Thursday, October 28, 2010

For 2: Man Burgers

This is a man burger. 1/3 of a pound; no veggies mixed in; all about the flavor of the meat burger. And just so you know I enjoyed it topped with Colby jack cheese and a little ketchup: like a man! And yes, I know it says this is for 2 and it makes 3 burgers, but take one for lunch the next day, you won’t be sorry.

Sincerely Loving Food,

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

For a Crowd: Big Turkey Sandwich

This is one of my favorite sandwiches to make and take some where. It has turkey, roasted red peppers, green apple and havarti (possibly the best cheese ever).  I always make it in a large sour dough round and then cut it like a pie when ready to serve, but you could use the same ingredients for any bread of any size and it will be just as good. I made it a couple weeks ago for a tailgate and it was a hit!
Sincerely Loving Food,

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

For a Crowd: Birthday Dinner Party

I love to throw a party, and dinner parties are just the best! Friday night I threw a girls only dinner party for my best friend’s birthday. I believe the key to a dinner party is being able to enjoy yourself, while still serving everyone good food; you can do this by having most things ready before your guests get there. I accomplished this by having my salad and soup course ready early in the afternoon so they were chilling and simmering, respectfully, then about an hour before the guests were set to arrive I put the vegetables and potatoes in the oven to cook and a few minutes before everyone arrived I seared the meat and put it in the oven as well so I could mingle when they got there! This is what we had:

Baby Spinach and Arugula Salad with Apples, Pecans, and Blue Cheese Crumbles

Beer Cheese Soup

Rosemary Pork Tenderloin with Twice Baked Potatoes and Roasted Fall Vegetables

Flourless Chocolate Lime Cake with Margarita Cream
Sorry I didn't take a was so good we starting eating...

I started thinking about this menu a couple of weeks ago and from the get go I was sure of a couple of things: I wanted to incorporate seasonal ingredients, I wanted the menu to include some of Brittany’s favorites, and I wanted it to be casual comfortable food because it was all about great girlfriends getting together to celebrate a birthday…so this is how it came together. The inspiration for the salad came from a post by The Novice Chef, but I did make some changes changes: I couldn’t find watercress even tough I went to 3 different groceries, honestly I really don’t care for pears, and I wanted to serve the salad family style to keep it in the tradition of the rest of the meal (aka – I don’t have the time or the patience to make the “stacks,” but if I did I would have done it her way). As for the soup, Brittany and I both love beer and who doesn’t love cheese, so beer cheese soup was the perfect choice. The soup is rich, but not too filling (so long as you don’t eat the whole pot). It was great as the second course. The rosemary pork tenderloin is one of my favorite recipes and one of the first things I posted on the blog. I knew it was perfect for a party because the majority of the cook time is hands off in the oven, and it is amazingly tender, juicy and delicious. I paired it with a twice baked potato because I believe everyone loves them, I mean potato, heavy cream, sour cream, cheese and chives…HELLO! To round it out, the roasted vegetables had so many fall flavors and colors and they were super simple! Finally, Nigella Lawson was featured in the October issue of Better Homes and Gardens and when I saw Margarita Cream and Chocolate Cake, there was not a doubt in my mind that I had to make it for the birthday girl. I hope you enjoy the recipes below (note – I am just linking to the original Nigella recipe because I did not change it in any way) and throw your own dinner party soon…let me know how it goes!
Sincerely Loving Food,

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Guest-Post for a Crowd: Chipotle Macaroni and Cheese

I am very excited to introduce my friend Sarah to you guys.  She is an excellent cook, and has written this guest post about her AMAZING macaroni and cheese.  I hope you enjoy, and I apologize in advance for the half eaten brat in the picture below.  Please focus on the macaroni...I should have took the photo before I ate, but I was just so stinking hungry...anyway, I hope you enjoy Sarah's post and really try this, it is great!

From Sarah:
Lainey and I have bonded over our love for food, and I was very excited when she asked if I would share one of my favorite recipes with you.--a rich macaroni and cheese with a little bit of heat, just in time for the fall chill. I think this macaroni is wonderful, but I have to warn you that it's also a little bit evil...because it's tempting to eat so much of it!

For me, enjoying food is a way to practice unconditional love. I come from a family where one of your birthday gifts was getting to choose a special dinner, where every event (major and not-so-major) is commemorated with a thoughtful meal, and where we recount our vacations through the wonderful restaurants we tried.

So to "share the love," here's a favorite recipe for a very comforting, crowd-pleasing dish. I've served this at Easter dinner alongside a pork tenderloin, and its most recent appearance was at a football tailgate with beer brats! I really hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

For a Diet: Romaine Shrimp Salad

Last night I had a salad for dinner…yeah its that get in shape for the wedding thing, but I am actually really excited about this salad. It had a ton of flavor and was really healthy.

Romaine lettuce topped with pan seared shrimp, sliced roasted red peppers, a little parmesan cheese and these snapea crisps.  I seasoned the shrimp with a little salt, pepper and grill seasoning and cooked them in a tiny bit of olive oil for about 5 minutes and used peppers from a jar.  Perfect quick cooking for a long Monday!

