Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tuesday Fish Dinner

7 Talapia fish fillets
1 cup corn meal
1 1/2 cups flour
Your favorite fish spices
Olive oil

Take the fish filets, rinse and pat dry with some paper towels.

(my favorite fish spices with the cornmeal)

Mix the the corn meal, flour and spices together.  Dredge fish into flour mixture, gently tap excess and set aside.

Heat 3 tbsp. oil in pan, fry two fish fillets at a time, for about 5-7 minutes on each side until lightly brown.  Repeat with the rest of the fish.

1 pound bok choy
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 pound Savoy or Napa cabbage, cored and thinly sliced

3 leek stalks, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
1 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted

Trim 1/8 inch from bottom of bok choy, then quarter lengthwise and thinly slice crosswise.

Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or 12-inch heavy skillet over high heat until a drop of water evaporates instantly. Pour vegetable oil down side of wok, swirling to coat sides. Add garlic and stir-fry 10 seconds. (This smelled oh so wonderful).  Add cabbage and 1/4 teaspoon salt and stir-fry 3 minutes. Add the leeks, bok choy and stir-fry until ribs are crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Serve drizzled with sesame oil and sprinkled with sesame seeds.  Add more salt if needed.

My hubby and I love fish and I have found our favorite way to cook it.  I don't like a lot of breading on my fish, I don't deep fry it either but just fry it ever so lightly, add my special spices and we are loving every bite!  Today i was also in the mood for some Chinese vegies so when I was in the produce section at the store, I bought everything Chinese I could find.  I had to go online to find a recipe to know how to cook it too.  When I got done cooking the Chinese vegies, they looked a little too watery for me so I went ahead and sprinkled in about a 1/4 cup of cornstarch just to thicken it then ended up with a savory sauce.  We also always eat Pickled Beets with our fish, they just go hand in hand.  I know it isn't the weekend, but ever since I bought the fish and the Chinese vegies, I've been in the mood for it and couldn't wait until the weekend.  All in all it probably took me about 1 1/2 hours to cook this meal.  I enjoyed it all!  My hubby enjoyed it all (with his ketchup) and Grandma enjoyed it too :)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

How Not to Make a Delicious Pineapple Upside Down Cake In an Iron Skillet

by Pioneer Woman
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 cups granulated sugar
1 stick of butter
1 1/2 cups milk
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
One 20 oz. can sliced pineapple, 2 tbsp. juice reserved
1 1/3 cups packed brown sugar
Maraschino cherries (optional) 

Preheat the oven 350-degree F.
To make the cake batter, in a large mixing bowl place the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, 1/2 stick of the butter, the shortening, milk, eggs, vanilla, and reserved pineapple juice.  Mix until well combined.  Set aside.

Melt the remaining 1/2 stick butter in a 10" or 12" iron skillet over medium heat.  Swirl to thoroughly coat the skillet.

Sprinkle the brown sugar over the butter, making sure it's evenly distributed.

You want the entire surface of the butter to be covered in brown sugar.  Do not stir.

I poured the batter in first, before I placed the pineapple slices over the buttered brown sugar. Uggghh!  I guess I was a little stressed because I was having company and had a hard time concentrating.  Haha!!!  Pretty silly of me though.  Anyway, believe it or not this is what I did.....
.... I went ahead and took the pineapple slices and one by one, immersed and pushed them all the way down....piece of cake!!  So, to continue on with the rest of the recipe.... Bake the cake for 30 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Voila!!!  Perfecto!!
The cake will be slightly uneven on top, but don't worry the top will soon be upside down, hence the name :)  Immediately run a knife around the edge of the cake.  Then place a cake plate upside down on top of the skillet.  Very carefully invert the skillet so that the cake is turned upside down onto the cake plate.  Because of the butter, it should come out pretty easily, if a little bit of the cake sticks to the pan, just use a small knife to patch it back together.  The cake is on the rustic/imperfect side anyway, so it'll look just fine.  Allow it to cool slightly before cutting into wedges with a serrated knife.  Best when served warm.

 I was really excited about making this recipe.  My family loves Pineapple Upside Down Cake plus we were having company and thought it would be a good idea to make it for them too.  I guess I got so excited I lost my concentration.  But all in all, it still came out pretty good.   It's really hilarious when you think about it.  Furthermore, Pineapple Upside Down Cake cooked in a skillet???  Whoever heard of that?!!  Pioneer Woman's reason was because it made her feel like a "rebel".  But it did end up being a hit and everyone loved it! ~isavor the weekend

Macaroni & Cheese.....again

by Pioneer Woman

click on this picture to get recipe

to quote the Pioneer Woman, "serve to hungry humans".

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Thick Apple Pie

6 baking apples (6 cups worth when sliced)
3/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon 
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tbsp. butter
2 deep pie crusts (I had two Marie Callender piecrusts leftover from the holidays)
1/2 cup flour for rolling

Preheat oven to to 450 - degrees F.
Cast of characters

Core, peel and slice the apples.

Add the lemon juice, cinnamon and sugar.  Stir gently but thoroughly.  Set aside.

Take each pie crust and form into a ball, sprinkle the board with flour.  With the rolling pin, roll the dough into a large circle, until it's about 1/8 of an inch thick and large enough to cover the pie pan.

Wrap the piecrust over a well floured rolling pin and carefully place it over the pie plate.  In my case, I had a thick, deep dish pie plate that just happened to have an apple pie recipe written in it.

Pour the apples and juices into the pie plate and dot with the butter.

Place the 2nd crust over the apples and tuck in all the edges.  Because my pie plate was so deep, I just ended up tucking in the edges whether they touched the bottom pie crust or not.  I then indented the edges with just my thumb.

With a sharp knife, cut in around 8 slits throughout the top pie crust.

Bake in 450-degree preheated oven for 10 minutes then turn it down to 350-degrees and bake another 30 minutes or until browned and bubbly.

This was all that was left the following afternoon.

This was a very, very simple recipe.  The only part I dislike the most is cutting up the apples but other than that it was easy as pie!! ;)  What hubby and I liked the most was the crust.  I think from now on, I'm going to use Marie Callender's piecrusts.  They're thick, toasty and flaky, homemade tasting and just plain good.  ~isavortheweekend

My Lasagna

  • 1-½ pound Ground Beef
  • 1 pound Hot Breakfast Sausage
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 cans (14.5 Ounce) Whole Tomatoes (or Hunts fire roasted tomatoes)
  • 2 cans (6 Ounce) Tomato Paste
  • 2 Tablespoons Dried Parsley (I had to use my fresh homegrown Parsley since I didn't have dried)
  • 2 Tablespoons Dried Basil
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 3 cups Lowfat Cottage Cheese (or Ricotta plus I only used around 10 oz. because that's all I had)
  • 2 whole Beaten Eggs
  • ½ cups Grated (not Shredded) Parmesan Cheese (or Romano because that's all I had)
  • 2 Tablespoons Dried Parsley (or fresh - see above
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 pound Sliced Mozzarella Cheese
  • 8 oz. bag of shredded Italian cheeses
  • 1 package (10 Ounce) Lasagna Noodles (or 9 Lasagna noodles)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Hot pepper flakes (optional) - I chose not to use these afterall, since the sausage is supposed to be hot)

Spray a 13" x 9" casserole dish with PAM, set aside.

As Pioneer Woman would put it, here are the cast of characters

Must always work with a cup of coffee, especially on a cold wintry day.

Cook the ground beef, sausage meat, garlic and onions until brown.  Drain most of the fat only leaving about 1/4 cup.

Add the wine, canned tomatoes and tomato paste and stir completely

Add the parsley and the basil and stir in.  Simmer the sauce for about 45 minutes.  In the meantime, in a large pot,  boil about 3-4 quarts of water.  Add a pinch or two of salt after the water starts to boil.  Remove pot from heat and add the Lasagna noodles one piece at a time.  Add a tbsp. of olive oil.  Stir gently and leave the noodles in the hot water for 20 minutes.  (I learned this trick from Ina Garten [Barefoot Contessa] and the noodles come out PERFECT plus they're easier to handle and don't break apart). 

Combine the eggs, Parmesan and Cottage Cheese (I used Romano and Ricotta because that's all I had) and parsley (I only had fresh).  Stir thoroughly and set aside.

This is my somewhat assembly line...yea really, it is!  In this order:
Cooked lasagna, casserole dish, egg mixture, mozzarella & shredded Italian cheeses, cooked meat sauce

Lay three lasagna noodles down first, it's okay if they overlap.  Next spread 1/3 of the egg mixture sauce over each noodle.  Then lay and sprinkle the cheeses. 

Next, layer and spread 1/3 of the meat sauce .  Repeat these steps two more times but in the last or top layer exchange the cheeses and meat mixture....

....in other words, ending it or topping it with the cheeses.

Bake in 350-degree oven for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

Set aside while you finish with any other side dishes.

Bon apetit!

