Sunday, July 14, 2013

Pizza, Burgers, Tacos...anything you could possibly be craving!

I say this every time, but I truly don't know how time slips away so quickly. I suppose that we have had a crazy last month and a half, but still. I also don't think I have cooked as many "recipes" lately. I do have a few great recipes to share, though! 

First up on the menu is grilled corn, tomato, and avocado salad. This is a summer staple. There are many variations that I am sure you have seen on Pinterest, etc., but I made this up in my head. It's so easy to throw together and it tastes so good. 
Grilled Corn, Tomato, and Avocado Salad
{Makes about 4-6 servings}
2 ears of Corn on the cob, grilled
1 pint of Grape tomatoes, cut in half
2 Avocados, grilled and diced
1/2 a Purple onion, diced
1 handful of Cilantro, minced
1 package Feta cheese
Olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
Chop the onions, cilantro, and grape tomatoes. 
Meanwhile, grill the corn and avocados.
Cut corn off of the cob and dice avocado {see picture on the right}
Put all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and mix.
This salad is great with any type of grilled meat and something green--we chose asparagus!
This next have GOT to try it! It's cheddar jalapeno chicken burgers. I found the recipe on Pinterest. The recipe made 4 burgers--we cooked 2 and froze the other 2. They were so good we had them for dinner the very next week. To me, that says a lot, because my husband doesn't like "repeat" meals very often! 
Cheddar Jalapeno Chicken Burgers
1 lb. ground chicken
1/2 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2-3 jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/3-1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
Additional Toppings:
Guacamole {I make my own, but you could use store bought}
Sour Cream
Red Onion
Chop ingredients 2 through 4
Add chopped ingredients and all other ingredients to the ground chicken. Mix together with your hands.
Make 4 patties out of the ground chicken mixture. Grill until chicken is cooked through. I used a Cuisinart {George Foreman type} grill to cook our burgers because our grill was out of propane.
Once the burgers are done, top them with the suggested additional toppings. We had sweet potato fries with our burgers. 
Let's move on from chicken to pork--pork tacos, that is! These were a hit too. I know I say that everything I make is good, but I promise it is, or I wouldn't be sharing it with you and telling you to make it! 
Crock pot Pork Tacos and Cilantro Lime Rice
1 lb pork shoulder {This made enough for about 3 people, if you want to make more, use 2-3 lbs. of pork}
1 12oz. can of Coke
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 10oz. can enchilada sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small can diced green chiles
3/4 cup brown sugar
Corn tortillas
Marinate pork in brown sugar and coke for at least 2 hours. You can do it overnight if you plan ahead. I did not, so 2 hours was plenty!
After it has marinated for at least 2 hours, put the pork and liquid mixture into the crock pot. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours. 
Once the meat has cooked, remove it from the crock pot, discard the liquid, and shred the meat. Return the meat to the crock pot and add all other ingredients. 

Stir together and cook for 30-60 more minutes.

While the pork is cooking for the last 30-60 minutes, prepare the cilantro lime rice. 
2 cups chicken stock {I used broth and it was fine}
1 cup Jasmine rice
1 large lime, juiced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp butter, cut into small cubes
1 pinch crushed red pepper
1 large handful fresh cilantro, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Cook rice according to package directions. While the rice is cooking, prepare and combine the rest of the ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Once the rice is finished cooking, add other ingredients and mix well. 
Add a scoop of rice to a taco shell, then top with pork. 
Black beans were a great addition to the tacos! 
Last up is a Britt creation--Bacon Jalapeno Pimento Cheese Pizza. We l.o.v.e. pimento cheese at our house. We also love jalapenos and bacon. Put those ingredients all together and you get an awesome meal of some sort!
Pizza dough {we bought some at Trader Joe's}
4 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 container of pimento cheese
6 strips of bacon, crumbled
1 shallot, sliced
3-4 jalapenos {I seeded 3 and left the seeds in one}, sliced
Prepare dough as directed on package.
Spread cream cheese on rolled out dough, then spread pimento cheese over the cream cheese.
Top with crumbled bacon, jalapenos, and shallots. Bake according to the dough package directions. 
We will certainly be making this pizza again! 
I can't promise many more recipes before the baby comes...I do have 3 or 4 I want to try before then, so hopefully I will make them and be able to share them before Baby S arrives in about 6 weeks! Check back soon--jess

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Who Likes Hummus??

I do! Hummus is one of my favorite afternoon snacks.  I buy it once a week when I go to the grocery store. Each time I put it in the buggy I think to myself how expensive it is and how I should make my own to cut down on the cost. The other night Britt and I went to Zoes for dinner. We were there right at closing and the cashier offered us some free hummus that they were going to throw away the next day. Zoes' hummus is probably my favorite hummus. When I got home I flipped the hummus container over to see what ingredients Zoes uses. The ingredient list is simple. I had everything I needed except garbanzo beans and tahini paste, but I was able to fix that with a quick trip to the grocery store. And so, I finally decided to make my own hummus {Zoes-inspired}! I found a recipe online to know what ratio of each ingredient to use.

