Twerking. I mean, tweaking… recipes that is.

Not much has happened this week that is blog-post worthy … I mean, I made a phenomenal pizza which I’ll absolutely share with you – all credit goes to Ree Drummond.  Since I’m cooking a lot of repeats of our favorite recipes I do try to make at least 1 thing new each week or tweak an oldie to make it a “newbie”.

Oldie made “newbie” – salsa chicken (chicken breasts, salsa, cheese)
The recipe calls for taco seasoning to be sprinkled on the chicken … well I used fajita seasoning – WAY BETTER! Not just any fajita seasoning, you know it had to be Bolner’s. Pour on the salsa as usual, but get a fun one … something with chunks of veggies in it, not just runny/cheap/generic salsa. Considering chicken and cheese is el-cheapo, splurge a few extra bucks on decent salsa … it adds to the texture as well.

What else did I make … (I need to consult my menu board, it’s been a LONG and CRAZY week).
Oh yeah – store prepared kabobs (beef wrapped in bacon and scallops wrapped in bacon … double turf & 1 surf, HA!)  As a side I made a Martha dish, cherry tomato and basil crisp (which turned out more like a crumble, but it was still good 😉 ) It might because I used whole wheat bread – maybe it doesn’t firm up as nicely as white. I was trying to make a healthy swap.

So I ‘cheated’ with something prepared but wanted the meal to feel homemade. Easy.
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Another simple creation, inspired by Martha but I put my own twist on it.  Originally it was supposed to be spinach penne and ricotta… well that’s not substantial for this house so I bought regular penne, added fresh spinach which I had leftover, and sliced Italian sausage. Oh man, now that’s a filling dish. I didn’t have any pine nuts but I sure did have almonds! Chop those babies up and sprinkle on top – great textures between the pasta, spinach, sausage, shredded parm, and soft ricotta.
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Okay, okay … the pizza!
My cheat: Bisquick mix for the dough! Sprinkle onion and garlic power in along the way, BOOM. So good.
Follow Ree’s recipe for the pizza toppings … it’s easy; really, really, really easy. Don’t cheat on the cheese, get what the recipe calls for – all of the different flavors are like an explosion and when you add the tomato/basil/balsamic vinegar mixture to the top – holy cow. It’s amazing!
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I added the cheese to a RAW Bisquick dough (shoot, don’t forget the pesto!!!) – let the dough turn golden brown and the cheese becomes ooey-gooey – 15-20 minutes (25-30 if you like crispy) … let it sit for the cheese to firm up just a bit (it’s easier to cut), add the tomatoes and life will be good in 3, 2, 1… YUM!

This was our first pizza on a pizza stone – BUY ONE. Just do it. Those pizza pans with holes are garbage. Lesson learned.

We’ve got pork chops and a grilled zucchini salad for tonight. Not just any pork chops, hitting up the old blue cheese and cranberries (I’m going to freeze it like a ‘steak butter’ and let it melt over the pork chop as I’m plating).

ENJOY!

 

 

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Remember playground slides? Those were the days.

Wait, whoa, it’s already Monday? How did the weekend go by so quickly?!  Shoot, running a 2 day yard sale is exhausting; I mean, I’ve been planning it for a few months already!  Saturday was a freakin’ hit and then Sunday was so horrible that I packed up two hours early. It seems that Friday & Saturday are the days to sell, Sunday is taken very seriously out here as a day of rest. I figured that as people came home from church then they’d stop by and look around but I guess not. Hey at least I met some of my neighbors, we’ve only been here since November. One guy even offered to by the house for $500 and I said “Sure, why not?!” He looked at me funny and then I said “I don’t care, we’re just renters, HA!” (I wasn’t sure what his reaction would be….) He goes “dang mija, I was about to get my check book… but I’ll take this *points to an item* for my lady” then he chuckles. PHEW!  I love meeting random people WHO have a sense of humor.

Let’s see… I’m starting to get feedback on the recipes I blog about – if you try something out, leave a comment! I want to hear if you stuck to the recipe or tweaked it, even a little bit.  I like finding out new tricks 🙂  If you think the recipe sucked, well I guess you don’t know how to cook. JUST KIDDING!  Seriously though, go back and make it again – things don’t always turn out right the first time. You’ll usually have less cursing the second time around as well (going off of my experience!).

Ok, so we had fajita’s on Friday courtesy of Kathy for watching Miss E again. That kid is so stinking cute and all she wants to do is “read”.  I learned the proper way to cut skirt steak, WITH THE GRAIN! DUH! You’d think I’d know that little piece of info… The first time I attempted fajita’s cut against the grain, the meat was so difficult to chew we ended up with fajita bowls (i.e. Chipotle status). Thank you Kathy for enlightening this blonde. Ha!  Other than that, I made a side of pre-packaged fajita rice which Josh was allowed to eat because we had so much protein in the main dish. P.S. can you tell that Kathy is a teacher? So organized with baggies, I love it!

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Something to add to my “to do” list… buy a vacuum sealer. K & J have one and they love it.  That gadget & my mandolin can be besties.

Saturday we attended a BBQ and I brought along a classic cold pasta dish. SO EASY and SO DELISH!
Spiral or bow tie pasta… boil/drain/refrigerate (I used the leftovers from Thursday’s dinner, remember – I boiled 2 bags…)
Italian salad dressing (zesty is even better), cube 2 blocks of cheese (I used cheddar & swiss), pre-sliced canned olives, halved grape tomatoes, canned corn, ham cubes (leftover from Thursday’s dinner as well)  Sorry, no pictures… I forgot 😦
STIR THAT SH*T! DEVOUR IT! You won’t have any leftovers, promise!

On to Sunday, we had dinner with Josh’s former boss’ (while at the Pentagon) family.  They have the cutest family, dinner with them is always relaxing and last night was educational… learning about Rome & France from their travels with the AF.  Makes us want to live overseas but A) we’d have to sell just about all of our furniture and B) more than likely couldn’t take our dogs. I don’t mind living through their photos 🙂 Anyway, they had purchased a chicken STUFFED with stuffing (I don’t care what food experts say about that, it was so good and no one got sick), they also made potato wedges seasoned with crushed rosemary and I provided broccoli bites … Josh picked out a PB & chocolate pie to bring as well; don’t worry, insulin was ready to go. The B.B. were a success, I doubled the recipe to feed 4 adults, Josh of course ate the leftovers (only 2!).  Adults are more than allowed to eat veggies in a fun way too, plus they are quick & easy to make, same concept as a meatloaf or meatball.  Josh told me to promise I’d mention him because he did help with the B.B., what a good husband.

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You’ll find out about tonight’s dinner in tomorrow’s blog… courtesy of Kathy [If she keeps preparing all these delish meals she might just find herself a full time sitter 😉 ]; I had Miss E all day, we went down slides together.  It’s nice to be reminded how much fun and simple a child’s life is.