Monday, February 22, 2010

Italy one week and Mexico the next...

Ever wake up in the morning and before your feet hit the floor you are already thinking about what you are gonna cook for dinner? That happened to me on Saturday and what I wanted I didn't even know if I had the ingredients or not but I was gonna make it work no matter what. Plus we were having a few people down to watch our precious University of Kentucky Wildcats play Vandy (GO CATS!!!) so I knew it had to be good food. I was craving Mexican. I have this delicious beef enchilada recipe that I think I got off of a can of enchilada sauce. It has been my "go to" recipe for enchiladas. After digging through my cabinets for all the ingredients it takes I didn't have one ingredient, salsa...can you believe it? Salsa of all things. So, I started digging for a recipe to make my own salsa...luckily found one that was EZ and I had all the ingredients for it. Was this a labor of love or craving or what? Made up the salsa recipe and let it sit 4 hours before I used it like the recipe said. Salsa was made before breakfast. You can either use store bought salsa like I usually do or you can try my EZ salsa recipe. I will have to say that the homemade salsa really gave the enchiladas that extra "kick" and some of the comments from my friends were that they tasted like "authentic" Mexican compliment I could possibly get 'eh? Hope you enjoy this!

Mexican Beef Enchiladas
1 lb. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
16 oz. salsa
1 garlic clove, minced
2 t. chili powder (I think this is the secret ingredient)
12 tortillas
(2) (10 oz.) cans red enchilada sauce (the recipe calls for only one but I love this stuff)
1-1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese (I usually use Mexican blend or Monterey Jack and cheddar)
Shredded lettuce
Sour cream

Heat oven to 350. In skillet, brown beef and onion; drain. In bowl, combine salsa, beef mixture, garlic and chili powder. Fill center of each tortilla with beef mixture. Roll up; place seam side down in greased 9x13 baking dish. Pour enchilada sauce over tortillas. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake 40 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve with shredded lettuce and sour cream. I love ranch dressing poured over mine, hubby likes guacamole.

EZ No Cook Salsa
2 cans (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes (I used 28 oz. can)
1 can (4 oz.) diced green chiles
1/4 c. thinly sliced green onions
1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
2 T. lemon or lime juice
1/8 t. pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 t. salt, to taste

Drain tomatoes, reserving 1/4 c. of juice. Combine tomatoes and juice with remaining ingredients. Cover and chill at least 4 hours.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Recipe Blog Land

Gosh, why am I always a day late and a dollar short? What rock have I been hiding under? Me? Miss Recipe Lover that I am? I have just entered recipe blog land...such a wonderful place to visit. I had no clue there were so many WONDERFUL food blogs out there! I just had to share a few that I've had my nose stuck into most of this week.

Why is it that you start out on one and then end up about 20 blogs down the road? I love that some of these blogs will show other places to visit by putting the link in blue and you end up even more lost in blog land.

Happy to report that I have printed off several new recipes to try in the next week so I will definitely post my review and share them with you after I do so. Can you believe that I am FINALLY even trying my hand at making homemade guacamole? Hubby loves the stuff and I'm not sure yet if I do. I have always thought it was the ugliest food out there so I would not try it. I will let you know if I am a guacamole follower after I make it this weekend.

Hope everyone has a most wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My Own Italian Restaurant?

Yesterday I had a snow day (off work) and was in the mood to cook. As some of my friends and family know I have been on this quest for some time to find the perfect pizza crust. The reason for this is because I live in the boonies and can't order pizza to be delivered. Well, this may not be the perfect pizza but I will have to say that so far this one is in the lead. It holds together so well and the tip of pricking the crust and sprinkling olive oil on the crust before the first baking made it really crisp and wonderful. I got this off and will have to say that I'm pretty darn happy with this recipe. It made enough for two pizzas but since I had made hubby spaghetti already (and I was in the mood for pizza), I split the recipe and made one crust and used the rest to make breadsticks, using their garlic bread seasoning...all I can say is YUMMO! When hubby got home he was excited to have such an array of Italian food waiting for him. I felt like I had opened up an Italian restaurant or felt like Martha Stewart. LOL Can't wait to try more recipes off this wonderful website. Here is the recipe I used.

1-1/2 c. warm water (105-115 degrees)
1 T. sugar
1 T. yeast
1/2 t. kosher salt
3-4-1/2 c. flour

In large bowl combine water, sugar and yeast. Let stand for 10 minutes or until yeast is bubbly. Add salt and stir. Add 1-1/2 c. flour and mix well. Gradually add more flour (I used a little less than 3 cups - recipe says 3-4 cups)until dough pulls away from sides of bowl and barely sticks to fingers. Spray glass or metal bowl with PAM and place dough in bowl. Cover and let rise for 45 minutes or until doubled in size. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

For pizza

Punch down dough. Spray pizza stone with Pam. Remove from bowl and place on pizza stone (recipes said to put it on a lightly floured surface). Roll out (my pizza roller from Pampered Chef really does the trick)dough to form a circle and pinch edges. Prick the dough with a fork all over. Drizzle crust with olive oil. Sprinkle garlic salt over dough. Bake 10-12 minutes. Take out of oven and spread layer of pizza sauce (I'm gonna try their homemade sauce next time and will give a review of it in the future - didn't have the ingredients), then toppings, ending with Mozzarella or Pizza cheese. Sprinkle with oregano (I didn't have oregano so I didn't get to taste that but will try next time). Bake 10-12 more minutes.

For breadsticks

Prepare dough per first paragraph. Spray baking sheet with Pam. On floured surface roll dough into triangle and cut into 12 strips with a pizza cutter. Roll each piece into a snake and twist. Place dough on baking sheet. Cover pan and allow dough to rise again for 30 minutes. Bake 10-12 minutes and brush on melted butter and sprinkle with the Garlic Bread Seasoning below:

Garlic Bread Seasoning
1/2 c. powdered parmesan cheese
2 t. kosher salt
2 T. garlic powder
2 t. oregano
2 t. basil
2 t. marjoram
2 t. parsley

Mix together and save in a shaker or empty spice bottle.

Visit to Eddie Montgomery's Steakhouse

Gosh, been snowed in for a few days and just got back to work today. Hubby and I took off work on Friday to enjoy a LONG Valentine's weekend. Met with a contractor to hopefully do some major remodeling on our home (can't even imagine what that estimate is gonna be like) and then hubby took me to Eddie Montgomery's Steakhouse that just opened up in December for lunch. I will have to say that it had one of the best burger's I have ever eaten...the beef was really good! Service has to get a little better but then it is fairly new so I'm sure they will work out all that in time. Such a beautiful place. Wish you could have joined me. It is made out of logs and it is just gorgeous (see picture above)! Rocky Top Log Furniture which is only about 5 miles from my home built it for them. If you ever get to come visit me, we will sure make the trip to grub out at this place. Is is only about 12-15 minutes from my home.