Sunday, October 30, 2011

Quick Beer Bread

Need a hearty bread to make with a warm, comforting stew this Fall?  Try a quick beer bread!!

Beer bread is commonly known as "3-ingredient" beer bread, but mine is not.  It could be, if I had some self-rising flour, but I don't; I made do by adding a leavening agent (baking powder).

Quick Beer Bread
Beer bread is soooo easy.  You can use any type of beer you like.  I used a Coors Banquet Beer because it's what I had in the house.  Wanna give it a go?  Here's what you'll need:

Quick Beer Bread
3 C flour**
3t baking powder**
1 1/2  t salt**
3 T sugar
12 oz beer (1 can)

**You can replace these ingredients with 3 cups self-rising flour if you have it in your pantry**

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix dry ingredients, add beer.
Combine well.
Bake in a bread pan for approximately 50 minutes.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Beef Barbacoa

Oh. My. Yum.  I looooove, love, love, love this Mexican style beef barbecue!!  Through slow cooking the beef with all the earthy seasonings, these bad boys are full in flavor, and in HEAT!

I'm a big fan of the beef barbacoa at Chipotle, so I just knew I had to try making it at home.  After perusing the internet for a few weeks hours, I decided to play with the flavors that most beef barbacoa recipes tend to have.  This is my second time making it, so I made a few slight changes to my liking (or to what I had in my kitchen!!)

Trust me when I say, YOU  MUST MAKE THESE NOW!!  
Beef Barbacoa (Source)
I found most recipes required you to slow cook your beef in a cast iron pot, turning once every hour.  I took my chances and cooked it in a slow cooker like a pot roast, and ta-da!!!  I served mine on a bed of rice and black beans with fire roasted tomatoes.
Beef Barbacoa
Yuh-um!  Here's what you'll need:

Beef Barbacoa
1/3 C Apple Cider Vinegar
4 T fresh lime juice
1 small yellow onion, peeled and quartered
6 cloves garlic, peeled
3T + 1t cumin
2t oregano
1 1/2 t salt
1 t black pepper
3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
3-4 T canola oil
3 lbs beef roast (I used chuck)
2 cups chicken broth

Happy Sunday Monday Funday!!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Frangelico Cream

This neat, rich dessert is a favorite of mine.  I follow the recipe provided from an amazing restaurant called Tippecanoe Place.  I don't know why, but for some reason mine is even richer than theirs, even though it is their recipe.  It's deliciously rich.  I would recommend you serve it with a cup of black coffee after dinner...


Frangelico Cream

Frangelico Cream
1 1/2 cups superfine baker's sugar
3 egg yolks
1 t pure vanilla extract
24 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 pint (16oz) heavy whipping cream

Beat the sugar, egg yolks and vanilla until light and fluffy.
(Save the egg whites for a healthy breakfast!)
Sugar + Yolks + Vanilla

Blend in softened cream cheese and Frangelico
Cream Cheese Mixture

In a separate bowl, beat whipping cream until stiff.
Fold whipping cream into the cream cheese mixture
Whipping Cream and Cream Cheese Mixture Before Folding
Spoon into dessert cups or martini glasses and chill for
3 or more hours.

Happy Sunday Funday!!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Butternut Squash Soup with Sweet Italian Sausage

Today was a simple Sunday Funday!  One of my best gal pals and fellow foodie, Kellie, sent me a picture of a butternut squash soup that she and I had been talking about for a couple weeks.  Like myself, Kellie has been trying new recipes with ingredients she doesn't usually cook with, and has been especially interested in soups, too!  (Must be the cold weather in these midwest states!!)

In previous discussions about soup recipes, Kel and I have been trying to come up with ways to thicken our soups without adding all the fat and calories.  I've pureed rice in soup, added a small amount of flour and lowfat milk, or simply pureed an entire soup.  In approaching this recipe, Kellie decided to completely eliminate the original recipe's request of heavy cream and just enjoy her soup with a thinner texture.  I haven't personally tried this soup, but if Kellie made it and raved about it's delicious flavors, I believe her!!  I can't wait to make this one myself!!

Kellie's Butternut Squash Soup with Sweet Italian Sausage

Butternut Squash Soup with Sweet Italian Sausage

1 large butternut squash, about 3 pounds, halved, seeds removed
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage, removed from casings
1 large onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage, plus 12 whole leaves
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
6 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
2 tablespoons butter

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Pumpkin Soup with (Turkey) Italian Sausage

I have officially made the best pumpkin soup!  I've never had another pumpkin soup, but this one is sooo incredibly delicious, I'm sure it's the best!  Problem is, we ate it all up before I had a chance to shoot a photo of it.  I intended to make the soup again today because I need pictures it was so delicious, but with the recent pumpkin shortage, I'm having a hard time find more pie pumpkins!  Luckily this recipe was adapted from A Mom Not a Pro, so here is a picture of her soup.  Mine looked identical, though the ingredients and methods were slightly altered by yours truly.

Pumpkin Soup with Turkey Italian Sausage (SOURCE)

I kid you not, this soup is fantastic.  I was shared this recipe with a friend and her husband; he loved it so much he said that if I opened a soup kitchen, he'd eat there every day (he's also had my homemade chicken noodle soup, which is coming soon).  Open a soup kitchen?  Gladly!!  Just provide the financial backing and the health insurance to replace my current job and I'M ON IT!  No seriously, someone please pay me to cook all day Just kidding!!

Here's what you'll need:
Pumpkin Soup with (Turkey) Italian Sausage
1 3-pound Pie Pumpkin
Yellow Onion
1 Golden Delicious Apple
Dried Sage
Chicken Stock
Fresh Romano cheese
Turkey Italian Sausage
Salt & Pepper

In the printable recipe you'll see that I have suggested using Jennie-O Hot Italian Turkey Sausage, casing removed.  I chose this because it's healthier than regular pork sausage, but also because the seasonings in the sausage transfer to the soup very well, providing a lot of heat and flavor.  In hindsight, the soup was also probably thick enough to omit the flour and milk to save calories.  So, use your best judgment when making this.
I was also surprised how hard it was to cut through the pie pumpkin, so if you have your mister around, take full advantage of his muscles if he is handy in the kitchen.

Happy Sunday Funday!!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Creamy Lemon Chicken and Rice Soup {Slowcooker Recipe}

Fact:  It is very hard to take a nice photo of a creamy, colorless soup when using a point and shoot camera.

With that being said, I present to you my very first self-created soup!!
Creamy Lemon Chicken and Rice Soup
Whew!  That was hard.  (Not the soup, the photo!)  I know it could have been better, but hey, I'm no pro.

This recipe came about because this weekend found itself to be a little rainy and chilly, which made me hungry for some comfort food.  Checking my refrigerator, I discovered some chicken breasts that needed to be used up quickly.  I found rice and chicken broth in the cabinet, which inspired me to make one of my favorite soups.  Problem was, I had NO CLUE how to make it, nor did I have the time to stand over the stove all day.

So, in the slow cooker went onion, garlic, chicken broth, rice and lemon juice.  I set my cooker on high.

Three hours later, I had a funny looking gel-like soup inside my cooker.  Then I remembered that starchy foods can be used to thicken soups, so I scooped out some soup and stuck in my immersion blender.

Voila!  Creamy soup without all the fat!!

My friend, Colleen, soup lover extraordinaire, came over to test my soup.  We both agreed that the taste was great, but the soup needed more texture.  So today I browned some mini bella mushrooms and cooked some rice, added both to the soup and discovered that I am not so bad at creating my own concoctions!!

Here's what you'll need:
Creamy Lemon Chicken and Rice Soup
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time:  3-4 hours

1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1 garlic clove, minced or grated
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (8oz each)
6-8 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup lemon juice
3/4 cup uncooked rice, plus 1/2 cup cooked
black pepper to taste
mini bella mushrooms (optional)

A Better Shot of the 'Shrooms
Happy Sunday Funday!!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Bananas Foster Banana Bread

I love bananas.  Especially when they are baked in bread.

After 15 weeks of intense diet and exercise a few years ago, I was eager to get back into the kitchen and bake something that I hadn't had in a long time!  I decided on banana bread after stumbling across this incredible recipe.  It's a little more time consuming than a typical quick bread because of the streusel and rum sauce, but it's totally worth it.

Bananas Foster Banana Bread
Are you drooling yet?  You should be.  Here's what you'll need:

Bananas Foster Banana Bread
For the Bread:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
3 medium bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons milk

For the Streusel Topping:
1½ cups chopped walnuts
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup dark brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons butter

For the Rum Glaze:
¼ cup (4 tablespoons) butter
2 tablespoons water
¼ cup light brown sugar
¼ cup dark rum

This recipe is full of so many flavors, but is LOADED in sugar.  I made it for a family event, which I recommend you do this Fall.  It's so good, one slice will satisfy your dessert craving!
 Happy Sunday Funday!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Chipotle Onion Relish

Chipotle Onion Relish

Have you ever tried Harry and David's Pepper & Onion Relish?  It is soooo good!  So good, and so far away.  The closest Harry & David's store near me is 45 minutes.  Too far away for me to drive just for a snack.

What's not too far away? A local farm's fruit and vegetable stand + my kitchen.  I picked up some fresh roma tomatoes from the farm and headed home to whip up my own version of this yummy relish!  I know what you might be thinking... RELISH?  I'm not talking sissy sweet relish for hot dogs here, I'm talking smokey, spicy, salsa-like greatness!

After browsing the web for relish and chutney recipes, I finally decided that I had a good idea as to how to create my own.  Amazingly, I even remembered to use actual measurements as I experimented.  Here's what you'll need:

Chipotle Onion Relish
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
5 small red onions
4 cloves garlic
2 T water
3 large roma tomatoes
1/4 C balsamic vinegar
1/4 C red wine vinegar
1 T honey
3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1/2 t smoked paprika

Serve at room temperature on top of whipped cream cheese and crackers.

If you decide to try out my recipe, please let me know of any changes you made!  This was my first time creating a recipe of this sort.  My mom thinks it would be better if I chopped the onion, but I kind of like how the slices of onion help to identify the ingredients!

Happy Sunday Funday!!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Fried Green Tomatoes {BLT}

I've been making fried green tomatoes since I was a teenager.  I love the movie, Fried Green Tomatoes, which is 100% what inspired me to attempt making them so many years ago.

Fried Green Tomato Sandwich {BSFGT Sandwich}

My first attempt was an instant success because I am the best cook ever a complete disaster!!!  I think I was 14 when my friend and I tried to make fried RED tomatoes.  They tasted great, but they were a soggy mess!
Over the years, I continued to attempt fried green tomatoes just about every summer or during Spring Break; we would visit my grandma in Florida, where we'd pick up some firm green beauties from the local flea market.  With the help of my mom and grandma, we have tried a variety of breading mixtures including crushed crackers, egg and flour, coarse cornmeal, and regular bread crumbs from a canister.  I thought I had nailed it a few weeks ago with regular cornmeal and the canister bread crumbs.  They were great, the best I had made yet!  The tomatoes were so crisp and tasty that my sister and I were hungry for them a week later.

We put our brains together and made one more adjustment.
The secret ingredient: Panko.
  Oh, Kikkoman, I love you!!!
My sister suggested that we not only make fried green tomatoes, but make a BLT (Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato) Sandwich.  Of course, ours had spinach instead of yucky iceberg lettuce, so I like to call it a BSFGT Sandwich!

So what are you waiting for?!  Get out to your garden or the local farmer's market and get yourself some unripe tomatoes!!!  Here's what you'll need:

Fried Green Tomatoes
3 large green tomatoes
1 cup flour
2 large eggs
2 T milk
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs (or 1/2 come regular bread crumbs)
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon cajun seasoning or other spice you enjoy
Bacon grease (or olive oil plus 1 T butter)

The instructions are a little lengthy, so here's a

Enjoy!  Please, if you make this, let me know how it turns out!
Thick cut, nice and crispy!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor's Porch {Zucchini Bread}

Did you know that tomorrow, August 8th, is National Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor's Porch Day?  Well, it is!

I have no idea where this holiday came from, but rumor has it that someone came up with the idea due to the incredible amounts of zucchini that gardeners find themselves with, come August.  That is, all gardeners except for me, it seems!  This is my second year in a row that I have planted zucchini, grew very large plants, but much to my disappointment, am not producing any fruit!

Although I was unable to grow any zucchini for myself, I still had more than enough to go around this year (I wouldn't even mind a little more, if you know where I live.  I don't have a porch, but the front steps will do!).  This season I made zucchini casserole and zucchini bread.  This was my first time making zucchini bread, and it was delicious!  I was able to make two loaves and freeze some shredded zucchini for later use!
Fresh Zucchini Bread
If you look closely, you might see a few specks of green in there!  Here's what you'll need:

Zucchini Bread
1 1/2 cups flour
1 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/4 t baking powder
1/4 t ground nutmeg
1 egg, beaten
1 cup sugar
1 cup finely shredded, unpeeled zucchini
1/4 oil (I used canola but any will do)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans *optional
OR 1/4 nuts & 1/4 raisins (that's what I did) *optional

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Why 'Sunday Funday'?

Hello! I'm Jessica.  I'm so happy you found my blog!  Here you will find both healthy and full fat recipes that I either enjoy cooking on a regular basis, or brand new recipes that I've been wanting to try for years.  But first, you  may be wondering how I came up with the name "Sunday Funday."

It all started back in college with my friend Leesa.  The gal had never really cooked anything beyond the classic Mac-n-Cheese!!  The day came in our early twenties that Leesa and I were hungry for sloppy joes. Ready to start cooking, I realized she had no idea how to brown the beef.  Since then, I have enjoyed helping Leesa and a few other friends work their way around the kitchen.

Sunday Funday didn't come around until a few years ago when Leesa moved away to Florida and met a new guy.  He worked long shifts on Sundays, so Leesa and I found ourselves talking food and recipes over the phone, all while grocery shopping.  Being the sweetheart that she is, she started making a nice meal for him to come home to on Sundays.  After a few Sundays, we started calling each other in the morning with a greeting, "Happy Sunday Funday!"  We would then discuss recipes and ingredients, then cook away.  From Michigan to Florida, I've had a lot of fun helping my friend become the cook that she is today.

That's my girl!  Chocolate Chip Cookies, anyone?

Jalapeno Poppers

Petite Sweet Pepper Poppers
One of my family's favorite summertime appetizers is Jalapeno Poppers.  They're quick and easy to make.  The photo above is from a batch I made for a potluck at work.  I also had some petite sweet peppers at home, so I also stuffed those for my coworkers that might not like a hot pepper.

Jalapeno Poppers
23 jalapenos, halved and seeded
1 lb pork sausage (turkey sausage for low fat)
8oz cream cheese (Neufch√Ętel for low fat)
1 cup grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Brown meat and drain fat.
Add both cheeses to the meat and mix until blended.
Stuff each pepper half with filling (mound it! It cooks down!)
Place on cookie sheet, filling side up.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until browned.

Jalapeno Poppers
Give it a try, I know you can do it!


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