Archive for October, 2018

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Simple Herb Focaccia

October 29, 2018

20180809 Focaccia 01

We invited some friends over for dinner last minute, and I whipped up a simple pasta dish. This focaccia bread complemented the meal perfectly! It was also incredibly simple to put together.

You will need:

  • 3/4 c warm water
  • 2 1/4 t (1 packet) yeast
  • 4 T olive oil, divided
  • 2 t salt
  • 1 3/4 c flour (plus up to 1/4 c additional as needed)
  • 1/2 t dried oregano
  • 1/2 t dried basil
  • 1/2 t dried minced onion
  • 1/4 t garlic powder

Then you will…

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the water and yeast and stir to mix. Allow to rest and bloom for 5 minutes.
  2. Mix in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, the salt, and the flour.
  3. On a lightly floured counter, knead 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.
  4. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  5. Spread the dough in the pan and allow to rise for an hour, covered with oiled plastic wrap or a damp towel.
  6. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  7. Remove the covering from the dough.
  8. Press dough with fingertips to create small indentations across the top surface.
  9. Drizzle with the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil.
  10. Sprinkle with the oregano, basil, minced onion and garlic powder.
  11. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until golden.
  12. Allow to cool 5 minutes and then remove from the pan.
  13. Cool on a wire rack at least another 5 minutes.
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Bacon, Egg and Cheese Muffin Bites

October 23, 2018

These mini egg muffins are packed with bacon, cheese and potatoes. They are delicious for breakfast or as part of lunch or dinner, and they are wonderfully portable. This will make 2 dozen mini muffins…although you probably won’t have any leftovers!

20180815 Breakfast Bites 01

You will need:

  • 1/2 lb red-skinned potatoes, small diced
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, minced
  • 1 t onion powder
  • 1/2 t garlic powder
  • 1/2 t pepper
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 T milk
  • 1 t dried chives (or 1 T fresh)
  • 1/3 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 lb bacon, crisped and crumbled

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 24 count mini muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Put the potatoes in a large pot of lightly salted water.
  3. Bring to a boil and allow to cook until the potatoes are just fork tender, about 5-8 minutes.
  4. Drain the potatoes.
  5. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  6. Add the potatoes and onion to the hot skillet and saute for 3-5 minutes, until the onion is starting to soften.
  7. Mix in the onion powder, garlic powder, pepper and salt and allow to cook another minute.
  8. Remove from heat and allow to cool at least 5 minutes.
  9. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk and chives.
  10. Stir in the potato-onion mixture, cheese and bacon.
  11. Spoon the mixture into the prepared mini muffin cups.
  12. Bake 15-20 minutes. The edges should be turning golden and starting to pull away from the side, and the center should be set.
  13. Allow to cool at least 5 minutes before removing from the pan with a spoon.

20180815 Breakfast Bites 04

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Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

October 18, 2018

Casseroles are particularly lovely when you are busy, because you can prep them when you have a quiet moment. Then all you have to do is pop them in the oven when you need them. This one brings together some of our favorite flavors: cheese, chicken, and broccoli.

You will need:

  • 4 T unsalted butter
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 T flour
  • 1 1/4 c unsalted chicken stock
  • 1 c milk
  • 1 c light cream
  • 1 t paprika
  • 2 c shredded Gruyere cheese
  • 1 lb chicken breast, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • oz frozen chopped broccoli, thawed and drained
  • 1 box stuffing mix, prepared according to instructions (I used a cornbread version)
  • 1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 T fresh chives, minced

20180910 Chicken Broccoli Cheese Casserole 01

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In small sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat.
  3. Add the onion and saute until starting to soften, about 4 minutes.
  4. Whisk in the flour and allow to cook for 2 minutes (keep whisking!).
  5. Whisk in the stock, milk, cream and paprika until well combined.
  6. Bring to a simmer and allow to thicken, stirring frequently, about 8-10 minutes.
  7. Stir in the Gruyere until melted.
  8. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  9. In a large mixing bowl, combine the chicken with the cheese sauce and broccoli.
  10. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the prepared stuffing with the cheddar and chives.
  11. Spread the chicken mixture in the prepared baking dish.
  12. Top with the stuffing mixture.
  13. Bake until bubbly and the stuffing starts to turn a bit more golden, about 30-40 minutes.
  14. Allow to rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.
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Baked Cinnamon Oatmeal Breakfast Squares

October 15, 2018

20180825 Baked Oatmeal 04

This is so easy! I loved that this baked oatmeal comes out of the oven firm enough to cut into squares. It’s perfect for packing breakfast-on-the-go or crumbling up over yogurt or feeding to hungry toddlers (and grownups!). You can serve as is or go wild: try topping with syrup or fresh fruit or a little milk.

