Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Challenge?

So I am not 100% sure where this inspiration came from... I guess it all sort of fell into place...

--My Grandparents bought Dustin and I a 5 qt kitchen aid stand mixer for our birthdays and I got a blank recipe book (that is dieing to be filled with recipe's) for Christmas from Mom. Then Dustin and I purchased a new sink and faucet for the kitchen and he also bought a new oven for our kitchen (that is supposed to be my b-day present!) And then last night we watched Julia and Julie.... Oh need I say more, it is a slow movie but I just fell in love with it. I found myself wanting to cook a huge meal at 1:00 this Morning.--

So then I had this bright idea that maybe you could start posting recipes for me to try out! This could be fun, right?? Now keep in mind that I love my Mom's cooking and I will be eating with her a few times a week! So I will not obligate everyday to cooking like Julia did! And remember that I do not cook often so you may need to be a little detailed!! Dustin is sort of a picky eater but he is getting over it, and usually if I cook it he eats it.. the one this he 100% objects to is sea food. So if you are weary that I may not accept your recipe challenge and cook what you take time typing out then ask me first I will let you know! But I want to know how to really cook, I am not here for "shake and bake" recipes, but if you do have a yummy recipe that is quick to make then go ahead pass it my way! And for all of you who add everything to your dish (mom) I want those recipes as well. I will post pictures of them on here as well!

So what are you waiting for send a recipe my way!!

-Mary Beth!


  1. Chicken Etouffee

    1 1/2 pound chicken breast 1 large onion
    1 bell pepper chopped red or green 4 stalks celery chopped
    4 bay leaves 5 cloves garlic (smoked is best)
    2 cups flour 1/2 stick butter
    1/4 cup olive oil 2 cups white rice (plus 2 cups water to cook)
    salt, pepper & cayenne to taste water to cover

    Finely chop onion, bell pepper & celery and set it aside. Mix pepper, salt and cayenne with the flour in a dish. Cut chicken breast into finger sized strips and coat them with the flour. In a large pot (Dutch oven) add some of the butter and olive oil. Hold on to the rest of the butter and oil because you will need to add them in as you cook. Start frying coated chicken strips in the oil & butter, removing them as they brown and adding more oil and butter as needed. I hit them with some more cayenne as they come out of the pot. After all chicken strips are fried and set aside, add any remaining butter and some of the left over seasoned flour to make a roux. Just add enough to make it thick, but not like a paste...cook to a dark roux. Add garlic and bay leaves and the chopped vegetables. Stir so that all veggies are coated with the roux and start to soften. Fill with water to cover and simmer for about 10-15 minutes. Be sure to check for seasoning, salt and cayenne. This is a good time to make the rice. When it starts to look like a gravy add the chicken back in for the last 10 minutes. Again, check the seasoning. Once it reaches the thickness you like serve it on a pile of rice. Garlic bread cut into strips makes a great side and garnish.

    Great recipe not mine but better... Hope you like it just watch the cayenne with the kids!!! It might get to spicy Love you hope you enjoy tell me how it turns out

  2. Thanks Sounds Awesome!! I will try to fix it tomorrow!! I will post a picture! Oh and I just bought my first dutch oven today! Those things are pricey!

  3. Daniel and I watched Julie and Julia right before Christmas and he went on a cooking binge as well.

    If I can find the time I will try and post what I am (or Daniel) is cooking for dinner. Good luck my book is still rather empty. -Lauren

  4. Multi-Layered Taco Casserole


    * 1 package corn tortillas or any color corn chips
    * 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or cooking spray
    * 1 box elbow macaroni
    * 1 tablespoon EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    * 2 pounds ground beef
    * 1 medium onion, finely chopped
    * 6 cloves garlic, grated, divided
    * 4 jalapeño peppers, finely chopped, divided (optional I did not use any)
    * 1 tablespoons chili powder
    * 1 tablespoon coriander
    * 1 tablespoon cumin
    * 3 tablespoons tomato paste

    * 3 tablespoons butter
    * 3 tablespoons flour
    * 2 1/2 cups milk
    * 1 14.5-ounce can chopped tomatoes with chilies, drained
    * 3 cups shredded yellow cheddar cheese, divided

    * 2 cans vegetarian spicy refried beans

    * 5 to 6 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
    * 1 small red onion, finely chopped
    * 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
    * Salt
    * 2 limes, zest of 1 and juice of 2

    * 2 avocados
    * 1 cup sour cream
    * Juice of 1 lemon

    * Hot sauce to taste(I did not use any)
    * 1/2 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
    * 1/2 cup chopped olives with pimientos(left this out too)
    * 1 bunch scallions, chopped

    Yields: 12 servings

    Preheat oven to 400˚F.

    If using corn tortillas, cut them into thin strips about 1/2 inch thick, and place them onto a baking sheet. Toss them with some vegetable oil or spray with cooking spray and season them with salt and ground pepper. Pop them into the oven and cook until crispy and golden, about 15 minutes.

    Bring a large pot of water up to a boil over high heat. Salt the water then add the noodles and cook to package instructions.

    Place a large skillet over medium high heat with a tablespoon olive oil. Brown the meat, then add in the onion, 4 cloves grated garlic and 2 jalapeños, and cook until tender.

    Season the meat and veggies with chili powder, coriander, cumin and tomato paste. Let the meat mixture cook for a minute or two with the spices,and let that cook down for about 4-5 minutes. Reserve.

    While the meat is cooking, make the cheese sauce: In a saucepot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and give it a stir to combine with the butter. Cook for a minute or so then whisk in the milk. Cook until thickened.

    Drain the can of tomatoes with chilies and add them to the thickened milk mixture. Fold in 2 1/2 cups cheese and the reserved noodles. Season with salt and pepper, and reserve.

    In another saucepot, heat up the can of refried beans with a little bit of water.

    To build the casserole, spread the beef mixture out in the bottom of a casserole dish. Top with the refried beans and finish it off with the mac and cheeses and the remaining cheese. Pop the casserole into the oven and bake until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.

    While the casserole is baking, make the salsa: Mix the plum tomatoes, remaining jalapeño peppers, red onion and cilantro in a small bowl. Season with salt, lime zest and juice, and reserve.

    For the guacamole sour cream, scoop the flesh of the avocados into the bowl of a food processor and add the sour cream, lemon juice, remaining 2 cloves grated garlic and hot sauce. Process until creamy.

    Once the casserole comes out of the oven, top it with the crispy corn strips and shredded iceberg lettuce. Top with the salsa, then the guacamole sour cream and finally the chopped olives with pimientos and scallions.

    Overall it was a hit. I went easy on the spicy stuff so the kids would not complain. I was kinda of skeptical that Mac and Cheese and salad in one dish would work but it was actualy pretty tasty. You should definitely cut the recipe in at least half if you are not having company. Six of us ate it last night and I still have enough for six or eight more to eat it for lunch. Let me know what you think.

  5. Lauren that sounds like Dustin would love that one as well!! I think that might work for friday night! And yes I would cut the recipe in half.. unless we have family over then I will cook the whole thing!! I let myself down tonight.. I did not cook anything... :( MOM DID!! And it was good! I have been gone all day with either one of the kids or both kids! I have been Non-Stop Running all over Chattanooga.. I did go get some groceries. I offically have everything I need to make Summers recipe!


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