Thursday, September 29, 2011

Baked Apple [HCG Friendly]

This is a very good dessert option for those on the HCG diet. For those NOT on the diet, add a spoon of brown sugar in the core.

1 apple
Ground Cloves
Ground nutmeg

Core the apple leaving about 1 inch in the bottom. DON'T core all the way through.

Place apple in raimkin. Fill with 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp ground cloves, dash nutmeg, and 2 tsp water. (water should reach top of apple) [non-dieters, add tsp of brown sugar]

Pour water in the dish with 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground cloves, and 1/2 tsp nutmeg around the apple in the dish.

Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Serve immediately! Careful, it'll be hot.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Wordless Wednesday {{linky}}


My Dad and I enjoying turkey legs at the "Pirate Fest"
(like Renaissance Festival, but in the Fall)
SO much fun--and VERY delicious!
My kids enjoyed dressing up like Pirates!
Its been a very hard week dealing with internet issues with my provider. I don't think they understand the fact that I NEED it for ONLINE classes. Seriously--so frustrating.

Wordless Wednesday with Take it from Me

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Home of Wordless Wednesdays...and many more! 
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Grilled Meatballs & Bell Peppers [HCG Friendly]

HCG Diet Friendly

1 lb ground hamburger [100g for P2/per person--keep portions separated]
1 tblsp bread crumbs [1 piece of Melba toast--ground into powder]
1 tblsp milk
1 tblsp fresh chopped parsley
1 tsp onion powder
1 tblsp fresh chopped basil
1 tsp fresh chopped oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 garlic piece, minced
Bell peppers (mini's or cut into bite size pieces)

Combine all ingredients in large bowl [separate spices to blend with individual 100g servings]. Form into 1" meatballs--about a tablespoon size--and place on plate. Put back in fridge for 30 minutes.

Skewer the meatballs and bell peppers. Grill over med-high heat for 5-10 minutes, turning often, until browned and cooked through.

Great with a side of mashed potatoes for those NOT on the diet.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Tuscan Chicken


1/2 cup mayonnaise
4 tblsp fresh lemon juice, divided
5 tblsp olive oil, divided
1/3 cup chopped white onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
Pinch of dried crushed red pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 (14-1/2 oz) cans diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano
1/2 cup all purpose flour
Pinch of cayenne pepper
3 large eggs
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
2 tblsp thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
3 tblsp butter
4 large skinless boneless chicken breast halves, cut horizontally in half
4 2-inch pieces baguette (french bread)
2 cups fresh spinach
EVOO (for drizzling)

Whisk mayo and 3 tablespoons lemon juice in small bowl.

Heat 3 tablespoons oil in large skillet over med-high heat. Add onions, garlic, and red pepper; saute until onion is translucent, about 2 minutes. Add wine, simmer until reduced by half, about 1 minutes. Add tomatoes with juice. Simmer until thick, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Season with salt & pepper. Cool.

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Set rack in rimmed baking sheet.

Whisk flour and pinch of cayenne in wide shallow bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Whisk eggs, 3/4 cup cheese, and basil in medium bowl. Sprinkle with pepper.

Melt butter with remaining 2 tablespoons oil in large skillet over med-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt & pepper. Working in batches, dredge chicken in flour, then dip in egg mixture. Transfer chicken to skillet and cook until browned and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Place on prepared rack and place in oven to keep warm while cooking remaining chicken.

Place baguette slices in any remaining butter-oil mixture in skillet and cook until toasted, about 1 min on each side. Transfer to plate and spread tomato confit on top.

Place spinach on plate, and chicken on top of the spinach. Spoon a little mayo mixture on top of chicken. Serve with tomato-baguettes.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday Feature

My friends, I feel like I have neglected my blog for almost a week! Luckily I've had a few recipes up my sleeve to share, but interaction has been minimal. And I'm so sorry. The internet-guy is suppose to come Saturday, so hopefully I'll have the internet situation figured out. It doesn't feel like a normal week when I don't do my "Flash-Back-Fridays" or the "Wordless-Wednesdays" hop! What would I do without a computer completely?? *sigh*

This sweet lady contacted me about doing a feature, and I jumped at the chance--what better timing? These are such excellent tips!

Submitted on behalf of Primrose Schools: Early Preschool Education by Emily Patterson (@epatt1062)

The kitchen is the life of any house. It's where meals are made, and days are discussed. It can, however, be the central location for many accidents, especially when children are involved.

Everything about the kitchen can be fascinating, and children take a lot of pride in accompanying parents in creating culinary masterpieces. Children are always wanting to be more like adults. That sometimes means working with the most dangerous equipment, such as the oven and the stove, red hot pots and pans, and even the blender.

