Thursday, October 25, 2012

Cheddar Smashed Potatoes

            Guess what? No, Food Network didn’t hire me yet! No, I didn’t find another slow cooker recipe yet either! Okay, I’ll stop…..The news is that I’ve moved! YooHoo!!!! New house, new town, new kitchen, new goodies from my Shower that I haven’t used, new neighbors…..Ohmygoodness, I’m knee-deep in boxes and smiles to say the least!

                So this clearly explains why there wasn’t a post last week. I do apologize. No more tears my friends; I somehow managed to whip something up for today. This is my first blog post from my new kitchen! So since I wasn’t about to dabble into Crème Brulee or Lobster Thermidor this week, I went with something hearty, easy, and a good for a cool evening. The results were awesome, although this recipe makes a ridiculous amount of spuds for 2 people! No sweat though, I plan on frying up the remains this weekend for some crispy croquettes to munch on! Now if I could only find that box with my Fry-Daddy?!? Enjoy….

Cheddar Smashed Potatoes
Servings: 6-8

OBJ: TLW demonstrate an ability to use her new electric hand mixer

8 red potatoes- quartered or halved
½ C Whole milk + ¼ C fat free half and half
3 TBS unsalted butter
¼  tsp dried parsley
1/2 -3/4 C shredded cheddar

1. Place potatoes in large pot of water, bring to boil, let cook 20 minutes or until fork tender
2. Meanwhile, heat butter and milk & ½ and ½ , set aside warmed
3. Once potatoes are cooked, strain, place back in pot, add ½ butter/milk mixture, cheddar,  parsley, s and p and use mixer to blend – adding more butter/milk mixture as needed- blend to a chunky consistency of your liking
4. Top with additional cheddar, cover pot to let melt, bring to table and enjoy!




Thursday, October 11, 2012

Crock Pot Chicken Fajitas

        I know, another Crock Pot/Slow Cooker recipe. I apologize for the monotony. It is just that once I take that big ol’ magic machine out, I am more likely to use it. You agree?
            So since I haven’t put it away since BBQ Beer Chicken, I decided to use it and hence, found this recipe. Verdict: it is a slam dunk worth a standing ovationJ

            I added 1 ½ cups chicken broth but the original recipe calls for 1 ¼ to 1 ½- They came out juicy-uicy, but the amount of broth was significant so you sort of have to let the drippings drip before you layer on your fajitas. BUT, if you were to serve over rice, the results were perfecto! I, honestly, wouldn’t change the broth amount either way, but as your kitchen side-kick, I just want to keep you best informed. Enjoy...
Crock Pot Chicken Fajitas

Slightly adapted from: Stacy Makes Cents
Serves: 4
OBJ: TCW be able to make a great Tex-Mex dish without the hassle
1 onion, sliced
2 peppers, green & red, sliced
1 ½ lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 ½ C chicken broth
½ tsp salt
2 TBS cumin
1 ½ TBS chili powder
Juice of 1 lime
Fajita toppings: sour cream, salsa, guacamole

1. Combined sliced onions and peppers in the bottom of greased Crock Pot
2. Lay chicken on top in single layer, and then add chicken broth
3. Sprinkle everything with salt, cumin and chili powder
4. Sprinkle lime juice over
5. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours, (FYI- I cooked for 10- they were great)
6. Uncover Crock pot, shred chicken with 2 forks, mix gently into juices and peppers/onions
7. Bring to table and assemble with the tortillas and toppingsJ

Thursday, October 4, 2012

BBQ & Craft Beer Fest 2012

BBQ & Craft Beer Fest, Monmouth Park

            Think you love BBQ? Do ribs, pork, brisket and chicken all seem to fall under the same, “low and slow,” category in your mind? If you answered a yes to those two questions, then I have one more for you…Could you handle 24 dishes, finger-lickin’ smothered and smoky, in 2 hours? Well, I don’t know how you answered that one but I do know someone who handled, better yet conquered, an intimidating amount of BBQ…

            And that someone is me, a Jersey Biter who literally had her hands full while judging at Monmouth Park’s BBQ & Craft Beer Fest. It was one event that I’ll, my stomach especially, never forget. From ribs to pork, brisket to chicken, pig candy to gumbo, we ate, analyzed, debated and eventually crowned this year’s 2012 winners. Let’s get to the nitty-gritty…
DRJ Ribs 2
DRJ Ribs

        Best ribs went to DRJ Catering of Toms River for their Dry Rubbed Rib Platter. The hefty ribs were hickory, apple and oak smoked and succulent to say the least.
Memphis Pig Out 2
Memphis Pig Out Pulled Pork
             Best pork was awarded to Memphis Pig Out of Atlantic Highlands for their BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich. Their plate-full of shredded pork was by far my favorite of the day. Juicy would be an understatement for this melt-in-your-mouth heap of happiness.

Ben's BBQ Catering 4
Ben's BBQ Catering Company Smoked Brisket
              As for best brisket, the winner was Ben's BBQ Catering Company of Newark for their Smoked Brisket.  The hearty slabs of meat were impressively smoky, fittingly.

Local Smoke Chicken 4
Local Smoke Whole BBQ Chicken
               And to round out the meat awards, best chicken went to Local Smoke of Cookstown/Neptune with their Whole BBQ Chicken. I honestly was salivating when going through my pictures as this bird was down-right delicious. The dry rubbed and smoked chicken was one to remember, for sure.

Ben's BBQ Gumbo 2
Ben's BBQ Catering Company BBQ Gumbo over Rice
             A best barbeque specialty award went to Ben’s BBQ Catering Company for their BBQ Gumbo over Rice. The flavors never seemed to stop while with each spoonful the heat escalated nicely.

            Needless to say, I had my fill of BBQ that afternoon. I don’t think I ate until lunch the next day! The funny thing was my first thought when I opened my lunch:  Man, I wish I took leftovers!
Yum yum...
                  To read more about this event and see additional pics, check out .