Friday, June 25, 2010

Chicken Fried Venison and Gravy

The other day I didn't get home until late. Normally on these days it is a fend for yourself kind of dinner siutation but this day Baby Cakes told me that he would be cooking for me. Honestly the man never cooks so of course I assume that means he really can't cook. But no big deal, the thought is super sweet. I mean he worked all day too and then he is going to cook for me? He's a sweety. I drove home thinking I would probably be sweet about it, take a few bites and then sneek a peanut butter and jelly sandwich later when I got really hungry.

I pull into the garage and he comes out to greet me. He's smiling really big and I instanly think somethings up. Inside we go and I smell chicken fried steak, yum!, and am thinking 'hmmm, he didn't?!'. He did y'all, he cooked fried venison backstrap and even made a homemade gravy along with it. The first thing I asked after I tasted it was did your mom come over and make this? He laughed and said no although he did call her when he had a question. It was perfectly cooked, well seasoned and the gravy, the gravy tasted almost like my Daddies homemade gravy. The gravy that all of us kids (my siblings), even as adults now, will go on and on about as we cover anything and everything we can grasp in this gravy and devour it. Michael can just about make my Daddies gravy (Daddy adds one more secret ingedient to his gravy but I won't tell what it is!). I am in shock.

After we ate and I was done swooning over him, (I swear I fell in love with this man all over again) I asked him why he had never cooked like this for me before? His answer, spoken like a true man, was "because then you would make me cook all the time". Oh he is damn right!

Now the following directions are per Baby Cakes, typed and commented on by me...

Fried Venison and Homemade Gravy

Venison Backstrap, sliced 1/2-1/3 inches thick
Flour, seasoned with salt/pepper
Seasoning Salt
Salt & Pepper

Heat oil over medium/high heat.

Batter the venison on milk and flour. Set on dish until they are all done.

Gently place them in the skillet and fry until golden brown.

Take out and place them on a plate lined with multiple paper towels to drain grease.

Now pour out a majority of the oil, leaving about 2-3 tbs. in the skillet.

Over medium/low heat add 2 heaping tablespoons of flour into the skillet and stir. Keep stirring until the flour mixture is light brown. (Also known as making a roux.)

Once you have the desired color stir in a bit of milk at a time, stirring the whole time until smooth.

Season with seasoning salt and black pepper.

Stir until thick enough and then pour into a bowl.

Serve it all together while still hot.

I think that the most amazing part of this is that my husband made a roux without burning it, all on his own. He made the best dinner I have had in so long. There is a slight fear that he could out cook me now. Hmmm, could be trouble.

Honestly, nothing is sexier than a man who can cook. It certainly gets other aspects of the relationship cooking as well. Can I get an Amen? lol.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Pasta with Bacon and Broccoli

This recipe was so good. It was hearty for only being pasta, bacon and broccoli. I could eat this all week long if I had to, gladly. It had a ton of flavor and the cheese was great on it. I give it 2 thumbs up.

BCakes liked it alot too, he kept telling me how good it was while he was slurpping it up and now that I think about it he didn't add anything to it like he normally does. That must mean it is good.

I found this recipe on a wonderful fellow bloggers website Amanda's Cookin' and she got it from the cookbook 250 True Italian Pasta Dishes. She has way more yummy meals so go on and check er' out.

Pasta with Bacon and Broccoli

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 lb. bacon, diced
1/2 onion, diced
2 cups frozen broccoli, thawed
1 cup chicken broth
1 tbs. chicken base
kosher salt
1 pound dried pasta
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
salt and freshly ground pepper

In a covered pasta pot over high heat, bring water to a rapid boil.

Meanwhile, in a large saute pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add the bacon and onion. Cook, stirring, until onion is soft and translucent and bacon is crisp. Add broccoli and cook, stirring, 3-5 minutes. Add the chicken broth and base, increase heat to high, and cook until reduced by half. Remove pan from heat and set aside.

While sauce is simmering, add lots of salt and spaghetti to the boiling water and cook, uncovered, over high heat until pasta is al dente. Scoop out about 1 cup of the pasta water and set aside; drain pasta.

Return saute pan to medium heat; add 2 tablespoons of the reserved pasta water and increase heat to high. Add spaghetti and toss to coat evenly, adding more pasta water if necessary. Add half the Parmigiano-Reggiano and toss well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Transfer to a large serving bowl or platter and sprinkle with remaining cheese; serve immediately.

P.S. Tomorrow I'll be posting another picture, one that shows the cheesey-ness of it. Yum.

Make it, you know you want to,

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Shiner Bock Meatloaf

This recipe is one that Michael (aka Baby Cakes) found at HEB while picking up a few things on his way home from work. You know how they have a little kitchen and a "chef" prepares food for everyone to taste in hopes that everyone will fall madly in love with the recipe and buy all the ingredients post haste? Yeah, it works like a charm on my husband. I don't know why I am being negative I kinda do the same thing on this blog right? Only luring them (you) with words instead of smells and tastes. I guess in that case I am glad that that tactic works. Grin.

So Bcakes comes home with a few bags of groceries and can't wait to show me the recipe cards that he brought home, along with all the ingredients. Guess what I am making the following night, yup. These exact recipes, see Citrus Coleslaw as well.

The final and main recipe that he brought home for me to whip up was Shiner Bock Meatloaf, although truth be told there isn't any Shiner Bock in it. It was once again the marinade. I didn't deviate from the original recipe this time but the next time I make it I will be making some changes. First I'll use ketchup to top the meatloaf instead of marniade and a diffrent liquid in place of the marniade in the loaf itself. Even without my changes this meatloaf was moist and full of flavor. BCakes loved it so much, I thought it was a bit spicy but I am a wimp when it comes to heat apparently. Anyway, top notch meatloaf. Make this one for sure.

Shiner Bock Meatloaf
recipe from HEB

1 lb ground meat (beef, turkey, chicken, etc.)
1/2 cup Cookwell and Company Bock and Brown Sugar Marinade
1/2 pkg. pico de gallo (about 1 cup)
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tbs. spice blend, your choice
1 egg, beaten

Preheat the oven to 400.

Combine the meat with 1/4 cup of the marinade, bread crumbs, egg, pico and spice blend in a big bowl. Combine well.

Shape the meat into rectangular loaf and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes and then baste with remaining marinade.

Return to the oven and bake for 10-20 minutes longer or until internal temperature reads 160 degrees.

Serve while hot.

(Now don't judge my baking pan, this things has been with me a loooonnnnngggg time and it's a work horse of a pan. In fact I choose it over the new ones we recieved for wedding presents everytime, unless I'm baking cookies. I promise I clean it throughly each time I use it. I love it, don't judge it or me. My pan is free to wear whatever it chooses to, it is a free spirit and I allow it to be. Sad. XOXO.)

The man in your life would love this meatloaf. It really is scrum-dittely-dumtious.


Citrus Coleslaw

This recipe is one that Michael (aka Baby Cakes) found at HEB while picking up a few things on his way home from work. You know how they have a little kitchen and a "chef" prepares food for everyone to taste in hopes that everyone will fall madly in love with the recipe and buy all the ingredients post haste? Yeah, it works like a charm on my husband. I don't know why I am being negative I kinda do the same thing on this blog right? Only luring them (you) with words instead of smells and tastes. I guess in that case I am glad that that tactic works. Grin.

So Bcakes comes home with a few bags of groceries and can't wait to show me the recipe cards that he brought home, along with all the ingredients. Guess what I am making the following night, yup. These exact recipes, also see Shiner Bock Meatloaf.

I don't mind, I love that he has a opinion when it comes to food.

This recipe for Citrus Coleslaw was interesting. I did make it twice, the first time using thier recipe and this second time using my adaptation. (Here's the original recipe for those wanting it: 8 ounces cole slaw mix, 1 cup mandrain oranges, chopped, 1/2 roasted slivered almonds, dressing: 1/3 cup Cookwell Fin and Feather Marinade, 1/3 cup mayonnaise, 1 orange, juiced and zested. Mix all of the ingreidients together and toss with the dressing.) I did keep most of it the same, my changes were ommitting the marinade and adding tropical trail mix instead of just almonds. Do let me tell you though that this trail mix was mostly nuts and dried soft fruits. I didn't buy the one with bananas in it. I found that the dish was sweeter and had alot more eye appeal than the original recipe. In regards to the marinade it was a clever way for them to push the product but it was better without it. So without further ado...

Citrus Coleslaw
adapted slightly from the HEB version

8 ounces coleslaw mix
1 cup mandarin orange segments
1 cup tropical trail mix


1/2 cup juice from mandarin oranges
1/3 cup mayo
1 orange, juiced and zested
1 tbs. sugar

Mix the salad ingredients together and then toss in the dressing. Cool in the icebox until ready to serve.

This would be a great salad for a picnic. Perhaps some citrus glazed ribs along with it. MMMMMmmmm sounds tempting.


Friday, June 18, 2010

Fish Fillet Enchiladas This recipe sounds weird and honestly unless your one of those few people who truly enjoy's fish tacos (guilty) or just fish in general (guilty again) you might be a bit trepidatious about trying out this recipe. Don't be. It is soooo yummy. Even the hubs who I have never see order fish, ever! The hubby who only eats fish because I make it at home and he has no other option said that this recipe was great. He insists that it be put into weekly, weekly!, rotation, well then it must be good.

This recipe comes from The English Kitchen, once again. I love her and make her food on a regualr basis. Rarely do I play around with her recipes but this one had to be altered just a wee little bit. If you have never been to her blog what are you waiting for? Go on and take a peek. I am sure you will find something to make as well.

Fish Fillet Enchiladas

8-10 frozen beer battered fish fillets
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream
8 ounces cheddar cheese, grated
1 can creamed sweet corn
8-10 soft flour tortillas
8 Tablespoons tomato salsa

Preheat the oven to 400 F and lightly spray a baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.

Place the fish fillets on a sheet pan and cook them for about 20 minutes, turning them over halfway through. Remove them from the oven when done but do not turn the oven off.

While they are cooking, put the cans of soup and creamed corn into a small saucepan and gently heat. When heated stir in the sour cream and half of the cheese. Spoon a few spoons of the sauce onto the bottom of the baking dish.

To Assemble:
Spoon 2 Tablespoons of sauce onto each tortilla and then lay a fish fillet on top. (Reserve at least 1/3 of the soup for the end.) Drizzle 2 TBS of the salsa over the top of the fish fillet and then roll up the tortilla. Place it, seam side down, into the baking dish. Repeat with remaining fish fillets.

Spoon the remainder of the soup over top of the rolled tortillas and sprinkle with the remainder of the cheese. Bake in the heated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until bubbling and golden brown.

Now we, or I since I assemble the plates, didn't add a thing to this dish like sour cream or chives because I felt that it was perfect as is. If you wanted to I guess you could garnish with whatever you like but me, naaahhhh, I can eat it without it being pretty.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Cherry Cola Pork Ribs with Cherry Cola BBQ Sauce

BCakes wanted to grill last weekend, so we went to the store and bought some pork ribs so that he could. Then he didn't. I don't blame him though, our weekend was so crazy busy. Truth be told I'm glad he didn't cook them, because if he had I wouldn't have been able to make these.

I actually came up with this recipe while half asleep. Sometimes I dream about cooking (what you don't?) when I know that there is something in the fridge that must be cooked soon. So this recipe came to me in the wee hours of the morning and I set out the next afternoon in making it happen. It happened alright and it was so good!

BCakes said that this is a company dish and that he loves the sauce. Infact, he ended up pouring it all over his sides and licking the dish clean.

Speaking of the sauce, I happen to be a sweet bbq person, not everyone is. Alot of people prefer spicy or smokey meat. Not me, brown sugar and honey please. So if you don't like sweet (not that it's sickining sweet) you might not want to make this one.

Cherry Cola Pork Ribs

Pork Ribs
Seasoning Blend, your choice
2 cans Cherry Cola, any brand


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Pour the soda into a baking dish and place the seasoned pork ribs into the dish.
Place in oven and cook for 3 hours.

During this time make the sauce, recipe to follow.

After the 3 hours are up drain all the liquid from the baking dish. I actually took the ribs out of the baking dish and put them on a wire rack over a baking sheet pan to finish them up.

Baste the ribs and then place back into oven for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, basteing them every 15-20 minutes.

When you take them out of the oven they will be sticky and sweet. I served them with a little dish of extra sauce. So good!

Cherry Cola Bar-B-Que Sauce

1 can Cherry Cola
2 cups catsup
1 T. worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. dry mustard
2 1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
2 T. dark brown sugar
1 T. honey
1 T. dried onion flakes
1 tsp. garlic powder
salt & pepper to taste


Whisk all the ingredients together in a saucepan and simmer over medium/low heat for 1 hour or until cooked down into a thick sauce.

Save the rest in a jar or bowl, like above, because I promise you will find something else to use it with. It really is very good sauce if I do say so myself.

Now I know that I normally don't care but this recipe is MINE, MINE I tell you and I ask that if you do post it that you give credit where credit is do on this one. Oh and please tell me what you think about it. Wink.


Monday, June 14, 2010

Pistachio Pudding

Every year, without fail, my grandma makes this dish. "The Green Stuff" adorns the table at every get together and every holiday. This recipe is home to me.

