Saturday, August 25, 2012

Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes

Remember the list of recipes I was talking about my husband compiling? This one was right close to the top. And I am glad it was. We don't eat a ton of ground beef - not for any particular reason except maybe that I usually substitute it out for Italian Sausage - so this was a nice break from the norm for us. And steak sauce? I almost forgot how much I love that stuff! I grew up eating it fairly regularly so this was not only a delicious meal but also a very nostalgic one. 

One of my good friends started a Food Storage Blog - a practical one that everyone can appreciate. It is a really neat concept - how you can use what you have in your cupboards everyday for food storage. Not only that, but how you can rotate it out successfully without having to eat strange, out of the ordinary things. The exciting part? She asked me to co-author! This recipe is my second post. You all should head over and check that blog out! It will help keep your cupboards rotated and your dinners tasty!

Now, onto our recipe. Enjoy!

Yield: 4-6 servings

1 lb ground beef
1 onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup Steak sauce
1 cube beef bullion
1 cup water
Provolone Cheese, sliced
Hamburger buns

Turn the oven to broil. 

Cook the beef over medium-high heat. Once fully cooked, add the onion and pepper and saute for 3 more minutes. Add the steak sauce and beef broth. Let simmer until sauce thickens slightly. 

Put a slice of provolone in one side of the bun and butter the other side. Place on a pan and put in the oven for 3-5 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the bun starts to get toasty. 

Put a scoop of the meat mixture on one side of the bun, drizzle with a little more steak sauce, and top it with the other. 

Source: adapted from Six Sister's Stuff

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Sweet and SALTY Pork

Let's have story time for a minute. A couple weeks ago, Hunter so kindly went through one of the most popular blogs on Pinterest, Six Sister's Stuff. They happen to have a lot of practical, yummy looking recipes and that was the section he focused on. He compiled a list for me of things he would like to try in the near future. One recipe on the list was Slow Cooker Kalua Pork and Rice bowls. I set forth with good intentions to have a yummy dinner. I prepared it in my slow cooker with slight adjustments to the ingredients...I couldn't find liquid smoke anywhere nor was I really even sure where to look for it. I decided that soy sauce would be an acceptable alternative. One thing I failed to take into account was how salty soy sauce is naturally and didn't compensate for that when I prepared it.

Needless to say, we had a very salty dinner that night. Hunter was a good sport and stomached it with high spirits. I did my best to do the same. However, when it came to eating the leftovers neither of us could get ourselves excited about eating soooo much salt.

So, instead of just stomaching it again I decided to experiment a little bit. My veggie supply was running a little short so I added basically everything I had that I thought would go well together. My end goal was to dampen the salty taste and hopefully have an edible dinner. Not only was it edible, we actually both enjoyed it! I always get excited when Hunter is pleasantly surprised and gives better reviews than I expect. I do highly suggest garnishing with at least the shredded coconut because it lifts it to a whole new level. And in my opinion, avocado makes everything better so I suggest adding that too.

Yield: 4-6 servings

1 lb pork tenderloin
1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp coconut oil
1 onion, diced
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 red pepper, diced
1 jalepeno, diced
1/3 cup sweet and sour sauce
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp fresh, chopped basil
2 roma tomatoes, diced
1 can bamboo shoots, drained
1/4 tsp vindaloo seasoning

Garnish (if desired) with avocado and shredded coconut.

Rub Pork Tenderloin with soy sauce and salt and put in the crock pot. Cook for 10-12 hours on low. When pork is cooked through, shred with two forks.

In a medium sauce pan, melt the coconut oil. Add the garlic and onion and cook for 3-5 minutes. Add the red pepper and jalapeno and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Add the sweet and sour sauce, water, ketchup, honey, tomatoes, and vindaloo seasoning. Cook until everything is all heated through, about 7-10 minutes. Add the pork and bamboo shoots.

Serve over rice and top with avocado and shredded coconut if desired.

Source: Tasty Tiff original

Friday, August 17, 2012

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

I was gifted a zucchini the other day. This wasn't just any zucchini, it was a monster. Serioulsy. It was bigger around and longer than my upper arm. After using the 2 cups required in this recipe is is about as long as my upper arm. I have a lot more baking to do it would seem.

Here's to hoping I can use up that whole zucchini before it goes to waste.

