Sunday, September 30, 2012

Cheesy Ranch Rolls

If there are three things that I could not live without in this world- well besides my family (fur and human) I would have to say the three B's.

B-Baked Goods

I know I cheated a little with baked goods, but c'mon I cannot choose between cake, brownies and cookies.  I really love them all.  

I do hold a special place in my heart for bread though.   I am a sucker for any restaurant that serves good fresh bread as a starter.   Bravo- bread is good, but that dipping sauce.... mmmmm  Spaghetti Warehouse- best sourdough and garlic butter ever.  I really must recreate the garlic butter.  Cap City Diner- quite possibly the world's most perfect roll.  I could go on.  But, I will spare you all.   

So I decided to create a yummy roll for myself at home.   I used Rhodes frozen dinner rolls because they are quick and simple.   I used the regular method as described on the package to defrost them.  I them took cheese and wrapped each roll around it.  I spread a little softened butter on top of each roll and baked them.  

I then created a ranch butter glaze for the top.   Delicious.   Seriously- who doesn't love ranch butter?  Ok-if you don't- just don't tell me.  Cause we can't be friends then.  just kidding.  maybe.....

I know that the pictures aren't great, but that is oozing cheese in the middle of that roll there.

I think that I want some more of these rolls right now.  For breakfast.   Now that wouldn't be weird at all would it?   I may have eaten three (or four) of these when I made them.   They would be fabulous as a bread side to pasta or even steak.  



Package of Rhodes frozen dinner rolls- You will only need 12 for this recipe
3 string cheese sticks cut into fourths
2 TBS melted butter
1 tsp ranch dressing dip packet mix

Defrost your rolls.   Take each roll and wrap it around a piece of cheese and place in a baking dish.   You can lightly butter each roll before baking, but this would be optional.   Bake according to directions on package. I baked mine at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.   I watched mine carefully because I prefer my rolls a little underbaked versus overbaked.   Mix your melted butter and dry ranch dip mix together and brush over cooked rolls.   Enjoy.

And if there is anyone out there who can eat just one of these- please let me know so I can meet them in person.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Adventures in Apple Picking

Last weekend I headed to Lynd's Fruit Farm with a couple of friends to pick some apples.   And what a great day we had.  

I always love visiting Lynd's Fruit Farm.   They have a fabulous market place where you can buy Lynd's fresh fruit and vegetables and also freshly grown produce from local farmers.   

Lynd's also produces their own line of jams and jellies.

And the apples.  The apples.   The apples.   I cannot recall what apple variety this is.  But, I did eat a few of them.  And they were delicious.



I had to take this picture.   For my Doodles, Cake Butt and Pie.   Plus, it really was a cool and rusted out old tractor.

I met the sweetest lady when I was at Lynd's.   Jenn had a stand set up at the Fruit Farm.   I saw the cupcakes- swoon- initially but, knew that I would come back later.  And when I did she was almost all sold out!   Jenn was so sweet she gave me a cupcake and chocolate covered oreo to take home to try.   I got to try the Chocolate Caramel Corn Cupcake.   It was amazing.   It you are on the east side and want to try out some delicious cupcakes- check out Jenn's Cupcakes and Confections.   Here is her facebook page.

I am really trying to save some apples to I can try out some apple recipes.   But so far it is not looking promising.   I have been eating them..... 

I guess I will just have to go back to Lynd's to get some more apples.  

If you live in Ohio and the central Ohio area- come visit me and Lynd's.


PS- Lynd's has no clue who I am.  I just like them.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Quick and Simple Meals for One or Two

It seems like the baking and blogging world is filled with recipes from everything to drinks to dessert.   And while I am always willing to try out a new recipe- I do sometimes struggle with some of the recipes out there.   So many are family sized entrees.   And being myself, I find it hard to justify making a family sized recipe.   And I know what you are probably thinking- just freeze or eat the leftovers.   Well- the truth is my freezer is a no man's land of icy frozen blocks of nameless food items.  And leftovers- I can only eat them once or twice and then I am done.   

