Friday, March 7, 2014

Crispy Fish Sandwiches

Fried fish is so common in the South; fishing is popular and the fish fry's are rampant. I am from the South, but have some how managed to not like fish fry's and to stay under the radar. I eat hushpuppies and some coleslaw and say I've had enough fish and no one seems to notice. Well, that is except my husband he loves fried catfish, specifically, and when we went to one of his favorite places to get fried fish, I ordered steak. He finally managed to pry it out of me that I in fact have never tried it. Anyway, all this talk of fried fish, I still don't like it, but these crispy baked fish sandwiches, now that is a different story.

Fish is also common during the Lenten season on Fridays. We eat lots of fish (not catfish) around here, so just check out seafood category in the recipe index tab.

These fish sandwiches are so quick to make, far under 30 minutes. You bread them in some seasoned panko and bake. While they are baking, you make a quick sauce. You really want to have the sauce on these sandwiches, it is the best and makes the sandwich. I can't wait to make these sandwiches again, they are definitely a winner in our house.
Source: A Taste of Home Cooking, originally Sparks From the Kitchen

For the Fish:
1 Large Egg White, beaten
1 cup of Panko
1/4 teaspoon of Paprika
1/2 teaspoon of Onion Powder
1/2 teaspoon of Garlic Powder
2 filets of Tilapia, skin removed, 4 oz. each
1/2 teaspoon of Black Pepper
1/4 teaspoon of Kosher Salt
Cooking Spray
2 Sandwich Buns

For the Tangy Dill Pickle Sauce:
1/4 cup of Mayonnaise
2 tablespoons of Dill Pickle, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of Dill, fresh, and chopped
1 teaspoon of Fresh Lemon Juice


First, preheat your broiler to high and prepare a baking sheet. Cover the baking sheet with aluminum foil, place a baking rack on top of it and spray with non-stick cooking spray.

Now, in a shallow dish, place the egg white. In another shallow dish, whisk together the panko, paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder.

Next, mix the salt and pepper together in a 1/4 measuring cup and sprinkle over both sides of the fish. Dredge the fish in the egg and then the panko mixture, pressing firmly to get all of the crumbs on the fish. Place the fish on the baking rack.

Bake for 4 minutes and then flip the fish and bake for 4 more minutes.

While the fish is baking, make the sauce. Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl.

When the fish is done, place on the fish on the bottom of the bun and place the sauce on the top bun.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Chopped Taco Salad

This has definitely been one of my favorite meals. I was craving a big salad and this one hit the nail on the head, seriously. I could not stop eating this salad and I was sad when all of the leftovers were gone.

You can easily adapt this salad to leave out ingredients you don't like and add more ingredients you do like. However, I think this salad is perfect. It has the perfect amount of every ingredient. I made this just last week and I am already wanting to add it to the meal plan again.

This makes 4-6 dinner salads.
Source: Mel's Kitchen Cafe

For the Salad:
1 lb. of Ground Beef or Turkey
1/2 head of Iceberg Lettuce,  about 4 cups, chopped
1/2 head or Romaine Lettuce, about 4 cups, chopped
1/2 cup of Cilantro, chopped
1 cup of Cheese, cubed
1 cup of Corn
1 can of Olives, 6 oz., chopped
1 can of Black Beans, 15 oz., rinsed & drained
2 Roma Tomatoes, chopped
2 Avocados, chopped
Crushed Tortilla Chips

For the Catalina Dressing:
1/4 cup of Ketchup
1/4 cup of Sugar
1/4 cup of Red Wine Vinegar
1/4 cup of Onion, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon of Paprika
1/4 teaspoon of Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper

First, in a large nonstick pan, brown the meat over medium heat with a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of pepper. Cook until the meat is done and no pink remains. Drain the meat and place on a plate lined with paper towels to cool.

Now, in a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the salad. Toss to combine.

Next, blend all of the ingredients for the dressing together. Refrigerate until ready to use or use right away.

Portion the salad into bowls and drizzle with dressing and garnish with crushed tortilla chips.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Monday, March 3, 2014

Jalapeño-Cilantro Chicken Salad

Lunch is a meal that I often get bored with. We eat leftovers or a sandwich, or Trader Joe's vegetable fried rice, yum! I still get tired with those simple choices. I know I could take the time out and make something amazing, but I like to save that for dinner :) This chicken salad is perfect for lunch, I made it in the beginning of the week and enjoyed it for 3 different days. 

You can adjust the spices and seasonings to add something you love or take out something you don't love, but I thought it was pretty perfect. Speaking of perfect, serving it in an avocado so you could have a spoonful of avocado and spicy chicken salad in every bite, is amazing. Take my word for it. You can easily cut his recipe in half.
Source: Daily Crave

3 Chicken Breast, Rotisserie or baked and shredded/cut*
1 Jalapeño, de-seeded and cut into pieces
4 tablespoons of Cilantro, chopped
1 Lime, juiced
1/4 of a Red Onion, diced
1/3 cup of Mayo
1/3 cup of Plain Greek Yogurt
1 tablespoon of Dijon Mustard
1 teaspoon of Cumin
Salt and Pepper
For Serving: Avocado or Bread

*I rub the chicken in olive oil, sprinkle with lots of salt and pepper and bake for 30-40 minutes at 350 until done and cut into pieces.


Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and serve on an avocado half or on some bread for sandwiches. 


