Sunday, May 27, 2012

Recipe #166: Mountain Apple Cobbler

My sister found this recipe on and made it while visiting this weekend.  IT WAS AMAZING.  Really super easy but SOOO good.  If you don't want to go through all the work of apple pie, but want that hot baked apple cinnamon deliciousness, try this!


  • 2 (8 ounce) cans refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 2 large Granny Smith apples - peeled, cored, and cut into 8 wedges each
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle caffeinated citrus-flavored soda (such as Mountain Dew®)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  2. Unroll the crescent roll dough, and separate the sheets into individual triangles. Roll each apple wedge into a triangle of dough, and place them into the baking dish, seam sides down.
  3. Mix the melted butter, sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl, and spoon evenly over the dough-wrapped apple slices. Pour the soda over the rolls.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until the top is browned, the apples are cooked through, and the cobbler is bubbling, 45 to 50 minutes.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Recipe #165: Grilled Fish Chipotle Lime Tacos

I had two swai (pangasius/basa/Vietnamese catfish) filets in the freezer for too long, and I decided that with my newfound interest in grilling, it was time to defrost and grill them.  I really like fish tacos, so naturally they were destined for such a meal.  I searched on as usual and found this great recipe.  It was on the spicy side (although Nick and I aren't very tolerant to spicy, so these might be nothing to someone who loves spicy food)... but the flavor was fantastic and very fresh.  The only modifications I made were to use red cabbage, and to omit the cilantro.  Also, I only had a half hour to marinate instead of overnight.

Side note- this fish, which is known by the names basa, swai, and pangasius, is really good.  I've posted about it before.  (see here.)  REALLY cheap (two big filets cost me less than four bucks) but still good and very versatile (and MUCH better than cod, IMO)- light white flakey and not too fishy.  I've seen it in any grocery store I've gone to.

Not too photogenic, but really delicious.


  • Marinade
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon seafood seasoning, such as Old Bay™
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce, or to taste
  • 1 pound tilapia fillets, cut into chunks
  • Dressing
  • 1 (8 ounce) container light sour cream
  • 1/2 cup adobo sauce from chipotle peppers
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon seafood seasoning, such as Old Bay™
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Toppings
  • 1 (10 ounce) package tortillas
  • 3 ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 small head cabbage, cored and shredded
  • 2 limes, cut in wedges


  1. To make the marinade, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, lime juice, lime zest, honey, garlic, cumin, chili powder, seafood seasoning, black pepper, and hot sauce in a bowl until blended. Place the tilapia in a shallow dish, and pour the marinade over the fish. Cover, and refrigerate 6 to 8 hours.
  2. To make the dressing, combine the sour cream and adobo sauce in a bowl. Stir in the lime juice, lime zest, cumin, chili powder, seafood seasoning. Add salt, and pepper in desired amounts. Cover, and refrigerate until needed.
  3. Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat and lightly oil grate. Set grate 4 inches from the heat.
  4. Remove fish from marinade, drain off any excess and discard marinade. Grill fish pieces until easily flaked with a fork, turning once, about 9 minutes.
  5. Assemble tacos by placing fish pieces in the center of tortillas with desired amounts of tomatoes, cilantro, and cabbage; drizzle with dressing. To serve, roll up tortillas around fillings, and garnish with lime wedges.

Monday, May 21, 2012


Until last March, when we got the keys to our house, I didn't have many opportunities to learn to grill since we'd been living in an apartment since we got back from our honeymoon, and I was in an apartment before that.... The time had finally come to buy a grill and do some learning.... but last summer we were exhausted from all the things that come with a new house, and we didn't put much effort into grilling.  Nick made some kebobs and probably burgers, but I never tried anything myself.

Last week I saw some pork chops that were tempting, even though I don't really like pork chops.  Thought I'd try them out again, so I got a pair of bone-in chops that were less than an inch thick, and I coated them in a dry rub and let them sit overnight... The next day I attempted my first ever grilling session, to major success.  DELICIOUS!  MOIST!  EASY!  I was so excited.

