Saturday, July 21, 2012

House Project - Wine Tasting Room

I live in a 2 bedroom /1 bath duplex
that was built back in the 60's

This is considered a "bonus" room
It was originally a carport that was closed in

It doesn't have AC or heat
It's hot in the summer and cold in the winter

As you can see, I've been using it for storage only
Believe it or not, this looks better than before

The plan is to use this room to store all my entertaining
tools, supplies, junk, dishes, crap, etc

I also want to use it as a wine tasting room
it has a sliding door to the back yard
that I think will be perfect for
Spring/Fall entertaining

Here's the plan:

remove those plastic containers
(gearing up for a garage sale)
find a huge rug to cover the lovely gold tile
hang some art on the walls
organize the shelves that showcase my fabulous stuff

I found 4 of these chairs at a thrift store
for only $8.95 each

They are in the process of being transformed
(ok, painted black)

I found this table at another thrift store
for $75
The chairs do not really match
but I think it'll go
with the rustic feel
I'm trying to create

So, stay tuned.. I will post as I make progress

Friday, July 20, 2012

Blue Sparkling Wine

I've been dying to serve this drink for a long time
July 4th was the most appropriate time

Just mix blue curacao with sparkling champagne

Cherry Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

I woke up on July 4th craving Strawberry Cupcakes

I put a pork shoulder in the oven to slow cook
Called a friend inviting her and her family over
for a last minute get together

Headed to the store for a few last minutes items
look what I found ?

Pink Lemonade Cake Mix

Way better than Strawberry cupcakes
especially when topped with cherry frosting 

The best summertime treat!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Shallot-Chive Boursin Stuffed Mushrooms

 This is a "re-post" of this recipe from back in May 2010.
It's modified because I am now using this new flavor of boursin cheese!

Shallot Chive Boursin Stuffed Mushrooms

  • 1 pkg whole white button mushrooms
  • 1/4 stick butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 container shallots-chive boursin cheese (or any flavor)
  • 1 cup parmigiano reggiano
  • 3/4 cup italian bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 4-6 tablespoons olive oil

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray or line with foil
  3. Clean mushrooms & remove stems
  4. In a small bowl, mix melted butter and garlic powder together
  5. Brush the mushrooms with the butter mixture
  6. In another small bowl, mix the boursin cheese, 1/2 cup parm-reggiano cheese and bread crumbs together
  7. With a small spoon, stuff the mushrooms with the cheese mixture
  8. Mix the panko bread crumbs, remaining parm-reggiano with olive oil - just enough to coat
  9. Place on top of mushrooms
  10. Bake until the mushrooms are tender, the filling is heated through, and the mushrooms are golden on top - 30-35 minutes
Note: I buy boursin cheese at Costco. You get 3 boxes for approximately $8.99 versus regular supermarkets carry it for about $5.99 - $7.99 per box.  This cheese is amazing. It goes great in pastas, and also, just by itself with crackers!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Pillsbury Lemon Cream Pie

Lemon Cream Pie

I have never been much of a pie maker.  For some reason, ice box pies have been on my mind this summer.  
It started with my last post - Peanut Butter /Chocolate Icebox Pie.   

I have friends that love peanut butter and chocolate, so I made it for them.  It was then requested that I make a Chocolate Mint Icebox Pie.  Well, that's when I learned my lesson between using the refrigerator to set a pie versus using the freezer.
Transporting a freezer pie in Texas heat is just not a smart thing to do. 

This recipe comes straight from Pillsbury, I didn't use sprinkles obviously - here's the link. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Quinoa Stuffed Tomatoes

Totally Test Kitchen

I first saw this recipe in June's Cooking Light Magazine. I have been pulling recipes and articles out of magazines for years and placing them in binders.  Now that there is Pinterest, I no longer have to do that.
I love it
I just find the recipe online; and hopefully, they already have a "Pin it" button for me; but if not, no worries, I have my own "Pin it" option saved to my bookmarks in Explorer. 
Again, I love it!

