5/31/12

Green Chili Chicken Burgers

I love to stuff things with things.  Blankets into footstools.  Magazines into baskets.  Cheese into burgers. 

Enter:  Green Chili Chicken Burgers.

Just so we're clear, it's chili as in green chilis, not like the soup-like substance.  Don't want to mislead you. 

But back to stuffing burgers with cheese. It's genius, you should try it. 

And invite your friends when you do.  And require that one of them bring hash brown casserole.  Everyone will love it.  You'll end up dancing in the den.  


Green Chicken Chili Burgers
adapted from How Sweet It Is

1 lb ground chicken
1 tbl olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 oz diced green chilis
2 1/2 oz monetary jack cheese, diced small 
1/2 tbl honey
lime juice

Combine the chicken, olive oil, salt, pepper, cumin, onion powder, garlic, half of the chilies, and the cheese.  Form into four patties and cook by using your preferred cooking method.  

Combine the rest of the green chilies and the honey and the lime juice to make a yummy sauce.  Divide this evenly over the burgers. 

Serving size 1 patty with sauce
Points plus 7


5/30/12

Poppy Seed Bread

I love the act of taking food to a friend.  

Maybe it's because when people bring me food, I get real fired up.  

I mean, you could bring me a bag of lays potato chips and I'd give you a big hug.  

But then I'd ask you to take said lays potato chips back because I just can't be trusted with them.  

But I'm rambling. 

Here is some poppy seed bread that I made a few weeks ago.  One loaf went to a friend and her family in celebration of their sweet new baby boy and the other loaf went to the church luncheon that was held in honor of my priest and his family. 


You see that lemon glaze?  That is powdered sugar and lemon juice.  Um, hello.  I love you.  Don't ever change. 

Below is an example of why you should always keep your fabric scraps.  When I realized that my only option of presentation was aluminum foil, I attempted to get creative.  I mean with that aluminum foil I might as well have just thrown it at the baby's head and said 'good luck.' No, that wont do.  Wax paper + a strip of fabric = acceptable loaf presentation.  


Poppy Seed Bread
from Day in the Country


Cake:
3 cups of all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 cups of sugar
a 1/2 cup of milk
1 cup of canola oil
2 tbl poppy seeds
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 tsp butter extract
2 tsp lemon zest


Glaze:
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tsp butter extract
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
juice from one lemon


Preheat oven to 350.  


In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and sugar.  Add eggs, milk, oil, poppy seeds, extracts and lemon zest.  Mix well with a wooden spoon. Place in two greased loaf pans and cook for 50-60 minutes (check at 45 minutes).  Let cool for 15 minutes in pans.  While cooling, combine all glaze ingredients in a small bowl.  Remove bread fro pans to cooling rack that has been set on a baking sheet.  Poke holes in bread with a toothpick and pour glaze over the top of the loaves while still warm.  


Makes two loaves. 



5/29/12

Cookbook Club!


Cookbook Club.  

It sounds like something you should attend after the PTA meeting and before applying your Ponds cold cream.  

But it's not that.  It's so much more than that.  

The idea came from a group that my sister, Jennifer, is involved in.  She has been talking about her monthly cookbook club in Starkville for some years.  She's always reporting on good recipes, tips, and the general coolness of a once a month dinner party with friends.  

I love eating dinner with friends.  It is my favorite thing almost ever.  

So after tossing around the idea for quite some time, a small yet dedicated group of us launched our own cook book club.  It's a diverse group, a fun group, a group I'm proud to be a part of.  I look forward to cooking and trying and visiting and eating.  

And also, renaming it.  Cookbook Club just isn't going to cut it.
  
Hummus

Shrimp Corn Cakes with Soy Mayo

Strawberry Basil Margaritas

Tomato Tart

Lasagna, Tomato Tart, Meatballs, Corn Casserole, Guacamole Salad

Raspberry Lemon Buttercream Cake

The cake was my donation to the cause.  It was an absolute mess to make but I loved every minute of it.  Used every single one of the dishes in my kitchen AND got to use my new cake plate.  Heck yeah!

I'll probably make this again BUT use a fancied up box cake instead of making the cake from scratch.  The raspberry jam was a lovely surprise and the lemon buttercream was ridiculously good!  Give it a try...


