Friday, July 30, 2010

Basil Shrimp

Guess what?  I made another recipe with lemon, ha!  Only a little bit though, if that's any kind of consolation.  I promise that next week's recipe will be completely lemon-free :)

We rated this recipe a 4 Spoons.  Pretty tastey, but not something we're dying to make again really soon.  I have another grilled shrimp recipe that I loved years ago, so I'm going to try that one again to see if it's worth sharing.  (Sidenote: Bo has already asked when we're having last week's bbq chicken next.)


Basil Shrimp
adapted from

1 1/2 lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 Tbsp. olive oil
3 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. fresh basil, minced**
3 cloves garlic
Juice of 1 lemon
salt & pepper to taste

In a shallow dish, mix together all sauce ingredients. Add shrimp and toss to coat.  Cover and marinade for 20 minutes. Soak your bamboo skewers in water and preheat grill to high heat.

Remove shrimp from marinade and thread onto skewers.  Arrange skewers on preheated grill and cook for 4 minutes or until opaque, turning once.

 ** Note:  Because fresh basil is so expensive and because I can't keep a basil plant alive (I gave up after 4 attempts), I now purchase those tubes of herbs in the produce section.  They last a lot longer than bunch of fresh basil and cost about the same amount.

Ingredient lineup:

Mix the sauce ingredients in a shallow dish.

Add the shrimp and toss to coat.

Thread onto soaked skewers.

Grill on high.

Turning once, for approximately 4 minutes.

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Chops and Chips

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Just remember I warned you that I'd be returning to my Green Eggs and Ham Cookbook!  I bring you Skipper Zipp's Chops and Chips.

From Oh Say Can You say? :
If you like to eat potato chips
and chew pork chops on clipper ships,
I suggest that you chew
a few chips and a chop
at Skipper Zipp's Clipper Ship Chip Chop Shop

It is really just pork chops and potato wedges but I find that when you add fun names it makes it more fun to cook and to eat.  It seems to entice the kids a bit more as well.  This is a good basic meal that everyone in the family enjoyed.  We rate it 4 spoons.

For a sweet treat at the end I bring you Gertrude McFuzz-y Berries.  Now I know some of you may think that I took perfectly healthy berries and made them unhealthy by dredging them in sugar but let me just say...Yumm!  These are great as is but I also think they'd be great over some vanilla ice cream or on top of a brownie.  The raspberries were my favorite, mmmmmm. 


Photobucket Visit me at Life in the BAT Cave

Skipper Zipp's Chops and Chips

4 center-cut pork loin chops, with bone (I used boneless)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 large potatoes, cut lengthwise into 6 wedges
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon paprika

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
2.  Sprinkle half the salt and all the pepper on the chops and put them on a baking sheet.  Set aside.


3.  Put the potatoes on a baking sheet, then sprinkle them with the olive oil and roll them around.  Sprinkle them with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and the paprika.


4.  Put the potatoes in the oven and turn after half an hour.
5.  Put the pork chops i nthe oven when you turn the potatoes.  Cook both until the chops anre juicy and brown about 20-25 minutes, and the potatoes are golden and tender, about half an hour.
6.  Serve hot on a platter.
Makes 4 servings.
chops and chips

Gertrude McFuzz-y Berries
1/2 cup sugar
3 ounces fresh raspberries
3 ounces fresh blackberries
3 ounces fresh blueberries

1.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
2.  Put the berries, 3 or 4 at a time, into a bowl containg the sugar and turn them around until coated.

McFuzzy Berries

3.  Put the sugared berries in a single layer on the foil.

McFuzzy Berries

4.  Freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.
5.  The berries may be refrigerated in a plastic bag for up to two weeks.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Shephards Pie

This is one of my husbands favorite meals, I hadn't even heard of it until we got married. This is our version.

Shephards Pie


6 good sized potatoes
Garlic Salt
Package of gravy mix
1-2lb ground beef browned
1 can of corn drained
Cheese (as much as you want)

peel, and cut the potatoes into chunks for fast boiling, boil until they fall off your fork.
Mash potatoes and mix in enough milk and butter to make creamy. Add your garlic salt to taste.

Pour your gravy mix into the ground beef and add 3 TBLS water, mix well. Put finished beef on the bottem of a caserole pan (no need for non-stick spray will be fine with the grease from the ground beef) Pour the drained can of corn on the top spread evenly, pour the finished mashed potatoes over the top and flatten. Add optional cheese, throw in the oven at 350 for 15-20min and your good to go!

We rate this a 5 star, our toddler won't eat it, but she won't eat pudding... so what does that tell ya? LOL

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Hawaiian Beef Sliders

One of our favorite appetizers to order when dining out are sliders - mini hamburgers. So when I found this recipe for Hawaiian Sliders in the June/July issue of Taste of home - I knew that we had to try them!

They were fabulous!

I was a little worried that there was no cheese included - but they are so tasty - you don't need it!


Hawaiian Beef Sliders
June/July Taste of Home
Mary Relyea, Canastota , NY

1 20oz unsweetened crushed pineapple
1 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
1/4 cup of soy sauce
2 Tbsp ketchup
1 Tbsp white vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
18 miniature whole wheat buns
Baby spinach leaves
3 center cut bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
Sliced jalapeno peppers, optional

1. Drain pineapple, reserving juice and 1 1/2 cups pineapple (save remaining pineapple for another use). In a large bowl, combine 3/4 cup reserved pineapple pepper and salt. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into 18 patties; place in 2 11 X 7 dishes.

2. In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, ketchup vinegar, garlic pepper flakes and reserved pineapple juice. Pour half of marinade into each dish; cover and refrigerate for 1 hour, turning once.

3. Coat grill rack with cooking spray before starting grill. Drain and discard marinade. Grill patties, covered, over medium heat for 4-5 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees and juices run clear.

4. Grill Buns, uncovered, for 1-2 minutes or until toasted. Serve burgers on buns with spinach, pineapple, bacon and jalapeno peppers if desired.

Absolute hands down 5 spoons!!

We all loved them - the kids left off the jalapeno's but Hubby and I loved them!


Monday, July 26, 2010

Our son, Sawyer asked me what Succotash was this week and I had to tell him I wasn't really sure. He saw a gopher on a Winnie-the-Pooh movie that had it in it's lunch box. Then he heard someone exclaim "Suffering Succotash!". We needed to investigate this and put an answer to his burning question. We learned that this is a very Southern side dish that is easy to prepare, even for this very New England family.

We did an internet search and found this Succotash recipe on the Food Network.

1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup chopped red pepper
2 cups frozen or canned corn, drained
2 cups frozen lima beans
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper
Directions: In a saucepan, heat butter and cook red pepper until tender about 1 minute. Stir in corn, lima beans and water. Cover and bring to a simmer. Cook for 3 minutes. Stir in butter and season to taste.I had used canned lima beans but I think the frozen would have been a brighter and more pleasing green color. The taste was wonderful! David and I gave it 5 spoons. The boys, well.............let's just say they picked every single lima bean out! We're definately going to make this often. We are undeterred by the boys. :)

Blessings from camp,
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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Taking It Easy

For the weekend we thought we would take it easy...just
post a quote, picture or short food article.

Thanks so much for joining us in our kitchens!

When baking, follow directions.

When cooking, go by your own taste.

~Laiko Bahrs


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Friday, July 23, 2010

BBQ Chicken Thighs

Sidenote:  Isn't our new blog layout stinking ca-yute?!  Thanks to you girls who made it happen!!

I decided to put Bo over the moon by making him a dinner that was mildly Southern.  I'm from the Pacific Northwest; I really don't know a thing about Southern food.  He's from Florida and can wax poetic for an hour about the glories of sweet tea.  But, I'm always up for learning something new, so I've been experimenting lately.  Our sides were cornbread, and - drumroll please - collard greens. 

Bo rated the whole meal a 5 "finger lickin" spoons.  (No, he doesn't normally talk like that.)  He thought that the chicken was yum and said it was some of the best he'd ever tasted.  Hurrah!!  I was just grateful that he's so good at grilling, because I'll certainly never learn how :)


BBQ Chicken Thighs
adapted from Cuisine At Home Weeknight Grilling cookbook

8 chicken thighs, bone-in

4 tsp. paprika
4 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
2 tsp. cayenne
1 tsp. kosher salt

1 c. ketchup
1/3 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. whiskey
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. yellow mustard
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. chili garlic paste*
juice of 1 lime
salt to taste

Preheat grill to medium-high. 

Remove skin and large pieces of fat from the chicken thighs.  Combine spices and salt in a bowl for the rub, and then massage mixture onto the chicken thighs to coat.  Whisk all remaining ingredients for the sauce in a medium bowl. 

Grill chicken for 10 minutes, turning several times.  Dip each chicken thigh into the sauce and return to the grill.  Cook for 3 minutes and then dip again in the sauce.  Return to the grill for an additional 4-7 minutes, or until juices run clear when cut to the bone with a knife.

*  The original recipe calls for red pepper flakes, but we love using chili garlic paste anywhere that calls for heat.  We love the stuff!

Time for a chicken massage ;)

Grill with just the rub first.

Then, dunk into the sauce and continue grilling.

Grill until juices are clear, done!

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Yot in the Pot

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I know some of you are thinking Yot in the Pot?  Has she gone and lost her mind?  The answer is no, no I have not.  I like to cook with my  great big pot.  Okay, really, I haven't been in the sun too long, I've just been visiting my Green Eggs and Ham Cookbook!  I love this cookbook inspired by Dr. Seuss and his stories.  So don't be surprised if you see some more things like kazoo's in my stew!  I may just cook my way through this whole thing.

I chose this recipe because I knew there were no ingredients in it that my children would not eat.  That is always an important feature of a recipe!  They all love sausage too, so I actually added more than the recipe called for.  I served this with a salad and it was a filling meal. 

This ended up being a hit.  My parents happened to be here unexpectedly for dinner so I got their opinions as well. My mom wants to make this again for herself, my dad and hubby both liked it, and my oldest actually asked for seconds!  I thought it was very tasty and I do think it will see a return to my kitchen.  I think I'll have to rate it 5 spoons. 

I leave you with some tips for this recipe:
"Put a lot in your pot, not a Yot.  You can put a lot of vegetables, a lot of saugsage, even a lot of clams still in there shells.  You can use differnt kinds of sausage and even clams in a can if you want, or shrimp if that's your favorite.  Or all of the above so that you've got quite a lot for your pot." 

Photobucket visit me over at Life in the BAT Cave

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 mild Italian sausages, cut into 1-inch pieces (I used 6)
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 cup canned tomatoes, chopped, with their juice (I forgot to get a can and used fresh)
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 large potatoes, peeled and chopped into bite-size pieces
2 ears of corn, with kernels cut off the cob (I used canned, drained)
1 pound of clams in their shells (or substitue 9oz can whole clams with juice) (I didn't use but may the next time)

1.  Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat.  Add the sausages and cook until browned, about 5 minutes.
2.  Add the onions and garlic and stir a minute or two, then add the tomatoes, chicken broth, oregano and potatoes.
3.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
4.  Add the corn and the clams.
5.  Cover and cook another 10 minutes.

Yot in the Pot

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Brandy's Questionaire

What is your go to dish: Hubs and I talked about this and we couldn't put our finger on it. It used to be shepherds pie, then tacos, then dutch oven potatoes, and most recently chicken pot pie, but we would get sick of something and then rarely eat it again LOL

Who are you cooking for: Hubs, Love bug-2yr old Daughter, and someday Piglet 4mo. old daughter- she currently is on a "mama's milk" diet only.

How did you learn to cook: I learned from my mother and MAINLY from my "foods" class in 9Th grade.

Worse recipe disaster: I don't remember what it was called, it had rice, chicken and other stuff and it called for a FEW of the pepper seeds and I threw in what I thought was a FEW and packed it up for a picnic (hubs was working that day) and we each took a bite and spit it out, my tongue was on fire and I couldn't taste a thing for the rest of the day... :( HORRIBLE!

Best recipe: Jerk Chicken... yummmmmmm

Do you take your kids in the kitchen: I love to try to get love bug in the kitchen she loves to "help" yesterday she washed the potatoes and then I peeled them and she re-washed them... and she also dumped the sauce and spices in the crock pot for me. :)

Personal cooking goals: To get my family to eat more veggies, my hubs RARELY eats them and Love bug won't even try them! (she does love tomatoes!) To try more variety of things and expand our weekly menus.

Favorite cooking utensil: I love silicone spatulas would use them on everything if I could, OH and silicone tongs!

Favorite Method of cooking: (i.e. crock pot, one pot meals, BBQ etc..) Well I have to say BBQ/Dutch Oven: cause in our house that's assigned to hubs. :) I really like one pot meals If I had to pick.

Do you bake: I do, but I really don't like to, because I suck at it!

Favorite Beverage while cooking: WATER... I know I'm boring!

Does your husband/Boyfriend cook: Yes, anytime it's BBQ/ Dutch oven cooking he is assigned. AND I told him he has to cook one night a week so I can have one night off and he picked Tuesdays... :) Sweet I know, but sometimes it is scary, he knows how to cook things like hot pockets... and only used a microwave before we got married.

Childhood memory about food: not sure I have one of those....

What is your favorite food to eat: WOW that's tough I like food a whole lot. Ummmm..... I really do love Mexican food but I only know how to cook one Mexican dish... I do love Lasagna and Chinese too!

Favorite place to go eat at when you don't want to cook: Cafe Rio- fast food, or sit down at Chili's, or Chin Wah's. Although no one beats Applebee's blondie brownie dessert!

What do you want to teach your children through cooking: To use fresh ingredients and to enjoy cooking because it's better and healthier for you.

What is your favorite dessert: Sorry again I just can't pick ONLY one: Magic bars, banana creme pie, Chex mix, Sara's cake pops, and now Sara's carmel corn.

What is your favorite junk food: Well I have to say prob. the Chex mix or Sara's Carmel Corn because I eat too many and they disappear sometimes the same day! :(

Do you have a food weakness: Sometimes I think I can just throw a few ingredient together that sound good in my head... but it never tastes as good as it sounds.

What time is supper/dinner: When hubs gets home which is usually between 6-7

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Chicken Tamale Casserole

What is it about the days getting longer that makes me think that I have all the time in the world. Hubby had taken the kids outside to play on the water slide and I just kind of forgot about time marching by - while we usually have dinner around 7 - I didn't start this dish until after 8:30.

It was the perfect summer night though - while the casserole was finishing off in the oven - we all went outside to watch the fireflies.

Chicken Tamale Casserole
All You Magazine May 2010


2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small red pepper, seeded and chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tsp chili powder
1 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced
1 4oz can diced green chilies, drained
salt and pepper
1 15 oz can of medium red enchilada sauce
4 cups crumbled cornbread
1.2 buttermilk
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mist a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray.

In a large skillet, warm oil over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper; saute until onion is translucent, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and chili powder and saute 1 minute.

Add chicken and chilies; season with salt and pepper. Raise heat to high. Saute until chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Pour in enchilada sauce. Bring to a boil. Spoon mixture into baking dish.

In a large bowl, combine cornbread and buttermilk. Sprinkle 1/2 of cheese over chicken mixture; spread cornbread mixture evenly on top. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. bake until top is golden, about 20 minutes.


It was like a Rachael Ray love fest in my kitchen - I used my bake ware, cookware, knives, benchscrape and mopine. The only thing missing? Rachael Ray herself!

I forgot to pick up some cooking spray - so I used some cupcake liners to avoid having to scrape the corn bread off my muffin tin. It worked wonders.


There is nothing better for casseroles than Pampered Chef Stone ware - it cooks beautifully and nothing stuck to it!


I used my favorite corn bread - Jiffy Mix for the topping - and while I was a little worried about the buttermilk - it made for a great crust when combined with cheddar cheese.


There was only a tiny bit left over.

We all rate this dish with a high 5 spoons.

Hubby ran out while I was getting everything ready and said that when he hit the second set of stairs he could smell my fabulous cooking from outside!


Monday, July 19, 2010

Oatmeal Blueberry Cookies

The blueberries are here! We've been picking these like crazy and I thought, since I'm in the throws of preserving them, I would show you the many ways I preserve this harvest. At Money Saving Maine-iac you can check in everyday this week and follow this the series Five Days, Five Different Ways.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
  • ½ pound (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 c. firmly packed brown sugar
  • ½ c. granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1½ c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. salt (optional)
  • 3 c. oats
  • 1½ c. dried blueberries

A neighbor friend Linda C. gave this recipe to me a last year back before moving to Florida. It looks like it is loosely based on the Quaker Oats recipe.

1.) Heat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, beat margarine and sugars until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well.

2.) In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Add oats and dried blueberries.

3.) Combine the Dry and wet ingredients.

4.) Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto parchment lined cookie sheets.

5.) Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until light golden brown.

These cookies are delicious. There are never any complaints from the Peanut Gallery but I think the next time I bake these I'll try substituting 1/2 cup shortening for 1/2 cup of the butter. I think the texture will be more to my personal liking. This recipe is a definite 4 spoons!

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Saturday, July 17, 2010

Taking It Easy


Cookies-and-Cream Milk Shakes
All You Magazine May 2010

5 chocolate sandwich cookies such as Oreos
2 cups vanilla ice cream, slightly softened
1/4 cup milk

Place 3 cookies in a ziplock bag. Seal bag and crush cooking with a rolling pin.

In a blender, combine ice cream and milk. Blend until smooth. Add crushed cookies and pulse a few times just to blend. Pour into 2 tall glasses and garish each with a cookie (or a dollop of whipped cream drizzled with chocolate syrup if desired).


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