BAT salad

Author: Cooped Up Chick  //  Category: Appetizers, January 2015, Main Course, Pasta, Salads

 

Disclaimer: No actual bats were injured or ingested in the making of this dish.

BAT is an acronym. Erins English Lesson #124. An acronym, as defined by Webster, is an abbreviation formed from the initial components in a phrase or a word. Usually these components are individual letters (as in NASA or laser) or parts of words or names (as in stupid combos of stars names like Brangelina). BAT stands for bacon, avocado and tomato. 3 of my favorite things in a pasta salad.

When I initially found the recipe it called for a ‘ranch dressing’ as the sauce on the salad. I tried it. I didn’t like it. At all. But that was to be expected since I don’t really like ranch. lol. So I made up my own the next time. I have tweaked it and tweaked it to come up with this….

Ingredients:

1 box of small pasta (My fave is Ditali)

1 ripe avocado

diced tomato (I prefer to cut up grape or cherry tomatoes)

1 package of cooked bacon, chopped

2 stalks of green onion, chopped

salt & pepper

Dressing:

1/2 cup of mayonnaise (Hellmans)

1/2 cup of Miracle Whip

1 Tbsp of Jalapeno Lime Aioli (from Costco…this is not necessary but adds a little tang and a little heat and I love love love it on everything)

2 Tbsps (or more….) of dill pickle juice. I like the PC Hot & Zesty. You could also sub in any acid….lime juice, lemon juice, vinegar.

1 tsp dried dill

a generous amount of salt and pepper

 

Boil and drain your pasta as per package guidelines for al dente. With the Ditali its perfect at around 10 minutes. Rinse with cold water and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients for the sauce. Taste and adjust to your preferences. I like lots of pickle juice and lots of S&P. Some people like a thicker sauce (like me)…others prefer it thinner. If you are ‘one of those people’ then you can thin this sauce with a little milk whisked in.

sauce

 

Add your cooked and cooled noodles and chopped bacon (reserve a sprinkle to top salad), tomatoes and diced avocado.

(Trick….I find if you halve the avocado and remove the pit, all you need to do it score the flesh with a knife in a criss cross pattern and then scoop out with a spoon)

Stir together and adjust spices to your liking. I throw in some Crazy Janes Mixed Up Peppers (I NEED TO GET TO THE STATES>>>I’M ALMOST OUT!!!) and more salt…maybe a little more dill….a splash of celery salt. Whatever.

Toss in the green onion and give it a mix.

Sprinkle with remaining bacon and start shoveling it into your face.

It makes a great side dish…with just about anything, but beside or with chicken right in it?? Mmmm mmm.

1

 

5

3

 

It’s also super fab all by itself! ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

2

 

I love this. I make it and eat it all of the time. Usually alone. It’s almost shameful.

Enjoy!!

love, peace and chicken grease,

-A Cooped Up Chick

little LITTLE brown chicken

 

 

Quick Oven (Pinterest) Shrimp

Author: Cooped Up Chick  //  Category: Appetizers, January 2014, Seafood Dishes

 

I found this recipe on Pinterest (and of course also all over Facebook) so I thought i’d give it a try because as we all know I am literally a shrimp Ho.

One of my close friends at work, Joy, always tells me I should have my cholesterol checked….routinely, due to the amount of shrimp I ingest regularly.

I have been known to eat an entire shrimp ring in one sitting. More then once a week. Don’t judge me. lol. At least it is healthy and has protein. I’m not sitting down 2-3 times a week with a jumbo bag of Doritos.

Honestly its my homemade cocktail sauce. The shrimp makes it taste better…believe me…i’ve tried eating it with a spoon but scooping it up with a juicy little shrimpy is better.

For the cocktail sauce you’ll need:

2 cups of ketchup

1/4 cup prepared Horseradish

1/2 tsp lemon juice

dash of Worcestershire sauce

 

Mix together. Refrigerate.

 

For the shrimp you’ll need:

1 lb of shrimp (about 1 bag of frozen shrimp, 25-30 pieces)

sliced lemon (enough to layer at the bottom of the pan)

1/4 cup of butter (splurge…use the real stuff)

2 Tbsps of chopped garlic

1 tsp Italian seasoning (I have never been able to find this in my local grocery stores so about a year ago I made my own. In a food processor add 2 Tbsps of the following dried spices: basil, oregano, rosemary, marjoram, cilantro, thyme, savory and red pepper flakes. Pulse together.)

