Category Archives: bread

Chipotle Chicken Braid

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This meal has been fighting me for a while. A few weeks ago I mentioned on my Facebook page that I was making this dish and several people expressed interest and said they couldn’t wait for the blog post and recipe. That night I set about the task of getting this all cooked up and must have lost my brain for a bit during the process because I forgot to add the salsa and the cheese. We just added them on top afterward and it tasted wonderful, but I didn’t feel right taking a picture and posting if I didn’t make the dish exactly as the recipe I am posting calls for. So I knew I had to make it again, and soon.
A few days later I was talking with my son’s girlfriend about how much we missed seeing them and asked her if they would like to come over for dinner. I figured I could kill a few birds with one stone, see the kids, make the dish again, and have more guinea pigs tasters available. In the end it was a fantastic night. I saw my kiddos, I prepared the dish correctly, and everyone loved it!! But then my camera batter died and I ended up using my iPhone to take the pictures! It fought me, but I won!!

I modified this from a recipe I found on Pintrest. I loved the idea of it, but wanted to add some flavor that I just felt the dish was lacking. I knew I didn’t want to just go for jalapenos and blow peoples heads of with that kind of heat. So I went with chipotle, and nice warm heat. The kind that makes your mouth tingle, but in small amounts is just nice and warm. If you are extremely sensitive to spicy food you can cut the chipotle chili powder in half, or even use regular chili powder in its place. But I can tell you we all love the flavor of this dish as is.
I have made this dish with puff pastry dough and crescent roll dough. I was able to stretch the puff pastry dough much more so I was of course able to add more chicken mixture to the braid. The second time I used the crescent roll dough. It was smaller so I reduce the chicken mixture from my original recipe. It worked out well both ways. With the crescent roll braid I was able to comfortably have 4 entree size portions.  

Chipotle Chicken Braid
adapted from a recipe on pilsbury.com
serves 4


1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® Crescent Recipe Creations® refrigerated seamless dough sheet
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small bell pepper, any color, sliced thin 
1 small onion, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 small, or one large boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced thin
1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 jar chunky salsa (I used a 16-ounce can of a specialty white corn and *black bean salsa, medium heat), drained
2 cups Mexican blend cheese
1 egg white, beaten


Heat oven to 375°F. 

Spray large cookie sheet with cooking spray. Unroll dough onto cookie sheet; press to 8×12 inches

In a small bowl, mix the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and salt. Set aside

Heat the olive oil in a 10-inch skillet, over medium-high heat. Add the onions and peppers and sautee until the onions begin to soften, 2 to 3 minutes then add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add the chicken and sprinkle the chili powder mixture over the contents of the skillet. Stir to combine and cook just until the chicken begins to turn slightly white on the edges (it will finish cooking in the oven). Remove from heat.

Spoon chicken mixture in 4-inch strip lengthwise down center of dough. Top with salsa; sprinkle with cheese. With a sharp knife, make cuts 1 inch apart on long sides of dough within 1/2 inch of filling. Alternately cross strips over filling; press edges to seal. Lightly brush with egg white.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until deep golden brown. Cool 5 minutes. If the dough begin to get to dark to quickly cover with foil to stop the browning process.

*The first time I added black beans to the mix, but since I found the black bean salsa I omited them this time. You can drain a can of black beans and add them if you want a higher protein/fiber content

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Parker House Rolls with Sea Salt

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Today is a bit of a rough one for me because it is the first anniversary of my Dad’s death. I knew it would be hard, and it is. Kevin says that I have to be happy that he isn’t here and sick anymore, and I am. But I would sure give anything to bring him back healthy. He was a wonderful man and a terrific supportive father. I know he would be so proud of me for what I am doing. I miss you Dad!!!
Ok, I was not trying to be Debbie Downer with that. The reason I told you is so you would understand the meaning behind this post. I mean I know I had talked over and over about wanting to tackle (and win) bread making. So far I have made pizza dough twice and both times it has been fantastic. But bread? Not so much. Up until this try I was 0 for 3. I mean I have just seriously been getting my butt kicked by a bowl full of dough! It is really quite sad when you think about it. I mean come on Bobbi, you can make pizza dough…sheesh!!
So when I started planning Thanksgiving I knew I was going to give the bread making one more shot. Why you ask? Oh and you aren’t the first to ask, Kevin thought I was completely insane for trying it when I was already stressed out from planning a meal for 14 people. The answer? I am completely insane.

