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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Indoor Grilling!

When we first moved into our apartment, one of my aunts asked me if there was anything special we wanted or needed for our new place.  I thought about it for a while and decided I wanted a grill pan to use in the kitchen.  It's a little like a cast iron skillet, but with grooves. It looks like this:

I use it to cook EVERYTHING! I love the little lines it puts on everything.  It makes the best grilled cheeses, and your own gourmet panini like sandwiches.  Its my favorite tool in the kitchen. 
Last night I used it to cook some kebobs! I wanted some red meat, and needed some simple delicious veggies.  
I hit the store to get all the goodies: one ribeye (that I cut into cubes when I got home), yellow onion, red and yellow bell peppers, grape tomatoes and button mushrooms.  I also picked up a simple garlic and herb marinade that I put the cut up steak cubes into right away.  I ended up marinading it for about 4 hours, but you can do it for as long as you want to.  Later on, I cut up the veggies and tossed them in some oil, garlic salt and pepper.  Then I skewered it all up.  We just used wooden skewers, but I would love to get my hands on some of the nice metal ones.  

Then I fired up the grill pan, and did it up! I grilled them long enough to get a good grill mark on as much of the skewer as possible.  
I wish I had turned down the heat a little, and cooked them a little longer though.  Some of the veggies were a little too crispy.  But, all in all, it was tasty. I would like to try some different versions though, teriyaki maybe? or one with all veggies. The possibilities are endless!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Pizza pie? Dessert pie? Take your pick!

Hey guys!
Long time know blog, I know.  But, I haven't been the best at trying new things.  I do have a double dose for you today though!

Up first, extra, super delicious pudding pie!
A couple of weeks ago, I got a serious hankering for something sweet. With oreo crust.  This was just on the tails of fathers day, when Bryan brought me a slice of Kahlua Cheesecake (delicious, if you've never had it!) and I wanted more! So I went online in search of a tasty treat and came upon this super easy recipe (with lots of options to mix it up).
The first version I made was a cheesecake filling with chocolate topping. Later (for a  block party for 4th of July) I made one with chocolate filling and peanut butter topping.  The recipe and process stay the same, only the fillings change.  So there is real opportunity for changes and improvements!!
Start with 2 boxes of a pudding of your choice.  When you go to the store, often times there are two different box sizes, pick 2 smaller boxes.  Mix those two boxes with 1 1/2 cups milk until fully mixed.  Then add a container of cool whip (thawed) until smooth. Then add 3/4 cup of chocolate chips.  The original recipe called for chopped chocolate, but I just used chocolate chips, it was easier that way.  After its all mixed together, pour the filling into an oreo pie crust (I just bought mine pre-formed at the store).  In a small microwavable bowl, put 1/2 cup chocolate chips, 1/4 whipping cream and 1 tbsp of light corn syrup and micorwave it for about 30 seconds.  Mix it together until its smooth.  (it looks weird at first, but just keep mixing!) and pour that on top of the filling.  I used a spoon to just smooth it around and even it out.  Then pop it in the fridge (or freezer for a frozen treat!) Let it set (about 4 hours) slice, and serve!!

For the chocolate peanut butter version I just substituted chocolate pudding for cheesecake pudding and peanutbutter chips for chocolate chips.  For some reason, it was a little harder mix but it still came out!

Batting second, homemade spinach artichoke pizza!!
It was pizza night last week and I wanted something a little different.
Instead of traditional pizza, I opted for something a little more fancy (and really good!!) I used premade spinach artichoke dip (from, none other than, Fresh & Easy) rather than regular pizza sauce.  I topped it with shredded mozzarella, fresh tomatoes and a little shredded parmesan cheese. I baked it for the same amount of time, at the same temperature as last time and it ROCKED!! I debated getting a jar of marinated artichoke hearts to put on top, and while my pizza was delicious, I should have gotten the artichokes.  It would have kicked it up just a notch.  So, I'll keep that in mind for next time!

Until next time, happy eating!