Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Lunch at Mr. Webo's Bay View

I am pretty sure this is my next tattoo

Our little Bay View is becoming a food Mecca with restaurants like Cafe Lu Lu, Honey Pie, and Odd Duck,  and now  Mr. Webo's is the new must eat place. It's nested on the corner of Lincoln and KK or Howell Ave.  They got off to a late start today but our server was very apologetic. The first thing you are struck with are these huge "Dia de los Muertos" or "Day of the Dead" murals that are truly beautiful. I understand that they were made by a local tattoo artist.

We were the only ones in the place and started off with some chips and salsa. Our appetizer was a huge mound of nachos. The chips were freshly made and it was delicious!

We had a coupon and only were allowed to order dinner items. I went the ala carte route and had the enchilada and shredded pork Chimi.  Everything is made fresh and the server was telling me it takes three hours to make the sauce. It was a red sauce that is unlike any enchilada sauce I have every had. It had a kick to it and had me wanting to know how to make it.
My hubby went for the tacos. The plates are huge here! It came with beans and cilantro rice. The rice was a new spin on the traditional Spanish rice and a perfect match for the tacos.

The prices were reasonable and they had a fantastic lunch price for under $7.00. It's too bad we weren't able to take advantage of that pricing. However, I am sure we will be back! I can't wait to try the rest of the menu!

Something to note also is they deliver. I may take them up on that soon!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

Chicken has to be the best budget extender there is! There were chicken quarters on sale at the grocery store. All I had to do was put a knife between the joint to separate them. There are many different methods out there. I used the paper bag method. I added flour and spices in a paper bag and then the pieces of chicken. And then Shake it Baby!  It feels like a Sunday today because it's so dreary out. Give yourself a day like the weekend that you can devote to making this. You may need to make two batches. I could fit 6-7 pieces in my cast iron skillet.

I didn't soak in buttermilk but you can for a few hours. I did season the chicken with salt and pepper and leave in the fridge for a few hours. Another option is to use eggs and self rising flour to get more of a crust. All in all I was happy with the result. I went about 40 minutes on these chicken thighs because they were so big. I would do the same for large portions like the breast. Chicken wings and drumsticks will cook faster and can be removed starting at 30 minutes.
the stowaway 

Alas I did loose one chicken drumstick to the flour. Be sure to always check there are no stowaways! I also dumped about a TBSP of Cayenne pepper into the bag by accident. Luckily it was the right amount.

I fried in bacon fat and vegetable oil. My neighbor eats a lot of bacon and saves me the fat. The flavor of the crust was delicious!

Perfect Fried Chicken

6-8 pieces of chicken seasoned with salt and pepper
2 cups all purpose flour
just into the oil 
1 TBSP tarragon
1 TBSP thyme
1 tsp. oregano
1 1/2 tsp. Cayenne pepper
1 TBSP salt
1/2 TBSP pepper
1 paper bag
1 cast iron skillet
1 cup bacon fat
1/2 cup veggie oil
Note: the oil should come half way up the skillet

nearly finished
Add the chicken a few pieces at a time. Shake the bag holding the bottom until the pieces are all coated. Heat up the oil and melt the bacon fat on medium low heat. The temp. should be around 350 degrees. Using a tongs, lower the chicken into the oil skin side down. I let the pieces fry in the oil for 15 minutes before turning uncovered.
Remove the drumstick from the oil and then the bigger pieces at around 35-40 minutes onto paper towels. Let rest for 5 minutes. Season with a dash of Kosher salt and serve with your favorite side.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Baked Jalapeno Poppers

I remember seeing this recipe on WW either in a book or online years back. I recently made a purchase of a lot of jalapenos (3lbs)which were on clearance. I pickled half of them and the other half I saved for making these baked jalapeno poppers. They are great for a party or just because. One note. If reheating in a microwave, remove the stem. Mine lit up like a firecracker and made a small fire in the microwave!  These are perfect for dipping in a sweet jelly sauce and with a glass of milk on the side. Mine were pretty hot:) Some of mine were hot so I would recommend trying to get a uniform size.

Baked Jalapeno Poppers

6 jalapenos slit down the middle and seeds and membranes taken out
1/2 brick cream cheese softened
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
1 egg beaten
1/4 cup milk
1 cup cornflakes crumbs
1/2 cup flour

Firstly get an assembly line going. Set up the cream cheese mixture, a plate with flour, and a plate with bread crumbs. In a bowl mix the wet ingredients. We are going to double dip. This is one occasion when it's O.K.!
 Stuff each pepper with a teaspoon of cream cheese. Wet the pepper in the egg, then into the flour, back to the egg, and into the cornflakes. You may have to roll the peppers in the cornflakes to make sure they are covered. Move to a baking sheet. (Slit side up)
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove from oven.  Let cool for about 5 minutes. The cheese will be burning hot. Serve with your favorite beer. This recipe is great because you can make as few or as many as you like.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

My Graduation!

I finally did it! I graduated from college yesterday! Over 22 years ago, I graduated from high school and went directly to college. At that time I wanted to be a journalist. I was editor-in-chief of my high school newspaper for a few years and was convinced this was the field for me. I loved to be on the radio and interned at a local radio station.
At that time, I had room mates and that's where my love of cooking blossomed. I was always making some dish or other. Long story short, I lost my scholarship, and had to drop out of school. I thought my dream of finishing college was over.
my oldest daughter and I 

I worked a variety of retail management positions until I got married and had a family. Finally my kids were old enough for me to go back to school and find a field I wanted. I became a stem cell donor in 2009 and came to the realization I wanted to become a Phlebotomist. (blood sucker) I also would like to be a Nurse. (if I can make it through Chem this summer)
my youngest still has pneumonia and couldn't come

It's not been easy over the last year and a half but we made it! Our 15th wedding anniversary was on May 23rd and my graduation was yesterday and I had my first job interview this past week. I am excited about my career for the first time in a long time. I still hope to blog on my free time and try new things. The sky is the limit! It will be so nice to be able to have money lol

Friday, May 24, 2013

Finals Week, Chicken Mole' Tortas, Graduation, and Pneumonia....

It's been another roller coaster week here in my house. My little one had the stomach flu about two weeks ago and then developed a horrible cough past week with a fever. I took her to Children's Hospital of WI which is the go to place her in Milwaukee and she was diagnosed with pneumonia in her left lung. We were sent home with no cough medicine, just Augmentin. The antibiotic was doing nothing so I took her to see our family doctor. Her pneumonia has grown in her left lung to almost half her lung. He put her on a Z pack and hopefully we are on our way to recovery. Sadly she is still considered contagious so she cannot go to my graduation today. My mom has been gracious enough to stay here and watch her.

Good news is I am graduating today from the Phlebotomy program at MATC. I didn't graduate the first time I went to college and am nervous. I also had a face to face interview for the job I wanted and have my fingers crossed!

Flash back to Wednesday night. My Spanish class had a Fiesta. That is where we all bring in a dish to share.  I made this dish I learned from the Sandwich King on Foodnetwork, Chicken and Mole' tortas. Some people were using this as a dip with chips which is another excellent use. I made mine ahead of time and kept it hot in the crock pot. I have made this a few times and it was a big hit in my class. I also brought the home made jalapenos I made about a week ago. This is how I remember the recipe. You can get the exact one from
Note: I love skin on chicken but this is what I had on hand

Chicken and Mole' Tortas

5 boneless skinless chicken breasts or skin on defrosted
1 small onion diced
3 cups chicken stock
2 dried New Mexico chilies (heated in a 350 oven for 5 minutes) seeds removed
1 chilie in adobo sauce chopped
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 can diced tomatoes drained of juice
2 TBSP semi sweet chocolate chips (I did 6 TBSP this time)
2 TBSP sesame seeds
2 TBSP Canola oil
salt and pepper
6 bolero rolls or other hard rolls or you may serve over rice like I did on the second day
also great with hot flour tortillas

Heat the oil in a large pan with high sides. Brown the onion until translucent. Add the chilies and brown until fragrant about 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock, raisins, peanut butter, tomatoes and sesame seeds. Turn heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir frequently. Remove from heat and place in a blender with a ladle. This is where an immersion blender comes in handy. Pulse for a few seconds until the mole' is smooth.

Return the mole' to the pan and add the chicken breasts. Since I used boneless skinless mine cooked faster. (30 minutes) I turned the breasts once during heating. If you were using bone in breasts, you would put them in the pan face down first. The cooking time is about 45 minutes with bone in. Remove the chicken from the pot and let cook for a few minutes. Use two forks to shred the chicken breast and return to the sauce. Serve with the bolero rolls or over rice and garnish with cilantro and avocado. (optional)

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Yelp! Second Annual Brew City Bash at Milwaukee County Historical Society

Being a foodie I of course am right at home at Yelp! For those of you that don't know, is a site dedicated to all things food in your city. Whenever you need a recommendation on where to go or an idea on menus, you can always get an honest opinion there. It even has an Apple app. now.

Last night was the Second Annual Brew City Bash themed after "The Great Gatsby." Everyone was asked to dress up in 20's style clothing.  It was held in the beautiful Milwaukee County Historical Society building in downtown Milwaukee. You may recognize the interior of this building from the Johnny Depp movie "Public Enemies."  Scenes were shot here and throughout Milwaukee and Wisconsin. At first glance the interior is stunning. There are huge vaults that were once used to hold money. We were able to walk inside and see their sheer magnitude.

Karma Hamburger Sliders
There were various local food vendors and what would Milwaukee be with out some beer and spirits?  Bryant's Cocktail lounge which has long been a staple of specialty drinks on Milwaukee's South side provided what I thought was the best cocktail of the night. I was told it was a champagne Lapham punch. There were other distilleries such as Great Lakes Distillery which also had a delicious vodka lemonade type punch.
Bryant's Cocktail Lounge

There were delicious bites from pot stickers to a mini hamburger bar provided by Karma. That was one of my favorite bites all night! There was also a delicious tuna tartar, octopus salad, and some delicious chocolates from Atomic Chocolates. They were delicious and I am excited to find out they are located on 1st Street on my ride in to MATC.

My favorite bite of the night was from Maxie's in Wauwatosa. It was a craw fish etouffee. The sausage added a depth and smokiness to the sauce. I can't wait to eat there this summer!
Maxie's Craw fish Etouffee

We had the chance to take pictures in a photo booth  By that time I was feeling really happy and we weren't sure what we were doing. I loved the theming of the event and the location. I am proud to be a Yelper and can't wait together with all my fellow foodies!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Pickling A Pack of Peppers

I scored a whole bunch of jalapenos and assorted peppers this week on clearance at my grocery store. I wanted to make sports type jalapenos like you would put on nachos. I made a pickling solution much like I would for pickles minus the dill. What I came with was muy caliente! I wasn't sure what some of these other peppers were and they turned out to be really hot!

Firstly, you will need to have some canning Mason jars with lids. I used the boil method here. I cut up the peppers into rings along with a small onion and a few cloves of garlic. Stuff the jars to the top as the amount you have will shrink as they cook down. In a sauce pan I boiled 3 cups of 5% acidity pickling vinegar along with 2 TBSP sugar and 2 TBSP Kosher salt. You can also use pickling salt found in the grocery store by the canning supplies. I believe Ms. Wages makes one. I also added one TBSP dried basil and two bay leafs to each.

I sterilized both the jars and lids in a huge pot for 15 minutes. I remove them from the pot with sterilized tongs and stuffed them with the pepper rings. Over the pepper rings I placed the vinegar solution and filled each jar equally.
I capped each jar with the lids and and then placed them into the boiling water I had reserved from sterilizing the jars. I usually sterilize the lids in a smaller easy to access pan so I don't have to go digging for them. I covered the jars each with the extra water from the lids and processed them with the lid on the pot for 15 minutes.
The jars were allowed to rest on the counter top until they popped and self sealed. I am keeping them in the fridge although they are now shelf stable. Since they are fridge peppers you can also top off any head space with oil. These will be good in your fridge for up to 6 months or longer with the canning method.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Chili Dog Casserole

This is a recipe I learned from Weight Watchers a few years back and it's requested by my daughters all the time. Chili dog casserole is fast to put together and great for football games or when you need a quick meal. You can vary the chili,  buns, hot dogs, and even the toppings and go low fat.

Chili Dog Casserole

4 hot dogs sliced
4 hot dog buns cut into fourths and split in half
1 can of chili like Wolf's or Hormel with beans
1 small onion diced
1 squirt ketchup
1 squirt mustard
1/2 cup cheese

Set oven to 350 degrees. In a casserole dish layer the buns split open so they line the bottom of the casserole.  Add the hot dogs.  Mix the chili with the mustard and ketchup and layer over the hot dogs and buns. Add the cheese and onion and bake for 25-30 minutes. Makes 12 servings.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Clearance Jackpot Avocados and Apples for Taffy Apple Salad

I have said this numerous times, I love my grocery store!  I know exactly what time to go. The ladies at the checkout were bagging the veggies and fruits up for clearance. There was an overabundance of apples with nothing wrong with them except maybe a minor blemish and a whole bag of avocados perfect for guacamole.  I couldn't go wrong for a dollar a bag.

I had a taste for Taffy Apple salad. This is an easy as 1,2,3 recipe. I made it every few months and find it perfect not only for the fall but the whole year! It has very few ingredients and an awesome taste. I use lite Cool Whip but feel free to use the full calorie stuff.
Taffy Apple Salad

6 apples cored and diced skins on
1 container lite Cool Whip
1 small pkg. Butter Scotch pudding
1/2 cup peanuts dry roasted or salted
1 can pineapple tidbits drained
1 cup marsh mellows (optional)
1 TBSP lemon juice

In a large bowl, mix the cored and diced apples with the lemon juice to prevent browning. Add the Cool Whip and pudding. Stir until the pudding is dissolved. Add the pineapple and marsh mellows. Finally before serving, add the peanuts. This is a truly addictive salad that you will get rave reviews about at family functions. Enjoy!

Easy Pleasy Guacamole

6 Avocados
1/2 tsp Adobo seasoning
a few dashes hot sauce (optional)
2 tsp lemon juice
1 diced tomato (optional)

I love avocados! I would eat them every day of the week if I could! I enjoy eating this dip on toasted bacon and avocado sandwiches. This recipe also has the fewest ingredients but a wonderful taste. Firstly scoop out the avocados with a spoon into a medium bowl. Use a fork to mash. Add the Adobo (found in Mexican foods aisle), hot sauce, and lemon juice. I usually leave the pit from one avocado in the bowl to prevent oxidation also. Cover with wrap until ready to serve. Sometimes some oxidation occurs but it easily mixes in and looks perfect. I try to make this as close to serving as possible.