Friday, May 30, 2014

Slow Cooker Cranberry-Chipotle Country-style Ribs

I love the mixture of sweet and spicy in this one.  It's super easy to put together and quite delicious.  The meat falls off the bones, of course, and is covered in that wonderful concoction of cranberries, chipotle peppers, onion and garlic.  Need I say more?  I served ours with mac and cheese and veggies.  Enjoy!
-3 lbs country-style pork ribs
-salt and pepper
-1 (15 oz) can whole cranberry sauce
-1 large onion, finely chopped
-4 chipotle peppers, in adobo sauce, finely chopped
-4 garlic cloves, finely minced
Coat your slow cooker with cooking spray.  Trim the fat off the meat.  Season the ribs with salt and pepper and place on bottom of slow cooker.
Mix remaining ingredients and pour over pork.  Cover and cook on low for 5-5:30 hours.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Easy Baked Parmesan Ranch Chicken

You definitely have to try this one.  It's super easy and soooo delicious!  The chicken is perfectly cooked and the outside is nice and crunchy, bursting with flavor.  Make sure to use the panko bread crumbs instead of the regular ones.  It adds a nice crispiness to the chicken.  I served ours with the Easy Ranch Dip and some veggies.  Enjoy!
-6 chicken thighs, skin-on, bone-in
-1 cup Italian-style panko bread crumbs
-1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
-1 1/2 Tbs dry ranch seasoning
-1 tsp pepper
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Coat a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.  Layer the chicken on the bottom.  Combine remaining ingredients and scoop over chicken.  Coat each piece of chicken and topping with cooking spray.
Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and topping is golden brown.  Enjoy!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Easy Ranch Dip

This recipe is super easy and quite versatile.  You can use this dip for chips, veggies or even meat (fried chicken, etc).  I apologize for the pictures, but it's kind of hard to capture dip... :)  The "secret" to it is to let it sit at least 1 hour before serving, allowing the flavors to really combine.  Also, if you want to make it spicy, just add 1-2 more teaspoons of the Sriracha sauce.  Otherwise, the 1 tsp is plenty to give it that wonderful boost of flavor.  Yum!  Also, make sure to use the dip only ranch seasoning.  The one for dip and dressing doesn't work as well.   Enjoy!
-1 (16 oz) container sour cream
-1 (1 oz) envelope dry ranch dip mix
-1 tsp Sriracha sauce
Combine all ingredients and mix really well.  Pour into serving dish and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.  Enjoy!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Malawian Peanut Balls

This recipe comes from Malawi, a country in Africa.  It is said that the Malawian people are very friendly and warm.  These awesome little balls are normally cooked in a pan over an open fire, but this recipe has been adapted and you can use your oven to simply bake them.  I really like them because the taste is amazing and they're just perfect for a little treat to satisfy that sweet tooth.  Enjoy!
-3/4 cup cocktail peanuts
-1/2 cup margarine
-2 Tbs sugar
-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
-1 cup flour
-1 cup powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 325 F.  Line one cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Place the peanuts into your food processor and pulse until finely chopped, like this: 
 In your mixer bowl, cream the margarine with the sugar.  Add the chopped peanuts, vanilla and flour.  Mix until well combined.  The dough will look crumbly, but that's okay.  This is how it should look:
Using your fingers, form 1 inch balls and place them on the prepared sheet.  Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes.
Let cool for 5 minutes, then roll through the powdered sugar.  Keep the leftover sugar.
Let the peanut balls cool completely, then roll them again through the powdered sugar.  Enjoy!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Lisa's Easy Chicken Casserole

This dish is easy and super delicious, perfect for a lazy Sunday dinner.  The chicken melts in your mouth and all the flavors combine beautifully.  I served it with my super easy tomato-cucumber salad.  Enjoy!
-4 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
-8 slices Swiss cheese
-1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of chicken soup
-2 cups savory herbs stuffing mix
-1 stick salted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Coat a 9x13 inch pan with cooking spray.  Cut each chicken breast in half and put on the bottom of prepared pan.  Top each breast half with 1 slice of the Swiss cheese.
In a small bowl, pour the chicken soup.  Fill half of the empty can with water.  Mix it with the soup and pour mixture over chicken.
In another bowl, mix the stuffing with the melted butter.  Top the chicken with the mixture.
Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Cream of Radish and Leek Soup

Oh, how I wish you could taste this soup!  It is heavenly!  Unfortunately, I was the only one in my family to enjoy it.  No one else likes radishes and they didn't even try this one... :(  Well, I truly enjoyed it.  The flavors are absolutely amazing and the radishes give it a little hint of spice.  Absolutely perfect, creamy and delicious!  Enjoy!
-2 Tbs butter
-2 bunches radishes, with tops and bottoms removed, and cut into halves
-3 yukon potatoes, peeled and cubed
-2 leeks, cleaned, with tops removed and thickly sliced
-4 cups chicken broth
-salt and pepper, to taste
-1 cup whole or 2% milk
Melt butter in large sauce pan.  Add the radishes, potatoes and leeks.  Season with some salt and pepper.  Mix well.  Add the chicken broth, give it a good stir and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat, cover and let it simmer for 1 hour.  Using an immersion blender (or working in batches with a regular blender), process until nice and smooth.  Stir in the milk, adjust the seasoning and serve.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Quick Fresh Strawberry Milkshake

This is super easy and quick to put together.  It's also very, very tasty, with the strawberries taking the spotlight, as deserved. :)  Enjoy!
-4 cups fresh strawberries, with the top removed
-2 cups vanilla ice-cream
-1 cup whole or 2% milk
Place everything in your blender and process until smooth.  Pour into glasses and enjoy!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Greek Baked Tilapia with Bread Crumbs and Tomatoes

I just love the sweet and savory combination in this dish.  You get the delicious fish topped with fresh tomatoes mixed with a little sugar, which gives it a surprisingly nice flavor.  Very tasty, light and delicious. It goes perfectly with the French bread.  Enjoy!
-1 lb tilapia fillets (or any white fish you have)
-2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
-1 Tbs lemon juice
-salt and pepper, to taste
-5 Roma tomatoes, chopped (leave the seeds on)
-4 cloves garlic, finely minced
-1/2 cup white grape juice
-1 Tbs sugar
-1 Tbs dried parsley leaves
-1 tsp dried oregano leaves
-1 cup Italian style bread crumbs
-cooking spray
Arrange fish in a baking dish and set aside.
In a small bowl, mix the olive oil with the lemon juice and salt and pepper.  Mix well and pour evenly over the fish.  Set is aside.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 F.
In a saucepan, combine the chopped tomatoes with the garlic, grape juice, sugar, parsley and oregano.  Mix well and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.  Season with a little salt and pepper.
Pour the tomato sauce evenly over the fish.  Top with the bread crumbs.  Coat each fillet with cooking spray.
Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.  Enjoy with some warm French bread.  Enjoy!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Slow Cooker Honey Mustard Barbecue Pork Ribs

This is what my awesome hubby made for me for Mother's Day!  It was absolutely delicious!  The meat was super tender and very flavorful!  Delish!  Enjoy!
-3 lbs country-style pork ribs
-1 cup original Sweet Baby Ray barbecue sauce
-1 cup honey mustard
-2 tsp herb grill seasoning blend
Coat your slow cooker with cooking spray.  Add the ribs on the bottom.
In a small bowl, combine the barbecue, mustard and seasoning.  Mix well and pour over ribs.  Cover and cook on low for 5 hours.  Enjoy!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Golden Glow Slaw

This is a very nice twist on a normal coleslaw.  This one is mixed with lemon gelatin and pineapple.  It gives it such a burst of flavor, all fresh and delicious!  Enjoy!
-1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple
-1 (6 oz) box lemon gelatin
-1 1/2 Tbs vinegar
-1/2 tsp salt
-2 cups coleslaw mix (I like the one with green and red cabbage and carrots)
Drain the juice from the pineapple into a measuring cup.  Add the vinegar and salt.  Add enough water to make 2 cups.  Bring to a boil and pour over dry lemon gelatin mix.  Mix well until dissolved.  Add the 2 cups of cold water, mix well and place in the fridge until softly set (not firm!).
In a large bowl, mix the drained pineapple and coleslaw.  Add the soft set gelatin and mix well.  refrigerate until well set.  Serve and enjoy!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Slow Cooker Italian Braised Chicken with Leeks and Cannellini

