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Please excuse the lack of photos in some of my older posts as I am trying to slowly go back through and add the photos that were accidentally deleted

July 30, 2011

Honey Chipotle Pork Tenderloin

Hope everyone's having a great weekend. I am, now that my MAT test is over! I guess I did ok, but I'm just glad it's over :) Now I'm getting my pool table fixed, then later going to dinner at Benihana with family for my brother's birthday. And tomorrow PJ and I are going kayaking; that's always so much fun! I'd say the weekend is rounding out pretty well after that dreadful test!

This recipe is supposed to be for a tenderloin, but I'm pretty sure this huge hunk of meat that I cooked up was a pork loin. But I thought I bought a tenderloin. Why would I have bought it if it said 'pork loin' on it? This just seems too big to be a tenderloin, which is a lot more slender.






















So yeah, this could be a tenderloin, or it could be a pork loin. To be honest I don't freakin know at this point and I made this so long ago, but either way the meat was still tender and delicious. But definitely use tenderloin, because that's what the original recipe calls for!



Honey Chipotle Pork Tenderloin 
from Mostly Food and Crafts
  • 3 tablespoons of honey
  • 2 chipotle chilies in adobo and a bit of the adobo sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 pork tenderloins
  • 1 -2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Heat oven to 350.   Combine the honey, chipotles, adobo, cilantro and garlic and set aside.  Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Trim fat from tenderloins and season with salt, pepper, cumin and chili powder. Sear in olive oil browning all the sides.  Transfer to a lightly oiled baking pan (or leave in skillet if it's oven proof.)   Roast for about 15 minutes and brush with the chipotle mixture. Continue roasting fro another 15 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

Printable Recipe























We loved the blend of sweet and spicy against the tenderness of the meat. The basting sauce packs alot of heat and kicks it up a bit, so if you aren't so fond of spicy foods then use less chipotle chiles and juice. We will definitely be making this again soon, just not when it's 100 degrees outside!

P.S.  I'm aware that I've been posting about hot recipes lately, and no one wants to make anything involving heat right now! I hope to have some cool, summery recipes for you soon :)

Peace, and bacon grease!


July 28, 2011

Parmesan Meatballs with Fettuccine and Alfredo Sauce

How can you make beef infused with parmesan and garlic even better? By drenching it in alfredo sauce, that's how! That's also how you can add an outrageous amount of calories. I don't think that would be anyone's goal, but if you don't mind the added calories then definitely make it like this!  :)

 























Is it bad when I have more sauce on my plate than anything else?

I combined two different recipes to make this dish - Laurie's Parmesan Meatballs, and Jenn's Alfredo Sauce. As soon as I saw that meat-a-ball (in my fake Italian accent) recipe, with only four ingredients, I knew I had to make it! And I was also instantly drawn to Jenn's alfredo sauce because, to put it simply, I love any kind of sauce. While we did make her whole recipe for the Chicken Braciole with Alfredo Sauce once before, I wasn't too successful with the stuffed chicken part. While it tasted good, it definitely didn't look like it was supposed to. But that's another story. However, I knew that I would be making that alfredo sauce again and again. And these meatballs seemed like the perfect opportunity to use that sauce again.

 























So I figured that meatballs go well with pasta, and we had some fettuccine in the cabinet, and fettuccine is often used with alfredo sauce. So there we had it. Parmesan Meatballs with Fettuccine and Alfredo Sauce.
























I wish I had more of a clever name for this. Parmesan Meatballs with Fettuccine Alfredo? Parmesan Meatball Afredo? Alfredo Parmesan Meatballs? Parmesan Alfredo Meatballs? It could be called so many things, but scrumptious is definitely one of them.

















This homemade alfredo sauce puts the store-bought jarred to shame. And I know because I cooked another casserole last night that called for jarred alfredo sauce and it's just not the same. I just kept thinking the whole time how a homemade alfredo would have knocked it outta the park! Particularly this alfredo sauce! And it's not even difficult to make.
 
























