Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Labor Day BBQ

We know it's been awhile since our last post but it's been a busy summer.  Now that the summer is winding down we figured a Labor Day BBQ post would be fitting, Another plus.... all three dishes use 4 items or less.......We have all three recipes in one post so Enjoy!!!

First up:  Slow Smoked BBQ Ribs

I smoke my ribs for 1.5 - 2 hours on the grill then wrap in foil and finish in the oven for another 1 - 1.5 hours on 225 degrees.

All my ribs I prep a day in advance by covering the ribs in yellow mustard and then rubbing with your favorite BBQ rub.  Wrap the ribs in foil or plastic wrap and place in the fridge till the next day.

Here's what you need:
The spray bottle just has a mixture of lime soda and apple cider vinegar. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Slow Cooked BBQ Pork

Just in time for summer, we have a great slow smoked BBQ Pork recipe.  This does have a bunch of steps and does take 18 hours but the actual time you have to work on it is about 45 minutes . Just make sure to leave some time for this.

It is worth it.

We sliced it for dinner the night I fixed it and chopped up the leftovers for sandwiches later in the week. 

There's many steps and smaller recipes to this so I will be listing them all in the order you need to use them.


Monday, June 4, 2012

Shrimp Scampi and Grits

So a couple of months ago, you tried polenta with us, right?  And it was good, right?  So you trust us now.  Ok.  Grits.  I know that if you live north of the Mason Dixon line, you're scared of this weird Southern food.  I was too.  The first time I actually saw someone eat grits we were in West Virginia meeting some of Lee's family.  Until then I thought it was the type of food that people made up to make their kids feel better about what they had on their own plates.
Since then, grits have been making a culinary resurgence. Maybe it's just starting to migrate north, I don't know, but what I do know is that pretty frequently, I'll find them on a restaurant menu, paired with something tasty like shrimp or scallops.  I've found versions I love and versions I hate.

This is a version I love. It might have something to do with the cheese involved.  But this is Southern cooking, right?   Either way, when you take a bite of the grits they literally melt in your mouth.  It's like spoonfuls of heaven.  So yummy. But warning: Grits will fill you up!!
And then those shrimp!  Wow!   Buttery, lemony and so fresh! I couldn't get enough!

Oh and in case you're wondering, you find grits by the oatmeal in the grocery store.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Asparagus Salad with Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette

This dish just screams summer to me. There's something about asparagus and lemons that make me want to go digging in my garden.
I saw this recipe on the St. Louis Post-Dispatch website and I knew I had to get Lee to make it!   The tangy sweetness of the dressing and the earthiness of the asparagus and the salty, meaty goodness of the carpicola all complement each other so well!
The original recipe called for coppa for the meat, we couldn't find it, but just about any kind of smoked meat will work here and we found capicola at an excursion to Kendrick's Meat Market in South St. Louis.  If you have not been there... man, you need to go.
We had a lot of dressing left over so we put it in a Leifheit Decorative Canning Jar and have been using it on salads ever since!  It's so good!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Braised Short Ribs Stout Pie

Sunday was our sixth anniversary and Lee told me he had a special dinner planned.  I was supposed to fly in from a conference I was at over the weekend at 5:30, but had the worst delay in Houston and didn't get home until 10:30.  I totally missed dinner.  

Luckily this tasty pile of meat and potatoes is even better after its had time to meld together even more.  The meat just dripped off of the fork and into my mouth and the potatoes melted.  It was absolutely amazing. I really love short ribs. I'm crushed that I didn't discover how much I love them until I was 30.  Look at what I missed over the years!

I'll admit, I don't know why this is called pie. It's not pie.  I couldn't find any bread or crust, but it is nonetheless delicious.  Probably more delicious since I'm not a fan of savory pie crust anyway. 

So overall, this is an awesome dish and the best part is that since I missed our original dinner, I'm pretty sure that Lee owes me another anniversary dinner! Look for that soon!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Sausage and Crab Stuffed Mushrooms

My Uncle Bill would hate this recipe.  Uncle Bill hates mushrooms... the texture, the taste, all of it.  My Uncle Bill is about the last person you would expect to have a nemesis, but mushrooms are truly his.  When we were kids and we would get pizza with him, he always got sausage and onion instead of our family's usual sausage and mushroom. I thought he and my aunt were exotic. 

I figured out later that they were not exotic, they were crazy.  Mushrooms are the best. 

One of Lee's first dinners for me included stuffed mushrooms and that pretty much sealed the deal for me.  This recipe is a little different from the original, but no less delicious.  It's a little lighter than the traditional all sausage or my favorite cream cheese and crab.

