April 28, 2011

Oven-Roasted Veggies & Pasta

Oven-Roasted Veggies & PastaThe first time I made this, from Real Mom Kitchen, we had just finished doing circuits with the kids and a friend and I needed something that made bunches of food and would cook up fast – but it needed to be healthy and have protein to fuel our muscles.  Because we’re cool like that.  I was starving by the time it was ready so I didn’t take the time to take a picture, knowing I’d make it a second time the following week.  And that's what I did.

This easily hit the yum-factor, spot-on and was full of flavors from the roasted vegetables and I felt good eating it and serving it knowing all the ingredients that went in were wholesome. Except for the sausage which came from Oscar Meyer but you can be even more awesome than me, and buy fresh turkey sausage or organic sausage & whole wheat pasta or whatever healthful stuff you want!  Me?  I went with white pasta because that’s what I had.  The veggies?  Probably sprayed with pesticides – but I closed my eyes and pretended it was all organic and it was good stuff, Maynard!

Ingredients

  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced
  • 8 oz. fresh mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium red or yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 (12 oz.) package turkey sausage of your choice
  • 12 oz. linguine, uncooked

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

  1. Place zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes, onion, and bell pepper in a shallow baking pan.  Add the olive oil, salt, and pepper; toss to coat.
  2. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender and lightly brown; stir occasionally.
  3. In the meantime, cook linguine according to package directions and drain.
  4. After vegetables are soft, sprinkle sausage on top of vegetables and bake 5 more minutes or until sausage is heated.
  5. Toss cooked pasta with the vegetable/sausage mixture,  sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.

Did you enjoy this recipe, the photos found here, or Good Stuff in general? Head over to Facebook and like the page!  When you Share a recipe (using the social media buttons below each post) with friends and family you’re helping to make the world a better place.  And it makes me happy.  Mostly it makes me happy.  It also helps me, and all the other food blogs used here, to keep doing what we love doing here; sharing good food.  Thanks for visiting!  - Shanna

April 25, 2011

Ham & Cheese Sliders

Ham & Swiss SlidersDo you have any idea why we eat ham for Easter?  Neither did I.  I thought I did it because my mom did, and my grandma, and her mother before her and so in the interest of tradition, I will generally buy a ham for Easter dinner.  This year, I wondered where the tradition itself came from. 

It seems it may have come from the Northern European Pagans who would slaughter and preserve their agricultural animals in the fall to feed themselves through the winter.  Then to celebrate the vernal equinox, the emerging plants and wildlife and to shed a few pounds for bikini season gain the sought-after state of "altered consciousness" in time for the spring festivals, they would fast.  Then in celebration of the end of their fasting they would eat the last of their cured meats from the winter which would, of course, include pork.* 

My plan for these little sandwiches, found at Our Recipe Club, was to use up whatever ham was left over from our Easter dinner.  I decided, however, not to spend a fortune on a huge ham and opted instead for black forest ham from the deli.  Easy!  These turned out as good as the picture makes them out to be with tons of flavor and gooey cheese and salty ham.

Ham & Swiss Sliders

I halved the recipe from what’s shown below because I don’t need 24 to feed the five of us – but these would be SO perfect to take with you next time you’re called to bring something with you, they can be assembled a day ahead & kept in the fridge until you’re ready to bake them.

Ingredients

  • 24 of your favorite rolls (I used a Sweet Multi-Grain)
  • 24 pieces black forest ham
  • 24 slices Swiss cheese  
  • 1/3 cup miracle whip

Poppy Seed Sauce

  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1 Tablespoon minced green onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Directions

Preheat oven to 350*

  1. Spread Miracle Whip onto both sides of the center of each roll.  Place a slice of ham & a slice of Swiss inside on each roll.  Close rolls & place into a baking dish, smooshing close together.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together all of the poppy seed sauce ingredients then pour (or brush) evenly over all of the sandwiches.  Let sit 10 minutes, or until butter sets slightly.
  3. Cover with foil & bake 12-15 minutes or until cheese is melted.  Uncover & cook for 2 additional minutes.  Serve warm.