(Bone in pork chops, <1" thick, dry rub both sides, ziplock in fridge overnight, grill on med/high heat 5 min/side, let sit another 5 min)

The next day was beautiful too, so it was back to the store for me (luckily at the end of my street), this time to get some steaks and asparagus. I put a different rub on the steaks and grilled those, and to my delight, they also turned out exactly how I like them.  Nick seemed pleased too.

(Dry rub both sides, let sit at room temperature for 30min-hour.  5 min each side or until desired done-ness, let sit about 5 minutes.  Asparagus: snap of woody ends, spray with oil, season to taste, grill five minutes)

Saturday I already had dinner plans, but Sunday, back to the store again to stock up on more things to grill.  Salmon, chicken, more pork chops, portabellas, zucchini, squash.... This time dinner was salmon (pre-marinated by the store) in foil packets, with big chunks of portabellas seasoned with oil and McCormick steak seasoning.

(Marinate salmon filets as desired.  Create foil packets with non-stick aluminum foil or spray with oil and seal well, leaving room for steam.  Grill on medium heat for 15 minutes.  Mushrooms:  cut into large chunks, spray with oil and season to taste.  Grill about 5 minutes)

The salmon turned out extremely moist and flavorful, but also completely cooked through.

Tonight, as long as the weather cooperates, I'm grilling chicken with a side of zucchini and squash.  I bought thin cutlets so they'll probably cook really fast.  I have some marinade I might try, or maybe a different dry seasoning.  I also want to try pizzas, shrimp, ribs........ once I get the basics down, I'll be consulting all of my cookbooks for the "fancy" stuff.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Recipe #164: Ranch Chicken Tacos

I was craving chicken and avocado today at work, so I went to (as usual) and dug this recipe up for dinner.  Cool thing is that if you get the rotisserie chicken already hot and use it right away, it involves NO cooking for a hot meal!  My only change would be to use flour tortillas next time- the corn ones were sort of overpowering with their flavor and dried out almost immediately.  I loved the sauce on this.


  • 1/2 cup ranch dressing
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1 (1 ounce) packet taco seasoning mix, divided
  • 1 tablespoon mild chunky salsa
  • 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 8 (6 inch) corn tortillas
  • shredded lettuce
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1 (4 ounce) can sliced black olives
  • 1 avocado - peeled, pitted and diced (optional)
  • 1 cup shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese


  1. Combine ranch dressing, sour cream, 1 teaspoon taco seasoning, and salsa in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until serving.
  2. Toss chicken with remaining taco seasoning. Cover bowl loosely with wax paper or plastic wrap. Microwave chicken until chicken is heated through, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Warm the tortillas in a skillet for about a minute on each side to make them pliable. Place a scoop of chicken on the tortilla and top with lettuce, tomato, green onion, olives, avocado, cheese, and a spoonful of the ranch dressing mixture.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Recipe #163: Sliders

So easy to make, and definitely good.  Don't forget the pickles!  Yet another recipe from  This makes 24 sliders.  I served them with beer cheese soup, which is a recipe I posted previously.


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 (1.25 ounce) envelope onion soup mix
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 24 dinner rolls, split
  • 1/2 cup sliced pickles (optional)


  1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.
  2. Mix together the ground beef and onion soup mix in a large skillet; cook and stir over medium-high heat until the beef is crumbly, evenly browned, and no longer pink. Drain and discard any excess grease. Remove from heat. Stir the mayonnaise and Cheddar cheese into the ground beef mixture.
  3. Lay the bottoms of the dinner rolls on the prepared baking sheet. Spread the cheese and beef mixture on the bottom half of each roll. Replace the tops. Cover with another sheet of aluminum foil sprayed with cooking spray.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until the burgers are heated through and cheese melts, about 30 minutes. Serve with sliced pickles.