But I found this recipe as I was flipping through last month’s Food Network Magazine and these little babies damn near jumped off the page at me. I have no idea why, bread doesn’t usually affect me that way. George Clooney maybe, but bread? Naaa. But something just made me want to make these rolls. So I scribbled what I needed onto my long list of other ingredients needed for dinner and away I went to the store. 
I had been a good girl and planned out the week so I knew what things I was making on what day. I knew better than to plan on making everything in one day. When the day came for me to make the rolls i wasn’t feeling very well. I had a headache that just would not go away. Possibly it was a subconscious thing, but I put off the baking until the last day. Wednesday rolls around and I have a list of about 3 or 4 dishes to put together but I went straight into the kitchen and tackled the rolls first. 
It was one agonizingly long day I can tell you because I had to let it rise in a bowl and then again in the muffin cups. It looked great, but I wouldn’t know for hours ARGG!! When Kevin came home and asked me how things were going I told him how stressed out I was about the rolls. All he said was :I still don’t know why you made them” Ummm hello insane remember??
OK bottom line, the rolls looked great, smelled great, tasted great, but were very very dense. After talking to a few people that bake I think I figured out that I kneaded the dough too much and made it kind of tough. So the verdict? I think this was a draw. I nailed it on 3 out of the 4 though so I guess I will have to try again. 
My Dad loved, and I say loved I mean lovvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvved bread. I know he was rooting for me through the whole thing and if I am honest he was a bit of the reason I tried again this Thanksgiving. But in the end I know what he would have said to me…”As a roll they make a good weapon” I love you too Dad!
Parker House Rolls with Sea Salt
as seen in Food Network Magazine

  • 1 3/4 cups whole milk, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4-ounce packet active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks softened, 1 stick melted)
  • 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons fine salt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • Vegetable oil, for brushing
  • Flaky sea salt, for topping

Heat 1/2 cup milk until lukewarm (105 degrees F to 110 degrees F). Pour into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, sprinkle in the sugar and yeast and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add the softened butter, about half each of the flour and remaining milk, and the fine salt; mix on medium speed until incorporated, about 1 minute. Add the egg and mix until incorporated, then add the remaining flour and milk; knead on medium-high speed until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the bowl, about 5 minutes (it will still be sticky).
Lightly brush a large bowl with vegetable oil and add the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
Lightly brush two 12-cup muffin pans with some of the melted butter. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Punch down the dough. Tear off about 1 tablespoon of dough and roll into a ball, then put on the prepared baking sheet; repeat with the remaining dough. Dip the dough balls in the remaining melted butter, letting the excess drip off, and arrange 3 balls in each muffin cup to make a clover shape. Cover the pans loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in the refrigerator, at least 8 hours or up to 1 day. Cover and refrigerate the remaining melted butter.
Position racks in the lower and upper thirds of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Remove the muffin pans from the refrigerator, uncover and let stand at room temperature, 1 hour. Sprinkle with sea salt and bake, rotating the pans halfway through, until the rolls are golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Melt the reserved butter, then brush on the hot rolls while still in the pan. Serve or let cool and freeze.
MAKE IT AHEAD Let the rolls cool completely, then freeze in a resealable plastic bag for up to 1 week. To reheat, arrange on a baking sheet, cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees F until warmed through, 25 minutes. Brush with melted butter.

Chicken Parmesan BLTs

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Hello to you fabulous foodies! Have you missed me? I sure have missed you!! I can’t believe this move has kept me away for 2 weeks! I can tell you that moving blows and I will never move again if I have anything to do with it. If we have to move, we will hire someone to do it next time instead of thinking we are 20 years younger and our backs, among other parts, were up to the task. My chiropractor asked me if I had been in a car crash!!! 

