Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Recipe: Bacon and Egg Muffins

This might be one of the easiest breakfast foods I've ever made. It would feed a crowd brilliantly and quickly and it's so yummy! So here's what you'll need:

I didn't think I was going to blog this,
or I would have taken a better picture! This
is the finished product, prior to plating!
1 package of bacon
12 slices of bread
1 cup (approx) shredded cheese
12 eggs
salt and pepper to taste

Start by preheating your oven to 400*. Then, cut the package of bacon up into small, bacon bit sized pieces, and stautee in a non-stick pan over medium/medium-high heat until they're cooked but not crispy. Don't over cook the bacon! It's going to cook some more in the oven so if you've already got it nice and crispy, it'll burn in the oven. When the bacon is almost done, remove and let drain on a plate with a paper towel.

While the bacon is cooking, grab a round cookie cutter or, I used one of our kitchen glasses, and cut circles out of the twelve slices of bread. Spray a muffin tin liberally with non-stick cooking spray and press the bread into the muffin cups. Add a *little* bit of cheese to each cup and I mean a little! These get full fast so just a pinch or two of shredded cheese is perfect.

After you add the cheese, carefully crack an egg into each muffin cup. Here's a suggestion: if you're buying eggs specifically for this recipe, I'd buy small or medium eggs. If you're just using what you have in the fridge, that's fine, but you made need to leave off part of the whites so that the cups don't over flow. Fair warning, at this point, the cups will be super full! Don't worry, the eggs should perch just nicely on top without overflowing as long as you heed my tip above. Once all the eggs are in the muffin cups, add a little salt and pepper and put bacon bits around the edge of the cups, leaving the yoke showing through in the center.

Put in the oven for 6-10 minutes. If you want runny yokes, pull out earlier. If you want solid yokes, leave them in longer. And if you have family members with different tastes, gently pop the yokes for the people who want their yolks done and leave the yolks for the runny folks intact, cooking them all for about 7 minutes. You ought to get the perfect consistency for everyone!

To remove, run a knife gently around the edge and they'll pop out easily.

If you're making this for a crowd or for kiddos, consider the assembly line method of putting these together. Have one person cut the bread circles and put them in the tin. Have someone else add the cheese, another person add the egg and another person top with bacon. It'll make it a super fun breakfast event! Happy eating!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Recipe: Turkey Tetrazzini

So my friend Patti sent me an email and said,
"Hey Mrs. Super-housewife. I am looking for a recipe for dinner tonight. Do you know of something off the top of your head that uses ground turkey/meat and noodles? Preferably baked, but in the skillet would be good too." 
 (I couldn't resist including the oh-so-lovely complement...) I didn't have a recipe that was bake only, but I do have a Turkey Tetrazzini that is a little skillet and a little baking. Oh, and it's oh so yummy!

I wanted to know what Tetrazzini meant, imagining it's Italian and means something like "super duper delicious." Turns out it is an entirely American dish named after an opera star, Luisa Tetrazzini. Why someone decided to name a pasta dish after an opera star, I'll never know. But that doesn't make it any less tasty. All that being said, here's what you'll need:

10 ounces mushrooms, sliced thin (about 4 cups)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups milk
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup dry white wine (or sherry)
10 ounces spaghetti
1pound ground turkey
1 can of green peas (drained)
2/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs

Don't be intimidated by the long list of ingredients. Most of it I already had around the house anyway so that makes it pretty easy to throw together. So here's what you need to do.

Mushrooms and ground turkey browning together.
First, preheat the oven to 400*F. Put 4 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet and toss in the sliced mushrooms. Sautee them on a medium-medium high heat until they start to cook down a little (about 3-5 minutes), toss in the ground turkey. Cook until the turkey is cooked through and the liquid has cooked out some (about 5 more minutes). Sprinkle the flour throughout the pot and stir into the turkey and mushrooms. Stir well and let the flour cook for about 3 minutes. At this point, add the milk, chicken broth, and white wine/sherry. Bring to a boil, stir in 1/3 of the Parmesan cheese and can of drained peas and let simmer for about 5-7 minutes, until the sauce begins to thicken a little.

Golden brown and delicious!
While the mushroom sauce is simmering, start a large pot of boiling water to cook your pasta. When the water comes to a boil, add your pasta and follow the directions, cooking the pasta to al dente. Drain the pasta and dump into a buttered (or non-stick cooking spray) 9x13 shallow casserole dish. After the mushroom sauce has thickened slightly, dump it over the pasta and stir a little to incorporate. Sprinkle the 1/3 cup Parmesan that's left and the 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs over the top of the casserole.

