Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Carne Asada SoCal Burrito

So in Okinawa we had our taco rice...a meal that makes people say "wait...what?"  So it was only natural that in San Diego we would have carne asada burritos...with french fries in the burrito.  Yes you heard that right...they put french fries right into the burrito.  While it is in fact an artery clogging meal...it is delicious and definitely worth it every once in a while. They also do carne asada fries, which are essentially nachos with french fries instead of chips.  Loaded up with all their nacho goodness.  Also artery clogging, also delicious!  So while this meal seems like a lot of steps...it is actually not much more work than your regular tacos.  I whipped it up in about 30 minutes, not counting marinating time...and most of the ingredients I already had in my pantry and fridge.  Because of the french fries...the kids were also amazed...they love anything with french fries!!



Marinade:
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup orange juice
1/3 cup lime juice
2 tbsp fresh minced garlic
1 tsp pepper
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp oregano
1/4 tsp ground cloves
4 lbs carne asada meat...or skirt steak sliced thin

Mix together all marinade ingredients except the meat.  Once all ingredients are mixed, add then add the meat.  Cover and refridgerate for minimum of 2 hours, and up to overnight.  Grill on high heat until meat is charred and cooked through.  Slice into strips and serve hot.  Serve with the below ingredients and layer like a delicious burrito!!

5 cups shoestring french fries, seasoned with seasoning salt and baked crispy
romaine lettuce, shredded
pico de gallo
black beans
crumbled Queso fresco
guacamole
12 flour tortillas
hot sauce

Monday, January 29, 2018

Creamy Mushrom Chicken with Bacon

This is one of those delicious meals that everyone (who loves mushrooms at least) will love.  I served it over mashed potatoes and the meal was so stinking good.  As intimidating as it sounds too, the meal took me 30 minutes from start to finish...no marinating, not a ton of chopping veggies, and comes together in a pinch.  I like to get the Costco mushrooms too which are way cheap, and will do this meal with plenty left over for a second mushroom extravaganza.  And homemade cream of mushroom soup...what's not to love!!


6 boneless skinless chicken thigh - you can use breast, but I promise you the depth of flavor you will get from the thigh is oh so worth it!!
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
3 tsp Italian seasonings
1 tsp garlic powder
12 oz sliced white mushrooms
3 Tbsp de-stemmed and chopped thyme
12 slices cooked and crumbled bacon
2 cups heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste

Trim your chicken of excess fat and season on both sides with salt, pepper, and Italian seasonings.  In a skillet (or BBQ if it's nice out) heat pan to medium high, add olive oil and cook chicken on both sides until chicken is no longer pink and juiced run clear.  Chicken should be nice and browned on both sides.  Remove chicken from pan and add in your mushrooms.  Cook mushrooms down until they are nicely browned, add in bacon, thyme, and heavy cream.  Reduce pan to a simmer and cook until the cream is nice and thick...think gravy.  Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste.  Add chicken back in pan and give everything a whirl.  Top with extra thyme and serve immediately.  Enjoy over quinoa, mashed potatoes, or even just along side some steamed veggies or a salad...Any way you do it...just enjoy!!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Payday Bars

This recipe is a long time family tradition. We make on our holiday goodie plates...it has been requested at family celebrations...and most importantly the recipe is a recipe the whole family can get in on. The kids love squishing the cake layer into the bottom of the pan, sprinkling the marshmallows onto the cooked cake layer...and then watching the marshmallows fluff up in the oven. I loved making this with my mom and I love making it with my kids. The recipe alone would be worth it just for the memories...but the bars are absolutely delicious. They aren't too rich so you can eat lots of them and not feel guilty...hahaha. Is that ever the case for dessert?! In any case, this recipe is delicious and definitely worth keeping!!

1 Yellow cake mix
1 Egg
3/4 cup butter

 3 cups mini marshmallows

2/3 cup light Karo syrup
1 pkg Reese's peanut butter chips
1/4 cup butter
2 tsp vanilla

 2 cups salted peanuts

Melt 3/4 cup butter in microwave, mix melted butter with egg and cake mix. Pat into the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Bake for 10 minutes at 325 degrees. When cake comes out of the oven, immediately sprinkle marshmallows over the top and then bake for another 5-7 minutes, or until the marshmallows are puffed up and toasty.

 While the marshmallows are toasting, mix together the remaining ingredients - with the exception of the peanuts. Melt in the microwave until completely melted and smooth.

When the cake comes out of the oven with the marshmallows nice and toasty, spread the melted mixture over the top and spread to evenly coat the entire cake. Sprinkle the peanuts over the top and lightly press into the mixture to make sure they stick. Cool completely and then cut into bars and serve!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Creamy Tortellini and Spinach Soup

Maybe it's just being back in the Northwest and realizing how cold it is...but I have been CRAVING soup lately!! There's just something about eating a hot bowl of soup on a cold winters night. Dominik is not ever excited to see soup on the menu, but Parker really loves it! TJ loves it, and Maylee can pick through it...so 4 out of 5 fans isn't bad in my book. Being the carnivore family that we are I also like to add chicken, but if that's not your thing then by all means, feel free to omit. The tortellini is also pretty diverse, in that you can use tortellini filled with cheese, meat, veggies, whatever you please. I love the 5 cheese tortellini from Costco and I add the pre-shredded rotisserie chicken so the soup comes together in minutes. The best kind of recipe!!

