Shish Kabobs

With the recent warm weather our household decided it was time for some summer-like foods. We decided to make a few different dishes this week with fresh produce and the first on the list was Shish Kabobs.

We took the recipe from The Grilling Bible and found we really enjoyed the taste of the marinade. This recipe is very simple and we grilled it on our grill pan in our house since we don’t have access to a grill. We paired the kabobs with Lemon & Dill potatoes.

Shish  Kabobs

  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and mashed (I substituted 1 tsp minced garlic)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh oregano or rosemary (we went with rosemary)
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 lbs beef, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Green bell pepper
  • Red bell Pepper
  • Small onions
  • Mushrooms
  • Cherry tomatoes

Directions:

Combine first 9 ingredients in a large bowl. Add meat and stir to coat with sauce. Cover and refrigerate overnight (we actually only let it sit for 2 hours in the fridge and enjoyed the flavor)

Alternately skewer cubes of meat with desired combination of peppers, mushrooms, onions and tomatoes.

Place kabobs on grill or grill pan, rotating every 4-5 minutes until desired doneness.

Lemon & Dill Potatoes

This past weekend I found a recipe on Pinterest that I really wanted to try to accompany the kabobs we were making. I’m a huge fan of red russet potatoes and here’s the recipe I found that turned out amazing. The potatoes were tender and filled with flavor. I especially enjoyed the hint of lemon in them. Thank you Beloved Green for the awesome recipe!

I altered my recipe a bit because I didn’t have all the ingredients mentioned on the site I found the recipe. The ingredients you will need include:

1 lb of petite potatoes (ie. reds, whites, and purples)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
dash of ground pepper
dash of sea salt
lemon juice ( a splash)
1 Tbsp. dried dill
2 Tbsp. minced garlic

 

Directions:

Preheat 375°F.  Place parchment paper on cookie sheet, or spray with cooking spray.
Wash the potatoes and cut them into quarter slices.  Pour in the 1/4 cup of olive oil and coat the potatoes and then transfer to the baking sheet. Sprinkle ground pepper and salt on the potatoes.  Bake for a half hour.
While baking, mix together remaining ingredients with whisk and set aside until half hour is up.
Pull out the potatoes and flip them.  Using a pastry brush, coat them with the dill dressing and place back in the oven for another 15 minutes.  Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Product Review: Calphalon Nonstick Square Grill Pan

I would like to quickly do a product review for one of my favorite gifts I received a few years ago at my bridal shower from my aunt in D.C.

I had registered for almost anything you could think of for our future kitchen at both Kohls & Target, however even though this wasn’t on the list she decided to get it for me. I don’t know if she had one herself and loved it or just thought it would be helpful as a soon-to-be wife. I absolutely love this pan! Living in a small apartment and not having access to a grill can be frustrating. There’s just something about the flavor of a grilled steak, burger or what we made tonight – kabobs.

Not only is this pan amazing at cooking foods similar to what it would be like using an outdoor gas or charcoal grill (except for that charcoal flavor), the clean up is phenomenal.  I generally allow the pan to cool and then run it under soapy warm water and wipe down with a dish rag.

If you are considering items to add to a registry or gift list for the holidays, or possibly just to invest in something to cook many summer type meals if you are grill less I’d suggest purchasing this pan. When looking around the web an average price for this Calphalon pan is between $30 – $40 dollars.

Popcorn and Buffalo Dip

I don’t even know what started this craving but for the past few months I’ve been addicted to dipping popcorn in buffalo wing sauce. Not just plain old buffalo sauce, however, but buffalo sauce mixed with melted butter and bleu cheese dressing. Are you intrigued? Continue to read….

We have a jiffy pop because I wanted to snack healthy. My husband is in love with popcorn but watching him sit on the couch eating an entire bag of the buttery popped stuff was getting me quite annoyed. SO many calories. Don’t get me wrong – I loved the bags myself but I never ate a bag to myself. After buying the jiffy pop we’ve enjoyed making the healthy snack. After a little Pam spray and butter seasoning it’s still very tasty.

I, however, was in the mood for something else. Dry Ranch mix is quite tasty sprinkled on popcorn. In a bar we used to frequent we would use our leftover BBQ sauce as a dip for the complimentary popcorn they provided. That was my inspiration. Having just moved a few months ago and not going to the local establishment we did I was inspired to create it at home.

Since we eat popcorn so much I have it out on our counter in this container. Not only is it accessible it’s decorative. The Jiffy Popper was $20 at Menards and it’s already three years old!

Make the popcorn and then spray lightly with Pam. This allows the seasoning of your choice (butter seasoning, dry ranch, etc) to stick to the popcorn.

I then melt about a tablespoon of butter and mix in the buffalo wing sauce and bleu cheese dressing. I’d have to estimate I do about 1 tablespoon of the sauce and 2 tablespoons of the dressing. I like to have a thicker consistancy and a light orange color.

Here’s the end result. If you are looking for a new alternative to a somewhat healthy snack with a kick I’d encourage you to try it out!

Cheesy Broccoli Slow Cooker Casserole

What better way to have a “set it and forget it” meal for the week than a mixture of broccoli and cheese.  This very simple, tasty recipe is found in  Rival Crock Pot’s “Best Loved Slow Cooker Recipes”.

Being a somewhat spur of the moment decision to make this dish I went without the celery seed and substituted onion powder for minced onion (because I didn’t have any).  I also used red pepper flakes in place of the hot pepper sauce.

Ingredients:

  • 2 packages (10 ounces each) chopped broccoli, thawed
  • 1 can (10 3/4 ounces) condensed cream of celery soup, undiluted
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/4 cup minced onions
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 1 cup crushed potato chips or saltine crackers

Directions:

1. Coat slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Combine broccoli, soup, 1 cup cheese, onions, celery seed, paprika and hot sauce in slow cooker.

