Olive you 

24 Feb

  
Crusty, chewy bread from the local bakery and a FREE bottle of olive oil (courtesy of Influenster and Filippo Berio)…what more could you need on a crazy weather night?!

As a member for the Influenster community, I’ve been given a variety of items to try and then review. Up until now the items have aged me quite a bit. No offense Influenster, but airbrush tanning/makeup for the legs and pantyliners are NOT really how I’d classify myself. I’m a physical therapist by profession and I have a young family. We enjoy being active together and eating healthy. So FINALLY they “qualified” me for a decent review: olive oil.

I was sent a mailer with a neat magnet and various coupons, along with one for a free bottle of oil.  

magnet with olive oil and butter equivalents


So I decided to sauté some chopped garlic in the oil, then add some beef patties. Meanwhile, I steamed some spinach and cut up the bread. After the meat was finished, I added a dash of flour to the pan and made a quick roux. Then added some salt, pepper, and worshestershire sauce and made a gravy. 
The kids ate it up and the gravy was a hit. I’ve actually never made gravy using dripping from an olive oil base. This one was great. The flavor wasn’t near as heavy as many cream/pepper gravies I’ve eaten or made. 

I used the “Robusto” variety. It wasn’t as full bodied as I was expecting, but delicious nonetheless. 

  
My plan is to use my coupons to get the “Delicato” oil and have a tasting party. We’ll see!

Disclaimer: the reviews expressed in the post are my own. Influenster and Filippo Berio provided the oil in return for a review. No other compensation was rendered. 

 

Potbelly Men Pie

22 Feb

I can totally imagine my grandma with me this evening as I made dinner. We had some extra chicken left from dinner last night and I had it in my head to make a pot pie. I never have, but was wanting to nonetheless. 

I got some groceries today and in that trip I also purchased some Banquet brand frozen, individual pot pies…just in case mine turned out poorly. Ha ha. 

Needless to say, the frozen pies are still frozen. 

This was one of the simplest recipes I’ve done in a long time. AND it is my own. Although, I’m sure there are many other recipes the same or similar, but I digress. 

This is a two-crust pie. You could make it in a ceramic baking dish and just have one crust on top, but I think the two crusts make a huge difference. 

It’s simple: veggies, chicken, cream of (insert mushroom, chicken, or broccoli here), some broth and that’s it! 

diced or pulled chicken, mixed veggies, cream of chicken

I decided to be a little creative with my top crust and use shapes instead of slits to vent the heat. 

mr. potbelly man (no gingerbread here) with my newest preserves in the background

 
The final result was beautiful:

the edges were a little more brown that preferred, but yummy anyway

 
Potbelly Men Pie

  • 1.5 cups chicken, cooked and diced or pulled
  • 1.5 cups frozen mixed veggies, thawed
  • 1 can cream of xxxxxx soup (I used chicken), regular sized can not family size
  • 3/4 cup of stock (veggie or chicken), I used veggie made from bouillon cubes, PLUS three tablespoons of flour
  • Two pie crusts

Preheat oven to 400°.  Mix the chicken, veggies, soup and stock. Pour into pie plate lined with first crust. Place second crust on top and either make shapes with cookie cutter or poke holes in top to vent.  Bake for approximately 40 minutes, until the middle/top is golden brown. Keep an eye on the edges and cover with foil if they get too brown. 

Serve with a salad or applesauce. Anything light to balance the heaviness of the pie. Serves 6-8

Trash talk

29 Nov

So this Friday will mark a new chapter in my family’s Christmas traditions. We are hosting our inaugural ugly Christmas sweater party. I’m super stoked. 

With a holiday party comes all the food stuffs too. So of course I went directly to the best source of holiday recipes: my mom. Oh my goodness y’all. My mom used to throw some killer Christmas parties. I’m pretty sure she spent an entire month’s grocery budget on the food for said parties too. The smells that wafted through the house, from December 1-25 were heavenly. 

One of my favorite things she’d make was Texas Trash. Basically a homemade Chex mix. I’m sure she included a small amount of questionable ingredients because it was so addictive. Ha ha. And whatever didn’t get consumed at the party would be leftover and only got better with time. It’s great to gift and even better to “taste test.”

Sow without further ado, I give you Cheryl’s Texas Trash  

right out of the oven

   

  • 3C corn squares cereal 
  • 3C rice squares cereal
  • 1C of wheat squares, “Os” cereal (Cheerios), or Kix – I use store brand Tasteeos
  • 1C mixed nuts 
  • 1.5C mini pretzels 
  • 6 TBSP butter
  • 2 TBSP Worstchestershire Sauce 
  • 1.5 tsp seasoned salt

Preheat oven to 250°F. Melt butter and combine with salt and sauce. Pour over cereals/nuts and toss until coated. This may seem like not enough butter/seasoning, but just keep tossing. On a sided cookie sheet or roasting pan, spread mixture in single layer (it probably will make two pans). Bake for 60 minutes, tossing every 15 minutes. When done, transfer to countertop on paper towels to cool and to allow for any additional oils to drain off. Once cooled, transfer into an airtight container. 

