Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Roasted Asparagus

Years ago, my mom's side of the family gathered at my aunt and uncles house for a potluck of sorts.  Everyone pitched in for what I can only assume was a wonderful meal, but the stand out favorite was my aunt Katie's roasted asparagus.  Aside from steaming it or parboiling it, in my family asparagus was a little bit of a mystery.  We all liked it but didn't really know what to do with it.

Simple in technique with the flavor of a gourmet restaurant, Katie's asparagus was so good that it is still my brother's favorite way to have this delicious vegetable!  That was Katie though....never over the top, simple with an edge that made her totally unique and special in her own way.  

This is a picture of Katie on her 1st birthday...I just always loved this photo
Here is a picture of Katie, my uncle Eddie and my Momma (in order of birth no less)

When we lost Katie to cancer in 2008 a void appeared in our family that can never be replaced but a legacy also emerged.  One whose constant presence I feel just about every time I step foot in a kitchen.  Katie would always stand in the same position against the kitchen counter, any kitchen counter, with an ease that made her cooking seem effortless, her style so natural and her presence calm and serene.  

Katie was a force to be reckoned with up until the very end and because of the passion she instilled in me, as a child and as an adult, for cooking, experimenting with different dishes and cherishing the recipes that have been passed down for generations I find myself never wanting to leave the kitchen.....for me, that is where Katie remains most in my heart and my memories!

Katie's Roasted Asparagus
1 bunch asparagus
1 fresh lemon
kosher salt
olive oil

Break the tough ends off the asparagus by bending it in half.  The asparagus will break in the natural part where the tender part meets the tough section that you do not want to eat.  
Place the asparagus in a pyrex dish and drizzle with olive oil.  
Toss lightly with kosher salt.  
Roast in the oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.  
Remove from the oven and squeeze the fresh lemon over top.  
Serve immediately.
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Monday, January 30, 2012

Pizza Pinwheels

If there is one weakness I possess besides a potato in any form or fashion it is pizza.  I crave it to the point that I will devour a pizza all by myself which is nothing others need to witness.  Thin crust, deep dish, Chicago-style it doesn't matter, I love them all!  A couple of years ago I was introduced to the pizza puff and no longer was pizza only an entrĂ©e option!  Quickly I started to think of all the ways I could make pizza for an appetizer and the possibilities seemed endless!  Soon I will introduce you to pizza dip but first please enjoy the pizza pinwheel and wait in great anticipation for all the other fantastic ways we can turn some pizza sauce, cheese and a few toppings into your most sought after appetizer options!

1 (13.8 ounce) can Pillsbury® refrigerated classic pizza crust
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup sliced pepperoni, chopped
1 cup marinara or pizza sauce
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Press pizza dough into a large rectangle.
Sprinkle dough with garlic salt, basil, cheeses and pepperoni. 
Starting at the short end, roll dough up tightly to form a log. At this point I wrapped it in plastic wrap and popped it in freezer for about 30 minutes.  This makes it MUCH easier to slice!
Slice into 1-inch pieces.
Place rolls on lightly greased baking sheets. 
Bake for 10 minutes or until browned on top. Serve with warm marinara sauce for dipping.
I mean seriously....are you kidding me????  AMAZING!
Sorry, I just can't get enough of them....
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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Crock Pot Recipes

With me new crock pot sitting prominently in my kitchen it is time to remove that shinny gleam and make it match the rest of the appliances I own....showing years of faithful service with some stains that may never go away and some bumps and bruises as battle scars of scrumptious meals!  I am ever in search of more crock recipes so please send me your favorite and I would love to try them!!

Check out some recipes I have already tried in the crock pot....some I don't photograph in the crock pot but all of these are slow-cooker friendly!

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Looking for Super Bowl Party Appetizers??

Here are some of my favorite apps to have when watching the big game, or if your team isn't playing, the commercials!

Happy searching!
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