Monday, October 24, 2011

Pizza and Beer, Butterbeer that is....

    As I'm sure most of you read, I drowned my precious computer late last week while attempting to wash dishes and surf Pinterest simultaneously.  It obviously doesn't pay to multi-task.  The consequence for my folly is that I'm now typing on my husband's PC (yes I realize I'm running the risk of starting a PC vs MAC debate).  Don't get me wrong, I really don't care about the difference between a PC and a MAC, but since they are so different, I can see why people pick one side and stick to it.  I prefer my Mac simply because I find it easier.  That's just my opinion on the matter.  I don't need to hear yours :-P  That's why I'm the blogger, and you're the follower :-D

    Now that y'all have just discovered the true reason behind my blog, I think it's time I share what I've been up to since I put my poor Mac out of commission.  Of course, I have a few recipes I can't wait to share

    I was in a pizza mood this past week, so I made two versions of it.  Both came from Paula Deen's September/October 2011 issue, and both were very scrumptious.  The first was a Philly Cheesesteak Pizza.

You'll need:

1 (16 oz) pkg refrigerated pizza crust dough (or do what I do and buy a pkg of prebaked pizza crusts, they come two to a pack, so you can make both of these pizzas)
1 lb extra-lean ground beef
1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
2 TBSP spicy brown mustard
8 slices provolone cheese
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese
1 tsp Montreal steak seasoning

If you're using the refrigerated dough for the crust:
Let pizza dough rest according to package directions.  Preheat oven to 450.  Press dough into a 16" pizza pan or a rimmed baking sheet.  Bake for five minutes.

If you bought a prepared pizza crust your directions start here:
In a large skillet combine beef, bell peppers, and onion.  Cook over medium heat for 8 minutes or until beef is browned and crumbly and veggies are tender.  Drain well.
Spread mustard over pizza crust.  Top with provolone cheese, beef mixture, and mozzarella cheese.  Sprinkle with steak seasoning.  Bake for 8 minutes or until crust is browned and cheese melts.  Cut into wedges, and enjoy!

The Philly Cheesesteak Pizza was J's favorite.  Mine however was this next one.  It's a Chicken Club Pizza, and it's phenomenal!

What you'll need:
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup ranch dressing
1 prebaked pizza crust
1 cup shredded rotisserie chicken (or leftovers from last night's bbq, or whatever)
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 avocado, sliced
1 cup tomato
2/3 shredded lettuce

Preheat oven to 375. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and ranch dressing until well combined.  Place pizza crust on a baking sheet, and spread with cream cheese mixture (I would recommend using only 1/2-3/4 of the ranch mixture; I used all of it, and I was scraping cream cheese off as I ate.)  Sprinkle chicken and bacon over pizza.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Top with lettuce, tomatoes, and avocado slices.  Enjoy!

   I really think this was Monkey's favorite as well.  She liked both better than normal pizza, but she's her mama's child when it comes to her love of avocado!

  Soooooo, a friend of mine is slightly obsessed with Harry Potter, and by slightly, I mean she-who-must-not-be-named quotes it all the time.  Fortunately, I'm a pretty big Harry Potter fan myself, so I totally understand.  Sometimes I'm the only one who catches her quotes, but that's cool, because that means I can text her about awesome HP-related things I find.  The other night, I invited her over for dinner, and she was overjoyed when I pulled out the butterbeer recipe I have been dying to try.  I'm too lazy to type out another recipe so you can click here.  We both enjoyed it, although I did find it to be a bit too much.  I don't think it was too sweet, I think it was too buttery.  I may try it again with less butter, but for your viewing pleasure, here are a couple shots of the yummy concoction:

   And since I don't know how long it will be before my husband lets me take over his computer again (especially after he sees that I ragged it in this post), I'll give y'all one more for the road. It's a butterbeer latte, and theis was hands-down yummy!  I wouldn't change a thing about it, and if I could make myself wake up on time for a change I'd make it every morning.

I found the recipe on Pinterest, but I can't find the original post, so here's the photo:

   Now that you're probably sick of me again, I'm signing off  :-)  Here's hoping my amazing brother-in-law can save my poor computer before I get used to this stupid PC and have to relearn my Macbook all over again.  Nighty night all!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Chicken

     After the great amount of comments I received on my Facebook status about these scrum-diddly-yumptious morsels, I decided I definitely needed to share the recipe.  So here it is: Bacon Wrapped Chicken Stuffed with Jalapenos & Cream Cheese.

You'll need:
8 boneless, skinless chicken tenders
1 jalapeno, chopped into small pieces
3 oz cream cheese
bacon, cut in half

   Flatten your chicken strips with a meat mallet, and cut in half.  Soften cream cheese.  Place about a tsp of cream cheese on each chicken strip. Sprinkle with about 1/4 tsp of jalapenos.  Roll up chicken, and wrap bacon around it.  Stick your toothpick in.   

 Repeat for the remaining chicken tenders.

  J put these on the grill, and they were pretty darn tasty.  We had an argument over who would be able to take the leftovers to work the next day.  He won, but forgot them so I actually got to eat them today ;-)

  If you haven't figured it out yet, I love to cook.  It's one of those few things that never gets old.  It never becomes a chore.  It's just fun for me.  That being said, it's something I really want to share with my daughter.  Being 2 1/2, there's not much she's been able to help me with when it comes to actual cooking.  Today however I was struck with one of those should-have-been-obvious thoughts.  She can help me make Rice Krispie Treats!  After all, isn't that a right of passage in the kitchen?  One of the first things I remember learning to make was a Rice Krispie Treat.

   She did really well, and here are a few photos from the experience.
Melt 3 tbs butter or margarine.

Add four cups of mini marshmallows.




Stir over low heat until melted.

Turn off heat.  Add six cups of Rice Krispies and stir until coated.

  Pour into a  pan, and let set.  Cut into little squares.

   Monkey had so much fun with this, and it was good to share something I enjoy so much with the person I love best in this world.

Update:  This morning I set out all my ingredients that needed to defrost to make these again, but due to the fact that I don't watch the news I didn't realize that it would be pouring down rain.  We don't have a covered back porch, so instead of grilling these, we decided to attempt to bake them.  J was nice enough to do the honors, as I was in a crazed state of "Oh-my-God-this-house-is-a-wreck", and was too "indisposed" to cook.  Not only did his come out just as good as, if not better than mine, he also made them look prettier.  I appreciate that he cooked, but I resent him a little for doing such a great job.

So, if you want to bake these instead of grill them, preheat your oven to 400 and place these on a greased cooking sheet.  Put them in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until cooked through.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Peanut-Butter-Stuffed Brownies

    Busy, busy, busy.  As I'm typing it's 9:30 pm, and I have been home for all of an hour and a half.  This weekend flew by so fast it was almost non-exsistent.  It was so much fun though!  Friday night, J convinced me to stay up too late watching the second Rocky.  I hadn't seen any of them, which I'm told is a sin, so J has begun introducing me to them.  I really like them, so convincing me to watch them isn't the chore J thought it would be.

   Saturday we took Monkey to a local Discovery Center for kids, and she had a blast.  I've been there with her on several occasions, but this was the first time J got to go too.  It was so much fun watching the two of them interact.  She got to show him all of her favorite activities, and Mommy took plenty of pictures.  I must admit, however I was a bit put out by all the "Daddy do it"s I heard that day.  What about Mommy, huh?  Mommy wants to play too.    :-(

  After the center, we came home, and I began to make my snacks for Girl's Game Night.  I made Peanut Butter Stuffed Brownies which I found on Pinterest (of course).  They were sooooooo yummy!

  The recipe is so simple!  You can either use your favorite brownie mix form a box or your favorite "from scratch" version.  If you need a good scratch recipe, here's the one I used when I made those Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough brownies.

Here's what you'll need:

brownie mix
1/2 cup peanut butter chips
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter

     However you decide to make them, mix the brownies first, and spoon about 1-2 tsp into your greased mini-muffin pan.  Bake on 350 for about 13-15, or until tops are set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out slightly wet.  Wait for the centers to fall, which they should do upon cooling, or you can press down on the middle with the back side of your teaspoon.  Microwave peanut butter for about 45 seconds, stir and scoop into well of each brownies.  Top with semi-sweet chocolates and peanut butter chips.

     You can also make a larger version using a regular muffin pan and adjusting the cook time by adding a few extra minutes.  I used a box brownie mix and ended up with 24 mini brownies, and about 8 regular sized brownies.

     I made these Saturday, and today they are gone.  That's a record for sweets in my house.  J doesn't have a very big sweet tooth, so usually half of what I bake goes to waste.  I made the mistake of promising these to the guys I work with, but they were gone before the weekend was over.  If I don't whip up another batch soon, I may have a riot on my hands.

    Saturday night's game night lasted into the wee hours of the morning.  Probably because we didn't start the game of Monopoly until about 11 pm.  When Monkey was up at 7:00 the next morning, I almost regretted it.   Almost, but not quite.

    Sunday we had fun at the kickoff for the annual "Cruisin' the Coast" car show they have here in Gulfport every year.  They had a local band playing, and my little Monkey decided she wasn't going to simply watch.  She climbed up those stairs and began dancing away on stage.  It wasn't long before about four other little girls were up there too.  She's a little trendsetter.

     J and I are going to have a fun time when this one gets to the concert-going age.  That thought alone almost gave my darling husband a stroke.

     Today I decided that it'd be best to go grocery shopping after work.  Of course, I thought it'd be a good idea to bring J and Monkey along as well.  Didn't I say last time that I was never going to do that again?  

    We got to the Commissary around 4:00, and we didn't get home until around 8:00.  Part of it was due to those darn Pullups that leaked, but most of it was due to my darling husband's knack for wanting to be a part of every decision and then not being able to make up his mind!  Apparently he was also adding things to my buggy when I wasn't looking.  We ended up with a second buggy at one point.  Then somehow we spent about $100 more than normal.  *sigh*  There goes my overtime from last week!  Oh well, all I know is I'd better not hear "I'm hungry" for another two weeks!

   I did have a point to all this rambling, but I don't remember it now, but since I have your attention allow me to show you a few of the crafts we've been doing.  (Found, as usual, on Pinterest.)

     This spider is made from two of Monkey's handprints cut out of construction paper, googly eyes, and yarn.  She had fun playing with it, but Mommy had to do all the cutting.

      The bat is made out of an empty toilet paper tube, painted black, and folded at the top.  I cut the wings from black construction paper.  Although Monkey loved playing with it, Mommy really did all the work.

    The skeletons were probably her favorite.  She got to do it all herself, and even Daddy joined in on the fun.  Just so there's no confusion, the top one is J's (I know some of y'all were wondering).  All they are is construction paper, q-tips and a glue stick.  J was too impatient for the glue stick, so he used tape.

     Oh, and as requested, here are a few of my Halloween decorations:

I'll post a picture of my homemade wreath later.  I'm too lazy to go take a picture of it.   :-)