Monday, March 26, 2012

Italian Style Quesadilla

This is a fast, delicious snack, perfect for after school!  To make it, you will need:
1 large flour tortilla
ricotta cheese
parmesan cheese
garlic powder
7 pepperoni slices

Spread the ricotta cheese on to one half of the tortilla. Sprinkle with garlic powder.  Spread out the pepperoni and top with parmesan.  Fold in half and cook on medium heat until both sides are golden brown.

This pairs very well with my Creamy Italian Dipping Sauce!

Creamy Italian Dipping Sauce

2 tbsp light mayo
1/2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
salt to taste

Mix well.  Great for pizza sticks or cheese sticks!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Pan-Seared Salmon with Hollandaise Sauce

Our local Aldi recently had salmon fillets on sale.  I have never tried to cook salmon before, but at that price, I thought it was the time to try.  Salmon, I know, has the tendency to taste "fish-ier" than other types of fish, so I wanted to really cover it with seasonings and spices.  I pan-seared the fillets and topped them with hollandaise sauce.  My husband's EXACT words were, "Holy crap, that's good."  It wasn't a shout; he did not even look up from his plate.  It was simply a statement, and the best compliment I could get!  So here is my recipe for "Holy Crap Salmon"

I used two thawed boneless, skinless salmon fillets.  My husband complained that I had not made enough, so for next time I'll double it, even if it only for the two of us.

I used oregano, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, and salt.  Grind the spices up to a fine, powder-ish consistancy. 

Place the salmon season side down in a drizzling of hot olive oil to sear them.  Let them cook on that side for 2-3 minutes (until they are golden brown), then flip them over and cook the underside until they are done.  Be careful not to overcook salmon; it dries out very easily.

Hollandaise Sauce:
Ingredients- 3 egg yolks, 1 stick (8 oz) butter (melted), splash of lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.
In a blender or food processor, blend the egg yolks.  Slowly, with the motor still running, add the hot, melted butter.  Pour the sauce into a small bowl. Add a small splash of lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste.  If your sauce is too thick, add a teaspoon of hot water. Stir away.

Top your cooked salmon fillet with the hollandaise sauce and enjoy!

We sure did!

Friday, March 23, 2012

A Much Needed Break

Today is the first day that I've been on my blog (or even Pinterest!) for nearly two weeks.  Last week was grad exam week at the high school, so I had NO free time, and this week is Spring Break, and I was more focused on spending time with friends and family than maintaining my blog (and understandably so).  This week has been so relaxing!  My husband and I took a small two day trip to Atlanta. It's only two and a half hours from our home, so the drive was easy, and it still felt like we were far away.  It was a much needed break!

Our first visit to IKEA.  Oh my word! I wanted to live in one of the pretend houses they have set up in there!

Our King Suite in the Lovely Hampton Inn in Buckhead

What a cute couple =)

Copeland's Cheesecake Bistro.  I had crab stuffed ravioli and he had the most perfectly cooked steak either of us had ever seen!

Philips Arena to watch the Atlanta Hawks play the Cavaliers.  We got there way early... before almost everyone else!

I love this picture. Thank goodness for automatic timers!

Footprints Jamaican Restaurant in Underground Atlanta.  He didn't eat anything here, but I got my Jamaican Beef Patty fix!  My mother used to live in Jamaica with her family, and she definitely passed along the love of the food to me!

I found him a comic book store to scour! He found a few books for his collection.

My winnings from a scratch-off lottery card =)

$5 milkshake from the Silver Skillet.  Clint Eastwood had eaten there ten days earlier.  We just missed him!

Moe's "Taco Stacks" or Taco Bell's "Crunch Wrap Supreme"

For those of you who have never been to a Moe's Southwestern Grill, you really need to find one.  They have great food.  My favorite item, the Taco Stack, has recently been taken off the menu.  They were available "for a limited time"... my least favorite words to see in a restaurant.  My husband and I loved them, and knew they couldn't be too difficult to recreate.   They are very similar to the crunchwrap supreme from taco bell.

Start by placing shredded cheese in the center of an extra large flour tortilla.  (I prepared mine on my skillet, but the stove eye was turned OFF.)

Cover the cheese with a crunchy, flat tortilla.  Walmart sells these close to the bread, not in the Hispanic food aisle (go figure).

Top with cooked ground beef or shredded chicken.

Add queso...

 and another crunchy, flat tortilla.

Add more shredded cheese on top.  The cheese acts as a binding agent for the tortillas.

 Fold the soft tortilla around the crunchy tortillas. (I would like to point out that my husband is the one folding the tortilla while I take the picture... Didn't want everyone thinking I have "Man Hands!")

It's perfectly ok if it doesn't meet in the middle.  The cheese will help seal it.

Flip it over and turn the stove eye to medium.  Don't cook it too fast or it WILL burn.

 When both sides have turned golden brown, remove from the skillet and enjoy!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Pillow Re-do

My husband and I are re-doing our bedroom!  When we were registering for gifts, we registered for a really nice bed set that my mom got for us.  While I still think it is beautiful, I now think it's a little girly.  It doesn't have the warm feel that we want for our bedroom.  The pillows that we got with it are very high quality (and they cost a pretty penny, too), so I was really anxious about not being able to use them anymore.  My mother-in-law, who used to work in a fabric store making drapes, let me raid her scrap supply, and I found this gorgeous patterned fabric.  It even feels like the fabric on the original pillow!

 After I measured out how much fabric I was going to need and cut out the rectangle, I turned the fabric inside out and sewed up two sides.

 To sew the corner, rather than take the fabric out and cut the string, I simply raised the needle without detatching the fabric from the stitch, turned the fabric 90 degrees, and kept on going.

Now, I had an inside-out pillow case.  I flipped the fabric back the right way and stuffed the pillow inside.  Close up the remaining open side, and you have a beautiful, new pillow.

Since I already had the pillow and the fabric, this project didn't cost me anything!  Something my husband and I both love!

This is another pillow made the same way.  I am so excited about the new colors!  And after I get the quilt, everything will really start to come together!

Pillow from a Placemat

I bought a couple of placemats from Target for $3.25 each *score!*  They are the exact right color to match my couch, and they have gorgeous detail on the side, so I knew they'd make wonderful pillows!  The placemats are lined, so all I had to do was cut the back of the placemat and insert a pillow that I already had!  So simple so cute!

Springtime Wreath

To make my wreath for spring, I used my Valentine's Day Wreath, unwrapped the white yarn, and rewrapped the wreath form with a pale green yarn instead.

I cut 5 pieces 1/4" thick out of a toilet paper roll and pinched them slightly to look like petals.  I used these to make my flower.

 I wrapped the paper pieces with slightly off white yarn.

 Arrange the paper pieces to look like a flower and hot glue them together. Hot glue the flower onto the wreath. to make a center for the flower, I took a very small piece of green felt, rolled it up, and tucked it inside the opening in the middle.

I love how simple, clean, and light it looks. Perfect for Spring!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

"Pizza-style" Topped Tomatos

Cut a tomato into 3/4" slices

Top with salt,  Mozzarella, and black olives.

Bake at 350 for 8 minutes.

Yummy "pizza-style" snack without the guilt!

Super Simple Stuffed Mushrooms

Start with several mushrooms (medium to small; they need to be bite-sized)

Holding the mushroom, grab the stem and twist to remove it.

Set the stem aside. We won't be using them.

Cut a piece of string cheese into small pieces, one piece per mushroom.

Sprinkle garlic powder and Onion and Herb Mrs. Dash inside the mushroom caps.

Place a piece of the string cheese inside each cap, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt.

Bake at 350 for 8 minutes.  Take the mushrooms out and sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese.  Put the mushrooms back in the oven until the shredded cheese is melty and creamy.  Let the mushrooms cool a little before you eat one.  The liquid that comes from the mushroom as it bakes gets extremely hot!