Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Baked Bacon

It's been a real long two weeks for me, folks.  I was super busy at work last week, then I took a trip to Nashville this weekend (amazing! more about this in another post...), and I just got back to the office today only to be greeted by a long list of things to do.  Fair enough.  I was on vacation for the past 6 days.  But I don't have to like it.

What I'm really trying to say here is that this will be a quick post.  BUT I believe it will be quite informative.  I have been talking about baked bacon for a while now.  It's super simple to make, you don't have to stand over a hot stove, and finally, most importantly, you now don't have to worry about being spattered with sizzling hot bacon grease.  Personally, I love that this bacon cooks up flat.  It's probably the perfectionist in me, but I really dislike when bacon gets folded over or super curly in the frying pan.  I think it cooks unevenly and I always get stuck with that bacon strip that is super crispy on one side and oily and flabby on the other side.  No bueno.

Anyhow, enough about my little quirks.  I just want you to know that I lied above.  The absolutely, best and most important (in italics and bold font!) part of baking bacon is that you don't have to clean up after yourself.  Well, you do, but it only involves crumpling up the foil that the bacon is cooked on and throwing it away.  This appeals to the lazy person inside me.  Just do it.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Crockpot Pulled Chicken Cheesesteak

Why is the name of this dish so complicated?  Should it be Crockpot Pulled Chicken Cheesesteak?  Or should it be Crockpot Cheesesteak Pulled Chicken?  You have no idea how many times I switched these words around.  You probably don't care.

This is the kind of day it's been for me, folks.  It also happens to be only 8pm and all I wanna do is go to sleep.  Oof.

In other news: I'm heading to Nashville in 2 days!  Yes, you heard me.  I'm visiting the south in August.  What of it?  I've wanted to visit Nashville for some time now and when my friend said, out of the blue, that she also wanted to go, we got down to planning this thing.

Don't you worry, I'm going to take lots of pictures.  And since my birthday happens to be *ahem* tomorrow, we will have lots of celebratory pics from this trip. I'll make sure to weed out any inappropriate ones and only post the relevant pictures.  Just kidding!  Totally not kidding. Warning: I'm planning on eating my way through Nashville so that post will be a good time.

I kind of got off track.  Does it matter?  Probably not.  I'm still going to post the recipe for this delicious pulled chicken cheesesteak business, or whatever we happen to be calling it now.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Zucchini & Feta Grilled Cheese

The first day of every week, without fail, at least one of my coworkers asks me how my weekend was.  And just about every week I have the same answer: went to the gym, visited with my sister and nephew, made some food and hung out with friends.  I mean, there are a few other details involved in my weekend, but we won't go into specifics.  Not everything is "coworker-friendly"!

However, next week, I will have the best thing ever to tell the coworks.  I made a zucchini and feta grilled cheese this weekend!  Predictably, I'm sure some people will not be impressed.  But let me tell you that I am dang proud of this.

Instead of simply grilling up my zucchini like the lazy person I actually want to be, I took things up a notch by adding the grilled zucchini to a grilled cheese.  Honestly, it wasn't that much more work.  In the end, I wound up using just one saucepan and (bonus!) I helped to clear some straggling perishable items out of the fridge.  You know how I hate throwing food away!

I pulled out all the stops for this one, friends.  I threw in onions, feta, mustard, and some shredded cheddar and mozzarella cheese for some added crunchy-ness, tangy-ness, and creamy-ness.  Have mercy!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Zucchini Muffins

I feel it's time to deal with the zucchini situation that we typically find ourselves living in around this time of year.  You know what I mean.  Zucchinis are being harvested out of your gardens in droves.  Or, in my case, zucchinis are overflowing in the supermarkets.  Let's face it.  Hoboken is not known for its great gardening opportunities.

Still, I love these little green vegetables and can't wait for this time to swing around every year.  Recently, I've been loving a simple side of grilled zucchini slices as a snack or a side dish with dinner.  However, when I was assigned the blog Jane's Adventures in Dinner for this month's Secret Recipe Club, I discovered her recipe for Airy Zucchini Muffins.  Clearly I needed to get a little snazzier with my zucchini fare.

I've previously made a zucchini bread and I can vividly recall how delicious that was, so I was quite excited to give these muffins a shot.  Jane's recipe was so quick to whip up that the task which took the longest was the grating of the zucchini.  Seriously.  These muffins came together in minutes and they were simply delicious.  I ended up using cranberries instead of cherries in the recipe simply because I believe in using what I have already in my pantry if I can.  Other than that, I pretty much followed the directions given.  The muffins were as promised: light, airy, and delicious.

I liked that these muffins aren't too sweet, which makes them a perfect for breakfast sustenance.  I also ended up freezing several of these so I can defrost them overnight and have a quick meal on the go the next morning. (Come on. You know I can't resist freezing things!)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Caprese Chicken

Fun fact: I sort of don't like tomatoes.  Let me break this down.  Through some trial and error, I've realized that what I don't actually like is the taste and texture of tomato seeds.  Their texture reminds me of Jell-O, which I absolutely hate.  As in, to the point of gagging, hate.  Ok, no talk of gagging on this food blog.  But honestly, I actually really like the rest of the tomato, aka the tomato flesh.  Yes, I'm totally taking this post to an awkward place.

Moving on...I never really thought of pulling all my major faves together into one dish.  I think chicken is a fantastically quick protein to whip up for a weeknight dinner.  I absolutely adore basil.  (Homemade basil pesto? Stop it!)  And let's not even start with the mozzarella cheese.

I've played with variations of this combination before by making Basil Pesto Chicken and a Caprese Salad.  But now, we are taking this business to another level.  Let's combine it all!  And then we drizzle the whole she-bang with balsamic sauce.  Just in case you didn't think we were serious enough.

If you didn't know before, now you know.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Blue Ribbon: A Review

If you're going to do something, you should do it well.  This is how I feel about a place called Blue Ribbon.  Two words: fried chicken.  I die.