Thursday, December 23, 2010

...We just didn't make the goal :(

So I guess 52 actually means ~21 (which is how many we've done that I remember; I still need to update with gumbo, oreo balls, etc) we'll extend this into 2011 too...and not extend the number required past 52. Just FYI to the general reader, Andrew and I do not live together, and next school year we will hopefully be apart (grad school and all that jazz for him, completing my degree for me), so it makes cooking together difficult at best. I think the most realistic goal for us is to complete 52 special recipes between 2010-2011...and then we can go from there!

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and have a Great New Year everybody!

(and no, we won't be making a fruitcake!)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Free Ninja Hooks Give Away!

I know this isn't cooking, but it's still really cool! Go check it out!
A personal finance blog I follow, Fabulously Broke in the City, is giving away Ninja coat hooks at: .

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cranberry Muffins

-1/2 c. softened butter (1 stick)
-1 c. sugar
-2 eggs
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1 c. sour cream
-2 c. all-purpose flour
-1 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-1/4 tsp cinnamon
-1/4 tsp salt
-1 c. chopped fresh or frozen cranberries
-2 tbs sugar
-1/8 tsp cinnamon
*Note, I replaced ground nutmeg with cinnamon a) because Walmart was sold out and b) because my mom doesn't like nutmeg. If you want to use it, change the first measurement to 1/4 tsp nutmeg)

1. Preheat oven to 400F. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Fold in the sour cream.
2. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; stir into the creamed mixture until just moistened. Fold in the cranberries.
3. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups 2/3 full. Combine topping ingredients. Sprinkle over muffins. Bake at 400F for 20-25 minutes or until muffins are done. Cool in pan for 10 minutes; remove to wire rack.

They're really really good. I'm bringing them to my mom for Thanksgiving. Andrew'll be there too, so we'll hopefully have a lot of posts up from that (she bought a 30lb turkey)!! The cranberries are really tart (more so than I thought they would be), but they're really tasty!!! :D

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sweet Pepper Jelly

I will eventually upload the recipe for gumbo and potato salad, but I made pepper jelly today. I don't know how it truly is yet because it hasn't set, but the little unset bit that I tasted was really good :)

-3/4 c. chopped green bell pepper (we used 1/2 red bell pepper and 1/2 green bell pepper)
-1/4 c. chopped jalapeno pepper (fresh) (approximately 1 large pepper and 1 small pepper)
-1 1/2 c. apple cider vinegar
-6 c. sugar
-4 oz. pectin (aka Certo)
-6 (1/2 pt) canning jars with lids (I just used one big jar. You need sterilized canning jars if you plan on storing these things in your pantry for a while. I plan to eat mine as fast as I can).

In case you are at a loss as to where to find Certo, it's on the baking aisle, kind of by the marshmallows.

1. Finely mince bell pepper and hot pepper. I watched a wikihow on how to mince things. I have a chopper, but I didn't want to use it. Apparently you just cut the top off, cut it in half, scrape out the inside (unless you want the spice), and slice it into strips. After that, turn the strips perpendicular to yourself and chop them into tiny pieces. Voilà!!!

And this is proof that you should try checking out farmer's markets or pick your produce very very very carefully. I got this pepper from Walmart :( Luckily, I bought two and the other was fine. It's always a good idea to pick up back-up!

Combine pepper, vinegar, and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a rolling boil. MAKE sure the sugar is dissolved, or it won't set right.

2. Remove from heat and add Certo. The packages are 3 oz., and it calls for 4 oz., so you'll need to premeasure or eyeball it (not a good idea when canning).

3. Pour into jars. Be careful not to spill the hot liquid on yourself. It will HURT!

4. Leave it alone and let it set. This can vary. I read that it can take an hour to a day. You can tell by consistency. It may not set, in which case something might be a little off.

A great way to eat pepper jelly is with cream cheese and crackers. You just get out a brick of cream cheese and put it on a plate. Pour pepper jelly over it and eat it together on crackers. DELICIOUSO!!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Snickerdoodle Cake & Snickerdoodle Icing

Hey Y'all!

