Thursday, March 31, 2011

Bacon Cheddar Drop Biscuits

You can't have the baked potato soup without these loaded biscuits!
I found these also on Two Peas and Their Pod right by the baked potato soup recipe. They highly recommended them as do I! I loved these biscuits, mainly because I love biscuits with bacon and cheese. They go hand in hand when you add them in biscuits. 

Bacon Cheddar Drop Biscuits
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
2 green onions, finely chopped
3 strips cooked bacon, chopped
1 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spay and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Mix in cold butter with your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in Cheddar cheese, green onions, and bacon. Add buttermilk and stir with a spatula until just combined.
3. Drop round spoonfuls of dough, about three tablespoons, onto prepared baking sheet.  Brush biscuits with melted butter. Bake 15-17 minutes or until tops are golden brown. Remove from oven and serve warm.
Makes 15-17 biscuits (I got 11 because Dave made them overly huge :})

These Boots Were Made For Walking

Look who got some new cowboy boots for his birthday?! 
David's birthday isn't until Monday the 4th of April, but we are going to a rodeo tomorrow night and I figured he would want to wear them to that.
Makes me want another pair of boots, I have 3 though so I guess I can wait till I wear them out......maybe. :)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Baked Potato Soup

I was a little worried about having soup in 70 and above weather, but by Sunday it had dropped to the low 50's! So this soup was just perfect when we had dinner Sunday evening. I loved this soup! I am a huge fan of creamy soups, and this one was delicious! And it is fairly simple, especially if you have any extra left over baked potatoes lying around. 

Baked Potato Soup

4 large baking potatoes (or use leftover baked potatoes)
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
6 cups 2% milk (I used whole)
3/4 cup cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup chopped green onions


cheddar cheese, shredded
green onions, chopped
bacon, cooked and crumbled
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Pierce potatoes with a fork; bake for one hour or until potatoes are tender. Let the potatoes cool. Peel potatoes and coarsely mash them in a small bowl. Set aside.
2. In a large soup pot, add the flour. Gradually whisk in the milk, whisk until smooth. Cook over medium heat until thick, about 8 minutes. Add mashed potatoes, cheese, salt, and pepper. Stir until the cheese melts.
3. Add in sour cream and green onions. Cook over low heat until thoroughly heated, do not boil the soup. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with toppings. Serve warm.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Won Tons

I came across the recipe for these delicious crunchy won tons a few months ago on Jamie Cooks It Up. I have been meaning to make the for a long time. I have lots of recipes I have been meaning to make for a long time, you should see my computer file folders, they are loaded with recipes. And I still have yet to make all the recipes in the cook book I made. :) What can I say I love food and I get side tracked easily with new recipes. 
These are a little time consuming, but the recipes makes a lot! About 100 won tons, so you could half this recipe. I didn't so therefore there was too much for me and Dave to eat. We ended up freezing a few little bags of them and we still had some meat mixture left over. I would suggest making these if you are feeding a crowd! The sauce will also last up to 2 months in the fridge.

Won Tons

1/2 head green cabbage
2 onions
2-3 large carrots
1 T ginger
1 1/2 t salt
1 t red pepper flakes
1 lb ground beef
1/2 t black pepper
2-3 cloves garlic
1 egg

2  50 count pkg won ton wrappers (found in the produce section)
flour and water (1 part flour to 2 parts water)

Dipping Sauce:
1 C rice vinegar
1/2 C soy sauce
1 t red pepper flakes
1 t sesame oil
1/2 t toasted sesame seeds (optional)
1/2 C sugar

1. Chop the veggies up super small. We actually put them in a mini food processor, a few at a time to get them the right size. You want to be careful not to turn them to mush.
2. Mix the veggies, seasonings, and hamburger together. Add the egg and mix well. Adam usually just puts his hands in the bowl and mixes it all up that way. 
3. Mix the flour and water together to make a paste.
4. Lay four won ton wrappers out at a time in a square. Dip your finger in the paste and then coat the inside edges of the wrappers with it. You can see in the picture below which edges have the paste on them.
5. Place about 1 T of meat mixture into the center of each wrapper.
6. Fold the edges of each wrapper together, and press so the paste has a chance to seal. Repeat with all wrappers.
7. In a large skillet heat 1 T olive oil. Fry the won tons over medium heat (covered) for about 5-6 minutes. Remove the lid, turn the won tons over and cook for another 5-6 minutes (uncovered)
8. After all the won tons are cooked (we usually have 2 fry pans and an electric skillet all going at the same time to speed things up) pour the Dipping Sauce ingredients into the hot fry pan. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Let it heat through for about 2 minutes. Pour into a serving dish and you are ready to eat. We serve it with piping hot white rice. (I served my won tons with sesame noodles.)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Pizza Pretzel Bites

Dave helped me with these delicious little pizza pretzel bites. He likes to make pretzels and since I had to work I told him to get a head start on them. I was told to tell my sister in-law Jamie, this recipe is for her. :) I noticed these off of the blog Two Peas and Their Pod, I thought they look good and would be fun to make. This recipe makes a lot! I don't know if I should be ashamed to say that Dave and I ate a good amount out of what we made. They were little, and it was the only thing for dinner. :) They are a little tedious because you make several of the little bites, but they are well worth it! For those of you who have kids they will love these!