So, I try to cook meals and food items that are simple and can be made in much smaller portions.  

Here are a few of the items that I have made recently.  

Caprese Pasta Salad.  I even added some bacon to mine.  Because crumbled crispy bacon makes everything taste a little bit better.

An old standby that I love.   Eggs.  I can eat eggs anyway and for any meal.   Scrambled eggs for dinner is a favorite of mine.   For dinner I tend to add veggies and cheese.

And one of my favorites- a cold pasta salad with veggies.  I ended up adding some shredded rotisserie chicken to this pasta salad to add some protein    And my favorite dressing- homemade Italian.   Simple and delicious.

Are there any simple recipes or meals that you make for one or two?  Drop me a message and let me know.  I would love to experiment and have some new recipes to try.


Friday, September 14, 2012

Sweet Corn Salad

I recently tried a sweet corn salad for lunch from a local carry out and decided that I needed(!) to recreate this salad at home.  The flavors and sweetness were amazing and the salad was simple.   Sometimes the best salads and recipes are the simplest ones- they allow all of the flavors and textures to come together.    This salad is no exception.

First you will want to chop some basil, cube some fresh mozzarella and half some baby tomatoes.   These are a sweet gold tomato, but those darling red cherry tomatoes would taste amazing as well.      

Then cook up some fresh sweet corn.  I simply boiled mine on the stove for 5 minutes or so until the corn was tender and just cooked.  Then allow your corn to cool to the point where you can remove the kernels.  Just a  small personal note here.  Does anyone else find that corn removal is messy?  I found my entire counter covered in corn juice and small bits of cooked kernel.  I was tempted to lick the counter.  But I didn't.

Then combine the corn, tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, pepper and a touch of sugar in a bowl and toss.

Amazing.   The corn bursts open in your mouth and the mellow mozzarella and bright taste of the tomatoes are amazing.

I made this recipe as a small side for me- so you may want to double it if you are making it for a crowd.   It makes 4-5 servings.  

4-5 ears cooked corn
1 8 oz mozzarella ball, cubed
1 container of (10.5 ounces) cherry tomatoes
2-3 TBS chopped fresh basil (to taste)
pepper to taste
1-2 tsp sugar (optional)

Hurry up and make this salad before all of the sweet corn is gone.   Better yet- make some and invite me on over for dinner.   I'll bring dessert.  


Monday, September 10, 2012

Almost the end of summer wrap up

August was a busy month.  And it seemed to fly by.  And it is already mid September.   I am feeling a little bittersweet.  I am feeling a little bad now about cursing summer a few weeks ago.  But, then again, it was 100 degrees out with not a hint of relief in sight.   Now, the temperatures are perfect.  The days are around 80 degrees and the nights have been cooler.  Like-sleep-with-your-windows-open cool.   It has been wonderful.   I love fall and look forward to fall every year, but I do admit that I am a little sad about letting go of these beautiful days.   

This past August, I participated in Kayak for a Cure.  A co-worker convinced me that it would be a fun time.  And it was.  I don't know if you know this about me yet, but, I am not a very athletic type of girl.  In fact, I am more like a curl up with a book and cookie type of girl.   So kayaking was bound to be amusing.   I have kayaked a couple of times before but for very brief periods of time.  Luckily, this turned out to be a brief trip as well.   

I actually enjoyed the kayaking quite a bit.  I do think that the surrounding water and landscape was lacking some.   We kayaked downtown on the Scioto.  And it was STINKY.  I think I am a clear river stream- think Brad Pitt in a River Runs Through It- type of girl.  But I coped.  Somehow.  

In August, I also went to the Annual Grove City Balloons and Tunes Festival.  I missed this festival last year, but made it again this year.   It was a little windy this year and as a result the balloon show as not as impressive as in the past.