I am still trying to find places for all of my kitchen stuff, as this kitchen is waaaay smaller than my other one. It is proving to be quite difficult but I will prevail! I refuse to have my butt kicked by pantry items and pots and pans!! I am also having to learn how to cook on an electric stove, something I am not happy about I can tell you. Luckily Kevin had an electric stove before we met so he is helping me figure it out, but as soon as we can you can bet we will be installing a gas stove!!

Since I am organizing, and learning, I have not been able to cook any meals for the blog in my new home. I cooked our first real dinner in the new place last night. A simple pork loin with rosemary and garlic, mashed potatoes, and sauteed asparagus. After eating on the go for the last few weeks it was so nice to sit down to a nice quiet meal, just the two of us.

This sandwich was one of the last things I made in the old house. I am a bit obsessed with BLTs right now. I have been trying to turn everything into a BLT. Some are good, others not so much, but this was amazing, but a warning, is not a meal for those that don’t like mess. This is a great messy in your face sandwich. We loved it! I guess you could of course use a knife and fork if you want, but we didn’t and laughed at each other through yumms and mmms about how good it was. We have a few sammies on our list of ones to make again, and this is on it for sure! I hope you give it a try.

What is your favorite sandwich?

Chicken Parmesan BLTs
adapted from a recipe by Rachael Ray

  • For the Sauce:
  • 1 15-ounce can whole tomatoes (squish them in a bowl with your hands to break them up a bit)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 Fresno chili pepper, thinly sliced with seeds (can sub 1 teaspoon dried red chili flakes)
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Kosher salt (to taste)

  • For the Chicken Parmesan Cutlets:
  • 1 chicken breasts, halved across, 2 cutlets total
  • Flour, for dredging, in shallow dish
  • 1 large eggs, beaten in shallow dish
  • cup Panko breadcrumbs or homemade coarse breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup of fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt 
  • Coarse ground pepper
  • Olive oil for frying

  • For the BLT Topping:
  • 4 slicesthick-cut bacon
  • 1/2 cup light or fat free ricotta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons fat fee evaporated milk (can sub half-n-half)
  • A drizzle of Olive Oil
  • Kosher salt 
  • Coarse ground black pepper
  • Fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced to desired thickness
  • Lettuce, torn
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 2 crusty style hoagie rolls, toasted 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

To prepare the sauce heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and chilies, cook until fragrant and garlic is golden, about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes. Season with salt and simmer over low heat partially covered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Pound chicken cutlets to about 1/8 inch. Season them with salt and pepper. Set up three dishes, one with the flour, one with the eggs and another with the breadcrumbs, cheese, parsley, lemon zest and garlic. Coat chicken in flour, shaking off any excess then dip them in the egg and then in breadcrumb mixture. Fry in shallow oil over medium to medium- high heat until deeply golden. Keep cutlets warm in the oven on a rack placed on a rimmed baking sheet.

Combine the ricotta cheese in a bowl with thyme, lemon zest, olive oil, evaporated milk, and salt and pepper.

Remove the chicken from the oven and place rack at center of oven then switch on broiler. Toast the rolls and remove. Arrange chicken on roll bottoms in this order: cutlet, sauce, 2 slices mozzarella cheese. Broil until mozzarella is bubbly. Top with bacon, lettuce, tomato. Generously apply ricotta mixture to roll tops and set into place. Have lots of napkins!

ENJOY!!

2 servings

Open Face Chicken Caprese Sandwiches

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I have been craving tomatoes and I don’t just mean a small craving, I am borderline obsessed with them lately! No big deal right? Tons of people are loving the lovely summertime treasures. Well my dear foodie friends it is very strange for me because I used to despise tomatoes. Not just dislike I seriously despised them!! I loved to cook with them, but a raw tomato? BLEK!! Oh how our tastes change right? Now I want to put them on everything.

I like to come up with food I call “nibbles”. Something small for dinner so people can eat more if they are hungrier but for me 1 is just a perfect meal. I make a Deconstructed Cordon Blue sandwich that everyone here loves. In fact when my daughter Jessi came to visit last month the only request she had was that I make the Cordon Blue sandwiches.
One night I was craving a Caprese salad. It just sounded nice and fresh on a hot summer evening. But I knew better than to present Kevin with just a salad for dinner. I would have gotten the “really?” face so I tried to figure out how I could give my meat lover something that would make him happy but also satisfy my craving. A blogger friend of mine Lisa, from Lisa’s Dinnertime Dish, had made Chicken Caprese that sounded awesome.That was when I thought about my Cordon Blue sandwiches. I would be able to give the rest of the family the meat and bread they like and sneak my salad in as well. A win/win situation yessssss!
The verdict? Everyone loved them. In fact they were gone so fast I wish I had made more! 

Open Face Chicken Caprese Sandwiches
2 good sized chicken breasts
3 good sized vine ripened tomatoes, cut into 16 slices
1 large package of fresh mozzarella cheese (you need 16 slices)
Fresh basil leaves, shredded or cut into a chiffonade 
1 clove of garlic, cracked
1 loaf Italian (or French bread), cut into 8 slices
Italian seasoning blend.
Salt and cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus some for drizzling
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Cut chicken breasts in half (like a book) and then cut the halves in half, giving you 8 chicken tender sized pieces. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and Italian seasoning blend.

Place bread slices on a baking sheet and drizzle them with olive oil. Bake the bread slices in the oven just until crispy, approx 5 minutes (times vary). When bread comes out rub it with the clove of garlic.

Turn the oven to broil

Meanwhile in a large skillet, over medium-high heat. Add olive oil to the pan and cook the chicken until done, 2 or 3 minutes per side. 

Assemble the sandwiches by placing a piece of chicken, top with 2 slices of tomato, a bit of the fresh basil, and two slices of cheese. Place the sandwiches into the oven under the broiler and cook until the cheese begins to melt. Cook time depends on the thickness of the cheese.
Remove from oven, drizzle with a bit of olive oil, sprinkle some cracked black pepper and basil on top.
ENJOY!!

Breakfast Cups

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After searching around Pintrest for some breakfast ideas I began seeing variations of these cups all over the place. The thing I like about them is that you could do so many variations of them. I chose to use bacon because, well that’s what I had. But you could use ham, Canadian bacon, sausage, or even pancetta.

I have to admit, there is something really fun about putting a breakfast all together in a little cup. Just like my Denver Omelet in a Cup, and everyone seems to love them. These are very nice because they don’t take any time at all to put together, but you can feed quite a few people. If you have the jumbo muffin pan I would even try doing a double egg one. But even with a regular muffin pan you can make something tasty that is quick, easy, and everyone will like.

The recipe depends on how many people you are cooking for. I will post for 4 people, 2 cups each. But you can adjust for your crowd.

Breakfast Cups

8 slices of bread
8 pieces of smokey bacon
shredded cheese (I used sharp cheddar but feel free to use whatever your favorite cheese is)
8 eggs
Salt and pepper
Chives (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Use a biscuit cutter to cut out rounds from the bread. I used the largest one I had, but you could use a water glass too if you need to.

Spray the muffin pan with non-stick spray and press the bread rounds down into the bottom of the individual  sections.

Par cook your bacon, just so it is cooked but still soft and pliable. Let bacon cool a bit, and then line the rim of the muffin tins with the bacon, making sure to press it down with the bread for a good seal. Sprinkle some cheese into each cup.

Crack an egg into each cup. If using extra large eggs you may want to let a bit of the white drain off in the sink.

Bake for 6 to ten minutes or until eggs are cooked to your liking. Remember the eggs will continue to cook for a bit after you remove them from the oven. I went for 10 minutes and the yolks were not as runny as I would like.

Remove from oven and run a knife around the edges of each cup to remove them. transfer to plates. Some fresh fruit would be awesome to finish this off (I just didn’t have any).

ENJOY!!!