*Source: Goddess Gift

Did you enjoy this recipe, the photos found here, or Good Stuff in general? Head over to Facebook and like the page!  When you Share a recipe (using the social media buttons below each post) with friends and family you’re helping to make the world a better place.  And it makes me happy.  Mostly it makes me happy.  It also helps me, and all the other food blogs used here, to keep doing what we love doing here; sharing good food.  Thanks for visiting!  - Shanna

April 24, 2011

Deviled Eggs

Deviled EggsYesterday was our day to color eggs for the Easter bunny to hide.  As usual, I took the opportunity to give a lesson on why we color eggs and where the story of the Easter bunny comes from. 

I love the story of Ostara, goddess of spring and fertility.  Arriving late for spring one year, she was saddened to find a tiny bird whose wings were frozen by the long winter’s snow.  Ostara turned the bird into a snow hare, giving him the ability of speed to avoid hunters and survive the winter but she honored his past form by allowing him to lay eggs.  His eggs were no ordinary eggs, as they were all the colors of the rainbow!

As the story goes, however, Ostara was angered by the hare’s wild ways with the lady hares and banished him to the skies to live out the rest of his life as the constellation Lepus, forever under the careful watch of the constellation, Orion, the hunter.  Still favoring the animal, Ostara allows him one night of freedom each year, to come to earth and hide his colored eggs for the children.

DSC_8254 copy Deviled EggsAdapted from Simply Recipes

Ingredients

  • 1 dozen hard boiled eggs, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons spicy brown mustard
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tablespoon green onion,minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cholula hot sauce 
  • Salt
  • Paprika

Directions

  1. Using a sharp knife, slice each egg in half, lengthwise. Gently remove the yolk halves and place in a small mixing bowl. Arrange the egg white halves on a serving platter.
  2. Using a fork or potato masher, mash the yolks and add mustard, mayonnaise, onion, Cholula, and salt to taste. Spoon egg yolk mixture into the egg white halves. Sprinkle with paprika.

Did you enjoy this recipe, the photos found here, or Good Stuff in general? Head over to Facebook and like the page!  When you Share a recipe (using the social media buttons below each post) with friends and family you’re helping to make the world a better place.  And it makes me happy.  Mostly it makes me happy.  It also helps me, and all the other food blogs used here, to keep doing what we love doing here; sharing good food.  Thanks for visiting!  - Shanna

April 21, 2011

Kicked Up Ramen Noodles

Kicked Up Ramen Noodles

Ramen Noodles stir up memories of the days before I had kids.  Back when sodium, preservatives and ingredients that are un-pronounceable in the English tongue were kind-of hip in a “I’m too young to care what I eat” kind of way. 

This was delicious and I felt like I was cheating, eating all those sinfully curly noodles!  The smells coming from the kitchen were heavenly; peanuts, garlic and, well, do I really even need to mention anything after that?  Cooked up fast, the ingredients were inexpensive and I will definitely add this to my “go to” dinner file.

The only things I changed from Mel’s Kitchen, since I didn’t have hoisin sauce (forgot to pick it up at the store), was I substituted in soy sauce.  It worked well, but I’ll definitely not want to miss out on the flavors of it next time I make this dish.  I also did not have scallions.  GRR!  So it went scallion-less and I pulled out a frozen bag of edamame to green up dinner a little.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8-10 chicken tenderloins
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup roasted unsalted peanuts (I pulled mine from a package of trail mix since the kids leave those anyway)
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 (3-ounce) package ramen noodles, discard seasoning packets!
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 4 scallions (green onions), sliced thin

Directions

  1. In a large non-stick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium to medium-high heat until it is hot. Season the chicken lightly with salt and pepper. Add it to the pan in a single layer and cook, stirring occasionally.  As it cooks, using a plastic spatula, begin cutting it into cubes – continue cooking until cooked through.  Remove the chicken and set aside.
  2. Add the last tablespoon of oil to the skillet and heat until hot. Add the red bell pepper and the peanuts then cook until the pepper is softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove and set aside with the chicken.
  3. Add the garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes to the remaining oil in the skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for about 30 seconds to 1 minutes.
  4. Stir in the chicken broth. Add Ramen noodles to the pan (you can break them before adding, but we like them long and curly!). Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook, tossing the ramen constantly with tongs to separate, until ramen is just tender but there is still a bit of liquid in the pan, about five minutes.
  5. Stir in the hoisin sauce, vinegar, and sesame oil and continue to simmer until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Stir in the chicken, peppers and peanuts. Sprinkle with green onions before serving.

Did you enjoy this recipe, the photos found here, or Good Stuff in general? Head over to Facebook and like the page!  When you Share a recipe (using the social media buttons below each post) with friends and family you’re helping to make the world a better place.  And it makes me happy.  Mostly it makes me happy.  It also helps me, and all the other food blogs used here, to keep doing what we love doing here; sharing good food.  Thanks for visiting!  - Shanna

April 19, 2011

Banana Pudding Milkshake

Banana Pudding Milkshake

I won’t name names, but someone just had to go and mention the fact that they had bought, and fallen in love with, the new banana pudding milk shake Chic-Fil-A just came out with for spring.  If you know me at all you know I’m extremely susceptible to the suggestion of food and I’ve been craving that shake since!  I looked it up on their restaurant site and the list of ingredients is a mile long – some I couldn’t pronounce and others I’d have to look up in a dictionary to figure out what, exactly, it is.

I knew that I could come up with my own version and make it, while not healthy, definitely healthier.  You could also use the fat free, sugar free Jell-O but honestly I don’t want to ingest aspartame any more than I want to ingest some of the restaurant ingredients. 

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups cold milk
  • 1 small package (3.4 oz.) Jell-O instant banana cream pudding, divided in half
  • 8 vanilla wafer cookies
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 cup ice

Directions

  1. Put milk, half the package of pudding mix, banana and vanilla wafers in blender and blend till smooth.
  2. Add ice and blend till smooth.

This will make two smaller servings or, if you’re like me, one large serving!

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April 18, 2011

Broiled Grapefruit

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If you haven’t noticed, Maynard is on Facebook with the rest of the human race!  Take a minute to Like Maynard and get updates right on your wall!

When I saw this recipe at Fitter than Choc, I knew I had to try it.  We all love grapefruit in my house and this is a tasty new way to enjoy it.  Try it for breakfast with some granola, for dessert with some good vanilla ice cream or a late night snack when you’re craving something sweet. 

Ingredients

  • 1 large grapefruit
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Directions

Pre-heat the broiler

  1. Cut the grapefruit around the edge, just inside the peel, then trace each individual membrane of the grapefruit into segments.
  2. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of brown sugar on each half, then sprinkle ground cinnamon and nutmeg on each half.
  3. Broil the grapefruit, face up for 10-15 minutes, or until caramelized. 

April 14, 2011

Kale & Lemon Pasta Salad

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First of all?  I’ve never eaten kale.  It sounded like a nasty bitter green stuff that was not making it’s way into my mouth.  This?  Was phenomenal.  The kids ate it without question, went back for seconds and even took leftovers to school for lunch.  Really.  The original recipe, found at Annie’s Eats, called for penne, but I chose tri-colored pasta just because color is good, and it makes me  happy.

Ingredients

Dressing

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Pasta

  • 1 pound pasta
  • 1 large bunch kale, rinsed and dried, stems removed
  • lemon slices, for garnish
  • shredded Parmesan, for serving

Directions:

Bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta. 

  1. Mince the garlic cloves.  Sprinkle the minced garlic with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and smash the garlic into a paste with a fork.  Transfer the garlic paste to a small bowl & add in the Parmesan, olive oil, lemon juice and red pepper flakes.  Whisk together until well combined.
  2. Cook pasta according to directions.
  3. Chop the kale into 1/2 ribbons.  Add chopped kale to a large bowl and toss with dressing to coat.
  4. When pasta is done, quickly cool it with cold water, in a colander, draining well.
  5. Toss pasta in the bowl with dressing until well coated. Serve with sliced lemon and additional Parmesan as desired.

April 12, 2011

Orange & Oats Cookies

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Laura, at Real Mom Kitchen, posted these way back in December and they’ve been sitting in my “to make” cookies folder since.  The kids have been begging for cookies but the temperatures here in Texas have not been bake-friendly, already reaching the 90-degree mark.  However, a spring storm blew through here a couple nights ago, dropping the temperature for the day, allowing the windows to be open and the oven to be on!  Adapted for our tastes, these cookies are chewy, sweet and delicious, these whipped up fast and easy. 

