Tuesday, July 31, 2012

BLT Ranch Pizza



Wow...talk about an easy dinner. If you can make a sandwich, you can make this dinner. In fact, this is a great meal to have the kids help you prepare!

The only cooking required is the pizza crust, which took 8 minutes. After that just let it cool and top it with all the ingredients...simple!

Mine was a little on the garlic-y side because I misread the directions and added two cloves of garlic instead of one (something I do not recommend), but other than that, I liked it. And Heath took leftovers to work today, so he liked it too.

Ok well, I'm off to Wal-Mart to return some Adirondack chairs. When I bought them a couple weeks ago they only had boring colors (beige, green and white), so I bought a hunter green and a beige. Well, while at Ace Hardware yesterday I noticed they had a whole rainbow of colors, so I'm returning the Wal-Mart chairs and getting two that are a little more colorful. 

I know, I know...the excitement of my life is just too much sometimes.

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'BLT Ranch Pizza'
Source: Adapted from Food.com

Ingredients

1 Pillsbury refrigerated classic pizza crust
2 cups shredded lettuce
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 package cream cheese, softened (8 oz)
1/4 cup ranch dressing
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup sliced black olives
1/4 cup onion, chopped
3 tablespoons bacon crumbles

Directions

1. Bake crust according to package directions. Cool completely.

2. Combine cream cheese, 1/4 cup ranch dressing & garlic. Spread evenly over crust.

4. Top with lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, olives, onion & bacon. Serve.



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Monday, July 30, 2012

Sausage and Egg Scramble Tacos



Good Monday! Hope everyone had a nice weekend. We had a pretty quiet one. It was about 576 degrees outside, so much of it was spent in the house.

Anyway, I saw the original recipe for this on Pinterest and it looked awesome. I did change a few things to suit my personal tastes though (this is a super adaptable recipe, so feel free to add or subtract anything you may like).

For instance, I have never purchased 'skin on pork belly' before, and I'm not planning to start purchasing it any time soon, so I changed that to the sausage crumbles. You can of course just buy a package of ground sausage and brown it up, but I like the Jimmy Dean crumbles because they're already cooked and crumbled...and I'm lazy.

Also, I don't know what Mexican crema is, or cotija, so I went with regular 'ol sour cream and left out the cotija altogether (I still don't know what it is...I should probably google it). Overall though, I really liked this! It turns out I'm not a huge fan of corn tortillas, so next time I make this (which will be in about 10 minutes...as soon as I'm done writing this post), I'll use flour tortillas instead.

Have a great day!

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'Sausage and Egg Scramble Tacos'
Source: Heavily adapted from From Away

Ingredients

1/3 cup Jimmy Dean sausage crumbles
3 eggs
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
2 green onions, sliced
1 tomato, diced
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 small corn (or flour) tortillas, warm
Hot sauce

Directions

1. In a small bowl whisk eggs, salt and pepper together until smooth. Heat a medium skillet sprayed with cooking spray on medium-low heat. 

2. Add eggs and cook slowly, dragging a spatula across the bottom of the skillet as the eggs begin to solidify. Add sausage and shredded cheese and continue slowly scraping eggs and sausage around the skillet until desired doneness is reached (about 2-4 minutes)

3. Warm corn tortillas in microwave just before preparing (about 12 seconds).

4. Place a few spoonfuls of egg on each tortilla. Top with green onion, tomato, sour cream and hot sauce.




Friday, July 27, 2012

Slow Cooker Orange Rosemary Chicken



I think the sun has fallen out of the sky and landed in my backyard. It is so f-ing hot. HOT, HOT, HOT.

Last night, a little after 7pm, I checked the temp...97 with a heat index of 105. At 7 at night!! Unacceptable. My poor air conditioner hasn't stopped running since February. Plus the dog, who usually sleeps on the back porch, slept inside last night...well, he didn't really sleep. He was too busy DESTROYING 4 balls of yarn I had out on the coffee table for a crochet project I started last night. Good times. There's nothing like untangling a massive ball of mulit-colored yarn at 6:30 in the morning. It's still not done. I'm thinking of just buying new yarn.

Anyway! There was no way in hell was I firing up the oven, so a slow cooker meal it was! If you like rosemary and oranges, and you like chicken, then this is a dinner for you. It's easy to prep, it cooks itself, and we all highly enjoyed it! 