Yield: 2 loaves

2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cocoa
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup applesauce
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups shredded zucchini
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. If you are using a dark pan, preheat to 325. Grease two 8 x 4 bread pans and set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix together flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another medium bowl, whisk together applesauce, eggs, and vanilla. Add to the flour mixture and mix until combined. Add the zucchini and chocolate chips. Pour into the prepared pans and bake for 55-60 minutes. Cool for about 10 minutes in the pan then remove from the pan and allow to cool on wire racks.

Source: adapted from Versatile Vegetarian

Monday, August 13, 2012

Linguine with Clam Sauce

Way back in the day (about 1 year ago) when I was just getting excited about cooking, this is one of the first dishes I tried. It was also one of the first fish dishes I tried - I figured it would be hard to screw up and poisen my husband and myself with something that came from a can.

Needless to say, we both survived the experience and enjoyed the meal to boot! Double success. After that I got much more brave where seafood was concerned and have branched out quite a bit.

But, we still come back to this meal. It is easy, yummy, and is good in a pinch. It has almost turned in comfort food for us.

Yield: 4-6 servings

16 oz. linguine
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp fresh basil, minced
2 (6.5 oz) cans minced clams, juices reserved
1/2 cup heavy cream (or half-and-half)
Salt and pepper
Grated parmesan cheese (optional)
Cook the pasta according to package directions - don't forget to add the salt to the boiling water before adding the pasta!

While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil and butter in a saucepan until the butter is melted. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute. Add the clam juice and simmer until it is reduced by about half, about 10 minutes. Add in the clams, basil, and heavy cream and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve over the pasta and top with grated parmesan cheese, if desired.

Source: slightly adapted from Annie's Eats

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Chocolate Oatmeal Breakfast Smoothie

Recently I have seriously upped my running habits (re: Ragnar Training). One side effect that I have really noticed is that I crave healthier foods. My desire for fast food is almost completely gone - almost being the important word - and I want funny things like protein shakes. I have made this with both raspberries and banana and I think I prefer the raspberry, although the banana is yummy. It's yummy and healthy and makes a great breakfast or recovery shake after a long run.

Yield: 1 big smoothie

1/2 Cup Oats
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 cup milk (I have used both regular and coconut milk with much success)
1 tbsp cocoa
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp honey
1/2 banana or 1/4-1/2 cup other fruit of your choice (raspberries are also delightful)
Optional: 1-2 tbsp protein powder

Put the oats, chia seeds, and milk in a cup and allow to sit in the fridge overnight, or for at least 8 hours. Dump the contents of the cup in a blender or food processor and add the rest of the ingredients. Blend until well mixed with no big chunks.

Pour back in your cup and enjoy!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Cajun Mac & Cheese

We don't need to go over my love of mac and cheese again. I am always looking for new variations to try and I thought the idea of sausage in it sounded great. As I always do, I loved this mac and cheese.

If you are looking for a nice, easy variation, give this recipe a try.

Yield: 4-6 servings

1 lb wagon wheel pasta
6 oz ground italian sausage
2 bunches green onions
1 red pepper, diced
1 tbsp cajun spice
2 tbsp flour
2 cups milk
8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Cook the pasta about 1 minute less than package directions. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and drain.

In a large skillet, brown the sausage until cooked through. Add the green onions and red pepper and cook for about 3 minutes. Add the cajun spice and flour and cook for about 2 more minutes. Whisk in the milk slowly and continue to do so until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.

Add the pasta, cheese, and reserved pasta water to the skillet. Toss the mixture until the cheese melts and the pasta is coated.

Source: slightly adapted from The Food Network Magazine, March 2012 Issue

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Toll House Cookies

One of the first cookie recipes I ever made were these Toll House Cookies. This is a family recipe that goes way back. While I have used other chocolate chip cookie recipes and probably will continue to do so, this recipe will always hold a special place in my heart. 

They are yummy as cookies and as dough, although the dough tastes better after hanging out in the fridge or freezer overnight. Most of the time though, I bake all the dough immediately. Another thing about these cookies that I love is that they are pretty. I have a really hard time when I make cookies and they are thin, spread out, and ugly. It almost makes me not want to eat them. I have never had that problem with this recipe. 

Random side note: I don't love chocolate chips, in cookies anyway. I know this is weird, I've accepted that fact. So, when I make chocolate chip cookies I almost always use less that the recipe calls for. If you are a lover of chocolate chips, up the amount. It won't hurt anything.

Yield: about 4 dozen cookies

2 cups shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp water
4 eggs
5 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
1/2 - 1 bag chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, soda, and salt. In a large bowl, mix together everything else but the chocolate chips. Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Once that is all mixed in, add the chocolate chips. Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 7-9 minutes.