dinner

Simple Grilled Fish Salad...

8:18 AM


I love a good salad. I usually serve a small side one at every dinner my kids and I have. I guess it's my way of trying to sneak even more fresh greens in. Since we do quite a bit of these bad boys, I love adding different things to them. This one was so good. Grilled tilapia that I seasoned with a bit of salt, pepper and olive oil, fresh jalapeno hush puppies, tomato, avocado, and super mean greens. I dressed with fresh lemon juice, sea salt and pepper. Nom. Nom. Nom.

Why oh why did I just start eating avocado at the beginning of this year? Where oh where was my crazed mind at?! Now I can't get enough of 'em.

There is no recipe for this, just create! What are some of your favorite salad combinations?

cards

Freebie Friday: Printable Recipe Cards

9:08 PM


Earlier today I started flipping through some cookbooks that I got at our local library for twenty-five cents each. As I looked through the outdated photos and recipes, I saw many that I liked. As I folded down the corner of pages featuring recipes I liked, I thought, hmmmmm, I should write these down. For my birthday a great friend surprised me with flowers, my favorite candy and a recipe box. The style of the recipe box was not particularly my style but I love it. Too bad I have never used it... Ok, back on track...so I am flipping through the cook book, folding down pages and I decided then and there that I need to keep track of these recipes. Sure, I post them online, but what happens when the internet is down and you can't pass down websites and internet information to family like you can a recipe box full of handwritten or neatly typed dishes for them to try, remember and in return pass on. 

So, I made these cards. I love them. I cannot wait to take that extra time to jot down recipes that I make, I find and put them in my recipe box. It should make for some good memories and something I really want to pass down to my kids.

Enjoy this freebie! 

*I am using scribd for the first time, please comment if the printable does not print correctly.




bowls

Soup Bowls A'plenty...

9:00 AM




It is cooling down here in Mississippi and cooler weather means lots of delicious soups and stews are on the horizon. My family loves a good soup or stew so I have been online searching for more bowls. Who would have thought that the girl who once spent her time looking for new shoes would be so darn thrilled over the mere premise of shopping for bowls? Who has replaced me? So my searching has led to some awesome finds. Here are 4 cool bowls I found.





3. Target Nova Soup Bowls $15.99 (4)






bento

Easy Falafel...

12:00 AM


I am always up for trying new things. Unless it is maggot cheese or something that reminds me of roadkill I am all for it. I love trying and introducing my family to meals that are not common in Mississippi. Thus we land on the falafel.

I was watching the food network one night and they were going over restaurants and their popular dishes when they showcased a diner that specialized in falafels. I was curious....what the heck is this tasty looking meatballish creature/recipe/meal-a-bob? I decided to try it. My kids were pleased. When you are a parent, pleased kids says a lot about your cooking.

I tried the recipe from food network and loved it. 

Recipe copied from Food Network:
Ingredients
2 1/4 cups cooked chickpeas
3 scallions, coarsely chopped
1 large clove garlic, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Generous 1/4 cup coarsely chopped parsley
Generous 1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
1 egg
1 lemon, juiced
Kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup flour, plus 1/4 cup flour for shaping patties
Vegetable oil, for frying
Lettuce, for garnish
Chopped salted tomatoes, for garnish
Grated cucumber, for garnish
White Bean Yogurt Sauce, recipe follows
Directions
In a food processor, combine the chickpeas, scallions, garlic, cumin, coriander, cayenne, parsley, cilantro, egg, and lemon juice. Pulse to combine and season with salt. The mixture will not be smooth, but it should not have large chunks.

Add in the baking powder and 1/3 cup of the flour and pulse to just combine. Remove to a bowl and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Remove the chickpea mixture from the refrigerator. Add enough oil to a large saute pan so it reaches 1/2-inch up the sides and heat it over medium-high heat until an inserted thermometer reads 360 degrees F.

Meanwhile, drop spoonfuls of the chickpea mixture onto a plate with 1/4 cup flour. Roll into balls on the floured plate and press gently into patties. Fry in batches of hot oil for about 3 to 4 minutes each side and drain on paper towels.

Serve the falafel on a bed of lettuce with chopped salted tomatoes, grated cucumber and White Bean Yogurt Sauce.

Creamy White Bean Yogurt Sauce
3/4 cup cooked white beans
1 small garlic clove, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Puree the white beans, garlic, yogurt, lemon juice, and olive oil in a mini food processor until very smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve with falafel or as a salad dressing

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/melissa-darabian/falafel-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback

beef

Easy Stuffed Taco Poblano Peppers

6:55 AM


My mom is from Texas. She left when she was 17, married and moved to Mississippi. She is a big time lover of all foods Spanish and Spanish inspired. Whenever I invite her over for dinner she always asks, "Are you making Mexican?"  Seriously, if she asks for one more burrito...

Since she is always asking for it, I try to find recipes I can try that will keep it less boring for me. I made her stuffed peppers not too long ago and she loved them. I kept it simple (although in my mind I was creating something just as spectacular as the Chile Rellenos I love from my favorite joint around here).

This is easy, only a few ingredients and can be stuffed ahead of time and then baked.

