Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Hormel gave me a chance

I have a confession. I wanted to blog every day in November. I had the blogs in mind and the pictures loaded, but as it turns out, I can't have nice things.

About two weeks ago my computer, which up until this point had been running hot, decided to completely die on me. Kaput...DIE. While my crackberry allowed me to read emails and look online, doing the whole picture uploading, blogging thing just wasn't in the cards.

I now have a net book, thanks to some cupcake sales, but I am unable to use my xD card from my camera to load pics. It's always something.

The hubs and I recently attended a Chiefs football game and provided the tailgating food. If you have ever been to a football game in Kansas City, you will know that tailgating is often the best part. Thank you to Hormel for helping me host a great pregame party!

We made:

It was a fantastic party with good friends and good food. Thank you, Hormel!

This is a sponsored post. I was provided coupons and a stipend to assist in my meal. All opinions are my own.

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Season 3 pounds of pork tenderloin (roughly 2) with salt and pepper and place in a crock pot. Cover with 2 cups root beer. Let slow cook overnight (or 8 hours) on low. After 8 hours, remove the tenderloin to a bowl and discard the rootbeer.

Shred the tenderloin with two forks and return to the crockpot. Add a bottle of barbeque sauce (we used Sweet Baby Ray's) and let simmer on low for another hour.

Serve on a bun with some cole slaw and pickles. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Poblano Salsa Verde

My hat goes off to everyone who blogs out there. Whether you have a job away from the home or whether you have 3 kids or 3 furbabies, blogging on a regular basis is darn hard. At least for me.

It isn't even the blogging that is the hard part. It's the reading of the blogs I love....that almost never happens anymore. (I know, get out the violin).

I've asked others how they do it and the typical response is either late nights or early mornings. I don't need to go into detail why neither of these work for me except to say that I love my sleep and the day starts early around these parts.

And so, I am left to say to myself each and every day, "man, I need to get on my blog"....and then I go to bed.

In any case, I finally am on the computer and I finally uploaded pictures from the camera and so now I can finally blog. But, I must admit that once I am done I will not be visiting anyone computer is getting hot and it will inevitably turn off. That and I am darn tired.

Lately I have been obsessed with tacos. Fish, beef, shrimp, or chicken; I think about having tacos at least twice a week. Tonight, with an abundance of rotisserie chicken in the fridge, the wise choice was chicken. But that's just the vehicle. What was memorable about tonight was the salsa.

Poblano Salsa Verde
3 poblano peppers
1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, smashed
1 big handful (roughly a loose cup) cilantro
the juice of 2 limes
about 3 tablespoons olive oil

Over an open flame (or under a broiler), place the poblanos and let them roast, turning often, until the skin is blackened. Place the peppers in a bowl and seal tightly with plastic wrap. Let sit for about 10 minutes. Remove from the bowl and with a paper towel gently remove the outer black skin. Remove the stem and seeds and roughly chop.

In a medium skillet over medium heat, add about a teaspoon of oil (whatever you like). Once hot, add the onions and peppers along with a little salt and pepper. Let saute until the onions are tender, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and place in a food processor or blender.

Add the jalapeno, garlic, cilantro, and lime juice. Pulse until coarse. With the processor running, slowly drizzle olive oil to desired consistency.

Use with tortilla chips, tacos, fajitas, turkey sandwiches, eggs, tomatoes, ice cream sundaes, add tequila and make a spicy cocktail, ...whatever your heart desires.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Rainy Days

Yesterday was a rare and glorious rainy day. After a quick trip to the gym, the chefs and I spent the whole day at home.

Did I just say that spending the whole day at home with 3 kids was glorious? I think the blazing summer sun has finally gotten to me. That and I can see on the horizon the beginning of school. I'll have two in preschool starting next week. I think all of us are counting down the days.

Because the day was rainy and cool, my lead sous chef had a play date with a delightful little pixie. And what would one do when at a play date at my house? Why, bake something of course!

The girls and I made some brownies: simple, quick, and delicious.

I'm going to miss weekday play dates.

