Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Salami Pasta Salad

This is quick, easy and super delicious!  All the flavors combine just beautifully and the taste is awesome!  Enjoy!
-20 oz tortellini (any type you like: 3 cheese, spinach, etc)
-5-6 oz hard salami, cubed
-1 (15 oz) can sweet peas, drained
-1 cup roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
-1/2 red onion, halved and sliced
-1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
-2 Tbs white wine vinegar
-salt and pepper, to taste
Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain and place in large bowl.  Add remaining ingredients and toss very well to coat evenly.  Let sit at room temperature for about 15-20 minutes to allow flavors to combine.
Serve and enjoy!  Store leftovers in the fridge.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Romanian Slaw (Salata de Mere, Morcovi si Telina)

This is probably the best slaw ever!  And I'm not saying that because I grew up with it.  It's the combination of the flavors, which is beyond amazing.  If you've never had celery root, then you're in for a treat!  It's milder and softer than celery sticks, and goes absolutely perfect with the sweetness of the apples and carrots, combined with the tanginess of the cider vinegar.  Absolutely delicious!
You can shred the ingredients by hand or using the food processor.  Whatever you use, go for the large shredder.
This makes a wonderful snack or an amazing side dish to pork chops, fried chicken, fish or whatever you like.  It is sooo delicious! Enjoy!
-2 apples (gala, fuji, etc), peel on, but cored, shredded
-3 carrots, peeled and shredded
-1 celery root, peeled and shredded
-3 Tbs apple cider vinegar
-1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
-1 tsp salt
Combine everything, making sure to coat evenly.  Mix well and let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes, allowing the flavors to combine.  Serve and enjoy! 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Lemon-Pineapple Gelatin Salad

This is so refreshing and tasty!  I love the pineapple bits on the bottom of it and the creaminess of the cream cheese and whipped topping, plus the tanginess of the lemon and all.  Really, really good! This sure is a family favorite! Enjoy!
-1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple
-3 cups boiling water
-1 (6 oz) package lemon flavored gelatin
-8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
-16 oz frozen whipped topping, thawed
-3/4 cup sugar
-3 Tbs lemon juice
-3 Tbs water
-2 Tbs flour
-2 eggs yolks, beaten
Drain the pineapple, really well.  Reserve the juice and set aside.
Dissolve lemon gelatin in boiling water.  Add drained pineapple and mix well.  Pour into 9x13 in dish.  Chill in the fridge for about 1 hour or until set.
Meanwhile, beat the cream cheese and whipped topping until smooth.  Spread over set gelatin.  Return to the fridge for about 30-45 minutes.
In a saucepan, over mediumheat, combine the sugar, lemon juice, water, flour, egg yolks and reserved pineapple juice.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  Make sure there are no lumps!  Cook for 1 more minute or until thickened.  Cool completely,
Carefully, spread over cream cheese layer.  Place in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
Serve and enjoy!  Yum!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Quick and Easy Korean Beef

I don't know how authentic this dish is, but I do know that it's super quick, easy and absolutely delicious!  It's one of those under 30 minutes meals that  satisfy your taste buds very well!  Serve on rice.   Enjoy!
-1 lb extra lean ground beef
-1 Tbs sesame oil
-3 garlic cloves, minced
-1/4 cup brown sugar
-1/4 cup soy sauce
-1 tsp ground ginger
-salt and pepper, to taste
-1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
-2 green onions, chopped
In a large skillet, brown the ground beef.  Add the sesame oil and garlic and cook for 1 minutes.  Add the sugar, soy sauce, ginger, salt, pepper and flakes.  Mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Serve over rice and top with green onions.  Enjoy!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Shrimp and Orzo With a Kick

This is super quick and very yummy.  There's a little kick to it as well, but not much.  If you want more spiciness, simply leave the seeds on the jalapeno.  Enjoy!
-1 cup uncooked orzo
-12 oz shrimp, peeled, deveined, with tails removed
-5 tsp Cajun seasoning, divided
-3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil, divided
-4 Roma tomatoes,  cut into chunks
-1 small onion, chopped
-1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped (leave seeds if you want more heat)
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1 Tbs tomato paste
-1 tsp salt
-1 tsp pepper
-1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Cook orzo according to packet directions.  Drain.
Meanwhile, pat the shrimp dry with paper towels.  Season with 2 tsp Cajun.  Toss well and set aside.
Toss tomatoes with 1 Tbs of the oil and 1 tsp Cajun.  Set aside.
Preheat broiler to HIGH.
Heat 1 Tbs of the oil in large skillet.  Add the seasoned shrimp and cook until done (about 2-3 minutes per side).  Remove shrimp from skillet and set aside.
Return skillet to stove and heat remaining Tbs oil.  Add the onion and jalapeno.  Cook for 3-4 minutes.  Add the garlic and tomato paste and cook for 1 minutes.  Season with remaining Cajun, salt and pepper.  Give it a good stir.  Add the tomato chunks and cooked orzo and mix well.
Add the cooked shrimp to the orzo mix.  Give it a good stir and remove from stove.
Sprinkle cheese on top and broil in preheated oven for 2-3 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden brown.  
Serve onto plates and enjoy!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Blueberry-Banana Bread

I had some overripe bananas and some blueberries that the kids weren't eating fast enough.  I had to do something with them and thought, why not combine the two and make some bread?  Great idea!  This is super simple and super delicious!  The bread is moist and very flavorful.  Enjoy!
-1 1/2 cups flour
-1 tsp baking soda
-1 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp cinnamon
-1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
-1 cup sugar
-1/2 cup vegetable oil
-2 large eggs
-2 tsp vanilla extract
-3 very ripe bananas
-8 oz fresh blueberries
Preheat oven to 350 F.  Coat a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan with baking cooking spray (the one with flour and butter).  Set aside.
In you mixer's bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar.  Mix well.  Add the oil and eggs and mix until well incorporated.  Add the vanilla and bananas.  Mix well.  Stir in the blueberries.
Pour mixture into prepared pan.  Bake in preheated oven for 60-70 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  
Cool in the pan for about 15 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and cool completely.
Slice and enjoy!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Quick Skillet Gnocchi with Spinach and White Beans

This is another one of those fantastic under 30 minute meals that tastes super delicious!  We absolutely love this one.  Enjoy!
-2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil, divided
-16 oz gnocchi
-1 onion, finely diced
-4 cloves garlic, minced
-1/2 cup water
-6 oz baby spinach, roughly chopped
-1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes with garlic and olive oil, do NOT drain
-1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
-1 tsp salt
-1 tsp pepper
-1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Heat 1 Tbs of the oil in large skillet.  Add the gnocchi and fry for about 5 minutes.  Remove onto plate.
Return skillet to stove and add the remaining Tbs of oil.  Add the onion and saute for a couple of minutes.  Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.  Add the water.  Cover skillet and cook for about 4 minutes.
Add the chopped spinach and cook until wilted.  Stir in the tomatoes with all the juice, beans, salt and pepper.  Bring to a simmer.  Add the fried gnocchi and top with the cheese.  Cover and cook for about 5 minutes.
Scoop onto plates and enjoy!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Slow Cooker Honey BBQ Balsamic Pork Roast

This one is very easy and tasty.  You throw everything in your slow cooker and have an awesome meal at the end of a very busy day.  Enjoy!
-2 lbs pork roast
-1.5 lbs new potatoes
-8 oz sliced mushrooms
-1 cup Honey Bbq Sauce (I prefer Sweet Baby Ray's)
-1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Coat bottom of slow cooker with cooking spray.  Top with pork roast, potatoes and mushrooms.
Mix the bbq sauce and vinegar in a small bowl.  Pour on top of pork and veggies.
Cover and cook on low for about 6-7 hours.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Slow Cooker Mint Fudge Sundae Cake

Simple and DELICIOUS!  Enjoy!
For cake:
-1 cup packed brown sugar
-1 cup flour
-3 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
-2 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 cup evaporated milk
-2 Tbs unsalted butter, melted
-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
-1/8 tsp almond extract
-5 oz Andes mint bits
For  fudge:
-1 3/4 cups boiling water
-3/4 cup packed brown sugar
-3 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
To top:
-whipped cream
-maraschino cherries
Coat bottom and sides of your slow cooker with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, combine all cake ingredients, except for Andes mints.  Mix very well and pour into prepared slow cooker.  Sprinkle with the mint bits.
In another bowl, combine the fudge ingredients.  Pour over batter.  Do NOT stir!
Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours or on high for 2-2.5 hours, or until toothpick comes out clean from the cake (do not confuse the fudge with uncooked cake!).
Serve with some whipped cream and maraschino cherries on top.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Quick Spinach and Tortellini Alfredo