You will need:
Poblano Peppers 
3 cups of ground beef
1 packet of taco seasoning
1 cup of cooked Spanish rice
2 cups of shredded cheese
1/2 cup salsa

Rinse your peppers well and then cut a slit down the middle. Using a spoon, scoop out the vein and seeds. Discard the seeds. Set peppers aside.

In skillet, begin browning your ground beef, and drain the grease. Lower heat to low and add taco seasoning and then salsa. Stir well. Remove from heat. In a bowl combine cooked rice with ground beef and then add 1/2 cup of shredded cheese. Spoon mixture into the peppers. Place on baking sheet.  Bake for about 45 minutes, then top peppers with remaining cheese and bake for about 20 more minutes.

Makes 6 large peppers.

And there you have it. I serve mine with a bit of rice and a nice side salad.




airport

Random....

10:21 AM


These are my children. These are the loves of my lives. These are also known to wreak havoc and claim that all of your belongings are theirs. 


Here I am sitting in the airport waiting on my ride to come pick me up and take me home. I left for only 4 full days but somehow those 4 days seem like not enough time all while seemingly lasting a lifetime. I made a trek to New York City for the first time e.v.e.r. and where has that city been all of my life? I usually do not do touristy things and my last night there was spent with me hanging with the locals in lower Manhattan with not a tourist in sight. It was good. I took lots of photos, met some amazing people and had a generally great time. But, one thing is certain, as I sit here in this airport I can only think of one thing:

Getting home to see my babies. Even if they are not exactly babies anymore, I cannot wait to see the smile of my children and I know they will smile extra big because mama came back bearing gifts.

Ohhhh, have I mentioned how excited I am about this cool weather we are having. Soup season! Yes! Now if I can decide which set of bowls to get from Williams Sonoma.

bacon

Shrimp & Grits...

9:11 AM



Here in the South, shrimp and grits has always been something on the menu at a higher end restaurant. It is not an everyday dish that families just make for dinner. It is a soothing comfort food but usually only eaten when spending a night out on the town. Don't expect to visit your down south relatives and find this waiting on the table when you arrive, but boy oh boy is it easy to make and simple and quick and oh delicious. (Did I say enough 'ands'?)

Even though this is not an everyday dish, it sure is good. Grits are common enough here in Mississippi. It is a common breakfast meal that is similar to polenta. I would say it is like cream of wheat or something but it is coarser and grittier. I like mine with just a wee bit of pepper and salt with a pat of butter. It makes for some simple good eats. Really.

The good thing about grits is that it can be changed. You can add cheese, bacon, ham, gravy and it is the bomb.com. Add some fresh biscuits to the mix and oooooo-weeeeee, slap yo' mama gosh dang.

Seriously, easy to make and impress your friends and folks with this.

You will need:
4 cups of  water
1 cup of uncooked grits
1 tsp of salt
2 tbsp of butter
2 cups of medium shrimp (peeled and no tail)
4 slices of bacon
2 slices of smoked porkchops/ham (diced)
1 tbsp of creole seasoning
1 tbsp of worcestershire sauce
1 tsp of dried italian seasoning or chopped fresh parsley

In pot, bring water to a boil, add in salt and slowly begin stirring in the grits. Lower the heat to low-medium. The grits should start to bubble (be careful, these badboys are hot if they hit you). Stir regularly so they do not stick to the pot. Cook for ten minutes then lower the heat to low and cook for about 20 more minutes stirring regularly. Stirring will prevent the grits from lumping up and sticking to bottom of the pot. If your grits look too thick, slowly add in water, stirring until you get the consistency of a coarse pudding. Turn off the heat and cover.

In medium sauce pan on medium heat, add in butter and shrimp. Sprinkle with seasoning, worcestershire sauce, and add in bacon and porkchop pieces. Cook until bacon is done. Reduce heat. The shrimp mix should have made it's own gravy. If not enough, add in another dash of worcestershire and 2 tbsp of water.

You may need to add more creole seasoning. Don't be afraid to taste it to see if there is enough to your liking. I like well seasoned foods, so add more if you need to.

Spoon the grits into a bowl and top with a large spoonful of shrimp, bacon and ham and make sure you put some of that good ol' potlicker on it. (Once again, if your grits have gotten too thick--as they will thicken the longer they sit--add a little more water and stir to bring it back to a creamy nature) Sprinkle with a little chopped parsley and garnish with a twig of rosemary. Serve with fresh biscuits and you have a winner.

Serves 4.


kids

School Lunch Idea # 5

8:03 PM


I do not make lunches everyday because sometimes, my kids are all into eating what the school has planned. That really does help me out when they decide not to take a lunch, but I do love to make them meals to take to school. 

This is premade three cheese tortellini with pepperoni and ranch alongside carrots, roasted peanuts, grapes with fruit gummies and a baby clementine with white cheddar cheese. Oh and a yeast roll! Can't forget the yeast roll. 

I wrapped the roll in wax paper and then packed everything up. I think the kids will like it. 




easy

School Lunch: Leftover Pasta

11:29 AM




Here is another idea for a lunch. If your children do not mind cold pasta like mine, then this is perfect. My daughter loved taking this to school and said it was perfect by lunchtime. I packed it with an ice pack and by the time lunch rolled around it was not as cold as I thought it would be. She enjoyed it and asked for more pasta for lunch.

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