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This has to be one of the best Pioneer Woman recipes that I’ve tried. I know some people are a little squeamish about warm pineapple, but Matt and I love all things pineapple, hot or cold. Warm pineapple is a little strange at first, but it is totally worth it!  I had to make a few adjustments (like removing all the butter), but the concept stays the same. Here’s the Pioneer Woman’s version.

And here’s my version.  A bonus of this recipe is that it only calls for a few ingredients! Pineapple, chicken, cheese (I used Mozzarella because I had it on hand, but you can also use Monterey Jack), tortillas, BBQ sauce, and anything else you want to add to spice it up. I don’t like spice, so I omit those parts.

I use my panini press to grill the chicken and the pineapple, but you could also use a real grill. So, while that’s warming up, cut up the pineapple. There is a great instructional for this with the original recipe if you have never cut a pineapple.  Once the pineapple is in sections, stick a skewer in them. This is not necessary, but it makes it easier to turn the pineapple without getting your hands all messy.

Then, throw ’em on the “grill”.  You’ll want to occasionally turn them. Mine don’t really get grill marks on them, but I can tell when they are getting warm and juicy when they get a little darker yellow.

While the pineapple is cooking, stick the chicken in a ziploc bag and flatten it.  Then, I just season them with salt and pepper, but you can add some extra spice if you want to raise the temperature.

When the pineapple is done, grill the chicken, brushing on barbecue sauce while it’s cooking.

Once the chicken is done, you can cut up the chicken and pineapple and assemble your quesadilla.  Mine goes like this: tortilla, a little cheese, chicken, pineapple, barbecue sauce, a little cheese, tortilla.  You can also add jalapeño slices if you want.

Then, I pop it into my quesadilla maker (thanks, Mom!).

You can also use the panini press or grill for this also. I just happen to have a specialized little gadget that makes it look like this when it’s done.

And that’s it! Quick, easy, and yummy! Enjoy!

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This weekend we had some people from Matt’s work over for dinner. Since we just met these people a few weeks ago, this was not only an opportunity to show off our place to some new eyes, but it also put me in the spotlight for my cooking abilities. Now, as some of you know, I am a teensy bit picky when it comes to food. And by teensy, I mean that I don’t like a lot of things. Chunks of tomatoes, gross. Mushrooms, disgusting. Cucumbers, forget about it.   So, when people come over, I can’t feed them the normal bland food that we have on a regular basis. I have to pull out the stops. One of our favorite fail-proof guest recipes is Chicken Etouffee.

I found this recipe on  the Food Network’s website a few years ago and we fell in love with it. The only downside is that it requires a long list of ingredients and makes a huge mess. But, my friends, it is totally worth it.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Here are a few shots from the process:

Browning the chicken.

Making the roux.

Adding the veggies.

I serve it over some Jasmine Rice with some homemade bread! It is fabulous!

My only suggestion is to have everything already chopped, open, and ready to go. When you are making the roux, everything seems to move really fast and can burn really easily. It’s nice to not have to figure out where the heck you put that garlic.

Here’s the recipe again. Enjoy!

I had another adventure into Pioneer Woman Recipe Land. This time it was because I had a pork tenderloin that I needed to cook and I hate wasting a good piece of meet on a so-so meal. So, I did a search on the cooking tab of PW’s website. And would you believe that there was only 1 recipe that called for pork tenderloin!! I guess when you’re married to a cattle rancher, pork isn’t high on the list of “what’s for dinner”.

The one recipe was what you see above, Pork Loin with Cranberry Sauce. It. was. fabulous! As an added bonus, I got to use my new cast iron skillet!

My only note is that the searing portion of the recipe made my kitchen extra super smokey (and yet the smoke detector didn’t go off…hmm…). This might be a combination of my cast iron skillet and some sort of cooking ignorance that I am not aware of, but it’s only happened to me twice, both with PW recipes. Other than that, it was really easy and very good!  Check it out!

This is what I made for dinner tonight.

I’ve been dying to try out one of Ree’s recipes. I just got her cookbook, but I haven’t had a lot of time to look though it. I do, however, subscribe to her blog, so on a weekly basis I get to see her recipes with their beautiful pictures. This one has been calling my name. She does a phenomenal job giving step by step pictures. This is something I love because I always doubt myself with a new recipe.

This is how mine looked at the end:

And it sure was tasty!

I had the wonderful opportunity to help plan an 80’s birthday party. Part of the fun was designing and making the cake.

And before you say it, I know that a Rubik’s Cube is three by three! The cake was already four layers and really heavy. I made a creative call to leave it at 2 layers. So back up off it.

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