Put in the 400* oven and let bake for 30 minutes, or until bubbly and golden brown.

Here's a couple of notes on the recipe: When I was a kid, my Mom made an AMAZING Turkey Tetrazzini which is kind of what I was going for when I made this. My version came out just fine but I used a dry white wine instead of the sherry she usually used. (Because we live in a "damp" county, our nearest liquor store is 11 miles away and I didn't have any sherry on hand and didn't feel like driving to get some!) If you have sherry on hand, I would highly recommend it. It really gives it that classic Tetrazzini taste. If you don't have it, a dry white wine will work just fine.

The finished product is so good!
Also, this recipe works SO WELL with Thanksgiving leftover turkey. Instead of adding the ground turkey to cook with the mushrooms, wait till the mushrooms are done cooking and add the turkey (shredded or in small chunks) just after you add all the liquids. The leftover turkey is already cooked, so really, it just needs to be in there long enough to warm through.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Recipe: Creamy Crock-Pot Tex-Mex Chicken

Hamilton Beach
"Stay or Go" Slow Cooker
This may be the easiest dinner I've ever made. I hate when I find crock-pot recipes that require a lot of prep work, like chopping (and cooking!). I mean, isn't the point of crock-pots to make your life easier by making you cook LESS? So when I find a dump and go recipe, I'm much more apt to try it. This one is super simple.

Husband rating: 4 out of  5 stars
Kiddo rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Wife rating: 4 out of 5 stars (I want it spicier!)

I should start by saying that this recipe takes 6-8 hours in the crock-pot, so get this one going first thing, before work or school. We have a six quart Hamilton Beach "Stay or Go" Slow Cooker that we got from our friends for our wedding. (Thanks Robin and Ruben!) It's a fantastic slow cooker if you're looking for one. It latches the lid on so it's leak proof if you're taking it to and from functions! If you have a different size though, you might consider adjusting the amounts of chicken, in particular, but possibly the other ingredients as well.
Dump chicken in the bottom
of the crock-pot.

All that being said, here's what you'll need:

1 bag (2.5-3lbs) of frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can yellow corn (drained)
1 can black beans (rinsed and drained)
1 can of rotel
1 brick of cream cheese

There are a couple options when it comes to the ingredients. I can't stand corn so I used hominy instead. I know lots of people don't like hominy though so it's totally up to you. Also, if you're not a black bean fan, use pinto beans instead. Either choice keeps with the Tex-Mex flair. The spiciness of the rotel is up to you as well. We have a kiddo around here so I went with the mild option but be brave and try the hot! If you're counting calories, feel free to use a low-fat cream cheese but do NOT use a fat-free. It will mess with the consistency of the final product.
Add in beans, corn, rotel and cream cheese.

So here's what you do: dump the bag of chicken into the pot. My bag was a 3lb bag but it was a LOT of chicken and there's only three of us here. So I used enough to cover the bottom of the crock-pot and had about 3 breasts left over. I'd say I used approximately 2.5 pounds of chicken. Then dump in the can of (drained) corn, (rinsed and drained) black beans, rotel and cream cheese. Make sure you drain the beans and corn really well. The dinner is soupy enough as it is and if you don't drain them, you really will be eating Tex-Mex Chicken Soup! Don't worry about everything being in separate piles. You'll stir it all together later.
Put the lid on and let cook for 5-6 hours.

Turn the crock-pot on low, put the lid on and let cook for about 5-6 hours. About every two hours, go in and give it a little stir. As the cream cheese begins to heat and the chicken begins to thaw, it becomes easier to stir it all together. Fair warning, the cream cheese will look chunky and curdled for a little while until it gets completely melted in. Don't worry like I did. It will get better!

Shred the chicken with two forks.
At the 5-6 hour mark, everything should be well stirred in and your house ought to be smelling amazing. (Who needs air fresheners when you have Tex-Mex cooking?) At this point for the last hour to two hours, I turned the crock-pot up to high to get it good and bubbly to make the sauce thicken some (remove the lid if needed). Check on it every once in a while and when it comes to the consistency you're looking for, you're ready to go! It will thicken a little once you serve it and it starts to cool, so keep that in mind. I like to shred the chicken when it's done to make it a little easier to serve. Just use two forks and pull the chicken breasts into shredded pieces.

Serve over white or brown rice and enjoy!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Recipe: The Green Smoothie

I'll admit, like many of my peers, I, too, have become obsessed with Pinterest. I've already successfully made two crafts I found on the site and I attempted another that was not so successful. I even have the makings of another craft that I just haven't started yet. But Pinterest is also good for recipes! I found a really simple, nutritious smoothie that was pretty tasty too!

