Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Serious, Serious Fair Food

This past weekend I went to the Big E in Massachusetts. The Big E is one big state fair for all of the New England states. I think it is because none of the New England states are big enough for their own state fair and so they combine all of them into one big one.

Well, if you read my blog a couple of weeks ago you know that I love a fair, especially the fair food. OMG!! This fair was even better than the last one. SO MUCH FOOD EVERYWHERE!!!!

First off we had a Lobster Roll. Oh my gosh (OMG) it was so delicious. I didn't even eat the roll because it would have just filled me up and I had LOTS more taste testing to do. Ha!

Next, I had some mac-and-cheese. I didn't take a picture because it was so sorry and yucky that it didn't deserve a picture. I love mac-and-cheese so much it is my fifth food group, but this was such an injustice.

Next, there was this little Italian Pastry stand and they had all homemade pastries. I got an Eclair and oh my gosh (total OMG!!!!) it was amazing. Completely fab-u-lous!!! The inside was filled with homemade custard. Mmmmmmm.....so good.

Next, I had a corn dog. Nothing says fair like a corn dog. A lot of people think they are gross or weird, but I am not one of them. Corn dogs are the BEST. The corn bread that covers the hot dog is sweet and fried and so good. What's better than a hot dog on a stick. I mean really, isn't everything better on a stick?????

And finally I had a cream puff. The Big E is known for their cream puffs. They are made right there just for the Big E. They are so big and so yummy! Two pieces of puff pastry with cream inside. What's not to like? I still think they would be better with cream cheese icing than fluffy cream, but then they wouldn't be called cream puffs. I guess they would be called...hmmm...cream cheese icing puffs. Nope, just doesn't sound the same. Oh well, they still rock. And so does and always will...fair food!

Monday, September 28, 2009

What a JERK!

No seriously, what a perfect piece of jerk chicken. Ha! I had marinated chicken breast tonight and I marinated it in jerk sauce.

The World Harbors Marinades are amazing if you've never had them. There are about 7-8 (I think) different kinds and they are all fab-u-lous!!! I am pretty sure that almost every grocery store carries them. Just check in the aisle with the sauces and marinades. I also pounded out my chicken breast beforehand. I don't like my chicken really thick because I think it gets dried out that way. You can easily use a meat clever to do the pounding, just place the chicken breast in a baggie or between two pieces of saran wrap and then start pounding. I don't have a meat clever (I know! Can you believe it...a kitchen utensil I actually don't have!!!) and so I used the bottom of a coffee cup. It worked just dandy.

I also had some peas, which I love. I never liked them as a kid, but love them now. If you look closely you can see the steam rising off of them. I was looking at the photo for the longest time wondering what it was. Was it a smear on the lens? Was there something wrong with the camera? Then I figured it out. Aaahhhh (insert picture of lightbulb here), it is the steam from the peas. Ha!

I also had some buttered rice. Loooooove it! I buy the single serving Minute Rice ones. They come in this cute little one-cup serving cup and you just microwave it for 1-minute and walluh, yummy rice. I could seriously have buttered rice every night and never get sick of it. When I was younger I would put ketchup (I know, right?) on my rice. Weird! Now I eat it with butter. OMG!!! It is so incredibly good. Really though, with butter anything is incredibly good. ;)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Snickerdoodle = Fantabulous!!!

OMG! Can I just tell you how much I love snickerdoodle cookies. They are my absolute favorite cookies. For real, they are fab-u-lous!!! I am a grand lover of cookies, all kinds, shapes, sizes, and flavors, but I have always loved snickerdoodles. Something about that cinnamon and sugar mixture. Yummy!

The one's that I made in the photo are actually from a really easy recipe. They are actually Tastefully Simple. They are the Cinnamon Muffin Melt mix, but there is a recipe on the side of the box for snickerdoodle cookies. That was all I needed to see and I made them that way. I have bought these probably a dozen times from Tastefully Simple and have never made the muffins, only the snickerdoodle cookies. Ha!

They are fluffy and sweet and delicious. Mmmmmmm...I think I'll go have another one right now. Maybe you should order some too! :)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Ruby Tuesday (on Friday)

Every once in awhile I am craving a big, thick, juicy burger. Ruby Tuesday's has an awesome burger. It is my all-time favorite at Ruby Tuesday's...the Alpine Swiss Burger. It has swiss cheese and sautéed baby portabella mushrooms. OMG! It so good and fab-u-lous!!. There are a ton of mushrooms and you know me and the schrooms. Love them! I always get my burgers done medium rare or medium. I know it can be unsafe to get your burgers done any less than well done, but WHATEVER, that's so not true. I've been eating my meat rare to medium rare for years and I'm still breathing. Ha!