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Friday, February 28, 2014

Cinnamon-Chocolate Chip Cake

I heard many rave reviews on this cake and could not wait to make it, literally, I ran to the kitchen, took inventory, and started baking. This cake is so easy to make. I mean really, it's crazy. It is one of those recipes that I know I will make over and over again. It is perfect to have in my recipe box (blog) for those last minute desserts.
Source: Mel's Kitchen Cafe

For the Cake Batter:
2 cups of Flour
1 1/2 cups of Sugar
2 teaspoons of Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon of Salt
1 1/3 cups of Sour Cream
2/3 cup of Butter, softened
1 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
3 Eggs
1/2 teaspoon of Baking Soda

For the Middle & Top:
2 tablespoons of Cinnamon + 2 tablespoons of Sugar, combined
1 bag of Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips, 12 oz.

First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.

Next, in a large mixing bowl combine all of the cake batter ingredients. Beat on low for 1 minute and then 3 minutes on medium speed. Pour half of batter into the pan; sprinkle half of the cinnamon-sugar mixture on top of the batter and then half of the chocolate chips. Pour the rest of the batter on top, and top with remaining cinnamon-sugar and chocolate chips.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the toothpick comes out with a few crumbs, you don't want to over bake.

If you aren't eating this fresh out of the oven, put a piece of the cake in the microwave for 15 seconds.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Crispy Buffalo Shrimp

I came to the realization a few nights ago that I had not had any fried food in 3+ weeks! I did not even realize it. It has not been hard at all and I attribute a lot of that to this "crispy-style-baking" I do. I use a baking sheet, covered in aluminum, with my cooling rack (for cookies) on top, it fits perfectly and it ensures that the bottom will also be crispy. I have made fish for fish sandwiches, chicken tenders, and these shrimp.

These shrimp are packed with flavor, not only are they dipped in buffalo sauce, but they are coated in a well-seasoned panko mixture. We served this with macaroni and cheese and a side salad with bleu cheese. You could always dip these shrimp in a ranch or bleu cheese dip.
Source: Barbee Housewife Original

1 lb. of Shrimp, raw, peeled & deveined
1/4 cup of Buffalo Sauce, such as Louisiana Hot Sauce or Frank's Hot Sauce
1 cup of Panko
1/4 teaspoon of Paprika
1/2 teaspoon of Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon of Onion Powder
Salt & Pepper

First, preheat your oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and top with a wire rack, sprayed with cooking spray.

Now, rinse the shrimp and liberally season with salt and pepper, set aside.

Get out two shallow pans, place the buffalo sauce in one and in the other pan whisk the panko, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder together.

For the dredging part, use one hand for the buffalo sauce and one hand for the panko dredging. Place a shrimp in the buffalo, coat well and place into the panko mixture, using the other hand, press the panko onto each shrimp and then place onto the wire rack.

Bake for 15-17 minutes until the shrimp and cooked through and crispy.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Chicken Fajitas {Crockpot}

This Texas girl is still getting used to the Mexican food here in North Carolina. There has been progress, they opened a Chuy's in a shopping area we frequent! Score! We love it. However, we still cook our favorites at home all of the time. We have our favorite chicken fajita recipe, but that requires the grill. It is currently 49 degrees outside, I won't do that to my poor husband, even for delicious fajitas.

Insert this recipe, it is so, so, easy to make and is a crockpot recipe! My favorite, do the work in the morning and eat at night. I loved that this recipe included the bell peppers and onions, so literally all we did was grate some cheese and make a quick guacamole and dinner was ready. As always, shredded meats=a ton of food, so plan for leftovers. The leftovers can be used for anything you normally use your salsa chicken for quesadillas, shredded chicken salad, sandwiches, nachos, etc. 
Source: Lynsey Lou's

4 tablespoons of Butter
1 Red Bell Pepper, sliced into strips
1 Green Bell Pepper, sliced into strips
2 cloves of Garlic, minced
1 Onion, sliced into strips
3 Chicken Breasts
1 1/2 tablespoons of Brown Sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons of Taco Seasoning, homemade or package
1 jar of your favorite Salsa, 16 oz.
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Flour or Wheat Tortillas
Additional Toppings: Cheese, Sour Cream, Guacamole, Lettuce, Tomatoes, Rice, etc. 

First, place the butter at the bottom of the crockpot, place the vegetables on top, then the chicken breast. Sprinkle the chicken with the brown sugar, taco seasoning, and salt and pepper. Pour the salsa over everything.

Now, cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours, until the chicken easily shreds. 

When it is done cooking, remove the chicken to a large bowl and shred the chicken with two forks. Place the vegetables in another bowl. Spoon the remaining juices into the chicken and vegetables, if desired. 

Make your fajitas and top with whatever toppings you desire. 


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Monday, February 24, 2014

Chocolate Gravy

I love making breakfast. It is the most important meal of the day and I don't know if there is a better way to say "I love you." It is always special waking up and smelling the yumminess that awaits you. It makes waking up better, anyone who knows me, knows I do not like to wake up. It is such an awful process after a wonderful slumber, coffee helps immensely.

I have so many breakfast recipes to share with you guys, but this one was one of Ethan's favorites. It is an old Southern favorite and is a current favorite in the Barbee household. You can serve this over homemade biscuits or canned biscuits, if you are in a hurry. You can also use the leftovers for topping ice cream or waffles!
Source: Trisha Yearwood, Food Network

1 cup of Sugar
3 1/2 tablespoons of Cocoa Powder
3 tablespoons of Flour
1 1/2 cups of Whole Milk
1 tablespoon of Butter

First, in a medium bowl, whisk the sugar, cocoa, and flour together. Pour the milk in and whisk, until well combined.

Now, in a large saute pan or dutch oven, melt the butter. When the butter has melted, stir in the flour/milk mixture. Stir until the gravy has thickened, 5-10 minutes, based on preference.