I found the snapea crisps at Trader Joe’s and they are awesome! They fill that need for crunch, but are way better for you than the traditional crouton. Highly recommended! And I used Kraft’s Sundried Tomato Vinaigrette OMG! If you haven’t tried this dressing and you like tomatoes you have to give it a whirl.
Sincerely Loving Food,

Friday, October 15, 2010

All I think about is food!

A few weeks ago I was reading one if my favorite blogs, for the love, and the writer was listing 7 things that cross her mind a lot. Number four said, “I probably think about food 37 times a day…I’m never not thinking about food. Teenage boys probably don’t think about sex as often as I think about food.” I almost screamed out loud, me too I think about food all the time; obviously I do write a blog about it. Well right now, that obsession has been escalated to a whole new level. I am planning events for the immediate future and semi-distant future and concentrating on the food:

1. What am I going to make for the tailgate tomorrow? GT plays Middle Tennessee (never even heard of it) so the game is sort of a yawner, the food has to be great!
2. Next week is my best friend’s birthday and I am throwing a dinner party for her…I am super excited and working on the menu.
3. Oh, yeah I’m getting married in May and deciding on the menu for the reception, no big deal right?

Basically, I think about those things along with my normal, what’s for dinner thoughts almost all the time. Some people get stressed out about stuff like this but I love it. I almost love the menu planning part of an event as much as the event itself. What about you, what do you obsess about? Do you enjoy menu planning or see it as a pain?
Sincerely Loving Food,

Thursday, October 14, 2010

For 2: Roasted Broccoli

The other day I “freaked my mom out,” I texted her and told her my sister was eating broccoli and liked it! My sister has hated broccoli her whole life, like make a gagging noise, ugly face, don’t even want to see it kind of hate. I dry roasted broccoli and begged her to try it; she did and she said, “humm, its not mushy its crunchy, actually pretty good.” So if you have a child or boyfriend or sister or whatever who doesn’t like broccoli, make it this way (it’s super easy!) and I feel the chances are good they will like it!
Sincerely Loving Food,

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

For a Crowd: Chili + Fritos = Frito Pie

For me fall really begins with the first pot of chili. There is something about the smell of chili simmering in the crock pot that screams, “HEY, I’m autumn and I’m here now.” On Friday I made my “quick and easy chili” for the Saturday tailgate. We used the chili for Frito pie, which if you’ve never heard of: one - You are missing out and two - You must not have ever been to a Sonic Drive-in. Frito pie is the perfect tailgate food: a layer of Fritos topped with a good helping of chili, sprinkled with cheese, sour cream and green onions if you so desire. Does it get any better than that? I am kicking myself for not taking a picture, but it just got gone too fast. So if you want to see it make the chili below and then create a Frito pie with whatever toppings you like; believe me you won’t regret it!  What is your favorite tailgate food?  What signals the start of fall for you?
Sincerely Loving Food,

Friday, October 8, 2010

Appetizer in a box!

Last night I had some girlfriends coming over so I picked up these little guys:

and they were awesome!  I didn't have a ton of time so when I saw them in the freezer section, with a coupon I couldn't resist.  I really liked the mozzarella & pepperoni ones, they were like little mini pizzas!  Give them a try!
Sincerely Loving Food,

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Remix: Cheesy Chicken Casserole with CRUNCH!

My sister made my favorite Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole last night with one small change, which made a HUGE FLAVOR DIFFERENCE! She didn’t sprinkle the extra cheese on top before baking like I did. She put it in to bake with no cheese on top, in the mean time she mixed up some shredded cheese and a can of French fried onions (oh, yeah those are good!) and then when the casserole had about 5 minutes left to cook she took it out of the oven and covered the top with the onion and cheese mixture. Then, she put it back in the oven to finish cooking and let the onions brown and the cheese melt. HOLY MOLY!!! This was delicious! Such a great addition! Healthy, not so much but FLAVORFUL and added a nice crunch texture!!! And let’s be honest this is a casserole, so it’s not like it is super waist line friendly to begin with, but that’s why they taste so good! What is your favorite casserole?  Or are you an anti-casserole person?  (which I don't even pretend to understand by the way, but I know you are out there...)

And one other little thing, sorry for the lack of posts lately.  I got engaged last week so my life has been exciting and hectic!  I will have some new exciting stuff for you soon.  I am having a hard time with one thing though, I have always called my boyfriend the bf on the he is my fiance.  I don't think I should call him the f.  Anyone have any ideas?
Sincerely Loving Food,

Monday, October 4, 2010

For a Crowd: Bacon and Cheese Biscuits again!

There is nothing wrong with a do over, when the recipe was good the first time!  Last week the Jackets had another noon kick off, so it was another breakfast tailgate.  I made the bacon and cheese biscuits, that I made for breakfast club a couple of months ago.  Last time I didn't make them thick enough so this time I was careful to not have flat biscuits and I succeeded! 
Biscuits in my handy Built bag:

Luckily this week we finally get a 3:30 kickoff, so I can make a normal tailgate, not that I don't love breakfast but let's be honest those 7am wake up calls on a Saturday were getting old!
Sincerely Loving Food,