Monday, February 27, 2012

I scream, U scream, let's make ICE CREAM!

What if I told you that YOU, that's right... YOU could make homemade ice cream without the use of an ice cream maker or churning? Would you believe me?

Well ladies and gents it's true. I did it myself and while I didn't think it would work, I must say I am pleasantly surprised to report that not only was it super easy to make and quite fun but also the creamiest ice cream I have ever had. It was like it was triple churned!

I made mint chocolate chip for my first time out and it was triple fab yum! Unfortunately, by the time I got the camera out to take a photo for you to see, my kids and hubby found the goods so all I got was this serving that was left on film!

For the cast of creamy characters you'll need:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp. peppermint extract (add more if you'd like more mint flavoring)
  • 1-2 drops of green food coloring (optional)
  • 1/2 cup of chocolate chips (mini sized work best)

In a large bowl, add peppermint to heavy cream and whip until stiff peaks form. In a separate bowl, stir food coloring, chips and sweetened condensed milk. Then fold the whipped cream into the mix.

Pour into a 2-quart container and cover. Freeze for 6 hours or until firm. Store in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Just think of the variations you can have with this recipe! If you think of any feel free to post them in the comments section below.

~Bon Appetito!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Stuff 'em baby

Stuffed peppers were a staple in my mothers dinner menu for the week. After she passed away, my father picked up from where she left off, ever so slightly changing the recipe. Now that he has departed as well, I have picked up where they both left off and stepped up the Stuffed Pepper game.

This is a super easy dinner to make. It's tasty, can be adapted to any number of eating habits (i.e., veggie, lowfat, etc) and you can change it around to suit your tastes as well.

In light of the last statement, I'm going to only post the basic recipe, but I'll throw in suggestions along the way.

Roasted Stuffed Peppers


6 bell peppers (any color you desire or mix n' match)
1 lb. ground meat (optional)
1 jar of tomato sauce
1 cup of cooked rice (not minute rice, actual long grain rice, cooked per instructions)
1/2 jar (8 oz) Pace picante sauce
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. seasoned salt
1 tbsp. pepper
1/2 tbsp. basil
1/2 tbsp. chili powder
1/4 cup red cooking wine or sherry
Cheese of your choosing
Olive Oil for roasting


1. If you are using ground meat of any kind, cook in a deep skillet first, drain and place back in the skillet.

2. Slice off just the top of the pepper so that it acts as a lid.

3. Clean out the peppers of any excess greenery and seeds.

4. Rub peppers and lids with olive oil inside and out and place on a baking sheet.

5. Place in the oven on the middle rack on low broil for 5-7 minutes. Since oven temperatures vary, make sure to start checking at the 3 minute mark. You don't want to burn the peppers, just brown/blacken them in places to soften them and bring out the sweet pepper taste. ***NOTE*** you will have to turn the peppers every couple of minutes as they get the browned/blackened coloring on them, the lids as well.

6. Place the remaining ingredients into the skillet except the cheese (with or without your meat) and bring to a slight boil, then simmer for 10-15 minutes stirring frequently to not burn.

***suggestion*** step 6 would be where you would add any spices, veggies, or other items to the sauce that you would like to incorporate. I have done onion, mushroom, carrot slivers, zucchini dices...the options are endless.

7. Once the peppers are finished roasting in the oven, let them cool for about 5 minutes on the baking sheet.

8. Preheat the oven to 375°.

9. Place the peppers into a deep casserole or baking dish. If your dish is too large, you can ball up tin foil to place between the peppers so they do not fall over during the baking process.

10. Place the stuffing from the skillet into each pepper. My method, so as not to break the peppers or overstuff them, is to place a large spoonful into each pepper, pack down slightly, then repeat that step until all the peppers are full. Once the peppers are full, add one "top it off" spoonful to each pepper.

11. Top each pepper with your cheese, making sure to completely cover the pepper.

***suggestion*** Most people would just slap a slice of american cheese on the peppers here. I have used smoked gouda, various cheddars, provolone (this one is hit or miss) and various other cheeses or you can choose to not add cheese at all.

12. Place the peppers into the preheated oven for 10 minutes or until the cheese is completely melted and starting to bubble and turn brown.

13. LET THEM COOL before attempting to eat. They will be SUPER hot!!!

Buon appetito!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Golf anyone???

My husband is the type of person who is a natural at anything he attempts. Makes me proud, also annoys me to no end, mostly due to the fact that I have to consistently try over and over again to even begin to resemble a person who knows what they are doing.

He recently started playing golf again for several reasons: 1) it's the season and 2) his friends asked him to. It's that simple really. If he has the time, he'll do anything but house chores. Hey, if I had the time I'd be the same way.

On this latest golf outing the guys decided to play a round of golf, albeit a short round since it was a 9 hole course. I wished him well and off he went.

Once he had returned, after several hours, lots of sun and apparently a few beers wiser (or not), he gave me his prize golf ball from his round.

Then he proceeded to tell me that his game was "off". When I asked what he meant by "off" he responded that he "broke his ball".

Broke your ball??? What does that mean? Was this some type of expression for golf fanatics?

Nope...not even close to just an expression.

He whacked that sucker like an Italian hitman. And here was the proof.

So just in case you have ever wondered what's inside a golf ball... here you go.

Buon golfitito!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Grilled Red Wine Pork Loin

I've been experimenting with marinades a lot lately. Usually putting together a liquid and spices that I think will compliment not only each other but what meat or veggie I'm going to marinate.

Last night we were pegged to have pork loin. Couldn't think for the life of me what to do with it other than the usual garlic pork and to be honest, while it's really tasty, I get sick of eating pork loin the same way over and over again. So I got this brilliant idea from a friend who has been cooking with red wine recently and thought "hmm, red wine would be awesome". But you know me, I had to take it one step further and up the steaks (or medallions in this case).

