Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Honey-Chipotle Pork Chops

We have been so busy lately, Ethan is graduating and we are moving! Super exciting stuff, all happening in the same month=super quick, easy dinners. These pork chops fit the bill. They have tons of flavor from the chipotle peppers and honey, quick is a fabulous combination. They are not too spicy and only have a few ingredients. I served them with a simple spinach salad and mac and cheese.
Source: I Was Born To Cook

3 Chipotle Chilies in Adobo, plus sauce, about 1/4 cup total
5 Garlic Cloves, minced
3 tablespoons of Honey
4 Pork Chops

First, pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees. Place the rack in the middle of the oven.

Now, place the chilies, garlic, and honey in a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth.

Next, pat the pork dry and season with salt.

Line a baking sheet with foil and place the pork on top. Coat each pork chop with the glaze, generously, careful not to spill on the foil, it will burn. Roast for 20-30 minutes, depending on the thickness of your pork chops. You want the internal temperature to be at 165.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Balsamic Roast Beef

Those hot days are coming more quickly than we know. In fact, I was just looking at the weather and it is going to be 99 degrees this weekend. That means cool cooking is going to be going into effect earlier this year. When it is so hot outside, the last thing I want to do is turn on the oven and get my kitchen hot , too. We love grilling and cold summer salads, but I also love my trusty crock-pot. It is my year long friend. I love the warm food in the winter and in the summer, it cooks while I enjoy my pool time.

This beef is excellent we had it the first night as a main dish and then served it later on as sliders and over nachos. I will have to admit, the main dish was my favorite way to have it served. This beef has just the right amount of sweetness from the honey and balsamic vinegar. It is a super easy meal and all you have to do is prepare your sides. This is meal that I always have the ingredients on hand, if I have a roast, so it is perfect for one of those mornings when I realize I didn't thaw something out. You can put a frozen roast beef in the crock-pot, you will need to add more time to the cooking time. I served this with a medley of roasted potatoes and a simple spinach salad, full of veggies from my refrigerator.
Source: Add a Pinch

1 Boneless Roast Beef, 3-4 lbs, Chuck or Round Roast
1 cup of Beef Broth
1/2 cup of Balsamic Vinegar
1 tablespoon of Worcestershire Sauce
1 tablespoon of Soy Sauce
1 tablespoon of Honey
1/2 teaspoon of Red Pepper Flakes
4 cloves of Garlic, minced

First, place the roast beef into your crock-pot.

Now, mix together the broth, vinegar, worcestershire, soy sauce, honey, red pepper flakes, and garlic. Pour over the roast.

Cook for 6-8 hours on low or 4-6 hours on high. Cook until the beef can be shredded with two forks. If it doesn't shred, let it go for another 30-45 minutes and check again.

If you want a gravy with your meat, place the juices in a gravy fat separator and then reduce the gravy by half on the stove-top by simmering.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Monday, May 13, 2013

Panera Mac 'n Cheese {Copycat}

I am sure you have figured it out by now, if you are a frequent reader of the blog, that we have a lot of macaroni and cheese in this house. There are a few reasons for this: 1) It is one of Ethan's favorite foods 2) It is delicious. Well, there are a few more reasons, it is super easy to make and it lasts a few days. We love trying new types of macaroni and cheese, and this one, is my new favorite. It is a stovetop mac 'n cheese, so no bake time or turning on the oven. It is quick to make and I love the sharp white cheddar in it, delicious. This is very close to Panera Bread Co. macaroni and cheese, in fact, this recipe came from the official website.

I have already made this mac 'n cheese recipe twice, since I discovered it. It is so creamy.
Source: Panera Bread, via Smells like Home

16 oz. of Mini-Farfalle, or other small shaped pasta
4 tablespoons of Butter, unsalted
1/3 cup of Flour
2 1/2 cups of Milk or Heavy Cream
4 oz. of White American Cheese, shredded
8 oz. of Extra Sharp White Vermont Cheddar, shredded
2 teaspoons of Dijon Mustard
1 teaspoon of Kosher Salt
1/4 teaspoon of Hot Sauce, Frank's or Louisiana

First, cook your pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain and set aside.

While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a 4-quart sauce pan over medium heat. When the butter has melted, whisk in the flour, cook for 1 1//2 minutes, whisking constantly. Then whisk in the milk or cream, gradually, until there are no lumps and all of the liquid has been incorporated. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and let this mixture cook for about 8 minutes, whisking frequently.

Now, remove the sauce pan from the heat and stir in the cheeses, by the handful, making sure the cheese has completely melted before adding more.

Next, stir in the dijon mustard, kosher salt, and hot sauce.

Return the pan to the heat to heat back up and then stir in the pasta. Cook for 1-2 minutes over medium-low heat until heated through.

Serve immediately.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Friday, May 10, 2013

Shrimp, Thyme, and Feta Risotto

Oh, risotto. It is one of my favorite foods. It is one of those foods that if it is on a menu, I am getting it, no matter what. I love it and I am terrified of it, or I was. I was so scared of making it, I am not sure where this fear came from, but I am glad I have overcome it. It was so easy to make, like beginner easy, but you do have to stir continuously for about 45 minutes. It is time- consuming, but am I weird if I think it is therapeutic? I turned on some music and just enjoyed myself, it was really great. Not to mention, I got to cross something off of my 30x30 list. Yay!

I got this recipe in a What's Cooking recipe swap from Cheese Curd in Paradise. These swaps are hosted by Sarah, at A Taste of Home Cooking. I was so excited to make this for dinner and it did not disappoint. Now that I have tried this risotto and succeeded, I can't wait to make a variety of risottos.

The flavors of feta, fresh thyme, and fresh shrimp compliment each other perfectly and blend right into the creamy risotto. I have never tried feta in risotto, but it is one of my favorite cheeses, so I knew it would be perfect. I served this with a spinach salad and a glass of white wine, hey, the bottle was already open!
Source: Winterspast Cooking, via Cheese Curd in Paradise

4 cups of Chicken Stock
3 tablespoons of Butter, divided
1 lb. of shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tablespoon of Olive Oil
1 Shallot, diced
2 cloves of Garlic, minced
1 cup of Arborio Rice
1/4 cup of White Wine
3 tablespoons of Fresh Thyme, chopped
1/2 cup of Feta Cheese, crumbled
Salt and Pepper, to taste

First, place 4 cups of chicken stock into a large saucepan over medium-low heat and bring to a simmer, not a boil.

When your stock is simmering, heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet or sauté pan over medium-heat. Add the shrimp and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until just done 3-5 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside to cool.

Now, in the same pan, over medium heat, heat the last tablespoon of butter and olive oil. Add the onions and cook for 3 minutes, until tender. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or so, until golden.

Next, stir in the rice, cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the wine and then 1/2 cup of chicken stock. Stir the rice until almost all of the liquid has been absorbed, 3-5 minutes, and then pour in another 1/2 cup of stock. Repeat this process until all of the stock has been added.

When the risotto is ready, stir in the shrimp, thyme, and feta. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Bistro Chef's Salad

This is the perfect salad for lunch time. It isn't too time consuming and it is extremely filling. I loved every bite of this salad. I imagined I was sitting in a cafe somewhere instead of a table during my busy day, it was heaven. This salad took a big turn for me, it was different than my normal salads that I eat for lunch, romaine, tomato, bacon, cheese, chicken, and salsa. This was much more exciting with very simple ingredients, the bread toasted with brie melting on it was delicious, homemade vinaigrette, thick slices of ham, and a runny egg, amazing. This salad had it all. Simple ingredients, done right.
Yield: 4 salads
Source: Food Network Magazine, May 2013


4 oz. of Brie Cheese, sliced into 1 oz. each
2 Baguette Segments, 6 inches each, split and toasted
1/3 cup of Basil, sliced, divided
1 tablespoon of Dijon Mustard
1 1/2 tablespoon of White Wine Vinegar
Kosher Salt and Ground Black Pepper
1/4 cup of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
4 Large Eggs
1 package of Mixed Baby Greens, 5 oz.
1 small head of Frisee, torn into bite-sized pieces
1 large Tomato, cut into wedges
1/2 pound of Black Forest Ham, thickly sliced, cut into strips

First, divide the brie onto the baguette segments and sprinkle one tablespoon of basil over all of them. Set aside.

Now, in a large bowl, whisk together the dijon mustard, vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and pepper to taste in a large bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until well combined.

Next, prepare your eggs, either poach or fry them. Set aside.

Now, toss the greens, frisee, and remaining basil in the bowl with the dressing. Season with salt and pepper. Divide the salad among four plates and top with tomato slices and ham. Season the eggs with salt and pepper and add the to the salads. Serve with the baguette pieces on the side.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Monday, May 6, 2013

Monster Cookies

One of Ethan's favorite sweet treats is Oatmeal-Chocolate Chip Cookies. He is always telling me that is his favorite cookie and I have never made them. One night, I decided I was going to make these cookies, so I went on the search for the perfect cookie. I came across this one, which is far from a plain oatmeal-chocolate chip cookie, but oh so delicious. This cookie has multiple names one being "kitchen sink cookies." That is because you literally put any and everything in these cookies. You can omit some of the ingredients or interchange them with coconut flakes, toffee bits, dried fruits, whatever your favorites are.

Ethan loved these cookies and a few other taste-testers also said they were delicious. The best part of these cookies is the Rice Krispie Cereal. They give the cookies just the right amount of crunch.
Source: The Pioneer Woman

2 sticks of Butter, salted and softened
1/2 cup of White Sugar
1 1/2 cup of Brown Sugar
2 Large Eggs
1 tablespoon of Vanilla
1 1/2 cup of Flour
1/2 teaspoon of Baking Soda
1 teaspoon of Baking Powder
2 teaspoons of Kosher Salt
1 1/2 cup of Oats, Quick or Regular will work
1/2 cup of M&M's, your favorite kind, I used peanut
1/2 cup of Pecans, chopped
3/4 cups of Chocolate Chips, milk or semi-sweet
1/2 cup of Peanut Butter Chips
2 1/4 cups of Rice Krispies

First, pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees.

Now, cream the butter with the white and brown sugar until fluffy, add the eggs in one at a time, until fully combined. Add the vanilla and beat until mixed well.

Next, in a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add this dry mixture to the mixing bowl with the butters a little at a time, until it is mixed well.

Now, add in the oats, m&m's, pecans, chocolate chips, and peanut butter chips. Add the rice krispies at the very end, careful not to overmix.

Use a cookie scoop and scoop balls of dough, about 1 heaping tablespoon onto a cookie sheet. Bake for 8-11 minutes, until golden brown.

Let the cookies cool on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Store in an airtight container.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Friday, May 3, 2013

Chipotle-Lime Chicken Fajitas

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Yes, I know, it is really May 3rd. Only 2 more days until drinking a pitcher of margaritas is acceptable, for the first time since college. This year Cinco de Mayo is on Sunday, so I will not be sharing a blog post with you, and I will be cheering on my Texas Rangers at The Ballpark in Arlington, anyway. I decided to share this post with you a few days early, because it is that good.

This recipe my friends, this single recipe, is what gives me hope about moving to North Carolina, where there is no more Tex-Mex. Yes, there are impostors, but not that hole-in-the-wall place that serves the best salsa on this side of the border. This recipe gave me faith, because I will now be able to recreate one of my favorite meals at home, in North Carolina, fajitas. These were so good, I even dare to say, better than any I have ordered, unless we are talking about my beloved Pappasito's.

These have the perfect kick from the chipotle and limes, don't even thinking about skipping that last step where you pour extra on the chicken. It is the best part, really.
Source: Cook's Illustrated, July 2007, via Tide and Thyme

1 Chipotle Chile in Adobo Sauce, chopped about 1 tablespoon, divided
7 teaspoons of Lime Juice, freshly squeezed
6 tablespoons of Olive Oil
1 tablespoon of Cilantro, fresh and chopped
1 1/4 teaspoon of Sugar, divided
Kosher Salt and Black Pepper
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 tablespoons of Water
3 Chicken Breasts, boneless and skinless
1 Red Bell Pepper, sliced into 1/2" thick strips
1 Green Bell Pepper, sliced into 1/2" thick strips
1 red onion, peeled and sliced into 1/2" thick strips
8 Flour Tortillas
Vegetable Oil
Additional Toppings: shredded cheese, sour cream, guacamole, pico de gallo

First, whisk together 2 teaspoons of the chipotle chile, 4 teaspoons of lime juice, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, the cilantro, 1/4 teaspoon of sugar, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper in a small bowl.
Set aside.

Now, in a separate small bowl, whisk together the remaining chipotle chile, lime juice, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, remaining teaspoon of sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, garlic, and water. Pour this marinade into a large ziplock bag with the chicken. Toss to coat and refridgerate for 30 minutes, flipping the bag after 15 minutes.

Next, heat your grill to high. Add the chicken, and cook over indirect heat for 8-10 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the chicken. You want to make sure the chicken is done and the internal temperature is at 165. Place the chicken over direct heat for a few minutes on each side to get a good char.

Let the chicken rest on a cutting board covered in aluminum foil for 5 minutes.

Now, prepare the peppers and onions. Sauté them in a large skillet over high heat in 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. When the peppers and onions are blistered and tender, after a few minutes, remove from heat and set aside.

Slice the chicken to 1/4 inch slices and transfer to individual plates. Drizzle with reserved sauce. Serve with warmed tortillas, peppers, onions, and any additional toppings.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Monte Cristo Poppers

This is one of those recipes that is super unhealthy, but unbelievably good. What you do with these recipes is take them to a party and only enjoy one or two! These have the super simple ingredients and are easy to make, a tad tedious, but it is worth it in the end. These poppers have everything you love about the monte cristo sandwich, the crusty bread, powdered sugar, raspberry preserves, ham, turkey, and ooey-gooey cheese, but they are bite size. Perfect for snacking.

This recipe will make 32 poppers. It seems like a ton of meat and cheese, but try your best to use it all. You will be surprised how much meat and cheese you can stuff into one biscuit!
Source: Oh, Bite it, via See Aimee Cook

1 package of Flaky Biscuits, 8-count
1/2 lb Deli Ham, thinly sliced
1/2 lb Deli Turkey, thinly sliced
1/2 lb Swiss Cheese, thinly sliced
1/2 lb Cheddar Cheese, thinly sliced
Powdered Sugar, for dusting
Raspberry Preserves, for dipping
Oil, for frying

First, using your hand or a rolling pin, flatten out one biscuit, then cut it into fourths. Take each fourth and flatten it out into a small circle, repeat with the remaining biscuits, you will have 32 little circles.

Now, stack up a few slices of turkey, ham, cheddar, and swiss, on top of each other and roll them together. Cut the roll into 3-4 pieces, about 1/2 inch long.

Next, place the roll of meat and cheese into the biscuit and wrap the dough around it, completely enclosing the meat/cheese. Repeat for all 32 circles.

Now, add enough oil to a heavy bottom pot for it to be 2 inches deep. Heat the oil to 350 degrees and add the poppers, in batches, and fry until they are golden brown all over. It will only take a few minutes. Remove poppers from the oil and place on plates lined with paper towels.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar while they are still warm. Serve warm with raspberry preserves for dipping.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife