Saturday, January 31, 2009

Are you ready?!? Here we go, Steelers!!

You can't help but get pumped up listening to these songs and watching these videos!
Courtesy of YouTube

Here we go! 2008 - 09

On the road to Sixburgh

Game winning touchdown! (video) by #43 taking us on to Superbowl 43!

Don't Quit

Success is failure turned inside out;
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt;
And you never can tell how
close you are,
It may be near when it seems afar,
So stick to the fight when you're
hardest hit;
It's when things seem worst
that you mustn't quit

Ben Roethlisberger keeps one copy of the poem
folded in the console of his car. He keeps another
framed above the desk in his house. He had a third
laminated for the inside of his locker, just in case he
ever needs to recite a line before wind sprints.

Friday, January 30, 2009

One more for the Steelers fans - Troy Polamalu’s new Coke ad (video)

Do you remember the "Mean Joe" Coke commercials from way back when?

Well, hold onto your hat because Troy is set to debut his new Coke Zero commercial that is supposed to replicate Mean Joe's commercial--only with a twist!

Check it out!

While you're there, take a look at the old commercial brought tears to my eyes! (Ok...I'm a sap!!)


We are proudly wearing our Black & Gold this weekend so I thought that it was fitting that my blog should wear the colors, too!

I love talking with all of the fans who have stopped by to say hi to me!

My friend Sharon, from View from my treehouse, said that she thought of me when she read this:

Our Father,
Who Art in Pittsburgh,
Football Be Thy Game.
The Kingdom Come,
5 Super Bowls Won,
On Earth as it is in Heinz Field.
Give us this Day a Superbowl Victory,
And forgive us our penalties,
As we defeat those who play against us.
But lead us into a victory,
And deliver us to Tampa!



Way to go, coach!!

IMO, choosing Bruce Springsteen to play for the half-time show, was the worst choice they could've made! Did anyone happen to watch his interview on ESPN yesterday? OMG! the man is so full of himself! He started out by proclaiming that he knows nothing about football and that the only reason he agreed to do the half-time show was because they have a new album out. What a pompous a$$! I'll find something else to do during those 15 minutes!

And now on to the food..........

When I asked my kids what they would like for me to make for snacks for the game, they both said "Chips and dip". hahaha! Gotta luv them! So that's what they're getting. Saves me time and everyone is happy!

I might try this recipe for Chicken Cigars (hate that name!) from Rachel Ray. My hubby will like these.

I'm keeping it simple for dinner, too. I think (not set in stone yet) that I'm going to make Greek chicken pitas and baked mac n cheese.

I have to come up with something for dessert this time. I have no clue yet so if anyone has a suggestion, please let me know! Something simple that can be made ahead of time.

That's it for now....

Keep waving those Terrible Towels!!!


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Recipes for Playoff food

We enjoyed the food that I made. Not everything went as planned but that was ok.

Brown sugar smokies
1 (16 ounce) package little smokie sausages
1 pound bacon
1 1/2 C cup brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350

Cut bacon into thirds and wrap each strip around a little sausage.

Stick a toothpick through each sausage to secure the bacon.

Add 1/2 C. brown sugar to a dish. Dredge each sausage through
the brown sugar, coating well.

Arrange the sausages on a baking sheet and sprinkle them liberally
with the remaining brown sugar.

Bake until bacon is crisp and the brown sugar melted.

You can keep these warm in a crockpot set on low or warm.

Pepperoni rolls --flopped
I made a new bread machine Italian bread recipe and it turned out too sticky. The bread never did rise right so I tossed it.

Crockpot Chicago Style Beef Sandwiches
I definitely didn't stick to a regular Chicago style recipe. Instead, I added my own flare to it and the results were delicious!

3 lb beef roast
1C. beef broth
4 TBSP hot pepper relish
2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 of a medium onion sliced into thin strips --more if you like a lot of onions
1/2 jar of marinate mushrooms, chopped fine (use other 1/2 in pasta salad)

Add meat to crockpot and top with garlic powder. Pour in beef broth. Top with hot pepper relish and onions. Cover and cook on high for approximately 6 hrs or until the meat can be shredded with 2 forks. Remove meat from juices and shred completely. Add the meat back to into the juices. Turn the crockpot to low or warm until ready to eat.

For the sandwich topping:
Finely chop up 1/2 C. Italian Giardiniera and add to a small bowl. Add 1/4 to 1/2 C. hot pepper relish and the chopped marinated mushrooms. Mix well.

Fill Italian subs with meat and top with pepper relish mix.

