 10 minutes because it was so thin, the pork took about 20 minutes.

Meal the First:  Steak on a bed of Quinoa

Meal the Second: Pork with Smashed Basil-Garlic Peas and Quiche

Photos to Salivate Over

Carrot Cake with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting
find the recipe here
 (the only difference this time is that I added about 2 tbsp of pumpkin butter to the frosting)

Monster Salad of Deliciousness
50/50 spinach/arugula mix, carrot, radish, strawberry, zucchini,
mushrooms(cooked in bacon grease), shrimp, homemade salad dressing

Perfect 1 Serving Quiche
filling: egg mixture(with fresh basil added), spinach, mushrooms, bacon
find the approximate recipe here

Salmon-Broccoli-Mac w/Bacon-Guinness-Cornbread
I was going to link to my standard mac n cheese recipe...but it seems I've only posted variations.
I guess the important thing to know with this one is...I used tomato soup instead of milk.
And I put broccoli under the noodles and salmon on top.

Cornbread recipe here

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Bacon Guinness Cornbread

So much deliciousness in one place!

I am LOVING the facebook posts from Foodies Like Us !  Last week they posted this recipe and I knew I would have to try it out.  Bacon and beer?  In bread?  Count me in! 

The recipe called for 6 slices of bacon, and I only had 4.  I think next time I will use 8-10...


4 slices bacon
1 1/2 c cornmeal
1 1/2 c whole wheat flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
3 large eggs
1 c Guinness
1/2 c milk
1/3 c sour cream
1/2 c melted unsalted butter


Chop the bacon into little pieces and fry it. (Save the grease!)

Mix together the dry ingredients.

Whisk together the milk and eggs, then add them to the dry ingredients.

Add the cream and beer.

Add the melted butter and bacon grease.

Add the bacon.

Pour into a greased pan.  (I used 2 different pans, I loaf tin and a square cake pan)

Bake at 375 for 30-35 minutes.  Let cool in pan for 20-30 minutes, then remove to wire rack to finish cooling. 

It may be a bit crumbly for slicing while it's warm, but it slices well after it cools.


using exact measurements is no fun...this is how I measure "1/3 c of sour cream"

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mini Quiche

I was invited to a joint birthday/mother's day party yesterday, and I wanted to bring some food.  I love excuses to play in the kitchen...  I came home from school with 3 gallon ziploc bags full of spinach straight out of the garden last week, and I knew I wouldn't be able to eat that many salads by myself!  I thought about making a giant salad to bring, but salad is boring.  And not all that much fun to make.  So I decided to try making mini quiches.  There were several times during the process where I was rather afraid that it would turn out disastrous and I would end up wasting all that spinach, but I lucked out.  The quiches were delicious. 

lots and lots of fresh spinach, just washed

 I cooked the spinach with nothing but the water that was still clinging to the leaves from the washing

it drives me crazy that so much fresh spinach becomes so little cooked spinach...

make sure you sqeeze as much water as possible out of the cooked spinach

Pie Shell

I've always used crisco for my pie crusts...but it's been awhile, and when I unearthed the crisco from the depths of a cupboard and opened it...it looked kind of...orange.  So I figured I had better use butter instead.

1/2 c butter
1/2 c wheat flour
1 c white flour
1/2 tsp salt
3-5 tbsp cold water

I put the salt and butter in a mixing bowl, then cut the butter up into chunks before adding the flour.  Then I used a pastry cutter to break up the butter smaller and mix it into the flour.  I added the water one tbsp at a time, until the dough seemed like it would all hold together...I forget how many I used, but it's usually about 5. 

I rolled the dough out and used a small glass to cut rounds, which I then put into a mini-cupcake tray.

I baked the the crust at 425 for about 15 minutes.

The Egg Mixture

4 eggs
1/3 c heavy cream
handful of shredded cheese
garlic powder

The Quiche

While the crusts were baking/cooling, I cooked some bacon.  When the crusts were cool, I put a little bit of spinach in each one, then poured the egg mixture on top.  I put bacon pieces on top of half of the quiches. 

pouring the egg stuff got a lil messy...

Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes.

I was worried that they would get stuck in then pan but they actually popped out pretty easily, all I had to do was stick a knife around the edge of each one.


Friday, May 11, 2012

Bacon and Apple Stuffed Beef

I got my inspiration from here, which I came across by chance on Facebook, through Foodies Like Us which posts various delicious looking recipes frequently. 

So, the original recipe was with pork.  But the pork I needed for the recipe was rather expensive, and I already had the thin-sliced beef in my freezer.  So I thawed it out (I love how quickly it thaws...hooray for thin-sliced meats!).  I wasn't sure if my experiment would work or not, but it ended up working perfectly!  I still hope to try this recipe with pork chops at some point...and probably also with chicken.  But the beef worked so well and was easy enough that I'm sure I will do it again. 


3 slices of thin beef
1 tbsp minced garlic
oregano, basil, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, 1 tsp salt
4 thick slices of sourdough bread
5 slices of bacon, chopped and fried
1 granny smith apple, peeled and chopped
4 tbsp melted butter
2 tbsp bacon grease
handful of shredded colby/monterey jack cheese
1/2 c (?)  potato water (it's supposed to be chicken broth...but I didn't have any...and I was boiling potatos at the time)


I mixed up the stuffing (everything listed above excpet the beef), while preheating the oven to 400.  I also heated some olive oil in a skillet.  I stuffed a generously large spoonful of stuffing onto each piece of beef, then rolled it up and stuck 2 toothpics through to hold it together.  Laid the rolls in the skillet, and quickly browned them on each side, then popped them onto a pie plate and put them in the oven for about 20 minutes. 

Then, I had a delicious dinner, with the stuffed beef, mashed potatos, and broccoli. 

the stuffing

the 3rd lonely piece of stuffed beef after the first 2 got eaten

Scrambled Leftovers

My new favorite thing to do for breakfast.  I haven't lost my love of chocolate chip pancakes, but the obsession is finally wearing off, and some mornings I just don't feel like making pancakes!  (The downside to my new breakfast is that I now go through eggs so much faster...and I was buying them by the boatload as it was...)

In case you haven't figured it out..."scrambled leftovers" involves scrambled eggs...and whatever I can find to put in them.  I like this best when mashed potatos is on my list of leftovers, but sometimes I use frozen shredded potatos instead.  In addition to eggs and potatos, this breakfast can include anything from grilled zucchini, to fajita leftovers(chicken, onion, peppers), to stuffing (check out the post on stuffed beef...here). 

eggs, mashed potatos, stuffing
w/ chocolate chip banana bread on the side

eggs, potatos, fajita leftovers

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Strawberry Mint Sorbet


-boil 1 c water with 1/2 c brown sugar, 1/4 c white sugar, and a bunch of fresh mint, and 1/4 tsp salt.
-clean, de-leaf, and puree 2 qts of strawberries. 
-once the sugar water has boiled, remove it from the heat.  Fish out the mint leaves and throw them in the blender with some of the strawberries.  If your blender is better than mine, you probably won't end up having to fish out any intact stems or leaves...like I did... but most of the mint broke down small enough that I could leave it.
-mix everything together in a big glass bowl, add about 1/4 qt of chopped strawberries
-cover with plastic wrap and freeze.  If you have time, stir every hour or so, so that it doesn't freeze solid into ice.  I only got to stir mine once before bed, and then again in the morning when I woke up.  If I had used a shallower bowl, it would have been frozen pretty solid by morning.  Lucky me, I used a bigger bowl so the middle was actually still soft enough to stir. 

simple (minty) syrup in the making

go blender go!

the red sea...of strawberry goodness

contemplate the deliciosness

mmm strawberry chunks

let the freezing begin!

a whole bunch of ice fell off the plastic wrap when I opened it...I had to pick it off with a fork...then I used the fork to "fluff" the sorbet.  I had to use a knife on some of the chunkier parts.

Dessert tonight is going to be epic-ly delicious!

By the way...this is by far my most successful sorbet ever.  Not too sweet OR too salty!  And not frozen solid as a rock either!  Hooray!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

strawberries! and more strawberries!

I ended up with 4 quarts of fresh strawberries today.  Many of them were already getting mushy so I had to do something with them before they went bad.    

So this:

Became this:

(strawberry-mint sorbet)
*recipe coming...later...

Which left me with this:

So I made this:

(pure, unadulterated, strawberry ice cubes)

Which left me with this:

So I made this:

(pure, unadulterated, strawberry pancake topping)

and this:

(strawberry-mango lemonade...with some Tullamore Dew...just for fun)

and here's some more pictures...just for fun

contemplating strawberries...so many possibilities...so little time

I had to cut so many tops...off so many strawberries...

mmm can't wait for this to freeze into sorbet!

 I could drink this syrup straight out of the jar...but I'll save it for my chocolate-chip pancakes!