Friday, July 29, 2016

Orange Muffins with White Chocolate Chips

The combination of orange with white chocolate is by far one of my favorites.  They are just meant to go together!  These muffins are absolutely wonderful: fluffy, moist and very tasty.  Enjoy!
-1/2 cup sugar
-2 large eggs
-1/2 cup sour cream
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1 tsp orange extract
-1 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
-1/2 orange juice, pulp free
-1 3/4 cups flour
-1/2 cup white chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 400 F.  Line 1 muffin pan (with 12 tins) with paper liners and set aside.
In your electric mixer bowl, cream the sugar and eggs.  Add the sour cream, vanilla and orange extracts. Mix well.
Stir in baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Slowly, add the melted butter and orange juice.  Mix well.  Add the flour, 1/4 cup at a time and mix very well.  Stir in the chocolate.
Pour batter evenly among the 12 cups.  Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Place pan on wire rack and cool for 10 minutes.  Remove muffins from pan onto wire rack and cool completely.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Quick Spicy Black Bean and Mushrooms Pasta

While I am not a vegetarian, I do, once in a while, enjoy a meatless dinner, like this one. This is just wonderful because it's quick (under 30 minutes), packed with protein and delicious! I like to use baby bella mushrooms because they're meatier and have such a nice, distinct flavor.  However, any mushrooms will work just fine.  Enjoy!
-8 oz fettuccine or small pasta
-1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
-8 oz baby bella mushrooms, diced
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes with zesty jalapenos (do NOT drain)
-1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed well and drained
-1 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
-1 tsp dried oregano leaves
-1 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp pepper
-2 cups packed baby spinach
Cook pasta according to package directions.
Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet.  Add the mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the garlic and cook for 30 more seconds.  Stir in the tomatoes with the juice, rinsed beans, rosemary, oregano, salt and pepper.  Mix well and cook for a couple of minutes.  Stir in the spinach and cook for 3-4 minutes.
To serve, spoon some pasta onto a plate and top with some of the veggie mixture.  Enjoy!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Simple Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry

There are so many versions of beef and broccoli stir fry, but this is my go to one, because it's simple and quick.  Also, the freshness of the ingredients guarantees the best flavors.  Serve it on top of cooked rice and you'll get a fantastic meal.  If you have more than 2-3 people to feed, double the recipe.  Other than that, enjoy this amazing dish!
For marinade:
-1 1/2 tsp soy sauce
-1 tsp cornstarch
-1 tsp ground pepper
For stir fry sauce:
-3 Tbs oyster sauce
-2 tsp water
-2 tsp balsamic vinegar
Other ingredients:
-1 lb beef steak, cut into thin strips
-1 1/2 lbs broccoli, cleaned and cut into bite sized florets
-1 Tbs vegetable oil
-5-6 cloves garlic, minced
Combine marinade ingredients into large bowl. Mix very well.  Add the beef and stir to coat evenly.  Leave mixture on the counter until ready to use.
Meanwhile, fill a wok or large skillet halfway with water and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat and add the broccoli florets.  Cover and cook for 3 minutes.  Drain into colander and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.  Let it drain.
While that's draining, quickly mix the stir fry sauce ingredients and set aside.
Return the wok to the stove.  Pour oil and heat up.  Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Toss in the marinated beef.  Stir fry until golden brown. 
Add the broccoli and stir fry sauce.  Mix well and remove wok from stove.  Serve on top of cooked rice and sprinkle a little pepper on top.  Enjoy!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Coconut-Pineapple Delight

This is one of those super yummy, but messy looking desserts that everyone tends to bring to church potlucks.  There are quite a few variations, but this is one of our family favorites.  The freshness of the pineapple, combined with the whipped topping is perfect for saturating those delicious vanilla wafers.  And you might think that there's a lot of coconut, but trust me, it's the perfect amount for this dish.  Enjoy!
-40 vanilla wafers
-1 lemon
-1 (14 oz)can sweetened condensed milk
-1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple
-1 (8 oz) tub whipped topping, thawed
-1 (7 oz) package sweet coconut flakes
-1 (10 oz) jar marachino cherries, drained, with stems removed
Line the bottom of an 8x8 square pan with 20 of the vanilla wafers.
In a medium bowl, juice the lemon.  Add the milk and mix very well.  Stir in the crushed pineapple, with the juice from the can.  Mix well and pour over the wafers.  Top with the thawed whipped topping.  Smooth it evenly across.
Top with the coconut flakes.  Press it down carefully.  And yes, it is a thick layer of coconut, but it's needed. :)  Place the cherries all over the top.
Carefully cover with foil and refrigerate for about 8 hours.  Enjoy!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Romaine with Bacon and Poached Eggs

A few years ago, I was watching Melissa d'Arabian make this on Food Network.  It looked so good!  I looked up the recipe, printed it, but totally forgot about it until a few days ago when I found in a pile of papers!  I was so excited to make it!  I changed a few things and I'm very happy with how it came out.  It's become one of our favorite salads.  It's fairly quick and super delicious!  Enjoy!
-1 lb sliced bacon
-1 tsp Dijon mustard
-2 Tbs white wine vinegar
-1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
-1 Tbs distilled white vinegar
-4 large eggs
-1 head Romaine lettuce, cleaned and torn into bite size pieces
-2 Roma tomatoes, chopped into bite size chunks
Cut the bacon into large chunks and cook until crisp.  Remove bacon onto paper towel lined plate.  Keep 2 Tbs of the bacon fat and discard the rest.  Quickly whisk into the 2 remaining Tbs of the bacon fat, the mustard, white wine vinegar and oil.  Whisk well and set aside.
Meanwhile, fill a medium saucepan 2/3 with water.  Add the distilled vinegar and bring to just barely a simmer.  Crack and egg into a small bowl.  Very gently, place the egg into the simmering water.  Repeat with remaining eggs. Each egg should cook for exactly 3.5 minutes.
In a large salad bowl, mix the torn lettuce, chopped tomatoes and cooked (and cooled) bacon.  Toss.  Pour the bacon dressing and mix very well.
To serve, divide the salad into 4.  Top each with a packed egg.  Sprinkle some black pepper on top of each egg.  Enjoy!
Slightly adapted from a Melissa d'Arabian recipe.


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