Thursday, February 11, 2016

Asparagus & Eggs for One

  • 1/2 a bunch of asparagus, trimmed
  • 1 tbsp or less olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp shredded Parmesan cheese, optional

  1. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat
  2. Add asparagus to pan and shake pan to roll spears in oil, cook until tender (about 5  minutes, depending on size of spears)
  3. Lay asparagus out in a single layer and crack eggs over spears, sprinkle with pepper and cheese, cover and continue cooking until eggs are firm and yolk is done to desired consistency

My Thoughts:
I was hungry... I had asparagus... I had eggs; I made food.  This was very good and easy for my brunch today, it could be breakfast, lunch, or dinner; simple and yet amazing.  You could experiment with cheese, or be super boring and eat it without; either way, its good.

Source: inspired by Naturally Ella

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

One Pan Parmesan Pork Chops and Veggies

  • 1 lb pork chops
  • 16 oz red potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 16 oz fresh green beans, trimmed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dry thyme
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • seasoning salt, to taste
  • chopped fresh parsley, to garnish (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Spray baking sheet with non stick spray or line with parchment paper
  3. In a large bowl, combine olive oil, thyme, garlic, pepper, salt, and cheese
  4. Place chops on prepared sheet and season with seasoning salt, then spoon half the cheese mixture over pork
  5. Add potatoes and green beans to the large bowl with the remaining cheese mixture, stir well
  6. Lay vegetables out on the sheet around the pork
  7. Bake 20-22 minutes and broil 3 to 4 minutes until cheese is golden brown and pork is cooked through
  8. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately

My Thoughts:
I love one pan meals, not only do they incorporate you vegetables with easier clean up, but they are very simple to prepare.  We used very thick pork chops and they cooked all the way through and the vegetables were perfect.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

  • 2 tbsp sesame oil, divided
  • 1 cup fresh mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 lb chicken, ground or diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 head bibb or butter lettuce
  • 2 small green onion tops, sliced (for garnish, optional)

  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp teriyaki sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 pinch of dry red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 tbsp sriracha sauce or chili garlic sauce, to taste (optional)

  1. In a skillet or wok, heat 1 tbsp sesame oil over medium heat
  2. Add mushrooms to pan and cook, stirring occasionally until golden brown and soft, about 5 minutes; remove mushrooms and set aside
  3. Add remaining 1 tbsp sesame oil to previously used pan over medium heat; cook chicken and drain fat if needed
  4. Add garlic and mushrooms and basil; stir to combine
  5. Meanwhile, combine all sauce ingredients until well blended
  6. Stir sauce into chicken mixture and cook until heated through and slightly thickened
  7. Serve mixture in lettuce leaves with green onion sprinkled over

My Thoughts:
I'm not going to lie, I did not believe my husband and I would enjoy these, I was almost down right certain that we would be ordering pizza later that night.  But wowzers!  We didn't just like these, we really liked these!  Unfortunately, they do not stick with you much, but they would make great appetizers or a good option for a lighter lunch.  This chicken mixture would also work well over rice if you would rather prefer that sort of thing.  We did not use any sriracha or chili garlic sauce, but next time we might try it just for the heat, but there is so much flavor that the heat is not needed.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Pepper Jack Scalloped Potatoes

  • 6 russet potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 cup milk (or 1 1/4 cup milk and 1 1/4 cup half and half)
  • 2 1/2 cups pepper jack cheese, shredded

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Lightly butter 13x9 pan; set aside
  3. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat and saute onion until softened
  4. Whisk in flour and allow to cook for about a minute, stirring constantly
  5. Slowly stir in milk and whisk until bubbly and thickened; stir in salt and pepper
  6. Remove from heat and stir in 1 1/2 cup cheese until melted
  7. Evenly layer half your potatoes in prepared dish
  8. Pour half the sauce over potatoes
  9. Layer remaining potatoes, followed by remaining sauce
  10. Sprinkle remaining 1 cup of cheese evenly over all
  11. Bake uncovered for 55 minutes or until potatoes are tender
  12. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving

My Thoughts:
I am really not a pepper person, in fact, I hate them.  But I have found a strange new love for pepper jack cheese when it is incorporated into dishes.  My family enjoyed these potatoes and the nice kick that the pepper jack gives.

Source: adapted from: Cozy Country Living

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Harvest Vegetable Bake

  • 1 rutabaga (1 to 1.5 lbs) or about 3 to 4 cups, peeled and diced
  • 6 carrots or about 2 cups, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup celery, sliced
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt, divided
  • 4 to 6 medium red or Yukon potatoes about 3 to 4 cups, diced
  • 5 tbsp butter, divided
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup mild cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup plain breadcrumbs or panko

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter a 3 quart casserole dish; set aside
  2. Dice rutabaga and carrots in about 1/2 inch pieces and place in a large pot
  3. Add celery and fill with cold water to cover vegetables
  4. Stir in 1 tsp of salt and bring pot to a boil; cover and reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes
  5. Add potatoes to pot (add more water to cover if needed) and continue to simmer covered for 15 to 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender
  6. Drain vegetables and allow to slightly cool in pot
  7. In a saucepan, melt 4 tbsp of butter over medium-low heat; add flour and stir until well blended
  8. Stir in 1/2 tsp salt, pepper, and nutmeg
  9. Gradually stir in milk, stirring constantly until thickened
  10. Add cheese and stir til melted
  11. Stir cheese sauce in with vegetables until combined; place mixture into prepared baking dish
  12. In a small bowl, melt remaining 1 tbsp butter
  13. Mix butter and breadcrumbs together and sprinkle evenly over casserole
  14. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until browned

My Thoughts:
I was not expecting much out of this recipe, mainly because it consists of a lot of vegetables and I don't remember ever eating a casserole with rutabaga.  But, this was surprising enjoyable.  We had just this for dinner, but it would make a great side dish for a larger family.


Friday, January 8, 2016

Crock Pot Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup

  • 1 lb chicken or hamburger, cooked (optional)
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1 tsp dry oregano leaves
  • 1 tbsp dried basil leaves
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 cup milk (any kind, or half & half)
  • 1 cup Parmesan, shredded
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 lb bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled (optional)

  1. In a large crock pot, place chicken or beef (if using), tomatoes, celery, carrots, onion, oregano, basil, broth, and bay leaf; cover and cook on Low setting for 8 hours or until vegetables are soft
  2. About 30 minutes before serving, prepare a roux by melting butter in a large pan over medium heat; whisk in flour and continue stirring constantly for a couple minutes; slowly pour in milk and continue to stir and cook until smooth and thickened
  3. Stir creamy mixture into crock pot, followed by Parmesan, salt and pepper
  4. Cover and cook for about 30 more minutes
  5. If using bacon, sprinkle over the top of each serving;  Makes 5 to 6 bowls

My Thoughts:
When I originally found this recipe, it was completely vegetarian, and it was just fine that way.  Day two was leftovers of the soup and we decided to throw in some bacon and that went really well together, especially for big meat eaters like us.  I think beef and chicken would also go with this soup quite well.  I used whole milk and the base was nice and creamy.

Source: adapted from Today's Mama

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Caramel Apple Cider Cookies

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 (7.4 oz box) spiced apple cider instant original drink mix (not sugar-free)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 (14 oz) bag Kraft caramels, unwrapped

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Line cookie sheets with parchment 
  2. In a small bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon
  3. With an electric mixer, cream together butter, sugar, salt and all 10 packages of apple cider drink mix powder, until light and fluffy
  4. Beat in eggs, one at a time
  5. Add vanilla and mix well
  6. Gradually add flour mixture to butter/egg mixture. Mix until just combined
  7. Scoop out cookie dough ball about the size of a walnut (about 2 tablespoons)
  8. Flatten the ball of dough slightly in the palm of your hand. Press the unwrapped caramel into the center of your dough and seal the dough around it, covering it completely. Shape the dough into a ball, and place on parchment covered cookie sheets about 3 inches apart
  9. Bake 12-14 minutes, or until very lightly browned around the edges
  10. Once the cookies are done, carefully slide the parchment off of the baking sheet right out onto the counter
  11. Allow cookies to partially cool on the parchment; when cookies are cool enough to be firm but still slightly warm, carefully twist off of parchment and allow to finish cooling upside down

My Thoughts:
I first made these a year or two ago and they were a very good and unique.  The caramel center can get a little hard once cold, but several seconds in the microwave makes these cookies awesome and gives you the feel of a warm mug of cider

Source: Gimme Some Oven