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Mom’s Stromboli

★★★★★

  • 1 recipe Homemade Pizza Dough, or 2 store bought frozen bread dough, thawed
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • ½ lb. hot Italian sausage, casings removed and broken up
  • 1 can pizza sauce
  • 2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 4 ounces pepperoni
Make pizza dough according to directions or thaw bread dough.
Brown ground beef and sausage. Drain. Mix in enough pizza sauce to moisten (it shouldnʼt be soupy).
Roll out ½ of the pizza dough (or 1 loaf bread dough) into a rectangle about 11×7-inches. Put pepperoni in a single layer on several pieces of paper towel and cover with more paper towels and cook in microwave 1 minute on high to remove some of the grease and crisp slightly.
Line 12 to 14 pepperonis down middle of dough lengthwise. Top with ½ cup of cheese, then ½ of the meat mixture.
Add another layer of ½ cup of cheese, then 12 to 14 more pepperonis.
Dampen edges of dough with water. Bring the long edge closest to you, up and over filling. Press down just on the other side of filling. Bring long edge of the other side toward you and tuck under stromboli. Press ends to seal and tuck under. Place on greased baking sheet and cut 3 diagonal slits across top.
Repeat with other half of dough (2nd loaf of frozen bread dough).
Bake at 350ºF for 20 to 30 minutes until lightly browned. They can be wrapped in foil and frozen when cool for another time. and leave wrapped in foil. Bake until heated through.

I was practically raised on this! Admittedly I cannot make it as well as Mom can. I don’t know what I do different, it’s not a hard recipe, but it never taste the same. One of my biggest problems is remembering to let the bread dough thaw! I ended up making mine with Pillsbury’s Thick Crust Pizza Dough. Instead of 2 loaves we got 1. The other half of the meat mixture went into the freezer for another night.

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Mike & Ike’s Italian Ice Flavor

The other day, when I took #4 to the doctors to learn that we had another bout of strep to contend with, I had to go pick up yet another prescription. At this point the pharmacy knows me, I had beaten the Rx order to the pharmacy and she had not finished mixing it yet. She said yogurt might be a good thing so we wondered off to get #4’s favorite yogurt – Stonyfield Banilla. Then we grabbed a box of fruit pops for his sore throat. As we stood at the pharmacy to see if she was ready yet, a goody stand caught my eye…

Mike & Ike’s have always been one of my favorite candies. They had Alex’s Lemonade flavors and these Italian Ice ones. We’ve had the lemonade before, but this was new. Well we couldn’t walk out of the store without a box to try! They were 5 for $5 (we got 1 for $1) and split it up when we got home. Even a large box of Mike & Ike’s does not split very far among 6 people, but there was enough of each flavor that we had had a try. Cherry, blue raspberry, watermelon, orange and lemon. I think the blue raspberry and watermelon were my favorites.

 

StrawMallows

Normally I shop at Giant’s for regular groceries. If you read the recipe post for Butter Pecan French Toast, my store doesn’t always have what I need. Thankfully, just on my end of town, there are 4 different grocery stores. Needing Southern Butter Pecan Nondairy Creamer, I decided to run into Weis Markets to see if they had any. Weis also happens to sell my favorite butter popcorn. Wondering the aisles looking for this we came across…

Finding these intriguing, I told the boys to grab a bag. We’ve had strawberry flavored marshmallows before and didn’t really like them. These were strawberry shaped! We loved them! They reminded me of the orange circus peanuts, but strawberry. An excellent treat for our after dinner snack!

Grilled Chicken Adobo Take 2

We fixed the Grilled Chicken Adoboagain and this time we had enough to share with friends!The hubby has been helping this couple remodel their bathroom. It’s their first big remodel and we’ve been through a couple (not to mention the hubby works in plumbing!) Since we know what it’s like to live in a construction zone, we asked them to join us for dinner. AR brought a wonderful salad and fixin’s for some watermelon drinks. The hubby grilled and I pretty much poured chips!

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59 down : 306 to go

Pan-fried Flounder with Potatoes in Parsley

★★

  • 3 lbs. small gold potatoes, cut in half
  • Salt and pepper
  • 8 flounder fillets
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 9 tablespoons butter
Boil the potatoes in a large pot of salted water until tender, then drain.
Rinse the fish in cold water, then coat each one in the flour, patting off the excess. Melt 5 tablespoons of the butter in a skillet and pan-fry the fish for 5 minutes on each side, or until crisp and golden. Keep the cooked fish warm while you cook the remainder.
Melt the remaining butter in skillet. Add the potatoes and let them sauté a little. Serve immediately.

Makes 6 servings

Source : Epicurious July 2009

Let me begin by explaining that I have never been very skilled at pan-frying fish. Especially not delicate fish. Flounder was on sale this week and I was in the mood for fish, so I looked for a recipe specifically for flounder. This one actually called for whole flounders, maybe that would have worked better. Only fillets were available at the store. These completely fell apart in the pan, I had more fish bits than fillets in the end. (I also discovered several ½-inch size, very sharp bones in these, for those with kidlings.)

In the end, I was not impressed with either the fish or the recipe. Fingerling potatoes were the original recipe, but I had to substitute that for something a little more cost friendly due to the amount I would need for my family. The store had a 3-lb. bag of small yellow (gold) potatoes with a very thin skin. They were good potatoes, the recipe just did not offer a lot of flavor. The fish reminded me of scrambled eggs. Not what I had expected, not sure why, but that is what it tasted like to me. The boys all ate, we had full bellies, but it is not something I will try again.

Should I have used the parsley and lemon and dill? Maybe. Parsley doesn’t really add much flavor in general and I only had dried, so I skipped it. Lemon (citrus in general) is not something that I generally like on any main dish, just a personal preference. As I got into the cooking process I had already determined that this was something that I wasn’t going to like very much, once I get that into my head, I don’t worry to much beyond making it edible. I sprinkled the fish with salt and freshly ground pepper while it was in the pan to ensure that it had more flavor than flour and butter, but that is the only seasoning I added.

We were down to just 3 for the dinner table tonight, being a holiday weekend the hubby had to work odd hours, so he didn’t make it home. Son 2 was out helping friends clean up their yard and stayed there for dinner. Son 4 visited the doctor today and tested positive for his third round of strep, needless to say he didn’t really feel like eating. So it was just me and sons 1 & 3 for dinner. Hopefully #4 can kick the strep this time so we can throughly enjoy summer now that it’s finally starting to warm up here.

58 down : 307 to go

Butter Pecan French Toast

(liberally adapted)

★★★★★

  • 2 tablespoon butter, divided
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup refrigerated Amaretto nondairy creamer
  • 12 slices bread
  • confectioners’ sugar
  • ground cinnamon
  • Maple syrup, optional
Pecan toasting

In a small skillet, melt 1 teaspoon butter over medium heat. Add pecans; cook and stir for 3 minutes or until toasted. While pecans are toasting, preheat oven to 400°. Using two 15 x 10-inch jelly roll pans, divide butter evenly between them; place pans in oven as it preheats.

Egg mixture
Cinnamon sprinkler
Pan ready

In a shallow bowl, whisk eggs and creamer.

Remove pans from oven, spread melted butter evenly over bottom. Sprinkle with chopped pecans (I put pecans in 1 pan and left the other plain). Dip both sides of each slice of bread in egg mixture. Place in a single layer on each jelly roll pan (should fit 6 slices each). Sprinkle with cinnamon. Pour any remaining egg mixture over bread slices. Bake for 20 minutes, until golden. Serve with powdered sugar and maple syrup.

Makes 12 slices

Source : Simple & Delicious September/October 2009

I love having breakfast for dinner. Funny how I hate fixing breakfast in the morning, I’m just not a morning girl! The trouble with french toast and having 4 kids, I haven’t figured out how to get everything fixed, keep it warm and eat dinner together. Usually we just “order up” and each kid eats as it gets done. I did some research about baking french toast and came up with this website recipe. I had to do some adapting, putting the pecans in first was genius, they baked right into the bread, like the nuts on sticky buns. I also could not find Southern Butter Pecan creamer (which sounded pretty tasty) and had to settle for a different flavor. The grocery store cooler seemed overloaded with Hazelnut varieties right now (is that a seasonal thing?).

Creamer of choice

I actually ran to a second grocery store in the hopes of finding some, and finally gave up and bought Amaretto (because it had nuts on the label). I happen to be allergic to pecans and almonds and avoid them in general in large doses. So that I could enjoy this too, I fixed one pan with the pecans and one without. I did try one of each (how could I not!) Other adaptations, I did not measure the cinnamon and just sprinkled it evenly over the top of the soaked bread. Nor did I use French bread or Texas toast or another fancy bread…I just used regular ol’ white sliced bread.

I do not think I will ever use a skillet for french toast again. Baking it was the perfect solution for our family. I will need to buy a second jellyroll pan!

Gooey hand reference

*Lesson learned: Remember which hand is the gooey hand. Do not use the gooey hand to reach in the bread bag for a new slice! This makes for a gooey bag!

Today's lesson learned

57 down : 308 to go

Grilled Chicken Adobo

★★★★★

  • 1 ½ cups soy sauce
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • ¾ cups vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 ½ tablespoons minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs
Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat, and lightly oil grate.
In a large pot, mix soy sauce, water, vinegar, honey, garlic, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil and place chicken into pot. Reduce heat, cover and cook 35-40 mintues.
Remove chicken, drain on paper towels and set aside. Return mixture to a boil and cook until reduced to about 1 ½ cups
Place chicken on prepared grill, about 5 minutes each side, until browned and crisp. Serve with remaining soy sauce mixture.

Makes 8 servings

Source : Heart-Of-Midlothian (allrecipes.com)

Let me just say, this was amazing! AMAZING! I dislike chicken thighs, I hate needing to pick at chicken on the bone, but I could have gone all caveman on this one! Easy, easy, easy…pour everything in a pot, add the chicken, cook and then pitch it on the grill for a final sizzle. I omitted the bay leaves (mostly because I couldn’t find mine in the bowels of my spice cabinet) and may or may not have used slightly more than the suggested garlic dosage.

The only complaint I would have is…where do you find boneless, skinless chicken THIGHS! Not in this town. I had bone-in, skin-coated chicken thighs. I had to pull the skin off myself and I really hate touching raw chicken. Then I had to trim the excess fat off, yuck! Worst part was, of the two and a half pound package I bought, I think I threw away about a pound! We had 4 little chicken thighs to feed 6 people.

But this was still an amazing, incredible sauce. The chicken just fell off the bone, barely any picking required. The whole family loved it. I would happily serve this to company and not worry about someone turning their nose up. This is a definite must try for you and an I’m going to make this again for me!