Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Homemade Shepherd's Pie

I got my new cookbook in the mail, The Picky Palate Cookbook, by the awesome Jenny Flake. I don't think there's a single thing in there that I wouldn't make! I highly recommend her book. The first thing I made, her homemade shepherd's pie. The family loved it, everyone had seconds...maybe even thirds. I will be making this all the time!

You need:
for the mashed potatoes-
2 1/2 lbs peeled diced potatoes (I used 7 potatoes)
3 Tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1 cup milk

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh minced garlic
1 lb ground beef
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 can green beans, drained

3 Tablespoons butter
3 Tablespoons all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup chicken broth

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (original recipe calls for 1 cup, but I love me some cheese)

Preheat your oven to 350. Spray a 13x9 dish with cooking spray.
Get your potatoes going. Peel, dice, and boil for about 20 min, or until fork tender. Drain and put them into a mixer, or use a hand mixer.

Add the salt, pepper,garlic powder, butter, and 1 cup of milk. Taste and season more if needed.

In a skillet, over med-high heat, drizzle the olive oil. Add the onion and minced garlic. Cook for about 3 min. Add the ground beef. Continue to cook until all meat is browned.

In a small sauce pan, melt the butter, add the flour and whisk until smooth. Add the salt, pepper, and chicken broth.
Bring the sauce to a boil and reduce heat to low. Let simmer for about five minutes.
Add the green beans to the ground beef, and pour the sauce on top.
Carefully fold in the sauce.
Pour the meat mixture into the 13x9 dish.
 Top with mashed potatoes and cheese.
Bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Smothered Chicken

I really can't believe I haven't blogged this recipe yet. I've been making this for years, and we have it pretty often. I usually have everything I need to make it. Chicken. 5 spices that are regulars in the pantry. Bell pepper. Cheese. Rice. Done!
I always serve it over white rice. (tip-use chicken broth instead of water to cook your white rice in, it gives it such good flavor!)
You need:
2 boneless skinless chicken halves
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 tbsp. butter
1 medium green bell pepper
1 medium red bell pepper
1/2 white onion
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
Slice the chicken into thin fillets.
Dice up your peppers and onions (a big dice).

Mix all the spices together in a small bowl. Season both sides of the chicken.
Melt the butter over a med-high heat. Add the chicken to the skillet.
Cook for about 5 minutes per side, remove chicken from skillet. Add the peppers and onion to the same skillet and saute for 5 minutes.

Once the peppers and onions have softened (after the 5 minutes), slide them over in the skillet and put the chicken back into the skillet.
Spoon the peppers and onion over the chicken pieces, covering them.
Top with the cheddar and mozzarella cheese.
Put a lid on the skillet and continue to cook over a meduim heat for another 5 minutes.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Hollywood Tacos with Chorizo Fried Rice

Do you ever watch the Food Network and just have to have what you see on the screen!? I do, just about every other day. I saw these on Eat Street. They're called Hollywood Tacos. I obviously didn't make them "exactly" how I saw them, because they don't give you full blown recipes, but I took the idea and ran with it. This was my very first time, ever, using curry. I loved it though.
Here's how you make them:
Cut up some boneless skinless chicken thighs, sautee them with curry powder and coconut milk. Serve the chicken in corn tortillas and top them with cabbage, cilantro, and sour cream. Add some Sriracha sauce for a little heat. Dig in!
I made some chorizo fried rice to go with the tacos. Keep in mind, I was feeding 8 people, so you may want to halve everything I did.
For the Chorizo fried rice, which was to die for, you want cooked white rice (day old rice works best). I cooked 4 cups of rice in my cooker, resulting in about 8 cups once done. First, cook up some chorizo ( I used 1 tube of chorizo) in a big skillet, pork or beef, you pick. Once the chorizo is cooked through, add the rice to the skillet, fold in with the chorizo. Add about half of a drained can of pineapple tidbits. You be the judge on how much pineapple you want in your rice. The chorizo makes this a spicy side, but the pineapple compliments it so well. I didn't measure anything out for this meal, I was just winging everything. Those make for the best dinners though.


Monday, October 8, 2012

Rice Krispie Treats, with sprinkles of course!

When you live with a 2 year old, just about everything you do is topped with sprinkles. I don't mind though. If topping broccoli with sprinkles means my daughter will eat, then sprinkles it is! Just like her doctor said to me once, "hey, if milk means chocolate milk, then give it to her. Chocolate milk is better than no milk". I've created a monster.

Anyhoo, this was (believe it or not) my first time making Rice Krispie treats. I watched the Ree, from The Pioneer Woman, make them on tv a few Saturdays back. I've been craving them ever since. And what a great way to use Nila's latest bottle of Halloween sprinkles she just picked out last grocery run.

You Need:
6 cups Rice Krispie cereal
4 tbsp butter, plus some to grease your dish
a 16 oz. bag of small marshmallows
1/4 tsp. salt

Grease a 13x9 baking dish, set aside.
Over medium heat, melt your butter in a big pot. Add approx 10 oz of the marshmallows, or a little over half the bag.
Stir until marshmallows are melted. Turn heat off. Add the cereal and gently fold into the marshmallow mix. Once it's all blended well, add the rest of the marshmallows and gently fold those in. This creates big clouds of marshmallows throughout :) Transfer to your 13x9 dish and smooth out. Top with sprinkles. Let cool completely before cutting.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Meat-atarian Sub

Looking for something to whip up during a game? This sub is quickly put together, and a real crowd pleaser. My friend Hillary passed along the recipe, she's been making this for her family for a while. I tried it a few nights ago and it's absolutely delicious.

You will need:
1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup grated parmesan
(I used an Italian cheese mix- Mozz, Parm, Asiago, Provolone)
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup mayo
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 loaf french bread, halved lengthwise
1 lb. sliced deli ham
8-10 slices of cooked bacon
4 oz. sliced pepperoni
1/2 cup pizza sauce

Combine the first eight ingredients in a small bowl. Spread over cut sides of bread. Layer with Ham, Bacon, Pepperoni, and pizza sauce. Replace top.
Wrap sub in foil and place on a large baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 25-30 min, or until heated through. Cut into slices.
p.s., I had pics of the "finished" sub, but they got lost before I could upload them. But, you get the idea...


Monday, September 24, 2012

Black Bean Fritters with Cilantro Cream Sauce

We've decided we need to eat more vegetarian dishes, which means I need to learn some! This is another recipe I found on Pinterest (gotta love Pinterest right!?) that I've tweaked just a little to my liking. These were phenominal! I'm sure being "fritters", they are meant more as an appetizer or side dish, but I just made them a little bigger, served them with spanish rice, and called it dinner! That was the longest sentence ever. Anyway, try them!

You will need:
2 cans of black beans, drained
1 large yellow pepper, remove seed, chop into small pieces
1 small white onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 large tomato, chopped into small pieces
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1/2 cup all purpose unbleached flour
2 eggs, room temperature
salt and black pepper
corn oil, for frying

Combine everything together in a big bowl. ( I used my hands so that I wouldn't mash the beans up too much) Season with salt and pepper. Add more flour if it's not binding.
Add 3 tbsp oil to a skillet and heat over a med-high flame. Once the oil is hot, form fritters with a big spoon and carefully put them into the oil.
Fry for about 3 min per side, or until golden brown.

Set them on a paper towel-lined plate. Season with salt again.

For the sauce you need:
1/2 cup sour cream
1 small can of diced green chillies
1 garic clove, minced
2 tbsp chopped cilanto
1/2 tsp. sugar
salt and pepper

Blend all ingredients together and serve with fritters.