Sunday, November 6, 2011

Hot Chocolate

This is seriously the best hot chocolate ever. It's everything hot chocolate should be, frothy and delicious. The secret is to melt the marshmallows into it while it's cooking. 

Hot chocolate


Ingredients
¼ cup cocoa powder
½ cup sugar
1/3 cup water
4 cups milk
½ cup chocolate chips
1 cup marshmallows

Directions
In a saucepan, combine the first three ingredients and bring to a boil. Over medium heat add milk, chocolate chips and marshmallow and stir with a whisk until marshmallows 

Mini Mediterranean Frittatas


Mini Mediterranean Frittatas


Ingredients 
8 eggs
4 egg whites
½ cup milk
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 box of frozen artichokes, cooked (see directions on package)
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/3 cup diced sun dried tomatoes
1/3 cup feta
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare a 12-cup muffin tin by coating each cup with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Set aside. In a skillet, add olive oil, artichokes, garlic and sun dried tomatoes. Sauté 3-4 minutes or until the artichokes start to brown.  Divided the artichoke mixture evenly into the muffin tin.  Pour eggs over the artichokes and add the crumbled feta. Bake until the egg is set and the tops of the frittatas are starting to brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Run a knife or thin metal spatula around the edge of each frittata and gently lift them out. Serve immediately.
(If you have leftovers, let them cool for about 15 minutes, then store in an airtight container. Reheat in a 350 degree oven or toaster oven for 3 to 4 minutes.)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Ham and Lentil Soup

In honor of being sick all week, I made soup. Not just any kind of soup, but the kind you put in a crock pot and forget about it for a few hours then BAM! you have soup. Enjoy...
Ham and Lentil Soup

 Ingredients
·         1 cup dried lentils
·         1 cup chopped celery
·         1 cup chopped carrots
·         1 cup chopped onion
·         2 cloves garlic, minced
·         2  cups diced cooked ham
·         1/2 teaspoon dried basil
·         1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
·         1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
·         1 bay leaf
·         1/4 teaspoon black pepper
·         32 ounces chicken broth
·         2 cup water 
      1 6oz can of tomato paste (optional) 




Directions
In a 3 1/2 quart or larger slow cooker combine the lentils, celery, carrots, onion, garlic and ham. Season with basil, thyme, oregano, the bay leaf and pepper. Stir in the chicken broth and water. Cover and cook on Low for 8 hours. Discard the bay leaf before serving.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Lasagna

I am SO sorry it took me so long to post this. I've been sick, at a wedding in the snow and lost internet over the past few days. However, all is well again in the world of me. So without further ado *drum roll* I give you lasagna...


Lasagna 
Ingredients
·         1 pound sweet Italian sausage
·         1 pound lean ground beef
·         1/2 cup minced onion
·         4 cloves garlic, crushed
·         1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
·         2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
·         2 (6.5 ounce) cans canned tomato sauce
·         1/2 cup water
·         3 tablespoons white sugar
·         2  tablespoons dried basil leaves
·         2 tablespoons dried oregano
·         1 teaspoon salt
·         1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
·         4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
·         12 oven ready lasagna noodles
·         16 ounces ricotta cheese
·         1 egg
·         1/2 teaspoon salt
·         3/4 pound mozzarella cheese, shredded
·         3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions
1.     In a large pot cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Drain fat. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, oregano, salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
2.     In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg and remaining parsley
3.     Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
4.     To assemble, spread one quarter of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Arrange 4 noodles over meat sauce. Spread with one third of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese. Spoon one quarter meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers 2 more time. And top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.
5.     Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Friday, October 21, 2011

"Wunderbar!" he exclaimed with great relish.

I have come to a decision! Lasagna and strawberry shortcake. I have a busy weekend so that's all you get this week. I guess I should mention that I won't be posting anything next weekend. I am in a wedding and I will be gone Friday - Monday....Sorry

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

*shrugs* I got nothin

Ok guys I must admit, I bit off more than I could chew last week. So I'm keeping it simple this week with recipes I have made hundreds of times. Still not sure what I'm going to make and I probably won't know until I go to the grocery store. Maybe something along the lines of lasagna, chicken pot pie (PA dutch style) or deer and fried macaroni (super secret family recipe) *throw hands in the air* I don't know! I'll figure something out.

Side note: I am making the Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies tomorrow and promise to add pictures to the recipe.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Purple Monkey Dishwasher Soup


Urban Dictionary definition of Purple Monkey Dishwasher- Despite claims this phrase originated on "The Simpsons", it actually existed long before it was used in the show. The phrase is intended to portray the distortion of facts when passed from person to person.

