Sunday, September 27, 2015

Buffalo Chicken with Bacon Blue Cheese Waffles

Buffalo chicken with bacon blue cheese waffles. Do you really need me to say anymore?  

Ok, I'll say 1 more thing. It's a total piece of cake to prepare! Yay!

Buffalo Chicken with Bacon Blue Cheese Waffles
Adapted from Pillsbury

buffalo chicken fingers, I used Tyson and made 2 pieces for each of us
1 can crescent rolls
1/2 cup cooked chopped bacon
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/4 cup apricot preserves
2 tbsp dijon mustard

1. Prepare chicken as per package directions.
2. Unroll crescent rolls. Press bacon and blue cheese on to 4 triangles.  Top with the other triangle dough pieces and press to seal.  Bake in a waffle iron for about 3 minutes, until golden brown.
3. In a small bowl mix jam and mustard.  Heat in the microwave until warm, stir to combine.
4. Serve waffles topped with sauce and alongside chicken fingers.  Do yourself a favor and cook up a vegetable too.  I sauteed some garlic-y spinach.

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh my god this was a great night! I want to travel back in time!

Don't skimp on that waffle drizzle, it is really everything.

The perfect bite!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

No Bake Crispy Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

This right here is the best kind of dessert.  It's a no bake (yeaaa) and it's chocolate and peanut butter (ooohhh yeaaa)!

Check out that flowing melted chocolate! Yes, please!

No Bake Crispy Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

1 cup butter, melted
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter, divided
pinch of salt
1 cup chocolate chips, melted
3/4 cup rice cereal

1. Spray a 9x9 or 8x8 pan with cooking spray. Mix melted butter, graham cracker crumbs, sugar, salt, and 1/2 cup peanut butter. Press into pan. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
2. Wipe out bowl.  Mix together melted chocolate, remaining peanut butter, and rice cereal. Spread on top of chilled graham cracker layer. Refrigerate until firm. Cut into squares. Limit yourself to one a day...or 2...

Seriously guys, this recipe is so easy and comes together so quickly you need it. You NEED it. 

OK, it's official I need another batch of these right now.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Fake Shack Burgers


This was my reaction after biting into this burger.

How had I been able to capture the Shake Shack flavor so well right in my own kitchen!? I have Deb Perlman over at Smitten Kitchen to thank for that.

Buttery potato rolls toasting in the pan. YES.

You have to make the meat this odd shape, freeze it for a bit, them SMASH it! It's fun and it makes a perfect crust on the burgers.

Fake Shack Burgers

1 lb ground beef, 80/20 ratio

1/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 tsp pickle juice, straight from the jar
1 1/2 tsp ketchup
1 tsp mustard
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder

2 tbsp butter
4 potato buns, Martin's if you want the real deal
2 tbsp oil

optional burger accouterments: lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, pickles

1. Prepare the meat: form beef into quarter pound meat pucks, about 2 1/2 inches thick. Place them on a plate lined with plastic wrap or waxed paper.  Freeze for 30 minutes.
2. While meat is freezing, mix together all the sauce ingredients, from sour cream to onion powder above.
3. The meat is still freezing, so toast the buns! In a cast iron skillet melt butter.  Toast buns until...toasty...
4. Remove meat from the freezer. In the same skillet you toasted the buns, heat 2 tbsp of oil on high, until oil begins to smoke.  Now, to cook the burgers you are going to need to flatten it to 1/2 an inch thick.  I used this awesome cast iron press.  You can also use a meat pounder. Or you can press down with 1 spatula and use an additional weight on that to really mash it. Season with salt and pepper. Flip after the first side is nicely browned, about 1.5 to 2 minutes. Flip and cook 1 to 2 minutes more.
5. Top with sauce and any additional toppings you desire.  Really, these don't need a lot of dressing up.

I think the really incredible part of this creation is the imitation shack sauce. I was so excited to dive in I forgot that I usually cheese-ify my burger, but it didn't need it!

Of course I had to serve it with krinkle fries, it is the Shake Shack way!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Philly Cheese Steaks

I recently took a trip to Philadelphia and I did not have the opportunity to eat a cheese steak.  In fact, I will admit I have never eaten a cheese steak, Never! Gasp!

I scoured the internet for recipes.  There are many different kinds of meat and many kinds of cheeses you can go with, according to the web.  I used skirt steak and cheddar cheese.

Philly Cheese Steaks
Adapted from America's Test Kitchen

2 lb skirt steak
4 sub rolls, toasted
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

1. Divide steak in 3 pieces.  Place on a plate in the freezer for 1 hour. Shave frozen steak against the grain as thin as possible. Coarsely chop steak 10-20 times.
2. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add meat and cook without stirring for 4-5 minutes until meat is browned. Stir and continue to cook until meat is no longer pink. Transfer meat to a colander. Wipe skillet dry. 
3. Return meat to skillet. On low heat add in salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese. Divide meat into individual mounds and top with cheddar cheese.  When cheese is melted, place on toasted rolls and serve.

*I grilled up some onions to go on the sandwiches also.  Feel free to add peppers or mushrooms too!

I will have to have an official Philly cheese steak some day, until then, this will do! I hope you agree.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Chow Mein

Would you like to have dinner ready in 15 minutes? OK! DONE!

These chow mein noodles can be cooked up way faster than waiting for take out to be delivered.

Chow Mein
Adapted from Kevin and Amanda

4 packages ramen noodles
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 package cole slaw mix
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil

1. Boil a large pot of water.  Cook ramen 4 minutes, drain.
2. Heat vegetable oil in a large pan. Cook cole slaw mix until carrots soften. Add in ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant.  Add in cooked ramen noodles, soy sauce, and sesame oil.  Stir to combine.

I had about 2 cups of cooked chicken in the fridge that I threw in to make it a little heartier.


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Monroe County Pork Steaks

If you're like me you have no idea where Monroe County is and what the heck a pork steak could be.

Fear not, none of that matters.  Sure, Cooks Illustrated can enlighten you as to the origins of this recipe, but I know you just want to see the recipe! So let's go!

Monroe County Pork Steaks
From Cooks Illustrated Magazine

2 tbsp salt
2 tbps pepper
1 tbsp paprika
3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp corn starch
8 pork bone-in blade cut chops, I used whatever pork chops I had in the freezer
8 tbsp butter
1/2 cup white vinegar

1.Combine salt, pepper, paprika, and cayenne in a bowl.  Transfer 2 tbsp to a separate bowl and mix in corn starch.  Season pork chops with corn starch mixture.
2. Heat butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat.  Cook until butter turns dark golden brown, 4-5 minutes. Add reserved spice mixture and cook until fragrant. Carefully add vinegar, mixture will bubble up. Bring to a quick simmer then remove from heat. Let cool completely.
3. For a gas grill: turn all burners to high and heat for about 15 minutes. Place chops on grill and cook without moving them until well charred on the first side, 3-5 minutes. Flip and continue to cook 3-5 minutes longer. Transfer to a rimmed pan or baking sheet and pour sauce over chops. Tent with foil and let rest 5 minutes, flip halfway through. Serve and scoop up plenty of that spicy buttery sauce!

This is not an "eat with your eyes" moment, but I can assure you this is a delicious (and spicy!!) new way to jazz up your pork chops this summer.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Homemade Vegetable Dip

You guys, you can tell Knorr's you don't need them any more.  I did it.  I cracked the vegetable dip code.  After spending endless hours (okay, minutes) searching the net for a copycat recipe, I decided I can do it all on my own!

And I did!

Your next bbq guests can thank me.


2 tbsp diced carrot
1 tbsp diced celery
2 tbsp diced onion
1 bouillon cube, chicken or vegetable
1/2 cup baby spinach, sliced in a chiffonade (thin ribbons)
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp cilantro, optional
black pepper, to taste
1 cup sour cream

1. Place carrot, celery, and onion in a small pan heated with oil.  Mash up the bouillon cube a bit and stir it in with the veggies.
2. When vegetables have softened, stir in spinach until wilted.  Allow mixture to cool.
3. In a bowl mix sour cream, cooled vegetables, cilantro, and pepper to taste. Serve with your favorite dippers.

You know in that vegetable soup packet there is always that rogue pea.  Well, no one has to eat that weird lonely pea any more!

I hope you delight in this small victory as much as I did.