Friday, June 24, 2011

Grilled Romaine Salad

I saw something like this on one of the foodie shows a few weeks back and decided that we had to try it.  O.M.G.

Yes, it's that good.

Grilled Romaine Salad
- 2 heads romaine, split in half lengthwise
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup vidalia onion, minced
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tbsp parsley

Combine all dressing ingredients, then add to large zip top bag with the lettuce.  Shake to coat, and let sit in the fridge for at least half an hour before cooking.

To grill, turn heat to high.  Lay halves on the grill and cook one minute.  Turn and cook two more minutes, just until you can see the grill marks.

Remove from grill, slice into serving sizes.  Yum.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Faux Sangria

Have a hankering for sangria, but too impatient to wait for the flavors to blend to perfection?  Maybe the thought of cutting up all that fruit holds no appeal.  Maybe you're just trying to use up red wine you don't love.

Who cares what the reason is? 

This is awesome.

Born of necessity one afternoon, I had to get a little creative.  The results, surprisingly good.

Faux Sangria
- red wine
- flavored sugar free carbonated water
- ice cubes

I used the peach flavored water, and the ratio was about 1:1 with the wine and water. 

Quick, easy, cheap and good. 

No one needs to know our little secret.  Shhhhh

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Quick Tip: Cupcakes

Dear Blog,

I'm sorry.  I've neglected you again.  Really, it's because I have been busy with a bunch of other stuff.

Not that I've made cupcakes in a while, since I haven't.  I did make banana chocolate chip muffins this week, and used this tip.  You can find a recipe I use here.  One of these days I will type it up separately as a muffin recipe.  It deserves that at least. 

Here's my tip.  One that I came upon one day out of necessity and desperation.  I thought I had everything to make cupcakes, but I quickly realized I was out of liners.  After I'd made the batter, of course.  I learned something fantastic though!

Do not use cupcake liners!  Don't!  The little paper things you put in the muffin tins before baking cupcakes and muffins....you totally don't need them.

Save the money. 

Instead, spray each well of the pan with a quick squirt of nonstick spray.  The cupcakes or muffins slide out easily.  As an added bonus, they are a whole lot less messy without the liners. 

As any mom or teacher knows all too well, cupcakes are horribly messy.  Crumbs everywhere.  When you don't use the liners, you cut down on the crumbs dramatically.  It is pretty awesome.

So glad I ran out of them that day!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Grandma Helen's Meatballs

Post number 200!  I knew this one had to be a good one, so here you go!

This is one of the many things that my grandmother was famous for.  This was almost always her contribution to the potlucks she went to.  Which was good....because people would get all bent out of shape if the crock pot of meatballs was missing.

She had a bit of a reputation to uphold, you see.  People expected meatballs.

My grandmother was almost as famous for these as she was for her chocolate chip cookies.  Almost.

As us girls got older, we'd eventually be let in the kitchen more and more.  First we could help with the cookies.  That would have to hold you over for a few years. 

Then one day, you'd be granted access to the super secret family recipe for the meatballs.  And it is super secret, so don't tell anyone.  Okay?

My mom likes to tell the story about the first time she made them after being granted access to the recipe.  How she spent all this time seasoning and rolling meatballs, pan frying and oven baking them.  Carefully adding the glaze ingredients to the crock pot.  Only to find out that Grandma bought frozen meatballs.  Ha!

I have said before that I'm pretty sure my father was a genius.  Clearly, he got it from her.

She was so good that she fooled an entire community (and every one I've lived in since then that has had the luxury of tasting these meatballs) into thinking she was a gourmet cook.

And she was, but this is no fancy recipe.  It's so simple that you won't believe how good it is.  And it sounds all kinds of funky, but you are just going to have to trust me on it. 

Seriously.

Grandma Helen's Meatballs
- 1 family sized bag frozen meatballs
- 1 small jar grape jelly (preferably Welch's....don't ask why, it's just the "right" one)
- 1-2 bottles plain old run of the mill BBQ sauce (again, Hunts is the best, just because it is)

Throw meatballs in slow cooker.  Mix grape jelly and BBQ sauce, pour over meatballs.  Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours or high for 2-3. 

Pretend you slaved away in the kitchen all day.

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