Serve over biscuits.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Maple & Mustard Chicken Thighs

This is one of those dinners that is so simple, it is ridiculous. I was thinking it is crazy for me to go on and on and on about these, but dang, these were delicious.

I picked this meal out for my husband he loves mustard and with a little sweet along with it, I knew he would be so thrilled. What I did not know, is how obsessed I would be. I mean really, it is in the running for the top recipes on this blog for 2014 and it is only February.

I know this will be on our meal plan often, which doesn't happen too often around here. It is made from just a few pantry ingredients and of course, chicken!
Source: Ellie Krieger

4 large Chicken Thighs, bone-in, skin on
2 tablespoons of Dijon Mustard
2 tablespoons of Grainy French Mustard
2 tablespoons of Maple Syrup
1 clove of Garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon of Majoram, dried

First, preheat your oven to 375.

Next, place the chicken in a glass baking dish.

Now, combine all of the ingredients, minus the chicken, in a small bowl and whisk together. Spoon the mixture onto the tops of the chicken.

Bake for 45-50 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees and the juices run clear.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Blackened Salmon Salad with Avocado Ranch Dressing

I am a big fan of dinner salads, but they have to be big enough to keep me full for the rest of the night. On that note, they have to be interesting/complex enough for me to want to eat a salad that big. This salad hit every requirement I placed upon it, and then some.

The salmon was definitely spicy from the blackened aspect, but the avocado ranch dressing was made from greek yogurt, which provided a great tang. The tang worked well with the spicy and toned it down. This was a breeze to put together, the most labor intensive part was just a bit of chopping.

Oh, and if you have some non-salad eaters in your household, serve them just the salmon with leftover rice, they will gobble it right up.
Source: Handle the Heat

1/2 Avocado, skin & pit removed, roughly chopped
1/3 cup of Plain Greek Yogurt
2 teaspoons of Olive Oil
1 Lime, juiced
1 tablespoon of Green Onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of Parsley, finely chopped
1/2 cup of Buttermilk, + 2 tablespoons
Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste

8 cups of Hearts of Romaine, chopped, about 2 hearts
1 cup of Grape Tomatoes, halved
1/2 of a Cucumber, sliced thinly

3 teaspoons of Cumin
3 teaspoons of Paprika
1/2 teaspoon of Cayenne
1/2 teaspoon of Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon of Salt
1/4 teaspoon of Thyme
Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste
4 Salmon Filets, 4 oz. each, skin removed
1 tablespoon of Canola Oil

First, mix all of the ingredients for the dressing and mix well, by whisking or placing in a blender/food processor. Set aside.

Now, separate the salad ingredients into 4 bowls. Toss each bowl with 1/4 of the dressing. Set aside.

Next, in a one cup measurement add all of the spices, use a spoon to mix them. Press the spice mixture firmly on the salmon adhering the spices to all sides.

In a heavy pan, heat 2 teaspoons of canola oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, place the salmon in the pan, cook for 4 minutes, flip and cook for 4 more minutes.

Place the blackened salmon on top of each salad. Serve immediately.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Bacon, Spinach, & Mushroom Alfredo Ziti

In the winter everyone gravitates towards comfort food. A big bowl of warm happiness. This can come in many forms, soups, chilis, chicken and dumplings, and last but not least pastas. This pasta is a one pot, or skillet, meal, which equals a very easy clean-up.

I had no doubts about this pasta, I knew I would love it. All of the ingredients are practically my favorites, bacon, spinach, mushroom, alfredo sauce, and pasta. Yum. This dinner was ready in a flash and was so comforting. And by a flash, I mean under 30 minutes, or right at. You can't beat that during the week.

Another bonus about this pasta, you cook the mushrooms first, then stir them in at the end, so if you have a mushroom hater or spinach hater, spoon out their portion before adding in the ingredients. Ethan had the leftovers during the week for lunch and he said it was still delicious.
Source: Center Cut Cook

1 lb. of Ziti, cooked according to package directions
6 slices of Bacon
8 oz. of Mushrooms, fresh, cleaned, & sliced
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
3 tablespoons of Butter
2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
2 cups of Heavy Cream
1 cup of Parmesan Cheese, grated
1 cup of Mozzarella Cheese, grated
1 teaspoon of Smoked Paprika
1/2 teaspoon of Black Pepper
2 cups of Spinach, fresh

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

While you pasta is cooking, fry your bacon in an iron skillet, a few minutes on each side until done. Set aside on a plate with paper towels. When cooled, crumble or cut into bite sized pieces.

Drain all of the grease out of the pan except for one tablespoon, over medium heat saute the mushrooms  until just tender, add the garlic, and saute for 30 more seconds. Remove the mushrooms and garlic to a separate plate/bowl.

Now, melt the butter in the same pan, when the butter has melted, whisk in the olive oil. Whisk in the heavy cream and let come to a simmer, stirring frequently. Add in the parmesan cheese and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently.

After the 8-10 minutes, when the sauce has thickened, add in the mozzarella cheese, paprika, black pepper, mushrooms, spinach, bacon, and pasta.

Serve immediately.

Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Monday, February 17, 2014

Pork & Chorizo Meatballs

Meatballs are always such an easy option for dinner. We usually have an assortment of ground meat, pork, beef, or chicken in our freezer. You just choose which cuisine you feel like, Asian, in this case Mexican, or you could go traditional Italian. These were so easy to add a few additions to the ground pork, mix, form into meatballs, and bake for 20 minutes. While they were baking, I was able to make some Mexican rice and a roasted corn salad. This dinner was quick, easy, and delicious. It fits the criteria for a weeknight meal.

