Mushroom and Onion Quesadillas…

Is it weird that I can watch Trauma:Life in the ER on the Discovery Channel while stuffing my face  daintily eating my dinner/breakfast? 

The show is seriously addicting and for some reason it makes me giggle – I know, I know the situations are horrific, however the hospital staffs are great.  The other day a dude came in who had shot himself and the doctor asked him if he had ever shot himself before.  REally?  Is that a question you have to ask?  Do people shoot themselves multiple times on a regular basis?  And live to tell about it???  Kelly or Carla, if you are reading this…some feedback please :) 

Maybe I like watching it because I generally only see the discharged part of the whole fiasco.  I set them up with the pain meds and antibiotics and send them home at 3am, however I have no clue what happened before hand.  And I get curiouis.  Very curious.  This show helps cease the curiosity.  Or at least gives my imagination fuel…

All in all, its a good show…for the strong stomached that is :)

So, what was I scarfing picking at while glued to the tube?  A quesadilla of course…

Not just any quesadilla though…this one was stuffed with mushrooms, red onion, roasted red pepper, and goat cheese.  I have been stuck in a mushroom and onion state of mind lately.  It has been delicious!  And you haven’t lived until you have tried the trio of goat cheese, mushrooms and onions…wowza!

I tried making these with a healther whole wheat version of a tortilla…though good, it didn’t have the texture I was hoping for.  It never got exactly crispy/flaky like a quesadilla should be.  Also, I used my George Forman fat grilling machine to make mine…it provided a nonstick surface, no flipping required, and well all my skillets were dirty….

Lets get to it!

Here is basically everything you will need to assemble your quesadilla…From the left…monteray jack cheese, sauteed mushrooms and onions, goat cheese, tortilla, roasted red pepper, oh and a bit of butter :) 

 

 

Butter one side of the tortilla…the side that will go face down on the hot surface. 

 

 

Layer on the ingredients on half of the tortilla…

 

 

Fold it on over …

 

 

And after a few minutes with George…it looks something like this…

Cheesy, crispy, savory…glorious.

 

 

Slice into wedges, enjoy!

 

 Mushroom and Onion Quesadillas

 Serves 2, maybe 3.

Ingredients

2 Flour Tortilla

1 Tablespoon Butter

1 Red Onion – thinly sliced

10 ounces Mushrooms – sliced

3 ounces Goat Cheese

1/2 Cup Monteray Jack Cheese – shredded

1 Roasted Red Bell Pepper – sliced

Extra Butter, for tortillas

 

 

Directions

Prepare vegetables.  Preheat broiler, and place red bell pepper on a sheet pan and place under the boiler.  Broil until skin blackens, turning every so often.  About 10 minutes or so.  Once sufficiently blackened, remove from oven and let cool (cool enough to handle).  Remove skin and cut into thin slices. 

In a medium skillet over medium – high heat, place 1 Tablespoon butter, mushrooms, and red onion.  Cook until tender and slightly browned, stirring occasionally.  About 10 minutes. 

Assemble quesadillas.  Lightly butter one side of tortilla.  Place buttered side down and on one half of tortilla sprinkle monteray jack cheese, roasted red bell peppers slices, and mushrooms and onions.  Dot evenly with goat cheese.  Fold tortilla in half and place in skillet/George Forman Grill and grill until browned on both sides.  Just a few minutes.

Remove from heat source and with sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut into wedges.  Enjoy! 

 

Tips:  The filling for these quesadillas can be increased or decreased to feed any quantity of people.  Do not stuff these too full, stuff falls out!

 

Creamy Pesto Pasta

Don’t you hate cleaning out your freezer?  I do.  I dread the day.  However, its better than cleaning out the fridge.  At least the freezer stops the growth of anything green and fuzzy….

I had to clean mine out this week.  There just wasn’t any more room.  No more room and I had no clue what was in there.  I needed to toss and organize.  Ugh…

So I tossed and organized and now, well its clean… for a little while. 

I did unearth a few things…I found some pesto!  I had a feeling I had some in there, but couldn’t have guessed where exactly.  Maybe I should clean the freezer out more often, or at least keep it more organized…Organization, I try … its just not my cup of tea.   You should see my closets – eek!!