1 cup diced and cooked chicken breast
4 Tbsp butter
4 Tbsp olive oil
1 quart half and half
1 14 oz can chicken broth
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/4 cup flour
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup carrots, shredded
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp dried thyme salt and pepper to taste
16 oz package tortellini

 In a large stockpot, saute the onion, celery and garlic in the butter and olive oil. When the onion is clear, add the four and form a roux. Stir and cook a minute. Add the half and half. Add the carrots and the chicken to the stockpot with the roux. Stir often and when it gets thicker, add the chicken broth, tortellini, spinach, and seasonings. Cover and heat through. Simmer on low heat until ready to serve.

Creme Brulee Croissant French Toast

This is our new Christmas tradition. I absolutely LOVED being able to prepare this the night before Christmas so that on Christmas morning I didn't have to spend all morning in the kitchen and yet still had this amazing dish to serve my family. I have made overnight french toasts before and they are either not moist enough...or too mushy to even get down. This was absolutely perfect...sweet as all get out...but absolutely divine! My whole family raved about it and pleaded that it be made every Christmas from here on out. When served with a few strawberries over the top and some bacon on the side...that right there my friends is a winning breakfast and worthy of a Christmas morning!

3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
3 Tbsp corn syrup
12 medium sized croissants torn into bite sized pieces
9 eggs
3 cups half and half
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp maple syrup
3/4 tsp salt

 In a sauce pan over medium heat, melt butter. Add brown sugar and corn syrup and stir until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture becomes slightly translucent. Pour caramel sauce into a greased 10x13 pan and spread evenly. Put the torn pieces of croissant evenly over the sauce. Whisk the remaining ingredients together and pour over the croissants trying to cover all the pieces. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes, or until the tops of croissants are crispy and golden brown. Serve with syrup, sliced berries, and whipped cream. In case it wasn't already sweet enough...hahahahaha

Middle Eastern Chicken Kebabs with Taziki Sauce

These chicken kebabs are amazing. They hit all the right notes in terms of what you expect middle eastern food to taste like. And pretty much anything served on a stick is just a fun way to eat! These kebabs were served at our ward Christmas party when we did "A Night in Bethlehem." I made them for 200 people and used 80 lbs of chicken. They were all devoured and I had so many requests for the recipe. The marinade comes together pretty quickly and is pretty versatile depending on how you want to cook it. You can skewer the raw meat and then BBQ, or chunk the chicken...saute in a skillet...and then skewer. You could probably even skewer the raw meat and then bake with a quick broil to finish it off. The possibilities are endless and can really cater to what works best for you. For the ward party I marinated the chicken chunks and sauted in a skillet. I reduced the sauce down until it was pretty thick and then let the chicken come to room temperature in the sauce. I skewered the chunks and then hit them under the broiler just before serving. They were so so so good!

Marinade
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (reduce depending on desired level of spiciness)
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
5 minced garlic cloves
2 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into 2" cubes
1 large red onion, cut into wedges
15 8" bamboo (or metal) skewers

 Taziki Sauce
1 1/2 cups Greek yogurt
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
2 medium cucumbers, seeded and diced fine
1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh dill
Salt and pepper to taste

 In a large bowl, combined all the ingredients except the chicken. Mix and then add chicken chunks. Marinate overnight, and for up to 3 days. At this point you can either thread the chicken onto skewers and then BBQ or saute in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until the meat is no longer pink and the sauce has reduced to a ketchup like consistency. Whether the chicken is raw or cooked, when threading meat onto a skewer alternate pieces of chicken with purple onion. Onions will either cook on the BBQ or under the broiler.

 For the Taziki sauce, combine all ingredients and mix well. If you prefer a smoother texture you can just run it through a food processor. Serve as a dipping sauce for chicken.

Roasted Garlic Hummus

I made this hummus for a ward Christmas party for like 200 people. Making that quantity is a bit tricky because I tend to be a "little of this, little of that" type of a cook. So keeping flavors consistent and still delicious gets hard. However, no matter how many variations of this recipe that I made, it turned out delicious every single time! People raved about it and lots of people asked for the recipe...that's the mark of a quality recipe in my book! I love that this recipe can be flavored to hit preferences...some people like a bit more garlic while others love the cumin. It's really a "choose your own adventure" recipe that works great when you add more/less of the things that you like and don't like. Enjoy!!
1 large head roasted garlic - I have used regular garlic in a pinch and it's still delicious!
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 15oz can chick peas, drained and rinsed
3 Tbsp lemon juice
3 Tbsp tahini paste
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp fresh rosemary, minced
2-3 Tbsp water Garnish: Fresh Parsley, minced
Drizzle of olive oil

Sprinkle of paprika In a food processor, add chick peas, lemon juice, tahini paste, salt, cumin, and rosemary...pulse for about 60 seconds. Scrape down sided and bottom of food processor, add roasted garlic and turn on blender. Slowly add the olive oil and then add water a little at a time in order to get your desired consistency. To serve, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with desired garnishes. Serve with fresh pita, naan, pita chips, and/or fresh veggies. Enjoy!!