Antipasto pasta salad
1 lb penne pasta, cooked al dente
1/2 lb Genoa salami
1/2 lb sandwich pepperoni
1/3 lb provolone cheese --will use fresh moz. cheese the next time
fresh Basil
1/2 jar of marinated mushrooms, drained and chopped
3 TBSP hot pepper relish (I would've used roasted red peppers but I forgot to buy them!)

Slice salami, pepperoni and cheese into thin strips. Coarsely chop fresh basil.
Mix all ingredients in a large container and top with red wine vinegar dressing. (below)

Red wine vinegar dressing
1/2 C. olive oil
1/4 C. red wine vinegar
2 tsp spicy brown mustard
2 tsp Italian seasonings
2 tsp minced garlic

Add all ingredients to a shaker or jar with a screw on lid. Shake well.

Pour over pasta salad and mix well.

Chill pasta salad for at least 4 hours before eating.

We snacked on M&Ms and other candies for dessert.

No plans for Superbowl Sunday just yet.


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Sunday Steelers Playoff Food!

WooHoo! We're Superbowl bound!! How exciting is that?!?

I'm trying to come up with some easy recipes that will allow me to spend my day in front of the TV on Sunday watching the playoffs! (Yes, I'm a football freak ...especially when my Steelers are playing!!) I'll be there in the afternoon rooting for the Eagles to win their game --bring on the Turpike Bowl!! ;)

For afternoon snacking, I'm making:

Brown sugar smokies

Pepperoni rolls

For dinner I think that we are having:

Crockpot Chicago Style Beef Sandwiches

Antipasto pasta salad

I have no idea what dessert for later that night will be.

I will post pics and recipes sometime after Sunday.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Chinese New Year Good Fortune Cupcakes

Chinese New Year 2009 - The Year of the Ox- will fall on January 26th and will mark the 15 day long festivities beginning on the said date and going on till the 9th February.

Good Fortune Cupcakes
Whip up these Good Fortune cupcakes to share your wishes of good fortune for the coming year. According to Chinese tradition, red is the symbol for fire that scares away evil spirits. The markings on the cupcakes represent good luck.

What You Need
1 box of yellow or white cake mix
1 can of vanilla icing
red & yellow paste food coloring
cupcake liners
good luck pattern

What You Do
Prepare cake mix as directed. Line muffin tins with cupcake liners and fill 3/4 full. Bake as directed and allow to cool thoroughly before icing.

You will need 2 bowls: one for red icing, the other for yellow icing. Use the paste food coloring to color the icing. You will need quite a bit of red food coloring to achieve a deep red color. Make sure that you tint enough red icing to decorate all of the cupcakes because it is nearly impossible to match the same color red for a second batch.

Frost the cupcakes red. Add the yellow icing to a baggie, creating an icing bag. Snip the very end of the bag creating a tiny whole. Draw the Chinese Symbol for "Good Fortune" (see pattern) on top of the cupcakes.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Chicken Barley Stoup

I found the original recipe for this "stew" in our local newspaper a few weeks ago. I've made so many changes to it, that I've decided not to print the original recipe, instead I'm sharing my own recipe.

I call it a "stoup" because it is thicker than a soup, yet thinner that a stew. It's smells wonderful while it's cooking. There's a lot of ingredients and each one helps to make the stoup delicious.

The recipe calls for giardiniera - aka: Italian pickled vegetables. (here's an example) You can find it with the other pickled veggies and relishes in your stores. Until this recipe, I had never even heard of this product, although I've eaten other pickled vegetables before.

Like I said, the list of ingredients is pretty long but it's worth it.

Chicken Barley Stoup

2 carrots, diced pieces
3 potatoes, diced small (turnips would sub good)
1/3 C. olive oil
1/2 C. giardiniera, drained and diced into tiny pieces (reserve liquid)
3 C. of shredded rotissere chicken
1 lg. can of chicken broth
3/4 C. white wine
1 lg. can of diced tomatoes in tomato juice
1 C. quick cooking barley
1 tsp. Italian seasonings
3 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp black pepper
shredded Parmesan cheese for topping
cooked rotini pasta (optional)

Add chicken broth, wine, 1/4 C of the reserved liquid from the giardiniera mix and tomatoes to a large pot over medium heat.

Peel and dice potatoes and carrots and add to pot. Continue cooking while you assemble the rest of the ingredients.

In a large frying pan, add 1/3 C. olive oil. To the oil add the giardiniera, chicken, Italian seasonings, garlic and black pepper. Saute until lightly browned, adding a few TBSP of broth to the mix while browing. Once the mixture has browned, add all if it to the broth. Stir well.

Lower heat, partially cover the pot with a lid and continue cooking for 20 minutes.

Add the quick cooking barley and cook for an additional 12 - 14 minutes or until the barley is done.

Ladel into bowls (over rotini noodles, if desired) and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

**The 3 other members of my family feel that all soups must be served over pasta. My mood at dinnertime determines whether or not I add pasta to my dish. I didn't add any to this particular stoup because of the potatoes and barley in it. It was delicious.

TWD - Savory Corn and Pepper Muffins

This week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe, Savory Corn and Pepper Muffins, was chosen by Rebecca of Ezra Pound Cake.

I hate to say that I've made yet another corn muffin recipe that my family didn't like ...but it's true, no one liked them. I loved the way they looked when they came out of oven...very country homestyle.

One bite into them, though, and they crumbled all over the place. They were very dry. My search continues for a good moist, sweet corn bread/muffins. I'm sure that those who added extra sour cream to their recipes greatly improved the texture.

The only pepper that I used in my recipe was the black pepper. I knew that my family definitely would not eat them with the other peppers in there.

I've read that many other TWD followers had great success with this one so if you would like to check out their pictures and tips, you can click here to check out their blogs.

Happy Cooking!

Monday, January 12, 2009

A wonderful award!

Check out my beautiful butterfly award!

Michelle, from Something New is Cooking, gave me this butterfly award for having a blog that she really likes! You must check out her blog. She makes the yummiest recipes! I am always starving by the time I leave her blog.

Thank you so much, Michelle! My blog will wear it with pride!

I'm passing the butterfly on to a few of my favorite blogs because they make me smile when I visit them:

Amanda's Cookin'

Maier Memories

The Omnomicon

Thanks for smiles, ladies!

Crockpot Swiss Steak - Cooking with Alicia and Annie Contest

Tonight's dinner was Crockpot Swiss Steak from Annie's Recipes.

I love trying different recipes in my crockpot. This recipe for Swiss steak is quite similiar to my "Chicken Cacciatore in a Crockpot" recipe that I've been making for years. (my Chicken Cacciatore recipe is at the end of this entry). The beef is a nice change up from the chicken. It smells like stuffed green peppers while it is cooking

This is another entry for into the January edition of the Cooking with Alicia and Annie Contest.
Click here to see the prizes that you could win this month if your recipe is selected and also to see all of the delicious recipes that have been made!

Here is the recipe with any changes that I've made highlighted in red:

Crock Pot Swiss Tenderloin Or Steak

2 tbsp. oil
2 1/2 to 3 lbs. meat
3 lg. carrots, diced
3 lg. stalks celery, diced
1 med. or lg. onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 tbsp. Cajun spice
1 tbsp. Creole seasoning
1 tbsp. parsley flakes
1 tbsp. oregano
1 qt. tomatoes, crushed


Put oil in heavy pan. Add meat and brown on all sides. (Do not cook past browning.)

Put meat in crock pot.

Add carrots, celery, onion, green pepper, and all spices.

Put 1 cup of water in browning pan and cook loose all the "Brown". - If you use a nonstick pan, this step is not necessary and the water will make your sauce very thin. Pour over meat and vegetables.

Add crushed tomatoes. Add water to cover meat, if necessary.

Cover. Turn crock pot on High in the morning, it's ready for supper at night.

Great over mashed potatoes. I served it over Jasmine rice.

One more tip: Make sure that you have 6-7 hours to cook this on high to allow enough time for the vegetables to soften. The meat was tender at around 4 1/2 hours so to lessen the whole cooking time, I will partially steam the veggies before adding them to the crockpot the next time.

Everyone in my family who I thought would enjoy it, did - my husband, my son and I. My daughter, on the other hand, is 5 1/2 and has sworn off anything to do with tomatoes or anything that resembles spaghetti sauce. She knows, as a rule, that she has to try at least one bite of it so we managed to get through that and then she moved on to eating plain rice with some meat and veggies with as much of the sauce drained off as possible. I hope that she outgrows this stage soon!

Chicken Cacciatore in a Crockpot

Starting from the bottom up in a crockpot:

4 lg. boneless chicken breasts
2TBS of Italian seasoning
onion powdergarlic powder--both powers, use amts that you like. We like a lot of seasonings.
1 lg. green pepper, diced into small chunks
1 onion, diced into small chunks
1 sm. pack of button mushrooms, chunked into pieces

Pour over everything:
2 cans Rotel or similiar tomatoes
1 C. chicken broth

DO NOT STIR -- It will cook down together.Cook on High for 4 hrs.

Remove chicken to a plate and shred with 2 forks.

Add the chicken back into the crockpot mixture.

At this point, you could thicken the mixture if you like a more "gravy"-like sauce. I didn't thicken it.

Serve over rice.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Blog Cleaning

I've packed away all of my Christmas decorations away here at home so now it's time to do the same thing with my blog. I'll be changing things around for the next couple of days so please bear with me. I want to brighten things up again. :)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Crockpot Brownie Pudding Cake - Cooking with Alicia & Annie Contest

Do you have a craving for chocolate? This easy dessert will take care of that!

The wonderful thing about this recipe is that it cooks in the crockpot while you are eating dinner. By the time you have finished eating dinner, have cleared the table and are well on your way to resting your belly down (the time after dinner so aptly named by my son when he was 2), a rich, ooey, gooey, chocolatey dessert will be waiting for you in the crockpot.

This dessert is very rich and can easily be stretched to feed 8 people if you add a small scoop of ice cream or whipped topping to go along with it.

(Crockpot) Brownie Pudding Cake

1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup water
2 Tablespoons cocoa
2-1/2 cups brownie mix (half of a 21.5-oz. pkg.)
1 egg
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 tablespoons soft margarine
1/4 cup water
1/4 to 1/2 cup milk
chocolate chips
1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped walnuts


Combine 3/4 cup water, brown sugar and cocoa in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. (please ignore the reflections.)

In the meantime, combine the remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk together or mix well with a spoon.

Spread the batter evenly in the bottom of a lightly buttered slow cooker.

Pour boiling mixture over the batter. Cover and cook on High for 2 hours; turn heat off and let stand for another 30 minutes.

Spoon into dessert dishes while warm. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

One change that I made:

My husband and kids aren't crazy about nuts in desserts so I left them out of this one. Instead, I added 3/4 C of chocolate chips - 1/2 C + 1/4 C in place of the nuts.

The 1/4 C. of peanut butter could not be tasted. I'm sure it helped to keep the pudding/cake moist. If you wanted more of a peanuty taste, you could use 1/2 C. chocolate chips + 1/2 C. peanut butter chips to the recipe. You could even add chopped peanuts to it, too.

Everyone agreed that this one is a keeper. You definitely couldn't eat this too often. As a treat, though, it's delicious! I followed the recipe exactly as it was printed. You can see the original recipe at Annie's Recipes.

This recipe goes toward an entry into the January Cooking with Alicia & Annie Contest.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Raspberry Fluff Pie

For the last couple of weeks I've been trying to clear my cupboards of the stockpiles of candies, chocolate chips, pie crusts...and all of the other tempting sweets that I am not giving a chance to call my name once I start low-carbing again.

After looking through several no-bake cheesecake recipes, I came up with this Raspberry Fluff pie recipe. It's not at all like cheesecake, instead it's more fluffy (hence the name).

Raspberry Fluff Pie

1 small box Sugar-Free Raspberry Jello
1-8oz package cream cheese, softened
3 TBSP sugar
1/2 C. milk
1 small tub of Cool Whip
1 graham cracker crust

Cream together Jello, cream cheese, sugar and milk until it's smooth and creamy. Fold in Cool Whip until combined. Pour mixture into the crust. Cover and refrigerate for 4-5 hrs. or until firm. You can set it into the freezer for 30 - 45 minutes for a speedier set up.
Everyone seemed to really like it--even my son, who doesn't usually eat any type of pie. This would be good made with any flavor jello that you have on hand.

Good Luck Pork & Sauerkraut

Do you eat a particular food or meal on New Year's Day that is said to bring good luck if eaten on this day? For as long as I can remember, my Mom always cooked some type of pork and sauerkraut together. I try to carry on the tradition for me - my family won't touch sauerkraut!

Eating pork sauerkraut on New Year’s is an old Pennsylvania Dutch tradition that is said to bring good luck. The pork and sauerkraut is served together, with the sauerkraut representing luck (the cabbage leaves are said to resemble dollar bills) and the pig representing rooting into the New Year.

Since my family won't eat the pork if it's cooked together with the sauerkraut, I cooked the pork roast in a crockpot with a little apple juice and a bit of ground cloves until I could shred it with a fork - on high, I cooked it for 5 hours.

In another small crockpot, I added 1 can of sauerkraut, along with 3 TBSP of brown sugar. I cooked it on low while the pork was cooking. While looking around on the 'net, I found this sauerkraut website. Granted, it's not for everyone but if you like sauerkraut, check it out. :)

Once the pork was done cooking, I shredded the whole thing and then added some of it to the sauerkraut to cook for another 1/2 hr to blend the flavors. The rest of the shredded pork went into gravy, which I served over egg noodles for the rest of the family.

Happy 2009!

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