Sunday, January 30, 2011
As the nation gears up for Superbowl Sunday, I felt I should post my top favorite game day snacks from this season. My husband and I carefully evaluated what I made and compiled a list for you all. Maybe this will inspire you for Superbowl Sunday!
We, sadly, planned a getaway for that weekend, which we didn't realize at the time and if the weather is nice to us (please cooperate, Mother Nature!), Eating With A will be on hiatus for a little bit but I'll be back!
I'm going to try to do some Sunday recipes for baseball season too once that gets going.
Without further delay, here are our top 5 faves!!
#5: "Quick & Easy Snacks"
We couldn't decide between 2 of my "quick & easy" snacks, so they both landed as #5 on the list. The first one is the "Crescent Roll-Ups" I made back in November. In fact, one of my readers commented that she made these for a party and everyone loved them! Thanks for trying that, Cynthia!! Glad it worked out for you.
The second "quick and easy" snack we loved is the "Snack on the Go" that I improvised while my husband and I were in Florida. I just loved these cracker treats! They are so easy to make and really delicious to munch on.
#4: Potato Chip Chicken Bites!
I made these Potato Chip Chicken lollipops for my husband and I to munch on during our New Year's Eve pig out on appetizers. They came out surprisingly good and I can't wait to try these again with a different flavor potato chip!
Nachos were a theme this season, it seemed. I made several variations, but two of them really stood out for my husband and I.
Pick #1 are the Asian Style Nachos I randomly created one Sunday. Combining an Asian flavor and a Mexican flair was seriously delicious and we wouldn't hesitate to make these again.
Pick #2 is the Pretzel Nachos we created. AND I am excited that I created these before Food Network Magazine put out their January/February issue feature different pretzels you can make. I guess I started a trend, right? Haha. Unfortunately I didn't take the time to make my own pretzel - we cheated and used the frozen Super Pretzels, but it's all the same. No matter how you make it, the Pretzel Nacho was a tasty treat for the afternoon.
The number two spot will again be split between 2 recipes we tried and loved so much. The first sandwich we picked is our Open-Faced Knish Sandwich. This is a really meaty sandwich and definitely fills you up. It's perfect for after some lighter appetizers and before dessert while watching the BIG game! Plus, it's different, and a crowd pleaser. In fact, just a few days ago my husband almost went to the store to pick up knish's so we could make this sandwich for lunch. However, his laziness prevailed and we ended up eating some leftover's we had in the house. :-)
The second sandwich is our Turkey & Pepperoni Panini. These can even be made into finger sandwiches for easy munching. Serve with some pickles (or fried pickles) on the side and you have one tasty appetizer!
#1: Pepperoni Cheese Fries!!!
Last, but certainly not least, the Pepperoni Cheese Fries. This was by far, the tastiest snack I made during football season this year. It could definitely get a little messy, but it's just too good not to try.
So there ya go - our favorite snacks and appetizers. I hope you all have a a fantastic and fun Superbowl Sunday. And if all goes well, I'll have some new recipes to post up in mid-February, so stay tuned.
Monday, January 24, 2011
This recipe is just so cute I had to post it... back in November, both my husband and I entered a contest by Turkey Hill Ice Cream to create an unusual and delicious sundae.
Being an ice cream fanatic, my husband was super excited and thought long and hard at what his creation would be.
He came up with this: The Brownie Ate The Sundae.
Turkey Hill Peanut Butter Pie Frozen Yogurt
Turkey Hill Fudge Ripple Frozen Yogurt
White Chocolate Chips
He took a brownie and cut a triangle out of it for the mouth. White chocolate chips were the teeth, a green M&M for an eye.
The rest of the ingredients went on the ice cream next to the brownie monster.
Unfortunately, neither of us won the contest - the 4 winners, IMHO, were so lame. One was just ice cream with every type of candy imaginable thrown on top of it. Really? Where is the creativity? I think it won because it was done by a 5 year old.
We were bummed because the prize was like, free ice cream for a year. Next time, Turkey Hill, next time.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
My husband and I took a trip to a butcher this past weekend. I can't remember the last time I stepped into a butcher! My parents used to take to one when I was little, but since I've been cooking for myself, it's been supermarket meat.
That changed when we did one of the many deals popping up on the Internet through things like Groupon, Living Social, etc. There was one though Valpak for the same butcher my parents used to take me to while growing up, so we decided to get it and treat ourselves to a nicer steak for once. The deal was spending $10 and getting $20 worth of food. Yay!
So we took a drive to where I grew up (a whole 4 miles down the road) and stopped into the butcher. First we picked out a nice skirt steak, and then we had a little leftover so we also got my husband a rack of ribs to eat one night for dinner and me a container of mushroom barley soup - my favorite! We ending up spending around $6 extra, but definitely not a big deal. All of that food for $16 isn't too shabby, especially since the soup was buy one get one free!