It's important to let your child participate with these tasks for their own self esteem. Therefore, here are some guidelines which will make everything easier and safer for your family:

1. Know your child's limits. Based on age and maturity level, this should be pretty common sense. If there are easier tasks, such as measuring or stirring cooler items, assign those to your youngest ones. If there are no tasks that you are confident that your child can perform safely, you can always let them pretend to cook alongside you, or give them pots and pans, with which they can make music. A little entertainment while you're preparing dinner couldn't hurt.

2. Set up some ground rules that are always followed in the kitchen. These are your basic dos and don'ts of the kitchen. Make sure the children know to wash their hands and when. Make sure they know what they are allowed to touch and what they are not. Handles of pots and pans are always to be turned in to avoid spilling any hot food on the kids. Whatever rules you can think of besides these, that are always going to need implementation while cooking, are important to be made clear.

3. Try to help your child build to their full potential. Let them start with easier tasks, and when they have mastered those, move on to more difficult tasks. For example, teach older kids to cut softer items first, and then, let them move up to harder items. Kitchen skills will prove to be valuable over the course of your child's life. As their skill improves, so will their confidence.

4. Make sure you are having fun. Cooking with children is bound to get messy at one point or another. Don't stress yourself out over spills or accidents. Try to be patient and understanding with your child, and help them find a less messy way to complete whatever task they are assigned. Make your clean up fun too. Remember, it's not really about the outcome. It's about spending time with your family.

When it's all over, and you've prepared something delicious together, make sure to compliment your little chef. Boost his/her confidence by telling them how good everything tastes and how great of a job they've done and ask them what meal they'll want to attempt next.

Check out this excellent web site: Primrose Schools

Funny Story: My son grew up calling a knife "Sharpy" because he tended to be more accident-prone than others. He's 5 now, and has learned to call it a "Knife"....but still, "sharpy" will always be somewhere in my vocabulary!

Do YOU have a funny kitchen story? Tell me--I need a few laughs! =D

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Blueberry- Banana Cake



3 cups all-purpose flour
2-1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup veg oil
1/2 cup buttermilk
1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups mashed bananas
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup fresh blueberries (or frozen, thawed)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Combine eggs, oil and buttermilk in a small bowl.

Add egg mixture to the dry ingredients, stirring until dry mixtures is moistened. Do NOT beat. Add vanilla, bananas and pecans. Stir well. Fold in blueberries.

Spoon batter into a greased and floured 10-inch tube (bundt) pan. Bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then invert to remove cake from pan. Cool completely.

Other Blueberry Recipes:

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fried Trout

Ever wonder what happened to that really big trout my husband caught? Here's to answer:


And it was sooooooooooooo good! And EASY! The worst part was cleaning the fish...different story =)

4 trout fillets, or any other white fish
Fish fry breading
2 eggs
3 tblsp water
canola oil (for frying)

Heat the oil in large heavy-duty skillet (preferably a cast-iron one) to medium-high heat.
Beat egg and water in shallow bowl. Dredge fish in egg mixture, then cover with breading. Carefully place in heated oil and fry for 4-5 minutes, or until browned and fish flakes easily.

Be careful not to crowd the pan! Only do about 2 pieces at a time.

See? Easy--and delicious!!

Other Trout/Fish recipes:


Monday, September 19, 2011

Grilled Stuffed Pork Loin


Not all pork loins can be stuffed. When choosing a pork loin, look for short and wide shape. That gives more surface area once roast is opened up. Avoid long and thin pork loins, too little room for stuffing.

1 cup apple cider
1/2 cup cider vinegar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large shallot, halved lengthwise and sliced thing crosswise
1 1/2 cups packed dried apples (4 oz)
1/2 cup packed dried cranberries
1 tblsp grated fresh ginger
1 tblsp yellow mustard seeds
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Bring all the ingredients to simmer in medium saucepan over med-high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook until apples are very soft, about 20 minutes. Push mixture through fine-mesh strainer to extract as much liquid as possible. Return liquid to saucepan and simmer over med-high heat until reduced to 1/3 cup cup, about 5 minutes; reserve glaze. Meanwhile, pulse apple mixture in food processor until uniformly coarsely chopped, about 15 1-second pulses. Transfer filling to bowl and refrigerate while preparing pork.

1 boneless center-cut pork loin roast (about 2 1/2 pounds)
kosher salt and ground black pepper
vegetable oil for cooking grate

Cut meat into an even 1/2 inch thickness. Start cutting across on bottom, "rolling" meat out until you have an even thickness rectangle. Click HERE for a similar cutting strategy. Season liberally with salt and spread apple filling en even layer, leaving 1/2 inch border. Roll tightly and tie with twine at 1-inch intervals. I used my special  reusable "food loop" ties that I used as a giveaway HERE quite a ways back. They are awesome!

INDIRECT heat grilling
Heat grill on high heat, scrap grate to clean, then rub oil over to prevent sticking. Turn off one side of the grill and place the roast, with fat side up first, on the side without flames. Continue grilling, rotating only once, until instant-read thermometer stuck in the thickest part of roast reads 130 to 135 degrees F. About 55 to 70 minutes. When you flip the roast half way through, brush with the reserved glaze. Brush roast again 5 minutes before removing from heat.

Transfer to cutting board and loosely cover it with foil, and let it rest 15 minutes. Cut into slices and serve immediately!

Friday, September 16, 2011

NO FBF This week =(

Hey friends and fellow bloggers! There isn't gonna be a "Flash-Back-Friday" this week. My internet has been insanely slow to load and I have finals this coming week and don't have much computer time available.

Please come back next week for the return of FBF!


PS Sorry if I haven't gotten back to you since "wordless wednesday"...again, internet problems and bogged down with school....I will soon though! =)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Rosemary & Garlic Olive Oil

I've read many posts on how to make your own flavored olive oil. Versatile Kitchen has a recipe for chili oil and Inspired by eRecipes Cards has a good one too. This is mine:


2 cups olive oil
3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
1 garlic clove, cut into slivers

In a saucepan, heat oil over low heat and add rosemary and garlic. Keep on heat for 30 minutes. It will smell up the kitchen in a delicious aroma!

Strain the oil to remove spring and pieces. Pour into glass jars. Place a fresh spring of rosemary into jars. Cork and store!

There is so many different options for flavors--have fun and experiment!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Wordless Wednesday {{linky}}

Bored of painting paper, I let them talk me into letting them paint my arm.
I'm glad I just said "yes" to my arm, and nothing more!
Wordless Wednesday with Take it from Me
I <3 Blogging
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Zucchini Bread

As the summer vegetables are going out of season and fall ones are coming in, I often look for ways to preserve those delicious veggies to use year around. I've shown ya'll how to freeze parsley already, and now I'll show you how to save your zucchini.

I went to the farmer's market and got about 9 medium sized zucchini for $1. They were a little beat up and not that pretty, so I wouldn't use them for sides that required them to be "pretty." But I've made some zucchini bread that is to die for, seriously, and it used the zucchini bread shredded up. You can also use shredded zucchini in other dishes (if you have a picky eater) to hide the veggie .

Anyway, It comes down to this: shred the zucchini up, and freeze. I got about 16 cups of shredded zucchini from my lot at the farmers market. Most recipes call for 2 or 4 cups shredded zucchini, so freeze them in those amounts. Most of my bags were 2 cup quantities, and 1 of them was a 4-cup quantity. Kinda think about what you want to use it for, and freeze accordingly.

And here is the amazing zucchini recipe I mentioned above. You can also make the bread and then freeze the loafs as well. I don't have a good picture of the bread, mainly because it didn't last long enough to grab my camera. Yup, its that good.

Zucchini Bread
click HERE for printable recipe
3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup crisco oil
2 cups shredded zucchini
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking powder
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup pecans, chopped

Preheat oven at 325 degrees F.

Slightly beat the eggs. Add sugar and crisco. Beat well. Add shredded zucchini and vanilla.

In a different medium bowl, mix flour baking soda and baking powder, salt and cinnamon.

Mix both mixtures together and add the pecans.

Grease 2 loaf pans and evenly divide mixture. Bake at 325 degrees F for 1 hours. Remove from oven and let them cool on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and enjoy!

click HERE for printable recipe

Monday, September 12, 2011

Citrus Steak (HCG Friendly)

This started out looking really plain, and I kept adding per "HCG Diet" rules. Turned out FANTASTIC. The sauce added another dimension to it--so don't leave it out! I would make this again, even though I'm not the one on the HCG diet--and its great for other family members as well.


Flank steak, fat removed, sliced into strips [HCG diet allows 100 grams (3.2 oz) per person]
Handful of cherry or grape tomatoes [as many as you would like--"free veggie" on HCG]
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into bite-sized chunks ["free veggie"]
1/2 head of lettuce ["free!"]
1 orange [this may count as your 1 fruit for meal, so double check before eating more fruit]
2 tblsp apple cider vinegar
2 tblsp chopped fresh basil
salt & pepper to taste
2 tblsp water

In a ziplock bag, combine vinegar, basil, s&p and the juice of the orange and add meat--toss to coat. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes or more. Remove steak from bag, reserving juice.

In a small saucepan, over med-low heat, bring to a simmer the reserved juice and let it simmer while grilling.

Layer the skewers with strips of steak, tomatoes and bell pepper pieces. Grill over med-high heat until desired doneness, about 10 minutes (rotating often). Remove from heat. Drizzle sauce over top.

Serve on top of lettuce [free veggie according to the HCG diet], using the sauce as a dressing. Serves 4.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. Please see Disclaimer Page for more.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11 & Featured At...

Never Forget

I'm featured today over at...
Go check it out!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Flash Back Friday #16: Yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake

~If you are interested in co-hosting the FBF Hop, please leave a comment and let me know!
~Also take note: if you've participated in FBF lately, you have been added to the blogroll! It might take time, but everyone will get listed (just be patient with me)


[Daring Bakers Challenge]

Click on image to view original post from 3/27/11
My favorite (it was SO hard to choose!!) from last week was from Jess with Hungry Harps
Click image to see original Post
She's got some beautiful pictures as well! Now go and show her some comment love =)
Thanks to ALL who linked up!
eRecipeCardsYear on the GrillAdventures of a Small Town MomFlour me with LoveKitchen Fun with my 3 SonsHungry HarpsNot Your Ordinary RecipesHappy Green BabiesMeijos JoyThe Kitchen in my PlaygroundThe Southern Fried BrideSocial Studies MommaCreate with JoyCooking with LibbyCatalina Bakes

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  • Link back to Cookin’ for My Captain, Cookin’ Mimi or both if you’d like.
  • Please only 1 or 2 entries.
  • Visit and comment on the other entries. Spread some comment love.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Rainbow Steak Kabobs--HCG

After this past weekend of camping with the family, I've come up with some new ideas or "series" to post recipes for. My parents are doing the "HCG" diet, so there was quite a few restrictions. Both of my parents are having tremendous results from this diet, but my Dad had to complain about the "boring" diet. My mom can eat the same thing for every meal and not get tired of it, and my dad will get tired of a dish if served more than once a week (haha) so this diet is pretty hard of him. My mom isn't much of a cook either (sorry, mom) so experimenting and spices and such just go out the window.

I, on the other hand, love to cook and getting more into the experimental phases. So I've decided to put together some recipes my parents could cook to change up the boring mundane meals into something to look forward to.

I looked up some "rules" for the diet to make sure I don't use the "big no nos" and such. HOWEVER, my portions are probably not right. I don't have a food scale, so I'm eyeing it. If you are on this diet, make sure you use the right amount for whichever phase you're in.

To start us out, and to get outside on the grill while its still pretty...

1 very lean steak, cut into cubes [P2-100 grams per person]
Colorful bell peppers--1 red, 1 orange, 1 yellow, cut into bite-sized chunks
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp lemon pepper
a few lemon slices [P2- only allowed 1 lemon a day]

~Toss steak cubes with salt and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before grilling. Then toss with lemon pepper.
~Toss the bell pepper pieces with a few slices of lemons (or few drops of fresh lemon juice).
~Alternate between bell pepper and steak on skewers. Cook on a grill over medium heat for 8 minutes, turning often to let sides of bell pepper char evenly.
~Enjoy with a piece of Melba toast or Grissino breadstick.
For the others in your family (that are NOT on the diet), I suggest serving mashed potatoes on the side.

["P2" = Phase 2, "P3" = Phase 3]
All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. Please see Disclaimer Page for more.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Wordless Wednesday {{linky}}

Went camping this past weekend and my husband fished the whole time.

He finally caught himself a "lunker" (aka big trout) that weighed 5lb and 12oz
We came home and filled up our freezer with fresh trout, and my hubby got to iron a patch on his fishing vest. 
"The end of the Rainbow" Apron to cook the the rainbow trout with!
All he can think about is his lunker, and all I can think about it how many meals we can have with the trout! 
Wordless Wednesday with Take it from Me
I <3 Blogging
Home of Wordless Wednesdays...and many more! 
~Please follow Cookin' for my Captain via GFC!
~Grab the WW button if you want to...
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Pomegranate Panna Cotta

This panna cotta was absolutely amazing and it really surprised me! The recipe calls for POM pomegranate juice, but I couldn't find it, so I used a different brand. The juice was a brownish color compared to the POM brand, so I added a few drops of red food coloring to make it look a bit better. I also think adding a few dollops  of whipped cream on the top would make this delectable.


3 tblsp plus 2 cups pomegranate juice
2 tsp unflavored gelatin
1 cup sugar
peel from 1 orange, removed in strips with vegetable peeler
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup whipping cream
1-1/2 cups buttermilk

Spray ramekins or whichever cup/container you will use for the panna cotta.

Place 3 tablespoons pomegranate juice in small bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over; let stand 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 cups pomegranate juice, sugar, and peel in large saucepan over high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Boil until syrup is reduced to 1-1/4 cups, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

Remove peel from pan; transfer 1/3 cup syrup to small bowl and reserve for sauce. Add gelatin mixture to remaining hot syrup in pan, and stir until dissolved. Add orange juice and whipping cream, then buttermilk. Chill until set, at least 4 hours or overnight. Cover and chill sauce separately.

Run knife around edge or ramekins; invert onto plates. Drizzle with sauce and serve.

~I left the sauce off, it was sweet and rich enough without it. And don't forget the dollop of whipped cream!

Don't waste the orange peel--its makes for an attractive garnish!


Monday, September 5, 2011

Beer-battered Coconut Shrimp w/ Pineapple Sauce

Oh yes, you read that right. I love eating at red lobster--and my favorite thing is the coconut shrimp...but its really the dipping sauce that I can't get enough of. The coconut shrimp wasn't the "big deal" to I found my own way of cooking the shrimp and a "knock-off" recipe for the sauce.

You will be full for DAYS. Really, you'll be in a food coma after this meal. I made rice and salad to go with it, and didn't eat a bite of it. =D

My husband brought home 10 pounds of jumbo shrimp from the Gulf Shores. I have many many many recipes I want to try!


1 pound peeled (tails on) and deveined fresh shrimp (preferably jumbo sized)
1 cup pancake mix (plain)
1 cup beer (a lighter beer the better..)
2 tblsp coconut milk
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup coconut flakes (and more on hand just in case!)
Light cooking oil (like canola oil)

Rinse the shrimp well and butterfly them [cut them down the middle almost through, then spread it out, like butterfly wings, but still attached by the middle].

Combine pancake mix, beer and coconut milk and mix well--no lumps. Dredge the shrimp in flour, then beer batter, then coat with the coconut. [have this done before heating oil--they need constant attention or they will burn--fast!]

Heat the oil in sauce pan [2-3 inches deep] over medium to almost med-high (about 350 degrees F). Fry the shrimp 5 to 6 at a time, until golden brown on all edges. Drain on paper towel and serve with sauce.\

And now for the sauce.....


1 cup pina coloda mix
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons crushed pineapple
1 heaping tablespoon sweetened coconut flakes
3 heaping tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
3 teaspoons cold water

Mix together all ingredients, except cornstarch and cold water, in small saucepan. Heat on medium-low temperature until sauce begins to simmer [careful, it can overflow!], stirring frequently. Let mixture simmer slowly for about 10 minutes.

Mix cornstarch and cold water together, and then add it to the saucepan. Let sauce simmer for 5 minutes longer, until at desired thickness.

Remove from heat and serve after cooling off just a bit.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Flash Back Friday #15


Click on image to see full post from 5-8-11
My favorite from last week was from Angela with 
And her Peanut Butter Pie Recipe
Like i needed ONE MORE THING to make my rear end enlarge =)
So stop on by and tell her HI!
Thanks to ALL who linked up!

Comedy PlusOne Mixed BagMom 4 RealMis Adventuring MommyCreate with Joybe there 2 dayAissa FamilyMoms bookshelfThe Kitchen in my PlaygroundCatch my WordsCranium Boltshearts in fur coatsWhy We Love GreenThe Southern Fried BrideeRecipeCardsYear on the GrillCatalina Bakes,Cooking with K

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  • This is a family-friendly Blog and hop, so please be respectful
  • Link back to Cookin’ for My Captain, Cookin’ Mimi or both if you’d like.
  • Please only 1 or 2 entries.
  • Visit and comment on the other entries. Spread some comment love.
  • By entering your link on one blog it will show up on both.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

What IS it?

So I came across this bad boy at the farmers market a week back. I was completely mesmerized by its weirdness. Call me un-cultured *GASP!* Anyway, I had them setting out at my open house and asked people as they came what they thought it was. Turned out most of them DID know, made me feel even more un-cultured. HA!

So I ask you, my friends, if you know what its called?

I tried a "casserole" dish using ground turkey, onion, lots of seasoning and bread crumbs. Not my choice of vegetable. I didn't like the texture--too squishy. Would I give it another try? Only if someone gives me a kick-a$$ recipe and the "veg" for free. =D I'll make sure to have frozen pizza available in case it doesn't work out.
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