But the pesto…I had to use it, like instantly.  I just couldn’t wait and I knew exactly what I wanted to make.  A creamy pesto sauce.  Absolutely delicious.  I couldn’t wait to make this and neither should you…  It comes together in a snap and will feed a crowd!  

 Let’s get cookin’!

 

Anything better than mushrooms sauteed in a bit of butter?  Nopers…So do it.

 

 

Dice up some tomatoes and set aside – mise en place style…

 

 

Heat cream and melted butter…Oh this is gonna be good.

 

 

Stir in pesto…Sorry for the overly green photoshop job on the above picture :/

 

 

Hi! there mushrooms, glad you could join us!

 

 

Whats a party without parmesan cheese?!?

 

 

While the sauce is coming together, prepare your pasta and during the last 2 to 3 minutes of cooking add the snap peas and frozen peas to the party…

 

 

Drain when done…Look at all that green.  Definitely balances out the cream and butter, right?!?

 

 

Sauce the pasta…Sauce is a verb – just go with it. 

 

 

Don’t forget the tomatoes! 

 

 

Toss to combine and dinner is served!  How easy was that?!?

If you want, which I would highly recommend, and which I will be doing next time around, is add some grilled chicken or shrimp to the mix.  How good would that be?  If doing so, I would increase the sauce amount by about a quarter to half to coat everything well. 

Creamy Pesto Pasta

adapted from Pioneer Woman

Serves 4 to 6 hungry people

 

Ingredients

1lb Pasta – which ever shape you like

1/2 Cup Heavy Cream

3 Tablespoons Butter

1/2 Cup Pesto

1 Cup Mushrooms – sliced

10 oz. package Frozen Peas

1 to 1 1/2 Cups Sugar Snap Peas

1/3 Cup Parmesan Cheese – grated

2 Medium Tomatoes – diced 

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions

 

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add pasta and cook until al dente.  During the last 2 to 3 minutes of cook time add the sugar snap peas and frozen peas.  When pasta is done, remove from heat and drain. 

While the water is coming to a boil/pasta is cooking, prepare the sauce.  In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt 2 teaspoons of butter and then add the mushrooms.  Saute mushrooms, stirring frequently, until tender.  Remove from heat and set aside.

In another medium sauce pan/skillet over medium – low heat, add the heavy cream and 2 tablespoons of butter.  Cook until butter melts, stirring frequently.  Once butter has melted, add the pesto, mushrooms, and parmasean cheese and stir to combine.  Continue to cook until heated through.  Reduce temperature to low if the sauce is ready before the pasta is.  Stir frequently. 

Transfer cooked pasta, peas, and snap peas to large serving bowl or pan.  Pour the creamy pesto sauce over the pasta and add the tomatoes.  Toss to combine.  Serve!

 

It Took 88 Years…

 

It took 88 years for Grandma to have a pool party for her birthday.  She turns 88 today.  88!  Happy Birthday Grandma!   She said she is done counting.  And to think I want to stop counting at 28!

 This year, instead of heading out to her house and playing a good round of kick ball in the orchard or a pick up game of baseball – Jeff and Pete vs. the rest of us – by the way guys, that still isn’t fair – we headed over to James and Megan’s house for an official pool party. 

It was the perfect day.  We swam until pruney, ate until stuffed, and laughed until our stomachs ached.  Here are a few snap shots of our day…I apologize to all my family who did not expect to find themselves -swimsuit clad- on my blog.   :)

 

There is the birthday girl.  She makes 88 look good!  She enjoyed watching the shenanigans of the day…

 

 

Aunt Sue…

There are just no words…

 

 

Mom…where are your goggles?  

 

 

Allie, the little water bug herself.  I bet you ten bucks she will call to tell me she made the blog again….

 

 

Grandma…really?!?  Poor kid is still picking that wedgie…

 

 

James…

 

 

Jeff…

 

 

This photo illusion never really worked, but Jeff’s face was spot on…

 

 

She is learning early…

 

 

Because they can talk you into doing anything stupid…I am just glad it is her and not me any longer :)

 

 

I am going to shave this dog…I have always wanted to shave an animal.  Its weird, I know, but I can’t help the urge…

 

 

Fearless…

 

 

Cannon Ball!

 

 

We did this all afternoon…

 

 

Grandma, Happy Birthday!

 

NO Bake Cookies

Its hot.  Like really hot.  And humid.  But I am not complaining.  Nope.  I remember the winter, that was hell.  I promised myself then not to complain about the heat now.  So this is me not complaining.  Just soaking in the warmth.  I just ask one favor…please don’t judge me when I sweat because I am breathing and blinking.  Who knew blinking was so vigorous an activity. 

Even though we are having a heat wave…the fun does not stop in the kitchen.  My appetite may be decreased, but my want to flit around the kitchen has not.  Call me crazy.  Actually don’t…My need to be in the kitchen is normal, right?  It is.  It totally is.  It might be a tad bit crazy on a 98° day, whatever.

On my stroll through the kitchen today, I made cookies.  I love these cookies.  I have eaten 5 of them already.  Maybe 6.  OK so maybe my appetite hasn’t dwindled.  These are good.  Probably one of my favorite.  These cookies are great because I didn’t have to turn on the oven.  Hint the title ‘ No Bake Cookies’, right?   You probably knew that already. 

These cookies took me maybe 10 minutes from start to finish.  They contain ingredients that most already have in their pantry/fridge, which means that when the urge strikes you are ready!  Quick, tasty, and satisfying.  Oh so satisfying.  Plus, NO oven!  Ahh…Sweet sweet heaven. 

Let’s roll…

 

Mix together milk, sugar, butter, and cocoa in medium to large pot.  I wonder what Bailey’s Irish Cream would taste like in place of the milk.  Hmm…I have this urge lately to incorporate alcohol into my dishes.

 

 

Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.  Let boil for one minute.  While it is coming to a boil prepare your other ingredients…

 

 

Peanut Butter…I licked that spoon after this shot was taken.  I love peanut butter.  I put the jar on the top shelf so I can’t reach it, otherwise I would have a spoon in it at all times.  I am glad I shared that with you. 

 

 

And some vanilla and quick – oats (in the  background :)  Fun fact…did you know you can make your own vanilla extract with just a vanilla bean, vodka, and time.  Maybe I will share that with you sometime. 

 

 

Add the oats, pb, and vanilla … and stir until it looks like…

 

 

Well it looks like chocolate oatmeal.  I am down with that. 

 

 

Scoop them out…they do not look very attractive do they?  They remind you of a cow pie?  Me too!!!

 

 

Enjoy!  I scarfed mine down with some nice iced coffee…I recommend you do the same! 

 

No Bake Cookies

2 dozen

Ingredients

  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 1 + 1/2 Cups Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Cocoa Powder- I used Hershey Special Dark
  • 3/4 Cup Peanut Butter
  • 3 Cups Quick Oats
  • 1 +1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract

 

Directions

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, or just put parchment paper right on the counter top.  Tin foil works well too.

In a large pot, combine butter, milk,  sugar, and cocoa powder and place over medium-high heat.  Bring this to a boil and let boil for 1 minute. 

After 1 minute, remove from heat and stir in the oats, peanut butter, and vanilla.  Stir to combine. 

With two spoons or a cookie scoop, scoop out cookies onto lined cookie sheets/lined counter top.  Let them cool and set completely before digging in. 

If you want to be all wild and crazy, these are very good if you were to scoop them right into a coffee mug – all warm and gooey – and were to pour a little cold milk over the top and eat them with a spoon.  It might even be considered breakfast…a chocolate oatmeal of sorts. 

Side notes:  Try putting 1 cup of sweetened coconut into these or using chunky peanut butter.   My next batch will definitely include one or both. 

These can be poured into a lightly greased 9×13 pan and cooled and then cut into squares. 

The Special Dark cocoa powder makes these very dark and intensely chocolate – use whatever cocoa you like.

I cut back on the sugar in these…go ahead and increase to 2 cups if you want. 

This recipe is adapted from a home-ec project from 1997.  It has remained in my archives since then, survived  several moves, many apartments, several kitchens…and it remains unscathed.  So, if you went to Bath Schools, then you have enjoyed these or if you attended a slumber party at the Staley’s (where I learned to put them in a coffee mug w/ milk trick) then you too have indulged :)  High five to childhood!

