Monday, June 22, 2009

Chipotle Chicken and Rice

This came from the current "Everyday Food" magazine.

It was quite spicy. I suggest reducing the chipotles by half. Spicy food doesn't bother me, but the heat took away a bit from the flavor. We will have this again for sure.

Chicken and Dumplings

Heather worked for quite some time on this. It was worth the effort. It was a very rich stock. The recipe is in our cookbook if you need it.

Minute Chocolate Mug Cake

Crazy right? You put these few ingredients in a mug, stir, and microwave. It is actually pretty good.....


  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons baking cocoa
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
  • Small splash of vanilla

Add dry ingredients to mug and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly. Pour in the milk and oil and mix well. Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla, and mix again. Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts. The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don’t be alarmed! Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired. EAT! (this can serve 2 if you want to share!)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Pan poached halibut with roasted garlic couscous

Kroger had some beautiful halibut fillets so I got one. I melted some butter in a saute pan and added some white wine, lemon juice, and capers. Once it was boiling I put the fish in the pan and used a spoon to take the sauce and cook the fish on the top. Once it was almost done, I removed it and put it on the couscous. I let the remaining sauce reduce until it was thickened and topped the whole thing. Heather's had bones in it. I was a bit disappointed about that.

Roasted chicken with eggplant

Kroger had leg quarters for $.55/lb. What a bargain. Heather seasoned two up and roasted them with some aromatics. The boys were camping with my dad and I was disassembling the carb on the mower. Heather then sliced some eggplant and leeched them with salt for a while. Then she dusted them with flour, made a dredge of eggwash and panko and fried them up. She had roasted some garlic earlier in the week and loaded a french loaf with some.

Shrimp and grits with tasso cream gravy

Heather was jonesing for some shrimp and grits so I whipped some up. I freaked when I realized we had no onion. Luckily there was a little in the fridge.

Susan Spicer is the (wo)man!

Grilled marinated Ahi Tuna, brown rice, and edemame

Heather marinated some Ahi and grilled it on a super hot cast iron grill pan. The brown rice took FOREVER. She had reserved marinade for a dipping sauce, but I found it unnecessary. The edamame was steamed. I can feel my cholesterol dropping already.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Chicken enchiladas and bean dip

Harrison was paying us a visit and I had a long day at work. I didn't want anything complicated so I went with chicken enchiladas. I seasoned and grilled chicken breasts, then took two forks and shredded them. I used some frozen corn kernels and drained a can of black beans. I mixed 4 oz of of cream cheese, 1/2 cup of sour cream, shredded cheddar, cumin, cayenne, and some Pace salsa. I added the chicken, corn, and black beans to the mix and mixed it all up. Then I filled flour tortillas with the mixture, placed them in a disposable aluminum pan and covered them with cheese and canned enchilada sauce. I opened a can of refried beans, added the other 4 oz of cream cheese, sour cream, and jalapeños and heated it up for some bean dip.
Here is where I got the idea:

Tuscan chicken with mushroom risotto

Heather made some mushroom risotto and topped it with a grilled chicken breast. Then she made the sauce. All I can say is WOW! Here is the basic recipe:

Ribeyes with roasted asparagus and pasta

Heather seasoned some ribeyes and I put them on a very hot grill. The asparagus was lightly seasoned with olive oil, garlic salt, and lemon. She made the boys spaghetti and I snagged a bit of the pasta and topped it with a bit of Parmesan because I am a carboholic.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Grilled pork tenderloin

I took two pork tenderloins and cleaned them up. I made a slit in the thick side and gently pounded them until they were a uniform thickness. I made a paste of fresh rosemary, thyme, garlic, Cavender's, lots of course black pepper, and olive oil. I covered the pork in the paste and let it rest. I then opened up some creamed corn and added a bit of rendered bacon and black pepper like my grandmother used to. To round things out, I made some blackeyed peas. Tanner loved this meal. I used the leftovers to make a great sandwich the next day.

Balsamic chicken with spinach and risotto

Heather seasoned some chicken breasts and cooked them in the grill pan. Meanwhile, she made an incredible saffron risotto. The aroma of that incredible spice filled the house. She lightly sautéed some spinach just until it started to wilt. Then she took balsamic vinegar and chopped tomatoes and made a sauce. Everything was layered on the plate. It was a great dish from an "Eating Healthy" section of one of our periodicals.

Fish tacos

Heather to ok some nice Ahi Tuna steaks and made a little citrus marinade for them. She quickly cooked them in a grill pan. Then she chunked them up. She made a wasabi mayo and chili avocados to complete the tacos. Steamed rice and broccoli rounded out the meal.

Memorial Day feast

We went to Jackson for Memorial Day. We honored our veterans by exercising our right to pig out. Boppa had brined 6 racks of ribs. We smoked the ribs and some HUGE chickens. They were more like small turkeys. Mimi made her famous slaw. Sheryl brought this amazing grape salad. We had a great time.

Pistachio cheesecake

Boppa has requested that Heather make a pistachio cheesecake. She did a little research then made it. It is a hybrid of Junior's chocolate cheesecake and several other recipes. It is very chocolaty but the pistachio pudding in the filling gives it a great texture. The crust is chocolate graham crackers. Nat Ray really seemed to like it too. She left what we didn't inhale for Boppa to take to the Mermaid Cafe to share.

Heather’s Chocolate Pistachio Cheesecake
1 pkg chocolate graham crackers
2/3 cup sugar
4 T unsalted butter, melted

½ cup crushed pistachios

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and generously butter the bottom and sides of a 8 or 9 inch springform pan (preferably a non-stick one). Wrap the outside with aluminum foil, covering the bottom and extending all the way up the sides.
2. In a small bowl, combine the ingredients together.
3. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.

Chocolate Pistachio Cheesecake

1 recipe Crust (above)
Four 8-ounce packages cream cheese (use only full fat) at room temperature
1 2/3 cups sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 Tablespoon Pure Vanilla extract
2 Extra-Large eggs
3/4 cup heavy or whipping cream
1 pkg pistachio pudding
2/3 cup cocoa powder
½ cup crushed pistachios
4 oz melted Bittersweet Chocolate (preferably Ghirardelli)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Wrap the outside with aluminum foil, covering the bottom and extending all the way up the sides. Make and bake the cake crust and leave it in the pan. Keep the oven on.
2. Put one package of the cream cheese, 1/3 cup of the sugar, and the cornstarch in a large bowl and beat with and electric mixer on low until creamy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl several times. Blend in the remaining cream cheese, one package at a time, scraping down the bowl after each one.
3. Increase the mixer spped to medium and beat in the remaining 1 1/3 cups sugar, then the vanilla. Blend in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after adding each one. Beat in the cream just until completely blended. Add in the pistachio pudding, cocoa powder, chocolate and crushed pistachios. Be careful not to overmix! Gently spoon the batter over the crust.
4. Place the cake in a large shallow pan containing hot water that comes about 1 inch up the sides of the springform. Bake until the edges are light golden brown and the top is slightly golden tan, about 1 1/4 hours. Remove the cheesecake from the water bath, transfer to a wire rack, and let cool for 2 hours (just walk away -- don't move it). Then, leave the cake in the pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until completely cold, preferably overnight or from at least 4 hours.

Ganache Recipe:
8 ounces (227 grams) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup (180 ml) heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter
1 tablespoons cognac or brandy (optional)
Place the chopped chocolate in a medium sized stainless steel bowl. Set aside. Heat the cream and butter in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil. Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Stir with a whisk until smooth. If desired, add the liqueur. Spread ganache over the cooled cheesecake letting it run over the sides. Use another ½ cup of crushed pistachios to sprinkle on the ganache. Serve and enjoy!

Crawfish lunch

The Hull's brought mudpuppies, corn, potatoes, and sausage. We really put a hurting on those babies.

Swedish meatballs with egg noodles

This has become one of my favorites. Here is the recipe:

Pork chops, spinach, and potato gratin

This was Heather's meal. She made some incredible pork chops. The spinach is canned, but she added some roasted garlic that really enhanced it. I made the gratin with canned potatoes, cream, some various cheeses, and onion. I think the onion was too overwhelming in this dish and will either saute it first or omit it next time.

Hot Wheels track

This is the crazy track that Chance, Tanner, and Harrison built. Oddly enough, some cars made it the whole way.

Beef stew aka "Mystery Meat"

Heather took beef chunks, browned them, then braised them in the dutch oven with peppers, onions, and tomatoes. They come out very tender and rich. That night, she choose to serve it with white rice. Delicious, cheap, and easy.

Ribeyes with Boursin, grilled corn, and stuffed tomatoes

I grilled some ribeyes Heather had picked up. I topped them with some boursin. She also found some fresh corn that I shucked, seasoned, and grilled. The tomatoes are Romas that I scooped out and made a mixture of diced onion, blue cheese, and cream cheese. They are topped with a little panko and baked until bubbly.

Tilapia with tomatillo salsa and maque choux filled avacados

Tony and Jin were coming for a visit and were kind enough to allow us to cook for them. I had some ripe avocados and decided to go for this family staple. We had a great time chillaxin with good friends. The simple recipe is here:

Osso Bucco

This was a particularly good batch of osso bucco. We need to find a new source for the veal shanks. We are running low. We tried a new Tempranillo that was very spicy. It is the current focus of my fleeting wine passion.


How do you make a little taco meat stretch into a full meal? This is what I tried. Lightly brush corn tortillas with oil and bake them until they are crispy. Top them with refried beans, taco meat, red onion, chopped lettuce, sour cream, and a little jarred salsa verde.

Venison with potato gratin and green beans

I pounded out some venison loin and made a dredge for them. The green beans were blanched for 6 or 7 minutes then shocked to stop the cooking. Then they were tossed in rendered bacon and sautéed red onion. The gratin was canned, diced potatoes with cream, garlic salt, Parmesan, mozzarella, and topped with panko. You throw that in a 350 oven for about 15 minutes or until it bubbles and you have a nice side dish. Heather made her infamous biscuits.

Jambalaya Night!

Heather had the idea and we had all the ingredients so we made jambalaya. I made some french bread to go with it. The key to this recipe is to finely shred the chicken. Heather loosely followed Emeril's recipe here:

Hamburger steak with onions and mushrooms, crowder peas, and chipotle sweet potatoes

This was a simple, weekday, quick meal. I peeled and steamed some sweet potatoes while Heather cooked up the hamburger steaks with that rich stock that makes the meal. The crowder peas were canned.

It has been a while.....

When I started this blog, I told myself that if I didn't keep it updated, it would go away. Well life got in the way of updating all the time and it went to the backburner (pardon the pun). Not surprisingly, there were very few comments about it not being updated. Now there have been several requests in the same week so I will make the time necessary to get caught up. If anyone was disappointed, I apologize. If you weren't, I understand.