Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Irish Beef Stew with Mashed Potatoes

3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 lb. beef chunks
1/2 c.carrots, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
garlic powder, to taste
thyme, to taste
basil, to taste
rosemary, to taste
coriander, to taste
2 c. beef broth
1/2 onion, diced
5 sprigs cilantro, chopped
2 Tbsp. butter, softened, almost completely melted
2 Tbsp. flour
1/3 c. frozen peas
hot mashed potatoes (I make mine mixed with butter, sour cream, milk, salt, and pepper)

In a skillet, brown the beef in 2 Tbsp. olive oil until browned on all sides, about 4-5 minutes.

Remove the beef and put it in a crock pot. Add in the carrots, spices (I was lighter on the rosemary and basil than all the other spices), and beef broth. Cook on low for 3-4 hours.

After 3-4 hours, cook the onion in a deep pot with 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Cook about 5 minutes, add the cilantro, and cook another minute or two.

In a small bowl, combine the butter and flour. Stir until smooth and mixed together.

Transfer the stew from the crock pot to the deep pot with the onion and cilantro. Turn up the heat to high. Stir the butter mixture into the stew. Add in the peas. Let the stew come to a boil, and let it boil 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let the stew get thick before reducing the heat. Serve over hot mashed potatoes.

I'll be making this again.

Here's a link to the recipe I slightly adapted: http://www.laurenslatest.com/irish-beef-stew-mashed-potatoes/

Pumpkin White Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Plan ahead... needs to chill... 
1/2 c. unsalted butter, melted
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1/3 c. pumpkin puree
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves
pinch of ground ginger
pinch of salt
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. baking soda
2 c. flour
1/2 c. white chocolate bar cut into chunks
cooking spray
sprinkles (optional)

In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugars until combined.

Add in the vanilla and pumpkin. Stir to mix in.

Add in everything else minus the white chocolate (and sprinkles, if you choose to use them) until you get a soft dough.

Stir in the chocolate chunks.

Refrigerate the dough for 30-60 minutes.

When your dough is ready, preheat oven to 350 F. Spray two baking sheets with cooking spray.

Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart. Bake for 4 minutes, then rotate pans. Bake for 4-6 more minutes. Don't over bake these. They will continue to cook slightly after you remove them from the oven.

Slightly flatten the cookies with the bottom of a glass. Add sprinkles if you want. My two year old added sprinkles to ours.

Let cool on the baking sheets about 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack.

Here's a link to the recipe I slightly adapted: http://thedomesticrebel.com/2014/09/30/the-best-chewy-pumpkin-chip-cookies/

Friday, September 30, 2016

Potato Green Bean Chowder

3 red potatoes, diced
4 c. chicken broth
2 strips of bacon
1/2 an onion, chopped
1/3 c. frozen corn
2/3 c. frozen green beans
garlic powder, to taste
thyme, to taste
oregano, to taste
coriander, to taste
dash of cumin
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
5 Tbsp. butter
5 Tbsp. flour
2/3 c. whole milk
1 1/2 c. cheddar, grated
1/4 c. sour cream

In a large pot, combine the potato and chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Let the potatoes boil for 5 minutes.

In a small skillet, cook the bacon. Chop up before or after you cook it. Drain most of the grease on a plate covered with a paper towel. Reserve a small amount of the grease in the skillet. Set the bacon aside.

In the skillet with the bacon grease, add the chopped onion. Cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat.

When the potatoes are tender, and the water is still boiling, add the corn, green beans, and seasonings. Bring to a boil again; let boil for 1 minute, then reduce the heat to a simmer.

In another skillet, add the butter. Melt over medium high heat. When the butter is melted, add the flour. Stir constantly until it is all blended. Add the milk and bring to a boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. It should get thick very quickly.

Add the thickened butter and flour mixture to the potato broth. Stir to combine. Adjust the seasonings if you need to.

Turn the heat on the chowder down to low. Add in the cheese and sour cream. Stir until combined. Let heat through.

