27 February 2011

Radom thoughts on a cake stand.

A while back I went through the kitchen and got rid of what little plastic I still had. The Tupperware cake container was one of the things to go. I replaced it with an Anchor Cake/Punch stand. Triple duty and glass all in one.

Well about a year ago there was an 'incident'. All I know is I came home and it was on the kitchen floor broken. No one had been home since I had left except for the two furry felines that lived here. So we'll never know.

Well to get on with the point of this post...I replaced that cake stand yesterday. When I looked at the box I saw their slogan and thought it was pretty cool.

And just an fyi - I received nothing from the company for saying any of this. This is just an example of the random stuff that goes through my head during the course of the day. :-)

~happy sunday~

26 February 2011

Stuffed Burgers

We haven't had a burger probably since the last time we grilled which was in October. We still have a couple of weeks before I start grilling outside here so I pan fried up a couple of stuffed burgers to cure our craving until then.

I stuffed them with diced jalapeno, diced onion and local farmers cheese. Toasted the buns and topped with homemade mayo, purple leaf lettuce and a big slice of raw onion for me.

I served them with olive oil and thyme potato wedges and now I'm stuffed.

Hope everyone's enjoying their weekend.

20 February 2011

Picadillo is like a latin sloppy joes for me.

1 pound ground beef
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion chopped
1 green pepper chopped
1 jalapeno pepper chopped
3 cloves garlic minced
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes
3/4 cup beef stock
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon capers

Cook the ground beef. Approximately 10 minutes.

Stir in onions and peppers to saute. Approximately another 10 minutes.
Add garlic. Add all remaining ingredients. Let simmer on low heat for at least 30 minutes, stirring when needed.

I serve it over rice or wrap in tortilla's.

19 February 2011

A twist on Won Tons.

I found this idea here a couple of weeks ago.

The first batch that I made I followed the recipe exactly and they were delicious.

The batch I made today I did the 'originals' which were great again, then I simply put a little cream cheese in a few of the pre heated won ton wrappers and once heated put a dot of jalapeno jelly on top.
They were great too.

I think the possibilities for these are endless.

13 February 2011

Happy Valentines Day!!!!

For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul.
Judy Garland

In honor of Valentines Day and the old movie Lady and the Tramp I'm making a big pot of Spaghetti and Meatballs for dinner tomorrow evening for my husband and I.

Hope everyone has a day filled with LOVE!

12 February 2011

Midwestern Herb and Garden Show

Check out what I found today at the Midwestern Herb Show!
LOCAL cheddar and farmers cheese, honey, maple syrup. We're definitely having waffles for breakfast tomorrow.

They had tons of local, organic dried herbs which I have plenty of but couldn't resist the oregano and thyme since I use them so often.

The two little cactus's are going to work with me for my desk and I added another Lemon Mint and Thyme plant to my herbs here at home.
And the tea ball is a star with the moon...too cute.

This show is held the second Saturday of February every year and it is what always makes me start looking forward to Spring.

09 February 2011

Sweet Strawberries, Great Jam

It is February and that means it is strawberry season in Florida. That is one of the things I really miss about living there. The Strawberry Festival is this month in Plant City and if you can ever go...do, you won't regret it.

Since I don't live there any more I was very happy to see these jewels at the local grocery when I went there last night. I know it goes against my Eat Local goals but I can't resist them. Florida strawberries are SWEET! Plus I justify it in my head that it's only Florida, not Mexico, China, Honduras...etc.

I now have 6 jars of Strawberry Jam to get me through until Strawberry season here in Illinois in May.

06 February 2011

These are AWESOME!!

Next month I'm making these for the Heart Associations Bake Sale at work. This was the practice run and all I can say is they are AWESOME!

For the cupcake I used some of my own variations.
2 Cups Sugar
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cups Hershey's Cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
about 30 maraschino cherries

Heat oven to 350F
Get your pans ready.

Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, butter, mayonnaise and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer for two minutes. Stir in boiling water. Batter will be thin. Pour batter into prepared pans.

Once poured insert 1 maraschino cherry into the cupcake.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes for cupcakes.

Maraschino Cherry Cream Cheese Frosting
4 ounces cream cheese softened
2 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon maraschino cherry juice
1 1/2 Cups sifted confectioners' sugar

In a large bowl, on medium speed of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth, about 3 minutes.
Add the vanilla, lemon juice and cherry juice and beat well. Gradually add the sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating continuously until smooth and creamy.

A fun morning in the kitchen.

The Chipotle Wings are marinating in the refrigerator.
The Salsa and Guacamole are done.
The cupcakes are waiting to be frosted.
It's been a fun morning in the kitchen.

05 February 2011

Cold snowy weather calls for Soup.

It's been really cold here and we've had a lot of snow this year. Today we woke up to another 3 inches or so with more coming Sunday and Monday. That calls for my favorite Spicy Northern Bean and Chicken Soup and cornbread.

3 or 4 cups of chicken
(I either use left over roasted chicken or I saute three boneless chicken breasts)
6 cups of chicken broth
3 or 4 cups of Northern Beans
4.5 oz can of chopped green chiles
1 large onion chopped
1 whole jalapeno-stem cut off
dash of cayenne pepper flakes
dash of salt
dash of pepper
1 tablespoon cumin

In my large stock pot I sweat the onions on medium heat in a little olive oil.
Add stock, peppers and spices. Stir well.
Add chicken and beans. Stir well.
Bring flame (heat) down to low, cover and simmer.

02 February 2011

Roasted Chicken

I can not remember which cooking show I saw the 'no string' method of tying up a chicken but I finally did remember to try it and it works wonderfully. I'll never string one up again.

All you do is just tuck the wings behind, which I knew, but then you cut small slits in the skin on the sides near the cavity, cross the legs and tuck the ends of them into the slits. So simple but I had never tried it before.

This rosemary, lemon and herb chicken made for a delicious Sunday dinner this past weekend.

Banana Nut Bread

Banana Nut Bread is the perfect cold weather snack for me.
Not only does it help heat up the house while it's baking but it is a great comfort food that warms the soul.