This is a one pot dish.  Just dump everything there and you have your protein, carbs and veggies, all in one pot.  Perfect and delicious too!  Enjoy!
-4 chicken thighs, skin-on, bone-in
-salt and pepper, to taste
-1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
-1 leek, cleaned, halved and roughly chopped
-1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into chunks
-1 small onion, cut into small wedges
-4 cloves garlic, finely minced
-1 tsp dry rosemary, crushed
-1 tsp dry oregano
-1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
-1 (15 oz) can petite diced tomatoes with zesty jalapenos (do not drain)
-1/2 cup white grape juice
-3 Tbs tomato paste
-shredded Parmesan cheese, for garnishing
Coat your slow cooker with cooking spray and lay chicken on the bottom.  Season the thighs with salt and pepper.  Top the chicken with the drained beans, leek, yellow pepper, onion, garlic, rosemary, oregano and pepper flakes.  In a small bowl, combine the tomatoes, grape juice and tomato paste.  Mix well.  Season with a little salt.  Give it another good stir and pour over chicken and veggies.  Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours.
Serve onto plates and sprinkle with some Parmesan cheese.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Baked Eggs in Parmesan Hashbrown Nests

This is easy and delicious.  It takes a little time to bake, but it's worth the wait.  Enjoy!
-frozen shredded hashbrowns
-shredded Parmesan cheese
-salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 F.
Coat your muffin pan with cooking spray.  Fill each muffin cup with frozen hashbrowns. Top with 2 Tbs of shredded Parmesan and season with salt and pepper. Don't worry about not having room for the eggs.  The potatoes will compress nicely. :)  Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and crack an egg over each potato cup.  Season with salt and pepper and bake for 10-15 more minutes.
Carefully scoop the "nests" out of the muffin pan, serve and enjoy!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Slow Cooker Saucy Chicken Drumsticks

This recipe is super easy to put together and the flavor combination is really nice.  A bit of sweet and tangy, with a hint of spicy.  Really nice.  I served ours with roasted ranch potatoes and veggies.  Perfect combo. :)  Enjoy!
-10 chicken drumsticks
-1 (12 oz) bottle chili sauce
-1 (15 oz) can whole cranberry jelly
-2 Tbs brown sugar
Coat your slow cooker with cooking spray.  Lay the drumsticks on the bottom.  Combine the chili sauce, jelly and brown sugar.  Mix well and pour over chicken.  Cover and cook on low for 4.5-5 hours.  Enjoy!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Fruit Salad with Orange-Vanilla Syrup

This is so simple, yet so flavorful!  Don't worry about the syrup making the fruit too sweet.  It simply adds to it, making it oh, so good!  Great treat!  You can use pretty much any fruit you have on hand, but I strongly encourage the use of strawberries in the mix.  It gives it an exceptional taste.  Enjoy!
For syrup:
-1 cup water
-1 cup sugar
-1 orange, zested and juiced
-1 tsp vanilla extract
For fruit:
-about 7 lbs of cut up fruit*** I used strawberries, grapes, pears, kiwi and bananas
In a small sauce pan, over medium heat, combine the water, sugar, orange zest, orange juice (make sure to leave seeds out) and vanilla.  Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Lower the heat and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes or until thickened and reduced.  Remove from heat and let it cool for about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut up your fruit and place it in large bowl.  Pour syrup all over and give it a good stir.  Cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.  The flavors will combine beautifully.  Using a slotted spoon, scoop into serving dishes and enjoy!
Slightly adapted from a recipe courtesy of Ree Drummond

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Easy Cheesy Pizza Casserole

This dish is super easy, quick, simple and delicious!  My family gobbled it up in one sitting!  Super good and I love all the veggies in it.  Filling and healthy!  Enjoy!
-8 oz garden rotini pasta
-1/2 lb extra lean ground beef
-1/2 cup sliced ripe olives
-1 (7 oz/4oz drained) gourmet or sliced mushrooms, drained
-1 (24 oz) jar chunky Italian garden pasta sauce (or any pasta sauce with veggies in it-chunky style)
-1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain.
Meanwhile, brown the beef and drain.
Place beef in 8x8 casserole dish.  Add the drained pasta, olives, mushrooms and sauce.  Stir well.  Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.  Sprinkle the cheese all over top and bake for 5 more minutes.  Let it rest for 5 minutes, then scoop onto plates and enjoy!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Portuguese Roasted Shrimp with Potatoes and Pancetta

YUM!  I can't describe in enough words how delicious this dish is!  The flavors and textures combine perfectly.  Simply delicious.  Enjoy!
-1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- about 10 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks
-4 oz chopped pancetta (bacon would be an okay substitute)
-1 clove garlic, finely minced
-1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp pepper
-1 1/2 lbs raw large shrimp, peeled, deveined, with tail removed
-1/3 cup white grape juice
-dried parsley, for garnishing
Preheat oven to 400 .
Heat the oil in large skillet.  Add the potato chunks and dry them for about 10 minutes or until golden.  Add the pancetta and cook for 2-3 more minutes.
Remove skillet from the oven and stir in the garlic, pepper flakes, salt and pepper.  Toss well.  Add the shrimp and the juice and give it another good stir.
Pour the mixture into a 9x13 baking dish.  Bake in preheated oven for 15-18 minutes.  Remove from the oven, sprinkle with the parsley and serve immediately.  Enjoy!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Stove Top Popcorn

There are so many popcorn varieties out there for the microwave.  However, most of them are quite greasy and messy.  Then there's the air popped kind.  Although is fluffy and healthy (no grease) it's hard to give them a good flavor.  Out of the many flavoring packages I tried, none turned out satisfying.  So, I tried the way my mom used to make popcorn, before air pop machines and microwaves.  Right on top of the stove. Oh, it is sooo good!  And cheap, and full of flavor.  YUM!  Of course, you can add any flavor you want to this, but sometimes, simple is best. :)  Enjoy!
-3 Tbs vegetable or extra virgin olive oil
-3-4 Tbs margarine
-1 cup kernels
-1 tsp salt
Place oil and margarine in large pot/wok (whatever you use that has a lid).
 Add the popcorn kernels and salt.   Give it a good stir.  When it starts sizzling, like below, place the lid on top.  Shake the pan back and forth every other minute so that the kernels don't get stuck on the bottom.
 Be patient, it will take a few minutes to hear that first pop, but once it starts you'll be happy you had that lid on. :)  When you hear that last pop, remove pot from stove, remove lid and enjoy your yummy popcorn!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Santa Fe Chicken and Spinach Tortellini Casserole

Simple, easy and delicious!  Enjoy!
-1 (9 oz) package spinach-cheese tortellini
-3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil, divided
-2 cups broccoli florets
-1 medium onion, finely diced
-1 medium bell pepper (any color is fine), chopped
-3 Tbs flour
-1/2 cup milk
-1 cup chicken broth
-1 tsp ground cumin
-2 1/2 cups cooked chicken, cut into bite size chunks
-1 1/2 cups Colby-Monterey Jack cheese, shredded, divided
Preheat oven to 325 F.  Coat a 9x13 baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
Cook the tortellini according to package instructions.  Drain, cover and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbs of the oil in a large skillet.  Add the broccoli, onion and pepper.  Cook for about 3 minutes.  Remove mixture from skillet.
Return skillet to stove, on low heat,  and add remaining oil.  Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until smooth.  Add the milk, broth and cumin.  heat to boiling, stirring constantly.  Remove skillet from heat.  Add the chicken, 1 cup of the cheese, drained tortellini and broccoli mixture.  Mix well and pour into prepared pan.
Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.  Bake uncovered for 30-35 minutes.  Enjoy!


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