Thursday, September 29, 2011

Stolen Recipe Success

A few nights ago we had a delicious corn meal breaded chicken with a jalapeno sauce that I got from Let's Dish and it was so good.  It was crunchy fried chicken topped with a jalapeno popper.  The hubs and I both love jalapenos, so if you do too you should try this.
*picture from Let's Dish

For the tailgate last weekend I made a breakfast casserole in the crock pot.  This was so easy!  Throw everything in the night before, turn it on and the next morning carry it to the game.  Try it this weekend!  Waking up and smelling breakfast is delightful!
What blogs are you reading?  Have you  made anything great lately?  Let me know!
Sincerely Loving Food,

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

For 2: Zucchini Alfredo

I’m not gonna go all out and say this pasta dish is good for you, but I will say it is better for you than the traditional fettuccini alfredo. In all actuality it is not really all fettuccini or all alfredo, I used a thinly sliced zucchini for half of the noodles and reduced fat cream cheese for the alfredo, but it was creamy, comforting, cheesy and filling. And if you're honest with yourself isn’t that what you want from a Fettuccini Alfredo? I used a mandolin to transform the zucchini to noodles, but you could easily do it with a knife and some patience. I will tell you now and I will say it again in the recipe, at one point the cream cheese is going to look really weird – like you think it is ruined/curdled/burned type of weird, but just keep stirring and keep going with it – it will work out in the end. This really is so delicious and with the chopping and cooking comes together in about 20 minutes.
Sincerely Loving Food,

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Kitchen Part 2

This was my starting point: a nice, big kitchen with granite counter tops, white appliances and lots of natural light.  But sort of boring and not homey:

The area around the stove seemed so open to me.  I didn't understand why the cabinets above it were not wall to wall.  I thought that was such a waste of space.  See, why are there not cabinets there:
I also knew I wanted a pot rack of some sort in the kitchen.  Even though there is lots of counter space there isn't a ton of cabinet space, so enter IKEA.  I got my great pot rails there for $9.99 a piece.  They were quite easy to install and I love having my pots and pans within reach while I am at the stove.  The Dude wasn't exactly crazy about something hanging from the ceiling as they aren't crazy high and he was scared of hitting his head so this was a great solution for everyone.  Then for the right side...I wanted some type of open shelving.  I have seen so many open shelves on pinterest and love them.  After searching high and low for something that would fit in the 15 inch space I found the perfect shelf in my laundry room.  I swear this used to be there and I don't understand why they took it down in the first place:
The laundry area is sort of weird at my old house, there are literally all different kinds of cabinets just screwed to the wall in no order what so ever.  It is like whenever there was a renovation going on and a cabinet was taken down it was just added to the laundry room.  So I got lucky and didn't have to build this myself.  I few screws, some corner round to finish the side and a little paint later this kitchen revamp was done.  Then it was time to decorate.  Here is the finished product:
The art on the side of the room are stickers that you just hang up and the black scroll pieces were trivets that I got a ton of as wedding gifts so we made them wall art.  I have cooked 2 meals in this kitchen and I have had a blast doing it.  I hope to share my recipes with you soon!
Sincerely Loving Food,

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

For a Crowd: Deep Space 9 Layer Dip

Last month I told you I was on a Mexican Kick when I made the Chipotle Chicken Nachos and that I would share a dip recipe with you that I made for a Star Trek loving friend's birthday.  Well, here it is a solid month later and I am finally sharing the dip.  Our friend LOVES Star Trek and when I asked his wife what I could do to help with his party she asked me to make a late night munchie.  I knew I wanted to do a dip and I love a I came up with Deep Space 9 Layer dip.  7 layer dips are classic and Deep Space 9 has something to do with Star Trek (so google said) and I figured if 7 layers are good 9 is better.  Usually I am a fan of shredding your own cheese, making guacamole, etc, but with this dip there are so many components I used all short cuts and it was still so good and fast to put together!  So here we go 9 Layer Dip in pictures:
1. 1 Can Refried Beans even better if you mix a little adobe sauce in with them, it takes the "can" taste away

2. 4-8 ounces Sour Cream use light if you must, but I advise against it!
3. Shredded Cheese I prefer sharp cheddar, grate your own if you are high maintenance, but not necessary here
4. Guacamole the prepackaged is fine, it doesn't turn brown and smooth is better here
5. Diced Tomatoes
6. Diced Onion yes they are sort of mixed, but it's still 2 layers or use pico de gallo, sort of cheating but does the job
7. MORE you can never have enough Cheese
8. Chopped Olives black or green or pimento stuffed, you choose
9. Cilantro! try to spread it out more then me

This dip was literally gone in like 5 minutes, and I had a huge container , this was just the small one for photos.  Give it a try at your tailgate this weekend!  It's great, quick to put together, you can use all store bought ingredients and it still tastes good and everyone loves it!  What is your favorite dip?
Sincerely Loving Food,

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Kitchen Part 1

Hooray!  I found my camera cord!  I am sure you were all holding your breath, biting your nails, and at the edge of your seat to see the pictures of my kitchen.  Ok, maybe that is a little bit of an exaggeration, but here we go anyway.  I am going to start with the area over the kitchen cabinets.  Here is what it was like the day we closed:
Please note cabinet doors all the way across the top and one little peek-a-boo cubby to the far left.  Additionally the middle section over the sink has a piece of wood about two inches wide down the middle of it. 
Presto Chango - Cabinet Doors removed, wood piece removed (I got my aggression out with a hammer) back panel sanded with my new little palm sander and enter Mom to paint! Thanks Mom!
Painting Complete!  We used a flat black enamel paint for the back panel so everything we put up there would POP!  Note - black enamel paint does not come off of skin very easily...

Begin to decorate.  Anchor the corner with a big white pitcher.  I am a not exactly tall so we decided the top shelf would be used for decoration, the middle shelf, just within my reach for every day dishes and the bottom shelf for dish clothes, a little memo board, the french press and wine.

Finished product!  I love the way my white dishes stand out against the black back ground and it is so nice to have them within easy reach, not hidden behind doors.  A huge THANKS is due to my Mom, she was basically my guidance counselor throughout this whole process and a muse!

Coming tomorrow - adding a corner cabinet beside the stove!
Sincerely Loving Food and my new kitchen,

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Click for Coffee

Jessica over at The Novice Chef is always posting fab food with great photos.  Two of my favorite posts from The Novice Chef, which I wrote about previously, are the Oreo Pie and super cool Croquet Madam.  Jessica is a great story teller and a very, very impressive photographer.  Her blog is lighthearted, slightly smart ass, well illustrated and funny.    For the next couple of weeks she is running a give away for a Keurig coffee maker and Green Mountain Coffee.  Click on over and check it out!  The coffee maker is GREAT and Green Mountain Coffee Fair Trade Certified (she explains what this means in her post) and is delicious.  While you are there read some of her other posts, you won't be sorry.

On a separate, but related note: the fall flavors have arrived at Starbucks!  I have waited all summer for this!  This morning in Atlanta it was a nice 60 degrees and I had a pumpkin spice latte and I am wearing new shoes (since the whole saving to buy a house thing this is the first new shoes day in about 8 months and it is amazing, sometimes shoes are better than food!  Ok, maybe not better, but close very very close).  It's going to be a great day, I just know it!

What is your favorite Starbucks flavor?  Do you get excited about the pumpkin like me or are you holding out for that peppermint come Christmas time?  Or do you think all Starbucks people are bonkers and can't understand why anyone would spend the money?  Do you love new shoes?  I love, love, love new shoes!

Sincerely Loving Food and Coffee and SHOES,

PS -  In case you care, these are my shoes, clearance rack @ Dillard's originally $215 purchased for $52, but those are not my cankles that is an optical illusion, because I had to use my crappy phone camera since I still haven't found my camera cord and the phone camera adds 10 pounds, specifically on the ankles.  Thanks for understanding.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Stolen Recipe Success

Last week I made The Pioneer Woman's Pasta with Whiskey, Wine and Mushrooms and served it over gnocchi.  It was to die for!  So delicious, creamy, rich and I didn't even put the whiskey in it.  Not because I didn't want to, but because I forgot to get it and I wasn't going out to the store again.  If you love mushrooms you have got to try this on any pasta or even just eat it with a spoon.  It is so good!

I am hoping to post some kitchen renovation/decoration pictures soon, but right now my camera cord is sad.  As soon as I find it I will share the new kitchen with you!

Sincerely Loving Food,

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Are you ready for some football?

My beloved Yellow Jackets kick off the season tonight, my beloved husband and I are moving into our house tomorrow, and I was like a kid on Christmas morning today; so excited I literally woke up at 3am and could not go back to sleep.  Just in case you are as pumped as I am about football season and the food that goes along with it, I thought I would throw out some tailgating menu ideas (linked to recipes) to get your little hamster wheel in your head spinning about all the delicious goodness that comes with football!  Football, what a great reason to eat unhealthy and drink beer!

For a noon game: Grits-and-Greens Breakfast Bake or Breakfast Burritos or Potato and Sausage Breakfast Casserole with the Easiest Fruit Dip Ever

For an afternoon game: A big Turkey Sandwich or a Ham Hawaiian Sandwich with Redneck Caviar

For a late game:  Pulled pork Sandwiches with twice baked potatoes (or potato chips) or Frito Pie (my personal fave)

For dessert : Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Click here for all of my tailgating recipes.
I can't wait to get to campus today, play some corn hole (bean bag game) have a cocktail, eat a hot dog and prepare to cheer on the jackets. What are your favorite tailgate foods and activities?
Sincerely Loving Food & Football,