“Between the optimist and the pessimist, the difference is droll. The optimist sees the doughnut; the pessimist the hole!” – Oscar Wilde

The day has finally arrived! After over a year since it was destroyed by the April 27th, 2011 tornados – Krispy Kreme has reopened!!! YAY!!!!

And I was lucky enough to have a sweet hubby who stood in line for an hour this morning and brought me some to work.

Well, a lot of it had to do with the fact that my adorable stepson is the biggest KK fan ever! And this past weekend that’s all he could talk about. So, this morning at 6:45 a.m. the two of them headed out to brave the crowds!!

(people had even camped out the night before!)

Oh Oh! You know it was worth it, though! HOT NOW donuts are the best. I mean the best. They evaporate on contact with your mouth! That’s why you can eat 6 of them and not blink an eye but that means they also evaporate off you butt too, right???? Well, at least, that’s how I’m going to think about it.

Do you know there is an app for you phone that tells you when they are “HOT NOW”?

There is. I’ve got it. 🙂

(click on pic for more info)

In honor of this special occasion, I will be making a Krispy Kreme donut bread pudding next week.

(I’m going to let those lines die down a bit first.)

How sinfully good do you think that will be?? Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!

Weeeelllll, not too much else going on today.  I think after dinner (which consists of Taco Soup pulled from the freezer) I might try and whip up that Creamy Peanut Butter Tart.

Until then.

abp

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“I am not a glutton – I am an explorer of food” ― Erma Bombeck

How is everyone (in Alabama) enjoying their tax free weekend? I had a fun little run at Belk and Publix yesterday morning but it became way to crazy busy for me out there, so the rest of my day was spent piddling around the house. Which I really enjoy doing. Great time to be lazy and stay cool. And watch my main man Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory on the DVR! Does anyone else love that show as much as I do?? Bazinga!

Oh! I also painted my toes a fun new color – Bikini So Teeny by Essie.

Whatcha think??

In other news – the weekend of gluttony continues……

I ate lunch with the DH at Zoe’s Kitchen – which wasn’t too bad except for the giant chocolate chip/chocolate chunk cookie they have sitting by the register that I can not resist for any amount of money.  I also made it through the afternoon without a snack so there is absolutely no guilt about the awesome cheesy goodness of the Simple, Perfect Enciladas I made for dinner.

First of all, let me tell you about the salad I usually make to serve with any mexican dish – it’s yummy, easy to assemble and is a really great accompaniment for this meal.

I call it my Sante Fe Ranch Salad.

  • Hearts of Romaine lettuce (in a bag)
  • Mexican blend shredded cheese
  • Can of black bean (drained and rinsed)
  • Can of corn (drained and rinsed)
  • Bag of tortilla strip salad toppers
  • Hidden Valley Ranch Spicy Ranch Dressing

You just place the lettuce in a big bowl or individual bowls, top with a mixture of the beans and corn, sprinkle with cheese, as much dressing as desired and then finish it off with the tortilla strips. Yummy and pretty!

As for the Enchiladas, The Pioneer Woman refers to the components of the meal as The Sauce, The Meat and The Rest, so that is how I will go at it. Also, I am halving this recipe because it’s just the two of us and the original serves 8.

The recipe below is the half recipe.

The Perfect Enchiladas

The Sauce

  • ½ Tbs of canola oil
  • 1 Tbs of flour
  • 1 (14 oz) can of enchilada sauce
  • 1 cup of chicken broth
  • ¼ tsp of salt
  • ¼ tsp of pepper
  • 1 Tbs of chopped cilantro, more for serving

The Meat

  • ½ lb. ground beef
  • ½ medium onion (chopped)
  • 1 (4 oz.) can of diced green chilies
  • ¼ tsp of salt

The Rest

  • 6-8 Corn tortillas
  • canola oil for frying
  • ¼ cup chopped black olives (I omitted these because I don’t like ’em)
  • ½ cup chopped green onions
  • 1½ cup of shredded cheddar cheese (I used mexican blend)
  • Cilantro

You start by combining the flour and canola oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk this together and let bubble for 1 minute.

Then pour in the red sauce, chicken broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer.

Brown the meat and onions in a large skillet and drain the fat. Add to that the green chillies and salt. Stir to combine. Remove from heat.

In a small skillet over medium heat, lightly fry the tortillas one at a time in the canola oil just until soft (do not crisp). Drain on paper towels.

Preheat oven to 350°. Spread ¼ cup of the sauce in the bottom of baking dish.

Next dip each tortilla in the sauce and place on platter to be assembled.

Layer meat mixture, (black olives if you wish), green onions and cheese.

Roll up the tortilla and place seam side down in baking dish.

Once all of the tortillas are finished stir the cilantro into remaining sauce and pour over the tortillas.

Top with cheese and bake for 20 minutes or until bubbly.

Once out of oven sprinkle with more cilantro.

ench

I served this with the aforementioned salad and cooked seasoned black beans.

HOLY HOT TAMALE!!! – these puppies were awesome!!!! I have to give credit to the Pioneer Woman – she knows how to make an enchilada!!!

The DH went back for 3rds and was scraping the bottom of the baking dish as he took it to the sink (I cook, he does the dishes :)). He also said we could have those again tomorrow night – you have to understand – Mexican is not his favorite (Italian is), so this is really saying something. Note: the serving for 8 was cut in half and the 2 of us finished it off……

They were so good, I kind of hate that this was not a peanut gallery meal.  Oh well, they will eventually get to try it because this is going on the normal rotation!!!

It was a little time consuming – probably not one I would want to make after a long day at work unless I had the components made up ahead of time, which would be doable except for frying the tortillas. I need to keep that in mind because I have a feeling this one will be requested again in no time!

Give it a try! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!!

abp

“When in doubt, pig out!” – Jim Davis (creator of Garfield)

The good news is……….I lost 2.2 lbs. since last weeks weigh in!!! Whoo-hoo!!!! Yay me!

That means I’m going to pig out this weekend!

Last night I started the wonderful process of operation pig-out by going to the new Shrimp Basket in town. I have always looooved the ones on the coast, so its nice to have a little of the beach here in town.

Tonight I’m going to make The Pioneer Women’s Simple, Perfect Enchiladas.  Sunday will be a normal church breakfast which consists of either bacon/eggs/biscuits or sausage and gravy biscuits and Sunday night will be Amy’s 4th of July Ribs. Monday I’ll be having the whole peanut gallery over for Cajun Chicken Pasta (another PW recipe) – this is a trial run for a possible tailgate meal.

Somewhere in there I’ll be making Carmelitas for dessert. They look AWESOME!

PW Enciladas

PW Cajun Chicken Pasta

Carmelitas courtesy of Lulu the Baker

So, there are the new items I’m attempting.  We’ll see how they turn out.

This is short and sweet but I had a cortisone injection (boo for pain, yay for results) in my wrist yesterday afternoon and its still a teensy bit sore.

abp

“We’ll serve no swine, before it’s time” – Johnny’s BBQ, Cullman, AL

Thursday night is usually the night I go eat with “the mom” (proud member of the peanut gallery). Tonight it was at Jim ‘N Nicks Bar-b-q. Having been several times at locations in Birmingham, I had only been once since it’s opening in Tuscaloosa a couple months ago and tonight it did not disappoint. It has an awesome laid back atmosphere and yummy grub – which brings me to my topic of the day – the loaded BBQ Baked potato – or what they refer to it as the “Pig in the Potato Patch”.  It’s divine, that’s all I can say. Heavenly. Awesome. Yum. (ok, maybe that wasn’t all I could say 😉 )

What this spud story brings me to is…… (drum roll please) – THE original, THE best, THE most perfect potato in the world  – Johnny’s Bar-B-Q’s (in good ole’ Cullman, AL) Barbeque Pork Potato (can you hear angels singing?).

As described in their menu…..

…you got one lip-smacking, belly-filling, foot-stomping, bulldog-slappin’ tator that you’ll never forget!

(I’m also quite fond of the owner – shout out to Ron D.!!)  whoot! whoot!

Over the years, since leaving Cullman I’ve searched for a potato that could come close to this and Jim ‘N Nicks does a great job but it’s no Johnny’s.  One thing that puts JBBQ’s ‘tator over the top is the unbelievably good white barbeque sauce (which I need to try and make) that you can request, in the perfect for serving,  squeezy bottle – I just can’t get enough. The combination of the red and white sauce is incomparable. It’s slap your momma good. (but you best not try that)

Johnny’s Bar-B-Q Menu

I try and stop there when I go home to visit. Comfort food in a comfortable restaurant that has been family owned since 1963. The waitresses still call you honey or baby which in my book is as good as calling me by my first name.

Luckily for you, if you are traveling in North Alabama on Interstate 65 it’s just a hop, skip and jump (1.2 miles east on HWY 278 to be exact) from exit 308. I highly recommend making a stop. You’ll be glad you did.

abp

“Tiny bubbles in the wine, make me happy, make me feel fine” – Don Ho

With my best friend and her daughter leaving today for Hawaii (awesome graduation present – kudos mom!!), it got me to thinking of my last trip to Hawaii. Like every trip – the dinner reservations were almost made before the hotel reservations (but not quite). I do believe food makes a trip.

When a location is determined I usually start with Urbanspoon. It’s a good way to get reviews, check menus, days/times they’re open – with all the contact info listed right there with it in case you want to visit their website or make reservations.

When visiting Hawaii and making dinner reservations, it’s always good to check sunset times.  A lot of these restaurants are outside and a view of the sunset is fabulous. Sometimes you can even request a table with a specific view.

In the Honolulu/Waikiki area  – Dukes is one of my absolute favorites of all time.

Dukes is exactly what one thinks of when one thinks of Hawaii. It’s on the beach, it has great food, great atmosphere, open air seating, great bar, live entertainment. You name it – it has Aloha written all over it.

Dining Room Menus

Barefoot Bar Menus

Here’s a picture I took – quality is not great but you get the idea.

I made sure my friends made reservations here!

I can’t wait to hear what they think!

Have any of you ever been before? What did you think?

Everybody sing with me now…..

abp