I've had the quinoa for a while, but just haven't had the nerve to cook with it.
This recipe seemed to have just the right ingredients
(all of my favorites - tomatoes, poblano peppers, corn and CHEESE)

The recipe does not call for any meat, which is fine with me, but I had just bought this Spicy Jalapeno Chicken Sausage from my favorite store, Trader Joe's.

My brother is staying with me, and since this is more of a girl meal, not a Texas manly meal, I figured I'd add this to "hearty" it up.
This sausage is so amazing, that you do not have to tell a Texas man that's it's not beef. 
 Spicy Jalapeno Chicken Sausage from Trader Joe's

Stuffed tomato before the cheese - see the quinoa, peppers, corn, and sausage ?

Now, with the colby jack cheese ... ready to go into the oven

Baked Tomatoes with
Jalapeno Chicken Sausage, Quinoa, Corn,& Green Chiles

adapted from Cooking Light, June 2012
makes 6 tomatoes

•2 poblano chiles
•1 pkg jalapeno chicken sausage (optional) 
•4 ears corn
•1 cup chopped red onion
•6 large ripe tomatoes
•1 cup uncooked quinoa
•1/4 cup water
•1 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro
•2 scallions, thinly sliced
•2 Tbs olive oil
•juice of 1 lime
•1 tsp kosher salt, divided
•1 tsp ground cumin
•pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
•1/2 tsp chile powder
•1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
•6 oz Colby Jack cheese, shredded (about 1 1/2 cups)


Cut the tops off the tomatoes. Carefully scoop out the tomato pulp, leaving the shells intact. Drain the pulp through a sieve set over a bowl, pressing with the back of a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible. Reserve 1 1/4 cups of the tomato juices, and discard the pulp and seeds. Sprinkle the inside of the tomatoes with 1/2 teaspoon of salt (total, not each). Invert the tomatoes onto a lint-free kitchen towel and stand 30 minutes. Blot the insides of the tomatoes dry with a paper towel or kitchen towel.

Preheat the broiler to high.

Cut the poblano chiles in half lengthwise and discard the seeds and membranes. Place the chiles, skin-side-up, on a foil-lined baking sheet, and flatten with your hand. Broil about 8 minutes, or until the skin is blistered and blackened. Remove the chile to a medium bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to steam for about 10 minutes. Peel and rinse the chiles, then coarsely chop.

Add the corn and onion to the pan. Broil, tossing once or twice, about 10 minutes, or until charred and blackened in spots. Add the corn and onion to the bowl with the chiles.

Meanwhile, slice the chicken sausage (horizontal) and cook in a sauce pan with one tablespoon of olive oil.  Cook over medium high heat until cooked through. Slice in half and place in the bowl with the corn, chiles and onion. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cook the quinoa. Place the quinoa in a strainer and rinse well under cold water, stirring as you rinse. Drain well. Combine the quinoa, reserved tomato liquid, 1/4 cup water, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook 15 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff the quinoa with a fork.

Add the quinoa to the bowl with the sausage, corn, chiles, and onion, and stir in the cilantro, scallions, olive oil, lime juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, cumin, cayenne, chile powder, pepper, and 1/2 cup cheese.

Spoon about 3/4 cup of the quinoa filling into each of the tomatoes. Divide the remaining cheese evenly over the tops and bake about 15 minutes, or until the cheese has melted. Remove from the oven and serve.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Chocolate Mint Icebox Pie

Chocolate Mint Icebox Pie
aka Grasshopper Pie

This is the summer of icebox pies
My first attempt was last month when
I featured my

My friends asked if I could make a

Chocolate Mint Icebox Pie

The Pioneer Woman didn't let me down

This is her Grasshopper Pie recipe

I made one slight modification

It requires the freezer to set
When I transported it to my friend's house,
she didn't have room in her freezer
So, it got a little mushy by the time we ate dinner and served dessert
They all loved it anyway

Next time, I'm going to try it with cream cheese to see if I can get it to set properly in the fridge vs freezer

Next icebox pie test kitchen recipe - Lemon Cream Pie

Caprese Portobello Mushroom

Just Add Mushrooms Caprese Mushroom I adapted it from a couple recipes.  You can use whatever mozzarella cheese you have on han...