We decided to do something different with the steak instead of just marinating and cooking it and we settled on some sort of roll up. I got the idea to use the frozen asparagus we purchased from Trader Joes, and my husband wanted to use some sort of cheese. And thus our dinner was born...
Here are the ingredients we used:
2 pieces of skirt steak (you can pound it a little flatter too)
Peter Luger's Steak Sauce
Splash of Worcestershire sauce
salt & pepper to taste
asparagus (we used Grilled frozen Asparagus from Trader Joes but you can also use fresh)
Here is what we did:
First I marinated the skirt steak in a glass bowl for an hour with the Peter Luger's and Worcestershire sauce.
Then I laid out the pieces of steak and cut them in half so I would ultimately make 4 rolls.
In the middle of each piece of steak I put a little provolone cheese and a few pieces of asparagus.
Then I rolled them up and secured them with a toothpick. Once rolled, we sprinkled some salt and pepper on all sides of the roll for some extra taste.
I heated some oil in a grill pan on the stove and seared the rolls for a few minutes on each side.
Then I put the grill pan into the oven at 350 degrees F and let them cook off for another 10-12 minutes, or until the desired "doneness." We are fans of steak cooked to medium or medium well.
We ate our steak dinner with a side of mashed cauliflower and steamed mixed vegetables. Delicious!!
Because I am a HUGE cupcake lover, (as I think I have previously mentioned...) my mom found something in Bed Bath & Beyond that she thought I would really enjoy using and got it for me for Hanukkah.
Enter the Babycakes Cupcake Maker. This product is sort of like a panini press... you pour the batter into the contraption, close it, and it bakes up your cupcakes in 5-8 minutes.
My mom did give me the receipt to go with it, just in case I didn't want it. My husband and I debated for well over a month if we were going to keep this or not and today we decided to keep it because we used it!
We knew we were going to make cupcakes today because my husband is going sort of dairy free for a week (not going crazy over ingredients.. just staying away from actual milk, yogurt, cheese, ice cream, etc.), so he needed some dessert for after dinner that wasn't his usual ice cream sundae.
So, we broke out the Babycakes. It's cute - it doesn't quite make mini-cupcakes...they are sort of like cupcake bites. Like those 100 calorie pack type things. And we just used a standard box mix (marble cake mix!) to make the cupcakes.
It IS a really easy product to use...you mix up your batter, plug in the machine, fill the cups, close and wait. We made 24 "cupcake bites" in about a half hour.
I don't think I will use this to make good cupcakes - I like the traditional method better. But if I need small bite size things for recipes, this will come in handy. It's also a GREAT way to "bake" with kids - it's so easy and they would have a lot of fun doing it. Since it is so fast, there is less waiting time until they get to eat the goodies.
This product will also make pies, cheesecakes, brownies, etc. It comes with a few recipes, as well as good instructions on how to use it and some tools like an icing bag and icing tips.
All in all - fun product, and a novelty, good for kids - not bad. Thanks, Mom!
Monday, January 17, 2011
The dish I am about to present is seriously delicious. Surprisingly delicious. My husband pretty much just went, excuse my language, ape-sh*t over this dish. And has requested it again.
A lot of times I don't make the same dinner twice very often because I experiment with new tastes. Sure, we have a few standard repeaters - my Cheeseburger Pie, dumplings, fajitas, etc...but it's rare I make a lot of things over again in a short amount of time.
This one, however, will be repeated. We had a lot of ground chicken in the house thanks to a fantastic sale at a local Best Yet. I googled "ground chicken recipes" because usually ground chicken is used in this house for sweet n sour meatballs or something like that and I wanted something different.
That's how I came across THIS recipe. It looked interesting and I also had an idea forming in my mind of how to change it slightly.
I am going to post my version of the recipe first, then the other woman's version at the bottom so you can see it more easily.
The idea that formed in my mind was not using salsa, as the recipe called for, but to use this Mango Habanero fruit spread that my parents gave my husband and I for Hanukkah. It's made by Really Good Foods - a local company out in Eastern Long Island. They have the most AMAZING jams and jellies... a little pricey but seriously delicious. They also give you 50 cents back for every jar you bring back to them so if you save up enough, you get a free jar, essentially!! We can't wait until they are back out at the outlets near us all spring, summer and fall. My parents also discovered this company (on their own) and LOVE the products.
But I digress. Sorry about that - we just love this jam!
OK, so I decided to use that instead of the salsa and it definitely gave my taco meatloaf a kick!