2 cans garbanzo beans {reserve one juice from one can}
1 1/2 tsp garlic {minced}
2 tsp salt
Black pepper to taste
5 tbsp lemon juice
4 tbsp tahini paste
2-4 tbsp olive oil {depending on how thick you like your hummus--I used 2 tbsp}
Paprika {for garnishing}

Drain one can of garbanzo beans, do not drain the other. Chop garlic. Add beans and all other ingredients to the blender. 
Blend on high until you have a smooth mixture. 
Garnish with paprika and serve with warm pita bread or carrots. I thought it was pretty good for the first go-around, but I may tweak some things next time! 
My homemade hummus is definitely cheaper than store-bought I said before, I had all of the ingredients besides the beans and tahini paste. The beans cost a little over $2.00 and the tahini paste was a little over $6.00. The tahini paste will make a lot of batches of hummus, so I will only have to spend about $2.00 a week for a large batch of homemade hummus! 

I have several new recipes planned for the upcoming week, so check back soon for new and exciting meals to try in your kitchen! 

Love, jess

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Yummy in My Tummy!

Goodness, time slips away from me so easily. I didn't realize it's been a month since I last posted! This week I have three great recipes you need to try!

This first recipe is Jalapeno Popper Pizza, compliments of Pinterest. I made a few weeks ago and have already made it a second time since then.
Jalapeno Popper Pizza
One can of Pillsbury pizza crust
5-6 ounces cream cheese {softened}
1 cup pepper jack cheese {shredded}
5-6 slices bacon {crumbled}
4 jalapenos {3 seeded, 1 sliced with seeds}
2 shallots {diced} 
 Prepare pizza crust. Follow directions on the package.
 Shred cheese, dice shallots, slice/chop jalapenos, and crumble cooked bacon. 
 After the dough has been pre-baked, spread cream cheese over dough. Sprinkle with 1/2-3/4 of the cheese.
 Top with jalapenos, shallots, bacon, and remaining cheese. Bake for another 6-7 minutes. 
 The finished product is out of this world--seriously! 
If you're ever in the mood for Chinese, you should make this next recipe. The list of ingredients is a little intimidating, but I promise it is easy to make!
Honey Sesame Chicken
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast {cubed}
2/3 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup honey
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil 
1 tsp white vinegar
3 tbsp finely chopped yellow onion
1 clove garlic {minced}
1 1/2 tsp finely grated ginger
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 cup + 1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
1 1/2 tbsp cold water
Vegetable oil, for frying
1 tsp baking powder
2 large eggs
1 tbsp sesame seeds
Green onions for garnish
 Chop onion, mince garlic, and grate ginger. 
 In a skillet, combine chicken broth, honey, soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar, onion, garlic, and ginger. Season with salt and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil. Whisk together1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch and 1 1/2 tbsp cold water until well blended. Whisk cornstarch into honey mixture once it comes to a boil. Reduce heat and cook on medium-low for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and cover with a lid to keep warm.
 Heat about 1 1/2 inches of oil to 350 degrees in a skillet. Chop the chicken, whisk the, whisk together. 
Coat chicken in egg mixture then cornstarch mixture until well coated.  
 Fry chicken pieces about 5-7 minutes or until golden brown. Let the excess oil drain on a paper towel lined plate. 
 Add fried chicken to the honey sauce mixture and add sesame seeds.  Toss until chicken is well coated. 
 Serve over white or brown rice. Garnish with green onions. 
 A few weeks ago we went to Auburn for the last rolling of Toomer's oak trees. We knew we needed to leave early on Saturday morning, but did not want to stop for fast food. I pulled out the Joy of Cooking and found a blueberry muffin recipe. I baked them on Friday night so we could eat a quick breakfast before getting on the road Saturday morning. These muffins are super easy and taste much better than the muffin mix in a bag!
Homemade Blueberry Muffins
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp grated or ground nutmeg
2 large eggs
1 cup milk
2/3 cup sugar or packed brown sugar {I used brown sugar}
1/4 - 1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups blueberries
Whisk together dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together wet ingredients.
 Add the wet mixture to the flour mixture and mix together with a few light strokes until the dry ingredients are moistened. Do not over mix; the batter should not be smooth. 
Add 1/3 cup sugar and blueberries.  Mix well. 
 Prepare cinnamon sugar mix {1 cup sugar and 2 tbsp ground cinnamon}. Divide muffin batter into greased muffin pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. I made 6 BIG muffins. It would be better to make 12 small ones. If baking big muffins, bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. If making small muffins, bake at 400 degrees for about 17 minutes. Muffins are done when you insert a toothpick in the middle and it comes out clean. 
 Serve hot, or let cool and serve later. 
I hope you will try some of these recipes and enjoy them as much as we did! I'll try to post again before another month passes...