Friday, August 31, 2012

Grilled Fajitas

Ok, so this entire dish isn't grilled, but you could definitely do it that way. It was about a million degrees outside the day we made these fajitas, so we (by we, we mean Michelle) opted to stay in side and cook the onions and peppers on the stove top. Zack braved the blistering summer heat to fire up the grill. He's a sweetheart.

Here's what you need:
1 flank steak
1 package semifrito (It's in the international aisle at the grocery store)
2 peppers (ours were yellow and red)
1 large onion

Queso Fresco
Lime Juice

Here's what you do:
Rub your flank steak with the semifrito and let sit in a baking dish in the fridge for about an hour.

After about an hour marinading, pull the flank steak out the fridge and set on the counter to come up to room temperature.

Slice up the onion and peppers and put in a 12" skillet over medium heat with a bit of olive oil.

When your onions and peppers are about half way done, fire up the grill and let that warm up. You're going to want the fire hot, but not up all the way. We'll say medium-high.

When you think you have about 10 minutes left on the peppers and onions, throw the flank steak on the grill. We cooked for about 3 minutes a side. It's a really thin cut of meat, and we wanted it to still be pink in the middle.

Pull off the heat after about 6 minutes, then let rest on a cutting board for a few minutes.

Slice the meat thinly.

You can either toss with the peppers and onions or add them separately. Either way works for us! Garnish with cilantro, lime juice and queso fresco.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Dirty Mashed Potatoes

One of Zack's favorite things is mashed potatoes. We don't make them near enough for his liking, but they make an appearance on our table pretty frequently. This time we opted for dirty mashed potatoes with a hint of garlic. We actually decided to add the garlic after the potatoes were done, so we used garlic powder instead of actual garlic. We know, fresh garlic would be better, but we improvise in our house. 

We tried something different this time too... basically because the meatloaf we made to go with the potatoes wasn't cooking as quickly as we'd anticipated and our potatoes were ready too early. See, improvising.

Here's what you need:
1/2 bag of small red potatoes
1/4 cup light sour cream
4 tbsp butter, divided
1/4 milk
2 tsp garlic powder

Here's what you do:
Start by scrubbing your potatoes thoroughly to clean them. Then slice so they're all pretty uniform sizes. This will help them cook faster and more evenly.

Boil the potatoes for 20-30 minutes, or until they fall apart when you stick a fork in them.

Drain the potatoes, then dump in a large bowl. Add the sour cream, milk, garlic powder and 2 tbsp of butter.

Mash together. It's not going to be completely smooth because of the skins, but we like a little bite.

Now, if the rest of your meal is ready at this point, feel free to serve. As we mentioned before, our meatloaf wasn't cooperating, so we put these in a casserole dish, dotted the top with butter and added it to the oven with the meatloaf.

This step really just helped us by keeping the potatoes warm, but stirring in the melted butter on top was a nice touch.


Saturday, August 25, 2012


Today, we post our 150th blog. We're not sure why, but both of us LOVE meatloaf. It's our comfort food, so it seemed fitting that it had the distinct position of 150th post. Now, you may wonder why we've never blogged about this before. Well, the truth is, we both love our mothers' meatloafs so much, we never tried making it on our own. We had to remedy this and make meatloaf a go-to meal in our house.

As with a lot of our dishes, we didn't really measure, just threw in ingredients until the consistency looked correct.

Here's what you need:
1 1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 lb mild pork sausage
10-15 Saltine crackers (or oatmeal if you prefer)
1 15 oz jar of Meatloaf sauce (You can use tomato sauce, but you'll need more crackers)
1 large egg
1 medium onion
Ketchup to top

Here's what you do:
Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees.

Dice up your onion.

Throw your crackers in a plastic bag and roll with a rolling pin until they're crumbs.

Now, throw all of the ingredients except the ketchup into a large bowl.

Mix until it's combined, but don't over mix. Spray a loaf pan or casserole dish with cooking spray. If you use a casserole dish, you'll need to form the loaf yourself. We used a loaf pan, so it did the work for us.

Finally, top with the ketchup. Next time, we're going to add even more ketchup to the top. 

Place in the oven for 30-45 minutes, or until the internal temperature of your meatloaf is 165 degrees.

Slice and serve immediately.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Froggie-in-the-Water Cupcakes

Today, we are switching up our usual blogging style by introducing our niece, Emily, as our first guest blogger. Emily will soon start third grade loves to bake. She asked that we highlight one of her recipes from her cookbook, Tiana's Cookbook: Recipes for Kids. It's a Disney Princess & the Frog cookbook and they have absolutely adorable recipes for kids. I think she knows that she has her aunt wrapped around her little finger, so of course I documented the cupcake creation.

Here's what you need:
1 box white cake mix
3 eggs
1 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 container of white whipped frosting
blue food coloring
green gum drops
1 bag white chocolate chips
1 small tube of black gel icing

Here's what you do:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Mix up the cake according to the directions on the box. Start by combining the cake mix, water, oil and eggs. Emily decided she didn't really care if she had a pure white cake (and wasn't quite ready for the challenge of separating eggs), so we used the yolks. If you want pure white cake, separate the yolks out. You'll probably need an additional egg for that.

Mix that up until smooth and no lumps.

Once that's mixed, line your cupcake pans with the cups.

And fill the cups about 2/3 of the way up with the batter.

Bake for 19-23 minutes, switching the racks half way through.

While those are baking, mix up your icing. Add the container of white icing to a bowl and add a few drops of blue food coloring. Continue adding food coloring one drop at a time until you reach the desired color of blue.

Place in the fridge to stay cool until your cupcakes are ready to ice.

Next, move on to the eyes.

Go through the bag of gum drops and remove only the green. You will need one gum drop per cupcake. Slice the gum drops in half.

Press the white chocolate chips into the gum drops.

Finally, dot the white chocolate chips with the black gel icing to create the irises.

Once your cupcakes have cooled, spread on a good amount of icing. You need a thick base for the gum drop eyes to stick.

Carefully place the eyes on the top of the cupcakes. Emily and I had some trouble with this. Some of the chocolate chips just didn't want to stick. On some of the gum drops, we had to turn them around so the sticky inside of the drop was the front. They white chocolate chips stuck to those alright.


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Fried Egg BLTs

We're pretty sure that it's clear how much we love breakfast. Lately, we've been on an egg sandwich kick. It's pretty simple to throw together. We're pretty sure there's nothing better than a runny egg. We didn't take process pictures - it's that easy.

Here's what you need:
1 egg per person
Butter to coat the pan
A splash of balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt & black pepper to taste
2 slices of bacon per person
sliced tomato
fresh arugula
2 slices of bread per person

Here's what you do:
Get your bacon started in a skillet over medium heat. Let that cook until crispy. We don't like to cook our egg in the bacon fat. Even though bacon grease is amazingly tasty, we do try to limit some of the calories we intake.

Once your bacon is just about finished, drop your toast in the toaster. Have your sous chef (Michelle) slice the tomato. You also will want to start your eggs. Heat a skillet over medium-low heat and melt butter to coat the bottom of the pan. 

We crack our eggs into custard cups before hand for two reasons. First, if you get a bad egg, it's not contaminating all other eggs. Second, you can slide the egg into the pan more gently and have less of a risk of the yolk breaking. Anyway, once the pan is hot, add the eggs. Season with salt & pepper

Let the eggs cook until the edges are cooked all the way through. Once that happens, you're ready to flip. Flip the egg, and add a splash of balsamic vinegar to the pan. Let that cook for just a minute or so, then remove from the pan and place on one piece of the toast. 

Next, add the tomato. Pat the bacon with paper towels to remove excess grease, then add to the sandwich. Finally top with arugula. 


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Grilled Pizza Margherita

We got a fancy new pizza pan for the grill. Now that we have a gas grill to go along with our charcoal grill, we finally have an area big enough to cook a pizza on. We have done this a couple times, but this last one was actually worthy of a blog.

We decided on Pizza Margherita, because the basil in our garden does not seem to be effected by the excessive heat. We also had some fresh tomatoes from Zack's parent's garden. We didn't make our own crust or sauce for this one, because it was a weeknight meal. Someday we'll figure out the perfect recipes for those, but for now, we're using store bought.

Here's what you need:
3-4 tomatoes, sliced
15-20 leaves of fresh basil
1 ball of fresh mozzarella - trust us, get fresh mozzarella and not shredded.
Drizzle of Extra Virgin olive oil
1/2 jar of pizza sauce
1 pre-made pizza crust

Here's what you do:
Start by heating your grill. We have a 4 burner grill, so we heated the outside burners to medium, and the inside 2 burners we kept on low.

The pizza crust we purchased was made for a rectangular pizza. We, however, have a round pizza grill pan. If this happens to you, you'll simply need to clean the counter and sprinkle the counter with flour to prevent sticking. Roll the crust out and the knead into a ball. Make sure you add flour as necessary. You don't want it to be sticky! 

Now, roll the dough out with a rolling pin to the desired round shape. Pizza dough is fairly elastic, so you may have to pick it up and toss it around a little bit too. Once you have the crust in a round, place on the pan and build up the edges so that you have a place to pool your sauce.

Spoon your sauce over the dough so that it's coated, but you can still see the dough through it. It will make things much less messy in the long run if you don't over sauce.

Add the tomatoes first, then mozzarella, then basil. Finally, drizzle the entire pizza with a bit of extra virgin olive oil.

After a couple of not so exciting grilled pizzas, we knew at this point that this one was going to rock, so we snapped a picture.

Place on the grill and close the lid for 10 minutes or so, or until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Anybody Out There?

Hi. We should apologize. We've been bad bloggers. Summer has been, well, insanely busy. Aside from the oppressive heat and our lack of desire to turn the oven on, we've barely stopped to test any new recipes. We have been enjoying some of our favorites, like Shoyu Pork, many variations of salads, and about a million different ways to grill chicken breast. 

We have also been fighting with our garden. This year has been so hot and dry, that our garden hasn't done as well as we'd hoped. Yes, we water it every day, but sometimes you just need a good rain! It's amazing how much better the garden reacts to rain than just water from the hose. We have gotten a few radishes and some grape tomatoes. Our herbs are also doing pretty well - the basil for sure.

We'll have some posts coming up, but please bear with us!