Friday, August 30, 2013

Salted Fudge Brownies

I haven't shared a dessert with you guys in so long! It is time to fix that. We have been having visitors at our house lately, we have been loving it! I have been making these and individually wrapping them for easy access. These are bite-size and the saltiness is the perfect amount to go with these brownies. They are called fudge brownies because of the fudgey consistency, they are unlike any other brownies I have ever had, in a good way. Delicious.

I have now made these 3 times and I will be making them again to send off some care packages! They are pretty dangerous, because they are so easy to make and I always have the ingredients on hand.
Source: A Taste of Home Cooking, via Eva Bakes

1 & 1/2 stick of Unsalted Butter, 12 tablespoons
1/4 cup of Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips, chopped coarsely
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons of Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 cup of Sugar
1 cup of Light Brown Sugar
3 Large Eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons of Vanilla
1 cup of All-Purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon of Sea Salt

First, pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a 8x8 inch pan with aluminum foil, one piece horizontally and one piece vertically, leaving one inch of overlay so you will be able to pick it up. Grease the aluminum with cooking spray or butter.

Now, in a large saucepan, melt the butter and chocolate chips over low heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

Next, off of the heat, whisk in the cocoa powder, until it is fully incorporated. Whisk in the the sugars, eggs, vanilla, and flour individually, making sure each is completely combined before moving on to the next ingredient.

Now pour the brownie mixture into the prepared pan, sprinkle the salt over the top and swirl into the brownies with a knife.

Bake for 35 minutes on the middle rack of your oven, they should still be fudge, done on the outside and fudgey in the middle, a toothpick will still have some brownie on it. Remove and let the brownies cool for one hour on a wire rack Then cool, in the pan, covered, in the refrigerator for another hour. Remove and cut into 16 squares. Wrap individually.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Low-Carb Taco Boats

Tacos are one of the easiest meals to make, but sometimes they can be pretty unhealthy. I am all for a 20 minute meal, but I do like them to be healthy. This is a perfect solution. I did not miss one thing about a regular taco shell while eating these. In fact, my husband said, "I think yours is crunchier than a regular taco shell." I think I agree. There was a huge crunch factor from the romaine hearts and the toppings really shine. These are a perfect weeknight meal and were perfect after a busy day.

This isn't so much a recipe as ingredients and you can make it exactly what you want, but so can your kids so it very easy to customize. And for all of you people out there reading this and thinking, tacos are not so easy to make you have to cut up all the toppings, etc., this is perfect for you. There is one less ingredient to cut, the lettuce!
Source: inspired by, Iowa Girl Eats

1 lb. of Ground Beef
4 tablespoons of Taco Seasoning, store bought or homemade
3/4 cup of Water
4-5 Romaine Hearts, halved and yellow/inner parts removed
Additional Toppings: Diced Tomato, Shredded Cheese, Onion, Jalapeño, Guacamole, Sour Cream, etc

First, brown the meat in a skillet over medium heat. Drain and then add the meat back to the pan. Simmer with the taco seasoning and water for about 5 minutes, until the water is mostly absorbed, drain off any excess.

Now, add about 1/4 cup of taco meat to each romaine heart half, or as much that will fit. Top with desired toppings.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Grilled Garlic Bread

As I have mentioned before, I love making our meals all on the grill. It is so nice to just prepare and not turn on the oven. You can easily hang outside by the grill, enjoy the weather, have a few cocktails, and dinner is ready before you know it. After we made this bread, I proclaimed that we could not have another meal this summer without this bread. I finally came to my senses, realizing that grilled garlic bread for dinner every night is the worst idea ever and didn't follow through, but I think I could have. 

This bread has a great crunch on the outside, but the bread is still soft on the inside. There is no butter on this bread, just olive oil, and it is a million times better than butter. This bread is one of the top things we have made all summer on the grill. Delicious!

8 slices of French Bread, cut 3/4 inch-1 inch thick
1/2 cup of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
4 cloves of Garlic, cut in half lengthwise
Sea Salt or Kosher Salt

First, prepare you grill or grill pan to medium-high heat.

Now, coat both sides of the bread with the olive oil. Grill for 1-3 minutes per side, depending on how hot your grill is, flipping once. 

When the bread comes off the grill, rub the cut side of the garlic on the top of the bread, the garlic will disintegrate from the heat, use one half of garlic clove for each slice of bread. 


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Bacon & Gouda Macaroni and Cheese

I am always making a homemade mac and cheese for Ethan, he is obsessed with it. I don't mind it, I actually enjoy it. I would much rather him eat this than the stuff from the box. I make a pan of this and it makes a ton, he can have it for leftovers for the rest of the week and for sides with dinner. In all of my experimenting with mac and cheese, he has been a really great guinea pig, he secretly loves it. This is in his top two favorites, the other one is pretty spicy and this one is just yummy, cheesey, and bacony.