This is a great dish in under 30 minutes, perfect for one of those crazy busy nights.  The flavors are just wonderful, combining together in perfect harmony.  Enjoy!
-20 oz three cheese tortellini
-5 slices bacon
-3 Tbs flour
-2 cups milk
-salt and pepper (about 1 tsp each)
-1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
-2 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
Cook tortellini according to package directions.  Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, chop the bacon and cook in large skillet.  When crisp, remove onto paper towels.
Return skillet with bacon fat to the stove.  Add the flour and whisk until no lumps.  Whisk in the milk.  Add the salt and pepper and mix well.  Cook, stirring constantly, until sauce begins to thicken, for about 2-3 minutes.
Stir in the cheese and mix well.  Add the spinach and cook until wilted.
Add the cooked tortellini and coat evenly with the sauce.
Remove skillet from stove and top with reserved bacon.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Slow Roasted Leg of Lamb (Pulpa de Miel la Cuptor)

This is by far my favorite way of cooking lamb.  It is the most tender, moist and juicy piece of meat ever!  I know there's a myriad of marinades and seasonings out there for lamb, but, trust me, this is truly the best.  This is what I grew up with.  Super simple and super flavorful.  Lamb is a strongly flavored type of meat, so it doesn't need much in the way of seasoning.  All it needs is some love in the oven. :)  Enjoy!
-1 (around 4 lbs) boneless leg of lamb, trimmed of all visible fat
-4 Tbs extra virgin olive oil, divided
-salt and pepper
-about 20 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half, if too big
-2 cups water
Preheat oven to 300 F.
Cut slits all over the lamb. This will ensure perfect cooking throughout the piece of meat.
Place in 9x13 baking dish.  Rub 2 Tbs of the oil on that side of the lamb.  Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.  Add half of the garlic into the slits.  It should look like this: 
Flip leg of lamb on the other side and repeat the process with the oil, salt, pepper and garlic.  Add the water.
Place in preheated oven and roast, uncovered, for 2 hours, basting a couple of times.  When it's done, the inside meat should look slightly pink and juicy.  This is how it should look: 
Remove from the oven and let it rest for 10-15 minutes.  Slice and enjoy!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Deviled Eggs with Bacon and Dill Relish

If you still have some hard boiled eggs from Easter or you simply want some of the best deviled eggs. here's the recipe to try.  It is creamy and absolutely delicious!  Make sure to adjust the filling measurements according to the number of eggs you have and to your liking.  Also, don't add too much salt since the relish and bacon will add plenty of flavor and saltiness.  Enjoy!
-15 hard boiled eggs
-1/2 cup (or more) mayonnaise
-4 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
-2-3 Tbs dill pickle relish, drained well
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp pepper
Peel the eggs and cut them in half.  Scoop yolks and add them to large bowl.  Mash with a fork.  Add remaining ingredients and mix well.  Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.  Fill the hollow egg halves and enjoy!  Store leftovers covered in the fridge.  Enjoy!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Eggs in Brownie Nests

This is not really a recipe, but more of a wonderful Easter dessert suggestion.  These are easy and so, so cute!  Enjoy!
-1 box fudge brownies, including all the ingredients listed on the box
-whipped vanilla frosting, mixed with some green food coloring
-mini Robins eggs
Preheat oven to 350 F.  Generously coat a muffin pan with cooking spray (don't forget the sides too!).  Mix brownie ingredients and pour into prepared muffin tins evenly.  
Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Let them cool, then carefully remove them onto a serving platter.
Pipe some of the green frosting onto each brownie nest and top with a few eggs.  Take a picture because they look so cute, then enjoy!
And Happy Easter!!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Lamb and Blue Cheese Burger

I grew up eating lamb for Easter.  It is a tradition that I don't want to ever give up because I simply love lamb. :)  However, having the same thing each year gets kind of boring.  So, I tried something different: a lamb burger!  I love the combination between the ground lamb and the blue cheese, but if you're not a blue cheese fan you can use feta instead.  Also, yellow mustard is a must for this burger.  Lamb and yellow mustard are a perfect match. :)  However you want to have it, give this burger a try, especially if you love lamb.  Enjoy!
-1 lb ground lamb
-5 oz crumbled blue cheese
-1 Tbs dried parsley
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp pepper
-yellow mustard
-sliced tomatoes
-burger buns
Using your hand, mix the lamb, cheese, parsley, salt and pepper.  Mix well and form into patties.  Grill until done to your liking.
To assemble, spread some mustard on both halves of the bun, then add the burger and top with lettuce and tomatoes.  Enjoy!


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