Sunday, February 19, 2012

Jucy or Juicy Lucy?

I feel like I need an intro for this recipe.
This recipe comes from St. Paul, Minnesota. 
Two resatuarants, Matt's Bar and 5-8 Club, claim to be the originators of the Jucy/Juicy Lucy. (Matt's Bar spells it as "Jucy" while the 5-8 Club spells it "Juicy.")
You may have seen it on the Travel Channel and/or Food Network. It's apparently pretty popular since I've seen the numerous shows a numerous amount of times. The two restaurants have a big rivalry concerning who created the famous burger.
What IS a Juicy Lucy?
The best burger I have ever cooked myself.
Okay, a better description is, an inside-out cheeseburger. You make 2 thin patties, then cut a slice of cheese into 4's, stuff the cheese in between the 2 patties, seal 'er up and cook.
We used American Cheese, but, you can use whatever type or mix of cheese you desire-Pepper jack, Cheddar, Blue Cheese, oh the possibilities!
I did season with garlic and worchesire. Next time, I'll just try good ol' salt and pepper-nothing fancy.
I also should've had made my patties thinner-they were a bit bulky.
But, THESE WERE GREAT!
The cheese melts in the middle and oozes out when you bite into it.
Totally should've gotten an "ooze" shot. 
Darn tasty.
I do believe, this is now my 'go to' way to make a hamburger. 
Yum. Yum. Yummy.

Check out the link for the recipe:
http://allrecipes.com/recipe/jucy-lucy-burgers/detail.aspx

Besides the cooking, my day consisted of church (on the way I spilled coffee on Aaron and I IN THE CAR and had to make a pit-stop, thus, late for church), grocery store, and MEGA studying. Oh, the joys.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Feelin' Greeky

Feelin' "Greeky," not geek-y. Geez. Cut me some slack, will ya? *wink*
Tonight's dinner consisted of Greek Chicken and Couscous, aka GCC.
I had seen a recipe a few weeks ago on www.theskinnyskillet.com, called Mediterranean Stuffed Chicken.
I've been wanting to make it for a while.
However, I added some of my own stuff to it (you know I can't bring myself to follow a recipe on most days that end in "y"). I used the original recipe as a starting point for my recipe.
The original recipe called for sun-dried tomatoes, marinated artichokes, spinach, and chicken.
Well, I ate all the spinach (yum) and wanted more spices for flavoring. (I LOVE fresh spinach, makes me want some now just thinking about it).

My way (almost the same as the original):
Plain Artichokes, 1/2 can, chopped
3 Tbs Feta cheese, crumbled
4 Sun-dried Tomatoes
3 Tbs black olives, diced
2 Chicken breasts, pounded thin
Greek salad dressing
Salt & Pepper

1) Pound chicken thin-helps to place chicken in plastic wrap, then "beat the tar" out of it. *ahem* I mean pound it evenly.
2) Add the remaining ingredients, except the Greek salad dressing, evenly between the two chicken breasts.
3) Roll up and secure with toothpicks. Top with dressing and more salt and pepper.
4) Brown in a hot skillet. Transfer to warm oven. Bake until juiced run clear.

I served this with couscous and tzatziki sauce. My couscous was basically instant whole wheat couscous with all the flavors/ingredients above plus garlic and lemon pepper (out of fresh lemon juice, *sad*).
My tzatziki was thrown together last minute - Greek yogurt, sour cream, peeled & diced cucumber, dried oregano, garlic powder, lemon pepper, salt, and pepper.
*Helpful Hint-Tzatziki really benefits when allowed to set for a couple hours in the refrigerator.

The result?
It was something different. Good, not awesome. Hubby is not a fan of the sun-dried tomatoes. Reasoning being? He doesn't like "sweet with meat." I thought they were good-but I like sweeter stuff!
Note: These were not Sweet in themselves, just a sweet undertone. Not as a sweet as fruit, but think of a caramelized tomato or carrot.

Would I make again?
Probably-w/o the sun-dried tomatoes, with spinach and maybe some cream cheese. Maybe marinate the chicken, too. Bottom line? Good, but, want to tweak to our preferences.

I like that this was a change up from our normal fare.
Inside Shot of the Bird! 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Product Reviews: Morningstar's Spicy Black Bean Burger and Quaker's Soft Baked Bar

The Faux Burger


Review #1: Meet the faux burger. I admit, before trying this, I was skeptical-I've had the other veggie burgers. You know, the ones that are suppose to be similar to meat? That totally aren't? 
Well, those had kind of left me with a less than awesome feeling towards meatless burgers. I don't hate them, just don't particularly like them. 
This burger was different-it was not labeled as 'meat-like,' just made of beans. I do like beans (all beans-I always say, "I've never met a bean I didn't like .")  
Holding for quiet snickers and laughs  
Still, I wasn't sold on the whole "suppose to be a burger, but isn't" thing.
What can I say, I'm a glutton for the unknown, as far as food is concerned.
The result? Frickin' Fantastic!!!
I even only microwaved, instead of grilled/pan frying, these suckers. I enjoyed them so much, I was excited that I still had 3 more to eat!!!!! Yay!
They have some 'kick' to them-which I like! But not overwhelming. 
Description is: "Southwestern-style veggie burger with black beans, sweet corn, and tomatoes."
Served this on a toasted english muffin.

