Sunday, November 28, 2010

Turkey & Garlic Bread Sandwiches with Caesar Spread....Rockin' Those Leftovers!

What’s better than sliced bread?  Sliced bread with garlic, butter, and herbs, toasted to a golden brown of course.  Unfortunately, the Pepperidge Farm Texas Toast box already made that statement clearly on the back of their packaging, and so I had to come up with something better.  So what is better than sliced bread with garlic butter and herbs on it?  An entire sandwich made with the buttery herby bread goodness!    What’s even better than that?  You can use your leftover turkey from Thanksgiving to make this AMAZING sandwich!!! 
Turkey & Garlic Bread Sandwiches with Caesar Spread

·        1 package frozen Texas toast (8 slices)
·        Leftover turkey from thanksgiving or fresh deli turkey
·        ¼ cup mayonnaise
·        ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
·        1 tablespoon lemon juice
·        1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
·        1 clove garlic crushed
·        Lettuce and tomato
Obviously, I used the Pepperidge Farm Texas Toast (aaaah…yumm!) for my sandwiches.  Bake the bread according to package directions.  I actually baked them a tad bit longer to make them crispier.

   While the bread is baking mix the mayo, parmesan, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and garlic for your Caesar spread.  This might be a great time to teach your kids the snobby Grey Poupon commercial.  They will roll their eyes at first, but ever so gradually they will catch on to the humor of it.
After the bread is cooled, put together your sandwiches.  Spread each slice with the Caesar mixture, then add the turkey, tomato, and lettuce.
These sandwiches turned out awesome!  You know when you start to debate with yourself… “I think we should throw out some of these leftovers….” and you know you should make turkey stock or soup or whatever and you just want to puke thinking of turkey?  Well, you need to make these.  They are the same sandwiches you would eat inside the Grey Poupon limousine.  Enjoy!

I am linking to these sites....

Keeping It Simple
Its So Very Cheri

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Chocolate Sea Salt Crostini....Bringing It Out With Nutella!

This Chocolate Sea Salt Crostini is all the rave.  It was on the MSN home page the other day and then I Googled it and EVERYONE who is ANYBODY is making it.  Surely I should have a plate of these savory appetizers for my holiday party!  But wait!!!  I always burn things in a broiler.  And is it sweet-n-salty but not too sweet because it is bittersweet chocolate but still good?  I was skeptical but I was also intrigued!  Baguettes and olive oil with chocolate?  Suddenly I was walking down the Champs-Elysées in Paris with the coolest sunglasses and trendiest bag to gather my ingredients for my fine guests.
And then I woke up and realized I was on a military base in Japan.  Nice.
I will link to the video of this fabulous recipe at the end of my post but first, you have to see how I tried.  I really tried.  I tried to buy the finest chocolate and sea salt and fresh baked bread.  I love my Air Force life but you can’t always find exactly what you need in a military commissary.  So, instead of Maldon sea salt and the finest finest bittersweet chocolates I improvised with Morton and several different chocolates….Lindt, Hershey’s, and (oh my goodness....), Nutella! 

Chocolate Sea Salt Crostini

Slice a baguette into even slices, about ½ an inch thick.  Remember when I said I always burn things in a broiler?  Well, that includes the bread in this recipe.  Don’t worry though.  It isn’t the fancy bakery French baguette.  I couldn’t find one here.  This is what I found for bread…..
Yes it was actually called a "crusty sub roll".  This is how I sliced it and the salt I used.

