Thursday, May 27, 2010

Happy Turdsday.....heeheee

well, I made Janie's banana bread this morning. One loaf with pecans and one loaf with chocolate chips.
Just delightul peeps totally delightful.  If you wanna make your own just head this over this way and find the recipe.  You won't regret it..I promise. Girl Scout pledge you know!

I also just went and had my toesies done.  Cajun Shrimp on my little piggies...too cute don't ya think???

nice massage chair, hot stones, rose petals, glass of wine....nothing better!!!   I'm ready for the beach peeps!!

Peace, Love and Yummies!!!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wacky Wednesday

sorry folks...we did something out of the ordinary last night.....we ate out.  Had to go help a friend with some decorating decisions in his bathroom.  Single guy.... you know the story.  I'm gonna be excited to see how it turns out. We should have taken some photos before he starts so we can show it off when we are done.  This is the best kind of decorationg, I do none of the work and spend none of my own money  :0)

Anyway we ate at a little place called the Dixie House Cafe.  Man was it good!!!    I had fried catfish, fried okra and green beans and a BIG ole yeast roll.  Good thing I skipped lunch yesterday.  What I really wanted was pie.....oh my the pie!!!   Next time I shall save some room for pie.

We're having leftovers tonight. I will try to remember to take photos of everything we've eaten this week and how it ended up as dinner tonight.  We are trying to clean out the fridge ya know!

Peace, Love and Yummies!!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Crispy Tilapia and a word of advice

People if you will listen up for just one moment.......I have some advice that is simply life changing and the best you will receive all week.

ahem, this thing on??

Do NOT cook fish and zucchini on the grill if you are also having serious life changing conversations.
Got it???   I think the pictures will speak for themselves.

Ok, so we are having Crispy Tilapia with Avocado Pico de Gallo, Sweet Potatoes and grilled zucchini

Let's do this....and remember, no serious conversations FOCUS on the FOOD!!

Fish needs:

Soak your tilapia fillets in milk when you get them home from the grocery.  I buy my fish at Central Market and the fish guys are super great and have wonderful cooking ideas to share if you ask.
Once those fillets have soaked, make a mixture of 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal and 1/2 tsp each of chili powder, cumin and salt.  Mix that around really good and coat each side of the fish.  I have 5 large fillets so I had to make up two batches of this mixture.

Now if you are like me and you don't like the smell of fish cooking in your house, grab yourself a big iron skillet and dump about 3 Tbsp of oil into the pan and start preheating that grill.  I personally used grapeseed oil.  Idea from the wonderful fish guys at Central Market.  I would have used olive oil but they mentioned that olive oil does have a flavor, the Grapeseed oil...has zero flavor but still the good healthy stuff of olive oil. Give it a try, you will be pleasantly surprised.
Anyway, it's time to get that fish going on the grill.  As you can see we had some zucchini that needed to be eaten and I sliced the zucchini into thin slices and doused it in olive oil and seasoned with salt, pepper and then a little bit of thyme.   I know I know...I'm just lovin' this combo with veggies lately.  We've never grilled zucchini so this was a first and I must was very tasty.  Next time however I believe I will slice into long thin strips to help stabilize on the grill a little better.

Cook your fish about 3 minutes each side or until it's white and flaky......or until you run screaming out the back door when you forget that you have fish cooking.

I also cooked up some sweet potatoes like before with the salt, pepper and thyme. We love them this way... as if you couldn't have figured that one out!  I roasted those in the oven.   We need to whip up the pico de gallo now.   Just buy some pico de gallo at the store.  Once again  Central Market forges ahead of the others.  They have fresh pico on their salad bar so I just grabbed me a container and then cubed up 2 avocados to add to the mixture.  This is what you get and believe me...this makes the fish POP!!

Take a look at the plate of veggies...... I promise, you fix them like this and your kiddos will gobble them down!

and this my friends is what happens to your fish when you are having conversations of life changing proportions and you keep forgetting that you have food on the grill.

The taste was great as usual but it wasn't's ok, no one seemed to mind.

Here's my dinner plate, which also occurred at a moments notice so it's not pretty either.
The bread was a Rustic Durum Sourdough Bread from Central Market as well and it was soo yummy!!!  Matter of fact, I haven't had breakfast and I'm thinking toast!!   

Don't be afraid to try new foods and even to mess up.  While our dinner wasn't picture pefect, it was good and good for us and we enjoyed it very much and when it's all said and done....isn't that really what it's all about?   

Peace, Love and Yummies my friends!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Monday, Monday, Monday and Strawberry Ice Cream Cake

Happy Monday Folks!!!

I hope this message finds you satisfied with last night's series finale of LOST.  I was...especially since I've been right for six stinking years!!  I just knew it was Purgatory but I have to say, I'm really glad my allergies were acting up yesterday and my eyes were already watering because when Sawyer and Juliet reunited....ahhhh, worth six years of watching!! 

We have a new addition to the house....Nelly, he's Court's cat and he is a pistol.  :0)  Young and curious and this is apparently one of the crazy things he's been caught doing.

That would be the dogs bowl he is drinking from.

Onto more yummy items of interest....Mere's birthday cake.
Bear with me on this one, as it's a mesh of recipes I combined to get the final product of this!
Cast of characters:
1 box SuperMoist white cake mix
3/4 cup water
3 egg whites
1 container (6 oz) strawberry yogart
1/3 cup vegetable oil

Ok...get that oven going at 350 degrees and then let's get those cake pans floured and greased.

If you notice, I like to cut a round of parchment paper for the bottom of the pan and grease and flour it too.  It just makes sure all that yummy cake goodness comes out of the pan.
Now in a large bowl, beat the cake mix, water, oil, egg whites and yogart with mixer on low for about 30 seconds then on medium for 2 minutes.  Batter will be a little lumpy and then pour into your prepared pans.
Bake those in the oven for 25-30 minutes (for 9 inch round) or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes in pan.  Then remove to wire racks and cool completely!!!

While these babies are cooling I had an epiphany about how to get the ice cream in between the layers.  You see I had been contemplating this all actually was creeping in my thoughts while I was doing my bible study too....tsk tsk, sorry God I'll try to work out my recipe details a different time from now on.
Anyway, this is what I came up with.  Get some good yummy red strawberries and cut them up, like so:

Then if your mama has blessed you with a wonderful Kitchen Aid mixer grab the vanilla ice cream and the hook attachment and slap the ice cream and the strawberries in the mixing bowl and blend away.

Now I just grabbed one of those cake pans (nope, I didn't rinse it and I even reused the parchment paper again and then I poured the ice cream mixture into the pan and popped that baby back in the freezer.

It's time to work on the icing so this is what you are gonna need!

I used two cans of whipped vanilla frosting, half a jar of marshmallow cream and about 1 tsp each of vanilla and strawberry extract.  Blend those all up in the mixing bowl with the mixer and we're ready to frost this baby!
Place one of your layers on the plate and then level it off.  Carefully pop that round of ice cream out of the pan and place on top of cake layer then add the second cake layer on top of the ice cream.  Now let's slather that frosting all around the cake:

I should have let that ice cream stay in the freezer a little longer, you can see that it was starting to melt pretty quick.  I think another 10 or 15 minutes in the freezer would have prevented that but I can frost pretty fast when I need to!!!

Now that it is all frosted it was time for the sprinkles.  Court and I picked out turquoise and black because that's how the Merebear rolls.  Then I topped it off with two whole strawberries...just so there is no confusion over what flavor the cake is.

now, I'll give you a peek at what everything looked like, even a slice of cake.

As you can tell, it was a tad difficult to cut but pretty successful for my very first version of an ice cream cake.   Happy Monday everyone and don't forget it is Jack Bauer's final fling tonight!

Peace, Love and Yummies

Friday, May 21, 2010

Pickled Green Beans & Friday Happy Dancing!!

Hey Peeps!  It's Friday soooooo you know you gotta....... HAPPY DANCE!!

I pickled yesterday.  I think it was my first experience and the bad part, I have to wait about a month before I know how they turned out.  Don't fret... I'll be sure to post and let you all know how it went.  This is a Janie recipe so I'm feeling pretty good because I followed directions carefully.   No, really I did!

Cast of characters:

2 cups Vinegar
2 cups Water
1/4 cup salt
Fresh Green Beans
Dill Sprigs
2 cloves garlic (each jar)
1/4 tsp red pepper each jar

Wash and clean your green beans.   Then stuff them in a hot pint jar.  I ran my jars through the hot rinse in the dishwasher.
To each jar of beans add 2 cloves garlic, 1/4 tsp red pepper and a big sprig of dill.

Once the jars are ready, head over to the stove and in a saucepan bring the 2 cups water, 2 cups vinegar and 1/4 cup salt to a boil.
Once the mixture is at a rolling boil, grab a potholder and head on over to the jars and fill them to cover the beans in the jar.  Seal tightly.   Now, you need to leave the jars alone and let them hang out where they are.  in an hour or so you'll start to hear the soft pop sound of the jars sealing.  Before you put the beans away to store, make sure the lid has sealed on each jar.  (The middle area does not pop up and down, it's very tight) and then store in a cool dark place, like the pantry.  Or heck, my mom used to can and store it in the boxes the jars came in under her bed.  Whatever works for ya!

Now sit back and wait around for about a month and make yourself a big ole Bloody Mary and enjoy your hard work!

We got a busy weekend around here....Mere's late birthday bash, a baby dedication for Chuck and SuePoo's sweet granddaughter and........the LOST series finale.
P.S. you should not attempt to contact me at any point Sunday night while this is on, I will not be chatty!

Peace, Love and Yummies!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Hump Day Happenings..... A Fiesta Menu!

Ok,  we now have both kids home from college and yesterday was an exciting day of surprises!  Right now, I can't share those but I will....believe me I will share!  :0)

It's dinner time and we have both of our college kiddos, Austin (the boyfriend) and our friend Mark, who came to borrow a ladder and got dinner too!

M&M Crunch Cookies... Let me preface by seeing these were really good....when they were hot.  Afterwards, they got a tad too crunchy for my taste.  A very crisp cookie after cooling.

Let's check out the cast of characters:

You will need:
1 box white cake mix with pudding (I couldn't find so I used cake mix & a box of pudding)
1/2 cup softened butter
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups plain M&M's
1 cup crushed potato chips     (you say that right!!)
Preheat oven to 350
Mix cake mix (pudding mix), butter and eggs and then beat on medium speed 2 minutes until combined well.
Stir in the candies and chips.
Roll the dough into walnut sized balls and place on cookie so:

You will need to spray your cookie sheets or if you are lucky enough to have a mama like mine, use that silpat mat.  It's divine peeps...truly divine!!!
Now pop those in the oven and bake for 16-18 minutes until vey light golden brown.  Remove from the oven and cool on pan for 2 minutes then transfer to cookie racks.

OK...tear yourself away from the warm goodness of the cookies and let's get the dinner going.
Grilled Ckn Soft Taco's
Cast of characters:
Take about 1/4 cup of olive oil and mix in that packet of Fajita seasoning. 
Now mix that up really well and pour over the chicken breasts and coat each side really well.  Yes.... I bet your are saying those are some BIG chicken breasts!!  Compliments of Sprout's.  I'm telling you their food is CRAZY GOOD!!!   Plus Wednesday is double ad get two weeks of sale prices on one day.  Chicken....1.99 lb for those butes!! 
Ok....pop those bad jamma's in the fridge and let them chill-lax until you are ready to fire up the grill.
I'm gonna start the rice now peeps.
Yellow Rice with Black Beans
1 16 oz package yellow rice mix
32 oz of Chicken Broth
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 - 15 oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1- 4.5 oz can chopped green chilis

Get your rice ready according to package directions but use the chicken broth instead of water and the olive oil instead of the butter.  Shock and dismay.. I actually used the olive oil too!!!
Once the rice is ready, empty the beans and chilis into the rice and give it a good stir.
Since I went to Sprout's yesterday they also had these gorgeous peppers on sale so this is what I did to them:

One big red beauty, an orange one and a yellow one joined together with some onion.  Yeah, my mama would be soooo happy!

I just doused those pups with some olive oil and put them on a grill pan...they are gonna go hang with the chicken on the grill....

These big ol' breast cooked for about 7-8 minutes each side.. and as hubby would tell me "honey, you have to stir those veggies around on the grill or they will burn"....Whatever... I  like mine a little burned but that's just me apparently.  :0)
So, since we had two additions to the dinner table I grabbed some of my prechopped green peppers out of the freezer and tossed them in a pan with a little bit of butter and got them all cooked and tender and then I added a bag of frozen corn.   I thought it was pretty tasty myself!

I have to tell you... I completely forgot to get pics after this point. It was 7:30 people and I was starving and so was the dinner crowd.   Fortunately I made my plate...jumped up and yelled "Oh crap... we need pictures"  So we snapped these of my plate, hopefully you can see that we had a great dinner and a full table which as you know....makes me VERY happy!

This is my plate, you can see the rice and the corn and my yummy fajita.
In the lovely Christmas bowl is the hottest queso dip....hubby and the Abogg made that over the weekend while the boys were home alone.  Also the tortilla's are compliments of Rosa's as were the tamales.

You can see we pulled the chicken off the grill and sliced it into fajita sizes and then there was avocado slices, tomato's, regular cheese and lime wedges to garnish with along with some salsa.

Hope you enjoyed our evening becuase we sure did!!  Nothing like a table of food and laughter!

Peace, Love and Yummies !!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Grilled Chicken Sandwiches and Where on Earth have you been?

Morning Morning Morning!

I hope this hump day finds you well!   I know you are wondering what on earth happened to me?  Well, I took a quick little trip down to Florida to see my mom and check out a couple of business ventures.  :0)  I'm back now and cooking again and will soon have a full house again.  The oldest girl gets home today from college so the house will be bustling for the next few months!!  Don't worry... I'll still be cooking and we'll still be blogging!! 

Onto dinner.....since yesterday was my first day home I didn't want to run to the store (yeah BIG surprise) and I foraged around to come up with this simple but yet yummy dinner.

First up:   Round up extraneous potatoes

I have two sweet potatoes that I peeled really well and then 3 regular potatoes that I haphazardly peeled.  Do what you like, I just hate scraping all that vitamin infused skin away!

Now I chopped them up and poured them in a big bowl and doused them really good with olive oil.  After that they went on a cookie sheet and got the normal salt, pepper and thyme treatment.
Now these little jewels are ready for the oven at 375 degrees and they take about 30-40 minutes to cook. Depends on how crispy you like your taters...we like ours crispy!!

Now, lets grab the chicken and swirl around in my imagination to come up with a marinade flavor.....

Well, this is what I came up with....  I put my chicken tenders in the dish and squeezed a big juicy lemon all over the chicken.  Then I sprinkled with some Tony Cachere's creole seasoning mix and then for fear of too much spicy I drizzled honey all over the chicken.  I popped this in the fridge until time to grill
In the meantime I bring you the FIRST tomoatoes!!!
Yes, they were as yummy as they look.....pooh pooh on those store bought tomatoes.  I hope we produce large bounties of these babies! 
Now it's time to heat that grill up and get that chicken going.  I grilled mine on medium high heat for about 5 mins each side.  You have to watch and adjust, if you are using chicken breasts it will take longer than tenders.   Pluck them off as soon as they are done and this is what you get at my house, 'cuz we like ours a really done but not dry!

Now it's time for the potatoes to come out of the oven:

And it's time to plate it up folks.......

So you can see we opened some canned corn to go along with this and I have lettuce, those good tomatoes and some guacamole on my sandwich!  It was in fact, quite tasty!  I think we'll call this a keeper!!  
Peace, Love and Yummies folks.... I gotta think about dinner tonight!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Spaghetti for dinner and poor Mrs. Beasley

Before we start dinner, we are going to have a LONG walk down memory lane.   When I was very little I LOVED LOVED LOVED Buffy and Jody and the gang on Family Affair. Most particularly was I fond of Mrs Beasley.  I had a Mrs. Beasley doll and I loved her tremendously but like most dad decided that I had too many toys and dolls and decided to get rid of a bunch.  Poor Mrs Beasley was in that group, sadness washed over me every time my mom and I would be at an antique shop or flea market and see Mrs Beasley.  They were always missing a piece or too expensive.  Then one blessed Christmas day I opened a gift from my mom and it was......MRS BEASLEY.  Happiness shone from my childhood and Mrs Beasley earned a primo spot in a little wooden high chair, also salvaged from my childhood.   However, my sweet son and dear hubby find Mrs Beasley creepy and they will do anything to get her away from them.  Yesterday I turn the corner upstairs and this is what I see.

Poor Mrs Beasley....she's in the Hallway!!!  I must stop and say that Mrs Beasley and the highchair and tea set are currently calling the exercise room home.    Seems the Abogg was working out and sent Mrs Beasley to the hallway!    After I finished laughing AND making fun of him, I got the camera and snapped some photos.   She is even facing the wall like she is being punished!! 
On another side note, generally there is not piles of stuff in my hallway.  Abogg just got home from college and is still unpacking. Actually all boxes and luggage have been cleared from the hallway.  I just didn't want you calling the Clean House show people on me!
While he finished, I did this:

I figured the least I could do is turn her around so she wasn't facing the wall.  tsk tsk

Dinner time!!
I made spaghetti and Rosemary Buttered Rolls.  Spaghetti is a repeat so you can go here and check it out. We'll cover the dinner rolls.
First get that iron skillet out....I told you that you needed one!!!

Now smear that baby with some olive oil and then add about 7 of these puppies to the pan

Now that you have the frozen rolls arranged in the skillet, put a clean dish towel over them and tuck them away safely out of reach of small children, large children and large brown chocolate labs.
There need to have a little rest, uninterrupted for at least 3 hours.  When it's dinner time and they are nice and fluffy brush the tops with melted butter and finely diced rosemary.

They "caves" in the rolls occurred after I put the butter on or as my sweet son said "beat up on them".  Then very LIGHTLY sprinkle some sea salt over the top of the rolls and pop them in a 400 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes until they are yummy and golden brown!

Now it's time for dinner with my two favorite guys!

Peace, Love and Yummies folks!!!

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