Thursday, April 21, 2016

Doritos Taco Salad

This is one of our favorite salads for an easy, simple, somewhat, healthy dinner.  This is basically taco salad....kicked up a notch....with nacho cheese doritos.  What's not to love about that?  My son is not a huge salad lover like we are, but he will always eat this, because anything with chips in it gets a thumbs up from him!  And, while I'm on the subject of chips, let me just say, we think that HEB brand Nacho Cheese chips are hands down better than the name brand.  If you haven't tried them, you should.  Go ahead and inspect the "cheesiness" of each individual chip.....that's what we do:) 

recipe from Life in the Lofthouse  *Love this blog by the way*

You will need:
-1 pound lean ground beef
-1 packet taco seasoning
-2 Romaine lettuce hearts, rinse and chopped 
     (I've also used a bag of romaine, and shred it by hand a little)
-1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
-1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
-1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (we usually use more)
-1 cup Nacho Cheese Doritos, broken into bite size pieces (more to top salad if desired)
-1 cup Catalina dressing (we use Kraft)

*Brown ground beef in medium skillet until cooked through.  Drain grease.  Add taco seasoning and water called for on packet.  Stir and reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and let meat cool down slightly.

*In a large serving bowl, add chopped lettuce, black beans, tomato, and cheese.  Add slightly cooled ground beef and gently toss to combine.  Serve now, or chill in refrigerator until ready to eat.  

*When ready to serve, top with Doritos chips and dressing.  Toss to coat. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Slow Cooker Mongolian Beef

First off, don't pay any attention to this mediocre picture.  Photography is not a strength of mine.....and these days I usually am racing around the kitchen with Harper glued to my leg, so I'm doing good if I remember to snap a picture with my phone!  That said, despite the less than appealing picture, this is quite delicious!  This is easily one of our top favorite new meals!  The whole family liked included!  I decided to add some red pepper flakes to give it a little kick and it was perfect (not too sweet or spicy), and served it over rice.  Also, instead of using a flank steak, I used beef stir fry meat.  Only because it was on was already sliced and ready to go!  It worked great, but I'm sure a flank steak would be perfect too!

recipe found and adapted from The Recipe Critic 

You will need:
-1 1/2 pounds flank steak (or see above note)
-1/4 cup cornstarch
-2 Tablespoons olive oil
-1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
-3/4 cups soy sauce (I used low sodium)
-3/4 cups water
-3/4 cups brown sugar
-1 cup grated carrots (I used the pre-shredded carrots in a bag)
-1/2 to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes if desired
-sliced green onions

*Cut flank steak into thin strips.  In a ziploc bag, add flank steak strips and cornstarch.  Shake to coat.
*Add olive oil, minced garlic, soy sauce, water, brown sugar, and carrots to slow cooker.  Stir ingredients well.
*Add coated flank steak to slow cooker and stir again, until coated in the sauce.  
*Cook on high for 2-3 hours or low for 4-5 hours (I opted on low for 5 hours).  Stir well again before serving.
*Serve over rice and top with green onions.

Strawberry Banana Trifle

I was trying to think of a "lighter" dessert I could do recently, and remembered this one.  I haven't actually made this in a while because I forgot about it, but now that I've found it, I will go ahead and post I don't have to look for it again!  Also, I got this recipe from my mother in law Pam, which makes it even more special to me now.  I believe the original recipe came from Taste of Home.  It is great for a crowd because it serves a ton.....and it's pretty:)
 Note: The original recipe calls for whipping your own cream.  I just use a container of cool whip.  Because these days, I don't have time for those kind of silly things. 

You will need;
-1 cup sugar
-1/4 cup cornstarch
-3 tablespoons strawberry gelatin powder (from a packet of strawberry jello)
-1 cup cold water
-1 pint fresh strawberries, sliced
-1 3/4 cups cold milk
-1 package (3.4 oz) instant vanilla pudding mix
-3 to 4 medium bananas, sliced
-6 cups cubed angel food cake 
-2 cups whipping cream or a container of cool whip
-additional strawberries to garnish

*In a saucepan combine the sugar, cornstarch, and gelatin.  Stir in cold water until smooth. Bring to a boil, cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat.  Stir in fresh sliced strawberries, and set aside.

*In a large bowl combine milk and pudding mix.  Beat on low speed for 2 minutes, set aside.  