When I was little I always asked for the green stuff whenever I knew we were going to Grandmas for supper. I am now 27 years old and I am still enjoying this pudding on a regular basis. Everytime she asks me what she should bring I tell her still the green stuff. I love her for so many reasons and this is one of them.

Saturday BCakes, my Father-in-Law and I went to the Annual Iola Cemetary Meeting and Picnic. This is my second year in attendance so I had an idea of what dish to bring along with me. It is so hot this time of year and light dishes are best so I thought of Grandmas recipe. I was right to make it, almost all of it was eaten up and it got so many compliments.

Make it, not only is it super simple but it's super tasty.

Pistachio Pudding, aka The Green Stuff
recipe from my Grandma

1 can crushed pineapple with juice
1 small tub whipped topping
1 box instant pistashio pudding
1 cup finely chopped pecans

Mix all the ingredients together and place in icebox overnight.

See, it's that simple and it really is sooooo yummy.


Monday, June 7, 2010

Chunky Monkey Pie

Oh-my-goodness this pie is divine.

As you might know my husband, aka Baby Cakes, BCakes for short, loves peanut butter so I am always finding and saving peanut butter recipes to make "one day". This pies "one day" was Friday when we had dinner guests over. It was amazing.

There is not one thing I would change about the recipe. I WILL try to make it look prettier next time but I won't be changing a thing about it other than that. This pie will be traveling with me from now on to picnics, dinners and anywhere else I can think of taking it. Yum-eeee.

Chunky Monkey Pie
recipe from Our Best Bites

1 4-serving size box of instant vanilla pudding
1 c. cold water
1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
2 cookie crusts. You can use anything--graham crackers, Nilla Wafers, shortbread, even Oreo.
Lots of bananas
1 pint whipping cream
1/3 c. powdered sugar
honey roasted nuts

In a medium bowl, combine pudding mix, cold water, peanut butter and sweetened condensed milk. Mix well and place in the refrigerator to chill for a few minutes.

In another bowl, whip 1 c. of whipping cream until soft peaks form.

Slice the bananas (probably 4 small bananas or 2 large bananas) and layer them on the bottom of the crusts. Set aside.

Remove the pudding mix from the fridge and gently fold the whipped cream into the pudding mixture until well-combined.

Now divide the mixture between the two pie crusts.

Prepare the sweetened whipped cream with the remaining whipping cream and 1/3 c. of powdered sugar and spread it on top of the two pies.

Place the clear plastic shells back on the pies and allow to chill for several hours.

Sprinkle with honey roasted peanuts just before serving.

Yeah, so good,

Shared on Totally Tasty Tuesdays over at Mandy's Recipe Box.

Bourbon Chicken

I don't know about you but I happen to loooovvvvveeee Bourban Chicken, you know the one you get from the cajun resturant in the food court of the mall? I don't know, that might only be in Texas, but I do, I love that chicken. So when I came upon this recipe the other day I knew I had found a keeper. Only thing is that after cooking it it actually doesn't taste like Bourban Chicken, or not the one I have come to know and love. No, so it's not literally Bourban Chicken but it is yummy chicken.

Friday night my little brother, his girlfriend and thier baby, my neice, Hailey came by for dinner and dessert. It was so nice having them over and sitting in the backyard until 10 talking and sharing stories with Angelina. I am crossing my fingers that she will someday be my sister-in-law. It was also so nice having a baby in the house and watching her crawl and pull herself up on the table. I so love my neice, she is beatiful and so incredibly smart, sigh.

BCakes loved this dish and so did my brother, Dano. Angelina ate like a little bird but liked it to. I well, I would make it again but play around with the recipe to try and get that Bourban Chicken I was hoping it would be.

Oh and I almost forgot that I actually got this recipe from Rachel vs. "The Kitchen", a fellow blogger who doesn't even know that I follow her. I do though, I follow her and so should you.

Bourbon Chicken

2 lbs boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1-2 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/4 teaspoon ginger
3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup apple juice
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup soy sauce


Heat oil in a large skillet. Add chicken pieces and cook until lightly browned. Remove chicken and set aside.

Add remaining ingredients, heating over medium Heat until well mixed and dissolved.
Add chicken and bring to a hard boil; Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

I served it along side mashed sweet potatoes and it was wonderful.

A little note about the above photo, there are so many like this on my camera. Every time I tried to take a photo Daniel would put his hand in the frame. I chose to use this one because this kind of behavior is one of the reasons I love his so much. He is the baby baby brother. The youngest boy out of the three brothers I have. XOXO.

Yum yum,

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