Christmas tins are perfect to put them into and then gift. 
I wish I had some smell-o-vision for you right now. 

It never happened. 

26 Nov

Picking a recipe from Grandma, I mean. I didn’t have pie crust, I didn’t want to thaw any fruit, and I just didn’t want to spend forever in the kitchen. 

So, I opted for a fruit salad with homemade vanilla whipped cream and a honey simple syrup. The plan is to let the kids (and older “kids”) use waffle cones for cornucopia sand fill them with fruit, whipped cream, and/or vanilla pudding. 

I also wanted to make sangria. No particular reason, I just wanted to. It’s a SUPER simple recipe and I used an info graphic from Wine Enthusiast to guide me. Yeah, sure, sangria is basically a wine Hunch Punch, but I am a fairly snobby person when it comes to the red concoction. I tried to find the link to the graphic, but could only find it on Pinterest. 

 
  

I’m not above buying premade Sangria either! Why try to make something that’s already been perfected?! Needless to say, those were my ingredients: $5 Argentinian red wine, $4 sparkling peach wine, $5 Brandy, and $3.98 peach schnapps. I also added pears, apples, oranges and lemon juice, along with a 1/4 cup of OJ. Let’s just say that it smelled much better this morning after it being in the fridge all night.  
Anyway, we are now en route with the least amount of food I’ve ever had to take to someone’s house for a holiday…ever! Whoop! 
Amber’s notes: Be thankful all year, not just during this season. Give generously, love unconditionally, and never be afraid to dance in the rain. 

It’s time….

25 Nov

…to brush off the cookbook and get back to trying out Grandma’s recipes. What better way to do so, than for Thanksgiving?!

We actually had a traditional dinner two weeks ago when my sister and her family were visiting. Tomorrow, we are heading to my stepdaughter’s house for a not-so-traditional meal of lasagna. Who does that?! However, it will be a nice change from all the typical foods at this time of year. 

So, I have a carton of whipping cream already in the fridge. I’m thinking a cream pie, or crust less pie. We will see what Grandma has to say about it. 

Grandma would be proud

19 Jan

I tried my hand at merengue last night. Let’s just say that in the world of baking, a stand mixed would be worth it’s weight in gold if I made these types of pies regularly.

In an effort to become a healthier family, we are starting to cut back on refined sugars and processed foods. So, to use what we already had, I gabbed the cookbook and did. Quick search. I’m not sure why chocolate, but I’m glad I started making it.

It was delicious.

8/31/96- George with his tractor is mowing around my house and chicken house. Lance visited; sprayed wasp nest in carport. 9/3/96- all my 85 3/4 yrs, my family grew sweet potatoes, but I never saw or heard of these beautiful orchid colored blooms w/reddish purple colored throat until this year. YOU LORD ARE MASTER OF THE EARTH. GIVE STRENGTH TO YOUR PEOPLE.

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Banana Jasmine Rice Pudding

8 Jan

We had Frito Pie last night for dinner. If you aren’t familiar with that, you’ve probably never been a Texan or been in the general vicinity of a Texan. But that’s pseudo-forgivable and the recipe is super easy. Take Fritos and put chili and shredded cheese on top. Now, some places will try to peddle you some rubbish about jalapeños, onions, or olives on top of these “pies.” They, my friend, are smoking the proverbial crack. This is a simple dish, easy, and tasty. That’s all.

With all that said, I wanted a little more substance with my bowl, so I decided to make a bag of rice. Yes, bag. As in boil-in-the-bag rice. Thank you, Uncle Ben, for taking the head work out of rice. Well, once the rice was done, I realized that no one else would want rice in their dish. But they would eat pudding made from the rice. So began a search for easy rice pudding.

I grabbed the first recipe I found, but needed to make alterations to it because I either didn’t have the ingredients or didn’t want to use them.

So, enjoy this rice pudding. I also included alternative ingredients to suit your dietary whims.

Banana Jasmine Rice Puddin
• 1 bag, cooked, of boil-in-bag jasmine rice
• Approx. 1.75 cups almond milk
• 3/4 cup granulated sugar (I’d even cut that back to 1/3 or 1/2 cup because of the banana)
• 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
• ***optional 1egg yolk for a more “sturdy” pudding, but tempering it is a pain***
• 2 Tbsp. butter/margarine/butter substitute
• 1 banana chopped or mashed
• ½ tsp. salt

Bring to a boil the rice, sugar, milk and vanilla. Lower to a simmer 25 min., stirring occasionally every 3-4 minutes. Add mashed bananas, salt, and butter (& egg) and cook 2 min more. Let set in fridge.

We topped ours with whipped cream, but you could sprinkle a little brown sugar, cinnamon, or chopped nuts on top. I had a serving this morning for breakfast, but I was a little overwhelmed by the banana flavor and the overtly sweet nature of the entire thing. Next time I’ll cut back the sugar (as I noted above) and I might even cut the banana in half. But it was good nonetheless.

Grandma’s notes: this was not one of her recipes, but I think she’d have made it and it would have been perfect warm, on a cold, rainy day.

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