Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Sour Cream Noodle Bake

We had the rents over for dinner tonight; it was about time we made something for them!!  This was awesome - pretty much lasagna minus the lasagna noodles AND it didn't take as long as lasagna does to make!!  Yummy :)

1 1/4  pound Ground Chuck
1 can (15oz) Tomato Sauce
1/2 teaspoon Salt
 Freshly Ground Black Pepper
8oz Egg Noodles
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1 1/4 cup Small Curd Cottage Cheese
1/2 cup Sliced Green Onions (less To Taste)
1 cup Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Brown ground chuck in a large skillet. Drain fat, then add tomato sauce. 1/2 teaspoon salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Stir, then simmer while you prepare the other ingredients. 

Cook egg noodles until al dente. Drain and set aside. 

In a medium bowl, combine sour cream and cottage cheese. Add plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Add to noodles and stir. Add green onions and stir. 

To assemble, add half of the noodles to a baking dish. Top with half the meat mixture, then sprinkle on half the grated cheddar. Repeat with noodles, meat, then a final layer of cheese. Bake for 20 minutes, or until all cheese is melted

Monday, April 22, 2013

Cajun Style Hashbrowns

We had Brenner tonight (BREakfast for dinNER)!  This was really good!!  I would for sure have this for bfast one am if I wanted to take the time to make it!!  Yummy :)

6 servings: Recipe by Our Best Bites
20 ounces Potatoes O’Brien
red or green bell pepper (or both - chopped)
4 tablespoons butter
4 cloves garlic
8 ounces Andouille or other smoked sausage, sliced
6 eggs (or more if you want, especially if you want to scramble them)
Cajun seasoning like Tony Chachere’s or Tabasco sauce
1/2-1 cup shredded pepper jack or sharp cheddar (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. In a 12″ (or larger) oven-safe skillet (preferably cast-iron), heat the butter over slightly-hotter-than-medium heat. Melt the butter in the heated skillet and add the garlic and sliced sausage. Cook until the garlic is tender and fragrant. Add the potatoes and cook according to the package/recipe directions until crispy on the outside and tender inside. Season to taste with Cajun seasoning or Tabasco sauce. Remove from heat.

Using a spoon, make 6 evenly-spaced indentations into the potatoes. Carefully crack an egg into each well and, if desired, sprinkle lightly with Cajun seasoning or salt and Tabasco sauce. Bake in the preheated oven for 18-25 minutes or until the egg whites are completely cooked but the yolks are still runny (mine were done at exactly 20 minutes, but you want a little give or take in each direction). If adding cheese, do it in the last 5 minutes of cooking. Carefully spoon out of the skillet and serve immediately.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Carnitas (Mexican Pulled Pork)

This was such a good Sunday night meal!!  It took a little bit to make - but when it's still SNOWY out and a good cuddle and cook Sunday - this is perfect!! AND it was AMAZING!!  I like to call myself Miss Chipotle :)
Serves 12: OBB
3 1/2-4 pounds boneless pork butt roast (sometimes called boneless pork shoulder or boneless picnic roast)
2+ cups water (enough to cover the pork in the pot)
1 white or yellow onion, peeled and halved
4-6 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
2 tablespoons lime juice (about 1 lime)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dry oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 bay leaves salt and pepper
1 orange
For serving: Small corn or flour tortillas, grated cheese (I like cotija cheese), Mint Pineapple Pico de Gallo, Pico de Gallo, Mango Pico de Gallo, Guac, sliced white onion, sprigs of cilantro, fresh lime wedges, etc.

Place the oven rack in the lower middle position and preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Trim the pork of excess fat and cut into 2″ chunks. Place the pork in a heavy lidded pot like a Dutch oven. Add enough water to cover the pork and then add onion, garlic, lime juice, red wine vinegar, oregano, cumin, bay leaves, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, and the juice from the orange. After squeezing the juice from the orange, toss the rinds into the pork mixture and stir to combine. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

Cover the pot and transfer to the oven. Cook for about 2 hours or until the pork falls apart when poked with a fork. When the pork is fork-tender, remove the pot from the oven.

Remove the orange rinds, onion, and bay leaves. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pork from the liquid to the foil-lined baking sheet. Set aside.
Return the pot to the stovetop and bring the liquid to a boil over high heat. Boil for 8-15 minutes (longer or shorter if necessary) until the liquid is thickened and glaze-y and, when stirred, the spoon leaves a trail in the liquid (you should have about 1 cup of liquid).

Use your fingers to pull apart the pork pieces, discarding any particularly fatty pieces (or removing the fat from them). Drizzle with the cooking liquid. Turn your oven broiler on high and place the pork in the oven for 5-8 minutes or until the pork starts to brown and the edges become crispy.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and use a spatula to flip the pork. Return to the oven for another 5-8 minutes, broiling until the pork is browned and crispy (but not charred, unless that’s your thing). Serve in warmed tortillas with desired toppings.

Mint-Pineapple Pico de Gallo

We made this to go on top of Carnitas.  So awesome!!  I am a sucker for guac on everything but this was really tasty!!  Nice twist to your typical salsa!!
Recipe by Our Best Bites
1 small red onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, minced (seeded, if desired, to reduce heat)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
1 pound fresh pineapple, cut into small pieces (you can also use 1/2 pound mango, 1/2 pound pineapple)
Juice of 1 lime
kosher salt

Combine all ingredients except for the salt in a small mixing bowl. Season to taste with salt. If possible, allow to stand for 30 minutes at room temperature before serving. This will keep for 2-3 days in the refrigerator.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Diaper Cake

I heart baby showers!!  I got an awesome diaper cake for my shower - so now that I've seen them done, I love making them for others!!  How cute is this :)

Cake pan

I just take a 8-inch cake pan and start lining the diapers around the edges.  I continue to do this until they start to join the others; and by then you have made a circle of diapers.  (sorry - should have taken a picture of this!)

Then just wrap a string (and tie) around the diapers in the cake pan - and then turn over and you have one layer!!  Repeat for how big you want the cake to be!

Then I just put fun stuff under the ribbon - or hanging off the cake.  And this time - I made little diaper babies out of washcloths and socks!  This whole cake was a "tub tub" theme, so it was perfect!!

Here is another example of one I made....just so cute!!!
This one I made for a FISHING theme baby shower
100 diapers
"fishing poles"
Rubber bands
I started by rolling all the diapers and holding together with a rubber band.  Then I outlined the shape of a boat. 
Bottom of boat:
1 (1 row)
2 (1 row)
3 (1 row)
4 (1 row)
5 (11 rows)
Top of boat:
2 (1 row)
3 (6 rows)
2 (1 row)
After that was all rolled and organized - I used bigger rubber bands to hold sections of this together.  Then I wrapped the ribbon (hiding the rubber bands) around it and it was held in place!  I used some swizzle straws for the "fishing poles" - and then decorated with tub tub toys, pacis, diaper bags!  So cute!!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Bruschetta Chicken Pesto Wraps

Trying to get back at making new recipes now that I'm back to work....but I need FAST and EASY!!  This was exactly that - and it was tasty!!  Our pitas had mold so we had to settled for bread, but it was still amazing!!!

Recipe OBB - serves 2 tortillas or 12 mini pitas

1 tomato, diced  (seeds removed)
1 tablespoon minced onion
1-2 tablespoons fresh minced basil or 1 teaspoon dry basil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
kosher salt
black pepper
1 tablespoon light mayo
1 tablespoon light sour cream or plain greek yogurt
2 tablespoons pesto
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice and a little zest
1 cup shredded or diced cooked chicken breast, about 4 ounces
1 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted
1/2 cup shredded romaine lettuce or spinach leaves
2 torillas, flat breads, rolls, pitas, etc.

Combine diced tomato, onion, basil, and balsamic vinegar.  Add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside.

Combine mayo, sour cream, pesto, lemon juice and a few grates of the lemon zest.  Stir mixture and combine it with chicken and pine nuts, stirring until combined.  Layer lettuce on tortillas (or carb of choice), top with chicken mixture, and then bruschetta.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Bucca Di Beppo Spicy Chicken Rigatoni

HOT HOT HOT!!  This was soooo spicy.  It was really yummy, but for people that don't like spice - don't put a lot of red pepper flakes (or I should say, put the amount the recipe calls for...we added "more" than it called for).  This was yummy - and really did taste like Buca's!
6 Sisters Blog

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups Alfredo sauce (I just used a jar of store bought sauce)
2 cups marinara sauce (I just used a jar of store bought sauce)
1/2 cup cooked peas
1 lb (16 oz) rigatoni noodles, cooked al dente
2 tablespoons butter
Sprinkle of fresh Parmesan cheese and a pinch of red pepper flake for garnish.
In a large skillet on medium-high heat, heat two tablespoons olive oil. Saute garlic, red pepper flakes, and coarse black pepper for 2-3 minutes. Add in thin strips of chicken breast, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and cook until chicken is cooked through. This should only take a few minutes because the chicken is cut thin.

Add in marinara sauce and stir. Add in Alfredo sauce. Let the sauces simmer for about 10 minutes.  To the sauce/chicken, add two tablespoons butter and 1/2 cup peas. Stir until the butter melts.

Combine chicken/sauce mixture with cooked pasta. Garnish with fresh Parmesan cheese, and a pinch or two of red pepper flakes.