But, as usual, the balloon glow did not disappoint.  At night, there is nothing like the sight of a hot air balloon glowing in the dusk.  Stunning.  

Since it was too windy for many of the balloons, there were plenty of balloon owners on hand to talk about the craft of hot air balloons. 

I also know that the end of summer brings about the Millersport Corn Festival.   This Corn Festival is an annual tradition.  It has all of my favorite things in one place- food, people watching, corn, donuts and more food.

But seriously, the donuts at the Corn Festival are a BIG thing.   The best part of this festival is that the proceeds go to the non-profits that help run the concession and game booths.  The donuts- in my humble opinion  are one of the biggest fundraisers.   These donuts are amazing- cake style donuts made fresh with a delicious glaze or topping on them.     The vanilla and chocolate glaze ones are my favorite.

It was supposed to storm that night and the sky was amazing all night long.  Here is a shot I took as we arrived at the festival.

And here is the crowning glory- the sweet corn.    They have long stand up tables where you can salt and eat your corn.   The best part.  Standing with a group of great friends and all squealing as we squirt corn juice on each other from each juicy bite.

No festival is complete without candy apples.

Or a tilt a wheel ride.   Especially with an amazing sky in the back.

So long Sweet Corn Festival.  Till next year.  I will try not to eat two dozen donuts again. Perhaps, I will have developed some will power by then.  

 Despite eating my weight in corn and donuts...... I leave you with this.

Hope everyone is having a great end to summer.    I can't wait for all the fall fun to begin.  Hayrides, Haunted Houses, Pumpkins, apple picking..... ohhh I could go on.


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Bacon Wrapped Lil Smokies- quite possibly the best Tailgate food EVER!

So do you wanna knock the socks off of everyone at your next tailgate party?  I have a perfectly delicious and savory appetizer for you to try.  I just want to warn you that these contain bacon.   Bacon.  The reason why I will never ever be a vegetarian.  The food that I consider to be in a food group of its own.   Bacon- one of the items I would choose to take with me to a desert island in the middle of nowhere.  I bet if Tom Hanks had bacon in Cast Away the story would have been entirely different.   Just saying.  

Anyway, here are the ingredients I used to make the glaze.   Ketchup, BBQ sauce, ground mustard powder, red pepper flakes, brown sugar and maple syrup.

And here is also where things get a little sketchy.  I am not so great at measuring things.   When I cook- I tend to let my free spirit go.  And that means I just throw things together.   And trust me- this not such a good thing.   There have been many many failures.  But, I did try to track how much of everything I used because I am trying to be a more helpful blogger.

I whisked the glaze first and set it aside.

Next I wrapped the bacon around the lil smokies and used a brush to glaze each peace of heaven.

This is where the picture turn ugly.  Very ugly.   But even though these smokies looked burnt- okay they were technically burnt- they tasted great.   The glaze baked up very quickly in the oven and the brown sugar likely caused them to burn easily.   So I made a second batch another day and baked them at a slightly lower temperature which helped some.

And here is the finished product.   Not such a nice pic but I was packing them up to take to a friends so we could watch the game.  These are tasty.  Very very tasty.  In fact- my one friend called them little bits of honey baked ham bacon things.

Bacon Wrapped Lil Smokies:

for the glaze:
1 generous TBS ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar
4 TBS BBQ sauce
1 TBS maple syrup
1 tsp ground mustard
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1 pkg lil smokes
I pkg of center cut bacon cut into thirds

Dry the lil smokes carefully and place on cookie sheet in freezer.   Freeze for at least 
30 minutes.  This will help the bacon adhere to the lil smokies.

Keep the bacon cold in the refrigerator until you are ready to wrap the lil smokies.  

Whisk together the ingredients for the glaze and set aside. 

Wrap a  piece of bacon around each lil smokie and place on a cookie sheet covered in foil.   Glaze the tops of each wrapped smokie with the glaze mix.   

Bake at 345 degrees for 35-40 minutes until smokies are lightly browned on top (or slightly burnt on top :) )
I turned mine halfway through to ensure that the bottoms did not brown too much.   

Enjoy.  You can share them if you like.   But there would be no shame in eating them all yourself.  No shame at all.   

Bacon Coma-

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Creamy Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas.

Want a super duper quick and easy weeknight meal?  One that does not involve ordering by a number and talking into a faceless black box.   Well look no further.   Kevin & Amanda has a fabulous recipe on her page for Creamy Chicken Enchiladas.  

And if you keep a better stocked kitchen than I do- I bet you have most of the ingredients already on hand. 

I have been a little weird about cooking meat lately.  So, I bought a Rotisserie Chicken from Kroger's and shredded it.  It worked beautifully.   Plus, I had enough dark meat left over to share with the kitties and mama kitty.  She decided she likes me now that I feed her roti chicken.

Here is a quick-oh-so-not-beautiful Iphone shot of the enchiladas before I put them in the oven.

 And here are the enchiladas all bubbly and browned from the oven.  I love green onions- so I chopped some up and sprinkled them on top.

One enchilada was plenty for dinner for me.  But don't worry this recipe makes 8 large size enchiladas.  I halved the recipe because I have this "thing" with leftovers.  I can only eat them once or twice and then I am "done".  I wanted to make sure I did not waste any of these.   They were delicious right from the oven and warmed up beautifully the next day in my lunch.  

So head over to Kevin & Amanda and make these enchiladas soon.   


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Farmers Market

I realized that August has been a busy month and I have fallen behind in all of my August posts.   So, in typical Marci fashion, I will be sharing August posts in September.   And to be honest, this post is not really about anything in particular.   It is just about color, flavors and smells.   Because I love farmers markets because they tease all my senses.

In Columbus, we are fortunate to have a great many of local farmers markets.  Clintonville has a beautiful one.   Worthington has always been one of my favorites and more recently, my place of employment has offered a farmers market every couple of weeks.   It is still a very small affair with only a handful of vendors there.   But, they do not disappoint with their selection of beauties.  

Take a look at these.   Can you just imagine that burst of flavor in your mouth.   And see those tiny pale orange round ones.  They are called Sun Gold Tomatoes.  And they are AMAZING.   The first burst of flavor is sweet, but the second wave of flavor is classic tomato with a twist.   Truly delicious. 

Look at these tomato beauties.   I did not get to try these, but the color striation is beautiful.

Look at these baby eggplant.   Every shade of purple imaginable.

And baby cabbages so tiny they fit in your hand perfectly.   I need my sister in law to make me her famed cabbage dish.  And SOON!

And I am not sure if these are more eggplant or not.  But, whatever they are- they are beautiful.   Almost too beautiful to eat.

Peppers.  Peppers and more peppers.   If you love peppers you would love the selection here.   My delicate (ahem) stomach cannot handle peppers.  I tend to burp them up later.   Like much much later.  Like you really do not want to be eating peppers this many hours later.   So, I try to limit my pepper intake.

And more pepper- the hot kind and tomatoes.

Again, there was no point at all of this post other than for me to ooh and ahh again at all the colors and smells that a Farmers Market brings.   Do you have any favorite Farmers Markets in your area?


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Who am I rooting for??

Football Season starts today!!!  And you do know what football I am talking about right?  Why I live in Buckeye COUNTRY!!!  And I am a proud graduate of The Ohio State University.   So, naturally, I bleed scarlet and grey- except when OSU plays my other Alma mater- Miami University.  

So you can imagine that today's game will be a tough one for me.

So who am I going to root for? The winner of course! If you see me today I will be decked in my finest OSU/Miami logo wear I own.   

Go Redhawks!!
Go Bucks!!
Go Redhawks!!
Go Bucks!!!