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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

So, I say I'm not a baker...

But look what I made!

Baby C made his dramatic entrance into the world on February 21, 2014 at 8:40pm.

He's delicious. Totally worth it.





Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Cranberry Apple Crescent Rolls


If you are reading this from NZ or Australia, just stop. You can't get canned crescent rolls in your stores (not sure if this is a good or bad thing), so this will just depress you. Because these were delicious.

I saw these over on Life and Kitchen, and since we had all the "stuff", I made a batch (or two) of these for breakfast.

Source: adapted only very very slightly from Life and Kitchen

CRANBERRY APPLE CRESCENT ROLLS

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 can crescent rolls
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • a dash of salt
  • 1/2 cup diced apples
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries (I used a dried berry blend of cherries, blueberries, raspberries and cranberries)
  • 1 Tablespoon milk
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds

 DIRECTIONS:
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Separate the rolls into eight equal triangles on baking stone, or parchment lined baking sheet. 
  3. In a bowl, mix the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.  Fold in the apple and cranberries.
  4. Spread the mixture on the crescent triangles and roll them up tightly, using the long edge first (about a Tablespoon and a half will fit in each)
  5. Leave at least two inches between each roll and bake until they are golden and puffy, about 11-13 minutes.
  6. While the rolls are baking, mix the milk and powdered sugar until they form a glaze. 
  7. Lightly toast the almonds in a frying pan over medium heat (watch super close, I burned my first batch)
  8. Remove the rolls from the oven and let them cool for about 5 minutes. 
  9. Drizzle the glaze over the top and immediately sprinkle with almonds. 







Friday, February 7, 2014

DIY: Homemade "Hamburger Helper"


For those of you NOT in the US.. there's a boxed/convenience food here called "hamburger helper". Hamburger refers to ground beef, or mince (as we call it in NZ).

The basic premise is, you brown the beef, and add the packet of stuff and some water/milk and then you have ... dinner?


The husband loves this stuff. Grew up eating it. If you know me at all, you'll know that I read labels on boxes of stuff like this, and I just can't say I'd be jazzed about serving this to my family. I'm sure once in a while it's fine, but I just... can't. Way too many things I can't pronounce and some that I can pronounce, but don't really want to eat.

However, the husband wants what the husband wants. Since I'm a fabulous wife and all ... I decided it can't REALLY be that hard to create a homemade (and therefore less scary) version, right?

I actually enjoyed this. Sure, there are no vegetables in it, so I had to get over that (and you could easily add them), but it was really tasty.  The best part was - it was all made from things I already had in the pantry/fridge, and came together REALLY fast.  I've half a mind to make up little bags of it, with instructions on the front so the husband can make this when he "needs" this comfort food (or for when I have a newborn, toddler and am recovering from childbirth, perhaps?)

I may mess with/change up the spices and amounts next time, but thought this was a pretty good first attempt. It's probably a cross between "cheeseburger macaroni" and "lasagna"

The husband? Loved it. Thought it was "better than the box". 

Well, DUH.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups hot water
  • 2 cups macaroni, or any pasta shape you have lying about
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried parsley
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1.5 cups shredded cheddar cheese
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Brown beef until cooked through and no longer pink. Drain any fat.
  3. Add the pasta, milk, water and spices and stir to combine.
  4. Bring to a boil and turn the heat down to simmer.
  5. Cover and cook for 8 minutes, or until the pasta is cooked to your liking.
  6. Add the cheese and mix thoroughly.
  7. Serve!




Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Turkey Pesto Meatballs


A discussion on a cooking board I visit/participate in sparked this dinner. The question was "What recipes are better with ground turkey than ground beef?

This recipe was linked, and I decided since I had all the ingredients to give it a go, slightly modified.

As you can see, TFFC thought they were great. I put the plate of meatballs on the counter, and within seconds, little hands found them and had sampled.

When I put the plate on the table, I said "hands off!" ... so he improvised. Got to give the kid credit...

Anyway – on to the food!

