photo 1541b1da-8f75-455f-b559-cf466fa0598f.jpgHappy Easter everyone! Eat much, stay safe and play nice:@)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Chipotle Turkey and Sweet Potato Grilled Southwestern Stir Fry

finally fired up the grill and it sure felt good:@) That meal gave a couple interesting items for a New Food To Me post, have you ever tried turkey tenderloins? They're just as wonderful as chicken tenders and will make some fun shish-ka-bobs in the near future. I also decided it was time to pick up a jar of ground chipotle powder (I've been looking at it for months)... In nosing around I saw that folks say chipotle works well with sweet potatoes so wa-la, the Chipotle Turkey and Sweet Potato Grilled Southwestern Stir Fry was born!
The spice gave me that little bite of heat I was looking for from something labeled "chipotle", and it also has a nice smoky flavor. 
I think I'll get my monies worth from this $1.15 jar of southwestern yumminess:@)
I called this a stir fry because everything is dumped into a hot grill pan and cooked over high heat.
You may want to oil your pan a bit before adding the food, that's your call.

Chiptle Turkey and Sweet Potato Grilled Southwestern Stir Fry
Makes enough for two people, maybe more if served with rice or black beans
One thinner small sweet potato, partially cooked and cooled
1/4 C BBQ sauce-I used Sweet Baby Rays Honey Chipotle
juice of one lime
1/2 tsp chipotle powder-more if you'd like
a healthy Tblsp chopped cilantro
1 Tblsp olive oil
pinch S&P
Approx 1/2 lb turkey tenderloins, cut into 1" cubes
1 medium green bell pepper, 1" diced
1/2 to 1 medium red bell pepper, 1" diced
1/2 baseball sized sweet onion, 1" wedges and separated
  1. Wash sweet potato, prick it with a knife a few times and microwave for 2 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. Mix BBQ sauce, lime juice, chipotle powder, cilantro, oil and S&P.
  3. Add turkey, peppers and onion (no sweet potato yet), stir well to coat everything. Let marinate for about 30 minutes.
  4. While that's marinating, heat up your grill. I used a BBQ wok/pan and put that on the grill as it was heating up.
  5. Peel the sweet potato, cut in half lengthwise then into 1" chunks. Add to the meat and veggies and stir well to coat everything. 
  6. When the grill is hot dump everything into the grill pan, spread out and allow the food time to get a little char, then stir. Do this until everything is cooked through, approx 15 minutes.
Eat well and have a happy day:@)

My New Foods List:
(If my sons happen to read this... relax! I still promise fairly "normal" Sunday dinners...)
hominy ~ artichokes ~ fish sauce (I'm scared) ~ almond paste ~ oyster sauce (scared again) ~ gorgonzola ~ dates ~ brisket ~ parsnips ~ adobo ~ meringue powder ~ goat cheese (I'm told to be scared) ~ souffle ~ red velvet anything ~ curry ~ capers ~ chow chow ~ pot stickers ~ pho ~ ponzu sauce ~ fondant ~ fire roasted tomatoes ~ Gruyere ~ Quinoa ~ Tetrazzini any kind ~ Divinity ~ Meyer lemon ~ lemon curd ~ leeks ~ shallots ~turkey tenderloin and Chipotle Powder


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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Last Minute Bunny Ears for Barbie

Sometimes the easiest things bring the biggest smiles... These Last Minute Super Simple Bunny Ears for Barbie would be so cute tucked inside a plastic egg, or they're a great project to have the girls make for themselves. It's a fast craft that only requires the plastic ring from a water bottle for the headband and pipe cleaners for the ears. Of course you could make them fancier and maybe glue a little pink to the center of each ear (you know I'm thinking glitter:@) but I wanted to keep it as quick and easy as possible, especially if you have several Barbies to help get ready for Easter...
Philly Barbie says "yo, s'up Doc?".
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Last Minute Bunny Ears for Barbie
Material:
~Plastic ring from a water bottle (the part that stays on the bottle when you screw the cap off).
~Half of a pipe cleaner in whatever spring-y colors you have.
~Plastic egg to put it in-optional. I also think it would be a fun surprise if the girl just finds her Barbie wearing bunny ears.
  • Cut ring off of bottle. Bring the two sides of the pipe cleaner up around the ring (making a V), wrap each side tightly around the ring once. Fold each side down in half to make ears and shape them how you'd like. Reshape ring into a circle if necessary. Glue something pink or white to the middle if desired.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Grandma Inez's Pineapple Meringue Pie

