Saturday, June 26, 2010

Broccoli Salad!!!

It was an ordinary Tuesday. Bratwurst night. On the menu, I had listed mac and cheese, and broccoli salad. I had never tried the broccoli salad recipe before, and feared I would not like it, but had high hopes. I wanted to like it. It was nice and cool for summer, healthy... I am trying to incorporate more side dishes into my repertoire, though, so I was giving it a shot. Who knew this broccoli salad would become my new favorite summer recipe? I have made it three times since my initial discovery. It is so good! (Also that night we had BBQ ed Brats and a box of mac 'n cheese from Aldi. The broccoli salad clearly stole the show, and, incidentally, took the most effort.)

Broccoli Salad

Sweet-Hot Pecans:
4 teaspoons sugar
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1/2 cup pecan halves, broken into coarse pieces

2 (6 oz.) containers Orange yogurt
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/8 teaspoon salt

5 cups fresh broccoli florets
2 medium mangoes
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion

Lightly spray a small skillet with cooking spray. Add sugar and pepper; mix well. Stir in pecans. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar mixture is melted and pecans are coated. Remove from heat. Set aside to cool.

In a small bowl, mix all dressing ingredients together until smooth.

Mix all salad ingredients in a large bowl. Add dressing and cooled pecans. Toss gently. Store in the refrigerator.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

My New Favorite Spicy Dish

Sadly, the restaurant Brad and I frequented for the most delicious hot wings and blue cheese dipping sauce went out of business. I wish we'd known they were in trouble, or we would've gladly visited the establishment daily. Unfortunately, though, now we have no outlet for our hot wing desires. I make a hot wing dip that is all the rage among my coworkers, but it has even less nutritional value than actual hot wings, and since you have to eat it with chips, it doesn't feel like dinner. Occassionally, I will grill some chicken breasts and coat them with Syberg's Wing Sauce (The BEST wing sauce, in my opinion ), but again, it just isn't the same. In my effort to satiate our hot wing desires, I created this recipe. Hot Wing Lasagna. It was REALLY delicious, but does not quell my lust for Seamus McDaniels's wings. Luckily, the Muny opens next week, and we will be across the street from the original location once per week where we can consume wings and blue cheese to our little hearts' desires just before sitting outside for three hours in the 80+ degree weather with 90% humidity!

Buffalo Chicken Lasagna

1 package oven ready lasagna noodles

1 jar Alfredo sauce (I used the Priano brand from Aldi)

1 tablespoon olive or other vegetable oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (8 oz) package mushrooms
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
1/2 -3/4 cup hot sauce, to taste (I used Frank's Red Hot)

2 cups ricotta cheese
1 egg
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 - 2 cups blue cheese

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Add olive oil to a preheated skillet. Add onions, garlic, mushrooms and chicken. Saute until onions and mushrooms are limp, and chicken is thoroughly cooked. Add hot sauce. The mixture will be a bit liquidy.

In a small bowl, mix ricotta cheese and egg together.

Heat oven to 375 F.

Spray a 11 x 7 inch pan or an 8x8 inch pan with cooking spray. Pour a little less than half of the Alfredo sauce in the bottom of the pan, and spread evenly. Lay 3 lasagna noodles across the bottom of the pan. Spread 1/2 of the ricotta/ egg mixture over the noodles. Spread 1/2 of the chicken mixture over the ricotta. Sprinkle 1/2 of the blue cheese over the chicken mixture. Sprinkle 2/3 cup mozzarella cheese over the blue cheese. Layer 3 additional lasagna noodles over the mozzarella cheese, followed by the remaining ricotta mixture, the remaining chicken mixture, the remaining blue cheese, and 2/3 cup mozzarella. Layer 3 final lasagna noodles. Spread remaining Alfredo sauce evenly over the top of the noodles. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese. Wrap tightly in aluminum foil, and bake in preheated over for 60 minutes. After 60 minutes, unwrap the lasagna. If the top appears dry, add a small amount (a tablespoon or two) of water or milk. Then, return lasagna, uncovered, to the oven for 10 minutes or until cheese on top is melted and bubbly. Enjoy! (I certainly did!)

If I were to make this in a 13X7 inch pan, I would obviously use more lasagna noodles, but I think I would adjust in the following manner: 2 jars Alfredo sauce, 4 garlic cloves, 2 packages of mushrooms, 1 -1/2 cups hot sauce, 4 chicken breasts, 4 cups mozzarella and 2 cups blue cheese. I would not add any more ricotta, egg, or onion. You can also leave the blue cheese out altogether if you do not care for blue cheese. I, however LOVE blue cheese.

This delicious cobbler was super easy to make. I used 2 cups strawberries and 1/2 cup each of blackberries and raspberries, but you could also use blueberries, apples, peaches, or nectarines.
Triple Berry Cobbler
3 cups mixed berries
4 tablespoons butter, melted
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon sugar
Prepare an 8 or 9 inch pan by spraying with cooking spray.
In a medium sized bowl, whisk flour, 3/4 cup of sugar, baking powder and salt. Add milk; whisk to form a smooth batter. Pour batter into pan, then scatter fruit over batter. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar.