You will need:

  • 4 T unsalted butter, melted and allowed to cool for 5 minutes
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/4 c milk
  • 1/2 c light brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 t baking powder
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 t ground ginger
  • 1/4 t ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 3 c old-fashioned oats

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine everything but the oats until well mixed.
  3. Stir in the oats.
  4. Spread in the prepared pan.
  5. Bake 25-35 minutes or until the edges are golden and the center is set.
  6. Allow to cool at least 10 minutes before serving.

20180825 Baked Oatmeal 02

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Sundried Tomato Clover Rolls

October 9, 2018

20180820 Sundried Clovers 05

These rolls come together very quickly and are full of delicious sun-dried tomatoes and cheese (what a classic combination!). Clover rolls are named after the clover plant, because they have three pieces. Being able to pull the rolls apart was a terrific fun factor for our toddler!

You will need:

  • 2 1/4 t (1 packet) yeast
  • 1/2 c milk, lukewarm
  • 1/3 c water, lukewarm
  • 10 oz sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained with 3 T of the oil reserved
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 T onion powder
  • 3 1/4 c flour
  • 1 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese

20180820 Sundried Clovers 01

Then you will…

  1. In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the yeast with the milk and water. Allow to rest and bloom for 5 minutes.
  2. Chop the sun-dried tomatoes.
  3. Mix in the tomatoes, tomato oil, salt, egg, onion powder, flour and cheese.
  4. Knead until smooth and soft, 7-8 minutes.
  5. Lightly grease a large bowl and put the dough in, coating it on all sides. Cover with a damp towel and allow to double in size, roughly one hour.
  6. Lightly grease a 12 muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
  7. Roll the dough into 36 small balls and put three in each muffin cup.
  8. Allow to rise another 30 minutes.
  9. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  10. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the rolls are lightly golden on the edges and gently spring back under your finger.
  11. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the tin. Finish cooling on a wire rack.

 

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One Pot Mac n Cheese

October 4, 2018

20180908 One Pot Mac

Easy, cheesy and perfectly comforting. This simple mac n cheese comes together in one pot on your stovetop. If you want a cheesier taste, you could omit the pureed veg.

You will need:

  • 1 lb elbow or pipette noodles
  • 5 c milk
  • 2 t garlic powder
  • 1 t onion powder
  • 1/2 t paprika
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/4 t pepper
  • 2 T unsalted butter
  • 8 oz pureed carrot baby food
  • 4 oz pureed pumpkin baby food
  • 1 T Dijon mustard
  • 4 c freshly shredded cheddar
  • Optional: crispy fried onions, roughly chopped (like you put on a green bean casserole)

Then you will…

  1. In a large saucepan, combine pasta with the milk, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt and pepper.
  2. Bring to a light boil over medium heat, stirring frequently.
  3. Allow to cook until the pasta is just tender, another 5-6 minutes.
  4. Stir in the butter, carrot and pumpkin purees, mustard and cheddar until everything is mixed well and the cheese is melted.
  5. Serve hot with crispy fried onions sprinkled on top!
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Island Pulled Pork with Red Cabbage Slaw

October 1, 2018

We went on a long weekend to the beach and wanted some easy meals while we were there. This was a great main dish! I loved that we could make it in advance in the crockpot; it was very portable and, most importantly, it was very moist and packed full of flavor from the sauce.

20180817 Pulled Pork 01

You will need:

  • 3 lb pork butt (or shoulder), excess fat trimmed
  • 20 oz crushed pineapple
  • 1/3 c hoisin sauce
  • 1/3 c pineapple juice
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • 4 T soy sauce
  • 3 T honey
  • 2 t sesame oil
  • 2 T sambal oelek
  • 1 T garlic powder
  • 1/2 t Chinese five spice
  • 1/4 t ground ginger
  • 1/4 t pepper
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 2 c shredded red cabbage
  • 1 small bunch scallions, trimmed and chopped
  • 3 T apple cider vinegar
  • 2 T olive oil

Then you will…

  1. Place the pork butt in the crockpot.
  2. Pour the crushed pineapple on top of the pork.
  3. In a small bowl, combine all of the remaining ingredients.
  4. Pour 2/3rds of the sauce on top of the pork.
  5. Slow cook on LOW for 7-8 hours.
  6. Remove the pork from the crockpot and shred.
  7. Put the pork in a large bowl with the last third of the sauce.
  8. Add 1/2 – 3/4 cup of the sauce from the crockpot to the pulled pork until moist and juicy. I recommend using a gravy separator to pour the juices into the pork, since it will help remove the excess fat.
  9. Allow to rest in the sauce at least 10 minutes to soak up some of the juices.
  10. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, toss together the red cabbage with the scallion, vinegar and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Serve the pulled pork topped with the slaw on toasted Hawaiian rolls.

 

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