Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Holy Moly these are amazing. There's just no words to how good they are, the barbecue sauce is out of this world, though a little spicy, so if you don't like spice you may want to omit the chipotle peppers.  Des suggests using only half of the chipotle and adding more honey if you want it not too spicy.

Honey Chipotle Slow Cooker Ribs

Thank you to Life's Ambrosia for another winner.
Honey Chipotle Slow Cooker Ribs
Honey Chipotle Slow Cooker Ribs

2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 pounds baby back pork ribs
1 onion sliced

Honey Chipotle BBQ Sauce

1/2 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 (7 ounce) can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
In a bowl combine kosher salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, paprika, onion powder, cumin and olive oil in a bowl. Stir to make a paste. Rub mixture all over ribs. Transfer to preheated baking sheet.

Honey Chipotle Slow Cooker Ribs

Place in oven and cook for 15 minutes. Turn and cook for 15 more minutes.
Place the sliced onion on the bottom of the slow cooker.
While the meat is cooking combine all of the ingredients for the BBQ sauce in a food processor and process until smooth.

Honey Chipotle Slow Cooker Ribs

Honey Chipotle Slow Cooker Ribs

Transfer ribs to the slow cooker. Pour BBQ sauce over the top.

Honey Chipotle Slow Cooker Ribs

Cover and cook for 6 hours.

Honey Chipotle Slow Cooker Ribs

Sunday, September 25, 2011

I've had pumpkin on the brain, I'm sure you can tell.

So today being Sunday and the day that I set aside to make big batches of cookies for the cookie jar, I thought I would use up the pumpkin I still have leftover instead of letting it go to waste.

Iced Pumpkin Cookies

These are always a huge hit in my house, I mean, I feel like I'm baking them and they are disappearing just as fast as I can get them iced and on the plate.

I've adapted the recipe from one over at allrecipes.com.  You can find the original here. I used shortening instead of butter and I also used pumpkin pie filling instead of just pumpkin.

Iced Pumpkin Cookies

Iced Pumpkin Cookies

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Crisco shortening, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin pie filling
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and salt; set aside.

Iced Pumpkin Cookies

2. In a medium bowl, cream together the 1/2 cup of butter and white sugar. Add pumpkin, egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla to butter mixture, and beat until creamy. Mix in dry ingredients.

Iced Pumpkin Cookies

Iced Pumpkin Cookies

Drop on cookie sheet by tablespoonfuls; flatten slightly.

Iced Pumpkin Cookies

3. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool cookies, then drizzle glaze with fork.

Iced Pumpkin Cookies

4. To Make Glaze: Combine confectioners' sugar, milk, 1 tablespoon melted butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add milk as needed, to achieve drizzling consistency.

Friday, September 23, 2011

I love Gyros....love love love, but it's not often that I get a chance to have one.

And I've never had one made with ground beef, but this recipe from Food.com caught my eye.

Grilled Ground Beef Gyros

It's SO good. My kids don't like cucumber but they loved these and didn't even seem to realize that there was cucumber in there LOL

Grilled Ground Beef Gyros
Ground Beef Gyros

1 (8 ounce) containers plain yogurt
1/3 cup chopped seeded cucumbers
2 tablespoons finely chopped onions
1 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon sugar
1 lb lean ground beef ( I use ground turkey)
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon salt (optional)
3/4 teaspoon pepper
4 pita breads
3 cups shredded lettuce
1 large tomatoes, chopped
1 small onions, chopped


In a bowl, combine first 5 ingredients.
Cover and refrigerate.
In separate bowl, combine ground beef and seasonings.
Mix well.
Shape into 4 patties.
Grill, covered, (you can also use a toaster oven or broil these) over medium to high heat for 10 to 12 minutes or until meat is no longer pink, turning once.
Cut patties into thin slices.

Grilled Ground Beef Gyros
Folks, I'm on a coffee high, and I smell like Fall and Pumpkin Pie LOL

But I really wanted to try an iced version of the Pumpkin Spice Latte and now I'm glad I did because HOLY MOLY, it is SO good.

Thank you to Healthy Food for Living for the great recipe.

Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte

yield: 1 serving


3/4 cup milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk from Trader Joe’s)
3 Tbsp pure pumpkin puree
1 tsp pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch ground ginger
tiny pinch ground nutmeg
tiny pinch cloves
ice cubes
1/2 cup strong cold-brewed coffee (I used coarsely ground TJ’s Fair Trade Organic French Roast Decaf); or brewed coffee that has chilled thoroughly in the fridge


Combine milk, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, and spices in a blender or mini food processor; blend until well-combined and frothy.
Pour mixture into a large glass filled halfway with ice cubes. Slowly pour in the chilled coffee. Serve with a dusting of cinnamon, if desired.

Aside from Pecan Pie or Pumpkin Pie for Thanksgiving, I'm really not a pie fan.  I know, shocking!

But, Banana Cream Pie has to be one of my exceptions, I don't know what it is about this pie that makes me so deliriously happy, I just want to grab a big slice and go hide in the bedroom so I can enjoy it with no interruptions whatsoever.

Banana Cream Pie

Now the way I remember making this pie is to sit at the stove for what seemed like an eternity, stirring and stirring and then some more stirring and by the time it was ready I didn't feel like making the darn pie anymore LOL

BUT, the girls at Our Best Bites found a shortcut and let me tell you, this is like one of the best banana cream pies I have EVER tasted....goodness gracious.

One little thing though...I froze mine because we like frozen pie LOL And I didn't make two pies, I bought one of the large pie crust and made a big one, you'll probably have some filling left over.

Banana Cream Pie

Banana Cream Pie

1 4-serving size box of instant chocolate or vanilla pudding
1 c. cold water
1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
2 cookie crusts. You can use anything–graham crackers, Nilla Wafers, shortbread, even Oreo.
Lots of bananas
1 pint whipping cream
1/3 c. powdered sugar

In a medium bowl, combine pudding mix, cold water, and sweetened condensed milk. Mix well and place in the refrigerator to chill for a few minutes. In another bowl, whip 1 c. of whipping cream until soft peaks form.

Slice the bananas (probably 4 small bananas or 2 large bananas) and layer them on the bottom of the crusts. Be sure and save the plastic domes that come with the pie crusts–you’ll need them later!

Banana Cream Pie

Set aside. Remove pudding from the fridge and gently dollop the whipped cream on top of the pudding. Gently fold the whipped cream into the pudding mixture until well-combined.
Now divide the mixture between the two pies.

Make sweetened whipped cream with the remaining whipping cream (1 cup) and 1/3 c. of powdered sugar and spread it on top of the two pies. Place the clear plastic shells back on the pies and allow to chill for several hours.

Banana Cream Pie

This is actually really important–I tried eating it right away once and the pie wasn’t banana-y at all and the moisture hadn’t absorbed into the crust, so the crust just fell apart.
And there you have it–the best AND the easiest banana cream pie you’ll ever have or need!
I think there are a lot of people out there just waiting for the Fall season to officially open, because you know that Starbucks will bring out their Pumpkin Spice Lattes.

I love them, but I don't love dishing out the money, so I went online and started searching for a copycat recipe that I could make at home, and I found quite a few. After looking through them, I decided to give it a try but change up just a thing or two....so this one is adapted from a few online recipes.

Pumpkin Spice Latte

2 cups milk
2 tablespoons canned pumpkin pie filling
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup of strong brewed coffee

In a saucepan combine milk, pumpkin pie filling and sugar. Stir over medium heat until it starts to steam, you want to see that nice foam. Turn the heat off, stir in the vanilla and the pumpkin pie spice. Transfer to a blender and process for a few seconds until it's really foamy.

Pour into a large coffee mug, or two smaller ones. Then pour the coffee on top. (Nicholas wanted to try it so before I poured on the coffee I gave him some of the milk, he LOVED it).

You can add some whipped cream on top, but I didn't, I just sprinkled a little bit of cinnamon on top. YUM!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I know you're probably sitting there and thinking "she's lost her ever loving mind, why is she talking about toast?".  But I just have to because I don't like toast made in the toaster.  GASP!

Toast for me is made using some sort of hearty bread roll and then toasted over a fire.

It reminds me of my Uncle Carlos who passed away 4 years ago.  You know how certain foods can take you back to a place and time, or remind you of a person?  That's what this toast does for me.

Now if you go camping, I'm sure you are well aware of making toast this way, but really you don't need to have it only when you're out in the wilderness sleeping in a tent, you can have it at home too.

Favorite Toast

My favorite part, placing it over the fire and watching it start toasting....

Favorite Toast

There is such an amazing taste to it, so much more flavorful than making it in the toaster

Favorite Toast

Then slathered with some butter and I don't skimp. I remember my greatgrandma would do the same thing, she would cover every single inch of that bread and then when she bit into it, she would slather on some more, then take another bite, and add some more butter.

Favorite Toast

*drool* I even like dipping mine into the coffee. Does anyone else do that? I find that I'll dip bread and butter, or even toast with jam into the coffee. Am I weird?
This recipe is from Siggy Spice.

I am always looking for new ways to make pork, it's one of those meats that I tend to get bored with easily and need some diversity.

The chops come out really tender and full of flavor.  Be forewarned though, you need to use an Amber Ale or a Black Ale, apparently Guiness is too strong.

Drunken Pork Chops

Drunken Pork Chops

5-6 pork chops- bone-in or boneless, your choice
Salt and pepper to taste
1 bottle of beer (the darker the beer, the more flavorful the sauce)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup ketchup

Put a little bit of extra virgin olive oil in the bottom of a skillet. Season the chops with salt and pepper and brown both sides. While pork chops are browning, combine beer, ketchup, and brown sugar in a bowl. Pour sauce mixture over the pork chops and simmer for 40-45 minutes. Remove pork chops and thicken the sauce a bit. In a small cup, combine 1 TBSP of cornstarch in 1/4 of water. Stir to combine and add to boiling sauce, whisk so no lumps form. Put pork chops back in the thickened sauce, flip to coat. Serve over mashed potatoes or rice.

Drunken Pork Chops
It's no secret that I love zucchini, I always request it when we are at a restaurant that serves them as appetizers, and whenever I get the chance to make them at home, I do.

Luckily for me, my kids LOVE zucchini as much as I do and there's usually fighting over who gets the last piece.

I've posted a Fried Zucchini version on the blog before, but I also like baking it which is much healthier......even though honestly, fried is so much more delicious, but that is a whole other topic.

Try these next time you have Zucchini laying around, your kids might even enjoy it as much as mine do.

Baked Zucchini Sticks

Baked Zucchini Sticks

Zucchini, sliced into sticks
parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
garlic powder

This is so easy, it's pretty much the same as if you were making the fried zucchini just that you pop it into the oven.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a deep bowl mix the breadcrumbs, salt and pepper, garlic powder and parmesan cheese. Dip the sticks into beaten egg, then into the breadcrumb mixture.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Baked Zucchini Sticks

Place the zucchini sticks onto the parchment, then bake for about 25 minutes or until nice and brown.

Serve with some ranch or whatever else you wish. :)

Baked Zucchini Sticks

Monday, September 19, 2011

Roasted Garlic.   Enough said.

Rosemary and Roasted Garlic Meatloaf

That was what first pulled me to this recipe, I mean meatloaf is meatloaf to me, there are many ways of making it, and I have quite a few versions on my blog but then there's this one that is made with roasted garlic and the scent while that garlic is roasting is out of this world.

This recipe is courtesy of Life's Ambrosia, another wonderful cooking blog :)

Rosemary and Roasted Garlic Meatloaf

Rosemary and Roasted Garlic Meatloaf

1 head garlic
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 pound ground beef (80/20)
½ pound ground mild Italian sausage
2 eggs beaten
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons Worcestershire
2/3 cup dry breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut one inch off the top of the garlic. Place garlic in aluminum foil, drizzle with olive oil.

