July 31, 2011

Turtle Burgers

Hear me out on this one... Received this idea in a forwarded email this morning. Would love to know who came up with this one to give credit where it's due. So creative! Cute idea for the little ones.

Turtle Burgers
Handmade ground beef patties topped with cheddar cheese, and wrapped in a bacon weave. Hot dogs are then added as the heads and legs. Cut slits in the hot dogs for the toes and nails. Place on baking sheet covered loosely with foil. Bake for 20-30 minutes at 400 degrees.

July 30, 2011

McDonald's Dogs

How cute is this? Haha! This photo was from a forwarded email I received this morning. Have a great weekend y'all!

July 29, 2011

Tomato Sauce

It was about time that I made homemade Tomato Sauce. I remember my Mama's white apron with bright red tomato sauce splatters when I still lived at home. This to me was love. When I'd walked into the house from school and the aroma of simmering tomato sauce was present I knew Mama put a lot of love into dinner. Nothing compared to her sauce.

I don't have her recipe. I'm sure she didn't even use one. I don't ever recall my Mama really pulling out cookbooks. I decided to wing it and make my own Tomato Sauce.

My Tomato Sauce has a little bit of a kick. It might be too spicy for little ones. My little man didn't seem to notice the heat until he got through half his bowl. I'm sure most won't be using spicy garlic olive oil like I did however. Adjust the seasonings to your liking. Perfect over pasta or with Chicken Parmesan. Enjoy!

Tomato Sauce
Makes 1 1/2 cups sauce

Stars of the Show:
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil - I used Sotto Voce Spicy Garlic Olive Oil.
  • 1 (14 oz) can tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano
  • 1/4 cup red wine - I used Shiraz.
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
And Action:

Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion powder and garlic. Add the tomatoes, wine, and red pepper flakes. Let simmer for 20 minutes. Add the salt and basil. Serve over pasta noodles.

Marking #2 off my "Stir The Pot" page. 1 down, 24 to go. 

July 27, 2011

Pinterest #5

If you're a regular FOLLOWER of my blog I'm sure you've noticed a lot more food funnies  than food. Reason being I've sorta fell into a funk. I haven't wanted to really cook a meal with a lot of heart in it. In fact, I've avoided cooking so much that I ended up taking a three day "just for me" vacation to help clear my head with hopes of coming back home feeling refreshed and getting back into the flow of things.

On Thursday I left for Austin, TX. After a car wash and lunch at Dairy Queen I ended up at the State Capitol Building and took the tour. Wandered around Sixth Street. Then headed to Barton Creek Resort and Spa which is the #1 golf resort in Texas. Somehow the reservation got lost and I ended up in a suite for the night to make up for the mistake. After checking out the resort and all it had to offer I headed to County Line BBQ On the Hill where I enjoyed the BEST marbled 2nd cut brisket EVER! Too stuffed from dinner to get around to any activities on the resort so I settled in for the night.

Oh to stay up late and sleep in. Sigh. It's been over 3 years since I've really got to sleep in. Blissful. Enjoyed breakfast at the resort. Southwestern Style Eggs Benedict. Oh my! Toasted English muffin, topped with BBQ pork carnitas, poached eggs, smoky jalapeno hollandaise served with a side of fresh fruit. Crave worthy and worth a three and a half hour drive back for someday. After breakfast I decided to take up an activity that the resort is best known for miniature golf. No really. I played miniature golf. Two rounds of 18 holes. Haha! On the resort they also had table tennis. No really. I played table tennis. Haha! I am not a golfer or a tennis player.

Checked out of the resort that morning and decided to head for San Antonio, TX. On the way I stopped and toured San Marcos, TX. College towns are the BEST. Could have gone tubing but decided against it after discovering Wonder World Park and a spontaneous tour. Couple hours later it was back on the road. Made it to Grand Hyatt San Antonio on the Riverwalk and got checked in. In the room long enough to drop off luggage and then off to the Riverwalk to explore. Ended up at Rita's on the River and had incredible steak and chicken fajitas and poor service. Nonetheless, the atmosphere and people watching more then made up for the service. There is also the Rivercenter Mall with an IHOP Express in the food court. What!?! I have never seen an IHOP Express. Later that night I ended up watching Captain America and then headed back to the hotel after scoring a free cheesecake caramel apple from the boy at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. It's all because of the eyelashes.

