Hope y’all had a GREAT Easter weekend! I did.
I made the Boo and I a little Easter dinner just for the two of us. In between the 5 services he had to do at church yesterday, we had a couple hours to enjoy dinner.
Of course, I forgot to take pictures of everything.
I managed to snap a few pictures from my iPhone–so that’s what you get.
I don’t think this recipe will be too useful to you now that Easter’s done–but hey, there’s always next year, right? And who knows, maybe you’ll make deviled eggs a weekly staple for you?
What you need:
6 hard boiled eggs
1 green onion
1/3 cup mayonaise
1 tablespoon of dijon mustard (regular mustard will suffice if you don’t have dijon)
2 dashes on hot sauce
1 teaspoon of white wine vinegar
salt & pepper, to taste
paprika, for sprinkling
It starts with hard boiled eggs. Here it is, the secret recipe. It’s tricky, are you ready?
1. Put 6 eggs in a saucepan.
2. Cover the eggs with cold water–1 inch higher than the top of the eggs.
3. Put 1 tablespoon of vinegar in the water. (This keeps an egg from spreading if it breaks open. It helps it coagulate.)
4. Bring the eggs to a boil.
5. Let them boil for 1 minute.
6. Remove from heat and cover.
7. Let sit in water for 14 minutes.
8. Move eggs to a bowl of ice water–this will stop the cooking.
Tada! Perfect hard boiled eggs.
Okay. So, after the eggs have cooled, cut them in half lengthwise. Remove the yolks into a bowl, and put the eggs on a plate.
To the yolks, add the rest of the ingredients besides the paprika.
Not bad pics for a phone, eh?
Speaking of my iPhone. I got it 4 days ago. Immediately I ordered a phone cover off the internet.
The next day, I got insurance on it from Best Buy. (It’s pretty sweet insurance, it’s only $15 a month and you can break your phone as many times as you want and they just send it in and in like 3 days you get a new one. FANTASTIC, right? )
I’ve been doing realllllly well, trying to protect my phone.
Today–I dropped it. On the cement.
3 hours later, I got my case that I had ordered in the mail. Convenient.
Well, tonight I went to the mall to send it into the Best Buy to get it fixed, and I decided to stop by The Apple Store quick, to see if there’s anything they could do. (They did replace Paul’s iPad (FOR FREE) when he left it on top of his car, and it fell into the middle of one of the busiest streets in town and got ran over several times before Paul went searching for it several hours later)
Welp, Apple is good. They fixed my phone. For free. No sending it in. No waiting. Fixed phone. No cracks. Free.
Yay Apple. Recommended, for sure.
(Nope, they didn’t even pay me to say this to you.)
I just have a minute, so I’ll share a quick side dish with you.
Cauliflower Gratin was something I grew up eating. I loveeee cauliflower, and this is one of my favorite dishes. It’s pure melt-in-your-mouth cheesy goodness. It’s sort of like au gratin potatoes, except cauliflower.
Credit of this recipe goes to mi Madre. I know I poked fun of her pork steaks, but this cancels that out…Right?
What you’ll need:
1 head of cauliflower
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
salt & pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
8 oz swiss cheese
First, trim the cauliflower into bite sized pieces.
In a saucepan, melt butter on medium-high heat.
Add the flour to the melted butter, and whisk until combined.
It will be kind of lumpy. This is called a roux–it’s a thickener. You can add a roux to any sauce to thicken it.
Side Topic: Roux
To make a thickened sauce from a roux, melt the butter, then add the flour, then the liquid. It’s always equal parts butter to flour (1 tablespoon of butter–1 tablespoon of flour.)
If you’re thickening an already made sauce (or soup), melt the butter and add the flour. Then add some (a cup at a time) of the already made sauce (or soup) liquid to the roux. Whisk it until liquidy and smooth (not lumpy). When the roux is thick, but smooth, then add it to the sauce (or soup). Then, bring it to a boil. It thickens at a boil–so don’t forget this step.
I’ll have more on this in a later post, I promise. Maybe I’ll do a How To post.
End Side Topic.
Slowly, SLOWLY, add the milk–stirring to incorporate. I cannot emphasize slowly enough, this prevents lumps.