So this is the last thing Andrew cooked, but is not the last thing that I cooked. I'll update with those after this, because this is shorter and from a recipe book, vs. the kind of thing that I made, which is not from a recipe, but passed down through the family etc etc etc. So yeah, the post after this will be gumbo and then some potato salad (because you can't have one without the other, unless you're at a picnic or having fried chicken etc, then you can have potato salad). Anyway, I digress. So if you've got a hankering for something delicious, there is a simple snickerdoodle recipe headed your way via this post!

Snickerdoodle Cake
-Solid Vegetable Shortening (aka Crisco or an equivalent)
-1 package (18.25 oz) plain white cake mix
-1 c. whole milk
-8 tbs (1 stick) butter, melted
-3 large eggs
-1 tsp pure vanilla extract
-2 tsp ground cinnamon

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease (with the Crisco) 2 9'' round cake pans, and then dust with flour. Shake out the excess flour. Set these pans aside. (You can surely use just one pan if you want, but this recipe assumes you want to make a layered cake)
2. Place the cake mix, milk, melted butter, eggs, vanilla, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl (IGNORE THE DIRECTIONS ON THE BOX OF CAKE MIX). Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Stop and scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping the sides down again if needed. The batter should be/look well combined. Divide the batter between the pans, and smooth it out with the rubber spatula. Put in the oven.
3. Bake until golden brown and spring back to the touch (generally 27-29 minutes). Remove and let cool for 10 minutes. Run a butter knife around the edges of the pan and remove them from their pans. Let cool for an additional 30 minutes.

*Prepare the Cinnamon Buttercream (aka Snickerdoodle) Icing*

5. Place one cake layer right side up, on a serving platter. Spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer right side up on top of the first, and frost the top and sides of both.
6. Let the frosting set for 20 minutes in the fridge.

*Recipe for Cinnamon Buttercream Icing
-1 tsp cinnamon
-1 container of buttercream frosting

1. Mix them together...and you're done with your Snickerdoodle Cake & Icing!!!

Okay, well, that's what we did for icing, but if you want to "really" make the icing yourself, you can do this:

-8 tbs (1 stick) of butter at room temperature
-3.5 c. confectioners' sugar, sifted
-3-4 tbs milk
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1 tsp ground cinnamon

1. Place the butter in a large mixing bowl and blend with an electric mixer on a low speed until fluffy (~30 seconds). Stop and add the confectioners' sugar, 3 tbs milk, vanilla, and cinnamon. Blend with teh mixer on a low speed until the sugar is incorporated (~1 minute). Increase the speed to medium, and beat until light and fluffy (~1 more minute). Blend in up to 1 tbs milk if it seems too stiff.
2. Use to frost the top and sides of the cake of your choice.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Seasoning Blend

So I keep referring to this "seasoning bag" (specifically in the chili and crawfish dip recipes). So this is what I'm talking about.

Essentially it's just a bag of pre-chopped onions, bell-peppers, celery, and more onions. It's really handy if you don't want to go buy a bunch of everything for this one recipe. I generally try to use my best judgment when utilizing it in recipes, like, 1 cup vs. how many onions you should probably do the same. It works out quite well. So this post isn't really a recipe, but more of a clarification post :)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Crawfish Dip

Crawfish Dip
- 1 lb crawfish tails, cut to small pieces
- 1 cup onion (chopped)*
- 1/4 cup celery (chopped)*
- 2 cloves garlic (chopped fine and minced)
- 3 tbs white wine
- 1/4 cup mayo
- 1 stick butter
- 1 bell pepper (chopped)*
- 1/4 cup shallots (chopped)*
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 (8 oz.) pack cream cheese
- 1 tsp dry mustard
* We used 2 cups from a seasoning bag

1. Cut crawfish into small pieces. Season and set aside in fridge.
2. In large saucepan, sautè onions, celery, bell peppers in butter (yeah butter)
3. Add crawfish and cream cheese. Stir, cover, and simmer until cheese is melted and crawfish cooked.
4. Add mayo, mustard, sugar, wine, and touch or two of Tobasco. Stir in.
5. Serve with crackers or bread.

