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Showing posts from May, 2010

Taco Queso

Queso dip is one of my favorite snacks at get-togethers.  I simply cannot get enough.  More often or not the dip is a variation of the same recipe - much the same as my recipe, however I feel that my addition of taco meat adds a nice punch to the queso.  With less than a handful of ingredients this recipe is without a doubt something even the most novice of chefs can pull off.  You can vary it up as much as you want too.  Like a little extra heat? Use Spicy Rotel, or throw in some chopped JalapeƱos!  Not a fan of meat in your dip - simply omit.  I've made this as well with sausage and the results are delicious as well, I just prefer the taco meat.  


Bonus - this freezes really well also.  Let it cool a bit and then put in freezer-weight ziplock bags and freeze until ready to use.


Taco Queso
Ingredients:
1 (32oz) brick Velveeta
1 (10oz) can Rotel Diced Tomatoes, undrained (whatever variety you prefer - I like Original)
1 lb. ground beef or turkey
2 heaping tablespoons homemade Taco …

P90X Check-In: Chest, Shoulders and Triceps

So, I've previously mentioned that I was a little torn about the Chest, Shoulders and Triceps workout - shoulders and triceps, sure but chest, eh, not so much.  Initially I didn't want to work my chest because it's not like finding shirts is easy enough right now because of my chest size, but I may have turned over a new leaf.

I L-O-V-E this workout.  My arms were in pain for about 2 days after the workout.  Good pain though.  The first week I did the workout I was using the wrong resistance band so I didn't get as good of a workout as the second week, but the second week?!  Awesome.  Loved it.  I guess I'm a bit of a masochist because I enjoy being in a little bit of pain after a strength focused workout.

I felt the workout the most in my shoulders and in my chest the least but I think a lot of that had to do with the fact that the chest muscles seemed to be worked more in push-up exercises, many of which I had to improvise and adjust because I was having a diff…

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

I recently posted that for a coworkers birthday I wanted to make two kinds of Whoopie Pies... I personally wanted a S'more based dessert, but coworker LOVES Red Velvet.  I made S'mores Whoopie Pies, rather gratuitously, and Red Velvet for her.  Granted, these don't look to pretty, they were a huge hit.  The pretty factor was all me - I was having some difficulties with my piece of a cookie scoop.  They were rich, moist and creamy.  I loved that the cakes weren't too sweet, since the filling was pretty darn sweet.

One thing I will say about these Whoopie Pies is that I was shocked at how thick the batter was.  I've seen blog posts with people piping the dough, but when I saw how thick it was I chose not to because I thought it was too much... maybe I was wrong though.  Also, another note - I do think I should have chilled the filling a little before assembling.  Chilling it would stiffen it up a bit, therefore making it less likely to spill over the cookies once s…

P90X: Phase Two Thoughts

I started week 2 of Phase Two this week and so far I'm not sure how I feel about it.  Basically, you swap out Arms & Shoulders for Chest, Shoulders & Triceps, and everything else is the same for the most part.  I like that I'm working my triceps, because the jiggle isn't gonna go away on it's own, however I'm not too interested in working my chest too much.  I feel that may be something guys are more interested in then women looking to tone up and look a bit more svelte.  It wasn't a bad workout though, I did find it challenging, in a good way.

Truth be told though, I need to really kick it up a notch because I am starting to feel myself slacking off a bit during my workouts.  A lot of time I'm working out while dinner is in the oven and I've gotten bad about PAUSING the workout to check dinner, throw x in, etc. and just letting the DVD run, thus taking a few minutes off of my workout.  Bad, Angie.  Bad!

With that in mind however, I have lost …

S'mores Whoopie Pies

I've been in the mood to make a S'more type dessert but couldn't decide which one to make (I have about 15 starred in my Reader!)  With a coworkers birthday around the corner I thought this would be the perfect opportunity, however she's obsessed with Red Velvet Cupcake Pops.  I take those in to work A LOT so I wanted to try something different.  Noticing Red Velvet Whoopie Pies in my reader I decided to make those and another type of Whoopie Pie.  When thinking about it, I realized that a Whoopie Pie is pretty freaking similar to S'mores, so how hard would it be to make a S'more Whoopie Pie?!  Well, for awhile I thought my search was futile because everything Google provided me with wasn't what I would consider an actual S'more Whoopie Pie... Until I came across a post on Daily Candy.  I noticed that the post was from the day I found it so it was all about timing!   


You.Must.Make.These... so good!  Rich, but since they're small it's not a big …

Buttermilk Twice Baked Potatoes

Twice Baked potatoes don't really require too much of a recipe, but if you're a novice chef, any little tip and trick will be helpful in preparing delicious meals for you and your family.  I know when I first wanted to make twice baked potatoes I asked my mother-in-law for a recipe and was floored that she didn't have one considering we'd had them at their house multiple times.  She explained the general process, told me typically what she used and set me free.  I still had lots of questions but now looking back I don't know what I was so nervous about considering I certainly knew how to cook.  I think a lot had to do with not really ever seeing my mom make them.
I've always made my twice baked potatoes pretty much the same way: bake, scoop, mash potatoes with milk/cream, S & P, a little cheese and maybe throw in some chives or bacon.  As I mentioned in my recent Cheez-It Chicken post, I had a lot of buttermilk to use up, so I thought I'd try that in my …

Pineapple Chicken

I love sweet saucy chicken bites over a bed of rice, it's something I've loved ever since my parents took me to a Chinese restaurant when I was in college.  Prior to then I never went with them because I didn't think I'd find anything I would like because I am insanely picky.  They assured me that I would like Sesame Chicken from this place, and since I was a poor college student home for the weekend I really had no other choice unless I wanted their leftovers from before I got back to town.  Well, thank you mom and dad for encouraging/forcing me to try this because I've never looked back.  While Sesame Chicken certainly isn't the most authentic Chinese foods out there, it's something that I crave frequently.  Again, it goes to my love of sweet/spicy saucy chicken and rice.

Over the last few years I've experimented with dishes similar to Sesame Chicken by varying up the flavors.  My favorites are tropical flavors, such as orange chicken.  One day while …

Cheez-It Chicken

Chicken can be breaded with pretty much anything, in my opinion.  One year in college I had an apartment to myself and I used to make chicken breaded with a mixture of Cheez-Its, Pretzels and Parmesan cheese pretty often.  At that time I really was just starting to learn how to cook, via Tyler Florence and Giada DeLaurentiis so I really didn't know what I was doing yet.  I would literally crush the snacks, mix with some parm and then pat on to the chicken... clearly it never adhered to the chicken, but the idea of it is still near and dear to my heart.  Especially considering I practically live on Cheez-Its on weekends I feel like.  




With a butt-load of extra Buttermilk in my fridge I went on a search for a fun coated chicken to make.  Sure, I knew I could make an oven-friend chicken, but I just wasn't feeling it, and I knew my husband wouldn't really be a fan.  Then I found this recipe for Cheez-It Chicken on Visual Victuals and knew I had to try it.  Not only was it a &qu…

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Homemade Spaghetti and Meatballs is comfort food in it's definition.  Every time I eat some I feel warm, full, loved, satisfied - all of those good feelings.  Also, I love making spaghetti and meatballs because not only do I feel like I'm providing people I love with those same comforting feelings, it also relaxes me as I'm simmering the sauce, rolling the meatballs and watching and smelling it all come together.  Plus, the taste testing isn't too bad either :)  The best part of spaghetti and meatballs - it's the perfect food to enjoy with friends and family, or even by yourself if you have some sauce in the freezer and you've had a rough day and want some comfort.
I don't know that this is the exact recipe I grew up with, but it is pretty darn close.  It definitely gives me the comforting and comforted feeling when both making it and eating it!  
Spaghetti Sauce with MeatballsIngredients:
For the Sauce - 
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
2 …

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

I have had two recipes/ideas I've been wanting to try for-ev-er, and the chance finally came.  I have seen a few blogs with Pink Lemonade Cupcakes that I've been wanting to make probably since not too long after getting married (3 years ago).  Some have been made with a cake mix and some from scratch.  I have zero aversion to box mixes, especially considering I always have 2-3 in my pantry of basic flavors just in case, however I wanted to make these from scratch so that I could control how many I made as I didn't need 24-30 like I normally get from a box.  Additionally, I've been wanting to decorate cupcakes with butterflies, ala "Hello, Cupcake!".  I thought these butterflies would be adorable on Pink Lemonade cupcakes - perfect for spring/summer time.  I don't have the "Hello, Cupcake!" book, however Annie over at Annie's Eats has a great tutorial on how to make these cuties yourself. 


These cupcakes were a hit.  The flavor was great - swe…

Snickers Ice Cream

I am insanely in love with ice cream - always have been and always will be.  There is not a dessert I crave more than ice cream.  I finally bought an ice cream maker and have been dying to try it out.  I wanted to start with a relatively easy ice cream, but also definitely something that would show worth of purchase to my husband.  Most of his favorite ice creams include chopped up candy so I knew that was the route I had to start with!  


This ice cream was super easy and so delicious.  I know a lot of ice creams are custard based so a bit more rich that this, however I think this is perfect for a scoop after dinner - satisfies the sweet tooth without sitting too heavy the rest of the night.  I will admit that I was a bit hesitant that this recipe called for raw eggs, but after some Googling I realized that it wasn't a huge deal.  Now, if I were feeding this to young children, the elderly or someone with health problems I would have maybe looked for another ice cream base, such as…

P90X - Weeks 1-3 Download

So, I'm on week 4 now and I'm feeling pretty good.  I haven't lost any weight that I'm aware of, but I do feel like my gut is less bloated and my arms are a little stronger.  Pretty good for 3 weeks, if I must say so!  The unfortunate thing, which I believe I mentioned in my last P90X post, is that literally the very next day after starting the program I burned myself pretty badly in the kitchen, and for about 2 weeks wasn't able to do the workouts with full strength.   My burn has healed, the blisters are gone, etc. and for workout purposes I am officially healed (scarring still there but let's hope Mederma is worth the $$!).  Now, starting with week 4 I fully intend to go all out there and kick some butt!  
Favorite/Least Favorite Workouts: So far my favorite workouts are Kenpo (kickboxing essentially) and legs & back.  Aside from my mid-section (aka, the gut), I feel like I could do a lot of work on my back.  I like the arms workout as well, but I love the…

Sloppy Joes

One of my husbands favorite foods is Sloppy Joes, and really when you think about it, who can blame him.  Some foods remind me of being a kid and this is certainly one of them!  However, both Rob and I grew up eating the Manwich versions, which is certainly ok with me as I still like it, but while trying to pay better attention to what I eat I decided to finally make home-made Sloppy Joes.  There are so many recipes out there but when I found one from Cook's Illustrated I knew it would be a winner. 
What I love about this recipe is that it uses ingredients that I always have on hand, whereas most recipes I found use green pepper which I'm not opposed to but I normally don't have them on my grocery list since I eat them so moderately.  One thing I will tell you though is that you want to make sure to use a sturdy bun because these both thick and saucy at the same time.  Homemade buns would be the best so it looks like I need to get on that!

Sloppy JoesIngredients:2 tablespoon…