Monday, January 31, 2011

Fun Food for the Super Bowl

Not going to lie, the only reason I'm looking forward to the Super Bowl is for the food....and the commercials. Otherwise I could care less about what is going on during the game. I'm all about the tasty appetizers and dishes that go along with the event!

Did anyone watch Food Network this weekend?
All weekend it was "Game Day" food and I probably lost 5 pounds in just water weight from drooling so much!

I searched through my archive and recipe index to find so great foods that will be perfect for Super Bowl Sunday....

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Stylish Blogger Award!

This morning I woke up to a great surprise!
Brandie from The Country Cook gave me an fantastic award....
I'm so honored, thank you Brandie!

Now I get to pass on the honor of having a stylish blog by following these simple steps:
1. Thank the person who gave you the award. 
2. Share seven things about yourself
3. Pass the award on to bloggers you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic.
4. Contact the bloggers you picked and let them know about the award.

Once again Brandie, thank you so much! I enjoy reading your blog and getting to know you! You are such a fantastic person :)

Now to share 7 things about myself!
1. After 7 years of college, I will have 2 degrees. Microbiology and Nursing. Then I will finally be able to join the work force!

2. I LOVE CHEESE! Any type of cheese. The stinkier the better. I love to eat giant chunks of feta cheese as a snack. It makes everyone I know sick to their stomach to watch me do this, but I don't care.

3. My one goal in life is to have a Green Apple KitchenAid mixer. I refuse to let anyone buy it for me. It is my goal to be able to buy it for myself! This means it will be FOREVER before I get a KitchenAid mixer!

4. The only channels on TV that I watch are: ABC, Food Network, HGTV and TLC. I never watch anything else unless Dusty forces me to watch ESPN....but that is when I grab my computer and start blogging! hehehe!

5. I'm addicted to my iPad! Dusty surprised me with an iPad for Christmas this year and I have a serious addiction to it now. I call it my "crack Pad" because I'm always using it for cooking, blogging and looking up recipes. Pretty soon I'll be calling it "My Precious!" 

6. My mom inspired me to start cooking when she gave me Ree's cookbook, The Pioneer Woman Cooks for Easter last year. I fell in love with cooking so much that it inspired me to start this blog and I hope to write a cookbook someday with my favorite family recipes!

7. This March, actually March 18th to be exact, I get to meet my cooking/blogging idol, Ree Drummond in Great Falls for her book tour! I'm going with my mom and sister, and we have VIP tickets! Can't wait!

Now to pass this fun award along to some of my favorite blogs!!!!
Sarah at Randomly Klutzy
Stephanie at Eccentric Kitchen
Jeff & Caitlin at A Bicycle Built for Two

I love all of your blogs and read them all the time! You all deserve this for all the hard work you put into your blogs!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Blind Folded Makeover....

Tonight Annie and I are having a girls night! 
And doing "Blind-Folded Makeovers" was Annie's one and only request. 
This is how it turned out!

Surprised by the results!

Why did you do this to me?!?!?! I asked Annie.
Why did you do this to me!?!?!?! Annie asked me!

We are just going to spend the rest of the night embracing our sexiness! 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Big Sky Burgers

This recipe was given to me by my dad's co-worker Laurie, and this is a beautiful burger!

It has so many fresh and savory ingredients that you can't resist this burger. I just know you are going to love this!

Here is what you are going to need for 2 burgers:
-1/2 lb Ground Beef
-1 tbsp Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs
-1 tbsp minced Shallots
-1 tbsp Red Cooking Wine
-1 tbsp minced fresh Basil
-2 minced Sun Dried Tomatoes
-1/2 tsp Garlic Salt

Burger Fixin's:
-2 slices of Mozzarella
-2 Buns
-Lettuce, Tomato and Onions
-Pesto Mayo (recipe to follow)

Combine all the ingredients into a bowl and form them into 2 perfect patties!
Refrigerate for 10 minutes before grilling on your George Foreman Grill or BBQ Grill so the burger holds its form and doesn't fall apart. Cook until the burger is well done.

Place slices of cheese on top of the burger and place them until the broiler until melted.

Now, you can't have a Big Sky Burger without some Pesto Mayo! It's so simple.
It's just 1 tbsp Pesto + 1/2 cup Mayo!

Also, you gotta toast the bun!

Assemble your Big Sky Burger with Pesto Mayo on both buns, lettuce, sliced tomato, sliced onion and the burger with cheese! Heaven in a burger!
Serve alongside with some Broiled Red Potatoes or if you are really naughty, Animal Fries!

Print Recipe Here!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Chiles Rellenos

I've had multiple attempts at this recipe and there is only one reason why....
I can't seem to buy the right type of chiles!
For some reason I can't read labels and decipher the difference between whole chiles and diced chiles.
For the love of God, DO NOT USE DICED CHILES!
This will result in watery, runny Chiles Rellenos that take almost 2 hours to bake because of all the liquid from the diced chiles. It's just not a good situation. Don't do it. Your loved one will question your ability to cook if you give them watery Chiles Rellenos. It's not pretty. You will also question yourself on your own skills.

Finally after my 3rd attempt of making this, I bought the right type of chiles and the dish turned out wonderfully! The mexican food gods were looking out for me this time!

Here is what you are going to need:
-5 Whole Roasted Chiles
-1 cup of Cheese (either Cheddar, Colby Jack or Monterey Jack Cheese)
-3 large beaten Eggs
-1 cup of Milk
-1/4 tsp Paprika
-1/8 tsp Cayenne Pepper
-Salt and Pepper to taste

First preheat the oven to 325 degrees and grease a 8x8 baking dish. Then lay your whole chile peppers on a cutting board and slice them in half and pat them dry with a paper towel. Liquid = Bad!

Lay a layer of 5 chile halves and sprinkle 1/2 cup of cheese on top. Repeat with another layer of chiles and cheese.

In a bowl, mix together the eggs, milk, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper.

Pour them over the chiles in the baking dish.
This liquid is okay. This is the good stuff!

Place the baking dish into a rimmed baking sheet and fill it with 1/2 inch of water in the oven.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until the Chiles Rellenos are completely set. Cut into squares and serve with warm tortillas or eat as a sandwhich with 2 pieces of toast! This dish is a fun way to have breakfast!

Print Recipe Here!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Portobello Lasagna Rolls

Whenever I think of lasagna, I think of my parents. One of the first dinners my mom made for my dad was her delicious lasagna with garlic bread. He always tells us everytime she makes it that it was the dish that made him fall in love with her. My mom definitely won my dad's heart through his stomach!

I was inspired to make the lasagna rolls this weekend while watching Food Network, the only channel I watch on TV these days! Sandra Lee made interesting cheesy lasagna rolls that I wanted to try. I looked all over the internet to pick and pull different elements of many lasagnas to make my own lasagna rolls!

Here is what you are going to need (4-5 servings):
-10 Lasagna Noodles (cook a couple extra in case they tear while cooking)
-8 oz of Portobello Mushrooms
-1/2 tsp Salt
-4 cups Marinara Sauce (about 2 jars)
-1 (15 oz) container of Ricotta Cheese
-5 oz of chopped Frozen Spinach- thawed and drained
-1 lightly beaten Egg
-1/8 tsp Pepper
-Dash of Nutmeg
-3 oz (2/3 cup) of Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese
-1 tbsp Olive Oil

First preheat your oven to 375 degrees and cook your lasagna noodles according to the package directions.

Drain the noodles well and lay them on wax paper or aluminum foil. This prevents the noodles from sticking. Nifty trick I read about! Yes, I said "nifty."

Give the portobello mushrooms a fairly good chop.

Then heat a pan over medium heat with olive oil and saute the mushrooms until they are browned.

Add 1-1/2 cup of Marinara sauce to the mushrooms and let them simmer for 2 minutes.

In a bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, egg, chopped spinach, pepper, salt and dash of nutmeg.

To construct the lasagna rolls, spread 2 tbsp of ricotta mixture on 2/3 of each lasagna rolls.

Then spread 1-1/2 tbsp of mushroom sauce over the ricotta mixture.

Pour 1 cup of marinara sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish and roll up the noodles nice and tight.

You are too cute!
When did I reach the point in my life where I think food is cute?!?

Place the lasagna rolls in the baking dish....

And top them with the remaining 1-1/2 cups of marinara and the 2/3 cup of mozzarella cheese.

Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, remove the foil and bake uncovered for 15 minutes so the cheese can melt and get bubbly. Serve each person with 2 rolls (3 rolls if you are really hungry) and enjoy this fun twist on lasagna!

Print Recipe Here!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

GFS Cooking School

If I had it my way and I was guaranteed to be a Food Network Star, I would quit Nursing and go to culinary school! Who wouldn't!?!?

But instead, I'm going to do something I've never done before and take a couple of cooking classes in February....I'm so excited! I've always wanted to take some classes at my local health food store, but everytime I called to sign up for the classes, they were full!

Lucky for me, I was able to sign up for some really fun classes for next month!
This is what I get to look forward to...

Cheeses for Sweet Valentine's Treat
Why limit yourself to chocolate this Valentine’s Day when there are so many other seductive treats to share with that someone special. GFS Cheese Buyer Jennie Gregory and GFS Deli Manager Rebecca Canfi eld-Perkowski will demonstrate a variety of tempting sweet treats, all with cheese as the secret ingredient. You’ll taste every creation, along with the selection of cheeses that inspired each. Like always, you’ll also go home with a goodie bag of a few of tonight’s cheeses and a few suggestions for tasty beverage pairings.

*Dusty and I are going to the cheese tasting the Friday before Valentine's Day. I'm going to be in heaven, because if you know me, I love cheese!

Chef's Table: La Dia del Amor y la Amistad
Gulsidel Velazquez learned the poetry of the kitchen in his hometown of Puebla, Mexico. And that kitchen is the source of the inspiration for this evening’s Mexican Valentine’s Day celebration. Currently a chef at Missoula’s Ranch Club, Gulsidel will take a little poetic license and flavor this evening’s Mexican feast with influences he’s picked up in many other kitchens too. Yeah, tonight you’ll also taste a little love from Italy, Spain, Thailand and India. So come taste and learn to prepare:
-Cocount Crusted Prawns with Lemongrass Soup
-Roasted Carrot and Avocado Salad
-Spanish Garlic Soup
-Flour Encrusted Scallops with Passion Fruit Ginger Sauce and Fennel Orange Salad
-Venison with Sweet and Spicy Curried Pear
-Passion Fruit Tiramisu

I can't wait to attend these classes! It is going to be so much fun taking pictures and learning how to make all of these dishes so I can share it with you!

If you are in the Missoula area, call The Good Food Store and come join me in these two classes! It's going to be fun!

How To...Pan Sear a Steak

Tonight is the night before Spring Semester starts. I spent almost the entire day doing Anatomy and Physiology homework and class hasn't even started yet! I wanted something wonderful for dinner tonight, kinda like having a "last supper" before my last semester at the U of M starts.

When it comes to cooking steak, I'm notorious for just throwing my meat on the George Foreman Grill to cook. Which in fact, I hate doing because if my meat has a marinade on it, the mess is pure torture to clean!

So after searching through the ultimate cooking website, the gods of Food Network provided me with simple steps of how to Pan Sear a Steak, which I want to share with you!

Here is how you Pan Sear a Steak....
First, take your steak out of the fridge and let it reach room temperature, about 30 minutes. Pat dry the meat with a paper towel and season the meat with your favorite seasoning spice (Montreal Steak Seasoning) or just simply Salt and Pepper.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and also turn the stovetop burner onto high. Heat 1 tbsp of Canola Oil in the pan on the stovetop until it is nice and hot. Turn the heat down to medium and add the seasoned steak. Brown the steak for 4 minutes on each side.

Take the pan off of the stovetop and place it in the oven to cook for 4-8 minutes (depending on the size of the steak). Then remove the pan from the oven and transfer it to a cutting board to rest for 10 minutes. This allows the juices to soak back up into the steak.

Then when you are ready to serve, cut the steak against the grain and serve with a potato and/or vegetable!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Gooey Caramel Rolls

Yesterday I finished my wintersession of Sociology and I'm pleased to report I got an A in the class! After spending 3 weeks straight to get through 3 credits, I decided that I needed Caramel Rolls as a treat for doing so well in class and to also make me feel better that Spring Semester starts on Monday.

I used Pioneer Woman's recipe for the dough of the cinnamon rolls because they are so good! But I changed the topping to a caramel pecan. The maple frosting just wasn't my thing and I want my caramel rolls to be super gooey!

I've attempted these rolls multiple times in the past year and haven't been able to get it quite right. Dusty and I like our rolls really big and fluffy, so this time I made the rolls the night before and let them rise all night. When I woke up this morning, they were huge! But oh so perfect!

Here is what you are going to need for 12 HUGE and delicious Caramel Rolls...
For the Dough and Filling:
-2 cups Milk
-1/2 cup Canola Oil
-1/2 cup Sugar
-1 package of Yeast
-4-1/2 cups Flour
-1/2 tsp Baking Powder
-1/2 tsp Baking Soda
-1-1/2 tsp Salt
-1 cup of melted Butter
-1 cup Sugar
-1/8 cup Ground Cinnamon

The Night Before
In a large dutch oven or pot, pour in the milk...
Sorry about the lighting, I started making these at 11:00 last night.

The Canola Oil...

And Sugar.

Stir the mixture to combine and heat it over medium heat, but do not allow the mixture to boil. Once it gets hot, remove the pot from the heat, set aside and allow the mixture to cool to lukewarm.
When the mixture is lukewarm, sprinkle the packet of yeast on top and allow it to sit for 1 minute.

Add in 4 cups of flour and stir until just combined. Cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel and allow it to rise in a warm place for 1 hour.

After 1 hour, remove the kitchen towel and add the 1/2 cup Flour, Baking Soda, Baking Powder and Salt. Stir the dough thoroughly to combine.

Remove the dough from the dutch oven and roll it out into a large rectangle on a floured surface.

To make the filling, melt 1 cup of butter (yes, you heard me right!) and pour it evenly all over the dough.

I suggest using a basting brush to spread the butter, that way your fingers don't get all greasy and nasty.

Then sprinkle 1 cup of Sugar evenly over the dough...

And the 1/8 cup of Cinnamon.

This next part I always struggle with! Starting at one end and working your way across the rectangle, roll the dough into a log. It's important to make the log tight and secure (this is my problem area). The filling is going to ooze everywhere, but that is what makes it so good! When you reach the end of rolling the log, pinch the seams together.
Boy, this is not pretty! But it is going to taste so good!

Then cut the log into 12 cinnamon rolls, about 1-1/2 inch slices.

Now it is time to make the Caramel Topping!
Here is what you are going to need:
-1/2 cup Butter
-2/3 cup Brown Sugar
-1 tbsp Corn Syrup
-3/4 cup halved Pecans

In a saucepan, melt the 1/2 cup of butter.

Remove the saucepan from heat.

Then add the brown sugar...

And the corn syrup.

Stir the ingredients together until the sugar is no longer grainy.

Pour the sauce on the bottom of a greased 9x13 baking dish.

Then sprinkle the halved pecans evenly over the sauce.

Place the cinnamon rolls into the pan and cover them with a clean kitchen towel to rise overnight!
(I moved 3 of the rolls into a pie plate because I wanted these rolls to get really big and not be crowded)

The Next Morning
Remove the kitchen towel and stare in awe how big and beautiful the rolls are!

Then preheat the oven to 375 degrees and bake the rolls for 15-20 minutes or until the rolls are a dark golden brown. Allow the rolls to cool a bit so you can handle the baking dish and invert them onto a lined baking sheet, because the tops of them are on the bottom!

These turned out so beautiful!

So gooey, so yummy!

These rolls are a labor of love, but they are the perfect treat for a weekend breakfast or special occasion!

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