Sunday, August 7, 2011

Irish Cream Rice Pudding

Irish Cream Rice Pudding:

This is a recipe I came up with the other night when my husband asked me if I could make him some rice pudding with the leftover rice from dinner.  I realized we only had a little bit of half and half and or course his favorite coffee creamer (Bailey's Irish Cream- found in the refrigerated section where the creamers are stored).  So I thought I'd give it a whirl and it turned out really tasty! :) Phew!! So here's how I made it...

You'll need:

leftover rice or you can of course make some (we had around 1 1/2 cups of  cooked rice leftover)
1/2 cup half and half (we used fat free)
1 Cup Bailey's Irish Cream
raisins or if you're us just pick the dried cherries out of your existing trail mix LOL ;)  (as many as you like - we just use a little bit)
couple tablespoons of rum to soak the dried raisins or cherries (soak for around 15 minutes and discard leftover rum)
1 teasp. vanilla
whipped cream and cinnamon for garnish (OPT.)
1 egg ( I beat the egg and only used half of it! )

Add the creams to the rice and bring to a low boil and then turn down to simmer for around 20 minutes (watch carefully and stir occasionally)
When there is around 1-2 minutes remaining, add the egg to the rice.
Turn off the heat and add the vanilla.
The rice pudding will thicken as it sits - serve warm or chilled with whipped cream and a dash of cinnamon if desired! :) Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

wedge salad with creamy bleu cheese viniagrette

I went to the Ocean with some friends this spring and one of them ordered a delicious wedge salad!! She so sweetly shared it with all of us and it was divine!!! I have been meaning to try to make one similar but kind of forgot about it until this week. Lucky for my husband bc he about fell out of his chair in delight when he tasted it! Anyone who knows him understands this - He describes food like no one else! I think one of my pleasures in cooking is just to see his reaction! Always PRICELESS LOL ;) Anyway, here's how you make it ! 
You will need: 
1 head of iceburg lettuce cut into wedges
tomato (i used cherry tomatoes) 
 bleu cheese
balsamic vinegar (drizzle)
For the dressing you will need... 
1 T sugar
bleu cheese (1/4 cup or more)
1/4 C  sour cream
1/4 C red wine vinegar
1/2 cup mayo (light is fine!!) 
salt and pepper
1 t garlic (jar kind is fine) 
1/3 C red fat buttermilk

1. Combine all dressing ngredients and mix in a blender or a hand blender (my new fav. toy!!! ) ;) 
2. Assemble the salad by sprinkling fresh bleu cheese, tomatoes,  and pecans on the wedge (most of it falls off but it's ok you'll still get to eat it ;) 
3. spoon the dressing on top and drizzle with the balsamic vinegar (don't leave this out!! so good!!)  and ENJOY!
Note: some other toppings for this that would be delish are crispy chopped up bacon, red onion, candied walnuts or plain but it was fabulous with the ingredients above! We will def. have this again in our house- YUMMMM!!! :)

My husband and I go to the OBX of North Carolina every summer now and one of our favorite things to do there is EAT!! ;) We feel they have some of the BEST restaurants around! None of this chain junk- they have the real deal here! They have the freshest fish dishes we've tasted! Anyway, we visited one of our go to places there which is called the Kill Devil Grill. The place looks like an old RV... BUT don't judge a restaurant by it's cover??... wrong saying... but you get the point! ;) The food is incredible. You know when you go out to eat at 5:00- yup you read that correctly 5:00 we eat with the oldies but goodies! ;) But you know when you go @5 and there is a 30 minute wait it's a good place!! So we waited patiently and then ordered the SPECIAL which I have recreated for my hubby and I! Ours had tuna steak on top but since tuna is a tricky little fish to grill we went safer and bought grouper. We were not disappointed!

First we visited the local fish market with fresh but kind of expensive seafood!!  (but have to say it was worth it for the tastiness of it- quality!! ) . It is simply old fashioned grits surrounded by a creamy corn succotash made with fresh corn off of the cob, lima beans a lil' butter and milk oh and some cute little tomatoes for garnish and finally a fresh piece of grouper slapped right on top!  Don't you love the paper plate's appearance in may of my posts?? that's how we roll- HATE,  HAAATE doing dishes!! The plate may be trashy but  the star of the show is what's on that Costco bargain plate. ;) 

Here's what you'll need to make this: 

old fashioned grits (not instant) - how ever many servings you need for your famiy
1 small can or frozen lima beans (only need around 1/4 cup for 2 servings)
4 ears of fresh corn boiled and slightly cooled to handle
3/4-1cup milk (fat free is fine)
1 tablesp. flour
4 small cherry tomatoes for garnish
1/2 lb fresh red grouper, or tuna steak or whatever fresh white fish you like  :)
salt and pepper to taste
little butter  (tablesp. ) and SALT for the grits

1. make the grits according to package (don't forget the salt while cooking and butter!!- don't leave this out)
2. melt around 2 Tablespoons of butter in a skillet.  Add around 1 Tables. of flour and combine with butter. Add around 3/4 cup milk and bring to a boil stirring constantly with a whisk until slightly thickened (may need to add more milk if it gets too thick)
3.Cut the corn off of the cobs and add to a skillet along with the lima beans
4. Stir to combine with creamy mixture and keep warm and set aside. 
Grill fish with salt and pepper or sear on stove top and add to a preheated 450 degree oven for around 10 minutes or until flakes easily with a fork (my fish was around 1 inch thick so if it is thinner it will need less time)

Plate it up by spooning grits in the middle, add the succotash around the grits and place the fish on top of the grits. Garnish with tomatoes.