NOTES:
I would probably reduce the breadcrumb ratio to meat next time.
I added fresh garlic  


TURKEY PESTO MEATBALLS
  • 2 pounds ground turkey breast (could use chicken)
  • 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs (I'd reduce to 1 cup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup pesto sauce
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs  
  • 1 tsp freshly minced garlic


  1. Mix everything in a bowl and combine well. Roll mixtures into balls.
  2. Bake the meatballs at 375 degrees for about 20-25 minutes.
  3. Add to your favourite tomato based pasta sauce, and your favourite shaped pasta, and enjoy!



























Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili


Ever had a jalapeno popper? TFC loves them. The spicy jalapeno, filled with cream cheese and spices, sometimes wrapped in bacon and baked, other times breaded and fried... 

I saw this recipe when looking at the winners of a chili competition over at Prevention RD, made by Books and Cooks. I can see why this was not only A winner, but THE winner. It was a HUGE hit in my house. It was a touch too spicy for ME and the little dude, but the husband managed to scarf quite a bit of it before I hurried to put leftovers in the fridge. And with the calories not being ridiculous, I can serve a decadent tasting dish without sacrificing flavour at ALL.

There's a bit of slicing and dicing prep to be done, but once that is done - it's mostly hands off, and done within 30 minutes. And we all know that I love that.

I did leave out the corn, and added an extra can of cannellini beans for two reasons:
  1. The husband hates corn
  2. We didn't have any anyway
The flavours intensified and were (I hear) amazing the next day - this is a great make ahead dish!  The husband raved about this - said I needed to make it in bulk, and freeze it so he could have a bowl "every single week".

Adapted from Prevention RD as seen on  Books and Cooks


INGREDIENTS
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeds and ribs removed, minced (do this to taste - you might have very spicy jalapenos)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 (15 oz) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 8 oz ⅓ less fat cream cheese, cut into large chunks
  • ¼ cup (1 oz) part-skim sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 3 slices uncured bacon, cooked and crumbled

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. In a large pot heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the onion, red pepper, jalapeno pepper, and garlic and saute for 5-7 minutes or until tender and onion is translucent.
  2. Sprinkle the chicken with the salt and pepper. Push the vegetables to the side of the pan and add in the chicken. Cook the chicken until no longer pink. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, and paprika and allow to cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
  3. Stir in the tomatoes, chicken broth, and cannellini beans. Bring to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.
  4. Add in the cream cheese and cheese and stir until completely melted, about 5 minutes. Serve chili hot, topped with a teaspoon of bacon crumbles.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Freezer Cooking: Chicken, Broccoli, Bacon & Potato Bake


With the arrival of our second son coming up FAST (he'll be here March 7th!), I'm having a quiet little panic about what the heck we'll be eating as I recover from the birth. With abdominal surgery (yep), a newborn, and a toddler, I'm fairly certain we'll need some meals in the freezer to save us from resorting to takeout 7 nights a week and save TFFC from creating meals like this. He's come a LONG way since then, check out his more recent offerings! In any case, new parenthood is an adjustment for everyone. I'm trying to make it easier on all of us :)

Freezer cooking can be a little daunting if you haven't done it before, and see all the "all day" cooking sessions, with 40 meals at a time etc. It doesn't actually have to be that way. It has to work for YOU and what time and resources you have. I like to cook once, eat twice (eat tonight, repurpose leftovers for tomorrow), as well as make one for now, one for the freezer. Doesn't require a big time commitment, and fills your freezer as you go. Check out this post I did a while ago - for sides (such as plain rice, mashed potatoes)

I have long been a reader of Once a Month Mom (now Once a Month Meals), and find a lot of great ideas - outside of the dump chicken and marinade in a bag kind of recipes. Not that those are bad, I just need a little more than that. I recently stumbled across this recipe, and since I had all the ingredients handy - I threw this together on a Sunday afternoon. One to eat, 4 to freeze. 

It gets bonus points for being appealing to the toddler as well as husband, and me!