Do not let the chorizo scare you away, it is an ingredient not everyone is familiar with, but it is excellent. It adds great instant flavor to the otherwise bland pork. We have used chorizo in my favorite hash for breakfast, but never in meatballs. It was a success. The chipotle chiles in adobo sauce add a great spice. These meatballs were perfectly seasoned. Ethan and I both agreed that they would be perfect at a party with toothpicks stuck in each one. Easy to eat, filling, and delicious, the perfect appetizer.
Source: Sarah DiGregorio, Parade Magazine

1 lb. of Ground Pork
1/2 lb. Chorizo, fresh (raw), castings removed
1 1/4 cup of Smoked Gouda Cheese, shredded
1 beaten Egg, large
1/2 cup of Bread Crumbs, plain
1 minced Chipotle Chile  + 1 tablespoon of Adobo Sauce from a can of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
1/2 teaspoon of Kosher Salt

First, preheat your oven to 425 degrees and spray a 9 inch x13 inch pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Now,  combine all of the ingredients into a large bowl. Using your hands, gently combine all of the ingredients together. Form the meatballs into golf ball size balls and place into the pan.

Bake for 20-25 minutes.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Friday, February 14, 2014

Chocolate Covered Cherry Smoothie

Happy Valentine's Day!

Smoothies are a big hit around here for breakfast. It is so easy to throw some yogurt, a little milk, frozen fruit in and you have an instant healthy breakfast, on the go. Well, since it is Valentine's day, I had to add a little chocolate and some vanilla extract to sweeten it up. If you prefer strawberries, I think they would be an equally delicious substitute.

These are the perfect way to wake up, but I am sure it would be excellent as an after-school snack or a dessert!
Source: The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays

1 heaping cup of Yogurt, Greek or regular, plain or vanilla
1 cup of Milk
1/4 cup of Chocolate Syrup
1 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
12 oz. of Frozen Cherries
Optional: Chocolate Chips, for garnish

First, place the yogurt, milk, syrup, vanilla, and cherries in a blender.

Now, blend until smooth and garnish with chocolate chips if desired.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Mexican Hot Chocolate

Winter has come out in full force this year. I will admit, I have done a teeny-tiny bit of complaining about missing snow. We were traveling to Texas for the holidays and we missed the first big snow here in North Carolina. Texas had theirs at the beginning of December. I guess you could say I was feeling a little bit left out. Winter Pax has filled that hole. We have six inches and preparing for a few more today. I am thankful we did our grocery shopping Tuesday and we have been able to hole up in our little house and keep safe and warm, for now.

I am so thankful we have power and are able to stay warm. I know Ethan was so thankful for this hot chocolate. I couldn't help but mix up a special batch to surprise him with. He came back in the kitchen and said, "How much more of this did you make?!" I crushed his excitement with, "Just that cup," which was big enough for this entire recipe. I could see his sadness immediately, I let him know that I could whip up another batch in 5 minutes flat, whenever his heart desires.

If you need to warm anyone up or just warm their heart, this is the way.
Source: slightly adapted from, Ina Garten, via Food Network

2 cups of Whole Milk
1 tablespoon of Light Brown Sugar
1/2 cup of Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1/8 teaspoon of Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
The smallest pinch of Cayenne
Optional Garnishes: Cinnamon stick

First, in a medium saucepan, heat the milk and brown sugar until simmering.

When simmering, remove from heat and stir in the chocolate chips, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. Add in the smallest pinch of cayenne, taste and add more if needed.

Stir with cinnamon stick, if desired.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Pesto Ranch Chicken {Crock-pot}

Sometimes you just need a super easy meal. When you try to cook every meal at home, you seem to want super easy meals, a lot. Crockpots are amazing, it takes the worrying out of what is for dinner. It has happened on more than one occasion when dinner rolls around, I don't want what is on the meal plan. I usually just get on with it and cook it and then am so glad I did, after I made it. The crockpot takes out the whole dreading of making dinner when dinner rolls around. You start it in the morning and dinner is ready when you get home. I heart crockpots, a lot!

I used my favorite homemade pesto here, it only required half of the jar, so I had the other half for spread onto sandwiches or mixing a spoonful into pasta. Perfect. I served Ethan mashed potatoes with his and I slow-roasted some tomatoes for my side. The chicken was nothing crazy, but it was packed with tons of flavor, perfectly tender, and so easy to make.
Source: Picky Palate

4 boneless, skinless, Chicken Breast or 8 boneless, skinless, chicken thighs
3/4 cup of Pesto, 6 oz.
1 package of Ranch Seasoning Mix, package or homemade
1/2 cup of Chicken Broth

First, place chicken in the crockpot.

Now, spread pesto on top of the chicken, sprinkle the seasoning on, pour the chicken broth in and give a gentle stir.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4. When removing chicken use a utensil on either side and lift it up or it will shred!


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Monday, February 10, 2014

Homemade Pesto

This post may get a little long and I honestly don't even know where to start it. My love for pesto did not start until we traveled to Italy, a year and a half ago, and now I am spoiled. I will only make my pesto homemade and I will only use this recipe. This recipe is so dear to my heart, it is in a little paper book, given to me by a chef, which taught our cooking class in Positano, on the Amalfi Coast.

The experience itself was amazing. It was in a little restaurant right on the ocean. It was a small class of only ten people. We were there in May, it was hot, we felt like there was no air conditioning, I am still not sure if there was, but the prosecco was freely flowing. We made an excellent three course meal, that took about 3-4 hours to prepare. Ethan and I prepared this meal for our families as soon as we got home and it took us closer to 8 hours to prepare alone. It was a meal of homemade wheat scialatielli with pesto, gnocchi "Sorrentina style", and "Eggplants Parmigiana." We also snacked on the homemade pesto on some fabulous bread and did lots of tasting while cooking. It was the best experience. The chefs were joking with us, one even claimed he knew who did the cooking at home, Ethan, because he could roll out the pasta dough thinner than I could.

