Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Cinco De Mayo Recipes

If you're like me you are totally psyched to try out a new taco recipe for Cinco de Mayo next week.

Here is a collection of my biggest taco hits. From left to right.

I hope one of these gems makes it to your table this year, buen apetito!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

BBQ Birthday Bonanza

This year for my birthday I hosted a game night with a BBQ themed menu.

Now I shall break down this unbelievable menu for you all:

mac and cheese with tomatoes and green chilies
bbq pulled chicken
cole slaw
green beans
roasted sweet potatoes
corn bread
cheddar bacon biscuits
portabella mushrooms
bbq mac and cheese bites

We definitely needed bigger plates.

For dessert I made my standard birthday cake, strawberry shortcake.  I really got into the decorating.

Don't worry, we had 2 more desserts.  I just forgot to photograph them.

Thank you so much to everyone who cooked awesome food for this delicious night!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Pound Cake

On this particular day I spent several hours trolling the internet in search of a dessert to make.  The catch was that I needed to have all of the ingredients already.  

Have you ever noticed how many things call for buttermilk? It's really quite fascinating.

Anyway after hours on Pinterest I finally did what I should have done all along.  I looked in a cookbook and found my dessert.

A plain lovely vanilla pound cake.

Pound Cake
From How to Took Everything by Mark Bittman

2 sticks butter, softened
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 cup sugar
5 eggs, separated
2 tsp vanilla

1. Heat oven to 325. Grease a 5x9 loaf pan. Mix together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside.
2. Use an electric mixer to cream butter and sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks and vanilla and beat until combined.
3. Mix the dry ingredients in by hand until smooth.  Batter will be extremely thick, like dough.
4. In a clean bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form.  Fold mixture into dough.  This will be fairly challenging, just mix it as best you can. It will be delicious I promise.
5. Place batter in to prepared pan and cook for 75 minutes.  Let cake cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan.

I served the pound cake up with some macerated berries.  It was a delight and also since it's so plain you can totally eat it for breakfast.  I might even tell you that it's very easy to eat while driving to work in the morning.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Bacon Ritz Fried Chicken

I'm not sure if you are all aware, but there are boxes of bacon Ritz crackers waiting for your at your supermarket.

Go get some!

All I did here was crush up the Ritz crackers so that they were fine like breadcrumbs.  Then just prepared them like any other chicken cutlet; egg first, then crackers.

Oooooooh baby these cooked up nice! I highly recommend you go get yourself a box of bacon flavored Ritz to coat some cutlets in!

I bet these would go really nice on some fried shrimp too....hmmmmm....

Sunday, April 5, 2015


I'm just going to go ahead and toot my own horn here.  This manicotti recipe has been our family holiday meal for ages.  It has always been seen by me as this massive undertaking and day-long project that I could never possibly recreate.

But guess what!? I made the holiday manicotti! I did it!!  With the help of my anti-anxiety medication, aka my husband, by my side.

I'm going to give you this incredible family recipe today and I don't want you to take it lightly.  When you are ready to prepare the manicotti, set aside some serious time.  You don't want to be frazzled and feeling rushed putting this together.  You need a patient delicate hand to craft all the crepes for this dish.

Serves 10

For the shells
4 eggs
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp salt
1 cup water
1 cup flour

For the filling
3 lb ricotta
1/2 lb shredded mozzarella
3 eggs
grated cheese (about a handful)

You will also need: tomato sauce and parchment paper

1. To make the shells, mix oil, eggs, salt and water in a blender.  Slowly add in the flour a little at a time. Batter will be thin and should have some bubbles.
2. Use a small non-stick pan to cook the crepes.  Spray pan with cooking spray and heat pan.  Taking pan off the heat, pour 2 tbsp of batter at a time.  Swirl the pan around to make the crepe round and even.  Flip to cook both sides.  The crepes cook up quickly, don't leave the pan unattended.
3. When the crepe is cooked place on a plate with a square of parchment paper on top. Stack each crepe in this manner.  You can cut up a whole bunch of parchment paper before you begin cooking, or have your assistant help out.
4. After all the batter is cooked, mix all filling ingredients in a large bowl. Put sauce on the bottom of a 3 quart casserole dish*.
5. Drop heaping tablespoons of filling on to the crepe, roll, and place seam side down in a prepared dish.
6. After all crepes are filled and lined up in the pan, cover with more tomato sauce.
7. Cook at 350 for 1 hour.

*I ended up using a 3 quart and a 2.5 quart casserole dish.

There it is everyone! Proof that I really did make this.  I have earned my old Italian Lady badge.  It is really and truly worth the effort.