Its use in "The Simpsons" was accurate; Bart starts a rumour by whispering to one person who whispers it to another, etc. By the time the rumour reaches the front of the crowd, the phrase "Purple monkey dishwasher" has been added to the end due to people mishearing the original rumour as it passed from person to person.

Due to the popularity of "The Simpsons", the phrase has since become a commonly used response to opinions stated based on hearsay and unconfirmed rumours.
Example-Person A - "I heard from a friend of a friend that John cheated on Linda with Karen!"
Person B - "Purple monkey dishwasher."

Example- Nora's pregnant with Greg's baby after sleeping firt with Tony, John and Barney...but she's telling Tim it's his due to their fling at Thanksgiving....purple monkey dishwasher.

Now that you understand what it means let me explain how it came about. I could never come up with a name for this soup. Every time I tried to describe it I would add something new or forget something important. So it would come out like this 

"Hey Kacey what are you eating?" 
"Its a bacon potato leek soup...with tomatoes...but it's not a creamy soup like a potato soup usually is. Uh, er *awkward silence* purple monkey dishwasher" 

One more thing before the recipe. These pictures do not do the soup justice. I'm sorry I was just not feeling creative today. Luckily I make this soup all the time so I'll try again later. Enjoy!

Purple Monkey Dishwasher Soup

Ingredients
olive oil
6 slices of bacon, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
3 small ribs celery from the heart of the stalk, finely chopped
2 small to medium carrots, shredded
3 leeks, trimmed of rough tops and roots
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper
3 medium starchy potatoes, such as Idaho, peeled
2 quarts stock (I typically use a combo of vegetable and chicken)
1 (15-ounce) can crushed tomatoes

Directions
Heat a medium soup pot or deep sided skillet over medium-high heat. To the hot pan add a drizzle of oil and the bacon. Cook bacon until brown and crisp. Add the chopped celery and carrots. Cut leeks lengthwise and then into 1/2-inch half moons. Place the leeks into a colander and run under rushing cold water, separating the layers to wash away all the trapped grit. When the leeks are separated and clean, shake off water and add to celery and carrots. Stir veggies together, add a bay leaf and season with salt and pepper. While the leeks cook to wilt, 3 to 4 minutes, slice the potatoes.
Thinly slice potatoes or shredded them (like hash browns)
Add stock to vegetables and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add potatoes and tomatoes. Cook 8 to10 minutes until potatoes are tender.
I know, I know! It's a crappy picture.
 I'll take a better one next time I promise.


Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

Let me first start off by saying I'm sorry. I don't have time to make these right now. I will this week but not today. *hangs head in shame* I still wanted to give you the recipe today. 

Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies
Ingredients

Candied Bacon
8 slices thick bacon
1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar

Cookies
2-1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Instructions
Candied Bacon
Preheat the oven to 350º.
Line a baking sheet with tin foil sprayed with non-stick spray. Lay bacon in a single layer and sprinkle with brown sugar.
Bake at 350º for about 30 minutes, turning every 10 minutes, or until crispy. Let cool.

Cookies
Preheat the oven to 325º.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the whole egg, egg yolk and vanilla, mix to combine. Slowly add the flour and baking soda, mix well. Using a spatula, stir in the chocolate chips and bacon.
Roll the cookie dough into golf ball sized balls, approximately 24. Bake at 325º for 15-18 minutes.

Bacon Shot (aka Lumberjack)

Warning: If you got to a bar and ask you for a Lumberjack you will not get bacon with it. The bacon lumberjack is made only at a bar in Harrisburg PA. This is my interpretation of it. I have no if the amounts are the same as they put in.

Lumberjack Shot

1 part Yukon Jack
1 part Bailey's Irish Cream
2 parts Butterscotch Schnapps
optional- a few drops of maple syrup
1 piece of crispy bacon

Mix the Yukon Jack, Bailey's and Butterscotch Schnapps together. Alternate eating the bacon and taking the shot. Tastes like pancakes! 

BLT Pasta


BLT Pasta
                                                                  Ingredients

1 (12oz) package of fettuccini
5 strips of bacon
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/3 cup sliced sun dried tomatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups arugula or baby spinach
parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper

Directions

Heat water to a boil for pasta, salt water and cook pasta to al dente. Put aside 1 cup pasta water and drain pasta.

Cut bacon into half inch strips and cook over medium heat until crisp. Drain grease; add garlic and sundried tomatoes. Cook for 1 minute stirring constantly. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add oil and remove from heat. Start by adding ½ cup reserved pasta water. Keep adding water till you reach desired consistency. Stir in pasta. Add arugula and sprinkle with parmesan cheese

Optional- Add arugula with pasta and stir together. 

