Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Babe-O's Dacula Steak Sandwich ~ So Delicious!

This sandwich turned out even better than I envisioned in my mind! My dad LOVES cheese steaks and this one turned out G.R.E.A.T.!

It all started at the Super H Mart the other day. I bought a giant loaf of Barbari Bread. I wasn't sure what kind of bread it was, but I had bought a similar loaf from a European Bakery and made Reuben's.
I built my entire idea for these Steak Sandwiches around this loaf of bread. I immediately went back to the meat department and got some very thinly sliced ribeye steak. Then back to the produce for some mushrooms and peppers.

I cooked the meat, onions and peppers in my Dutch Oven. Start by slicing the onions and peppers and cooking them in the pan with a little bit of garlic infused canola oil. Once they were soft and cooked, I put them in a separate bowl for later. Cut the steak into strips and use the same pan to cook the meat. I put just a little more oil in the pan and cooked the meat until no longer pink. I added another sliced onion to the pan with the steak and cooked until done. Add the peppers and onions back to the pan with the steak, mix together, put the lid on the pan and turn off the heat. This is letting the meat rest and holding in all the moisture of the meat and veggies.

In a separate pan, I heated some oil and cooked sliced mushrooms separate from the onions and peppers to have as a topping for the sandwiches. Dad doesn't really like mushrooms, so that is optional if you don't want to cook them together with the onions and peppers.

I had pre-heated the oven to 350 degrees to get the bread nice and toasty. Slice the bread to make 5 or 6 LARGE sandwiches. I used sliced Pepper Jack cheese for the bottom of the bun and shredded Sharp Cheddar cheese for the top of the bun and toasted in the oven for 8-10 minutes.

When the bread was toasted, it was time to pile the steak high on the bun and serve!
Mom had hers with sliced tomato, fresh onion and jalapeno (just an overall sub sandwich). We all used the oil and vinegar Submarine Sandwich topping, which made them extra delicious!
I hope you are inspired to make your own Steak Sandwich and that it is as delicious as mine!


Monday, March 5, 2012

Cravin' Coconut

I made a fabulous dinner last night! We were having Frank's mom over and she had mentioned that she wanted some fried shrimp. I decided on a menu of fresh teriyaki salmon, steamed broccoli, mashed sweet potatoes and fried shrimp and coconut shrimp as the appetizer.

Our favorite place for fresh seafood is the Super H Mart on Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road in Suwanee. They have a nice selection of fresh veggies and really nice selection of seafood. We bought 2 pounds of medium shrimp and a nice piece of salmon.

A few weeks ago we had Red Lobster for lunch at work and I ordered the Coconut Shrimp. It was really sweet and delicious. I wanted to make my own and searched the Internet for recipes. I found several methods and put a few ideas together in my mind and this is experiment #1.

Cravin' Coconut #1
1 lb fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails left on
1/2 to 1 cup panko bread crumbs
equal amount sweetened coconut flakes
2 eggs

Place the 2 eggs in a bowl and whisk well. In a separate bowl mix coconut and panko. Dredge shrimp individually through egg then dip in coconut mixture. Put shrimp on plate and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
I used my dutch oven to heat oil on stove top. Fill with enough vegetable oil for 2-3 inches in bottom of pan and heat to 350 degrees. The oil is ready when handle of wooden spoon bubbles.
Fry shrimp in small batches until all are golden brown. 3-5 minutes per batch.

Marmalade Dipping Sauce
3/4 cup orange marmalade
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
sprinkle of red pepper flakes

Mix together in bowl and refrigerate. Definitely make this a little in advance so the flavors can come together.
Printable shrimp and sauce recipe HERE
It turned out really yummy, but I'm ready to try again. I want more coconut flavor. Frank really liked the texture that the panko crumbs add and he was really surprised how crunchy and delicious they were. Also, we were really impressed with the sauce. I didn't add the red pepper flakes to my sauce because his mom didn't want the added heat.

Now for the rest of my delicious dinner.......

This is the method I use to cook my salmon in the oven:

The salmon still had the skin, so I put a piece of foil on the bottom of my baking pan so the skin would stick to it and when I served the salmon, I would separate the fish from the skin. Place the oven on 400 degrees, cover the pan with foil, place the salmon in the pan, drizzle a little olive oil and crack some black pepper. Cook in the oven for 14 minutes. Remove the salmon from the oven and this is when I add the flavor.