This burger is HUGE!!! (Okay the picture is not of my fave burger, but I couldn't find a picture of that one, but you get the gist of the hugeness.) Seriously, if you know me you know I have a big mouth (Ha!), but I must cut this burger in half because is it THAT BIG! I always ask for mayonnaise on the side for my burger because I roll like that.

This burger also comes with french fries. I mean it would be un-American to have a burger without french fries. And I also always ask for ranch dressing on the side to dip my french fries in. I am all about the sauce. I'm just a saucy kind of gal. :)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Popeye Quesadillas

I have these quesadillas at least once a week. OMG! They are so good and so incredibly simple to make. I use the whole wheat tortillas to make it a bit more healthy and then I add in some shredded cheese. You can use any kind of cheese. I usually have shredded mozzarella or cheddar cheese always in my refrigerator. I then just add in some fresh spinach. You don't have to cut up the spinach or anything. It just wilts down from the heat. Trust me on this. I know it will look like a ton and you'll think it is too much spinach, but once it wilts down, it's really not that much at all.

I used my quesadilla maker. Again, I do believe this is the most fantastic kitchen appliance there is. It is awesome! But, if you don't have one, no worries, you can simply cook the quesadillas in a skillet and put a can of soup on top for weight. That's some Rachel Ray trickery. Ha! :)

I also used sour cream, which is the Mexican essential right? Ha! And I had some of my friend Rachel's homemade salsa. So yummy!

Okay, I know I've made you really hungry now. So go ahead, step away from the computer, walk into the kitchen and make some quesadillas.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Breaking Bread with the Amish

Growing up in PA. I've had this bread many times over the years. It is called Amish Friendship Bread. It is so good and moist. Seriously, no joke, you can let it sit on your counter and take two weeks to eat it and it will still be moist and fresh. It's completely CRAZY!!! (but friendly. Ha!)

This is a bread to be shared with another person (technically your friend). :) You give your friend one of the starters in a zip lock bag. The starter is essentially a homemade yeast mix. You also always have a starter going. You mush the bag each day and on day 5 add sugar, flour and milk and then for five more days you mush the bag each day. At the end of 10 days you add again sugar, flour and milk, separate into 4 1-cup servings and put into zip lock bags and share with friends. With what is left over in the bowl you add ingredients, place in the oven and bake for 1 hour and walluh...OMG! delicious, yummy bread. The Amish ROCK!

I think what makes this bread really good is that before you bake it you sprinkle a cinnamon/sugar mixture all over it. I have never had someone try it who didn't like it. It is THAT GOOD. And it is really, really simple. Please leave me a note if you want the recipe.

Each recipe makes 2 breads or 5 mini loaves. How fab-u-lous would it be to make these for little Christmas gifts for friends, co-workers, church friends, etc.???? Okay, so turn off the computer and get baking. Christmas is only right around the corner afterall. But first leave me a note. ;)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Let Them Eat Cake

I found this recipe through kraft.com and it is fab-u-lous!! So yummy! It is called Gram's Brown Sugar Cake. It is so moist and sweet, and that's without even any icing! Ha! You add 2/3 cup of sour cream, which is where the moistness comes from. The pecans after baking taste like sweet (from the brown sugar) roasted nuts. OMG!

It is so incredibly easy to make:
1 yellow box cake mix
1 vanilla pudding mix
4 eggs
2/3 cup sour cream
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
--Mix the first six ingredients and then add in the brown sugar and pecans and mix again. Pour into a greased tube pan and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees. Cool completely and sprinkle with powdered sugar.That's it. That's all there is to it. No joke, it is that simple. You can whip this cake up in no time. It would perfect for a house warming, hostess gift, to take to a sick friend, etc. It really is the perfect cake. There is nothing to not like about it.

Okay, I think you get the idea. Now, cut it and let them eat cake.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Gnocchi. Gnocchi. Who's There?