Bobbi on a Budget – BLTAE Sammies with Homemade Bacon Mayo

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So I am sure some of you are asking “What the heck is a BLTAE?” right? Well let me tell you. BLTAE stands for bacon, lettuce, tomato, avocado, with a fried egg on top of all of that loveliness! It is one of the best sandwiches I have ever had/made. Seriously, I am not joking. The first time I had this sandwich was at a local restaurant Kevin and I love. We always go there for dinner but they have recently opened for lunch so we took my son to lunch so we could show him the place. This restaurant is a wonderful “date night” place because the service is wonderful and the food is awesome with great prices! It is called The Green House and if you are ever in the Tacoma/Gig Harbor WA area you HAVE to give it a try.

But I digress. Back to the sandwich. I have been craving this sandwich since that very first day I tried it. But for whatever reason (Lord knows it is the difficulty factor) I have never made them at home. Yesterday Kevin and I were the only ones home for dinner AND I just happened to have been to the store and purchased what I needed for the sandwiches, TADA I knew what we were having for dinner.

When I put out on Facebook and Twitter what I was planning on making, one of my Twitter friends suggested I make a bacon mayo to go with it. I had been planning on a garlic mayo but ummmmm helloooooo bacon mayo? Heck ya!!! SO I was on a mission.

The hardest part of this recipe is waiting for the bacon drippings to cool down so you don’t scramble the eggs for the mayo. Seriously, I was pacing the kitchen. It is kind of like a watched pot never boils. Watched bacon grease never cools!! Finally it was cooled and I knew when I added the vegetable oil to it to make the 1 cup total oil needed, it would cool it the rest of the way.

I am doubling the sandwich portion of the sandwich so it can be a meal for 4. This is what Rachael Ray would refer to as a BLD, breakfast, lunch or dinner meal. You have your protein, veggies, and carbs on in one package.

So, without further adieu, I give you the BLTAE!!!

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Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato, Avocado, and Fried Egg Sandwich with Bacon Mayo

For the mayo:
2 egg yolks (or 1 extra large)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
8 pieces of bacon (preferably apple wood smoked), bacon cooked crisp and drippings reserved
Vegetable oil, enough to make the bacon drippings reach 1 cup
For the sandwiches:
4 eggs
1 large tomato, sliced thin and salted
1 large avocado, sliced thin and salted
8 slices of bacon, crisped and cut in half.
Lettuce, whatever type you choose.
8 slices of bread, toasted
Bacon Mayo
To make the mayo use either a whisk or an immersion blender to blend the egg yolks with the dry ingredients. Add half of the vinegar and whisking briskly. Begin adding a few drops of the oil until the mixture begins to thicken and lighten. Increase the oil flow to constant and continue whisking.  Once half of the oil is added dump in the rest of your vinegar. Continue whisking in the remained of the oil. Leave at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours. Can be refrigerated up to 1 week.
Once the mayo has set for a bit. Toast your bread. Spread the bacon mayo on both sides of the bread and layer your tomato, and avocado on one side, topping with the bacon. Fry an egg just so the whites are cooked but the yolk is still runny. Place the egg on top of the bacon and then top with the lettuce and other slice of bread. 
WALA you have made your first BLTAE!! Enjoy!

Savory Bread Pudding with Spinach, Artichoke, and Brie

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With the holidays coming and going my focus, of course, has been on creating and preparing dishes that could be part of a holiday meal. I mean, yes you really could use anything you want for a holiday meal but, I tried to stay along the lines of traditional with a new twist. This dish is one that I made for Thanksgiving 5 years ago from a recipe I found on Food Network. We loved it so I put it in the “recipe bank” for future use, but for whatever reason I associated it with a holiday meal only and never thought to pull it out for another night.

This year I went back through old recipes to get some ideas and came across this one again. I knew immediately  I wanted to make it. I knew Miss Picky Pants wasn’t going to eat it because it has artichoke hearts in it (if I had gotten rid of them should would have because she loves brie) but I figured everyone else would be game for it.

I also thought it would go well with the meal because I was making standing rib roast with a garlic, rosemary crust so it fit into the slight Italian theme I had going. You know, cooking is like getting dressed, you want everything to match and compliment each other. It sounds good at least right?

