Month: February 2014

Move Over Cronut, It’s Time For The NOLA Inspired Croissant-Beignet For Mardi Gras

Move Over Cronut, It’s Time For The NOLA Inspired Croissant-Beignet For Mardi Gras

croissant-beignets-mardi-gras

Good ol’ Mardi Gras is around the corner. I know this because my Aunt is having her annual Mardi Gras party as a segue into lent. She usually does it on Fat Tuesday, but this year will hold it the Saturday night before hand instead… so we can really celebrate NOLA style. I don’t know if I have the word “PARTY” embroidered across my forehead or something, because it seems whenever a celebration is in my family forecast I get elected to help with the menu and decorations. First rule of order: Head to Walmart to pick up supplies. We know we can get pretty much everything we need there…. food, decorations, spirited beverages, festive apparel, and colorful necklace beads.

Today my Aunt and I went over how we would decorate the party, while we were going over the details of the festivities we somehow got on the topic of the cronut.  I told her I had had a delicious one in SOHO the last time I was in NYC, and was craving one right now. She immediately asked if I would make some for the Mardi Gras party. I looked at her like she had nearly lost her mind… I told her “Tia that is not in theme of the party, but beignets are.” Then she said “Beignets take too long to make, since we gotta let the dough set overnight.” I told her “Well, we could make a NOLA inspired croissant-beignets, and it will be reminiscent of a cronut. We could save time and use packaged croissant dough and fry them up right before the party starts.” She loved that idea…. and so it is…. Croissant-Beignets will be served at our Mardi Gras party this year. With only a few more days of planning we gave these croissant-beignets a test run and were in carnival season heaven.

Ingredients for croissant beignets:

  • vegetable oil
  • packaged croissant dough ( I used tubed pillsbury )
  • powdered sugar

Directions:

  1. In a small pot filled halfway with vegetable oil, over a medium flame allow the oil to get hot.
  2. Pop open croissant dough and unroll it to make a flat sheet. Then cut it into small triangles. croissant-triangles
  3. Fry the triangles on each side for about 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown. Spoon hot oil onto the triangle as it cooks.  _MG_1329 _MG_1340
  4. With a slotted spoon remove each triangle and place on a paper towel lined plate to drain.
  5. Pour powdered sugar through a sieve and shake over beignets. powdered-sugar-beignets
  6. Serve and enjoy!

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Spicy Sausage Mushroom Lasagna Rolls

Spicy Sausage Mushroom Lasagna Rolls

Spicy-sausage-mushroom-lasagna-rolls

Do you see these? The  blend of melty cheese, noodles, spicy sausage, mushroom, and tangy tomato…. Yeah that pretty much sums up the ideal meal for me….. They are a hybrid of my favorite Italian dish and a touch of spicy Mexican. I can’t live without a dabble of spice.  I made these for dinner and was so thankful I made them into rolls instead of the traditional lasagna because this way, I knew exactly how much I was eating. I could have eaten the whole tray.

LASAGNA1

 