Oh, and sorry for the shoddy pics but I was NOT going outside to take pictures (this house is so dark inside that my best light is in my driveway...my neighbors must think I'm crazy taking pictures of my food every evening), so I took these indoors. I tried.

Ok guys, have a great weekend wherever you are, and try and stay cool! And Go Team USA...I love the Olympics!!

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'Slow Cooker Orange Rosemary Chicken'
Source: Adapted from Paula Deen

Ingredients

1 (3-4 pound) roasting chicken
2/3 cup chicken broth
2 oranges, quartered, divided
1 medium onion, quartered
4 tablespoons butter, softened
2 oranges, zested
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup orange marmalade
2 rosemary sprigs, more for garnish
1 head of garlic
3 orange slices

Directions

1. In the bottom of a greased slow cooker, add chicken broth, 4 orange quarters and onion.

2. In a small mixing bowl, stir together butter, orange zest, chopped rosemary, salt, pepper and marmalade.

3. Pat chicken dry and liberally salt and pepper the cavity. Place remaining orange quarters, rosemary sprigs, and garlic inside the cavity.

4. Using your fingers, loosen the skin from the meat. Place half of butter mixture underneath the skin. Rub remaining butter on the outside of the chicken.

5. Place chicken on top of orange quarters and lay three orange slices on top of the bird. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours, or until juices run clear.



Thursday, July 26, 2012

Country Ham and Peach Panini



Ham, cheese, peaches and honey...doesn't that sound good?? It so was. I've grown to love panini's over the years. I never really cared for them, but the more I make them, the more I like them.

Just by sticking a sandwich into that hot little press, you've made an otherwise boring lunch into something fancy (yes, I think of panini's as a 'fancy lunch'...hush).

I'm not usually a big peach eater, but I do like them, so I was glad to find a recipe that incorporated them. Turns out Jesse looooooves peaches. Who knew? So now I've been buying them in the can and giving them to him as an after dinner snack. He damn near eats the whole can! So while this recipe was a tasty little find for lunch, it was also a nice discovery finding something new that Jesse will eat...Win!

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'Country Ham and Peach Panini'
Source: Adapted from My Recipes

Ingredients

4 slices of callah bread (or preferred type of bread)
Dijon mustard
Freshly ground pepper
4 slices fontina cheese
4 oz thinly sliced country ham
1 medium peach, unpeeled and sliced
2 teaspoons honey (optional)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Directions

1. Spread each slice of bread with mustard, and sprinkle with desired amount of freshly ground pepper.

2. Layer with cheese, ham, peaches, and, if desired, honey. Top with remaining bread slices, and press together gently. Brush sandwiches with olive oil.

3. Place sandwiches in preheated panini press and cook 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown and cheese is melted. Serve immediately.



Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Avocado Egg Salad



Just a quick post from me today since the boy and I are on our way out! 

I saw this on Pinterest and thought it sounded interesting. I like egg salad, I like avocado, so why not? It was really good! I almost didn't add the curry powder since I'm not a huge fan of curry, but I ended up throwing it in, and I'm so glad I did. Really added some flavor.

Ok guys, we're outta here! I promised Jesse a trip to Toys R Us and he is impatiently tapping his foot...guess it's time to go!

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'Avocado Egg Salad'
Source: Adapted from Never Homemaker

Ingredients

4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and cubed
1 large avocado, cubed
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon curry powder
Pinch of salt and pepper

Directions

1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl.

2. Serve on toasted bread spread lightly with mayo, or on a tortilla as a wrap.



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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Lemon Pull-Apart Bread



Wow...this was awesome. Seriously loved it!

The original recipe has you making your own dough. Not that big a deal, but this lazy girl opted to use biscuits instead. I wanted Pillsbury regular 'ol biscuits (not Grands or anything too big), but they were out, so I bought the Publiix brand. I cut each biscuit in half and rolled each half into a ball, giving me 20 balls.

Now, because I used smaller biscuits (and only one tube), my finished product was smaller. The above photo is taken on a salad plate, just to give you some idea of size. I cooked it in a smaller round glass dish, not a pie plate (it was too big). This ended up working out for me though since I was eating this by myself.

