Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Holiday Break

Hello fellow homegaters! It's been a busy couple weeks with Christmas and New Year's coming up! I've been cooking up a storm but keep forgetting to take pics! I missed a couple weeks but will be back this week for the Texan's last game of the regular season! See you when we play Jacksonville!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Week 14: New England Patriots vs Houston Texans

Oh this was a game we all waited for. I know for myself, I just knew we had to win this one. They flexed us to Sunday night and we were playing the Patriots. We had to show the world that we could win against these guys....

If you watched the game, you already know that not only did we lose, we looked extremely horrible out there! I had the displeasure of watching this game Monday night after work because I had concert tickets to see The Weeknd the night before.

Because my night was going to be busy, I spent most of my day in the kitchen. It's close to Christmas time and I decided to share my base Christmas cookie platter with you all. Every year I make Christmas cookies/bars and deliver them to my friends and family. As I'm a new mom and can't really do as much as I'd like, I stuck to one cookie, a brownie, and a bar. Here goes the recipes!

This was a total cheat as I made box brownies. I never make homemade because Ghiradelli has these fab brownie mixes that just make the best brownies I've ever had. You really must try them! To make these my own, I did make the icing from scratch.

Brownie Icing: (to be made while brownies are cooling)
1 stick unsalted butter, softed
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar, you might need more or less.

1. In a medium size bowl using a mixer, mix butter until lightly whipped.
2. Add 1 cup powdered sugar, and vanilla and mix.
3. Add  1/4 cup heavy cream and 1 more cup of powdered sugar and mix. This is where you want to eye ball the rest of the recipe. Mix until the consistency of the icing is thicker than whipped cream. If it's too loose, add powdered sugar. If it's too thick, add more cream.
4. Once the icing is ready and the brownies are cooled completely, spread all of icing over brownies. Sprinkle with red and green sprinkles. Place in fridge to cool and let icing harden up a bit.
5. Cut brownies and serve at room temp.

Cookie Bars
1 box graham crackers, crushed
1/2 stick butter, melted
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup coconut flakes
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup red and green M&Ms

1. Spray shallow baking dish with vegetable spray.
2. Mix graham crackers with melted butter. Pour in baking dish in an even layer.
3. Pour condensed milk over graham crackers.
4. Add chocolate chips, coconut, and M&Ms.
5. Bake in a 325 degree oven until coconut flakes are toasted on the edges. Let cool and cut. Serve.

Reindeer Cookies:
1 package Peanut Butter Cookie mix made per instructions on box
2. chocolate chips
3. red M&Ms
4. small pretzels

1. On a baking sheet place about 6-8 small spoonfuls of peanut butter cookie mix with enough room to spread while cooking.
2. Shape into an oval and tuck in the sides so that cookies look like the outline of the number 8.
3. Place two pretzels on the top of the cookie for the "antlers"
4. Place chocolate chips as eyes and 1 red M&M as the "rudolph" nose.
5. Continue until baking sheet has enough cookies to bake. Bake at 350 until cookies are a golden brown.
6. Repeat until dough is finished. Serve warm or at room temp.

There you have it! My family told me they loved these sweet treats that I left. It helped them get through what was a very horrible game.

A couple tips for you....
-If your kid is allergic to peanuts, use a sugar cookie recipe or even a chocolate chip cookie recipe minus the chips. I only use peanut butter cookies because the color lends itself to the reindeer skin tone.
-With the cookie bars, you can mix and match whatever type of toppings you want. I happen to like the look of the coconut as snow and the texture of the M&Ms. Feel free to get creative!
-Have fun while making these! They are perfect for any holiday gathering you have and I promise people will ask you for them every year afterwards!