*Place half of the cake cubes in a trifle bowl or serving bowl.  Layer with half of the pudding, then bananas, then strawberry sauce, then whipped cream.  Repeat layers.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  

Mississippi Crock Pot Roast

 I finally got around to trying out this recipe a few months ago, and it is now one of my favorites!  We have made this several times now and each time it's been a hit! Once again, if I'm going to do a slow cooker dish, I want it to be super easy and to need little to no prep work......and this one meets all those qualifications.  Not to mention, it smells amazing while it cooks throughout the day!  I was a little skeptical of this recipe when I saw that you don't add any liquid, but it totally works.  The peperoncini peppers (which can be found by the pickles and banana peppers) are perfectly roasted by the time the roast is done. The peppers have a little bit of a kick, but are not overly spicy at kids eat them.  I usually use a chuck roast but have also used a cheaper cut roast and they both turned out great.  It's best to cook it on the lowest setting for at least 8-10 hours, so its perfect to do on a busy weekday morning!  I usually serve this roast with mashed potatoes and veggies, but it would be great for sandwiches, or served over rice/noodles.

You will need:
-chuck roast (approx 2-3 pounds)
-1 packet of ranch dressing mix
-1 packet of Au Jus mix
-1 stick of butter (I usually use unsalted)
-jar of peperoncini peppers

*Place roast in the slow cooker
*Sprinkle the ranch dressing mix on top
*Sprinkle the Au Jus mix on top of that
*Place whole stick of butter on top of roast
*Place 6-7 peperoncini peppers on top of roast (surrounding the butter)
*That's it.  Don't add water.  Just cook on low setting for 8-10 hours.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Korean Beef

I pinned this recipe a while back and finally got around to actually making it.......and I'm so glad I did! This is a great meal for a busy weeknight, the whole family loved it, and it takes no time at all to make.  Just a note: if you're worried about it being too spicy, don't be.   I  added the full amount of crushed red peppers and it was fine.  The brown sugar really balances it all out.  Also, the sesame oil can be a little pricey.  You can find it on the isle where all the other cooking oils are for around 7 bucks......but, being the total cheapskate I am, I went back and looked on the ethnic cooking isle next to the other Asian ingredients and found a small bottle for around 2 bucks.  The good thing is a little bit of it goes a long way, so you will have plenty for the next time you want to make this dish.....and you will because it's really quite delicious.  

Korean Beef
recipe adapted from Six Sister's Stuff

You will need:
-1 lb ground beef
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-1/4 cup soy sauce
-1 Tablespoon sesame oil
-3 cloves minced garlic
-1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
-1/2-1 teaspoon crushed red peppers
-salt and pepper
-diced green onions
-cooked white rice

*First, brown meat in a large skillet until cooked through, then drain excess fat.  
*While meat is browning combine brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, red peppers, salt and pepper in a small bowl. 
*After draining meat, return it to the skillet and pour combined ingredients on top.  Let simmer for around 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
*Serve over rice and top with green onions

** This recipe was the perfect amount for 4 people (Harper didn't eat), but you can easily double the ingredients to serve a larger crowd

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Pizza Rolls

We've been making these so often lately, I figured I should share the recipe.....these are so, so good and very addicting. My friend Jenny's husband gave us the recipe.  I believe these are actually called "Crusties" which originated from a restaurant he frequented in his college days in Virginia.  I heard her talk about these delicious pizza rolls several times and when her husband posted the recipe one day I figured I would try them out.  We were hooked after the first batch.  Even my "pizza hating" husband loves these.  And the kids gobble them up.  They are pretty fun to make too.  I had no idea HEB had frozen pizza dough, so that was a fun discovery too.  In my opinion, these are way better with something to dip them in so I make a batch of buttermilk ranch to go along with them every time.  We use the leftover ranch for veggies and salads so it never goes to waste.  If you are looking for a fun, easy recipe to replace your traditional pizza night with, then definitely try these out.  And this picture was my first time to make them....they've gotten slightly prettier since then.  But they're not supposed to be pretty....just delicious:)

You will need:
-ball of frozen pizza dough *HEB sells these in their frozen bread section...they are less than 2 bucks!
-pepperoni slices
-thinly sliced provolone cheese (I usually get 1/2 pound at the deli counter) ask them to slice it super thin.....if it's too thick they will be hard to roll up
-olive oil
-garlic salt (optional)

*roll out/stretch dough out to a large rectangle (approx 12x14 inches) Note: the dough tends to want to shrink back to size at first so it takes a few minutes to stretch it out.  It's actually kind of fun....makes me feel like I'm working in a pizza parlor.  I have yet to be brave enough to toss it in the air.