Here's what you'll need:

1/2 cup frozen peaches (about 4-6 slices)
1/2 cup frozen mangoes (about 10-12 cubes)
2 handfuls of fresh spinach
1-2 bananas

Put all the ingredients into a blender. Add a little water to get the consistency right and blend. *I used some of my diet citrus green tea in place of the water just to add another layer of fruity flavor.*

It's so easy and good for you. It's a great, slimy, green color. Add a gummy worm peeking over the top of the glass and you've got a great drink for the kiddos. Give it a try!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Recipe: Asian-style Turkey Lettuce Wraps

So here is a tasty AND healthy dish that's super easy and quick to make. I was inspired by the lettuce wraps I see in many restaurants but wanted to make them a little healthier though. So instead of chicken or beef, I substituted ground turkey and it's so good! And it got high marks from everyone!

Hubby rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Kid rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Mom rating: 5 out of 5 stars

So here's what you'll need:
Look for the Broccoli Slaw
in the produce section at
Walmart or Target.

1 tablespoon sesame seed oil
1 pound ground turkey
1 bag broccoli slaw mix
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 head romaine lettuce
salt and pepper to taste

For garnish:
Crunchy chow mein noodles
Thai-style peanut sauce

Sesame Seed Oil and
Rice Vinegar really add the
Asian flavor!
In a big skillet, brown the ground turkey over medium to medium-high heat. Once the turkey is mostly cooked, add the bag of broccoli slaw mix and the sesame seed oil.

Two things- I get the broccoli slaw at Walmart but I've seen it at Target too. It's basically a mix of broccoli, carrots and other veggies, pre-chopped up and ready to cook. Also, I find that the sesame seed oil REALLY adds a lot of flavor. It comes in a small bottle on the Asian food aisle. It really gives the dish that Asian taste and is totally worth investing in for your pantry.
Simmer until the slaw starts to get soft.

Now back to the recipe!

Once the broccoli slaw starts to cook down and soften a little, add the soy sauce, vinegar, salt and pepper. Let it all simmer together until the broccoli slaw is cooked through.

Lay out your lettuce leafs and
get ready to pile on the tasty
Meanwhile, wash your head of lettuce and pull off individual leaves and set them out on a plate. We usually use three leaves per person. I really like the tops of the leaves because they make better wrappers than the tougher ends. I usually tear off the tops for the wraps and save the ends for Hubby's sandwiches during the week.
Really great additions for taste
but watch the calories!
Pile the turkey/broccoli slaw on each leaf and top with some crunchy chow mein noodles and Thai-style peanut sauce. If you're concerned about calories, here's where you need to be careful. The noodles and sauce add a lot of calories so be sure to look at the labels and gauge how much you want to eat.

So yummy and so easy! Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Love and New Look

I'm loving doing the food blog. I hope you're enjoying it too. As you can see, I've been messing around with the look and design. Let me know what you think! And keep an eye out for a delicious new recipe coming soon!
Follow Me on Pinterest

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Recipe: Garlic Hummus

I put the family on a diet recently because the hubby and I need to lose quite a few pounds and it never hurts to teach kids good eating habits. That being said, we've all come to the realization that we're snackers. We like to munch idly while doing homework, reading watching TV, etc. So my goal was to not necessarily eliminate snacking but to snack healthier.

My friend Patti suggested we try her hummus recipe. I'd had hummus before and I like it so at 35 calories per two tablespoon serving, I decided to give it a try. Use it with pita chips or with baby carrots for a great afternoon snack.

Hubby rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Kid rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Mom rating: 4 out of 5 stars

So here's what you need:

2 cans of drained chick peas (a.k.a. garbanzo beans)
~reserve some of the chick pea liquid
3 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup tahini
1/4 cup lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
green olive juice (optional)

After you drain the chick peas (saving some of the liquid for later), empty both cans into your blender or food processor. Add tahini, lemon juice, minced garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Pulse the blender until it starts to get smooth and creamy. If the dip is too thick, add a little of the chick pea liquid until the dip blends smoothly in the blender.

Note: the first time I made this, I happened to have some green olive juice on hand and used it in place of the chick pea liquid. It gave it a nice salty, tangy flavor and I really liked it a lot. If you have it on hand, give it a try.
Top with a drizzle of olive oil and some paprika to dress it up for a party!

Hummus is so yummy and easy to make and there are so many things you can do to change it up. Try adding sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red bell peppers, roasted pine nuts or fresh herbs to give it a different flavor every time!