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Monday, August 27, 2012

Wrong Era Part 2: Antiques

So its official...as if it wasn't before...I am obsessed with so many things these days...my new obsession...antique kitchen tools. I have to say I HATE it when you find something cool but then talk yourself out of buying it at the time, and then later regret it. Well this happened to me on Saturday. I found an antique flour sifter; for those of you who don't know what this is, it looks like a water can but it has a mesh bottom with holes and a crank on the side. Sifting flour used to be necessary before we had processed flour; it was to get the big granules out of the mix that weren't supposed to be there. However sifting flour still has one use that makes for good baking today, sifting adds air to the granules creating a lighter and fluffier cake or pastry. So now that you know the use, I was actually going to use it for decoration in my kitchen, you know to take care of that awkward space that no one knows what to do with above the cuboards. Unless you have made good use of your cuboards and they touch your ceiling (lucky)! So I obviously did not get it and am now sorely regretting this decision. There will be others right?! I hope so because I am quite upset with myself! I did however purchase some pretty nifty buys...one was an old pop bottle crate that had Pepsi still clearly painted. This went in my pantry- I am still in the process of organizing, but soon will post my greatest finished task to date( I hope) :). The other purchase was a set of old tractor seats...my project with that may take longer :) So now that I have told you how obsessed I am with things that are vintage... I thought I would share my cheesy potato recipe that we had with our pulled pork.

Cheesy Potatoes

1lb of country hashbrowns (thawed are best)
16oz light sour cream
10oz shredded cheddar cheese
10oz shredded colby
French Fried Onions ( 1 Large container)***
1 tsp garlic
dash of salt and pepper
1 tbsp of minced onions
Equivalence of 1 can cream of chicken ( I used the cream of whatever powder all mixed together in soup form)

In a large bowl mix potatoes, cream of soup, sour cream, minced onions, garlic,salt, pepper, 16 oz of cheese.
Pour into greased crock pot. Cook on low for 2-3 hours*
Once cooking for awhile, cheese should be slightly stringy; add in about 1/2 of french fried onions. Let cook all the way until cheese is no longer stringy.**
Once potatoes are cooked and well mixed; top off with the rest of the cheese and FF onions.

*You could put these in the oven at 350 for 45 minutes-1 hour; checking often towards the end; cheese should bubble
**If mix is dry; add a tbsp of milk at a time until you get the consistancy you want
*** You may need an extra container if you like to sneak them...can you ever have too many...YUMMY! :)

This dish is great all year round thanks to the crock pot! Enjoy and thanks for sticking around to the end! :)

Friday, August 24, 2012

Made from scratch

So i was inspired last night after looking through my great grandma's recipe book to make my own spaghetti sauce. I must say I am in heaven looking through all of my family recipes. Next on my to do list is creating a family cookbook.

On to the sauce, I decided since my tomatoes were frozen crock pot would be best. I was right! :-)

Spaghetti sauce

2 quarts frozen crushed tomatoes
3 6oz cans tomato paste
2 tbsp minced onion
3-4 tbsp oregano
3-4 tbsp parsley
1 tbsp sweet basil
2 garlic cloves minced
Sea salt

Thaw out tomatoes, you could use canned, i had frozen, add in all other ingredients and mix well. Set crock pot on low for 6 hours, or high for 2-3 hours. Add hamburger or just to noodles, however you prefer. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Other white meat....

So I made Cheesy potatoes (recipe later) and Pulled pork on Sunday. I have never made my own pulled pork before and it was quite interesting....and by interesting I mean it is so stinkin easy I'm not sure it should be considered a real recipe at all. I am of course obsessed with Pinterest...anyone else? This is where I got the recipe. I tweaked it a little to suite our needs :).

Adapted from :S. Winstone Lane

Pulled Pork in a Crock pot

8 Boneless butterfly pork chops
Jalapeno Seasoning
Salt and Pepper
1/2 of white onion
1 Bottle of BBQ Sauce
1 Cup of water

1. My chops were thawed out, I would recommend doing this or it may become runnier than you like.
2. Rub each chop with salt and pepper ( I use sea salt and grinder pepper)
3. Sprinkle with Jalapeno Seasoning- I am very generous with my seasonings
4. slice up onion and put on top of pork chops
5. Cover with water and BBQ sauce
6. I set on low and cooked for 6 1/2 hours ( I used a smaller crock pot so I did mix the chops around a couple times)

Once the time is up, transfer pork chops and onions (optional) into your stand mixer; turn mixer on low and gradually increase speed- this will shred your chops perfectly.**

Serve with whatever fix'ns your family enjoys- we had cheesy potatoes and topped pork with homemade pickles! :) YUM!

** You can actually use your mixer to shred chicken as well as pork. Kitchen Aides are the BEST for this, but I have no doubt that other mixers would work as well just be careful with your speed settings.

Enjoy! Thanks for stopping by!!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Bonfires,Football, and leaves Oh MY!

IS IT FALL YET!?!?!?!? I don't know where you are reading this from but if you live in the midwest...tell me you are not ENJOYING this weather...it is 75 and sunny and I could deal with this ALL YEAR LONG!! Bonfire tonight...and NCAA football starts sooooonnnn :) Go Hawkeyes! ;)

Okay first of all let me just say T. G. I. F....seriously i have never waited soooo long for Friday to come around. I feel as though it was stalling this week..not cool Friday..not cool. So anyway we are going to basically a big reunion for all of my significant other's friends who he hung out with growing up...so this is basically a big renuion wear I know very few people, not that this is a huge issue for me but its still slitghtly scary being the "new"girl..especially with a group of girls. Ladies...I know you know what i am talking about..."the look" is enough to make your head spin. So per request I am making Jalapeno poppers with a twist. I have made these at numerous ocasions and I always get at least one recipe request and they never last long. I have got it down to a science. I must say that if going somewhere new with new people and you have to bring a dish...bring something you know will be a hit, they will never forget you...that may be good or bad! ;) In my case, I hope its good :) To all of my faithful readers...if you exist...you may have tried these before or even asked for the recipe and made them yourself..if so please post I am curious if people have made this their own as well. These aren't your typical Jalapeno popper..but can I just say they are sinfully delicious...so much that I would like to say if you are on a diet, please don't intend on eating just one, you will have a hard time doing so. With that said..I like to make mine as low cal as possible b/c they are so delicious I can't help but eat 2...or 10...don't judge me...they are serioulsy that good. ;) So I hope you are all ready for this...seriously..are you ready? Ok great!
I adapted this recipe from thecountrycook

Jalapeno Popper Remix

3 cans reduced fat crescent rolls
3 8oz cream cheese ( I use reduced fat normally but have used fat free)
1/4 c jalapeno peppers chopped ( depending on the heat, you may want to deseed)**
10 strips of low fat low sodium bacon cooked and crumbled
1/4 shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

Set oven to time on crescent tube.

Let cream cheese sit out to soften, add in peppers and cooked bacon. Stir together.

Pull out one tube of crescent rolls at a time. If you do them all at once they will become too soft and hard to work with. Unroll the crescent rolls. You should see 8 triangles. You are going to cut each triangle in half so that you end up with 16 crescents/tube.

Now comes the fun part. Scoop a glob onto each crescent. I tend to overfill my puffs but they taste better that way. (I will post pics soon) Pinch your corners together so that you have what looks like a pyramid. It creates a cute little puff that is easily carried by children of all ages.

Bake in the oven for the directed amount of time on the tube. I use my stones to cook on as they tend to be on my side and not burn :)- so thoughtful of them don't you think!

Serves best HOT out of the oven :)...ok not HOT..but you do want them warm so the cream cheese is extra gooey :)

**For those of you who have friends/family or yourself who can't handle spice at all. I have made these with just bacon and they are just as great.

These are the best appetizer b/c they can be portable anywhere, great for game day, great for a bonfire ;), or even just a get together with friends. Try this and I promise you will be the hit of the party!

PS...day 2 of working out...I feel great, just a little pain ;) I am kind of a wuss! :)

Thanks for stopping by! xoxo

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Old friends, new beginnings

Well I said goodbye to a dear friend yesterday, no its not forever....but I'm a girl, let's be real we can be slightly dramatic. ;-) I did however have a wonderful time remixing about all of the crazy times we had in college which of course we did over shrimp at Red Lobster, can I just take a moment and pause for the deliciousness of their parrot bay coconut shrimp....OMG yummm..the cheddar bay biscuits aren't bad either ;-). Soon to be a meal I Will replicate, and a healthier version....I mean it! :-) however it got me thinking today on how yucky I feel when I don't eat healthy...I.e put pure junk in my body. I am starting my new work out regimen tomorrow...and can I say I HATE working out...no I loathe it...about as much as the grinch hated Christmas in the beginning of the movie. So please bare with me through this journey of blogging recipes and DIY things...I am looking forward to all of the changes my life is bringing my way. Here is a recipe for my go to breakfast, well one of them...it's super yummy and only 282 calories and super filling.

Egg Sandwich Surprise

1 large egg fried( I use coconut spray)
1 large egg white
1 light whole wheat English muffin
1 slice of cheese (45 cal)
2 strips of green paper
Dash of hot sauce
1 slice of Canadian bacon (serving size is 3 slices for 90 calories)
Salt and pepper

Cook the eggs, sprinkle with a dash of salt and pepper. Cook until yolk is partially cooked (or fully cooked) and egg white is fully cooked.
Toast English Muffin
Add on your fix'ns

The best part of this sandwich is that you can really make it your own you could add onions, jalapenos, bacon, etc I use these ingredients because they are the lowest calories with no harm to taste, which is what i was going for. However, for those of you who don't care if you have extra calories please PLEASE add the bacon so I can live through you! :)  For those of you who use weight watchers- this particular sandwich has 7 points plus.

If you wanted to make this SUPER convenient you could make the eggs up ahead of time in a muffin pan bake in the oven until cooked and freeze for quick breakfasts in the morning. I don't know about the rest of you but I am always late fashionably behind ;) Enjoy! Thanks for stopping by.


Monday, August 13, 2012

Wrong era Part 1

Do you ever feel like you were born in the wrong decade?...no? just me? Crap...well I truly believe I was born in the wrong era sometimes, as if I woke up in 2012 but it was supposed to be 1942? Crazy you say?...well I sometimes agree! I find myself often fantasizing about what it must have been like to live in a time when EVERYTHING was made from scratch. Now we live in a time where convenience comes over quality which means a meal in a box or a drive through. Our bodies weren't meant for that kind of lifestyle. So I have made a vow to slowly but surely rid my house and body of all things processed...okay
that probably won't happen because I LOVE some good junk food as much as the next girl but I do NOT love how I feel afterwards. So I have started trying recipes to replace the boxed processed stuff i.e hamburger helper, mac n cheese, and cream of soups. Those are the top devilish products in our pantry...and I mean devilish like red horns and a tail...have you read the ingredients in that stuff?!?! Its awful for you...and of course those happen to be the number one thing my significant other just loves...so on the list of things to try soon will be Cheeseburger pasta "remake", and cream of whatever powder. Thanks for stopping by...recipe for peanut butter brownies remix in the works- its a healthier version...not quite right yet!! ;)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Hot and spicy

Well i have had multiple requests for my adaptation of the jalapeno chicken recipe i found on www.bhg.com and since I've been cutting up jalapenos all day I thought id share it. :-) This is a crock pot recipe however I was in a hurry for it so I cooked the chicken on my grill pan 3/4 of the way and then put it in the crock pot on high for about an hour. If you want to use your crock pot for the full recipe see below for instructions.

Huge hit with the picky ADULT male in my life! ;)

Jalapeno Chicken 

6 Boneless Chicken breasts
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp Jalapeno powder ( found by creole spices)
dash of salt
1/2 c fat free chicken broth
1 tbsp lemon or lime juice
6-7 slices of jalapenos chopped up
2 tbsp corn starch
2 tbsp water
1 8oz package reduced fat cream cheese softened and cubed

Extras: bacon tore up into tiny pieces and chives cut up

Sprinkle chicken  with chili powder and salt. Put in a 4.5-6 quart crock pot. Pour broth and lemon/lime juice over chicken and add your chopped up jalapenos.

Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or high for 2.5-3 hours.

Transfer chicken to a plate; keep chicken warm

If your heat was on low, turn it to high. In separate bowl combine corn starch and water; add in to cooking liquid once mixed well. Add cream cheese and jalapeno seasoning. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes or until thickened. At this point you could add in your chives or bacon. I used turkey bacon which cuts the calories.

Well I will have to start taking pictures of all my recipes now so that I can give step by steps :) On that note I am going to cut it short. Why you ask? You wanted more? Well my poor thumb fingers got a little jalapeno juice while canning salsa and cutting up jalapenos for dehydrating. So note to all of you jalapeno newbies out there...if you are going to cut up 50+ jalapenos WEAR GLOVES...I can NOT stress this enough...maybe the bold, enlarged letters will help me remember next time ;)...yes this is the second time...so no one should feel sorry for me. However, if you do...bless your little heart!! Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Small town kid

I am struggling right now to pinpoint exactly how I feel. Not that this is a bad thing, but I am so utterly exhausted from working at the event all day I am too tired to feel. If that makes any sense whatsoever. However I would do it again in a heartbeat and will again next summer.  I love being able to be a part of something so much bigger than myself. Our town held a 2 day celebration/ fundraiser for our small communities volunteer fire department. For those of you who know how grueling a fireman's job is...add in not being paid but doing it anyway with a lot of pride. That my friend is what you will find in a small town. Its wonderful to know that you have so many people in your community who truly care for your well being. If you have never witnessed anything like this...you are truly missing out!  I love being a part of something like this, however my feet...not so much. Lets just say if I could hire a personal masseuse...I would do it in a heartbeat! Anyway we had a street dance, tractor pull, pork chops, pork chops and more pork chops. Did I mention there were pork chops? I am telling you people come out of the wood work for these "famous" pork chop sandwiches. They truly are delicious, but after about 7 in 2 days you start to wonder if you will ever want to eat another pork chop....EVER again! However, for some strange reason I have this need to never pass up a deal. So what does this have to do with pork chops you ask? Well we had left overs so I bought not one 10 chop bag but TWO..yes I  bought 2 bags of the leftovers. I froze them of course, however the thought of eating them in the near future is unsettling. So my next task at hand...new recipes for pork chops...that don't require a bun...in about a month. ;) Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, August 10, 2012

What's in a Name?

An obvious statement would be to say that I am very new to this. Some of you may be wondering why I came up with the name that I did. I am guessing most of you won't because chances are if you are reading this you already know me :). However that being said I will still explain. Cowboy boots and an apron pretty much sums up my life....well you throw in some crafts and this is one happy girl. I mean really who doesn't love cowboy boots? I don't think I will ever have enough cowboy boots...well any shoes for that matter. I am a girly girl..i.e I hate bugs with a passion...but I love the country lifestyle so I deal with the yucky bugs. I live in a town so small it doesn't have a population sign...yes you read that right...we don't need one because we can just count our neighbors :). I love the idea of being able to see stars EVERY night..well almost everynight...these days we like when we can't, that means rain. :) The apron part...its funny I don't actually wear them while cooking but I do love them and my collection is growing. I actually wish somedays I could go back in time to have a cook off with my great grandmother. She was one of the top cooks in the county and boy could she make some mean fried chicken, or so I am told. Aprons signify to me a time when cooking was done from scratch, you knew every ingredient that was going in, and the proportion of what you were eating was the right size. So in short, Thanks for stopping by I hope I can give you some tips and maybe some easy recipes along my journey. I appreciate any and all feedback! Stay tuned for some Jalapeno Chicken...it was quite tasty! :)
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