For teriyaki: The best sauce is Kroger brand teriyaki wing sauce. Drizzle the sauce on the salmon and top with fresh pineapple pieces and pickled jalapenos.  Bake in the oven another 6-7 minutes until the pineapple is warm.

I served the salmon on a bed of butter and herb rice with fresh steamed broccoli and mashed sweet potatoes. It was delicious!

Have someone over to dinner tonight!


Monday, February 27, 2012

Zesty Mushrooms!

Don't you just love the recipe that you didn't know existed? That is what happened when I put these ingredients together last night as a topping for our steak.

I'm gonna call em'....... Zesty Mushrooms!


1 pack of white mushrooms
1 medium sweet onion
3 cloves of peeled garlic
2-3 tablespoons Zesty Italian Dressing
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Fresh ground black pepper
Garlic infused canola oil
Pat of butter

Drizzle the canola oil in the bottom of skillet, just enough to cover bottom. Brush the mushrooms off with a damp cloth and cut in half and add them to the pan and swirl them around in the oil. Slice the onion and add them to the mushrooms. Thinly slice the garlic cloves and add them to the pan. Don't have the heat set too high or the garlic will burn. Keep the mixture tossed around in the pan and add the pat (or 2) of butter to the pan. Let the mushrooms get a little brown and the onions get soft. Add the red pepper flakes and grind some black pepper over the top (add as much or little as you like).
Turn off the heat and add the dressing. Toss the mixture around and serve. 
This is perfect as a side or to top any grilled meat.

Click HERE for printable recipe


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Morning Update: My Canned Tomatoes

The first thing I did this morning was check my canned tomatoes from last night. You will need to check your cans several hours later after they have completely cooled and make sure that they have sealed themselves.

I had 6 quart jars seal and 2 that did not. Don't worry, you can't guarantee that this canning process is going to work. The easiest thing to do is open the jars and put the tomatoes in freezer bags. They will keep just as well in the freezer, I just think they are not as pretty.

For now, I put the 2 jars in the refrigerator until I can get some freezer safe bags. Also, BEWARE, the quart jar contents will not fit in a quart freezer bag. You will have to split it up or use a bigger bag.

Have a beautiful Sunday and happy canning!


Saturday, February 25, 2012

How to Can Tomatoes Like My Maw Maw

Today me and Dad made a trip to Jaemar Farm Market. It was a really nice day for a drive and Dad needed to get out of the house for a while. It is off season for pretty much anything right now so we didn't have our hopes up for anything special.
We shopped around and looked at the baked goods, the fresh jams and jellies, and the produce. They had  25 lb boxes of tomatoes from Florida for $17 and we had decided to get a box and share with the family. I had mentioned to Dad that I would love to have that many tomatoes to can and he noticed the box over in the bruised section. They had ONE 25 lb box of tomatoes for $3!!! You can't pass that up! You just can't. Challenge accepted.
I'm not crazy, I realized these tomatoes weren't home grown quality. They were some really pretty tomatoes though.
After picking up a few more items and a bag of boiled peanuts, we headed home.

I couldn't wait to get home and start canning those tomatoes.

I have a really vivid memory of my Maw Maw Irene canning tomatoes. I know the smell of the tomatoes cooking and I know that you're not allowed to use a metal spoon to stir them. A few years ago when I started being interested in canning my own tomatoes, I went to Mom's house for a quick lesson. She was amazed how much I remembered on my own.

Here's what you'll need:

A big pot. I had to use the biggest pot I had and then I had to pull out the 2nd biggest pot I have. 25 lbs is a lot of tomatoes.
A wooden spoon. (you can use plastic, but no metal spoons! It's a rule.)

8 Quart Mason Jars with metal bands
8 NEW seals for the jars (they don't have to be new, but I highly recommend it)

First, take the tomatoes out of the box and wash them very well in the sink.

Next, peel the tomatoes and cut out any bad spots and the core.
Don't worry about the bad tomatoes in the box. Just because they are bruised on the outside, they are more than likely perfect on the inside.

This is my big pot. I filled it up with  most of the tomatoes, but I did have to use another one.

You don't have to worry about how you chop the tomatoes, just make sure they are peeled and put them in the pot and set the temp between medium and high.

Pretty, aren't they?

2 pots of tomatoes

Let the tomatoes cook. They will boil and have a thick foam on the top. Stir occasionally and this foam will gradually go away.
This is the foam. Let it continue to cook.
It's almost ready.
Clean the jars VERY well. Pour boiling water over the jars and seals use the jar tongs to hold the jars. I used a big bowl and used it as my "scalding" bath.

The jars are ready, place the jar funnel in the jar and begin to fill with the tomatoes. Jars and tomatoes are very hot!

I don't fill them all the way to the top.

Add a heaping teaspoon of SALT to the jar. Wipe the rim clean and place the seals in place and screw on the rings.

The 25 lb box made 8 quarts. Carefully sit them on the counter and DO NOT DISTURB them. You will hear a popping sound as each one seals itself. These will keep in your pantry for a couple of years, but I recommend using within ONE year
Let them cool for several hours or overnight ~ Please do not disturb the cans!
Click HERE for tomorrow morning's update

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Start with Bacon

I was laughing to myself as I started the recipe for Corn & Cheese Chowder. I read the recipe, but it didn't start with the bacon. What? It has to start with bacon, it's chowder. So, I started with the bacon.
I was just checking out the recipe again and JUST realized that her bacon was already cooked ~
I cooked the bacon in the same pot, FIRST, let it get crispy, scooped it out to use as bacon bit topping, then continued with the butter and onions IN the bacon grease. It is only a few pieces of bacon (I used 4-5 thick cut pieces) so it's really not that much, but enough to flavor the bottom of the pan. The recipe also calls for 5 ears Fresh Corn, I used a couple of cups of frozen corn kernels.

One more tip ~ I did not serve mine in bread bowls. I'm sure it is delicious, but I had some Marie Callender's mix for Southwestern Corn bread and added 1 cup of frozen corn to the mix. It was absolutely delicious crumbled in the soup with a dash of Tabasco.

Also, I took my first picture for last nights recipe, but I guess I figured that the battery charges itself. I took one picture and the camera battery died. So, no step by step pictures yet for this recipe.

Check out The Pioneer Woman ~ Corn & Cheese Chowder

  • 4 Tablespoons 1/2 Stick Butter
  • 1 whole Onion, Chopped
  • 3 slices Bacon, Cut Into Pieces
  • 3 whole Bell Peppers, Finely Diced (red, Yellow, Orange)
  • 5 ears Corn, Kernels Sliced Off
  • ¼ cups All-purpose Flour
  • 3 cups Chicken Stock Or Broth
  • 2 cups Half-and-half
  • 1 cup (heaping) Grated Monterrey Jack
  • 1 cup (heaping) Pepper Jack
  • ⅓ cups Sliced Green Onions
  • Bread Bowls

Preparation Instructions

In a large pot, melt butter over medium-high heat. Cook onions for a couple of minutes. Add bacon and cook for another minute or so, then add diced bell peppers and cook for a couple of minutes. Finally, add corn and cook for a minute.
Sprinkle flour evenly over the top and stir to combine. Pour in broth and stir well. Allow this to thicken for 3 or 4 minutes, then reduce heat to low. Stir in half-and-half, then cover and allow to simmer/thicken for 15 minutes or so.
Stir in cheeses and green onions. When cheese is melted and the soup is hot, check seasonings. Add salt and pepper as needed.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Simple Things

I did it! Yay me! I figured out how to set up a site to keep all of my recipes in a printable version!

Check out my Recipe tab at the top for a link to all the recipes on Karey's Cookin' and Babe-O's Bits.

Thanks to Stone Gable blog for the tutorial. It was very easy to follow and I was able to do it right the first time. I went to several other sites that had a bunch of code mumbo jumbo that I didn't understand and wasn't what I was looking for anyway.

Tonight was my favorite home alone dinner. French Bread with garlic and cheese. I recently got a free bottle of Garlic Infused Canola Oil from Pampered Chef and absolutely love using it for garlic bread.
I cut the bread in half and brush on the oil and a little bit of butter, I add a slice of American cheese and top with what ever shredded cheese I have in the refrigerator. Add a sprinkle of garlic powder and bake in the oven for 10 minutes on 350. Once the cheese is melted, turn the oven to broil and brown the cheese just a little.

Garlic bread ~ It's what's for dinner. Bread and Cheese. :-)

Have a good night.