Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Grilled S'Mores

The way I make S'Mores has forever been changed! Thank you, Martha for teaching me the best & easiest way to successfully make this tasty treat. (Yes, this is yet ANOTHER great recipe from "Everday Food". I'm telling you...the July/August issue is full of them).

The marshmallows were softened without being charred, the chocolate was melted to perfection & the graham crackers were warm. YUMMY GOODNESS!


* 4 graham crackers, halved
* 1 chocolate bar, split into 4 pieces (I used Hershey's)
* 4 large marshmallows


1. Set up grill for indirect cooking (i.e. put coals to one side or only turn on 1/2 of the burners on a gas grill).

2. Place 8 graham cracker halves on cooler side of the grill.

3. Top half of the crackers with chocolate & marshmallows.

4. Cover grill & cook until chocolate melts & marshmallows are puffy & soft, 3 to 5 minutes.

5. Remove from grill...

Sandwich with remaining crackers...

And serve immediately...

Roasting marshmallows over an open fire is always fun, but from now on my S'Mores will be made on the grill.

And on another note: I made my mom's Mexican Frito Salad for lunch today & took pictures. I've updated the post with images to go alongside the words.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Emeril's Oven-Roasted Chicken Wings

The second recipe I made from the latest edition of "Everyday Food" actually comes from Emeril. He has a guest spot in the mag & this month's recipe had The Hubs name written all over it! He LOVES wings, but I've never attempted them at home. However, Emeril made them look pretty simple (he actually had a kid making them in the photos).

I made this last night & they were SO GOOD!! The Hubs loved them & surprisingly, so did I. We will definitely be making them again soon.

Note: Below is the original recipe. I halved everything & it made just the right amount for the 2 of us.


* 4 pounds chicken wings, cut in half at joint (wing tips removed)
* 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
* 1 Tbsp. ground pepper
* 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
* 1 Tbsp. onion powder
* 2 tsp. coarse salt
* 2 tsp. dried thyme
* 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
* 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
* blue cheese or ranch dressing or BBQ sauce for dipping


1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees & line a large rimmed backing sheet with foil.

2. In a large bowl, toss chicken wings with lemon juice. Add pepper, garlic & lemon powders & salt. Toss again. Add thyme, cayenne & melted butter. Toss again.

3. Arrange wings in one layer on baking sheet.

4. Cook for 20 minutes, then rotate sheet & flip wings.

5. Cook until wings are browned & cooked through, about 10 more minutes.

6. Serve with dipping sauce

And an ice cold beer...if you're The Hubs!

My Tid-Bits:

* These wings were SO EASY to make. Prep time was less than 15 minutes. The hardest part was cutting the wings in half.

* If you have issues with handling raw chicken...this cooking adventure isn't for you. Just go to your favorite Wing place (shout out to Wings N More!!).

* Next time I will either use non-stick foil or coat the foil with Pam to avoid sticking.

* I made ranch dressing from a packet of Hidden Valley dressing mix. Yummy! It made the perfect sauce for dipping.

* Serving size is 6 pieces for 420 calories. However, if you're like me & pull off most of the skin, the calories decrease significantly. (Although dipping them in ranch may negate the removal of skin).

Monday, June 21, 2010

Firecracker Ice Pops

I told you that I'd be making several things from the latest edition of Martha Stewart's "Everyday Food" magazine. Well, the Firecracker Ice Pops were first on my list for multiple reasons...the first being that it's hotter than Hades around here. (And it's only June! Lord, help me come August). Also, I love ALL things berry.

The pops turned out pretty good, but next time I'll make a few adjustments.


* 1/2 lb. strawberries (about 1.5 cups), hulled & quartered
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 1/2 lb blueberries (about 1.5 cups)
* 1 1/4 cups low-fat plain yogurt
* 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract (I added this)


1. In a food processor, combine the blueberries & 1 Tbsp. sugar. Puree until smooth, pour into a bowl & set aside.

2. Repeat with strawberries & 1 Tbs. sugar.

3. In a bowl, whisk together yogurt, 2 Tbsp. sugar & vanilla.

4. Spoon the 3 mixtures, alternating, into ten 3-ounce ice pop molds, making 3 to 5 layers each.

5. With a skewer or thin blade knife, swirl mixture together in an up-and-down motion. Insert ice pop lids/sticks and freeze until solid (2 1/2 to 3 hours).

6. When it gets REALLY hot, pull out of the freezer & enjoy!

My Tid-Bits:

* These were pretty yummy, but I would change up the yogurt next time. I would use regular instead of low-fat. The low-fat froze a bit icy. Also, I'd probably use a flavored yogurt. Plain is just a bit tart for me - even with the berries.

