Saturday, July 28, 2012

Roller Derby!

Photo by Bob Ayers

My team traveled to Vancouver Canada a few weeks ago. We went up last year and won, but it was a close game. We were challenged again by the Terminal City bad reputations knowing that we beat them last year, we HAD to come home with a win. And oh man it was insane, in the first 5 minutes of the skatesr on the other team broke her ankle. Once she was on her way to the hospital, we had to rewarm up, and get back in the game. Apparently I and a few others were playing too aggrssive and we were sent to the penalty box countless most cases that loses us the game. It was a very close game, one of the best games I have ever played. In the end we WON! I have a feeling that a trip to Vancouver next year will be planned for a rematch!
But for now we are planning a bout for August 11 in Everett Washington.  For more information check out our website  Here are some pictures from the last bout. I must say they had some amazing photographers.

Photos by Nicolas Charest

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Pizza Rolls

Yes PIZZA ROLLS! This is a combination of cinnamon rolls and pizza. I got the idea from better homes and gardens, but jazzed it up a bit. It's a basic pizza dough but seasoned with garlic, rosemary, basil, and red pepper flakes. This gives the dough some life, it layers in the flavor!  They make the cutest rolls perfect for a informal gathering, or a kid's party.  If making pizza dough isn't an option I know Safeway  has pre-made dough in their deli area, it's a great deal for $1.89 and sometimes on sale for less!
Pizza Rolls:
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens
Pizza Dough:
2 cups warm water  (105-115*F)
2 packs active dry yeast
1/2 tsp sugar
6 cups flour-
1 TBS chopped Rosemary (fresh)
1 TBS garlic powder
1 TBS dried Basil
1 tsp Red Pepper flakes- more if you like some kick
1 TBS Olive Oil
1 tsp Salt

Fresh Mozzarella  sliced
8oz tomato sauce
6 oz sliced Salami
Sliced Olives
Sliced Mushrooms
8oz shredded Romano- for tops

Pizza Dough:
In a large bowl combine the yeast, sugar and water; let stand for  5 min until bubbly. Note: if you water is too hot it will kill the yeast! While the yeast is activating measure out the flour and all the spices and mix together. Once the yeast is ready add all the flour and spices. In a mixer mix with a dough hook for about 8 min on medium speed. If doing by hand, knead on a floured surface for 8 min or till smooth and elastic. Put in a lightly oiled bowl and turn to coat. Let sit in a warm place till doubled in size.

Preheat oven 425*
Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and divide in half. This made a ton of dough, rather then make more then we could eat, I put the other half in the freezer for later use.  With half the dough roll out into a rectangle. Now it's time to layer in those flavors! The fillings really don't matter, anything that you like or is available. Just some guidance, I wouldn't put too much cheese or sauce inside, so it doesn't fall apart. Also leave about 2 inches on the top and bottom free from filling, it will keep it's shape better. Now roll gently keeping everything in. Once it forms a log cut crosswise into 12 pieces. Transfer rolls cut sides up onto a sheet pan sprayed or fitted with parchment paper. Space about 2 inches apart. Sprinkle tops with Romano cheese.  Bake in oven for 12 min then rotate the sheet pan and bake another 12 min, till golden brown.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Grape Juice

Homemade Grape juice- AMAZING! This is one of many canning projects that I have made a tradition. Having homemade grape juice on hand is great. My kiddo drinks alot of liquids. When I can control what goes in his drinks I am all for it. It is really fun to say "I made grape juice today!!"
For beginner canners this is the best to start with. It uses the water bath canning method explained here  and very little time.
The type of grape that is used will determine the flavor. I used concord grapes that I found at a farmers market.
After gathering all the ingredients get your canning gear ready. Sterilize jars, get the water boiling.

Grape Juice: 6 quart Jars
6 - 1/4 cups sugar
6 cups grapes cleaned and picked from stems
6 Quarts boiling water-  different from water bath

Pour the 1/4 cup sugar and 1 cup grapes in each quart mason jar then pour boiling water into each jar leaving 3/4" head space. Wipe the rims and place a new canning lid on top, screw on the ring. Process in boiling water for 15 minutes. Take out and let sit for 24 hours. After 24 hours check the lids to make sure they are sealed it shouldn't "pop" when pressed. If a "pop" does occur  refrigerate and use with a 3-5 days.
Congrats! you just made grape juice. This is a concentrate- When ready to make the juice strain out the grapes and push out all the juice, then add about 4 cups of water and refrigerate. Play around a bit with adding the water- I once added too much water and it was only OK. Now it's not going to be as syrupy as the kind that is bought in the freezer section. Just grapes and some sugar.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Fast Erny's Sonoran Lime Chicken

Yes cooking does run in the family. My grandfather was an amazing cook, and he passed his passion for food down to my Dad. My dad is always making up crazy dishes, or trying to recreate one he had at a restaurant. This particular recipe was inspired by Guidos Taco Shop in Arizona. My dad first tasted it 20 years ago and now has finally found the perfect combination. I know a few people will be excited about this recipe. This is a easy way to cook chicken in warm summer months. It's a refreshing combination and goes well with grilled corn on the cob! This is the first of many recipes from my Dad "Fast Erny".

Fast Erny's Sonoran Lime Chicken:
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
5 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
1/2 tablespoon Albuquerque chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons Canola oil or Corn*
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro*
1/4 cup finely chopped white onion*
2 pounds chicken pieces*

Mix all ingredients in gallon zip lock bag or non-reactive bowl.
Let Marinate 2 hours in Refrigerator.
Marinating  overnight is excellent also.

* A few changes I made while making this for the first time:
onion & cilantro paste
I used whole chicken breasts, instead of chopping the Cilantro and Onion I put them through my food processor and made a  paste. I only had Olive Oil so I used that instead of Canola or Corn Oil.

Cook on med heat on the grill (use aluminum foil on the grill turn up all edges)
When using foil empty remaining marinade on the chicken and let flavor cook in. Make sure this is done after placing the foil on the grill- Trust me don't try and plan ahead by placing everything on the foil before setting on the grill.
grill on both sides until thermometer reads 165* or higher. 
Note: This can be cooked in oven at 350 degrees or stove top 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Grilled Salsa

I learned how to make some of the best salsa today. If grilling isn't an option it will work fine in the oven. However the flavor is enhanced by the smokey charcoals.
THIS IS SPICY! By adding more tomatoes, taking out a jalapeño or the seeds will decrease the heat. This is great with eggs, tacos, burritos, chips, really anything that needs a little kick! I am not posting a final picture cause it ain't pretty salsa, but who really cares? as long as it tastes good!

Grilled Salsa:
2 Fresh Jalapeños  stemmed & cut in half
2 Fresh Tomatoes quartered
1 Yellow Onion, sliced up
1 clove of garlic halved
2 TBS Cilantro
6 TBS Fresh squeezed Lime Juice
Dash of salt & pepper

Put Jalapeños, Tomatoes, Onion, and garlic clove on foil and grill or roast until it reaches a dark color, and the skin is charred. The juices should bubble all around. After doing this it can be used right away, or put in the fridge overnight. I let it sit overnight since I ran out of moments. The next step is to puree the roasted vegetables  and add the Cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper.


Monday, July 9, 2012

Grilled Herb Chicken

Don't you want to dive into some Juicy Grilled Chicken?  It's really easy!

This is a quick and easy marinade for chicken.  It has been hot for the last couple days. When it's hot we grill, it keeps my kitchen from becoming a sauna. Wondering what to marinate my chicken in  I ran outside and grabbed some herbs: Rosemary, Dill and Chives. Growing Herbs is the easiest thing. They  work well in small pots or large gardens, as long as they get some sun!

Rosemary, Dill and Chives
Herb Chicken:
3 Chicken Breast
1 TBS Olive Oil
3 Sprigs fresh Rosemary- minced
1TBS fresh Chives- minced
2 Sprigs fresh Dill Weed- minced
2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
In a large bowl add everything together, and let sit for about 5-10 min, this can be prepped hours in advance and stored in the fridge. Put on grill and cook till a thermometer reads 165* or higher. We use charcoal so it always tastes a bit better then gas. Alternatively it can be baked in the oven at 350* for 15 -20 min. Enjoy!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Bacon and Cheese Pull apart Bread

I am obsessed with savory bread. I don't make a ton of bread, but whenever I do I want to add cheese, and sometimes Jalapenos. Then the thought occurred to me that I should make this a breakfast bread and add bacon! WOW oh WOW was this bread worth the wait. It is a yeasted bread so it takes time to rise, 2 rises to be exact. Making bread in the warmer months is less frustrating. Since the house is already warm/hot it's easy to get the bread rising quickly. But it is a double edged sword, cause then to bake the bread you have to turn on the oven.  If this is started early in the day it will be ready for dinner, or start it late and bake at night when it's a little cooler. Then the bread will be ready for breakfast! So here you go. Really it's not that hard Just jump in and make it!

Bacon and Cheese Pull apart bread:
1  cup flour
3/4 cup flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 TBS sugar
2 1/4 tsp instant yeast (1 envelope)
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup water
2 eggs
16 oz Pepper jack cheese, grated
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 pound bacon diced and cooked- fat drained

Set dough in a oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap, then set in a warm place to rise for one hour. After one hour, punch the dough down and either refrigerate for later/tomorrow use, or use it now. Lightly flour the counter and  roll the dough into a giant rectangle. Brush the dough with melted butter then covered with the rest of cheese and all the bacon.
Using a pizza cutter, slice the dough from top to bottom into 6 even strips – they do not have to be perfect. Lay the strips on top of each other and then cut into 6 pieces again. Butter and lightly flour a 9 x 5 loaf pan. Layer the square slices into the loaf pan cut side down  Cover the dough with a towel and let rise for another hour. Once it's done rising it's time to bake and enjoy!
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and set the loaf pan on a baking sheet. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the top is golden brown.