Italian Club Sandwich

Sandwich done.jpgI have been dying to do a post about this Italian Club Sandwich I stumbled upon on Crepes of Wrath about, oh I don’t know, 2 years ago… Talk about procrastination. Really I was just waiting for the perfect opportunity to try this recipe out, and I finally found it. Last weekend I threw a Bridal Shower for one of my very best friends and in true non reality living Elizabeth form I decided I wanted to make all the food myself. Normally not a ridiculous order, unless you are planning a 32 person sit down meal kind of shower… My grandmother thought I was crazy, but entertained my lofty plans with little push back. The food portion actually worked out well and I would definitely recommend using this tasty little number for your next event. It tastes delicious, looks pretty, and you can make it the night before. However, next time I may cater or at least hire somebody to serve so I can enjoy the party a little more… Who am I kidding I am way too controlling to ever be able to sit down and enjoy anything.

Ingredients

  • Large Loaf of Ciabatta Bread (sliced lengthwise)
  • Fresh Pesto
  • Sliced Sopressata Salami
  • Sliced Prosciutto
  • Sliced Provolone Cheese
  • Sliced Mozzarella Cheese
  • Basil Leaves
  • Plastic Wrap

 Directions

photo 1 (6)Slice the ciabatta bread lengthwise. Spread fresh pesto over the bottom piece of bread. Ciabatta is pretty hearty so no need to skimp, but be sure not to use so much that the bread becomes soggy.

Sandwich Steps Final.jpg

Sandwich Steps Final 2.jpgTop the pesto with a layer of salami, layer of prosciutto, then a layer of provolone and a layer of mozzarella cheese. Top the cheeses with another layer of salami followed by a healthy amount of fresh basil leaves.

photo 5 (1)Add a layer of pesto on the top half of the bread. Why? Because I love pesto, so more = better. Plus the additional pesto helps the sandwich all stick together in the pressing process.

photo 3 (2)Place the top of the bread on the sandwich and press down on the sandwiches with your hands, then very tightly wrap them in plastic wrap.

photo 1 (2)Put the wrapped sandwich in the fridge and top with lots of heavy books, or whatever other heavy objects you can find. I used 1 very heavy book, then put a couple 2 liter bottles of soda on top of that. Don’t be afraid to over do it on the weight factor. If I had more room I would have done more. Let them sit in the fridge overnight. This gives the sandwich plenty of time to press into perfect little packages and all the flavors have a chance to marry together. If you are pressed for time and don’t have time to press (haha get it?) then add more weight and you sandwich should be good to go in about 4 hours.

sandwich bite.jpgWhen you are ready to eat, unwrap the sandwiches and use a very sharp knife to cut the sandwich into about 2-inch wide pieces. These will keep well after being sliced in an airtight container for up to 2 days – we ate them as leftovers after our party and they were still absolutely delicious.

EGG Signature

Breakfast Tacos

Breakfast taco tagIf you live in Texas than you know all about the Tex-Mex staples… Breakfast Tacos and Queso. Sometimes they can even be served together, but both stand strong on their own. I have friends (ok one friend) who considers Queso a suitable meal for dinner… Her husband does not agree. Personally, I have an interesting relationship with both of these foods. Although I was not raised in Texas and did not arrive until I was 18, I still feel as though I have always known about them. It’s sort of similar to nobody every having the “sex” talk with me, I just always knew where babies came from… I’m weird I know. Anyway, when it came to Queso I was unaware of the geographic disconnect until my aunt came to visit me and was amazed at the thought of melted cheese in a bowl suitable for chip dipping. Like I said, I thought everyone just knew about it. I was further stunned when I went home for Christmas and my uncle brought Queso as an appetizer. I remember everyone crowding around in awe and him explaining how he mixed Velveeta and ground beef together to make a clogged artery waiting to happen. The only thing I could think of was, “Well fist of all you made it wrong… Where’s the Rotel?”  You wouldn’t think there was a way to screw up melted cheese, but trust me there is. Breakfast Tacos are definitely along the same lines. While the name is pretty descriptive (one would imagine its a tortilla filled scrambled eggs and such), it still is not common on the west coast and is definitely possible to do wrong. Texas is by far the best place to get Breakfast Tacos, specifically Maria’s Taco Express in Austin, but that’s just my humble opinion. I think I make a pretty mean breakfast taco as well, but again that’s just my not so HUMBLE opinion.