Peanut Butter Brownies
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup ap flour
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
1/2 cup peanut butter, any kind you like
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350. Spray a 9 inch pie pan (that's what we grabbed, but a 9 by 9 pan would work too) with cooking spray and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Once melted, remove from the heat and add the sugar until well incorporated. Add the eggs and stir quickly (to avoid scrambled eggs) until everything is well combined. Stir in the flour.
Once the flour is just combined, remove about a cup of the batter to a bowl.
To the saucepan, mix in the cooled chocolate. Pour out this batter into the prepared pan.
In the bowl with the batter, mix in the peanut butter.
Take the peanut butter mixture and put dollops on the top of the chocolate batter. Sprinkle the mini chocolate chips on top. With a wooden skewer, swirl the batter.
Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes or until the brownies appear set on the surface.


Monday, August 2, 2010

Steak Sandwich with carmelized onions and goat cheese

I am convinced that carmelized onions make everything taste better. Combine that with goat cheese and you've got something.

There isn't much of a recipe here, just a basic idea. Trust me, though, grab some french bread, spread some room temperature goat cheese...add some carmelized onions and spinach...then put on some sliced grilled flank steak..and you have yourself an awesome meal.

Of course, if you are feeling frisky, leftover citrus chili hollandaise spread over everything wouldn't hurt. :)

On a side note, getting back into blogging has proven quite difficult. I REALLY need the outlet, but figuring out how to structure my time while still enjoying my much loved shower and sleep routine is proving difficult. Not to mention my crazy laptop that heats up to crazy degrees within 30 minutes of being turned on. Anyone out there have any tips?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Surf and Turf with Citrus Chili Hollandaise

Every Saturday night the hubs and I have a date night.

We wait to eat until after the kiddos are asleep. The meal is always a little higher end than the rest of the week and usually is made by the hubs and I together. Because of it being a joint effort, our meal is made in between "I need to go to the bathroom" calls and "but I'm not ready to go to sleep" wails; which basically means it takes at least 30 extra minutes to finish.

We sometimes sit in our dining room and chat and other times we eat while catching up on all the things we wanted to watch during the week but were too tired to enjoy. Every once in a while, we are blessed to have someone join us. This time it was my sister.

No matter what, it is always a meal to which I look forward to all week.

This week was definitely no exception. I wanted to make something to send in to the Foodbuzz Gulf Ambassador Challenge. Although I was not a featured publisher, by submitting my gulf inspired recipe Foodbuzz will donate $25 to the Greater New Orleans Foundation. While I do enjoy various seafood dishes, at my core I am a Midwestern gal who loves her steak. But, as a nod to New Orleans I wanted to spice things up a bit...kick it up a notch if you will. And so, I present to you...citrus chili hollandaise. OH yeah...we're going there.

While the hubs grilled our filets, I had some potatoes roasting. At about 8 minutes to go I added asparagus to the 425 degree oven. While all of this deliciousness was happening, I prepared the shrimp. It was a take on Pastor Ryan's recipe from the Pioneer Woman's website.

Spicy Citrus Shrimp
1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp (I used 31-40)
scant 3/4 cup citrus juice**
(I juiced 2 oranges, 2 limes, and 2 lemons. I took out 1/4 cup for the hollandaise and used the rest for the shrimp)
1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 garlic cloves, sliced

Put about a tablespoon of oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper and place in the hot oil. Cook for about 1 minute, then turn em over. Meanwhile, to the citrus juice, add the old bay, cayenne, and garlic. Once the shrimp is cooked, about a minute later, remove it from the pan and set the shrimp aside. To the hot pan, add the remaining ingredients and let them bubble until reduced by about half. Add the shrimp back to the pan and toss to coat. Serve hot.

The star of the meal, without a doubt, was the hollandaise. And the kicker is...I made it in the blender while the steak was resting. NO joke. It was easy, fast and most of all absofreakinridiculously good. We had a ton left over which the hubs used this morning to make eggs benedict. We still have more in the fridge just waiting to be used. If you are making this and don't want a bunch, just half or 3rd the recipe.