Pizza Pretzel Bites

1 1/2 cups warm water
2 Tbsp. light brown sugar
1 package active dry yeast
3 ounces unsalted butter, melted
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
canola oil
pepperoni slices, cut into small pieces
shredded mozzarella cheese
5 quarts water
3/4 cup baking soda
1 whole egg, beaten with 1 Tbsp. cold water
coarse sea salt (I used kosher salt)
pizza sauce for serving

Combine the water, sugar, yeast, and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix with the dough hook until combined. Let sit for 5 minutes.
Add the salt and flour and mix on low speed until combined. Increase the speed to medium and continue kneading until the dough is smooth and begins to pull away from the side of the bowl, about 3 to 4 minutes. If the dough appears too wet, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. Remove the dough from the bowl, place on a flat surface and knead into a ball with your hands.
Oil a bowl with canola oil, add the dough and turn to coat with the oil. Cover with a clean towel or plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until the dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.
Preheat the  oven to 425 degrees F. Bring the water to a boil in a large pot over high heat and carefully add the baking soda.
Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a flat surface. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces, about 4 1/4 to 4 1/2 ounces each. Roll each piece into a long rope measuring 22 inches and shape. Cut the dough into one inch pieces to make pretzel bites. Roll each bite flat with a rolling pin. Stuff each bite with pepperoni and cheese. Fold over the dough and pinch the ends. Set bites on a baking sheet and continue until all pretzel bites are stuffed.
Boil the pretzel bites in the water solution in batches. We did about 15 at a time. Boil for about 30 seconds. Remove with a large slotted spoon. Place pretzel bites on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper of a Silpat. Make sure they are not touching. Brush the tops with the egg wash and season liberally with the salt. Place into the oven and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown.
Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Serve warm with pizza sauce.
Makes about 6 dozen pizza stuffed pretzel bites.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Texas Tech Baseball Game

Yesterday we were able to go to a Texas Tech baseball game. Dave went with some work buddies to a Texas Tech football scrimmage and when you paid to get in to watch it, you were able to get into the baseball game later that day for free.

We had really good seats just behind first base. The college students that sat around us made the game even better. 

Me and Dave

Dave and his co-workers, from left to right: James, Orlando and Tyler

It was a great game! I normally don't get into baseball games but this one was fun. 
We stayed until the bottom of the 6th and then a strange wind chill blew through. We were in shorts and t-shirts and it got too cold to stay, but we will be going back to another game. It was fun to get out and watch some sports.

Sesame Noodles

I loved these noodles! They were quick and easy and just what I wanted to eat the other night. I left them just plain, but you could add anything you wanted to these simple noodles. I found this recipe off the Pioneer Woman and she suggests loading them up with either red bell peppers, fresh cilantro, or cooked, chopped shrimp. We had these noodles with some delicious wontons we fried up, which I will post about another day.
For those in search of a quick simple meal, look no further! Sesame noodles are just what you need to try.

Sesame Noodles 

12 ounces, fluid Thin Noodles, Cooked And Drained
¼ cups Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons Sugar
4 cloves Garlic, Minced
2 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar
3 Tablespoons Pure Sesame Oil
½ teaspoons Hot Chili Oil 
4 Tablespoons Canola Oil
2 Tablespoons Hot Water
4 whole Green Onions, Sliced Thin

Whisk all ingredients (except noodles and green onions) together in a bowl. Taste and adjust ingredients as needed.
Pour sauce over warm noodles and toss to coat.
Sprinkle with green onions and toss.

I didn't have any hot chili oil and it was 6 dollars at the grocery store so I left it out this time, but I think it definitely needs it to give it a little kick!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Chicken Coconut Curry Soup

We have both been craving Thai food since we left Utah, and since we didn't know of any good places to go to we made our own. I found this recipe off of Deals to Meals. This soup was good! It taste exactly like the yellow curry from Thai Orchid. At least to me it does. :) The soup calls for rice in it, we decided to add more by putting some rice in the bottom and pouring the soup over it. For those of you who like Thai food give it a try. It was a very easy recipe, you won't be disappointed! :)

Chicken Coconut Curry Soup

3 Tbsp. butter
3 carrots, peeled and chopped into small pieces
1 onion, chopped
4 Tbsp. flour
5 potatoes; peeled, cooked and chopped
2 cups cooked rice
1 cup cooked chicken, cut into small cubes
5 Tbsp. red or yellow curry powder, or mixture of both, or more to taste 
2 Tbsp. salt, or more to taste
1 Tbsp. garlic powder, or more to taste
1 Tbsp. pepper, or more to taste
2-3 Tbsp. sugar, or more to taste
2 cans coconut milk, found in the Asian aisle
2 cans chicken broth, or water and chicken base (about 4 cups)

In a saucepan heat butter, onions and carrots and saute until tender. Once cooked add in the flour. Stir around until the flour covers the cooked vegetables, this will cook out the flour flavor. Slowly stir in the chicken broth. Make sure to do this slowly so the flour doesn't clump. Once the chicken broth is added bring it to a slight boil so the flour will thicken the mixture. Turn down the heat and add the rice, potatoes, chicken, coconut milk and seasonings. If the soup isn't thick enough for your taste you can add a little more water/flour paste into the soup and return to a boil to thicken. Once thickened and seasoned to your liking. 

Now our coconut milk wasn't like opening a can of milk. I guess there are two types of canned coconut milk and ours was more like canned soup. Don't be afraid if it isn't just liquid, we weren't sure if it would make a difference but our soup turned out just how we wanted it. 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Planter Box Garden

Here are some pictures of the little garden I planted:

Here are my planter boxes all ready to go

Dave got hold of the camera and thought I should post pictures of me planting

This is our Topsy Turvy container, Dave wanted to try it out. If you look close there is a tomato plant in the container.

I think I might have over crowded my plants....we'll see how well they do. :) 
In this box I planted 1 Roma, 1 Lemon, and 1 Beefmaster, and 1....not sure of the name but another tomato plant. Those 4 plants are planted in the the back half of the container. The front half, I planted 8 green bell pepper plants, and 1 red bell pepper plant. 
Is it okay to hope the plants that don't have the wire basket will just grow up along the wire baskets around them??

In this box I planted peas along the back, Dave found the metal bars that I think is meant for our back window just laying around behind our house. We decided it would be perfect for the peas to grow on. Then I have 2 rows of carrots. In the very front I have 3 jalapeño pepper plants, 1 Anaheim pepper, and a strawberry plant in the corner.

I was hoping to be able to plant some squash and zucchini, but the garden nursery didn't have any plants. I bought some seeds though so I think I might start them inside, then move them to the flower bed area in the front of our house by the front gate. Hopefully I can get around to that before it is too late to plant them.
I am excited for my little garden! We will see how much of a green thumb I have, and if I can get these plants to survive this Texas heat. :)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Cube Steak Sandwich (Marlboro Man Sandwich)

I have been meaning to make this sandwich for months! Sorry you weren't to here to this Mom and Dad, it was delicious!! Marlboro Man from The Pioneer Woman knows what makes a good sandwich. My mouth is drooling for one right now as I look at this picture and think of how it tasted. YUM! I had leftovers and made it for lunch the next day too with pieces of Swiss cheese on top and then broiled it. That was even better then the first day we ate them! And pouring that little bit of extra juice over the meat on the bun gives it so much more flavor. 

Cube Steak Sandwich (Marlboro Man Sandwich)

1 whole large (or 2 small) onions
2 sticks butter 
2 pounds(to 3 pounds) cube steak (tenderized round steak that's been extra tenderized)
Lawry's Seasoned Salt 
1/2 cups (approximately) Worcestershire Sauce
Tabasco Sauce, to taste (I didn't have any, so I left it out)
4 whole French/Deli Rolls (I used French)

Slice onions and cook in 1/4 stick butter until soft and light brown. Remove and set aside.
Slice cube steak against the grain. Season with Lawry's
Heat 2 tablespoons butter over high heat (in same skillet) until melted and beginning to brown. Add meat in single layer. Cook one side until brown, then flip and cook until brown, about a minute on both sides.
Add 1/2 cup (at least) Worcestershire sauce, 5 to 6 shakes Tabasco and 2 tablespoons butter. Add cooked onions. Stir to combine.
Butter halved French rolls and brown in skillet.
To assemble, lay bottom half of French roll on a plate. Place meat mixture, followed by a spoonful of juice from the pan. Top with other half of roll, cut in half, and devour!

I got 6 sandwiches out of 3 pounds of cube steak.

The Furball Turns 5

I know, I know he's not a kid but he is my buddy so I had to get him a present, he loves canned dog food. :)

I will find any reason to cook and Cosmo's birthday was no exception.
This cake was very simple and while it was baking I even wanted a piece! It has peanut butter, shredded carrots and honey in it. The frosting wasn't sweet enough for me though, but Cosmo loved it!

He tried really hard not to sit by the cake for the picture since I was telling him to leave it alone. 

Dave cut him a slice and he had that eaten within 30 seconds!

He searched every inch of the floor for little bits and pieces

I am glad the furball is in my life, and hope he is around for another 10 more birthdays! :)

Peanut Butter Carrot Doggy Cake

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup natural peanut butter
¼ cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup honey
1 cup shredded carrots
1 egg

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8″ round cake pan or an 8×4-inch loaf pan.
2. Whisk together the flour and baking soda. Add the rest of the ingredients and, using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, mix until thoroughly combined. Pour batter into pan and bake for about 30 minutes, or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Cinnamon Frosting 
Combine the following ingredients and blend thoroughly:
12 ounces nonfat cream cheese (room temperature)
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. honey

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Outdoor Adventure

Yesterday Dave and I went went to Buffalo Springs Lake to enjoy the nice weather we have been having.

It's not like any of the lakes back home, but it was nice to get out and see what is surrounding Lubbock.

We had a nice little picnic

Me and Dave in front of the lake

Cosmo investigating things

The nice scenery of a factory :)

The rock we got stuck on when Dave tried to go off-roading

The scenery from the top of our nature hike, this area is Ransom Canyon

This is the spillway of Buffalo Springs

Dave on our nature walk

The furball and me, look I am even wearing shorts in public! That is a first!

He was all tuckered out by the time we left

A house we found in Ransom Canyon, I think it looks like something from Star Wars. I am amazed it is still standing with those few supports.

We went to the town drive in later, its a pretty nice drive in!! 

We saw "Rango" and "Unknow", both well worth the much needed sleep I was missing out on.

We had a great time getting out of the house and seeing new things!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Chicken Pot Pie

I decided to make this pie since I had some left over chicken, some celery and carrots. I was so glad I did! I love pot pie! I used the pie crust I use for my fruit pies, it was extremely light and flaky! I used the recipe for the filling from The Pioneer Woman. She likes a little more thyme then I would recommend, and she just had a crust on top. This pie is meant for a deep dish pie. I don't have any deep pie dishes so I just used the extra filling to make little pies with just a pie crust on top. Next time I would try just having a top crust, the bottom crust got lost in the sauce. It was sure good though!!!

Chicken Pot Pie 
1 pie crust
4 Tbsp. (1/2 stick) butter
1 large yellow onion
3 medium carrots, peeled
3 celery stalks
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 cups cooked chicken, light and dark, diced or shredded
1/4 cup flour
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 chicken bouillon cube
1/4 cup white wine (optional) (I didn't use it)
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. ground thyme (I would use 1/2 tsp. to begin with)
1 tsp. kosher salt, or more to taste
black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Begin by finely dicing the vegetables. Slice the celery stalks into narrow strips, then slice in the other direction to create a fine dice. Repeat process with the carrots and onion. 
Melt butter in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery and peas. Saute until the vegetables start to turn translucent, a couple of minutes. 
Add the chicken and stir to combine. Sprinkle the flour evenly over the vegetables and chicken and stir to combine. Cook for a couple of minutes, stirring gently. 
Pour in the chicken broth, stirring constantly. Stir in the bouillon cube and wine, if using. The flour will combine with the chicken to create a delicious gravy. 
Pour in the cream and stir. Allow the mixture to cook over low heat, thickening gradually, about 4 minutes. Season with the thyme, salt, and pepper. remove from the heat. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed. Be sure it is adequately salted!
Pour the chicken mixture into a deep pie pan or small casserole dish. Roll out the crust so that it's 1 inch larger than the pan. Place the crust on top of the chicken mixture and cut small slits in the top. Press the crust gently into the sides of the dish to seal. 
Bake for 30 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Use a large spoon to serve. 

Pie Crust

2 1/4 cups flour
3/4 to 1 cup vegetable shortening
1 tsp. salt

Cut shortening into flour and salt with a fork or a pastry blender until you get crumbles the size of a pea.
6 Tbsp. cold water

Add the cold water to the dough and work together with hands. Do not over work dough! It will become too tough. 
Roll out for pie pans. Use pie filling of choice. 
This recipe will make enough to do one double crusted pie or two single pie shells.