Friday, May 30, 2008


One summer, my friend Jennifer & I had a little bit of an obsession with kabobs. I think it came about more b/c we a) dont know how make small amounts of food. If we are cooking, we'd better invite 50 people and b) one bag of wooden kabob sticks last forever.

So whenever I make kabobs I think of her. Anyway, I busted out some kabob sticks the other evening & grilled up chicken & shrimp teryaki kabobs. My intention was to make them Monday evening, but the hubs & I were tired & sick so we had Sheridan's Custard for dinner. These bad boys marinated for at least 24 hours since I didnt grill them until Tuesday.

I cut up some of our favorite veggies & grilled them as well. There isn't a recipe for kabobs. Pretty much a few steps-->

  1. soak your wooden kabobs in water

  2. cut & marinate your meats, seafood, whatever

  3. cut & season you veggies

  4. turn on the grill

  5. make the kabobs

  6. grill

  7. Eat!

I served this with some Near East Tomato Lentil couscous.

Short but sweet

I just had to post the first true "fruits" of our labor!! We have a garden in our backyard. This is year two with the garden & we have doubled it in size. I love being able to go outside & pick my herbs & tomatoes, Hubs like to garden so we make a good pair.

Our very first radishes! We hadn't planted these last year, so I was so amazed at how quickly they came up. We have at least 20 more since this picture was taken. What to do with them??

Be prepared for a summer full of tomatoes, peas, beans, squash, zucchini, peppers, carrots, lettuce, basil, oregano, sage, thyme, rosemary, dill, cilantro, chives, green onions, parsley & mint.

PB Banana Chocolate Chip

Yes its a mouthful people. Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Bread.
I was home from work, craving some peanut butter, noticed we had some bananas going bad so I decided to do a little baking.

I snagged this recipe from
Miss Nemmie at Cast Sugar

And basically added the chocolate chips to it. Now, the best part, I had contemplated adding the chocolate chips. Then thought, no no, that's too much stuff in a bread. The hubs came in and said "What are you making?" I told him & he said "Oh you should add some chocolate chips". Great minds must think alike right?

This was good, but I think I used a a loaf pan that was too small. The tops & edges were browned, but the inside was pretty mushy. I just didn't take a picture of that part :)

Catching Up For May

Wow. Can you believe its almost June? This year is just flying by! I am so excited for summer to be here. KC has the most wishy-washy weather & I am tired of going between dresses & shorts, to jeans & sweaters. Hopefully June will bring us some consistency. I figured since May is almost over, I should probably get my May pictures & recipes loaded. So I apologize in advance for the mass overload of updates.

First up. Mother's Day. My dad called me and said "Jules I saw a great recipe that Paula Deen was making today. We should make it for your mother." Yes my dad watches food network. In fact, my dad loves food network. He cracks me up. The recipe, Steak & Pie, is what he thought would be good for my mom. Its kind of like surf & turf but with waaaayyyy more fat & calories!
Dad said he would take care of the steak part, I had to do the pie part. So I read the recipe and think, really Dad? 2 sticks of butter & cream cheese?? Right before summer? Thanks for the extra days at the gym.

Anywho, we were serving 6 adults & 2 kids. So I didn't want to make the individual pies. But other than that, I didn't edit a thing on the recipe. I just made it in one large pie pan. I had at least enough filling left over for another pie. I just didn't have enough crust.

My dad made the steaks. OH.SO.GOOD. Cooked to perfection

And lots of shrooms to boot!

So who knew a 6 yr old would love it? My nephew stuck up his nose to those hot dogs we made for he & his brother & devoured a little tenderloin & shrimp.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Pioneer Burgers

I was recently directed to a wonderful blog, Pioneer Woman Cooks, she is hilarious. She makes the kinds of dishes my husband dreams I would make. Coming from the Midwest, he is a steak & potato guy. I am more of the vegetable & chicken type of girl, but I cater to him every once in awhile.
When I saw her recipe for onion straws, I marked it down. I was imagining the burgers from Chili's. The ones they top with onion rings, which then led me to Oklahoma Joe's Z-Man Sandwich. I am no good at BBQ'ing so I stuck with the burger idea.

This was my first time frying something in a pan. We have a Fry Daddy, but if I use it, I feel so guilty & fat. So I guess using the regular pan somehow makes it less deep fried, more like shallow fried and shallow sounds less fatty right??

These were so good! My first batch came out awesome, but as I progressed they started to take longer & become browner & stuck together more. I think maybe I made too many. But Pioneer is 100% right, you can snack on these until the cows come home!

We just made some cheddar burgers on the grill, topped them the onion straws & some BBQ sauce. Delicious!

Rockstar And Angel Chicken

My friend Leslie shared this great recipe with me awhile back.
I had some Golden Mushroom soup on hand at home & some chicken thawed so I was halfway there with the recipe.

This was delicious & so easy. My picture is a little yellow and to explain,I used too much butter. Now, in my defense, I picked up some butter at Sam's Club back at Easter when I knew I would need a lot. I did not check to make sure they were divided into sticks. So I have basically been guessing how much is a tablespoon & what not. I also had to use Sherry, as I didn't have any white wine in the house. A catastrophe I know! So I think that added to the yellow-ish of the dish. Anyway, I swear it tasted good!

Angel Chicken

6 chicken breasts
1/4 c. melted butter
1 packet dry Italian salad dressing mix
1/2 c white wine
1 can golden mushroom soup
4 oz. cream cheese
1 T. chives
2 c. steamed broccoli
1 lb angel hair pasta

In a 9x13 pan, place chicken in a single layer. Melt butter and combine with next 5 ingredients. Pour over chicken. Bake at 325 for 60 minutes. In the last 10 minutes of cooking, steam the broccoli and cook the pasta. When done cooking, drain pasta. Toss broccoli and pasta together, serve chicken breast on top with sauce.

Shrimp Phyllo Cups

I know a lot of the rage has been the Philly Shrimp Dip from Kraft. I needed to make a snack for the baby shower & I remembered one of the mommies loves goat cheese. We also had way too many dips for the shower. So I took the philly shrimp dip and adapted it.

I took phyllo dough & cut into squares. Phyllo dough is a serious pain to work with. Maybe mine was already dried out, I don't know, but dang it was annoying! Take 5 sheets of phyllo dough, butter each layer, then cut into squares that will fit in you muffin tin with some excess on top.

Bake in the oven for about 8 mins or until golden brown. Then cool on a cooling rack.
Next, whip the goat cheese so it has a lighter consistency. If you have a pastry bag, use that, but I just used a ziploc bag with a hole cut in it to fill the phyllo cup.

Then I dabbed the top with some cocktail sauce, & placed 4 salad shrimps on top of that. I sprinkled them with some chopped parsley for some color. It was so pretty!

Next time I will use my mini-muffin pan, as these were quite large. You really needed a knife & fork to eat them.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

S'more Brownies

I needed something quick & sweet for book club. I didn't want to go to the store, so I checked my pantry and I had chocolate chips, marshmallows, a few graham crackers. SMORE's it is!

These were so easy & quick. I preheated the oven before I read the recipe only to realize this is a no bake dessert.

They have been making their way around the blogosphere, so I don't know who to credit, so BakingBlonde is it!

Arts & Crafts

I am not a very crafty person. I just don't possess the talent that some people have for creating somehting out of nothing. Two of my good friends are expecting babies in June & July, so we threw a joint baby shower for them over the weekend. You know that at almost every baby shower, there will be some game played. I especially like the "forbidden" words game b/c it doesn't take much to make it up & does not really involved a lot of participation from the guests.
Forbidden word game usually consists of somehting like, you can not say "baby, cute, ahh" or you can not do something that the pregnant mom can't do, like cross your legs. Now when you say these things, you have to give something up. While I was catching up on Hostess with the Mostess, I saw the lifesaver pacifiers. HOW CUTE! Surely I can do these!

So I did. I am proud!

Here are the instructions-->
Create "candy pacifiers" from Pep-O-Mint Lifesavers and brightly colored jelly bellys. To make the pacifiers, simply hot-glue 2 of the lifesavers together in a perpendicular fashion. Next, chop off the end of a jelly belly so it's a shorter and has one straight edge. Hot glue the straight edge to the center of the top lifesaver, and voila! (Just remember to warn guests that they're not actually edible!)

I am still alive!

I promise! And I have been cooking. But you know, you go in spurts. I've been cooking, baking, taking pictures, I just ha vent had the motivation to update. In fact, I haven't even caught up on GoogleReader. I am sure I have quite a few posts to catch up on. So needless to say, I apologize for overload of posts the next few days.
Lets start of with last nights dinner. My friend Amanda mentioned last week that she & her husband do a "big salad" night once a week. I thought was a great idea to get us to incorporate more veggies & fruits into our diet. We are bad, I mean really bad, especially with fruit! I can not even tell you the last time I had an apple.
The salad I made last night worked well in our favor. We didn't end up eating until close to 8pm. I love it staying light out as late as it does, but we just lose all concept of time and before you know it, its 8pm!
The salad, Chicken Chipotle Taco Salad, courtesy of Cooking Light.

1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2/3 cup light sour cream
1 tablespoon minced chipotle chile, canned in adobo sauce
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
4 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt

4 cups shredded romaine lettuce
2 cups chopped roasted skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 2 breasts)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup diced peeled avocado
1/3 cup thinly vertically sliced red onion
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (8 3/4-ounce) can no-salt-added whole-kernel corn, rinsed and drained

To prepare dressing, combine first 7 ingredients, stirring well.
To prepare salad, combine lettuce and remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle dressing over salad; toss gently to coat. Serve immediately.

Tip: Add a spoonful of adobo sauce for a spicier salad. Kidney or pinto beans also taste great in this dish.

Holy Moly this was SPICY! I added some light ranch to the dressing b/c it needed to be cooled down a bit. I seasoned the chicken with a little chili powder & grilled it on the BBQ.