It was pretty good. The butter doesn't stay in the mixture well at all, and it definitely needs to be eaten hot, but it's pretty good. Much like the Fettuccine, it is fairly sweet, surprisingly so. I think it needs some more hot sauce.

Delicious Chili!!!

Yummy yummy yummy delicious delicious delicious!!!

I just kind of based it on what I roughly remembered my parents adding in when they made it.

- 1 lb ground meat
- 2 packs Chili seasoning packs
- 1 (15.5 oz) can of Dark Red Kidney beans
- 1 can stewed tomatoes
- 1 can diced tomatoes (salt free)
- 1 cup seasoning mix (the onion chopped mix)
- Rice

1. Brown the ground meat.
2. Add the seasoning mix to the meat. Cook until the seasoning is soft. Add a few dashes of hot sauce.
3. Add the tomatoes. Cook until boiling.
4. Add beans. Let reach boiling. Add a bit of Tony's.
5. Add the chili seasoning, cook to boiling.
6. Cook rice.
7.The chili should be done, so definitely cover your rice with it and EAT EAT EAT IT'S DELICIOUS EAT!!!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Crawfish Fettuccine & Banana Pudding Pie

Andrew and I babysat at his sister's house with his other sister, Katie. We were left with the task of feeding four children (including Andrew) and ourselves. Amanda left us with a recipe from a cook book she received in medical school for crawfish Fettuccine and a recipe for a homemade banana pudding pie! Lauren, one of Andrew's nieces "helped" us as well...

Crawfish Fettuccine
- 1 1/2 sticks butter
- 3 stalks celery, 2 large onions (chopped), 1 large bell pepper (chopped) == You can buy the seasoning bags of chopped things, which is what we did
- 3 cloves garlic (we used minced garlic)
- 1 lb Velveeta cheese
- 2 lbs crawfish (or shrimp)
- 2 tbsp jalapeno relish
- 1/4 cup of flour
-1/2 pint of whipping cream
- 1 lb Fettuccine noodles
- Sprinkling of Parmesan Cheese

1. Sautè the onions, bell pepper, and celery in butter.

2. Add flour, stir and cover. Cook for 15 minutes on low.

3. Add cream, cheese, garlic and jalapeno relish. Stir until cheese melts.
5. Add crawfish. Cook 30 minutes.
6. In a separate pot, boil noodles. Do not add salt. Combine everything into a casserole dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
7. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes
Serves approx. 8 people and freezes well.

It was delicious. It was also sort of sweet. Surprisingly so. So you may want to add more seasoning.

Banana Pudding Pie
- 1 (12 oz.) box Vanilla Wafers (set aside 30)
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 2 large bananas
- 4 egg whites (save egg yolks)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 cups milk
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup flour
- 2 large eggs
- 4 egg yolks

1. Preheat oven to 350. Reserve 30 vanilla wafers; pulse remaining in a food processor 8-10x until coarsely crushed (yield ~2.5 c). Stir with butter until blended. Firmly press on bottom, sides, and lip of a 9 inch pie plate.
2. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove and cool ~30 minutes or until completely cool.
3. Arrange 1/2 banana slices over bottom of crust. Prepare the FILLING** and stir 3/4 c. hot filling over bananas, top with 20 of reserved wafers. Spread 3/4 c. hot filling over wafers and cover with remaining bananas. Spread rest of filling (~1c) over. Filling will be ~1/4'' higher than top of crust.
4. Beat egg whites at high speed until foamy. Add sugar 1 tbsp at a time, beating until stiff peaks form and sugar is dissolved. Spread meringue over hot filling sealing edges.
5. Bake 350 for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and let cool ~1 hour. Coarsely crush remaining wafers on top, cover, and chill for ~4 hours.

1. Whisk together all but Vanilla extract in heavy saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, whisk constantly, 8-10 minutes or until reaches chilled pudding thickness (just bubbling, holds soft peaks). Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Use immediately.