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons Olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, finely chopped (color is not super important – use whatever you have on hand or prefer)
  • 1 jalapeño, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 1 plum tomato, seeded, and finely chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp. thinly sliced cilantro leaves
  • 8 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 6 slices of bacon (or whatever meat you choose, sausage, chorizo, etc.)
  • Avocado (optional)
  • Salsa/Hot Sauce (optional)
  • Cheese (optional)

Directions

  1. Cook bacon and chop bacon (I cook mine in the oven at 400 degrees – Add bacon to cold oven and cook for about 20 minutes)
  2. Heat oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, jalapeño, and tomato, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until soft.
  3. Reduce heat a tad – (don’t want to burn the eggs)
  4. Add cilantro and chopped bacon to the egg mixture and add to the pan, folding eggs over in large curds occasionally, until cooked through.
  5. Serve on warm flour tortillas with plenty of fixings (avocado, salsa, hot sauce, cheese, cilantro, etc.)

NOTES: To warm tortillas perfectly wrap them in a damp dish towel and heat in the microwave for 3-4 minutes at 50%. 

EGG Signature

Creamy Corn Casserole

WU-0106_corn-casserole_s3x4Remember when I told you The Pioneer Woman was my recipe soul sister who rarely steers me wrong? Well here is why… Ree’s recipes are men and children children approved. While I am not feeding any kiddos quite yet, I have a husband who often likes to act half his age. More importantly Ree likes to cook spicy food, and you know how much I love to sweat when I eat. Her recipes are generally simple but are packed full of flavor. She likes to make meals you can make a ahead of time and that freeze well. All of these are pluses in my book. This next recipe that caught my eye is no different. It is a casserole which means the Hubby will love it and it has bell peppers and jalapenos in it, which means I will love it.

Ingredients

8 ears corn (still in the husk) - Haha that’s funny. I am going to use frozen corn.
2 red bell peppers, diced
2 fresh jalapenos, diced
1 cup heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 stick salted butter, cut into pieces

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Remove the corn from the husks.  In a large, deep bowl, slice off the kernels of corn with a sharp knife. Turn the knife to the dull side and scrape the cob all the way down to remove all the bits of kernel and creamy milk inside. (Or just cut open the bag of frozen corn and dump it in the bowl if you are a lazy city girl like me. Remember I live in a loft now, I can’t be shucking no corn.)

Add the red bell peppers, jalapenos, heavy cream, salt to taste, a generous amount of pepper and butter and mix it well. Pour into a 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Bake until thoroughly warmed through, 30 to 45 minutes.

Vinyl Wall Art

photo (12)So far the best thing about the Hubby starting his own business has been me getting to do all the fun DIY projects for his office that I have not had an excuse to do at home. First I got to paint the company’s logo on one of their walls using a huge projector, which was so much fun. I have been wanting to try the projector project at home but never really had the use for it. However, I still kept pinning projector ideas and How-To tutorials on Pinterest waiting for the day I would have a reason to do it… and then Voila! In fact I started writing this post back in August and since then the company has expanded to a larger office in the same building. The new office meant I had got to paint another wall logo. Lucky me!

Quote WallAnother project I got the opportunity to do at the new office was a quote wall. I finally got to use my new Cricut machine to cut out vinyl letters to spell out an Aristotle quote on one of the walls in the engineer room. Click the link below to check out my process.

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Happy New Year

photo (29)Well it has been a hot second or two and a lot has happened since the last time we spoke… For one it is now 2014, so Happy New Year! For two, we sold our house and moved into a swanky downtown loft. Fancy schmancy I know. It is so not me, but then again so me all at the same time. There has been lots of decorating, cooking, entertaining, traveling and creating in the mean time, and I have definitely deserted you all in the process. Some may not have noticed at all, others may not have even cared, but that’s ok either way I am back… For the time being.

I got the urge to write again, because I was inspired to cook something new. I was watching the Food Network yesterday and one of my faves came on, Barefoot Contessa. When she is cooking Italian, as she often does, it’s pretty much guaranteed I am going to like it. I have a couple of staples on the Food Network that rarely steer me in the wrong direction. Between Ina Garten, Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman), and Giada De Laurentiis my husband will never go hungry. Now if I could just convince one of them to move in and do all the cooking. Anyway, Ina was making Spaghetti and Meatballs and it looked delicious. I know it sounds very basic, and it is, but it inspired me to want to cook so it is worthy of a blog post in my opinion. Check out the recipe below and I will let you know how it goes. I think this might be a Pasta Sunday dish. I also posted below some pics of what I have been up to for the past 5 months or so.

the egg 2
3DENT Logo Wall Decal // Thanksgiving Invitation // Painted Mirror
Pumpkin Whoopie Pies // Engagement Party Favor Stickers // CranCherry Cocktail
Jute Wrapped Bottles // Holiday Card // Glitter Champagne Bottles

Ingredients

FOR THE MEATBALLS:
  • 1/2 pound ground veal
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup fresh white bread crumbs (4 slices, crusts removed)
  • 1/4 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 extra-large egg, beaten
  • Vegetable oil
  • Olive oil
FOR THE SAUCE:
  • 1 tablespoon good olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion (1 onion)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup good red wine, such as Chianti
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, or plum tomatoes in puree, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • For serving:
  • 1 1/2 pounds spaghetti, cooked according to package directions
  • Freshly grated Parmesan

Directions

  1. Place the ground meats, both bread crumbs, parsley, Parmesan, salt, pepper, nutmeg, egg, and 3/4 cup warm water in a bowl. Combine very lightly with a fork. Using your hands, lightly form the mixture into 2-inch meatballs. You will have 14 to 16 meatballs.
  2. Pour equal amounts of vegetable oil and olive oil into a large (12-inch) skillet to a depth of 1/4-inch. Heat the oil. Very carefully, in batches, place the meatballs in the oil and brown them well on all sides over medium-low heat, turning carefully with a spatula or a fork. This should take about 10 minutes for each batch. Don’t crowd the meatballs. Remove the meatballs to a plate covered with paper towels. Discard the oil but don’t clean the pan.
  3. For the sauce, heat the olive oil in the same pan. Add the onion and saute over medium heat until translucent, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the wine and cook on high heat, scraping up all the brown bits in the pan, until almost all the liquid evaporates, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, parsley, salt, and pepper.
  4. Return the meatballs to the sauce, cover, and simmer on the lowest heat for 25 to 30 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through. Serve hot on cooked spaghetti.

“Healthy” Cheesecake

Healthy Cheesecake ~ via The EGGI say “healthy” because come on, when you are baking how healthy can you really be? But in terms of cheesecake this one is definitely not AS bad for you as the standard to die for cheesecake. It does not contain any of the usual cast of guilty characters, cream cheese, sour cream, or milk. Rather it substitutes all of that wonderful go straight to your thighs goodness with Greek Yogurt. And trust me when I tell you, it looks like cheesecake, smells like cheesecake, feels like cheesecake… Heck it even tastes like cheesecake. It must be CHEESECAKE! Or maybe it’s yogurt cake dubbing as cheesecake. Who cares? I will take it if it means less time on the treadmill. Ha! Who am I kidding? It is hard to spend less time on something that I never use. All well it sounded good. Here is how I made mine…

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 cups greek yogurt (plain or vanilla) I used vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 pre-made graham cracker pie crust

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Take your pre-made crust and crumble it smooth into the bottom of a springform pan. If you like you can make your own, but I just assume using the store bought kind.

Beat together the eggs and the sugar. Add the vanilla and flour and mix to blend thoroughly then gently whisk in the yogurt.

Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until barely set in the center. You want the cake to still be jiggly in the middle but have that perfect done look to it. The edges of the cake will start to pull away from the pan exposing the dark edges. Be sure to not over bake. Turn off the oven and allow cake to cool inside.

Healthy Cheesecake made out of Greek Yogurt ~ via The EGGBring cake to room temperature and then refrigerate for at least 4 hours. I let my sit overnight in the fridge and then dressed it up the next day to serve for desert after a lovely Beer Can Chicken dinner.

Healthy Cheesecake made out of Greek Yogurt ~ via The EGGServe cake with your favorite topping. I used peaches because it is what I had on hand, but you can use cherries, strawberries, blueberries… You get the idea. If you really have a sweet tooth, you can warm honey and drizzle it over the fruit.

Healthy Cheesecake made out of Greek Yogurt ~ via The EGG

EGG Signature

Atomic Buffalo Turds

photo (13)Last month I went to one of my best friend’s engagement party in California. I was asked to bring an appetizer, but not just any appetizer. They requested the little smokies wrapped in bacon. I am not much of a meat lover so these sounded totally boring to me. I am, however, a heat lover, so when I saw the recipe for bacon wrapped little smokies laying on a bed of spicy cream cheese stuffed inside of a jalapeno, I thought those were much more up my alley. Plus it was a fiesta themed engagement party, since they will be getting married in Mexico next year, so I thought the jalapeno version tied in a little better with the whole vibe of the event. They ended up being very easy to make and everyone, except my grandmother, seemed to like them as well. The only drawback of this recipe is the name. Atomic Buffalo Turds. I was slightly embarrassed/sort of excited when I had to tell people what they were called. Some people laughed and others looked at me like I was crazy and very unladylike, which for the most part they were spot on. I am definitely not the most prim and proper of gals, but saying the word turd to my best friend’s future mother-in-law is something I don’t ever want to do again. I still can’t decide if the name is based on what they look like or because of what they do to you if you eat one. Either way I think these poor little guys could use a revisit to the naming factory.

Ingredients

  • 12 fresh Jalapenos (You can use bell pepper for heat haters)
  • 12 slices of bacon
  • 24 little smokies
  • 1 package of room temperature cream cheese
  • 1 cup of grated cheese (I used 4 cheese blend)
  • 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 2 shallots minced (I did not have shallots so I used regular onion to taste)

Directions

photo 1 (6)Step 1. Cut jalapenos in half length wise and take out the seeds and membranes. If you do not mind spicy leave some of the membranes in, but remember that your cream cheese filling will have cayenne pepper in it which will  add a kick as well so be careful.

Step 2. Mix together the cream cheese, shredded cheese, minced shallots, and cayenne pepper. Be sure to mix evenly.

photo 2 (5)Step 3. Spoon mixture into the jalapeno.

photo 3 (5)Step 4. Place a little smokey on each jalapeno bed.

Step 5. Cut bacon slices in half and wrap the jalapeno and smokey in bacon half. (Somehow I missed photographing this step, but you get the idea.) you may want to use a toothpick if you are having a hard time keeping the bacon around the jalapeno, but I did not. My bacon stuck pretty well on its own.

Step 6. Bake ABTs for about an hour at a low temperature until bacon is nice and brown. I think I cooked mine at 250 degrees, but others say you can cook them at 425 degrees for 20-30 minutes if you need them done quicker. I wanted my jalapeno to be very tender so I opted for low and slow, but next time I am going to try the higher temperature.

Step 7. Let sit for 5 or 10 minutes. Then stick them with toothpicks and serve.

photo 4 (5)I did not get a great picture of them when it was all said and done, because I was a little preoccupied with the party and the PHOTOBOOTH (see photos below).  All in all, I think they were a hit and so was the party, but next time I think I will jazz up the ABT’s cream cheese filling a little more. Maybe add some garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, or maybe some other herbs and minced veggies. I don’t think you can go wrong with this one.

Congrats Angela and Brock!

photo 4 (6)photo 4 (7)photo 5

Guess Who Got A Cricut!

Cricut

More details and projects coming soon…

EGG Signature

Tortilla + Pizza = Tortizza

Basil Collage 2Last night the Hubby and I decided to eat at home, but did not want to go to the store to get anything, so I figured I would use what we had on hand and would just make it work. I did not want boring chicken and broccoli ( I saved that for tonight’s dinner) so I decided to use the left over tortillas to make some pizzas, or what I like to call tortizzas!

I love when I can use stuff I already have in the pantry/fridge/freezer to put a meal together. It makes me feel resourceful. What I like even more is that not all these ingredients came from the kitchen, one of the them came from the garden. Ok, ok, ok I know it was just basil, but this was the first time I grew something and then ate it. I think it was quite and accomplishment. Plus the added ingredient made it possible to make 2 different types of tortizzas. I already had everything I needed to make the garden garlic chicken, but now I could make a margherita with fresh basil, which is way better than the dried I had in the pantry. It was very tasty!

EGG Signature

Garlic Lime Chicken with Cilantro Corn Relish

Garlic Lime ChickenIngredients

FOR THE MARINADE:
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 whole garlic cloves (crushed)
  • 5 whole limes juiced (about ¼ Cup)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
FOR THE RELISH:
  • 1 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 whole fresh jalapeno (seeded and chopped)
  • ¼ cup red bell pepper (diced)
  • ½ cup cilantro (chopped)
  • 1 avocado (cubed)
  • 1 whole lime, juiced (1 lime should give you about 2 tablespoons)
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Pound the breasts thin for even grilling. To do this place a piece of plastic wrap over the chicken breast. Use the smooth side of the meat pounder to pound the piece thin.
  2. Place thinned chicken breasts in a large plastic storage bag. Combine marinade ingredients (lime juice, crushed garlic cloves, salt, and black pepper) and pour over chicken. Seal bag and marinate in refrigerator for several hours to overnight. (Personally I do not think you need to do it overnight. In fact I do mine for about 30 minutes to and hour and I think it is perfect.)
  3. Before grilling, combine all corn relish ingredients (corn kernels, chopped jalapeno, diced red bell pepper, cilantro, avocado, lime juice, and salt) in a medium bowl.
  4. Set grill to medium heat and cook chicken breasts about 4 to 6 minutes per side or until internal temperature reaches 170 degrees. Remove from grill and serve.
  5. For serving, spoon corn relish over each piece of chicken
  • Source: The Pioneer Woman
  • Recipe Yields: 2 servings (This recipe could be stretched to 3 but you will obviously have to add an additional chicken breast)

EGG Signature

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