The meal was a bit hectic because I hadn’t planned the times as well as I had for Thanksgiving, plus the roast took up the whole oven so I couldn’t sneak things under or along the side. But this dish really comes together well. A few steps, but well worth it, trust me!! I can guarantee I wont be saving this for the holidays anymore. Special occasions maybe, but it is too good to only pull out once in a while!

Savory Bread Pudding with Spinach, Artichoke, and Brie 
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 pounds spinach, washed (3 cups cooked and roughly chopped)
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onions
  • 1 tablespoon roughly chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning blend
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 (8 1/2-ounce) cans quartered artichoke hearts, tough outer leaves removed
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 12 to 14 cups cubed (1-inch) day-old French bread (about 1 loaf)
  • 1 pound Brie, rind removed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes, optional
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley leaves

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 by 13-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon olive oil.
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the spinach and cook until just wilted, about 30 seconds. Drain and rinse with cold water. Once cool, squeeze as much water from spinach as possible then roughly chop and reserve.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until golden brown and tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, 2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the artichokes and cook, stirring, another 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and reserve.
Combine the eggs, cream, milk, lemon juice, remaining 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning, remaining 2 teaspoons salt, and remaining 1 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Whisk to combine. Add the bread, spinach, artichoke mixture, brie, 1/4 cup Parmesan, and parsley and stir to combine. If bread does not absorb all of liquid immediately then let rest until this happens, about 20 minutes.
Pour the bread pudding mixture into the prepared dish. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan over the top and drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Bake until firm in the center and golden brown, about 1 hour. Serve warm.

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Sausage and Pepper Sandwiches

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For some reason  I woke up one day last week with sausage and peppers on my mind. All day long I just kept thinking “WOW I really want to make sausage and pepper sandwiches for dinner”. It was very strange actually since I  have never made sausage and peppers. Not that sausage and peppers is a tough meal to make, I had just never done it. 
I think I had sausage on my mind because Kevin had been talking about wanting to grill the sausages we had in the freezer. I wanted to accommodate his craving but the thought of plain sausage sandwiches just wasn’t  making my teeter totter ya know? So I was determined to do something a little more creative with them. The idea was solidified when I went to the store and bell peppers we on sale. Not that you break the bank buying bell peppers but paying $2.50 for two vs the $2.99 each they had been the week before made me happy. Ya gotta save where you can right?
I looked around at the other types of peppers and was going to grab a few different to spice the sandwiches up but decided that EVERYTHING doesn’t have to be spicy. So I went with a poblano pepper to try to balance out the sweet bell peppers. Grabbed a white onion and was out the door with my bag of goodies. 
When Kevin came home from work he had an instant smile on his face. “What is that wonderful smell?” were the first words out of his mouth. He came straight to the stove and his smile got even bigger. Then he said one of the sweetest things to me 
Kevin – “You know I am such a lucky guy?” 
Me – “Why do you say that?”
Kevin – “Because I have a beautiful woman that cooks wonderful dishes like this for me to come home to”
Me – “Aaaaaawwwwww”
Ok yes folks he did make a few points with me on that one!!
I added the cheese because, well, I just like cheese, and provolone is one of my favorites. I actually couldn’t help myself and ate a slice while I was waiting for the sausages to finish cooking. Yummmm creamy, salty goodness!
Once they were done and I started filling up the rolls Kevin just kept saying “WOW” and “OMG those looks sooooo good”. Topped them off with the cheese and popped them in the oven just long enough to melt it and yummmmmmmmmm they were good. I ate so fast I almost bit my own fingers!!
Sausage and Pepper Sandwiches

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 fresh Italian sausages, hot or sweet (Turkey sausage can be used)
  • 1 large white onion, cut in halved, and cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 large red pepper, trimmed, seeded, ribs removed, cut into 1/2-inch wide strips
  • 1 large yellow pepper, trimmed, seeded, ribs removed, cut into 1/2-inch wide strips
  • 1 poblano pepper, trimmed, seeded, ribs removed, cut into 1/2-inch wide strips
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 6 crusty sandwich rolls, toasted
  • 6 slices of provolone cheese


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the sausages and cook until well browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Remove the sausages from the pan and set aside. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute more. Add the peppers, garlic, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the peppers are wilted, about 5 minutes. Add the white wine to deglaze the pan, making sure to scrape all of the goodness stuck to the bottom of the pan. Return the sausages to the pan, cover, and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the sausages are cooked through, about 12 minutes more. Stir in the vinegar. Divide the sausage and peppers evenly amongst the crusty rolls and top with 2 slices provolone cheese. Place sandwiches on a baking sheet and heat them in the oven just until the cheese melts.