This is delicious!!! Very rich. Something cool I learned from this recipe was that the flour you add to the filling prevents the egg from curdling...

Friday, October 29, 2010

New Posts Coming Soon

We have a lot more posts coming up (at least three), I've just been too lazy to work on them. That, and I've been working on a book review for another blog of mine, Lead me Onward (, not to mention schoolwork. Also, TODAY'S MY 22nd Birthday WOOHOO! I'll give y'all a picture of my birthday cake so be jealous! I'll get the recipe from Andrew (I promise).

New posts coming soon!!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Busy Day Chicken

We've been pretty poor, but this one isn't too expensive. I downloaded an ap. for my iTouch, "" I found a recipe for "Busy Day Chicken." This one doesn't even require a real "recipe," but here it is:

Take chicken and put it in a slow cooker. Cover in barbecue sauce and season to taste. Cook for 6-9 hours, depending on the amount of chicken. It will fall off the bone :D!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

New Definitions!

I've been searching through the "Poultry and Wildfowl" section of the Joy of Cooking for a recipe for tomorrow, and I found a recipe that called for "1 jigger brandy."
A jigger is an instrument used to measure liquids that looks like this:

Apparently, one side is 1oz. and the other is 1.5oz...and jigger as a measurement (not the actual measuring instrument) means 1.5 oz. of something (generally alcohol). You can sub with a "shot" depending on what kind of shot-glass you are using (short, tall, etc). Just make sure it's 1.5 oz. and you're good to go...cook that is!

Also, a cute start to their section on leftovers:
"The minister's bride set her luncheon casserole down with a flourish and waited for grace. 'It seems to me,' murmured her husband, 'that I have blessed good deal of this material before.'" Bahaha!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Chicken Casserole (Potatoes, Carrots, & Onions)

So, if you put me on the spot by asking me outright and randomly what my favorite food is, I'll probably falter and make something up. Andrew, on the other hand, will immediately say something very vague, like "chicken." Eventually, you will squeeze "chicken Fettuccine" out, but it's an ordeal. Just FYI, in case you ever wonder, this and crawfish etouffee are my absolute favorite foods.

So...have I convinced you? Do you want to try this amazing "chicken casserole" that is made by mom? Well, because my casserole dishes were not clean (I'm not too lazy to wash; they're storing things right now), we had to cook it stove-top. Luckily, Andrew has this really nice skillet-esque thing. It's about 4'' deep and has a diameter of about 13''. It also has this awesome handle thing going on opposite of the regular handle so you can carry it easily! Well, here is our bastardization of the deliciousness:

- Chicken MAKE SURE YOU DEFROST BEFOREHAND!! (honestly, it doesn't matter what kind. I don't suggest boneless because it cooks too quickly in my opinion, but do what you want. We used chicken thighs)
- 1 box of chicken broth (go with the larger box)
- water
- 1 1/2-2 cups of baby carrots (washed)
- 4 small potatoes at least.(try to use the ones that won't really work for baked potatoes)
- 3 tbs butter
- Tony's or a similar seasoning
- Rice
- Foil (not really an ingredient, but it's good to know you need it ahead of time)
- 1 1/2-2 yellow onions
*note: You can add more potatoes/carrots/onions at will. It doesn't really matter. It won't destroy the dish because they pretty much remain independent ingredients (aka there isn't any chemical reactions going on there :) )

*During this process, add Tony's liberally right before you cook it for a long period of time :)
2. Take a nice, large knife that is sharp enough to slice well. Chop the potatoes into large chunks (about 2'' by 1'' [at least]). You'll see how big ours were from the pictures. Add chopped potatoes and carrots to skillet.
3. Slice the onions. DO NOT DICE!!! Add to skillet.
4. Cover with about half the box of chicken broth. Add two tbs of butter.
5. Add water until all vegetables etc are just covered.

6. Cover in foil and simmer on low heat for about 25 minutes. Then check and see if the carrots are cooked all of the way through.