Merry Christmas Y'all!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Week 13: Houston Texans @ Buffalo Bills

While we visited Buffalo, the fam originally wanted to order Buffalo Wild Wings but my preggo sis had a craving for my Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo so that's what we made! Here's the recipe:

1 package chicken tenderloin, cubed
1 package campanelle pasta
2 heads broccoli crowns
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 tablespoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon dry thyme
2 tablespoons dry basil
4 tablespoons dry or fresh parsley
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon Mrs. Dash garlic & herb seasoning
1 cup parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup water or chicken broth
1/4 cup vegetable oil
16 oz half and half
salt and pepper to taste

1. Cut broccoli into bite size pieces and set to cook in a pot of salted boiling water. Once cooked, remove and add pasta. Cook pasta to al dente and remove.
2. Cut chicken into bite size chunks and set in a bowl. Marinade with garlic powder, 1/2 tablespoon dry thyme, 1 tablespoon dry basil, cumin, salt, pepper, and Mrs. Dash.
3. In a big saucepan set on medium high heat, add vegetable oil and chicken. Cook until chicken is browned and mostly cooked through. Remove from saucepan.
4. Add onions to saucepan and let cook until translucent.
5. Add garlic and let cook for one minute.
6. Add butter and flour. Mix until everything looks like a thick paste. If too dry, add more butter or vegetable oil. Let cook for a couple minutes.
7. Add water or chicken broth and use a whisk to fully incorporate paste with liquid.
8. Once everything is fully incorporated and smooth, mixture should be somewhat thick. Add all of half and half and continue mixing.
9. Add all remaining spices and let simmer until thick.
10. Add half of parmesan cheese and let melt in sauce.
11. Add chicken, broccoli, and pasta. Stir until everything is coated in the sauce. If the sauce is on the thin side, let it cook another 5 minutes or so.
12. Top with remaining parmesan cheese and serve.

This is one of my go to dishes. While it looks intimidating and long, it's soooo simple to make and only takes about a half hour. A couple things you can do to tweak this is change up the cheese if you want. Adding mozzarella would be good or even a good blue cheese. You can also remove the meat portion and make this completely vegetarian. You can also sub the broccoli for maybe bell peppers or another veggie of choice. With this recipe, it's really easy to make it versatile.

We lost to the Bills which sucked but my family all had smiles on their faces from the food so I guess the day was a success! See you next week!

Week 12: New Orleans Saints vs Houston Texans

We played the Saints in Week 12 and by this point, we have abandoned our eat the food local to each city goal. My sister is preggers so we have to help her out with cravings! This week I wanted to experiment with food and was craving East Indian cuisine but wanted it in a different style of cooking. I also wanted to go meat free this week so I decided to make a biryani which if you don't know is a rice casserole. It usually contains a meat like chicken or lamb, but I decided to remove that and make the biryani in a risotto style.

Biryani Risotto
1 1/2 cups basmati rice
3 roma tomatoes, cubed
1 large onion, half sliced and half chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
3 cups water, warming on the stove
1 box Shan biryani mix
1 tablespoon ginger
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cayenne (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

1. In a big saucepan or pot on medium high heat, add 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil and the sliced onions. Let the onions saute until they become a light brown color (you may have to adjust the heat to prevent burning). Add sugar and continue to cook until onions turn a dark brown. Be sure NOT to leave the stove at this point. Once onions are a dark brown, remove from pot and place on a plate of napkins.
2. Bring saucepan back to medium high heat. Add rest of veggie oil and onion. Sprinkle teaspoon salt and pepper and saute until translucent.
3. Add garlic, tomatoes, and rice. Let cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Add ginger, and cayenne, and 1 packet of the Shan biryani mix. Make sure all rice is coated with spices.
5. Add 2 ladels of warmed water to rice mixture. Bring stove to medium low and let rice simmer, stirring occasionally.
6. When water has cooked out, add another 1-2 ladels of more water until rice is completely cooked and looks creamy.
7. Add cilantro and the sweetened dark onions. Stir into biryani risotto and serve.

Let me talk about Shan box mixes. If you don't cook East Indian food, you'll want to visit HEB (international or Indian aisle) or a local Asian/Indian/Pakistani grocery mart. You'll find that they have several spice mixes for dishes like Korma, Biryani, Butter Chicken, etc. I find these box mixes helpful because I don't have to overcrowd my spice pantry with bottles of spices I'll never ever fully use. I make East Indian food maybe once or twice a  year so this is a time and space saver for me! If you like to collect spices, just google the spices needed for biryani and go to town!

