Archive for the ‘Quick 'n Easy’ Category

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Guava Puff Pastry Pockets

July 17, 2018

I first had pastelitos de guayaba (guava puff pastries) at a little market in San Antonio. Pastelitos are a popular Cuban dessert, and you often find them filled with sticky guava paste and sweet cream cheese. I made a variation without the cream cheese for a summer picnic this month. I loved how portable they were and how well they handled the summer heat. Another bonus: there are only two ingredients!

20180703 Guava Puffs 05

You will need:

  • 1 package frozen puff pastry sheets, defrosted
  • 1 package guava paste (you’ll need about 12 oz)

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment.
  2. Roll out each piece of puff pastry into a 12 inch by 12 inch square.
  3. Slice your guava paste and place on one sheet of the puff pastry. You want to space them to create twelve pockets of guava.
  4. Top with the remaining sheet of puff pastry. Cut into the twelve pieces.
  5. Use a fork to press the edges together.
  6. Make three small slices in the top of each piece to vent.
  7. Transfer to the prepared baking sheets.
  8. Bake until golden, about 20 minutes.
  9. Allow to cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes before eating.

20180703 Guava Puffs 01

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Mocha Chip Ice Cream

June 25, 2018

20180531 Mocha Ice 02

I heart ice cream. I could eat it every day. D loves mocha drinks. He could drink them every day. This dessert combines those two delicious items into a creamy frozen treat. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can still make this in your freezer. Just put the mixture in your freezer, and then stir every hour for four to five hours until desired consistency.

You will need:

  • 1 c 2% milk
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 3 T instant espresso powder
  • 3 T high quality, unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 c whipping cream
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c mini semisweet chocolate chips

Then you will…

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together everything but the mini chocolate chips.
  2. Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s directions. It will be a soft serve consistency at this point.
  3. Stir in the mini chocolate chips and transfer to a freezer-safe container.
  4. Freeze an additional hour or two until it reaches your desired consistency.

20180531 Mocha Ice 01

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Peanut Butter Oatmeal Granola Bars

June 19, 2018

While home with our sweet newborn, I’ve learned having snacks I can eat one-handed nearby is a must. I love these bars chilled, so I recommend keeping them in the fridge and grabbing a slice when you need a delicious break from your day.

You will need:

  • 1 c creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 c honey
  • 1/4 c maple syrup
  • 2 c old-fashioned oats
  • 1 c dried fruit, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 c dark chocolate chips, roughly chopped

Then you will…

  1. Line a 9×9 baking dish with foil and lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a saucepan, heat the peanut butter together with the honey and maple syrup over medium-low heat until smooth and well combined. Remove from heat.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the oats and dried fruit.
  4. Stir the peanut butter sauce into the oat mixture.
  5. Stir in the chocolate.
  6. Press the mixture into the prepared dish and refrigerate at least 3 hours or until firm before slicing.

20180605 Granola Bars 03

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Strawberries n’ Yogurt Popsicles

June 9, 2018

Our teething toddler recently discovered popsicles and all their cool yumminess. We found a mini popsicle mold online that makes small popsicles that are just the right size for his cute little hands and mouth. He loves strawberries and yogurt, so we let that inspire these popsicles.

20180601 Strawberry Popsicles

You will need:

  • 16 oz fresh strawberries, hulled
  • 1 c vanilla yogurt (I recommend a thicker yogurt like Greek or Icelandic skyr)
  • 4 T honey or maple syrup
  • 1/2 t lime juice
  • 1/2 t vanilla extract

Then you will…

  1. Puree all the ingredients in a blender until smooth.
  2. Pour into popsicle molds.
  3. Freeze overnight.
  4. Enjoy in the sunshine.
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Instant Pot Cordon Bleu Noodle Casserole

May 10, 2018

D gifted me an Instant Pot this winter, so we’ve been playing around with it at dinner time for the past few months. We are still figuring it out but this dish is one of his new favorites (and our toddler loves it too!). We also enjoy how easy it is to put together, since we have an infant at home these days.

You will need:

  • 3 c unsalted chicken stock
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 T Dijon mustard
  • 1 lb shaped pasta (we’ve tried penne and orecchiette)
  • 8 oz reduced fat cream cheese, cut into large segments
  • 8 oz cubed pancetta
  • 1 lb chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 2 t garlic powder
  • 1 c breadcrumbs
  • 6 oz of shredded Swiss-Gruyere mix
  • 1 c grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 c heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

IMG_0013 2

Then you will…

  1. In your Instant Pot, mix together the stock with the garlic and mustard.
  2. Stir in the dry pasta.
  3. Put the cream cheese segments on top of the pasta.
  4. Sprinkle the pancetta on top of the pasta.
  5. Sprinkle the chicken on top of the pancetta.
  6. Close your Instant Pot and cook on manual (or pressure) for 10 minutes.
  7. Allow to rest for 10 minutes after done before doing a quick release.
  8. Meanwhile, warm the olive oil over medium heat in a nonstick skillet.
  9. Mix in the garlic powder and breadcrumbs and toast until golden, about 3-5 minutes. Set aside.
  10. Stir the cheeses and cream into the noodle mixture.
  11. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  12. Serve with a sprinkling of the toasted garlic breadcrumbs on top.

 

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Parmesan Chicken with Zucchini

April 17, 2018

20180312 Parmesan Chicken 02We LOVED this dinner. It was so juicy and flavorful, and it was on the table in very little time. It was a perfect option for a weeknight dinner.

You will need:

  • 1 lb chicken breast (cut to half thickness) or tenders
  • 4 T unsalted butter
  • 1/2 c Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 c plus 2 T finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/4 c all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 t pepper
  • 1/2 t garlic powder
  • 2 medium zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and then into 1/2-inch thick, half-moon slices
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

Then you will…

  1. Melt the butter and pour onto a plate or shallow dish.
  2. In another shallow dish/plate, combine the Panko with 1/2 cup of the Parmesan, the flour, the pepper, and garlic powder.
  3. In a large nonstick skillet, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.
  4. Dredge the chicken in the melted butter and then coat the chicken in the Panko-Parmesan mixture.
  5. Cook the chicken in the skillet, about 4 minutes per side, until it is crispy and cooked through.
  6. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside on a plate.
  7. Add the zucchini and minced garlic to the hot skillet (add a touch more olive oil if needed).
  8. Saute, scraping up the browned chicken bits, about 4 minutes or until tender. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmesan and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Serve the chicken alongside the zucchini.
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Pina Colada Whipped Dessert

March 12, 2018

This simple dessert is great cold or frozen. If you wanted, you could also mix in a few tablespoons of rum.

You will need:

  • 1 box (3.4 oz) instant cheesecake pudding mix
  • 1 can (20 oz) crushed pineapple with their juices
  • 1 package (8 oz) lite Cool Whip container Cool Whip, thawed
  • 1 c shredded sweetened coconut
  • ½ c chopped pecans

Then you will…

  1. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the pudding mix and the crushed pineapple with its juices until well mixed.
  2. Mix in the Cool Whip, coconut, and nuts.
  3. Chill at least 1 hour before serving.

20180227 Pina Colada Fluff 02

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