Monday, September 15, 2014

Green Chile Cheese Dog


First and foremost, I apologize for the gross looking pictures. I debating on posting any pictures at all and just telling you how to make this, but it seemed weird.  Just know that this is really, really, good. 

Seriously good.

My husband and I were going to the grocery store one Sunday afternoon and we saw a familiar and endearing sign beckoning "Roasted Hatch Green Chile." We had to stop and get some of the good stuff.

Both of us attended New Mexico State University and love green chile. A lot. We combed our persons and car for as much cash as we could find and threw it on the table underneath the roasting tent. The kind lady selling the chile told us she didn't quite have enough bags ready for that amount. She wondered if we would take a bushel instead.

Not thinking of our tiny freezer we rapidly agreed on the trade. Once we got home we were just thrilled with our small trash bag sized amount of roasted chile. We were planning on having hot dogs for dinner and they were quickly transformed into green chile cheese dogs.

Let me tell you, these are just wonderful. A delicious grilled hot dog with spicy cheese sauce and a special kick from the whole green chile. It's a fabulous kind of messy you won't be sorry about. 

Ingredients
4 all beef hot dogs
4 hot dog buns
1/2 cup queso cheese sauce, heated
2 whole green chiles


 Grill the hot dogs until the outside has a nice char on the outside. Toast the buns over a cooler spot on the grill as the hot dogs are finishing up.

Place the hot dogs inside the buns. Split the green chilies so each hot dog has a half of a chile on it. We used mediums that had the seeds taken out. Then distribute the cheese sauce among the hot dogs.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies



 

Chocolate chip cookies are my absolute favorite. That being said, they can't just be any type of chocolate chip cookie. They have to be crispy on the edges, chewy and soft in the center. There is no room for store bought chocolate chip cookies in my heart. They are just weird and dusty tasting.

So I would naturally have a perfect recipe I make all the time, right? Don't be silly.

I have been on the hunt for the perfect recipe for years. In high school I used my beloved Martha Stewart recipe for chocolate chip cookies all the time. Upon moving to New Mexico for college it all resulted in great tragedy. My recipe would not work. Not even a little bit. The altitude of the desert just made it terrible.The cookies were just rock hard and needed to be soaked in milk for a long time. If the makers of Jolly Ranchers ever need a cookie flavored candy I would be a good person to call.

After moving back to Denver I tried the old recipe, but I felt like something better was out there. I am glad I kept searching and tried every Martha Stewart recipe imaginable. This is it! Chewy and soft, chocolaty and crispy edged, these cookies are amazing. Martha continues to be the convict I trust most.

 Ingredients

2 sticks (1 cup) of unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
12 ounce bag of semi sweet chocolate chips



First, combine the butter and sugars until the whole thing is fluffy and light yellow in color. This does two things: puts air into the batter and ensures the butter is really room temperature.


Next, add in the vanilla extract and eggs. Mix this on medium high speed for about one minute. It may seem like a while just to add eggs, but the batter should almost double in size after the addition of the eggs. 


After the one minute of mixing, add in the flour and baking soda in three increments. This is where I stop using the mixer and combine by hand. If the flour is stirred too much, the cookies become tough and bread like instead of tender and chewy. Along with the last bit of flour, add in the chocolate chips and mix well.


Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes. It may seem annoying, but it really makes a difference. Eat a piece of the dough, it will make you smile until you really have a cookie.


I like to use a cookie scoop to make two tablespoon sized balls out of the batter. After the dough has chilled, place the balls of dough onto a greased cookie sheet. Then bake for 8 to 10 minutes. If you gently poke the top of them, they should be doughy, but not fully set in the middle. Once they have completely cooled, store these in an airtight container. It should give you about 2 to 3 dozen cookies total.


Enjoy these with a tall glass of milk or a steamy mug of coffee. You will love them!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Top 10 of Gingerlocks' Kitchen

 

Happy birthday to Gingerlock's Kitchen! This silly little blog is officially two years old. In many ways it feels like I have been writing a blog forever, and yet it still feels like I am very new at this. 145 posts later and I still have many things to cook and share. There have certainly been times when I have slacked off and thought about quiting altogether, but I have powered through and continued writing silly descriptions of food. 

In honor of this minor celebration I have tallied the views of each post to share with you the most popular posts of Gingerlocks' Kitchen. Well, almost all of them are decided by view tally. There was one score fudged by my husband and his preference for lemony chicken. He eats all the food that isn't good enough to be on the blog, it is only fair. 

Would I say that these are my very best recipes? No. These are all really good, but I would not pick most of them as my favorite. There may have to be a separate grouping for the less publicly loved posts. Most of these have been viewed by the readers multiple times for different reasons. Some because they are original, some because they have been posted on other sites and some even for the pictures.

On the subject of pictures. I know I am not that great at taking pictures of food, but I am trying to get better. It is defiantly not a strength of mine, but I do understand the need for better pictures. Thank you for continuing to read and look at this silly blog even if the pictures are bad.

 

10. Greek Chicken Sandwiches

Speaking of bad pictures, this is really bad.  This picture was taken during a dinner party two days before my wedding. Of all the excuses I have ever given for bad pictures, that is the most valid. As for the taste, it is my husband's favorite. This has not attracted as many views as other posts, but it is a very popular and frequently requested dinner in our house. The chicken is so tender, juicy and flavorful. It's one of those meals you feel like a bath is needed after because they are so deliciously messy.

 

9. Italian Chili

I do really love chili and Italian food so this is an easy win for me. This soup is warm, hearty and really good with some crusty bread. Italian Chili is a great change up for any winter soup you love to eat. It's also great to make for a large group of people. 

 

8. Pineapple Cobbler

I am especially proud of this recipe since it has gotten some special attention. Rakinginthesavings.com named this as the dessert recipe for their weekly meal plan. It is a really cool site with a lot of great suggestions. As for this cobbler, it really is so buttery and rich. I feel like it is a more fruit filled pineapple upside down cake with a bit of extra sauce. 

 

7. Sausage Alfredo

This is seriously so good! The sauce is spicy and creamy with delicious sausage in every bite. This may be my favorite pasta sauce of all time.

 

6. Fried Corn Salad

This delightful summer side comes from my mom who made this pretty frequently for potlucks. Everyone loves corn. That's probably why my grandma used to say "There's a reason why they fatten the hogs with it." Maybe pigs just have good taste. I doubt they would put bacon in their corn, though.

 

5. Chicken Tortilla Soup

This is a really good recipe.This is not a good picture. I love chicken tortilla soup, especially with all the yummy fixings for the top. This recipe is also super, super easy. Even the most novice cook can make this with very little effort.

 

4. Italian Shells

This is another fabulous recipe of my mom's. This meaty and cheesy casserole just tastes like home. You and I will make it pretty well, but it will never be as good as my mom's. The filling for the shells can easily be used in manicotti or lasagna if you wanted to mix this one up. 

 

3. Creamsicle Poke Cake

This is a really, really good cake. It's a little bit tart, but nicely sweet. Overall it just tastes like childhood. I love to make this cake any time, but the summer really calls for a delicious vanilla and orange filled cake. You will love, love this cake.

 

2. Apple Cobbler

This is another crazy delicious dessert. I love cobblers of any sort and this is a really tasty one. Honestly, this was a last minute "Oh, I need to post something" recipe that I didn't think was anything special. However it has had a ton of views and I am glad people have enjoyed it!

 

1. Garlic Bubble Bread


With nearly 2,000 views, this recipe barely beats out the apple cobbler for the top number of views. I have only made this twice, but it was well received by my guests. This is great to serve with any Italian food or soups you serve. This is an easy recipe that is truly beautiful. 

Come back every Monday and Thursday for even more new recipes from Gingerlocks' Kitchen!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Creamy Spinach Pasta





The crisp feeling of fall is almost upon us! Not as upon us as many corporations like Starbucks would like us to believe. I had the option to order a Pumpkin Spice Latte the other day, and it just felt wrong. I like these delightful treats as much, if not more than the average person. But it's just not time. It's just not. Simply because it is not obscenely hot anymore does not mean we need to throw on sweatshirts and knit mittens.

However it can be time for a deliciously creamy and cozy pasta. Our kitchens have cooled enough to make that a comfortable reality. I whipped up this super creamy and delicious pasta one day for lunch and it was terribly easy. It has a nice garlicky flavor and has great texture; almost like spinach artichoke dip with fewer chunks. I highly recommend this pasta as a dinner or lunch, you will love it!

Ingredients

2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 8 oz package of cream cheese
1 box of frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1/2 cup milk
2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound of short cut pasta, cooked
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded



In a medium sauce pan, heat the cream cheese and garlic over low heat until the cheese softens. Add in the spinach, milk and chicken and turn the heat up to medium. Let this cook for 10 minutes or until the sauce comes together and thickens. It should be gently bubbling. 


 When the sauce has thickened, take out the garlic cloves if you are not a huge fan of its pungency. It is a good idea to take it out now since it will be much harder to find once you add the pasta.


Add the cooked pasta and mozzarella cheese. Cook all together for another 5 minutes or so. This way the sauce really adheres to the pasta.


This pasta really is really luxurious and creamy. If you feel the need, add some extra cheese over the top and serve with a nice salad.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Honey Balsamic Chicken





Everyone loves chicken, it's America's favorite bird to eat. We grill, roast and bake tons of it every year. Sometimes there needs to be a bit of variety in our chicken preparation. This is a great way to do just that. If you have grown bored of plain grilled chicken, this is a fabulous recipe from The Recipe Critic. She has tons of fabulous pictures and recipes galore! 

This is a simplified version of her Grilled Honey Balsamic Chicken. If you are anything like me, marinating ahead of time is an ideal and fancy thing that doesn't ever come to fruition. Instead of marinating this, just brush the tangy sauce on the chicken the same way you would barbeque sauce. 

This grilled chicken comes out juicy, tender and has so much flavor. This is perfect for any week night meal and can be paired with just about anything you like.

Ingredients

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper to taste
 2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 teaspoon garlic powder

Salt and pepper the chicken breasts to your liking on both sides. In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Sear the chicken on a grill or large skillet over medium heat on both sides for about two minutes.

Once the chicken has a slight sear on it, brush the sauce over the chicken pieces. Continue cooking until the sauce becomes thick and makes a nice crunchy, saucy layer on the outside and the inside of the chicken is cooked through.

Say goodbye to ho hum chicken!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Lemon Poppyseed Pancakes with Lemon Syrup


 

 I have had a bit of lemon fever as of late. If you are not someone who buys fresh lemons regularly, I highly suggest you change your habits. Lemons just add such a nice freshness to anything, even water. It's perfect with some olive oil to make a delicious salad dressing and a slice spritzed over some pasta gives it a bright flavor. 

One Saturday morning, I knew I wanted some fluffy pancakes, but I felt the need to add some pizazz to them. I added lots of fresh lemon juice and zest to my original recipe and made a super easy lemon syrup to go with it.

They were just simply divine! Light, fluffy and oh so lemony. These pancakes taste like a less sweet lemon poppy seed muffin with a highly fresh and concentrated lemonade over top. You could say with each bite you'll be floating down a lazy lemon river.

Ingredients

Lemon poppy seed pancakes
1 lemon, juiced and zested
3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons  vinegar
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon poppy seeds 

Lemon Syrup
1 cup of water
2 cups of sugar, divided
juice and zest of two lemons



First, add the vinegar to the milk and allow this to set for ten minutes or until the milk is curdled. Eww.


While the milk is off to the side, make the lemon syrup. Start by boiling the 1 cup of water in a medium sauce pan. Once the water is boiling, turn the heat to very low and add in one cup of the sugar. Stir until this is dissolved. Add in the second cup of sugar as well as the lemon juice and zest. Stir, stir, stir.
 

Keep this warm on the lowest heat possible, and do not stir too often. 


Add the remaining pancake ingredients to the milk and vinegar mixture. Make sure you do not stir too much, as the pancakes will become tough.


Spray a non stick skillet with cooking spray and pre heat over medium heat. Spread about 1/4 cup of the batter into the pan. Cook this until bubbles form on the top and the edges begin to set.
 

 Flip the pancake over and cook for about two more minutes.


Add a bit of butter and slather on some of the lemon syrup. Be very careful with the syrup, as it is very hot!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Spicy Sesame Noodles




Salty is just a delightful flavor, isn't it? It is not something you should eat a lot of certainly, but there is just something nice about it. Especially when that saltiness is combined with a good starch. 

These easy sesame noodles certainly hit the spot for starchy and salty. I am pretty sure I could eat a whole pot of them. These are also delicious hot, room temperature, and even cold. I made these one late night when I was just not willing to thaw some chicken. While it would be a wonderfully balanced meal with a protein, your palate won't miss it a bit.

Ingredients

1 pound of angel hair pasta
1/3 cup soy sauce
3 Tablespoons of honey
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
3 Tablespoons rice vinegar
2 Tablespoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons sriracha sauce
1 green onion, chopped
1 teaspoon black sesame seeds

Boil the pasta until it is tender. While the pasta is cooking, combine the remaining ingredients into a large bowl. Mix them well. Add in the hot pasta along with about 2 tablespoons of the cooking liquid. Toss the pasta until the sauce is mixed well over each and every noodle.