This risotto style biryani was extremely tasty! Because it was a first try, I didn't want to get too experimental with it. When I next make it, I'll be sure to add some good veggies and maybe even some grilled chicken on the side. If you like to explore other cultures, I highly recommend you trying this dish. It's delish!

We did beat the Saints and I have to add I enjoyed the win all the more with such a great dish!

Week 11: NY Jets vs Houston Texans

This game happened to be the same weekend as my daughter's first birthday so we had leftovers which was FAJITAS!!! I'm sorry but you just can't go wrong with fajitas for any occasion. Ugh, they are so good. Here are the reicpes:

Homemade Chips & Guacamole

50 corn tortillas cut into fourths
5 avocados
3 roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/2 lime
vegetable spray
salt and black pepper to taste

1. Arrange the cut corn tortillas on baking sheets, spray with vegetable spray and pop in an oven set to 325. Let the tortillas cook until they are golden brown and crispy. When they come out of the oven, place in a big bowl and lightly salt. Continue until all tortillas are cooked.
2. Add avocados, tomatoes, onion, and cilantro in a bowl and mix together making sure to mash the avocado up to preferred consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste. Juice 1/2 lime and mix.

Homemade Pico de Gallo
2 roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/2 lime
salt and pepper to taste

1. Mix everything in a bowl. Add lime juice, salt and pepper for taste. SERVE

Note---You may have noticed there is no mention of jalapenos in either of the above recipes. We have some non-spicy foodies in our household so I omitted spice in everything. I did, however, cut up serranos (wayyyy spicier than jalapenos) and served those on the side for us spiceheads.

Fajitas (Chicken and Beef)
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
1 large onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, chopped finely
4 chicken breasts, sliced into strips
1 lb beef, sliced into strips
shredded cheese
serranos, sliced
cilantro, chopped
2 limes
2 tablespoons cumin
2 tablespoons Mrs. Dash Southwest Seasoning
2 tablespoons onion powder
vegetable oil for sauteeing veggies and meat
salt and pepper to taste

1. Place chicken and beef in separate bowls. Season with 1 tablespoon each of cumin, onion powder, and Mrs. Dash as well as 1 lime each and garlic. Also add salt and pepper for taste.
2. On a stovetop grillpan on medium high heat, saute onion and bell peppers in about 1 tablespoon of veggie oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and saute until soft. Remove from heat and place on serving dish.
3. Add 1 more tablespoon of veggie oil to pan and saute chicken until browned and cooked through. Remove from heat and place on serving dish.
4. If needed, add another tablespoon of veggie oil and saute beef until browned. Depending on your preference of rareness, cook longer or immediately take out after browned. My family likes their beef medium well so that's what I cooked it to. Remove beef and place on serving dish.
5. When serving this up, add cheese, serranos, and cilantro as well as some lime wedges on the serving platter as well for others to add on. If you have other add ons you like, make sure to include those on your platter.

While this seems like a lot of steps and lots of dishes, you can see that it's really not. It was a very easy going meal to make and everyone enjoyed their food. You'll see that I made sure to separate everything. We have some vegetarians in our household so everything was cooked and plated so that everyone would be able to eat. You can prepare your platter however you want it though. Of course, because we did a birthday and football meal in one, I placed the homemade chips in those cute little 1 snack containers. And while it isn't pictured, I did have flour tortillas for the fajitas (store bought). For those, I just wrapped the bundle in foil and let it heat through in the oven while I fried up everything. This is a nice trick when serving a crowd!

