Monday, July 11, 2011

Tower of Pieces

This is a humorous post more than a recipe.  Last Saturday afternoon, my husband and 4 year old daughter surprised me with a specially made "snack."  I was greeted with the following:
"Madame, we would like to serve you a special snack.  May we tell you about it?  This is the Tower of Pieces served with a side of apple for your dining pleasure."
The recipe is as follows:
Stack 3 or 4 chocolate covered pretzels on a plate, add Reese's Pieces to the holes in the pretzels
Cut a banana in half and divide
Stand banana pieces around pretzels and top each slice with an additional Reese's Pieces
Slice apple, set to side of tower

I just love that this cooking blog is rubbing off!  They even took their own picture.

Grilled Marinated Salmon

*Just plain good.  Love how easy it is to cook salmon on the grill.

From Allrecipes

1/4 c soy sauce
1/4 c rice wine vinegar
2 T white sugar
1 T vegetable oil
1 t mustard powder
1 t ground ginger
1 t ground black pepper
2 lbs salmon fillets

1.  In a medium bowl, combine the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, oil, mustard powder, ginger and ground black pepper.
2.  Place the salmon in a shallow, nonporous dish and pour the marinade over the salmon.  Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, turning occasionally.
3.  Preheat an outdoor grill for medium high heat and lightly oil grate.
4..  Grill the fish for about 3 to 4 minutes per side, or to desired doneness.

Grilled Potatoes and Onion

From Allrecipes
*Not a bad way to cook potatoes in the summer time!  I love the idea of using foil packets on the grill--much better than using the oven that heats up your home.  This is a very adaptable recipe and can be easily adjusted to your likes.  I chose to use just olive oil instead of butter, but do whatever you like.

4 potatoes, sliced
1 onion, sliced (I used a yellow onion, but a red onion would have been nice)
1 t salt
1 t ground black pepper
butter/olive oil

1.  Preheat grill for medium heat.
2.  For each packet, measure out 2 or 3 squares of aluminum foil large enough to easily wrap the vegetables, and layer one on top of the other. Light oil the foil. Place some of the potatoes and onion in the center, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and dot with butter. Wrap into a flattened square, and seal the edges. Repeat with remaining potatoes and onion.
3. Place aluminum wrapped package over indirect heat, and cover. Cook for approximately 30 minutes, turning once. Serve hot off the grill.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pretzel Bars

From Two Peas and Their Pod taken from Food and Wine

I have to admit, I love the sweet-salty combination and I was expecting a little more from this recipe then I got, but I post it here because I think I might want to give it another shot.  I only had the pretzel sticks, next time, I'll try the pretzel twists; I think they would break up better and make for a better distribution in the cookie.  Also, I just used semi-sweet chocolate chips and I have a feeling I would have liked the bittersweet more.  My kids called them brownie-cookies (they aren't used to the bar formation!).  Baking all the dough in one batch likes this made for less time in the kitchen!

2 cups flour
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 c light brown sugar
1/2 c sugar
2 large eggs
2 t pure vanilla extract
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 c mini pretzels, coarsely chopped.
2 T chocolate sprinkles

1.  Preheat the oven to 350°. Spray a 9-by-13-inch pan with cooking spray.
2.  In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda and salt. Using a mixer, beat the butter with both sugars at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract. On low, beat in the dry ingredients, just until incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips and pretzel pieces.
3.  Spread the batter evenly in the pan. Press the batter down with a spatula. If you want to use the sprinkles, sprinkle them on top of the batter. Bake for 30 minutes, until golden brown. The middle might be a little gooey but that is ok, the bars will set up. Transfer the pan to a rack and let cool completely.
4.  Use a knife to go around the side of the pan to loosen the bars. Cut the bars in squares and serve.

Lime Chicken Soft Tacos

This was one of those days--my husband volunteered to grill up some brats and hot dogs on the grill when he got home for dinner and I thought I was set...until I realized my kids had those dreadful frozen corn dogs for lunch...I just couldn't justify letting them have hot dogs for dinner.  That's when I did a quick inventory of the fridge and found this recipe for dinner.  My husband said these were the best chicken tacos he had ever had.  I loved them, too!  Bonus, except for maybe the limes, I usually have all of these ingredients on hand.  Great recipe, cooks up fast, and very delicious served with homemade salsa.

Adapted from Allrecipes

1 1/2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken breast meat, cubed
1/8 c red wine vinegar
1 lime, juiced
1 t white 
1/2 t salt
1/2 t ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
approx 2 T chopped cilantro
flour tortillas

1.  Saute chicken over medium heat for about 20 minutes.  Add vinegar, lime juice, sugar, salt, pepper, garlic.  Simmer for extra 10 minutes, adding cilantro at the end.
2.  Warm tortillas in skillet one at a time.  Serve lime chicken mixture in warm tortillas topped with whatever taco fillings you like.

Grilled Chicken with Rosemary and Bacon

Adapted from Allrecipes

This quick and easy recipe was a cinch to put together for a quick meal.  Everyone at the table cleaned their plates clean!  Any time I can use the fresh herbs from my garden it makes me feel good.

2 cloves of garlic, minced
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
salt and pepper to taste
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
4 thick slices bacon

1.  Preheat outdoor grill for medium-high heat.
2.  Spread garlic onto chicken breasts (or use garlic powder if desired) and season with salt and pepper.  Lay one rosemary sprig on the chicken breast.  Wrap the bacon around the chicken to hold the rosemary on.  Secure the bacon with a toothpick or an additional thick rosemary stem.
3.  Lightly oil the grill grate.  Cook the chicken breasts until no longer pick in the center and juices run clear, about 6-8 minutes per side (165 degrees in center of meat).  Remove chicken from grill and cover with tinfoil.  Let stand for about 5 minutes for juices to absorb.

Oatmeal Waffles

Adapted from Allrecipes

I was a little cranky today...I swear, can my belly get any larger?  I still have more than 3 months until my baby's due date and I don't think I can grow any more.  Something hit me today and I was just plain tired...which unfortunately made me a little too snappy with my 6 year old.  How was I going to remedy that?...waffles for lunch.  Since hubby was at work, there was no reason not to try a more healthy reason.  These made a good lunch with a little butter and syrup on top.  Not very sweet, but light considering the extra fiber from the oats and whole wheat.

2 eggs, separate whites and yokes
2 cups buttermilk
1 cup oats (I used regular oats though the recipe called for quick oats and I was happy with the results)
1 T molasses
1 T vegetable oil
1 t vanilla
1 c whole wheat flour
1/2 t salt
1 t baking soda
1 t baking powder

1.  Beat egg whites until still peaks form, set aside.
2.  Mix eggs and buttermilk in large bowl.  Add oats and mix well.  Stir in molasses, vanilla, and oil.
3.  Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; stir into the wet mixture.  Fold in egg whites.
4.  Cook batter as waffles or as pancakes.