3. Cover & cook on LOW 5-6 hours or on HIGH 2 1/2 – 3 hours, or until done.

4. Uncover; sprinkle top with potato chips and remaining 1/4 cup cheese.

5. Cook, uncovered, on LOW 30 to 60 minutes or on HIGH 15-30 minutes, or until cheese melts.

    Pizza Cobbler

    This recipe was mentioned in a recent email for 7 Days Dinners from rachelraymag.com. I’m always looking for new ways to use buttermilk biscuits so I tried this for lunch today. The recipe is simple to prepare & you can easily add whatever pizza ingredients you like. I would definitely recommend this to moms looking for a quick meal to make for lunch or dinner.

    Here are the ingredients I used:

    • 1 tsp minced garlic
    • 2 cans sliced mushrooms
    • 2 cans (8 oz each) tomato sauce
    • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
    • 1 can refrigerated biscuits, separated & cut into quarters

    Directions:

    Preheat the oven to 400.

    In a skillet, combine oil,garlic & mushrooms. Cook on medium until desired tenderness. (about 5 minutes)

    Add sauce to skillet and heat just til starting to bubble.

    Spread sauce mixture in a greased 2 quart baking dish.

    Sprinkle with cheese.

    Top with biscuit pieces.


    Bake until cheese is bubbly and biscuits are browned, about 15 minutes.


    Let stand about 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

    Pineapple Chicken

    Pineapple chicken is a delightful, light & tasty dish to feed the family. Here’s the recipe & step by step  directions for the recipe I use repeatedly. To look at recipe without step by step picture directions click here.

    Ingredients:

    • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
    • 1/2 cup orange juice
    • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
    • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 4 cups cubed cooked chicken
    • 1 can pineapple chunks, drained
    • 1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
    • Hot cooked rice

    Directions:

    Place preferred amount of rice in rice maker.

    Cut chicken, cook & set aside.

    Combine the first six ingredients until smooth.

    In a large saucepan bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    Add the chicken, pineapple, water chestnuts and ginger;

    Ccover and simmer for 10 minutes.

    Serve over rice.

    Bleu Cheese Chicken Alfredo Pizza

    Ever have a few items in your house that you bought for one meal and then they sit around? Last week I enjoyed making my favorite salad that includes apples, craisens, bleu cheese, pecans and red onions. Trying to get a the most bang for my buck I went with a bag of onions instead of just buying one.

    Seeing as though in a few days I will be gone for Christmas, it’s the perfect time to clean out the fridge and hopefully get rid of the red onions as well. I had an opened jar of Alfredo sauce, some bleu cheese and leftover shredded chicken from the enchiladas I made on Saturday.  After deciding what would maybe work it was time to be creative.  Loving chicken and broccoli Alfredo pizza in the past I decided I’d try to make my own version. Here are the ingredients you will need (and feel free to add your own favorites of course):

    • 1 pkg crescent rolls
    • Alfredo sauce
    • 1 red onion
    • shredded chicken
    • Bleu cheese
    • a sprinkle of garlic powder

    I apologize in advance because I went with the “sprinkle” method for this recipe and didn’t measure anything out.

    If you’d like red onion on this pizza the first step is to slice up the onion & saute until slightly tender in about 1 Tbsp vegetable oil.

    I rolled out the crescent rolls while the onions were cooking until I had a pizza sized circle. I placed this on a cookie sheet and spread a thin layer of Alfredo sauce.

    Next step is adding as much Bleu cheese as you’d like.

    I wanted to make sure the chicken had the Alfredo flavor so before adding it to the pie I mixed it with a little Alfredo sauce.

    Add sauted onions & sprinkle on a little garlic powder.

    Bake in oven for 12-14 minutes at 350 degrees.

    Enjoy!

    Meat Loaf

    Meat loaf is such a comfort food. Here’s one of my favorite recipes!

    Ingredients you will need:


    • 1 lb hamburger
    • 2/3 cup quick cooking oatmeal
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
    • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
    • 1/2 cup catchup
    • 1 cup water

    Directions:

    1. Mix all the ingredients together well and place in meat loaf pan.

    1. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.

    Enjoy!

    Layering Lasagna

    In a recent post I discussed a new layering technique when making lasagna. I tried this new way of placing the noodles in the dish, as well as adding cream cheese to the list of ingredients. I was very please with the results and would like to share the recipe with you now. I love cheese so the different types and textures in this recipe are enjoyable.

    Lazy Lasagna

    Ingredients:

    • 1 lb ground beef, browned
    • 32 oz spaghetti sauce
    • 8 oz cottage cheese
    • 4 oz cream cheese
    • lasagna noodles (at least half a box)
    • 12 oz grated cheese (i use a mix of cheddar and mozzarella)
    • Parmesan cheese
    • parsley flakes

    Now, for your step by step directions:

    1. Pre-heat oven.

    2. Brown beef.


    3. Mix in spaghetti sauce; stir & place on low. Stir occasionally.

    4. Mix Cottage Cheese & milk together.

    5. With a spatula place cream cheese on lasagna noodles.

    6. In a 9×13 pan spread 1/3 of the sauce & meat mixture. Next place weaved lasagna noodles.

    Add 1/2 of the cottage cheese/milk mixture and 1/2 of the shredded cheese.

    Sprinkle Parmesan cheese and a few parsley flakes on top.

    7. Repeat steps (meat, milk/cheese mixture, noodles)

    8. Bake 1 hr covered, 20 minutes uncovered.

    Enjoy!