Friday, April 29, 2011

Please Pardon my French and Help Kick Some Sweet Auto Immune Disease Ass!

If you've been reading my blog, it should come as no surprise that my cooking style is more meat & potatoes than escargot & foie gras. In fact, we are so into the recent comfort food trend that we are planning to serve some classic favorites during our wedding reception next year (because shoveling mini burgers into my mouth while wearing an expensive, white dress seems like a good idea). 

However, you might not know that I'm also pretty clueless when it comes to wedding planning and have been obsessively reading wedding blogs in a desperate attempt to figure out what the heck I'm doing before the big day. So when a popular wedding blog put out a call for comfort food recipes as part of the Dishing for Dana FUNdraiser, I was on it like white on rice (or more accurately like cheese on mac).

To back up for a second, Dana is the blogger behind the snark and sass of The Broke-Ass Bride, which she developed into the snark and sass of The Broke-Ass Media Inc., which officially makes her a pretty bad-ass businesswoman.  Unfortunately, Dana also suffers from a lame-ass auto immune disease that requires lots of expensive-ass surgeries, which resulted in an ass load of bills that are not covered by Broke-Ass Media's small business insurance policy. Which sucks ass and is a major buzz kill. This Broke-Ass Bride is a tough cookie though so a little setback wasn't enough to kick Dana's ass and send her crawling into hibernation with a pint of Chubby Hubby for a major league pity party. Oh, heck no! Instead, she has decided to fight the power with a sweet-ass FUNdraiser....and this is where you come in.

As part of the Dishing for Dana FUNdraiser, she is asking for donations in an effort to continue her treatment, pay for her 12th surgery and save her eyesight. In return for your donation, you will get access to an awesome database of comfort food recipes contributed by a variety of bloggers (including moi), some awesome perks AND Dana will donate a portion of the proceeds to the American Autoimmune Related Disease Association. To summarize, for a small (or large) donation Dana gets the help she needs, the AARDA gets some money to help fund auto immune disease research and you get heaps of new recipes along with some pretty great extras. Pretty cool, huh?

So get your rear over to Dishing for Dana, make a donation, and keep your eyes peeled for my recipe for Mom's Simple Mac-n-Cheese Casserole.....unless you are my Mom in which case you already have this recipe (hi Mom! sorry about all the bad language in this post). Mom status aside though, I sincerely hope you will make a donation to contribute to a worthy cause and see some recipes that were not posted by your darling daughter.

So what do you say readers, do you want to get some rockin' new recipes and help kick some auto immune disease ass?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Katie's Home-style Chicken and Egg Noodles

Happy Easter!  I hope everyone had a nice, relaxing day. I know I’ve been enjoying a full day of gorging myself on Peeps and Honeybaked Ham. I’m also super excited that the weather has been a little more reasonable recently.  Feels like it's been a long haul this year and I’m definitely ready to start having picnics in the park and dust off the old grill. Or maybe I’m just excited that I can finally walk to the subway without freezing off my little rear?!
Before I get ahead of myself though, I realized today that I forgot to share this recipe for Home-style Chicken and Egg Noodles…..oops.  This hearty soup is super comfort food, which was a huge hit in our household and is now part of the regular dinner rotation.  Seriously, run don’t walk to your kitchen and make it immediately, I promise you won’t be sorry!
Katie’s Home-style Chicken and Egg Noodles
2 skinless, bone-in chicken breasts
4 skinless, bone-in chicken thighs
2 14.5 oz. cans low fat chicken broth
43.5 oz water (3 chicken broth cans full)
1 chopped onion
2 chopped carrots
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 10.75 oz can cream of mushroom soup
8 oz home-style egg noodles
Salt & pepper to taste
  1. Place first 9 ingredients (through garlic powder) in a dutch oven on the stove.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes.
  2. Carefully remove the chicken from the pot and pull meat from the bones.  Put the pulled chicken back in the pot and stir in the cream of mushroom soup. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Add the egg noodles and cook according to package directions.
Just in case you didn't fully enjoy today's balmy weather, a little flashback below via Gothamist.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Make-Ahead Meal Inspiration

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been stuck sitting around on the couch while recovering from a super fun appendectomy.  Unfortunately, this means I can’t carry anything heavy until Mid-May so regular grocery shopping is out for now. Luckily we have Freshdirect and a bunch of great friends and family that have stepped in to make sure we don’t starve (one friend even threw us a little grilled cheese party last week, awesome).
However, there’s no need to wait for someone to get sick to brighten their day with a delicious, homemade make-ahead meal. To inspire you, I've compiled links to some of my favorite make-ahead meals from the around the web for your cooking pleasure.  Just be sure to include the finishing instructions so that your friends can enjoy a delicious and easy meal!
Casseroles:  to make any casserole into a make-ahead meal, just prepare in advance, place in a disposable casserole dish, label and freeze.  When ready to use, thaw in fridge, and finish according to the recipe direction. Most casseroles can be prepared from frozen as well, just cover with foil, increase the baking time slightly and cook until heated through.

Freezer Friendly Individual Meals: to make ahead, prepare through assembly, freeze individually on cookie sheets and place in freezer bags.  When you’re ready to cook either thaw the portions you need in the fridge and cook according to the recipe or cook from frozen by increasing the baking time a little until heated through and golden brown.

Other Ideas: there are tons of other recipes that can adapted into a made ahead meal, here are a few ideas to get you started!

Crockpot Turkey Cheddar Meatballs – freeze individually and reheat in microwave when ready to eat
Crockpot Taco Soup – freeze in containers and reheat in microwave when ready to eat
Martha Stewart Quick Ravioli – freeze individually and reheat in boiling water when ready to eat
Rachael Ray Veal Ragu – prepare sauce and freeze until ready to serve over pasta

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Grandma's Pickled Beets

It's almost Easter, yay for Easter! Seriously, who doesn't love a holiday that involves plundering a basket full of candy for breakfast?! Delicious. 

Anywho, in my family, as with many Pennsylvania families, this is the only time of year that we get to break out the pickled beets.  I have fond memories of my Grandmother pulling a giant glass container from her fridge before Easter dinner which was filled full of beets, eggs and pickle juice. Now before you start picturing regular pickle brine with a bunch of beets and eggs thrown in (which would be gross), I have to tell you that the brine for this one more closely resembles a sweet & sour spiced syrup. Admittedly that's still a bit weird, but for some reason it just works.

Also, I have no idea how this pickled beet tradition began or why it is such a quintessentially Easter thing but I don't care because pickled beets are delicious.  One small note though, I'm not a big fan of hardboiled eggs so now I make mine sans offending eggs. If you're into that sort of thing though, feel free to throw a few peeled, hardboiled eggs into the brine to make some red beet eggs. I promise I won't judge.

Grandma’s Pickled Beets
  • 2 15 oz cans of sliced beets
  • 1 ½ c. sugar
  • ¼ c. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  1. Drain beets, reserving liquid in a small saucepan
  2. Add sugar, vinegar and cinnamon to the reserved liquid
  3. Heat to a rolling boil, stirring constantly.
  4. Pour over beets, let cool and then refrigerate for at least 8 hours.

image via Photo Bucket

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Manly Man Irish Coffee

I've been sick, sickie, sick, in appendicitis sick. I had absolutely no idea, I thought I had the flu, but I guess that's why I don't have a medical degree.  My poor fiance, Mr. Awesome, took me to the doctor on Thursday and we thought I'd end up home in twenty minutes with instructions for lots of rest and fluids. WRONG. Instead the doctor took one look at me and sent us off to the ER for IV fluids and a CT Scan of my appendix. Two days, two sleepless nights, many scared tears and lots of blood tests later, I was free to go home minus one appendix.

Throughout the whole ordeal Mr. Awesome was there to hold my hand while I got an IV and intimidate the nurses into attending to my every need. He was there to keep me entertained with Angry Birds in the ER, go on a midnight toiletry run, bring me ice chips and manage my crankiness.  However, nothing touched me more than seeing my tough man with a little touch of sand in his eye when I woke up from anesthesia because he was so relieved to see me awake and okay. Now I understand why people get married, it's nice to have a right hand man to look out for you when you can't do it for yourself.

Poor guy though, he's had a rough week.  After a few days of sleeping in an uncomfortable hospital chair, he was definitely ready for some coffee and a lot of nerve calming booze. A word of caution though, this drink is no shrinking violet, but it's also a great treat for the stressed out guy in your life!
Manly Man Irish Coffee
1 mug brewed coffee
1 part Godiva chocolate liquor
2 parts Bailey’s Irish Cream
3 parts Jameson Irish Whiskey

1. Mix all ingredients together and enjoy!

*1 part is about equal to 1/2 jigger which means this is not for the weak of heart.

**To make a girlier version, just add milk or cream to taste and pretend you are enjoying an apres ski drink by a roaring fire.
Provided via

Sunday, April 3, 2011

BBQ Chicken Joes

The man of the household worked a double shift last weekend, which meant we spent a rare Saturday together. So, we made a little mini vacation out of it by meeting a friend for brunch, drinking boozy milkshakes in the afternoon and watching a Back to the Future marathon. In a word, our day together was AWESOME!
I knew that Mr. Man would be pretty tired from working an 18 hour shift, so I rewarded him with slowcooked BBQ Chicken Joes for dinner.  He had his on country white bread as a sandwich, which he swears is the way to go, but I had mine straight up in a bowl which I think is the better option.  Now I'm back from my "vacation" and trying to avoid the huge mountain of laundry that's been piling up in the bedroom, sigh.....

BBQ Chicken Joes
1 lb ground chicken
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 tbsp vinegar
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
¼ c. BBQ sauce (I used Stubb’s honey pecan sauce)
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp chili powder
Shredded cheese as garnish
1.       Combine all ingredients in crockpot, cook on low for 8 hours.
Enjoy with the '80s movie of your choice for a fantastic date night!

image via Abduzeedo