Bake until batter browns and fruit bubbles, 50 to 60 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature with a dollop of whipped cream or a small scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Shish Kababs and Fruit Salad... Yummy Yummy...

The photo below makes me think I need to create a staging area for my photos. You can tell by the junk in the background I had just made my quarterly trip to Wal-Mart for razors and Q-Tips and carpet cleaner, and all that stuff you wonder how the cavemen lived without.

On this evening, I had eaten supper with my parents at a delicious restaurant called Gulf Shores, but I had promised Brad I'd cook him dinner, so at eleven at night, I am outside, by soft glow of the streetlight and the light emanating from the open garage door behind me, trying to grill shish kabobs. I honestly do not know how they turned out, because I didn't eat any of them, but Brad ate what I gave him, and then took the leftovers for lunch for three days, so I am guessing they were yummy.

Bacon-Wrapped Marinated Chicken Shish Kabobs (From Allrecipes)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons canola oil
10 large mushrooms, cut in half
2 green onions, minced
3 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into chunks
1/2 pound sliced thick cut bacon, cut in half
1 (8 ounce) can pineapple chunks, drained

In a large bowl, mix the soy sauce, cider vinegar, honey, canola oil, and green onions. Place the mushrooms and chicken into the mixture, and stir to coat. Cover, and marinate in the refrigerator at least 1 hour.

Preheat grill for high heat.

Wrap the chicken chunks with bacon, and thread onto skewers so that the bacon is secured. Alternate with mushroom halves and pineapple chunks.

Lightly oil the grill grate. Arrange skewers on the prepared grill. Cook 15 to 20 minutes, brushing occasionally with remaining soy sauce mixture, until bacon is crisp and chicken juices run clear.

With this, I also made a Noodle-Roni Pasta Pouch of Terryaki Noodles, and a light and delicious fresh fruit salad.

Fruited Jicama Salad
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons water
1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel

1 cup peeled jicama strips
1 medium apple, unpeeled, cored and thinly sliced
1 (8 oz) can pineapple chunks, drained

In a small container with a tight fitting lid, shake all dressing ingredients together. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix all salad ingredients. Pour dressing over salad; toss lightly to coat. Cover and refrigerate until serving time.

This was a nice, fresh, light treat. The dressing prevents the apples from browning, so the salad stays delicious for about 3 days. 1 cup of peeled jicama strips is about 1/3 of the jicama, though, so I would recommend looking up other jicama recipes as not to waste the remainder of the ... vegetable. I think it is a vegetable. We are going to go with vegetable.

Friday, June 11, 2010


I have perfected my dry rub. So far, I have only used it on ribs, but I think it would be good on Chicken and Pork, as well. The following recipe makes enough rub for 4 slabs of ribs.

Adrienne's Dry Rub for Ribs

3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup seasoned salt
2 tablespoons finely ground pepper
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Place all ingredients in ziplock bag or a container with a lid. Shake to mix well. Generously rub on both sides of full racks of ribs. (The moisture of the meat will mix with the rub, so when you are finished, it will no longer look "dry.")

Allow ribs to sit while preparing the grill. Heat a gas grill to medium. When grill is hot, begin cooking ribs. Place one rack of ribs in the center of main grill rack. Cook for 5 minutes, meatiest side down. Then, move the ribs to the far side of the top grill rack, meatiest side up. Repeat for the remaining racks of ribs. Angle the ribs on the top grill shelf so the meatiest sides are facing out and they are stacked, one in front of the other at an angle. Turn off the heat of the burner directly below the ribs. Turn the other burner to low. Close the grill lid. In 30 minutes, move the position of the ribs. Flip each rack over, so the side closet to the flame is now farthest away from the flame, with the meatiest side still facing forward, and the rack that was in the front is now in the back. Continue to flip every 30 minutes until the outsides are crispy and the meat is tender. (approximately 3 1/2 hours for baby back ribs, 5 hours for spare ribs). Slice into smaller chunks and serve.

I served it with roasted potatoes and garlic. Brad doesn't like potatoes, and he loved these so much, he asked for them two days in a row.

Roasted New Potatoes and Garlic (From Pioneer Woman)

20 whole Small To Medium New Potatoes
5 whole Heads Of Garlic
⅓ to 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
⅓ to 1/2 Cup Dry White Wine
Kosher Salt To Taste
Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste

Quarter new potatoes and set on a large rimmed baking sheet. Lop off the very top of each garlic head and arrange throughout the potatoes. Drizzle olive oil over the tops of the garlic and all over potatoes; do the same with the wine.

Generously season the potatoes and garlic with salt and pepper. Toss potatoes to coat. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking for 20 to 30 minutes until nice and golden.

I'm Back!

I don't know if anyone still reads this, especially because I had pretty much abandoned my blog for about a year, but I am back, now. It was a rough school year, but now it is summer, and I am going to try new recipes and cook for my husband. I have some new recipes and a few photos to post, so stay tuned!