This has quickly become one of my signature dishes, if someone asks me to bring something to a dinner or a party, this is usually it. It is always a crowd pleaser. After we made the Bacon & Gouda Stuffed Pork Tenderloin, I realized bacon and gouda is a match made in heaven. I don't think you can ever go wrong with those two. This mac and cheese dish is another dish that proves my theory, delicious.
Source: Shugary Sweets

16 oz. of Elbow Macaroni, cooked and drained
4 tablespoons of Butter
2 1/4 cup of Skim Milk
1/2 cup of Flour
1 1/4 cup of Heavy Cream
2 teaspoons of Kosher Salt
1 teaspoon of Ground Black Pepper
1/2 teaspoon of Dry Mustard
2 teaspoons of Worcestershire
1 lb. of Smoked Gouda Cheese, shredded
1/2 lb. of Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
2 cups of Breadcrumbs or Ritz Crackers, crumbled
3 tablespoons of Butter, melted
1/2 cup of Bacon, cooked and crumbled

First, pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees.

Next, prepare your macaroni according to the directions on the package. Drain and set aside.

Now, in a large pot, melt the butter over medium high heat. When the butter has melted, add the skim milk and bring to a boil. When boiling, reduce heat to medium and sprinkle the flour in; whisk vigorusly for 1-2 minutes. The mixture should be thick and boiling; add in the heavy cream, while whisking. Now add in the salt, pepper, mustard, and worcestershire. Reduce the heat to low and contine to stir for about 5 minutes. Add the shredded gouda and cheddar, one handful at a time, until it has been melted and combined completely. Stir in the cooked pasta.

Next, pour the macaroni and cheese into a 13x9 baking dish. Set aside.

Now, add the melted butter to the breadcrumbs or crackers. Sprinkle over the top of the baking dish and then top with crumbled bacon.

Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Monday, August 26, 2013

Grilled Caesar Salad

As summer is finally coming to the end, I am going to try and squeeze every ounce out of grilling that I can. We {Ethan} grills year round, but the veggies aren't as fresh and delicious. This grilled caesar salad was mind-blowing delicious and so easy to make. The homemade dressing is really what elevated it to the next level. 

This was one my favorite dinner parties this summer, we did grilled steaks, grilled onions with gorgonzola and balsamic, this grilled caesar salad, and twice-baked mashed potatoes. I loved this meal so much. It was perfect, I made the potatoes earlier and just reheated them and everything else was made on the grill. I had plenty of time to socialize and have fun. 

Grilling romaine was something that intrigued me and we have done many times since, it so easy and tasted fabulous. I may not be grilling much romaine in the next few chilly months, but you better believe I will be making this homemade caesar dressing again. 

The dressing makes plenty and you will have some leftovers. The romaine hearts are cut in half and I think each person would eat one, so make as many as you would like! You could easily grill some chicken at the same time and serve this as a complete meal! 


For the Dressing:
1 cup of Olive Oil
1/4 cup of Water
2 tablespoons of White Wine Vinegar
1 teaspoon of Kosher Salt
1 teaspoon of Worchestershire Sauce
1 teaspoon of Dijon Mustard
1/4 teaspoon of Black Pepper
1 Egg Yolk, large
2 cloves of Garlic, peeled
1/4 cup of Parmesan, freshly grated

For the Salad:
Romaine Hearts, cut in half
Salt and Pepper
Olive Oil
Parmesan Cheese, freshly grated, 1/2 tablespoon for each romaine half

First, place all of the ingredients for the dressing in a blender or food processor. Pulse until the ingredients are well combined. You can use right away, but refrigerating overnight will let the flavors build more. Keep for up to one week in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 

Now, pre-heat your grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Salt and pepper you romaine hearts and drizzle very lightly with olive oil. Grill for 1-3 minutes, flip and grill for 1-2 minutes, you want the lettuce slightly wilted and charred. 

Drizzle you romaine hearts with the dressing and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Friday, August 23, 2013

Chipotle, Chicken, & Corn Pasta

Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce have been a favorite of mine ever since I first discovered them, about a year and a half ago. It seems like longer, I don't know if I could live without them. I even brought a whole case of them to North Carolina from Texas, just to find out they sell them here too!

This pasta has all of my favorites, chipotle, chicken thighs, and corn. You know I can't get enough corn this summer. This pasta is excellent room temperature or cold. You get a bite from the chipotles, but it is cooled down by the greek yogurt. The burst of flavor from the cherry tomato is the exact amount of sweetness and crunch that you need.