I hope you enjoy this meal as much as my family enjoyed it. We did beat the Jets AND my daughter's party went off without a hitch so I'd say it was a great weekend! Until next week!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Week 10: Houston Texans @ Cincinnati Bengals

The week we played Cincinnati, I planned on making Cincinnati Chili. Unfortunately, I fell sick and didn't make it to the store. I rummaged through my fridge and freezer and found that I had everything to make a tortilla soup (what I call a tortilla soup) so that's what was on the menu! Here's the recipe:

Last Minute Tortilla Soup
2 chicken breasts cut into cubes
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 can black beans, drained
1 can corn, drained
1 can tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
1 large russet potato peeled and cubed
2-3 cups water
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon cumin
2 tablespoons dry parsley
1 tablespoon season salt
1 tablespoon Mrs. Dash seasoning (your choice and optional)
salt and black pepper to taste
cilantro for garnish

1. In a big saucepot, brown chicken. Remove.
2. Add onion and garlic and cook until onions are translucent. Add potato and let cook for 5 minutes.
3. Add spices & tomato paste and let cook for about 1 minute.
4. Add tomato sauce, chicken, corn, and black beans. Cover with water. Let cook for about 20 minutes.
5. Check to see if potatoes are soft. Add cilantro. Dish is done at this point. You can top with cheese or chips or avocados or whatever you want and serve.

Now this was a very quick and easy recipe as you can tell. You can tweak it however you like. Because I was in the mood for chili, I added a lot of flavors that I would normally put in chili so it did have those same flavor elements which I loved! I made a huge pot of this and froze it so that I'd always have soup if I needed it. I didn't have tortilla chips so I subbed with fritos...don't judge me. Another thing you could do with this soup is change up the meats. You could brown up sausage or even beef and use that if you wanted. It's delicious and would adapt to it all very well! We did beat Cincinnati and it was such a great victory as they were undefeated until they met us!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Week 8: Tennessee Titans @ Houston Texans

This past week we played Tennessee and WON! Thank goodness because I was starting to feel down on the whole season. The win helped me feel better going into the bye week. For this event, we didn't plan anything because it was Halloween and also we had birthdays in the family. I still made something and I'd love to share the recipe for Halloween Mini Cupcakes!

Chocolate Cupcakes
1 1/2 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1/2 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder in a mixing bowl.
3. Add egg, milk, and vegetable oil and mix until all ingredients incorporated.
4. Add chocolate chips and mix.
4. Bake until you can smell the cupcakes. That's about 10 minutes for mini cupcakes and maybe 15 for regular size (depending on your oven).

The icing and decorations you see are all store bought. I wasn't in the mood to make icing so I bought regular white icing, red sparkly icing (in a tube), and the knife cake toppers. To decorate, all you do is ice all of your cupcakes. For the serial killer ones, I just placed the knives in the center and used my red sparkly icing to make the blood splat. No real technique here. Just do whatever you want. For the vampire bites, I just took my red icing and set the tip in the icing and squeezed icing out as I removed the tip. Very quick and easy and everyone loved them!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Week 7: Houston Texans @ Miami Dolphins

We are visiting Miami this week and today's dish just had to be paella! This is something I've never made and so I was pretty excited. I did have a bit of a challenge on my hands because my sister is preggers and she has seafood limitations right now. I thought I would be making a blasphemous dish but upon a nifty Google search, I found plenty of non-seafood paella recipes! Hallelujah! So here goes the recipe:

Chicken & Sausage Paella 
3 chicken breasts cut into chunks
1 package sausage, cut into thick slices
1 onion sliced
3 cloves garlic chopped
4 tomatoes, chopped
2 bell peppers, sliced (red, orange, or yellow)
3 or 4 carrots, sliced
1 1/2 cup rice
2 cups water or chicken stock
4 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Seasonings to keep on hand: turmeric, cumin, paprika, Mrs. Dash (any seasoning blend you like), garlic salt (if you don't have just use regular salt), and black pepper.
1. Season the chicken with 1 tablespoon each of paprika, cumin, and Mrs. Dash, and also 1 teaspoon each of garlic salt, black pepper and turmeric.
2. In a medium high skillet (or dutch oven) brown sausage. Remove from pan and repeat with chicken.
3. Remove chicken (don't worry if it's not all the way cooked), and add onions, garlic, bell pepper, carrots and tomatoes. Let cook for about 2 minutes.
4. Add 1 tablespoon turmeric, paprika, and Mrs. Dash as well as 1 teaspoon of salt and black pepper. Saute for 1 minute. We are waking up the spices!
5. Add rice and stir until rice is coated with seasonings. Add 1 cup water and chicken and let cook for 15 minutes.
6. Taste gravy. If bland, feel free to add any extra spices you'd like at this point. If all of the water is evaporated, add second cup of water or stock. Let cook another 10-15 minutes.
7. Add sausage and continue to cook until rice is completely cooked and all water is evaporated.
8. Add cilantro and serve.

You'll notice there is no mention of spice other than the black pepper in this dish. The reason is because my brother in law doesn't handle spice well. I cut up some jalapenos on the side and we just added them to our plates. If you prefer spice, slice a couple jalapenos or serranos and add them with the sausage in the end.

This dish is so very tasty and you really don't miss the seafood. I dare you to try it. We got our butts handed to us by Miami and everyone in our house was still in a great mood because our Miami tasting trip turned out remarkably delicious!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Week 6: Houston Texans @ Jacksonville Jaguars

This week, we were supposed to have seafood. Unfortunately, the dish we wanted required crab and we just didn't make it in time to get good quality crab. As a backup, we decided to make a West Indian dish: Stew Chicken and Rice.

This dish is best made with a whole chicken that has been cut up but if you'd like to use chicken breast you can. The recipe is below:

1 whole chicken, cut into pieces
3 cloves garlic chopped
1 medium onion chopped
3-4 tablespoon chopped cilantro
2 green onion chopped
2 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoon cumin
1 lime or lemon, cut in half
1 habanero or pepper of your choice (either cut or whole)
2 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
salt and black pepper to taste
1-2 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup water

1. Cut chicken and rinse in water and lemon/lime juice. Empty water and juice.
2. Season chicken with garlic, onion, cumin, green onion, tomato paste and salt and black pepper.
3. In a big saucepan or dutch oven set to medium high heat, add oil and let heat.
4. Add brown sugar and let caramelize to a dark brown (not black). Add chicken quickly. Put the bowl that the seasoned chicken was in aside for a moment.
5. Turn chicken so that all pieces are coated in the brown sugar. Cover pot and let simmer for 5-10 minutes.
6. Using the bowl that the seasoned chicken was in, add water and swish around to pick up all leftover seasonings. Add to pot with cilantro and habanero, and let cook for another 20 minutes.
7. At this point, water should have evaporated to about 1/2 cup. You can continue to let it cook if you don't want too much gravy or you can turn it off at this point and serve on a bed of rice.

A couple of tips:

-If you like spicy foods, I recommend breaking the pepper inside the pot after the dish is cooked completely. Because the pepper was also cooking for 20 minutes, it will have built up some nice juice inside. Once popped, all those spicy juices flow all throughout the stew. My mouth is just watering thinking about it.

-I love to add either slices of fresh cucumber/tomatoes or even a nice slice of avocado just to refresh my palate in between spicy bites! You don't have to, but I recommend it.

On a side note, we won today so that made today's dish even better!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Week 5: Indianapolis Colts @ Houston Texans

So for week 5, we had a Thursday night game that my family and I decided to attend! Because of this, we did not cook. We also did not partake of any stadium food. We lost that game so I'm glad I didn't have to drown my sorrows in food. It's no fun losing!

It's okay though because we decided to have an easy Sunday. We ordered pizza and I made a very simple dessert. Chocolate Non-Fondue! I'm sure you're wondering what that is...well let me share with you how it works.

Take whatever chocolate you prefer and melt it. I always melt in a double boiler but you can use the microwave if you'd like. Once melted, add a splash of vegetable oil. That will prevent the chocolate from hardening and will also give the chocolate a nice glossy look. Put the chocolate in a pretty bowl and cut up whatever you want to dip into the chocolate. At my house, we love strawberries and green apple so that's what I prepared. After everything is cut up, just put out your spread and enjoy!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Week 4: Houston Texans @ Atlanta Falcons

On yesterday's menu: peach cobbler. I debated on making a main course dish but you can't visit Georgia without having a peach. For this recipe, I scoured the internet and found Sweet State of Mine. Her blog is about visiting all states via food. She had a very easy home recipe for peach cobbler so I decided to try it. The recipe is:

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup all purpose flour
2 cups sugar, divided
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup milk
pinch of salt
4 cups fresh peach slices
1 tablespoon lemon juice

1. Melt butter in a 13x9 baking dish.
2. Combine flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder and salt. Add milk stirring until all ingredients are moistened. Pour over butter. DO NOT MIX.
3. In a saucepan, bring 1 cup sugar, peach slices, and lemon juice to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Again, pour over batter and DO NOT MIX.
4. Bake at 375 for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown.
5. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Let me tell you something, I am by no means a fruit dessert person so I didn't enjoy this as much as I thought I would. That being said, EVERYONE else loved it! The crust baked up over the peaches so it was just warm and gooey with a nice crunchy edge. And you can't serve peach cobbler without a scoop of ice cream and we are lucky to have Blue Bell back so that's what we used.

We got our butts kicked and so it was nice to have this dessert to help us get through how horribly we played!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Week 3: Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Houston Texans

Well this week Tampa Bay came on by and we decided to focus on dessert! I consulted a friend who lived in Tampa Bay for a number of years and asked about desserts that were local to Tampa Bay. We couldn't really come up with anything special but she did tell me that Plant City, which is nearby, is known for their strawberries. That I could take and run with!

After doing a bit of research, I found this recipe for a chocolate strawberry oasis pie on The picture looked promising and the recipe seemed pretty easy so I decided that this was what we were having for dessert on Sunday!

Chocolate Strawberry Oasis Pie: 
Vegetable oil spray
6 tbs unsalted butter
1 oz chocolate
7 oz chocolate cookies (about 30)
1 pint strawberries

2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
6 large egg yolks
6 oz chocolate
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt

1. Lightly spray 9 inch pie pan with veggie spray.
2. Place butter and chopped chocolate in microwave safe bowl. Heat for 30 seconds or until melted. Stir until smooth.
3. Finely grind cookies in a food processor.
4. Add chocolate mixture and process until crumbs are evenly moistened.
5. Press crumb mixture into pie dish. Freeze until firm (about 30 min)
6. Slice strawberries and arrange on top of crust.
1. Whisk sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder, salt in a heavy medium sauce pan.
2. Whisk egg yolks to form a thick paste. Gradually whisk in milk, then whisk over medium high heat until mixture thickens.
3. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and mix until smooth. Add vanilla.
4. Cool for 5 minutes, whisking occasionally.
5. Pour filling over strawberries. Chill in fridge for at least 2 hours.

So this is what the pie is supposed to look like (courtesy of Mine did not come out that way and so you won't see my picture. I think I left my mixture on the stove too long and so it never set up properly.

Couple tips: The filling mixture is enough for two pies. I suggest either cutting the recipe in half or making two pies. Also, I think it needs more strawberries but that's just because the strawberries were so so good!

On a positive note, we won this week! While my dessert looked a mess, at least it was good and we won! See you next week in Atlanta!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Week 2: Houston Texans @ Carolina Panthers

This weekend we visited North Carolina. I consulted a foodie friend and she told me that if I intend to do North Carolina any justice, I'd make pulled pork sandwiches with coleslaw. I said okay and stepped up to the challenge.

This was going to be a hard one because I do not really eat pork. After some thought, I decided to go ahead and make the pork as well as some chicken on the side. That way, I could have my sandwich and my family could have the pork.

Iron Skillet Chicken-
1/2 pound chicken tenderloin
2 tablespoons Worcestershire
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 half thinly sliced onion
1 tablespoon cayanne
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
salt & black pepper to taste
1. Mix ingredients in a bowl. Add chicken (I used tenderloin)
2. Preheat cast iron skillet on medium high heat.
3. Add oil and let come to temp.
4. Add couple pieces of chicken in one by one. Let cook until browned (about 2-3 minutes).
5. Flip and let brown on other side (1-2 minutes). Remove.
6. Repeat until all chicken is cooked.

Pulled Pork Sandwiches-
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
2 tablespoons Worcestershire
3 lbs pork shoulder
1. Place pork in slow cooker.
2. Mix rest of ingredients and pour over pork. Make sure pork is coated on both sides with marinade.
3. Cook on high for 4-6 hours or slow for 8-10 hours.
4. Once time is up, take pork out. Shred (make sure to remove any huge pieces of fat). Place back in juices and serve.
We found this recipe on

Easy Coleslaw-
This is the easiest part of the cooking process. In the grocery store, grab a bag of coleslaw mix (in the pre-bagged lettuce aisle). While you're in the store, also go to where the salad dressings and condiments are. You'll see a bottle of coleslaw dressing. We used Kraft.

When you get home, dump the coleslaw mix into a serving bowl. Empty about 1/2 of the bottle dressing into the bowl and mix. If you like extras in your coleslaw, feel free to add them. We like thinly sliced broccoli so that was added. Put in the fridge and serve when ready.

We lost this game and boy was it disappointing. Luckily, we had some good food to drown our sorrows with. See you next weekend in Tampa Bay!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Week 1: Kansas City Chiefs @ Houston Texans

Kansas City came to Houston for the 2015 season opener. On the menu was BBQ beef stuffed potatoes. We already knew going into this that we would be eating a lot of barbecue and that is okay with us!

For the BBQ beef potatoes, I did some research on sauces and found that Kansas City is known for having a sauce that is tomato based with sweet, spicy, and tangy flavor profiles. I have never made my own barbecue sauce and so was very afraid of making it myself. As I was researching recipes to make my own, I stumbled across a bottled sauce that originates in Kansas City. It's called KC Masterpiece and they have all different flavor profiles. While I wanted to go with the original recipe, my family can't turn away from a good hickory smoked anything. I picked up the bottle of hickory smoked sauce and made my way home.

Below is the recipe I used and a picture of our potato. I like mine very simply made so that's what you'll see. We did have all the fixins for a baked potato but I like to let the meat be the star. Anyways, here's the recipe:

BBQ Potato

Beef (we used sirloin tip and you choose how big)
Beef Stock
KC Masterpiece BBQ Sauce
1 medium onion
3 cloves garlic
Olive Oil
Black pepper
Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb spice mix
Potatoes (we used russet)
Shredded cheese
Butter (softened)
Sour Cream
Chives (chopped)
Jalapenos (optional)

-preheat oven to 350°

1. Wash potatoes cleanly. Poke holes, rub with olive oil, and wrap in aluminum foil.
2. Put potatoes into a 350° oven and let bake for 45 min-1 hr (depending on your oven).
3. Preheat cast iron skillet or oven safe skillet to medium high heat.
4. Rub beef all over with generous amounts of salt, black pepper, and Mrs. Dash garlic and herb spice mix.
5. Add about 2 tablespoons to the pan and add beef right away. Let brown, about 3 minutes.
6. Flip beef and put in oven. Beef will continue to brown and cook while in oven (about 20 minutes depending on size and preference of doneness).
7. Take beef out and let rest for about 5 minutes. Once 5 minutes is up, start to shred beef.
8. Chop onion and garlic. Add to skillet that beef was cooked in. Let soften.
9. Deglaze pan with about 3 tablespoons of beef stock (or water if you don't have stock).
10. Add half of the bottle of KC Masterpiece sauce. Stir and bring to a slow simmer.
11. Add beef and let simmer for about 5 minutes.
12. Turn off stove. Once potatoes are cooked, top potatoes with preferred fixins. Top fixins with beef and some of the sauce.
13. Enjoy your KC Beef Potato.

And that's it! While this looks like a lot of steps, this was a very simple recipe and was sooooo delicious. Unfortunately, we lost the first game, but at least we ate well!