Four Foods on Friday (53)

31 10 2008

I’m so happy to be back in the blog-groove and picking up where I left off with Four Foods on Friday.

#1. What kind of pretzels are your favorite?

Soft pretzels, but not the kind that are really buttery, and I don’t like much salt either.
#2. What’s your favorite way to eat pancakes?

Made with something mixed into the batter like cinnamon or chocolate chips! Lots of butter and maple syrup.

#3. Do you make garlic bread from scratch or buy frozen?

My version of homemade garlic bread: Sprinkle garlic salt/powder on a slice of white bread. Place directly on oven rack and warm up. Delish (haha).

#4. Share a recipe that calls for mozzarella cheese.

Ohh, check out my Perfect Stuffed Peppers — made them again the other day. Always perfect!

My Favorite Quesadillas

30 10 2008

I love quesadillas. And when I say “love”, I mean LOVE. I’d eat them everyday forever if I had to. They are just that good. Lucky for me, I learned a simple, delicious recipe from my mom that makes perfect chicken quesadillas.

Obviously, you can put whatever you want in a quesadilla. So feel free to mix and match ingredients. But here’s my favorite quesadilla combination.

Stuff you need:

  • 1 ear of corn, cooked and kernels cut off the cob
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/2 lb. chicken tenders
  • Shredded cheese, Mexican blend
  • 6 tortillas
  • olive oil
  • Southwest Chipotle seasoning (I used Mrs. Dash)

What to do with that stuff:

  1. Heat olive oil in 2 skillets over medium heat.
  2. Season chicken tenders and place in one skillet.
  3. Put corn kernels in second skillet and let stand (without moving them around) for 4 to 5 minutes. Set aside.
  4. When chicken is cooked, let sit a few minutes and chop into bite size pieces. Set aside.
  5. Add small amount of olive oil to skillet that chicken was cooked in and saute vegetables until tender. Don’t forget to season with Southwest Chipotle seasoning.
  6. When done, set vegetables aside with with corn and chicken.
  7. Wipe out skillet corn was cooked in and place one tortilla in skillet.
  8. Warm tortilla and flip until warmed through. Set on plate under paper towel. Repeat until all tortillas are warmed through.
  9. Place one pre-warmed tortilla in bottom of skillet.
  10. Sprinkle with cheese, chicken and vegetable mix.
  11. Sprinkle with more cheese and place a tortilla on top.
  12. Allow quesadilla to warm. Once cheese is very melty, flip and let warm a little while longer.
  13. Cut into triangles and top with sour cream, salsa, etc etc.
  14. ENJOY!

I’m a Mrs.!

18 10 2008

Guess who’s married! That’s right, I’m now a Mrs. 🙂

I’ve been back home since Monday, after WH (wonderful HUSBAND – weird) and I went on our “mini-moon” to the Biltmore/Asheville/Blue Ridge Parkway for the weekend. We are planning an actual honeymoon for December.

Anyway, we’ve been sorting through the mountains of gifts we received and I’m happy to report some fun new gadgets should be popping up in posts soon.

Speaking of posts, I am anxious to get back into things now that I’m somewhat re-settled. Look for new posts to come soon. I have applied for a part-time job which I am praying I will get. But hopefully that will not interfere too much with this blog (priorities, people!) 😉

Until my next post, hope everyone is doing well!

Macaroni and 3 Cheeses

6 10 2008

Yes, another pre-wedding post 🙂

As promised, Part 2 of the Rachel Ray 30-Minute Meal!  Mac & 3 Cheeses.  Can you say DELISH?

This was the easier of the two recipes for the dinner and WF even requested the recipe so he could make it for himself while I’m at my parents’ getting ready for the wedding.  Anytime WF wants to make the recipe himself, I know I’ve done a good job.  But are we really surprised?  I mean, it’s a pasta dish.

I was planning to use gemelli pasta because I thought we still had some, but I was wrong.  So I used rotini which was fine, but I definitely recommend something like gemelli or cavatappi.

I also didn’t enjoy the bread crumbs on top like I normally enjoy bread crumbs.  I think I was looking for the creamy, smooth texture of mac and cheese and the bread crumbs just messed with that a bit.  WF liked them though.

The recipe calls for fresh thyme, rosemary & parsley.  I only used fresh parsley and went dried for the other two.  Not a big deal, as far as I could tell.

Mac & 3 Cheeses

Serves 2 or 3

Stuff you need:

  • 1/2 lb. pasta
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1 c. shredded sharp cheddar
  • 1/4 c. shredded Asiago
  • 1/4 c. shredded Parmesan
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 c. Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme (or use dried)
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary (or use dried)
  • 1/8 c. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsely

What to do with that stuff:

  1. Set oven to broiler setting.
  2. Put a large pot of water on to boil and cook pasta until slightly undercooked.
  3. Melt butter in a saucepan and stir in flour.
  4. Whisk in milk.
  5. Bring to a bubble.
  6. Cook to thicken milk, 2 to 3 minutes.
  7. Add cheddar, Asiago, Parmesan, and black pepper.
  8. Stir to melt cheese.
  9. Drain pasta and combine with cheese sauce and transfer to a baking dish.
  10. Place bread crumbs in a bowl, add olive oil, thyme, rosemary, and parsley.
  11. Stir to combine and top the pasta and cheese.
  12. Place under broiler to brown bread crumbs.

Source: [5]

Italian (Not So Mini) Mini Meat Loaves

5 10 2008

I know what you’re thinking… “Isn’t she getting married in 5 days?  Didn’t she say she wouldn’t be posting until after she got back from the wedding?”  Yes, and yes.  But it seems that my mom and I have done some fabulous planning and preparing because we aren’t running around like women who are involved in a wedding in 5 days.  I was actually feeling a little bored the other day because there was not much left to do.  This is incredibly unlike my mom and me.  Go us!  I have to admit I am trying not to jinx us, which I kind of already did when I said to my mom “I don’t want to jinx us but I think we are going to be pretty chill next week.”  Wanna know what happened?  My laptop crashed.  The laptop with the ceremony program on it.  I am close to tears over this situation because I’m not sure how to fix it and I think I might lose everything.  I just keep thinking about all my pictures… the horror!  (I do have an older version of the ceremony program on my memory stick, so that crisis has been averted).

So like I said, hoping to not get jinxed again by doing this post.  This does actually count as preparing for the wedding though because I need to clear our digital cameras of pictures, which means food pictures too.  So why not just post already?  For your blog-reading pleasure, I give you a post 😉


Apparently I was brave when I planned meals for a couple weeks ago because I chose 2 recipes from Rachel Ray and one of those recipes was a 2-parter!  Gosh what was I thinking?  I’ll tell you what I was thinking.  “Rachel Ray’s crazed recipes are no match for me!  I can handle her multi-tasking instructions.”  And you know what?  All RR recipes were quite successul that week 🙂

The other night I attempted the Italian (Not So Mini) Mini Meat Loaves with Macaroni & 3 Cheeses (upcoming post will feature Part 2).  This dinner was a big risk because WF has said (several times) that he does not like meatloaf.  But I just had to try it anyway because it’s not just a slab of beef dried out in the oven.  It’s got peppers! And onions!  I mean how can you not like that??

I kept telling WF all week “Just promise me you’ll try it.  It’s gonna be good, I guarantee it.”  So what was the outcome?  WF actually enjoyed the meatloaf.  I won’t say he loved it, because I think that would be a lie and I don’t want to lie to all you dear people.  BUT I will say that he actually ate a good amount of it and told me that it tasted better than it looked.  Well, meatloaf isn’t exactly the prettiest food, but it tries, so I cut it some slack.

I have dubbed this recipe Italian (Not So Mini) Mini Meat Loaves because I tried to “half” the recipe to make 2 loaves instead of 4.  And well, the loaves I ended up making are not mini.  See:

Italian (Not So Mini) Mini Meat Loaves

Serves 2-3

Stuff you need:

  • 2/3 lb. ground beef
  • 2 Tbsp. beaten egg (see other info)
  • 1/3 c. Italian bread crumbs
  • 1/8 c. grated Paremsan cheese
  • 1/4 small green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil

What to do with that stuff:

  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Place meat in a bowl and make a well in the meat.
  3. Fill well with egg, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, bell pepper, onion, garlic, tomato paste, salt, and pepper.
  4. Mix meat and breading and form 2 (or 3) individual oval meat loaves, about 1-inch thick.
  5. Coat loaves with 2 Tbsp. olive oil and arrange on a baking sheet.
  6. Roast 18 to 20 minutes.

Source: [5]

Other stuff you might want to know:

I learned from a cookbook that an egg is approximately 4 Tbsp.  So to cut a recipe in half that calls for 1 egg, you crack the entire egg and beat it with a fork.  Then measure out 2 Tbsp and voila: half an egg! Source: [8]