As you can see, we served this with some garlic bread for a quick and easy side.

Parmesan Meatballs with Fettuccine and Alfredo Sauce
  • 1/2 a package of fettuccine, cooked according to instructions on package
for the meatballs - adapted from Cookin Up North
  • 3/4 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
Mix and shape into 10 meatballs. Spray a greased pan with cooking spray and bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or until cooked through.

for the alfredo sauce - adapted from Jenn's Food Journey
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 2 cups grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium low heat. Add the flour and stir to combine. Let cook for one minute. Slowly whisk in the heavy whipping cream. Sprinkle in cheese a bit at a time until melted and smooth. Season with garlic salt and pepper. Let simmer on very low heat until thickened. Do not let it boil!

To serve, put some cooked fettuccine on a plate, top with meatballs, and then pour sauce over top. Or you can mix some sauce in with the pasta first then top with meatballs and pour more sauce over top.




















And it's been way too long since I've linked up at any parties lately, so I'm back to it!

 
Linking to:

Drooling yet?


Peace, and bacon grease!


July 27, 2011

Blogger, what's up?!

For some strange and very annoying reason, Blogger has been deleting part of my posts. Has this been happening to anyone else? It has happened twice now. Once after I edited my post, when I went to look at it, half of the post was missing! Lucky enough, I was able to press the back button several times to redeem the original post I had written.

Now it's happened again, except now I can't press the back button. So now I just have to try to remember everything I wrote on the last half of my Parmesan Meatballs post. I just don't get it.

Blogger really needs to get it together. These kinds of issues make me question using something else like Wordpress. Ugh, get it together!

So if you are reading my Parmesan Meatballs post, right now, half of it is missing. I'll have to fix it later tonight. I just don't have time now.

Is this happening to anyone else? Or does blogger just hate me?

Peace, and bacon grease!

July 25, 2011

Menu Planning - Week of 7/25/11

Happy Monday, my friends! I'm back with another menu plan.

But darn it, we still didn't make that grilled chicken with white bbq sauce. We were supposed to have it Sunday according to my menu plan, but we ended up having dinner - Dusmesh to be exact - at PJ's mom's house instead. We may make it this Sunday if we don't go kayaking all day.



Tuesday 7/26/11:  Easy Philly Cheesesteaks

Wednesday 7/27/11:  dinner at Sue's house

Thursday 7/28/11: 
Buffalo Chicken Wraps

Friday 7/29/11:  Oven Barbequed Chicken

Saturday 7/30/11:  my brother's birthday, may make some Zuppa Toscana for us and him.... (and the day I take my MAT test, not food related, but still wish me luck!! I haven't taken a test in 4 years!!)

Sunday 7/31/11:  kayaking? if not then we will make that grilled chicken with white bbq sauce



Have a great week :)

Peace, and bacon grease!

July 23, 2011

White Chicken Chili

























Where I'm at, I'm not even THINKING about chili. Like that is the last thing I want right now, because it's so hot out. But I did just post about that Monterey Ranch Bread a little whiles back, and figured since I served this chili with it that I may as well post about it too. Plus it was next up in line of photos to edit in my camera :) 

So here I bring you a tasty white chicken chili recipe, in the dead of summer, yes, but wait until a chilly day to make this comforting chili. The original recipe called for alot more beans, but looking at other recipes and using my own discretion, I decided to use only 2 cans of beans. The only thing was, that it got kind of mushy after cooking it for so long. Maybe next time I will cook it for less time. The original recipe calls for an hour, or until it is hot all the way through and the beans and meat are tender. But really it could be considered hot all the way through after way less time, and also the chicken is already cooked so... I'm not sure how long is needed. But next time I would probably start at 30 minutes then check how it's doing, but also may turn down the temperature to low or at a small simmer so that the beans don't overcook and become mushy.