7. Remove from heat and drain out juice. Place veggies somewhere else and add broth back to skillet.

8. Add the chicken to the skillet with broth. Add more broth if necessary. When we cooked the chicken, we cooked six thighs at once. Add a pat of butter to the mixture.

9. Cook for about 45 minutes. Check on it often. If you leave the heat too high, the broth will evaporate and you'll have to add more, so be careful!!! I would keep it between low and medium... just below the boiling mark.
10. Around the 45 minute mark, see if your chicken is cooked. MAKE SURE YOUR CHICKEN IS COOKED!!! Salmonella isn't fun for anyone. If it is cooked, add the vegetables back and add a little more broth/water if necessary.
11. Simmer for another ten minutes. Cook your rice while you do this: MULTITASKING FTW :D :D


The chicken just fell off the was amazing. I made the mistake of waiting too long to cook the rice, so I had a finished "casserole" and no rice...I suppose you could eat it as a soup, but I love rice with everything (I'm a true southern gal). Andrew likes it...he says it's a little spicy (weenie), but good.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Tilapia Meuniere Jury-rigged (We're gettin' fancy here)

So, as with everything, there's a story behind this. July 3rd, I had the "meet the mom" dinner with Andrew's mom and her husband, Jeff. We were eating at this awesome restaurant called "Ralph and Kacoo's." It's a seafood place (mmmmm my favorite). One of the specials for that day was the "Trout Meuniere." We all had no idea of what it was, and none of us ended up getting it, but it sparked my curiousity.
Turns out, it's a fish that is lightly floured and then pan-fry it. There are a lot of variations, so if you're curious about more, then just wiki it. We didn't have trout, but we did have a ton of tilapia. Andrew bought a 4lb bag back in the day, and we've been trying to come up with unique ways to cook it (shake-n-bake, cook in balsamic-vinaigrette, use actual fish-fry and then bake, etc).

So here is our version of trout meuniere:

-Tilapia (however many pieces you want, defrosted)
-Tony's or something similar
-Half a Lemon
-Rice (still using instant!)

1. Take a mixing bowl and fill it with flour. At this point you can do one of two things. You can either season the flour, or you can season the fish and THEN flour it. Make sure the fish isn't soaking wet, but it is slightly damp. Lightly coat the fish.
2. Take a saucepan and add some butter. Keep it on the higher end of medium heat, the borderline. You can pan-fry it in oil, but our SMOKED like crazy. We thought it would set off the fire alarms, but we were lucky. Wait until the butter is browning, and then add a piece of fish. Cook it about three minutes on each side.
3. Repeat for each piece.
4. Cut down the heat on the pan to the lower end of medium, and add more butter. Season the butter with Tony's, and squeeze half a lemon's juice into the pan (be careful, cold + hot = maybe ouches). Cook the sauce. There may be flour in it, meaning there could be a brownish foam looking stuff, but don't worry about it.
5. Place the fish on the plate and pour sauce over it. Add a side of rice (keep it plain).

The reason the rice should be kept plain is that the rest of the dish is SO RICH. It took us forever to eat because it almost hurt. Think about it; the butter is infused into the tilapia from being cooked in it (so it almost melts in your mouth), plus you're adding a primarily butter sauce on top. The lemon that is added gives it a sharp taste to contrast the richness of the butter. Taste it before pouring it on your fish to make sure you like it, but it's a really good flavor combo.
Also, be careful of how many pieces you eat. I'm not saying you'll get sick, but you won't be able to move for a little while.

This is a super easy, SUPER cheap dish to make that is also somewhat fancy. I don't have a picture...we ate it too fast :P

Not a Recipe, but Exciting Nonetheless.

Hi all!

So we've mainly been finding recipes using stumbleupon and other internet sources (plus cookbooks, but even my southern cooking cook book is an version), but while shopping in a giant thrift warehouse with my friend L., we stumbled upon Joy of Cooking. The 1975 ed. Since this thrift place does not take debit cards, L. enabled my joy of cooking and lent me the $0.82 to purchase it. Whoever had it before me kept it in beautiful condition, and even used the bookmark to link related recipes. It's full of post-it notes with her favorite recipes and pages marked. I'm sure the lady who owned this last (and you can tell it was a lady by the hand-writing; I'm not being a chauvinistic jerk or anything), truly loved to cook. I can only hope that the situations that led to me receiving this book were positive.