Now this is all the recipe calls for…I added 1 Tbsp of chopped pickled hot peppers. I couldn’t help myself.

 

IMG_1333

 

Here are the difficult instructions.

Preheat oven to 350.

Place the butter on a cookie sheet (or baking stone) and melt in the oven for 1-2 minutes.

Layer the lemon slices in the butter.

Add garlic (and hot peppers).

 

IMG_1334

 

Lay the shrimp on top. Do not overlap. Move them around a little to get the goop on the shrimp.

Sprinkle with Italian spices. I also added fresh ground sea salt and pepper.

 

IMG_1335

 

Bake for 15 minutes.

 

IMG_1336

 

Eat.

 

IMG_1337

 

I guess you could serve this over rice or noodles. I ate them right off the pan. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

Enjoy!

Love, peace and chicken grease,

-A Cooped Up Chick

little LITTLE brown chicken

Baked (not deep fried) Pickles

Author: Cooped Up Chick  //  Category: Appetizers, March 2013

 

I love pickles. All pickles. Even mustard pickles. And chow chow. Or as chips. MMMM. Pickles.

So funny that my son hates them. In every single way, shape and form. Even picks them off his McD’s burgers (and right into my mouth!)

There is only one place around here that serves deep fried pickles (that I have found so far) and I feel they do a fairly poor job at them. They use pickle spears and both times I gave them a try the batter fell off them and all you are left with is a pickle. No fried bits. Pointless. If I wanted a pickle spear i’d have it at home. At home? YES!!! I will try to make fried pickles at home!

My first attempt was successful. As far as to say they were pickles and they were fried, however the recipe I chose had too much cornmeal and they were gritty. I won’t even bother to post the recipe and I have no pictures anyway. BUT the coating stayed on and they were sorta tasty. Then I read how many calories are in fried food so I went on the search for something less fattening. Because if you know me you know I need to save those calories for chocolate. And alcohol. And McDonalds. ๐Ÿ˜‰

So I found this BAKED recipe on Pinterest. Today I tried it.

 

What you need:

 

 

3 Large Kosher Dill Wholes (I used PC mini dills as the HUGE jar was on sale for $1.99!)

3 Eggs

3 Tbsps Milk

1 cup Flour (Allย Purpose)

1/2 cup Bread Crumbs

1/4 cup Panko Crumbs

1/2 cup Cheddar Cheese (Finely Shredded)

 

I wasn’t so sure of the cheese. I don’t think I have ever had cheese on a fried dill pickle before. But hey….who am I to argue (LMAO!)

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

2. Slice your Dills into โ€œchipsโ€ about 1/4 inch in thickness.

 

 

3. Take 3 small mixing bowls and put the flour in 1, the eggs and milk in the second (and beat them together), and combine the bread crumbs, panko crumbs, and the shredded cheese in the third bowl.

 

 

4. Coat each pickle chip with flour, then the egg/milk mixture, and then the cheesy bread/panko crumb mixture, and place on to an oiled cookie sheet.

 

 

5. Bake @ 425 degrees for 7 โ€“ 10 minutes or until desired โ€œcrispinessโ€ is reached.

 

 

 

I found they still weren’t crisp enough so I cranked the oven up to 500 for 2 more minutes.

I served them (to myself) with a side of Chipolte Mayo.

 

 

 

They were very tasty. But I still wished they were deep fried. ๐Ÿ™

Enjoy!

love, peace and chicken grease,

-A Cooped Up Chick

Loaded Potato Nachos

Author: Cooped Up Chick  //  Category: Appetizers, Main Course, March 2013

 

These were delicious. Confusing. But delicious.

Kind of a cross between nachos and a loaded baked potato. For those times when you just can’t decide.

The original poster just called them Potato Nachos and used already baked Baked potatoes but I started from raw (and renamed them to be more accurate to taste). I was afraid they would not be cooked all the way through so I parboiled them for about 8 minutes until they were fork tender.

 

 

Then I pretty much followed the recipe.

 

What you’ll need:

 

Potatoes (sliced as thin as you can)

Cumin

Chili Powder

Nacho/loaded BP toppings.

 

Yeah. Pretty simple.

I used chopped jalapenos,

 

 

chopped tomatoes, sliced onions (that I warmed in a frying pan until tender but not “cooked”)

 

 

Add your potatoes to a bowl and drizzle with Olive Oil. Sprinkle with cumin and chili powder (to your personal tastes. For 3 medium sized potatoes I used 1/2tsp of each)

 

 

Now here is where you grill your potatoes. Not a necessary step if you don’t have an indoor grill pan but it adds a nice smokiness to the potatoes that I really enjoyed. I don’t have pics of this part as my grill pan was so hot I didn’t have time to grab the camera.

Arrange your potato slices on a cookie sheet with tin foil (just as you would do with Nacho chips)

 

 

Start adding your toppings. I added cooked bacon, the onions and some cheddar cheese

 

 

Add your chopped veggies and more cheese.

 

 

Bake at 400 for 6-10 minutes or until the cheese melts.

 

 

Remember my potatoes were ALMOST cooked. If you start with raw and don’t parboil or grill them then I would suggest cooking at 350 for 20-25 minutes withOUT the cheese (until potatoes are tender) and then add your cheese and broil for a minute or 2.

 

Top with sour cream, salsa, guacamole or whatever your heart desires.

 

 

YUM!!!!

love, peace and chicken grease,

-A Cooped Up Chick

 

 

 

 

 

Damn fantastic Dill dip!

Author: Cooped Up Chick  //  Category: Appetizers, February 2013

 

 

I’m sorry Wendy.

I needed to start todays blogging by saying that. The ladies I sit with at work have been eagerly awaiting a new post. None more-so then Wendy. I have been so very neglectful with no better excuse then I lost my mojo. I am going to blame the winter blues but it is probably due more to laziness. I have not been trying a lot of new recipes (although when I have I took pictures) and with the holidays and shoveling and Pinterest I have been remiss in blogging. Again, I am sorry everyone…but especially Wendy ๐Ÿ˜‰

So I am coming back with an easy one. Dip.

I had gone across the border to Maine when I was on vacation in November and they had a great deal on cream cheese. Here it’s around $4 a block but at the IGA in Calais they had it on for 10 for $10!!! Needless to say, I came home with 10 and after making the Xmas cheesecake I still had 6 blocks left and NO IDEA what to do with it all….until Pinterest showed me the way! I came across a recipe from this site: http://thecuttingedgeofordinary.blogspot.ca/2012/03/dill-pickle-dip.html

Awesome blog btw!!! If you get a chance check out some of her other posts as well!

Now you all know me by now…I tweak everything a little bit. I like my dips a little looser, creamier if you will. I tend to prefer sour cream dips over cream cheese dips but dammit, I have all this CREAM CHEESE to use! So you can see the original recipe on Lisa’s blog, here you shall see what I did to it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

What you will need:

 

1 (8 ounce) package of cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1- 1 1/2 cups chopped dill pickles (I used a combo of Vlassic mini dills and PC Hot and Zesty)
1/4 cup finely chopped sweet onion
4 tablespoons pickle juice (use less for thicker dip or more for thinner dip)
2 teaspoon dried dill weed
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 heaping Tbsps of sour cream

 

 

 

 

 

Mix together the cream cheese and sour cream until relatively smooth.

 

 

add your pickles to the food processor and chop fine.

 

 

 

 

Add pickles to cream cheese mixture. Add pickle juice as well and stir.

 

 

Add your sweet onions to the food processor and chop VERY fine.

 

 

Add remaining ingredients and mix together.

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see the recipe is very simple. Mix together. Let sit for a few hours before scarfing it all down (good luck with that). Now I am off to find other chip dip recipes for the other 5 blocks of cream cheese (would love an Herb & Spiceย  if anyone has one). I don’t think I will ever EVER buy chip dip again. The homemade stuff is just WAYYYYYYY better.

I can’t wait to make this in the summer and use it on some charbroiled burgers!

love, peace and chicken grease,

-A Cooped Up Chick

Kitchen Bitch Episode 2 – The Anti Valentines Day Bitch

Author: Cooped Up Chick  //  Category: Appetizers, Desserts, February 2012, Main Course, Seafood Dishes

 

 

My little group and I decided the best way to celebrate the HORROR that is Valentines Day, aka ‘Single Awareness Day’, would be together, with lots of great food, music and alcohol. I don’t really mind V Day all that much other than all the hearts and pink stuff shoved in our faces by retail establishments that tell us if we don’t have a Valentine we are losers. To me its just another day that I have chosen to be alone. I am alone 364 other days of the year so why is the anniversary of the day that St Valentine had his head chopped off in 270 AD going to be any different? YAY….a beheading….here have a Hallmark card and some flowers to celebrate! ???? My highly intelligent and modern mind cannot grasp this concept. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

So at the last Kitchen Bitch I took it upon myself to snap up February 14th as MY turn to host the next installment. I am so glad that I did. It gave me some fresh, fun eyes to view all the decorations that were up and around every where. Every time I would see a little cupid, I would picture him hanging in my house….decapitated, just like poor St Valentine. I thought it was a fitting tribute…not sadistic.

