Wednesday, August 4, 2010

New blog address!

Hi LLOR fans,

Since Erin and I  moved back to the US of A this summer, our blog has moved as well.  Check out to continue following our zany cooking and baking adventures.  And guess what?  You'll find all of your favorite posts from LLOR on LLSR.  Talk about convenience!! 

Enjoy our new, but still the same, blog.

Teresa Back in Texas

Monday, June 7, 2010

Summertime Hiatus

Hey LLOR followers,
Erin and I are proud to announce that both of us will be moving back to the states this summer! Most of you may know this already, but we wanted to formally post it so that you don't think we've abandoned you.

As for new recipes, we will be on hiatus this summer until we're settled in to our new homes. In the meantime, please feel free to send us any new stuff you've tried or any new tips you've picked up. And don't forget to refer back to some of your oldies but goodies recipes that you like. Postings may still appear during the next couple of months, but less frequent.

Happy Summer !

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Layered Chicken Parm

Chicken parmesan has always been a favorite of mine, but I confess to liking neither the pain of traditional frying preparation, nor the additional calories that come from fried chicken patties. So, this recipe is a toast to a healthier chicken parm creation.

What you'll need:

1-2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
small container ricotta cheese
fresh basil
tomato sauce, bottled or fresh (recipe below)
balsamic vinegar
extra virgin olive oil
Italian seasoning, to include oregano, marjoram, parsley flakes
salt and pepper
mozzarella cheese
pasta of your choosing

To start:

Marinate the chicken breasts in a mixture of balsamic vinegar and olive oil. I use 1 tbls. vinegar with 2 tbls. of olive oil, adjusting the amount depending on the amount of chicken used, making sure to cover all the breasts with the marinade. Bake the chicken breasts in a 350 F oven for about 30 minutes, or until the chicken's juices run clear. Pull chicken out of stove and let cool down.

Slice the chicken breasts lengthwise in half, essentially slicing them in half so that they are the same length as the original, but are skinnier. In an oven safe dish, place the first chicken breast half. Scoop a dollop of ricotta cheese and place it against the chicken, then add a few leaves of fresh basil. Place the next chicken breast against the basil and cheese, and add another dollop of ricotta cheese with a few leaves of basil. Continue to layer the chicken, ricotta and basil in this fashion until you have used all the chicken breasts.

When you have finished layering the chicken and cheese, smother the concoction with your tomato sauce. Now add a layer of mozzarella, pop into your still warm 350 F oven, and bake until the mozzarella begins to melt, about 20 minutes. In the meantime, boil water and prepare the pasta of your choosing. When the chicken emerges, the ricotta will be soft, the sauce will be bubbling, and your mouth will be watering. Plate the pasta and then serve the chicken over the pasta, using the excess sauce to soak the pasta. You may want to add additional parmesan cheese to the top, but it's perfect just as it is.

Tomato Sauce In a Jiffy

7-8 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped and diced
3 cloves of garlic
4 tsp. Italian seasoning
2 tblsp. butter
1.5 tblsp. extra virgin olive oil
dash salt
dash pepper
fresh basil
3 tsp. sugar
dash balsamic vinegar

When tomatoes are ripe, this sauce is a great use for them. In a sauce pan, melt the butter and then add the olive oil. When heated, crush the garlic cloves and add to the pan. The heat should be medium to low, as you don't want the garlic to brown, but to infuse the oil with its flavor. When the smell of the garlic starts to waft through the kitchen, add your fresh diced tomatoes to the pan and stir. Add the Italian seasoning, the fresh basil, and salt and pepper. Let the tomatoes cook down, and the spices simmer. Add a dash of balsamic vinegar, the sugar, and turn the heat down to low. I let this mixture cook from up to 2 hours before the meal, but I've also made this in a bout half an hour, and it still tastes great. It's an easy alternative to bottled sauce, and tastes really fresh.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Sloppy Joes, Slop, Sloppy Joes....

Ahh, Adam know you love that song.

If you were born in the 70's, you ate sloppy joes for dinner. My mom made these every week and somehow I never got used to the taste. I think it was the green bell peppers which is not one of my favorites. Anyways, this recipe comes from my wonderful Hungry Girl cookbook and I've modified it a bit. The hubby loves these and I think you will too.

You can also use this mixture to combine with some rice and make stuffed peppers, especially if you are trying to cut the bread out of your diet. I've done it both ways, but think it goes best with a nice sesame seed Mrs. Baird's hamburger bun.

Sloppy Joe's
1lb ground beef
1/2 cup white, yellow, or red onions, diced
1/2 cup of red or yellow bell pepper, diced
1 and 1/4 TBsp of Splenda (This is Hungry Girl's lower cal add in. If you want, use sugar instead)
1TBsp of steak seasoning (I use Head's County which I get from Texas. It's my favorite!!!)
Dash of salt
1TBsp Worcestershire sauce
1TBsp red wine vinegar (I would strongly encourage the use of this type of vinegar only because I think it gives this recipe its 'zing'.)
14 oz tomato sauce
2TBsp tomato paste
Hamburger buns

Heat large pan to medium heat. Break up ground beef and begin to cook. Mix steak seasoning, salt, and Splenda in a small bowl and add to beef. Stir and continue cooking for 2 minutes. Add peppers and onion and stir in with beef mixture. Continue cooking for another 5 minutes or until beef is completely browned. Add Worcestershire sauce, red wine vinegar, tomato sauce, and tomato paste. Stir and continue cooking for about 5 minutes. Serve on hamburger type buns.

Easy, huh? So next time your family sings for sloppy joes, give this recipe a try.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Candy Bar Martini

If you were at Festivus de Teresa this year, then you had one of these at the Hayes' house. Blake and I discovered this yum drink at Houlihan's in New Jersey about 6 or 7 years ago. The name there was the Milky Way Martini, but due to that whole branding thing, I've changed the name.

For my overseas folk, if you can't get the liquors at your local liquor store or commissary, check the duty free store. Or, there's always that person headed back from Europe and can probably score you a bottle of what you are missing.

Oh, by the way, these pack a punch (KA-POW) and the effects can creep up on you. Just ask Festivus attendees .

Candy Bar Martini
2 shots of Irish Cream (Bailey's, preferably)
2 shots of white Creme de Cacao (or another milky chocolate liquor)
1 shot of vodka (Absolut is my fave)
2-4 shots of whole milk or 2% milk
Chocolate syrup
Optional: Milky way or 3 Musketeers candy mini candy bars

Combine and mix all liquors and milk. Drizzle some chocolate syrup into the bottom of a martini or margarita type glass. Pour liquor/milk mixture into the glass. Put the candy bar on the rim of the glass by making a small cut into the mini piece. This serves 2 regular martinis or 1 large :).

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Shrimp and Vermicelli

I love using baby shrimp in dishes because they are so dang easy and you don't have to remember the night before to defrost anything. How many times have you decided to have brinner (you know you've done it!) instead of painstakingly running water over chicken or ground beef? This is a dish for you :).

You know from previous posts that I'm a big fan of veggies in dishes and the end of the week veggie drawer cleanout. Keep reading...this one is a good one.

Everything is local with the exception of my handy, dandy spices. If you don't have red pepper flake, substitute something spicy such as hot sauce or cayenne or leave it out if you don't like spicy. Also, a piece of ginger can be chopped up into small pieces and added to the dish instead of the powdered variety that I use.

Shrimp Vermicelli

1 tsp olive oil (or other cooking oil)
Dash of red pepper flake
Dash of ground ginger
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup diced red or yellow bell pepper
1/4-1/3 cup of diced carrot
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup diced white, yellow or red onion
1 package rice vermicelli (If you haven't used this before, it's so easy!!! You'll find it in the Asian section of your grocery store.)
3 vegetable bouillon cubes +6 cups of water or 6 cups of vegetable broth (I'd stick with the vegetable broth for this dish as you don't want the dish masked with chicken or beef flavor)
Soy sauce
1/4-1/2 cup frozen green peas, thawed
2 cups of baby shrimp, thawed by running cool water over
Asian sauce such as sweet chili and ginger sauce (This is optional and I think it gives the end result a little kick.)

Heat large fry pan or wok on medium. Heat 1 tsp of olive oil and add red pepper flake and ginger. Cook for 30 seconds. Add carrot, bell pepper, and salt to spices and cook for about 5 minutes or until crisp tender. Add in onion and garlic and continue cooking until all veggies are tender. While veggies are cooking, warm veggie broth or water +bouillon cubes in microwave. Add vermicelli and allow noodles to soak, separating noodles from each other as they soak longer. Soak for a total of 5 minutes.

Once veggies are done cooking, add noodles to veggies in pan. Turn up the heat just a little. Add some of the broth to the pan to keep noodles and veggie mixture from drying out (about 1/2 to 1 cup). Add a couple of tablespoons of soy sauce. Add a little extra chili flake here if desired. After a few minutes, add peas and until warmed through. Turn off heat. Add shrimp, stir in with noodles and cover. Let sit for about 5 minutes to heat shrimp. Top individual servings with a little Asian sauce. Voila!

I had this leftover today and ate it for lunch. It's one of those dishes that you can eat for lunch the next day and it may have even gotten better!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010!

In yet another attempt at meatloaf, I decided to take the plunge yet again. Could I do it? Could I make a meatloaf that would taste good and my hubby would eat? Could I make a meatloaf that would be good as leftovers tomorrow?

The answer...yes. Seems that if I follow a recipe for this, it does turn out. Alton Brown has always been a fave of mine on the Food Network. I think I like his science kind of geekyness that he portrays on his "Good Eats" show. Others find it annoying, I find it fascinating. This recipe comes from courtesy of Mr. Brown.

Hmmm, I suspect that if you have a fully stocked spice cabinet and also random sauces in your fridge, you can find everything you need. If you don't have Worcestershire sauce, try using soy sauce. While it won't give you that meaty kick, it will give a tang to the sauce topping that you know and love.

3/4 cup garlic croutons (you can also use bread crumbs here, but I happen to need to use up some stale homemade croutons I had!)
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 onion roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic peeled
1/4 red or yellow bell pepper
1 lb ground beef
1 egg

For the glaze:
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 tsp ground cumin
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
Dash of hot sauce
1/2 TBsp honey

Heat the oven to 325 degrees.
Combine croutons, pepper, cayenne pepper, thyme and chili powder in food processor. Pulse until a crumb consistency and put into large bowl. Combine onion, garlic, and bell pepper in the processor and pulse until chopped, not pureed. Add veggie mixture to large bowl with ground beef and mix all together with crumbs/spices. After combined, add the egg and mix well, making sure not to squeeze meat.

Shape into a loaf shape. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet and move loaf onto parchment lined pan. Put into oven.

While meatloaf is cooking, combine glaze ingredients and brush over meatloaf after it has been in the oven for 10 minutes. Allow to cook for about 30 more minutes, or until a meat thermometer reads 155 degrees when placed in the center of the meatloaf.

Pretty easy, huh? This meatloaf tastes great with some mashed potatoes and gravy. Don't give up on meatloaf, readers! This recipe will do you good.