Friday, September 30, 2011

The Dinner@ Six Winner and Slow Cooker Ribs!

The lucky winner of the $100 gift card from the Dinner@ 6 Giveaway is Susitravl from Mad for Mexican Food.  Congratulations Susitravi!!!  Please email your mailing/contact information to me ASAP.

Here is Susitravl's favorite six ingredient recipe:

2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 T. chili powder
1 t. cumin
1 jar salsa
2 limes, halved
1/2 bunch cilantro

Place the chicken breasts in the crockpot, cover with spices (I mix them into the salsa) and salsa. Squeeze the juice from the limes on top and throw in the limes (discard limes before eating). Toss the cilantro on top and cook on low for 7-8 hours.

Can be used for chicken tacos or burritos.

Slow Cooker Ribs

The weather is gorgeous, we've been steadily working in the yard all day long, trimming, planting, mulching.   I’m ready to head inside, clean-up, pour a glass of wine and sit outside on the back deck and relax..  I'm also ready to sit down to some real food. I remembered that just before I headed outside this morning, pot of Beef Short Ribs in the crock pot. Now, my mouth was watering for them. This doesn’t have to be just a fantasy—follow this recipe and you can whip up a pot of your own whenever you want!

The Rub

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne

The Ribs

3 pounds trimmed beef short ribs or pork baby back ribs
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 cups low sodium beef stock
4 carrots (2 cups) cut into 2-inch chunks
3 large Yukon Gold potatoes
1/2 Vidalia or Spanish onion, (leave whole)
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
6 tablespoons AP flour
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots, soaked and softened
1/2 lemon juiced

Combine all of the ingredients for the rub in a small bowl.  Rub the mixture evenly and thoroughly onto the ribs with your hands.

Then, in the tablespoon of vegetable oil, sear the ribs in a large sauté pan over high heat until they brown completely on all sides, which should take roughly 10 minutes.

Transfer the ribs to the slow cooker.  Remove all of the oil from the pan (save the brown bits!) you used to brown the ribs and  deglaze the pan with 3-1/2 cups of beef stock, scraping up the brown bits.  Pour the broth, plus the carrots, potatoes, onions, honey, and pepper flakes to the ribs in the slow cooker.   You can cook on high for 3-1/2 hours or the method I prefer, cook them on low for 6 hours until the ribs become fork-tender.

Discard the onion and strain the fat from the surface of the sauce. Then whisk the flour and the rest of the stock together  in a large measuring cup or medium sized bowl.  Once completely blended, pour it into the slow cooker and stir to combine.  Add the chopped up apricots. Simmer the sauce  for another 30 to 45 minutes.

Right before serving squeeze the lemon over the pot and stir the juice into the sauce and simmer for a final 30 minutes.  

You can either serve it plain or over some steamed rice.

Appliances Online, who sell dishwashers and other goods.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mushrooms Parmesan

I guess if it will hold still long enough, I can "Parmesan" just about anything.  Something about cheese, especially Parmesan, Asiago, and Romano either separate or combined together, the aroma, the flavor, gives me the warm and fuzzies!

1/2 lb. sliced Baby Bella mushrooms
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 teaspoon garlic, minced
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F

Place the mushrooms in a buttered baking dish, sprinkle with parsley and garlic.  Toss to combine.

Add 1/2 of the bread crumbs and half of the Parmesan cheese to the mushrooms...

Add the white wine,

Drizzle the olive oil and then toss again to combine all of the ingredients.

Sprinkle the remaining bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese over the top and give it a little drizzle of olive oil.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.

Serve hot!  Savor, enjoy; there will not be any leftovers!

Don't forget to comment by September 29th on my Dinner@ 6 American Express Giveway post for your chance to win a $100 gift card!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Dinner@6 Ammerican Express Giveaway!

As a part of the Dinner@ 6 contest sponsored by Blue Cash PreferredSM, American Express has provided me with a $100 gift card to give to one of the lucky commenters of this post! Let me know what you think of my six- ingredient recipe and share with us your favorite six-ingredient recipe in the comment section.

The winner will be randomly selected from the comments left on this post on Thursday, September 29, 2011 and announced on Friday September 30, 2011, along with the lucky commenter's six-ingredient recipe.  So be sure to comment on this post for your chance to win a $100 gift card!

Creating a recipe using only six-ingredients was more of a challenge than I had originally thought.  I did quite a bit of reading, researching, and testing.  Plus, coming off of carpal tunnel surgery last Friday on my dominant left hand made cooking, especially chopping more of a challenge. 

I have to tell you that creating this shrimp dish really pushed me to get outside of my Cajun "comfort zone".  On our stay-at-home date night last night, A.J. and I were thrilled to enjoy this dish together.  Although it's cheesy, it is amazingly light and didn't weigh us down.  The cream cheese gave the sauce a nice luxurious texture, while the Feta cheese combined with the garlic and chives, gave the sauce a tart pop that put it over the top.  Try this on your date night with your sweetie or just indulge yourself because you deserve it baby!

Shrimp Acadienne en Fromage Frais

1-1/2 lbs. Shrimp, peeled and de-veined
6 ounces Feta cheese finely crumbled
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1-1/2 tablespoons chopped chives
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 cup white wine (Sauvignon Blanc)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

In a large bowl mash the cream cheese and the Feta cheese together until thoroughly blended.

Add the chives, garlic and white wine and continue stirring to make a sauce.

Place the raw shrimp in a prepared baking dish and pour the sauce over the raw shrimp.

Bake in a covered baking dish for 30 minutes at 400 degrees F.

Serve with a green salad and a slice of toasted garlic bread.

This post is part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program with American Express.

Below is the link for the official rules for Dinner@ 6

Friday, September 23, 2011

Monkey Bread

Let's be honest, using your hands to cook and to eat is just fun.  For some reason food tastes better when you don't have to use flatware to get it to your mouth!  This is a Paula Deen recipe has become a family favorite at mealtime not only because it tastes so good (full of butter), but you can pull the bread apart with your hands.

2 sticks melted butter butter, divided
1-1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
2 cans refrigerated biscuits
1 tablespoon shortening

 Melt the two sticks of butter in separate pans.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Lightly grease a 12-cup Bundt pan with shortening.

In a small bowl, combine 1 cup of the Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning.

Roll each individual biscuit into a ball. Dip each piece in the 1 stick of melted butter, then coat with the cheese mixture. Place dough ball into prepared pan; overlapping will occur.

Bake bread, 30 to 35 minutes. Cover with aluminum foil during the last 10 minutes of baking to prevent excess browning, if needed.

Let cool in pan, 10 minutes; invert bread onto a serving plate. Drizzle remaining stick of melted butter on top and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan cheese.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Grilled Pineapple and Onion Salad

I saw the Neely's make this salad and couldn't wait to get in the kitchen to make this!  Wow, this salad tasted so amazing, perfect accompaniment to Jamaican Barbecue Pork Tenderloin.

1 large pineapple, peeled
1 red onion, cut in 1/2-inch thick slices
Glaze, recipe follows
1 bag baby spinach
Vinaigrette, recipe follows

Preheat grill to medium heat.

Cut the pineapple into 1/2-inch thick slices.

Using an apple corer, pierce a hole into middle of pineapple slices to remove the core.

That looks so slick!

Brush the pineapple and onion slices with glaze.

Place the pineapple slices on the grill and brush again with glaze. Grill for 2 minutes and flip, grilling other side.

Place the sliced onions on the grill, bush with a little glaze and grill until the onions begin to brown and turn sweet.

Place the grilled pineapple slices on a serving platter and top with the onion slices. Drizzle with Vinaigrette and serve.


1 (8-ounce) jar pineapple ice cream topping
1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
Place all ingredients into a medium bowl and whisk together.


1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup olive oil
Pour ingredients into a small bowl and whisk together.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Jamaican Barbecue Pork Tenderloin

Pork tenderloin is one of my favorites; so lean, tender and always picks up the flavor of a marinade in a blink of an eye.

1 (1 to 1 1/2-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed of fat and silver skin
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 cup marinade, recipe follows
Kosher salt
Canola oil
Jamaican Barbecue Sauce, recipe follows

Rinse pork tenderloin under cool water and and pat dry with paper towels.

Place the pork tenderloin in a glass baking dish (do not use metal!) and pour the lime juice over.  Turn the tenderloin several times to make sure the lime juice has coated it well.  Place in the refrigerator uncovered for about 10 minutes.  

While the meat is in the fridge, make the marinade, the remove the tenderloin from the refrigerator and pour the marinade over it, turn to evenly coat. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to one hour. Be careful not let it sit too long as the acid in the lime juice will begin to cook the meat.

While the meat is marinating, make the barbecue sauce.

Preheat a grill to medium. Place the tenderloin on the grill, allow as much marinade as possible to cling to the meat.  Sear on all sides about five minuted each side, then finish grilling over indirect heat until it is nicely browned on the outside and has an internal temperature of 150 degrees F (about 30 minutes). Remove the pork from the grill tent with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Slice the into 1/2-inch thick slices drizzled with the barbecue sauce.

Pork Tenderloin Marinade
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
4 scallions cut in half (to shorten stalks)
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley
1/4 onion, rough chopped
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon each salt and black pepper
2 jalapenos, de-seeded
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup plus Canola oil
1-1/2  tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Combine the thyme, scallions, parsley, onion, brown sugar, bay leaf, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, coriander, jalapenos, garlic, salt, pepper, and oil in a food processor into a paste.   Put the paste in a glass bowl or large measuring cup and whisk in the soy sauce, lime juice, and vinegar.

Jamaican Barbecue Sauce
3/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 poblano pepper de-seeded and minced

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and heat medium heat to a low simmer.  Continue simmering until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 15 minutes. Ladle over cooked pork tenderloin.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sweet 16 Ice Cream Cake

My baby turned Sweet 16 last week. My baby, it's bittersweet, because you know, you love the smell of babies, but all of their lives, they wear the hell out of your patience and wallet. God love 'em.

Anyway, my "baby" is an ice-cream-a-holic. Ice-cream-a-holic doesn't even begin to describe this child's obsession, gluttony, or whatever you want to call it. So in an effort to indulge the kid because I try to be a good mom, I attempted to make an ice cream cake.

But before we get too excited, the reality is, I can make things taste good, but making them look pretty and making them look amazing in photographs just isn't what I'm that good at. So I'm telling you, I rocked this ice cream cake as far as how it tasted, but looking like a piece of food art, it just isn't.  I used two flavors of ice cream that Kaitlin likes, but you can mix it up and put your own twist on this method of ice cream cake making.

1 quart vanilla bean ice cream
1 quart cafe mocha ice cream
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup caramel ice cream topping
1 cup whipped topping
4 ounces shaved semi-sweet chocolate
20 caramel cookie bars (we used fun size Twix)

Using a 9x5x4 loaf pan, place a sheet of plastic wrap across the length of the pan, leaving about 4 inches of plastic wrap hanging out over two long sides. Place another sheet of plastic wrap across the loaf pan from side to side, leaving about 4 inches of plastic wrap hanging over the short sides of the pan. Leave the ice creams out on the counter for about 15 to 20 minutes, so they can soften just a little bit. Spoon enough cafe mocha ice cream across the bottom of the ban to about a 1/2 inch thickness. Spoon about the same amount of the vanilla bean ice cream over the cafe mocha. Drizzle a coupe of spoonfuls of the caramel topping over the ice cream and then top with a half a handful of the chopped pecans. Then place the loaf pan and the two ice cream containers in the freezer for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, remove the loaf pan and the ice creams from the freezer and repeat the layering and freezing processes. This will be repeated another 2 to 3 times depending on the depth of your pan and your laying thickness. You want to get the ice cream layers to about 1/4 of an inch below the top of the pan.
Fold the excess plastic wrap over the top of the pan to completely cover the ice cream.  Place in freezer for 2 more hours.
Remove the pan from the freezer, uncover the top of the pan and place a serving plate, invert the pan to allow the cake to slide out onto the serving platter. Put a star tip (or whatever tip you're comfortable with) in a pastry bag or plastic bag with a corner tip snipped off, fill the bag with whipped topping and decorate the top of the cake using your own creativity.  Very quickly, line the candy bars around the perimeter of the cake, soldier style.

Place the cake back in the freezer for at least 2 more hours.  Garnish with shaved chocolate an serve.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Boomsday Breakfast Casserole

Congratulations to Ramona of The Japanese Redneck!  Ramona is the winner of the Girard's Salad Dressing Giveaway!

Thanks to tropical weather, our three-day Labor Day weekend didn't turn out quite as planned.  It rained, and rained, and rained some more.  Soooooo, instead of grilling, swimming and over-eating outdoors, we overate, watched football, movies and danced our tushes off on the Wii indoors.

Since breakfast is the most important meal of the day, we threw this together Labor Day morning.  A divine way to have a delicious breakfast ready, hot and simply and at the same time!

1 lb. smoked sausage, slice the link in half and slice into 1/4 inch half moons
2 tablespoons Canola oil
1/2 cup onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup bell pepper, finely chopped
1/4 cup green onions, sliced thin
2 jalapenos, seeded and minced
6 large eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup evaporated milk
3 croissants, torn into pieces
1 tablespoon Creole seasoning
Hot sauce to taste
1-1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat the Canola oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.  Saute the sausage, onions and peppers, for about 10 minutes, until the sausage begins to brown.  Halfway through season with half of the Creole seasoning.

While the sausage is cooking, whisk the eggs, milk, and the remainder of the Creole seasoning together.  Once thoroughly combined, stir in the green onions and hot sauce to taste.

Arrange the torn croissants pieces in the bottom of a buttered casserole dish.  Spoon the sausage mixture over the croissant. Ladle egg mixture over the sausage and croissant layers the top the cheddar cheese.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 to 35.

Kind of makes the rain seems like sunshine, doesn't it?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Giarard's Giveaway - Last Call and Brick Chicken

Girard's Giveaway ends Wednesday, September 7, 2011 at 8:00 PM EST.  You can enter by commenting on this post or the previous post, Greek Grilled Chicken Salad, by following this blog, tweeting about the giveaway and by following me on Twitter.

I apologize for mis-communicating the contents of the prize package the prize package includes the four new Girard's salad dressings:  Old Venice Italian Salad Dressing, Greek Feta Vinaigrette, White Balsamic Vinaigrette, and Light Champagne Dressing.

Let me show you this awesome Brick Chicken recipe I got from Girard's, I just loved it!

1 3-1/2 lb. fryer
3/4 cup Girard's Old Venice Italian Dressing
2 fresh rosemary sprigs

Butterfly the fryer by removing the backbone with a pair of poultry shears.

Place the chicken in a shallow dish and loosen the skin around the chicken breast and tuck several small pieces of rosemary under the skin and pour 1/2 cup  of the dressing over the chicken.  Turn the chicken several times to coat well.  Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour. 

Cover a brick with foil, I didn't have a brick so I used a cast iron skillet covered in foil.

Pre-heat your grill to medium-high and make the grill grates are spray with non-stick cooking spray or coated with oil to prevent sticking.  Place the chicken on the grill skin side down and place the brick (skillet) on top of the chicken and grill for 8 to 10 minutes.  Turn the chicken and place it on the cooler side of the grill so you are cooking using indirect heat.  Place the brick (skillet) on top of the chicken, lower the heat to medium and continue cooking until the temperature registers 165 degrees F at the thigh.  Turn the chicken approximately every 10 minutes.

Allow the chicken to rest  for about 5 minutes before carving.  Serve with the remaining Old Venice  Italian Dressing.

Hope you're have a sunny and dry Labor Day!