Beef, Sugar Snap Pea and Broccoli Bowl

I love when I receive my new issue of Cooking Light Magazine in the mail. There are always a ton of great recipies and most of them can be put together really quickly.  The recipe that I adapted the recipe below is from the October, 2012 issue.  I added and removed a few items from the original recipe and it turned out great.  It took all of 25 minutes start to finish, including prep.

Beef, Sugar Snap Pea and Broccoli Bowl

Ingredients:

  • 1 3.5 oz boil-n-a-bag brown rice
  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 12 oz boneless sirloin steak, cut into thin strips then cut in half
  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • 1 large bag frozen broccoli florets
  • 1 lb fresh sugar snap peas
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced horizontally and thinly
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • sliced green onions for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Cook rice according to directions.
  2. While rice is cooking combine soy sauce, hoisin sauce and cornstarch and whisk to combine. Add beef and toss to coat.
  3. Heat a large skillet over high heat and add oil to pan, swirling to coat. Place the beef in the skillet but use your fingers and shake off excess marinade into the bowl. Reserve that marinade.  Cook the beef for 2 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Remove the beef from pan and set aside. Add the broccoli and cook until thawed but not cooked through, then add the next 4 ingredinets through sesame oil to pan and cook until broccoli and peas are crisp-tender. Add the reserved marinade and bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute. Add beef to the pan, cook 1 minute until thoroughly heated.
  4. Serve stir-fry over rice and garnish with green onions.

Breakfast Burritos-make ahead and freeze!!

For the last few weeks I’ve been thinking of making something for breakfast (other than just toting an apple to work) that I can make ahead, freeze and then just pull out and zap in the morning. It also has to be something that the Husband loves. So I looked around at some online recipies and got an idea to make Breakfast Burritos. I used the recipies on line for only an idea of how to wrap and how long to heat up etc.. so this is my own recipe-and first try.  I made them last night-took maybe an hour, and ate one this morning and it was delicious.  This is a photo of the one that I ate this morning after I heated it up.

Breakfast Burritos

Ingredients:

  • 12 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 lb breakfast sausage, casing removed
  • 1 16oz bag frozen hash browns
  • Cheddar cheese-freshly grated-the amount is up to you
  • Sandwich Wraps/Burritos/Tacos-large
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. In a large pan (it has to be large enough to hold all of the sausage, eggs and hash browns) cook the sausage and crumble into small pieces as it cooks.  When it’s completely cooked remove from pan and place on a plate with paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
  2. In the same pan cook the hash browns as per instructions on the bag.  
  3. While the hash browns are cooking crack all of the eggs into a medium bowl, add milk, salt and pepper to taste, whisk and set aside.
  4. When the hash browns are completely cooked add the sausage back to the pan and then add the eggs.  Stir gently until the eggs are completely cooked. Remove pan from heat.
  5. Set one wrap on the counter and spoon about 1.5 cups of the eggs onto the left/middle of the wrap.  Sprinkle with the desired amount of cheese.  Fold the left and the right side of the wrap over the ends of the eggs, push the egg mixture in a bit and then roll towards the empty end of the wrap.  ( It should be tightly wrapped-if not you didn’t push the egg mixture together enough or you put too much–dont worry it will still freeze it will just come out a bit. )  Place burrito on a length of plastic wrap and roll it along folding in the sides as you go. Place in freezer immediately.  Repeat until all of the wraps or egg mixture is used up.

To heat: remove from freezer and unwrap completely. Wrap it in a paper towel and put it on a plate in the microwave for about 2 minutes. At the end of 2 minutes turn it over and heat for another minute. Remove, cut in half, and heat for another minute or until it’s heated all the way through.

I only bought one pack of wraps for this as I didn’t know how many it would make.  I could’ve made about 4 more because I had a lot of egg mixture left. But my Husband doesn’t mind, he can eat all of the leftovers for breakfast 🙂

sparksfromthekitchen.com original

Tomato, Onion, Bacon and Asiago Fritatta

Saturday morning was breezy and cool and I felt like making something easy and delicious for breakfast. I hunted around in the fridge and had a few tomatoes, an onion and some Asiago to use up.  This fritatta came out great! A little cheesy, a little crunchy from the bacon, and super tasty.

 

Tomato, Onion, Bacon and Asiago Fritatta

Ingredients:

  • 10 eggs, beaten
  • 5 strips bacon, cooked to desired crunchyness
  • 1 large tomato, diced, seeds removed
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 heaping cup freshly-grated Asiago cheese
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • green onions for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 f.
  2. Cook the bacon in a pan over medium heat to desired crunchyness. Remove bacon and place on paper towels to drain.  Leave fat in the pan and add the onion and garlic. Sautee until soft. Add the tomatoes and bacon and then pour the eggs over everything in the pan. Allow it to cook, occasionally running a spatula around the outer rim to prevent sticking. 
  3. When eggs are almost completely cooked through place the pan in the oven until eggs are cooked through.
  4. Sprinkle the cheese on top and put back into the oven for a minute or 2 until cheese is melted.
  5. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with green onions, cut and serve.