Saturday morning I woke up early and set out for a breakfast spot near the Alamo. I was introduced to the Emily Morgan Hotel which was right across the street from the Alamo. I enjoyed the House Mesquite Smoked Salmon with a toasted New York bagel with cream cheese, capers, sweet onion, garden tomato, and a squeeze of lemon. Fresh and simply divine. Headed across the street after breakfast and toured the Alamo. Don't blink or you'll miss walking through the historic building. They are currently doing renovations and there wasn't much to see but the grounds are absolutely beautiful.

That wrapped up my "just for me" vacation. Back home and back to reality. I am planning on doing these mini vacations more often. It left me feeling refreshed and ready to come home to my toddler temper tantrums.

Since I have nothing to blog about that I've cooked I thought I'd leave you with this week's Pinterest picks.

KitchenAid Artisan Design Stainless Steel Aqua 5-Quart Stand Mixer at Bed, Bath, and Beyond

Motivational Poster posted by Strawberrieheart on Tumblr

Menu Design by Analogue

Table Scape on Houzz

Tableware by Car Moebel
Dinner Options from All Posters

Obol, the Never Soggy Cereal Bowl from Brookstone

Worm Cupcakes by Just Call Me Martha

Dark Knight Rices by Individual Thought Patterns

Romantic by tinywhitedaisies on Tumblr

Holiday Party by The Cinderella Project

Limes by Shaunni on Tumblr

Extra Tall Pink Candles by Made By Girl

July 21, 2011

Pinterest #4

Halloween Cake Pops by Passion For Parties

Must See Cool Small Kitchen by The Kitchn

Kitchen Inspirations: Inspace Locations by Kitchenisms

Groovy Wave Hook Combo by jjevenson on Etsy

Paint Popsicles for Toddler Art Fun by Babble

Garden Furniture by Little Red House

Good Advice by French By Design

FoodSaver V850 Vacuum Sealing System by SWEET Deals by Jillee
I'm So Lucky by eighteen25
Summer Party Tips by Positively Splendid

How To Host A Wine And Cheese Party by Rock UR Party

Physical Hunger vs. Emotional Hunger by Healthy Is Always Better

Great Cutting Board by imgur

Real Baby Shower: Baby Blue Elephants by Bump Smitten

Le Pure Cafe by Google

Spinach Pesto Grilled Cheese by FoodGawker

July 20, 2011

Peanuts and Bacon

July 19, 2011

Food Funnies

Photos were from a forwarded email.

July 18, 2011

Secret Recipe Club - Asparagus Prosciutto Mushroom Saute

My assignment for July's Secret Recipe Club was for Chelsy's blog, Mangia. "Savoring one bite at a time." My pick for what to make wasn't hard at all. The day Amanda from Amanda's Cookin' gave out the blog assignments I raced over to Mangia and started looking around. One thing I noticed was that Chelsy doesn't blog often so I would check back every day anticipating if today was the day? One morning I was giddy when she posted a recipe for Asparagus Prosciutto Mushroom Saute and couldn't get it out of my head. Pasta dishes make me giddy and this recipe did not let me down.

I did have a hang up. Bad produce. Rather than making Asparagus Prosciutto Mushroom Saute I ended up with no mushrooms or shallots. While I think this pasta dish would have been even better with both of those ingredients I don't think the flavor suffered any. Next time however I would like to try it with the mushrooms and shallots. This is a repeat worthy meal.

Recently I was gifted with a boxed set of oil and vinegar from Sotto Voce. A Spicy Garlic Olive Oil and Garlic and Pepper Balsamic Vinegar. Because this recipe called for both olive oil and garlic I figured I couldn't go wrong with trying out my new olive oil. I was right. You can get your hands on this olive oil by going to the website and ordering some or visiting Seattle's Pike Street Market. It added a little heat to the dish for a nice kick.

Prosciutto and asparagus was sauteed in the olive oil, butter, and garlic and then tossed with pasta, fresh basil, and Parmesan cheese. The salty prosciutto added great flavor and paired well with the asparagus and gave a nice crunch to the pasta.