This is my second attempt at making Grandma Inez's Pineapple Meringue Pie. Take it from me, it works much better when you follow the directions:@) The first time I couldn't understand why my filling wasn't thickening up and turned around to find the cornstarch still in the measuring cup!!! The pie tastes amazing with a beautiful nicely set yellow fruit custard. I haven't met Grandma Inez but I highly recommend this pie and would like to thank her for the recipe!
I started with a thinner layer of meringue and spread that to the edges of the pie, then had some fun with a Wilton 1M tip to swirl the meringue. I think it split because I slid the wobbly foil pie plate off of the pan I baked it on while hot. I'd just let it cool on that pan the next time. Or make my own crust in a glass pie plate, even a better idea...
You might notice I don't have a pic of a cut piece... um, that's because we were all too busy eating:@) 
You'll love this one folks!

Grandma Inez's Pineapple Meringue Pie-from Tasty Kitchen
Pie:
3/4 C sugar-I cut back a bit
2 Tblsp butter
2 egg yolks (save the whites for the meringue)
1/3 C cornstarch
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 C, plus 2 Tblsp water
8 oz can crushed pineapple
9" pre-baked pie crust-I used a purchased graham cracker crust

Meringue:
2 egg whites-I'd use 3 the next time
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
6 Tblsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla
  1. Pie: Mix sugar, butter and egg yolks in a sauce pan with either a hand held mixer, whisk or spoon.
  2. Add cornstarch, vanilla, water and pineapple (juice and all), mix well making sure the yolks are well incorporated. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thick, approx 15 minutes. Pour into pie shell.
  3. Meringue: Beat egg whites to soft peaks. Add everything else and whip until stiff peaks form and it's smooth and glossy. 
  4. Spread meringue over pie and bake at 400 degrees for 8-12 minutes, or until the meringue has a browned a bit.
  5. Can be served warm or cold but I think it's best eaten the day it's made.
Here are two more fun pineapple ideas for you: Pineapple Pie and Pineapple Cream Cheese Roll.
Have a sticky sweet happy day:@)

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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Ferrero Rocher Easter Bunnies

These little Ferrero Rocher Easter Bunnies are popping their heads up out of their holes just in time for Easter! They make cute place settings, are nice little party favors and would even be fun glued onto napkin rings. I also love that this is a candy adults enjoy as well as kids. They're super simple so why not make like bunnies and whip up a bunch of these to share with everyone:@)
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I wanted to suggest the option of gently peeling the candy from the brown cup and gluing some Easter grass in the cup. This does require a little... patience... you'll notice only one of mine has grass:@)
I added the ornament label because I think they'd be adorable hanging on my Easter tree.

Material:
Ferrero Rocher candy
pipe cleaners cut in half, any color
1/2" pink pom-poms for nose
googly eyes, in desired size
string for whiskers
glue-I used hot glue
spring colored small cupcake/candy cups to replace the brown paper if desired

Directions: 
1. Remove little label sticker from top of candy (you can place it somewhere else).
2. Bend pipe cleaner in half, then each side in half again for ears.
3. Glue on whiskers then nose. Then glue eyes and ears.
4. Sit back and say "awwwwww".

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Onion and Herb Soft Fluffy Dinner Rolls

Has it actually been almost a month since I last mentioned how much we love this roll recipe??? Time flies:@) This will be my 5th variation as it's always fun to change up a favorite just a bit and make it into something new. If you're looking for a soft, fluffy roll with big flavor for those lighter soups of spring or Easter dinner, these Herb and Onion Dinner Rolls were a big hit! Oh and, they're on the table in 90 minutes. I thought you might like that too...
Note: To ensure it had time to soften, I measured the minced onion then crushed it a bit with a mortar and pestle. 

Onion and Herb Classic Dinner Rolls Using Rapid Rise Yeast-adapted from breadworld.com
2 to 2 1/4 C A/P flour
2 Tblsp sugar
1 envelope (2 1/4 tsp) rapid rise yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 C milk
1/4 C water
2 Tblsp butter
1 Tblsp plus  tsp dried minced onion
3/4 tsp Italian Seasoning/herbs 
Melted butter or olive oil mixed with a pinch of dried parsley for brushing on top
  1. Combine 3/4 C flour, sugar, yeast, and salt in large bowl.
  2. Heat milk, water and butter until warm (120 degrees), add to flour mixture and beat at medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping sides of bowl occasionally.
  3. Add 1/4 C flour, onion and herbs, beat 2 minutes at high speed.
  4. Stir in enough remaining flour 1/4 C at a time to make a soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Cover and let rest 10 minutes.
  5. Divide dough into 12 equal pieces, shape into balls and place in greased 8" round pan (we prefer a 9" pan). Cover and let rise until double, about 30 minutes.
  6. Brush with butter/olive oil/parsley and bake at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until done. Remove from pan and brush with additional butter if desired.
Eat well and have a happy day:@)

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Pig Alert! Hallmark Easter Ornaments

While nosing around Ebay one day I saw a couple Hallmark Piggy Easter Ornaments, how could I pass them up??? Ham-N-Eggs 1995 and Pork-N-Beans 1996. I love the little basket of jelly beans and overalls... Since they're only about 1 1/2" tall they'll work on either the big tree or my feather tree.

 I thought they were cute and different.

I don't know about you, but now I'm hungry!
Have a happy day:@)

Monday, April 7, 2014

Carrot Cake Roll with Cream Cheese Filling

Spring=Bunnies, Bunnies=Carrots, Carrots=Cake... See how my mind works?:@) I've wanted to make a Carrot Cake Roll with Cream Cheese Filling for a while now and my attempt last year was a serious kitchen failure. So bad I would have even felt guilty tossing it out to the birds... So this year I tried a different recipe, and had much better results! This is such a pretty cake roll with the bits of orange, I think it would be perfect for Easter dessert.
The recipe as written is a heavily spiced cake (I wanted it lighter for spring and reduced the spices by half) and I added raisins because we love them. My raisins were very small, if yours are a good size you may want to cut them in half so they don't inhibit rolling the cake. I also feel there's plenty of room to cut back a bit on the filling... if you're so inclined:@) Or whip up some Pineapple Cream Cheese Filling HERE and use that for something different.
This received a big thumbs-up (because mouths were full) at dinner on Sunday!

Carrot Cake Roll with Cream Cheese Filling-from Crazy for Crust
3 eggs
2/3 C sugar
2 Tblsp vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt-I just added a sprinkle
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ginger-I used 1/2 tsp
1/4 tsp nutmeg-I just grated some into the bowl
2 tsp cinnamon-I used 1 tsp
3/4 C flour
2 C shredded carrots
handful of raisins-optional

Filling:
6 oz cream cheese, softened
4 oz butter, softened
2 C powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
powdered sugar for dusting top-optional
  1. Beat eggs well, mix in sugar, oil and vanilla.
  2. Add dry to wet, mix until blended and stir in the carrots and raisins if using.
  3. Spread batter on to a wax paper lined jelly roll pan (10x15"), or use Dorothy's or your favorite way to bake a jelly roll type cake.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for approx 10 minutes.
  5. When the cake is no longer wet on top, remove from oven and roll it up. (I just roll it in the wax paper-tutorial HERE, you can click over to Crazy For Crust to see how Dorothy does it).  
  6. While the cake is cooling, mix all of the filling ingredients well.
  7. Once cool, unroll cake and smear with filling. Roll back up and refrigerate until ready to serve.