Lemon Raspberry Cake with Lemon Buttercream Icing 
from Day in the Country

Cake:
1 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
3 cups of sifted cake flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1 tsp almond extract
10 oz seedless raspberry jam

Lemon Buttercream:
1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, room temp
2 tsp lemon zest
3 tbl fresh lemon juice
3 cups sifted confectioners sugar

Preheat oven to 375.  Grease three 9 inch round cake pans.  For the cake, beat shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar; beating well.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Combine flour, baking powder and salt; add to shortening mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix after each addition.  Stir in almond extract and vanilla.  Pour batter into prepared pans.  Bake for 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes; remove the pans and let cool completely on wire racks.  Slice each cake in half horizontally to make six layers.  Place first layer, cut side up, on cake plate and spread with 2 1/2 tbl of jam.  Repeat with the rest of the layers, omitting the jam from the top layer.  

For the buttercream, beat butter, lemon zest and lemon juice at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.  Gradually add confectioners' sugar, beating until fluffy.  Frost cake and store in airtight container in the refrigerator. 

5/28/12

Memorial Day Eats!

I'm going to keep this short and sweet as I am unfortunately still in the throws of a memorial day food coma.  Said food coma was caused by this:


and this:


Yes, that's an ice cream maker on a washing machine.  And yes, that's a rogue fork.  

The ice cream was made from this recipe.  I followed it exactly so just check it out over at the allrecipes.com.  Be aware, however, that you really need a candy thermometer and that it takes a really really long time to make the custard.  Other than that, it's easy and delicious! 

Saturday was my first shot at making ribs and I must say, I'm hooked.  We might start having ribs on random Wednesday!

Random Rib Wednesday.  It has a nice ring to it.  You'll have to come over. 


Barbecue Oven Ribs
adapted from Food.com

4 lb of pork ribs
liquid smoke
3/4 cup of light brown sugar
1 tbl paprika
1 tbl garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground red pepper
BBQ sauce - about 2 cups (I used Sweet Baby Ray's)

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.  

Remove the membrane from the bone side of the ribs.  Brush liquid smoke (not to much) on both sides of the ribs.  Combine the sugar, paprika, garlic powder, and red pepper. Rub on each side of the ribs.  

Place on a piece of foil, meat side down.  Place another piece of foil atop the ribs and crimp the foil together.  

Cook for about 2 and a half hours.  Remove from the oven, turn on the broiler.  Rub sauce over one side of the ribs, broil for about 3 minutes.  Turn the ribs over, add sauce to the other side of the ribs.  Broil for about three minutes.  

Enjoy!

Happy Memorial Day!  






5/25/12

A Few on Friday

Happy Memorial Day weekend!  I've got a three day one coming up...fired up doesn't even begin to describe how I feel about it. 

I'm going to celebrate by making homemade ice cream and ribs.  In an attempt to crawl before I ball, said ribs will be made in the oven using this ribs recipe.  Said ice cream will be made using an ice cream maker.  But you probably assumed that. 

In celebration of Memorial Day weekend, I'm wearing my new favorite shirt.  It's crisp. It's white.  It screams summer.  You should get one.  And I should probably get another one.  Wanna split shipping?

Find it here

Buying a bunch of shirts in the same color is kind of the laziest shopping move you can make.  Almost as lazy as my half-a attempt to plant wild flowers this week.  I just sprinkled them on the ground and sprayed them real good with the water hose.  I figure that if they're supposed to grow then they will grow.  It's up to nature now. 

So i finished my tote bag!  How J are you of my tote bag that matches my furniture?  This might be able to be described as "hokey."


This is the pattern that I used.  Super simp.

Happy Memorial Day weekend friends!  Hope it's a great one.   


5/24/12

Me and My Milk Frother

There are certain times in life that I'm always going to panic. 

At the dentist.

Walking into a party by myself.

In line at Starbucks.  

Latte.  Grande.  Pump.  Venti.  Misto.

What does that mean?  And why do they look at me like I'm stupid?  I'm not stupid!  I just don't know how to speak coffee shop.

Luckily, I don't have to deal with this a lot since there isn't a starbucks any where near me.  Unfortunately, this means that it can be tough to find an early morning fancy cup of coffee.  Our local bookstore makes a great one (and they are nice and speak like normal people) but they aren't open when I leave for work, so that's out.

So, the only thing left for a gal to do is to head to her local kitchen supply shop and purchase a milk frother.    



Come on over and join me for some coffee!  I like to steam 1/3 of a cup of milk (1 pp) and add it to a cup of coffee with splenda.  Hey there, happiness!

What's your source of morning happiness?  

5/23/12

Big 'Ole Burrito

I hope you're hungry.  

Because this burrito is big.  BIG.  Like bigger than a blue whale big.  Like had to be wrapped up in foil to cook big.  

Suits me just fine.  Big portion sizes are my favorite. 