I would see a shiny, red heart and pictured it ripped down the center…depicting a ‘Broken Heart’.

I had purchased myself some flowers last week (which I do very frequently) and thought once they were wilted and dead they would make a fabulous centerpiece for the table.

I bought a bunch of ‘Love Animals’ clutching hearts dearly to their busoms…and hung them from nooses throughout the house.

 

Some may find this bitter and sad. It made me IMMENSELY happy. I don’t feel bitter at all. I do not want a relationship. I love my life just as it is. That is NOT to say that I do not get lonely from time to time…I am human…not Borg…but I do HONESTLY love my life just as it it. If a wonderful, generous, caring, loving, handsome, well-blessed man presented himself to me I would recognize and give him a chance but I am not actively dating or out looking. I would literally need Baby Jesus to drop him in my lap for me to notice. Please Baby Jesus….drop a rich, well endowed man into my lap. ๐Ÿ˜‰

What I decided on for the menu was “Bad Date Foods”. Lots of garlic and spice. Messy foods. For an appetizer I found a recipe online for ‘Conceited Mushrooms’ (because they are full of themselves…..HAAAHAAAHAA). Of course, I tweaked it. I can’t help it.

For the Conceited Mushrooms you will need:

2 dozen button mushrooms

1/4 cup flavored bread crumbs, I used Italian bread crumbs from Progresso

1 tsp garlic, minced

1/4 cup onion, diced fine

salt and pepper to taste

2 Tbsps tomato juice *my addition

4 slices cooked bacon, diced *my addition (cause I even have a T-shirt that says “everything is better with bacon”)

a sprinkle of crushed, red chili flakes *my addition

2 Tbsps fresh grated Parmesan cheese

1 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley *my addition

 

First step is to have nice clean mushrooms.

Then separate the stem from the cap.

 

Take half of the stems and chop very fine. This is what makes the mushrooms full of themselves…we are going to add the stems BACK into the cap. Get it? Huh? ๐Ÿ˜€

Dice your onion.

diced onion

Add some butter or margarine to a small pan and saute the onions and mushroom stems until the onion softens. Add the garlic and sprinkle of chili flakes.

sauteed onion mushroom garlic chili flakes

Add sauteed veg to a bowl.

sauteed veg

Add the bread crumbs…

bread crumbs

…diced bacon…

…the Parmesan cheese…

parmesan cheese

…and the parsley. I tasted the mixture at this point. It was missing an acidic component so I had some tomato juice in the fridge and added a couple of tablespoons. It was PERFECT.

filling for Conceited Mushrooms

I found the button cap had to be modified a little. I took a paring knife and shaved a little around the edge to create a larger opening to restuff. I also sliced a small bit off the bottom to make it more flattened and stable.

Spoon the mixture back into the cap.

conceited mushrooms

Sprinkle a little Parmesan on top and bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.

stuffed mushrooms conceited mushrooms

 

For the main course I served Super garlicy, spicy shrimp pasta. I have blogged this recipe before (see ‘Spicy Shrimp pasta’ December 2011). I added a side of Roasted Garlic Cheesy bread. Simple french baguette, halved, with garlic butter and roasted garlic mash (lop off the top of a garlic bulb, douse with olive oil, wrap in tin foil, bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes). Add mozza cheese and broil for 5 minutes. Watch carefully so it doesn’t burn.

 

This dish would be considered a “bad date food” on 2 fronts! Uber garlic breath and a wonderful, slurpy, pasta slinging mess! Love it. Me and my girls didn’t care!!

garlicy spicy shrimp paste

 

For dessert I made Sex-in-a-pan. I had never made (or ate) this before but I figured that just because we are single doesn’t mean we can’t have sex on Valentine’s Day….it would just have to be in a pan. And not in any kinky way. Again….I modified the recipe slightly.

What you will need (for my bastardized version):

1 package instant chocolate pudding

1 package instant vanilla pudding

(milk to make the pudding…4 cups)

1 container Cool Whip, thawed

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/2 cup melted margarine

1 8oz block of cream cheese, softened

1 cup icing sugar

milk chocolate for garnish

butterscotch ganache (1 cup of heavy cream brought to a simmer on stovetop, remove from heat and one package Chipits butterscotch chips stirred in until melted. Allow to cool completely)

 

Mix together the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. The actual recipe called for 1 cup of chopped pecans but since I am allergic to nuts (take that however you want to! lol) I left them out. Press into the bottom of a 9×13 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Make sure it doesn’t burn. Mine cooked for 16 minutes and was perfect. Allow to cool completely.

graham cracker crust

While the crust cools, make your puddings as per the directions on the box. These also have to set before continuing.

chocolate pudding

vanilla pudding

 

In another bowl, mix the cream cheese and the icing sugar.

cream cheese icing sugar

cream cheese mixture

 

Fold in 1 cup of Cool Whip.

cream cheese mixture with cool whip

 

Once the crust is completely cooled, add the cream cheese mixture.

 

Drizzle with butterscotch ganache.

butterscotch ganache

 

Top with chocolate pudding and some shaved or chopped chocolate.

chocolate layer

 

Add the vanilla pudding layer and top with the remaining Cool Whip.

vanilla and whip cream layer

 

Garnish with more drizzled ganache, shaved and chopped chocolate. To shave chocolate just drag a sharp knife across the chocolate bar. Chop what is left.

 

Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

sex in a pan

 

To top off the evening we also created a delicious libation. It started with Amandas idea to mix Peach Schnapps with grapefruit juice (the result of leftover Schnapps from the Belinis at her party…and whatever was sitting in her fridge. Thank GOD she didn’t have beet juice in there!!!) I never got an exact recipe from her so I took that idea and ran with it.

This poor drink has an identity crisis. At first Amanda wanted to call it a ‘Zipless F#$k’ since searching drink names and realizing ‘A One Night Stand’ was taken. This was her idea of a synonym. Since my mommy reads my blog (on occasion) and she would be disappointed in me for using THE BIG CURSE WORD…I nixxed that idea. MY idea of a synonym would be to call it a ‘Colin Farrell’. In my opinion, Mr Farrell looks like a dirty bird that would throw you over the back of a couch, ravage you and then leave you panting…wanting more…as he nonchalantly left the premises. Read: One Night Stand. I could be wrong about this. He could be a really sweet guy…maybe this is my fantasy version of the man! Amanda has since been calling is a ‘Saucy Monkey’. After a few drinks we were easily calling it ‘Colin Farrells Saucy Monkey’ ๐Ÿ˜‰

What you will need is:

2oz Vodka

4oz Peach Schnapps

2 cups Ocean spray Ruby Red Grapefruit juice

3oz fresh squeezed grapefruit juice

2 Tbsps thawed grapefruit juice concentrate (not mixed with water…straight from the can)

1 squirt Real lemon juice

1 tsp grenadine

grapefruit zest for garnish

grapefruit drink crystals mixed with super fine sugar, to rim the glass.

 

I started by using the leftover, squeezed carcass of grapefruit to moisten the rim of the glass then coated it with the crystal and sugar mixture. SOOOOOOO fancy!

Then in a cocktail shaker I mixed all the ingredients except the grenadine and garnish. Shake (not stirred ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) and pour into a martini or margarita glass. Drizzle in the grenadine and top with garnish. YUM YUM YUM!!! I drank these all afternoon. Of course just to get the measurements correct!

vodka peach schnapps grapefruit juice Colin Farrell

 

 

I think the 2nd installment of the Kitchen Bitch club was very successful and FUN! The ladies that attended got to take home a soundtrack with such lovely romantic classics as “These Boots are Made for Walking”, “Whats Love Got to Do With It”, “Love Stinks”, “I Never Really Loved You Anyway” and “I Don’t Need a Man”. Amanda made little Valentines boxes full of chocolates, cinnamon hearts and a little something extra for me. THANKS Amanda!!! I appreciate it!

Thank you to the girls that made it…Amanda and Jenn!! Without you Valentines Day would have sucked…again. I think this may have to be a yearly event at my house. As I take down the decorations and pack them away, I am filled with OTHER great decoration and food ideas for next year. ‘Colin Farrell’ will be there for sure!!

 

Enjoy!

love, peace and chicken grease,

-A Cooped Up Chick