Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
We had a gorgeous Tuesday night at home last evening, and dinner out on the patio again. I was dying for a big ol' cheeseburger on the grill and decided to make one of my all time favorite burger recipes.
These Jalapeno Cheeseburgers (jcb's for short) are the BEST!! They were featured in the grill issue of Bon Appetit one or two years ago, and have become a summer tradition for me. I was feeling like lightening them up a bit though, and I tried them with turkey for the first time. I swear, they were just as good.
The original recipe calls for a coffee glaze that you brush over the burgers while they're grilling, but I've never bothered with that. Seems a little bit too putzy for me; besides, with bacon, cheese, grilled onions, and the amazing spicy ranch sauce, 'coffee glaze' might be a little overkill!
Don't be afraid of the jalapenos; my kiddos gobbled these up and even had seconds! Wish my husband hadn't taken the leftovers to work for lunch....I could go for one of these right now. Have a great day, everyone!
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Orzo with Roasted Vegetables
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
I am so flattered that Lisa at Jersey Girl Cooks has given me a Yum Yum award! She must be one of my five readers, tee hee. ;-) It's so fun for me to know that someone else enjoys this little blog!
I'm going to pass this on to five blogs that I think are really cool. Each one of these ladies is a busy mom like me, and each one consistently posts family friendly recipes that I would absolutely make!
So, my choices for some Yum Yum are as follows:
Melanie, at My Kitchen Cafe
Pamela, at Cookies With Boys
Robin Sue, at Big Red Kitchen
Aggie, at Aggie's Kitchen
and Amey, at Dinners for a Year and Beyond.
Ladies, I love your blogs and check in often!!
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
The birthday girl and her favorite "friend who's a boy"!
We started the day with pancakes in our pj's at my friend Ann's house. Her son is my daughter's best "friend who's a boy" (NOT to be confused with a "boyfriend"!). It was a gorgeous summer day filled with fun and pals, AND this:
I always say I'd never fit in with the Daring Bakers, and ain't it the truth. I was up to my elbows in icing and cursing a blue streak over this cake, but I have to say, I was quite pleased with how it turned out! Thank goodness her birthday only comes once a year, and lucky for me, my other two love Dairy Queen cakes! One of these fancy schmancy deals every 12 months is about enough for me. The recipe came from an issue of Family Fun Magazine. Click underneath the picture for the link!
Birthday Girl requested barbecued ribs and cheesy potatoes for her special dinner. I make this rib recipe all the time (including in the middle of winter when my son also requests the same dinner). It calls for "good quality barbecue sauce", but I'm partial to plain ol' Open Pit, so that's what I always use.
The cheesy potato recipe dates back to the mid-70's, when my mother-in-law didn't turn up to a potluck without a big batch of them. Read the recipe......it's a total throwback! It's not gourmet in the slightest but everyone loves them. I think I've given this recipe to about a dozen people in the past five years!
Source: My Mother-in-Law, who probably got it out of a magazine sometime in the late '70's!
1 large bag of frozen diced hashbrown potatoes
1 medium white onion, diced
4 T. flour
1/2 stick butter, diced
1 jar (don't gag.....) Cheez Whiz (I know, I know!)
2 c. milk
Preheat oven to 375. Coat a 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Put half of the potatoes in the pan. Top with half of the diced onion, 2 T. flour, half of the diced butter, and half of the Cheez Whiz (just plop it on, don't worry about spreading it around). Repeat the layers. Pour the milk around the potatoes. Cover tightly with foil and bake for one hour. Remove the foil, stir the potatoes until well combined, and continue to bake for an additional half hour, or until potatoes are thickened, browned, and bubbly. Serve them to small children and watch them disappear!!
I'm stuffed. Ribs, cheesy potatoes, and sand castle cake.....ugh! I'm done. But before I go, I need to thank my cyberfriend Lisa from Jersey Girl Cooks for the fun YumYum Blog Award! Thank you Lisa! I'm going to pass it on tomorrow, but now I have to get my Birthday Girl and her siblings in to the bathtub and off to bed. ;-)
Monday, August 4, 2008
Summertime sometimes equals slacking in the dinner department at our house, and this family needed 'real' food -- not the pool food (popcorn chicken, mini pizzas, and cheeseburgers) we've been munching on since mid-June!
On last night's menu was a fantastic grilled chicken recipe that I love to do in the summer. It has some Greek flavors going on - mint, oregano, and garlic - and it's great paired with a big Greek salad. We also had one of my favorite redskin potato dishes, and although the picture is not that good, these are a standby for me in the summer and people always ask for the recipe! Toasted flatbread finished off the plate.
We shared this meal and a couple of bottles of wine with friends on the patio. We told stories about our friend Brad, and although there were a few tears, it does feel like things are starting to get back to normal in our wonderful neighborhood.
Monday, July 28, 2008
I've grieved my friend Brad for exactly one week -- although I don't think the actual 'grieving' began until last Tuesday or so. Monday was strictly shock I think.
So, I've cried buckets for the past six days, but I think that for Carrie's sake I need to move past the sobbing, grieving friend and on to the rock hard, supportive friend she's going to need...easier said than done I guess. I've had moments today where I've broken down and lost it, but I'm trying to keep it together.
I thought I would share this nice article about Brad. The picture is one my husband took on the beach in Long Boat Key when we were all on Spring Break together back in March. You'll agree, they're a beautiful family. The one in the middle is my daughter's BFF.
I am planning on making something for dinner tonight, which I think is a good thing. A little normalcy would be welcomed in A Corner of My Kitchen. And thanks, everyone for your nice comments. It's so nice to have Cyberfriends!
Monday, July 21, 2008
My dear friend Carrie lost her husband, Brad to a massive coronary sometime in the wee hours of this morning. He didn't stand a chance, it happened that quickly.
A few words about Brad -- he was a stand up guy...a 'guy's guy'. At 44 years old he was the chief of surgery at the hospital up the road, and a very well respected surgeon at that. More than a remarkable doctor though, Brad was a devoted and wonderful father to his three little girls. He was a good friend, and quite simply, a down to earth, all around nice guy.
44....what a shame. Three gorgeous girls have lost their father today. My friend is a widow at age 41. So, not to be dramatic or droll, I just don't know how much cooking is going to be getting done around here for the next little while and wanted to let you all know.
Everyone go hug your kiddos, life is short.
Friday, July 18, 2008
Here's another recipe from the backlog....I'm making' my way through the pile of recipes that have piled up this summer! I'm getting to the bottom of the pile though, and pretty soon I'm gonna have to start cooking again to get more new material!
My family was totally snowed and had absolutely no idea that this was a healthy version of tacos -- well, tacos for them, salads for the Husband and me. I swear, you will never believe this is a Weight Watchers recipe!
Thursday, July 17, 2008
The beauty of this tart is that the crust is made in the food processor, and then simply patted into the tart pan. No rolling needed, which of course is right up my alley! It couldn't be any easier.
I've done this before with bananas, kiwi, mangoes...anything you have on hand would work. There's also a glaze, but I've never bothered with it -- it would have added a pretty shine I guess; maybe next time I'll give the glaze a shot.
Source: An Occasion to Gather, Milwaukee Entertains by the Junior League of Milwaukee
3/4 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 c. flour
10 oz. white chocolate chips or vanilla chips
1/4 c. heavy cream
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
sliced bananas, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, sliced kiwifruit, sliced peaches, blackberries
1/4 c. sugar
1 T. cornstarch
1/2 c. pineapple juice
1/2 t. lemon juice
For the pastry, beat the butter and confectioners' sugar in a bowl until blended. Add the flour and beat until smooth, scraping the bowl occasionally. Press the pastry over the bottom and up the side of a 12-inch tart pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until light brown. Cool in the pan on a wire rack.
For the filling, combine the white chocolate chips and heavy cream in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 2 minutes and stir. Add the cream cheese and beat until blended. Spoon the filling over the baked layer.
For the topping, arrange the desired fruit in a decorative pattern over the top of the filling.
For the glaze, combine the sugar and cornstarch in a small saucepan and mix well. Stir in the pineapple juice and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat until thickened, stirring constantly. Drizzle the glaze all over the fruit to prevent browning. Chill, covered, in the refrigerator.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Not the greatest chicken picture, but as I said, the DamFam was hungry and impatient!
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
My family just returned home yesterday after a long weekend in Ohio. My husband was nice enough to take himself and the kids on a road trip to visit his mom and siblings so that I could have the house to myself to entertain my high school friends.
The Couscous Tabbouleh recipe can be found here:
And now for the BONUS RECIPE I promised! My daughters have been asking for a turn to be Guest Bloggers, and just look at the delicious dish they thought up while away in Ohio over the weekend! It's called Pond Scum Surprise!
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Yes, I know my eyes are closed and this is not a flattering picture of me. But even though I AM THE BIRTHDAY GIRL, I sacrifice, because Adam, my YOUNGER BROTHER (yes, you're noticing his grey hair by now) needs attention and I'll accept looking queer with my eyes closed, even though he's looking handsome despite the GREY HAIR, nevermind he's almost two and a half years younger than me! WHICH ONE OF US LOOKS 40?!?!?!
Lisa & Eric.....two of my favorite people on the entire planet! I love to split a 12-pack with Eric and then have an 'intellectual' conversation with him....he went to Yale Law, so he could have 24 beers and still sound like a genious! I love it. I know he humors me.
CONGA IN THE KITCHEN!!!!! A first! I'm going to try to get my kids to do this sometime. I think they'd dig it.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
I wish I had pictures of the tent and decorations....I think someone does, but these are some of the pictures that were taken on our camera. Dinner was done by a local caterer who brought huge grills and did whole beef tenderloins (so big that at one point one of my friends said, 'oh, look! he's grilling alligator!' -- she was totally kidding, of course!) with sauteed mushrooms and onions, grilled asparagus, a roasted yukon gold and blue cheese potato salad, and a fabulous caesar with giant garlic croutons......yum. No pictures of any plates, but believe me, it was a perfect 40th birthday dinner!
Julie, me, Sarah, & Ashley
Lori, Ann, Shelly, Lisa (in front), me, and Julie
Our next door neighbors, Fred & Jane.....what could they possibly be looking at?!
......hhhhmmm, maybe they're horrified because they've spotted the birthday girl, dancing on her breakfast bar with a dollar sticking out of her top?
Rob, me, and my sister in law, Megan...it's getting late. Notice the oily shine!
I awoke a few hours later to enjoy the Wimbledon final (well done, Rafael!), go for a four mile run, shower, and enjoy a delicious Mexican dinner downtown.......I was in bed by 9 p.m!!!
Here's a very sad picture that in no way does justice to how gorgeous the flowers were! I loved them!
Forty isn't so bad....my actual birthday is today and I've had a blast!! I hope that everyone has girlfriends and family as dear as mine. I am truly blessed, and don't think that I don't know so!