You might notice that burrito has my initials on it. It's just because mine was portioned correctly and Brandon's was willy-nilly.
 

Here's how this party went down:

1/2 cup of cooked chicken
1/4 cup of black beans
salsa
cumin
chili powder
3/4 oz of pepper jack
1/4 of an avacado
low carb tortilla

Place the chicken in a small skillet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Add black beans, salsa, cumin, and chili powder; cook until heated through. 

Lay the tortilla flat on a piece of foil.  Sprinkle the cheese, add the chicken mixture, and place the avacado atop the tortilla.  Wrap her up in the foil and stick it in a warmed oven to heat through and melt the cheese. 

Makes 1 serving
Points plus: 10

5/22/12

Flatbread with Gorgonzola, Figs and Proscuitto

People that are good at picking out thoughtful gifts rock.  I am not the best at picking out thoughtful gifts.  I try, sometimes I score big (hello Phish tickets for Brandon) but often I flop.  Like that time I got my sister a loaf of bread and a candle for her birthday.  Which is strange.  The gals at the Viking Cooking School were more than a little confused. Especially when I asked that they wrap it up together.  


But I'm rambling.  


So back to good gift giving.  We got so many lovely and thoughtful and special gifts when we got married.  I've loved things I never thought I'd love (a dust buster) and used things I never thought I'd use.  My most recent favorite has been this:



This cookbook, Day in the Country, arrived at our doorstep a few weeks after we got married with a note from our good friends Mary Margaret and Barry White. Mary Margaret had written us saying that she thought our wedding ceremony was so sweet and special and she wanted us to have this cookbook from Chapel of the Cross Episcopal Church to remind us of how sweet and special it was.  Now that's not word for word, but it went something like that. 

I absolutely cannot get enough of this cookbook.  It sat under a stack of magazines for a few months until i recently unearthed it when cleaning and organizing.  Since then, I've tried several recipes, all of which have been awesome. I even fell asleep with it on my chest one night, dreaming of poppy seed bread.  

I wish I was kidding about that last part, but I'm not.

I was able to try out a new recipe from this little jewel recently for Swayze's Sip and See, and it absolutely did not disappoint.  And I felt fancy making it, which is always a plus. Flatbread with gorgonzola, figs and prosciutto...let's be friends forever. 


Flatbread with Gorgonzola, Figs and Proscuitto
from Day in the Country

1 6.5 oz package of pizza crust
1/2 cup fig preserves
1/2 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese
4 oz thinly sliced prosciutto
salt and pepper
2 tbl olive oil

Preheat oven to 425.  Prepare the pizza crust according to the package directions and pat out into flat oval shape on baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Brush crust with olive oil and bake for five minutes.  Remove from the oven and spread the fig preserves on top.  Sprinkle with the gorgonzola and top with prosciutto.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and top with some additional olive oil.  Return to the oven and bake for 10 minutes or until the prosciutto is crispy.  Cut into squares and serve.  

Makes 12-16 squares 
    

5/21/12

Antipasto Skewers

Contrary to what you might think, I have not thrown myself off of the weight watchers wagon.  

Oh no.  I'm actually still counting points.  It's just that spring time = party time and these jewels are just to good to not share with ya'll!

Liiiiiiike antipasto skewers.  Yum.  

Italian meats and cheeses all threaded up on a cute little skewer. When it starts out with these ingredients, how could it not be awesome?  And thanks again, Mary Neff, for always letting me rob your herb garden.  You can come cut some zinnias from my yard when they bloom.   



The first step was marinating the mozzarella.  Now, not making the mozzarella but marinating it.  There was some confusion on that. I have not turned into a cheese maker.  At least not yet.   


This was pretty easy!  Take 16 oz of fresh mozzarella pearls, 1/2 cup of olive oil, 1/2 cup of fresh chopped herbs, salt and pepper, and 1/2 tsp (or to taste) of red pepper flakes.  Combine it all in a large zip lock back and let it marinate for a while.  

I'm sure if you live in a city, you can just buy your own marinated mozzarella.  But now you know how to make it, so lets move on.  Move on to making these little pretties....


Antipasto Skewers
adapted from Hungry Housewife

9 oz three cheese tortellini, cooked according to package directions
1/2 cup of balsamic vinaigrette
salami
pepperoni
black olives (whole)
marinated mozzarella
skewers

Place the tortellini in a ziplock with the balsamic and allow to marinate for about an hour.  Once it's done, drain and discard the excess dressing.  

Take your skewer and thread in the following order:

tortellini
salami
olive
pepperoni
mozzarella

Refrigerate until ready to serve.   