Here is what they looked like before they went into the oven and what it looked like when it come out. Can’t stand it anymore? Make your own. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 – tablespoon butter
  • 3 – cups mushrooms (1 1/2 cups sliced, and 1 1/2 cups minced)
  • 1 – pound of ground sausage (I used jimmy dean- Italian)
  • 2 – tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 – onion (chopped into small cubes)
  • 1 – tablespoon minced garlic
  • 8 – basil leaves (chopped finely)
  • 1/2 – teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 – teaspoons chile pepper (the kind you put on pizza)
  • 1 – teaspoon Lawry’s seasoning salt
  • 1/2 – teaspoon sugar
  • 3 – cups canned chopped  tomatoes
  • 14 – oz. tomato sauce
  • 10 – lasagna noodles (cooked according to package) (I used Barilla)
  • 10 – teaspoons ricotta cheese
  • 70 – baby spinach leaves
  • 1 – cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1 – cup cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 – cup grated parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. In a large frying pan over a medium flame melt the butter.
  2. Add in 1 1/2 cups of sliced mushrooms and saute for six minutes. Then move the mushrooms to one side of the pan making room for the meat.
  3. Then add in pork sausage, with a spatula break it up into pieces while it cooks. Mix it into the mushrooms. Cook the sausage for about 10 to 15 minutes or until completely cooked. Remove and set to the side.
  4. Let’s make the sauce: In a medium pot over a medium flame add in olive oil and allow to get hot.
  5. Add in onion and allow to saute for about 5 minutes.
  6. Add in garlic, 1 1/2 cups minced mushrooms, basil leaves, black pepper, chile pepper, and Lawry’s. Mix to combine. Let it cook for 5 minutes.
  7. Add in sugar, chopped tomatoes,  and tomato sauce. Mix to combine. Let simmer for 40 minutes.
  8. Boil noodles according to box.
  9. Preheat oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit.
  10. Pour 2/3rds of the tomato mixture into a 9×13 pyrex baking dish. Set to the side and reserve the remaining tomato mixture to the side.
  11. Lay the noodles flat on a baking mat or non-stick surface. Then spread 1 teaspoon of ricotta cheese on each of the lasagna noodles. Covering the entire strips in a thin layer of ricotta.
  12. Then lay 7 baby spinach leaves on each strip.
  13. Sprinkle the top of the spinach with 1/4 cup ground sausage mushroom mixture.
  14. Top the sausage mixture with a few pinches of mozzarella cheese, then a few pinches of cheddar cheese.
  15. Take one end of the lasagna noodle and roll it up to the other end of the noodle.
  16. Then place in the tomato based pyrex dish. Continue until all noodles are rolled.
  17. Then once all rolls are in the dish pour remaining tomato mixture over the top.
  18. Sprinkle the tops with parmesan cheese.
  19. Bake for 30 minutes.
  20. Then place under the broiler (set on high) for 2 minutes. Just to brown.
  21. Serve hot.
  22. Spicy Sausage Lasagna Rolls…. who could ask for anything more?
Food Craft: DIY Box Of Chocolates For Valentine’s Day

Food Craft: DIY Box Of Chocolates For Valentine’s Day

DIY-box-of-chocolates-Valentines-day My fiancé is very vocal about his likes and dislikes with everything, in this case, candy.  He is always disappointed with the boxes of chocolates that are store bought.  I can tell you exactly what candy he’ll eat and which he will complain about.  He looks inside the box takes a nibble out of a few pieces then puts them back.  Yeah, he’s that guy.  I guess I’ve gotten use to it, or I just throw them out or eat around the half eaten pieces.

As Valentine’s day approaches I’ve been thinking about chocolates and all the things my fiancé really does love….then I thought that I should just chocolate dip all his favorite treats. I’ll include savory, tart and sweet and create my own assortment of chocolate bites. I could recycle Valentine heart boxes from years past and spruce them up with a new lining. He’ll be so surprised and pleased.  That’s exactly what I did.

I started the project by heading to Walmart to pick up Valentine tissue paper (for the inside of my recycled boxes), stick glue, chocolate chips, marshmallows, and BACON!  If I was going to make my own box of chocolates it would have to have heart shaped bacon in it.  He lives to eat bacon so why not cover it in chocolate?

heart-shaped-baconIt was a real easy process.  I just shaped a few slices of bacon into hearts on a cookie sheet and baked them for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.  The rest was super easy and I believe he is going to be thrilled.  You can always custom make your own DIY box of chocolates with the treats your sweetheart loves most.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Ingredients-for-box-of-chocolates

Things needed for DIY box of chocolates:

  • A heart shaped box ( I used a few I had from years past)
  • Valentine tissue paper
  • pencil and scissors
  • 2 – cookie sheets
  • wax paper
  • 1 – package bacon (shape each slice into a heart on a cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees fahrenheit for 15 to 20 minutes)
  • 1 – paper towel
  • 1 – paper plate
  • 1 – bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 – tablespoon coconut oil
  • mini pretzels
  • strawberry marshmallows ( I used Kraft)
  • kumquats (I used Melissa’s Produce)

Directions: 

  1. Place a piece of tissue paper into the inside of a heart shaped box.  Then with a pencil lightly trace the outline of the inside of the heart.  Next remove the paper and cut it out with the scissors.  Place the heart on the bottom layer of the box. tissue-paper-lined-heart-box
  2. Line a cookie sheet with a piece of wax paper and set to the side.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.
  4. One the other cookie sheet shape each slice of bacon into a heart, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes (as pictured above).
  5. Remove bacon from oven and place on a paper towel lined paper plate to cool completely.
  6. In a double boiler add in chocolate chips and coconut oil, mix until completely melted.  Pour melted chocolate into a bowl.
  7. Dip in pretzels, marshmallows, kumquats, and bacon.  Place dipped pieces on wax paper lined cookie sheet to firm up completely.  I let them set over night. chocolate-dipped-pretzels    chocolate-covered-kumquats    chocolate-covered-strawberry-marshmallows
  8. Once all pieces are firm, place chocolates into boxes, and give it to your sweetheart.  Valentine-chocolates
  9. Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Ring Pop Cake And Jewelry That Sparkles!

Ring Pop Cake And Jewelry That Sparkles!

IMG_8829 I pull inspiration from anywhere I’m at.  I look for the edible in almost any object or thing. For instance,  I was looking at the jewelry at Walmart and was pleased to find not only pieces so reasonably priced but sparkly pieces that inspired me to run home and bake some Valentine’s day treat.

djejej1 SKCXCJCKD1There was one ring in particular that was dainty and had a pretty red heart made of jewels in the middle. Not only did I see a ring I would pop on my finger, but I thought how fun would it be to make a ring pop cake that formed a pretty heart in the middle?

jiop[-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I wouldn’t mind getting either one or both of  these rings for Valentine’s Day! One for my finger and one for sweet cravings.IMG_8838

Ingredients for ring pop cake:

  • 1 – heart shaped pan
  • 1 – box strawberry cake mix (along with eggs, water, and vegetable oil- per ingredients/measurements on box)
  • 1 – can of strawberry icing
  • ring pops
  • conversation hearts

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven according to cake mix box… most likely 350 degrees fahrenheit.
  2. Spray heart shaped pan with non stick baking spray, and set to the side.
  3. Mix cake mix according to cake mix box, then divide batter in half, and bake the first half of the batter in heart shaped pan for 25 minutes.
  4. Allow the cake to cool for 30 minutes, then flip it on to a plate, and allow to cool completely.
  5. Then bake the other half of the cake batter for 25 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and allow that cake layer to cool completely. About an hour.
  7. Spread a thin layer of strawberry icing on the first later of cake then top with second layer of cake. Spread icing on the entire cake.
  8. Then press the ring pops into the top to form a heart. With any additional icing, frost over the ring portion of the ring pop.
  9. Fill the center with conversation hearts!
  10. Enjoy!

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Strawberry Ice Cream Sandwich: A Cool Valentine’s Day Treat

Strawberry Ice Cream Sandwich: A Cool Valentine’s Day Treat

Strawberry-Ice-Cream-Sandwiches

When I think romance or love…. I associate the two with ice cream.  Don’t ask me why.  I guess I picture a couple sharing a banana spilt or going out on a romantic stroll and stopping for ice cream.  Or maybe it’s because me and my fiance eat ice cream side by side when watching a good movie or talking out on our patio on a warm night.  Or maybe because it is so darn good and why wouldn’t I equate it with love.  I actually love it.  To get to my point, I was sorta giving you the back story with the ice cream and love bit.  This Valentine’s day,  instead of making reservations to a restaurant I’m thinking of staying home and making a yummy dinner instead, and when I asked my sweetheart what he wanted he wanted for dessert he was very specific and said “Haagen-Dazs Strawberry Ice Cream.” In my head I danced with joy thinking this will be the easiest dessert I have ever made and it will be pink and so suitable for Valentine’s Day.  I looked at him and said “No problem hot stuff.”

The beauty of this Valentine’s Day dessert/treat is they are so easy to make.  I bought everything for the ice cream sandwiches at Walmart, and the ice cream was only $3.98.  My guy is a cheap date.  Happy Valentine’s Day!

_MG_0978

Ingredients for strawberry ice cream sandwiches:

  • 1 – pint Haagen-Dazs Strawberry Ice Cream
  • 1 – box World Table Chocolate Caramel Cookie Thins
  • candy heart decorations

Directions:

  1. Remove ice cream from freezer for 10 minutes.
  2. Take a cookie and place a single scoop of ice cream in the center. Strawberry-ice-cream-on-cookie
  3. Top ice cream scoop with a cookie.  Press down to sandwich. _MG_1004
  4. Decorate the sides with candy hearts. _MG_1014
  5. Place back in the freezer for 30 minutes or until ready to eat! Valentines-ice-cream-sandwiches

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More Work Is Exactly What We Need!

More Work Is Exactly What We Need!

american_jobs

I am proud to say I work for Walmart.  They do so many things for our nation that no one talks about.  Here are a few things that Walmart does: They are working to become supplied 100% by Renewable Energy, which means generating their own energy at stores and facilities, reducing gas emissions and making their private fleet of trucks more efficient.  They are also are in partnership with the national fish and wildlife foundation and together they created “Acres For America.”  This is a commitment by Walmart to purchase and preserve 1 acre of wildlife habitat in the U.S. for every acre of land they develop on.  Fighting Hunger In The U.S.  Walmart is committed  to getting the best, healthiest, and most affordable food to as many people as possible.  They are using their size and scale to help support and strengthen local farmers and their communities, produce more food with fewer resources and less waste, and sustainably source key agricultural products.

