Saturday, March 26, 2011

Queso Yummo

Have you been looking for a scrumptious snack that's easy to put together?  Look no's the snack for you.  Delicious cheese dip all melty and gooey...what could be better?

I found this recipe at Let's Dish and started drooling right away. (Okay, maybe I was already drooling, but that's another story for another time)
Anyway, the recipe calls for white American cheese, but I couldn't find it.  But I did find something called "quesadilla cheese" already shredded so I figured that would work.  

Here's how to do it, from Let's Dish:

1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
1/4 cup white onion, diced
1 large jalapeno or serrano, seeds and stem removed; diced  *I only used 1/4 of a pepper because I am a huge weenie*
16 ounces white American cheese, shredded or cubed
4 ounces Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded
3/4 cup cream or half-and-half
1 (10 oz.) can diced tomatoes and green chilies
1-2 roma tomatos, seeds removed and diced
1 small bunch cilantro, roughly chopped *I didn't used the whole bunch, just a handfull*

Heat the oil in a saute pan. Cook the onion and pepper until softened and reduce heat to medium-low. Add the cheeses and 1/2 cup of the cream. Stir until mostly melted. Add the can of diced tomatoes and green chilies, the diced tomatoes, cilantro, and additional cream a little at a time until you reach desired consistency. Serve with chips or fresh tortillas.

Now, just because this is something I cooked, and bothered to take a picture of, here is Pioneer Woman's Sour Cream Noodle Bake.

I was not bowled over by this.  Which is kind of a bummer since she makes every recipe she puts up on her site sound like it's awesome enough to melt your brain cells. (and a lot of them are...I could have that brisket of hers every day for the rest of my life and be a happy girl)  This was kinda bland, and dry. And I was a little grossed out by the curds of cottage cheese in there.  Oh well, it was pretty easy, at least.  


Monday, March 21, 2011

Baby Back Ribs with Sweet Chili Sauce

This meal was inspired by Dancing With the Stars and Jaden's Steamy Kitchen.
DWTS, because I was looking for quick and easy meal to prepare before watching this year's premiere (cause I'm a dork), and Steamy Kitchen because that girl knows her ribs.

When I told my daughter what I was making she made that face, so I did half with barbeque sauce and half with the chili sauce. Both turned out great!  The were delicious and moist, and just literally fell off the bone!  And they definitely have the "easy food" seal of approval. 

 I'll never get that pan clean


5 pounds baby back ribs
salt & pepper
1/2 cup Thai sweet chili sauce

1. Preheat oven to 275F. On the underside of the rib, remove the thin membrane and discard. Season both sides with salt and pepper.

2. Place the ribs in a roasting pan, cover with double thickness of tin foil.

3. Roast for 4 hours or so. Discard foil. Use a wide, flat spatula to carefully lift the ribs onto a baking sheet. Spread the sweet chili sauce generously over the ribs.

4. Place oven rack near the top of the oven. Turn broiler on and broil the ribs for 3-5 minutes, or until the sweet chili sauce begins to caramelize. Make sure you don't burn the sauce, so keep a close eye on the ribs.


Friday, March 18, 2011

Gingerbread with Spiced Creme Anglaise

In my effort to find something Irish in nature to make yesterday, I came across this gingerbread that contained Guinness, and decided to give it a try. I'm not sure if it counts as a St. Patrick themed food, but we liked it. 

I had no idea what "creme anglaise" was, but after I looked it up I found wikipedia defines it as a "light pouring custard", which is exactly what it is.  This one is the perfect complement to this spiced cake, not too heavy or sweet.  

I also made an onion soup that contained Guinness that I will try to post up soon.  Here's the cake recipe from Food Network.


  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 cup turbinado sugar (recommended: Sugar in the Raw)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 cup Guinness, or other dark beer
  • Spiced Creme Anglaise, recipe follows
  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13 by 9-inch cake pan and line with parchment paper. Grease the parchment paper and set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, cloves, and nutmeg. In a third bowl, combine the molasses and beer and stir to dissolve. Add the dry ingredients and beer mixture alternately to the egg mixture, beating after the addition of each.
Pour into the prepared pan and bake until puffed and set, about 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan on a wire rack. Spoon the Creme Anglaise onto the middle of 12 dessert plates. Cut the gingerbread into 12 equal portions and place on plates. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar and serve.

Spiced Creme Anglaise:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup sugar
Combine the cream, the zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from the heat.
In a medium bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar until pale and frothy, about 2 minutes. Slowly drizzle in 1/2 cup of the hot cream, whisking constantly. Return the mixture to warm milk and stirring constantly, cook over medium heat until thick, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and serve warm. (Or, to serve chilled, place in an ice bath to cool, then cover with plastic wrap, pressing down against the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until well chilled, about 2 hours.)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ranch Chicken Pizza

I saw this recipe just yesterday at Taste and Tell, and thought, "wow, I need to have that".  And as luck would have it I already had most of the ingredients I needed.  Seemed like it was meant to be.

This dish goes together pretty quickly, perfect for a busy weeknight.  It smelled wonderful coming out of the oven too.  I think we all approved.

Here's Deborah's recipe:

1/3 pound bacon, chopped
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 (1 lb.) store-bought or homemade pizza dough
1/2 cup Ranch salad dressing
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped green onions

Preheat the oven to 425F.  Preheat pizza stone, if using.  If not, grease a pizza pan or medium baking sheet.

Place the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Cook until crispy.  Remove with a slotted spoon.  Add the chicken pieces and cook until no longer pink in the center.

Roll out the dough to a circle.  Bake the crust for 5-7 minutes in the preheated oven, or until it just begins to turn golden brown.  Remove from oven.

Spread the ranch dressing over the partially baked crust.  Sprinkle on the mozzarella cheese.  Add the chicken, bacon, tomatoes and onions, then top with the cheddar cheese.  Return the pizza to the oven and bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly, 10-15 minutes.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Brown Sugar Bacon

I know everyone's seen this around, sometimes known as Pig Candy. I can't quite bring myself to call it that, pretty much for the same reason I can't walk into a Fatburger.  But someone on Facebook was telling my husband he just had to try it, so I obliged. 

Yeah, mine got a little too crispy in places.  My mistake was not trusting the cooking time in the recipe and giving it a bit more.  When it comes out of the oven and the brown sugar cools off, it will be crispy enough. Live and learn.

Anyway, how did we like it? Let's just say it's something I should never ever make again. Because basically, I could eat the entire batch without a bit of help.  Even the burned parts!  

We served 'em up with waffles and called it a meal.

Here's the recipe based on the one from Deep South Dish.

Printer Friendly Recipe
Brown Sugar (light or dark)

2 teaspoons of chili powder, or
    A few dashes of cayenne or red pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a jelly roll pan with aluminum foil. You really don't want to skip this step - trust me. Place an oven safe rack on top and lightly spray it with some non-stick spray.

 Get a Ziploc storage bag, place some brown sugar in it.

Toss a few slices of bacon at a time in the ziploc bag them lay them across the rack.  Sprinkle a bit of the remaining sugar over the top.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 to 45 minutes

Take it out of the oven, hide in a closet, and pig out!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Going to the Dog....Treats

I've been planning for quite some time to try to make some homemade dog treats.  Today seemed like a good day to go forth and do just that, thanks to this guy...

Yep, there's a new kid in town.  We happened upon this little shelter not to far from us that rescues dogs from the county shelter just before their number is up, if you know what I mean.  They had a really nice selection of dogs, but this guy seemed to want to come home with us.  There's going to be quite a bit of adjustment between new dog and old dog, but we'll get there.  

Anyway, on with the treats.  

I found this recipe as Home of the Lazy Dog.  I decided to add some shredded carrot and apple, since my dog loves those things.  They smell really great baking, and it's nice feeding your dog something that you know what all the ingredients are!

Here's the recipe for ya...hope your pup will like it!  Both dogs here did.

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup natural peanut butter
1 cup skim milk 
1 carrot, shredded
1 small apple, shredded

Mix dry ingredients. Add shredded carrot and apple.  Mix milk and peanut butter, separately. Combine. Roll out to 1/4" thickness and cut shapes. Prepare cookie sheets with non-stick spray. Bake at 385 degrees for about 20 minutes. Cool and store airtight in the refrigerator. Best if allowed to come to room temp first.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Fruit Roll Sushi

I hate to admit it, but I'm just not into raw fish. I just can't make myself do it.  Why should I when I can just roll up rice krispie treats in a fruit roll-up and call it sushi?

I found this recipe in an old cookbook someone gave me called "Recipes for Busy Moms" by Mr. Food.  Anyone remember that guy? I think he's famous for saying "ooh it's SO good!"  And I got to see him in person once, my little claim to fame there.  

So basically you're just making a small batch of krispie treats and rolling them up like so...

Obviously I'm not an experienced sushi roller, and I'm guessing I'm never going to be.  

Here's the recipe:

1 tbsp butter
12 marshmallows
2 cups crispy toasted rice cereal
4 square fruit roll ups
assorted licorice or gummy worms (I used the latter)

In a med saucepan, melt butter over low heat.  Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat and stir in cereal.

On a flat surface, unroll the fruit roll ups. Spread equal amounts of cereal mixture over each roll up, covering the entire surface and packing the mixture flat.

Place 3 different colored licorice in center and roll tightly into a log, sealing where the edges meet.  Squeeze rolls gently to secure.  Trim the ends and slice with a serrated knife into 1/2 inch pieces.  Serve, or store in an airtight container until ready to serve.