**We made these the night before the sip and see for sweet friend Swayze.  It helped to refrigerate them overnight, I feel like it soaked up some of the excess liquid. But as always, you do whatever you want!

5/18/12

A Few on Friday


Hey y'all, sup!  Hope it's a good day so far. 

I'm just sitting at my desk having myself a lean cuisine.  This is not the most exciting thing in the world  but not the least exciting thing, either.

Something that is pretty exciting: Brandon and I have begun planning a trip to Brevard, NC in June.  We've booked a tour with Pure Vida Adventures and the wanna be outdoorsy gal in me is super, super stoked.  Now if only people will stop contracting flesh eating bacteria in the Carolinas. 

find it here

I love how the person in the front of the canoe looks slighly terrified.  That will probably be me.  I wonder if I'll be required to wear a helmet? I should maybe always wear a helmet.

Alright, I'm out.  Ya'll have a good weekend! I'm hoping to do some cleaning and some organinzing and some sewing


and some planting and some reading and some hanging out with my cute husband. 

All of these things make me very very happy.

And you make me happy, dear friends!  Have a great weekend!  


5/17/12

Nanny's Iced Brownies

Ya'll.  

I can't even handle how much I love these brownies.  It's not right.  I can't be left alone with them. 

They make me think irrational thoughts.  

Maybe I'll fire up that ice cream maker I've never used that make some homemade vanilla to go with these here brownies. 

Well, I'll just have brownies for breakfast. 

They're so small!  Four is an appropriate number to eat.  

None of these thoughts are OK.  In the least bit.  At all.  Ever.  

But the world needs brownies.  Sip and Sees need brownies.  These are the breaks.  I need to learn self control. 

That is all.  Amen. 

Make these brownies! 

P.S.  This recipe is Nanny's!  She talked me though how to make the icing correctly when my first batch failed miserably to the max.  If you see her anytime soon, hug her for this recipe.  


Nanny's Iced Brownies

1 family size box of brownie mix + required ingredients to make them
1 stick of butter
2 cups of sugar
1/2 cup of milk
1/4 cup of coco powder

Prepare the brownies according to the package direction.  Bake until just done...don't over cook!  I actually cooked mine for a few minutes less that was called for. Allow to cool.  

To make the icing, place the butter sugar, milk, and coco powder in a pan over medium high heat.  Might want to cut the butter up first.  

Allow the ingredients to come to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for about five minutes.  Remove from heat and stir until it gets thick.  Pour over brownies immediately.  Allow the icing to harden before cutting.  




5/16/12

MK is One (And Baked Pimento Cheese)

You only turn one once.  It's a time for celebrations, cake eating, general merriment.  And thunderstorms and fevers.  

Well.  Maybe not those last two, but that's the hand that we were dealt so we went with it.  

Or my sister went with it.  I'm putting myself all up in the middle of this situation like it had something to do with me.  It didn't.  I just made dips.  But more on that later.  


Sweet Mary Kenway was running a not sweet fever on what was supposed to be her Minnie Mouse themed birthday extravaganza.  Jennifer thought quick, made some calls, and rescheduled it to a small lunch time family thing.  

As you can tell, she was fine with it.  


Probably because she had the largest cake ever to grace  a first birthday party.  Seriously guys, this was on the level of my Super Sweet Sixteen. Not sure what Jen and BJ are going to do next year.  Or the next.  Or the next.  Kind of set the bar pretty high, guys.  


The day turned out perfectly!  The cake was delicious, the toys were fun, the food spread was slightly redneck. Here is Alex (who is not slightly redneck) overseeing the dip situation.  She loves a dip, just like her Aunt Minya.  Get it, girl.  

But seriously.  It's baked pimento cheese.  What's not to love? 


Baked Pimento Cheese 

8 oz shredded cheddar cheese
8 oz shredded pepper jack cheese
1 tbl cornstarch
1/2 cup of mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1 4-oz jar diced pimientos, drained
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp tabasco sauce

Preheat oven to 300.  Combine cheeses and cornstarch, toss to coat.  Stir in mayo, sour cream pimientos, Worcestershire, onion powder, and Tobasco.  Spoon mixture into a lightly greased baking dish and bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly.  Serve with crackers. 

5/15/12

Happy Little Song

Here's a happy little song.  Hoping you have a happy little Tuesday!


Beirut :: Scenic World 

5/14/12

Going Greek

No, it's not time to pledge KD again.  We all know how well that went for me.  Kidding, sisters.  Kidding. 

Let's chat about Greek yogurt!  I picked this up after Chickey proclaimed that it tastes "just like blueberry muffin batter." 