My favorite trick with cookies is to eat a dozen or so one or two while the rest bake, then put the rest in freezer bags.  Not only does it keep the flavor better longer, they also tend to last longer out of sight, out of mind!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 3 Tablespoons orange juice
  • orange zest from 2 oranges
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup shredded sweetened coconut

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and oats.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together sugar, butter, shortening, orange juice, orange zest and eggs.
  3. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and blend.
  4. Fold in the coconut.
  5. Spoon dough onto greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes until edges are golden brown.
  6. Cool on a cookie rack.

April 6, 2011

Pizza Dip

Pizza Dip

I love to find a new appetizer recipe and make it for dinner.  Not only is it usually pretty easy, but the kids love having something different and I like to try out the recipe before I’m asked to bring a little something with me anywhere.  This pizza dip, found at Closet Cooking didn’t disappoint. 

Pizza DipOoey gooey, cheesy goodness popping with flavor from the pepperoni, served on top of garlic-rubbed French bread.  And hey!  With the green peppers, I can say we had a vegetable with dinner, too!

Ingredients

  • 4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella, grated
  • 1/4 cup parmesan, grated
  • 1 cup tomato & basil pasta sauce
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella, grated
  • 1/4 cup parmesan, grated
  • handful pepperoni, sliced
  • 1/4 cup green pepper, sliced
  • 1/4 cup black olives, sliced
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms

Directions

Preheat oven to 350

  1. In a small bowl, mix the cream cheese, sour cream mayonnaise, 1/2 cup mozzarella and 1/2 cup parmesan then spread it across the bottom of a pie plate.
  2. Spread the tomato basil sauce on top then sprinkle on the remaining cheeses, green pepper, mushrooms, olives & pepperoni.
  3. Bake about 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden brown.

Corned Beef & Hash

Corned Beef & Hash

Adapted from All Recipes

The key to getting nicely browned potatoes is a HOT pan (as in high-heat), minimal stirring, and using your spatula to press down, eliminating air pockets and increasing the amount of potato touching the pan.  Until now?  I didn’t’ know this either.  Welcome to cooking 101, my friends! 

I made Rueben Sandwiches the other night for dinner and had enough corned beef left over that I knew I wanted to try something I’ve never made before.  It did take some cook-time, but prep was a snap.  It turned out so good and the way it made the house smell took me back to my childhood, waiting for mom to get dinner ready after a long day at school.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 potatoes, peeled and chopped to small bite size 
  • about 1/2 lb. cooked corned beef, chopped bite size
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 5 tablespoons cider vinegar
Directions
  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Sauté onions and potatoes until slightly browned, then stir in corned beef.
  3. Season with pepper and add vinegar 1 tablespoon at a time, cooking for 3 minutes between each addition.
  4. Partially cover skillet, reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

April 1, 2011

Strawberry Mango & Avocado Salad

Strawberry, Mango & Avocado Salad

Recipe adapted from Pink Parsley

It’s definitely spring here in Texas and the thermostat hitting 80 degrees in my house today proves it!  No, I’m not ready yet to turn on the air conditioner so I threw together this spring salad instead of heating up the kitchen by cooking!  I paired it with grilled chipotle pork chops and dinner was done in less than 30 minutes.  Even my nine year old middle-child, who insists she hates mango, gobbled this up, admitting that this mango tasted better than her school’s.  I’ll take that as a compliment!

In case you’re not in the know, this is what I used to cut the mango, then I just scored both halves with a knife, both length and cross wise and scooped squares away from the skin and set the skin aside.

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons orange juice
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • pinch cayenne
  • 4 mangos, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cup chopped strawberries
  • 5 avocados, pitted and cut into 1-inch cubes

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the honey, vinegar, orange juice, lime juice and cayenne. 
  2. Toss with the avocado, strawberries and mango, then allow to sit for at least 15 minutes. 
  3. Serve in the mango or avocado shells to be just a little less boring.  Top with a sprig of mint if you want to get real fancy!