Citrus Chili Hollandaise (makes 2 cups)
6 egg yolks, room temperature
1/4 tablespoon citrus juice **(I juiced 2 oranges, 2 limes, and 2 lemons. I took out 1/4 cup for the hollandaise and used the rest for the shrimp)
zest of 2 oranges, 2 limes, and 2 lemons
3 sticks butter, melted yet still warmish
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp chili powder

In a blender, put the egg yolks, juice, and zest and let it whirl until the mixture is thick and frothy. On the lowest speed, slowly drizzle in the butter. Add salt and chili powder and whirl until combined. Serve warm.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Chicken Sandwich with Avocado Mayo

Coming up with titles for posts frustrates me. Try as I might, I just can't be witty.

Or, it could just be that my 2 year old sous chef insists on waking up way too early and wit is just in short supply.

Either way, I have occupied her with tales of Mickey Mouse and for once she isn't trying to "play computer". This will be a short post as I am sure she will change her mind soon.

This is a simple sandwich that I have made numerous times. I normally make this with sliced avocados on top. The result is often a too thick sandwich with pieces falling out. This time around I thought I would mash the avocados into a little bit of mayo!

The sandwich itself consists of:
bread (I had some buns on hand that I wanted to use up)
bacon (I used turkey bacon, delish)
chicken breast

On either side of the bun I put the avocado mayo. Simply, it is a mashed avocado and probably about 2 tablespoons of mayo, a little salt and pepper.


P.S. I'm throwing a shot of the newest sous chef, can you believe she is three months old already?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Getting back on the horse

**tap, tap, is this thing on?**

So, has absence made the heart grow fonder?

Anyone that knows me knows that I will never turn down a glass of wine. Actually the only time now in recent memory where I have done so has been when I was pregnant.

Side note: never become the girl that doesn't turn down wine and then actually turn down a bottle brought for you. ESPECIALLY when you are trying to hide the fact that you are pregnant. I did that very thing and I think sent my now sister-in-law home with the very thought that at I must be pregnant. Never mind the fact that on their wedding day when red wine was right there for the taking I stuck to water. But I digress...

Back to my love of wine. For the record I need to state two things: 1. I am frugal and 2. I am not a wine connoisseur. I tend to find one or two brands that I enjoy and stick with them. Recently we started purchasing boxed wine. Now before you laugh at me, they are actually becoming more and more accepted. After all, it isn't the box that causes the wine to be bad. Get off my back, okay? From Tyler Colman's piece in the New York Times.

Although some sommeliers may scoff at wine from a plastic spigot, boxes are perfect for table wines that don’t need to age, which is to say, all but a relative handful of the top wines from around the world. What’s more, boxed wine is superior to glass bottle storage in resolving that age-old problem of not being able to finish a bottle in one sitting. Once open, a box preserves wine for about four weeks compared with only a day or two for a bottle. Boxed wine may be short on charm, but it is long on practicality.

Now I'm not saying that it's cool to rock the Franzia wine again. But, next time you are at the liquor store and pick up say Black Box or Banrock Station, no one will look at you funny...promise.

Okay, I am really getting off the task. I suppose that is what months away from blogging will do to a person. Back to wines in glass. One of the wines that I have always enjoyed having on hand both for it's taste and for it economical value has been [yellow tail]. I tend to focus more on the shiraz and cabernet, but recently tried a chardonnay. The [yellow tail] tree-free chardonnay is their newest wine offering. It isn't aged in oak (hence the name) and has a nice bright citrus flavor. Considering that it is a thousand degrees outside it was a really nice refreshing drink. I venture to guess that it would make a nice addition to a white sangria. It would also work well as a spritzer or perhaps mixed with pom juice. The possibilities are endless.

It was wonderful with my fish tacos (recipe for another post). While I am not a huge white wine drinker I can definitely say that I have found a new favorite!

Complimentary product was received for review purposes. No monetary compensation was received. All opinions are mine and in no way influenced.