Duh.  I love blueberry muffin batter. No brainer. 


I was happy to throw it into my lunch sack 'o goodies...who doesn't love a little three point goodness?  

I'm in. Full throttle.  

Except for it doesn't taste just like blueberry muffin batter.  It tastes, instead, like Greek yogurt with blueberries in it.  Which is OK, too.  I had a raspberry one that I was going to try but a large rat ate it.  Or my husband ate it. One of the other.  

So here's to Greek yogurt!  O-pah!  Isn't that what they say?  Mary Straton?  A little help here?  She's got some Greek in her, guys, that's why I'm asking.  

And forgive my lack of organized thoughts or posting this week.  I did what my priest told me (or us, the congregation) and went where I felt led this weekend.  This means that I had dinner with family and attended a pool party instead of organizing blog posts.  Watch out, kids.  It's getting wild and crazy over here....    

5/11/12

A Few on Friday

Hap-hap-happy Friday!  And happy birthday to sweet as pie Mary Kenway!  She is an angel baby and she is turning one today.  Here's a pic that Jen put of her on the FB this morning:


I die.  She is presh.  Can't wait to celebrate her with burgers and baked pimento cheese dip!

Speaking of celebrating, happy Mother's day to all you mothers. In celebration, here's my mother's day gift to all of you.  The AFP Mother's Day slide show.  Click here for some Friday morning goodness.  I love awkwardness. Unless it's me being awkward.  That's no fun.   

OK so here's my mother's day gift to me:

I'm not a mother per se but I have put a lot of time and effort and love into raising some Zinnia's from seeds.  I feel like that deserves a mini skirt.

And perhaps a large bag:

find it here

I do have all of that fabric leftover from making the ottoman.  Who doesn't want a tote bag that matches the furniture?

Fun-sponges.  That's who.  

But yous guys aren't fun sponges, y'all are awesome!  So go ye forth and own this beautiful Friday!   

5/10/12

A Good Day for Huevos Rancheros

Yesterday was a good day for a walk, a post work Abita, and Huevos Rancheros.

Or at least for me it was a good day for those things.  For you, it could have been a good day for completely different reasons.  But that's OK.  Because you're you and I'm me and I love 'ya regardless.    


BUT. 

I bet if you made these huevos rancheros, you would claim it a good day.  

Ole, y'all!


Huevos Rancheros
adapted from Annie's Eats

1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 tsp of cumin
1/4 tsp of salt
1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper
juice of 1/2 of a lemon
1 tbl fat free broth
3 low carb tortillas
1/2 tbl butter
3 eggs

Place half of the beans, the cumin, the salt, the cayenne pepper, the lime juice and the chicken broth in a food processor.  Pulse until smooth.  Place in a small bowl along with the rest of the black beans.  

Spray a skillet with cooking spray.  Warm each tortilla and place on a plate.  Place the beans in a small pan and warm; divide among the three tortillas.  Divide the cheese among the three tortillas. 

Melt the butter in a skillet.  Fry the eggs until the reach the desired done-ness.  Place an egg atop each tortilla. 

Serving size 1 tortilla (makes 3)
Points plus 6

Load these bad chicos up with your favorite toppings.  We did a little bit of salsa and fat free sour cream (0 pp), 1/4 of an avacado (2 pp), and 1/2 oz of pepper jack cheese (1 pp) on each one.



5/9/12

Say CHEESE!

Being a vegan would just not work for me.  Not now, not ever, no thank you.  This girl loves dairy way to much. 


Truth: I never met a cheese I didn't like. I have an uncontrollable urge to smother most things in it.  


This is difficult for a gal like myself who counts the WW points.  


Thank goodness for the good people at Sargento


Oh hey super skinny cheese slices.  Let's be best friends. 




This all started when I got myself a loaf of fresh bread from the Mockingbird Bakery. Rosemary garlic to be exact.  A bread that good can't be dressed with some ratty 2% processed shiz.  Oh no.  It's needs the real deal.  Some legit cheese.  


These slices are full fat, just sliced much thinner so they are less offensive on the fat, calorie, etc.  A serving size is listed at 3 slices for 3 pp, I assume that it breaks down into 1 slice for one point.  I'll take it.  Please and thank you.  


And for those of you keeping track...this is how it broke down:


2 slices of rosemary garlic sourdough bread (or other good bread) 4 pp
2 slices of ultra thin Swiss cheese 2 pp
1 slice of deli turkey 1 pp
spray butter 0 pp


Spray the slices with butter, layer the ingredients, grill in a non stick pan.  


Enjoy this 7 pp hunk of toasty and cheesy goodness!