Every time I get out this cookbook to make the homemade pesto, I reminisce and go back. The recipe is written in grams and I have to convert it every time, I keep saying I am going to write the measurements in there, but I can't bring myself to it. This is the best homemade pesto, in my opinion. I know I will never try another recipe. To get a full mason jar of pesto, double the recipe. I hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as I do. At the end of the post, I will include some pictures from our cooking class!
Source: Cookbook from Ristorante Buca di Bacco in Positano

30-40 Basil Leaves
1 clove of Garlic, 1 clove of Garlic for every 30 Basil Leaves
2 tablespoons of Pine Nuts, just a bit more than 1 oz.
2 tablespoons + a teaspoon of Parmesan Cheese, freshly grated, 1.5 oz.
2 tablespoons of Pecorino Cheese, just a bit more than 1 oz.
2/3 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 teaspoon of Salt

First, wash the basil leaves carefully, lay the leaves on paper towels to dry naturally.

While they are drying, chop the garlic in to a few pieces and grate your cheese.

In a food processor, first add the pine nuts, pulse until they are finely chopped. Add the basil and garlic, pulse just a few times. If you over process it will alter the color and fragrance of the basil. Pour in the olive oil while the food processor is on and the salt. Add the cheese last and blend for a few seconds.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Friday, February 7, 2014

Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookies

There are obviously a million ways to make chocolate chip cookies, but I will keep making them. Cookies are so easy to make and are so much easier to share than a large cake.

A Taste of Home Cooking puts on these recipe swaps and I got assigned A Cheese Curd in Paradise. I started searching this blog for a yummy Super Bowl snack or appetizer, I almost made this ever popular pizza dip, but decided to go for a sweet snack instead. The Super Bowl happened to be in February this year, so all things red velvet are fair game. I am so glad I chose these cookies, I mean red velvet, come on, delicious.
Source: A Cheese Curd in Paradise

1/2 cup of Butter
1/2 cup of Sugar
1/2 cup of Light Brown Sugar
1 Egg
1 teaspoon of Vanilla
1 teaspoon of Red Food Coloring
1 1/2 cups of Flour
1 teaspoon of Baking Soda
1/4 teaspoon of Salt
1/3 cup of Cocoa Powder
1/2 cup of Chocolate Chips

First, preheat the oven to 375 degrees and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat mat.

Now, beat the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla in and mix until well combined. Add the red food coloring. Add the flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder in, mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Next, use a medium cookie scoop to scoop cookies onto the baking sheet. Bake for 10-13 minutes.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Green Onion Drop Biscuits

Green onions are always on my grocery list, even when they aren't. I always pick some up at the grocery store, I love the extra crunch they provide and of course the pop of color.

Making drop biscuits is pretty popular around here , we have been making them for years now. They are so convenient. I always have the ingredients and love playing around with new add-in's, cheddar and spices, cheddar and sour cream, and now green onion. These are delicious and especially scrumptious with soups and chills. Take this extra step and make your meal so much better.

These are perfect comfort food to go with a big bowl of whatever you are having for dinner to help keep you warm.
Source: OnTheMove- In the Galley

3/4 cup of Flour
1 teaspoon of Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon of Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon of Salt
1/8 teaspoon of White Pepper
2 tablespoons of Butter, cold and cut into small pieces
1/4 cup of Green Onions, chopped finely
1/3 cup of Sour Cream
1 tablespoon of Milk
A few dashes of Hot Sauce, such as Frank's or Louisiana Hot Sauce
*You can replace the sour cream and milk with 1/3 cup of plain yogurt

First, preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

Now, in a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and white pepper. Using your hands, crumble the butter into the flour mixture, until the mixture is mealy. Stir in the green onions, sour cream, milk, and hot sauce.

Next, using a tablespoon measurement or large cookie scoop, spoon out 9 biscuits onto a baking sheet covered in parchment paper or a silpat mat.

Bake for 10 minutes. Serve immediately.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Garlicky Baked Shrimp

Let me walk you through a scenario, you are at the grocery store around 5:10, racing around getting groceries for the week after a long hard day. You know when you get home you will still have to unload all of the groceries and then make dinner, you will be exhausted. Enter, garlicky baked shrimp. This takes about 5 minutes to prepare and then bakes for 20 minutes, the exact amount of time it takes to make rice, and steaming broccoli, takes even less time.

This is one of those quick and easy dinners that is so delicious. The shrimp were packed with flavor. I was so close to adding a sprinkle of parmesan cheese into the topping, but I am so glad I didn't. These had perfect flavor and did not need the cheese at all.

A few other time saving tricks would be to make a big batch of rice and then freeze it in portions. Then all you have to do is microwave it for an even quicker side.

And in case you were wondering, yes, that scenario was my real life.
Source: Gimme Some Oven, originally Real Simple

1 lb. of Raw Shrimp, deveined & peeled
4 cloves of Garlic, minced
3 tablespoons of White Wine, dry
Salt & Pepper
4 tablespoons of Butter, melted
1/2 cup of Panko Bread Crumbs
2 tablespoons of fresh Italian Parsley, chopped finely
1/2 of a Lemon

First, preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

Next, in a bowl, combine the shrimp, garlic, and white wine. Stir to coat all of the shrimp. Pour them into a baking dish, big enough for them to lay flat and not touch. Season liberally with salt and pepper.

Now, in another bowl, stir together the melted butter, panko, and parsley. Spoon the mixture onto the shrimp and use your hands to flatten the topping onto the shrimp.

Bake for 15-18 minutes, depending on the size of your shrimp. When you take the dish out of the oven, sprinkle the lemon juice on top of the shrimp.

Serve immediately.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Pepperoni Pizza Skins

It is no secret that we love pizza here. I am always making different variations of homemade pizzas and lunch options with pizza in it, these were no different, perfect. We took these to a super bowl party this past weekend and they flew of off the platter. The potatoes were crispy and the cheese was ooey gooey. I used my homemade pizza sauce, which I always keep a batch in the freezer and that really topped them off, it was a phenomenal addition. You also use really thick-cut pepperoni, cut into tiny pieces, so you get a little bit in each bite.

The Super Bowl this year was kinda meh to me. I wanted it to be a better game. Good thing I had the wonderful family & friends, a fabulous halftime show, and yummy snacks to keep me satisfied.

You don't have to wait a full year to make these for the next Super Bowl, these are perfectly acceptable as dinner with a large side salad. You can adapt these by adding your favorite pizza toppings, I can just imagine my favorite pizza, a supreme, on there now. You would just add the additional toppings on when you add the pepperoni. You can also dip these in ranch, add crushed red pepper or parmesan pizza, the possibilities are endless.
Source: The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays

8 Russet Potatoes, scrubbed clean
4 tablespoons of Vegetable Oil
2 tablespoons of Butter, melted
1 cup of Pizza Sauce, jarred or homemade
1 cup of Mozzarella Cheese, grated
1/2 cup of diced Pepperoni, thick-cut
Optional: fresh parsley, ranch dressing, grated parmesan, crushed red pepper flakes

First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Now, place the scrubbed potatoes on a baking sheet and brush the potatoes with the vegetable oil and sprinkle them with salt. Bake them for  35-55 minutes, until they are fork tender, this will depend on the size of your potatoes. When they are finished, remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes.                

Next, slice the potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop the insides out with a spoon.

Now, raise the oven temperature to 425. Brush the inside of the skins with half of the melted butter, let them bake for 3 minutes. Remove them from the oven, flip them over and brush with the other half of the butter and cook for 3-4 more minutes, until crispy.

Fill them with pizza sauce, top with cheese, and then pepperoni and other toppings. Bake for 10 minutes 375 or until the cheese has gotten melty. Serve immediately.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife r />

Friday, January 31, 2014

Deviled Eggs with Crisped Jamón & Crushed Marconas

One of Ethan's favorite appetizers is deviled eggs. They must be on the menu for Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Another day that I have started making them for is game day. This are a perfect snack, they are easy to make, easy to eat, and always a crowd pleaser.

Ethan hates relish, so when I saw this recipe I knew it would be perfect. It has a unique twist which includes my favorite from any cheese board jamón and marcona almonds. These are my new go-to deviled eggs, there is a secret ingredient that really makes these, it is garlic! I would have never thought to put fresh garlic in deviled eggs, but it is really amazing. 
Source: Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, page 290

6 Eggs, large
1 oz. of Jamón Serrano, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons of Marcona Almonds, crushed, salted & toasted
3 tablespoons of Mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon of Dijon Mustard, or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon of Garlic, minced
1 teaspoon of Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed
1 teaspoon of Olive Oil
1/4 teaspoon of Hot or Sweet Smoked Paprika, plus more for dusting
Salt & Pepper

First, place whole eggs in a small pot of cold water. Bring to a boil, when boiling reduce the heat to a simmer and let them cook for 10 minutes, exactly. Drain the eggs and let them sit in cool water. Place in the refrigerator to cool completely. They can stay in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.

Next, prepare your garnishes. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place the jamón n a baking sheet covered in aluminum foil, bake for 5-10 minutes, or until crispy. Place the almonds on another baking sheet or the other side of a large one and bake them for 5 minutes. Let the jamón drain on paper towels, until cool. Place the almonds aside until cooled. Break the jamón into pieces and coarsely chop the marcona almonds. 

Now, peel your hardboiled eggs and split them lengthwise. Put the yolks into a medium bowl. Place the egg whites onto the serving board. In the bowl, mash the yolks with a fork. Stir in the mayonnaise, mustard, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and paprika. Season to taste with a couple of pinches of salt and a few grinds of black pepper.

Scoop the filling into the egg whites and sprinkle with additional paprika. Garnish with the crumbled jamón and crushed marconas right before serving. 


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife
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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Baked Parmesan Paprika Chicken

It is half-way through the month of January and the newness of the new year has already started to fade with some. Did you make any resolutions for the new year? I think it is important to make goals, but not make them unattainable. Cooking at home and meal planning is a very easy way to get used to a healthy eating lifestyle.

This chicken is so good. It is baked instead of fried and it is so crispy and delicious, you will not miss the grease at all. The cheese melts into the crust and is so flavorful. You can slice this chicken up and serve over your favorite salad or roast some veggies for an easy dinner.
Source: Sweet Beginnings

1/4 cup of Flour
1/2 cup of Parmesan Cheese, grated
2 teaspoons of Paprika
1/2 teaspoon of Salt
1/2 teaspoon of Pepper
1 Egg, beaten
2 tablespoons of Milk
4 Chicken Breasts, boneless and skinless
1/4 cup of Butter, melted

First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with aluminum and place a wire rack on top of it.

Next, in a shallow baking dish, combine the flour, cheese, paprika, salt, and pepper. In another shallow baking dish, combine the egg and milk.

Now, pound the chicken to make sure it is even thickness all the way through. Dip the chicken in the egg, then the flour, and place onto the wire rack. Pour the butter over the chicken.

Bake for 30-45 minutes until the chicken is completely cooked through and the internal temperature is at 165.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Thursday, January 16, 2014

DIY: Croutons

You can change a normal salad to an extraordinary salad by adding just a few things, I think the easiest option is to have awesome croutons. I occasionally crave salads from restaurants that have amazing croutons. These croutons are easily adaptable and are perfect in any salad from a classic salad with ranch to a caesar salad with fresh parmesan.

These were so easy to make and are perfect, which is exactly what I look for in my DIY (do it yourself) recipes. It takes a little extra effort, but is still simple, and the taste is a million times better. You can make a batch of these and they will stay good for up to a week in an airtight container, but really good luck with that. You will find yourself adding these to any soup you are eating and making salad just for an excuse to eat these.
Source: Annie's Eats

4 cups of Baguette, cut into cubes
1 1/2 tablespoons of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1 1/2 tablespoons of Butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon of Garlic Powder
1/4 teaspoon of Dried Parsley
1/4 teaspoon of Black Pepper
1/4 teaspoon of Salt

First, preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Now, place the baguette cubes in a large bowl, drizzle them with the olive oil and butter and toss until well coated. Sprinkle with the seasonings and toss to combine and evenly coat.

Next, pour the baguette cubes onto a baking sheet or into your iron skillet. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until desired consistency (crunchiness), stirring every 10 minutes.

Serve on a salad or soup. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Hash Brown Waffle with a Fried Egg

Ethan loves waffles, so we got a waffle maker. I love hash browns, so I make hash brown waffles in our waffle maker! These aren't just any hash brown waffles. They are studded with grated onion and extra sharp cheddar cheese. The onion almost disintegrates into the waffle and the cheese melts right in, making a perfect consistency.

I can almost always guarantee that in our pantry we will have a potato, an onion, and cheese and eggs in our refrigerator. This is a go-to meal for us. It is easy to make and we love having breakfast for dinner, not to mention, I love hash browns and fried eggs.

If you aren't into the whole "breakfast for dinner thing" these are fabulous for a weekend brunch. They are filling enough to satisfy your hunger needs until the next meal, which can't be said for all breakfast items, you know the ones that are cloyingly sweet.

This will make enough for 2 hash brown waffles.
Source: A Taste of Home Cooking

2 cups of Shredded Potato, thawed frozen potatoes or about 2 large potatoes, grated
1/4 cup of Grated Onion
1/4 cup of Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated
3 Eggs
1/2 teaspoon of Garlic Powder
Salt & Pepper

First, preheat your waffle iron to medium-high heat.

Now, place the shredded potatoes in a clean dish towel and squeeze out any additional liquid. Place the potatoes into a large bowl and mix with the onion, cheese, and one of the eggs, until evenly coated. Stir in the garlic powder and salt and pepper.

Spray the waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray and spread half of the mixture to the iron. Close the iron and cook until crispy and brown, my iron took 5-7 minutes.

Next, place a small skillet over medium heat, melt 1/2 tablespoon of butter in it. When the butter has melted, crack an egg into the pan. Let it cook for one minute, flip and cook until the desired doneness is achieved. Cook the additional egg the same way.

Serve the egg on top of the waffle and eat immediately.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Monday, January 13, 2014

Bacon Cheeseburger Balls

Sometimes accidents result in the most delicious products. Someone close to me, I will keep their name anonymous, accidentally used hamburger meat instead of spicy sausage while making these spicy sausage balls. After trying one of those, Ethan knew we had to make them and put a few twists on them.

We made a few different batches before deciding on what we deemed the best bacon cheeseburger ball. These are meant to taste very similar to a bacon cheeseburger, without the bun. The bisquick mimics the bread and the seasonings spice the meat perfectly.

You can dip these in whatever condiments you like to serve on your burger, we tried and loved ketchup, mustard, and barbecue sauce, with mustard being the favorite. This will yield about 36 bacon cheeseburger balls.

Serve this for your next game-watching party or just when you need a snack to feed hungry people. They are very filling and easy to make, which means these mark pretty high on my list of appetizers!
Source: The Barbee Housewife, original

1 1/4 cup of Bisquick
1/2 teaspoon of Onion Powder
1/2 teaspoon of Black Pepper
1 teaspoon of Seasoning Salt
4 oz. of Cheddar Cheese, shredded
8 oz. of Cream Cheese, softened
1 lb. of Hamburger Meat
5-6 pieces of Bacon, cooked and crumbled

First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet by covering it in aluminum foil and spraying liberally with nonstick cooking spray.

Next, in a large bowl, use your standmixer bowl if you have a powerful one, combine the bisquick, onion powder, black pepper, and seasoning salt. Add the cheddar, cream cheese, and hamburger meat, mix well with the mixer or your hands until combined. Sprinkle in the bacon and mix until it is evenly dispersed.

Now, form one inch balls from the mixture and place on the pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Serve with ketchup, mustard, or barbecue sauce, whatever your favorite burger condiments are.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Friday, January 10, 2014

Boozy Chocolate Chip Pie

Here is the pie that I have been alluding to. This is my husband's favorite pie. I am not really big on sweets, so he is the deciding factor her on The Barbee Housewife. He has deemed this the best of pretty much, everything. He is obsessed with pecan pies, he is obsessed with chocolate chip pies, so this really should be no surprise to me.

