Something Old, Something New!

So last week my lovely parents were in town visiting, which gave me the chance to go grocery shopping with my mom. Which I love, because she is the one that inspires me to be adventurous with food. Anyways, we went to a local grocery store for some dessert options for a party, and happened to meander by the produce section and found some fiddlehead ferns and Mini Colored Potatoes. Now, before this recipe, I had never tried fiddlehead ferns. I did some digging online about them, and at first I was worried that I wouldn’t cook them right and we would a. get sick from them, or b. they would taste horrible. Luckily, it was a success! Mr. Cheesehead and I had the sautéed potatoes (the something old) and the fiddleheads (the something new) with a big old juicy steak!

Image

My goal for preparing this sauté next time is to do so over the grill so they get a nice smoky flavor. Yumyum!

Image

Fiddlehead Ferns with Mini Colored Potatoes
Ingredients:

1 lb mini colored potatoes, cut in half/quarters

8-10 oz fiddlehead ferns

2 tbsp butter

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbsp dried onion (you could also use fresh diced onion, I was just being lazy)

1 tsp paprika

Juice from 1 lemon

Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Melt butter over medium high heat in a sauté pan. Once melted add in garlic, onion, paprika, and lemon juice. Stir until combined. Add in potatoes and fiddlehead ferns, stirring until everything is coated with the butter mixture. Cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are soft.

See, look at that big beefy steak!

Image

Steak: 1

Jacky: 0

I ate about a third of that steak before I admitted defeat. Man, it was amazing through. I love when Mr. Cheesehead grills.

Image

It’s Been Awhile…

But I promise I am back! Wedding planning kinda got away from me this past week, but we do have our rehearsal dinner venue nailed down, along with our favors and guestbook ordered. Phew, we are under 100 days people!

AND THEN we had some lovely guests this weekend and everything just kind of flew by while we were spending some quality time with them.

AND THEN we got invited to go to a Brewers game last minute on Tuesday night. (With awesome seats I might add!) AND they won! The curse is broken!

Now, I am in hardcore clean out the refrigerator mode. We just seem to have random bits of leftovers everywhere, and nothing is seems to go together. I feel like I am on a constant episode of Chopped.

Anyways, I came up with this one based on the fact that I promised Mr. Cheesehead that I would make him his second favorite meal in the world (Buffalo Shrimp)…only to figure out that we do not have any of our favorite buffalo sauce whatsoever (and I did not have time to make some…I will post my recipe for that soon though). It all worked out though, and I think he likes this one (almost) better than the original!

Image

And besides, you can never go wrong with pasta.

 

Cheesy Spicy Shrimp Pasta with Cauliflower

1 lb raw peeled and deveined shrimp

1/3 cup olive oil

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp. brown sugar

2 tsp soy sauce

¼ tsp red pepper flakes

½ tsp chili powder

2 cups of cauliflower

2 cups of pasta

¼ cup parmesan cheese

¼ cup gorgonzola cheese

¼ cup chives, for garnish

In a bowl, mix together olive oil, garlic, brown sugar, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, and chili powder. Once blended toss with shrimp and put in plastic bag. Let marinade for at least 30 minutes. Cut cauliflower into bite sized pieces and steam until cooked but not mushy. Cook pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, dump bag of marinated shrimp into a large skillet. Cook on med/high heat for 1-2 minutes on each side. When the shrimp are finished cooking, add in cauliflower and pasta and turn heat to low. Combine together and add both cheeses. Garnish with the chives. Serve and enjoy!

 

Side Note 1: I adapted this recipe from www.damndelicious.net, which in turn was adapted fromwww.howsweeteats.com (one of my favorite food blogs), how funny!

Side Note 2: I ended up adding the Gorgonzola cheese after I plated, because we have a moldy cheese hater in this household (not naming any names)!

Image

 

But seriously, how could you hate any type of cheese?

Ha. Just kidding.

Sort of.

 

Tuesday Twofer

You know that phrase “Shop until you drop!”? Well, I like to live it sometimes. Not such a good idea when you are trying to save for a wedding/house/future, but whatever. I love shopping.

AND I am so lucky to have an awesome shopping companion, especially one that is willing to hold my purse. Yes, I am talking about my awesome fiancé. (I think I am just going to start calling him Mr. Cheesehead now, because it amuses me.) Anyways, we were doing some bumming this weekend and decided to stop at Trader Joe’s…one of my favorite stores! I love all of their fresh produce, and quick meal options. We have this most favorite type of Chinese Orange Chicken that we stock up on, and no joke, I could eat the entire bag (or just drink the sauce straight up with a straw). Don’t judge me. I promise to think of a recipe to use with that stuff to share with you all in the near future! But anyways, back to Trader Joe’s…one this trip, we decided to splurge and try out this Prosciutto stuffed pasta (Mr. Cheesehead loves bacon and anything remotely close to bacon) and I couldn’t wait to put my own twist on it!

The wonderful thing about splurging every once and a while on a fancy store bought pasta (like this one) is that it gives you so much more flexibility when it comes to creating a sauce to go with it. I was inspired by our GIGANTIC sweet potatoes that are just sitting in their basket all cute-like and decided a roasted sweet potato sauce would be the way to go. This turned out to be pretty much a healthy-ish dinner version of a baked potato, with some pasta thrown in…YUM!

And one quick side note:

If you are more of a plain pasta (aka non-stuffed) type of person, or you just want to throw this with any kind of noodle, vegetable, or even chicken/turkey, you can totally go for it! This sauce would be amazing on pretty much anything in my opinion!

Okay…finally on to the recipe!

 Image

Sweet Potato Cream Sauce with Trader Joe’s Perline Pasta and Prosciutto 

Ingredients:

1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes

2 tbsp. Olive oil

1 cup half and half

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp. butter

2 tbsp. freshly chopped sage

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Now there are two ways to do this first part, baking or microwaving. I decided to microwave mine, mostly because I didn’t have as much time as the baking required.

To Microwave: Scrub and pierce holes in the sweet potatoes using a fork, place on microwave safe plate. Nuke them for 10-12 minutes, on high, until tender, typically only turning once.

To Bake: Scrub and pierce holes in the sweet potatoes, drizzle with olive oil, and wrap in foil. Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

When finished, allow to cool a bit and carefully cut potatoes in half lengthwise. Scoop out potato ‘guts’ and place in bowl. Set skins aside. Add half and half and olive oil and mash (or blend) together until becomes a creamy sauce. Set aside. Cook pasta based on lower end of package directions, basically taking out a minute before it becomes al dente, unless you want overcooked pasta! Add sweet potato mixture, garlic, butter, and sage and cook on low until well blended. Add in salt and pepper, based on taste. Mix in ½ cup of the cheese and the pasta and stir until all mixed together. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and serve immediately.

 Image

But wait, there’s more…

Look at this little gem:

Image

Since I didn’t want to waste the skins of the sweet potatoes after I dumped out their warm yummy filling for the sauce, I decided to quick whip up an appetizer too!

I would just like to preface this next recipe by saying I ended up eating more of these than my actual dinner. Oh well, pasta is always an amazing leftover! These were just so dang tasty. They would also be good with a little dollop of sour cream and some chives, but I mowed them down too soon to think of that (or take a picture).

After you have finished scooping out the potato guts quickly mix the following together and it will happily bake even more yumminess into your dinner:

Ingredients:

Pinch of Salt

Olive oil

1 slice of ham or bacon

1 tbsp BBQ sauce

¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375. Lightly drizzle olive oil and salt onto bottom (skin side) of potatoes and place on pan, skin side down. Combine bacon and BBQ sauce together and spoon into potato skin. Sprinkle cheese on top. Bake for 5-10 minutes depending on size of potato, until cheese gets nice and melty. 

Image

One more side note: I really wanted to brag about my GIGANTIC sweet potatoes, but since Mr. Cheesehead and I weren’t actually that hungry, I only made about half of the sauce I was planning on, ergo, I will just have to save the mondo-potatoes for next time! Stay tuned!

Cinco de May…oh its Monday

I  love Cinco de Mayo. Most likely because of the massive amounts of tequila involved with this holiday. Not that I can really partake this year. Growing up sucks. So do Mondays.

BUT to alleviate this horrible case of the Mondays’ (or Tuesdays’ since I’m posting this quite late tonight, I apologize) I came up with a solution! Have a margarita anyways! And why not make your own!? It really is a lot more fun that way!

We also had reason to celebrate tonight! While it is not officially our anniversary of our first date, my fiancé and I use Cinco de Mayo to mark the first time sparks flew between us. Awww.

So, in addition to a margarita waiting for him to get home, he also had a nice sparky(spicy) dinner to eat as well…

Image

Hah, no worries I made sure I cut out the seeds before I put them in the salsa (see the link below for the recipe I made tonight). And yes, this is how my kitchen counter normally looks when I cook. I am messy. Just ask my fiancé…or my mom.

Of course, the margarita should also be a fun color. Have you ever had a rainbow margarita? It is essentially every blended flavor of margarita that a restaurant has, all poured into one cup. Personally, I am not a fan of everything together when it comes to a margarita, but I do love me some odd colored drinks (AKA anything blue), but since I was in more of a green mood today I decided to spice my margarita up with a little Midori.

Jacky’s Favorite Cinco Margs
Ingredients:

1 lime

Sea salt

Ice

2 oz tequila

1 oz Midori or other melon liqueur

2 oz Malibu, Malibu Red, or other coconut rum

1 oz Cointreau or Triple Sec

Splash of simple syrup

Splash of Rose’s Lime

 Directions:

Slice lime and slide to coat evenly around the rim of a margarita class. Dip in salt spread across a plate. Blend ice, tequila, Midori, Malibu, Cointreau, simple syrup, and Rose’s Lime in blender until reaches desired thickness. (These ingredients can also be poured over crushed ice if you want to skip the blender part.) Pour into glass and squeeze remaining lime and sprinkle a little salt on top. Garnish with another lime wedge. Enjoy!

Image

P.S. If you are looking for some sort of dinner to go with these little gems I highly recommend you try out these amazing tacos over at How Sweet Eats. She has an amazing blog and is part of the reason I was inspired to start my own. We had these for dinner tonight, yum! Recipe Here: Chipolte Lime Shrimp Tacos with Strawberry Salsa

P.P.S. We purchased a new camera tonight! Sooo…look for some improved pictures up on here within the next few days!

Stop! Grilltime!

See what I did there? A little MC Hammer? Maybe?

I know this is my second post today, but I like you guys so much that I just had to. Plus, this is quite possibly the greatest salad I have had in a looong time. And trust me, I know my salads.

ANYWAYS…allergy season has officially started.

And while it is wonderfully amazing that Mother Nature has decided to be nice to us and is slowly moving towards nicer, warmer temperatures, my allergies are not happy. Honestly, I am trying not to complain too much though, especially after the winter we had up here in Wisconsin. Not fun. There might be some snow up there in those northern parts too. Gross.

We did decide to celebrate the occasion though…by grilling out!

Image

I say we because I have yet to get to the Grillmaster level, therefore, my fiancé is always happy to help.

I am seriously really good at lighting the grill though. The last time I did I used our little grill starter the wrong way (aka put paper in the part where the charcoal was supposed to go) and it worked better than ever before!

So there.

I will be THE Grillmaster soon.

Anyways, enough of my nonsense, on to the food!

With a really long title. Because seriously, I didn’t know what to name this delicious feast. I almost axed the goat cheese out of the title, but really, how could I do something so insensitive!?

Ok. For real this time, enough of my rambling…here is the recipe!

 

Teriyaki Beef Kabobs on a bed of Goat Cheese-Ginger Arugula Salad

Image

Serves: 2-3    Time: 30 minutes    Inactive Time: 2 hours
Ingredients:

1 lb beef sirloin, diced

2 cups Teriyaki marinade (I used Trader Joe’s Island Soyaki)

1 cup mushrooms

½ red onion, cut into large pieces

Arugula, as much as desired

¼ cup goat cheese

Ginger dressing (I used Annie’s Naturals Lite Gingerly Vinaigrette)

Directions:

Combine sirloin pieces in a bag with marinade. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

Alternate skewering sirloin, mushrooms and onion until all ingredients are used up.

Grill for 5-10 minutes, depending on how done you want your meat, turning occasionally.

Place arugula in salad bowl, remove beef, mushrooms and onion off skewer and place on top. Sprinkle goat cheese and dressing afterwards.

Image

Enjoy and welcome to grill weather!

Note: If you were wondering, some of the kabobs pictured above look like they have pineapple. They do. Someone (who will not be named) does not like mushrooms/onions, so he decided to go the fruit route. Shows how easy it is to substitute something else in!

Moving Northward…Slightly!

Image

I know I posted about Mexican food the other day, so to spice things up (a tiny bit), I am going to post about Southwestern food today! I know you are all so excited! But seriously, this recipe is too great not to post!

I was inspired by a recipe I found on Yummly, from myrecipes.com, and this, my friends, is what I wanted to use those GIGANTIC burrito shells for!

My fiancé and I made these for dinner on Friday night, and I have to admit it was a lot of fun making them together! We ended up getting making two HUGE pizzas and pretty much ate them for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the rest of the weekend. You think I’m kidding, but I’m really not…

Check out this honker! And yes, that is a full-sized cookie sheet it is sitting on.

Image

Look at this bean spread…so amazing!!

Image

And the avocado sauce! I even got the avocado hater in the family to eat it and (maybe possibly) like it a little bit…

Image

Southwestern Pizza with Avocado Drizzle

Serves: 4    Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

4 tortillas, as big as you can find em!

1 tbsp olive oil

1 can, Rotel tomatoes, drained.

2 cups frozen corn

½ red onion, diced

Cheddar Jack cheese, shredded

1 can chicken

Shredded cheese

2 avocados

½ cup sour cream

1 lime, freshly squeezed

2 tbsp cilantro

For the Spicy Honey Black Bean Spread:

1 can black beans

3 tbsp olive oil

1-2 Chipotle Chilies in Adobo

2 tbsp honey

1 lime, freshly squeezed

½ tsp cumin

Sea salt, to taste

Directions:

Starting with the bean spread, microwave the can of black beans in a microwave safe bowl for 1 minute.  Mash beans with fork until they become paste-like. Add in the remaining ingredients and stir until well blended. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400°.

Layer two tortillas out on baking sheet or stone. Lightly brush olive oil on top, and then flip over so olive oil side is down. Sprinkle cheese and chicken on top and then place second shell on top of each. Spread bean paste on top of second shells evenly. Heat corn in microwave safe bowl until corn is partially thawed, but not completely cooked. Add corn, red onion and tomatoes on top of the tortillas. Sprinkle lightly with cheddar jack or comparable cheese.

Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.

Meanwhile, place peeled avocado and mash until somewhat smooth. Add in sour cream, cilantro, and lime juice and stir until well blended.

Remove pizza from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Drizzle avocado mixture on top, along with additional sour cream and salsa if desired. Enjoy!

Image

YUM.