Rosemary and Roasted Garlic Meatloaf

Wrap in foil and cook for 45min – 1 hour or until the garlic cloves are soft and golden brown. Once cool, remove cloves with a fork and set aside.

Rosemary and Roasted Garlic Meatloaf

Turn oven down to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl combine ground beef, sausage, eggs, salt, pepper, rosemary, Worcestershire, breadcrumbs and roasted garlic. Mix well.

Rosemary and Roasted Garlic Meatloaf

Form into a loaf. Place in a loaf pan.

Rosemary and Roasted Garlic Meatloaf

Bake for 45 – 60 minutes or until meatloaf is browned and cooked through.

Rosemary and Roasted Garlic Meatloaf

Slice and serve.

Rosemary and Roasted Garlic Meatloaf
Ever had a dessert that made you groan?  No really, like the kind you take a bite out of it and you literally let out a groan and sigh?

Tippy Top Peanut Butter Pie

I am about to die here, totally in chocolate and peanut butter heaven because these babies are enough to make you cry in happiness.

One of my favorite blogs is Big Red Kitchen, this woman KNOWS all about cooking in mason jars and does she ever come up with the best recipes.

These are supposed to be made in small 4 ounce jars, but I didn't have any and I'm greedy and wanted something more....though let me warn you, you won't be able to eat it all at once, but that's ok cause it goes back into the fridge with the lid on and I can just snack out of it when I want, which is like now.....ugh, I'll finish the recipe first.

Tippy Top Peanut Butter Pie

Tippy Top Peanut Butter Pies

1 1/2 cups crushed pretzels
4 T. brown sugar
3/4 cup melted butter

Tippy Top Peanut Butter Pie

Mix well and divided evenly among one dozen 4 ounce mason jars, patting the crust down using the end of a thick wooden spoon.

Tippy Top Peanut Butter Pie

Bake at 350 for 8 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack and cool completely before filling with peanut butter filling.

Tippy Top Peanut Butter Pie

1 1/2 sticks butter
2 cups powdered sugar
2 Safest Choice Pasteurized Eggs
1/2 cup creamy all natural peanut butter

In a stand mixer, mix the above ingredients for 10 minutes on medium speed until light and fluffy. Divided evenly over pretzel crusts.

Tippy Top Peanut Butter Pie

3/4 cup heavy cream
2 T. butter
2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips

Heat cream and butter in a microwave safe bowl for one minute on high. Pour in chips and let set one minute then stir until the chips are melted and the ganache is smooth. Top each pie with the ganache to just the top of the jar.

Tippy Top Peanut Butter Pie

You will have about 1/3 cup left of the ganache for another use. Screw lids on jars and store in the refrigerator. Makes 12 mini pies or one big 9 inch pie.

Note- The crust is very thick and the first spoonful is hard to crack through but once you do...yum!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

As soon as the temperatures start cooling, my slow cooker starts seeing the light of day, like constantly seeing the light of day, at many times working almost daily in my kitchen.

We had a couple of errands to run this morning and then I wanted to get some more sewing done while the kids and daddy played games on the TV.  So dinner was thrown into the crockpot at 8am this morning and by the time we sat down, it the meat was tender and had sucked up all the goodness from the peppers.  So good!

This recipe was inspired by one I saw at Our Best Bites a while ago.  It's so easy that I didn't save it or bookmark it but go on over and check out their blog, it's full of great recipes.

Beef, Banana Peppers and Provolone Sandwich

2lb rump roast
1 jar of banana peppers
salt and pepper
garlic powder
sandwich buns

Rub salt and pepper all over the roast, sprinkle on some garlic powder and pop it into your slow cooker.

Dump the contents of the banana peppers jar into the pot, and yes I mean everything, the peppers and the juice etc. Close the lid and cook on low for 8 hours.


I cranked it up to HIGH the last 2 hours just because, I don't know why but it worked great.

When ready to eat, shred the beef. Slather on some mayonnaise on the two halves of the sandwich buns, put a big mound of the meat filling on one half, put a slice of provolone cheese on top and then take the other half, and dip it into the gravy in the crockpot, then plop on top and you're done.

These are SO good.