I am glad I finally had a reason to share this with you guys, this week the swap, put on by A Taste of Home Cooking, category was Holiday Baking. I got the blog Cookies on Friday, which was so appropriate, considering that is where I first discovered this wonderful pie. This pie is mandatory in our household on Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, 4th of July, and any other holiday.

Make this pie, everyone will love you, the result will be a gooey chocolate pie that is unbelievably sweet and perfect in every way.
Source: Cookies on Friday

1 Pie Crust, homemade or store-bought
1 1/2 cup of Pecans, toasted and chopped
1 cup of Chocolate Chips, semi-sweet
1 cup of Dark Corn Syrup
1/2 cup of Sugar
1/2 cup of Dark Brown Sugar
1/4 cup of Honey Whiskey
3 Eggs
1/4 cup of Butter, melted
2 teaspoons of Cornstarch
2 teaspoons of Vanilla
1/2 teaspoon of Salt

First, pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees.

Next, roll out your pie crust and place into the pan.

Now, in a small bowl, combine the pecans and chocolate chips. Spread into the pie pan over the pie crust.

Next, in a large saucepan combine the corn syrup, sugar, brown sugar, and whiskey. Bring to a boil over medium heat. When it starts to boil, stir for 2 minutes constantly and remove from heat.

In a separate large bowl, whisk together the eggs, butter, cornstarch, vanilla, and salt.

Now, pour the corn syrup mixture into the egg mixture, slowly, constantly stirring until it has been fully combined. Run through a seize if needed/desired. Pour the mixture into the pie pan over the pecans and chocolate chips.

Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the middle of the pie is set.

Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Honey Sesame Chicken {Crock-pot}

Earlier this week I posted the Spicy Sausage Pasta and boasted about how it uses pantry ingredients, well, so does this dish. I know many people have New Year's resolutions that include eating at home more, eating healthier, and more importantly sticking to your meal plan. This dish will help you do all of the above. You can easily make this healthier by serving this with brown rice.

As most recipes that use sriracha, you can increase or decrease the amount of heat. The amount listed is a good amount that the honey cuts through, but you can still taste the heat. It is the perfect amount.  The next time I made this, I doubled the amount of sriracha for us, because we are crazy and love spicy! 

This was a perfect meal on a cold night. I cooked it all day in the crock-pot, so when it was time for dinner all I did was make rice. I loved all of the flavors, it had spice from sriracha and sweetness from the honey. The flavors were seriously amazing, I was really kicking myself for waiting so long to try this. 
Source: Cook Like a Champion, originally from Tracey's Culinary Adventures

2 lbs. of Chicken, boneless & skinless, about 6 breasts
Black Pepper
1/3 cup of Soy Sauce, low-sodium
1/4 cup of Honey
1/4 cup of Tomato Paste
3 tablespoons of Rice Wine Vinegar
2 cloves of Garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon of Ginger
1 tablespoon of Water
1 teaspoon of Toasted Sesame Oil
1 teaspoon of Onion Powder
1 tablespoon of Sriracha 
Optional: Sesame Seeds and Sliced Green Onions for garnish

First, pepper the chicken liberally. Place the chicken in your crock-pot.

Now, in a medium sized bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, honey, tomato paste, vinegar, garlic, ginger, water, sesame oil, onion powder, and sriracha. Pour over the chicken

Cook on low for 4-6 hours. 

Shred the chicken with two forks. Serve over rice and garnish with green onions and sesame seeds, if desired. 


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Monday, January 6, 2014

Spicy Sausage Pasta

I know I have been absent for awhile, we have been back in Texas with our families and busy, busy, busy. We are still in Texas, but I am back to blogging! I have lots of great new favorites coming your way.

I am always on the lookout for meals that can be made with pantry staples. This is one of them. The packs of sausage stay good for a pretty long time, if they stay hidden from my husband, and we usually try to keep at least one package of them in the refrigerator. You use a few additional ingredients, a can of rotel, pasta, cheese, and some heavy cream and you have a quick and easy meal. You can easily leave out the onions, if you have an onion hater, or puree the rotel in a blender first, if you have a picky eater. I have tried this with both the mild rotel and the rotel with habaneros, both were great. I am a heat fanatic and even I thought it was spicy (in a good way) with the habaneros, so beware!

This meal took no longer than 30 minutes to make, including prep time. Another bonus is that this meal is relatively cheap and makes a huge batch. We had this meal one night when I was holiday baking up a storm and really did not feel like making dinner. I made myself do it, because it was on our meal plan, and it was excellent. My husband kept talking about how much he liked it, he didn't even notice I made it with whole-grain pasta!
Source: Kevin & Amanda, originally from America's Test Kitchen, The Best Simple Recipes

1 tablespoon of Olive Oil
1 lb. of Smoked Sausage
1 1/2 cups of Onion, diced, about 1 onion
2 cloves of Garlic, minced
2 cups of Chicken Broth, low-sodium
1 can of Rotel Tomatoes & Green Chiles, mild
1/2 cup of Heavy Cream
8 oz. of Pasta, bowtie, penne, elbow, whatever you have
Salt and Pepper
1 cup of Monterrey Jack Cheese, shredded
1/3 cup of Green Onions, thinly sliced

First, in an oven-safe skillet, that has a lid, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat, until just smoking. Add the sausage and onions and sauté until lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.

Now, add in the chicken broth, rotel, cream, pasta, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Stir and bring this mixture to a boil. When boiling, reduce heat to low and cover the skillet with the lid. Cook for 15-20 minutes until the pasta is tender.

Turn the broiler on high. Stir in 1/2 cup of cheese to the pasta and top the pasta with the additional cheese and scallions. Place the skillet in the oven and broil for a minute or until the cheese is browned.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife