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I’m Louise. Blogger. Wife. Designer of TruLu Couture Veils + Accessories.  If you’d like to know more, check out my bio.

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Entries in Recipes (6)

Sunday
Nov252012

Sunday Supper–BRUSSELS SPROUTS DON’T SUCK!

So The Candyman and I have been together for FIVE YEARS. In those FIVE YEARS I have been denying myself Brussels sprouts because His Majesty said he didn’t like them. I told him he’d never had MY Brussels sprouts, yet he continued to poo-poo any sprout discussion.

So this weekend I was in Trader Joe’s and they were selling Brussels sprouts by the stalk and I couldn’t resist the sprouts any longer, The Candyman be damned. I’d eat the effin’ sprouts and he could go blow.

So if you have a husband or husband-to-be who says no to Brussels sprouts, cook them this way and he’ll be sure to gobble them up. The Candyman did.

Did I mention FIVE YEARS sans sprouts?

Ingredients

  • Fresh Brussels sprouts, about a pound. Cleaned and halved.
  • Three slices prosciutto, bacon or pancetta, chopped.
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced.
  • 3 TSP Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt/Pepper

 

TheThirtySomethingBride_Prociutto

TheThirtySomethingBride_Garlic

Instructions

If you’ve got fresh sprouts on the stalk, just twist them off. If you’ve got them in a bag, then just slice off the very tough end part and cut in half. This is after you’ve rinsed them clean.

Duh.

Put them in a bowl.

Chop up whatever pork you’re using and toss that into the bowl too. Add the diced garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss to coat.

TheThirtySomethingBride_BrusselSprouts3

I opted to do mine on the grill tonight. I put them on a grill pan, but you can do this in the oven too using a regular ol’ cookie sheet.

TheThirtySomethingBride_BrusselSprouts4

If you’re going to cook them on the grill, do it on low for about 20 minutes, tossing half way through to cook evenly on all sides. Do the same in the oven on broil.

TheThirtySomethingBride_BrusselSprouts5

If shit happens to you when you’re cooking like it does to me…in this case I forgot to turn the grill down to low, all hope is not lost. Peel off the burned leaves and go to town. They taste good a little on the over-done side anyway.

And The Candyman gobbled them up.

FIVE YEARS.

Monday
Mar122012

Don’t be a Chicken, Cook One.

Wanna know what we had for dinner last week?

Monday: Snacks. Cheese and crackers, maybe?

Tuesday: Ground turkey gyro things I made to use up the left over cucumbers, Greek yogurt and flat bread I had about to go bad in the frig.

Wednesday: Grilled cheese sandwiches made by The Candyman. And potato thingies (recipe to be shared some day).

Thursday: Oven baked chicken, broccolini, mashed potatoes. (I felt pretty good for pulling this one off.)

Friday: Snacks. Canned Soup. Too tired to deal.

I’ve been working, like a lot my first week. No surprises there but it certainly cuts into my cooking dinner time that The Candyman has gotten used to. He’s taking it in stride though. The grilled cheese he made? Epic.

So tonight (Sunday) I’m making us a roasted chicken. We can eat off the leftovers for lunches and such and it’s a good Sunday dinner type of meal. Until I found this recipe, I’d never roasted a chicken in my life. Now, I’ve made Thanksgiving turkeys and such…I’m fairly decent with the birds, but they are a hella lotta work! This roasted chicken recipe? Not bad, not hard and it is SO GOOD!

The below recipe is how to make a roasted chicken, but also how to time it to have a three course, American-Norman-Rockwell-esque sit down dinner.

Meat: Roasted chicken, natch.

Starch: Oven baked potatoes

Veg: Broccoli, Asparagus, Broccolini – you choose.

For the chicken, your gonna need the following:

Perfect Roast Chicken

Original Recipe by Jamie Oliver , adapted by moi.

1 Roasting chicken, organic if you can afford it.

2 medium carrots

2 stalks celery (By the way, it’s the celery from this post. It’s still fresh, as is the lettuce.)

1/2 bulb garlic

2 T butter, melted

Salt & Pepper

1 lemon

A small bunch of fresh herbs (I used parsley, thyme and rosemary. However, I’ve used combos of parsley, thyme and lavender; just parsley; parsley, thyme and basil – basically whatever fresh herb I have on hand. No worries if it isn’t a whole blend of them. Smile

Prep

  • Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.
  • Make sure your chicken is thawed. Take it out of the frig before you start everything so it has a few minutes to sit.
  • In a roasting pan sprayed with non-stick spray, toss in a rough chop of the carrots, celery, onions and garlic. You don’t even have to peel the onions, carrots or garlic, but I do. Not sure why. 
  • Once that’s prepped, clean your chicken. Rinse it off, dig out the innards (called giblets and is generally the neck, heart and liver) and pat it dry. Place it on top of the veggies.
  • With a pastry brush (or your hands) fully coat the chicken with the melted butter and salt and pepper each side completely. Make sure the butter gets into all the nooks and such.
  • Place breast side up.
  • Now, take that bunch of herbs and shove it up the chicken’s ass. Make sure they’ve been washed and such. *Note that statement makes NO SENSE whatsoever.
  • Take your lemon and poke it with a fork or knife a few times. Put it on a paper towel in the microwave and nuke it for 30 seconds. Then shove the lemon up the chicken-butt too.

The Thirty-Somethg Bride Chicken Dinner2

Rough chop of veggies in a pan.

Paint your chicken with melted butter.

The Thirty-Somethg Bride Chicken Dinner4

Chicken with herbs and lemon up the butt.

Cooking

  • Place the chicken with the veggies in the oven and immediately turn the oven down to 400 degrees.
  • Set the timer for 20 minutes.

Side Prep

  • Wash and trim your veggie (I did broccoli) and your potatoes. Set potatoes aside.
  • Line a cookie sheet with tin foil and spray with non-stick spray. Lay out your veggies. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper. I like to use funky salts here when I can. Someone gave me a tin of salt samples and they last for a long time and go a long way. I really like this black lava salt.
  • Set aside.

The Thirty-Somethg Bride Chicken Dinner5

  • By now, about 15 or 20 minute have passed. Now is a fantastic time to give your chicken a baste. If there aren’t enough of juice in the pan to baste, you can add some chicken stock, water or white wine. Guess what I use?

The Thirty-Somethg Bride Chicken Dinner6

What your chicken should look like after 30 minutes.

  • This is when you stick the potatoes in the oven too. Place them right on the rack, nothing fancy.

Now, just kick back. Have a drink. When you finish your drink,  baste the chicken again. Pour another. About the time you finish the second drink, your hour should be up.

  • Take out the potatoes and the chicken. The chicken’s gotta rest for a few minutes.
  • Immediately put your oven on broil and put the veggies in.
  • The chicken should basically be falling off the bone. Take off the legs and wings first, cutting right at the joint. Carve off the breast meat. Serve it all up.

The Thirty-Somethg Bride Chicken Dinner7

The Thirty-Somethg Bride Chicken Dinner8

This should take about 5-7 minutes. By this time, your veggies should be done. Slice open your bakes potatoes, serve up the veggies and the meat and you’re good to go.

The Thirty-Somethg Bride Chicken Dinner10

I served up ours with a little giblet gravy I made on the side. This might be a little too much Southern for some of y’all, but it’s not hard to make.

From start to finish, it’s one hour twenty minutes. And guess what? You’ve got left over chicken, plenty for sandwiches or chicken salad or even a chicken casserole for later in the week.  I go at mine with my fingers and some tongs and just tear all the chicken off. You can save the carcass and make your own chicken stock, but I’m never really that ambitious. I mean, I just finished roasting a chicken.

But you could. I’m just sayin’.

You can and should totally impress the in-laws with this one.

Tuesday
Nov152011

Easy Fall Stew

I’ve been experimenting with some new recipes as of late. It always brings me great stress when I do though because nothing irritates me more than when The Candyman doesn’t like something I make.

On the other hand, nothing irritates The Candyman more than when I pester him about one of my dishes. He knows I’m sensitive about my cooking, so wants to be kind. However, if he doesn’t tell me how he feels about something, I might just keep making it, oblivious to his dislike of it. Like this weekend? I made some Mexican style breakfast burritos. I scarfed mine up, but The Candyman was sort of picking at it. When I asked him, he hemmed and hawed, saying he wasn’t that hungry. Yeah. Right. Like THAT ever happens. I finally got it out of him that he doesn’t like green pepper and shit in his eggs. I had no idea. I can’t believe I didn’t know  that about my own damn husband.

Anyway.

I wanted to share this dish with y’all because The Candyman likes it and:

A) It’s super easy.

B) It’s relatively quick.

C) It’s relatively healthy.

D) It’s inexpensive to make.

E) Leftovers might actually taste better than the first go ‘round.  

I made some changes to the original recipe based on the fact that there wasn’t as much liquid as I would have liked. The first time I made it, it was all pasta which made it slightly bland tasting. This version has a stronger, more tasty broth as well as more if it.

Quick Sausage, White Bean & Spinach Stew

Adapted from Woman’s Day, September 2011.  Active Time: 15-20 minutes Total: About 30 min. / Yields: About 6-7 full soup bowls.

1 T olive oil

12 oz. (1 package) Chicken Sausage, Italian variety

4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1/2 c dry white wine (or whatever you’ve got on hand)

1-32 oz. container + 2 cans low sodium chicken broth

1-1/2 c ditalini pasta (or other small soup pasta)

1 can cannellini or any white bean, rinsed

1 –10 oz. bag spinach, thick stems removed

1/2 t black pepper

1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese

1. Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add the sausage and fry – making sure you get lots of chunks on the bottom of the pan. I add a lid to keep the oil from splattering everywhere. Once the sausage is cooked through, remove and set aside on some paper towels. Once it has cooled, slice it into 1/4” thick pieces.

bits

You want the bottom of your pan to look like this when you’re finished cooking the sausage.

2. Add the garlic to the pan and cook for about a minute, stirring. Don’t let it brown.

Garlic wine

Sliced garlic and a little Two Buck Chuck!

3. Add in the wine and simmer for a minute or so, scrapping up all the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. This is what makes this dish super-yum.

4. Add the broth and the pasta and bring up to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 8-10 minutes, until the pasta is tender.

 

So I mix my broth brands, what of it? I buy what’s on sale, yo!

5. Add in the white beans, sausage and pepper and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes.

chicken  pepper

Sliced sausage, beans and ground black pepper.

6. Removed from heat and add in the spinach, stirring gently until the spinach has wilted.

 IMG_3223

You can use packaged baby spinach if you want to save yourself a little time in de-stemming the spinach. However, it’s not quite as hearty and the leftovers don’t stand up as well. But in a pinch…

7. Now ladle it up into some bowls and top with some grated Parmesan cheese!

I might be a little heavy-handed on the cheese in this picture, but you know what? Cheese is good. I don’t believe in the phrase “this is too cheesy,” unless we’re talking about  Maria Carey’s movie Glitter.

So make some up for your hubby and serve it with a nice, crusty bread. It soul-warming good and perfect for Fall!

Tuesday
Dec072010

Something Old, Something New

So I mentioned yesterday that we had a dinner party this weekend. We did. It was a first for us - a dinner party with just The Candyman's friends, at least a few of them. The Candyman was as nervous as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs...and just as jumpy. Our guests were to arrive at 6pm. Since I'm familiar with the throwing of dinner parties, I know not to expect people until 6:15 or 6:30. It's just how people roll these days, like it or not.

So The Candyman is ready to grill. He's got marinating rib eyes and flank steaks. We'd loaded up on the BEST Charlotte discovery thus far, Charleston Seafood.  They don't have a website. They don't have much of anything except a one room building, some picnic tables and some big pots out back. Oh yeah, and fresh seafood! You call them up, or just stop on in, order yourself up a couple pounds of live crabs, fresh shrimp and fresh King Crab Legs (The Candyman thinks their Opilio - I think too much Deadliest Catch). You can take it as is, or they'll steam it for you out back for an extra $2. This place is less than 5 miles FROM. OUR. HOUSE.

This is what we had:

and

and then it looked like this:

Yeah, we killed it. And the boys ate meat. And we grilled some fresh winter veggies with garlic and olive oil and a little BACON. What? Bacon is good for you. So good in fact, that it leads me to best part of this post:

PEANUT BUTTER BACON COOKIES

Yes, you read correctly. I did so make them. And they were really, really, REALLY good. And because I think THE WORLD needs more peanut butter bacon cookies, I'm sharing it here, with you. It comes from Shutterbean. Really loving her blog. Go there for the pretty recipe pictures. Then you can come back and compare them to mine. They are NOT that far off and this was my first go 'round with the recipe. It doesn't help that I was baking  a pie at the same time. More on that in a sec.

(Recipe via Shutterbean via  JoytheBaker who adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook)

  • 1 cup all-natural chunky or smooth peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • about 6 slices of bacon, cooked, cooled and diced

In a skillet over medium high heat, fry up bacon until cooked through and let cool on paper towels until cool enough to dice. Dice up and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment & set aside. In a mixer combine peanut butter and sugars until well combined, about 2 minutes. Add egg and baking soda and mix for another 2 minutes. Fold in cooked bacon. Roll into large walnut sized balls and create a criss-cross pattern with a fork. If you’d like, roll the dough balls in granulated sugar before making the criss-cross pattern. Bake for 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool on a baking sheet for five minutes, then transfer to… your mouth.

For the record, I did not have parchment paper, I just sprayed a cookie sheet with a bunch of Pam and it worked out fine. I also used un-natural peanut butter. And not even name brand un-natural peanut butter at that *gasp*! And did I mention they were good? And gone? This is my Something New. A new recipe for a new town and new people. Success!

And because I love you and want your friends and family to love you, I am going to share my Something Old recipe. This recipe came from the back of a bag of Nestle Toll House Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips a long time ago. It is sweet. Make sure you serve it with quality vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. I feel like I've made this pie 800 times if I've made it once. It never disappoints. Even if it doesn't cook right (sometimes it can be a little on the runny side if you don't mix it well enough), it still tastes superb. This pie didn't stand a chance Saturday night. Gone. Almost instantly. I had to fight my way in to my own dang pie! 

All the goodies about to be baked!

Golden chocolate yumminess.

Chocolate Pecan Pie
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, soft
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 9" pastry shell
Using a hand or stand mixer, beat the eggs and add in corn syrup, sugar, butter, vanilla and salt. Mix well. Fold in pecans and chocolate chips. Place your pie shell on a cookie sheet (the insides might bubble over) and pour in pie filling. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes. Let set 10-20 minutes before serving.

 

Seriously, people will want to be your friend just for this pie. So there's my Something Old. I introduced an oldie but a goodie to a few new friends in Charlotte. 

And no, this isn't becoming a decor/food blog, but you know, it is the damn holidays. What else do people do besides eat, decorate and shop? Exactly my point. Hope you have time to enjoy the recipes above. They really are quite tasty. Do you have a favorite? Then share it!

 

Friday
Feb192010

I'm Goin' Domestic All OVER Your Ass!

I mentioned the non-meat-eating thing in my last post and it got me thinking yesterday about food. In reality, it takes very little to start me thinking about food. In particular though, I was thinking about how my diet has changed since I've been with The Candyman. I do eat more meat. I do eat more crap, it's true. But then again, eating with your partner is a social thing versus eating nine grapes and six big spoonfuls of low-fat cottage cheese while standing at an open refrigerator door (ah, the single life!). I know HIS diet has changed, much to his chagrin.

The Candyman's idea of having a vegetarian meal is not having bacon on his cheeseburger or skipping dessert. I, on the other hand, am a health-conscious freak. For the most part I don't even know how to cook beef. Couldn't if I wanted to. I don't know the difference between a rump roast or filet mignon. Seriously.

However, I want The Candyman to be happy, enjoy our meals together, but also to be healthy so that we have a long life together. I don't need him keeling over from a heart attack at 50. I really don't. This has lead me to cooking in ways that are uber-crafty so that The Candyman gets some good stuff in him along with something tasty.

As first, he turned up his nose to lower fat options, until I got him to try things that are actually good. He's addicted to Kashi's version of Cheezits. I recently got him hooked on Pirate's Booty. This week, I bought him some peanut butter and chocolate flavored Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches. He loves them. I quote, "This shit is good!" Who knew?

There are two dishes I make that The Candyman loves. One is my turkey meatloaf. The other is this weird taco soup dish. Both are even better as left-overs. The Candyman swears that my turkey meatloaf is better than any beef meatloaf he's ever had. That says a lot coming from a professional eater.

Here's my special Turkey Meatloaf recipe. I adapted it from three different recipes to suit my taste and I think it's a real winner. Maybe your man will love it too! 

 

This is not my meatloaf. But it looks a lot like this.

  • Approximately 1-1/4 lb ground turkey (not just the turkey breast, you want all the parts)
  • 1 cup plain bread crumbs (don't use the flavored kind)
  • 1 egg + 1 egg white, beaten
  • 1 T Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • 1 t dry mustard
  • 1/2 t ground thyme (regular thyme eff's it up, trust me)
  • 1/2 t ground pepper
  • 1 t salt (Sea and/or Kosher are best)
  • 1/2 onion, finely minced
  • 1 celery stalk, finely minced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, finely minced
  • 1/2 handful fresh flat parsley (stems removed), finely minced
  • 3-5 pieces turkey bacon
  • Ketchup

The best way to prep for this recipe is to use a food processor. I have a mini one that does all the finely mincing stuff in a flash. They are $39.99 at Bed, Bath and Beyond and they rock. Register for one if you haven't already.

Put everything together in a big bowl, except for the ketchup and bacon. Here's the fun part: smooshing it all together. You gotta use your hands. And here's a little tip: TAKE OFF YOUR WEDDING RING/ENGAGEMENT RING! There is nothing grosser than raw meat stuck in the prongs of your diamond. Nothing. This is a task I get The Candyman to do for me. He likes getting his hands all nasty and playing with the raw meat. Yes, I know. He's a child.

 

This is how it will look all raw and mixed up.

Anyway, once everything is all gooey and mixed, pat it into a loaf pan. Next, take the strips of turkey bacon and rough chop them into pieces and sprinkle on top of the loaf. Then take your ketchup and draw a zig-zaggy line across the top. Or stripes. Or a smiley face. I encourage creativity with the ketchup.

 

These are actually small loaf pans. You'll want one big loaf pan. But you needed a picture, so here it is.

If you want a perfectly pretty loaf, cook it this way:

15 minutes at 375 degrees

45 minutes at 400 degrees

If you don't give a rat's ass and just want to throw it in and not deal with it, cook it for 55 minutes at 400 degrees. The top turns a little crispy this way and I kinda like that. Some people don't. Your call. After it's done, let it set for about 5 minutes, then slice it up and chow. I serve it grilled asparagus or broccolini or regular ol' broccoli as well as with a hearty, grainy bread and and The Candyman gobbles it up in no time flat. 

I'll share the Taco Soup recipe with you another time. I think one recipe a post is all the domesticity I can handle. I'm curious though, has your diet changed since you've been engaged or married? Do you have "food fights" with your guy over what to eat or what not to eat? How do you meet in the middle?

Oh, and don't forget to enter the CONTEST! Don't you want to win $50? You know you do.