I pulled ideas from two-three different other recipes and added some of my own stuff and came up with this delicious meal that you're family will keep go back for seconds, thirds, etc.,  Maybe it's because of the wine that I added, or because I used Ricotta cheese instead of cottage cheese.  In years past seems like the lasagna I've made came out to cheesy or too milky, blechhh!!  I like more tomato sauce and meat and by golly, I believe I found the recipe.  And to be quite honest, I forgot to spread some of the egg/cheese mixture onto the 2nd layer which means I had to add the rest into the last layer.  I was really nervous, thinking it would be obvious but it wasn't, it was all perfect.  The trick with the noodles is really cool.  Seems like in years past, when I cooked them according to directions, they always fell apart and shredded to pieces and tasted too mushy.  This way, they're just under al dente but when they cook some more in the oven, they come just right, not too mushy not tough at all, just RIGHT!  The hubster and mother-in-law loved it and so did I  ~isavor the weekend

Football season is quickly coming to an end, college football that is.  I know I didn't really write too much about it this past season, maybe because by the time I got done with the "food" part, I was really tired and wanted to call it a night.  So in the FCS Championship game, played Friday night, it was E. Washington vs. Delaware.  E. Washington trailed the whole game until the very end.  Looked like the Blue Hens of Delaware had it but the Eagles of E. Wash., a couple of tricks up their sleeves and came out the National Champions within the last two minutes of the game.  *whimper* someday, Liberty will be playing in that game.

Tomorrow night, is the BCS Championship game Auburn Tigers vs. Oregon Ducks, am really looking forward to watching it but wish it were on the weekend, it's hard to stay up late for a game and have to get up early the following morning to go to work.  So, I'm thinking and believing that the Auburn Tigers are going to come away with the win, don't ask me why, I couldn't tell although, Oregon Ducks are pretty tough - don't let their mascot fool you. :)

Thursday, January 6, 2011


by Paula Deen, prepared by Chef Elise


  • 1-pound loaf French or Italian bread, cut into cubes (about 15 cups)
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup coffee-flavored liqueur
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons pure almond extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 6 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Lightly grease a 13 by 9-inch baking dish. Place the bread in the baking dish.
In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, cream, and liqueur.
In another bowl, combine the granulated and brown sugars with the cocoa powder and mix well. Add this to the milk mixture and whisk to combine.
Add the vanilla and almond extracts and the cinnamon to the beaten eggs. Combine the egg mixture with the milk mixture and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour the mixture evenly over the bread cubes; let stand, stirring occasionally, for at least 20 minutes, or until the bread has absorbed most of the milk mixture. Bake the pudding for 1 hour, or until set; a knife inserted into the center of the pudding should come out clean. Serving the pudding warm, or refrigerate it and serve chilled.

Serve it warm or cold, with whipped cream or a dessert sauce.
WOW, WOW, WOW!!!!!  YUUUUUUUMMY!!!!!  This was our dessert after that scrumptious Baked Shrimp Scampi dish that Elise cooked for us.  After this meal, I'll have to fast until next Christmas!!!  Great job Elise, once again you out did yourself :)  Keep it up!


by Barefoot Contessa - prepared by Chef Elise


  • 2 pounds (12 to 15 per pound) shrimp in the shell
  • 3 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 extra-large egg yolk
  • 2/3 cup panko (Japanese dried bread flakes)
  • Lemon wedges, for serving


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Peel, devein, and butterfly the shrimp, leaving the tails on. 

Place the shrimp in a mixing bowl and toss gently with the olive oil, wine, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Allow to sit at room temperature while you make the butter and garlic mixture.

In a small bowl, mash the softened butter with the garlic, shallots, parsley, rosemary, red pepper flakes, lemon zest, lemon juice, egg yolk, panko, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper until combined.

Starting from the outer edge of a 14-inch oval gratin dish, arrange the shrimp in a single layer cut side down with the tails curling up and towards the center of the dish. Pour the remaining marinade over the shrimp.

Spread the butter mixture evenly over the shrimp. 

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until hot and bubbly. If you like the top browned, place under a broiler for 1 minute.

Voila!  It's that simple!

Elise's day to cook!  Yay!!  That always makes me a happy camper not only because it frees me up to get our house together (since we just moved into it) but also because of what delectable tasty treat she's going to make. This dish was in no way a disappointment!  To quote my hubby, "I wouldn't have been surprised to have ordered this at Red Lobster".  This was a fabulous dish, no wonder it has 5 stars rating the recipe at Foodtv.com.  If you are a shrimp lover, you will never want to go out to eat when you're craving shrimp.  This dish is simple to make plus it's fantastic!  We served it on a bed of angel hair pasta quickly stirred up with butter, 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice, one or two garlic cloves, minced and a dash of red pepper flakes, salt to taste.  Thanks Lisee!
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