Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Perfect for a Rainy Day

When it's raining outside, which it has been a lot lately, there is nothing better than a slow cooked meal.  On today's menu... sausage sandwiches.  They are really easy to make and taste delicious.  Not to mention, they make your house smell great.  First you need to grill the sausage links.  They do not have to be cooked all the way through though because they will finish cooking in the crock pot.  Then cut up some peppers and onions.  Add those, the sausage links, and a can of tomatoes to the crock pot.  Throw in some red pepper flakes, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning.  Slow cook all day on low.  Enjoy!

Sausage sandwich with peppers & onions.
*Recipe courtesy of my sister, Sarah.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Healthy Eating

All this talk about food makes me think about what I am eating compared to what I should be eating.  My roommate, Julia, and I were discussing our eating habits and decided that they aren't bad, but could be a lot better.  Julia began some research and came across a website that I wanted to share with all of you.  It is www.choosemyplate.gov.  On the homepage, it shows you what should be on your plate everyday.  You can click on the different sections and it gives you all kinds of tips, including recipes.  The website also explains to you, in depth, the eight different food groups.  It is good to know what you are eating and which category it falls into.  I hope you all find this website as helpful as I have! 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Taste of Chicago

So I have to be honest... I am not a good cook, nor do I enjoy cooking.  I just simply love to eat.  There are a few things that I can make really well, but for the most part I kind of stink at it.  Fortunately for me, I am surrounded by people who love to cook and are extremely good at it.  I grew up with my dad, Harry, cooking different and delicious meals every night.  Both of my older sisters, Elizabeth and Sarah, are good cooks.  I can't even begin to explain how good of a cook my grandmother is.  The woman spends more hours in her kitchen than anywhere else!  My roommate, Julia, also has a knack for cooking.  Tonight, she is making us Chicago hotdogs; a recipe we got from my dad.  It is a regular hotdog in a bun, but topped with mustard, tomatoes, onions, pickles, relish, and a pinch of celery salt.  They are to die for and so simple to make (even I can do it).
*TIP: Add potato chips as a side!*

Chicago hotdogs with chips

Sunday, September 11, 2011

NFL Kickoff Weekend

Today is game day.  The Philadelphia Eagles, my favorite team, are playing the St. Louis Rams.  The third quarter just began and my stomach is rumbling.  Food is a staple item during a football game, especially in my family.  Sunday's take on a whole new meaning when football season begins.  It is suddenly a day for family, friends and food.  My roommate, Julia, and I began a tradition of going over to my sister's house every Sunday for what we call, "family dinner."  It becomes even more important when football begins.  Today, we will be having homemade Buffalo Chicken Stromboli.  My brother-in-law, Chantz, first made this for us last year.  Since then, it has become a family dinner favorite.  The combination of spicy buffalo chicken, orange peppers and mushrooms baked in between homemade bread is to die for.  What are some other game day favorites?  Wings, chips & dip, pizza, veggie trays, hot dogs and hamburgers are just a few that come to mind.  And of course beer!  Below are the recipes for the dough and then the stromboli itself.  Happy football and happy eating!

Pizza Dough
5c bread flour
2c semolina flour
1T fine sea salt
2- 1/4 oz packets of active dry yeast
1T raw sugar
4T olive oil 
2 1/2c luke warm water

Directions: Sift flour & salt together; Mix yeast, sugar, olive oil & water, let bloom.  Bring flour & yeast together until smooth, knead.  Place dough in flour-dusted bowl, flour top, let rise until doubled in size.  Remove onto flour-dusted surface, knead to remove air; divide into 4 portions.

Buffalo Sauce
4T butter
8T hot sauce
1t minced garlic
2 dashes of worcestershire sauce

Directions: Melt butter; add garlic, hot sauce, and worcestershire sauce.  Heat through.

1- 8oz package of pizza blend cheese
1 red bell pepper
4oz sliced baby portabella mushrooms
1 rotisserie chicken (picked apart)
olive oil

Directions: Saute mushrooms and chopped bell pepper in olive oil; mix with chicken and hot sauce in a bowl.  Stretch pizza dough into a circle; lay down a layer of cheese.  Place chicken mixture and add another layer of cheese; fold dough over and crimp ends.  Brush top of stromboli lightly with olive oil; poke holes in top for ventilation.  Bake at 500 degrees for 10 minutes.  Yields two stromboli's.

Recipe courtesy of my brother-in-law, Chantz Beck.

*TIP FROM THE CHEF: The recipe for the dough yields four pizzas.  Freeze other two for later use.