We loved this pasta so much. I got extremely lucky during this swap, hosted by A Taste of Home Cooking, this recipe from The Jey of Cooking could not have been a more perfect match for me.
Source: The Farm Chicks, via The Jey of Cooking

1 lb. of Fusilli Pasta, cooked, drained, and drizzle with olive oil
3 ears of Corn, fresh and cut off the cob
1/2 cup of Sweet Onion, diced
1 tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 Chicken Thighs, boneless, skinless
1 cup of Greek Yogurt
2 cups of Cilantro, fresh and roughly stemmed
1 can of Chipotles in adobo sauce, 7 oz. can, pureed, you will use 2 tablespoons, freeze the rest later
1 pint of Cherry Tomatoes, each cut in half

First, heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Toss the corn and onions in there, let sit for 2 minutes, stir and cook for two more minutes. The corn will be charred. Remove skillet from heat and remove corn and onions to a plate, set aside.

Now, reduce heat to medium. Add the olive oil to the pan and chicken. Cook for 5-6 minutes on each side until cooked through. Set aside to shred. {Using a stand mixer for 30 seconds will shred quickly.}

Next, in a food processor or blender, blend the yogurt, cilantro, and 2 tablespoons of chipotle puree.

In a large bowl, mix the pasta, corn and onions, chicken, and yogurt sauce together. Mix until combined. Serve with cherry tomato halves on top.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Pulled Pork Tacos with Citrus Slaw {Crock-pot}

Pulled pork is one of those foods that I usually just don't get tired of. Put it in a breakfast taco with eggs and cheese, use it in a quesadilla, pulled pork nachos, pulled pork on pizza, pulled pork enchiladas and of course, pulled pork tacos. Pork is a great and tasty alternative to eating chicken every night. This is a crockpot meal, which is one of my favorite vessels, when it was time for dinner all I did was make a slaw and warm up some tortillas. Awesome!

These tacos had tons of flavor from the fresh orange juice, jalapeños, and onions that it had been going in all day. My husband enjoyed his plain with cheese and I tried a variety of different tacos. My favorite was the pulled pork, an onion and jalapeño from the crock-pot, and slaw. These are perfect as leftovers, serve the meat over chips, topped with cheese, and then when they are out of the oven topped with slaw.

The cooking time for this is longer than most slow cooker recipes, if you want it to cook fast, cut your pork into fourths, before you sear, and sear each piece. I would recommend making the salsa right before dinner, it is best fresh!
Source: adapted from, Giada De Laurentiis, Food Network

For the Pork:
3 lb. Pork Shoulder, boneless
1 tablespoon of Kosher Salt
1 teaspoon of Black Pepper, freshly ground
3 tablespoons of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
3 cups of Water
1 can of Chicken Broth, 14.5 oz.
1 cup of Orange Juice, freshly squeezed
1 teaspoon of Cumin
3 Jalapeño Chiles, halved & de-seed, if you don't like spicy
3 cloves of Garlic, minced
1 Onion, coarsely chopped
Corn Tortillas

For the Citrus Slaw:
3 Oranges, large
1 Grapefruit
2 tablespoons of Grapeseed Oil
1 tablespoon of Agave or Honey
1 tablespoon of White Wine Vinegar
1/2 teaspoon of Kosher Salt
1/4 teaspoon of Black Pepper
3 cups of Nappa Cabbage, about 1/2 a head

First, heat a skillet with 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat. Liberally season the pork with salt and pepper, all over. Sear all sides of the pork, until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Place pork in the crockpot.

Now, place the water, chicken broth, orange juice, cumin, jalapeños, garlic, and onions in the crockpot.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours or until the pork is easily pulled with 2 forks. If it is tough, it needs more time.

When the pork is almost ready, make your slaw. Cut the ends off of the oranges and grapefruit, now, cut the skin from the sides off. Cut each segment along the membrane; coarsely chop the fruit and place in a bowl. Squeeze the membrane in the bowl, discard. In a small bowl, whisk together the grapeseed oil, agave, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Place the cabbage in the bowl with the fruit and toss, drizzle the wet ingredients over and toss to combine.

When tender, remove pork from crock-pot to a large bowl, to catch juices. Pull pork with two forks. Set aside.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat, warm tortillas through, flipping once. Serve immediately.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Roasted Tomato, Spinach, & Mozzarella Flatbread Pizzas

As I have mentioned before, we plan pizzas often in our meal plan to avoid craving pizza delivered to our door. This pizza is also a delicious & guilt-free option. I used a whole wheat pita round and it did not compromise the taste at all. This combination of mozzarella, spinach, and roasted tomatoes is nothing new, but this recipe added a few things that really amped up the flavors. The spinach is tossed in lemon juice and olive oil which tastes so great against the roasted tomatoes. You don't need a sauce for this flatbread and you won't miss it!
Source: Adapted from, A Taste of Home Cooking