White Chicken Chili
adapted from Bubaboo, Mini, Mr & Me
  • 2 (16 oz) cans of Great Northern beans
  • 4 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup diced onions
  • 2 (4 oz) cans diced green chiles
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 3 cups Monterey Jack cheese
  • Sour cream, for topping if desired
Place the beans and chicken stock in a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium once boiling and keep at a simmer.

In a saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, and chiles and saute for about 5 minutes or until onions are soft. Add the chile mixture to the large pot of beans and stock. Add in the chicken and seasonings. Cook, stirring occasionally for an hour (? I would probably start at 30 minutes then check after that. Or keep chili on low instead of medium, so that beans don't become mushy). Add the cheese and cilantro and stir well. Top with sour cream just before serving, if desired.

Printable Recipe



















And as you already know, we served this with some Monterey Ranch Bread. Cuz chili and bread go together so well.


Peace, and bacon grease!

July 21, 2011

WWDB? Tostitos Restaurant Style with a Hint of Pepper Jack Tortilla Chips

I'm baaaaaaaaack. It's been a little while since I've suggested some foodie products for you all to buy. But I'm back. With chips. Not just any chips. Tortilla chips. Not just any tortilla chips. Flavored tortilla chips. Did you guys know they were doing this now? I sure didn't. And I'm loving it. It's pretty much like the Doritos idea of a flavored tortilla chip, except this is the Frito Lay Tostitos brand who's doing it now, and with just a hint of the flavoring as opposed to Doritos who pile on the seasoning. I'm not too big on tortilla chips as it is, so I'm looking for any way to enhance the flavor. I was diggin these new tortilla chips with a hint of pepper jack cheese in them. I also saw bags with a hint of lime. I know that would be good too. Their website says they also have ones with a hint of jalapeno. I bet all of them are tasty! But I'll be sure to test the others out soon and let you know how it goes. 

















These chips work great for your usual dipping in salsa, in taco salads, or even just as a plain snack all by itself. We used them in and for dipping in a delicious taco salad that I'll be sure to share with you soon.

So next time you're throwing a party and need some tortilla chips, don't go for the plain kind, jazz it up a bit and opt for one of these bags. I bet they'll add a "hint of" tastiness.

Peace,  and bacon grease!

July 20, 2011

Restaurant Review : Bruegger's Bagels

Ok so this isn't really a restaurant, but I just had to share with you how much I love Bruegger's Bagels! I wish there was one closer to me. The closest one is Clifton, but this particular time I stopped at the one in Kenwood/Blue Ash after dropping PJ off at work.

They offer an assortment of breakfast sandwiches, as well as lunch items like paninis, sandwiches, soups and salads. But you wanna know what keeps calling me back to Bruegger's? 

This beauty....






















Yes, this is my beloved Rosemary and Olive Oil bagel. Oh this bagel, this bagel. I love it toasted, with butter and a little cream cheese. I was surprised at how much I loved the rosemary flavor in this. I never get tired of this bagel.

And now I keep wanting to go back because of this...






















Yes, their cheddar pesto bagel. But hurry now, because this kind is only available for a limited time! And believe me, it is totally worth it.

Oh, and while I was there I couldn't pass up on some bacon scallion cream cheese. Because everything is better with bacon.

















And if you sign up for their emails then you get a free bagel with cream cheese. So how bout you guys check out their website, and see where there is one close to you! I can't comment on their sandwiches or soup, but I can vouch that these two bagels are the bomb.

Peace, and 'bacon scallion' grease :)





Bruegger's Bagel Bakery on Urbanspoon

July 18, 2011

Menu Planning - Week of 7/18/11

Hi friends. I hope you all had a great weekend. I pretty much shopped my money away :) But it was fun while it lasted lol! I finally got PJ to go to Target with me and we had so much fun wandering around buying all kinds of random things for awhile. Usually he hates shopping with me but we both can enjoy ourselves at Target. Man that place can really eat away at a couple's income. But we did need most a few of the things we bought :)

On to menu planning for the week. We didn't get around to making two of the things that I was really excited to make last week - those pork chops and that grilled chicken. So guess what, rollover meals!



