Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Red and Green Pasta Toss

I created this recipe out of necessity. Its cheap, healthy, and versatile. Mix and match according to your taste. You need ONE ingredient from each section (red, green, pasta, sauce, and meat) to make your Pasta Toss.

Red:
- 1 Red Bell Pepper, diced
- 1 package Cherry or Grape Tomatoes

Green:
- 1 medium Zucchini, sliced
- 1 bunch Asparagus, cut

Pasta:
- 2 to 3 cups Bow Tie or Penne, cooked
- 1 package of cheese ravioli or tortellini, frozen or fresh

Sauce:
- 4 TBSP of Pesto
- 1/2 cup Marinara or Spaghetti sauce

Meat(Optional):
- 1 package Chicken Sausage (I love Italian three cheese flavor)
- 2 cups Leftover Chicken

Saute the red and green veggies until softened. Add pasta and meat and stir until meat is warmed through, and if you are using cheese filled pasta until your pasta is completely cooked. Add in sauce of choice and stir until it's warmed through.

Easy Cilantro Lime Rice

2 cups chicken stock
1 clove garlic, minced
2 TBS butter
1 cup long grain white
rice
1 tsp lime zest
2 TBS lime juice
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

Bring to boil chicken stock, garlic, and butter. Stir in rice, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes. You might need to add a little water during the end of the cooking time. Once the rice is done remove from heat and stir in zest, juice, and cilantro and serve.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Lemon Zucchini Bread

4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
1 cup canola oil
1 1/3 cup sugar
1 cup buttermilk
Juice of 2 lemons (or 2 Tablespoons lemon juice)
Zest of 2 lemons
2 cup grated zucchini

Makes 2 9×5″ loaf. Preheat oven to 35o degrees. Grease two 9×5″ loaf pan; set aside.

In large bowl, blend flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In medium bowl, beat 2 eggs well, then add canola oil and sugar, and blend well. Then add the buttermilk, lemon juice, and lemon zest and blend everything well.

Add this mixture to the dry ingredients in the large bowl and blend everything together, fold in zucchini and stir until evenly distributed in mixture.

Pour batter into 9×5″ loaf pans and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack and cool completely. While loaf is cooling, you can make the glaze…

Lemon Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
Juice of 1 lemon (or 2 Tablespoons lemon juice)

In small bowl, mix powdered sugar and lemon juice until well blended. Spoon glaze over cooled loaf. Let glaze set, then serve.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Fresh Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

4 cups heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
2 cups packed fresh mint leaves
4 large eggs
1 1/4 cup sugar
4 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped

In a food processor, combine cream, milk, and mint leaves and process until the mint is finely chopped. Transfer to a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and let stand for 15 minutes (helps to enhance mint flavor).

While waiting the 15 minutes, in a medium bowl beat together eggs and sugar with hand mixture until well combined. After the 15 minutes is up beat in 3-4 laddles of milk and mint mixture into egg and sugar mixture slowly. Then transfer egg and sugar mixture back into the saucepan. Stir slowly and bring to 170 degrees (meat thermometers work great for this).

Pour cream mint mixture threw a sieve or wire strainer into a bowl to remove the mint bits. Cover and chill until very cold. Add in chocolate and freeze in an ice cream maker. May need a few hours in the freezer after that to harden up.

Lemon-Thyme Cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 TBS fresh thyme, chopped
4 tsp lemon zest
2 TBS lemon juice
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
coarse or granulated sugar for topping

Preheat oven to 350. Beat together butter and sugar. Add cardamom, lemon zest, juice, and thyme and mix until combine. Add flour in slowly and mix until smooth.

Form into ball and roll out onto floured surface so that dough is about 1/4 inch thick (putting the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes before rolling our makes it a little easier to work with).

Cut with round cookie cutter and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with thin layer of sugar. Bake for 12-15 minutes until edges are lightly brown. Transfer to wire rack to cool.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Vegatable Kabobs

I personally like the combo of zucchini, mushrooms, and grape tomatoes, but you can add whatever vegatables you like.

- Fill a gallon size ziploc bag with sliced vegatables of your choice.
- Pour in 2-3 cups of your favorite Italian dressing (I like Kraft).
- Marinate in fridge for 8-12 hours.

Soak wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes then load up the veggies on the skewers and grill until tender and grill marks appear, approx 10 minutes turning once.

Grilled Pineapple Pork Chops

One of the thee most delicious meals I have eaten that came from the grill. Really good with fresh pineapple too, just buy a small can of pineapple juice instead.

20 ounces pineapple rings, reserve juice
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup soy sauce
½ teaspoon garlic powder
4-6 pork chops

Mix together the pineapple juice (reserved from the can of pineapple rings), brown sugar, soy sauce, and garlic powder together in a gallon-sized resealable plastic bag until all the sugar is dissolved. Add the pork chops and zip closed. Store in the fridge for 8-12 hours (the longer, the better!).
When ready to cook, preheat grill to medium-high heat. Remove chops from bag and place on grill. Brush pork chops with marinade while they are cooking to let the flavor really soak in.
Grill until pork chops are browned and no longer pink inside (about 6-8 minutes per side- depending on thickness of chops).
While chops are cooking, place pineapple rings on grill and cook until they are warmed through and have slight grill marks on them. Serve pork chops with grilled pineapple on top. 

From SixSistersStuff.com

Steak Marinade Recipe

1 cup Italian Dressing
1/2 cup A1 (Original)
1/2 cup Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp. lemon juice

Place all your ingredients in a gallon bag or tupperware. Mix well. Add your steak (I prefer Flat Irons because they are tender and fairly inexpensive). Let marinade for 24-36 hours. You can even do 12 hours if you’d like but I think it’s better if it’s for at least 24 hours. Grill and ENJOY!

*Here are a few tips for grilling steak:
 - always bring steak to room temp before grilling
 - grill steak on a super hot preheated grill to start with, then lower tempature
 - rest the steak for 15 minutes before cutting into it!

Whole Wheat blender pancakes

2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, well beaten
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Add eggs, milk, and oil first into blender, the add dry ingredients. Blend until combined. Pour onto hot skillet until bubbles form and edges start to dry. Flip and cook until lightly browned. I like to serve with sliced strawberries or warmed blueberries.

*Makes about 2 dozen 4-5 inch pancakes

Sunday, May 18, 2014

BLT Pasta Salad

3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 clove garlic pressed through a garlic press
3 tsp dry ranch dip mix
1 lb. fresh cheese tortellini
4 TBS crumbled bacon, divided
3 cups fresh baby spinach
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved

In a small bowl mix together sour cream, garlic, ranch dip mix and 3 tablespoons of the crumbled bacon. Refrigerate until you are ready to assemble the salad. It tastes best when it has had at least an hour to sit so the flavors can blend together.

Cook pasta according to directions, then strain and rinse with cold water, and strain again.
Mix pasta with dressing, and then toss with baby spinach and tomatoes. Sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon of crumbled bacon on top. Serve immediately.

Serves: 4-6

Adapted from receip on lovelylittlekitchen.com

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Blueberry Banana Buttermilk Bread

A great way to use up those lingering, spotty bananas, and the perfect gift!

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup blueberries (frozen is fine)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat four 5 3/4-inch mini loaf pans with nonstick spray.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, set aside.

Beat together butter and sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in eggs, buttermilk and vanilla until well combined. Beat in bananas until well combined.

Gradually add flour mixture to the sugar mixture at low speed, beating just until incorporated.
Fold in blueberries until combined.

Scoop the batter evenly into the loaf pans. Place into oven and bake for 30-35 minutes
Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes before taking it out of the pan.

Crispy Chicken Tortilla Roll ups

8-10 flour tortillas
6 ounces non-fat Greek yogurt
12 ounces cooked chicken, shredded
1 cup cheddar (or mexican blend) cheese
½ cup corn kernels
1-2 green onions, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced or grated
1/3 cup salsa
1 tsp. cumin
Juice of half a lime
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tsp. dried cilantro

Preheat oven to 400. Add the filling ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Stir with a spatula or spoonula, until evenly mixed.

Heat the 1/3 cup canola oil and two grated garlic cloves in a small saucepan over med heat. When the oil is hot, turn off the heat and let the garlic infuse into the oil for 5-10 minutes.

Assemble the tortillas by adding about 2 tbs. of the filling along the lower third of the flour tortillas -- feel free to sprinkle with a bit more cheese on top if you like it extra cheesy! Roll up and place seam side down on a large rimmed baking sheet.

Brush each tortilla rollup with the garlic oil and sprinkle with the dried cilantro. Bake for 8-10 minutes, flipping over halfway through cooking so both sides brown and crisp nicely.

Serve on a platter with guacamole, salsa, and/or sour cream on the side for dipping.

Homemade Rice Pilaf

Cheaper and better than the boxed stuff.

1/4 cup butter
1 cups uncooked white, long-grain rice
1/8 cup uncooked orzo pasta
2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon basil
4 teaspoon chicken bullion
2 1/4 cups chicken broth

In a large skillet with a lid, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the rice and orzo. Saute until rice the becomes opaque and the orzo starts to brown lightly.Stir in the spices. Add the chicken broth and water and bring to a slight boil. Cover and reduce the heat. Cook for 20 minutes, covered, until liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork, season with salt and pepper, and serve.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Quinoa Bowls

This one's from my awesome sister in law. She introduced me to quinoa and I'm excited at all the possibilities. We had this at a family get together and I loved it! So simple, so healthy, and easy too.

Make enough quinoa for 1/2 cup for each person you are serving. You can serve the quinoa hot or cold. Cook and shred 2 chicken breast* and warm shredded meat in bbq sauce of your choice. Then top with:

Shredded Chicken in BBQ sauce
Black Beans
Corn
Avocado, cubed
Cheddar Cheese, shredded
Cilantro, chopped
A squeeze of lime juice

* Can use pork too.

Friday, December 13, 2013

S'mores Squares Mix - Meals in a Jar

This makes such a cute gift, and it takes only pennies to make!

Layer:
1 sleeve graham crackers; reduced to crumbs*
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows

Put on the Label:
Empty contents of jar into a bowl. Melt 1/2 cup butter, add 1 teaspoon vanilla. Pour over dry ingredients, mixing well. Pat into a greased 9" square pan. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.

Makes 9 to 12 bars.

*TIP: The best way I have found to crush the graham crackers is putting them into a gallon zip lock bag and rolling them with a rolling pin.

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