Friday, August 29, 2008

BEWARE: Contents may be habit forming

I LOVE this popcorn and make it a lot! Consequently everyone else has become addicted to it too...we made it Tuesday and Thursday this week...

Also, Wendy bought the marshmallows when we made it Tuesday. The bag was smaller than normal but we really wanted to eat this so we made it anyway. Lately when we make it the caramel is really light colored, not very caramely looking (but still really good). This time it turned out perfect and incredible! All thanks to Wendy!

Gooey Caramel Popcorn

Popcorn kernals

1 stick (1/2 cup margarine)

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 10-oz bag marshmallows (if bag is 16-oz just guess, its ok if there's more)
1 tsp. baking soda

Pop a big bowl of airpopper popcorn (probably about 3 quarts when popped)

Seperate hulls out from popcorn.

In microwave safe bowl combine butter, brown sugar and marshmallows. Put in microwave and heat for 3 minutes, stirring after each minute. (stirring after each minute is VERY important) Then add baking soda, stir in and heat for 40 seconds. Stir again, dump caramel onto popcorn and mix until all pieces are well coated. Let popcorn cool for a little bit, this will make it easier to eat. The gooeyness calm down a little as it cools.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Shish Kabobs

We decided to try out a dinner group with some friends on Sunday nights. This was our trial run and we made shish kabobs. They were sooooooo good (minus the few pieces that were too small and tasted like charcoal) These are easy to make, anybody could do it...honestly!

Shish Kabobs

Meat (steak, chicken or pork)

Assortment of veggies (peppers, onions, mushrooms, asparagus, zucchini, tomatoes, etc.)

Pineapple (my personal fav.)


Put skewers in water to soak. This helps to prevent them from burning. Allow them to soak for a good 30 minutes. I need a few extra and only soaked them for a couple minutes. Bad idea....they burned.

Cut meat into 1-1 1/2 inch cubes, keep as uniform in size as possible so that they will cook evenly. You can just use the meat plain or stick it in a marinade for 30 minutes.

Wash and cut veggies in chunks about the same size as your meat. Do the same with the pineapple...minus the washing part.

Some people like to put meat and veggies on one skewer to cook. I do not choose this method because you either get a kabob with perfect veggies and raw meat or perfect meat and burnt veggies. So if you like either of those options feel free to do so. I like to put all the meat on one skewer and everything else on another. Then everything is perfect! You can space meat and veggies out on the skewer or pack them on there. It doesn't really matter, it will cook either way.

Once they are ready, throw them on the grill. Turn them periodically so that each side gets cooked nicely. Its not a lot of work but it sure tastes great!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Baked Ziti

My good friends Aaron and KJ made this for me once and I thought I had died and gone to heaven. Just a warning though, you cannot enjoy this recipe to its fullest potential of goodness unless Aaron is there to salt the water properly and put in the right combination of seasonings. You have been forwarned. But if you cannot have Aaron there it is still pretty incredible!

Dave didn't want me to get tomatoes on my white shirt so he made me an "apron" out of paper towels and tape...what a nice guy!

Dave adding the sliced cheese to the top

Baked Ziti

1 pound dried ziti pasta
Kosher salt
3 1/2 cups QUICK MARINARA SAUCE, recipe follows
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, divided
1/4 cup grated pecorino romano
1 pound fresh mozzarella, half cut into 1/2-inch cubes and half thinly sliced
Freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of crushed red pepper or to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt generously, and boil the pasta until al dente, tender but still slightly firm. Drain. In a large bowl, toss the cooked pasta with the marinara sauce, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, the pecorino, and the cubed mozzarella pieces. Season with the black pepper and red pepper to taste, and mix until well combined. Transfer the pasta to an oiled 9- x 13-inch baking dish. Cover the top of the pasta with the sliced mozzarella, and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan. Bake until lightly browned and hot, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately.


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 medium onion, diced (about 3 tablespoons)

3 cloves garlic, chopped

2 14-oz cans of diced tomatoes

Sprig of fresh thyme and Sprig of fresh basil (chop these up....can use dried if thats all you have)

2 teaspoons kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute the onion and garlic, stirring, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and the herbs and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Stir in the salt and season with pepper to taste. Use now, or store covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 2 months. Yield: about 3 1/2 cups.

The finished product! Yum!

She made me do it....

So my good friend Alyssa and I used to like to cook together....and then she left me and moved to California. So she decided that we should both start blogs and put recipes on them since we can't actually cook together anymore. I never wanted a blog but she was very persistent and as you can see persistence pays off. So here goes nothing!