Saturday, August 31, 2013

Mini Elephant Ears

We had fun making this with our girls, and then we devoured them!

1 package (17.3 oz) frozen puff pastry, thawed
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1. On a lightly floured surface, roll one sheet of puff pastry into an 11 x 8 in rectangle. Combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle half of mixture over pastry.
2. Working from the short sides, roll up dough jelly-roll style toward the center. With a sharp knife, cut roll into 1/2-in slices. Place on parchment paper-lined baking sheets or spray pans with cooking spray. Repeat with remaining pastry and sugar mixture.
3. Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes or until crisp and golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks.

Yield: About 2 1/2 dozen.

{Kudos to Taste of Home magazine!}

Sesame Noodles

A wonderful friend of mine gave me the link to this recipe, and I could seriously eat them several times a week! Plus, it's SO easy and can be paired with lots of great chicken, beef, or pork recipes!

4 Tablespoons soy sauce
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoons sesame oil
1/2 Tablespoon peanut butter
1 teaspoon hot chili oil (optional)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon white sugar
1 small can of mushrooms, chopped (optional)
3-4 green onions, chopped
1/2 Tablespoon sesame seeds (optional)
1 16oz package Capellini noodles (or thin spaghetti noodles)

1. Cook pasta according to directions on package.
2. While the pasta is cooking, mix soy sauce, oils, sugars, and peanut butter together. 
3. When the pasta is done cooking, drain, return to pot, and immediately mix in the sauce. Add mushrooms and sesame seeds. Sprinkle with green onions when ready to serve.

Yield: 6-8 servings

{Kudos to!}

Super Easy and Delicious Taco Soup

Taco soup is one of those things I can't photograph well...but how can you lose with these ingredients?

This is a great, simple recipe that uses mostly canned ingredients and would feed a large crowd! I don't like chunks of tomatoes in my food, so I blended the tomatoes and salsa.

2 lbs ground beef
1 cup water
1 can (16 oz) refried beans
1 can (16 oz) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (16 oz) chili beans, undrained
1 can (15 1/4 oz) whole kernel corn, drained
1 can (14 1/2 oz) stewed tomatoes
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
1 cup salsa
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 can (2 1/4 oz) sliced, ripe olives, drained
1 cup (4 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
Tortilla chips (optional)

Cook ground beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in water, beans, corn, stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, salsa, taco seasoning, and olives.
Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 mins. Garnish with cheese. Serve with chips.

Yield: About 9 servings.

{Kudos to Taste of Home 2011 Quick Cooking Annual Recipes cookbook!}

Monday, August 19, 2013

Egg Substitute

****Check out my new blog for step-by-step pics of this recipe!

OH MY this is a lifesaver!!! When we found out my 4 year old has a dairy and egg intolerance, I mentally threw baking out the window. I couldn't see myself spending time baking something that I knew she would just watch us eat. BUT this is a simple, quick, healthy solution! I tried it in our favorite zucchini bread recipe, and it was SO good! My husband even thought it tasted BETTER! NOTE: This makes the substitute equivalent of ONE egg.

1 Tablespoon ground flax seed
2-3 Tablespoons water

Bring water to a boil, then add flax seeds and simmer for about 5 minutes or until a thick, egg-like consistence has been reached. Let cool before using in a recipe (about 10 minutes).

{Kudos to!}

Lazy Day Stew

I've been wanting to try freezer meals for a long time, but I knew we didn't have the room to store them. ~Enter our brand new, used freezer!!~ Now we have tons of room, and I'm hoping to post lots more freezer meal ideas! This is a great one to start with- my husband said it was the best homemade stew he has had, and I agree! NOTE: This recipe makes TWO meals!

4 lbs cubed stewing beef (I HIGHLY recommend Costco's)
4 cups baby carrots
4 cups baby red potatoes, cut in half
2 medium onions, chopped
10 oz package dried beans (optional- I added a can of kidney beans, but we really couldn't tell they were there. Your call.)
2 cups celery, chopped
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 15 oz can tomato sauce (1/2 in each bag)
2 cups beef broth (or beef bouillon with respective amounts of water)
2 Tablespoons brown sugar

Split everything into two one-gallon freezer bags, shake, and seal. Label and put in freezer. Instructions for bag: Cook on low 8 hours (I cook it on high 2 hours, then low for 4).

{Big Kudos to my friend, Lauri's, blog- check it out!!}

Baked Teriyaki Chicken

My husband made this last night, and we had it with this coconut rice and pineapple- we were one happy family!

1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1 Tablespoon cold water
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
12 skinless chicken thighs or 4-6 chicken breasts

1. In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the cornstarch, cold water, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger, and pepper. Let simmer, stirring frequently, until sauce thickens and bubbles.
2. Preheat oven to 425. Place chicken pieces in a lightly greased 13 x 9" baking dish. Brush chicken with sauce. Turn pieces over and brush again.
3. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes. Turn pieces over, and bake for another 20-30 minutes, until no longer pink and juices run clear. Brush with sauce every 10 minutes during cooking.


Sweet and Savory Coconut Rice

***Check out my new blog for pics of this fantastic rice!

Far too often we enjoy our meal so much that we forget to take a picture until it's gone. Such is the case with this rice. Sorry. You can rest a little easier knowing that it really just looks like rice.

2 cups white or jasmine rice
1 (14-oz) can coconut milk
2 cups water
1 tsp salt
Splash of white vinegar
2-3 tsp granulated sugar
1/4 cup chopped green onions (we sometimes omit this, depending on what we're having with it.)
Black pepper to taste

Combine rice, coconut milk, water, salt, vinegar, and sugar in a saucepan, stirring often, and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and cover for 20 minutes of until most of the liquid is absorbed. Allow to stand 5 minutes. Add chopped green onions, black pepper (if desired), and additional salt if necessary. Serve immediately.

{Kudos to Our Best Bites cookbook!}

Super Easy Oven-Roasted Potatoes

Seriously, it doesn't get much easier than this!

2 lbs potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces (I use red potatoes)
1 1-oz package onion soup mix
1/3 cup vegetable or olive oil

Preheat oven to 450. Mix ingredients in a gallon Ziploc, then dump into a 13 x 9" Pyrex that has been WELL-SPRAYED with cooking spray. (That part will save you lots of soaking and scrubbing after you have demolished the potatoes!). Bake for 40-60 minutes or until potatoes are soft.

{Kudos to the Lipton soup box}