Thursday, September 29, 2011

Angel Pie

This recipe comes to you courtesy of Michelle's Aunt Pat. This is a simple dessert that tastes great. Michelle can remember having this at her grandmother's house when she was little. We won't go into how long ago that was...

Here's what you need:
1 9 oz tub of cool whip
1 can crushed pineapple
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1 can sweetened, condensed milk
2 pre-made graham cracker pie crust (we learned during the making of this recipe that we don't have a pie plate, so pre-made was much quicker. Feel free to make your own graham cracker crust).

Here's what you do:
Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

Fold together lightly, so your cool whip is still fluffy.

Now, the hardest part: Pour into the pie crust. Sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours to let it set up. 


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sausage Bites

This recipe comes courtesy of one of Michelle's cousins, Kathy. This is another one that you can mix up the filling the night before and assemble and bake them the day of. If you can't tell, we love doing prep work ahead of time.

Here's what you need:
1 red bell pepper
1 small can of sliced black olives
1 lb Italian sausage (we used sweet, but you can do spicy or a mix if you want)
1 cup ranch dressing
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup shredded cheddar (we used medium cheddar)
1 package of wonton wrappers

Start by browning your sausage in a 10" skillet. Make sure that it is cooked completely. Using a slotted spoon, scoop the sausage onto a paper towel covered plate to soak up some of the grease.

While your sausage is cooking, dice up one red bell pepper. This green bowl makes it look as though the pepper is floating, doesn't it?

Then, chop up the sliced olives. We like to buy the pre-sliced, but not chopped black olives. The chopped olives are too finely chopped for our tastes. We also always keep sliced olives on hand for one thing or another. You can buy whole olives if you'd rather do all the chopping yourself.

Grate up half a cup of each cheese and add to the bowl with the pepper and olive. We don't typically buy pre-grated cheese. Grating your own is better for you. And, you get a nice forearm workout!

Pour in the ranch dressing and add the sausage. Stir up to combine all the ingredients.

At this point, you can toss this mixture in the fridge overnight if you desire.

Start your oven pre-heating you oven to 375 degrees. We wouldn't pre-heat your oven before this, because it takes some time to assemble the little pockets.

Spread some wonton wrappers out on a parchment covered cookie sheet. Have a small bowl of water ready and dampen the edges of the wonton wrapper. This is hopefully help them seal. Some of ours came open. They were still really tasty.

Spoon a small amount of the sausage mixture onto the center of the the wonton wrapper.

Now, simply fold the edge of the wrapper over to seal up the pocket.

Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the wontons begin to turn brown. We had two trays in the oven at a time, and rotated the racks every 5 minutes.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Beef & Pork Chili

Is there anything better on a cold fall day than a nice spicy bowl of chili? We don't think so.

A couple of years ago, Michelle went on a hunt for the perfect chili recipe. Both of us LOVE chili, and we wanted a recipe that would make the 2+ hours of prep and cooking worth the wait. We found one with this recipe, which we only slightly changed.

Here's what you need:
6 slices of bacon
4 cloves of garlic
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
2 medium onions
1 1/4 lb. ground pork
1 1/4 lb. ground beef (we used 80% lean)
3 Tbsp. Chili powder
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
1 Tbsp. chipotle chili powder
2 Tbsp dried oregano
1/2 Tbsp. smoked paprika
1/2 Tbsp. paprika
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 15 oz. can of black beans
1 15 oz. can of kidney beans
1 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
1 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes in juice
1 cup beer

We know, that seems like a lot of ingredients. The flavor of this chili is killer though, so just trust us.

Here's what you do:
Start off by slicing and dicing your peppers, onions and garlic. On the red and yellow pepper, we remove the membrane from the inside of the peppers, like this:

The membrane can have a bitter flavor sometimes, so we remove it just in case.

Set your diced veggies aside for later.

Next, mix up your spice blend and set that aside as well.

Start a large dutch oven heating over medium heat. Cut your bacon into 1/2" strips and toss in the pot.

You want your bacon to crisp lightly. It will continue to cook while you add all of the other ingredients.

Toss in the vegetables.

Add the spices.

Toss that around and let it cook for a few minutes. You want to go from here:

To here:

Now it's time to add the meat. Start with the ground beef and break it up with a wooden spoon.

Once you have that broken up and it's starting to brown, do the same procedure with the ground pork.

Let those brown completely. This could take a while, so just keep an eye on it and stir it around occasionally.

While your meat is browning, drain and rinse your beans and measure out your beer.

This is how the cooked meat should look after it has browned:

Pour in the beer.

Add the beans.

Stir that around to combine the ingredients.

Next, add in both cans of tomatoes and give it a good stir.

At this point, your chili should look like this:

Drop your heat to a low simmer and walk away. We set a time for about 30 minutes to pop in and give it a good stir. Let this cook away for at least an hour and a half.

Here is our finished product. You can see how the meat has really soaked up a lot of the tomato juice and it's thickened up a bit.

This can be served right away, or you can do like we do, and put it into the fridge overnight and heat it up in the crock pot the next day. This is a perfect meal for watching football.

We garnished ours with a squeeze of lime, shredded cheddar cheese, a dollop of light sour cream, and chives. Of course, Zack adds oyster crackers too.


Friday, September 23, 2011


One of Michelle's favorite bloggers is The Pioneer Woman. She now has a show on the Food Network. It's a Saturday morning ritual in our house now. Last week, she made Egg-in-a-hole and we had to try it. It seemed so simple and yet they were raving about it.

Here's what you need:
1 piece of bread
1 egg
about 1 Tbsp of butter (we used a little more to make sure the bread was nice and toasty)
salt & pepper to taste
biscuit cutter 

Here's what you do:
Start off by cutting a hole in the center of a piece of bread using a biscuit cutter. You can also use the rim of a glass if you don't have biscuit cutters.

Heat the butter in a 10" skillet.

Now slide in the bread, making sure it gets coated with the butter

Next, crack an egg directly into the center of the hole. Season with some salt and pepper.

Let that cook for about a minute. You'll see that the bottom of the egg sets up pretty quickly. Now, carefully flip the egg and the little toast circle.

Let that cook for another minute or so.

The little toast circle is surprisingly yummy. It didn't make it to the plate...