Here's the cast of experiment choices I made.

Minced onion, sea salt, coarsely ground black pepper, perfect pinch garlic and herb seasoning, garlic powder (yes, we like garlic), montreal steak seasoning, and Shannon Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. Oh, and the olive oil that I forgot to put in the picture but trust me, you'll need it so that the marinade "sticks" to the meat. You could also put in a tablespoon of lemon juice which gives it a hint of citrus flavor and helps to break down the meat so it becomes tender and accepts the marinade.

I started out with two pork loins (only took a photo of one) that I trimmed all of the excess fat off.

Then I cut them into medallions making sure to try and keep them all the same size and width so they would cook properly.

After cutting them I placed them in a zip lock bag and poured about 1/2 cup of the wine, 1/4 cup of water and 2 tbsp. of olive oil along with the spices.

Seal the bag tight and then mix all the ingredients around so they blend well together and cover all the meat. Then put it in the refrigerator for about 15-20 minutes.

***WARNING*** Do not freak out when you take the meat out and it's purple. That's just the wine coloring the meat. I purposely didn't take a photo of this step because you'd probably take one look and never come back here again or try this delicious recipe.

Once you take the pork out of the refrigerator place the medallions on your preheated grill on low and cook for about 10 minutes per side. Since grill temperatures vary you have to make sure that the pork is cooked all the way through. I don't want any sickies on my watch!

They are sooooo tasty. Trust me, if you like pork this will be a great addition to your summer grilling. I'm sure you could cut the meat in any way and since "the other white meat" is so versatile you could use different cuts as well.

Here are the specific instructions for making this recipe:


2 pork lions trimmed of fat (approx. 2 lbs each)
1/2 cup red wine (any type will do)
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp montreal steak seasoning
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp perfect pinch garlic and herb seasoning
2 tbsp minced onions
sea salt and ground pepper to taste
1 gallon size zip lock bag

1. Trim all excess fat from pork loin.
2. Cut pork loin into medallions. Try to keep them uniform in size and width.
3. Place everything in the zip lock bag.
4. Shake bag to mix ingredients well.
5. Preheat grill to 350°.
6. Place in refrigerator for 15-20 minutes.
7. Take pork in marinade out of refrigerator and drain all excess liquid.
8. Place pork medallions onto grill and cook 10 minutes per side or until well done.

Buon appetito!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Summer weather

It's 86 degrees at 8:02 pm. My kids and thier cousin are doing what kids do best. Playing outside...thank goodness it gives my house a break!

I can not WAIT for warmer weather to stay. Maybe my electric bill will go down too.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A party? For little old me? YAY!

A dear friend sent me a link to enter a contest giving away a catered party for 100 people by California Tortilla that was being put on for Cinco de Mayo. Since my birthday is the 4th of May I thought "wow that would be awesome".

Mind you I almost never win anything, except maybe poker and the race to get in the one bathroom in my house before anyone else in the morning. Hey, the early riser gets bathroom rights.

The contest was simple. Send an email to their marketing person telling them what wacky thing you would do to show what a big fan you are of their food. My entry was simple even though I didn't think it completely through until after I sent it in.

I would feed all the people in my office (packing a dinner filled leftover container first), then go out into the park across the street from where my office is (mind you this is 1 block from the white house and secret service are everywhere) dressed as a burrito and ringing a bell, head to toe covered in CalTort stickers and handing out the goodness that is CalTort.

Like I said, I didn't completely think it through.

Nevertheless, I got an email the next day that they liked my entry so much they are giving me a party for my office anyway as a "second place" type of prize.

I was shocked, totally, and immediately began salivating over free CalTort food. Best part is, I am not expected to dress like a burrito, although I will probably don a sombrero and poncho to say thanks.

So the party is set for May 6th. I'll post the photos and video once I get them from the great folks at CalTort.

Here is their menu, don't drool on your PC, it's harmful!

Buon appetito!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Burrito Bowls, they're what's for lunch.

I am posting a quicky lunch post because I wanted to share a fav of mine with you all.

Downtown DC has the most amazing things. One of those amazing things which have really built up a great reputation lately are the food trucks. I'm not talking roach coaches either. I'm talking serious, straight up, DCRA, health, safety and food board regulated, mobile restaurants. But more on the food trucks later.

Today I purchased my lunch from Sol Mexican Grill.

They have the freshest, tastiest burrito bowls ever. They offer chicken, carnita, steak or veggie with unlimited toppings for just $7.00 and they do not skimp on portion either. I have YET to finish one all the way to the last shred of cheese in the bowl.

This is what I got. The chicken burrito bowl with rice, black beans, corn salsa, pico de gallo, sour cream, cheese and green sauce which is the medium spice. They offer other toppings too which I'm sure are just as yummy but this one steals the show for me.

Sol also has tacos (3 per order) and burritos the old fashioned way, in a warm tortilla, all for $7.00 each. Guac is a little extra ($1.50) but comes free with a veggie taco, bowl or burrito and they sell sodas too! Pineapple soda, yum yum yum!

So, the next time you are in the DC area, take a look at the Food Truck Fiesta site for their Food Truck Tracker first and check out where Sol might be, or any of the other wonderful trucks.

I did a post on National Empanada Day featuring the DC Empanadas truck and you can find them through the Food Truck Tracker too. There are literally TONS of food trucks out there and I have had just about every single one of them and you won't get one complaint out of me. They all offer something different and tasty.

Maybe for Farragut Friday I'll post on Food Trucks.

Buon appetito!
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