Friday, July 29, 2011

Asian Salmon

This dish is pure delight.  Simple and so flavorful!  The salmon just melts in your mouth.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-4 salmon fillets
-1/4 cup soy sauce
-1 Tbs chili sauce
-3 garlic cloves, minced
-zest from 1 lime
-juice from 1 lime
-1 Tbs brown sugar
-3 green onions, chopped
Directions:
In a bowl, mix together soy sauce, chili sauce, garlic, lime zest, lime juice and brown sugar.
Heat the outdoor grill to high.  Place a couple of aluminum foil sheets on top.  Lightly coat with cooking spray.  Place salmon on foil.  Top with as much sauce as desired.  Cook for about 6 minutes on each side, or until cooked through.  Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from here.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Slow Cooker East-West Barbecue Chicken

I love slow cookers!  With such a busy life, they truly are amazing.  This is yet another super simple, delicious meal.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-6-8 pieces chicken (thighs, drumsticks, wings, etc)
-2/3 cup ketchup
-2/3 cup orange marmalade
-4 Tbs brown sugar
-6 Tbs soy sauce
-2 Tbs white wine vinegar
-2 garlic cloves, minced
Directions:
Place chicken on bottom of slow cooker.  Mix the rest of ingredients in a small bowl.  Pour over chicken.  Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours.  Enjoy!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Mexican Casserole

Quick, simple and delicious!  Can't go wrong with this one!:)  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-1 lb extra lean ground beef
-1 (11/4 oz) package taco seasoning
-1 (15 oz) can refried beans
-2 cups shredded Colby Jack cheese, divided
-1 cup mild salsa
-3 green onions, chopped
-1 (2 1/3 oz) can sliced black olives, drained
-1 tomato, seeded and chopped
-2 cups crushed corn chips
Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 F.
In a large skillet brown ground beef.  Add taco seasoning and cook according to package directions (on the seasoning).  Set aside.
Heat refried beans in a medium sauce pan until hot.  Add 1 cup of the cheese and the salsa.  Mix well.
Place crushed chips on bottom of 8x8 casserole dish.  Pour bean mixture on top.  Add meat mixture.  Sprinkle a few more crushed chips on top.  Add remaining cheese, onions and olives.  Bake in preheated oven for 5-8 minutes, or until cheese is melted.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with chopped tomatoes.  Serve with a dollop of sour cream on top.  Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from here.

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Best Chocolate Cupcakes

I've had this recipe for a while and kind of forgot about it.  It didn't really stand out to me.  I mean, everyone claims to have the best cupcake recipe, right?  Well, my little girls and I finally decided to make this.  I have to tell you that these are some of the BEST cupcakes ever!  I mean, you have the yumminess of the devil's food cake, the tenderness added by the sour cream, the extra flavor from the vanilla pudding, and above all, the gooeyness of the melted chocolate chips right in the middle of the cupcake.  It is pure delight!  My kids have been begging me to post it on this blog! lol  They said that I HAVE to share this recipe so that everyone can enjoy these cupcakes.:)  Aren't they so sweet?  Anyway, I liked mine plain, without any frosting or anything.  There is so much flavor that I think any topping would over do it.  However, my little people like frosting and sprinkles. Anyway, enough blabbering.  Enjoy!  
Ingredients:
-1 box devil's food cake mix
-1 small box vanilla pudding
-4 eggs
-1 cup sour cream
-1 cup vegetable oil
-1/2 cup warm water
-1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Mix all ingredients together.  Pour into prepared cupcake pans.  Makes about 24 regular cupcakes.  Bake in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Slow Cooker Ranch Chicken

Have I mentioned that I love my slow cooker?  I mean, you just dump a bunch of ingredients in it and end up with a nice, yummy meal, without barely doing anything.:)  I love this dish.  The chicken is sooooo tender and the sauce compliments it nicely.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-4 chicken thighs, skin on and bone in
-3 Tbs ranch dressing
-1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, at room temperature
-1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of chicken soup
-ground pepper
Directions:
Place chicken on bottom of slow cooker.  In bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients, except the pepper.  Pour over chicken.  Cover and cook on low for 4 hours.  Serve on top of rice and sprinkle with pepper.  Enjoy!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Slow Cooker Coke Pork Chops

I don't usually think of using soda in my cooking, but when I saw this recipe I thought it might be worth a try.  I'm so glad I did, because it turned out delicious!  My 8 year old couldn't stop eating this!  Very yummy!  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-4 pork chops
-1 cup barbecue sauce (highly recommended Sweet Baby Rays)
-1 can or 1 1/2 cups Coke (regular, not diet)
-1/2 cup ketchup
Directions:
Place pork chops on bottom of slow cooker.  Mix the rest of the ingredients in a bowl.  Pour over pork.  Cook on low for 4-5 hours.  Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from here.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Greek Chicken Thighs

This dish is so delicious!  The flavors combine perfectly!  I served mine with mashed potatoes and it went really well.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil, divided
-1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced
-2 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
-4 chicken thighs, with skin and bone, scored
-salt and pepper
-garlic powder
-dried oregano
-1 tomato, cut into small wedges
-1 cup kalamata olives, pitted and sliced in half
-1 Tbs lemon juice
-crumbled feta cheese to top
Directions:
Preheat oven to 425 F.
Heat 1 Tbs of the oil in an oven proof skillet.  When oil is hot, add onion.  Cook for about 3 minutes, or until soft and tender.  Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.  Remove from the pan and set aside.
Season thighs with salt, pepper, garlic powder and dried oregano.  Heat remaining Tbs of oil into the same skillet.  Add seasoned thighs.  Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the down side gets nice and brown.  Flip thighs over and remove from heat.  Add tomato wedges, olives, onion mixture and lemon juice.  Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.  Remove from the oven.  Top with crumbled feta.  Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from here.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tomato Tart Tatin

I wish you could have a taste of this!  It is SO good!!!  Simple and delicious.  The original recipe called for Gruyere cheese, but when I saw its price at the store I decided to replace it with something else.  I can't justify myself spending so much money for a tiny piece of cheese, no matter how fancy it might be.  So I replaced it with a mixture of Swiss and Parmesan cheeses.  Now, to get a better taste, make sure you buy a block of each of these cheeses and you grate it yourself.  Enjoy!
 Ingredients:
-6 ripe Roma tomatoes or 4-5 regular tomatoes
-salt and pepper
-2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
-1 cup freshly shredded Swiss cheese
-1 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
-1 sheet puff pastry
-1 Tbs Dijon mustard
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F.
If pastry sheet is frozen, get it out to thaw now.
Cut the tomatoes into slices.  Lay in a 9" round pie tin or cast iron skillet.  Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.  Drizzle with the olive oil.  Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 45 minutes, or until tomatoes get a bit mushy.  Gently pour out all of the juices and discard.
Roll the dough out to fir the pan.  Spread mustard on top of pastry sheet.
In a small bowl combine cheeses.  Pour cheese on top of tomatoes.  Lay pastry sheet on top of cheese, mustard side on cheese.  Tuck in any piece of pastry that might be left outside.   Make a small hole in the center of the dough so that the heat and steam can escape while baking.  Bake at 350 for about 35 minutes.
Fresh out of the oven, flip the tart on the serving dish.  Slice and enjoy!
Recipe adapted from here.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Chinese Beef with Mushrooms and Onions

This is another super simple and delicious dish.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
For marinade:
-4 garlic cloves, minced
-4 Tbs oyster sauce
-4 Tbs soy sauce
-2 tsp sugar
-1 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp pepper
-1 cup water
-4 tsp cornstarch
Remaining ingredients:
-1 1/2 lbs flank or round steak, thinly sliced
-8 oz fresh sliced mushrooms
-2 large onions, thinly sliced
-4 Tbs oil, divided
Directions:
In a large bowl, mix all marinade ingredients.  Place sliced beef in marinade.  Cover and let sit for 30 minutes.
Heat 2 Tbs oil in large skillet.  Remove beef from marinade with slotted spoon and place in hot oil.  Do NOT discard marinade.  Cook steak all the way through.  Remove onto plate.
Pour remaining 2 Tbs oil in skillet.  Add mushrooms and onions.  Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until nice and soft.  Add marinade liquid.  Bring to a boil and cook for 30 more seconds.  Return stake to pan and simmer until heated through.  Serve on top of rice.  Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from here.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Mongolian Chicken

I can't find enough words to describe how delicious this dish is!  I hope you give it a try.  You won't regret it.:)  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
-1/2 cup cornstarch
-6 garlic cloves, minced
-1 large onion, sliced
-4 green onions, cleaned and sliced into 1/2 inch sections
-1 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp pepper
For sauce:
-1/4 cup chicken broth or apple juice
-1 1/2 Tbs cornstarch
-2 Tbs hoisin sauce
-1 Tbs oyster sauce
-2 tsp sugar
-2 tsp soy sauce
-2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (or less)
Directions:
In a small bowl, mix sauce ingredients.  Set aside.
Pour 1/2 cup cornstarch into zip lock bag.  Toss in there chicken strips to coat.  Deep fry chicken.  Remove from pan on plate lined with paper towels.
Add 1-2 Tbs oil to a large skillet.  Add garlic, onion and green onions.  Season with salt and pepper.  Stir fry for about 3 minutes.  Add sauce and chicken and mix well for about 1 minute.  Serve over white rice.  Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from here.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Strawberry-Banana Smoothie

I had a lot of ripe bananas and fresh strawberries, and we couldn't eat them fast enough.  So I decided to make smoothies.  They are super easy and absolutely delicious.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-6 ripe bananas, peeled and broken in half
-2 lbs fresh strawberries, stems removed
-1 1/2 cups vanilla ice cream
-1/4 cup milk
Directions:
Put everything into blender.  Mix and enjoy!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Pasta Primavera

This is another simple and cheesy dish.  I love all the veggies in it.:)  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-1 lb fettuccine
-1 cup cooked, diced chicken
-2 cups milk
-3 Tbs cornstarch
-1 tsp salt
-1.2 tsp pepper
-1 cup ricotta cheese
-1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
-3/4 cup chicken broth
-4 garlic cloves, minced
-16 oz sliced fresh mushrooms
-2 cups broccoli florets
-1/2 cup chopped onion
-1 cup diced tomatoes
Directions:
Cook fettuccine according to package directions.  Drain.
Meanwhile, in a large sauce pan, heat milk, cornstarch, salt and pepper.  Stir constantly and cook until sauce thickens.  Remove pan from heat.
In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup of the milk sauce with the ricotta and Parmesan cheeses.  Mix very well.  Pour mixture into milk sauce and mix well. 
In a large pan, heat broth to boiling.  Add garlic and cook for a couple of minutes.  Add mushrooms, broccoli and onions.  Cover and cook for 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for a minute longer.  Add cheesy sauce, cooked and drain pasta, and cooked chicken.  Mix well and enjoy!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Quinoa with Jalapenos and Caramelized Onions

I thought of giving the quinoa one more chance.  I guess it's the fact that by itself the quinoa is quite bland.  The onions and jalapenos are definitely the ones making this dish worth it.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-1 1/2 cups quinoa
-2 medium onions, thinly sliced
-4 Tbs butter, divided
-2 Tbs + 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
-1/2 cup apple juice
-2 Tbs soy sauce
-pickled jalapeno slices, for topping
Directions:
Cook quinoa according to package directions.
Meanwhile, in a large pan, heat 2 Tbs butter and 2 Tbs olive oil.  Add the onions and cook until soft and translucent.  Add the apple juice and cook until caramelized.
Once quinoa is cooked (all the water is absorbed), add 1/4 cup olive oil and remaining 2 Tbs butter.  Stir in soy sauce.  Mix well.
To serve, scoop a little quinoa onto the plate.  Top with caramelized onions and sliced pickled jalapenos.  Enjoy!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Flag Cake

This is not really a recipe; it rather is a way to decorate your cake in a festive mode for the fourth of July.  This has been a tradition in my husband's family for many years.  Although we live thousands of miles away from his family, we love this tradition and continue to carry it on with our children.  Have a wonderful 4th of July, everyone, celebrating this great nation!
Ingredients:
-1 strawberry cake mix
-1 container cream cheese frosting (not the whipped kind)
-white chocolate chips
-blue food coloring
-2 jars maraschino cherries, pitted and halved
Directions:
Mix and bake cake according to package directions.  Let it cool.
Place about 4 Tbs cream cheese frosting into a bowl.  Mix a few drops of blue food coloring (to make it as blue as you want it).  Place this frosting on the top left corner of the cake.  Place the "stars", ie the white chocolate chips, on top of it.  Frost remaining cake with the rest of the cream cheese frosting.  Make some stripes out of the halved cherries. Enjoy!
Happy 4th!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Lemony Asparagus Pasta

This dish is so amazing!  I love the combination of the flavors.  It is like a lemony alfredo sauce with an asparagus kick.  Soooo good! I served mine with some yummy tilapia.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-8 oz penne pasta
-1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and broken into 1 inch pieces
-1 1/2 cups milk (no lower than a 2% fat content)
-1 Tbs Dijon mustard
-4 tsp flour
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 tsp pepper
-2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
-4 garlic cloves, minced
-1 Tbs lemon juice
-1 cup Parmesan cheese
Directions:
Bring a pot of water to a boil.  Toss in pasta and cook for 6 minutes.  Add asparagus and continue cooking for about 3-4 more minutes.  Drain.
Meanwhile, whisk milk, mustard, flour, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.  Heat oil in small sauce pan.  Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Add milk mixture and stir.  Bring to a boil and cook for an extra 2 minutes, or until sauce is thickened.  Stir in lemon juice.  Pour sauce over drained pasta and asparagus.  Mix well.  Pour cheese on top and mix well.  Enjoy!

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