Saturday, June 30, 2012

Now Churning: Banana Pudding Ice Cream

I made this for E on Father's Day and he LOVED it.  This yummy banana ice cream was filled with carmelized bananas that were hit with a splash of rum and vanilla wafer pieces.

Girl. BYE. This was soooooooo freaking delicious!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Throwback Thursday - My Girls

This was taken the year we purchased our home. This seems like eons ago! We were most certainly about to get in them streets...they are so cute! I love them so much!

Oh and let's not forget to show respect to my beloved Grand Am...I drove that car until the wheels fell off! LOL

Andouille Stuffed Pastry

 On a recent shopping excursion to Whol.e Foo.ds I came across some andouille sausage. Know why this sausage made me do a double take, the sausage was not encased. The sausage I usually purchase I use for gumbo so this was a real treat. I loved that I could see spices and herbs, throw in that it is organic too #WIN!


Oh and y’all already know I LOVE ME SOME puff pastry.


So I decided to make “fancy hot pockets” as Babe called them! This dish is a definite Weeknight Winner™. I plan on trying this as a two bite appetizer in the future using mini phyllo cups with a spicy sauce of some sort.

 One note of caution, be sure to drain as much oil as possible from the meat mixture or the bottom part of the “pocket” will be greasy. Also, you can use shredded cheese but I prefer slices.
 What You Need:
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1/4 cup each celery, onions, bell peppers, diced
  • ½ lb Andouille Sausage (or any seasoned ground beef or pork)
  • 1/4 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 puff pastry sheet, thawed according to package directions
  • 1 cup shredded cheese or 3-4 slices of cheese
  • Egg wash (1 egg mixed with two tablespoons water)

What To Do:
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • In a medium skillet over medium heat add oil celery, onions and bell peppers. Cook until soft, 5-7 minutes
  • To the skillet, add sausage and cook until done, about 10 minutes
  • Add mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes
  • Drain the heck out of the sausage mixture. Set aside
  • On a lightly floured surface unfold the puff pastry
  • On one end of the pastry, layer the cheese.  Place the sausage mixture atop the cheese
  • Carefully fold the pastry over the sausage cheese mixture
  • Seal the pastry closed on each side with the tins of a fork
  • Lightly brush the pastry with the egg wash
  • Place in 400 degree oven for 20 minutes or until the pastry is browned and puffed. Serve immediately





Originally posted May 2011

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Italian Sausage Ragu

So day two of Cook Something New has me once again turning to my most favorite cooking mag - Cuisine at Home! Although I made this the day before, this is a definite Weeknight Winner. Chunky, fresh and super good! I served this over penne but any pasta will do.

Italian Sausage Ragu

Adapted from Cuisine at Home, Issue #65, October 2007

What you need:

  • 8 oz penne pasta 

  • 1 lb Italian sausage casings removed

  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced

  • 1/2 onion, diced

  • 2 tsp tomato paste

  • 2 tsp garlic, minced

  • 1/2 cup good dry white wine

  • 14 oz can diced tomatoes

  • 1 tsp sugar

  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes

  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley, fresh or dried

  • Grated Parmesan cheese, optional

What to do:

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the penne.

  • Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and set aside.

  • Brown sausage in a large saute pan over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, crushing it into small pieces using a potato masher.

  • Add the bell pepper and onion; cook 5 minutes or until sausage is cooked through.

  • Stir in tomato paste and garlic. Saute 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

  • Deglaze with wine, then increase heat to high and cook until liquid is nearly evaporated.

  • Add tomatoes, sugar, and pepper flakes; bring to a simmer and cook 5-8 minutes, or until thickened.

  • Season stir in parsley, and serve over penne. Garnish with Parmesan.

Originally posted August 2011

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Southern Girl: Monica Mingo

Let me tell you about your life: If you are not living YOUR dream, doing what YOU love to do…you just ain’t living that right life! LOL I am SUPER blessed to know some people who are fully and completely living THEIR dream.