If you make it the way I did (using the directions below), you'll get about 2 servings. If you want a larger finished product, just double all the ingredients using two rolls of biscuits, or try using a large container of Grands biscuits...since they're bigger they'll probably puff up quite a bit more.

Oh, and I preferred how the top looked, so when it came out of the oven and I turned it over onto a plate, I then turned it over again onto another plate so the original top was facing up...just looked nicer in my opinion.

Either way, however you choose to make it, a smaller one, a larger one, regular biscuits, Grands biscuits, you really can't go wrong. If you don't have enough dough balls to fit in a 9" pie dish (which is what happened to me), then just transfer them to a smaller dish...no worries.

This was an excellent recipe though, and one that I highly recommend trying if you're a lemon fan. It was absolutely divine with a hot cup of tea!

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'Lemon Pull-Apart Bread'
Source: Adapted from Mennonite Girls Can Cook

Ingredients

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup chopped nuts, I used pecans
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1 container of biscuits (9.5 oz) (I used Publix brand which had 10 biscuits per container. You can use any type, but just know that biscuits like Grands! will make the finished dish a bit larger.)

Glaze:
1 cup  sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Directions

1. Heat oven to 400.

2. Cut each biscuit in half and roll halves into a ball, ending with 20 biscuit balls (use more or less biscuits depending on how large you want to make this).

3. Combine first four ingredients in a large zip-lock bag. Place biscuit balls in the bag and shake until covered.

4. If using Grands biscuits, place in a greased 9' round pie pan (if using regular biscuits, place in a smaller round glass baking dish) and sprinkle any remaining sugar mixture over top op the biscuits. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown.

5. Invert immediately on a plate. (I then inverted it again onto a serving plate because I preferred how the top looked).

6. Allow 5-10 minutes to cool. Meanwhile prepare glaze and drizzle over biscuits before serving.






Monday, July 23, 2012

Chicken Fried Chicken Strips



I can't believe that in the two years I've been doing this blog, I never once posted this recipe. This is one of the very first 'real' dinners I ever learned to make. 

10 years ago I shared an apartment with my best friend in all the world, Jennifer. Jenn is an awesome cook (her Mother is Chef, so she had an excellent teacher growing up). Jenn always did the cooking when we lived together because my specialty at the time was scrambled eggs. If I wanted to get fancy, I mixed cream cheese into them. Exciting.

So one night I got curious about this whole 'cooking' thing and decided to watch her make dinner. She took the time to teach me how to make this, and explained to me how to make sure you don't undercook or overcook the chicken. How to know when your oil is hot enough, but not so hot that it burns the breading without cooking the chicken. And how to cook two things at once (sauce and chicken...seriously, I had no clue).

As you can see, it's not a difficult recipe, but at the time it was the fanciest recipe in my arsenal (an arsenal of scrambled eggs and fried chicken strips...poor Heath). In the years since I've made about a gazillion different recipes, but this is still one of my favorites (as well as my step-dad's. He always requests this when I'm home).

I love it because it's quick and easy (and smothered in white gravy...mmmmm), but also because my bestie taught me how to make it. Every time I cook this I think of her. So Jennifer, thank you for this! You probably forgot all about teaching me how to make this wee little recipe, but I still make it...often. I miss you tons and can't wait till I get back to CT and can finally cook for YOU for a change! :) Love you tons girl, and I'll see you soon!

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'Chicken Fried Chicken Strips'
Source: My best friend Jennifer

Ingredients

2 cups flour
1/2 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 lbs chicken strips (you can cut breasts into strips, or buy them pre-cut)
2 cups buttermilk
oil for frying

Gravy

1 package of white gravy (3 oz)
milk
water

Directions

1. Pour buttermilk into a shallow dish. Submerge chicken strips completely in buttermilk, and place in fridge while oil heats up and you get together all the other ingredients.

2. Heat oil in a large skillet. Prepare gravy in a small saucepan according to package directions.

3. In a large resealable bag combine first 5 ingredients.

4. Place buttermilk soaked chicken strips into the flour bag, seal, and shake until all pieces are covered (you can do this in batches if there's too many pieces).

