Friday, April 30, 2010

Not Good for You For But So Worth It

I didn't do any major cooking this week. Made a few standards that were quick and easy. I have however been thinking of a couple of things that I have made before and might add them to my menu in a couple of weeks. These recipes are SO not good for you, but you only live once and you don't have to make them all in the same week. Sheesh!

Sinful Burgers

1 lb breakfast sausage
1 lb ground beef
2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1/3 tsp course ground pepper
1/3 chopped onion
1/3 chopped bell pepper

In a large bowl combine all the ingredients.
Form into 8 patties. Cook over medium heat on each side. About 10-15 minutes each.
Serve on your favorite buns and add toppings. I like bleu cheese and jalapenos, but whatever makes you happy.

Turkey Bacon Salad

5 Slices Crispy Bacon--I like to use thick cut bacon, but you can use turkey or your normal bacon
2 Cups Sugar Snap Peas
1/2 Cup Mayo
1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Tbsp Fresh Dill
1 Diced avocado
Romaine Lettuce--coarsely torn ( NEVER cut lettuce, it makes it turn brown too quick)
1/2 Pound Turkey Breasts--cut into strips

Cook peas, covered in boiling salt water for about two minutes or until crisp.
Crumble one slice of bacon. Break the remaining slices. I know weird, but trust me.
In a bowl stir together the mayo, mustard, vinegar and dill. Add the crumbled bacon and stir. Arrange the lettuce, peas, turkey , avocado and bacon on a plate and top with the dressing. Gorgeous and awesome. I'm a fan of sprouts, so I like to add a few of them to my salad as well.

Chocolate Walnut Pie

2 Pkgs Instant Chocolate Pudding
2 Cans Condensed Milk
1/4 Cup Hershey Syrup
1 Prepared Pie Crust
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/4 cup chocolate chips--semi-sweet

Prepare pudding mix--whisk both boxes with the condensed milk
Add Hershey's Syrup
In the bottom of your pie crust create a layer of walnuts and chocolate chips.
Pour pudding mix on top.

I suggest letting this chill for at least an hour. When serving I like to top it with cool whip, walnuts and chocolate chips. This is OH so rich. A small piece will more than enough.

There you have it, some easy dishes for those nights when you want something different and don't feel like being good.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Soakin it Up!

This time of year we do not cook. We grill. A lot. I don't like a hot kitchen and it means that the boy is an active participant in the food making activities. I do all the chopping, marinading, potato salad making and he gets to play with the new grill he HAD to have. I will admit however, that he is much better at it then I am. This goes back to my lack of patience in the kitchen. I CAN do it, I just don't LIKE to do it. I cannot stand there and watch something cook, count how many minutes its been out there or check the internal temperature of a piece of meat. He gets the honor. I don't have any fancy recipes for the grill, but I love to mix sauces and spices to come up with a new marinade for meats and dips for the veggies.

Marinade-- I LOVE this marinade on chicken, fish, and pork.

2 Tbsp Soy Sauce ( if you don't have soy sauce, go buy some. I use low sodium)
1 Tbsp Honey
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Chopped Garlic ( you can use the kind in a jar if you don't have fresh)
1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
Ground Black Pepper

*If you are feeding more than four people, than I would say double the ingredients. You can always put the extra in the fridge for next time. Also, if you want a sweeter sauce add more honey. More savory, add more soy sauce , garlic, whatever. Make it to your taste. I've used Teriyaki in place of the soy sauce and it's just as good.

Place all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk. ( I would say stir, but I like using my whisk just so I look like I'm doing something creative and complicated. ) Pour over your meat and chill for up to two hours. Easy enough.

Two of my new favorites for the grill are squash and asparagus.

Cut fresh squash long ways. It's easier to grill that way. I season mine with Lemon Pepper or Cajun Seasonings. You can put olive oil on them if you want, but I prefer just the dry seasonings.

The asparagus goes in a bowl with sea salt, ground black pepper and olive oil. Toss.

Place them all on the grill and cook.

The Boy is all about dipping his grilled vegetables in some sort of sauce, which we argue about on a regular basis. To make him happy, well actually to get him to shut up, I will usually make Wasabi Mayo. I stole this from my little sister. Hey, give credit where it is due.

Wasabi Mayonnaise

1/2 tsp Wasabi Paste *
1/4 cup Mayo
1 tsp Lime Juice
2 splashes of Soy Sauce ( yes I used the word splash)

*start off with this small amount and add more to your taste-- I use the "hey, get in here and taste this and tell me if you want more kick" test. If you have a cold or allergies, load up on this stuff, you'll feel better in no time. Trust me.

Mix the wasabi and the mayo in a bowl. ( You can add more mayo if you are scared of the wasabi or feeding a larger crowd. ) Add the soy sauce and lime juice and stir. Place in the fridge till you are ready to eat. You get the sweet and the kick. My two favorite things in one.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Mexican Night in the Rutledge Household

I'm one of those people who can eat Mexican Food at any time. No, I mean it at ANY time. All you have to say is chips and salsa and I will usually be the first one to show up. Due to my love of this fine cuisine, I also tend to be pretty snobby when it comes to Mexican restaurants. If I don't like the salsa, I probably won't be back to your establishment. Even if I like the food. I know, it doesn't make sense, but it's the way my brain and taste buds work. I'm also the idiot who always says "I can make this at home for much cheaper and healthier". Yes, I am that person.

With all that being said, usually if we want Mexican around here and don't feel like going out, we turn to enchiladas or tacos. Everyone once in awhile I will get in the mood to make tostados, but The Boy just crushes the shells and makes nachos out of them anyway, so they don't appear on my menu very often.

My beef enchiladas are quick and simple, but it gets two thumbs up every time. I know everyone has their own version of this beefy goodness, but this is for those times when effort is just not going to happen. If you've never made enchiladas before, this is an awesome way to start. I do have to give my momma credit for showing me how easy good Mexican food can be.

Beef Enchiladas

1 lb ground beef

1 pkg shredded cheese ( i use colby jack)

1 medium onion

1 bell pepper

2 cans red enchilada sauce ( I use one hot and one mild, but I will warn you, the hot is HOT)

10-12 corn tortillas

Canola Oil (enough to soften the tortillas in a frying pan)

2 Frying Pans

13x10 Cake Pan or Casserole Dish

Preheat the oven to 375.

1.Chop the onion and bell pepper. I usually will do bigger chunks because I like to taste them, but if you prefer, you can dice. Wuss.

2. Add the onions, bell peppers and beef to your frying pan and brown. The grease from the meat helps soften and saute the onions and bell peppers. Plus browning everything together gives them great flavor.

3. While the beef is doing it's thing, add about a fourth cup oil to the other frying pan and heat till hot. The idea is to have enough oil to soften the tortillas, but not deep fry them.

4. Once the beef is browned, drain the grease ( if there is excess, otherwise leave it in). Add both cans of enchilada sauce and simmer on medium heat.

5. While the mixture is becoming saucy deliciousness, you can now soften your tortillas. Make sure your oil is hot and it should only take about a few seconds on each side to get the tortillas soft. Place a tortilla in the oil and use either a fork or tongs to flip them. I always have a plate covered in napkins to soak up the grease as I pull them out of the pan. Repeat until you have softened all your tortillas. ( If all of this is too complicated for you, just grab some flour tortillas and heat them up in the microwave)

6. Take some of the filling ( about two spoonfuls) and put it in the bottom of your casserole dish. This keeps everything from sticking. Spread it around until the bottom is covered, it will be a thin layer.

7. Grab a plate and great ready to make greatness. Place a tortilla (soak up the excess grease prior with a napkin) on a plate and add a large spoonful of the mixture. Top with cheese(use your judgment on amount) and roll it up. Place the seam side down in the casserole dish. Repeat until the dish is full.

8. Take your leftover filling and pour it over the enchiladas. Cover it with the rest of the cheese and put it in the oven. It should cook for about 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted. They are gooey and messy and normally don't come out perfect like when you eat out, but they are SOOOOO much better!

I know it seems like alot of steps, but honestly, it doesn't take that long. Usually when I make the enchiladas I serve refried beans. Now I'm not a fan of canned foods, but I don't know to make homemade beans and if anyone has a good recipe please share! Until then, I usually buy canned black refried beans or vegetarian. I do have a secret to making them better however. When you put the beans in your saucepan to heat up, add jalapeno juice to them. It does not make them "spicy" or "hot" or whatever wimps like to say. It gives them great flavor and you won't want them any other way!

So there you have it. Enchiladas at home that are easy and normally better than what you get in a restaurant.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Why Not Right?

I am horrible about sharing recipes. Not because I'm stingy or selfish ( though I will admit the few times I have given someone a recipe, I will sometimes leave out the extras I throw in to make it extra tasty) but because I'm lazy and have zero patience in the kitchen. I don't follow recipes, so I don't write down recipes. I believe everyone should cook to their tastes and make each dish their own, even if they are following a recipe. To me recipes are basically just an extended ingredient list and the rest is a suggestion on what to do with these ingredients.

With all this being said, it was suggested to me that I create a blog in which I post what dishes I am making, what is in it and how I made it. I guess what the rest of you would call a "recipe blog" Now I must warn you, I cook what I like. This means quite a bit of cheese, olive oil, jalepenos, and of course bread. You will not find any fancy recipes here. Just good old fashioned "throw it in a pot or pan and cook" type of recipes. On the few occasions that I do feel adventurous, it's either because I'm bored or I just watched the Food Network. You all know what I mean, don't pretend you don't.

I made sandwhiches for dinner tonight, so unless you are clueless on how to make a good sammich, I will spare you the details. Though, if from time to time I make a sandwhich that just requires a few minutes of bragging, you might see it here.

If anyone has suggestions on a recipe, by all means let me know. I'm constantly changing up what I do and trying to either make it less typical or just better.

Enjoy and you can NOT hold me accountable for any pounds gained during this blog.