*once you have the dough in a rectangle, drizzle with a little olive oil and spread it out (I use my hands).  Just enough to coat the dough's surface.  At this point I sprinkle a little bit of garlic salt on.

*layer on the provolone cheese, covering the entire surface

*layer on the pepperoni slices, over the entire surface

*now, CAREFULLY start rolling it up length wise (like you're making cinnamon rolls).  Do this slowly, working from both ends to make it all even

*with a SHARP knife cut 1 inch slices...this usually yields about 12 rolls for me

*place pizza rolls on baking sheet (I use parchment paper so the bottom doesn't get too browned) and bake on 375 for 20-25 minutes

**you can totally add different toppings if you like......we haven't tried anything else yet because these are so yummy, but I want to try out some different things soon

**one ball of pizza dough generally yields about 12 rolls.  I'm ashamed to admit we now have to make a double batch because we eat so many of them.  We refrigerate leftovers and they reheat well.

For the buttermilk ranch:
-one packet of ranch dressing mix
-1 cup mayo
-1 cup buttermilk (I add a little more because we like it on the thin side)
*Mix together and refrigerate
(if you don't have buttermilk you can make your own by adding 1 Tbsp of lemon juice or white vinegar to 1 cup of milk.  Let sit for 5 minutes and you've got buttermilk)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Slow Cooker Carne Asada Tacos with Chipotle Aioli Sauce

I finally got inspired again to add a recipe and decided to start with one of our favorites! This is one of my husbands most requested meals, and my kids love it too. I rely heavily on my slow cooker these days, especially when after school activities keep us out later than usual.  It's so nice to come home to a meal already prepared and not worry about having to come up with something last minute.  That said, I like my slow cooker recipes super the kind you can just dump everything in and push the button.  This recipe is one of those, it takes very little time to prep, and you can prepare the aioli sauce at anytime while the meat is cooking.  I highly recommend the aioli is excellent!  It has a little kick, but not too spicy.  Our toppings of choice for these tacos are shredded cheese, chopped tomatoes, and sliced avocados. 
Note:  I am super lazy when it comes to prep work.  I found myself sometimes not wanting to make this recipe because you have to slice the meat first before putting it in the slow cooker.  Lazy, right?  I knew I would be making these this past Monday, so on Sunday I decided I would try to get some meal prep done for the week and I would go ahead and slice the meat so I could have it all done Monday morning.  My wonderful husband offered to slice the steak while I was working on something else.  I walked by a few minutes later and saw him cutting the steak into strips with a pair of kitchen shears.  It took him about 30 seconds.  Ummm, he's a genius!  But did I tell him that?  Nope.  Just walked on by and racked my brain as to why I haven't thought of that before now.  So my recommendation is to cut the steak with kitchen shears.  It takes this recipe to a whole new level of easiness.
Slow Cooker Carne Asada Tacos with Chipotle Aioli Sauce
recipe found on Six Sisters Stuff
You will need:
-2 lbs. flank steak, or London broil, thinly sliced (I usually used a flank steak)
-1 cup salsa (I used mild PACE)
-1 can rotel (I used mild)
-1 tsp cumin
-1 tsp chili powder
-flour or corn tortillas
-taco toppings (tomatoes, avocados, shredded lettuce, cheese, avocados, etc.)
for the chipotle aioli sauce:
-6 Tbsp mayonnaise
-2 tsp chopped chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (you can find a small can of these on the Mexican food isle next to chopped green chiles, etc.)  I usually use a little bit of the sauce from the can as well
-2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
-1 tsp minced garlic
-1/2 tsp cumin
-4 tsp fresh lime juice
-salt and pepper to taste
*Spray slow cooker with cooking spray (or better yet, use a slow cooker liner).  Place sliced steak in the slow cooker and add salsa, rotel, cumin, and chili powder on top.  Stir until thoroughly mixed together and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
for the aioli sauce:
*Combine all ingredients in a blender (I use my small food processer/chopper) and blend until smooth.  Keep refrigerated until ready to use.
*When ready to serve, warm tortillas, add steak, aioli sauce, and toppings