Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Cucumber Salad

I love cucumbers dipped in ranch!! They are so good, especially when you pile pepper on them before dipping.

This picture drew me in because it looked super juicy and flavorful and like you could just eat this salad by the handful.

I made the salad with exact ingredient amounts that it said. As I was mixing, it didn't seem to be that much.

Upon mixing everything together, I took my first taste. It tasted like cucumbers with a hint of something else. A very SMALL hint. It looked and tasted nothing like the picture.

Upon closer examination, I realized the picture had ranch in it and there was no ranch in the recipe. So I guess the ranch helped add to the juicy look. And I fell for it. Completely disappointed with this one. I didn't go back and add ranch. That might have made a difference.

Deceived. Once again.


Saturday, June 22, 2013

Rainbow Pinwheel Cookies

I attempted the impossible today! Yep, I attempted these pinwheel Dr. Suess cookies and they were impossible.



Let me start with the best part. Baby was napping so Husband decided to help out (all he really did was lick the bowl but it was fun anyway).

The directions were very clear, very easy to understand and read.

Step 1- mix the ingredients according to the package. So I did.

Step 2- divide the batter into 5 different bowls and add the food coloring. So I did. Have you read that article about food coloring being cancerous?? I never want to eat anything in America again. Read the article here.

Step 3- roll each color dough into grape size balls.

Or not.

This is where I encounter problem #1. As you can see, rolling isn't happening. There were no directions about chilling the dough (which would have made sense) or slathering my hands in butter so it wouldn't stick. Nope. Just good old fashioned rolling. BUT....I rolled with it and added my other colors.

Step 4? 5?- Roll the ball between your hand and the counter until you have a cylinder about 12" long.

Nailed it!

I was then supposed to roll that cylinder of dough into a coil. Um, impossible. Quite literally impossible. BUT...I kept on.

I made the cookie, and I dipped the edge in the sprinkles, exactly like the recipe said to do. Verbatim.

Yep. Followed directions.

I sure did plop that thing on the cookie sheet. As distraught as I was that my pinwheels were very obviously not going to happen, I wasn't going to let the cookie dough go to waste. So Husband gave me the great idea of just joining all the colors together again and having multicolored cookies. At least they would be pretty. So I did.

Upon getting the cookie on the cookie sheet, I figured that since I already dipped cookie dough in the sprinkles that I should use them ALL. I looked Husband straight in the face, paused, and uttered my final cookie words.


He said that was dumb.

Those stupid little things are all over my kitchen. Bad call on my part.

Unfortunately, the sprinkles didn't stay as condensed as I would have liked when they were done. And the cookies looked half horrible.

Soooooooooo would I recommend you make these? No. But in the comment section of this link, there are people that are all like "Oh! Mine turned out great!". Whatever.

Oh well!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Father's Day

I got creative this year and made coupons for Husband for Father's Day. He is unfortunately using the crap out of them. He used three yesterday alone.

Genius, huh?

Cinnamon Zucchini Bread

I am famous for two things:

1. My pumpkin cinnamon chocolate chip cookies

2. My cinnamon zucchini bread

I do not give out the recipe for my cookies because I can almost guarantee I am the only person in Texas with this recipe considering I got it from an old friend from California's mom. Every time I make these for an event, I get assaulted for the recipe so therefore, I am famous for the cookies.

But my zucchini bread, I am willing to share this recipe because it's just that good. I get asked for this recipe a LOT so I will share with everyone and now YOU will be the one that's popular. You'll be "the bread lady".

So enjoy and you're welcome :)

3 cups shredded zucchini
1 2/3 c. sugar
2/3 c. vegetable oil (you can use canola if you want)
2 tsp. vanilla
4 eggs
3 c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon (now if you're a cinnamon freak like me, use 3)
1/2 tsp. baking powder

3 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. butter

Spray 2 8x4 pans. In bowl, mix zucchini, sugar, oil, vanilla and eggs. Add remaining bread ingredients. Divide batter evenly.

Mix topping and spread over loaves.

Cook for 50-60 minutes at 350.