Okay, this is really yummy!!!! I got Gorgonzola Gnocchi at Trader Joe's last week and made it for dinner tonight. OMG!!! It is so incredibly fab-u-lous!!! I know I am going a little overboard with the exclamation points, but I cannot help it. Ha! Seriously though, this gnocchi is so good. It is creamy and rich and cheesy and delicious. You simply put some oil into a pan, empty the bag of gnocchi into the pan and 7 minutes later...wallah, you've got some major comfort food on your plate. It's almost difficult to put into words how good it is. It is not the lightest in calories or fat, but this is so good that who cares? :) I also had some garlic bread, which is really good too and one of my favorite sides, but after the gnocchi, it fails in comparison. Ha!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Breakfast of Champions

I love, love, love Dunkin Donuts!! My nieces call it Dunkies and the name has stuck with me and so if you know me you know I call it Dunkies.

Since I am living in New England, we have them all over. Seriously, there are probably 3-4 per town and they are in every Stop and Shop grocery store. :) My all-time favorite donut is the Boston Cream. For those of you who don't know what that is, it is filled with custard and then has chocolate icing on top. OMG!!! So good! I know some of you are probably laughing or in utter disbelief, but seriously, some people have never heard of a Boston Cream donut. When I was in graduate school at Kansas State University, none of the bakeries had Boston Cream donuts. I think they were just called Custard Filled donuts. The first time I asked for a Boston Cream donut they looked at me like I was nuts. Now I am nuts sometimes, but this was crazy. Ha!

I also love Dunkin Donuts coffee! Fab-u-lous!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I always get a medium coffee with one equal and cream. Always the same, every day. If Dunkin Donuts ever went out of business I just don't know what I would do.

As you know my brother Todd and his family live in Alaska and they don't have any Dunkin Donuts in Alaska. Now, Todd and his wife, Terry, loooooooove Dunkies just as much as me. I mean, it was my nieces that came up with the name Dunkies afterall. They love their donuts with sprinkles. I feel so sorry for them. I really wish they could get donuts from Dunkin Donuts like me.

Now, turn off the computer, put on your shoes, grab your keys and drive immediately to the nearest Dunkies!! And tell them I sent ya. :)

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Salmon Are Running to Dinner

In Alaska (and probably in the Lower 48 too) when the salmon come back to the river, or on their way to the stream they were spawned in, they call it the salmon run and this is when it is great fishing.

I had some salmon in my freezer and decided that would be for dinner tonight. I make it really simply and just drizzle some olive oil over it and then add some salt and pepper and then some lemon wedges. That's it. I bake it at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes and wallah. Done!

I also love tomatoes. I had two in my refridgerator that I needed to eat soon before they went bad. I had just a little bit of goat cheese and thought...what a perfect combination. I cut off one end of the tomato and then squeezed out the seeds. I then cut a little bit off the other end so it would sit flat. I put some goat cheese on top and baked as long as the salmon. OMG! They are fab-u-lous!


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Chicken n biscuits

I should have added asparagus to the title, but that seemed really long. I also should have added the yummiest biscuits ever. Ha!

I made chicken tonight for dinner. I'm not really a big fan of chicken. I know it's healthy and there's so much you can do with it. Blah, blah, blah. Honestly though I'm not a huge fan. It always seems so dry and I can never judge when it is done cooking and have to cut it open; hence, probably the problem with the dryness. I usually have to doctor it up somehow.

Well, the doctoring up today was Indian Valley sweet and spicy honey mustard sauce. This is some yummo mustard sauce (I am a HUGE fan of the honey mustard sauce). I got it in Alaska when I went there to visit my brother this past summer. I don't think you get it in the Lower 48, but I bet they have a website to check out and buy some. It really is that good. I basted the chicken with the mustard sauce and grilled it. Results...delicious.

I also made these amazing biscuits. I got them from an Amish store in PA. when I was home this past summer. They are super easy to make (all you add is water) and OMG! so good. Again, not sure where else you can get them, but maybe they have a website. You'll have to check it out and then let me know. Ha! These biscuits are melt-in-your-mouth fab-u-lous!!!!

I also made some asparagus, which is one of my favorite vegetables. I like it cold, hot, boiled, grilled, frsh, or canned. Seriously, I like it any old way.

Bon Appetit!

Monday, September 14, 2009

I Just Love a Fair

Today my friend, Shannon, and I went to a fair. It was a good ol country fair with farm animals and rides and FAIR FOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG! It was all so incredibly good. Where to begin? Luckily for you, I took my camera and took pictures of all the yummo food I ate. Ha!