One such person is writer/director/filmmaker and all around dope Southern Girl Monica Mingo. Let me tell ya’ll how super bad she is: Monica, along with fellow bad a$$, Baltimore Raven NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Terrell Suggs, just debuted their FIRST FEATURE FILM at the American Black Film Festival in Miami. 


Gon wrap your head around that there! Do you even know how big that is!?????

The trailer link is at the bottom of this post but here is a synopsis:

The bad boys club is really not all that bad. Young,
rich and handsome...the boys know how to have a good time. They love
women, fast cars and doing whatever they want to do. There comes a
time in life, however, when karma is helped along. When it's done by a
group of scorned can prove to be devastating.

Prime Alexander is a professional athlete living the life most men
dream of.  He has a huge guaranteed contract, beautiful women chasing
him and the best friends a man could want.

He gets what he wants, when he wants it and doesn’t believe in
explaining himself to anyone, especially Autumn, the beautiful woman
he’s been dating for a little over a year.

Autumn Singletary is a wealthy socialite who doesn’t understand the
word no.  Her relationship with Prime has more to do with appearances
than real feelings but that’s of no consequence when Prime decides to
end their relationship by publicly humiliating her in the presence of
his new interest, Skylar.

The bond Prime shares with his boys, Lonzo, Kalif and Dallas has been
nurtured throughout the years as the main constant in their life.
They are always together.  They are always taking care of each other.
They are a true pack and have the secrets and the code to prove it.
1080 for life.

Lonzo, Prime’s very best friend, is an actor on the verge of being the
next big thing.  He’s falling in love with the beautiful Katalina, one
of Autumn’s best girlfriends. He believes he’s at the age where he
needs to think about settling down and look to his parents’ marriage
as inspiration.

Kalif is the youngest of the crew and is seriously addicted to women,
especially his fiance, Shanita.  He’s a hot A&R executive and his
career allows him the flexibility to juggle multiple women.  Kalif and
Shanita have been together since their teenage years and she’s the
love of his life.  He’s messed up a few times and has children by
other women to prove it.  He truly loves Shanita more than anything in
the world and he couldn’t imagine life without her so he takes all of
the steps necessary to make sure she’s happy and doesn’t go looking
for anything.

Dallas is a super arrogant playboy without a care in the world who
prides himself on the chase.  Women are a game for him and he loves
adding to his conquests.  He loves the strategic nature of the hunt
and plays the game a little too well.

A chance encounter gives Autumn the ammunition she needs to create an
unlikely alliance by which to shut Prime and his pack down and she
doesn’t give a damn who gets hurt.  As a woman scorned, she is out for
revenge.  By forming a coalition, Autumn proves she will show no mercy
while getting what she thinks she wants.

Everyone always wants the riches and the fame professional athletes
have.  “The Coalition” shows us that all that glitters is certainly
not ideal and forces us to consider how difficult love is within the
confines of the industry and all that money can buy.









Monica we are so proud of you for living YOUR life and doing what YOU love!
Congratulations Team Sizzle!!!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Mini Bacon Meatballs

I love when I can look at food and see the ingredients used to prepare them, bits of real garlic, fresh parsley, flecks of coarse ground that.

I know this is going to shatter all that us true and holy but these little balls of meat didn't even need the bacon...I know that is straight blasphemy! I mean I put it in there but the flavor was such that you could have done with out them and been good! So don't skip the recipe just because you don't have bacon.

Mini Bacon Meatballs

What you need:

  • 2 strips bacon, diced
  • 1⁄4 cup diced onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1⁄2 lb. ground beef sirloin
  • 1⁄4 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 2 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley
  • 1⁄2 tsp. paprika
  • 1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1⁄2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten

What to do:

  • Preheat oven to 400°. Coat a pan with nonstick spray.
  • Sauté bacon in a skillet over medium-high heat until starting to crisp, about 4 minutes. Remove and set aside on a paper-towel-lined plate. Pour off all but 1 Tbsp. drippings from skillet.
  • Sauté onion in same skillet in reserved drippings over medium heat until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic to skillet and cook, 1 minute.
  • In a large bowl combine beef, bacon, onion mixture, bread crumbs, parsley, paprika, salt, and pepper . Stir in beaten egg.
  • Form mixture into 1-inch meatballs and place on prepared pan.
  • Bake meatballs until fully cooked, about 10 minutes.