8 Roma Tomatoes, cut into halves
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
Thyme Sprigs, about 12
4 cups of Baby Spinach, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons of Olive Oil
3 tablespoons of Lemon Juice
1/2 teaspoon of Salt
1/2 teaspoon of Pepper
4 tablespoons of Butter, softened
4 Flatbread Pita Rounds
8 oz. of Mozzarella, sliced


First, pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. Place the tomato halves, cut side up, on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Drizzle with a few tablespoons of olive oil and coat liberally with salt and pepper and sprinkle the thyme sprigs on top. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

Now, in a small bowl mix the spinach, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

Next, pre-heat a grill pan to medium heat. Spread both sides of the pita with 1/2 tablespoon of butter on each side. When the pan is hot, place a pita round in the pan, let cook for two minutes or until golden, flip, and top with mozzarella slices and 4 tomato halves. Cover the pan and let cook for two more minutes. Remove from pan and place on a plate covered in aluminum until you are done cooking the rest of your pita rounds. Top with 1 cup of spinach per pita and cut into four pieces.



Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Esquites with Avocado

My sister and her boyfriend first had me try "corn in a cup." It was this man that roasted corn and put it in a cup with lots of yummy ingredients and they loved it. I tried a variation with them that was so delicious, but not the same man. I have since learned that "corn in a cup" is esquites, aka warm mexican corn salad. When I saw this recipe, I was smitten. I could not even imagine the greatness that was going to ensue by adding avocado to the mixture. 

This is such a perfect side, it didn't take much work and was still excellent the next day cold. I served these with tacos, but I think it would be equally delicious with grilled chicken. Do not hesitate to make this, make it while summer is still here and all of the ingredients are fresh and at their peak! 
Source: adapted from, Closet Cooking

2 tablespoons of Butter
3 cups of Corn, cut from the cob{about 4 ears}
1/2 of a Jalapeño, seeds and stem removed, diced
3 tablespoons of Mayonnaise
1 clove of Garlic, minced
2 Green Onions, sliced
1 handful of Cilantro, chopped
Juice of 1 Lime
2 tablespoons of Cojita or Feta, crumbled
Chili Powder, to taste, I used one teaspoon and added to taste
1 Avocado, diced

First, heat the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the corn and let it sit, cooking, to get a char on it, stir and let it cook again, this will take about 6-10 minutes.

Now, in a medium bowl, add the corn, jalapeño, mayonnaise, garlic, green onions, cilantro, lime juice, cheese, and chili powder. Stir well to combine; gently fold in the avocado. 

Keep refrigerated until ready to eat. 


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Monday, August 19, 2013

Crispy Rosemary & Sriracha Chicken Thighs

Not too long ago, I had a strong dislike for rosemary. I am glad to say that phase of my life is gone and I am now a rosemary lover! I am also a sriracha lover, we buy the large bottle of that wonderful sauce, often. It adds the perfect amount of heat and it is easy to add more or reduce the recipe for other, non-spicy food lovers.

I am lucky that my husband loves spice, sometimes, things are a little to spicy for him, but most of the time, he loves it. This recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of sriracha and adding more if you like spice, I upped it to 4 tablespoons, because I love spice. This was a little too much for Ethan, he still ate it and enjoyed it, he just said his mouth was hot! Long story short, if you are making this for kids to eat, try out 1.5 tablespoons the first time, it thats fine go up to 2 tablespoons, but stop there. If you are making this for people who like moderately spicy food, use 3 tablespoons and if you are making it for people who are in the it-burns-so-good club, add 4, and serve some on the side for additional dipping!

The yogurt and the rosemary and really an excellent pairing with the sriracha, the yogurt really tames down the heat and the rosemary brings a bit of freshness. This was a really easy meal to prepare, it has been raining here, still, so it was nice to not try and plan on the grill and just use the oven!

We loved this dinner and will definitely make it again. I served it with steamed broccoli and brown rice. The leftovers were perfect when transformed into whole wheat quesadillas for lunch! Yum!
Source: All Day I Dream About Food

1/4 cup of Plain Yogurt
2 tablespoons of Olive Oil
2 tablespoons of Lemon Juice
2 tablespoons of Fresh Rosemary, chopped
2 tablespoons of Sriracha
2 cloves of Garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon of Salt
1/4 teaspoon of Pepper
4-5 Chicken Thighs, bone-in, skin-on (the recipe will work for boneless/skinless if you prefer that)

First, in a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, rosemary, sriracha, garlic, salt and pepper. Place the chicken thighs in a large ziplock bag and pour the marinade over them. Marinade for at least an hour in the refrigerator, flipping occasionally to make sure the chicken is all covered.