When mixed together, the crab and sausage are a powerhouse of tastiness.  

This is a great make ahead dish,  Lee was making sausage for breakfast and saved a portion of that cooked sausage for this recipe. He also mixed everything and stuffed my mushrooms early in the afternoon and refrigerated them until I was ready for dinner.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Mini Deep Dish Pizzas

Growing up, my family would get pizza most Friday nights. None of us could resist just one more slice until the box was empty.  Twenty years later, I'm still the same way. I just can't say no to just one more slice of ooey gooey pizza pie.  

That's why these little guys are perfect, they're built in portion control!  

Unlike frozen mini pizzas, these are just as satisfying as the same thing... and ALMOST as easy as microwaving a frozen one.  

What I really love about these is that you can personalize each one.  You can put just about anything in each one in any combination.  The options are endless! We put turkey pepperoni, onion and olives in ours, I'm angling for my favorite- sausage, mushroom, green pepper, and onion next time.  

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Veggie Sandwich with Dill Mayo

So if you're still on a sugar high from the Butterfinger cake, here's a cure!

Okay so I know this is just a sandwich and everyone can make one, but seeing as it's garden season and ours will be ready soon, we wanted to share this deliciousness with you.

We did a trial run today to see what we can make with all our delicious veggies.  Sure unless you live in California, you will still have to buy Avocados and cheese but believe me it's worth it.

This is so tasty that you won't even miss the meat and we are a meat eating couple. If we didn't miss it, you won't either.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Butterfinger Cake

Lee likes to make a crazy dessert every week or so.  More and more often, it's been a pintrest find.  This one was too, kind of.  Most of the Butterfinger cakes online call for devil's food cake, but he opted for a yellow cake.  It was delicious.

This is definitely one of those things you should make for more than 2 people.  It's rich and gooey and delicious and almost a week since he made it, the two of us are still working on eating through that pan.

I'm usually like my cake, brownies and pizza cut from the middle of the pan. I don't know why, I guess I just like the soft middle of the cake better than the chewier outside crusts.  This cake is a huge exception. Don't get me wrong, the middle's awesome too, but the caramel makes a delicious crust.  Don't tell the family, my baking friends, the corners are the best part of this cake!

Aside from having delicious butterfingers on top (and seriously, if you don't like butterfingers, throw some snickers or M&M's on top, the candy doesn't really matter,) the caramel oozes through this cake without making it messy sticky, just tasty sticky.  It reminds me of those pieces of pancake that get totally drenched with syrup, the cake holds up, but the caramel stands out.

You're going to love this cake.  Make it this weekend!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Crab Rangoon Pop Tarts with Sweet and Sour Sriracha Frosting

This recipe was inspired by a friend of mine's daughter Audri Schramm.  A couple days ago she told her mom that they should make crab rangoon pop tarts. Her mom posted this on Facebook, and I immediately starting thinking about how I could make this happen.  I told her mom that I would create this and blog about it because that's what I do.  This weekend I decided to get some things to test out on making these and nailed it on the first test batch.

I call these pop tarts because they look and taste like pop tarts, but I fixed them in the oven.  I suppose you could half bake them and then finish in the toaster. I might try this for testing purposes but not sure if it would work so if you do try it that way be careful.

These would be perfect for parties because they taste a lot like crab dip on crackers, but way better and a poptart!   The frosting is a perfect blend of sweet and spicy.  Don't let the sriracha scare you, it just adds a little heat, no burning.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Taco Pizza

The more we make our own pizzas, the more I wonder why frozen pizzas exist.  I mean, these things are so easy to make and SOOOOO much better than just about anything you can pull out of the freezer.
This weekend, Lee threw together this tasty taco pizza.  Refridgerated can dough, refried beans, all the taco toppings and Doritos!   Ok, it's not terribly healthy, but it's super good.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Strawberry Cake

Another tasty, tasty Pintrest find!  Lee found this Farm Flavor recipe on his page and put it in the running for this week's desert.
We made a few improvements, the big one was using the bundt pan instead of a sheet pan.  We're kind of obsessed with the bundt pan.  I really love how the outside becomes chewier and encapsulates an ever moist cake inside of it.
Since its almost prime strawberry season, this is definately one you want to keep in the mix to use all of those tasty berries popping up all over! And ooohh!! Won't this be great with raspberries, blackberries or ANY berries? We'll have to experiment!
The frosting makes quite a bit.  Probably right way you need if you make a sheet cake, but too much if you use the bundt pan.  I ended up dipping strawberries in the leftovers... yummy!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Super Easy Mozzarella Sticks

I spent a good part of my early 20's looking for the best boxed or fast food mozzarella sticks.  I never found one that gave me the best crunch plus a stretchy, gooey cheese without a lot of work.  I wish I knew Lee back then!
If you have the deep love for cheese sticks like I do, you're going to really really love these.  If you're lazy, you're going to love these.  They make up in minute and the cheesy burst with crunchy shell make them 100% awesome!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Kelly English Steakhouse (Harrah's St. Louis)

Our first of many restaurant reviews

One thing Margy and I love to do is eat out at new restaurants around town, lately we haven't done that because it hasn't been in the budget. But when my mom said she had a comp for the new steakhouse in Harrah's in St. Louis, I jumped at the chance to try out this new trendy steakhouse from a renowned southern chef.  Margy lucked out on this trip as she was out of town on her own little vacation, so for this review it was myself, my mom, sister, and her 6 year old son.  Reservations are encouraged, we had some, so we were seated right away. The decor is modern and open and the menu fits the atmosphere.

Yes this is a steakhouse, but you're not forced to eat steak, the seafood menu items showcase the southern cooking style that would rival any New Orleans restaurant. Prices are reasonable for the quality and portion sizes, we had a comp of $180, and we had 2 appetizers, 3 entrees, 2 sides (for my nephew) and 2 desserts and drinks (which I think we were not charged for our soda and teas.) Our total came to $150 without tip. All entrees come with a salad and 1 side.  Other sides are available for about $5 a piece. One downside was they don't offer a kids menu option, but this is at a casino, so I don't think they expect many kids to come through the door. We got a couple sides for my nephew, and he filled up on sides and bread along with some bites from our plates.  Now to the food: (sorry for the poor quality pictures, my phone takes mediocre pics.)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Cake Mix Cookies

Did you know that you could make cookies out of cake mix?  I had no idea! I was super excited when I came home to find a pile of tasty cookies, just in time for St. Patrick's Day.  Honestly, this was the only thing that we did to mark the occasion! 
These cookies turned out just soft enough and just a bit chewy.  They ate like a cookie and tasted like cake... so tasty! 
I'm really excited to get to do these for the other upcoming holidays... pastels for Easter, red, white and blue for July 4th, the possibilities are endless! 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Garden- Part 1

We've got a pretty decent size yard for living in the city, so this year, we've decided to plant a garden.  We've had them in previous years, but in the past few years, we've just grown a few herbs and tomatoes in planters because we are lazy to avoid digging up the yard.

Just some of the tasty goodness we'll be growing this year!
So we sat down and decided what we wanted in the garden back in January and started pricing out seeds online and at different stores around town and started researching what we have to do to go from seeds to actual plants with edible produce. Lee laid everything out in Auto CAD. That, my friends, is one of the many reasons I love this guy, I would have just tossed some seeds in the ground and prayed.  He reads the directions and lays things out so all the plants have enough room to grow and look pretty.

Three weeks after planting the seeds.
At the end of February, we started our peppers, some of the herbs and the brussel sprouts.  We had some shelving in the basement and poached a florescent light fixture from another basement room and bought a grow light to fit.  Then we got the seed starters from Home Depot.  Easy as pie!

The brussel sprouts got confused, thought it was the middle of summer, and took off in a week, so we had to pull those back to give everything else a chance!

This summer, we'll be growing lots of vegetables (hopefully) including the habaneros for the Flaming Fido Hot Sauce.  I'm itching to get out there and get started!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Jalapeno Poppers

I took these tasty appetizers to a party this weekend. It was the second time I'd brought them to share with my kickball team, the Recess Renegades... this time by special request.  More than one of my teammates weren't able to get these off their minds since our last get together!

As far as party food goes, these are pretty cheap and easy to put together.  Plus, they make you look really tough when you bite into a great big jalapeno pepper.  On the spicy level, you can make them as hot, or not hot as you want, it just all depends on how much of the spicy seeds and membranes you leave in the pepper.  I like mine not so hot, so Lee dug it all out.  Truth be told, this batch could have even been a little spicier and still have been delicious!

Overall, the taste is more sweet than spicy, which is surprising when you're looking at this giant pepper.

WARNING! When you're cutting and handling your peppers, don't be a hero, wear gloves.  We get the nitrile gloves that you can find at the pharmacy.  They will save you a lot of pain later.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Gnocchi Nicoise

We’ve been subscribers to the  Food Network Magazine since they started publishing.  One of the very first recipes we tried was their Gnocchi Nicoise.  You can go there for the original recipe, what we have below is the version that it's melded into for us over the years.  

It is probably the most memorable recipe we’ve gotten from the magazine, and one that I beg for at least once a month.  

In the tradition of goulash and chili, you’ll feel the love in the first bite. The potato gnocchi get great big hugs from the ground beef and tomatoes and the carrots, shallots and bacon dance around them.  You add just a little bit of red wine to give them a slow cooked taste without the slow cooking and when you take your first bite you'll feel like you're wrapped in a warm blanket in front of a roaring fire on a cold winter day.

Even better...this is a filling meal that will leave you with plenty of left overs that make great lunches throughout the week. 

By the way... for those of you who, like me, have no idea what Nicoise means, it means “as prepared in Nice.”  

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Ginger Ribs

This early spring weather had me wanting ribs and when I threw that out as a possible meal for this week, Lee was totally on board.  He got to work looking for tasty recipes to make and quickly found the for Mommy blog and her delicious ribs.  
He was looking for spare or St. Louis style ribs, but instead found some delicious and meaty rib tips on sale at Shop N Save this week so he went for them.  Being frugal paid off big time!   
I knew we were having ribs, but let me tell you, my already good day was made a thousand times better when I stepped out of my car and could smell these puppies while I was still in the drive way.  Neighbors eat your hearts out (cause you're not getting my ribs!)
Upon eating them, I declared them best ribs ever.  I love honey bbq sauce- we're from St. Louis, we like our sweet stuff here.  The way the sauce caramelized the honey sauce in the broiler was a thing of pure beauty.
I'm hoping these awesome ribs are in heavy rotation this summer... they're awesome!

Here's what he did to make this pile of deliciousness....

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Homemade Cheese-Its Crackers

I came home from work today to find a snack waiting on the counter.  I popped them in my mouth without asking what they were- which sometimes can be a household hazard here.  Immediately I recognized the taste- cheese-its!   

Monday, February 27, 2012

Pastelon (Puerto Rican Lasagna)

Here’s one example of a bunch of ingredients that you’re going to read and say, “oh no, that will never work!”  But trust me, they do.  They work together beautifully!
Lee discovered this one from this blog by way of Pintrest. 
The sweet plantains form your layers, dividing the meat and filling like noodles in traditional lasagna.  Instead of marinara, fluffy eggs hold everything together.  The raisins pop like candy in the mouth and the beef grounds it all together.  Don’t be afraid when the house starts smelling smoky spicy from the adobo mix, it gives the meat some body without adding any spice. 
This is a recipe you need to try right away, it’s amazing and VERY filling.  Serve it for dinner or breakfast, you can’t go wrong!  

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Cheeseburger Pie

Cheeseburger pie? For serious?  I yelled at Lee a little when he told me he was making this.  After all, we ARE trying to eat more healthily.  But sometimes, you just have try the deliciousness.   
This crustless pie is a lot like a very meat dense quiche.  The egg is a little surprising, but livens up the flavor of the whole dish.  And of course, when you add cheddar cheese to the top of anything, that makes it even better.  
Now, most of you out there are going to use ground beef for that and that's cool, but we used a ground venison and pork mixture that we had on hand. We served ours with the Polenta Fries that we posted last night... a perfect pairing! 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Baked Polenta Fries

Until recently, polenta was something I only saw on the Food Network and I still wasn't sure what it was.  Basically, it's creamy and smooth cornmeal and when prepared right is really tasty.  We've been trying to eat a little healthier, so instead of making fries with dinner, Lee whipped these up.  
They tasted a lot like cornbread, but a little denser and less cake like.  
The only thing I don't love about this recipe is that it makes A LOT!!  But it stores in the fridge for about a week and heats up beautifully

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Miso Sesame Cucumber and Tomato Salad

Miso Sesame Cucumber and Tomato Salad


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons red miso (soybean paste) or lower-sodium soy sauce 
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey 
  • 1 tablespoon hot water
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
  • 1 thinly sliced seeded cucumber 
  • 1 Large Tomato - Diced