Per Chelsy make sure you enjoy this with a glass or two of wine. You won't be disappointed with this recipe. Please head over to Mangia and tell her hello and check out all of the yummies from her kitchen.

Makes 4 Servings

Stars of the Show:
  • 1 tbsp olive oil - I used Sotto Voce's Spicy Garlic Olive Oil.
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, finely diced - My shallot was no good. Pouty lip.
  • 2 pieces of prosciutto - I used dry aged prosciutto that was already cubed. About 1/4 cup worth.
  • 1/2 to 1 cup sliced mushrooms - My mushrooms were mushy. Pouty lip. Again.
  • 1 bundle of asparagus spears
  • 1/4 cup Bottega Petalo Moscato Sparkling Wine - Any good sweet wine will work. However, Chelsy highly recommends this both for the recipe and for drinking. I used sauvignon blanc. I know, not a sweet wine but it's what I had on hand.
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil for garnish
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese for sprinkling
  • 1/2 lb pasta of choice
And Action:

Boil pasta according to package directions.

Heat saute pan over medium high heat.

Add the olive oil, butter, and garlic and heat for 30 seconds or just until the butter begins to bubble and garlic begins to cook.

Add shallot and continue to cook for 30 seconds.

Add the prosciutto and cook for 30 seconds.

Add the mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms have cooked all the way through and mushrooms become a dark shade of brown, about 3-4 minutes.

Add asparagus and mix all ingredients well. Cover with a lid and let cook for 3-4 minutes or until the asparagus is cooked to your liking.

Add wine and simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Add the drained pasta and toss. Garnish with the basil and grated Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately and enjoy!

For a chance to win 2 boxes of cookies from Enjoy Life head over to Healthful Pursuit and enter the giveaway.

July 15, 2011

Clearly Fresh Bags Giveaway

Head on over to The Kitchenarian to enter the giveaway and a chance to win Clearly Fresh Bags to help keep your farmer's market finds fresh. Tell her the Pretend Chef sent you!

July 13, 2011

Very Good Recipes (List of Blogs) - Page 71 Shout Outs

It's that time again where I'm giving a shout out to a few of my fellow bloggers who are my "neighbors" on page 71 from, Very Good Recipes. If you haven't checked this site out yet you need to. Why not check out where your blog falls on the list? While you are there register for an account and start sharing recipes and exploring new blogs. Enjoy!

7008. Caroline's Bake Shop - Hot temperatures call for cool treats. How about some Peanut Butter Ice Cream?

7016. My Little Kitchen Laboratory - Thai is at the top of my list for favorite cuisine. I would love to try these Coconut Quinoa Cakes with Shittake Peanut Red Curry Sauce. That's a mouth full to say.

7025. Cooking with Yiddishe Mama - Don't have to speak Russian to enjoy this blog.

7032. A Hint of Honey - No need to keep a pizza company on speed dial with this Roasted Cherry Tomato and Basil Pizza.

7040. Mish Delish - Brewing a pot of coffee now to go with this Hazelnut Coffee Scroll.

7043. A Wicked Scoff! - Timeless... Spaghetti and Meatballs.

7044. Four Seasons of Food - No more side dish dilemma with these Greens Beans with Crisp Onions, Chile, and Mint.

7091. Three Square - I've yet to try my hand at canning but think this Strawberry Jam would be something I'd like to try first.

July 12, 2011

Pinteresting #3

Bubble Gum and Burgers Party by Jac o' lyn Murphy

Watermelon Granita by The Quest

The Best Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese by Jenny Steffens Hobick

Artful Kitchen Remodel by Sunset

Pink Lollipop on Google search engine

Vintage Style Kitchen by Vintage Chic

Cupcake Courier in Soft Blue Sky sold on Amazon
Bird Themed Tablescape by Catalog Living

Opinel Mushroom Hunter's Knife by Canoe

Bug Cupcakes by Party Cupcake Ideas

Grilled Cheese on TasteSpotting

DIY Glass Bottle Cutting by The Zella Guide

How to Build and Install Raised Garden Beds by Popular Mechanics

Sonic Sign by Sweet Blessings

Rainbow Party by Oh Happy Day

Coffee Sign by imgfave

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