Maple Bacon Corn Muffins

I love these muffins. They not only taste great but they make the kitchen smell AMAZING. If you don't want to make the corn muffins you can just go buy a box of cornbread mix. My feelings won't be hurt, I promise. 

Maple Bacon Corn Muffins

Ingredients


1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup canola oil
1/3 cup  maple syrup
1/2 cup bacon, cooked and crumbled

Directions
In a bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a small bowl, beat the eggs. Add cream, oil, maple syrup and bacon; beat well. stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened. Pour into a greased muffin tin (or use paper muffin cups).

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Makin' Bacon

Welcome to Bacon Weekend!!!

I just went to the store and bought more bacon than should be allowed. I mean seriously what is one person going to do with 4 pounds of bacon? ...eat it of course. I wanted to start off with a quick "how to cook bacon in the oven". I'm not sure many of your are aware of what you are missing. Oven bacon is like the King of all the bacon. Just try it once and you will never go back to cooking it on the stove top or *cringe* the microwave.

Oven Bacon



  • Cover a large cookie sheet with foil and place a wire rack on to top (I use cookie racks) 
  • Place the raw bacon in a row the wire racks
  • Turn oven on to 400 and place bacon in the oven ( do NOT preheat)
  • Roast in the oven for 20 minutes until bacon is crisp and cooked.
  • Remove bacon to paper towel lined plates, pat dry, and use however you want.

Monday, October 10, 2011

BACON in the morning, BACON in the evening, BACON at supper time...

Yup you guessed it, its bacon time!!!! This week I'll be bringing you the food that tempts even the strongest vegans. It is the world's most loved and cherished food, there is even a tribe in South America that worships bacon.* Bacon is by far one of my top favorite foods and after this week it will be yours too. Now without giving away the recipes let me tell you some of what I have planned.

cookies
 a movie theater treat
 ___ wrapped in bacon
bacon & pasta
alcoholic bacon. 

Did I catch your interest yet? I hope everyone enjoys there week. I'll see you in a few days!

*This is not a fact but should be. Bacon = God. Sounds like heaven right? (HAH!) So who's with me?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Apple Bacon Bread Pudding

This is currently in my oven so I will post pictures when its done. So I was thinking this would also be good with sausage. I'll let you know when I try it. 

Apple Bacon Bread Pudding

Ingredients

3 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled and coarsely chopped 
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
4 cups cubed crusty bread
1 pound bacon, cooked and chopped
2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese 
2 ½ cups milk
1 teaspoon ground mustard
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
5 eggs
Salt and pepper

Directions
1
Grease 2-quart casserole. In 10-inch skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Cook apples in butter 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender. Stir in brown sugar; reduce heat to low. Cook 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until apples are tender. Layer half of the bread, bacon, apples and cheese in casserole. Repeat with remaining bread, bacon, apples and cheese. Mix all remaining ingredients; pour over cheese. Cover tightly and refrigerate at least 2 hours but no longer than 24 hours.4Heat oven to 350ºF. Bake uncovered 40 to 45 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Baked Apples



Baked Apples

Ingredients
6 baking apples (I used Gala)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup light or dark brown sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
¼ cup apple juice

Directions
Heat oven to 400° F. Remove and discard the cores from the apples. Place the apples in a 9- by-13-inch baking dish. In a small bowl, combine the nuts, sugar, and butter. Divide the mixture among the apples. Pour apple juice in bottom of pan. Bake until tender, about 25 minutes. Serve warm

You can also do these in a crock pot. Remove and discard the cores from the apples. Place apples in crock pot. In a small bowl, combine the nuts, sugar, and butter. Divide the mixture among the apples. Pour apple juice in bottom of crock pot. Cook on high for 2 hours.  Serve warm



Apple Salsa

I got this recipe from my friend Amanda. I was skeptical at first but as I sit here with a spoon and a big bowl of salsa (I ran out of chips a long time ago) I am now a believer! 

Apple Salsa

Ingredients
1 red apple
1 green apple
¼ cup cilantro
¼  cup red onion
1 serrano pepper
1 lime
1 tablespoon canola oil. 


Directions
Dice apples and onion. Finely dice serrano pepper. Finely chop cilantro. Mix together. In separate bowl juice lime and whisk in oil, pour over apple mixture and stir together.

Tortilla Chips

Ingredients
whole wheat flour tortillas

Directions
Heat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut tortillas into desired size and bake till brown and crisp 8-10 minutes.