Friday, February 17, 2012

Valentine's Day BBQ :) -OR- Jim n Nicks Cheesy biscuits recipe!!!

This Valentines day was special, we celebrated our anniversary of being together officially as a couple since our first date-Valentines Day 2008. We spent the whole weekend doing fun things and enjoying the time together...We finally found a couch that we loved and could afford, and so we purchased it...The picture makes it look a little darker than it actually is...It is so comfy :)

And then my husband had a few errands to run after work on Valentine's Day, so I had time to kill... and decided to surprise him with Jim n Nick's style food...because we love it there! 
(Once again I apologize for the picture-taken by phone)

I took a whole Chicken pulled the skin off, and cleaned it out. Seasoned it, and rubbed it down with some oil for baking. I made a basic sweet BBQ style sauce, and brushed it on the chicken every so often during cooking. I baked 2 potatoes. Still had time to spare.... so I decided to make those amazing cheesy biscuits/muffins AND the sweet butter that goes with it. They are so easy- took like 10 minutes!
Why we pay 30 dollars+ to eat out at a meal that can be made within the same time frame and a third of the price, I have no
I found the recipe off of this blog:
They are so amazing! oh my goodness!  
All they Call for is:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg, beaten well
  • 4 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
*Pre-Heat oven to 400 degrees. Mix the dry ingredients separate from the wet. Then combine them and last but definitely not least, add the cheese! :) Butter your muffin tins and place them evenly in the 12 muffin cups. Cook for 8-10 minutes or until the top is slightly golden. You don't want it to be dark because they will become chewy. EASY RIGHT!?!

And for the delicious honey butter if you have no honey:
Mix softened butter with sugar and vanilla and taste it  :) sorry I didn't measure when I made want it to be a soft sweet buttery spread :)...just mix it till you like it! 

Yes you are welcome!

Crunch Wrap fake-out? I think so!!!

I'm one of those people that love simplicity, but sometimes I don't know how to achieve it... and in the end I go to someplace simple so that they can create it for me... Taco Bell is one of those places...But not anymore!

I have always loved their crunch wraps... I mean, who couldn't? Filled with cheese and sour cream, and the delightful taco meat! It is a roller coaster of flavor for sure! And recreating it is about as simple as saying "Hello, welcome to Taco Bell. What can I get for ya?"

I know the picture is not that great...but that's what I get for using my

Oh so you wanna know how to make this delight? 
I can't take all the credit, because I found the idea off another website...
but I changed some basics about it... 

Okay, here goes:
-Large Tortilla 
- Taco meat (I used my own seasoning, but you can use packets)
-Nacho cheese sauce (or cheddar cheese)
-Sour Cream
-Fritos (or regular corn chips)
-Shredded lettuce

- Take tortilla and lather on some cheese and sour cream, then place on Fritos. Try to keep everything centered so that you can fold it to get that "Crunch wrap" appearance.  
-Place the rest of your ingredients on top, add another handful of Fritos, a dollop of sour cream & cheese and place a torn peice of tortilla (or a smaller tortilla) over the middle... Fold over your sides and cook in a very hot iron skillet with another very hot iron skillet smashing the top...
You could just do what I did, and use the George Forman...(It makes your life so much easier) ...


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Honeysuckle Jelly

       Ever since I watched the episode of Winnie the Pooh where Christopher Robin gives Pooh honeysuckle to make him feel better about being stuck in Rabbits hole. And because Pooh, loving honey, does try to eat the gift of flowers and Christopher Robin tells him that they are not for eating, I thought they were not for eating... But alas, the dear show had a moment and you actually can eat honeysuckle..or at least you can suckle out its juices...but that takes too long and I found that people have made jelly with it why not try to make honeysuckle jelly myself?

      I mean, it truly does smell lovely so it must taste good?  I looked in my ball book of canning, and they didn't have a recipe... I guess it wasn't traditional enough for and so I continued searching until I found a basic guideline recipe, and actually its quite simple...

     So you are going to start with a honeysuckle infusion..To do this boil water (2 Cups for every 2 Cups of flowers) and then after removing the water from heat add the flowers and allow them to steep in the water for 45 minutes minimum...

    You could probably leave them overnight in the refrigerator too... and when your "tea" or infusion is completely aromatically done, strain out the flowers with a cheesecloth or a thin potato cloth... Then you are going to take the infusion and add 1/8 Cup of lemon juice, 2 Cups of sugar, and 1 1/2 oz of liquid pectin (or you could use powdered pectin instead) This is for the 2 cups of flowers... Bring this mixture to a hard boil for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly so it won't boil over... Pour into a sterilized jar* and there you go :) Nice yummy honeysuckle jelly :)

*2 cups of honeysuckle flowers make one pint jar, so if you have more flowers then make more :) you won't regret it :) In fact, I didn't so I went back and looked for more and now have eight beautiful jars of honeysuckle jelly and they are water-bath canned :) 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Homemade laundry soap :)

So, I know this has nothing to do with cooking...but several people have asked for the recipe, and it does involve a pan and the I figured I would blog about it...

I know some people may shy away from the idea, but it is relatively simple and it goes a long way... It only takes me 20-25 minutes to make 2 Gallons. You will however need 1-2 sturdy rubbermaid Gallon jugs that have a good snap lid.

A kind friend of mine gave me this recipe, so I give no credit to myself... but it goes to M. Lee :)

Your cast of characters are the following :)
-Fels-Naptha Laundry soap bar You can usually find this at your local grocers in the laundry isle, but you wont find this in wal-mart.
*Note- you can use alternative soap such as ivory, as long as it is not a high- lotion soap it will work fine.
-Borax  You can find that almost anywhere.
-Arm & Hammer WASHING SODA  Make sure it is not baking soda...that could be bad...
-A Grater, or you can use a knife...but that takes longer in my opinion...
-Water :)

Divide the soap bar into 6 pieces... Or if you are going to make 2 gallons at a time like me, just cut it in three pieces.

You are going to grate, (or if you have the patience, chop) 1/6 or 1/3 of the bar depending on how much you want to make.

You just want the pieces to be pretty tiny....

See what I mean?

The reason you are doing this is because you are going to be melting this soap in hot boiling water.

If you have big chunks of soap to melt it takes
FOREVER... no joke....

But this way it will melt in a matter of minutes.

In a medium- large pan you will want to put 4-6 cups of water. Bring your water to a boil.

Add the soap and let it melt, keep stirring to make sure its not sticking at the bottom of your pan

You want to melt the soap until ALL clumps are gone...very smooth is key :)

Okay, you still with me?
Now we are going to measure out our borax and our washing soda...

If you are only making 1 gallon the measurements are as follows:
1/2 cup of borax & 1/2 cup of washing soda.
If you are making 2 gallons, simply double it.

Make sure you turn your heat down slightly before you add this, it will boil over if you dont... and it does this quickly... so make sure you've turned it down... Melt completely :) No clumps!

Now you need to prepare your containers...

Place them in your sink, so that if while pouring your mixture you spill it, it doesn't go anywhere... :)

If you have a funnel now would be a great time to make use of it :)

Evenly divide the soap concentrate into the two containers, or if you're only making one gallon just pour it all in...

* Please be careful not to burn yourself :)

Now you simply add water all the way to the top :)

It's kinda like a coke how it foams up and you have to wait to fill again... But you want to fill it to the top, you worked for that $0.69 gallon!

Let it cool before you mess with it...
You really only have to use about 1/4 a cup per load :)

Oh, and if you want extra scent (you don't need it really) you can buy some for like $2 at a craft store...its in the soap isle and its for soap making...

And there you have it! Your beautiful finished product :)
Let this sit for 24 hours before you use it...
Oh, and don't freak out when you see it and it looks like its been freakishly replaced with some other has only separated. It's supposed to do that... :)

Every time you use your soap, just give it a good shake.  Make sure the lid is snapped shut, I have found that if it isn't, it will go all over your wall when you shake it ... ;)

You can do it :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Pulled Pork into amazingly incredible Nachos!

Okay, so I went to the store a while back and found that they had meat on sale, they were restocking the store and so things were pretty cheap... now Nic and I don't usually eat pork, just because its not as healthy for ya as chicken or fish is... but really...who can resist  the possibility of pulled pork?

The main three spices used are: Oregano, Chili Powder, and Cumin

The Pork shoulder I used was already partially smoked, and it gave it a nice smoky flavor....

Pour main spices, (about a Tablespoon each) into large mixing bowl.
add 1/2 cup of brown sugar, Salt & pepper  1 Tablespoon each or less depending on your preference.

The other great ingredients are Extra Virgin olive oil, White wine vinegar, 1 whole onion, 
One-two Tablespoons of Molasses (for some reason it didn't make it into the picture)
 and either 1 whole clove of garlic or garlic powder.
 I used the powder cause that is what I had on hand.


