Wednesday, March 31, 2010

fried okra...

Who doesn't love fried okra?
Just biting into one takes me back to my grandparents kitchen.
I love, love, love it!
And... I finally found a recipe that's easy.
And believe it or not, it doesn't have that heavy fried food taste.

I know it's a little early for okra... it's in the height of it's season in June and July.
But you might be able to find it at your local farmers market or grocery store.

Here's what you'll need...

~Fresh Okra
~2 cups flour
~Garlic powder
~Seasoned Salt
~Canola Oil

Start with your fresh okra... I only used about half of this container.

Wash 'em good!
Cut into good bite size pieces.

Place in a shallow dish.

Pour on the buttermilk...

And soak in bath for about 15 minutes.

Pour the flour in a dish and sprinkle the garlic powder on.

Then, the seasoned salt and pepper.

Toss in a handful of the buttermilk soaked okra and coat well.

Then gently place in a pot of the pre-heated of oil.

You'll know they're done when they bubble and rise to the top...
and turn a golden brown.

Remove and place on a paper towel lined plate.

Sprinkle a little more salt on while they cool. YUM!



Tuesday, March 30, 2010

two best friends...

I have two best friends in the world right now...

I have cried on their shoulders many times.

They have been my salvation time and time again.

I love them both equally.

And for no diet in the world would I ever consider dumping either of them.

Beautiful, aren't they? Even with all their flaws!

Hey, what can I say...
I live with three teenagers (that in itself is enough!), one very spirited and curious toddler
and four pets whose brains are being controlled by aliens.

Be sure to check back tomorrow for something crunchy and refreshing...

Much Love,

Friday, March 26, 2010

bacon-wrapped jalapenos...

Now that we're in the "Spring" of things... ha ha ha
Why not celebrate by inviting some friends over
this weekend and make these!

They're fun little suckers! So tasty! I just love 'em. Yum.

Here's what you need...

~6 to 8 jalapenos, cut in half and insides removed
~8 oz. cream cheese
~1/2 c. Monterrey Jack cheese... or your favorite cheese
~1 lb bacon... cut in half

Start by estimating how many jalapenos you will need.
Cut them in half, so each one will make two!
I passed math, can you tell?

After cutting them in half, scoop out the insides.
If you like a little heat, you can leave some seeds inside...
but I wouldn't leave too many. Trust me.

Make sure you wash your hands really well afterwards too.
And don't go rubbing your eyes or picking your nose... just sayin'.
Trust me on that one too. ;)

Then take a block of cream cheese and dump it in a bowl
along with about 1/2 cup Monterrey Jack cheese and mix well.

Stuff 'em with the cream cheese mixture... stuff 'em good.

All of 'em...

Then... cut the bacon in half and have some toothpicks ready.

Wrap a slice of bacon around each one and stick a toothpick
through it to make sure it stays.

Wrap 'em all in bacon... Oh, heavens!

Pop 'em in a preheated 425 degree oven for about 15 to 20 minutes...
just until the bacon is cooked.

Make 'em... they'll make you smile.

Monday, March 22, 2010

buddy loves jude...

Happy Monday and Happy third day of Spring!

So far, Spring has started out fairly well for me.
Lets see...
First, Dallas got about 5 inches of snow! Crazy right? Tell me about it!
It's all melted and gone forever now... but it was the craziest thing!

Second, on this gorgeous Monday morning, our dumb little dog (and I say
that in the most endearing way... I think) pooped on my living room rug.
Just bold faced, looked right at me, and pooped... her dumb little tootsie
roll poops! I could not believe it! Then she ran and put herself in her kennel!
Dumb, I tell ya! ;)

Then... or Third, Buddy (our bigger dog) tracked in mud all over my kitchen rug!

Forth, A particular husband, left the level propped up against the vacuum in the closet
and when I reached in and grabbed the vacuum out the heavy, metal level came
crashing down across my bare toes! OUCH! Dang husband!

Fifth, Baby boy took his poopy diaper off in his crib... and well, you know! UGH!

Then I put baby boy down for his nap after his bath of course, had me some of that
Laughing Cow cheese, and looked at these pictures I took last summer of Buddy
and my baby boy...

They're sure to brighten anyone's day

I know they just did mine.

Hope they did yours too... I'm just here to help.


Friday, March 12, 2010

beer-battered fish...

Got a craving for fish and chips?
Here's an easy and delicious one for ya!

The batter really surprised me... It grabbed onto the fish
and held on, tight, throughout the frying process.
I don't know about you, but I've never had very good luck
with batter, when it comes to frying... it'll fall apart or
become a sticky mess in the pan. And who wants that?

It was crispy without being too heavy.
And the flavor... oh, the flavor was juuuust right!

Here's how you make it... oh, by the way, I didn't
take step by step photos of this dish because it happened
to be one of those rushed evenings trying to get
dinner on the table and I didn't have time to grab my camera.
So sorry.