Add a bit of crumbled bacon to the top of each chowder bowl. Serve hot.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Raspberry Chocolate Cake Bars

1/2 c. unsalted butter, melted
1 box yellow cake mix
2 c. semisweet chocolate chips, divided
2 c. sliced almonds, divided
3 1/2 c. shredded coconut
12 oz. raspberry jam

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish. Set aside.

In a bowl, stir together the melted butter and cake mix. Press into the prepared baking dish.

On top of this crust, sprinkle 1 1/2 c. chocolate chips and 1 1/2 c. almonds.

Sprinkle with coconut.

Carefully spoon jam over the top as evenly as possible.

 Sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips and almonds.

Bake 25-30 minutes, or until edges lightly brown.

Let cool before cutting into bars.

Store in the refrigerator.

Here's a link to the recipe I used: backforseconds.com/chocolate-raspberry-magic-bars/

Tiny Taco Salads

Cooking spray
12 round wonton wrappers
4-6 oz. ground beef
cumin, lots
onion powder, to taste
coriander, to taste
garlic powder, to taste
chili powder, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste
3/4 c. lettuce, shredded
3 Tbsp. black olives, sliced
1/4 of an avocado, sliced into small pieces
1 c. cheddar cheese, finely grated
1/4 c. sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Spray a 12 cup muffin pan with cooking spray. Place each wonton wrapper into a cup of the muffin pan, and press it into the bottom and sides. Lightly spray with cooking spray. Bake until lightly browned, about 8-9 minutes.

Let cool about 10 minutes before popping them out of the pan.

Cook the beef over medium high heat. Add in the seasonings until it tastes how you want. Break it up into small pieces.

Evenly fill the wonton wrappers in this order: lettuce, beef, olives, avocado, cheese, and sour cream.

Really you could change up the ingredients every time you make this. You could try black beans, refried beans, tomatoes, salsa, pepperjack cheese, etc.

Here's a link to the recipe I adapted: www.hungry-girl.com/recipes/tiny-taco-salads-2-0.

If you're looking for something to do with leftover wonton wrappers that you have, here's a link to my Lasagne Cupcakes: http://trinitywolf3.blogspot.com/2013/01/lasagne-cupcakes.html

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Crock Pot Taco Chili

1/2 an onion, chopped
15 oz. can black beans, drained
15 oz. can pinto beans, drained
8 oz. tomato sauce
14 oz. can diced tomatoes
5-7 sprigs of cilantro, chopped
1/2 c. frozen corn kernels
1 lb. ground beef
4 baby bell peppers, chopped
1 small can of olives, chopped and drained
1 Tbsp. cumin (or more, seriously)
salt and pepper, to taste
chili powder, to taste
garlic powder, a lot
onion powder, to taste
oregano, to taste
paprika, to taste
coriander, a lot
pinch of cayenne

Add all the ingredients to the crock pot, breaking up the beef into small chunks if needed. Stir it up, making sure to mix everything in. Cook on high 3-4 hours, then reduce heat to low, and cook 3-4 more hours, stirring occasionally. Taste it a few times to see if the seasonings need adjusting. Serve with avocado slices, sour cream, and tortilla chips.

Here's a link to the recipe I was inspired by: http://www.skinnytaste.com/2008/11/crock-pot-chicken-taco-chili-4-pts.html.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Cornish Pasties

*Plan ahead... needs to chill...

2 1/2 c. flour
1 stick of butter, chilled
pinch of salt
4-6 Tbsp. water
10 oz. ground beef
1 small potato, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
6-7 baby carrots, finely chopped
1-2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp. beef stock
2 cloves garlic, minced
thyme, to taste
coriander, to taste
salt & pepper, to taste
1 egg, beaten

Place the flour and salt in a food processor. Grate in the chilled butter. Process for about 20 seconds, or until crumbly. Add in the water, and process in short bursts until the mixture comes together into a ball. Add more water if needed.

Gather the dough ball together and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

While the dough is chilling, place the ground beef, potato, onion, carrot, sauce, stock, garlic, and seasonings into a large bowl. Combine well.

Grease a baking tray and set aside.

Preheat oven to 415 F.

When the dough is ready, divide into eight portions. Roll out each portion into a circle about 1/8 inch thick. Divide the filling evenly and put in the center of each pastry circle.

Brush the edges of the pastry with beaten egg and bring the sides together into a semicircle. Pinch the edges to form a frill. Place each pasty on the baking tray.  Brush with the remaining egg, and bake for 15 minutes.

Lower the heat to 350 F. Cook for another 25-30 minutes, or until golden.

Recipe adapted from 1000 Best Recipes

Monday, July 4, 2016

Chicken Curry

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 large onion, diced
2 chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 c. carrots, sliced
1 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
1 can water chestnuts, drained
salt & pepper, to taste
garlic powder, ginger, cumin, white pepper, curry powder, turmeric, garam masala, all to taste
1/2 tsp. coriander
Before the coconut milk
1 c. chicken stock
1/2 c. frozen peas 
1 1/2 Tbsp. flour
1 can coconut milk
2 Tbsp. sugar
3 Tbsp. peanut butter
hot cooked rice
Sriracha, optional

In a large pot, cook the olive oil and onion over medium high heat for about 5 minutes. Add the chicken, and cook for several more minutes until the chicken is no longer pink.

Add the carrots, cilantro, and water chestnuts. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add all the seasonings. Stir. Then add in the chicken stock. Stir again. Turn heat up to high.

Add the frozen peas and flour. Stir.

Ready to eat
Let it boil for several minutes before turning the heat down to simmer. While the curry is simmering, add in the coconut milk, sugar, and peanut butter. Mix well. Let cook another 5 minutes before serving over the hot rice.

If you want a little more spice, add in some Sriracha.

I will definitely be making this curry again.

Here's a link to the recipe I adapted: http://www.laurenslatest.com/30-minute-bang-bang-chicken-copycat-recipe/

Southwest Salad Dressing

1/4 c. mayonnaise
1/4 c. sour cream
2 tsp. lime juice
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. fresh cilantro, minced
1/2 tsp. white vinegar
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. water
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. coriander
1/4 tsp. Tabasco chipotle sauce
pinch dried thyme
pinch cumin

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Mix well. Cover and chill in the fridge for an hour before serving over whatever salad fixings you want. I used lettuce, corn, black beans, avocado, black olives, and crushed up tortilla chips. Enjoy!

Here's a link to the recipe I adapted: http://www.topsecretrecipes.com/Subway-Chipotle-Southwest-Sauce-Copycat-Recipe.html

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Fish Tacos

Plan ahead... needs to chill...
Pickled Red Onions
1 jalapeno pepper, cut into 1/4 inch rings
2 large red onions, finely sliced
1 c. distilled white vinegar
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 c. water
1 c. sugar

Fish Tacos
8 corn tortillas, warmed
8 breaded white fish fillets or high-quality fish sticks, cooked
1/2 c. mayo
3-4 Tbsp. sriracha sauce
1/4 of a head of green cabbage, shredded
pickled red onions (recipe above)
1/2 c. cilantro, chopped

To make the picked red onions: Place jalepeƱo and onions in a medium mixing bowl.

Heat vinegar, water, sugar, and salt in a small skillet over high heat, whisking until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil, then pour over onions.

Press onions down with a spoon until submerged. Place a double layer of paper towels on top of onions and press down until completely saturated in liquid to keep onions submerged. Allow to sit until onions are softened and liquid has cooled, about 25 minutes.

Onions will keep indefinitely in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

The best way to eat these onions is to let them sit at least 24 hours in the fridge before using them on the tacos.

To make the tacos: Take a warmed tortilla and layer 1 fish stick or fillet in the center. Flake it up with a fork.

In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise and sriracha. Stir. Spread a good amount over the fish stick.

Layer with a bit of cabbage, pickled red onions, and cilantro. Wrap and eat.

Do this 7 more times. You won't be disappointed.

Here is a link to the pickled red onion recipe I used: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2012/05/pickled-red-onions.html