Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Chicken Stuffing Stuffed Shells

OK, now this is going to sound like the weirdest combination, and to be honest, probably not one that I would have jumped at making if I hadn't been lucky enough to have been served it first!  My friend Jamie had our bible study group girls over for dinner once and served us this delicious dish.  I couldn't get enough, and I couldn't' stop thinking about it either.  And I'm not even a huge stuffing fan!  I searched and found multiple similar recipes online and after making it a few times, this is how we love it.  I've served it for Christmas dinner for my family and just for cozy nights in for me and Corey, super comfort food.  You can double to sauce as well if you want to make it really creamy and dreamy! ;)

we can pretend I only had two shells ;)
Chicken Stuffing Stuffed Shells
inspired by my friend Jamie
1/2 package giant pasta shells, cooked & drained
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded (about 2 breasts)*
1 (6 ounce) box chicken flavored stuffing mix, prepared according to box
1 (10.5 ounce) cans cream of chicken soup
1 cup (1 small container) plain greek yogurt
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon dried parsley
Salt & pepper

Cook and drain pasta, set aside. Prepare the stuffing mix and place in a big bowl.  Combine soup, greek yogurt, milk, parsley, and a little salt & pepper; stir.  Add shredded chicken & half of soup mixture to stuffing and mix.  Stuff shells with chicken mixture and place in a 9x13 inch baking pan that has been greased. Once all of the shells are filled, pour the remaining soup mixture over the shells, cover with foil and bake in a 350° F oven for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.  Delicious!
*my favorite (easy) way is to boil the chicken in water until cooked, then throw them in the bowl of my kitchen-aid mixer and turn on with the paddle attachment until shredded.  So easy and it gets the chicken really shredded!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Fiesta Egg Casserole

This was an interesting breakfast dish!  I was so excited to try it, and while the flavors were really good, it was just missing something.  Maybe substance?  We loved it however rolls into tortillas as breakfast burritos!!! 

Fiesta Egg Casserole
via The Fitnessista
1/2 lb chorizo, or your favorite breakfast sausage
2 sliced tomatoes
1 sliced avocado
1 1/2 cups of frozen hash browns or tater tots (optional), thawed
8 eggs
splash of milk of choice
salt, pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 and spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray.  In a medium saucepan, brown the chorizo or sausage on medium-low for about 10 minutes.  Add the chorizo or sausage to the baking dish, then top with tomato slices, avocado slices and the hash browns or tater tots.  In a bowl, whisk your eggs with a splash of milk, some salt and pepper, and pour the egg mixture on top.  Bake for 35-45 minutes until set, bubbly and delicious.  This is perfect served in tortillas with salsa & sour cream!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Chile Rellenos

I have tried at least three times prior to make chile rellanos and they just never turn out for me.  While these are not the same as the ones we order at our favorite Mexican restaurant, they are by far the closest, and are really yummy!  We have made these twice so far, and I'm sure will many more times.  The breading is really light and fluffy and they are actually relatively easy to put together.  We saw the recipe on a Diners, Drive-ins, & Dives episode!

Chile Rellenos
4 pasilla chiles
1 pound queso fresco cheese (or monetary jack/pepper jack shredded)
1/4 cup diced onion
3 eggs
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
1 cup oil
First you will roast the pasillas (pablanos).  Pre-heat your oven to broil and broil peppers on all sides until blackened.  Remove from oven and put in a plastic bag for 10 minutes to sweat out any moisture and cool.  Remove from the bag, peel peppers, slit them down one side and remove the seeds.

Mix cheese and onions.  Use your hands to form into four cylinders (this is easier to do if the cheese has sat out of the fridge for a few minutes).  Stuff the peppers with the cheese and use toothpicks to hold them together.

Separate the egg yolks from the whites.  Add the egg whites to the bowl of your mixer. Reserve the egg yolks.  Beat the egg whites with an electric beater until the whites fluff up (I mean really fluff up!  Like you are making angel food cake or whip cream.  It will take a good few minutes). Add in 1 tablespoon flour and the egg yolks and mix until completely incorporated.

Add the oil to a frying pan over medium heat.  Place the other tablespoon of flour in a low bowl or plate.  Dip the stuffed peppers into the flour, coating all sides, then dip in the egg batter and fry until golden brown on both sides. Remove from the oil to a serving platter.  Serve with salsa!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Restaurant Style Salsa

Not even joking when I say I've made this salsa like the last five or six weeks in a row.  It makes a ginormous batch and somehow we continue to finish it off within a few days.  Its incredible.  Oh and so simple!  You basically open a few cans, chop a couple small items, and throw it all in the blender!  Its easy to half this recipe too if you think you won't finish it all.  Its important to taste and season how you and your family likes.  And leave out jalapeno or cilantro if you aren't a fan!

Restaurant Style Salsa
1 can (28 Ounce) Whole Tomatoes With Juice
2 cans (10 Ounce) Rotel (diced Tomatoes And Green Chilies)
1/4 cup Chopped Onion
1 clove Garlic, Minced
1 whole Jalapeno, Quartered And Sliced Thin
1/4 teaspoon Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Ground Cumin
1/2 cup Cilantro (more To Taste!)
Juice from 1/2 Lime
Note: this is a very large batch. Recommend using a 12-cup food processor or a blender.

Combine whole tomatoes, Rotel, onion, jalapeno, garlic, sugar, salt, cumin, lime juice, and cilantro in a blender or food processor. Pulse until you get the salsa to the consistency you'd like---I do about 10 to 15 pulses. Test seasonings with a tortilla chip and adjust as needed.

Refrigerate salsa for at least an hour. Serve with whatever you would like!


Monday, November 11, 2013

Mexican Pizzas

These are so easy to whip up, especially since we usually have most of the ingredients on hands at all times.  They are easily customizable too.  We had them again Saturday night, but this time we made smaller ones and used leftover barbacoa beef on a few and left a few with no meat.  While they were delicious with all the below ingredients, they are not all required to get a good Mexican pizza!  Just use whatever you like or have on hand and enjoy!

Mexican Pizzas

1 lb lean ground turkey or beef
2 tbsp taco seasoning
1 can refried beans
1 cup Mexican cheese blend
4 flour tortillas
Optional Toppings:
avocado, diced
salsa or taco sauce
red onion, diced
tomato, diced
green onion, diced
shredded lettuce (not pictured, but loved adding it the second time!)
sour cream

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray a large skillet with nonstick spray and crank the heat to medium/high.  When hot, add the turkey and the taco seasoning — use your spatula to break the ground turkey apart.  Continue cooking for about five minutes until the turkey has cooked through.  Remove from heat.

Place a flour tortilla on a sheet tray. Spread refried beans on top of tortilla then top with turkey and grated cheese.  Repeat with remaining tortillas.

Bake “pizzas” for about 10-12 minutes, until cheese has melted and tortilla is crispy. Serve with desired toppings!


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Pumpkin French Toast

Great little breakfast right here!  Every since we had Reese (over a year ago) I have loved to make breakfasts like this one at the beginning of the week that we can eat on all week.  They make for quick and easy mornings as Corey is rushing out the door.  This is a really yummy twist on normal French toast.  You can top it with maple syrup or sweetened cream cheese as I did! 

Pumpkin French Toast
5 1/2 – 7 1/2 cups 1-inch bread cubes (I filled a 9x13in pan w/ French bread)
7 large eggs
2 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
3-4 tablespoons brown sugar for topping
Cut any kind of bread into 1-inch cubes.  Just use enough slice to fill a lightly greased 9×13 baking dish quite full.
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla, pumpkin and pie spice until well combined. Pour over bread and push down with a spoon or your hands until it’s all soaked and mostly covered. Cover with saran wrap or lid and refrigerate overnight (or for a good amount of time).
In the morning, preheat oven to 350 degrees, uncover and top with brown sugar.  Bake for 35-45 minutes or golden brown and no longer wet.
Serve immediately with maple syrup, or a little cream cheese mixed with brown sugar. Store leftovers in the refrigerator covered for up to a week.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Italian Drunken Noodles

Delicious!  Simply delicious and such a beautiful dish!  This pasta has Italian sausage, bell peppers, tomatoes, and wine.  It is so flavorful and just a really different pasta dish.  Its very easy to make and the perfect entertaining meal. 

Italian Drunken Noodles
via Easy Cookbook Recipes

Olive oil
4 spicy Italian sausage links, casings removed
1 large onion, quartered and sliced thinly
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 red bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced
1 orange bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
½ cup white white (I used Chardonnay)
1 (28 ounce) can stewed tomatoes with juice

8 ounces Pappardelle noodles, uncooked (I used fettuccine)

3 tablespoons butter

Prepare the noodles according to package directions.

Place a large, heavy-bottom pot over medium-high heat; add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and once the oil is hot, crumble the spicy Italian sausage into the pan in small chunks, allowing it to brown; once the crumbled sausage is browned, remove it from the pan/pot with a slotted spoon and place into a small bowl to hold for a moment.

Add the sliced onion into the pan with the sausage drippings, and allow it to caramelize and become golden for roughly 5 minutes or so, stirring to keep it from burning (add a touch more olive oil, if necessary); once the onion starts to become golden, add the salt, Italian seasoning and cracked black pepper, and stir to combine.

