Sloppy Joe Oven Baked Tacos. New Music From Gallery 47.

Sloppy Joe Oven Baked Tacos

Baked Tacos are now my favorite version of this family favorite. Here the meat gets flavored sloppy joe style. You can use purchased sloppy joe sauce as the base or your favorite recipe.

Sloppy Joe Oven Baked Tacos
Sloppy Joe Oven Baked Tacos

Ingredients:

1 pound lean ground beef
1 can (15 oz) Manwich Sloppy Joe Sauce
1 teaspoon ground cumin
12 taco shells
1 cup shredded shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese (I used both)
2 cups shredded lettuce
Additional toppings such as sour cream, chopped cilantro and hot sauce

Directions:

1. Cook beef in large skillet over medium-high heat 7 minutes or until crumbled and no longer pink, stirring occasionally; drain.

2. Stir in sloppy joe sauce and cumin; simmer 5 minutes.

3. Preheat oven to 350℉.

4. Line up taco shells in a 9 x 13 inch pan and evenly divide sloppy joe mixture among the shells. Sprinkle with shredded cheese, and place in oven for 5-7 minutes, or until cheese is melted and shells are warm.

5. Divide lettuce evenly between taco shells. Top with additional toppings, if you like.

Serves 6

Recipe from Kitchen Meets Girl
Sloppy Joe Oven Baked Tacos
Sloppy Joe Oven Baked Tacos
Sloppy Joe Oven Baked Tacos

“Invasion” is new from Nottingham based singer-songwriter Jack Peachey aka Gallery 47. I love his soft voice over that somewhat frenetic guitar.

Check out Gallery 47 on the Website, where you can link to buy his music.

Cheers!

Posted in Beef, Main Courses | Tagged | Leave a comment

Short And Sweet. Make Ahead Chocolate and Caramel Ice Cream Parfaits.

Make Ahead Chocolate and Caramel Ice Cream Parfaits
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Make Ahead are two words that I am loving more and more. Even the busiest of days can end with a cool, creamy treat like these Chocolate and Caramel Ice Cream Parfaits. Just make ahead and there they are waiting dutifully in the freezer.

Each parfait has homemade graham-oat-caramel chip crunch layered between ice cream and chocolate syrup. A big dollop of brown sugar sweetened whipped cream is the crowning touch.

Make Ahead Chocolate and Caramel Ice Cream Parfait
Chocolate and Caramel Ice Cream Parfaits

Ingredients:

Caramel Crunch (recipe follows)
Whipped Cream (recipe follows)
56 oz Chocolate or Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
Chocolate Syrup

Directions:

1. Let the ice cream soften for about 5 minutes.

2. Put a small amount of crumbs in the bottom of 10 glasses. Top with chocolate syrup (drizzle it around the edge so it touches the side of the glass).

2. Spoon the ice cream on top of crumbs then top with another layer of chocolate syrup, being sure it touches side of glass.

3. Spoon the whipped cream on top of the ice cream, then drizzle more chocolate syrup on top.

Serves 10

Caramel Crunch

Ingredients:

1 cup graham cracker crumbs (from 9 whole graham crackers)
1 cup old fashioned oats
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup vegetable oil
¾ cup caramel or butterscotch chips

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350℉. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Place the graham cracker crumbs in a medium bowl Add the oatmeal, vanilla and oil and stir to combine so that the crumbs are moistened.

3. Spread the crumb mixture onto the prepared cookie sheet.

4. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately stir in the caramel chips. Set aside to cool completely.

Whipped Cream

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream, beaten until stiff, or Cool Whip
¼ cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

1. In a large bowl stir together the cream, brown sugar and vanilla until combined. Set aside.

Recipe from Overtime Cook
Make Ahead Chocolate and Caramel Ice Cream Parfaits
Chocolate and Caramel Ice Cream Parfait

Short song time.

And now for this adorably retro sweet song.

Check out Kirby Kaiser (who has such a cool, soulful voice and is only 19!) on Facebook and Bandcamp, where you can buy her music.

Cheers!

Posted in Ice Cream, Short And Sweet | Tagged | Leave a comment

Dieter’s Burgers. My Head’s Abuzz With New Music From She Keeps Bees.

Dieter's Burger

I much prefer Dieter to having to be a dieter.

I usually make burgers with regular ground beef as many sources say it will yield the juiciest ones. Then I came across this recipe for Dieter’s Burgers in a grilling cookbook and thought I would give it a try.

We eat dishes with ground beef all the time, but I had never taken the time to sort out the calorie/fat content in the different grades.

For burgers, a search clocked a 4oz 80% (which is 80 percent lean and 20 percent fat) lean ground beef burger in at 287 calories. 90% lean has 199 calories and 95% (95 percent lean, 5 percent fat) comes in at 155 calories. (Read more here)

This Dieter’s Burger recipe calls for extra-lean ground beef and just a hint of salt and pepper to season. Let me tell you this. I could not really tell the difference between the fattier beef burgers I am used to and this extra-lean one. It was just a delicious burger where the flavor of the meat was the star.

Dieter's Burger
Dieter’s Burgers

Ingredients:

1 pound (455g) ground beef, extra lean
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
4 hamburger buns

Directions:

1. Combine beef with salt and pepper. Shape into four patties.

2. Place burgers on a preheated grill and cook to desired doneness, about 4 minutes per side for medium.

Serves 4

Recipe from Vermont Castings Modern Grilling Cookbook
Dieter's Burgers

Monday, Monday.

I got back from my holiday late last night and have spent much of today in a maze of laundry, meetings, lists, and general re-entry. Oh, and we are having a bathroom remodeled, so there is sporadic periods where all the water is off, so no toilets and, yes, no water.

Nothing like music to make it all better.

I am really enjoying this new tune from She Keeps Bees. “Owl” is the latest single from the Brooklyn-based band’s new album, ‘Eight Houses’, due out September 16th on Future Gods Records.

Sharon Van Etten’s moody vocals and those intoxicating horn riffs make me swoon.

Check out She Keeps Bees on the band’s Website, where you can learn of upcoming US tour dates and buy the music.

Cheers!

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Fusilli With Olive And Caper Sauce. Fun New Music From Chase City.

Olive And Caper Fusilli

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I was searching for something funny about capers and these guys kept showing up. I couldn’t resist putting a few of the photos in.

I also cannot resist pasta dishes with olives and capers. This one is particularly good. The garlic scented tomato sauce is thick and chock full of crunch from celery. Teamed up with the flavors of the capers and olives, the sauce is simply divine. Fusilli is a fun pasta shape for the dish, but any other would also be fabulous.

Fusilli With Olive And Caper Sauce
Fusilli With Olive And Caper Sauce

Ingredients:

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6 cloves garlic, sliced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 (28 ounce) can Italian plum tomatoes, crushed
2 large ribs celery, thinly sliced
Coarse salt
1 cup pitted olives, halved
1/3 cup drained nonpareil capers in brine
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 pound fusilli
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Directions:

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

2. in a large skillet, heat 1/4 cup of the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until golden, about 2 minutes. Add the crushed red pepper; cook for 1 minute.

3. Add the tomatoes, celery and 1/2 tsp salt. Add 1 cup water to the skillet. Bring the sauce to a boil.

4. Stir in the olives, lower the heat and simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. Add the capers and parsley and simmer for a few minutes.

5. While sauce is simmering, add the pasta to the boiling water. Cook until al dente; drain and add the pasta to the sauce, tossing to coat.

6. Drizzle with the remaining oil, toss again. Remove from the heat, then toss with the cheese.

Serves 6

Recipe from Everyday With Rachael Ray Magazine

Fusilli With Olive And Caper Sauce

I’m loving this little slice of surf pop from Tasmanian-based Chase City.

Check out Chase City on Facebook and Soundcloud, where you can look out for updates on where/when to buy their music.

Cheers!

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Overload Cake. Cool New Music From Alt-J.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Overload Cake
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Feel a bit of déjà vu as you look at this cake?

