Saturday, April 17, 2010

Funnel Cakes

Back in high school/college my family, friends and I would go quite often to a very popular amusement park...that's were I developed a love for funnel cakes. These are delicious and a very popular treats at amusement parks, fairs, carnivals, etc. This was one of the things I looked forward to when we went to any of these places.
Shortly after I met my now husband he surprised me with a home-made dinner (made by him) for my birthday. He knew that I loved funnel cakes so he found out how to make them so that we could have that for dessert (so sweet).
Anyway, these are really easy/fast to make and an awesome treat every so often. You'll fall in love, hehehe.
INGREDIENTS FOR BATTER:
2 c Milk
2 eggs
2 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
(you will need oil for frying)
***
TOPPINGS:
Fresh strawberries, cut in small pieces
Strawberry syrup
Powdered sugar (I ran out, so I skipped it this time)
Whipped cream
***
In a bowl, mix all dry ingredients then add the eggs and milk. Mix well, pour batter into a pastry bag or Ziploc bag and cut a small tip. When the oil is ready for frying, begin dropping the batter on the oil, move your arm around as you create your funnel cake (you do not want to drop all the batter in one spot). Once your funnel cake is the size you want it, put the pastry bag aside and allow the funnel cake to cook on one side and then flip to the other. The funnel cake will be golden when ready. When ready, pull out cake and place over paper towels.
***
To serve, place funnel cake on plate and sprinkle with a little bit of powdered sugar. Then add strawberries, strawberry syrup and finish of with whipped cream. Enjoy!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Nachos

These are not the typical nachos with the melted cheese and jalapeno slices. This is my version of nachos, try it...you'll like them.


INGREDIENTS:


Tortilla Chips
1 lb ground beef

1 small onion, chopped

2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped

salt

Refried Beans (beans take a while to cook, so do this in advance)

Fresh salsa (Get recipe here)

Guacamole (Get recipe here)

Sour cream

***

To cook the meat: In a pan, begin cooking the meat, add salt. When meat is almost done, add the chopped onions and jalapenos, finish cooking and set aside.

To cook beans: All you need is dry beans, water and salt. Wash beans and place them in a pot with enough water (water evaporates pretty fast so make sure you add enough from the start), add salt. It will take about two hours to cook the beans unless you are using a pressure cooker (if you do, the process is much faster). When the beans are soft, you are ready to mash them. You can add a little bit of olive oil to the pan where you'll mash the beans but you don't have to. Begin scooping out the beans from the pot and put them in the pan. Make sure you add enough juice from the beans so that the refried beans don't turn out dry.

Once you have all the food ready, you can begin serving your nachos. I personally like to dish up mine like in the picture above: chips, beans, meat and then salsa, guacamole, and sour cream on top. My husband on the other hand likes to dish everything on his plate but the chips because he likes the chips really crunchy. Enjoy!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Guacamole


INGREDIENTS:
5 avocados
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
2 roma tomatoes, finely diced
fresh cilantro, finely chopped
2 limes, juiced
2-3 jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped
salt
***
Cut the avocados in half and remove the seeds (place the seeds in the bowl you'll use). Using a knife cut the inside of the avocados in squares and then scoop out using a spoon and place in bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Perfect side for many Mexican dishes or serve with chips as an appetizer. Enjoy!
***
Note: My mom always taught me to keep the seeds from the avocados in the guacamole because along with the lime juice, it will help it from going brown too quick. Also, it really is up to you how much onion, tomato, cilantro, and jalapeno you want to use. Make it to your liking.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Beer Butt Chicken

Ingredients:
Olive Oil
Whole Chicken
Kosher Salt
Fresh Pepper
Can of Beer

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375. Place a half full beer can on a cooking sheet covered with foil. Set chicken on can, inserting can into the cavity of the chicken. The chicken should be standing on its legs supported by the beer can inserted into the cavity, hence the name beer butt chicken. Lightly Oil, using enough to make the entire surface of the meat glisten but not so much that you leave a puddle.

Season the chicken well. Kosher Salt and Pepper is all you need but I also added a red Goya spice packet just for fun.

Place baking sheet with beer and chicken in the pre-heated oven. The chicken is done when internal temperature reaches 180 degrees. For a 4-5 pound bird expect 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours. Use a thermometer to be sure you don't under cook, or even worse overcook!

Once the chicken is done, let it rest 10-15 min. to allow the juices to settle in the meat. Remove the chicken from the beer can using oven mitts and tongs. (Careful - this is very hot! Two sets of hands are the best)
The chicken will be very juicy and flavorful, and so tender it is almost falling off the bones.


Monday, April 12, 2010

Banana Lumpias


INGREDIENTS:

1 packet of lumpia/egg roll wraps
Bananas
1 can of Nestle-Dulce De Leche
Oil for frying

Cut bananas in half and then slice through the middle (you end up with 4 pieces from each banana). Get a wrap, place a piece of banana in the middle and then put a little bit of dulce de leche over the banana. Fold wrap and seal using a little bit of water to moisten wrap. Fry. Enjoy!!


The can of dulce de leche can be found in the Latin section of your local grocery store. If you can't find dulce de leche in your area, you can substitute it with brown sugar or jam.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Meatloaf with Green Beans

I found this recipe in Martha Stewart's Everyday Food Magazine. I tweaked the ingredients a little which I've italicized in parenthesis. I hope you enjoy the meatloaf as much as Brian and I do!

MEATLOAF:
1/4 Cup Plain Dried Breadcrumbs (Italian Seasoned)
1 1/2 Tablespoons Milk
1/4 Cup Ketchup (I combine equal parts of Regular Ketchup and Heinz Hot & Spicy Ketchup with Tabasco. I also have only used the Heinz Hot & Spicy Ketchup with Tabasco to give the meatloaf a little kick)
1/2 Cup Grated Cheese (I combine Cheddar, Fresh Grated Parmesan and Pepperjack, and have sometimes substituted one of said cheeses with Monterey Jack)
1/4 Cup Scallions, Thinly Sliced
1/2 Cup Finely Grated Carrots
Coarse Salt and Ground Pepper
1 lb Ground Beef


GREEN BEANS:
2 Teaspoon Olive Oil
8-10 Ounces Green Beans, Trimmed
2 Tablespoons Water

1. Preheat Oven to 375. In a medium bowl, combine breadcrumbs, milk, ketchup, cheese(s), scallions, carrots, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Add beef and gently combine. Transfer mixture to a rimmed baking sheet and form in an approximately 2 1/2-by-12-inch loaf. Bake until cooked through, about 30-40 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat oil over medium. Add green beans and water. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook until water is absorbed, about 6 minutes. Uncover and cook stirring occasionally, until beans are crisp-tender, about 6 minutes. Serve alongside meatloaf.

Whoops, and I almost forgot to take a picture of the finished product!

Chicken Pot Pie


This recipe usually makes three 9 inch round pies. The nice thing about this is that if you are not having a big group to eat you can freeze them and just cook them whenever.

INGREDIENTS:

1-2 Chicken breast, cut into small bite-size pieces
1 onion, chopped
1 large can of cream of chicken soup (this last time I used 3 small ones)
1/2 stick of butter
Garlic Salt

Vegetables cut into small-medium chunks (carrots, potatoes, broccoli, etc)
1 can of peas (I used frozen peas this last time)
3-4 fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped

Sautee onions in the butter, add chicken and garlic salt. When chicken is cooked add remaining ingredients and pour into store bought pie crust (or make your own).


Cover with a thin layer of pie crust. Use a knife to cut a few slits at the top and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, until crust is baked (Could take up to an hour).

If you freeze the pies, make sure you thaw them out before baking. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Apple Walnut Cinnamon Rolls

I got this recipe from Food Network as I was walking on the treadmill one day. Not a good thing to watch while you are hungry and exercising:) but anyways thought I would try it. This was my second try. The first time I used Grands Cinnamon Rolls and they are too big. You have to use the smaller ones. They are really fast and easy so they are good for breakfast!!!

1 Granny Smith Apple
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
3/4 cup Walnuts (my kids don't like nuts so I don't do quite that much and add them later)
2 TBS. Butter (melted)
2 Tubes (8 count) Cinnamon Rolls
1 container Frosting
1/4 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
2 Tbs. Water

Slice Apple into small pieces. Add brown sugar and walnuts and mix together. Butter 12 ct. muffin tin with butter. Place a small amount of Apple mixture in each tin and place cinnamon roll, cinnamon side down, in each tin on top of apple mixture and press down. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 min. Let sit for a few minutes and invert onto a cookie sheet. Mix frosting with water and pumpkin pie spice. Drizzle over cinnamon rolls and enjoy:)