Thursday, April 30, 2009

Mini Tornado Skewers

What is a Tornado? At a local meat market/restaurant you could pick up these savory chicken preparations called a Tornado. Sadly, the meat market/restaurant is gone. But, for the past few years since its closing I have been able to recreate the Tornados.

This is my rendition in smaller scale.

Mini Tornado Skewers
serves 4

4 skinless boneless chicken breast each cut into 4 pieces (16 chicken chunks)
Lawry's Garlic salt
Cajun Seasoning
8 slices of bacon cut in half
4 skewers

Sprinkle chicken chunks with garlic and Cajun seasoning. Take slice of bacon and wrap it around the chicken. Pierce with skewer so that bacon ends are fastened. Put 4 Tornados on each skewer. Repeat until all ingredients are used up.

These can be frozen at this point for later use. Or you can bake them in a 350 degree F oven for 30-45 minutes. Check with a meat thermometer to make sure it is cooked properly. If bacon is not browned enough you can nuke each skewer for 30 seconds.

I serve these with rice and seasoned corn off the cob. See the post under sides for Herb Corn. Yummy

Monday, April 27, 2009

Pickled Eggs

What do you do with the dozens of dyed Easter Eggs? Rob's family uses them in a family tradition that has lasted decades. Pickled Eggs. You know that I am not an egg fan, but I make these yearly for Rob and our Fishing Trip.

This is not the exact family recipe. I don't have it. Robby showed me how many years ago and below is my adaptation.

Pickled Eggs

A large glass jar
hard boiled eggs
jalapeno pepper slices
banana peppers
minced garlic
salt and pepper
Pickling spices (optional)
a few beets
white vinegar

Peel the eggs. Place a few in the bottom of your jar. Add some carrots and some celery. Add some J. pepper slices and B. pepper and pepperchinis. Layer again with some eggs. Sprinkle some salt and pepper. Add a beet. Layer more carrots, celery, J. pepper, B. pepper, and pepperchinis. Do this until jar is full and looks pretty and colorful. Sprinkle more salt and pepper on top and add a spoonful of minced garlic. Add pickling spices if you choose. Pour vinegar on top until the jar is full with liquid. Secure the lid on the jar and turn jar upside down so ingredients mix.

Store in the refrigerator. Eggs are best given a couple weeks to pickle.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Snacks For Fishing

The annual fishing trip!!! Fishing, Family, Food and Fun. That is what is instore this weekend! What Snacks will I pack???

Fresh cut Pineapple
Fresh Strawberries
Red and Green Grapes

Green Onion Dip

Gallo Salame
Pepper Jack
Sargento Low Fat string cheese

Avacados and Great Guacamole Mix
Tortilla chips

Pickled Eggs
Pickled Grapes (Go to Smitten Kitchen in my blog roll)

The list above provides snacks a plenty! Healthy ones too!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Meatless Main Dish

Recipes a plenty to be posted Thursday over at Check it out. The recipe swap for this week is focusing on MEATLESS Main dishes. I had to think hard about what I make as a main dish without using meat. Aside from Spaghetti or Mac and Cheese the only thing I could think of was...

Spicy Cheesy Sandwich

2 pounds Extra Sharp cheddar
1 small can chopped olives
2 10 oz can Rotel with green chilie
1/2 small jar of pimientos
3 green onions sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 stick butter melted
Salt and pepper
2-3 dozen small french bread rolls or sourdough
1 roll aluminum foil

Slice rolls, leaving one side hinged. Carefully remove the insides of rolls and put them in a large bowl. Add cheese, olives and Rotel to the roll insides. Mix well. In a serperate bowl add melted butter, garlic, green onion slices and pimiento. Pour this mixture on top of the bread cheese mixture and mix well.

Cut aluminum foil into 12 inch sheets. Take a roll and stuff it with 2-3 tablespoons of cheesy mixture. Place roll on aluminum foil and then wrap the cheesy sandwich. Do this to all of the rolls.

These can be frozen. (Highly reccomended, makes a quick dinner) Bake for 15-20 minutes in a 375 F degree oven. These are DE-Lish!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Happy Birthday Larry Carrot Cake

Today is my boyfriend's Dad's Birthday. He is having a cook out, where he is serving up smoked meats that he will be cooking up all day today. Larry is the King of the Grill, the Smoker, the Crockpot... When we dine at Larry's, we are always treated with a multi-course meal which is AWESOME! I always bring dessert! In honor of his Birthday I will bring Carrot Cake Cupcakes. Hopefully he will enjoy these Birthday Cupcakes Baked with LOVE with a little twist.

Chocolate Carrot Cake Cupcakes

One box Spice Cake Mix
One box Chocolate Pudding
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/2 cup hot water
1/2 cup oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup finely shredded carrots
1/2 cup finely shredded coconut
1/2 cup plus 2 tsp finely chopped pecans optional
1/2 cup raisins optional

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. In your mixing bowl combine cake mix, pudding and hot water and mix. Add Oil and mix. Add egg one by one and mixing after each addition. Fold in the sour cream and mix. Add carrots and coconut. If you choose to add pecans and raisins, add those and mix until blended. Fill your cupcake holders 1/2 full and bake 25-30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool. Prepare Cream Cheese Frosting.

Not Too Sweet, Not Too Cheesy Cream Cheese Frosting

1 8oz block Neufectel Cream Cheese (room temp)
1/3 cup butter (room temp)
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

In your mixing bowl combine Cream Cheese and butter and mix until light and fluffy. Add Powdered sugar by the 1/2 cup and mix well after each addition until all p. sugar is used up. Add vanilla and whip more until fluffy. Spoon frosting into piping bag and frost each cooled cupcake. Top cup cakes with the extra finely chopped pecans.

Happy Birthday Larry!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Honey Mustard Chicken

Von's had a sale on salad dressing. Personally, I am a fan of homemade Italian salad dressing. Homemade dressings are not always easy to transport while camping. So I purchased a Roka Blue Cheese for veggies. Ranch for just about everything else. Honey Mustard because I wanted to give it a try as a marinade. The bottle reads Honey Dijon ("that's a fancy word for mustard" hee hee) Vinaigrette dressing and marinade. I used it as a marinade and created this.

Honey Mustard Chicken

Skinless, boneless chicken chopped into square like chunks
Lawry's Garlic Salt
Kraft's Honey Dijon Vinaigrette dressing and marinade

Salt and pepper chicken chunks. Place chunks in a Ziploc bag. Pour some Honey Dijon onto chicken and massage bag contents until all pieces have been bathed in marinade. Zip the bag removing excess air. At this point put in the 'fridge or pop in the freezer.

When I prepared mine, I took a bag of HM Chicken out of the freezer, allowed it to thaw in the 'frige. I doubled up some heavy duty aluminum foil and made my own make shift tray. I heated up the grill and put my marinated chicken in the foil tray and cooked the chicken over the grill. I cooked it for 10 minutes and then stirred and sort of flipped the pieces of chicken around. I cooked it for an additional 10 minutes and served the HM Chicken over Trader Joe's Rice Medley. YUMMY and very moist chicken!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tax Day Treat

I sent a big check off to Uncle Sam today. It's ok, I owed. I haven't received many refunds being self employeed and that's fine. But tonight, as I wind down from work, I did my usual surfing the net and like a fat stimulus or refund check in the mail, I find a recipe, that just thinking about it makes me smile, drool and want to cry at the same time. I love sugar but aside from that...

Head over to for Thursdays recipe swap. They are swapping cookie recipes and you will find a very special family recipe. A coveted recipe from a Culinary Queen! This Queen has been influential in my love for cooking and baking. She was my Gramma John.

Check it out immediately, make the cookies and celebrate my Gramma John's AWESOMENESS with each delectable bite!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Barbecued Potatoes and Barbecued Maui Onions

Sounds a bit weird but both are awesome! These are a huge part of our camping cuisine.

Barbecued Potatos

potatos that have been microwaved until soft sided
olive oil spray
garlic salt
aluminum foil

Tear a piece of aluminum foil that would fit the potato. Place your potato on the foil. Spray potato with olive oil and then sprinkle with garlic salt and pepper. Wrap your potato. Do this until you have the desired amount of potatos.

Put your foil wrapped potatos on the grill and cook 3-5 minutes on a side.

Remove from the grill and carefully peel off foil and top your potato with your favorite fixins. These are fantastic and receive 5 star reviews each time they are served.

Barbecued Maui Onions

Maui Onions
butter tabs
salt and pepper
aluminum foil

Trim ends and peel the outside layer off your onion. Make slits across the top of onion that form the shape of a asteric. Place onion on a sheet of aluminum foil. Place butter tabs in the slits. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put these on the grill when you start cooking the meat. They are so good and will carmelize a bit if cooked long enough. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Cutie Orange Bundt

This bundt is YUMMY. The perfect mix of butter cake with orange and oats. Top with a light glaze and you have the most delicous cake. Serve as a dessert or alongside coffee or tea.

Cutie Orange Bundt

One box Butter Recipe Golden cake mix
2/3 cup orange juice
1/2 cup olive oil
one packet Maple and Brown Sugar Oatmeal
1 tbs. cinnamon
3 eggs
one California Cutie Mandarin orange peeled, skinned and broken into little orange bits

Cinnamon sugar
one packet Maple and Brown Sugar Oatmeal

Simple powdered sugar glaze

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray the bottom of your favorite bundt pan with non-stick spray and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Set aside.

In your mixing bowl compine cake mix, orange juice and oil. Mix on low. Add the oatmeal packet and cinnamon and mix again. Add an egg and mix after each addition. Fold orange bits into your cake mixture.

Pour half of the batter into your bundt pan. Sprinkle half of second oatmeal packet onto batter. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and more cinnamon. Pour the rest of the batter over. Sprinkle the top with remaining oatmeal and a little more sugar.

Place your cake in the oven for about 45 minutes. Toothpick test, when cooked remove from oven and allow to cool. Once cooled glaze your Cutie Orange Bundt.

Later enjoy as dessert or over coffee talk!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Spicy Beef Dip Sandwiches

Sam's Club has some really yummy whole wheat hoagies. The bread is sooooo good. You can use it for garlic bread, simple with butter, bread pizzas, but my favorite way to use it is for Spicy Beef Dip Sandwiches! YUM, Yum, yum. These sandwiches have recieved rave reviews in the garage.

Most of these ingredients can be purchased at Sam's Club. One stop shop, unless you don't want to buy bell peppers and onions and onions in bulk.

Spicy Beef Dip Sandwiches

Whole wheat hoagies
Jalepeno Jack cheese slices

sliced onion
sliced bell peppers
butter or olive oil
salt and pepper

Sliced Roast beef
Tone's Beef Base

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Slice a hinge into your hoagie bread. Open bread without seperating it and top with slices of jack cheese. Pop those in the oven.

Place onion and bell peppers onto a small fry pan and saute a bit and cook on low.

In a pan or pot place slices of roast beef. Cover with water and add a tablespoon or so of beef base. Cook over the stove until beef is warmed and beef broth is created.

Remove cheesey toasted hoagies from the oven. Top cheese with a bit of the b. pepper onion mixture and then top with beef. Ladle some of the broth into ramekins and serve immediately. These sandwiches are perfect for a cold day.