Originally published Oct 2011

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Thursday Throwback

I've been super, crazy busy at the office this week and will be for the next couple of weeks. I will try to get some pending posts completed and schedule this promises though!

While taking a brain break, I stumbled on some old photos from several years ago. This was a family trip to Destin (I LOVE DESTIN) for a cousin's graduation. Our entire family was there and we had such a wonderful time! This is a picture of The Most Awesome Babe and Best Niece Ever, they were about 4 or 5 years old and couldn't get enough of each other. LOL

Have a great Thursday!

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Friday Five

Yaaaaaaaaay it's Friday!

I most certainly have lots going on this weekend. Haven't had a busy weekend like this since....two weekends ago! Lol

Five things I have going on this week include:
  1. Friday night dinner with B. It's her turn to pick the restaurant. I love spending one on one time with her! She's great company!
  2. Saturday B has a sleepover birthday/swim party #PraiseDaLooYa! Have to remember to get a gift.
  3. My turn to plan Saturday date night with E! He's going to love love love what I have planned! Date night starts at 4 p.m. Saturday!
  4. I will also be attending a birthday party for one of my fave people, Saturday night. I love celebrating!
  5. Finally, Father's Day. We will be prepping one of E's fave meals: Grilled rib-eye, shrimp kabobs and homemade onion rings. His fave dessert is banana pudding but I'm going to make it into an ice cream: banana ice cream with carmelized bananas and vanilla wafer pieces...that dude looooooves ice cream!
What do you have planned for your weekend?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Thai Style Ribs

Ever on the quest to find new meals for the family I pinned this gem on one of my Pinterest boards. I am a sucker for a pretty picture and this one was beautiful. I am always apprehensive about sharing with my family the yumminess that enjoy but baybey, my family LOVED these. They were looking at me sideways when they were all gone! LOL

Thai Styled Ribs
Original recipe can be found here

What you need:
  • 6 pounds of meaty ribs cut into 2-rib portions
  • Boiling water
  • 1 Tbs lemongrass paste
  • 1/2 cup tamari soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup dry Sherry
  • 2 Tbs peanut sauce
  • 2 Tbs sesame oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, diced
  • 2 tsp ginger powder
  • 3/4 cup canned UNSWEETENED coconut milk

What to do:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange ribs in a single layer in a large roasting pan. Add just enough boiling water to cover ribs.
  • Cover pan with foil and oven braise ribs until tender, about 1.5 hours.
  • Remove ribs from oven.  Let the ribs cool, still covered, for about 30 minutes.
  • Increase oven temp to 375 degrees
  • In a blender place all of the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.
  • Transfer ribs to heavy-duty 2-gallon resealable plastic bag; discard braising liquid.
  • Pour marinade into the bag with the ribs. Seal top and turn several times to coat ribs evenly
  • Using tongs, arrange ribs in single layer on rimmed baking sheet.
  • Spoon marinade from bag over ribs.
  • Roast uncovered until ribs are very tender, basting often with marinade, about 30 minutes.

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Friday Five

It is Friday again!!!!!! Yaaaaaaaay! This has been a long week. LONG! And I have to come in tomorrow for a bit....Booooooooo Thank God for employment!

Five Things I Want To Do This Summer

1. Take B fishing...still gotta prove I can clean and gut a fish to this kid #MississippiGirl

2. FINALLY get passports for us...shameful I know

3.  Have a candlelight dinner in the backyard....after I make it pretty again!

4. Take swimming lessons....can't be drowning when we head to Destin at the end of summer!

5. Visit a local vineyard...there are several right here in Texas!

What are some of the things you plan to do this summer?