This is what you'll need...

6 pieces of Haddock, Pollock, Cod, or any white fish...
I used cod.
1 1/4 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/4 c. milk
12 oz. beer, your favorite will work...
I used Shiner Bock
1 1/2 c canola oil

~Mix flour and salt in a bowl.
~Add the milk and 1/4 of the beer, stir.
~Stir in more of the beer until you have your desired consistency...
You want it to be like a pancake batter.
~Heat the oil in a skillet while the batter "rests" for a few...
you know the oil is ready when you drop a tiny bit of the
batter in and it sizzles and floats to the top.
~Dredge the fish in the batter and place in the oil.
~Fry until a golden brown on both sides.
~Remove and drain on a paper towel lined plate before serving.


Monday, March 8, 2010

number four...

Number four is smart.

Super smart.

Super duper smart.

Super de duper smart.

She's also...











Oh, did I mention SMART?


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

sausage, peppers, and onions...

First, I would like to say...

I love blogging, sharing my life, and what I feed my family with you.

There isn't a day that goes by that I'm not planning a new post.
I think about it so much it makes my head hurt most days... well, maybe
THAT'S not what makes my head hurt most days.
But anyway, it sounds good. ;)

My problem is... well, it's not really a "problem" per se...

No, not really... he's not a problem AT ALL! He's actually quite fun... or funny.
Especially when he's having a fit... most times, anyway, I CAN find the humor.
Well, when my head isn't hurting, that is.

By the way, isn't he precious? Oh, how I love my baby boy.
I snapped this photo of him the other day just before
he got his first hair cut (the sun was in his eyes).
As you can see, his unruly curls had to go. I'll share more on that later.

Back to my point here...

You know what I really think makes my head hurt?
The dang laundry! I did two loads on Sunday, FIVE yesterday,
and I'm on number two out of three today!
YES! It's got to be the laundry!

Wait! What's my point?

Ohh yeah... "the problem". The problem is, I just hardly have time to sit,
upload a bunch of photos, then pour my heart out.
Especially the upload part... on any given attempt blogger
will upload without any trouble and make my day great, OR...
it won't. And then my head will pound with frustration.

I'm contemplating a better system to this blogging thing.
There's got to be a faster, easier way.
More on that later too!

What I really wanted to share with you today is this...

Mouth watering, huh?
Yes, I know!

That's Brat sausage, red bell peppers and onions
on a toasted roll (any kind will work).
You can (as I did) add cheese on top too! YUM!
It's ok, my thighs already hate me.

JB loves these so much he requested I
make them for his birthday and I did!
True story!

They're easy to make. Let me show you...

First, grab a package of Brats... any kind will work.

and brown them in a little oil on each side.
It should only take about five to ten minutes.

While the brats are browning you can go ahead
and start slicing your peppers and onions.

Keep an eye on the brats and remember to keep turning them.
After they are nice and brown on all sides, remove and set aside on a plate.

Then, melt about two tablespoons of butter in your pan.

Add your sliced peppers and onions.
Go ahead and salt and pepper them too.

Cook for about five minutes until nice and brown/sauteed.

While the peppers and onions and playing nice together,
go ahead and chop up some garlic... about 4 cloves.

And some fresh basil... about 1/2 cup.

Toss 'em in with the peppers and onions and give a good toss around.

They're gonna get along just fine!

Lets add about 1 tsp. of dried oregano.

And, about 2 tablespoons tomato paste.

1 cup Marsala wine.

1 15 oz can diced tomatoes.

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes... more if you like heat!

Give a good stir and let cook for about five minutes over
medium heat.

Slice the brats and toss 'em in.

Combine well over medium low heat...

And cook for about twenty minutes until
the sauce thickens up a bit.

Serve on your favorite sliced and toasted roll.

And go ahead and add a slice of provolone cheese... It's a good thing.

Sausage, Peppers, and Onion Sandwiches*

1/4 c. olive oil
1 lb. Italian Sausage or Italian Brats
2 T. butter
2 red bell peppers, sliced
1 or 2 yellow onions, sliced
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. ground pepper
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 c. chopped fresh basil
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 T. tomato paste
1 c. Marsala wine
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes, optional
Italian sandwich rolls
Provolone Cheese

oil, add brats or Italian sausage. Cook until brown on all sides. Remove.
~Add butter to pan, melt. Add peppers and onions.
Cook until brown... about 5 minutes.
~Add oregano, basil, garlic, and tomato paste. Stir.
~Add the marsala wine, diced tomatoes and chili flakes. Stir.
~Slice the brats or sausage, add to pan and stir to combine.
~Cook over medium low heat for about 20 minutes
until the sauce is thickened.
~Serve on a toasted Italian roll with melted cheese.

~Groan with happiness!