When ready to cook, pre-heat your oven to 375. Arrange the chicken thighs on a baking sheet, in a single layer, and drizzle the extra marinade on them. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until an internal temperature of 165 has been reached. Turn your broiler to high for the last 3-4 minutes to crisp up the skin.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Friday, August 16, 2013

Perfect Pie Crust

Ethan has recently become obsessed with this pie, coming to a blog near you, soon. I have been making him one a week. One night, he wanted this pie and we did not have any refrigerated pie crust, aka my crutch. I told him he would just have to wait but, no, that did not work, before I knew it, he was in the kitchen making a homemade pie crust.

We have since made this pie crust many times, and I really think it is perfect. I had made the same pie countless times before and it stuck to the pan, with this homemade pie crust it comes out perfectly every time. The best part about this recipe is that it makes two crusts, so you can put one in the freezer for the next time an urge for pie strikes!
Source: Martha Stewart

2 1/2 cups of All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon of Salt
1 teaspoon of Sugar
2 sticks of Unsalted Butter, chilled and cut into pieces
1/2 cup of Ice Water

First, place the flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor*; pulse to mix. Now, add the butter in and pulse a few times, until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

Next, add in the ice water, one tablespoon at a time, pulsing after each tablespoon. Be very careful not to overwork.

Now, remove the dough from the food processor and form it into a ball. Flatten each half into a disk. Wrap each disk in plastic, separately, and refrigerate for 30 minutes or into the freezer if you are not using it tonight.

To form the pie shell, roll the dough on a lightly floured surface to a 14 inch diameter. Place in pie plate and trim the overlay. Continue with your recipe.

* If you do not have a food processor, you can still make this recipe. Mix the flour, salt, and sugar in a large bowl; cut the butter in with a pastry blender or fork. When adding the water, work in with your hands, still being careful not to overwork. Follow the rest of the recipe as stated.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Asian Meatballs with Lime Sesame Dipping Sauce

I am sure you know, I meal plan every week. I love doing it and it is fun for me. I try to choose meals that Ethan will love, along with a few that I will love and he will tolerate. I thought this would be one of those meals, so I surrounded it with things he would love on either side of the day. I was half right on that, he did question me immediately, what is the ground pork for? After I made the meal, he ate six of these meatballs. Thats right, half of the entire pan. He was talking about how much he loved them and all of the different variations we could do. 

This was one of those meals that after we finished, I called my mom and sister to tell them all about the dinner I had just made, and how much they would love them. These are great leftover and you could even make a double batch of them and freeze them for easy dinner nights. 

These meatballs are packed with lots of flavor from the cilantro, green onions, and sesame oil then you dip them in the sauce which provides a zesty kick. It really is the perfect bite. I can't wait to make these in tablespoon size to add to my freezer stash for party appetizers, I just know they will be a big hit. 
Source: Skinnytaste, originally Gourmet (2007)


For the Meatballs:
1 1/4 lbs. of Ground Pork, Turkey, or Beef, whichever you prefer, I used pork
1/4 cup of Panko Crumbs
1 Egg
1 teaspoon of Dried Ginger
1 clove of Garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon of Salt
1/4 cup of Cilantro, chopped
3 Scallions, chopped
1 tablespoon of Soy Sauce
2 teaspoons of Sesame Oil

For the Dipping Sauce:
4 tablespoons of Soy Sauce
2 teaspoons of Sesame Oil
2 tablespoons of Lime Juice, freshly squeezed
2 tablespoons of Water
1 tablespoon of Scallions, chopped

First, pre-heat your oven to 500 degrees. 

Now, in a large bowl, mix together the ground pork, panko, egg, ginger, garlic, salt, cilantro, scallions, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Form meatballs with your hands, each should be 1/4 cup of meat mixture. Place in a baking dish large enough for 12 meatballs.

Bake for 15 minutes, put your oven on broil, high for 2 more minutes, to brown the tops.

While they are baking, make the dipping sauce. Whisk together all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Serve 1-2 tablespoons of the dipping sauce to each person, on the side, for dipping.

Serve the meatballs over white or brown rice with dipping sauce on the side. 


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Tropical Pork Kabobs

I have been loving kabobs this summer, I know it can get repetitive and tedious, but it is an all-in-one meal. I am all about that, however, I did want to make it more complete and I added some brown rice. Grilled pineapple is one of my dad's specialties and when I saw that this recipe included it, I knew I would love it. I love the tropical flavors that the pineapple gives off and it reminded me of my love for these Hawaiian Chicken sandwiches, I need to make them soon!