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Better than Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls

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Well good morning my fellow foodies! Today began on a wonderful note, why you ask? I will tell you. My amazingly talented and awesome daughter (can you tell I kinda love her?) brought me an oven fresh cinnamon roll and hot cup of coffee in bed this morning. What an amazing way to start the day right? She also, being the good blogger daughter she is, wrote up a post to share with you all. So here you go……

Well, hello there, fellow foodies! I’ve got another delicious guilty pleasure breakfast for you! 
Two words: Cinnamon Rolls. 
I wasn’t able to sleep last night, and around 3:30 am, I decided that I wanted to make breakfast to surprise my family. So off to google I went, and about ten or so minutes later, I knew I had to make cinnamon rolls. It’s one of the things our household shares a love for, so what better way to start the day?
There’s actually a pretty interesting story behind me making cinnamon rolls. I’ve only made them one other time, while my mom and I were living in Poway, CA. I was in my first semester of my sophomore year of high school, and I needed a “make-up” dish for my cooking class since I had missed a kitchen day. After hours of searching online, I decided to make cinnamon rolls. I read the recipe and thought it sounded like fun. It was one that you made from scratch with yeast and water. My mom was going to be at a friend’s house that weekend, so I figured I’d make them then since our apartment was tiny and I didn’t want her to stress out from seeing a messy kitchen (and if you’ve ever baked, you know that it can get ridiculous).
 Now, if you’re from beautiful Southern California, you know that there are wildfires almost every year. Well, it just so happened that the morning I was to make my rolls, a wildfire started a few miles away. However, I did not know this until I had gotten the dough all ready and turned on the television while I was waiting for it to rise. At first, I was a bit stressed, but, being only sixteen at the time, I thought “No way in hell is it gonna reach here.” 

Wrongoooo!! Not long after I put the rolls in the oven (and they looked absolutely perfect, I was so excited), the news anchor announced that Poway was to evacuate immediately. 
Many profanities ran through my head, and I quickly picked up the phone and called my friend to ask if her and her mother could come get me because I was alone. I packed a weekend bag, and just as I was headed out the door, the timer for the rolls went off. I took them out of the oven and was devastated because they looked amazing, but they were much too hot to take with me. I covered them in tin foil, heaved a sigh, and headed out the door. By the time they got the fire under control and my mom and I were able to safely return to our apartment, the rolls were stale…but we ate them anyway, and guess what? THEY WERE DELICIOUS!! My mom told me then, and has told me several times since, that my rolls were better than Cinnabon, but for some reason, I never made them again.

UNTIL NOW!!
It took me a little while to find the perfect recipe, and when I did, it was one that you would make in a bread machine. However, I have no clue how to use a bread machine, and my mom was still asleep, so I decided to pull from my memory and make the dough without one. After I made them and let them cool down a little (5 minutes TOPS! You want these bad boys to be hot, just not hot enough to scorch your mouth!), I took one in to my mom and upstairs to my brother, who had been up when I had the brilliant plan. Seth scarfed it down, taking a breath every now and then to say “Oh my God”, which was no surprise. Out of all of us, I think he’s the one who loves cinnamon rolls the most. My mom had still been sleeping, so she set it on her bedside table until she woke up a little more. When she got around to eating it, she loved it, making me a very happy little baker!

