Saturday, October 24, 2009

Crockpot Stuffed Peppers

I was determined to make this recipe for two reasons. 1) I wanted a stuffed pepper because I had not had one in forever 2) I have been lazy bones lately and decided to stick these puppies in a crockpot to experiment. Christian told me it wouldn't work. He was halfway correct. These turned out pretty mushy BUT very very tasty. Christian had 2 so they must have been somewhat sucessful!  I cooked these on low for about 7 hours. The peppers had a nice roasted flavor and the stuffing was absolutely delicious. I would maybe cut the rice/turkey amount in half next time because I had a ton of leftover stuffing that I just ended up baking and making a hash. That ended up being pretty delicious on its own but I prefer it stuffed in a pepper. With all of this said, I will definitely make these again...just in the oven.

1 cup cooked rice ( i cooked mine in 2 cups of chicken stock)
1 lb ground turkey
1 tablespoon of worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon of ketchup
1 can of fire roasted tomatoes ( i used fire roasted with chipotle peppers)
pepper to taste
1/3 cup of chicken stock

Wash and clean peppers removing seeds and ribs of peppers. Reserve pepper tops. Mix all ingredients together except for peppers and chicken stock. Pour the chicken stock into the bottom of the crockpot and place peppers in crockpot. Cook for 6-8 hours on low or 2.5 hours on high.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

This weekend I attended a bake swap and I decided I wanted to make something festive. It was such a fun event and I came home with tons of yummy and creative treats. My cookies weren't that creative but they sure were delicious! They were a hit at the event and I even saved a few for the apartment to munch on here and there. I have to say, I completely understand the demand for slice and bake cookies. By the end of my preperation I had a flour covered kitchen and a tired arm from all of the mixing with the hand mixer.

Pumpkin Cholocate Chip Cookies:
Courtesy of

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup white sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups (12-ounce bag) milk chocolate chips (not semi sweet)

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray cookie sheets with nonstick spray or line them with parchment paper.

Using a mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Beat in the white and brown sugars, a little at a time, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time, then mix in the vanilla and pumpkin puree. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Slowly beat the flour mixture into the batter in thirds. Stir in the chips. Scoop the cookie dough by heaping tablespoons onto the prepared cookie sheets and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cookies are browned around the edges. Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and let them rest for 2 minutes. Take the cookies off with a spatula and cool them on wire racks.

Shrimp and Grits

For some reason, I had a craving for shrimp and grits last week but never got around to making it. I had a friend over for dinner this Sunday night and decided this would be the perfect dish to make for a cold Sunday night. I have never made this dish before but I knew I wanted my grits to be super cheesy. So, I started from there. This recipe for shrimp and grits is incredibly fast and so delicious. I had seconds.

Shrimp and Grits:
Courtesy of

6 cups water

1 12-ounce can evaporated milk (do not use fat-free)
1 box quick-cooking grits
1 1/2 cups (packed) coarsely grated sharp white cheddar cheese
5 bacon slices, chopped
2 cups sliced baby bella mushrooms
1 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 1/4 cups chopped plum tomatoes, divided
1 pound uncooked large shrimp, peeled, deveined
1 tablespoon hot sauce

Bring water and milk to boil in large saucepan. Gradually whisk in grits. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer until grits are thick, stirring often, about 20 minutes. Mix in cheese; season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, sauté bacon in large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Transfer bacon to paper towels. Add mushrooms, onion, bell pepper, and 1 1/2 cups tomatoes to drippings in skillet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté over medium-high heat until vegetables are tender and sauce is thick, about 12 minutes. Add shrimp, hot sauce, and 3/4 cup tomatoes to skillet. Sauté until shrimp are just opaque in center, about 4 minutes.
Spoon hot grits into bowls; top with shrimp and sauce.

And for dessert, my friend brought these lovely crepes that were absolutely amazing!

Sage Sausage Balls with Balsamic Apricot Dip

I havent updated in a while so I thought it was time to post a few things that I have made over the past few weeks and by the fast few weeks I mean last weekend and yesterday. I haven't been cooking much lately but  I have planned a few yummy meals for this week so hopefully I will get back in the swing of things. I have made these sausage balls several times now. They are perfect to bring to an office party and a great addition to your tailgate spread. I made these for the Alabama/Ole Miss game the other weekend (roll tide!!). I always get lots of compliments when I make them...especially for the sauce. The sauce is definitely the superstar in this recipe. It's also a perfect compliement for chicken strips!

Courtesy of

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 onion, chopped
1 1/4 pounds regular sausage
3 tablespoons dried sage
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, eyeball it
1 cup apricot preserves
1/2 cup spicy brown mustard
1 cup Italian bread crumbs, a couple of handfuls

Preheat a small pot over medium heat and the oven to 425 degrees F.

Add oil and onion to pot. Saute the onion for 1 minute.

In a mixing bowl, combine sausage and sage.

Next, add balsamic vinegar to onion and reduce by half, 1 minute. Remove vinegar from heat and combine with apricot  preserves and spicy mustard. Stir until mustard is fully incorporated. Dip will be glossy and brown in color.

Add 2 tablespoonfuls of apricot dip to bulk sausage and mix. Form meat into bite size nuggets, coat in bread crumbs then place on nonstick cookie sheet. Recipe will make 20 to 24 pieces. Bake about 20 minutes, until evenly browned, turning occasionally. Serve with toothpicks for dipping.