This original recipe called for zucchini, which would have made for a prettier picture, the green instead of more yellow with the squash, but my local grocer was out of them. We have been getting so much rain in North Carolina that my grocer told me that they had been out for a week, because the rain was killing them!
Source: Without Adornment ,via So Tasty, So Yummy

1/4 cup of Soy Sauce
1/4 cup of Pineapple Juice
1 tablespoon of Rice Wine Vinegar
2 cloves of Garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon of Chili Garlic Sauce
1 tablespoon of Brown Sugar
1 lb. of Pork Tenderloin, cut in 1 inch cubes
1 Pineapple or 1 20 oz. Can, cut in 1 inch cubes
1 Red Pepper, cut in 1 inch cubes
1 Zucchini, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 lb. of Whole Button Mushrooms

First, in a medium bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, pineapple juice, rice wine vinegar, garlic, chili garlic sauce, and brown sugar. Reserve 3 tablespoons of the marinade.

Now, in a large ziplock bag, place the pork and the marinade, keeping the reserved aside. Marinate for 1 hour or more.

When ready for dinner, if you are using wooden skewers, soak for 10 minutes in water. Pre-heat the grill to medium-high heat. Thread the skewers alternatively with pork (discard the marinade the pork was in), pineapple, red pepper, zucchini, and mushrooms. Place the skewers on the grill, baste with the reserved marinade every time you turn the skewers. Cook until the pork is done and has reached an internal temperature of 145 degrees. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Grilled Onions with Balsamic & Gorgonzola

Onions are one of those foods, either you like them or you don't. I don't think it goes so far, like cilantro, and is related to genetics, but I do think it is a pretty strong love/aversion. I happen to love them. These onions were the perfect accompaniment to grilled steaks. Everyone knows, steak and gorgonzola or blue cheese are a match made in heaven.

These were easy to make and a great side dish. They didn't take long to prepare, but had all of the makings for something fabulous. Reduced balsamic+gorgonzola+onion+grill= Perfection. Having these on the side meant no sauce was necessary for the steak, you could just enjoy a bite of this either before or after.
Source: inspired by, The Proud Italian Cook

1/2 cup of Balsamic Vinegar
1 Large White Onion
1/4 cup of Gorgonzola Crumbles, or blue cheese
Vegetable Oil

First, place the vinegar, in a small saucepan, on medium-low heat. Let reduce to 1/4 cup.

While that is reducing,cut your onion into 1/4 inch slices.

Pre-heat your grill to medium-high heat and oil the grates with vegetable oil. Grill the onions until they are starting to get translucent with grill marks. Cook, flipping occasionally, until they are at desired doneness. The more translucent, the softer they will be.

Remove from the grill, immediately divide the gorgonzola crumbles onto the onion slices. Drizzle with reduced balsamic.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Monday, August 12, 2013

Tuscan-Style Pork Tenderloin

This meal is perfect for company. It is one of those meals that will impress everyone at the table, even yourself. My favorite type of meal to prepare when guests come over is the type that it has to bake in the oven for at least 30 minutes, so I can spend that time setting up the appetizers and relaxing.

When I first saw this recipe, I was intrigued, but I wasn't sure about it. I showed it to Ethan and he wanted it on the meal plan, immediately. The next week, we had this meal, and it was so delicious. I am so happy he pushed it right onto the meal plan. The bread that this pork was cooked in was so perfect, it was crunchy from the olive oil you drizzle into it and had all of the flavors from the herbs. I loved that I didn't have to make a main entree and then bread for the side, it served as a two-in-one. I served this with the Blueberry-Gorgonzola Salad, some bacon-wrapped red potatoes, and of course a bottle of wine.
Source: Joanne Weir, via Once Upon a Plate

2 teaspoons of Sage, chopped finely
2 teaspoons of Rosemary, chopped finely
1/2 teaspoon of Black Pepper, freshly ground
2 cloves of Garlic, minced
Kosher Salt and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
4 tablespoons of Olive Oil
1 Pork Tenderloin, 1 lb.
4 tablespoons of Dijon Mustard
1 loaf of French Bread
Kitchen Twine

First, preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Next in a small bowl, or one cup measuring cup, combine the sage, rosemary, 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper, garlic, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Set aside. Place a piece of parchment or wax paper on your work space and spread the herb mixture on the paper.

Now, in a skillet, heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. When the oil has heated, sear the pork on all sides, until golden brown all over. Remove from the pan and place on the parchment paper; smear the dijon mustard all over the pork and roll it in the herbs.

Next, remove the inside of the bread to hollow out a hole, just big enough for the pork; leave the ends intact. Drizzle the inside of the bread with the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil; place the pork inside.

Wrap the pork tenderloin with kitchen twine, until it is secure. Place the bread with the pork in it on a baking sheet and bake for 25-35 minutes, until the pork reaches 160 degrees on an instant read thermometer. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes; remove the string and slice.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Friday, August 9, 2013

Not Your Mama's Pimiento Cheese

I am a g.r.i.t.s.  For those of you who don't know what this mean, it is a girl raised in the south. I think being a g.r.i.t.s, I have had plenty of pimiento cheese sandwiches at bridal and baby showers, but also for an excellent lunch.

