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These Burgers be crazy.

25 Jun

For those of you who read my blog often, I’m sure you’re starting to see a pattern…

jalapenos.

guacamole/ avacado.

cheese.

These burgers contain all of the above, and the recipe for the patty is to die for!

Recipe: (from Allrecipes.com)

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground beef (I like organic/ grass fed beef.)
  • egg, beaten
  • 3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons evaporated milk
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

Directions

  1. Preheat grill for high heat.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the ground beef, egg, bread crumbs, evaporated milk, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne pepper, and garlic using your hands. Form the mixture into 8 hamburger patties.
  3. Lightly oil the grill grate. Grill patties 5 minutes per side, or until well done.

 

I served with pepper jack cheese, homemade guac, jalapenos from our garden, and grilled onions. Put it all together on a whole foods wheat bun, and enjoy!

Mama Goose’s Pesto BLTC

23 Jun

Today, Jarrod and I had these delicious sandwiches for lunch. They’re my own creation, and this was our first time testing them out. After making them, I set our plates on the table and  went in the kitchen to pour some tea. By the time I got back to the table, Jarrod had already eaten his entire sandwich. He’s not one to really go on and on about food, but this time he did! He even told me this is the best sandwich he’s ever eaten. It definitely gives { this one } a run for his money.

Mama Goose’s Pesto BLTC sandwich

1) First  things first. I made this sandwich with my homemade sandwich bread. It’s the only kind of sandwich bread we eat, and it’s a must for the overall deliciousness of the sandwich 🙂

2) Cook the bacon. I’ve found that I like oven cooked bacon the best! It’s easy to do, and easy to clean up!

3) Toast the sandwich bread. On one side of the bread I melted Applegate farms white American cheese.

4) When the bread is done toasting, top the cheese toast slice with thinly sliced tomatoes, baby spinach leaves, and  the bacon.

5) On the other slice of bread, spread a thin layer of mayo and a generous layer of homemade pesto.

Put it all together and ENJOY!!

Perfect Pesto Recipe

23 Jun

We have TONS of Basil in our garden, and it is one of my favorite things (besides avacado, and jalapenos of course!)

Today I made this homemade pesto. and whipped up the most delicious sandwich with it! (post to follow)

Here is the recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Instructions

  1. Into the bowl of a food processor, add the garlic, basil leaves, pine nuts, Parmesansalt, and pepper.
  2. Pulse until finely chopped.
  3. With the blender still running, slowly pour 1/2 cup of olive oil.

tip** you can freeze whatever you don’t use and have it for later!

Chicken, Spinach, Goat Cheese Quesadillas with Avacado Sauce

18 Apr

Here are the things I love  most in the world (minus jalapenos) all in one meal!! I saw this recipe on Pinterest, and it came from the blog  Sugar Cooking. I’ve taken a few minutes to look around her site, and there seem to be several delicious recipes that I’d like to try!

J. Boyd loved these and so did I! My Quesadillas really did turn out looking this fab, but I borrowed these pics from the Sugar Cooking Blog, because my pictures turned out so sad …maybe because I was too focused on eating.

We’re having these babies again tonight!

Enjoy!

Chicken, Spinach, Goat Cheese Quesadilla 

Ingredients:

  • Flour Totrillas  (I used Whole Foods Organic 365 brand)
  • Chicken (cooked and sliced) I cooked mine in the cast iron skillet
  • Garlic (1 tsp., minced)
  • Baby Spinach (1 pre packaged bag, I used whole leaf WF 365 brand frozen)
  • Salt, Pepper, & Cayenne Pepper to taste
  • Goat Cheese (4 oz, crumbled)
  •  Shredded Monterey Jack
  • Non-Stick cooking spray or olive oil

Directions

  1. Heat the spinach with the garlic, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper over medium-low heat in a pan until just wilted. Remove from heath and set aside.
  2. Heat the grill pan (or regular pan) over medium-high heat. Spray with non-stick cooking spray or drizzle with olive oil. Toast the inside of the tortilla for about 30 seconds.
  3. Take the tortilla off the grill pan and assemble as follows. Over half the quessadilla sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of monterey jack cheese, following by a few slices of chicken, then the spinach, then the crumbled goat cheese.
  4. Add to the grill pan and cook for about 1 – 2 minutes. Carefully use a spatula to flip the empty half of the tortilla onto the loaded half. Let the quesadilla cook for about 30 more seconds, then flip it over. Give it another 1 -2 minutes, then remove from the pan and enjoy!

Avocado Sour Cream

Ingredients:

  • 1 Avocado, chopped
  • 1/3 c. sour cream
  • 1 T maynoaise
  • 1 lime juice
  • 1/4 t onion powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Use a fork to mash the avocado as much as you can.
  2. Combine it with all other ingredients and stir together.

Note: If you want a thinner dip, stir in a few tablespoons of buttermilk. If you want a smoother dip, throw everything in the food processor.

Homemade Cinnamon Raisin Bread

4 Apr

For the last few months I’ve been testing out new recipes for homemade bread. After learning so many scary facts about chemicals found in store-bought bread, and while knowing myself well enough to realize I’ll never give bread up, I made it my mission to make our own.  This is by far the most complicated of the breads I have made, but it’s actually easy, and so delicious! My family ate half a loaf at breakfast this morning!

I found this recipe on the delicious blog, Tracey’s Culinary Adventures, and it comes from Cook’s Illustrated.

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

****I didn’t have dry milk powder. After doing a little bit of research, I found out that you can use real milk in recipes that call for milk powder and also call for water. All you have to do is leave out the milk powder and substitute  milk for the amount of water in the recipe. In this case that means you would just use 1 1/2 cups of warm milk. I warmed my milk on the stove. I was worried about the milk spoiling since the bread takes so long to make. After doing more research most people said that it’s fine to use the milk because even if it begins to spoil, (bacteria growth in the milk) the cooking process will cook out all of the bacteria. The milk never seemed to spoil, and the bread turned out wonderfully. If you are worried about using real milk, then just follow the recipe. 

****Also, this recipe calls for instant yeast, and I just used my regular active yeast and it did just fine!

Ingredients: 

Dough-
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
3 3/4 cups (20 2/3 oz) bread flour
3/4 cup (2 3/4 oz) nonfat dry milk powder
1/3 cup (2 1/3 oz) sugar
1 tablespoon instant yeast
1 1/2 cups (12 oz) warm water (about 110 F)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 oz) raisins

Filling-
1 cup (4 oz) confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 large egg, lightly beaten with pinch of salt (for egg wash)

To make the dough: Cut the butter into 32 small cubes. Add to a small bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon of the flour then set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, whisk the remaining flour, milk powder, sugar, and yeast together.

Add the water and egg, then use the dough hook to mix on medium-low speed until the dough comes together in a sticky mass. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let the dough stand for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil.

Remove the plastic from the bowl and add the salt. Mix on medium-low until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 7-15 minutes. It will just barely clear the sides of the bowl (it’s stickier than most dough I’ve made, so don’t be concerned if that’s the case – don’t add more flour). With the mixer still running, add the butter – a few pieces at a time – and continue kneading until the butter is completely incorporated and the dough is smooth and elastic, about 3-5 minutes longer. Again, it might be wet and sticky, don’t add flour.

Add the raisins and mix just until incorporated. Spray a large bowl with nonstick cooking spray and transfer the dough to that bowl. Using a rubber spatula, fold the dough over itself by gently lifting from the bottom and folding the edge of the dough toward the middle. Turn the bowl 90 degrees (1/4 turn) and repeat. Do this 6 more times, for a total of 8 folds. (Below is what it will look like)

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and transfer to the middle rack of your oven. Pour about 3 cups of the boiling water into a loaf or cake pan and place in the bottom of your oven. Close oven and let the dough rise for 45 minutes. (It should rise to look like below)

Remove the bowl from the oven. Use the rubber spatula to gently press down on the dough to deflate.

Again make 8 folds repeating the process used above. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and return to the oven. Let rise until doubled in volume, about 45 more minutes.

Meanwhile, make the filling by whisking together the confectioners’ sugar, cinnamon, vanilla extract and salt.

Spray two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and divide it in half.

Working with one half, press it into a 6 x 11-inch rectangle. ( I just estimated…it’s hard with two babies trying to help 🙂

With a short side facing you, fold the sides in over one another (like a business letter) to form a rough 3 x 11-inch rectangle.

Starting on the short side, roll the dough up and away from you into a ball. Adding more flour to the work surface as necessary, roll the ball into a 7 x 18-inch rectangle. My dough was fairly elastic and kept shrinking back, but keep working it and it’ll eventually relax.  ( I forgot to take a pic of this part… sorry!)

Using a spray bottle, lightly spray the dough with water. Sprinkle half of filling mixture evenly over dough, leaving about a 1/4-inch border on the sides (the long sides) and 3/4-inch border on top and bottom (the short sides). Spray the filling lightly with water.

With a short side facing you, roll the dough away from you into a tight cylinder. Pinch the seam of the loaf closed, as well as the ends. Dust the loaf lightly with flour and let rest for 10 minutes. Repeat with the second piece of dough.

Working with 1 loaf at a time, cut the loaf in half lengthwise using a sharp knife. Rotate the halves so the cut sides face up. Stretch each piece lengthwise until it is about 14 inches long.

Pinch the ends of the two pieces together then cross the piece on the left over the one on the right. Keeping the cut sides up, repeat until the pieces are tightly twisted.

Pinch the ends together then transfer to one of the prepared loaf pans, cut sides up. Press any exposed raisins gently down into the dough. Repeat this process to form a second loaf.

Cover the loaves loosely with plastic wrap and move them to the oven. Let rise for 45 minutes, then remove from the oven along with the pan of water on the bottom of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 F. Let the loaves rise at room temperature for another 45 minutes, or until almost doubled in size (they should rise about 1 inch over the top of the pan).

Brush the loaves with the egg wash. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the crust is brown, then reduce the oven to 325 F, tent the loaves with aluminum foil, and continue baking until the loaves register 200 F on an instant read thermometer about 15-25 minutes longer. I don’t have an instant read thermometer, so I just cooked mine for around 20 minutes longer and it was perfect!

Remove the pans to a wire rack and let the loaves cool for 5 minutes, then turn them out and let them cool completely (about 2 hours) before slicing. Store the bread at room temperature well wrapped for up to 2 days, or freeze for up to 1 month.

Your family will love it!

My new go to meal- Crock pot Chicken Burritos

17 Mar

 

I’ve made these several times, and my whole family loves them! To me, they taste just as good as our usual Mexican restaurant…PLUS if you use the {Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe} I posted, then you’re definitely going to save on sodium. This is a  healthier option to the alternative, easy, and so yummy!

Ingredients:

2 peppers ( I use green, but you can use red or yellow too)

1 onion

1 1/2 lb. chicken breast.

1/2 cup of chicken broth

taco seasoning

1/2 tablespoon of chili powder

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. chili powder

1/2 tsp. paprika

flour tortillas ( I want to learn how to make these next! Right now I settle for Whole Foods 365 Organic flour tortillas)

toppings: I like to top with my homemade guacamole, jalapenos, and sour cream…

 

 

Directions:

Put the peppers and onion in the bottom of the crockpot ( I like to dice mine, but you could slice them too)

Add the chicken to your crock pot and top with the taco seasoning ( If using homemade, I just eyeball the amount) 1/2 tablespoon of chili powder, and the chicken broth.

Cook on low for 4-6 hours

Shred the chicken and mix well with the onions and peppers. Add the salt, additional chili powder and paprika. Mix Well.

Now you are ready to make your tacos! Enjoy!

Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe

17 Mar

Cheaper, and with way less sodium than store bought, this taco seasoning tastes delish! I’ll never buy it in the packet again!

Homemade Taco Seasoning

Ingredients:

  • 1 part chili powder
  • 1 part ground cumin
  • 1 part garlic powder
  • 1 part onion powder
  • 1/4 – 1/2 part crushed red pepper

Directions:

Mix  spices together and store in an airtight container. (I’ve been storing mine in the freezer)

Voila!

Caramelized Banana Pudding- HAPPY BIRTHDAY J-BOYD

16 Mar

My husband LOVES banana pudding. I’m more of a chocolate/cake/cupcake/icing kind of girl, so up until this week I’ve never made banana pudding. Jarrod turned the big 28 on Monday, and I decided, only because I love him so so so much, that I would give it a whirl.  I saw this recipe in my  February edition of Southern Living Magazine, and figured that if it can make the cover, it must be good! We thought  it turned out spectacular, and everything in the recipe is homemade. (Homemade= cheaper, and no scary ingredients). On his birthday we ate it about 30 minutes after it came out of the oven. It was still warm, and really good. The next day we had some after it had been wrapped up in the fridge all night. It’s up to personal preference, but I liked it even better cold!

 

 

Caramelized Banana Pudding

Makes 8 servings

For the best flavor, choose ripe bananas with brown spots.

As usual I used all organic ingredients.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup firmly packed organic light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup organic butter
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 4 large ripe bananas
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, divided (I used organic *cane sugar)
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 48 Nilla Wafers ( I used 365 Organic Vanilla Wafers from Whole Foods… They taste WAY better and  are WAY better for you than Nilla Wafers. Seriously, check what all is in Nilla Wafers… it’s gross)

 

1. Cook first 3 ingredients in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly, 2-3 minutes or until bubbly. Add bananas and cook 2-3 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat.

 

 

2. Whisk together 3/4 cup granulated (*cane) sugar, next 3 ingredients, and 4 egg yolks in a heavy saucepan. Cook over medium low heat, whisking constantly 8-10 minutes or until a pudding like thickness. ( Mixture will just being to bubble and will hold soft peaks when it is lifted.) Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

 

3. Divide half of the banana mixture, pudding, and wafers among 8 (1 cup) ramekins or ovenproof glass dishes. Layer with remaining banana mixture, pudding and vanilla wafers.

 

 

4. Beat 4 egg whites at high speed with an electric mixer until foamy. Add remaining 1/4 cup granulated (* cane) sugar, 1 tbsp. at a time until stiff peaks form and sugar dissolves (2-4 minutes). Spread meringue over ramekins. Place ramekins on a baking sheet.

 

 

5. Bake at 325 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until meringue is golden. Let cool on a wire rack 30 minutes.

 

 

 

 

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