Here is what I've learned over the years. Spray the pans GOOD so the bread doesn't break up when you turn it over to get it out. Also, for the topping, make sure you do NOT melt the butter to make the topping. It can be kind of hard to spread on the loaves but if you melt it, the top of the bread will come out soggy instead of crispy. And trust me, that cinnamon crunch on the top is to die for.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Chicken & Asparagus Stir Fry

I could very easily make a pro/con list for this recipe.

- I was able to use leftover rice from the nasty Santa Fe Chicken recipe.

- Everything else.

This was an absolute warfare attack on my taste buds. I guess I could equate it to bird poop landing in your mouth. This was SO SO SO nasty that I took about 3 bites and starved to death that night. I love Husband because he will eat anything I cook, just because I cooked it. But he struggled with this one. He deserves a fist bump and a beer.

My first problem is the so called marinade. 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and 1 tablespoon of honey to marinate TWO chicken breasts? Please.

And the scallions? I get shallots, scallions and scallops confused. You probably do too. So instead of scallions, I accidentally used shallots. I'm sure it would have been extra nasty had I used scallops. But I REALLY don't think that was the problem!! Plus I would prefer that the entire world just use the words "chives" instead of green onions/scallions. Perhaps it's a Texas thing.

So I think the big, huge, GIGANTIC turn off was the sesame oil. I mean, holy crap. It was awful.

There, you have my review of this recipe. I hope you weren't super excited to try this one because I know that I totally just burst your bubble.

I DARE you to try this and tell me you liked it!!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken

I have never had a weight watchers meal before. I am not on any kind of diet program but I figured as popular as weight watchers is, that this meal was probably pretty good. It has a bunch of the good ingredients that make up all sorts of yummy dishes.

As with most crockpot recipes, you just dump everything in and wait. It smelled delicious!!

Oh how the smells of the kitchen can be deceiving. Believe it or not, this dish had very little flavor in the end despite all the flavored ingredients and it was SO boring. So boring in fact that I didn't even finish it. Husband said it was "Eh, ok" and the leftovers (and there were a ton) just sat in the fridge all sorts of lonely until I threw them out because they were taking up space.

The good news is that I got to use the leftover rice for another recipe that ended up being repulsive.

I do not recommend this meal unless you're boring :)

On to the next one...

Monday, June 10, 2013

Salted Pretzel Caramel Brownies

There's NOOOO getting around it. I "fudged" this one up!! Get it? :)

This did not go as planned. At all. By any means. Huge mess. Huge disaster but I covered it up like a pro!

When it came time to pour the brownie batter in, you had two options. Parchment paper, or spray. I chose spray because I've never used parchment paper, plus I didn't have any. So I sprayed the crap out of that 8x8.

I'm wishing I had used parchment paper (are you taking notes?) because when it was time to get the brownies out of the pan, I assumed I could just turn them over and they would plop out onto the cooling rack, kind of like a cake does (are you laughing at me??). After all, I sprayed quite a bit beforehand. Did that happen? No. I turned them over and they just stayed in the pan. I gave it a little wiggle. Nothing.

Hm. I was taking most of these to my daycare so I wanted them to look pretty. I didn't want to put the caramel on top and THEN cut them out because the caramel would just be everywhere. Plus I wanted little bit size pieces. So I tried something else...and failed....quite miserably....

Ok, so only about half the brownies got butchered to the point of not being able to gift them. BUT my idea was still a possibility. I thought I would be smart and pour the caramel on top of them while on a rack and still easily cut them. It kinda worked...

Not bad!! Now as far as cutting them into small pieces, well, that just got ugly but I semi accomplished it. They weren't perfect little squares like I had hoped but life isn't perfect, and neither were these.

I wouldn't recommend trying to get small pieces with this recipe. Just doesn't work. As far as taste, it wasn't bad. The salt completely threw my mouth off. It was confused. Pretzels weren't as crunchy as I thought they would be. But give it a shot and see if you can do better!!


Chicken Alfredo Roll-Ups

First of all, does anyone else struggle with cooking lasagna noodles? Am I the only idiot that can't do it without ruining half of them?

With that said, the recipe called for 9 noodles but I put in 11 or 12 because I'm ridiculous and knew I would screw up, which I did. But I ended up having enough whole noodles to make this recipe.

This lady recommends making homemade alfredo sauce. If I had the time or energy, I probably would have but I decided to go with a favorite...Classico. Their alfredo sauce is the bomb. As far as cheese of my choosing, I went with mozarella.

Putting this together was a little bit time consuming, but there were no major mishaps (which is starting to be unfortunate because I'm getting so good at cooking that I have nothing fun to share!!!!), and the cooking time was reasonable.

I served this with cubed and grilled zucchini, seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic powder.

The final verdict? Husband- "This is the best dinner we've had in a while."

Yes, folks. 10 out of 10. This might trump the herb chicken, or maybe tie. This was so so so good. The lady who came up with this recipe deserves a high five!

Give this one a try!!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Asparagus Scrambled Eggs with Bacon & Cheese

I'm adding one of my own yummy meals to the blog for today. This recipe is an offshoot of a recipe I have in a "Cook This, Not That" cookbook. I like my version better so that's why I'm sharing it. The ingredient list is simple:

I didn't feel like fitting 8 eggs on the board.

1 bunch of asparagus
Colby Jack cheese (handful)
8-10 slices of cooked bacon
8 eggs
1 tbsp. butter
salt & pepper to taste

What I love about this meal is that the asparagus adds a nice crunch to the soft eggs and cheese and then the bacon comes in there and just blows your taste buds up!!

1. Add butter to skillet over medium heat. Chop asparagus into 1" pieces and throw (not literally) into the skillet. Season with salt and pepper and cook until semi soft (7-10 minutes).

2. In the meantime, if you're lazy like me, microwave your bacon. Also, put your eggs into a bowl, stir until well mixed then grab a generous handful of cheese and chunk it in the bowl. Stir together. Add more salt and pepper if you're feeling funky.

3. When your bacon is done, cut it up into small pieces, about 1 or 2 inches. Once the asparagus starts to REALLY smell good, dump in your egg/cheese mixture and your bacon. This part cooks fast so be ready, ninja spatula skills on high alert.

If you want variation with this meal, you can substitute ham or salmon for the bacon and try different types of cheeses. The original recipe calls for Feta, and I'll admit that it's pretty good.

So I hope you try and enjoy my creation because Husband and I tore this up this morning!!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Coffee & Roasted Almond Chocolate Bark

My first week of summer was AMAZING!!! There have been pros and cons.

- tons of mommy time (if I'm paying for daycare, might as well take him, right?!?)
- kind of get to sleep in
- lots of catching up on DVR & Netflix (holla!)
- clean house
- uninterrupted blogging
- time to sit down and read my book
- toast and coffee in the morning can take however long I want

- I started the workout program Insanity (puked on the first day)
- I'm working out
- it hurts
- my fat jiggles so much that I'm pulling out wedgies every two seconds
- it hurts
- I have to get up semi early to get the kid to daycare so I can start before it gets too hot
- it hurts

And worst of all...

But don't worry, I will still be making them, just to make them, but I will take the majority of it to daycare for those girls to eat because I'm sure after you've worked with toddlers all day, sweets are just what they need.

I made this treat before I decided to tackle my rear end and cellulite. If you've ever had chocolate covered espresso beans, then you can imagine what this stuff would taste like. Pure heaven. It was easy enough to make and yes, it tasted good but I have one gripe.

I did it the thickness the recipe said to but it never got hard, it was soft and pliable so it didn't give me the yummy/crunchy effect I was hoping for. Yet, still good. Next time (if there is one), I will make it less thin and maybe freeze it before indulging in it.


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Asparagus, Pea, and Saffron Risotto (with Shrimp)

Fancy  name!!

I learned about arborio rice. All I learned is that there is rice called arborio. Just fancy shaped rice. Moving on...

Since I don't drink alcohol, I never have wine on hand for recipes that require it and I don't want to go buy a whole bottle of wine when I only need less than a cup. About a month ago, I discovered small bottles of cooking wine!! Did y'all know those existed?! I DIDN'T!!!

I now have bottles of red and white cooking wine and I finally got to use one of them with this recipe. The joys of my life have somehow switched to cooking wine and my child having a hard poop. Hooray for hard poo poo!!

When making this for the first time, it can seem daunting because of all of the directions and the time limits/time frames and what not. Plus there is just a lot going on. It took me about an hour to knock this one out. I don't think it will take as long next time.

There WILL be a next time!! This was delicious!! I gave it a 7.5 out of 10. And I gave my kid's poo a 10 out of 10!!

Under the sea (under the seaaaaa)...

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Ranch Dipped Pork Chops

Another deceiving picture on Pinterest. These pork chops looks so crispy!! They are also captioned as the best pork chops you will ever eat. They obviously haven't tried the crock pot pork chops with ranch.

I did learn something new with this recipe. I learned about roasting racks. In the past, when I've tried to cook breaded anything, it was always soggy on the bottom so I quit making that stuff. I never knew roasting racks existed. GENIUS idea!!!

So I skipped to the store to get a roasting rack. While I was down that aisle, I curled my lips over my teeth, hunched over and was hitting my fingertips together in excitement as I searched for the perfect one!! The only one they had was ghetto but I got it anyway.

All you had to do was mix the dry ingredients, dip the pork chop in ranch, dip it into the mixture and place on the roasting rack.

I cooked them for the time it said but mine were not the least bit crispy. Even though the chops were done, the outside was still a little soggy. What the heck was the roasting rack for then?!?!?!

So they were ok. The chops didn't have much flavor, the only flavor came from the bread mixture. But I had faith in this recipe so I cooked it again a week or so later. I decided to leave them in the oven for about 10 more minutes to get that crispy look and taste.

Second verdict? Bleh. Same results.

Husband thought they were descent and wanted me to keep the recipe but little does he know that I didn't.


Chop it up...

Monday, June 3, 2013

Cinnamon Toast the Pioneer Woman Way

Who doesn't love the Pioneer Woman?? I have one of her cook books. And who doesn't LOVE cinnamon toast?

I guess the answer to both of those questions is....me.

When I saw the pictures of the stick of butter, the mounds of sugar and the amount of cinnamon, I really thought I was in for the jackpot of all cinnamon toast. Add the secret ingredient of vanilla, GENIUS!! I can't remember if I added nutmeg or not. I wish I did remember because it might be the reason I hated this so much.

I know what cinnamon toast is supposed to taste like. I'm ok with a little variation but THIS was not the variation. First, the toast was still super soggy. Second, the taste was just waaaaaaaay off. This stuff wasn't even in the realm of cinnamon toast anymore. It was in some other realm called "freaking nasty". Husband wasn't too fond of it either.

If neither of us like it, it's a bust.

Cry me a river of wasted cinnamon and sugar!!!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Mexican Lasagna

For this recipe, I had to go off the picture. When I went to the original website this picture came from, I couldn't find the recipe.

It looked simple enough. Beef, corn, beans, cheese, rotel, flour tortillas. She must have hired someone to make her picture look super tasty because mine tasted like crap. Barely any flavor and it completely fell apart every time I tried to cut into it.

What a bummer. Total fail.

Any ideas?

Mimosa Sorbet

To celebrate school being out, I decided that Husband and I needed to have a little drinky drink!! If you really know me, and there are a lucky few who do, you would know that I very very VERY rarely drink alcohol.

#1- I hate the taste (usually, I didn't seem to hate it the other night when I had too much of it and my coworkers will forever have text message proof )

#2- I don't handle alcohol well. Guess you could say I'm a "lightweight".

#3- I really embarrass myself. I will end the topic there.

BUT, I thought I would give it another shot because I love orange sherbert and despite my hatred of champagne, I figured it would be tasty.

Here is the picture on Pinterest...

 The caption on Pinterest says "Champagne and orange sorbet, perfect summer mimosa!"

So I said "Ok! Orange sherbert and champagne it is!!", sent Husband to get champagne and after baby went to bed, we started to have a party! Our party consisted of Phase 10.

On my first sip, I hated it. EWWWWWWWWWW!!! Of course Husband was all "YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!" 

Champagne is nasty. I told myself that the melting sherbert would save it. I suffered through for a few minutes but it didn't get any better. Few more minutes, nothing.

I ended up just scooping the sherbert out with my finger and eating it.

Now this is where things get ridiculous. I just went to the link from Pinterest to copy the picture and looked at the website this is on for the first time. There is actually a RECIPE!! What the heck?!?

Here is what I was SUPPOSED to have:

-orange marmalade
-orange zest
-orange juice
-lemon juice

Nowhere in this recipe is there sherbert. I want to get crunk on whoever captioned this pin because they really screwed me over.