Cinnamon Rolls

1 cup warm milk
2 eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup margarine, melted
4 ½ cups all purpose flour, sifted
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup white sugar
1 package active dry yeast
Filling:
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 ½ tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, softened
Frosting:
3 ounces of cream cheese, softened
¼ cup butter, softened
1 ½ cups confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt

Directions:
1.       Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk in a large bowl. Mix in the sugar, margarine, salt, and eggs. Add the flour in quarters and mix well. It will get a little tough, but keep at it until it’s well mixed! If it starts to get way too hard to mix anymore, dust your hands with some flour and finish mixing it by hand.
2.       Knead the dough into a large ball and put it back into the bowl. Cover it with a dish cloth and let it rise in a warm place for about an hour, or until doubled in size.
3.       Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
4.       Roll dough into a large rectangle (Make sure not to roll it too thin, or it will rip when you roll it up). Spread dough with the softened butter and sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture evenly over it. Roll the dough up and cut into 10 rolls, discarding the two end bits. This will leave you with 8 good sized rolls.
5.       Place rolls in a lightly greased 9×13 inch baking pan. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about thirty minutes.
6.       Bake rolls in preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes. While rolls are baking, beat together the ingredients for the frosting. Spread or drizzle it on warm rolls before serving.
I hope you enjoy this recipe!!
Inspired by a recipe from Allrecipes.com

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Broccoli Soup with Buttermilk Cheddar Biscuits

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Yesterday was my day for crazy cooking. I was so motivated and excited about being in the kitchen I wanted to cook, cook, COOK! It was probably a good thing that Kevin came  home from work when he did or I might have just cook the weeks worth of groceries I just bought all in one night! Do you ever feel like that? Cooking can just make me so happy that everything else goes away.

I know I talk about wanting to make recipes healthier. Since my gastric bypass I not only want to try to eat healthier, but I would like to help other people eat healthier too. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some pasta and cheese! But there is a balance that can be found and when I AM able to cut a few calories out of a recipe, or make it healthier by adding more veggies, whole wheat pasta, etc. I do it.

This is one of those recipes. If you have read my “About Me” info you know I have been kind of anti-canned soups. Not because they are awful, there are a few I do really like, but because they can have almost a whole days sodium intake in just one can. Plus the heavy cream adds fat which none of us want right? So I took cream of broccoli soup and changed it up. More veggies, less cream, LOTS of flavor! I actually was joking with Kevin last night that I wanted to add a jalapeno to the soup. We both looked at each other and at the same time said, “That could be really good”! Yes we like things zinged up around here. If you think it sounds good though I would suggest a medium to small jalapeno, seeded and diced, throw in with the other veggies to sweat and cook down. I am going to try it next time.

Broccoli Soup 
4 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 pounds fresh broccoli, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 carrot, diced
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Kosher salt 
Cracked black pepper
6 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
In a large heavy bottomed pot melt the 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the broccoli, carrot, onion, garlic, and some salt and pepper. Cover and sweat the veggies down, stirring occasionally, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the flour and stir for about 1 minute to cook out the flour taste, then add the chicken stock, stir, and bring to a boil. Once it comes to a boil reduce the heat to simmer.
Cover and cook for 15 minutes, uncover and continue to cook another 15 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Pour in cream. With a potato masher, mash the vegetables until the soup is creamy with bits of  broccoli here and there. Salt and pepper to taste, cover and keep on low heat until ready to eat. Serve with Buttermilk Cheddar Biscuits. Recipe to follow.
Buttermilk Cheddar Biscuits

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced
1/2 cup cold buttermilk, shaken
1 cold extra large egg
1 cup grated extra sharp Cheddar
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water or milk
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F
Place 2 cups of flour, the baking powder, and salt in the bowl of and electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. With the mixer on low, add the butter and mix until the butter is the size of peas.
Combine the buttermilk and egg in a small measuring cup and beat lightly with a fork. With the mixer still on low, quickly add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and mix only until moistened. In a small bowl mix the Cheddar cheese with a small handful of flour (this will help the cheese to spread evenly through out the biscuits) and with the mixer on low add the cheese to the dough. Mix only until roughly combined.
Dump out onto a well floured board and kneed lightly 6 times. Roll the dough into a rectangle 10 by 5 inches. With a sharp floured knife, cut the dough lengthwise in half and then across in quarters, making 8 rough rectangles. Transfer to a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Brush tops with the egg wash and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are browned and the biscuits are cooked through. Serve hot or warm.
recipe originally seen on Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics