Thursday, January 29, 2015

Bacon Cheddar Panini with Sweet Mustard

Quesadillas were on the menu tonight, but when I rummaged through the drawer pulling out ingredients I realized I had a half a package of bacon that needed to be used up.    I'd pinned this grilled cheese just the other day, and decided to make that dinner.

I am still totally in love with my Cuisinart Griddler.    I cooked the bacon on it, then assembled the sandwiches and pressed them on it.     I don't like mayo, so I substituted sour cream.   

Unfortunately for me, I didn't get the sandwiches plated before the sun went down and had to depend on the lovely energy efficient bulbs for my lighting.   Thanks so much Fashion Edible, go check out the pics on her site!

* Exported from MasterCook *

             Bacon Cheddar Panini with Sweet Mustard

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
  4             slices  bacon
     1/4             c  mozzarella -- shredded
     3/4             c  cheddar -- shredded
 4 slices hearty bread
1               tsp  dijon mustard
1 1/2T  Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce
1T sour cream 

Preheat panini press.   Cook bacon until crispy, let rest on paper towels. 

Combine mustard, bbq sauce and sour cream in a small bowl.   Spread on bread slices.   Top 2 pieces of bread with mozzarella, 2 slices bacon, then the cheddar.    Place lid on sandwiches, and spread a thin layer of butter on top.   Place on panini press, buttered side down, and then quickly butter the tops.   Close the press and let cook until the cheeses are melted and it is golden brown.   Let cool slightly before slicing.

Makes 2 Sandwiches


Blizzards and Beverages :)

Luckily for us, we had no where to be during the big storm yesterday.    We could wait it out, enjoy a nice cocktail and will deal with digging ourselves out today.    I've tried a few unsuccessful vodka based drinks lately, so this time I stuck to things I knew we like.   This is a variation of the Girl Scout Cookie Shooters we've made a few times before.  

Makes 2

3 shots Kahlua
3 shots Baileys
1 1/2 shots Peppermint Schnapps
3 shots half and half (more if you want it to be less strong)

Measure into cocktail shaker with ice.   Shake well and strain into chilled glasses.   Grate some chocolate over the top if desired (I used a Lindt truffle).

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Baked Cinnamon Sugar Mini Donuts

Blizzard Juno has hit New England.    No work or school for my guys, and fingers crossed, the power outages seemed to be limited, so I tempted fate and decided to bake a snow day treat.    Donuts sounded good to me, and I had this recipe printed and ready to go.

No changes at all, except to double the amount of cinnamon sugar at the end.  I'd rather have more than less and have to mix more mid coating.    The excess I save in a spice jar with a shaker lid for sprinkling on buttered toast.

These didn't last long.   I always think, I should double the recipe, don't, and then regret it   LOL    Thanks so much to Baker Bettie for the recipe and making our snow day just a little bit tastier  :)

* Exported from MasterCook *

                     Baked Cinnamon Sugar Mini Donuts

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
  5               TBSP  butter -- softened
     1/2           cup  sugar
  1                     egg
     1/2           cup  milk
  1                tsp  vanilla
  2                tsp  baking powder
  1              pinch  salt
  1 1/2           cups  all-purpose flour
     1/2          cup  butter -- melted
     1/2           cup  sugar
     1           tsp  cinnamon

Heat oven to 325.   Spray mini donut pan with cooking spray. 

Cream together butter and sugar.     Add egg, milk, and vanilla until combined.  Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.     Add to butter mixture, mixing on low speed until just combined.

Pour batter into a pastry bag or Ziploc.    Pipe into donut pan, filling ½ full.  

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.    Cool slightly on a wire rack.

Mix together cinnamon and sugar.   Melt butter.    Dip donuts into the butter and then toss in the cinnamon sugar.   

Source:  ""

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Lawnmower Tacos

We spent our day ripping out the power steering pump in the car, and when we finished, we had totally missed lunch and were well on the way to dinner.   I had ground beef out and this recipe on the menu for today.   It comes together pretty quickly, and was a nice change from regular tacos.  You can top it with whatever fixins  you like, tomatoes, sour cream, jalapenos, lettuce, olives.     Thanks so much to Fishmama at Life as a Mom!

* Exported from MasterCook *

                              Lawnmower Taco

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
  1              pound  ground beef
1 packet Old El Paso Mild Taco seasoning
     1/4           cup  flour
  2               cups  beef broth (low sodium)
  9             ounces  tortilla chips -- crushed
  2                cup  grated cheese- used Fiesta blend
                 shredded lettuce -- salsa, sour cream, black olives, tomatoes, jalapenos

Preheat oven to 325.

Brown ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat.   Drain.   Add taco seasoning and flour, stir to combine.      Pour in broth, and bring it to a boil.   Drop to a simmer until the sauce thickens.    Spray a 9x9 baking pan with cooking spray.     Sprinkle half the crushed tortilla chips in the bottom of the pan.   Add half the ground beef mixture, top with half the cheese.   Repeat for a second layer.     Bake for 20 mins or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Serve with toppings.


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Weeknight Lemon Chicken Skillet Dinner

Needed a nice hearty meal today and the protein of the day was chicken.    This recipe from Cooking Light, looked simple and filling without being heavy.     My ovenproof skillet wasn't incredibly large, and I had a hard time getting nice color on the chicken.    I had to field a phone call and lost track of my potatoes while they were boiling, and they got a little too soft (I used Yukon Gold).   They broke down a lot in the finished dish, but what survived tasted good.   I would definitely give this one another try.

* Exported from MasterCook *

                  Weeknight Lemon Chicken Skillet Dinner

  12            ounces  yukon gold potatoes, halved
  1         tablespoon  olive oil -- divided
  4                     skinless -- (6-ounce) boneless chicken breast halves, pounded to 3/4-inch thickness
     3/4      teaspoon  kosher salt -- divided
     1/2      teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper -- divided
  1t dried thyme
  4             ounces  cremini mushrooms -- quartered (omitted)
  1         teaspoon dried thyme
     1/4           cup  whole milk
  5          teaspoons  all-purpose flour
  1 3/4           cups  unsalted chicken broth
  8               thin  lemon slices- used Meyer lemon
  8 oz sugar snap peas
  2T  dried parsley

Heat oven to 450.   Bring potatoes to a boil in a medium saucepan, simmer 12 mins or until tender.  Drain and set aside.

In a large ovenproof skillet, heat 1t oil on medium high.    Season chicken with salt, pepper and thyme on both sides.    Brown chicken in skillet on both sides, about 5 mins per side.    Move skillet to oven and cook until chicken is done through, about 10 minutes.

Place pan back on medium high heat with 2t oil.    Using tongs, put potatoes cut side down and sprinkle with thyme.     Cook for about 3 to 5 mins, or until browned, making sure they don't stick.   Make a slurry with the milk and flour, whisking to combine well.    To the skillet add salt, pepper, the slurry, chicken broth, lemon and snap peas.     Simmer over low heat until it thickens slightly.   Add the chicken to the pan, and simmer 3 to 5 minutes longer.   Chicken should be warmed through and the snap peas will be crisp/tender.  

Sprinkle with parsley before serving.

Source  ""

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Lasagna Panini

I've fallen in love with my new panini maker.    Sifting through recipes on Pinterest, and this Lasagna Grilled Cheese from Joy the Baker caught my eye.    I don't usually cook at lunch just for myself, but I just kept scrolling past the pin, thinking how great it looked.  

I changed it up a bit, using fresh grape tomatoes instead of canned, and dried basil.    Fast, easy, delicious and I felt like I was treating myself to something special.   Thanks so much Joy for the recipe, be sure to go check out her blog for lots of other wonderful things   :)

* Exported from MasterCook *

                      Lasagna Panini

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
  4             slices  bread
  2        tablespoons  butter
                        olive oil
     1/2           cup  part-skim ricotta cheese
  1                  t  dried basil
                        salt and pepper to taste
                        chopped grape tomatoes
     1/2           cup  shredded part skim mozzarella cheese

Preheat panini maker, brush lightly with olive oil.    Combine ricotta, basil, salt and pepper.  

Top 2 slices of bread with mozzarella then some chopped tomato.  On the remaining bread, spread with the ricotta mixture and complete sandwich.    Butter the top slice of bread.   Place the sandwiche buttered side down panini press and quickly butter the top side.     Cook until golden brown and the cheese is melted.     Let cool slightly before serving.  

Source:  ""

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Irish Peppermint Pattie

Date day and we're enjoying an adult beverage  :)  We have amassed a large amount of vodka in multiple flavors and I've been searching for ways to use it.    I found this one via Pinterest.  I didn't actually have any peppermint patties, so I grated a Lindt Dark Chocolate truffle over the top.

Irish Peppermint Pattie

1 oz. Chocolate Vodka
1 oz. Peppermint Schnapps
1 oz. Creme de Menthe
1 oz. Baileys Irish Cream
2 oz. Half & Half
1 Peppermint Pattie (omitted)
Dark Chocolate shavings (optional)

Combine chocolate vodka, peppermint schnapps, Creme de Menthe, Baileys and half and half in a shaker filled with ice.    Strain into a chilled glass.   Garnish with peppermin pattie or grated dark chocolate.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Peppermint White Russian

Needed a little adult beverage to unwind last night.    I've got a nice amount of them on my Pinterest board, and this one called to me.

I didn't rim the glass with anything, but I did use a leftover Candy Cane from Christmas as a stirrer  :)   Thanks so much to A Beautiful Mess for sharing this one.    No picture, maybe next time.

Peppermint White Russian

Combine 2 parts Peppermint Schnapps, 2 parts Baileys and 1 part heavy cream over ice.   Rim glass with crushed peppermint or use a peppermint stick to stir.   


Saturday, January 10, 2015

Meatball Sub Bubble Up Bake

Big Patriots game today, and I wanted a meal that was easy to throw together.   This recipe from Life With the Crusts Cut off was perfect!    I used bite sized Italian Meatballs, and added Penzey's Italian Herb mix with the sauce.     A sprinkle of shredded Parmesan along with the mozzarella.   Simple.  Mine baked perfectly in exactly 35 minutes.   

Thank you so much Parrish!   Be sure to go check out her blog  :)

* Exported from MasterCook *

                       Meatball Sub Bubble Up Bake

  1                can  Pillsbury Grands Biscuits
  1                bag  frozen Italian meatballs, bite sized
  1  1/2              cups  Ragu Traditional spaghetti sauce
1 heaping teaspoon Penzey's Italian Herb Mix
  1               cup  shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup shredded parmesan

Heat oven to 375.     Spray a 9x13 with nonstick cooking spray.   

Separate biscuits, and cut each one into 8 pieces.   Place into pan.    Pour sauce over.    Sprinkle with Italian Herb Mix.    Space meatballs out evenly, and then sprinkle with the cheeses.

Bake for 30 to 40 mins.   


Sunday, January 4, 2015

Double Crunch Honey Garlic Chicken Breasts

First new recipe for 2015!  Thin cutlets were on the menu today and I wanted something well spiced and fried.     I've seen this recipe on Pinterest dozens of times and today was the day.    For the flour mixture, I omitted the salt and sprinkled it over the hot chicken on the rack.     I used thin cut chicken breasts, there were about 5 in the package.   I only used half the eggs/water because I'm running low, and it was plenty.  I halved the sauce ingredients and served it on the side.   I liked the sauce, DH thought it was ok.  We all loved the chicken.

Pictures are tough this time of year.   It's dark at dinner and we have energy efficient bulbs which put that yellow cast on everything.     It was much more delicious than it looked.   Thanks to Rock Recipes for this one, there are several variations on the site and I look forward to making the others.

* Exported from MasterCook *

                Double Crunch Honey Garlic Chicken Breasts

5 thin cut  boneless chicken breasts
  2                cup  flour
  4                tsp  black pepper
  3               tbsp  ground ginger
  2               tbsp  ground nutmeg
  2                tsp  ground thyme
  2                tsp  ground sage
  2               tbsp  paprika
  1                tsp  cayenne pepper
2                     eggs
4              tbsp  water
Canola Oil for frying
Kosher Salt
       For the sauce
1T olive oil
1 to 2 cloves minced garlic (used jarred)
1/2 cup honey
1/8 cup low sodium soy
1/2 tsp black pepper

Heat oil to medium in a large skillet with high sides.

Combine flour, black pepper, ginger, nutmeg, thyme, sage, paprika and cayenne in a shallow dish.   Whisk together the egg and water in another shallow dish.   

Dredge chicken into flour mixture, then dip into egg, then back into the flour mixture.   Press to make sure the chicken is well coated.   Repeat with the rest of the chicken.  Place gently into the oil and fry until golden brown, about 4 mins per side.   Sprinkle both sides with kosher salt and let rest on a wire rack.  

Drizzle with sauce or serve on the side.

Honey Garlic Sauce
Cook olive oil and garlic in a saucepan over medium heat, but don't let it brown.    Add honey, soy sauce and pepper.    Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 to 10mins.