Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A little help in the kitchen... Egg Wrappers

I love my Big Man.  I love how big he's getting.

No, I don't.  I hate it.  Can I please put a brick on his head and keep him little forever? 

He's such a sweetie, acts way older than his 6 (and a half!!) years.  He likes to help.

So I put him to work in the kitchen.  Taught him the trick to Mama's scrambled eggs.

And I was rewarded when he took the first bite and said, "you make the best eggs Mama."  Makes me want to cry.

And go find a brick for his head.

We made those scrambled eggs into Egg Wrappers.  Or egg burritos if you must. 
They're an easy dinner, full of protein, not a lot of fat and calories. 

Ingredients: (makes 3 since Husband wasn't home)
5 Eggs
a pinch of spices:  salt, pepper, cumin, onion powder
A splash of milk
3 flour tortillas
cheese, if you'd like.
a pat of butter

Melt butter in a nonstick pan over medium high heat.

In a bowl, mix the eggs, spices and a good splash of milk.

When the butter has melted, pour the eggs in the pan.

Pull the eggs off the bottom in nice even strokes.  Notice the nice form on the Big Man.

When they are mostly dry, turn off the heat.

Warm the tortillas (we did ours on the stovetop, but the microwave would work too)

Put the cheese on the tortillas, then the eggs.  Top with salsa if you'd like.  We have one with cheese, one with salsa and one with salsa and cheese. 

Fold over.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The biggest compliment... Easy Empanadas

I know I've shared before that while my little man eats well, he sometimes needs coaxing.  Alot of coaxing.

Come on, dude, take a bite...
Keep eating...
Almost done...

That type of coaxing.

So when he was the first one done, you know he liked it.  So much he wanted more.

And that's the biggest compliment ever.  And I'll take it.

But really, this recipe is nothing but taco meat wrapped in pizza crust... who wouldn't love it?

1 batch pizza crust (your favorite recipe or mine)  If you're using the roll, you'll want to use two.
1 lb ground beef
1 onion, diced
1 tsp olive oil
1 TBSP cumin
1 TBSP white vinegar
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

In the olive oil, brown the onion until just cooked.  Add the ground beef. 

Add the cumin, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper.

Roll out the pizza crust.  Cut it into 16 squares.

Put a scoop of the meat mixture in each and then fold them in half. 

Seal with a fork around the sides. 

I recommend putting the meat in one and sealing it before you do the next.  The way I did it they got a little warm and didn't want to seal well.

Coat with a spray of olive oil or cooking spray.

Bake at 400 for 10 minutes.

Serve with salsa, or salsa mixed with sour cream.


Monday, April 25, 2011

Monday menu planning...

Really?  It's Monday already?  Why?

Okay, fine. 

Here's the menu....

Monday- Beef empenadas
Tuesday- Egg wrappers
Wednesday- Work
Thursday- Work
Friday- Chicken Chow Mein
Saturday- Anniversary dinner
Sunday- Burgers

Thursday, April 21, 2011

No mayo, no problem!... Curried deviled eggs

So since we aren't doing mayo in our house now, how in the world would I make deviled eggs?  And we must have deviled eggs for Easter....

well, this is how.  Yogurt and oil.  Like everything else!

They turned out well, but had a different flavor from the usual ones.  I don't think it was from the yogurt as much as it was from the curry powder.  Either way, they're gone.  So they must have been good.

8 eggs, hard boiled (I do it a few days in advance for easier peeling)
1/2 c thickened yogurt (more or less depending on how you like your eggs)
1 tsp oil (I used avacado because I had it, but olive oil would be fine too)
1 TSBP dijon mustard
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp celery salt
1/4 tsp onion powder
salt and pepper to taste

Peel and half the eggs, putting the yolks into a bowl.

Add the yogurt and oil and mix well.  I've also done this in the mixer and it's worked well!

Add the seasonings.

Scoop it into the egg whites.  If you want them to look extra fancy, you can pipe it into the whites using a storage bag with the tip snipped off.

Top with paprika and salt before serving. 


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Getting on board... Fish tacos

It seems like everywhere I look, people are making and eating fish tacos.  I've never had them... I've had shrimp tacos and those are good.  But I don't fry stuff because I'm scared to try it  because it's not healthy.   And the idea of grilled fish tacos didn't appeal to me.  So how was I going to make these tacos?

Then I found a blog that did baked fish tacos... and Winner Winner Chicken Fish Dinner!!

They were good.  We are definately on board with the whole fish taco thing at our house.  Try it and you might be too!

4 fish fillets, sliced into strips, I used whitefish you can use tilapia if you'd rather
1/4 c lime juice

1/4 c flour
1/3 c corn meal
1/4 tsp chipotle powder

flour tortillas
This yogurt dill dip

Heat the oven to 500.

Marinate the fish in the lime juice while the oven is heating, about 10 minutes.

Combine the flour, corn meal, chipotle and salt.

Pat the fish dry, and coat it in the dry mixture.

Bake for 3-4 minutes on each side.

Put the fish in the tortillas and top with your favorite toppings, and don't forget the dressing!!


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Make mine Mexican... Taco egg rolls

I love mexican food.  You'll notice we have it once a week usually in some form.  Last week we merged Mexican and Italian food with Mexican Meatballs.  This week it was Mexican and Chinese... Taco egg rolls.

Now I guarentee that these would be better fried.  Because isn't everything?  But because I'm scared to fry anything and I know it's healthier to bake them, that's what we did.  And they were still good.

Egg roll wrappers
1 lb ground beef
1 TBSP Taco seasoning, or cumin/chili powder/garlic combo
1 can black beans
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper chopped
2 TBSP salsa
3/4 c shredded cheese

Saute the onions and pepper in a small amount of olive oil, over medium heat.

Add the ground beef and spices.

When that has cooked through, add the beans, salsa and cheese.

Scoop about 2 TBSP into the egg roll wrapper and wrap according to package directions.

Put them on a cooling rack on a sheet pan that has been lined with foil or parchment paper.  This way all the grease/ juice drips off of them and they stay crispy.  I wish I would have thought of it right away, but I didn't so mine weren't as crisp as I would like.

Bake at 375 for 20 minutes.


Monday, April 18, 2011

Menu planning Monday.... plus a recipe from the weekend. (Cornbread casserole)

Busy week... but a good menu.

Monday- Egg sandwiches with leftover ham
Tuesday- Fish tacos
Wednesday- work
Thursday- Work
Friday- ricotta gnocchi
Saturday- Pancakes
Sunday- Easter- cornbread casserole (recipe follows) and lemonade pie

Now for the recipe.  My little brother requested it this weekend, and I made it.  Apparently, Husband forgot that he's ever tasted it before and raved over it.  So I'm making it again next weekend, doubling the recipe and putting it in the crockpot.

Can of Corn Kernals
Can of Creamed Corn
1 stick of butter, melted
1 c Sour Cream
1 box (jiffy sized) cornbread mix

Mix all the ingredients together and put in a 9x13 pan.   Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Cook Slow...Eat Fast Honey Chipotle Beef BBQs.

Last night was busy around here.  Big Guy had to race his awesome car at the Awana Derby.  Husband, Little Guy and I had to go to Biggby, since we were doing the live music. (Well, Little Guy wasn't doing the music, but he sure was dancing!)

I know that when we have shows, we don't usually eat alot before.  And afterwards we are still kinda hungry.  So I like to make something that we can keep warm while we're gone.  The warm cycle on my crockpot is perfect for that.

So I made Honey Chipotle Beef BBQs.

3 lbs (or so) of beef... I used a round steak that we had in the freezer.
Good sprinkle of some type of seasoning salt (I used Corky's dry rub that a friend picked up in Memphis for me)
1 cup ketchup
1/3 c honey
1/4 tsp chipotle powder
1/2 tsp vinegar (I used balsamic)

In the crockpot, put the beef on low and sprinkle with the seasoning salt.  Set it on low and let it cook for 6-7 hours.

Mix up the ketchup, honey, chipotle and vinegar. 

When the beef is done, shred it up and add it to the sauce.

Serve on buns... in a hurry or just to sit and enjoy.

Friday, April 15, 2011

One thing we don't do ....Asian lettuce cups

There's one thing you won't see in my recipes or even in my fridge anymore. 

It's mayo.

It started because I was the only one who ate it.  Husband dislikes it.... I won't say hate, but it might be a better word choice.

The kids could care less.

So I would buy the small one and it would go bad before I used it all. 

Mostly I used it for devilled eggs or chicken salad, but since discovering that yougurt works almost the same and is way healthier we use that instead.

Anyway, all that to say... this is one of those recipes I found that works as a good subsitute for a chicken salad.  And, of course, no mayo!

Tell me these don't look good enough to make you give up mayo too!!

Chicken breast, cooked and shredded (I used one big can and one chicken breast but you could easily use two cans)
1/2 c asian salad dressing plus a little more at the end
1 c bagged broccoli slaw (LOVE this stuff!)
1 green pepper, diced very small
2 carrots, shredded

Iceberg or leaf lettuce for cups to serve in

Chop the veggies.

Mix the shredded chicken with the salad dressing.

Add the veggies and slaw.

Mix and add a little more dressing if you need it.

Serve in a lettuce cup.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Being outside.... Ginger chicken stir fry

I love this time of year.  Especially with this weather.  We get outside more.  We walk more places.  We get to open the doors and the windows and feel the promise that summer is on the way.

And it makes me want to eat veggies. 

Which is strange, because I have never really liked them.

But I must be growing up (finally) because they sound good.

And I want to be that good example for my kids.

This is another easy meal that we had last night and really liked.

Ginger Chicken stir fry
2 TBSP olive oil
1 TBSP chopped garlic
1/2 onion, thinly sliced

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp red pepper
1 head broccoli
2 carrots, thinly sliced

1/2 c chicken broth
1/4 tsp teryaki sauce

Soy sauce
Brown Rice

The easiest way to do this is start by chopping all your veggies and chicken.  It makes it easy to move from one step to the next.

In a large non stick skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. 

Add the garlic and onions to the pan.

Add the chicken to the pan and cook until no longer pink.

Add the ginger to the chicken and stir it around.

Add the broccoli and carrots.  Cook until tender/crisp depending on how done you like it.

Add the chicken broth and teryaki until it bubbles.

Serve over brown rice with soy sauce.


Monday, April 11, 2011

Monday menu planning...

Monday- Ginger chicken and broccoli
Tuesday- work
Wednesday- work
Thursday- Asian Lettuce cups
Friday- Honey chipotle beef bbq
Saturday- Taco Egg Rolls
Sunday- Easter at mom's- yogurt deviled eggs, cornbread cassarole, key lime pie

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Warning: Spice ahead.... mexican meatballs

I like spice.  I think it's a good thing.  Sometimes I forget however that my boys are young and aren't used to it so much. 

Like tonight.  We had mexican meatballs that simmered in salsa verde.  The salsa verde is pretty spicy.  I like that.  And so I made it. 

The boys ate it (every bite of meatball for both of them) but kept saying, "Mom, this is spicy!"

So if you aren't a fan of spice, you might want to substitute red mild salsa instead.  It would still be pretty tasty.

1 lb ground beef
1/2 bread crumbs
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1 tsp garlic powder
1 carrot, shredded
1 small zucchini, shredded

1/2 jar salsa verde (or mild salsa if you prefer)

2 cups rice, cooked
1/2 TBSP lime juice
2 TBSP fresh cilantro

Mix ground beef with bread crumbs, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper, cumin,egg, carrot and zucchini.

Let chill for 1 hour to firm and marry the flavors.

Make ping pong ball sized meatballs out of them.  Bake at 400 for 20 minutes. (you can do this ahead and just warm them in the salsa later)

Warm the salsa and meatballs over medium low heat together, 10 minutes.

Yes, it makes way more than this... but I forgot
to take the pictures.

Cook your rice.  You can use instant, brown, white.... whatever.  I like the regular white rice in this recipe.  Then at the end of the cooking, add the lime, cilantro and salt and mix well.

Put the meatballs on the rice...


We were so enjoying the idea of dinner, we forgot to take pictures.  But we hurried and grabbed some before dinner was gone!

Because it's Saturday...

Because it's Saturday and I like making treats on the weekend...

Because I don't bake well enough to come up with my own recipes...

Because I have chocolate chips in the freezer....

Because I just feel like it...

I'm sharing this recipe for chewey molassas chocolate chip cookies that I am about to make for our treat. 

Just don't ask me to share the cookies!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Menu planning with the family... Coconut chicken fingers with apricot-ginger sauce

People ask me from time to time how I menu plan.  It's something I really enjoy, this whole food/cooking thing.  I spend my weeks looking at blogs, reading magazines that are passed down from friends and family, ripping out recipes, saving some to my favorites.  I have a 2 pocket folder for each season that I put recipes in. 

Each Sunday I pull out the folder for the season and pick out a recipe or two.  Then I find a couple on my favorites that I like. Then I make a list of the days we'll be home and fill the days in with those recipes.  If I need more, I usually ask my family for suggestions. 

This week Big Man picked coconut chicken fingers.  We've had it once before and it was just okay.  I knew it could be better so I needed to look for another recipe.  I opened up my favorites and saw that I had saved a recipe from one of my favorite food blogs.  

But I wanted a good dipping sauce.  Every time I have coconut shrimp, it's really more about the sauce for me.  So I searched until I found one that would work. 

Then, with my favorite Big Man beside me I took a couple of recipes, put them together and came up with this one. 

Big Man was my guest photographer as well. =)

3 heaping TBSP creamy peanut butter
1/4- 1/2 c skim milk

1 cup shredded coconut, chopped into smaller pieces
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp onion powder

Chicken tenders (I used just under 2 lbs.)

For Sauce:
1 cup apricot preserves (low sugar is fine here)
1 TBSP soy sauce
1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
3/4 tsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp ginger powder

Preheat the oven to 450.

Mix the milk and peanut butter together in a small bowl.  Transfer it to a pie plate for easy dipping.
Mix the panko crumbs, coconut and the spices together in another pie plate.

Dip the chicken fingers in the peanut butter mixture, then then coat in the panko mixture.

Place the coated chicken on a foil lined bake sheet.

Bake the chicken for 15-20 minutes or until no longer pink in the center.

While they are baking you can make the sauce.  In a small pan (or a microwaveable bowl if you want to do it in the microwave) warm the jam, soy sauce, ginger and sesame oil together until heated through.

Serve the chicken with a side of the sauce.  At our house we called this dinner Peanut butter and Jelly chicken.  So good!


Monday, April 4, 2011

Everybody's different... Pita pizzas

My boys are so different.  One gets nervous easily, one is brave.  One is careful, one will just walk into the street if we don't watch him.  One loves to read, the other could play all day and never look at a book.

But they both like pizza.

Duh.  Who doesn't?

So we make individual pizzas.  And it works. 

One gets all the veggies, and one has just ham. 

But I love them both.


Pita bread- I make my own, but feel free to use store bought.  (I would if I remembered to buy it!)
Ham (or sausage, or pepperoni)
Mozzerella cheese
Feta cheese
Caramelized onions
Green pepper (cooked off just a bit)
Spinach (lightly cooked in oil)
Red Pesto sauce or pizza sauce
Any other toppings you'd like

Set the oven to broil.

Put the pita bread in the oven to warm, 2 minutes.

Take it out and spread 1 TBSP of pesto or pizza sauce on the pita.

Add the toppings of your choice.

Add the cheese.

Broil for 3 minutes or until the cheese is bubbbly.


Sunday, April 3, 2011

Something different... Cheeseburger omletes

Okay, so I know it sounds kind of odd.  But you have to try this.  It's good. 

Really good.

So good that nobody had to tell Little Man to eat his dinner.

And in this house, that is the biggest compliment a Mama can get.

So try the cheeseburger omlete because Little Man says it's so good!

1/2 lb ground beef, browned
3 slices Ameican cheese
2 green onions, chopped
6 eggs mixed with a splash of milk, and a little bacon salt (if you have it, salt and pepper if you don't)
3 tsp butter

In an omlete pan (which I don't have so mine were a little thinner) melt 1 tsp butter over medium low heat.

Add 1/3 of the eggs.  Stir constantly with a rubber spatula, scraping the bottom of the pan until the eggs are 2/3 cooked.  (About 1 minute)

Turn the heat to low and tip the pan to spread the eggs evenly.

Add the burger, cheese slices and onion to the middle of the omlete.

When it sets, flip one side over the burger/cheese/onion.  Flip that over the rest and slide it on to a plate.

I then covered mine with ketchup! (and it kinda fell apart!)



Monday menu planning...

Monday- Coconut chicken fingers
Tuesday-Chicken thighs and polenta
Wednesday- Work
Thursday- Work
Friday- Mexican Meatballs
Saturday- Ham Twists
Sunday- Pancakes and Maple bacon

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Not a bad pattern.... Chicken tinga tacos

I was putting my pictures into the online storage today and noticed a pattern.

Most of my dinners start the same way.

Most of them start with two ingreadients in one of my red pans.

Those two ingredients are garlic and onion.

That's not a bad thing.  Garlic and onion are good. 

Very good.

This dinner however is different than the normal one.  Don't get me wrong.... it still starts with garlic and onion.  It's different because it has a bunch of steps.  But it is so worth it because it is so good.

And it's fun to say....
Chicken Tinga Tacos

See how fun that is!

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp garlic, minced

3 chicken breast

1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cumin
pinch cloves
pinch salt and pepper

1/4 c vinegar
1 c water
1 can tomato paste

Start by heating a large pan over medium heat.  add olive oil. onions and garlic, imagine that!  Cook onions until they are softened.

Combine the spices in a small bowl. 

Sprinkle the chicken breasts with some of the seasoning mix.

Add the chicken to the pan.

In another small bowl, combine the tomato paste, water and vinegar.

When the chicken has browned on both sides, add the tomato mixture to the pan.  Cook on low until the chicken is cooked through.

Remove the chicken fromt the pan.  Shred the chicken and remove half of the sauce from the pan.

Add the shredded chicken back to the pan until it is warmed through.

Serve on warm tortillas with cheese.  We also add some pepper plant sauce. I highly recommend that stuff if you've got a taste for the spicy. We use the california style right now.