It is classy…I know.  The thing about the “crostini video”, is that it doesn’t say how long you should broil the bread, just that you should cut it evenly.  You really should cut it evenly, but  I am going to vote for the common housewife on this one and guess that, maybe we need an exact time to plug into our Pampered Chef timers, and an exact temperature. I will tell you, through trial and error,  that you put your broiler at 500 degrees (260 C)and you broil the bread for 2 minutes on each side.  If you smell the bread sort of burning…it is already burned.    This is what it should look like if you don’t burn it….
Turn the oven off.  Now drizzle the toasty bread with extra virgin olive oil.  Then press a piece of chocolate in the center.  I did a piece of 85% cocoa chocolate, a Hershey’s Special Dark, a Hershey’s milk chocolate, and a schmear of Nutella on different pieces.  I just didn’t believe that a bittersweet chocolate would work for this….no matter how “savory” the recipe was supposed to be.  Now put the chocolate covered bread into the cooling oven.  After one minute take it out and sprinkle each piece with a pinch of sea salt. 
How did the recipe work for me?  The video said that the higher the % of cocoa the better.  He is a picture of my husband when he tasted the crostini with the 85% cocoa chocolate….
I tried it and the look on my face was even worse (that is why I didn’t post it.) It was really bad.  We then both tried the other chocolates.  The plain Hershey’s chocolate covered ones were too sweet but the Special Dark was really good and the Nutella was even better.
We say Nutella….the reviews on YouTube say all sorts of things!  Read them.  It is funny.  I would serve these to guests with the Nutella or even the Special Dark.  The video says to serve with red wine, but I say no amount of red wine would make the bittersweet chocolate taste good. Do a blob of Nutella like this...
Here is the link I promised to the Food Wishes-Video Recipe .  They are the masterminds who came up with the recipe.  I posted a comment asking them what sort of chocolate they used.  We'll see if I get a response.

Please please please if you get the chance enter my Christmas cookie and craft contest.  I am feeling pretty pathetic because NO ONE has entered yet and it is for a $25 Visa gift card.  Click on this Santa link to enter and win!

I'm linking this recipe here:
The Girl Creative

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Interview

“I   am    thankful   for   the    food    god    provides   us   with.  I    am    thankful    for     my     mom    &     my     dad.  I    am    thankful     for    my    frindes     because    thay    make    me   fell    speshl . “ *
*This is what I  found this morning on my laptop when I opened it up.  By Amber, age 7. (I’m guessing we need to work on the words friends and special.)
It’s somewhere in the 4am-ish zone here, all nice and quiet.  My husband doesn’t understand why this quiet time is different from the quiet I get when he is at work and the kids are at school.  But, it is different.  I love that my family is upstairs all cozy and quiet…..they are home, but not bothering me.  It’s nice.  So with my cup of coffee and nice quiet house I bring you this week’s Writer’s Workshop!
I interviewed my kids yesterday about Thanksgiving. We are 15 hours ahead here in Japan, so our Thanksgiving is over, while you all feast today!  Amber is 7, Allie is 10, and Abbey is 12.  Yeah, they are all A’s….my husband’s idea and I don’t recommend it to anyone.  When I get confused I call them names like Almby and Ambie. Here are the questions and answers….(my thoughts are in parentheses)  The picture of the girls above, is on the Tama river last weekend here in Japan.  Aren't they cuties?
1.      What are you thankful for this year?
Amber: God
Allie: Moving to Japan.
Abbey:  My mom and dad.  They are the coolest parents a kid could have. (Okay Princess Buttkiss)

2.      How much do you think a turkey costs?
Amber: Eight dollars
Allie:  Fifteen dollars
Abbey: About 20 bucks I guess.  Why are you asking me these questions?

3.     If you could invite anyone to Thanksgiving dinner who would you invite?
(These answers described my kids 3 different personalities perfectly)
Amber: Taylor Swift
Allie: Will Ferrell
Abbey: Stephenie Meyer, the lady who wrote Twilight….or maybe Taylor Lautner.  You know mom, the guy who plays Jacob on Twilight.  (ummm…yeah I know)  But you probably would have him wear a shirt at the dinner table huh?  (Yes I would have him wear a shirt.  No I wouldn’t.  Wait, is my 12 year old looking at boys with no shirts? Oh geez…I am not ready for this.)

4.     Is our house clean enough for the president of the United States to come over for Thanksgiving dinner?
Amber: Yes, and I would make my bed for you to help. (awwwww)
Allie : No (Whaaaaaat????)
Abbey : Yes, he can come over but we can’t let him go upstairs.  (Okay, that is probably true.)

5.      What movie do you want to watch while lying on the couch all stuffed with food from Thanksgiving dinner.
Amber: Cats and Dogs in 3D (I have no idea where she got this idea)
Allie : Jaws
Abbey: Jaws

6.     What does your dad do after he eats Thanksgiving dinner?
Amber: He lays on the couch.
Allie: He takes a nap on the couch and watches TV
Abbey:  He gets some chips and salsa and lays on the couch and watches football, and then later he eats some more turkey and sneaks deviled eggs.

Both Amber and Abbey, did not want to interview anymore and I had a Thanksgiving feast to prepare.  We had a wonderful day with some new friends and a couple of single airmen. 
This Thanksgiving I am once again thankful for my military life and the people I meet.  I am especially thankful for all the men and women who serve our country.

Wondering where the Jaws thing came from?  Last year at Thanksgiving the girls and my husband watched Jaws while I was cleaning up our feast.  They LOVED it.  Ironically, Brian was flipping around the channels last night after sneaking another deviled egg, and guess what was on?  Jaws II!!!  Yep, it was some quality family time!!!!
Oh yes…..enter my contest if you can!!  You will probably win because no one has entered.  I’ll be totally embarrassed if no one enters!  Just click on the pic below and post your holiday recipe or craft!  $25 Gift card....anyone?....anyone?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sweet-n-Spicy Garlic Dill Pickles

Sweet –n- Spicy is such a good combination, don’t you think?  My husband makes the coffee every night so all I have to do in the morning, when I am not the most pleasant person, is flip on the switch.  Awwwww…..he’s so sweet.  He also takes my CENSORED and he CENSORED it as he CENSORED CENSORED CENSORED me in bed.  Oooooh….SPICY!
Not only is he a sweet-n-spicy guy but he likes to eat sweet-n-spicy food.  For instance I might make him an egg sandwich for breakfast and he will put salt, pepper, grape jelly, and Tabasco sauce on it.  Don’t knock it until you try it.  I can say that because he force fed me once.  Anyway, he likes this pickle recipe and since there are three jars of it in the refrigerator he’ll probably put them on his egg sandwich this morning.
Sweet-n-Spicy Garlic Dill Pickles
·        One 16 ounce jar dill pickle slices
·        2 cups of sugar
·        ½ to 1 Tablespoon hot pepper sauce (I use Cholula)
·        5 pressed garlic cloves or 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
·        ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Pour ALL of the ingredients in a bowl.  Usually, I make several jars at a time, like five for us and one to give away.  (I can eat a jar of these a day.)
Other recipes call for much less sugar, like just a half of cup.  This is bad.  Don’t make those.  Make mine.  Also, use Cholula hot sauce and not Tabasco sauce like other recipes say.  This is very bad also.  People will not like your pickles if you use Tabasco sauce.  Just make mine.
Where was I?  Oh yes, put all the ingredients in a bowl. (Save the pickle jars because you are going to use them later.) It is okay if you used the garlic from a jar.  Fresh is good, but there is so much sweet and spice going on you won’t be able to tell.  Just don’t use garlic powder....blech!
Now stir the mixture all together until the sugar is mostly dissolved.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 24 hours.  You may want to stir them occasionally if you think of it, but sometimes I forget and they still turn out fine.  Be sure you taste one if you stir it, so you can get an exciting sneak peek of flavor!
Next, take them out of the refrigerator and fill the jars with pickles.  Once the pickles hit right before the rims, pour in the juice.  For some reason I always have a few pickles that I can’t get back into the jars.  It is important that you leave some room for some juice though, so just eat those extra pickles yourself. 
Here’s a little FYI for you.  Re-jarring the pickles gets a kinda messy.  You will want to rinse the jars off after you put the lids back on.  Just in case you don’t know this, when you rinse things off they get wet.   When wet they can be slippery.  When you drop a slippery jar of pickles on your kitchen floor it will break and you will have a sticky, filled with glass shard, catastrophe on your hands.  I am not saying this happened to me, but it might have.

Your pickles are ready to store, eat, or give away after the lids are secured.  If you are going to give them away however, you might want to jazz them up.  It will make your friends feel special.  I decorated mine with a sort of fall harvest theme for Thanksgiving.  I know that I should have fancied up the lids also…..but there isn’t a Hobby Lobby within about 4000 miles of me.  Hope you like my pickles!

A few blogs I follow.....
Keeping It Simple
DIY Club
Sumo Sweet Stuff
Punkin Seed Productions

Sunday, November 21, 2010

These Three Girlies Craft & Cookie Showdown!!!!

I am pretty sure I heard somewhere that when you hit 19 followers on your blog, you are supposed to hold a contest.  It is also the season of giving so I thought, what could be better than a contest with a prize and a chance to share some linky love?  So here it is folks……The Three Girlies Craft and Cookie Showdown 2010!
I am calling out the best of the best!  It is a showdown to see who is the most festive creative artsy-fartsy Martha-like cooking crafter out there!
Why should you enter?  A $25 dollar Visa gift card and bragging rights of course! 
Here’s the Rules:
First you must be a follower of my blog. Then, you must put my fancy showdown link-up somewhere in your craft/recipe post. 

These Three Girlies

 Next, post your blog and pic here.  Finally, spread some Christmas cheer and visit some other links and leave a few nice not naughty!  On December 15th, my talented panel of judges* will determine the winner!

Who decides which wonderful entry wins the 2010 Craft and Cookie Showdown?  These girls do!!!!
Amber Age 7
Amber likes climbing trees, dark chocolate, and wants to be a geologist when she grows up.  For Christmas she wants a doll house.
Melissa (my age)
Melissa likes to copy recipes from other people and usually just buys pre-made crafts instead of doing them herself.  This spring she is running her first marathon.
Roxanne (the same age as a grandma)
Roxanne has unfinished craft project issues and likes to get pedicures.  She is the judge you REALLY need to impress.

Good luck and let the showdown begin!!!!
Party Button

Friday, November 19, 2010

Salsa With a Little Bit of Trash...I Mean Class!

After cleaning up the breakfast dishes this morning I came to the conclusion that I get no joy out of cleaning my kitchen anymore.  Come on…..someone surely understands what I mean.  Like a master architect you fit everything into the dishwasher.  The inside of the microwave is as sterile as an operating room.  The counter is smooth and your Grandma’s old cookie jar stands proudly on display filled with your homemade goodies.  You got all the baked on, caked on, burned on, stuff off of your casserole dish and tiny remaining bubbles pop softly in the sink.  You stand and admire your masterpiece finishing off the last few sips of red wine, in the soft glow of the light from the oven hood.  Romantic huh?  Well, not when you share your kitchen with the washer and dryer like I have to.
Oh it gets better.  Here's my ENTIRE kitchen....
Anyway, I miss my HUGE lovely kitchen in Texas and I had to mope to my husband about my new(old) kitchen here in Japan….and guess what?  No sympathy from the man whatsoever.  He just said, “Honey, you can choose to have a good day or a bad day over this.” (By the way, we say this to our 7 year old.)  I had to just sulk away.  How could a man ever understand the dishonor and mortification I can potentially face in the blogging community with my pathetic little ugly kitchen?  I was feeling like total kitchen trash and was about to cry when Amber(7) said, “Hey mom!  I like Japan!” and handed me a picture of Mt. Fuji that she had drawn.
 I gave her a hug and stuck it on my sparkling clean white refrigerator.  Looking around (no wine in sight), the bright November sun highlighting the washer and dryer (in case you forgot...they are IN my kitchen), I felt joy.
You might think that is the end.  Like I am soooo grateful for all my blessings blah, blah, blah…..but no.  The joy and romance created in the story above quickly dissipated as a pulled out the blender to make salsa for taco night.  You see, I don’t have a red and chrome fancy Oster.  I have this to match the washer and dryer in my kitchen……
So, in my trashy kitchen with my trashy blender I bring you my famous homemade salsa recipe. 

Lynnie's Salsa


·        1 can Original Rotel tomatoes
·        1 can diced tomato with garlic and onion
·        1 small can sliced black olives drained
·        About 10 leaves of fresh cilantro
·        2 teaspoons garlic salt
·        5 to 10 “shakes” of Cholula hot sauce
Okay, this is hard.  Put this all in a blender. 
  You can adjust the amount of cilantro and Cholula to your desired taste.  10 “shakes” of the hot sauce makes a medium salsa.  Now, press “liquefy” for a about 20 seconds.    If you must have chunky salsa you can just stir everything in a bowl and let sit, but I don’t do chunky.  The salsa really gets good flavor after it sits in the refrigerator for a couple of hours.  But remember, we are being “trashy” here.  So, when your husband yells from the sofa, “Woman! I need some chips and salsa for the game…the boys will be here in 5!”… can whip this up.

Did I mention that my washer and dryer are IN my kitchen???