Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Oven Fried Parmesan Zucchini Spears

Growing up, we had a Fry Baby and then one year my mom upgraded to a Fry Daddy. Oh how I loved to fry all kinds of morsels in that thing. Nowadays they have all kinds of fry "contraptions". In fact Paula Deen has, not one, but TWO fry baskets built right into her counter. I would love to get myself a fryer but I risk gaining 30 lbs with that sucker so I opt not to fry anything in my house. I made Parmesan chicken fingers in the oven a while back so I figured doing that to any type of veggie would work just as good and it did. This zucchini was delicious. They were really crunchy and had about a million less calories than their fried counterpart. I didn't have any marinara sauce so I whipped me up some spicy creamy dip. It was okay but next time I will serve these with marinara for sure.

Oven Fried Parmesan Zucchini
1/2 cup Bread Crumbs (I used whole wheat)
1/2 cup Parmesan
2 tsp Oregano
1 tsp Salt or to taste
1/2 tsp Pepper or to taste
1 or 2 Eggs

Cut your veggies up, into spears or circles, whatever you prefer.

Lightly beat an egg and put in a shallow bowl. Mix together your breadcrumbs, parmesan, oregano, salt and pepper and place in a shallow bowl.

1. Dip your zucchini into the egg.

2. Roll your zucchini in the breadcrumb mixture.

3. Place onto a greased cooking sheet. Bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Haystack Cookies

This is my mom's recipe. She made these all the time when we were little. I hated them! That was until I got into my 20's and really started to appreciate coconut. As I child, I thought it was disgusting. Maybe it was because I had braces and coconut and braces do not mix, unless you want to look like a garbage pail kid, that is. Now I look at coconut as the food that keeps on giving because I can chew on a piece of coconut for hours...ewww, gross I know, but I love it! My sister Denise was the one that would eat them all up, she loved these and she still does. The best part about these cookies? There is only 5 ingredients so they are easy and delicious.
Val's Haystack Cookies
3 oz semi sweet chocolate
1 can sweetened condesed milk
1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
2 cups walnuts, chopped
1 tsp vanilla
Melt chocolate in top of a double boiler. (I don't own a double boiler so I put a glass bowl over a pan of shallow works like a charm.) Once the chocolate is melted, stir in the milk and cook until thick, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and add coconut, nuts and vanilla. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet. (My stuck to the pan like crazy. Next time I'm using parchment paper or silpat mats). Bake at 275 for 15 minutes.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Crawfish Etouffee

My husband and I love Crawfish Etouffee. There is a restaurant called Baby Kay's in Phoenix and we love that place but hate the drive. I did go there about a week ago and brought some Crawfish Etoufee back for Bart and you could tell that he liked it but didn't love it. I knew I had to fix that so I made homemade Crawfish Etouffee and he LOVED it! In fact, he told me it was the best he has ever tasted. I have to agree with him, it's DEVINE!

What you need:

1 pound of fresh or frozen, peeled and cooked crawfish tails. (You can get them at Walmart)
1/4 cup of flour
1/4 cup of butter or margarine
1 large onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
1 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup finely chopped green sweet bell peppers
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of butter
3/4 cup of water
1/2 cup of sliced green onions
1/4 cup of snipped fresh parsley
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon of salt
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of ground red pepper (cayenne)
1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper
hot cooked rice

In a 3 quart saucepan stir together the flour and 1/4 cup of butter until smooth. Cook over medium-high heat for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium and cook and stir for another 5-8 minutes or until roux has turned a brownish red. Add onion, celery, sweet pepper and garlic to sauce pan and cook for another 5 minutes.
Now add 1 tablespoon of butter, stir until melted. Stir in water, green onions, parsley, salt, pepper and the ground red pepper (cayenne). Bring to a boil. Add crawfish. Return to boil, reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered for another 10-12 minutes or until heated through. Serve with hot cooked rice. Garnish with parley if desired.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Chocolate Toffee Brownies

My family went to Rocky Pointe about a month ago. My sister in law Jennifer told me that a friend of theirs that came with them made like 3 different kind of brownies and that she had been eating them all weekend. Of course I was dying to get the recipes. Next to cookies, brownies are my best friend (sorry BBFF (bloggin best friend forever), food will always win out over you) Did I just blog that out loud? So after much stalking, and text messages, I got my sister in law to tell me the recipe for the toffee brownies. You guys are going to be blown away at how easy these are...I know I was. And they were to die for.