* You could also leave the yogurt out completely & make fruit pops. They would definitely be tasty!!

* These red, white & blue pops would be the perfect patriotic dessert for a 4th of July party.

* This is a guilt-free dessert!! Each pop only has 59 calories & .6 grams of fat

* Martha also recommends substituting 4 kiwis & 1 large mango for the berries to make Tropical Pops.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Monday Morsel from Mom (6th Edition)

Does anyone else ever catch themselves doing something and think "Oh gosh...I'm turning into my mother"? Anyone? I hope it's not just me. (Not that turning into my mother is necessarily a bad thing - LOVE YOU MOM).

For years, my sister & I have made fun of my mom for being so neurotic when it comes to hosting showers & parties. It's just a given that she will show up with food items that were not on the menu we all agreed to. Vegetables have to be sliced just so. And if you arrange something on a tray, you can be sure that she will rearrange it until it is just perfect (my brother-in-law learned this the hard way at his first Christmas Eve party at my parents house & it's been a running joke ever since).

Unfortunately, my siblings & I have inherited some of these neurotic tendencies. For example, when we have people to our lake house for holiday weekends, I meticulously plan out the menu, even going as far as to create a spreadsheet detailing each menu item, who is responsible for bringing it, etc. And it's inevitable that I'm going to try & control the kitchen. I just can't help it! I blame the genes. At least I can admit that I'm a kitchen-control-freak. Luckily, most of my friends have learned to live with it & love me anyway. :)

Anyway...this weekend was just another prime example of "I'm turning into (ahem...or blame) my mother." We were helping to host a baby shower for our dear friends J&L and their bun in the oven, JP. My sole food responsibility was lettuce, tomatoes & onions for the burgers. I showed up with lettuce, tomatoes & onion...along with bacon, avocados, caramelized onions and trays with pretty lettuce for arranging. Oh...and I brought corn dip. :) What can I say? I'm my mother's daughter.

The corn dip, which is one of mom's recipes, was a huge hit & I promised to share the recipe. So, here you go:


* 2 - 11 oz. cans Mexican Corn, drained
* 1 cup sour cream
* 1 cup mayonnaise
* 5 green onions, thinly sliced
* 1 - 4 oz. can chopped green chilis
* 3 jalapenos, seeded & minced
* 1 tsp. Cajun seasoning
* 1/4 tsp. black pepper
* 1 package (2 cups) grated cheddar cheese


1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.

2. Mix really well.

3. Cover & refrigerate for at least 4 hours (overnight is best).

4. Serve with tortilla chips.

My Tid-Bits:

* You may notice in my ingredients picture I bought whole green chilis. Don't do that. I just grabbed the wrong can, which added another step in my process.

* After your dip has been in the refrigerator for 4 hours, give it a stir. If it looks a bit dry, add another 1/4 cup of sour cream.

* DO NOT, DO NOT, DO NOT EVER EVER EVER try & substitute Miracle Whip in dips. In tuna fish? Okay. In dips? Not okay.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Everyday Food Jackpot

As I may have mentioned before, I have a love of Food Magazines. I've recently had to cut my subscriptions down to 4: Rachel Ray, Southern Living, Martha Stewart Living & Martha Stewart Everyday Food. Bon Apetite & Cooking Light were both GREAT, but many of their recipes weren't practical for every day meals AND if I need a special occasion meal, all of their recipes are online. So they had to go.

Yesterday, The Hubs brought the mail in and with it was my July/August issue of Everyday Food. Sometimes this magazine will only have 1 or 2 things that I mark as "potential makers"; however, in this issue I earmarked over TWENTY things to try!!

In no particular order, they are:

1. Emeril's Oven Roasted Chicken Wings
2. Roasted Wax Beans with Peanuts & Cilantro
3. Wax Bean Salad with Chorizo (except I'd sub bacon for chorizo)
4. Summer Fruit Salad
5. Marinated Chicken Kebabs with Corn Salad
6. Watermelon-Cucumber Cooler
7. Summer Pasta Salad with Shrimp
8. Couscous Salad with Black Beans, Mushrooms & Corn
9. Tomato Panzanella with Ricotta
10. Homemade Pizzas (She has several to choose from)
11. Pouch Grilled Potatoes and Garlic
12. Grilled Corn with Sour Cream & Cotija Cheese
13. Grilled Brioche with Warm Fruit
14. Grilled S'mores
15. Firecracker Ice Pops
16. Peanut Butter-Chocolate Semifreddo
17. Raspberry-Ripple Meringue
18. Blackberry-Swirl Pound Cake
19. Puffed-Rice Bars with Peanut Butter & Chocolate (aka - PB&C Rice Krispy Treats)
20. And Several Yummy, Fruity Cocktails!

If you're looking for some new summer recipes, I highly recommend picking up a copy of this issue. And you can be sure that you'll be seeing some of these (hopefully) tasty items show up on my blog in the near future.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Easy Summer Berry Dessert

After my hiatus from cooking meals at home, I'm on a roll. Last night I made my mom's Chicken with Carrots & Onions and tonight we'll be having Crab Legs & Boiled Shrimp (thank you HEB for another sale).

Want to know what else I've been making every night???


Most people would call this Pound Cake with Ice Cream & Berries, but I call it PURE YUMMINESS!!! It combines 3 of my most favorite things and is SUPER easy to make.

All you need is pound cake, fresh berries & vanilla ice cream.

Cut the pound cake into cubes...

Top with small scoops of ice cream...

And a mixture of fresh berries...

TA-DAH!! You have Pure Yumminess!

My Tid-Bits:

* For the pound cake I sometimes make my own, but this week I just bought a Sara Lee frozen pound cake from the store. It's actually REALLY good.

* I also like to sprinkle the berries with a tsp. of sugar & let them sit for a few minutes before serving.

* Whip Cream can easily be substituted for the ice cream. And if you're attempting to keep it a little more low-cal, use Reddi Whip. It only has 15 calories per tbsp.

* I used an cookie dough scooper to get the mini ice cream balls.

Now I just have to be careful not to eat TOO much because summer is upon us & while summer does bring us good berries, it also brings swimsuit season. YUK!


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Toasted Orzo with Roasted Vegetables

I'M BACK!!! And I'm sorry I've been away so long. Things have been ridiculously busy lately. The fact that last night was the first time I cooked at home in 11 days should tell you something. (We did cook at our lake house over Memorial Day, but didn't document any of it, which I should have because we ate GOOD! I won't go into details, but we managed to eat 4.5 lbs. of bacon in one day between 9 people).

Since I last blogged, I've spent many an evening at the ballpark, took a quick trip to Philly & spent a wonderful weekend with friends at our lake house. At some point I'll tell you about the most amazing meal I ate in Philly, but for now I'll share with you what I made for dinner last night.

Background: This year I decided to plant cherry tomatoes along with my usual herbs. Who knew one plant would produce SO MANY tomatoes?! About a week & a half ago, they started turning red. We had to pick them immediately or these pesky little doves that have taken up residence on our porch would eat them. (If it were dove season, they'd be on the table WITH the tomatoes...if you know what I mean). Needless to say, I had a lot of tomatoes that needed to be used up.

I knew I wanted to do some kind of vegetable/orzo dish, so I did a quick search on All Recipes listing some ingredients I had on hand. I found a recipe for Orzo with Roasted Vegetables, tweaked it a bit & it turned out delicious!


* 1 zucchini, sliced
* 1 summer squash, sliced
* 1 onion, cut into chunks
* 12 or more cherry tomatoes
* 2 handfulls of thickly sliced mushrooms
* fresh herbs, chopped
* 2 - 3 cloves garlic, minced
* 3 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 pinch white sugar
* salt and black pepper to taste
* 1 tbsp. butter
* 2.5 tsp chicken bouillon
* 1/4 cup dry white wine
* 8 oz. orzo pasta (usually 1/2 a package)
* 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
* Protein of your choice (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Place the zucchini, squash, onion, tomatoes, mushrooms and herbs in a large bowl.

3. In a small bowl combine garlic, olive oil and sugar. Pour over vegetables and stir gently to coat.

4. Spread vegetables in a single layer on a lightly greased baking sheet, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

5. Roast vegetables until tender, 15 to 20 minutes or until done to your likeness, stirring half way through.

6. Bring a pot of lightly salted water to boil.

7. In a skillet, melt 1 tbsp. butter. Add orzo & toast, stirring often, until orzo are a light brown.

8. Remove orzo from heat & add to boiling water along with bouillon and wine. Cook until al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain.

9. Stir in roasted vegetables and protein of your choice (I used grilled chicken).

10. Top with Parmesan cheese & serve!

My Tid-Bits:

* I really like dishes like these because they have your protein, veggies & starch all in one! Easy to make & less to clean up (although The Hubs may disagree on that one).

* For the protein, both chicken (grilled or rotisserie from the store) or shrimp would be really good.

* You can easily substitute your favorite veggies for those listed above.

* Herbs: I used basil, sage & thyme

* The toasting of the orzo can be skipped, but toasted orzo just tastes so yummy!