120 cal, 11g protein, 4g fiber, an 13g carbs each.
Oh, yeah. That's what I'm talkin' about!
A


The Cookie-like Bar

Review #2: Okay. Just going to get straight to the point on this one. 
GO BUY THESE NOW!
I seriously felt like I was cheating when I was eating these!
They are so. yummy.
Like eating a flippin' cookie!
How can these be good for you, huh? How? 
I love whoever made these-I love you Quaker Oat guy!
140 cal, 6 g protien, 5g fiber, and 25g carbs.
Way better than Kashi and other bars. 
Way.
Seriously-I ate this driving to work and was so excited-like a nerd-I proclaimed the tastiness my coworkers as soon as I arrived at work.
I know. *sigh* I do love my oats.

This was the Banana Walnut and it was awesome-established that. They also have a Cinnamon Roll variety. Yeah. I'm buying that this week.
A++

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Red Velvet Va-Va Voom!



Nuh-uh you didn't.
Oh. Yes. I. Did. 
I made a Red Velvet Cheese Ball.
Gorgeous, ain't it?

This was a recipe I have been drooling over considering making for about 1 week, 3 days, and 10 hours. 
(I may or may not have been counting down the time.)
I seen this recipe about the same time I seen the Nutella Cheesecake Gooey Bars (previously posted), but since February 5th was National Nutella Day, I decided to make those first. That didn't stop me from frequently visiting the creator's site, http://www.tasteandtellblog.com/, to drool.
I knew the day would come soon for me to make.
Very soon.
How soon?
 I went to the store within 2 days and made sure I had all the ingredients.

Well, wouldn't you know, we had a birthday lunch at work today!
What a "co-inky-dink."

I made this recipe as directed (the night before), except I added more powdered sugar than originally required and a touch of milk (like only 1 Tbs). I tasted as I went and found I needed more sugar, baby!
I will add, the chocolate chips help make this dish. I think this recipe would definitely not be the same without them.

Pros: Gorgeous, tasty, easy, different, and can be made ahead of time.
Cons: Messy - aka NOT a project to be done with kids.
Red Velvet Batter=Red Velvet Mess
(But also = Red Velvet "Yum.")

As you can see, the "pros" totally outweight the single, lone "con."

The ingredients are simple:
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups red velvet cake mix
  • 1-1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbs brown sugar
  • 1 Tbs milk
  • 1 pkg semisweet chocolate chips
The directions are easy:
1) Beat room temperature cream cheese and butter in a mixer.
2) Add in powdered sugar, brown sugar, cake mix, and milk
3) Wrap in plastic wrap. Store in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
4) Unwrap ball. For ease, press chocolate chips on top and sides of ball. Then, place/sprinkly chocolate chips on a plate, and place the ball on the choclate chips (coats the bottom of the ball). Fill in empty spot as necessary with chocolate chips.
5) Refrigerate until serving.
6) Enjoy!

I served mine with vanilla wafers and graham crackers. BUT, I think ChOcOlAtE graham crackers would be amazing!!!
This was very, very good.
Oh, what other flavors lie ahead?

Friday, February 10, 2012

Chicken Mole [and a Couple Other Yummies]

Mole! Mole! Mole! Moooole!
(Think of the Austin Powers 3 movie. Got it? Good.)

Chicken Mole. I have been "eyeing" this recipe in the South Beach Diet Supercharged Cookbook for a minute. 
Or two. 
Okay, seriously "eyeing" for about two weeks. 
Finally did it.

Now, I have never tasted chicken mole, a popular mexican dish, at all. 
Ever.
But, it is something I have heard of and seen jarred in grocery stores.
On one side, it seems the dish could be made unhealthily. 
And, I am not sure I'd want to order it out at a restaurant, since I didn't know how it might even taste. 
So, what'd I do? 
I made it myself, by golly.

First oddity: It has cocoa or chocolate in it.
Hmmm.
Second oddity: It has peanut butter in it.
Double Hmmm.
Third oddity: it has Da-gone chili powder AND garlic in it, too
Say wha?
I know
I just had to do it.

The result?
The meal was middle of the road/just okay for me. 
Hubby said it was "better than just okay." (His code for pretty good).
Would I make it again.
Maybe. Probably. Yes, if asked.
I wouldn't be averse to making it again. That's for sure.
I do think it would benefit from the good ol' crock pot. Stewing and melding all those flavors together.
I served this with re-fried beans and corn, then topped this chicken with a little sour cream.
Darn, I love Mexican food. 

Here's the recipe:

Ingredients


    2 1/2 lbs of chicken breast tenderloins 1 large onion chopped 1 large bell pepper chopped 2 cloves of garlic, minced 2 T chili powder 1/2 t ground cinnamon 1/2 t ground cloves 1 can (14 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes 2 T peanut butter 2 T unsweetened cocoa powder 2 scallions, chopped

Directions

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Heat skillet with olive oil until browned on both sides. Remove chicken to a large plate.

Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic to skillet and cook for 3 minutes or until onion is translucent. Stir in the chili powder, cinnamon, and cloves and cook for 1 minute. Return chicken to the skillet. Add the tomatoes (with juice), peanut butter, and cocoa powder and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer, stirring every few minutes, for 25 minutes. Turn the chicken once or until the chicken is no longer pink. Garnish with scallions.

makes 4 servings.


Here's a couple other dinners this week:

BBQ Salmon w/ Sweet Potato Fries & Broccoli

Ham & Beans (primarily Pinto) w/ Cornbread

Thursday, February 9, 2012