Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Steak n Cheese Sammies for Dinner!

My husband and I made an incredibly tasty steak n cheese sandwich for dinner the other night. Seriously, SO good. I would also make mini versions of this as appetizers for a party or an event!!

We bought organic sandwich steaks from the supermarket, as well as whole wheat kaiser rolls. All that was left was to build the perfect sandwich.

We had provolone cheese in the house...along with a bag of chopped up peppers and some onion.

First we sauteed the peppers and onions to soften them up, then moved them to a bowl.

In the same pan, we put the sandwich steaks in and sauteed those with a mix of the Peter Luger's steak sauce and Worcestershire sauce. (Use more BBQ sauce than Worcestershire).

Once the steaks were browned, we added the veggies back into the pan so they could mix with the steak and sauce.

Towards the end of the simmering, we threw the rolls in the oven with the provolone on it to toast the bread and melt the cheese.

The steak, peppers and onion combo topped the cheese and it was time for dinner!!

Yum!! Totally steak house worthy, in my opinion!!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

"Crunchy Cheese Nibblet" Appetizers

While we were stuck in the house during the East Coast blizzard this weekend, I experimented with an appetizer idea.

I wanted to use up some leftover potato chips we had in the house, (I'm all about trying to USE the food we have lately, instead of buying more and more) and I actually found a recipe on from a woman named Janis. This is her recipe here.

I tried out her exact recipe, but I also made a batch using some different tastes.

She got mostly positive reviews on her creation...but I definitely have a few ideas on how to improve this for my tastes. All in all, my husband and I enjoyed the appetizer, but agreed it needed some tweaking the next go round.

Here are the ingredients I used for both batches:

1 cup finely shredded Cheddar cheese (yellow)
1 cup crushed potato chips
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon ground mustard
crushed red pepper flakes

1 cup finely shredded Cheddar cheese (sharp white)
1 cup crushed potato chips
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon Bryant & Cooper BBQ sauce
parsley flakes

Directions (same concept for both)

In a bowl, combine all ingredients.

Shape dough into 3/4-in. balls.

Place on ungreased baking sheets and flatten slightly.

Bake at 375 degrees F for 5-8 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to a wire rack.

Serve warm.

Now, here is what I would have changed:

1. I did "flatten" the balls slightly... I think next time I am keeping them in ball shape so they can be served more like a cheese ball with a toothpick.

2. They need slightly more flavoring. Granted, I used plain potato chips...and these would have worlds more flavor if you used like, BBQ Chips or Sour Cream & Cheddar or anything you like. But, if you use plain chips, add more more spice or sauce or whatever.

3. They needed closer to 10 minutes cooking time.

Otherwise, kudos to this lady for being inventive. Here's to experimenting with food!

Sunday Game Day SANDWICH! Turkey & Pepperoni Panini's!

Well, we're getting a blizzard today and wanted something warm to eat for lunch so I thought of breaking out our panini press, which we haven't used in quite some time.

The sandwich my husband and I created is perfect for hungry game day watchers - nice and filling! It's easy to make if you are tailgating and have a little grill - just wrap it in foil and throw it on the grill for 10 minutes.

Here are the ingredients we used:

Sliced deli turkey
American cheese
Turkey Pepperoni (you can use regular too, of course)
honey mustard (in my husband's case)
Rye bread

For our panini press, we have to put some margarine on the outsides of the bread, but I also spread some inside my sandwich. My husband used honey mustard on the inside of his.

Pepperoni went on one side of the sandwich, cheese on the other and turkey piled in the middle.

Into the panini press for a few minutes until golden brown - then dive into the gooey mess of goodness!!

We had sour pickles on the side too.

Delicious!! This one is a keeper here!!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sunday Game Day Snack - Asian Style Nachos

Today's Game Day snack is an interesting one. Last night we got Mexican for dinner and had a ton of leftover tortilla chips, so we said we would use them for the Game Day snack, but I wanted to find something different.

I searched the Web for recipes including tortilla chips. One thing that stood out to me was BBQ Nachos - the creator used BBQ sauce and sausages as well as cheese on top of tortilla chips.

That sparked something in my mind - just yesterday we bought Mango Chicken Sausage at Trader Joes. It's a sweeter sausage, so I didn't think the BBQ sauce would go well with it - but in the past we paired this particular sausage with Asian flavors. Therefore, I decided to create Asian Style Nachos.

I made 2 different versions - one with rice, but no cheese, and one with cheese and no rice! I didn't pair the two together, I just didn't think it would taste good. The rice came into play when I opened the fridge and saw a bunch of white rice I made the other night that we had leftover.

Leftovers are GREAT for the Sunday Game Day snacks! It really makes it easier to throw something creative and tasty together, without wasting food from previous nights.

Here are my ingredients:

prepared white rice
onion - chopped
yellow bell pepper - chopped
mango chicken sausage - chopped
shredded provolone cheese
tortilla chips
sesame ginger vinaigrette sauce

First I sauteed the onion, chicken sausage and pepper in a small skillet with a dash of olive oil and the sesame ginger sauce.

Then I prepared 2 batches of chips. The rice and cheese went down first on each of their piles, followed by the onion, pepper and sausage, along with a dash more sauce.

I baked it for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees F.

It turned out great!! My husband said they were delicious after the first bite, and it was a toss up between the rice and cheese which he liked better. I liked the rice better, but they were messy because nothing was binding the chips together. I think next time I would put a very small layer of cheese down as well so they stick together better.

This recipe is very versatile depending on what kind of sausage you like. You could try using BBQ flavors or stick with Mexican flavors. But we like nachos a lot on game day - seems to be a very easy snack to make and munch on.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Fun With Leftovers!

Tonight my husband was home before me and decided to make dinner, since I currently have a broken toe (or two, x-ray can't determine the second for sure). I actually blame my husband for this incident since it was he who left something lying around... and yes, while I could have moved it myself, I was sick of cleaning up after his projects. I guess I should have just sucked it up instead of tripping over this crap in the dark.

Anyway, the other night on our way home from his family's house, we stopped to get Chinese food for dinner. We had some boneless spare ribs left so he decided to get creative and use them in a pasta dish.

He cooked some elbow macaroni and then made a sauce consisting of brown sugar, minced garlic, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce and toasted sesame oil.

In a saute pan he heated up some chopped peppers (red, yellow and green), as well as the boneless spare ribs.

Once everything was ready, he placed the spare ribs and peppers over the pasta and poured the sauce over it.

The result was quite tasty!! I probably would have also chopped up some onion, but it was fine without it.

I told my husband he did a good job and he was proud of his last minute concoction. It's always fun to find a new way to eat your leftovers!!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday Game day Snack - a sweet "Twist" of a snack!

Today's snack will be more sweet than savory, but everyone needs a sweet treat in their life sometimes.

I made these on Saturday for a holiday party. I actually had some puff pastry lying around the freezer for a while that I bought on sale, so I figured I'd find something with other ingredients we have in the house.

I found a great recipe on for sweet and spiced twists. They are easy to make, just a little timely because you need to let things chill or thaw for a bit. I changed the recipe a bit to use cinnamon sugar instead of ginger. The original recipe is here.


1/2 of a 16-17.3 ounce package Puff Pastry Sheets (1 sheet). Pepperidge farm makes good ones, as well as Trader Joes.
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
1/3 cup sugar
Cinnamon Sugar
6 ounces dark or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon of shortening


Thaw the pastry sheet at room temperature for 30 minutes or until it's easy to handle. Heat the oven to 350°F.

Lightly grease or line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Beat the egg and water in a small bowl with a fork.

Sprinkle some cinnamon sugar on a work surface. (I also dusted the work surface with a hint of cocoa sugar as an added bonus!)

Unfold the pastry sheet on the sugar. Sprinkle a little more cinnamon sugar over the pastry.

Roll the pastry sheet into an (apprx) 14-inch square. Fold the pastry sheet in half, making an (apprx) 14 x 7-inch rectangle.

Cut the pastry crosswise into about 24 (1/2-inch wide) strips. Twist the strips and place 2 inches apart on the baking sheets, pressing down the ends. Brush the twists with the egg mixture.

Refrigerate for 20-25 minutes.

Bake for 20 minutes or until the twists are golden. Remove the twists from the baking sheet and cool on a wire rack.

Place the chocolate and shortening into a microwavable bowl. Microwave on HIGH for about 1 minute. Stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth. If the first minute isn't enough, continue to microwave on 15 second increments until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth.

Dip half of each twist in the melted chocolate and place on a waxed paper-lined pan. Sprinkle with some sugar crystals. Refrigerate for 10 minutes until the chocolate is firm.

Store the twists in an airtight container with waxed paper between the layers until ready to serve.

* Tip: Don't worry if you unwrap your chocolate and the surface has whitish streaks. This is called "bloom" and occurs when chocolate isn't stored at the optimal temperature. Bloom is harmless and the chocolate is fine to eat or to use in recipes.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sunday Game Day Snack - Pretzel Nachos!

Today's snack was all about using stuff we already have in the house...and my husband is the one who started to come up with this idea. He was probably playing off an appetizer we got at this take out place near us called Phatso's.

They had nachos that consisted of both tortilla chips and pretzels... topped with ground beef and cheese and all other kids of stuff. But the pretzels were super soggy and not really tasty once the beef and cheese were on it. We told the owner and he thanked us, told us he would change the appetizer and gave us a discount. That was awesome!

So when I called my husband after finishing my errands, he was hungry and didn't know what we had in the house. I said we had the big frozen pretzels, and when I got home, he had already started assembling the game day snack.

Here is what we used...

frozen pretzels (like Super Pretzel)
shredded cheddar cheese (both yellow and sharp white)
diced green pepper
diced onion
crushed red pepper flakes
parsley flakes
sea salt

sour cream or salsa on the side

Here is how we made them...

First we wet the pretzels and microwaved them for 55 seconds.

Then I spread a very tiny amount of margarine on, followed by sprinkles of the sea salt, crushed red pepper flakes and parsley flakes.

Next I tossed the shredded cheese on, followed by the diced peppers and onions.

I put it back in the microwave for 25 seconds.

My husband dipped his in salsa while I used sour cream.

It turned out to be a very easy and tasty snack for Sunday Football!