Now, without further delay, here is my recipe: (serves 8, we halved the recipe for 4)
1 pound ground chicken
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
3 tablespoons Mango Habanero jelly
2 tablespoons Ranch-style salad dressing
1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
crushed tortilla chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Grease an 8x4 inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, mix together the ground chicken, eggs, bread crumbs, salsa, salad dressing, and taco seasoning mix.
Pack into the prepared loaf pan.
Bake for 45 minutes in the preheated oven.
Top with cheese and crushed tortilla chips - return to oven for 15 minutes.
Serve with sour cream.
We ate our dinner with a side of my creamy mashed cauliflower and it was just the perfect meal.
Here are the ingredients for the original recipe... use the same steps to prepare it, except bake for 1 hour and just top with cheese before serving.
* 1 pound ground chicken
* 2 eggs
* 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
* 3 tablespoons salsa
* 2 tablespoons Ranch-style salad dressing
* 1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
* 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
* sour cream (optional)
It's no secret that I LOVE cupcakes. They are probably my favorite dessert - I've already posted 2 posts about them. This one is different...I'm not posting a recipe. I'm commenting on some awesome cupcakes I have eaten around the Tri-State area.
My husband and I just got some delicious cupcakes (pictured) from Crumbs Bakery. They are actually a chain, but there is only one location somewhat near me and I'd never gone. Boy was I missing out!! These sizeable cupcakes come in many delicious combinations. We had a hard time picking out one each, so we ended up with 4, promising to split them. We purchased a Dulce De Leche (YUM!!), a Chocolate Covered Strawberry, a Half Baked and a White Hot Chocolate, which was the flavor of the month. I have a feeling we will be back to this bakery sometime in the near future.
Another favorite of ours resides in New Jersey near my in-laws, called Mr. Cupcakes. We first heard about this place on a local radio station and when we found out it was only 5 minutes from where my in-laws live, we went. These are standard size cupcakes but they have so many delicious flavors and it is always a treat. Some of our favorites are French Toast, Chocolate Raspberry and Cookie Jar.
We tried another place near us called New York Cupcakery, but we weren't overly impressed. We were so excited when it first opened because it would be a close cupcake place for us, but the cupcakes weren't special. They had a lot of flavors but it was like a standard cake cupcake with a flavored icing or something. We like cupcakes with stuff in the cake or a filling. I mean, these tasted fine - just not special. They were a standard size, but more expensive than Mr. Cupcakes.
We recently heard about Stuffed Cupcakes, another cupcake location near my in-laws in New Jersey and I am now DYING to try it out. Hopefully one day soon!!!
I blame the Cooking Channel, the Travel Channel and Food Network for introducing me to all of these wonderful locations and making me crave cupcakes!!
If you know of a FANTASTIC cupcake place that we should try - let me know!! My husband and I travel a lot so we'd totally seek out some local cupcakes. :-)
Until then, I am going to go enjoy my birthday cupcake from Crumbs - Chocolate Covered Strawberry tonight! YUM!!
Saturday, January 15, 2011
So...I wanted 2011 to be better with the amount of cooking and posts I was doing as opposed to the end of 2010. I started off strong around New Years...and then the plague hit me. I hear its been going around!
So I didn't cook for a while. In fact, I lived on soup and gatorade mostly. And the plague is slowly passing. Thank the Lord!
I did make this recipe before the plague hit full on, but never got around to posting it. The recipe is entirely my own, but it was inspired by an article in the newspaper one weekend. There was an article about these women that call themselves Three Many Cooks. Click here for their website. Included in the article was a brunch recipe for Black Forest Oatmeal with Toasted Almonds. (I'll post the recipe below too, even though I didn't try it or anything...it just inspired me).
I figured, if they can use extracts and other foods to fancy up oatmeal, why can't I? So, I looked through the various extracts we had previously purchased from SpiceBarn.com and settled on butter pecan. We also have a caramel syrup made by Le Caramel that we got in a 3 pack from Woot.com. Done.
Here is how I made my fancy oatmeal...
1 1/2 cups skim milk
1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
1 teaspoon butter pecan extract
1 1/2 teaspoons caramel syrup
1/8 cup chopped candied pecans for topping
Bring milk, oatmeal, extract and syrup to simmer in a large sauce pan over medium-high heat.
Reduce heat to medium-low once it begins to boil and cook, stirring occasionally to desired thickness, about 5 minutes.
Add more extract to taste if you want a stronger taste.
Top with chopped candied pecans and serve immediately.
This recipe is great for breakfast, brunch, lunch or even dinner!!
Here is the recipe that inspired me to make my own fancy oatmeal:
Black Forest Oatmeal with Toasted Almonds
3 1/2 cups chocolate soymilk
2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
1 TB unsweetened cocoa
2/3 cup dried cherries (or cherry flavored cranberries), coarsely chopped
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds
Bring milk, oatmeal, cocoa, salt and cherries to simmer in a large saucepan or 5 to 6 quart dutch oven over medium-high heat.
Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, to desired thickness, about 5 minutes.
Stir in almond extract and serve immediately, sprinkling each portion with nuts.
Sunday, January 2, 2011
Today's recipe actually comes from The Great American Cookie Cookbook, a gift to me from my mother-in-law a few years back. Originally, this book was my husband's baby, as he was the main baker in the house and I burned cookies left and right.
He's made the pudding drop cookies before, and we really enjoy them. So I decided to make a batch the other day. Originally I was going to make a few batches and bring some to work on Monday, but I only made one because I got lazy! Haha. One day I'll make some more and bring it to work, but for now, this butterscotch batch is ours.
AND - my cookies came out PERFECTLY!! Not burned...not overcooked and still soft 2 days later. Success.
The recipe is very versatile because you can basically use any kind of pudding mix that you like, and put anything you want in them... chips, nuts, candy, whatever. So the recipe I am going to list is just an example.
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup margarine or butter, melted
1 cup all purpose flour
1 package of Instant Pudding and Pie filling (we used butterscotch this time) *
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips **
* again, any kind of flavor instant pudding can be substituted
** nuts, candy, white chocolate chips, etc can be used instead
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, beat eggs and sugar with an electric mixer at high speed until thick and pale yellow.
Beat in margarine or butter and stir until smooth.
Stir in flour and pudding mix until blended.
Stir in chocolate chips.
Drop batter by tablespoonfuls (def. use a tablespoon...I used a scoop and my cookies turned into JUMBO cookies), 2 inches apart, onto greased and floured cookie sheets.
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.
Cool slightly on cookie sheets, then remove and let cool completely on wire racks.
Store in airtight container.
Makes about 24 cookies.
Saturday, January 1, 2011
Today's Game Day snack is going out with a bang as it is the last Game Day snack of the regular season. I haven't decided if there will be Game Day snacks for the playoff games - my January is a little busy. And I realized the other week we're going to be away for the Super Bowl which means I don't need to come up with tons of appetizers for my husband and I to snack on.
So I had to make this one good...and it was! To my surprise, this was delicious. It's incredibly easy and very versatile as well. Potato Chip Chicken!! I originally found the recipe here.
I used plain potato chips this time, because that is what we had in the house, but I can totally see using BBQ or cheddar and sour cream. Or even Doritos. Or the Baked Lays variety! So many possibilities...
Here are the ingredients:
1 package chicken tenderloins (you can cut these in half to make nuggets or keep them long. I kept them long).
2 tablespoons milk
2 cups crushed potato chips
lollipop sticks from a craft or party store
*(I used crushed red pepper flakes and black pepper to season these up a little since I was using plain potato chips)
Your favorite dips, such as honey mustard or BBQ sauce.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Grease a baking sheet.
Crush potato chips onto a plate.
In a large bowl, whisk together egg and milk.
Dip the chicken into the egg mixture, then coat well with potato chips. Repeat this to do a double coat - it holds up better.
Spread the tenderloins onto the baking sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes. Turn nuggets over, and bake for 10 minutes more, until golden brown.
Remove baking sheet from oven, and insert a lollipop stick into each tenderloin.
Serve warm with your favorite dipping sauces and enjoy!!
Ah...good ol' jello shots. A college staple, right? Well, for New Years, my husband and I decided to go old school and make some jello shots.
But instead of using plain ol' vodka, we used chocolate vodka - with strawberry jello - and created chocolate covered strawberry jello shots!!
These were delicious! You couldn't taste the vodka part at all (just the chocolate flavor), which made these a little dangerous. But it was a fun twist to an old school classic.
Here is a recipe for jello shots in case you need one...
Boil 2 cups (16oz) of water.
Pour 2 cups of boiling water into a large glass mixing bowl, very carefully.
Add 1 package of the flavor jello you want to the mixing bowl.
Stir the jello for about 2 to 3 minutes to make sure the jello is dissolved.
Add 6oz of cold water to the jello mixture and stir for about 20 seconds
Add your desired alcohol to the jello mixture - approx 8oz to 10oz - depending on how strong you want your jello shots.
Arrange your desired containers on a large cookie sheet or board that will fit into your refrigerator so you can easily transport them after pouring.
Pour the jello mixture into a measuring cup to make it easier to pour into the cups or containers you want your jello shots in.
Put the baking sheet with the jello shots in the refrigerator. Let your jello shots set overnight, they will be ready sooner but overnight is best.
Eating With A is already off to a strong start for 2011 as I have a few recipes to post already, which is better than I had been doing in November and December. Watch for some yummy things coming up and have a wonderful new year!!