Monday 7/18/11:  Steak n potatoes :)

Tuesday 7/19/11:  out to eat at ZZ's Pizza for Jim's birthday :)

Wednesday 7/20/11:  snacking/pick something up - MAT test workshop from 4-9 PM... (shoot me now!!)


Friday 7/22/11:  eat out


Sunday 7/24/11:  Grilled Chicken with White BBQ Sauce



I kind of think I'm done with linking up my menu plan anywhere. 

Have a great week, guys :)

Peace, and bacon grease!


Martha Mondays: Chocolate Caramel Pecan Clusters






















Happy Monday, friends! I participated in another edition of Martha Mondays, and it was my turn to pick a recipe so I chose Martha's Chocolate Caramel Pecan Clusters. Because I LOVE turtles!













The strange thing.... I didn't care for these too much. First of all, I think the pecans tasted a bit burnt, and I didn't even toast them the full ten minutes, more like eight minutes at first. Next time I would probably only toast the crushed pecans that would be used for topping. I would just put them in the oven to 'toast' while melting the caramel and chocolate on them. No need to do the initial toast too, because they are already getting toasted for 5 minutes with the caramels, and then another 2 minutes with the chocolate.

I also thought that once refrigerated and allowed to set, the caramel was too hard to chew. I didn't like that texture. I think I would have preferred the texture when it came right out of the oven... warm and soft and chewy, not hard and crunchy.






















Chocolate Caramel Pecan Clusters
adapted from Martha Stewart
  • 36 whole pecans + 1/4 cup crushed pecan pieces, for topping
  • 12 caramel squares
  • 12 dark chocolate Hershey kisses
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange pecans in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet, toast in oven, until fragrant, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven (leave oven on). Let cool.


Make 12 clusters by arranging 2 pecans vertically, side by side, above one pecan placed horizontally. Gently flatten each caramel and place one on top of each cluster. Bake clusters 5 minutes. Remove from oven (leave oven on). 


Place 1 Hershey kiss on each cluster. Return to the oven and bake until chocolate melts, about 2 minutes. Remove from oven. With a knife, cut off the tip of each chocolate kiss and then spread chocolate but so that caramel still shows.


Sprinkle clusters with reserved chopped pecans. Refrigerate until set, at least 15 minutes. Bring to room temperature before serving.


















They are so stinkin adorable though, aren't they? They look like little turtles :)






















Unfortunately though, they are not as good as I was expecting. In my opinion, they look better than they taste. PJ isn't too fond of pecans anyways so he wasn't really digging them either, and since I also wasn't fully digging them I can understand why, especially since I am the one who loves pecans, choc, and caramel.















The recipe is simple enough; it only requires chopping some of the pecans and flattening the caramels and besides that it's so easy!

Hey, at least I like alot of my pictures!


Peace, and bacon grease!

Secret Recipe Club Reveal - Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Avocado Bacon Dressing

























This is my first time ever participating in Amanda's Secret Recipe Club. And I have to admit, I absolutely loved it. I will definitely be back month to month. I loved being assigned a specific blog from which to pull recipes. It's kind of like a Secret Santa, but the food edition. It's pretty genius.

I was assigned to Tami's blog, Tami's Kitchen Table Talk, and I'm so glad I did because I didn't know of her blog before. So now I have found many recipes of hers that I need to make! The one I chose for the swap this month was her delicious Low-Carb Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Avocado Bacon Dressing. Say what?! Yes, you read right. I couldn't pass up a chance to make a tortilla-less wrap with bacon AND avocado. I am not big on eating much bread or those kinds of things, so I like this low-carb version of a wrap.




















I made a few modifications to the original recipe to suit our likings and convenience. Instead of one grilled chicken breast, we used two small breasts since there are two of us, and diced them into small squares, seasoned with cajun seasoning, and then sauteed them in a skillet in butter. And we did use 3 large romaine leaves: I had one wrap and PJ had two. I also used a whole avocado because you can never have too much avocado, am I right or am I right? :) We also left out the celery because neither of us are too fond of it. I think I liked it more than PJ did just because of the bacon addition. He said he would have liked it more without bacon. How did I end up with someone who doesn't share my enthusiasm for bacon?! It just doesn't seem right. Smh. And he added his to bread because he is a bread kinda guy. Me, I like my lettuce wraps and don't need the bread. I would just end up picking off most of the crust anyways.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Avocado Bacon Dressing
adapted from Tami's Kitchen Table Talk

* Yields 2 servings
  • 3 large romaine leaves, rinsed and patted dry
  • 2 small chicken breasts, diced and seasoned with cajun seasoning
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • Avocado Bacon Dressing (recipe follows below)
Avocado Bacon Dressing: 
  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled
  • 1/4 tsp cajun seasoning
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp Frank's hot sauce
  • 1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 pieces of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • Salt, to taste, if desired
In a large skillet, saute the diced seasoned chicken in 1 tbsp butter until cooked through. Mix the first 5 ingredients of the Avocado Bacon Dressing together well in a bowl. Stir in bacon. Lay romaine leaves open on a plate. Spoon in diced cooked chicken, evenly dividing amongst the three romaine leaves. Spoon Avocado Bacon Dressing evenly over wraps.





















I'm also linking this up to Everyday Sisters' Sharing Sundays... this week's theme is GREEN!

We will definitely make this again! Next time I may try these wraps with the avocado sauce minus the bacon (gotta please the man sometimes), but would add onions instead. The dressing can also be used as a veggie dip, or to top Mexican dishes, replacing guacamole. It's been fun, and I can't wait until next month's Secret Recipe Club :) Be sure to check out everyone elses' recipes from Secret Recipe Club below.

Peace, and bacon grease!












July 16, 2011

We Have a Winner... !!!

Thanks so much to everyone who entered to win my cookbook giveaway. I really loved reading about all of your fave cookbooks and now I have so many to check out. I also loved how many of you had special ones that really meant something sentimental to you. I am so grateful for all of you loyal readers! And we have a winner.... 

The winner of the cookbook, Foodista Best of Food Blogs Cookbook: 100 Great Recipes, Photographs, and Voices, is....


.... #99 - Jocelyn, who said "I am your newest follower! Thanks for leaving such a sweet comment on my blog so that I could come find you. Congrats on your blogoversary!!!!!"


I have contacted Jocelyn and she will have 48 hours to respond and if not I will choose a different winner. Enjoy your cookbook!

Thanks for playing along, everyone! I can't wait to host my next giveaway. I hope it doesn't take me as long as this one did :) And again, love yall!


Peace, and bacon grease! 
 

July 12, 2011

Menu Planning - Week of 7/11/11

I'm a day late on the menu plan again, people. Do you really care? Lol. So happy Tuesday! I did have a nice Monday though. My love came up near my work for a lunch date at Zola's Pub and Grill. We ate outdoors and enjoyed the nice weather, some tasty chunky cajun smothered fries, and a not-so-tasty burger. But I'll review on that another time. Lunch dates always make the day seem so much better.


Monday 7/11/11:  (we had) KFC

Tuesday 7/12/11:   Rosemary Ranch Chicken Kabobs with marinated, grilled veggies

Wednesday 7/13/11: 
dinner at Sue's 

Friday 7/15/11:  City BBQ - I have a coupon!


Saturday 7/16/11:  PJ works late, that means Dominos pizza or I eat alone!





Did you guys notice that I actually planned 7 days worth of meals?! Granted the majority of the days are eating out, but still at least I planned where to eat out lol! Usually I stop at Friday, but I figured I'll plan for the weekend too! Maybe I will start doing that more often... 

And I'm not going to link up anywhere, since this is coming on a Tuesday anyway plus I don't think it helps at all. 


Peace, and bacon grease! 



Restaurant Review : Marco's Pizza in Dent

Guys. I did the unthinkable. I reviewed a restaurant without photos. It feels like I've committed a horrific crime. I hope they don't lock me up in some kind of blogger jail. I hate hate hate when restaurant reviews don't have pictures. People wanna see the food! Not just read the words I write about it. So I apologize ahead of time. But I have a good excuse at least. I had planned on taking pics at least, does that count? I just accidentally left that camera on my coffee table so it didn't make its way into my purse. 

So I'm gonna need you guys to put on your thinking caps for me on this one. Can you do that? Use a little of your imaginations? Visualize everything I am about to tell you. Ok ready? Go.

I love trying new places that I would otherwise never try. This pizza place is definitely one of them. And thanks to Livingsocial, I was able to do that for half off! It is in the Dent area near Rybolt Road off of Harrison Avenue. We of course would have loved to have it delivered, but they don't deliver to our area which is understandable because it is does seem quite out of the delivery area. And it would be too far to pick up and take back home, so we decided to do a very cheap date night and dine in at Marco's Pizza. I'm not gonna lie, it was pretty difficult to find. We were coming from Harrison and found that we couldn't turn left where the gps told us to, due to construction. So we had to keep driving, turn around, and then luckily saw a detour which eventually led us around to the strip area where Marco's was located. 

We hadn't known if this place was more like a fancy dine-in pizza place like Larosa's, or more of a delivery/take-out place like Papa John's. When we pulled up we immediately knew by the appearance that it was just more of a delivery/take-out pizza joint. They do have a few tables for seating, but it is a very small space overrall and there aren't waitresses and such to serve you. You just order at the desk and the cashier does bring it to you if you are eating in but it's definitely not a dining in kind of restaurant.

They do have online ordering from their website, which is always a plus. But since I would have to dine in whenever eating here, that doesn't really help me much lol. But I am here to help you guys too, so I hope that info can help someone else at least!

The cashier was nice, but while eating we did hear some conversations between the cashier and cooks... something about percocets... we weren't trying to listen, they were just kind of loud. I wouldn't really call that professional, to be talking loudly about pills while customers are dining, but it happens I guess. There is no real decor, the counters were basically bare besides one small canister of napkins. There were no decorations really. It really was just like a Papa John's or Dominoes on the inside. They also had fleas flying around the tables, so that was a bit of a turnoff. But I imagine they just come in every time the door opens and a customer enters. The tables could have used a little more of a scrub too, but again, it wasn't like I had high expectations. 

Now on to the food... The pizza was tasty. We ordered a medium thin pepperoni pizza, and the crust was nice and crispy. The food came out fresh and hot since we dined in, which is hard to come by with delivered pizza sometimes. We also ordered a steak, cheese, and mushroom sub to share and it was actually better than we expected. Of course not the best grade of steak, but overall we were pleasantly surprised. I loved the crispy toasted bread the sub was served on. We also ordered a 2 liter of Mt. Dew to split since it was cheaper than getting separate drinks. The highlight of the meal was the CinnaSquares. They are just what they sound like... little squares of cinnamon bread topped with a sweet delicious icing. I really like Domino's cinnasticks, and these blew them out of the water! They really tasted as good as a Cinnabun from the mall, minus the hefty price! Oh, and the buttery drippings on the bottom of the box was perfect for dipping. Every bite melted in my mouth. I seriously would go back to Marco's just for the CinnaSquares! We had a $20 Livingsocial deal, and I had already paid for it, so we only had a leftover balance of a couple dollars. We stocked up on food to try to make sure we got our full money's worth. So we got all of that for like $21 total, which seems like alot of food to me in comparison to Larosa's prices. 

And since there are no pictures, this post is finished! Check out Marco's Pizza if you are in the area, but you'll probably wanna get it delivered or do carryout cuz the dining in experience isn't anything special. Good luck finding it! Oh I will be back for those CinnaSquares :)


Peace, and bacon grease!







Marco's Pizza on Urbanspoon