I have never made pimiento cheese myself, until now. I don't know if I will ever try a different recipe, who am I kidding? I have seen excellent variations out there with additions of jalapeño, yum, and kinds of other great things. For now, this recipe is my staple. It is called not your mama's pimiento cheese, because I have never had it with cream cheese in it and I think all other g.r.i.t.s out there would scoff at this addition. It is so delicious, give it a try, on a cracker, in a sandwich, on a spoon, however you want, you won't regret it.
Source: Plain Chicken

1/4 cup of Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup of Mayonnaise
1/2 cup of Sour Cream
1/4 teaspoon of Garlic Salt
2 cups of Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1/2 cup of Parmesan Cheese, shredded
1/2 cup of Pimientos, drained

First, whip cream cheese until smooth. Whip in the mayonnaise, sour cream, and garlic salt, until well combined. 

Now, add the cheese and pimientos, whip until just combined. 

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or until ready to serve.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Grilled Thai Sweet Potatoes

I have a serious love for carbohydrates, like in the sense that I would rather have an extra bite of a roll or potato instead of dessert at the end of a meal. Most people think I am crazy for it, it's okay if you do too. All of the desserts on this blog are made and eaten by my husband and I hardly ever have more than just a teeny bite, so I can report to you about it, and not just use his crazy descriptive words, remember this? 

Sweet potatoes are more healthy for you than white potatoes. It still doesn't mean you can eat a ton of them, but half of one at dinner is definitely better than a loaded russet potato. When I saw these, I was definitely intrigued, you marinate the potatoes in a dressing that is used for salads. You can make this dressing a few days ahead of time or before you make dinner, just keep it in the refrigerator. 

The recipe for the sweet thai dressing is for 3 cups and you only need one cup for this recipe, so you will have plenty leftover to use on salads! The dressing is quite spicy, but I think it pairs perfectly with the sweetness of the sweet potato. You may want to serve the remaining 1/3 of the dressing on the side for dipping or for putting as much or as little on as you want.

2 Sweet Potatoes, medium-size
1 cup of Sweet Thai Chili Dressing
Vegetable Oil

Ingredients for Sweet Thai Chili Dressing:
1 cup of Sweet Chili Sauce
1/2 cup of Rice Vinegar
1/2 cup of Coconut Milk
6 tablespoons of Light Brown Sugar
4 cloves of Garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon of Dried Ginger
3 tablespoons of Peanut Butter
1 tablespoon of Soy Sauce
Juice of 2 Limes

First make the sweet thai chili dressing, whisk together all of the ingredients in a small saucepan and place over medium-heat until smooth. Reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 3-4 minutes. Let cool and place in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. 

Next, wash and dry the sweet potatoes. Poke a few holes in them with a fork and place them in the microwave on high for 2 minutes, turn them over and cook for another minute.

Now, let them cool and pour 2/3 cup of the thai sweet chili dressing in a 9x13 or 8x11 inch pan. 

Next, slice the sweet potatoes into 1/4 inch slices. Place in the pan with the dressing, flip them occasionally while the grill is heating up.

Now, pre-heat your grill. Oil the grates with vegetable oil. Grill the sweet potatoes for 6-8 minutes, flipping them halfway through. 

Serve with the remaining 1/3 cup of sweet thai chili dressing.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Monday, August 5, 2013

Chicken Alfredo Pizza

In order to curb our habits of eating out or ordering in, I try to plan some of our favorite foods to help prevent it from happening. We have pizza about once every two weeks and I love playing around with different toppings. This dinner comes together pretty quickly with the Quick-Rise Pizza Dough. It only takes about an hour to make and rise, while the dough is rising, I made a homemade alfredo sauce. I baked the chicken earlier that day, so it just needed to be sliced, you could also use a rotisserie chicken for this. 

This pizza had quite the kick from the red pepper flakes, so if you aren't a fan of spicy, I would recommend cutting it in half or out completely. We love spicy, so it wasn't a problem for us, I just wanted to give everyone else a fair warning! If you like spinach, broccoli, or grape tomatoes in your fettuccine chicken alfredo, it would be a great addition, just add a little bit! Not everyone I was serving liked all of those ingredients, so I just served a big side salad, where you could pick your own toppings! 

