Monday, June 28, 2010

Award

I got another award!!! Wow, I'm starting to feel really special. Celeste from Cuckoo For Cooking gave me this, and I am amazed that she follows my little po dunk cooking blog. Thank you Celeste! Her blog is amazing... organized, full of great photos, and of course, delicious recipes.
I have been crazy busy lately, and my husband recently left for Iraq to serve for a year, so I haven't been up to much cooking. But I'm not down and out yet... I will be whipping up some more fun stuff, I promise. Okay, now for the rules...

RULES:
1. Thank the person nominating you
2. Copy the award to my blog
3. Place a link to their blog
4. Name 7 tidbits people don't know about me from reading my blog
5. Nominate 7 blogs
6. Place a link to those blogs
7. Leave a comment letting those bloggers know about the award.

What you may not know about me...
1. I'm a country girl, and live out in the boonies.
2. My favorite color is purple.
3. I love animals, the more the merrier.
4. I love reading, and have a book blog that I review books on.
5. One of my biggest pet peeves is lazy people
6. I have a secret obsession with shoes.
7. I have a really bad habit of chewing the skin off around my fingernails... gross, right?

Some blogs I adore:

My Kitchen Cafe - Every recipe I have tried from here has been phenomenal!

The Girl who ate Everything - Love this recipe site so much

Mommy's Kitchen - Another great recipe site that leaves me drooling

Food, Friends, and Fun - I have found some excellent recipes on here. I just wish they would post more.

Comfie Country Crafts - Not only is she a good friend, she is an awesome crafter. I'm amazed at all the crafts she comes up with... and with 3 small boys to chase after too.

The Lyon's Tale - She makes me laugh and she writes awesome books.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Ginger Glazed Mahi Mahi

Time for something a little more on the healthy side and extremely delicious. I ran across this recipe on Food, Friends, and Fun and started drooling on my keyboard. I modified it just slightly to fit our taste. I don't LOVE fish, but I do really enjoy a deliciously cooked fillet of fish every once in awhile. The Mahi Mahi was expensive so I only bought two fillets (one for both me and the hubs) and then I let my kids have a tastes, but fixed them something else. They were not offended at all.
I really really enjoyed it and wish I had bought more because I wanted more. Treat your tastebuds to a treat... This could definitely be a special occasion meal.

Ginger Glazed Mahi Mahi
3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
2 cloves garlic, crushed or to taste
2 teaspoons olive oil
4 (6 ounce) mahi mahi fillets
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Directions

In a shallow glass dish, stir together the honey, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, ginger, garlic and olive oil. Season fish fillets with salt and pepper, and place them into the dish. If the fillets have skin on them, place them skin side down. Cover, and refrigerate for 20 minutes to marinate.
Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Remove fish from the dish, and reserve marinade. Fry fish for 4 to 6 minutes on each side, turning only once, until fish flakes easily with a fork. Remove fillets to a serving platter and keep warm.
Pour reserved marinade into the skillet, and heat over medium heat until the mixture reduces to a glaze consistently. Spoon glaze over fish, and serve immediately.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Rainbow Cupcakes


My girls and I were having fun in the kitchen one day, and decided to make rainbow cupcakes. My girls thought they were totally awesome, and I kind of have to agree. They were a lot of fun to make and we had a barrell of fun messing around in the kitchen. Both of my girls had their noses to the oven door while they were baking. They couldn't wait to see the colors baked.

Rainbow Cupcakes

1 white cake mix
2 eggs
1 C sour cream
1/2 C milk
1/3 C vegetable oil
Combine all ingredients until incorporated (about 30 seconds). Scrape sides of bowl and then beat on med-high speed for 3 minutes.

Divide batter according to how many colors you are using. I used 5 colors and it worked out to a little over 1 cup for each color.

Use food coloring to color batter to desired intensity. I would like to point out something crucial here. I used your basic generic food coloring little bottles. If you want BRIGHT colors that pop and look absolutely gorgeous, definitley go out and buy individual Wilton brand food coloring. It's not by the regular food coloring in the baking section. It's probably by the crafts and cake decorating section. You would have the most luck finding it at a craft store or Walmart.

To get a layered stripe, put a spoonful of each color in the cupcake one at a time. The batter is thick, so it won't spread on it's own. A great tip is to set out a little bowl of water where you're working. Dip your finger in the water and then gently spread the batter out. The water will make it so the batter doesn't stick to your fingers.

Another tip is to use a measuring spoon and some water to measure out how many teaspoons/tablespoons are going to fit in your cupcake. Then divide that by how many colors you have so you know how much of each color to use for each cupcake. I did about 1 1/2 tsp of each color, but I think it would look better with 2 tsp of batter for each color.

Bake them according to the package directions, until a toothpick comes out dry.

And now, to see a phenomenal rainbow cupcake check out the one below from Our Best Bites. AMAZING, right? I feel almost embarrassed to compare, but if I had been doing these for a party or taking them to an event, I would have dished out the cash for the food coloring, and also spent more time making them look nice. But my girls and I were just having fun and did these on the spur of the moment.

I topped mine with cream cheese frosting, mostly for taste, but if you are making these for a party or want them to look super cute like the pic below, definitely use a fluffy buttercream frosting so you can swirl it up!

These are so much fun!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Chicken Parm Calzones

My good friend, Rach, shared this simple and yummy recipe with me. It's so easy and perfect for a fun lunch or a quick dinner. I especially like the crusty cheese on top. Mmmmm....

Chicken Parm Calzones

Pizza Dough (You can use the kind in the can or your favorite recipe)
Breaded Chicken Tenders
Pizza or Spaghetti sauce
Mozzerella Cheese
Parmesan Cheese

Cook chicken tenders until nice and crispy. Cut into bite size pieces. You need about one tender per calzone.

Roll out the dough. You will be cutting this into 4 "squares" (they really look more like rectangles)

Put cooked chicken in the middle of the dough. Put 2 to 3 tablespoons of sauce on and a handful of mozzorella. Sprinkle with parmesan.

Wrap it like a burrito and put it on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Sprinkle top with both cheeses. Do this with the rest of the dough and cook for 20 - 25 minutes at 350.

The top should get golden brown when done.

Have extra sauce for dipping!


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Carmel Brownies Revisited

This was one of my very first recipes posted on here (with a horrible picture). I made them the other day with a few small changes and almost died when I took the first bite. I had forgotten how incredible they were. If you haven't made these yet, you really MUST. It is heaven in your mouth.
I never use the pecans just because nuts ruin brownies for me.

Carmel Brownies

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
30 carmels (from one 14 oz bag)
1 box of German Chocolate cake mix
3/4 cup butter or margarine
1/2 plus 1/3 cup evaporated milk
1 cup pecan pieces (optional)

1. Melt 60 caramels with 1/2 cup evaporated milk in microwave (30 second intervals). Or melt on stovetop. Melt 3/4 cup butter or margarine and add to the german chocolate cake mix. Add 1/3 cup evaporated milk and mix well. Add pecan pieces now if you are using them.

2. Spread about 1/2 (maybe slightly more) of the mixture in a greased and floured 13 x 9-inch pan. Bake 8 minutes at 350°F. Cake will be puffy.

3. Take 1 cup chocolate chips and sprinkle over cake. Pour caramel sauce over chocolate chips. Drop remaining cake mixture over top of caramel sauce by small spoonful. Bake 18-20 minutes. Cool at least 30 minutes before cutting.