I sent most of them to work with my hubby and he said that pretty much all the guys' reactions were "death by chocolate"...hhmmmmmm, is that good or bad? Well, whatever, I liked them and I'm the one that counts so here ya go. I would not recommend eating these if you plan on getting into a bathing suit anytime soon...since I don't plan on doing that in the near future, I ate like half a pan of these. (Well actually I leave for the beach in approximately 5 weeks...OMG...what was I thinking making these!!!?)

Chocolate Toffee Brownies

2 boxes of Brownie mix
(all the ingredients to make the brownies...oil, water, eggs, I'm sure you've all made a boxed brownie so you know the drill)

2 giant size Symphony bars (the ones with the little toffee bits in them) or 3 if you want eat one of them while your brownies bake...that's totally fine too

Mix your brownie mixes according to package direction (in seperate bowls)

Next line a pan with foil and spray it with cooking spray (this makes clean up a breeze and helps to get those gooey brownies out of the pan. Now, you want to pour your first brownie mix into the pan.

After you have scraped the bowl clean and pretty much licked it dry, layer the candy bars all together across the top. The best part about this...two of those little rows of chocolate didn't fit into my pan...oh bummer (munch munch munch)...okay, now where were we?

You know that second box of brownies you made? Well that batter wasn't for you to eat while this was if you ate it, go make another box. Pour that batter mixture over the top of the candy bars.

Okay, at this point I would tell you how long to bake this for and at what temperature but of course stupid me threw away the brownie box and have no clue what the starting point was baking these or what the temp was. I wanna say 325 for 28 minutes but honestly...I have no clue.

So here's the dealio...look on the box for the 13x9 glass pan baking time and temp and bake for that time but add 15 to 20 minutes. Take them out and let them cool for like a good hour before you cut them because they are gooier than all get out, but if they are still not done in the middle, just eat out of the pan with a spoon...they're still good and I'm pretty sure the eggs are almost salmonella you're good!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Steam Fresh Bag Recipes...GREAT IDEA!!!

Yesterday on Facebook one of my friends, Sheridan's status read "Just made 20 Steam Fresh Bags" of course, this peeked my curiosity so I commented "what in the world are those?". She wrote me back and said they are bags of uncooked food she makes ahead of time and then throws them in the freezer. She said it has been working out awesome because it's total portion control and her husband has lost 6 lbs in 2 weeks eating these. I told her I wanted to learn more and to send me info. She sent me recipes and pictures of the finished product right out of her freezer.

I'm going to post them here for you guys because I'm giddy excited about this. I haven't tried it yet but I'm going to the store today to buy one of the recipe ingredients and the Steam Fresh Bags. I will make it and do an update. But for now check out this idea...very cool for the moms that work, men that don't cook, or just the all around busy busy person.

Here's her recipes and all the info she sent me:

The intention is to fill the bags with more veggies than carbs. I always make a big salad before with whatever dressing, fat or no fat, and then one of the bags. Daniel is doing really well with these. I just take one hour and make a ton of them and freeze them. I mix up and add or take away so each bag is different. I add full sugar/fat sauces. But you can add spices so that there is barely any additional fat or sugar added. Get creative in the spice section, salt/pepper, curry, lemon/pepper, chili pepper, cinnamon, taco seasoning, you name it. Replace veggies with ones you like if you don't prefer the ones I put. Add nuts too! Each box of medium steam fresh bags have ten each in them (you can find them by the ziploc bags)

Sweet and Sour Chicken:

divide chicken and veggies into 4 portions and put into each bag seperately

1 pound skinless/boneless chicken strips diced
1 can pineapple1 red or green bell pepper diced
1 white onion diced
1 jar of sweet and sour sauce (just put 1 to 2 tablespoons in each bag)
1 bag of Uncles Bens 90 second rice

Teriyaki Chicken and Asparagus:

1 pound skinless/boneless chicken strips diced
1 stalk of asparagus
1 carton of mushrooms
1 onion diced
1 can water chestnuts
Garlic (1-2 cloves per bag)
1 jar of teriyaki sauce (1 to 2 tablespoons in each bag)
1 bag of Uncle Bens 90 second rice

Curry Lamb:

4 lamb steaks (cheap at Bashas,like $2 a piece)
1 small bushel fresh mint (put 3-4 leaves in each bag)
1 tablespoon curry spice
1 Garlic (1-2 cloves per bag)
1 carton of portobello mushrooms
1 zuchinni sliced
1 onion diced
1 bag of Uncle Bens Basmati 90 second rice

Steak and Asparagus:

4 medium sized steaks
1 Garlic (1-2 cloves per bag)
1 onion diced
1 carton mushrooms
1 stalk of asparagus
2 white potatoes diced
1 bag baby carrots
salt/pepper to taste

Buffalo Chicken:

1 pound diced chicken
1 bottle buffalo marinade (1 to 2 tablespoons per bag)
one onion diced
2 white potatoes cubed

Fajitas Fun:

1 pound stir fry beef
1 onion sliced in circles
1 red or green bell pepper
1 jalepeno (if your brave enough)
one pack taco seasonings
one 90 second bag of spanish rice
with or without a pack of tortillas you have fajitas

Honey Mustard Salmon:

1 large salmon sliced into fours
Honey Mustard (1-2 tablespoons to bag)
1 scallion diced
1 garlic (1-2 cloves per pack)
1 yellow squash sliced
1 carton white mushrooms
one pack gnochi

Beef and Broccoli:

1 pound stir-fry beef sliced
1 onion
1 garlic minced
1 stalk broccoli
1 can water chestnuts
1 bag baby carrots
teriyaki or soy sauce to taste
one bag 90 second brown rice

Chicken Tortellini:

1 pound chicken strips
1 onion
1 garlic
1 can spaghetti sauce (2-3 ts per bag)
1 carton portobello mushrooms
1 bag shredded cheese(put a small handful in the bag, or after you cook it)
1 zuchinni diced
1 medium bag frozen cheese tortellini or ravioli

Each Bag States on the front how long each piece takes. I do between 5-7 minutes for each one. You have to live and learn, depending on how your microwave is, your portions sizes ect. If it isnt cooked, put it back in for 2 minutes and you are golden.
Sheridan with her son Carter

Thanks Sheridan...great idea!!!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Shrimp Tempura Rolls

We love, REALLY love going out and having some great sushi for dinner. It just seems that prices for sushi is going up, up, up. About 5 years ago, I decided that instead of going out for the sushi we love to eat, I'd make it at home. It's been a hit ever since and it's truly a treat. My family and I love making Mama Rolls and Shrimp Tempura Rolls. Next time your craving cooked sushi, make it at home! It really is so easy, anyone can do it. You get more for the money and there's something about sushi made at home. You're family will love you for it.

What you need:

1 package of roasted seaweed sheets
4 cups of cooked Nishiki rice (sushi rice)
cream cheese
1/4 of a cucumber, sliced into thin strips
1 small package of imitation crab
toasted sesame seeds

Shrimp Tempura:

10 shrimps
1 egg
1 cup of flour

Crab Sauce:

imitation crab, diced finely
1/3 cup of soft cream cheese (room temp)
4 T of mayo

Take your diced imitation crab, 1/3 cup of room temp cream cheese and 4 T of mayo and mix into a bowl. Add a pinch of salt. Put back in fridge for about 20 minutes.
While your crab sauce is chilling out in the fridge, take your shrimp, de-vained, de-shelled and place into the egg and then into the flour, coat well and put into hot oil and cook until golden brown. Remove and let sit on paper towels until you are ready to assembly the sushi rolls.
Lay down a big piece of saran wrap on a flat board. Take 1 sheet of the roasted seaweed and lay out flat. Take your hands and run them under cold water and then get a handful of the rice (make sure your hands are wet), place the rice all over the seaweed. You want enough rice to cover the sheet. Once it's coated with the rice, take the sesame seeds and sprinkle all over the rice. Carefully flip the seaweed shit over, rice down and with your hands, firmly press down to get the rice nice and tight.
Take your shrimp tempura and cut each shrimp in half, long way. Place shrimp on the short edge of the seaweed, add the crab sauce, add a few slices of cream cheese, sliced cucumbers and if you want, you can even add a slice of imitation crab (I always do). Once you do that, carefully take the saran wrap and the edge of the seaweed and roll up super tight, roll until it's completely rolled up. Using the saran wrap add slight pressure to the roll to get all the ingredients to snug together. Once your roll is finished, I use a bread knife and slowly cut slices. Serve with wasabi, ginger and soy sauce.