1 Chicken Breast, boneless and skinless
Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
2 tablespoons of Butter
1 clove of Garlic, minced
1 teaspoon of Red Pepper Flakes
1 tablespoon of Flour, plus more for rolling out the dough
1 cup of Heavy Cream
1/4 cup of Parmesan Cheese, grated
1 batch of Pizza Dough, homemade or store-bought
1 cup of Mozzarella, grated
Olive Oil, for brushing the crust

First, pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees. Sprinkle the chicken breast with salt and pepper, liberally. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Place your pizza stone in the oven with the chicken baking. When chicken is done, remove from oven and set aside. Leave the stone in the oven.

While your chicken is baking, in a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds-1 minute. Add the flour and cook for 1 and half minutes, whisk in the cream. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until thickened about 3 minutes. Stir in the parmesan cheese and season lightly with salt and pepper. Set aside. 

Now, put some flour on your work space and roll out the dough to a 13 inch diameter. Carefully remove the stone from the oven and place the dough on top of the stone. Ladle the sauce on the dough leaving about 1/2 inch along the edges, top with chicken and mozzarella. Brush the edge of the crust with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. 

Put the pizza stone back in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until crisp and golden.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Friday, August 2, 2013

Blueberry Mojito

Oh, mojitos and mint, which do I love more? I guess it would have to be mint, but I don't think I discovered my love for mint until after I tried a mojito. I spent my 21st birthday at the beach with my mom, aunt, and sister, we always have the best time down there. One of our favorite restaurants is known for there famous mojitos, ever since then, it is our drink of choice for the summer. 

When I saw this version of a mojito, I could not wait to try it. I have so many juicy, plump blueberries from another fabulous aunt's garden and I knew they would be perfect for this drink. This drink is absolutely superb. It has a tartness from the blueberries and a fresh bite from the mint. I loved every single drop. I highly recommend serving it in a mason jar, it is just so fun and the perfect size. This recipe makes enough for two mojitos, feel free to double, triple, quadruple, you know, if you wanted to make a pitcher!

1 cup of fresh Blueberries, plus more for garnish
4 oz. of Clear Rum
10 fresh Mint Leaves
2 teaspoons of Sugar
Juice of 2 Limes
6 oz. of Club Soda
Lime wedges, for garnish

First, fill your glasses with ice and split the club soda into the two.

Next, in your shaker, add the mint leaves, sugar, and blueberries*. Use a muddler (or the end of a wooden spoon) to muddle well. Add the lime juice and rum; shake vigorously. 

Now, pour the drink from the shaker into the glasses, give it a gentle stir. Add more mint leaves, a lime wedge, more blueberries, or whatever you desire to garnish the glass. 

*This is the way I made these and they were perfect. If you are worried about the consistency, place the blueberries in a blender or food processor, then add them to the shaker with the lime juice and rum.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Low Country Boil Kabobs

I was born in Louisiana and lived there for the first part of my life. My dad was raised there and my parents met there, it will always hold a special place in my heart and my stomach. I am a ragin' cajun down to the bone. I think that is where my love for spicy food comes from. My dad can put on the best crawfish boil around, with his dad's famous recipe, and with my mom's help with her amazing french bread and mashed red potatoes that come from the boil. It is maybe one of my favorite meals or parties we have. I have not had any cajun food in quite some time and when I saw this recipe, I knew I would love it.

I was right. This kabobs have everything that I love about a crawfish boil, but in a milli-fraction of the time. My favorite part of these was the corn and Ethan's favorite was the sausage. This was a delicious meal that came together in no time! I served this with fresh sliced tomatoes covered in salt and pepper.
Source: Food Network, Paula Deen

6 Baby Red Potatoes or 3 Red Potatoes, cleaned and cut- divide the babies in half or the others into fourths
Kosher Salt
2 tablespoons of Crab Boil Seasoning, such as Old Bay
1 ear of Corn, shucked and cut into 1 inch rounds
Nonstick Spray
4 tablespoons of Butter
3 cloves of Garlic, minced
2 teaspoons of Hot Sauce, Frank's or Louisiana Hot Sauce
1 teaspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar
10 large Shrimp, peeled and deveined
8 oz. fully cooked Beef Sausage
Lemon Wedges for serving

First, if using wooden skewers, soak in water for 30 minutes prior to grilling.

Now, place the potatoes in a pot of water with a big pinch of kosher salt and 1 tablespoon of the crab boil seasoning. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and let sit for 5 minutes, add the corn and let sit for 5-7 more minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Drain and let cool.

Next, coat your grill grates with nonstick spray and pre-heat your grill to medium-high heat.

Now, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. When foaming, add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds-1 minute. Stir in hot sauce and vinegar. Remove from the heat and divide in half and set aside.

Thread the skewers with potatoes, corn, sausage, and shrimp alternatively. Brush one half of the butter sauce on the shrimp and grill 6-8 minutes, turning occasionally.

Serve the skewers with lemon wedges and drizzle with the other half of the butter sauce.

Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife