Sunday, July 20, 2014

Beef Enchiladas with Homemade Enchilada Sauce

Whenever we go out for Mexican food, I almost always get enchiladas. Usually one chicken and one cheese and onion. I haven't yet found the perfect recipe to make at home, but these were pretty good. The homemade enchilada sauce has a bit of Sriarcha sauce, so it was a bit on the spicy side for me. However, I really did like it since it was a bit different than anything I've ever had before. Plus, sour cream, a favorite condiment, dulls the spice.

Beef Enchiladas with Homemade Enchilada Sauce-adapted from Add a Pinch
Total Time: 30 Minutes
Serves 8
Enchilada Sauce

  • 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 8 flour tortillas
  • 8 ounces sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Puree all enchilada sauce ingredients in a blender. Set aside.

Brown beef in a medium skillet over medium heat; drain. Add 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce to the meat until well combined.

Pour 1/2 cup enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan. Take one tortilla at a time and layer on the beef, sour cream, cheese and cilantro. Roll the tortillas to keep the ingredients inside. Place seal side down in the baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Top with remaining enchilada sauce and cheese. Bake in oven, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until cheese has fully melted. Serve with sour cream, guacamole, or your other favorite toppings.

Kale Salad with Bleu Cheese

My work has been partnering with Growing Power to allow us as employees access to fresh produce every week. And it has been awesome. I've been getting kale almost every week, and this was the first recipe I tried. I received it from my aunt. The chef featured in the original link's video is someone she works with!

I absolutely LOVED the dressing and will definitely be making that again. I went a little heavy handed with the bleu cheese, but, what can I say? I love that stuff. I didn't toss the salad, so I was able to eat this for a few days afterwards with dressing on the side.

Kale Salad with Bleu Cheese-adapted from Kare 11
Total Time: 10 Minutes
Serves 6

  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground mustard
  • 4 cups kale, destemmed and chopped
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 small red onion, sliced
  • 1 cup bleu cheese crumbles
In a blender, combine cider vinegar, honey, salt, black pepper, olive oil and ground mustard. Blend on high for one minute. Refrigerate if not using immediately.

In a large bowl, combine all other ingredients and toss to mix. If desired, toss in salad dressing, or serve on the side.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Pesto Chicken

This is quite possibly the easiest and most delicious whole chicken recipe ever. It has three ingredients, and you're done! It takes about an hour, so isn't super fast, but if you're working around the house and don't want to spend a lot of time on dinner prep, this is what you should go with!

Pesto Chicken-adapted from Heather Christo Cooks
Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
Serves 4

  • 3-4 pound whole chicken
  • 1/2 cup prepared pesto
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the chicken on a roasting pan and rub the pesto over the chicken. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Roast for 60-75 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

Confetti Quinoa Salad

I love quinoa. This salad has a lot of yummy ingredients in it!

Confetti Quinoa Salad-adapted from Fresh Juice
Total Time: 40 Minutes
Serves 8

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons prepared pesto
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper, diced
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2/3 cup feta cheese with oregano and sun dried tomatoes
  • 2 small tomatoes, diced

In a large saucepan, add quinoa and chicken broth. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until all liquid has absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let stand for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, for the dressing, whisk together pesto, vinegar, oil and pepper. Add the dressing and all other ingredients to the quinoa and mix thoroughly. 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Mongolian Beef

It's been so long since I made this that I honestly don't remember it. I know I didn't hate it. It's a new slow cooker recipe to try!

Mongolian Beef-adapted from Crock Pot 365
Total Time: 6 hours
Serves 4

  • 1 1/2 pounds stir fry beef
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried minced onion
  • 1 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds for garnish
In a large ziplog bag, dredge the beef in the cornstarch. Place in a 5-quart slow cooker and top with garlic, onion and hoisin. Cook on low for 4-6 hours or until beef is cooked through. Serve with rice.

Tuna Bake

A good tuna bake is the best. Easy, you can make ahead of time and everyone is happy!

Tuna Bake-adapted from Tasty Kitchen
Total Time: 50 Minutes
Serves 6

  • 2 cups dry egg noodles
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese
  • 12 ounces chunk tuna
  • 15 ounces peas
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 2-quart baking dish.

Cook noodles in boiling water according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour and seasonings. Add milk and whisk until slightly thickened-usually by the time it starts to boil. Add cheese to mixture and whisk until blended. 

Stir in tuna, peas and cooked noodles and mix well. Transfer to the greased baking dish. Top with the breadcrumbs. Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

Chili Chicken

This was a pretty flavorful chicken. Really easy to put together, and you could probably use any kind of cereal as the "crust". The original recipe calls for crushed corn flakes. I used rice chex because that's what I had on hand.

Chili Chicken-adapted from
Total Time: 1 hour
Serves 4

  • 1/3 cup rice chex cereal, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1/3 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 4 bone-in chicken thighs
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

In a pie plate, combine cereal, chili powder, cumin and garlic salt. Pour evaporated milk into a second pie plate.

Dip a piece of chicken in the evaporated milk, then coat with the cereal mixture. Place on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining chicken. 

Bake for 50-55 minutes or until chicken is golden and crispy.

Pasta Fagioli Soup

This soup has been on my radar for awhile now that I keep getting kale in my market basket from Growing Power. I finally made it, and it's one of the easiest soups I've made! I also solely used my homemade chicken stock for the broth. That recipe will be coming soon, and I'll link to it (also super easy). The original recipe calls for white beans, but I accidenty bought black beans. Tasted just fine, so you could use whatever you have on hand!

Pasta Fagioli Soup-adapted from
Total Time: 15 Minutes
Serves 8

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 14 1/2 ounce can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano, undrained
  • 29 ounces (2 cans) chicken stock
  • 3 cups water
  • 8 ounces small pasta shells, uncooked
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 bunch kale, destemmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Grated parmesan for serving
In a large saucepot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Saute onion for about 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute more.

Stir in tomatoes, chicken stock and water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add pasta and Italian seasoning. Cook and stir for 5 minutes.

Add kale and cook for 5 minutes. Bring down heat to medium and stir in beans, tomato paste, salt and pepper. Cook about 3 minutes longer or until heated through. Serve with grated parmesan.

Reuben Sandwich Casserole

Reubens are probably my favorite sandwich of all time. I used to be afraid of them-I think it was the sauerkraut. But now, I could probably eat them every day. When I saw this recipe, I was very excited to give it a try!

I actually made it the night before so that Scott could throw it in the oven after work, and that worked out great, which makes it an even better recipe. It's really quick to throw together and if you like more thousand island or sauerkraut in your reubens, add more!

Reuben Sandwich Casserole-adapted from So, How's It Taste?
Total Time: 45 Minutes
Serves 8
  • 20 ounce can sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 4 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
  • 3 cups Swiss cheese, shredded
  • 1 1/3 cups thousand island dressing
  • 3/4 pound corned beef, sliced and chopped
  • 6 slices rye bread, chopped into one-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Spread the sauerkraut and onion on the bottom of the dish, sprinkle with parsley and caraway seeds. 

Add half the cheese and half the thousand island, and corned beef on top of the sauerkraut mixture. Top with the remaining cheese and thousand island. 

Place the bread pieces on top and drizzle the melted butter over the bread pieces. Cook, uncovered, for 35 minutes or until bubbly.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Cheeseburger Soup

For some reason, I've always wanted to try a cheeseburger soup. I finally got around to it! It's a slow cooker recipe too, which is even better! And it's a slow cooker recipe where you actually prep more and it only needs to cook in the slow cooker for about 2 hours!

Cheeseburger Soup-adapted from WeightWatchers
Total Time: 2 hours
Serves 8

  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 rib celery, chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups chicken broth, divided
  • 1 cup low-fat evaporated milk
  • 8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • Tortilla chips, for serving
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and coat with cooking spray. Saute garlic, onion and celery until tender, about 5 minutes. Place into a lightly greased 5-quart slow cooker.

In the same skillet, brown the ground beef. Pour off any grase and add to the slow cooker.

In a small bowl, combine flour and 1/2 cup of broth; stir until lump-free. Pour flour mixture into same skillet; add remaining 2 1/2 cups of broth. Bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits in bottom of skillet, and pour into slow cooker; stir in evaporated milk, cheese, paprika, salt and pepper. Cover slow cooker and cook on low setting for 2 hours. Serve soup topped with crumbled chips. 

Mini Pizzas

There has been this trend going on on Pinterest where you make normal foods and put them in muffin tins. I didn't want to cave, but I did. And it was totally worth it. These were so delicious-just make with your favorite toppings!

Mini Pizzas-adapted from Dashing Dish
Total Time: 20 Minutes
Serves 12

  • 3-4 tortillas
  • 15 ounces pizza sauce
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon pizza seasoning (or use Italian seasoning)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Pinch sugar
  • Pinch black pepper
  • 12 pieces pepperoni
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

    Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Using the ridge of a can (like pizza sauce, if you don't make your own), cut out circles from the tortillas. Place one piece tortilla in a greased cup in a muffin tin. 

    In a small bowl, combine pizza sauce, parmesan cheese, and seasonings until well combined. Place a small amount of the sauce on top of the tortillas. Top with cheese and pepperoni. 

    Cook in the oven for 12-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and tortillas are lightly browned.

    Saturday, July 5, 2014

    Bridal Punch

    The second thing I made for Melissa's shower--punch! And of course, it had to be pink! If you wanted this to be an alcoholic punch, I'm sure you could easily add champagne or anything to it that you like! It was easy to make and delicious!

    Plus, look at my mom's awesome punch bowl!

    Bridal Punch-adapted from The Recipe Nut
    Total Time 5 Minutes
    Serves 15

    • 12 ounce can frozen pink lemonade concentrate
    • 4 cups raspberry sherbet
    • 12 ounces lemon-lime soda
    Mix all ingredients in a punch bowl. Use a blender if necessary, but it should melt pretty well into a lovely foamy beverage!

    Glitter Mason Jars

    Back in April, I threw my cousin (my maid of honor!) a bridal shower and I had so much fun planning everything! The big DIY thing was these mason jars! I used Krylon's Glittler Blast which is super easy to use. Melissa's favorite flowers are hydrangeas so I filled them with those! Simply spray in a well ventillated area. Just be careful of the dripping.

    Chicken Quinoa Chili

    I love finding new ways to use quinoa. Although it can be a little on the expensive side, a little bit goes a long way and it's such an awesome source of protein! The quinoa in this recipe really makes it a thicker, rather an soupy, chili, which I prefer. Beef could definitely be subsititued in this chili, but personally, I think I actually prefer chicken chilis! I know it's summer, but on those cool days, this will be a wonderful treat!

    Chicken Quinoa Chili-adapted from Sweat Treats and More
    Total Time: 5 Hours
    Serves 8

    • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
    • 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
    • 14 ounce can diced tomatoes with green chiles
    • 2-16 ounce cans black beans
    • 15 ounce can corn, drained
    • 2-1/2 cups chicken stock
    • 2 large chicken breasts
    • 1 bel pepper, seeded and chopped
    • 1 teaspoon minced onion
    • 1 teaspoon garlic
    • 1 teaspoon cumin
    • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
    • 1 teaspoon chili powder
    • Cheese, sour cream for garnish
    Spray the inside of a 5 or 6 quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Add all ingredients to crock and cook on low for 5-7 hours or until the chicken is cooked through. Take out the chicken breasts and shred or dice into bite sized pieces. Serve with cheese and sour cream as desired.

    Soy Garlic Chicken

    This is a super easy and tasty chicken slow cooker meal.

    Soy Garlic Chicken-adapted from Baked Bree
    Total Time: 6 Hours
    Serves 6

    • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    • 1 cup packed brown sugar
    • 2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
    • 1/4 cup lemon-lime soda
    • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
    • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
    Spray the inside of a 5-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Place all ingredients in the bottom of the slow cooker, cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until chicken is cooked through. Serve with rice.

    Roasted Red Pepper Balsamic Portobello Burger

    Woof. I have just been terrible at posting. I don't know why I've been so lazy. It's not like it takes a long time! I've even started trying to tell myself I should skip all the old stuff, as I don't remember a whole lot, and just post what I'm making new. But I want to share EVERYTHING with you, so I'm going back.

    I remember liking these 'burgers' a lot. Using the english muffin as the 'bun' is awesome for portobello burgers as they have a moist texture, so you don't want too much 'soft' bread. Anythin with balsamic is good for me. The original recipe calls for asiago cheese, which I can only imagine is amazing on these. I used cheddar as that's what I had on hand. Still can't complain.

    Oh don't you just love the shot of the paper towel in the background. I'm so classy sometimes...

    Roasted Red Pepper Balsamic Portobello Burger-adapted from How Sweet It Is
    Total Time 25 Minutes
    Serves 4
    • 2 medium red peppers
    • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
    • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 4 large portobello mushrooms
    • 4 slices cheddar cheese, or cheese of your choice
    • 4 English muffins
    Preheat broiler. Core and seed red peppers, and slice into pieces. Place skin side up on a baking sheet and broil for about 10 minutes or until black and charred. Set aside.

    Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring balsamic vinegar to a boil. Reduce to a low simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes or until liquid reduces by half and in syrupy. Remove from heat and pour into a bowl to cool and thicken.

    In a small bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons olive oil, paprika, onion powder and salt. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Drizzle the inside of the portobellos with the remaining olive oil, then brush the olive oil mixture on the tops of the portobellos and cook tops down for about 5 minutes, or until slightly juicy. Flip and add the cheese slices. Cook for about 5 minutes more or until the cheese has melted.

    While the mushrooms are cooking, toast the english muffins. Place the portobellos on an english muffin half, top with a slice of red pepper and the balsamic glaze and enjoy. 


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