1. Combine first 7 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add cucumber and tomatoes; toss to coat.

Spicy Pad Thai

Ok folks, he's trying to kill me.   I'm hanging out while he's cooking and my eyes start watering, I start sneezing, I'm having hayfever in a snowstorm! It turns out Lee over did it on the Srichacha sauce. For those of you unacquainted with Srichacha, it's a hot Thai pepper sauce.  It makes a great, burn the front of your mouth only fire and is actually really good.  That said, make this recipe carefully!
Actually, once it hit the table, it was pretty good!  The peanuts that were mixed in with the chicken and rice noodles helped to mellow out the heat a little, my face was only a 2 alarm fire, much better than the 4 alarm I had anticipated.
For me, the star of this plate was the side dish.  Those tomatos and cucumbers were my life savers! When the heat got to be too much, I'd switch over to those cool cucumbers or lush tomatos and enjoy a second of peace before diving back into the heat!  Check that out too:

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Island Chicken Sandwiches

One of the things we're really trying to cut back on is our sodium intake.  Salt, bacon, any kind of processed food, we love them all.  So when we were talking about making chicken marinaded in teriyaki sauce, we figured we could cut out a lot of the sodium in the sauce if we made it ourselves.  It's not sodium free, but a step in the right direction.
We also got the mini sammi buns, they're about half the size of a regular burger bun.  We had been on a roll with them a year ago when we were eating a lot of salmon burgers (oh we have to post that one sometime too!) but we thought they'd be the perfect complement to this dish.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sushi Salad Bowl

So the last three recipes are all in preparation for this great dish.  We both had been craving sushi lately and didn't want to splurge on it.  We've tried making our own before, but frankly, that was something that was tough, even for Lee!  So we were looking at different kinds of lettuce wraps and came up with this awesome plate of happiness.
This was definitely a knife and fork wrap, definitely messy, but oh so good.  It was the next best thing to going out for real sushi... and I'm not easily fooled!

Pickled Tomato and Avocado Salsa

This is the best mix of spicy and refreshing.  Don't worry, it looks like a lot of items, but its mostly spices you already have in the pantry.  
Here's what you need:

Nori Powder

This is super easy and can have so many uses.  If you like sushi and want to give that salty taste to any food and feel healthy about doing it, then this is for you.  I initially made this for our sushi salad, but will be trying it on roasted potatoes and many more dishes.

Peanut Slaw

After coming out of our Super Bowl food coma, we decided to buckle down and eat a little better.  Lee's starting on some Herbalife shakes for breakfast and lunch and making a good dinner for both of us.  
We hit the Soulard Farmer's Market and got all of this for $23.  So we're all set for a solid week of healthy.  

He's started his own Pintrest board with healthy food options and has been pinning away good stuff.  This one came to us via Pintrest via Food Gawker via the Bite House.   
Lee loves his coleslaw, until we got married, I only though there were two kinds of coleslaw- mayo and vinegar.  Little did I know...

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Slutty Brownies

Starting this week, we'll be going healthy at home and on the blog. But first we're saying goodbye to junk in style with this one!
This is another Pintrest find, those of you on it have seen it for sure.
So this is a chocolate chip cookie bar topped with oreos, topped with brownies.   It's amazing. But with all of those layers of goodness, was there another option?
The inside brownie part will still be a little gooey....This is what makes it slutty I guess.  It will set up a little if put in the fridge.
However, these are really best when they are served warm with a BIG glass of milk.  They're super rich (duh) so a little bit will go a long way.  The next day (or next hour, whatever) throw a bit in the microwave for 30 seconds and they'll be perfect and ready to eat again.

Here's what you need:
Follow the directions on the cookie box.
Press the cookie batter into your parchment lined dish.
Line the Oreo's on top of the cookie dough layer.
Prepare the brownies as per the box.
Pour the brownie mix on top of the cookies and bake at 350 for 50 minutes.
1 Box of cookie mix
1 Box of brownie mix
2 Eggs
2 Packs of Oreos
Vegetable Oil

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F.
  2. Line a baking tray with grease proof paper.
  3. Follow the instructions on the cookie mix box.
  4. Press the cookie dough into a lined baking tray, until it covers the bottom. 
  5. Cover this layer with Oreo's.
  6. Mix up your brownie batter.  Pour over your Oreo's.
  7. Bake for 50 minutes.
  8. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. 
  9. When it's still warm, use the paper to lift your creation out of the tray and rest it on a chopping board. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Homemade Pretzels

I don't get to the mall nearly as much as I use to, but when I do, one of my favorite things to do is to get a soft pretzel while shopping.  Soft pretzels are one of those little delicacies in life that I'm not sure I can get enough of.  
So when Lee told me that he was going to make soft pretzels for the Super Bowl, I was psyched!  We did a test run the Friday before and we ate the whole batch in one night.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Beer Cheese Soup

We were planning on the Packers being in the Super Bowl when we made our menu, yeah, Lee was THAT excited about cooking on Super Bowl day.  So what is more Wisconsin than beer cheese soup? I mean, that's Wisconsin in a bowl!  
I've long been a beer cheese soup aficionado and the last time we tried it at home, it had the consistency of ball park nacho cheese, not cool.  