Sparksfromthekitchen.com original

Fresh Tomato Sauce

While I was out on the East End this past Sunday with my Mom and Grandma we stopped at Harbes Family Farm which is one of the many farmstands along the wine trail. I picked up a few beautiful tomatoes and a pumpkin.  I wanted to make some sauce using a few of the tomatoes so I looked through my fridge and cabinets to see what I could add to those sweet, wonderful smelling tomatoes.  The outcome was a fresh sauce that just bursts with amazing tomato flavor. It was easy to make and was absolutely delicious.

Fresh Tomato Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • a few slices of onion (I used some red onion that I had left over but any will work)
  • artichoke hearts-a few good heaping spoonfulls, chopped
  • large green olives, pitted and chopped-I used 4 but you could use more or less
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • basil leaf-ripped into small pieces
  • 1/2 lb capellini
  • a few grates of parmesan cheese
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat. When hot add garlic and sautee until golden and fragrant. Add onion, olives and artichokes and cook until they start to soften-just a few minutes.  Add the remaining ingredients except for the cheese. Bring to a good steadybubble then reduce heat to simmer and stir occasionally until tomatoes are soft and can be smashed with a wooden spoon in the pan.
  2. Add cheese, cook for another minute or two and then serve spooned over the pasta.

Makes 2 servings.

Sparksfromthekitchen.com original

Santa Fe Soup

Winner winner chicken dinner!! Not only is this chili-like soup very delicious it’s a SNAP to make!! The ingredients are similar to chili but the liquid is much thinner.  Feel free to switch other beans in or use turkey. This makes  4 quarts so, in my house, enough for 2 frozen containers and 3 containers for the next few days for lunch or dinner.  I think this would also be excellent with crushed tortilla chips on top or used to scoop out the soup. So versatile!! I will be making this all fall and winter!!

Santa Fe Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. ground beef or turkey
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 1 oz package ranch-stype dressing mix
  • 2 1&1/4 oz packages taco seasoning mix
  • 1 16oz can black beans, undrained
  • 1 16oz can kidney beans, undrained
  • 1 16oz can pinto beans, undrained
  • 1 15 oz can crushed tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 small can green chilis
  • 2 16oz cans yellow and white corn undrained
  • 2 cups water
  • Garnish: sour cream, grated sharp cheddar (not pre grated as it won’t melt properly), sliced green onions

Instructions: (I said it was really easy didn’t I? 1 step)

  1. Cook meat and onion together in a large stock pot until meat is browned and onion is soft. Stir in ranch dressing mix, taco seasoning into meat and stir to combine. Add remaining ingredients with juices from all. Add water. Simmer for 2 hours.  If mixture is too thick gradually add additional water to desired thickness. Garnish with sour cream and/or cheese and/or sliced green onions.

Makes 4 quarts. Needs to simmer for 2 hours (but it’s worth it I promise!!)

Adapted from Recipies Worth Sharing cookbook. This is a GREAT book-all of the recipies are from various community cookbooks from all over the country. This particular recipe is from the community cookbook Food for Thought from Junior League of Birmingham, Inc.  Burmingham, Alabama.

Velvet Pumpkin Bread

The weather has gotten so nice and cool this week-high 70s during the day, low 60s at night-a great change from the super-humid hot weather we had for the past few weeks. So the air conditioning is off, the windows are open and it feels great-in other words the fall bug has bitten me. I was looking through some of the cookbooks that I’ve picked up for my Kindle and came across the Gooseberry Pumpkin Cookbook that I’d purchased last year- link.

This recipe made 2 gorgeous delicious loaves of super-moist, amazingly tasty pumpkin bread and they were really easy to make. Wow did my house smell amazing while they were cooking too!! I left one loaf at home and brought one to work for my co-workers to enjoy today.

(Next fall when I make this I’d like to try using greek yogurt instead of the oil. I’m not sure of the conversion amounts though-I will have to find out and put an alternate ingredient on this recipe.)

Velvet Pumpkin Bread

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1&1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups canned pumpkin (one 16 oz can)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and spray 2 9″x5″ loaf pans with non-stick baking spray.
  2. Sift together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon 3 times and set aside.  In a large bowl combine oil and sugar and mix well then blend in flour mixture. Add the eggs and pumpkin and mix well.  Pour batter into the 2 prepared pans and bake for 1 hour.

Makes 2 loaves.

Turkey Burgers with Asiago Cheese

Last night I had a pound of ground turkey, a few peppers, onions and pita bread–and I always have a ton of cheese-on hand. I felt like having a burger for dinner so this was the result.  A light, tasty burger with crunchy peppers, tangy and melty Asiago cheese and a flavorful burger.  Ideally I would’ve eaten this on a hamburger roll or a portugese roll but since I had one pita bread in the fridge to use up-that’s how it ended up. These burgers would also be great topped with other cheese(s) and veggies-but I used what I had on hand.  I cooked these on my awesome Breville panini press-it makes the best crisp outside, I then topped with cheese and let the top plate hover over the cheese (not touching-but very close) to melt the cheese.

