Saturday, October 24, 2009

Sliders, Salad, Taters and Dice, Oh My!

Lately it seems I've been a HUGE carnivore. I've mentioned in previous posts that we like meat. Here is yet another meaty Meals by Misty meal.  This weeks dinner party was a very fun one. Wes, one of our BESTEST friends, helped me in the kitchen which made the  night even more fun.

We used 1 lb ground sirloin, 1 lb ground beef and 1/2 lb sausage. Next, we added 4 tbl black pepper, 2 tbl sea salt, 4 crushed garlic cloves, 3 tbl Worcestershire sauce  and 2 tsp sage. Mixed it all together and rolled it into balls...


Now, I would USUALLY grill these, but due to rain, we pan fried them. I would have preferred them to be a little less "done" but they tasted great! I served them family style on water rolls with melted pepper jack and cheddar cheese, dill pickle, red onion, green leaf lettuce, mustard. mayo and spicy barbecue sauce.


Wes helped me make my own version of a Pioneer Woman recipe. We boiled red potatoes until they were almost done and then mashed them into potato rounds.

 We sprinkled on some garlic, salt, black pepper and rosemary, popped them under the broiler for about 7 minutes, and TADA...


Before my guests arrived, I had made up a new recipe for a cold cucumber, red onion, cherry tomato salad. I chopped everything up and added salt, pepper, fresh basil, rosemary, balsamic vinegar and olive oil. It was fantastic!

Kelly helped out in the kitchen after dinner and iced us some Roll Tide cupcakes!

We ended the night with wine and the classic shake, score and shout dice game, YAHTZEE!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

I yam what I yam!

Popeye the sailor man would definitely be proud of my Spinach and Cream Cheese Roasted Chicken dish I made this week. I kept it Gluten free and low in fat. That isn't always an easy task. I am going to apologize in advance for showing a picture of a raw chicken boob. I can't stand dealing with chicken. I love cooking it, but HATE cleaning it!

I sauteed whole spinach leaves in olive oil, garlic and salt and pepper. The chicken marinated in A LOT of minced garlic, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar (overnight). I stuffed the bird with the spinach mixture and roasted it in the oven for about 45 minutes, 375 degrees.

I served it with Sauteed Green Beans and Pecans and Baked Sweet Taters.

The Barnes (one of my weekly clients) raved about the meal. So, all in all it was a good day.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Got Gumbo?

A lot of my friends and coworkers ask me how I have the energy to teach 125 kids each day, plan menus for myself and my clients, do my daily Publix (grocery) shopping, cook healthy, homemade meals, deliver them, clean up, grade homework, just in time to go to bed and do it all over again. My response is "I like to chop." I relieve my daily stresses by chopping veggies. Yesterday, for example, I had to break up a fight in the stairwell. Both 10 year olds were taller and bigger than me. Whats a girl to do? Make gumbo.

I hosted a small dinner party later that night for one of my closest friends, Jennifer. It was her 34th Birthday. I know Gumbo is one of those things that is perfect on a cold night, but Alabama just isn't anywhere near cold! We are hot, humid and wet! Besides, the birthday girl likes gumbo and chocolate and what she wants, she gets!
Who needs a spa day when you can chop onions, peppers, celery and tomatoes! Its so much fun and so colorful.

This chicken was tasty, but so boring in color! Once I added the veggies, it tasted and looked perfectly gumbo'ed. (I just invented that word)
All gumbo needs something to dunk into it. Garlic Bread and pretty much any soup are just better together!

ChOcOlAtE TiMe

Chomp Chomp...

Happy Birthday Jennifer!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Hot Plate!!

I can usually be found at my favorite chips and salsa establishment on Friday nights but must admit, I get a huge thrill in making taco night here at the Westover household, a weekly tradition. Sure, cheese dip with the chips and even a little extra cheese dip poured all over the quesadilla is a great thing, but believe it or not, taco time can be healthy! VeRy HeAlThY!

For starters: Crunchy Lime and Cilantro Slaw. Mix the juice of 1 lime with 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and whisk together. Pop it in the fridge while you mix the veggies. I buy the shredded cabbage because its, well, easy.

Chop up some cilantro (i like cilantro A LOT), half a red onion, green bell pepper, red bell pepper and as much jalapeƱo as you can handle. Add it to the slaw and pour on the dressing. Give it a taste and make sure its just perfect. Do this now because your taste buds might get a little confused after your first margarita.

We are taco people. Not so much burrito people, or enchilada people. Tacos make us smile. Its too hard to decide between chicken or steak, so have them both. You only live once!

I don't like using "taco" packets. I like to season the chicken and sirloin with salt, pepper and a hefty hefty hefty amount of cumin. Once the chicken is cooked throughout, use 2 forks and shred it. Be sure to keep the sirloin rare and slice it against the grain. Add 2 or 3 Chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce and a dash or two, a splash or a few of Cholula hot sauce.

Layer either a hard taco shell or a whole wheat flour tortilla with the Crunchy Cilantro and Lime Slaw, the chicken and/or steak, and all the fixins...