First off, I had these fantastic fried mushrooms. They were incredible. They were not your average fried mushrooms; they were HUGE and fresh!!! And they came with this delicious horseradish sauce or ranch dressing. The mushroom juice was excruciatingly hot though. You know what mushroom juice is, it is the liquid that pops out when you bite into something fried. Gimme a shout out if ya know what I am talking about. My brother, Todd, keeps telling me there is no such thing, but in my world of culinary expertise (of which there is none) it exists. Ha!

Second, I had a lobster roll. I have lived in Connecticut for four years now and prior to moving here, I had never heard of a lobster roll. But, lemme tell you, they are fab-u-lous!!!!! It is cooked lobster meat (big chunks) then soaked in butter :) and then placed on a toasted bun! OMG!!!! Sooooooooo good! Granted you could probably just inject it into your arteries, but so incredible.

Next, I got kettle corn to take home (C'mon really, I was getting STUFFED). Now, if you have never had kettle corn, you don't know what you are missing! Seriously. It is that good. My friend, and now my aunt, call this Crack-in-a-Bag. It is so addicting. I got the smaller bag, but I had to show you how big of a bag you can get. My sister-in-law Terry loves this stuff. This is an incredibly horrendous picture of me by the way. It was a million degrees outside for September. Bleh.

Last, but certainly not least, Shannon's daughter, Melissa, got a funnel cake. I grew up in Pennsylvania and so we were practically raised on funnel cakes. They are sweet, fried, powdered sugared, plates of goodness. It is so good. Absolutely fantastic!!

Okay, stick a pin in me because I am about ready to pop! :)

Perfect for the Kitchen...Monogram Towels

Hey all, just wanted to let you know that Monogram Me over at http://mpmdesigns.blogspot.com, is doing a give away for monogram Kitchen Towels and a monogrammed Wine and Hostess Set. Fab-u-lous!!!!!!!!!!! Go and follow her blog and tell her I sent ya!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Oh We are So On the Border!!!

I went to On the Border today with some friends. I loooooove On the Border. It is so yummy. I just totally love Mexican food.

First off, they bring out the chips and salsa. They have the BEST chips. They are warm and have the just right amount of salt. OMG! they are so good!

We got the Guacamole Live appetizer, which just means that they make it "live" in front of you and it is not pre-made. It is really good too!

I always get the same thing...the Make your Own Combo. I always get the one for three different entrees. I get the cheese and onion enchilada with the sour cream sauce (not the red enchilada sauce; although they brought me the wrong one), one taco and one chile relleno. I love chile rellenos. Mmmmmmm....chile rellenos. My gosh, I am getting hungry right now just thinking about. Aren't you? It also comes with rice and refried beans. Sorry about the photot, I couldn't wait and started eating my rice and then remembered to still had to take a picture. Ha!

On the Border Rocks!!!!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Hola! It's Mexicana Night.

Rainy, chilly (even had the heat on in my car), Friday evening. What to do for dinner? Of course...COMFORT FOOD!!! Ummm...quesadillas!! I had some yummy aged maple smoked Gouda that I got in Vermont a couple of weeks ago, but no bacon and no spinach. What to do? Oh wait, I have some shredded crab meat (Okay so it's imitation crab meat, but so what, I'm not judging.) Fab-u-lous combination.

I'm so excited now. Seriously, gimme a bib 'cause I'm drooling. Ha! And to think I thought of this all on my own. I need to give myself more credit.

So, you just take 2 tortillas (I used Chi-Chi's brand wheat ones) and then shred some cheese (you can use whatever type of cheese you want to) and put the shredded cheese on top of one tortillas and then put the crab meat on and then the other tortilla on top and wall-ah. Yummo! So simple and yet so tasty!

I used a quesadilla maker, which is one of my favorite kitchen gadgets. Plus, it is so cool the way it is also divided evenly. I even took a picture of the inside cheesy, ooey goodness. OMG! It is so good!!! You must make this soon.

One day I will have to post about kitchen gadgets. Seriously I have so many.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Foldies Galore

I have found one of the BEST potato chips ever!

They are the Cape Cod Kettle Cooked Potato Chips. Oh my gosh (OMG!) they are so incredibly good. And they are 40% less fat than regular potato chips, all natural, no preservatives, but they are still kettle cooked. (I know, you are capable of reading the bag. Ha!)

They are so crunchy and there are tons of foldies. Okay, you are probably wondering what a foldie is right? Well, they are chips that are folded over (see picture below). My roommate, Courtney, when I lived in Baltimore used to call them foldies and it just stuck with me ever since. Do you know what I am talking about? Give me a shout out if you love foldies too. :)

You must check with your local grocery store and see if they carry the Cape Cod Kettle Cooked chips and if they don't then ask them too. And if all else fails, go to their website and buy some online. Ha! Seriously, they are that good!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

How Can a Fungus Taste So Yummy?

I couldn't think what to make tonight for dinner and then remembered I had portabello mushrooms in the fridge I also thawed out some turkey burgers and what a fantastic combination. Yummo! My brother Todd used to call these "shroomby's" when we were growing up and would get them at Hardee's (mushroom and swiss burger).

Although, I really didn't need the burger. I have been known to just cook up some mushrooms in a little bit of butter and there is a delicious dinner too. Ha!

The roll is one of those new Arnold Flatbread rolls. They are so good too! The turkey burgers are from Trader Joe's (loooooove Trader Joe's!!!) as are the mushrooms. I'm not a good maker of burgers. I never seem to get them even and I make them entirely too big (yes there is such a thing. Ha!) and so it takes them forever to cook. Buying them already made is so much easier for me and I then I can just cook or grill them up.

An easy and simple, yet fab-u-lous dinner. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

CousCous in My LunchLunch

Not a fan of CousCous? Don't worry about it, I wasn't either. At least that's what I thought until I tried this the other day.

OMG! It is soooooooooo good!!! My friend Rachel made this at her cookout the other day and it was fab-u-lous! I really couldn't believe how much I was liking it. I think I previously only had couscous warm, but this was eaten cold. It is a cold couscous salad. And so easy to make. Basically just make the couscous by the box instructions and let cool. Then add cherry tomatoes (halved), black beans, chives, and shoe peg corn and then mix it all with some olive oil. Yummo! And it is a pretty food dish too, with the color of the chives and the black beans and the tomatoes.

I brought some leftovers home and yesterday I had some of the leftover couscous for lunch and preceded to eat the entire thing! Ha! Seriously, it is that good and you have got to try it. In fact, have it tonight for dinner.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Granola Anyone?

The Pie Pops were a huge hit at both picnics. They were tasty.

I've been making my own granola for a year or so now. I got the recipe from my friend Judy and it is fab-u-lous!!! Everyone that I share it with wants the recipe and since I made some this past weekend I thought I would post about it today. It only has 5 ingredients. Yes, you read correctly...5 ingredients!! I even gave the recipe to one of my students and now she and her dorm mates make it all the time. So, even a college student is capable. :) Just kidding, I know quite a few college students that are quite good cooks.

Here's the recipe: Mix 4 cups of Quaker Oats (not the Quick Oats kind), 2 cups of coconut, and 2 cups of almonds together. In another bowl whisk 3/4 cup of oil with 1/4 cup of honey. Mix it all together (wet with dry ingredients) and put into a large cake pan. Cook for a total of 45 minutes in a 350 degree oven, while taking out at 15 minute intervals to mix around. When finished cooking, immediately take out of the pan (or else it will stick really bad) and place on parchment paper to dry. You can then add in raisins or dried cranberries or whatever you choose.
Yep it is that easy. Seriously, it is. And believe me, once you start eating your own granola you won't be buying it at the grocery store again. And it is so incredibly cheap to make. If you eat a lot of granola then you will be saving a ton of money!

Let me know what you think after making it.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Cute As A Button Pie Pops

I got this idea from Bakerella's blog a couple of weeks ago. I have a picnic tonight and another one tomorrow and thought this idea would be great to try out. I decided to use apple pie filling. I also thought to use a larger cookie cutter since Bakerella mentioned there was more pie crust taste than pie filling taste. I also decided that since I was using a larger cookie cutter that I would use the larger lollipop sticks.

Everything turned out fabulous except I think I should have used the smaller lollipop sticks because the bigger ones look goofy. You also have really wait until they are completely cooled before picking them up otherwise either the stick slides out or the pop slides down. If you cannot wait then maybe you should put the entire pop into your mouth at once. Ha! If you would like the recipe just leave me a comment with your email address and I will send it to you.

Hope you enjoyed this first blog of mine and hopefully you'll keep coming back for more.