That could be due to the fact that it’s the second ganache topped cake I have shared this week.

Although both cakes are dripping with ganache, today’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Overload Cake couldn’t be more different than the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream Cake.

What you have is a super chocolatety cake covered in a not too sweet, silky smooth peanut butter icing and topped with that rich chocolate ganache. Tucked between each cake layer, and on top, is a good dose of chopped peanut butter cups.

Overload definitely describes this ridiculously amazing cake.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Overload Cake
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Overload Cake

Ingredients:

2½ cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup + 1 tablespoon Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons salt
3 eggs
1½ cups buttermilk
1½ cups strong black coffee, hot
¾ cup vegetable oil
4½ teaspoons vanilla extract
Peanut Butter Icing (recipe follows)
Chocolate Ganache (recipe follows)
30 miniature peanut butter cups, coarsely chopped, divided

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350℉. Grease three 8-inch round cake pans, line bottoms with rounds of parchment paper, grease parchment, then flour the insides of the pans, set aside.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla.

4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix for 2 minutes on medium speed. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix for an additional 20 seconds (batter will be very thin).

5. Divide batter evenly among prepared pans.

6. Bake for 20 minutes and rotate the pans in the oven. Continue to bake until a tester inserted into center of cakes comes out almost clean (with a few moist crumbs), about 12 more minutes.

7. Cool the cakes (in the pans) on wire racks for 20 minutes, then carefully turn them out onto cooling racks to cool completely.

8. Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Cover with 1 cup of the peanut butter icing and sprinkle with 10 of the chopped peanut butter cups. Top with a second cake layer and cover with another 1 cup of the icing and another 10 chopped peanut butter cups. Place the final cake layer on top face-down. Frost the cake with the remaining peanut butter icing, smoothing as best as possible.

9. Refrigerate the cake for at least 1 hour, until the icing is set.

10. Slowly pour the chocolate ganache over the top of the cake, letting it flow over the sides of the cake. Top with the remaining 10 chopped peanut butter cups.

11. Refrigerate the cake for at least 30 minutes, allowing the ganache to set up. Keep the cake refrigerated, removing it from the refrigerator 20 minutes prior to serving.

Serves 12 to 20

Recipe from Brown Eyed Baker

Peanut Butter Icing

Ingredients:

2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 cups creamy peanut butter
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon kosher salt
⅔ cup heavy cream

Directions:

1. Place confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.

2. Add the heavy cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth.

Chocolate Ganache

Ingredients:

8 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
¾ cup heavy cream

Directions:

1. While the cake chills, make the chocolate ganache. Place the chocolate in a 4-cup measuring cup; set aside.

2. Place the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat and warm until it just comes to a boil.

3. Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate and let sit for 2 minutes. Whisk until the ganache is smooth. Set aside to cool, whisking occasionally, until it has thickened slightly, yet still a pourable consistency.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Overload Cake
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Overload Cake
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Overload Cake
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Overload Cake
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Overload Cake

Alt-J, out of Leeds, have this to say about their band’s name:

“alt-J (∆)’s name takes a little explaining. Pronounced “alt-J”, the delta sign is created when you hold down the alt key on your computer keyboard and punch ‘J’ on a Mac computer. The symbol has a deeper meaning for the band, as guitarist/bassist Gwil Sainsbury notes, “in mathematical equations it’s used to show change,” and the band’s relatively new name came at a turning point in their lives.”

That’s cool.

So, gun theme aside, this funky tune is wicked catchy.

Then there is this strange and sex heavy song.

Check out Alt-J on Facebook and the band’s Website, where you can learn of upcoming tour dates and pre-order their forthcoming album ‘This Is All Yours’.

Cheers!

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The Dubonnet Cocktail. Kicking Back To New Music From Rich Aucoin.

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drink_your_gin-218435

I am currently on holiday in Nova Scotia. What a beautiful place filled with some of the friendliest people on the planet.

My only complaint…the lack of knowledge (in the places I have stayed) of how to make a martini.

We went to this fully stocked sports-themed restaurant in Truro and the server looked at me blankly when I asked for a gin martini. She said that they didn’t know that one.

Really??

I wanted to go behind the bar and give her a quick tutorial. I mean, how hard is it to shake gin and vermouth with some ice?

Then, last night in Chéticamp I was able to order a martini, but it was the worst I have ever had. It tasted like 5 parts water to no one part gin.

So, what I really wanted to get around to saying to y’all is that I love gin. Martinis and Negronis are my favorite gin cocktails, but I’m ever on the search for something new (to me) and different.

Enter today’s Dubonnet Cocktail. Evidently, it is a “favorite of Queen Elizabeth II and her mother, who preferred it served on the rocks.”

I have always wanted to try Dubonnet, the ruby red aperitif infused with a variety of herbs and spices. Finally got a bottle and mixed some with gin which made for a most delectable libation. I highly recommend making yourself a Dubonnet cocktail soon.

The Dubonnet Cocktail
The Dubonnet Cocktail

Ingredients:

1 1/2 ounces gin
3/4 ounce Dubonnet Rouge
Lemon twist for garnish

Directions:

1. Pour the ingredients into a mixing glass with some ice cubes.

2. Stir well.

3. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

4. Garnish with the lemon twist.

Serves 1

Recipe from About.com

The Dubonnet Cocktail

I often go outside my musical bounds when I am on holiday. I love to listen local radio, so on this trip that meant lots of Acadian, Celtic, French language tunes, some general Canadian pop and a bit of indie thrown in with the ubiquitous US tunes.

I love this song by Rich Aucoin. A tiny nod to Arcade Fire in his vocals and a full out fun wall of sound. A perfect drinking tune.

“When you give it all up, you get it back.
This heart is all that keeps us up, this heart is beating.”

Check out Rich Aucoin on Facebook and the band’s Website, where you can learn of upcoming Canadian tour dates and buy the music.

Cheers!

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Balsamic Pork Scallopine With Cheesy Noodles. Hauntingly Lovely Music By ILYA.

Balsamic Pork Scallopine With Cheesy Noodles

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Everyone in my house was raven about this dinner.

Prepare to have your taste buds dazzled by the tangy, garlicky, basil laced balsamic sauce. The sautéed pork cutlets finish cooking in the sauce so they become meltingly tender. Creamy, cheesy noodles are the perfect side.

Balsamic Pork Scallopine With Cheesy Noodles
Balsamic Pork Scallopine

Ingredients:

3 pounds pork cutlets
1-1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped roasted sweet red peppers
6 garlic cloves, minced
14 ounces chicken broth
1/2 cup minced fresh basil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Cheesy Noodles (recipe follows)

Directions:

1. Dredge pork cutlets in flour.

2. Heat oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add pork and brown in batches. Set aside.

3. Add onion and red peppers to the pan; sauté until onion is tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Add the broth, basil, vinegar and pepper. Return pork to the pan.

4. Cover and cook over low heat for 15-20 minutes or until meat is tender.

5. Serve with pork with noodles.

Serves 12

Recipe from Taste Of Home Magazine

Balsamic Pork Scallopine With Cheesy Noodles
Cheesy Noodles

Ingredients:

8 oz egg noodles
½ cup heavy cream
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
4 oz cream cheese
2 Tbs butter
½ tsp garlic powder
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

1. Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain; stir in the cream, cheese, cream cheese, butter, garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 12 as a side dish

Recipe from Taste Of Home Magazine
Balsamic Pork Scallopine With Cheesy Noodles

“Blood”, the April release by San Diego’s ILYA is packed with powerful, melancholy songs with gripping lyrics. It’s a beautiful record.

‘Storm’ is haunting me. I listen over and over and get sucked into that soft piano start that gives way to raging guitar. It is all at once minimal and towering.

“Likened to a storm, unlisted, unwanted, desperate, forgotten,
Look at me, say nothing,
Buried in your lies, or is that your disguise,
no one lied, to you, now we’re standing still”

Check out ILYA on Facebook. You can buy the music here.

Cheers!

Posted in Main Courses, Pasta, Pork | Tagged | 3 Comments