Tuesday, July 29, 2008

baked beans...

and the beauty of a good baked bean recipe.

please, never open a can of baked beans and leave them naked in a dish somewhere. let us all save the beans and dress them to perfection. you will get mounds of compliments on this recipe my sweet grandma helen found. i think they are the best i've ever had.....well, truthfully, i didn't like any until i found these years ago..

apple sausage baked beans

3 14 oz cans pork n beans ( i used bush's honey)
1/4 bottle BBQ sauce ( i use kraft honey)
1 lb. jimmy dean sausage ( i used sage or maple, make sure either are spicy. if you double the recipe, try both - delicious)
1 lg. onion chopped (save your tears. i used dried, about 3-4 TB.)
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 green pepper chopped finely
2-4 TB. Worcestershire (i err on the side of more here, i like the flavors)
2-4 TB. prepared mustard (repeat above, i like the bold flavor 4TB gives it)
1 c. apples (about 2 apples, you can grate them with the grater or chop them real fine)

brown sausage in onion and green pepper. mix all ingredients together and bake at 325 for one hour.

(don't try to crock pot these, they turn to mush, don't over cook, don't under cook. i once made these for 200 people, i multiplied the batch by 6 and baked them in a roaster oven at the above cooking instruction)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

my love....

was discovered on a hot and muggy new haven, CT day. and not any day, but BBQ sunday. the lovely and talented becca introduced me to key lime pie. it didn't help that i was pregnant and about to move cross country shortly. translation is i was in search of a good comfort food. becca made me a very traditional and classic key lime and i had to call her in my "missing the hood so bad" phase and tell her how i dream of her key lime pie. i was so large and pregnant, really i was, i couldn't dream of putting a lot of time into recreating it, but i found it was so easy i couldn't resist.

i was in love. the sharp lime taste and the sweet sugar that caresses your tongue was mesmerizing. so, when i found that lindsay at cafe johnsonia had the same obsession, i thought i was in heaven. our neighborhood had a little key lime contest and i entered 2 of lindsays suggestions. here is the first one that made me feel pretty good i was able to make this and not feel flustered with the concepts.

this is what mine looked like - tada!

lindsay has a great tutorial and recipe here
instead of the 2 smaller ones, i did the big one as you can see. i love her addition of sweetened condensed to the coconut reduction. the consuming of these morsels were other planet fabulous, try it, you'll like it!

Friday, July 18, 2008

how we cow....

i am no meat connoisseur, i leave that to todd and deanna. yes, they have corrected us of our overdone meat eating ways and introduced us to a whole new world of medium rare with NO steak sauce.

i am not up to the task of cooking this yet, so i rely on a favorite and trusted family marinade to appease me until i can get here to eat real meat.

flank steak is a great cut for this marinade. this cut can be tough and this makes it melt in your mouth.

1 c tomato juice
1/2 c oil
1 TBSP meat tenderizer
fresh minced garlic (and don't skip this, if you have powdered, okay, you win- 1TBSP)

let this marinate up to 3 days. the longer the better, but it is also good over night. cook to your liking on the GRILL. 7-9 minutes on each side suites me, but check with your company and see what it takes to retain the friendship. you might have to go longer here.

the tomato juice beats the meat into submission and calls it to tenderness. i have used a spicy organic V8 which i highly recommend in place of the plain tomato juice.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

the chicken...

this is going to give you some moist chicken. it is so versatile, but you have to give it some time, okay. chicken is so temperamental and all, drying out like the desert if you don't pamper it. well, this chicken lets you abuse it, over cooking and everything. anyway.

marinate a part of a feathery friend in this savory liquid:
(i usually do a skinless breast or tender)
2 parts 7UP
1 part soy sauce
fresh minced garlic (maybe one to two cloves)

*and, maybe you like rosemary like i do. i think rosemary should run for office so i could see and smell it all the time. so, if you want to jump aboard the rosemary campaign to change the world, add it to your marinade.

now, if you can wait 2-3 days of this marinating in a nice ziploc in your fridge, put a star on your forehead and enjoy the most moist chicken EVER!

grill the chicken until no longer pink and enjoy a variety of ways, including and not limited to:

{atop a bed of lettuce with a savory salad dressing such as the shrimp one i posted about,


{throw some vegetables such as (mushrooms, zucchini, summer squash, onion,carrot, sweet potatoes or asparagus) into the marinade as well and grill them in a nice metal grill cage for about 15-20 minutes. they come out crisp and so tender. the rosemary is especially nice to the veggies in this setting. they just might sing you a lullaby.

{we kind of like this chicken in a kabob with some fresh cut pineapple and a mushroom, all dripping in this marinade, grilled to perfection.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

i love a good starch...

i see things on blogs and translate them into what i would eat and enjoy. mostly, what i would eat again. some things i see i try and say, no thanks. but, if you tweaked this and put that there, i would eat you over and over, giving no mercy. so, here is a heart attack in a platter quite honestly.

i boiled some beautiful red potatoes, boiled until my sweet little fork tenderly slid right on thru. then, i mashed them up a bit, smashed them with the bottom of a drinking glass. put some olive oil on the bottom of a glass baking dish with generous amounts of S&P then, i cooked up some bacon in a frying pan. put a little of that bacon all crumbled on the top and SOME OF THE (grease)smattered on the potatoes and shhhh. don't tell my dieting father who ate them up mercilessly, he would never, ever forgive me.

then, pop them into the oven on 415 until you see a good browning process going on, maybe 25-30 minutes. and maybe, you might get a big wet kiss from your hubby afterwards, they are sinful....

Monday, July 14, 2008

the best chicken secret

these my friends are a little secret becca told me about, i will now impart....

these beautiful things are chicken thighs. have you never ever?


becca told me they were so wonderful, juicy and flavorful.

she was right.

honestly. i can't get enough of the things.
you must grill them. or your husband must. and, if he works nutty hours sewing people up, well, get inventive and come up with your own ideas.

i am scared the grill will revolt and try to cook me instead of my meat, so i tend to let scotty grill. so, one day, when my craving overtook any reasoning, i made my own.

do let the little thighs marinate in any bbq sauce you want. maybe a day or two, it just rocks this thigh. i turned the oven up to 375, placed a cookie rack below to save a smoky mess and cooked them for 1 hour.

the skin is so crunchy, the chicken dances in your mouth and begs you to eat more and more. the flavor is off the charts, so please, try a thigh....