Add in the sliced bell peppers, and allow those to saute with the onion for about 2 minutes until slightly tender and golden; next, add in the garlic, and once it becomes aromatic

Add in the white wine and allow it to reduce for a few moments, until almost completely reduced.

Add in the stewed tomatoes with their juice, and return the browned spicy Italian sausage back into the pan, and gently fold the mixture to combine; allow it to gently simmer for about 3-4 minutes to blend the flavors, then turn the heat off; to finish the sauce, drizzle a bit of the olive oil to create a silky, rich flavor.

Next add the cooked noodles & the butter to the sauce and stir until butter is melted and all is combined.  Taste and season accordingly with salt, pepper, garlic powder, basil, parsley, etc.  The sauce will thicken as it sits and really become more flavorful!  Add a bit of red pepper flakes for even more spice.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Crock Pot Chicken Philly Sandwhiches

These are amazing and so simple to make!  I love recipes where you can use leftovers for all kinds of things, like nachos for example!  I added butter, garlic powder, parmesan, and a sprinkle of salt to the French bread before toasting in the oven and it was delicious! 

Crock Pot Chicken Philly Sandwiches
via Food Family Finds
4 tablespoons butter
1 large sweet onion, sliced
2 green bell peppers, sliced
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used frozen even)
2 tablespoons Dale’s Steak Seasoning
sliced Mozzarella cheese (I used provolone)
hoagie rolls (I used French bread)
butter, garlic powder, salt, parmesan (optional)
Spray slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray and turn to LOW heat.  Add butter, onions and green peppers.  Toss chicken with steak seasoning, salt and pepper, then add to slow cooker.  Cover and cook for 5 hours.  Spread French bread with butter, then sprinkle with salt, garlic powder, and parmesan.  Add a slice of cheese to one side and broil watching closing in the oven until toasted.  Serve chicken on French bread as sandwiches, yum!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Cuban Chicken Dinner

Corey got to try out Rick's Boathouse recently for a work dinner and loved it.  He ordered the Cuban chicken dinner and immediately wanted me to try to recreate it.  This dinner is so delicious!  And while it seems like it has a lot of parts to it, they are all relatively easy.  The meal includes chicken marinated in mojo criollo, black bean chili, brown rice, corn & avocado salad, and pico de gallo.

Cuban Chicken Dinner
inspired by Rick's Boathouse
Mojo Criollo marinated Chicken idea from here
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
juice from 1 lime
splash orange juice
drizzle olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt & pepper
Combine all ingredients and marinade for at least 30 minutes or a few hours if possible.  Discard marinade and grill chicken breasts.
Black Bean Chili idea from here
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1 to 2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried leaf oregano
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes in juice
3/4 cups water
1/2 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
Heat the oil in a sauce pan and saute the onions, garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook 1 minute, then add tomato paste, chili powder, and cumin and cook 2 minutes, stirring.  Add remaining ingredients and stir.  Simmer for 20 minutes or longer, tasting and seasoning if necessary.  This gets better the longer it sits! 
Brown Rice
Cooked according to package directions.
Pico de gallo
3 roma tomatoes (or about 1-2 cups cherry tomatoes)
1/2 jalapeno (optional)
juice from 1/2 lime
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup diced red onion
drizzle olive oil
salt & pepper
Combine all ingredients and place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes if possible.  Measurements are rough estimate!
Avocado Corn Salsa
2 cups corn
3/4 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1 avocado, diced
drizzle olive oil
salt & pepper
juice from 1/2 lime
1/4 cup chopped cilantro 
Combine all ingredients except avocado and place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes if possible.  Stir in avocado before serving.  Measurements are rough estimate!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Grilled Veggie Tacos

Talk about a super simple, versatile dinner that is really healthy and SO good!  Cooking things on the grill really gives a flavor nothing else can.  These tacos were so flavorful, and all I seasoned them with were olive oil and a little taco seasoning!  We served them alone in small flour tortillas with a little white queso drizzled over the top.  Amazing!

Grilled Veggie Tacos

Veggies of choice, I used:
2 zucchini
2 summer squash
1 red onion
1 green pepper

Olive Oil
Taco Seasoning
White Queso (I just picked up a small cup from our fav Mexican restaurant!)

Chop veggies and toss in a large bowl with olive oil and taco seasoning to taste.  Place veggies in a grill basket and cook, tossing occasionally, until tender (if you don't have a grill basket you can slice them long and place them directly on grill).  Place tortillas on grill for a minute per side, watching very closely to warm.  Serve veggies in tortillas and drizzle with queso.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Cilantro Lime Shrimp

This is a really flavorful, light, and healthy meal!  We had these with toasted bread + ricotta & sauteed corn and red pepper.

Cilantro Lime Shrimp
1 Tablespoon Butter
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
2 cloves Garlic, Diced Or Minced
1 whole Medium Onion, Chopped
1 whole Jalapeno, Finely Chopped
¼ teaspoons Red Pepper Flakes
½ teaspoons Mexican Oregano
2 whole Roma Tomatoes, Chopped
1 pound Shrimp, Peeled, Split And Deveined With Tail On
1 whole Lime, Zest And Juice
½ teaspoons Salt
½ teaspoons Black Pepper
2 Tablespoons Cilantro, Chopped
Melt the butter and oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, onion and jalapeno. Cook, stirring until the onion begins to wilt, approximately 3 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes and oregano. Continue cooking until the onion becomes translucent, approximately 3 additional minutes. Add the tomatoes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are soft. Add the shrimp, zest and lime juice, salt and black pepper. Cook until the shrimp are just opaque. Be careful not to overcook.  Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cilantro.  Serve with lots of bread to soak up the juices!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Vegetarian Lo Mein

This was a great meatless meal to continue our asian food kick in this household!  I made this probably a month ago and need to make it again!  It was so simple and very tasty.

Vegetarian Lo Mein
For the Sauce:
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon Sriracha hot chili sauce
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Remaining Ingredients:
2 teaspoons canola oil
2 cups bean sprouts
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions, white and green parts
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 cup shredded Napa cabbage
1/4 cup grated carrot
6 oz Chinese egg noodles or whole wheat spaghetti
Cook the egg noodles or spaghetti according to package instructions, drain and set aside.
Stir all sauce ingredients together in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until thickened and glossy, about 3 minutes. Set aside.
Meanwhile, set a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the two teaspoons of canola oil and swirl to coat. Add the bean sprouts, mushrooms, cabbage, and carrot.
Saute for about 3 minutes, or until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the cooked egg noodles and the sauce, tossing to combine. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Smokey Chicken Tacos w/ Goat Cheese Queso

I was a little unsure about goat cheese on tacos, but decided to try these out and was so pleasantly surprised.  Its the perfect combo with the smokey chicken.  These are a great mix up to normal taco night.

Smokey Chicken Tacos w/ Goat Cheese Queso
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or chicken of choice)
1 sweet onion, sliced
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 limes, sliced into wedges
corn or flour tortillas for serving
chopped tomatoes
sliced avocado
sliced red onion
extra goat cheese for topping
lime wedges
spicy goat cheese queso
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 jalapeño pepper, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup milk
6 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spray a baking dish with nonstick spray. In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper, paprika, chili powder, cumin and garlic powder, mixing to combine.

Pat chicken thighs dry with a paper towel, then cover in the spice rub. Place the sliced onion all over the bottom of the baking dish and set the chicken over top. Place lime wedges in between the chicken. Cover with foil and bake for 45-60 minutes. Remove chicken and let cool slightly, then shred.

A few minutes before the chicken is shredded, make the goat cheese queso below. To assemble tacos, warm the tortillas then cover in chicken, queso, tomatoes, onions, avocado and extra crumbled goat cheese

spicy goat cheese queso
Heat a small saucepan over medium heat and add butter, jalapeño and garlic. Let cook for 1-2 minutes, until sizzling, then whisk in flour to create a roux. Cook for another 1-2 minutes until golden and bubbly. Pour in milk, whisking well and reduce heat to low. Once slightly thickened, add in the goat cheese and stir well until it totally melts. Taste and season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve immediately over tacos!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Portobello Mushroom Pizzas

We are loving summer so far over here!  Lots of pool time with my little girl lately and we love it!  These little pizzas are a perfect light summer dish when you are craving pizza, but want to mix it up and squeeze in an extra veggie.  My hubby isn't a huge mushroom fan, as much as I try to make him, so I bought a small loaf of french bread and made him french bread pizzas instead.  However, he actually ended up liking this one!  If you love mushrooms like me, you will love this easy dish!

Portobello Mushroom Pizzas
idea via Pinterest via Healthy Canadian Mommy

4 large portobello mushroom caps, stems removed
pizza sauce
mozzarella cheese
cherry tomatoes
other toppings of choice

preheat oven to 400
wash mushrooms & place on a baking sheet
add sauce, cheese, then toppings
bake 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Cajun Chicken Tortellini Bake

This bake is so so good!  Its creamy, sweet and a tiny bit spicy, and really flavorful.  This is a great dish to freeze, but I would suggest under cooking the tortellini a little bit if you are going to do that, because mine got a bit mushy. 

Cajun Chicken Tortellini Bake
via Duchess of Fork
1 bag frozen cheese tortellini
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup onion diced
1 small bell pepper diced
1 cup frozen corn
1-2 tablespoons cajun seasoning
1 1/2 cups sharp white cheddar cheese grated and divided
2 cups cooked chicken breast chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray four small ramekins or one large casserole dish with cooking spray and set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook tortellini about 1 minute shy of the package instructions.

While pasta boils, heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add olive oil, then onions and bell peppers. Cook for 7-8 minutes, or until vegetables begin to soften. Add corn kernels and saute an additional 3 minutes. Sprinkle Cajun seasonings over vegetables, stirring to coat.

Drain pasta and toss with 1 cup of cheese and 2 cups of chicken in a large bowl. Add veggies and season with additional Cajun seasoning, salt and pepper, if desired. Stir well and divide pasta evenly among ramekins. Top with remaining cheese.

Bake for 10 minutes, or until cheese has melted. If you are using a large casserole dish, adjust baking time to 15-20 minutes.

Sausage Egg & Green Chile Casserole

This breakfast casserole is simply the best!  My mom made it for Thanksgiving last year and I have made it a few times since and have always gotten great reviews.  It not spicy at all, just flavorful and the cottage cheese makes it so creamy!  Make this for your next breakfast pitch-in or just for your family to cover breakfast all week!

Sausage, Egg, & Green Chile Casserole
via All Recipes

1/2 pound ground sausage

Place sausage in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Drain, and set aside. Melt butter in skillet, and cook and stir the green onions and mushrooms until tender.
In a large bowl, mix the eggs, cottage cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, and chiles. Stir in the sausage, green onions, and mushrooms. Cover, and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Blend in the melted butter. Stir the flour mixture into the egg mixture. Pour into the prepared baking dish.
Bake 40 to 50 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly brown. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Lettuce Wraps

We have been loving these lettuce wraps, I swear I've made them at least 4 times over the past two months probably.  The recipe comes from my friend Heather, who made them for one of our freezer meal swaps.  I love how versatile they are, you can throw in whatever veggies you have, use the type of meat you prefer, and drizzle them which fun sauces!  I will sometimes make rice to serve with them as well (in the picture below).  So delicious!

Lettuce Wraps
via Weelicious

1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons cilantro, minced
1 tablespoon oil
1 small onion, diced
1 bell pepper, red, orange or yellow
1/2 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup edamame
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon ginger, minced
1 pound ground chicken or turkey
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 bibb or iceberg lettuce “cups
Optional Sauce: soy sauce, teriyaki, sweet chili sauce, siracha! 
Combine soy sauce, honey, and cilantro in a bowl and set aside.
Using a large saute pan, cook the onion in 1 tbsp of oil over medium heat for 2 minutes.
Add the bell pepper and cook an additional 2 minutes.
Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute then add the chicken or turkey to the pan and saute for an additional 7 minutes or until cooked through.
Stir in the soy sauce mixture, salt and cook for 2 minute or until juices evaporate.
Serve in lettuce cups (to eat then just roll the lettuce around the stir fried chicken and eat them like a burrito).

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Basic Yellow Crumb Muffins (Apple Version!)

This is a great basic yellow muffin recipe that you can add whatever mix-ins you feel like!  They are moist and the crumb topping is awesome!

Classic Yellow Muffins, yields 1 dozen
via Kathleen (a work friend)
1 1/4 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
3 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
10 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp
3/4 c sugar
2 eggs
Pre heat oven to 350. Use muffin liners or spray muffin tin.
Sift together dry ingredients. In separate bowl, beat butter & sugar together, then beat in eggs, milk, and vanilla. Fold wet and dry ingredients together until just mixed, may be lumpy.
Optional flavors:
add 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
add 1/8 cup brown sugar mixed w/ 1 tsp cinnamon (sprinkle over batter then fold in two or three times)
add 1/2 cup chocolate chips
add 1/2 cup diced apples plus 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Streussel Topping
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
4 tbsp butter
Mix dry ingredients. Cut in butter until sandy. Pat onto muffins before baking.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly browned.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Beef and Broccoli

Me and Corey have been on quite the "asian food" kick lately.  I feel like I'm back in my pregnancy craving days (not pregnant, don't worry).  We've pretty much been rotating this recipe with pad thai and lettuce wraps (that I have yet to share) for weeks on end...ahhh-mazing.  Can't get enough.  I can't stress how incredibly easy this recipe is, and the flavor is so so good.

Beef and Broccoli
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp water
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 lbs flank steak, sliced into thin strips
Remaining Ingredients:
1/2 c low-sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp flour
1 tbsp sherry (didn't have so I left it out)
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 heads broccoli, crowns only

Whisk together the marinade ingredients: baking soda, sugar, cornstarch, soy sauce, water, and vegetable oil in a large bowl. Toss the steak with the marinade to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour, then proceed below.

In a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, flour and sherry until smooth. Set aside.

In a large wok or saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil over high heat until shimmering. Add broccoli and saute 3 minutes, stirring often. Transfer broccoli to a plate.

Reduce heat to medium-high. Carefully add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the hot pan. Add the marinated meat and half of the sauce mixture and saute for 3-4 minutes, stirring often, until the meat is cooked through and no longer pink. Stir in the broccoli and remaining sauce. Saute 1 minute more. Serve.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Coffee Cake

There. Are. No. Words.  Ok...maybe a few...make this so you can get away with eating desert for breakfast.  You will have no regrets.  Delicious.  The Pioneer Woman does it again!

Coffee Cake
via Pioneer Woman

For the cake:
1-1/2 stick Butter, Softened
2 cups Scant Sugar
3 cups Flour, Sifted
4 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Salt
1-1/4 cup Whole Milk
3 whole Egg Whites, Beaten Until Stiff

For the topping:
1-1/2 stick Butter, Softened
3/4 cups Flour
1-1/2 cup Brown Sugar
2 Tablespoons Cinnamon
1-1/2 cup Pecans, Chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat egg whites and set aside.

Cream butter and sugar. Add flour mixture and milk alternately until combined. Don't overbeat. Fold in beaten egg whites with a rubber spatula. Spread in a well-greased 9 x 13 baking pan. A cake pan with higher sides would be best.

In a separate bowl, combine topping ingredients with a pastry cutter (or in your mixer!) until crumbly. Sprinkle all over the top.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until no longer jiggly. Serve warm---delicious!

Just delicious.


Saturday, March 30, 2013

Crock Pot Bolognese Sauce

Mmmmmmmm...what a delicious mix up from the usual spaghetti!  I had never had a bolognese sauce before, but I loved how you could taste a hint of the wine and all the veggies that were included in it.

Crock Pot Bolognese Sauce
via Skinny Taste

4 oz pancetta, chopped (or center cut bacon)  (I left this out because I didn't feel like buying it and I didn't feel like it was missing anything!)
1 tbsp butter (or olive oil)
1 large white onion, minced
2 celery stalks (about 3/4 cup), minced
2 carrots (about 3/4 cup), minced
2 lb 95% lean ground beef
1/4 cup white wine (I only had red, so I used red)
2 - 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
3 bay leaves
salt and fresh pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup half & half cream
Rigatoni or pasta of choice

In a large deep saute pan, saute pancetta on low heat until the fat melts, about 4-5 minutes.  Add butter, onions, celery and carrots and cook on medium-low heat until soft, about 5 minutes.

Increase flame to medium-high; add meat, season with salt and pepper and sauté until browned. Drain the fat then add wine; cook until it reduces down, about 3-4 minutes.

Add to crock pot. Add tomatoes, bay leaves, salt and pepper; cover and set slow cooker to LOW 6 hours.

After the 6 hours, adjust salt and pepper to taste, add half & half and parsley; stir and serve over your favorite pasta.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Chimichangas

Such a yummy mexican dish.  The shredded beef is very tender and flavorful, you could really use it for anything.  We love making nachos with the leftovers.  Chimichangas are basically a lightly friend burrito and this recipe is fantastic.  They taste just like the real thing from the mexican restaurants!

this is how I kept my burritos rolled up while frying, using a toothpick!  here is a great tutorial
Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Chimicangas
via Jam Hands

2 to 3 pound chuck roast
10 oz. can Ro-tel, your choice of flavor. We used Original (Tomatoes & Green Chilies)
1 medium onion, diced
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 pkg large flour tortillas
sour cream

1. Add the first 5 ingredients to your slow cooker. Cook either on high for 3-4 hours or on low for about 6-8 hours. After it is cooked through, shred the beef with a fork (then add it back to liquid to keep it moist).
2. Fill your tortillas with the shredded beef filling. Fold and secure with toothpicks (see tutorial above). Fry in oil that has been warmed to med-high for a few seconds on each side until browned. Remove and set to drain on a paper towel. Transfer to a plate and top with garnishes of your choice. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Cranberry-Avocado Salad with Candied Spiced Almonds and Sweet Balsamic Vinaigrette

I'm not kidding you, this salad will make you want to have salad everyday, three days in a row, lunch and dinner.  Then again every week following you'll crave it again.  The dressing is sweet and oh the almonds - crunchy and spicy, but still sweet and just so so flavorful!  We added feta, but really any cheese would work, and we've since made it again without cheese and it was just as great.  I am sharing the quick and easy way to make this salad (almonds included) below, but follow the link if you want the original.
Ugh I'm still learning shooting in manual mode with my new camera lens, but it looks like these pictures turned out a little blurry!  Oh well (so excited for our camera class Sarah!)

Cranberry-Avocado Salad with Candied Spiced Almonds and Sweet Balsamic Vinaigrette
via The Cafe Sucre Farine

Ingredients for the dressing:
1/6 cup sugar
3/4 tablespoons poppy seeds
3/4 tablespoons sesame seeds
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoons dried mustard
1/2 tablespoon minced sweet onion
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Ingredients for the almonds:1 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup sugar
1.5  tablespoons butter
1 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cumin
3/4 teaspoons smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon and they will be mildly spiced.
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
sea salt
Ingredients for the salad:
12 ounces baby spinach or field greens
2 medium avocados, peeled and halved
3/4 cup dried cranberries
Feta (optional)
Place all almond ingredients in a skillet and heat over medium heat until butter melts and sugar and spices start sticking to almonds.

Combine all dressing ingredients in a pint sized glass jar and shake well to dissolve sugar.

For the salad, place greens in a large bowl. Add avocado and dried cranberries and about 1/4 cup of the dressing and toss gently. Scatter candied almonds over salad and sprinkle lightly with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pass extra dressing at the table.


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Chipotle Chicken & Corn Chowder

oh my goodness this chowder was fantastic.  It was so warm and comforting and seriously delicious.  It felt light but creamy at the same time.  I loved the combination of the corn and potatoes with the spice of the chipotles.  This was not spicy in our opinions so I added more chipotles to give it more flavor.  Since apparently its still winter here in Indiana, please make this for yourself and cozy up!

Chipotle Chicken & Corn Chowder
via Brown Eyed Baker

1 can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 poblano pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried thyme
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk (I used skim)
2 cups chicken stock
6 small red potatoes, peeled and diced small
4 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
4 ounces Cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
2 cups diced, cooked chicken
1 (30-ounce) can sweet corn, drained (I used frozen corn)
1 (15-ounce) can cream-style corn
1 cup crushed tortilla chips (I skipped these)
Juice from 1 lime (about 2 tablespoons)
Chopped cilantro, to garnish (optional)

1. Remove one chile from the can of chiles and mince it. Remove 1 teaspoon of the adobo sauce and set it aside to be used later. You can save the remaining chiles and sauce for another use.  (I ended up adding at least 2 or 3 more chiles, so you can add less now, then taste and add more later if desired).

2. Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven or stock pot over medium heat. Add the poblano pepper, red bell pepper, the chile from the can, cumin, thyme and oregano, and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the peppers become soft. Add the garlic, stir and cook for an additional 30 seconds, or until fragrant.

3. Stir in the flour with a wooden spoon and cook for 1 minute, or until there is no longer any visible raw flour. Slowly stir in the milk and chicken broth, scraping up any bits from the bottom of the pan as you stir.

4. Add the potatoes, bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and can be easily pierced with a knife.

5. Add the shredded cheeses a handful at a time, stirring after each addition until the cheese is completely melted.

6. Finally, stir in the chicken, both cans of corn, the tortilla chips (I skipped these), lime juice and the reserved 1 teaspoon of adobo sauce. Cover and cook for an additional 10 minutes, or until the soup is completely heated through. Serve immediately.

Note: If you have leftovers that have been refrigerated and reheated, you may need to thin out the soup with some extra chicken stock, as it may thicken up in the refrigerator.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

Oh my goodness!  This was by far the best lasagna I've made in a while.  Roasting the veggies and garlic gives them such amazing flavor.  I used a jarred marinara sauce as the recipe suggested and I loved how it turned out.  When I make my own sauce for lasagna it seems to turn out runny, but this was perfect.  The ricotta made it really creamy and I love that this is a healthy dish without tasting like it at all!

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna
via For the Love of Cooking

Roasted Veggies:
(note: you can use whatever veggies you have or like, original recipe called for broccoli and carrots as well)
8 oz button mushrooms, quartered
1/2 red onion, quartered
2-3 orange, red or yellow baby bell peppers, sliced
6 cloves of garlic, leave the skins on for roasting
1 green zucchini, sliced
1 yellow squash, sliced
Olive oil
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
Dried basil, to taste
Dried oregano, to taste
Ricotta mixture:
1 16 oz container of fat free ricotta cheese
3-4 tbsp mozzarella cheese, grated
3-4 tbsp parmesan cheese, grated
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 egg
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
Dried oregano, to taste
Dried basil, to taste
Dash of nutmeg
Other ingredients:
Lasagna noodles
Mushroom marinara (or your favorite jar of marinara)
Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Parmesan cheese, grated
Dried basil


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with tin foil (for quick and easy clean up) then coat the tin foil lined baking sheet with olive oil cooking spray. Clean and slice the veggies and layer all but the zucchini and yellow squash on the sheet. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on top, season with sea salt, cracked pepper, basil and oregano to taste. Toss to coat and place in the oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, add the zucchini and yellow squash to the roasted veggies, toss and return to the oven for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside. Once the garlic cloves cool down, carefully peel the skin off and slice. Add sliced garlic back in with the rest of the veggies.

Cook your lasagna noodles until al dente (or you can also buy no cook noodles at some stores).  For the ricotta mixture, combine all the ingredients and mix thoroughly.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a large glass baking dish with olive oil cooking spray. Pour a bit of marinara sauce on the bottom of the dish then place a few lasagna noodles down to completely cover the bottom of pan. Add half of the ricotta mixture and spread evenly over the noodles. Next add half of the roasted veggie mixture. Cover the veggies with lasagna noodles then sauce. Add the last of the ricotta mixture then the remaining veggies. Cover with lasagna noodles, more sauce then sprinkle the top with mozzarella, Parmesan and dried basil. Bake covered for 30 minutes; remove the cover and bake for an additional 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden brown. Cool for at least 5 minutes before slicing. Enjoy.


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Easy Pad Thai

Oh my!  I apologize that I have been feeling in a bit of a blogging rut lately!  There has been no shortage of amazing food being cooked in our kitchen, but I have been awful about taking pictures before its all scarfed down and just really lazy about sharing the recipes with you when I do get pictures!  I am months behind, so I thought I might feel some new enthusiasm if I started sharing more recent recipes.

This one is super quick to throw together, and pretty much just incredible.  While I didn't think it tasted exactly like the "pad thai" I've ordered in thai restaurants, it was still pretty darn tasty.  In fact, I'm making it again this coming week.  We have been craving asian inspired meals in our household lately, so keep watch for more similar recipes!

Easy Pad Thai
via Bev Cooks
yields 2 large servings (I would totally double this recipe!)

7 ounces pad Thai noodles (or any rice noodles)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 eggs
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoons sriracha
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup fresh bean sprouts
1 cup cilantro
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Remove from heat and add the noodles. Let sit roughly 10 minutes, or until soft. Drain and rinse under cool water.
Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium. Crack the eggs and scramble until set, 2 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, fish sauce, sriracha, lime juice, olive oil and brown sugar. Whisk until combined.
Back in the large skillet, combine the noodles, Thai dressing, bean sprouts, scrambled eggs, cilantro and scallions. Toss until combined.
Serve garnished with peanuts!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Chicken Alfredo Pizza

This is some incredible pizza right here!  I made this on New Years Eve (a little behind here, haha) and it was a perfect yummy dinner to celebrate a special night!  I've since made it again for a girls night and everyone was a fan!  The sauce is incredibly easy to whip up and makes the pizza.  As you can see we only added bacon to half (mainly because we burnt it) and I didn't even add it the second time I made it because I don't think its necessary (same with the chives).  This pizza is delish!

Chicken Alfredo Pizza
pizza dough
1 1/2 cups cooked or grilled, shredded chicken (I boiled and shredded one chicken breast)
2 Tbsp butter
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp onion powder
1 Tbsp flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp heavy cream (I used half & half)
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp whole milk (I used skim milk)
2 oz finely shredded Parmesan cheese (1/2 cup)
Salt and freshly ground black or white pepper, to taste
4 oz shredded Mozzarella cheese (1 cup) (I used fontina)
6 slices bacon, cooked and chopped (optional)
1 1/2 Tbsp chopped green onions (optional)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Melt butter along with garlic powder and onion powder in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. While whisking vigorously, slowly pour in cream and milk. Bring mixture just to a gentle bubble stirring constantly. Allow mixture to gently boil for 20 seconds, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, add in Parmesan cheese, season with salt and pepper to taste then return to warm heat and stir occasionally until ready to use.
Stretch out dough on pan or baking stone.  Pour half of the Alfredo sauce over dough, then use the back of a spoon to spread into an even layer. Sprinkle shredded chicken over sauce layer, then pour remaining sauce evenly over chicken. Sprinkle top evenly with Mozzarella cheese then sprinkle with chopped bacon.  Bake in preheated oven 14 - 16 minutes until crust is nicely golden. Remove from oven, garnish top evenly with green onions, cut into slices and serve warm.