Have a wonderful weekend

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Buttermilk Brined Chops

I don't care much for pork...unless it is bacon. So I don't really know how to cook it well.  I mean I can fry a mean chop but I MIGHT do it twice a year.  Pork loin is my nemesis. I haven't mastered it yet...that's another post for another time!

While spending all my money in perusing Marshalls one day I saw this Cooking Light Weeknight book for three bucks.  Bought it! I have prepared four recipes out of it so far and I am in love!  Cooking Light is sooooo gangster!  The flavors go really well together which was surprising to me.  Buttermilk? On Pork and it's not being fried?  Never would have guessed!  I plan on trying this with chicken and getting back with you! Hope you enjoy...happy cooking!
Buttermilk Brined Chops
Adapted from Cooking Light Weeknight
What You Need:
  • 2 cups Fat-free buttermilk
  • 2 Tbsp. Kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp. Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. Grated lemon rind
  • 2 tsp. Chopped fresh rosemary (I used dried)
  • 2 tsp. Chopped fresh sage (I used ground)
  • 4 (6-ounce) bone-in center-cut pork chops (about 1/2 inch thick)
  • 2 tsp. Freshly ground black pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • 2-3 Tbsp. Cooking oil

What To Do:
  • Combine first 6 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag; shake well to dissolve salt and sugar.
  • Add pork; seal and refrigerate overnight, turning bag occasionally.
  • Remove pork from bag; discard brine. Pat pork dry with a paper towel.
  • Sprinkle pork with pepper.
  • Coat a large non-stick grill pan with cooking spray.
  • Heat grill pan over medium-high heat.
  • Add 1 Tbsp cooking oil (and more as needed to cook chops through)
  • Add pork; cook 4 1/2 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.

originally posted April 2010

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Flaked Coconut Cupcakes

I don't even like coconut that much but I love these cupcakes.  The frosting is the most banging-est frosting ever! This is one of my Cuisine At Home recipes that has only been slightly tweaked!


Flaked Coconut Cupcakes
Adapted from Cuisine At Home

What you need:
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk or 3/4 cup whole milk (not sweetened coconut milk)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (1 stick)
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

For the frosting:
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature (do not use nonfat)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (1 stick)
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 2 ounces white chocolate, melted (30 seconds in the microwave)
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1-2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut (for topping) 
What to do:
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a regular sized muffin tin with cupcake papers
  • Sift flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl
  • In a measuring cup combine egg whites, coconut milk and extracts
  • Cream together sugar and butter with an electric mixer on medium speed.  Blend until butter lightens in color and texture
  • Alternately add dry and wet ingredients, starting and ending with dry, in 3 additions
  • Fold in coconut using a rubber spatula.  Scoop batter into prepared tin, filling each about 3/4 full
  • Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 25-30 minutes
  • Cool in the pan 5 minutes; remove completely
For the frosting:
  • Beat cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer until smooth
  • Add melted white chocolate, lime juice and coconut extract,  beat to blend
  • Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth (it will be gooey).
  • Spread 3 Tbsp frosting on each cupcake
  • Top cupcakes with coconut


Originally posted March 2011

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Friday Five


“It must suck to worry about what others think of you and/or your decisions”...A dear friend
“Gigi, I had a bad day. Only watermelon can fix it”...Q, he got on the phone and sounded miserable about some watermelon! LOL
“My mom is not my friend, she is my mommy”...B is constantly telling her friends this.
“No, without explanation is a perfectly good answer”...this wise woman I know!
"You wouldn't have had to do anything. If I didn't want to share my gum or if I didnt have a enough to share with everybody, I would have never pulled the gum out! What kind of mean person does that?"...My kid. The miscreant...insert sarcasm
Have a wonderful weekend! To my teachers that are out for the summer...I am tres jealous...TRES! LOL