Jalapenos, shredded cheddar cheese, green leaf lettuce, tomatoes, lime, avocado, red onion and cilantro. Oh, and don't forget the black beans!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Say Cheese!

I went to the Alabama/Ole Miss game this weekend and when we got back in town, I had a present at my door. My new camera! I was too tired from the trip to cook, so Hank, my cockapoo, was my model! I can't wait to see how my new toy takes food shots! What can I cook up now?? Tune it tomorrow night to find out!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Brrrrr....its Chili out!

When football season arrives, so does Misty's chili season. There is something amazing about how football, chili and cool weather go hand in hand. I consider my chili to be the greatest chili in the world. It is! Really! My husband told me so!

I enter a Super Bowl chili contest each year and the first year I decided to go all out and simmer a roast in the crock pot all night. I shredded it and added it to the chili pot. Needless to say, Meals by Misty took first place!

I also add black beans and a ton of cumin. I receive so many orders for  my chili! I really think I could make this dish blindfolded and drunk. :)

10/24/09: ATTENTION: I made 2 batches of my chili yesterday and decided to write things down. Now, I don't measure. I never have. I did the best I could at including measurements on the recipe. Don't throw me  under a bus if you have to add more seasoning.

Meals by Misty’s Meaty Chili

2 lbs ground beef ( I use ground sirloin)
1 medium size roast
1/3 cup Dales steak sauce
2 tbl butter
1 large onion (red)
1 bell pepper (red)
1 bell pepper (green)
2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
2 cans diced tomatoes (15 oz)
1 can rotel
1 carton beef stock
2 tbl ground cumin
1 tbl dried oregano
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbl chili powder
2 cans black beans
1 can chili beans
Hot Sauce ( I use Cholula and I use a lot)
2 tsp salt
3 tsp fresh ground black pepper

This and that’s to add to the top…
Sour cream
Shredded cheddar cheese
Red onion
Hot sauce

Season a roast (heavily) with extra virgin olive oil, black pepper and salt. As Paula says, “Rub your Meat.“ Heat a skillet to medium-high heat and coat the skillet with olive oil and 2 tbl butter. Sear the roast on all sides until a crust forms on the skin of the roast. Pour 1/3 cup of Dales in a crock pot and cook the roast until it falls apart! I usually put my crock pot on low and leave it cooking all day (6-8 hours). Once the roast it cooked completely, shred the roast with a knife and a fork and save the liquid in the crock pot.

Using a chili pot, cook the sirloin until browned. Add 1 large diced onion, the red and green peppers, the cumin, oregano, cayenne, chili pepper, salt and pepper. The longer this simmers, the better it tastes. I like to let the meat, vegetables and herbs simmer until they lose their color and become thick. Add the shredded roast meat, Rotel, tomatoes, and the beef stock. I like my chili thin, rather than thick. Depending on your tastes, you can add as much stock as you like.

I like to let this stay on the stove for an hour or two. The longer, the better. Drain the beans and add them to the pot. Give a taste and this is when I add extra spice, if needed. I usually add a little more cumin and hot sauce because we like it hot hot hot!!

Ladle it up in a bowl ( I served it in little frito bags for a tailgate last year) and add whateva toppings you like. I go for the sour cream, jalapenos, red onion, hot sauce and fritos. Not that this chili needs all that, I'm just that kind of girl.

Monday, October 5, 2009

u2 u2 u2 u2 u2, you too??

Tonight I'm in the kitchen preparing some chili for a luncheon this week. Its hard to focus, because I'm going to see.....
U2 tomorrow night! WOOHOO!! I hope everyone has a fantastic week!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Beef, its whats for dinner. (filet mignon wrapped in bacon)

We have been getting so much rain here in Alabama that I have had to resort to cooking more meals inside than what I'm used to. I made Filet Mignon for Joey and I even wrapped it up for him like a present. I wrapped in a bacon bow. It was lovely.

I like to season pretty much any beef I cook with the basics: olive oil, salt and pepper. Letting the beef come to room temperature is important too. It keeps your steak from shocking, and getting tough.

When cooking inside, get your cast iron or stainless pan piping hot, and pop a little or a lot of butter in.

Lay your bacon wrapped filet in the pan and start singing that MC Hammer song..You Can't Touch This. Dance around your kitchen, have a sip of wine, boil some water for your whole wheat pasta, but whatever you do, DON'T TOUCH THIS! Give it a full two or three minutes before you flip it over. This guarantees that you will have a perfect, crunchy sear on the top. Then, flip it over, do the MC Hammer around your kitchen a couple times, and wait another two or three minutes. Wrap your hunk of beef in some foil, wrap that bad boy up tightly!

Add some salt and your pasta to the boiling water. Toss some onions, peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, squash, zucchini and whatever other veggies float your boat, all in the same pan you used to cook your steaks. All the yummy, crunchy steak bits are hanging out on that pan, begging to be used!

Add a tablespoon of minced garlic, about a half a cup of heavy cream or milk, and stir until it boils. Drain your pasta and add it to the pan.

Toss it all around really good, top it with some fine Parmesan cheese, add a little crushed red pepper, salt and pepper, and its done!

I added a salad, and dinner was served! Bon Appetit!