Monday, February 6, 2012

Chili Lime Oven Roasted Wings

We had quite the Super Bowl at our house, Lee missed half the game cooking!   This is probably the healthiest out of the bunch we'll be posting over the next few days.  
We wanted to some wings that weren't fried, and these were AWESOME! They were just as crispy as if they were fried and I didn't feel half as guilty chowing down on these.  And look, there's green stuff on them too, that has to be extra points right there!  
Now, the dog and I were pretty scared for a while because these puppies (or chickies?) smoked up the house like crazy, thank goodness it was in the 50's here because we had all the doors and windows open to air it out!   It was all worth it though. 
And if the name has you worried, these aren't hot at all, our 6 year old nephew who doesn't like spice at all loved them too! 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Jalapeno Steak and Cheesy Polenta

We were supposed to have house guests from Texas on Sunday night, so Lee was excited to have someone around who appreciated his spicy cooking.  Although they weren't able to make it in the long run, we had a great recipe on tap we just had to try. 
I found this recipe a few weeks ago and thought it looked tasty: The Foodie Couple: Jalapeno Beef with Cheese Polenta and Chile Sauce.  It's another food couple out of Washington after our my heart, they drink wine with their meals. I should do that.  But dinner is the only time I get my milk everyday and frankly, this Wisconsin raised girl needs her milk, but I digress.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Banana Fosters Pockets

So you send your significant other shopping and tell him to pick up items for dessert.  He forgets, but brings a few other off list items home: Crescent rolls, bananas and chocolate sauce..  What do you make?  You may as well be on an episode of Chopped here!  This recipe will make sure that you're here to fight another day.

When I first bit in, I was transported back to the breakfast table at my parent's house.  No offense to Lee, but my dad makes, hands down, the best banana pancakes in the world.  They're totally amazing and the combination of dough and cooked bananas smothered in sugary sauce took me right back.  Dad never added chocolate syrup to breakfast though, so these treats might edge them out.  I'll have to demand a head to head cookoff one day.
For the chocolate sauce, we used Smucker's Plate Scapers which lets you have really nice pretty lines, good for pictures, but not good when you just want chocolate NOW!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Chickpea Crunch

Looking for a reasonably healthy, protein filled, but sweet snack? Here's one for you... Chickpea Crunch.  It's just canned chickpeas coated in sugary goodness. It's one of those foods that gets better as it sits.  When it first finished up, I felt like my hands were covered in honey, but the next day, they were like little round, sugary popcorns.  
Give it a try!

Drain and rinse the chickpeas in a strainer, then lay on a towel to dry. The key is to get them as dry as possible, you may have to let them air dry for an hour or so.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Omar's Pizza

We've cut WAY back on the amount we eat out lately, but yesterday was payday and decided that pizza would be the perfect way to end a really long day.

We hit up Omar's in St. Ann.

Omar's is a tiny little restaurant in a building that use to be a car stereo store (streetview on Google still shows the old place!)  It's definitely one of our favorites in our immediate area.  Omar's serves Italian and Mediterranean food.  It's a really great place to take people if you aren't really sure what they like because you can get your standard pasta dishes, but also some really great Greek and Middle Eastern food too.
We decided to do a takeout pizza, and got the Greek Lamb pizza, with beef shawarma instead of lamb.  Shawarma is a lot like gyro meat, except thin shavings are put on the spit instead of pressed meat.  It's then roasted for several hours.  It's amazing.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Chicken Enchiladas

We really like watching the Soup on E!  My favorite segment is Chat Soup, the tagline for the segment is “So Meaty!”   That’s exactly how you can describe today’s dish. 
I know, enchiladas with Lee can be scary… how spicy will they be?  Today’s aren’t so bad.  A mild sauce was used and the gentle smokiness of the chipotle peppers in the adobo sauce made for a gentle heat that was pretty enjoyable. 
These were stuffed full of tasty chicken and topped with a couple of kinds of cheeses.  The tortillas heat up just enough to give a great crunch.  You’re going to love these!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Creme Brulee Lemon Cheesecake Bars

I almost got shunned at work for bringing in these gems Lee made over the weekend.  You see, we're supposed to be being good, I mean, it's January.  But Lee made them, and we wanted lots of people to enjoy them....  
Everyone loved them.   
Cheesecake, lemons, creme brulee... I mean, wow!  
Now, if creme brulee sounds like it would make this super hard, don't worry, this one is more time consuming than anything, but it's worth it!   
The crust is just like a cookie and is just the perfect amount of sugary.  The creamy, lemony inside cheesecake part has just enough tartness to cut through the sugar sweetness and  the caramely brulee'd top is the tasty icing on the top. 
Yum.  I wish we still had some left.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Crazy Pizza!

You can go ahead and throw away the pizza delivery guy's number now.  Go ahead, go to your takeout pile, find the your regular pizza place's menu and just throw it away.  Tonight's dinner is better than and faster.  

This pizza uses refrigerated rolls (like Pillsbury) instead of regular crust and everything else is pretty much the same.  The dough and the sauce and the cheese melt into each other to make something amazing.  If you live in St. Louis, you might be thinking, "Oh, like Imo's!"  No my friend, this is nothing like Imo's. This is the opposite.  

This is amazingly gooey and puffy and cheesy and wonderful.  It's really easy to overdo it on this pizza because the biscuits make it so light and fluffy. 

The  toppings are the icing on top. The onions were so good, I was chasing the last few around the plate trying to get them!  

From start to finish, this is going to take you, tops 30 minutes- which is way faster than most decent pizza places and it's so much better.  You'll never call the pizza guy again.  

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Chicken Paninis and Pimento Pickles

Our Saturday ritual is to get up early and hit the grocery store before everyone else is out and about.  Then we’ll come home, have lunch or breakfast (whichever is more time appropriate) and take on the day.  
Today we got a much later start than usual and ended up at the store during BUSY time!  Not the best way to start the day.  
Luckily, we were able to keep motivated by remembering what would be waiting for us when we got home.  We picked up a rotisserie chicken and Lee made it into a delicious Panini.  

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Kicked Up Chicken and Dumplings

When Lee told me he was making chicken and dumplings, I threw a bit of a fit.  I've never been a big chicken soup fan, and for some reason in my head dumplings are the same thing as biscuits and gravy which I really do hate.  

Luckily, Lee proved me wrong with this amazing version. 
Perfect broth, perfect dumplings, perfect chicken. 
After last week’s beer brined chicken, he’s obsessed so we picked up a whole cut up fryer at the store and he prepared that recipe.  Then he added just a little spice to the dumplings.  By the way, if the dumplings were called really thick noodles, I probably wouldn’t have had any problem at all. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Twinkie Tiramisu- Way Better Than Regular Tiramisu

Sometimes, Lee takes ingredients I really love and does weird stuff with them.  You walk away feeling like the thing you love has been violated by another thing you love and you feel really awkward about your alliances with both. 

I was really ready for that feeling when he told me he was making Twinkie Tiramisu. 

Now I love Twinkies and coffee and vanilla wafers (I could write a whole post on how much I love these), and cream and sugar and cream cheese.  But when you tell me they’re all going to hop in the oven together, I’m going to be worried. 

Lee’s been wanting to make this for a few weeks, but Twinkies were on sale this week, so I couldn't evade this issue any longer. 

So we gathered the ingredients, and he went to work. 

The original recipe called for mascarpone cheese, but let’s be serious. That stuff is pretty expensive to be putting in a dish that highlights Twinkies.  So we subbed in cream cheese.  If you do this, whip the heck out of the cream cheese or you’ll end up with cream cheese hunks in your tiramisu, not awesome. This is a Food Network recipe originally, but Lee's adapted recipe is below.  

Overall, this was pretty good. Tiramisu is a tough sell for me, but this was definitely easier than regular tiramisu and WAY better than most of the tiramisus I’ve had. The creaminess from the cream mixture PLUS the Twinkie cream makes it extra delicious.  

By the way, you can chill it for just a few hours before serving, but this is definitely one of those recipes that gets better the longer the flavors meld together, if you can keep it overnight, do it. 

Twinkie Tiramisu
8 Twinkies
1 cup strong coffee
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup sugar
16 oz (2 packs) cream cheese, at room temperature
Yellow food coloring
10 vanilla wafers

  1. Slice the Twinkies down the middle long ways and squish half of them cream side up in a 7 by 11-inch pan, covering the bottom.
  2. Add a layer of about half the coffee
  3. Whip the cream to soft peaks then add sugar.
  4. Whip the heck out of the cream cheese and fold in the whipped cream.
  5. Pour half of the mixture over the Twinkies and spread.
  6. Make another layer of Twinkies and add the rest of the coffee.
  7. Combine 10 drops of food coloring to the rest of the cream, you want it to be Twinkie colored.
  8. Spread the rest of the cream over the top of the Twinkies.
  9. Crumble the vanilla wafers and add them to the top. 
  10. Cover and refrigerate overnight before serving.

Calories 482   Calories from Fat 301
Total Fat 33.4g
Saturated Fat 20.4g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 116mg
Sodium 419mg
Total Carbohydrates 41.5g
Sugars 28.6g
Protein 6.1g

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Remake of Fried Chicken Dinner

I realized I hit the husband lottery the first night I came home from work to find dinner making its way on to the table.  Tonight I opened the door and knew that something tasty was just about ready.  Score one for perfect timing!  
Tonight, we give you THREE recipes for the price of one, together they make a happy dinner for four (or in our case, a happy dinner for two plus tomorrow’s lunch!) 
The Colonel has nothing on this fried chicken dinner!
The chicken was a perfect balance of moist and crispy.  I’m a big fan of the potatoes, I’ve been pretty happy about all the paprika lately and I love a non-fried fry.  And the green beans are an old stand-by that Lee makes a lot- let’s face it, everything is better with bacon and we’ve had quite a bacon shortage lately- it’s been a week since our last post containing Lee’s mistress food.  

So here’s everything you need for tonight’s super easy dinner. 

Crispy Butter Garlic Chicken
4 Chicken breast 
½ cup flour
2 cups milk
3 cups crushed cornflakes
3 tablespoon butter
2 cloves garlic (Minced)
Oil for frying 

  1. In a shallow pan, heat about an inch or two of oil to 325.
  2. Take chicken breast and cut in half to butterfly and make thinner.  Dredge in flour and shake off, then dredge in milk and place in cornflakes until coated. 
  3. Once oil is hot fry chicken until crisp and cooked through, about 8 minutes on each side.
  4. Drain and let cool while you put your butter and garlic in another saucepan to melt on medium heat.  Once melted, spoon the butter garlic sauce over plated chicken.

Nutrition Facts for Chicken
Calories 557   Calories from Fat 157
Total Fat 17.4g
Saturated Fat 7.6g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 172mg
Sodium 392mg
Total Carbohydrates 36.8g
Dietary Fiber 1.0g
Sugars 8.5g
Protein 60.7g
Vitamin A 19% Vitamin C 8%
Calcium 19% Iron 48%

Spiced Oven Fries
4 potatoes (cut into wedges)
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoon onion powder
3 tablespoon oil 

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. In a Ziploc bag, combine all ingredients and shake to coat potatoes.
  3. Pour into an ovenproof dish and bake for about 40 minutes turning halfway through cooking.

Nutrition Facts for Potatoes
Calories 338  Calories from Fat 29
Total Fat 3.2g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 1192mg
Total Carbohydrates 72.1g
Dietary Fiber 12.2g
Sugars 6.1g
Protein 8.1g
Vitamin A 37% Vitamin C 145%
Calcium 6% Iron 21%

Green Beans with Bacon
1 lb of fresh green beans (Trimmed)
2 slices of bacon (Diced) 
1 teaspoon minced onion
Salt and pepper

  1. In a large sauté pan fry bacon until slightly crisp but still pliable.
  2. Remove bacon and sauté green beans in bacon fat for 10 minutes on medium high heat.  
  3. Add minced onions, salt, pepper, and a splash of water.  Cover to steam for about 12 minutes.  

Nutrition Facts for Green Beans
Calories 174  Calories from Fat 74
Total Fat 8.2g
Saturated Fat 2.7g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 21mg
Sodium 453mg
Total Carbohydrates 16.6g
Dietary Fiber 7.7g
Sugars 3.2g
Protein 11.2g
Vitamin A 31% Vitamin C 62%
Calcium 9% Iron 15%

What's your go to weeknight dinner? 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Crispy Potato Ring

A couple of years ago, we bought a soufflé dish to make a chocolate soufflé.  It was amazing.  We should make that again.  After the chocolate soufflé was devoured, the dish went back in the cabinet for year, waiting for the perfect dish to carry.  
We found it with today’s dish. 
You’ll probably recognize these potatoes from the picture of yesterday’s post, they were the amazing side dish. 
First, a disclaimer: I love undercooked potatoes.  If you don’t, you probably don’t want to attempt this recipe.
The potato crust is just chewy enough and hides the soft center that waits for you inside the dish.