5. Fry strips in oil until golden brown (about 3-5 minutes per side, depending on thickness of strips).

6. Remove strips to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Serve with white gravy and a sprinkle of pepper.




Friday, July 20, 2012

Grilled Apricot Chicken Drumsticks



Hey guys! Sorry no post yesterday...Jesse and I were all over town, and by the time we got back home, it was kind of too late to bother. Since we're down to only about 5 weeks left here, Jesse and I have been frequenting downtown Charleston a little more. Gotta cram in as much Southern food as I can before we leave!

My new favorite restaurant is Poogan's Porch. I've been hearing about the place for quite some time, but never got around to trying it. I met a friend there a couple weeks ago, and absolutely loved it. Everything about it...the atmosphere, the location, and of course, the food. This place is Southern food at it's finest...


...Fried Green Tomatoes and Fried Alligator for lunch. Doesn't get much better than that. Jesse stuck to his usual grilled cheese...he's no fun :)

Anyway, here's a tasty grilled chicken recipe we tried last weekend. Heath and I both really liked this. The apricot glaze is really good without being overpowering. Even if you're not a huge fan of apricots, I still think you'll like this. Of course if you can't stand them, then you should probably just move along ;)

Have a great weekend!

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'Grilled Apricot Chicken Drumsticks'
Source: Adapted from Taste of Home

Ingredients

12 chicken drumsticks (3 pounds)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup apricot jam, warmed
1/4 cup prepared mustard
1 tablespoon brown sugar

Directions

1. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.

2. Prepare sauce in a small bowl by combining the remaining ingredients.

3. Moisten a paper towel with cooking oil; using long-handled tongs, lightly coat the grill rack.

4. Grill chicken, covered, over medium heat for 15-20 minutes or until a thermometer reads 180°, turning and basting occasionally with sauce. Cool for 5 minutes.



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All Images Copyrighted © 2013 The Kitchen Life of a Navy Wife


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Biscuit Eggs Benedict



As  most people know, I love eggs. I also love eggs Benedict, so when I saw this recipe on Pinterest from Pillsbury, I needed to make it. I'm always up for trying something new when it comes to eggs and biscuits!

This is a pretty easy recipe, and the biscuit with the egg and hollandise sauce is awesome. I made mine in ramekins because first...they're deeper than my muffin tin, so I knew it would fit. And second...I was making this only for myself, so I didn't want to dirty a whole muffin tin when I could just use 2 ramekins (yes...I ate two of these. Hush).

Just prepare your hollandaise while your oven is heating up, then, one that's finished, assemble your biscuits. When they have about 5 minutes lefts to bake, go ahead and make your eggs (unless you're making poached eggs, they take a bit longer. I love poached eggs, but couldn't make an edible one if my life depended on it, so I always make over-easy).

Once out of the oven, go ahead and plop that egg right on top, pour some more hollandaise over it (you can never have too much hollandaise), and enjoy! Mmmm...so good.

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'Biscuit Eggs Benedict'
Source: Adapted from Pillsbury

Ingredients

1 package hollandaise sauce mix (1.25 oz)
1 small can Grands buttermilk biscuits (6 oz)
4 slices thin cut deli ham
1 tomato, sliced
2 eggs
1 teaspoons chopped fresh chives
Salt and pepper, if desired

Ingredients

1. Heat oven to 350. Prepare hollandaise sauce as directed on package.

2. Meanwhile, spray 2 muffin cups or 2 glass ramekins with cooking spray. Press or roll 2 biscuits to a 5-inch diameter.

3. Place 1 biscuit in each muffin cup or ramekin, pressing dough up the sides. Place 2 pieces of deli ham in each biscuit cup. Spoon 1 tablespoon hollandaise sauce on top of the ham. Place 1 tomato slice in each muffin cup and top with another 1 tablespoon hollandaise sauce.

4. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until muffin edges turn golden brown.

5. Meanwhile, prepare 2 eggs using desired method (poached, over-easy, over-hard...I made mine over-easy). Remove biscuit cups from oven and using a butter knife to loosen the edges, carefully remove biscuits from the pan. 

6. Place 1 egg on each biscuit. Spoon slightly less than 1 tablespoon hollandaise sauce over each egg, and top each with 1/4 teaspoon chopped chives and salt and pepper. Run small knife around cups to loosen.




Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Italian Layer Bake



When they say this tastes like a hot Italian sub, they really mean it! I'm not usually a fan of Italian subs, but this looked like something Heath would like, so I decided to give it a try. I actually liked it a lot!

This is a pretty adaptable recipe...you can add any other meats or seasonings you may like, or even do two layers of meat, cheese, and peppers (the original recipe called for two layers, but I slimmed it down a bit). You can also easily cut this in half. In fact, I made it in an 8x8 baking dish, but since many people have more than one child, I doubled my original directions.

Ok guys, have a great rest of your day! I'm off to my favorite place...the grocery store!  :)

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'Italian Layer Bake'
Source: Adapted from Mr. Food

Ingredients

2 container crescent rolls
12 slices deli turkey
12 slices deli ham
8-12 slices deli salami (depending on the size you buy)
8 slices Swiss cheese
1 jar roasted peppers, drained (12 oz)
4 eggs, beaten

Directions

1. Heat oven to 350. Unroll crescent roll dough from 1 tube and seal all perforations (or use the crescent creations which are seamless)

2. Place rectangle of dough into a greased 9x13 in baking dish; using your fingertips, press dough to fit bottom of dish.

3. Layer with turkey, ham, salami, Swiss cheese, and roasted peppers. Pour half of beaten eggs over peppers and top with remaining square of dough. Pour remaining beaten eggs over dough and cover lightly with foil.

4. Bake 20 minutes, remove foil, and bake an additional 20 to 22 minutes, or until golden and heated through. Let cool 15 to 20 minutes then cut and serve.




Monday, July 16, 2012

John Wayne Casserole




Soooo, yeah. The only reason I made this recipe was because it's called 'John Wayne Casserole'. That's it. My husband loves John Wayne. In fact, Jesse's middle name is Wayne because of Heath's love for 'The Duke' (I wanted to name him Jesse Barret J. so his initials would be JBJ, like Jon Bon Jovi, but Heath said over his dead body. Whatever).

I had no idea what to expect with this. I wasn't expecting much, I'll tell you that, but it actually turned out to be really good. That sour cream/mayo/cheddar cheese mixture that gets poured on top absolutely makes it. It's really good, and moistens up the dish a bit...adds a subtle creaminess to the dish.

I'm posting the recipe as I found it originally, but for my little family of three, I cut it in half and made it in an 8x8 baking dish (I usually cut 9x13 dishes in half the first time I make them just in case it sucks, then I don't have to throw out a large amount of food). However if you're feeding any more then two adults and a small child, you'll want to stick with the original directions.

Not sure what makes this John Wayne's casserole, but it was certainly good, and something that Heath asked to be added to our favorites...so that's a win!

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'John Wayne Casserole'
Source: Adapted from Mississippi Magazine

Ingredients

2 pounds ground beef, cooked and drained
1 (1.25-ounce) packet taco seasoning
4 ounces sour cream
4 ounces mayonnaise
8 ounces Cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cups Bisquick
1 cup of water
2 tomatoes, sliced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 (4-ounce) can sliced jalapeno peppers

Directions

1. Heat oven to 325. Brown ground beef and add taco seasoning and water, according to packet instructions; set aside.

2. In a separate bowl, combine sour cream, mayonnaise, 4 ounces of cheddar cheese, and half of the onions; set aside.

3. Stir Bisquick and water together to form soft dough. Pat dough on the bottom and one-half-inch up the sides of an 9 x 13 in. greased casserole dish.

4. Saute remaining onions and bell peppers until slightly tender.

5. On top of biscuit mix, evenly distribute ingredients in the following order: ground beef, tomato slices, green peppers, onions, jalapeno peppers, sour cream mixture and end with remaining shredded cheese.

6. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until edges of dough are lightly browned.



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All Images Copyrighted © 2014 The Kitchen Life of a Navy Wife

Friday, July 13, 2012

Crawfish Boil



Another week gone by! Getting closer and closer to our move...about 5 weeks left!! Well, hopefully. Heath still hasn't heard from anyone about setting up a date for the packers and movers to come. I'm really not liking this new system the Navy has of filling everything out online, then waiting for someone to contact you. I prefer to speak to a human being immediately and KNOW that things are getting done. I'm extremely impatient though...

Anyway! Here's a fantastic crawfish boil recipe that I'd like to share with you guys. We loooooove crawfish in this house. Well, Jesse and I love cawfish, Heath just tolorates it. If you're not a fan of the 'Wee little lobsters' (as Jesse calls them), then you can absolutely switch out shrimp/crab/scallops/clams for the crawfish. If you do use something other than crawfish, just make you you get the corresponding Zatarain's boil (they make a shrimp boil and a crab boil pouch).


The potatoes and corn were awesome. They were so flavorful and spicy, but for some reason the crawfish didn't take up much of the seasoning flavor. I left it in the pot to 'stew' for about 25-30 minutes, but I imagine the shell really gets in the way. No bother though since the potatoes and corn MORE than made up for it.


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'Crawfish Boil'
Source: Adapted from Chow

Ingredients

2 packages frozen crawfish (2 lbs each)
2 tablespoons Hot Sauce
4-6 tablespoons table salt
1 box Zatarain’s Shrimp & Crawfish Boil In Bag (3 oz)
cayenne pepper to taste
8-10 red potatoes
6-8 ears of nibblet corn

Directions

1. Fill a large stock pot 2/3 with water and bring to a boil. Add hot sauce, salt, Zatarain pouch, and cayenne pepper.

2. Add potatoes and corn to the pot. Boil vegetables for about 10 minutes.

3. Add half the crawfish to the pot. After 5 minutes turn off the heat, cover, and let the crawfish steep to absorb the flavors for 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and place crawfish, corn and potatoes in a large bowl, or onto a table covered in newspaper or cardboard.

4. Repeat with the rest of the crawfish (you can boil 2 to 3 batches of crawfish in the same water-seasoning mixture). Eat plain or with dippin’ sauces like cocktail sauce, mayonnaise, ketchup, or Tabasco.




Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Pinterest Post



Ahhhh, Pinterest. How I love this silly little site. What did I do before Pinterest entered my life? Where did I find and store all the wonderful recipes I want to try? How did I manage to keep my house clean without all the nifty little tips and tricks that can be found there? Was I really ok living in a house that wasn't organized to within an inch of it's life? Or donating perfectly good furniture when all it needed was some spray paint? 

Pinterest has given me some fantastic dinners, and has gotten me off my lazy ass trying out various craft projects and organizing our house (MUCH to my husband's chagrin), but there have also been a few duds. I know I always post recipes, but today I would just like to post a little Thank You! to my most favorite website. A site that can make me feel both inspired, and completely inadequate, all at the same time! (Thank God this site wasn't around when I was getting married...the wedding pins are crazy)

I've gone around the house and photographed some of my favorite and most helpful Pinterest projects. Today I share them with you...


1. The all-in-one herb garden. This thing has been AWESOME. I was buying fresh herbs every week at the grocery store, but they're kind of pricey and they go bad fast. This lets me just walk out back whenever I need something for dinner, and pluck it fresh from my little garden! I got this garden pot on Amazon and even though it came with enough inserts to plant 9 herbs, I only need 6 right now.


2. The weekly menu board! This was something I pinned very early on. I really wanted to do it but couldn't find a picture frame with 7 spots (the original pin had 8, but I really didn't want that extra spot). I stumbled upon this frame at Big Lots one day and was so excited...$10! I used some scrapbook paper and letters I already had and Wha-la! A dry-erase menu board!


3. Painting with Elmer's Glue. Turns out of you mix Elmer's Glue with a TINY bit of water and some food coloring and paint it onto glass, it will dry with a soft sea-glass effect. I happened to have everything I needed for this, so I just tried it one day. It's really cute! And you can paint anything...candle sticks, mason jars, glasses, bowls. Just be aware though that it will wash off, so don't do it to glass you plan on eating or drinking out of. It's great though cause you can do so much for parties, or vases. Just scrub of the previous color and paint on a new one!


4. The Crochet Baby Crown. This little pin actually had me open up an Etsy Shop. I made one of these for my best friend who just had a baby. Then another friend (who's a professional photographer), asked if I would make a couple for her so she could use them in photo sessions. She's the one who suggested I make a bunch and open an Etsy shop...so I did! They're so cute, and I like making them, so that's been a fun and unexpected little hobby :)


5. Carlashes. I LOVE these things. Heath HATES them. Whatever. It's my car, and my car is looking fiiiiine! The fabulous Miss Millie just needed that little something extra to make her look even more fabulous. Women love these and always ask me where I got them. Men just look at me and sadly shake their heads. They're no fun.


