Wednesday, April 29, 2009

For my 100th post...Pasta Salad

Wow! I can't believe that I am at 100 posts already. If life hadn't gotten in the way, I'm sure I would have 200 by now. But I will celebrate this small milestone with a festive and colorful dish.

To me nothing say summer like pasta salad. It is at every family get together and BBQ. I can't wait for summer this year, since The Good Baby will be making her appearance then and I think my summer social calendar might be booked this year. So, I wanted a taste of summer now. I also had a huge craving for salami and lunch meat and took a pregnancy gamble.

This dish is pretty easy to make, just like most of my other dishes. The most labor intensive part is all the chopping and the cooling of the pasta. But it came together in less than 20 minutes. It took me less time to eat it all.

1/2 cup whole wheat pasta, any shape
4 oz hard salami, chopped
1.5 oz pepperoni, chopped (1.5 oz sounds like a strange amount, but it is half a package)
1 can of jumbo black olives, chopped
4 oz fresh mozzarella, diced
4-6 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 small red onion, chopped (I forgot to add this)
1 large handful of basil, chopped
1 recipe The Good Wife Italian Dressing Mix
1 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup white wine vinegar

~Boil the pasta in salted water for 10-12 minutes. Drain and cool, rinsing with cool water.

~Combine the Good Wife Italian Dressing Mix with the oil, lemon juice and vinegar in a jar and shake to combine.

~Combine all the remaining ingredients with the pasts in a large bowl. Toss to coat.

recipe by: The Good Wife

Sunday, April 26, 2009


For every cook, there is a different guacamole recipe. I love a lot of garlic and lime in my guacamole. I also like to blend the crap out of it until it is smooth. I could eat this everyday and I tell myself that it would be ok, since avocados have the"good" fat in them.

2 avocados, ripened
3 cloves of garlic (I told you I love garlic)
1 small onion
The juice of two limes
A big handful of cilantro
Salt to taste

~Peel the avocado and spoon the flesh into the bowl of a food processor.

~Combine the remaining ingredients and process the crap out of it or until it reaches the consistency you desire.

recipe by: The Good Wife

Refried Beans

I have a weakness for Taco Bell. Yes it is not the healthiest and you would think that even after working there for a year and seeing how everything is made, I wouldn't like it. But I still can't shake my love for cheap, easy food and every now and then I have to get some refried beans.

Then after staring this blog and reminiscing over my culinary accomplishments, I realized that there is a lot of premade food that would be super easy to make at home. This is one of them.

I had occurred to me that I probably never even had homemade refried beans before. Yes, I eat at other Mexican places than Taco Bell, but honestly, all the refried beans looked strikingly similar to Taco Bell's or the stuff you get out of a can.

I will say that making this was super easy. First of all, I bought canned beans. Now we can debate how much that qualifies this as truly homemade but when I can get one can of organic pinto beans for $1 versus a 1 pound bag for $3 something, well, then cheapness wins out and I went for the can.

The refired beans tasted nothing like what I have ever eaten before. I don't know if that was due to the organic beans or the lack of animal lard (seriously, look on a can of refried beans sometime. Animal lard is in there). They were a cousin to all the refired beans I had ever had before. I need to work on the seasonings, since the beans seemed a little bland, but overall they were good.

And hey, I knocked another food off my 100 Foods List.

1 can pinto beans
1 medium onion
2 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons butter
Cheddar cheese (optional)

~Dice the onion and garlic. In a skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and garlic. Add salt to taste and cook until soft, about 10 minutes.

~Drain the beans, reserving the juice. Add the beans to the onion and garlic mixture and cook for 5 minutes.

~Using a potato masher, mash the beans until they reach the consistency you desire. If needed add some of the reserved juice.

~The beans will thicken considerably when removed from the heat, so removed from heat when the beans still look watery. Let stand 5 minutes and top with cheese or diced onion.

recipe by: The Good Wife

Monday, April 13, 2009

BBQ Chicken Pizza

I don't remember the first time I had BBQ Chicken Pizza, but I will say that since I have had it, it might be one of the best types of pizza out there. Of course nothing can replace the awesomeness that is Imo's Pizza, but sadly there are none out here in the sticks.
You can see my recipe for pizza dough here.

2 cups diced cooked chicken
4 slices of thick cut bacon
1/2 Parmesan cheese
2 cups Cojack cheese
1/2 bottle of your favorite bbq sauce
1/4 cup chopped white onion (optional)

~In a large skillet over medium high heat brown the bacon. Once the bacon has browned, remove from pan and drain on a paper plate.

~Top the pre-baked pizza dough with the bbq sauce, Cojack and Parmesan cheese, bacon and chicken (and onion).

~Bake for 20 minutes at 375 degrees or until the crust is golden.

recipe by: The Good Wife

Italian Beef

As a foodie, I am supposed to hate the crock pot.

I will confess to not using it all that much, but when I do, boy! I look at it and think I should make everything in this little baby. Then I try a recipe for something like soup and it turns out horribly. Then I remember why I only use it for shredded meat and roasts.

The crock pot really is fool proof, if you stick to the above mentioned two items. Just plop everything in the crock in the morning, turn it on low and come home 8 hours later to your house smelling like a deli. The Good Husband happens to love that smell.

I should try and bottle it and market it as a perfume. While it would attract all Good Husband types to you, the only draw back would be the occasional stray dog following you home, since really, you smell like meat.

But on to the sandwich.

This Italian Beef recipe is my old stand by. I have to eliminate the banana peppers since TGH can't stand them, but you can see I compensate for the lack of pepper spice with a good helping of horseradish. Oh yum.

2 heaping tablespoons of The Good Wife Italian Seasoning Mix (recipe to follow)
3 - 5 lb beef roast (I usually just get whatever cut is on sale that week)
Banana peppers and juice (optional)

~Combine all in crock pot and cook on low 6 to 8 hours.

~Shred meat with forks 30 to 45 minutes before serving, stirring to combine all the flavors.

The Good Wife Italian Dressing Mix
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried celery flakes

~Combine all in a bowl and stir until well blended.

~Store in air tight container.

recipe by: The Good Wife