Monday, October 1, 2012

Stuffed Green Peppers

A great and mildly healthy snack.

The Good: Makes a tasty appetizer or goes fairly as a meal.
The Bad: Takes a bit of time and can be somewhat tricky to cook everything just right.
The Ugly: If we timed it out right, we would have made this recipe from our own grown peppers...

Suggestions Before Starting: 
Basically, we like to have everything as ready as can be before starting anything. That means dicing the tomatoes, cutting the peppers, etc so it's all ready to go. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Mozzarella Chicken

Succulent and Flavorful

The Good: Easy to prepare, absolutely juicy and fairly cheap.
The Bad: The recipe takes a bit of time to cook up.
The Ugly: I always make a huge mess when breading foods!

Suggestions Before Starting: 
As always, leave items like butter and eggs out for a bit before starting the recipe so it is easier to work with and so it will blend better.  I usually set them out when I start thinking about making dinner (30-40 minutes early).  Please don't forget you set it out and let it spoil after a change of plans!
If you do not have dried bread crumbs, feel free to crush crackers (saltines, cheese Its, butter crackers.. you pick!) and add your favorite spices.  I like to use oregano, basil... and whatever else inspires me that day.
Don't forget to get wax paper if you do not have any!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Pumpkin Ginger Cupcakes

The Perfect Taste for Fall

The Good:  I made these for my co-workers when I worked at the hospital and they were gone quickly.
The Bad: Fall only comes once a year!
The Ugly:  Crystallized ginger is extremely expensive unless you find the right store.

Suggestions before starting:
I like to "seal" cakes and cupcakes with a thin layer of icing while it is still warm to keep in the moisture.  As you can see in the picture, I was a little impatient when I went back to finish icing them so the icing became a bit runny and not so pretty.

If you don't already have ginger, cinnamon or ground cloves and are wondering if this recipe would be worth buying those spices, check out our Chai Tea recipe.  All three of this spices are in both recipes and are delicious!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Penne A La Vodka

Hearty and tasty

The Good: Absolutely delicious and easy to adjust to your own taste-buds and spicy level!
The Bad: The recipe takes a bit of time to cook up.
The Ugly: Be careful on the type of tomatoes you use.  We have made this recipe several times and it tastes a lot different (and gross) if you use cheap tomatoes or crushed/diced tomatoes.

Suggestions Before Starting:
When buying ingredients, be sure to buy the better tomatoes... We like Del Monte.
It is best to have all ingredients measured and ready before you start.
Be careful when cutting up the tomatoes, sometimes they squirt at you.
We add crushed red pepper instead of black pepper to make the recipe a little bit spicy and so it pairs better with red wine.
As always, feel free to use your favorite noodle type.  I like to use Rigatoni, Penne or Farfalle (bowtie) in order for the noodle to hold in the sauce!  Remember to adjust the time you start the noodles to how quickly your stove heats up and how long your noodles take to cook.  Our stove is generally very quick so we turn the water on when there is 5 minutes left of the vodka step.
If you need help with how to use fresh garlic please visit our older post.
I like to "cook" the sauce into the pasta on low heat for flavor for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly so the heavy cream does not burn.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Cheddar Bacon Ranch Pull-Apart Bread

The Loaf
The Good: Makes the perfect New Years' Eve party appetizer (or any party for that matter)
The Bad: It probably won't be the healthiest in your party-snack lineup
The Ugly: Not good for people with allergies to deliciousness!

Suggestions Before Starting:
Although this particular recipe calls for a round sourdough loaf and bacon bits, don't panic if you can't find or don't have either. It is really quite flexible. We substituted the sourdough loaf with a round Italian loaf, and bacon bits with actual pan-fried bacon. Feel free to substitute the cheddar cheese with any kind you like as well!

Double Tomato Brushcetta

Flavorful and appetizing

The Good: Delicious and easy to make.
The Bad: Tomato seeds are slimy and messy.
The Ugly: Not good for tomato allergies.

Suggestions before starting:
If you are unclear about mincing garlic or what a clove is visit Garlic, Yes Please! for further instructions.  Remember when cutting bread to use a serrated knife.  Allow the blade to cut the bread by using long strokes rather than applying large amounts of pressure.  When spreading the cheese be careful not to leave any on the pan b/c it is extremely difficult to wash off the pan.  Be cautious when using the broiler setting.  Stay close by otherwise you will have burnt bread instantly.