For the onion you are going to want to puree it in a food processor or one of those amazing Magic bullets. Make it really really creamy...

See, its so creamy it looks like mashed potatoes... thats just how you want it :)

Add its entirety to the mixture of spices. Scrape that baby clean :)

Now mix it together and add 1/2 cup of dried parsley. It makes it look pretty :) and adds a slight flavor..

Now add your molasses... look at it! it smells so amazing! 
also add your vinegar (bout 1 teaspoon) 
and your olive oil (bout 1 tablespoon) 
mix it well

Now its time to rub your pork with your spice mixture.. Make sure you rub every nook and cranny good! You will want it to be good and flavorful!

Now add 2 cups of water around the pork in your pot

Cover with foil or lid 
and place it in a 350 degree oven for about 6-7 hours or until fork tender, turning over every hour... 
the turning helps it to cook evenly and just makes sure it wont dry out... 
our oven is old and so it took double the cooking time... 
It should be fork tender like this: 

let it cool and rest for about 20 minutes... 
this preserves the juices and keeps you from burning your fingers...
Tear apart the pork and put it right back into the liquid.
Trust me you will wish you had if you don't! 

Now remember it was partially smoked so its okay that it is still pink, as long as it reaches at least 165 degrees internally *thats the safe temperature for pork, i let mine reach even higher than that...

You can serve it on top of a piece of bread, like an open faced sandwich with a side of white bean chili, 
or you can make these amazing nachos!!!!

just chips, the pulled pork, and cheese dip! And oh my goodness taste of heaven! 
By far the best way to serve this!!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Fish and Chips

Okay, so we were craving a little more of a fast food-ish type of a meal and the things we had on hand were Idaho potatoes and frozen tilapia...(tilapia is an amazing tasting fish!) 

For the chips :
-Take a heavy duty largish sauce/soup pan and melt some crisco in it, or you can just use canola oil...
P.S. If you use crisco, be sure to keep it on med heat until it melts and to keep a close eye on it, it will catch on fire otherwise :p

-Slice the potatoes relatively thin, like almost paper thin but not quite...

-Once the oil/crisco is up to heat (it should sizzle and bubble once you drop a potato in)... drop em in! :)

The potatoes will start to curl up and flip over... just keep an eye on em until they are crispy chip like... you will be able to see the difference in the way they look... (if you can't tell whether they are done or not, its okay, just take one out and LET IT COOL and pop it in your mouth... you will know :)

 In the meantime, take the tilapia and season it however you like your fish...

I seasoned it with Old Bay seasoning for seafood, parsley (For color), Tony Chachere's, and sea salt & pepper to taste...

-Put a little olive oil in a pan, turn the heat on med-high heat and cook it :)

-It doesn't take that long for fish to cook, I just cook it until the meat is white and the outside is a little browned... :) its yummy

Look at that beauty!
P.S. for an amazing additional sauce, just mix ketchup, mustard, and mayo together to form a nice orangy-pinkish color :) *My inlaws taught me that secret :)

When the chips are done, just scoop 'em out and place on a kitchen towel to cool and release the grease :) (haha that rhymed)

Salt & Pepper to taste :)

and look how delish!!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Potato Bread :) who knew mashed taters could be so useful!

We ran out of bread at the house and since I didn't feel like making a trip to the store, I ended up making
bread... :) Potato bread is amazing! The potatoes are so cheap right now so we had them on hand...

Okay so here it is:

Boil peeled potatoes (throw the potato skins in your garden> I'm telling you, your garden will love you forever)...

keeping the potato water for later, mash the potatoes and mix with 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil and 1 cup of lukewarm milk, stirring just to mix. After potato water has cooled add 1/2 cup to potato mixture.

In a separate large bowl mix: 6 cups of bread flour, 4 tablespoons of Active Dry Yeast, and 1 teaspoon of salt..

Mix flour into potato mash mixture untill it forms a hard dough...

 I know it seems like a long time, but knead the dough for ten minutes...

*Please ignore the laundry on the floor in the background...
laundry day :)

 Once you have kneaded the dough the length of time needed, separate into 20 small balls..

Put the dough in lightly greased bread pans ...

Place them in a warm place and let rise :)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

< See...risen :) look at those beautiful puffy pieces of yummy-ness :)

Place in 400 degree oven for 10 minutes... then lower the temperature to 375 degrees until the bread is done, (about 40 minutes give or take).

And so there you have it  the beautiful finished product....two lip smacking loaves of bread :)
I see sandwiches and toast in your future ;)