Adapted from Once a Month Meals
CHICKEN, BROCCOLI, BACON & POTATO BAKE
This will make ONE 8x8 pan. Double, triple, quadruple as needed.
INGREDIENTS:
  •  4.5 cups diced red potatoes
  • 2.5 cups diced boneless skinless chicken breast
  •  2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1/3 cup cooked, crumbled bacon
  • 1/4 cup sliced onion
  • 1.5 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  •  ¼  teaspoon salt
  • ¼  teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½  cup heavy cream, half & half, or milk (cream will make it thicker, milk = thinner)
  •  2 Tablespoons butter

DIRECTIONS:
  1. Grease an 8×8 foil baking pan. 
  2. Layer ingredients starting with half of potatoes, half of chicken, half of broccoli, half of bacon, onion and ½ cup of cheese. 
  3. Season with half of the salt, pepper, and half of the garlic powder. 
  4. Repeat the layers and seasoning. Then pour heavy cream over ingredients and cut pieces of butter all over the top. 
  5. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for one hour or until chicken is cooked through and potatoes are tender. 
  6. Sprinkle with remaining ½ cup of cheese and bake uncovered for 5-10 more minutes until cheese is bubbly.


Freezing Directions:
Assemble as directed above but do not bake.  Cover tightly with foil, label, and freeze with bag containing ½ cup of cheese.


TO SERVE: Thaw. Remove bag of cheese and recover with foil. Bake covered for one hour or until chicken is cooked through and potatoes are tender. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake uncovered for 5-10 more minutes until cheese is bubbly.



Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Crockpot: 15 Bean Soup



Recently, TheFoodCritic and I were talking about how food/smells can evoke memories, and we started talking things we ate as children.  I wondered which dishes our children would love about growing up with, and what recipes their future wives would be asking ME for!

When I asked if there was anything he particularly loved that his mother made, and he said "some kind of bean soup, with every bean you can think of... she put it in a crockpot, and I think there was ham involved".... I knew I had to try and find a way to recreate this for him.

TFC's mother passed away long before we met, so I was never able to meet or spend time with the  lady who made him this dinner, and obviously can't ask her for her recipe. I hope she's watching over us, and will smile when she sees how wonderful her son turned out to be. As it happens, TFC loved this soup. It wasn't like his Mom's (hers wasn't dark), but he loved the recipe and the effort anyway. Guess I'll keep trying...!

Source: Adapted from The Yummy Life


15 BEAN SOUP

INGREDIENTS:
  • 20oz 15 bean blend (use only the beans; discard seasoning packet if there is one), picked over and rinsed
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 carrots, sliced into round (approx. 2 cups)
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped (approx. 1 cup)
  • 8 oz. ham steak, cut into 1/2" pieces (approx. 2 cups); omit for vegan/vegetarian version
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes  
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme (you can also use italian seasoning)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce (may reduce to 1/8 cup or omit if lower sodium soup is desired)
  • 6 cups low sodium chicken broth (use vegetable broth for vegan/vegetarian version)
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can no salt diced tomatoes 

DIRECTIONS
Add beans to a large bowl or pot, and cover with 8 cups of water. Leave overnight.

Combine onion, garlic, carrots, celery, ham, black pepper, red pepper flakes, thyme, bay leaf, soy sauce, chicken broth, and diced tomatoes in crockpot - put in the fridge overnight too (saves time in the morning).

Add beans to crockpot, and cook on low for 8-10 hours.




Friday, January 3, 2014

Ranch Cheddar Chicken

Surprisingly simple, and even more surprisingly, super flavorful and tasty. 

I threw this together when I got home from work one night, in between reading stories, getting "someone" some snacks, and generally toddler wrangling. 

Largely hands-off (a favorite method of cooking these days for me), I served it with some wild rice and some carrots/beans (it's what I had).

I'll definitely make this again for a yummy weeknight dinner.

Give this a try and let me know what you think?

Source: www.bunsinmyoven.com


RANCH CHEDDAR CHICKEN

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons dry ranch dressing seasoning
  • 1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • olive oil (in a mister) or cooking spray 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
  2. Place the chicken in a large baking dish.
  3. Combine the mayonnaise, ranch, and cheese in a bowl, spread on top of the chicken.
  4. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top and spray lightly with olive oil.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through (to 165F)






Friday, December 27, 2013

Cottage Pie


It's a little surprising to me that I haven't posted this before. It's a very simple recipe, you can make it ahead and bake on a busy night, or you can make extra (recipe includes extra) and freeze some portions for later. I grew up eating it, so I can probably credit my Mum for this one.

I still call it "shepherd's pie" but the true definition of shepherd's pie is that it contains ground lamb. Cottage pie is the ground beef version. I don't care what you call it!

You can adapt it to whatever you have on hand (leftover sweet potatoes? good! add peas instead of beans? SURE!!)

I like this because it's a one dish dinner that feeds the hungry husband, the toddler and me with no complaints.

Like complaints are even accepted at my house anyway. HA.

Right, here's how it works

INGREDIENTS:
  • 2lb (1kg) ground beef
  • 1 large onion (or two smaller ones)
  • 3 carrots, cut into slices, or diced. You choose
  • 2 Tbs tomato paste
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • 2 Cups beef stock (you can use chicken, no worries)
  • 1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 Cup frozen veges of your choice (peas, beans, corn, anything you want)
  • salt/pepper

  • 2TBs cornstarch (regular flour works too) blended with
  • 1/4 Cup water

  • 2lb potatoes
  • butter, milk, salt & pepper for mashing


OPTIONAL: cheese for the top

DIRECTIONS:
  1. Brown beef in a large saucepan or dutch oven, drain oil
  2. Add onions and carrots, and cook until onion is soft
  3. Add tomato paste, thyme, stock, worcestershire and soy sauces and salt/pepper to taste
  4. Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, for around 25 mins
  5. Turn the heat up, then add cornstarch and water mixture, and cook until it thickens
  6. Cook potatoes, and mash with the butter, milk, salt and pepper
  7. Pour beef mixture into an 8 x 8 (square) dish
  8. Add mashed potatoes to the top, and score with a fork (for crispy peaks), or add cheese
  9. Bake for 20 minutes at 375 until the top is brown and crispy

Freezes well, just thaw in the fridge, and throw in the oven when you're ready to eat!

Friday, December 20, 2013

One Dish: Baked Italian Chicken, Potatoes & Brussels Sprouts


I love an easy dinner. With working full time, having a toddler, and getting ready to welcome another son into our family, dinner needs to be on the table pretty fast after arriving home in the evening. 

While this takes only minutes to prep and throw in the oven, I put it all together the night before, covered it and left it in the fridge ready to go the second I got home. I also love that it's primarily "hands off" - once it's in the oven, you can go and sit on the couch. YES!!!

Other versions of this use canned green beans, or frozen veges which I'm sure would cut the time down too. I will probably try different seasonings next time, but a one dish kind of dinner is too awesome not to repeat!


BAKED ITALIAN CHICKEN, POTATOES & BRUSSELS SPROUTS

INGREDIENTS:
  • 3 cups red potatoes, quartered (or even smaller)
  • 2 cups of Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 1-1 1/2 lb chicken breasts (3-4 chicken breasts)
  • 1/2 stick butter, cut into pieces 
  • 1 Italian dressing seasoning/mix packet
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line one side of the pan with sprouts.Line opposite side of pan with the potatoes.
  3. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper, then line them down the middle of the baking dish.
  4. Cut butter up and layer over everything.
  5. Sprinkle Italian dressing over the entire pan. Cover with foil. Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour

Friday, December 13, 2013

Recipe Swap: Pumpkin/Parmesan Biscuits


Funny story!  Well, actually, it's not all that funny - but since I never let reality get in the way of waffling on, I'll tell it anyway.


My lovely friend Jessica over at the Jey of Cooking got stomach flu, which isn't too lovely. Anyway, she'd signed up to participate in a blogger's swap (organized by Sarah at http://tasteofhomecooking.blogspot.com) and obviously isn't up for it this week - so asked me if I'd step in and make a recipe from the blog she was assigned.
Wh
en she told me she had been assigned to Jo's Kosher Kitchen Blog, I had to say yes! I've had these biscuits on my radar for a while, but hadn't gotten around to making them yet.



Since looking ... Flourless Raspberry Souffle and Mini Cheesecakes with Strawberry Sauce are also on the "to make" list.

These were awesome, and were a great accompaniment to dinner. TFC and TFFC snarfed them (yeah, it's a bread product, the odds were fairly good!).  Even better? I could make a double recipe, because what do you do with leftover canned pumpkin? 

Double the recipe and freeze the leftovers of course! I am ALL about cook once, eat twice...!

So, without further blathering from me .... here's the recipe:

Source: Kosher Kitchen Blog

PUMPKIN PARMESAN BISCUITS

INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter, diced, plus melted butter for brushing
  • 1/2 cup canned pure pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

 DIRECTIONS:
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F; line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and nutmeg in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk in 1 tablespoon parmesan.
  4. Add the diced butter and work it in with your fingertips until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs.
  5. Mix the pumpkin and cream in a small bowl and pour over the flour mixture.
  6. Mix with your hands or a fork to make a soft dough.
  7. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out into a 3/4-inch-thick rectangle using a floured rolling pin.
  8. Cut out biscuits using a 2-inch-round cutter and arrange about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.
  9. Brush the tops with melted butter and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon parmesan.
  10. Bake until golden, 15 to 20 minutes.
  11. Transfer the baking sheet to a rack and let the biscuits cool slightly before serving or cool completely and freeze.








Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Chocolate Caramel Slice (Bars)

This little delight is something I grew up eating, but not necessarily making myself. It's simple, but delicious. I made this during an unusually long nap time (TheFutureFoodCritic is on a nap strike these days), and could barely wait to taste it. Honestly, I could have just eaten the whole bowl of caramel on its own!

I found the recipe here on an Australian website www.taste.com.au and converted it for the Americans that might read this. I consider myself bi-lingual because I understand both ways to measure ;)

I prefer to measure ingredients (when I actually bother to bake) by weight anyway, so I found it easy to follow using just the Australian version.

INGREDIENTS:
  • Melted butter, to grease
  • 125g butter (a stick and a bit – 8.3 Tablespoons), at room temperature
  • 80g (1/3 cup) caster sugar (superfine sugar)
  • 190g (1 1/4 cups) plain flour
  • 1 x 395g(14oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tbs golden syrup (can sub brown sugar)
  • 60g (roughly 2oz) butter, extra
  • 150g (roughly 5oz) dark chocolate, roughly chopped

DIRECTIONS:
  1. Preheat oven to 160°C (325°F). Brush a square 20cm (8inch) (base measurement) cake pan with the melted butter to lightly grease. Line the base and 2 opposite sides with non-stick baking paper, allowing the paper to overhang the sides.
  2. Use an electric beater to beat the butter and sugar in a medium bowl until pale and creamy. Add the flour and beat until just combined. Use your hands to bring the mixture together to form a ball. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Use the back of a metal spoon to gently press the mixture evenly into the prepared pan and smooth the surface.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and set aside for 15 minutes to cool.
  4. Place the sweetened condensed milk, golden syrup and 40g (two thirds) of the extra butter in a small non-stick saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for 5-8 minutes or until the mixture thickens and is a caramel colour. Be careful to not let it burn!! Remove from heat.
  5. Pour the hot caramel over the base and smooth the surface. Set aside for 30 minutes to cool.
  6. Place the chocolate and remaining butter (1 third – 20g) in a small, clean, dry heatproof bowl. Place the bowl over a small saucepan of barely simmering water over low heat (make sure the bowl doesn't touch the water). Use a dry metal spoon to stir gently for 2 minutes or until chocolate melts and is smooth.
  7. Pour the chocolate mixture evenly over the caramel filling and smooth the surface with a knife. Place in the fridge for 20 minutes or until chocolate sets. If you can wait that long.
  8. Cut the chocolate caramel slice into 16 pieces to serve.





Monday, November 4, 2013

Cheddar Bay Biscuits


Now that the cooler weather is here (to stay), we are in need of more "comfort" food than before.

Although I didn't grow up eating chicken and biscuits, I sure wish I had! 

I had heard great things about the "cheddar bay biscuits" from Red Lobster (a seafood chain restaurant here in the US), but not being a seafood person AT ALL, I had no way to sample this phenomenon without making them myself.

I found a recipe here here and followed it for the "from scratch" directions. However, if you feel like using a shortcut, I probably won't judge you.  Well, not too much anyway.

TheFutureFoodCritic REALLY liked these biscuits. He dipped his biscuits in his bowl of chicken and veges (I used my chicken pot pie filling) and happily snarfed it.  I do love a toddler-snarf-worthy dish that appeals to the adults in the house too.

Anwayyyyy. Here's the recipe!

I got 10 biscuits out of this recipe.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted cold butter
  • 1 cup milk  
  • 1 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • OPTIONAL: dried herbs of your choice (I used an italian blend)
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Heat oven to 450 degrees F (see my conversion cheat sheet for C).
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt together. Cut in the butter with a knife of pastry cutter until it is well blended.
  3. Add the cheese. Add milk and mix until JUST combined (don’t overmix)
  4. Scoop onto a baking sheet (I used a cookie scoop, you could use a spoon), and bake for 10-12 minutes.
  5. While the biscuits are baking in the oven, melt butter, add the garlic powder and mix thoroughly.
  6. Right after removing the biscuits from the oven, brush butter-garlic mixture on the tops.
  7. Serve immediately.


I forgot to get a pic after I brushed the butter mixture on!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Cheesy Zucchini Rice



This is a very fast, very easy dish to throw together on a weeknight.  It was originally intended as a side dish, but I thought that if I added chicken - I could totally get away with calling it "dinner".  And I did.

I've made this several times since I first saw it, and it's become extremely popular in my house.  I have used both regular rice, brown, basmati and jasmine (using up my pantry) all with great results.

Both TFC and TFFC1 chow down on this like crazy. Maybe the cheese? I don't know, and I don't care - they're both eating a ton of zucchini with this (never mind the butter and cheese... ahem).

The best part? 20 minutes. DINNER'S READY!!

SOURCE: Adapted only a little bit (doubled, added more zucchini and added chicken, less butter)
from Taste of Home Cooking and Pink Parsley


CHEESY ZUCCHINI RICE

INGREDIENTS: 
  • 3 ½ cups chicken broth
  • 2 cup long-grain white rice (or use any other rice you like, you will need to adjust cooking time though for brown)
  • 2-3 tablespoons butter
  • 4 medium zucchini, grated on the large holes of a cheese grater then wrung dry in a clean kitchen towel
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • OPTIONAL: 2 cups of cooked, diced chicken breast

 DIRECTIONS:
  1. Bring the broth to a boil in a large saucepan.
  2. Stir in the rice, cover, and reduce heat to low. 
  3. Cook 20 minutes, or until most of the liquid has been absorbed. 
  4. Remove from heat, add the butter and zucchini, and cover. 
  5. Allow to stand 5 minutes, then stir to incorporate. Stir in the cheese, and chicken breast (if using), season liberally with salt and pepper, and serve.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Roasted Vegetable & Black Bean Burritos

I didn't get picture for this one, but there's a pretty accurate one right here Photo of Recipe, which is handily where I got the recipe from.

I stumbled across this recipe, and thought it sounded good.   It wasn’t

It was REALLY REALLY good!  I was planning ahead, and had the mixture cooling on the counter before putting away for later.  I had pot-roast, mashed potatoes and veggies all ready for dinner.  Suffice it to say, the pot-roast dinner was put in the fridge and we devoured these instead.

Guess I’ll just have to make MORE! I have modified the original recipe, and what I did is below.

Source: Tasty Kitchen

Roasted Vegetable & Black Bean Burritos

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 whole Sweet Potatoes, Peeled And Cubed Small (Kiwis: the orange kind, not the red skinned kumara)
  • 2 whole jalapenos, diced
  • 1 whole red pepper, diced small (Kiwis: red capsicum)
  • 1 whole red onion, diced small
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano (Mexican if you have it)
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder (not a chili seasoning blend)
  • pinch salt And pepper
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½ cups fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar
  • Sour cream (optional)
  • Burrito-sized wheat tortillas or wraps (6-10 count)

DIRECTIONS:
  1. Preheat oven to 425F. 
  2. Add all raw veggies to a bowl.  Combine spices and sprinkle on veggies, then add olive oil – mix thoroughly.
  3. Spread veggies on a baking sheet, or roasting pan (single layer) and roast for 20 minutes, tossing around halfway through.
  4. Let cool slightly, then place in a large bowl.  Add the can of black beans. Add cilantro and lime juice and combine gently. (At this point, mixture can be stored for later use  haha – good intentions and all!)
  5. Warm your wheat tortillas or wraps in microwave according to directions on package. 
  6. Add about ¾ cup veggie mix to the burrito, top with cheese and a little sour cream, and serve.

(At this point, we put each plate in the microwave for 30 seconds (to melt the cheese and make things all delicious)