Sunday, December 30, 2007

Post-Christmas Roughage

I'm still waiting on Christmas food pictures, but we've been eating well since then. I always crave lighter, strong-tasting foods after a big holiday.

Here's Mike with a post-Christmas sale find: a chili-pepper light swag! I don't know what it has to do with Christmas, but it was still half off at Wal-Mart! He's also sporting his new apron: Too Hot to Handle!!!

Grilled Salmon with a spicy glaze that caramelized wonderfully on the Egg. With roasted red potatoes and steamed green beans.

Morgan approved of the fish!!

From tonight's dinner: I tried a new technique with the bread, based off a recipe I found in Taste of Home - I let the dough mix in the bread machine, rolled the dough into about 20 balls, and dipped each ball in a mixture of butter and minced garlic. Then they all went into a bread pan and onto the Egg for cooking! We haven't done much bread on the Big Green Egg, so this was a learning experience. I don't think using a half whole-wheat dough works too well with this recipe! It was good, but not as light as I'd like it to be.

This stuff redeemed the bread: roasted garlic! Mike lopped off the top of two head of garlic and wrapped them in double thickness aluminum foil with some olive oil, then threw it on the Egg for about 30 minutes. It went on the bread, and also on top of the sirloin steak, as you can see below:

Mike says he wishes he had marinated the sirloin, and I tend to agree. Still tasty, though, especially with all that glorious garlic!!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Today we went to downtown Mount Dora and had lunch at The Frosty Mug, and Icelandic Pub. It was so cool! What a unique place.

Not food-related, but the wood floors were so beautiful I couldn't resist taking a picture!

And that was the lunch portion!! Me with my fish and chips. The haddock is imported from Iceland! I have now decided that I want to go to Iceland.

Onto tonight's dinner. Mike has been enjoying experimenting with his Big Green Egg, as you probably can tell from all the recent postings. Tonight he did a Cornish Game Hen.
Fresh off the Egg. My mom got Mike the Ceramic "Chick'n Sitter" for his birthday - you fill it up with beer and whatever else you want (onion in this case) and unceremoniously shove it the the bird's butt. Nice.

All plated up with brown rice and roasted green beans. The meat was tender and flavorful, but my favorite part of the meal was this:
Beer Bread from the Egg, with Garlic and Chipolte Cheddar Cheese from Sargento. This was sooooooooooooo goooooood! I highly recommend that you try the Chipolte Cheddar, by the way. It's great on everything!
Dinner Photos

Honey-Chicken Stir Fry from Quick Cooking. This recipe is going into my stir-fry rotation, to be switched off with my black bean and garlic stir-fry sauce that I get from

Grilled Salmon from the Big Green Egg, with roasted potatoes (also on the Egg), and steamed green beans and corn, topped with Parmesan cheese. The salmon was drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with Penzey's Tuscan Sunset. The potatoes cooked a little faster than Mike expected, so they were singed on one side, but the fish was peeeeerfect...

Another dinner from the Egg: hamburgers, tator tots , and steamed broccoli.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Food Pictures

First up, the Key Lime pie I made for Mike's birthday. Plain ole' pie, plain ole' Nila Wafer Crust...Mike and I have been together long enough for me to know that he always picks a very simple dessert for his birthday. I always offer to make him something elaborate - truffles, a torte - nope. Pie. But it was good.

Next, a new muffin recipe: Apple-Oat Muffins. These were really good and very satisfying! The recipe calls for two cups of shredded apple, but I can think of many things I'd rather be doing than standing there with my cheese grater and an apple, so I pulsed chopped apple in my food processor a few times and it worked fine. I also used strawberry yogurt instead of plain like the recipe calls for - I usually do this for my recipes because I don't keep plain yogurt around and don't want to wait for my next shopping trip. Give this recipe a try! I'm going to freeze a few and see how they keep.

Next up, tonight's dinner: Pizza on the Big Green Egg!

Let me tell ya: I thought I knew what pizza was. I have never had a pizza until tonight. I could eat this for the rest of my life. This was SO good! Did I mention I really liked this pizza? I did? Well...I LOVED this pizza!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

The Big Green Egg Pulls Through Again...

Beef baby back ribs, broccoli and corn tossed in olive oil and Penzey's Tuscan Sunset (both done on the Egg), along with french fries. Mike says he's still getting used to cooking on his new toy and the rib were a little overdone. I say they were really good!

Sophie on high alert, hoping Daddy will share the wealth!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Old-Fashioned Whoopie Pies

On Friday I tried this recipe from Taste of Home and brought them into the family business so the guys could test them out. I used a one of my new finds from Wal-Mart: Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa Powder. That stuff is the best! It's also great with my mom's famous Microwave Brownie Recipe.

The Whoope Pie recipe calls for buttermilk, which I divide into 1/2 cup baggies and freeze so I always have some on hand. The cookies came out perfect for sandwich-making - firm and flat.

As I was making the icing, I realized that this recipe on the whole is very similar to my Moist Chocolate Cake recipe, which I was very happy about, since I've always had trouble with that cake cracking.

I think the guys at work were more than happy to be the guinea pigs this time :)
Mike's New Toy...

It's a Big Green Egg!!!

When Mike's parents came for Thanksgiving, they brought this as a surprise for Mike. It's his housewarming/birthday/Christmas/New Year/Valentine's Day/Anniversary gift, as my father-in-law is fond of saying. He's had one for a few years, and LOVES it, so I always figured he'd want Mike to have one once we had a house. This is the maiden voyage:

Setting it up

The bounty: ribs, chicken wings, baked potatoes, and corn.

In case you don't know what a Big Green Egg is, it's a ceramic cooker that is used to smoke food, but can also do a lot more. It's a grill, a smoker, and oven that can cook just about any food better than other methods. Check out the website; it's pretty cool. Apparently the Big Green Egg has a small niche, but it is made up of very loyal fans. We've been loving ours so far. Last night we tried a recipe for Honey Mustard Chicken, which was very good. We want to try it using some flavored wood chips for smoking. Stay tuned for more Big Green Egg fun!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

One Week Ago Today...

My house was full of people, and I was running around trying to pull off hosting my first Thanksgiving. I'm really pleased with how well it went. My in-laws smoked the turkey and they also brought a ham, potatoes, and stuffing. I was especially relieved to not have to cook the turkey myself! One of the hardest parts was allocating oven space. My mother, grandmother, and great-aunt helped with the rest of the food, and everyone seemed to be satisfied. Even my great-uncle found nothing to complain about! (just kidding, Uncle Jerry!) Now onto pictures and recipes of the food!

The Thanksgiving table

Dig In!!

My sister-in-law Kathleen stayed with us a few days and helped me get the house ready. We also made a Chocolate Mousse Pie together, which was very tasty. I was glad to pass on some of my cooking knowledge to my young padawan!

The luscious result.

Black Bottom Cupcakes, a family recipe.

Apple Streusel; a new recipe from Penzey's Spices! It wasn't the prettiest dish to grace my table, but it cooked while we were eating dinner and tasted great warm!

My mom made pumpkin cheesecakes. We almost never have pumpkin pie in favor of another, more unique pumpkin recipe. We've also had a delicious pumpkin dip in years past.

My dad and uncle, post-gorgefest

Edited 11/30: I thought you all might like my mashed potato casserole recipe. It's been in the family for years, and was one of my grandfather's favorite things to eat. I hear he was a very picky man, so that's saying a lot!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

New Recipe: Taco Tot Casserole

This recipe was on the back of a bag of Ore-Ida Tator tots. This isn't something I would usually make, due to the fact that it's not exactly health food, but I wanted to make something special for Mike, and anything involving potatoes, meat, and cheese is great in his book. Corn is an added bonus.

I did make a few changes in the recipe, as noted. It calls for something called Nacho Cheese Soup, which I have never heard of, and frankly the idea grosses me out, so I just used Cheddar Cheese Soup by Campbell's. I also used no salt-added corn instead of corn with peppers.

Mike really liked this dish, and was glad there were lefovers for him to bring for lunch the next few days.

Again, apologies for the poor quality of the picture. SOMEONE still has not found the camera, so this is from that SOMEONE'S phone.

I have been busy setting up the house for Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday. My great aunt and uncle (okay, really just my aunt!) usually host this holiday, but they just got back from Hawaii and thus will not be doing it this year. I volunteered because this is the first holiday where I have a house and can fit everyone. Of course that was BEFORE we moved in, and now I find myself wondering what I was thinking when I volunteered! But really, I'm looking forward to it. It's been a lot of work, but I'm glad I can finally be the hostess! Hopefully my mom will take pictures of the food, so I can post them. I WOULD take some myself, ahem.....

Sunday, November 11, 2007


I DID have a few pictures of food from this past week, but once again, SOMEONE has misplaced the camera. So you'll have to do with tonight's dinner taken from Mike's cameraphone:

Sirloin steak, mashed potatoes, grilled corn, and green beans. After a busy week and weekend, we wanted to go out somewhere for dinner, but decided on grilling a nice dinner ourselves in lieu of spending all that money. Spending nine dollars for both of us was nice, as opposed to close to thirty.

The busier I get, the more my cooking style is changing. I don't consider myself a "new" cook anymore. I still enjoy trying new recipes, but if I'm too busy that week, I have "standby" recipes to fall back on. I'm putting together a series of my most-used recipes to show you all. And you can expect a lot of pictures from Thanksgiving, which I am hosting for the first time. So......lots to look forward to!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Only Good Thing About Yesterday...

was the ribs Mike made for the Gator game. I found this recipe a few years ago, but we don't make it as much anymore. Ribs are not exactly health food... but they sure are good! These are supposed to taste like the ribs from Applebee's, but I can't vouch for that because I've never had their ribs.

Mike used our first bit of home-grown produce to the barbecue sauce: a hot red pepper! It was exciting to use something we grew ourselves.

enjoying some homemade goodness.

Although it didn't help our luck, Sophie got a treat from the new pizza place that opened up across the street. They also make biscuits that look like pizzas, which she will be getting for her birthday!


Sunday, October 21, 2007

Funny Sophie Picture

a combination of me balancing my Sunday dinner on my lap and Sophie licking her chops, hoping my balance is not so good.

and since you're curous: green salad, chili, and George-Foremanized grilled cheese.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Oh My!!

Yes we have been eating food here at the Wolfe house. I've even tried a few new things. I have no real excuse as to why I haven't been updating my food blog. I've been busy substitute teaching, and sometimes it's a stretch to get dinner on the table, and getting dinner on the blog is a very remote possibility. But anyhoo, here's what's been cooking:

Beef and veggie stir-fry with brown rice and a fruit salad. I got a delicious black bean and garlic stir-fry sauce from that makes me want to stir-fry everything! I was kind of in a stir-fry rut, so I was glad to find this product. I like to make stir-fry dishes because I can get away with a favorable vegetable:meat ratio.

Next up: last weekend, we went to the downtown Leesburg Farmer's Market and got some stuff for that night's dinner:

These are what the vendor called Cranberry Beans, I'm guessing because of the color. I had no idea what they were until I saw them shelled, then I realized they were pinto beans!

Here they are freshly shelled and ready to be cooked. As you can see, these are much more colorful then the dried variety you get at the grocery store.

On the table, with fresh grilled pineapple (brushed with honey and brown sugar). grilled chicken, and some baby carrots. This was a great meal! Very fresh tasting.

These are pumpkin bars from the latest Penzey's spices catalogue. My mom made these first and raved about them, and I had some canned pumpkin left over from the pumpkin cream cheese muffins, so I decided to give them a try. They have a browned butter icing on top.

I've never tried my hand at browned butter icing, but I must say that it was VERY rich. Almost too rich for my taste. The bar part was very good, but I think next time I'll try it with a cream cheese icing. To me, cream cheese and pumpkin go together like Gators and football!

Last night we had breakfast for dinner: waffles, hashbrown casserole, and a fruit salad of bananas, apples, and pineapple. The waffles were made with my all-purpose baking mix, but last time I made the mix I replaced half of the AP flour with whole-wheat flour. I think they still turned out well. I'm quite proud of the casserole; it's the first one I've made that turned out halfway decent. I always underestimate the cooking time!

And finally, the spoils from this morning's farmer's market:

Rome apples, very fragrant green onions, baby asparagus, whole wheat bread, and some handmade soaps.

Monday, October 08, 2007

A New Recipe

I am totally addicted to this new recipe, Parmesan Crusted Chicken. I tried it by itself the first time and it was delicious, but we've discovered it's even better on a salad! It's great cold or warm from the oven.

And as a bonus, my very first fall table: