I don’t like to admit that I’m ever selfish, but from time to time I do tend to act a bit more needy than any normal girl ever should.
This recipe all started when I was experiencing that thing women experience once a month – that pull your hair out and scream until you get it, food craving. You know what I’m talking about. I didn’t just WANT mozzarella sticks, but my body CRAVED them. Every day I didn’t have them was another day I was in agony.
I pulled one of those, “If you love me, you’ll make these for me,” classic acts of desperation.
A few days later, I came home from work to find a fresh, hot batch of beautiful homemade mozzarella sticks waiting for me. My absolutely wonderful boyfriend made these little cheesy masterpieces. I was a foodie in heaven.
He used egg roll wrappers for this recipe, which, is something I had never seen before. They were really good! The wrapper was super crisp and kept everything within it’s shell nice and gooey.
I’m a believer. And I am one lucky lady. Thanks Mister!
Beat the eggs in a mixing bowl. Whisk in the milk, then set aside. Place the bread crumbs into a plastic bag, and set aside.
Separate and place an egg roll wrapper onto your work surface with one of the tips pointed towards you. Moisten the two far edges of the wrapper with water. Place a string cheese stick onto the corner nearest you, and roll it in 1/3 of the way, fold over the right and left corners, then continue rolling to the end, pressing to seal. Repeat with the remaining string cheese sticks and egg roll wrappers.
Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large saucepan to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Dip the mozzarella sticks into the egg wash, then toss in the bread crumbs. Cook in batches in the hot oil until crisp and golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Serve hot with marinara sauce.
Veganism is something that Mister and I are both currently exploring. We are meat lovers at heart, but from time to time I find an amazing vegan recipe that I have to try (and Mister is typically my guinea pig). Plus a good friend of ours is vegan, which provides even more opportunities to create some of these dairy and egg-free dishes.
Mister whipped this up for our last potluck and it turned out really good. We took the leftovers and baked them with layers of leftover marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese as well. Simply use vegan mozz if you’d like to do the same (which, I highly recommend).
This puppy made a ton of leftovers for us! Great to make on the weekend to enjoy for lunch for the next few days.
1 small can marinated artichokes, drained and chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley
soy parmesan (optional)
Cook the ziti al dente. Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the tomatoes, tofu, garlic, basil, vinegar, salt, pepper and olive oil. Process to a smooth consistency. Drain the pasta and toss with the sauce and artichokes. Sprinkle with the parsley and soy parmesan, if desired.
Six flavors of gelatin (lemon, orange, strawberry, lime, blueberry, grape)
Scoop out the orange flesh or juice the orange halves to empty them out.
Prepare the gelatin according to the package's directions (you will have lots of leftovers if you make six flavors). Pour the prepared gelatin into the orange halves and set them in large muffin tins to stay upright. Chill them in the fridge overnight.
With a sharp knife, slice each cup into 3 or 4 wedges, depending on the size of your oranges). Enjoy!
Today, March 15th, is Andrew Jackson Day. Andrew Jackson was the seventh president of the United States and his face appears on our $20 bill. His “people will rule” campaign increased the number of voter turnout largely amongst common people. Renown for his toughness, “Old Hickory” was the first president primarily associated with the frontier.
Terry Ford, a long-time food historian, has one of the nation’s largest collections of cookbooks, some dating from the Middle Ages. She has the president’s cookbook on her shelf. Jackson liked a variety of foods, from lamb chops with rosemary, rabbit, “Leather Britches” – a dish with green beans cooked with water and bacon, wild duck and wild goose, oysters, fried apple pies and he even had a recipe for Old Hickory nut soup – consisting of hickory nuts, hot water and sugar. He was also famous for serving “Daniel Webster’s Punch,” which was a big hit amongst the guests. “Anyone who drank this, one cup would do it,” Ford chuckled. I’ll take a two please.
In the spirit of President Jackson, I am posting a recipe for Daniel Webster’s Punch. Remember, that everything tastes better smuggled, especially liquor. Cheers everyone!
Food History Source: Jackson Sun[NOTE: as of 1.4.2009, this article is no longer free from the newspaper.]
Daniel Webster’s Punch
#ratingval# from #reviews# reviews
Recipe Type: Beverage
Author: Foodie McBooty (via Boston Globe)
Prep time: 3 hours
Total time: 3 hours
A cocktail to celebrate.
2 cups of sugar
1 pint lemon juice
1 pint strong green tea (steeped and cooled to room temperature)
1 bottle VS cognac or other brandy (750 ml)
1 bottle Oloroso sherry (750 ml)
1 bottle Jamaican rum (750 ml)
2 bottles Bordeaux wine (750 ml each)
1 pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled
A lot of ice
1 bottle brut Champagne
Peel lemons, avoiding as much of the white pith as possible. Muddle lemon peels with two cups of sugar and let sit for two hours to let the sugar wick out the lemon oil.
Add 1 pint lemon juice and 1 pint green tea. Stir to dissolve sugar and strain into sealable 6-quart jug. Add cognac, sherry, rum, Bordeaux, pineapple and strawberries. Taste for sweetness, add more sugar if necessary, and refrigerate for one hour.
To serve, pour into a 2-gallon bowl three-quarters full of ice cubes. Top off with a bottle of chilled Brut champagne.
What a day! Mister and I were exhausted after a long night, a long day at work, and an intense few hours at the rec center. These flatbread pizzas were the perfect solution to satisfy our hunger, attend to our healthier eating styles and were easy enough to make without breaking the bank or using too many brain cells.
Like any pizza, this recipe is super versatile. Use whichever toppings you’d like. We used pre-made pizza sauce, cheese, fresh tomato, spinach, garlic and feta on ours. With vegetables, this tasty pizza adds up to less than 300 calories per serving (more if you use meat).
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on the wrap, spread it around and place the wrap directly on the oven rack to cook for 4 minutes. Carefully remove the wrap, add your sauce and your toppings. Bake for another 10-12 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and the wrap is crunchy. Cut your pizza and enjoy.
My ever growing list of things that I dislike about HOA’s
They don’t like the fact that I had my bike stored on my patio (where else am I going to store my bike, in my bathroom?)
They don’t like grills, especially my beautiful 3-burner grill, on patios either. Something about a fire hazard? Yadda, yadda, yadda…
Okay, so there are only those two things. But the grill was a big deal. Summer means grilling season for this lady and it was hard to give it up. I ended up selling my precious to a family man who loved to cook and needed more grill space. At least she went to a good home.
2 pints cherry tomatoes (or any tomatoes you have handy, cut into large chunks)
Any other veggies you have on hand (I used zucchini and squash too)
wooden skewers, soaked
For the sauce:
1/2 cup good chicken stock
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cut the lamb into 1 1/2-inch cubes. Combine the garlic, rosemary, thyme, olive oil, red wine, vinegar and 1 teaspoon of salt in a large ziplock bag. Add lamb cubes and toss to coat. Refrigerate overnight or for up to 2 days. Toss occasionally.
Oil your grate and preheat your grill to medium high. Cut the red onions in quarters and separate each quarter into 3 or 4 sections. Loosely thread 3 or 4 pieces of lamb alternately with sections of onion on skewers. Sprinkle both sides of the lamb with salt and pepper. Thread your tomatoes (and any other vegetable you have) onto skewers. Rub your vegetables with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Place your lamb skewers on your preheated grill and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, turning 2 or 3 times, until the lamb is medium rare. Approximately 5 minutes before the lamb is done, place the other vegetables on the grill, turning once, until seared on the outside but still firm on the inside.
For the sauce, bring the chicken stock, olive oil and lemon juice to a boil in a small pot. Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, until reduced by half. Add the rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and the pepper. Serve the sauce on the side.
The other day at the farmer’s market in Denver I picked up these beautiful cherry tomatoes (among other finds). Inspired by all the market’s fresh ingredients, I decided to make a Farmer’s Market Pasta Salad using their tomatoes and peppers.
This pasta salad turned out great. It was light and satisfying, perfect for the summer. Plus this recipe makes enough to share with a large group. I brought a big bowl of this pasta salad to a big BBQ for the 4th of July.
If you can manage, try making this day before your big event. I noticed that the flavors melded better as time went on.
1 cup organic Italian Dressing (Tuscan is my favorite to use)
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
1/2 diced green bell pepper
1/2 diced red bell pepper
1/2 diced yellow bell pepper
1/4 to 1/2 diced red onion (according to your tastes)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup grated parmesan, plus more for topping
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium heat. Add the pasta and cook it according to the package directions.
While the pasta is cooking, in a small bowl, whisk together the dressing, mayonnaise and sugar.
Drain the pasta well, transfer to a large serving bowl and let cool. Add the tomatoes, peppers, parmesan cheese, fresh basil, salt, to taste, and the black pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Add parmesan cheese to top and serve.
Dessert and myself go together like oil and water. I was raised by a mother who believed sugar to be the evil of all evils. We had sugar-free syrups, diet sodas and sugar-free candies and cereals. Nowadays, I have a low tolerance for super-rich desserts. One or two bites in and I’m dragging myself toward the nearest cup of milk or coffee to cut the sweetness.
These pretzels are the perfect balance of sweet and salty for my picky palette. They broke my dessert defense barrier. The added crunch from the pretzel and peanuts really make these treats even more irresistible.
Trust me, if you make these you’ll see chocolaty fingertips galore.
2 (8-ounce) bags of peanut butter pretzel sandwiches
1 cup chopped salted peanuts
3/4 cups peanut butter morsels
1 1/2 tablespoons shortening
Microwave both chocolate in a large bowl for 2-3 minutes or until melted, stirring at 1 minute intervals.
Pour pretzels into bowl of melted chocolate and stir gently until coated. Lift out with a fork and allow excess chocolate to drip off. Lay in a single layer on cookie sheets lined with wax paper.
Sprinkle chopped peanuts over chocolate covered pretzels.
Melt peanut butter chips and shortening in microwave for 30 seconds, or until chips are soft and smooth and spoon easily into a small ziplock bag. Snip a tiny corner off of the bag and squeeze the peanut butter mixture over the pretzels.
Place the cookie sheets in the fridge until the chocolate has hardened, about an hour. Break into pieces and serve.
I saw this recipe online and immediately had to try it out for myself.
Really though, any recipe that caters to my recent wonton wrapper obsession trumps any other recipe these days anyway. Just saying.
These little chicken parm wraps are so addicting!! It’s everything you love in a chicken parmesan dinner but in bite-sized form. Plus their finger-friendly characteristics make them super convenient for a potluck party or one of the million BBQs you plan to attend this summer. They are great warm but keep very well at room temperature too.
Place the chicken breast in a small pot and fill with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil on your stovetop, reduce the heat slightly, then simmer for about 12 minutes, or until cooked through. Drain and let cool before shredding with two forks, pulling against the grain of the meat. Mix the meat with the marinara sauce in a small bowl.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lay the wrappers on a clean work surface. Layer each with a few leaves of spinach, then chicken, followed by mozzarella and parmesan.
Lightly brush two adjacent sides of the wrapper with water and fold the upper left corner downward, covering the filling, and press to seal on the bottom right corner. Press to seal each of the sides. Repeat with the remaining wrappers.
Place all filled wraps on a greased wire rack set over a cookie sheet, coat each in cooking spray or a light brushing of olive oil, and bake for about 12 minutes or until the edges begin to turn a golden brown.
Your fork and steak knife are just aching to cut into this crunchy, chewy, sweet and savory dish.
The flavors in this sandwich are all unique yet they come together in a harmonious medley. Be careful – the apple butter can be overpowering if you use too much. Generous amounts of ham and mustard will help cut the sweetness if you find this to be true.
The chives add color and a pop of freshness to the sandwich. Be sure to borrow some from your friend’s garden if you do not have access to your own (don’t forget to ask for permission!).
Yes, you read that correctly. I cooked this pizza on a grill and infused the crust in delicious, salty bacon. I tell you, this dough surprised the heck out of me. I was afraid the dough was going to be more of a flat bread than anything but this wasn’t the case at all. The dough was light and airy and crispy in all of the right places.
I don’t know if I will ever make pizza in the oven again.
Behold, the extra bacon, bacon cheeseburger grilled pizza! *Queue theme music*
In a bowl dissolve yeast in warm water and whisk in sugar. Proof for ten minutes, until frothy. Whisk in the salt, olive oil, and flour until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth, about 8 minutes. Place dough in a well oiled bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Set aside in an undisturbed area to rise until doubled (I like to put my dough in the oven with the oven light on), about 1 hour. Punch down and knead in garlic, basil and bacon bits. Set aside to rise for 1 more hour, until doubled.
Preheat grill for medium-high heat. Heat olive oil with garlic for 30 seconds in the microwave. Set aside. Punch down dough, and divide in half. Form each half into an oblong shape 3/8 to 1/2-inch thick.
Brush grill grate with garlic flavored olive oil. Carefully place one piece of dough on hot grill. The dough will begin to puff almost immediately. When the bottom crust has lightly browned, turn the dough over (you may have to use two spatulas). Working quickly, brush oil over crust, then brush on tomato sauce. Sprinkle with cheese and arrange topping on crust. Close lid and cook until the cheese melts, about 1 minute. Remove from grill, and set aside to cool for a few minutes while you prepare the second pizza.
It is 5am at the Denver International Airport and the only thing open is a McDonald’s. Yesterday’s events has left me absolutely exhausted. After a short but productive day at work, an afternoon of goodbyes, an evening of spending time with the neighborhood kids, grilling on my new grill, and a night of Alien Hominid with my boy Derek, I do believe I have earned this trip.
I will say one thing, this morning has been nothing but dull. I experienced one of those, “most embarrassing moments,” getting onto the 3:48am bus to the airport. The packed transport watched as I fumbled my money around and struggled helplessly with my carry-on that suddenly inherited artificial intelligence. The handle refuses to collapse or telescope at the push of a button. *shakes head* I was also stopped at the security check-in by a man who accused me of having a knife in my backpack. It just so happens that this man was absolutely correct. I forgot to take out not one, but TWO knives from my recent camping trip out of my backpack.
The important thing is that I emptied my bottle of water before I went through security. That’s something at least? At least the officer was a good sport about the whole thing.
Speaking of camping, this recent adventure inspired me to create some new camp friendly dishes. This Memorial Day Weekend trip to Allenspark, Colorado will not only remain with me for the rest of my life but camping here has also changed my outlook on camping food all together. These chorizo stuffed mushrooms turned out so tasty, I made them again when I returned home. Irresistible.
To make these while you are camping, you will need a cast iron skillet. Prep the mushrooms before your trip then when you are ready to rock, spray the skillet with a tablespoon of olive oil, preheat your skillet over medium heat (do not place these directly over a high flame) and move the mushrooms around a bit while they are sauteing so they don’t burn. They are done when the bottoms are lightly browned and the stuffing is hot.
You can make these at home too. Simply bake them at 400 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes in a baking pan coated with a bit of oil, until the stuffing is lightly browned.
I just think they look better over a campfire. But really, what doesn’t?
Remove the stems from the mushrooms. Place the onion and half of the mushroom stems in a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Pour 1/3 cup olive oil into a saute pan and saute the minced onion and mushroom stems until soft, about 2 or 3 minutes. While these are sauteing, place the chorizo in a food processor. Pulse until the chorizo is finely chopped.
Add the breadcrumbs to the onion and mushroom stem mixture in the pan. Stir until toasted golden brown (you should be able to smell this happen too). Add the chorizo and stir until fragrant, about 2 or 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and parsley and fluff the mixture. Stir in the cheese and remove from heat.
Use a spoon to fill the mushroom caps, stuffing those babies as full as you can. Bake or fry over an open campfire, allow to cool for a few minutes (the juice from the mushrooms will be hot, hot, hot!) and watch them disappear.
If you don't have a campfire handy, you can also bake the stuffed mushrooms for 8-10 minutes at 375 degrees F.