See. Thick. Lump Free. Looks like gravy.
Add your salt and pepper, and garlic powder.
You just made what our grandma’s call a “white sauce”.
Pour this white sauce over the cauliflower in a 9×9 baking dish. Mix it in and make sure the cauliflower is saturated with sauce.
Then, grate your cheese.
My favorite step, clearly.
Cover the cauliflower with the cheeeeeeeese.
Stick it in the oven at 350˚ F for 25-30 minutes, until the top is golden and the cauliflower is tender.
Serve it with your favorite meal to make it even more delicious.
I know I told you I’d have this recipe for you yesterday, but it was such a gorgeous day–one of the first one’s we’ve had this season, and I just couldn’t have myself sitting at home indoors. Sorry!
I tried something new yesterday.
I went to Zumba class.
Zumba is a dance fitness workout.
Oh boy, oh boy!! Is it ever funnnnnnnnn!!!
Now, I’m not a huge workout buff–and I definitely cannot dance. I am very long limbed, and clumsy as all get out–but Zumba was fun. And I sweated. Boy did I ever. It was a great, great, fantastic workout.
Afterwards, I didn’t feel exhausted like I normally would after sweating that much, I felt incredibly energized.
Have you tried Zumba?
My friend got me a Groupon in our area for Zumba–TRY it! It’s FANTASTIC.
Annnyywhooooo, back to these delicious Crepes.
Deliciousness wrapped in a perfect pancake-omelet.
**I must post a disclaimer: As I said in the last post, my camera was a little wonky during crepe-time–so these pictures may be a little funky. Also, I am not an excellent editor. But please, please don’t let un-delicious looking pictures distract you from the deliciousness that this meal truly was. We all have our moments**
These ended up being very similar to enchiladas (in the step-by-step, not the ingredients or flavor.) You fill them, you roll them, you bake them, and you cover them with sauce. See the similarity?
Let me tell you something, though: These were better than enchiladas.
I am a huge enchilada lover, myself–and these were better. Why am I even talking about enchiladas?
These crepes, they are not enchiladas.
They are cheesy-chickeny-herby goodness, wrapped in a sort of pancake, sort of omelet, then smothered again in creamy, cheesy, goodness.
Um, yes please.
And now, I share with you–the secret of these heavenly bites…
Chicken & Asparagus Crepes
Adapted from here.
What is required:
1 tablespoon oil
2 cups shredded chicken
1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese, shredded
1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs (such as dill, parsley, mint, or chives), or…
1 teaspoon of each dried herbs (I used thyme, parsley, and dill)
salt & pepper, of course
1 teaspoon garlic powder
8 crepes (recipe here)
1 shallot, chopped
1/2 pound asparagus
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup half & half, milk, or cream (whatever you have)
1 teaspoon lemon zest
First, shred the chicken into a medium bowl.
I just used 2 leftover chicken breasts leftover from the night before. You can do the same, or just boil and shred some or you can use rotisserie chicken.
Then add the ricotta.
Yep, that’s ricotta–not ice cream.
Then grate some Parmesan…
My favorite part of grating cheese in when you do allll that work grating, then you finally get to lift the grater up, and you have a nice big cheese pile.
Add the Parmesan, herbs, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper to the chicken mixture.
Mix it. Mix it good. Mix it….Mix it reeeeaaal good.
Next, you’ll need a 9×13 baking dish, lightly sprayed.
In the dish, lay out 1 crepe, and spread a little of the chicken mixture on it.
Roll it up, and push it to the end.
Do it again….
Until all 8 crepes are rolled.
See, looks like enchiladas.
Stick this in a oven that’s been preheated to 425˚ F.
No need to cover it. It will only be in there about 15 minutes–while we make the sauce.
For the sauce:
Chop up a shallot or 2 (I used 2, mine were small.)
Do you know what a shallot is?
A shallot is like an onion–but it has a much milder, sweeter flavor.
These are shallots:
But wait…Aren’t those onions?
Nope–they’re shallots. They’re mini.
Anywhooo, chop them up–just like you would an onion (be careful though, they’re small.)
Then, get your asparagus ready.
First, cut the ends off (not the end shown in the picture–the other end….Someone in school cut off the end in the picture–oy.) You want to cut the dry parts off the end–they are just that, dry, and not good to eat.
To know where to cut, bend the asparagus gently.
It will bend naturally near the end…
Then bend a little harder…
And it will break naturally where it should be cut.
You don’t have to do this to all of them, just one. Then you can chop the ends off the other ones about the same distance up as where the one broke.
*Can I just say that I’m mortified by my nails in these pictures. Please don’t judge me by these pictures. Some people like chipped nails–like my old college roommate (Hi Mouch!). I; however, do not like chipped nails, and I can assure you that the problem has been addressed and the nails have since been properly manicured.*
Back to it, back to it…
Heat a skillet on medium-high heat.
Add 1 tablespoon of oil or butter..
Then add the shallots.
Add the broth..
Then add the cream, salt, and pepper, and lemon zest.
Let it simmer for about 5 minutes, to thicken a bit.
Remove the crepes from the oven–serve with sauce and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
See! So easy!
I’m off to start my weekend…It’s another gorgeous day–maybe I can convince the Boo to take the pup and I to the park…
Do you have any big weekend plans? Anything exciting happening in your neck of the woods?
I had been missing out on the deliciousness that is a crepe for the first 22 1/2 years of my life.
I had my first crepe experience when the iHOP came to town. (Don’t get me wrong, I had eaten at an iHOP before, they had plenty of them in Michigan–but when the first iHOP came to Louisville, people went CRAZY for it.)
So, although I hadn’t been missing out on iHOP, I had; however, been missing out on crepe-ness.
The idea of this pancake thing, which is kind-of like an omelet too…kind of like a pancake omelet…a pancake omelet that can be filled with delicious pastry cremes and syrupy fruit with whipped cream and goodness… or that can be filled with melty cheddar, and salty ham, and topped with a sinful hollandaise and some grilled veggies….. That idea… it’s ridiculous.
And ridiculously easy. Ya dig?
Follow me here…
All you need for these delicious pieces of heaven is:
1 cup of all purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Get 2 eggs…
Add it all to a bowl:
Add 1/4 teaspoon on salt…
Then add 2 tablespoons of melted butter.
Mix it all together.
It should be a thin batter.
If it’s not, then you messed up.
Next, heat a small non-stick saute pan on medium-high heat. Lightly spray the pan with cooking spray.
Once the pan is hot, ladle some batter into the pan.
Swirl the pan around to spread the batter evenly on the bottom of the pan.
Allow the batter to swirl a little bit onto the side of the pan. This will make it easier to flip later.
Cook the crepe for about 2 minutes on the first side
Start to loosen the edges of the crepe with a spatula…
Shake the pan a bit to loosen the rest of the crepe, if it releases evenly from the pan, it’s ready to flip.
To flip the crepe, hold the pan in one hand push it away from your body, then quickly pull back to your body.
I had to call the Boo in to help photograph the flipping.
Let me just tell you, it’s hard to take pictures while demonstrating cooking. Weird, twisted, angles and limbs occur frequently. This recipe was particularly hard because the batteries in my flash were dying, so it took about a minute for the flash to charge again. Half of my pictures turned out completely black. Oy
Okay. Rant over.
After the Boo took his picture, I decided to give it a go myself, you know, so you could see it from my perspective.
Not bad, right? I was proud.
Phew. The hard part is done.
Now, just let the crepe cook for another 2 minutes on the second side, until its just a little bit brown.
Flip it out of the pan and get started on the next!
This recipe will make about 8 crepes.
You can serve these as dessert crepes–with whipped cream, powdered sugar, and fresh fruit.
Or you can stuff them with chicken, and sprinkle cheese on them with fresh vegetables.
Delicious. Versatile. Crepes.
Don’t fret, I’ll have a delicious recipe to use the crepes with tomorrow!
The Boo and I have been on a mission lately to try to eat a little healthier. We’ve been eating at home a lot more, and aside from buying two 5-pound bags of Sour Patch Kids from Target, (on clearance for $2.79, each!) we’ve been doing decently.
Do you have foods that you crave, but don’t really like?
I crraaaaveee mozzarella sticks and their melty, cheesy, fried goodness. I order them a lot. I don’t actually like them. I never do. I’m always disappointed when I order them. I order them, knowing I will be disappointed with them. I can’t help it, I crave them.
I guess I crave the idea of them.
Eggplant is the same way for me.
They are so cool, eggplants. These big, squishy-ish, purple squash-like things. They feel hollow. How could you not love them?
I guess I don’t. I crave
the idea of them, though.
I drive around town, going to [literally] five different grocery stores looking for them.
I buy them, and make a simple, beautiful dish.
And hate it.
Every. Single. Bite.
I’m not selling you on this meal, am I? The Boo liked it though, I promise. He loved it, in fact.
If you like eggplant, you’ll like this dish.
If you like eggplant parmesan, you’ll like this dish.
If you like a combination of eggplant, cheese, and tomatoes, you’ll really like this dish.
Baked Eggplant Parmesan Stacks
What You Will Need:
1 onion, chopped finely
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 14.5 oz cans fire roasted diced tomatoes w/ garlic, undrained
3 tablespoons flour
2 egg whites
1 cup breadcrumbs
6 thin slices fresh mozzarella cheese
6 large, fresh basil leaves (or 2 tablespoons dried basil)
3/4 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon each garlic powder, dried oregano, dried parsley, & dried thyme
This Is How It’s Done:
Friends, meet the newest cast member of Veggie Tales…
|*Please disregard my quick, horrible Photoshop skills (or lack thereof)|
While the eggplant is dehydrating, you can get started on the sauce…
Top with mozzarella.
The add a basil leaf. Grated parmesan. And top it with an eggplant hat.
While growing up, whenever we had steak for dinner, it was always pork steak.
The idea of pork for dinner now grosses me out. It’s just not appetizing. My idea of pork is a dry, chewy, flavorless piece of meat. (No offense, Mom–love you!)
Needless to say, we’re not big pork eaters here in this household. (Besides bacon, of course of course!)
I decided to give pork a try again. It was on sale, I had no choice.
I bought one of those tenderloins that is sealed in a marinade.
Did you know they had those?
It looks like this:
The goal here was to create a super tender, flavorful, and moist piece of meat.
Even though it was already soaking in flavor, I wanted to add some more.
In a bowl, mix together some seasonings to make a spice rub:
(I mixed minced garlic, rosemary, sage, salt & pepper, thyme, parsley, paprika, ancho chili powder, and olive oil)
Slather the tenderloin on all sides with the spice rub.
Slather it good, baby. Flavor, flavor, FLAVOR!
Heat a large skillet on medium high heat. Once the skillet gets hot, add about a tablespoon of oil.
Saute the tenderloin, creating a nice, crunchy crust on all sides. You don’t want to cook it through here, we’re just sauteing until brown to make the crispy crust and to seal in all the flavor.
Once browned on all sides, put in 350˚F oven to finish cooking. Bake for 25-30ish minutes, until it has an internal temperature of 145-150˚ F in the center.
In the meantime…..
We’re gonna make our apple & leek salad to go with de loin of de pork-o. This is the best part, in my opinion.
Be gone all thee meat…Bring on thee fruits & thee veggies, YUM!
For this you need 2 leeks, and 3 red apples.
It surprises me that a lot of people don’t know what a leek is. I looooveeeeee leeks. LOVE LOVE LOVE them.
Friends, meet Leek.
A leek is like a super huge, yet super, super mild green onion. (Word of the day: super.)
In leekdom, you only want to use the end of leek–the white and light green parts.
Cut the leek in half lengthwise, then cut it in 1-inch chunks. Fill a big bowl with cold water and put the chopped leeks in. Separate the layers and let them sit in the water for 5 minutes.
The dirt from between the layers will fall to the bottom of the bowl–skim the leeks from the top.
Make sure you dry the leeks thoroughly
Next, thinly slice your apples.
In the same skillet you used to sear the tenderloin, add a little more oil and saute the leeks until tender.
Add zeee apples…
Remove the pork tenderloin from the oven and let rest 10 minutes.
This resting step is crucial for juicy, delicious meat. All meat needs to rest once it’s done cooking–if you cut it before it rests, all the juices flow out of it, leaving you with a dry piece of meat. Blah!
After 10 minutes, slice the pork into medallions. Serve with the leeks & apples.
This is delicious.
It’s sweet, and salty, and juicy and flavorful.
No, really. It is.
Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Sauteed Leeks & Apples
3 cloves chopped garlic
1 tablespoon rosemary
1 tablespoon sage
1 tablespoon thyme
1 tablespoon parsley
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 leeks, halved & sliced into 1-inch pieces
3 red apples (such as Gala), thinly sliced
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
salt & pepper, to taste
- Heat oven to 350˚F.
- Mix spice rub ingredients in a small bowl. Mixture should be pasty, but easily spreadable. (Add more oil if needed). Rub mixture on pork tenderloin.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet. Brown pork tenderloin on all sides, remove to sheet tray.
- Bake pork tenderloin 25-30 minutes, or until 145-155˚F.
- Meanwhile, in the same skillet used for pork, add chopped leeks. Stir until tender.
- Add sliced apples and cook until softened. Add honey and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Remove tenderloin from oven. Let rest 10 minutes, then slice into 1-inch thick medallions. Serve with leeks & apples.
Back to the dinners!
Yes, we have been eating dinner around here. Yes, I have been taking pictures of [most] everything. I just haven’t gotten around to posting everything–I needed to take some time off for finals.
But now, finals are DONE! Break it here. Let the good times rolll.
I am sad, and slightly embarrassed to say that Pigs in a Blanket are quite the staple around the Yerrick household. They are pretty much our go-to dinner when I don’t feel like cooking, but we don’t feel like going out either, or if we’re in need of a speedy dinner. The whole dealio, from start to finish, takes about 20 whole minutes.
You may be wondering, “Does she realllly need to share a recipe for Pigs in a Blanket? Doesn’t everyone know how to make them?” My answer, my friends, is this: Yes. I need to share because, No, not everyone knows. Actually, most everyone makes them differently.
Now, for those few of you that are completely lost, wondering, WHAT THE HAY is a Pig in a Blanket? I mourn for you. I mourn for your childhood, lackless of little delicious piggies wrapped in crunchy, flaky blankets.
Pigs in a Blanket
What you’ll need:
1 package of Lil’Smokies Cocktail Weenies (I got the cheese filled ones for extra deliciousness.)
1 package of crescent roll dough
salt & pepper
Yep. That’s really all you need. No, I’m not kidding.
Here’s what you do, although you can probably figure it out from the picture…
Get your supplies ready.
Pop the can (I can never get the dang thing to pop…Just once I’d like it to pop normal without me having to bang it on the counter several times to dent it, UGH!) and roll out the dough on a sheet tray lined with foil.
Separate all the pre-cut triangles.
Now, those are too big for my Lil’Smokies, aren’t they? Plus, there are about a million Lil’Smokies in a package and only 8 dough triangles. What to do, what to do?
I’ll tell you:
Cut the dough triangles into 3 or 4 long-mini triangles with a pizza cutter. Tada! Now you have 8 times 3 or 4 (that’s 24 or 32) pieces of dough for your million Lil’Smokies.
Let the rolling begin!
Put the Smokie on the fat side of the triangle and roll it towards the smaller end. It makes for a nicer presentation, and we all know, it’s all about presentation on these suckers.
Keep on rollin’ til you have a little weenie farm.
I just said weenie farm. Ha. I said it again.
Weenie farm, weenie farm, weenie farm. I need some coffee.
Well, now that that’s done…This, folks, is where things are about to get craaazy.
Sprinkle them all with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and chili powder. Just for a little extra bit of flavor.
Bake in a preheated oven at 375˚ for 10-12 minutes, or until done.
This is what you get. Yum. Simple. Yummmm.
I’m guessing that most normal people don’t eat these for dinner. We do. Don’t judge. They are great for an appetizer or an after-school snack as well. For dinner, I usually pair them with Mac and Cheese and a vegetable of sorts, for a well rounded meal.
I’ve also heard that Paula Dean has her own version of these. I’ll have to look into that….