Monday, July 29, 2013

Bacon and Cheddar Cornmeal Waffles

1. I want a kitty just so I can have this for it.
2. How Much Would Tai's "Clueless" Makeover Really Cost?
3. 10 Signs You’re Having Your Quarter-Life Crisis. Well, at least someone found a name for it...

4. THIS dress. Nuff said...
5. Lion King Outtakes!

Who wants waffles? I do, I do, I DO!!!! Who wants waffles with bacon and cheddar cheese and made with a cornmeal batter?

You would really be silly not to.

Bacon and Cheddar Cornmeal Waffles

3/4 cup coarse Cornmeal or Polenta
1 cup Boiling Water
2 whole Large Eggs
3 tablespoons melted Butter, cooled
1 cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 tablespoon of Sugar
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 cup of Whole Milk
5 strips of Slab Bacon, diced and cooked
1/2 cup {heaping} Freshly Grated Cheddar Cheese
Butter, for serving
Real Maple Syrup, for serving

1. In a large bowl measure and add the coarse cornmeal. Pour the cup of boiling water over the grits and stir to combine. Let the cornmeal sit for 15 minutes until cooled.

2. Meanwhile in a medium bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Set aside.

3. Then crack and add two large eggs, the melted {and cooled} butter and whisk to combine.

4. Combine the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and the cup of milk and stir. Lastly add in the cooked bacon and the grated cheddar cheese and stir to combine.

5. Lightly spray the waffle iron. Once preheated, use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to pour batter into each waffle section. Close and cook the waffles for 3-5 minutes until the edges are slightly crispy.

6. Remove the finished waffles to a sheet pan and slide them in a preheated 200 degree oven to keep warm while you make the remaining waffles. Stir the batter in between batches so the cornmeal and bacon don't sink to the bottom.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Fried Avocado Tacos with Peach Blueberry Salsa and Homemade Tortillas


1. Happy Hubby and I are loving Castle right now. I want Nathan Fillion to be my bestest friend.

2. These beautiful handcrafted horn speakers by Specimen Products would be a wonderful addition to my future dream home.
3. Anyone else love Watchmen and old video games? This Rorschach Invader t-shirt from SnorgTees needs to be in my mailbox like nowish.
4. Lets take a trip to the Dutch Hotel De Vrouwe van Stavoren where we can sleep in a giant wine barrel!!!

5. My 90's heart is swooning right now over this. He even put the mullet back on! 

Sooooooo, tacos right? Who doesn't love tacos? How about Fried Avocado Tacos with Peach Blueberry Salsa and Homemade Tortillas! Yeah, I made these on a Saturday when I had time and Happy Hubby there to watch and flip the tortillas while I pressed them. 

Also, don't snack on avocado when you are about to eat lunch. It fills you up big time and then you don't eat the lunch you spent all day making. Needless to say, my neighbors got a free lunch that day.

Fried Avocado Tacos with Peach Blueberry Salsa and Homemade Tortillas

Peach Blueberry Salsa (by How Sweet It Is)
1 cup fresh blueberries, chopped
1 ripe peach, chopped
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1/2 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
3-4 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
the juice of one lime
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients together in a bowl and mix. The longer it sits, the better it tastes! Keep refrigerated.

Tortillas (12 tortillas) 
2 cups Masa
1 1/3 cups Warm Water

1. Heat ungreased skillet over high heat.
2. Combine Masa and warm water, knead to blend well and form a ball.
3. Wet hands and shape dough into balls around 1 1/2 in diameter.
4. Roll out or press each ball between 2 sheets of wax paper to form a 6-inch circle. Carefully peel off wax paper.
5. Cook on ungreased skillet for 30 seconds or until lightly browned and edges begin to dry. Turn tortilla and continue cooking for one minute. Tortillas may puff up slightly. Turn tortilla again and continue cooking for 30-45 seconds until desired doneness. Keep tortillas warm in a tightly wrapped kitchen towel.

Fried Avocado (by Tasty Kitchen)
1 whole Avocado, Semi-firm, Not Mushy
Pinch Of Kosher Salt And Pepper
⅓ cups Flour
1 whole Egg Beaten
½ cups Panko
2 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese
Olive Oil, For Frying

1. Halve your avocado and run a sharp knife gently around the perimeter of each half to loosen the meat from the skin. Gently remove the skin and the seed. Slice each half into wedges. You should be able to get 8-10 wedges from the avocado, depending on its size. Don’t slice them too thin; you want them to hold up to the breading and frying. Sprinkle the wedges with a bit of kosher salt and pepper.

2. Place the flour in a shallow bowl. Place the egg (beaten) in another bowl and the panko and Parmesan cheese in another bowl. Dredge each piece in the flour, gently shake off any excess flour. Dip into the egg mixture, then finally into the panko mixture, coating all sides well. Set aside.

3. Heat your oil in a frying pan. Place just enough olive oil in your pan to just cover the bottom of the pan. Heat over medium high heat until oil becomes hot enough to fry. It usually begins to make a sound once it’s close. Gently set your avocado pieces in the oil. Fry on all sides until browned, a total of about 1 1/2 – 2 minutes. Gently remove from the pan, set on a paper towel-lined plate.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Butter Pecan Ice Cream

I'm going to start sharing my 5 FAVS when I must share with you the stuff I come across.
Starting Now!

1. These Tiny Arcade Machines must make an appearance in my future dream home.

2. This Taylor Swift "22" parody. I'm not 32 yet but I am totally with her on this.

3. Overall Swimsuit from Urban Outfitters! Can I has?
4. Did anyone else know that JK Rowling released a book under a fake name so she could get honest book reviews? I lurve her.
5. I must try this beer! Hell or High Watermelon Beer. Someone please go to San Francisco and bring this back for me!!!

I made homemade butter pecan ice cream for my father-in-law for Father's Day last month and he said it was the best he ever had!! Mind Blown!!! I am not a fan of any form of nut in my desserts so this ice cream isn't anything I would ever gravitate towards. That being said, this was awesome! But don't put any nuts in my brownies...or cookies...or cakes...

Weird coincidence that my mother-in-law bought the same bowls that the Brown Eyed Baker used for her photos. Also, in her link to this recipe, she has a wonderful tutorial of how to make ice cream without an ice cream maker. I used my awesome Kitchenaid Ice Cream Maker Attachment!!

Butter Pecan Ice Cream

1 cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup water
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup chopped toasted pecans

1. Combine the brown sugar, water and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Boil the syrup for 2 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, beat the eggs together in a medium bowl. Slowly beat in the syrup.

3. Cook in a double boiler over, not in, boiling water, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches 175°F and coats the back of a spoon. Do not allow the mixture to boil. Add the unsalted butter and stir until melted. Strain into a medium bowl and refrigerate until cold.

4. Add the whole milk and vanilla extract and mix well to combine.

5. Beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Fold it into the egg mixture.

6. Pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's directions. Fold in the chopped pecans before transferring ice cram to a container.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Firecracker Pork Chops with Fresh Pineapple, Kiwi, and Red Pepper Salsa

Did you all have a happy and safe holiday?

Did anyone else see these fireworks? My town always puts on a fantastic fireworks display and I always love seeing the shaped fireworks like this star one. 

...and this heart one...

...and the allusive smiley face firework!

I have only seen the smiley face a few times. I have also seen many failed smiley face fireworks. HOW DO THEY DO THAT!?!?!? Fireworks are always an amazing sight to see like once a year. It's nice to just stop for a half an hour and just be amazed by them.

You know what else is nice to just stop and eat during grilling season?

Firecracker Pork Chops with Fresh Pineapple, Kiwi, and Red Pepper Salsa! I'm not a huge fan of pork chops but these are darn tasty. One of those recipes that I had to stop eating just comment on how good they were. These are especially good paired with the salsa. This salsa recipe features my new secret to spicy salsa. Instead of covering my hands and lemon-ing them after handling jalapenos, I just add a squirt of Sririacha instead! A perfect combo for these hot and humid summer nights. Don't forget ice cream for dessert!

Firecracker Pork Chops with Fresh Pineapple, Kiwi, and Red Pepper Salsa

For the Pork Chops:
4 boneless pork chops, 3/4 - 1 inch thick (1-1.5 lbs)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 Tb. sriracha hot sauce
3 Tb. honey

For the Salsa:
1 cup fresh diced pineapple
1 cup diced red bell pepper
1 cup diced kiwi (about 4)
1/4 cup diced red onion
2 Tb. chopped cilantro
1 Tb. olive oil
1/2 tsp. sriracha hot sauce

Salt and Pepper

Pour the soy sauce, hot sauce, and honey in a large zip bag. Shake to mix, then add the pork chops. Marinate for at least thirty minutes.

Preheat the grill to high heat.

For the pineapple salsa, mix all ingredients in a medium bowl and toss. Salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Once the grill is hot, grill the pork chops for 3-4 minutes per side. You want the pork chops to be slightly pink or just barely cook through, but not dry.

Cover the chops with foil and allow them to rest at least 5 minutes before serving.

Serve warm with fresh salsa piled over the top.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Cherry Pie Bars

I couldn't wait to show you anymore. 
These are just so gosh dang delicious.
I was going to wait until I had fresh peaches to make these and share them with you. 
But they are just so gosh dang delicious.
And they are perfect for the 4th of July. Cherry pie equals 'Merica.
I actually made these Cherry Pie Bars for Father's Day and they were a big hit. We were immediately discussing what other fruits to make this not-pie with. My future choice is going to be Southern Illinois Peaches which I may start seeing in the next few weeks. My mom was also talking about going blueberry picking so that may be a possibility as well. I made them for my dad because cherry pie is one of his ultimate favorites. This just seemed so simple. Pie without the extra work of pie.

Happy Hubby even surprised me by how much he loved them.


Cherry Pie Bars

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 (21 ounce) cherry pie filling 2 if you like cherries (highly recommend)

1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 Tbs milk

Cream together butter and sugar.  Add eggs and beat well.  Beat in extracts.

In a separate bowl combine flour and salt.  Add to the creamed mixture.  Mix until combined.

Grease a 15x10x1 pan or 9×13, whichever one you decide to use.  Spread 3 cups batter in a 15x10x1 (Also works with 9×13- baking time will at least be 35 minutes)  Spread with pie filling.  Drop remaining batter on top of pie filling.

Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes clean.  Cool on wire rack.  Combine glaze ingredients and drizzle over the bars.