So hopefully we'll be cooking more "legit" meals; although, the next post will be about the tilapia meuniere we jury-rigged (I looked up whether this was jury-rigged or jerry-built, and apparently they are both correctish...jerry-built applies to a permanent but poorly constructed situation/item, while jury-rigged implies a temporary solution made with the materials at hand). I suppose jury-rigged would be the more appropriate one, and eating it makes it a temporary solution :D.

Cookies -n- Cream Fudge (sorry it's been so long everybody)!

- 3 cups of granulated sugar
-3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) butter or margarine (oh come on, of course you should get butter haha)
-2/3 cup (.5 fl.-oz can) Evaporated Milk
-2 cups White Morsels (aka white chocolate chips)
-1 jar of marshmallow creme (if you're choosing between the little and big jar, it's the big one)
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1/2 cup of finely crushed Oreos(TM)
-1 cup of crumbled Oreos(TM)

1. Line a 9-inch square pan with foil (We used an 8x8 and didn't line it; it was fine).
2. Combine sugar, butter, and evaporated milk into a medium, heavy-duty saucepan (this will produce a LOT, so make sure that you get a big enough pot. Ours was a 2-quart pot, and it was barely big enough). Bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
3. Stir in morsels (chips), marshmallow creme, finely crushed cookies, and vanilla extract. Pour into the pan. Sprinkle crumbled cookies on top. Push them into the fudge so that when it hardens, they'll be stuck in. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm.

You're done!! It's delicious, although you kind of feel like you're going to fall over dead if you eat too much; it's that kind of delicious. I mean, check out those pictures. How could something that looks that good be...anything but amazing?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Week 6: Crawfish Etouffee

Andrew does not like this recipe; he's not a fan of onions and peppers, the "taste" apparently, does not sit well. This recipe is a bastardization of a recipe given to me by my mom, which is of course not nearly as good as hers (which is generally made from tails that she/family friends have personally boiled, tailed, and peeled. So, here's the recipe. It's really simple and good for people who want to make something that sounds really impressive but may not be as difficult to make as you might think (but shhhh you don't have to tell anyone else that :P)

A stick of butter
Half a Bell Pepper
Half an Onion
Crawfish tails (they have them frozen, but you should try to buy them as a Louisiana product)
Rice (I used instant rice because I'm a fan of instant gratification!)
1 can cream of celery
1 can cream of mushroom
cayenne pepper
Tony's seasoning (or some seasoning similar to this)

1. Chop the bell pepper half. I use an electric chopper because it makes really fine pieces, but you may hand chop it. You want it minced. Do the same with the onion. Add this to a 2 quart pot on medium-high heat. Add the BUTTER :D
2. Caramelize the peppers and onions (pretty much just stir them every once in a while to make sure they don't stick/burn until they turn squishy. Add some cayenne pepper, not very much (it will be overpowering if you do). Add around 1/8 tsp. Stir.
3. Add 1 can of cream of celery. Stir into caramelized pepper/onion/butter mixture. Add a sprinkle of Tony's. Heat all the way through.

4. Stir in the crawfish tails. Keep the heat on medium-high. Add a sprinkle more of Tony's. Add the can of cream of mushroom.
5. Add Tony's/cayenne pepper to taste. Heat all the way through. Let the heat travel through. Make sure it is stirred and mixed through so the deliciousness can be tasted all the way through :)
6. Serve over rice. (As I said, I used instant rice)

This recipe is delicious and is one of my favorites! It's pretty simple, but it takes a lot of self-decisions. There are no, let sit for x minutes, it's a touch-and-go situation.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Barbecued Zucchini & Cookies: (Chocolate Chip Malted Milk Balls)

After a sort of hiatus that Andrew and I took as a result of a few missed weeks initially due to a trip to Arkansas, then Mardi Gras, and then it had become habit. Although today is not Sunday, we are adding this blog in order to get back in the game!