Turkey Burgers with Asiago Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 red pepper sliced very thin
  • 1 green pepper sliced very thin
  • 1/2 red onion sliced very thin
  • 1 clove garlic, minced very small
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 packet Goya Sazon seasoning
  • 5 pita breads or rolls or bread
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 5 slices of Asiago, or more if you’d like

Instructions:

  1. In a bowl mix the turkey and Sazon until combined. Make 5 patties. Set aside.
  2. In a medium pan over low-med heat add the oil. When hot add the peppers and cook until they start to become a bit soft. Add the onion and garlic and cook until softer but still crunchy.
  3. On a panini press or grill cook the burgers until almost to 165 internal temp. Top with cheese. When cheese is melted and burgers have reached 165 remove from heat.
  4. Warm the pita or rolls and top with the burger and pepper topping.

sparksfromthekitchen.com original

Marinara Sauce 2

I was over at my girlfriend Michelle’s house on Saturday night working on making these delicious appetizers and she was also making a big pot of sauce which smelled absolutely magnificent. A super delicious, easy to make sauce that is very versatile. She made it to use later in the week in baked ziti but it would also be great with spaghetti or other pasta…..

Michelle’s Magnificent Marinara Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, grated
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red wine (she used cabernet)
  • 3 28oz. cans crushed san marzano tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • dried parsley-small palmful
  • dried oregano-small  handful
  • fresh oregano-1 tsp chopped small
  • fresh basil-1 handful-chopped small

Instructions:

  1. In a large stockpot or dutch oven over medium heat cook onion and carrot in olive oil until soft. Add all other ingredients. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 2 hours.

Sparksfromthekitchen.com original via friend 🙂

Shrimp Salad BLT Bites

Recently a friend of mine had a very tasty appetizer at a party.  She wanted to recreate it using the Shrimp Salad from these. So we got together and tried a few different types of bacon (regular, turkey and thin and crispy turkey). The regular bacon worked best-the flavor was just right. The turkey and T&C just didn’t taste right. So after some experimenting-mixing the lettuce into the salad, different amounts of salad, different sizes of the piece of bacon underneath etc…-we finally arrived at a perfect little bite of BLT with shrimp salad. They’re just the right size to pick up with 2 fingers and eat in one bite.

Shrimp Salad BLT Bites

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp whole-grain mustard
  • 1/4 cup cornichons, chopped small, plus 1 Tbsp brine
  • Black pepper
  • 1/2 lb cooked, peeled and deveined large shrimp cut into very small pieces
  • 1&1/2 tsp chopped fresh tarragon
  • 10 pieces bacon
  • a few leaves of green leaf lettuce (or any other lettuce that will lay flat)
  • 3 egg tomatoes (or any other that has the same circumference as the piece of bacon, each sliced very thin into 10 slices)

Instructions:

  1. Prepare bacon so that it’s crispy.  Set aside to cool.
  2.  In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, brine and season with pepper.
  3. Add the shrimp, cornichons and tarragon and toss to combine.
  4. Break pieces of bacon into 3 equal sized pieces.  On each place a slice of tomato, a small piece of lettuce (similar size to bacon and tomato) and top with a little less than 1 tbsp of shrimp salad. It helps to compact the salad into a tbsp before placing on top of the bacon.

Hummingbird Cupcakes

A few years ago I made a Hummingbird Cake and it was delicious so I knew these cupcakes would be great. They’re a bit fruity and a bit crunchy, sweet and delicious. The original recipe called for a TON of frosting so I halved that recipe as I couldn’t fathom an entire box of cream cheese and a whole box of sugar-it would be way too much.  I have a pet peeve about over frosted cupcakes and half of the frosting recipe made enough for a good schmear on top of each cake-the perfect amount.  They’re also pretty simple to make-just a few mixing bowls and spoons-no mixer needed (aside of the frosting). Make them 🙂

Hummingbird Cupcakes

Ingredients: For the cake:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tps salt
  • 1&1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup cinnamon applesauce
  • 1 8oz can crushed pineapple, with juice
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 ripe bananas, chopped
  • 24 pecans (to top each cupcake)

Ingredients: Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 4ozs 1/3 less fat cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 lb powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Instructions: for the cupcakes

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 muffin tin cups with paper liners.

2. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, sugar, and cinnamon in a large bowl.

3. In a small bowl beat the three eggs. Add to the dry ingredients along with the oil and applesauce. Stir until the mixture is just moist. (Do not use a mixer). Stir in the vanilla, pineapple (with juice), pecans, and bananas until just mixed in.

4. Pour the batter into prepared muffin tins filling each cup ¾ of the way full. Bake for 22-24 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

5. Cool in the muffin tins for 5 minutes then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Instructions: For the frosting

1. Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with a mixer. Add the powdered sugar 1 c. at a time until fully incorporated. Stir in vanilla and cinnamon.

2. Spread or pipe 1 ½ T. of icing on each cupcake. Top with a pecan. (Store extra icing in the refrigerator).

Adapted from Southern Living and Heather.



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