6. Cookin' and lookin' awesome. The minute I saw this Star Wars apron, I knew I had to have it. Unfortunately so did a bunch of other people. The Etsy Seller who makes these was out of the fabric and it was on back order. I waited three months for this, but it paid off. I finally got my super cool Star Wars Apron!


7. Attaching a rack to the inside of cabinet doors. As you can see...I like this one :) It's so simple, and I've walked by these things at Lowe's and Target a million times, but never really stopped to think how handy they are! I will always have them now, in every house we live in. Just for the pot lids alone (those things suck).



8. More Kitchen Organization. I saw a pin with much larger metal flower baskets hung on a wall for fruit and veggies, but I opted for the smaller baskets as a test run. If I didn't like them and never used them, then no worries since they were only a few dollars a piece at Lowe's. I actually do like them though, and use them all the time, so when we get to the new house I'll probably ditch these and get two baskets that are a little larger. As for the closet on the right...I've been wanting to do that forever. Seeing all those neat and organized pantries on Pintrest finally made me get off my ass and do it. Not gonna lie...HUGE pain-in-the-ass buying all those containers, then transferring everything over and labeling them. BUT, totally worth it in the end. Plus you can always see when you're about to run out of something, so that's also helpful!


9. Closet Organization. Now, I've been a huge fan of the 9 hole cubby organizer for quite some time. Jesse's playroom has 3 of them in there for toy organization. When it came to my closet though, I always used the cubby organizers that hang from the clothes bar. Well, that's all fine and dandy until the weight of all your clothes hanging pulls the entire closet system out of the wall...good times. Heath re-attached it it to the wall, but then I was scared to hang even a scarf from it, so I opted for more 9 hole cubby organizers! I don't have a traditional dresser. Dressers take up a lot of precious floor space in a bedroom, so if I can get everything into my closet, I will. These cubbies hold FAR more than any dresser I've ever had, so I'm never going back. Even the smallest of closets (which I will have in the new house...yay) can hold at least one of these. I may have to stack one on top of the other instead of having them side-by-side, but that's ok. They definitely hold all my clothes just fine (and the little shoe cubby up top is where my socks/bras/underwear are...works out great).


10. And finally...Pinterest 101...right behind mason jars and cake pops...using a shoe holder for everything other than shoes! Ya know, I've been using shoe racks for actual shoes forever. NEVER occurred to me to use the damn things for something else! This is in my master bathroom closet. It got all those little medicine bottles and lotions and shampoo out from under my sinks and in the back of the closet, and into a nice neat space where I can see everything and it's easily accessible. Genius.

Well there you have it! My little 'Ode to Pinterest'! There are so many other neat little hints and tips that I've come across, and crafty things that I can't wait to try (I'm just waiting till we move before I start them), and cool little rainy day games and projects that I plan to do with Jesse, but I'll leave those for another post. In the meantime, have a great rest of your day, and Happy Pinning!

**Oh, and before I forget...***

THIS IS A LIE!!!


I tried this...followed the directions exact (they're pretty simple)...I made 12 eggs. First issue is, wherever the eggs touch the muffin tin, there will be brown spots on the eggs that are there even AFTER you peel them. Not the end of the world, but if you're making something like deviled eggs, you don't want brown burn marks on your eggs. (maybe try a silicon muffin tray?)

Second issue was the unevenness of the eggs being cooked. 1/3 were under-cooked, 1/3 were absolutely perfect, and the last third were over-cooked. Not sure if this is my oven, or the way they're sitting in the tin, but when I boil them, they all come out the same way.

And last...THEY ARE ABSOLUTELY NOT EASIER TO PEEL!!! I don't know where this came from, but (for me at least), it was a total lie. I tore apart about half of the eggs because the shells refused to come off cleanly. Some of them had to be tossed completely because they were such a mess.

In the end, boiling a pot of eggs really isn't that big a deal, so I'm just gonna stick with that. Hopefully you have better luck with the whole 'bake a hard boiled egg' thing, but it was a complete bust for me.

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