So, while I was home at my parents' house this past weekend, we barbecued and my mother suggested I post about our barbecued zucchini. So, here's a simple recipe for something I find to be delicious. If you're worried about it being too healthy, read the recipe and you will find you are mistaken!

Barbecued Zucchini

a few whole zucchini, any size, though I would suggest medium-large
A seasoning such as Tony's or Slap Yo' Mama that is made of cayenne pepper, black pepper, salt, garlic powder, etc.
A barbecue pit that has been going long enough to be hot and ready

1. On a cutting board and with a large, sharp knife, slice the zucchini in half lengthwise (don't slice it into a bunch of little pieces like I did the first time I was told to "horizontally slice it").
2. Lay the zucchini with the flat side up and cut slices into it with the knife.
3. Take about a tablespoon of butter per half of zucchini and smother it into the cuts made in step two and coat it. It's okay if it isn't completely smooth because it will melt. Sprinkle the seasoning over the top (not too much, or it will become too salty)
4. Place on a higher rack of the barbecue pit with the butter side up. Leave for about 7 minutes and then flip. After another 7 minutes has passed, flip back up. You may cook to taste. The longer they cook, the softer they will become, so if you prefer it crunchier you may not want to leave it for so long.

QED for this recipe and so onto the next! Chocolate Chip Malted Milk Ball Cookies! Andrew's week has been full of homework and tests, and mine has been filled with the same along with allergies and other troubles, so he proposed that we go out and eat and then bake. I have to admit, he did all of the work. He's the baker of our cooking team, and I prefer what I like to think of is the more substantial dinner part. This recipe called for a lot of recipes with memories, like Ovaltine, which was certainly a flashback to A Christmas Story.

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup of Ovaltine
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups roughly crushed chocolate-covered malted milk balls (like Whoppers)
1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels

1. Whisk flour, Ovaltine, baking soda, and salt together in a small bowl.
2. In a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add granulated sugar and brown sugar gradually, beating until light and fluffy, about three minutes, and scraping down bowl once or twice. Beat in vanilla, then eggs, one at a time, scraping down bowl. Add about one-third of flour mixture and mix on low speed. Gradually add remaining flour mixture, mixing just until blended. Stir in crushed malted milk balls and chocolate morsels. To crush the Whoppers, Andrew put them in a sturdy bowl and crushed them using a wooden spoon. Cover with plastic wrap and chill dough for at least two hours or overnight (I'm pretty sure we didn't do this and it turned out fine. The softer the dough, the more likely the cookies are to spread).
3. Preheat oven to 375 F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper (we also didn't line it, but it should be fine again. It doesn't stick).
4. Drop chilled dough by generously rounded tablespoon two inches apart on prepared cookie sheets. Bake until edges and tops just begin to turn light golden brown, about twelve minutes. Place sheets on racks to cool for five minutes, then remove cookies from sheets and place directly on racks to cool completely.

You're done and they're pretty good. It's like biting into a chocolate chip cookie with an extra surprise!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Week 4: Smore Cookies :)

I like making regular food, you know, like meals, but I decided to break down and pick a dessert for this week. But next time!!! Le sigh. Anyway, we decided to use a recipe that combines the deliciousness of smores with the awesomeness of the classic chocolate chip cookie. Prepare yourself for a smorgasbord of amazing.

1.5 cups of all purpose flour
1 cup graham cracker crumbs (about one of those enclosed packs out of the box)
1 tsp of baking soda
1 twp salt
1 dash of cinnamon
2 softened sticks of butter
3/4 cup of sugar
3/4 cup of light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 cups miniature chocolate chips (about a bag)
1.5 cups of mini-marshmallows (we used about half a bag)
2 chopped Hershey bars (we had to use about 2.5 bars, not the huge bars)

Steps to Yummy:
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking soda, salt, and a dash of cinnamon. In a second, bigger bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract until creamy.

2. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Slowly beat in the flour mixture until smooth.

Stir in the chocolate chips. (this will seem like a LOT of chocolate chips)
3. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto an ungreased cookie sheet. (ours didn't stick, but also we noticed that the cookies didn't get taller after baking, but they did horizontally expand)
4. Bake for 8 minutes (on the top rack) and remove from the oven. Push 3-4 marshmallows and a few pieces of Hershey bar into each of the cookies. Return to the oven and bake an additional 3-4 minutes (we baked for an additional 2 minutes instead) or until fully cooked.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Andrew says: They were pretty good, but I still prefer the cinnamon roll. I didn't taste the graham crackers, and we should have used less chocolate chips.
Lacey says: they weren't bad, but they made my stomach hurt after 2. And they're a little messy to eat.
Michael (guest judge) says: they stick together, don't stack them!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls-Week 3

This week it was Andrew's turn, and he first thought, hmm, maybe a king cake but stumbleupon provided him with the idea of homemade cinnamon rolls, right down to the icing.

Cinnamon Roll Recipe + Icing Recipe
Cinnamon Roll Ingredients:
1 quart of whole milk
1 cup of vegetable oil
1 cup of sugar
2 packages of active yeast
8 cups of all-purpose flour + 1 cup flour
1 heaping tsp of baking powder
1 scant tsp of baking soda
1 heaping tbs of salt
1.5-2 cups flour (Plus flour to spread out on the table)
1 cup of sugar
ground cinnamon

Directions for Cinnamon Rolls:
1. Mix 1 quart of whole milk, 1 cup of vegetable oil, and one cup of sugar in a pan. "scald" the mixture (heat until just before the boiling point). Turn off heat and leave to cool for 45 min.-1 hour.

2. When the mixture is lukewarm to warm (NOT HOT), sprinkle in 2 packets of active dry yeast. Let sit for a minute and then add 8 cups of all purpose flour.
3. Stir the mixture together. Cover and let sit for at least an hour. After an hour the dough will have risen. Add 1 cup of flour.

4. Add 1 heaping tsp of baking powder, 1 scant tsp of baking soda, and 1 heaping tablespoon of salt. Stir the mixture together. (We had to add much more flour to make the next step a lot easier because our dough was too wet).

5. Sprinkle surface (a counter, preferably) generously with flour. Also, preheat the oven to 400C.
6. Form half of the dough into a rough rectangle, then roll it thin, trying to maintain a general rectangular shape. Increase both its length and width as you roll.
7. Drizzle on the 1.5-2 cups of butter over the dough, and sprinkle over it with 1 cup of sugar. Now generously cover it with cinnamon (remember, they're "cinnamon" rolls!).
8. Now, starting at the opposite end, begin rolling the dough in a neat line toward you. Keep the roll relatively tight as you go. Some of the butter/sugar/cinnamon mixture is going to ooze out the end, but it will be okay. be careful because this gets messy! Pinch the seam of the roll to seal it.
9. Take the roll and cut them into pieces 3/4"-1" thick. Put around seven per pie tin. (this should fill about 3.5 pie tins.

10. Repeat for other half of the dough.
11. Let the rolls sit for 20-30 minutes to rise, and then bake them at 400 degrees until light golden brown. This takes about 15-18 minutes. Our stove, which has an electric oven, baked them in about 16 minutes.
12. Take them out.
13. Ice them and enjoy :)

Icing Ingredients:
1 bag of confectioner's sugar
2 tsp maple flavoring
1/2 cup of milk
1/4 cup of melted butter
1/4 cup of brewed coffee
1/8 tsp of salt

Directions for Icing:
1. In a large mixing bowl, add 1 bag of powdered sugar. Then add 2 tsp of maple flavoring, 1/2 cup of milk, 1/4 cup of melted butter, 1/4 cup of brewed coffee, and the salt.

2. Mix well. It will be thick and pourable. Pour over the cooked cinnamon rolls and enjoy!!!

Andrew's Review: Thumbs up, they're delicious. I want to make them again right now.
Lacey's Review: They were A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!! I felt like I was going to get sick almost, though, because they were so rich and sweet.