Recently I was having a conversation with a highly influential food writer, and she brought up a wonderful point to me that brought all things into perspective being a girl who thinks in terms of food.  She said (I’m paraphrasing),  “It’s easy for people to take a piss on Walmart, they are the world’s largest retailer making them an easy target.  I give them all props and credit for bringing organic foods into their produce section.  The little bit of organic foods they have brought in is going to make a huge difference to our nation’s view to eating better and in turn help the farmers and the economy.  They are taking a huge step forward by introducing healthier options to the American diet.” I loved her for saying this.

1901881_10152293759749236_1263964190_nNow I am even more proud to stand with Walmart and announce to the world their latest commitment to create and keep jobs in America. Walmart is investing $250 billion in products that will support American jobs over the next 10 years. Creating and keeping jobs in America, they are helping to rebuild local and national economies. Work is a beautiful thing. 

All of these facts are amazing and make me proud to join the Walmart Moms for a better tomorrow.

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Caldo De Costilla De Res

Caldo De Costilla De Res

caldo-de-costilla-de-res

Brrrrrrrrr. It is seriously cold…. not only outside but inside our house too. You see, we have impeccable timing here at Presley’s Pantry.  Let me tell you what happened.  Mando,

unnamedmy fiance, is an insane clean freak, and as usual he was vacuuming our wood floor and got a little too close to the heater / pilot and blew it out.  Great, on the coldest week of the year.  So he tried to re-light it against my judgement, but for some unknown reason it won’t light.  We called the gas company and they won’t be here until Monday. By that time the cold will probably be gone. Of course I go into panic mode and start putting pounds of warm layered clothing on my 4 year old, which made him think he was going outside to play.  Once the family was all bundled up, I acted like the apocalypse was near and rushed out to my closest Walmart to stock up on a bounty of hearty foods to prepare to keep us warm on the inside.

I found a bag of Idaho potatoes, short ribs, carrots, celery…. I thought “We are going to eat hot bowls of caldo de costilla de res.  I’ll make a big batch and it will last a few days.” So much for that idea.  I did make a big batch but it was gone in a matter of minutes.  That’s what happens when friends find out caldo de castillas is being made.  Looks like I’ll need to head back out to restock.

short-ribs-and-veggies

Ingredients for caldo de costilla de res:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 1/2 – pounds short ribs (bone in)
  • 1 – teaspoon salt
  • 1 – teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 – onion (sliced big)
  • 5 – carrots (peeled and cut into 2 inch chunks)
  • 6 – celery stalks (ends cut off and cut into 2 inch pieces)
  • 4 – garlic cloves (peeled and smashed to bust open)
  • 1 – bay leaf
  • 2 – chile de arbol
  • 1 – can mexican beer ( I used Tecate, but feel free to use Modelo, or Corona)
  • 72 – ounces chicken broth (9 cups)
  • 1/3 – cup fresh cilantro
  • 2 – zucchini (cut into 2 inch pieces)
  • 3 – potatoes (peeled and cut into big chunks)

Directions:

  1. In a large dutch oven over a medium flame add in vegetable oil and allow it to get hot.
  2. On a cutting board lay out short ribs and season with salt and black pepper.
  3. Add short ribs to dutch oven and fry on all side to brown for about 10 minutes. short-ribs-frying fried-short-ribs
  4. Add in onion, carrots, and celery.  Place the short ribs on top of the vegetables to allow veggies to cook for about 7 minutes. fried-short-ribs-with-veggies
  5. Preheat oven to 385 degrees fahrenheit.
  6. Add in garlic, bay leaf, and chile de arbol.  Pour beer over the ribs. tecate-over-the-short-ribs
  7. Add in chicken broth and cilantro then bring to a boil.
  8. Once the broth is boiling, add the lid to the dutch oven and place in the oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  9. Then remove the dutch oven from the oven and place it back on the stove top over a medium flame and add in the zucchini and potatoes. zucchini-in-short-rib-soup
  10. Cook on the stove top for an additional 25 to 30 minutes or until the zucchini and potatoes are cooked all the way through.
  11. Serve with corn or flour tortillas.
  12. Eat This Now! caldo-de-res

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