Iced Coffee

 

I love coffee.  I enjoy it for breakfast, I enjoy it mid-day, I enjoy it after dinner.  I like it black.  I like it with cream.  I like it with cream and sugar.  I like it.  A lot.  You know what I don’t like?  Hot coffee on a hot summer day.  Ugh.  I can’t do it.  I miss my coffee in the summer.  Or I should say missed.

I have always been a fan of iced coffee.  However, until recently I couldn’t get my iced version to taste anything like that of any coffee shop.  What were they doing differently?  I don’t like mine stuffed with heavy artificial sugar loaded syrups, so that wasn’t the problem.  Mine seemed bitter and well, gross.  So, I was driven to spend my hard earned money on overpriced iced coffee if I wanted to indulge.  It really gets my goat when I spend $3 to $4 on basically a cup of ice with a splash of coffee.  Anyone with me?  Well, that ended earlier this summer.   Dear Starbucks, please return my goats ….

While reading The Pioneer Woman blog.  – quick note here, take a minute to read a bit of her blog.  She is awesome and their ranch is amazing.  It makes the country girl in me want to run out and buy a farm and a few horses, a cow, a pig, goats, and a few dogs…and then I wake up and find myself in Cleveland and I give a little sigh.  Oh! and she has great recipes, swear.  And her photos are top notch.  All in all…great.  Anywho…she is a lover of iced coffee too and she discovered a method to making this wonderful elixir that is comparable if not better than say Starbucks…

The trick to it all?  The grounds are never heated.  Ever.  Heating the grounds creates that unwanted bitterness that is quite evident when the coffee is cooled and poured over ice.  Eck…Gross. 

So are you ready to brew some of your own?  Lets roll…

 

First, get yourself some coffee…Notice how it says 12oz…that used to say 16oz or 1lb.  I don’t like change.

 

 

Mix it into some cold water and stir…

 

 

Until it looks like the above…now we wait.  Cover and let it sit on the counter for at least 8 hours.  Takes forever and is kind of messy, but totally worth it!  

 

 

And 8 hours later…voila. 

 

 

Prepare your strainer, line it with cheese cloth and place over a large container.

 

 

And you strain.  I like to ladle at the beginning rather than pour because I am clumsy.  

 

 

Final product.  Hooray!!!

 

 

Transfer the glorius liquid to your best pitcher.  If you are like me and do not have a fancy schmancy pitcher, drop by Target and get yourself one of the above.  I only spent 5 bucks on it, it looks hideous, and it works like a charm.  Let this chill in the fridge before you make your first glass.

 

Iced Coffee

(adapted from The Pioneer Woman/Imbibe Magazine)

Double this recipe if you are a serious coffee fan.  Just remember that many coffee brands have decreased their pound coffee bags to just 12 ounces…so beware!  ARGH!  There goes another goat…

Ingredients/Supplies

  • 1/2 lb Ground Coffee – strong and bold works best.  I prefer a french roast. 
  • 1 Gallon Cold Water
  • 1 +1/2 to 2 Gallon container w/ lid
  • Another large container – no lid needed
  • Fine mesh strainer
  • Cheese Cloth
  • Large pitcher

 

Directions

Into a large container ( 1 + 1/2 to 2 Gallon is a must),  combine ground coffee and cold water.  Stir to combine.  Cover and let sit on counter top for at least 8 hours.  I prefer mine after 10 hours, it is strong and glorious.  The longer it sits, the stronger it will be…

Line fine mesh strainer with cheesecloth (2 layers works well) and place strainer over large pitcher or another large container.  Pour coffee/water mixture through cheesecloth lined strainer and let drain completely.  Discard grounds. 

Transfer to dispenser or pitcher and refrigerate until chilled.  Drink whenever you have the urge. 

Pink straws make everything better…fact. 

To prepare iced coffee.  Fill glass/mason jar with ice.  Pour chilled coffee over ice.  You can dress this up as you like.  I prefer mine with a splash of half & half and a packet of Truvia.  If I truly want to indulge, a spoonful of sweetened condensed milk in place of the Truvia is quite tasty.  Or for a nice weekend brunch…add some Bailey’s Irish Cream.  Make it your own and enjoy!